So I officially started the Whole30 on February 15, 2017. I read most of the book; It Starts with Food to get a better understanding of the science behind the program as well as how to make it easier to follow the program. I already knew that I absolutely love eating eggs in all forms but had been avoiding whole eggs fro about 2 years because they’re “high in fat”. What a bunch of BS that was.

I figured that most of my meals would be pretty similar to my meals prior to Whole30 because I do eat a lot of protein, but I haveĀ never eating as many vegetables as I have in the last three days and surprisingly – I love it.

I started prepping and planning by figuring out what kind of protein I would have available for each meal. Obviously eggs when I was at home before work with some sort of hash/vegetable/fruit combination. That was easy.

Lunch I decided would be chicken throughout this week with avocado, some type of veggie and then a starchy veggie like mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes. Dinner would be similar. I also knew that going through this first week with my longer 10-12 hour shifts and having picked up an extra shift this week that I may need some snacks to get me through the long days. I picked up some apples and bananas as well as some almonds and almond butter. The guidelines say really not to snack if possible, but they also say that if you’re working long hours and away from home – it’s totally acceptable. I’m trying not to snack if possible and really listening to if I’m actually hungry or just craving something.

So I got to work and prepped all my food. Cut up my vegetables for salads as well as sweet potatoes to toss in the air fryer in the morning. I put 6 chicken breast in the crockpot with some spices and organic chicken broth to make shredded chicken for quick grab and go meals. I made a giant (5 lb batch) of mashed potatoes using just chicken broth, spices and just a little bit of truffle oil. I hard boiled 1 dozen eggs just in case I needed them for breakfast.

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Day 1 meals:
Breakfast
3 eggs
broccoli
sweet potatoes
raspberries/blackberries/grapes
coffee with coconut milk

Lunch
large salad of spinach and kale with onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette, tuna and grapes

Dinner
NY strip steak
mashed potatoes
air fried asparagus

Snack
banana
almond butter

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Now Day 1 didn’t feel that terrible. I was motivated and excited to get started. I felt great about my decisions and my choices and actually didn’t feel deprived or hungry. Cravings were under control and I actually enjoyed the food I was eating.

Day two was an entirely different story!

Weekly Update

I have fallen off of the wagon a bit with my weekly updates on here for quite a while. And part of it may have been that I wasn’t quite comfortable with everyone being able to see my progress or lack there of, which made me feel like a bit of a failure at times. But I’ve come to realize that being open and honest about my progress and my journey is helpful to others and especially helpful to my clients as they are able to understand thatĀ everyone struggles with dieting or “healthy living” at some point.

So here I am, back on the wagon of updating each week with my current progress as well as how I’m feeling. It’s also important for me to verbalize (or at least write) how I’m feeling about each week. This was so helpful my first time around as I could look back at my progress each week when I got frustrated and see exactly how far I had come. So that being said…let’s get started.

Last week’s weight: 167 lbs
This week’s weight: 165.6
Average weight: 166.8 lbs

Current macros:
Protein: 135 g
Carbs: 165 (R), 195 (LOW), 225 (HIGH)
Fat: 70 (R), 65 (LOW), 60 (HIGH)

Progress Pictures:

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img_1068Overall this week was tough for me because I had a close relative pass away and spent most of the first half of the week with an “eff it” attitude because of the circumstances. After everything had come to a close with those events, I didn’t end up tracking the day of the funeral, which didn’t destroy my progress.

The next day however, I got right back on track and stuck with my macros throughout the rest of the week pretty well. I was feeling pretty down about my weight not responding to these macros, but once my max out day came around, I was pleasantly surprised with my new PR’s. Looking at these comparison pictures, I can see some subtle changes despite my weight not budging much on the scale.

And that’s the important thing to remember; weight on the scale is not the only form of progress. Measurements, how you’re feeling in the gym, your energy throughout the day, and how your body composition is responding is way more important than that number on the scale. I tell my clients this all the time, but maybe it’s time I actually take my own praise and suggestions to heart.

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This week’s goals are to remain consistent with my numbers each day and to complete my log in My Fitness Pal at the end of each day. Sometimes I just don’t finish my log but still reach all of my numbers, but this week I would like to finish that log for completeness and to make sure I’m 100% back on track.

I am also listening to my body and what it needs. After max out day, my lower back muscles are feeling sore and tight, which is likely from the deadlift PR. I’m going to listen to my body and take more actual rest/active rest days than normal to allow those muscles to heal. I may still do some Crossfit WODs (without cleans, snatches or deadlifts) or even some running to allow myself to recover appropriately. In the past, I would have just powered through it and kept lifting…but not this time!

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In the meantime, take a peak at one of my current clients awesome progress! She is down 7 lbs in 7 weeks and has made some amazing progress with her body composition thus far! I am so proud of her. She has been diligent with her tracking and her intake yet flexible enough to not feel like she is sacrificing anything.

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If you’re interested in nutrition coaching, send me an e-mail at mypathtobalance@gmail.com!

Max Out Day!

For the past 5 weeks I have been diligently following Hybrid Performance Method’s powerlifting protocol. After months of struggling through Crossfit, getting into a funk of going to actual Crossfit classes, and just not enjoying working out like I used to, I decided to cancel my membership to my local box and train only at home in my garage. I have a pretty decent set up with about 280 lbs of bumper plates, a squat rack, a bench, a box, and a pull up bar with rings.

Starting the first week, my one rep max for my back squat was 225 lbs. This was after months of physical therapy and slowly getting back into Crossfit, but 225 lbs was finally completely pain free. I stayed with the powerlifting program because I specifically enjoy lifting rather than lifting and doing WODs and because I feel like Crossfit was actually hindering the healing and progression of my back – but that’s for another post.

The program is not easy, but I was simply amazed at the progress I was making. I was able to deadlift 250 lbs for the first time in my life and by the end of the 4th week I was using 225 lbs for my back squat in sets of 3 x 4. It was rough but it also didn’t hurt and it felt really good.

So this past week was the last week in the cycle and yesterday was max out day. I was really hoping to hit the 250 lb mark in my back squat, as that is something I have been hoping for since I started Crossfit 3 years ago, but never achieved it.

I worked up to 240, 245 and 250 and felt like I definitely had more in the tank. 255 was a bit of a struggle but I grinded it and still felt I had one more shot. I loaded up 260 lbs and although I was nervous and scared about it, gave myself some words of encouragement and actually ended up squatting it! I was so stoked! Coming from not being able to squat at all 2 years ago without pain so now squatting 260 lbs pain free!

I moved onto the deadlift and really didn’t think I would get much farther than 250 lbs as that has been my max for a few weeks now. Much to my surprise I was still able to hit 275 lbs, which is only 25 lbs off of my best max when I was Crossfitting! The deadlift was always the worst for me because that’s what really caused my back injury in the first place…so again, I was pumped!

I cannot recommend Hybrid enough. It’s challenging enough that it keeps the progress coming each week but it doesn’t destroy you. At this point I think I want to get back into slowly Crossfitting, so I may do their WOD cycle for a few weeks or switch to Competitors training. Either way, I’m trying to do only what makes me happy and motivates me to workout. Otherwise, there’s no point…right?