Whole30 Days 13-19

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:

Pros:

  • 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
  • Less Craving
  • Fewer trips to the grocery store with a solid meal plan
  • Discovered foods we didn’t know we would like

Cons:

  • 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!

Whole30 Meal Plan
Weekly Meal prep for Whole30 Days 13-19
Whole30 Meal Plan
Whole30 Meal Plan for Days 13-19

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:

Whole30 Breakfast
Sunday Breakfast, 2 scrambled eggs and trail mix. Dried fruit and nuts, lots of healthy fats.
Whole30 Lunch
Sunday Lunch: Zoodles with a cold heirloom tomato sauce and pesto
Whole30 Dinner
Sunday Dinner: Compliant Hotdogs, avacado oil chips and broccoli slaw with compliant ranch

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.

Applegate Hotdog, Whole30 approved
Applegate Hotdog Label, Whole30 approved
Whole30 Lunch
Monday Lunch, Turkey Burgers with Pineapple Mango Salsa, Avocado Oil Chips and Guacamole
Whole30  Dinner
Monday Dinner: Garlic Shrimp on a bed of Zoodles
Whole30 Breakfast
Tuesday Breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs and chicken sausage (Also Applegate brand!)
Whole30 Dinner
Tuesday Dinner: Crockpot Pot Roast and potatoes. Seasoned with pineapple juice not from concentrate, coconut aminos, garlic and onion
Whole30 Dinner
Wednesday Dinner: Pan fried polish sausage, carrots and oven roasted sweet potatoes. We tried the sweet potatoes with cinnamon, not bad!
Whole30 Lunch
Thursday Lunch: Pico de gallo, avocado, bacon and hard boiled eggs wrapped in lettuce.
Whole30 Dinner
Thursday Dinner: Onion burgers topped with guacamole and a oven roasted potato medley
Whole30 Dinner
Friday Dinner: More Zoodles topped with Applegate Hotdogs. This was one of the hottest days this summer…I had to adjust our meal plan to avoid turning on the oven!
Whole30 Lunch
Saturday Lunch: Bed of arugula and spinach topped with cherry tomatoes, blueberries, red peppers and smoked salmon. Odd combination, but it was really very good.

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!

Whole 30 – Days 1-6

My husband and I started our Whole30 journey on Tuesday July 5th.  We made it through the Holiday weekend enjoying all of our favorite meals before tackling a month of health eating!  If you would like to learn more about the program, check out their website.  There is all kinds of free information and downloads, including shopping lists!

Essentially you are cutting out Dairy, Grains, unhealthy fats, sugar, artificial ingredients, alcohol, and legumes.  You are adding in meats, eggs, healthy fats, lots of vegetables and some fruits.  3 well rounded main meals a day, no snacking unless necessary or right after a work out.  And you can only weigh yourself on Day 1 and Day 30.

We are on day 6, and feel pretty good.  Aside from two pretty terrible migraines and headaches the first few days, I haven’t noticed any changes or side effects.  One of the biggest adjustments for me is getting up and preparing a breakfast.  I hardly ever ate breakfast, and if I did it was something quick I could grab and eat on the run.  I think that is one of the best changes that will stick with me even after the 30 days are over.  We are also constantly having to read labels, who knew that almost every salad dressing out there has hidden sugar!

The diet is hard, but not impossible.  I think we have both agreed that the hardest thing has been giving up cheese…and not being able to put cream/sugar in coffee for me.   We had two different birthday parties/family events yesterday and definitely felt tempted, but not enough to give in.  Self control at its finest.

We have found that it takes an incredible amount of prep time, and so so so many dishes to wash!  Our grocery bill is definitely higher, but we haven’t gone out to eat at all, so we are saving on that end.  Here are a couple of meals from our first week:

Breakfasts:

Whole30 Breakfast
2 scrambled eggs with watermelon and blueberries
Whole30 Breakfast Omlet
2 scrambled eggs with green pepper, onion, and ham
Whole30 Breakfast
2 Fried Eggs and Fruit Salad
Whole30 Breakfast
Fruit Salad, Scrambled eggs with green pepper, onion and ham, and an orange smoothie

I’m finding it really difficult to enjoy coffee black, which I think may have added to some of my headaches.  I’ve substituted this with tea occasionally, or on a day I’m really dragging I just suck it up and sip on the black coffee.

Whole30 Iced Tea
Iced Tea with breakfast in place of my usual coffee loaded with cream and sugar

Lunch:

Whole30 Chicken Salad lunch
Chicken Salad made with left over Chicken, grapes, celery, red onion and vegan mayo
Whole30 Lunch
Red Smoothie and green Salad

I didn’t take pictures of all of my lunches, but there were a lot of salads involved.  One of our favorites was a spinach and arugula salad with Strawberries and Ham topped with an oil and vinegar dressing.

Dinners:

Whole30 Chicken Crockpot
Used the crockpot to roast a seasoned chicken on top of sweet onions, russet potatoes and carrots
Whole30 Crockpot Chicken
Finished Chicken Dinner
Whole30 Sausage, peppers and onions
Spicy Sausage fried in Olive Oil with Green Peppers and Onions
Whole30 Marinara with Turkey Meatballs and Zucchini Noodles
Another Crockpot Meal: Homemade marinara with Turkey meatballs on top of Zucchini noodles
Whole30 Paleo Meatloaf dinner
Paleo Meatloaf, oven roasted potatoes, broccoli and avocado drizzled with balsamic vinegar
Whole30 Burger
Beef/Chicken burger topped with guacamole, green salad with compliant dressing, cherries and fruit.

My sweet tooth is definitely hurting, we tried a simple dessert to satisfy it:

Whole30 Bananas and almond butter
Slightly frozen bananas topped with almond butter

We are off to plan our menu for this coming week and hit the grocery store.  I think we are on a roll!

The Smells of Fall

Fall is one of my favorite times of year!  During our Fellowship Hour at Church one of these past Sundays, we had an Apple Theme.  So to get in the spirit, I decided to contribute some hot apple cider.  I soaked the apple cider with some orange slices the night before.
By the morning it already had a nice citrus-y flavor.  I then made a little “spice packet” with some cheese cloth and kitchen string.  I added cinnamon sticks and cloves to the packet.
Once I got to church, I added the cider and oranges with the “spice packet” to the crock pot and just cooked on high for 2 hours.  I made sure to remove the spices before serving, so that no one got an unpleasant surprise in their cup!  It was delicious, and you could equally taste the oranges and spice, they made the perfect balance!  The cider was a huge hit, and there were no left overs to bring home!
Since I was already in the Fall Spice mood, I decided to make a stove top Potpourri.  I added all the ingredients, and just simmered on the stove top for the day to make the house smell absolutely delicious!  Our apartment is fairly small, but I was surprised at how aromatic it really was, and stayed even after the heat was turned off!
For my Potpourri I just used what I already had around the house:
2 cups of water
1/2 cup of sugar
1 mini can of pineapple juice
1 cup of orange juice (squeeze from the leftover oranges from my apple cider)
1 lemon sliced (I used half a lemon, and used the other half to stuff a chicken that night!)
4 cinnamon sticks (left over from apple cider)
1 TBS. cloves (left over from apple cider)
The smell was a wonderful warm spice.  I went for a walk in the cold, just so I could come home and enjoy the lovely scent that it was giving off.  I would highly recommend this, if the liquid gets low, just add more water or OJ.  Simple as that!

On the days that I don’t feel like coming home and using the electric stove…I have an Apple Cider candle going from Yankee Candle.  Sure smells like fall…

Football Food!

Football season is upon us.  Brian couldn’t be happier…
Typically for Sunday football, he heads to a friends house, and I stay home doing my own thing, checking in on the score every once and a while.  But this Sunday was the Patriots first game of the season…and his friends were busy.  So, we decided to make a day of it!
I happily headed off to Pinterest in search of some football food recipes, and was psyched with what I found!  Not to mention fall is officially here (well, unofficially, but you know…back to school and all that, it’s fall) and I’ve been dying to get the crock pot cranking more regularly.
First off, I found a potato soup recipe that looked simple, easy, and delicious, so I added that to the top of the menu.  Dumped all the ingredients into the crock pot, and got that baby cooking!
Next on the list was appetizers for during the game.  Brian had suggested pizza, so I searched around and found a really nice white pizza dip.  We added some turkey pepperoni, which hit the spot!  It was pretty soupy and messy, but man, it was good.  And, wouldn’t you know it…I never saved the recipe. For shame!
Finally, to go with the soup, I decided to try some of the really yummy looking pull breads I’ve seen all over the place.  So we picked up a nice loaf of uncut sour dough bread, and I searched for the best looking recipe.  Once again, surprise surprise, pinterest for the win!  Cheddar Bacon Ranch Pulls?  I think so!  Ours came out slightly too ranch flavored, but otherwise was really good.  We used shredded cheese rather than slices, and it worked just fine.  Love using what we already have in the fridge…
Pair that with the finished soup, and it was a dinner for champions!  Not to mention that the Pats won their game, Brian was a happy man.
I added some cheese and fresh chives…he added some extra bacon from the bread.  Delish!  The soup alone would have been good, it was very filling, and extremely easy.  Check out her link and recipe, I promise you won’t regret it!
Happy fall ya’ll!