Whole 20 Week 3


It is end of WEEK 3! Sorry I am late posting this but I have been CRAZY busy. Can't even believe how fast time is flying this month.
Catch up here: Whole 30 Week 1 Whole 30 Week 2

Last update I left you with night sweats and bad sleep and I am happy to report the night sweats have passed! #hallelu I have no idea what was causing that, but I am glad to be rid of it for now.

Before I give you this next update, let me go back. When I picked March for this food experiment, I thought it was the prefect month. No family birthday dinners this month, no anniversaries, no special occasions/work events. Basically I could eat food from home each meal and I could avoid having to ask a poor waitress 900 questions before I order chicken and steamed broccoli. Also if I had any horrible detox symptoms, I wouldn't have to miss anything. There was one thing I forgot..DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME.


For someone who has PCOS and suffers from fatigue, daylight savings time is the WORST. So this week as soon as I passed the night sweat demon, the daylight savings time devil was right around the corner. I felt great on Sunday. I actually had a pretty busy morning with church and an event at the gym but Monday and every day after was a struggle in the morning. I am still getting it back together. The reason this is really frustrating for me is, I cant really tell if the Whole 30 is helping me in the morning fatigue area or not with an hour of lost sleep thrown in. Hopefully this will get better this week. #fingerscrossed

In the food department, I have kept things pretty simple. Saturday night I tried this recipe for pulled pork. I don't have the Hawaiian salt so I used kosher and it turned out great. My plan is to try adding the pork to several dishes and making this omelet. YUM!

I have decided to obey the rules and not weight myself until day 31, but I can tell I have had some weight loss. It seems to be mostly in my stomach/torso. Quite a few pairs of pants are looser. This is amazing to me because even though I am keeping track of what I eat, I am not limiting myself. So in other words, I am eating more.

Later this week, I will share my reintroduction plan. I have been thinking about this a lot and I have decided not to keep going and make this a whole 60, but I will do the reintroduction phase and continue eating paleo.

If anyone has an specific questions, please leave me a comment below or let me know on Facebook, Twitter, or Snapchat @mrsdrequel.

In Summary:
Best Day this week: Day 13 Had pretty good sleep and the reality of Daylight Savings had not hit yet!
Best meal this week: Have to stay with the smoothie with homemade almond milk, banana, and almond butter
Favorite recipe this week: Slow Cooker Kalua Pig

I will be back with the 4th week wrap up and reintroduction plan! 


Whole 30- Week 2

Hey All!

Its the end of week 2! :)

Did you miss my week 1 review? Read it here!

To sum up week 2 went a lot better than week 1. I felt better, had more energy, headaches were not as frequent, and I am getting used to the food rules. Here are some highlights:

I cleaned out my cabinet to remove a bunch of non-compliant options. The program actually recommends a pantry clean out before you begin the program to remove all temptations, but my husband is not on the program and I wanted to be sure it would work for me before I made any major commitments. I suppose after this week, I can really see some differences and was ready to fully commit to eating this way long term.

As of day 7, I can really see an increase in energy at the gym. Week 1 at the gym was a struggle. I had to make myself workout. Now after the first few minutes, I have a ton of energy and I have that after workout high, where I feel like I can keep going!

My sauces arrived!!

So far I have tried the ketchup, southwest ranch and the bbq sauce. The bbq sauce is great. The ketchup was heavy on the vinegar, but was good. The ranch was the most interesting to me. It tasted like ranch and is good, but all of the dressings have an oil based consistency. It would be like having an italian dressing that tastes like ranch. I am so used to ranch being creamy. Still wrapping my mind around an oil based ranch.

This last update might be a little TMI, but I want to document it for myself and other Whole 30 peeps who may read this. Starting last Tuesday, I started having a new symptom: night sweats. At first, I thought it was the change in temperature. I live in St. Louis and our temps suddenly have gone up over the past few weeks. Sometimes it takes a minute for us to get the temperature right in the condo. But after a few days, I wondered was this related to the Whole 30. I also happen to be on my cycle so I knew it could play a part as well. After a google search, I learned that several women have reported having night sweats while on their period while on Whole 30. There is no explanation why, but at least I know it is not just me.

Really hoping I am seeing the last of this symptom because it is about this time in the program when you are supposed to see deeper sleep. I have yet to experience that because I wake up every two hours because I am so hot and uncomfortable. Hopefully I have a better update next week.

Also I wanted to share that the program asks you not to count calories and to just eat at mealtime until satisfied. I have a hard time with this so I made the choice to track what I eat. I am not limiting myself, I eat when legitimately hungry, but I want to make sure I am not grossly overeating and that I am not under eating either.

Also for those who are wondering, I am going to stay off the scale for the month, but I can already see some difference in my size and how my clothes fit. Hopefully I can have more of an update next week!

In Summary:
Best Day this week: Day 7 so much energy and I still had good sleep then!
Best meal this week: Smoothie with homemade almond milk, banana, and almond butter
Favorite recipe this week: Coconut Crusted Chicken Strips

I will be back next Tuesday with Week 3! Also follow me on Snapchat @mrsdrequel.


Whole 30 - Week 1

Hey Everyone!

I decided to do the Whole 30 during the month of March!

To give a little background. The Whole 30 is a diet/food experiment where you remove certain foods from your diet that are tied to inflammation. The short list of off limits foods are:
  • No added sugar of any kind, real or artificial. (includes honey and stevia)
  • No alcohol 
  • No grains including pseudo-grains like quinoa
  • No legumes
  • No dairy
  • No Carrageenan, MSG or sulfites
  • No re-created baked goods, junk foods, or treats (no pizza, no paleo cookies, no pancakes)
They also encourage you to stay off the scale for the entire 30 days (I make no promises) (I pray the Whole 30 people aren't watching me) (uh oh).

The diet is basically a stricter form of the paleo diet. If there was ever a lifestyle diet I ever saw myself following, this was at the end of the list. I saw myself vegan first.

So here is my why: I have felt like crap lately. My PCOS symptoms have been out of control and even though I try to eat pretty clean with fun things in moderation, the success I felt when I first started eating organically was no longer there. I knew that I needed to be a little more strict with my diet. 

I am going to try to chronicle my experience here for anyone out there who may be curious!

Last Meal! 

So let me talk first about the food bender I went to before Whole 30 started. I really didn't want to do this, but I couldn't help myself. If I feel great after this program, this might be one of the last times I have my traditional dinner at Chipotle! Also Girl Scout Cookies..lots of cookies..

Days 1 & 2: 
So day 1 was rough. Because of the random crap I had been eating, I kinda wanted to keep the party going..but it was over Tuesday March 1, 2016. Bring on the lettuce..let the games begin. So my hubby made me some eggs and turkey bacon. I already know the hardest part of this for me will be:
1. Cooking EVERY DAY
2. Food prep EVERY DAY
3. No bread
So my hubby took some of the pressure off by making my first meal. I especially hate cooking breakfast. I am more of an oatmeal/cereal/smoothie gal, so day 1 was rough. I was also exhausted but that has been my new normal and the reason I am on this plan. I wanted to quit around 4pm day 1 but it got better after that. On day 2 I got into the food thing. I made this for breakfast. It was delicious!

Eggs with peppers, onions and spinach, turkey bacon and grapes. I also discovered my new best friend at lunch:

Hello dark yellow!

This mustard is a gift. I tried to make my own mayo and I don't love it so I was desperately searching for something compliant and I already had this gem in my cupboard. #wonthedoit This made my bacon turkey burger with a lettuce bun sing:) I ended the day with roasted potatoes. The chicken wasn't done when I got home from the gym so I couldn't wait for it.

Day 3 & 4: I am not a nice person without carbs. So Sorry.
Days 3 and 4 can pretty much be summed up by the following three phases:
-I need bread.
-I want a cookie.
-She is very cranky.
Yep, the fuse was short on these two days and each day I felt my energy declining more and more. I contemplated taking a personal day from work on day 4 because I.AM.SO.TIRED. but I felt it was best to push through. Plus I was wondering was this the worst of it (spoiler alert: nope). Food was getting better at this point. I still hate making breakfast but I LOVE my omelet and make it every morning so at least there is something to look forward to.

I pushed myself to go to Zumba, I pushed myself to try Sh'Bam practice (I quit after a song and a half), I pushed myself to wash my hair, and that was all folks. I had the worst headache ever. I spent the rest of the day laying on the couch watching reality TV. I got my approved salad from Chipotle and called this one a loss. It sucked too because it was so nice outside.

Day 6: Better
The next day was sooooo much better. I woke up with no headache and for the first time was not super tired. I think we might be on the upswing people! So at some point last week (possibly while half sleep) I decided to save myself some time by buying some premade sauces and dressings. I made my own homemade dressing but I didn't love it and I made my own mayo and didn't like it either. So I ordered the Whole 30 pack from Tessemae. I am so excited for them to arrive. I bought some of their mayo from Whole Foods and it is now my bestie along with my mustard.

For those who are wondering, the tired feeling is totally normal. The first half of your Whole 30 is really a detox period. Your body is getting used to burning protein for energy since you are not giving it a steady stream of sugar. Also if your diet wasn't great before, it can make this period worse, but don't think I regret those Girl Scout cookies for one second:)

In Summary:
Best Day this week: Day 6 I see the light at the end of the detox tunnel!
Best meal this week: Breakfast Omelet
Favorite recipe this week: Monkey Salad (something I would have never eaten before)

I will be back next Tuesday with Week 2! I am really hoping to see energy improvement this week! Also follow me on Snapchat @mrsdrequel.


Weight Loss Update: Weight Gain & Whole 30

Happy Monday!!

Before I get into the update are you on Snapchat? I am and I am looking for friends!

How appropriate is a weight loss update for the day after the SuperBowl. It could only be worse after Thanksgiving, lol

So yea we kinda fell off the second half of last year. There was some of this wonderful ice cream from Six Flags...

And my favorite sandwich from a local restaurant Delish. Unfortunately they closed so this was my last one....

And of course all the holiday eating (not pictured) so when I dared to visit my scale on January 1 for the first time since August I was up.....11 lbs :(

Not fun, but the damage was done. My family was doing a weight loss challenge to keep everyone motivated so I jumped on board. So far I have lost 6.3 lbs. since January 1. Here are some of my stats:

Starting weight Feb 2014: 216 lbs
Current weight Feb 2016: 172.9 lbs
Lowest weight ever: 164 lbs
Weight loss goal: 155 lbs

I have been toying with switching up my diet. For the past two years, I have been on a calorie reduction weight loss plan and it works, but I am starting to plateau. I am getting to the point where it is becoming necessary to be more mindful of the types of foods I am eating vs. amounts. 

My current diet is trying to eat whole foods/organic as possible but I know there are some things I should cut/reduce in my diet. I have PCOS and from the research I have done, it is recommended to cut chocolate, dairy and coffee and to eat organic/reduce pesticides.  I can say that since switching to organic foods, I do feel better and when I eat large amounts of chocolate, coffee, and dairy, I feel horrible. So I have been thinking about doing a Whole 30 challenge.

I chose the Whole 30 challenge over the 22 Day Revolution because I like their goals better. The Whole 30 is meant to remove all of the foods from your diet that can cause inflammation to give you a clean palate when it comes time to reintroduce foods. I am hoping to walk away from this with a greater knowledge of how my body reacts to certain foods. 

Does anyone want to join me??? Has anyone else tried a Whole 30 or the 22 Day Revolution? I would love to hear about your experience!

Managing Your Finances Through a Life Change

Hello All,

As promised last week, I wanted to take this week to share with everyone some things hubby and I have learned from facing changes in our finances.

Before I get started, I want to say that a lot of what you will have to do with your finances depends on where you are now. If you are behind on bills already with tons of debt, your plan will look different from someone else who has 3-6 months of income saved with no debt. I tried to put together a few tips that could apply to everyone.

1. Have a budget meeting ASAP: 
If you are married, you want to talk to your spouse as soon as you know something is up with your job. This is the time to start planning for a storm. Now if you are hearing rumors vs. confirmations, don't become paranoid, but you don't want to be in denial either. You may not even have to implement a plan but it is good to start talking about it. Maybe you were going to take an expensive trip or buy a car (with cash of course). You might want to put these things on hold until you know exactly what is happening at work...or not it is your choice.

2. Place all debt repayment and large scale spending on hold: 
If it is a fact that changes at your job are on the horizon, you want to start saving money. You want to avoid any new debt and the only way to do that is to save, save ,save to have cash on hand. If nothing happens, you just press play on your debt snowball and pay all the money you were saving to your debt. Dave Ramsey refers to this as storm cloud mode. I can't think of a better name for it!

3. Check your reoccurring expenses to see if you are getting the best rates: 
This is the easiest place to save some money because it is not effecting your lifestyle. Check insurance policies, cell phone plans, gym memberships, Netflix usage (do you get the DVDs but never watch them or is that just me). Make changes and cuts where appropriate.

4. Anticipate any major expenses: 
If you have some notice on a job change, look ahead to see if you have any large scale expenses that you cannot wait on. Maybe you really need tires this winter and it can't wait.  We prefer to take care of the these things while checks are still coming in. If you really need to see a doctor, do it while you still have insurance and income to absorb any cost from the visit.

5. Start looking into what you could cut out of your budget:
You don't have to do this yet, but I would at least start looking at your budget and what you could do without. The eating out, fancy cable packages and other luxuries might have to be placed on pause. If you work out a plan now, it is easy to just switch over if and when the time comes.

6. Pray and stay positive:
This is the most important thing. Financial stress is so taxing. It can ruin your confidence and put a strain on your marriage. Keep from blaming yourself or your spouse. I can truly say (from experience) that every closed door has lead to new opportunities! I can't wait to see what God has in store next. Make sure that you are staying positive and prayed up!

I hope this helps! Do you have any tried and true money saving, storm mode tips that I missed? Let me know in the comments below!


Budget Update...Are we debt free yet????

Welcome back!

I feel like January is the month of updates!

I owe you guys an update on where we are in the Baby Steps. We hit 50% debt free in December 2014 and we were hoping to be debt free by December 2015. 

So did we make it? Are we debt free???....well sorta.

We found out in October that Dre's job (he works at a plant) would idle operations at the end of the year. We immediately pressed pause on paying off debt and we started to save all the money we would have put towards paying off debt to have as much cash as possible on hand should he be laid off. The entire time we were praying that since it looked like the layoffs were pretty certain, that he would stay employed until the end of the year. If he was able to, we would have enough saved to pay off our debt. We will not actually pay it off until he is employed again, but we just wanted to have it and be kinda done with Baby Step 2.

We got the sad layoff news the week of Christmas (I know right), but he was employed just long enough for us to get 1 1/2 more checks and have enough in savings to pay off our last debt!! #hallelujah #wonthedoit 

For those who are wondering, we are fine. Since we are down to our last debt, we are making it on my income and Dre's unemployment. We are praying he will have a new job soon and that we wont have to touch our savings.

I am planning next week to share some tips we learned on what to do when you are facing a layoff, job loss, or really any kind of emergency that can leave you with one or no income. We have been through this situation a few times and I really want to share what we have learned.

Something to ponder this week: The #1 thing that Dre and I have along with God is a plan. When we first got married we didn't have a plan and when life happened, we were down to 1 income and around $60,000 worth of debt after being married one month...it was not a happy time. I can say layoffs are never a stress free situation, but being almost debt free has changed the conversation from "what are we going to do now?" to "what do we want to do next?". Have a plan everyone. I of course recommend Dave Ramsey's plan. God led me to it many years ago and he directed us right back to it. It has really transformed our finances and the conversations in our marriage surrounding money. 

Check out his plan here and I will see you next week!


P.S. Stay warm east coast readers! 

PUPPY LIFE...I Wasn't Ready!

You guys...

I wasn't ready for puppy life. I thought we would do some training, take the dog outside to pee and all would be well. He would just walk on the leash because that is what dogs do right? They walk on a leash so why are they not born with that knowledge? Nope. The first time we leashed Forest it was comical. He ran every direction except the one we were headed. Sleep, sleep, where have you gone? Come back, come back...I miss you. I am sorry carpet, baseboards, cabinets, blankets, and pillows. I am sorry you were chewed and slobbered on. He didn't mean it I promise.


I called one of my friends, who has had a puppy and has 2 children and I said, "I swear this harder than a baby and if one more person tells me you can't leave your baby in a crate I will loose it!" She told me "Oh, its definitely harder." I don't know if that made me feel better or worse.

So I want to share some things my Forest has taught us. Hopefully this will be helpful to the next puppy mom!

*Disclaimer we love Forest to death obviously, we have spent all our coin, time, and sleep on him. He is a Jefferson now and he is here to stay, but I am going to be honest here. So please don't think we don't love Forest, trust me he is all the way spoiled and is our fur baby. I have no idea what we will do with him when we have kids, lol. #hewonttakeitwell #prayforhim

1. Dog whining is worse than baby cries: Trust me on this. It will rip your heart right out of your chest. Forest does not sleep in our room. We need some space so when we go to bed, sometimes he will whine. I should get him a job on those Sarah McLachlan commercials because he would collect all of the funds trust me. I just want to sleep/shower/use the bathroom/fold clothes. I am coming back! #whydidntanyonetellme 

2. Sleep will become a memory: In the early potty training days, we took Forest out every hour to two hours to make sure he had potty success outside and minimal accidents inside. It worked! Forest rarely peed in the house but it sure cost us sleep. Every 2 hours out you go, and out we went. #teamlittlesleep #thankGodweadoptedhiminthesummer

3. He HATED the crate, HATED IT: Forest wasn't for us crating him at all. We had some success with a trainer but one night he had a nightmare or something in the crate. We heard him yelp really loud and that was it for the crate. We could put a steak in there and he wasn't going it there. So I packed up my $80 the crate and spent $20 more dollars on a bed. He loves it. #ofcourse I hope this sets someone free because we kept trying to make the crate happen, and it wasn't. We put Forest in the kitchen with a baby gate when we leave home and at night and we are all happier.

4. Everybody loves the FOREST: We take him to day care sometimes (I need breaks and he needs to play with other dogs, don't judge me) and when I pull up the staff will ask "Is that Forest?". He had a girlfriend (a human one) where we took him for training. Everyone says he is so cute. I really need to get him in doggy modeling. He is a cutie. I think he knows it to though.

5. Forest has a personality like a human: He is not dumb dog. He is sweet and kind, loves to play, and will lick you to death, but he is stubborn as all hell and if he doesn't like something he will let you know. I wasn't ready for this. I didn't think dogs had attitude. Maybe its because he thinks he is cute. See #4.

6. If you get a puppy, they will destroy at least one thing in your house: There is no way around this. Our major one thing: our carpet. He literally chewed it one day. I believe he bit some of it when chewing on his toy and once he got a piece of it, he kept going. Yea, thanks Forest for helping us make the decision to get laminate flooring. We were thinking about it, but I see where you have cast your vote.

7. He just wants to be close to you: Yep all day baby. He don't want you to go nowhere. He wants you to just sit with the Forest, lay with the Forest, walk the Forest. He wants to be close to you all day. He is not really satisfied with one of us. After Christmas break he made me feel bad like a mom returning to work after maternity leave. 

8. No one will ever be more excited to see you: Forest clearly loves us. He looses his mind when we come home. When I take down the baby gate and set him free, he will run up to one of us and start jumping all over the place. #tooturntup I suppose this makes my lack of sleep, coins, and alone time kinda worth it. 



P.S. I am serious about Forest having a job. If anyone knows anyone in the doggy modeling industry feel free to forward this post to them. #callme #heisavailable