My Whole30: Days 6-10

Hi again!

As promised, here are my Non-Scale Victories and daily recaps. If you want to read why I am doing Whole30, click here. If you want to research what it is, click here. I’m feeling AWESOME! I took a picture on Day 1 and I can already see so much change in my body in just 10 days.

Day 6: Waking up without any headaches or sugar withdrawal these days! I have to tell ya, my dry skin is becoming more and more a thing of the past! I am still a bit flaky, but I’m noticing a correlation between avocados and my skin. The more I eat, the less dry I am. Dinner: Crockpot chicken, sautéed brussels sprouts, and baked potatoes.

Day 7: Today was a rough one for me. I was cramping like crazy…….so I’m not going to recap the day physically. I am calling this one for what it was: being a woman. But I will say I only experienced cramping for one day! Dinner MUST MAKE: Egg Roll in a Bowl. I got coconut aminos at Whole Foods, but you can order them here. Husband approved.

Day 8: Feeling much better today! My anxiety is at an all time low. There’s a certain “buzz” that I normally feel, and a tightness in my chest. That’s fading. I find myself not worrying about the future or uncertainty like I usually do. Dinner: Shepherd’s Pie. This one was difficult to  make and, honestly, I probably won’t make it again. We didn’t LOVE it. But we did have leftovers for lunch!

Day 9: My clothes are fitting so much better. My low abs are starting to make themselves known! Nothing crazy to report, other than Whole30 is starting to feel normal. It’s becoming easier to just stay on track and not think about it so much. BEST Dinner yet: Cracklin’ Chicken with roasted potatoes and broccoli. OMG. I can’t handle how delicious this was!

Day 10: My workouts and teaching energy are off the charts! I feel strong. Tonight was probably the hardest it’s been to stay positive, because we went out to eat for the first time. I called the restaurant ahead to ask what they cooked their meats in and made sure they didn’t use any oils I can’t have. Dinner: Greek salad with grilled chicken and lemon/oil dressing! (I ended up having a boiled egg and apple when I got home- they were cheap on the chicken!)

That’s all for now, folks. I think I’ll wait 10 more days for another update. We are road-tripping to Indiana, so I’ll be able to include some travel tips. 🙂

With love,
Shayla

 

 

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My Whole30 Experience: Days 1-5

First off- why Whole30?

I’ve been a pretty healthy eater for about 3 years now. I work out 6 days a week and am overall happy with where I am physically. I eat fast food maybe twice a year, indulge in a soda every couple months, and try to limit my pizza intake to very rare occasions. I’m NOT one of those girls who can eat bread and cheese and pasta every day and stay looking fit, even with my level of exercise. It ain’t gonna happen. 

But even though I thought of myself as a pretty healthy eater, I knew that I wasn’t getting the proper amount of vegetables and healthy foods in my diet. I was good at cutting things out, but not so good at putting them in.  And let’s not even get started on alcohol…

Better yet, let’s do. My husband and I loooooove an after dinner cocktail. It’s our hobby! And we have a blast. There’s nothing I love more than plopping down on the couch with him, under a blanket, sipping my vodka/soda/lime, and watching The Office. But why did I feel the need to do that after every dinner? (Because it’s fun! That’s why! But it’s not healthy…and not so fun every morning.)

Cut to Whole30. I’d been hearing about it from friends for awhile and had done a little research. No dairy, no grains, no added sugar, no alcohol. Okay. I can do this. Then I started reading a little bit further. It’s not really about cutting things out (although you do that), it’s about changing your meal patterns and your relationship with food. 

For a long time, I thought I had a great relationship with food, and that’s because it used to be much worse. Back in college and a few years after, I had little to no control, and I think that largely had to do with my lack of exercise. These days, I know when to stop eating, but I’ll be the first person to grab a few handfuls of tortilla chips or melt some cheese on something when I run in the house starving.

Whole30 focuses on eating specific types of meals, three times a day. (More if you exercise.) Without snacking. You fill up on the right types of foods during mealtime, so you don’t need to snack. I’m not an expert, so I’ll leave it to you to research the specifics of Whole30, but I do want to share my victories with you, just in case you decide to take the plunge and try it yourself.

So I’ve decided to share my experience as well as my NSVs (Non-Scale Victories) every five days. I’m on Day 5 now. Here we go:

Day 1: Woke up feeling charged and ready to go. Shopped for groceries and meal prepped for the week. Dinner: Buffalo Chicken Casserole (SO GOOD.) Tip: Cut up all your veggies on Sunday and put them in tupperware so you can just grab at mealtime. Hard boil eggs. Crockpot lots of chicken breasts.

Day 2: Woke up with a major headache. Looking back, I think it was a sugar withdrawal. Disappeared by the end of the day. Felt great at night! Dinner: Spaghetti Squash with Whole30 compliant Marina and Homemade Turkey Meatballs. Drank kombucha in a wine glass!

Day 3: Another major headache. It only lasted through the morning! I was kind of grumpy after dinner. I think it’s because I usually have a drink or a snack to look forward to and now I don’t. Realizing my emotional connection to after-dinner treats runs strong. Looking forward to kicking that habit! Dinner: Steak, roasted baby potatoes, roasted asparagus. 

Day 4: No headache! Yay! I was great all throughout the day and then my dragon came to play before dinner. My poor husband. I never knew the true definition of hangry until today! I was soooo determined not to go to bed hungry that I added diced, roasted sweet potato to my dinner on a whim. It worked! Went to bed (at 9:30pm, lol) full. Dinner: Steak fajitas (no tortilla) and roasted sweet potato.

Day 5: Woke up today feeling pretty great. I had a big breakfast and lunch and am currently sipping my black iced coffee! Sidenote: iced coffee currently gets me through the afternoon snack time. I hope by the end of the month, I don’t need it. Dinner tonight: Boneless Buffalo Chicken Bites, homemade roasted potato fries, raw broccoli, carrots, celery and Whole30 compliant Tessamae’s Ranch. 

NSVs: My dry, dry, dry skin is only a little dry right now! My face is barely peeling. Someone told me today they noticed my skin was better. I have SO much more energy when I teach Pure Barre. I almost fell over today after the thigh section because my energy level was so high. Ha! I’m already less bloated. I notice that my lululemon pants fit better. I bet I’ve lost a couple pounds, even though I don’t really weigh myself. I see more tone in my arms and abs. I’m getting more sleep.17194079_10101267557157758_730999981_o

FYI: For lunches and breakfasts, I stuck to the Whole30 recommendation of a protein (egg, compliant sausage, chicken, salmon, meatballs, etc), a fat (avocado, guac, olives, ghee, olive oil), and tons of veggies. The Tessamae’s Ranch came in very handy with raw veggies! I also ate a lot of leftover dinner meals and used hardboiled eggs and the turkey meatballs for my pre and post workout protein.  La Croix and kombucha have been great at night when I feel like I need a fun drink. Hoping to kick the kombucha desire at night and stick with La Croix only, for the most part. That’s it for now! I’m going to post my day summaries, recipes, and NSVs every five days. Feel free to reach out to me personally if you have more specific questions.

xoxo,

Shayla

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Buh-Bye, Bridezilla.

It’s true. After my family threw me a beautiful shower, full of genuine love, I had a full-on panic attack. You can ask my maid of honor. I was ashamed to admit it to my mom, especially, but the entire two hours of gifts, and love, and games, I was tortured with thoughts of uncertainty: Are the guests happy? Am I funny enough? Are they bored? Have I thanked people enough? Do they really love me? 

And then it hit me: I’m going to ruin my wedding day for myself, my future husband, and all the people I love, if I don’t do something about my anxiety.

You see, wedding planning, or anything else for that matter, didn’t cause my anxiety. I did.

When I was in 2nd or 3rd grade, I realized that if I didn’t give my opinion, my friends wouldn’t be mad at me. The second I stuck up for something or said how I truly felt, inevitably, one of my friends would get mad.

“Well, easy. I just won’t be my full self.”

And that’s where it began. Since then, I’ve constantly worried about my life and what other people thought of it. I have told myself that if I am truly honest and truly vulnerable, that other people won’t like me.

The uncertainty about how other people will feel on my wedding day has been my focus. But the reality that I might ruin one of the most special days of my life has created a shift in me: I HAVE TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS.

As the universe would have it, I ran into a woman named Dr. Kay Corpus. She’s using a holistic, integrative approach to help me get to the bottom of my anxiety and figure out what’s really going on.

I’ve made a lot of progress in our first two sessions, and as the wedding day approaches, I’m feeling calmer and calmer, which I think is a good sign.

I wrote this blog simply to tell you that if you have anxiety, if you fear the unknown, if you worry about what other people think, if you have thoughts that make your back hurt, your chest tight, or give you headaches…YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

You have the power to change your life. You have the power to set yourself free. It’s what I’m attempting to do right now, so that I can open myself up to a peaceful, fulfilled, authentic existence.

My wedding day is going to be a beautiful, uplifting, spiritual day, full of the love that Nick and I share. And it will be, because I will resonate those things from the inside-out.

I hope you’ll reach out to me if any of this resonated with you. Anxiety can be a very isolating experience, but it doesn’t have to be.

Lots of love,

Shayla

PS. While you’re planning the gorgeous details of your fabulous wedding, don’t forget to focus on the gorgeous details of your fabulous inner-being. 😉

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Life Hack: Make Space for Greatness

Recently, I did work for someone over the course of about 5 weeks and didn’t get paid for it. In fact, the person told me he doesn’t have the money to pay me at all or ever.

Upon hearing this, I was infuriated. It felt wrong. It felt bad. I was pissed.

We all encounter situations that are Less-Than-Desirable. It’s not what we planned; it’s inconvenient. It throws us off our alignment and balance. It’s part of our human experience.

But the above mentioned experience taught me that I can look at a Less-Than-Desirable circumstance and let it help me create a vision for What It Is That I Want.

When I chose to “let go” of that job and the fearful thoughts I had about losing payment, I created space for something more desirable. I made a conscious choice to say out loud, “the money will replace itself” and “money finds me.” They are affirmations that have served me well over the years, and I trust them, which is what makes them work.

Within 48 hours, I found out that I had a lump sum of money coming to me from an unexpected source that was over half  of what I was owed by my previous employer. Not only that, I was unexpectedly offered another gig. And I have ZERO doubt that the rest of the money will be made up shortly, with no extra effort needed on my part.

It’s really incredible what can happen if you simply let go of thoughts or circumstances that aren’t serving you, and create a space for what does. That takes a lot of trust, I know, especially when it’s a source of income. But I firmly believe the things you REALLY want lie in the space that is currently occupied by the things you don’t.

One of my favorite things to do is look for evidence in my day-to-day life that proves that the more I trust it, the more the universe supports me. Have you ever decided to trust and let go? Were you taken care of? I’d love to know.

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I NEED to stop saying this.

I NEED a new car.

I NEED to find a partner.

I NEED to make more money.

I NEED to workout tomorrow.

We all NEED so much these days, don’t we? I know I do.

But guess what? The more we repeat that mantra to ourselves, the more we acknoledge our lack of.  Repeating that simple word over and over throughout the day sucks the energy right out of our intentions. We’re actually less likely to make that thing happen because we’re recognizing and affirming our void.

You may NEED to get to the gym next week, but what if you started telling your friends that you are EXCITED to get back to your workout routine? What if you said you will really ENJOY eating fresh fruit for breakfast tomorrow morning? Maybe you are feeling GIDDY about the possibility of meeting someone new this week. What if you found it THRILLING to imagine finding a job that allows you to travel and afford to buy groceries for a stranger whenever you want?

It may feel funny and fake at first, but if you continue to retrain your thought patterns, you might notice you start to really believe the positive affirmation. 

TRY IT: 

Fill in the blank and say out loud: I NEED __________.

Repeat that 10 times.

Now rephrase: I’m so EXCITED to ____________.

Repeat that 10 times.

Did you immediately feel like what you want is more possible?

What is that you are EXCITED to accomplish this week?

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Saying “YES!” (Right after “ARE YOU SERIOUS?!”)

Nick really blew me away with his proposal. When I say I had no idea, I really mean it. In fact, when we were walking down to our gondola boat ride, with a wine bottle and glasses in hand, I said to him, “You know, people probably think you’re going to propose to me! HAHA!”

I’m sure I made him a little nervous with that one, but that’s how blissfully unaware I was. I had been making him nervous all day saying things like “maybe we shouldn’t dress up this much” and “I am in such a bad mood because I don’t like how my nails turned out.” I get a little dramatic sometimes…

We got on the boat and our gondolier drove us around the lake at Hilton Lake Las Vegas. He pointed out Celine Dion’s house and Nick later mentioned he thought that might be the moment the gondolier would drop our “message in a bottle” in the water.

At some point during the ride, we found ourselves in a little cove and were talking about how beautiful everything was when the gondolier pointed out something floating in the water. I can only imagine that Nick’s heart started beating pretty hard at this point. I still had no idea.

“Let’s go see what it is!” I said ignorantly. “Oh my gosh. There’s a message in it! This is crazy!!”

I am also a little gullible sometimes…

Las Vegas Wedding Photos

Nick got the bottle out of the water and handed it to me. When I saw the silver string wrapped around it, I knew something was happening. This wasn’t an ordinary message floating in a bottle in the middle of the lake after all…

I opened the letter to find a simple, sweet message from Nick asking me to marry him. He got down on one knee and I said “Are you serious?!” a few times before finally saying “Yes!” (He later admitted his knees got weak when I didn’t say ‘yes’ right away. Girlfriend was shocked, okay?!)

Las Vegas Wedding Photos

Being a girl in my early twenties (wink), I told him we had to take a picture of all these happenings! That’s when he pointed out that he had already taken care of that. (See below.)

Las Vegas Wedding Photos

I was OBVIOUSLY impressed. He had a photographer hiding on land! I started rambling, as I do sometimes, and telling him I couldn’t wait to tell my parents and how I wished they weren’t on a plane flying back to Indiana from Las Vegas right now.

Nick bit his tongue. We took some photos with the photographer and then went back to land to eat and celebrate at Sunset and Vine.

Las Vegas Wedding Photos

When we walked around to our table, my heart exploded. My parents were still there! We had dropped them off at the airport earlier, but they actually just rented a car and came out to the lake for the festivities. Nick’s parents had chocolate covered strawberries and champagne sent to our table. We Facetimed with them and squealed in our delight. Okay, that was just me.

It was absolute perfection. Nick LaGrange deserves major accolades for his preparation and execution. February 15, 2015 is a day that will be hard to top. Let’s see if June 3, 2016 can give it a run for its money.

Las Vegas Wedding Photos

LOVE YOU, NICKOLAS DANE!

Photos by M Place Productions

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Creating a Show-Up, Not Give-Up Kinda Life

Fitness matters. It matters more than calories in, calories out. It matters more than a number on a scale. It even matters more than getting a six pack by June (and, yes, that has recently been a hashtag on my Insta).

Since moving to Las Vegas two months ago, there has hardly been a day that I haven’t sweat or pushed myself beyond what I thought my physical limits were. And while I have seen significant and welcome changes to my physique, the real change has been mental.

I’m learning that pain and struggle are surmountable, that challenge isn’t a bad word and that if you keep showing up, it does get easier. It becomes your lifestyle to keep showing up.

I had a meeting with a commercial agent today that didn’t go very well. She told me that she had no room for me, she wouldn’t book me and that I looked much older than my picture. Folks, that hurt. I most definitely had a moment of “can I handle this?” going through my head.

But then I went on a run tonight. And let me express how much I am intimidated by running. I don’t think I’m built for it and I kind of, sort of hate it, but I know I’ve got to show up and challenge myself in that area.

During the run I thought to myself, “This is why I workout. If you just keep going, despite being uncomfortable, despite the pain, despite feeling like giving up, you’re eventually to get what you want.”

Okay, so I didn’t think EXACTLY that. But it was something like that, interjected with thoughts about my burning calves, tight chest and the stupidity I felt for running right after downing some pork chops and quinoa.

The point it is, I can’t let someone’s opinion stop me from doing what I love to do and I can’t let a little burn in my calves stop me from finishing the run. Every day that I get up and push myself physically a little further than I’ve been before, I’m also creating a mental toughness that will feed the rest of my life.

Get up and get out there. Though I do suggest you start sweating doing something you love, not something you kind of, sort of hate. 😉

Shayla

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