Christmas in July!

gift

Is it Christmas in July???

Sure seems like it!  😮

Christmas is a gift, right?  Well, after growing up in the south,… on the beach I might add,…..and now living in the Northeast, summer is a REAL gift to me!!!

I LOVE SUMMER!!!

Summer means sunshine, beach time, cook outs, gardening, berry picking, and flip flops EVERY. SINGLE. DAY!     Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about!   😉    WOOHOO!!!!!

After a LONG winter, my body is happily making vitamin D, my skin is darkening with each sun-filled day, and fresh fruits/vegetables are in abundance!!!  I LOVE SUMMER!!!

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Now, I don’t know how you schedule your summer, but I have very specific goals for summer!

This summer, my children are working on:

1)      Math facts

2)      Spanish vocabulary

3)      Etiquette and Biblical Femininity

4)      Bible Verse memorization

Personally, I am spending more time reading, writing, and enjoying my business.

What am I reading?

Right now,….

1)      Passionate Housewives Desperate For God by Jennie Chancey and Stacy McDonald (it’s a re-read for me because it’s SO good!!)

2)      The Resolution (the book that goes with the movie “Courageous”—again, a re-read and re-dedication to my husband and family)

3)      For new recipes and WODs (Work Out of the Day), my latest acquisitions are “Everyday Paleo” by Sarah Fragoso and “Practical Paleo” by Diane Sanfilippo

4)      For knowledge and helping my clients, “Digestive Health with Real Food” by Aglaee Jacob (remember (?) I’m a health and lifestyle coach)

** I LOVE to read**  😉

As far as enjoying my business,….

I am writing more, developing more meal plans, working on my ‘techie’ skills, helping people get more organized with my newest tools made by an awesome company called Thirty-One (remember (?) I’m a health AND lifestyle coach), and assisting people in their journey of health and wellness.

Summer has really just started, but, I’ve been planning this summer for so long, my children and I are off to a running start!

That may seem like a lot, but really, it all comes down to one thing.  One goal.

Loving my family and enjoying every possible moment with them; and helping others  while glorifying God through it all!

What are you doing this summer??  I’d love to hear about it!

Keepin’ it real,

Elena 😉

Learn Something New Every Day

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“Learn something new every day”, a motto I live by, just ask my kiddos…..I say it all of the time.  Even if you mess up, learn from it.

So as I’ve traveled this road of a “Whole 30”, I’ve learned and confirmed, quite a few things.

1)      Doing a Whole 30, or any other endeavor, is harder to do alone.  Having a support network or someone to do it with you is better.

2)      I used to eat a lot of cheese.

3)      I love vegetables, especially sautéed in coconut oil.  Yum!

4)      I now appreciate and enjoy sunbutter.

5)      I can drink black coffee and enjoy it without gagging.

6)      Seafood makes me happy. I feel healthy, happy, and “light” even after a full meal.

7)      I can live without cheese.  *Prefer not to, but I can survive.

8)      It is a challenge to do a Whole 30 when you are the momma and your husband and children are not doing it with you,…..

9)      Meal planning is essential.

10)   When planning to do a Whole 30, account for parties and stress,…..it could really throw you off!

And now, my latest update on how my Whole 30 is going and how my 30-day squat challenge is going….

I could lie.  I could tell you how wonderful it is, how it’s so easy, how you should do it too,…….

But that’s not me.

And,……

I could go on and on.

I could give you a list of excuses.

I could tell you that being the momma of 8 kiddos who eat 24/7, having a hubby who works endless hours to provide for us, living 20 minutes from the grocery store, OR dealing with a birthday and a graduation is all to blame,……………but it’s not.

This last week, I just wasn’t thinking.

huh girl

My meals were planned, my house was stocked, and I just wasn’t thinking……
My daughter chose one of her birthday foods to be corn on the cob, a no-no on a Whole 30, and well, without the blink of an eye,……I ate it.

Maybe my brain was just thinking, “it’s a vegetable”.   ??

Maybe my brain wasn’t thinking at all.

I just ate.

Needless to say, I “fell off of the cart”.

I was devastated.  I wanted to cry.

You see, the whole point of a Whole 30 is to be perfectly consistent in order to let your body reset itself.  If you cheat, at all…… you’ve blown it.  No. Cheating. At. All.

So, guess what I did?

Yep, I said, “to heck with it”.
How often do you hear that on a blog?

I decided that I’ll need to plan better and try again another time.

I considered just starting my Whole 30 all over again the next day, but I was just an emotional mess due to my screw up.  (I’m usually my worst enemy….can you identify?)

The good news,………..

I’m kickin’ butt (no pun intended) on my 30-day squat challenge!!!  I’ve lost almost a whole inch on my thighs and hips!  My pants feel comfortable and loose and it gets easier every day!

Now, many of you have asked, “what program are you following”?  Well, here it is:

30 day squat challenge

Today I’m at 105, and I am so psyched to be able to say, “I did it”!!!

So, as I move forward, my plan is to complete my 30-day squat challenge, continue with my gluten-free (almost grain free) eating plan, and continue doing what I do,……”always strive for balance, learn something new every day, and Praise God for every single second”!

Keepin’ it real,

Elena   😉

WEEK 1 — Whole 30 – Complete!

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Woohoo!  Today is day 7 of my Whole 30 challenge, and I’m goin’ strong!

I can’t lie, I’ve missed a few foods, but over all, really not a big deal.  I think it’s more of the “I can’t have it right now, so I really want it” mentality.

I’m also chuggin’ right along on my 30-day squat challenge and today I did 75 squats…..whew! It’s hard to imagine that by the end of the 30 days, I’ll be up to 160 squats a day!

I have to admit, I know it’s only been a week, but I am noticing a few changes in my body.

I’ve noticed that my breakouts are clearing nicely and my rosacea is much more calm; my psoriasis is doing ‘something’, by that I mean, it’s not as bad but my skin feels very tight (not sure what that means, but I’ll be keeping tabs on that); my chest and waist are definitely changing too, my clothes are fitting differently (not like crazy weight loss, more like a little loss with redistribution);  my cravings are changing; and lastly, I’m also sleeping really well and when I wake up, I feel very refreshed.

Have you joined me yet?  You can jump in any time…..  😉

The biggest tip I can give you is, BE PREPARED!

When I’m not prepared, I just want to fill my face with anything that’s convenient, not good.  So it’s really important to have the kitchen stocked with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, proteins that are easy to prepare or eat “as is” (like boiled shrimp), and keep avacados close by.   *One of my favorite snacks has been half of an avacado with lime juice on it (one time I also added a tablespoon of fresh pico de gallo—YUM!) and 2 oz. of cooked chicken or turkey.

Since being prepared is my biggest tip, I thought I’d share my menu ideas to help you plan for the week. I hope you enjoy it and get some inspiration.

Breakfast:

  • 2 eggs with veggies sauteed in coconut oil, salt/pepper to taste
  • Smoothie with one banana, a handful of blueberries, a handful of sliced strawberries and coconut water
  • 1 banana and an apple with sun butter and an 1 oz. chicken/turkey
  • Leftovers

Lunch:

  • Green salad with spinach, lettuce/mesculun, 4-6 oz. diced chicken/turkey or shrimp/beef, sliced almonds, ½ an avacado and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and olive oil
  • “Sliced turkey wraps”—the vegetable of your choice (asparagus, red pepper, cucumber…) wrapped in a slice of turkey with some apple slices
  • “Lettuce wraps” –same concept as above only I use romain lettuce as my ‘wrapper’
  • Leftovers

Dinner:

  • Baked chicken with “rice” and roasted veggies (paleo rice is cauliflower “riced” in the food processor and sauteed in coconut oil—it is awesome!)
  • Beef and broccoli stir fry (feel free to add in any extra veggies on hand)
  • Roasted spaghetti squash with coconut oil topped with ground beef and salsa
  • Salmon and roasted veggies with a side salad
  • Leftovers!

Snack:

  • Half of an avacado with lime juice/salsa and 2 oz. chicken/turkey/boiled shrimp
  • 1 banana with sunbutter
  • 1 apple with almond butter
  • Cucumber and red pepper slices with a splash of rice vinegar

I hope you’ve found some inspiration and encouragement today, and I hope you’ll continue this Whole 30 journey with me.  If you’ve completed a Whole 30 before and would like to share some tips, I’d love to hear them!

Keepin’ it real,

Elena  😉

 

Day 1 of my FIRST “Whole 30”

I’ve had many questions sent to me.

Some of you are wondering, what exactly is a Whole 30?

 A Whole 30 is a 30-day time frame designed  to stop and change things up a bit (aka. “reset”) in your body  for a solid 30 days.  😉

paleo 30 days

See, sometimes, our bodies need a change so we can break plateaus, so we can get focused, so we can calm down some systemic inflammation, or so we can detox.

In my last post, I explained that I have been following a gluten-free diet since last fall and I have had some wonderful results!  My body has been able to absorb iron again, my psoriasis (a very pesky skin condition which is auto-immune related) has cleared up a bit, my migraines are better, my fibromyalgia pain is rare, my monthly cycles are WAY less painful,….. it’s been great!

I’d still like to make it better.  Good, better, best …. Right?  😉

So, today, I started a Whole 30.

That means, not only am I cutting out gluten, but I am also cutting out ALL grains (even the gluten-free ones), ALL dairy, ALL legumes (which includes beans and peanuts), and ALL sugar.

Awe, come on, it’s only 30 days.  The Israelites ate manna forty years!  We can do this!

You may be wondering, what’s left?

paleo veggies

I will be eating lean meats, chicken, fish, and lots of eggs.  I will be eating lots of vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds.  I will using healthy oils (my favorite, coconut oil-yum!) and I will be drinking lots of water. 😉

What does that look like in a day?  Like this:

Wake up: Drink a large glass of water (with lemon is helpful for detoxing)

Breakfast: 2 eggs with veggies (this morning I used 1 zucchini, ½ an onion, some red pepper and tomatoes in coconut oil).

Mid-morning: 32 ounces of water

Lunch: 6 ounces of pulled pork (cooked in the crockpot—the easy peasy way), a handful of baby carrots, a few slices of cucumber, and some apple slices.

Afternoon snack: ½ of an avocado with lime juice and 32 ounces of water.

Dinner: 6 ounces of grilled chicken, grilled slices of summer squash, and one ear of corn.

Evening snack: some yummy homemade grain-free granola….aka in our home as “paleo-nola” 😉  and yes, WATER!

THAT’S A LOT OF FOOD!  I sure didn’t starve today.  😉

In addition to starting my Whole 30, I also began a new 30-day exercise plan.  Today, that included 55 squats and ½ an hour on the stationary bike.

What makes this sound so easy?  PLANNING!!!!  Without a doubt, PLANNING!!!!

Do you use a meal plan?  I love meal planning, it makes life so much easier!

There are many ways to do it, …. That’s a whole series of posts!  Interested?  Let me know!

For now, here are few tips:

Use your crockpot.

When you cook something, double it to get ahead.

Use leftovers.

To learn more about the Whole 30 plan, go to: www.whole9life.com.  To get movin’, go here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/30-Day-squat-Challenge/109536482550422 or google “the 30 day squat challenge”.

Keepin’ it real,

Elena 🙂