45-Day Paleo Challenge

**Please scroll to the bottom for an introduction to the challenge.

Post-Challenge Recap

I had my ups and downs with this 45-Day Challenge. I traveled a lot, enjoyed some major family milestones and causes for celebration, moved, and endured my very first box-jump shin scraping. I truly believe in the power of how when you know what you’re eating and what affect that food has on your body, you’ll make better decisions. 45 days is enough time for your food addictions {sugar, grains, dairy, and alcohol} to disappear and for the post-addiction energy high to really hit you. You have about two weeks to cleanse your body and then the remaining 3-4 to learn how great your body can feel when you’re eating real food. The benchmark workouts are a great indication of your evolving strength and endurance.

5 Tips & Tricks for your 45-Day Paleo Challenge

  1. Buy freeze-dried fruits in bulk. They’re a safe, healthy snack food you can keep stored for a long time.
  2. Cook in LARGE portions and section out your leftovers. This will help with lunches and future dinners.
  3. Make culinary themed weeks so you don’t get bored. For example, try a paleo pesto at the beginning of the week then build your grocery list for the next 5-7 days so that you can use the pesto: mini chicken pesto pizzas, pesto frittata, pesto spaghetti and meatballs.
  4. Use your crockpot! Tired of cooking every night? Throw a bunch of yummy ingredients into the pot in the morning and come home to soul and tummy filling food.
  5. Drink sparkling water. Missing your soda? Sparkling water is a great carbonated alternative that’s totally safe on a paleo diet.

45-Day Challenge Goals Revisited

  1. Work on mah tan. – Did my best.
  2. Beat my 225 deadlift 1RM {greedy?} – CHECK!
  3. Perform 5 strict consecutive unassisted ring dips + 10 CTBs {as an effort to keep working towards my muscle-up goal} – performed them on stationary bars! does that count some?
  4. Make it through the challenge with grace, humor, and love no matter my circumstances or {possible} bad decisions. – Hm… Grace of mind and body? Pass. Graceful at falling off a box? Fail {read below}. Overall, I’d say I still have a good sense of humor about it and enjoyed every single day.


This is me after my 45-Day Paleo Challenge. We moved so I didn’t have the same poorly lit kitchen and refrigerator for my post-challenge bookend photo. Instead, I give you my “this is how we enjoy 100+ degree weather in Texas” look. Flat air because you just finished a round of golf, neon Target swimsuit, gold bullet necklace {y'all}, and an orange juice margarita. I don’t really look much different after the challenge, aside from the darkest tan color I think my skin is capable of mustering. Because I eat a pretty solid paleo diet already, my body weight and shape didn’t change much.

My Post-Challenge Benchmarks:

Weight = 138# {increased 3# from 135 before – maybe that means I gained more muscle? WOOT!}

Benchmark Workout

Deadlift 1Round Max

My Max = 235# {10# increase! I couldn’t believe it! Really happy with this.}

Helen {3 rounds for time of 400 m run, 21 35# kettlebell swings, 12 pull-ups}

My time = 14:48 {Previous time was 13:16 – I blame the 1.5 min increase on the fact that I did my post-challenge WOD in the heat of the day [100+ F] while I usually workout really early [mid 70’s] …at least, that’s my story …and I’m sticking to it.}

Overall, I enjoyed the challenge. Paleo challenges are a great reset back to baseline nutrition reality. I’m very thankful that I attend one of the best CrossFit affiliates in the San Antonio, TX area – an affiliate that supports the health, wellness, happiness, and fitness of ALL of their athletes. If you’re ever in the San Antonio, TX or Selma, TX area, check out Elite CrossFit & Bexar Athletics. In fact, make sure you tell me. I’ll come WOD with you.

Good luck with your own challenge and remember to contact me for support, encouragement, and ideas for how to make it tasty.

Cheers & thanks to all of you for following along.

With love,


Note: The following food, photo, and musing log is listed in reverse order. Scroll to the bottom for an introduction.

Week 7

Week 7! Last 5 days of the challenge are ahead of me. It’ll be a bittersweet parting. Bitter because I’m going to miss this stream of consciousness and really good excuse to develop strict-paleo recipes {find them in my Recipe Index marked with an **}. Sweet because I can settle back into my non-habit of tracking what I eat. Tracking my food on a daily basis kind of drives me crazy. I can do it, don’t get me wrong …but the very nature of writing down what I DO eat opens my mind to what I’m NOT eating too. I wind up craving ice cream, burgers, and beer. It’s strange. It’s also why diets drive me crazy and why I’ve settled nicely in an 80/20 {ish} paleo lifestyle. More on that later.

Day 41 | Monday, May 27


Breakfast Snack Lunch Snack Dinner
2 Over-easy eggs, bacon, blue berries, black coffee Apple, almond butter, water Crab Louie Salad: Ice burg, lump crab, boiled egg, tomato, asparagus, tomatoes, lemon, water Dos XX, water, beef jerky Steaks, Broccolini, Peach Cobbler (paleo), red wine, water

Happy Memorial Day! I’m grateful for this day for many reasons. We celebrated with a family golf outing and lunch at the clubhouse. Golf, to the Garcia family, is like board game night to other families. It just so happens, that every member in our family {including those who’ve squeaked in by romantic association} can tolerate a round of golf! It’s nice. It also makes me realize {again} what a brilliant man my father is. He took us girls golfing when we were just big enough to hold a putter. He suckered us in with fun putting green games of sty-me and a frosty Snicker’s bar reward on our way back to the car. Poor guy had all girls. I can’t blame him for wanting our main pastime to be dude-approved. For lunch I enjoyed my favorite salad at our golf clubhouse, the Crab Louie. They chop up ice burg and toss with HUGE chunks of fresh lump crab meat. This salad is seriously delicious. I’ll be reinventing & posting my own take on it soon. After lunch, we hit the course. I secretly took a zillion selfies on my sister's phone and she retaliated with this beauty of a collage on her Instagram. Nice move, @kimdunnmusic. Nice move.

Day 42 | Tuesday, May 28


Breakfast Snack Lunch Snack Dinner
2 Over-easy eggs, bacon, blue berries, black coffee Almonds, mineral water Turkey Salad, spicy mustard, tomatoes, water Dried Cherries, water Braised Beef Short Ribs (recipe development), stewed carrots, red wine, dark-chocolate frozen bananas

Today was a success. Not only did I air out a few rickety old skeletons from my work’s to-do list, but I also had a slam-dunk day of recipe development. Have you ever cooked with beef short ribs? I hadn’t. I didn’t really understand them. I always order them if they’re on a menu, but figured the incredible flavor explosion was due to some sophisticated trained chef’s magic spell. During my weekly grocery-shopping trip, I came across a package of beef short ribs and decided to give it a whirl. Oh my goodness was that a good decision. The dish involved the beef {duh}, some wine {double duh}, carrots, love, and a slow cooker. I’m still refining the dish but I promise, once I do publish the recipe, you’re gonna want to try it.

Day 43 | Wednesday, May 29


Breakfast Snack Lunch Snack Dinner
Sausage & Egg Scramble, Strawberries, Avocado, Black Coffee, Water None Salmon Sashimi, Seaweed Salad, Water Almonds, Dried Cherries, Mineral Water Paleo Chicken Fried Rice (recipe development), dark-chocolate frozen bananas, white wine, water

This day is going down in history as the best day of Austin’s relationship with my cooking. Don’t get me wrong; the man likes what I cook. He always exclaims with flattering “ohhhs” and “ahhs” every time I plate up something new. Austin isn’t exactly a meat-and-potatoes kind of guy {even though he likes those things}. He’s more of a flour-tortilla-and-refried-beans kind of guy. He also loves rice. When he caught wind of my plans for making Paleo Chicken Fried Rice, I could tell he was a little nervous. It’s one of his favorite dishes and the man cannot tell a lie. If he didn’t like it, he knew he would tell me, and he knew that might hurt my feelings. I did us both a favor – I made knock. your. socks. off. Paleo Chicken Fried Rice. It was so darn good, people. It tastes like the real deal but this one doesn’t come with a side of bloat. I can’t wait to share this recipe with you.

Day 44 | Thursday, May 30


Breakfast Snack Lunch Snack Dinner
Veggie and turkey omelet, strawberries, black coffee, water Mineral Water Beef Fajita Salad, Guacamole, Salsa, Water Mineral Water, Apple, Almond Butter Italian Sausage-Stuffed Mushrooms, Garlic Spinach, red wine, water, dark-chocolate frozen bananas

There’s a good way to start the day and there’s a not so good way to start the day. I thought I was on the right track by going to my early morning CrossFit. Where’d I slip up? On a box jump. I couldn’t believe it. I’ve been CrossFit’ing for over three years. In over three years I haven’t had a single box jump slip. Sure I’ve seen it happen a bunch of times to my fellow athletes. Makes my toes curl every time. I thought I was immune {first mistake}. Our WOD involved high box jumps, so us ladies jumped up on 24”. I felt pretty confident and was making really good time, so I amped up my speed {second mistake}. I stopped concentrating, caught my right toe, and fell. Hard. I have never been accused of being graceful, so there was very little hope for my to slip being anything less than tragic. I immediately sat down on the box, held my shin, and asked my coach if he could see bone. He gave me an uneasy “um, no, no bone” and ran for some paper towels. Good news is I did NOT cry. Bad news is shin scrapes hurt like a MOTHER. OH MY GOSH. I’ve had my fair share of bone breaks, so I’m no stranger to pain, but this scratch was beyond words. I limped home, cleaned my scrape {which included two peaks at my shinbone}, and put on a bandage. Lesson learned – don’t get greedy with box jumps.

Day 45 | Friday, May 31


Breakfast Snack Lunch Snack Dinner
2 Over-easy eggs, bacon, black berries, black coffee Mineral Water, Peach My Fit Foods: Roasted Turkey, Sweet Potato Mash, Green Beans, Water Mineral Water Pappadeaux: Stuffed Crab, Asparagus, Bloody Mary, White Wine, Water

Okay, I thought about it. I seriously thought about dragging my throbbing, bleeding leg to CF this morning to finish the 45-Day Challenge WOD. Then I remembered that the first part of our Challenge WOD involves a deadlift max. Deadlifts involve shin grazing {if you’re doing them right}, so I opted out. I’m going to let myself heal for a little while and then go back. In the meantime, I'm medicating myself with bacon and mind-blowingly delicious in-season peaches. The best news of today is that Austin’s parents came to visit! Our first official house guests! There’s no better motivation to unpack, hang pictures, and clean than the thought of visitors arriving. Your boyfriend’s parent’s especially. I spent the afternoon limping around, planning the F&F goodies I’d take to an outdoor yoga event, unpacking, cleaning, and then casually draping blankets and flowers in the house to help give it that “we always keep it this pretty and clean” look. His parents took us to one of their favorites, Pappadeaux’s, for dinner. We toasted to my healing leg, seafood, our new house, the first of many visits, and the end of my 45-Day Challenge. Cheers!

Week 6

Another big week! Get tired of me saying that? I think every week should be exciting. What’s in store for THIS exciting week? So glad you asked. The South Central CrossFit Regionals are in San Antonio!! What could be more exciting than watching awe-inspiring athletes trudge through WODs that make my 11-minute Fran seem like child’s play? The local team at lululemon athletica asked me to prepare a BUNCH of paleo snackies for all the athletes and spectators! WOO! I. can’t. wait.

Day 34 | Monday, May 20


Breakfast Snack Lunch Snack Dinner
Two eggs over easy, bacon, blueberries, black coffee Almonds, freeze-dried cherries, green tea Beef fajita salad, guac, grilled veggies, salsa, water Almonds, water Paleo cashew curry turkey {recipe experiment}, + frozen bananas, almond butter, dark choco chips, & cinnamon, water

Today was one of my first days back in my house, in my kitchen, with my own schedule to work with. I took full advantage. I made a tasty breakfast and Austin made the coffee. No, I still haven’t learned how to work the coffee machine. Pretty sure you have to be a rocket scientist to learn how to use that crazy thing. Good thing I have Austin around to work the complex machinery 😉 . I had lunch at our favorite little whole-in-the-wall Mexican joint, pretty normal am and pm snacks, and then I knocked my own socks off with a dinner experiment gone complete party in my mouth. Groceries weren’t in abundance in my hardly-lived-in-for-the-past-month house, so I made magic happen with what was on hand and wound up with Cashew Curry Turkey. Don’t you worry one little bit – I will be sharing this recipe …eventually.

Day 35 | Tuesday, May 21


Breakfast Snack Lunch Snack Dinner
Two eggs over easy, ½ an avocado, REALLY tasty gigantic strawberries, black coffee None Turkey, sweet potato mash, green beans {my fit foods}, water None Leftover from dinner the night before: paleo cashew curry turkey, + frozen bananas, almond butter, dark choco chips, & cinnamon, water

First day of prep for Regionals! I have finally learned {now in my late 20’s} that when I commit to making a boat load of treats, I need to start early. Starting early is essential to my sleep, sanity, and the sleep + sanity of those within arm’s reach …because you bet your bippy I make them help. I spent half of the day {fueled by my Whole30-inspired breakfast} working at day job. I then whisked myself away to trot through the grocery store so’s to arm up with enough almonds, dates, and dried fruit to get my family and your family through a bunkered down nuclear war {energy bar prep}. I enjoyed a pre-packaged paleo meal of turkey, sweet potato, and green beans and woofed down another bowl of my awe.some. Cashew Curry Turkey for dinner.

Day 36 | Wednesday, May 22


Breakfast Snack Lunch Snack Dinner
Two eggs over easy, ½ an avocado, strawberries, black coffee None Office Healthy/{mostly} Paleo Potluck: Mini Paleo Chicken Pesto Pizzas, guac & veggies, paleo chili, paleo cauli rice, strawberries, spring roll {not paleo}, sparkling water Almonds, green tea More mini paleo chicken pesto pizzas …had to take pictures for the blog J + frozen bananas, almond butter, dark choco chips, & cinnamon, water

So, I’m not very good at compartmentalizing. I like to mesh all areas of my life together. That goes for groups of friends, food on my plate, and jobs. Because I have two {very different} jobs, it was only a matter of time before they eeped into each other. I decided to take on the very exciting responsibility of developing the corporate wellness program for my family’s architectural/engineering firm {day jerb}. I’ve been at it for a two years and recently decided to give it a dedicated face lift complete with monthly lunch & learns, a bolstering committee of our very own food and fitness exerts, monthly events, and lots {I mean lots} of tasting parties. Can you guess what they’re tasting? You got it! Fed & Fit treats. Let the meshing begin. Today marked our first monthly lunch & learn. I made them a BIG batch of my Mini Paleo Chicken Pesto Pizzas. They went over super-de-duperly well. Thanks for asking.

Day 37 | Thursday, May 23


Breakfast Snack Lunch Snack Dinner
Local coffee cold brew {to celebrate my 100 lb bench}, two eggs over easy, ½ an avocado, kale & blueberry smoothie Almonds, apple, water Beef fajita salad, guac, grilled veggies, salsa, water Freeze-dried cherries, sparkling water Dinner w/a friend’s family: turkey, guacamole, fresh fruit, paleo chocolate chip cookie, red wine, water

Must make more energy bars for the CrossFit Regionals!! But before I do that, I must do my own CrossFit WOD. It’s true that I didn’t really want to go to CrossFit this morning. I wanted to get up early, drink some coffee, and start making energy bars for my new bffls {all the athletes at the South Central Regional Competition}. I also knew that going into a weekend of watching the regions best athletes give it their all having NOT given MY all at my own little CrossFit schedule would be bad. How could I cheer them on when I punked out myself? Not an option. {These are the kinds of debates I have with myself between 5:00 a.m. and 5:05 a.m.}. So glad I went. Why? I BENCHED 100 LBS!!! Wow. I’ve wanted to hit three digits for so long. I rewarded myself with a cold brew from my favorite coffee shop and got busy making energy bars.

Day 38 | Friday, May 24


Breakfast Snack Lunch Snack Dinner
Chorizo & eggs {recipe experiment}, avocado, strawberries, coffee with almond milk Tropical Energy Bars {made for xfit regionals}, water Chipotle Salad: lettuce, veggies, chicken, pico, hot salsa, guac, fresh lemon juice; water More tropical energy bars More energy bars, banana, jerky, water {lame dinner}

It’s here!! First day of Regionals!! I’m so giddy. Austin’s brother, Carson, is in town to cheer on the team from his home box, so I made a gigantic breakfast. That boy {well, both boys, I guess} can eat a LOT. Nothing breaks my heart more than when people either don’t like my cooking or are still hungry. Solution? Make LOTS and save the leftovers. I unloaded a breakfast recipe I’m developing for the two brothers. They loved it. It’s going in the lineup, friends.  After our big breakfast morning and my short stay at the office, I gleefully drove down town with a basket full of my bars and my “I benched 100 lbs” day-old glow. I got there just in time to hug my lululemon friends and learn that our tailgate was officially rained out. No worries. More bars for me and all the friends I made. Wondering who that dude is up there? Oh it’s just Aja Barto – my CrossFit crush. After he finished the above WOD, he went back to coach and cheer on the other athletes. That dude is a class act and I can’t wait to watch him kick BUTT at the Games.

Day 39 | Saturday, May 25


Breakfast Snack Lunch Snack Dinner
Green Eggs & Ham Frittata {recipe exp}: sausage, eggs, kale, & my paleo pesto + strawberries, blueberries, and coffee with almond milk Banana, almond butter, water Bars! lol … we were at the Coliseum for the Games and I didn’t bring any other snacks Bars Mexican short rips, margarita, shrimp cocktail, steamed veggies, paleo chocolate chip pecan cookies {my recipe}, Lawnmower beer

Bars {and my strong desire to wear everything lululemon} are taking over my life. I make bars when I wake up, I eat them for breakfast, I use them to make friends with CrossFit athletes, I use them to remind my current friends why they like me, I eat them for lunch, I hide them in my purse, I go home to make more, and then I dream of them. They {and my massive collection of speed shorts} are everywhere. Have you wondered why I haven’t shared my recipes for these bars? #teaseralert It’s because I’m saving them for something extra special. Stay tuuuuuuned.

Day 40 | Sunday, May 26


Breakfast Snack Lunch Snack Dinner
Leftover frittata, blueberries, strawberries, coffee with almond milk Freeze-dried cherries, Very Berry Energy Bars {bar recipe #2} None {bad decision} Bars & water Paleo Buffalo Wings {mom surprised me with a make of my recipe}, veggie skewers, sauv blanc, leftover chocolate chip pecan cookies

Last day of regionals. I’m sad that all the excitement is almost over but also very grateful that I can finally put my food processor back in the cabinet. We had an awesome day watching the finals of the South Central Regional CrossFit Competition. I can’t tell you how inspired I am by these athletes. I mean, they complete TWO workouts each day {wods that would leave me on my butt for a week} and they do it for 3 days in a row!! It makes my “I only got 5 hours of sleep last night, so I’m going to skip CrossFit” excuse seem very, very lame. I can’t wait to cheer on my Games-qualifying friends as they take on the competition in July. Watch ESPN for all the guts and glory action. I’ll be right there with you {from my couch} enjoying a plate of these and doing v-ups during the commercials …because how can I not?

Week 5

After our trip back to San Antonio on Monday afternoon, I’ll work to get caught up and then ahead for our next trip. This time we’re headed to San Angelo! Austin’s older brother lives in NY with his wife and now two baby girls. The happy NY family made the long trip to TX and are posting up in San Angelo for some quality time with their Texas crew. I can’t wait to catch up, play with babies, and watch Gus make friends with all the farm critters. My few days in the office are slammed until Gus and I can break free for our Thursday drive West.

Day 27 | Monday, May 13


Breakfast Snack Lunch Snack Dinner
Two Fried Eggs, Bacon, Blueberries, Coffee with Almond Milk Apple and Almond Butter, Water Turkey, Spicy Mustard, Banana, Water {bleh} Beef Jerky, Almonds, Water ¼ Chicken Light Meat, Double Bacon Green Beans, Water

Spent this morning in College Station! Do you sometimes find that you get way more work done when you’re not actually in the office? I buckled down at our CS dining room table and got a solid head start on my week’s to-dos. The best part is that I made friends with this little bugger. He sat on the window just over my head for about 2 hours. I named him Charles. After I’d finish writing a difficult email, I’d look over my shoulder to see what Charles thought. He’d give me an approving nod and I’d press send. Food was pretty easy and low-key today. Everything was out of the kitchen except for our dinner, which came from a local BBQ joint.

Day 28 | Tuesday, May 14


Breakfast Snack Lunch Snack Dinner
Egg white soufflé, strawberries, kale & chia seed smoothie, black coffee Almonds, apple, water Beef fajita salad, guacamole, grilled veggies, salsa, water None Sundried tomato pesto-stuffed chicken, crispy garlic broccoli, one glass of sauv blanc, water, + leftover paleo strawberry almond butter ice cream {experiment} and chia seed mango pudding {another experiment}

Big. Day. I got SO much done. I kicked butt at day job and blog job. I woke up and treated myself to an egg white soufflé {sounds fancy, but it’s just egg whites I microwave in a dish}, kale & chia smoothie, and black coffee. I got to work nice and early, accomplished a lot, stopped at the grocery store on my way home, and whipped up an awesome dinner for my parents and visiting sister. Austin left for San Angelo early to enjoy a camping trip with the dudes in his family, so he missed out on this meal. We enjoyed a sundried tomato pesto stuffed chicken breast, crispy garlic broccoli, some white wine, and a double dessert of my experimental strawberry almond butter ice cream and chia seed mango pudding. Delicious.

Day 29 | Wednesday, May 15


Breakfast Snack Lunch Snack Dinner
Two fried eggs, bacon, blueberries & strawberries, black coffee, and a couple spoonfuls of my chia seed pudding Almonds, water Gyro salad, romaine, tomatoes, pickled peppers, olives, water Freeze-dried cherries, pecan pie Larabar, water None L … worked way too late

Woke up a little nervous about all that I have to accomplish before I join the family reunion in San Angelo. My sweet sister brought one of my MOST favorite lunches to the office so I wouldn’t have to take time to leave. I snacked on freeze-dried cherries and a Larabar until it was way past quittin’ time. I went home to rescue my very bored puppy from his day of solitude and passed out without dinner. Not good to skip dinner but I was just too darn tired to whip something up. Again, lesson learned that I need to be more prepared.

Day 30 | Thursday, May 16


Breakfast Snack Lunch Snack Dinner
Egg white soufflé, strawberries, kale & chia seed smoothie, black coffee Almonds, banana, green tea Turkey, mustard, blueberries, strawberries, pickles, water Unsweetened iced passion tea {Coursed meal out in San Angelo} champagne, pickled cherry, beef skewer, beef tenderloin, mushrooms, chocolate tart, white wine and red wine depending on the course

The day is here!! I got a nutritional jumpstart on my morning with my favorite egg white soufflé {again, just egg whites whisked with a little water and microwaved in a ramekin}, green smoothie, and black coffee. My morning snack was simple and easy. I went home to play with Gus for lunch and grabbed a quick cold-cut meal out of the fridge. Gus and I hit the road with a big gulp of my new favorite Starbucks {the unsweetened iced passion tea} and my latest book on tape {the Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern … which is SO GOOD, btw}. We landed in San Angelo just before dinner. I was surprised & excited when I found that Austin, his two brothers with their wives, and his sister {technically cousin} and her husband had all planned a coursed meal out at the most adorable place in San Angelo. It was byob {and boy did we bring plenty}, decorated with original acrylics, and served as the most perfect setting for our generation of their family to catch up.

Day 31 | Friday, May 17


Breakfast Snack Lunch Snack Dinner
Barbacoa & jalapeno onion pico, scrambled eggs w/machicado {dried beef}, salsa, black coffee Paleo cinnamon apple cookies {nut-free recipe experiment}, water World’s smallest chicken fajita salad, water Grapes, banana, more cinnamon apple cookies, blueberry chocolate chip cookies {not-paleo ewps J}, water …we were starving. Red wine, homemade roasted garlic aioli, sweet potato fries, burger, guac, caramelized onions, paleo ketchup, + lettuce, tomatoes, bacon, mustard, and jalapenos

Austin’s family frequents this hole-in-the-wall breakfast burrito shop in San Angelo. I was committed to lead a conference call {which I did from his mother’s bedroom} so I missed the breakfast run. The boys surprised me with a couple containers of my favorites: barbacoa & machicado w/egg. Because my Mother taught me to never arrive empty-handed, I showed up in San Angelo for white roses for Austin’s mom {a belated Mother’s Day present} and a big batch of one of newest experimental recipes {nut-free cinnamon apple cookies}. WE snacked on these cookies, some divine non-paleo cookies made by Sherin, Austin’s NY sister-in-law, and fruit. We decided to have a cookout for dinner. All the boys banded together to whip up the most delicious meal. My plate, by the way, was totally paleo. Y-uh-um.

Day 32 | Saturday, May 18


Breakfast Snack Lunch Snack Dinner
OJ mimosa, blended berry mimosa, black coffee, waffle, scrambled eggs, bacon, guava syrup, water Coors Light at the pool J Leftovers from dinner the night before: burger, lettuce, sweet potato fries, guac, and ketchup Grapes, cookies, water Red wine, homemade beef & chicken fajita salads: w/pico, guac, jalapenos, and salasa + late night paleo lemon bars 😉

This morning we ventured to Austin’s sister {again, technically cousin}’s new home for brunch. Amber’s dad is practically famous for his morning fruit smoothies. He buys the most delicious in-season berries, freezes in LARGE quantities, and uses them in his daily smoothie. Amber graciously whipped up a batch of the juice. Morgan {my best friend who happens to be Austin’s other sister-in-law} and I brilliantly added champagne. BAM. Most incredible mimosa we’ve ever had. We spent the rest of the day playing at the pool, chatting over the kitchen table, and watching Austin’s niece feed cheerios to Gus. He was very gentle, in case you’re wondering. We helped to whip up another cookout for dinner and enjoyed even more great conversation.

Day 33 | Sunday, May 19


Breakfast Snack Lunch Snack Dinner
Veggie omelet, sausage, sliced tomatoes, black coffee, water Watermelon & paleo lemon bars Leftovers: chicken fajitas, lettuce, pico, guac, salsa, water None Beef tenderloin {grilled to perfection by my Fasha}, red wine, beet & mixed green salad, water, + paleo peach cobbler

Time to go home! We spent a relaxed morning enjoying breakfast, watermelon, and lots of goodbyes with vows to visit NY very soon. Austin, Gus and I made it back to San Antonio in time for our Sunday dinner with my parents. My dad grilled up another brilliant batch of beef tenderloin steaks. We shared a bottle of red wine and enjoyed some delicious paleo peach cobbler. It was a great week but I’m excited to be home and stay home for a bit.

Week 4

Big week! I’ve got a lot to accomplish early in the week before our family makes the three hour trek to College Station to watch my youngest sister, Samantha, graduate from Texas A&M University! This was a week of quick, easy food. I had a few slips and even missed a few meals because I wasn’t properly prepared. Lessons learned!

Day 20 | Monday, May 6


Breakfast Snack Lunch Snack Dinner
Leftover Paleo Pesto Sausage Frittata, Blueberries, Black Coffee Banana Go Raw Flax Bar, Mineral Water Thai Beef Salad: Romaine, Beef, Tomatoes, Onions, Cilantro, Ginger/Jalapeno/Lime Dressing, Unsweet Tea Banana, Water Pizza Dinner {sorry and not sorry at the same time}

To kick off this crazy work week, Austin and I enjoyed some leftover paleo pesto frittata. I’m still experimenting with the Go Raw Flax Bars {some are good … others, not so good}. We enjoyed lunch at my favorite little café next to the office. If you ever come to San Antonio to visit me, I’ll probably suggest we meet at this place. On the week days, I’ll probably order the Thai Beef Salad with water. On the weekends {or some Fridays} I can easily be persuaded to order a glass of chilled white wine and one of their mini mudslide cupcakes. Seriously tasty business. We had pizza for dinner – mostly because I was exhausted, had no desire to cook, and felt Austin deserved some man food after putting up with all my crazy experiments. {Ohhhhh the excuses I can come up with J}

Day 21 | Tuesday, May 7


Breakfast Snack Lunch Snack Dinner
Egg White Soufflé, Blueberries, Black Coffee Banana Bread Larabar, Water Roasted Chicken Breast, Bacon Green Beans, Water Golden Berries, Water None L …when I finally finished up with a board presentation in Austin, it was so late and we didn’t stop for food. Bad.

Big day! I woke up bright eyed and ready for my evening school board presentation. My day job {which you can read all about on my About Me page} sometimes offers fun opportunities to interact directly with education decision makers. I think I’m a valuable asset to our presentation committee because when they see little ol’ me explaining semi-complex concepts about facility asset management, they probably think, “well, if she gets it, it can’t be that complicated” …so they listen closely and then we have exciting Q&A time. I love this part of my job. Today I also discovered the wonder that is a golden berry. Have you tried these!? One of my Instagram followers commented that they taste like “nature’s sour patch kids” …and they REALLY do! They’re tart and delicious.

Day 22 | Wednesday, May 8


Breakfast Snack Lunch Snack Dinner
Over-Easy Eggs, Avocado Half, Banana, Black Coffee, Bacon Golden Berries, Water Chipotle Salad: Romaine, Chicken, Pico, Salsa, Guac, Lemon Juice; Water Almonds, Green Tea Sushi Dinner: Yellowtail Sashimi, Seaweed Salad, Chilled Sake {date night J}

Today I nourished myself back to health after skipping dinner and a tummy upset from too many golden berries. Austin took advantage of our one quiet evening to take me out on a date! He’s not from San Antonio but did some research, found a sushi restaurant I’d never been to, and treated me to a wonderful meal. I love that there are places in SA the two of us can experience for the first time together. Even better, their food was dee-lish. Their seaweed salad and yellowtail sashimi were so refreshing. We split a small bottle of chilled cloudy sake and made friends with the waiter. Can’t wait to go back J

Day 23 | Thursday, May 9


Breakfast Snack Lunch Snack Dinner
Over-Easy Eggs, Avocado Half, Banana, Black Coffee, Bacon Almonds, Golden Berries, Water Roasted Chicken Breast, Bacon Green Beans, Water Almonds, Green Tea Kale & Walnut-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin, Roasted Lemon Carrots, Strawberry Almond Butter Paleo Ice Cream {experiment}, Water

One last opportunity for a home-cooked meal before our trek to College Station! I’m constantly in recipe development mode. I rarely make the same meal twice {unless I’m refining a recipe} so my plated dinners are always different. Austin LOVES pork tenderloin. I don’t know if he loves it because of the low price tag {the man loves a good deal} or because it’s just plain tasty. I like to butterfly my tenderloin, stuff with something delicious, tie up with string, and dust with steak seasoning. I sear the sides of the tenderloin in a frying pan on the stove and then finish it in the oven. This cooking method will get you tender but crispy and delicious pork tenderloin every time.

Day 24 | Friday, May 10


Breakfast Snack Lunch Snack Dinner
Fried Egg, Sweet Potato & Kale Breakfast Hash, Blackberries, Coffee with Almond Milk Banana, Almonds, Water Jimmy John’s Beach Club Unwich {Hold the Cheese & Mayo, Add Bacon}, Water Champagne, Dirty Vodka Martini, table crackers {surprise party nervous wreck} My Sister’s Graduation Dinner: Walnut Apple Salad, Salmon w/Apple Butter, Onion Rings, Chocolate Cake, Amaretto Freeze

Road trip! Gus, Austin, and I hit the road after a solid breakfast of kale & sweet potato hash. I totally tricked Austin with the kale – he thought it was spinach. Score! We lunched on one of my favorite go-to paleo road trip foods {unwich from Jimmy Johns} and got busy prepping for Sam’s graduation. My sisters, Mom and I enjoyed an afternoon of manicures, pedicures, and spray tans. Yeah, we went overboard … but we were just so excited for Sam. We decided to host Sam a surprise graduation dinner at a golf club in Bryan, TX. We decked out the living room of the ladies locker room {already adorable}, asked the hostess to call us when she saw Sam walking towards the door {she thought she was picking up my mom’s golf shoes}, and showered her in streamers and champagne. We had an awesome evening and I couldn’t be more proud of my smart, charming, beautiful baby sister.

Day 25 | Saturday, May 11


Breakfast Snack Lunch Snack Dinner
Scrambled Eggs with Sausage, Apple, Almond Butter, Coffee with Almond Milk Starbucks Tazo Passion Tea {unsweet}, and Cicharrones Apple, Almond Butter, Paleo Lemon Bar Makings {weird non-food afternoon} Champagne, Spice Cake Bratwurst, Balsamic Mixed Greens Salad, German Mustard, Water

My family has a cute little cottage in College Station that we use as our home away from home, especially during football season. I love the kitchen in College Station. I’m convinced that I just need to escape for a whole month to live there. I could cook and photograph enough recipes for a year of blogging. I spent the day bouncing from the grocery store {needed recipe development ingredients}, to the kitchen, to having emergency champagne and spice cake with my family. Not very 45-day challenge-esk, but I knew before I started the challenge that this weekend would be non-paleo. My “I’m driving all over creation” snack was a bag of Pork Rinds {totally paleo, btw} and an Unsweet Trenta Passion Tea from Starbucks. Taaaaasty business.

Day 26 | Sunday, May 12


Breakfast Snack Lunch Snack Dinner
Paleo Lemon Bars, Coffee with Almond Milk Golf Course Bloody Mary’s and Micheladas Mother’s Day Brunch: Smoked Salmon, Salads, Roast Beef, Spicy Bloody Mary None Pizza Dinner AGAIN. :-/

Happy Mother’s Day!! I spent the morning doting after my Mom, photographing my paleo lemon bars, and toasting with mimosas. We enjoyed a special Mother’s Day brunch at the golf club and then hopped in carts for a REALLY fun round of golf. Girls vs. guys – it’s our favorite game. Mostly because us girls always win. Like, always. I’m not saying we’re the best golfers out there, but when you’ve got a Mom on your team, on Mother’s Day, the whole team should enjoy some Mother’s Day Mulligans, right?? Between the {secret} Mother’s Day Mulligans and bloody mary’s, the four of us girls bounced into the club house giggling and bragging about our incredible round of golf. They boys bought us pizza as punishment for losing.

Week 3

Week 3 brought me Gus recovering from surgery, a 2-day bug that left me with no energy, and a paleo potluck with my CrossFit peeps. It had its ups and downs but through it all, I still found a way to eat paleo. Here we go …

Day 13 | Monday, April 29


Breakfast Snack Lunch Snack Dinner
Scrambled Eggs, Pico, Black Coffee Banana Bread Larabar, Water Chipotle Chicken Salad {Romaine, Pico, Chicken, Guac, Spicy Salsa, Lemon Juice}, Water Water Roasted Chicken, Roasted Sweet Potato, White Wine {Kim Crawford}

Monday started off in College Station, TX but we found our way back to San Antonio in time for a classic dinner at my parents’ house. Dinner at Casa de Garcia usually involves some sort of masterfully prepared protein, an amazingly delicious cooked vegetable or salad, and a bottle of wine {split 4, but sometimes 3 ways}. Our dinners can involve discussing the latest Ducky Dynasty, chatting new business ventures, or just ogling all the adorable puppies we’re blessed to have as company.

Day 14 | Tuesday, April 30


Breakfast Snack Lunch Snack Dinner
Two Eggs Over Easy, Barbacoa, Sliced Tomatoes {Birdies} Go Raw Pizza Flax Snax, Apple, Water Thai Beef Salad {Romaine, Tomatoes, Onion, Cilantro, and Ginger/Lime/Jalapeno Dressing}, Water Banana, Green Tea Roasted Turkey Breast, Veggie Skewer, Water

Today was FILLED with lots of productive work hours but I also got to fulfill a small, girlish dream of mine. Austin took me to breakfast at my favorite hole-in-the-wall Mexican food restaurant {Las Chiladas for those of you in SA} then took me to work. He even took me to lunch {we’re low on groceries} at my favorite little close-by sandwich shop {Pam’s Patio Kitchen}. I can’t tell you how good it feels to have him here … on a weekday … to chat with morning, noon, and night. I’m a lucky girl.

Day 15 | Wednesday, May 1


Breakfast Snack Lunch Snack Dinner
Two Fried Eggs, Half an Avocado, Bacon, Blackberries Almonds, Apple, Water Roasted Chicken Breast, Bacon Green Beans, Unsweet Tea Cherry Pie Larabar, Green Tea Steak, Pear & Beet Salad, Water

I’ve been both dreading and looking forward to today. Conflicted, as usual. Today we take Gus to get neutered. Because he’s a giant breed, my vet recommended that we wait a long time {~10 mo/old} before we neuter him so that he has plenty of hormones in his body to help him develop into his big manly frame. He’s pretty feisty at this age and I know the surgery will help him settle down. But … it’s also … surgery!! I was nervous. We dropped him off in the morning, I got a call from the vet that all went well, picked him up after he’d been monitored for long enough, and took him home. I sat with Gus until bed because every time I left him, he’d try to painfully find me and cry. Sweet baby. Broke my heart.

Day 16 | Thursday, May 2


Breakfast Snack Lunch Snack Dinner
Banana, Water, Black Coffee (small cup) Water Banana, Water Water Tom Kha Gai Soup, Water

I don’t know if it’s sympathy pains for Gus or a genuine bug, but I feel like butt. Woke up with nausea, fever, exhaustion, and a sore throat. Gus and I wobbled through the house not wanting food or water. Staying true to the Paleo Challenge {instead of calling in an emergency delivery of saltines and sprite}, I fed myself bananas and water. Austin gave me a bowl of Tom Kha Gai Soup for dinner. It’s my FAV Thai soup but the coconut, lime, ginger, and spices were pretty much lost on me. Lots of sleep was in order.

Day 17 | Friday, May 3


Breakfast Snack Lunch Snack Dinner
Banana, Coconut Water Mineral Water Banana, Coconut Water Water 1 Small Bite of Steak; 2 Green Beans; Water {Mom made dinner and I had to humor her with a couple bites}

Day 2 of feeling like butt. At least today I had a better handle on what my body needed! Made a run for some coconut water {good Lord I needed some calories/electrolytes in me}, more bananas {it’s all I could keep down}, and mineral water {the carbonation helped settle my stomach}. My sister and her band were in town for dinner so I sat with them and politely took tiny bites of all the wonderful food my Mom had prepared. Ready to feel better already!

Day 18 | Saturday, May 4


Breakfast Snack Lunch Snack Dinner
Veggie Omelet, Bacon, Fruit Salad, Black Coffee Taste Testing Chicken & Paleo Pizzas Turkey, Spicy Mustard, Blueberries, Pickles, Mineral Water Water Potluck! {Ghee Walnuts, Chicken Wing, Vinson Sausage, Shrimp Skewer, Pumpkin Bread, Eggplant Lasagna, Iced Tea, Muffin, Bacon Date}

Paleo potluck day!! With the exception of a little cough, I was so thankful to wake up feeling like a new person. Timing couldn’t have been better either. I had a big day of recipe development ahead of me. Today I took another stab at a cauliflower pizza crust. To go on the pizza crust, I made a DEVINE Roasted Garlic Paleo Pesto and some pan-seared chicken tenders. My CrossFit family loved the mini pizzas. After a few more tweaks, I’ll be ready to share the recipe with you all! The potluck was so delicious. It was the perfect opportunity to make up for lost food from being sick. My coaches and fellow athletes are incredible cooks. I left so inspired to make even more adventurous foods.

Day 19 | Sunday, May 5


Breakfast Snack Lunch Snack Dinner
Paleo Pesto & Sausage Frittata, Blackberries, Black Coffee Go Raw Pizza Flax Snax, Mandarin Orange, Water Chipotle Chicken Salad {Romaine, Pico, Chicken, Guac, Spicy Salsa, Lemon Juice} Almonds, Water Beef & Chicken Fajitas, Tortilla Soup {minus the tortillas}, Paleo Margarita

Cinco de Mayo! I used the rest of my Paleo Pesto to make a knock-your-socks-off breakfast frittata. Seriously. This one is goo-oood. Austin and I decided to celebrate Mexican Heritage Day with a double dose of Mexican food. We had our favorite, Chipotle, for lunch and ordered fajitas to-go. I enjoyed a few glasses of my favorite Paleo Margarita, kissed my men goodnight, and got some shuteye so’s to be ready for my next big week.

Week 2

Week 2 found me in four different cities {not counting layovers}, on 7 different airplanes, and having only 1 nervous breakdown at the American Airlines counter. Better yet? I managed most of the week completely paleo. Success!

Day 6 | Monday, April 22


Breakfast Snack Lunch Snack Dinner
Scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, honeydew, black coffee, water Banana, green tea Bun-less hamburger, lettuce, tomato, honeydew /grape fruit cup, unsweetened tea Beef jerky, fruit strip, water Baked white fish topped with lump crab meat, sautéed mushrooms, asparagus, red wine

Today was my first full day in Myrtle Beach, SC for a conference {day job}. Although I didn’t get to enjoy the beach outside of my hotel room view, I did meet a lot of wonderful people and found paleo-friendly eats in spite of the typical conference fare.  Breakfast was by way of a large cafeteria buffet {limited options} and I was sure to grab an extra banana for snacking on later in the day. I had lunch in the hotel restaurant and again, endured a puzzled look from the waitress as I explained “hold the bun, hold the fries, extra mustard, no cheese, fruit cup, unsweet tea.” Her face said “this girl cray.” We had dinner at a fun local restaurant with clients and colleagues turned friends.

Day 7 | Tuesday, April 23


Breakfast Snack Lunch Snack Dinner
Scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, honeydew, black coffee, water Banana, green tea Club salad (romaine, eggs, turkey, avocado, bacon, tomatoes), vegetable soup, water Beef jerky, Larabar, water Beef medallion, parsnip, spinach-stuffed chicken, dressing-less house salad (romaine, carrots, tomatoes)

Breakfast was an exact repeat of the day before – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! I avoided the cookies the conference coordinator set out and instead snacked on my pre-packed jerky and Larabars. Lunch was delicious. Club salads are THE way to go if you’re looking for a filling, tasty, easy to paleo-ize salad. Just ask them to hold the cheese and nix the dressing, you won’t need it with all the bacon and avocado. Dinner was served at the final banquet of the conference. Not having any idea what would show up on my plate, I was prepared to hoard the dinner rolls and issue them out in exchange for meats and veggies. I lucked out! Dinner was filling, mostly healthy, and my tablemates didn’t totally regret sitting by me.

Day 8 | Wednesday, April 24


Breakfast Snack Lunch Snack Dinner
Veggie egg-white omelet, side of bacon, fruit cup, black coffee, water Cashews, water Bun-less turkey burger, extra veggies, spicy mustard, sweet potato fries (baked in evoo! a surprising healthy find in the ATL airport) Cashews, apple, herbal tea Chili roasted almonds, kale and egg salad, cold sirloin (it was weird), elk sausage w/grainy mustard and pickles

Today was another long day of traveling. I left sleepy Myrtle Beach at 6:00 a.m. and didn’t get to my next DFW hotel room until 5:00 p.m. later that day. That being said, the travel was pretty painless! I feel that I get more work done sitting on an airplane than anywhere else. It has everything to do with a lack of Internet. I need to take Timothy Ferris’s {4 Hour Work Week} tips more to heart and only check email twice a day. Leaving it open and responding as they come in kills productivity.  Thankful for my layovers, I enjoyed my airport breakfast and lunch in sit-down restaurants. The lady I sat next to at breakfast had an eye-opening meal: bowl of grits, extra melted cheese, bacon, and a sweet tea. I. Was. Amazed. Do people really eat like that? For breakfast?? I’m purely curious. I had dinner with an old friend who graciously rescued me from my DFW hotel room for an amazing dinner at the Woodshed.

Day 9 | Thursday, April 25


Breakfast Snack Lunch Snack Dinner
Veggie egg-white omelet, amazing tomatillo salsa, bacon, sausage, fresh raspberries & blueberries topped with shaved coconut and pecans, black coffee, water None The innards from a roast beef sandwich, fruit cup, unsweetened tea None Chicken fajita salad from airport Chili’s (salsa for dressing, hold the cheese), glass of Kim Crawford sauv blanc

If there were ever a day that I deserved a whole bushel of chocolate bars, today would have been that day. In fact, I think everyone who had to deal with me deserved a chocolate bar too. I was a bear. Did I give in? No! Even though I wanted pizza and beer therapy, I gritted my teeth, ordered a fajita salad, and even had the willpower to ask for the “small” {cough::10oz::cough} glass of wine instead of the large. What happened? The day started of so well. My meeting in Fort Worth went really well. In fact, it went so well, that I decided I deserved a long overdue pedicure. Did I take a cab to get a pedicure? No way. I walked. iPhone said 2 miles. No big deal, I thought. Welp, my Michael Kors heals and computer bag fortified with bricks weren’t very happy with my hour walk across TX. Pedi was okay, but I cabbed it back to the hotel. When the time came to head to the airport, I casually slipped in my car and we battled the 45 minute traffic to the DFW airport. What did I find out when I got to the airport in perfect timing? That I was at the WRONG AIRPORT. After a nervous breakdown and regrettable words spoken to my {trying to be} helpful sister, I bought the last ticket out of DFW to San Antonio and limped my way to the airport Chili’s.

Day 10 | Friday, April 26


Breakfast Snack Lunch Snack Dinner
Scrambled eggs, pico, bacon, black coffee Larabar, water Thai beef salad (romaine, tomatoes, purple onion, cilantro, ginger/lime dressing), water None Breadless meatball, marinara, spinach salad (shrimp, blackberries, mandarins, bacon, no dressing)

Finally back in San Antonio! Better yet, finally in my new home with my Austin. Over night {or 1.5 years} Austin and I have gone from long-distance to roommates. I am so excited about this new chapter in our lives! We started off our first day together with breakfast at our local BBQ joint and I quickly got to unpacking my new kitchen. We had dinner with my parents at a neat restaurant that served breadless meatballs and the MOST delicious salad.

Day 11 | Saturday, April 27


Breakfast Snack Lunch Snack Dinner
Scrambled eggs, pico, bacon, black coffee Jerky, water Club salad (mixed greens, egg, bacon, chicken, avocado, tomato, no dressing), water Almonds, apple, water Thai chicken lettuce wraps, steamed veggies, 1 glass of red

Moving day! We had a repeat breakfast at the local BBQ joint {haven’t made it to the grocery store yet} and got busy unpacking. We were lucky enough to inherit a lot of furniture and spent most of the day deciding what we wanted to keep and what went back in the truck for Goodwill. Giving away loads of furniture, old clothes, and kitchen tools is so therapeutic. Makes me want to really be a minimalist.

Day 12 | Sunday, April 28


Breakfast Snack Lunch Snack Dinner
Zucchini and sausage frittata, 2 mandarin oranges, black coffee, water None Chicken salad from Whataburger (bleh) mustard for dressing, water Wine tastings on 9-hole couple’s golf tournament Beef fajita salad with salsa for dressing and extra guac, water

Today we are bound for the 4th city of the week! We kicked off breakfast with a delicious zucchini and sausage frittata at my parent’s house {nom}, grabbed a Whataburger salad for the drive, and hit the road for a 9-hole wine tasting golf tournament in College Station, TX. We had SO much fun! Every odd-numbered hole had a wine and food pairing on the green. It was a great way to end a long week.

Week 1

{This is a short week. I started the challenge on a Wednesday and wrap up the weekly logs on Sunday.}

Day 1 | Wednesday, April 17


Breakfast Snack Lunch Snack Dinner
Egg White Soufflé w/Kosher Salt, Apple, Almond Butter, Black Coffee Plantain Chips, Fruit Leather, Jerky, Green Tea WhichWich Turkey Sandwich, Oatmeal Raisin Cookie, Water None Buffalo Chicken Salad: Paleo Buffalo Chicken Tenders over Mixed Greens, Water

Day 1! Here we go! Although breakfast and my AM snack were good, lunch shows a terrible start to the challenge. What happened? I was at a client’s site, didn’t bring enough snacks, and knew it would be a long time before I ate again. Okay, lame excuse. I woofed down the whole sandwich and cookie {nixed the bag of chips}. Ideally, I would have only eaten the sandwich innards and made the rest of my meal with snacks from my purse. Lesson learned but I’m not deterred! It's about making better decisions {that ideally revolve around 100% paleo}, not about starving yourself. At least that’s what I tell myself.

Day 2 | Thursday, April 18


Breakfast Snack Lunch Snack Dinner
Egg White Soufflé w/Kosher Salt, Apple, Almond Butter, Black Coffee Banana Bread Larabar, Fruit Leather, Water Asian Beef Salad: Chopped Romaine, Shredded Beef, Onion, Tomato, Cilantro, Jalapeno Lime Dressing, Extra Lime, Un-sweet Tea None Sushi Dinner: Seaweed Salad, Sashimi Sampler, Crispy Seaweed, Avocado & Tuna Salad, 2 Kirin Ichibans, Water

Day 2 was much better. Breakfast was delicious, my morning snack was a little too fruit-rich {need more protein}, but lunch was ideal. I had lunch with the lovely and inspiring Jen Rulon. She’s a seasoned triathlete {Ironman Hawaii under her belt … say what??} in the San Antonio, TX area. Jen trains her endurance athletes with a special focus on the importance of strength ((lifting)). Amazing lady and I’m so happy to know her. I should have had a PM snack but lunch was pretty filling. Dinner was delicious and I spoiled myself with a couple Kirin Ichibans – one of my favorite Japanese beers.

Day 3 | Friday, April 19


Breakfast Snack Lunch Snack Dinner
Scrambled Eggs, Salsa, Bacon, Apple, Black Coffee Banana, Fruit Leather, Jerky, Water Carnitas Salad: Spinach, Carnitas, Purple Onion, Cilantro, Lime, Water Roasted Crispy Okra, Stuffed Avocado w/Cilantro Cream Sauce, Mango ‘Rita x2 Prime Rib, Balsamic Rosemary Tomato Salad, Red Wine x2

Day 3 was pretty tasty. I remember it well. My PM snack involved three amazing recipe developments for F&F. I’ve published one of them {recognize the Stuffed Avocado?} and have two more in the holding tank. The Mango Rita is especially exciting – but maybe that’s just because I have a love affair with anything limey, salty, and tequila-ey. Oh, and if I haven’t already formally told you… yes! I am including alcohol in my challenge. If you want to follow along and go alcohol-free, please do! I support you 100%.

Day 4 | Saturday, April 20


Breakfast Snack Lunch Snack Dinner
Paleo Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash w/Over-Easy Egg, 3 Sweet Potato Pancakes, 2 Cups Black Coffee w/Unsweetened Almond Milk Banana, Water Chipotle Salad: Romaine Lettuce, Fajita Veggies, Chicken, Pico, Hot Salsa, Guacamole, Lemon, Unsweetened Tea Tall Iced Black Coffee Crawfish, Banana, Beef Jerky, Blond Ale

Day 4 was a whirlwind of a day. I started off making the Texas A&M University vacation house {aka where my youngest sister lives} smell amazing with a big batch of Paleo Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash for myself and the Kimberly Dunn band, revamped my Sweet Potato Pancake recipe, and hit the town for a mid-day date with my love. We watched the sun set at a family friend’s crawfish boil. It was fun BUT by the time we got there, most of the crawfish were gone and I was frozen. I downed a blond ale just to take the sting off my tongue and out of my frozen fingers. Finished off the evening with an emergency 2nd dinner of jerky and a banana.

Day 5 | Sunday, April 21IMG_7628

Breakfast Snack Lunch Snack Dinner
Banana, Jocalat (Larabar) Chocolate Hazelnut Bar, Scrambled Eggs, Salsa Verde, Bacon, and Black Coffee Beef Jerky, Just Tomatoes, Water Chicken Salad: Chicken, Romaine, Carrots, Beets, Sunflower Seeds, Peter Rabbit Organics Strawberry & Banana Fruit Puree, Teas Tea Unsweetened Lemongrass Green Tea Cherry Pie Larabar, Water ½ Dozen Steamed Oysters, Dozen Raw Oysters w/Lemon Juice, Big Plate of Steamed Veggies, 2 Yuengling Draft Beers

Another big day! I hopped on a sleepy 6 a.m. College Station, TX plane bound for Myrtle Beach, SC just in time for some epic oysters on the half shell. Oh, Yuengling was involved too – it’s one of my favorite lagers and they don’t distribute to TX {lame}. Before my feet landed in SC, I ate every meal either on an airplane or in an airport. Yes! You can eat healthy while traveling. Sure I’d pre-packed the jerky, dried tomatoes, and Larabars, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t do the same. Scrutinize airport menus and choose one with the healthiest options.


The time has come for another challenge! Unlike my previous 24-Day AdvoCare Challenge {with my own customized paleo spin}, this next challenge marries more closely with the paleo template I follow in my everyday life.

The place I’ve called CrossFit home for the past 3 years, Elite CrossFit/Bexar Athletics in San Antonio, TX, has organized another paleo challenge and I have decided to sign up! The team at Elite CrossFit does an awesome job of consistently providing well-structured challenges complete with benchmark workouts, nutrition seminars, constant encouragement, and a thorough monitoring of food logs with customized feedback.

This gist of this {very simple} 45-Day Paleo Challenge:

  • Eat only vegetables, fruits, meats, nuts, and seeds. Avoid all grains, dairy, and processed foods/sugars. Sound familiar? One day I’ll give you an exhaustive definition, but for the time being, this is the skeleton of a paleo diet.
  • Benchmark before & after of the prescribed WOD {workout of day}, photo, and body weight.
  • Write down goals before the challenge and revisit at the conclusion.
  • Track and submit daily food intake.

45 Day Paleo Challenge

Boom. That’s it. Sound simple? No need to buy a big package of supplements. It’s just you, your kitchen, and your gym.

Even though it was over 3 years ago that Elite CrossFit originally inspired my paleo lifestyle, I’ve never formally participated in one of their challenges. Shame. On. Me. The time has come!

Speaking of timing, I must note that the next month will look to most like the absolute worst time for me to work through a paleo challenge. I am in the middle of navigating a major renovation, moving into a new house, spending weeks out of town for work {day job}, and will be without a refrigerator or kitchen utensils for at least 30% of the challenge.

Makes me a little nervous just thinking about it.

I have to admit my initial reaction to signing up for the challenge was something like…

“Bah! There’s no way! I’ll be doing good just to keep up my 80% of my 80/20 paleo/non-paleo lifestyle, much less 100% paleo. I have too much going on. No thank you, challenge. It’s not you, it’s the timing.”

I signed up anyways.

Why? To prove one simple point…

There will never be an ideal time to do a paleo challenge, Whole30, 21-Day Sugar Detox, or 24-Day AdvoCare Challenge. Life will always get in the way if you don’t just buckle down, commit, and work through it.

You only need ONE thing to start a challenge or new healthy lifestyle.


That’s it! All you need is to WANT to make a change. You can figure out the rest as you go.

So now I invite you to follow along with me as I trudge through a 100% paleo lifestyle {sure to have hiccups} for the next 45 days. I can’t promise my food log or workout schedule will be perfect, but I can promise to be honest, find tasty eats, have fun, and smile.

What you can expect from me:

  • Weekly Food Log
  • Photos
  • Workout Reports
  • Musings
  • Tips {meaning, any and every possible tip I’ve got stored away to help make following the paleo template possible regardless of your conditions or insanely busy life}

Wish me luck!




Behold! My semi-tanned, pre-challenge, amazing kitchen lighting self. Don't think that's a tan? Well I'm talking about my tan anywhere a golf outfit doesn't cover. No? Still not a tan? You're right. I'm the worst Garcia in the history of Garcia’s. Maybe at the end of the 45 days I'll have a more impressive golfer's tan to show off. Should that be goal #1?

Weight = 135# {pretty typical weight for me for the past couple years per my 80/20 paleo lifestyle}

Benchmark Workout

Deadlift 1-Round Max

My Max = 225# {bam! It’s been over a year since I hit that!}

Helen {3 rounds for time of 400 m run, 21 35# kettlebell swings, 12 pull-ups}

My time = 13:16

45-Day Challenge Goals

  1. Work on mah tan.
  2. Beat my 225 deadlift 1RM {greedy?}
  3. Perform 5 strict consecutive unassisted ring dips + 10 CTBs {as an effort to keep working towards my muscle-up goal}
  4. Make it through the challenge with grace, humor, and love no matter my circumstances or {possible} bad decisions.