Let’s Do Another Whole30!

I’m doing it again. Another Whole30. I’m already on day four,  but I figured if I wanted to keep with it that I needed some kind of accountability. I’ve still only completed the one Whole30 I blogged about here two years ago. I tried another at the beginning of this year but failed miserably after less than two weeks due to a lack of accountability, a lack of prep, too many SWYPO foods, and basically a plan to slip up from the beginning (my husband and I went into it saying we would “see how we felt” when the Superbowl parties hit. Turns out, if you’re not super committed, you feel like cookies and brownies and ice cream during Superbowl parties). This time is going to be different, though. This time, I’m telling the Internet. You’ll keep me accountable, right?

I want to go over a few differences between the last time I (successfully) did Whole30 and now. Differences I see in the program and also changes I’d like to make going into this one.

1. Information availability – It is amazing how much more there is out there on Whole30 now. When I did it two years ago, I had a page from the Whole9 website saying what you can and can’t eat. That’s it. Other than that, I had two websites I referenced and a bunch of paleo recipes that I altered to make Whole30 approved. Now, there are recipes galore, blogs, e-mails from the program, two books, Pinterest boards, Instagram accounts, etc.! I’m excited to try it again with this many resources!

2. Less fruit, more veggies – I’ll admit I probably ate too much fruit during my first Whole30 (but again, I had no guidelines telling me how much of anything I should or should not be eating), and I hope to stick to three servings of fruit a day this time, while eating a vegetable with every big meal.

3. Breastfeeding – Last year, I had a beautiful baby boy who is now eleven months old and still nursing. I was fine with fewer calories back then because I wasn’t too active and had a smaller frame anyway. Now,  I need to make sure I’m still eating enough calories to keep up an adequate milk supply. If I notice a drop, though, I will have to seriously reconsider the timing of this one. If anyone has experience with breastfeeding on Whole30, please share some advice!

4. Migraine focus – I’ve been getting migraines much more often than usual lately. For me, that means multiple per week. I’ve been starting to think that it’s something in my diet so I’m kicking caffeine for this Whole30 and keeping a food log/migraine log. Last time I did the program, I didn’t have any migraines after week one. That’s unheard of for me! The problem was, I added in too many foods at a time when I was finished that I couldn’t pin point which one was giving me trouble. This time, I’m hoping to figure that out (and because it’s day four and all I can think about are chocolate chip cookies at the moment, I’m crossing my fingers it’s not sugar).

 

Follow along with me while I hopefully show you that Whole30’s are incredible and not that hard!

 

Post-Whole30: Hello Paleo, Denver Adventures and a Hook Ass

So far I have introduced gluten, sugar and dairy back into my diet in small amounts. The only time I had an issue was when I ate a brownie for breakfast and had a crazy bad sugar rush that had me unable to stand up for about an hour. Stupid me.

I’ve decided I’ll follow a paleo diet from now on, but on an 80/20 sort of scale. I’ll eat strictly paleo during the week and whenever I cook, but when we go out on the weekends I’m going to get what I want. That’s how I worked it this weekend and it was nice to be able to go out and treat myself and not feel guilty about it.

Husband and I had a pretty great weekend. Friday found us watching season four of Sons of Anarchy and eating these paleo brownies. They are completely flour-less and completely delicious. The almond butter flavor was a wee bit strong for me and I think next time I’ll use a flavored one (I used a plain, unsalted this time). Fun fact: every time I say “almond butter” I end up feeling like I was really trying to say “Allman Brothers,” but suddenly developed a speech impediment.

Husband likes to eat his with peanut butter and a tall glass of milk. I like to eat mine with breakfast followed by an intense sugar rush.

On Saturday we started off our adventure day at Ikea where I ate meatballs and mashed potatoes (yay return of potatoes!). I couldn’t resist getting a princess cake because they are in my top five favorite desserts of all time. And at $1.50 a piece, it doesn’t get much better. I was kind of upset to see that they’d changed the color from green to pink. I guess Americans don’t like eating green desserts? Green princess cakes > pink princess cakes. End of story.

I only ate two bites of the princess cake for fear of having to fight the masses to find a bathroom. Have you ever been to Ikea on a Saturday? Is there a worse place for someone who hates crowds and people who don’t know what arrows mean?

Surprisingly, we left Ikea having only purchased one thing. I picked it up and thought it was great, but it was missing a tag. When we got to the check-out and the cashier looked up the item number, the name of the product popped up – “Hook Ass.” I love your simplicity, Ikea. Way to tell it like it is.

We will use our “Hook Ass” to hang our dogs’ leashes.

For dinner we found an AMAZING place called Steuben’s. They had several allergy-friendly menus. I ordered off their gluten-free menu and got the shrimp and grits. Possibly the best shrimp and grits I’ve ever eaten. And I’m from the south. Is that sacrilegious? Husband had what he claims was the best BLT of his life. If you live in or are visiting Denver, definitely check this place out. I don’t think you could go wrong with anything on their menu.

After dinner we headed off to Red Rocks Amphitheater to see The Avett Brothers for the third time (in our third state!). It was an incredible show. Not only the best Avett Brothers concert, but the best concert in general I have ever been to. The energy was unbelievable and they even raised more than $20,000 for those affected by the Waldo Canyon wildfire. Just when I thought I couldn’t love them any more…

I leave you with one of my favorite Avett Brothers songs and encourage you to check them out. They are so good live. You can’t help but dance around like an idiot.

Whole30: Days 29 and 30 – I’m Done!

Day 29 Eats:

Breakfast – Orange, two scrambled eggs

Lunch – Almonds, apple, Cherry Pie LARABAR, banana

Dinner – Marinated and baked chicken with sweet potatoes

I swapped the soy sauce for coconut aminos and made my own worcestershire sauce. The chicken turned out great! I know it’s supposed to be for the grill but with all the fires going on in my state right now I thought it best to cook inside. I cooked the sweet potatoes in the microwave – it took me twenty minutes with mine because its first owner was probably Larry King. When he was nineteen.

Day 30 Eats:

Breakfast – Two scrambled eggs, banana

Lunch – Orange, almonds, pistachios, apple, plantain chips

Dinner – Mexi-Salad with Fresh Guacamole

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This is the best guacamole recipe I have ever tried. I used to think the powdered guac in packets that you just added avocado to was the best guacamole I’d ever had. What the diddy was wrong with me? This stuff is amazing, completely homemade and super easy to boot! I’ll never go back to my powdered guac ways.

Well, I’m done with Whole30. I definitely have to thank my husband for putting up with the lack of sweets and carbs in the house. He also deserves a big sloppy kiss and a Troy and Abed handshake for encouraging me to stick with it on the days when I wanted to do nothing more than stick my face in a loaf of bread while simultaneously taking a peanut butter bath. Thank God for him 🙂

This journey has taught me a lot about my body and my eating habits. I’ve learned that I actually can survive without sugar or starch, fruit is the most underrated dessert, there is a healthy alternative to almost anything, cooking Whole30-style is actually way easy and just as delicious, and that I still miss potatoes and sourdough bread.

I certainly hope to keep a majority of the principles going forward. I am testing gluten tomorrow (eating half a bun with my cranberry BBQ pulled pork!) and seeing how I react. If it’s not good, I guess it’s gluten-free forever for this girl (except the occasional Guinness, of course). I’ll keep the blog updated going forward and would love to hear from others about their experience in reintroducing foods! Thanks for following me!

Whole30: Days 25 through 28 – New Recipes and Easier Mayo!

I ended up eating out quite a bit this weekend. There has been a bad wildfire near us and my husband and I spent most of the weekend volunteering at an animal rescue that was taking in evacuated animals. People donated tons of snacks for the volunteers – Lunchables, fried chicken, candy bars, granola, pastries, cakes, freakin’ Little Debbie Nutty Bars, chips, and just about every other food I am currently prohibited from eating. Luckily, someone brought a bag of apples, so I didn’t starve. Watching husband eat sourdough bread was torture, though. TORTURE. I can (and have) eaten whole loaves of San Francisco sourdough bread all on my own… in one day… possibly half of one day. With plenty of butter.

Day 25 Eats:

Breakfast – Two scrambled eggs, apple with almond butter

Lunch – Almonds, grapes, baby carrots, plantain chips

Dinner – Hamburger from Chili’s (no bun) with steamed broccoli

We saw Disney/Pixar’s Brave on this day. If you haven’t seen it yet – WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?! Grab yo’ mama and head for the theater!

Day 26 Eats: 

Breakfast – Orange, hard-boiled egg

Lunch – Leftover spaghetti squash bacon alfredo

Dinner – Basically a chicken breast with some lettuce, tomato, onion and mustard from Chick-Fil-A with a fruit cup.

We had to grab something quickly on our way to help the doggies. I figured Chick-Fil-A was as good a place as any to try and find something Whole30 friendly. It was hard walking in there and inhaling the glorious smell that is the Chick-Fil-A waffle fry, but I kept telling myself that in just a few days I could treat myself to some if I wished. That was really the only thing that helped. Especially since the only reason Whole30 doesn’t let you have white potatoes is because they are deficient in nutrients. Frankly, I don’t care. My stomach and tongue get along with white potatoes juuust fine.

Day 27 Eats:

Breakfast – Orange, Cherry Pie LARABAR

Lunch – Apple, baby carrots, almonds, plantain chips

Dinner – Steak fajitas

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I made these with leftover steak from the beef and broccoli. Cut up a red bell pepper and an onion, used my homemade taco seasoning and some water (like you would with a fajita seasoning packet). Easy as cheesy and extra delicious!

Day 28 Eats:

Breakfast – Orange, Cashew Cookie LARABAR

Lunch – Apple, banana, almonds, plantain chips, celery

DinnerTurkey-Pepperoni Burgers with grilled zucchini

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These were so good! I had to make mayo again because the recipe calls for a basil (or parsley) and lemon mayo. I found a different recipe using an immersion blender because my food processor was in the dishwasher. HOLY PACHOLY THIS WAS SO MUCH EASIER. Whereas the food processor version took me somewhere between five and ten minutes to finish, the hand blender took less than a minute! It was a little thinner but I actually prefer it that way. I then just added some lemon juice and chopped basil to the finished product and wham-o! I could have called it an aioli and nobody would have been the wiser.

If you have an immersion blender, I can’t recommend this recipe enough! Just remember to start with all ingredients at room temperature and it’s pretty much fool-proof.

I still can’t believe I only have two more days left of Whole30! At the beginning, I really didn’t think I’d finish. Thirty days seemed like such a long time but looking back – it flew by!

Pup-sicles – A Frosty Treat For Your Furry Friends!

It’ll make your dogs drool!

As I have been complaining about on this blog for about a week – it is freakin’ hot here. And also today I can see a wildfire from my house. Super. I was thinking about something to help the dogs cool down (we did finally cave and buy an AC unit. 90 in the house is too much.) so I had a look in my fridge and came up with these tasty treats!

Pup-sicles:

Ingredients

– 4 oz. Ziploc containers or something similar

– Chicken broth

– Water

– Lunch meat or dog treats

Directions

1. Fill the container with half water and half broth

2. Add your treats

3. Freeze (usually takes a couple hours)

4. Run some hot water over the outside of the container and pop out the pops (heh).

5. Put them in a food bowl if you don’t want a mess!

6. Cool off your hot dogs (I could pun forever with this)!

Romulus just chomps his down as fast as possible. Basically how he lives his life.
Your dog might be like mine and decide bowls are for losers. If so, you might want to keep them in the kitchen.

Whole30: Days 23 and 24 – It’s Pretty Outside!

It has been absolutely beautiful for the past two days! Highs in the 70’s and nice ‘n breezy. That means I was able to cook inside my house again! With my oven! Yay! I even took the pups on an hour long hike at a nearby park – in late June at noon! Crazy.

Day 23 Eats:

Breakfast – Two scrambled eggs, an orange

Lunch – Coconut Cream Pie LARABAR, grapes, raspberries, baby carrots, almonds

DinnerGrilled Rosemary Oregano Pork Chops with grilled tomatoes

Day 24 Eats:

Breakfast – Cashew Cookie LARABAR, orange

Lunch – Leftover pork chop, plantain chips, buffalo jerky, grapes

DinnerToasted Pine Nut Crusted Salmon Burgers with roasted green beans

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Pork chops were delicious – husband did it again! Salmon burgers were delicious. I’d never had grilled tomatoes before, but I loved them. Try it if you haven’t. I can’t believe I have less than a week left of Whole30! I am still nervous about reintroducing all the foods I haven’t been eating. Since I haven’t had any digestive issues whatsoever while on Whole30 (apart from the Cappuccino LARABAR incident), I am definitely planning on going slow with adding back foods and possibly going completely gluten-free. Except for Guinness. How can I ever stop drinking Guinness? I’m sorry, stomach, but you’re just going to have to deal with it.

Whole30: Days 21 and 22 – It’s Too Hot to Cook!

I’ve been eating leftovers for the past two days because highs in the upper 90’s and ovens aren’t the best combination for non-air conditioned homes. 

Day 21 Eats:

Breakfast – Key Lime Pie LARABAR, apple

Lunch – Almonds, grapes, raspberries, cashews, baby carrots

Dinner – Two hard boiled eggs and leftover mashed sweet potatoes

Day 22 Eats:

Breakfast – Cappuccino LARABAR, apple

Lunch – Leftover spaghetti squash alfredo, triple berry sorbet

Dinner –  Two hard boiled eggs, bacon

The cappuccino LARABAR was delicious… but it TORE UP my stomach. I have only had coffee once or twice while on Whole30 and I guess there was a lot of coffee in the LARABAR because I was hurtin’ for at least an hour after I ate it. This is a bummer because I think it might be a glimpse into what it will be like trying to re-introduce the foods I haven’t been eating back into my diet. I will keep the blog updated with this aspect when I’m done in just over a week!