Friday, May 30, 2014

MY GO-TO STORE BOUGHT WHOLE30 FOODS


So Whole30 is over for me, but the changes in my life have just begun. We finished on Sunday with a helping of mashed potatoes, rolls, and apple cobbler. Yesterday I decided to go out to eat because Spencer wasn't going to be home and guess what... I didn't get McDonlads! I didn't even feel like getting it. That's a huge step for me if you know me. I love me a hot'n'spicy every now and then. I just wanted to share my last Whole30 post (at least for a while) and share some things that I love, and some products that will help you get through it:
  • Food Should Taste Good Sweet Potato Chips (Original)
  • Plantain Chips: I used either these or the sweet potato chips for my salsa or guacamole  
  • Rao's Homemade Marinara Sauce: I know I can make my own but there is so much you have to cook with Whole30, that the last thing I want to make are sauces and condiments. I tried a couple none sweetened spaghetti sauces and they were all disgusting. This one is freaking amazing... even though it will cost you around $7. Worth it. 
  • RawFoodz Dressings
  • Tessemae's All Natural Dressings

  • Applegate Meats: I never knew how much I loves eating pepperoni plain until I went on Whole30. There are very few meats I like so when I found this I was in heaven. A lot if their meats are Whole30 complient, but I still ate there ham and bacon (which has the teensiest amount of brown sugar) because I don't like turkey or beef at all so I was too limited on my meats. However I do enjoy a good hot-dog and I know they have all natural beef franks which I haven't yet tried but fully intend to. I did buy their turkey dogs and they were absolutely disgusting. I normally like Oscar-Myers turkey dogs and their turkey bacon but maybe I only like turkey products when they are covered in nitrates and sugars.  
  • Aidells Chicken Sausage: Not all of them are Whole30 approved so read the label. I bought the Chicken & Apple. I also bought Italian Sausages at Costco that were all natural but I can't remember the brand. 
  • There are several ketchup's that I have tried. All are slightly illegal. I could not find a ketchup that didn't have either organic sugar, maltodextrin, or agave. I know there are "homemade" ketchups on Pinterest (I've even made one before when I was on my raw food cleanse) but being that Whole30 is already labor intensive, I just couldn't take the time to make all my condiments. Maybe there are some ketchups out there that I haven't found that are free of those, but I just picked my poison. I bought Sir Kensingtons Gourmet Ketchup, and Westbrae Unsweetened Ketchup. 
  • Larabars (only a select few are complient)
  • Unsweetened dry fruit. I bought the Trader Joe's brand. 

I've already had a number of people reach out to me and say they are starting Whole30 because of me which is a cool feeling. I'm glad I can be apart if someones journey to health. Even if you aren't doing Whole30, remember that knowledge is power! Know what's in your food and know great alternatives are out there. Have a Happy Healthy Friday!! 



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Friday, May 23, 2014

A WHOLE LOTTA WHOLE30


Don't worry guys, this isn't going to become a nutrition blog, but I plan on doing a few more Whole30 posts for any of you considering doing Whole30, or just for any of you that want to eat healthier. I just wanted to touch on a few more things about the program, some things I've learn, and some great places to eat that have saved me:


  • Whole30 has taught me so much about "unnecessary ingredients."  You wouldn't believe how many things have sugar and artificial flavoring and preservatives in them. Some of my most used condiments are ketchup and salad dressing. Go to your fridge now and see what's in yours. There is a good chance your salad dressing is loaded with things like sugar, caramel coloring, maltodextrin, soy lecithin, etc. And your Ketchup (if you're buying the worst possible kind) probably has high fructose corn syrup. There are unsweetened ketchup's out there. I've found them at Harmon's and Whole Foods. Yes, they do taste a little different so if you don't like that then find a ketchup with organic cane sugar. It's easier then you think! Salad dressings can contain a whole concoction if ingredients but there are several out there that are primarily made of oil and vinegar. I immediately noticed they weren't as flavorful as my old salad dressings but duh! How could they be when the old ones were packed with sugar and I didn't even realize it! Now I've come to love the simplicity of all natural dressings. 
  • If you don't like to cook, meal plan, and make grocery lists, Whole30 will not be easy for you. Whole30 is all about dirtying dishes and then cleaning up and doing that again a few hours later. Everything you make will basically be from scratch (although I will share a few pre-made stuff I was able to find that was compliant). If you come home from work starving and you haven't planned ahead, you probably will succumb to your old routines. Luckily the Whole30 website has a bunch of helpful downloads including a shopping list, meal planning template, a grocery guide, a guide to "sneaky sugars" to watch out for, and much more. 
PLACES TO EAT:
  • Jimmy Johns: This is one of my favorite sandwich places and man is that bread delicious. But did you know on their menu there is something called an "Unwhich?" It's basically a Sandwich in a lettuce wrap. They are fabulous. And you can take it home and put your own homemade Whole30 mayo on it and eat it with a side of sweet potato chips. 
  • Cubby's: This is obviously only for Utah locals but go get their tri-tip steak salad! Salads are a great option anywhere but most of the time you will have to bring your own dressing. Not here though! The cilantro lime dressing is in fact Whole30 compliant and don't forget to get a side of sweet potato fries!  
  • Chipotle: Get the carnitas burrito bowl with lettuce, pico de gallo and guacamole. 
  • In-N-Out: Get a burger protein style and make sure you ask for it mustard fried. It will make it 10x better (so I hear). Make sure to ask them to hold the spread if you want to be completely compliant. 
* I'm sure there are a lot more places and things to eat but those are some great go-to options. Always ask questions. All the basic ingredients may be compliant, but make sure to ask what kind of oil things are cooked in. Sometimes that can be the deal breaker, but lots of places will accommodate you so don't be afraid to ask! 

MY BEEF (figurative beef not literal beef): 

The one thing that I didn't like about Whole30 (and that I wasn't compliant on) where what they call SWYPO foods. It stands for Sex With Your Pants On. Have I lost any of you yet? Basically it's metaphor for foods that are ingredient compliant, but too closely resemble foods you shouldn't be eating. Their analogy behind it is that it's like having sex with your pants on: it's somewhat satisfying, but it will remind you too much of how good sex without pants is and it might make you want to give in. For example, they say you shouldn't have (compliant) store bought sweet potato chips. All they are are sweet potatoes, salt, and oil. So if I cook a sweet potato myself, and put oil and salt on it it's fine, but if they are super crispy and resemble a chip its not? I'm calling BS on this one. Instead of assuming these things will make people fall off the bandwagon, I like to think its had the opposite effect on me. I found compliant sweet potato chips made by a brand called "Food Should Taste Good." And guess what, now that I know I can have "healthy" chips, I never want to go back! This has opened a new door for me of ways to make junk food healthier! Another SWYPO food that Spencer particularly liked was a banana pancake recipe I found on @amazon_ashley's instagram. Just combined 3 eggs, 1 banana, and 1/4 cup coconut flour. Of course you can't have syrup with this but Spencer would put eggs and bacon on top of them for breakfast and loved it. This didn't make us want to cheat and eat real pancakes; this actually made me realize there are a whole bunch of grain and sugar free options when it comes to making out favorite breakfast items and I'm excited to experiment with them. Bottom line, I ate SWYPO foods and didn't feel it effected me in a negative way but if you are doing Whole30 then you can come to your own conclusion about including those items in your diet. 

Oooooooooook I've talked enough for today. Next week I'll share my favorite Whole30 store bought options so that I don't make this post any longer. But again, I hope even if you aren't doing Whole30 that you find this post helpful. It's always great to be aware of what you are eating and let your food empower you... 80ish% of the time... and the rest of the time you just need to eat a damn cupcake when you want it! 



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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

WHOLE30 UPDATE: AKA I WANT CARBS

Well it's technically day 26 of my Whole 30 so I wanted to give you all an update. Most of you have probably seen the very embarrassing picture above. Embarrassing mostly because I was always know as the girl with the 4 pack. My abs were my pride and joy. Before I got married I use to walk 1-3 miles a day to and from school and around campus. Now I have a full time job and sit at a desk all day. I also would come home and just eat a salad for dinner. Now that I'm married I have to think of at least 2 other sides for that salad for Spencer. Here is what little proof I have of the glory days: 
Once I stopped moving and starting eating larger portions... it all went down hill from there. But it took 2 years for me to really notice. I recently read something on one of my favorite mock blogs "White Girl Problems" that I could totally relate to: 

"About once a month I’ll get “serious” about losing weight, go to the nearest juice place and get a smoothie that’s called “Green Machine” (which definitely has like 800 calories), and then give up a week later after having tortured myself to lose a pound. To clarify, it’s not that I’m “fat”, it’s just that I've been in this really weird medium space for the past few years where people don’t necessarily notice if I lose a few pounds, and “getting in shape” would require a overhaul of my diet and lifestyle. Basically, I’m not skinny or fat."


The problem with not being fat yet not being super thin, is that no one notices when you gain or lose a few pounds... including yourself. The real thing that called me out was a few pairs of my pants that were hard to button. See those white pants above ^ I had a hard time getting those on before Whole30. I literally bought them not fitting because the size up was too big but I really wanted white jeans. So I said to myself "Self, we have a few lbs to lose so lets get the pants as motivation." Seriously guys I only worked out 3 times (not including dog walks). The way you eat can really dictate how you look with or without exercise. Which is also great mental motivation because they I start imagining how great I could look if I actually did workout regularly. I honestly have only lost like maybe 3 pounds. But each pound of fat takes up more room than you'd imagine: 



I'll be very honest with you guys... on day 8 Spencer (aka the Devil) said "We deserve a dessert." So naturally we had cupcakes and ice cream. But I want everyone to know that he caved first! Ha! BUT that didn't mean we went back to eating like before. There recently was some Instagram controversy on a picture/post that was later deleted on @jennaskitchen's Intagram. Her caption talked about how she hates when people say they are doing Whole30 or that they finished but they cheated in one way or another. She compared it to running 17 miles but saying that you completed a marathon. Obviously a lot of people were overly-sensitive about this post (probably cheaters) but I didn't care... you know why? Because either way I got back on that horse and kept riding. And few cheats frankly made it so it felt like I wasn't on a diet but just choosing to eat right. Ya I could have McDonalds because I've already cheated once, but I'm not going to! I feel like this makes it easier to transition after the 30 days because I'm not going crazy and indulging on all the things I couldn't have. So maybe come this Sunday I shouldn't announce that I "finished Whole30" but ya know what... I'm going to because I just don't give a damn. In my opinion if having one cheat day, or leaving one food item in the diet that you're not suppose to have, or buying that one condiment you can't find preservative free means that you can do the rest of the Whole30... then by all means do it! It's not about a competition. It's about getting health and reminding your body what it really needs and how much better it feels with out all the crap. Literally my body was just bloated from junk. And after only the first 2 weeks I was able to unbloat it and get some of my old pants on. On top of that I've realized that I don't need as big of portions as I had been having. Spencer and joke that we are getting skinnier only because we are now forced to have a mild form of anorexia. I mean you really can't over indulge on fruits and veggies. But in all seriousness we've trained our body to realize it's ok to not be stuffed or feel like you need to unbutton your pants after a meal. That doesn't measure how good the actual food was. Spencer and I still want to continue to eat Whole30-style about 80% of the time after this week is over, and one great way to do this is to keep your fridge mostly Whole30 appropriate, and that way when you want to eat bad you have to go out to eat to do it (which that's generally when people eat the worst). This also prevents unhealthy snacking around the house. 

Lastly, I just want to stress what a God-send Pinterest is if you are trying to eat healthy. Are you feeling like pancakes? chocolate chip cookies? pizza? There is a "more healthy" way to make everything whether it's by making things gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, or just making it from scratch and cutting out all the preservatives and extra crap companies put in their food. Take pizza dough for example. You make it from scratch and its just water, dry active yeast, sugar, salt, olive oil, and bread flour. 6 ingredients! That's it! But if you go buy Pillsbury's Classic Pizza Dough, here is what you get: 

Enriched Flour Bleached (wheat flour, niacin, ferrous sulfate, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), Water, Dextrose, Sugar, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean And/or Cottonseed Oil*. Contains 2% or less of: Vital Wheat Gluten, Leavening (glucono delta-lactone, baking soda), Salt, Mono and Diglycerides, Xanthan Gum.*Adds A Trivial Amount Of Trans Fat

I don't know about you, but there are a lot of those things that my body could do without on that list. I'm doing this change for me, but it's always makes you feel good when you have multiple people reach out to you and say they are trying Whole30 because you of. Thank you to all who have inspired me and encouraged me. I can't wait to continue this healthy journey!  


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Friday, May 16, 2014

DOGZILLA


Late last night Spencer and I decided to go see Godzilla with some friends, and if you didn't know, I'm a sucker for giant monster movies. Which makes me think that Spencer and I are going to end up a little like Phil and Claire from Modern Family: http://www.tvweb.com/shows/modern-family/season-2/our-children-ourselves--french-film-vs-croctopus 

Of course I had a classic Ashley moment in the theater where I opened a drink that had gotten shooken? shaken?  up. Who knows... but it spewed like a fountain on the people that were in front of us, but I was at an angle so they were a couple seats down so naturally they didn't suspect me. They kept looking around and trying to see who had a guilty face but they never suspected the innocent looking girl in the Spiderman sweatshirt and Uggs (it was a fancy night for me obviously). Also after the movie the kid next to me (that came in after the incident) was complaining about how sticky the floor was and the souls of his shoes were literally sticking to the floor as he walked out of the theater. Oops. And yes... I did have a soda, and yes I have had a couple cheats on Whole30 but I'll update you more on that come Monday. 

Below are some pictures I took of Spencer and I on our favorite "Zero walk." It's in a gated community in Provo that has the sweetest little path with a stream that runs between the houses (they technically don't have back yards). This place is the hidden gem of dog walks (so maybe I shouldn't share it)! We never have to have her on a leash, we swear no people even live there because we never see anyone, she loves playing in the little stream, and on top of that we have snuck into the pool twice to see if she was a natural swimmer. See my video from Facebook or Instagram to see two crazy parents get waaaaay too excited about a doggy paddle. And because I'm super into interior and exterior design, I will only go on walks with million dollar homes because they are just too fun to look at and dream about. Well, here are far too many picture. Happy Friday!  



^^She loves to follow him around
^^Her running face kills me!
^^And our attempt at an unfocused and self-timed family photo. 

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Monday, May 5, 2014

1ST WORLD PROBLEMS

(Unrelated picture of the cutest dog ever)

Lately, nothing has been giving me more anxiety than the A/C. That's right, the air conditioner! Remind me never again to move into a basement apartment that has a shared A/C and heating unit... unless the people upstairs are elderly, because then I know they will always be cold too, and be too cheap to turn their A/C on. The owner of the house who lives upstairs is gone for the Summer selling for Vivint, and I was so excited to hear that I would have complete control of the A/C all summer long, but life had other plans. Turns out the owner decided to have a friend move in while he was gone. And although my landlord was very understanding about the cold basement, this new homeboy just has no respect. Yes, we may have made a "mutual" agreement through a 3rd party to keep the A/C and heat set at 71 degrees, but the first huge flaw with that is that YES it may be 71 degrees upstairs, but it's probably only 69 downstairs, so really I'm being cheated. Also, I can't honestly believe that there is only one degree at which homeboy is satisfied. Really? If it's 72 you automatically start sweating and if its' 70 then you are nice enough to grant us the heat but ONLY 71 is an acceptable temperature? Give me a break. There has got to be at least a 1 to 2 degree difference going either way that really doesn't make much of a change. 

The other thing that makes me want to pull a Frank Underwood (House of Cards) and somehow blackmail him into letting me have complete control over the A/C, is the fact that he just couldn't give a damn about the people in the basement. He'll have the A/C going for a while, then I'll get cold and send a message to him that we are cold by turning it off, and instead of opening a window (when it's below 71 degrees anyway outside) or turning on a ceiling fan, he just turns the A/C back on. Cool bro. I'll just put on one more pair of sweats. That's what bugs me the most because it's also just a complete waste of energy. Sorry it's 72 degrees upstairs... but guess what... it's 62 degrees outside on this lovely spring night... open a GD window and I promise you will be nice and cool in seconds! Guys... I know I sound like a wild woman... but that's only because I AM. I have temperature OCD. I literally check the temp every 5 minutes when the A/C is on. I also hate that the utilities closet is in the basement so every time the A/C turns on it's really loud in the basement and when I hear it I start feeling cold even though I can't feel it yet! It's messing with me man!     

Sure, once summer comes it will be a little better because if I'm being freeze blasted I can always open a window and let the heat wave roll in. But until then Spring will continue to be a living hell... as I imagine fall will too. Well why don't you close the vents Ashley? Glad you asked. First off, you can't exactly close a vent all the way which is extremely annoying. So although a lot of the air is being redirected, you are still getting cool air. The other annoying thing is that because it's Utah and it's bipolar weather, I am constantly having to close the vents and then open the when it dips below 71 to take advantage of the heat. It's a nice little work out for me. So yesterday I decided to take matters into my own hands and went and bought these at Lowes: 


Here is the only problem... Surprise! It's going to be in the 60's after today for the rest of the week, which means it's really going to be in the 50's in the basement, which in turn means I get to take all of these down because most likely the heat will turn on. And that concludes this weeks installment of bitching about my first world problems. 


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