Whole30 Must-Haves

Hi my friends! Happy hump day! The beginning of a new year always seems to bring around the “new year, new me” mindset and desire to become healthier than ever. Lots of people go on diets, hit the gym more, or determine to just make better choices. One thing I like to do a couple of times a year is Whole30. If you’re never heard about Whole30, I wrote a post about it last year that can be viewed here. I have, personally, seen amazing results from doing Whole30, I’ve felt better than I have in a long time, and it’s helped me to make better choices. If you are interested in doing Whole30, or you’re planning on doing Whole30, or you’re just curious to know what you can eat–I have some must-haves to share that I would recommend you keep in stock. This post is not sponsored by Trader Joe’s, by the way, but I just have a lot of things that I like to get there for Whole30.

RX BARS: These protein bars are great because they only contain a few ingredients! Make sure you read the labels though because I think a few are not Whole30 approved.

LARABAR: These have been a staple for me ever since I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease years ago. Certain flavors are also not Whole30 approved so make sure you read labels.

SPARKLING WATER: I love drinking sparkling water or mineral water on Whole30 because it’s helps to satisfy the craving for something sweet. The flavors of sparkling water at Trader Joe’s are so good and they usually have seasonal flavors, as well. La Croix is also another thing that I like to have on hand during Whole30. But then again, would I really be a basic white girl if I didn’t love La Croix?

CHOMPS: I have not tried these yet but have heard they are really good if you need some protein. I have been doing the Daniel Fast with my church this month and haven’t been eating meat during the fast. I will give these a try though once that fast is over.

ALMONDS: Always, always, always have these on hand! Almonds are a good source of protein and healthy fat and nobody likes a hangry person.

DRIED FRUIT: Be careful to read labels and not get dried fruit that has sugar added. These “Just Mango Slices” at Trader Joe’s do not have any added sugar and it’s also another good snack to throw into a bag when you’re on-the-go.

CAULIFLOWER RICE: This is nice to buy because it’s been “pre-riced” and less of a mess. I will sometimes “rice” my own cauliflower but stuff just gets everywhere. This definitely doesn’t taste just like rice but it’s a great alternative during Whole30.

RICED BROCCOLI: This is another thing that has been good to have when you want to make a “pasta” dish, salad, or just to pan steam.

SWEET POTATO CHIPS: I bought these at Aldi and there are only two ingredients. These are great for when you have the munchies!

PLANTAIN CHIPS: These are also another thing that I love to have on hand for a snack, to dip in guac, salsa, or make “nachos.”

GHEE: This is an alternative to butter and it’s really yummy! It definitely has a more bold flavor than butter does but I really like it.

SEASONINGS: Trader Joe’s has really good seasonings that can help make more bland meals taste so much better. My favorites are seasoning salt and the everything bagel seasonings.

COCONUT MILK: A good alternative to dairy and can be used in SO many different dishes. Definitely taste test with coconut milk though because you don’t want to overpower your meal with coconut.

ALMOND BUTTER: So good! I eat almond butter with plantain chips, apples, bananas, in smoothes, etc.

GUACAMOLE: Always. Just. Always.

Have you ever done Whole30? What was your experience like and what kinds of things do you like to eat during Whole30?

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Tips to Stay Organized During the Work Week

Today is a new day and the start of a new week! I sometimes dread Monday mornings (but then again don’t we all, haha) because I know that it’ll usually be a busy week and I already look forward to sleeping-in the next weekend. Although, Mondays are also a day for resetting and getting yourself in gear for the week ahead. Today I’m going to share with you some tips that I do, quite a bit, to help myself stay on track and organized during the busy work week.

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1. Have a day set aside to plan the next week

If I don’t have anything that I need to do that morning, Saturday is usually my planning day. I will write down a list of things I need to accomplish that week, write down any important events or meetings, plan blog posts, etc. I like to keep the major events on my iPhone calendar and then write down all the details/lists in my planner. When I am able to do this, it helps me have a much better mindset about juggling everything in the next few days. I also like being able to physically check things off of my lists and it helps me to feel a lot more productive.

2. Put things back where they belong

This might be a “no duh” point but it’s one that I’m tryyyying to be better at doing. Some weeks I’m more on top of just managing all my stuff and then other weeks–everything just gets thrown into piles. Make yourself get into the habit of putting your things back where they go as soon, or soon after, as you get home. Or set a timer for yourself at the end of the day, for maybe 10-15 minutes, and see how much you can get done before the timer goes off. Racing against the clock is a good motivator for me and it also motivates me that I won’t have to clean as much the next day.

3. Have a general idea what you’re going to eat that week

I am not the type of person who can meal plan/prep for the entire next week. Some days I’m at home during the evenings and others are spent doing various things from early in the morning to late at night. I try to have at least 2-3 days worth of groceries for the meals that I need to make at home and for meals that I can have for on-the-go. I may eat out a few times during the week and so it just doesn’t help me, right now, to plan out an entire week worth of meals. If I at least know what I have available at home, it usually helps me a lot and doesn’t leave me scrambling to figure out what I’m going to make.

4. Lay out everything you need for the next day

This tip is so helpful for me because I know where everything is the next morning and I don’t have to spend a lot of time hunting for things. I will lay out my clothes, shoes, coat, purse, computer bag, tote for my lunch, and anything else I need and leave it all in one spot. By laying everything out, it also saves me a lot of time in the mornings because I’m not trying to figure out what I want to wear.

I hope this tips have been helpful to you! Do you have any pre-work week routines that you do to stay organized?

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My Goals for 2018

Bye, 2017! Hello and welcome, 2018! I can’t believe another year has passed and it was definitely a full year! It’s been awesome to reflect over the past year and also start to make plans for the next. I’m looking forward to seeing what 2018 will bring and tell you about those highlights next year. Before I get into telling you my goals for 2018–here are some of the highlights from the past year.

Highlights of 2017:

-1 year anniversary of my blog
-Went to Chicago to see my sister and her family
-Ran a St. Patrick’s Day 5k with my dad
-Went to Maine to see my best friend
-Helped to pick out my sister’s puppy named Franklin
-Did Whole30 twice
-Went to DC with 2 of my sisters for a week
-Went to Dallas with family
-Went to Virginia to see cousins
-Bought my first real, nice camera and started taking photos seriously
-Went to Dallas again for the Declare Conference
-Ran my second half marathon and this time with my pregnant sister (she’s a rock star)
-Ran a Thanksgiving Day Hog Jog with almost every member of my immediate family
-Went to Chicago again
-Went to 7 weddings
-Celebrated lots of family birthdays
-Had lots of aunt time
-Finding out that I’m going to be an aunt to more babies in 2018

My heart is so overwhelmed with all of these amazing things that happened and I’m so glad that I wrote each thing down. Although there were some bumps and difficult times in 2017, the amount of good things and experiences totally made up for them. I am thankful for every single thing that happened in 2017.

I have a few goals that I am setting for myself this next year and I thought I would share those with you today. Do you usually set goals or resolutions for the new year? I would love to hear what some of yours are!

My Goals for 2018:

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I wrote a post, last year, about my struggles with being fearful and wanted to share some encouragement to others in that post. Even though I wrote that post and know those truths to be real, I still struggle with this battle every day. Even when I may seem like I’m fine, the battle within can sometimes be crippling for me. But this year, I want to be more purposeful about giving fearful thoughts straight to the Lord and not allowing them to consume my mind. Joshua 1:9 says “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” and in Mark 6:50, Jesus says this to his disciples when they were afraid–“Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” I want to worry less this year, and in years to come, and trust completely in God and His plans for my life.

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This year I would love to try to put out 3 blog posts a week! I’m going to be changing my posting schedule from Tuesday/Friday to posting Monday/Wednesday/Friday and will try my best to stick to that new schedule. Some weeks are much harder than others to publish new content, especially because of my full-time job and those commitments. However, I’m excited to share more posts with you this next year!

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The last 2 months haven’t been great ones for me when it comes to staying active. After training and running a half marathon, I decided I was just way too tired and would rather be a couch potato. But the times that I have been consistent with exercising have been the times that I’ve felt and slept the best. So, this year I want to be the most consistent with going to the gym and go at least 3-4 times a week.

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I bought my first Canon in September and it’s been so fun to use! The photos that I’ve taken have turned out so well and I can’t wait to travel with the camera and take more photos. I hope to also share some of those photos with you this next year.

Happy new year friends!

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