The habit you should start now

The habit you should start now

Raise your hand if you’re guilty of scrolling your phone for way too long before bed. Or grabbing it immediately after your eyes open in the morning. That was me for sure!

Technology is a wonderful tool, but there’s a time and place. Right before and after sleep isn’t the best time to catch up on your feeds. Trust me, you didn’t miss much. And whatever you did miss was worth putting the phone down.

I was struggling with this bad habit for a while. I wouldn’t get enough sleep because I had to “check one more thing.” As we all know, one more thing turns into checking every app like 3 times just in case…

I started sleeping with my phone on airplane mode on my bedside table which helped, but it was still within reach. It was too close and my will power wasn’t that strong to avoid it. Something would pop into my head that I needed to check “real quick” or I’d remember a ‘to do’ item that I wanted to add to my list. One thing would lead to another and I’d slip back into my old scrolling ways.

Airplane mode was a step in the right direction, but how could I set myself up for success? Success = completely removing the distraction

I don’t know why it took me so long to actually do this, but at the beginning of the year I decided to leave my phone out of the bedroom. Scrolling problem solved! Plus I always have a charged phone to start my day!


If you use your phone as an alarm, this does mean you’ll need to get an alarm clock. I know, what are those, right?? Luckily there are a ton of options out there. Easy fix!

Before bed I turn my phone on airplane mode or Do Not Disturb and leave it to charge in the hallway outside our bedroom. I usually grab it in the morning after I’m done getting ready, but sometimes I’ll get it before if I’m expecting something like a text or email that’ll affect my morning. Generally I try to stay off my phone and social media until I’m ready to move on with my day cause otherwise it’s a huge time suck. Unfortunately I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been late to something because I got sucked into the rabbit hole that is my phone. Not proud of it, but it’s the truth. I’m working on it!

There are better ways to use my time. I enjoy reading (a physical book, not an iPad or Kindle) and/or journaling before bed. It helps wind down my mind and prepare me for sleep. My mind is pretty active at night thinking back through the day or anticipating the next, so journaling has been helpful to get those thoughts and ideas out of my head and onto paper. This is also the perfect time to connect with my husband. Our schedules are funky, so many days this is the only time we’ll see each other. Strenghtening my marriage >>> people on the internet.

Instead of grabbing for my phone in the morning, I like to do my daily devotional and dedicate enough time to get ready for my day. I don’t know about you, but my mornings always seem to fly, so I need the distraction free time to make sure I’m taking care of whatever needs to get done and getting out the door.

I sleep better without my phone nearby. Blue light from screens negatively affect sleep patterns. Science says so! Yes, there’s the Night Shift setting on iPhone to help or even the glasses that filter the blue light, but you’re better to eliminate the blue light altogether. I fall asleep (and fall back asleep if I wake up) faster because I’m not tempted. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and if my phone is on the nightstand I would grab for it because I couldn’t fall back asleep. Then the blue light and mental stimulation mean I really can’t fall asleep. My mind has permission to calm down and just focus on sleep.


I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this. Do you struggle in this area too? My challenge to you: incorporate this habit into your routine for a week. Let us know how it goes in the comments below!


Hopped off the plane at LAX

Hopped off the plane at LAX

I’ve always wanted to visit California.

We considered going a few years ago when I had a week vacation from my old job, but we realized it was cheaper to travel outside the country. So we went to Punta Cana instead and got engaged 😉


Well it was finally time to splurge and make the trip to the west coast! Shout out to our accumulated travel points. Last year we traveled to Vegas for Eric’s birthday and this year we celebrated his 26th in Los Angeles (his actual birthday was spent in airports, but ya know…)

Overall, the trip was amazing! Our visit wasn’t nearly long enough, but is it ever?? It didn’t help that we missed the entire first day due to a huge travel mess.

Original plan was Raleigh –> DC (Dulles International Airport) –> LAX

That didn’t happen.


After the most turbulent 6am flight ever and 2 failed landing attempts at Dulles we diverted to Pittsburgh. It was honestly one of the scariest experiences of my life. It felt like we were on a rollercoaster (I love rollercoasters!) but then I remembered we were in the air thousands of feet above ground. So that rollercoaster feeling became a lot less fun. Also, so many people were getting sick because of the turbulence. We were sitting in the very last row right in front of the bathroom — just the place you wanna be in that situation. Except nobody was allowed to get up and use the bathroom because the seatbelt sign never shut off.

I was so happy to finally be on the ground in Pittsburgh! The two flight attendants in the back of the plane told us that was one of the worst flights they’ve ever been on. Super not comforting. But we made it safely to the ground!

We sat around Pittsburgh airport for hours. After missed connections and boarding/de-boarding the plane, our pilot got news that multiple planes had landed at Dulles, so we went for it again. And praise God, we landed! The whole plane cheered. God was seriously on our side because we somehow made it to Los Angeles despite packed out planes and being put on standby for two different flights. My checked bag even made it! Victory!!


We arrived in LA at midnight (aka 3am back home). Naturally, our first stop: tacos.

It was a bit rainy and overcast our first full day, but that didn’t stop us. We took the long, scenic route to find food and ended at a delicious restaurant called Paty’s. So delicious! The mimosas were a great decision.


I know they say California traffic is bad, but I didn’t realize to what level. It wasn’t even as bad as usual because we were there on the weekend. It would take 40 minutes to go 9 miles. I loved California, but I’m not sure I could deal with that on the regular. It does allow you to see a lot of things.


Next stop: Santa Monica! One of my main things in LA was to capture a California sunset. We spent hours walking around Santa Monica beach and the pier. We actually ended up missing the true pink sunset because we thought it was over. We were struggling. The weather and time change had us confused I guess. But we did see it! That’ll just have to be a goal for our next trip.


We tried to do the Warner Brothers Studio Tour on Saturday, but of course tickets were sold out. So we went ahead and purchased our tickets for Sunday morning at 8:30am. I’m still not sure how we all managed to wake up, get ready, and make it there by 8:30, but it was so worth it! Plus they have Starbucks in the lobby, so that definitely helped.


The studio tour was so cool! There are different studio tours in LA, but I think Warner Brothers was the best because they have done so many popular shows and movies. We got a behind the scenes look at where the Hollywood magic happens.

I wish I would have been able to record everything our tour guide said because there was so much! We got to see the front door from Annie, the Alibi Room from Shameless, the church and high school from Pretty Little Liars, the alley from Friends, the Ellen stage, the house from Fuller House, jungle scenes from Jurassic Park, and so much more.

The front of the Alibi Room from “Shameless”
Church from “Pretty Little Liars”
Rosewood High School from “Pretty Little Liars”
The “Fuller House” House
Each stage has a red light like this — when filming the light is lit, so be quiet


Where Ellen stands to do her monologue
Ellen’s stage


Hubby and I hanging out at Central Perk from “Friends”

I have so much respect for those involved in entertainment — it’s amazing what they can do! If you’re ever in LA, the Warner Brothers Studio Tour is a must. But make a reservation or purchase your tickets ahead of time!

So many more pics and tidbits of info I could share, but we’ll leave it here for now!

Demonstrating how they use forced perspective
It was Oscar Sunday, so duh
Screen writing for “Shameless”

Actual fire escapes from New York — wanted them to be authentic

The Hollywood Sign is of course another must do when in Los Angeles. We were planning a hike, but a little bit of birthday celebrations happened… Can’t say no to sangria and guacamole!


Once we got there and saw how long the hike would be, we decided against it. Maybe next time! It was still really awesome to see the sign and the Hollywood Hills.We even drove down Rodeo Drive on the way. Not as impressive as I had imagined, but the houses nearby are gorgeous! I enjoyed getting a glimpse of the California real estate market in real life.


Turns out we were staying a block away from the Academy Awards for Oscar Sunday. We had no idea until we were there and they kept mentioning it at the studio tour. Turns out the Oscars are a pretty big deal in Los Angeles. We were so close to the action that the street our Airbnb was on was actually blocked off. We had to show proof to a cop that we were staying there — that was first. Too bad we didn’t see any celebrities! From now on the Oscars will be way more interesting.

I’m already ready for our next cross country adventure! As long as our flights are much smoother. I’d love to go back to Los Angeles. San Francisco, Laguna Beach, and Napa top the list as well among others. So much to see, so little airline miles! All the more reason we’re working towards financial freedom. So we have the freedom to travel and experience the world! It feels so much better to travel without debt.

Until next time, we’ll be dreaming about (and planning) our next trip!

Where’s your next adventure!?


My Whole30 Results

My Whole30 Results

Hi friend!

It’s been a week since I completed my Whole30 and I’m so happy I did it.

It was a challenging, exciting, eye-opening experience. It may sound a bit dramatic, but it will forever change the way I look at food. It encouraged me to try new foods and step out of my usual (but not ideal) diet. And when I say diet, I mean the way I’m eating in general. Not “diet” in terms of weight loss. I don’t believe those really work. They may work as a short term fix, but long term… it’s nutrition and health that’s important.

Ok, back to what we’re here for…

I didn’t do a perfect Whole30, but I intentionally did my best. There was learning curve and a lifestyle adjustment which made it challenging, but each day got easier and made more sense. I’m so excited to share these results with you because it means my body responded well and it was worth the change!

Mental + Emotional Results

More even tempered: There were definitely times where I was irritable (especially in that first week), but overall I was pretty even. I wasn’t experiencing the sugar highs and then crashes. Since I was more comfortable in my body and satisfied, I was able to relax.

Positive goal to work towards: Whole30 gave me something to work towards! Since it was just 30 days, I knew it wouldn’t be forever (unless I chose to continue forever). I focused on my goal of completing and that made it fun.

Stronger will power: I was able to say “no” to the things that wouldn’t serve my goal. I stayed true to what I was working towards. I think it was easier since I had a predetermined goal through Whole30 and was held accountable to the close people in my life.

Connected to community: Whole30 has an incredible community and that made me feel connected during the entire process. The website, the books, the Instagram accounts — all these things gave me motivation and ideas to keep moving forward.

Reduced cravings: I have such a big sweet tooth. I would crave sweets, especially at night or after dinner. Not a good habit, but often times I would give into that craving. You crave what you consume, so once I was free from the sugar my body didn’t really miss it. Of course if something was right in front of me, I may want it, but I didn’t have that blind, random craving. That was amazing to me because I didn’t think it could go away.

Reduced hunger: I was eating less, but better foods during these 30 days. I used to eat every few hours, but learned that’s not the best for your body and your hormones. I was extra hungry the first week (especially the first few days) as my body was getting used to this new rhythm, but once it did it was glorious! I ate 3 healthy meals and maybe a snack or two if I was still hungry. I was working out almost daily, so I needed the extra nutrition.

Proud + accomplished: Whole30 gave me a sense of pride and accomplishment. It wasn’t easy and not everyone can or wants to do it. I proved to myself that I could make it happen.

Improved confidence: Internal changes + external changes = boost

Physical Results

Lost 9 pounds: This speaks for itself! I was surprised by how much I actually lost. Weight loss wasn’t the ultimate goal of this, but it was a very nice byproduct! I didn’t take before/after measurements or pictures, but my clothes are fitting better and I can tell my body is slimmer.

Clearer skin: My skin has always had a struggle, some times more than others. Taking out the problem foods (like dairy and gluten) did a wonder for my skin. It positively impacted my skin’s tone and reduced the amount of blemishes. It’s still not perfect, but opened my eyes to actually how much nutrition affects it. Whole30 introduced me to collagen supplements (Vital Proteins is the brand I’m using) so we’ll see how that helps!

Reduced bloat/tummy problems: This was a big one! It had become normal to feel bloated or to have tummy rumbles after a meal. Turns out, that isn’t normal! I mean it is normal when you’re eating tacos, pizza, or big meals out. But it isn’t exactly normal when you’re eating nourishing, natural, healthy foods. Who knew??

Normal blood pressure: So I can’t determine if this was totally from Whole30 since I didn’t check it prior to starting, but I can say confidently that Whole30 only improved it. Because of my thyroid (or lack thereof now) I’ve had issues with my blood pressure. I had 2 doctor appointments about halfway through my Whole30 and both found my blood pressure to be normal and healthy. Yay! It’s always good to hear good news from the doctor and nurse.

Better sleep: Sleep is so important for our bodies and minds. I didn’t always get enough of it, but I felt a deeper sleep. I also fell asleep faster (probably because my stomach wasn’t hurting or bloated at night).


I didn’t experience the energy boost or mental clarity other people have felt. Of course, everyone’s body reacts differently. I already struggle in these areas because of my chronic hypothyroidism, so I’m starting behind most other people. This may change as I go back to my “normal” eating — maybe I really did have a lot more energy and clarity, but I didn’t have a comparison since it was the new normal. The great thing is I can be more mindful to how my body is responding to food.

I cooked and planned my food more/better than really ever before! This experience required it. It got tiring at times, but it was such a good habit to get into and one I plan on continuing. Just maybe not as intensely so it’s sustainable for me long term.

So what now?

I didn’t end my Whole30 the best way (with a slower reintroduction phase) since we had our trip to Los Angeles. As you can imagine, that trip involved a good amount of normal food (not Whole30 approved), but that’s a part of my Food Freedom. That was worth it to me because it was special as somewhere I’ve never been before. And it was just a few days. So where do I go from here?

My new normal diet will be Whole30 inspired, but not as strict.

I will eat mindfully.

I will meal plan and prep foods that nourish my body. 

I will keep dairy and gluten to a minimum in my diet. 

I will make the Whole30 dishes that I discovered. 

I will use healthier alternatives.

I will enjoy a Food Freedom and not feel guilty about what I choose to eat. 

It is my choice — if I listen to and respect my body I will make the best choice. 

Thank you so much for coming alongside me on this journey. Is there a change you need to make in your own life? Diet? Exercise? Career? Family? Something else?? I encourage you to make it. Take the next right step to improve your world.

If that happens to be Whole30, you’ve got these blogs (and me) as a great starting place and cheerleader! You can totally do it — the only thing is, do you want to do it? The beautiful thing about life is you can always start new right where you are. It’s never too late or too early.

Do you have any questions for me?? If there’s anything I can do to help, please don’t hesitate to reach out ❤


Feb Progress | March Goals 2018

Feb Progress | March Goals 2018

February. The month of love. The short month. That awkward time where we’re eagerly waiting for spring to arrive, but still dealing with winter. Or if you’re in North Carolina, you’re pretty much in early summer mode some days with gloomy winter snapping you right back to reality.

I’m ready for warm weather and sunshine to stay. Despite the weather tease, it was a good month. I am proud of the progress I made on my goals and excited for the month ahead!

February Progress


Monthly Goals

  • Whole30 — I completed my very first Whole30 yesterday! It was challenging, but I’m so happy I did it and stuck with it for the full 30 days. It wasn’t a perfect Whole30 by any means, but I did my absolute best and learned a lot, so that’s a win! I wrote about my meals and experience week by week if you’re interested in reading more! You can check them out here: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4. My results will be coming soon, so stay tuned!
  • Complete Emergency Fund (baby step #3) — We did it! We actually completed our fully funded emergency fund on Valentine’s Day. What a wonderful gift! Our original goal was $10,000, but we bumped it up to $11,000 to be sure we were totally good for 3 months. It took sacrifice and teamwork, but let me tell ya, it feels a lot more peaceful to be prepared financially.
  • Read book #2 — Check! I finished “You are a Badass at Making Money” by Jen Sincero. It was alright. I don’t agree with some of the principles she discussed, but it was a good book if you need help with your mindset around money.
  • Plan month’s blog content — I actually completed this before the month began. I like to plan out my blog content in my planner. It doesn’t always go according to plan, but it helps me to have a game plan so I can be thinking about content and take relevant pictures!
  • Prepare + file taxes — We like to get this done early. We filed our taxes and then realized I was missing one 1099 from a company I used to partner with. Whoops. So I guess this technically isn’t completely done, but we’ll take care of that piece early in March. The majority of the work is done and we already got our refund (which actually got us to our Emergency Fund goal!)
  • Update 401k (baby step #4) — This was quick and easy. If you follow Dave Ramsey’s baby steps, you’ll know step 4 is to put 15% of your income into retirement. This was simple for me to do through ADP’s website, so it’s all set. We’re doing this a little differently with Eric’s income since we also want to invest in businesses (Mi Cancun and the brand new ice cream shop coming soon, Vida Dulce).
  • Health appointments — Both went well. I need to do followup blood work for my endocrinologist because my thyroid levels came back a bit wonky, but my doctor isn’t too worried. May just need a dosage adjustment, but otherwise all good! Even though we’re busy and it can be a pain to schedule, it’s so important to stay up to date with health appointments. Take care of yourself!
  • Be still + quiet — I’m definitely still working on this which is why I didn’t completely fill in the progress bar. This is also a goal that isn’t really ever “done.” I also have something taking my attention: social media, Netflix, YouTube videos, etc. I’m working on being intentionally still and quiet so that I can settle my mind and talk with the Lord. I can’t hear Him when I’m constantly listening to other things.

Weekly Goals

  • Check in meeting with Eric — These are still going well. It’s been very helpful for us to set aside just 10 minutes on Sunday to go over our budget and schedule for the upcoming week. It allows us to make sure we’re on track and update each other on any changes. Communication is key!
  • Unplugged date — We usually do this on Sunday since Eric doesn’t work (for now) and our nights are generally free. Sometimes this date is going out and sometimes it’s just a night at home playing card games. No matter what we’re doing, the unplugged part is crucial. We put our phones down and just enjoy being together.
  • Intentional Instagram — It was stressing me out to have a goal related to the number of followers I have. Yes, I want my account to grow. But more importantly, I want to share and connect intentionally. I want to use my platform to encourage, uplift, and educate. Plus the follow/unfollow games are just too much for me. Once I stopped focusing on the number and started focusing on sharing my heart, my followers grew. Funny how that works!
  • Blog post — Weekly blog posts went up! This is another area where I want to intentionally share. I love sharing my Whole30 journey and it seemed like you really enjoyed reading about it! Words are so powerful and I’m so grateful to have a place where I can share the words on my mind. I pray that this continues to be a place where you find value. Where you can be inspired and flourish ❤
  • Small Group — I’m absolutely loving our small group! It’s going even better than I could have imagined. God has brought together such a wonderful group of people. We’re building bonds, learning from each other, and lifting each other up. I’m blessed to be a part of it!
  • Get ready fully — It made me feel silly to even have this as a goal, but I gotta be real. As I’ve mentioned before, my getting ready was seeming slack. I want to put my best foot forward each day and I think that starts with the effort I put into my appearance. That may sound shallow, but don’t we always feel better when we’re put together? This doesn’t mean fancy, but putting in the effort. It’s made a difference!
  • Utilize essential oils — This babies are wonderful! I have 4 rollers made for different circumstances and I’m diffusing something pretty much every day (my fave right now is Stress Away + Lavender). I started using a natural skincare by Lola Jane and they use essential oils in their products. Our skin is our biggest organ, so everything we put on top of it gets absorbed into our bodies. I want what’s going on my skin to be natural and non-toxic. Essential oils to the rescue!

Daily Goals

  • Bible plan — Achieved 27/28 days
  • Meditate — Achieved 26/28 days
  • Active body — Achieved 27/28 days
  • No phone – bedroom — Achieved 27/28 days

Not to toot my own horn, but I crushed my daily goals this month! I wasn’t perfect in any of them, but that’s okay. I made major progress and these goals are becoming habits in my day. Focusing on the most important things has helped me to make sure I’m accomplishing what makes me feel my best and moves me forward. I’m my best self when my mind, body, and spirit are nurtured.

March Goals


Monthly Goals

  • Health Appointments: dermatologist and eye doctor
  • Pack + prepare for LA
  • LA Trip & celebrate Eric’s birthday
  • Try/cancel Blue Apron
  • Read book #3
  • Plan March blog content
  • Upgrade blog plan
  • Research financial advisors in area
  • Be still.

Weekly Goals

  • Unplugged date
  • Check in with E
  • Intentional Instagram
  • Blog post
  • Be early

Daily Goals

  • Bible Plan
  • Meditate
  • Pure Barre
  • Soul care at night

You don’t have to have a ton of goals to do great things. You just have to identify what’s most important and make it happen!

What is one thing you can strive to do each day that will have the biggest impact? Maybe you have a few things in mind, awesome! Write whatever it is down and put a check beside it each day you accomplish it. Your little by little progress adds up! Remember, good things grow over time. New habits can be hard to develop, but stick with it. You can do it! I’m cheering you on, friend.


My Whole30 | Week 4

My Whole30 | Week 4

28 days down already. TWO MORE DAYS TO GO!!! Time is flying!

Some things I have learned so far…

Anything can be made into a salad. 

Anything can become brunch if you add an egg to it. 

I’m loving Whole30 more and more. It’s becoming easier and less mentally taxing to be eating this way. I don’t have to think about it as hard because I’ve been eating like this for almost a month and I’ve found some go-to Whole30 meals that I love and can continue to eat week after week. I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel here!

Week 4 Trader Joe’s Grocery Haul

Week 4 Meals


  • Egg muffins with spinach and mushroom + avocado
  • Leftovers + fried egg (so good, so easy, and such a good use of leftovers!)


  • Baked chicken, sweet potato, cauliflower rice with onion (leftovers from week 3)


  • Chicken burger with veggies (Thank you, Whole30, for bringing these into my life! My new favorite freezer must have)


  • Salmon, asparagus, and red potatoes (Shoutout to hubby for making this! roasted potatoes and asparagus was used for the leftover breakfast — amazing!)


  • Of course my go to salad (Easy to make ahead of time for lunch at work)


  • Shrimp salad with spinach, peaches, avocado and lime juice (Not necessarily the combo I would have put together, but it was really tasty!)


Week 4 Experience

Again, I’m really enjoying eating this way. I do miss wine, chocolate, and cheese fries, but not in the way I thought I would. I’m so much stronger when it comes to saying no to foods that aren’t worth it too. Eric brought home dinner from work (aka delicious Mexican food) and although I would have really loved some, I was fine with him eating in front of me and I didn’t feel like I was missing out. There’s been a mind shift. I’m not held captive to cravings.

I really don’t even have cravings anymore. If something is right in front of me, then it is more tempting, but that’s different than craving foods that just come to mind. It’s been really eye opening to see how responsive I was to cravings in the past and how often I would “treat” myself just because. Because it was a long day, because I earned it, because I want it. Now I’m being more mindful and finding other ways to treat myself. Maybe a long walk when the weather is nice or an episode on Netflix. If I’m still hungry after that I’ll have a healthier snack. And I feel good about it!

I’ve only eaten out for two meals during Whole30. I love how much I’ve been in the kitchen! It does take a lot of meal planning and prepping to stick to Whole30 without driving yourself crazy, but I’m loving that flow! It’s a habit I’ve been wanting to get back into: meal plan, grocery, meal prep. It makes each day so much easier and reduces the decisions I have to make each day.

Instead of wondering what I’ll eat for dinner and then snacking away cause I’m starving, I move forward with the plan. Some nights that’s heating up leftovers. Some nights it’s more involved with making something on the stove. No matter what I have a game plan and it reduces the mindless eating by a hangry Rachel.

When you’re eating different from the norm (aka Whole30), group gatherings can be challenging. Of course you can’t expect people to know your nutrition guidelines, much less to provide something compliant. If you’re facing something like this (maybe a gathering with friends, a party, a bridal/baby shower, etc) I have a few tips for you…

  1. Eat before you go. You won’t be tempted by other foods because you’re full. In case there isn’t anything you can eat you’ll be fine to just enjoy the gathering instead of being hungry and potentially going off plan.
  2. Offer to bring something. This is helpful to the host as well as yourself. You’ll be contributing something to the gathering and ensuring there’s something you can eat while staying true to your Whole30. Win win!
  3. Share your goals in advance. Depending on the get together, this may not always be necessary. If you do choose to share, it’s possible the host will be able to accommodate. At the very least, they will hopefully be more understanding of what you’re doing with the Whole30 and help hold you accountable.

We meet every Thursday with our small group. We finished up a study series last week, so this week we met to fellowship and share appetizers. My group is aware I’m doing Whole30 because I’ve shared my goals, but I wasn’t expecting anyone to bring a compliant dish. No biggie — Eric and I ate dinner before we went and I brought a fresh fruit salad to snack on with everyone else. While all the appetizers looked delicious, I still had a great time with everyone and was satisfied.


And proud. Each day has gotten a bit easier and better. It’s so funny because before I started I never would have thought I could do it. But now, I can’t imagine going back to fully the way I was before. Experiences change you ❤

28 days is pretty much the same as 30, right?? It would be easy at this point to say it’s just good enough and slide back into all the sugar, gluten, and wine. But I’m determined to make these next two days the BEST two days! Then I’ll start introducing the foods I’ve been without and see how it goes 😉

Thanks for following along so far! Can’t wait to share all my results soon!!


My Whole30 | Week 3

My Whole30 | Week 3

Three weeks of eating this way — so far so good!

I’m going through eggs like crazy! It’s the easiest way for me to get that protein in. I enjoy cooking and having my meals prepared, but sometimes things just don’t go according to plan. Having a go to meal with ingredients you always keep on hand and a frozen option (like my Chile Lime chicken burgers) will keep you sane and on track!

Whole30 isn’t necessarily hard, but it does require a lot of planning and preparation which can be challenging, especially when something happens like a busier than expected day. Set yourself up for success by planning and preparing as much as you possibly can and having a backup option just in case.

Week 3 Aldi Grocery Haul

Week 3 Meals


  • Eggs muffins with mushroom, spinach, and nutritional yeast
  • Rx Bar or fruit in a pinch


  • Chile lime chicken burgers with veggies (as seen in Week 2)
  • Zoodles + turkey meatballs (also seen in Week 2) this marinara sauce from Aldi is my new favorite and a must have around our house
  • My go to salad as seen in Week 1 and Week 2 cause it’s a go to for a reason — so easy and so good! (bed of spinach, mashed sweet potato, scrambled eggs, avocado with fresh lemon juice as dressing and sprinkle of Everything But the Bagel Seasoning)


  • Baked chicken, sweet potato, cauliflower rice with onion (leftovers for week 4, win!)



  • Dried mango slices (make sure to get dried fruit that doesn’t have added sugar)
  • Celery or apple slices with almond butter
  • Hazelnuts

Week 3 Experience

I’m loving Whole30, but I’m also quite ready for it to be over.

I’m feeling good! I’m learning a lot about reading labels and what to look out for (sugar is in everything it seems)! My body composition is improving — I’m feeling stronger from my workouts and look more toned. All really amazing things, but I’m ready to stop being so limited in my foods.

Eric and I were too lazy to cook Sunday night. I was exhausted from not enough sleep and a busy day and I just wasn’t prepared. Chipotle can be compliant as long as you order correctly (lettuce, carnitas, pico, and guacamole), but we didn’t feel it would be worth the money spent. So instead we went to a local restaurant, Bass Lake Draft House. This place has the deliciously tempting cheese fries I love — I felt strong enough to say no. I had their cobb salad without the cheese and a side of sweet potato fries. I forgot to ask for no corn (whoops) so I ate around it.


I’ve discovered different foods I enjoy thanks to Whole30. Sometimes I just want to be able to add some black beans to my Chipotle order or have a piece of sweet cornbread with my salad without worrying too much. I do enjoy eating this way and will probably continue to do so with some modifications depending on how my reintroduction goes. It’s been challenging for me to live in the real world while still staying true to my Whole30. It’s definitely not impossible, but it does require planning ahead, research, and asking questions.

A usual trip to Starbucks used to look like ordering whatever I wanted off the menu. I’m not a big coffee person, so that’s usually something sweet and yummy. Now it looks like doing a little research on Google, asking if the compliant drink is available, finding out it’s not, asking questions about what’s in the alternative, and going with a unsweetened fruity tea. Starbucks isn’t a common part of my life, but it is a convenient place to meet up with friends, so it’s been a small part of my Whole30.

Unsweetened Passion Tango Ice Tea

I think I’m just feeling a bit drained with it all. I do enjoy cooking, but my enthusiasm for meal planning and prepping is dwindling. Eric working at the restaurant most of the time makes it a bit easier in a way because I’m only planning and cooking for myself, but it also makes it a bit harder because I don’t have anyone to share the planning, cooking, and dishes with. It’s okay! I’ve made it this far and I can complete it!

My cravings are minimal and I can tell my tastebuds have started changing too. Your body craves what you feed it, so since mine hasn’t had added sugar in 21 days it doesn’t care for it. That’s a victory because I have a big sweet tooth! It really does feel empowering to feel healthy and in control of my food choices instead of letting my cravings dictate what I reach for to put on my plate.

Week 3 feels like a slump mentally, but I’m proud of myself for committing and getting this far! 9 days to go. I got this, but can definitely use some encouragement. The finish line is in sight — I’m so excited to share all the positive changes!

What are your favorite encouraging words?


An open Valentine to my husband

An open Valentine to my husband

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I share this as an encouragement. Of course, as a big encouragement and “public” display of words of affirmation for my husband. But also as an encouragement to you. No matter what your relationship status is, you are worthy of great love. Share that appreciation and love with the people in your life. Spouse, parent, child, friend, coworker. It’s a day of love and we could all use some more of it ❤ So lets spread it! 

Happy Valentine’s Day, Eric, my love!

I know to you Valentine’s Day is one of those “Hallmark Holidays,” but lets pretend you’re into it. This is our second Valentine’s Day as a married couple and our fifth together. Wow how time flies.

I think back to the year you did the surprise scavenger hunt around the apartment of the reasons you love me. And the many times you gave me flowers and chocolate (basic, but what girl doesn’t love flowers and chocolate!?)

But what’s more special to me though are the everyday moments you show that you love me. Like when you scrape the ice off my car because you know I’m running late. Or when you wake up before me and you try to be as quiet as possible so you don’t wake me up (even after you alarm goes off multiple times… you try ;)). Or when you just let me talk after I’ve had a long or exciting day.

When I met you 13ish years ago, I had no idea you were going to be the man I marry. I always knew you were a good guy, but life always pulled us in different directions. Until my senior year of college when everything changed. We were unsure of it all at first, but a long-time friendship blossomed into a dating relationship and then into a marriage.

We have literally grown up together. We knew each other in our most awkward and uncomfortable middle school stage — we’ve seen it all. I wouldn’t want to be growing with anyone else. We have a firm foundation built on a friendship. One where we cared for, respected, and picked on each other. I guess I should have seen it coming…


We are opposites in so many ways which drives me nuts sometimes! And I don’t do a good job of hiding it. But I need that opposite. Your patience calms my impulse. Your gentle calms my crazy. Your saving calms my spending. We balance each other out and that’s such a blessing. It wouldn’t work if we were both the same. I’m sorry for the times I didn’t appreciate our differences. I will mess up again in the future, but I’m working on it.

We are opposite, but agree on the important things. We both love Jesus and have committed to keep our marriage anchored in Him. We love to travel and experience new places. We love to eat good food and unfortunately we both have a big sweet tooth (although you’re the sweets enabler). We love to make each other laugh. We agree on our big goals and work towards them together.

Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. -Ecclesiastes 4:12

Thank you for loving me even when I’m difficult to love. I know I don’t always make this marriage thing easy, but we are learning everyday how to be better for one another.

Thank you for being my partner in life. I can always count on you to have my back. I will never be alone because we’re in this together. #TeamTorres

Thank you for achieving goals with me. I’m so proud of how we’re setting and achieving goals together. We can accomplish anything we set our minds to — I know that because we chose to do hard things in our first few years of marriage like pay off debt and save an emergency fund to get our finances in a healthy place. We got this!

Thank you for supporting me no matter what. You are always my number 1 fan. You allow me the space to go after my dreams, but you’re never too far to cheer me on or speak the truth. I appreciate how you let me grow.

Thank you for listening to me.You ask about my day and you really listen. When it’s been a hard one you let me vent. When it’s been a great one you let me share all the awesome details. You make me feel heard and loved.

Thank you for being who you are. You are kind, silly, hardworking, loving, passionate, goal-driven, inspiring, intelligent, and strong. You make an amazing husband and I know you will be an amazing father to our children when that time comes. I’m so grateful to your family for raising you into the man you are today and for welcoming me with open arms.

I thank God everyday for allowing me to be your wife.

You are the love of my life. You are my best friend.

I love you. More than yesterday, less than tomorrow.

Our greatest days are ahead!