Confession: I successfully failed at Whole30 – Part 1

I feel like I haven’t been blogging enough lately – and I want to! I feel like I’m in a weird place in life right now, in the sense that I feel like I’m embarking on a more intellectual and emotional journey as opposed to a the physical (and kind of emotional) journey that I have been on for the past year and a half or so. I’m finding myself less focused on how I physically feel, and more focused on how I emotionally/mentally feel. (That’s doesn’t mean that I’m ‘letting myself go’ though!)

On July 5th, I began a Whole30 experience with EVERY intention of sticking with it, and I knew that it was physically possible for me because much of my diet is already quite similar to the plan’s format. I wholeheartedly stand behind the philosophy of the program.

Of his own will, my boyfriend decided to do it with me as well. The first five days were fine for me – I struggled a little bit missing my after-dinner chocolate, but I could deal with it. Steve said he felt so run-down and devoid of energy the whole time he was on the plan. Quite honestly, I thought he’d be the one to crack first! You might think that it was the sugar cravings or the need for bread or legumes or cheese that broke me. Actually, it was alcohol.

Before you jump to conclusions, no –  I’m not an alcoholic and I do not/have never had a drinking problem. I turned 21 this past March, and am still enjoying the social aspect that comes with the privilege to go out with friends and have a drink or two. Not only did I feel the pressure with friends, but with family as well! They didn’t force me into it – but they would offer me a glass of wine, and when they’re all having it, it’s difficult to say no!

The first time I went off-plan was after the Spartan Sprint at Blue Mountain Ski Resort. It was just about five miles all uphill and then all downhill. Times ranged from 1 1/2 hours all the way to 10 hours – I finished in about 4 hours. (That also includes time waiting at obstacles, burpees, etc. Nobody was running this race.) By the end, I said to my boyfriend, “GIVE ME THE FREE BEER”. It wasn’t that I needed it physically, but..okay. Maybe I needed it. Not really. I shouldn’t make excuses. I wanted the beer after, and then I wanted to have a meal filled with protein and vegetables – which I did.


The following day, I was leaving to go to Georgia for a week to visit with family. I met my parents and brother down there, all of whom had just flown in from Denver after my brother’s lacrosse tournament. I was still determined to maintain this plan. I packed all my leftovers in my carryon bag, I went grocery shopping once I got there, I even brought a little arsenal of spices, coconut oil, nuts and fruit, and other Whole30 foods to make traveling on Whole30 a little easier.

I made it until Thursday – where it all went downhill from there. Not even two weeks, and I had been broken. I did, however, learn some things from this short, less-than-successful attempt at Whole30. Stay tuned for Part 2 to find out just what I learned!

In the mean time…

Have you ever failed at something you thought you could do?

What are your ‘eating philosophies’?

My First Foodie Pen Pal Reveal!

Happy Monday folks! I’m finally feeling like summer is in full swing and I’m loving it. For some reason, however, time just seems to go so much faster these days! I’d like time to slow down just a littttle bit so that I can enjoy these beautiful carefree days. And now my Foodie Pen Pal Reveal!!

The Lean Green Bean

This month, I participated in my first Foodie Pen Pal exchange hosted by Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean. What a fun experience! I got to try some tasty favorites of a fellow foodie named Kristen P. from Minneapolis, MN. I’ve never been to the midwest, so it’s neat to have a taste of what foodie finds are out there!! Drumroll please….




Such fun goodies! From left to right:

  1. Ames Farm Purple Loosestrife Single Source Honey: I’ve never had single-source honey before, and I was anticipating it to just be like regular honey. The particular variety that Kristen sent me had a unique, spice-like finish to it, which made it especially perfect in my soothing caramel bedtime tea! Also, as per her suggestion, had it on a slice of toast with some ghee. Tea and toast – a perfect, light, afternoon snack!
  2. Uncooked Wheat Berries: I LOVE wheat berry!! I’ve only had it pre-cooked & frozen. She gave me some recipes to use wheatberries in – including wheat berry tabouli salad, lemony wheat berries with roasted brussel sprouts, and zesty wheat berry black bean chili. I haven’t gotten a chance to use them yet, but now that I am off of work for a week I will certainly be using them! image-4
  3. Trachealth drink mix: Kristen included two different flavors – coconut water + chia and blackberry hibiscus green tea + chia. I am a HUGE fan of chia seeds and coconut water, and green tea! I loved the coconut water flavor, and have yet to try the green tea. Perhaps that’ll be a nice accompaniment to tonight’s ballet class!
  4. image-11                                          Peach White Balsamic Vinegar: This may possibly be my favorite part of my foodie pen pal package, closely tied with the next item I’ll describe. This vinegar has a thicker consistency than normal vinegar, and it’s sweeter from the peach yet still tangy. I used it in iced tea, on salad, on grilled chicken, roasted brussel sprouts, and even in my zucchini pasta. The possibilities are endless with craft vinegars! I want more!!
  5. B.T. McElrath Chocolate – The Salty Dog: The word chocolate alone should be reason enough to explain why this item is tied with the last one for my favorite. The Salty Dog is dark chocolate with toffee pieces in it, and sea salt on the bottom side of the bar only.  B.T. McElrath is unique in the way it presents this particular flavor. On the back, it give you two ‘options’ to enjoy the sweet and salty flavors. You can eat it salty-side-down to feel the immediate bite of the salt, followed by the smoothness of the chocolate, or eat it salty-side-up and allow the salty notes to subtly ease their way into your eating experience. Pardon me while I get a paper towel – I believe I may have drooled on my keyboard a bit. :pimage-9
  6. Linden Hills “Spice It Up”: a zesty blend of herbs and spices, it includes flavors such as paprika, lemon peel, garlic, and onion. I’m not a fan of flavors that are overpowered by citrus, but the lemon peel is very light, yet still noticeable enough for me to enjoy it. I used this as a rub with some olive oil on grilled chicken, and also used it with the peach white balsamic vinaigrette on grilled chicken. I’ve still got some left – perhaps I will use it on my sirloin steak this evening!

A big thank you to Kristen P. for sending such wonderful treats in my foodie pen pal package!! And a BIG thank you to Lindsay for hosting foodie pen pals every month! :)

IMPORTANT Questions for you!!

What would you like to see more of on Run 2 Your Own Beat?

Feel free to email me at with suggestions, questions, and comments!! :)

Heartrate Monitor Users: You might be ignoring one HUGE component of exercise…

Howdy and happy Thursday friends! I hope you’re all having a good week. We’ve had some great weather this week here in Eastern PA (except for today – it’s rainy!)


Um, so I decided I’m actually going to start on July 5th ….I was persuaded to indulge in July 4th festivities! Regardless, I promise that I won’t change my start date this time!

I’m still working my way through the book and will probably start working on meal planning this coming week and the following week. Stay tuned for updates!



I want to talk about running in particular. I ran a 10k in November and literally have not gotten my distance past that point yet. I sort of feel like I’m starting over in a way, so I decided to set smaller goals for myself to avoid getting discouraged by failure.

Yesterday, I set a goal to run 3 miles non-stop at a 9:30 pace on the treadmill. Once I had gotten to the gym, I realized that I forgot my heart rate monitor! Slightly frustrated, I went through with my workout anyway. I not only met my goal, but I felt great!! This was odd for me because typically I get very bored on the treadmill. I think I just needed to prove to myself that I could in fact run that distance without stopping. I did an upper body circuit after and left the gym feeling refreshed.

I decided to go sans heart rate monitor again today! I did a leg workout with some supersets of deadlifts, squats, and some leg press, etc. along with some cardio. I attempted to do 30 minutes of 30 seconds on/30 seconds off at 7.5 mph/6.0 mph. It was kind of a bust – I ended up only doing 20 minutes and my 30s off ended up just being a straight up rest at some points – and I even threw in some tabatas at 9.0 mph. The point is – I did what my body felt like doing because that is what gives me a feeling of satisfaction.

These two days have been quite eye opening. I realized just how much I was checking my HR monitor during my workout and how it basically dictated how hard I was going to push myself in that next moment. I’m no athlete. I am, however, very grateful for the body I was given and that I have the ability to move it as I please

The Problem: Not listening to your body enough.

If you frequently use a HR monitor, it’s easy to forget how much it distracts you from focusing on how you feel as opposed to what your heart rate is. While HR monitors are great – particularly for those just learning how to exercise or with a large amount of weight to lose – it can become sort of a crutch when exercising. When it comes to running, however, you really just have to go with how you feel.

The Solution: Set daily fitness goals that are feeling-based.

These goals should not be calorie-based. They should be be feeling-based. That means to run until feel reach a sense of accomplishment, lift until your muscles are reasonably spent, and wake up the next day and do it all over again.

Exercise, while it can be science-y times, is usually an emotional experience for many. I don’t mean that folks are sobbing while on the treadmill or giggling everytime they do a bicep curl. We all know that exercise serves as a great de-stressor and offers people an opportunity to clear their minds.

I conclude with this: heart rate monitor users, every so often, allow yourself the opportunity to remind yourself why you fell in love with exercise in the first place, before you ever got a heart rate monitor. Allow yourself to focus on the physical and emotional feelings that accompany exercise. 

That’s all I’ve got for today folks! Some questions for you:

How did exercise change for you after you got a heart rate monitor?

If you choose to go a day without it, post your thoughts/reflections/feelings in the comments on this post – I’d love to hear what you all have to say!!!