Month: June 2015

The DL on the TR

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Where DL means down low and TR means Training Room.

As a collegiate athlete, I have naturally spent hours upon hours in my school’s Athletic Training Room. You could even say it’s sometimes my home away from home (apartment) away from home (permanent home away from school). It’s hard to explain the training room to non-athletes and people who don’t fully understand college athletics but I’ll try my best to clue you all in as to what goes on in here.

I guess for starters, the real question is what doesn’t go on in here? I have experienced literally all emotions in the TR since being at school these past two years. There was originally a love-hate relationship between me and the TR; this then turned into an aggressive hate relationship, and now I’m happy to report that we are on good terms again. The TR is the home to the ice machine, ice baths, hot whirlpool, stretching tables, rehab modalities, rehab equipment, extensive bandaid/bandage cabinet, taping table and the wonderful athletic trainers. 🙂

Here is a brief breakdown of my four semesters as seen through the TR:

Freshman Fall: I only had to come in to get water before practice everyday (a freshman duty), get my baseline concussion test done before the start of preseason, and meet the team physician and get cleared to play before preseason began. This was all.

IMG_5882Freshman Spring: Forced beyond my will (which I later learned was for my own good) to come into the TR at least two times per day. I was diagnosed with CECS and had to meet the team physician every Wednesday afternoon to discuss my current situation and what I should try to do in the upcoming week. I also had to ice bath my shins to reduce the swelling and get my anterior tibialis muscles massaged with something similar to Graston tools to try to release the fascia (tissue directly covering the muscle). During this semester, I also sprained my ankle, requiring me to complete ankle strengthening exercises once a day, daily and have “stim”, basically electric currents, on my ankle to help build back my strength and reduce swelling. Since my freshman year spring, I have gotten my ankles taped to help stabilize it and reduce the workload off of my shin compartments which usually have to work hard to control my ankle movements.

In the picture, my ankle is wrapped in the “Game Ready”, which pumps cold water in and around a wrap and simultaneously my foot is elevated, both done to aid in the reduction of the swelling. This was completed until my ankle returned to its original range of motion and strength.

 Sophomore Fall: Actually for once in my life, I was good! …… Until receiving a concussion in September, taking me out of class for two weeks and out of field hockey for the rest of our season. NOT FUN. But, those times have passed and I am stronger because of it! Having a concussion required me to get driven to the TR by one of my coaches or teammates, until I was off of bedrest and physically and mentally cleared to walk there myself. In the TR I would have to complete a SCAT test (a paper concussion test) which documented my symptoms, long-term and short-term memory, coordination, balance, and cognitive skills until I was fully recovered. Also during my recovery I had to get into “the noose of shame”, or a traction device to help the muscles in my neck until I was able to regularly visit the team chiropractor. On days with unusually painful headaches, one of the athletic trainers would give me a pressure point massage to try to shrink the muscular knots in my neck at the base of my head. I also had to see our team physician EVERY Wednesday so he could witness any progressions and suggest things to alter to best try to heal my brain and post concussive symptoms.

** NOTE: This was when I hated everything involving the TR. I don’t blame myself though because who wouldn’t hate the place where they have to sit in the noose of shame, take (and fail) never-ending SCAT tests, and have the trainers massage my knots which at first worsened the pain, but eventually (and fortunately) they dissolved all of the knots (….. until finals week; where the tension knots became infinitely worse).

In the pictures below, I documented my first day back at class (and I tried to look the least confused as possible – although as you can see, I still looked very concussed/confused), at the imaging services center in the Williamsburg Regional Hospital, when I got scans of my brain completed, and the last two pictures help better show the dreadful “noose of shame”. You’re literally sitting in the corner of the TR and staring straight ahead at a door while you’re hooked up to this contraction and anytime you move your face, head or neck it tightens; I believe the name is extremely fitting.

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Sophomore Spring: More compartment syndrome problems due to overtraining in our off-season. It definitely wasn’t even comparably bad compared to the pain I endured a year ago during my Freshmen Spring season. It was more emotionally draining that I was having physical problems again and I came to the realization that this is just something I am going to have to toughen out and live with.

In the pictures below, I’m sitting in a cold whirlpool/ice bath with one of my teammates, and the other two pictures were snapchat screenshots from another one of my teammates. In the “0 MPH” picture, you can see the STIM pads on her legs, along with ice bags, and in the other picture, both legs are getting ultrasound treatment.

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Sophomore Summer: I visited the wonderful TR every day during the week for knee rehab (PFPS), ankle strengthening and hip strengthening exercises which both help alleviate the pain caused by the CECS. YAY! I have learned to not hate the single place on campus which has helped keep me both alive and functioning despite multiple injuries and problems. Our team athletic trainer is so awesome (and the other ones are pretty great too) and after two extremely long years I learned that they are all here to help make us, athletes, better and back out on the field, court, pool, gym, etc.

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The pictures above are all from this summer; I have to heat my shins with a hot pack, to loosen the muscles before I begin my rehab exercises, I get my ankles taped to help with stability and prevent my shin muscles from over-working and becoming unnecessarily swollen, for a short period of time this summer, my athletic trainer tried “combo” which is just a combination of both ultrasound treatment and stim treatment coming from the ultrasound head simultaneously, and the final picture just shows me ice-cupping my knees after completing my rehab exercises and to reduce the swelling.

I can almost guarantee that there will be more posts in the future (especially during the school year) referencing the TR – but I SWEAR I will only say positive things about my experiences here. I have a not-so-great track record with my team athletic trainer regarding the negativity I associated with the TR and how poorly I talked about it to my teammates. If you ever read this, please know that I am extremely grateful for everything you do to help me and that the TR isn’t actually so bad afterall <3.

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Canaan Smith and Cape Cod

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IMG_4158On Monday night, country artist Canaan Smith came to my school and gave a free concert to anyone wanting to attend. Although it was a Monday night in Williamsburg, VA, there was a very impressive turnout. I was very excited about seeing my friends at the concert and being able to kick back, relax and enjoy some nice country music outside. One of my IMG_4134roommates came down for the day and night and we enjoyed some always delicious Cheese Shop on DOG Street in CW before walking over to the campus amphitheater on Lake Mataoka. It was a beautiful night and we all had so much fun! We learned later on in the night that Canaan was originally from Williamsburg, so this concert was like a little homecoming for him and his hometown fans. Even though we all only knew one song (“Love You Like That”) we still happily jammed out the entire time and enjoyed great company and awesome weather. Also p.s., Canaan’s newest album, “Bronco” – dedicated to his brother, was just released yesterday!

(In the pictures, I’m wearing the high-necked, black tank top with the long necklaces and fun, new, Reef sneakers)

IMG_4137 I can also now officially write that I will fortunately be able to join the rest of the Slattery fam at our cousins’ new Cape house next week! I have worked extremely diligently these past four weeks during my summer semester and will be able to be exempt from taking the final exam. Because I won’t need to be in class for the final exam nor the review day, I’m able to depart Williamsburg this Monday and get shipped up to relax for a week in New England with my sisters, cousins, parents and aunt and uncle. It’s going to be so enjoyable to be able to finally relax and not worry about anything! Until then, I have to pack, study for my fourth and final unit exam on Monday morning and see all of my friends one final time before returning back to Maryland for the remainder of the summer.

Stay tuned for some final Williamsburg posts and upcoming New England posts! 🙂

More Healthy Eating and Camp Update

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First off: I’m extremely sorry for not posting since last Thursday!!! I was unexpectedly, constantly busy during camp this past weekend and have had laptop problems on top of that. Anyone that is good with techie stuff: I have a Dell Inspiron and anytime I plug it in, my laptop says “plugged in, not charging” I haven’t done much research on it, but I’m sure other people have also experienced similar problems.

So the correct chronological order of events described in this post: 1) Prepared and consumed delicious and healthy food with my friend 2) Made beer bread which I took to camp to share with my friends, 3) Worked at camp on Friday through Sunday.

1) Beans and Greens

It is exactly what it sounds like; beans and greens (along with bread, goat cheese, garlic and tomatoes), but nonetheless, it is still absolutely delicious. What to buy at the store: french bread, goat cheese, a bulb of garlic, a can of diced tomatoes, a can of beans and a bag of spinach. Depending on where you shop, you can get all of this for under ten dollars and make three or four meals out of all of it. Definitely a GREAT bang for your buck. Along with being cost-effective, it takes under ten minutes to prepare! Here’s what you have to do…

Cut up a clove of garlic into small pieces and put in a frying pan with olive oil. Put the pan on heat and once the pan is hot, add the can of beans, the can of diced tomatoes and continue to stir. Meanwhile, put the french bread slices in the oven on broil until the bread begins to look toasted. As the bread is heating up, add the spinach to the beans and tomatoes and put a cover on everything to let the spinach steam. It should all finish around the same time. To eat, shmear the goat cheese on the slices of bread and spoon the “beans and greens” mixture onto the bread and eat like bruschetta. It’s a great source of carbohydrate (bread, spinach), protein (beans), vegetables (spinach and tomatoes), and dairy (goat cheese).

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2) Beer Bread

I made a loaf of beer bread to both satisfy my craving for bread and to also save as a snack to share with my teammates during our downtime at camp. There’s more complicated ways to bake beer bread, however I opted to use a Tastefully Simple mix and added beer (you could also choose to add a soda if you wanted to too). It turned out delicious and was a big hit for both my bread-loving self and all of my hungry friends in between coaching sessions throughout our days over the weekend!

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3) Field Hockey Camp

For those of you who have never participated in a summer sports camp, in an extremely brief summary, it is A LOT of activity jam-packed into two to four very long days. From Friday morning until Sunday afternoon, it was non-stop field hockey, but don’t get me wrong, it was completely fun! I got to coach middle schoolers and high school field hockey players, and I love coaching, and hang out with my college teammates, and of course play field hockey! The days begin around 6:30am and end around 11pm everyday so my ability to blog was compromised by my want for more sleep. There’s not much else I really need to explain, other than it was so great to hang out with my teammates and be able to share my love of field hockey with high schoolers while also sneaking into a few of the drills with them.

Quote: “Celebrate Every Tiny Victory”

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Just a happy Thursday night quote! I know for a fact that I need to follow this quote more frequently. I’m very critical of myself in everything that I do, and I know I need to stop after completing a task successfully and celebrate all of my efforts. 🙂 It’s definitely something that I’ve improved on recently! (And I’m celebrating my improvements!)

My college’s field hockey camp for middle schoolers and high schoolers starts tomorrow morning and goes through Sunday afternoon. I’m really excited to be reunited again with all of my teammates and to be surrounded by them these next few days and being able to play and teach the sport that we all love so much!

More updates on camp to follow this weekend, be sure to follow me on Instagram for more frequent picture updates!

Six Easy Steps to Giving Blood!

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Today I gave a pint of my blood to possibly help save three lives! It’s a great feeling and I highly recommend for everyone (as long as you’re eligible – check the Red Cross website for more specifics) to also give blood at least once in their lives. I love giving back (I’m one of only two student members on my school’s Annual Giving Board, I’m involved in other student organizations on campus which are focused on philanthropy, and outside of school I love coaching youth sports leagues, helping out at various different functions managed by my church – think food drives, homeless shelters, tutoring elementary school students and middle school students who are less privileged, and preparing meals to send to lower-income families. In general, I just love helping other people; and as you are all aware, donating blood also falls perfectly into this category of giving back and helping others.

In high school, this concept of giving blood became a reality when once a semester the American Red Cross would hold a blood drive, which students could get out of class to donate blood. I always envied the kids who would walk the hallways in between classes with the red wrap around their elbow, not because they got to skip a portion of a class, but because they were able to easily make a difference. In case you are unaware, the Red Cross has set specific guidelines on who can and cannot donate blood. The guidelines that held me back in high school from joining a majority of my peers, were you had to be at least sixteen years old (and needed a parent to sign the consent form until you turned seventeen), and you had to weigh over 115 pounds. According to the Red Cross website, you just have to weigh 110 pounds, however my school increased the weight restriction to avoid too many students (most who don’t eat a substantial breakfast) from passing out in the auditorium. Although 115 pounds doesn’t seem like a lot, I was always pretty thin, as you can recall from the pictures in one of my previous posts of me playing field hockey in high school.

After graduating from high school, and becoming ineligible to participate in the high school-run drive, the blood drives in my geographic region were never at a convenient time with my busy athletic schedule. It’s not recommended to donate blood the same day you complete a strenuous or physically challenging workout, practice or competition. This is because you donate a pint of blood, which is about 1/10th of all of your body’s blood and it takes roughly 12 hours to be physically okay to participate in a high-level workout. It’s even more challenging playing a sport in college because essentially you are competing or at least training year-round. My first donation was in January this year with my mom at a local church. It’s not bad at all, it’s super quick and you feel so awesome afterwards knowing that your blood can either directly save someone’s life or at least be used as research to help save countless lives in the future. My second blood donation was this morning; I documented my experience so I can share it with you all today!

Now that I’ve bored you all enough…. Onto the exciting part: P.S. (I don’t think that) The pictures aren’t gross or gory at all, however if blood or needles make you uncomfortable, this is your warning

IMG_4044Step 1: Hydrate. Make sure to drink plenty of water before you arrive to avoid feeling faint during the donation. This is me drinking from my school spirit Tervis tumbler (throwback to my goldfish Tervis… anyone remember it from the smoothie post?!)IMG_4048

Step 2: Arrive at your donation center. You can always make an appointment beforehand online or using the new Red Cross app, but if you’re having difficulty, there will always be signs to help you figure out exactly where to go.

IMG_4054Step 3: Sign in, wait in the little lobby of chairs that they have set up, and go back with a volunteer when they are ready for you. When they call you back, they’ll ask you basic questions about your height, weight, birthday, address, name and then health-related questions which you can find all of them on the Red Cross website. They will also take your pulse, your blood pressure, and prick your finger to quickly test your blood to double check that it is safe and healthy enough to be donated and for other people to use.

Step 4: They’ll lead you out of the private little cubicle you were previously in for Step 3 and onto one of the comfy black donation chairs. Once you’re here you can just literally sit back and relax while they just do their thing. In the pictures below, my arm is relaxed on the side arm-holder, my new friend Carl is prepping the blood bags for my donation, they gave me a stress ball to squeeze so they could mark the location of where to poke the needle into, and then they cleaned the inside of arm using iodine swabs.

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IMG_1585Step 5: They take the blood! It doesn’t hurt and you don’t have to watch the needle go in your arm if you don’t want to. Here’s a snapchat of the first time I gave blood (don’t worry the needle is covered by a gauze pad). It’s taken me around six to eight minutes to collect a full pint of blood these past two times. I just squeeze the roll of paper towels or the stress ball every few seconds to help pump the blood out of your arm faster. After the pint bag is filled up, the Red Cross volunteers close off the tube and the pint bag and use the remainder of the blood in the small tube to fill up test tube looking containers. Then they put a gauze pad and a bandaid on the needle site and wrapped my arm with the red stretchy tape. You can also ask for water or juice to drink while you donate and can read a book, listen to music, or talk to the volunteers. It goes by so fast!IMG_4071

Step 6: After the actual donation is finished, they will make you wait around and sit and eat and drink something. I was on a Whole30 the first time I gave blood, so I couldn’t eat any of the snacks that they had, but I did drink a bottle of water. They usually have cranberry juice, apple juice, water, Famous Amos cookies, pretzels and sometimes sandwiches, other chips and other juices.

My future goals are donating double red blood cells (you have to weigh 150 pounds to do so, so unfortunately I don’t weigh enough right now) and also to donate a cumulative of one gallon of blood (eight total donations) – I’m a quarter of my way there!

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My Body My Ideal

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A few of my other athlete friends at school began a Facebook page and I guess you could call it a movement, towards having a healthier body image by being happier with your own body. I was extremely surprised at the high participation among not only female student athletes at W&M but also female athletes from other school programs and even regular students from both my school and other schools. It’s very cool for such a big group of girls to come together and be happier with our images!

How it worked was that there were seven athletes from my school that started up “My Body My Ideal”, a swimmer, a tennis player, two volleyball players, a cross country runner, a track runner and a lacrosse player. They all posted a photo of them to the group and captioned it with physical characteristics that a “typical” model would have, or how a young female “should” look, followed by traits that they did have and were proud of. Of course everybody’s bodies shapes and sizes are different and everyone views themselves differently from others, but being about to watch so many people publicly post pictures of themselves (in most cases a sports bra and spandex) and actually write down their insecurities was amazing. Also in the caption was a “challenge” to their friends to do the same thing and to then challenge their friends to keep the reaction rolling.

One of the project’s founders was one of my housemates, so naturally she had challenged me and our other two housemates, along with some of her teammates and regular student friends. Because this project moved me in how awesome its cause is and how successful it was attracting young women to also post pictures of themselves while following through with their challenge, I decided to share it with all of my lovely readers!

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A lot of girls would use something from their sport as a prop in their picture to help easily identify what sport they played, so here was the picture I posted to the group. Just me in a sports bra and shorts (I don’t ever wear spandex unless I absolutely have to – or if I’m wearing a tennis skirt or running skirt) with my sneakers (shoutout to Under Armour for the awesome and comfortable Speedform Apollos) and awkwardly holding my field hockey stick. The basement of William and Mary Hall is the home to the Varsity Athletic Training Room, the Varsity Strength and Conditioning Weight Room (look out for blogs about these in the future!), and the locker rooms for the Varsity sports teams. There are also these cool, black, inspirational/motivational signs every eight feet or so that apparently were all installed as some sort of project for Tribe Athletics like ten years ago? I’m not completely sure, that’s just something I was told one time. As a lover of all quotes or inspirational or motivational value, I’m obsessed with (the majority of) these little signs. I mean almost all of them are very cool but some of them say things like “Fall seven times, get up eight.” Very original am I right?!

I digress; so on the My Body My Ideal page, I posted, “I’m a sophomore on William and Mary’s varsity Field Hockey team. I don’t have a thigh gap, thin legs, curves or tan skin. However, I am strong, happy, motivated and resilient. I think it’s definitely important to promote a healthy body image, especially since recently the media is playing such a huge role in portraying the ‘right’, ‘perfect’ or ‘ideal’ body image.”

I strongly believe that it is extremely essential for everyone (girls and guys) to have a positive self image and think positively of his or herself both physically but also as a person in general. If you want to look into the project a little more – or maybe even throw the page a like or share! – the link to the Facebook page is here!

Whole30 Love

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As I was explaining what the Whole30 is to my friend the other day, I realized how “cult-ish” the lifestyle change is. If you’ve never been enlightened as to what this thing “Whole30” actually is, here’s the extremely brief and general low down: it’s basically a program or cleanse, not a lifestyle and not a diet, which you complete for only 30 days (although if you’re really into it – you can stay on it for as long as you want!)

How my journey began. My mom is a huge healthy-eater and active-lifestyle type of person. She originally bought “It Starts With Food” for the family as a Christmas present for my family (who are all also healthy eaters and very active human beings). Her and I spent the majority of the next few days after Christmas excitedly reading it; anxious to get started on this thing called the “Whole30”. We have countless fitness and nutrition books casually laying around our house, but this one was new and somewhat different, not claiming to be a diet nor a lifestyle adjustment. Then what is it? And what makes this any different than all of those other books? As I’ve stated before, the Whole30 is a program, claiming that after 30 days you can live a healthier life. We accepted this challenge of “changing our lives” – as an entire family on January 1st, 2015. Later that afternoon, my two youngest sisters became frustrated that they couldn’t eat desserts, cereal, chocolate or cheese sticks (cheese sticks have always been the greatest snack at my house). They pitched to both of my parents that they were still growing and needed all of the aspects of the food pyramid. My mom agreed and let them off of the hook. Later in the first week, my dad and other, only slightly younger, sister also gave in; all that was left was my mom and me.

Fun fact: my mom and I are the most competitive members of my family. Although the bread and foods that the rest of my family was indulging in was off-limits to us, we both resisted the urge to cave in and break the Whole30 guidelines.

Here are the basic eating guidelines in cheat sheet form:

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To be 100% honest, not eating grains for 30 days was the hardest part. During my first few days of the Whole30 I am convinced that I went through a physical withdrawal from my delicious breads, pastas, cereals, granolas, and let’s face it, all other types of grains as well. Two of my little sisters had the flu at the time so I legitimately thought I was contracting it as well; only my symptoms disappeared after about three days, whereas theirs obviously lingered on and ran their course. I had flu-like symptoms, REALLY strong cravings for grains and a constant headache after removing them from my diet. A few times I would wake up in the middle of the night, while dreaming about sourdough bread and frosted mini wheats, with their tastes in my mouth.

Although after talking to multiple other people, sugar seems to be the most common food that they crave. This includes desserts, sugary drinks, and literally sugar on fruits or whatever else people coat sugar with these days.

My all-time favorite Whole30 quote has to be “It is not hard. Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Quitting heroin is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard. You won’t get any coddling, and you won’t get any sympathy for your ‘struggles’.” (See more at: http://whole30.com/2012/04/sometimes-it-is-hard/#sthash.X2J2dEIo.dpuf)

Okay so now that I’ve removed all of the good kinds of food, what is there left to eat??

The good stuff! Whenever you have to think is this Whole30 compliant? Just ask yourself if it had a barcode. Fruits, vegetables, eggs, nuts, fish and meat don’t exist in nature with barcodes. Chips, cheese, cupcakes, sugary cereals, chocolate cakes, english muffins and alcohol all 1. Don’t exist naturally – humans have to make them and 2. They all contain barcodes. This makes categorizes compliant and noncompliant foods a little bit easier, right?

So what exactly can I eat? Here are some examples of meals that are Whole30 compliant, delicious and easy to prepare. (If a college student-athlete can make these and complete her Division I training living only “off of the land” you surely can try to do the same!)

Here are a few ~*sample*~ meals. Please note that I ate a wide variety of different and healthy foods while completing my Whole30 and these few pictures, unfortunately, cannot depict them all.

BREAKFAST:

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Most of my breakfasts consisted of a bowl of fruit, a glass of orange juice (read the ingredients and make sure that only oranges were used to make the juice), vegetables (broccoli, spinach, celery, peppers, tomatoes, avocados), eggs (no butter and no cheese!), and on days with harder, more intense and demanding workouts, I would also and another protein like sausage, chicken, steak or fish (just read the labels and make sure there’s no added sugar – you’d honestly be surprised at how many meats are packaged with sugars).

LUNCH/DINNER:

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Lunch and dinner are pretty interchangeable meals on the Whole30. Most of these meals consisted of a salad (with dark, leafy greens, spinach, zen mixes, kale, or multiple combinations of any of these) topped with vegetables and usually a protein egg, tuna, chicken, steak, salmon or other fish. If you quickly become sick of eating salads constantly, or if you decide to go out to dinner with your friends or family, the safest best is to always make, or order, a piece of meat with vegetables and water (or club soda if you want to change things up!)

Key things to look out for:

  • If you have a salad, make sure the dressing doesn’t contain sugar – to be safe, I always used, and still only use olive oil and vinegar
  • If you marinate meat or want to use sauce to put on top of anything, it also can’t contain any sugars (95% of BBQ sauces contain sugar – why else do you think it tastes so sweet?)
  • No dairy; this means no cheese in your salad, on your vegetables, no milk (sadly for me, no chocolate milk after workouts)
  • No grains; obviously no pasta, bread, granola, cereals, dinner rolls, croutons on your salad etc.
  • Golden rule: Read the labels. If it lists sugar as one of the ingredients, you can wait 30 days to have it again. Trust me
  • If you have to question yourself on whether something is compliant or not, ask yourself if it can be found in nature

Three reasons why I have gained a deep love for the Whole30:

  1. There are just so many benefits! I have keratosis pilaris or “chicken skin” on my arms and have tried so many different things to get rid of it, and nothing had worked until I was about halfway through my Whole30; they just disappeared! I slept so much more soundly while eating healthier. I was able to concentrate and focus for longer periods of time. I HAD SO MUCH ENERGY IT WAS CRAZY. Not in a bad way; I live a very busy life and I was able to complete all of my daily tasks and activities with great quality and without my usual afternoon power nap. Even though I never really had skin or acne problems, my face was completely clear (and I SWEAR it even glowed a little 🙂 ) Overall I just felt healthier and happier while eating on the Whole30. If this wasn’t enough to persuade you to look more into it, read some of these testimonials from other people who also absolutely LOVED their Whole30 experiences too.
  2. It has made me more aware of what I eat. After neurotically reading labels at every meal for an entire month I know know what foods are “Whole30 compliant” and what foods aren’t . Example: I like Chick-fil-a. I could still order the grilled chicken bites, with a side of fruit and water for a drink and still be obeying the Whole30 rules. And I’m 100% not lying when I say that to this day, whenever I go there with my friends to eat, this is still the meal that I order.
  3. Everyone that I’ve read about and talked to has lost weight. If this is your goal, the Whole30 is a surefire way to achieve it. I’m a relatively fit person with a medium-sized frame who eats healthy. I lost 12 pounds. Yep, not a typo, twelve pounds – it’s basically the weight of an infant human child. My mom and I are almost positive it was “bread-weight”. I kid you not when I say I eat a loaf every two to three days. Before my Whole30 I would have two to three slices of sourdough toast, for lunch I would eat two more slices on a sandwich, for a snack I would eat one or two more slices and for dinner I would either have bread and butter or another piece of toast. In an average day (pre-Whole30) I would consume roughly six to eight pieces of bread. After taking that away, yes, of course my body missed it and informed me of that by giving my shakes, sweats, headaches, fatigue and nausea.

P.S. I don’t mean to brag, but I did also influence two of my collegiate teammates to also give it a whirl!

Back to my story from the beginning of this post: The most challenging part was being away from my mom because the competition was no longer in sight. We did both manage to survive until the end of the thirty day period without eating or drinking anything that wasn’t Whole30 compliant. How she celebrated: getting drinks and eating non-compliant food with her friends the night the thirty days was up. How I celebrated: Getting blueberry french toast and a chocolate milkshake at a coffeeshop in CW the morning after the thirty days was up with my friend and teammate. How we both felt after eating things our body wasn’t used to: miserable, gross, slow, and sick. In the book it talks about how bad everyone feels after breaking their “fast”, of course neither of us believed the stories because what’s greater than grains, sugars, alcohol and fried foods?! We’re okay now, but both still eat foods and drinks that are healthier for our bodies, which just so happen to all be Whole30 compliant. Coincidence? I think not.

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I don’t want to write for too long and bore all of you, however if you want to try out the Whole30, learn more about it, or want to know more about my personal Whole30 experiences, comment on this post and I’ll be happy to share more!

Last paragraph, I swear! If you’re too shy to comment, or don’t want to commit to giving up a mere 30 days of your long life to live a happier and healthier life, you should also check out the Whole30 books and website: “It Starts With Food” (this is the original and the book that got me hooked), “The Whole30” and whole30.com