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Posts tagged “paleo eating

The Whole 30: The End

This week I said adieu to The Whole 30 after four long weeks of clean, healthy eating. While I did a “lite” version of this paleo-inspired program which included some additional vegetables & beans since I was excluding meat, I feel as though I was still able to get a good feel for the program.

Pros:

As with my juice cleanse in 2012, I found that one of the major challenges for me at the beginning of The Whole 30 was to think before eating. That may sound like a simple task, but a lot of snacking & munching throughout the day is habit or boredom or automatic rather than actual hunger.

Since this program excludes certain things I was forced to think about what I put into my body more consciously than I do on a regular basis. And that can’t be anything but good! Really listening to my body and asking the right questions was key – Am I really hungry? What is my body asking for? – I was also forced to plan my meals in advance to ensure I was receiving the necessary nutrients.

MacNCheesePlatedE

{Vegan, gluten-free mac n’ cheese & sautéed garlic vegetables}

Cons:

While I did miss some things {namely sweetener in my morning tea & Diet Coke}, I knew I could survive without them for a month. The real con about this program is that it’s not sustainable. It’s a cleanse and intended to be followed only for a short period of time. Living without alllllll fruits, vegetables, gluten-free grains, beans, and nuts isn’t conceivable if I want to live a full & healthy life.

Physical Benefits:

I already follow a fairly healthy diet, I do most of my own cooking and stay away from synthetic & processed foods, but overall in January I felt even healthier than usual. I woke up easily & was filled with energy, my days were productive and by planning out healthy, protein-rich meals in advance I avoided blood sugar spikes over the course of the day, and – best of all – I slept exceptionally well most nights.

Biggest Benefit:

I spent a great deal of 2012 in the kitchen but I have to admit that I was mostly baking. This month I tried more new recipes than I can remember trying all of last year! I made stew, paella, sautées, stir frys, mac n’ cheese, BBQ Baked Beans, and a couple other tasty new dishes. It was fun to put some real effort into being creative in the kitchen and I really hope to continue with that now that the challenge is over.

Have you ever tried a clean eating program like The Whole 30? What were the worst & best parts?

If you’d like to read about my entire experience with The Whole 30 you can catch up at the following links: The Whole 30: Preparing + Week One, The Whole 30: Week Two, The Whole 30: Week Three & The Whole 30: Week Four.


Links You’ll Love

Fashion:

GalaDarling

My Spring cleaning urges are clearly starting to kick in early this year – Check out Gala Darling’s Blog On, Babe: Get Organized! for some great ideas for organizing your work – Whether you’re a blogger, a writer, or any other creative type.

Did you enjoy my recent organizational tips & recommendations for closet cleaning {Closet Organization}? If so you’ll love these suggestions from Apartment Therapy – Get Sorted: 5 Functional Shoe Organizers.

I’m in an outerwear state of mind these days – Between San Francisco being colder than I can ever remember and a trip to New York City scheduled for two weeks – I’m determined to find the perfect coat. Stylish but warm. Leave it to Olivia Palermo to have all the answers to our statement coat questions – How To Rock: The Coat.

BradGoreski

It’s just about time to start daydreaming thinking about planning your Spring vacation. So why not take some advice from stylist-to-the-stars Brad Goreski – How To Travel In Style.

In the market for a new lipstick? Get the right one with Cupcakes & Cashmere’s Lipstick Guide to help you through the process!

Health & Fitness:

You know that coconut oil is good for you and I’ve shared some tasty ways to get coconut into your diet, but have you tried using it in your beauty routine? Glitter Guide has the scoop in their piece 10 Ways To Add Coconut Oil To Your Beauty. Routine

ChoosingRaw

Whether you’re gluten-intolerant, following a paleo/primal diet, or just interested in eating a healthier diet kelp noodles are a great new food to try out, you should read Choosing Raw’s Kelp Noodle 101: How to Prepare and Serve Kelp Noodles.

I’m always interested in learning how my nutrition affects my health & how my body feels, and clearly I’m not the only one. Check out Purely Twins’s – Day 18  interesting reads about fructose malabsorption & hormonal acne.

Bones

As we grow up we need to pay attention not only to our overall health, but to our bone health at all. You may think that eating a calcium rich diet or taking supplements is all you need to do, but staying educated and aware is what you really need – Best Foods For Your Bones.

If you’re interested in strengthening your thighs than FitSugar has the answers in their Inner Thigh Exercises post – Work it!


The Whole 30: Week Four

In this, the fourth and final full week of The Whole 30 challenge, I started to realize just how great I’m feeling. While this clean eating plan isn’t terribly far off from my usual way of eating, it excludes the few synthetic, processed & sweet things that I usually consume. Mostly Diet Coke on weekends, Stevia in my morning green tea, the baked goods that I prepare a few times a month, and the red wine or whiskey I indulge in every once in a while.

And I’m not sure if it’s excluding these things that’s making me feel so much better or just the consistency of my diet lately, but I have been feeling great.

Snacks:

Same old, same old. Fresh veggies, smoothies, and sweet potatoes.

Part of the consistency that I mentioned above is a major reduction in my overall snacking – By consciously filling my meals with substantial amounts of fiber & protein I’m staying full and satiated for longer which means less snacking.

Meals:

My favorite new dish this week was one that I made for brunch last weekend – OhSheGlow’s Maple Baked Lentils w/ Sweet Potatoes. I made a few Whole 30-approved changed and the end result was absolutely delicious. Savory and filling with a hint of sweetness. I was thrilled that I’d made enough for brunch as well as a few mid-week meals for myself.

BakedLentils

Thoughts So Far:

While many things about this way of eating seem like smart ideas that should be extended beyond the 30 days – Such as reduced consumption of alcohol, processed foods, synthetics ingredients – I don’t believe that this is a sustainable all-the-time diet. I’m hoping to continue on when it comes to certain aspects, but such an austere eating plan just plain isn’t fun when it comes to eating out or social events.

How I Feel:

As I said above this cleanse is having quite beneficial results for me. I’m sleeping really well, but more than that, I’m even – Emotionally and physically – Through out the day. Part of that is that I’m not going from starving to overly full because I’m planning my meals out in advance, and part of it is that my blood sugar is stable throughout the day so that there are no highs & lows.

Even = GOOD! 🙂

If you want to catch up on the previous installments of this series here they are: The Whole 30: Preparing + Week One, The Whole 30: Week Two & The Whole 30: Week Three.

Follow my daily struggles, thoughts, recipes I’m trying out & the fun I’m having with the Whole 30 on these platforms:


The Whole 30: Week Three

Here we are at Week Three of The Whole 30 Challenge, which could also be called “I can almost taste the coconut squares.” Yes, I’m already planning my first “non-Whole 30” treat. Judge away.

Snacks:

There was some serious sweet potato-age this week! I barely touched them the first two weeks but this week, in addition to craving them, I was also reading about the positive health benefits of potatoes in Kathleen DesMaisons’s Potatoes Not Prozac {book report to come!}. So this week I ended up eating baked potatoes as snacks and even adding chunks of them to my mornings smoothies.

Yum!

Meals:

A friend came over for dinner Tuesday and I was excited to finally try a recipe that I had printed out the week before – Carrie On Vegan’s BBQ Baked Beans. They turned out great as the entree for our little dinner party with sauteed green beans & asparagus and curried cauliflower on the side.

PlatedI

I’m loving cauliflower right now so if you’re like me and just can’t get enough you should check out Holly Would If She Could’s 5 Things To Do With: CAULIFLOWER and get some new inspiration!

Thoughts So Far:

I had the strangest cravings this week! If someone mentioned a food or if I read about a meal or saw food on TV it as immediately the only thing I could think about. Which is especially odd since I don’t even eat most of those things in the first place. My subconscious clearly just doesn’t like being told “no!”

How I Feel:

Fantastic! I’m sleeping really well, I’m waking up easily and without caffeine, I have energy and concentration throughout the day, and I feel really satiated after my meals. And that smugness Holly promised is really starting to kick in… 🙂

Follow my daily struggles, recipes I’m trying out & the fun I’m having with the Whole 30 on these platforms:


The Whole 30: Week Two

Welcome to Week Two of my experience with The Whole 30 – You can read about Week One here.

The main difference for this second week – and the first full week – was the addition of a weekend. During a standard week I have routines and I plan everything out in advance, however I tend to approach my weekends with a much more lackadaisical attitude. There are more social engagements, meals at restaurants, traveling & events, and during the weekends I’m not as regimented with food & fitness. I like to bake, I drink wine, I allow myself treats at the Farmers Market…

Snacks:

Adammame beans, roasted beet chips, baby carrots, and vegetable based smoothies were all on the docket this week. I’m not embarrassed to admit that I was pretty thrilled when I came across the container of ready-to-eat edammame at a health food store in Sacramento.

Meals:

I was still working through my batch of crockpot cauliflower & sweet potato stew this week and I supplemented my meals with coconut oil roasted brussels sprouts, cauliflower & zucchini. The other main dish that I made for this week was a delicious Quinoa Vegetable Paella – I substituted lentils for the quinoa – Feeling really proud of myself – And emphasized the veggies I had on hand.

PaellaPan

You know I really enjoy a dish when there isn’t a single picture of it plated – I enjoyed it too much to slow down long enough to take a picture of it!

Thoughts So Far:

I cannot stress enough how important it is to plan ahead and cart snacks/meals around with you – Whether it’s going to the office or traveling over the weekends. During this full week it became apparent how important it was for me to bring healthy, satisfying alternatives into the office for midday consumption – Otherwise I binged on the readily available nuts when the snacking urge hit me.

How I felt:

Despite having similar meals each day how much I ate and how often varied from day-to-day. I was surprised to find that some days I was starving in the mornings, while on others I barely ate until the afternoon. This eating plan is alllll about listening to your body & giving it what it needs!

Follow my daily struggles, recipes I’m trying out & the fun I’m having with the Whole 30 on these platforms:


Whole 30: Preparing + Week One

January 1st marked day one of my adventure with Whole 30 – Inspired by my friend Holly of Holly Would If She Could {check out A December To Remember + A Whole 30 Level Set & January Whole 30? LET’S DO THIS for background on this challenge}.

And while calling three days “week one” might seem presumptuous I must confess that I’m a firm believer in playing up any successes or positive changes towards a healthier life style. Whether it’s a week or a day – you’ve made better choices & improved your health – so celebrate it!

My decision to participate in this challenge isn’t about weight loss but about eating a cleaner diet – Something I wasn’t strict about over the course of the last few months. While I truly believe that you should enjoy food & bubbles with your family and friends during the holidays, I must say that I’m feeling a bit sluggish as January begins.

It’s also a great chance to find some delicious new recipes to add to my repertoire and to meet other like-minded folks who put a lot of time and effort into sustaining a healthy lifestyle. So here are some of my munchies for the last three days and how they’re making me feel.

Snacks:

Raw carrots, celery & sugar snap peas and tempeh jerky {roasted slices of tempeh w/ spices}

CracklinCauliflower

Meals:

I made two main dishes on Monday and ate them throughout the week, a plan which worked out perfectly because it ended up being a busy couple of days. I made a variation of my favorite crockpot stew from Carrie On Vegan – The Dependable Slow Cooker & Cauliflower Indian Stew and this seriously delicious Cracklin’ Cauliflower recipe from Peas And Thank You.

Stew

Thoughts So Far:

Preparation is KEY. These first few days were all about changing habits and reminding myself to think about my food choices before they went into my mouth. And that is much easier when you have the “right” foods already set up and waiting. When you’re starving, running around trying to find a Whole 30 approved meal isn’t the most fun experience. Not that I would know. 🙂

Preparation

How I Feel:

Outside of the holiday season I already eat a fairly clean diet – No gluten, no dairy, and little to no processed foods – So I wasn’t expecting a huge change in how I felt. I was pleasantly surprised however to find that I started sleeping more soundly, no middle of the night wake-ups was a nice change!

Have you ever tried a clean eating program like this one? What results did you have?

Stay tuned for Week Two!


Shenanigans

As I’m sure you’ve already picked up, I’m a big fan of Fall in general and Halloween in particular {Fall Fabulousness, All Hallow’s Eve & October Round-Up}. This year I was lucky enough to attend two fabulous Halloween parties in Sacramento as well as act as American River CrossFit’s team photograph for CrossFit West Sac’s charity Breast Cancer competition.

This year I was excited to dress up twice, the first time as Wendy from Peter Pan in a vintage yellow nightgown and the second time as The Black Dahlia in a fabulous little black dress that my friend made.

But don’t worry, I’m not the only one who dressed up for Halloween this year. Bones dressed up as a CHICKEN! Again. Clearly it’s his favorite costume, doesn’t he look enthusiastic?

{Mammograms In Action – Barbells For Boobs}

And the day before Halloween I watched the exciting Barbells For Boobs charity CrossFit competition which included every shade of pink known to man and even Jessica Rabbit in a stunning red gown.

How was your Halloween? What did you dress up as? What was the best costume that you saw?


Links You’ll Love

Fashion:

Whether you’re a student heading back to school or not, you can take inspiration from the back-to-school trends and pick out some great new glasses for Fall – 7 Geek-Chic Specs That Will Put You Ahead of the Curve.

Need some hippie in your life? Check out these fabulous and stylish ways to style this perfect boho chic piece for Fall 2012 – Street Style: Dsquared2 Gilet Vest.

Getting ready to give up your Summer duds for new Fall 2012 pieces? See what Style.com has to say about what you’ll be living in this Fall and Winter – Fall 2012 Shopping Guide.

04_326_20120725_Refinery20_SeanAvery_Mindy_Best

This is a really great editorial with some fabulous pictures, showing you boys that you should step it up like hockey player Sean Avery on the fashion and design front – Refinery 29’s Inside Sean Avery’s Slick Soho Loft (And Super-Luxe Wardrobe).

If you’ve been a fan of Garance Dore as long as I have, you were thrilled to hear about her exciting collaboration with Kate Spade. Finally the details are out and Racked has the goods – Garance Dore Gets Sketchy for Kate Spade.

Health & Fitness:

Get inspired by plus-sized model & healthy body image advocate Danika Brysha’s MONDivation – Beating the Odds.

Sometimes there are allergens that will affect your body even when you’re following a healthy lifestyle – Health-Food Ingredients You Might Want to Skip.

Interested in tightening up specific parts of your body with your workouts? Check out Shape Magazine’s Top 10 NEW Exercises for Thighs or Prevention’s Arm Exercises: 3 At-Home Workouts to Tone Arms for some inspiration.

If you’re interested in your personal health you’ve  probably heard the phrase “healthy fats” but if you’re still interested in learning more or in getting some additional background on why these are necessary this is the article for you: Healthy Fat – Why You Need To Eat It!

Both my parents and my brother have recently transitioned to a primarily paleo diet and needed some tips on how to get started and what they needed to stock their pantry and fridge with – 10 Healthy Items On The Paleo Diet Shopping List.


Guest Post: The Paleo Lifestyle

I’m a strong believer that each body has different needs and requirements. From allergies and intolerances, to dietary preferences, to work and sleep habits. Both our lives and our bodies dictate how we should fuel ourselves, and listening to your body is something that you need to learn to do. And that’s why I believe in trying different diets. Not diets as in crash diets – diets as in lifestyle changes that allow you to experience different ways of eating, that give you the opportunity to discover the best and healthiest lifestyle for yourself.

Personally I’ve tried a number of different diets and excluded various foods over the years, from high raw to mostly vegan to gluten-free. I want to feel my best every day – I want to sleep well, wake up rested & not need caffeine to open my eyes, have energy throughout the day, not suffer from headaches, and be alert & able to concentrate. And believe me when I say that it can be a long journey of trial and error to determine what foods will give you all of that.

Today I’m here to introduce Kyle Lawlor, one of the co-authors of the Tumblr blog Eat. Drink. Paleo – Two foodies who fell in love and are now transitioning to a Paleo lifestyle. If you look up “Paleo Diet” in wikipedia or check out the Paleo Diet website you can get a full list of do’s and don’ts, what you can  and can’t eat, and why the Paleo supporters think that their lifestyle is the best choice out there. But what those websites won’t/can’t/don’t tell you is how this lifestyle will make you feel, how hard the transition is, what the noticeable benefits and downsides are, and how you will feel on a daily basis.

But Kyle can.

This is his story of discovering Paleo eating, making the transition, joining CrossFit, and how those choices have affected his daily life and outlook:

My journey to a healthy paleo lifestyle has taken far longer than I wish it would. I look back and kick myself for not doing this sooner but as is constant with me, I have to do everything in my own time or I will never stick to anything. I came across the Paleo Lifestyle when I joined American River CrossFit in July 2011. At the time I weighed 280lbs and I still (unfortunately) stand only 5’8 ½”. I was out of shape. I was constantly out of breath from even the simplest of tasks. I didn’t sleep well. I snored like a band saw. And worst of all, I looked terrible! When I started at CrossFit it was terrible. My body hadn’t felt so sore since JV Spring Training for football. My quads hurt, my back was tight, and my shoulders felt like they would drop off at any moment. The funny thing is that at first, a lot of what I was doing in CrossFit was just moving myself. My first month involved very little weight training, except for my own 280lbs. But I stuck with it and kept going. Soon I started seeing improvements. My clothes began fitting better and the pain I felt after workouts transitioned into soreness. The only problem was that my gut didn’t go anywhere and the scale hadn’t changed much. The reason was a simple one, one that I never really shared with neither my trainers at the Box nor my girlfriend, Rochelle. Every night after attending the 6pm class at ARCFIT and working my ass off I would stop at Wendy’s or Taco Bell on my way home and demolish a couple bucks worth of fake food before pulling into my drive way. THEN I would go inside and eat the dinner Rochelle would have prepared for us. To understand why I did this we need to take a quick trip down memory lane.

Fast forward to February 2012! I read The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf and it changes my life. I had been living a 20% Paleo lifestyle at best while trying to work my ass off at CrossFit. Unfortunately, as we are fond of saying at ARCFIT “you can’t out train a shit diet”. It is so incredibly true! Somehow I expected that if I worked out an hour a day twice a week that gave me permission to eat whatever the hell I wanted. February was a great month for me because it was the start of a lot of life changes for me. The first was the 30 day Paleo challenge Rochelle and I began. We cut out all the grain, all the dairy, all the sugar and all the legumes. And at first it was awesome! NOT! It sucked! But, after the first week and a half all the cravings were gone. Then the amazing things started happening. I began feeling better. I was sleeping the whole night through with much less snoring then before (much to Rochelle’s delight), my pants started literally falling off of me because they were too big, and not to get gross but my bowel movements were noticeably healthier and less frequent than I was accustomed. All in all, my body was beginning to heal the wrongs I had done to it for 24 years.

What I have come to realize over the last year, specifically in the last 4 months, is that through taking care of myself I have become a happier person. 6 months ago, someone who knew me well might consider me a good friend but hateful of just about everyone else on the planet, and that’s putting it mildly. To be plain, I had been unhappy with my life for the past few years, and despite being moderately intelligent I could not see that the problem was staring back at me every time I went to McDonald’s for breakfast, Jack in the Box for lunch and perhaps Taco Bell for dinner. These foods had a hold on me. If I’m honest, I’d say they still do. While I rarely, if ever, crave some kind of fake burger from a fast food joint, I know that if I succumb to weakness at any time and have one I will be hooked once again.

When Rochelle and I began the 30 day Challenge in February, I didn’t think it would stick. I figured I would find someway of returning to old habits. However, since we decided to eat only the foods listed in the 30 Day sample menus I was stuck. I would actually have to follow the rules on this one and see where I could go.

My life is much different now. I do my best to go to the gym 5 days a week and I don’t drink as often or as much as I used to. I wake up at 6:30am, which is early when you consider the fact that I don’t have to be at work until 10am every day. I look at the WOD (Workout Of the Day in CrossFit speak), weigh myself, prepare myself to leave the house and head to the gym for the 7am class. When I get to the gym I feel like hell. My body and mind haven’t quite adjusted to being upright yet, there’s usually loud music on and in a couple of minutes someone I consider a friend is going to tell me to go run around the building, row 1000 meters, do pushups, or wall balls, or air squats, double-unders, burpees, and what the hell go run around the building again. At that point I’m warmed up. My morning headache is gone, my back has loosened up, and my hips are just about opened to where I need them to be in order to do whatever is planned for the day. Depending on the program I’m on there will be skill work before the WOD (ie pull ups or muscle ups) or weight lifting and then the WOD. I do my best on skill work and WODs, sometimes do a second WOD, foam roll, then drive home. The maximum amount of time I am ever at the gym is 2 hours, and those are days when I’m bored and Rochelle hasn’t given me a honey do list while I’m off on a weekday.

Time for some real honesty. Life happens, accept you may eat off diet and adjust accordingly (ie work your ass off the rest of the week) Sometimes you’re at your mom’s place and she’s making spaghetti and meatballs. You clean the plate and ask for seconds. Also, sometimes you’re in a hurry and forget your lunch. Does that mean you get to hit up McDonald’s for a Big Mac? NO! Think smarter. Is there a Thai restaurant near your work? If so, do what Rochelle does when she forgets lunch, call them up, order a red curry with beef, no rice, go back to your desk and eat something delicious and most likely entirely paleo. No Thai place? Craving fake Mexican food? Chipotle. I know, it is all that is wrong with this country but sometimes you want to eat fake Mexican food. A burrito bowl with no rice and beans will do the trick. Smile and ask politely for the person behind the counter to hook you up on peppers and onions. You like real Mexican food? Fine, hit up that taqueria by your work and grab a half pound of carnitas with a side of guac. No, you don’t need to order the rice, beans or tortillas! And finally, what about a good old American hamburger? All I can say God bless In N Out and Habit burger for lettuce wrapping their burgers, they can be a life saver! Have I done all these things? Yep! Am I proud of it? Not really, but I’m still going to eat and live my life. The difference is now when I eat things that are absolutely terrible for me, my mentality is different. Gone are the days when pasta made me think wistful thoughts of Rome. Now all I can think about is how much I just poisoned my body and how soon I can get it out of me. Funny how much things can change in 4 months.

 

My girlfriend and I constantly talk about how different my life has become in the last 4 months, none of it negative, and the one thing we always point out is that it started with my nutrition. When I got serious my life got better. Now I don’t usually like to look to the divine in such moments, but the timing sure is coincidental.

Please note that this is a shortened version of Kyle’s article, you can see the unabridged version here which includes great recipes and more details about Paleo eating.

Please note that neither Kyle nor I are a doctor, dietitian, or nutritionist. I recommend speaking with a professional prior to making any dramatic changes to your lifestyle, diet, or exercise regime to ensure that any changes you make are done safely.


Health & Your Relationship

When I read Rachel Wilkerson’s How CrossFit Has Helped My Relationship it got me thinking.

A lot.

Rachel said that by encouraging her boyfriend to take up a healthy hobby – in this instance CrossFit – their relationship ultimately benefited despite the fact that in the end it actually meant less alone time. I have no trouble at all believing this. In my experience, if there’s a substantial disconnect between how much two people value health & nutrition in their lives it can potentially lead to problems down the road.

I don’t believe that you need have all the same views, do the same workouts, or approach food the same way. But if only one person takes their health seriously and devotes time, energy, and effort to maintaining said health, the other individual may become resentful, jealous, threatened etc. Or things can go the other way around and as one person becomes healthier and more fit they begin to pity, worry about, and/or neglect their partner.

Take a look at this piece by the Primal Parent entitled When Good Health Destroys a Marriage. It’s written from the perspective of a woman who changed her diet and was feeling her best, while her husband was… Not. Ultimately their marriage couldn’t survive because she has a strong, well-tested belief in the importance of good health & nutrition, and refused to settle for someone who couldn’t – or wouldn’t – put forth the effort to investigate improving his own health.

Kyle

{Kyle & Rochelle – The authors of Eat Drink Paleo}

If you can find someone who shares your views, that’s fantastic – like my friend Kyle & his lady-love who write the oh-so-entertaining Eat. Drink. Paleo – Two foodies who fell in love and are now transitioning to a paleo lifestyle. But at a minimum you need to show an interest in the other’s routines and goals, and be able to talk about and share your successes and failures.

Take my relationship for example, on the surface my boyfriend and I have virtually opposite views on all facets of fitness and nutrition:

  • He eats an incredibly regimented high protein, low carb diet composed primarily of chicken, eggs, and vegetables which he tracks on a daily basis. I eat a mostly vegan, gluten-free, high raw diet.
  • He does intermittent fasting – meaning that he doesn’t eat until early afternoon & only eats three meals a day. While I eat at least every two hours after my 4am wakeup time.
  • He follows a lifting schedule & does CrossFit-style workouts that leave him wheezing, covered in bruises, scrapes, and rope burns, and stress his nervous system for days. I run, do circuit workouts & go to Pilates, martial arts & boxing classes.
  • His ultimate goal with his work outs and eating regime is to retain & increase strength while dropping body fat. I’m only interested in being healthy and not having daily back pain.

Pretty different, right? But the truth is that those are fairly superficial differences – underneath it all we’re both incredibly passionate about health and fitness, and that’s what really matters.

We love going for walks & hikes, cooking, eating, going to the farmer’s market, and planning our meals and workouts for the week, and most of all, we love debating our positions on these topics. If you looked through our emails, Facebook messages, Tweets, and text logs you’d find photos of our meals, new recipes to try, books to add to our Amazon basket, articles to read, great blogs we’ve found, documentaries & movies to add to our Netflix queue, and questions about what we’ve eaten, what workouts we’ve done, and how far we’ve walked that day.

Every day.

{Hers vs His}

It doesn’t matter that we’re not spending our days doing the same things, what matters is that we both approach our lives with a profound respect for our bodies, what we put them through, and how we fuel them. Yes, we debate topics like veganism versus paleo eating, different types of fat, which oils to use in cooking, fasting, detox programs & cleanses, and strength training. Yes, sometimes I question his sanity when he comes home with his hands shredded from doing hundreds of pull-ups or muscle-ups or toes-to-bars. But mostly, we just talk about it.

Our shared passion for health and nutrition was not what brought us together 12 years ago, nor is it what has kept up together, but it does give us something to talk about and share every single day. And because it’s important to us both, we appreciate the other’s routines and ambitions, even though they’re different.

Like Rachel said:

One more lovely side effect of the fitness revival: Eric and I are back to bonding through nerdy, fitness-related conversations. (We’re also bonding over our sore muscles.) I’m really enjoying little things like talking about our workouts and progress, discussing an article about diet or exercise, trying new healthy foods together, or going shoe shopping for new athletic shoes.

You don’t need to be 100% in sync with your partner, you just need to be with someone who has the same appreciation and respect for health and fitness as you do. Added bonus if it becomes something that you can share and bond over!