Journey To Handstand {Yoga Challenge}

Journey To Handstand March Yoga Challenge
Journey To Handstand March Yoga Challenge

A new yoga challenge starts on Sunday. This month, I’m participating in the Journey to Handstand challenge, hosted by Kino MacGregor and Kerri Verna, and sponsored by Aloyoga.

Handstands are a great workout and I’ve been practicing them daily for a while now so I’m excited to focus on really improving this month. As always, there will be modifications to the poses, so don’t be intimidated!

Leave me a comment on Instagram if you’re doing the challenge too!

Related Links:

February Yoga Challenge – Let’s Get Flexy in 2015

January Yoga Challenge – Be Strong in 2015

January Yoga Challenge – Bend Into the New Year

December’s Yoga Challenge – Just Be Present

November Yoga Challenge – Healing Hearts

 

Whole 30 – Half Way Through – Thoughts

I had started one big mega post with the meals we’ve eaten, cost, thoughts, etc, but I think it’ll be easier to break it down into seperate posts. This coming Thursday (2 days from now) will be the start of week 4. It’s kind of crazy that time went so fast, but it also seems like we’ve been doing this forever.

In the beginning, it was really, really hard. Every day I was worried about what I was making, if it was going to taste okay, if it was going to be enough food, etc. Even though I spent hours planning, I always felt under-prepared.

About halfway through the second week, things started to click and meal planning became a little easier. I stopped worrying about eating the same meals over and over again (honestly, we eat the same things regularly anyway), and I just made sure there was a bunch of veggies and always potatoes just in case anyone wasn’t full.

Stuffed Pepper with Lentils, roasted cauliflower, and baked potato chips
Stuffed Pepper with Lentils, roasted cauliflower, and baked potato chips

Meals

I’ll get into the meals more in another post, but I just started buying the same things from the grocery store and tried to switch things up with different spices. For lunch at work, I always packed my husband leftovers, and for snacks he took baby carrots with a single serve guacamole pack, a pack of apple sauce, and a small bag of almonds/pecans/walnuts.

Typical packed lunch - sauteed portobello with peppers, sliced carrots and peppers with gaucamole, and unsweetened apple sauce with pecans
Typical packed lunch – sauteed portobello with peppers, sliced carrots and peppers with gaucamole, and unsweetened apple sauce with pecans

Cost

I have been spending a little bit more than normal, but it’s mostly on the “snack” foods, ie organic apples, cashew butter (I usually buy sunflower butter because it’s cheaper), and different kind of nuts. The meals can be super cheap (lentils and potatoes), or a bit more (portobello mushrooms), but the snacks were definitely the most out of the ordinary expense. Overall, I didn’t spend that much over my normal budget (will do a cost breakdown in another post). The goal is normally $100 a week, but is closer to $150 including all household extras (ie paper towels, cleaning supplies, etc). I’ve been spending about the same $130 in one trip, but then going to the Sharp Shopper (grocery outlet) and spending another $30-40 dollars. I’m sure it could easily be tightened up to be within a budget.

Changes

In the middle of week two, I noticed my skin was really soft. I had been breaking out on my chin for the longest time and it’s completely gone. I haven’t had any other breakouts since then either. Both my husband and I have lost about 6 lbs each.  It’s not a goal of either of ours to lose weight, but I did weigh myself before and during just to see. I can also tell my clothes are fitting looser. I think the weight loss would be even greater if I/we didn’t eat so many high fat foods like the guacamole and nuts, but again I’m not really concerned with the scale.

Sometimes, I really feel like I’m starving, and then I stop and think about it, and I’m actually not hungry at all. I think the mindset of “I can’t have a sandwich”, “I can’t just pop a chia and flax seed waffle in the toaster”, really makes you feel like you’re depriving yourself. Obviously, I don’t mean to think like that, but the habit of making something convenient is hard to break. It’s also a little more difficult because somethings that I normally wouldn’t think of as “bad” are off limits, like corn and beans. Randomly, I will get a craving (like right now, for a veggie sub), but at the same time, I haven’t even thought about chocolate.

Baked apples, cored and stuffed with chopped dates, pecans and cinnamon
Baked apples, cored and stuffed with chopped dates, pecans and cinnamon

I’m actually really proud we’ve made it this far, and I can honestly say I haven’t had any processed food in 3 weeks. It seems weird because I never thought we ate *that* much processed food, but now eating only fruits and vegetables, it becomes apparent how much other “stuff” we ate.

I still have to plan out our exit strategy, but I think I’d like to continue to eat pretty simply even after this is over. I’d like to leave out the processed stuff, but add in beans, rice, corn, etc. I’ve even discovered a few new meal ideas like baked apples with dates and pecans for breakfast, and loaded baked potatoes as a main course for dinner, that I plan to incorporate in the future.

What I ate Wednesday on the Whole30

Today marks the first day of week 3 of my Whole30 trial. At first it seemed impossible and I definitely thought I was going to give up by the 2 week mark, but now that I’m in the swing of things, it’s gotten a lot easier.

These are my meals from yesterday (not included are photos of a bunch of water and about 8 cups of organic black tea).

For breakfast, around 9am I had 2 bananas and a handful of dates.

Breakfast - 2 bananas and 4 dates

Around 11am I had lunch, which was tofu scramble (similar to scrambled eggs, except waaay better) with roasted potatoes and smothered in Frank’s Red Hot.Lunch - Tofu scramble with roasted potatoes and Frank's hot sauce

Around 1pm, I had a mango. I just slice them like this and then eat the flesh away from the skin and around the seed. Mangoes are officially my favorite fruit. I used to be intimidated by cutting them, but it was soooo worth getting over that.

Snack - Mango

For dinner at 5, I made 2 portotbello mushrooms that were sauteed in EVOO with garlic, onions, and peppers, roasted broccoli, and a baked hasselback potato. I had more broccoli on my plate but forgot to take a picture before I started eating..oops! For the potatoes, I’ve been taking the lazy way out and I’ve been microwaving them for about 4 minutes (after poking a crap ton of holes in them so they don’t explode) and then I bake them to make them crispy. It’s a lot easier and quicker that way. I also made a big salad that I forgot to take a picture of. I’ve been making a quick oil and vinegar dressing with Italian spices.

Dinner - 2 portobello mushrooms, roasted broccoli, and a baked potato

For a snack around 9pm, I sliced up an organic Gala apple and topped it with cashew butter and natural sunflower seeds.

Snack - Organic Gala apple with cashew butter and sunflower seeds
This has been pretty much what I’ve been eating daily. At first I was afraid to eat the same things over and over again, but I realized I really don’t mind it and it makes things a lot simpler. I’m really enjoying the Whole30 so far. I’ll post my initial thoughts in the next few days.

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