Whole30 – Day 20 + Courthouse Farmers Market

Catching up on blogging is really challenging when you’re in the middle of moving!  Photo recap from the Courthouse farmers market this past Saturday. The market is open from 8am to 12pm on Saturdays (April to December) and then 9am to 12pm (Jan to Mar) at the intersection of N Courthouse St and N 14th St. 

Lots of different vendors (flowers, fruit, veggies, fresh baked bread, probiotic yogurt and more).


My Whole30 and barre workout partner in crime and I decided to shop local on saturday morning before going to a warm, restorative yoga class at Spark (we earned it after an almost full week of barre classes).  Here are some of the places we stopped by that morning.


Cibola farms. It is a great place for getting soup bones!  The best ones are the joints/knuckles where youre able to extract a lot of gelatin so you can get your broth to gel. Here’s a link to my post on bone broth.

Don’t have the specific names of the following vendors below but they all had fantastic produce…


Shishito peppers!  These would be great to fry with some ghee and then sprinkle with pink himalayan salt.


Check out the coloring on the squash over to the far left. Perfect lines of yellow and green. Also, beautiful, vibrant red peppers all over the place that day.


Got the last dozen pastured eggs before the chicken sign got turned around.


Picked up some sweet potato greens to lightly sautee with some ghee.


German slicer tomatoes…on sale.


Thyme, rosemary, sage, parsley, cilantro and tarragon.


Whole30 – Day 19 + Tomatoes are Nightshades

I’ve been taking advantage of the Wednesday afternoon farmers market at the Clarendon metro for some delicious tomatoes. Here’s a link for more info on the market vendors. The market is open between April and December from 3-7 pm on Wednesdays.


Still doing well on Whole30. Here’s what I’ve been eating for breskfast on the weekends. Farm fresh tomatoes, scrambled eggs and chopped cilantro.


Lunch has been summer in a bowl.  Avocado and tomatoes with lemon juice.

Coming back to the Practical Paleo book…did you know tomatoes are nightshades and avocados are FODMAPs?  If you have joint pain, inflammation or IBS then pay attention. (I’ve learned so much from the Practical Paleo book!).

According to Practical Paleo, nightshades are “a family of plants that contain specific alkaloid compounds that can be irritating to those suffering from joint pain and inflammation”.  The most common nightshades are peppers, tomatoes and potatoes (not including sweet potatoes or yams).  Something to think about if you’re doing Whole30 or paleo and still are suffering from joint pain or inflammation.  You can reference the full list of nightshade and FODMAP foods on the Balanced Bites site here.

FODMAPs are everywhere…when is the last time you had an upset stomach (or other fun symptoms of intestinal distress) from eating one of the following: artichokes, asparagus, cabbage, cherries, broccoli or avocados? FODMAP is an acronym for fermentable-oglio-di-monosaccharides-and-polyols. According to practical paleo, “these are types of carbohydrates that can be difficult to digest, resulting in symptoms varying from gas and bloating to IBS-like responses of diarrhea, constipation, or a combination of the two”.

Check out the Balanced Bites guides and see if there’s something you want to modify about your diet to see if you’re adversely reacting to it.

Chris Kresser has an excellent article on FODMAPs and how to modify paleo to accomodate this change as well as a list of several other irritants. Check out the article here.

Whole30 – Day 18 + Fermented Cod Liver Oil

I’ve reached the official completion of week one of the Spark Yoga 30 day challenge. Yay.  How do I feel? Energy levels are dipping a little but I feel stronger and more flexible.

To recap I’m doing two challenges right now. One for diet (Whole30) and one for fitness (Spark Yoga 30 day challenge). 

Whole30 is basically a more strict version of paleo where we focus on avoiding things that could contribute to disrupting your gut or cause inflammation or autoimmune disorders. Personally, it’s not about losing weight but rather eating clean and feeling better. The goal is to avoid processed foods for 30 days and see how you feel when you’re done.

The Spark Yoga 30 day challenge is to go to one class (yoga, aerial yoga, barre, pilates) each day for 30 days.

So where does fermented cod liver oil come into play?  Well, in prior paleo challenges when I was still doing crossfit I would supplement with FCLO to help with inflammation. I’m starting it up again to help with a little irritaion in my right shoulder. Two capsules with a meal, three times a day (and no I’m not eating bottlecaps…its just for size purposes).


If almost all my kitchen wasn’t getting packed up for this west coast move I would be eating more fish to incorporate more omega-3 into my diet. For now, this is what we’re stuck with.

FCLO is kind of like the cold pressed olive oil of all the oils on the supermarket shelf.  It’s the one that’s processed in a manner that preserves the most nutrients and retains its most natural state. Most oils (canola oil, soybean oil, etc) are processed using high temperatures and hydrogenation which chemically alters the oil and doesn’t make it very healthy. (I’m not going into the details here b/c this post would never end but definitely read up on hydrogenated oils). 

Similar processes involving high heat are used on regular fish oil capsules. Do your homework before you think about spending money on something and make sure it’s a quality product. 


Anyways, I’ve been using the Green Pasture FCLO brand with the orange flavoring. They use a fermentation method to produce their capsules but they ferment the livers, not the oil. You can read more about it here.

Before reading any further you guys should know that I’m not being paid to write any of this. I saw Green Pasture listed in my Practical Paleo book. I think it’s a good product and worth sharing. If you’re interested in reading more then you can check out the Balanced Bites post on FCLO here.

In closing, let’s not forget about rest and listening to our bodies. Don’t let your ego get the best of you and push beyond your limits. There are times when you need to back off and I’ve learned the hard way by tearing cartilage in my shoulder and not listening to my body. 

Whole30 – Day 17 + Bone Broth

Ahhhh, bone broth…you warm my soul. I’ve covered bone broth in previous posts which you can revisit here. To most people it probably sounds pretty foul to heat up a cup of soup in a coffee mug and sip away…but maybe you’re an adventerous eater (like me) and will try anything at least once. Even if you never make it to the point where youre drinking broth out of a mug you should at least make some and keep it in your freezer for when you make soups. Think about how much more flavorful your next batch of butternut squash soup or tomato bisque could be if you had a little more flavor from bone broth.

If you’ve made it to day 17 of the Whole30 but your stomach is not quite right then maybe you want to try adding some bone broth into the routine. If you can sip it like coffee for breakfast, great. If not, find some other way to sneak it in.

One more method is to make your own gelatin snacks. Balanced Bites has an awesome recipe for gelatin snacks which is a great way to incorporate more gut healing methods into your routine.

Whole30 is going great and even though I’m getting slightly less than 8 hours of sleep each night I’m feeling energized and waking up about 5 min before my alarm goes off every morning (ugh, 5:50 AM still sounds awful).

For those that haven’t heard, I’m in the middle of packing stuff up in preparation of a west coast move and about 90% of my kitchen just got packed up so no more cooking except for maybe some hard boiled eggs.


I’ve been able to stay on track with salad and grilled meat for lunch and primal pack beef jerky and some hard boiled eggs for breakfast. Sometimes I’ll feel like having a juice so I’ll grab one from South Block and have a cure with my coffee.


Workouts are going well. I’m working out 5 mornings a week now to keep up with the Spark Yoga 30 day challenge. 4 days of barre and one morning of spin class at Revolve. Seems like a lot but it feels good to be done working out by 730 AM. Keeping up with the Instagram part of the challenge has been the hard part…especially when you’re wearing jeans.


Whole30 – Day 16 + Nuts and Coffee Rant

Nuts…are they allowed on Whole30 and Paleo? What about almond milk?

Ok, so yes, nuts and nut milks technically allowed. However, it depends on your goals and reasoning for doing Whole30 or paleo as to how much you should be consuming. If you’re trying to decrease body fat and lose weight then you should eat them in moderation (like a handful a day or avoid them completely). Maybe you’re just trying to maintain current conditions or you’re doing the challenge to be supportive of your significant other so it doesn’t matter that much. 

Most people won’t like hearing this but if you’re thinking about using almond milk or coconut milk as a replacement for cream in your coffee, skip it and drink it black. If you’re coffee is unpalatable then try some different, quality coffee. You can even try a different process of brewing coffee.

***Here comes my starbucks rant.*** Try to remember back to the last time you walked in to a starbucks and ordered coffee. What were other people ordering? What other drinks were being called out for customers to pick up? They were all fru-fru starbucks-inspired concoctions, right? Very seldom will you notice people ordering their drip coffee because it tastes like crap. It’s bitter, sometimes charred and will often scald your mouth. It’s a genius process though…brew crappy coffee so people put a bunch of expensive chemical fillers into a cup and call it coffee. Sorry, not sorry about how bad your coffee is. But I don’t blame you Starbucks. In 1971 you started a culture change from my hometown and exploded into a global coffeehouse chain with over 23,300 stores worldwide. How can we expect the quality and attention of a small business from a corporate coffee giant?  It’s just not possible. ***Rant complete***

So you’re trying to lose weight…  What kind of food were you eating before starting the challenge?  Were you eating a lot of nuts? Maybe you eat less of them and start to phase them out for a good portion of the challenge?  Nuts are one of those calorically dense foods that should be avoided if possible. The whole point of doing these challenges should be to incorporate whole, healthly foods into a sustainable lifestyle…not binge on snacks or paleo treats.

I would try to avoid nuts if at all possible. Let’s talk about some options:

1. Buy a chemex
2. Buy some chameleon cold brew coffee

I bought a chemex off Amazon for a prior paleo challenge because our office coffee is seriously worse than Starbucks (honest…it’s incredibly bitter).  I keep my chemex at work with some filters. It’s easy to use and easy to clean. All you need access to is hot water.


Option 2: Find some cold-brewed coffee. Organic is best. You’ll love it because it won’t be bitter since there’s no heat used in the brewing process. It’s about a 12 to 20 hour brewing process and there’s very little acid due to low levels of oxidation.  Chameleon cold brew has a great product and even Trader Joe’s has their own brand. One note of caution…do not drink an entire bottle. This is coffee concentrate so unless you want to be awake for days you should dilute just a little.


I listened to Balanced Bites podcast #90 – Paleo Pitfalls to revisit Diane & Liz’s take on nuts…here’s the summary:

*Go easy on the paleo treats (anything made with almond flour, coconut flour, etc) especially if you want to lose body fat.
*The more you insist on incorporating paleo treats into your lifestyle, the longer it can take to achieve weight loss goals. Diane and Liz compare it to taking a road trip where paleo treats are stops along the road trip. The more you have, the longer it takes to get to the destination.
*See how you react to nuts. They can be hard on the digestive system (same with dried fruit)

Whole30 – Day 15 + Practical Paleo Cookbook


One of my favorite cookbooks (and nutrition books) is Practical Paleo by
Diane Sanfilippo. We talked about Diane in an earlier post because she does the fabulous Balanced Bites podcasts on iTunes.

I bought Practical Paleo for inspiration to cook during my last paleo challenge and was plesantly surprised. Not only were there awesome recipes (there’s a recipe for pate…seriously, PATE!  Amazeballs!) but there was a lot of info on autoimmune disorders, FODMAPS, and really solid reasoning as to why our bodies react the way they do to certain foods. It’s recipes and…So. Much. More.

The book is broken down into three main sections:
1. They Why – Food and Your Body
2. 30 Day Meal Plans
3. Recipes


Doing a paleo challenge and/or a  Whole30 challenge is a great way to begin to adopt a healthier lifestyle but there are also other beneficial side effects such as reduced inflammation, improved digestion and absorption of nutrients and (drum roll…maybe the reason we all want) looking better naked. Aside from the very last item, these are things that might not be noticeable until you’re done with your challenge and begin to reintroduce some foods that were omitted for the challenge. Always pay attention to what you’re eating and how you feel.

There’s a substantial amount of reading and the content can be lightly scientific at times but there’s plenty of infographics and pictures to help drive home the ideas.

But seriously, the book is pretty awesome.  There’s even a section on poop and how to know if you have good digestive health and how you can modify your diet to make improvements.


If you’re thinking about trying paleo or the Whole30 this is an excellent resource to have. It’s incredibly educational and the recipes are easy and delicious!

Whole30 – Day 14 + Balanced Bites Podcast


Checking in from day 14 of the Whole30 challenge. Today I want to share my favorite iTunes podcast, Balanced Bites with Diane Sanfilippo and Liz Wolfe. I started listening to their podcasts over a year ago for support in doing a month long paleo challenge. I learned quite a lot. There’s podcasts on sugar detoxing, eating paleo while on travel, skin health, IBS, food prep, fermented foods…the list goes on and on.  All the podcasts range from about 15 min to an hour and they are packed with information from a holistic nutrition consultant perspective.

If you’re new to paleo or Whole30 check out some of the following podcasts:

Episode 147 – How to Maintain Your Social Life While Doing Paleo
Episode 90 – Nuts, Nut Flours and Dried Fruit
Episode 56 – Following Paleo…I am Starving
Episode 50 – New to Paleo…Help
Episode 144 – The 411 on MCT oil and Bulletproof Coffee

Also sharing dinner from day 14…the half portion sausage platter from Lyon Hall. European style sausages made in-house with pork belly and lots of sauerkraut. So nom.

Whole30 – Day 13 + Community


Having a successful challenge can ultimately turn into lifestyle changes. Try something for 30 days and you just might feel like you want to make it part of a daily or weekly routine. I’m not getting all sappy and telling you to be the change you want to see in the world…however, we should talk about an important component of success in making any long lasting changes. It’s called community.

It’s the piece of the challenge that keeps you coming back and it’s also where you draw support from. Community is the thing that happens at 6:00 am when you make the decision to go workout with your friends instead of hitting the snooze button for another half hour. Sure it seems like the worst decision as you stumble through the dark trying to figure out if those are yoga pants or compression socks but when you’re done with your workout and it’s only 7:30 am you feel pretty effing accomplished!


Your community might be one person or it might be a group of 20 with a super secret facebook group that gets together outside of class. Whatever version of community you have (or don’t have…yet) just remember that you dont have to do it all on your own. Just show up and meet a bunch of new people. You won’t regret it.

There’s seriously a group for everything! Last month I met some people that admitted in public they belong to a local group for medieval combat. It might not be exactly how I want to spend my time but there are groups for everyone and everything. Now go find one and be inspired.


Whole30 – Day 12 + So Many Challenges


Double challenge what?!  Whole30 day 12 marks the first day of double challenges because on this day I also started the Spark Yoga 30 day challenge where I go to one class (yoga, barre or pilates) each day for 30 days.

There’s about 50 Spark participants right now but there’s also a community aspect of posting your variation of a daily asana, or yoga pose, to Instagram (open to everyone!). Every evening, Spark (Instagram: spark_yoga) will post the daily asana for the following day. All you have to do is take a picture of yourself doing your variation of the asana and post it using #30forSpark to Instagram. Anyone can post…you don’t have to actually go to the studio.

Back to Whole30. Surprise, it’s still going great. I stopped by the farmers market this week to get some fresh fruits and vegetables.  Eating a flavorful, farm fresh tomato with some salt is exactly what summer tastes like for me.  


In a future post I am going to talk about resources, as in awesome websites and community supported agriculture (CSA) groups. For now let’s stick to the topic and talk challenges.


So as if doing two challenges wasn’t enough, there’s a wrench being thrown into the works because I’m moving to San Francisco in September and two things will suck:

1. All my stuff is getting packed up so I won’t be able to cook anything during the last 10 days of the Whole30 challenge.
2. I will have to do some 2-a-day workouts to meet the 30 classes before heading out west. Eek.

In closing out this challenge themed post I want to talk about a yoga class I took recently. This class was taught by a wise yogi friend and she reminded us that when we face challenges we can either choose to accept them and make the best of it or we can chide in opposition, kicking and screaming. It’s much more plesant to accept and redirect thoughts to something positive in class and in life. Thank you Marion!

Whole30 – Day 11 + Ordering at Restaurants


Accurate cat-trayal of how I’m feeling on day 11 of the Whole30 challenge. Happy and energetic. No more cravings. Yay.


If I were this puppy and these treats were those gummi cherries I was craving at the beginning of the Whole30 I wouldn’t even be tempted to eat them. 

Let’s talk about applying this to restaurant situations. Say you’re ordering a burger but you don’t want the bun. What do you normally do?  Three options come to mind:

1. Order the burger and eat everything except the bun but risk getting a judgey look of “you could’ve told me you didn’t want it” or some other passive agressive snarky comment (yes, it happens).
2. Explain your present life story of doing the Whole30 challenge and what you can and can’t eat.
3. Lie and say you have a gluten allergy and hope someone knows what this means.

The point of talking about these options is all about will power or really the underlying psychological response we have to food. The more crap you ate before starting the Whole30, usually the worse you feel when kicking food cravings. When you make it about two weeks into the challenge is right about when you can order the burger w/ the bun and leave it on your plate. You can look at it. You can even gum it in your mouth but you will not have any motivation to eat it. If you’ve made it this far into the challenge – congratulations!