Smoothie Talk

I have had a love-hate relationship with smoothies for years. I have a history of binging and restricting food and often, smoothies can trigger the restrictive side if I am not careful.

While I agree that smoothies are a great way to get lots of vitamins and minerals jam packed into a delicious tasting, convenient treat, I think there’s a time and a place for them.

When I was restricting and so heavily counting calories, I stuck with smoothies for nearly every meal. I packed them with fruits, veggies and protein powder which were all healthy, appropriate ingredients but psychologically and emotionally was catastrophic and I didn’t even realize it.

Eventually after so much routine smoothie consumption I found myself feeling guilty, shameful and fat if I had to chew an actual meal. The control seemed too far gone and I panicked, going right back to that smoothie life.

It was so easy to justify my poor eating habits if I could tell myself I had a nutritious smoothy because it was full of good things, and you see ads for healthy smoothies everywhere!

What you don’t see, is smoothies determining your self-worth which is the road I went down.

I really knocked my unhealthy smoothie habit during my first Whole30 (see pg 72 in the Whole30 book for deets) and now have them as a part of my food freedom but not as a part of a reset.

For me, I make sure that smoothies are an added source of nutrition to my day not a meal replacement. The smoothie you see here came after my regular breakfast of chicken apple sausage and roasted veggie bake.

If a smoothie is my meal-which is not often- I make it into a smoothie bowl with added (unblended) toppings to ensure I am chewing my food. This helps to make sure I get pre-digestive enzymes flowing and to have my brain and my belly communicating on the same page.

One of the biggest non-scale victories I learned during my Whole30 journey is to value not only the food on my plate but the experience associated with it. I am less likely to sit down at my table with a smoothie and enjoy every sip of it without being distracted by a million different things. If I only limit myself to on-the-go smoothies I am not truly taking in everything that those ingredients have to offer me like I would if I prepared it and enjoyed it one bite at a time.

I am no smoothie hater and thoroughly enjoyed my extra greens smoothie from The Juice Bar this morning, but I encourage you to make sure your relationship with smoothies is a healthy one and that you don’t forget the value of a tasty, chewing worthy bite of food <3

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Whole30 Kool-Aid

I overheard someone the other day tell another person that I must have “drank the Kool-Aid“ because of my predominantly clean diet.

And I was offended. But just this morning I found myself saying the same thing about someone else for a completely different reason and that’s not okay.

I did make a big switch in my health habits and relationship with food when I started my Whole30 journey over a year and a half ago, but I wouldn’t consider myself having “drank the Kool-Aid.” (Mainly because it’s not whole30 compliant 😉 )

Anyway, if someone is living their life to a standard of their choosing, remember that it is just that- their choosing.

I see so much hate and diversity on the news not because of one persons doing, or one party’s doing (like we tend to think) but because of us.

You and me.

And sadly we do it without even realizing it. Now people are ridiculing other people for ridiculing them initially.

All of this to say, if you want to drink democratic Kool-Aid that’s fine, or if you want to drink the Christianity Kool-Aid that’s fine,  if you want to drink Taylor Swifts Kool-Aid because I’m sure she has one, that’s fine too.

But I will be right here, drinking my Whole30 Kool-Aid (which let’s be real, is kombucha) because that’s what works for me.

I have high standards when it comes to what I put in my body and if someone wants to judge me on that, have at it because my Paleo treats, gluten free bread and legume-less food freedom is what makes me look and feel as good as I want to look and feel. Who is to fault me for that?

I’m guilty of judging and consider myself to be at fault too but fortunately I had my eyes opened to this today.

Just because my standards are my standards and I live by my morals doesn’t mean that everyone has to agree with me. Let us at least offer each other mutual respect even if we agree to disagree… especially when we are only trying to better ourselves <3

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Whole30 Potluck

You guys, since my Whole30 journey began a year and a half ago, I had big plans of hosting a potluck. A safe place where you didn’t have to worry or think twice about what food was being served and if it was compliant or not. A party you could go to without having to eat before you got there, where you didn’t have to take emergency food, or prepare to politely decline every hors d’oeuvre that came your way.

Well, it finally happened a couple of weeks ago. More food than I imagined, delicious as ever with all the LaCroix your heart could handle, Whole30 trivia AND door prizes. The cool thing about it was the diversity of people that attended–where some guests were Whole30 pro’s and others who had never heard of it before. It just further confirmed the beauty of the Whole30 community and how wanting to look and feel our best, eating delicious, nutrient dense food is something we can all have in common.

Here is just a glimpse of *some* the amazing food we had, and I wish I had taken more pictures of the food because, y’all, it. was. so. good.

    

Such delicious food. Everything from my typical roasted veggie bake with chicken apple sausage you see me eat nearly every day, pork carnitas and tenderloin, cucumbers, avocados, chicken salad… my oh my!

Game time! Whole30 Potluck Trivia

Whole30 trivia consisted of 30 (get it?) questions from easy to hard, (some say they were really hard) about all things Whole30. Guests were asked to pick a number, remove the post it note and read the question aloud and answer. If they were unable to answer it was up for stealing from another guest. The goal was whoever had the most post it notes at the end of the game were able to pick from the basket of door prizes first!

The door prizes included: Nutpods and Tessemae’s Ranch Dressing (surprise surprise), Tessemae’s Ketchup, Primal Kitchen Mayo, 2 sets of 1 Larabar and 1 Rx Bar. All goodies were compliant of course.

I had not prepared for a tie, so I had to think of some tie breaker questions off the top of my head but, alas, we had a winner. If I remember correctly, the Nutpods were first to go and the Mayo was soon to follow. Everyone walked away a winner as each guest left with a Whole30 prize in hopes of making their Whole30 a little bit easier.

To see a list of the questions, scroll to the bottom of the post!

Out of everyone who attended the Potluck only two were on a Whole30 at the time. The significant others of the guest attended too so there were some non-compliant beverages consumed by those and the ones who were not actively doing a Whole30 BUT, that’s what food freedom is all about. I had a delicious plate of food and was completely satisfied and still felt amazing after I ate it, along side my spiked pumpkin cider (please hurry, fall).

For those who were in the midst of a reset, there were plenty of compliant beverages for them, but ALL the food was compliant and that was a beautiful feeling.

If you are wanting to host a Potluck on your own, here are my suggestions to get the ball rolling, keeping in mind, this is what I did and wished I had done, but something different might work for you.

In the nature of any Whole30, the best place to start is picking a date, so…

  1. Talk to your circle of friends before hand and discuss a date that works best for (most). It’s going to be impossible to find a date that works for everyone.
  2. Create a Facebook event and send out invites at least 1 month ahead of time (you can do formal invites too if you’d like)
  3. Be thorough in your description of the event and expectations for the evening (time, date, place, what to bring, who to bring)
  4. Allow other guests to bring a Whole30 buddy or two with them
  5. Post a comment on the event page to have guests write what they are bringing to avoid doubles and check back periodically asking the same question, especially the day before.
  6. Post copy of Whole30 Rules on the event page (I didn’t do this and should have).
  7. Be inviting and welcoming when guests arrive. You can have index cards to write on if you want to put the name of the food on each dish
  8. Have name tags for your guests to wear if there are a lot of people who do not know one another
  9. Be organized- have drinks in a cooler, silverware handy, paper plates for easy cleanup, to-go containers ready for the guest on a current Whole30 (do as much ahead of time as possible)
  10. Thank everyone for coming and send them off with a door prize (not necessary but is a nice touch of you are able to accommodate) + send a thank you out on the event page the next day or two after.

   It is not one size fits all and there are things I will do differently next time, and yes, there will be a next time because it was so much fun! I am incredibly passionate about this lifestyle and enjoy sharing it with any and everyone, especially these friends who came from near and far for the potluck!

If you host a potluck, please tag me (@coffeecarrotsandcurls on Instagram) or Snap your photos to court_coyle,  I would LOVE to see what you came up with!

Until then, keep calm and Whole30 on friends.

Here is a list of the questions that were asked. How well would you have done?

  1. What year was the first Whole30 completed?
  2. If you want butter, what is the best Whole30 compliant option?
  3. What is the title of the first book in the Whole30 series?
  4. What was Melissa eating when her co-founder suggested they do a 30 day clean diet challenge?
  5. T or F Can you use alcohol to cook with on the Whole30?
  6. “I like cupcakes” is the first line in what Whole30 book?
  7. T or F Re-creating your favorite comfort food is encouraged during a Whole30?
  8. T or F You should throw away your scale during your Whole30?
  9. What happens if you break one of the rules during your Whole30?
  10. Whole30 is pressing the reset button on h__ h__ and r_________ with f____.
  11. How many new Whole30 books are coming out this year?
  12. What must you slay while on the Whole30?
  13. On what days will you want to “kill all of the things?”
  14. Sleeping more soundly, increased energy and fewer blemishes are all examples of what?
  15. What is phase 2 of the Whole30?
  16. Slow roll and fast track are examples of what?
  17. If you’re slipping into old habits, what is the best way to get back on track?
  18. What Whole30 approved partner offers Ketchup, BBQ sauce and ranch dressing, to name a few?
  19. It’s okay to use tobacco products on the Whole30?
  20. What is the name of the Whole30 program for pregnant women?
  21. “Quitting heroin is hard _________ ____ ______ _____ is not hard.”
  22. What is the first thing you do before starting your Whole30?
  23. What is an alternative to soy sauce while on the Whole30?
  24. What does SWYPO stand for?
  25. T or F Locust Bean Gum is acceptable on the program?
  26. Avocados, olives and nuts are examples of what?
  27. What is the name of the Whole30 Social Media/Digital Manager you often see on their Insta stories?
  28. Epic bars, Rx bars and Larabars are examples of what?
  29. What is the name of the fermented tea drink with probiotics?
  30. What common creamer is used on the Whole30?
  • If you want the answers find me on social media, comment below or email me!

 

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Becoming.

This time five years ago I took a really big leap of faith and started chasing new dreams back in my hometown, leaving behind so many important people to me in Birmingham.

There have been ups and downs since I moved from Alabama to Tennessee and then to Georgia, but today I celebrate five years of working as a counselor to individuals with opioid addiction and it’s humbling and full of all kinds of emotions for me.

I was scared to leave my life in Birmingham but sometimes you have to do really scary things to become brave, to become inspired, to become aware of your potential and what you really are  to…………….b e c o m e.

I could sit here and try to name all of life’s curveballs and blessings that lead me to where I am but that would take forever. (Just really thankful it lead to me Columbus where I grew into a wife :))

What I will say is thank you to my incredible dad and brother who had enough faith in me to give me the opportunity, chance and lessons to become the counselor that I am today.

And to my amazing Bham family for sending me off with so much motivation into my new journey and for showing me that miles mean little when the love is so big.

I didn’t think that writing this would bring me to tears, but here I am, tears flowing. Not because of sadness but because change is hard but also that change is growth.

I changed, I became and I am a firm believer that I am still becoming.

“Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith.” Margaret Shepard

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Cup o’ wholeness

This month has been hard. Evidently it was not more than I could handle, because here I am typing as quickly or as slowly as my mind and fingers allow.

There were a series of difficult obstacles to tackle this month and when the first set hit I found old habits resurfacing pretty quickly. Maybe not like they would have pre- Whole30 when I would’ve binge ate McDonalds chicken nuggets or a pint of ice cream….or both. But I noticed most vividly that negative self-talk was present and it was heavy and harsh and all I wanted to do was shut it up with food. It was interesting because I found my newer self combating the older self with questions like this “Courtney, are you feeding the emotion or hunger?”

I became angry. WHY did I have to read every Whole30 book and WHY did I have to listen to every Melissa Hartwig and Danika Brysha Podcast? WHY is my Instagram feed filled with constant positivity and clean eating recipes to haunt me when I am miserable? WHY must I KNOW the answer to the question my newer self is asking? Wasn’t life easier before when I could dive head first into a basket of breadsticks and just. be. happy. for crying out loud? Without knowing the truth?

No. 

I  knew I wouldn’t find happiness in breadsticks so I just cried. In my hotel room at my conference when I could have gone and eaten whatever I wanted to with no judgement from anyone. Instead, I  listened to Food Freedom Forever on Audible (again) and filled my “cup o’ wholeness” up as full as I could get it. Through the rest of my many travels that weekend I felt distanced from music and listened to any and every Podcast I could find. Starting with Melissa Hartwig’s episode on MindBodyGreen and that started this incredible domino effect and before I knew it I was fighting the negative self talk without even realizing it.

I went into the next week feeling empowered and proud of how much I had put into my “cup o’ wholeness” really without much effort.

It turns out that during the next two weeks I was going to take and take and take from that cup until there was barely anything left. If you’re familiar with Food Freedom Forever, I view my “cup o’ wholeness” as the vehicle that holds my ability to “let good enough be good enough.”

Now…today…here I am scraping the bottom of my cup for every parcel, crumb, remnant of wholesome, balance, love, gratitude, thankfulness that I can find because this week… I was a lost.

Looking back I know that it was meant for me to struggle those first few weeks of June and submerge myself into those Podcasts so that my cup could be overflowing when I needed it the most.

So today, I found myself gravitating to my computer to write about this instead of pretending on Snapchat or Instagram that I have everything figured out because I don’t.

All I know is that I am so thankful that my newer self had the courage to scrape the bottom of my cup o’ wholeness to take in every last bit instead of falling for the false hope that a large pizza and glass of wine would have given me.

I know there is a time and a place when pizza and wine are appropriate for me but I know that it is not when my cup is empty. It is when my cup is full.

When my cup o’ wholeness is full it means that I am able to deliberately choose to consume the food or drink because I am completely present in the decision making process and in turn will be completely present in the meal.

And that is how it is supposed to be.

If I am not all there when I make the decision then chances are I am just feeding my emotions and I know that will cause a fast downward spiral to making things way worse than they already are.

I have been humbled by this month. It has honestly taken me full circle to my very first blog post in my Whole30 Journey from January 2016 when I quoted my every day words to my patients,

“Recovery is a full time job—a lifestyle change.” “It’s not going to be easy.”

Those words ring true today and here I am living a life I am beyond thankful for hoping that you learn with me and from me as we go through this together.

Filling our cups up with goodness and wholeness along the way.

 

 

 

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Roasted Potatoes

Roasted Potatoes

These Whole30 Roasted Potatoes will make the perfect side dish for your 4th of July or other summertime Celebration!

Serves 6 

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 35-40 minutes

Use Whole30 compliant ingredients

 Ingredients

2 lbs small baby potatoes- halved

(you could also use any potato of your choice-russet, sweet potato, purple potato–just cube potatoes to like sizes)

4 tbsp ghee (melted) or other cooking fat of your choice

1 tbsp dried parsley

2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

*You could sprinkle fresh parsley or chives for garnish*

Directions

– Preheat oven to 400° and line baking sheet with foil or parchment paper

– Cut potatoes into halves or same size cubes

– Melt the ghee in microwave or stove top

– Combine all seasonings in a bowl and add to melted ghee and stir

– Place potatoes on baking sheet and coat evenly with ghee mixture

– Bake cut side down for 15-20 mins (for crispy edges), remove from oven and toss

– Return to oven for 15-20 minutes longer until fork tender

– Served best hot with dump ranch or other compliant sauce

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meaning of coffee, carrots and curls.

To be yourself. To become authentic, to be you, the you that no one else can be. To radiate uniqueness. I find myself at 27 years old, looking back wondering who I really was, who I was trying to please and prove myself to? Who am I now and who am I becoming?

I have been a people pleaser for most of my days, just adapting to life’s circumstances to not shake the waters–desperately wanting to be accepted, loved, and admired.

When I was trying to think of genuine, true to me, titles for this blog, I kept coming back to my curls, coffee and food. Three things that have always been defining factors of… me.

I was always known for the girl with the curly hair… you know, the one who blocked everyones view of the stage during a play or the easy to find person at a sporting event. As a preteen I hated my curls and begged my mom to straighten them out every day before school so that I could “fit in” with the crowd and avoid being the center of everyones jokes.

Eventually I learned that embracing my curls meant that I could sleep in so I put the straightener down. I just made a decision about myself, for myself and I was super proud of that.

I have always loved coffee even before I spent 4 years working at Starbucks, where I began to love coffee on a completely different level. Where I was in love with the people, the smells, the atmosphere.

The smell of coffee became one of accomplishment, friendship, security, love and heartbreak.

When I left the coffeehouse for good, I couldn’t enter another Starbucks without the smell of the grinding beans sending me on an emotional downward spiral where food saved the day. The smell still gets to me but I am strong and have learned to compartmentalize my feelings and emotions pretty well. The smell provides me strength and the taste, warmth and I am comforted. I am proud of the knowledge I have of the creation of lattes and history of the bean. Coffee is still a part of me, not the pain it ended up causing.

In life it is no surprise that we encounter obstacles. I have conquered my fair share and know that there are battles still left to fight.

In the past, food was my comfort and my answer for just about any emotion or feeling I was presented with… fear, anger, happiness, loneliness. Be it from criticism about my luscious locks or for the emotional turmoil I went through working with a few co-workers in college.

Then, when my food intake increased, my pant size did too and I panicked and went to exercise for comfort.

It wasn’t until I was knee deep in It Starts With Food that I realized the extent of my food addiction and was hopeful and scared of what Whole30 had to offer me and my relationship with food.

This is where my love for writing became even more prevalent.

I write for accountability and I find that when I write I become mindful and enlightened of feelings that I didn’t even know that I had.

As I sit here and write this entry from the comfort of my own home, I am reminded that I have a beautiful life. That I do not have to please anyone but myself. That my bouncy curls that sometimes are frizzier than I’d like or the dark roast coffee I prefer that everyone else believes is overpriced are just fine for me.

When I learn, (and I say when I learn because I am still learning) how to be confident and okay with Courtney, everything else will fall into place. When we get rid of the negativity and anything that does not serve us in our lives things will GET BETTER. We cannot continue to mask them with food and numbing them with exercise.

It is in the research of our authenticity that we find what matters most to us and then we become mindful of the decisions that we make and WHY we are making them.

Writing, my curls, my coffee and my new found love of clean eating make me… me. No one has to understand why I pass on the cake for a co-workers party on Tuesday but indulge the next week. Those are the decisions that I have to make… for me whether they understand it or not.

I no longer answer to society… I answer to myself, for myself, praying along the way that it inspires others and makes them want to do the very same thing.

I want to thank YOU for reading this. I challenge you to reflect on your life at the good, the bad and the ugly and think of your story and how it has landed you where you are today.

What would your blog title be?

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