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2 More Days

Can you believe Wednesday is my last day on the Whole30? Thursday starts the reintroductions.  I’m going to do dairy first (I miss cream in my coffee). Then I’ll try non-gluten grains like corn (I like tostitos).  The other thing I’m going to eat is chocolate.  Hopefully my palette has changed enough that 60% or 75% cacao is good enough.

On Sunday I put some pork in the crock pot and made some lovely pulled pork.  Tonight I made some plaintain mash that I topped with some of the shredded pork.  Recipe here.  When I cooked the plantains I added some cinnamon and when it was finished and all mashed up (with some coconut milk) it tasted like banana bread! It was so good!! I’ll eat it with my breakfast tomorrow and it will be lovely!

A note about the plantain mash – it didn’t mash up like I thought it would.  I had to add more coconut milk than the recipe called for to make it smooth, and even then it wasn’t smooth like mashed potatoes or cauliflower.  It was thick.  And delish.

Dinner was fast because the pork was already made so I whipped up a breakfast lasagna.  Recipe here. I can’t speak to how it tastes because I haven’t had it yet but I can let you know. If you’re interested.

I calculated what we spent on food for January and it was shocking!  We went 3x over what I had budgeted!!  I have to remind myself that cheap food is cheap for a reason and we are investing in our bodies.  As a wise woman once told me: pay for the grocery’s now or pay for the doctor later.  It’s all where your priorities are.  Mine are on food and sleep.  I want to make running more of a priority.  And reading the Bible.

On a different note: What’s up with the snow/ice coming around 8:00 this morning? Doesn’t it know it needs to start at like 4:00 am!

On another note: Alias is an awesome show! Hubs and I are so addicted! Thank goodness for Netflix, all the seasons in one place, and no commercials.

Baby, it’s cold outside!

It’s 15 degrees outside but a lovely 76 in my house! So thankful for the wood stove!

This is the creek near our house when I was driving home from work. Crazy to think that it is so cold even constantly moving water freezes!

Frozen Creek

On a different note: have you ever heard of Kombucha? It’s a fantastic Whole30 approved tea that is raw and full of lovely probiotics! It’s been great in settling my stomach.  Whenever you change the things you eat you have to give your body time to adjust.  Kombucha is helping me do that! 🙂

I made Baked Spaghetti Squash with mini sausage meatballs.  Recipe here.  The sausage was from…. you guessed it! Wyebrook Farms!! I sauteed some garlic and onion with the sausage and it was really good!!

Cooking every night hasn’t been too bad.  I feel like I’m finally getting the hang of it.  I have a good supply of meals to pull from  and I like enjoying the leftovers for lunch the next day! OH! You should have SEEN the roasted chicken I made yesterday! It was gorgeous! I should have taken a picture!

7 more days until some reintroductions! I’m interested to see how that goes! 🙂

A Balsamic Dream

They said it would happen.  Eventually I would have a dream where I ate some off-plan food and I would wake up feeling guilty.  Did my dream include indulging in cake, a bowl of cereal, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, or some gourmet biscotti? No. It involved me dipping some chicken in non-compliant balsamic vinegar. I just have a couple questions:

1. Who dips chicken in balsamic vinegar in the first place? Balsamic vinegar as a marinade? Yes. As a dip? I’m not so sure.

And 2. Why couldn’t it have been something more fun like cookie dough or an ice cream cake?

So in my dream I was at my Grandpa’s house in Havertown – which in and of itself is strange because he doesn’t live there anymore and it’s not like it was a place I frequented. I haven’t been there for probably a year or so. For some reason I was eating chicken (with whom, I don’t know) and I went into the kitchen from the dining room to check the ingredients on said balsamic vinegar and was horrified to find out it contained sugar. Yes, horrified.  Need I remind you of the peanut oil debacle!

I woke up Saturday morning feeling like something wasn’t quite right, like I did something wrong (dreams can have that affect on you) and then I realized it was just a dream and I felt better.

I must have felt so good that when I went to Wegman’s and got some cashew butter I never thought to look at the ingredients. I got home and started to slather (yes slather) it on an apple and then when I DID look at the ingredients I realized it had sunflower oil in it! Those damn oils!  I guess slipping up with something like that is better than tripping and having my face land in a PB&J or bowl of Raisin Nut Bran (mmmm Raisin Nut Bran!).

TWICE now those oils have gotten me! I’ve just decided to finish out this Whole30, do some reintroductions and be on my way! I know this won’t be my last Whole30, so we can just store this sneaky oil knowledge away for the next time.

Some things I’ve noticed:

1. I’m falling asleep faster, sleeping deeper, and waking up easier.
2. I’m having more vivid dreams which I can remember easier.
3. My skin is clearer.
4. Our food bill has gone up (but how much exactly I can’t say yet)
5. I have more energy throughout the day.
6. I know when I’m hungry. You know how sometimes you’re like, “I’m kinda hungry.” Nope! Not anymore. It seems that either I am hungry or I’m not, which is nice.
7. It’s much easier to pass up on the sweets and noncompliant foods.

On that note, there has been a revival of sorts of cravings recently.  My most recently Whole30 daily email said that it’s called “extinction burst” – where your brain makes one last ditch effort to revert back to old habits, to get the reward it was so used to before (i.e. something “sweet” after dinner, snacking at a certain time of the day or due to a certain mood, etc).  Having this occur is actually good because it means you’re close to breaking the old habit.  I’m still working on the “needing something sweet” to round out a meal, but it has gotten better! 🙂

Some things I’ve made recently:
Roasted Carrots (Hubs really liked them!)
Pork Roast with sweet potatoes and onions
Kale Chips
One Pan Pork and Apple Fry
Baked Apples and Pears (I modified the recipe to add the pears. I also soaked the raisins (not golden) in a little bit of apple juice to give the whole dish a little more moisture.  I also added pecans.  The pecans were to. die. for.  I don’t know why but I toasted those suckers up and ended up eating a bunch plain! They were so stinkin’ good!  It could be because my palette is changing and things are tasting different or because it was just a good batch of pecans, but MAN! I was sad when I finished them.

Today is Day 21.  Three weeks down. 9 days to go.

Some Introspection

Things have been moving along.  I really like this way of eating although sometimes I really want some non-plan food.  Like the pb&j Hubs was eating yesterday looked amazing while I at my grilled chicken and sweet potatoes.

On Saturday I realized that the cashews and macadamias I was eating had been made with peanut oil.

Peanut oil = not Whole30.

So that was pretty rough because I was battling in my head about what I should do: should I start over? What would that mean to start over? Should I not start over? Does that mean I really did a “Whole30”?  I  was really discouraged yesterday. The thought of starting over made me want to cry.  Were my last 12 days wasted?

So after posting something on the Whole9 Forum and getting the opinion of some other friends I’ve decided just to keep going with what I’ve been doing.   I don’t know if I’m going to tack 12 days on to the end of the month, or if I’m going to try the reintroductions at the end of the month. I haven’t decided yet.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about why I reacted the way I did to the peanut oil and I think I realized why:  I like to follow rules. I like to know that I’m doing things correctly.  If I’m honest with myself, I’m one of those people that think if they are just good enough then God will accept them. I know that’s not true; it’s only by God’s grace that I am accepted.  Knowing that the first 12 days weren’t perfect messes with my perfectionism.  Maybe I won’t be able to say that I “did a Whole30” but I’ve made huge steps forward in the way that I eat.  I know I am becoming healthier.

So tonight I made Apple Dijon Burgers but I changed the recipe.  I used ground turkey instead of beef.  I added an egg to the meat mixture (I think it helps them stay together better), and instead of cooking them on the grill (which is packed away for the winter in the shed) I used the cast iron skillet on the stove.  I paired the burgers with some roasted root vegetables which I also changed; I didn’t use carrots, I used a yam. Little bit of oil with some herbs de provence. Yum! They could have been cooked a little longer but they were still good. This was the first time I’ve ever cooked a rutabaga (fun word!) and it turned out well.

I even started prepping for tomorrow’s dinner! I roasted the butternut squash and garlic for the topping of our shepherd’s pie tomorrow.  Now I’ve gotta go drown myself in creating a biology midterm for tomorrow morning.

Epic Fail and TMI

So I tried to make the mayo today after school.  Epic fail.  I was thinking that we could use the extra chicken I had to make chicken salad for dinner.  Nope. That didn’t happen.

First, I tried to use our Ninja.   We have this Ninja (the regular one?) not to be confused with this Ninja (the blender one?) so I’m blending away and the motor started to make this awful noise like a mother bear protecting her cubs and I knew I was done.  I probably burned the engine out and the whole thing is shot now.

So then I tried to whip it by hand. That lasted about a minute before I had my husband call the neighbors to see if they have a regular blender. Which they did.  However, I never got the initial egg and lemon juice to emulsify so adding all that oil afterwards did nothing to make the mixture mayo-like.  Also, there’s really no good way to add anything to a blender (Ninja or regular) because if you have the thing running, and take the lid off (or even open up a small part to add an ingredient) stuff starts to fly everywhere. The kitchen was Disaster City.

Needless to say we didn’t have chicken salad for dinner. What I did make was pretty good though. I don’t have a name for it but here’s what I did.

Saute some red onion in coconut oil until soft
Add a clove of garlic, minced
Chop one yellow squash, add to pan
Chop one  green squash, add to pan
Chop 2 small carrots, add to pan
Chop 2 small (or one medium) bunch of broccoli, add to pan
Add 1/4 – 1/2 cup Tessamae’s Lemon Garlic Dressing
Add chopped cooked chicken
Add various spices: paprika, celery salt, garlic powder, salt, mustard powder
Mix well until heated through

I just threw it together with what I had in the house and it turned out  pretty good. It kind of reminded me of those frozen Birds Eye dinners you can buy but without all the additive and preservatives.

So onto the TMI.  This Whole30 really causes you to listen to your body to figure out the signals it is sending you. Today, my stomach and GI tract had a lot to say.  There were a lot of rumblings/garglings.   The Whole9 Forum has been fantastic for my wonderings about the things I’m experiencing, if this or that is normal, what to expect at certain times etc.

Recently I search “poop” because everybody poops, and let’s be honest – things are changing.  A high fat diet can cause loose poo and if you’re going from a low fat diet (as most people follow because that’s what society has pushed on us) to a higher fat diet (as the Whole30 is) then your body has to adjust.  Your gut bacteria is changing. Did you know that the majority of your immune system is in your intestines?  The book details how the foods you eat can cause increased gut permeability, digestive distress, and systemic inflammation.  I never knew what any of those things were until I read the book and I’ll probably have to reread the gut chapter a couple times to fully understand it but the first step to healing is putting the right foods in your body.

Day 3 and 4

One thing that I like about this Whole30 thing (there are many actually) but one specific thing that I like is that I’m experimenting more in my cooking. No longer can I rely on pasta or rice to make up the majority of the meal. Now I fill it with vegetables: sweet potatoes, spaghetti squash, broccoli, asparagus, green/yellow squash, etc.

Tonight dinner was sausage stuffed apples. It was REALLY good! Secret ingredient? Cinnamon! It really adds some nice flavor!  There is extra pork stuffing so I’m excited to eat it with my eggs  tomorrow morning.  That’s another thing I’m enjoying, taking dinner  and adding it to my breakfast the next morning. The pork I’ve been using is from Wyebrook Farm.  I’m loving it! AND I’m getting bacon without sugar in it! The guy at the market is going to try make a batch without nitrates or brown sugar! I’m excited to see how it turns out!  I’m hoping to get some eggs there too! 🙂

I seem to be reacting just as the Whole9 has predicted:
Day 1: What’s the Big Deal? – I can totally do this.
Day 2-3: The Hangover – while I didn’t have a ‘hangover’ specifically, I did feel tired during the day. I even had a “slump” after lunch!
Day 4-5: Kill ALL the Things – I haven’t wanted to kill anything, though last night I did have a slight meltdown while Hubs and I were talking about our finances but I don’t think that was triggered by the Whole30. I think that was normal life stress.

So tomorrow is supposed to be anther “Kill ALL the Things” day. We’ll see how it goes.

I had my first major craving today. I was sitting at my desk after the bell rang working on the budgeting worksheets I’ve been creating, and all of a sudden I was like, “I need some chocolate!”  I know from reading It Starts With Food and on the Whole9life website, that cravings typically last between 3-5 minutes. So if you can distract yourself for a short time, the craving will pass.  Luckily I sent the documents to the printer and ended up talking to some colleagues so I completely forgot about it.

I have, however, not been able to shake the desire to munch today.  It’s not that I’ve wanted to munch on non-Whole30 foods (although I saw a picture for key lime cupcakes on Pinterest that looked heavenly!), the things I have wanted are nuts, maybe some dried fruit (another thing to limit)  and I know I’m not supposed to do a lot of snacking, I am supposed to eat when I’m hungry (determining the difference between actual hunger and a craving is a learned skill) but I just wanted to keep eating today. It could be due to the big P.

Dinner last night was salmon for me (Hubs doesn’t eat fish) and ground beef for Hubs (I don’t eat ground beef). I baked the salmon and had it with some roasted asparagus and broccoli.  The salmon wasn’t my best. I topped it with a hazelnut “butter” recipe from It Starts With Food.

I’ve been meaning to make some homemade BBQ sauce and mayo, so hopefully I’ll get that done tomorrow along with putting away the remnants of the Christmas decor.  There’s also laundry, general cleaning, etc.  The list never ends!

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