Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Day 7

Day 7

Meal 1: Sweet Potato Hash with veggies, scrambled eggs and salsa

Yes, just leftovers from the previous days. Still Salsa on eggs just doesn't get old to me. Also, I FINALLY found some compliant bacon (no sugar added, HOLLA) and so you KNOW bacon is going to be all up in here soon. 

Meal 2: In N Out Burger (Double meat, no cheese, animal style, hold the sauce, protein style)

I was running errands with the kids and didn't have time to get home for lunch so I made a quick pit-stop at In N Out. As you can see from the picture, they clearly messed up my order and gave me that delicious looking bun. I made them fix it but not before snapping a pic for my Instagram peeps (@darcieats). Guys #whole30problems are real and we are faced with them daily ;)

Meal 3: Salsa Verde Chicken stuffed in Roasted Peppers over Power Greens, topped with guacamole and balsamic vinegar

Salsa Verde Chicken

I just made this up this morning and it turned out pretty good

-Place 4 chicken breasts in the crockpot
-Pour entire jar of compliant Salsa Verde over the top, I used this kind. I am sure there are a lot out there that are compliant. Jut read the ingredients. No sugar or crazy random crap can be added.

-Toss in some green chiles for good measure and extra flavor. You could also add cumin or other spices to kick this up. I was in a hurry so I didn't but next time I will.

 -Cook on low for 8 hours, shred when done, place back into crockpot to soak up all the flavor and goodness.

-Roast peppers that have been cleaned and cut in half in the oven (Broil on high for about 10 minutes).
-Then place chicken in the peppers. I put cumin and Pink Himalayan Salt on top and then broiled for about 4 more minutes.


-Then place over some Power Greens (guys I really don't like Kale but I can handle it in this form)

-Drizzle with balsamic vinegar, top your pepper with guacamole or even just avocados work but I like the added taste to the salad that the guacamole gives. Dig in :)

This was super yummy and very filling. It is almost 10:00 pm right now and I am still full and happy from dinner. Must have been the greens :)

 I did snack today. You aren't supposed to snack during Whole30 if you can help it. I am a stickler for rules and hate breaking them but I bought these babies at Costco today and couldn't turn it down. I had earned it after battling that place with Bubbs and MJ in tow. It was so yummy! Not all Larabars are Whole30 approved, so check your ingredients. I do know that Apple Pie and Cherry Pie pass though!

My thoughts on today:
Today was good. I am tired but that is because it is my bedtime. I am gaining a better control of everything. My sugar cravings were pretty bad today but I am hoping they will go away if I try to eat a little bit of fruit with each meal. We will see :). My problem is I don't really like fruit that much. Weird I know, but whatevs. Get over it. 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Day 6

Day 6

Meal 1: White Sweet Potato Hash with sauteed veggies {peppers, onions, spinach}, scrambled eggs topped with compliant salsa

For the Hash:

I had leftovers from the previous day so I didn't have to make more of the hash portion (recipe found HERE)

-I cut up an onion, threw some avocado oil in a pan. I then tossed in the peppers and frozen spinach (I buy a HUGE thing of spinach from Costco and keep half in my fridge to eat fresh and put the other half in my freezer to cook with, just using ziplock bags for both).
-Saute until veggies are softened. (I probably would have added mushrooms to this as well but my sister was over and she is allergic).

-Then I tossed in the hash from the day before. Let it cook up a bit and heat through, mix well.

I then made scrambled eggs  and topped them off with some salsa (not pictured).

This was yummy and I loved having salsa on my eggs. I forgot how much I love salsa on eggs! I will probably make the same thing tomorrow. I need more eggs though. I only have 2 left. Holy cow we eat lots of eggs over here but they are so yummy that I don't mind one bit!

Meal 3: Garlic-Lemon shrimp and veggie lettuce wraps with roasted carrots and raw broccoli on the side

Garlic-Lemon Shrimp

-Raw shrimp that has been de-veined and shell removed, salt and pepper both sides and set aside
-Cut up about 5 cloves of garlic (you can do more or less but this is based off of a recipe we had while in Hawaii at the Garlic Shrimp Truck and so we like it really garlicky)
-You can mince them up kind of big, you don't need to have tiny minced pieces.
-Melt Coconut Oil in a pan over medium-high heat, about 1-2 Tablespoons. I like to have a little more coconut oil when I make this than I normally would cook with because it allows the shrimp to soak in more flavor and gives a nice subtle coconut taste which is so good!!

-Toss the shrimp and garlic into the pan with the melted coconut oil. Shrimp cooks really fast (about 3-4 minutes per side. And you know your shrimp is done when it turns pink, a built in thermometer!)
-Flip the shrimp over to cook both sides. I leave the tails on for this because I am lazy but you can certainly take them off before you cook them. I take them off right before I serve them on everyone's plates.

-Then, once the shrimp is done, pour EVERYTHING out into a bowl (oil included, it creates a nice sauce for the shrimp) and squirt about a quarter of a lemon on top of it all and stir it up. And you are done. It tastes like gourmet shrimp and took you like 10 minutes to whip up. One of my favorite things to make.

Sauteed Veggies

I added these because I wanted a little bit more filling in with my shrimp. My family had brown rice and so I wanted something to make mine more filling.

-I just sauteed about a quarter of an onion that i had sitting in my fridge along with leftover mushrooms and peppers in Olive Oil with a bit of salt and pepper until everything was soft.

Roasted Carrots

I had some beautiful carrots leftover from my Bountiful Basket (food co-op) and wanted to roast them up.

So I used Ina Garten's recipe, only substituting dry parsley because that is what I had. 

This was yummy. It totally hit the spot. It was full of flavor and even Handsome Husband loved it. The kids barely touched anything and MJ much prefers "cold" carrots to "hot" carrots and asked to have some raw ones from the fridge instead. At least they ate their brown rice and tried everything on their plates before they left the table. That is all I ask :)

Also, today was nice. I feel like I am totally getting in the groove when it comes to making meals. I just throw what I have together and make what is available. I used to be SUCH a meal planner and would plan my month of meals out in advance and then go shopping for those specific meals every 2 weeks or so. It was nice but I really love just seeing what I have and making something come together. It has been fun and has allowed me to be so creative in the kitchen. Sorry if my recipes are so scattered to you. That is just how I cook. I find something and throw it in. I don't measure much. I just taste and change things up if I don't like how it tastes. I didn't have to do as many dished today because I had lots of things prepared already (which was very nice). I felt really good today. A bit tired, still waiting for my energy to kick in, but I feel so much better than I did 6 days ago. Everything just tastes better to me. I feel more alert and more on top of things. I didn't have any sugar cravings today. It was so nice!

Setting the Record Straight

I really don't want people to think I am judging them. I am not a judgy person (I know that isn't a word but just roll with it). So please let me set the record straight. I don't care if people love/hate vegetables, love/hate fruit, love/hate meat, love/hate grains, love/hate dairy, love/hate sugar, love/hate legumes, love/hate diets, love/hate people (I sometimes don't like people so I get it). But listen, just because you don't feed your family "whole30 approved foods" doesn't mean I think you are any less of a mom/dad/caregiver than someone who does. You made a delicious meal for your family of rice, chicken, rolls, and pasta salad. AWESOME!! I am so glad you put in that effort! I think it is great! You made a casserole that everyone loved, SWEET, I LOVE casseroles and would never turn down a plate of "Funeral Potatoes"...unless I am on Whole30 because there is no way I am starting over... You went to Cafe Rio tonight and picked up food for your family? Been there, done that, honestly wish I could do it right now. Good work. And I bet it tasted like a little bit of heaven...Oh, you stopped at McDonald's and got your kids a Happy Meal? Sweet. My kids LOVE their Happy Meals. Like, they have an undying love for them. Your kid doesn't eat vegetables? I get it. I have been there. We are finally turning the corner there and it is a work in progress every day. You hate cooking? Well I hate cleaning, so let's just trade, yeah??

I am doing Whole30 for me. Remember? Not because I think I am better than anyone else or because I am trying to be all cool and "up with the times". Nope. Just for me. I want it to heal my gut and get my body back to where it needs to be. To read more about WHY I am doing Whole30, check it out HERE. For reals guys, this is just for me to figure out what works for ME and MY family. So when you read something and you are like, "Wow, Darci is nutso. She is way over the edge and I would NEVER do this."  Guess what...YOU DON'T HAVE TO DO THIS!! Whole30 is not for everyone or every lifestyle. It is a personal decision that YOU get to make (and if you do make it, PLEASE read the BOOK first!!). I just love having support along my journey and that is why I made this blog. I love to hear other's thoughts and having encouragement along the way.

This is a 30 day challenge. I am not going to be this strict forever. Don't worry about me. I am getting all the nutrients I need. Promise. And I am NOT judging you as you eat your baked potato slathered in butter and sour cream...promise...I am probably just drooling instead...

Also, this blog has had over 800 views since it began a WEEK ago. What the what?? Thanks for the love!! Leave a comment and let me know who you are. One of the best things about Whole30? The amazing community!!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Day 5

Day 5

Meal 1: White Sweet Potato Hash, with an egg over easy (gooey yolks are the best yolks), Aidell's Chicken and Apple Sausage with a dollop of spicy brown mustard and a side of avocado.

White Sweet Potato Hash
-Peel and grate 2 sweet potatoes (I used my food processor and I would recommend it, you can do it by hand it will just take a lot longer, ain't nobody got time for that)
-Then add salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder to the mix and mix it up by hand. You can add whatever seasonings you want, this is just what I was feeling this morning.

-Fight your dog off from the garbage can because she is obsessed with raw sweet potato (I checked, its okay for her to have, no worries, here she is downing all the peelings).

-Make sure you are using a pan that has a lid, melt your fat of choice ~2 T. (I did 1 T. of coconut oil and 1 T. of ghee, just because I felt like being cool) over medium heat.
-Throw in your potatoes.
-Mix everything around and saute it all up a bit.

-Place your lid on and let it go for a bit while you cook your over easy egg. I checked on it every once in awhile. Stirred it a couple times. Then I figured it was ready when it tasted like the potatoes were done.

For my Chicken and Apple Sausage, I just cut them up and cook them over medium head. Flip when they need it. They are good. You can't ruin these. Also, my sister asked today if these have a traditional "sausage texture" to them. No. They don't have gross bits of fat to chew on or hard pieces of who knows what. So don't worry, just eat them. :)

And there ya go, breakfast:

Meal 2: Finished off the leftovers of my Creamy Leek Soup (recipe in previous posts) with a side salad. Nothing fancy.

The only thing different for the soup was that I let it simmer longer (forgot about it while I was helping my sister). I think it helped the flavor a bit. Also, you cannot taste the coconut milk in this soup or in the Leek soup. Really. You can't. This is a winner and I am so glad I have leftovers for tomorrow. It has been cold here in Utah and this really hits the spot.

 Italian Chicken
This is the easiest chicken ever. I made it all the time when I was a poor college student because it is cheap and delicious and healthy. It is also kind of no-fail.
-Use thawed chicken tenderloins if you have them, or do what I did and just cut thawed chicken breasts into tenderloin sizes. This helps the chicken cook faster.
-Warm up some oil in the pan (I like olive oil for this) over medium-high heat.
-Season the chicken on both sides with a little bit of salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder.
-Toss the chicken into the pan, and let it brown on one side (I let it sit for about 3-4 minutes, then check to see if it is the color I like).
-Then flip the chicken and let it brown on the other side.
-Once you have browned the chicken on both sides, turn the heat down to low and put a lid on the pan. The chicken then does it's thing and will be ready in about 10 minutes or so. I check it every 5 minutes by cutting open the thickest one a bit to see if it is still pink.
-Once the chicken is done, take it out of the pan and let it rest for a few minutes before you cut it up so the juices can settle and you don't get chicken juice everywhere and your chicken isn't dry.

Today (according to the Whole30 Timeline) should have been a really hard day for me. I should want to "kill all the things" but to be honest, I was SO busy today cooking, cleaning, taking care of MJ and Bubbs, getting mad at Minnie for tracking mud ALL over my house, going to the grocery store, going to the dinosaur museum, and doing every day things that I had no time to be mad at all the things. I am exhausted though. I would do anything for a nice long nap but considering it is actually 9:00 pm I will settle for an early bedtime. I didn't have any sugar cravings today but I did have a rather bizarre dream last night. I had a dream that I went to WINCO and bought peach rings in bulk (the sugar covered candies). I then proceeded to eat the ENTIRE bag and felt SO extremely sick afterwards. I have super crazy dreams ALL the time so this was no surprise to me but it made me laugh. It is common to have bizarre food-related dreams during Whole30 so I am glad I can actually say I had one. So I guess the key to making Whole30 easy is to be so busy you don't even think about it??

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Day 4

Day 4

{I have had a few people request recipes, if there is a link on the words, it will lead to the recipes, otherwise I will just tell you what I did if it is my own recipe.}

Meal 1: Veggie and Spinach Omelette topped with Avocado (sorry, no picture)

TIP: {When making an omelette, make sure you put your oil in the pan first (coconut, ghee, olive, avocado), saute all your veggies and spinach first until they get somewhat soft, THEN pour your eggs over the cooked veggies. Pull the egg to the middle a little bit and tip the pan so the raw egg can pour to wear you have exposed the hot pan. Repeat this until most of your raw egg has had a chance to pour off the top of your omelette. Then, fold it in half and cook for about 10-15 seconds on each side. Makes a MUCH tastier end result than having raw veggies in the middle. I promise.}

For sure my go-to breakfast. I didn't eat as much food as I should have so I was extra hungry when lunch rolled around. We have church at 9:00 am and I had to get ready, feed the kids and get them ready, and I woke up late so I am just glad I ate something. Next time I will throw in some compliant bacon or my favorite Aidell's Chicken and Apple sausage. 

Meal 2: Leftovers of the Creamy Leek Soup, and a spinach salad with veggies and some balsamic vinegar with a little bit of olive oil. La Croix Peach-Pear water to drink.

I scarfed this down. I was starving after church because I didn't eat enough for breakfast. I should have added some cooked chicken to the salad because it needed more protein but I was tired and wanted a nap and didn't have any chicken pre-made. This soup, by the way, is even better the next day (I feel like soup is always that way).

Meal 3: Dill Salmon, Broccoli, Sweet Potato Fries

I make salmon all the time. My husband loves it and so do my kids. This is one of their favorite ways that I cook it. In life before Whole30, I would use real butter but I replaced it with ghee this time to make it Whole30 compliant. No one could tell a difference.

Baked Salmon:

-Use only thawed salmon for this recipe.
-Preheat oven to 350.
-Line a pan with aluminum foil (makes for MUCH easier cleanup).
-Place salmon on top of the pan.
-Season salmon with a bit of garlic powder, dill (can use fresh but I use dried and it works great), salt and pepper.
-Put a few dollops of ghee (or butter if you aren't doing Whole30) on top.

-Bake for 20 minutes.
-Enjoy! Can also top with a bit of fresh squeezed lemon before you dig in and it is also delicious.

Broccoli was just frozen and in a steam-able bag already. So I just microwaved that and then topped it with ghee and salt and pepper.

Sweet potato fries are a bit trickier and I haven't mastered them yet. I did really like these though and will make this recipe again for sure

Sweet Potato Fries:

-2 large White Sweet Potatoes, washed and cut into thin strips (the thinner, the crispier)
-Soak in cold water for about an hour (this helps them to not be as mushy)
-Preheat oven to 425.
-Dry them a bit with paper towels once they have finished soaking.
-Toss in about 1/4 cup avocado oil (could use coconut oil as well, I wouldn't recommend olive oil because it doesn't have as high of a burning point and could start smoking up a storm in the oven)
-Add some herbs (I chose rosemary and salt and pepper).

-Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. You can cook longer if you feel yours aren't done yet.

I really liked these. White sweet potatoes are actually a little bit sweeter than orange and they have a more mild flavor. They work well for adding flavors and herbs to the mix. They also have a softer skin so you don't have to peel them before you bake them.

This dinner was divine. I ate EVERYTHING on my plate and the rest of my family ate everything I prepared. I didn't have to add rice or pasta for them because they were happy with what I had already so it was super nice. A Whole30 meal the whole family can enjoy! Yay! I have been really hungry because I am not getting the right proportions of fat and protein on my plate. I am working on it. Today was also MUCH easier than Day 3. I was nicer. I didn't hate anyone. I wasn't mean. The sugar cravings really calmed down. I only snacked once and it was on a bit of fresh cut pineapple. It was SOOO sweet to me. Holy cow! I could only handle like 4 pieces haha!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Days 1-3

Quick rundown of what I ate and my thoughts on each day.

Day 1:

Meal 1: Mushroom, green onion, peppers, and spinach omelette topped with avocado. Side of sauteed asparagus and La Croix sparkling water to drink {coconut flavor with fresh lime}. Everything cooked in coconut oil.

Meal 2: Hamburger protein style for In N Out. {no bun, hamburger, mustard, grilled onions, pickle, tomato}
[NOT ENOUGH! Remember to get the double patty next time and have them grill the patties in the mustard.]

Meal 3: Italian Pork Roast salad with homemade creamy cilantro lime dressing. Yummmmmmmyyyyy...

Thoughts on the day: This seems easy. The hardest part is getting everything ready for me and my family. They eat what I eat but I usually give them sides I can't eat (like brown rice, or bread, or pasta, or corn, or cheese) and it just is annoying cooking it but whatevs. I will live. I do like that I am eating 3 meals a day. Normally I don't. I even forced myself to eat 3 meals today and I am so glad I did. Food is fuel!

Day 2:

Meal 1: Woke up with 30 minutes until I needed to be somewhere. Cooked up an egg and some Chicken Apple Sausage and called it good. Didn't eat enough but at least I ate something.

Meal 2: Salmon salad at lunch with compliant dressing. This was more difficult because we went out to eat with some friends but I made it work.

Meal 3: Mashed sweet potatoes, ground turkey with Italian Seasoning and veggies, steamed broccoli on the side.

Thoughts on the day: It is a lot harder eating out and finding things that are compliant but it isn't IMPOSSIBLE. 

Day 3: 

Meal 1: Scrambled eggs topped with guacamole [TRY THIS, one of my new favorites], Chicken Apple Sausage and a side of veggies.

Meal 2: Italian Pork Roast with creamy cilantro dressing, sweet potato fries and sweet snacking tomatoes on the side.

Meal 3: Creamy Leek Soup from Stupid Easy Paleo {So yummy, my new favorite recipe so far, tastes a lot like creamy potato soup but has no dairy (thank you coconut milk) and no potatoes}, green beans cooked in ghee {first time using ghee and really enjoyed it}, Chicken Apple Sausage with compliant brown mustard on the side [I was STARVING tonight so I ate EVERYTHING]. La Croix Coconut water with fresh squeezed lime...and guys it actually tasted like soda to me...that is how desperate I am for sugar right now. A carbonated flavored water with zero sugar tastes like soda to me. What the what??

Thoughts on the Day: Today SUCKED. I just wanted sugar ALL day long. I read that today is usually the hardest day, as well as day 5. I was grumpy all day and tired. My body is used to getting energy from my sugar intake instead of from fat so I just felt exhausted and like anyone who talked to me should be punched in the face. I was super short with my kids and had zero patience. Everything they did bugged me. So to top off feeling grumpy and tired, I also have super bad mom guilt because I was a jerk to my kids. Hopefully tomorrow gets better because I hate being a jerky/yelly mom. Luckily Handsome Husband was working outside pretty much all day on the yard or I am sure I would have been a jerk to him as well. This no sugar thing is no joke. I never realized how much sugar I really eat. Like it is out of control! There is sugar in EVERYTHING. I read labels on everything I eat to check if it is compliant and it is SO difficult to find some ingredients that are compliant. Like bacon. I really wanted bacon on my soup tonight but have you ever looked at all the bacon in the grocery store. Um, in my store NONE of it is compliant. There is sugar in ALL of it. Luckily Costco has some that has no sugar. I am going to pick some up this week because I freaking love bacon. Also, I have a new love for sweet potato fries. I want to eat them with everything and am determined to get them not so mushy next time I make them. Also, I should really be proud of myself because we went to Target today and the kids and Handsome shared a Slurpee and popcorn. I didn't eat ANY of it. So today wasn't a total loss. I can do this. I can persevere. I have birthed 2 children, this is NOTHING.

But right now I would kill for a tall glass of milk and some cinnamon toast...

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Prep Days!

In order to prepare myself for Whole30 I wanted to make sure I had enough food ready to go so that I could set myself up for success. I am a busy mom to 2, so I need to make sure this is as easy as possible for me. I took 2 days to prep (you could do it in 1 but, like I said, I had to plan around my schedule, my husbands schedule, and Bubbs and MJ).

Day 1: Big Costco trip and veggie prep

I got a lot of organic meats, fruits, and veggies at Costco.

-Sweet Potatoes
-Frozen Broccoli (I love these because they come in 4-1lbs microwavable baggies, I love to make my life easier)

-Frozen Green Beans (again, making life a little easier)
-Grapes (oh man, I LOVE Costco grapes)
-Pre-made guacamole (Wholly Guacamole and Tableside individual servings are both compliant)
-Ground Beef
-Ground Turkey
-Chicken Breasts
-Aidell's Chicken and Apple Sausage (Whole30 compliant, don't know about other flavors, read the labels)

-Kirkland brand Albacore (compliant, check other brands for sneaky things like soy, they will be a no-go)

I like to wash and chop up all my produce when I get home from the store. I then store them in mason jars. I have been storing veggies and fruits in mason jars for awhile now for a few reasons:

1. They make my fridge so organized and clean.
2. They keep food fresh longer.
3. Once everything is pre-cut and ready I am able to prepare meals faster.
4. It makes snacking much easier (hello beautiful cucumbers! Yes I will eat you right away!)
5. I am able to get my kids healthy snacks quickly instead of reaching for the crackers or sugar-filled go-gurts.
6. I know exactly what is in my fridge and have no excuses NOT to use everything up.

And here is the beautiful proof (non-Whole30 items are for the kids and hubster):

Day 2: Big cooking day

Now, on Day 2, I made a trip to my regular grocery store for small things that I didn't need in bulk (fresh herbs, spices, small ingredients for recipes). I then went home and made all these recipes.

Crockpot Sweet Potatoes from PaleOMG

Oven-Roasted Cauliflower Rice from The Clothes Make the Girl (she has some AMAZING resources on her site, BTW)

**I will warn you, this is going to make your house STINK. I was nervous about this one because I hate cauliflower (and my house smelled horrible the whole time it was cooking), but guess what guys...this is bomb. Like for reals. Super yummy. I used my Blendtec to get the cauliflower to the right consistency. I had to blend in small batches. It was super easy and I would HIGHLY recommend this recipe!**

Paleo Crockpot Meatballs from Once a Month Meals (I have used this site for recipe inspiration for a LONG time because all their recipes are freezer friendly).

**I didn't use the almond flour (because I didn't have any on hand). I also double the sauce recipe because I feel like you can never have enough sauce! Using a garlic press helps a LOT with this one. Also, I tasted this one and it seemed to be missing something...maybe more salt and pepper? Nothing that can't be fixed when serving. I got 12 large meatballs out of this and froze half of them to eat another week.

Italian Pork Roast also from The Clothes Make the Girl
**This one takes a long time to cook, so I would recommend starting it the night before and letting it cook all night and then finishing up the next day. Thank goodness for slow cookers! I don't have a picture of this one because it is currently still cooking, but it does smell absolutely amazing. I mean, slow-cooked pork. How could you go wrong with that??

Ground Turkey and Veggies (this was one of my own creations)

-Ground Turkey
-Chopped Peppers (I used a little bit of red, yellow, and orange)
-Diced mushrooms
-Diced Onion
-Salt and Pepper
-Italian Seasoning, or any seasoning you want (always check your seasonings to make sure they are Whole30 compliant)

I just tossed them all into the pan and sauteed it up. It is delicious with guacamole over it! I know the picture doesn't look amazing but really this was good.

Cilantro Dressing (another one of my own creations)
I am not SUPER excited about this one. It is good but I feel like the olive oil is too strong. I used Extra Virgin and next time I am going to use Light Tasting.

-Juice of 6 Limes (mine were tiny, you would use less limes if yours are bigger)
-1/2 a cup or so of Olive Oil
-a couple pinches of salt
-an entire bunch of cilantro (oh man I love cilantro)

Blend it up. Taste and adjust to your liking.

Mayo from The Clothes Make the Girl
**I LOVE mayo. Have you ever checked the ingredients on store-bought mayo? I have never cared until I started this journey. Hello nasty ingredients! I was so nervous to make my own, but it worked. You GUYS...I have never felt so hardcore in my life. I freaking made mayo! From scratch! And it was DELICIOUS!! I also was able to use farm-fresh eggs from my neighbors (I am lucky to have lots of neighbors with lots of chickens and lots of extra eggs). To make this work, really read through ALL her notes. And have patience!! I plan to use this with my tuna.

Ranch Dressing from The Clothes Make the Girl
**As much as I love mayo...times that by 20 and that is my love for ranch dressing. This is awesome. I don't think I will go back to store bought ever again! You GUYS...did you get the fact that I MADE MAYO?? This blows my mind.

I just had to throw in a picture of my beautiful farm-fresh eggs. Like these were right out of the chicken's butt. What a beauty!!

Prep days are SUPER important. They set you up for success, and that is what we all want, right?? 

Deep Thoughts: Why Whole30??

First, let me tell you a bit about myself.

I am a mom to 2 (Bubbs and MJ), 

wife to Handsome,

 and we have a sweet Labradoodle named Minnie. 

I have always been interested in food and try to eat healthy. I have never really liked sweets (except for Skittles and Dirty Dr. Peppers...), so eating "healthy" was never too hard for me. But let me tell you a bit about how I got to where I am:

My Whole30 (click the link to find out what Whole30 is) journey really began before I even knew what the heck it was. So flashback to December of 2011. My husband and I were hoping to get pregnant with our 2nd baby. We found out we were pregnant and the weirdest thing happened: I wasn't excited about it. I felt this weird sense of dread and that my body was super "off". I was so confused. We wanted this baby more than anything. Why did I feel this way? A few weeks later I ended up having a miscarriage. My body knew that something with this pregnancy was off and that explained why I felt the way I did. It is interesting because I have talked to a lot of women about this feeling and they said their bodies felt the same way before they miscarried. We were blessed to get pregnant shortly afterwards with Bubbs. His pregnancy was anything but easy. It was emotionally and mentally stressful because I was constantly worried I would have a miscarriage. It was physically stressful because I ended up being diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes and having thyroid issues. Plus, he measured small my entire pregnancy so that just added to the constant worry. Not to mention I carried him so low I felt as if he was just going to fall out at any moment...pregnancy problems...

So, the real question: Why in the world did I have Gestational Diabetes? I am 5' 3.5" and petite (the .5" does me...). I have never been overweight in my life. I eat really healthy. I was 24. I had no family history of it. I literally met ZERO of the risk factors. My doctor couldn't explain it either. The thyroid issues were another conundrum. Again, no family history of it, I have never had issues with it either.

After an extremely stressful and frustrating 9 months, Bubbs was born. It was such a relief to finally have our sweet boy here safely but it was also a relief that my body finally went back to normal...well sort of. I have never really felt the same since his birth. He is almost 18 months and I still feel a bit "off". Nothing is wrong with me, really, but I just don't feel 100%. I truly believe that going through 3 pregnancies has really screwed up my body and hormones. I am not emotionally unstable (although sometimes I am sure Handsome would disagree), but I just don't feel like I am myself.

So, a few months ago I started researching Whole30. I would stalk Instagram accounts of Whole30-ers and just drool over all the food they posted. I finally broke down and read the book "It Starts With Food" by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig and it completely opened up my eyes. It makes so much sense! I really feel my body needs a hard reset to get it back into top working condition. It has been through a lot and needs some tough love to get back to where it needs to be.

So, to answer the question that I seem to have been asked by many people when I told them I was going to do Whole30...

Why?? Why would you do that to yourself? Are you crazy? That would be SOO hard!!

Because I want my body back. I want to be able to have energy to play with my very wild, crazy, and hilarious kids. I want to be able to go on runs with my dog (although that might be hard because she will probably trip me with the leash, she is a bit spastic). I want to be able to be in top condition for when we decide to have another baby. I want to improve in my long distance running. I want to figure out my relationship with food and conquer my food "demons". I want to really figure out how my body reacts to different foods and I want to actually eat 3 meals a day (all you moms out there can understand how hard it is to actually eat 3 meals every day). I want to be able to actually sleep through the night and not wake up spending the night thinking of everything I have to do and then worrying about things that are never going to happen (Zombie Apocalypse, Meteor hitting my house, you know just normal stuff). I am not doing this because I feel I need to diet. I don't even consider this a diet. I hate that word. I am being 100% honest with you when I say I could not care less if I lose weight. I consider this a lifestyle change for the better. And honestly, it isn't hard. Yes it will be difficult but giving birth is hard, experiencing divorce is hard, running a 5k as fast as you possibly can is hard, losing a loved one is hard, not eating dairy or grains or sugar is NOT hard! It will be tough but it isn't going to be the worst thing you will ever have to experience in your life.

So, this little blog is going to help me express my feelings, share recipes, explain what works for me, and hold me accountable throughout my journey. I would love your support and encouragement. And if you think I am crazy, I would love you to keep your mouth shut ;). You can also follow along with me on Instagram @darcieats

Alright we go!