Monday, March 11, 2013

Whole30 19-24 These Hips Don't Lie

It happened. Thursday evening, for the first time in a year and five months and a mere 7 days before Huck's first birthday I hit my target -- I wore my pre-baby jeans.

Once upon a time (ie before I got pregnant with Huck) I was in the best shape ever. I was interested in being more toned and more fit and less flabby here and there but overall, for the first time in my life, I was happy with my weight.

Since mid-last summer I have been working hard to get back there. I felt like I just Could. Not. Drop. The. Weight. While Luke was gone last July I got rid of a few pounds ... and then let them creep back on when he got home.

When I started seriously diet -- restricting my intake and basically being mildly hungry all the time -- I started to see the number creep down. But that's no way to live. I HATE calorie counting. I HATE the guilt. I HATE the nagging, growling tummy wondering why I think it's OK to just drink a light soy latte for breakfast.

Whole30 appealed to me because it offered freedom -- a way to break free from my slavery to dieting while, instead, just focusing on eating real food and getting away from addictive food that holds me captive and keeps from reaching my goals.

Now that we're a mere week away from finishing this whole thing, the meal planning and cooking and eating right thing is easy peasy. I've gotten used to the morning routine of cooking before I work  -- and I'm actually enjoying it. I like my avocado laden lunchtime salad. And dinner, while still a pain, has gotten much easier. Planning it is easier. I'm not laboring over finding recipes. It's almost -- almost -- sustainable full time.

That's not to say we haven't had some weird moments. I've had headaches almost every single day for more than a week and [overshare warning] a period like none other. And this afternoon I meditated upon how a cold, crisp diet coke would feeling rolling through my mouth. (I crave diet coke when my head hurts).

After much contemplation, a little internet research and asking a few folks I've determined that these things are due to the release of extra estrogen in my body thanks to all the fat burning I've been doing. Isn't that just fabulous?


It makes me think that, even though we are so close to the end and will definitely be taking a break day Saturday as we celebrate Huck's 1st birthday (WHAT?!) that I should keep going until I no longer get headaches.


What's up?

Anywho. Here's what we've been eating -- you can see I've given up entirely on writing down even the days of the week. And the only reason I remember any of this is because I'm looking at my menu from last week.

Day 19:
Crock pot mango chicken. Now, you're going to look at this. And you're going to think "wow that sounds fruity and spicy and AMAZING." And you'd be right. It totally sounds like that. But it did not taste like that. Neither of the kids would touch it. Luke soldiered through it like a champ. I ate fried eggs instead.

Day 20:
Butternut squash stew. I thought this was pretty good. Luke? Not so much. I just 10 minutes ago tossed the leftovers down the garbage disposal. And thus ends our relationship with that meal.

Day 21:
Meatballs. Again. Because they were THAT good.

Day 22:
Luke was at work late so we ate leftovers.

Day 23:
Hamburgers in cabbage "buns" (read: a cabbage leaf. There was no bun or bun shaped item involved).

Day 23:
Tomato soup for lunch -- mighty good -- and taco soup for potluck dinner with small group.

Day 24:
Meaty taco salad (with this taco seasoning) I was SUPER skeptical about this. But OMG was it good. And really easy! Amy wins.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Whole30 15-18: Whiter Teeth?

This is going to sound crazy, but I swear my teeth are whiter since starting this thing.

How that is possible I definitely don't know. But I swear it is true.

Whole30 people swear that you experience this giant burst of energy compared to your normal lifestyle. Well, either my normal lifestyle wasn't so bad to start with or they are wrong -- but I feel like I have just as much energy as I've ever had. Perhaps I'm dragging less mid-afternoon (prime nap time for all) but nothing super noticeable.

I have had a pretty killer headache off and on over the last few days. Since it's the end of the month ifyaknowwhatImean, I figure the headache is associated with that. Anyway, as it turns out the time that I really, Really, REALLY want a diet coke is when I have a headache. Like ... really.

But what is definitely NOT associated with that are my very sore tonsils which, if you look at them with good light in the mirror, you can see are SUPER GROSS. (You wanted to know that).

Translation: either tonsillitis or strep is in my future. AWESOME. I'm doing the whole sinus rinse/gargling bit with a prayer to keep sickness away, but if my history is an indicator this is going to be super fun.

Tomorrow nonetheless we'll be hitting up Boot Camp (provided Huck's nose isn't dis-gus-ting) and truck on with our normal lives. Because that is how we roll around here.

So what have we been eating? Well, I'll tell you! I'm so glad you asked.

Friday (Day 15): These chicken nuggets (and the sauce listed with them) with sweet potato fries. I'm sad to report that they are not as good as coconut fried shrimp. Bummer, right? Apparently the key to coconut fried shrimp being delicious is the shrimp part. Chicken just doesn't cut it. They were also a lot of work. Uncool.

Saturday (Day 16): The guys ate a burger for lunch while I went to a baby shower and ate some hard boiled eggs that I stashed in my bag. For dinner: grilled lamb steaks with asparagus. Yum. No recipe. Luke just did his thing. Funny story: we thought they were veal steaks because even I thought I was buying Lamb they were labeled "veal." It was like a mystery dinner.

Sunday (Day 17): For lunch we had this delicious butternut squash soup using bone broth I made from the chicken I roasted Friday for lunches. I love this soup. Luke does not. Dinner was meatballs (again), which we took to our small group.

Monday (Day 18): These chicken wings were pretty tasty with this "ranch" sauce. They weren't a ton of work and they hit the spot. Not sure I'll make them regularly, though.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Whole30 13, 14: Hellooo Half-Way Mark

First point, we've decided that this will actually be a Whole29. Reason? We really, really, REALLY want to eat actual factual pie in celebration of Young Master Huck's 1st Birthday/3.14 (pie) day.

Instead of celebrating ON his birthday/pie day, we're going to celebrate Saturday ... day 30. So we're going to cut this party short and eat honest-to-God pie on day 30.

I've been assured the Whole30 police will not fast rope from my ceiling if I break the rules.

The last two days have been full of improvising. I feel like that is proof that I finally have the hang of this whole thing -- that I can just whip out a non-pre planned Whole30 meal on the drop of a hat.

When I realized Tuesday night that I had failed to plan a meal for Wednesday (caused by me bumping Wednesday's meal to today so that we would have something in the crock pot while I tried to get ready for small group) I thought "what can I make?" Answer? Stuffed peppers.

And they were pretty darn good. Not elaborate. And they did not take a million years to cook. But they were Whole30 compliant.

And tonight? Paleo tacos -- basically taco meat (in this case pork from the crock pot) on ice burg.

I'm pretty sure this would've turned out better had the meat not weirdly dried out in the crock pot (I've used this recipe many times -- what gives?) and had someone (tall. male. you can probably guess who) not used the larger portions of the lettuce for something else earlier in the week.

Thus tiny, dry tacos.

(And I really dont like pork roast as it is).

But we're making it work.

As for how I'm feeling? Pretty darn good! Despite being up all hours with David (and his sick tummy) I'm not dragging. Luke confessed yesterday to actually LIKING the paleo foods. And what with getting used to the cooking ... I'd say we're made in the shade.

(Confession: I love cliches. And cliches equal bad writing. So I TRY not to use them in my day job. Which means you get more! Aren't you lucky?)

Here are the recipes for dinner. We've just been having the old salad/eggs stand-bys for lunch and breakfast, so I'm not going to list it out.

Stuffed bell peppers
Slow cooker carnitas 

By the way - I'm linking all the recipes I use to my brand-spanking new Pinterest account. You can see the Whole30 board here.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Whole30 Days 8-12: Lethargy


Is it nap time yet? No? How about bedtime, then? No, not that either?


You may have noticed (but probably don't care) that I failed to post Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday. That's because I was busy sleeping.

Last night, for example, I went to bed at 8:15 p.m. It. Was. Awesome.

Anywho. One of the reasons I was planning to post daily is because I realized there was a possibility that if I did not I would not remember what we had consumed.

It turns out I was correct. At least I've got "know thyself" nailed.

So, to the best of my apparently very short memory:

Breakfast - probably eggs
Lunch - probably salad
Dinner - Roast chicken with some kind of veggie.

Breakfast: this SUPER DELICIOUS "primal" oatmeal. A great pre-race breakfast.
Lunch: STEAK with seared asparagus (yum yum yum I was sooo hungry).
Dinner: Portobello burgers with sweet potato fries with homemade ketchup. 

Breakfast: Fried eggs and some veggie that I cant remember.
Lunch: Cauliflower soup. So tasty!
Dinner: "Breakfast for dinner" at small group. We took those prosciutto egg cups and these "pancakes" for the little guys.  I tasted them and they were pretty darn good.

Breakfast: Luke is having this breakfast lasagna. He says it's pretty good. I'm having eggs with sweet potato hash.
Lunch: Roast chicken salad with a side of mango.
Dinner: Chicken tortilla soup. It was pretty darn good.

Breakfast: eggs and sweet potatoes
Lunch: Leftover soups with a side of strawberries.
Dinner: These meatballs which I made last night but are in the crockpot now. They are YUMMY.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Whole30 Day 7: Onion Breath

It was our first Whole30 meal fail: this chicken stir fry meal.

Pardon my onion breath.

(Gross, right?)

Thursday is my busiest day. In the morning I clean as much of the house in an hour as possible, then I blitzkrieg the commissary, sprint home, put everything away while Huck naps, feed Huck, go get Dave. Afternoon is work for a few hours followed by more cleaning (to prep for small group at 6:30) and dinner.

Pre-Whole30 I saved an easy meal for Thursday nights. Easy like throwing chicken nuggets at the kids and while drinking Shakeology. Easy like heating a frozen pizza.


And so when last night rolled around and cooking an actual meal had to fit somewhere into my finely tuned planned ... and I was a half-hour behind stopping work .... well, you can imagine things were a little bit hectic.

It was the moment I realized that the meal I had just sweated over was an epic onion fail (and, by the way, I even used half the recommended quantity) that I determined this very important planning truth:

Thursday is going to have to be crock-pot day.

Here's what we did yesterday:

Exactly what we've had the last several days -- egg cups and fruit for adults, egg scramble with turkey sausage and fruit for littles.

Since I forgot to buy more yogurt ... more eggs for boys.
Me: Salad
Luke: Leftovers

Chicken Apple Stir-Fry. Please don't inflict on your friends the onion breath this causes.
Wilted spinach (tossed it in a frying pan for a few minutes with some coconut oil)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Whole30 Day 6: Open Letters

Dear Diet Coke and Crackers --

Why have I forsaken you? You were tasty. You made my brain so happy. You perked me up during the afternoon drag-time. When I needed a nap but had to blog instead, you were my constant companion. Your delicious salty crunch paired with bubbly awesomeness was just what I wanted. What in the name of all that is good and holy made me want to quit you and eat carrots instead? I don't even really LIKE carrots!

Still, I'm no quitter. Which is why we aren't going to talk for awhile. I promised that I wouldn't eat or drink you for 30 days. That means in 23 more days we can be BFF again.

There's a chance that during that time I may find I don't need you anymore. I want you to be prepared for that.

For now, loves, we are on a break. So please stop tempting me with awesome memories of delicious moments. It's not making this whole thing any easier.

With deepest love,


Dear Coconut Milk --

I won't lie to you. I was pretty skeptical that you would be delicious. I thought that I would really, super miss my morning soy latte. But while I am sad that I don't get to drink that (mostly because it's pretty delicious), you aren't so bad. I love the way your full-fat awesomeness pools in the top of my cup of French Press coffee like a little latte foam. And I love drinking full-fat anything without guilt.

Thanks for being you.

-- Amy

Dear Cod We Ate Last Night --

I was pretty sure I was going to hate you. You see, usually fish makes me kinda want to gag. I love shrimp, crab and lobster. I even love scallops.

But I do NOT love fish-fish ... like you, Cod.

It was much easier to eat you than I anticipated. I even made it through three-quarters of a filet! And you didn't even taste all that fishy.

So thanks for that. Because you were what was for dinner ... and if I didn't eat it, I would've been hungry and sad.

All my best.


Dear Commissary --

I have another date with you today and, just like last time, I'm bringing Huck. We've spent a lot of money on food this past week - and managed to eat about 95 percent of what we've purchased. Since our fridge was literally overflowing after our last visit with you, that's a pretty impressive feat.

I'm going to say this in the nicest way I know how:

Please, for the love of God, be nice to me today. Please have well-stocked shelves. Please have non-wilted/spoiling produce and, in particular, lettuce. Please, please, please have good prices on avocados.

And please don't hurt me.

At your mercy,



Kitchen time yesterday evening was around 1.5 hours. Sigh. I made a new batch of egg cups and very simply cooked dinner.

Over the course of the day I also menu-planned. Let me tell you -- menu planning takes a WHOLE lot longer when you have to plan more than a box of cereal for breakfast and three actual meals for both Saturday and Sunday. Really, it kind of sucks.

Since it was the evening before our weekly commissary trip, we were running low on food supplies and dinner was a conglomerate of whatever fruit, veggies and meat we had left. Here's how yesterday ended up looking:

Luke and I: End of the prosciutto egg cups
Boys: Egg scramble with turkey sausage, sweet potato on the side and an orange. [I cannot even describe how much food Dave ate yesterday morning. It was intense. And he ate EVERY last bite that I put on his plate].

Luke: Leftover roast, leftover carrot soup
Me: Last of the roast chicken, last of the salad lettuce, an avocado, vinaigrette dressing, last of the carrot soup. It was all pretty darn good.f
Boys: Yogurt for Dave, leftover egg scramble for Huck

Boys had eggs (yes, again) and acorn squash (link below) and strawberries.
Luke and I:
This cod -- which was pretty darn good.
Acorn Squash 
Last of the strawberries and blueberries.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Whole30 Day 5: The Cravings Start

I would like a Diet Coke now, please.

It's been five days of eating nothing but whole foods. And I'm starting to miss the other stuff.

You know, the crackers. And the dairy. And the Diet Coke.

Tonight as we dipped into a bowl of the carrot soup all I could think was "this would be amazing with heavy whipping cream. And crackers."

But of course it didn't. I mean, it was good as it was. But it would've been BETTER with those things.

Today was low key on the cooking front. I put dinner in the crock-pot last night and didn't do a blessed thing other than heat-up already cooked food until about half an hour before we ate. That's the kind of cooking I can get behind.

Here's what we did today:

Breakfast -
Luke and me: Those delicious prosciutto egg cups we made yesterday
David and Huck: egg scramble with turkey sausage (cooked-up yesterday)

Lunch -
Luke: Leftovers from dinner
Me: Salad with roast chicken and avocado. Trying to eat more fat so I won't be hungry two hours later .... it didn't work
Boys: Yogurt, fruit, almond butter

Dinner -
This roast (which I'm pretty sure was supposed to be beef but I made it with pork). Served with the left over carrot soup and kale chips. It was good if you like roast ... which I don't.

I'm wondering: will there be a time that I'm not exhausted at 8 p.m.?! Geez.