I’m so happy to be back here blogging again after taking the month of January off. I needed to devote all of my free time to studying for my health coaching exam this past few weeks, and guess what? It paid off! I am officially a CERTIFIED HEALTH COACH!!! I completed my certification through the A.C.E. Program (American Council on Exercise). It took me about 6 months from start to finish, and the final test was HARD. But thankfully I passed and now I can really start pursuing my future dreams of coaching others and making a difference in the health and wellness community. I am so passionate about continuing to share my experience on my blog as well as help others in their own health journey’s.
My next step in this process is with Whole30. My application to be a Whole30 coach was just accepted yesterday (woo hoo!), but now I have what seems like a pretty intensive few months ahead of me. Just because I was accepted does not mean I am a coach yet. I have to go through 4 test tracks- a multiple choice test, an essay test, a special project, and an interview. This Whole30 crew doesn’t mess around! If I am able to pass all the tracks, I then officially become a Whole30 coach and can start working with clients! My timing is a little wonky, because we leave for our honeymoon trip to Europe this coming Monday, so I think I am going to wait to take my first test until I get back from our trip. That will give me time to re-read the Whole30 books on the airplane and ensure I have all the content on lockdown.
Oh yeah, did I mention we are GOING TO EUROPE in 5 days!?!? We decided to not do our honeymoon right after the wedding and wait until this winter so that we could make a ski trip out of it. There is nothing we both love more than chasing powder together. We decided to fly into Munich, ski in Austria, and other than knowing that we fly out of Paris 2 weeks later, we really have no plans. We are totally winging it, renting a car and going where the snow is. Some people may think we are crazy but this is just how we both love to operate on vacation. The great thing about not planning anything is that nothing can really go wrong! Its so much fun to not know what your next day will bring and just go with the flow. I think it makes traveling much less stressful and more exciting.
It’s been snowing in Austria non stop for weeks, so much so that thousands of people actually got stranded in some mountain towns there recently during the storms! We are hoping that the snow continues, but honestly if it is just beautiful blue bird the entire time, we would be just as happy. More fresh snow would be an added bonus, but we are just excited to travel around Europe together and experience the culture, scenery, and of course, the FOOD.
Now of course I have to discuss my plans for food. Many people have asked me if I plan to stay really strict Whole30 or will I just go crazy and eat whatever I want? Well Whole30 in Europe is going to be basically impossible because I don’t speak German AT ALL so I will have no idea what the ingredients listed will be and we will be eating out a lot. I’m sure half the time I will have no idea what I am even ordering. Of course I plan to google the menu items to get an idea, but I am not going to spend my entire honeymoon on my phone searching for German food words and stressing about ingredients. Yes eating healthy is important to me, but spending time with my husband and enjoying our time together is more important, so I am accepting the fact that I need to let go a little bit over there. My plan is to eat as Paleo/Keto as possible when I am able to choose those types of options, but I will also enjoy a few “worth it” choices here and there that are very NOT Paleo or Keto. If you don’t know what Paleo or Keto is, I will give a quick and dirty explanation…
Paleo is basically eating like our ancestors did in the Paleolithic era. Food from the earth that could be obtained by hunting and gathering. Meat, veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds… you get the idea. This is the foundation of my lifestyle these days.
Keto is a very high fat, moderate protein, and low carb style of eating. You eat around 20 grams of carbs per day and they are coming mostly from non starchy vegetables and low sugar fruits. Think cauliflower, greens, cabbage, zucchini, blueberries and raspberries. Starchy veggies like potatoes are usually avoided with Keto. And all grains, high sugar fruits, and basically anything with carbs is a big no. The main difference between Keto and Paleo is that on Keto you can technically eat foods like cheese and other dairy because they are low carb, and Keto does not focus as much on the quality of the food, rather just the macro-nutrient content.
I have been making a very slow and gradual shift to what I call a “Whole Keto” lifestyle recently. It’s basically a combination of Whole30 and Keto, focusing on REAL food that is low carb. Eating low carb is definitely the lifestyle I want to maintain long term for many reasons I will go into in another post, but it’s a hard transition to make after a lifetime of consuming nothing but carbs and sugars. Especially for a binge eater, carbs are what I crave in times of stress and other emotions, so this journey is a tough one that is really helping me learn to manage my emotions with something other than food. Learning what foods make me feel good, learning how much I need to eat each day to fuel my active lifestyle, teaching my body to burn fat instead of carbs for fuel, and being more mindful when I have binge urges has been my main focus the past few months. It’s been a roller coaster, but my progress is amazing and I am in a better place mentally than ever before.
Traveling to Austria definitely throws a bit of a wrench into my low carb recovery plan and I would be lying if I said I don’t have any anxiety about it at all. Going to a foreign country that is known for its deep fried meat, pretzels, beer, and pastries definitely isn’t ideal for someone who eats mostly Whole30 and has an eating disorder, but I promised myself a while ago that I would not stress about food on this trip. This is only 2 weeks out of my life and I am just going to roll with it. I think it will be really good to explore my food freedom for a few weeks and see how I have changed over the past few months. I have a much more mindful approach to eating these days, and I am really looking forward to practicing making choices that really feel worth it to me rather than feeling powerless to a binge. And actually, it will be nice because eating in restaurants and with my husband always around will not really lend to any opportunities to binge, so this will be a great time to explore my feelings and control with eating certain foods in a very controlled environment.
So basically my plan on this trip is to do my best, remain stress free, and practice my food freedom. This vacation is about skiing, spending time with my husband, and celebrating our marriage. I couldn’t be more excited and I am hoping to write at least 2 blog posts while we are over there with updates! You know I’ll be posting all my food on the gram, so if you are curious about following us on our trip, follow me @toriakselrad on Instagram!
When I get back I will be working hard on Whole30 to pass my tests and get my certification, but for the next few weeks I’m turning my brain off, skiing my heart out, and not stressing about the schnitzel.