Tag Archives | Delightful Eats

Whole30 Round 2 – Recap + Recipes

Whole30 Round 2 - Recap + Recipes | kaileenelise.com

Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans.
(Peter F. Drucker)

Happy Tuesday, lovelies. How was your weekend? We stayed close to home and opted-out of the whole Halloween thing. Instead, we went for a long run on Saturday morning, visited our friends who just had a baby (so many tiny snuggles!), completed the first draft of our ceremony, and crossed a few more things off our wedding to-do list!

Today I am finishing my Whole30 Round 2. That means, over the course of this summer/fall I have followed these rules for 30 days straight, twice:

  • Do not consume added sugar of any kind, real or artificial
  • Do not consume alcohol in any form, not even for cooking
  • Do not eat grains
  • Do not eat legumes
  • Do not eat dairy
  • Do not consume carrageenan, MSG or sulfites
  • Do not try to re-create baked goods, junk foods, or treats with “approved” ingredients
  • Do not step on the scale or take body measurements during the program

In some ways, my Whole30 Round 2 was more difficult than the first. There were several occasions, especially during the last two weeks, when I wanted to give up. The second round felt less “special” and more like everyday life. The newness wore off and sticking to the rules felt more rigorous. That said, I am incredibly happy that I did not give up.

My original inspiration for starting Whole30 was to slim down for my wedding, but I also wanted to investigate this way of eating for the long-term. In my dream scenario, I hoped to discover a set of rules that I could follow every day that would help make my body feel good without squandering my love for food. And that’s what I found!

Will I stick with this 100% everyday moving forward? No, not totally. But, I do want to remain primarily grain-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, legume-free, and processed-foods-free. I have naturally settled into a preference for eating paleo (here’s what that means).

Two rounds of Whole30 have helped me build an arsenal of delicious recipes. I no longer feel like a dinner with just veggies and meat is incomplete. Here are some favorites:

In terms of alcohol, I learned that I’m perfectly fine with going out and not drinking, even to a three-day music festival. I will go back to enjoying wine and cocktails here and there, but I doubt I’ll ever be much of a beer drinker. My Whole30 weekend mornings have been a lot more pleasant without that fuzzy feeling of an almost-hangover!

Now would be the time to establish a new daily routine, but that’s not going to happen… after my first Whole30, I dove into indulgence with a 3-week trip to Europe. It was an incredible adventure, but tough on my body after eating so clean for the previous month.

This time, I am facing another uncommon situation: there’s just 18 days until our wedding! The next few weeks are going to be a far cry from ordinary, but they will be wonderful. In the midst of all the celebrations, I hope to follow this advice to myself:

  • Plan ahead. When eating out, review the menu in advance and commit to your food selection before sitting down at the restaurant. When going out for drinks, hydrate with water and switch to club soda after a few.
  • Stay active. When you exercise, it helps you maintain the motivation to make healthy choices. Remember that practicing yoga always makes you feel strong and happy, and running makes you feel accomplished. You have the time to work out every day, even if it’s just for 20 minutes.
  • Be kind. Part of this is doing what feels good. That will be staying “compliant” sometimes and “indulging” other times.  Either way, being kind means not judging yourself harshly. And on judging, watch your negativity. Wrap your gremlins and nasty thoughts with a warm blanket of love and kindness.

If you would like to learn more about my Whole30 journey, check out my recaps from round 1 day 12, round 1 day 26, and round 2 day 11. You can also follow me on Instagram where I’ve been posting a lot of food pics: @kaileenelise.

Are you thinking this might be something you want to try? I say, go for it! You can do anything for 30 days, especially if it makes you feel good. I highly recommend visiting the Whole30 website and reading It Starts With Food for more information.

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Whole30 Round 2 – Day 11

Whole30 Round 2 - Day 11 | kaileenelise.com

Stay close to any sounds that make you glad you are alive.
(Hafiz)

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a complicated relationship with food. I love it, I hate it, I feel like I deserve it. Completing the first round of Whole30 helped me embrace a more simple, less fussy approach. I ate real food, stopped counting calories, stopped weighing myself. (Here are my recaps from day 12 and day 26.)

Whole30 worked for me. More than any other diet, approach, or way of thinking about food has. Even as a collegiate athlete, I didn’t fuel my body like this. The results from my first round were nice too! My before and after pictures surprised me. (I really didn’t want to take before pics, but I’m glad I did).

With that said, my reintroduction was challenging. I added everything back into my diet all at once, while traveling through Europe for 3 weeks. My Mister and I had an incredible trip, and we ate and drank with abandon!

Intellectually, I wanted to enjoy every facet of the trip, especially the food! Emotionally, I felt like each unhealthy choice erased the progress I made in the past 30 days. It was a struggle to “just enjoy” the unique food, drink, and experiences at our fingertips. But, since my relationship with food is complicated and we went to a bunch of amazing restaurants, I ate it all anyways.

I haven’t uncovered the lesson in that experience yet. One thing I have come to realize is that it’s impossible to erase the past. Maybe the “fix” then is to focus on being fully present in this moment… rather than worrying about what was or will be. That thought is much bigger than food, but I think it applies.

When we arrived home, I was eager to start a new Whole30! This time I’m doing it for 6 weeks, which leads right up to the week before my wedding. Today is day #11 of my round 2.

I am feeling… much better! Cutting out grains, dairy, added sugar, and alcohol is a magical reset for me. The first few days were rough, especially because we went to a music festival this past weekend. I was ok without drinking alcohol, but my food options were limited. However, my anxiety about what it would be like turned out to be much worse than the actual experience. Once the music was playing, I was dancing and having fun like everyone else. With 10 days behind me, I am humming along and feeling good. It’s so nice!

I have been eating… simple breakfasts with blended coffees, followed by easy salads for lunch. For two nights, we devoured a spicy version of this Mexican Chicken Chili. And for other dinners, I have been pairing a protein with two veggies. I have a few favorite go-to “recipes” for cooking up the basics. My top three are: baked sweet potato, roasted butternut squash, and sautéed kale. I’m excited to cook up some slow cooker chicken curry for tonight and plan to serve it over spicy roasted cauliflower.

I have been loving… the kind and supportive Instagram community that I’ve fallen into. Seriously, the best! It’s so fun to get new ideas from others eating this way. I have also enjoyed connecting with some people who are curious or interested in Whole30.

I am thinking about… adding a few more things to the mix, like: giving up caffeine for awhile, working out more often, and increasing my water intake. I am also thinking about how I can integrate this way of eating with my normal life. What does that look like? How can I make choices I feel good about when I’m at restaurants, eating with friends, etc?

So, tell me, would you experiment with a Whole30? If you have tried it or are doing it now, let me know. I would love to connect about what has worked or not worked for you, and share some more of my experience with you!

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Day 26 Whole30 Check-In

Whole30 Check-In | kaileenelise.com - image via Death to the Stock Photo

Focus on the journey, not the destination.
Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.
(Greg Anderson)

I’ve reached the home stretch of my first Whole30. I am feeling happy and healthy, plus a little relieved and nervous.

Happy because I am doing it – no slip-ups, no excuses, no cheats, no major meltdowns. I am establishing new thought-patterns and letting go of habits that haven’t worked in the past. Happy because my clothes fit better. Happy because I feel good. Happy because I’ve had fun discovering recipes that will be great for meal plans even after the Whole30.

Healthy because I am fueling my body with whole foods. I’ve been drinking tons of water and no alcohol. I’m tired when it’s time for bed and up in the mornings when it’s time to wake up. Healthy because working out has felt like a natural extension of this new eating routine. Healthy because I am listening to my body and taking great care of myself.

Relieved because the end is near. It will feel luxurious to have a glass of wine with dinner, and it will feel nice to have a nibble of chocolate after. It Starts With Food (the book companion to Whole30) offers a full re-introduction to normal foods plan… that I will follow another time. My last day of Whole30 coincides with our departure for a 3-week trip to Europe. I’ll be navigating my re-entry carefully and swiftly.

Nervous because I’ll be diving from this extremely restrictive diet to dinners out and meals on the road. Nervous (and excited) to weigh myself — my reflection in the mirror looks stronger, more lean and toned. I am not going to tie any measure of success to my weight, but a girl gets curious after 26 days of hard work!

A few things that have made this Whole30 easier on me:

  • Working from home. I was talking to my Mister about how this hasn’t been that hard. He gently reminded me that working from home has helped me avoid break-room candy, office happy hours, and monthly birthday cake. If I were doing Whole30 from my old job, my resolve might have been tested more.
  • Empathetic friends. Last Friday, our friends invited us over for dinner. They prepared a Whole30 approved meal… including mock piña coladas that were sugar free. We stayed out way later than planned because it was such an amazing night!
  • Being a former vegetarian. These days I have no qualms about eating organic and pastured meats. My past life as a vegetarian helped me feel comfortable with being the weird one at a table, and it gave me a fondness for most veggies.

This experience has taught me that I don’t need to eat everything. I can decline, pick and choose, and eat based on my hunger.

I am hoping to remember this feeling: I will not “lose out” if I don’t eat every macaroon in Paris. All I need is one (or two!) for the experience. This realization is freeing… but scary. The thought that usually plays over and over in my mind is “I deserve that.” Now I know that I deserve to feel good, happy, and heathy… and no sweet treat can give that to me.

Don’t get me wrong, I will indulge again. I just plan to be more intentional and honest with myself about what I’m eating. In It Starts with Food, the authors say that food is either good for you or bad for you. There is no middle, gray part where food is neutral. This black and white explanation has been helpful. When I eat “bad for me” foods, I plan to acknowledge it as such and savor the treat… instead of dreaming about eating ten more!

I am already planning my next Whole30 for when we’re back from Europe. For now, I’m enjoying these last days of the program before we take off on our adventure.

If you are interested in Whole30, check out their website and pick up a copy of It Starts With Food — it’s a great read for anyone who is looking for a fresh perspective on heathy eating.

Image via Death to the Stock Photo

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Day 12 Whole30 Check-In

Whole30 Check-In | kaileenelise.com - image via Death to the Stock Photo

The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things.
(Henry Ward Beecher)

Today is day #12 of my Whole30, which means that I am nearly halfway there. I started this on the heels of our visit to North Carolina, which was perfect timing. By the end of the trip, I was ready to eat healthy and take a break from indulgences.

What is Whole30? It’s a 30-day healthy eating program with simple, but impactful rules. Participants eat real foods and omit a list of unhealthy things from their diets, including: alcohol, added sugar, dairy, legumes, and grains. Their website is great, and I am really enjoying the book that corresponds with the program — It Starts with Food.

I did something similar back in 2012 with the Whole Living Action Plan (you can read my weekly summaries here). It was in January, so the post-holiday and New Year’s resolution season was extra motivating. I learned how to cook new recipes, lost some weight, and enjoyed it overall.

Thinking back on that experience gave me the confidence to try the Whole30. Cutting things out of my diet is not an issue, but going 4 weeks without alcohol or any added sugar is a challenge in the summer. There are plenty of occasions to grab a drink and celebrate the season with friends!

Now that a few days are behind me, I wanted to share some reflections and strategies for Whole30. My first week went by quickly and with very few cravings or frustrations. I planned our meals for the week so we could avoid eating out. When our friends asked us to drinks on Saturday night, I ordered soda water with lime and ended up having a blast.

Things took a turn for the cranky by Sunday (day #8) and the beginning of this week was rough. I noticed that it was less about what I couldn’t eat and more about losing some of my food coping mechanisms. When I wanted to chill out at the end of a long day, a glass of sparkling water was all I had to drink (red wine would have tasted so much better). When my Mister and I wanted to treat ourselves with something sweet, we settled on organic cashews instead.

In addition to changes in diet, there is one more rule for Whole30: you’re not allowed to weigh yourself during the program. This one has been hard for me because I typically use my weight as a baseline and check-in. Not having this measurement has pushed me to consider how I’m feeling, rather than relying on a number on the scale to tell me if I’m “ok.”

A few things I’m loving while on Whole30:

  • Chamelon Cold-Brew + black coffee – so simple, so tasty.
  • Harmless Harvest coconut water – a delicious 8oz break from water.
  • Burning candles, listening to an awesome audio book, and laying by the pool – a girl can find moments of bliss without wine, cheese, or chocolate.
  • Yoga – it’s been so hot here in Austin, so I haven’t felt like running lately. Going to yoga helps me refocus and refresh.

Some Whole30 approved dinners on our meal plan:

  • Spicy Oven Baked Salmon from A Spicy Perspective – this is a new household favorite! So quick, easy, and tasty!
  • Hatch Chile Casserole from Fed and Fit – my Mister was shocked at how creamy and rich this was without any dairy. I might tweak it next time, but I’m definitely adding it to the regular rotation.
  • Creole Chicken & Sausage from Pinch of Yum – we served this over baked sweet potatoes. It was a nice and hearty meal.

Looking ahead:

I am a little excited that we don’t have much planned for Labor Day weekend. We have already traveled a lot this summer and are leaving for Europe in a few weeks. It will be nice to stick around here and finish some projects. I’m looking for a few new recipes to try and am planning on keeping myself occupied with blogging and other fun things (instead of wishing for a bite of chocolate)!

Have you done a Whole30? If so, please share your advice in the comments below. If not, let me know if you’d ever want to give it a try?

Image via Death to the Stock Photo

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click + purchase I will receive a small commission. Thank you for reading & supporting An Extraordinary Adventure!

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Study Habits: Cooking and Eating Healthy

Study Habits: Cooking and Eating Healthy - image via Death to the Stock Photo | kaileenelise.com

People who love to eat are always the best people.
(Julia Child)

I have always enjoyed food, but in the last few years I’ve found that I also love meal planning, cooking, and eating healthy.

Food is an interesting thing. We need it to survive. It defines cultures. It’s an expression of love. Too much, or the wrong kind, can make us sick. I was a vegetarian for a few years but that didn’t automatically make me healthier. In fact, I am leaner and happier now that I’m eating meat again. I believe food choices are all about what works for the individual, and this can change over time.

Cooking and eating healthy have become objects of study for me. I have tweaked and practiced, altered and adapted. I deepen my skills with each new recipe. I broaden my knowledge as I learn about new science. There are few topics I am more interested in than cooking, enjoying good food, and eating healthy — and there’s always more to learn.

The documentary Food Inc. influenced the way I look at food. If something on my plate has been genetically modified, pumped with antibiotics, or factory-processed, it is hard for me to consider it food. I am not perfect and I’m not an expert, but this definition drove my decision to become a vegetarian… and it is what helped me refine my choices when I started eating meat again. I feel fortunate that we have access to organic produce and many varieties of grass-fed, pasture-raised meats.

At the same time, the movie Julie & Julia inspires me in a completely different way! It is such a great movie, one that I re-watch when I’m in need of some extra sparkle. There is something magical about the way two women found their way in life through cooking. (If you liked the movie, consider reading Julia Child’s book, My Life in France. I listened to it on audiobook and it was amazing!)

Earlier this year, I read the book Grain Brain. The science (and logic) in the book helped me decide to limit the amount of carbohydrates, sugars, and grains in my diet. I would have never dreamed of trying this when I was a vegetarian, but I’m willing to change my ways if there is a healthier option. Around the same time, my Mister joined CrossFit, which promotes a Paleo diet. We are not strict or hard core, but we have shifted to eating more vegetables, healthy fats, fish, and meat. Along with working out regularly, these changes have resulted in both of us being lighter and stronger than we have been in years.

While I own a ton of cook books, there’s one in particular that helped me with the basics. I received the The Vegetarian Student Cookbook as a Christmas gift. It’s written as a guide book for college students, but it is great for anyone who is cooking for 1 or 2 people. The first section shares “Kitchen Know-How,” which are helpful basics from food safety to taste tips. Then the book flows from light bites and sides, to salads and pasta, then entrees, and finishes up with “food to impress” and desserts. The book has a ton of pictures and easy to follow instructions. Even if you are not a vegetarian, there are plenty of great ideas to build meals around.

I have also enriched my cooking “studies” through blogs, Pinterest, and YouTube videos. Some of my favorite blogs for food inspiration and knowledge are:

There are so many food-related books that I want to read. Since shifting my diet away from sugars, carbs, and grains, I have started to research study materials. One of my goals for August is to read It Starts With Food and begin my Whole30 later this month. At some point, I am also planning to read Wheat Belly, Clean Gut, and Secrets to a Healthy Metabolism.

As with any favorite subject, there is no limit to the amount of inspiration and knowledge out there. The exciting thing is that I eat every day, so there are plenty of opportunities to refine my study habits!

Image via Death to the Stock Photo

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Good Eats & Gratitude – Recipe Lust List

image :: eggplant risotto

Cooking is like love, it should be entered into with abandon or not at all.
(Harriet Van Horne)

image :: asparagus fries

In spite of food fads, fitness programs, and health concerns,
we must never lose sight of a beautifully conceived meal.
(Julia Child)

image :: pomegranate + kale orzo

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.
(Virginia Woolf)

Hello lovelies! How is your week wrapping up? I’m recovering from a wonderfully eventful Saturday. I went for a 6-mile run in the morning and then enjoyed a night out in Chapel Hill with my Mister and some friends. Today I’m planning to do my Barre3 DVD, go to the grocery store, and treat myself with a trip to the mall.

I have spent a ton of time in the kitchen since completing Whole Living’s cleanse last month. I am trying to find the space between maintaining my focus and making smart choices while living this busy, social and (sometimes) stressful life. It’s a process.

My latest obsession is finding new recipes. Here are a few gems on my Recipe Lust list:

Baked Asparagus Fries
Pomegranate + Kale Orzo
Triple Chocolate Black Bean Brownies
Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Barbecue Chickpea Pizza
Orange Blossom Cupcake with Cashew Cream
Eggplant and Meyer Lemon Risotto
Farro Risotto with Acorn Squash and Kale
Apricot Coconut Energy Bars
Black Bean, Sweet Potato & Quinoa Chili
Vegan Peanut Butter Cup Shake 

Taking the time to prepare healthy and delicious meals is a gift I can give myself. It’s self-care wrapped in gratitude for this body and all it allows me to do. These last several weeks have been eyeopening — I am discovering a new hobby and realizing a new passion.

I am so grateful to have found such incredible inspiration through the blogs, magazines and books that resonate with where I am today. What recipes are on your to-make list? Do you have any favorite resources that motivate your healthy-living goals? Share your suggestions in the comments below!

Image Credits:
Eggplant Risotto via Turntable Kitchen
Asparagus Fries via Spoon Fork Bacon
Pomegranate + Kale Orzo via Happyoks

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February Intentions

Image :: 15/365 - Hold My Heart

You can only become truly accomplished at something you love.
Don’t make money your goal.
Instead, pursue the things you love doing,
and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you.
(Maya Angelou)

Happy February to you, my lovelies! I am so thrilled to begin a fresh month, especially since we get a bonus day on the 29th. How did your January shape up?

I completed the Whole Living Action Plan as I intended. Giving up processed foods, added sugar, dairy, gluten, caffeine, and alcohol for four weeks seemed daunting at first, but I’m so glad I went for it. I also finished reading Style Statement. I’ll share my reactions and reveal my statement soon!

REVIEW :: January Intentions.

  • Drink 10 glasses of water daily. I got to 10 glasses daily by the 3rd week. One helpful trick—I keep a full glass on my nightstand & drink it up first thing in the morning.
  • Get to bed by 10pm & wake up by 5am. Progress! I’ve started to wake up around 4:55 without an alarm. I love rising just before my phone starts buzzing.
  • Eat clean, work out, smile. I took the first week easy to give my body time to acclimate to the cleanse, but I worked out 5 days each week for the rest of January!
  • Blog to schedule – 12 posts. Nearly got it. I ended up reading Style Statement slower than planned, so I only posted 11 times. Keeping to my content map has helped immensely and I’m determined to hit my posting goal this month.
  • Sign up for 1/2 marathon. I’m registered for the RunRaleigh Half Marathon on April 15. Total miles on my training schedule? 205. Time to make a new playlist!

SET :: February Intentions.

Thanks to those of you who shared your enthusiasm for the iPhone wallpaper I created with my January goals. I loved it so much that I plan to make a new one for each month. Check out my goals for February below.

image :: Kaileen Elise's February Intentions

CELEBRATE :: I’m Looking Forward to…

  • #febphotoaday. I joined Fat Mum Slim’s #janphotoaday late in the game and never got into a good photo-taking rhythm. I’m looking forward to giving February a serious try. Come say “hi” on Instagram, I’m @kaileenelise.
  • A date a week. Taking a social sabbatical in January was great, but I’m ready to see my friends again! I have something fun on the calendar for each week: a night at the theater, Valentine’s Day with my Mister, 1/2-off sushi dinner with my girlfriends … and I’m hosting Bunco Night for a group of my 12 closest Chapel Hill friends.
  • Visiting Yoga G33k. When Courtney and I met last year, I knew we would see each other again soon. I’m thrilled to go see her for a weekend of fun, yoga, and girl talk.

What are your goals or intentions this month? My word for February is Heart (my originality is scary) so through the month, I’ll be striving to infuse love and heart in everything I do.

Image Credits:
15/365 – Hold My Heart via Helga Weber
Weekend Love via Always Bë Cool

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Good Eats & Gratitude – #WLActionPlan Week 4

Image :: 316/365 - Third World Baby

Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.
(William Feather)

It can be awkward or downright scary to break free from comfort zones, but it can also be energizing to try something new. Making sweeping changes or small alterations to our lives lifts us out of ruts. New experiences have the potential to reveal pieces of ourselves that would otherwise go unnoticed. This how I feel about my experience with Whole Living’s 2012 Action Plan.

It was disorienting and difficult at times, but what I gained in return was worth every ounce of sacrifice. Eliminating processed food and drinks, added sugar, dairy, gluten, caffeine, and alcohol from my diet for 4 weeks was eye-opening. I discovered juicing, learned a bunch of new recipes, and started working out regularly.

Week #4 Highlights:

  • Making it! I proved that I can achieve an ambitious goal I set for myself.
  • Five workouts strong. That’s two weeks in a row and I’m excited to keep it up.
  • Spa day celebration. On Sunday I indulged in a massage + mani pedi. Bliss!

Favorite Meals:

They say it takes 21 days to establish a new habit. Over the next three weeks I hope to incorporate what I’ve learned into sustainable, healthy habits for my everyday life. Specifically, I’m planning to maintain a diet that is 90% vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, and low in processed foods and added sugar.

Thanks to all of you who have shared your wisdom and support through these past few weeks. It definitely helped keep me motivated!

Whole Living Action Plan Recap Posts:
Week #1 / Week #2 / Week #3

Image Credit: 316/365 – Third World Baby via Helga Weber

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Creative Weekend To-Do List

Image :: I like jumpers. via Bethan

I don’t wait for moods. You accomplish nothing if you do that.
Your mind must know it has got to get down to work.
(Pearl S. Buck)

Happy weekend to you, my lovely friends! How was your week? I hope you were able to enjoy some sunshine, sparkle and productivity amidst your busy days. My week went by quicker than I expected and I can’t believe the last days of January are upon us!

Since I started on January 1st, today is my last official day of the Whole Living Action Plan. I’m looking forward to sharing a recap of my experience in tomorrow’s Good Eats & Gratitude Post. More than that, I’m excited to celebrate tomorrow morning with my first coffee in 4 weeks! I have all sorts of fun things planned for tomorrow — including some serious spa time.

Do you have anything exciting planned? The following ideas and creative weekend to-dos are intended to inspire. Consider this a friendly reminder to seek out little delights and exceptional joys in the days ahead. Share your plans in the comments below!

listen to a new favorite podcast
run 3.5 miles & practice yoga
make snacks for next week
get a mani, pedi & massage!
window shop for new yoga gear
flip through February magazines
explore, play and pin on Pinterest
put together next week’s meal plan
read a book & sip on a soy latte
indulge in a decadent dessert

No matter what you end up doing this weekend, remember to take a moment or two for yourself. Light your favorite candle, wear fuzzy socks, go out dancing, or buy some treats at Trader Joe’s. Sending love & sparkle your way!

Image Credit: I like jumpers. via Bethan

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Good Eats & Gratitude – #WLActionPlan Week 3

image :: Blueberries

Each moment of our life, we either invoke or destroy our dreams.
(Stuart Wilde)

Hello, sweet friends. I hope this finds you happy, healthy and enjoying the last full week in January. 2012 is off to a delightful start — a perfect blend of focus and downtime, with lots of new discoveries. With just a week left, I’m working diligently on my goals for January. This iPhone wallpaper is a constant reminder of my focus for the month.

image :: iphone4_jan2012

My biggest challenge has been the reallocation of time. With the Whole Living Action Plan, I’m spending more time planning meals, grocery shopping, cooking, and cleaning dishes than ever before. It was a little tedious and foreign at first, but I’m getting the hang of things. And more importantly, I’m having a blast!

I’ve noticed an important shift this past week — a connection between healthy eating and wanting to workout. This is a new development I’m trying to cultivate. Eating clean reinforces my desire to get fit, and finishing a hard workout cements my hunger for nutritious food. I’m doing my best to recognize the tiny victory.

Week #3 Highlights:

  • Keeping my cool. I craved coffee, chocolate and red wine this week, but reisted. My resolve was not this strong a few months ago.
  • Working out 5 times. I also signed up for the Run Raleigh Half Marathon in April!
  • Poaching an egg. I can’t believe I have lived 26 years without poaching an egg! Using Smitten Kitchen’s instructions, I hatched a delicious poached egg on my first try.
  • Date night. On Saturday night, my Mister and I went to PF Chang’s for dinner. I order the steamed salmon off their gluten-free menu and it was delicious! Afterwards, we watched Ides of March and snuggled in bed. It was definitely a highlight of my week.

Favorite Meals:

There’s just one more week left in the #WLActionPlan and I have a massage scheduled on Sunday to celebrate. Next month will present a new set of challenges when I return to my social ways, but overall I’m looking forward to incorporating these changes into my everyday routine.

Have you successfully transitioned from a strict program to a more realistic daily routine? I’d love to know about your experience and any tips or recommendations you have!

Image Credit: Blueberries via Chris Nixon / S u l a v a k a s via Pörrö

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