Crystal Madrilejos

Design & Creative


I’m done! I made it! Whew.

Okay, so I have to admit that Day 30 was a bit anticlimactic. Even today, the day after when I’m free to eat whatever I want, it’s sort of like, okay now what? The one thing I did do different today was add a little bit of vanilla extract to my Primal Non-Dairy Coffee Creamer – thrilling, i know. (Vanilla extract isn’t recommended on the Whole30 because of the alcohol content.) I also added the teeniest tiniest bit of our homemade maple syrup to my coffee. I have to say, the vanilla was actually an amazing addition. The maple syrup was, meh. I think I was expecting a burst of sweetness to my newly re-sensitized tastebuds. However, I then remembered I have been eating fruit this entire time, so maybe my tastebuds aren’t as sweet deprived as I’d thought! (more…)


Andrew and I have been thinking about homeschooling our kids for a little while now. I’ve definitely been more the champion of the cause than Andrew – but the more we talk about it, the more he is on board. When we first had kids, we just thought of their education as a bridge we’d cross when we got there. We figured, we’ve got time. But it creeps up fast, let me tell you. Now it’s here, we’re crossing that bridge in the very near future. Before we started considering homeschool as an option, we figured they’d go to Montessori for pre-school/kindergarten then on to public schools – the same route that both Andrew and I took growing up. We turned out okay, right? ;) (more…)


Yesterday was my Whole30: Day 26 and I had a pretty big realization about something.

One of my biggest concerns when I first started considering the Whole30 was the hunger shakes. You know when you get so hungry that you feel shaky and you can’t concentrate? That used to happen to me a lot. I would be famished by 11am and if I didn’t eat soon thereafter, I’d start to feel shaky. I thought, there is no way that I will be able to function for an entire 30 days with that feeling. But lo and behold, I haven’t had that feeling once in the past 26 days. Somedays, I realize that it’s already 1pm not only have and I not eaten lunch,but I also haven’t felt that shakiness or lack of concentration that in the past would have signaled that I needed to eat. (more…)


Okay, so I totally botched my attempts at a daily update on my last week of the Whole30. Turns out there are only 24 hours in a day!

Yesterday was my Whole30: Day 25 and Andrew helped me make this Whole30 compliant chili recipe, which turned out really great. Thanks again, Chandra, for the great recommendation! Luckily, Andrew not only knows his way around the kitchen, but also knows my taste preference and sensitivity to spicy foods, so instead of two teaspoons of red pepper flakes, he only added 1/4 teaspoon. I’m such a baby when it comes to heat, and this was the perfect amount of spice. When I was reading the recipe, I thought adding one teaspoon would be enough to cut the heat! I didn’t realize how spicy those things can be. (more…)


I realized the other day, I haven’t done a garden post in awhile. It’s getting lush and green and everything is exploding but not much bounty yet, with the exception of strawberries, salad greens, kale and spinach.

I feel like everything is a bit behind this year. But I also have a feeling this might be a long summer. No scientific proof behind that claim, just something that I feel. I could totally be wrong though. (more…)


And I thought Week 2 was full challenges. Week 3 was tough on many fronts. The biggest being totally unrelated to the Whole30. Last week, my Dad went into the hospital and had heart surgery, followed by a minor stroke. It’s been a rough week on my whole family. Fortunately, despite his setback, he’s still on the road to recovery making progress daily. (A huge thanks to everyone who sent love and well wishes. He’s got an amazing bunch of people in his life, that’s for sure.)

With that said, basically everything else going on in my life has paled in comparison. I even debated writing this post since any small challenges I had faced this past week in regards to what I was eating were just small potatoes compared to what my Dad went through. (more…)


Another week in the books!


I really tested my will power during Week 2. Between coming down with some sort of nasty cold virus and the Fourth of July weekend, there were more than a few times when convenience and comfort almost trumped any desire I had to stick with it. However, I pushed through. Here are the things that I struggled with this past week: (more…)


So, I made it through the first week of the Whoel30! So far, so good.

The Obstacles

The last two days I’ve been exhausted. Luckily, it was the weekend because I took some serious naps, one of which followed an extremely bad stomach ache after lunch yesterday. However, according to the Whole30 timeline these are normal reactions as the body starts to adjust to not being able to rely on easy access energy sources (aka sugar). I believe the stomach ache could have been from my increase in fat intake, which I’ll be monitoring moving forward. There IS such a thing as too many avocados and too much coconut oil! (more…)


Before committing to the Whole30, one of the things that I was feeling really reluctant to change was my coffee. I love coffee, usually with cream and sugar, early in the morning when the house is quiet and everyone else is sleeping. It was my little sanctuary. My little calm before the storm, not to mention it’s delicious! Since sugar and dairy are not allowed on the Whole30 and I don’t enjoy my coffee black, I decided to at least figure out a compromise without feeding my sugar craving. I’d heard about using canned coconut milk as creamer, and in my research came across this recipe for Primal Non-Dairy Coffee Creamer and I have to say that it’s pretty wonderful stuff.



When we first started our garden, there were only a few things that Andrew was dead set on growing. Lettuce, potatoes, corn, and strawberries. Lettuce, check. Potatoes, check. Corn and strawberries, eh not so much. Every single year, something went awry with our strawberries. Until this year! We finally have a bumper crop – if we can manage to keep the animals and bugs (and little kid fingers) in check.

We’ve managed to keep the animals and kids at bay with fencing and netting. However, slugs are a problem. I see them everywhere leaving their disgusting foamy slug trails! How rude! A friend on Facebook suggested beer traps, which I have yet to try since we don’t have beer readily available in our house and I can never remember to get some. Andrew used to work/live on an permaculture homestead out in Washington state, and they have HUGE slugs out there. Like, cartoonishly big. Like if you accidentally stepped on one it would make a pop/crunch sound! Yuck. The people he lived with would crush up egg shells and sprinkle them around each strawberry plant because apparently the slugs don’t like to crawl over them – a similar concept to Diatomaceous Earth I suppose. Our strawberry patch is way overcrowded to do that, which probably isn’t helping our slug problem either. Too many plants in one area give slugs lots of hiding places! (more…)