Here we go again…
Brian and I felt so great after completing Whole30 that we both decided to turn our Whole30 into a Whole60. At first, I was a little apprehensive getting started with Whole30. I wasn’t sure what to expect, I thought it’d be overwhelming and difficult to stick to the strict Whole30 rules, and we had to navigate staying Whole30 while road tripping, over a holiday, during date nights and concerts, and at birthday parties. Overall, it wasn’t that big of a deal! And the longer we stuck with it, the easier it became to skip the sugar and grains.
I have to admit, it’s been pretty freaking amazing not dealing with any inconsistent digestive issues over the past month — and we are excited for this feeling to continue.
On the other hand, I decided to add exercise to the second round of Whole30. Other than hiking with the family, I haven’t worked out in at least a year, and before that it had been about 8 years. I’m not kidding. Documenting my first Whole30 here on the blog was very helpful in terms of accountability and it’s been really great content in terms of reader interest. So after documenting our experience doing a straight Whole30, only modifying our eating habits, I wanted to do it again, but this time add exercise and document my experience with both diet modification and working out.
Adding Focus T25 To Whole30
The way I work best is to dive right in and go all in, so I’m not starting off slow. For Whole30 Round 2, I’m adding the Focus T25 program.
Focus T25 is a home workout video series designed by Shaun T, creator of the Insanity video workout series. T25 program is an intense full-body workout program, working every major muscle group with no breaks. It is similar to Insanity or P90X, but condensed into a non-stop 25 minute workout.
Focus T25 consists of ten 25 minute workouts. For the first five weeks, you are in the Alpha Phase, rotating through five workouts:
- Speed 1.0
- Total Body Circuit
- Ab Intervals
- Lower Focus
During the Alpha Phase, the week is structured with one workout a day for four days, two workouts on the day five, rest on day six, and stretching on day seven. The next five weeks move you into the Beta Phase, same schedule of workouts, but rotating through a new set of five workouts that focus on one area at a time for one minute until you fatigue the area.
- Core cardio
- Speed 2.0
- Rip’t circuit
- Dynamic core
- Upper focus
Modifying The T25 Workout Program
When I started this blog, I promised that I would be 100% honest with you no matter what. No pretenses, no facades, no faking. With that in mind, let me back up a bit to my first experience with T25. It was that time a little over a year ago where I attempted to start working out again after almost eight years of very little exercise and working a desk job. I jumped in head first, followed the workout schedule as outlined in the program, and about three weeks in noticed a sharp but inconsistent pain just below my rib cage on the right side. It showed up only when using or stretching my ab muscles and I ended up stopping the program after five weeks.
Yes, I know better. Yes I should have eased into it. Yes, I should have started off slow.
But I didn’t, I hurt myself, and it took more almost eight months for that pain to go away. This time I’m getting back to it with a smarter approach. I’m doing what works best for me and for where I am at:
- I am doing all of the workouts EXCEPT for the Ab Intervals. In a few weeks, I’ll add the Ab Intervals workout back in, but need to ease back into making exercise part of my daily routine.
- I am not doing double workout Fridays. At this stage in the game, getting through one T25 workout without doing the modified version of any exercises is my goal. When I can do that, then we’ll talk about double workouts.
- I’m working out seven days a week. T25 includes Saturday as a rest day, but because I’m not doing double workouts on Friday, I’m adding a Saturday workout.
- While the Focus T25 program comes with a diet program, I’m not following that part of the program because we’re doing The Whole30 — plus, we don’t do dairy or red meat and many of their menu options include both of those.
The Food And The Workouts
Ugh. Working out. I was looking forward to getting back in shape, but not about getting started. The first part, the ramp up, the time your body just hurts as you get used to working out again, sucks. I’m not thrilled to have to go through that again and it doesn’t help that I’m not starting off lightly either…
Whole 30 Round 2 Day 1
Today was the first day of Focus T25 and the best way for me to guarantee exercise actually happens during the day is to do it first thing in the morning. So I walked Carter to school, popped in the DVD, grabbed some water, and got focused. I figured I have to start all the way over, doing the modified version of most exercises, but I was wrong. I could actually get through about half of the exercises going full out. By the end, I was exhausted, sweating like a pig, and my muscles were burning a bit, but I was proud of my self for getting it done and impressed I didn’t have to do the modified version the whole time.
By breakfast, I was starving! I used up some leftovers in the fridge to make a big Spinach And Butternut Squash Breakfast Scramble. This is the first time I have ever paired butternut squash with eggs and it was so good! Before Whole30 if you had suggested this breakfast to me, I’d have thought you were crazy, but now these veggies heavy breakfast scrambles with sometimes seemingly weird ingredients, are the norm and we’re loving them.
I was going grocery shopping in the afternoon because we were basically out of everything. I needed to eat lunch before leaving so I didn’t shop hungry, so I quickly had an RxBar and some fresh fruit. My grocery win for the day was picking up Whole30 approved carved turkey from the Nugget Market Deli Section! It’s been difficult finding Whole30 compliant turkey!
For dinner, I put that turkey to use and made Open-Face Buffalo Turkey Sandwiches On Yam Slices, using Tessemae’s Buffalo Sauce. The Turkey Burgers With Sweet Potato Buns and the Avocado Tuna Salad Sliders On Roasted Yam Slices were both so good, that I wanted to do the same thing for some spicy Whole30 turkey sandwiches — and woah baby they were delicious!
Whole 30 Round 2 Day 2
Today I woke up and everything hurt. I was sore. My shoulders, back, and legs were all screaming but in a good way. I knew today’s workout was going to be more difficult because of the soreness, and it was. OMG. I was huffing and puffing as I was jumping, I was making uncontrollable grunts during burpees, I was cursing myself for working as hard as I did the day before, and I was sweating like a pig.
For breakfast, I made another egg scramble. I’m trying to change things up, really I am, but these are just so easy and tasty! I used the carved turkey and a bunch of veggies and drizzled the Buffalo Sauce over the top.
For lunch I used up the last bit of butternut squash and yams that were left and some leftover ground turkey taco meat to make Brian and I Butternut Squash And Yam Ground Turkey Taco Bowls. This is the first time I have ever combined butternut squash with taco meat and it was really, really good! I may just have to work this combination into a taco recipe!
Tonight was the Sacramento WordPress Meetup, and we’re now sponsored by A2 Hosting, which means we have pizza at every meetup! This also means Brian and I order and pick up the pizzas — pizzas we can’t eat because of Whole30 and my lactose intolerance. We each ate an RxBar and some nuts on the way to Sacramento, which normally would have been no big deal, but sitting in the car with all of those pizzas and smelling them delicious pizzas smell was torture. Pure torture.
Whole 30 Round 2 Day 3
I woke up today feeling like I got hit by a car. My butt was kicked. I woke up sore, but again pushed through and got my T25 workout in. I was dragging butt at the end, basically feeling like I was dying, but I completed it. I was exhausted, but proud of myself for just knocking it out and getting it done.
For breakfast I made Sweet Potato Taco Breakfast Scramble, combining the ground turkey taco meat I had on hand with sweet potatoes, onions, peppers, parsley, and some Wholly Guacamole.
For lunch I went out to eat and I didn’t eat at Chipotle! Hooray! I met up with my friend Heather Atherton, who runs her own Public Relations Agency in Sacramento, at Cheesecake Factory. Eating at Cheesecake Factory during Whole30 sounds crazy, I know, but it’s easier than you think.
- The first step is saying no to the bread and ordering unsweetened iced tea or water.
- The Cheesecake Factory’s Skinnilicious Menu is already full of healthier, lower calorie options, so start there.
- Look for options that are easy to make Whole30 compliant with a few modifications.
- Ask your server questions. Share with them that you’re doing a program called Whole30 that requires no sugar, no grain, and no dairy. Our server was very helpful and when she didn’t know the answer to something, she asked the chef.
I ended up ordering the same salad I always get, the Skinnilicious Factory Chopped Salad, with a few modifications, including no corn and no blue cheese, double chicken, and oil and vinegar instead of the vinaigrette dressing. What’s amazing is that I actually liked this version of the salad better!
By the evening, my muscles were tightening up. It hurt to walk up the stairs, squat down, and sit on the toilet. I remember this phase from the previous times I began workout routines, and while I know it passes, it doesn’t help how I feel now. I felt worn out, so we scrounged for dinner. I just had an apple with almond butter and some strawberries.
Whole30 Round 2 Day 4
If I felt like I got hit by a truck yesterday, today I felt like I got hit by a speeding train. I felt like someone kicked the crap out of me. My entire body was exhausted. My arms and legs were tired, my muscles were sore, and all I wanted to do was lay on the floor. Even the simple act of lifting up my arms to twist my hair into a bun felt difficult. Just thinking about working out today has me wondering if I could even get through it.
Thank goodness it was Thursday, the day my nephews come over for a few hours in the morning! I know that Focus T25 gives you Saturday as a rest day, but I needed it today. No T25 for me. Instead, after making Brian and I a delicious Cajun Vegetable Breakfast Scramble, we took the boys for a nice long walk to stretch out my legs, played at the park, and watched Disney’s Cars while I stretched.
For lunch we scrounged again, just eating up random things like fruit, mixed nuts, almond butter, carrots, and some leftover bagged salad. I was too exhausted to make something fancy for lunch and frankly, I was so tired I didn’t really even feel like eating.
Looking back, some of this exhaustion came from not eating enough once I added exercise to my daily routine. Even though I didn’t feel like I needed to eat more, my body needed more fuel.
For dinner, I chose easy! I stopped at the grocery store, picked up some pre-made chicken kabobs with red onions and peppers that had no seasonings or marinades added. Brian seasoned them up at home and grilled them for us for dinner. It was expensive to buy them pre-made, but it was easy and fast, and we’re definitely going to do this again!
Whole30 Round 2 Day 5
I woke up today and felt much better. A break and stretching felt good and got me back to a good place. I walked Carter to school, knocked out my T25 workout, and felt awesome. I was also starving and made us another Sweet Potato Taco Breakfast Scramble to use up what was left of those ingredients. I also just grabbed an RxBar, some mixed nuts, and fresh fruit for lunch because I knew we were going to an early dinner.
It was Friday and that means it was date night! We were tired of skipping our date night dinners to stay Whole30 compliant, and my lunch at Cheesecake Factory was so yummy earlier in the week, that we decided to go there for dinner. I had the same Skinnilicious Factory Chopped Salad and Brian had the Skinnilicious Ahi Tuna Tataki Salad, which is fresh Ahi lightly seared and served rare with avocado, tomato and mixed greens. He also skipped the Wasabi Vinaigrette it comes with and had olive oil and vinegar instead, and also liked it better!
After dinner, Brian and I headed over to El Dorado Brewing Company in Diamond Springs to see Saints of Circumstance play a show hosted by Jennifer Teie and Teie One On Productions. The show was awesome and we had a great night hanging out with friends and dancing to some amazing music — and these friends know Whole30 and are supportive, so sticking with water at a brewery yet again, was no big deal. Now smelling the bacon wrapped hot dog my friend Michelle was eating… that’s a different story. I really wanted one of those!
May 31. On May 31 I can indulge because our Whole60 ends on May 30. I’m just hoping that by then I don’t really want to indulge and that by then I’ll have kicked the sugar addiction and cravings.
Whole30 Round 2 Day 6
Today we woke up to a warm refrigerator. Crap. Luckily, it was cold when we went to bed around midnight, so we knew it hadn’t been warm for too long, and quickly moved everything salvageable to the garage refrigerator. Brian spent the morning cleaning the inside of the fridge and I spent the morning buying show tickets for an August Ladies Weekend in Vegas — We got amazing tickets for Mystère Cirque du Soleil and VIP tickets for Blue Man Group with a meet and greet after the show! Natalie and I can’t wait for that trip! (Yes, I’m bringing my daughter.)
Our breakfast today was sort of weird. I saw packages of what looked like shredded taco meat in the Whole Foods vegetable section, looked closer, and saw that it was Jack Fruit. I was intrigued. Fruit that looked like shredded chicken? It sounded weird, but I figured we should try it and bought some. And then it sat in our refrigerator for two weeks. Brian and I both were hesitant to try it, but today was the day. I made Jack Fruit And Tomato Breakfast Scrambles for breakfast and they weren’t incredible, but they weren’t bad either. The Jack Fruit didn’t really have much flavor. It didn’t add anything special to the breakfast scramble and was more of a filler. If you’re a vegetarian doing Whole30, you’d find Jack Fruit do be a good alternative, but for us, I think we’ll skip it.
I spent the afternoon prepping speaker submissions for our WordCamp Sacramento 2017 speaker selection committee meeting. I needed to organize and anonymize more than 90 submissions and did more glue sticking than I have in a very long time. While I was doing that, I munched on mixed nuts, freeze-dried fruit, and baby carrots.
I didn’t workout first thing in the morning like I usually do and was worried I wouldn’t be able to squeeze it in, but I made it happen. I knocked out the T25 Cardio workout with my legs burning, grabbed a shower, and got dressed for family date night — the Saints of Circumstance were playing again, this time at Blue Note Brewing Company in Woodland.
I was looking forward to some more of the pulled pork I had from the food truck that was there last time, but when we arrived we saw that a different food truck was there. I wasn’t sure they’d have anything Whole30 compliant, but figured I’d ask and see what they recommended. I waited until there was no line at the Culinerdy Cruzer Food Truck, walked over, shared with the owner that I was doing The Whole30 and couldn’t eat dairy, sugar, or grains and asked if he had any recommendations. He was so nice! Not only did he make great recommendations, but he also gave me some insights on grains and even recommended a show to go check out on Netflix about the effect of eating bread.
When my food was ready, I grabbed the to go container and my food smelled amazing! I opened the lid and saw a fresh made burger patty over a slaw made of red cabbage, kale, and tomatoes, and a side of flash-fried green beans that looked amazing and tasted even better. The green beans were freaking fantastic — better than fries — the slaw was crunchy, and the burger patty was easily the juiciest, most flavor-packed burger I have had in years. The only bad thing is that it smelled so good, I dove right in and ate it all before I remembered to take a photo! I am so bummed!
Exercise And Eating Healthy
While my body is a little beat up, I feel pretty fantastic. Adding daily exercise hasn’t been difficult, but the workouts have been hard and while my body is sore, it’s sore in a feel good kind of way.
The key has been finding a program I enjoy that I can stick with and adapt to fit my needs and where I’m at. I enjoy the Focus T25 program because the workouts are short, intense, fast-paced, and over quickly. I like that it’s a home workout program, so I can choose to follow the program closely or modify it to fit my needs — like skipping the Ab Intervals workout for the first couple weeks to avoid injury.
I have found however, that if I don’t get my workout in before my day gets going, it gets more and more challenging to find time for it. I’ve also found that with one Whole30 under our belts, we’re much more laid back about the program during round 2. While we are still following the rules, consuming no sugar, dairy, grains, legumes, or alcohol, the Whole30 lifestyle and eating habits are slowly transitioning from novelty to permanent lifestyle changes — and I’m really excited about that!
If you want to follow along with my Whole30 + Exercise Journey, check out my easy Whole30 recipes and the posts documenting my experience below: