Author Archives: charity

  What I learned from Whole 30!

Hi, my name is Charity and as of today I am a proud “graduate” of the Whole 30, healthy living program.

Have you heard of Whole 30 before? In short, the program is a short-term nutrition reset, designed to help end unhealthy cravings and habits, restore a healthy metabolism and balance the immune system. You practice this way of eating for 30 solid days to complete the entire program.

The program consists of selecting foods that are clean. Fruits, veggies, and proteins (chicken, shrimp, steak & eggs) while eliminating any processed foods, dairy, alcohol and sugar or soy.

While I thought I was going to be lost without my morning yogurt, evening cheese, and red wine, I found other yummy things to substitute just fine. Pinterest & the Whole 30 website became great sources of recipe inspiration. Mr. C and I had a shared page for all sorts of recipes that we would share with one another to keep mealtimes creative and super yummy.

Everyone keeps asking if it was “hard” and to be honest it really wasn’t. I’m not saying it wasn’t full of situations when I wanted to quit…it totally was. It was SUPER tempting to dip into my sons Easter basket for leftover chocolate eggs and jelly beans but I resisted. It was not super fun to stay home while everyone celebrated Tribe Opening Day. I had to pass up a few fun bloggers dinners (and drinks) out and that was very unlike me. And…OMG…the cooking and cleaning up and cooking and prepping was OUT OF CONTROL, but we made it.

So while it wasn’t HARD per say, it was a focused effort for 30 days to eat clean and control exactly what went into my body.

My 3 biggest takeaways from our Whole 30 experience.

#1 Meal prep is key.
Sunday evenings were reserved for chopping, dicing, hard boiling, roasting and grilling. I tried my best to make a weeks worth of “grab-&-go” breakfasts as well as some key dinner options that would eventually roll into leftover lunches. If I wasn’t able to get all my prep done, it really made for some late weeknights. There is no way around this part of the experience, there are no shortcuts to eating clean just a bunch of cooking and even more clean up.

#2. The scale isn’t the only validation.
If you know anything about Whole 30 you know you are NOT supposed to step on a scale the entire 30 days. As someone who has always had the case of the “yo yo’s” I HAD to know how all the clean eating was affecting my weight. To be honest, in the end, it didn’t make a huge difference, a nominal weight loss but there were many other motivators. One afternoon I got a “congratulations” notification from my Fitbit that my resting heart rate had dramatically dropped so that we pretty cool. I also saw a difference in my blood pressure and as someone who has a family history of high blood pressure, this was assuring. So while I didn’t loose a bunch of lbs, I gained health measurements that made all scrubbing pots and pans worth it.

#3. Better sleep. Glowing skin.
Since I wasn’t being “over-served” for 30 days, morning wake-ups were easy peasy. Weekend mornings I bounced out of bed ready to take on the day and I could go strong into the night not feeling sluggish or tired. I don’t think I ever experienced the infamous Whole 30 “tigers blood” but instead for sure had a level of alertness that carried me through the entire 30 days. My skin also benefitted from the clean eating approach. I’m not sure if it was all of the kombucha mocktails or the lack of baked goods, but I don’t think I had one imperfection during the month. I actually had a few “your skin looks great” compliments and I just smiled and chalked it up to lack of alcohol, pizza, and chocolate.

Next steps? So what’s my strategy for next steps? I plan to eat mostly gluten and dairy-free and to limit my alcohol, grain, and legume intake. Eating things like bread, beans, and rice only a couple of times a month, rather than daily. I will slowly re-introduce alcohol but not every night, two glasses approach…at least not for now. Have you done Whole 30? Have any special tips for me? Want to geek out and talk about ghee and coconut aminos? Drop me a note and we can all geek out together!

(photo of homemade pickles…I also have become a huge fan of homemade ketchup…both without any sugars!)

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  Next generation of Women; presented by the Sherwin-Williams Co.

Hey friends. Happy Monday. Wasn’t last Friday’s weather so wonderful? Everyone had their car windows rolled down and was smiling and happy…fingers crossed we get more of those spring temps soon.

Today I want to invite all of you to join me this Thursday at the Engage Cleveland’s signature event called “Next Generation of Women.”
Navigating your career and personal life in your 20s & 30s can be rough..I mean even in my (early) 40’s it’s challenging. But we are lucky enough to have Engage Cleveland who carefully crafted a women’s forum tailored to the emerging female professional in Cleveland.

Unlike your typical women in leadership event, they’ve created a half-day experience consisting of nothing but professional and personal advice to help guide the up-and-coming women in Cleveland, featuring some of the area’s most noteworthy female professionals across all industries. A few of the topics they are going to cover are : What do you want to be known for? (by my friend Lisa Zone!) How to prioritize your personal, civic and professional responsibilities? and How to effectively make decisions to navigate your career and personal life. Plus many more interesting topics.

I hope to see many of you this Thursday. I plan to take lots of notes, to be energized and inspired! I will also be insta-storying while I am thereso tune in for lots of fun stuff! If you want to get yourself a ticket they still have a few available to purchase. Visit their Eventbrite page here for the details.

  Kendra Scott : You’re invited!

Hey friends! I am so excited and honored to be hosting an evening at the new Kendra Scott store in Eton. Please join me and their very fun team Wednesday night, April 25 from 6-8pm for some bubbly a few sweet treats and most importantly the new 2018 summer collection. OMG…the purple earrings!!!

All guests will receive 15% off your purchase. It is the perfect time to get your Mothers’ Day or spring graduation gifts covered for all the stylish ladies in your life. I gotta say, I am a big fan of this national jewelry brand. I love her more trend-focused collections and can’t wait to see what else she has designed for the entire summer look. PLUS, I can’t wait to check out her new candle line..of course I am a sucker for great packaging and a fresh scent.

Although the brand today is pretty recognizable, did you know Kendra started off in 2002 as an entrepreneur with a small start-up investment in her spare bedroom? It is such a great story of one Mom’s use of her creativity and passion for gemstones that made the store what it is today.

I am really looking forward to visiting and hanging out with the new team. I hope you can swing by and visit, they have a pretty great night planned for us! Sweets, surprises and shopping…sounds like a fun way to spend a Wednesday evening with your friends. Hope to see you there!

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  Our Indian Adventure!!!

Warning, this is probably my LONGEST post I have written in the eight years I have been writing this blog. I wrote it for those of you who may be interested in our trip, but I also wrote it so that I personally didn’t forget any little travel details as a  journal for myself. I hope you enjoy!

Today is exactly a month from our return from southern India. It seems like only just yesterday I had butterfly’s of excitement deep down in my belly as we landed in Bangalore around midnight on a warm spring evening. So many friends have asked me to tell them about our trip that I thought I would write a few fun stories down. While this isn’t a true Cleveland-centric post, it’s about an experience that has provided me a new perspective on the world and I hope you enjoy it.

You see…in 2008; just a bit over ten years ago, I was a proud Cleveland Bridge Builders participant. If you don’t know what “Bridge Builders” is, it’s basically a young-professionals, leadership organization where you have the opportunity to meet and collaborate with a handful of other passionate Clevelanders for a solid year of programming. In this group I met a friend, he was an undergrad student at CASE and we were placed in the same small group project. I am happy to say that while the project wasn’t super successful our friendship has endured for just about ten years.

Last year, around Christmas I got a phone call from my friend who had since moved to NYC and it was kinda odd he was calling me since we typically text nowadays. I answered immediately worried something was wrong; but just the opposite…he was engaged and wanted to personally invite me and Mr. C to his wedding celebration abroad and just like that…we were going to India! MORE! →

  (sponsored) Dreaming of my Indian Pina Colada cocktail!

Hello friends, happy spring! Recently I have been reflecting about our trip to India. While I loved so many aspects of the adventure, one of the things I discovered that I thought I would share was the bright yellow, Indian Pina Coladas!

We were out at the pool and feeling very festive and tropical when the server came by our patio chairs to see if we wanted a drink. From across the pool, I spotted a bright,  yellow drink all dressed up with multiple, cocktail umbrellas…I knew I had to try one. The server assured me it was a Pina Colada and while I was hesitant at first (I normally don’t love these coconut, suntan lotion-type drinks) I was feeling vacationy and went for it.

When it arrived I was totally BLOWN AWAY by how delicious the drink was. Not thick, not perfumy, just pure pineapple, coconut, and rum! I knew when I got home I was going to try and create it for summer nights by the pool. So I thought I would give my recipe version a shot.

INGREDIENTS (makes two drinks)
1) 1 cup ice
2) 1 cup diced pineapple, fresh
3) 2 ounces coconut water
4) 2 ounces white rum
5) Pineapple slices & mint for garnish

Place all ingredients in your blender and voila! You have a “healthy” Indian-inspired Pina Colada! I’m telling you, it is so light but with a subtle coconut flavor but a fresh, bright pineapple taste. Pour it into a playful glass, add some mint, a pineapple slice and enjoy!

Once you try this light version of the traditional cocktail you will never want anything else. Promise! So cheers to discovering new cocktails while away and the teaching yourself how to make them once you get home…it is a perfect memory that keeps on giving!

SPONSORED POST : Thank you to Wayfair for including my story about my Indian Pina Colada as part of their social outreach. Thanks for supporting this business, while allowing me to create special content like this for iheartcleveland!

 

 

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