Monday, August 26, 2013

Summer Wrap Up (Including Our Whole30 Experience)

Here's what we have been up to the last several months-enjoy!

In May Rosaleigh turned three (!!!) We celebrated with a trip to the zoo.

                              Goodbye two, hello three!                             

It was an unseasonably cold day and half the animals weren't out but we still had loads of fun. R kept saying cake all day, especially after being wished happy birthday. She has been known for hating cake so this seemed a bit out of character.
First Birthday
Second Birthday

We decided to splurge on a grand cupcake from Scratch Cupcakery. We decided on a pink lemonade one and went on our way. Needless to say R still doesn't love cupcakes. We had a wonderful day of celebrating. Tom had a show so we sent him off and ended the day with just us girls. A week later Haylee turned 10. She has been a crazy addition to our family and I wouldn't change the decision to rescue her for the world.

We had decided to run Dam to Dam. It's a great race and a Des Moines running staple and I wanted Tom to experience it, even if it was just once. As mentioned above the weather was unseasonable cold. In fact our first long run we had snow on the ground (and it was May already!!) Training was a bit here and there but we finished under our goal time (yay!) Race day brought perfect weather and we couldn't have asked for a better race.

June was filled with movies, (R's first one) pool days, wonderful weather, it marked Tom's first year in Street Thieves, and my 34th (AHHHHHHH!!!!!!) Birthday. July started with visits from family a dear friend's wedding, an addition to my tattoo (that I could not be happier with, inspired by song lyrics that Tom wrote for me) and it marked starting the Whole30.

We needed some drastic changes. We were sick of feeling sluggish, having no energy, getting sick, dealing with unwanted weight, etc etc etc etc get the point. So we decided to do something "drastic." Start eating within Paleo guidelines. (Eating real unprocessed food) Sounds simple enough, right? Nope, not really. I wanted to do this right, not half-ass it or get three days in and give up. I started to soak up the knowledge from two books, It Starts with Food and Practical Paleo. It was extremely overwhelming at first. No dairy, no grains, no beans, no wheat, no added sugar (!!!!) Nothing from a box, which isnt' really an issue for us because we weren't the mac n cheese hamburger helper type of people anyway. I was like, WHAT ARE WE GOING TO EAT??!??? Not tacos, or spaghetti, or PB&J, or Tasty Tacos, or Pancheros (do you get the drift we love Mexican food) NO MT. DEW??!!!??? I'm lactose intolerant so the whole cheese bit isn't hard for me. I had drastically cut out sugar in February so I started to see where this was doable. But I was still in need of a bit more direction so we picked a meal plan to follow. It was all laid out for us and even came with shopping lists. We got right down to it! I decide to look at the challenge of it. It was going to be fun to learn how to make new dishes/meals and experiment with spices and flavors. I learned to love the process. I really really really enjoy cooking and baking. I didn't know I could make food that tastes so good. (After a month and a half I still say that) It was a struggle at first because we were so used to certain elements at meals (Like bread) But that soon stopped. For me the cravings came in waves. I would all of the sudden kill for a cookie, or pie, or a piece of cheesecake (SUGAR!) But nothing I couldn't resist. We were determined to do this. I didn't want to slip up and let myself or Tom down. Plus, it's only 30 days. At first I wasn't sleeping better at all. I just could not gear down at the end of the day, but after about day 10 I started sleeping better than I had in years (YEARS!) Falling asleep easily, staying asleep, and waking up without an alarm. Which we all know better sleep= better moods= happy household. We learned along the way about which foods we liked and didn't like, new flavors, combinations, and spices. About cooking temperatures and times (read: BURNT food) How to prepare, chop, cook, and eat all kinds of vegetables.  The freedom it brings to not be counting calories, not be hungry all the time, being in control of choosing what to eat is awesome. We have dropped about 30lbs. combined and tons and tons of inches. We have energy!! Tom is actually getting up before work and running (What??!!? I know!!) It has been a wonderful change. We want to take this good life that we have created and make it great. This is a huge step in the right direction. We made it through our 30 days with flying colors-no cheats or slip ups. (YAY us!!)

After completing the 30 days we have splurged a couple of times but we have found that our tastes have changed-drastically! Stuff just isn't as good as we once remember it to be. Fresh, real, unprocessed food is good, really good. I've experimented with a couple of different cookie recipes and have found some that are delicious. It's fun! It's like our eyes have been opened to what's out there. 

That brings us to August.......this happened which was pretty much amazing.

We had the opportunity to meet Theron and Maddie and if you don't know who they are stop what you are doing and go here RIGHT. NOW. It was such an enjoyable experience, definitely one for the record books.

This week the forecast is for incredibly hot weather but as August winds down I'm ready for Fall. It's a special time of year. The weather brings a semi cool breeze but the sun is still warm. The changing color of the leaves. The calm before the storm of holidays and the dreary winter. We have some fun stuff planned. Including a trip to see one of our favorite performers Dallas Green (City and Colour) I'm excited to see where the next several months take the little Blakesley crew.