This Tiger Blood business

Yes, this is another Whole30 post. As I’m nearing the end of this thing (Day 26!) I keep thinking about this notion that is talked about in the book of Tiger Blood and how some people decide to stay on Whole30 after the 30th day because they don’t want to lose it.

It got me wondering what is Tiger Blood exactly? I took to my trusty Google and of course a Whole30 forum came up. The gal who came up with this program said that when they decided to use this term that was coined by Charlie Sheen in an interview, they meant it to mean that super energetic, powerful feeling. The problem came, she said, when not all people who have done the Whole30 experience this feeling. All of our bodies are different and so we’re not going to all experience this the same way. This has definitely been true for my friend and I who started this journey together. Our experiences have been very different.

I don’t have a Tiger Blood picture. This is me on Day 1 hiking Stone Mountain with the kids.

Over the last week, I would say that Tiger Blood would be an accurate description of how I feel. For at least the last year (maybe longer) I’ve felt like I was walking around in a mental fog. I often felt sluggish, tired in the afternoons. Nearly every single year since having my big kid I’ve gone to the doctor, finally fed up, to have my Thyroid tested again and again. It’s normal. Are you depressed? Well, maybe. But I’ve found that all the issues that were dragging me down are now gone. I’m not tired. My head is clear. My focus is sharp and I’m motivated. Did I mention how great I’m sleeping? How great I feel overall?

As I get to the end of this I’m struggling a little with what to do. I want a little sugar in my coffee. I would like to have some, not as much as before, but some cheese dip and chips when I eat Mexican. I’d like to indulge occasionally but mostly stick to what I’m doing. What if this amazing feeling goes away? What if a little bit of sugar in my coffee means I’m back to fog headed, afternoon tired and sluggish? I’m sure that’s an exaggeration of what will happen but still the thought is in the back of my mind. I’ll be interested to see how the rest of this plays out and how my new relationship with food looks.


Whole30: Days 15-21 So close. Yet so far away.

This week started with lots of good thoughts and positivity. The Whole30 book says that most people who quit do so on day 21 or 22. Yeah. I get that. Not because I can’t do it. Not because I want a Twix so bad I’d sell my own kid for one. Those things aren’t even true. My friendster said it best “I’m bored”. I’m bored with my foods. I would like to mix it up but most of the minute ways I’d mix it up involve something I’m not supposed to have. So, I’m digging my heels in and finishing the darn thing so I can have a little more variety.

Day 15:


Aidell Chicken and Apple Sausage with two boiled eggs

-Chicken salad on super greens

-Strawberries and kiwi


Coconut Cream Pie Larabar

-Zoodles and Tomato sauce (Whole30 recipes)

-Peach Sparkling Water


-Buffalo dip and celery

Thoughts/Feelings: I woke up feeling alert, awake and energized. I had bad sugar cravings today. I just wanted something sweet.

Day 16:


-Two boiled eggs and Aidell’s Chicken and Apple Sausage

-Chicken Avocado salad and roasted potatoes

-Strawberries and Kiwi


Keba sandwich innards with fries and homemade ranch dressing and unsweet tea

Thoughts/Feelings: I was alert and focused. I felt motivated and energetic. Then I ate dinner. After dinner I had stomach cramps and was bloated. I think fries might be the culprit. Noted.

Day 17:


-Two boiled eggs and Aidell Chicken and Apple Sausage

-Avocado chicken salad, roasted potatoes, strawberries

-Chicken thigh, riced cauliflower and broccoli with Coconut Aminos

-Apple with cashew butter and unsweetened coconut flakes

Thoughts/Feelings: My stomach felt gross all day. Thanks fries! However, I felt very focused and motivated again. I also think it’s worth noting that I HATE almond butter. I just really can’t stand it. However, I love cashew butter. Especially this cashew butter (see link above). It’s very creamy. Yum.

Day 18:


-Two boiled eggs and Aidell’s Chicken and Apple Sausage

-Roasted potatoes, roasted carrots and avocado chicken salad

-Leftover cauliflower rice and chicken thigh

-Two detox cookies (I used almond butter instead of peanut butter. I also used Cacao powder instead of cocoa powder. These things could be the reason behind why mine looked like this)

Detox cookies. My friend said they look like dog turds.

Thoughts/Feelings: Very gassy. Felt awake in the morning and become tired as the day went on. Also I put too much sea salt on these cookies.

Day 19:


-Two boiled eggs


-1/2 Apple Pie Larabar

-Buffalo dip with celery


-Spaghetti Squash and leftover Whole30 tomato sauce

Thoughts/Feelings: So gassy. My stomach felt iffy all day. I’ve never used a spaghetti squash before and it was perfect with the tomato sauce. I really enjoyed it.

Day 20:


-Two boiled eggs


-Avocado Chicken Salad


-Chicken kabobs, greek salad (no feta) and potato salad grilled at Zoes


-Coconut Cream Pie Larabar

Thoughts/Feelings: I had a headache the first part of the day. I felt great the rest of the day because two of my favorite people spent the day with me doing fun things including dressing up in costumes!

Day 21:


-Two eggs scrambled with spinach, bacon and oven red potatoes at Last Resort

-Apple with cashew butter and unsweetened coconut flakes

-Salmon, greek salad without feta and grilled vegetables at Taziki’s

Thoughts/Feelings: Started the day with another headache. I suspect my allergies and sinuses are to blame. Felt pretty great the rest of the day, which was awesome since it was my birthday! Dinner was great and I will definitely be back.


Dare I say that I’m in the home stretch?? Single digits now with the countdown. I’m ready.

Birthday Revelations

Tomorrow will be my 38th birthday. In my mind the big 4-0 looms ahead of me making me feel like I need to get myself together. Last year I admit to having what felt like a pure emotional breakdown in regards to my own happiness and what the hell I was going to do about it. As a wife who only worked part-time outside the home and a full-time mother I was always juggling something, in charge of everything, feeling overwhelmed and underappreciated.

If I was honest with myself I had always held that role. From the time I was a child I was a doer. A fixer. I was the responsible one. I started working as soon as I could find a job when I was 15. At times I worked two jobs while in school. I was often parenting the parent. That was where I fit.

The problem with being that person is that often times (as I’ve experienced through finding kindred spirits who had the same role) you are not wanted unless they need you to fix something. Outside of those moments where you are fixing and doing you are a nuisance. Something to manage. That feels kinda shitty.

The weight of carrying this hit me hard and I was left feeling like my life was not my own, hadn’t been for a long time, maybe ever? I got really good and mad about it.

Okay. I’m done being unhappy. I’m done being ‘the one who does’. So what am I going to do about it?

As an adult I’ve done a good job of saying no when most people would say yes but then regret it. I’ve done well setting those boundaries in most (non-family) situations. I’m thankful for that because I know that things would have been much harder for me if I hadn’t been knowing my personal demons.

I’ve made some strides and I’m still working on others but I’m working my way to getting the life I want. Here are some things I’ve figured out.

I’m just going to go ahead and be me. I’m going to stop filtering myself (you can close your mouth now, shocking as it is I do that). I’m going to do what makes me feel like I’m being my most truthful self. I’ve been working hard at that for several months and it feels really, really good. I’m done hiding.

This is a reminder of a time when I felt pure joy. I love this little unicorn.

I’m going to focus on myself more and on my family just a little less. This makes me a better mother. It makes me a happier person. I want to give my family the best of me, but that means I have to have something to give.

My body is the only one I have. I don’t want to be on medications that I can avoid. I don’t want health problems. I want my kids to see a healthy, active me. I don’t want to be the older person who sits all day and says they can’t do because of their age. I want to be the older person who gives those people the middle finger and says “Watch me”. I’m figuring out how to re-work my mind around food and my relationship with it. I’m working out or exercising at least 5 days a week. I’m working on those fitness goals (I’ve got a few). I’m planning active things with my kids so they know this is a family affair.

I’m figuring out what I want to do with the rest of my life. I’m writing. I’m not writing everyday  (I’m working on it) but I’m writing. I’m pushing myself to go after things in the writing world even though that most likely means lots of rejection. I’m diving in to experience this world of writing headfirst and soak it in. I’m a lover of learning and that’s how you learn. You do.

I’m re-evaluating my relationships. I’m looking at the people who don’t make an effort to spend time with me or make me an important part their life and re-evaluating my expectations of those relationships. I’m making a concentrated effort to allow the love in and the toxic out.

One of the characteristics that make me who I am is how I love those in my life. It takes awhile for me to trust. I’ve had my trust broken and walked on my entire life and I’m suspicious. I’m cautious. Until I’m not. Until I believe that the relationship is true and from a good place. I give a lot of chances. We all screw up. We all hurt the people we love. We’re human. It happens. I forgive those things because I do it too. Sometimes more than the average person because that’s my baggage that I carry with me, not knowing fully how to love. So I take a lot from the people I love. I’m loyal. I will fight to the death for the people I love. Some of those things are good qualities and some aren’t so great.

The problem with being built that way is that when I love someone only to be hurt time and time again, it’s a deep hurt. It’s a hurt that brings me to my knees. So I’m working on that. My expectations. The fact that not everyone is going to do for you what you would do for them. Not everyone is going to want to be close to you in the way that you need or deserve.

Having my needs met is something I’m not good at. I often work for the greater good of the family or group or whatever. It’s draining and painful. And I’m trying to balance that a little better.

So on the eve of this birthday, I’m doing somethings for me with some of my favorite people. I’m looking forward to laughs and love. It’s my birthday weekend bitches.

Whole30 Week 2: Feeling less stabby

The end of week one was really tough. The hunger made me nuts and I basically hated everyone. Week 2 started off with me feeling much better. I took a break from the exercise program that I have been doing (BBG). I let myself take all last week off because I felt terrible and was so hungry all the time. I started back up with Week 9 of BBG on Day 8 of the Whole30.

Day 8:


-2 boiled eggs

-Strawberries and kiwi

-Okra and Squash

-Chicken with Primal Kitchen Mayo


-Bolthouse Green Goddess (Remember when I said to look for more info? Yeah I can’t have this. Sigh. So frustrating because I thought since it was mostly veggies it was okay.)

Cauliflower Mash and Creamed Spinach (Really good. My big kid ate both)

Thoughts/Feelings: Felt amazing. Energetic. Awake. Just overall felt great.

Day 9:

-Black coffee (thought I’d try it since the Mocha is so disappointing. More gross. Grosser?)

-2 boiled eggs


-Leftover Cauliflower Mash, Creamed Spinach and last of the Chicken and mayo


Chili (Really, really good)

Thoughts/Feelings: Felt great, energetic, motivated. More energetic than previous days but bloated. Also, pretty sure I may have left off a snack or something.

Whole30 Cookbook and Outline of Program

Day 10:


-2 boiled eggs

-Cauliflower Mash, Creamed Spinach, Tuna and Mayo

-Strawberries and Kiwi

Jerk Chicken with Mango Avocado Salsa and Cauliflower Rice (very, very good!)

Thoughts/Feelings: Again, felt pretty good. Was somewhat bummed because someone (It was me. I’ll admit it.) forgot to put the leftover chili up before bed and we woke up to a night’s worth of dinner ruined. Very devastating. I’m becoming more excited about food because most of the recipes I’ve done have been really good. I’ll also admit that I’m pretty sure I left out some of the things I was eating because there’s no way that’s all I ate on Day 10. I try to update when I go to the bathroom and walk by my desk but I’ve obviously forgotten a few things here and there. Oops.

Day 11:


-2 boiled eggs

-Taco salad with guacamole, meat, lettuce and pico de gallo


-Chicken salad

-Cauliflower rice

Pineapple whip with a splash of mango/orange smoothie as sweetener (YUM)

-Handful of cashews

Thoughts/Feelings: I woke up feeling tired. Then felt a little better. Then I got a bad headache. Not sure what the headache is from but it was bad.

Day 12:


-2 boiled eggs


-Chicken salad, leftover cauliflower mash, leftover creamed spinach


-Hot dog (kosher with no bun) with grilled onions and fries

Thoughts/Feelings: Felt good overall. After dinner didn’t feel so great. Starting to get really, really over this whole drinking nothing but water. Tried drinking La Croix and it’s just way too fizzy for me. I can’t take it.

Day 13:


-2 boiled eggs

-Pineapple whip

-Chicken salad

-Coconut cream pie Larabar


-Fajita Taco salad (no cheese, no sour cream)

-More pineapple whip

-Pickles (2)

Thoughts/Feelings: Felt very tired and sluggish almost like I was coming down with something. Really wondered if that hot dog and fries was the culprit. Had a little bit of a sore throat starting around lunchtime but I think my sinuses were draining.

Day 14:

-“Mocha” (Somehow it wasn’t horrible)

-3 boiled eggs

-Pineapple whip

-Chicken salad on top of Organic Girl Super Greens


Chicken Meatballs and Root Vegetables with Curry Sauce (meh)

Buffalo Chicken dip with celery

Thoughts/Feelings: My clothes are noticeably looser. I have definitely not felt this energetic in years. I’m able to complete my workouts without feeling dizzy or faint. For some reason I was convinced I wouldn’t be able to work out. I’m sleeping much better. I always have issues falling asleep but not in the past week. And tomorrow is halfway. HALFWAY. I’m making a list of all the permanent changes I’ll be making to the way I eat after this. I am missing properly celebrating my birthday with some cookie cake so on November 9th if you need me I’ll be at the Great American Cookie Company treating myself.


Whole30: Week One. My body is eating itself.

I’m going to be super honest about how this is all going down. I always appreciate when I’m going to try something new and I can find info out on the interwebs from people who have gone through it. I’m going to preface my weekly posts by saying that there are a few things I’m not following religiously. The first is that if something is cooked in peanut oil (a no-no) at a restaurant, I’m just going to pretend I didn’t know. I’m also not going to start over if that happens. I’m a grown person. This is hard. I feel like I’m starving to death. Whatevs. I’ve also been weighing myself everyday due to the fact that I’m certain I’m slowly starving to death. You’re not supposed to do that. There goes my gold star. Okay here it goes. My daily eating habits and then also how I felt each day.

This is from the Whole30 instagram page. I recommend following them since they often post recipes. 

Day 1:

-Coffee with unsweetened almond milk (It’s so gross you guys. I swear I’m drinking watery vomit.)

-Scrambled eggs

-Strawberries and kiwi

-Bag of mixed nuts and raisins for snack

-Grilled Chick-fil-a nuggets (they put SUGAR in the freaking nuggets. SUGAR!? Why?)

-Roasted chicken thigh, roasted okra and roasted squash.

Thoughts/Feelings: I felt okay. I was tired by the end of the day but we had climbed Stone Mountain with the kids.

Day 2:

-Coffee with unsweetened almond milk (Still gross)

-2 mini egg frittatas  (Not bad. Not bad)


-Salad with balsamic vinegarette dressing (Maple Grove brand)

Dole whip (Not bad. I was struggling and it helped.)


-Winter Potato, Kale and Sausage Frittata (SkinnyTaste recipe. It was REALLY good. I omitted the cheese to make it Whole30 compliant. Big kid even ate it)


Thoughts/Feelings: I felt TERRIBLE. I did nothing all day. I thought I might be getting the flu. I felt like I had been hit by a bus. I was so tired I actually took a nap. I never do that.

Day 3:

-Coffee with unsweetened almond milk (You know my thoughts. Still gross)


-2 1/2 muffin fritattas (Over these. The texture of reheated eggs is not something I’m liking)

-Shredded chicken with avocado oil mayo (This saved me. So light but tasted good. You can’t have regular mayo and I read about this stuff on another blog so I ordered some from Amazon. The Publix stores here carry it so it’s worth a look if you don’t want to wait.)

-Mason jar salad

-Strawberries and kiwi


-Roasted Chicken thighs and roasted squash (leftovers)

Buffalo chicken dip with celery (Another time that a recipe discovery saved me. I love this recipe. I used the avocado mayo and it was great.

Thoughts/Feelings: Down 3 lbs by Day 3. Very hungry. Very cranky. Hate everyone and everything.

Day 4:

Mocha (Less nasty than the plain coffee. Still not great.)

-2 boiled eggs

-Mild Italian sausage

-Buffalo chicken dip with celery

-Strawberries and kiwi

-2 servings of Winter Potato, Kale and Sausage fritatta leftovers (Told you I was starving)

-Green grapes


Thoughts/Feelings: Sluggish. Later in the day I felt slightly more alert. I know people are thinking if you feel like you are starving eat more. Tried that. I got super full and felt like I might have gone too far and then 30 minutes later I was starving again. It’s like I’m breastfeeding again but without the nipple irritation.

Day 5:

-Mocha (Less milk this time. Still not loving it but it was better. Going to add some cinnamon tomorrow to see what that does)

-2 Sweet Potato Banana muffins (These are okay. They would be good with a little sugar. I used a lot of cinnamon but they are still somewhat bland.)

-Chicken mixed with Primal Kitchen mayo


-Carrot sticks and Paleo Ranch (The ranch isn’t bad.)

-Mixed nuts

-3 boiled eggs

-Buffalo Chicken dip with celery

-Green Goddess Bolthouse smoothie **I’ll tell you more about this on Day 8.

Thoughts/Feelings: I didn’t write anything down so I must have just been surviving.

Day 6:

-Mocha (added cinnamon, slightly better)

-2 sweet potato banana muffins


-smoked half chicken with crinkle fries.

-Mixed nut pack

-Taco Stand taco salad with only lettuce, beef and guacamole (very filling and actually had taste)

Thoughts/Feelings: Cranky. Hungry.

Day 7:


-Scrambled eggs with spinach, breakfast potatoes and bacon (at Last Resort Grill so I’m sure the bacon had stuff I wasn’t supposed to have because it was amazing).



-Shrimp and homemade oven fries

-Buffalo chicken dip



Thoughts/Feelings: I made it a week. Only 23 more days.

There were a few days when I stuffed as many raisins down my throat as I could and obviously I’ve failed to record those. There is sugar in everything. That’s one of the big things I’ve noticed. I haven’t gone to bed nauseated or with stomach pain since the day before I started. That, for me, is enough reason to stick with this until the end and figure out what the heck is making me feel so crappy. I’m optimistic that I’ll be back on a healthy eating track after this but that I’ll let myself have the things that keep me from feeling ragey. Like sugar in my coffee.

I thought you were all crazy.

Let me clarify since given the current state of the country that statement might have been confusing. You guys, friends, family, you guys who choose to live without dairy or wheat or sugar. I’ve thought for awhile that you must be nuts. Have you tried cheese? I don’t mean smells-like-dirty-feet cheese (I hate bleu cheese) but creamy-party-in-your-mouth cheese? Have you? Some of you have kids with food issues, or medical reasons for cutting it out. I get that. Totally on board. But cutting out all of that stuff just for shits and giggles? Sorry but I totally thought you guys had lost your minds.

I’m here to tell you that apparently I’ve finally lost what was left of mine too. Starting tomorrow (or Tuesday, let’s just see how this plays out) I’m starting the Whole30. I have several reasons for doing it. The first and most obvious being I’ve lost my mind. After that it would have to be my stomach issues (gallbladder removed about 14 years ago and intermittent gastric issues every since), my eating habits have gone from a healthy balance to complete and utter shit and I need to get myself together. I’ve been working out, I want to work on being stronger, healthier and yes taking weight off would be nice too if it meant I didn’t feel completely uncomfortable in anything outside of pj pants. Nothing is moving. I’ve noticed small changes in my body but I’m on week 9 and I’m just having the hardest time getting my self together with my eating. I need a kick in the ass.

I plan to blog about it because I have had a life-long love affair with cheese and sweets. This is going to be hard and I’ll probably screw up. Or want to screw up. This is my accountability. Plus, maybe my suffering can help someone else.

What do you need to know about the Whole30? Well, there’s a bunch of things you can’t have. The whole point is to completely detox your body and get back to a natural baseline. Then you reintroduce (using their schedule) and make note of which kinds of things are making you sick/tired, etc. It sounds great to me. I’ve been having nightly nausea (no I’m not preggers), stomach pain and bloating for a few weeks. I’m really over that.

I’ll be steering clear of anything with added sugar. Honey? Can’t have it. Agave? Nope. No sweeteners. At. All. No dairy. The hits just keep coming. No wheat/gluten/grain. No legumes. You can have a few exceptions to that rule. You can have coffee. It’s going to be rough.

It’s tough too. They give a whole spiel about “Don’t tell me this is hard. Cancer is hard.” Harsh, right? No shit cancer is hard. I’m not going to compare cancer to breaking up with cheese. But I’m going to whine about it a little bit. Maybe not. But probably. If you screw up one day, have a slip, you’re supposed to start over on day 1.

I told you they weren’t kidding.

I’ve got a buddy who is going to do it too. My goals are to prep on Sunday. Dinners should be fine, breakfast and lunches will kill me. I have let so many salad greens go bad because by the time I go to eat I don’t feel like putting together a salad. Today I spent some time chopping and assembling some mason jar salads for the week.

img_2814I’m also going to make some breakfast muffin frittatas to have each morning. I have a plan. I honestly think having options that are okay to have and being vigilant about my prep so my lazy butt doesn’t have to put much work into lunches for myself is going to be my saving grace.

To those I thought were nuts, I’m sorry. Maybe you got tired of feeling like crap every night. Who am I to judge? Maybe you don’t like cheese. I’m not sure we can be friends if that’s the case but I’ll try to overlook it. At any rate, wish me luck.


I remember when I learned about Sandy Hook. My son was in preschool at the time and I wasn’t sure whether or not to say something to him. When he started kindergarten the following year he came home and told me they had practiced a lockdown drill. He told me they had to hide and be very quiet. I asked him if he knew why and he said no, he just had to make sure he didn’t make a sound.

I felt comforted but at the same time sick to my stomach. We lived in close proximity to the school and anytime I heard a siren go by I wondered if my phone was about to go off informing me of something happening at the school. I thought of the parents of those children who had attended a school where a school shooting took place. I often wondered how they made it through the day. I can’t imagine what that must be like.

This year, we are in a new school and our littlest is in kindergarten. She loves school and has been eager to go to “big kid school” for a couple of years. Finally, it’s her turn. Last week she started saying she never wanted to go back to school. I thought it had something to do with the “hikes” they went on during PE since she had complained about those a few times, not a lover of physical activity.

Then she came out of her room and said she had to sleep with us. We assured her she was okay (we were still up watching television since it wasn’t too much past her normal bedtime). The hubs laid down with her and then after he took the dog on a walk she came out of her room again. She started again saying that she couldn’t sleep alone. She wasn’t going to school. Not that she didn’t want do but that this time she’d like to see us try to make her. I went upstairs with her frustrated. I put her in bed and laid next to her. I asked her what was going on.

She started sobbing so hard that I couldn’t understand what she was saying. I heard the word bathroom in between sobs and was afraid someone had done something, had hurt her. I told her to take a deep breath. Everything was okay, we were in her room. Then she said she didn’t want to go to school because she was afraid a bad man was going to come and shoot all the kids. They had to hide. They had to turn off the lights. She didn’t want to go to school anymore. She said it was all she could think about.

This is my roll-off-her-back kid. She shrugs most things off unless she feels as though you have somehow crossed someone she loves. My more sensitive big kid heard us and came into the hallway from his room. I told him everything was fine and to go back to bed. He said to her, “It’s only a drill. They lock the doors when we are there. They have cameras everywhere. Don’t forget the cameras.”

That seemed to ease her mind a little. She said she had forgotten about the cameras. I asked her if they practiced for fires. She said yes. I asked her if she remembered us having a family meeting and talking about our family plan for a fire and where we meet up in case we aren’t all together when we get out. She said yes. I told her those are ways we practice for scary things so that if it ever does happen we can stay calm because we have a plan. This is no different. This is how we learn to be safe. She was still afraid and I stayed with her a few more minutes until she was almost asleep.

I went downstairs with a pit in my stomach that has remained everyday that she’s gone to school since then. I still tense up when I hear a siren during school hours. Columbine happened when I was in college. This wasn’t commonplace back then. My college roommates and I sat around the television for hours watching the news footage, horrified.

I went to the internet, because that’s when you go when you don’t know what to do and there’s no book on how to ease your child’s fears about school shooters. There were tons of blogs and forums with parents saying they didn’t know how to make it easier for their kids. I can’t believe that my little one is the only child who is having issues, nightmares about this. How is there not some protocol for helping kids to process this?

We have to do better. I can talk to my kids honestly and say that this is their practice, I had to do it when I worked at the hospital. We practice for the scary things so we know how to make them not so scary, so we know how to keep ourselves safe. I can tell them that those things scare me too but having a plan makes me feel better. I can encourage them to talk with me about the things that scare them and ways we can take some of the power out of the fear. But we have to do better for our kids.

Of all the things I thought I’d have to deal with as a parent, this was not one of them. How the hell did we get here?