Whole30 Week 2: Getting Into the Groove

After my shortcomings in the challenge last week, I was a little nervous about how this week would go, but I really feel like I have settled into a good place with prepping, eating regularly, and feeling satisfied. I have been excited to tell people about my challenge, I got back into Instagram to share pictures of the awesome food I have been making, and I’m really starting to see and feel a difference in myself! My tummy and waistline are trimmer, I have more energy, I have way less cravings…I’m feeling so much better about keeping this up!

  • Monday: Day 3
    • Prep: Power Hummus Salad for tomorrow’s lunch – spinach and arugula, red onion, cucumber, leftover turkey burger, leftover hummus, and 1 1/2 lemons to squeeze over it all
    • Eating
      • Breakfast: Leftover Zuke Pancake (see Week 1 for details) and grapes
      • Lunch: Leftover Chili (see Week 1 for details)
      • Dinner: Zucchini spirals with Aidell’s Apple Sausage and San Marzano Tomato Sauce; Salad with Green Leaf, cherry tomatoes, red onion, cucumber, black olives, Roasted Garlic & Peppercorn dressing
    • Snacks: Apple with almond butter
    • Feeling: I got pretty annoyed with my boyfriend and roommate drinking beer and eating candy around me. I understand that I made the decision to do this challenge and they didn’t, but especially after watching everyone indulge all weekend while on vacation, I was just kind of over being around that.
  • Tuesday: Day 4
    • Eating
      • Breakfast: Leftover Kickasserole (see Week 1 for details)
      • Lunch: Power Hummus Salad
      • Dinner: Crockpot Carnitas in romaine with bell pepper slaw, Mango Habanero Pace, chopped red onion and some lime for squeezing over the top
        • I used a little OJ in the slaw instead of the sugar.
      • Snacks: Savory Ants on a Log – Celery with chipotle Bitchin’ Sauce and sliced black olives
    • Feeling: I was still hungry pretty consistently and was getting pretty bored with my snack options; especially since I would normally snack on some cheese or yogurt. I got a little creative with the savory Ants on a Log, which made me a little more optimistic that I would figure out a lot more snacks to keep me on track. I could NOT get tired and ended up staying up until about 2 and was awake in bed for about another hour.
  • Wednesday: Day 5
    • Eating
      • Breakfast: Leftover Goddess Bowl (see Week 1 for details)
      • Lunch: Leftover Carnitas
      • Dinner: Greek Turkey Burgers topped with Baba Ganoush; Salad with the leftover burger stuffing mixed with tomatoes, artichokes, ACV and more tahini over romaine with some sliced almonds; Roasted sliced sweet potatoes with ghee, cinnamon, nutmeg, paprika and salt
    • Feeling: I enjoyed everything that I ate this day and got compliments on the look and smell of both my breakfast and lunch at work.  I was pretty tired from being up so late and ended up going to bed at a much more reasonable time.
  • Thursday: Day 6
    • Eating
      • Breakfast: Leftover Goddess Bowl
      • Lunch: Leftover Turkey Burger with baba ganoush, the rest of the salad topping with romaine and arugula and cherry tomatoes, leftover sweet potatoes
      • Dinner: Beef Stew with Mom
    • Feeling: I was feeling very happy with my progress and could really feel a difference in my energy at work. I couldn’t help but notice myself whenever I walked by a window or mirror. I can already see a big difference in my waistline! I woke up easier this day and was more energetic than I had been thus far.
  • Friday: Day 7
    • Prep: Make marinade and marinate steak for tomorrow
    • Eating
      • Breakfast: Leftover Goddess Bowl
      • Lunch: Giant salad from Whole foods salad bar with Tessamae’s creamy ranch and Epic bacon bits, Whole Foods Broccoli and Roasted Tomato salad, Passionberry Kombucha
      • Dinner: Cuban Sandwich Bowls
        • I looked at three stores and couldn’t find any compliant ham, so I used an Aidell’s chicken and apple sausage instead. I also used leftover carnitas and Trader Joe’s plantain chips instead of making them, and used whole grain mustard instead of yellow.
      • Snacks: Baked apple with 4th & Heart Madagascar Vanilla Bean Ghee and chopped pecans; Passionberry GT’s kombucha with kiwi strawberry La Croix and frozen pineapple (I drank this out of a wine glass so I felt like I was partying with the rest of the house! :P)
    • Feeling: Prepared AF. I did all of the shopping in the world! It was pay day, so I hit Costco, King Soopers AND Whole Foods to restock my freezer with meat and  get some Whole30 approved staples that I’ve been wanting to try, like the ghee mentioned in Snacks (this stuff is seriously glorious), Tessamae’s creamy ranch (ohmygod it’s like real ranch and I’m so happy), Epic bars (haven’t tried one yet, but I stashed them in my car and at work for emergencies) and a whole case of kombucha!
  • Saturday: Day 8
    • Prep: Cooked and crumbled Wellshire Sugar Free, Dry Rubbed Bacon
      • I like this bacon A LOT better than Pederson Farms I had gotten last time.
    • Eating
      • Breakfast: Shakshouka
      • Lunch: Lettuce wrap with Diestel Organic Naturally Smoked Turkey Breast, Treeline scallion cashew cheese, tomato, onion, pesto mayo, black olives; Leftover roasted sweet potato
      • Dinner: Marinated steak with chimichurri; baked potato with Tessamae creamy ranch, bacon and green onion; salad with green leaf, spinach, tomato, red onion, Tessamae dressing
    • Feeling: I went to a party and wanted to take plenty of compliant food so I wouldn’t be tempted by everyone else’s food and booze. I made some barbeque sauce and tossed it with the last of my leftover pork. I also made some guacamole and took the last straggler chips, crackers, popcorn and other non-compliant snacks in my cabinet, but brought some Terra Sweets and Beets for my own snacking pleasure! I drank more GT’s Trilogy kombucha mixed with Lemon Raspberry Sparkling Water and hardly missed drinking with everyone else AND was able to safely drive home to a nice steak dinner! Hollaaaa!
  • Sunday: Day 9
    • Prep
      • Bagged up 4 individual portions of the quiche for this week’s breakfast on the go
      • The quiche only called for 1/2 a butternut squash. I went ahead and chopped up the remaining half and roasted it with 4th & Heart Vanilla Bean Ghee, cinnamon, nutmeg, paprika and pink Himalayan salt.
      • Chopped 2 small heads of broccoli, 1 small onion, 3 medium carrots, 2 golden beets, 6 mini sweet peppers, 3 smashed cloves of garlic, 1 stalk celery, 2 small zucchini, tossed with about 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar and a little bit of fresh thyme and rosemary, and roasted at 400 for about 25 mins.
      • Chopped and bagged my remaining veg for quick prep and cooking later: separated broccoli into florets, cut celery and carrot sticks, made some zucchini noodles and sliced the other zucchini,
      • Chopped green onions
    • Eating
      • Breakfast: Caramelized Onion and Butternut Squash Quiche with Strawberries, Kiwi and Dragonfruit
      • Lunch: Mushrooms stuffed with scallion cashew cheese, bacon and chives
      • Dinner: Stuffed Spaghetti Squash with Italian Sausage and Veggies and salad with spinach, tomato, red onion and Tessamae’s creamy ranch
        • I chopped up 3 True Story Organic Italian Chicken Sausages in place of crumbled Italian sausage
        • Instead of jarred marinara, I blended some leftover sauce from the shakshouka with a can of diced tomatoes, some basil and oregano, and some balsamic vinegar.
      • Snacks: A few spoonfuls of CoYo Mango Coconut Milk Yogurt – Not bad! It’s just as thick and rich and tangy as good ol’ cow’s milk Greek yogurt. I would like to try the plain yogurt though as the mango is kind of a funky flavor.
    • Feeling: I can see a huge difference in my body already. I slept in nice and late, made a beautiful brunch and meal prepped the fuck out of the day. I’m really starting to get into a good groove with prepping and eating! The results I’m seeing after just two weeks is such great motivation! I even started planning out my reintroduction schedule. Stay tuned for more details. 🙂

Be well!

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Quick Fixes for PMS

My go-to remedy for PMS and menstrual cramps is this Clary Calm Blend. I tried to recreate dōTERRA Clary Calm, which has come highly recommended, but I didn’t have all of the oils in this, so I just worked with what I had. I substituted Cardamom for the Fennel, Carrot Seed, Palmarosa and Vitex. Cardamom is known for easing muscle cramps and nausea, as well as alleviating depression and fatigue, making it a perfect addition to this “monthly” blend.

The real star of this blend, though, is Clary Sage. This precious oil has been used for centuries to balance hormones, due to its rare sclareol content. “Sclareol, a diterpene alcohol, is very similar to the chemical structure of the hormones produced in the human body. Therefore, clary sage stimulates our bodies to produce more hormones and thus has a balancing effect for both men and women.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 I have found it effective for moodiness, including anxiety, anger, fatigue, and mild depression. It’s best to diffuse the oil for this purpose, but I like to keep a roll-on with me. Apply like a perfume and the calming scent will linger around you. Simply roll it around your wrist a few times and rub your wrists together. You can always sniff your wrist for a quick burst of delicious serenity. When I need an extra burst, I’ll roll on my chest and neck, as well.

I have also found this blend to be helpful for cramps. I use the roll-on to apply some to my abdomen, where I am cramping, then apply a warm compress or heating pad. I also like to put a bit on my abdomen and the bottoms of my feet before bed to keep cramps at bay while I’m sleeping. There’s nothing worse than waking up with cramps at 2 a.m.

Bonus:

For those pesky acne breakouts, try Lavender or Melaleuca topically for spot treatment. I also recommend mixing a few drops Geranium into your moisturizer. It acts as a toner and keeps your face from breaking out to begin with!

Be well!

Essential Oils for Naturally Beautiful Hair

Incorporating essential oils into your hair care routine can take your hair from drab to fab, naturally! These concentrated plant extracts contain many beneficial nutrients for your strands, which promote healthy growth, shine and body, while soothing scalp irritation and banishing split ends.

Hair Care Blend:Hair Care Blend
– Cedarwood (stimulates the scalp, promotes hair growth)
– Jasmine (strengthens roots, promotes healthy hair growth)
– Clary Sage (promotes hair growth, stimulates the scalp)
– Rosemary (stimulates the roots, improves hair growth, increases circulation in the scalp)
– Lavender (deep conditions the hair, promotes shine, controls dandruff)

NOTE: If you want to experiment a little bit with the blend, you can add or switch out some of these oils:
– Chamomile (adds shine and softness to hair, soothes the scalp)
– Geranium (strengthens hair)
– Sandalwood (helps mend dry ends)

I add a few drops of this blend to plain shampoo and conditioner to boost the benefits and make my shower smell wonderful. I also add a few drops to a wooden comb to comb through my hair while still wet. As my hair dries, it retains moisture and smells great. I also add a few drops to a pump of Rose Hip Oil and smooth onto my ends whenever they start to frizz.

Deep Moisturizing Hot Oil Treatment:
Add 3-5 drops of your Hair Care Blend to 2 ounces of any of the Base Oils listed below. (You may only need 1 oz. if you have short hair. Use your judgement.) Warming the oils a bit will increase their efficacy, just don’t get it so hot that it will burn your scalp. Saturate your hair with the oil blend, gently massaging your scalp. Wrap your hair in a towel or shower cap and leave the treatment in your hair for about an hour, then wash thoroughly. Enjoy your soft, shiny, revitalized hair!

Base Oils

Good Base Oils for Hair Care:
– Almond: soothes and moisturizes the scalp
– Coconut: softens hair and increases shine
– Moroccan Argan: moisturizes, nourishes, and provides antioxidants to hair
– Jojoba: moisturizes the hair, adds nutrients, and stimulates the scalp
– Rose Hip Oil: packed with nutrients, promotes shine and body, fights dandruff, repairs damaged hair

Be well!

Natural Cold Care

I moved to Colorado from Ohio last month. The sunshine and warm weather are more than welcome, but I can’t even believe how dry it is. This elevation ain’t nothin’ to mess with! Every time that I came to visit Colorado, I would come home with a cold sore and get a gnarly cold a week or two later. Moving here was no exception.

This time, however, I treated my symptoms a little differently than ever before. The length and severity of both the cold sore and cold were cut in half. I only took one Advil Cold & Sinus before going to an interview; The rest of the time, I used 100% natural treatment.

I created two oil blends; one to tame the cold sore that commenced upon crossing the Colorado state line (or so it seemed) and another to handle the chest and sinus cold that ensued. I applied The Cold Sore Remedy with a dampened Q-tip several times a day. I created a blend to apply to my throat, chest and sinuses to loosen congestion and alleviate pain from sinus pressure. It also helps to rub some of this blend under your nose and on the bottoms of your feet before sleeping. Blend the following oils in a roll-on applicator and fill with a carrier oil, such as Sweet Almond:

Cold Sore Remedy; Cold & Sinus Care Cold Sore Remedy:
– 30 drops Melaleuca (Tea Tree) Oil
 – 30 drops Geranium Oil
 – 10 drops Lavender Vera Oil
 – 5 drops Sandalwood Oil
 Cold & Sinus Care:
 – 15 drops Melaleuca Oil
 – 10 drops Lavender Vera Oil
 – 10 drops Peppermint Oil
 – 10 drops Eucalyptus Oil*
 – 5 drops Lemon Oil
                                                                                 – 5 drops Sweet Orange Oil
                                                                                 – 5 drops Roman Chamomile Oil

* I know several people who are rather severely allergic to eucalyptus. Please use caution while using this blend around people who may be allergic.

 I also enlisted some store-bought, natural remedies to support my immune system.

Herbal Formula Early Alert: Early Alert contains Elderberry, Olive Leaf and every form of Echinacea you could imagine. It is specifically designed to kick colds right at their onset. I drank this several times a day leading up to my cold and through the duration. My symptoms were gone after three days of discomfort. Place 30 drops in water and consume every hour for emergency care, or 1-2 times a day for immune support. Several laboratory and animal studies suggest that echinacea contains active substances that enhance the activity of the immune system, relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and have hormonal, antiviral, and antioxidant effects. 

High Allicin Garlic Supplement: Allicin is the primary beneficial nutrient in garlic, containing strong antibacterial properties and assisting in immune support and heart health. One study showed that those who took a high allicin garlic supplement were 64% less likely to develop colds and, if they did, saw a 70% decrease in symptom duration. Do you need any more convincing?

Sovereign Silver Colloidal Silver Nasal Spray: Whole Foods had posted warnings on their shelf about this product not being approved by the FDA. Most natural remedies have not been approved by the FDA, but have been used for centuries and are proven to work. Heavy, prolonged use of Colloidal Silver, however, can lead to a discoloration of the skin called argyria or, in a few rare cases, deposits in vital organs. For emergency care, you can take up to 7 doses of 20 sprays per day. I have noticed that if I begin using this at the first signs of sinus pressure or throat irritation, that I can typically keeps colds & flu at bay. Given the potential side effects, though, I keep my doses to a minimum.

 – Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV): The acidic nature of apple cider vinegar kills bacteria in the mouth and throat, making ACV a perfect gargle and tonic. Although there seems to be little scientific research on the matter, tradition stands that ACV is effective against many ailments, including the common cold. ACV is known to be particularly effective when paired with garlic or honey. I use Bragg’s Organic, Raw, Unfiltered ACV. “The mother,” also known as a Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria & Yeast (SCOBY), harbors probiotics, or friendly bacteria, which boost the health benefits. I follow the recipe for the health tonic, which involves mixing a few teaspoons of ACV with a bit of your choice of sweetener and water. I drink this as often as I can when I am in the heat of a cold and several times a week when I am feeling well.

Be well!

Welcome to Peach & Plum Wellness!

After purifying my lifestyle, I am back to my high school weight!

I am Sarah Spaulding. I have been on a mission since January 2011 to clean my diet, my fitness routine, my beauty regimen and my everyday life. If you are also tired of being exposed to hundreds of chemicals everyday, I would love to give you some safe and natural recommendations for alternatives to your everyday needs. I’m so excited to turn my journey into a guide for those who are looking for the same kind of change.

After my dad died of Leukemia in November 2010, I promised to start taking better care of myself. I quit smoking and began exercising, avoiding processed foods, eliminating carcinogenic chemicals from my cleaning and beauty routines, and trying natural remedies for my ailments rather than relying so heavily on pharmaceuticals. My efforts brought me to work at Mustard Seed Market & Café, the largest locally-owned retailer of natural and organic products in Ohio. My work day was helping customers find fresh and nutritious foods, supplements and natural solutions to their everyday needs. Most of my nights were spent cooking, creating my own products and learning more about how to make my life as pure as possible.

Needless to say, this has become my passion. In the process, I lost 30 pounds and gained so much energy. I rarely get sick anymore and, when I do, it seems to be way less severe than ever before. I am still constantly looking for solutions in my battle with eczema, but I have made great progress and want to share my passion and success!

I chose the name Peach & Plum Wellness for two reasons:

Photo credit: weddingomania

Photo credit: weddingomania

1) Peach and plum are both synonyms for beauty. (As in, “What a peach!” I really love that phrase.)
2) Peach and plum polyphenols have proven effective in the treatment of breast cancer, killing cancerous cells and leaving healthy cells intact! This is a huge step for natural medicine that I think should be celebrated.

With that in mind, you can expect to learn about natural remedies, special diets, immune support, natural beauty tips, clean eating recipes and more. I envision Peach & Plum Wellness developing into a whole living brand. I can’t wait to share this journey with you!

Be well!