Thursday, February 25, 2016

90 days and 1,000 supporters!

Today is day 90 of my Whole90! I can't believe that I finally got here. SUPER CRAZY

I also hit 1,000 followers on Instagram today! WHOOO HOOO 1,000 people watching me change my life and supporting this journey! SO AMAZING

I am currently down 104 pounds and ADDICTED to Whole30. I love my Instagram Whole30 homies and that so many people in my everyday life are on the Whole30 train. I love being constantly motivated and inspired by others. I get the question sometimes "How have you stayed motivated so long?" and I truly think it is because of my Instagram community and the friends and family who are trying their own Whole30 journey. Surrounding yourself with like minded people is important.

Here are this weeks meal ideas!

I usually make two different meals for my week. One meal is enough for two lunches and the other I divide into three lunches.

Two lunches were spicy beef and plantains. 
I just sautéed grass fed organic beef and added in coconut oil sautéed plantains. I served with pineapple. 

Three lunches were roasted rutabaga, turnips, and asparagus with chicken brats. This chicken sausage was from Whole Food and BratHans brand. 

This is an easy weeknight dinner. You just need one pan, throw it all together and bake. 

 Cut up onion and cabbage and toss in oil and roast at 425, when almost finished add the andouille on top and cook until sausage is a little crispy. Top with mustard and VOILA AMAZING. I got this sausage at Whole Foods, but if you are in the Longview area they have great buffalo andouille at Drug Emporium. You can also find compliant smoked sausage at Kroger which is great too. 

Grilled pork chops with green chili salt and ghost pepper blueberry hot sauce with a side of roasted rosemary potatoes. YUMMM 

Baked salmon with garlic, ginger, sesame oil, coconut aminos, and fish sauce. SO GOOD 
I served with roasted broccoli and cauliflower and a side salad with Tessemaes Ceasar dressing. 

This is a great morning idea. I threw cut up Aidells chicken apple sausage and zucchini in the oven while I got ready for work. Then I scrambled eggs and put it on top. 

So good with a banana and some bullet proof coffee. 

One night I roasted off whole chicken thighs and the chicken got SO crispy it tasted like it was fried. PERFECT! I roasted carrots, zucchini, and onion to go with. 

Soft boiled eggs and a banana are a good quick eat in the car breakfast. 

Chorizo and shrimp is PERFECT. I made this chorizo myself from a recipe I found online. Ground pork with lots of spices and some apple cider vinegar. It makes a lot so I portioned it into ziplocs and froze it for multiple meals. 

My favorite meal bars for quick last minute meal ideas. Usually for breakfast or a meal in the car. These all came from Brookshires in Hallsville. The Pecan Thunderbird is my favorite. 

My mom made this. It's not actually spaghetti sauce - it's sloppy joe. SOOOOO GOOD! It's ground beef with tessemaes ketchup and coconut aminos. So easy and good. It literally tasted just like manwich. Everyone else ate it on bread, but we both had it over zucchini noodles. 

I could eat steak and sweet potatoes everyday!!! 

This is a Marshall Kroger find. It's a different chicken sausage that is compliant. 

I served it with more sautéed spinach, eggs, and avocado.

I love taking photos of my whole grocery haul. 

Tons of produce, some shelf staples, eggs, and tons of meat. 

This weeks lunch meals - grilled steak on top of sautéed onions, jalapeños, and pineapple. 

And roasted chicken, sweet potatoes, parsnips, and brussels. This was a one pan meal. I put the raw veggies and chicken all in a baking dish and put it in the oven. Then I cut up the chicken and portioned it into my tupperware. 

Pumpkin custard. This is a GREAT recipe. I love it for breakfast. You can't eat treats or dessert on Whole30 so it can only be eaten as breakfast. If you are a Whole30 newbie I wouldn't make this because it can be SWYPO. You can find the original recipe HERE. 

This has been one of my favorite salads since before I was even Whole30. It's just SO good. Spinach topped with strawberries, avocado, and grilled chicken. I dressed it with Tessemaes Cracked Pepper dressing. The old salad I made I used lime juice, lime zest and honey, but since honey isn't Whole30 I couldn't. If you are doing Paleo that dressing would be ok. The Cracked Pepper was REALLY good though. Black pepper and strawberries somehow works. 

These spicy Thai meatballs are AMAZING. 
I used THIS RECIPE as my guide. As usual I don't follow exact ratios, I just use the ingredient list and mix it how I want. I used jalapeño in my meatballs. I baked the meatballs then put them in the crock pot with the sauce for a couple of hours. We didn't have compliant chicken stock so I used compliant veggie stock in my sauce. Still perfect. I also added Tessemaes ketchup to the sauce. 
I served it with snap peas and mushrooms. 

This sauce is my new favorite. It's sooooo good. 

My sauce has ground beef, and sautéed grated zucchini and carrots. I served it over acorn squash instead of doing spaghetti squash. It was REALLY yummy. 

I hope you look at all this food and realize that Whole30 is totally accessible to anyone. I truly believe if you give this a try it will change your life. 
SO, in celebration of my 90 days and 1,000 followers I am going to do an Instagram giveaway of some of my favorite Whole30 pantry staples. Ill be giving away a box of ghee, coconut aminos, tessemaes, and some of my favorite meal bars. If you don't already follow me, check out my Instagram @eppleyjs ! 

Monday, February 22, 2016

Sorry I Can't!

Recently I have had some questions about my gym routine. Before I talk about my workouts I want to let you know I recently read that 80% of weight loss is in your food and only 20% is from working out. Working out is really important and has definitely made me stronger and improved my shape. I am starting to have muscle definition and it's helping lean out my thighs and arms for sure. Working out for me is about being stronger and building muscle.

In the beginning I went about three days a week. The more I worked out the more addicting it got because I saw myself getting better. Now I work out six days a week with one rest day. 

Sometimes I allow my work schedule to dictate when I have to skip the gym and other times I let my body decide. I really don't have a specific routine. I try to alternate arms and legs throughout the week. So my typical six days with varying things looks like this. 

Day 1: Arms and Cardio 

Day 2: Legs and Cardio 

Day 3: Cardio and Abs 

Day 4: Arms and Cardio 

Day 5: Legs and Cardio 

Day 6: Cardio and Abs 

ARMS  - I always do 3X10 
I don't always do all of these things but I do most of them. I do about 30 minutes of arms before going to cardio. 

Free Weights
Bicep Curls
Dumbell Extensions 
Tricep Kickbacks 
Shoulder Press 
Hammer Curls 
Overhead tricep Extensions 

Tricep Extensions
Overhead tricep extensions 
Bar push downs 
Seated cable row 
Lat pull downs 

Assisted Dip 
Pull Ups 

LEGS - I always do 3X10 
Again I don't always do all of these things on every leg day. 

Calf Press 
Leg Press 
Hip Abductor 
Hip Adductor 
Leg Kickbacks 
Squat Rack 
Squats with kettle bells 
Ball throw squats 
Wall Sits 
Laying leg lifts 
Ball sits 
Box Jump 
Box step ups 

I vary my cardio depending on the goal. I do anything from 10-45 minutes of Cardio. 

Distance Run - Go at least 2/3 miles 
Speed Run - Run fastest possible mile 
Incline Walk - Put treadmill at 15% incline and walk at about 3.0 speed.  I walk forwards and backwards like this 
Spin Bike 
Row Machine 
Jacobs Ladder 
Stair Master 
Jump Rope 
Jumping Jacks 

ABS - I always do 3X10 

Leg Circles 
Leg hold ups 
Flutter Kicks 
Toe touch
V-Sit Ups 
Medicine ball sit ups 
Russian Twist 

Here is my gym selfie a year ago! 

And here is my gym selfie today! 

Now like I said - the majority of my weight loss is from food. I did a little online research about food vs. exercise and found that it's pretty scientifically based that food is going to be what makes you lose weight. I found this from an obesity doctor, especially resonated with me.

"Most folks want to lose weight and to improve health and so both gyms and kitchens are required. That said, if weight's a primary concern, I'd never ditch the kitchen in order to find the time to exercise. Instead take the total amount of time you think you're willing to spend in the gym, and formally dedicate at least a third of that to the kitchen. As far as optimal amounts go, a person needs to like the life they're living if they're going to sustain it, so what's right and optimal for one person will be too little or too much for another. The simplest litmus test question to ask is, "could I live like this forever," and if the answer is "no," you'll need to change something up." 

And this is why I finally lost 100+ pounds. I could live like this forever. Whole30 makes me happy, not deprived. I am pretty sure I am Paleo for life. Someone asked me "So you just will never eat a piece of cheese again?" I can't say I will NEVER eat something again, but I don't actually want cheese. I don't like tomatoes or radishes so never eating them isn't a problem. If I don't WANT to eat something for me it's not a big deal even though it may be for you. Sometimes I let other peoples opinion of me not eating certain foods mess with my brain. You may want to eat cheese and bread and cake and that's great but it doesn't mean I should. I don't care what you eat if you don't care what I eat. I may in fact never want to eat cheese again. I may never want to eat bread again. (Sorry Oprah Winfrey!) I may never want to eat pasta again. GUESS WHAT? I may also be super healthy and happy. I think people hear no sugar, no grains, no dairy, no alcohol and think "Well that sucks and sounds pretty much like the worst idea ever." If it sucks after 30 days then don't do it. For me it didn't suck. For me it flipped a switch. I have food freedom. I don't get overwhelmed with cravings and I have been able to sustain this way of eating for five months. NOW does that mean that occasionally if I make the decision to eat something not Whole30 of Paleo that it's going to be a big deal? No. I will be drinking beer in a couple of weeks on my one year fit journey celebration and my 100 days Whole30 celebration. Im doing the freaking Warrior Dash and I deserve a beer!!!!

Im getting so excited about it. I can't wait to celebrate my accomplishments with my best friend and enjoy a fun weekend in Austin. We are driving up next Friday and staying with my cousin. We get up early Saturday and go do the dash at 9:30. WOOOOOOHOOOOOO 

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Fit Girl in the Making!

I only have a couple of weeks left on this 90 days of Whole30. I decided I will be going to day 100. That is the day of the Warrior Dash. 100 days of Whole30 clean healthy eating!!!! The day of the Warrior Dash I am going to be wearing a shirt that says "Fit Girl in the Making!" and I am stoked. I finally am reaching my goals and I truly know it is because of Whole30. After the dash you get a beer and I am going to drink it for sure!!! My 100 days and 1 year fit journey reward. 

Since my last post here are the foods I have been eating. 

Allspice seasoned baked chicken drums with broccoli kale slaw and plantain chips

Parsnips, rutabagas, and sausage bake 

Green chili pork, pineapple, avocado, and plantain tastiness 

Leftover pork with tessemaes bbq sauce over a sweet potato 

Shredded chicken with homemade ancho chili enchilada sauce mixed with peppers and onions and cauliflower and baked. Top with avocado, onion, lettuce, and olives. SO GOOD 

I made broccoli salad and my mom brought fruit for a church luncheon. I just mixed broccoli slaw, kale salad, chicken breast, raisins, pecans, and  the dressing was mustard with vinegar and curry powder. SO YUMM 

Roasted potatoes and onions with chorizo and shrimp! (MAKE THIS) 

Bullet proof coffee with sausage and eggs! 

Buffalo chicken casserole with avocado. THIS STUFF FOR REAL you should try it

Plantains and sausage 

Leftover chicken cauliflower enchilada bake with pineapple and plantains

This week we went to San Antonio. Originally my Whole30 partner in crime and I thought "we don't want to Whole30 at TMEA!!!" BUT we decided it would be fine and we could find good food. WE WERE SO RIGHT. Whole30 at TMEA is completely easy and WONDERFUL.

I packed epic bars, bananas, and almond butter for breakfast 

For lunch I planned doing a bunless bison burger at the Republic of Texas 

We got guacamole and steamed veggies. SO GOOD 

Music session treats. Iced Americano and a That's It bar. 

We even made time to hit the gym on Thursday and Friday!!! 

If you eat on the river ever PLEASE eat breakfast at Las Canarias. YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT! 
It was seriously the most delicious and amazing breakfast ever. They obviously cook fresh. They make their own chorizo so I asked and it was Whole30 compliant. WOOOO They used cage free eggs and had the most amazing fresh pico de gallo. The fruit was fresh and yummy. AND their coffee was STRONG and off the chain. I will eat here EVERY year. TMEA AND TCDA this is a new tradition for sure. 

Because we had a huge breakfast and were going to eat steak for dinner we decided to do a "snack" lunch. I had ants on a log and an epic bar. 

Friday night we went to Texas Land and Cattle - Steak, baked sweet potato, and grilled asparagus 

Saturday morning we had an 8am session and woke up late. So I bars for breakfast during the session!

For lunch we ran to Whole Food on our way out of town. I had the salad bar and a kombucha! 

Whole30 is getting easier and easier. It's just how I eat. It's not something I have to think hard about. It is not impossible to eat Whole30 on vacation. The best part we didn't feel deprived. We ate YUMMY food every meal. We had a great time and never felt deprived. We missed Hot Joy a little bit. I mean crab fat wings.... BUT instead we had steak, chorizo, veggies, fruit, eggs, salad, and I LOST WEIGHT thanks to it.  Probably the first time I lost weight at TMEA. 

So the countdown is now at 102 pounds gone. 38 pounds to go!!!