Kale Chips and Chocolate Chip Cookies

HALFWAY!! Woo hoo!! Insert Bon Jovi!! That song brings back such memories!  It was one of the only English songs on the Juke Box in our favorite bar when I lived in Puerto Rico.  Oh El Mirador, how I miss you.

So last night I made caramalized italian pork chops with sweet onion jam.  I could eat the onion jam with a spoon it’s so good! You can find the recipe for the chops and jam here.  While I made that, I also made some chili sans beans.  Hubs doesn’t like beans and they are not Whole30 compliant so I’m not eating them either.  The issue Hubs had with chili was the beans so I’m glad that he likes it without them – it’s another option for dinner.   The chili was for dinner tonight but I made it last night because it had to cook for 2 hours on the stove and I knew I wouldn’t have that kind of time tonight if we wanted to eat before bedtime.  Good thing I did because there was a faculty meeting after school and then I tutored a student for a half hour.  Also had to run an errand, so I didn’t get home until around 5.

So today when I got home from school I halved and roasted an acorn squash and then filled the soft squash with the chili. It was really good.  Recipe here.

Kale chips.  Where have I been?  They are amazing! Crispy salty goodness.  I can’t wait to try different seasonings: adobo, old bay, garlic. The possibilities are endless!! 🙂

On a completely different note: I made chocolate chip cookies tonight, or at least the dough.  It was the first time I felt strong enough in my Whole30 to bake something non-compliant and not feel like I would scarf the whole thing down.  Matt and I attend a deaf church once a month and they have a game night every month.  The cookies are for the game night tomorrow.   There was only two instances where I was slightly tempted to eat some of the dough: when a little bit got on my finger and when I added the chocolate chips.  Other than that, I just munched on the kale chips and I was good! 🙂

Three-day weekend ahead! Woohoo!


A Real Challenge

Today I was really challenged to look at my Whole30 and examine my true motives behind why I am doing it.  Everyday I get a lovely email fromWhole30 Daily that includes tips and encouragement for me. Today the email was about personal assessment. I don’t usually get to read the email until the evening but I took the time this morning before my first class to check it out. I’m glad I did. Sort of.

I’m really good at convincing myself of something and then sticking to it 100%. For example, I have told myself that I can’t have sweets for the month of January, so it’s almost like the cravings aren’t there as much because I’ve so convinced myself that I can’t have them (although Friday after school I had a whirlwind craving for some chocolate).

When I think about how Whole30 is so much more than just changing what you eat (it addresses the emotional and psychological aspect of eating as well), I want to give up.  I mean, honestly if it was just about changing what you eat at your meals it would be super easy:  Buy different food.  Cook different food.  Eat different food. Done.  But it’s not just about buying, cooking, and eating different food.  It’s about changing our emotional attachment to unhealthy foods that promise satisfaction and then fail to deliver.  It’s about changing your palette and improving how your body functions on a day-to-day basis. It’s about the realization that how you were feeling before doesn’t have to be how you feel the rest of your life.  You might not even realize how exactly you are feeling (you’ve felt the same your whole life and it’s always been fine) until you find out how much better you can feel.

It’s so much easier to just eat whatever I want and live with those consequences than it is to fight against myself to change for the better.   I feel like there is a big revelation of something I’m going to have to face right around the corner; I can just feel it looming.

To really get the most out of these 30 days I need to make my Whole30 mine.  Melissa (Hartwig, co-author of It Starts With Food) recently posted on Facebook: “We’ve created the Whole30 with as clear guidelines as possible. We’ve explained our rationale many times, in detail. But ultimately, YOU have to own your program… AND your results.” So my first thought was, “Well, if I make it my own, and decide for myself what’s OK, then I can have more fruit.”   But that would be taking the easy road and that would not help me yield the best possible results.

But that’s not the point!  The point is to follow the guidelines no matter how hard it is because that’s how you’re going to experience real change: physical, emotional, and psychological change.   And it’s going to be hard!!  It’s not an easy thing to change decades of eating habits/emotions/psychological ties in just 30 days (sometimes it takes a Whole45 or Whole60 to really break free).

All this ‘psychological’ talk might make me sound like I’m crazy and need a shrink.  I wish I could detail chapter 4 of It Starts With Food because it explains so clearly  the link between the food we eat and the emotional connections we experience. And why.

I’m really working to figure out the different things I’m feeling: Am I hungry or just bored? Am I hungry or is this a craving (which will pass in 3-5 minutes).  Why do I feel compelled to eat when the bell rings around 3:00 or I get home from school? I know it’s going to be hard to answer these questions and others I don’t even know I have.

On a different note, I made the salmon cakes from the book. They are really good! Still haven’t made the mayo…..