My Quest to Eradicate Cheddar and Become a Healthier Me

Monthly Archives: July 2012

Kristin!  Congratulations Kristin, you have won a “bitty” sized box of organic food from Door to Door Organics!  Thanks for everyone who participated in my first giveaway…there will be more in the future 🙂


So I completed my first week of Whole30 last night, and I’m really glad I didn’t just dive into it.  I had spent time preparing foods in the previous months, getting used to eating less sugar, and creating a general food routine.  That helped me SO MUCH in the past week, and it made it much easier to adapt to Whole30.  At this point, I am just following the general rules.  I have had some questions, and the Whole30 Forum has been helpful, especially for my common question “Can I eat ______?”.

I am going to admit that I have been breaking one rule.  I have been weighing myself so I can keep up with my Pounds and Inches (I will update that tomorrow to account for the last 2 weeks).  I did sneak a weigh-in yesterday, and I liked what I saw!  It’s probably the most weight I’ve lost in a week, so it looks like avoiding those small temptations has really helped!  I have also been tracking my food intake and exercise with SlimKicker on my iPhone (they don’t have it on Android yet).  This is an awesome app because it has cool challenges and you can increase levels and feel that you are being rewarded for you work!  There’s also a neat social component to it.  It’s also free!  I’m going to do a review and giveaway associated with them in the near future.

I also finally started reading “It Starts with Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change your Life in Unexpected Ways” (ISWF for short).  This has been a really great read.  It is very simplified, yet informative.  It also keeps me motivated to keep going and realize that I’m making a positive impact for my body and life.

Not having coffee was hard for the first couple days, but I got used to it.  I do still miss it, but I am enjoying trying new types of teas!  I actually went to a tea tasting at Adagio Tea with a friend this past weekend.  I learned some interesting and new things about different types of tea and the importance of keeping it at specific temperatures.

I do like that I have a general routine now for my daily menu, however, I am getting a little bored with it.  I’m hoping to try some  new recipes from Well Fed: Paleo Recipes for People Who Love to Eat, and I will be sure to report on those soon!

Also, there’s just a day and a half left for my Door to Door Organics Giveaway, so be sure to enter if you are in their delivery area!

I’m so excited about my first giveaway with Door to Door Organics! For the past few months, I was very intrigued by the idea of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) which provides a way to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. I was also very interested in buying organic. Typically you can sign up for a CSA which is either delivered to you or picked up at a farmer’s market. I will admit, I didn’t do a ton of research, but what I did find were ones that had an inconvenient pick-up time. I also had a hard time finding ones that delivered to me without me being there. Again, I didn’t do a ton of research. Also, you don’t get to pick what you get in the box. I think this is awesome, but also possibly wasteful. The element of surprise is really fun, and I love the idea of learning about new fruits/veggies and how to prepare them. However, I wasn’t to keen on paying for food that either I didn’t like or was a hassle to prepare.

I found out about Door to Door Organics because someone I know liked them on Facebook! Note the power of social media 😉 I checked out their page, and I was instantly interested. First of all, they offer FREE DELIVERY (I felt that deserved to be capitalized). Also, they offered many sizes and even offered delivery every other week. Seeing as it is just my husband and I, I didn’t want a ton of food (many of the CSA’s small sizes fed a family of 1-4). So I decided that I would get their smallest “bitty” mixed (fruits & veggies) box every other week to start out. They do have a bitty local box, but it doesn’t always have the variety of the mixed one. Obviously I want to use what I have and not waste it, so the mixed box worked better for me.

Another thing I love about Door to Door is that you can kind of customize your order. They “Produce Preferences” where you can list the types of produce you absolutely love and produce you don’t like at all. They definitely haven’t sent me anything I don’t like yet! I really do love this option because there is still an element of surprise, but it’s usually a good one 🙂 They also e-mail you what will be in your order a few days before delivery! Another great bonus is that they sell groceries besides fruits and veggies (cheese, dairy, meats, drinks, coffee, etc). So after they tell e-mail you your order, you can also add groceries that will also be delivered! I haven’t bought any groceries yet, but I definitely hope to at some point. When they deliver to you, they include ice packs in the box in case you won’t be home! At first, I didn’t think this could withstand some of the Chicago heat we have been experiencing. But for 2 out of the 3 deliveries we have received, the temperature was between 95 and 100 degrees. The box was left out for hours, and everything was gravy – meaning fine, not actually like gravy 😉 I took pictures of my last delivery (this was around 6:30pm after I got home on a 100 degree day):

The list of what was in my Bitty Box

My beautiful organic fruits and veggies

So onto the exciting part! Door to Door Organics is offering a giveaway of a Bitty Mixed Box (worth $26.99). If you would like to win, you have to live in the Chicago, Detroit, Kansas City, or Denver area!!! I would hate for someone to enter and not live in one of these places 🙂 Please check if they deliver to you at Door to Door Organics before you enter!  This is open to new and existing customers within their delivery area.

Want more chances to win? You will get more entries every time you do something indicated below (# of entries are indicated after each task). This will be open for a week until Thursday, July 26 at 10:00pm CST! One winner will be announced (and e-mailed) Friday morning. Remember to do #10 or you won’t find out if you won 🙂

1. Comment on this post: Tell me what you love about eating organic, how it’s helped you, or what you hope to gain from eating organic food. (+1)

2. Follow me on Twitter: @nisham (+1)

3. Follow Chicago, Colorado, Michigan, and KC Door to Door Organics on Twitter: @dtdOrganicsChi @dtdOrganics @dtdOrganicsMI @dtd_KC_Organics (+1 for each)

4. “Like” your local Door to Door Organics on Facebook Chicago, Colorado, Michigan, and KC  (+1)

(If you already follow me or Door to Door Organics on Twitter or like them on Facebook, you still get the entry)

5. Like this post by hitting “Like” below. (+1)

6. Follow my blog using the link on the sidebar (+1)

7. Tweet about this giveaway (you can do this everyday) using the button below and pasting the following (e-mail me the URL): “Win a home delivery #giveaway of #organicfood from @dtdOrganicsChi @dtdorganics @dtd_kc_organics @dtdorganicsMI and @nisham!” (+2)

8. Share this post on Facebook using the button below and e-mail me the URL. (You can do this everyday) (+2)

9. Pin one of the pictures above on Pinterest and e-mail me the URL. (+2)

10. E-mail me! Send me an e-mail at (so you can claim your prize) and let me know something you’d like to see me blog (or not blog) about! Also, let me know your twitter user name and paste the URL’s of your Tweets, Facebook shares and Pins so I know you did them (if you have multiple tweets/share URL’s, you can send me one e-mail with all the URL’s or one for each time you do it)! (+2)

Thanks everyone!

So I have a confession to make.  I have been debating, postponing, and excuse making for the past couple weeks about if/when I’m going to start the Whole30 program.  Yes that’s right, “if” was a question for me.  Here are my reasons for possibly not doing Whole30 at all:

1. I love love love my morning coffee.  I have been able to sacrifice cream and milk.  The hardest things for me to sacrifice was Splenda.  As you all know, I’m a total sugar addict, and I just couldn’t have coffee black.  I tried, I really did, but it just didn’t work 😦  Oh, I also love having a diet soda a couple times a week as well.

2. My weekly digressions have included cupcakes, Taco Bell, delicious pie, cheese, and some wine.  I have still lost weight and inches while including these digressions.  I was still less irritable than I had been before I started this lifestyle…so why bother?  I felt good enough, right?

3. I started thinking of events where it would be difficult or embarrassing to make special requests.

Then I realized that (1) I could have herbal tea, which I do enjoy.  I’m planning to start off with green tea so I can “decaffeinate” myself.  (2) Yes, I felt good “enough”, but maybe I can feel even better!  Maybe this 30 day challenge can make me even more energetic, even less irritable, and help me lose even more weight…who knows? (3) I realized that I can work around any events in the next 30 days.  There really isn’t anything I have planned that will get in the way of the program. And now I have control to not plan anything super difficulty to work around until August 15th.  I already have a bonus “reward” set in place on August 16th to get a mani/pedi with a glass of champagne with some girlfriends 🙂

I did “indulge” in some Coke Zero for dinner last night, so I had my last hurrah, haha.  Overall, I’m really excited about this.  I feel like I’ve been preparing to venture on this journey for a month and a half, and I should be OK.  I’m least worried about my hunger cravings and more worried about my morning coffee craving.  I’d really rather have it this way rather than having lots of hunger cravings.  I’m looking forward to sharing how this goes with all of you!

As I mentioned in my previous post, the husband and I went to a delicious deli while we were in Wisconsin called Brick Street Market.  We were looking for a good lunch spot that was somewhat healthy and original.  I found Brick Street Market on Yelp, and I was instantly sold.  It boasted about their artisan cheese (clearly I wasn’t cutting the cheese this weekend, hehe), delicious sandwiches and salads, friendly service, and wonderful environment.  Plus, it’s family owned and seemed to be quite a local gem.  Off we went!

The second we walked in, we were enamored with the ambience.  Everything from the setup of the tables, the delicious looking cheese in the window, the decor, and the warm smile behind the counter made us feel at home.  Immediately, we were introduced to Laura who heads up the shop.  She had the sweetest demeanor and showed us a menu.  They also had some specials for salad, soup, and sandwich.  Additionally, they had cheese flights (so evil, yet wonderful).  Seeing as we were there for lunch, and it was only the two of us, we sadly declined.

We got their pita chips and melted cheese to start and a Greek salad which was on special to share.  While the ingredients in the salad were pretty standard for a Greek salad, there was something special about this particular one.  I think the dressing had the perfect zing to differentiate it from others.  My husband got The Dane sandwich which was served on rye slices with WI Havarti with dill cheese, fresh sliced tomatoes, and red leaf lettuce. I got their chicken salad sandwich which was on special which came on ciabatta (one of my faves!).  Both sandwiches came with pita chips and the cutest, most perfectly cut cubes of watermelon!  Needless to say, the sandwiches were amazing.  It was clear that everything was made patiently, carefully, and with love.

Pita chips and cheese

Partially eaten Greek salad

Chicken salad sandwich (look at the perfectly cubed watermelon!)

The Dane sandwich

They also sold some other delicious local goodies which included unique salsas, various sauces, jams, crackers, wines, salad dressing, and books.  We actually bought gifts from here for all our family!   I loved the setup, and they had a really cool bank vault which housed some of their wines and other gifts!

Local goodies

Neato bank vault!

Overall it was a great experience, and we ended up returning the next day!  We brought some friends and got their cheese flight.  Of course, we were all so eager to eat it that I didn’t get any pictures, but I assure you that it was divine 🙂

Overall, we had an amazing experience here, and I can’t wait to see another concert at Alpine Valley just so we can come again!  While this was a transgression from Whole30, it was completely worth it.

What types of restaurants/foods/events make it worth it for your to veer off from your diets?

Well…I haven’t been updating Pounds and Inches for the past few weeks, but I was taking measurements.  Good news = I was on a good downward trend.  Bad news = I gained some back with my bad habits from just one week 😦 Good news (again) = I’m not going to let this bring me down!   I’m staying positive!

Well…it’s been over two weeks since I have posted.  Life just got busy for a bit, and then I went on vacation to see 4 Phish shows in a row!  Does that sound nuts?  Well yes, it sure was 🙂  We saw 2 shows in Indianapolis and 2 shows at Alpine Valley (WI).  This was a lot of fun, but it was also a lot of driving and not much sleeping.  I had a blast hanging out with my husband and friends that we have not seen in some time, but this whole healthy living thing didn’t go to well.  I don’t think it’s the end of the world to take a break from working out and eating a little unhealthy while on vacation.  However, when you wake up and eat three chocolate chip cookies to start your day, the day proceeds to follow in a similar fashion.  (For the record, Jewel’s standard chocolate chip cookies are quite delicious!)  That, coupled with exhaustion from the heat, standing/dancing at the shows, and generally being out of my routine did not give me much self-discipline to keep to the lifestyle I have been trying to lead.  In a way, these are all excuses, but it was honestly much harder for me to stick to something when I wasn’t in my “zone”, if that makes sense.

I did bring a mix of almonds and raisins, grass-fed beef sticks, and some fruit which I did eat on car rides, etc.  However, with a group of friends, time limitations, wanting to give myself a break, and, honestly, the desire to not be too picky in front of others, I succumbed to eating a Subway sandwich, the Mac & Cheese at Noodles & Co (I know there were healthier options, but I just let it all go), sandwiches from a delicious deli (which I will blog about later), late night Taco Bell, and munching on snacks like cookies, chips, etc.  OK fine, I gave myself a break…but I really forgot how awful I would feel from eating this stuff combined with a lack of sleep and exercise!  I was dancing at the shows, but it definitely wasn’t the intense workout I’m used to from The Dailey Method.  I was having a good time with friends, but I noticed that I was more irritable.  Saturday night at Alpine Valley, I noticed that my throat was hurting a bit.  I ignored it, and of course it got worse.  So on top of it all, I got myself a cold that is still nagging at me as I type this out.

I never realized how much getting out of my standard routine would throw me off.  The second we returned home, I was back to sticking to my Whole30 lifestyle.  I have not yet gone to workout because I haven’t had the energy from being sick, but I will likely go by the weekend.  I’m trying not to beat myself up about it too much.  After all, it was vacation, and it’s not the end of the world.  In fact, I’m pretty proud of myself for getting back on track with my food choices the day I returned.  I always have a fear that if I completely fall off the wagon, I may never be able to get back on.  I am confident I will be able to, and I do still plan to do the official Whole30 program starting mid-July.

I found this graphic from this site: Double Eagle Fitness.  It gives a nice breakdown of times people fall off the wagon and the post gives 3 great reasons to get back on track!

So that’s that.  I’d love to hear if anyone has good tips for eating on vacation!  Also stay tuned for a post about a few meals we ate at Brick Street Market!

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