Category Archives: Challenges



We bought and indoor bike. Not a Peloton, but one with classes, mountain bike courses, guided tours, and all the other non cycling stuff. I was skeptical because in the past all home workout equipment has become a clothes rack. We set it up yesterday. It is a room that stores our camping gear and workout stuff. No clothes, no distractions, just workout stuff. I’ve been working out in the room since we moved in, yoga, barre, hiit and body weight stuff.

Today I took my first ride. The seat is awful. I will not be surprised if i have bruises tomorrow. I’m sure it was meant for spin class, which is the less interesting part of the bike. We bought a new seat. The ride itself was fun. I just did a beginner ride, only 17 minutes, nothing intense. And it was a cute little trip in the snow in Alaska with sled dogs. Once we get the better seat I’ll try longer rides, but this went by pretty quickly. It was nice to have something to look at that matched the inclines and terrain.

I probably won’t become a spin class type person but I am looking forward to doing another ride. Maybe eventually we’ll get real bikes.

Whole30 Round 2 Day 20


We finished our first round of Whole30 strong back in July… and immediately failed the reintroduction phase. Honestly I’d like to say it was poor planning because we had friends get togethers and traveled for my sister’s open house the days after finishing but really we were just tired of being restricted.

There were some rules that we stuck too, partially because we’d been doing it before whole30.  No added sugar or fake sugars in places that were not supposed to be sweet to begin with.  Soy was pretty much cut out. Bread was reduced to hamburger buns and pizza.

Well three months later I was back to feeling icky, my skin is exceptionally patchy and dry, and I don’t feel like I learned anything about how I handle food. (The dry skin could also be my stress induced eczema or the new PNW climate.. who knows.) I’m looking at you nuts and fruit.

October was my month to try again, this time alone. The only part that sucks is the french fries. I’m cool with plain salads and bunless burgers when we go out, but damn I want some fries. I’m good with eating out in a group and getting adjustments to my order. My skin is getting better. I’ve also moved off high stress project and started to combat the dry air with water and more lotion. I’ve stayed away from the fruits & nuts for the most part. I’m trying to keep a low carb whole30 this time. I do add them in where it makes sense, but not as a omg I need sugar.

Most of the appeal of the whole30 to me has been the cooking challenges, rice and pasta are easy to add to anything. I did buy the Whole30 cookbook the last time around and have since bought Nom Nom Paleo’s Ready or Not book. I pre-ordered a Whole30 Approved cookbook The Whole Smiths Good Food Cookbook that I’m excited about. We started using HomeChef because they have more low carb options than Plated and were pretty easy to comply with my Whole30 with a few modifications for my dishes. (omg we loooooved Plated.) When this is all done, I’m hoping to stick to 80% Whole30 or paleo.

20 more days including reintroduction, by the end we’re having a friendsgiving. I hope to have more answers to how my body handles food and be better able to make decisions on my food choices. I may end up eating my weight in fries though.


Non food related news… my baby sister is an official adult. One friend baby should be arriving any time now, the other in December, and a cousin baby is scheduled for early next year. We’ll probably move into the city next spring where there are more people, more to do, and less driving to get anywhere fun. It is starting the rainy season here and since it has been over 10 years since I’ve spent the entire winter without seeing the sun I’m loading up on vitamin d and a sunshine lamp. I’m reserving my judgment of the PNW until next year when we move and I’ve navigated the gray 8 months of the year.

Here goes nothing.

Whole30 Meal Prep Week 3


Egg Sausage Broccoli Bake + Compliant Lunch Meat
Egg Spinach Scrambled Eggs + Compliant Lunch Meat
Pumpkin Nut Porridge

Salad Plus Meat Leftovers

Thai Red Chicken Curry with Green Beans
Bacon Wrapped Chicken + Grilled Pineappe
Zucchini Noodles + Meatballs
Steak Stir-fry Wrap



Whole30 Meal Prep Week 2


This maybe by far our most expensive food experiment yet. At least grocery store wise. Though looking at our eating out habits over the last few months, it  probably evens out. Hopefully this will keep us from having to hit the store more than once this week.

Heres to a less boring and easy cooking week.

On the menu for this week … (breakfast & dinner via the Whole30 Cookbook)
Tomato Bun Sloppy Joes with Ancho-Chili Butternut Squash
Slow-Cooker Italian Beef Roast
Jicama Street Tacos with Barbacoa

Green Omelet
Scrambled Egg Breakfast tacos

Bars – Epic, RX, Lara
Nut Mix with Dried Apricots and Blueberries

Kale Salad with Chicken, sunflower seeds, mushrooms and artichoke hearts

Whole30 Meal Prep Week 1


I didn’t really follow any recipes for these, more inspiration and faking it. I ended up making two additional trips to the store for meat and snacks we could easily pack for the week.

Egg Muffins with Sausage, Spinach and Broccoli
Egg Frittatas with Spinach and Tomato
Spaghetti Squash with marinara and meatballs
Chicken Stir-fry
Flat Iron Steak with Green Beans
Mini Meatloafs (Chicken Turkey and Beef)

Larabars – Apple Pie and Coconut Creme
RX Bars
Epic Bars
Walnuts and Roasted Almonds
Dried Mango
Dried Plantains with Garlic
Frozen Berries
Raw Green beans
Baby Carrots and Tessemae Ranch






Today is week 1, day 4 of my experiment with Whole30. We were prepared for the most part, but still underestimated the sheer volume of food we would need. Meal planing for breakfast and lunch has been going as planned for the most part for me, but the Hubs needs more food to function than I do. We’ve had two extra trips to the store to get enough snacks and meat to last the week. I may actually have to go to the store this weekend instead of using Instacart for groceries.

Day 1 Egg/Tomato/Spinach Frittata | Apple & Bell Peppers | Salad with broccoli and spinach | Stir-fry with chicken | Berries

Day 2 Egg/Tomato/Spinach Frittata | Larabar | Salad with Chicken | walnuts & almonds | pork chop & green beans

Day 3 Egg/Sausage/Spinach Frittata | bell pepper & walnuts | Salad with broccoli sausage & Spinach | dried mango & garlic plaintains| steak & greenbeans

Day 4 Egg/Sausage/Spinach Frittata |walnuts & almonds | Carrots with ranch, meatballs & green beans | larabar | Chicken Fajitas

I have noticed I do like something sweet before bed, but I also like fruit so it hasn’t been too terrible. I have bought the cookbook so I can plan better for next week. I’m sure this will be harder over the weekend and probably early next week. Normally we like to have dinner out on the weekend and maybe hit a brewery one afternoon. We’ll have to get creative and busy with other things.

Getting healthy again


Ok, I’ve been a little lax on eating what I should on the weekend. And now that I live within walking distance to alot of great places to eat and have a good local beer, it’s just been harder to stay eating healthy. The good thing is that I have not gained weight, even on vacation where I read by the pool for a week. But I’m still considered overweight and I still have an unhealthy body fat percentage. I know getting back to a more regimented way of eating will be especially hard during the end of the year with all the tempting holiday goodies all over the place. Why not start now though? By the time the new year rolls around it will be a habit and that’s a good way to start a year.

Things I’ve started: not eating like a football player on the weekend, taking some extra vitamins, and making sure I go to my fitness classes every week.

I don’t especially think the vitamins are necessary, but they can’t hurt. I eat fruits and vegetables like I’m supposed to, lean meat and mostly good fats. But my nails and hair have always been fine and brittle so if it helps them, why not.



Here goes nothing.

No Added Sugar September


Last September I decided to challenge myself to eat less sugar. It actually went pretty well and the biggest struggle was actually finding the few packaged food that we eat without weird added sugar in them. Like tomato sauce, who needs extra sugar in your pasta sauce?
We stayed pretty low sugar for the past year, but recently had invited desserts back into our house. Its become a bit of an issue. So before we head out on vacation this October I’m going to do another no added sugar september.

My personal parameters: no added sugar, honey, maple syrup. No artificial sugar. Fruits and vegetables with naturally occurring sugar are ok.

What about bread? Bread needs sugar to exist. I’m not totally wiling to cut out all bread but I’ll probably cut down on sandwiches a good deal.

What about when you MUST eat out? I’ll be traveling for work this month and camping. Eating out at restaurants I can make due with having a salad and will probably look up the menu ahead of time. The night we’ll be camping i’m going to make an exception for and just tack on some days at the end of the month. Unprocessed food is heavy and we are not car camping so its just easier to stick with our backpacking food.

I’m using these as references:

No Sugar week 4


Some things I’ve learned over the last three weeks of staying away from added sugars.
1) I don’t eat alot of added sugar really. It mostly comes in the form of sauces like bbq or teriyaki.
2) people will sneak sweet tea into all sorts of things even if you ask for un sweet. This has been my biggest source of slip ups during the last month.
3) Some things are better without the added ransom sugar or other ingredients. Peanut butter and jam have been our biggest surprises.
4) some things are nearly impossible to find. Cereal and bread  have been the biggest challenge for me. I actually gave up on bread and found the lowest sugar content possible or made my own.
5) We will probably stick to a low sugar diet after this week is over. It has certainly made us more conscience of the random added sugar to things that don’t need it. Like soup or peanutbutter. But then we’ll have room for the occasional cookie or pie with dinner.

One more sugar free week. But Monday next week I’m certainly going to have a chocolate dipper peanutbutter cookie that I’ve been stashing away.