Whole 30 Week 1 Recap

So here we are on Day 8 of our Whole 30 (check out my last post that explains what this means) and even though it is tough at times, I think it’s paying off already.  Here are things I’ve noticed so far:

*5 lbs down

*Waking up easier and not in total zombie mode until I get some coffee

*I’ve been noticing how many times I would have put something in my mouth at work and think twice about it now. It would probably add up very quickly.

*Definitely noticing what is known as the “low-carb flu” in the afternoon. Headaches, fatigue, and so on because our bodies are used to processing carbohydrates for energy instead of protein and fats.  Here is a link from Mark Sisson on the topic: http://lewrockwell.com/sisson/sisson191.html and a more in depth scientific one here: http://www.gnolls.org/1984/the-science-behind-the-low-carb-flu-and-how-to-regain-your-metabolic-flexibility/ This is supposed to go away after a week or two once our bodies adjust to the dietary differences and according to Mark, we should have the energy of children after this passes. Let’s hope so.

*My skin seems to be behaving better with the random acne I get, but this could also be a hormone thing.

The other night we went out to dinner at Aladdin’s and stuck with our plan. It IS possible, however, difficult especially depending on what restaurant you choose.  We ordered their homemade v-9 soup without pita and skipped on the potato chunks in it and split a big lamb salad with their house dressing (olive oil,lemon, and garlic) with no feta.  The hardest part was walking past the dessert counter and looking at all the lovely cheesecakes and whatnot. Torture some would say.  The other thing that has been difficult is when we are out and about and get really hungry and there is NOTHING to snack on.  I would highly recommend keeping a bag of nuts or something on you at all times for these situations where you’re almost starving and won’t get around to a meal for a while. Matt has worse sugar cravings than I do and last night finally found something that curbs them: coconut water with pulp from Real Coconut brand. It’s by far the best coconut water I have had.  The plastic and cardboard containers seem to taste like crap to me.  We also found that canned coconut milk is excellent in coffee. I’ve been using a couple teaspoonfuls of the stuff by itself to curb my sugar cravings.  So far this experience has taught us discipline and how to not indulge in our “oh it’ll be ok but just for tonight” attitudes. Two thumbs up.

Recipes for the Day:

Moroccan Spiced Chicken Thighs with Kale Rolls

Moroccan Spiced Chicken Thighs and Kale Rolls

Thighs are my favorite part of the chicken. Cheap, moist, and just enough meat for a meal.

4 Chicken thighs, skin-on, bone-in

pinch of each:

cinnamon, ginger, garlic powder, salt and pepper

olive oil

Rub each thigh with olive oil and sprinkle both sides with spices.  Heat skillet on med-high and add thighs, skin side down. Cook for 8 minutes and flip. Cook another 8 minutes and move skillet to 400 degree oven for 20 minutes or until meat thermometer reads 160 in the thickest part.

Kale rolls:

6 Lacinato Kale leaves, swiss chard leaves can also be used here.

1/4 cup each, chopped:

carrots, mushrooms, zucchini, onion (cook whatever kind of vegetables you’d like!)

fresh flat-leaf parsley

Saute vegetables in pan while boiling a pot of water to blanch kale.  When water is boiling, drop leaves in for 5 minutes (less for swiss chard). Remove with tongs and put in an ice bath to preserve bright green color. Add parsley after the vegetables are tender. Lay out two leaves at a time, overlapping.  Fill with vegetables, roll, and insert toothpick to secure.

Breakfast: Egg and Ham cups & Coconut Banana with Mixed Nuts and Cacao

Egg and Ham Cups & Coconut Banana with Mixed Nuts and Cacao

 

 

5 eggs, beaten

12 slices ham (paleo style, if possible. This means no nitrates added, no preservatives, no sugar)

Mushrooms, onions, green pepper chopped. You can use whatever you’d like here once again. Make it spicy with jalapenos, etc.

Saute vegetables in pan for 5 minutes. Line muffin pan with ham, 2 pieces per one.  Add vegetables to eggs and fill the ham cups.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until egg is set.  Remove with a spoon (some of the egg might stick a little but that’s ok).

1 banana, mashed,

1 Tbl. canned coconut milk

1/8 cup mixed nuts

sprinkle of coconut flakes

sprinkle of cacao nibs (raw unprocessed cacao found at health food stores. It’s expensive but trust me, it goes a looooong way and helps with the chocolate cravings)

Mix banana and coconut milk and top with other stuff.  We shared this between 3 people but was a great little breakfast dessert.  Bananas are high on the glycemic index so you want to be careful of your consumption.  Nuts should also be consumed in moderation.

On to week 2 of our Whole 30!

 

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A bad week and the start of Whole 30

Hibatchi. Swensons. M&Ms.

I usually let myself slip a litttttle but the past couple weeks have been out of control. I felt like I could physically feel myself putting on the pounds, losing energy, and going back into the cycle of eating/depression.  Not fun.  I would see pictures of myself and become completely shut down. I wasn’t becoming the person I want to be and felt like a sorry excuse for someone who is trying to be healthy and teach the rest of the world how to do so.  But we all make mistakes and the only thing we can do is learn from them and bounce back with a vengeance.

I was messing around on my phone and through the wonderful world of Instagram, started checking into “Whole 30”, a program founded by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig authors of It Starts With Food (which I have not read because I JUST read into this the other night).  Their website is whole9life.com, which contains a PLETHORA of great information about their program as well as a ton of testimonials from people who have solved all sorts of health issues by changing their diets. There is a ton of information to be found on the internet but this is one of the best sources I’ve found, especially when you need a little boost to remember why you are doing what you are doing.  One of my favorite quotes from the site is as follows:

“..and it’s for the most important health cause on the earth-the only physical body you will ever have in this lifetime.”

You can check out the site for more specific details but basically the rules are as follows:

*No grains

*No sugar added. This means honey, maple syrup, fake sugar..etc.

*No legumes (including peanuts)

*No dairy

*No additives such as MSG, nitrates, etc.

*No white potatoes

*No PALEOFIED junk food. This means my muffins and biscuits are out.

*No alcohol

*NO CHEATING

The point of this is to reset your metabolism and to rid yourself of the cravings caused from sugar and other unhealthy items we don’t even realize we are physically addicted to.  Basically it’s a 30 day strict paleo cleanse. More specifics are found on the site and they even have a shopping list which comes in super handy.

Day 1. Matt cheated. He had a 7up at work. I, however, did not. I resisted pasta and breadsticks staring me in the face all night at work.  I brought in my own food and made a baked sweet potato and hard-boiled eggs for lunch. 4 grilled chicken wings for dinner with some spinach. Matt has to start over.

Day 2. I woke up and walked in the brisk chilly autumn morning to get us some black coffee. We did some yoga and pushups and I made an acorn squash and kale breakfast.  Went grocery shopping at Krieger’s, an awesome local market in Cuyahoga Falls and came back with a TON of beautiful food.

Stocking up for our Whole30

On to the recipes.  Lunch was just a simple salad with mixed greens: spinach, kale, and arugula with avocado, egg, tomatoes, cashews, a little vinegar and olive oil. Dinner, however, is much more exciting. While gazing into the meat counter window, I see almost hidden in the back Grass-fed boneless short ribs.  $6 something a pound.  I have never cooked shortribs before but being that they were grass-fed (which is usually pretty limited) and a cheap cut I went for it.  Holy shit. They were AMAZING. They are definitely a slow cooker meal and become super tender and delicious after simmering in a broth for hours.

Mixed greens salad and shortribs with asparagus and portobellos

Grass-fed beef boneless shortribs: (double this for 4 people)

1 lb shortribs

1/2 cup brewed coffee

1/2 cup broth or water

1 small onion, sliced

1 clove of garlic, minced

Chiptole chili powder, a pinch or more if  looking for spicy

salt and pepper

Put onion, garlic, broth, and coffee in slow cooker.  Rub the meat with salt, pepper, and sprinkle with chili powder.  Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours or slow for 7-8.  I served it with some sauteed mushrooms and asparagus. This was fantastic and Matt even licked his plate after he was finished.

Wish us luck on our 30 day program and I hope you are inspired to check it out for yourself! It is now tea and relax time so I end this post with an adorable photo of my son and I enjoying the great outdoors.

Evan and I hanging out in some roots