Getting Saucy at The New Primal

One of the best parts of my recent trip to Charleston was the chance to hang out – and eat lunch – at the headquarters of Whole30 Approved superstar partner The New Primal.

As you may already know (because I screamed it from the rooftops last year!), I was one of The New Primal’s 2018 Whole30 Coaching Scholarship winners. Becoming a Whole30 Certified Coach and being able to officially share my passion for Whole30 with the world is one of the best things that’s ever happened to me!

Beyond loving them for the scholarship, The New Primal makes INCREDIBLE Whole30 Approved items, ranging from sauces to marinades to beef thins to salad dressings. Their products are true game changers in helping to get fast and delicious Whole30 meals on the table. (As a reminder, we have a generous group discount of 25 percent off online orders with the code “WHOLE30FACEBOOK” at checkout.

So, when I booked my trip to Charleston, I immediately got in touch with my friends at The New Primal. They invited me to join them for their monthly lunch series, which is part of their effort to have people “return to the table” and connect over healthy food and good conversation. I eagerly accepted!

Lunch was awesome…starting with the company! I got to see Jason, Melissa, and David from The New Primal, who I had met at the Whole30 Coach Summit in Utah last August. And I met Meredith and Carson, other members of TNP team along with Valerie Skinner from Whole30 Approved Personal Chef Service Thyme & Joy who I’ve been following on Instagram for a while! Val cooks the monthly meal for The New Primal team lunch – More on the food below!

Each month, The New Primal invites other local friends and community members so there were also a few more new faces at lunch for me to meet.

Now, onto the food! Val prepared a Caribbean Themed Lunch, featuring The New Primal products. On the menu: Jerk Chicken Breast, Island Tahini Sriracha Coleslaw, Caribbean Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Plantain Chips (hello, Food Freedom!) and Island Punch. There was also LaCroix galore, of course. Everything was DELICIOUS!

During lunch, I had the chance to ask Jason questions about the behind-the-scenes of running a business (it takes a lot of hard work and way more money than I imagined!) and get a little scoop on some new soon-to-be-released products. Are you sitting down? Later this year, The New Primal will release seasoning mixes, coconut aminos, and wasabi coconut aminos!

Once you catch your breath, I have more good news. Also in the works: Whole30 Approved meat sticks (they are reformatting their current recipe by removing the honey) and Whole30 compliant ketchup!

So, now you’ll basically be able to build your entire meal – from spices to finishing sauce — using The New Primal products. I don’t know about you, but I am doing a serious happy dance!

Before I left, Melissa loaded me with some sauces (including my two favorites – Medium Buffalo and Classic BBQ, beef thins, and super cool TNPswag. She also gave me some of their Snack Mates for my daughter. (Note: These are not Whole30 compliant due to honey but a great Paleo choice.)

And of course, we had to snap a group shot and a Boomerang video. Because if it’s not on Instagram then it didn’t really happen!

All in all, it was a lovely lunch and a great time connecting with one of my favorite Whole30 brands. I’ve said it before and I will continue to say it on repeat: The New Primal team members are some of the nicest people I have ever met.

Their products and customer service are top-notch, and they believe in Whole30 and this lifestyle wholeheartedly. And they believed in me as a coach – and for that, I will be forever grateful.

Have you tried The New Primal products? Which ones are your favorite?

Whole30 Asian Recipe Round-Up

Sometimes it’s nice to mix up the everyday and branch out with your cooking. We’ve heard a lot of you in our Facebook group mention wanting (and missing!) Asian-style cuisine. Asian food can most definitely be enjoyed on Whole30. Below are some recipes to try – a mix of our favorites and some hits from our Whole30 community. What will you make? Happy eating!

Paleo Sesame Chicken by Consider the Leaf Turned

Coconut Curry Chicken Meatballs by The Bewitchin Kitchen

Eggroll in a Bowl by 40 Aprons

Slow Cooker Korean Short Ribs by NomNomPaleo

Asian chopped salad with Asian sesame dressing by Tasty Thin

Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry by Paleo Running Momma

Pineapple Fried Cauliflower Rice by Michelle Smith of The Whole Smiths

Sichuan Beef Stir Fry by The Defined Dish

Thai Coconut Chicken Soup from The Whole30 Cookbook

I absolutely love this soup. I made it one day hoping it might replicate the flavors from an amazing soup I had at a Thai restaurant many years ago. (I wasn’t sure what the soup was called or even the name of the restaurant!) This soup was amazing and hit the nail on the head! It’s become part of the regular recipe rotation in my house!

What are some of your favorite Whole30 compliant Asian-style recipes?

7 Must-Read Tips for Whole30 Success

I recently had the chance to do a guest post for the Model Meals blog about my top tips for Whole30 success. You can read the post here!

The team at Model Meals turned my tips into handy graphics – which we wanted to share with you! We hope these help you on your Whole30 journey!

P.S. Model Meals is a non-subscription required, 100% Whole30/Paleo approved, ready-to-eat, meal prep service founded by Whole30 Certified Coach Danika Brysha. They serve Southern California, Northern California, and Phoenix, AZ. Get $25 off when you order $40 in meals using discount code FIRSTORDER.

Move It Monday – At-Home Yoga

In an ideal world, I would get to the gym, to my barre studio, or out for a run every day. I crave movement and feel my best when I get in some form of exercise on the daily.

But, life and work and motherhood happen – and sometimes my only option for movement is to do an at-home workout. And sometimes, my only window for exercise is in the wee hours of the early morning.

I live in a second-floor condo and while I may want to do a workout with lots of cardio and jumping, I try to be a courteous neighbor. Enter at-home yoga! I can move and stretch and sweat – all without disturbing those below me or my sleeping daughter!

For the past five years, I have been a devotee of Jillian Michaels workouts and one of my very favorites is her Yoga Meltdown DVD. This DVD has two workouts – Level 1 and Level 2. While some of the moves are more challenging on Level 2 (crow and wheel), I find Level 1 to be a harder overall workout.

Each workout is about 30 minutes and includes a warm-up and a cooldown. As you flow through poses, Jillian has you “rep them out” (do repetitions of movement in each pose) to get in some cardio in addition to the strength work of yoga.

I use a yoga mat but it’s not necessary to have one as you can do the workouts on any hard surface. No other equipment is needed!

I do these workouts often. So often, that I have pretty much the entire DVD memorized! But I love them! They get the job done when I am short on time and need to be relatively quiet while I exercise.

I also have Jillian’s Yoga Inferno DVD which I don’t do as often (but writing this post is reminding me to get back to this DVD!) The two 30-minute power yoga workouts – which Jillian and her crew do in some sort of desert, wearing sunglasses – are more fast paced than Yoga Meltdown.

The first workout uses body weight along with 30-second cardio intervals. The second workout incorporates light hand weights, “combining traditional resistance moves with classic yoga poses for a dynamic, flowing, and challenging practice.”

These workouts involve some jumping and high-intensity cardio moves so they will definitely have you sweating. But, they’re quick and before you know it, they’re over!

Looking for yoga that’re more portable? Since becoming a Whole30 Certified Coach, I have been introduced to TMAC Fitness, an online workout portal created by former college football player and ACE Certified Personal Trainer Todd McCullough.

For $14.95 a month, TMAC offers a library of 20-minute workouts (Cardio, HITT, Beginner) that you can do anywhere, anytime with no equipment. Recently, he added a handful of yoga workouts and I recently did one (via my laptop) while on vacation.

The workout I did was a 24-minute “Morning Flow” with Belden. It is labeled as “Moderate” in intensity and I found it totally doable. I didn’t sweat like I do during my Jillian yoga workouts but it was a great stretch and an awesome way to move my body without having to get to a yoga studio.

TMAC Fitness offers new subscribers a chance to try a month free – Use code WHOLE30 at checkout! There are no strings – you can cancel if you don’t want to subscribe past the month. We are not an affiliate here, just sharing the love of movement!

Another option for yoga-on-the-go is Yoga with Adriene, who has tons of free yoga workouts on her YouTube channel. I have not tried these workouts yet but they come highly recommended from my friend, fellow Whole30 Certified Coach, and yogi Dolly Sengsavang.

You can tee up these videos on your laptop, tablet, or phone – and get in some yoga wherever you are!

Do you practice yoga? Do you have a favorite at-home yoga workout or DVD?

Whole30 Style Eggs Benedict

Eggs Benedict – Serves one
2 sweet potato waffles, recipe below
2 ounces of Trader Joes Wild Sockeye Smoked Salmon
2 poached eggs
2 Tbsp of Hollandaise Sauce, recipe below

Lay out two sweet potato waffles, side by side, on your plate. Lay about 1 ounce of smoked salmon on each waffle. Top with a poached egg. Spoon a tablespoon (or more!) of Hollandaise sauce over the poached egg and enjoy!

Note: My sweet husband does not eat Whole 30 with me. But when he came out in the kitchen after I made these Eggs Benedict he said, “What? You made something this fancy and you didn’t make it for ME?” hmmmm…. maybe he should begin eating Whole 30 with me!

Sweet Potato Waffles – makes 6 waffles
1 medium sweet potato
2 eggs
Olive Oil for waffle iron

Peel your sweet potatoes. Grate them into a bowl. I use my KitchenAid with the grater attachment. My sweet potato ended up being about 4 cups once it was grated so I added 2 eggs. I usually add one egg per 2 cups of grated sweet potatoes. Heat the waffle iron. Spray with compliant oil. I used Pompeian Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil non-stick cooking spray.

Fill a ½ cup measuring cup with sweet potato mixture. Somewhat pack it. Turn it upside down on the waffle iron. I found that it works better if I keep it in a lump and don’t spread it around. My waffle iron tells me when it’s done. So once the beep sounds, I lift off the waffle with a fork.

Hollandaise Sauce
3 egg yolks
½ lemon
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper
½ cup homemade ghee, recipe below

Put the egg yolks into a pint wide mouth mason jar. Squeeze the ½ of lemon into the jar. Shake a bit of salt and pepper into the jar. Heat up ½ cup homemade ghee until it barely starts simmering. With an immersion blender running in the egg yolk mixture, slowly drizzle the hot ghee into it and blend until all is fully incorporated. Your sauce should be nice and thick and creamy. I found it was easier to heat the ghee up in the microwave in a glass liquid measuring cup so I could drizzle it in more easily with the lip on the glass measuring cup.

Ghee
I place 2 cups of Kerrygold butter into a sauce pan. Heat it up until it begins to boil. Turn it down low and simmer on the stove until the milk solids drop to the bottom of the pan and begin to turn brown. Maybe 10 minutes. I like it JUST when it starts to change color. Strain the milk solids out with a metal strainer lined with several layers of cheesecloth. I store it in my cupboard in an empty store-bought glass ghee container.

Poached Egg
In a small sauce pan, heat water up to a simmer. Add a tsp of vinegar and gently swirl the water in a circle. Break your eggs into a glass custard cup and gently place them in the very center of the swirl of water. The vinegar and the swirling water help keep the eggs together so the eggs don’t spread out in the water. Barely simmer, don’t boil, the eggs for 3-4 minutes. Some people like to turn off the heat once you put your eggs in, put on the lid, and let it sit for 5 minutes. I haven’t done that method.

Vacation 2019 Food Freedom

Earlier this year, I completed my ninth (?) round of Whole30 – a Whole62. It helped me get back to feeling great after a holiday season filled with some sugar, alcohol, and miscellaneous treats. Coming off of the round, I transitioned into a Slow Roll reintroduction, really being mindful in my decisions to eat things that could potentially – to quote Melissa – “mess me up.”

I added back a little sugar (in sauces or commercially-made mayonnaise) and one day, tried a handful of chocolate chips melted on a banana. The chocolate was just so-so and didn’t really feel worth it in the end as my stomach felt a little off and my head felt cloudy the next morning. I also had some Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi, which have compliant ingredients but are not Whole30 due to the SWYPO factor, and I could really take them or leave them.

My reintroduction purposely did NOT include alcohol. I’ve decided that for now (whatever that means), alcohol is not something I need. I much prefer coffee and I look forward to my quiet early mornings when I work and write with a cup of coffee by my side. Alcohol sometimes would get in the way of those early mornings, and right now, isn’t worth it for me.

Fast forward a few weeks: It was time for my annual vacation to Charleston. For the past four years, my daughter and I have gone to this incredible city to visit my parents, who spend the month of March in downtown Charleston.

I was ready to flex my Food Freedom muscles and here’s how I handled my vacation…

Note: My parents rent a house and I have access to a full kitchen. I also have incredibly supportive parents, which is not lost on me.

  • Before my trip, I ordered some of my favorite Whole30 staples from Thrive Market and had them shipped to my parents’ rental house. I made sure I had The New Primal Mustard BBQ sauce, Primal Kitchen ketchup, Fourth & Heart ghee, Thrive Market almond flour, Primal Palate Meat & Potatoes seasoning, and more. This was a game changer and meant I had some basics on hand when I arrived.

  • In my suitcase, I packed a few other favorites including Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel seasoning blend, nutpods, raw cashews, travel packs of collagen peptides, Trader Joe’s Mixed Nut Butter, and Chomps. I also gave my mom a shopping list of a few things to buy, including GT’s kombucha, LaCroix, Whole30 compliant bacon (She picked up Applegate Turkey Bacon), sweet potatoes, eggs, avocado, mixed greens, and ground beef.

  • In the airport on the way to Charleston, our flight was a little delayed so my daughter and I got lunch. I got a burger salad from local chain Wahlburgers and asked them to hold the cheese. I did enjoy the homemade pickles and special sauce, both of which I am sure included sugar. I didn’t stress and enjoyed.

  • The first night in Charleston, I made four beef patties for myself and had one for dinner on a big pile of greens with roasted veggies, avocado, Primal Kitchen ketchup, and The New Primal Mustard BBQ. We also made some roasted vegetables and two batches of my favorite crispy veggies (based on this recipe from Low Carb Yum, using nutritional yeast instead of parmesan cheese.) I ate the rest of the burgers during our stay, rotating with eggs and bacon for breakfasts/lunches. I added veggies to each meal and fresh fruit/nut butter when I needed it.

  • We had one dinner out (my daughter is in an anti-restaurant stage) and I ordered grilled salmon, grilled asparagus and French Fries! They were delish and oh so worth it! I brought my own ketchup and Mustard BBQ sauce and it was nice to have a night off from cooking!

  • One day, I ate one lunch at The New Primal’s HQ during my visit there – blog post on that coming soon! The meal was amazing and made by Whole30 Approved Chef Valerie Skinner of Thyme & Joy. Everything was Whole30 compliant except for the plantain chips – which I enjoy in my Food Freedom without any consequence. Speaking of chips, I also had some Terra sweet potato chips from the plane – just potatoes and oil. These work in my Food Freedom – I can eat, enjoy and move on!

  • The last night we ordered dinner in and I got an ahi tuna salad – hold the wonton chips. The salad had oranges, greens, and cashews. I used a little bit of the dressing and the wasabi sauce that came with it – and called it a day.

  • During the week, we celebrated my mom’s birthday with cake and ice cream. Having store bought cake and ice cream didn’t seem particularly worth it to me because I know sugar makes me feel sick, cranky, and tired – so I passed and sipped some kombucha while my parents and daughter enjoyed.

  • My parents have a nightly glass of red wine. In the past, I would have wine with them some days but this year, it was easy to say no. I had my LaCroix and I was a happy camper!

  • I am an avid exerciser and I know I need my movement to feel focused, strong, and happy. I made sure to move each day and have some time for myself. Three of the mornings I went for a run (and threw in some push-ups and burpees for good measure) and our final morning there, I did a TMAC Fitness yoga workout on my laptop.

  • Lastly, the biggest gift to myself on this trip was SLEEP. I slept more than I have in a long time – and boy, did it feel good! I went to bed early – there were no school lunches to pack or things to do after my daughter went to bed. It was nice to take a little break from the hustle and bustle of the daily grind and I made sure to make sleep a priority.

As I wrote last year in a similar post, this was not a gourmet vacation focused on the incredible food scene of Charleston. It was a chance to rest and recharge for a few days – and despite a few 5-year-old tantrums, it served its purpose. Did it take a little extra work? Of course. But most things that are worth it, do!

In this season of my life, this is my vacation Food Freedom. Will it change and shift in the future? Of course. If this had been a girls’ weekend or a trip for work, things might have been different. For now, I used the tools I’ve learned from my multiple rounds of Whole30 and my past experience with Food Freedom to create a plan that worked for me.

And what did I do at the airport while waiting for our flight home? Meal plan, of course! Onward to a new week at home, filled with a renewed spirit and another notch in my Food Freedom belt.

How do you handle vacations on Whole30 or in your Food Freedom? Do you have strategies to help you enjoy while still feeling your best?

Organizing Your Whole30 Kitchen

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Who’s watched Marie Kondo on Netflix? You? If you haven’t, this tiny powerhouse shows you how to organize your whole home using her KonMari method. I’m a big fan and binged watched the series within a few days–it was worth the late nights. I’ve been purging my house of things that no longer spark joy ever since I watched it. Before, I even finished the series, I ordered her ‘The life-changing magic of tidying up’ book (it’s a must read!).

I’ve been stuck in a bit of a food rut lately where nothing seems to inspire me. Seeing that I’m in the kitchen A LOT cooking, I decided to reorganize my whole kitchen. Tackling my food rut from this angle (how I USE my kitchen) has put the spark back in my cooking. Last year, we replaced our counter tops and built up our back kitchen wall with cabinets and a pantry. I rearranged my kitchen then but looking back, it was nowhere near enough.

With my newly acquired organizational skills, I took a look at my kitchen a month of so ago and, holy cow, I had a lot of stuff. SO. MUCH. STUFF. Does anyone need four olive dishes with a cute little place on the side to put your toothpicks in? I had four. Three spatulas around the same size. Close to 30 mugs? Why? And, why did I own three French Presses, an iced coffee maker, AND a coffee maker? I don’t drink that much coffee!

SCAN YOUR CUPBOARDS/CABINETS

My rapidly decreasing cabinet space could be purged. I found my local Buy Nothing facebook page and offered my three French presses. They were scooped up by a neighbour pretty quickly and I didn’t have to do anything more than set it out on my front porch for them to pick up. I looked at everything. Extra wine glasses, extra mugs, pots and pans that were in my cupboard that I never used, extra tongs that I never used, little gadgets that I bought thinking that I’d used, and you guessed it, never used.

Just opening my cupboards up and taking a hard look at whether or not I needed it, was eye opening. I was storing a lot of stuff. I set out to get rid of it by either donating them, gifting them, or throwing them out. I have some empty cabinet space now…and I still have work to do!

Step two was to get some efficient storage. I got a couple of pull out shelves here. I have some deep cabinets that I’d have to get down and dig through to get a mixing bowl. It’s such a pain in the butt getting things so I found some pull out shelves that have been life changing–I love them! And, I loved that they were super easy to install! These two shelves are perfectly aligned and you’d never know they didn’t come with the new cupboards.

My frying pan storage was a royal pain in the butt. They were all stacked on top of one another and my husband would, and this is annoying, put them in the cabinet when they were not quite dry. I NEEDED a cookware organizer. For the sake of my sanity, I NEEDED this! The pull out shelves and cookware organizers are both from the same company, which I wanted so it would have the same look/feel to it. You can get the pull out cookware organizer here.

SPICES

After I got rid of everything extra and installed the pull outs, I needed to do something quick and easy that felt like a win. All this decluttering and purging is tiring! Reorganizing my spices and seasonings did the trick. I got it done in no time–I got rid of the duplicate spices, the way out of date spices, and almost empty bottles. It’s so great to cook when you can just open a door and grab something! You can see in the first picture how easy everything is to grab. With a couple of spice organizers, found here, I can keep everything nice and neat. Definitely key when you’re cooking as much as you do on Whole30.

FOOD

How does your fridge look right now? Tidy or a holy mess? I won’t lie, mine is always a work in progress. I cleaned it today after it had turned into a bit of a leftover/science experiment. The week got away from me and it had become untidy. I gave it a good clean today and refilled the plastic storage bins I have in the fridge with snacks for the kids and my Whole30 stuff. I’ve found keeping some of my stuff separate in storage bins helps me have what I need on hand and I don’t have to dig around the back of the fridge–just pull out the bin et voila, my stuff is all there!

I also have a shelf dedicated to my Whole30 stuff. Non-compliant stuff doesn’t touch that drawer! My husband has never done a round with me but knows he can grab anything from that shelf and it’s okay to cook with when he’s making a Whole30 meal. Whole30 meals are so easy to cook and I love that he’s willing to grab some almond flour instead of regular flour when cooking for us.

UNCLUTTER YOUR DRAWERS

This was the last thing I wanted to do yet it was once of the most useful things I did. I put it off until I did most of the kitchen. My utensil drawers didn’t need much work but I had a drawer full of all my odds and ends cooking stuff that was just thrown in (I moved the knives there!). Turns out I didn’t need three sets of measuring spoons after all! Everything that I use often is in there–you wouldn’t believe how much use I get out of my citrus squeezer! It’s one of my must have kitchen items!

So, this is how I’ve organized my kitchen so far. It’s a work in progress but, right now, it feels efficient and fun to cook in. I like fun! I feel all chef-like when I have everything at hand and things are organized. It’s also super easy to clean, which is a big plus! Even today, I got rid of a two paper shopping bags of stuff and am continuing to declutter. IT FEELS GREAT!

What are your tips to keeping your kitchen clean?

Move It Monday – A Week in the Life of an Avid Exerciser

My fitness journey began in 1995, when I was 18 years old. I came home from my freshman year of college with an extra 15 pounds and knew I needed to do something about it.

These were the low-fat days LONG before Whole30 so I cleaned up my diet as best as I could per the times (and yes, that included a lot of diet soda – ugh!) and began a regular exercise routine.

I started with power walking, which eventually turned into jogging and then, running. And then eventually yoga, barre, strength training, and so much more!

Fast forward 24 years, 10 marathons, 24 half marathons, a million yoga and barre classes, one stint as a personal trainer and one child later, and here I am at 42 years old! While I no longer run marathons or take regular 90-minute hot yoga classes (I wish I had that kind of time!), movement and almost daily exercise remain a foundation of my life.

To me, moving my body is one of my top four priorities, along with caring for my daughter, prepping healthy food, and focusing on my job. Although I am a busy, working mom with a long commute, I make time to move. It’s not always easy – and sometimes means I work out when I’m not in the mood – but I get it done.

How do I do it? I belong to a gym that’s across the street from my office, which is expensive but worth it for me. At the start of each week, I look at my schedule and plug in workouts like appointments on my calendar. We all know that life happens so sometimes things don’t go as planned but I try to stick with it as closely as possible.

The other key to my success as a regular exerciser is that I get up VERY early. Like 4:30/5 am early – Sometimes I use these hours to move via a DVD at home. Other times I use the early morning to get work and blog stuff done so I have time to get my workout in later in the day. I make every moment count!

Here’s a look back at my movement from last week and a little bit about how I made it happen. On the days I go into work, I walk about 3 miles in my commute and take the stairs up and down to my desk on the 8th floor. If there’s a way to move my body, I will always take it!

Sunday: My daughter was with her dad but nonetheless, I was up at 5 am to meal prep and then worked on decluttering and reorganizing my house from 7-10 am. Before I picked her up, I went to a “Define and Align,” a combo heated yoga and barre class at my local barre studio. Workout done, and then I was back in mom mode!

Monday: We were whacked with a snow storm Sunday night so I didn’t get into work on Monday and missed my usual Body Pump class at the gym. I had all intentions of getting in at-home yoga workout but between getting my work done, caring for my daughter, shoveling, and taking her out sledding with some neighbors, I was spent. I decided that the time I spent out in the snow was my movement for the day and I collapsed into bed at 7:30 pm.

Tuesday: Back to the office today! I went to a lunchtime “Press” class with a colleague. It’s a 45-minute class that builds strength and utilizes a variety of equipment to sculpt all major muscle groups. There’s nothing like feeling strong in the middle of the work day! After the workout, it’s back up the 8 flights of stairs to my desk, where I eat my lunch.

Wednesday: Although I stayed up late on Tuesday night catching up on “The Bachelor,” I got myself to a 6 am barre class at my local studio. It was hard – and just what I needed and wanted to start my day!

Thursday: I was SUPER cranky at work today – so much so, that I almost talked myself out of moving. My colleagues (who know me well!) gave me a little pep talk and I rallied for the gym. I was too late for the Tabata class I was going to take so I did some old school cardio instead – 3.1 miles total, 2.6 miles of running on the treadmill and 0.5 miles on the elliptical. Done and done!

Friday: I exhale a little each Friday because I work from home and I save so much time without my commute. Today, I hit up an express lunchtime barre class at my local barre studio! Onward to the weekend…

Saturday: Saturday was busy for us with Hebrew School for my daughter, chores, errands, and a playdate. I knew that if I didn’t get it in early, my movement wouldn’t get done. I got up and got in a 30-minute Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown workout before my daughter woke up. I’ve had this DVD for five years and I love it. It has two workouts on it and I alternate between them. I get a good sweat and stretch every time and I feel good for the rest of the day when my movement is done!

Sunday: I had all intentions of making a 5:15 pm Community Hot Barre class at my studio (a class with a new instructor that only costs $5 cash!) But, the schedule changed with my daughter and she didn’t go to dinner with her dad as planned.

I did not get up super early for my workout because we turned the clocks ahead (so my usual 5 am would feel like 4 am to me!) and I was up twice in the night with my daughter. It’s also snowing so there will be shoveling in my future today. Tired mama over here!

Mid-morning I decided to get it done and I set my daughter up with a show while I did a workout from Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred DVD. Not my first choice today but I got my movement in and honored my commitment to myself.

How will you move this week? Do you schedule it on your calendar? How do you keep yourself accountable?

Whole30 Crazy Dreams

You’re almost halfway through your Whole30 and you’ve just woken up from one of those crazy Whole30 dreams. Was it real? Did I really eat that chocolate cake…all of it, with a mountain of whipped cream on it? Yep, those crazy dreams can feel SO REAL and we hear about it all the time. We’ve collected some of them for you (we don’t want you to feel alone if you’re dreaming too!).


“I dreamt I ate a bottle of pink cake sprinkles. Not the little bottles you find in the grocery aisles but the 2 pound bottles I had access to as a cake decorator. I ate it all. I was so devastated when i woke up. Feel free to use my whole name”. – Julie Allen (full name!)

“Not exactly on topic but I dreamed I DIDN’T ruin it because my husband was putting mustard on chocolate, so that was gross and not one bit tempting.” – Kat I.

“I had a dream that I was eating a chocolate chip cookie and after eating about half of it decided to look at the ingredient list and was shocked to find that my chocolate chip cookie had sugar and flour and non-compliant ingredients in it. I woke up feeling so sad until I remembered it was a dream.” – Larissa F.

“I kept dreaming that I ruined it by eating chips and salsa. The third time, I realized it was a dream, and didn’t freak out. I woke up, heard a crinkle in the bed next to me, rolled over… and there was a bag of chips! OMG! How did they even get in my house? Did I sleepwalk to get them? How did I get downstairs? Then I REALLY woke up. Inception, Whole 30 style!” – Kristen Y.

“I have been on a round since last Friday and have had a recurring dream about going out for Chinese food and eating a whole order of crab Rangoon’s and having to call Kelsey M. to tell her I had to restart my round.” – Annya M.

“I dreamt I was at a party and accidentally ate something that wasn’t compliant and started spitting it out in the sink. Everyone was staring at me, I was trying explain to them it wasn’t compliant.” – Amanda G.

“In my dream, my in-laws invited us over for a Whole30 dinner. My MIL served us a lovely salad with a hamburger in a lettuce wrap. I took a huge bite of the burger only to find she’d stuffed it with cheese. CHEESE.When I was like “WTF?”, she shrugged and said “Oh, it’s only a little dairy!” I woke up so angry at my poor, innocent mother-in-law!” – Jennifer N.

“I dreamt about being a hawk.” – Kelly L. (A compliant hawk, I wonder! – Jenny)

“I dreamed I ate apple pancakes with syrup and scrambled eggs with cheese for breakfast. Then was so mad at myself for blowing it! I was so relieved when I woke up!” – Pamela B.

“Eating a mouthful of Cap’n Crunch cereal and spitting it out horrified that I slipped up and ate a pancake and woke up completely beside myself thinking I had ruined it.” – Kelly L.

“I dreamed my friend handed me a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch with milk and whip cream on top and I ate it. And then thought, OMG, I’m doing Whole30, I can’t eat this! And woke up. This was my first night of my first round.” – Morgan S.

“I dreamt I was eating cupcake after cupcake, all while thinking ‘damn it now I have to start over, might as well have another!’ And just inhaling them. Then I woke up.” – Megan S.

“In my dream, I took a bite of a chocolate covered maraschino cherry (which I don’t like at all) and woke up very upset that I broke my Whole30 round with something that was SO not worth it! Also, I dreamed I took a bite of a moldy, crusty slice of white bread.” – Rebecca S.

“I had a dream where I was eating a bagel I found under the seat of my car. I didn’t know how old it was…just that is was a bagel from “Bagel World.” If you are from my area, you know how good those are. I was driving down the road, sneaking it in before I picked my daughter up from school. Then I realized, “wait! I can’t have bagels!!! I was on day 10! Now I have to start over!” It was so vivid!!! Reminded me of the sneaking cigarette dream when I quit!” – Phyllis S.

“I dreamed there was a zombie apocalypse and I was freaking out…because of my lack of access to compliant foods…” – Cathy T.

“Last night, I had a dream I ruined by Whole30 by having a protein shake. A PROTEIN SHAKE OF ALL THINGS! I don’t even like them!” – Jen S.

and, last but not least….

“I had a dream the other night that the new leather boots I was wearing were not Whole30 compliant and I had to start over again. Day 15. It’s fine. I’m fine. Everything is fine.” – Kate B.

What was your craziest Whole30 dream? Leave us a comment.

Spinach, Mushroom & Onion Meatloaf

This is an easy and flavorful meatloaf recipe that is comfort food at its finest. It’s so tasty – There’s no need to add gravy or douse with ketchup or other sauces. And the best part is – You get two meals for the effort of one! Make one today and freeze one for later!

Spinach, Mushroom & Onion Meatloaf
(Makes approximately two 1-lb. loaves or one 2-lb. loaf.)

INGREDIENTS:
2 lbs. ground meat (I use 1 lb. ground chuck and 1 lb. ground pork)
10 ounces frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/3 c. onion, finely diced
1 c. mushrooms, finely diced
2/3 c. carrots, shredded
2 jumbo eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 c. almond flour (see notes)
1-2 T. house seasoning (see below)

DIRECTIONS:
Thaw spinach and squeeze out excess water. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients well. Take care to not overwork mix.

Freezer Instructions:
You can make one 2-lb. loaf or two 1-lb. loaves. I like to prep two loaves to freeze. For this, place plastic wrap in two 1-qt. baking pans/casserole dishes and divide the mixture evenly. Place the loaves in the freezer and freeze for 1 to 2 hours. Remove from freezer and remove from pans. Wrap in aluminum foil, freezer wrap, or place in freezer bags. Label and return to freezer. To prepare, remove one meatloaf from freezer and allow to thaw in refrigerator.

To Bake:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake 40 minutes or until meat thermometer reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Remove from oven and let rest 5 minutes.

NOTES: I make my own almond flour by processing whole almonds in the food processor until it resembles slightly coarse flour.

You can also use ground chicken or ground turkey in this recipe. Adjust cook time for leaner meats. This meat mixture also makes tasty meatballs.

You can use an all-purpose seasoning blend of your choice but I highly recommend my flavorful blend.

**Kelly’s House Seasoning**

4 t. sea salt
1 t. black pepper
1/2 t. onion powder
1/4 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. rosemary
1/2 t. thyme
1/2 t. paprika
1/8 t. cayenne
1/2 t. dill
1 t. parsley

Combine all ingredients together and store in airtight container. Stir before using as settling occurs.

This seasoning is so good on everything! Beef, pork, chicken, seafood, veggies! Make it rain!