Almost Half Way Thru

I’ve successfully completed 12 days of NO DAIRY, SUGAR, GRAINS, LEGUMES, and nasty additives.

To be honest with you, I really thought it was going to be much harder and I would be miserable and craving and physically defeated. But I haven’t been. I’ve only had a couple moments of “Man, I wish I could have that” and it’s really nothing I pined over. Just a fleeting thought.

Tonight I survived eating out for the first time. We went to a steakhouse. I asked the waiter to make sure they don’t cook the steak in butter…he went and talked to cook, they were cooked on a grill/open flame and I reiterated no butter or oils. I got steamed broccoli and a baked potato without butter or anything. Husband ate the rolls …I didn’t feel inclined to eat them. It was nice. Sure they would’ve been good but I really didn’t feel a longing for them. Oh and I got unsweet tea expecting it to be gross and bitter but it wasn’t. It obviously wasn’t sweet..but I have learned that when you cut out sugar ….you don’t really think things are as bitter as you used to think. You notice more natural flavors when you remove the overwhelming sugar and additives. All in all I’m extremely proud of how I did eating out the first time. I will tell you that my first real craving/longing for something did happen tonight. I really wanted to order my buffalo chicken salad and ranch dressing! But I survived and left feeling satisfied and fulfilled.

I picked up some new food items at Whole Foods tonight that will allow me to have some things I’ve missed but still remain compliant. You can’t find compliant bacon or sausage at Kroger or normal groceries but I grabbed some at Whole Foods so that will help with mixing up the breakfasts and dishes. I also got a couple new things… one is a gazpacho soup… it’s green…but ingredients look yummy.

So I don’t know yet if this is a coincidence or a result of my diet the past 12 days, but I was having bad foot pain again a couple weeks ago. My plantar fasciitis was aggravated by me walking in a cast and having to adjust how my feet land…and the fact that I’ve had to rely on the left foot to be most of my support and it’s the one the fasciitis is the worst in. Well, I can say for the last week I haven’t had any foot pain. I’ve also been sleeping better. Not necessarily long enough because I haven’t been going to bed early enough but I am sleeping more soundly. Not waking up as often…I am super excited about that for sure! Now if I could just get to bed earlier I might actually get enough sleep. I still average around 7 hours, which isn’t too bad.

For the most part, these 12 days, I have felt in control. I’ve had to stay on top of having food ready and planning ahead. Oh! I almost forgot! Last weekend I survived a graduation party and a company picnic with free buffet at a ballpark! And actually, I had a good time ..saying I survived sounds like I was miserable. I really thrived… I had fun and didn’t feel left out. Graduation party served pizza, salad and cake. I had salad (no dressing) and water. And didn’t feel bad…at all. The ball park.. I took left overs from home and at them on the way to the stadium. Then I just drank water while others ate and chit chatted with coworkers. I again, having just ate I was satisfied and didn’t feel left out at all. When we went to watch the game, it was super hot and we were in direct sun… Vendors were walking around selling different stadium staples. I got a giant snow cone…but with no flavorings. So yes, I paid $3.50 for the ice. but as hot as it was, it was actually fun and refreshing. I ate shaved ice with a spoon. Again, not feeling like I was missing anything. I was pretty excited.

So far I am having a pretty successful Whole 30. I’m excited. I haven’t missed dairy nearly as much as I thought I would. I really think I am going to keep several of these habits and practices..with the occasional treat. The key really has been planning and thinking ahead for every meal. I always have several things cooked and ready to go in the fridge/freezer. It’s the only way I’ve been able to be successful. It’s worth it and I plan to keep on. If I can make this my forever habit then I will have no problems losing weight, especially when I can start really exercising again.

Cast comes off the foot on Weds. It can’t happen soon enough. It’s entirely too hot to be in a cast from toes to knee. I’m hoping he’s going to tell me I can start exercising again. Fingers crossed friends!

Alright, I’m off to sleep. I have to be awake around 5:30. Tomorrow is the Color Run. I registered back earlier this year way before this ankle business. I won’t be able to run it tomorrow but my best friends are and I’m going down to support and cheer. It’ll be a fun time. 🙂

Advertisements

Whole 30…. what?

So for the past few months I’ve been learning and researching and reading and planning a Whole 30. What is Whole 30 you ask?

Well… I will first tell you that you should read It All Starts With Food, by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig. This book, available in e-reader format as well as printed copy, will explain the science behind, the results found, many many testimonies, and every detail surrounding what Whole 30 is.

But, in my own words, I will try to explain it and not send you running for the hills…

It is 30 days of clean eating, essentially an elimination diet where you refrain from certain foods for 30 days. This is to give your body a reset, and clean slate, so to speak. By not eating certain foods that are known to disrupt our health, you give your body time to heal and recover. Then you can slowly try those food groups again to see if they are issues for you. It is also a time to deal with sugar addiction or food addictions in general. The entire plan is about eating good clean foods, eliminating certain food groups, and creating healthy habits that will no doubt carry you beyond the 30 days.

What Whole 30 is not – It’s not a lose weight in 30 day plan. In fact, it’s not about losing weight at all. Most people do lose weight, but it’s not the goal of the plan. The plan is to break away from junk food, detox and recover, and then learn how to cook and prepare good healthy foods.

Doesn’t sound too bad does it?

Well, in theory it’s not. However, let me tell you what foods you cannot have…

Grains (of any kind), sugar (of any kind -not counting natural sugar in fruit and vegetables) legumes, or dairy.

What, hold up. Are you serious?

Yep.

This is where I point you back to the book for all the details and sciency stuff. But there is reasonable cause to believe that those food groups do not add a whole lot nutritionally to our bodies, and in fact, are the main cause for a lot of the ailments, diseases and sickness that we find. A big one is inflammation.

We all know inflammation is “swelling”.. and yea, in general it is. But it is more than I think most people realize.

Medically speaking, any term that ends in “-itis” is essentially a form of inflammation.

Arthritis, gastritis, colitis, bronchitis, pancreatitis, appendicitis, conjunctivitis, plantar fasciitis, cystitis, etc. I could go on all night.

My point is that there is reason to believe that many of our ailments are due to the foods we eat. If you want hard core proof, go read the book….watch many of the free documentaries online about our food industry, etc. It’s hard information to swallow at first but it sure does motivate you to do better. When you know better, do better. I’m sure someone important said that.

Anyways, so I am writing to you from my 2nd day of Whole 30. I’ve not had sugar, grains, legumes, or dairy for 2 whole days. LOL It takes a lot of planning and forethought. Yesterday I had quite a bit of anxiety which was not expected, especially since it was day 1. I ate breakfast around 6:30 a.m. and for some reason from 10:30-11:30 all I could think about was eating something or not eating something and lunch. I wasn’t physically hungry. I think my mind was just racing too much about the next meal…even though I had it all packed and prepared at work with me.

I did learn yesterday that I didn’t plan enough food. I didn’t have nearly the amount of vegetables I should have had. I had good food all day just not enough, so I think that contributed to my feeling uneasy or unsatisfied… I’m not sure. I just sort of stressed out about it all. I guess that first day seemed daunting.

Today I added a lot more veggies and I made sure to get healthy fats in and I’ve felt good all day. Days 3-4 worry me a bit as I fear I will be in full on detox mode…but hoping I can manage all that well… I feel like I’m doing a great job considering. I have been very proactive about meals and clean up and pre planning. And I’ve got accountability. My buddy Tracy is doing it with me and I’m in two separate groups on Facebook that are great for bouncing meal ideas and questions off of. Also been talking a lot with Christin who’s doing it too..she read the book in a matter of 24 hours so we’ve been texting a lot about it too. It’s harder for her as she is a vegetarian.

Anyways, I’ll be back with more details as this journey progresses. 28 more days to goooo………….

Vegetable Soup – Sun Feb 09th

This week I am doing a vegetable soup…it’s a recipe that was passed on to me from a friend. 🙂 Since we’ve been under a solid sheet of ice and snow I figured soup was in order!?!

20140209-222427.jpg
The original recipe called for 4 beef bouillon cubes and 4 cups of water. I just decided to use what I had on hand so I went with 4 cups beef broth which is just 1 of those containers.

4 cups beef broth
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 pkgs frozen mixed vegetables
1 clove garlic, minced
Half small head of cabbage, chopped
1 (large) can crushed tomatoes (pictured above crushed tomatoes with basil)
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Put in pot and simmer until cabbage is

20140209-223648.jpg

Easy as can be! I haven’t figured up the calories to it yet… But I divided that pot full in to 5 lunch portions for the week. Can be too bad…

All set for another week. I’ve got some fruit and things for snacks and breakfast.

Due to work constraints I didn’t get to work out last week… So I am really anxious to get back in gear this week. I really do miss it and it is amazing at how much better I feel physically (even when I’m sore!)…

Happy prepping…. Set yourself up for success this week!

Grilled Lime & Taco Chicken Bowl w/veggies – Sun Feb 02

I found this recipe/meal on Pinterest. Click here for the direct link to the originator of this meal.

Grilled Taco & Lime Chicken:

This is probably what sold me to try this dish. I love finding new and different ways to flavor chicken. I decided to marinade the chicken for a few hours and plan to grill it later this evening.

1 lb chicken
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
2 limes

I trimmed the chicken, put it in a plastic baggy… dumped in the spices, squeezed the limes.. and shook it up good; making sure everything is good and coated then I put it back in the fridge.

I’m putting it together with roasted vegetables and brown rice. I decided to try some new things, again my whole goal in these weekly meals aren’t just to tell you what I am eating but it’s also to discover new foods and ways of preparing. It’s not necessarily a new way to prepare but something new I’ve never done before. I am also trying to eat as cleanly as possible.

So to pair with the chicken I’m roasting cauliflower and asparagus. I had a tad bit of broccoli left over so I decided to toss it in as well. Roasting vegetables is easy…but I didn’t realize that until tonight.

IMG_20140202_141325_485

Preheat oven to 375
I cut up and washed the cauliflower and spread it evenly over a 9×13 cookie sheet.
I then snapped the ends off the asparagus and washed them really good and spread them across a smaller cookie sheet.
I drizzled extra virgin olive oil over both pans, tossed both veggies around a bit to evenly coat. Then sprinkled with kosher salt. Asparagus cook time: 7 minutes (or so…) and cauliflower cook time: 10 mins (or so…)

IMG_20140202_151915_806

 

 

 

I cooked up some brown rice (under the veggies in the pic) Honestly this is probably too much food but considering it’s all fresh vegetables it’s alright. I will grill  up the chicken later and put it on top and the dish will be complete!

Maybe I’ll get Mr Y to eat some for lunch… I probably could divide this up into 2-3 more meals.

Anyways, Happy Super Bowl Sunday… May the odds be ever in your favor!

p.s. Happy prepping 🙂

January – review of meals

I decided I would do a quick review of the recipes and meals I made in January and tell you what I liked and didn’t like. I would love your feed back… any and all feedback is greatly welcomed! I am not a pro… I am a regular girl, no special cooking skills to speak of…trying to learn new recipes and better ways of preparing food at the same time planning my meals and sharing the results. Despite what anyone may think, I actually do this blog more for my own sake than anything but I love hearing that it is inspiring and encouraging others. We learn and grow from each other so any of my readers are free to comment and tell me what they think, tips, tricks, and advice.

So in January I made oven baked fajitas, “skinny” tuna salad, and a chicken veggie wrap. Two bonus items I made was an oatmeal breakfast dish and kale chips.

I was super excited about the oven baked fajitas. I really liked them and it was a so easy to do! It was a bit spicy and got to be a tad overwhelming by the end of the week.. just from eating a spicy Mexican dish every day for lunch. Not to mention that I had a chicken tortilla soup that week for dinner that was a tad spicy as well. So next time I’ll probably tone down the cayenne pepper some and eat milder dinners and maybe my digestive tract won’t hate me as much. 🙂 but for what really counts… it was very tasty, easy to make and pretty “clean” I believe. Click link for more details on that recipe.

The tuna salad was really good as well. A little more hands on in preparation for slicing, dicing, measuring and mixing but it was well worth it. I learned something new with this dish and it is the flexibility of using cottage cheese and plain non-fat yogurt in place of mayonnaise, etc. I really expected not to like this dish at all so I was pleasantly surprised…..if you are a tuna fan I really encourage you to try this dish. Like my hubby says.. “don’t knock it until you try it!”

So the oatmeal dish I posted as a breakfast was not something I liked. I don’t know what it is, I am still struggling with coming up with a oatmeal breakfast dish that I will eat and enjoy. The one I posted (see link above) was no different. It tasted bitter…bland…and just… not good. I’d be interested to hear if any of you have oatmeal dishes that are good or have good breakfast ideas… because breakfast is a struggle for me.

And that leaves us with last weeks post, which was a chicken wrap with vegetables and kale chips. The wrap was really good. I loved it.. I know that recipe/idea can be improved upon because I didn’t have the greatest “wrap” and I couldn’t find a hummus that I wanted to try. It was a good dish and definitely something I will make again.

The kale chips did not work out for me. I have never made them before so this was a test run. I may try again and tweak some things. They were crispy right out of the oven and tasted okay.. definitely something that I would have to get used to..but I could see the appeal. I expected that they would last throughout the week but they didn’t. The next day they had wilted down some. They were still some what crispy but had become very chewy and seemed to me the bitterness was stronger. I ate a few of them but then had to toss them. The concept with this lunch was sort of like a sandwich and chips. I did a wrap instead and the chips were to be kale chips. It was a nice idea…but you win some and you lose some. It’s all a part of the learning experience and the journey. 🙂

So we’re into February now! I don’t know about the rest of you, I can’t wait for spring. I don’t mind the winter but we’ve had a lot of snow here in the Ohio Valley, along with arctic temperatures and I’m over it! I am ready for spring and summer where I can get outside for some exercise and also fire up the grill! But the part I am most anxious about is all of the farmer’s markets!! You just can’t beat fresh produce!

Somewhere sunny and 75 is what I need…. 🙂

Whole wheat wrap, chicken & vegs with kale chips -Sun Jan 26th

So I am kinda making up my own thing this week. I browsed and browsed for something similar that I could follow and couldn’t quite come up with something I’d want and or wasn’t too complicated. I had already decided that I wanted to do a wrap of some kind but there are a thousand types of wraps out on the web and so I figured I’d might as well make it a thousand and one.

I do need to remind you that I am learning as I go. I don’t pretend to have it all figured out and I am almost positive that my recipes and meals can be improved upon. I am just trying new things and adjusting as I go.

I don’t have any pictures for you yet because this will be something I’ll have to take after I assemble at lunch time tomorrow. But I will give you the outline of what I am going for…

I have whole wheat tortillas… I was not super enthused about my choices of “wraps” at Wal-mart and we were shopping in a hurry ..but this is a good lessen to take from me… don’t shop in a hurry and go to more stores if you have to. But this is where I am at this week. I am just being real with you. 🙂

Okay, so the whole wheat tortilla’s are what I plan to “wrap” with. 1 tortilla is 170 calories.
I have “shredded” chicken that I cooked earlier. I just boiled it. I’m not exactly sure how much I plan to put in each wrap but probably between 3-4 oz each. I have sliced up (peeled) cucumber and sliced tomatoes. I also bought an organic “spring” mix of baby spinach and other greens.

I debated a long time on some sort of dairy… whether to go with cheese or something else.. or try something like hummus. I was going to go the hummus route but once again, last minute shopping at Wal-mart left me with few options and I couldn’t find a flavor to go with what I have going on. So I got some feta cheese..which 1/4th cup is 80 calories but feta cheese is one that very little goes a long way…so I probably won’t eat a full serving at once. My other option if I don’t go the feta route, I got some Laughing Cow cream cheese spread which is a garden vegetable flavor. 1 serving of it is 45 calories.

So….
Screenshot_2014-02-03-22-20-22-11 tortilla (170 cals)
3-4 oz shredded chicken (120-180 cals)
1/4 cup feta cheese (80 cals) or 1 wedge laughing cow cream cheese garden vegetable flavor (45 cals)
1/4 cup cucumber (4 cals)
2-3 thin sliced tomato (3-5 cals)
1 cup Baby spring mix (spinach, etc) (6-7 calories)
…. So somewhere between 380-400 calories depending on your serving sizes of each ingredient.

I also made kale chips for the first time which is pretty easy to do though I’m not quite sure how much I’ll like them. They aren’t bad… they are just different. 🙂

Preheat oven to 350
1 bunch of kale -washed dried, torn off stems into 1-2 inch leaves
approx 2 tbs a healthy oil… I used extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt to taste…(after baking)

Spread kale pieces onto parchment paper on a baking sheet. Make sure they are not on top of each other and laying fairly flat. Put in oven for approximately 7 minutes… adjust if you need based on your oven. My original instructions suggested 10 mins but my first batch was bitter and a bit brown. So I went down to 7 minutes and they were just right. Sprinkle with sea salt once they come out of the oven. I’m storing mine in an air tight container on the counter.

My plan is to have the wrap with kale chips for lunch this week. 🙂

That’s it for now. I must go. My four legged baby is insisting to be held which makes typing super difficult. I’ll follow up with pictures and my thoughts after I eat tomorrow.

Happy prepping!

Breakfast! BONUS POST

What what? Here I am again! Having just posted my lunch plan for the week, I thought I would share with you what I plan to do for breakfast! Breakfast is my biggest struggle… I just haven’t found many good breakfasts that are easy to do. I don’t always wake up early enough to cook up a big ol deal and need something quick and simple. I’m not committing to posting breakfast every week like I am lunches… I am just sharing since I have one this week. 🙂

This is another recipe I found off SparkRecipes.

Coach Dean’s Blue Oatmeal

1 cup 100% natural whole grain oatmeal
2 tbsp ground flax seed
2 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tbsp unsweetened dry cocoa powder
1/2 cup blueberries (mine are frozen/unsweetened)
1.5 cup water.

Bring water to a boil in pan.
Meanwhile, mix all dry ingredients in bowl. Then add to boiling water.
Reduce heat to low and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until desired consistency.
Stir in still-frozen blueberries after cooking.

Spark recipes says the calorie count is 214.2 and that this serves two. So I will most likely half it for just me. – I haven’t tried it yet but we’ll see in the a.m. I know I’ve read and heard that oatmeal is a good breakfast food because it’s filling and high in fiber so it helps when trying to lose weight. Blueberries are an excellent anti-oxident fruit… not sure why this recipe wants them frozen… but none the less.
It could probably could be made healthier if you don’t use brown sugar and the cocoa powder. But I’m going to try it as is and then see what I can do to improve it.

Anyone have any suggestions?