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…)


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…)


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.



After my 40 Days of Being Active, I’ve felt a lot of motivation to keep the momentum going. So, I’ve decided to spend the next 30 days following The Whole30 program. After a week of preparation, I kicked off the 30 days starting yesterday. I’d heard a lot about The Whole30 through different blogs I read and through people I follow on Instagram but never really felt the need to try it, until now. We usually take a common sense approach to eating in our house, and to use the phrase coined by Michael Pollan, we “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” and this has worked for us. (more…)

Photo taken from my rooftop in 2005*

I got up super early on Thursday to go to a 6am hot yoga class. It felt really great. It’s been something I’ve been wanting to do for a really long time and I finally just did it. I can’t even begin to describe how wonderful waking up early has been for me. I haven’t been more productive in ways that I thought I would be with extra time on my hands. But I feel better about myself, for sure. It feels good to be able to journal daily and to just sit and think and plan and not feel bad that I’m taking time away from the other important things in my life. I think I had a lot of guilt before and it was one of the things holding me back from feeling fulfilled. Guilt about not being present with the kids and Andrew, guilt for expecting Andrew to carry more of the load than he already does, guilt for constantly dreaming about doing rather than just doing. I feel like I’ve gained back something in my life without sacrificing other parts of it. Yes, I am a little bit tired. And yes, I get greedy and am genuinely discouraged when this little amount of time I have is infringed upon – be it my unwillingness to get out of bed or by a kid who gets up earlier than usual. What’s the old saying – if I don’t have time, make time? (more…)

On Being


On Wednesday and Thursday, I got up super early (5:30!) to go to the Rec Center to get my cardio on. I really wish that there were more things in my life that required me to get my heart rate up naturally. And by naturally, I mean that the sole purpose of the activity isn’t to “work out” – this is why I need a farm that requires me to toss huge bales of hay or something. Basically, I want to be a young, Amish man where I raise barns all day. How many Amish guys do you think need to “go for a run” to get exercise? Not many, would be my guess. Or maybe I need to take dance classes or yoga classes because at least I’d be learning a skill at the same time. I’m looking into 6am yoga or barre classes in the area because when I get motivated, I turn into a glutton for punishment. Kidding! I actually enjoy being active. Though I’m not a fan of running, no matter how hard I try to like it.