Half a year later

I honestly don’t even know where to begin. My last post was in December of 2014, and it’s now July 2015. That’s WAY to long to go without posting. So today, I start again.

But where to start? Do I make a post about Jack, Lane, Tough Mudder, my new tattoo, the basement, work, beer, the gym, or somewhere else? Too much has happened over the past 7 months to capture it all. There’s just no way to get it all into a post, and I’m sure I’ve forgotten more things than I’d ever be able to share here.

So now that I’ve wasted the first two paragraphs talking about how much I haven’t talked about in the past year I’m just gonna get right down to things.

Jack is about to be 9 months old. We love this guy! He’s got so much personality and is such a Turner that it hurts some times. He’s not quite rolling over consistently yet, but he’s certainly done it a few times. He is on baby food, eats everything, and is growing like crazy. Right now he’s teething and about to cut his 8th… or 9th tooth. We’ve lost count as it happens so rapidly. The other week he started saying “dadadada” and then “mamamamama”. So talking isn’t far off. We’ve got a walker that he really enjoys being in because he’s mobile. I have a feeling this kid will be walking before he can craw, which is something he’s not really been keen on as of yet. So, this is a far cry from the last time I posted about Jack. He still frustrates the hell out of us, but I don’t know of any 9 month old that is just always the perfect baby. Oh, and he’s trending about 8-9 months ahead of his age as far as clothing, so that’s always fun.

OCR (Obstacle Course Races):

Watch these. That’ll pretty much sum things up. Jess and I have done both a Tough Mudder and Warrior Dash this year. I have 2 Spartan races coming up in the fall and can’t wait!

Work is work. I’ve been working on the same project for the better part of 2 years now. The good thing is, its not something that has either a budget or end date. I can always add more features and functionality and as long as our sales team sells it, I’ll be in demand!

The house:
I don’t know what I have / haven’t posted about in regards to what’s been done around the house. We’ve done more landscaping in the back yard, had some more trees cut down, painted some rooms, re-arranged furniture, contemplated finishing things, started new things and generally been home owners who own a home that always have something to do. Also, it seems that no matter how much water I put on the grass it doesn’t want to turn into a golf course.

Jack and LaneLane:
Where to even begin with this kid?! He’s grown so much in the past year that it’s hard to capture it all even if I posted every day. There’s nothing this kid can’t do, especially if you ask him. As a general rule he really can do most things, and even things he can’t he’ll give it a try. This kid surprises me all the time. He wanted some yogurt out of the fridge the other day, so he found a stool, took it into the kitchen, climbed to the top shelf of the fridge and got it. He only likes to ask for help, so you can watch him do something on his own. He loves his family, gets frustrated and communicates why, tells jokes, remembers things that both Jess and I have long since forgotten, is able to follow even the most complex of directions. I want to freeze time so I can keep him at this age forever, but I am also excited to see what’s next in his big little world.

It seems that these days its becoming more and more difficult to make time to hang out with my friends. We’ve all got kids now and syncing up schedules and such is always such a chore. On the off chance that we do get to hang out, its a great time. I love my friends and have some really great people in my life.

Speaking of great people in my life…. This woman. She’s my best friend. My companion. My wife. My everything. There are days when she frustrates me, days when I frustrate her, but at the end of EVERY day there is such a deep love and respect that I can’t imagine any other life. She has grown so much as a mother, teacher, and person in the past year and I am just so proud of all the things she has accomplished. There really is a never ending list of ways I love her.

The gym:
First off, I still HATE pull-ups. I have continued to get stronger, faster, better, and more well rounded in the gym. But my hands and my grip are still weak and no matter what I do, I will most likely rip. I did the Memorial Day Murph, which has 100 pull-ups and despite finishing I did some serious damage to my hands. Despite my pull-ups not getting much better, I’ve increased the weight that I can lift via deadlift, clean, jerk, push press, drastically. But with that being said this past week I discovered that we all have bad days and my bad day was an abysmal performance while trying to do a bench press. In my attempt to simply do the same weight/reps I’ve done before I failed. A lot. This left me with a sour taste in my mouth, but at the same time, it gave me a drive to get back in the gym and work on my weakness and turn it around.

Varicose veins:
I had them, not so much any more. Many, many, many years in the making and I have finally gotten ride of the veins that were so unsightly in my legs. I’m only about a week out from my final procedure, but I can tell that things are improving. In about 5 more weeks all the swelling should be down and I’ll have some silky smooth legs! Well, maybe not that much, but they’ll be tenfold better than they were.

Chase, Jack, JessChase:
We have a teenager. And a teenager he certainly is. One minute he’s dancing and singing in the kitchen with us, the next he’s completely shut him self into his room and won’t join us for anything. He has some massive mood swings and they come out of nowhere. With that being said, he’s still a really good kid. There are other teens out there that are just unbearable, but not Chase. He has all the signs of being a teen, and just like with our other two kids, eventually he’ll grow out of that phase and move on to the next one. Hopefully the football he’s signed up for that starts in the fall will help him with that.

All the rest:
Like I mentioned earlier, I can’t begin to cover everything. My goal is to keep posting and try to capture as much of the day-to-day as I can. Pics, videos, Tweets, etc., I’d like to get it all, or at the very least a majority of it.

Today I didn’t do “Murph”

While the rest of the CrossFit world did “Murph“, I spent the day not doing it. I really would have liked to do the WOD. I didn’t do it last year, mainly because I was no where near prepared and I was rather ‘green’ at the gym. This year I feel like I am at least prepared enough to make it through without dying. I may not do it with the weight vest, but I think I could manage the entire thing.

The one thing about Murph that would have really gotten me would be the pull-ups. I simply don’t have the proper kip down, and my overall upper body strength is not at a level that I can consistently do lots of reps of strict pull-ups. On top of that, my hands have some wicked blisters/calluses. For whatever reason, I can’t seem to keep my hands from tearing or bunching up to the point where it hurts to simply put them on a bar. I’ve tried all manner of things to no avail. I’ll get it one day. I mean, this time last year I wasn’t even able to do 1-2 pull-ups with out a band. Now, I can string together quite a few. And it’s my damn shoulders too! They just hurt and are sore and tense and still need a lot of work.

Any way, today I didn’t do Murph. There were a lot of factors that went into that. Instead, I spent time with my family at the pool and then with good friends hanging out enjoying the weather. It was a good day indeed!

There’s always that moment when you know things need to change

Over the past year I worked really hard at getting to my goal weight. I worked just as hard to stay at that weight. Through the holidays and parties and work trips and such, I was able to maintain my sub-200lb weight. Today the scale, which I have not been on in about a week, said 202.

I know I’ve not been steric with my diet or my fitness, but to lose something I worked so hard for really hit me made me realize that I need to reign things in.

This is my reminder post that I need to change things, again. No more eating what I want and thinking I can fitness my way out of it. No more rewards of alcohol just because I cut the grass on a hot day. I worked hard once and I reached my goal. I can will do it again.

I’ll post again in a month or so with where things stand.

Oh, and this is also my reminder post that I need to update the damn blog more. I plan on doing that too.

The Test of Fitness

I’m tip-toeing back into the blog thing and wanted to start off by posting this video.

Jess and I are so drinking the kool-aid right now, that we’re trying to make it and serve it to others. CrossFit has become an integral part of our day-to-day lives. We talk about it pretty much every day, or at least a few times a week. One of the first things I check in the AM is the days WOD, even if I’m not going to the gym. I just love the idea of being fit, pushing myself, pushing Jess, pushing the limits of what I once thought I could do.

Next week the CrossFit Open starts and it is the true test of fitness. Well, the Games are like the World Bowl Slam Ball game, but it all starts with the Open. This will be Jess’ first year doing it and I can’t wait to see her awesome results. She was very timid at first and didn’t want to do something that she didn’t think she could excel at. But eventually she signed up and is now more juiced than ever. I got a ticket (thanks to a friend of mine at the gym) to go see the 14.1 announcement next week and couldn’t be more excited. This, to me is like if Sport Team Squad had a press conference where they were announcing their Spring training lineup starters and at the conference 2 of the star athletes on the team were doing some sort of demo/tryout/scrimmage/etc. This is my sport (yes, I do in a way consider it a sport).  I am so pumped to go see the whole thing and watch 2 people who I respect very much in the CrossFit community perform at their best…. doing a workout. I know it sounds crazy. I mean…. I’m essentially going to watch an announcement of a workout and then watch 2 people DO the workout! But I couldn’t be more excited.

So that’s that. The video has gotten me even more pumped and jazzed. I know this post may have rambled or seem disjointed or whatever, but that’s how CrossFit is. It just kinda comes at ya and changes when you least expect it! Stay tuned for more updates as to our progress and journey through the Open, the games, and on into a healthier, more fulfilled life! For now, I’m off to get on my gym clothes and go do today’s workout!

Whole30: Day 24 – 30 (and beyond)

Meals Day 25 – 30

  • Breakfast: Eggs, eggs, eggs, meat, bacon, sausage, meat, sweet potatoes, carrots, eggs…..
  • Lunch: Left over what we had for dinner the night before or some meat and veggie platter.
  • Dinner: A bunch of meat and some vegetables and most likely sweet potatoes and more meat.
  • Snack: Nuts. Lots and lots of nuts and fruit.

There’s no need to break down what I ate. I have pictures of it, I ate it, it was delicious, and the next day, I ate the same thing with slight variation.

The breakdown

Well, damn. I reckon the wheels really did come off this whole frequent update thing. Here it is a week after the Whole30 ended and I’m just now getting around to making a post about the final week. I mean, that final week was a drag. Regardless I figured I’d make at least one final post about the Whole30 and our experience with it. Like I said, its been a week since the end of the program, and this post is actually supposed to cover the final week. That means I gotta remember two weeks back?! Nah, I’m good. Well, I can recount some of it, but the details will remain tucked away in my paleo brain.

The final week was pretty much like the third week. We stuck to the plan and made approved dishes. We longed for fall beers and pancakes. Jess and I both wanted a Pumpkin Spice Latte and despite the overwhelming temptations we held strong. The gym was on par with all other weeks as well. On Saturday the 14th we participated in the Run For Your Lives.
The race this year was much different than last year. This year was full of rocks and hills and not a whole lot of zombies. Last year was mud, rain, and I didn’t have my wife by my side to fend off the hordes.

So….. This post got started like 2 weeks ago, and the Whole30 ended like a week prior to that. In fact, this past weekend we had a post Whole30 celebration dinner! With that being said, rather than even attempt to go back and recount details, I’ll give a super high overview. Mainly because at some point I’d like to look back on this and remember how much of a rewarding challenge it was. When the dust settled I didn’t win the whole thing, but I did win the Spirit of the Challenge distinction. This basically means that I was the most involved and did my best to keep the team going. I really enjoyed that aspect of the challenge. I like to motivate people and be as social as I can. I didn’t expect to win the whole thing and was happy to have participated with such a great group of people.

Now that the Whole30 is over, Jess and I have decided to mostly stay paleo. She’s a bit more strict than I am, but for the most part we’re both staying on the plan. Jess has found that dairy gives her a splitting headache and gluten tears up her stomach (maybe TMI, but whateves). Those things don’t really effect me, so I tend to include more in my daily routine.

What we’ve learned since doing more paleo is that this community of people will do what ever they can to twist approved ingredients into food that is ridiculously indulgent. Just do a search and you’ll find recipes for dark chocolate paleo cookies or bacon wrapped…. anything. It’s just crazy the lengths people will go to, to try and recreate a non-paleo food. Luckily, Jess and I are foodies and find that part of the “diet” fun! And if you’re having fun and don’t feel restricted then the chances of success increase tenfold.

So that’s that’s, that. I’m sure there’s a lot I’ve left off. Its been weeks since we’ve finished, we’ve done more workouts and struggled, had beer, ate countless eggs, and many many packs of bacon. I love everything that’s come out of the Whole30 challenge. I feel fantastic and better than I ever have in my life. My wife looks more stunning and beautiful every day. She’s stuck to this thing and continues to improve and keep me honest. I loved having her as a partner and wouldn’t want to go through this with anyone else.

Here’s the pics!

Jess - After front
Jess – After front
Jess - Before front
Jess – Before front
Ben - Before front
Ben – Before front
Ben - After front
Ben – After front

Oh, and please note, that I’m kinda half typing this and half watching the Real Housewives of New Jersey reunion. So I’m sure there are some holes and lapses in thought. But it’s all good. 🙂

Whole30: Day 19 – 24

Meals Day 19 – 9/06/13

  • Breakfast: Omelette, sausage, sweet potato mash
  • Lunch: Chopped steak salad with avocado, mushrooms, peppers and tomatoes
  • Dinner: Salmon, asparagus, mushrooms, puréed peas
  • Snack: This big ass bouquet of fruit! (Well, some of it)*

Meals Day 20 – 9/07/13

  • Breakfast: 2 egg omellette, sausage, sweet potato hash, tomato
  • Lunch: Turkey breast, collard greens, broccoli
  • Dinner: Rotisserie chicken… like literally half a chicken

Meals Day 21 – 9/08/13

  • Breakfast: Sausage and egg scramble, fruit
  • Lunch: Pork chop, zucchini, tomato
  • Dinner: Brats, peppers onions mushrooms, guacamole

Meals Day 22 – 9/09/13

  • Breakfast: Sausage and egg scramble, sweet potato hash
  • Lunch: Salad with steak, guacamole, bacon
  • Dinner: Chorizo stuff tomatoes with avocado

Meals Day 23 – 9/10/13

  • Breakfast: Banana, turkey bacon, egg white (Starbucks breakfast sandwich w/o the bread or cheese)
  • Lunch: Burger patty with tomato, pickle, avocado
  • Dinner: Salad with steak, guacamole, bacon

Meals Day 24 – 9/11/13

  • Breakfast: Bacon, eggs, sweet potato hash
  • Lunch: Grilled chicken salad with avocado, egg, and bacon
  • Dinner: Steak and eggs with sweet potatoes and bacon

The breakdown

In all honesty, I’ve kinda fallen off the wagon. Not necessarily the food wagon, but more so with the updates. In the beginning I was gung-ho about the updates and posting about food and whatnot, but now… its a tedious process to update/post my food and then post it again and take a picture, etc. Here it is day 24 and I’m just now making my post for day 19 – 23. The food and eating is pretty easy at this point. I know what to look for at the store or on a menu. I know how to fix a meal that meets the restrictions of the program. And in all honesty, I don’t really think the program is all that restrictive any more. There are so many foods that I can eat, that I don’t really think about the foods that I can’t. Plus, the foods that I can’t, I don’t really even want, so that’s definitely a good thing.

These past few days have been fairly good. I’m still battling this stupid sickness and its making me frustrated. In addition to the runny nose, cough, and congestion, I also get dizzy when I stand up from sitting down. It could be from the couch or the car or a chair at the office, but when I stand I get dizzy. I’m fairly confident that I have chronic subjective dizziness. And by CSD I mean, that I get dizzy and its most likely related to the head congestion. I did go to the doc to get things checked out, but its most likely not anything alarming. I don’t think it has anything to do with the food or workouts. I’ll just wait to see what the doc says when my blood work comes back.

On Friday the weather was great and our usual group of co-workers headed out to lunch. This meant a patio and an extended break from the humdrum day. The eatery of choice today was Mellow Mushroom. Dude, I LOVE me some pizza and add a patio and the notion that I didn’t have to return to work for a while and that’s a recipe for beers and a lazy afternoon. NOT TODAY!! While the rest of the crew ordered their calzones, cheesy garlic bread appetizers, and beers-a-plenty, I went with a salad and some water. I could look around the table and see each of them getting more and more sluggish as the meal went on. In addition, no one finished their lunch… other than me. Either beer or Coke + loads of cheese and meat and bread was just too much to handle. Plus they were all sweaty and hot from the sun. Gross! I mean, this is rather braggadocious of me, but I felt great. I had a salad with some steak and avocado and bacon and was good to go! I ate all the food I paid for ($7 for lunch ain’t bad) and the rest of the day I didn’t “need a nap”. Bam! PALEO!!!

When I got back from lunch I noticed a huge ass basket of fruit sitting on my desk. I thought surely someone placed it there by mistake. However to my surprise it was a gift from my wife! She had been hinting at wanting a basket of fruit all day, but it wasn’t until I got back from lunch that I realized why. Earlier that day she placed an order and had it delivered to my office. Literally there couldn’t have been a better gift waiting on me when I got back from lunch. We snacked on that bad boy for a few days. Yum!!

On quick side note about Friday’s dinner… We had dinner at The Chicken and the Egg and I was incredibly underwhelmed with that place. Way over priced and our waiter wasn’t helpful at all when I asked how various items on the menu were prepared. When we asked about subbing items he pretty much said we couldn’t. When I asked him to leave the honey off my salmon, he said “it’s just a little bit on there.” That doesn’t work for me. I don’t care how much of something is on there, if I don’t want it or ask for it to be left off, please do so. For a place this pretentious, I expected a lot more accommodations when it comes to their “farm to table” approach. It really did come down to the service. I mean, the guy was just REALLY not helpful at all. Simple things like “can I get the collards with the trout instead of the rice and beans?” was met with a “no, it just kinda comes that way.” That’s unacceptable. I know chef must have put some thought into how the dishes were prepared and what would go well with each protein, but I should be able to sub an item out. Especially on a limited item menu. In addition, they brought me the wrong food, then offered me a salad. I said sure, and the salad came out with cheese and a vinaigrette. I guess thats on me for not asking what all was on the salad, but I sent that back too. Then to make up for the messed up dinner they offered us dessert. When I turned it down, he said that it was on them. Again, if I turn something down, don’t continue to offer it. Your justification of why I should have it, will never be as good as my reason I shouldn’t have it. I left there feeling very frustrated and mad. It was my fault for taking in a kid that was cranky, and I understand that. But nothing about the food made me want to go back, even after the Whole30 thing is over. I can prepare meals at home just as good if not better.

Saturday, Jess went and got her hair chopped off (it’s suuuuper cute btw) while Lane and I had some boy time. The weather was gorgeous and we knew we wanted to go to a park and spend the afternoon outside. On the way we stopped by the store to pick up some toys and such for Lane and some snacks. The problem was, there’s not really anything to snack on, while out and about, that’s Whole30 approved. Jess, always the thinker did the best thing she possibly could… she got us a rotisserie chicken! That’s right, we ate an entire chicken as a snack. Two people driving down the road on the way to the park just devouring a chicken, caveman style! It was pretty crazy just nomming on a chicken, but sure enough, 20 mins later and the thing was down to just fat, skin, and bones. Needless to say, it might be a while before we go to town on another rotisserie chicken again.

Tuesday night was another pretty big milestone for both Jess and I. We went and saw Mumford & Sons and typically we would have had a few beers before going in and then maybe a few more during the concert. This would have made one or both of us have to make constant trips to the bathroom. On top of that we would have been bloated, hot and sweaty, felt sluggish, and then the next morning we would have been hung over and just wasted the day trying to sleep off the effects of our poor choices. However, we made a smart choice to not drink. The friends that we met up with certainly did not make the same choice and were constantly back and forth to the beer line or having to pee, and I’m sure they felt the effects in the morning. I attribute being sober to us enjoying the show more. We didn’t have to worry about drinking or being uncomfortable we could just enjoy the breeze, the music, and each other’s company. It really was just about us and not about what we were consuming. The show was hands down one of the best I had ever seen and I really didn’t miss the drinking one bit.
[KGVID width=”640″ height=”360″]http://www.sniperbear.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/mumford.mp4[/KGVID]

Wednesday Jess and I both had the day off. We took this opportunity to go to the gym together. This is a rare occurrence and one that we like to take advantage of whenever possible. Now that we’re doing the Olympic Lifting Program I was really looking forward to today’s workout. Mario (one of the owners/trainers) gave a fantastic session on proper cleans. One thing that I’m really trying to work on is my overall technique. The strength portion will come with time, but if I’m lifting improperly then it doesn’t matter how strong I am. As it pertains to the Whole30, I’ve been doing a lot of reading about proper pre/post-workout fuel. With it being a noon workout we knew going in that we had plenty of time before to load up on proper proteins and fats to give us energy and we made preparations for after so that we wouldn’t be struggling. Well, by “preparations” I mean that we went to Taco Mac and had a grilled chicken salad and like 14 cups of water. This turned out to be clutch as we felt good for the rest of the day… other than the general soreness of the actual workout.

We’re now down to the wire. Six more days and the Whole30 is a wrap. I don’t know what my final results will show, but I can tell you now that I feel better. I feel stronger and more adept to what ever life may throw at me. I don’t feel dependent on food or drinks to get me through the day. I eat to fuel my body properly and that’s becoming enough. Food to fix problems that food caused is no longer my way out. Just six more days and that’s it! I have a feeling that post Whole30 this family will continue to reap the benefits of the Paleo lifestyle.


Whole30: Day 13 – 18

Meals Day 13 – 8/31/13

  • Breakfast: Bacon and eggs
  • Lunch: Pulled pork, home made BBQ sauce and carrots
  • Dinner: Steak, roasted sweet potatoes, asparagus

Meals Day 14 – 9/01/13

  • Breakfast: Bacon, eggs, roasted southwest sweet potatoes
  • Lunch: Left over chicken curry
  • Dinner: Pork burgers with sautéed mushrooms, and, guacamole with a side of crispy sweet potatoes

Meals Day 15 – 9/02/13

  • Breakfast: “Cereal” consisting of the Cinnamon Faux-st Crunch, unsweetened almond milk, cashews, almonds, unsweetened coconut flakes, walnuts, dried cranberries. T’was delish!
  • Lunch: Sautéed peppers and onions with left over steak and sausage
  • Dinner: Pork ribs, collard greens, roasted carrots!

Meals Day 16 – 9/03/13

  • Breakfast: Omelette with salami and half a banana
  • Lunch: Burger patties with a fried egg and left over collard greens and a pickle
  • Dinner: Shrimp and scallops with diced tomatoes over spaghetti squash

Meals Day 17 – 9/04/13

  • Breakfast: 2 egg omelette, sausage, sweet potato hash, avocado
  • Lunch: Left over shrimp & scallops over spaghetti squash
  • Dinner: Grilled chicken breast, roasted butternut squash, sautéed spinach with olives, mushrooms, and sun dried tomatoes

Meals Day 18 – 9/05/13

  • Breakfast: Chicken breast, omelette, sweet potato hash
  • Lunch: Chicken breast, collard greens, tomato
  • Dinner: Roasted buffalo wings and broccoli

The breakdown

You know… it’s been a hectic week. Hectic but it flew by. Im fairly behind on my updates, mainly because I’ve just not had time to sit down and write out in full detail how my day is going, how I felt about the food I was eating, the gym, etc. So rather than try to go back and remember, I figured I’d just give a general recap of the week based on what I do remember.

So last weekend college football kicked off, literally… it’s football. And with football usually comes beer and drinkin that beer and grilling and whatnot. It also usually signals the turn of the weather, which means festivals and being outdoors more and again, more beer and drinking. Saturday morning we loaded up the car and went to the local farmer’s market where they were having some big festival thing with all kinds of arts and crafts and chalk artists in addition to the usual food vendors that are there. We really just wanted to get our usual staple of almond butter and meat, but we decided to walk around a bit and see what all was the happs. In all honesty, it was kinda boring. I mean, there was some decent art, but we really art artsy people. I’m glad that people are talented enough to make fish sculptures out of scrap metal or whittle a hunk of wood into a bowl, but that’s really not something we need around our house. Oh, and that black and white photograph of fog rolling in over Turner Field… neat. So we made our way over to the food stuffs and picked up what we had come for and were on our way. Nothing too fancy, but it was good to walk around and enjoy the weather.

After the farmer’s market we headed off to a few other stores to pick up a few items we needed for meals during the holiday weekend. This would be the first of SEVERAL trips to the store during a mere three day span. I think in total we made 5 trips to the store in 3 days. But I digress. We both knew, by the time lunch rolled around that we were going to want a beer with our steaks while the Georgia game was on. It was a late game, and dinner would be done right at kickoff. It was merely a toasting beer to celebrate the opening of the season, not a GO DAWGS SICK’EM drunken ordeal. After all, 15 days into Whole30, you become a cheap drunk, so it wouldn’t have taken much any way. We made steaks for dinner, roasted up some vegetables and settled in for the game. Twenty minutes later we were watching an episode of Bone’s and piddling on our phones while Chase roamed the neighborhood with his friends. In reality, we’re more of a social football watching kinda crew. If there’s people around and its a good game we’ll watch it, but sitting on our couch for 4+ hours watching a football game after having one beer… not really the BEST way to spend our evenings.

BUSTED!! Actually, she didn't have any of this tasty treat! :)
Actually, she didn’t have any of this tasty treat! 🙂

So that was Saturday. I know I said I was gonna just generalize the week, and I still will, but I wanted to at least set the tone for how things would go for the next few days. Sunday was fairly straight forward. Another trip to the store and some off-the-chain ground bacon burgers from Pine Street Market. These things are unreal, by the way. Monday rolled around it was rainy and gloomy in the morning. Originally we were going to go on a Labor Day Trail Run with some people from the gym, but after hours and hours of rain we decided it best to stay home. Plus it was lightning and they cancelled the whole thing. Jess’ mom and sister were coming over that afternoon and ribs were on the menu for “lunch”. I use the term loosely because the day was really weird. Like in the morning it was raining and bleh, and when the family got here we just kinda sat around and played cards and looked through photo albums. Jess and I had some left overs from the night before around lunch time. Then the sun punched through and suddenly it was all sunny and perfect weather outside! The ribs had been cookin in the oven and as soon as they came out err body wanted to get up on the BBQ! So we ate, again… like at 3 or something. Lunch at noon when it was rainy, then lunch/dinner around 3 and it was sunny. We ate and decided that since it was so nice we would head to the pool. I know right?! Like we didn’t go for a trail run a few hours prior due to lightning and such, and now we’re heading to the pool. It totally worked out and we had a blast. BLT loves to swim and despite the water being a tad chilly we had a really fun time. The rest of the day was spent chilling and playing more cards. Chase and Jess’ sister made Monkey Bread and despite everything in my being telling me to eat a piece, both Jess and I held strong and didn’t have a single bite. When Jess’ sister and mom left, they took all the left overs with them. Whew! No more monkey bread temping us in the house!

Tuesday rolls around and its back to the grind. Well, I worked from home so it wasn’t a total grind for me, but the rest of the fam was back in their respective schools. I made it to the gym where we started our Olympic Power Lifting program and man is that fun! I’ve been wanting to lift things and get stronger for a while. I’m really glad we’re doing this program now. Food/energy/mental health wise, things were good. I can really only speak for me, but my mood seemed to be fairly even keel. No major ups or downs.

The rest of the week was par for the course. Moments of hunger, being completely satiated, grumpiness, joy, laughter, powerfulness, etc. This appears to be the norm with the Whole30. Most of what I’ve read from other people who’ve done this before have said that by week 3 things start to level out. I don’t know that things are “level” but they certainly aren’t huge waves of emotional distress. In the beginning I’d feel completely hollow and sad or I’d feel like I could fight a panda. It was a roller coaster. Now its more like a lazy boat ride and ever now and then the boat gets a bit wobbly.

I will say that by Thursday Jess and I were feeling the need to get out of the house. The boys were tired of eating frozen things from a box (granted we could probably start fixing them a bit more suitable food) and we didn’t have it in us to cook yet ANOTHER meal then clean up and do the dishes and pack lunches and all that jazz. So we went out to our favorite establishment Taco Mac… again. Surprisingly enough, its actually really easy to eat well there. They now have roasted buffalo wings. That’s right, roasted, not fried! That with some broccoli or a side salad and I’m set. They have a good selection of salads, fajitas, grilled chicken, burgers with avocado and bacon. You don’t have to get a plate of nachos and beers-a-plenty. The boys enjoyed their food and we enjoyed not having to clean up after the mess! Everyone wins!

So that was that. Technically its already day 20 as of the publishing of this, and another post should be coming out either tomorrow or Monday, but for now this should be a good catch up. Ten more days! I can’t believe how quickly the first 20 have gone by!!

Whole30: Day 10 – 12

Meals Day 10 – 8/28/13

  • Breakfast: Pancetta omelette with sweet potato hash
  • Lunch: Left over chicken and vegetable soup
  • Dinner: Grilled southwest hot wings, roasted sweet potatoes
  • Snacks: Banana with almond butter and raisins

Meals Day 11 – 8/29/13

  • Breakfast: Turkey sausage and egg frittata
  • Lunch: Half of a salad with tomatoes, crispy prosciutto and grilled chicken
  • Dinner: Chicken fajitas* and broccoli
  • Snack: Almonds, cashews, banana

Meals Day 12 – 8/30/13

  • Breakfast: Pulled pork, poached eggs, sweet potato hash
  • Lunch: Bison patty, fried egg, bacon, tomato, side of roasted green beans
  • Dinner: Chicken curry (yum!)
  • Snacks: Orange

The breakdown

Random McPerson: “So what can you eat on this diet?”
Me: “Well, its not really a diet as much as a clean eating / detox 30 day period. And I can eat a lot really. I eat a lot of good quality meats, lots of vegetables, some fruits, and nuts. No alcohol, dairy, legumes, sugars, etc.”
Random McPerson: “You can eat fruit? Well you know fruit has a lot of sugar in it. Like I know bananas have a lot of sugar in them. So can’t eat those right?”
Me: “Well, its not about the amount of sugar that’s naturally IN something like fruit, its added sugar. Like sweet tea, or most baked goods. Bananas don’t have ADDED sugar.”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had that same conversation over the past 13 days. People seem to think they either know more than me or know what they are talking about when it comes to food. And unless you have a degree in food science or are a foodamatician, I don’t want to hear it. It just gets real annoying explaining to people over and over that I’m not just rushing into this thing and that I kinda know what I’m talking about when it comes to this plan more than they do.

I think my tire might need some air.
I think my tire might need some air.

Any way, now that my rant is over…… Let’s talk about how the past few days went. The previous few days I had been sick and it was a doozy. I mean, I was literally hocking up my lungs, my head felt like there was an actual dagger in it, I think at one point my left eye popped out from all the sinus pressure, and then my hearing went out. Well, looking back it may not have been THAT bad, but it was still a pretty crappy cold, especially for someone who doesn’t usually get them. Day 10 started off with me going back to work for the first time in a few days. I was pumped up and ready to get it, well that was until I blew out my tire. This wasn’t just like a nail in my tire, I somehow managed to get a whole the size of a silver dollar in my tire from hitting a curb! Why did I hit a curb? Well the roads in Atlanta are bajank and there was a car beside me that swerved to avoid a pothole, so I swerved to avoid them and in doing so, hit the curb. The next thing I know I’m riding in a truck to a dealership where I have to fork over $200 for a new tire. But hey, I got a free car wash out of it! The rest of the day was meh at best. I mean, after being sick for 2 days then busting up my tire I wasn’t really feelin all giddy to be at work eating chicken and vegetable soup. But alas, that was my day. Other than the tire it was rather even keel. I wasn’t overly hungry or grumpy from hunger or anything. The Whole30 thing was really just kind of a way that I ate by this point so no real issues here.

Day 11 and we have nothing in the house and again I’m home from work. The baby is still sick, I’m back to coughing and snotting all over the place and I just want this week to end. There’s a 3 day weekend staring me in the face and it can’t get here soon enough. At the gym I managed to get two new PRs (115# snatch and 48.5# TGU) and that had me on cloud nine! I did good with my pre/post-workout meals. For the most part it was a really good day. At home we didn’t have much in the way of food so we decided to go to Taco Mac and torture ourselves. We stood strong though and got items that were as on plan as we could. Our boys on the other hand had root beer, boneless wings, fries, chicken fingers, ranch dressing, ketchup, and cookies. In the end it actually felt pretty good to be able to look at those items and not really crave them like I use to. Sure I wanted one of the Sam Adams Seasonal beers or what ever latest pumpkin ale was out, but there will be times when I can have that, it just wasn’t that night.

By the time Friday rolled around, things were going pretty good. I actually made it into the office despite some lingering sickness. DragonCon was this weekend so there were lots of people in town. It usually gets pretty crazy down town, especially in the afternoon when D*Con is around, so my plan was to leave after lunch. Before that though, I was going to meet up with some friends that were visiting for D*Con. We had lunch out at an Irish Pub and despite the tastiness that permeated the menu I stuck to my guns and ate on plan once again. It was good to catch up and talk to friends and enjoy a healthy lunch. Typically I would have had a beer or two, maybe an app, then a big lunch leaving me feeling groggy and sluggish for the rest of the day. Not this time! It really is a great feeling not feeling like crap for the rest of the day just because of what I ate for lunch or breakfast.

Friday night we were home and needed a few groceries to get us through the weekend. This was definitely a turing point for us. Our usual Friday nights would consist of coming home, snacking until we decided on what to have or where to go, then loading up the car with the boys and heading to some restaurant where we would have some beer or wine, some apps, and a big meal that would leave us sluggish for the remainder of the night and most likely feeling like crap the next morning. We would inevitably blame it on not having a good night sleep or something OTHER than the food/alcohol, but in reality that’s what it would boil down to. This Friday however, we headed to the grocery store with some specific items that we needed in mind, loaded up our cart with all manner of nutritious foods and ended up cooking a meal at home! We made some curry and enjoyed some down time on the couch. I can tell you that Saturday we woke up feeling MUCH better than we would had we gone out to eat.

So that was day 10 – 12. Things are falling into place. Energy levels are leveling out. We’ve got a handle on the food and what we can/can’t eat during the program. We have a system in place for preparation and have keep a staple of food around the house. It certainly is much easier than day 1 – 3 or even 1 – 9.

Another thing I’ve noticed, and a) this might be TMI and b) I’m not sure if its related to the Whole30 or the cold, but I have been waking up at night literally dripping/covered in sweat. I mean its to the point where I’ll have to lay a towel down on the bed so that I’m no longer laying in it. It sucks to get up and go to the bathroom only to come back and freeze from laying in a pool of sweat. I know, that’s utterly gross and WAY TOO MUCH info, this is my bloggins and I figured I could write about what I want.

Whole30: Day 7 – 9

Meals Day 7 – 8/25/13

  • Breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs, chicken, avocado
  • Lunch: Meatloaf, sweet potatoes
  • Dinner: Spaghetti squash, zucinni pasta, meatballs
  • Snacks: Apple with almond butter

Meals Day 8 – 8/26/13

  • Breakfast: Chicken & apple sausage, 2 egg omelette, avocado
  • Lunch: Left over spaghetti squash and meatballs
  • Dinner: Salmon, shrimp, steamed broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots
  • Snack: Orange

Meals Day 9 – 8/27/13

  • Breakfast: Chicken sausage omelette with chunky guacamole
  • Lunch: Left over paleo spaghetti (again)
  • Dinner: Chicken soup (carrots, celery, onion, broth, herbs, chicken)
  • Snacks: Cinnamon apples with cashews, coconut milk, almond butter

The breakdown

Honestly, its currently day 12 and I’m just now getting around to writing this post. Things have been a whirlwind this week, but I’m hoping that next week they’ll slow down and we’ll get back into just a BIT more routine. Then again, Monday is a holiday and that usually means altered schedules, so we’ll see! Any way, here’s what I can remember about days 7-9.

The day after the wedding was almost as much of a disaster as the actual ordeal itself. Neither Jess nor I were ourselves. We were both grumpy and didn’t really want to be around anyone, let alone each other. We pushed through the day, ate what we needed to, to not blow things out of the water even more and eventually by Sunday evening were at least starting to regain a sense of the way things had been or the past week or so. If one good thing did come out of Sunday it was the dinner we had! We’ve been looking for a way to do spaghetti and finally settled on a good recipe. We made up some meatballs and sauce then put that over some roasted spaghetti squash and zucchini. Oh man, was it delicious! So much so that I had it for left overs the proceeding two days. The squash and zucchini really did taste a lot like actual pasta. I don’t think we’ll ever convince our picky eater 11 year old to give up his standard noodles, but we’ll see.

Monday we were all back to work and boy was it rough. I was still feeling the effects of the weekend. I had burned my hand in some stupid attempt to put out a sparkler by simply grabbing it. Pro tip, its not possible to put out a sparkler by simply grabbing it with your bare hand. Work was so, so, and I spent most of the day in a fog. My head was just cloudy and it was difficult to focus on any one thing. I was all over the map, and sticking to the Whole30 was the last thing on my mind. Never-the-less we stood our ground and didn’t cave in. No sense in continuing to slide down that slope. Also, I had started to get sick. It was just a little could I kept telling myself, but as the next few days progressed, it turned out to be a lot more than some basic sniffles.

Tuesday I was back in the gym and did the best I could. I didn’t crush any PR’s but I also didn’t just fall out. My energy was returning despite the sickness. Jess and I were both in need of some comfort food, so I made a batch of chicken and vegetable soup. Typically it would have some noodles, but those are out, so it was just the chicken and veg this time. I think it did the trick. It was not filling to say the least, but it certainly helped calm the cold and get us back healthy.

I’d say that day 7 – 9 were up there with day 1-3. Nothing came easy, energy levels were all over the map and we didn’t really have a great grasp of what to eat/fix. But this doesn’t really come as a shocker. In the beginning our bodies were detoxing and after the reception, they once again had to go through a detox period. We certainly learned our lesson and have since gotten back on track with minimal aversions.

Up next, grilled chicken wings, pancetta omelets, and crushing PRs!

Whole30: Day 4 – 6

Meals Day 4 – 8/22/13

  • Breakfast: Bacon and eggs
  • Lunch: Grass-fed beef patties with bacon, jalapeño, pickles, lettuce, guacamole, tomatoes
  • Dinner: Roasted chicken with mashed sweet potatoes and green beans
  • Snacks: Apple with almond butter / Larabar

Meals Day 5 – 8/23/13

  • Breakfast: Sweet potato hash, 2 egg omelette, 2 sausage patties
  • Lunch: Salad with all manner of topping (Whole30 approved) and grilled chicken
  • Dinner: Steak with roasted curry sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts sautéed with pancetta
  • Snack: Apple

Meals Day 6 – 8/24/13

  • Breakfast: Sweet potato hash, 2 eggs omelette, 3 strips of bacon
  • Lunch: 2 grass-fed beef patties, fried eggs, lettuce, tomato, pickles, jalapeños
  • Dinner: Prime rib, pork tenderloin, steamed veggies, salad with balsamic vinaigrette dressing, sautéed shrimp and vegetables, sweet potatoes with walnuts, cinnamon, and bacon
  • Snacks: 1/2 gluten free wedding cupcake, banana

The breakdown

Man what a whirlwind days 4-6 brought. On Thursday I actually was a bit smarter with what I fueled up on prior to the gym. My previous Whole30 gym experience was less than stellar so I was determined to not repeat that mistake. Before heading to the gym this time I had an apple and some almond butter (quickly becoming my favorite snack btw). This was clutch as the apple gave me a little sugar boost and the almond butter gave me some fat and protein. After the gym I didn’t feel like I wanted to die, or make other people die. Winning! For lunch I met up with a friend and had a burger with some toppings (lettuce, tomato, bacon, guacamole, jalapeños) and no side! This was a pretty big step as I typically have some sort of side with my burger. Then again, I usually have a beer, and a bun, but those are also out of the picture. Any way, the rest of the day was pretty good. I had high energy and was generally in good spirits. For dinner, we were smart and had a rotisserie chicken, some mashed sweet potatoes and green beans. This certainly made for a dinner reminiscent of a non-Whole30 meal. That’s something I can totally get behind!

Friday was another pretty good day for the most part. I worked from home which gave me the opportunity to go and have lunch with my wonderful wife at school! We hadn’t had a massive salad in a while so I went and picked up one from Jason’s Deli with all manner of toppings that were wholesome and delicious. Since she now works so close to home, and there are many more eatery options around, having lunch with her is a lot easier! Apparently Friday was “have things we haven’t had in a while day” cause for dinner we had steak and brussel sprouts sautéed with pancetta! Yum!! Well, this would have been a lot more “yum” had it not been for me over cooking the steaks. Its not something I typically do, but this particular time I did, and subsequently paid for it. See, I have an issue with my teeth that causes me some serious pain when I eat tough cuts of meat or generally get things caught in them. Its a long and boring story, but needless to say the meat was tough and eventually led to a SERIOUS toothache (one I’m still nursing today). When my tooth gets to aching, its all down hill from there. That pretty much ended the night.

Saturday was my friend Daniel and Lacey’s wedding!!! The plan was that Jess would go to her CPR training in the AM while I went to the wedding (who has a noon wedding anyway?!), and after the wedding I would pick her up and we would head to the reception (noon wedding and 6pm reception). The wedding itself was beautiful and it was over in a flash. I met up with Jess for lunch and had a repeat of Thursday’s lunch and off to get ready we went. Now here’s where the “fun” begins.

We both knew going into this that there was a wedding to contend with right at the beginning. Weddings have receptions, and receptions have alcohol and off-limits food. We both decided that we would be moderate in our consumption and stick to the plan as best as we could. Upon our arrival we were both having doubts of being able to hold strong. We gave each other pep talks and went in sticking to our guns. Then the wheels started to fall off. It had been 2+ weeks since either of us had drank any alcohol or had any real sugar or grain or anything. The waiters started bringing around trays of wine and other tasty concoctions and of course we had to at least have one (each) to celebrate with everyone. Well, one led to two, and two led to “lets just have one bite of [insert food item here]”. The next thing we knew it was 11:30, and we were a bit tipsy on sugar and the little alcohol that we consumed. We were lightweights and it didn’t really take much. In our former days, this quantity of booze and food wouldn’t have even put a dent in our demeanor.

The rest of the night was downhill. For the past two weeks I had been more connected with my wife than in quite some time. We were on the same page with most everything. I had been feeling great overall. She was feeling the same way. We both looked and felt fantastic after only two weeks, and all it took was one night to set us back. First drink in weeks, first “fight” in as many days. What is it about the consumption of alcohol and overloading of sugar that makes people just get stupid. Oh, that’s right… it’s alcohol, that’s what it does. One poor decision led to another and things just ended poorly. All we had to do was not take that first step back into that realm and we would have been fine, clear headed, and capable of simply enjoying each other’s company.

Definitely learned our lesson on this occasion. Just like we eased into this challenge, we should probably ease out. We climbed up this mountain slowly and it was a great view from the top, but the plummet down was swift and painful. Never-the-less we picked up our bootstraps the next day and started the climb again. I don’t think two weeks of hard work was gone in a flash, but we were certainly set back.

Stay tuned for days 7-9! More startling revelations around food at energy and all things Whole30 related to come.