Well folks, I’m still getting a hang of this whole Mom thing! I’ve been home since Evie was born, which has been great (hello mostly pump-free living!) but also having an infant means you’re never really, you know, thinking to yourself “I have a bunch of free time.”

Luckily, Evie’s starting to nap more regularly, so I am working on getting back into the world of cooking and photographing. Daylight Saving Time will help with this (hello sunshine until 7 pm) so stay tuned – I’ll be back and talking about feeding an infant soon. Hope that doesn’t bore you too much! She’s almost six months old (WHAT) and so we’ll be working on introducing solid foods any day now. I cannot believe it.

ANYWAYS I am here to talk about a smoothie.

A few weeks ago, I had a MASSIVE cold and as it turns out when you’re sick you don’t get to take a sick day from your baby. So I quickly turned to my usual cold remedies (hello turmeric tea & garlic honey by the spoonful) but also wanted something to soothe my aching throat. Enter this delicious & easy smoothie. Really I love all smoothies because they are so easy to put together and make you feel like you’re drinking health.

I used what I had around – an apple I knew I wouldn’t eat another way (I just don’t like green apples but they came in my farm box), orange & lemon from my trees, and ginger and cayenne for health. Plus spinach for an earthy taste, and per usual I used coconut water because it just gives me life!

The recipe is below, but use what you’ve got lying around, and experiment with the ginger and cayenne levels – s’all about what you can handle (and I can’t handle a lot.)

Type: Smoothies
Author: Jennie
Difficulty: Easy

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 1 large orange, peeled
  • 1 lemon, juiced & zested
  • 1-2 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1 pinch cayenne
  • 1 green apple, cored & chopped
  • 1 water (or coconut water)
  • 1 cup spinach

Directions

  1. Chop all veggies as noted above.

  2. Combine spinach and water in the blender. Add all other ingredients and blend until smooth. Add water to make desired consistency. Serve room temperature or chill 30 minutes before serving.

THE LAST 10 DAYS

We’ve made it to the end of another Whole30! I can’t believe it, and yet this one I REALLY STRUGGLED THROUGH. I think it was a combination of eating whatever I wanted for the past year (what what preggo!) and also being all the time because a) nursing and b) not sleeping. When I don’t sleep I get REAL snacky, and I haven’t slept through the night since Evie was born in September, so it’s been A THING.

The last week I’ve been in Chicago, where my sister and her family were also doing Whole30, so I had someone around to help me not quit. I wasn’t even craving specific things, so much, as I just wanted choices. Plus, I flew twice with Evie by myself (she was a dream baby because she’s just like that) and there was nothing to eat in the airport. A lot of the feeling around it is “I deserve XYZ” for some first-world reason – because I flew alone with an infant, because I have an infant, because I did yoga, yadda yadda yadda. But nourishing my body (I kind of hate the word nourishing, anyone else?) with REAL food is obviously going to make a better impression than just eating M&Ms on a plane to make myself happy for 30 seconds.

Some things we ate in the last 10 days worth noting:

Egg Roll in a Bowl – Holy cow, this was amazing. I could add this to my regular rotation REAL easily.

Chicken Cacciatore – This is a similar recipe, but my mom added potatoes and used tapioca flour instead of regular flour, etc. Simple, easy.

FEELINGS UPDATE

I re-read my wrap up from 2017, and have to say, this time around I also never felt this so-called “tiger blood.” Now, last year I was pregnant for most of Whole30, and didn’t know it, so I attributed it to that. This year, I am nursing and have a 4 month old babe, so you know, also could be that. I feel PRETTY GOOD, but my stomach just can’t handle this diet. That is, it’s just too much roughage. I need some blander foods to balance it out. I would probably be good if I can figure out which foods are easier on the stomach while still keeping up the fiber.

THE WEIGHT

Now, last year I lost 9 pounds, which was a good start to a year of weight gain while growing Evie! I gained 35 pounds when I was pregnant, and lost the first 10 quite quickly after she was born (as one does) but obviously losing weight wasn’t my focus. So seeing the scale slide down 13 pounds this time around was encouraging. And, now I only have to lose another 12 pounds to be my pre-pregnancy weight, which is encouraging. The doctors have a saying “9 months on, 9 months off” so to be 4 months postpartum and already at 23 pounds lost is great – I am feeling more and more like me every day.

I also did a 30 day yoga challenge this January, so my body is feeling strong, and toned, and getting me back to a place of feeling in charge of my mind, and body, and emotions – important because I’m still feeling hormonal and oh-so-tired because we have a tiny babe sharing our room!

NEXT STEPS

Jeff ALSO lost 13 pounds this Whole30, so he’s very into keeping this up – he keeps chanting Whole60. So we’re going to try to keep it health(ier) as we move forward. I went to Trader Joe’s today and ultimately didn’t get much because everything has so much sugar! Plus, one of my goals for the year is less food waste – we spent WAY too much money on groceries last month. So, I am hoping to get at what’s in my pantry (channeling my sister) and use up random dried fruit, nuts and seeds, etc., first, before filling it up with crackers and a bunch of other foods that look healthy but aren’t.

A friend sent me an article about the Mediterranean diet, and I think that’s what I’m going to aim for post-Whole30. Whole grains, legumes come back in, as well as keeping up my fair share of nuts and seeds and of course, fruits and veggies. Then, adding in more seafood (holla this is always my fave thing) and of course bringing dairy back in. This is something that’ll help me combat my annoyance at Whole30 for usually ending up eating SO MUCH MEAT. It’s just too much. It’s not good for the environment, but it’s hard to eat Whole30 and also get enough protein unless you eat all the nuts and all the eggs. It would be something I’d be better at if I was going to stay on this diet forever…but I’m not.

Today, I had legumes (falafel kale salad for lunch) and grains/dairy (tortilla and sour cream at dinner) but in small amounts. I kept lots of veggies, fruits, and nuts/seeds in. I didn’t binge on chocolate. I want to keep it easy. I know my body fairly well, and I know what sets me off, so I’m trying to curb cravings with my usuals – lots of water, tea, and keeping myself full so I don’t get too hungry and eat crazy amounts of sugar (I can be quite a sugar monster.)

What about you guys? Are you eating Whole30? Some other diet? How are you feeling?


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Well folks, we’ve made it past Day 20 and I’m here with an update. Like last year, I feel like the back part of a Whole30 is rougher. I’m not sure why that is, but I’m definitely missing some thing.

Feelings Update:  There were some hard days from Day 11-20. First of all, I wanted chocolate and candy and mainly sugar. I really let myself go last year due to being pregnant and then having an infant and generally rewarding myself with food (not the best idea) and I am missing having an excuse and not actually needing to lose weight, but to gain it. (Yes, I know gaining chocolate weight isn’t healthy for baby…but go tell that to a pregnant women. I dare you.)

I find if I keep myself full at meals and have a herbal tea after dinner, I can get through OK. Generally the hardest triggers are watching movies (cue the popcorn!) and friendly gatherings (cue the needless chips and salsa, chocolate cookies, etc. All unnecessary and all ultimately an excuse.) Luckily my friends once again like last year have been understanding and had options available at all times – thanks team!

Tomorrow I head to Chicago to visit my family, and I’m a bit nervous about traveling. Once I arrive, my sister is also doing Whole30, so I’m not worried about it while I’m there, but I want to make sure I’m eating well enough while traveling – but I’m going alone with Evie, so this could be double trouble. I’ve packed snacks. Many snacks.

What We’ve Been Eating:

We basically repeated what we ate last week – carnitas, chicken tenders, rosemary meatballs, random chicken stir fry. Simple items I knew that a) Jeff would like and b) I had ingredients for and c) I could put together simply. This coming week I think we’ll be branching out with my family, so stay tuned for those recipes!

One oldie but goodie I made this week was Taco Salad with this AMAZING DRESSING.

I think I’m going to just constantly be making this dressing from here on out. With more garlic than it calls for. It’s mostly avocado, coconut cream, and has a ton of cilantro too (which I don’t normally like but in this, it’s great!)

I’ve had this for a few meals, and it’s just so, so good. It gives me hope at the end of this Whole30 tunnel.

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram – I’ve been documenting what I’m eating there every day! And wish me luck tomorrow on my flight to Chicago w/ the little one!


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Well we’ve made it a third of the way through Whole30 and we’re still at it. I confess, yesterday might have been my hardest night, but we’ll get there.

The first ten days, I’ve been eating a lot of fried eggs & avocado with greens for breakfast. Because I’m home with Evie, this has been easy to whip up in the mornings. And I literally never get sick of fried eggs.

(If you don’t follow me on Instagram, get on it. I’ve highlighted what I’ve eaten each day so you can get ideas!)

For dinners, we’ve gone back to some of the things we made last time around, things we normally eat which happen to be compliant, and are trying some new things.

Feelings Update: I am feeling pretty good about Whole30 this time around. It’s been easier for me to give up certain things I thought would be hard, like dairy (cheese mostly). I haven’t been craving anything I can’t have, it’s more the lack of being able to eat whatever I want. The two hardest times were once when we were with friends and I wanted to be able to snack (didn’t prepare healthy snacks so was craving junk!) and last night I was DYING for some chocolate. I love chocolate, LOVE IT and wasn’t missing sugar necessarily, just a creamy piece of chocolate with my tea.

In addition, this may be controversial, but this time around I’ve not been as strict. I know that I am not allergic to dairy or grains, that beans don’t bother me, I’m doing the Whole30 to reset my eating and stop having Chicken Quesadillas for dinner every night and eating tons of cookies. So, I’ve had a few dips with canola oil and am not looking back. If something says “0g added sugars” but has “May contain less than XYZ” I am eating it. We live in a world with a particular husband and a 3 month old baby and I am doing the best I can with what I got.

Mainly, eating Whole30 makes you pay attention to labels, what you’re putting in your body, and how that makes you feel. And that’s what I’m gaining from it.

Anyways, on to what we’ve been eating.

I’ve got a Pinterest Board of Whole30 Keepers we’ve tried this time and last.

Here’s what we’ve had this first 10 days:

Rosemary Meatballs w/ Greens & Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
Paleo Chicken Fingers
Stir Fry with Cauliflower Rice (Modify this recipe – use cashews & no tofu!)
Turkey Chili
Mustardy Chicken (Modified to be Whole30)
Carnitas Salad with Roasted Broccoli
Chicken Vegetable Soup

Two things that people asked for are here. First off, how to modify a recipe. This is a skill you’ll learn as you experiment in the kitchen, and there’s no perfect way, but I’ll talk you through how I did it for the mustard chicken, above.

So, first here is the list of original ingredients with the modifications I made:

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds bone-in chicken thighs
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup diced shallots (2 medium shallots)  1 diced onion
1/2 cup dry white wine  1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons whole-grain Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard  4 tablespoons compliant mustard
2 tablespoons heavy cream  2 tablespoons coconut milk
Coarsely chopped fresh parsley, for serving (optional)

So here we go. First of all, you can see from above that there are a few triggers of non-compliant things – the wine, obviously, mustard (just make sure you use compliant mustard!) and the cream.

1) SHALLOTS – I used to keep these on hand, but I always end up not using them (I know, that’s so silly, they’re easy to use!) but I always have onions, so I just swapped that out because that’s what I had.

2) WINE – Vinegar makes a great substitute for alcohol – you’re looking for something acidic to add to your dish. You usually can make this substitution and get away with a delicious dish. I just happened to have/prefer apple cider vinegar.

3) MUSTARD – I only have the one kind of compliant mustard, but I’m here to report it was delicious.

4) HEAVY CREAM – The coconut milk/cream was just as good, and compliant, and makes your dish dairy free for those with allergies!

Just as delicious, I am sure, and no one was the wiser. Do you guys modify recipes? Do you have other recipe or ingredient-specific questions on substitutions, or suggestions?

Secondly, a few people asked for the Chicken Vegetable Soup recipe. It’s easy for me to make a big pot of soup on Monday and eat it all week – easier than making lunch every day with a wiggly 3 month old! The recipe is below – feel free to modify the veggies as you see fit, add spinach or kale or whatever your heart desires!

 

Type: Soups
Author: Jennie
Difficulty: Easy

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Inactive Time: 60 minutes
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 4-5 small potatoes
  • 5 carrots
  • 1 bunch celery
  • 1-2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4-5 cup vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1-2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Boil chicken breasts in water. This will take about 20 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, chop your potatoes, carrots, and celery.

  3. When your chicken is done, remove from pot, drain, and cut into bit size pieces.

  4. In a dutch oven or soup pot, heat oil. When hot, add potatoes. Brown for about five minutes over medium heat.

  5. Add carrots, celery, and broth. Stir and bring to a boil.

  6. Add the lemon juice and spices, and taste and adjust to your liking. Let simmer at least 30-45 minutes. Serve hot!

Hey folks! Long time, no talk. I’ve been not really cooking as I have a tiny baby who needs my attention most of the time, but I’m hoping to fix that in 2018. In the meantime, recently I made some Peppermint Pop Rocks Bark and it was really easy and continues to be delicious, so I thought I’d share it with you.

So you take a pound of dark chocolate (you can get the pound bars at Trader Joe’s, so good) and melt it in a double boiler (aka take a sauce pot, add some water and boil it, then put a bowl over the pot and melt the chocolate in that. This helps you to not burn your chocolate.)

Then, spread the melted chocolate onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment. Let it cool for 15-20 minutes, then add your Pop Rocks. I used candy-cane flavored ones, and I used 6 of those little packets for the pound. Or use candy canes if you want – whatever floats your boat. Then, freeze for about an hour, and break it up using either a knife or a meat mallet or whatever you have in your kitchen. Eat cold or room temp – I am keeping mine in the freezer!

Moving on to next year – in 2018, we’re starting the year off in my family by doing a Whole 30 for the month of January. I’ll share recipes here of what we’re making and loving (or not) so you can have some recipes to try. I lost some weight last Whole30 around, and generally felt better, although it turns out I was pregnant and didn’t know it, so I’m wondering how this one will feel comparatively.

What are you guys up to? Anyone have Whole30 recipes they love?