Day 1 of 28: Real Food + ‘Real’ Life

Day 1 of 28 is in the books — and it was a great one.

I had done my due diligence of stocking the fridge and cabinets with all of my favorite clean foods and ingredients, but I completely failed on the Sunday prep piece so meals today were a little bit of a scramble (and a lot off schedule) but it all worked out.

I’m not big on early breakfasts, so I typically start myself off with coffee, and today in order to ease my way back into the swing of things I grabbed my favorite almond milk latte from Milli Joe and got to work.  By mid-morning I was ready for some breakfast — Eggs scrambled with zucchini/yellow squash and mushrooms – avocado on the side (standard).

breakfast Eggs

Prior to 28toLife I didn’t eat eggs more than a couple times a week, and now they’re definitely a staple.  I still try to abide by the food pairing rules: Protein (eggs – and sometimes meat); carbs (vegetables); fat (avocado) and it really does make all the difference in how long my energy is sustained and what that level is to begin with.

Breakfast and snacks are always the toughest meals to stay on track with, so I always try to make extra of everything when I do cook so there is something to reach for when I need it.  If you have a quick morning routine, I highly recommend making a big batch on Sunday to grab and go on Monday/Tuesday morning, or even make them while you’re cooking dinner the night before.  Since I typically don’t get hungry until 9 or 10am for actual food, having something to pack and take to work with me is a life saver.

fuel sweat grow: Kale Salad & Stock Provisions

Lunch yesterday came a little late (and rushed) after the 12:15 MAD class, but it turned out to be a winner.  Kale, softened slightly with lime juice (did this first and let it sit for the 10 mins it took to get the rest ready), and avocado, almond slices, hard boiled egg and grilled chicken on top.  The dressing was finished off with a little olive oil and sea salt, and was exactly what I needed.

The background items are two of my new favorite local finds (thanks Elly!): cold brew coffee and fresh farm eggs from Stock Provisions on Main Street (just next to Bellas!).  I’m addicted to cold brew to begin with, but I can’t say enough about how amazing and fluffy these eggs are.  It’s actually disappointing to eat store bought eggs after having experienced these guys.

Dinner came a little later after I helped my parents unload a 16′ truck of furniture into the new, aptly named, ‘summer house’ they closed on the Rivanna in Cville yesterday, adding one more layer to the amazing summer to come (and their retirement winters).  Don’t worry guys, I’ll make sure the pool gets plenty of attention until you get here.

fuel sweat grow: rivanna summer house

Since I had pretty much had two full workouts by the end of the furniture moving sweat session, I just needed a little refuel without getting too complicated.

fuel sweat grow: broccoli slaw, chicken, avocado

Broccoli Slaw sauted in coconut oil, grilled chicken, and avocado.  It was exactly what I wanted, and with a little apple + almond butter later on for dessert, I was all set to close out on day 1 of my return to ‘real’ food.

I’m hoping to carve out a little time tomorrow to get some end of week meals prepped, but until then I’ve got some chicken, salad, and great snack/smoothie options awaiting to keep things on track.

Here’s my sweat schedule for the week!

Monday: MADabolic [+ manual labor] = done!

Tuesday: Run + Stretch

Wednesday: MADabolic

Thursday: MADabolic + Stretch

Friday: MADabolic

Saturday: Run/Walk + Yoga!; Come get MAD with me at 9:30 in MADville!

Sunday: Kickball w/ the MADabolic Team!


Charlotte Recap: sweats + eats

After we finished sweating out the friday night branding celebrations at Fight Gone MAD, and after we kicked off the prelude to our ‘Real Food Freedom’ at Cristina’s ’28 to Life’ seminar, Dar and I beelined to Whole Foods immediately to feed our own personal hunger games.  In the spirit of keeping things in line with not only our normal clean eating efforts, but also the re-doubled guidelines of the challenge, we went for the staples.

whole foods cart for 28 days

Within the first 5 minutes we came across the product testing table for Tessemae’s all natural salad dressings, which were ah-mazing.  The ingredients were all A) words we can pronounce and B) on the list of approved items from Cristina.  Double win. So, we bought 4 bottles… and a few other bottles of beverages that are not relevant to this post.

whole foods: 28 day challenge

Just kidding.  We’re not starting the challenge until Monday (the 11th) so drinking is still allowed, and it’s a good thing because if it weren’t this weekend would have officially (and forcibly) ejected us off of the wagon.

In addition to some staples (asparagus, avocado, tomato, spinach/arugula mix and flank steak), we hit up the salad bar to build a quick salad since we had made afternoon plans for a family mall trip with Bill, Lex & Gwen.  The salad was exactly the right choice to fuel that adventure.

whole foods salad: fuel sweat grow

One of the big rules for the 28 to life challenge (and long term eating plan) is balancing carbs, fats and proteins. Since vegetables are carbs, we added turkey, avocado, and pecans to the salad to balance it out.   More on this later as we get in to meal planning, but just keep it in mind (you need all three, but you don’t need wheat or starches as carbs).

After we devoured the salad, the whole crew crammed into the big car and hit up the absurdly packed Southpark Mall.  As a short reprieve from the chaos, and because my body was already ‘thanking’ me for the Fight Gone MAD workout i did in the morning, we found refuge in the Brookstone massage section.  Dar and Lex certainly had no problem settling into the comfort.

fuel sweat grow: lex massage chair
he’s the best.
fuel sweat grow: dar brookstone
this is how we found her.

We made some pretty good time, in and out of stores that were part of the agenda, and then (of course) stopped in to visit the ladies + gents in the Southpark lululemon. We didn’t take pictures, but things were purchased, and worn on Sunday. Pretty par for the course since I don’t remember a time my uniform didn’t come entirely from lululemon.

fuel sweat grow: dar & lex
also, this happened. organically.

By the time we made it back home, we were all dragging, so we put our groceries to work.  The flank steak was (eventually) grilled to perfection by grill master Bill.

fuel sweat grow: flank steak

We then mixed together (thanks to Dar’s newly mastered chopping skills) tomatoes, avocado, and cucumber with garlic powder + sea salt, balsamic vinegar and light olive oil.  While that was being thrown together, the asparagus was broiled on high (6 minutes) with light olive oil, and the same ground garlic + sea salt seasoning.

fuel sweat grow: tomato avocado salad

fuel sweat grow: asparagusAdd wine to that combination, and you’ve got an awesome Saturday night dinner, and leftovers that will likely carry over into the next day.  And that’s exactly what happened here.

Sunday we had a 4pm sweat date with Gwen, out at Flywheel in Ballantyne, to ride with one of our favorite Charlotte fitness leaders: Jenna.  I’m yet to meet a Flywheel class I don’t like, and I try to take class in any city I find one, but  Jenna still remains one of my favorites.

I don’t know if it was the Saturday night dinner, or the warmup I got touring Ikea Sunday morning, but I somehow managed to rebound from my friday/saturday exhaustion to rock a total power output of 321, which is right up in the range of my personal best scores.  The last time I hit the 320’s was up at Flywheel Gold Coast with my other top fly lady, Candy.

Still on my endorphin high, we scooted up to the other Charlotte Flywheel to stop in for our good friend Erin McDermott‘s jewelry Trunk Show with Social Dress Shop.  Erin is a great friend and fellow UVa grad, but more importantly (?) makes my favorite jewelry, ever.  So check her out, and I dare you to not buy something.  Just kidding –  go ahead and indulge yourself, you deserve it.

erin mcdermott jewelry

Social Dress Shop is also one of my new favorite addictions (thanks to Pink Toast Ink‘s own Carrie Barker who does their graphics/branding/ word of mouth peddling).  They’re pairing up with Fight Gone MAD and Cristina for a full fledged Bridal Bootcamp package that looks amazing, so if you’re in Charlotte, check it out.  .

When we got home we had one of my favorite dinners: leftover dinner!

28 to life challenge: fuel sweat grow

This particular version included the leftover steak and asparagus, which went on top of the spinach + arugula mix.   Avocado and our new favorite Tessemae salad dressing (seriously, it’s amazing) topped it all, restoring our energy levels to a borderline normal range.  It was exactly what we needed to recover from the weekend, and prepare for what turned out to be a week of chaos.