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!!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Been a long time... I shouldn't have left you...

Welllll its Day 29 of Whole 30 !!! I can't believe it!!!!! Sorry I haven't checked in since Day 15!  I really found it easier to check in via Instagram. Its been a great experience! I really love the way I feel but I will do a full post Whole30 post with a wrap up on everything. PROMISE!

My social calendar has been a challenge with Whole 30. Its lead to a lot of dry grilled chicken lol no wine and salads that cost almost $20 but all in all I am not upset about that. I always kept in mind it was ONLY 30 days!

I wanted to share some of the foods and drinks besides water that I have had! I really never felt deprived and at this point the only thing I can think of that I would want to add back is... lol

I'm very excited to share the full results on Day 31! Anyway  below are a few thoughts I want to share and feedback/reviews on things I had and if you are thinking about trying Whole30 (which I highly recommend) you may find them useful!

Know this is restrictive so just commit to following the rules!

Lots of options in terms of a flavor! Tessemae's has great options and free recipes on their website

BEST THING EVER! I haven't checked the WW Points

Buffalo Chicken Casserole I didn't love this. I think I would make a smaller portion if I make it again  

When food isnt an de-stressor option you have to keep other options handy. Lovely mani/pedis and massages were fun!

Homemade Chicken soup!


Weekends and work from home days allowed for great breakfast options. Most took  10-15 minutes to prepare!

Avocado egg! Different. The pulled port was wonderful. Crockpots are a great thing!

Shopping spree! 

Brunch at the Rusty Scupper! No mimosa :-(

Good brunch options!

Tonight's din din! Bought steamed shrimp, added to organic baby spinach and fresh sundried tomatoes, and baby bella mushrooms with fresh garlic and Extra Light EVOO

Snacks. Orange was delish! Cantaloupe so so! 

Buying pre-made salsa and guacamole have been helpful. Chicken sausage is a great option!  

Instagram is all a buzz with this Kombucha. I saw something about fermented and alcohol and Whole 30 so I tried it lol This one isnt terrible but I didn't love it. 
Watermelon and pomegranate seeds! LOVE!

Beef chili 

Very good

Like these bar. They arent the kind of thing you would overeat lol

Steak salad @ Tonic

Well that's all for now! I will report on Day 31!!!! Results will blow your mind!

Monday, October 3, 2016


WELL I MADE IT! Well halfway anyway! As I mentioned in the first Whole 30 post the "diet" is a 30 day commitment and we can do  anything for 30 days. I liked that concept because it not only gives you a long enough time to create new habits it can also give you time to break old bad habits as well.

I've definitely tried to go all in and I've done a lot of cooking and a lot of dishes! LOL

Today is kinda big because AFTER today you have less days left that you've accomplished which is great!

I had high hopes of updating daily but its just not feasible on this blog but I'm doing short nightly updates on Instagram! LawyerGal1908 is the name! IG is a great resource the Paleo and Whole 30 community is very active there!

I am not craving anything really. Wouldn't mind a glass of wine but I can wait! Some people have really strong cravings, even dreams about things they are missing. I don't miss bread or rice because I'm not a big fan of either. As long as I have... strike long as I MAKE the time to cook I'm good. 

Weekends and Mondays are great days for meal prep and I've been disciplined enough to do it. I get bored really easily so I'm typically cooking something new by Thursday. 

I'm grocery shopping at  least twice a week sometimes to get additional fruits and veggies but I typically buy meat in bulk. So far so good! 

I can already say I'll definitely do a Round 2 of Whole 30 probably in the spring and I'm going to return to Paleo so I can stay away from all that  processed food! I didn't lose weight on Saturday at  Weight Watchers but it wasn't my official weigh in day anyhow. I will go this Saturday and I can already tell by my home scale I'm down at least two more pounds! 

Sleep is great. Energy which was already high except for a few days when I did Take 2 is the same. My skin is not. Several pimples :-/ I swear I made it safely though high school with no skin problems but in my mind 30s BAM! I don't have issues often but for when I do I use Proactive occasionally and so I'll go back to using it. Not sure why I'm having the opposite reaction from others who rave about their skin. The other thing that is rarely mentioned is the stomach issues that can arise. I've had those. Weird because when I began the September Whole 30 I was fine those first 10 days! That week off then back on was like I was working with a completely different body! That was a bummer.  But gotta take good with the bad and so far the good outweighs the bad. Feel free to google "possible stomach problems with whole 30." 

On the workout front my personal training sessions with Charles are still going  great and I'm excited about the next 14 days!!

Here's a peek at what's been going on!

Prepping for the week! Great way to save time bake a few at a time for later on

Finally made Whole Sister Dump Ranch! It is a s good as they say!

Football season got to me so I made Buffalo Wings with Tessema's Buffalo sauce. Veryyyyy tasty!    

Stopped by Sam's grabbed some fruit  and meat!

Picture from yesterday's event!

New fritatta with  sweet potato base! So good!

I will check back in again soon!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Whole 30 Shopping List

Happy Monday Good People!!!!

Week 2 (Take 2) on Whole 30 and the biggest question I've received is "What is on your shopping list? 

Some of my favorite stores are : Trader Joe's , Giant , Safeway , and we justttt got a Wegman's  Whooo Hoooo and I have two local produce markets where I like to get fruits and veggies! In this post I will focus on my as I call it  "My Other Happy Place" 

Trader Joe's 

Seriously though the parking sucks but its worth the hassle so here's my Whole 30 list of great things

 Roasted Plantain Chips

Almond Butter... It comes unsalted but I find myself wanting more and more salt

Coconut Oil Spray

100 calorie Wholly Guacamole

Ghee! Just tried it. Love it!

Cauliflower Rice

Other items I pick up when available:

  • Potatoes Medley (mix of purple, red and yukon)
  • Eggplant
  • Spinach
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Baby portobello mushrooms
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Portobello mushroom caps
  • Strawberries
  • Oranges
  • Pink Lady Apples
  • Avocados 
  • Bananas 
Hope this was helpful!!! I have a few other things to try so I'll add them to the update but here ya have it!