R1D30 – Whaaaaaaaaaaaat???

So the MAIN reason I started this blog was to keep myself accountable through my Whole 30 journey.  Sure life got busy and I didn’t find myself posting much…BUT, the truth is…I also didn’t need to force myself to stay compliant on the program.  It *just* happened!  How exciting is that?!

Whole 30 is more than a weight loss program, its a way of life…a way to jump start great eating habits, curb bad habits and cravings, and for me…a great way to find new recipes that I never would’ve imagined!  With just my dinner remaining until these 30 days are complete, I find it hard to believe that I prepared 90 straight meals at home in 30 days.  Much of it meant bulk cooking and reheating…but I’m not sure I’ve ever been able to mutter those words.

A lot of people say “oh that program is EXPENSIVE” to follow…but some things I learned along the way:

  1. Restaurant eating and take-out gets VERY expensive.  We don’t do it often, but it adds up. It was easier to not do either while on the plan, although you certainly can pull it off…
  2. Not spending money on random snacks and beverages (like soda) throughout the day that aren’t good for your body!  My husband joked earlier this week that he has had the same $2 in his wallet for the past few weeks now.
  3. When you spend time and money on making good food, NOTHING goes to waste!  Nowadays its rare that I throw leftovers out…when before Whole 30, I would find reason to pass over a certain dish and make something else.  Not smart!
  4. Alcohol ain’t cheap either.  We don’t drink a lot, but to not spend a dime on alcohol for 30 days really adds up!
  5. Vegetables are worth the cost – you really can fill up on them if you create a balanced plate.  I’m looking forward to our farmers market starting up again and supporting more locals on the stuff I eat all the time.

Although weight loss isn’t the foundation of this program, its certainly a perk.  I’m looking forward to tomorrow morning…not really sure the last time I was excited to step on a scale.  I will also take measurements and my “after” pictures…  These won’t be my final “after” pictures at all…I plan to stay fully compliant until at least Day 45 when my hubby’s program will be up.  I may have a celebratory glass of wine at that point.  I still have a ways to go, but I am excited about what I have accomplished in 30 days and can’t wait to see what else is to come!

R1D14 – Carrot Salad

I’m trying to bring more raw vegetables into my diet – I like the crunch and the freshness in the flavors.  So after Googling a couple recipes, I pulled together the following last night and it was great!image

I spiralized 6 large carrots, grated an apple (next time I’ll just take the time to cut it), chopped up some walnuts, and added some Tessemae’s Lemon Garlic Dressing  – very refreshing!  I’m excited that my local grocery store now carries the Tessemae’s line…the Lemon Garlic is all I have bought so far, but see myself slowly trying the others, and maybe the ketchup.

Enjoy!

Day 10 (R1D10)

Somehow I made it through a whole work week and didn’t even post…life has been a tad busy…

I made it through “I need a nap”, “my pants are tight”…and now am in the midst of “the hardest days”.  I need all of good vibes to get through the weekend!  All I keep thinking is that in about a week, I may be feeling some Tiger Blood!

All in all, I think the plan is going really well for me!!  I purposely force myself to think about cheese or pasta or sweets…and in all honesty, I’m satisfied enough with what I’m eating that those ideas come and go with no second thoughts about them.  I’m lucky that the first few days of this didn’t bring any awful symptoms.  I think I felt a little fuzzy headed, but thankfully never any major sugar withdrawal effects – woo hoo!

I think I’m going to take a break from daily posts about my food, unless its something I REALLY want to share…like a recipe or a particularly good meal.  I post every meal to my Instagram account (link above), so I think most of this will focus on my experience, how I feel, tips and tricks with my favorite gadgets and how I’m making my way through.

Have a happy whole weekend!

First Weekend – Days 4 & 5 (R1D4 & D5)

So the days of “kill all the things” landed on a weekend, grrrrrrrrrrrrrrreat.  Saturday  morning started off ROUGH after a late night, many wakeups and a VERY early morning (4:30 what?) with our 2.5-year old…so I had lot against me rolling into this “fun” phase.

imageOnce the morning got rolling, I made a very simple breakfast and a BIG coffee.  I quickly steamed the asparagus, scooped out the avocado, fried up an egg, and warmed up the rest (well, not the pineapple…which my daughter ended up eating anyway).

 

 

 

imageAs we were doing things around the house before having family over in the afternoon, I put a spaghetti squash in the oven and tomato sauce on the stove (both recipes are from the Whole30 book)…and both delicious!  Heated up the leftover pork for the last time, along with asparagus again…and added on cataloupe and walnuts.

Weekend eating has always been VERY tough on me…  If I was to have breakfast, it would’ve been right away or mid-morning…which doesn’t help in getting lunch done at the right time and then dinner comes quick after full weekend days…so I’m willing to bet now that I look back, I over-ate a lot on weekends.  And lunches especially would be done on a whim…and never very great for me.  I’ve never been a big fast food person, that’s a good thing…so my idea of a fast food lunch on a weekend would be Subway – not awful, but what was I filling myself with?  Not at all close to the nutrition I now get with each meal!

We had a bunch of family over for my Mom’s birthday Saturday afternoon and thankfully we planned a Whole30 meal as my Mom, sister and brother-in-law have successfully completed their programs and continue on them in their own way…but also because I’m only just starting…  With kids running around and bellies rumbling, we served up as as soon as we could and I didn’t end up snapping a pic of my food.  It was fantastic though – I filled my plate up with Delmonico steak, grilled shrimp, green beans and a potato with dump ranch.  So good, and tomorrow morning I get to have steak and eggs for breakfast thanks to that delicious dinner!  I did skip out on the dessert, strawberry shortcake, and opted for a decaf coffee with coconut oil.

Sunday morning we woke up to snow – SNOW IN APRIL!  I’ve had enough.  Thankfully sleep was better, so I woke feeling much better about the day…but it really seemed like no matter what we did, my child wasn’t happy.  So the day was a struggle – was it a “kill all things” day?  Not really…but  man, it wasn’t easy either…  I think I’m also starting to feel the day 6 effects of “I need a nap”.  That should be fun since it falls on a MONDAY.

imageBreakfast was mostly leftovers as usual…only having to cook the eggs up.  Green beans, broccoli, egg roll in a bowl and sweet potatoes.  I don’t know why it feels so strange to eat such savory non-breakfast things for breakfast, but it does!  I’ve been an adult for long enough, but have always stuck to true breakfast foods.  Why not just eat what you like and what your body wants?

 

 

imageWhen my sister visited on Saturday for my Mom’s birthday, she arrived with compliant kielbasa for me!!  Sounds so simple, but it made me so happy.  For some reason, my grocery store doesn’t sell the compliant kielbasa that the same chain carries just a few miles away!  So from now on, my sister will be my kielbasa supplier.  So I was certain to make it part of a meal this weekend – cooked it up for lunch, along with leftover potato and green beans from last night’s dinner, some dump ranch, grapes and and walnuts rounded up this tasty lunch.  Although I seemed hungrier leading up to dinner more than usual…

As I said earlier, we woke to snow today – but I couldn’t stop sneezing…my allergies were INSANE.  But really?  Allergies with snow outside??  My sister mentioned that this could very well be part of my detox – well, I don’t like it one bit!!!  Even a dose of Zyrtec was unsuccessful.

Since it was Sunday, it was time to get some prep done for the next few days…so I made the guacamole from the Whole30 book (yum!) and roasted some veggies:image      image

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For dinner, I made one of my pre-Whole30 favorites…a balsamic chicken slow cooker meal that I would serve over spaghetti.  I figured it couldn’t hurt to try the recipe without the 1 teaspoon of sugar (the only non-compliant ingredient) the recipe listed…and it was just as delicious as always.  So for me, I served it over spaghetti squash, added green beans, a garden salad with dump ranch and some cashews for crunch – all very satisfying.  The chicken recipe can be found HERE.

So I made it through the “kill all things” phase…hopefully…  And I’m glad to say that for 5 days, I have remained on plan and am forging ahead.  My breakfast plate for tomorrow is made up and ready to be heated – not a bad way to start a Monday!  Thanks for reading!

Day 3 (R1D3)

Happy Friday – here we go again!  Day 3 started off early thanks to my toddler, but it didn’t take long to look forward to breakfast!  With the weekend ahead, I plan to cook up some of my favorites so that throughout the week, I’m mostly heating up sides.  I have found that if I create my breakfast plate the night before as I’m putting dinner away, it saves a LOT of time in the morning.  So before I went to bed on day 2, my breakfast plate was ready to go (not including the eggs, avocado, or dump ranch).

imageBreakfast:  chicken & apple sausage, 2 eggs, 1/2 of an avocado, steamed broccoli, sweet potatoes with dump ranch, zoodles and strawberries (which ended up being eaten by my daughter)…  I definitely prefer a small amount of different veggies on one plate instead of just one or two – hopefully I can keep up on the prep so it continues to be so easy!

 

 

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Thank goodness for leftovers from the last few days/nights…makes for an easy lunch!  I really can’t get enough of the random butternut squash puree I accidentally made yesterday, so will be making that “recipe” again soon!

Lunch = chicken salad on greens, butternut squash, baked fries with dump ranch and raw cashews…I LOVE cashews!

 

 

Friday mornings are when I take my trip to Sam’s Club after daycare drop-off.  For the last 1.5 years, I’ve had the premium membership…SO worth the money because you can shop for HOURS before the store opens!  So the place is always dead and I can fly around and get out of there in about 15 minutes…  Today was my first trip since starting Whole30 and if I thought I used to buy a lot of produce, holy heck do I buy ALL the produce now!

imagePictured here:  2 pounds peppers, 2 pounds avocados, 2 pounds lemons, 2 pounds strawberries, 1 pound blueberries, 2 pounds green beans, 3 pounds asparagus, 5 pounds carrots, 6 pounds of apples, 8 pounds of sweet potatoes, not pictured…3 pounds of bananas.  No this will not be a weekly occurrence, but some of these may!

 

 

 

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Have I talked enough about leftovers?  Thank goodness for them, because they made up part of dinner tonight…  I started cooking Egg Roll in a Bowl once my daughter was in bed, but then the sleep refusal kicked in and I found myself in her room for over an hour…  Once I finally had a moment to eat, I had already throw broccoli in the microwaves and had leftover pork to heat up.  Not the perfect plate, but it did the job.

Earlier in the evening, I had made my daughter a homemade pizza – I’m just proud of myself that I didn’t dive into those leftovers after the night I had…

So here comes the first weekend on Whole30 – lots of prep ahead and definitely some good eats.

 

Day 2 (R1D2)

I’m still here, right?  I survived one day of no dairy, no sugar, no legumes, no grains, no alcohol…and I’m still here LOL!  I don’t know if I can remember a time that ANY meal of mine met all of those criteria…let alone all my meals.  There have been times in the past when I would consider quitting sugar, or cutting back on grains…but it really didn’t seem worth the effort to me, unless I was REALLY going to go for it…and that’s what Whole30 is doing for me right now.  With so many restrictions, I’m finding it easier to keep away from any singular one…then again though, I’m only on day 2.  But it’s a start – better than where I was a few days ago.  🙂

I woke a bit groggy on Day 2 – I think a bit of caffeine and food helped me through that early rut…. Breakfast looked pretty similar to day 1 since there are plenty of leftovers in the fridge.  Sure Whole30 requires a lot of cooking, but you can also get to the point where you have leftovers that will last many meals…as long as you don’t mind eating some of the same things over the course of a few meals/days, then there can certainly be lulls to cooking/prepping.

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Breakfast:  steamed broccoli, roasted peppers, onions, zucchini, sweet potatoes, Red Hot hot sauce, 2 eggs fried in coconut oil, chicken and apple sausages (about 1/3 of a link), some raspberries (my daughter stole most of them from my plate), and coffee whipped up with coconut oil and coconut milk.  I’m already learning that I prefer my coffee with just coconut oil – but I had leftover coconut milk from making dump ranch earlier this week.

 

I was ready for lunch again around 11:30 – but held off closer to noon, knowing the afternoon would be a long one…  When I roasted the butternut squash on R1D1, I completely overcooked it – I can’t forget that they don’t take as long as potatoes!  So not wanting to toss them, I sauteed some red onion, and whipped it all up with some coconut milk using my immersion blender – the result was delicious!

imageLunch round-up:  leftover walnut crusted pork tenderloin, steamed broccoli, sweet potatoes (because yum), butternut squash, and half an apple with almond butter.

I’ve been warned about including fruits and their potential for spiking the sugar craving…so my first test is underway!

PS, I did not use a filter on this lunch photo and the colors look amazing – eating your colors is VERY important!

Unlike D1, I didn’t need a snack between lunch and dinner…awesome! I’m working though leftovers, so I made romaine boats with my chicken salad from lunch yesterday, sauteed some zucchini noodles and made some baked fries with dump ranch – delicious dinner!! The Paderno Tri-Blad Spiral Vegetable Slicer creates noodles soooo easily and for less than $30 on Amazon, completely worth it.

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Somehow I’m done with day 2 and so far, it’s feeling pretty normal. The weekend is coming soon though and hoping I can keep the momentum up!