Setbacks are a part of the journey.

Setbacks are a part of the journey.

Whether you like it or not, setbacks are a part of the journey. You can let them derail you and cause you to give up. OR, you can learn from them and correct course.

When I came up against a major setback in how I was feeling, I chose to dig a little deeper and understand why things had stalled out.

A few days ago, I stopped feeling so great AND my sugar cravings (you know, the ones I talked about being 100% gone) started to creep back in.  I was having a lot of indigestion, intense stomach pains, bloating like crazing, and an uncomfortable tightness underneath my ribs. I also started to gain back some weight.

A closer look at what I was eating and when revealed that the discomfort was being triggered by onions, balsamic vinegar, almond butter, fruit sugars (even in extreme moderation), and macadamia nuts.

As soon as I knew better, I did better.

A few days later, I also started to feel better.

I’m officially back on track and feeling good — indigestion, bloating, and tightness under my ribs are gone. I’ve also started to lose weight again. All signs that I’m on the right path.

This experience has been a powerful reminder that setbacks are a part of the process. Also, setbacks do not discriminate. Everyone experiences setbacks along the way. It’s how we deal with them that matters most.

Have you experienced setbacks when making a big change? How did you deal with it?

PP Week 2: Where our money went.

PP Week 2: Where our money went.

We have officially embarked on Phase II of The Plant Paradox* Program (AKA The Program).

This week marked our first in Phase II of The Program. As a result, we had a few items that we needed to get to stock our kitchen, as well as a few things we wanted to try (AKA dark chocolate that is 72% or higher and does not contain heavy metals).

We did manage to use a lot of the greens from Phase I this week because I totally overbought. I was hoping that would impact our spending for the week, but it turns out it didn’t. Bummer.

We also ordered our very first Butcher Box*! We were so excited to finally find a cost-effective source for grass fed and finished beef and pastured chicken. We’ve already had one of the steaks and OMG is it good. Looking forward to trying some of the chicken next. (If you click on the link for Butcher Box, you’ll get $10 off your first order!)

Menu for the week:


  • Hard boiled egg and mixed greens
  • Eggs and sweet potatoes
  • Eggs and roasted broccoli + cauliflower
  • PP Green Smoothie

  • Coconut Almond Flour Muffin in a Mug (p. 325) + greens
  • Cinnamon Flaxseed Muffin (p. 327) + greens
  • Salads (with walnuts and figs, with shredded carrots and chicken, with mushrooms and blue cheese for The Husband)

Here’s what we got.

From Butcher Box:

Beef + Chicken Box (we’re getting it every other month). Contents included

  • 2 10-oz New York Strip
  • 4 6-oz Top Sirloin
  • 2lb Ground Beef
  • 3lb Chicken Drumsticks
  • 3lbs Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • Bacon

Total cost: $119

From Trader Joe’s:

  • Pint of Organic Strawberries
  • Just Beets Beet Chips
  • Blanched Almond Flour
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Toasted Sesame Oil
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Pistachios
  • Trimmed Leeks
  • Organic Blackberries
  • Organic Baby Carrots
  • Organic Broccoli Florets
  • Artichokes – 4
  • Riced Cauliflower
  • 1lb bag of lemons x2
  • Plantain Chips
  • Bananas
  • Organic Romaine Hearts x2
  • Hass Avocados x3
  • Sliced White Mushrooms
  • Organic Cauliflower x2
  • Madame Chevre Goat Cheese
  • Goat Cheese Crumbles
  • French Brie
  • Asparagus
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Dozen Omega-3 Eggs x2

Total cost: $109.14

From Fresh Market: 

  • Barney Butter Blanched Almond Butter
  • Madecasse Pure Vanilla Extract
  • Swerve Granulated Sweetener
  • Alter Eco Blackout Dark Chocolate
  • Theo 85% Dark Chocolate
  • TFM Bittersweet 72% Dark Chocolate

Total Cost: $45.64

Grand Total: $273.78

A few things to note:

  1. We plan to get a Butcher Box* order every OTHER month, making that purchase average out to $15/week for amazing quality beef and chicken. I am extremely hopeful that this will cause our next few weeks to be super low because all we need are a few bags of lettuce and some other veggies.
  2. Holy fuck is almond butter expensive. That jar set us back $15.99. I plan to make that thing last for an entire year.
  3. Real vanilla extract is also expensive ($9.99). I seriously need to head to Penzey’s to stock up, because mama was NOT happy about spending that much on a tiny jar of extract.
  4. Those sugar alternatives are wild. $8.49 for a small bag of Swerve.
  5. This doesn’t include anything we purchased for our 3-year-old. Her stuff amounted to an extra $10.05. I didn’t include it because it isn’t PP compliant and that’s what I’m looking to track.
  6. Our normal spending at the store is anywhere from $115-150 for 2 adults and a child. So the shopping at Trader Joe’s and Fresh Market wasn’t too much higher than what we would have spent otherwise, but that does include meat and chicken.

I am hopeful that I can keep our shopping for Week 3 under $100 to help balance out some of this spending. Fingers crossed that’s possible.


*This is an affiliate link

Phase I of The Plant Paradox Plan: What we got and what it cost

Phase I of The Plant Paradox Plan: What we got and what it cost

We have officially embarked on Phase I of The Plant Paradox* Program (AKA The Program).

And by we, I mean myself and my husband.

We are following The Program as closely as possible and are using all of the recipes in the book. We are also going to be doing the vegetarian and vegan modifications since we couldn’t find the requisite pastured poultry, wild-caught fish, or Quorn products in our local stores.

What we’ll be eating in Phase I:

  • Breakfast: Green smoothie
  • Lunch + Dinner: Salads with either wild-caught salmon or cauliflower “steaks”.
  • Snacks: 1/4 cup of macadamia nuts or romaine boats with guacamole.

We purchased everything at Trader Joe’s and WholeFoods. Below is an itemized list of what we got and how much we spent on those items.

Our stocked fridge for Phase I of the Plant Paradox Program. Holy shit, that's a lot of greens.

From Trader Joe’s: 

  • Organic Power Greens Mix
  • Wild Arugula
  • Organic Romaine Hearts
  • Organic Brown Omega-3 Eggs x2
  • Mint
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Organic Cauliflower
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Hass Avocadoes x2
  • 1lb bag lemons

Grand Total: $34.78

From WholeFoods:

  • Basil
  • Organic Baby Kale
  • Organic Baby Spinach
  • Organic Lemons
  • Organic Vidalia Onion
  • Organic Green Cabbage
  • Organic Red Cabbage
  • Organic Curry Powder
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Organic Romaine Lettuce
  • Organic Red Butter Lettuce
  • Organic Broccoli
  • Organic Cauliflower x2
  • Hass Avocados x6
  • Organic Italian Parsley
  • SweetLife Liquid Stevia
  • Avocado Oil
  • Wild Caught Salmon

Grand Total: $97.47

The total cost for food for this 3-day cleanse is $132.25 (or $66.12 per person). To put this into perspective, that number is around what we spend for a week’s worth of food for 3 people.

And that’s on the low end since we’re not doing a whole lot of animal protein. A choice that was made for us when we couldn’t find the requisite pastured poultry, wild-caught fish, or Quorn products in our local stores. I’m fine with it, but I think The Husband would prefer to have a bit more variety in what we’re eating.

So I guess my initial excitement around our grocery bill being lower than usual was a bit premature. Ah well, you win some and you lose some. Fingers crossed that Phase II is a bit more budget friendly (ahem).

Can cleaning up my diet really do THAT?

Can cleaning up my diet really do THAT?

Even though I’m less than a week into this dietary change (I totally cheated and started early), I’ve noticed something exciting: my period has been a whole lot more manageable.

Instead of the usual large irritated red bumps (likely cystic acne) on my forehead and hair line, I’ve had two very minor red spots or blemishes that have disappeared in a day after a long hot shower. Also, my sugar cravings have reduced tenfold and are now officially satisfied with one fig and a small Saturn peach here and there.

While I was extremely tired one evening and went to bed much earlier than usual, I have had zero PMS symptoms. No back pain, cramps, chocolate binges, crazy mood swings, or major bloating. No weight gain, either. In fact, I’ve actually gone down a pound or two. And that NEVER happens when I’m on my period.

I did have some cramping yesterday after my period started, but on a scale of 1 to 10, I’d call it a 6. No need for medication or any other kind of intervention. Laying in bed and reading seemed to be all the therapy I needed. I also had a few weird dreams last night and have been a bit more irritable today, but compared to what it’s been in the past, this period and the associated symptoms feels like a cake walk.

I knew rationally that eating better can have a positive effect on my period. But to experience it, and so quickly to boot, has been surprising, to say the least. A happy surprise, but a surprise nonetheless.

I’ll be curious to see if this continues to be the case with continued adherence to the PP Plan. And I’m actually looking forward to getting my period again. Which, seriously? Who says that?!

There is something seriously wrong with me. 😂

Have you ever noticed that the way you eat has an impact — positive or negative — on your period?

Eating like this is going to cost me what?

Eating like this is going to cost me what?

Any time we create change, there is a cost connected to it. (Tweet this.)

I’ve been thinking a lot about the suggestions in The Plant Paradox (AKA The Book) and how they will impact our food spending. For starters, the Plant Paradox Plan encourages all organic fruits and vegetables, specialized oils, pastured (not organic or free range or cage free) poultry and eggs (or Omega-3 if you can’t find that), grass-fed and grass-finished beef, and wild caught seafood.

The eggs alone are anywhere from $2-4 more expensive for a dozen Omega-3 eggs. I haven’t been able to find the poultry, but the beef is at least $4 more per pound. And let’s talk avocados, which the diet is a hearty advocate of. Those are close to $2 a piece unless they are on sale or you buy the small bundle of avocados from Trader Joe’s.

So imagine my surprise when I went food shopping yesterday and ended up spending less than what we normally do on food for the week. 

I intentionally tried to find a lot of the products we’d be eating on the Plant Paradox Plan just to get a feel for what our food spending will be like. Much to my surprise, our bill was actually $50 less than what it normally is. Even though I got all organic produce, 2 dozen Omega-3 eggs, a large bottle of extra virgin olive oil, and some new items to try (nutritional yeast, jicama). I suppose that’s what happens when you don’t buy any meat, poultry, seafood, grains, or beans.

I suppose that’s what happens when you don’t buy any meat, poultry, seafood, grains, or beans.

I will definitely be keeping an eye on the grocery bill over the course of the next 3 months to see how things compare as we get into the thick of it and find our footing with the foods we eat and like. I’m also certain that things will vary depending on where we’re shopping, so I’ll be taking note of that too.

And, of course, I’ll be tracking it here too. I’ll share our weekly haul and what our planned menu is for the week. And if we eat something amazing that’s not in the book or find links to PP-safe meals, I’ll share those, too.

(Yes. I’ll be sharing recipes again. And yes, I’m excited about it.)