Whole 30: Day Eleven and My Near Failure

Whole 30: Day 11

I woke up feeling pretty much on top of the world. I felt energetic, happy, and meal one was easy because it was just heated up leftovers from my Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie the night before. My husband went on his merry way to work, and I got the big kids breakfast at a reasonable time. All was right in the world.

I grabbed my coffee and made my way to the “office” to eat my food and crank out my blog post yesterday. Here’s a picture. Just keepin’ real folks!

Meal One: Leftover Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie in the “office”. A.K.A. The dining room table.

I typed up my blog post, clicked share, and made my way to the shower while Sweet Pea was down for her morning nap. While in the shower, my husband messages me to let me know something was wrong with my recipe.

 

Why yes, I cried over peas. I cry over sappy commercials. I cry when I see a beautiful rainbow. I also cry when I’m pregnant and I eat a Schlotsky’s sandwich and it tastes like heaven on my tongue because… ‘mones.

However, It was an honest mistake. The only sneaky legumes I remembered were peanuts and edamame (which is technically soy? sheez! This food group stuff is tricky business!), I saw green and thought it was an OK thing. I thought I had just undone all the hard work we had put in these last 11 days, and in the moment it really felt that way. However, once I was over the initial crying phase, I realize it is about more than just “not eating” these certain food groups, it is about completely changing your relationship with food and people with healthy relationships with food don’t cry over the fact they “accidentally” ate some darn peas! I’m not about to let a 1/4 of cup of peas let me completely undo all the hard changes I’ve made. Believe me, if I wanted to “give in” it would be for a What-a-burger with cheese and mustard and not peas!

So I’m hanging the cat posters and putting on my big girl panties, cause I’m not giving in!

I think when we finish our 30 days, I wanna celebrate with a Paleo treat. Like some pancakes smothered in maple syrup, or some Paleo Krunch Granola. I’m not going to want to binge out on pizza or ice cream. So now I have something to look forward to, and  yet it is still good for me.

Speaking of good for me, lunch was great! I made my Tuna Salad recipe but I added an mashed avocado to give it that creamy texture to replace the missing mayo. I think next time I’ll put some on butter lettuce leaves and eat it as a wrap. I also threw dinner in the crock pot.

Tuna Salad with Mashed Avocado over Salad Greens, Diced Apples, and Slivered Almonds

 

I still felt a little depressed about my mess-up the rest of the day, and I had to process why I felt the way I did. So, I spent most of the afternoon snuggling my Sweet Pea while she napped. I mean, who wouldn’t want to snuggle this sweet girl!

I just love her!

Luckily dinner was easy peasy. It was a familiar recipe too, one I’ve made dozens of times and also another skinnytaste.com recipe! Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps. We had it without ranch or blue cheese, but it was still delicious! If I had the time or energy I would have made some Paleo Ranch, but it was still good without. If you have any favorite recipes you liked prior to Whole30, I think it helps to try pick ones that are compliant or easily adaptable. It’s nice to have familiar tasting stuff once in awhile.

Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps on Fancy Paper China

After dinner, I made a run to the library to see if they had a copy of the Whole30 book, It Starts with Food, but it was checked out. However, I picked up Robb Wolf’s book, The Paleo Solution  and Diane Sanfillipo’s, Practical Paleo. (All non-affiliate links) I’ll try and post reviews when I’m done reading them.

I’ll leave you with this cat poster to remind you to never give up if you just BELIEVE in yourself! 😛

believe

 

 

Everything is awesome,

-C-

Whole30: Day Ten + Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie Recipe *UPDATE*

Whole30: Day Ten

***Update – 8/22/2014 — I apologize, but I wasn’t aware that peas are a no-go on Whole30 (They’re legumes!). I’m revising my recipe for Shepherd’s pie to have no peas. It’ll still taste delicious, I promise 🙂 We’re not considering this a fail, and are not “starting over”. Believe me, if I wanted to break the rules it would be over a What-a-burger with cheese, mustard, all the way and not some peas! It was an honest mistake. Forgive me! ***

We’re a third of the way there! Apparently, according to the Whole30 Timeline, day ten is when many people want to jump off the bandwagon. The newness wears off, the cravings are stronger, and you can’t really see an end in sight yet. I’m finding myself experiencing the exact opposite. I feel more excited about the process, my cravings for “off-limit” stuff is really subsiding, and twenty more days doesn’t seem very long to me. Your miles may vary though 🙂

After yesterday morning, and starting my day with sweets and no protein, I was determined to start my day off right. Also, I dreamed of fajitas and woke up starving. So I made my favorite meal one food, scrambled eggs with an equal salsa to egg ratio, along with half a sliced avocado. I also had a banana as I was still hungry after all that, but I didn’t snack all morning! I’m really hoping by the end of our thirty days, I can handle just three big meals and maybe a small snack between lunch and dinner.

Meal One: Scrambled Eggs, Salsa, and Half an Avocado

Today was coffee delivery day, and we didn’t have enough for a normal pot this morning, so I had to make us particularly weak coffee. Better weak coffee than no coffee as I always say! Luckily our bike guy came early today! The kids love seeing the bike taxi drive up and getting the bag, almost more than I do 🙂 Today’s bag was an El Salvador Santa Emilia medium roast bean. I about fainted when I inhaled it. It smelled of graham crackers. Mmm!

For lunch, I made a huge pan of my carrot fries in hopes I’d share them with my hubby but he was at lunch meeting with his Crossfit group for a weigh-in. Since he started about a month an half ago, he’s down 10 lbs! Hubby didn’t start it to lose weight, he started it get more active. I can tell such a difference in his whole demeanor. I’m so proud of him for sticking with it! He smiles more and seems more confident and that alone is worth it 🙂

Enough of the mushy crud, since he didn’t come home until late for lunch I polished off that tray all by myself. Better to binge on carrots than brownies right? I think I may have orange skin at the end of thirty days. I also made another grilled chicken salad. Today it was served halved grape tomatoes, almonds, and our favorite apple cider vinaigrette.

Grilled Chicken Salad with Grape Tomatoes, Almonds and Apple Cider Vinaigrette

The kids spent almost all day outside. My son, Pumpkin in particular, wanted to wait “patiently” (his words, not mine) on the mailman. I told him it would be a very long time, nearly two hours, and he said, “That’s fine! I can be patient!”, and he was. That kid is infatuated with all our public service people. Whether it’s trash truck guys, the mailman, or our coffee delivery guy, Pumpkin loves to talk to them and watch them work.

Since the big kids played well outside, and the baby napped a long time, I actually got some time alone to laminate. Sexy, right? 😛 But this is a homeschool mom’s dream! Coffee and making plastic-coated paper. Me-ow! If you know of a homeschool mom, buy her a laminator and see if she doesn’t crazy over it! Wasn’t it just yesterday I was drooling over Backstreet Boys? 😀

Laminating and Coffee. Every homeschool mom’s dream!

This afternoon, I felt a burst of energy. I’m not sure if it was just the alone time with the laminator coffee or the Whole-30 side effects, but it was welcome! I can’t stress enough how much better I feel eating this way. I feel so clear headed, less moody, and if this energy keeps up…I’m totally sold. Not to mention, I’m sleeping more soundly. Well, as soundly as you can with a co-sleeping, three-month old nursling.

Let me wrap today up with dinner. I really should have started cooking this in the morning and let it sit in the fridge and then heat it up before dinner because it was labor intensive. Not really hard, but time consuming. So here’s my Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie:

Whole30 Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

Whole30: Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

Serves: 6      Cook Time: 30 minutes     Prep Time: 30 minutes      Total Time: 60 minutes

This recipe was heavily adapted from Skinnytaste.com. Original recipe can be found here

Ingredients:

For the potatoes:

  • 2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 TBSP Coconut Milk
  • 1 TBSP Ghee
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the filling:

  • 20 oz. 93% lean ground turkey
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 oz mushrooms, diced
  • 1 cup frozen green beans
  • 2 tbsp almond flour*
  • 1 cup chicken broth***
  • 1 TBSP tomato paste
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • salt and pepper
  • paprika

Boil sweet potatoes and garlic in a pot of salted water until cooked. About 20 minutes.Drain and mash with coconut milk, ghee, and salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 400°F.

In a large saute pan brown turkey; season with salt and pepper. When cooked, set aside on a plate. Add olive oil to the pan, then add the onion and sauté one minute. Add the celery, carrot, salt and pepper to taste; cook about 12 minutes, until celery is soft.

Add garlic and mushrooms; sauté another 3-4 minutes. Add almond flour, salt and pepper and mix well. Add frozen green beans, chicken broth or water, tomato paste, rosemary, cooked turkey, and mix well. Simmer on low about 5-10 minutes.

Dump mixture into a 9 x 13 baking dish. Top with mashed sweet potatoes. Use a fork to scrape the top of the potatoes to make ridges; sprinkle with paprika. Bake 30 minutes or until potatoes turn golden. Remove from oven and let it cool 10 minutes before serving.

* – (although, I would likely use arrowroot in the future)

*** – (I thought I bought compliant broth, but it had honey. So I just used water. Apparently, the only compliant one is one you make yourself. Ain’t nobody got time for that!)

 

It was super delicious! I had seconds, and it would make a great meal one in the morning.

I’m still having a hard time cutting out the after dinner snacking. But at least it’s grapes right?

We finally finished season two of Once Upon a Time. I really need to express my dislike of “Belle’s” acting. I didn’t like her in Lost either. Maybe it’s the writing more than her acting abilities? Either way, I’m hoping season three is better. I’ll give it a few more episodes, but I’m really holding out for Anna and Kristoff in season four 😛 I may like Frozen as much as the kids!

Let it go,

-C-

 

Whole30: Day Nine and The Lunch Matrix

Whole30: Day 9

Today started off to a “bad” start. The husband was running late, Sweet Pea wanted to nurse, Pumpkin and Princess needed breakfast too. I simply didn’t have time to cook anything for myself. So after I took care of everyone else I threw some almond butter and raisins on a banana and called it done. While it was super delicious, I really needed the protein I was missing. I could feel my blood sugar dropping between breakfast and lunch time. It wasn’t as bad as it was pre-Whole30, but I was easily irritable. I’d definitely make this again, but as a treat.

Almond Butter Smothered Banana with Raisins

I can’t apologize enough for my crummy pictures. This picture was definitely pre-coffee.

Breakfast really set me up for failure this morning. It made me hungry for more “sweets”. I think I had some oranges and blueberries between breakfast and lunch but looking back, I should have just taken a minute to boil some eggs or something. I think after this week I want to keep some grilled chicken breasts and  boiled eggs in the fridge to snack on if I need it.

Speaking of grilled breasts. I did grill up five chicken breasts for dinner tonight and lunches throughout the week. Since it was cooler in the morning I went ahead and roasted my spaghetti squash for dinner tonight and for dinner Friday. You always need to be thinking ahead!

Lunch was great. I love a cold, crisp salad with warm chicken on top! Plus, mandarins and cucumbers made a great pairing. We also had some slivered almonds on top for good measure.

Grilled Chicken Salad with Mandarins, Cucumbers, and Slivered Almonds

I guess my pictures are progressively getting bettter. This was a definite post-coffee picture 😛

I guess today is as good as any to share my (*cue the Twilight Zone theme song*)… LUNCH MATRIX!

It’s really not that complicated, but it’s a way to help keep our salads interesting. It’s almost always the same greens, pick a few toppings (the fun stuff!), one or two proteins, and a dressing. Toss it and serve!

The “Lunch Matrix”

All you need is a fancy piece of legal pad paper (no other kind of paper will do!), a pen, and  some old fashioned handwriting skills and you too could have your very own Lunch Matrix! Just pick your favorite toppings, proteins, and dressings. I suggest having a mixture of sweet, salty and savory toppings. Also, think of textures, some stuff crunchy, some stuff more tender or juicy.

As mentioned earlier, breakfast sorta set me up for being entirely too snacky today. I ate way too many figs, mostly cause my daughter wanted to share with me 🙂 Yet, another Larabar. I’m not buying anymore of those this Whole30. They’re too much like a treat, which I’m trying to break myself of. I also had a banana. Sheez, that sounds like a lot! It is what it is I guess.

Dinner was great. It was Chicken Alfredo #Whole30Style! As long as I strained the sauce to rid it of the onions and basil, the kids slurped it down! I made regular noodles for them, while Nate and I used spaghetti squash. I think my noodles were a little too al dente. But I can just nuke them in the microwave a little more next time 🙂

Chicken Alfredo #Whole30Style

My sweet tooth was still bothering me and my stomach was growling after the kids went to bed. So I had a a bowl full of grapes again. I suppose that’s better than the bowls of cereal or PBJ I’m used to having? It’s progress it guess! At least I’m not succumbing to my cravings!

That was day nine in a nutshell! We bought homeschool curriculum for the kiddos, and we did a whole lot of nothing else 🙂

Would you all be interested in how I am adapting our meal plan to include our kiddos? Let me know below!

Happy Eating!

-C-

 

Whole30 Recipe: Coconut Chicken Tenders

I pulled this recipe from several other coconut chicken tender recipes floating around on the web. Make sure you get unsweetened coconut! Basically, I’m making regular tenders but replacing my panko with coconut. I think this would be equally good on some shrimp. Hopefully next time I make them, I’ll get a better picture 🙂

Coconut Chicken Tenders

 

Coconut Chicken Tenders

Serves: Cook Time: 15 minutesPrep Time: 15 minutesTotal Time: 30 minutes

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (Cut into 1 inch strips)
  • 1/2 Cup Almond Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
  • Splash of Coconut Milk
  • 2 Eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. Onion Powder
  • 1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1/8 tsp. Cayenne
  • 1/4 cup of either coconut oil (if you like coconut flavor!) or olive oil (not the extra virgin)

Directions:

Combine almond flour, shredded coconut, and seasoning into a shallow dish. In another shallow dish mix eggs with a splash of coconut milk. Dip your tenders into the egg mixture, then coat in the flour/coconut mixture. Set aside on a plate. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium to medium high heat. Fry tenders in batches until cooked through. About 4-5 minutes on each side. Let cool on a wire rack.

If you’re not Whole30 and just doing paleo, serve this with some paleo ketchup or a honey mustard sauce. If you are Whole30, I’m not sure what you should dip it in. I’m still working on that. Suggestions are welcome!

Enjoy!

-C-

Whole30 Recipe: Carrot Fries

I’ve gotten a handful of requests for my “Carrot Fries”. They’re redonkulously good. Best part? They’re easy!

Carrot Fries

 

Carrot Fries – They’re on the right there 🙂

Serves: Depends on how hungry you are      Cook Time: 30 minutes     Prep Time: 1 minute      Total Time: 31 minutes

 

Ingredients:

  • Baby Carrots
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Will Power

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 ºF. Throw desired amount of carrots onto a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss with your hands. Bake for 30 minutes.

 

I dare you not to eat the whole pan!

-C-

Whole30: Day Eight

I think I’m finally over the dreaded ‘Carb-Flu’. I don’t have the energy burst I keep hearing about, but my mind feels really clear and I can’t rave enough about how stable my blood sugars are. I love not crashing and burning when I’m getting hungry.

I’m also really loving that doing the Whole30 is pushing me to try new foods and recipes I wouldn’t look twice at before. I’ve discovered some new favorite foods that way! I can feel my relationship with food is getting healthier and I’m not relying on it to make me happy and pacify my emotional wounds with it. I think between eating this way and journaling my way through it all, it’s helping in so many ways! Physically and mentally.

I’ve heard this second week the cravings get tougher but Monday wasn’t so bad. I was extremely hungry and snacky all day though, but that could be in part to a ravenous nursing beast baby.

Breakfast was simply scrambled eggs with some new salsa we bought. It’s “Campfire Roasted”, whatever that means, but it has such a unique flavor and it really helps keep eggs exciting.

When you’re Paleo/Whole30, salsa’s the new ketchup!

Oh, here’s a picture of it by the way. I hope you can find it and try it yourself! Hubby got a ghost pepper one cause he’s cray cray.

Salsa’s the new ketchup!

I’ve also been missing the fluffy texture a splash of half/half would add to our scrambled eggs. I had leftover coconut milk in the fridge and tried them with a splash of that, and it gave the eggs that extra fluff I was looking for!

Meal One: Scrambled Eggs, Salsa, with a Couple Strawberries for Good Measure

Between breakfast and lunch I had a cup of mandarin oranges (packed in 100% juice!) and a Larabar. I only bought six of those bars for the month, and I’m polishing them off too fast 😦 Oh well, when they’re gone they are are gone!

Lunch was fabulous! I winged a tuna salad free of mayo. Here’s the ingredients, it made enough for two salads:

Tuna Salad ingredients

I drained the tuna, sliced the eggs, added a diced pickle, three tablespoons of pickle juice, and a teaspoon of mustard and mixed it up in a bowl. Our salad was chopped romaine and spinach, with a diced apple (the sweet apple helped balance the tangy tuna salad!), some sliced cucumber with our favorite apple cider vinaigrette (sans honey!). This is a new favorite salad I’ll be making again for sure!

Tuna Salad-Salad

As I mentioned at the before, I was hungry today. I ate my fair share of figs, grapes, and cherry tomatoes this afternoon. But never mind that, can we just talk about dinner? It was by far the most “out there” in terms of spices and ingredients (well for me anyway!), but I not only finished off my plate, I had seconds! It was so dang good! It was yet another Skinnytaste.com recipe. This time it was Sukuma Wiki (Kenyan Braised Collard Greens with Ground Beef).

Yea, we were real mature with trying to pronounce that name 😛

Sukuma Wiki

You like that artsy fartsy angle? Yea, my hubby took that picture. He’s the creative one around here. I think there’s only one angle, with the camera directly above my plate.  Whereas he sees it from all angles and then picks the best one. I think that’s a good thing, it makes us a good team 🙂

Well, I’m off to conquer week two!

-C-

Whole30: Day Seven and Week One Wrap-up

Whole30: Day Seven

Well, we did it! We made it through our first whole week!

At the beginning of the week there was a steep learning curve, but it’s whole lot more simple now at the end of the week. By simply cutting out a ton of stuff, it makes food choices a whole lot easier. We simply eat meats, eggs, fats, and produce. That’s it. Some people seem to look at us like we’re crazy when we list all the things we “can’t” have, but it’s actually sort of freeing to take away some choices. I haven’t yet read the Whole30 book “It Starts with Food”, (non-affiliate link) so it may be addressed there, but I think they cut out the dairy, grains, legumes, soy, and sugar because those are all things people typically have allergies and sensitivities to. So by cutting them out and allowing your body to heal, you can reintroduce the more trigger sensitive foods one at a time and see how your body reacts.

I can already tell a HUUUUUUUUUUUUGE difference in my blood sugar levels. It’s really incredible. I was one to typically have several spells of intense hangriness throughout the day, and I would usually tame that Hulk monster with carbs like crackers, cereal bars, toast, etc., only to find myself hulking again in a couple of hours. With how we’re eating now, I just start having a hard time thinking clearly and my stomach actually growls. Imagine that!

Some other things I’ve learned over the course of the week is how previously I would use the non-Whole30 foods as my diet staples and use the compliant foods as condiments. So I would eat and make things that were more carb or dairy heavy, with a sprinkle of vegetables or meat. When really it should be the other way around. Once we’re done with the Whole30, and my body does ok on either carbs or dairy that’s how I plan on going forward with eating. 90% paleo and 10% not.

Also, sugar and crappy oils are in everything. It took us over fifteen minutes to find canned tuna that was simply tuna, water, and salt. Everything else contained either soy, sugar, or something else we didn’t want! You would think it would be easier on these companies producing our food to do things simply, instead of adding all kinds of frankenfoods to our stuff! It’s mind-bottling I tell you!

Well, with it being day seven and yesterday was spent partying, we hadn’t made it grocery shopping and we were out of everything. So we ate leftovers from the party for breakfast/meal one. After this week I’m no longer going to refer to it as breakfast but as meal one 🙂

So here’s our potato salad and fruit salad! All the recipes are included on my Day Six post.

Meal One: Potato Salad and Fruit Salad

Knowing we were going to be busy all afternoon shopping, I made dinner early and put it in the crock pot. I’ll post the recipe at the bottom of this post, but I think to be successful with this you really have to be able to think ahead and think of ways to simplify this way of eating and anticipate any obstacles you might encounter so you have a game plan in place. Whether it’s cooking extra during one session to help cut out time later on in the week, or knowing your busy schedule and fixing dinner in the morning if you know you won’t have time later that day.

What’s the saying? Necessity is the mother of invention? or something like that. Well, being as were out of our usual lunch items we had to make due with what we had and actually Nate and I both said, “Why can’t we eat lunch like this more often?”. It was full of great snacky stuff like boiled eggs, roasted baby carrots (my fave!), and apples slices with almond butter.

Meal Two: Snacky Lunch. Boiled eggs, Roasted Baby Carrots, Apple Slices with Almond Butter

While my carrots and eggs were cooking away, I was able to finish getting ready and meal plan for the week. We ate up and went on our merry way. We hit up Sam’s Club and Wally World. Sam’s has the best prices on produce and meats for us. You can get six heads of romaine for the price of three at a regular supermarket. We eat a lot of salad so it’s worth it to us.

Between Sam’s and Walmart, we stopped at the house to drop off the cold stuff and grabbed a snack of dried figs and cashews. I love me some figs!

After we were done grocery shopping, we finished up dinner. It was the first dinner all week the kids actually ate without a fight. I made some crotch pot Chicken Cacciatore from a recipe I got from Skinnytaste.com again. LOVE HER SITE! I made the kids pasta for theirs and I sauteed some squash for Nate and I. It was absolutely fabulous.

Crotch Pot Chicken Cacciatore with Sauteed Squash

Maybe one day I’ll start posting pictures that do my food some justice, but today is not that day. Rest assured, it tasted delicious 🙂

I had a sweet tooth after dinner so I ate a couple figs and dates. I was STILL hungry after the Bigs went to bed so I ate a handful of green grapes. I felt like the freaking Very Hungry Caterpillar! I wish I could be like that caterpillar and eat all that junk food and end up more beautiful that before! Curse you unrealistic children’s books putting lofty ideals in my head!  I’ll never be a butterfly! 😛

That wraps up day seven and week one! If you have any questions or comments, be sure to leave them below ❤

Rock on,

-C-