As we rounded the home stretch to our first Whole30 I made my biggest mistake. No weekly meal plan. It resulted in last minute trips to various grocery stores, repeat meals and panicking at the last minute trying to throw something compliant together for a meal. I learned my lesson! In order to really follow the Whole30 you have to have a plan in place, it saves so much time, so much money, and really helps mentally prepare yourself for the coming week.
Here are some of our meals:
My newest favorite kitchen gadget is the mandolin I received for my birthday. It makes perfect french fries, my most favorite food ever! I could have eaten just a plate of french fries alone for a meal!
Stay tuned for our last 4 days, and what our final results end up being!
This week marked the halfway point of our Whole30 journey! We are feeling good and I’m proud that we haven’t slipped up so far. Here are our thoughts so far:
Well Rounded Meals
Sitting Down to Breakfast starts the day off right
Making Healthy Choices
Becoming more aware of the hidden sugars and ingredients lurking in processed foods
No more headaches
Fewer trips to the grocery store with a solid meal plan
Discovered foods we didn’t know we would like
Lot’s of meal prep
Expensive grocery bills – organic foods are killer!
Turning on the oven in 90 degree weather…
Lack of motivation to create a full meal after a long day (this is when we used to fall into the takeout habit)
So. Many. Dishes
Honestly we haven’t noticed any of the main things we were looking for, ie: more energy, better sleep at night, clearer skin, etc. And we obviously won’t know whether there was any weight loss until the end. Overall the pros outweigh the cons, but there certainly haven’t been any life changing moments.
On to the meal plan!
We are continuing to use our meal planning app, which is a great way to keep us on target and share meals for the week. This is not endorsed, but we are using the free version of “Meal Planner” from the apple store. I give it 2 thumbs up. You will see meals being repeated, we are falling back into comfort zones, easy meals, and ones we have found we really enjoy. I don’t have photos for every meal, just the new or really great ones!
Without further delay… da photos:
We have received some skepticism regarding how there could possible be a “whole” hotdog, aren’t they super processed food? The best brand we have found is Applegate. Again, NOT endorsed, we just love them. Applegate creates natural and organic meats. Here is their label, which shows that the hotdogs are made from grass fed beef and other simple ingredients. No preservatives, no antibiotics, no added sugar, no nitrates. We highly recommend them, not the easiest brand to find, but we found them at Wegmans.
We had a lot of really good meals this week, and a lot of repeated meals. But I think that is ok. I am finally getting comfortable with the ingredients I can use that I’ve been able to branch out from just strictly following recipes, which has felt pretty good. Would you like to see some recipes on a later post? Let me know if you do, I would be happy to share!
If you would like to read about the beginning of our Whole30 journey check out days 1-6 HERE.
Currently we are almost wrapping up week 2, which means we are almost half way done! I still don’t feel any major differences, but my headaches are pretty much gone. It must have just been from detoxing my body off of sugar and caffeine. You are allowed caffeine on the Whole30, but without cream and sugar in my coffee I have virtually stopped drinking it. My husband did notice that by Friday afternoon he was seriously dragging. He gets up and does early morning workouts and then is pretty active all day long outside in the heat, so we are thinking we need to up his caloric intake.
I do think that clean eating has started to become a habit for us. The extra time it takes to meal prep can be frustrating. I have definitely had more than one occasion where after a marathon day at work I would so much rather stop for take out rather than coming home and preparing a whole meal. And the dishes….SO MANY dishes. But so far we have resisted, 12 days down without a single cheat. We did go out to dinner once, I got grilled Salmon and broccoli and my husband got lettuce wraps…so impressed with us!
I downloaded a free app this week called “Meal Planner Pal” and it has been great! You can add in Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Snacks for a whole week.
Then, you can choose who to email it to. So I was able to share the whole week’s worth of meals with my husband. It has definitely helped us stay organized and stay on plan. Here is what it looks like when you receive an email:
I also made a big pitcher of green tea to last us through the week. I just brewed mandarine green tea and then added frozen peaches and fresh mint from the garden. It was a great morning replacement for my normal cup of coffee.
Now onto some of our meals!
I think we are starting to get a little bit sick of eggs, and I’ve been trying to limit our fruit intake and replace with more vegetables. So I need to really do some research on breakfast ideas for this week!
Overall our meals have been time consuming but pretty filling and delicious. One of my favorites were the sweet potato and zucchini latkes. I shredded 2 zucchinis and 2 sweet potatoes and added one egg. I sprinkled in some almond flour, onion flakes, and a few spices to taste. Formed them into pancakes and fried in light olive oil.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a huge sweet potato or zucchini fan, but these were delicious! I have also really enjoyed the zucchini noodles we have made. Maybe my tastes are changing after all…
And for a sweet treat on a night when I needed dessert we cut up a granny smith apple and added almond butter. Yum!
Happy New Year! I absolutely love this time of year, for me it has always been about fresh starts and new beginnings. I don’t usually do “New Years Resolutions” because I generally set myself up for failure. But that doesn’t mean that it can’t be a time to start fresh and a time for thinking ahead to what we can accomplish in the new year.
This year we are looking forward to many things, particularly finding a place to call our “home”. And we have certainly started off the year full force ahead! We visited 8 homes today. Talk about exhausting! In the meantime we have major budgeting goals and will be starting to put into place the debt snowball method. We haven’t checked out Dave Ramsey’s book yet, but if you are interested in learning more about the Debt Snowball Method I would recommend checking out his book: The Total Money Makeover.
In addition having relocated Simply Living to this location, and finally purchasing our own domain, is a big New Year step! Out with the old and in with the new! I’m excited for the potential that this new location has to offer us and I’m excited that you are all along for the journey!
And now, here is how we ended 2015…
That’s right…we made homemade donuts! It’s been years since we’ve done a NYE party, and tend to prefer staying in and enjoying each other’s company instead. So this year we decided on games and appetizers, and then to try a new recipe for dessert. Gotta check off another month, if you’re wondering what I’m talking about, check out my Ravioli post where I talk about my birthday wish.
The best part is how easy this recipe was. You would never be able to tell based on how amazing they tasted. We only needed to purchase one ingredient, we already had the rest in the kitchen, and it took less than 20 minutes from start to finish.
Pillsbury Homestyle Biscuits
Melted Butter (about 1 cup)
Cinnamon and Sugar mixed together, use judgement, we mixed until light brown.
Oil for frying (We used vegetable Oil)
That’s it…told you it was easy!
Cut the donut hole out with a cookie cutter. We didn’t have a circle, so we used a star, and it was straight up adorable.
Warm oil in pan on medium high. Add biscuits and brown on each side. The middle still seems gooey, but I promise that will make them soft and delightful.
Dry and cool fried biscuits on a plate with a paper towel. We fried 4 at a time, so we cooled 4 while we fried the other 4.
Once all biscuits are cooled, dip one side into melted butter. Drip off excess butter and dip into cinnamon sugar. Repeat on other side.
Enjoy! OH wow they were SO good! So good that I need to emphasize with all caps! They were unbelievable warm, but were still soft and yummy the next morning.
I would absolutely recommend this recipe. Not only are they delicious, but they are super easy. They made the perfect dessert with our sparkling apple cider on NYE, but they would also make a wonderful addition to a breakfast or brunch. No messy recipes, no deep frying, easy peasy and YUM!
What are your plans for the New Year?
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