Friday, January 23, 2015

Whole30-Week 3 Recap

Week 3 is finally done. Thank goodness! This has been the hardest week so far. I'm bored with food, I'm tired of reading labels, and I'm flat exhausted by even the thought of cooking another meal. Sadly, the kidlets do not agree so, back into the kitchen I go. I've been trying different things but, honestly, I'd really like to just order a pizza and be done with it.

On the flip side, my skin is clearer, I'm sleeping better, I have more energy, I seem to be healing faster, and I generally feel happier. I enjoy food more, and its tastier, even if I'm sick of being in the kitchen. I did call a mutiny earlier in the week and let the rest of the family order pizza while I hid in the bedroom with an apple.

Sadly, nothing camera-worthy was made this week.

Some ideas for the last week:
Kale Chicken Soup by Fresh Tart
Its January. It's cold. Soup for the win!
Coconut Oil-Poached Tilapia by The Paleo Mom
Fish recipes are always good to have. So far Hubby is the only one who actually likes fish so I'm constantly looking for new recipes to try and tempt my and the kids' palates. Something tropical like this? Might have a winner!

Garlic Butter Shrimp by Damn Delicious
Replace the butter with ghee and OMGeeee!! Doesn't this look good? Add a green salad and that looks like dinner to me.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Whole30-Day 14/15/16/17

A couple things we've been working toward for the homestead have suddenly fallen into place and I've been busy building, researching, and preparing. Won't say anything more right now but I am so excited!!

Chugging along on the Whole30. I've passed the halfway point, only two more weeks to go! I have more energy every day and Hubby says I look slimmer. I can't say my clothes are just falling off but I'm noticing small improvements that are consistently growing. It makes passing on my SIL's beautiful peanut butter and chocolate pie last night worthwhile.

My menu is beginning to get a little stale though. Plus, I need to go grocery shopping and make another double-batch of chicken stock. Not having easy edibles makes this experiment ten times harder than it needs to be. Its definitely the "endurance" part of the month: the cravings are mostly gone, I look and feel better, but dang! I am so tired of checking labels and worrying over food three times a day. I want to get back to the open-fridge/cupboard-eat style of food prep.

Speaking of food, here are a couple of my favorite dishes from the past couple days:

Elk loin steaks sauteed in ghee with roasted green beans and sweet potato

Grass-fed hamburgers with lettuce, tomato, and jalapenos on mushroom buns
And a quick rundown of eats:

Day 14
Breakfast: 2 tiny pork chops
Lunch: Big bowl of chicken soup
Dinner: Roasted green beans with crock pot chicken thighs (chicken, cranberries, onions, garlic, salt/pepper, and 1/4 c apple juice)
Snacks: 1 pear, 5 mandarin oranges

Day 15
Breakfast: Sausages, scrambled eggs, sauerkraut
Lunch: Skipped
Dinner: Hamburger (mushroom "buns", lettuce, ground beef, jalapenos, tomato, salt, and pepper)

Day 16
Breakfast: Cold pork chop (not in the mood to cook)
Lunch: tuna salad (canned tuna, mustard, homemade mayo, celery, cranberries, pickles) with carrots and an apple
Dinner: last of the tuna salad and an apple
Snacks: An apple

Day 17
Breakfast: Apple and pork chop
Lunch: skipped
Dinner: Elk loin, roasted green beans, roasted sweet potato

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Whole30-Day 13

Day 13 and all I want is to eat is junk.

It's not that I'm hungry. It's not even that I'm really craving anything specific. I just want comfort food. I want a big bowl of cheap-o ramen, or a burrito stuffed with cheese and beans. A mountain of taters mashed with butter and milk and plenty of salt and pepper with pools of melted butter trickling down it. Cinnamon rolls with extra icing. Chocolate chips cookies fresh from the oven, still warm and soft. Coffee cake with that crunchy-melty sugar topping. Banana bread made with extra bananas.


I can't even remember the last time I've eaten banana bread, or coffee cake, or even cinnamon rolls, yet that warm, chewy, sweet, bread-like substance is what I'm really thinking about. I don't know if that's because its cold and these items usually have lots of warm spices like cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg; or maybe its the combination of sugar and wheat that is driving me to pace the kitchen.

I'm grumpy. And sad (without any reason to be sad). And just generally down. The energy I've been bouncing around with the last couple days has ebbed away and I just want to curl up (with a plate of cookies preferably) and get lost in a book. I'm trying to focus on what I'm making for dinner and I've set a pot of orange peels and cinnamon sticks to simmer on the stove (occasionally smelling cinnamon has been enough to curb my food cravings) but mostly I'm trying to ignore that part of my brain and keep busy with other tasks. Not sure if its working but...the day is passing and so far no falls from grace.

Only 17 days more to go.

Brunch: Two big bowls of chicken soup (homemade chicken stock, carrots, chicken, celery, kale, and seasonings)
Dinner: Two cinnamon pork chops* (my chops were tiny! note to self, get the nice bone-in ones next time) and steamed broccoli
Snack: 3 mandarin oranges, 1/2 pear

No food pics today. Sorry!

*I found this Cinnamon Pork Chops recipe on Pinterest but I made a bunch of changes so it would be Whole30 compliant and I'm not sure if I quite like how it turned out. I think its an idea that has merit but needs a little tweaking first. If I get it to where my taste buds sing I'll share, promise.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Eating out Whole30 Style

Eating out while on the Whole30 is, quite frankly, a pain in the patootie. If you are like me and hate to grill the server on every aspect of the meal the best thing to do is to research online first. Which is why I spent a good hour checking out menus Sunday night (rather than surfing Pinterest). If any eatery is reading this-could you please create a search feature in your allergen menus? I mean, it would be so much easier to, say, type in No Soy, No Gluten, and then get a list of acceptable plates. I'm sure there are algorithms available!

Having a list of possibilities took away a lot of the eating out stress. Once we were seated instead of having to ask a bazillion questions I only had to ask a couple, mostly related around sugar since I couldn't find that info online. We ended up at Chili's, not exactly the mecca of foodiedom but it had big screens and Hubby had to watch the National Championship Game. I ended up with the Caribbean Salad (greens, pineapple, grilled chicken, cranberries, mandarin oranges, diced bell peppers, sesame seeds, green onions, and cilantro) sans dressing. Quite tasty, I especially liked the odd  flavor of pineapple and cilantro in the same bite-I have to experiment more with that combination.

Farmhouse Culture Kraut Smoked Jalapeno with scrambled eggs. Best way to get some culture in your life.

Quick Catchup Of Eats
Day 9
Breakfast-The last of the pork and cabbage soup, 1/2 a banana
Lunch: an apple
Dinner: pot roast, roast veggies (onions, carrots, mushrooms), green salad
Snacks:1 1/2 banana

Day 10
Breakfast: skip
Lunch: bowl of chicken soup
Dinner: 2 bowls of chicken soup, a banana, dessert of blackberries and coconut flakes

Day 11
Breakfast: 3 sausage patties, 1 fried egg
Lunch: skip
Dinner: Chili's Caribbean Salad (no dressing)
Snacks: 1/2 unripe pear, 2 slices of pot roast

Day 12
Breakfast: scrambled eggs and sauerkraut
Lunch: pot roast, carrots, salad
Dinner: taco salad (greens, seasoned ground beef, jalapenos, salsa)
Snacks: 12 satsumas

Friday, January 9, 2015

Whole30-Day 8

I had a dream about food last night. Cookies, cheesecake, really nasty greasy-spoon style scrambled eggs. burnt bacon, and toast all played a roll. Now, the cookies and cheesecake I understand but burnt bacon?? Come on brain, get with the program!

Also, even though I'm sleeping better than I have in ages, I want MORE sleep. More, I tell you! And I feel all flabby today, and whiny, and just...just...

Day Eightish....Whole30 Timeline.


Breakfast: Pork and cabbage soup
Lunch: Leftover chicken salad on greens
Dinner: Paleo Chicken Cacciatore with green salad and a couple home canned pickles
Snack: An apple

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Whole30-Week 1 Recap

Yeehaw! Week 1 is almost done! My sleep quality has improved in leaps and bounds, my energy is slowly increasing, and I feel like I've lost weight. I've only had a couple strong cravings, mostly wanting something sweet after a meal. Something like cheesecake or cookies; the berries and coconut chips just haven't quite been enough. My most difficult challenges having been working around dairy products, specifically butter, sour cream, and yogurt. Butter has been the hardest, I really need to make several batches of ghee to have on hand. I never realized how much I used butter and I keep running out of the ghee I have made.

So far this Whole30 has been a thousand times easier than last time. Only three more weeks to go!

Some of my favorite meals from the week:

Venison steaks marinated in apple juice, coconut aminos, and spices, then pan friend in goose fast with scrambled eggs and black tea. Best breakfast ever! The apple juice and coconut aminos removed all the gamy flavor and left an autumn sweetness behind. I can't wait to experiment more with this marinade.

Chicken salad made with homemade mayo (olive oil, egg yolks, seasonings, vinegar), dried cranberries, chopped celery, and spices over a bed of salad greens. I think I've finally found a mayo recipe that I like. Say goodbye to Best Foods!

No idea what to call this-pork and cabbage soup? After nibbling off all the tidbits of meat from a bone-in ham I made stock from the bones, then added carrots, celeriac, cabbage, salt, pepper, chopped onion, and tiny sausage meatballs. I'm betting kale or potatoes would be great addictions as well. Even the kids loved this soup (they did eat around the cabbage, or as Munchkin calls it "not lettuce").

And, just to catch up:

Day 5 Eats
Breakfast: Venison steak and eggs
Lunch: Skipped
Dinner: Meatloaf (ground beef, onions, seasonings), steamed broccoli
Snacks: 1 1/2 apple, slice of ham (small, thin) and a handful of carrots

Day 6 Eats
Breakfast: Slice of ham
Lunch: Chicken salad on a bed of greens
Dinner: Paleo stuffed cabbage rolls, green salad; berries and coconut flakes for dessert
Snack: 1/2 an apple

Day 7 Eats
Breakfast: 2 sausage patties, 3 scrambled eggs
Lunch: Bowl of pork and cabbage soup
Dinner: Roasted chicken leg and thigh, green beans, green salad; berries and coconut flakes for dessert
Snacks: orange, 1/2 cup chicken salad, handful of olives

Monday, January 5, 2015

Whole30-Day 4 (With Day 3 Blurb)

Day 4 of Whole30 and...ya know, I thought I was tired yesterday but that was NOTHING compared to today. I fell asleep during a conversation with my husband. And then while helping the kids color (which mostly consists of me guarding the crayons. After that one incidence they are only allowed two colors out at a time. I'm still finding marks on the walls.) And I totally missed breakfast, mostly because I didn't have the energy to actually cook and when Hubby asked what he could make me all I could do was stare at him and try to remember the names for different food items. Honestly, I didn't have the energy to be hungry...does that make ANY sense?

Hubs let me crash on the couch for an hour which helped. Unfortunately today was his only day off this week so we had a chore list a mile long. I finally forced myself off the couch to order several yards of mulch-aha! Now I HAVE to do something.

That would be three yards of walk on bark, also called hog fuel. Great for mud control, which is good since our yard and gardens are basically mud pits right now.

Three yards of mulch is a lot of mulch. Lots and lots and lots of wheelbarrow loads. Somewhere around the half-way mark I begged Hubby to come out and help and finally we got it all spread out. Take that sticky, Pacific Northwest mostly-clay mud!! By then it was getting late so all our other chores had to wait.

Of course it had to be approved by the Poultry Department.
Day 3 Recap:
Breakfast: Leftover chicken soup. Sadly the last, I need to make more now.
Lunch: Leftover roast chicken breast with green salad
Dinner: Three slices pork roast with sauteed cabbage and the veggies from the roast (onions, carrots, and apples)
Snacks: Handful of baby carrots, a green apple

Day 4:
Breakfast: a carrot stick and two oranges (spread out over 3 hours...I was REALLY out of it)
Lunch: Leftover chicken breast sliced and dipped in mustard
Dinner: Tuna salad (canned tuna, jalapenos, apple juice sweetened dried cranberries, mustard, and...*sigh* two tablespoons of Best Foods mayo. I was on auto-pilot and had it mixed before I remembered Best Foods is a no-no) dumped over a bed of green salad.
Snack: a green apple

First thing tomorrow I'm making a batch of homemade mayo.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Whole30-Day 2

Let the sugar coma begin! I'm not really sure I woke up today. I stumbled out of bed and drug myself from daybreak till now but I don't think I'm really awake. A couple evil gnomes pounded on my temples till nearly noon, then magically vanished. If I'd had my way I would have crawled back in bed and hid from the day but the two kidlets decided they wanted to do kidlet eat and run around. I compromised with My Little Ponies.

I did manage to keep my eats clean:

Breakfast. Inspired by Melissa Joulwan's hot plates recipes in Well Fed I sauteed a hunk of purple cabbage in goose fat and tossed in leftover taco meat. Munchkin asked if purple "salad" would turn her eyes purple, then proceeded to scarf up all of her cabbage. Tadpole was more interested in the beef, though she did try a bite of cabbage. This dish was about all I had the energy to throw together. It was fairly boring but it filled the belly. (We shared an apple as well.)

(Note blurry pic-this was the best I could do.)

Lunch was even easier-leftover chicken soup. I should have had a second bowl though, I was starving by 5pm. Half an apple, a handful of carrot sticks, and a couple bites of ham did little to silence the hunger pains. And of course, dinner took much longer to come together than planned. At least it was tasty:

Roast chicken (only half a breast-these were fairly big), green beans and bacon, and a big pile of green salad with carrots, dressed with some of the pan drippings. The bacon might not have been Whole30 approved though, it came from the local butcher so didn't have an ingredients for me to check. Something I'll have to remember going forward.

Later I had a small bowl of blackberries and coconut chips for a sweet:

Day 2 complete...can I somehow skip forward to Day 6 when the coma lifts?

Friday, January 2, 2015

Whole30-Day 1

Are you feeling a bit sluggish? I sure am, I pretty much splurged from Halloween on and all those chocolate chips and snickerdoodles are finally calling in their cards. And there are so many cards to call. Time to cut that nonsense out!

For January I am doing a Whole30-thirty days of super clean eating, eliminating all those items that can cause issues: sugar, grains, legumes, dairy, and alcohol. Yes, its restrictive but its only for 30 days. I last did a Whole30 in 2012 and it greatly helped me get a hold of the sugar demons.

I started out the day with a breakfast salad: a big bowl of salad greens sprinkled with crumbled breakfast sausage and topped with two fried eggs.

Lunch was a bowl of chicken vegetable soup with homemade bone broth and the last of the CSA veggies I've been hoarding. I can't wait till the Winter Farmer's Market opens next month.

By afternoon I was starting to drag, I just wanted to curl up on the couch and sleep the rest of the day. For supper I went with easy: spaghetti with a meat sauce. Having jarred red sauce on hand makes this one of the easiest dishes ever. I used spaghetti squash for the noodles and rounded it out with a green salad.

I also had an orange and a satsuma for snacks. Day 1 is complete-hey, that was pretty easy.