Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Lighter, Better, Faster, Stronger. 1 Month Vegan

Yesterday I hit the one month mark as a Vegan.

The Good: Way better sleep, I feel lighter, I am down 5.6 pounds, loving the new meals and extra energy in the gym. I feel a lot better mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. 

The Bad: Lots of cooking and washing dishes🤣😂 

The Ugly: My skin is still breaking out

Overall though its been great. If I had it to do again I would have done a gradual change vs going cold turkey but yes one whole month since I accidentally turned Vegan lol When your sister the Doctor (of more than one species) says you should look at this documentary "What The Health" you do and mannnn I ain't looked back since! Funny I re-watched #WhatTheHealth with my husband who is going meatless for August with me and the animal cruelty was like a flash in the pan but I remembered it sooooooo much you couldn't tell me it wasn't the main focus 😂🤣 so it was good to re-watch it and really catch the rest of the information. The health implications and the environmental impact is really startling. The other hard pill to swallow is how long this information has been around annddd how the money trail explains it all. As Maya Angelou says "Once you know better you do better..." so that's where I am.

The positives: The people that are supportive are super supportive. My friend Dawn has shared her veggies from Gather Baltimore and I have made some great food! And I share! Real community living now! My personal trainer and his fiancee had a pre-wedding cookout so those of us going to their destination wedding could meet before hand and she made a point to buy Vegan burgers for my husband and me! How sweet is that? They also cut up a ton of veggies and grilled it up for us! I mean that is SUPPORT! Love it! The burgers were really good too and she gave us the box to take home. Totally going to BJs to buy more! Restaurants are also very accommodating. Shout out to The W who modified a pizza for me last week! 

The other positive there are a lot of vegans and vegetarians out there... many I know but didn't know or realize they were vegan.Even my maternal Grandmother 😲  How  How cool is that? I have a lot of cousins that are either vegan or vegetarian as well so the concept is not foreign to me or my family so I think that's a plus. Even my husband was vegetarian at one point...chileeee and he even had dreads so you know he legit gets the honorary Jamaican status lol 

The online community is AMAZING. Its like a whole new world. I swear it's like The Matrix. The Black Vegan community is very strong and impressive not for their "accomplishments" but just how they are using their time on earth mostly outside of Veganism. Its dope. Its all about alignment. I was saying to my sister its like when I would not buy Stag beer in Trinidad because their slogan is "Stag... A man's beer!" I was SOOOOO offended! Like WHAT? I vote with my dollars and if its one thing I pride myself on its being consistent. I am very black or white when it comes to what I feel is right or wrong and so this has been a pretty easy change for me mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically. There is an endless supply of resources out there and its been so informative.  

If it was "just" for health I think it would be more of a struggle for me. This is not a diet for me. Health is a nice side benefit but honestly despite being overweight my cholesterol is under 100, my blood pressure is like 110/70 and all my other numbers are well within healthy ranges. My sugar number (Black I know lol) was higher than my doctor liked last year and my goal was to lose 20 pounds and she felt that would reduce that number, so I am looking forward to my annual physical in October. 

I feel a lot more energy at the gym even though during the day I am napping more consistently lol I tend to be high energy except for inside the gym. I tend to drag myself around when I workout, now that may be mental but I have noticed I have way more energy to workout lately.I set a commitment to workout at least 35 minutes a day for the rest of the year when we were at day 146 from the new year.  Yesterday was Day 15 of 146! I've gone over 100 days before so I know I can keep it up. I have been busy and still on track from New York for my 25th to DC to back home. I am making the time. I notice that I can go 90 minutes even when I plan to workout for just 35 minutes when I get there so that's great. 

Knowledge is power. There is a lot of information out there and that's another positive I like learning and I'm still researching. While some think What the Health was too over the top... think about it even if what they said was half of the truth that is scary as hell!!!

The negatives: The people who have posted such anti/messy/ negative things I find totally bizarre. I've engaged some and its a good opportunity to dialogue. I think its a bit weird to care what another person eats or doesn't eat on both sides but no one likes feeling judged and if you are compassionate and passionate I get it. I'm not in the conversion business even when it comes to my faith. I'm Team Jesus but I know that's not for everyone but there are certain things that are Christ-like and I am striving to exhibit that if that brings someone to Christ cool I think I have done my part. Ultimately, if my sharing helps someone understand a bit more and cut back on eating so much meat and dairy for compassionate reasons and try a more Plant based diet that's great... if not, no judgement. We all have one life to live and we do the best we can.

A lot of people have emailed me about resources so I am going to list some of those things and in a different post I will do some sample menus. Below are a few documentaries, doctors and organizations where you can look things up and get more information. Click names below to go to the websites!

Netflix has:

What the Health 

Forks Over Knives 



Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead 2


14 Vegan Doctors  (Article)

Dr. Michael Greger M.D. - Awesome FREE resources

Neal Barnard, M.D., F.A.C.C 

Kim A. WilliamsSr., MD First vegan Doctor to President of the American College of Cardiology


Brown Vegan  I purchased her Zero to Vegan training course! very informative!

Sweet Potato Soul great recipes

#BlackVegansRock  a list of 100 Black Vegans 

32 Vegans Celebrities 

Well that's all for now! So I will check back soon with menus and restaurant reviews! Thanks yall!!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

My Thoughts After One Week Vegan

Another long blogging break and I really don't have a reason why. I am less busy and have scaled back on a lot of responsibilities to just slow down a bit. I am enjoying going to work (remember my 1.5 hour commute in the morning and 2 hour commute home on a good day) and being able to come home and just relax. I think it has improved my overall mental and emotional health and allowed me to make myself a priority again. I can't and won't do what I did to myself the last year or so. As someone said to me Shonda Rhimes had her year of yes, you need a year of NO! I agree, I have been more thoughtful in how and with whom I spend my time with and will keep that in mind going forward! Its all about self care.

Oh yeah! Chileeeeeeee!!! Imma Vegan!  LOL

Well with that extra time comes extra reading, sleeping and tv watching and I stumbled across this documentary on Netflix called What the Health . It is a lot of information and I would say if you know you don't want to change do not see it. It was very eye opening and someone recommended  I also watch Forks Over Knives both explain the benefits of a plant based diet to people, the animals and our planet. I am heart broken over the treatment of the animals. As a lifelong pet owner I was left asking myself what is the difference between that cow or goat we kill and eat and my cat?

They are all animals and none of God's creatures deserve to be treated that way. There really is no humane way to kill a living thing.

On top of the killings the actual conditions also got me. I won't quote some of the information because ultimately I am not trying to gross anyone out or convince anyone to do anything I am just sharing my journey, but I have been literally nauseous for the last week just looking a meat... frozen, raw, cooked any meat has made me physically ill. I can't shake it.

My initial plan was to "lean into it" and try to have seafood but again the smell made me so sick I had to throw a dish I made earlier out and had to jump into the Vegan Lifestyle feet first.

I was also troubled at the money trail as I am calling it. If you follow the money it paints a pretty grim picture and why most of the public has no idea what is really going on. Ignorance is bliss. I had a choice off taking the red or blue pill and I went all the way into the Matrix so I cannot see myself turning back. Especially after watching Earthlings. People are soooo wicked.

I did some research and came across a pretty huge black vegan community online! I have several vegans and vegetarians in  my family; its pretty common in Jamaica actually so it is not a foreign concept to me, even Bob Marley was strictly about his ital food ( Ital cuisine is usually vegetarian or vegan. Developed by Rastafarians, Ital food is a natural way of cooking that tries to avoid processed food, additives, oil, salt and sugar); but never looked into it seriously for myself because honestly I was someone who lived to eat not someone who would eat to live. Hence my battle with obesity. I have been listening to a lot of Law of Attraction weight loss You Tube videos by Abraham Hicks and this actually seems like the next natural step. I will do a different post on that but as Esther said --kinda like after the "There is no spoon" scene from the Matrix when Morpheus told Neo when to time comes you won't have to dodge the bullets... I'm am evolving and coming into alignment. HOW EXCITING! The Universe makes no mistakes. God's timing is perfect and I am here for all of this good stuff!!

A/w my favorite find was the Brown Vegan! She's awesome and I really loved what she posted on Instagram and saw she had an online Vegan 101 training program called Zero to Vegan. It was on sale for only $7 and so I purchased it and started going through the program immediately. Part of the package includes a private Facebook group as well and I jumped right in.  Ideally they say you can slowly convert but I didn't have that option with the nausea so here we are at Week 1 already! I really like the course it is very informative and she has some great recipes.

My initial thoughts...

1) Its a lot easier than I thought between apps, IG, Facebook and the Vegan community IRL and online there is a lot of support and sharing. Baltimore has a very active Black Vegan community! As well as several well known vegan restaurants like Land of Kush which I've tried before since it is near my law school. There's a new one called The GruB Factory and closer to home we have The Flying Avocado. I like cooking so does my husband so I think options (at home or eating out) will not be a big issue.

2)  My skin is jacked up. Lots of break outs but this is basically a "Daniel Fast"  (shout out to the church folk) and my old church used to do one every year so I am not shocked. You tend to get breakouts. I think between having done Daniel Fasts, Paleo and Whole 30 I know how to live this lifestyle so that is a plus.

3) Energy seems the same but sleep definitely feels better.

4) I don't feel full but I don't feel hungry. I was telling my husband last night I feel like the food isn't hitting the bottom of my stomach like with meat. But I do not miss feeling weighed down either.

5) The reactions!!! LOL People are angry/rude/ condescending about those of us giving up meat. I mean that is truly laughable. I will never get people who do that. I was saying to my husband the other day I am the kind of friend if my friend wants to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge I will be sure to buy the best bungee cords, check the wind speed and be there to take the cool pics. Why do people relish in being so negative?

It kind of reminds me of something someone told me once about my overzealous ways in groups. I always say do you, I'll do me... I am not judging but when I say I am going to do something I give it 110% but she pointed out when you do so much it highlights for others what they are not doing and that is uncomfortable for some people. Fair enough. I stated earlier and to others I am not here to convert anyone. We are all doing the best we can, with where we are and with what we know. So there should be no judgement on other side in my opinion.

In the immortal words of Jay Z "What you eat don't make me..."

Ok so some pics of the week. Please see my CyliaFitAndFab Instagram page for recipes! Everything came from Trader Joe's or Target. A quick google search for Vegan options at any store and you can find a great list. So helpful. So here are a few items

I am trying to do a mix of plant based and non GMO items to make a well rounded diet. Here are some helpful videos I just ordered Russell Simmons book The Happy Vegan and I am so impressed with his interviews here is one ~~> Today Show: Russell Simmons Perks of being a Vegan

Oprah did a special program with her staff Oprah's Staff Goes Vegan

Its all very eye opening and I am enjoying it! My workouts are on track and I will still be going to Weight Watchers for accountability because health and weight loss are still goals aside from everything. I weigh in Saturday but I can see based on tracking these points can still add up between the beans, starchy veggies, and high calories but good fat items like hummus, nuts and avocados add up!

Ok I'm out! I will be back to update this weekend!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Janet is my hero

Wait March.... *counting my fingers* Dang 3 months! My bad. I have been super, stupid busy with lots of other things besides my health... and it shows. I ain't been on... no plan or program... I tried to do a Whole 30 reset for one week I made it like 24 hours...barely. I made it back to the gym for like 3 days and my goal was 30. I've just been too stressed and preoccupied I mean all good things and working on good causes but am I not the best cause to work on? Its like that saying you cant pour from an empty cup. I am running on E.

I'm scattered with too many pots on the fire or however the saying goes... I'm Jamaican so I mix those sayings up. LOL

I am taking a lot of things off my plate. I need time to myself. My diet and workout plan re-starts tomorrow... I am going away on vacation for my birthday to my happy place for a total break. I am taking a sabbatical from social media something I've never done not even with the Lent folks. I'm going to get a tan, swim, eat fresh fruits, meditate, journal, read, sleep and then mid week enjoy time with family. I can't wait. In the mean while... My Goal...


 Eat clean, exercise and journal

Just like my hero Janet Jackson... Janet done lost 50 pounds in 5 months

It sounds soooo easyyyyyy... well mind over matter.. My daily affirmation will be "It is easy..."
And it is if you make time for yourself and your health. I've done it before. 

I don't like the way I feel right now. I feel sluggish and like I'm dragging. Its so silly when I do right, I feel right but this is easy in a way... eating what I want, drinking what I want, doing what I want. But its all about priorities and setting myself up for success. 

I'm done with my pep talk because at the end of the day I know talking only goes so far.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

That's not swagger...

DUDE!!! OMG I AM SO SORE!! I'm tipping toeing around my office like I'm in six inch stilettos but 1) I'm in flats 2) I'm boycotting all heels from now on except my I'm With Her kitten heels and I ain't shamed lol

I went back to my Personal Trainer Charles "Chizel It" Harris yesterday. So nuff said. I actually went back to the gym Saturday too and took his Chizel It class and it was just as hard as I remembered. I really wanted to do 45-1 hour every day but that's just not realistic for my schedule so to take the added stress off I'm shooting for 3-4 days a week for at least one hour.

I also went back to Weight Watchers. Ultimately I eat too much so I need structure and Smart Points gives me that structure. There's a new group leader and she is very nice. The one thing I noticed was she didn't look like most WW leaders. She mentioned being 10 pounds away from her goal. That set off an alarm. Well wouldn't you know it another change WW made was you can be a group leader as long as you lost 10% of your body weight and kept it off for 12 weeks! I was shocked but told her I remembered losing a lot of weight like 40 or 50 pounds and being told I could not be a leader unless I was in my proper height weight range which for me was 103-130 pounds!

TALK ABOUT NON-GOALS. I shared how someone who lost like 15 pounds came and became a leader and people kept telling me they could learn more from me than her and I took it off my vision board! I got to give WW  their props. That was a smart smart move. I will never be 103-130 pounds I'm just not built like that. There are people who can get there and those that want to get there I would not be willing or able to do what I would have to to get there and stay there. I'm ok with that. There's genetics involved and while I do not have a lot of heavy people in my family I feel like I clearly stayed longer in line while prepping for my assignment on earth  for things like IQ, good looks and modesty lol vs a fast metabolism. This is my thing so I have to work harder for half the results of others. I've made peace with it.

I don't like that I've been paying WW for like 4 months and not going to meetings. I could have donated that to a charity. So I was up 9 pounds. Not terrible. I can see it in my face. My pre pregnancy goal is now only 26 pounds!

The new leader is doing a Traveling journal so I volunteer to take it with me this week. Very cool concept. It was good to read the other entries and I'm filling mine week out so others can enjoy, learn and benefit from my week.

So there's that and I'm feeling good about this week. I like the app but I do think writing things down gives a more impactful visual lol 

So what's it about babies that get folks all riled up?! I mean I mention starting a family it seems like I dunno what. I had a conversation with two of my friends about a public vs a more private approach to this journey. 

I am pretty much an open book I think I stay away from some topics as a general rule but I never consider parenthood one of them that would need strict privacy. 

Some women/families I don't even know are pregnant until I get a baby shower invitation lol others take you along to every ultrasound. I guess I'll find a happy medium. 

As my guy friend said "When you put yourself out there you open yourself up to others,people's opinions." That's a fact. 
He added (I rephrased it lol) not everyone wants to see you "win" and they don't deserve to be in the audience.
That is also a fact.

I really struggled with this when I was dating because I was pretty open about my highs and lows over the years and I was always so encouraged when I saw loving couples I knew it inspired me to stay open to love. But I'll be dang gone if I posted a rant folks wouldn't be in my inbox, text on my post asking if it was relationship related . Like I can't have a bad day that's not man related??!! Lol 

Ultimately I was MORE public when it felt right and the positive feedback I received was enough to outweigh the negative. I have a lot of people who thank me for being open about my journey. Not saying that's for everyone but I'll talk more about that in my book.

I feel like being over 40, attempting to be a first time mother, career driven, active in the community and a pretty ambitious person I'm pretty relatable. The one thing I noticed about motherhood is there's a lot of secrets like I shouldn't be 41 and just learning about how Mom's suck snot out of babies noses!!! THAT IS A NASTY LITTLE SECRET. I call Motherhood a cult kinda like marriage when you are on the outside looking in you have no clue and women are not giving up information like that either! 

Let me say this I got off script with the snot sucking... My other friend voiced concerns all the possible problems that can occur and that being public. I was saying to her I totally missed that it was a thing to keep private lol I see now based on my social media research it's a thing like you don't tell people you are pregnant until the second trimester  (whenever that is) but Instagram goes ablaze after 11 weeks if you hashtag #BabyAnnouncement lol 

This totally reminds me of dating. I was saying to someone who was encouraging me to start now that now doesn't work for me. End of summer is my goal and I'm really in a good place where if it happens beautiful if it doesn't it's not God's will for our life I can accept that too.  Im not one of those girls who was planning a wedding as a teenager. I'm not a woman who would feel my life would be incomplete or I would feel less than if I could not have a child. I didn't know if I even wanted to be married until I was 33 and didn't know I wanted a child until I was 35. A Soror once said that while she was happy being a wife and mother she could totally see a parallel existence that would not have included marriage and kids and thinks her life could have been fulfilling and happy all the same. That always stuck with me. That's not a bad thing. It's not a thing most women would say at least not out loud lol but I'm living a great life right now and could totally see going this path and still experiencing joy and peace and love and a great life.

I felt like this when I said I was really ready to be married. I submitted to God's will and told Him "Lord I want to be married (here's my list of 120 things on my Soulmate Secret list lol) if it's not in your perfect will for my life I completely accept that and trust you Lord. Amen" I did add on the end "But I do want to get married so don't trip" Lol File that under Jesus is my Homeboy 

So that's that kids are a blessing, it's an awesome responsibility and in addition to cleaning dirty diapers you have to suck snot from their noses. 

Doesn't that make you want to go out and buy your Momma a house or a fancy car lol no wonder football players always give the "Love you Mom" shout out on TV lol 

So a girlfriend a few years ago suggested I blog this experience so I will in doses.

I mean there are 13 year olds out here with no education and no jobs becoming mothers so I'm just going to try and not over-think it.

I missed 7 countries since January in an effort to save leave. I cancelled at $300 airline ticket to South African in September in hope of things going well. You know I'm a founding member of the #PassportMafia so ish just got real...


Monday, March 13, 2017

Andddddd we're back... Oh baby!

Goodness it's already 2017! March 2017 at that. Time is flying. Lots of things going on. Good no great things. I was elected as the Vice President of my sorority chapter! Huge deal for me since that position coordinates the community service activities. It's been great so far. A lot of work but so worth it.

I'm up on the scale to my pre-Fall Whole 30 weight. To be honest I wasn't even trying to do right but kept the weight mostly off until the new year but today I woke up with lower back pain. I got up got dressed and went to the gym. Enough is enough. I'm not sure why I've been so unmotivated. Life is good I'm not feeling depressed or anxious I've been busy but what's new?! I guess I just need to do it and so I did. Last year I set a goal with my doctor to lose 30 pounds a pre-pregancy diet she called it. She said it's pretty common and so I got almost half way there then tapped out. Hmmm maybe there's a correlation... lol

I swear life is like that commercial that talks about when you get used to one stage you move on to the next. Maybe that's what I'm feeling. I'm loving this stage. I'm comfortable and truly enjoying myself.

So family planning has me motivates to lose these 30 pounds. My health is good but as always my weight is in need of improvement. So here we are. Had a great workout. Did 30 minutes on the elliptical and low and behold Planet Fitness does free 30 minute  group training sessions! I stumbled upon the class this morning and it was great! I'm going back to my personal trainer Charles  next week and I  set a goal of losing 30 pounds by September 2017. That's 5 pounds a month. Aggressive but doable.

So I did some major shopping at Trader Joe's and Wegman's and got a new pair of sneakers. They are calling for snow tomorrow so it will be an at home workout and I'm committed to at least 45 minutes to one hour per day.  Food is critical so I'm going back to Weight Watchers even though I've been paying for months without going. But that's the past... today is a new day not going to dwell on that!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

R.I.F. (Reading is Fundamental)

OK!!!! Well its been almost one week post Whole 30 and as the saying goes Reading is Fundamental lol So I totally blew the Reintroduction phase of Whole 30. I was so excited to do the 30 days that I did not really  think about life after Whole 30. Now that is not due to the program that's totally on me being focused on the initial goal. So I don't feel like I went way off the last week but here's a few things I had: WINE, WINE, and more WINE! Some mini (mini thumb nail size) chocolates (about 6 total), hamburger roll, cheese (on an In & Out Burger (twice) I was in Cali nom nom), granola bar, 10 chettos, butter chicken, cheddar popcorn, salsa and chips, mimosas and that's all I can really think of. I did track what I had on my Weight Watchers app. I really did not feel any different until Monday when I think it was due to a lack of water. I felt thirsty and they say when you feel thirsty you are already dehydrated. I don't feel like I had a lot of cravings nothing drove me into the sugar dragon zone. 

So on Monday morning I decided to do Round 2 of Whole 30! I think in the long run being "off" Whole 30 isn't in my best interest right now. I have some end of year goals and I really liked the way I felt. More than the physical feeling the mental feeling of empowerment of Whole 30 is really addictive, So I said why wait? I initially said (like last post I would do another round in the spring) but although I made some great choices like when we went out I got things like steak, grilled shrimp, artichokes, etc. At "home" I made eggs, bacon and had lots of fruit. I did get on my sister's scale and it said I was up 5 pounds. So this may be scared straight reaction but whatever I came home after midnight and immediately cooked breakfast for today. 

I think it was good to keep checking in on the #Whole30 on Instagram. I like the Whole 30 Instagram community! Like a lot! Very inspiring and encouraging. So I'm on Day 2! It will end right before Turkey day I think that's good. 

I watched a few of Melissa Hartwig's YouTube Videos the one about Re-entry and another about Addiction, recovery and Whole 30. I had no idea what her back story is but its so inspiring. Its so cool so see people follow their passion that helps others. I hope to meet her one day! Anyway with that I'm off! 



Wednesday, October 19, 2016

I AM WHOLE30!!!!!!!!

Let me start by saying THANK YOU to my husband for his support on this journey! He tried every new and crazy recipe, made midweek, midday, midnight runs to the grocery store and produce market and was super supportive of my #CyliaFitAndFab #NoDaysOff #NoExcuses workout routine... in fact one night he heard me pull up to the house after dark and he met me at the door with my sneakers so I didn't miss my workout lol  I mentioned to someone I lost count of how long I have been working out at least 30 minutes each day but I started back in May before my term as President of the Junior League of Baltimore ended so at least 5 months non stop and that combined with going back to my Personal Trainer Charles "Chizel It" Harris was the perfect segue into doing Whole 30!

I was seeing some success over the summer then I realized I had to go back to Charles like I did in 2009. I had a come to Jesus moment with myself about the fact that as an attorney I get paid for my knowledge and expertise in the law and I need to pay someone for their knowledge and expertise in health and fitness. What really helped me was reviewing my Amex bill and realizing I was spending on average  $300-$400 a month eating out. Now that does not include grocery shopping or "entertainment" so I said to myself what you have to get it together and invest in your health again.

To be honest I cannot recall how I found out about Whole 30. I am guessing I was looking into doing Paleo again and I came across it. Whole30 is what I can mean Paleo! LOL But click here for more information on Whole30  The short hand is below!

So the goal was to focus on healthy meats, veggies, fruit and healthy fats. By looking at it that way I did not feel deprived. I focused on all the great things I could have instead of all the things I could not have. As a life long dieter I am not a big bread, pasta or rice eater. Likewise I am not a big juice or soda drinker. So if you are that may pose a greater challenge for you but again its only 30 days!

As a quasi-side note: I have literally been on a diet my whole life or so it seems. I have always been heavier than most kids my age. For a long time I was not THE heaviest and I think I took comfort in that until I was then noticeably heavier than people I was around in the last few years of college and especially in law school. My weight got utterly out of control I am guessing stress and poor coping skills and a desire to succeed I allowed food to take over while exceeding in other areas of my life. A few years ago I came to the realization that this is my thing. And everyone has a thing. For some people they cannot get their career on track, others their relationships suck and there are others that can't seem to make progress in any aspect of their lives. I don't have that problem. In fact I have few low lights in my life and its because I tend to be very well planned and focused. Imagine the utter frustration of a person who can do so well in almost all areas of their life except for how much and what they eat and how much they exercise. My body is literally the ONLY thing I have compete control over but somehow of all the major hurdles in life, most of which I rely on others to accomplish, this is the area that gives me the most grief. Unlike other vices like smoking or drinking you have to eat, there's no way around it. I think that's why Weight Watchers is so helpful to so many because people there understand it not as simple and calories in, calories out. There a huge mental and emotional component to weight loss and gain for many people. So this is my thing.

Now as I look outside at the amazing view from my new office I am not saying I'd trade this "burden" other another. I like that I am focused and that I've achieved all the goals I have set for myself to date. I'm just acknowledging this is my struggle. I guess with the Law of Attraction in mind I need to work on re-framing that outlook but I am just being honest about why I keep looking for new ways to achieve success in this area. I spoke with my Doctor this week to get a letter for Weight Watchers for a goal weight we think I can achieve and maintain and be healthy. For my height the healthy range is 103-133 pounds. Insert laugh here. We picked a number on the scale and a BMI and she gave me a letter for WW and I am only about 20 pounds from that thanks to Whole 30.

So now for the good stuff: THE RESULTS!!!

Overall I feel good. I did not take measurements or Day 1 pictures and I regret that but drum roll pleaseeeeeee:

TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS= 13 pounds!!!!

Now you may recall I started with the September Whole 30 Challenge went to New Zealand and Australia so took off the week came back and started fresh (per the rules) So total time on Whole 30 was 10 days then skipped a week then 30 full days no breaks!

Claims vs. My reality: 

1) SKIN! Overall I did NOT  have better skin. I actually broke out a lot and had to go back to using Proactive.  Not cool!

2) SLEEP! It was magical after the first few days. I wear a Fitbit and it tracks your sleep pattern including how many times you wake up or are restless. On average I was getting 5 hours of sleep in the spring and summer BUT the month of September and this first part of October I have consistently slept at least 6.5 hours or more on average and had overall better sleep! That alone made Whole30 worth it! I get up early and have a long commute (1.5 hours going and at least 2 hours coming back) as an attorney I have have to be well rested to perform well and I definitely feel more alert during the daytime. The sleep is great sleep like head to the pillow and wake up well rested sleep. LOVE IT!

3) PROCESSED FOOD! I did not miss processed foods at all. Because Weight Watchers doesn't restrict what you eat I was in a rut with snacks that were processed vs fresh fruits and veggies. I took full advantage of the Farmer's Market and Produce stores for good buys and I did not feel deprived. I think I was able to tell myself this is ONLY 30 days! And I can do anything for 30 days. Ok really I just wanted to say I did it lol I want to use that hashtag #IAMWhole30 I like kicking goals in the face I guess so that kept me focused! It took very little effort when I made the commitment to do this. I bought baby carrots, lightly salted  pistachios, apples, Trader Joe's almond butter, Lara bars, bananas, oranges, wholly guacamole and fresh guac. I kept all those things on hand and typically took a week's worth to work so I didn't have to pack something every day they are just here on hand as needed.

4) TIGER BLOOD... So yeah I didn't feel any extra energy. Many claim they had these miraculous jolts of energy. I am pretty energetic already but I have felt like I was dragging in the spring and summer I push through my days but I was sure hoping to feel that Tiger Blood. When you research it Whole30 says Tiger Blood comes in different forms. For me my Tiger Blood came in the form of avoiding a snack I love that they sell in the cafe at work... fresh, hot butter popcorn! I smelled it and didn't even think about buying it. There are times I would buy it at 10am and 3pm! Addicted! So I felt great about that.

I will add that I wonder if that would have been different if I didn't stop because the first 10 days I felt really good! When I stopped because of my vacation and I came right back I felt bad the first few days.  Over my vacay I had wine and a few other things like a few french fries, cheese curls, some chocolate and literally just a few bites of things from my sister. The first week back on Whole30 I had headaches, a little confusion or jumbled thoughts, bloating, and other stomach issues (I blogged about already). It was really a huge difference and I was shocked that those few non complaint items impacted me that quickly and badly. Talk about regret!!! Most people feel those things when they start and depending on how "bad" your diet was prior to  starting Whole30 the worse the detox symptoms can be. I did not check my WW app to see what my diet was like at end of August but I am guessing it was better than those 10 days in New Zealand and Australia lol  I pushed through and made sure I got rest and drank a lot of water and it helped!

5) COOKING! There is a lot of cooking involved! A lot of cooking! I didn't mind the cooking. I like cooking. I really used weekends and Mondays to make meals for the week. I kept meals simple breakfast: bacon, eggs, chicken sausage, fruit, avocados. Lunch/Dinner jerk chicken, meatloaf, chili,  stuffed peppers, salmon, veggies, cauliflower rice, red potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc. Most of my meals were 10-30 minutes prep and cooking time. I would typical prep and then get o the treadmill while it cooked. Win/win. I also tried a lot of new recipes like pulled pork, dump ranch, buffalo chicken casserole, baked hot wings and a few other things I have already shared and I never felt bored. Some things I liked better than others but I think being open to trying new things is key! I did eat out but I will say I fell some kinda way paying almost $20 for salad lol I've had some great ones like the Mango chicken salad from CIRCA and the Steak Salad from Tonic. There are lots of options when eating out but you have to be vigilant and ask questions! Even veggie soup can have non complaint ingredients!

6) DISHES! I have never washed so many dishes, pots, pans, crock pots, knives and forks in my whole entire life lol There's no way around it. Well I guess you could use disposable items like paper plates, plastic cutlery, and foil pans if its that big a deal. Cost more but people pay for convenience. It was just a lot of washing. Best tip as you are cooking wash immediately!

7) SHOPPING! There is A LOT of shopping involved! I was in the store several times a week. Mainly to avoid boredom or try something I saw online. I cut back on a lot of activities during this time and focused on just my diet and exercise. Since I wasn't going to a lot of meetings or going out to dinner a lot I had free time to shop and cook. Life was really busy last year so this year I made a choice to not fill up all that empty space. Most evenings I am going home and using that time to rest, exercise and cook. Putting myself first. As I said in May I was so busy trying to "Move the Mission Forward" of the Junior League I needed to focus on moving MY MISSION forward. It worked!

8)THE INTERNET! Words cannot describe how helpful Instagram and Facebook were. More so Instagram they have a great Whole 30 community on there! If you are looking not only for support, ideas and humor during the journey go to Instagram!!! They were priceless!

9) LABELS! I was shocked at the amount of unhealthy seemingly healthy foods/drinks/snacks that there are out there. Sugar is in EVERYTHING even pasta sauce! The practice of reading labels not just for the nutritional value but for the ingredients is priceless. I learned a lot and will never go back to some of my favorite products. I love the fact that Weight Watchers changed their calculations to account for more than just calories, fat and fiber. Now they take EVERYTHING into account. Whole 30 is a perfect for anyone especially anyone doing WW. I found that they really compliment each other. I used to struggle to stay within my daily points and extra weekly points and activity points. Whole 30 provides laser sharp focus and most times I was under my target but never felt deprived. I felt it necessary to still do Weight Watchers not only because I am paying for it but because I eat a lot. I can eat alllll day and not feel bad. I realize I am a snacker and Whole30 helped me cut down on that and make better snack choices. So I kept weighing in and counting points because I can't be trusted with unlimited bacon. #FACTS

10) SUPPORT! Because Whole30 recommends sharing your journey it makes getting support easy! I already mentioned my husband but I must say I am so grateful to my sorority sisters and friends too. They were awesome! I had a lot of events and had no slips! People looked out for me to make sure there were good options and friends I tend to go out with a lot understood when I opted out of hanging out. Thanks yall!!!

So my overall assessment of Whole 30 is that EVERYONE should do it. Its only 30 days and its more than just losing weight its very empowering to follow the program successfully and make better choices for your body.

When I first heard of Whole30 I saw people saying they were on Day 200 and I was like NO WAY JOSE! THAT'S CRAZY!!! But I see why now. I really only missed wine. I did Paleo a few years ago and I am going to stick to a mostly Whole30/Paleo diet. I had great results with Paleo a few years ago but again stress caused me to fall back to unhealthy eating habits.  I can say I do feel lighter and healthier and my overall system feels better and its totally do-able as a lifestyle for me!

I had my physical this week and my overall Cholesterol was 98 down from 110 almost 2 years ago. All of my vitamins including Vitamin D which is usually low were all within range. She forgot to check my iron but she did test something else and determined its probably still low. Considering she diagnosed me with anemia last year and I haven't taken any supplements I'm going to do the right thing and start taking it in the morning with orange juice on an empty stomach as she suggested! She asked me to come back in six months to check in on the weight loss and I'm looking forward to it!

So there you have it my friends! I survived Whole30!

 I'll toast to that! LOL Tonight!!