trying whole30

So, in case you haven’t heard of it before….. the Whole30 is a 30 day program intended to “clean out” your system and work on eating habits, finding out what food choices hurt you and helps your body to reset.

While originally Austin and I planned to start January 1st (which go figure is super popular, go figure). But with an upcoming out of town event I felt like I would be setting myself up for failure. Instead, our start date is (hopefully) MLK weekend.

In talking to people about this 30 day program, I’ve found that a lot of people seem interested or at least want more information…. so I figured I would “journal” my journey here. After all, this blog is nothing if not a journal of all my adventures (yes, most of which haven’t been completed…but enough about that).

So for those of you asking….. check out their site first. I also recommend this book (buy or borrow from the library like I did). But here are some other tips/things I’ve learned so far via friends (thanks AMY), the book and other research.

Essentially the purpose (or at least for me): To cut out all foods that can be harmful or hurt our bodies (dairy, gluten, etc) for 30 days to give your insides a chance to reset. After that 30 days, you can slowly add some of these things back into your normal routine, taking note of how they make you feel. Struggling with IBS for over a decade I have learned that I have food issues, but I’ve never been able to pin-point what they are. I’m hoping that in studying how my body adjusts to all of this and what foods I should steer clear of in the future. Other people have done this to help in their binge eating, excessively craving food, or to avoid eating when they’re not actually hungry.

What I can have: So there seems like a long list of have-nots on their page, so before you start to freak out (or was I the only one doing that) here are some things you CAN have the entire time!

  • basic cuts of meat, seafood, and eggs
  • veggies (but no corn, peas or lima beans)
  • all fruit
  • green beans
  • snow peas and sugar snap peas
  • ghee (instead of butter)
  • fruit juice
  • vinegar
  • olives
  • nuts
  • coconut milk and almond milk
  • coffee
  • virgin olive oil
  • potatoes
  • acorn and butternut squash
  • plantains
  • canned veggies and fruits (just make sure they aren’t packaged in syrup)
  • yellow mustard (but check labels)
  • eggplant
  • yams
  • some pickles

Here are the no’s

  • scales (the purpose is not to lose weight, so you’re supposed to avoid weighing yourself)
  • alcohol
  • added sugar
  • grains, wheats, oats, rice, corn
  • beans, peanuts, soy
  • dairy
  • butter
  • dark chocolate
  • gum
  • hummus
  • mayo (but you can make your own— same with salad dressings)
  • canola oil

Just 2 more weeks until I start. If you plan to do it too (at any point) please let me know. I’d love to do it together.

I also hope to share recipes (and if you have some– please share!!!!!)

December Reads

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton ***

The Whispers of War by Julia Kelly ****

The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda ***

Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi *****

Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen McManus ***

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett ***

Battle of Brothers by Robert Lacey **

November Reads

This month I decided to make note of my favorite quotes from the books I read. Some had a lot more than others, but I decided to list my the favorites that went along with the premise of each book.

1. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig ***

“A person is like a city. You couldn’t let a few less desirable parts put you off the whole. There may be bits you don’t like, a few dodgy side streets and suburbs, but the good stuff makes it worthwhile.”

2. The Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult ***

“Ancient Egyptians believed the first and most necessary ingredient in the universe was chaos. It could sweep you away, but it was also the place from which all things start new.”

3. His and Hers by Alice Feeney ***

“We are a species capable of horrific acts and incapable of learning from the lessons our own history tried to teach us.”

4. Majesty by Katharine McGee **

“It might sting less with time, but that doesn’t mean we’ll never stop feeling the loss. Well just get a little better at carrying it.”

5. The Yellow House by Sarah Broom **

“Distance lends perspective, but it can also shade, misinterpret.”

6. All The Missing Girls by Megan Miranda ***

“There’s a danger to it, because it grows out of something real, a seed in the earth, giving life on its own. It’s all tangled together- the truth, the fiction-and sometimes it’s hard to pick apart. Sometimes it’s hard to remember which parts truly exist.”

7. A Question of Betrayal by Anne Perry ***

“You know as well as I do that most anger is actually fear of something. Anger is so much easier.”

September & October Reads

Finding Freedom by Omid Scobie ****

Biased by Jennifer L. Eberhardt, PHD. ****

The Guest List by Lucy Foley ****

Paris Never Leaves You by Ellen Feldman ***

The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian **

Alex and Eliza, A Love Story by Melissa de la Cruz ***

The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo ****

My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite ***

The Last Train to Key West by Chanel Cleeton ****

The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis ***

My Dear Hamilton by Stephanie Dray ****

American Royals by Katharine McGee ***

Wolf Hall by Hillary Mantel **

Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis ****

Pretty Things by Janelle Brown ***

The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James ****


It’s a heaviness in my chest,

an inability to fight the shortness of breath.

It’s an overwhelming sadness that comes in quick bursts of waves.

It’s a looming darkness,

A crushing feeling of inadequacy.

It’s a heart pounding,

Blood rushing moment.

It’s not the way I was built.

It’s not how I want to feel.

It’s not of my Father,

I know that.

But it’s all encompassing.

It’s a sadness I don’t to impose on others so I stay silent.

Tea + Art// Ashes’ Tea Room

Place: Ashes Boutique & Tea Room

Okay, so obviously I’m a little biased when it comes to Ashes since not only do I work here but it’s also owned by my mother in law. But I have to say— the tea we serve actually made me enjoy tea!!! It’s that good y’all!

As for the artwork, there’s obviously tons!! My mother in law is a gifted artist and we try to showcase her art everywhere! From canvas to prints on notecards to designs on clothing (and baby gear).

If you haven’t come in lately, you need to!! Especially since we’re having an Autumn seasonal menu out soon!!! -Kel

a Florida girl in the mountains

Last weekend (seriously how has it already been a week?!?) Austin and I went to the North Georgia mountains with some friends.

It was the perfect long weekend get away filled with white water rafting, apple orchards, hot tubbing, reading, drinks, friends, and a waterfall.

We stopped at Mercier Apple Orchards and all I can say is wow. I think we got every apple and peach flavored thing you could imagine. And they’re all amazing (because I know you were wondering).

Hilarious highlights of the trip:

Bring the only one to fall out of the raft. Yup, everyone else chose to get out and swim- I was thrown out.

Hot coffee up the nose. Not my finest moment.

Best attack on our trash…. if only we’d seen it instead of just the aftermath!

Things we did over the long weekend:

Water Rafting – Tyler was our guide and the best!!!

Cute downtown shopping (both downtown Blue Ridge and downtown McCaysville).

Waterfall and hiking at Amicalola Falls Park.

Mercier Apple Orchards.

Until next time mountain, I miss you!

August 2020 Reads

As much as I hate to admit it, I’ve been reading on my phone a lot. Like a lot, a lot. Online Libraries like the app Libby just make it so convenient (especially because I love having a book on me to read at all times). The downside is I don’t get any cute book photos that I also love to take.

The Huntress by Kate Quinn ***

The Woman Before Wallis by Andrew Rose ** (This is a nonfiction based book that I saw after adding Bryn Turnbull’s new book to my list to read. FYI both about very different woman that had relationships with Prince turned King Edward).

How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X Kendi *** Never has a book made me so angry and then turn around and have me agreeing with the next sentence.

How We Got to Now by Steven Johnson ****

Man of the Year by Caroline Louise Walker **

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks **

The Woman Before Wallis by Bryn Turnbull ****

You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks ***

Bossy Pants by Tina Fey ***

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert ***

Carnegie’s Maid by Marie Benedict ***

The Other Mrs. by Mary Kubica **

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