Last week — the dreaded first week back to work after a long holiday break — was nothing short of exactly what I had feared. Now, it could have been that at work there was a quick ramp up to handle all the million loose ends that carried over from the incomplete to-do’s that time didn’t look kindly upon — it could have been that. It also could have been the fact that I have a million little things going on outside of work that required time and attention; or the ups and downs of 28toLife / The Whole Damn Thing days 4-11.
Truly, there couldn’t have been more variables in the mix to promote stress and anxiety, and somehow I did manage (albeit probably just barely) to get through the most challenging and critical portion of 28toLife. While it’s not the first time, and this is not so far from my typical eating/cooking style, I have to say, giving up wine and fully embracing the challenge amidst all the moving life pieces would have been next to impossible without the amazing folks in Cville, MAD, and beyond, participating and pushing me. This ‘group’ has gone from being a small group of devotees, to a huge group of amazing contributors, food innovators, community builders, and inspirations, who collectively and individually committed to forming these new lifestyle habits together. It’s so amazing.
Today is day 12; the bad habits have been just about lost, and the good habits have begun to strengthen and grow within the framework they had previously existed. While I’ve been a little tight on time all around, I’ve still managed to have some great meals, including some awesome ones with friends, and absolutely killer sweats in MAD this week.
I’ll start with Friday — it was a pretty long day of work, and a great + grueling durability interval at MAD, only to be capped off by a sweet night with friends. Kiks is one of our MAD coaches, Todd is one of Dar’s top boyfriends, and they’re both not only great friends, but the parents of two sweet and sassy little munchkins who we love to hang with — so Friday was exactly that, but with the added bonus of an amazing 28toLife compliant chili and paleo corn(less) cornbread.
Truly, this was amazing. It was stock based so there was a super warm almost soupy vibe, and it was exactly what this frigidly cold week needed. I forget sometimes just how much I love this type of dinner, so it was the perfectly timed reminder.
Saturday morning, which came way too soon, kicked off at MAD – sort of a weekend tradition – with packed 7:30, 8:30 & 9:30 classes. There’s really nothing like Saturday morning in MAD when all of our weekday friends from different time slots all come together to really define and connect the community end to end (pictured here in my pretty choppy panoramic shot).
Saturday night brought a little heartier of a meal to try and help combat the cold, which has been nothing short of bone chilling these last couple of weeks: cole slaw w/green and red cabbage, carrots, and thinly sliced green onion, alongside two big fat NY Strips.
When I tell you I needed that, understand that ‘needed’ is an understatement. I was so desperately craving red meat that I knew my body was in serious need, and after the intervals at MAD on Friday and Saturday, I had no doubt in my mind that it was a legitimate need.
After dinner Saturday turned in to a fun night with some of our favorite friends and MAD ones, their families, and a couple crazy pups. Does it get much better than that? Not usually.
I can’t put into words how happy I am that the first climb with 28toLife is over and it’s clear sailing into week three with a much fresher, healthier, and lighter (just in general feeling) whole self than I came into 2015 with. I mean, that’s really the point right? While the whole clean eating thing is detoxing your body from all of the garbage that passed through it and was stored, there’s a certain need to also free yourself of the garbage that you carried with you emotionally, and that kind of lightness, well that can be the best feeling of all.