Whoops! I know I have been a little MIA, so please do forgive me! I’m in my last week of Whole30! Time really has flown, but I’m excited for this post because it shows all the goodies I have been making! As I mentioned in my last update, I wanted to try some new recipes to spice up my menu. Sometimes it’s hard to find recipes where I can remove the butter, cheese, a soy product, dressings, or sugar, and be left with something tasty. So where do I find recipes? So far, I have used the following sources for finding new recipes:
1. Pinterest – If you haven’t used Pinterest, it’s time to join in on the fun 🙂 There are so many great ideas for recipes, home decoration, organization, jewelry, crafts, you name it! It’s so fun and visual. And of course, Pinterest has an iPhone app which I definitely use about 5 minutes before I fall asleep…which leads to an additional 30 minutes of being awake. I have a board for Whole30 Recipes on Pinterest. This week I’m planning to make these avocados with eggs in the middle from one of my pins:
2. It Starts with Food – This is the original Whole30 plan written by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig, outlining the reasons for living Whole30 lifestyle, and what you should do after 30 days. It also has cool recipes in the back of the book! While I haven’t made any recipes directly from the book, I have borrowed ingredients and made my own. It does a great job explaining how to cook meats. I grew up in a vegetarian household, so this was very helpful for me! I made the Citrus Chicken recipe this past weekend:
3. Well Fed – This is another great book by Melissa Joulwan. This is pretty much a straight-up recipe book. I have made the olive oil mayo and roasted cumin carrots recipes which were both amazingly delicious! I had no idea mayo could be made at home so simply! I also didn’t realize the delicious flavor that cumin and cinnamon can bring out from roasted carrots 🙂 This book is really great, and it has beautiful pictures! I made these roasted cumin carrots a couple weeks ago (yes, I used purple carrots). This past weekend I made some more Olive Oil Mayo (it tastes like real mayo!), Cauliflower Rice Pilaf, and Nori Chips!
4. Nom Nom Paleo app: This is both a blog and an app! I had “liked” them on Facebook, and saw that they had an app with lots of recipes. It was $4.99 (I typically try not to spend too much money on apps), however, it had rave reviews! I figured if I were to spend less than $5 on a recipe book, I would be getting a deal, so therefore I bought this app 🙂 I recently bought this, so I haven’t made anything yet, however, I can tell that it’s a winner. It has great step-by-step instructions (with pictures!!) from making simple concoctions like bone broth to more more involved recipes like Stir-Fried Kelp Noodles. It also has cool features including a shopping list where you can add ingredients directly from recipes and some Paleo 101 for those new to the lifestyle. Also, the great thing about an app is that there are eventually updates! So I’m hoping that more recipes and features will be added. After I got the app, I checked out the blog which also has great recipes (you can also read the blog directly from the app!).
5. Whole30 / Paleo Blogs: I have been enjoying reading other blogs from like-minded folks. Oftentimes, they also have great recipes! Some of the blogs I have been following are: Civilized Caveman Cooking; Smart, Sexy, Paleo; Everyday Paleo; and Mark’s Daily Apple. This week, I’m planning to use my new slow cooker (YAY!) to make some Crock Pot Stuffed Peppers from Civilized Caveman Cooking.
So…this is how I’m venturing into a new world. I’m 3 and a half weeks into my Whole30, and it’s been really great! I think for my first time around, I’m doing pretty well. However, I’m happy that I’m incorporating some more variety for this last week. I’m looking forward to eating some of my new creations this week 🙂
This past weekend was full of wonderful celebrations! My husband and I drove down to Indianapolis on Saturday to celebrate the 1st birthday of the son of our dear friends. Of course, Sunday was Father’s Day. It was so great to enjoy time with friends we haven’t seen in some time. It was also a once in a lifetime experience to see 37 kids (most under the age of 5) in one place at once, lol. Just watching them all jumping around was quite exhausting. Sunday, we had a Father’s Day lunch and dinner which was wonderful as well.
Clearly, it was going to be difficult for me to stay on my diet when I could not have complete control over my meal choices. I always allow for myself to indulge a meal or two during the week that aren’t compliant, since that is just reality. However, being unprepared definitely got me in trouble. Saturday morning before we left, I made sure to have a bigger breakfast consisting of a 3-egg omelette with spinach and an avocado. As we embarked on our drive, I decided to only bring water with me. I did not bring any fruit or nuts to snack on. Clearly, when we arrived in Indianapolis, I was starved! So I immediately ate a sandwich and then ate tons of pasta and some delicious cake (I had planned on eating the cake beforehand). Everything was delicious, and I wasn’t beating myself up too much about it…but I know I could’ve prepared a bit more so I wouldn’t have taken that second serving of pasta and eggplant parmesan. On top of it, we were driving straight to my in-laws that evening, and I had not prepared a breakfast plan for the next morning.
I started thinking about where I went wrong in not preparing for the trip. Did I not have the food with at my disposal? Nope. Did I not have enough time to get it ready? Nope. Did I give up? Yes! Basically, I had already thought to myself, “I’m going to let go a little”. I did not decide how or when I was going to let go (which is what I usually do), which pretty much gave me the opportunity to eat whatever I wanted. So I failed in my thought process, which led to me choosing to not be prepared and eating unhealthy. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with letting go a little bit. However, for a person like me, who lacks self-control, this little goes a long way. I am positive that having a piece of fruit or nuts on the ride there would have staved off some of my impulsive eating for that day and the next.
The next morning, I had granola with milk and fruit for breakfast (fail). I meant to get some eggs, but since I had given up, this just didn’t happen. For lunch, I was able to be compliant, however, for Father’s Day dinner, I decided to have 1 crab rangoon. My parents don’t eat meat or seafood, and one order of crab rangoon had 6 pieces! Well of course I can’t make my husband eat all of those! Before I knew it, 3 of them were floating around in my tummy.
Inevitably, this all lead to me feeling irritable. I was annoyed that I let it happen, and this all led to negative thinking and being a victim to my own choices. This way of thinking is never good. On top of it all, I didn’t go to The Dailey Method for 2 days in a row, which I try not to do. But alas! This morning, I went to The Dailey Method and after 10 minutes I could feel myself becoming more calm. The stress I had placed on myself started trickling away, and I felt the ultimate release. Finally, I felt like my new self again 🙂
Overall, I think this is a lesson that it just takes on small thought to begin an avalanche of negative behavior. At the same time, I was so grateful to get back on track and to make the choice to get out of the negativity.
The best part of the weekend was seeing this face 🙂 He was such a birthday champ and is the most handsome little man I have seen!
Since I’ve started adhering to the Whole30 guidelines, most of my meals have been homemade. However, I have definitely found great options when I dine out. The tricky part is that I don’t always know whether the meat is grass-fed or organic, and sometimes sugar may be added to different sauces or marinades. While I want to be super rigid and perfectionistic about the program, I have to be realistic. Sometimes life doesn’t allow for me to be constantly prepared. Sometimes, I will have to eat out, and that is ok…at least it is to me 🙂 I do my best to find healthy options, and the rest of the time I try to eat at home.
I would have to say that this has to be my favorite “eating out” meal so far. I went to Mia Francesca in Lakeview this past weekend, and I ate some delicious salmon! It was served on a bed of asparagus and topped with tomato, onions, and avocado with a lemon wedge. It was such a great summer treat on a very warm day. The Francesca restaurants change their menus every couple weeks, and I just saw that this was no longer on the menu as of today! I’m so glad I ate it before the menu changed.
I also had a wonderful lunch at my mom’s house a couple weeks ago. She has been so wonderful and encouraging throughout my journey. My mom is an amazing artist, and this definitely extends to her creativity and presentation with food.
So there you go, two delicious meals! What are some creative things you have done to “ordinary” fruits and/or veggies?