Give it a TRI: Why I’m doing the Whole 30 & Beginner Tips

It’s no secret I’ve had my issues with food.


For half my life food was the enemy, the other half an annoying necessity. Years of dieting had tainted me on food programs, and fads {can we say Atkins}. Plans that are never for the long term, and are more about eating weird thing with extreme limitations than about creating a lifestyle.


A healthy lifestyle – that’s what I was looking for.


I stuck to my workout schedule, tried to eat clean, but really my eating habits were still pathetic. Cereal became a food group, and spoonfuls of peanut butter were justified “protein” fixes. I had read about Paleo and the Whole 30, but quickly dismissed it as another fad, and the same with being gluten-free. “Oh, I can’t eliminate whole food groups,” I lamented. “That would truly trigger my anorexia again.”


Life went on, and I didn’t think about it again. Until…


October, the night before we had went to a haunted house. I remember that evening my scalp and chest were horribly itchy. I attributed it heat rash, and tried not to scratch it. By mid November, it had snowed and I soon realized my rash, which was still very prevalent, wasn’t just a seasonal allergy.


Whole 30

On top of the rash, I was experiencing extreme swelling in my fingers, ankles and face, my weight began to shoot up. I gained at least 5 – 7 pounds in a week, and went from 130 to 150 from October to December even with a bout of stomach flu. Something was very wrong.


A doctor’s visit ruled out RA and an autoimmune disorder, so I was sent to dermatology. They were kind of concerned about rash, especially when I showed them the large bruise I had acquired from scratching so fiercely. Biopsies were taken and more blood work done, and still nothing.


“It’s just an allergic reaction,” said the doctor. “Take two Zyrtec a day, and eventually it will go away.” They also attributed the weight gain to my antidepressant.


After a month of taking Zyrtec and falling asleep at my desk, I said “screw this”, and decided to take matters into my own hands.


It was time to heal my body and the first place to start was with my diet.


Enter the Whole 30.


I’m on day 9, and have seen miracles happen, on a physical, mental and emotional level. {more on that later}


I’ve also learned a thing or two.


As a newbie starting the Whole 30 wasn’t without its challenges.


Here’s a few of Whole 30 Newbie Lessons you need know before you begin your journey.



1. Don’t start the Whole 30 right before a big event, like a tailgate party or Christmas with your family.

I did and it was hell. Sitting in a restaurant while everyone else ate pizza was a type of torture I never want to experience again.


2. Planning makes everything better.

I scoffed taking a day on the weekend to meal prep, but I soon realized that the more I did on the weekend the less likely I was to stray from the plan. Also, my crockpot has been my new best friend.


3. Eating real food is expensive.

It took a $250 grocery bill for me to realize that shopping around and buying meat on sale is how you can afford to eat healthy. Also, buy a Costco membership and then split groceries with a friend, you will thank me when stock your fridge for two weeks on only $100.


4. Speaking of friends, you will need one.

I couldn’t do this plan without the help and support of my friend Ashli. She’s like my Whole 30 sponsor. When I almost made Paleo pancakes she talked me off the edge and made sure I didn’t have SWMPO. We’ve also been trading recipes, which helps with the meal planning and boredom.


5. A positive attitude is everything.

Vegetables are my nemesis, and eating anything green even ice cream gives me the creeps. However, I went into the Whole 30 with a goal to heal my body, and with that positive attitude and open-mindedness I’ve been successful so far. If you are fighting it too hard, then maybe you aren’t ready. I compare it to an alcoholic who is going to AA, you have to WANT to help yourself or you’re not going to be successful.


As I mentioned, day 9 is here and it’s been good so far {see that positive attitude}.


There are good days and bad days.


Good days are energy filled, sleep filled and peace filled.


Bad days are sleepy, grouchy and anxious.


However, I’m hoping as I continue there will be more good and less bad in store for me.


Only 21 days left to go.






Favorite recipes so far include:

Sweet Potato, Apple, Pancetta Hash from Gutsy by Nature
{modified with compliant bacon, and nutmeg instead of sage}


Smokey Bacon Chicken Thighs from Our Paleo Life


Mocha Rubbed Pot Roast from Stupid Easy Paleo


Have you done the Whole 30?

Do you want to try?

I’d love to hear your story.

Mom Style Files: Cold Weather Cute

Cold Weather Cute


It’s snowing.


Large flakes that by morning will add up to seven inches or so the weather man says. I’ve lived in Iowa my whole life, this isn’t my first snowstorm, and dressing for winter weather is second nature to me. However, dressing stylish in winter…well, that’s a little different.


I have two winter coats.


My favorite, I’ve mentioned before, the vintage bright green pea coat from my Grandmother. Over the years it’s taken a beating and this year I finally had to retire it, until I can get the lining and the buttons mended.


Vintage Wool Coat


In the meantime, I wore winter coat number two, A Columbia parka from my college days. You know the kind with a zip-out lining, so it’s two coats in one. It’s a fully functioning coat. However, it looks more at home on the ski slopes or a football stadium than the morning commute to work.


Winter Coat


It was time for a new coat.


My cold-weather uniform needed an update.


I’m sure we’ve all said, “It’s about being warm, not necessarily looking stylish.” But seriously, shouldn’t we be able to have both.


A girl should be able to look adorable no matter what the temperature, or if she has hat hair.


This month’s Mom Style Files, Cold Weather Cute, will help you {and me} find adorable outwear that we’ll want to wear through summer.


Are you a mom and a fashionista?

I’d love to feature you on Mom Style Files, just email me at RedheadReverie{at}gmail{dot}com

Scenes from My Life: Good Bye 2014

In less than 24 hours the ball will have dropped and the New Year will begin. I’ve always used this time to reflect and reminisce on the past year, specifically my One Word.


2014’s One Word was Intentional, preceeded by Grow and Harmony.


As I pondered 2014 there were so many moments where I strived to live intentionally, and succeeded. There were also a few missed opportunities.


Every waking moment, decision or turn on my life path was made with intentional perspective. I learned to say “no” on more than one occasion, and I also found my voice when life’s negativity threatened my intentional living.


Intentional One Word 2014


The biggest lesson I learned was to grant myself Grace when life is busy. There were times when my choices had to go in one direction, and my heart wanted to go another.


Triathlon training was more difficult this year, because of this reason. However, I quickly learned that a PR didn’t matter when compared to the “good luck” phone messages from my husband and kiddos.


Late summer brought about more challenges. I knew I couldn’t conquer them on my own, and tough decisions were made. Living intentionally gave me the courage I needed to make the best choice for my family and me.


I have no idea what 2015 holds, but I do know that Intentional Living will be an integral part.


As for my 2015 One Word?


Well, you will just have to tune in tomorrow to find out.


Happy New Year!

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