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Monday, June 30, 2014

Whole30 Challenge Day 29

Welcome to a very wet Monday! We had a significant storm system move through our area this afternoon, dropping 2 1/2" in 90 minutes.

Before the storm hit, we also tried a new experiment: taking a 19-month old to the movies. That was probably more disastrous than the storm. Thankfully there was only one other man there with his 3- or 4-year old daughter. Lukas didn't want to sit still for most of the movie, and when we tried to get him to do so, he fussed quite a bit. Oh well, lesson learned. At least there aren't that many good movies out there anyway so we won't feel like we're missing a lot by not going, just the two of us or with Lukas in tow.

Unfortunately, it is again late as I write this, so I'd better give you the menu or today and then get to bed.

Breakfast:
Egg casserole (green and red onion, mushroom, mini sweet pepper, black olives, Italian sausage, and ground pork)

Lunch:
Green salad with chicken pieces (I don't remember the exact ingredients I used for the chicken, though I know I used red wine vinegar) and a little homemade mayo for dressing







Dinner:
Zucchini and ground beef
Grape tomatoes, green pepper slices, cucumber slices

Tomorrow starts a long week at work, and it is also the last day of the challenge. Wednesday I am going to have a piece of cake from my sister-in-law's graduation party, and then I plan to go back to a strict Whole30 Plan for probably at least 2 more months to hopefully break the sugar cravings more completely. As it is, I know eating the cake will be risky, but I think it's one time I can indulge a little. However, even with a month under my belt, I find that sugary treats are still rather appealing, and I want to kick that in the pants before reintroducing other nutritional variables.

Have a great day, and look forward to future updates!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Whole30 Challenge Day 28

It's been a good Sunday here. Granted, we've all been a little extra tired because of being away from home yesterday, but I think we have pretty much recovered. Lukas will hopefully sleep well tonight as he needs it the most.

It was a very uplifting day for me. I enjoyed Sunday school and both services at church, and it was nice to have a relaxing afternoon at home.

Here's a quick rundown on food from today:
Breakfast:
Omelet with Italian sausage from my in-laws, mini sweet peppers, jalapeno pepper, green onion, mushrooms, and black olives

Lunch:
Leftover steak
Yellow squash
1/2 peach
Green grapes

Dinner:
Green salad with homemade mayo
Soup with homemade chicken broth and leftover chicken pieces

I have to get a little one to bed now, so I'd best be signing off. Enjoy your day whenever you read this, and be sure to come back tomorrow!

P.S. Feel free to subscribe to this blog so you are sure to see further updates!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Whole30 Challenge Days 26 and 27

Sorry folks, I missed yesterday's post. We had a good evening here, though, heading to a park to meet someone and then letting Lukas play at the playground for almost an hour. I think it really tired him out because he went to bed around 9:30 as usual and didn't wake up for a bottle until 5:30.

It will be an interesting day foodwise because we will be going to my in-laws' for a graduation party. We'll probably take a bit of compliant food with us, and as they are the source of our eggs, we'll probably make a few there. (This paragraph written at 9:30 AM).

Here's how food has shaped up for the last couple of days.
Friday:
Breakfast:
Omelet with mini sweet peppers, green onions, and mushrooms
Sausage patty
Monkey salad





Lunch:
Spaghetti squash and meatballs
Cabbage salad with homemade mayo
1 apple

Dinner:
New York Strip Steak from my in-laws
Green salad with homemade mayo
Grated and baked sweet potatoes

Snack:
Jonathan apples quarters with almond butter




Saturday:
Breakfast:
Omelet with mini sweet peppers, jalapeno pepper, green onions, mushrooms, ground pork, sliced black olives, avocado slices, and a dash of hot sauce

Lunch:
If you can call it lunch, we basically had a lot of fruit (strawberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, pineapple, and red and green grapes) as well as some bell pepper slices and baby carrots; as much as I enjoyed spending time with my in-laws, it would have been smart of us to have prepared and brought some food that we could eat.

Dinner:
Scrambled eggs with bell pepper, onion, and garlic
Pre-baked sweet potatoes fried in a skillet (they didn't get crispy like I was hoping)

Snack:
Half of a Key Lime Pie Larabar

Well, only three days left. Kinda hard to believe! I can tell, though, that it would be good for me to stay on a strict Whole30 compliant diet for at least the next month or two because I still deal with sugar cravings like you wouldn't believe. I did bring home a small slice of graduation cake to enjoy on Wednesday, but that's going to have to be my limit for a while. Still, since I'm hoping to be fairly compliant with this way of eating for the indefinite future, I'm not all that sad about it.

Have a blessed Sunday. I should have a post up Sunday evening.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Whole30 Challenge Day 25

It's a rainy Thursday here, which is good, because we've been in a considerable need of rain lately. We had about 1/2" in our rain gauge when I got home this afternoon, and it started raining again around 8 PM, so I'll be curious to see what that adds. Our deck garden seems to have been enjoying the moisture...hopefully our tomatoes will start turning red soon to make room for new growth.

We had a bit of a party at work today, an ice cream social, because it was the last day for one of my coworkers. At least there were bananas that I could enjoy...

Since it's getting late here, I'll just skip right to the food.
Breakfast:
Scrambled eggs with mini sweet peppers and green onion
Sausage patty (clean pork, but probably had sugar as part of the seasoning process :P )
Monkey salad with blueberries





Lunch:
2 hamburger patties
Golden cauliflower soup
Steamed zucchini
Cabbage salad with homemade mayo
1 apple

Dinner:
Grilled chicken
Garlic Herb Cauliflower Rice (delicious!)
Grape tomatoes, mini sweet peppers, baby carrots
Homemade mayo
Watermelon cubes

I'm looking forward to another great day of food tomorrow. Hope you are, too!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Whole30 Challenge Day 24

Hello Wednesday! Middle of the week, two days left of work, prayer meeting at church...yeah, it's the good life.

I continue to feel great as the days pass by. Getting up at 5 hasn't been nearly the battle I thought it would be, though it's very easy to sleep in until 7 or 8 on weekends, and that's a habit I'd like to break. Really, I'd almost like to start getting up even up to an hour earlier than I do now because I could get so much more done in the morning without feeling like I was abandoning my family like it sometimes feels in the evenings.

Well, you're probably here to find out about my food choices today. And I'm willing to satisfy your curiosity.

Breakfast:
Scrambled eggs with mini sweet peppers and green onions
Monkey salad with blueberries

Lunch:
Hamburger
Green beans
Cabbage salad with homemade mayo
1 apple

Dinner:
Spaghetti squash with crockpot meatballs
Green salad with homemade mayo
Steamed zucchini

Now, off to church, and then home to bed. Have a great evening!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Whole30 Challenge Day 23

Ah, Tuesday. Only 7 days left of this experiment. We're still discussing what and how much to reintroduce when the month is over. Abi has told she feels more like she can maintain this type of meal plan over sticking with a regular exercise regimen as she gets easily bored with exercising. Anyway, I'll be sure to keep you updated.

Since it's getting late again, I'll just get right to the food and catch you again tomorrow.

Breakfast:
Scrambled eggs with green onion, mini sweet peppers, and ground pork
Monkey salad

Lunch:
Leftover fish
Cabbage salad with homemade mayo
Leftover coconut creamed kale
1 apple

Dinner:
Grilled hamburger on a leaf of Napa cabbage
Green beans
Green salad with homemade mayo







Snack:
Coconut milk, fresh peach, and frozen banana smoothie

Hopefully I can get a little bit of stuff done yet tonight before bed. Guess I'd better check out of here if that's going to happen. Later!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Whole30 Challenge Day 22

It's been a great day here! Work, even though it started off super crazy, calmed down and left me with plenty of time to work on some paperwork projects that have needed finishing. I managed to write a little bit on my break and again after I got home. During lunch I read a chapter out of a Christian sci-fi book that I've had for a while--it's an interesting story, but could have used a lot more editing, unfortunately. I'll probably post about it on my other site, www.jwexperience.com, after I finish it. Dinner was especially tasty, and afterwards we went to Aldi for a few groceries and then Gray's Lake to make the almost 2-mile circuit. If we got out and did that at least three nights a week, we'd hit our 90 minutes of weekly exercise goal. Something to shoot for, at least.

Only 8 days left in this current challenge. Then the difficulty will be figuring out what foods to reintroduce, how to let them back in, and how to keep from losing the progress that's been made this month. I'm thinking that if we go to a slightly more regular diet, MyFitnessPal.com is going to be quite useful.

Food for today:
Breakfast:
Paleo Sweet Potato and Sausage Egg Scramble
Monkey salad with blueberries

Lunch:
Thai spiced turkey burger
Golden cauliflower soup
Cabbage salad with homemade mayo
1 apple

Dinner:

5-Spice Slow-Cooker Pork Ribs
Coconut Creamed Kale (Abi didn't like it, and it didn't thicken up like the recipe suggested)
Watermelon

The next couple of days will be busy. We have a visitation tomorrow evening and prayer meeting on Wednesday. I will still try to post, but if I miss for some reason, don't worry, I haven't gone far.

I hope your Tuesday gets off to a great start. Keep eating!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Whole30 Challenge Day 21

Welcome to Sunday! I hope you've had an enjoyable and uplifting day. Abi and I enjoyed services at church today where I was able to teach Sunday school and she played piano for the morning service. It had been a while since I last taught, and it was enjoyable to do it again. Apparently I did okay because I was asked to fill in again on July 13th. Today's lesson was on witnessing to Mormons, the lesson on the 13th is likely going to be about answering objections to Christianity. These apologetic-type lessons are some of my favorite to research and teach, so this is a real treat for me.

It's hard to believe that we're already three weeks into this challenge. One thing that has impressed itself on me is just how much we as a society celebrate virtually anything with food (I'm sure I've said this in a previous post, but it still holds true). It's gotten a little easier to resist the treats at work, and that's something I want to maintain once this challenge is over. An occasional treat is fine, but the sheer amount of them that show up at work is almost unreal.

Here's the food breakdown for today:
Breakfast:
Paleo Sweet Potato and Sausage Egg Scramble
Monkey Salad with blueberries, strawberries, and cinnamon

Lunch:
Leftover crockpot chicken
Steamed zucchini and broccoli
2 coconut lime energy bites







Dinner:
Green salad with homemade mayo
Golden Cauliflower Soup
Grilled chicken breasts

Sleep tight, everyone, and check back tomorrow!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Whole30 Challenge Day 20

Happy Saturday! Just a quick post as it is getting close to Lukas' bedtime and Abi and I need to get to bed ourselves so we can make it to church in the morning. I hope you've had a good day, though, and I'd love to hear about it in the comments.

Breakfast:
Monkey salad with blueberries
Paleo Sweet Potato and Sausage Egg Scramble (made with beef)

Lunch:
Leftover Thai Spiced Turkey Burger on a leaf of Napa cabbage
Steamed broccoli
Cucumber spears and grape tomatoes
A slice of avocado

Dinner:
A green salad topped with chicken pieces that had been soaked in red wine vinegar, a little salt, and some Italian seasoning; I used a chili infused extra virgin olive oil as a dressing
Steamed zucchini

Sorry about the lack of pictures today. I should be able to get at least one tomorrow.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Whole30 Challenge Day 19

Woo-hoo! It's Friday, and we're almost 2/3 through this challenge. Even though Abi hasn't felt all that different, I've continued to see improvement in my energy and appreciation of food. The natural sweetness in fruits, for instance, seems much sweeter than it did even three weeks ago as I've eliminated processed/added sugars from my diet. Other flavors have become more intense, too, which makes meals much more enjoyable.

Abi and I need to be more focused in adding exercise to our daily routine, though. As much as I've recovered from my back injury, there's no excuse keeping me from at least walking 20 minutes or more every other day. I know we would both feel even better than we do now if we got on the ball in this area. And while this challenge isn't primarily about losing weight, I want to keep the momentum going. I figure I should really lose 40-50 pounds still, and while food is an important part of the equation, exercise is also necessary. I know that it's going to take discipline and planning to incorporate all of the things I should and really want to be doing while letting go of the less important things (like spending so much time on Facebook).

Well, enough talk, let's get down to business.

Breakfast:
Scrambled eggs with bell pepper and red onion
1 banana

Lunch:
Leftover chicken
Leftover vegetable soup
Cabbage salad with homemade mayo
1 apple


Dinner:
Baked fish
Diced parsnips fried with cinnamon and nutmeg
Green salad with homemade mayo

No pictures tonight, unfortunately. Maybe I'll make something really amazing tomorrow to make up for it. ;)

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Whole30 Challenge Day 18

Oh, it's a beautiful Thursday! Even with the rain that came through this evening and prevented us from going outside (not to mention the heat and humidity that I so thoroughly don't enjoy), things are currently clearing off and it's a nice looking evening. Unfortunately with the threat of thunderstorms overnight, I don't think we'll risk leaving the windows open. If I had my way, I think we'd pretty much run the A/C from now until September. I never made a promise during the winter to not complain about the summer temps, and that's because I would much prefer it cold. Oh well, I digress.

We had a good day overall. Work was fun; I got to witness a bone marrow collection so I can perform them on my own in the future, and in this case it was to confirm the hope that the patient's cancer was gone. Then I got spend about an hour preparing for my Sunday school lesson in three days. And finally, we got to enjoy a wonderful dinner together as a family.

Speaking of food, I bet you're here to find out what I had.

Breakfast:
Egg bake
Monkey salad with strawberries and blueberries

Lunch:
Rosemary-Lemon Spaghetti Squash with Chicken
Cabbage salad with homemade mayo
1 apple (not rotten in the middle ;) ).

Dinner:
Thai Spiced Turkey Burgers
Oven-baked sweet potato bites
Green bell pepper
Grape tomatoes

What could top a day like that? Knowing that tomorrow is Friday, of course! Have a great night, and I'll see you here tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Whole30 Challenge Day 17

Ah, Wednesday. Halfway through the week, a sign of better things to come. Two more days until the weekend, and one of those days I get to be a straight-up bench tech and not so much a departmental supervisor. Sure, I could be asked on to answer questions about my area, but it's a nice break from the routine.

I think we've somewhat adapted to the earlier schedule, though it's definitely more difficult to maintain. A part of me would like to go back to the evening shift, and I know Abi would enjoy the hours more, but day shift goes with the job. Oh well, maybe we'll both come to love it and the thought of switching back to evenings will become strange, even repulsive. We can only hope, right?

So, I bet you're wondering what fueled my good attitude today. Well, I'll give you the rundown.

Breakfast:
Egg bake

Monkey salad with the addition of blueberries

Lunch:
Rosemary-Lemon Spaghetti Squash with Chicken
Steamed Zucchini
Cabbage salad with homemade mayo
Part of a large apple (the center, sadly, was totally brown; one of the microbiologists suspected a fungus had gotten inside)

Dinner:
Coconut milk and strawberry smoothie

Rosemary Roasted Whole Chicken
Tomato and cucumber summer salad
Watermelon

The chicken was definitely the highlight as it was a large one that came from my in-laws. We're expecting to get at least three more meals out of it, maybe more if we stretch our casseroles. And doing it in the crockpot helped the meat retain a lot of moisture, which was a huge plus.

How about those of you reading this? Have you been attempting a Whole30 yourself? Have you at least experimented some in the kitchen? Coming to a greater appreciation for food, I look forward to playing around more and finding additional recipes that we can enjoy.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Whole30 Challenge Day 16

We're over the halfway mark now! In some ways it's surprising that we've made it this far, but at the same time, a quote that (I think) comes from the Whole30 people saying we choose what to put in our mouths is a big motivator. I don't have to have a Mountain Dew, or a cookie, or a doughnut, or half of a loaf of garlic bread with a heaping plate of pasta, but I have often chosen to do so. It will be interesting and challenging when we start reintroducing some of the foods we've eliminated the last 2 1/2 weeks, both to see how they affect us and how we are drawn to them.

Break time at work was a little stressful again as there were still leftover goodies from Friday's retirement party, and in addition there were two new plates of cookies for other reasons. It's becoming more amazing to me just how many things we celebrate with food, and junk food at that. I don't mean to sound superior, but it almost seems like, "Hey, you know what would be a great present for my birthday? If I put you all on the road to diabetes. Because that's how much I love you guys!" Okay, maybe not that intense, but still, you have to wonder what it is about our culture that puts such an emphasis on gorging ourselves when something good happens. This is not to say that I'm never going to eat a cookie again, but I will be thinking a lot more about whether I really want one before eating one.

My food for today:
Breakfast:
Egg bake with seasoned ground pork, bell pepper, onion, cilantro, parsley, and black olives
Monkey salad

Lunch:
Leftover meat and vegetable soup
Cabbage salad with homemade mayo
1 apple

Dinner:
Rosemary-Lemon Spaghetti Squash with chicken

Steamed zucchini
Green salad with homemade mayo

Come back soon to hear more of our adventure!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Whole30 Challenge Day 15

Welcome to Week 3 of the experiment! Even though Abi hasn't seen much by way of results, I'm definitely feeling better and my pants are continuing to loosen. I'm not expecting to see 20 or 30 pounds fall off, but I think 15 would be a reasonable estimate for the month. Guess we'll find out in another 15 days.

Today was definitely more difficult for me. First, my schedule changed this week, so now I'm working 7-3:30 instead of 7:30-4. That extra half hour in the morning makes a tremendous difference, and I'm glad I don't have to get to work any earlier. And then, during my break, a few of my coworkers pulled out many of the treats leftover from Friday's retirement party. Passing them up was tough, but I managed. Finally, I stopped at a store on my way home to buy some cashews, and I swear the pop coolers were calling my name. O_o

I didn't have anything to complain about, though, which is the really frustrating aspect of today. My food was all tasty and filling. I can't remember...this might be about the time of the program that the authors of the book suggested would be the most difficult. I'm sure you'll agree I had nothing to complain about after seeing my menu:

Breakfast:
Fajita omelet

Lunch:
Leftover fish
Leftover soup from last night
Cabbage salad with Orange Poppyseed Dressing
1 Apple

Dinner:
Grilled chicken breast
Grilled salad
Homemade mayo
Watermelon
Some organic Raspberry Lemon Grass juice with Perrier Citron for a treat

A part of me wants to dig into the leftovers from tonight's meal, but I know that would be counterproductive. It's only 7 PM, and with the threat of a storm we won't be heading out anywhere, so I should just kick back and enjoy the evening...after I've made a breakfast casserole for tomorrow.

See you again soon!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Whole30 Challenge Day 14

It's a beautiful Sunday afternoon here in Iowa, and I hope you all are enjoying it as much as I am. I've been a little tired all day as my son woke several times during the night, and that's a bit unfortunate, especially since tomorrow I have to start getting up at 5 instead of 5:30 for work. I'm hoping it will only take a week or so before I adjust to the new hours.

It hasn't been a revolutionary food day here, though that's not to say I haven't enjoyed eating. Judge for yourself.

Breakfast:
Paleo Sweet Potato and Sausage Egg Scramble

Lunch:
Spaghetti squash with crockpot meatballs
Paleo Peach Coconut Smoothie

Dinner:
Vegetable soup with leftover chicken and pork pieces
Raw veggies with homemade mayo

Tonight will be one of the most difficult events of this experience: the annual Father's Day Pie and Ice Cream Fellowship after the evening service at church. We're going to take a couple of Larabars, Cherry Pie flavor, to stave off temptation. Oh well, life will go on, and there's always next year.

Join us again tomorrow for the start of the third week.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Whole30 Challenge Day 13

Happy Saturday! And, to all of you dads out there, Happy Father's Day weekend! I was blessed to be able to spend almost the entire day today alone with my son, and it was a great deal of fun. We bought some new plants to replace the ones that had had died on our deck and got them into their places, played with some of his toys, and had some good laughs.

Now, the food today was a lot of fun, too. And I took pictures of all three meals, you lucky readers! Here we go.

Breakfast:

Fajita omelet (3 eggs, diced onion, diced bell pepper, diced mushrooms, sliced black olives, sliced avocado, and a dash of hot sauce)
















Lunch:
Grilled steak, brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with salt, coarse ground black pepper, and some garlic salt
Sauteed bell pepper strips, onion, and mushroom as a steak topping
Cauliflower "mashed potatoes", with ghee and chives




Dinner:
Green salad with some homemade mayo
Burgers on the grill loosely following the recipe here
Napa cabbage as a "bun"
Avocado, bell pepper, onion, grape tomato, and homemade mayo as toppings

Are you inspired? I hope so. I'll see you tomorrow!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Whole30 Challenge Day 12

No picture today as almost everything was a repeat.

Breakfast:
Paleo Sweet Potato and Sausage Egg Scramble
Monkey Salad

Lunch:
Crockpot pork roast
3 hard-boiled eggs
Cabbage salad with Orange Poppyseed Dressing
1 apple

Dinner:
Green salad with citrus chicken strips
1 Larabar
Monkey salad

Tune in tomorrow for more food!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Whole30 Challenge Day 11

Just a quick post as the fam and I are going to head out for a walk to enjoy this wonderful evening.

It was another good day, and Abi and I are both finding that we get full after less food than we used to need. It's a great feeling, and it's also encouraging to feel this way after eating food that is actually quite good for us.

Rundown for today:
Breakfast:
Paleo Sweet Potato and Sausage Egg Scramble

Lunch:
Leftover meatballs over spaghetti squash
Cabbage salad with Orange Poppyseed Dressing
1 apple

Dinner:
Grilled vegetable kabobs
Grilled salad
Baked fish

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Whole30 Challenge Day 10

Well, here we are, 1/3 of the way through the month. And I have to say, I think I'm beginning to reap some of the benefits. I feel like I'm sleeping better, my clothes are starting to loosen up a bit, and I'm discovering a whole new aspect to food that is simply wonderful. I can't wait to see what the rest of the month will hold!

Wednesdays are the toughest days around here because we have church at 6:30 in the evening. It's definitely more of a struggle to get dinner on the table and consumed by 6 so we can head out the door. We're finding out that the crockpot is a magnificent tool for overcoming this time crunch. I think Abi and I both wish we'd been making more use of it during our marriage, though we've been a little nervous about leaving it on while we sleep when we were on evening and overnight shifts. Perhaps that's a bit of extra paranoia that kept us from taking more enjoyment in our meals, but it's the truth.

We were especially excited about trying out tonight's dinner, and I think it's one that we'll for sure keep in mind as a way to stay away more from boxed pastas. Sure, there's a little more prep involved, but I think the payoff is worth the effort.

Food for today included:
Breakfast:
Paleo Sweet Potato and Sausage Egg Scramble
Monkey Salad

Lunch:
Leftover smoked ham
Cabbage salad w/Orange Poppyseed Dressing
(I had an apple with me, but wasn't hungry enough to need it)

Dinner:

Steamed broccoli
Raw broccoli, baby carrots, green pepper, avocado with a little homemade mayo for dipping
Spaghetti squash
Paleo Crockpot Meatballs

What a fantastic food day! Hope you're looking forward to tomorrow's adventures!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Whole30 Challenge Day 9

I'm ba - a - ack!


I trust you all have had a wonderful Tuesday. I'm glad to be home from work and able to spend some time with my family.

I think today was the first day I really felt like getting a snack while I was at work. I didn't, just so you know, but it was weird to get hit with that craving. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, the only product I've found in the store at work that is compatible with the Whole30 is a bag of pistachios. I like pistachios, but I wasn't so desperate for food that I felt I needed to go buy them. Yay me!

Now, I bet you're here to find out what I ate. Well, never fear, I aim to please!

Delectables for the Day:
Breakfast:
Paleo Sweet Potato and Sausage Egg Scramble
Monkey Salad

Lunch:
Check this out! The cabbage grew in our fridge!
Ginger Soy Chicken
Cauliflower "rice"
Cabbage salad (green and purple cabbage, diced mushrooms, carrot coins, diced mini-sweet peppers, sliced black olives, diced onion, pea shoots, chives, cilantro, parsley, and topped with Orange Poppyseed Dressing)
1 apple
It mixed well and tasted great, though.











Dinner:


Smoked ham in the crockpot (which very possibly had sugar *gasp*) with some green cabbage that got very done
Green salad with orange slices, a little avocado, and Orange Poppyseed Dressing
Mint tea made with mint leaves from our deck garden
The red stuff in the bowl is blossoms from our tuberous begonia that is hanging outside our front door

Tomorrow is a brand new day, and we're especially looking forward to the crockpot meatball recipe we're going to try, especially when we put the meatballs and tomato sauce over spaghetti squash. Mmmm!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Whole30 Challenge Day 8

Welcome to Monday! I know a lot of people don't get excited about Monday's, but are they really any worse than any other day? Well, yes, of course they are. That's why we complain about them, right? ;)

One thing we figured out here is that a good way to get the mornings off to a great start is to have breakfast at least partially made in advance. So yesterday, while I was preparing dinner, I was also getting breakfast for today (and tomorrow and Wednesday) put together. A little tip, thanks to Abi, for any of you who may be doing large egg bakes that aren't being completely eaten in one meal: cover the pan with foil before heating in the oven to prevent excess drying of the food.

Let's get right into today's menu:
Breakfast:
Paleo Sweet Potato and Sausage Egg Scramble (we didn't have any sausage, clean or otherwise, so I ended up using about 2/3 pound of ground beef, and I added in a couple of diced mini-sweet peppers, a bit of olive oil to prevent sticking/burning, and some chives and cilantro from our deck garden, and I seasoned everything with a bit of garlic salt, regular salt, ground sage, and paprika) - the picture  might not do this dish justice, but trust me, it's delicious!
Monkey Salad
1 cup cantaloupe

Lunch:
Leftover crockpot chicken and sweet potatoes
Leftover green salad
1 hard-boiled egg
1 apple

Dinner:
Healthy Citrus Chicken Strips over a green salad with Orange Poppyseed Dressing
Parsnips

Dinner was a lot more filling than you might expect with so few items, but that's an amazing thing we're discovering about vegetables. I also think both of us have adapted quite a bit to eating smaller portions, which would explain why the waistlines on some of our outfits don't feel quite so tight, even after only one week.

With meals out of the way, and it being still so nice at almost 7:30 PM, we're going to take a little walk around the neighborhood before putting the necessary items together for tomorrow's meals and then heading off to bed.

Have, or are, you going through a Whole30 of your own? We'd be glad to hear what recipes you're using, what challenges you're facing, and what successes you're seeing.

Until tomorrow...

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Whole30 Challenge Day 7

So here we are, one week down! This challenge has been, in some ways, easier than I expected, and in other ways more difficult. The food has pretty much all been tasty, but it's required a switch in mindsets when it comes to grocery shopping and meal planning. Fortunately, we've come up with several recipes that could be go-to recipes for when this month is over.

Abi and I have discussed some options for when this month is finished. Someone she knows has done the Whole30 and now takes the weekends to eat the Whole30-restricted foods, though still in reasonable quantities. That might be the way we do things here. We'll see.

Today's culinary line-up:
Breakfast:
Leftover egg bake topped with guacamole
Monkey Salad








Lunch:
Leftover crockpot pork
Raw veggies
A little homemade mayo







Our mayo loves us!










Dinner:
Soy Ginger Chicken with coconut aminos substituted in for the soy sauce
Baked cauliflower (to simulate rice)
Green salad with a little red wine vinegar

We also had a little snack of paleo zucchini chips, though I didn't get them crispy like they should have been.


I feel it was a good day foodwise. I really didn't feel hungry, except a little after we finished dinner since the cauliflower wasn't as filling as normal rice would have been, but I definitely think we're getting this thing figured out. Hard to believe we're already almost 1/4 of the way through.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Whole30 Challenge Days 5 and 6

Hi friends!

We got a little busy yesterday with things here, so I (obviously) was not able to post about food. I'm sure you were all devastated, so to make up for it, I'm posting about TWO DAYS AT ONCE!

I noticed yesterday at work that I felt a little trimmer in the midsection. Nothing huge, but there seemed to be a definite change for the better. With my back issues, I need to do core strengthening exercises, and I got some new things from my chiropractor last night to hopefully help. An added bonus is that I should see some visible gut shrinkage as a result (though not necessarily from loss of fat, of course, but from my core muscles holding everything in place better).

I've also been feeling overall quite well this entire week. There was a bit of temptation Friday morning as one of my coworkers brought in homemade cinnamon rolls, and Friday evening we went to a graduation party, but I stayed strong and resisted the urge to snack. Yay me!

Meals for Friday included:
Breakfast:
Egg-bake with guacamole
1 cup cantaloupe
1/4 green bell pepper, sliced

Lunch:

Leftover crockpot pork
Green beans
Cumin-scented cabbage salad with homemade mayo and guacamole
1 Apple

Dinner:
Green salad with canned salmon
Steamed broccoli

I have to admit, the salmon was not my favorite, and I'm not planning on using it again. Something about the flavor didn't sit the best with me, and the psychological aspect of bones still being present kinda bothered me, too.

Moving on to Saturday:
Breakfast (which was rather late, almost 11 AM):
Omelette w/sauteed onion and mini-sweet pepper, some ground beef, and mushrooms
1/2 peach


Lunch/Snack (to keep us going until dinner; picture shows portions for both of us):
Savory coconut flakes
1 apple
Handful of almonds
Raw broccoli
Baby carrots
Celery sticks


Dinner:
Grilled salad topped with avocado, green pepper, tomato, boiled egg, onion, and a little homemade mayo
Grilled pork chops, brushed with olive oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper, and topped with some lime slices while being grilled



I've found that water has been a huge blessing this week, too, and haven't missed other drinks as much as I thought I would. We have some mint leaves on our deck, so I'm thinking to use some of those and a few lemon and/or lime slices to add a little zest to some water as a treat. At any rate, I've managed to drink almost 1/2 gallon of water a day for the last three or four days.

I'll see you here tomorrow for a new post!



Thursday, June 5, 2014

Whole30 Challenge Day 4

Welcome to Day 4! Are you excited? I am! I've been feeling great today.

Breakfast:
1/6 Egg bake (ground beef seasoned with a variety of spices; sauteed onion, mini-sweet peppers, and pea shoots; steamed broccoli; scrambled egg with frozen spinach mixed in; a few black olives) topped with some homemade guacamole
1 banana



Lunch:
Leftover Mexican Pulled Pork w/Onions and Peppers
Asparagus
Cumin-Scented Cabbage Salad topped with a spoonful of our homemade mayo and a couple spoonfuls of my homemade guacamole
1 apple

Dinner:
Slow Cooker Chicken with Apple and Sweet Potato
Green beans with coconut oil and garlic salt
Abi's summer cucumber and tomato salad







Getting enough down at breakfast is the most challenging part of this program for me as I haven't yet planned ahead the night before everything that should go on my plate. I know eating a bigger breakfast would help me throughout the day, so I'm going to work on that.

Tomorrow evening will present one of the toughest challenges of the program so far: a graduation party. Never fear, we shall prevail here.