Welcome!Hey there! I'm Holly. A 40+ year old insurance-nerd wife, mom, beauty lover, and about a million other things in between. This is the place where I share about our lives, what I'm currently loving, books I'm reading, plus-size style, beauty recommendations, health + fitness endeavors and anything else I'm finding interesting at the moment. Thanks for stopping by!
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Category Archives: Whole 30
The first week of Whole 30 I just went with a basic frittata. Frittatas are easy, portable (which is great during the work week), and can pack an awesome flavor/nutrient punch depending on what you put in them. This week I made mine with chorizo, onions, kale, black olives and spices. I thought I had the perfect combo and was totally excited to make it, then I popped it in the oven and promptly FORGOT TO SET THE TIMER.
More than an hour later Garrett asked me why the oven was on and I almost started crying! All of that work! All of those ingredients! Overcooked and unusable! (I am skeeved out by overcooked eggs.) But it turns out, this frittata might even taste BETTER overcooked. The kale edges got super crispy, and overall it was awesome!
I’ve been on a little bit of a chorizo kick lately (clearly) and so I decided to try my hand a deconstructed Jambalaya. Shrimp and spices cooked in ghee mixed with chorizo and served over cauliflower dirty rice. IT WAS GREAT! So great we had it again a couple nights later. 🙂
There has also been taco salad because OF COURSE THERE’S BEEN TACO SALAD. This is me we are talking about. Can’t Stop/Won’t Stop.
One of my favorite things I’ve been eating though has been tuna salad with pepper “chips.” I really like crunch with my tuna and sometimes celery isn’t enough. My favorite thing to have with tuna is some tamari rice crackers but obviously those are off limits. Desperate for MOAR CRUNCH the other day, I grabbed a pepper and sliced it into scoops. Totally worked!
And that’s most of the highlights!
Today started our second full week on the Whole 30, and as promised I’m sharing what we spend each week on groceries. (You can find our Week One list right here, where we spent a total of $65.66.)
Last week, in addition to that haul, I did go to the store to buy a red bell pepper which cost me a whopping $2.08 (in addition to two hours of my life) so I really tried to ensure that I wouldn’t have to make a second trip this week. I went to three stores (eep!) but we needed a good variety of stuff and I try to shop at the store that sells the products we buy for the cheapest price.
For breakfast this week I made breakfast boxes as per usual (example of what I’m talking about here) and filled them with roasted brussels sprouts, hard boiled eggs (ugh, peeling egg shells!) and made my own sausage. (Link stolen from Beth who has a great blog you should totally check out.)
For lunches I made a huge batch of Paleo Minestrone for me and for Garrett I made boxes filled with roasted kale and Trader Joe’s grass fed beef burgers.
Dinners, again, will be a mix of protein and veg that I’ll document on Instagram, but I did make a batch of Rogan Josh and Greek Beef Stew because we picked up some stew meat. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Here’s how all the shopping broke down:
I loaded up on produce at Trader Joe’s because they have some things I enjoy (shredded brussles, what what!) and some convenience stuff that is still compliant. (WOOT!) Here’s a list of what we got:
Zucchini, Squash, 8 Vegetable Mix, Mushrooms, Shredded Brussels Sprouts, Curry Simmer Sauce, Cabbage, Kale, Leeks, Cauliflower, Garlic Sauce, Apples, GrassFed Burgers (Frozen), Ground Turkey, Salsa, Guacamole, Olives, Spaghetti Squash, Butternut Squash, Jalapenos, Snow Peas, Bananas
Trader Joe’s Total: $80.13
While I was at Trader Joe’s I sent Garrett to Costco with a list. Unfortunately it was not specific enough (you know how this goes sometimes, right ladies? :)) So we generally buy the Organic Ground Beef from Costco which is about $4.99/lb and comes 4.5 lbs to a package.
I guess Garrett wasn’t paying attention because he came home with regular ground beef. No big deal. This is as good of a time as any to point out that Whole 30 isn’t only about buying the most expensive meat and produce you can find.
I think sometimes people have the misunderstanding that Whole 30 means you must buy the absolutely best and cleanest possible ingredients. Sure, that would be great, but that’s not always in everyone’s budget. Here’s a handy dandy guide to what is Good-Better-and-Best that I’ve found helpful in the past. If you want to try a Whole 30 but think you can’t afford expensive produce and meat, I’d definitely take a look at that.
This week we’ll just drain the fat off the ground beef and roll with it.
We also picked up stew meat, eggs and brussels sprouts.
Costco Total: $57.01
WEEK TWO GRAND TOTAL: $137.14
As you can see we had to stock up on some protein this week so we spent more than last week, which is reasonable. We will probably have to do this a bit next week as well because last week we finished up our shrimp and andouille sausage stash. We still have a few packages of chicken thighs, but after that our freezer meats are basically used up.
So far for two weeks worth of Whole 30 grocery shopping we’ve spent $204.88, which seems mighty reasonable to me for 40+ meals. That’s all for this week. Hope this has been helpful in some way!
Welcome to my first Whole 30 Grocery Haul!
I love seeing what staples other people buy at the grocery store so I thought it might be fun to share mine while we are doing this Whole 30. More fun — I’ll show you how much we spent. I shared how I save money doing a Whole 30 yesterday so I thought I’d also show you throughout the month what the actual spending looks like.
A few things to note:
*We had some veggies I wanted to use up this week (zucchini, green beans, squash, baby carrots and a head of cauliflower and a bag of kale) and the freezer was pretty full of protein so I meal planned this week to use what we had on hand.
*For breakfast we’re eating frittatas with chorizo, kale and black olives. For lunches I made chili. For dinners, it’s just meat and veg every night in different varieties. I’ll try and share some meals over on Instagram so you can see specifically what we’re eating.
*As we go through the month we’ll DEFINITELY buy more protein, so don’t worry — I didn’t just stock up on protein the week before we started tracking and then am all of a sudden going to be like “See…wee only spend a few dollars.” No ma’am. We’ll definitely need to buy ground beef next week for sure and I’m sure at the end of the month we’ll still have usable stuff in the freezer, so you’ll see how all of that balances out at the end.
*As for pantry/freezer stock other than protein, I always have cans of tuna, cooking fats, and random bags of frozen veggies for when we need quick meals. I may or may not have to restock those things during the course of the month, but I’d be restocking them regardless of a Whole 30 so I don’t think it will be a huge budget swing.
*At the end of the month maybe I’ll get real crazy and break down our spending by veg/protein/fat and give you a price per meal.
So after all that — here’s what we bought.
Potatoes (YESSSS! This is our first Whole 30 since potatoes got the green light!)
What we spent: $35.28
Hard Boiled Eggs
Green + Yellow Peppers
What we spent: $30.38
WEEK ONE GRAND TOTAL: $65.66
Last Saturday I put together a meal plan for this month’s Whole 30 and headed off to Whole Foods and Raleys (our local supermarket) to pick up some groceries for this week’s eats. I find it super helpful to have a meal plan so I can make sure I have all the ingredients I will need on hand to cook all of my meals.
SIDEBAR ON MEAL PLANNING: I loosely schedule my meals on certain days based on what’s going on with work (long days = crock pot meals) or my workouts (evening workouts = quick meals where morning workouts allow for more time consuming dinners) but I’m not militant about it.
For example, I may schedule Taco Salad on Monday but if I get home and am more in the mood for coconut lime shrimp, it’s easy to change things up on the fly because I have ensured I have all the ingredients on hand because I made a meal plan, ya know? There’s nothing worse than getting home from a long day at work, starting to cook a dinner that sounds good and then missing an ingredient. UGH!
Anyway, I mentioned last week that when we do a Whole 30 we usually spend less money on food. Some of you seemed surprised by that, so I thought I’d share a few of the reasons why:
1. I’m not buying any booze.
It’s not like during the other 335 days a year we are going bankrupt on the booze aisle or anything, but usually on the weekends we’ll mix up a specialty cocktail or grab a bottle of wine that looks good and is on sale at the grocery store. These little things add up, and I don’t do this type of impulse purchasing at all when we are doing a Whole 30.
2. I’m not buying snack/treat type foods
When doing a Whole 30 those Hail Merry Macaroons don’t seem to mysteriously hop in my Whole Foods cart like they do at times when I’m perusing the store. I am not tempted to pick up Glutino crackers and Cambezola on a Friday night as a little appetizer and I’m not keeping my favorite Krave (super awesome gluten free) Jerky around the house for snacking. There’s nothing wrong with those foods in moderation, but over 30 days, my spending on fancy cheese definitely decreases.
3. I’m not eating as much and not feeding my cravings
In real life, as I let sugar sneak into my diet here and there, I find that I need to snack every few hours. Generally when doing a Whole 30, because I’m very focused on balancing an abundance of vegetables, meat and healthy fats I feel very satiated. I literally find that about 10-12 days in I’m even eating smaller portions. Our food literally stretches further and I’m not craving a snack a couple of hours after I eat. All of those things have a downstream effect on our food budget.
4. We eat out less
This one sort of speaks for itself. We actually don’t eat out too often anyway, but a lunch here or there at work, weekend dinners when we don’t feel like cooking — all of that adds up.
Anyway, with all that in mind, I thought it might be fun to document our grocery spending this month so you can see what we spend where. Tomorrow I’ll post our first Whole 30 Grocery Haul — what we shelled out and what we brought home. I thought this might be a fun peek inside our grocery habits this month and may give you some encouragement if you are afraid to do a Whole 30 just because you think it will cost a million dollars. We’ll see how it goes!
Happy February! And for us, Happy Whole 30!
We did watch the Super Bowl on Sunday but I’ll get to that in a minute. Let’s rewind back to Friday, shall we? I don’t know about you but when I was young Friday night was my favorite night of the week. I was always excited because it was a fun night to go out and it was the start of the weekend.
These days on Friday nights I usually work out, head home, cook dinner and then all I can think about is how comfy my couch is! Garrett sent my mom this photo on Friday night around 9pm and just captioned it #MyFridayNight — Clearly Buster and I are PARTY ANIMALS!
Saturday I was up bright and early to hit up a 7 am spin class and to get all my errands done. I’ve had “Wash Car” on my To Do List for weeks but I just hadn’t gotten it done so on Saturday I was determined. I ran around most of the afternoon grocery shopping and doing other random things so when I got home I decided I would take advantage of a decadent Saturday afternoon and get in bed and read. Buster and I accidentally ended up taking naps though. NO REGRETS!
Buster and I love sleep like Buddy the Elf loves smiling
Saturday night we had an official date night. My friend Sarah was performing at her graduation from an improv class she’s been taking. How bad ass is that? She is quick witted and completely hysterical, so improv totally suits her.
Sarah explaining how she’d been thrown into Mall Jail for being 31 but shopping at Forever 21. Funny friends are the best friends, I tell ya!
Afterward we headed down the street to a very hipester-y joint called LowBrau for dinner where I had to order one of the things they are famous for — the Dirty Duck Fries. They are epic. And why not wash them down with some mini-corn dogs?
#EatDirty #DirtyEats #WaitWhenIsMyWhole30
Sunday was another early morning Spin class. Garrett + I have been enjoying weekend spin classes at a studio that is literally 5 minutes from our house. It’s just kind of a fun way to wake up on the weekends and sneak in a quick calorie burner. Which, ya know, comes in handy on Super Bowl Sunday. 🙂 Did you guys watch?
We were rooting for the Patriots mostly because we are 49ers fans which means we absolutely COULD NOT root for the Seahawks – sorry Seattle friends! The other thing tipping the scales in the Patriots’ favor is Gronk.
But aside from the game I was also interested in the halftime show and the commercials (duh!) Watching Katy Perry made me realize how limited your performance options are if you are a pop star who can’t dance. That must be kind of hard. But bringing Missy Elliot back was the highlight of the show I thought. She’s my fave! (This BuzzFeed post about her made me laugh.)
As for the commercials, I thought they were mostly fun. I was really excited to see the Nationwide commercials (since that’s my company) but haaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! I guess they are really testing out the theory that there is no bad press. I’m interested to see what work is like today. 🙂
How were your weekends? Do anything fun? How did you feel about the Super Bowl/Halftime show/Commercials? Do tell….
*We’re doing a February Whole 30. I know I told you that in the title, but you know — I thought I’d just reiterate for clarity. 🙂
*Well, a Whole 30+. We are going to start in February and go until March 9. What is March 9, you ask? Our engagement photos. And the second we set the date Garrett was like “Hey, let’s Whole 30!” ha! He says he feels chubby. He is NOT chubby.
*Upside though, is I like the idea of feeling bright eyed and being clear skinned in those photos and all, so I agreed. Knowing my luck I’ll still wake up the day of with a giant, visible blemish.
*Sidebar: Do you think there is a wedding planning gene? If so, mine clearly has a mutation. My mom said to me the other day that this wedding I am planning almost seemed like a second job. And YES, MOTHER YOU ARE CORRECT! It totally is! Except instead of getting paid I get to PAY OTHER PEOPLE. #grumble
*So, I know there are people out there who use Whole 30 as a diet (ahem, Garrett – YOU’RE BUSTED!) which is all controversial and stuff, but I promise you I am not doing that. What I am making no secret of doing though, is using the Whole 30 as a budgeting tool. We always spend SO MUCH LESS on groceries when we do a Whole 30 and since groceries are one of our biggest expenses it’s always something that shows a noticeable return. After making deposits on all sorts of wedding related crap and a MUCHO EXPENSIVO trip to the vet with Buster, February seemed like a GREAT time to just Whole 30 that shit up! YAY. More money to spend on a wedding! #grumblegrumble
*Tangentially related: I’m thinking about jumping on the What I Ate Wednesday bandwagon. I actually don’t think it is a bandwagon at all, but you know what I mean — sharing some everyday photos of what I’ve been eating. I like the idea for accountability (this is where people who don’t blog are like — YOU TAKE PICTURES OF YOUR FOOD? whut? WHY?) But also to inspire a little creativity in the kitchen.
*Oh! Oh! And this is my other reason for doing a Whole 30 — I find when I have parameters to work within, I am SO MUCH MORE creative. This makes me sound RULL SQUARE. But alas, it is true! Right now I’m in a bit of a cooking rut. We’re having good meals, but I’m not like, excited or jazzed about too many of them. It’s just kind of the Greatest Hits on repeat. I am someone who likes cooking to be a creative outlet and usually when I do a Whole 30 I get jazz-hands-obnoxious about recipes and trying new things. Also there’s the added bonus that about 15 days in even super boring/plain food tastes AMAZEBALLS (yeah, I just used that word) because my taste buds are back to normal.
*But let’s be honest, some weeks it is hard enough for me to even just get here and post bullet pointed lists of my thoughts. So to remember to be creative in the kitchen, take pictures and post them once a week may be a tad ambitious. We shall see.
Anyone else doing a February Whole 30?
In the past month:
*We’ve found out a friend had cancer and had surgery
*We’ve found out a family member had cancer and had surgery
*We’ve found out that family member needed more surgery
*We’ve had an immediate member of our family have a stroke
*I’ve been assigned to a new position at work, so I am wrapping up loose ends with the old one and transitioning to the new one
In the past week:
*I’ve written a check that is 3 times the size of our rent to the IRS
*Buster has been the sickest he’s ever been which meant not a lot of sleep for us, and a significant amount of hand wringing about what to do
*He’s been to the vet twice, requiring both of us to rearrange our work schedules and to rely on my mom to help watch him
*We’ve spent our vacation fund that we were planning to use on a quick getaway on tests to help us more accurately diagnose what is going on with our dog baby
I was doing fine with all of this until about Wednesday night. Day 24 of our Whole 30, by the way, which frankly is probably why had been in a pretty good mental space despite all of the stuff going on. It had been a long day, and our second trip to the vet and honestly I was just feeling all of the feelings. My solution? Frozen yogurt for dinner. And you know what? It worked. :)It was 80 degrees, we ate outside with Buster who was showing signs of feeling better and we coasted over that mid-week hump. Last night we got together with friends and there was crackers and blue cheese with chunks of honey comb and whole roasted branzino and artichokes with aioli and wine (oh the wine!) and fresh ravioli. And then for dessert the most darling little glasses of strawberry coconut panna cotta paired with white riesling and it honestly couldn’t have been less Whole 30 approved.
And it was FABULOUS. The friends, the conversation, the dogs all playing together in the backyard — it was just what the doctor ordered. But also, in an effort to be transparent, the indulgence was about 6 days ahead of schedule. 🙂
I’ve felt too great over the last few weeks to really deviate (MAN! If only they could bottle the Whole 30 Tiger Blood feeling) so I plan to just get right back to it. Maybe not an official Whole 30, but I’ve just been making too much progress and feeling too bright eyed and bushy tailed to let much crap sneak back into the kitchen. We’ve got a lot going on in our personal lives these days, and my favorite gift to give myself is to make sure I’m eating in a way that will help support me mentally and physically.
We’re busting out the grill this weekend and probably going to go a little nuts. What’s cooking over there in your neck of the woods?
Can you help?
You see, I don’t actually understand how time works.
For starters, HOW THE HELL IS IT THURSDAY ALREADY? This baffles me.
Fair Warning: I think I might be cranky. This is a phase, right? I think this is a phase. 🙂
The Upside? I’m on Day Four of my Impromptu Whole 30 and I’ve hardly even realized that it started! Only 26 days to go.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA :::HEADDESK::: That calculation didn’t really motivate me. Re-do!!
In reality though, it’s going surprisingly fine. The only reason I can cobble together for this is that my attitude about this is very relaxed. Maybe there’s something to that, eh? For example Monday night we had corned beef, carrots and brussels sprouts for dinner. Corned beef is not photogenic at all really, but I assure you she’s a true beauty on the inside! 🙂 But my corned beef — as hippie as she was — did contain Sodium Lactate. I imagine that is not “approved” but I had purchased it for St. Patty’s Day before I decided on this impromptu Whole 30 and I wasn’t going to let it go to waste or deter me from getting started.
(It’s okay, you can give me partial credit in your minds if you want and count this as a Whole 29 if you want, I won’t stop you.)
While I don’t plan on eating any other questionable things in the next month, I didn’t let that tiny deviation freak myself out into postponing and hey look at that, now we are more than 10% of the way done. Cool.
So, I mentioned that I would be posting pictures on Instagram and stuff — because what the hell is Instagram even for if not to post pictures of delicious food I’m about to eat — but I think I have only maybe posted one. This one:
The thing is, this is what I’ve eaten for breakfast the last 4 days, and I made the executive decision that you don’t need to see that 4 times in a row. Sure I could jazz it up a little and change my filter or something, but I’m not feeling at my most creative with respect to photo composition when at 6am, so one picture will have to do for now.
The other reason I think the first 4 days have flown by is that I’ve had Real Life Things going on that have made the “What’s for dinner” question feel very rudimentary and just sort of noise going on in the background, ya know? Work is taking up a lot of brain space for me right now, I’m in the middle of doing my taxes and it’s not going well (grumble), and then yesterday was what would have been my Dad’s 60th birthday.
THAT was a bit of an emotional land mine. I thought about writing a post yesterday, but for some reason I just couldn’t. (Here’s the one I wrote last year.) Part of it, is that he was so youthful when he died — in age and in spirit — and it is hard to believe he would have been 60 years old. Time is just an oddity, I tell ya. And I definitely just went ahead and had all of the feelings yesterday. Sorry I didn’t leave any leftovers for you. 🙁
So like I said, the upside is that in the context of everything that is going on in life, this Whole 30 is feeling pretty easy. Everything is relative, yes?
According to this though, I’m about to get to the murder/suicide/nap phase:
I may already be approaching that, frankly.
In fact, you know what, a nap sounds pretty damn good right now. See y’all when I wake up!
I was painting my nails on Saturday and noticed they were sort of splitting and chipping and generally making for a gnarly looking manicure. AND WE CAN’T HAVE A GNARLY MANICURE NOW, CAN WE?
I know, it probably sounds a little nuts but I remembered back to every Whole 30 I’ve done and one of the most notable things that always happens is my nails end up looking fantastic. So — hey, superficial goals for the win!
My other superficial goal? Get back my May 2012 shoulders. Ooooooh, and get rid of my back fat. Yes, that too! Sadly, some of those goals will take more than 30 days, but all of these silly superficial goals have one thing in common: They require my nutrition to be dialed in tight. So why not a Whole 30?
I quickly glanced at the calendar on Saturday and it didn’t appear we had no major boozing holidays on the books over the next 30 days (sorry, just being real, that is always the toughest part of Whole 30 for me) so I decided, “Why put it off, let’s start Monday!”
I’ve written before about how to make your Whole 30 a success and I’ll have you know right now I have taken none of my own advice (that’s not completely true — my mindset is pretty determined) but I am not prepared at all. I don’t have a great meal plan or any fabulous new recipes to get excited about, but I have a fridge full of meat and veggies so I know it can be done.
Seriously, GETCHA SOME!
Impulse Whole 30s are the new black.
Follow along if you like!
Any chance you’re doing one?
Today is Day 14 of our Whole 30! I can’t believe we are just about half way there. I haven’t said too much about it because it hasn’t felt super noteworthy this time around. Maybe the third time really is the charm? 🙂
We both miss booze (what else is new?) but beyond that, Garrett and I are feeling really good. We’ve been eating REALLY well, and part of that is because it summer and there are so many great fruits and vegetables in season. But the other contributor is that I have made time to plan/make some super delicious food!
I thought I would share some of my favorites:
The Good Old Standbys
*Taco Salads (although I use a Whole 30 compliant dressing)
Recipes I Had Forgotten About But Will Now Be RESSURECTING Even When Whole 30 is Over
New Recipes I Tried This Time Around That Turned Out AWESOME
Blackened Shrimp Lettuce Wraps (I just used the spice rub from this recipe and just sauteed them on high heat in ghee)
I continue to learn this over and over again when I do the Whole 30, but it is amazing how good simple food can taste. We’re eating good and feeling good, and I’m not sure there is much more we could ask for.
(Uh, besides a glass of wine, obvs.)