Whole30 Recap

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Have you ever known something in your head – I mean you reeeeally know it – and yet, it doesn’t click into action? You’ve read about it. People have told you. It’s simple. It’s straightforward.


…for some reason, it just doesn’t seem to happen. Something is missing. Probably knowledge that leads to conviction or action would be the missing link. This is not a serious post, btw, but when I thought about doing a recap about the past 30 days of doing the Whole30, this is what first came to mind.

All that to say, for years I have read books, articles, blogs and more allllll about weight loss and health and getting fit. Even though there may have been different theories or philosophies, at the end of the day, your formula needed to include exercise and diet. They are inseparable.

For whatever reason, the diet thing had not sunk in. I have worked out. I have gotten into running at one point, the gym at another time. This more recent joining of the gym last October has been my most successful I think all because of the buddy system. However, I wasn’t really seeing any improvements in my post-baby body. And, to top it all off, my allergies were terrible again.

I decided to do the Whole30, and Robbie joined me. I wrote about our goals and the start of it here.

Now, here we are having finished our 30 days and ready to recap!

My Biggest Takeaways from the Whole30

  1. Planning is Crucial – I still think I have so much to learn about meal planning, but I’ve made a start. Even making a grocery list is sort of silly without having a plan for the week. I really want to continue growing in this area and get more and more creative as I do.
  2. Sugar is E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E – Seriously. I don’t understand why as a society there is a need for sugar in beef patties or tomato sauce. I was really surprised with everything that had sugar in it, most notably meat. It sort of blows my mind a little. I feel so motivated to read labels now and to make things from scratch whenever possible or realistic.
  3. It’s Not That Hard – I would say overall the Whole30 wasn’t as challenging as I expected it to be. I think there were a couple factors in this. One, Robbie did it with me. This was major, as not only did I have such a great support system, but it also meant that we were eating all the same meals. Two, being in YWAM, there are many community needs as far as food and meals go, and we were so grateful to be included in that. We were able to eat with the community pretty regularly. Finally, once you start seeing results, whether physically or mentally or whatever, the more you want to continue fuelling your body well.
  4. The Gym is Better with Good Food – I have been working out since last October, but I have seen more breakthrough and results with my efforts in the past month than in all the months prior. This is purely because these two are not mutually exclusive components of health, and I have really realised that if I want all my effort in the gym to really count and feel worth it, I have to eat well. Otherwise, I am spending hours in my week for no reason. They are a great pair.
  5. It’s OK Not To Be Perfect – I know, I know. The book actually says not to cheat. There’s a whole entire section about it. What I realised about a week in is that no matter what, we are changing habits and our lifestyle. We did so well, but we were not perfect at all. We lived in the 95%. It was not realistic or affordable for us to purchase only meat without added sugar. When I could, I made sure it was gluten and dairy free, but there were only a couple times I was able to find gluten, dairy and sugar free meat. I also got a gastro bug that had been going around for 24 hours, and it was awful. I haven’t felt that sick in a long, long time. My Dr. recommended simple carbs, so I had toast for 24 hours. I threw it out after I was better, though. I also probably had more fruit than I should have. This is a sort of grey area to me because fruit is healthy. However, I am totally aware that too much of anything is probably not helpful. In hindsight I needed to get a bit more creative in snacks. So no, we weren’t perfect, but I am proud of us and how well we did overall.

My Results

About 2 weeks in, Robbie started to notice a major difference in me. He said he felt like as I was getting smaller that I was also getting shorter, but hopefully I haven’t actually shrunk, too! It was really encouraging to have him and others start to see a difference. More than that, though, I was noticing a difference in myself. I realised that I can do hard things, or at least things that aren’t the “easy way”. I realised that I am really enjoying working out, but I am only going to get about 20% of it unless I add the food part in as well. I realised that weight is just a number.

My hard fact results = I lost 3.9kg (8.7 lbs), and I lost 16.5cm (6.5in) overall. At first, I was slightly bummed, but then I “woke up” and realised that this is SO much better than some quick fix. This was a healthy and realistic weight loss for me. About 95% of my pre-pregnancy clothes fit again (!!!), and I am feeling energetic and healthy. My allergies are massively improved as well. I feel so successful having done this and really jumpstarted a new lifestyle of health!

Here’s a photo post-baby but pre-Whole30 (sorry it’s a little blurry). Eleanor was about 10-12 weeks around the time this photo was taken.

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And here are two photos Robbie took of me yesterday after the Whole30.

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What Now?

On Friday, the first day after we finished, Robbie was so excited to have a Ginger Beer. I really don’t like Ginger Beer at all, but knowing how excited he was, I was excited for him. (Ginger Beer is sort of the “Aussie” Root Beer, but it’s a totally different taste. So pretty much it’s a non-alcoholic soft drink is what I am saying haha)

I was a bit too nervous to jump back into anything, though. I feel good, and I want to keep going forward, not backward. I don’t want to reintroduce old habits. So I pretty much stuck with what I had been doing. That night we went out on a date for a dessert. Robbie got a MASSIVE snickers cheesecake, and I was certain he would be sick. He survived, though. I still stuck with a dairy and gluten free dessert, and it was about 1/3 the size of Robbie’s and absolutely delicious.

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Moving forward, I am going to slowly reintroduce some things but definitely not all. I have reintroduced rice already in the form of sushi, and that went great. I tried a latte with light milk, and I thought it went great but maybe not so much. I sneezed a bit, so I may be committing to almond milk lattes now ;)

Finally, I really want to cultivate healthy and “aware” eating habits in our family. What I mean by “aware” is that we know what is in our food. We do our best to read labels, make things from scratch when possible and make wise choices. I will probably stick with a 80-90% paleo diet because to be honest, it works for me and I feel so great. I haven’t reached my goal yet, but I feel more equipped than ever to get there and to reach my healthiest self.

So Whole30 = WIN!

February 28, 2016|Reviews|

The Tufty Hidey Hole

Robbie and I love going to cafes on our days off, hanging out or reading, and enjoying a nice capp or latte. Today, I stumbled upon a website that reviews cafes. You just enter the city, and it’ll come up with some of the top cafes in that city.

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And just because I like sharing interesting finds, the whole reason I stumbled upon this website was because of an another article I saw a month ago about “28 Reasons to Visit Newcastle, NSW”. This is my city, folks, and if you are far away and want to come visit me, here’s 28 more reasons to come (aside from seeing me of course hehe).

Alright so this brings me back to the main point of this post – trying a new cafe. We drove over near Marketown to try a cafe that is somewhat new (I think) but had great reviews called “The Edwards”. We drove over, paid for parking and alas, they were closed.

Buh buh…

Because we had paid for parking, we were particularly determined to stay in the area. I turned around, and amidst some industrial buildings, I see this cute little window…what could only be a cafe!

So we ventured in to find they were still open and ready to make us a coffee! I loved the decor of the place, and the coffee was pretty great, too! They used Glee Coffee, which is a pretty well-known roaster in Newcastle.

Here’s some fun photos of our surprise find – The Tufty Hidey Hole.









June 24, 2014|Cafes, Reviews|

Book Review: The Divergent Trilogy


Everyone has been talking about the Divergent trilogy lately, mostly because with the release of the new movie, the books are now being featured, showcased…displayed at the ends of aisles. I read Divergent and Insurgent about a year and a half ago before the final book of the series, Allegiant, had come out. I was reading another blog, and the author recommended these books if you liked The Hunger Games trilogy. I have seen so many of these lately on Pinterest…

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So right off the bat, I will say this: the Divergent trilogy will forever be compared to The Hunger Games trilogy. In fact, until all the Hunger Games hoopla comes to a close, pretty much any dystopian novel that hits shelves is going to be compared to Hunger Games.

I liked the Divergent trilogy better than The Hunger Games trilogy.

Not everyone will agree with me. Maybe those who, like myself, were completely dissatisfied with the ending of The Hunger Games trilogy, Mockingjay, may be more inclined to prefer Divergent. I did enjoy reading The Hunger Games but I felt like the ending was so disappointing and dissatisfying and without hope that it made me almost frustrated that I read it. I finished Allegiant (the third book) feeling completely different.

Divergent Synopsis

From author’s website

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself. 

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves… or it might destroy her.

I feel that on some levels the entire premise of their dystopian society is relatable to this generation. Millennials refuse to do things “just because they should.” Instead they do things because they’re passionate about it and see the purpose. They stand behind it and believe in it. At the core of their society, that is what the decision they have to make is asking them.

What do you value the most?

I loved that there are deep, philosophical questions raised in the book about values and ethics and identity. I also love that the book was fast-paced and action packed. I love that by the time you get to the third book, there is no doubt that you see immense character development. You see ideals being questioned and/or strengthened. You see people make choices because they are right not because of any legalistic bent. You see heartbreak. You see love. You see challenge and frustration and fear. I really like where the author took the trilogy. I like the hard choices that she made at different points to serve the story and not necessarily the popular opinion. Overall, I highly recommend this trilogy.

Any frustrations?

The main frustrations I have heard are that there are too many characters or that it’s hard to keep track of who is who at the beginning. My husband was frustrated that so many of the society’s leaders or influencers were teenagers, which felt quite unrealistic. It is a young adult novel, but I do see his point.

In the synopsis above, it says that “all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives.” I personally feel like that age to make a life-long decision is absolutely absurd. As a former 16-year-old, I would NOT have been ok making a decision that was irreversible and so relationally implicational. However, the book doesn’t read like it’s centred on a group of 16 year olds…at least not most of the time. 

Final Thoughts

Overall, I did like this series better if for no other reason than it finishes with hope for the future, and as a Christian who believes God offers hope for the future to anyone who believes in Him, I really like this theme. There are twists and turns along the way, some feeling a bit frustrating and challenging. What book doesn’t at some point, though? The ending of a book is important, though, because that’s your last impression. This is possibly why I was so disappointed with The Hunger Games.

There are comparisons to Hunger Games, no doubt, but I feel like fitting into a similar genre with a similar hero(heroine) doesn’t exactly classify it as Hunger Games 2.0. There are definitely differences, and without giving too much away, by the time you get to the third book, you can see a much bigger picture than the first two books allow. That alone is reason to hold off “2.0” comments until you’ve at least read all three.

At the end of the day, it’s good entertainment. Happy Reading!

April 26, 2014|Movie & Books, Reviews|