Whole30: Grain Reintroduction

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Hey guys!

Back on May 1st, I did my gluten free grain reintroduction. Here was my experience!

Breakfast: W30 compliant.

Notes: Nothing to report here.

Lunch: Chipotle salad with white rice, steak, tomato, green chile, and red chile salsas.

Chipotle

Notes: The rice was pretty bland to me which I was surprised by since I remember loving their rice so much. It’s definitely just a filler that I can do without. The steak (which is made with rice bran oil) was ok, not as tasty as I remembered it though. None-the-less I was starving and I devoured it.

About an hour after eating, I felt bloated and heavy. After a couple more hours, this feeling began to go away. I felt normal otherwise.

Dinner: It was date night and we went to a Mexican restaurant downtown called Nada. I had the chips and salsa tasting trio (fire roasted tomato salsa, jalapeño verde salsa, and habañero-garlic creeper salsa), crispy pork belly tacos, and a chili mango margarita. Yes, I said margarita. It wasn’t part of the plan, but it sounded tasty and in that moment I decided it would be worth it.

Chips and Salsa

Chips and Salsa

My margarita!

My margarita!

Crispy Pork Belly Tacos

Crispy Pork Belly Tacos With Corn Tortillas

Mini Review & Notes: Ok first, let me talk about this place. I made a reservation the week before our date and it was a good thing I did. It was packed and people were being turned away left and right. It felt like an exclusive club. We were seated on their second level and the tables were pretty close together, which I didn’t mind as much as I thought I would. The lighting was nice and the atmosphere was pretty lively. The food was pretty good, I enjoyed the appetizer, margarita, and the tacos. Now here comes the bad part…our waiter wasn’t very good. 😦 In a nutshell, he wasn’t very attentive and was pretty slow. While we waited, the two tables next to us got their food and we were there before them. Even one of the couples next to us noticed. I understand that they were busy, but we felt flat out ignored. My boyfriend unfortunately didn’t like his entree. He ordered some enchiladas which appeared to be dry, as if they were cooked too long or sat under the heating lamp for too long. He didn’t even eat much of it and was beyond ready to go after that. These things really put a damper on our overall experience. Would I go there again? I don’t plan on it, but never say never.

After I was done eating, I noticed some minor heart burn symptoms and I had a minor stomach ache. I really think I overdid it by having so much grain in one day, the heaviest amount during dinner. My body was not having it.

Day 5: The alcohol definitely didn’t help with my sleep that night. I tossed and turned a bit and didn’t feel as rested. My stomach was still slightly bloated and I had a trip to the bathroom that further informed me that my digestive system wasn’t feeling all of that grain. I’ll spare you the details. I began to feel better as the day progressed.

Day 6: I was feeling normal again and I took advantage of that. Breakfast was W30 compliant but lunch, not so much. We didn’t have much food at the house so we decided to go grab some food. I got a steak salad from chipotle with salsa and…cheese and sour cream. I know, I know, I messed up. But it was so good. I mean, I was whatever about the cheese, but that creamy sour cream though?! Man, I didn’t even realize how much I missed it. YUM! So was it worth it? Yes. But I had heartburn symptoms once again. I know that cheese and possibly the sour cream was the main culprit.

Chipotle 2

Verdict: I can do without rice and probably other similar gluten free grains but I’m loving the corn products! Corn tortilla chips are a no breaks food for me and I have to be extremely careful with those but having them every now and again shouldn’t hurt too much, as long as I don’t go over board like I did on reintro day. I will work to only eat these things when it is deemed completely worth it. Otherwise, I’ll leave this food group alone.

Welp that’s all for now folks! Up next: Legumes.

Talk to you all soon!

Kristyn B.

Whole30: Dairy Reintroduction

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Hey guys!

On April 27th I finished my Whole30 turned Whole50! Woo-hoo! I lost 14.5 pounds! Just the cherry on top of all the other benefits. 🙂 On April 28th I began the reintroduction phase of the program. I wanted to share this with you all, you know, in case anyone was interested. The Whole30 creators, Melissa and Dallas Hartwig provide a sample reintroduction schedule but of course leave you room to decide for yourself. Here is the schedule that I made for myself.

Day 1: Dairy
Day 2 & 3: Whole30 Compliant
Day 4: Gluten Free Grains
Day 5 & 6: Whole30 Compliant
Day 7: Gluten
Day 8 & 9: Whole30 Compliant
Day 10: Legumes

To begin, I completed dairy day and the two Whole30 days after. Here was my experience.

Breakfast: 2% Lactose Free Milk in my coffee. Besides the milk, my meal was Whole30 compliant.

Notes: Shortly after my breakfast I was feeling jittery and could feel my heart pounding. My stomach was rumbling. I’m pretty sure this is related to the caffeine though since I hardly drank any coffee during my Whole50. About an hour later and (TMI alert) a trip to the restroom, things calmed down. Lol

Lunch: Grilled burger with cheddar cheese, lettuce, onion, tomato, and no bun. Carrot and celery sticks on the side.

Notes: I planned on eating Chipotle but due to their pork shortage, carnitas weren’t available. So I went to a restaurant next door that was grilling out instead. My meal wasn’t very filling, seeing that the light veggies were the only option to swap out for the chips. About an hour after my meal, I wasn’t feeling too hot. A little sick to my stomach and I was burping (which I hardly ever do). I also had slight acid reflux feeling in my chest and throat, a feeling I remembered all too well. An hour after that, I noticed that I was super sleepy!

Dinner: Dinner was Whole30 compliant. For dessert, I had a scoop of strawberry and one scoop of butter pecan from Graeter’s ice cream.

Notes: Let me tell you, I had been waiting for this moment. I was excited for the day that I could taste luxurious ice cream again. I hadn’t been craving it at all (like I did ALL last summer) but I missed it and had memories of how good it tasted. When the day came, I was excited but not too excited. I felt…oddly calm and nonchalant. When I finally took a bite I definitely enjoyed the taste and I noticed that without even forcing it, I was eating slowly and savoring every bite. I had a handful of bites and then…I was done. Yes, after eating less than half of my ice cream, I had enough. My boyfriend and I were both in shock. The Whole30 really did change me! I had no doubt that it did but to actually see it in action was amazing.

Before and after.

Before and after.

I went back a little later to try and finish the rest but I still couldn’t do it. I didn’t even have the desire to. So I gave the rest to my boyfriend and he enjoyed it…after devouring his own two scoops of ice cream. Lol

Day 2: I was feeling normal but really sleepy. It’s important to note that I had been tired that whole week even before testing dairy so I think it may be unrelated to that or quite possibly the dairy made it worse. I had an apple with breakfast (a pink lady) which tasted waaay too sweet. I think I was still recovering from the sugar overload I had the night before. Lol

Day 3: I was in an irritable mood for no apparent reason. I definitely think it’s in relation to the dairy and not eating enough throughout the day. *Sigh* I still have a hard time packing enough for breakfast for work. I’m working on it.

Dairy verdict: I don’t think milk in my coffee will hurt me. Granted, I had lactose free milk, not sure how it will be with regular milk but we shall see in the future. Cheese (oh my beloved cheese) will only be eaten on rare occasion. To be honest, I didn’t even miss it much during my Whole50 so I’m ok with this decision. I didn’t have a bad reaction with ice cream, just a sugar rush. Lol I will probably have this as a special treat from time to time but only when I feel it is worth the indulgence and has the simplest ingredients possible (Graeter’s being a good choice).

Later Peeps!

Kristyn B.

Thinking about doing a Whole30 or are currently going through the reintro phase? Share your questions and/or experiences below!

Whole30: So…What can you eat?!

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Those of you who know me personally, follow me on Instagram, or are my friend on Facebook, know that I’ve been doing something called the Whole30. So what the heck is a Whole30? In celebration of day 30 of my 30 days (woohoo!!), here is a run down of my Whole30!

What is a Whole30? In short, a Whole30 is 30 days of clean eating, eliminating all possible allergens and food that can have a negative effect on your health. No added sugar (real or artificial), no alcohol, no grains, no legumes, no dairy, no processed food, and no baked goods (paleo or “healthy” versions included).
Added on to that, hopping on the scale during the 30 day period is prohibited. Although it can be a result of the program, the Whole30 is not about weight loss; it’s about breaking unhealthy habits and learning to control your relationship with food. No cheating is allowed during the 30 days! If you cheat, you have to start all over again. There is no time for BS around here!

My God woman! What can you eat?? Real, delicious and nutritious food! Sounds cliche but it’s true! My meals consist of fruits, vegetables, meats, healthy fats, and seafood. There are also yummy snacks and condiments that I found along the way.

Goodies I found at Target!

Goodies I found at Target!

Would you do it again? Yes! If I fall off the wagon and need to get back on track, I will gladly do another Whole30 or however many days I would need, whether it be less or more than 30 days.

You would seriously do it again? Are you crazy? No! Well, at least not for that reason. 😉

Why did you put yourself through this? I did this because I wanted to improve my health and relationship with food. I wasn’t happy with the way I looked and how I felt. I knew a lot had to do with my diet and that needed to change. I wanted to set myself free of my sugar addiction and turn my bad eating habits around once and for all. Last summer, I ate ice cream damn near every day. Every. Freaking. Day. I knew that my junk food binge had to end. I was working out but let’s be real, exercise does not completely trump a bad diet.

I have been seeking to better my health for years and I have tried different approaches from South Beach diet, eating vegetarian meals 1-2 times a week, and even contemplated a raw food diet (yea…no). I would eat really well for a while and then I’d slip up. It was a back and forth struggle. A lot of people suggested that I try to find balance instead of going from one “extreme” to the other but that doesn’t work for me. I’m either all in or I’m out. I like the Whole30 program because it is detailed, straight forward, and easy to follow. Whole30 forces you to be all in or simply get out and I love that! And now that I’ve broken my cravings, moving forward, I can learn to create a nice balance in my diet.

Grilled steak, potato, peppers, onions, and asparagus. Mmm...such a perfect meal.

Grilled steak, potato, peppers, onions, and asparagus. Mmm…such a perfect meal.

How was your experience? I’m not going to lie to yall, the first couple of days were rough. I ate all the crap I could get my hands on the week before starting and I paid for it! I had a food hangover for real! Plus I was on my period so that didn’t help either (#WomanProblems). But by the end of the first week, I was feeling pretty good! About two weeks in, it was pretty much second nature. But on the reals, there was one day that I was tempted to give up because I had an extremely long and stressful work week and just wanted to plop down with a glass of wine and not have to cook. But that feeling only lasted for a second. After having a talk with my boyfriend (who has been a HUGE support, can’t thank him enough) and relaxing a bit, I mustered up the energy to fix dinner. I treated myself with a steak and was all good again. 🙂

As a result of my Whole30, I no longer experience constant stomach bloating, I now know what triggers cravings and how to fight it, I have consistent energy throughout the day, I sleep like a log, and overall I feel really happy! My mind is clearer and I handle stress much better.

Bear hugging a heart reflects how Whole30 makes me feel. <3

Bear hugging a heart reflects how Whole30 makes me feel. ❤

Oh snap, son! I want to feel good too! Should I do a Whole30? Yes! I recommend the Whole30 to anyone who wants to get healthy and break unhealthy food addictions and habits. BUT only if you are truly ready! You have to be motivated enough to begin this process and stick to it! If you don’t have that or you go in with the intention to cheat here and there then you’re not ready. If you choose to do this only to lose weight and have set plans to devour a whole box of Krispy Kreme donuts, washing it down with a 12 pack on day 31 then you’re not ready. This is the beginning of a life style change. This is the start of a brand new relationship with food and the journey does not end on day 31. You have to be committed!

If you feel like you are ready, check out http://whole30.com. They lay out all of the details of the program and have answers to pretty much any question you may have. If you decide that the Whole30 is for you, they have all the tools you need in order to make your 30 days (or beyond) a success!

So that’s my Whole30 story and it’s only the beginning! 
If you have any questions or want to learn more about my experience, feel free to reach out to me in the comment section below. If you are currently doing a Whole30 or have done one before and would like to share your experience, feel free to drop a comment! I would love to hear from you!

Later peeps!

Kristyn B.

Tetsuo & Youth

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Lupe

 

Daydreamin’

I remember the very first time I heard Lupe. The year was 2006, my step dad at the time and I were riding in his friend’s car that he borrowed. His friend had a CD in the player and when I heard it, I was instantly hooked. This kid had a fresh and colorful sound, powerful lyrics, a unique flow, and sounded so damn happy just to be in front of the mic. It was love at first listen. Since I liked the album so much, my step dad’s friend burned a copy for me and informed me that the artist’s name was Lupe Fiasco and the album was called Food & Liquor. I’ve been rocking with him ever since.

Fast forward to 2015 and here I was anticipating the release of his new album Tetsuo & Youth. I must admit, I was a bit nervous. The last time I was super anxious for his album to drop was with Lasers which came out 4 years after The Cool (by far the most perfect album to ever blast through my speakers) and unfortunately I was disappointed. But never did I lose my undying love for him and I continued to listen to everything that he released, deep down still hoping for a glimpse of that 2006-2008 Lupe. Has he returned? Not quite, but a new and exciting version of himself has arisen from the ashes.

Tetsuo & Youth album cover, taken from lupefiasco.com.

Quick Review

I’ve listened to Lupe’s Tetsuo & Youth a few times now and I love it more each time I listen. The album is truly a piece of art with beautiful beats, nice composition, and complex lyrical content. As his fans know, he is a master when it comes to metaphors and double entendres and this album is no exception. In fact, his lyrical game has evolved to a whole new level, the song Mural being a great example.

This album gets my stamp of approval and I recommend that you check it out, but let me warn you, this album is not for the faint of heart. When you listen to Lupe you really have to LISTEN to Lupe (and keep rap genius on standby…trust me), otherwise he can fly right over your head…laughing.

Rumor has it that this will be his last album and he is moving on to other things. Good God I hope that this is not the case but if it is, I respect that and say all power to him! No matter what he decides to do or where he goes, I will always remain a true fan.

Lupe forever! ❤

 

Kristyn B.

Thanksgiving

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In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I want to take a moment and acknowledge the people that I’m most thankful for, my family and friends. This is my toast to them.

*Now imagine a feast fit for two kings and all their peeps placed in front of us as I give this toast. Aaaaand go…*

To my family, I love you with all of me. It seems almost humanly impossible to love others as much as I love you. You are my world and I miss you all when I am away. I don’t know where I’d be without you and I am so thankful for you! Please know that no matter how far away we are from each other or how M.I.A. I can be sometimes (no comments please) we are always connected and I am here for you no matter what. It’s been a rough year for us but hang in there. Call me naive but I still have faith that every cloud has a silver lining and we soon will have a break through.

Dad, I miss you and the holiday season just isn’t the same without you…honestly, nothing is the same without you. Sometimes I get pissed off at the fact that you were taken away so soon, other times I find acceptance, but most of all, I find pain. This void is unbearable and not a single day goes by without you running through my mind. Your soul must be tired because I carry you with me with every move I make. I just pray that you are truly in a better place and you know just how much you are loved. I am thankful for you. I love you.

To my Cincinnati family, moving here was not as easy as I thought it would be. Homesickness hit me like a brick but let me tell you, I am so blessed to have you as family! Words can’t describe how thankful I am for this great support system that I have. To my in-laws (disclaimer: no there was no wedding, it’s not “official” but it’s real), siblings, grandparents, cousins, nieces, nephews, all of you that have taken me in as their own and shown me love, I am forever grateful for you. You have helped make Cincinnati my home away from home. I love you all.

To all of my friends, you already know! Whether I talk to you every day or not the love is always there. I want to thank you all for the support, love, long talks, drunken nights, laughs, reality checks, fun times, tough times, walk in a party and fuck shit up times (excuse the french, family)…the list goes on and on. Thank you my loves!

And last but not least, I am thankful for my best friend (cheesy but true) and honey bunch Ryan, for whom I am thankful for every single day. Like any relationship, we’ve been through ups and downs over the years but we are continuing to stick together like glue. You constantly make me laugh, you protect me, and love me like no other can. Sometimes you get on my nerves but most the time you are so cute and adorable that it makes my heart melt and in turn makes me sick. Lol                                     Forever yours, here I stand. I love you.

So as I sit here wiping away tears and sippin’ on this nasty Red’s Apple Ale (we’ll pretend it’s delicious wine) I raise my glass to all of you. You are what I’m thankful for. Cheers!

With love,

Kristyn B.

Peace of mind or 9-5?

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Growing up, my parents taught me that getting an education was the key to success. You go to school, graduate, get into college, and then find a good paying job to eventually turn into a career. Along the way they would tell me to enjoy my youth and don’t be in a hurry to grow up because well…adult life sucks. This is what I was taught, this is all that I knew (I’m sure many of you can relate). So I took all of the necessary steps to get ahead in life: I went to school, graduated (I’m very proud of myself for that, might I add), and have been working to find a steady job and build my way up to having a stable career. Sounds like I’m fulfilling the dream right? Ha-ha…No. Reality is, I’m now an adult with bills and an educational debt, living the life that my parents prayed that I wouldn’t have to endure. A four year college degree and 2 1/2 post college years later I am unemployed, broke, and discouraged. I’ve only been able to land temp jobs or temp-hire at best. I have applied for job after job, all of them seeming to be the perfect match, with no call backs and no interviews. The jobs that I have obtained were through temp & staffing agencies. Not saying that I’m not thankful for the work that I have been able to get, because I am, but I want more. I know that my family had nothing but the best intentions with their guidance and like many parents, they just wanted their kids to do even better than they did so by no means do I fault them for that. But now that I’m living my life on my own and have gained my own experiences, I’m beginning to wonder, is this really the career path for me?

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One of my close friends told me a few years back that she sees me as being the hippie/artsy type. She couldn’t envision me doing “typical” work for very long and saw me as being an artist finding my own way. I laughed it off at the time but now I’m beginning to agree with her. Don’t get me wrong, I believe that I am a great candidate for many office positions and have the potential to climb the corporate ladder but the question is, do I want to? Quite frankly, the answer is no. I want to be able to call my own shots, create my own schedule, and build a career that I can be proud of.

*Well then silly goose, what are you going to do instead? How are you going to turn something you love into a lucrative career? You got bills, man!*

Trust me, I’ve been trying to answer these questions for a while now but as I’m searching for the solution, bills are piling up and my bank account is shrinking. You guys, I literally almost cried in the Target check out line last week as this fact hit me hard. Yes, I.almost.cried. Until I find some direction for my passion and begin to make some money from it, I feel like I have no choice but to take whatever job I can get. The dilemma is that I don’t want to continue only doing temp work but I also don’t want to get permanently sucked into the black hole that is the “9-5” (which turns out to be more like 8-5 or 6). I mean, I know I need it, but how much of your soul do you have to give in order to survive? Is there such a thing as a happy medium? I feel stuck between a rock and a hard place. How do I continue to be a responsible adult without compromising my dreams, goals, and youth? *Le sigh*

What is this adult life all about??

Kristyn B.

 

Important: This post is NOT to disrespect anyone out there making an honest living by maintaining a 9-5!! Both of my parents have done that in order to provide for their families and I am proud of them and respect them immensely for that. In this life, you have to do what you have to do! And if you are lucky enough to be doing something you love in the corporate world then that’s great and I’m happy for you! These are just my personal feelings at this time in my life. 🙂

Tasty Thursday: Chili

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Hey yall! Happy Thursday!

Guess what? My brother is here for a visit! Yay! 🙂 He’s staying for a week and of course I want to make sure we have some fun and good eats while he is here. In preparation for his visit, I went to the store with chili in mind. Chili is delicious, versatile, easy to make, and can feed a handful of people without emptying your pockets.

I’ve made chili a number of times this year, tweaking the recipe a bit each time. Last time I made it, I experimented by using only half a pound of ground beef instead of my usual one, and added some zucchini (I’m loving zucchini this summer! Can you tell?). It was delicious! This time, for the first time, I excluded the meat and made it a vegetarian chili. This version was just as filling and tasty as you would expect chili to be, and both my boyfriend and brother loved it! Here is my recipe!

Kristyn’s Simple Chili (Makes 4-5 servings)

Ingredients:

  • 2 Zucchinis
  • 1/2 Yellow onion
  • 1 15oz can of organic black beans
  • 1 15oz can of organic dark red kidney beans
  • 1 28oz can of organic diced tomatoes
  • 1 – 1 1/2 packet(s) of McCormick chili seasoning (I usually use “mild” but tried “original” this time)
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil

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Rinse and cut zucchini into bite size pieces. Dice the onion.

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Rinse and drain the beans. Set to the side.

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Heat up olive oil in a medium sized pot over medium heat. Add zucchini and onion and saute for a few minutes, just enough to soften them a bit.

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Add beans, can of diced tomatoes (un-drained), and seasoning to the pot. Combine all ingredients and allow chili to come to a boil. Cover, turn heat to low, and simmer, stirring periodically until heated through (about 10-15 minutes or so).

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 Once heated through and it’s cooked down to your liking, you’re ready to go!

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Serve with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Kristyn