Friday, January 9, 2015

Whole30 {Days 8 & 9} :: Fizzling

I'm fizzling on the blogging. I may be combining days from here on out.  I am not as committed to 30 days of blogging now as I was at the beginning, which is why I'm not a blogger.  I'm just a person with a blog who uses it from time to time.  And, I'm good with that.

Even my bowls of berries are fizzling.  I started out with one of my favorite bowls to eat berries in, to grabbing my nephew's suction cup bowl because that was the only clean bowl in the house. Remember this beautiful bowl of berries?

Yesterday (Day 8) we were super busy.  We started out the day with dirty dishes in the sink from the night before, and a bunch of stuff to do before leaving to go to Jump Street for Gianna's (my 11 year old daughter) birthday.  In a rush, I ate some eggs before leaving, grabbed and then set down and forgot a jar of almonds to eat so I wouldn't be too hungry while everyone else ate In N Out.  Darn.

I did eat at In N Out and stayed as compliant as I could, meaning I avoided gluten, sugar and dairy, but didn't worry about the vegetable oil.  I was very energetic yesterday until 4:00 when I took a short nap.

Overall, I'm feeling pretty good.  I'm reevaluating whether I'm going to continue to call this a Whole30, since it's kinda not.  But, I am cleaning out my system and avoiding the foods most bothersome to me:  dairy and grains. 

When I asked for thoughts on having an all or nothing mentality, I loved what Ann said, "I really think all-or-nothing thinking is the perfect recipe for failure.... and staying stuck in a negative pattern. I think the key is what Phyllis said: get clear on what our goals are. Not just "to do the Whole30 for 30 days", but what you want to gain from doing the Whole30 for 30 days. If the big goal is to start making healthier food choices, then all-or-nothing thinking doesn't have a place in that goal. One starts making healthier food choices by practicing new food choices: at various times of day, in different moods, with different temptations. Practice, practice, practice. Practice doesn't require perfection; it requires the willingness to keep practicing. And, if you don't do it as well as you'd wanted to, then it means practicing again to get it right."

This has motivated me to get clear on my goals!


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Whole30 {Day 7} :: All or Nothing?

No more munchies today!  It's been really nice to not feel like opening the pantry or fridge every 30 minutes just to see what's in there.  Also, I didn't need a nap.  I'm still feeling a bit down, though.  This happened last time, too, and it's a bit perplexing.  Why would I feel sad and down when I'm eating healthier?  It seems to be physiological more than psychological, but I really have no idea why that happens.  I'll feel better in a few days.

(Disclaimer:  below is 100% my opinion and not at all the view of the authors of the Whole30 plan.  In fact, their position is that if you don't follow the plan 100%, you aren't really doing a Whole30.)

 Something I've been pondering for a couple of days: does it have to be all or nothing with the Whole30?  I don't normally have an all or nothing mentality.  But, when you are doing an elimination diet, such as Whole30, is it necessary to be absolutely on plan 100% of the time in order to have success? According to my personal goals, for me, the answer is "no".  I am doing this to get inflammatory foods out of my diet and to reset my system so that I can then re-introduce some of those foods to see how I react.  The thing with Whole30 is that you are not supposed to eat anything that resembles a "treat" in any way, whether the ingredients are Whole30 compliant or not.  So, for example, making pancakes with mashed bananas and eggs is not allowed.  Making muffins sweetened with dates is not allowed.  I have chosen to allow "treats" that are prepared with Whole30 compliant ingredients because I am still able to accomplish my goals this way.  

I am 100% compliant when it comes to grains, dairy and soy because if you don't get them out of your system for a significant period of time, you really can't get accurate information about what foods you may or may not be sensitive to. 

In general, when I'm not doing a Whole30, I choose to focus on adding healthy, nutrient dense foods to my diet rather than focusing on forbidding certain foods.  There are exceptions, like artificial sweeteners, which I now avoid 100% of the time.  But, it's all a process. Mostly I want to focus on adding health to my life. 

I say all of that to say that I ate 5 chocolate chips yesterday and I'm not sweating it.  Just kidding.  That's not why I said all of that! 

What are your thoughts?  All or nothing?

See ya tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Whole30 {Day 6} :: Ranch

Day 6:

- My brain is foggy.
- I have very little motivation.
- I want to munch on everything.
- I went for a morning walk even though I didn't want to.

Geez, I feel a little bit like Peggy Ann McKay from Shel Silverstein's poem, "Sick"(My favorite!).  But, Whole30, Day 6 is not all blah.  For one thing fruit tastes extra sweet and then there's ranch dressing.

One thing about the Lake side of the family is that they LOVE ranch.  I'd never heard of putting ranch on, well, just about everything until I met them.  And, I am pretty sure they are on to something.  Ranch dressing is just YUMMY!  When Doug, the kids (18, 16 and 10) and I did a Whole30 last year, I think it was ranch dressing that got us through.  

Here's how I make it:

(The lighting in my kitchen is terrible so it looks like this was done in a scary movie kitchen, but it really wasn't scary at all, except for when I tried to drizzle the olive oil into the Cuisinart with one hand and take a picture with the other.)

First, I make mayonnaise.  I follow the recipe on The Clothes Make the Girl only I double it.

Add 2 eggs and 1/4 cup lemon juice to the food processor and let them come to room temperature.

Add 1 tsp mustard powder.

Add 1 tsp salt.

Add 1/2 cup light olive oil.

Blend together for a second.

Then, very slowly, with the food processor on, drizzle in 2 cups of light olive oil.  

Only maybe don't try to take a picture while you are doing it.  This will happen:

Voila!  Mayonnaise without any soybean oil or other junk! I've heard avocado oil works well, too, but I haven't tried it yet, though I'd like to.

Now, to add the ranch seasonings.  I don't measure.  I just toss them in.  The picture should help see about how much I use.  Add dill, dried parsley, dried chives, black pepper, chipotle pepper, a few cloves of garlic, pressed, and a dash of salt.

Blend until combined and stick it in a quart mason jar.  This doesn't last long in our house, so I can't really tell you how long it will keep.  I'd guess not much longer than a week. I make this about every 5 days.  

There you have it.  Ranch dressing - a staple in the Lake House.

P.S. I had fried eggs for breakfast (surprise, surprise) with a dried peach; dinner leftovers for lunch and I am making Chicken Divan from The Frugal Paleo Cookbook for dinner.  I probably ate too many almonds and dried fruit throughout the day today, but, hey, I stayed away from the chocolate chips and peanut butter, so it's all good.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Whole30 {Day 5} :: Why Whole30?

When we did our first Whole30 in 2014, I'll be honest: my main goal was to lose some weight.  I lost about 5 pounds, but what I learned went so far beyond that!  I gained some incredible information about myself and how my body reacts to certain foods, information I couldn't have gotten any way other than by doing an elimination diet (which is exactly what Whole30 is).

The reason we are doing a second Whole30 is to reset our systems after some overindulgence during the holidays and to see what new habits we can incorporate into our lives. 

Something I've learned is how important it is to know what is in the food I am putting in my body.  I have a lot more to learn, but being on the Whole30 gets me in the habit of reading labels. I can't tell you how often I'm at the store and I pick up a package of food that I think should be healthy, or just have straight-forward ingredients, read the label and put it right back on the shelf.  In fact, there are a few packaged foods that I do this to every time I'm in the store....wishful thinking, I guess.

Even though reading labels has become a habit, I don't do it every time.  

In fact, I bought raisins at Trader Joe's the other day and yesterday as I was eating a handful, I thought, "is there oil on these raisins?"  I checked the label and sure enough, right there on the label: "palm and/or sunflower oil".  

It never occurred to me that there would be anything other than raisins in a bag of raisins!

Doug had a similar experience when he picked up some garlic sea salt at the grocery store yesterday.

Looks harmless enough, right?  I could not believe my eyes when I read the label!  

Seriously?  Partially hydrogenated vegetable oil?  The sugar and cornstarch are more believable, but I sure wasn't expecting partially hydrogenated vegetable oil in the garlic sea salt.

Lesson labels...every single time!

Yesterday was a great day.  I got a lot done around the house and had energy up until bedtime.  Today has been a little bit slower for some reason.  I had fried eggs and this amazing bowl of berries for breakfast, green beans with shredded chicken for lunch and I'm not quite sure what's on the menu for dinner yet.  But, I am planning to make homemade ranch and I'll show you how I do that tomorrow!

Have a great day!  Until tomorrow!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Whole30 {Day 4} :: Fried Eggs!

"Have a yolk!  It won't kill you!" screamed George to Jerry when George insisted they eat at Reggie's instead of Monk's to avoid a particular waitress.  That is what goes through my head every time I cook eggs. 

My favorite easy breakfast is fried eggs.  And, after years of yolk fear, it now seems yolks may actually be good for us.  So, "Have a yolk! It won't kill you!"

I'll show you how I make my fried eggs, but let me first tell you how things went yesterday.   

I felt pretty good most of the day.  For lunch I wrapped canned salmon with homemade mayo, dill and salt and pepper in a swiss chard leaf.  I took a bite, felt betrayed by a green that tasted like a beet, gagged and tried it again.  Um...yuck.  It still tasted like a beet.  I dumped the salmon onto a romaine lettuce leaf and tossed the swiss chard in the trash.  I will try cooking the remaining chard tonight to see if we like it, but that will be swiss chard's last chance.

Suddenly, at 3:00 pm, I felt like I could not move.  All I wanted to do was lie down and sleep.  I think I felt like this the whole first week of our first Whole30.  Thankfully, after about an hour, I got myself together to go to church and felt fine the rest of the evening.  

For dinner I had a large helping of chopped, cooked vegetables, a baked potato with ghee and homemade ranch dressing and a Whole30 compliant hot dog.  It was SO delicious that I overate.  The interesting thing, though, is that I felt overfull, but my stomach didn't hurt.  Overeating on junk feels very different! 

I slept a good 9 hours and woke up feeling great this morning!

On to the egg frying tutorial (because some people can live for 40 years without knowing how to fry an egg):

The first step is to melt some ghee (about 1.5 tsp) in a small frying pan over medium high heat.  

I just learned that you can crack eggs on a flat surface!  Use a nice amount of force and tap the side of the egg on a hard surface and your egg is ready to be opened.

Crack the eggs into the frying pan once the ghee is melted and hot.  

Salt and pepper the eggs.

Fry for a couple of minutes until about half of the egg whites are cooked.  Then, using a spatula, cut the egg whites so the eggs aren't attached to each other.  

Carefully slide the spatula under the egg and gently flip.  

Cook until the yolks are to your liking.  I like my yolks cooked about halfway.  

Runny yolks make me gag, just like raw greens that taste like beets.

Put your eggs on one of your favorite Fiestaware plates, mash them up, take a picture and enjoy!

 See you tomorrow!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Whole30 {Day 3} :: Bone Broth

Bone Broth

Yesterday went pretty well.  I started listening to It Starts with Food on Audible.  I have found that as much as I love the idea of sitting down with a book, I get much more "reading" in if I have it on audio.  That way, I can listen while I work!  While you can get all of the information on Whole30 you need on the Whole30 website, It Starts with Food gives you a lot more background, and as the authors call it, "sciency stuff".  I love understanding the why behind the Whole30 and Dallas and Melissa Hartwig do a great job explaining it in easy to understand terms.  I highly recommend this book!  

So, yesterday by noon, I was super tired and took a nap.  After dinner, I was having sweet cravings.  I ate some dried apple rings.  That didn't help.  So, I had some spicy roasted almonds and cashews and that helped a lot.  I didn't really want to eat so many nuts yesterday, but I remember reading that it's best not to try and restrict volume of food and that the desire to munch will diminish.  I remember this being true from last time.  

My sleep was very restless last night and I was up at 5:35. 

This morning I had my bulletproof coffee and will have some eggs here pretty soon.  We picked up our Bountiful Baskets produce this morning.  Doesn't it look great!? 

We don't really eat Swiss Chard, so I'm looking forward to finding some good ways to prepare it.  Any suggestions?

I've got ghee on the stove top and bone broth in the crockpot.  


I don't really know that much about bone broth, other than it is supposed to be a super food.  (Here is a great blog article about it.) I don't follow any particular recipe.  I just put bones, vegetables, seasonings, apple cider vinegar and water in the crockpot and let it go on low for at least 24 hours.  I keep it outside because I really hate having my house smell like food for that long.  Probably not the most energy efficient way to go about it in the winter, but so be it.   

For today's bone broth, I added a chicken carcass from last night's roasted chicken, onion, garlic, parsnips, bay leaves, chipotle chili powder, sea salt, a dash of apple cider vinegar and water to the crockpot and set it outside to cook on low.  I'll strain it tomorrow and make vegetable soup...yum!

Off to get some sewing/cleaning/cooking done!


Friday, January 2, 2015

Whole30 {Day 2} :: Bulletproof

Coffee.  Coffee is one of my favorite things.  Pre-Whole30, my favorite way to drink coffee was to pour some half and half and a dash of Coffeemate flavored creamer into a hot cup of regular old brewed coffee.  Stir.  Enjoy.

When we began our first Whole30, I didn't really know what I would do.  I'm not a fan of black coffee.  The first day, I used canned coconut milk in place of creamer and half and half.  Eh.  It wasn't great.  I had heard about something called bulletproof coffee that was made with butter.  That sounded super disgusting!  But, keeping an open mind, I decided to give it a try.  Bulletproof coffee (well, my version anyway) is one of the great changes I made and kept since our first Whole30.  Surprisingly, even when I wasn't doing a Whole30 and could add some natural sweetener to it, I still prefer my coffee unsweetened.

Here's how I make it:

I put some ghee* and canned organic coconut milk in my Magic Bullet blender; add some hot, brewed coffee and blend. That's it.  

I start every day with a cup or two of this coffee and it's the best!

*Ghee is essentially clarified butter.  I make my own using the instructions on the Nom Nom Paleo Blog

As for Day 2...

I woke up at 7:10 this morning and I couldn't believe it.  For the past 3 weeks or so, I haven't been able to sleep past 5:30 or so.  I wouldn't say my rest was fantastic, but I was surprised that I slept in that late!

After just one day, I feel great.  Really, my gut SO appreciates me being kind to it.  For breakfast I had scrambled eggs with onions and bell peppers, a slice of bacon and a bowl of raspberries.  For lunch I will have leftovers from dinner last night and for dinner tonight, I plan to roast a chicken and use the carcass for bone broth.

I also plan to get outside in the OH-SO-cold-to-us and move a bit.