Hey y’all! I’m heading into 2017 slowly and deliberately, and I feel renewed by the sense of kinship I’ve seen around the country this past weekend. As I move into planning out what I want to bring to you this year, I’m hoping you might help me figure out what YOU want. Take this quick survey below and help me guide my posts + recipes to help you cook more, better, or with more joy!

I’m headed up to Big Bear this weekend to hang out with some nature and revive my soul in with the trees – I hope you have a wonderful weekend and I’ll see you next week!


Damn doing this Whole30 in January, you guys. July seems like a much better month – berries everywhere, the grill’s out and ready for all the steak…maybe I’ll have to do another (starting July 5, of course.) Anyways, despite the fact that it’s January and cold(er) in LA, I did want to get you guys a salad recipe.

I love salads because they’re easy and feel fancy even when they’re not. When Jeff’s traveling, I reach for a big salad with goat cheese, chicken, a couple of veggies, some lemon-sumac dressing, and sun dried tomatoes! It was hard for me to figure out how to make a salad without cheese (first world problems) but I persevered and here’s this salad that doesn’t even feel like anything’s missing.

First off all, this salad has tuna. If you don’t like tuna, you probably should do some soul searching and try it again. BUT if you still don’t like it, use chicken, or tofu, or steak, or just leave it out and this salad will still be good (but not as good, tuna is delicious, you guys.) We also have olives here. If you don’t like those, then I don’t know what to tell you because this becomes an entirely different salad. BUT I LOVE OLIVES. Ahem.

I used pistachios here, because I love those too (basically this is a salad of foods I love but don’t eat enough of!) but you could use cashews too, if you feel like it. Then beets – I get the ones that are precooked at TJs, or just roast some up and put them on this salad warm (YUM.) I use kale as the base of this one, because I like the heartiness of it – the lemon juice breaks it down a little so it’s not TOO strong. If you’re wary of kale, throw it in with the lemon juice for 5-10 minutes before you add the rest of the ingredients.

Type: Main Course, Paleo, Salad
Author: Jennie
Difficulty: Easy

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 1 can tuna
  • 1 can olives, cut in half
  • 4-6 beets, chopped
  • 1/3 cup pistachios, shelled
  • 1 bag/bunch kale
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • olive oil

Directions

  1. Open tuna and drain. Separate it with a fork.

  2. Chop olives and beets.

  3. Shell pistachios if needed.

  4. In a bowl, toss kale, lemon juice, and a gulg (about 1-2 tsp) olive oil.

  5. Add pistachios, beets, olives, and tuna. Toss well, serve.

It’s Day 22! I can’t believe it. So close. There’s one weekend left to get through (one when my friends are heading OOT, so it might be hard!) and then a couple more weekdays, and then we’re done. I’m still not feeling “tiger blood” but I am pushing through in spite of it all. Because, I mean, we’ve come this far, right?

The past week was a challenge (made a cake! Made frosting! Didn’t eat either!) but also brought a few recipes I’m digging and because it’s been chilly, I’ve been having all the tea and trying to keep hydrated.

Shout out to my book club – accidental or not, there was not lots of wine-flaunting happening and we all had tea, so I didn’t feel like I was missing out. It’s been an easy month in the social arena, and for that, I am lucky.

Last week was hard (specifically Friday) because I was feeling hopeless and tired, so I made some sweet potato fries & ate them with garlic dip because it was the closest thing to comfort food I could get to, and it really did the trick. On Saturday, we were at the Women’s March and I did not plan enough snacks OR drink enough water (because I was worried about bathroom options) but I did have a Larabar and some dried mango and was generally OK.

Here’s what I’ve been eating this week:

Breakfast

Week 3 Chia Seed & Coconut Milk Pudding – This was great and so easy. I topped it with freeze dried blueberries and banana and coconut, and it made each morning feel fancy. I will say I was hungry earlier than the other weeks, but I compensated with a bigger lunch and we were all good.

Lunch

Leftover city this week.

Dinner

Week 3We made this Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Chicken because I finally found sun dried tomatoes that we could eat, and boy oh boy was it good. I served with mashed potatoes and spinach, and it was perfect. I also made shrimp with Chinese five spice, and then fried up some cauliflower rice, with a couple of eggs scrambled in, green onions, and topped with coconut aminos, crispy Brussels sprouts, and hot sauce. We also tried this Red Curry Beef Stew, and had a Teriyaki Chicken (sans honey) with sugar snap peas (and mashed potatoes again, I was feeling weak, you guys) – thanks to Ellen & Aaron who had us over for this one, because they’ve been in Whole30 world and know what it’s like.

I’ve got a lot planned for this week, so I can’t wait to share with you at the end to let you know what was good!

Eating Out

We went to a local restaurant that has a Paleo Plate (again, thanks Ellen for telling me!) that I got and was perfect – I got it with shrimp (man, am I loving eating more seafood this month!). That was the only time I ate this whole trip and I was proud to be able to cook all week (or eat leftovers) despite some evening plans.

This last week might be the most challenging yet – we’re going out of town with friends this weekend and I anticipate the want to drink, eat chips and nachos and whatever else is put in front of me, but everyone knows what’s up, so I plan on staying strong – wish me luck!


Folks, you know I’m in the middle of a Whole30. This smoothie is something that has been getting me through. When I go to bed, I dream of this smoothie. It’s simple. It’s sweet. It’s filling. And it’s Whole30 approved. I die.

I frozen these blueberries back in the summer when I bought a million and then couldn’t actually eat them all. I found them in the freezer in a moment of desperation when I was longingly looking at the chocolate bar I couldn’t. These blueberries were just as good (this is a lie I will tell myself for the next two weeks that is almost true.)

Here’s the thing: I used coconut milk of course. And let me say something, coconut milk is bomb. I used to make smoothies with regular milk and them my stomach would go nuts and I would immediately regret it. But this one? Totally fine, no stomach issues to speak of. (Which is really the whole point of Whole30 right? To figure out what’s effing with your body?) I am sure you could also use cashew butter or any other nut butter and it would be just as delish. The recipe is below – go forth and enjoy.

Type: Paleo, Sipping Slowly, Smoothies
Author: Jennie
Difficulty: Easy

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 3-5 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup ice

Directions

  1. Mix blueberries and coconut milk well.

  2. Add almond butter and ice until desired consistency. Split into 2 servings, serve cold.

Whew. We’ve made it to the halfway point, you guys. I’ll be honest, I don’t feel so different but I definitely am eating less and snacking way WAY less. The cravings are starting (where’s my movie-style popcorn/glass of wine on Friday night) and I’m realizing how much of my life is tied to foods tasting good.

Every thing I do revolves around the next awesome thing I’m going to eat, whether it’s lunch or dinner with a friend, a coffee date, “deserving” something like a piece of chocolate or vodka soda after a long day. I’m having to learn how to find happiness in things other than food – a good walk, a great conversation, yoga with my dear friend (jk I’ve never met her) Adriene.

The other thing I’ve found interesting is when I get close to mealtime, I don’t even miss a specific thing – I miss the idea of eating anything I want. That’s humbling, too. I have to think ahead, plan, and have the willpower to say no. We didn’t toss the non-compliant things in my house ahead of time, and I haven’t reach for anything yet because I always hear in the back of my head, but you will have to start over.

I am waiting for the awesome effects of this challenge to show up (other than eating less, and theoretically weight loss, although I haven’t stepped on a scale) but in the meantime, last week’s failure was lack of good recipes (we had the same thing too many nights!) so I will be diversifying.

What I’ve been eating:

Breakfast

Week 1Hard Boiled Eggs. No recipe needed, although a couple of days I did have some avocado with it, and each day I had a banana.

Week 2 Apple Cashew Mash – I can’t even call this “grain free oatmeal” because it’s nothing like oatmeal. It’s like applesauce but not quite, and I made it last weekend and ate it all week for breakfast. After a week of hard-boiled eggs it was a welcome change, but by Friday I was DEFINITELY over it.

Week 3 Chia Seed & Coconut Milk Pudding – This is what I’m having this week. So far, so good – I used unsweetened coconut milk and added cinnamon but no vanilla. This morning I had mine with a banana and two dates, because I was feeling wild. Shout out to my friend Caitlin who introduced me to this concept – I was saved from another week of being sick of eggs.

Lunch

I won’t spend too much time here, but to say I was really enjoyed this Paleo Chili for the first week, then last week it was leftover-city and some salads. I also roasted a chicken and used that on my salads which was helpful – planning is so key for Whole30.

Dinner

Week 1 The first week wasn’t too hard, as I made old reliable recipes we eat a lot. First of all, we eat lemon pepper chicken which is from a recipe in a cookbook I started making years ago. Just add lemon, pepper, garlic, and olive oil to chicken and bake until chicken is done. So simple and easy yet delicious. We also did some various stir fries (try this or this but modify with coconut aminos and a little sesame seed oil). We also had our old standby of spaghetti squash with pesto (no cheese, of course, this is the pesto we made).

Week 2I started to branch out this week. I used this Thai Green Curry as a guide but used my own veggies of choice and added chicken, plus used cauliflower rice, and of course no sugar, and used coconut aminos instead of soy sauce.

We made these Rosemary Meatballs which were so good we’ve already made them again, this time in double, and had baked potatoes + sweet potatoes with them.

The rest of the week was a mix and match of chicken, Brussels/Broccoli, and roasted potatoes in various forms. We also made Tandoori Chicken using a pre-made sauce that was compliant and adding coconut milk and some onion and garlic (similar to this.)

Week 3I have a busy week coming up, so we planned ahead and I am planning to make a handful of recipes which I’ll post once I’ve determined they’re awesome (I am sure they are). I found some compliant sun dried tomatoes and I cannot wait to eat them.

Eating Out

I have eaten out a couple of times, which was hard but fine after asking a lot of questions. Shout out to Greenleaf in Hollywood that dealt with me despite a line. It made me feel more patient with people who are always asking questions at restaurants, because don’t we all have a right to know what we’re putting into our bodies and paying for?

I’ve also eaten some salads from the salad bar by work, thank goodness for the Lassen’s right down the street.

Snacking

I’ve stopped snacking as much as I used to, but when I do I start with fruit, followed by a few nuts, and usually try to drink a bunch of water, before turning to more food. When I get home from work, I usually snack on olives if I am hungry because I love them and they’re fast – five or six is enough to keep me until dinner’s ready. I also made some energy balls with cashews, almonds, lemon juice, dates, and dried fruit – these are delicious and I will be trying them this week to hold me over in the afternoons if and when needed.

I’ve also been drinking kombucha almost every day, which I really think has done wonders for me. It’s something different and yet still compliant, something I look forward to every day.

So that’s the first half update. Woof. How are you guys doing? Trying any new recipes this month? Eating anything differently, doing any diets? Have you done a Whole30?