Whole30: What Is It?

Yesterday I started a Whole30. I am super excited about this 30 day challenge and what it can do for my body.

I thought I would share a little introduction to share this awesome program with anyone who is interested.


What is the Whole30?

From the Whole30 Intro page

“Certain food groups (like sugar, grains, dairy and legumes) could be having a negative impact on your health and fitness without you even realizing it. Are your energy levels inconsistent or non-existent? Do you have aches and pains that can’t be explained by over-use or injury? Are you having a hard time losing weight no matter how hard you try? Do you have some sort of condition (like skin issues, digestive ailments, seasonal allergies or fertility issues) that medication hasn’t helped? These symptoms may be directly related to the foods you eat – even the “healthy” stuff. So how do you know if (and how) these foods are affecting you?

Strip them from your diet completely. Cut out all the psychologically unhealthy, hormone-unbalancing, gut-disrupting, inflammatory food groups for a full 30 days. Let your body heal and recover from whatever effects those foods may be causing. Push the “reset” button with your metabolism, systemic inflammation, and the downstream effects of the food choices you’ve been making. Learn once and for all how the foods you’ve been eating are actually affecting your day to day life, and your long term health.”

The Rules:

  • Eat Real Food.

  • Don’t Eat:

    • Added sugar of any kind- real OR artificial. Includes: maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, coconut sugar, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, stevia, and more.
    • Alcohol, even when used for cooking.
    • Grains. This includes corn, wheat, rye, barley, buckwheat, oats, rice, millet, and ‘pseudo-grains’ like quinoa.
    • Legumes. These are beans of all kinds, peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts. Soy also falls into this category – soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and all ‘hidden’ soy into foods (like lecithin).
    • Dairy. Any and all. Milk, cheese, yogurt, kefir, and cream. Clarified butter//ghee is the exception to this.
    • White Potatoes. They admit that this is more of a psychological thing, but the focus is to change your habits to a healthier eating style and improve the hormonal impact of your food choices. Excluding white, red, purple, Yukon gold, and fingerling potatoes furthers this goal.
    • Carageenan, MSG, and sulfites.
    • ‘Healthified’ Paleo baked goods, desserts, or junk foods. The point of the plan is to change your habits, and if you simply try to eat the same way but with ‘healthy’ versions, you are missing the point.
  • The most important rule of all: no stepping on a scale or taking measurements during the Whole30.

    From the website: “This is about so much more than just weight loss, and to focus on your body composition means you’ll miss out on the most dramatic and lifelong benefits this plan has to offer. So, no weighing yourself, analyzing body fat or taking comparative measurements during your Whole30. (We do encourage you to weigh yourself before and after, however, so you can see one of the more tangible results of your efforts when your program is over.)”

Check out their website if you are interested in learning more!

And finally- some pre-Whole30 pics from this past weekend!


Decorations for the apartment this fall


Weekend workout- nice and sweaty.


I am so lucky to live in this beautiful place.



Froyo date with this stunner. He makes me laugh the MOST.



The delicious bowl of froyo. My last for 30 (+?) days.


Who says you can’t dress up for froyo?!

I’m linking up to Treat Yourself Tuesday today because– what better way is there to treat yourself than by committing to your health?! Don’t be afraid to commit to a challenge or even a new lifestyle. Commit to yourself, and your health!

Questions of the day:

What did you do this weekend?

Have you heard of the Whole30?

Thinking Out Loud: Current Wants.

I am pretty much addicted to Pinterest. I don’t pin as much as I used to, but there aren’t many days that go by where I don’t spend at least 5-10 minutes checking out the Pinterest scene. So today, I’m sharing my Thinking Out Loud pin style, enjoy.

1. Summer fashion! I want all the clothes. Except most of my time now is spent in a research lab or working in my apartment.. guess I don’t need all the clothes, sigh, but I can still look.







2. I am lusting after so many travel destinations. Especially parks. I am ready for some camping/hiking. Luckily I am leading two camping trips at the end of the summer, so I have that to look forward to!


Wayag Islands, Papua, Raja Ampat Indonesia


Calabria, Italy


Glacier National Park

3. Decorating for my fall apartment is in full swing. At least in my imagination. It’s all beach themed, and I love it. There are so many crafts to be done!










4. It’s rainy this morning for the first time in a while–it usually rains in the afternoon when I’m studying anyway and don’t mind. Now I’m stranded from my morning walk, but on the plus side, I’m getting this post up earlier than usual!

5. I have been craving ice cream for the past 2 weeks, but haven’t been able to convince anyone to go get some with me. Yesterday I finally got some frozen yogurt and it was the bomb. I tried the “Pancakes and Bacon” flavor which sounds really weird but just tasted like maple deliciousness. It was a toppings kind of night.


6. Two of my best friends will be back in town this weekend and I am super excited. I love hanging with my boys, but I miss having girls around! Girl power.3735b9416400fd128ad719a154d6d433




Questions of the day:

Do you love pinterest?

What are your wants lately?

Life Lately.

Woah y’all! I never expected the week before my birthday to be so busy! I thought this week was going to focus on homework, but I got so swamped with internship work, errands, and other small jobs this week. Luckily I was still able to fit all my work in (it’s a priority, right!?). Unfortunately, I didn’t get to check in here. After doing homework all night, I just wasn’t motivated to come type about my day. But I do have some pictures to share from the week!

1. A delicious brunch out with my NMK. I had a gluten free breakfast bowl with eggs, bacon, cheese, and salsa! Check out Tupelo Honey Cafe if there’s one in your area!


2. Busy days this week meant breakfasts on the go (in order for maximum sleep of course!). Top- an empty jar of Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut butter, filled with banana, oats, coconut milk, and some roasted nuts. Bottom- some “overnight” (aka 30 min) oats with coconut milk, pumpkin, chia seeds, nuts, and a little Nikki’s Pumpkin Spiced Donut Coconut Butter.


3. Occasionally I wear real clothes. 1- for a big interview: have to wear my orange pants! 2- Church and brunch with the boy!



4. Workouts. Working out is totally my stress relief. This week I kept fit with light cardio and lots of circuit/strength workouts. I am feeling stronger and really excited to be lifting weights again. I want to build some strength and get my muscles pumping!

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5. I totally rocked my salads this week. Love getting my veggies in with such filling & delicious salads.


6. Paleo Banana Bread. I wish I had written a recipe for this. Sigh, guess I’ll just have to make some more– such a burden ;).


7. Dates and projects!

1- Frozen Yogurt with my 2 besties since freshman year. We don’t get to hang out as much anymore, but we still have the best times together.

2-Movie night, followed by dinner with the boy! Our little solo birthday celebration for yours truly.

3- A huge gardening project this morning for my internship. We cleaned the plot up, spread topsoil, tilled the whole thing and dug out plots for new raised garden beds. It was a lot of work, but so awesome to get this community garden started. Plus it was an upper body workout I’ll be feeling for days!


8. Presents! My birthday isn’t until tomorrow, but I’ve been lucky enough to get a few early presents! 1: An amazing caramel cake from my parents! It’s not gluten free, but a little splurge is worth it for me! 2: An amazing sterling silver + diamond cross ring from NMK. I am certainly one blessed, lucky, and loved girl!


Do you love mix & match salads, or stick to the classics?

Do you love your birthday?!! I 115% do!

The sun was shining, and I am feeling good!

Sundays are usually either a super busy or super relaxing day for me. This Sunday, I ended up with sort of a mix of things. I was busy, but not rushing around + doing homework like I normally am.

Sunday morning started off nice and early, at church with my favorite boy. This week was the last in their series about A Theology of Sex. Yesterday’s focus was specifically on Healing from Sexual Sin. We focused on 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. I felt like I got a lot out of the talk. It’s available online along with all the other talks, if any of y’all are interested {^click the link above^}!

After church, we headed off to the Dining Hall for a Sunday morning brunch. I went with gluten free granola, rice chex, peaches, and greek yogurt. Delicious and simple way to start the day.


The boy and I followed brunch up with episode 2 of House of Cards. OH MY GOSH. It is too good. No spoilers here, but Y’ALL if you haven’t watch HofC yet, you do not know what you’re missing. It is the most suspenseful and shocking TV show I have ever watched. And I love it for that.

For a few hours, I just worked on homework and getting all the things done that I had put off during the snow days. It was a lot more than I thought… oops! The homework went on and on, before I lost my motivation and headed out for a walk + workout. There was some lunch-esque snacking during the homework at well- chips and hummus, carrots, and lettuce I believe.


I took advantage of the beautiful day and got my walk on while I talked to my mom on the phone. We talk pretty much every day, and I wouldn’t have it any other way! Campus ^^ was looking especially beautiful in the sunshine, and it was great to get out of my apartment and enjoy some fresh air + sunshine.

My workout consisted of 30 minutes on the Arc trainer and a 1 mile incline HIIT on the treadmill. I walked at 4+ mph and put the incline between 9-12 %. It felt good to do a treadmill workout that wasn’t just a run!


^^and to finish off the night- a giant salad for dinner. Lettuce, peppers, carrots, rice, leftover fish {from Valentine’s Day}, and a little rice. It was entirely too delicious! I followed up this healthy dinner with some Ben & Jerry’s Liz Lemon Greek Frozen Yogurt. It is so good! The lavender swirl makes me swoon…^^

Question of the day:

What sweet treat are you loving lately?

Wednesday, Workday.

Yesterday was a pretty insane day for me. I woke up around 6:45 to get things started. My morning included some reading, getting ready, plenty of coffee {my true love}, driving the boy to his class, and then eating breakfast before heading to my first class of the day.

It was colder yesterday morning than it’s been since I got back to Greenville. 28 degrees when I was walking to class. And even colder this morning… I have become such a baby… but when I’m home in NY I’m more mentally prepared for the cold. Here in Greenville, I walk out of my apartment expecting at least 45 every morning… and when it’s colder than that, it’s just a total shock to my system.


I bundled up to the best of my Southern abilities. I also had about 40 pounds of ish weighing me down. I wasn’t going back to my apartment until ~930 pm {12 hours later} and I needed workout clothes, lots of books, sneakers, etc…


Despite the cold, the walk was still beautiful. I am so lucky to go to a gorgeous school, and I need to take more time to appreciate it.



^I met a friend for lunch in the dining hall. Salad bar with a side of veggies, salsa, and hummus. I pretty much get a salad every time I’m in the dining hall. What can I say- I’m a veggie girl.^


For a simple workout, I did 30 minutes on the Arc followed by 15 minutes incline walking on the treadmill. My little legs were still pretty sore from my runs this week, and I didn’t want to push it too hard.




^Still freezing out!^

For dinner, I met a friend at The Paddock, our on-campus restaurant. It just opened this year, and is surprisingly good. Not exactly restaurant quality, but still a step up from the Dining Hall. I had a southwestern style black bean burger– which meant salsa and guacamole. Yum! I got fries on the side…so bad, but so good! I wanted to make sure I ate a big enough dinner, because after this meal, we had to head off to a 3 hour MCAT prep class. It was the first one, and I’ll be going to these every Monday and Wednesday night. It’s going to be rough, but I need rough to make sure I’m prepared for the MCAT exam in May.



After the class, I was mentally drained and not in the mood to do more homework. I met up with my boy and some friends, and we all went out to get frozen yogurt together. I had pancakes and syrup with some cake batter. Topped with maple nut clusters, cookie dough bites, and some chocolate chips/pieces. It was so so good. I got a little else yogurt than I normally do because I was really feeling the toppings!

Questions of the day:

What is your favorite cold treat?

Do you prefer the dessert or the toppings?


So…as promised, regularly scheduled posting is back in action. Here’s the last few days in review.


Thursday was another day of babysitting. The amazing + wonderful thing about my little kiddies is that they love love love to be outside and moving around. I hate to be cooped up inside, PLUS I really believe spending time playing outdoors is one of the best things you can do for/with children {in my NOT expert opinion}. We go for walks, play soccer, draw with chalk, and just talk. It’s deathly hot outside, but hey, at least they enjoy it!


^that babe. seriously, my heart can’t handle all his cuteness.^

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^loving on those babes.^


^lunch Thursday was some leftover quinoa salad with veggies on the side. Simple yet truly delicious.^


^later on… an amazing flatbread out at Trio {downtown Greenville}^


^later on….frozen yogurt with my best girl Krista and my boy. Topped with whipped cream? Yes please.^


^some cute ducks from our walk. Three little ducks in a row :)^

Workout Thursday was- 1 mile {each way} jog to the gym. 25 minutes of biking, and of course… babysitting.



^breakfast- greek yogurt, banana, and muesli from Trader Joe’s. It’s been my go to breakfast all week. Topped with a little honey? It’s divine.^


^after classes I headed to the Lazy Goat with Krista. We split some pimento cheese as an apetizer- the chunks of roasted red pepper were the perfect compliment. For my meal I had vegetable kebab on a bed of cous cous and tabouleh. Our waiter was so nice and helped me piece some things together to come up with a vegetarian lunch that was satisfying and delighting for my tastebuds.^


^rounded the meal out with some french press coffee. I find french press so much smoother than normal coffee. It goes down particularly well.^

In the afternoon I worked out- keeping it simple with 60 minutes of the Arc trainer. I definitely felt the burn!



^after a dinner out with a friend’s mom, we headed downtown for  the first party {official party} of the school year. It was hosted in Liberty Tap Room. It was ridiculous. We were all hot and sweaty, which basically means we had a fantastic time and danced the night away.^

finally it’s Saturday! Happy weekend!

eats and exercise.

the past days have been filled with heat, eats, and a good dose of exercise. I can’t believe how hot it’s gotten here! 90+ every day, EW. but, I can’t complain- I’d rather be in 90 degree heat than 10 degree freezing cold!

so anyway, here’s a summary of some eats and workouts from the past few days- a little healthy inspiration!



^light summer breakfasts of cereal, granola, almond milk, and some kind of fruit. I like to keep it fresh and fruity on these hot summer mornings and these bowls hit the spot^


^lunch has been salads/veggie bowls depending on the mood- these pictures include spaghetti squash, kale, veggie meatballs, bell peppers, topped with bruschetta and hummus. a yummy and lighter meal^


^snackin’ on hummus on veggies, you can never go wrong!^


^you can never go wrong with frozen yogurt! this is a healthier version I made using Chobani raspberry nonfat yogurt. I just stuck it in the freezer for ~1 hour, then topped with some trail mix. yum yum yummy!^


^dinner- pretty similar to lunch. asparagus, kale, spaghetti squash, veggie burger, and bruschetta^

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^and a dessert treat! Black Bean brownies, yummmmmmmmmm and guilt free^


Saturday I kept it simple with a morning run, some weights at home, and yoga while watching a movie.


^post run. even though it was 7 am it was already sizzling outside^

Sunday was more intense- I did arms and abs (aka planks and core work) in the morning. Then a bike/elliptical/run combo at the gym in the afternoon! I know working out outside is better for my training (as far as running) but it just feels so good to be in the air conditioning sometimes!


^post workout fueling (hummus and veggies) with a good side of goofiness^

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^and last but not least, some inspiration. on the left is a canvas I painted over the weekend (this picture is of the unfinished project, I edited it some!) and on the right, a good reminder for a Monday morning :)^

jeni’s splendid ice creams

My review of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams

This weekend my lovely boyfriend came to visit (I’ll recap the weekend in the next post!) and he brought the most delicious ice creams with him. Well, he actually sent them ahead- you can order them online and get them shipped! So when he arrived, the ice cream was already waiting in my freezer.

Jeni’s is a brand of ice creams crafted to “make the best ice creams possible and make the world a better place”. It is homemade American ice cream with delicious, quality ingredients in each unique flavor. They have signature, perennial, and limited edition ice creams in addition to sorbets, frozen yogurts, and ice cream sandwiches.

I have been lucky enough to visit a few Jeni’s shops (there are 9 in Ohio and 1 in Tennessee) on some visits to my boy. The stores are adorable, and it’s so fun to taste test all the unique flavors-of-the-moment! So without further ado…our review of these delicious ice creams.




The first flavor we tried was- Juniper and Lemon Curd a limited edition flavor. The best part of this was the bubbles of fresh lemon curd throughout the ice cream. The juniper flavor was a little strong though, so if you don’t care for it this might not be your thing. I thought it was scrumptious!


The second flavor- Salty Caramel. I feel like salted caramel things are popping up everywhere now- especially in chocolate bars and cakes! And I won’t complain. I think this is a perfect flavor combination and this ice cream was no exception. Smooth, with the tang of the salt cutting through the flavor in the most delicious way.


Third was a classic….dark chocolate! Rich, creamy, the website puts it so well- “tastes like the inside of a truffle”. Enough said.


And I saved my favorite for last. Brambleberry Crisp. This ice cream is so delicious. A mix of blackberries, black currants, and black raspberries layered throughout the vanilla ice cream, with chunks of oat-y crumble-y streusel delightfully mixed in. This is my favorite Jeni’s flavor (so far!)

In order of favorites this is how I rate them…

1- Brambleberry Crisp

2- Salty Caramel

3- Dark Chocolate

4- Juniper and Lemon Curd

If you’re in Ohio I recommend you run to a Jeni’s store to get some of this one of a kind ice cream! If not, you can order online! It’s a little pricey (about $12 per pint). But… definitely worth it for a gift (for the foodie in the fam?!) or for a party, or just because you deserve it!