So I did Whole30.

Hello friends! If you keep up with my IG stories, you’ll know that I went on a little food journey. Nope, didn’t eat my way through a major city, or try anything crazy, just completed my first Whole30. No big deal. I like to describe Whole30 to those who aren’t familiar as an eating experiment, removing inflammatory foods and seeing how your body responds to certain foods. Overall, this 30 day experiment is meant to show you how foods such as grains, legumes, dairy, alcohol and sugar (real and artificial) affect your body. Through the process of eliminating these foods that we tend to consume daily, mindlessly, we can learn what effects they have on our wellness.

I knew I wanted to try Whole30 during my last semester at school, because I ate a lot of not-so-whole-foods. I wasn’t eating unhealthy by any means, but I was pretty reliant on processed foods. I used a lot of artificial sweeteners in my coffee, I relied on protein shakes to get my protein, and lived off of energy drinks & yogurt. After being vegan for 4 years (until December 2018), I was used to and comfortable with eliminating food groups. Plus, I knew I could do 30 days – it wouldn’t be thaaat bad. So on Mother’s Day, I indulged in some desserts at a family party and decided that I would start my Whole30 the following day. This also happened to be the day I started my new job in Rhode Island, which leads me to the most important tip for those who want to try Whole30. MEAL PREP. Prep everything. Know what your 3 meals are going to be a day in advance.

Before my Whole30, I was only okay with how I looked. Meh, if you will. I knew I got bloated easily and could shed some pounds too. I didn’t really restrict myself before Whole30, but I tried my best to eat healthy. I was SUCH A SNACKER. I could graze and snack all day, which I learned through Whole30 (read the book before you start, trust me) was no bueno for my waist. I realllly liked how I felt eating 3 meals a day with minimal snacking. The first few nights were hard. I wanted a treat after dinner. I wanted something sweet. This graphic actually explains the timeline of Whole30 very well. And it did get easier with time and I was noticing my body and my mind change within the first 7 days. .

Grocery must haves:

Sweet potatoes. Avocados. Eggs & meat – I looveeee Trader Joes frozen chicken or turkey burgers. Ghee & coconut oil. Lettuce, broccoli slaw, spinach. I ate a ton of tahini, sunflower seed butter (make sure your nut butters are allll nut – no added oils/sugar). I wasn’t very creative with my meals and tended to have variations of the same thing everyday but I loved every meal I made and I still the same meals, I haven’t got sick of it yet! I love making salads and just loading them up with a ton of different veggies, nuts, and protein. There are millions of combinations out there. I also would either use avocado as salad dressing, or olive oil, salt, and pepper! Nutpods creamer is good if you love your morning coffee with some cream in it. It’s non-dairy, just make sure you get unsweetened.

After Whole30…

I lost a little less than 10lbs. My clothes fit well and I have actually gone down a size in most pants. I feel realllly confident in how I look, and I’ve noticed my endurance has gotten better at the gym & while running.

My skin has been so clear. I also contribute this to using Curology but mainly the clean eating that comes with Whole30.

I’ve developed a habit of eating 3 solid meals a day and without snacking!

My energy levels are high, my bloating has gone down, and I feel really clear mentally. I have learned to say no, I’ve practiced insane self-control, and I have learned that dairy is not my friend. I’m still in the reintroduction phase.

It’s important to note that I thrive with structure in my life and in my diet. It simply works well for me. Restricting can lead to disordered eating habits for some people, so I don’t think Whole30 is really a one-size-fits-all approach to healthy eating.

If you are thinking of trying Whole30, I encourage you to try! I loved it & am planning on doing it again… not too soon 😉

LIFE UPDATE… Where am I going?!

Today I am sharing some exciting travel news – I will be spending my fall semester abroad in Spain! This decision was one that I’ve been contemplating for over a year now… if you know me in real life you know how indecisive I am. I try on about 4 outfits before deciding what to wear, I make pro/con lists about EVERYTHING… but with my senior year of college approaching and I had a total “Oh shit” moment.I realized if I wanted to study abroad it would have to be ASAP. I have a year left of college and may not have the opportunity to live in another country ever again. I always knew if I were to study abroad, I would want to go to Spain. Ever since I was in preschool, I have been infatuated by the Spanish language. In my preschool yearbook, we had our quotes/catch phrases listed under our photos. I always laugh looking at mine – apparently I always used to write my name “in Spanish” (which I guess was just Julieta? don’t remember!). I studied Spanish language and culture for 7 years – it is my true passion although I haven’t been able to take any classes in college. I will be in a hispanic studies program over in Spain, so I will get plenty of practice with the language and culture!
My biggest internal dilemma was deciding between spending a few weeks during the summer in Spain, or going for the full fall semester. I originally thought I wanted to go for a short period of time. With this option, I would spend 4 weeks in Spain with a friend from college! It was a safe and comfortable option. Spending over a month in a foreign country is SO out of my comfort zone. However, a full semester would allow me to fully immerse myself in the culture and even travel to other countries during my time overseas. I had a deadline to make my decision by, and for WEEKS the decision consumed my mind. Literally all I thought about. I reached out to literally every single person I know who went abroad. I spent hours talking to my boyfriend, my family, and friends who are currently abroad. The conversations I had with my friends who have studied abroad are the ones that really inspired me to go for the full semester. I also did a ton of research on different cities and regions, and I found a small city that was absolutely breathtaking and I immediately fell in love. I also met a friend online, who is currently at the same school I will be at. Talking with her and seeing her photos gave me BUTTERFLIES. Of course I was still nervous, but seeing how stunning this country is really made me want to spend more time there, and have it become my second home. There are so many things to see and do, so many places to travel around Europe, and so much personal growth potential. My boyfriend was also very supportive and encouraged me to “send it”, so I filled out my application over a few days, submitted it, and heard back within a week.
Now that I have my flight booked and it’s really official, my nerves have gone down a LOT. I’d say I’m 98% excited, 2% nervous. I’m mainly freaking out about what clothes I am going to bring and how I will fit everything in 2 suitcases. Also – can we just talk about how POPPIN’ my Instagram is going to be? Hahahah. I am already looking at weekend trips to Italy, Portugal, Amsterdam… I cannot wait and quite frankly I wish I were going sooner! I just want to say that I know that I will get homesick. I know that I will struggle, and it won’t always be rainbows and sunshine. To be honest, I am looking forward to the not-so-pretty parts too. My new year’s resolution for 2019 was to do more things outside of my comfort zone – and this is probably the biggest one so far. I am looking forward to learning in another country and seeing Europe for the first time. I’m looking forward to meeting lifelong friends, drinking Sangria, and experiencing the culture. You can expect to see lots of flamenco dancing, tapas, and beautiful art and architecture allll over my Instagram later this year!

SUMMER DRESSES 2019

Hey friend! It’s been a minute. Okay, it’s been 3 months… sorry! Life was doing its thing. On my stories a few weeks ago, I asked about what types of dresses my followers like. Turns out, most of you prefer short dresses that are more flowy than tight, and solid colors over patterns. I chose 3 dresses in every color – a solid, a pattern, and a maxi! I hope you enjoy – let me know which is your favorite!

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Red
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Orange
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Yellow
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Green
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Blue
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Purple
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Pink
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White
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Black
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8 things for the end of 2018

More often than you'd expect, I hear people say how they can't wait for 2019 because 2018 wasn't great... I don't think I've ever looked back on a year and had negative thoughts. 2018 was an especially great year. It's easy for me to reflect and look back on the year I had, but lately I have felt so happy and fulfilled so I figured that I would reflect and share 8 things that have been going on recently in my life.

1. Towards the last quarter of the year, I began a daily mindfulness ritual that has led me to manifesting so many amazing things like self love, big Instagram collaborations, making more money, and even clearing my acne. I'm by no means an expert on spiritual stuff but it has definitely become a big part of my life & I look forward to learning more.

2. I found a candle combination that is a little strange but smells AMAZING - I burn Capri Blue Volcano at the same time as a Trader Joe's gingerbread candle and the scent is something I'd describe as either A) baking cookies in the middle of Anthropologie or B) citrus christmas (x10... tongue twister)


3. Rob and I took a trip down to the beach I grew up on to shoot for UGG x Zappos. It was an overcast day but it was mild out and it was such a dream. He snapped some shots of me, and helped me get the perfect shot for the campaign. We explored some local shops. The Connecticut shoreline can be a bit gloomy in the winter, but it was a really dreamy day. It was the perfect balance of nostalgia and newness - I was so happy to share the place I grew up with him.

 

4. I got an heated blanket and it has absolutely changed the coziness game. Nora loves it too. 10/10.

5. I found out I'm very deficient in vitamin B12 - I'm getting that taken care of, and I can't wait to start feeling better... my levels were below 100 and the normal is 400. I basically always have headaches & I get pretty short of breath at night. But now I'm getting injections, taking supplements, and eating foods high in B12!

6. I've helped over 50 people successfully grow their Instagram pages 1000-3000 followers a month. It's been a super rewarding journey and I get so much joy from helping people with this! It is my part time job and work for a company that specializes in IG growth.

7. I spent all of fall looking for a winter boot that is cute and functional in the New England winter weather. UGG sent me a few pairs of shoes and one of them was their Adirondack Boot III - it's the perrrrrfect winter boot - it's definitely a bit more fashionable than the ever popular bean boot, and they're super comfy and warm for my cold toes. This isn't sponsored, by the way, just my UGG Instagram content was. I just really love the boot!

8. We have a trip coming up ... Florida in January - we're going to relax and warm up a bit - nothing crazy planned. We are DEFINITELY going to go paddle boarding, explore the beaches, and maybe go to this sea turtle sanctuary! I can't wait. I'm already over the cold.