sweet victory.

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I’m really truly proud of myself.

That’s what I am right now. YOU GO, GLEN COCO, I keep whispering in my head.

I bought myself some gorgeous flowers and Mast Brothers to celebrate.

30 days and I’m done.

Except I’m not done, not really. I’m going to keep eating clean/Paleo as much as I can. I did it for 30 days and feel AMAZING, so why would I stop now? The plan is to keep eating the way I have been at home– all breakfast, lunch, and dinners. Yes it requires some planning and prep work, I’ve discovered, but that’s something I’m completely willing to stick to. If we plan dinner out or want to be social? My feeling will be, ENJOY IT.

Above all I do know this: Eating clean = feeling good = worth it.

I do want to add some things back into my diet in moderation. I will be eating legumes at the end of this week because Zan’s making an incredible Bison chilli {from this cookbook} that I love. Will I add cheese and sour cream to the chili like I used to? I think I’ll steer clear of that for now. I did buy my favorite cracked pepper goat cheese that I plan to add to my salads {and eat with a spoon} and also, well, CHOCOLATE. Goat cheese and chocolate. Ha! Those are the only real things I’m craving. That’s weird right?

This past weekend I saw a picture of a juicy cheese burger and I was all OOOMAAAGAAHHHHHD. Neeeeeeed. But really, I don’t think I NEED that right now. It looked good, and eventually I’ll be sure to have one, but all in good time.

In the past month I’ve slept better than I ever have, I’m feeling good in my clothes again, and found more uses for coconut oil than I ever could have dreamed up myself {so. many. uses!}. I feel SO energized. I started working out. I stopped my itchy skin!! As far as I can tell, my smell is the same {not great}, but my sinuses are definitely better in terms of sneezing/allergies {no more Zyrtec!}, so I’m still holding out hope for someday.

This month was about doing what I set out to do and giving it my all. And I’m proud of myself for that. Really darn proud.

And now, I just really want a piece of dark chocolate.

And so, sweet victory, dark chocolate it will be. :)

happy skin.

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Last Saturday, I took myself on a small business tour through the South End of Boston. The South End is one of those hidden gems of a neighborhood, and one that you’re only likely to frequent if you live in Boston or around it. I think that’s one of the reasons I love it so much. Beacon Hill has got charm and history, and the South End has all of that, minus the crowds! And oh, oh! THE FOOD. If I had to choose a place to dine, 9 out of 10 times I would choose the South End. #1 favorite– TORO! The most delicious of all the delicious.

For weeks now I’ve been meaning to visit a handful of shops in the SE, and Saturday I made it to all of them, each one unique and lovely in it’s own way.

Here are the places I visited:

Olives and Grace {for gifts and giftwrapping}
Niche {for succulents}
Sault {vintage finds + men’s clothing}
Follain {natural and organic skin care, hair care + makeup}

Follain was the main reason I ventured over to this part of town because of all the hype it’s been getting on my instagram feed. I had this feeling of “everybody’s been there but me!” running through my veins, and with a place as eye pleasing as this one, I knew it was time to bring myself there, STAT. Also, it’s been so nice putting natural foods into my body, I figured I might as well start putting them on my skin too, right?

I loved meeting the owner Tara, and she was so helpful informing me about all of the products available. I’m not heavy into makeup and washes, but I do get really dry hands, and use moisturizer on my face, so I got two bottles of lotion for just that. I also decided to get a soap, too {I got rosemary citrus!}, because the refill station sold me.

I can’t wait to bring my sister back here– she’s a sucker for products like no one I’ve ever met, and I know this is a place she will ADORE.

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I mean, SERIOUS PASSION EYES, amiright?

Dreaming of that sink for my kitchen.


To visit:
Follain, 53 Dartmouth Street, South End, Boston

every last detail // my whole30 experience.

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21 days in! B O O M.

L E T ‘ S  G E T  C L E A N.

I’m trying to figure out how to start this post. I want to tell you all the things– all the decisions, and details, and reasons, but I’m just not sure how to begin. I think I’ll start with me, a month ago, feeling lazy, and heavy, and blah. A good a place to start as any, I guess. The holidays were over, we were deep into winter, and I just didn’t feel good about the way I felt or the way my clothes fit. I was eating whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, my skin was itchy, and my sinuses were crap. And so, I went out to change a few things.


My decision to try The Whole30 came from a mix of different places. A little over a year ago I talked with my friend Kristin about her experience with Whole30. I felt encouraged by her success, asked a lot of questions, and then basically put it on the back burner of my mind. Did I think it was awesome? Yes. Did I think I could do it? No.

In February and March I knew of two other friends that were trying Whole30. My good friend Liz loved it so much, she’s continued to live a Whole30-inspired lifestyle, which really got me to think more about trying it myself. And yet. I put it on the back burner of my brain AGAIN. But every time I’d get together with her {and saw how TERRIFIC she looked. Seriously.} I’d think to myself– I should do that someday. I should try that.

Another friend of mine from college switched to a Paleo lifestyle, and she called me on the phone one day SO EXCITED about her sinuses. You see, she used to get sinus infections A L L  T H E  T I M E. Every month, every week, it seemed– but when she stopped eating like she used to and started eating clean, she stopped getting sinus infections completely. WHAT? As a long time sufferer of allergies, and more recently, some serious sinus trouble, this sounded AMAZING. Sign me up! Someday.




Always someday, never today.

Until now.

I don’t know exactly what finally caused me to commit. I’m thinking it was a combination of feeling unhealthy, and seeing others’ success. My two friends Janee and Molly have been huge inspirations. My friend Jolie started eating clean, and is making a real effort to get fit. And so, one weekend in early February I just said LET’S DO THIS. TODAY.

And I am so glad I did.

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You can read all the nitty gritty details about The Whole30 here, but I’m going to write a little bit about my eating experience, and what it’s meant to me.

First off, you can basically eat only 6 main staples. Protein, vegetables, fruit, oils and butters, coconut and olives, and nuts and seeds.

It’s not a lot, but it’s plenty.

You cannot eat grains, dairy, sugar, legumes, or alcohol. Basically, any kind of processed food is out, and only REAL NATURAL food is in.

For me, this has been a life change. I used to eat a lot of processed food, a lot of grains, and dairy, and chocolate. It’s what I grew up with, it’s what all the commercials and even doctors told me was good, it’s all that I knew. This new way of eating is different, but it’s not bad. Also, I picked a time of the year when not much is happening and I can easily make my own food and be successful. No vacations, no celebrations, just me, making a lot of trips to the grocery store, spending a lot of time in my kitchen.

You’re supposed to eat 3 balanced meals a day, following this meal plan, and avoid snacking. I sometimes snack, because I just can’t help it, but the things I’m snacking on now are way better than anything I was ever snacking on before.

Here are some of my go-to meals:


Always eggs {scrambled or soft boiled}.
Greens {cooked kale, broccoli} or butternut squash, or sweet potatoes, or carrots, or any veggie, really!
Sometimes maybe a banana with almond butter. Or raspberries. Or blueberries.
Black coffee. {Not as bad as you’d think. I tried coconut milk in it {whole food brand, in a can}, but didn’t love the way it seemed oily.}


I mix up my proteins and veggies and try to make enough for leftovers.

Turkey meat sauce over spaghetti squash
Fish with turnips and collared greens {Zan made this one night. YUM.}
Beef Stew
Paleo Pad Thai
Marinated chicken and salad {My friend Liz told me about this dressing and it is amazing.}
Mom’s Chicken Soup {from Whole Foods}

Also, always a little side of fruit. Usually berries. Sometimes watermelon. Today mango. YUM. And nuts. I like cashews and pistachios. Mmm.

People swear by avocado, but I got sick on an avocado once {like reeeeeeallly sick} and remember getting stomach pains when previously eating them, so I haven’t been adding any to my meals. I know, I know, HOW CAN YOU NOT LOVE AVOCADO??, everyone always asks. To which I answer, I just don’t like feeling sick. Duh.

Mostly, my meals are simple. Which is fine by me, I was never a terribly fancy meal eater anyway.

Another note: Zan is eating grain-free, dairy-free right now. He’s been traveling a lot for work lately, so hasn’t been able to commit to Whole30 completely {you really do need to have control of a kitchen}, but when he’s here, he eats what I make OR if I’m lucky, he’ll make a delicious clean dinner for me. He is WAAAAAAAY better in the flavor department, so I relish in this.


Things I miss:

Egg salad sandwiches on wheat bread
Chocolate chip cookies
Bruegger’s bagels.
Going out to dinner.

For the most part, it’s actually surprising how painless this has been for me. When you delve into the internet and read other people’s Whole30 experiences they talk a lot about cravings, and headaches, and weird dreams, and “hating everything”. I never experienced any of that. I really just try to eat until I’m full and make sure to have a snack with me in case of emergencies. Once I’m satisfied, I don’t feel any cravings. Do I still claim to love chocolate? Obviously, forever, but it’s been fine to go without it for the time being.

When I told my friend it wasn’t that hard, she responded with, “It’s your attitude.”

And I completely agree.

It’s 30 D A Y S. Not a lifetime.

I’m sure some people are rolling their eyes at me. I know it’s not so easy for everyone. I know it’s hard to be social when you can’t eat what everyone else is eating or drink what everyone else is drinking {or even at all}. And believe me, I KNOW that dessert is amazing and that grilled cheese is heaven {I remember}, but I  also love the perspective they give on the Whole30 website: “It is not hard. Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Birthing a baby is hard. Losing a parent is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard. You’ve done harder things than this, and you have no excuse not to complete the program as written. It’s only thirty days, and it’s for the most important health cause on earth – the only physical body you will ever have in this lifetime.”

To which I say, A M E N.

Although, I do plan on eating like this at home indefinitely {probably more Paleo, which is very similar}, I also plan on enjoying the occasional dinner out or indulgence when we’re traveling. Of course! Because, LIVING! But I’m liking the way this food is making me feel, and I like knowing EXACTLY what I’m putting in my body, so why not continue to eat this way as much as I can?

After 21 days, consider me sold.

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A little bit about the results, so far…

I’m not done yet, but as of day 21 I want to write down some of the differences I feel since starting the Whole30.


Best sleep ever.

I put my head on the pillow, and OUT LIKE A LIGHT. I don’t wake up in the night, I don’t toss and turn, and when my alarm goes off in the morning, I don’t feel like I want to cry.

{Also, and this isn’t necessarily Whole30 related, but ever since getting my Fitbit, I feel like I’m in a race with myself to get a good amount of hours in each night. I’m trying for at least 7 hours, which means I have to put some effort into settling in earlier than I’m used to.}


I used to be ADDICTED to Zyrtek. Not even kidding. I’d take it every day for itchy nose and sneezing, and also itchy skin. I took it every day for probably close to 5 years. Two weeks before I started Whole30, in an experiment to “see if I could do without it”, I stopped taking it. Just up and stopped. My skin itched LIKE CRAZY for maybe three weeks, and now it doesn’t! I can’t say for sure if this is because of the Whole30, but I’d like to think so.

Also, my sinuses are really bad. I can’t smell that well, only really strong scents, and even once had an MRI to look into it. {I’m fine.} Turns out I’m prone to sinus infections, but I don’t get symptoms like other people do {face hurts, headaches} so I could go a long time without even realizing I have one or worse, having it treated. So far, my smell seems to be the same, but I’m hopeful. Another reason why I’m going to keep this way of eating up– I’ve read that people do have improvements in smell, so maybe I just need more time.


I feel so good. So so good. I feel well rested, and energetic. I don’t get that tired feeling after work that I used to get, which is amazing. The first two weeks I didn’t exercise {and maaaaany weeks before that}, but I went to the gym to walk every day last week and today I woke up early and did 30 minutes in the pool. ROCK STAR STATUS. I attribute this change in exercise to both the Whole30 and my fitbit. It all feels so fantastic.


As far as weight goes, I am curious to see how the Whole30 changes my body. I’ve never been terribly obsessed with my weight, but the months leading up to this, I did feel heavier than usual, and the scale told me the same. Mostly, I want my pants to fit like they’re supposed to and it would be nice for my stomach to be flat. :) Technically, I’m not supposed to weight myself until the 30 days are up. I cheated, obviously, and checked in a few days ago {I’m only human}, and yes, I’ve lost a few LBS, which is awesome– but what’s more awesome is the way I feel, and that, FEELING GOOD AND ALIVE, is the thing I want to remember best– the most important thing of all.


Lastly,  some of my favorite resources:

For questions:

The Whole30 website has been my go-to. I basically google ” _______ (food) Whole30″ every single second and I’m brought to the Whole30 forum, where someone, naturally, has had that same question already. Very helpful.

For recipes:

Against All Grain

Eating Whole {and her instagram feed is awesome, too!}

{For true Whole30, Paleo recipes often need to be tweaked a little, but only in the slightest!}

For life:

The Eighty Twenty {I’ve linked to it once or twice before, but it’s a wonderful online space that truly celebrates living a clean, real lifestyle.}


And that’s basically it. How I loved and lived Whole30 for 21 days, and how I will happily carry out the next 9 and beyond.


Thanks for reading this monster of a post.
I never read posts like this myself,
so if you’ve gotten to this point,

Questions/comments? You know where to find me.

And if you have favorite recipes or blogs, send away!

saturday links.

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This weekend I’m home alone. It’s kind of exciting having the weekend to yourself, in an I CAN DO ANYTHING! sort of way. I spent last night sitting on the couch eating cooked kale with lemon and dried cherries. They were the only unsweetened dried fruit I could find, and as it turns out, they were delicious. I watched the first episode of Call the Midwife, then face-planted into my bed at 11:00. What a dream. This morning I woke up before 8, had my eggs and butternut squash before 9, and feel pretty darn good about today.

March is here, and spring has got to arrive at some point. I’m hopeful.

My sister sent me this piece by David Sedaris. I smiled the whole way through, first because I love David Sedaris and could imagine him telling the story in that way that he does {I love listening to his books on CD}, but also because I feel EXACTLY the same way about overhead lighting. Too good.

In an effort to reach my 10,000 steps each day I’ve taken to the gym. I went FIVE TIMES already this week because I absolutely have to get my steps in. It’s not a question, I just feel that I have to. What a win. And so, I asked my friend Rachael to suggest some of her favorite podcasts, because I trust her with that sort of thing. Each one she recommended I tried, and I loved.

After the Jump

The Sounds in My Head

The Writer’s Almanac

I also love This American Life, which my mom introduced me to a few years ago. What are your favorites? I’d love to give them a try.

I loved this essay on The Eighty Twenty, and I’m so excited about their new book club, too. I think I’ll pick up One More Thing this weekend at the local book shop.

This blog is one of my very favorites for fashion finds. {Madeline is also a long time favorite twitter friend.} I haven’t bought one piece of clothing in 2014 {CRAAZY! I know!}, but when my hiatus ends, Uberchic is where I like to get my shopping ideas from.

Do you meal plan? I never did before I started Whole30 {I never spent so much time in the kitchen either!} but this instant download from Brim Papery is awesome.

Jolie also had some free desktop wallpaper featured on Designlovefest a while back. I downloaded them all and added them to a folder on my computer with a bunch of other favorite desktop backgrounds, then I use them all to rotate through a screensaver. You should try it! More great desktop freebies, curated by Kate, here.

And, I think that’s it for now. I’m off to get some goodies at Follain, and maybe even throw in a trip to IKEA because I’m feeling wild.

Have a lovely Saturday. The sun is out so let’s rejoice.