Whole30 Maybe?

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I’m sitting here on a Sunday morning in my bed with a cookbook, notebook, Pinterest, and printouts covering my comforter.

And my cat. Because Carmela is never far from my side, bless her little heart.

Thinking About Going Whole30

I bought a copy of Well Fed 2: More Paleo Recipes for People Who Love to Eat (aff link) at Barnes & Noble because I wanted a new cookbook for dinner. We’ve been trying to eat less starchy/carby foods at night and I was having a hard time thinking of good recipes to try because I’m obsessed with bread, pasta, and rice. I figured this cookbook would be a great place to start for some new ideas. I even posted on IG that we’d probably never go Whole30 or paleo.

You can see where this is going already, can’t you?

And then I started reading the book. Which lead to Googling. Which led to Pinterest. Which read to more Googling. Which lead to me bookmarking ALL THE RECIPES in the cookbook.

Well Fed 2 and Whole30 Planning

And now I’m sitting here actually contemplating doing a version of Whole30 or Paleo.


I say “a version of it” because I’m not entirely convinced I need to give up dairy for 30 days, or ever. Why? Well, I’ve lived dairy-free before. 100% dairy-free with not even the slightest bit of milk proteins allowed in my diet. I did it for several months while nursing both of my children. When I finally reintroduced dairy after I finished nursing, I didn’t see any negative effects as far as my gut health, bloating, ect. My thyroid wasn’t any better or worse with or without diary.

I’m not saying I’m still going to eat ice cream and yogurt, but I’m most certainly going to drink my ice cold glass of chocolate milk after a hard workout and use butter (Whole30 actually allows for clarified butter/ghee now) and have cheese every now and then. I don’t eat a ton of dairy as it is, so I’m not sure eliminating it would do any good.

We will, however, be giving up grains, legumes, processed sugars, and gluten.

My main goal, actually, is to give gluten-free living another shot. The side effects from Hashimotos are getting worse, and I’m trying to find a new doctor to look into them more. In the meantime, I’m willing to try other measures to help lessen my symptoms, especially now that I’m restating my training with a serious PR goal in mind. My hopes in trying this new eating plan is that I can see how gluten is effecting my thyroid functions and overall sense of well-being.

I tried a cold turkey, no plan, throw out all the gluten regime once. I lasted one week. I’m hoping that with a solid plan, recipes to try, guidelines to follow, and support from others doing the same thing, I can give my body a really good chance at feeling better and figure out if there are certain foods that cause me to feel worse.

There is no cure for Hashimotos. I do not believe a diet can rid my body of an autoimmune disease. Let’s be clear about that. I’m not even entirely convinced this diet will result in palpable changes. There are many people who develop true, medical gluten sensitivities because of Hashimotos (autoimmune diseases like to multiply and stack on top of each other like that.) I’m not convinced I’m one of them, so this plan may not work, but I feel like I owe it to myself, and my family who suffers the side effects of an overly-tired version of myself way too often, a chance.

So I won’t call myself a Whole30-er. I won’t call myself Paleo. I’m technically not “eating clean”. I don’t really know what I’ll call it. I know I’m not following the rules and I am 100% ok with it. Please save me the comments about how I’m weak and whatnot. It will fall on deaf ears. Turns out, there are many people who do a version of paleo or Whole30 and still experience amazing results. I love when the Internet tells me I’m not alone. All aboard the validation train, y’all!

Whole30 MaybeMy Trader Joe’s cart that’s missing my normal bevvy of delicious treats like my favorite English toffee. 

I’m also more willing to try this new way of eating because it’s not a diet. It’s more of a lifestyle change that I could possibly adopt for the rest of my life, if I see results. I am, in no way shape or form, trying to lose weight here. This is 100% about my Hashimotos and not about a scale or how my clothes fit. If it helps me to gain more muscle, then that’s a true bonus. I’m actually a bit nervous as to how this will change how I feel during training since I won’t have pasta and pizza as my go-to carb load before long runs and races.

The husband will be along for the ride, too, and I’m so thankful for that. We won’t make the kids go all-in with us. They will still get dairy and grains at breakfast and lunch. They’ll eat what we eat for dinner, however. They’re really great eaters and we’ve always told them “what’s on the table is what’s for dinner” and it works 95% of time. I might make them spaghetti instead of cauliflower rice, but I’m hoping to not have to do that very often because I know I’ll want to grab a forkful of pasta.

We’re slowly introducing some of the principles of Whole30/Paleo/Clean eating over the next few weeks and jumping in a little deeper once we get back from vacation next month.  I’m not the type of person who can decide to start this on Monday and go all out at once (see previous diet change fail above.) I need time to warm up to the idea. We’re going to start phasing out some foods now and slowly begin stocking up the pantry with compliant foods to avoid a huge grocery bill next month. I’m also not about wasting the food we already have. I know there are people who have done a true kitchen clean-out and thrown out/donated everything non-compliant, but that makes my budget want to weep. Not happening. While I know I could stay compliant on vacation, I simply don’t want to. I’d rather wait until we get back where I can focus and plan. Vacation is not the time for me to worry about what I’m eating. Not yet, anyway.

So there it is. I’m doing something I said I’d never do, eating crow, and putting my foot in my mouth. I’ll be updating my progress here every so often and probably posting way too many photos of cauliflower “rice” on Instagram. I’ll do weekly meal wrap-ups if y’all are into that sort of thing.

This has become the LONGEST BLOG POST ABOUT NOTHING EVER, so I’ll leave you with a picture of my yummy lunch from the other day.

Cauliflower Rice Bowl Lunch Idea

Cauliflower “rice” with bacon, avocado, tomatoes, garlic, and asparagus, cooked in ghee.

Have you tried Whole30/Paleo/Clean Eating? I’d love to hear any tips or tricks you have for making it an enjoyable experience, because it does seem overwhelming! 

Why You Should runDisney at Disneyland

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I have a secret. This East Coast girl loves runDisney at the Disneyland Resort more than runDisney at the Walt Disney World Resort. I wouldn’t turn down a race at Walt Disney World, that’s for sure, but if I had to choose, I’d pack my bags for Cali.

It’s true. It all started with the inaugural Dumbo Double Dare in 2013 and my feelings were solidified after the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend Rebel Challenge earlier this month. Now all I can think about is how I can get back to run another race at Disneyland.

If you’ve run at Walt Disney World, but haven’t yet considered a runDisney race at Disneyland, here are a few reasons I think you should consider:

Why runDisney at Disneyland


1. For East Coasters, the race times are perfect. I was up and at ‘em for my Disneyland races. 3:30am PST doesn’t sting so much when your body thinks it’s 6:30am EST (my normal wake up time.) I felt more energized during my runs and actually slept better the night before knowing I wouldn’t be dragging myself out of bed at an ungodly hour. For this reason, I suggest planning your runDisney Disneyland trip so you arrive as close to the races as possible so your body hasn’t reset to PST. Extend your trip past race day for enjoying the parks instead of arriving early.

2. Walking to Expo and corrals: This is one of the biggest pluses to running at Disneyland. You can walk everywhere. There’s no need to take a shuttle to the expo, back to your hotel, to the race, and back again. No lines to wait in, no sitting next to sweaty, smelly runners on a bus after the race. You finish, enjoy the post-race amenities, and stroll (or in my case, limp) back to your hotel to shower and head to the parks. You’ll feel like you’ve saved hours. And walking to the corrals means you can sleep in even later. The Star Wars Half Marathon and 10k started at 5:30am. We left our hotel at 4:45am each morning and made it to the corrals with tons of time to spare. There’s also no need to use bag check when you know your gear is just a short walk away. If you’re staying at a Good Neighbor Hotel, there are shuttles on race morning, but it’s typically faster to walk.

3. On course entertainment: I love the entertainment along Disneyland courses. There are bands and cheerleaders galore, lots of spectators, characters…you name it! It’s true that most of the Disney characters are only in the parks, which make up only a portion of the course, but I honestly don’t miss them when we’re on the streets of Anaheim or Garden Grove. You also get to run into amazing people like the 501st Legion who packed one area of the Star Wars Half Marathon course.


4. Temperatures: For the most part, California doesn’t do humid. Hot, sure (2013 Dumbo was super hot), but it’s not that sticky humidity that can plague a Florida race. The weather for Star Wars was amazing. Cool (chilly, even) in the mornings and warm during the day. Perfect running weather. While there were some wind issues during the Avengers Half Marathon last November, for the majority of races, pleasant weather prevails in SoCal.

5. Less walking due to size of parks: Remember how I said you could walk everywhere? Well, even with walking everywhere, you don’t feel like you’re walking a ton. The Disneyland Resort area isn’t as large as its Florida counterpart. You can spend a day in the parks after the race and not feel like you’re walking another half marathon. There are also tons of great spots to sit and relax, grab a drink, listen to music, and eat delicious food.

6. Crowd levels: Now here’s where my Disneyland regulars will disagree with me. As someone who is used to lines for Walt Disney World attractions, lines at Disneyland feel like nothing. Locals balk at a 20 minute wait for a ride, but that seems like heaven for people used to much longer waits in Florida. I heard lots of people saying the parks were crowded for Star Wars Weekend, and they were busy. It was a holiday weekend. But I didn’t get the same sense of “oh my goodness! This place is PACKED!” as I would have felt at Walt Disney World. Even with the lines, you can see and do so much. Plus, the paper FASTPASS system still in place at Disneyland makes things even easier.

7. Speaking of paper FASTPASS: Disneyland isn’t a place you need to plan for. You can show up and do what you want. Advanced Dining Reservations aren’t necessarily needed and there’s no FastPass+ system that requires selecting attractions in advance. It’s so laid back and wonderful, which is why it’s overtaken Walt Disney World as my favorite Disney resort. (shhhhhhhh!) There are plenty of “off-site” hotels to choose from in every price range and you can see and do so much in a shorter amount of time, which is great when you’re not able to take an extended amount of time off work.

So there you have it. My seven reasons you should consider switching it up and heading to the Disneyland Resort for a runDisney event. And hey, don’t forget: run a race (half or full marathon) at Disneyland and Walt Disney World in the same calendar year and you’ll earn yourself a shiny Coast to Coast medal.

#rundisney #dumbodoubledare and #CoastToCoast complete!!!!!!!!!!! #bestdayever

A photo posted by Ashley (@fiddledeeme) on

Registration opens for the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend featuring the Dumbo Double Dare today for Annual Passholders and DVC owners. General registration opens February 10th.

Registrations for Avengers Half Marathon Weekend opens on April 7th.

What I Wore To Disneyland in January

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When it comes to dressing for Disneyland, or any theme park, it’s easy to go for the most comfortable clothes you own; a worn in pair of sneakers or sandals, and a ponytail. I get it. You’re spending hours on your feet in a theme park. It’s often hot and you’re climbing off and on rides.

However, I’m not the type of person that wants to walk around in shorts and a t-shirt every day on vacation. It may be vain, but I know I’ll be taking photos, going to dinner, or seeing people I haven’t seen in a long time. I like to keep my same level of style on vacation as I do at home, if not more so because I actually have the time to get ready every day on a trip.

what I Wore to Disneyland in January Star Wars Half Marathon

shirt: her universe // shorts: target // jacket: old navy // shoes: toms

Oh how I love taking uninterrupted showers in a hotel where I can blast the hot water and not worry about it running out for the next person. It’s bliss, really. Pure bliss.

The weather in January in Disneyland is gorgeous, especially when you’re travelling from Hoth, but it can be tricky to dress for. The mornings and evenings are very cool, if not chilly (50 or so), but there are a couple hours in the middle of the day where the temps heat up to 75-78 and the sun is beating down. It’s actually quite crazy how quickly it goes from cool to hot to cool again.

To summarize: layers are key.

I packed way more outfits than I needed and ended up wearing a variation of the same outfit each day. Here’s what I wore to Disneyland in January:

What I Wore to Disneyland in January FiddleDeeMe

jeans: new york & co // cardigan: target // top: old navy // sandals: reef // fedora and purse: target

Layers with longer shorts or jeans. The cardigan ended up being the key part of each day’s outfit. It’s a thinner sweater that was perfect for the chilly mornings, but wasn’t bulky when I wanted to take if off when the temps went up.

What I Wore to Disneyland Boyfriend Jeans

Next time I’ll bring more cardigans so I’m not wearing the same thing every day.

Also, the fedora. Because I can’t get away with a fedora in WNY. I just can’t. And I love a good hat, especially midday when the sun is really pounding down.

The outfits I didn’t end up wearing would have been great had the temps stayed on the warm side all day, but they weren’t so great for layering and cooler temps. The sandals I packed ended up staying in the hotel room, too, because I stupidly ran two races without training and my feet weren’t pleased with me.

What I Wore to Disneyland Boyfriend Shortsshirt: star wars for junk food // shorts: old navy // shoes: toms

On my last day, I wore what I planned on wearing on the plane ride home. I simply switched my sandals for real shoes when I got to the airport. I had planned on changing my outfit completely, but it wasn’t worth it to get another set of clothes dirty when I knew I’d be getting all grubby on the flight and I was perfectly comfortable.

What I Wore to Disneyland Departure Day

jeans: new york & co // shirt: target // scarf: her universe for think geek // sandals: disney 

As a bonus, here’s what I wore on my flight to California because what’s one more outfit photo:

What I Wore to Disneyland in January Plane Ridedress: old navy // leggings: target // shoes: target