Body Revolution Phase One: A Review

Phase one is over, two weeks of workouts 1 & 2 and two weeks of workout 3 & 4. It has been hard, but I am impressed by my results.

I started this program Jan 4th at 214.6 pounds. Sunday Jan 31, I am at 202.6 pounds. 12 pounds!

I have been following the workout schedule, mostly. I try on the Cardio days (Wednesdays and Saturdays) to go for a run. Sometimes the weather doesn’t allow for that, so I will do the video. And when I am extremely sore on Sundays, I do a Yoga video.

The program comes with a food guide which limits you to about 1200 to 1400 calories a day. But I am not following that. I am doing Whole30, and try to stay under 2000 calories. I have been averaging right around 1600-1800. I am not sure how accurate calorie counting is, or how helpful it is. But it has helped me to keep from just binge eating, just because I think I am hungry.

I have been posting on instagram almost daily, follow me: @ashlgetsfit.

Some of my IG shots from this month.
Some of my IG shots from this month.

 

I haven’t seen any miraculous changes yet, but I have noticed, my pants not being super tight, a tighter tummy!, and I and feel muscle building in my arms and legs.

I am mostly enjoying the workouts. Sometimes I wish they would just move a step faster between sets. So I sometimes will just move ahead, or take a breather.

Workouts 3 & 4 are a big step up for 1 & 2, so I am nervous about phase two, but it will be good.

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January Whole30: Day 4

Four days down and 26 more to go. I really find these first two weeks to be the hardest. Last night after dinner, I wanted to eat a giant fluffy chocolate chip cookie. Instead I just ate another serving of dinner, with more gravy, and some grapes.

Grapes, why do they still sell grapes with seeds! Seriously, can we at least label them?

Otherwise this round of Whole30, which is the fourth I have started, is going great. Mr. Wonderful is doing well with it. He was a complete zombie Saturday and Sunday, he took 3 hour naps BOTH DAYS! This morning he was up and ready to start the day while I was still hitting snooze…

As for Mr. Z and his Whole30, that ended Saturday, when he couldn’t keep anything down for hours until we got him some saltines and apple juice. Also, telling a 3 year old, “No, you can’t have Cheerios for breakfast, how about eggs?” Only works until he sees the box of Cheerios… But we don’t have any milk, and so he just eats it dry. At least he is off dairy.

I have been doing daily workouts. Currently I am doing Jillian Michaels’ Body Revolution. It is a 90 day program, with 30 minute daily workouts. (Sunday, is technically a rest day, but I am going to be doing Beachbody’s 21 Day Fix Yoga Fix to have a more active stretching rest day.) I started on the first, but since it was a Friday, I have officially started today which makes my projected finish date, April 2. At the end of the month, I might repeat a week or two of Phase 1, depending on how strong I am feeling.

I am obviously not following the prescribed diet plan, since I am doing Whole30. I am planning on doing Whole30 for the whole 90 day program. I do have a “cheat” meal planned though. I promised Mr. Wonderful that on the 31st we would have homemade macaroni and cheese for dinner. (This is the recipe I will use–>HERE)

Budget Tips:
I told you that I would share budget tips as we progressed through this January Whole30 so here is one that requires some time, work, and freezer space, but yields delicious bone broth.

 

Save your vegetable scraps and bones!

I keep two bags in the freezer, a bone bag and vegetable bag. Each are a one gallon freezer bag. I put in the scraps throughout the month. When both bags are full, I dump them into my crockpot with some apple cider vinegar and about 10 cups of water. I let it cook for 24 hours and strain away the bones and vegetable remains. Then you can pressure can, or freeze it. It doesn’t take much active time, but you now don’t have to buy broth.

Freezing broth

If you choose to freeze it, you can freeze it in different size portions. I like to do a ¼ cup and tablespoon portions.

Broth pucks, 1/4 cup portion of broth frozen
Broth pucks, 1/4 cup portion of broth frozen.

Whole30 Differences

 

Now that it is January, we have started our January Whole30, and I told you that it was going to look different for all three of us. Mine will look like a more traditional Whole30, minus my smoothie breakfasts.

Mr. Wonderful works full time and is in school full time. Usually, he eats a bowl of sugary cereal (seriously, I have tried to convince him he does not need to add sugar to Cheerios, a banana is just as good if not better…), a turkey sandwich for lunch and then whatever I made for lunch.

Convincing him to do Whole30 with me, was a little bit of compromise. He will not be doing a true Whole30. Why? Because telling him, you can’t do x, y, z, q, w, r, t, p and f was like I was killing him. So we sat down, and for his “first round” we made a list of compromises.

  1. I will always pack him a lunch, whole30 approved.
  2. Except Wednesday’s, when his company has lunch meeting a feeds the company. (They have a chef, and usually it some fancy dish.)
  3. I will provide him with nuts to take to work for snacks.
  4. He can snack whenever on nuts and fruit
  5. While he is on his grad school interview trip, he will be free to eat “off-plan”
  6. I won’t make him drink green smoothies
  7. He won’t complain

For those that know the Whole30 rules know that this is FAR from a true Whole30. But for him it is a start, and I am hoping that he will see that it is improving his life and will stick with it and maybe do a true Whole30.

For Mr. Z, his experience is going to be very similar to mine, since we will be home mostly and I will be making all of our meals. The only difference is we are potty training… So dates are going to replace his potty treat. He loves them so hopefully he will adjust. We started offering them after Christmas, so it helps.

January Whole30: Week One-Grocery Shopping

 

I was planning on going grocery shopping Friday morning, but we had done a really good job cleaning out the fridge before we left for vacation. Now that we are home, we need something more than carrots… I want to share my experience, feeding a family of 3, while also doing Whole30 on a budget. Our total food budget for the month is about $450.

Today, I went grocery shopping with the goal of spending less than $100. Here is what I got:

Grocery shopping haul
Grocery shopping haul

Frozen Mango, Frozen Broccoli Spears, Frozen Asparagus, Ground Turkey (4 pounds), Pork Tenderloin (4 pounds), Ground Beef (93/7, 2.5 pounds), Canned Chicken, Tomato Sauce, Plugra Butter (for ghee), Raisins, Zucchini, Red potatoes (5 pound bag), Carrots (2 pound bag), English Cucumbers, Oranges, Raw Cashews (1 pound), Lettuce (red and green leaf), Parsnips, Cilantro, Kale, Spinach, Garlic, Sweet Potatoes, Lime, Grapes, Mandarins, Guacamole, Eggs (Medium, 5 dozen)

For a grand total of $117.29

Now, there was a few things I didn’t get (bacon), and a couple of things that I could have not gotten, like guacamole and mandarin oranges. I did purchase everything at Winco, and nothing was specifically purchased as organic.

We are excited to start on Friday, well at least me. Mr. Wonderful, is convinced he is going to starve.

January Whole30

In early December after I noticed I was not following rules for my gut issues. I thought, I just need to do another round or 8 of Whole30. Then Mr. Z got this crazy rash all down his back side. After a visit to the doctor, she said it was eczema more than likely caused by an allergy, and sent him off to see an allergist. So I thought, I am going to put ALL 3 of us on Whole30 for the month of January and then I will be doing it mostly indefinitely.

But we are on a strict budget, and with our impending move, money is tight. So I plan to share with you all my crazy budget saving and Whole30 tips. My first is one straight from Whole30.com.

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A PERFECT WHOLE30.

Yup, perfection is not the goal.

All the rules are available for free off the website, here is a direct link to the PDF downloads. They are very simple and basic. To me there are only two that require any hard effort are the No sugar, added sugar, and sugar alternatives, and second the no carrageenan, MSG, and sulfites rules.

The reason these two rules are so difficult is that they require you to be educated on all the different derivatives companies use for those forbidden additives. So for me and my Whole30, I use the common additive cheat sheat. If it not listed specifically on the list, I just say no, cause looking it up, is just another thing to add to my giant to do list. But I have two foods that I have bent my rule for.

Kirkland Low Sodium Bacon from Costco, comes in a 4 pack for like 12 bucks, cheapest Whole30 “approved” bacon.

Ingredients: Pork cured with water, salt, sodium phosphate, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrate.

Both sodium phosphate and erythorbate are not listed on the cheat sheet. So I looked them up, sodium phosphate is a salt, used to control the pH of food. I can let that one slide. Especially as, bacon is not something we will eat daily on Whole30, let alone anytime of the year. The other, sodium erythorbate, is a type of vitamin C. And that is approved. So for me, this is an affordable bacon choice. Bacon is expensive, and is something we do not use regularly. It is a splurge type food for us.

Califia Farms Unsweetened Almond Milk, about $4.50

Ingredients: Almond milk (Water, Almonds). Contains Less Than 2% Of The Following: Vitamin/ Mineral Blend (Calcium Carbonate, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin D2, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B2, Zinc), Sunflower Lecithin, Sea Salt, Potassium Citrate, Natural Flavors, Locust Bean Gum, Gellan Gum.

They just recently changed their recipe and no longer have carrageenan in the ingredients!!! The only ingredient that isn’t on the list is Potassium Citrate, which is another form of citric acid, and approved additive. While I normally make my own almond milk, sometimes I forget to soak the nuts and ugg! While this is expensive for milk, half a gallon for almost $5, sometimes it is worth it for the convenience of having milk without making it.

Another thing people get hung the rules versus recommendations.

This is straight off the Whole30 website:

The following are not official rules of the Whole30 program. If you snack, buy non-organic eggs, or eat six servings of fruit in a day, that has no bearing on whether you are still staying true to the Whole30. We make these recommendations because we believe they will maximize your results with the program. These practices are the most likely to lead to health and body composition changes, an improved relationship with food, and overall awesomeness.

In summary, you are free to eat seven meals a day of Rx Bars and sugar-free bacon with a side of non-organic blueberry/strawberry/banana smoothie and you’d still be doing the Whole30 with 100% compliance. However, we would not recommend this.

Rules are rules, and recommendations are well just that. For us, mornings are usually a mad dash, because someone has learned to turn off the alarm clock… So having a hard boiled egg or two and a green smoothie, is usually our breakfast. Whole30 approved, but not recommended. But it works for us, and that is what I feel is more in line with Whole30.

A perfect Whole30 is impossible. And everyone’s Whole30 looks different. Remember that. I will talk later about how different Whole30 is going to look for the 3 of us. I know that was more than just one tip, but I think you’ll for give me.

Budget Whole30 Woes

If you have read the Whole30.com article on budgeting a Whole30, you might of thought, “oh that was so not helpful!” I personally felt like it was another regurgitation of what almost every budget friendly grocery shopping article has said. EVER.

Then a few days ago I saw on Instagram that they were going to do a whole month of Whole30 budget tips and highlighted someone. I looked at them and some of their “small town” budget tips and I just had to scream, “TRADER JOE’S IS NOT SMALL TOWN!!”

Seriously!

Alright, all you health food people!

I live in a small town and the closes Trader Joe’s is over an hour away! Here are my grocery shopping options:

Walmart (BOO!)
Safeway
Dissmores (IGA, a local chain that is crazy expensive)

Now we do have a couple of specialty shops, a Asian market and a Middle Eastern market.

 

But I don’t actually grocery shop in my town, I drive 15 minutes to the next town over and shop at Winco (low prices!! Better than Walmart, see) and at the local health food store for random things Winco doesn’t carry. I am lucky to have a health food store that close to me.

So how does a person actually do Whole30 on a strict budget.

I meal plan, everything. Snacks, lunch, breakfast, everything.
We eat a lot of chicken, because it is cheap.
I don’t buy grass-fed, I get 93/7 normal ground beef at Winco.
We eat a lot of potatoes, carrots, and frozen green beans.
I make a lot from scratch, like almond milk.
I save reusable bits for broth or for adding to other dishes.

Follow along as I share, real life tips for doing Whole30 with a very limited budget.

 

Running Dreams

When I started running for fun in 2012, I thought I wanted to go all the way. I was enjoying running 10k races. I was slow, slower than molasses in January.

I am still slow.

But for years, I have dreamed of qualifying for Boston. The Boston Marathon.

Let’s be real though, I don’t actually want to run the Boston, I thinking you have to be a special kind of crazy to want to actually run it. I just want to be able to run a marathon at or under 3.35.00, which is my age group qualifying time.

I want to do this before I turn 36, and then age up into the next age group.

I have 6 years to do this.

In October of this year, I started. Slowly, slowly pounding the pavement getting ever so slowly ready to run my first marathon.

I am starting slowly, this year, I am working improving my 5k times.

My last 5k was run in March 2015, with a time of 39.08. See how slow I am! Well, to start my very long road to Boston, I decided to start running a 5k every weekend. Look at how I have improved over just the 5 Saturdays in October.

 

Date Total Distance (miles) Total Time Average Pace
3 Oct 3.46 54.06 15.37
10 Oct 3.61 53.44 14.53
17 Oct 3.67 56.58 15.32
24 Oct 3.54 51.40 14.37
31 Oct 3.52 50.09 14.15

I am following a C25K app, and using MapMyRun to track my Saturday runs. I have really liked tracking my distance and time on Saturday’s it really helps me to see, that I really am improving.

For November, I am planning to continue my Saturday 5K runs and am registered to run two races! This is usually the time of the year, I pack up and stop for the winter, I am trying to stay strong and motivated, so I can start strong in the spring.