Sunday, January 31, 2016

Whole 30: Day 29

This morning I listened to a post on periscope by Melissa Hartwig about the reintroduction phase of the Whole 30. I tried to find it and link it here but with periscope posts are only up for 24 hours so it's gone. I looked for it on YouTube but it's not there yet. However, here is the link to her blog post on about reintroduction. My daughter and I have some plans this weekend for a girls weekend which will leave Hubby and the boys on their own for a few meals. Hubby says "We'll probably get pizza." I said "Do you really want to go back to eating that way?" He replied "No." That really made me think that we need a game plan for the next 2 weeks. The past 29 days have been pretty well laid out. It was easy and not easy all at the same time.

I made a point to read the reintroduction chapter of It Starts With Food. Day 1 we can reintroduce legumes. Hubby doesn't really like peas and lima beans (which I was raised eating and like) but the whole family is a fan of edamame (soybeans in the pod). So I'm thinking that may be our reintroduction day 1. By Thursday or Friday we can add dairy back to our diet. Grains and gluten don't get added back until around day 10. The point is to take a few days and see how certain foods affect our bodies before adding in more food. On periscope Melissa talked about how grains make her feel lethargic and unsociable. So she's aware of how she will feel if she eats too much of one certain type of food.

A few things I think we will continue doing after finishing the Whole 30:

1. Coconut Oil- This oil has less of the bad fat and more of the good fat we need in our diet. It has a mild taste and really doesn't make the food taste all coconutty.

2. Sunbutter- Even our kids like sunbutter without sugar as well as peanut butter. So why eat something with sugar when there is a healthier alternative we like just as well.

3. Tesseme- Why eat salad dressing with fake ingredients and sugar when there are healthier alternatives? We really like the Tesseme dressings and there are lots of options available.

4- Eating a full breakfast and lunch- I have really gotten used to eating a full meal at breakfast and lunch. I don't get starving hungry at 10 AM or 3 PM and have to have a snack. I think I have a clearer mind and better focus when I'm not hungry. I also don't get "Hangry".

5- Clarified butter- Have you ever tried this stuff? So much better than butter or that fake margarine. I love it on my baked potatoes!

6- Avoiding processed food- I've been preaching this for years but until now have not found a way to do it so completely myself.

So tomorrow is the last day. The first week was long and hard. But we've just about done it.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Whole 30: Day 28

One of the things we have given up in the Whole 30 is bread, well any type of grain actually. For years we have been told we need grains at every meal. But if you are looking for fiber there are lots of ways to get fiber without using grains. The Mayo Clinic web page has this chart showing the fiber content of different foods. Cutting out a lot of the food we eat every day has forced us to try new food and in new ways.

I wasn't very hungry this morning when I got up so I had banana and Sunbutter. I think Hubby made himself some eggs. I went for groceries and got back late so lunch was not until 2 and I made chicken on spinach and arugula with avocado, grapes and grape tomatoes. It was beautiful outside today so we cooked dinner on the grill outside. We had grilled chicken and steak and I roasted parsnip fries and asparagus for dinner. The kids had friends over and they even tried the parsnip fries and asparagus. Not sure they cared for it but they tried it.

I wanted to make the breakfast meatloaf I found on Pinterest again. Last time I used some Italian sausage I found but it really called for ground pork and added seasonings. I had looked for ground pork for weeks and could not find it. Earlier this week I asked one of the guys at the local grocery store if he could ground me some pork and he had it done by the time I finished the rest of my shopping. I guess that's the benefit of living in a small town. I've got the breakfast meatloaf in the slow cooker now.

I have been thinking about our reintroduction this next week. I don't want to go back to eating the way we have in the past. My skin looks clearer and I got into some pants today that I haven't been able to wear in several months. So I don't want to go back but I am looking forward to relaxing the rules a little.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Whole 30: Day 27

Friday is Hubby's day off work so I try to let him and the 2 year old sleep in. I get the other 2 kids up and ready for school. Today I made sausage and poached eggs for breakfast. The 9 year old told me she wouldn't mind eating eggs for breakfast every day so she had what I had today. The 5 year old pukes when I feed him eggs but he wanted sausage so I only had to make one breakfast this morning.

I ended up not getting to leave work for lunch. I had some fruit which held me for a little while. Hubby had to come to town at 3 so he brought me a salad with chicken, tomatoes and avocado. Kids wanted chicken nuggets and mac and cheese for dinner. I don't know about anyone else but by Friday evening I am worn out. Pan fried chicken and roasted sweet potatoes have become my quick and easy go to dinner. So while they ate junk I did not.

Not much planned for this weekend. Hoping to get some rest.

Sorry for such a short post tonight. I'll try to have some new information to bring you tomorrow night.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Whole 30: Day 26

So I was getting tired of eggs, sausage and sweet potato for breakfast every morning. I had cooked it about all the ways I could find to cook it. So today I decided to try salmon for breakfast.
I put 4 small pieces in the fridge to thaw last night and cooked all 4 this morning. Hubby helped me make poached eggs and wilted greens. It was really a good filling breakfast. I'm thinking I should have thrown in some avocado as well. We used the other 2 pieces in a salad a lunch. 

One night a month I volunteer as the nurse practitioner at a local free clinic. I knew I did not have time to get home and get dinner before going to the clinic after my full time job so I had an apple and sunbutter to get me by until I could get home. The manager at the free clinic usually makes dinner but since I'm being so particular about what I'm eating I just figured I'd eat when I got home. The manager had heard I was doing the Whole 30 and made a compliant soup with chicken, sweet potato and carrots. It was so good! I have found that people are willing to help if they know what we are doing.

I prepared meatloaf for the kids and Hubby to have for dinner. All Hubby had to do was stick it in the oven. He also cut up a sweet potato (the 9 year old was quick to point out she peeled the sweet potato with the potato peeler) and roasted it with some asparagus. The kids didn't like the meatloaf and I tried it when I got home and probably won't try it again. Kind of a strange flavor.

4 days left! I think we're gonna make it!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Whole 30: Day 25

Today was a little crazy. I overslept by about 30 minutes. I've had this sinus infection for 2 weeks now. Monday I went to see the Dr in our clinic and got a steroid shot and some antibiotics. I took one NyQuil capsule (they come 2 in a pack) last night and apparently slept through the 2 year old falling out of his toddler bed. Fortunately, Hubby heard him and got him back in bed. So I think that was partly why I had trouble getting up. I was tired of sausage and potatoes with my eggs so we had leftover pork chops with wilted greens and poached eggs for breakfast. "It Starts With Food" suggests looking at meals as Meal 1, Meal 2 and Meal 3 instead of breakfast, lunch and dinner so you are not locked into a mindset of what is ok to eat at what time.

For lunch we had salad with chicken, avocado, grape tomato and grapes. I used Tesseme's Southwest Ranch dressing and Hubby had the Cracked Pepper dressing. I compared the calories and the Southwest Ranch has 90 cal per serving and the Cracked Pepper had 100 vs Buttermilk Ranch dressing at 120. Low Fat Ranch dressing has more calories but also more added junk. The list of ingredients for Ranch and Low Fat Ranch is long and includes sugar. The calories from the Tesseme's dressing mostly comes from olive oil.
Avocados have a lot of fat but it is a good fat and helps increase the good fat in your body. The fat also helps keep you full longer. I use a spring mix salad mix. It's a good mix of textures and flavor. The darker greens have more vitamins and are better for you.

My new dishwasher was delivered this afternoon but the install guy did not finish til 4:30. I usually pick the kids up at 3:30 on Wednesday so they can get chores and baths done before church. Since I was running an hour behind I barely got dinner fixed for Hubby and I before heading back to church. We had chicken and roasted sweet potato. Corn dogs were on the menu at church and my kids love them. I like them occasionally as well but I was satisfied with my dinner tonight. The closer we get to the end of this whole 30 journey the more nervous I get. We have worked so hard to get all the junk out of our diet I'm afraid to introduce any of it back in.

5 days to go!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Whole 30: Day 23 & 24

One of the comments I have heard from a lot of people is concern about the amount of fat in our diet. We eat 2 eggs every morning and have sausage with those eggs most mornings. We have been conditioned in the past to look at eggs, sausage and red meat as "bad" food. I have been a little concerned about that as well. But if you look at the fat we have cut out of our diet it evens out. Think about the amount of fat in dairy, bread and processed food that we eat every day. Those foods have been eliminated from our diet therefore, that fat has been eliminated. Next week we finish our Whole 30 so I have been pushing to finish reading "It Starts With Food". At the end of the book there is a reintroduction phase which discusses how to reintroduce the foods that we have eliminated (just as a side note I haven't found where they want me to reintroduce my sugary coffee creamer, huh wonder where that note can be found?). They suggest adding one food group and see how it affects the body so we know what foods make us feel bad and which ones we can tolerate. Added sugar and processed food is not on the reintroduction list.

Yesterday it was potatoes and eggs over easy with wilted greens and grape tomatoes, lunch was chicken breast with roasted asparagus and sweet potatoes, dinner was balsamic chicken again with roasted butternut squash. Hubby was out of town yesterday. He had chicken and veggies from a whole food store for lunch then his sister made him dinner. She called to make sure what she cooked was on his eating plan. It's nice when others in the family take enough care and concern to be supportive of this strict diet. He even did his driving without having to have an energy drink to say awake.

This morning I made eggs with lime, cilantro and mushrooms and added some fruit on the side. The eggs turned out a little mushy but the flavor was good. Lunch was chicken with leftover veggies from yesterday. I made baked pork steak with garlic and rosemary mashed potatoes and parsnips. It was kind of a weird flavor but the 2 year old had 2 helpings. I'm trying to use more spices and different flavor combinations to combat the food fatigue.

One piece of exciting news that I know will thrill all my readers : My new dishwasher comes tomorrow!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Whole 30: Day 22

8 more days of our super strict diet left. We have decided we want to transition into a Paleo diet/lifestyle from here. Paleo supports most of how we have been learning to eat this past month but gives a little more leeway in that you can have honey and maple syrup where on Whole 30 you cannot. I'm not sure if I will go back to my normal coffee creamer or not. I'm sure if I do I won't use near as much of it. I probably needed an intervention on that stuff anyway.

I made poached eggs with sweet potato and fruit for breakfast. The 9 year old ate eggs and potatoes as well and the 2 year old ate most of my blueberries. I put ribs in the crock pot for lunch with Tesseme bbq sauce and we had sweet potatoes and salad with it. For dinner we had leftovers from Friday dinner and today's lunch.

I was talking to a friend today about sticking on our diet while there was pizza and cinnamon rolls available. She asked if I didn't just crave it. It's hard to describe how the craving is different. There is the thought that it would taste good but then there is the decision not to eat it. Instead of a craving driving my food decision it is a choice to eat or not to eat. I am in control of my food choices and that is a good feeling to have.

The dress pants I wore to church today fit better and my jeans were a little loose tonight. I'm not down a pant's size yet but it's nice not to have to suck in the gut and wear a loose shirt to cover up the belly hanging over (come on, admit it, you know what I'm talking about). It's also easier to stick to this plan when the results are obvious.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Whole 30: Day21

We finally ventured out into the world of dining out. Until today we had not eaten anything that I had not cooked in 3 weeks. I lead a high school small group at church on Sunday morning and today was our yearly outing. We had decided to go to Incredible Pizza. Just in case you are wondering, pizza is not on the whole 30 matter how incredible it is. I made a big breakfast because I wasn't sure what we would find that we could eat for lunch. We had breakfast pork chops with fried egg, wilted greens and grape tomato. I use coconut oil for anything I fry or brown in the skillet.

We did find a few things we could eat at Incredible Pizza. Mostly salad and I took my own salad dressing so I knew it was compliant. Hubby put some taco meat on his salad and had some chili. I ate green beans and salad. We saw some ham and asked how it was cooked and sure enough it had brown sugar in it so we passed on the ham.

One of Hubby's friends from college was going to be close to us around dinner time so after we dropped off the high schoolers we picked up our kids and drove over to Chili's for dinner. I had avocado steak with salad for dinner. It had another sauce on it but after asking the waitress I found it had sugar in it so I asked for no sauce. I also requested no cheese or dressing on the salad and pulled out my own dressing. The steak was excellent. Hubby had steak and broccoli.

So we survived our first dining out experience. We are hoping to stay on a Paleo diet when we finish our whole30. Getting some experience asking about how things are cooked was helpful.

Whole 30: Day 20

When I was growing up we spent every Friday nigh at my grandparents' house. We would drop by the house and then rush back to the car and drive the 20 minutes through the country to their house. Twenty- five years ago 20 minutes was a long drive...or so it seemed. Now I live 8 hours from my parents. So we would drive over to my mother's parents' house. Mamaw would cook dinner. Often my favorite salisbury steak with gravy and mashed potatoes. Even when I went away to college every Friday when I was home we went to Mamaw's house. I never realized that the time spent there was probably rejuvenating for my mother. She didn't have to cook dinner and when she tried to clean up Mamaw would often shoo her out of the kitchen and say "I'll have those dishes cleaned up before you get home." And we would sit and talk and watch TV. After working all day I came home to dishes piled in the sick because the dishwasher is still broken. I was exhausted and cooking another Whole 30 dinner was not appealing because I knew it would leave more dishes to clean. I suddenly realized one of the reasons we went to Mamaw's house every Friday...Mama needed a break!

We had leftover breakfast casserole this morning. Hubby made grilled chicken and spinach salad for lunch. We had steak, baked potato and broccoli for dinner. I put balsamic vinegar dressing and red pepper flakes on the broccoli for a little extra flavor. We used clarified butter on the potato and added some green onion.

We are 2/3 of the way done with our Whole 30. Just 10 days left to go but the challenges are not over. Hopefully this weekend we can find time to look at dishwashers. Not an easy feat when even Walmart requires almost an hour drive.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Whole 30: Day 19

Food fatigue is starting to set in a few days early. I'm just tired of cooking. I feel like I cook the same stuff over and over and over again. Eggs, Italian sausage and sweet potatoes are my breakfast staple. And I've done it about every way I possibly can. Today I made poached eggs with Italian sausage and wilted greens (spinach I threw in the skillet after the sausage came out but doesn't "wilted greens" sound fancier?) and grape tomatoes. We cleaned out the fridge for lunch and came up with a sliver of leftover steak, a piece of baked fish and a piece of bbq pork. For veggies we split the last of roasted squash and made a salad. It was healthy, our plates and bellies were full and I did not have to cook an extra meal so we called it good. I made balsalmic chicken with mushrooms and thyme. All the kids loved it and so did Hubby. I might have to try that one again. I made roasted carrot fries which really tasted sweeter than raw carrots and not so carroty. Which is good because none of us really care for carrots that much.

After dinner I discovered our dishwasher is broken. I always turn it on in the morning and when we went to empty it I discovered the dishes were not clean so I turned it back on again. It got stuck with 1 minute left and it was not hot inside and the dishes were still not clean.

12 days to go! We can do this!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Whole 30: Day 18

My word for this year is "Healthy". There are a lot of different ways to get healthy. Physically, mentally, spiritually...the list could go on and on. The first thing we did this year to get healthy had to do with physical health. Tonight I sat in on the preview for Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University at our church. When Hubby and I got married 11 1/2 years ago his best friend gave him a copy of Dave's "Total Money Makeover".  We both had some debt and I had quite a bit in savings. Hubby read the book and said "This is what we need to do." I said "sure, ok". And we focused in on paying off our debt. Within 2 months we had paid off both our vehicles and a small credit card debt. It took us longer to pay off his student loans but we got it done. When I decided to go back to school for my Master's in nursing we decided to do it debt free. I had the option of taking out student loans and then hoping I would get a job with a company that offered loan repayment (incidentally I did get a job that offered that but I didn't need it). My conviction was that I did not need to be indebted to anyone but my God. I wanted to be free to pick up and go if He said move. We have not always followed Dave's principle's to the letter but anytime we do take out a loan we try to pay it off as quickly as possible.

I say all of that to say this. A lot of people are slaves to food. Just as many people are slaves to money, people are slaves to food. We crave it. We think about how good it tastes and how we want certain things to eat.  When we stop eating those things we get headaches and withdrawals. The Bible says we are to worship God alone. Not food. Not money. Not anything else.  These past 18 days I have recognized more when I am hungry and when I am full. I have beat back cravings. And I don't want to go back to being enslaved by those cravings.

Today's eating was just plan old leftovers. But it nourished my body just the same. I made sure the money we spent on food did not go to waste because we ate what was leftover.

What is  your plan to get healthy in 2016?

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Whole 30: Day 17

24 hours with our Tesseme dressings and Michael is ready to buy another box because they are that good. Seriously, read the ingredient list. You can pronounce all the names. It's all real stuff!

I made a egg and sweet potato casserole for breakfast. Hubby thought I used too many sweet potatoes and not enough eggs. I like sweet potato more than eggs so I guess we will have to agree to disagree on this one.

For lunch we had leftover salmon on spinach with grape tomatoes and avocado. We used the Southwest Ranch dressing. I was hungry by dinner time so I grabbed a few almonds while I was cooking to tide me over. We had pork loin that marinated in the Tesseme BBQ sauce and I put on the George Foreman grill. I served it with mashed potatoes and salad. We used the Tesseme ranch dressing with the salad (I told you we were in love with these dressings!).

 Not being able to load up the mashed potatoes with butter, milk and sour cream was a bit of a challenge in in the beginning. Tonight I used Trader Joe's clarified butter, along with some coconut milk and to thin it out a little I added some of the chicken stock from the chicken I cooked the crock pot Sunday night. There were no potatoes left. All 3 of the kids had a clean plate after tonight's dinner so I'm gonna call this one a definite win. Now you and I both know I can cook the exact same dinner the exact same way next week and they will refuse to eat it!

Cooking 3 meals a day for 17 days takes a lot of time and leaves a very messy kitchen. After one particularly nasty tantrum from one of our older kids Hubby and I decided their 2 measly chores were not enough. For the past 18 months they have each emptied part of the dishwasher and folded 10 pieces of clothing every day. This was a good start to the chore list but they needed to be doing more. I guess I kind of got into the groove of doing everything for them because they were little. Then one day I looked up and I had a 9 year old. Tonight I branched out and let her cut up the potatoes after I peeled them. I have been very hesitant to give any of my children sharp knives. But she did a good job. The 9 year old and the 5 year old helped mash potatoes and pound out the pork chops. Maybe that's why they ate better because they helped cook it. Who knows. We are learning a lot more than just about food through this 30 day journey!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Whole 30: Day 16

After 2 weeks of virtually no sauces on anything we splurged and bought this set of Tesseme dressings off Amazon. It was $40 for the lot but to finally have some ranch dressing it was worth it. I read the ingredients and it made me feel healthier just reading them. No sugar. In any of them. Fresh ingredients and mostly olive oil.
Tessemae's All Natural Whole30 Pack
We did not get them til lunch so we did not use them on breakfast. I made poached eggs with roasted sweet potato and asparagus. I cut up extra sweet potatoes and asparagus for breakfast and stuck some in the fridge for lunch. When lunch time came around I heated up some of the chicken I made in the crock pot yesterday and added the Southwest Ranch dressing and we had lunch in less than 5 minutes after adding the sweet potato and asparagus. For dinner we had fish. We bought a HUGE thing of fish at Sam's at the beginning of the month. I made salmon and tilapia. I put salt and pepper on all of it then on half of each I added paprika and lemon. On the other half I added lime and cilantro. We had broccoli on the side. Even the picky 5 year old ate the fish and broccoli without arguing tonight.

I plan to use the salmon on a salad for lunch tomorrow. I feel like we are finally getting a groove that does not require cooking every single day for lunch. I was just getting into a groove of cooking enough to feed 5 people without having too much left over. Now we are actually eating our leftovers so I don't feel so bad when I 've got stuff left. My fridge is much cleaner too because we don't have a lot of stuff that we don't eventually eat.

I don't think I'm getting enough sleep. Most parents I talk to say "We're all in the bed by 9:30." Most nights I'm up til almost 11. I've decided I'm doing too much and we've added some chores to the list of things the kids have to do so that is helping. Mostly I just need to turn off the TV and go to bed.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Whole 30: Day 15 Halfway!

When I was growing up we lived 4 hours from our state capital Jackson, MS. Whenever we traveled to Jackson we took the Natchez Trace Parkway. There was really no place to stop for gas or bathroom break until about halfway. We grew up calling it the "Halfway Station".  Today we are at the Halfway Station on our journey through 30 days of no processed food or added sugar. We have found a good groove and have a stock of healthy food with which to cook.

 Time management on Sunday is a big deal and the past few weeks I've been late to church because of the breakfast I cook. This week I ironed clothes for church last night so that made this morning go a little smoother. We had poached eggs with sausage, fried potatoes and cherry tomatoes for breakfast. I intended to make chicken with carrots and potatoes for lunch but I did not get it in the crock pot in time so we had left over chili  and saved the chicken for dinner. The 2 year old ate 3 helpings of carrots. I have a hard time telling any of my children "No" when they ask for more vegetables.

Our 9 year old will try almost anything we cook at least once. The 5 year old starts dinner by saying "I don't want that." He sometimes even says it before he knows what we are having. We eat most dinner/supper at the kitchen table. There are lots of research articles out there proclaiming the benefits of eating dinner at the table as a family. The list of benefits includes lower rates of obesity and lower rates of drug and alcohol abuse. So even if one our children does not want what we are having for dinner everyone sits at the dinner table. Your plate may be empty but you will sit and talk with us. Most of the time our picky eater will choose something to eat. It may take 10 minutes but 90% of the time something ends up on his plate. We gave up making him take one bite of everything a long time ago. If push comes to shove and he just refuses to eat I offer fruit. I do not make a second meal and I do not offer junk food. My kids love dessert but they do not get it after every meal. They also know if they did not eat enough dinner they do not get dessert. If you are still hungry then you need to eat more real food to fill up your belly and not junk. So there is my trick to getting kids to eat healthy. Put it on the table. Eat dinner together. Do not ask them to eat something you won't eat. And it's a lot easier to start these habits when they are young and when you have your spouse on board.

Today I found out that I am officially Board Certified in Advanced Diabetes Management as a Nurse Practitioner. I have been working on this for about 7 months. Going through the Whole 30 makes me think about how I advise my patients with diabetes regarding food.

Also, today walking through church Hubby says "I think you look thinner." I just smiled and said "thank you" but inside I was doing the happy dance.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Whole 30: day 14

Tomorrow marks 2 weeks that we began our Whole 30 adventure and Monday we will be halfway done. One of the things on the "do not eat list" is peanut butter. We tried some almond butter but it was a little grainy and we had trouble finding the sugar free variety locally. I had read some recommendations for Sunbutter 
and we ordered some from Amazon it came in yesterday. Today I had that and apples for breakfast. Michael made sausage and eggs and I ate a little of that but mostly just the apples and Sunbutter. It's made from sunflower seeds and we bought the sugar free variety. It really tastes a lot like peanut butter. It has 2 more grams of fat per serving but half the carbohydrates as regular peanut butter. I figure we will try to switch the kids over to this instead of peanut butter since it is a healthier alternative.

I made chocolate chili for lunch.I could not really taste the chocolate but it was good. Our 9 year old had a bowl of it and started yelling because the 2 year old was eating out of her bowl so I gave him his own bowl of chili. So I figure it's pretty good.

Dinner was nothing special just grilled chicken, sweet potato fries and salad. 

I looked at our grocery spending this month and it was really shocking how much we've spent. But we haven't been eating out and we've eaten most of what we have bought we've had very little that we have thrown away. In the past I've thrown a lot of fresh fruit and veggies away because they went bad before they were used. Looking at what to expect this week we should be having vivid food dreams then experiencing the most energy we will have during the process starting the first of this next week.  So I'll keep you updated. I'm really looking forward to the more energy part!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Whole 30: Day 13 Life Happens

Living Whole 30 in the real world today. Friday is Hubby's day off so I get the two older kids up and ready for school by myself. I made 2 poached eggs and threw some cherry tomatoes on top and grabbed some fruit. I had planned to come home at lunch and bring diced tomatoes so we could get chocolate chili in the crockpot but I had an patient that ended up needing some additional time and care at 11:50 and didn't get to go to lunch til 12:40 so I did not have time to go home for lunch. I had a grilled pork chop I had taken to work a couple of days ago and did not eat so I had that and some more fruit for lunch. We altered our dinner plans and decided to have steak tonight and try chocolate chili tomorrow night.

Tonight we have a house full of 8 and 9 year old girls. They had pizza and cake and ice cream. We did not feel bad missing out on pizza when we had steak, baked potatoes, asparagus and portabella mushrooms. We got some clarified butter from Amazon today.

It worked really well on the potatoes.The first week on Whole 30 we stuck to our meal plan pretty well all week. This week we had to adjust and do some meals on the fly. I feel like we kind of hit our stride with meal planning. We are almost halfway done with our Whole 30. I could see this affecting how we eat for a long time.

Whole 30: Day 12

I'm a little late getting this posted. Yesterday did not go as planned as far as my food. I had planned to have leftover sausage and sweet potato hash I had made Wednesday. When I put it in the fridge there were 2 servings left. I did not know Hubby had eaten one serving Wednesday for lunch. So I told him that was breakfast and he ate the last serving. I discovered this about 5 minutes before I had to walk out the door. So I found some leftover grilled pork and some fruit and that was breakfast. Not really what I wanted but I made it work. My house cleaner was coming around lunch (she comes about every 2 weeks and with 3 kids it's a life saver to have someone else come scrub the toilets and dust and pick up and do the floors...well you get the idea) anyway, I try to stay out of her way so I avoided coming home at lunch. I had leftover squash soup, pork loin from Sunday and green beans. Hubby made a salad of greens, tomato, avocado and bought some shrimp at the store to go on it. Dinner was crazy. My 9 year old is in Girl Scouts and she is presenting a project on cooking Sunday afternoon at their meeting. One of the requirements is to make a full meal. Since we don't have time to make a full meal at Girl Scouts we decided to video ourselves making roasted butternut squash, cracklin' chicken and steamed broccoli. Oh my word! What a fiasco! She picked crazy spices to put on the squash including red pepper. It took forever to get it cut up. I cut my finger with the potato peeler. We finally go the chicken on to cook and I let the first batch cook too long and the skin burned and the smoke alarm went off. Not sure how I'm going to edit that out of the video! It was nearly 7:30 by the time dinner was ready (we try to eat between 6:30 and 7). I was exhausted and my newly cleaned kitchen was a disaster. The video needs some editing but it's done. The boys ate more broccoli than squash which is fine and one we peeled the burned part off the first batch of chicken it tasted fine.

I must add today that I could not do this with out my Hubby. I knew I had to have a partner if I was going to attempt this. It's not really something you can do on your own. Also knowing that I have made this commitment to clean eating public and that other people are watching helps keep me on track too. Accountability is really key.

I ordered some Cacoa powder yesterday.Healthworks Raw Certified Organic Cacao Powder, 1 lb 
I added some to my coffee today cinnamon and coconut milk. It's very dry and kind of bitter so you have to be careful to not add too much but it adds a little flavor.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Whole 30: Day 11 Sick Day Protocol

I feel like my head is so clogged up it is going to pop off. How can your nose be stopped up and run/drip at the same time. If I move too fast I get dizzy. I only worked a half day today and skipped out on church tonight so cooking a full 3 meals today was not what I wanted to do. I wanted soup. I found a butternut squash soup recipe on Pinterest that I made at lunch. I had to use more coconut milk because it seemed really thick. It really seemed to be more like thick chunky potato soup and I was wanting something the consistency of tomato soup. But it worked. I heated that up with some leftover pork from Sunday for dinner. I made Hubby tuna salad with avocado cream instead of mayo and put it on lettuce. It's not my favorite of the meals we've made so far but it works in a pinch. I also made the sweet potato and sausage hash for breakfast that I made last week. I really liked it and tried it again.

Sorry this post is so all over the place tonight. Day 11 has been hard mostly because I'm sick and I want to eat convenient, comfort food when I'm sick. But we have made it through another day despite the sickness. We have a birthday party this weekend and will have to avoid the temptation of cake but I'm hoping to make chocolate chili for our dinner while the kids eat pizza (yes I know I have to eventually start weaning them off the junk too).

One thing that I have noticed doing the Whole 30 is that I spend so much time in the kitchen constantly cooking and cleaning up I feel like I miss out on time with my kids. Maybe that's why people invented convenient food. The goal was to spend more time doing things other than standing in the kitchen. But instead the pendulum has swung the other way and we spend more time staring at the TV shoving food in our mouths instead of spending time in the kitchen together.

I'm going to stop writing now and go take some cold medicine.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Whole 30: Day 10

I woke up this morning and could barely swallow because my throat was so sore. I hang out with sick people all day so I supposed getting a cold in the middle of January was unavoidable. I have not seen any true flu cases yet but I have seen quite a few sick people. I managed to make eggs with red peppers, cilantro and lime for breakfast. All I wanted to do at lunch was curl up under a blanket. I pulled out some left over salmon and put it over a spring mix with tomato, grapes, and avocado. I sprinkled some lemon juice over it and a little vinegar and oil dressing. I prefer my salad with a thick coating of buttermilk ranch but not today. I did, however, eat it curled up under a blanket.
We had grilled pork chops with mashed potatoes and asparagus for dinner. For the mashed potatoes I used coconut milk and homemade chicken broth instead of butter, sour, cream and milk. Even the kids ate it.

The kids are not following our new eating plan but they do eat what we eat at dinner. I don't make a separate meal. I make them a different breakfast but we have been doing that for a while. When we got married we drank a lot of soda and ate whatever we wanted. We had pasta at least once a week and fried rice at least once a week. Several years ago we cut back on the soda and the past 2-3 years we have rarely bought it to keep at home. Our kids like to drink water with flavor and I think it's because we don't buy soda. 2-3 years ago we really tried to start eating healthier and cutting out a lot of fried food and fatty food. We increase eating at home and decreased eating out. We took part in a Diabetes Prevention Program last year where we learned how to count calories and what foods are good and which ones to avoid. Still we had trouble losing weight. I think the 30 day commitment is perfect. It's not a lifetime. It's not forever. There is an end goal. And the rules are clear. It's not even really about weight loss it's about breaking the hold that sugar and processed food has on your mind and body. I like the drastic, jump off a cliff feel to this program. And it's working. I see food differently. I guess I'm becoming the hippie my brother in law labeled me as when we started this program. 

I still can't make homemade mayo. But I'm drinking coffee with coconut milk and cinnamon and  I like it.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Whole 30: Day 9 We cheated

I cheated on my Whole 30 plan. I know, I know  you all thought we couldn't make it. What was it that tempted us to stray? The scale. Part of the Whole 30 plan is to weigh at the beginning and at the end and not in the middle. The plan is to focus on how you feel and not what the numbers on that little machine in the floor say. But I couldn't help it. I was afraid I had gained weight. But I lost 3 pounds in one week! Hubby lost some too. I won't say how much for his privacy but we were pleased. So we did not eat off the plan and we are more determined than ever to complete it. We have not gone hungry, we have not counted calories or carbohydrates, and we have not even watched our portion sizes. When I am hungry I eat and when I am not hungry I don't eat. And I don't get hungry very often between meals any more. Hubby even had a meeting that included pizza and did not eat. That's dedication.

I read over on the whole 30 facebook page that statistically more people quit on day 10 and 11 than any other day. The next 2 days are apparently 2 of the hardest days of the entire plan. I don't know if it's just fatigue that the planning and cooking and everything that goes into it or maybe the new has just worn off. From what I've read this is where people find out what a strong hold food has on them. Apparently if we can make it through the next 2 days we will find lots of energy on the other side.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Whole 30: Day 8

Sunday's are crazy busy at my house. Hubby leaves early to make sure everything he's responsible for at church is done and that he is there before our students show up. He usually takes at least one of our kids with him but that still leaves me 2 other kids to get up, fed, dressed and out the door. With the Whole 30 I'v had to make a full breakfast for he and I and get lunch started. So that adds to the chaos that is Sunday morning in a minister's home. We had sausage and potatoes and poached egg for breakfast. I made buffalo chicken sliders  for lunch with parsnip fries.
I used sweet potato as the bun. I always preferred the smaller sweet potatoes for baking as they cooked quicker but the larger ones sliced up worked well for buns. The parsnips look like white carrots before you cook them if you've never had them. I just put some olive oil, salt, pepper and rosemary on them. I put the chicken in the crock pot. I got both recipes from Pinterest. There's tons of chicken left so we had that for dinner as well and a salad.

I attempted mayo again twice. My food processor which is at least 9 years old and hasn't been used in years started smoking at one point so I called it quits.

Hubby and I both feel pretty good. We are not hungry which is problem a lot of times with a diet. And we are really not on a diet. People ask "What kind of diet are you doing again?" Whole 30 is not a diet. It's just changing the way we eat. It's a lifestyle change designed to cut out the junk in our diet. I am realizing more every day that although we did not buy a lot of processed food we were not eating real food. We were eating a lot more processed food than what I thought we were eating. 

So on to week 2!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Whole 30: Day 6 & 7 (Whole 30 vs Girl Scout sleepover) and a coffee update!

 I missed yesterday's post because after working all day I spent all night at a Girl Scout Cookie kickoff and sleepover.

We hope you enjoyed your two weeks of dieting. You can stop that now; Girl Scout Cookies have arrived.:
 And this is basically how I feel. They're not here yet, don't start calling me telling my daughter what you need! But they will be here soon so go ahead and make your list. I must say I feel like quite the hypocrite telling people all day everyday that they need to eat less processed sugary foods and then spend a month walking with my daughter around town trying to convince all those people to buy what I told them they can't eat!

scrapbook girls scout cookie booth - Google Search:
Usually however we do have a donation option.I don't know what our donation option will be yet. I did see cookies at the kickoff but I was good I refrained from eating them. Thanks to Hubby I had grilled chicken, potatoes and a salad on the road on the way to the sleepover. I also packed fruit for a snack and breakfast. They had fruit there as well as things that were not on my diet. I must say I really wasn't all that tempted. Usually I would have grabbed a bag of chips and had donuts for breakfast but I ate my fruit and was ok with that. I guess I was full from a dinner of real food.

I have finally found a way to drink my coffee! I found compliant coconut milk and added it to my coffee yesterday. It was good but then I had a friend who suggested I add some cinnamon.  That really made it more flavorful and tolerable. It's not my khaki colored, creamy, sugary brew for sure but it helps.

Today was kind of a blah food day. I rushed to get groceries after the sleepover so we would have food this week. We bought a bunch of meat at Sam's last week so I just needed veggies and fruit. Grocery shopping with 3 girls ages 8&9 was interesting. Here's my food for the week. The Krispy Kreme is coffee so settle down!

We had eggs when I got home but that was almost 11 so I didn't have lunch til nearly 2 and had some boiled shrimp and avocado. For dinner we had apple cinnamon pork loin with roasted sweet potatoes and steamed green beans. I attempted to make mayo this afternoon and failed. Hubby attempted as well.  Apparently you have to pour the oil into the mixture as slowly as a sloth for it work!

Tomorrow will mark a full week that we have been eating unprocessed food. We will be almost 25% done with our 30 days. I'm hoping to attempt that mayo again and to spend some time prepping food for this next week.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Whole 30: Day 5 Whole 30 vs Real life

Today was a really hard day. I got up on time feeling good and got a good breakfast of sweet potato and sausage hash.

 When I was chopping sweet potatoes for breakfast I chopped an extra one to use for lunch and I'm glad I did. Work was crazy today. I love my job but taking care of other people and making decisions that affect their health is stressful. I didn't get off at lunch on time so I didn't have much time to cook lunch at home. Lunch was ready 5 minutes before I had to leave to go back to work so I just took it with me. The 2 year old is sick and whiny and clingy. I meant to put lunch in the crockpot before I left for work this morning but I ran out of time and didn't have time at lunch either. Hubby was going to try to fix dinner but he was home with cranky baby so it didn't get done. As I pulled into the grocery store parking lot I barely had the energy to get out of the van and go inside. Straight in front of me was the Chinese restaurant. Many, many days this would have been our option. Long stressful day at work, sick kid at home, everybody needs a break and a little TLC so let's just order Chinese and be done with it. This is real life. I'm not living in a fairy tale world where healthy eating is easy. So when you come see me in the office and tell me how stressed you are and how you don't have time to cook real food, I get it. But, I pulled myself out of the van and made a different choice today. It was after 7 by the time we ate dinner. Later than I like but we had steak and mashed potatoes with coconut milk that is whole 30 approved and salad.

If you attempt this challenge of 30 days of whole foods have a partner to do it with you. If Hubby was not on board I would not be surviving this. When I got home he cooked dinner while I held the cranky baby (I have to stop calling him a baby he's 2).

Also update on the coffee situation: I found coconut milk that is whole 30 approved at my local grocery today. I was reading labels on spices for the steak (do you know that a lot of the mixed spices have sugar in them? No wonder we have an obesity problem in this country!) and happened to see the condensed milk right next to the spices and there on a shelf mixed in with condensed milk and evaporated milk was coconut milk. I'll be using it in my coffee soon and will see if it make it easier to drink.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Whole 30: Day 4

Wednesday is one of our busiest days and usually the day we eat junk. The Wednesday lunch special at one of our local restaurants is steak with baked potato and all the fixins. My husband works full time as a youth pastor and Wednesday is his busiest day of the week. He usually goes to work at 8 AM and doesn't get home til after evening church around 8PM. Most weeks we eat at church which is usually kid friendly fare like hot dogs, chicken strips or tonights offering of grilled cheese sandwiches. None of that "routine" I described above is allowed on the whole 30. The steak would be if it's not cooked with vegetable oil and the potato without butter, sour cream or cheese so what's the point? I get off work at noon on Wednesday and pick up the kids at 3:30 then the race is on to get homework finished, chores done, baths given and back to church by 6 pm. Cooking usually doesn't happen. Throw in a 2 year old with a sudden fever and vomiting and well I was ready to throw in the towel. But I feel better. Overall I feel better. I don't wake up wishing I could find time in my day for a nap. I'm not jumping out of bed but the fatigue that I thought was just part of being a full time nurse practitioner and a full time mother of 3 is slowly lifting. So I did not give up. I had some canned chicken (I had to read ingredients on 3 different brands before I found something without additives), I boiled some eggs (We've gone through a carton of 18 eggs since Sunday), had my 9 year old help me make avocado spread to use instead of mayo and then mixed it all together. I threw in some diced apples for a little crunch and put it on Romaine leaves. I took this plate to Hubby at the church so he would have a healthy dinner. I ended up putting some cherry tomatoes on mine. Breaks up the green color a little.
Here's a look at our breakfast and lunch today

So you can see we are not starving. One thing I have been thinking about. I talk to a lot of people who complain about being tired. Just tired. No get up and go. What if it's related to what we are putting in our bodies? That's what the Whole 30 is about. Clearing out the system and then you can add things back in and make an educated decision about how food affects your body and whether you are willing to be tired and lethargic from eating stuff that is not that healthy after all. 

So I've got 26 more days of clean eating left in my challenge. Then we'll see what happens. If I can manage to make real food on a busy crazy day with a sick kid I bet you can too.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Whole 30: Day 3 AKA the day the 2 y/o said "more squash peese"

Feeling pretty good today. No headache since day 1. I had some tiredness around lunch but powered through. I've got to work on my time management. The kids are not doing the whole 30 and my boys throw up if I give them eggs so I have to make them a separate breakfast. I made prosciutto and eggs in muffin cups for breakfast. I mixed in some onion and spinach. My 9 year old tried it and like it except for the spinach. For lunch we browned some leftover chicken I made in the crockpot Sunday. I put some coconut butter in the skillet along with some lime and cilantro and browned it. Then Hubby made roasted asparagus and sweet potato. It was a good, filling lunch. The only problem is that by the time it was done I barely had 10 minutes to eat and head back to work. For dinner tonight we had cracklin chicken from nomnompaleo. I used onion powder, garlic powder and poultry seasoning along with sea salt and it was the best chicken I have had in a while. 4 out of 5 people at the table had seconds. We also had roasted butternut squash and broccoli. At one point I was putting a piece of squash in my mouth only to see my 2 y/o reaching out with his fork to try to take it away from me. He had 3 servings of squash and would say "mo squash peese" with his little toddler grin. And what mother ever can say no to a toddler who wants to eats squash?

I also had enough energy at the end of the day to run a mile in under 15 minutes. And considering I've been on the treadmill once in the last year I think that's great. I still haven't learned to drink coffee black. I almost got a whole cup down this morning.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Whole 30: Day 2

I have heard that day 2 and 3 are tough. Basically my body is going through withdrawals from sugar and processed junk. Don't think you're addicted? Try it. I dare you. I was a little concerned as I offered to keep 2 of my friends kiddos since school was still out today in addition to my 3...yep 5 kids ages 2-9. But today wasn't as hard as yesterday for me. No headaches today. We had sausage meatloaf with eggs and tomato for breakfast, chicken with roasted sweet potatoes and asparagus for lunch and turkey tacos using lettuce instead of tortillas or shells. I made my own taco seasoning as well. Think I will use ground beef instead of turkey next time. It was kind of dry. I'm really missing dairy today. Cheese, ice cream, sour creamer. Have I mentioned I'm addicted to coffee creamer? Hubby has had a headache almost all day. Hopefully he will feel better tomorrow. We are eating plenty. Probably had more on my plate for lunch than I do most days.

If you're wondering why I'm doing this, what are my goals... I want to feel healthy. Not tired, not worn out. I've blamed being a working mother of 3 for my being tired. Now I'm wondering if that was not the whole problem. I'd like to lose a few pounds and maybe not have any acne (mid to late 30's with acne is really just wrong).

Tomorrow I go back to work. Work with no coffee creamer. We'll see what happens.

Whole 30 Day 1

Why The Whole 30?

No added sugar, no processed food. Why would anyone want to live that way? No coffee creamer?! Then I started reading this book and As a family nurse practitioner I have for years told my patients to limit the amount of processed food in their diet. This takes that advice to a new level. I always knew processed food and high sugar content in your diet was bad for your health. It causes increased risk of diabetes and obesity. I did not realize it could cause many more problems than that. So I decided to do a hard reset of my diet. You know when your computer is not acting right and you just shut the whole thing down and start over? Except I wanted to do that with my body.

So I convinced my hubby to be my #whole30 partner and we set January 3rd as our start date. In preparation we bought lots of meat, veggies and fruit. But we also found lots of things we thought were "healthy" had added sugar. Like turkey bacon. Turkey bacon. It's supposed to be lower in fat and good for you but they add sugar! It's no wonder we have an obesity epidemic when producers add sugar to "healthy" food!

Day 1

I was prepared for the first few days to be rough. I discovered I don't really like coffee. I like coffee creamer. A LOT! We had eggs, potatoes and fruit for breakfast. Hunger was not really a problem but I had a headache by noon. We had chicken, potatoes and asparagus for lunch. The first day was a Sunday which is a stressful day anyway since my hubby works full time as a youth pastor it's one of his busiest days. We were watching a movie at church and knew popcorn and soda would be a temptation so I made avacado tuna salad in lettuce wraps and took a large bowl of fruit and water. And when you think about it what's going to fill you up longer and have less calories tuna or popcorn? So day one in the books. Went to bed with a headache and dreaming of coffee creamer. Otherwise we survived