Making a lifestyle change is hard. We all know that. It requires patience, time, forgiveness, and support. Everyone has “bad” days or “good” days, successes and fails. But we have to remember that because it’s a lifestyle were learning to embrace, you really can’t make mistakes It’s all just part of it. But to help me get through those tough days I have a lot of support. Friends and family of course are there to help. A few of my friends are doing the Whole30/Whole9 as well (Hi Sash and Rach!)  But when I’m lacking motivation or creativity to make something delicious and my kinda healthy, I turn to the many blogs that I read, follow, and obsess over. Blogs like:

The Clothing Makes the Girl (Melissa Joulwan, my hero and whole30 go-to chef)

Whole9Life (Melissa and Dallas Hartwig. The two that wrote It Starts With Food and inspired me to embark on this journey)

Nourishing Days (for beautiful paleo recipes)

PaleoOMG (for straight up entertainment and delicious paleo recipes. I heart you Juli)

NomNomPaleo (for more delicious Paleo and Whole30 recipes)

Having all these resources available help make this fun every day. Talking with friends about recipes we’ve tried, what worked, what didn’t. Trying new spices, marinades. Food is beautiful again.  Something that I truly enjoy from start to finish. I don’t dread going to the store anymore. I look forward to checking out the new and in season produce, to finding coconut flour in bulk on amazon, going to Costco and buying two dozen eggs at a time (and only lasting a week btw).  I don’t look at food as the enemy (or as my savior) anymore. Its food, its fuel, its delicious, and it feeds my body and mind.

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And I’m Back!

May 7, 2013

It feels so good to be  back on track. It’s only really been 24 hours and I already feel a little more mental clarity, less bloated, and not so anxious with cravings. And I’m on my period, which means I’m extra bloated, full of cramps, and battling a constant migraine. And I’m emotional, and mushy today for some reason. So I’ll get it out-of-the-way real quick. I love Steven. I love him more than I thought I could ever love someone. He’s my other half, my best friend and I can’t believe I lived life without him for so long.

Ok, now that that’s done lets recap my cookup last night. It took me about 2 hours to do it all, but now I have protein and veggies options in my frige for the next few days. Here is what I made:

8 Grilled chicken thighs:  (Salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika. 400* in the oven for 35-40 min)

8 pieces of rockfish: (cocnut butter, ghee, chopped garlic, salt, pepper, herbs de provance 15 minutes 375* in the oven)

Green beans & Cashews (Steven made these, my fav) Fresh green beans, balsamic, olive oil, salt, pepper, cashews. SO GOOD

Salmon Cakes!!! (seriously can’t get enough of them) See the recipe here

Homemade Mayo <— WIN on this one. Followed the directions like a boss, recipe here

Homemade Tartar sauce  (made with the homemade mayo) Recipe below!

ISWF Tartar Sauce

1/2 cup Olive Oil Mayo

1 T. minced dill pickle

2 T. fresh parsley, minced

2 tsp capers, minced

2 tsp fresh chives, minced  (I used dry)

1/2 T. lemon juice

1 tsp pickle juice

Salt and fresh ground pepper

Add all ingredients to bowl and mix with spatula. Allow flavors to meld for 30 minutes in fridge before serving.  **This worked really well with the rockfish I made, and goes great with the Salmon Cakes. Although the salmon cakes are heaven on their own**

Today I started the day off right with 3 eggs scrambled with some mushrooms and spinach, a banana,  and a lovely (double shot) cup of Roma Nespresso. Love my Nespresso. I also love that I have coffee options in the house. If I just want a nice cup of drip coffee, Steven makes the best. If I want an espresso or latte, Nespresso takes care of it.

I packed up my lunch up as well (hand full of strawberries, 3 small chicken thighs, and about 2 cups of green beans). That should hold me over till my workout tonight. And dinner will be some rockfish over cauliflower mash. If you haven’t yet tried cauliflower mash and happen to love the comfort of mashed potatoes, give these a try. You’ll learn to love them, appreciate them, and ultimately crave them 🙂

Good morning 🙂

It’s hot today… and not in a good way. I know its May, but I don’t want to see this kind of heat until Memorial Day. Oh well.

Back to the Salmon Cakes I made last night and baked up this morning. Boy were they good. I ended up having two for breakfast  with two cups of coffee. Honestly didn’t really go together, but made a good breakfast nonetheless. Here is the recipe, and I think you all should seriously try these:

It Starts With Food- No Fuss Salmon Cakes

(serves 2-3) **I doubled the recipe**

Ingredients:

1 can (14.75 oz) wild-caught pink or red salmon (you can also use wild caught tuna)

1 cup “canned sweet potatoes” ** I used fresh-baked light-skinned sweet potatoes

1 large egg

1/2 cup almond flour

2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley (or 2 tsp dried)

2 Scallions, white and green, very thinly sliced

2 Tbsp minced fresh dill (or 2 tsp dried)

1 tsp hot-pepper sauce

1/2 tsp paprika

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper

2 Tbs clarified butter or coconut oil, melted

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425* and cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper (I used foil). Drain the liquid from the salmon and use your fingers to crumble the finish into a large mixing bowl. Add all the remaining ingredients except the butter- and mix with a wooden spoon until well combined (I used a spatula). Pop into the fridge to chill for 10 minutes or so. Brush the parchment paper (or foil) with melted butter or coconut oil. (You can also use coconut oil spray here). Using a 1/3 cup, scoop out the salmon mixture and form patties. You want these about 1″ thick and 2 1/2″ wide. Bake for 20 minutes, flip, and bake for another 10 minutes. You can squeeze some lemon on them (I didn’t feel it was necessary) or serve with ISWF Tartar Sauce.

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Super easy right?  I’m thinking that I could triple or even quadruple the recipe, make a ton of these, and then freeze them prior to cooking. That way when I reach my hangry state, I just pop them into the oven and I’ll have a healthy balanced meal in about 30 minutes.

While these were baking this morning, I was attempting to cut up a mango. Does anyone know how to successfully cut up a mango? That pit is huge! and although this is only my third time attempting this, I’ve ended up at the sink gnawing on the pit, trying to get as much of the fruit off as possible. And then it end sup all in my teeth. And then I have to floss, and it’s really just a sad process. There has to be a better way!

And one final note for the day. This guy is chillin on our porch this morning

Old Man Moth

Old Man Moth

 

 

 

Hi everyone 🙂

Weird I’m writing this at night lol. Steven has some tests he’s doing on his computer so I figured I’d stay up with him and keep him company.

So Today was a typical Tuesday of work and boot camp. Except that tonight was the last day of our month-long burpee challenge. Yep, 5 minutes to do as many burpees as you can. I started this month at 53. I went balls out, and I remember it vividly. Thought I was going to die. Welp, today I met my goal of 70, and again felt like I was going to die. Part of me was disappointed. I should have practiced more during the month. I really should have been able to get to 75. And I want that number, so I’m going to keep trying until I get there. Plus my shoulders are lookin pretty good.

After boot camp we had our dining room table and chairs delivered, which we are so excited about. Our house is coming along so nicely. The next project is finding the right chandelier. After that, we have some little projects to get done around the house, and some bigger projects like the backyard.

Onto the chicken cook-up. Melissa, the author of Well Fed, goes into detail about how important it is to have food on hand. She is so right it’s not even funny. Not having enough cooked protein available or easy to prepare meals causes one of two things: me to get hangry, or me to fail. I don’t like to fail at anything. So I’m usually hangry, trying to figure out what to make so I stay on track. It’s frustrating because I continually underestimate how much protein I will eat for a few days. Plus I’m cooking for Steven and myself. So I need to double it, and I haven’t been doing that. But this morning I had a plan and took out two packs of frozen chicken thighs. And tonight I made some simple grilled chicken thighs.

In my packs of organic chicken from Costco, each pack had 4 good size thighs. I rinsed each one off, trimming a little bit of the fat (leaving most of it), and padded each one dry.

Next I lined a large cookie sheet with two layers of foil (you’ll thank me) and put a cookie cooling rack on top. I placed the 8 chicken thighs on the rack (skin side up) and seasoned generously with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika. Popped these bad boys into a 400 degree pre-heated over and let them roll for 30-40 minutes. The smaller pieces cooked within 35 minutes, and the two larger took about 40-42 minutes. The skin crisped up (yes I ate the skin, and Melissa encourages it as well). It’s good fat people. You’ll learn about it, don’t worry.

I had two pieces with some steamed veggies per the usj. Broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots were on tonight’s menu. While the chicken was cooking I ate a handful of strawberries too.

Because I was feeling so productive, I also made the Salmon Cakes from ISWF, but I decided to cook them up tomorrow, so they’re chillin in the fridge (quite literally actually lol).  I’ll go over the recipe more tomorrow, along with the home-made mayo I’m planning to make for the tartar sauce. Exciting 🙂

Have a great night everyone!

Morning everyone! How are you all doin?

So before I get into my delicious taco salad from last night I have a serious hair issue. Sunday I did a mud run and got mud all through my hair. I rinsed it at the event, and have washed it 3 times since. My hair STILL feels like straw. I don’t know what to do… any suggestions?

Ok back to the taco salad. I love taco salad. But I don’t love the way rice and tortillas make me feel. BUT I do love the comfort of carbs. (Yep, still dealing with the cravings of mashed potatoes and cake. ) So I thought why not build this taco salad on top of a sweet potato? Here’s how I did it:

Ingredients:
1 medium sweet potato
1 package ground turkey
1 package ground beef
Organic Salsa
2 avocados (for guac- see recipe below)
Lettuce
tomato
Chopped garlic
Salt, pepper, garlic powder
Taco seasoning

I first cooked one medium size sweet potato in the microwave for about 6 minutes and then finished it in the oven, wrapped in foil.

I browned up some ground turkey and ground beef (so that I had lots of leftovers). For the turkey I used some natural taco seasoning, and beef I seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

I made up a batch of guacamole: 2 avocados, 1 chopped garlic clove, lime juice, salt, pepper, cumin.

And then we build:

In a large bowl I took half of the sweet potato and mashed it up with a fork for my base. I then layered ground turkey and ground beef (about 4-6 ounces) on the sweet potato. About 1/2 cup of guacamole, 1/2 cup salsa, chopped tomato and lettuce.

I’m telling you, this meal was huge. I couldn’t finish it all.

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And the best part is that I have leftovers for today, and enough sweet potato left to make these tuna cakes from It Starts With Food.

Tonight I will be grilling up a bunch of chicken thighs and stir-frying a few packages of frozen veggies for the rest of the week.

Tomorrow I will post an update on the stockpile from Costco and show you how I’m making it last. Have a great rest of your day!

Hello hello!! How are you all on this fine afternoon? I just finished lunch so I’m pretty happy.

I wanted to do a quick recap of what exactly the Whole30 is, why I’m doing it, and how I’m doing it. I’ve had a few people ask me questions about it and a few others who want to try it as well.

The Whole30 nutrition plan is based on of Dallas and Melissa Hartwig’s extensive research on how the typical american diet affects our insides. Both have exceptional credentials and a few years ago decided to create the Whole9 group. As the Whole9 home page states, “Whole9 is a community focused on health, fitness, balance and sanity, all built on a foundation of real food and healthy nutritional habits.” It sounds really simple, and actually it is. Their book It Starts With Food clearly outlines (in terms all of us can understand) why certain foods (specifically dairy, grains, legumes, sugar, alcohol, processed foods, etc) create systemic inflammation throughout our bodies and what that looks and feels like to the normal population. The book then outlines the Whole30 nutrition plan: a diet in which brings us back to our human roots, avoiding foods that our great grandparents wouldn’t recognize and avoiding the majority of the food American’s consume. Protein, vegetables, fruit, healthy fats. It really is that simple. Their book and website provide detailed guides on how to stock up your pantry and refrigerator to create the optimal environment for us to succeed in. Dallas and Melissa also give us basic recipes to play with as we begin our journey. I opted to purchase Well Fed by Melissa Joulwan. Her cook book is whole30 approved, creative, beautiful, and delicious. I’m already meal planning my recipes throughout that and so far Well Fed does not disappoint.

Onto Day 3! This morning I woke up to my alarm slightly tired (as I only got about 5 hours of sleep) but awake in only 20 minutes after waking up. For me this is pretty good. I didn’t require coffee, but I had a cup this morning anyway. My breakfasts over the last few days look something like this: 1 1/2 -2 cups vegetable (broccoli this morning) heated up in my saute pan with salt and pepper. I add in 2 chopped all natural pork sausage links and scramble with two eggs. This morning I had some extra roasted kale so I added that in as well. This meal leaves me completely satisfied for hours and tastes pretty good too.

Lunch today was Chipotle! Yep, you heard me. Chipotle is Whole30 approved. Well, not every at Chipotle is Whole30, but a lot of it is. Here’s the scoop: Chipotle offers salads now that you can get anyway you like. Start with a big bed of lettuce and move right along to your protein. I opt for double meal servings (mostly becuase yo unever really know how much you’re going to get from the servers there. Some under pour, and some way over pour. The way I look at it, it reduces the amount of time I have to ask for more, and I keep the line moving). Today I got chicken and carnitas. Yep carnitas! Here’s why, straight from the Chipotle website: “Naturally raised pork seasoned with thyme, bay, juniper berries and cracked black pepper. Braised until meltingly tender.” And their chicken? “Marinated overnight in our smoky, spicy chipotle pepper adobo, then grilled. The char marks impart a subtle caramelized flavor.” Top that with some mild salsa (Chopped red, ripe sweet tomatoes, mixed with red onions, jalapeño peppers and freshly chopped cilantro) and guacamole (Hand mashed, ripe Hass avocados, mixed with freshly chopped cilantro, red onions, jalapeño peppers, citrus juice, salt and selected spices) and you’re good to go! A Whole30 approved meal. Here is what you look for when creating your optimal Whole30 meal: the majority of your plate is veggies, you have between 4-6 ounces of protein (for women) or 1-2 palm fulls, and a portion of healthy fat. Avocados you can have 1/2- 1 portion. See how easy that is. And again, it’s totally filling.

It takes time, but you will learn to appreciate the reasoning behind this when you feel the difference eating real, nutritious food makes. And the more you understand the science behind this plan the more successful you will be. Because it makes sense. And if it doesn’t, give it a try. The positive changes to your body might be all you need 🙂

As you read through It Starts with Food and Well Fed you may be daunted by the amount of protein, veggies, fruits, and fats you have to buy to keep yourself fed. I was at first, but I did some exploring and found some great tips and tools that I want to share with you all tomorrow. So stay tuned for how I navigate Costco and fill my fridge, freezer, and pantry with real food.

Until next time…

Keep cool my babeeeeesssssssssss <— high five if you know this reference