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New Normal

11 May

Tuesday was my last day on the Whole30 diet so what does my new normal look like? I am still working hard to make smart choices in food. Monday I made a whole chicken that I’ve been eating all week. Tuesday night I made a spaghetti squash with homemade “sauce.”

more meat and tomatoes than a sauce

I’ve also been eating that all week! But there have also been some indulgences. Wednesday night I ate at the Walls and had baked chicken a sweet potato and something we like to call Kelly corn. Kelly corn is definitely NOT a smart choice but delicious nonetheless!  I know that I do not want to live life gluten free and 100% paleo but making smarter choices was my ultimate goal!  I have not gone out and bought a box of cupcakes like I wanted to.  In fact, the most sweets I have had was a small bowl of fro-yo last night with strawberries and other fruity goodness!  I realized on Tuesday that regular peanut butter with sugar added is too sweet for me now.  I MUCH prefer no sugar added, all natural peanut butter even if it is harder to find in the local grocery stores.

So my plan:

  • I WILL be working on making healthy decisions every night when I make dinner.  I can’t succumb to what is easy, like buttered pasta, when I am too tired to cook a full meal.  There are still a ton of recipes that I have found over the last month that I want to try and I won’t stop with those.  Britton will be in town this week and together we make a great team in eating healthy and cooking together.
  • I WILL be bringing in those delicious leftovers every day for lunch to keep up with clean eating.  A sandwich is only ok every once in a while and a balanced meal is smart for every meal.
  • I WILL allow myself to indulge in the foods that make me happy.  Sushi is a must!  I love ice cream and fro-yo and will not cut those things out of my diet.  It’s ok to have a cupcake every once in a while.  I’ve always said I’d rather die fat and happy than miserable because I can’t eat anything that excites me 🙂
  • I WILL continue to do Crossfit as often as I can.  Even if I do not stay on a paleo diet, my main goal is to be fit for my wedding and honeymoon.  No one wants to see a beached whale in Jamaica, and it definitely won’t be me!
  • I WON’T prevent myself from eating out.  I enjoy a nice meal out even if they do use butter to cook in and have delicious desserts.  Britton and I enjoy eating at nice restaurants and trying new things and that will never stop.  We’re foodies through and through and no lifestyle change can take that away.  We love food!

This is my commitment to myself.


8 May

This weekend I had the pleasure of joining Britton out in Chicago while he worked the NRA show.  That’s the National Restaurant Association for those of you that are curious about what he is doing at NRA.  While Britton worked his butt off I got to do fun stuff.  Until Sunday I even stuck to my Whole30 as closely as I could.  Here’s a plug, go see The Avengers.  It was awesome!  We got there early and while Britton waited in line for seats, I stopped in a restaurant to grab a bite to eat.  The movie was awesome but I suppose I’m a sucker for Marvel movies.  I don’t know what that’s about.  I did have popcorn, just a small bag, no butter.  I love me some popcorn!

Saturday Britton was out the door by 6:15 (i think, however I was still asleep) for the show.  When I finally got up I headed downstairs for the free breakfast where I indulged in a made to order omelet and bacon.  The weather was not so amazing this weekend in Chi-Town so I took my time getting ready hoping it would be better by the time I made it outside…. not the case.  But I shopped till I dropped (literally) and even found my Iowa reception dress! LOVE IT!  I had an appointment at BHLDN to find the perfect dress and I couldn’t have been more lucky.  I found my dress and it was even on sale!  For anyone that doesn’t know yet about the amazingness of bhldn, they are an anthropologie owned bridal store (what?! I know that’s what I thought too!) and their website has some awesome stuff for party goers and party planners alike.  The Chicago store only just opened in February so I was pleasantly surprised to get an appointment. Oh and my attendant was from Omaha, small world!

My fitting room at BHLDN

Friday night we had dinner with my friend Jenn and her hubby Dan.  We ate at an awesome place called Fork!  And after dinner I couldn’t help but stop at a cupcake place close by.  But the cupcakes were not worth it and I only ate a few bites.

The four of us

Sunday Britton was out early again and I was making my way to the Shedd aquarium.  This was my day of VERY poor eating choices.  I started the morning with french toast and bacon.  Delicious but I would pay for all these bad decisions later.  I made it to the Shedd and waited in a line for about 45 minutes before even making it through the doors.  And just in time too because the rain started soon after I got inside.  My purpose for the visit was really to see their Jellies exhibit as I think jellyfish are absolutely fascinating.  I was in for a treat and loved every second of the jelllies exhibit!

I took about 150 photos at the Shedd but this one is amazing

My poor choices continued when I met Britton at the conference center and snacked on food for about an hour throughout the show.  I had cheesecake, mini pretzel dogs, chocolate flour-less tarts, funnel cake fries and on and on.  It was delicious.  How often are you in a place that you can literally try any food you want?  After the show I waited for Britton to get back to the hotel and then we headed out to Kinzie Chophouse for dinner before I had to head back to South Dakota.  The food there was amazing and we ended the meal with desserts, creme brule for me and a buttered rum cheesecake for Britton.  I will admit, Britton made the better choice in desserts…

I was sad to leave Chicago and Britton behind but we decided that every year I will head out to Chicago for the NRA show with Britton, so at least I can look forward to next year! Oh and yesterday I was sick in bed with a terrible stomach ache…. So word of advice to and Whole30-ers ease back in if you want to eat crappy foods.  Do small bits at a time, not a whole day of binging.

i’m sexy and i know it

30 Apr

Today begins my third week being a Crossfit-er. My first week was brutal, couldn’t walk for a few days because my legs were so sore and then to top it off I did something to my IT band.  My trainer thinks my hips are cockeyed which could be causing the pain in the IT band so I may be looking for a chiropractor until Britton’s chiropractor in training sister in law comes back to town!  But I’m holding tough and going to class literally as often as I can.  This past weekend Britton came too and he’s a big fan so that will be our regular Friday and Saturday thing to do!

They’ve been working my arms lately.  My arms and my back are incredibly sore.  Washing my hair has been a struggle!  And that all started Friday night when we went to Crossfit and I made a fool out of myself trying to do a clean and press.  I don’t know what the problem is but I can’t get the motions down so I’m all outta wack with the move.  After our workout Friday night Britton and I headed to his parents house to have dinner with his parents and brother and sister in law.  It was a wonderfully relaxing night.  Janet was amazing and cooked a Whole30 approved meal for me, grilled chicken, green beans in olive oil and sea salt and a sweet potato bakes with some cinnamon.  Delish!

Saturday after Britton worked we headed back to Crossfit for another intense workout.  We started with a 30 minute AB workout then to go on and do another arm workout.  My hands were killing me after doing so many pull ups and other stuff on the bars.  So after the workout we headed to the sports store to pick up some totally snazzy gloves.  It may sound lame but I am so glad to have them now.  It gets intense when your hands start to blister!

Saturday was a lazy day after Crossfit.  Britton was leaving at 4 am on Sunday morning to head to Dallas for a food show so I was glad to just get the chance to snuggle on the couch with my man.  I made a great Beefy Stew that night for dinner that I can’t wait to have again today for leftovers.  I slept like a baby until Britton had to leave.  I really hate when they book those first thing in the morning flights especially when it cuts in to our weekend.

Today marks day 22 of my Whole 30.  I can’t believe it’s already been a month since I started this crazy lifestyle change!  I am feeling so good about the food choices I am making!

Weekend with some kiddos

25 Apr

This past weekend was insanely busy.  There was definitely no resting for this chick.  Friday night I spent some time with my soon to be in-laws and we had some sausages and hot dogs on the grill with raw veggies.  I had picked up some all natural, sugar free dogs and chicken and apple sausages from Whole Foods the weekend before.  Let me tell you, those sausages are delicious.  They are made by Applegate Farms and you can find out more about the company and the sausages here.   They didn’t need any condiments but it was weird having a hot dog without ketchup.  I had even gotten a recipe to make some approved ketchup but really, i decided that was going a little overboard.

Saturday is when the fun really began! I went to Sioux Center to watch the Stoub kids play soccer before bringing them back to Sioux City for the weekend so their parents could get away.  After their games we piled into my car and drove back to Sioux City, stopping at a few places along the way for lunch and goodies.  When we finally made it back to my apartment the kids cleaned up and relaxed a little before we headed back out the door to Jerry’s Pizza on Morningside.

Jerry’s is a bit of a family spot as it is owned by my fiance’s aunt and uncle.  I set it up so the kids could check out how the pizza was done and was pleasantly surprised to see that they were going to be able to make their own pizzas!  Each kiddo made their own small pizza!  They had so much fun in the kitchen and got to play with the dough after finishing their pies.  We ate in the kitchen and they even made me a burger with the ground beef they put on the pizzas.  It was a perfect dinner situation!

Tyler kneading the dough

Rachel saucing a pizza

The two nuggets eating their creations!

After the dinner we hit up the movie Chimpanzee.  Having Tim the Tool Man Taylor as the narrator might have been my favorite part!  I LOVE Tim Allen!  For the movie I had to make a little snack to pull me through.  I would normally eat an entire medium bag of popcorn guarding it with my life to ensure I can have every last piece.  So instead I found a great recipe for the movie.  They were Coconut Pecan (I used walnuts too) Date Rolls.  I made mine into little balls so that they were easy to pop in my mouth.  The recipe can be found here.

Sunday the kids were up bright and early.  I made them chocolate chip pancakes and made myself an egg scramble.  Not going to lie, it was hard not to have a bite of pancake…  But i made it through!  The first project of the day was to make our own play dough.  Each of them got to pick a color and stir their dough while it cooked on the stove.  After play dough we painted pots for Earth Day and later planted their flowers.

our potted plants

We also spent a little time watching movies and playing video games which was a relief to me.  Having two energetic kids around is exhausting!  Before their parents came to pick them up we made a quick trip to the park to enjoy the beautiful weather.  I’d say we had a great weekend and I definitely look forward to keeping them again.  Although, i hope Britton is in town as well so he can share in the experience 😉


19 Apr

I have been incredibly impressed with myself over the last week+.   Against all recommendations, I did not clear my apartment out of all things that I am not allowed to eat.  It would be have been very hard since Britton is not participating with me.  There is even a bowl full of Easter candy sitting right next to my couch and I haven’t had or even touched one.  Now this may seem crazy but on the phone with my sister this morning I told her it’s almost more rewarding to say to myself that I have the self control.  I’m not bound to eating healthy because that’s all that I have in my apartment, I have plenty of things I can’t eat.  Instead I make the conscious decision not to break down and eat a hand full of jelly beans or make my favorite snack, popcorn.  I am more impressed with myself knowing that I can resist the urge.  I joke about it with my colleagues when they grab a cookie out of the MUC and eat it in front of me, but it makes me proud to know that those cookies are sitting right down stairs for free, and I don’t go down and eat one.

So since I am doing well with the Whole30 part of my lifestyle change, I also decided to start doing CrossFit.  I don’t think that part of the change will be as easy as the food part.  On Tuesday night I had my preliminary fitness test and the Day 1 workout.  They took measurements, had to weigh in and then began the hard parts.  I started with a 1.5 mile run.  I am not a runner.  Even when I was in the best shape of my life, a player on the women’s lacrosse team, I still could not run distance (even though really a mile is hardly anything).  It took me over 19 minutes to complete that part. pathetic.  Then I went on to do push ups, bench press and sit ups.  I would say those weren’t so bad, better than I expected in fact.  My trainer also had to teach me some of the basic moves they use a lot in the CrossFit classes.  Some of these things I already knew and needed a refresher on like the Kettle Bell Swing and dead life.  We did a few other things with kettle bells and I tried to dead lift just the bar… that was heavy.

After the basics were covered I did my Day 1 set.  That consisted of 3 sets of 15 V-Ups, 15 Squats and 15 Kettle Bell Swings.  I was still struggling to catch my breath after my run so none of the workout came easy to me.  I was huffing and puffing from the moment I began.  My toes were cramping like you would not believe and they didn’t stop cramping until I was home.  They didn’t even time me because I was so pathetic but I finished and that’s all that counts.  Day 1 was hard and I know that won’t get easier for at least a while.  I worked late last night so I was unable to train but Friday I will be back.  My plan is to get in at least 4 of the 5 workouts every week.  Training days are Monday, Tuesday Wednesday, Friday and Saturday leaving Thursday and Sunday as rest days.  Can’t wait to see what else I can accomplish over the next few weeks!

monday, monday

17 Apr

Oh how I hate Mondays! Sunday night I made a new paleo approved egg bake with the following ingredients:

  • 8 eggs
  • 1/2 C of pork breakfast sausage
  • 1/2 C chopped broccoli
  • 1 C of mushrooms (sauteed ahead of time)
  • 1/4 of an onion (sauteed with mushrooms above)

All cooked up

I snacked that day on some organic free trade freeze dried bananas and some baby carrots.  For lunch I had my leftover paleo mini burgers with guacamole and a side of broccoli.  They were delightful even reheated! That is definitely a recipe I will use again and may even make them for Britton!

Dinner was a disaster.  I had bought some fish rub for my various fish purchases and so I started by using the rub on my tilapia filet from Whole Foods.  The rub turned out to be extremely spicy and I am a wimp about stuff like that so it ended up being tossed…

Just after i had finished with the rub

Next I had some broccolette that I was going to saute in a pan with some olive oil and garlic.

What is brocollette? I have no clue but it was good.

So I cleaned those babies up and tossed them into the pan to cook. they were a good choice, not like the fish ended up being…

nom, nom, nom

I finished the meal off with a baked sweet potato that i turned into personal mashed, with a smidgen of coconut milk and a dash of cinnamon.  Other than the fish it was delish!

What a colorful plate of food!

After the fish turned out to be a bust I had leftover roast still so I heated that up for my protein.  Before I headed out the door to check out CrossFit Sioux City.  I met with the owner and set up a meeting for Tuesday to start learning the ropes.  Can’t wait to get started tonight!

Whole30 Weekend

16 Apr

So I hate being on my computer over the weekends so Mondays will be long!


Good day for Whole30, I had leftovers for breakfast and lunch but made delicious shrimp scampi for dinner!  Found the recipe here  I made pasta for britton and used 1 zucchini turned into spaghetti for myself.  I bought this amazing tool last week so that I could easily(ish) turn my zucchini into thin strings. Bought this baby on Amazon and i LOVE it!

Joyce Chen 51-0662 Saladacco Spiral Slicer

The shrimp scampi was a big hit and I have already thought of some ways to make it better the next time I do it.  I also have to figure out how to get all the extra water out of the zucchini after I cook it… Anyone have any suggestions?

After dinner Britton and I went to the Sioux City Conservatory of Music to listen to his friend do a set.  This place was amazing.  The conservatory is a place for children and adults to take private music lessons and hone their musical skills.  I am  considering becoming a member and joining their adult choir called Sing, Sing, Sing.  They even rent out the space for events so I’m keeping it in my brain for a possibility for our Iowa reception after the wedding!  Anyway, Britton’s friend Alex and another employee of the conservatory were the opener to a local Omaha band called Sky Piper.  They were all fantastic!


This day was a little riskier than others in terms of my diet.  Britton and I were heading to Omaha Saturday to do dinner with some friends of his and stay the night.  Britton had an early flight out of town on Sunday.  On our way out of town we stopped at Jimmy John’s where I ordered a turkey and roast beef “unwich.”  For anyone that isn’t a frequent JJ patron, an unwich is a sandwich wrapped in lettuce opposed to a hunk of bread.  I stuck with the basics on this one and left out the mayo to make it more or less, Whole30 feasible.  We ate on the road in the midst of a crazy storm that was whizzing through the Midwest that day.  Tornado had been spotted in northern Kansas and we were also in a tornado watch with this storm.  But we braved it and headed down to Omaha.

Once we made it to our hotel in Omaha we also discovered the hard way that there was a Jimmy Buffet concert that night at the CenturyLink Center.  There were drunken adults all over our hotel with their Tommy Bahama shirts on and stuffed parrots on their shoulders.  People all over were complaining that their rooms hadn’t been cleaned or their rooms keys weren’t working… I turned to Britton and told him we needed to get the hell out of there and find a new hotel… And that’s just what we did.  We ended up staying further from the airport but closer to Britton’s friends and the area we were planning on spending most of our time anyway.

We met up with his friends Augie and Steph who are also planning a wedding, and headed out to Bonefish Grill for dinner.  I told the waitress almost immediately that I couldn’t eat anything cooked in butter so she worked with the cooks to make sure that could be accommodated.  Britton and I started off with a scallop appetizer.  I ordered the Chilean Sea Bass with sides of mixed veggies and broccoli (It really doesn’t get much more boring).  The fish especially was to die for.  It was cooked to perfection.  I had mine sans any sauces and they lightly seasoned the fish. Delicious!

After dinner Britton and I hit up my favorite target. Anyone that knows me knows how much I love target.  We each got bathing suits so we could spend a little time relaxing in the hotel hot tub.  Little did we know, the pool area came equip with screaming children that night.


I was up bright and early to drive Britton to the airport on Sunday but after dropping him off, went back to the hotel to sleep a little longer.  Once I woke up I headed down to free breakfast in the hotel and had an omelet made with onions, tomatoes and mushrooms.  It was delightful.  I left the hotel and headed on to Whole Foods which was my favorite part about our frequent visits to Omaha!  I stocked up on a bunch of paleo items to get me through the next few weeks and beyond.  Picked up some all natural fruits and veggies, some organic chicken thighs, key west fresh pink shrimp, some mahi mahi filets and some tilapia.  Oh I love fish!  I also got some other essentials, more organic sugar free peanut butter, coconut oil (which is not like any oil I’ve ever used) and some additional seasonings.  I really wish we had a Whole Foods in Sioux City or at least something like it.

Got home around noon and made some lefotvers for lunch.  Last night’s dinner though was a great one.  I made some delightful Paleo Mini Burgers with Guacamole.  I adapted a recipe I found on Recipe Warrior.  The burgers went like this:


  • 1 pound lean ground beef or other meat of choice
  • coconut or olive oil- for cooking
  • 1/4 small onion- grated
  • 1/2 small zucchini- grated
  • 1/2 small carrot- grated
  • 2 cloves garlic- crushed


  1. heat oil in frying pan
  2. put meat of choice in a large mixing bowl
  3. grate onion, zucchini, carrot and garlic and combine
  4. mix thoroughly- using your hands works best here
  5. form small balls with mixture and then flatten into mini patties
  6. cook on medium heat, alternating sides for 10-12 minutes or until cooked
  7. top with guacamole

My uncooked patties

Frying in coconut oil

Complete with Guacamole!

Had my burgers with a side of broccoli and it was amazing.  Can’t wait for the leftovers later this week!  Ta ta for now!

Day 4…

13 Apr

Wahoo! My headache has finally subsided!

Today was an interesting day. I was not heading into work because of a dermatology appointment that would lead to some major swelling of the face. More on that later.

So I started the day a little later than normal which was nice after being at the death cab concert until late Wednesday night.  After my appointment I chowed down on another piece of my paleo egg bake while I watched Britton scarf down a sandwich. I’m not even a fan of your every day sandwich but just watching someone eat something that I can’t indulge in can be a little annoying.

In the midst of cleaning and doing laundry I headed out to the local meat shop, Braungers, to pick up an eye of round roast to make for tonight’s dinner.  The smallest they had was 6.5 lbs! That was the largest hunk of meat I’ve ever been responsible for before. I was a little intimidated…  But I pressed on to HyVee to pick up some additional groceries for the nights meal.  I had Britton’s parents over for dinner.  When I got home I started the roast. I chopped off about 2 lbs of it to save for some later meal and got started on the rub.  Garlic, salt, pepper,  and thyme was mixed together and rubbed all over the clean roast.  I let that sit while I had lunch.

For lunch I had leftover stew and some apple with my healthy peanut butter. Again, that’s my new best friend. It’s not so good by itself but on some sweet apples, its ah-mazing.

Soon after lunch I began really preparing for the roast.  I found the recipe at  The trick to this recipe is to only bake the roast at 500 degrees for 45 minutes (well 7 minutes per pound to be exact) and then let the roast sit in the oven for another 2.5 hours with it turned off.  This is the beauty all ready for eating!

To go along with the roast I made a sweet potato casserole that was to die for. I added a smidgen of vanilla which is not Whole30 approved but a drop here and there is not bad I decided. And I wasn’t making the meal just for myself so others have to enjoy it too!  So delicious, found here  Of course, the first thing Britton asked was what was in it because he hated the lemon zest. I even made only half with nuts to appease his strange nut aversion! What a party pooper!

Last but not least was my greenery. I made some delicious asparagus that were a huge hit!  That can be found on my Whole30 pinterest board  Cooked those asparagus in some bacon grease. So amazing! And also a huge success!

All in all, dinner was a hit.  I think it was good too for me to show everyone that eating healthy doesn’t mean you can’t have good stuff!  Everyone left with smiles on their faces and full bellies!  What a great night!

Day 3: Whole30

12 Apr

It’s day 3 and the headache is still lingering. I’m sure my sugar addiction has been THE contributing factor… but I press on.

Breakfast today consisted of my paleo egg bake reheated, so good! I think I will have to work on a new one for each week to keep it interesting (although i do love mushrooms and broc).

Had a mid morning snack consisting of baby carrots.  They have become my new favorite snack I think, slightly sweet and so delicious!

I didn’t get a chance on Tuesday to make anything but did get to bake some chicken, seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic I popped those breasts in the oven last night so i would have something to eat for lunch.  Finished off my sugar snap peas with one chicken breast (no picture again! i’m slacking)  To top it all off I had an apple with a little bit of sugar free peanut butter.  I was seriously craving PB yesterday afternoon and was lucky enough to have some 100% organic, sugar free at the apartment.  Meghan and I are planning on making our own almond butter this weekend during a Sunday full of cooking!

For dinner I made crock pot beef and mushroom stew.  Recipe was found on the blog (  Britton and I had bought tickets for the Death Cab concert later tonight so we had to eat and run to make it to Omaha on time.  More about that show later…

I served the stew with bread to the non Whole30 people at my residence.  My friend and colleague Lisa was coming to the show with us so she came over for dinner too!  Even though it was healthy, everyone loved it!  Next time I make it I think I will change the recipe a little to cut out a little of the vinegar bite.  Will have to play around I think.  More updates tomorrow!

cool tidbit

11 Apr

So an amazing thing about the Whole30… I weighed myself on Monday and I won’t again until its done! Is it weird I am excited to not be looking and worrying about the scale for the next 30 days?!