{Morning Inspiration from Baroque}

Thursday, May 31, 2012



One of my favorite classes I took in high school was jewelery making. It's where I broke countless saw blades and learned how to use a blowtorch, flux, and solder. Watching this reminds me of so many good things. What was your favorite class in high school / college? {Inspiration found at 1:40}.

Absence Heard, Presence Felt - An Announcement to Answer

{Husband's Letters}

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Dear Emma Aikman, last night you played paper football with me on the floor. I must say, you are pretty good with those touchdowns. And I think you're brave to let me flick sidewinder field goals at you. Dear 4 Hours of Disc Golf, I should have worn sunscreen. Ouch. Dear Non-fiction Books, you easily win my heart over with your real-life stories, details that can never be learned in a history classroom, and feels-like-I'm-there moments. Thank you for the entertainment and life challenges that are riddled throughout your pages. Dear Mrs. Loerke, this could be us in 50 years! (Just swap out the floral prints for Patagonia pullovers and Chacos).

Over and out,
Tim

Fiction or non-fiction?

{A Weekend of Goodness}

Tuesday, May 29, 2012









The Ranch: the place I escape to when Dallas feels overwhelming and my heart needs to be filled with pond fishing and afternoon naps taken in rockers on the back porch. It's also where Tim and I got engaged, learned how to ride horses, and had our first four wheeling accident. So many adventures here!

This weekend my friend Molly Roberson flew in from Kentucky and got to experience the Ranch in all it's goodness. She's been a consistent reminder that sometimes friends who live far away are much nearer than those at hand. What's one of your favorite places to visit? Wherever it is, I hope you get to go there often. Happy freaking Tuesday, Littles.

{Fist Pump Friday!}

Friday, May 25, 2012

To kick off this week's photos meet Cassie and her husband Bart from California who threw fist pumps and leg kicks on top of Pike's Peak in Colorado. Rumor has it that they sell donuts up there? Whaaaat??


Next, meet Taylor University students from 3SE. Bonus points and a #54 sundae from Hoe's to anyone who can tell me where this photo was taken.  {One of my favorite places on campus}.


Our next photo is of Stephanie who stumbled across one of the mascots for this year's summer Olympics while backpacking in Ireland. Fist pumps for the luge and the country that has birthed so many of my favorite musicians.

Next, meet sisters Amanda (University of Florida) and Elizabeth (West Shore Sr. High) who threw fist pumps after graduation. Both will be attending UF this fall as Amanda pursues her master's in education.

Lastly, meet Bethany and Shelby who threw fist pumps and leg kicks while on a kayaking trip to Hopewell Lake at French Creek State Park in Pennsylvania. You two are speaking my love language! #kayaking

FPF Challenge Photos: take a photo of you and your Homies 1) while riding an elephant 2) with your mailman 3) in front of Antique Archaeology in Nashville 4) with Twinner at Local123 5) at your favorite BBQ joint 6) at the Pyramids in Egypt 7) at Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo 8) after running a marathon 9) in front of the Sistine Chapel in Rome 10) in front of your sorority / fraternity house 11) at the National Cherry Blossom Festival in DC 12) with your grandma or grandpa (because grandparents are the shiz) 13) with your favorite professor or teacher 14) at Caine's Arcade 15) by the Golden Gate Bridge in San Fransisco 16) with Katie Davis in Uganda or at Catalyst Dallas 17) on a sailboat 18) at Old Faithful in WY 19) with Naomi, Josh or Eleanor Davis of Rockstar Diaries (bonus points if it includes Kingsly at the dog park) 20) at the World's Largest Peanut in Ashburn, GA 21) in front of the Sydney Opera House in Australia 22) at the Paul Bunyon and Babe the Blue Ox Statue in Bemidji, MN or 23) while cheering on your favorite team at the ballpark. To participate email photos to em@todaysletters.com. And most importantly, Happy freaking Friday, Homies!

PS, Each week we receive several FPF photos that can't be posted on the blog due to photo quality. We'd love to encourage you to 1) take your FPF photo horizontally (when possible) 2) use an SLR camera (no blurry cell phone pictures) and 3) take your photos in the daylight. Thanks!

{Gratitude} Lately

Thursday, May 24, 2012

So many good things lately ... lunch dates with Tim, Coava coffee, mornings inspired by Ben Howard, bici rides at the lake, bacon for dinner, naps in our Kammoks, tree tunnels, words that convict, texts from Twinner, sponsoring Moti, paddling in Chacos, and a soon to be road trip to the Ranch with this sweet friend. Life is good.

To top it off, this morning we leave for Tulsa to spend time with Tim's family. If you've been tracking with us for awhile you know they've been through the ringer these past several years. Sometimes a quick trip home is just what the doctor ordered.

Happy Thursday, homies. Here's to finding joy in the midst of heartache, peace in the midst of chaos, and rest in the midst of motion. {He is enough}. XOXO

{Today's Letters}

Wednesday, May 23, 2012



Dear Mr. Loerke, yesterday you got up at 5am to run with one of your dudes before your 12 hour shift. So encouraged by your dedication to train. #TourDesFleurs20K Dear Self, you are learning to prefer growth over relief. This can be hard. Dear Tallest Man On Earth, your new song screams road trip. Who's with me?? Dear Timothy James, it's almost 6 o'clock in Ethiopia. So grateful to know at least one little dude won't go to bed hungry tonight. Love making a difference with you.

Your next road trip, where would it be?? Also, let me know if you're a college student working at Kanakuk, Pine Cove, or TBarM this summer!

{Husband's Letter}

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Dear Emma, I've been reading a book called Unbroken. You say it's hot to see me read something other than medical literature. I think you're cute. I'm learning about the death defying journey of Louie Zamperini. He was a bombardier on a B-24, one of the more rugged, long-range planes in World War II. However, it was difficult to fly because of the heavy controls and maneuvering capabilities. This often led to an enormous amount of crashes, not even because of battle. At first glance, the B-24 looks indestructible, but to the unskilled pilot it was a death trap. If a pilot was to succeed with this beast he had to study, study, study every possible scenario to fly safely. Learning about the B-24 has taught me something about marriage. If we don't take it seriously and work at it every day, we will crash into the sea. I'm grateful we team together in the mission of marriage. I love you so! Can't wait for you to read this book! Over and out, Tim

Have you read any good books lately?

{Today's Letters}

Monday, May 21, 2012

Dear Mr. Loerke, you are the man who regularly reminds me to dive head first into things. I love you for this. Dear White Rock Lake, they say the first river you ever paddle runs through you the rest of your life. Thanks for being a close second to the Colorado on Saturday. Dear Chapter 9, you were like riding my bici home in the rain. #painfullyexhilarating. Dear Timothy James (who always gets two letters), before we met I never listened to jazz, spent so much time in these, or understood the difference between my Latissimus Dorsi and Sterno Cleido Mastoid. Love you more than shaky legs after a run.

Happy freaking Monday, Homies! Do you typically jump head first into things or feet first? Confession: sometimes I crawl, but Tim has helped me grow so much in this area. Reason #272 why boy roommates are awesome.

{Keep Your Head Up by Ben Howard}

Saturday, May 19, 2012



Here's to a Saturday filled with adventure and lots of laughs with friends. {Inspiration found at 2:13}

Every Kingdom - Ben Howard

{Fist Pump Friday!}

Friday, May 18, 2012

To kick off this week's photos we have Brooke who went sailing in Santorini with her husband, Josh. They just got back from a two week long adventure in Europe celebrating 10 yrs of marriage. Congrats!

Next, meet Lauren and her mom who threw fist pumps while sailing in Kemah, TX on their family sailboat, Airborne. So grateful you had parents who exposed you to sailing at an early age! #jealous



Next, meet Mackenzie, Kerry, and Hannah who recently finished their freshman year at Elon University in North Carolina. Fist pumps & leg kicks for making me want to take a nap on that lawn. #carpetgrass 

Our next photo is of Vanderbilt grads Sarah, Margaret, Mel (freaking love this girl!), Natalie, Caroline, Kate and Madeline. So glad you chickies decided to add a little Vandy flair to your fist pumps. Too cute.



Next, meet Hannah and her friends Tiffany, Amber, and Taylor who threw fist pumps after graduating from high school. Congrats to these beautiful girls who will be attending Berry College, UGA, and Samford this Fall!


Lastly, meet Christine and her horse Brownie Martin. Fist pumps and leg kicks for living on 600 acres of paradise in western North Carolina that's packed with lakes, canoes, kayaks, and waterfalls. (Insert happy place here).

Thanks to Brooke, Lauren, and her mom we've now completed one more of our FPF challenges. Here's to accomplishing some others! Take a photo of you and your homies 1) while riding an elephant 2) with your mailman 3) in front of Antique Archaeology in Nashville 4) with Twinner at Local123 5) at your favorite BBQ joint 6) at the Pyramids in Egypt 7) at Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo 8) after running a marathon 9) in front of the Sistine Chapel in Rome 10) in front of your sorority / fraternity house 11) at the National Cherry Blossom Festival in DC 12) with your grandma or grandpa (because grandparents are the shiz) 13) with your favorite professor or teacher 14) at Caine's Arcade 15) by the Golden Gate Bridge in San Fransisco 16) with Katie Davis in Uganda or at Catalyst Dallas 17) on a sailboat 18) at Old Faithful in WY 19) with Naomi, Josh or Eleanor Davis of Rockstar Diaries (bonus points if it includes Kingsly at the dog park) 20) at the World's Largest Peanut in Ashburn, GA 21) in front of the Sydney Opera House in Australia 22) at the Paul Bunyon and Babe the Blue Ox Statue in Bemidji, MN or 23) while cheering on your favorite team at the ballpark. To participate email photos to em@todaysletters.com. And most importantly, Happy freaking Friday, Homies!

PS, Each week we receive several FPF photos that can't be posted on the blog due to photo quality. We'd love to encourage you to 1) take your FPF photo horizontally (when possible) 2) use an SLR camera (no blurry cell phone pictures) and 3) take your photos in the daylight. Thanks!

{A Letter} From Home

Thursday, May 17, 2012

{Farmer's Market : Kansas City : Sept 2010}

"Dear Em, Just wanted you to know that today, Wednesday, I love you more than yesterday.  Let’s build a kayak together ... and use hand tools we make ourselves in our blacksmith shop, with white oak we grow on our farm, while we pick fresh blueberries in our garden.  Let’s!" - Papa

Proof that there are many things that can change a life ... a letter being one of them.
Do you have a favorite letter?
Here is one of mine.

{Gratitude} Lately

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

You know who helps carry my shiz to the car each morning? This dude. Flawed perfection at his finest. So grateful for his relentless pursuit. If we can stay faithful with this one thing, growth happens. We live it. We believe it.

{Cedar Strip Canoes}

Tuesday, May 15, 2012



You know kayaking has a special place in my heart, but this video makes me wish I owned one of Marc Russell's canoes. A great reminder to spend the most hours of our day doing the things that give us life.

{Husband's Letters}

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Dear Little, sometimes you give me anaconda hugs when I come home after a long shift from the ER. There is nothing more rejuvenating than a special embrace from my love. Dear 9 Year Old Moti, you are the newest member of our family. You are in the 2nd grade, like science, and help your family carry water. I think your smile is contagious! Dear Thoracic Dissection Patient, yesterday you reminded me that life is short. Today I will be more intentional to value time with those I love. Dear Emma, your faithfulness has always led you to adventure. You are blessed to travel to Ethiopia this summer as a blogger for Food for the Hungry. I'm already looking forward to reading your posts and to seeing pictures of you and Moti together!

Over and out,
Tim

Are you a hugger or a hand shaker? Em's a hugger. I prefer a firm handshake, unless I'm getting hugs from a little someone I know.
___________________________________________________________________________________
Many of you have asked about sponsoring a child through a trustworthy organization. Look no further! Click on the Food for the Hungry banners on our blog sidebar and sign up to sponsor a kiddo in Ethiopia. Be sure and snd Em an email and let her know who they are so she can meet them this summer. Here's the stellar team she'll be traveling with.

{Now Accepting Sponsors for June}

Monday, May 14, 2012

It's that time again! Our blog receives over 450,00 page views per month and would love to have you listed as one of our JUNE sponsors. Just email us for our current rate sheet!

In the meantime, you can check out these great bags from our friends Mack & Kate. Stop by their shop and receive 15% off your order when you use coupon code LETTERS at checkout. XOXO

{Today's Letters}

Monday, May 14, 2012


Dear Mr. Loerke PA-C, can you believe it's been 1 year since you graduated? Your PA reunion dinner this weekend was such a sweet reminder of just how far you've come. #soproudofyou. Dear Food Truck Fest, thanks for invading Dallas with over 30 food trucks on Friday. Our Korean Street Tacos, Double Brat, and Whoopie Pie went great with a side of curb. Dear Moonrise Kingdom, after waiting 5 months to see you you're finally here. As one reader stated, you will be the perfect mix of Swiss Family Robinson, Hook, and Little Miss Sunshine. Dear Timothy James, this weekend you took time to give the Exploder a bath and an oil change. This made me wanna freaking kiss your face. Thank you for loving me well!

Happy freaking Monday, Littles! What was the highlight of your weekend?? Several of you have asked how I've been doing at continuing my Whole30 journey. Friday was the first time in 6 weeks that I fell off the wagon. Ouch. I definitely paid the price, but how can a girl say no to a maple butter cream whoopie pie rolled in bacon?? Seriously. Back to eating rabbit food ...

{The Intouchables Movie Trailer}

Sunday, May 13, 2012



Based on a true story, I'm pretty sure The Intouchables is going to be one of my favorite foreign films this year. {US Release date unknown ... add it to your Netflix queue!}

{Happy Mother's Day}

Sunday, May 13, 2012


My grandpa Emmett {who I'm named after} with my mom in 1958.

Dear Mom, over the years you've introduced me to great music like Fleetwood Mac, Bruce Springsteen, and The Grateful Dead {too bad grandma thought you were depressed when you painted their name on the basement wall}. You've also cheered me on at countless soccer games, taught me how to cast off of Marge's dock, and helped introduced me to my love of old things. You've reminded me the importance of "taking each day one day at a time," and have shown me that a simple life is the best kind to live. Thank you for inspiring me in my faith and for teaching me that learning people's names at grocery stores can make the greatest difference. Love you more than the 5 gallons of Folgers coffee you drink each day and your blue bandanny I wear that makes me feel brave.

Happy Mother's Day.

{Old Man by Neil Young}

Saturday, May 12, 2012



I grew up listening to Neil Young on road trips to Beaver Lake. This song always reminds me of topwater bass fishing with my dad, afternoons spent searching for lures and driftwood, and eating my weight in bbq from Bubba's in Eureka Springs. All good things. Neil comes out with a new album next month called Americana. Mark your calendars for June 5th ... It's going to full of gritty goodness.

Neil Young: Greatest Hits - Neil Young

{Fist Pump Friday!}

Friday, May 11, 2012


To kick off this week's photos we have our friends Jonathan & Stephanie Tyroch (and her parentals Vernie & Dr. TommyT). They threw fist pumps and leg kicks at the Colosseum while vacationing in Rome two weeks ago. Tim and I would be so lost without these joker's accountability and wisdom!


Next, meet JBU seniors Karis, Kendrea, Lorianne, Sadie, Brittany, Lauren and Erin. Fist pumps and leg kicks for graduating. You are officially a big deal.

Our next photo is of Steph (University of Georgia) and her boyfriend Spencer who helped us accomplish another one of our FPF challenge photos. Bonus points for rockin those Rainbows by the Golden Gate!

Lastly, meet Em, Kirby, and Suz who threw fist pumps with Katie Davis, her daughter Patricia, and Katie's mom, Mary Pat. What a blast it was to hang with these Littles Wednesday night.

Thanks to Steph, Sencer, Em, Kirby, and Suz, we've now completed two more of our FPF challenges. Here's to accomplishing some others! Take a photo of you and your homies 1) while riding an elephant 2) with your mailman 3) in front of Antique Archaeology in Nashville 4) with Twinner at Local123 5) at your favorite BBQ joint 6) at the Pyramids in Egypt 7) at Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo 8) after running a marathon 9) in front of the Sistine Chapel in Rome 10) in front of your sorority / fraternity house 11) at the National Cherry Blossom Festival in DC 12) with your grandma or grandpa (because grandparents are the shiz) 13) with your favorite professor or teacher 14) at Caine's Arcade 15) by the Golden Gate Bridge in San Fransisco 16) with Katie Davis in Uganda or at Catalyst Dallas 17) at Old Faithful in WY 18) with Naomi, Josh or Eleanor Davis of Rockstar Diaries (bonus points if it includes Kingsly at the dog park) 19) at the World's Largest Peanut in Ashburn, GA 20) in front of the Sydney Opera House in Australia 21) at the Paul Bunyon and Babe the Blue Ox Statue in Bemidji, MN or 22) on a sailboat. To participate email photos to em@todaysletters.com. And most importantly, Happy freaking Friday, Homies!

PS, Each week we receive several FPF photos that can't be posted on the blog due to photo quality. We'd love to encourage you to 1) take your FPF photo horizontally (when possible) 2) use an SLR camera (no blurry cell phone pictures) and 3) take your photos in the daylight. Thanks!

{Meeting Katie Davis}

Thursday, May 10, 2012


It's been said that books don't change lives, sentences do. I agreed with that statement until I read Katie Davis' book, Kisses from Katie. Last night some friends and I had the opportunity to spend time with Katie and her family. I walked away being reminded of four things: to be faithful where I am, to say YES to today, to be relentless in loving others, and to lead with authenticity because vulnerability conquers all fear. This girl ... she's simply as good as they come!

{Today's Letters}

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Dear Mr. Loerke, lunch dates with you lately have been like mini vacations. A great reminder to focus on quality time together rather than quantity. Dear Maurice Sendak, RIP. Thank you for reminding us that a creative adult is the child who survived. Here's to dirt clod wars, wild rumpus games, and sleeping in piles. Dear BD, it's not often a girl comes to work and finds a SIGG bento waiting for her. You're far too good to me. Dear Timothy James, tonight I get to hang out with this girl. (You may have to pinch me when I come home). Love you more than avos and 10am tea time in Africa.

In honor of Maurice Sendak, what were some of your favorite children's books growing up?

{Husband's Letters}

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Dear Mrs. Loerke, this weekend you visited one of your favorite flea markets and came home with two pearl snaps for me. Know that I'm blessed by your sharp eye for bargains. Dear Caleb McGuire, it was great playing golf with you on Saturday! We both had some nice shots (and some we would like to forget). Regardless, it was great dude time. Dear Camp Billy Jack's, you were a concept that developed while hanging out with some of my guys. How awesome would it be to make a man camp, one that would teach men everything they need to know about guy things (how to change a tire, measure wood for cutting, basic electrical work, etc.). If there ever was such a thing, I would sign up because my man skills always need improving. Dear Little, this year I might be asking for extra grace as I build up an immunity to sicknesses I catch at the ER. Thanks for feeding me cough drops and cookies.

Over and out,
Tim

What's one skill you think every man should learn how to do?

{Bubble by King Creosote & Jon Hopkins}

Monday, May 07, 2012



Thanks to JW for sharing this one. Get your tails to Dallas already! Can't wait to be neighbors ... #crawfishboils #kayaking #medicalgore #flyfishing #dogparks #camping #roadtrips #awesome.

Diamond Mine - King Creosote & Jon Hopkins

{Today's Letters}

Monday, May 07, 2012

Dear Mr. Loerke, typically when you're sick your diet will consist of cookies and cough drops. This makes meal planning really easy. Dear Elijah, after hanging out with you Saturday I'm convinced of two things: 1) you have more snuggle in you than a box of dryer sheets and 2) all 1-year-old's smell like apple juice. Dear 15 Minutes, no day can be so bad that it can't be fixed with a nap. Sometimes you are just what the body needs. Dear Timothy James (who always gets two letters), you remind me to do many things like wear my raincoat, flush the toilet, and look at Saturday's supermoon. Love this about you.

Happy freaking Monday, Homies! Did any of y'all see the supermoon on Saturday? Wasn't it beautiful? Also, over the weekend I tweeted that I'll be heading back to Africa this summer. Can you believe it? I'm still pinching myself! Stay tuned for more info coming later this week! #Blessed

{The Dead Sea by The Lumineers}

Saturday, May 05, 2012



This lovely band will be touring with The Civil Wars in Europe this Fall. If only we lived in Belfast.

The Lumineers - The Lumineers

{Fist Pump Friday!}

Friday, May 04, 2012

To kick off this week's FPF photos we have Angie and her family who threw fist pumps and leg kicks at Caine's Arcade in LA! We're all dying to know if you played the Claw game and bought a Fun Pass??

Next, meet Lyn, Charlotte, Ansley, Suzie, and John who threw fist pumps and leg kicks at the Pria da Victoria marina on the island of Terciera in the Azores (the Azores are 9 Portuguese islands in the middle of the Atlantic,about 1,000 mi off the coast of Portugal).

Lastly, meet some of the jokers we ran with last Saturday at the Sudan Footrace! Thanks again for coming out to support Seed Effect and e3 Sudan. We had a blast meeting you!

Thanks to Angie and her family we've now completed one more of our FPF challenges. Here's to accomplishing some more! Take a photo of you and your homies 1) while riding an elephant 2) with your mailman 3) in front of Antique Archaeology in Nashville 4) with Twinner at Local123 5) at your favorite BBQ joint 6) at the Pyramids in Egypt 7) at Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo 8) after running a marathon 9) in front of the Sistine Chapel in Rome 10) in front of your sorority / fraternity house 11) at the National Cherry Blossom Festival in DC 12) throwing fist pumps with your grandma or grandpa (because grandparents are the shiz) 13) with your favorite professor or teacher 14) at Caine's Arcade 15) with Katie Davis in Uganda or at Catalyst Dallas 16) with Naomi, Josh or Eleanor Davis of Rockstar Diaries (bonus points if it includes Kingsly at the dog park) 17) at the Golden Gate Bridge in San Fransisco or 18) in front of the Sydney Opera House in Australia. To participate email photos to em@todaysletters.com. And most importantly, Happy freaking Friday, Homies!

PS, Each week we receive several FPF photos that can't be posted on the blog due to photo quality. We'd love to encourage you to 1) take your FPF photo horizontally 2) use an SLR camera (no blurry cell phone pictures) and 3) take your photos in the daylight. Thanks!

{My Whole30 Journey}

Thursday, May 03, 2012

I'm officially done with the Whole30! Praise the Great Lion of Judah. That was some serious crazy for 30 days, but I'm honestly so grateful for all that it taught me. I actually plan on not straying too far from the Whole30 moving forward. After all, how can a girl give up her new found love for coconut milk and almond flour?

Below is my daily eating journal and Whole30 reviews. (Here's a list of what you can / can't eat). Feel free to email me if you have questions or just need encouragement. I will do my best to talk you off the ledge when all you want is creamer in your coffee and evening bowl of Blue Bell ice cream with Magic Shell.

Day 1
: Sausage, Egg & Spinach Casserole, Fresh Fruit, Apple Pie LÄRABAR, Mango, Avo, Bacon Bison Burger, Sweet Potato Casserole, Apricot & Grapefruit Toffee.

Day 2
: Sausage, Egg & Spinach Casserole, Fresh Fruit, Chili Roasted Pumpkin Seeds, Mango, Justin's Almond Butter, Bacon Bison Burger, Mango with Raw Coconut.

Overview
: So far, I'm much more aware of when I'm hungry. I've also had headaches all. day. long. (dern sugar detox), and yesterday evening I was ready for bed at 8:30pm. Here's to hoping I have more energy today! I'll also be sharing some of my favorite Whole30 recipes on the blog over the next few weeks. Feel free to email me your favorites as well!


Day 3: Sausage, Egg & Spinach Casserole, Fruit Smoothie, Roasted Chicken & Pickles (office lunch at Spring Creek BBQ), 2 Mangoes, Roasted Almonds, Cinnamon Steak & Veggies, Grapes.

Day 4
: Fruit Smoothie, Roasted Almonds, Banana Bread LÄRABAR, Kale Chips, Justin's Almond Butter, Bacon Bison Burger, Fresh Fruit, Burrito Bowl at Chipotle, Banana Ice Cream.

Overview
: Days 3 & 4 were headache free! I also had lots more energy (even felt up for a run last night w Tim Tam). I'm learning that sticking to Whole30 approved foods is already testing my discipline and integrity. I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to eat a handful of jelly beans or roll around in a piece of chocolate cake with butter cream icing. This "no sugar" thing is A LOT harder than I thought it would be. Thankfully I have a husband who's willing to eat the Whole30 foods I prepare. He also encourages me to eat frozen blueberries instead of banging my head against the wall while I watch him eat gelato. Much respect to anyone who has completed this craziness!


Day 5: Sausage, Egg & Spinach Casserole, Fresh Fruit, Jazz Apple, Mango, Spicy Kale Chips, Roasted Almonds, Salad, Banana Ice Cream.

Day 6
: Fruit Smoothie, Banana Bread LÄRABAR, Strawberries, Chili Lime Cashews, Jazz Apple, Justin's Almond Butter, Spaghetti Squash Carbonara.

Day 7
: Fruit Smoothie, Chili Lime Cashews, Justin's Almond Butter, Apple Pie LÄRABAR, Pulled Pork Lettuce Wrap with Purple Cabbage Slaw, Banana Ice Cream.

Day 8
: Strawberries & Pineapple, Banana Bread LÄRABAR, Good Earth Original Sweet & Spicy Tea, Jazz Apple, Justin's Almond Butter, leftover Spaghetti Squash Carbonara, leftover Pulled Pork, Banana Ice Cream.

Overview
: After day 6 my body started to curb cravings for all things sweet. Seriously. What the heck was I thinking starting the Whole30 in April? (Insert deep & fond affection for Cadbury Eggs rrrigh hurrr). Tim said he started noticing a difference in my skin around Day 5. His words: "Your face is starting to glow like a Christmas tree!" AWESOME. I'm also sleeping much better. Having crazy dreams, but sleeping. Btw, the Spaghetti Squash Carbonara has by far been the best Whole30 dinner we've had yet. Here's to week 2 and taking this shiz one day at a time.


Day 9: Strawberries & Pineapple, Mexican Omelet (no cheese) & Sweet Potatoes from Cafe Brazil, Strawberries, Cherry Pie LÄRABAR, Banana, BLT Salad, Banana Ice Cream.

Day 10
: Fruit Smoothie, Chili Lime Cashews, Cherry Pie LÄRABAR, Spicy Kale Chips, leftover Spaghetti Squash Carbonara, Jazz Apple, Justin's Almond Butter, Cowboy Breakfast Skillet, Banana Ice Cream.

Overview: This week I've learned that a second trip to the store is worth the exchange of having fresh produce and meat. I've also learned that diced mushrooms are a great substitute for bread crumbs, a can of coconut milk solidifies in the fridge, and if I'm not around a bathroom at 10:30 each morning I'm in trouble. Five dollhairs says I'll sheet my pants before this thing is over.



Day 11Fruit Smoothie, Chili Lime Cashews, Cherry Pie LÄRABAR, Strawberries & Pineapple, leftover Pulled Pork with lettuce, tomato, lime, salsa and plantain chips.
 
Day 12: Fruit Smoothie, House Salad (no cheese) from Brother's Pizza, Jazz Apple, Justin's Almond Butter, Banana Ice Cream, Chili Lime Cashews, Salad, Good Earth Original Sweet & Spicy Tea.

Day 13
: Fruit Smoothie, Jazz Apple, Justin's Almond Butter, Green Beans Wrapped in Bacon Woobies (sans brown sugar and butter), Grilled Chicken, Shittake Mushroom Chips.

Overview
: Before starting the Whole30 I had grown accustomed to expecting certain meals without even thinking about it or evaluating it. Now, I'm much more mindful about what I eat and how much I eat. I've also noticed that I've become hungry less often, and that my desire for sweet things is no longer holding me captive. But maybe that's because of all the Banana Ice Cream I've been eating? I guess it's better than eating a gallon of Blue Bell bedazzled with magic shell and toffee bits.


Day 14: Fruit Smoothie, Chili Lime Cashews, Banana Bread LÄRABAR, Spicy Kale Chips, Dehydrated Mango, Smoked Turkey, Brisket, Green Beans, Guacamole.

Day 15
: Banana Bread LÄRABAR, Jazz Apple, Justin's Almond Butter, Dehydrated Mango, Grilled Chicken with Green Beans Wrapped in Bacon Woobies, Banana Ice Cream.

Day 16
: Strawberries & Pineapple, Roasted Almonds, Grilled Chicken, Justin's Almond Butter, mas Pineapple, Salad, Baked Coconut Carrot Fries.

Overview
: Lately I've been having crazy dreams. I don't know if it's because I'm finally sleeping better or what, but last night I dreamt that Macy's was selling peach pies for $1.25. I remember circling the dessert table four times before finally walking away. I woke up thinking, "Victory! I have slayed the pie dragon!" And last week I dreamt that I crashed a car full of my co-workers into White Rock Lake. Oddly enough, I came out of the water wearing a name tag with a picture of beef stew on it. What the what? Someone get this girl some freaking cheese and a hot buttered roll!



Day 17: Banana Bread LÄRABAR, Jazz Apple, Justin's Almond Butter, Dehydrated Mango, Grilled Chicken with Green Beans Wrapped in Bacon Woobies, Banana Ice Cream.

Day 18
: Strawberries & Pineapple, Roasted Almonds, Grilled Chicken, Justin's Almond Butter, mas Pineapple, Salad.

Overview: A few things I've learned 1) If you're going to do the Whole30 you have to have access to a blender. I've used my Magic Bullet at least twice a day since I started this gig 2) Get your knives sharpened (your avos will thank you) 3) You'll spend more money on groceries but save money on eating out ... it all balances out in the end 4) Saturday afternoons will be spent prepping food for the week. Listening to a James Taylor LP can make this time much more enjoyable 5) Try not to trade one addiction (Blue Bell) for a another addiction (Banana Ice Cream) even if it's healthier! (I'm totally guilty of this) 6) Eat to live, not live to eat 7) Buy spinach for your Breakfast Smoothies in the bulk lettuce bins. It will stay fresh longer and only cost 50¢ instead of $3 for a bag 8) Carry a toothbrush and toothpaste in your satchel. Gum is no bueno and your co-workers will thank you 9) Try new recipes (often) and 10) The Whole30 is not about weight loss. In fact, I've been intentional not to mention my weight out of a heart to honor our readers who may struggle with body image and / or eating issues. My prayer while documenting my Whole30 journey is that it wouldn't trigger any sort of unhealthy eating habits for my readers. Often I've had to remind myself that this cleanse is more about growing in discipline and establishing a healthier relationship with food than it is about physical transformation. A helpful book I've been reading is Every Body Matters by Gary Thomas. Be sure and check it out!



Day
19: Fruit Smoothie, Almonds, Jazz Apple, Justin's Almond Butter, Cherry Pie LÄRABAR, Pork Chops & Peaches (we used pears), Bacon Brussels Sprouts, fruit from Yummilicious.

Day 20: Strawberries, Pineapple, Blueberries, Chili Lime Cashews, Banana, Odwalla Smoothie, In-n-Out Burger animal style (no sauce), protein style (no cheese), 2 scrambled eggs.

Overview
: I made my first Whole30 friendly muffins today. I wanted to cry they tasted so good! Learned that you can buy Almond Flour / Meal in the bulk section of our grocery store. Only cost $2.20 for 1 1/2 cups instead of paying $14 for a 1 lb bag!



Day 21: Three Banana Muffins, Strawberries, Banana, Roasted Almonds, Sweet Potato & Leek Soup, Jazz Apple, Justin's Almond Butter, Spaghetti Squash.

Day 22: Fruit Smoothie, Cherry Pie LÄRABAR, Roasted Almonds, Jazz Apple, Apricots, Banana Muffin, Snappy Salad's Sweet & Smokey Salad (no cheese).

Overview
: Week 3 definitely flew by the quickest. This week I hope to finish strong even though I know I'll be tested like crazy as Tim and I road trip it to the Hill Country. No alcohol, no chocolate, no donuts from Gordough's in Austin and no ice cream from the Gruene General Store. Wah. On a more encouraging note, several of you have emailed saying you're starting Whole30 this week. I'm so proud of you! Trust me, if I can do this shiz, anyone can. You're gonna do great!


Day 23
: Strawberries, Bananas, Salad w Salsa, Turkey, Apricots, Justin's Almond Butter, Salad, Naked Burrito from Chipotle (barbacoa, grilled onions, pico, guac, lettuce), Banana Ice Cream.

Day 24: 2 Eggs, Juice, Chili Lime Cashews, Noble Pig's Smoked Chicken Salad, Dehydrated Mangoes, Gristmill's Blackened Salmon with Steamed Squash & Zuchi.

Overview: Yesterday I felt pretty crummy. Not sure if it was the acidity from the tomato paste I introduced 3 weeks into my diet, but this girl could barely stand up straight. I've started to realize that it's not going to be easy to re-introduce grain, dairy, and sugar into my diet once I'm done with Whole30. I honestly don't have much of a desire to return entirely to the way I was eating before anyway which I'm thankful for. I think for the first time in my life I have no desire to eat an entire bag of Sour Patch Kids. What is wrong with me??


{Jazz Apple + Justin's Almond Butter}

Day 25
: Egg & Bacon Omelet, Cherry Pie LÄRABAR, Chili Lime Cashews, Gristmill's Bacon Wrapped Fillet with a Side Salad and Steamed Squash & Zuchi.

Day 26: 2 Eggs, Bacon, Pineapple, Cantaloupe, Honeydew Mellon, Cherry Pie LÄRABAR, Spaghetti Squash Carbonara, Banana Ice Cream.

Day 27
: Justin's Almond Butter, Banana, Cafe Brazil's Vegetarian Omelet (no cheese) with Sweet Potatoes, Jazz Apple, Dehydrated Mango, leftover Spaghetti Squash Carbonara, Banana Ice Cream.

Overview: Sticking to the Whole30 while on vacation is definitely harder, but NOT impossible! Be prepared and pack lots of snacks that you enjoy (dehydrated mangoes, nuts, apples, etc).



Day 28
: Strawberries, Blackberries, Apple Pie LÄRABAR, Chili Lime Cashews, 3 scrambled eggs, Fruit Smoothie, Banana, Pork wrapped in Bacon Woobies, Baked Carrot Fries.

Day 29: Two Banana Muffins, Strawberries & Blackberries, Justin's Almond Butter, Cherry Pie LÄRABAR, Grilled Chicken, Salad.

Day 30
: Fruit Smoothie, Three Scrambled Eggs, Jazz Apple, Justin's Almond Butter, two Banana Muffins, Avo, Chili Lime Cashews, Baked Sweet Potatoes and Bacon.

Conclusion: Would I do this again or recommend that others do it? DEFINITELY! The Whole30 completely changed my view of food, how much I eat, what I should eat, and how to be more comfortable with hunger. Like I said before, moving forward you won't see me straying very far from this primal way of eating. The benefits far outweigh the restructuring of a newly learned discipline!

Favorite Whole30 Recipe Websites
: Health-Bent | Foodee | Pinterest

Breastfeeding and wonder if Whole30 is right for you? Read this article.
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