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January 19, 2017

My Feature in The Kitchn: 6 Ways to Deal with Cravings During Whole30

Hi hi! I’m thrilled to say that my first (and hopefully not only, ha!) article in The Kitchn is live. I was so excited when they asked if I’d contribute to their Whole30 series and I’ve been so anxious to see it go up. You can read my article below, or check out on The Kitchn.


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Anytime someone asks me about my Whole30 experience, they always want to know, Was it worth it? Without hesitation I immediately respond, Yes. A month of eating whole, unprocessed foods was life-changing. I firmly believe that doing Whole30 completely transformed my way of eating. I am a much happier, smarter eater after this challenge and I recommend that everyone try it! And that’s not me being dramatic.

On the other hand, I was plenty dramatic during the actual experience. Wait, no sugar? No treats immediately after dinner? But what about my sweet tooth? Why is it aching for dessert that I “need” so badly? What’s going to happen to me?

It wasn’t just sugar cravings either: At times, I found my body craving foods like never before. Sometimes, I craved foods simply out of habit; other times I craved foods I didn’t even usually eat!

The ups and downs caused by the physical changes happening within the first few days caused some serious hanger. I often felt like I was riding an emotional roller coaster. Here’s how I learned to deal.

6 Ways to Deal with Cravings During Whole30

1. Take note of what you’re craving.

Is it something salty? Sweet? Write it down. The best thing I did during Whole30 (besides meal prep like a champ!) was write down everything I ate — everything. While this may seem tedious at first, it’s great to look back on your journal and connect the dots between what you’ve eaten and how you felt. It’s also a great way to review your progress and give yourself a pat on the back.

2. Record when your cravings happen.

Recognize if you crave candy immediately after a meal (a thing for many people), if it comes after several hours of not eating, or whether it’s a certain time of day. After you’ve figured out when your cravings typically hit, make a plan on how to beat them. Realize it’s that 3 p.m. slump? Keep a container of almonds in your desk drawer. Got a hankering for chocolate right after dinner? Go for a brisk walk outside … which brings us to my next point.

3. Get some exercise.

While your body is adjusting to the changes, a session at the gym may seem exhausting. Getting there is half the battle, and once you’ve completed a class or even 30 minutes on the treadmill, you’ll be so glad you did. Exercise is a mental refresh, a way to remind yourself why you decided to do Whole30 in the first place.

4. Keep healthy snacks on hand.

Friends teased me for always having multiple Larabars floating around in my purse. Preparing for situations where I may otherwise make an unhealthy choice is key to staying on track. Aside from Whole30-compliant bars, I also packed homemade trail mixes and fresh fruit with me at all times.

5. Drink a tall glass of water.

Thirst is often confused with hunger. You hear your body saying, “Hi! I need something from you!” And that something is usually water. When you feel an unhealthy craving come on, drink some water and reevaluate how you feel after.

6. Ask others to provide support.

All of my friends, family, and blog readers knew I was doing the Whole30 challenge. This means I had plenty of cheerleaders along the way. If a craving hit, or if I was questioning why-oh-why I had decided to torture myself for 30 days (I kid!), I’d text a friend. I got some pretty great responses (“You’ve got this!” and “Don’t quit now, you’re almost there!”) that helped me stay on track.

Bottom line? Yes, you’ll have cravings. No, you won’t go crazy. Some days will be a breeze, and others you’ll feel like the challenge will never end. But it will. You’ve got this!

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January 9, 2017

Working on My Fitness (Wear!)

Activewear just keeps getting cuter and cuter…and yet is still functionable. I’m constantly impressed with the major retailers who design the trendy tanks and tights we wear to work out.

Here are some pieces I’m loving.

 

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January 6, 2017

5 Fun Things 1.6.17

1. Can you guess the most instagrammed location in your state? Spoiler alert: It’s Fenway Park for MA. Not at all surprised.

But Hilton Head for SC? Hmm… (My heart stays with Charleston.)

2. Do you use a fitness tracker? Are you a runner? You might want to read this to see which is best to track your runs. I currently wear the Fitbit Charge HR and I like it a lot. It definitely keeps me in check!

3. I have been wearing my very favorite leggings so much that my coworker asked me “Are you ever gonna wear real pants again??” No.  I love pairing them with an oversized flannel, tunic sweater and boots….or ya know, to the gym where they’re supposed to be worn. 😛

4. It’s January. We’re all in “get back in shape!” mode. Here are 5 ways to fit exercise into your busy life. I squeeze Barre N9ne into my lunch hour a couple times of week and it’s the best feeling. I come back to work re-energized with a new focus. And when I don’t go on my lunch break, I go afterwards with a coworker. Coworkers make the best gym buddies because they motivate you all day long. Hi KIM!

barre n9ne woburn andover danvers hungry meets healthy christina orso boston fitness studios

5. This little lady and I are on a no-sugar mission for the entire month of January. Despite other coworkers tempting us with mocha lattes and muffins, we’re staying strong. But I’m thinking we should celebrate our sugar free month with the new Halo Top flavors. Yep. We should.

 

What are you up to this weekend? Happy Friday!!

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January 5, 2017

My 2017 Resolutions and Goals

At the end of November, I began thinking about my goals for 2017. I’m not usually one to make year-long resolutions, but instead, each month focus on a mini challenge. I always think short-term goals are more attainable and often turn into long-term changes. Think about it: how many times have you made a resolution at the beginning of the year and then…oh…forgot about it? Trust me, I’m guilty of this. Every year since 2010 I think “Ok, this year I am going to be more decisive!” Bah! I’ve always been better at challenges (with a goal in mind) so I often set them for myself…but I don’t need a new year to begin them. And either do you! You should start a goal when you’re thinking about it enough to know you need to make a change. And sometimes that time… is now. Just don’t wait!

That said, here are my goals for 2017.

  1. Go to church more. 2016 was a big year for me, faith wise. I converted to Catholicism and spent a lot of time learning about my religion. I went to church 35 times. Call me a weirdo, but I saved all of my bulletins because they are special to me. I counted them the other day, and while I was proud of going so many times, there’s always room for more. I think of church the same way I think of going to the gym; go every Sunday and start your week on the right note. It really sets the tone for the week.
  2. Improve my photography. Last year I spent a ton of time photographing food at work. The amount of burger & frappe photos I have on my computer is absurd. I took two workshops (one on Basic Photography, one on Food Photography) as well as several online courses. In 2017, my goal is to take the following classes: advanced photography class, advanced food photography class, composition, and lighting.
  3. Better organize my time. Time management has never been my thing. I am not a planner. I am a single girl with no children and no pets, honestly where the heck do I really need to be besides work??? Kidding! But that mindset often causes me to overlook how much I really can get done with my free time…so long as I plan it out the right way. I bought this amazing planner and am looking forward to using it this year.
  4. Be more active. I still don’t know how it happened, but when I moved to Boston my drive for fitness fell to the wayside. I’d work out there and there for a couple months but eh, it wasn’t as fun to me. I swear that living in Charleston and having to be in a bikini the majority of the year kept me going. But here, not so much. Last June I quit going to the gym until November! If you know me well, that is crazy talk. However, I’m pumped to say that I’ve joined Barre N9ne, an awesome study right near my work. I’ve been going nonstop since November and am loving it. For Christmas I got a 3-month unlimited package and am already making use of it. I love seeing the physical changes and feeling the mental clarity from exercise. (Psst, I have guest passes if anyone would like to go!)
  5. Make more healthy meals for the blog. It’s no coincidence that when I’m working out more, I eat much better. When I cook at home, it’s a clean, wholesome meal that focuses on vegetables and lean meats. Eating out is another story ;). I’d love to be better about sharing my meals and eating habits. It’s motivation for us both!
  6. Slow down. People always make fun of me because I’m this miniatured sized human being that runs around like a tornado. I try to do a million things, to a fault. Sometimes too quickly. I need to slow down my gust of wind to a nice breeeeeeeze. Relax. Breathe deeply and focus. Probbbbably gonna need to meditate one of these days.
  7. Spend more time with my grandparents. I love my family so much, but my grandparents and grammy are the greatest. My grandparents are in NC and though I was down in July, I am already eager for another visit. My grammy, who lives here in MA, and I see each other often and our lunch dates are so special to me. Here’s to spending more quality time with the people who’ve had such a positive influence on my life.

What are your goals and wishes for the 2017? Do share!