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.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Whole30 Day 4: Prosciutto

Another long evening in the kitchen. When you cook with normal, processed food you just throw the ingredients - already prepared - in the dish. Easy.

And it's entirely possible to do that with Whole30, as well ... but you have to pre-prepare yourself.

Thus my two hours cooking this evening.

The result was breakfast for tomorrow and Wednesday, crockpot dinner ready to just turn on tomorrow, Luke's lunch tomorrow, dinner tonight and cooked Turkey sausage waiting in the wings to be used for whatever we may need.

That's a lot of dishes, yo.

Overall we're feeling good but tired and a little weak. Luke said his workout was "hard," and my 3.2 miles of running up hills and into a stiff wind was, well, sucky.

And the dreams have continued. Suffice it to say -- don't watch the movie Flight. It's just not worth it.

And now it's 7:30 p.m. and I'm ready for bed.

But when I get-up? I get to eat THESE:

Those are prosciutto egg cups -- eggs, prosciutto, cherry tomatoes, fresh spinach, mushrooms. Excuse me while I get very excited. And the preparation wasn't really that bad -- just the normal chopping and sautéing. (Sigh. "Normal.")

For the turkey sausage I made today I used this recipe (since Luke doesn't dig sage. Which is sad. Because it's yummy in sausage). 

Now here's the rest of it --

For me: Eggs and leftover hash (yes, again) and coffee/coconut milk and fruit
For the boys: Egg scramble with leftover pork sausage and cantaloupe 
Luke: Three eggs of some kind of concoction 

For me and Luke: pork chop grilled with sautéed brocoli 
For the boys: yogurt and fruit

This chicken with carrot/cauliflower mash with a cutie orange. The chicken was ... eh ... but the mash was TASTY.

The dishes the whole thing created? Uncool.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Whole30 Day 3: Yucky Tummies

After cooking extravaganza yesterday, today we took it easy on the preparation front. It was probably a good thing, too, since both Dave and I are feeling a little bit punky.

Who knows what's wrong with David, but my fatal flaw was working out right after regular-sized lunch. If I plan to workout early afternoon I generally skip lunch altogether and down a shake after I'm done. But because Whole30 calls for three meals a day, I stuck to the schedule without thinking through lunch's proximity to exercise.

Fail. And upset tummy.

Otherwise my only other Whole30 symptom today was crazy food dream. I had a real-as-life dream that I was eating a truly delicious looking cherry pie made by Abigail. I dreamt I ate a few bites and then was ridden with a terrible guilt for doing so -- so much so that when I woke-up I spent some quality half-asleep time wondering if food you ate in your sleep really counts as having eaten it and if I'd have to start our Whole30 over.

Crazy, right?

Otherwise I'm feeling very tired. Which, as it turns out, is normal and expected -- as are crazy dreams. This was a very helpful list today ... and is prepping me for the "kill all the things" phase I apparently will feel tomorrow. Awesome.

By the way -- does it seem crazy to anyone else that just cutting out certain foods can have this much of an impact on a person?

Dave seems to be doing OK other than a little upset tummy. Luke has talked a lot about fast food all day -- so interpret what you will from that.

Here's what we've eaten today:

Me -- fried eggs and leftover sweet potato hash with coconut cream and coffee.
Luke and the boys -- scrambled egg concoction with a bunch of veggies

Dave -- grilled burger (somewhere between a meatball and burger size) and fruit
Luke and me -- carrot soup with, avocado, hard boiled egg and burger on the side.

We were going to grill pork chops. But I'm still feeling iffy, so Luke is playing chef and making a guac using fresh veggies and Chi-Chi's salsa which is Whole30 approved-seeming. He's also heating up some of the left over roast chicken.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Whole30 Day 2: Knifecapades

You'll recall I recently confessed to a chopping hatred. And so when someone in a Whole30 Facebook group I'm a part of posted a link to this simple chopping machine, I said "oh heck yes" and added it to my Bed Bath and Beyond list ... right next to "French Press." (Priorities, people).

And so after cutting, cutting, cutting carrots for soup, food for salad and fruit for kiddos, I asked Luke to please sharpen our knives, which he did ... and then I broke out that bad boy chopper to demolish some onions (my least favorite food to dice).

But to use it I had to cut the onion in half. With the freshly sharpened knife.

(Can you see where this is going?)

Thwump, the onion slipped from under the knife and kwop, the knife cut into my two fingers instead -- not badly, but enough for me to stand there gasping at the fact that I had just managed to slice myself. Because I'm awesome. And I've got skillz.

Luke helped me to bandaids. And then finished the onion business for me in addition to doing a bunch of other things that one cannot do when one cannot get one's hand wet ... like washing dishes (if you didn't know better, you'd think this was simply anti-dish antics! Bwahahah).

Today has been another big day of cooking, mostly in preparation for not having to cook later. I really dislike spending this much time in the kitchen, and frankly doing so is not sustainable. I have a job. And kids. Hopefully I can figure out a way to multitask making breakfast ahead of time while cooking dinner each night.

Before I get to the grub, though, let's talk about how we're feeling mentally and physically. This is the second day of no processed carbs and no sugar, and Luke is definitely feeling some cravings. He told me today that for breakfast at work he normally eats two slices of toast (on the way to PT), two packets of instant oatmeal and two bowls of cereal (all after PT). He really wanted a sandwich for lunch, but confessed that the shrimp salad creation he concocted up was excellent. He also said he is feeling low on energy, even though he's eaten a ton today.

Dave has complained about being hungry, but this is likely more because he hasn't been eating what I put in front of him. Poor kid misses his nutella sandwich. He seemed completely pleased with a banana dipped in almond butter, though.

And me? Well, I'm definitely getting the cold the boys had mid-week. I took an hour long nap and feel better rested but in no better health. Sneezing. Runny nose. The works. (Awesome). Even though it looks like a VERY sunny, comfortable day from this window, the high was 37. A run was not in the cards for me thanks to this cold, but that's OK. I'm happy for an excuse to stay in. I'm not missing my morning latte -- more a comfort item than a caffeine need -- thanks to my coffee maker and (starting tomorrow) my french press.

And we all managed to resist temptation, including free (gasp!) girl scout cookies in the mall AND left over Valentine's Day candy in WalMart AND the wafting scent of Auntie Anne's.

Now, back to food we ARE eating. First what I prepared today for later and then what we're eating for meals.


Since I gave up on finding ghee in this area, I clarified my own butter. It was time consuming, but hopefully will last a long time. Find the recipe and instructions here.

I made bone broth using the chicken carcass from Thursday. I used this broth as a base for the soup I'll talk about in a second. I used this recipe.

Tomorrow's lunch will be carrot soup (which you can find here). The recipe made a giant bowl full -- plenty for main course Sunday lunch and a side serving over lunch for a few days. The soup is creamy looking and taste tests reveal it needs some serious salt/pepper. Making it was EXTREMELY labor intensive, and I don't see me doing that again. (Chop the carrots, roast the carrots. Chop onion/garlic, sauté onion/garlic. Boil broth with ginger/thyme. Boil carrots, onion/garlic with broth. Blend it all up. = too many dishes). Luke is unlikely to be happy about soup for lunch, so I'll probably thaw a chicken breast for him. I'll be happy with it served next to a hard boiled egg or two.

Now, here's what we ate today (or are eating for dinner -- which is about 45 minutes away):

Leftover frittata from yesterday for me and Huck
Coffee with coconut milk for me
Fried eggs and sweet potato hash for Luke, Dave and Huck
Snack not long thereafter of banana and almond butter for Dave ... since I only cooked him two eggs instead of his normal three, and he refused to touch the hash.

Small handful of almonds for me since I was dragging (unclear whether dragging caused by getting sick or being hungry -- but it did make me feel better).

Roast chicken salad for me, this time topped with this vinaigrette dressing. I'll be using this one over and over again because I like vinaigrette and the recipe made a ton.
Spicy shrimp salad for Luke, using his own concoction of peppers and raw shrimp leftover from last night. He cooked it up and put it on the salad with raisins and the same dressing recipe we used yesterday. He said it was delicious. But you could tell he still wished it was a sandwich.
Yogurt (this is our only non-Whole30 allowance ... and it's only for the boys who I think need the extra source of fat and, frankly, a meal that's EASY for me to "prepare" around lunch) with fruit and avocado on the side for Dave and Huck.

Fresh roast chicken (same recipe as Day One) and crockpot baked sweet potatoes (just stick those bad boys in the crockpot on low for 8 hours and you're good to go). We'll probably have a side of fruit as well -- strawberries? -- and we'll be using the clarified butter on our potatoes. Leftover chicken will be popped in the freezer and I may make more bone broth with the carcass -- haven't decided yet.

And with that, day two is a wrap!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Whole30 Day 1: We Get to Eat Delicious Food?

On this, the first day of Whole30, I had a revelation:

I'm going to eat better and more guilt free for the next 30 days than I ever have in my entire adult life.

The preparation for Day One actually started yesterday. With Luke heading to the office today I knew I needed to arm him with good food for all day long. That means something for breakfast, a snack and something for lunch. So I spent a good chunk of yesterday afternoon making food for today. 

That meant a lot of chopping. Because when you eat a lot of vegetables, you chop a lot of food.

(I hate chopping).


First, I made a breakfast broccoli, mushroom, onion, sausage frittata that I knew could last a few days and wouldn't be too yucky if reheated.  Then, I roasted a chicken to eat on top of salad. And then I boiled a dozen eggs. And then, since Luke doesn't like vinegar dressings, I made mayonnaise to use as a dressing base.

And then, to top it all off, I realized that this is a four day weekend and I didn't need to do any of it.


Nonetheless, that stuff came in handy today when we had an easy breakfast waiting to heat, chicken to put on our salads at lunch and eggs for me to eat after my workout.

Now, remember when I said I realized that the next 30 days are going to include me eating a lot of really delicious food? As if the guilt-free avocado topping my salad or the really creamy coconut milk in my coffee weren't enough, check out what we ate for dinner:

Coconut shrimp. Fried. With a sides of asparagus and cantaloupe.

Oh, my lands was it ever good.

Now, I am 100 percent willing to admit that this whole thing is still a novelty, that I will get tired of the chopping (which really isn't THAT bad ... even though I DO still HATE it) and that ... and this is the biggest one ...

I'm going to crave a Diet Coke. And it might kill me.

I'm pretty sure the deliciousness that is my favorite comfort "food" is the only thing that has kept me from perishing in the past. And not having it miiiiiight kill me.

In case you are thinking about doing this as well, I'm going to try to post the recipes I use. It'll also be a handy place for me to find them again later. Cuz, ya know, I'm really disorganized. 

Breakfast: Sausage Frittata (modified and doubled to include broccoli, mushrooms, onions and be, well, bigger ... the only thing I didn't double was the meat). This is the sausage recipe, and this is the frittata recipe. And the whole thing was DARN TASTY. 

After workout "meal:" two hard boiled eggs.

Lunch: salad with carrots, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes, topped with something like this roast chicken (using dried herbs and skipping the butter ... and the stock ... and all the veggies but the lemon and onion). Topped with this delicious dressing using this mayo recipe as a base. Strawberries to cap it off.

Dinner: coconut shrimp, asparagus, delicious side of cantaloupe. Let me say it again just so we're clear: YUM YUM YUM. 

A Whole(30) Lotta Grocery Shopping

Because the Whole30 blocks us from using many common ingredients (cooking oil, flour, sugar, cheese, butter, alcohol .... etc.) you have to get creative to find non-processed, non-sweetened ingredients. Olive oil, coconut oil, coconut milk, tons of spices and a variety of vinegars are common ingredients.

And vegetables. Lots and lots of vegetables.

If you think I just coconut oil or almond flour laying around my house, you're wrong. And since all of our meals (that's three meals a day plus a bonus meal if you workout) are to include protein, veggies, fruit and fat, shopping was in order.

Oh the shopping.

I started the process by doing some comparison shopping. Since Clarksville has no health food store (because that would be WAY too easy) my options are WalMart, Kroger, Publix, the commissary and a produce stand.

I managed to find almost everything at the commissary -- and for decentish prices, too, according to my comparison shopping -- and the rest at Publix.

But still I managed to spend $200ish on groceries getting ready for this thing.

You read that right. $200.

Now, a pretty good amount of those - spices, oils, organic butter (which we can "clarify" and use) and the pound of light roast coffee I need now that my soy lattes are a no-no -- will last us awhile. And I still have two key ingredients -- avocado oil and coconut aminos -- to track down online since no one here has them. I'd say, though, that about $150 of it was groceries for just this week.

Just this week!

Holy grocery bill, Batman!

But you should see my refrigerator. It is jam-packed with awesome looking fresh produce and meat. Lots and lots of meat. Once we get over the diet coke cravings (and by "we" I entirely mean "me"), this is going to be delicious.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Whole30: All About the Experiments

The tagline of Bumble Thrift makes it clear: we're all about experimental living here.

Which makes it not at all surprising that we like making crazy, impulsive life changes. There was that time I decided to start cloth diapering. There was the time I wanted to make things a habit. And now there's this:

We're going to start Whole30.

Created as a month-long diet reset challenge by the people of Whole9, the Whole30 diet is designed to help you quit all processed food cold turkey. No dairy. No grains. No beans. No added sugar. No food with ingredients you can't pronounce or think "what the mother of crap is that" when you see it on the label.

Just real food. Meat. Eggs. Veggies. Fruit. Nuts. Seeds.

No hydrogenated blah blah blah. No oil smooshed out of a bean. No sugar, artificial or otherwise. No grains. No dairy.

You get the idea.

When Luke's chest pain was found to be caused by a 90 percent blockage in his LAD and he was forced to get several stints in lieu of deploying, he somewhat changed his diet. Bacon is rarely seen in our home. Egg beaters appeared in our refridgerator.

When David's skin problem was diagnosed as psoriasis large tubs of steroid creams made their home in his bathroom. We got the hair on his scalp to grow back.

When I had trouble getting rid of the baby weight after Huck was born -- even though I exercise like a fool and ran throughout my pregnancy -- I resorted to a low carb diet that leaves me hungry all the time and inevitably includes binge eating at dinner. But I lost weight.

Problems solved, right?

But the more I thought about these events and their "fixes," the more dissatisfied I became. Surely we can keep my 29-year-old, extremely fit husband healthy without resorting to fake eggs? There must be a way to help David's skin without resorting to steroid creams until at least puberty, when it may clear up on its own. There must be a way to be healthy without feel hangry 24/7. (hungry + angry = hangry).

Solution: the Whole30.

It sounds radical. I know it's going to be very challenging. People going through it for the first times report "flu like symptoms" as their body comes off of processed carbs. And, frankly, I might die from lack of Diet Coke.

But we're going to give it a try. For 30 days we're going to play by the book, doing our best to become healthy.

Here's what I hope happens over the next 30 days:

  • Luke's health increases and he's comfortable with eating natural foods without worrying about "heart healthy" labels.
  • David's skin clears-up without the use of "creams."
  • I drop some poundage, particularly in the stomach area.
  • I no longer feel like death when I contemplate leaving my comfort beverage, Diet Coke.
  • I become comfortable with idea of cooking real food and taking time to eat it.

My first Whole30 grocery day is today. Here are my fears:
  • Huck has a meltdown when it takes me FOREVER to shop due to label reading.
  • I'm going to drop dead from the price of "natural" stuff.
  • The commissary flat-out doesn't carry what I need.

Stay tuned!