WLC Day 1: Baseline Measurements and Middle Eastern “Spaghetti” Hot Plate


January 12, 2014 by Lauren Grider

I survived my first day of the Whole Life Challenge, and I feel pretty good about it. The timing of the challenge is a little interesting, as this was moving day #1 for our veterinary office, and it was stressful. Usually during stressful events I do things like eat a bunch of pasta, or dive head first into a big ol’ margarita, or eat all the donuts (that were of course available all day today in the break room,) but I didn’t. The timing is a good thing. I ate when I was hungry, filled up and experienced only appropriate hunger today. I did not count any calories. I have been transitioning to a Paleo diet after the holidays and have lost 8 lbs according to my bathroom scale. I’m not paying attention to it after today, though. As I’ve mentioned before, measurements are where it’s at.

So, I stayed within my nutrition parameters, mobilized, and took my supplements (vitamin B12 and vitamin D3, both prescribed by my physician). Today was my active rest day, and I spent it unpacking boxes and carrying things around. The first healthy habit we’re focusing on is staying adequately hydrated. Check. I am playing at the intermediate level, so I’m allowed butter (but no other dairy) and one glass of wine per week.

I went to Crossfit Impulse yesterday to establish my baseline measurements.
Our WLC WOD: 11 minutes to complete: 1000 m row, then 75 air squats, 50 sit-ups, 25 push-ups, and as many burpees as possible until time runs out. The score is the number of squats + sit-ups + push-ups + burpeees performed. My score was 115.

This morning, I got up early and put bacon in the oven. 🙂 I mobilized with my foam roller while it was cooking. I also sliced an apple and made some delicious apple and almond butter sandwiches. They were also super cute, but of course I forgot to take a picture of them.


For lunch, I had a salad with beef, veggies, salsa and guacamole. I also splurged a little on a WLC compliant Lara Bar.

Then for dinner, I made my very first hot plate! You see, my good friend Maggie gave me Well Fed and Well Fed 2, fantastic paleo cookbooks, for Christmas, and my good friend Dani gave the books such rave reviews that I ran right home and started on page 1. Dani is planning to cook her way through Well Fed, so that’s not my goal here, but I was super excited about making a hot plate, which is essentially fat + spices + veggies + meat. It sounds so ridiculously simple, but this is amazing. So, without a recipe, I took the things in my fridge and “invented” my own dish: a Middle Eastern / Paleo twist on spaghetti with meat sauce. I always get a little worried when I step outside the box in the kitchen- Will these ingredients compliment one another? Am I combining these things correctly? Will everyone else hate this? Oh well.

I loved it! I’m not sure whether I was just super tired and hungry or whether this really was the best thing I’ve eaten in a while. Whenever I go low carb, I experience tastes more dramatically than before, and this time is no exception. So, it also could be that I’m on a savory taste high currently. Regardless, here’s what I did if you want to try it. And sorry about the picture- I couldn’t get the blue bowl to photograph correctly and was too tried to mess with it. Man, am I gunning for that big book deal or what?

Middle Eastern “Spaghetti” Hot Plate

1 lb ground beef (highest quality that fits your budget)
1/2 small onion, diced
1 tsp coconut oil
3 tsp Ras el Hanout (from Well Fed cookbook)
1/3 cup coconut milk (without artificial ingredients and added sugar)
3 tbsp tomato paste (without artificial ingredients and added sugar)
2 medium zucchini, julienned


First, I melted the coconut oil over medium heat in my favorite cast iron pan and sautéed the diced onion until soft. Next, I added the Ras el Hanout spice mixture and ground beef, cooking until brown. To make the sauce creamy, I added 1/3 cup coconut milk. Then, I decided it also needed an acid component, so I threw in the tomato paste for good measure. When I had the sauce just right, I added the zucchini and removed from heat. The zucchini will cook in the sauce on its own. It was the most exotically spiced, comforting dish!



2 thoughts on “WLC Day 1: Baseline Measurements and Middle Eastern “Spaghetti” Hot Plate

  1. danilatham says:

    Lauren that looks just as amazing as you described! So hearty!
    I am so happy you have already experienced a shift in weight loss from transitioning away from points to a paleo/clean diet. It’s a cool feeling to feed your body the fat it needs without the guilt!

    I am going to incorporate some hot plates into the rotation this week, so thanks for the recommendation!

    I am very excited for your Challenge and can’t wait to see how much you gain (and lose!) from it. Very proud of you!!

    PS, please remember to take pictures next time of the super cute apple and almond butter sandwiches.

  2. TAYA says:

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