Paleo Lifestyle: Days 16-23 #PaleoLifestyleDL


Hello all!

Clearly I suck at updating again this week. Lol.

I was thinking about this the other day, and in addition to being a bit busier right now, I think part of the reason I’m writing less is because things got easier after the initial 10 days or so of this. After the sugar withdrawal and the whole getting used to doing things a different way, I’ve run into far fewer struggles recently.

How nice though, I can share all kinds of accomplishments with you! 馃檪

This is the final week of the lifestyle group, and I’m so thankful I signed up to do this and have stuck to it. I’m seeing and feeling SO MANY positive changes, and I never would have if I hadn’t mustered up the motivation to make a change. They say it takes 21 days to break a bad habit, and I’ve breached the 21 day mark when it comes to dissolving my unhealthy relationship with food. Now, that’s certainly not to say I’m done working at it. I’m not, not by a long shot. I have a LONG way to go down my road. But you know what? I’ll get there. And the journey along the way is going to be worth it.

Tonight I went out for dinner with friends and had my “refuel” meal. (P.S. – I love that Dani refers to them as refuel meals versus cheat meals. Just that simple wording change morphed the way I look at the meal itself. It’s not a time to gorge oneself, it’s a time to make a small deviation from the norm.) I went to Applebees and was able to make a healthy, mindful decision for a meal, without worrying about if it was going to totally ruin all my hard work. This is the first time I’ve gone out for a sit-down meal since starting this lifestyle, and it was great to be able to do so without falling off the wagon. Also, the people I was with are supportive, and that means so much to me and it really does matter.

Another bit of excitement since I last wrote — I reached my first goal on my journey to a healthier me. I have a list of 15 goals, both numeric (goal weights) and non-numeric (ex: fitting into a pair of jeans I haven’t fit into for a year) that I’m using to benchmark my progress on this journey. The first goal was a numeric one, a weight I was working toward (still not quite comfortable enough to share that with y’all yet), and last week I hit it! I got a tall Starbucks almond milk latte (yum!) to celebrate. And I can’t wait until I hit my next goal (which I’m hoping will happen before or by Thanksgiving).

When I wrap this first 4 weeks up on Sunday, I’m going to do a bit of a longer post about the great things I’ve noticed. (And I might include some photos — eek!) So for today, I’ll stick to my usual format.

The Good:
* Pounds lost! Hooray!
* No sugar cravings!
* I’ve been making it a point to get some form of exercise in every day (part of my #Last90Days challenge). You have no idea how great my body feels! And I’m killing it with my step goals as of late.
* Even though I’m not tracking calories specifically, I still use My Fitness Pal to log everything I’m eating (helps hold me accountable) and to track my water intake and weight. For the last 3 weeks I’ve had a calorie deficit every day (and more of one when I work out). This means that I should continue to lose weight at a steady pace.
* I found a super yummy looking Paleo pumpkin muffin recipe that I’m going to make when I’m on vacation at a friend’s house next week. My own little Halloween treat!
* Compliments! I’ve gotten complimented on how good I look, how much slimmer my face looks, and on how proud of me people are for sticking to this.
* My gut is LOVING me.
* I haven’t had any back issues since I started eating like this! I think that’s because some of my issues stem from inflammation, and this particular method of eating helps to curb that naturally.
* ENERGY!! You guys, seriously, it’s crazy! Prior to starting eating better, I would wake up, smack my snooze button a zillion times, slide out of bed and try to get through my morning routine without falling asleep on myself. I felt so sluggish, I was tired all the time at work, I had trouble concentrating, and when I got home at night all I wanted to do was sit in my chair and loaf. It’s not like that anymore! I get up and I get straight out of bed, and the first thing I do is make myself a cup of coffee and breakfast. (Thank you, Dani, for encouraging us to eat within 15 minutes of rising.) I’m alert, I feel refreshed (because I’m also sleeping better!!), and b y the time I shower, I’m ready to get going on my day. When I’m at work, I’m yawning less, getting more done, and able to focus on things. And the best part, when I get home, I want to go out and walk or go to the gym. I find myself asking my roommate every day if she’s ready to go out for our nightly walk, or if she’s ready to go to Snap and do some lifting, because I have energy to burn. Tonight I wanted to go further on our walk, and that never happened before. It feels so great to get back to a place where I want to be active and where I’m finding ways to get active. I can’t wait to see what I feel like in another 5-6 months.

The Struggles:
* I’m telling you, my workplace is like a dessert party. So continuing to practice avoidance has been tough at times. Like last week in an upper management training, people were passing around a bag of the mini Hershey chocolate bars. You have no idea how much self control it took to pass the bag without taking something out of it.
* Timing meals continues to be an issue for me, especially on weekends. I did good this past weekend though, because I wrote down my eating schedule each day. I’m trying to keep things as constant as I possibly can.

Honestly, I don’t really have any other struggles going on now!

I’m going to be entering the next round of the 30 day lifestyle starting in November, but I plan on continuing this on my own when I’m on my trip next week. I’ve got menus ready, groceries ready, and a nice supporting group of friends around me.

Cheers to the rest of the week being great and all of us working to be the best version of ourselves.

Until next time…

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Paleo Lifestyle: Days 8-15 #PaleoLifestyleDL

You guys.

I suck at updating!

Now that I’ve got that out of the way…

In all honesty, last week was crazy busy! I had a zillion things going on at work, and then when I got off I had more to do, and by the time I got home, had dinner, and was ready to blog … I was tired and fell asleep.

This won’t be a super long entry, cause I’m getting ready to climb into bed now. Last week went really well! I went out of town for the weekend, and I prepped in advance, brought all my meals with, and cooked them when I was away. We went out for one meal and I stuck with what falls into the Paleo category, which I was proud of myself for, because in the past restaurants have been my weakness.

Actually, last week was WAY easier in terms of avoiding sugar, and the sugar withdrawal symptoms are gone! (HOORAY!)

I’m seeing results too! I’m down 16 pounds (booyah!), and I did a 2 week measurement today and I’ve lost 2 inches in my chest and waist. My pants are a little looser, which makes me happy. Now I’m thinking that I’ll post a list of my non-numeric mile markers sometime this week, so that I can look back on that and keep track of my progress.

On another note, I started this cool #Last90Days “challenge” of sorts last week as well. The idea is to spend the last 90 days of the year being the best version of myself, doing good things for myself, and ramping up to have an amazing 2018. Check the hashtag out on social media, and start to expect a few posts about that challenge as well.

And now…

The Good:
* Weight loss! I honestly try not to obsess over the number, but I am happy that I’ve dropped some. The goal is to get healthy all around, and weight does play a factor in this.
* I’ve been drinking a TON of water lately. My body feels so good! Seriously, my skin looks better, my gut feels better, I feel better.
* As I said above, my gut feels so much better than it did two weeks ago! I’ve been struggling with some digestive issues for a few years (pretty sure I have IBS), and I haven’t had many, if any, problems in these last few weeks.
* I haven’t had any of the usual back pain that I experience in the last two weeks either. I think that a lot of that comes from inflammation, and Paleo helps with that.
* I haven’t caved and had any sugar!

The Struggles:
* Muffins and cupcakes at work today. I wanted one.
* I’m in the week leading up to Aunt Flow, and I struggle with CONSTANT cravings for sweets and salt. It hasn’t been quite as bad this time around, but I’ve still been jonesing for some chocolate.
* Timing meals is still difficult at times, but I’ll get the hang of it eventually.
* I need to spend more time working out. I always come up with excuses and quite frankly, it’s time to stop doing that. Time to commit to 5 days a week.

I’ll get back to being consistent with this now. And I’m going to start getting a bit more content up on the blog moving forward too. 馃檪

Until next time…

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Paleo Lifestyle: Days 6 & 7 #PaleoLifestyleDL

I forgot to get on last night and blog. So I’ll cover the whole weekend tonight.

I did really good yesterday … Until I went to my friend’s for a BBQ/bonfire. I got there and there was banana bread and cookies and scones, and they were going to make s’mores but instead of using regular chocolate bars, using different kinds of candy bars … It was a NIGHTMARE. I packed my own food and brought it with me, so I had my regular snack meal with I got there, and I noshed on pickles from the vegetable tray. When dinner rolled around, I had a naked hamburger patty. And a naked bratwurst. And I may have tried some of the chili that my friend’s husband made. Not a ton of it, but I had a little bit.

I did NOT touch any of the sweets, despite the fact that they were all calling to me. I didn’t touch any chips, bread, etc. So, I don’t feel guilty. I still made wise choices even in the face of temptation.

One thing I did notice yesterday was that I sat around munching on pickles, even though I wasn’t hungry. I think in our culture we get so conditioned to do things, like snack at parties, that we don’t even realize we’re doing it. As soon as I consciously realized this, I stopped eating the pickles and busied myself with socializing outside instead.

We left the BBQ before the bonfire portion started. This sucked, because I love bonfires, and fall is the perfect time to have them. However, I didn’t want to sit around and watch everyone get their s’more action on. I think that once I’m in my new lifestyle for 3-4 months, then it’ll be no problem to be around people who are eating things like that, because by then I’ll see the fruits of my labor and be fully adjusted to the new way of doing things. For now, the less I put myself in situations where temptation lurks, the better off I’ll be.

The Good:
* No cheats today!
* No horrible cheats on Saturday!
* My energy levels continue to increase. It’s crazy to me that the difference can happen so quick, because a week ago I would hit my snooze button like 7 times and not want to get up and I would DRAG for the first half of the day. Now I have no problem getting up and getting started.
* New meal plans came today!!! I’m excited to have a few different things to eat (especially RX bars, because I LOVE them)!
* I’ve started incorporating exercise in and it’s going well! And I think that’s helping me feel better too!

The Struggles:
* THE SWEETS!!! Oh my LAWWWWWWWD. I can’t wait until I can start incorporating a Paleo treat in here and there.
* Meal timing this weekend was a bitch! I get up a little later on the weekends, and it threw me off entirely. So I think next weekend, I’m going to write my times down, and check things off as I go.
* I’m still trying to figure out precisely how to time my snack in the afternoon and then my protein shake. Because the protein shake comes after a workout. And sometimes I don’t get to the gym until 7:30-8 because of work. So … Trying to shift everything around is a real pain in the butt sometimes.
* I have mushrooms on my menu this week, and I really don’t like them. I put some seasoning on them and got Shiitake ones, because I can usually stomach those, but hopefully I won’t be ready to throw my meals out by Tuesday, lol.

Since I’m blogging about this on here (don’t worry, you’ll start seeing more content in coming weeks), I thought I’d share a few of my favorite Paleo recipes each time as well. Just in case anyone wants to try them:

Grilled Pesto Chicken Kebabs:聽
Paleo Tex Mex Casserole:聽

Until next time…

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Paleo Lifestyle: Day 5 #PaleoLifestyleDL


I’d forgotten (for 4 days) how delicious donuts are.

And today when I was sitting in my office, working on paperwork, one of my favorite co-workers came in with a whole box of drool-worthy donuts, and offered me one.

It was painful鈥擨 repeat,聽painful鈥攖o say no.

He looked at me kind of funny, no doubt because in the past I never, ever refused sweets. I explained (for what feels like the hundredth time this week) what I’m doing and why I can no longer eat donuts. He gave me a polite smile and wished me luck, and then was on his way to offer donuts elsewhere.

I have to be honest with you guys, old Nikki (version 1.5, we’ll call her), would have said “fuck it” to this new way of life by day 3, and taken a donut鈥攐r two鈥攁nd enjoyed every last bite.

Nikki 2.0 is exercising self-control. Which was hard enough to do when I quit smoking, but is even more difficult when it comes to food. (I’ll stop referring to myself in third person now, lol.)

Speaking of quitting smoking (off topic, but I’ll get back on, I promise), about four weeks after I kicked the habit I started having weird dreams about cigarettes. These dreams always ended with me being outside my house, crouched behind an open door on my car, chain smoking a pack of cigarettes. I have no idea why this happened, I never took the time to research it or anything, and it stopped after a week or so. Now it’s happening with food, which seems even more odd to me because I’ve only been at this for 5 days as of today.

Last night I had a weird dream, which ended with my eating a whole box of cheese Ritz Bits while guzzling Coca Cola in my car. (Why is my car always involved, lol?) It was such a vivid dream that I woke furious with myself before realizing that it didn’t actually happen. I’m curious to see if this will continue to happen, or if it’s a one-time thing, or maybe if it’ll be a week or two thing, like the smoking dreams were. The mind works in such mysterious ways, and I’m continually fascinated by the things the brain will do.

Today was the third consecutive day of exercising, which is great! It feels amazing to get out and just move again. Tonight we opted to take the dog out for a walk at a park reserve that’s close by, instead of being cooped up in the gym. It was nice to get out and enjoy the fresh air and see the beautiful landscape.

Gorgeous sunset on our walk.

And now …

The Good:聽
* I felt GREAT today. Like, I blasted out of bed with a bunch of energy, felt really confident, my insides felt good, and despite the donuts, I honestly didn’t have much of a craving for anything today, which was awesome.
* The sugar detox symptoms seem to be going away, slowly but surely.
* My pants are already a bit looser, which is always better than the alternative, lol
* I’m putting a pretty decent sized dent in my protein powder supply, which is a great thing because I have 4 bags of it (closer to 3 now) that I need to get used so I can order again and try some new flavors!

The Struggles:
* Asparagus. It’s one of my favorite vegetables, honestly, but after eating it for 4 days straight, I wanted to throw it out today. So, I’m going to sub out broccoli tomorrow, because I can’t get burnt out on the veggies I like. (And I’m going to cross my fingers and toes that there isn’t any asparagus in my meal plans for next week!)

And now, for shits and giggles, any of your children of the 80s (or before) remember the sitcom Alf? It was one of my most favorite shows as a kid, and all day long I had this song in my head (following my asparagus predicament at lunch, lol). This was the only video I could find, so pardon the weird repeating:

Thanks for being amazing, Willie Tanner. 馃檪

Until next time…

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Paleo Lifestyle: Day 4 #PaleoLifestyleDL

I’m not sure how long this will be, because I’m sleepy right now.

Today was WAY better than yesterday. I felt super rested when I woke up, I went to the gym after work and rocked it, and I just felt better overall.

I’m tired of eating asparagus, however. When I got to lunch today, I really wanted to take the asparagus and throw it in the trash. I didn’t though. I did add a bit of Wholly Guacamole to it though, which I probably wasn’t supposed to do, because it’s not on my meal plan. But damnit, it’s Paleo and that asparagus needed聽something聽to bring life to it.

A random observation (and sorry if it’s TMI, lol): poop smells like 5x worse when you’re eating a protein-heavy diet. LOL.

Another TMI observation: I legit must be peeing like 10x each day now because I’m drinking so much water. Which is good, because it means I’m hydrated and my system is staying flushed. But it’s annoying. Especially during the night.

Without further ado…

The Good:
* No cheats!
* I didn’t have a headache today! Hallelujah!
* I actually had quite a bit of energy today.
* I didn’t have any major food cravings.
* I drank 20 ounces more water than my goal. Which is a big accomplishment for me because I usually have to force myself to drink because I’m not thirsty.

The Struggles:
* The other staff and clients had french fries and tater tots with their dinner at work. I, on the other hand, enjoyed my mixed nuts and pear (my dinner is later since I work out in the evenings).
* Having to turn food down because I can’t have it (at work).
* Living with someone who isn’t following the exact same meal plan as me sucks, because I want to eat what she cooks. And yes it’s Paleo, but it’s not on my meal plan. Blah!

The week is move than half over! Here’s hoping to continued strength throughout the weekend!

Until next time…

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Paleo Lifestyle: Day 3 #PaleoLifestyleDL

Man, oh man … It’s been a tough day.

In a first world sense, at least.

I spent all day in the office at work today. Which meant I was confronted with delicious, off-limits food everywhere. Cheese puffs, candy, gum … I encountered it all. And for some reason, today was so. much. harder. than the last two have been. Seriously, I spent half the day thinking about Taco Bell, and talking myself out of giving up and going there after work (I did聽not聽end up going there). My headache persisted, though it lightened up a bit today. I couldn’t concentrate on anything, my brain was foggy, and even though I woke up with a good amount of energy, by lunch time I was feeling very blah.

All this is attributable to sugar withdrawal. Which I’m deep in the throes of because, I’ll openly admit, I had a very unhealthy relationship with ice cream, soda, and Chinese food before starting this Paleo journey.

It’s going to be a rough few more days, possibly another rough week even, but I know I can get through it. And when I do, things will be wonderful on the other side.

In other news, the goal was to go to the gym today, but the weather was聽amazing outside, so we opted to grab the dog and head out to the park for a hike on the trails instead. It probably wasn’t as intense of a workout as I would have had at the gym, but fall in Minnesota is my favorite time of year, and I want to be able to get out and enjoy it as much as I possibly can. Tomorrow night I get off later, so to the gym it is.

Now, for something completely unrelated鈥擨 wore a dress to work today, a new one that I really loved, and it was a giant confidence booster for the day. It took me a long time to get to where I felt comfortable wearing dresses, but I absolutely love them now! And, I love how something as simple as being in a favorite piece of clothing and combining it with some fun accessories can make a person shine from the inside out.

Onto the good stuff…

The Good:
* No cheating!
* My body continues to feel better and better. No bloating, no bowel or GI issues, and I have more energy.
* I made it through three days! 馃檪

The Struggles:
* Cravings. Ice cream, Taco Bell, noodles … all I wanted today was to dive into a vat of sugar and go to town.
* I messed up my meal times today! So I ended up going almost 5 hours between my afternoon “snack” and my protein shake. And then I ended up eating my dinner super late. So I was hangry and irritated and that made the temptation to cheat even bigger.
* Being around people who are eating foods that I’m craving is a challenge. I had lunch with a co-worker, and she was eating chicken pasta salad, and I couldn’t stop staring at the bowl of it.
* I had a really, really tough time concentrating today! It was bad. Hopefully that will improve as time goes on.

3 days down … 27 more to go.

Until next time…

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Paleo Lifestyle: Day 2 #PaleoLifestyleDL

Sometimes, it’s hard to get people to understand that I’m not on a diet, I’m making a lifestyle change. I struggled with this when I ate Paleo before, and it’s going to be a struggle again now.

A lot of people think eating Paleo is a temporary thing, versus a way of life. I suppose it probably is for some, and truthfully I even saw something online today that referred to it as a “fad diet.” For me, that’s not the case.

I’ve done diets before. Atkins, South Beach, the cabbage soup diet … I seriously can sit here and tick off at least ten of those fad diets that I’ve embarked on, and guess what? I failed each time. Why did I fail? Because I didn’t do it right and I wasn’t doing it for the right reasons. Eating healthy and living well shouldn’t be a fad. It shouldn’t be something that we try to do for a few months, or that we do so we can look better for the guy or girl whose eye we’re trying to catch. Living well should be a lifelong journey, a聽lifestyle聽that we adopt.

So yes, while some people refer to this as the “Paleo Diet,” that’s not how I think of it. And I suspect that’s the reason why Dani and Lilly call it “Paleo Lifestyle” and not “Paleo Diet Challenge.”

Anyhow, I was trying to explain this to a co-worker tonight, as I sipped on my protein shake while everyone else ate pizza. And I was met with a blank stare.

I guess it’s going to take more time and effort to get people to understand why I’m doing what I’m doing. And that’s okay.

Now, on another topic, I weighed myself this morning after I showered. I told myself I was only going to weigh in on Mondays, but I clearly didn’t uphold that promise, ha. Low and behold, I was 5 pounds lighter than I was yesterday. I’m always amazed by how much I can gain from bloating, which of course comes from the horrible foods I ate on Sunday (Chinese food is my weakness, lol).

I am a big advocate of non-numerical accomplishments when trying to get healthy. So while I will definitely continue to weigh myself to track my progress, there are other benchmarks that I plan on celebrating at. And the first of those benchmarks involves a pair of H&M jeans I bought in May of last year, which of course, don’t fit me currently! When I can put them on and bottom them, COMFORTABLY, not by squeezing myself in … Then I’ll know I’ve hit benchmark number one on my journey.

Maybe I’ll share some of those non-numerical benchmarks in another post. 馃檪

Now, onto the details for today ….

The Good:
* I didn’t cheat! This will always be on my good list when it happens because it’s something I’ve struggled with in the past.
* I drank an absurd amount of water. Well, it’s probably not really absurd, but 107 ounces is a good day for me, considering I usually have to force myself to drink it.
* My insides felt amazing today in comparison to yesterday. Just one day in and I’m feeling a difference.
* I woke up with energy versus feeling groggy and sluggish. Another thing I always notice when eating certain foods.
* I felt full for most of the day again, which was great!

The Struggles:
* Pizza. Seriously, it was painful to sit in the same room as everyone while they got to mow down slice after slice after slice.
* The office I work at is like one big, unhealthy food party 90% of the time. There are so many temptations! People bring in donuts, junk food, cakes and bars and treats, and just leave the extra in the break room for everyone to consume. I think after this first 30 days is over it will start to get easier to see this food and turn the other direction, but man … The struggle is real!
* My headache is still here. Hoping it’ll go away in 5-7 days like I’ve been told. That seems like such a long time though, lol.
* Getting enough water. I really have no idea how much water I technically should be drinking, to facilitate good health and weight loss. I probably should figure that out at some point, so I make sure I’m getting enough.
* I didn’t go to the fridge when I got home, but by the time I walked through the door, all I wanted was to sink my spoon into a big tub of Ben & Jerry’s.
* Timing was an issue for me today. I’m still trying to get in the groove of eating frequently, so sometimes I’d look at the clock and think, oh shit, I forgot to eat a half hour ago!

Day 2 was a bit rougher than day 1 in terms of wanting to eat “bad” things, but I think that’s because I was exposed to more things that I can’t eat. But I’m glad that happens, because avoidance is something that I’m going to have to master…

Except for the rare cheat meal here and there. (After my first 30 days is up, up course!)

Until next time…

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