Archive of ‘Health & Beauty’ category

My Whole 30 Experience

 

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Wow-what a journey! I’ve been wanting to do the Whole 30 diet for awhile now, like over a year, but it was never the right time. Finally, I decided that it was never going to be the perfect time. There will always be parties, happy hours, holidays and work. It’s inevitable. So if I was ever going to do it, I had to just DO IT!

People asked me why I chose Whole 30, and while I normally don’t like to talk about my health issues, those are the main reasons I chose to do Whole 30. So, here are my very personal reasons:

  • I’ve had digestive issues for as long as I can remember. Since I was a little girl, my tummy always hurt after eating. Luckily, I found out about 6 years ago that I had Celiac Disease after having an upper endoscopy. Life without gluten made my digestive issues better, but I still had problems. I’ve always kinda thought that dairy was another problematic food for me but was too lazy to cut it out for a significant amount of time. So, Whole 30 was going to take care of that.
  • I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome several years ago and while luckily I have been blessed to not have many side effects associated with PCOS, I do have to watch my sugars since diabetes is commonly associated with it—another thing Whole 30 would help. I can say that (sorry to all the guys reading) my cycle was more normal than ever during the diet!
  • I read that the Whole 30 diet can help strengthen and support the immune system as well as reduce inflammation. About 3 years ago, I was diagnosed with Sjogren’s Disease, an autoimmune disorder where your white blood cells attack the moisture glands in your body. It causes saliva dysfunction, extreme fatigue, inflammation and digestive issues for me, so why not try a diet that could possibly help all that?!
  • I get emotionally attached to many things in life including food and drinks, and I believe in fasting for spiritual and emotional reasons. It’s a great way to step back and reprioritize. I did it as a way for me to distance myself from getting overly dependent on what I put in my stomach. All it takes is fasting from certain things (latte’s, oatmeal, glass of wine) to see how much I rely on those things to make me happy. True joy and contentment comes intrinsically from the Father, not external pleasures.
  • Because I know so many people that it has helped—people that wanted to lose weight, help allergies or illnesses, or gain energy!! And since I wanted all three of those, I thought, “Why not?!”

I was asked a lot of questions during and after the diet, so I’ve tried to include all of them here. If I forgot to address your question, feel free to comment below!

What was the most difficult part?

Planning! I’m a terrible planner in general—especially if it’s something I’m not thrilled about. This is a diet that really does take planning for it to be successful. I will admit, I probably did the least amount of planning possible, but I also ate a lot of the same foods. I’m a big leftovers girl anyway, so it didn’t bother me to eat many of the same foods. I found what I loved (okra, sweet potatoes, shredded chicken and guac, boiled eggs, salmon, brussels sprouts and salad) and stuck to it.

What did you miss most?

Social events! This diet definitely takes the happy out of happy hour :)! I’m a pretty social person, so not being able to go to dinners or happy hours was a bummer. I did go to a few and even threw a couple parties and I enjoyed the company, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say it put a damper on the events. If you live in Dallas, I can tell you that I found HG Supply and Company Cafe were able to make Whole 30 compliant meals.

Any advice?

  1. Plan out your food for the week on the weekend and shop for everything you will need to cook it. If you’re like me, it’s hard to cook much after work, which leads to number two…
  2. The crockpot is your best friend! No really…it is! I used my crockpot more in the last 30 days than I have in the last 10 years! Yes, I know what you’re thinking…it’s time for a new crockpot. Shredded chicken and carnitas were my go to meals.
  3. Drink a lot of water! Make sure you are drinking more water than you are used to drinking. It will help your digestion during the diet, and I will bet money that your skin will look better than ever!
  4. Have an accountability partner. This diet is not easy and I can’t tell you the amount of people that told me to try just a bite or sip of something that wasn’t on my diet—frustrating! I personally have that all or nothing personality, so if I say I’m going to do something, you better believe I’m going to do it 110%! I guess in this case, stubbornness is a really great trait. I put my experience on social media because I knew it would hold me accountable.

How did you feel?

The first few days were the hardest. Withdrawing from sugar is crazy hard and not fun. I was pretty devoid of energy for the first 10 days. Thank goodness I work out in the mornings because there would have been no way I would have gone to my classes in the evening! By about 2:00 in the afternoon during those first 10 days, I hit a wall and just wanted to crawl in bed. However, once week 3 started, my energy levels really picked up! I can honestly say, that the last couple of weeks I had more energy that I’ve ever had and I slept really well at night.

How much weight did you lose?

Overall, I lost around 7-8 pounds. I believe the majority of that was lost in the first couple of weeks. I did not weigh myself during the 30 days except, after week one, I had a doctor appointment and the nurse annoyingly announced my weight out loud (Why do they do that???) I was 4 pounds down at that point so I know half of the weight was lost in the first part of the diet.

Any other positive changes?

I could tell a huge difference in the way my body looked at the end of the day. I guess I thought it was normal for my stomach to look and feel quite a bit bigger by the end of the day. Guess what? That’s not normal and what I didn’t realize is how bloated I was! So, less bloating meant a flatter tummy and a happier me! I felt so much better and didn’t feel sick in the evening-which I often tend to do.

If you are interested in more information about Whole 30 or have further questions, let me know! I’d love to help in any way I can and encourage you if you choose to try it! Cheers!

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*These are my personal thoughts and experiences. No one person is exactly alike, so you might have different results and a different experience. Always consult your physician before making diet changes.

 

Juicing

 

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So, I’ve been juicing pretty much daily throughout the summer and have finally found my favorite, go-to juice! When others find out that I juice, I usually get the question, “What do you put in your juice?” Most people want a juice that doesn’t taste like they’re drinking a salad, which I totally get. I think I’ve found a good balance that doesn’t come off too “green” for the newbie juicers.

The other common question I get asked is, “What juicer do you use?” We have a Breville Juice Fountain Elite.   I love it and find that it’s not too difficult to clean. I will admit that after the first few juices, I dreaded the cleanup. But, after getting into a routine, it was much easier and didn’t take much time at all (3 minutes.)

Energizer Juice:

1 large handful of kale
1 large handful of spinach
1 small bundle of parsley
1 handful of mini carrots
½ cucumber
½ lemon
1 medium chunk of ginger (I usually cut off about 1/2”-3/4” off the root)
1 apple

Things I do to make my juicing faster and easier:

  1. Buy the spinach and kale prewashed mix at Central Market. Cleaning lettuce is probably one of my least favorite things to do, so this makes it much easier!
  2. Wash fruits and veggies ahead of time for the week and bag separately for easy access each day.
  3. Put a bag in the barrel so you don’t have to clean it constantly.  It’ll make excellent compost!

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Lipstick Love

 

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I just love the new lipstick I bought this weekend!  Revlon Colorburst and Revlon Just Bitten Kissable is amazing, and it’s only $8.99 at Ulta!  It stays on well throughout the day and comes in a matte balm (Colorburst) or balm stain (Just Bitten Kissable.)  The matte balm is going to have a lot more color than the balm stain. I bought the colors (from left to right) Unapologetic (matte balm), Honey (balm stain), and Striking (matte balm).  A good bonus is that they don’t dry out my lips which is something I always look for in a lip color!

 

annielipstickIn this picture, I’m wearing Striking.  I like how it works as both a liner and lipstick.  Go out and get you some!  I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Beauty tip:  For smooth lips, combine about a teaspoon of sea salt with a teaspoon of organic, unrefined coconut oil.  Scrub gently on lips until they feel smooth.  Apply some coconut oil to your lips at night to keep them moisturized.  You’ll be amazed at how amazing your lips feel after doing this a few days!

My Favorite Mascara

 

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Okay…I know this is going to sound ridiculous, but I’m pretty sure that if I could only bring three things with me to a desert island, one of them would be mascara.  Yes, I know that sounds vain and absolutely idiotic, but that’s basically how much I love me some mascara.  In the summer, it’s pretty much the only makeup I wear.  Well, that and a good lip gloss.  I about died when Maybelline dropped my favorite mascara last year, so I knew I had to find an adequate replacement fast!  So, after trying numerous brands, I found Bare Mineral’s Lash Domination in Intense Black.  It’s absolutely amazing and worth every penny!

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Here are some tips to applying mascara:

1. I start by applying the brush directly to the root of my lash and move the brush back forth several times.

2. Make sure to get the lashes towards the inside of your eye in order to really open up your eye.

3. Take the brush and sweep it over the inside of your eyelashes a couple times.

4. Separate any lashes with the tip of the brush.

Don’t forget to always take your mascara off before you head to bed to preserve those lovely lashes!

Happy lashing!

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