2018 Challenges | Modified Vegetarian Whole 30

My next challenge for 2018 will be the Whole 30 – Which is a 30 day paleo eating plan.

So what does that mean?

It’s a clean eating plan that requires that you cut out processed foods and focus on real food. So… Pretty similar to my 10 day Detox Cleanse in November. One thing to note is that this is not intended as a lifestyle – It’s a dietary reset that you do for 30 days which is intended to help adjust your habits and start you on a healthier path. The plan means primarily whole foods, which is great, but it also means cutting out my bars and protein powders, which are a pretty big chunk of my daily protein intake.

What to avoid:

  • Sugar in all of its glorious forms, including but not limited to – Maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, coconut sugar, stevia, and brown rice syrup. Womp womp.
  • No alcohol – Probably a good idea anyway. I’m in.
  • No grains – Here’s where it gets tricky. I’m going to cut wheat (duh), corn, rice, rye, barley, millet bulgar, amaranth etc.
  • No legumes – Again, here’s where the vegetarian who needs protein will be deviating from the plan. I will cut out peanuts, tempeh, and lecithin. BUT I am going grant myself permission to eat tofu, edamame, kidney, garbanzo, and black beans, as well as raw cashews, almonds, and walnuts.
  • No dairy – Easy peasy
  • No processed foods, prepared food, or baked goods even if they’re “healthy” – Just stick to food you prepare yourself or whole foods you can snack on. That’s do-able so long as you prepare in advance and this makes good sense to me. The whole goal is to reset your habits, so going from store-bought cookies to cookies made with coconut flour, doesn’t change your patterns at all.

In summary – Eat real foods.

Nothing processed and if it comes in a package, read the label. The big changes for me are going to be cutting out sugar and cutting out my protein powders and bars, which are a big source of protein for me. The other thing that means is that I need to be prepared! My bars are the ultimate “I have no time to eat” fix, so I’ll need to be better prepared this month.

Vegetarian whole 30 Vegan gluten-free paleo san francisco bay area fashion food fitness lifestyle blogger

Week 1:

Figuring out what you can and can’t eat is the hardest part. Starting midweek also meant less in the way of preparation and planning since I didn’t get around to doing meal prep that Sunday.

And unfortunately, on day two of my Whole 30, I got chosen to be a juror for a multi-week trial, throwing me completely off of my  routine while simultaneously trying to grapple with the Whole 30.

Week 2:

By this time I’d gotten into the rhythm of preparing my food for the day and bought an insulated lunch box to take to work/court with me. I was eating breakfast at the office before heading to the court-house each day, eating lunch on the steps of the capital building, and then having dinner at home.

Week 3:

Week two ended with a big life change and the celebrating continued off and on for the rest of the month. Unfortunately that means that I cheated on my Whole 30 with champagne a few times. I kept going with the food and picked up where I’d left off each day, but there were a few days of alcohol thrown into the 30 days.

Week 4:

By the last week of Whole 30 I was counting down the days. Not because it was overly challenging to maintain, but because (1) I was bored with eating the same things over and over, and (2) I missed the flexibility and options available in my non-Whole 30 diet. The constant food prep and being unable to simply “grab” food was a bit tiring.

Final thoughts – This is the second or third time that I’ve done the Whole 30 and it achieved the same thing. It’s an amazing wake-up call. By cutting out entire food groups and really focusing on what you’re putting in your body, you’re made PAINFULLY aware of how much crap you usually eat.

I eat an exceptionally clean diet to begin with, but I do rely on bars and protein powders to supplement my plant-based diet. Part of that is the ease, part is trying to hit my macros each day. But, on Whole 30, I couldn’t eat any of my vegan/gluten-free bars or powders because they all had small amounts of organic stevia. The other place that I saw as a problem area is bottled sauces and dressings. It would appear that I’ve gotten lazy, and when something hits my vegan and gluten-free requirements, I haven’t read all of the nutritional information.

Gong forward I’m going to keep small amounts of stevia in my diet, but I’m going to be much more aware of what’s in the bottled dressings that I’m buying at the store.

Have YOU ever done the Whole 30?

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One Piece Swimsuit Round-Up

While it doesn’t feel like it outside right now in San Francisco, swimsuit season is right around the corner. Before we know it, it’ll be time for Spring trips, tropical climates, and – Of course – Breaking out the swimwear. I like to add a suit, or maybe two, each season, so I started my research early. Here’s a round-up of flattering, fun one piece suits.

One Piece Swimsuit San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Beauty Lifestyle Blogger

Retro – If you’re in the mood for throwback styles on your next tropical vacation, check out The Victoria Swimsuit from Solid & Striped

Classic – This timeless black halter suit is perfect for someone who enjoys classic styling and a flattering cut. Norma Kamali has just the suit for you!

Daredevil – Love to make a splash? The cut-outs and strappy back of the Ava suit from Robin Piccone will help you make a memorable entrance. And exit…

Timeless – Summery stripes and sweet ruffles from Aerie are just the thing. Stripes are the trend that you can count on coming back into vogue season after season, so find a great striped suit and hold onto it.

Sporty Spice – If you’ve got some water sports in mind, you’ll be needing the Seea Avila Surf Suit to keep you covered. I for one love a long-sleeved suit when I have adventures on the schedule – Great for everything from SCUBA diving to water skiing.

Daring – The combination of a classic print, sweet color, and daring, plunging neckline combine to make this suit a dramatic showstopper. So if you’re in the market for some drama, the Lex Paisley Embellished one-piece from Beach Riot is a good choice. 🙂

Country – Whether you’re lake, river, or ocean bound, or just evoking some fun Dorothy style, this gingham cutie is the way to go.

Sweet – If you’re a fan of ruffles or other sweet, feminine details, this Aloha Floral suit from O’Niell is probably just your style.

What’s YOUR go-to swim style?

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Links You’ll Love | Spring Break Preparation

Welcome back to a new Links You’ll Love round-up. And today we’re here to talk about SPRING BREAK. As in… How to get ready, what clothes to pack, which skin care you should try, and how to make the most of your Spring vacation this year.


Fashion & Beauty:

If you want to know good beauty products, you ask the experts. Beauty editors! Luckily for us, Elle knows just who to ask –10 Face Moisturizers ELLE Editors Swear By.

If you want to get inspired to plan your next trip check these out – 5 Women-Hosted Travel Podcasts You Should Subscribe To ASAP. Warning: Wanderlust will ensue.

Links You'll Love Spring Break Preparation San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Beauty Blogger Miranda Kerr Harper's Bazaar

Someone’s whose career is based, at least in part, on flawless skin, is someone who I’m interested in learning from. Thanks Harper’s Bazaar for the BTS peek – Go Inside Miranda Kerr’s Supermodel Skincare Routine.

Shopping for travel is one of the most fun parts of planning a vacation. 22 Cute Swimsuits to Wear this Spring from Elle, Looking for vacation outfit ideas? Here are the 4 essentials you need to pack from Today, and

Packing, and picking up a few last-minute Must Haves, is an essential part of the travel experience. Check out Refinery 29’s 8 Spring Essentials To Stock Up On Early to get your inspiration.

Food & Fitness:

Curious how the Victoria’s Secret models maintain their killer physiques? Chalkboard Mag asked – Sweat Like a Supermodel: 3 Fitness Lessons We Learned from JoJa.

Did you get ultra inspired by the Olympics? Women’s Health did too! Olympian Lindsey Vonn’s Gym Routine Is Nothing Short Of Badass.

Links You'll Love Spring Break Preparation San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Beauty Blogger

Stocking your gym bag is the best way to ensure your workout runs smoothly. Check out what’s in my gym bag here, and check out what Karena and Katrina, from Tone It Up, keep in their gym bag here.

Speaking of Tone It Up… Whenever I’m not sure what kind of workout I’m in the mood for, I check out the Daily Moves page on their website and get moving!

Nothing ruins a trip quite as quickly or as thoroughly as an upset stomach. Try a probiotic – Check out Well + Good’s Which Probiotic is Right for You? These are the Exact Bacteria Strains to Look for.

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NatureBox | Snack Giveaway

I’ve introduced you to the joys that are NatureBox before – They’re a wholesale, membership-based online snack company. Once you’ve created an account, your monthly $5 fee goes towards your orders each month, and rolls over if you don’t get around to shopping during the month.

They carry tons of different snacks and you can sort the inventory by all sorts of different diets and eating styles. Choose from gluten-free items, vegan snacks, low-sugar picks, or even high-protein items. Some of their top rated offerings include dried pineapple, Sriracha cashews, Kung Pao pretzles, and probiotic trail mix. They also carry coffee, cookies and desserts, roasted nuts, turkey jerky, popcorn, and chips.

Some of my personal favorites treats are the cassava and plantain chips, and the crispy coconut squares. Yum! I also like to get raw nuts and dried fruit, and mix them together to create my own healthy trail mix concoctions.

NatureBox Giveaway Vegan Gluten-Free Paleo Vegetarian San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Snack Snacking

And I’m excited to be partnering with them for another giveaway!

The Giveaway:

  • Free lifetime membership to NatureBox
  • Free shipping on your first order
  • AND a $50 credit to get you started!

How to Enter:

Using the giveaway graphic below you can join this content in a handful of different ways. Follow NatureBox or Moi Contre La Vie on FacebookTwitter, or Tweet a message and you’ll be entered to win.

You can enter as many times as you’d like and the giveaway will be open until March 7th and then I’ll announce the winner!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Are YOU a big fan of a tasty snack? Well hurry up and enter this giveaway!

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2018 Challenges | Project Comeback with Sarah’s Day Sweat It to Shred It Review

My first workout challenge for my year of challenges, was to undertake a personal Project Comeback with the Sweat It to Shred It e-book from YouTuber Sarah’s Day.

I’m a huge fan of her channel and have loved all the workouts she’s posted there, so this seemed like a natural fit for me. Truth be told, I love bodyweight workouts that mix things up and enjoy tabata, so I was psyched to give her e-book a try.

Read on to see how my very own personal Project Comeback went.


I was feeling a bit sluggish after thoroughly enjoying the holidays and taking some much-needed rest days to help my body heal after all of the traveling. So January seemed like the opportune time to take on a new challenge in the gym to mix things up and get myself back into a healthy, happy space.

Sarah's Day Sweaty Shredder Sweat it to Shred it Workout Gym Fitspo FitLife San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger

8-Week Active Lifestyle Challenge:

Week 1: This program is all about building on itself. You start out with a Monday, Wednesday, and Friday workout, plus an optional weekend session. No gym needed. No equipment needed. A great start.

Week 2: You may start out underestimating this program. The workouts seem pretty simple and they don’t take ages, but MAN, it’s an effective workout. 20-25 minutes of HIIT is no joke!

Week 3: This week you’re still doing 3 days a week plus an active day on the weekend. But the workouts start to amp up and you’re doing more complex moves and you feel the intensity.

I’m generally used to working out 6 days a week, so I’ve been supplementing the Sweat it to Shred it workouts with long walks, cardio sessions, and the occasional Barry’s Bootcamp class.

Week 4: This week we add in a Tuesday workout, so 4 full days of training, plus stretching and rolling time over the weekend. The “forced” recovery time was much appreciated by this time. And spending some time focused just on that helped me really loosen up.

Week 5: Halfway through Week 5 I got called into jury duty and ended up on a two-week trial. This is where the versatility of this program became very evident. I was able to keep up with the workouts by doing them at home after court.

No equipment, no problem!

Week 6: This week I continued to do the workouts either at home in my apartment after a day at court, or during my lunch break. I got a few day passes at a the Life Fit Gym near Civic Center and would pop over during lunch, knock out the workout, and then head back to court.

This week had workouts scheduled daily Monday through Friday, so when I missed one day due to working through lunch, I was able to make it up on Sunday. 🙂

Week 7: Similar schedule to week six, but with a challenge day on Tuesday – i.e. choose your own workout. I’m still finding the workouts challenging, I’m sweaty and sore, but some of the moves appear multiple times a week. Not necessarily a bad thing, if something works that’s great, but each workout isn’t 100% new at this point.

Week 8: By the final week you’re really seeing how the program builds on itself. The workouts are still challenging, but you feel strong and capable while you’re sweating your way through them. I’m still surprised, after 8 weeks, how much a 20 minute bodyweight workout and make me sweat. And how sore I get!

After: I’m feeling really strong after getting through this program. I definitely missed some workouts here and there, or doubled up after missing a day, but it doesn’t feel like I lost anything. I feel lean and definitely have some new definition in my abs and arms.

Thoughts: I really enjoyed this program. I like the style of workouts and how she mixed up different formats so you didn’t do the same thing every day and get bored. I stayed engaged and challenged the whole time. And, very exciting news, apparently Miss Sarah is planning a new version of her program!! So stay tuned for Sweaty Shredder – Reloaded.

Yes, it sounds like an action movie sequel, and I’m loving that!

Have YOU tried a comeback challenge?

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