My Try At Whole 30

What Is Whole30?

During the 30 days there is no counting calories, no measuring food, and no stepping on the scale. The diet consists of eating real food. The diet also prohibits all grains, soy, legumes, dairy, sugar, artificial sweeteners, and alcohol. According to the creators of Whole30 the prohibited foods are linked to inflammations, hormone issues, stomach issues, and other health issues. After the 30 days are up, prohibited foods are slowly reintroduced. This reintroduction of foods allows the body to signal which foods it likes or doesn't like.

Week 1

The first day was a disaster. I didn't know that drinking smoothies was frowned upon with Whole 30. Technically they can be compliant but there is emphasis on not drinking calories but rather chewing them. I had planned on having them for breakfast on the days I didn't eat eggs so I had to come up with some additional breakfast options.

I also caught myself mindlessly putting one of my kids crackers in my mouth. I spit it out right away! The rest of the week wasn't that bad but I was tired of eggs by day 4.

Week 2

I've grown much more creative with breakfast. I found compliant bacon so that makes breakfast so much better even if I am still eating eggs.

After shopping for a second week, I have realized this diet is very expensive.  I'm not buying organic everything because I can't afford it. Rice and other starches were a large part of my diet before and they are much cheaper than meat and veggies. I can cut costs a bit by eating frozen veggies and buying the cheapest cuts of meat I can find.

I am also tired of cooking everyday. Like really tired.

Week 3

I'm no longer missing the bread and rice that was once a large part of my diet. While I feel much better without dairy, it has been the hardest to live without. I want to put creamer in my coffee and sour cream on my taco salad. 

Week 4

I love how I feel now that I haven't been eating so much junk. I have more energy than I have had in such a long time. I have been eating a lot of the same food every week and that has gotten a bit tiring.


To be continued 

I still have a few days left but I am confidant that I will be able to continue it without any issue. I do plan on keeping up with a reduced grain diet because it made me feel so much better. My husband is also pre-diabetic so this type of diet will be good for him as well.

Best Recipes

Crispy Pan Roasted Chicken Thighs

Super Porktastic Bacon Topped Spinach and Mushroom Meatloaf

Big O Bacon Burgers

Blackened Cajun Mahi Mahi 

Slow Cooker Tomatillo Pork Chili Verde 

Whole30 Breakfast Hash

Mojo Pork (not the beans or rice)

If you have any questions about my experience don't be afraid to ask.

How My Second C-Section Changed My Life

life changing operation

I have never been in good shape. Even before I was overweight, I wasn't able to run to save my life nor was I very coordinated. Add in emotional eating from coping with a miscarriage, a sedentary office job, and two pregnancies. That should paint a pretty clear picture of how not in shape I am.

I have always wanted to be my best self. I know it would be better for me in the long run. I know I would look and feel better. But it wasn't until the birth of my second child that I really decided I wanted to do something about my lifestyle.

My first pregnancy was pretty easy, but the delivery was hard. I had gestational diabetes and my baby measured large, so they induced labor. I ended up having a c-section anyway. Recovery was long and took months.

With my second pregnancy, I wanted to be much healthier. I had gestational diabetes again. However I was a stay at home mom to a very active little boy. Instead of a cushy office job and resting whenever I wanted, I was always on my toes. I did a lot of cleaning, toddler chasing, going up and down the stairs, and tons of walking.  I managed to only gain 12 pounds, but all the excessive movement paired with being in bad shape led to me breaking my water a month early. 

I ended up having to have a c-section again. It however did not go well. My size paired with scar tissue from my first c-section made it very hard for the doctors to extract the baby. My son was delivered, but had to be sent to the NICU because his lungs were not fully developed and his breathing was labored. 

After the delivery my doctor came in and talked to me. She told me that she wouldn't be able to do another c-section on me in the future. I was still in shock over my baby being taken to the NICU so it didn't register right away that she was telling me I probably shouldn't have anymore children. 

Being told you probably shouldn't have more children when your child is in the NICU is heart wrenching. All of the worst scenarios run through your mind. I feared losing my child. I feared not being able to have another. 

After my release from the hospital, I was eventually able to talk to my doctor at length about what she said. The doctor explained that we were lucky that my last baby didn't need immediate medical attention. If he had needed to be removed quickly, they wouldn't have been able to do it.

My size and lack of endurance led to my baby's life being endangered. Had I been healthy, he more than likely would have been full term. He probably wouldn't have had to spend time in the NICU. I could have had the time with my newborn that I missed.

The guilt of knowing that I put my child at risk is immense. It is a burden I no longer want to bare. The thought that my health could keep me from having another child is just too much. 

To heal these wounds, I must change my life. I have pledged to myself that I will do all it takes to be healthier for myself and for my babies.


Sleep Better With A Nighttime Routine

Nighttime before bed routine

The secret to waking up well rested is having a good nighttime routine. What you do before bed has a profound impact on the quality of your sleep. I used to be pretty bad about and filling my nights by binge watching shows on Hulu and Netflix followed by time on Instagram and Snapchat.

My Routine
Pack diaper bag: This makes going out for the day much easier and makes me less likely to be late.
Pull out meat from freezer for dinner: So many days I have not done this and then we had to order in for dinner
Ten Minute Tidy: Usually putting away laundry or toys
Nighttime Beauty Routine: I always apply creams and serums at night. I also take care of general hygiene during this time.
Read/ Bible Study/ Prayer: I don't always do this. Sometimes I go straight to bed. I only do one and not all three.
Lights out: I need it dark, so all the lights go out.

My routine is what works for me. You may find that you can't read before bed or you'll end up all night. Every person will have their unique combination of what works for them. Here are some ideas to help you come up with your nighttime routine.

Prep
Reduce the amount of work you have to do in the morning.Pick out your outfit or 3, pack your lunch for tomorrow, or prep your overnight oats.

Ten Minute Tidy
Clutter causes stress. Reduce your stress by reducing the mess. Clean up the mess from dinner, take out the trash, or put away your laundry. Take a few minutes to tidy up and you will feel much better.

Electronics Free
Turn off the TV, the iPad, and iPhone and have some electronics free time. I know how easy it is to go from checking on Gillie Houston on Snapchat to checking out The Everygirl to looking at Amber Fillerup Clark's Instagram feed. Next thing you know it is 1am. Plus the lights from electronics make it harder to sleep.

Cool Off
While it may be second nature to pile on the blankets and crank up the heat when going to bed, the optimal temperature for sleeping is between 60-68. My husband keeps the thermostat set to 68 in our bedroom.

Lights Off
Exposure to too much light before bed can make it harder to sleep. Having the lights turned down will make it easier to fall asleep.

Additional Tips For A Better Nights Sleep
Avoid caffeine consumption 6-8 hours before bed
3-4 hours before bed avoid strenuous exercise
Eliminate snacking 1-2 hours before bed

Nighttime Routine Ideas
Pack lunch
Prep breakfast
Read
Take a warm bath
Stretch
Meditate
Prayer
Journal
Brush teeth
Wash face

Now that you have a good nighttime routine, don't forget to start your day off right.

August Beauty Review




Everywhere I look, I am seeing posts about lipstick. This month I've decided to get in on it. This month's beauty review is all about lip products.

bareMinerals Gen Nude Matte

I really love Nude lipstick so I was really excited about getting to try this product. I have Swag and I really love the color.  I'd love to get some additional colors in the future. I really like how well it went on. The texture is great. It did dry my lips a bit but I haven't found a matte liquid that doesn't.

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick

I received the Patina shade in this month's Birchbox. While not the shade I would have picked, I was happy to be able to try the product.This product is a bit thicker than I anticipated. The color also went on darker than I expected. One great thing about this product is how long it lasted. One application lasted all day. In fact, this product was a bit hard to remove.

NYX Cosmetics Soft Matte Lip Cream

I've never been much for drugstore lip products but since I am on budget,  I decided I would give this brand a try. I purchased this in Cannes and I love the color. This product goes on well and has a great texture. I also really love the wand. I did feel like I had to reapply more often with this than with the other products I tested.

Maybelline Vivid Matte Liquid

After having a great experience with the NYX, I decided to try another drugstore brand. I picked this one up in Nude Thrill.I noticed right away that I wasn't crazy about the wand. I do really love the color. It is such a great shade. This one does have a pretty strong scent that I find a bit off putting. This was the least drying of all the formulas.

Kylie Cosmetics Matte Liquid Lipstick

I had seen other bloggers raving about Kylie Cosmetics. I was a bit hesitant but decided to give it a try. I went with the Koko K shade. The Koko K shade just didn't look right on me. The formula goes on well but it dries pretty quickly. Like the others I tried, this was also drying.  This one probably lasted the longest without needed reapplication. One downside of this long wearing formula is that it was hard to remove. 

August Beauty Review Conclusion

Of all the products I tried, I probably wouldn't buy the Kylie Cosmetics again. I really like to see my lip products in person before I buy. If I had that opportunity, I would have purchased a different shade. 

I am most interested in trying additional colors from the bareMinerals Gen Nude collection. I had the hardest time picking a color because I wanted them all.

Of the two drugstore brands, I would by either if they had more colors that I like. The Maybelline colors were more bold. The only other color I would consider trying is the Nude Flush which is a little more pink than the shade I purchased. The NYX comes in more colors that I would love to try. The price is good which makes up for the fact that I had to reapply it more often.


August: Life Lately



Motherhood

I was a bit apprehensive about my mother leaving and only having my husband to help with the two kids. Now I am so glad that my husband is home to help, because things haven't gotten any easier. Taking care of my littlest is pretty easy. We have a pretty solid schedule down. It is the toddler that is causing life to be a bit stressful. He has learned pretty quickly that when I am taking care of his brother that he can get into everything. He is also very loud and wakes up my littlest one all the time. I am not exactly sure how I am going to resolve these issues before my husband goes back to work at the end of the month. Any suggestions?

Marriage 

Things with my husband have gotten better. I think this is largely due to the fact that our littlest isn't waking in the middle of the night anymore. It is much easier to be nice to each other when you aren't sleep deprived.

Blog and Social Media

I haven't been able to keep up with the blog as much as I would like. I'm having a hard enough time get everything done. When I do have time, I have been focused on growing my social media following, particularly Instagram. It is going really slowly and I am feeling a bit discouraged. A new blogger that I follow has less than 100 Instagram posts but over 10k followers.


Upcoming

I am going to be focusing more on increasing pageviews for the blog and increasing my Instagram following.  Besides the blog, I have to look into additional forms of income for the family. The bills from the NICU have come in and they are way more than I anticipated.