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Whole30 2014: Days 21-30

2/10/2014 *Sara-Marie* 0 Comments

 So I'm a little late with this post. But do not fear! We did successfully complete our Whole30! The last 10 days of our Whole30 were just as delicious as our first 20. Although we were busier, got a little sick, and tempted to indulge, we remained on the course! I'm actually still going strong and today is Day 37! Mark had a mini detour and enjoyed some organic tortilla chips with my guacamole. I know, we are such rebels.

I currently have a cranky baby on my lap so I will just post these pictures as a reminder that eating this way is never boring or bland. I have actually enjoyed some of the most delicious meals while on this program. I hope to post a reflective piece on what I've learned from the experience this time around in the next day or so, as well as some of the recipes for the meals pictured below. Stay tuned! Until then, be inspired to eat real food!

PS: I downloaded this new app that adds text to photos and I might have gotten a little carried away!

Sweet potato, ground beef, and a homemade balsamic cherry jam

That's yucca and plantains in that soup - no potatoes!

Recipe slightly adapted from Primal Cravings Cookbook

Another delicious recipe from the Primal Cravings cookbook


Whole30 Recap: My Father's Story

2/09/2014 *Sara-Marie* 6 Comments

Before and after his Whole30
My father is my hero. In his younger days,  he used to be a body builder and I remember being able to hang and swing holding onto his biceps. After a long car ride home, I would pretend to be asleep in the car, just so he could carry me in the house in his strong arms. 

As the years went on and his priorities shifted from bodybuilding to becoming the first pastor of a Spanish speaking congregation in our small town in Pennsylvania and the founder of a local food bank, the weight started creeping on. He was (and is still) so committed to helping this community that his health took a back seat. 

Due to the weight gain and poor diet, my father then developed poor circulation in his legs and cellulitis. Over the years, he's had two surgeries to address the issues and after an ER visit this past December, was headed for a third. 

I had spoken to my family about the Whole30 since I discovered it back in August 2012, but they never thought it was feasible for them. After all, I come from a very Puerto Rican family that can live off of rice and beans alone. But after my dad's latest health concerns, he decided to embark on his own Whole30 journey. 

About 10 days into his Whole30, feeling great and loving on his granddaughter Isabelle
I am so proud of his commitment and dedication over the last 30 days. I've seen with my very own eyes, how his energy has increased, how positive he feels about life, and how he went from needing 5-6 cups of coffee per day to only 1-2 cups. I've seen him reach for a piece of fruit for a snack instead of his usual crackers with peanut butter. I heard from my mom that he's sleeping so much better and longer at night. I've seen him preach on Sunday mornings with more fervor. I've seen his suits fit him so much better. 

And most importantly, I've seen his inflamed leg return back to normal. In just 30 DAYS. See for yourself:
No medication, no surgery, just eating real food.

Is that not incredible?! FOOD IS MEDICINE! 

By simply eating real foods like meat, vegetables, fruits, eggs, nuts, and avocados, he has taken his health into his own hands. Oh, and he also lost 23 pounds. TWENTY THREE POUNDS. No big deal. 

My father is so encouraged by his results that he has officially decided to extend his Whole30 to a Whole60. In his own words, 

"I give God all of the glory. Without His help, I couldn't do it. And I thank God that He gave Melissa and Dallas Hartwig all of this knowledge and wisdom to help so many people like me."

 I couldn't be prouder. My father is my hero. 

This picture was taken today, February 9th

And just because I love this picture...
On my wedding day, January 2012, before we knew anything about Whole30.