Healthy Eating | Whole30 | Kimberly Kalil Creative

We did it … we completed the Whole30 challenge. Yesterday was day 30 and we’re pretty proud of ourselves for making it to the end (feel free to pat me on the back).

After the first week of withdrawals and detox, it wasn’t all that hard. We got into a rhythm and we started to feel less irritated with the challenge and instead embraced a different way of thinking about food and how we fuel our bodies. Dare I say it was easy after I stopped having withdrawal headaches? Seriously, it was. We knew what we could eat and what we couldn’t eat. We ate things that were healthy for us and we didn’t think too much about what we were missing. It just became our normal. It’s so normal that we’re not planning on adding too much back into our diets. I can’t eat gluten or dairy anyway, so that still on my no eat list. We’re actually going to try and eat fewer animal products,¬†with the exception of fish, which we eat about three times a week.

My face/skin was a mess for the first ten days. After my body got all the gunk out, my skin started looking better than it has in a long time. During the detox phase I was worried my face would never clear up. It’s really depressing to be 40 years old with a face full of pimples. But in the end, I’m so happy with the results.

It was really hard for me to stay off the scale. Clearly I have an unhealthy attachment to the scale and the number it displays. At the end of 30 days, I lost just under five pounds (4.9 to be exact) and Mike lost about 10 pounds. My clothes are fitting better and I’m less bloated. I’d call that a solid win.

I have stopped snacking between meals and have no urge to snack. That’s a huge difference for me. And I’m even doing better at night, which is typically when I’d indulge in lots of sugary crap.

I have been trying to think what I missed most over the last 30 days and I keeping coming back to the same thing: gum. I haven’t missed ice cream. I haven’t missed an occasional glass of wine. I haven’t missed (gf) bread. I’m missed gum. I have found myself brushing my teeth a lot more (five or six times a day) since I’ve been eating lots of strong smelling veggies (hello onions and garlic) and without chewing gum to mask the smell, I’ve been a bit of a brushing maniac.

I can’t begin to tell you how grateful I am we did this. It’s really changed how I feel about food. I feel much more in control of my urges and am to know I’m putting less garbage into my body. If you feel like your in a health rut, I highly recommend you try Whole30. It’s just 30 days, but it will make a huge difference.

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Photos Matter | Kimberly Kalil CreativeMy Grandma passed away yesterday, She’d been close to death for a few months now and every time my Dad phoned me, I was sure it “that” call. I am grateful she has found peace and has been reunited with my dear Grandpa. But I’m still sad. I’m sad she’s gone and I’m sad for my Dad who no longer has parents alive on this earth. It’s heartbreaking to me and reminds me that there will be a time when my parents will also return to our Father in Heaven.

As I was absorbing the news, the first thing I wanted to do was find some pictures of my Grandma. The power of photos is amazing. They are magical story tellers that transport us to a different time and place. I take a lot of photos. My kids might tell you I take too many. But yesterday it took me just a few minutes to find some photos of my Grandma and find comfort in the memories they evoked.

I’m so grateful for the stacks and stacks of photos I have of the people and places I love so much. And I’m recommitting to telling my story through photos. It’s times like this I’m beyond grateful for the memory keeper in me.

Photos matter. Take pictures of the people you love and the things you love. Make sure you get in front of the camera too. Don’t worry about scrapbooking every, single picture you snap. Just snap away and be grateful for each and very story you capture. They are a gift.


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Smoking + Breastfeeding | | Kimberly Kalil Creative

Interested in learning if breast feeding and smoking can coexist? If you’re a smoker and you want to breastfeed your baby check out my latest article over at,


Are you a new mom considering breastfeeding but wondering about whether it’s safe to mix smoking and nursing your child? If so, you may be relieved to know that “smoking and breastfeeding are compatible,” according to Colette M. Acker, a lactation consultant and founder of The Breastfeeding Resource Center. “It’s better for a baby for a mom to smoke and breastfeed than to smoke and not breastfeed,” she says. The benefits a breastfed baby get from their mother’s milk help protect them from the toxins in the air from cigarette smoke they’re exposed to.

“Breast milk will help them fight infections,” Acker explains.

Although nicotine may be present in breast milk, adverse effects on the infant during breastfeeding have not been reported, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) also notes that “maternal smoking is not an absolute contraindication to breastfeeding,” but it should be strongly discouraged because it is associated with respiratory allergies in babies, as well as sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). According to the American Cancer Society, infants do absorb nicotine through breast milk, as well as through the air they breathe. However, breastfeeding is thought to be healthier than bottle-feeding, even when the mother smokes.



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Today is my 12th day of Whole30 eating. If you’re not familiar with the Whole30, it’s a nutritional program that places an emphasis on eat only whole, unprocessed, healthy foods. “Think of it as a short-term nutritional reset, designed to help you put an end to unhealthy cravings and habits, restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, and balance your immune system.”

I wanted to do the Whole30 because I needed a reset. I’m still have a lot of pain from my arthritis. I’ve gained 5 to 10 pounds over the last year, which I can’t seem to shake not matter what I do. I wake up with a headache most days. And most of all, I’m addicted to sugar. I want sugary sweet crap all the time. And too often I indulge that craving.

Mike is doing this with me … because I sort of bullied him into it! No really, he wasn’t all that excited about it, since the bulk of the cooking challenge would be on his shoulders. But after a little cajoling on my part, he gave in and has since become the program’s number one supporter.

By no means am I an Whole30 expert or an expert when it comes to health and wellness. I try lots of different things and see what works for me and for our family. Plus, I’m only 12 days into this, so I’m still learning the ropes. But, there are a few things I now for sure. Here are my tip and observations now that I’m a third of the way done.

To be successful, you have to plan. We sit down on Saturday or Sunday and plan our dinners for the entire week. At the same time, we make our grocery list. There is no way I could stick to the program if we didn’t have a plan. Mike told me yesterday he might start planning for a month of meals at a time, that way he only spends a few hours once a month coming up with our menu.

Doing this with Mike and having a partner in crime, makes it much easier. I should be able to make a commitment to better health just because it’s good for me. But sometimes, it helps to be accountable to someone other than myself. Knowing Mike and I are int his together is helpful.

Cutting out sugar, bread, pasta, etc makes me cranky. On our walk last night Mike told me the one thing he’s most looking forward to at the end of Whole30 is my mood improving. I have been pretty cranky.

Food can still be yummy without all the added crap. Mike is a great cook. He’s willing to try anything and he’s been making awesome meals for us. We bought the Whole30 book and have been using recipes from there, as well as random recipe we find on the internet. ¬†There have been a few misses, but for the most part everything we’ve tried had been tasty (and good for us).

Our whole family is eating our Whole30 dinners. We’re not making the kids special dinners. They eat what we eat. This is fine for Shelby, she’ll eat anything. Cooper is struggling, but this has less to do with Whole30 and more to do with other food issues we have. I do let the kids pick their own breakfasts and they pack their own lunches. In some cases they eat things that aren’t Whole30 compliant. Not a big deal. Overall, they are making healthy choices and eating well.

I’m not mindlessly snacking. One of the “rules” of Whole30 is no snacking. I’ve always been a mindless snacker. I will walk to the pantry without thinking and eat whatever is most appealing. I eat out of boredom. I eat to fill time. I eat for comfort. Those aren’t healthy reasons to eat. I’m quickly redefining my relationship with food, and that’s a good thing. I must add … I haven’t completely cut out snacks. I’m snacking 75% less and when I do snack it’s on a piece of fruit, a veggie or maybe a (Whole30) compliant Lara Bar. With each passing day, my urge to snack diminishes.

Evenings are still hard for me. The time between dinner and bedtime I want to eat. Mostly I want to eat sweet treats. I still want to, but I’m not, so that’s a win. I’m hoping after 30 days of no sugar, this urge will disappear. Fingers crossed.

It gets easier every day. With each passing day, this all becomes more routine. I don’t think about the Diet Dr. Pepper I used to have, I just make myself a cup of green tea.

I’m excited to see who I feel at the end of 30 days. Mike says he already feels lighter and less bloated. I’m proud of us. We’re making healthy choices and fueling our bodies with real food.

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