30 Things I Learned on Whole30

I recently completed my first (and probably my last!) Whole30. 30 days of whole foods and not a speck of grains, dairy, soy, legumes, corn, baked goods, or added sugar of any kind. I know, I know, “what the heck did you eat?!” Lots and lots of plants, lean protein, nuts and seeds, that’s what! Oh, and not a drop of alcohol. Sounds fun, right?! If you’re wondering why I would do such a thing, (I don’t blame you!) The book It Starts With Food, by the founders of the Whole30 program, inspired me to dig deeper into my own diet and lifestyle, eliminating the foods/food groups above in order to re-evaluate how my body reacts to them after the 30 days. For more specifics about the Whole30 program, click here! unnamed(2)Although it was tough to adjust and even tougher to refrain from just one little teeny tiny drink, (hello, it is rosé season!) I learned a ton over the past 30 days. Here’s the good, the bad, and the ugly:

1. Sugar is errrrywhere and we’re all pretty seriously addicted to it. You’ve probably heard this in some capacity, but what does that mean?

2. Consuming sugar, artificial sweeteners, and natural alternatives like honey, maple syrup, and even stevia, on a regular basis not only “feed the sugar dragon,” but also throw off our taste buds, cravings, and ability to reach satiety normally.

3. Personally, I do not enjoy black coffee; however, I discovered over these thirty days that I do enjoy unsweetened coffee. Over the past ten years or so, I’ve transitioned from a serious overload of artificial sweetener to cutting back, replacing it with more natural stevia, cutting back on stevia, and now I finally was able to rid my coffee of any sweetener. Whole30 forced me to learn to enjoy my coffee simply with Homemade CocoNut Milk and this is definitely a habit I’m happy to keep. Now I truly savor my coffee, no longer crave it sweet, and rarely do I need a second cup. Remember that baby steps are the way to change a habit for the better. Try cutting the sweetener in your coffee in half to start, if you’re soda drinker, replace one soda a day with seltzer, or satisfy your sweet tooth by having a piece of fruit for dessert. It really does get easier and easier, trust me on this!

4. That’s not to say that occasionally indulging in sweets you truly love is not absolutely necessary to living a balanced life. My love affair with dark chocolate has rekindled and our flame is going strong…although I do not neeeeeeeed it daily like I used to!

5. While many people argue that they don’t have time to eat healthy, healthy meals made from real, whole foods can be very convenient. The Whole30 program made me simplify my meals, at first, simply because of less options to choose from, but now, out of habit. Going forward, I’ll continue with this practice as I’ve noticed that less-complicated meals are easier to digest.

6. I re-discovered some great staples I had been overlooking, like good old scrambled eggs. Nothing fancy necessary. Why? Because…

7. REAL FOOD TASTES GOOD! Seasoning your meals with herbs and spices, tasting the sweetness of a piece of fruit, and savoring the true flavors of food is what it’s all about. Again, baby steps. Your palette will adjust and your body will learn to not only like real foods, but crave them. Trust me, trust me, trust me.

8. Fat does not make you fat. How do I know? Well, I did not gain (or lose) any weight on Whole30, even though I was eating a lot more (healthy) fat on a daily basis – more nuts, oil, avocado, etc.

9. More fat is not better. Some is best.

10. Whole30 or not, portions size is crucial to healthy eating, even when eating all healthy foods.

11. Avocado has my <3 on a daily basis.

12. This may turn your world upside down: peanuts are not actually nuts. A peanut is a legume, like beans, which means that your body may react differently to peanuts or peanut butter than it does nuts and other nut butters. Just some food for thought. And, yes, I did cut out peanut butter for 30 days (if you know me at all, you know that peanut butter is my favorite food in the whole wide world.) Instead, I ate homemade almond and cashew butters as well as sunflower seed butter, that just may top peanut butter on my list of favorite foods. I’m happy to say that peanut butter does now make a regular appearance in my diet; however, it is not the only thing I think about morning, noon, and night, which is probably a good thing because there are other things in life, right?

13. Rules takes the guess work out. I’m not a big fan of long-term labels, strict diets, or restriction, but committing to a short-term plan can be motivating enough that there’s no need for willpower.

14. It’s really, REALLY scary what is in 95% of our “food” these days. For example, even something like store-bought “all natural” almond milk, which a lot of people think of as a healthy upgrade, has far more ingredients than just almonds. What the heck are locust bean gum or carrageenan and why are they in my almond milk?! I decided to break up with store-bought milk for the time being and stick to my new love, Homemade CocoNut Milk. Same with the aforementioned nut butters. Just make your own or buy the ones made with just nuts. There really is no need for ‘palm fruit oil’ in your jar of nut butter. Just like there’s no need for added sugar in your tomato sauce, soy isolate in your snacks, or high fructose corn syrup in…ANYTHING. That’s a no-no no matter what.

15. Which brings me to my next point that I just can’t say enough: READ YOUR LABELS.

16. And do what’s right for you. As I said…

17. Eating healthy doesn’t mean eating only the latest superfoods or trying the latest diet trend. It means knowing what foods make you feel healthy and good.

18. If a food/food group makes you feel energized and healthy, you should probably eat it.

19. If a food/food group makes you feel crappy, tired, or sick, you probably shouldn’t eat it.

20. Whole foods are super versatile, see below:

IMG_085721. Another little fun fact I learned over the past 30 days is that any woman in her 20’s or 30’s that declares that she’s not drinking will, without a doubt, be labeled as pregnant, whether it’s by your waiter or your best friends.

22. Drinking seltzer water or kombucha out of a wine glass is not the same as drinking wine, but that’s alright.

23. Waking up on a Sunday morning without any hint of a hangover or headache is worth all of the above – sacrificing the wine and being labeled pregnant.

24. Smoothies are delicious and nutritious. Smoothies aren’t on Whole30 due to a lack of chewing, the act that kick-starts digestion and satiation. So, what’s a smoothie lover to do? Chew your smoothie! Seriously, do it. I missed my smoothies, green smoothies, and smoothie bowls and am happy to introduce them back into my routine, especially heading into the summer season!

25. It is possible to have too much meat, even lean, organic, grass-fed meat. I got sick of chicken after the first week on Whole30. Happy to say that I’ve since reintroduced tempeh and veggie burgers for some delicious meatless protein. Although I know that for me, everything in moderation works when it comes to protein, I totally respect the vegetarians, vegans, and paleos of the world too. Did I mention to do what’s right for you?! I think I did.

26. The benefit of minty fresh breath after a garlicky meal just may outweigh the drawbacks of chewing gum. Again, something I cut wayyyy back but am not willing to give up completely. Yet.

27. The dreams are real folks. The Whole30 book warns that people on Whole30 may experience weird dreams about eating off-plan foods (which means that you start over at day one.) I’m pretty sure that I had some sort of cheating-on-Whole30-food dream every single night for a month straight. Some worse than others: on the eve of day 30, I dreamed that I weighed myself and the scale read 498 pounds. Thankfully, I woke up.

28. There is something so refreshing about breaking up with the scale. You’re not allowed to weigh yourself during the Whole30 program at all. I’m not a big fan of weighing myself daily, or even weekly, because the number doesn’t often correspond with actual progress. “Non-scale victories” are often much better than a number – looser pants, higher energy, clearer skin, toned muscles, etc. Regarding the scale, if the number makes you feel stuck, negative, guilty, or ashamed, stop weighing yourself and rely on how you feel, inside and out, and how you fit into your clothes. If the scale makes you feel confident and accountable, go for it.

29. Being a proud member of the clean plate club is just plain overrated. Having a healthy diet means eating until your body is satisfied, whether it be fish and veggies or a rich, decadent brownie. It’s not about finishing every last bite, it’s about enjoying one bite at a time, regardless of what you’re eating, and putting the fork down when you’ve had enough (enough means you’re satiated, not loosening your belt in a food coma.) This is easier said than done, I know, so it’s worth the mental effort to work on improving this habit, one meal at a time.

30. Healthy eating is not a mindless activity. It takes awareness, consciousness, presence, and purpose. Some examples include being mindful of how certain foods/food groups make your body feel, inquiring about food preparation when eating out, not digging into the bread basket or snacking simply because the food is right in front of you, and savoring occasional indulgences sans guilt.

So what’s the conclusion here? Honestly, I think that Whole30 has a TON of positive aspects (primarily eating whole foods) and a few negatives (too extreme, too much meat, and not enough smoothies.) Though I’m not the biggest proponent of this exact plan, I’m really happy that I experienced it because I did learn a lot and got rid of some poor habits. What made me stick with it after finding these faults? The sheer fact that I had made a commitment to myself.

Whole30 has lots of great aspects to it and I know that it has changed lots of lives for the better. If this seems like a plan that may be right for you, I encourage you to commit fully as well. Although 30 days may not be realistic, I would suggest an elimination diet for anyone looking to getting to know your body better, especially if you believe you may have an unidentified food sensitivity. Give your body a break from a certain food or food group for about two weeks and then reintroduce it to evaluate your body’s response. That way, as long as other food choices remain consistent, you should be able to tell 24-48 hours after consuming that food/food group if your body is sensitive to it. How will you know? You’ll know. Either it will make you feel fine, good, the same, or it will make you feel not so good in some way. As mentioned above, if it makes you feel yucky, try to cut it out of your diet as much as possible. Lastly, I repeat: read your labels and just eat real food!

IMG_0647One Healthy Breakdown: lessons learned, tools in toolkit, carry on.

Celebrating Nutrition Month in a BIG WAY!

March is National Nutrition Month and timing couldn’t be more perfect!

image(35)See here for why! Wahoo! Couldn’t wait another day to announce this news!

If you’re considering some nutritional support, I’m your girl! Reach out now because I’m happily offering an introductory rate until the end of April. Until then, we’re springing into spring serving up some serious healthy goodness to nibble on:

Here you have OHH’s top 10 nutrition tips to incorporate into your life because YOU deserve to enjoy the taste of eating right and flourish through food. Let’s live that high vibe life full of whole foods and no guilt! Speaking of whole foods, read all about the Whole30 program and why OHH is hopping on board too! No matter if you’re paleo or pale-no, it’s all about the whole foods, leans and greens, and listening to YOUR body.

So, there you have it, lots of yummy links and nutrition tips to crunch on! Now pay it forward. If any of your friends, family, or coworkers could use a little help developing a healthier, happier lifestyle, point them in my direction. Send them a link, suggest they sign up for OHH’s free e-magazine, or let them know to contact kiley@onehealthyhamptons.com for one-on-one support. Happy March, indeed!

One Healthy Breakdown: get your nutrition on all month long!

Whole30 Adventures with Teach. Eat. Repeat.

Meet Rachel and Anna of Teach. Eat. Repeat. I’ve been following their Whole30 adventures and just had to share the healthy goodness with you! Not only have these two ladies made huge healthy changes themselves, but they’re also helping others to do the same, all while lesson planning, wedding planning, and meal planning in the hustle and bustle of NYC. Read on for their total Whole30 run-down and healthy onion ring recipe below!

meet usSo, what exactly is this Whole30 and why should we all know about it?? Whole30 is a program that was founded by Whole9 creators, husband and wife team Melissa and Dallas Hartwig. They published an awesome book called It Starts With Food that describes the tenants of the program and how food can literally change your life in one month or less. 99% of their resources are available for free on their website because they want you to take the program and share it with everyone you’ve ever met. We started Teach. Eat. Repeat. to spread the message, the “love and lettuce” as we call it, because of what a difference it’s made in our own lives.

So, what are the Whole30 rules? You can find the official rules here or our own interpretation below (they’re most simply, though regrettably, expressed in a series of “nos,” but don’t fret because there are a whole lotta yes’s to come!)

1. No added sugar of any kind, real or artificial. This includes maple syrup, honey, agave, splenda, coconut sugar, etc. Read your labels and say bye bye sweet tooth.
2. No grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, sprouted grains and all of those gluten-free pseudo-grains like quinoa. This also includes all the ways we add wheat, corn and rice into our foods in the form of bran, germ, starch and nasties like maltodextrin.
3. No legumes/soy (sauce, lecithin, peanuts, lentils). They make exceptions for green beans, sugar snap peas and snow peas, because you consume more “pod” than “bean,” and the green stuff out weighs the lugumey-ness. You can read the full “Legume Manifesto” as to why.
4. No dairy. The only exception to this is clarified butter or ghee.
5. No carrageenan, MSG or sulfites.
6. No alcohol, not even for cooking. We know, we know.
7. No “sex with your pants on” aka, no making versions of your favorite “cheat foods,” with compliant ingredients (no banana ice cream, date brownies, coconut flour pancakes, eating almond butter straight out of the jar…). If it’s a food or substance that you can’t control yourself around, don’t eat it. 30 days is enough time to let go of bad habits, overhaul trigger foods, and change. your. life.
8. No stepping on the scale or taking body measurements for the duration of the program. It’s about so much more than numbers, people. You can weigh yourself before and after, but we’ve found that no-scale victories are the biggest victories.
9. No cheats, no slip, no excuses. Or you start over.

Why so strict? Go big or go home, folks. Each of the foods on the “no” list represent either a. a potential allergen or b. an immune disruptor. Certain foods could be having a negative impact on your health without you even realizing it. Since your immune system is largely housed in your gut, your body may not be able to completely repair itself and fight off invaders at the same time. In order to discover the foods that may or may not harm your body, you strip out all of the potentially physically and psychologically unhealthy, hormone-unbalancing, gut-disrupting, inflammatory food groups for a full 30 days. And then reintroduce them, group by group, little by little. By following the 30 days and the reintroduction program, you can see exactly how your body responds to each food. As Melissa says: “imagine you have 10 cats, and you’re allergic to cats. If you get rid of 9 of them, will you feel better?” Maybe? Yes? No? How will you ever know unless you get rid of all 10 once and for all?

With that said, let’s move on to the yes’s. You can eat as much healthy protein, vegetables, fruits, and healthy fat as you are physically hungry for. Ideally, you don’t have to read any food labels because all of the food you’re eating are whole, natural, and unprocessed. Unfortunately, there are hidden sugars in things like tomato sauce, pickles, and canned foods, so it’s important to be mindful of these while shopping.

So, no labels and no alcohol? Umm, how do you do that?! We did the Whole30 program together in October for all of those reasons above. We started for different reasons. Rachel had done one before while living in Miami and lost a ton of weight. When her boyfriend of four years broke up with her, she went on a six-month bender, but one day, enough was enough. Anna started because she wanted to lose a few more pounds before her wedding. In January, we recruited more friends to our team. We needed a team because the shopping is hard. The meal planning is hard. The motivation becomes hard and sometimes, when everyone around you is knocking back fireball shots faster than Pitbull can say “Fireball dunDUNdundundundun,” you need someone’s smile from across the bar to tip your lime and seltzer at knowingly.

January 1st is a traditional start date for Whole30. The founders of the program run a big national push for people to start on January 1st, and so by default, you end up with a HUGE online network of teammates. It’s all over their blog, instagram and forum and you connect with thousands of other people who are also committing to this lifestyle. We figured the more the merrier.

How did we feel? This is a tricky one. We’ve felt different ways on different days. On day one, we felt awesome. On days two and three, we felt hungover. On day seven, our pants felt tighter than when we started (wtf?!). On day twelve, we had the most realistic food dreams about tings we don’t even crave in real life (Anna woke up crying because she thought she ate truffle covered goat cheese in the ocean in the South of France with her best friend). But the moral of the story is around day fifteen, we started to feel this unbelievable energy. In our line of work, you have to be on your toes, on the move, and on-stage all day long. Having boundless energy and endless positive things to say to children isn’t just important, it’s the difference between loving teaching and despising life. The energy created motivation to keep going and it’s just continued to snowball.

How do we prepare for a working week on the Whole30? Not going to lie, it’s a lot of work. It’s a lot of prep, but it’s totally worth it. We both prep a bit differently, but we’ve found what works for us individually and we love making shopping and cooking dates together and with a group of friends, it’s actually a lot of fun.

So, 30 days has come and gone…why are we still going? We feel really, really good, that’s why. We’ve never slept better, had more energy, or been more in control of our food choices. That said, we also haven’t rid ourselves totally of all of our “emotional” food issues, though we’ve come a long way. We still crave sugar after dinner or wake up drooling because we want bacon. We continue the journey towards that elusive thing called “food freedom.” We want to indulge happily and guilt-free when we choose, not when our mind tells us it’s time for a sugar rush. We want to reach a “goal weight,” or have my wedding dress fit perfectly. Mostly though, we want to keep on feeling really good for all of the milestones we have coming up as well as life in general!

FullSizeRender(18)Anna and Rachel just started another Whole30 on March 1st and their experience has convinced me to hop on board this spring as well. If you’re interested in joining us in April for One Healthy Whole 30, stay tuned for more info, resources, and motivation. In the meantime, check out Teach. Eat. Repeat. and poke around the Whole30 site too! Feel free to email talktoteacheatrepeat@gmail.com with any questions for Anna and Rachel! Last, but not least: Whole30 Onion Rings:

onionringsGame Day Recipe: Whole30 Onion Rings

What you’ll need:

  • 1 large yellow onion
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • ½ coconut flour (Note: if you only have one or the other, that’s totally fine. We like the mix, but it really doesn’t matter).
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 4 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp cayenne
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Two mixing bowls
  • Baking sheet
  • Cooking Spray

What We did:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400degrees
  2. Slice the onion.
  3. Mix the flours and spices in one bowl. Mix them around a bit so they’re good and friendly with each other.
  4. Crack eggs into the other bowl
  5. Use one hand to dredge the onion through the eggs and then plop into the bowl with the flours.
  6. When they’re all coated, bake for 20 minutes. Make sure they’re not touching. After 10 minutes, flip the rings so both sides get toasty.
  7. Serve alone, with guacamole or whip up some Whole30 mayo and mix it with Buffalo sauce for a spicy, creamy treat.

Give yourself the touchdown cheer! You just made some healthy onion rings!

One Healthy Breakdown: thanks for the inspiration, explanation, and energy!

Feeling Fresh & Clean Ending 2014

One engagement, wedding, and honeymoon behind me and I’m ready for a reset, both mentally and physically. The dress fittings have come and gone and life goes on, my friends! Real life is calling and there’s no time like the present. I know you can all relate. If it’s not a wedding, it’s a birthday, a vacation, or another reason to celebrate. There will always be an excuse to sip champagne and eat cake, but it’s about living in moderation and maintaining a healthy body and mind that keeps us stable. Instead of heading into January with holiday bloat and gloat, let’s skip the New Years anticipation and just feel better today. Personally, I feel my best when I’m treating my body and my mind right.

Living a healthy lifestyle is like balancing a scale, the middle point between extremes. Though I didn’t really diet for my wedding, I was definitely hyper-aware of what I put into my body and how I targeted my workouts. While that’s one side of the spectrum, the other was my honeymoon indulgence in all things good and carby; pasta, pizza, wine, dessert, and more wine. While both practices were right for me at the time, (no shame in that!) but I’m excited to find the happy middle that is real life again!

Vintage Balance Scale If you’re in a need of a few small changes, a little reset, and balancing out the scale, join me in the following practices. Let’s do this sans the juice cleanse, starvation, strictness, supplements, or labels. Just some good old fashioned healthy fun to feel good inside and out.

1. Eat clean, lean, and green, whole foods, and indulge mindfully. It’s no surprise that whole foods are the way to go and that fresh fruits and veggies should be at the top of the pyramid. As the seasons shift, our bodies naturally crave more comforting, warming foods. Satisfy these cravings with soups, autumn staples, spiced smoothies, lean protein, whole grains, herbs and spices, and healthy fats. It’s not rocket science and there’s no magic diet involved (thank the lord!) Indulge moderately, chew slowly, and be aware of portion size. Don’t restrict yourselves of your favorite pleasure foods (for me, it’s red wine, nut butter, and dark chocolate) and don’t beat yourself up for indulging, but do avoid processed food and too much of a good thing.

2. Move your body every single day. It’s that simple. I’m all about switching it up, trying new things, and enjoying exercise. To me, a healthy, balanced life includes some grueling workouts that challenge, push, and exhaust as well as less-demanding days to rest, stretch, and recharge. Regardless of what it is, your favorite workouts/classes should be a priority on your calendar. Make it happen, walk more, and treat your body with love, it’s carrying you through life and you won’t get very far without lots of movement.

3. Sleep. Thoughts of our honeymoon are full of amazing memories, sites, and meals as well as physically and emotionally feeling like a  million bucks. No, it wasn’t just because I was on newlywed cloud 9. I slept. A LOT. Sleep is the fuel that charges our bodies to run efficiently and stay healthy, both physically and mentally. 8+ hours – make it happen.

4. Take time for yourself and give yourself permission to RELAX, every single day. Whether you practice daily meditation or not, it’s crucial to take ten minutes a day to breathe, connect with yourself, reflect, refocus, set your intention for the day, do some yoga, and completely relax. Like sleep, this simple practice can make your entire day, week, month, life better all around.

One Healthy Breakdown: It’s really that simple, folks. Let’s commit to feeling fresh and clean heading into 2015!

Run the Summer: Summer Running Tips

Whew…it’s hot out there! Here are a few tips to keep cool and run on all summer long!

portrait of a mid adult woman jogging in a park

  1. Commit. Summer running is not easy, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. Make a plan to run as often as you would like this summer and hold yourself accountable.
  2. Drink water. Lots of water. The most important factor in summer running is staying well-hydrated. Dehydration is dangerous and miserable. Dehydration while running is double bad. Prevent it by carrying a water bottle everywhere, don’t go an hour without sipping throughout the day.
  3. Run earlier in the morning before the sun has heated things up, temps are a lot cooler. Plus, early morning runs are often quiet and more serene before the rest of the world has awoken. If you’re not an early riser, wait until evening when the sun has dropped. Longer days means more daylight, just try to avoid the hottest hours of the day.
  4. Don’t forget the sunscreen. Sometimes it’s hard to remember the SPF if we aren’t hitting the beach or pool. The sun is just as strong when we’re moving outside, so lather up every morning you’ll be outdoors and find a good, breathable running hat for sunny days.
  5. Let your body adjust. At first, you may slow your pace and shorten your mileage. Running in high heat can be really difficult on the body. Ease into it and increase your pace and mileage so that you slowly adjust to the heat in the safest way.
  6. Dress accordingly. Running will heat the body almost instantly and body temperature only increases with every mile. Plan ahead and wear minimal clothing while remaining comfortable. Loose, light, and moisture-wicking is best.
  7. Run through sprinklers! Do whatever you can to keep yourself cool. Channeling your inner child and running through sprinklers or pouring water on your head is totally allowed…and extra fun.
  8. On that note, ENJOY it! If you don’t enjoy running in the first place, you really won’t enjoy running in high heat. Make yourself a kick-ass playlist, switch up your route, enjoy your surroundings, get a new running outfit, or do whatever you do that makes those miles enjoyable!

One Healthy Breakdown: run the summer, don’t let the summer run you when you can run the summer!