Sunday, May 25, 2014

Pantry: Clean out and beef up -- Amazon Style

I REALLY need to clean out my pantry (because it is a disaster zone and because it has a lot of foods in there that I am needing to get rid of that are FAR from "clean"). I won't toss everything out (I will allow the Hubs to keep his Oreos, and you KNOW I am not tossing our leftover Girl Scout cookies) but I am going to get rid of crackers and other things that I know I don't want anymore.

I am blessed with an amazing pantry. It was one of the reasons we bought our house. It is huge. It is bigger than our walk-in closet haha! But due to my love of cooking and hoarding of kitchen gadgets, it is getting a bit out of control. So, my goal this week is to organize, clean out, and get my pantry more "clean eating friendly".

So, the first step for me...buying more clean foods to cook with. You can't have a clean eating diet if you don't prepare yourself and set yourself up for success (which is one of the main things I learned during Whole30).

So here are a few items I have purchased (thank you Amazon) that are coming this week to fill my pantry with healthy options to cook with. My sweet friend Jess is slowly trying to change her pantry stock as well and I love her motto: "Baby steps!" It is so true. It costs a lot of money to replace what you normally use. SO I say, use what you have, and replace as you go if you need to. I am not going to throw away all of my white flour because that is just so wasteful to me and hurts my heart a bit, but I did mix it with my whole wheat flour and plan on using it up until it is out. Simple things like that can help to up your nutrition while you wait until you can purchase new things to replace your more unhealthy items.

Here are a few things I have started to fill my pantry with...

These items I already had on hand and usually always have stocked up:

  • Quinoa
  • Brown lentils
  • Brown Rice
  • Whole Wheat Flour
  • Arrowroot Powder (Great for thickening soups, gluten-free)
  • Almond Butter (not my favorite on its own or with fruit, but is great to throw into smoothies)
  • Natural Peanut Butter (usually refrigerate this)
  • Ak Mak Sesame Crackers (I really like these with hummus or even a bit of cream cheese)
  • Onions (red and yellow)
  • Garlic
  • Potatoes
    • Sweet (orange and white)
    • Red potatoes
    • Russets
      • The hubs and I are both born and raised in Idaho. We have a deep love of potatoes and always will (especially Russets). Some people choose to not include these in their diet but they are a great and cheap source for carbs. We choose to keep them in our diet. To each their own. If you are overweight or have issues with Nightshades, you may want to avoid potatoes all together. 
  • Canned tomato products:
    • paste, sauce, diced, stewed are always in my pantry and ready to go (check ingredients!)
  • Canned tuna (I like Kirkland Albacore, check ingredients!)
  • Canned green chilies (great to add to soups or meats, especially slow cooker meats, check your ingredients!)
  • Canned blueberries
    • These were a purchase from my husband's cousin. She runs an amazing group buy and is an expert when it comes to food storage (us Mormon's are really big into food storage). These blueberries are amazing and are packed in only water. Great for baking or throwing in smoothies. I love them.
  • Honey
  • Cox's Creamed Honey
    • LOVE raw creamed honey. It makes it easy to spread on sandwiches for the kids and tastes so light and delicious. Cox is a great brand. I am still on the hunt for some local raw regular honey (to combat allergies and use in recipes).
  • Cooking Oils
    • Coconut, Avocado, Olive (light and extra virgin), ghee
  • Canned Beans
    • I want to get away from these and use dried as much as I can. I can control what goes into them and you just never really know with the canned kinds. Plus dried beans last longer (food storage-wise) and they are cheaper. But it is always good to have some canned on hand.
  • Kirkland Marinara Sauce
  • Unsweetened Applesauce (check ingredients)
  • Natural Chicken Broth (I would go for organic here but opted for natural from Costco, it fit the budget and sometimes you just can't afford to get everything organic, so I usually go for the next best thing)
  • Natural or Organic Beef broth (I have a mix of both, just check ingredients and do what is best for you)
  • And last but not least, spices and herbs GALORE. 
    • Check out your spices and read the ingredients (especially for the spice mixes). There are a lot of hidden items in there that do NOT need to be there. Some big offenders are sugar and soy. Get rid of them. Replace with better spice options.
These items I got to beef up my pantry from Amazon:

  • Almond Flour (better stored in the freezer to keep fresh)
    • I found THIS article extremely interesting. It talks about the pros and cons of almond flour and I agree with her, switch up your flours to expose yourself to different nutrients.
  • Coconut Flour (better stored in the freezer to keep fresh)
    • Health benefits of coconut flour HERE
  • White Whole Wheat flour (for those of you who aren't a gluten-free house, and that would be us)
    • This has the same nutritional value as regular whole wheat flour, it is made from white wheat berries instead of red wheat berries and has a more mild taste than the regular whole wheat flour. HERE is a great link that talks more about it.
  • Coconut Sugar
    • Can be subbed 1:1 with white sugar. This can be argued that, "Hey, it is still sugar. Sugar is sugar is sugar." And I completely agree. BUT the issue I have with white sugar is it is HIGHLY processed. In order to avoid that, I would rather have a more natural sugar. So we are going with coconut sugar. It also has a lower glycemic index than regular white sugar. Also it is the most sustainable sweetener in the world, really, was even given an award for it. The trees use limited water and fuel. Plus it is not chemically altered and has no added ingredients. Read more about it HERE.
    • All that being said, I believe it should still be used in moderation. 
  • Whole Wheat Pastas (get gluten-free pastas if you are gluten sensitive, there are tons of options to choose from, most made with corn flour or rice flour)
    • I picked up some Penne, Fusilli, as well as Spaghetti because we probably use those 3 the most. I plan on picking up more at the grocery store as I find them (sometimes they are hard to find at the stores I usually shop at, which is a bummer).
  • Organic Rolled Oats
  • Dried Beans
    • Red Lentils (I LOVE lentils and want to branch out to different kinds, will probably pick up some green lentils as well)
    • Pinto Beans (Specifically for homemade refried beans, so good and so much better than the canned stuff)
    • Black Beans
  • Canned Garbanzo beans for hummus and soups

Hopefully you found something on here that is helpful! I am by no means an expert but I am trying hard to change the way we eat as a family and the way I cook (and doing a lot of reading/research/experimenting along the way). So, whether you want to switch to 100% clean eating or just want to find healthier options for your family, that choice is up to you. I plan on posting more about what I get from other grocery stores (Costco, local stores, etc). in another post. 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

I Finished My Whole30, Now What??

So I am done. Here is what I wrote on my Instagram page (@darcieats) about my process so far.

"I did it! So now, my thoughts. #whole30 taught me so much. I have always loved to cook but it made me more confident in the kitchen. It taught me to read my labels and don't trust everything you think should be healthy because there are so many hidden nasty ingredients out there that have no place in our bodies! I learned that I am in charge of my health and it is empowering! Small changes can make a big difference. So, now what? I started Whole30 as a detox. I wanted to heal my body and restart my system. I feel I have accomplished that. But it also have me a deep love for #wholefoods in general. I am going to keep this account and keep my blog and continue on a #cleaneating journey to find what works best for me and my family. Through the reintroduction phase I want to be able to figure that out.

So are we going to be strict paleo? I don't know. Will we enjoy whole grains (gluten and non gluten)? Will we be dairy-free? I honestly don't know yet. Will I do another whole30 in the future? You bet. I know for sure I will continue to cook whole30 meals but I want to find moderation. I want to experiment and discover the best all-around diet for my family and I hope you guys join me! Thank you for being so supportive and the best people ever. You all lift me up and make me feel I can accomplish these food-goals! Whole30 is amazing. If you are on the fence about it, get the book It Starts With Food and just read it first. It will change your relationship with food for the better! I promise!

Oh and PS: I lost 6 lbs. what?? Wasn't planning on that but now I weigh what I did before having my first child. Added bonus!"

That being said, what are my goals now?

  • Follow reintroduction and figure out what works best for me and my family.
    • Do I handle dairy well? There is lactose intolerance in my family and I want to make sure I don't have an intolerance as well.
    • If I do handle dairy well, reintroduce it into our diet in the BEST forms.
    • Do I handle grains well (both gluten and non gluten)? Figure out what forms my body can adjust to and go from there. Try to eat the best forms (whole grains, try to make my own breads).
    • Legumes, do I do well with those? Keep a wide variety in our diet.
  • Limit the sugar consumption in our home.
  • Get out of my box and explore new recipes! I am excited to share them on here with you all as you continue to follow along on my journey!
  • What about sweets? We are still going to eat them. My goal is: If I make it I can eat it. I rarely make sweets/desserts. So when I do, I feel like it is fine for my family and myself to eat them because it means we are eating in moderation. So if I make cookies, I am going to eat some. I made them, put in the effort, and it will be a rare occasion (and most likely for a special occasion). That is fine by me. 
Thank you for all your love and support and hopefully you all can find something through my journey that has inspired or helped you! It is hard to put myself out there sometimes but I know that in the end it might be helping someone else who is in the same situation as me. So it is worth it.

Day 30

DAY 30!!!

Meal 1: Omelette (again, I know, BUT they are my fav!!) This one is green onion, bacon, and power greens topped with avocado)

Meal 2: Leftover beef stew (um, tastes even better the next day, GO TRY THIS RECIPE!), and a bowl full of delicious cherries. 

I have been SO good about not snacking through this whole30 which is a BIG accomplishment for me. But today I had a very emotional visit to my kids' pediatrician. Bubs had his 18 month checkup. He is fine but we did find some things that I felt like I should have noticed and therefore I had a severe case of Mommy Guilt. Like bad. I wanted to dive into my secret stash of Reeses eggs but instead opted for a small handful of almonds and a nap. That was a small victory for me considering I made a healthier choice all around for myself. 

Meal 3: Sorry for the horrible picture but I feel so awkward taking pictures of my food in restaurants haha! This is from Aubergine and Company (a delicious and very healthy restaurant in Orem, UT). I had the Dream Salad (beets instead of cheese). Their cilantro jalapeno dressing was awesome. I will for sure be back!! It was a great end to my Whole30 journey...because I didn't have to cook!

And here is sweet MJ enjoying her salad. She loves "leaves and veggies" with no dressing. I am bragging with this post a bit because I have worked REALLY hard to get my kids to love veggies as much as I do. It is a life-long process and started when I very first introduced food to them. We are always introducing healthy food options and discuss why we eat healthy food and how too much sugar isn't good for our bodies. I am happy to report that MJ loves to munch on spinach and her favorite foods are green beans and cucumbers. Bubbs would eat avocado for every meal if I let him and LOVES broccoli. Both kids love salmon and it just makes my heart swell when I see them munching on healthy food! Of course they eat other foods that aren't considered "whole". We aren't perfect. But I am so glad that my babies are such good eaters. It just makes a Mama proud. Hard work pays off!

My Thoughts:
I honestly felt so accomplished after today. I DID IT! I finished my first whole30! No cheats. I feel awesome.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Day 29

Day 29

Meal 1: Scrambled eggs, salsa, avocado, sauteed zucchini and yellow squash (olive oil, Italian Seasoning)

Meal 2: Chicken-Apple Sausage, carrots, cucumbers, mustard

Meal 3: Crockpot Beef Stew

I made this based on my favorite beef stew recipe. I Whole30-fied it. I will post both recipes because I think they are both great and both are healthy.

Whole30 Beef Stew
-32 oz (4 cups) compliant Beef Stock
-1.5-1 lbs. stew meat
-1 can stewed tomatoes
-1/2 white sweet potato (mine were huge, you could do a full potato if yours are smaller), diced
-1/2 regular sweet potato (again, it was huge, use a full one if yours is smaller), diced
-1 yellow onion, chopped
-3 large carrots, chopped
-2 garlic cloves, crushed in garlic press
-4 small celery stalks or 2-3 large stalks, chopped
-1/2 t salt
-1/2 t pepper
-1 t paprika
-1 bay leaf
-2 T balsamic vinegar

Sometimes I brown the meat, sometimes I don't. I didn't today and it was great still. Place everything in your crockpot (except the balsamic vinegar). Low for 10-12 hours or high for 6-8. When the soup is done, remove the bay leaf and stir in the balsamic vinegar. This adds an awesome rich flavor and depth to the stew. This stew is broth-ier than my original version but the broth is excellent and tastes amazing.

Beef and Barley Crockpot Stew (this is NOT Whole30 compliant)
-32 oz (4 cups) Beef Stock
-1.5-1 lbs. stew meat
-1 can stewed tomatoes
-1-2 russet potatoes or 3-4 small red potatoes, (or a mixture of both), diced
-1 yellow onion, chopped
-3 large carrots, chopped
-2 garlic cloves, crushed in garlic press
-4 small celery stalks or 2-3 large stalks, chopped
-1/2-3/4 cup pearled barley
-1/2 t salt
-1/2 t pepper
-1 t paprika
-1 bay leaf
-2 T balsamic vinegar

Place everything in the slow cooker (minus the balsamic vinegar). High 6-8 hours or low 10-12 hours. When soup is done, remove bay leaf and stir in balsamic vinegar. If you have never had beef and barley stew, try this one. It is awesome. I LOVE barley in my stew (and the Handsome hubs prefers it). 

Thoughts on today: I really enjoyed adapting one of my own recipes to make it whole30 compliant. I will most likely be making my Whole30 recipe again, after whole30, but adding back in the pearled barley (by husband's request). I enjoyed the sweet potatoes in the stew. They were a mild flavor and really this stew is full of yummy, comforting flavor and so very healthy for you.

TOMORROW is my last day and I am excited/nervous/anxious but so ready to start reintroduction. 

Day 28

Day 28

Meal 1: Apple with almond butter. Wasn't very hungry this morning.

Meal 2: Random Veggie Chicken Bowl {cucumbers, red onion, peppers, avocado, tomato, chicken, s+p, balsamic vinegar}

Meal 3: Bake salmon over zoodles {spiralized yellow squash and zucchini, sauteed in olive oil with garlic, red onion, and Italian seasoning} with Kirkland marinara sauce.

I got THIS spiralizer off of Amazon. It looks like it is sold out but there are tons of vegetable spiralizers on there. 

Spiralized Zoodles
-1 zuchinni
-1 yellow squash
-olive oil
-diced red onion
-2 garlic cloves, minced

Spiral about half of the squash and half of the zuchinni (or all of them, just however much you want honestly). 

 Dice up your onion and garlic, however much you want of each. More or less depending on your tastes.

Heat olive oil in a pan, toss the onion and garlic in first. Let them saute a bit (about a minute), then toss in the zoodles. Season with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. These cook up quickly. They only take a few minutes. You still want them to be a bit crunchy so that it is a nice texture and you don't feel like you are eating a pile of mush.

I baked the salmon with just olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Thoughts on today: I LOVED my meal 3 tonight. It was bomb. I love zoodles. I am so glad that I am being pushed out of my normal food box and trying a lot of new things. I will definitely be making zoodles after Whole30 (which is so soon!). I am feel great. I am anxious for my reintroduction phase but am excited to move onto my next "health phase". I will explain more about it at the end of my Whole30!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Day 27

Day 27

Meal 1: Larabar and a waterbottle...was running out the door because we were super late for MJ's swimming lessons. I had also lost my appetite from cleaning up Bubb's puke. Let's just say it was not a good morning.

Meal 2: Leftover chicken topped with salsa, sweet potato "toast" from a fellow IGer (@thewhetappetite) topped with avocado and red pepper flakes.

Sweet Potato "Toast"
-Cut sweet potato in half, lengthwise, then cut those pieces in half lengthwise.
-oil and s+p the sweet potato pieces
-Place in baking pan in 400 F oven.
-Bake for 35-40 minutes, flip halfway through.
-Let cool for 5-10 minutes

These are yummy! I use avocado oil and white sweet potatoes because they are my fav.

Meal 3: Random concoction that was yummy. Sauteed some leftover sweet potato toast (diced), with chicken apple sausage and avocado oil. Tossed in a large handful of 7 Superfood Salad (minus dressing) from Costco.


Seasoned everything with a bit of onion powder, garlic powder, s+p. Then tossed in some Kirkland brand marinara sauce, fresh tomatoes, and avocado. And there you have it. It was good (but I really did wish I had spaghetti that the family was having because there was delicious cheese on it...oh cheese). 

Oh and I added a side of watermelon. 

My Thoughts:
I am getting good at looking in my fridge and seeing what protein I have thawed, and what veggies are about to go bad, and making something out of them. Also, this marinara sauce was SO good! I am excited to use it in a lot of other dishes. It tasted fresh and has no additives. I would highly recommend buying it if you have a Costco membership. It comes in a pack of 3 and is awesome to have on hand when you don't want to make it fresh.

Day 26

Day 26

Meal 1: Breakfast salad {lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, chicken apple sausage, egg over easy} I used the runny yolk of the egg as dressing and it was delicious. Runny yolk is the best yolk.

Meal 2: Turkey, avocado, cucumber, tomato, mayo, spicy mustard lettuce wraps.

Meal 3: Lemon Pepper Chicken with a side salad full of veggies.

 I made a big batch of chicken for the week to toss on salads or have for dinner. The right is lemon pepper (Mrs. Dash salt-free), the left is Costco's Organic No-Salt Seasoning. Both are delicious!

My Thoughts:
Everything is great. I really miss cheese though. A lot. :)

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Day 25

Day 25

Today is Sunday and I actually fasted for the first 2 meals. Members of the LDS church (Mormons) fast the first Sunday of every month. This Sunday was not a Fast Sunday but my family decided to have a fast for my grandparents. We had a special family fast for my sweet Grandma who is not doing well and for my sweet Grandpa who is having a hard time with his sweetheart who is not improving. We believe that fasting combined with prayer and purpose increases our spiritual growth, draws us closer to God, and brings blessings. We skip 2 consecutive meals and break the fast with a prayer. Learn more about why we fast HERE. Some of my siblings and my family gathered together to break our fast this evening. We ended up having veggies, fruit, and steak, salmon, and chicken on the BBQ.

Day 24

Day 24

Meal 1: Leftover Frittata (guys this tastes even better the next day, if you believe it!)

Meal 2: Turkey, homemade mayo, spicy brown mustard, tomato, avocado, lettuce wrap with a side of roasted sweet potatoes

This turkey is Applegate. It is debated whether it is compliant or not. I have discovered that the pre-packaged turkey is not because of all the added preservatives. BUT supposedly if you get it sliced from the deli it doesn't have the preservatives and is compliant. That being said, this is the CLOSEST deli meat I could find ANYWHERE that would work for me. Have you read the ingredients on all the deli meat at the grocery store? It is disgusting. Trust me, I have read pretty much every single one. I feel good about eating this brand. You can find it at Target. If you aren't worried about a few more additives, get the pre-packaged turkey. I believe it has less than 2% of sugar and so it isn't compliant but I most likely will buy it after whole30.

Meal 3: Buffalo Turkey Meatball salad with Whole30 Compliant ranch

Slow Cooker Buffalo Turkey Meatballs
-1-1.5 lbs ground turkey (or chicken or beef)
-2 celery sticks
-5 baby carrots
-1 egg
-1 tsp onion powder
-1 tsp garlic powder
-1/2 tsp salt
-3 Tbl arrowroot powder (this helps to bind the meat together since you can't have breadcrumbs)
-3/4 cup compliant buffalo hot sauce (I used Frank's Red Hot Sauce Original Flavor)

Rough chop the celery and baby carrots, toss into a blender or food processor (I used my Blendtech). Chop up until finely minced, almost like a mush. Toss everything into a bowl (Except the hot sauce), and mix together with a big wooden spoon or by hand (my preferred method).

I used a cookie scoop to form the balls (I got 18 out of this). Brown the meatballs on the stovetop (I used a bit of coconut oil for this). This doesn't take long. You don't want to cook them, just brown the outsides a bit. You will have to do this in batches.

Place the meatballs into a greased slow cooker (I just turned it on and let some coconut oil melt in the bottom while I browned the meatballs. Then I rubbed the oil around with a paper towel). Once all the meat is into the crockpot, top with the buffalo sauce. Let it cook on low for 5-6 hours.

I LOVE anything with buffalo sauce so these were great. I will be eating these all week on salads or in lettuce wraps. They freeze well also.

My Thoughts:
I am finally getting my energy back. Hallelujah! We spent the entire day shopping for furniture (poor MJ has been sleeping on a mattress on the floor ever since her brother kicked her out of the crib 18 months ago. So she finally got a bedroom set and is over-the-moon excited about it. Plus we got a king size bed and are excited to finally be real-life grownups). We hauled the kids around everywhere. They were miserable. And they both got colds. So yeah. It wasn't fun. But at least I had the meatballs ready to eat when I got home. I will be 100% real with you all though, I really miss cheese. Like badly. I cannot wait to reintroduce dairy and I hope I handle it well because I need cheese. This salad was really good but it would have been over-the-top good if I could have crumbled some bleu cheese on top. It is good to know I can survive without it though!

Day 22-23

Day 22

Meal 1: Scrambled eggs and a side of veggies

Meal 2: Hot dogs! And veggies.

These hot dogs are whole30 approved and they actually taste great. I recommend them. I know you can find them at Target, not sure where else. I want to buy this brand for my kids from now on, considering MJ can eat up to 3 hot dogs in 1 sitting. She is a tiny little thing but that girl can EAT. It is really impressive.

Meal 3: Roasted white and regular sweet potatoes, lemon pepper chicken, steamed broccoli, side of unsweetened applesauce with cinnamon (this was so yummy and it is now my "treat" at meals. Totally tastes like a dessert to me!)

Roasted White and Regular Sweet Potatoes
-1 white sweet potato
-1 regular sweet potato
-1 onion of your choice
-4-5 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
-3 T. Avocado Oil
-2 teaspoons rosemary (or any herbs you like. Italian seasoning would be great and so would thyme, or even a mix of rosemary and thyme)
-Salt and pepper

Cut up your sweet potatoes in bite-size pieces, roughly cut up your onion (about the same size pieces as your sweet potatoes) and garlic. Toss it all into a ziplock bag. Then pour in the avocado oil, rosemary, and salt and pepper. Shake it all up, toss in a greased baking dish, bake at 400 for 25 minutes, stir, and bake for another 25 minutes.

For the Lemon-Pepper chicken, make sure you have a compliant lemon-pepper on hand! There are a lot out there that have additives that are not compliant (like SUGAR). I used Mrs. Dash Salt Free Lemon Pepper because all of its ingredients are compliant. THIS is what it looks like but you can find it cheaper at your local grocery store. I got mine from Target. I love lemon-pepper chicken and this seasoning is full of flavor. I will make this a lot and have a bunch of chicken on-hand to toss into salads throughout the week.

Day 23

Meal 1: Veggie and Sausage Frittatta. 

Yum! This recipe is from Planks, Love and Guacamole. It was posted on the Whole30recipes page on Instagram and as soon as I saw it I KNEW I had to make it. You guys, all of Alanna's recipes (the girl behind Planks, Love, and Guacamole) are amazing. She is so talented! Her recipes are simple, healthy, and FULL of flavor. So delicious! Go and check her out! This is my version of her recipe. Hers called for fresh herbs (which I was fresh out of...sorry I had to). So I ended up using dry herbs and adding leftover broccoli from yesterday to the mix. This recipe is perfect for using up leftover cooked veggies and is so versatile you can basically throw anything you want in there. This is her recipe with some of my notes added in!

Planks, Love and Guacamole Baked Frittata
-6 eggs
-1/2 cup full fat unsweetened coconut milk (blended, then measured)
-3/4 cup chopped protein of choice (I used chicken-apple sausage)
-1 cup chopped veggies (saute first if using a veggie that is best cooked, I used steamed broccoli from the night before, some sauteed red onion and fresh tomatoes)
-1/2 teaspoon sea salt
-1/2 teaspoon black pepper
-Fresh herbs (I used 1/2 teaspoon of dried Italian seasoning, this is such a versatile recipe that you can use any seasonings you would like that you feel would go best with your protein and veggie choices)

1. Preheat oven to 350, oil a pie dish (I rubbed mine with some avocado oil)
2. Lightly beat eggs with salt and pepper.
3. Add coconut milk to eggs, mix to combine.
4. Pour egg mixture into pie dish.
5. Top with meat, veggies, and herbs. Gently mix.
6. Bake at 350 for 30 mins. Let is cool before slicing.

Meal 2: Leftover sweet potatoes and chicken.

Meal 3: In N Out double hamburger, Protein Style, Animal Style, hold the sauce, add mustard.

My Thoughts:
We were on our way to a wedding reception where I wasn't sure there would be anything compliant. So I made sure I grabbed something on our way. Good thing because there was Coldstone Ice Cream being served. Holy moly. It looked good but I wasn't tempted. I even served both my kids and helped them out with their ice cream and wasn't jealous at all. Holla! Whole30 food craving victory!

Day 19-21

Day 19

Meal 1: Scrambled eggs, salsa, avocado, and a side of fruit

Meal 2: Roasted White Sweet Potatoes, avocado, cilantro, tomato, sweet mini peppers, fresh squeezed lime, salt and pepper.

Meal 3: Deconstructed burger salad turned into a massive plate of goodness. Topped with Cumin-Lime dressing that I could drink a vat of (I doubled the recipe and was so glad I did).

Sundried Tomato Burger
-1-1.5 lbs Ground Beef (or turkey or chicken)
-About 8 Sundried tomatoes, finely chopped
-salt and pepper
-onion powder
-3-4 cloves of garlic (minced)
-Chili Powder

Mix everything together, use as much or as little of the seasonings as you like (I don't measure for burgers. I just shake stuff in according to how I feel. Toss on the grill or in a skillet on the stovetop (which is what I did because we don't have a grill). Med-high over stovetop, in avocado oil, 3-4 minutes per side. I topped these with bacon, because duh, bacon.

This salad also has beets, avocado, broccoli, tomatoes, carrots, and cucumbers in it.

Day 20

Meal 1: Leftover roasted white sweet potato topped with an egg over easy, and avocado.

Meal 2: Leftover burger and veggies

Meal 3: Brussel Sprouts and Beets, Chicken-Apple Sausage

Day 21

Meal 1: bacon, spinach, sundried tomato omelette. Side of avocado.

Meal 2: Leftover sundried tomato burger with spicy brown mustard, lots of veggies and guac mixed with homemade mayo as a dip.

Meal 3: A big salad. Nothing fancy. Wasn't very hungry.

My Thoughts:
Everything is starting to become second nature. I don't have to try and figure out what I am going to cook. I just kind of start throwing stuff together and it ends up working. Its awesome. I will admit, I had a visit from Aunt Flow (TMI? Whatevs) and I have been super grumpy and my energy is starting to go away. So sad. I also have been wanting to eat candy every second of the day but I am blaming that on my hormones being crazy. I hope the cravings will go away and that my sugar cravings as well. The positive side? I used to have HORRIBLE cramps. Like, lay in bed all day long kind of cramps. I haven't had cramps really at all this time and I am contributing that to being sugar-free. So even though my energy is shot, at least I am not in pain. 

Day 16-18

Day 16:

Meal 1: Scrambled eggs, broccoli on the side, avocado

Meal 2: Leftover Turkey Chili

Meal 3: Nom Nom Paleo Brussel Sprouts, my Italian Chicken over salad with balsamic vinegar

My thoughts on today: Sorry, no pictures for today. I was too busy! My baby boy was sick today. Like puking everywhere kind of sick. It was hard and the poor kid was so miserable. So my food wasn't very exciting...until dinner. I made sure I had a delicious dinner so that I could make up for having lame leftovers for other meals (I like leftovers but I LOVE cooking and making new food as well). Once again, I had enough energy to handle a very sick 18 month old and not lose my mind. I am so grateful that I had enough food on hand that I was able to happily eat meals that were 100% compliant. It is great have a stocked fridge and pantry!!

Day 17:

Meal 1: my favorite omelette (bacon, power greens, fresh tomato, and avocado)

Meal 2: Leftover Turkey Chili (again...I know, but I usually always eat up leftovers for lunch) this time served with a roasted sweet potato, YUM! Side of strawberries and cucumbers.

Roasted Sweet Potato
-Sweet potato of your choice, cut in half (white or regular sweet potatoes both work well, I did regular this time)
-Olive Oil or Avocado Oil (I use Avocado Oil)
-salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400. Coat sweet potatoes in your oil of choice, salt and pepper both sides. Place sweet potato flat side down on a baking sheet. Let it go for about 30 minutes (depends on the size of your sweet potatoes). I would check after 20 minutes and go from there. These cook quicker (because they are cut in half) and they get carmalized more. Oh, yum! The carmalization on the flat surface tastes like candy to me! So good! This is my new favorite way to cook sweet potatoes!

Meal 3: Nom Nom Paleo Brussel Sprouts (again, guys I am addicted to these little things!) this time I added beets to the mix. Dill salmon, green beans sauteed in ghee. 

Brussel SproutsFollow Nom Nom Paleo's recipe but also add beets to the mix. I used Love Beets (pre-cooked beets found at Costco in the refrigerated fruit/veggie section). I just cut them up in similar sizes as the brussel sprouts.

My Thoughts on Today:
We were still getting over some yucky sickness but it wasn't as bad. I felt great. I had a lot of energy or "Tiger Blood" as Whole30ers call it. I really am loving how I feel and how I look. It may not be very visible to others but I feel amazing and I fit into all my clothes a lot better than before. 

Day 18: 

Meal 1: Veggie Omelette
Meal 2: leftover brussel Sprouts, avocado, veggies

Meal 3: Compliant Taco Salad (made by the dear Hubs)

My Thoughts on Today:
Today was Mother's Day. I didn't take any pictures of my food. I just enjoyed the day and enjoyed my babies! It made me really ponder my body and how much it really does, especially every day in my job as Mom. I am so grateful that I am healthy and that I have been able to have 2 beautiful children. I want to treat my body with respect by giving it the best forms of fuel I can. I want to stay healthy, strong, and full of energy because that is what my kids DESERVE. They deserve a mom who is always here. They deserve a mom who is healthy and cares about staying that way. I am going to do everything I can to give them the mom they deserve.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Day 15

Day 15 (HALFWAY!!! HOLLA!!!)

Meal 1: Bacon, onion, and power greens {spinach, Swiss chard, kale} omelette topped with fresh tomatoes and avocado.

Probably my very favorite breakfast so far and *SPOILER ALERT*...probably making it again tomorrow because it was SO delicious. I mean, hello, bacon. Enough said.

Meal 2: Leftover chicken, gravy, mashed cauliflower, and a side salad with tomatoes, avocado, and balsamic vinegar.

Nothing exciting (besides the fact that it was but I have been dealing with a baby boy that is currently getting top molars on both sides of his mouth. He is miserable. Like deeply miserable. Add that to the fact that he is deeply in love with his Mama and I basically am kind of in survival mode. But want to know the cool thing? Even though I have crazy eyes, I have ENERGY to deal with the craziness at my house right now! Its a freaking Whole30 miracle!! Yay for fueling your body with healthy whole foods and reaping the benefits!

Meal 3: Crockpot Turkey Chili served over cauliflower rice

I based this recipe off of My Heart Beets Habanero Chili. I made a few changes because I didn't have all the exact ingredients she did and I wanted to make mine with turkey, not beef. I upped the veggies as well because I wanted to pack in as much as possible. Mine also wasn't as spicy as I imagine hers is because I used canned green chilies instead of Habaneros. I really want to try it with Habaneros next time because I LOVE spicy food, not so sure my kids would go for it though.

Crockpot Turkey Chili
-1-1.5 lbs ground turkey
-1 Tbs. Olive Oil
-3/4-1 red onion, chopped (mine was huge so I only used about 3/4 of it)
-5 cloves of garlic, minced
-6 mini peppers, sliced (or a regular bell pepper, this is just what I had in my fridge)
-12-15 baby carrots, chopped (once again, that is what I had on hand, you could use regular carrots, the original recipe called for 5 medium carrots)
-5 stalks of celery, chopped
-1 can of diced green chiles (you could use any chiles, I had mild on hand and tossed those in, jalapenos would be great too)
-2 cans diced tomatoes
-1 Tbs Chili Powder
-2 tsp oregano
-2 tsp. Cumin
-1 tsp. salt (more or less to your liking, can add more later if you feel it needs it)
-1 tsp. Paprika
-2 cups compliant Chicken Stock

To Serve:

Chop up the onion and garlic, saute over medium heat in olive oil for a couple minutes.

Then toss in your ground turkey. Brown the turkey. After the turkey is cooked through, I tossed it all into a strainer and let the fat drain out. Normally, fat is good, but we need to be careful if you aren't using meat that isn't organic. I wasn't sure on this turkey, so just to be safe, I drained it. I did not wash it though. That gets rid of all your flavor. Don't do it (MOM!).

Toss your meat, onion, and garlic mixture into a crockpot. Put all your ingredients (except the cilantro and avocado) into the crockpot.

Since I added a LOT of veggies, and more meat than the original recipe, I needed some more liquid. I put in 2 cups of chicken stock I had leftover in my fridge. You can add more or less depending on how much liquid you want in your chili but this ended up being perfect for me.

Set to low and cook 4-5 hours.

I served mine over cauliflower rice. My favorite recipe for that is found HERE. And topped it with cilantro and avocado. This was so yummy and felt like a bowl of comfort food giving me a great big hug but with zero guilt trip.

My thoughts on today:
I mentioned this earlier, but I really do have more energy. It is awesome. AND I don't have to rely on soda to give me more energy. I am relying on whole foods and they work. So yay. I am finding that food tastes so good to me now. I am just thoroughly enjoying everything I eat. It rocks. I am having trouble not snacking though. Like, I am not going to lie, I am eating a Larabar right now. It is my only snack today but I just needed it. Sorry...

Day 14

Day 14

Meal 1: Sauteed mushrooms, red onion, and power greens with scrambled eggs, avocado, and a side of very sad looking carrots. I just REALLY needed to go grocery shopping. This was all I could scrape together haha!

Meal 2: Banana with almond butter.

I was feeling kind of bleh for lunch. Not really wanting to eat anything. But I knew I should eat something so I ate a banana with almond butter. This may not sound like a big deal to you, but I hate bananas. Like for reals. I have my whole life. I hate the texture. I hate the taste. I think they are disgusting. For some reason I just really wanted a banana. Guess what, I liked it. I mean, I am not going to eat them everyday but I actually ate it and didn't want to puke or burn my tongue off during the process. This is a Whole30 miracle for sure. Food tastes better!

Meal 3: Brussel sprouts with bacon, pork chops, salad with balsamic vinegar (or in other words "I went grocery shopping"

I used Nom Nom Paleo's recipe for brussel sprouts. These were amazing. I am STILL thinking about them the next day! I want to eat more RIGHT NOW. I am going to make more soon because they were so good. I have made brussel sprouts one other time in my life and they were so gross. These were little sprouts of goodness. I want to make these like every single week. And I just might. My kids and husband didn't like them but I honestly was happy because that meant MORE for ME! Suckas!!

The pork chops were seasoned with salt, pepper, and onion powder. My father-in-law makes these and they are a family favorite. Super simple but super delicious.

My thoughts on today:

It really sucks when your fridge isn't stocked and you are starving. All you want to do is eat something but you are out of veggies and your fruit is running low as well. My tip, don't run out of groceries when you are on Whole30. :)