I'm so close to the end I can taste it! You know what it tastes like?
Seriously my cravings these last few days are way worse than they've been all month. It might have something to do with the fact that I'm really anticipating going to see Ender's Game on November 1st and I know I'm going to load up on buttery popcorn and red vines!
Things I've done to beat back the cravings:
Snacking on almonds and raisins
Drinking iced coffee and almond milk(I keep a pot of coffee in the fridge, every morning I pour myself a glass, then add ice and almond milk. Yum!)
Drinking a LOT of water. I constantly have a water bottle with me. Of course I'm constantly running to the bathroom to pee as well, but, what're you gonna do?..
My favorite dinner this week? Taco salad!
Taco salad is a big favorite in my house. I ate a lot of it growing up. Of course some of the main ingredients such as tortilla chips and kidney beans are out, but the most important things are still in! Lettuce, ground beef, olives, ranch dressing.. Yes! Ranch dressing! For some of the best paleo ranch I've found, try this recipe here at CupcakesOMG. This stuff has saved my life. I love this on my salad! Try it with red lettuce, chopped chicken, and apple. Mmm! I haven't been able to find fresh dill for the life of me, so try dried parsley instead, it's worked pretty good for me!
Weight loss update:
I've reached my first short term goal! Twelve pounds down and I'm sittin pretty at 179.5! Woohoo! Looking forward to finishing this up and posting all my results. I need to look for a good before picture too...
I'm on the home stretch! So excited to be nearly done. This Whole30 experience has been amazing, but man do I want some buttered popcorn! November 1st you will find me at the movie theater with a big bag of buttered popcorn watching Ender's Game. Hope it doesn't make me sick.. So far I'm down 11 pounds! I'm hitting the gym this week and working hard to lose just 1 more. Twelve pounds will put me back in the 170s and I'm pretty stoked about that. My clothes are definitely feeling a lot looser, and overall I feel great. I can tell that even when I haven't had enough sleep I still function better during the day. We've had a couple sick kids the last few days, so sleep has been elusive. I did cheat a little bit this weekend, but I have to say I don't feel guilty at all. How did I cheat exactly? Well I attended a Mom's Night Out at a friend's house entitled "Just Desserts"... and I brought banana ice cream! Amidst the chocolate molten lava cake and creme caramel, everyone who tried it said they were really surprised at how good it was! I made three flavors, chocolate, blackberry, aaaaaaaand PUMPKIN! The pumpkin was by far my favorite. I'll post a recipe soon, but basically I just added 100% canned pumpkin to the banana ice cream. Another yummy recipe I don't have a picture for is a quick cajun shrimp with roasted broccoli and bell peppers. Stir fry frozen, cooked shrimp in olive oil and season with your favorite spices. I used a bottle of Perfect Pinch Cajun seasoning. Not too bad! Roast broccoli and bell peppers in olive oil at 425 degrees for 30 minutes. Toss half way through. Mix everything together and devour. I had this for lunch and dinner yesterday. Heated up really well! Other things I've made that I'll be posting soon: ketchup, mayo, and ranch dressing. I swear this ranch dressing has changed my life. More on that tomorrrow!
I've gotten a little behind on my updates so I'm going to sum up Week 3 in one post, don't worry, it wasn't very eventful ;) I have a quick recipe to share, so scroll on down for that if that's what you're interested in! Week 3 is known for being a little rough in the digestive department. A lot of the nasty bacteria that has been living in your gut for who knows how long is now taking it's grand exit, only it's not so grand. Aside from a little constipation followed by a couple days of diarrhea it wasn't horrible. Everyone is different though so be prepared! The other side effect I felt during Week 3 was moodiness. I was super short tempered with the kids and a lot more impatient than normal. This probably lasted the 3 days right in the middle of Week 3, but by the last few days of the week it had passed. Breakfast was getting a little old for me, so I decided to try something new. Here's a quick and easy recipe for any time of the day. The best part is my 3 year old thought these were pretty great too!
Cinnamon Carrot Sticks in Coconut Oil
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Peel and slice whole carrots(baby carrots are easier but I found they weren't as sweet). Cover a baking pan(cake pan works fine too)with foil, drizzle coconut oil over the foil. Toss the carrots around in the oil with a spatula until covered. Sprinkle carrots with cinnamon. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes, toss, then bake for another 15 minutes. They get all caramelized and yummy. Next time I'm trying them with a little cayenne to go with the cinnamon. I love sweet and spicy! Mmmmmmm.
Things are moving along smoothly. No major cravings and I've lost more weight. Hurray! There are a bajillion (sp?) Whole 30 blogs out there, but I came across one I liked and thought I would share it. It's purely a daily Whole 30 log, nothing more. Very cut and dry, with some recipes, tips, and general updates. You can find it here at Russ and Amy's Whole 30 Journey. I followed one of Amy's tips and decided to try an egg casserole as a quick, microwave-able breakfast. Turns out I ate the last piece before I could take a picture. Guess I'll have to make another ;) This is a base recipe you can really play with, which happens to be perfect for Whole 30 because you don't have to worry about eating the same thing every morning. Switch it up a few times during the month! 1 dozen eggs Seasoned meat (ex. turkey sausage (mild or hot), taco seasoned ground beef, turkey, or chicken) two big handfulls of spinach other goodies of your choice: chopped bell peppers, hot peppers, mushrooms, onions, sweet potato... Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8x8 baking dish with something Whole 30 approved, like coconut oil. (This would work equally well in a 9x9 pan.) Cook the meat on the stove, then add spinach. Mix it a bit and let it get wilty. Pour meat and spinach mixture into baking dish. In a bowl, scramble a dozen eggs. Pour eggs over meat and spinach in baking dish. Bake for 35 minutes. Check center for doneness. You shouldn't have any egg whites glopping about. Take it out. Let it sit a few while you get your fork out. Enjoy!
I felt a lot better the last half of Week 1. A lot less groggy, and, as long as I got enough sleep, I had more energy too than the first few days. I'm also starting to get into the swing of it. Giving the kids snacks I couldn't touch isn't so hard. Plus, I tried my hand at a few recipes to spice things up a bit! The key for success seems to be changing up recipes and keeping it as flavorful as possible. I'm a big sandwich person. It's my go to comfort food (who doesn't like soup and a sandwich?), it's easy, quick, and of course there are tons of varieties! It's pretty hard to mess up a sandwich. Obviously I'm not eating sandwiches this month. :( BUT, I happen to feel that lettuce really does make a nice substitute for bread and even tortillas! Not only are they tasty, but they are super easy to throw together. Maybe I'm just lucky but my kids will eat them too, even the 2 year old. Take ground turkey/beef/chicken, salsa, olives, peppers, and wrap it in lettuce! Or try shrimp and salsa for a shrimp taco! Yum! Tuna or egg salad is also fantastic when wrapped in lettuce. Just gotta get that home made mayo down first ;) The Clothes Makes the Girl has a pretty good how-to video for the paleo mayo, but a quick Google search will give you a lot of recipes, variations, and videos. Just be sure all the ingredients are Whole30 A-Okay. Around Day 4 I also tried homemade salsa. Not just any salsa either, pineapple salsa! I used to get pineapple and mango salsa at Trader Joe's when we lived in MD and I have to say this is even better. It was so crisp, cool, and fresh! I think it was all the cucumber.
Living in Hawaii has given me a lot of pineapple cutting practice, so I'm pretty quick at it. I can get through a whole one in less than ten minutes, including removing all the poky eyes. But if it's available, pre-cut pineapple is good too :) NomNomPaleo has a great Whole30 pineapple salsa recipe! Check for more Whole30 update posts!
I'm not gonna lie, the beginning is rough. For three days, every time I picked up the fork to put food in my mouth I would double check. Is this ok? Is this Whole30 compliant? I remember reading in It Starts With Food about people claiming to have dreams they were eating unhealthy food and actually woke up feeling guilty! Crazy right? Yeah, totally happened to me. I dreamed I was eating chips and salsa with a friend and woke up the next day in a kind of panic. Was that real? Did that really happen? Kinda felt like a crazy person. For me, one of the most difficult obstacles in the first few days, was remembering to not pick off the kids snacks. Normally I hand them a bowl of pretzels, and skim one off the top, or eat a spoonful of peanut butter while I'm making PB&Js. Doing the Whole30 with kids is definitely a test on your will power. For the most part they are eating what I'm eating, but I've found in this first week that it's almost impossible to keep them on a Whole30 diet too. Breakdown Day 1: So tired. Still trying to figure out what I could eat, what I couldn't eat. I skimmed through It Starts With Food, and the website, then did all my grocery shopping. (The day before the government shutdown at the commissary, what a nightmare.) Not a lot of cravings. Day 2: Extremely groggy. The kids would ask me questions and I would just repeat their questions without answering. I could hardly comprehend anything, and driving and talking at the same time was out of the question. Also very tired. Yawned all day. Day 3: I was worried the grogginess would last but it didn't. I got some extra sleep and felt a lot better this day. Still had to remind myself not to pick at the kids snacks. What I Ate
A lot of eggs. I love eggs so this isn't a big deal. I'm sure I'll get sick of them soon enough, but not yet. Plus, the kids love eggs, so I can easily cook for all of us. Omlettes are a favorite in my house, as are eggs over easy.
A lot of meat. I like all kinds of food, but I'm a big meat eater. I can do vegetarian meals just fine, but I was pretty stoked when I discovered bacon was Whole30 compliant. The first three days I had bacon, turkey sausage, and ham steak with my breakfast.
Avocado. I love the taste and it helps keep you full. Plus, it goes well with anything; breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Almonds. My neighbor tipped me off that this was her go to snack and I have to say it is a fab idea. Yummy almonds with sea salt right after a meal to top you off and get you by until the next one.
You technically aren't supposed to weigh yourself during the program, but I knew that this wasn't just about weight loss for me, so when I woke up on Day 3 and couldn't help but notice that I felt thinner I couldn't help myself. 3 lbs down in 3 days. Huge motivator. Just remember, it's different for everyone, so if you don't think you can handle seeing that you've gained weight or have lost any at all, then stay off the scale! Check back here for more posts on my Whole30 experience!
It's been a little bit of a rough year. I feel like it's gone by astonishingly fast. Like unbelievably fast. I'm already making Halloween costumes for crying out loud. It's crazy! Needless to say, I'm sure some of you can relate, but all those secondary things like health, nutrition, and fitness got pushed to the sidelines this year. I'm sure some of you can relate. The kids and I spent the whole month of August in Alaska visiting my family. I worked part time while I was there, and when I wasn't working we were running around taking the kids out places. I think I put on at least ten pounds while I was there. No joke, it was bad. Not long after getting back to Hawaii I ran into one of my neighbors. She looked great! I could tell she had lost weight since I'd seen her a month before and she looked not only thinner, but healthy and happy. She told me she'd done the Whole30 program during the month of August while I was away. I had never heard of it before, but was immediately intrigued as soon as she began explaining the premise of the idea. Eat clean, paleo-ish, food for one month, give up all sweeteners (artificial or otherwise), and come out the other side looking and feeling fantastic. I'm not going to go into a big explanation here about what Whole30 is. Check out their website, and the book It Starts With Food (not a paid link), for more info on what this is all about. I'm currently at the end of the first week, and I feel like it's important to me to share my experience here for others. There's a whole forum on their website you can check out, and tons of other bloggers have written about their Whole30s, but the more accounts the better. The more people claiming it's worked, it's great, have at it, the more others may actually put the effort in and do it. I'm going to share my favorite recipes, cooking ideas, and inspirations here, as well as a rundown of how it's affected my body and mood. I hope you check back to see how it goes! I feel like October is a good month to start. My last day is October 30th, so at least I can have a little treat on Halloween :)