Friday, March 29, 2013

Whole30: Day 10

Breakfast: Paleo Banana Pancakes
We cut the eggs back this morning and that worked well. I'm still a huge fan of these, I want to eat these alllllll the time. I'm super serious. I think they may be my new favourite weekend food. I can't wait to eat them with butter and the maple syrup from Syrup Fest 2013!

Lunch: Leftover spiced mustard chicken thighs, green beans, and watermelon
This was such a delicious meal. It worked great as leftovers. This recipe is definitely a keeper.

Supper: Pulled pork, broiled asparagus, salad, and watermelon (recipe from Paleo Crockpot Cookbook)
This was a very good meal. I made some barbeque sauce to go with this and it was quite good as well. Justin was a huge fan of this one. I think this is another recipe that will go into our regular rotation. 

Today has been good. I've felt pretty well. No headaches and my energy level has been good. Not really too much to report. I'm wonder if I'm starting to turn the corner and start to feel better.

Today was a good day. Day two of helping my brother and sister in law pack up their house and day two of spending time with the 3rd nephew! He's definitely a cutie. I get to watch him all day tomorrow as well. I can't wait!

The boy and I enjoying the beautiful weather

And in other news, today was our first run since our injuries back in December and it felt fantastic! We kept it short since we hadn't run in almost 16 weeks and are starting to break in new shoes. It was hard but not harder than I expected. We went a little under 2 miles but our pace was good (for me, very slow for Justin). My stride and muscles felt good, loose and energetic, but my throat? I think it had forgotten how to breathe. It felt very raw afterwards. I was happy with how the run felt though. I was afraid that I would have lost muscle and have to rebuild but I obviously didn't. Everything felt great. I imagine that I'll have to work a little bit on the cardiovascular portions some more. I mean, we did only go two miles but it was awesome and exactly what I needed today! I'm so glad to be back at it!

New running shoes!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Whole30: Day 9


Breakfast: Paleo Banana Pancakes
These were fantastic. They make a great substitute for real pancakes. We also used almond butter instead of peanut butter and Justin just cooked three giant pancakes instead of twelve little ones. We ate them without syrup or butter on top naturally but I can't wait experience these pancakes with them! There was just a hint of sweetness in them from the banana and it was fantastic. This is another recipe that I think will be joining our file of regulars for after the Whole30 is done.

Lunch: Leftover Chunky Cioppino, frozen veggies, and a little watermelon
This was pretty good as leftovers. It wasn't as good as the first night but it worked. 

Supper: Stuffed Green peppers, salad, and watermelon
These were pretty good. I could definitely make them again. We used veal instead of beef and I have to admit that I couldn't taste a difference. They just tasted beefy to me. I like the inclusion of carrots and parsnips in the mixture. Our regular recipe contains rice and I didn't miss that at all. I think in the future I'll just do root veggies. I did miss the cheese however. This would have been delicious with a light layer of cheese over the top. We'll have to make them with that next time.

I felt pretty good yesterday. I felt fine all morning and most of the afternoon. By late afternoon, I had a slight headache and while I was working on dinner my back was really hurting. I also was very tired and had some sinus drainage/stuffy nose. After supper I just hung on the couch and read a book on my phone but by the time we headed to bed my sinuses, head, and back were all feeling fine. So I'm not sure what's up with that. It was a little weird.

Aren't little kids the greatest? There's nothing quite like a flashlight and a dark closet. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Whole30: Day 8

My favourite meal so far


Breakfast: Spinach Cinnamon Frittata Leftovers
This was alright as leftovers. It reheated well, the flavours and texture were good. It still just took forever to chew. I wasn't able to finish mine again. I was so tired of eating it, to the point that I was actually considering spitting my bite out, when I looked at my plate and realized that I had four big bites left. And I just couldn't do it. I did manage to swallow the bite in my mouth but the rest of it sadly went into the trash. I don't think I'd repeat this one as yummy as it tasted.

Lunch: Leftover Italian meatballs in meat sauce and salad
This was good as leftovers. The sauce is still amazing. I actually ended up eating mostly just the meat sauce and not really the meatballs. I wasn't a huge fan of the balls, maybe because they were made out of beef and not pork? Either way, I decided that I had plenty of meat sauce to make a meal out of it. So I went with it.

Supper: Spiced Mustard Chicken Thighs, greenbeans sauteed in ghee and garlic, and watermelon
This one was ah-mazing! I could seriously eat this all the time. The sauce was fantastic, rich and creamy and oh so smooth. I could definitely see this being made with even more sauce and served over a bed of rice that would soak up the sauce. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Goodness.

Today felt about like all the rest of my days this past week. I had a mild headache this morning but after I finished all my computer work I got up and made an effort to be active and drink some water. And you know what? It went away again. My energy levels are consistent. Getting up has been a little unpleasant the last few days. But then I've been awake and perky until close to ten the last several nights. And frankly, I don't do very well on only seven hours a sleep per night. I have always needed at least eight and I do best on nine if I can get it. So I'll need to make a conscious effort to get some more sleep tonight and tomorrow. But otherwise, things have been fine. Just chugging along. 

So you know those days where pretty much nothing happened? Yeah. Today was one of those days and it was lovely. The last couple of days I have been listening to the Healthy Life Summit put together by the Village Green Network and the interviews that I have heard have been amazing! Each day there's a different set of interviews available to listen to for free. I am so grateful to the bloggers out there who write the articles and provide the resources for us to learn from. Every interview in this summit has left me with list of things to research in more detail and books to get. I love learning about new things and listening to people who are passionate about what they do. It inspires me to learn as much as I can and become educated so that I can make the best choices possible for our health. I'd encourage you to listen to some of the interviews if you have time. You won't be sorry that you did.

In other news, they finally came and worked on our streetlight! It's been weak and flickering for a long time. Hopefully, it'll actually turn off when the sun comes up now!

Changing the sensor

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Whole30: Week 1 Review

Well, week one is done. Just three weeks and two days to go. What to say about this week? I think mostly it has gone alright. We've had mostly really good meals. There have been a few duds in there (I'm looking at you beef and mushroom soup) but for the most part I've been enjoying what we've been eating. I haven't missed any of the sweets or the breads particularly. We significantly cut back our consumption of fruit in keeping with the Whole30 guidelines of focusing on meat and veggies. I've missed the fruit, although not as much as I thought I might. But on a whole, I haven't been craving sugar. I don't think about it, basically at all, and I don't feel like I'm going to die if I don't get it. I didn't mind not having a cupcake and icecream bar at Easter. I just wished I could eat some of the ham because a plain hamburger is bo-ring.

So based on what I've read I was expecting to feel like this. Go read THIS article and come back.

All that stuff in the first week about the sugar hangover, and then feeling grumpy, and then being exhausted? Yeah, it's just not happening to me. This whole week has just felt like a series of day ones. In terms of how I'm feeling, frankly, I feel normal.  I still wake up hungry and get hungry between meals, wanting a snack (which I haven't been eating). My energy level is the same as it's been for a while. I'm not feeling exhausted or run down. I'm just feeling normal. I'll be very curious to see if I start getting the vivid dreams they talk about during the second week. My mind has quite the active imagination during the night anyway so it'll be fun to see if the content of my dreams change to fit their mold. But for the rest of it? Nada.

Now I do want to say that as much as I've been talking about my headaches, in reality?, it's not like they're exactly new to this week or anything. I've been getting headaches almost every day for a while now. They tends to peak in the later afternoon, be mostly gone by the start of dinner, and usually completely gone by the end.  Maybe I'm just hungry. Or maybe that's when I notice it most because I've forgotten to drink water all morning and it's finally hitting me. I really have no idea. It'll be something that I'll continue to pay attention to as the weeks go on but I'm not sure how much my diet has been having an influence on them.

My biggest complaint for the Whole30, though? It's not doing the research and finding recipes that sounds good. It's not doing the cooking because, goodness, we've been cooking daily for more than four years at this point. It's not the grocery shopping and having to find and experiment with different veggies. It's how expensive all the bloody food is! At this point we're on track to easily spend probably around 75% more this month than we usually do. And frankly, that's ridiculous. Before we started the Whole30, we didn't eat processed foods, we didn't coupon. We just bought healthy good quality ingredients and made meals. But with this? We have to buy more meat because the program has guidelines for how much meat to eat at every meal and that's a decent amount more than we usually eat. And it's expensive. I don't know how people afford to be paleo full time. I understand the concept of buying veggies when they're in season and on sale, and stocking up on other things when they're on sale. That's what we've been doing both previously and for the Whole30. Let's just say that I was extremely unprepared for how much this experiment would cost.

As a whole though, I feel like this experiment is going well enough. It's hard to know how it's working since I don't seem to be going through their stages of withdrawal. Hopefully all this expense works out in the end and when we start introducing foods we can actually tell if we have any intolerances to them or not. Because otherwise it'll just be a very expensive, failed experiment.

Whole30: Day 7

Hopefully the last snow storm of the season


Breakfast: Spinach and Cinnamon Fritatta
This was definitely good. Took forever to chew. I got sick of eating it before I was done. 

Lunch: Leftover lemonade shrimp on a salad, 1/2 an apple
I think this did alright as leftovers. The shrimp had gotten over cooked originally (the directions were weird) but it reheated alright. The warm sauce from the shrimp worked well as a dressing. It made the lettuce just a little bit wilty. It was delicious and I didn't even miss the mouth-wateringly tart lime juice. Okay, I did a little. But it was still delicious anyway.

Supper: Chunky Cioppino and a salad
This was another very good recipe. It's italian again (we seem to be on a roll) and I liked it alot. I had never had a tomato based seafood soup before and it was yummy. We used a pound of raw shrimp and a pound of tilapia. I would definitely love to use scallops sometime but it didn't need them. This is another recipe that will go into our normal everyday recipe file. I would definitely do it again.

My head was actually quite good. No headache to speak of despite spending an hour or so reading a book on my phone in the afternoon. So I guess I still don't know what's causing the headaches. I thought sure that they were being caused by the screens but that doesn't seem to be it. Other than that, there wasn't much of anything noticeable about day 7.  I pretty much felt normal.

We had a freak, early spring snowstorm Sunday night into Monday. All told, by the time is stopped early Monday afternoon we had received about 5 1/2 inches of snow, on March 25th. My good people, that is insane! One of the benefits of this storm, however, were that I had the best shopping morning ever. I arrived at Meijjer shortly before 8am and while the snow was still steadily falling and there was not a soul around. I saw about three other customers the entire time I was there. Everything was well stocked there were tons of employees working and chatting and I had the place to myself. Heaven! I think I may start going shopping every time we have a snowstorm. I was definitely a fan.

In other good news, judging by the produce available for a good price, this week seemed to kick off the start of the California growing season. My store had pineapples, watermelons, cantaloups, grapes, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries on sale! I had a hard time choosing which ones I wanted. I ended up settling on a pineapple, watermelon, and one package of strawberries.

Isn't be a beaut?!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Whole30: Day 6

Italian meatballs and meat sauce


Meal 1/Brunch: leftover beef and mushroom soup and frozen veggies
This meal didn't improve after its time in the fridge. Honestly, it smells like ravioli out of a can. Yuck. At least it doesn't taste as bad as it smells. It's just super bland and boring. Definitely not a repeat meal.

Lunch: Salad, fruit, deviled egg, and plain hamburger
This was our Easter meal with Justin's family. We took the salad and deviled eggs. I have no idea what all went into the deviled eggs other than out homemade mayo. (!) Justin just threw things in, tasting as he went along. He's really good at that and they turned out super well. I was a fan.

Snack: Turkey Jerky
Justin's turkey jerky is still awesome even after it's fully cooled. I'm a big fan of it. It's soft and chewy and has a great flavor. We'll definitely be making this again. But next time we'll make two batches so that Justin can make his spicy.

Supper: Italian meatballs in meat sauce with a salad
This was a super good meal. The sauce was amazing! We both liked it so well that we're talking about making it as our normal spaghetti sauce. I liked the pork sausage in it as well. The meat balls were only okay though. They weren't near as good as our normal recipe but they worked alright. I'll be looking forward to making out meatball recipe again sometime soon. 

Unfortunately, I had a killer headache most of the day. So much so that it made me really nauseous for a little while. I'm leaning more and more towards thinking that my headaches are triggered by screens; computer or phone. I woke up feeling great but after about 45 minutes of reading things on my phone, my head was killing me and it never went away after that. I tried drinking a lot of water and keeping my eyes closed for a while but those didn't work either. It did start to feel better as the day wore on and was mostly better by the time I went to bed. So I'll have to keep pondering it.

We had a nice Easter/Birthdays with Justin's family. Justin's mom and one of his brothers have birthdays in March so we celebrated th as well as celebrating Easter. It was a very relaxed afternoon which was good since my head was hurting so much. Other than that we just layed low at home for the rest of the evening. It was lovely.

Justin's meatballs.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Whole30: Day 5

Lemonade shrimp on a salad


Meal 1/Brunch: Left over salmon with avocado and strawberry salsa
Yeah. This did not do well as leftovers. The fish was dry and the avocado in the salsa was really slimy. I definitely won't eat this as leftovers again.

Snack/Lunchish thing: Small salad, turkey jerky, and a couple of apple slices.
This worked well as a mid afternoon snack. I'd definitely do it again.

Supper: Lemonade shrimp over a large salad with a small handful of grapes
This was extremely good and is definitely a keeper. We both loved this recipe. There are a few tweaks that we would make (of course) but the flavor was great. We made separate batches so that mine didn't have any jalapenos in it and I think that was a good thing. Instead of salad dressing, I actually just squeezed a half of a lime over the salad and this was fantastic. The whole thing had a light and fresh flavor to it. That in combination with the sun streaming in the window almost made it seem like it was summer time!

I felt better today than I have the previous days this week. My gas was gone and my head was doing quite well. I didn't start getting a headache until late and it was super minor. It also started after I got on the computer and began to work on my blog posts. So, yet another connection to the computer and my poor head. We caught up on sleep some last night. I got close to 12 hours and felt much more awake when I woke up. But that's why our meals were all messed up. We had breakfast at about 10:30 and by 3pm I knew I couldn't last until supper with out a snack. So salad and jerky it was! All in all, today was an improvement over the last few days.

We spent a decent amount of time in the kitchen this afternoon. We boiled eggs to make deviled eggs, made more jerky (I think this batch came out super yummy), made a huge salad for tomorrow. But the highlight of our afternoon? We made mayo! It turned out really well. Or, well, the texture came out fantastic. It blended and emulsified and is thick and creamy, just like real mayo. But the flavor? It's a little weird. It has a bit of a bite to it. We're not what's causing that exactly. We don't think there's anything wrong with it per say. It just tastes strange. So we'll have to do some more experimenting. But now we know the technique and from there we just get to play with ingredients.

Waiting for the egg to get to room temperature

The finished product: homemade mayo!

Whole30: Day 4

Breakfast for me!

The Food:

Breakfast: 3 scrambled eggs with salsa, and frozen veggies

Lunch: Leftover burger with onions and mushrooms, and salad
This meal did well as leftovers. I could definitely eat it pretty often. Especially once we add dairy back into our diets. It would be fantastic with a slice of sharp cheddar or swiss melted over it. Yum. 

Supper: Beef and mushroom soup with salad
We weren't a fan of this one. I don't really know what to say about it. It was just weird. There was a can of pumpkin puree in it as a thickener and that tasted kind of strange. And it was thick and really kind of bland. And we added all kinds of extra spices to it even. I don't know what it needed but it needed help.

Snack: 1/2 cup homemade applesauce
This is always one of my favourite snacks. We make applesauce in the fall by peeling apples and cooking them down into mush. That's it, no water, no sugar, nothing. Then we through it in the freezer and snack on it all year. It's fantastic. This is one of my favourite snacks ever

Breakfast was a better amount for me. I still got hungry before lunch time but it wasn't as early as previous days and I didn't feel like I was going to starve. I'm wondering if maybe I need to eat more fat at breakfast. I had a headache again in the afternoon/evening. I'm starting to wonder how much of my headache is from the lack of carbs and how much is from spending too much time on my computer. Maybe it's both. The screen has a history of giving me headaches but this week has been much worse than normal. The other thing that in the late afternoon/evening, was that I had bloating and horrible horrible gas. Like, noxious foul smelling gas. And this is definitely not normal for me. I actually never have gas or need to burp but I was definitely doing both. I don't have any ideas what might have caused it. Theoretically, I'm not eating anything that my body could be reacting too. But whatever I ate my stomach did not like it.

Today was a beautiful sunny day! It was 40 degrees for my walk to the library and I managed to get all my laundry washed, dried, and folded, instead of leaving one load in the dryer all weekend. Go me!

Morning view from my kitchen window

A lovely sight

Friday, March 22, 2013

Whole30: Day 3

The Food:

Breakfast: Sauteed onion, bell pepper, and spinach and two fried eggs
Same breakfast as yesterday except with two eggs instead of one. I'm not sure that two eggs was enough breakfast. I was hungry by 10am with another two hours to go until lunch. Oy vey!

Lunch: Leftover chicken, roasted carrots, salad, and half an apple
This was almost as good as leftovers as it was originally. The chicken reheated better than I thought it might. 

Supper: Salmon with strawberry and avocado salsa, and a salad
I was a big fan of this meal. It's definitely something we'll be making again. The marinade for the salmon was very tasty and the salsa was delicious. I can't wait to make it when the strawberries are fully in season and more flavorful. It'll be sooooo good. (I loved this meal so much that I ate half of my salmon before I remembered to take a photo.)  

Breakfast didn't hold me and I was hungry again by 10am. I guess I really do need three eggs every morning. Also,  my stomach doesn't appreciate onions and bell peppers first thing in the morning. Both days my breakfast has left my stomach feeling unsettled and kind of bloated. We think it might be more the bell peppers fault than the onions. I don't typically have problems with onions. Otherwise, I'm still feeling quite well. I had a slight headache but that's actually pretty normal for me later in the day. So I'm happy with my progress so far! 

The second day of spring and this is what we woke up to! By the afternoon the sun had come out and was shining brightly but the snow was an unwelcome surprise!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Whole30: Day 2

The Food:

Breakfast: Sauteed onion, bell pepper, and spinach with a fried egg.
Why only one fried egg when I had 3 eggs on Tuesday? Well, I forgot to go pick up our eggs at the drop location. I was, however, able to pick them up later in the day.

Lunch: Leftover pot roast meat, frozen veggie mix, and half an apple.
We found some pot roast in the freezer and decided to have that for lunch so that we would be back on track for our leftovers. I'm not a fan of pot roast so didn't eat as much of it as I should have.

Supper: 1/4 hamburger, 4oz of mushrooms and 1/2 onion carmelized, and a salad.
It's a little hard to tell but there is a burger hiding under all the mushrooms and onions. This is another great meal. I could definitely eat this fairly often. The only thing that could make it better is a little bit of mayo on my burger. Delicious.

I felt about the same as I did on Day 1. Fairly energetic but definitely still sporting the sugar headache. I did not eat enough food at breakfast or lunch so I got quite hungry in between meals but supper was a good amount. I just need more than one egg for breakfast. Otherwise, my sugar cravings weren't too bad. I had about twenty minutes where I was seriously craving a can of Coke. But a lot of that had to do with my frustration level combined with my hunger. Because I almost never drink coke. So it wasn't a real craving. All in all, a pretty good day.

Yesterday was spent at home working on things. During the day I made two stops at the library and one stop to pick up eggs (4dozen!). And then in the evening Justin and I made a run to the Main library to pick up some movies. It's our new middle of the week night outing and we both get as many as we're allowed. We head home with a giant stack of movies to choose from for the rest of the week and weekend. I'm loving it!

And now I leave you with a photo from last night: Justin looking very serious while he preforms the delicate operation of gluing my pinky closed!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Whole30: Day 1/2 & 1

A brief introduction to Whole30:

There's this long story that I haven't been talking about here. It involves health problems, injuries, exhaustion, and just general feelings of malaise. While I'm not going to get into any kind of details here (seriously folks it's a loooooong story!), but long story short I jumped (and just was sweet enough to join me) onto the Whole30 bandwagon.

Whole30 is a system of eating where for 30 days you eat clean unprocessed meats, healthy fats, veggies, and fruits. That's it. No sugars, grains, dairy, soy, peanuts, MSG, or any kinds of additives. There's so much more to Whole30 and, frankly, it's all on their website so I'm not going to bother repeating it. Just start here and then go read this. I would also highly recommend the book. It fleshes out what's on the website and provides some science to back up their suggestions.*

There are many reasons to do the Whole30 but I'm planning on simply using it as an elimination diet. After the thirty days are over, I'll reintroduce things a little at a time to see what foods my body reacts to and what I have no problems with. If I discover foods that I react to then I'll know what I shouldn't be eating!

*I do not agree with all of their arguments and do not think that this type of diet is sustainable for most people.

And now, for what I really wanted to talk about:


We officially started the program on Tuesday but on Monday we made a Whole30 acceptable supper so that we could have the leftovers for later in the week. So I'm counting Monday as day 1/2. At some point I will talk about shopping and where we buy our meat but for today I'm just going to move into the daily food recap.

Day 1/2: 3-18-13, Monday
Supper: Greek Fish
Tilapia in a foil packet with onion, tomato, olives, capers, spices, and olive oil. This is one of my favourite meals ever. We've had this recipe for a long time and I was excited to realize that it was completely acceptable.

Day 1: 3-19-13, Tuesday
Breakfast: 3 scrambled eggs with frozen veggies
Not very adventurous and frankly rather boring. But I kind of forgot about breakfast planning in among all our other meal planning. On the brightside it kept me full until lunch time.

Lunch: Leftover Greek Fish and 1/2 an apple
We usually stagger our lunches so that we don't eat the same thing two days in a row but we forgot to find something for Tuesday lunch. So leftovers it was. These do quite well as leftovers in my opinion. I never mind eating it again.

Supper: Crockpot Chicken, roasted carrots, and salad
Chickens in a crockpot are super easy. You just put it in the crockpot in the morning, sprinkle a few spices on the outside, and cook it on low all day. That's about it. The carrots were made using this recipe and they were great. I'll definitely be making them pretty often. And the salad, well it was a salad.


The first full day went pretty well. We had plenty to eat and it was all delicious. I didn't feel hungry for snacks like I usually do but I sort of missed my sweets. I wouldn't call it a craving yet though. Later in the afternoon/evening I started to get a sugar headache. I expected that though based on my previous experiences with cutting back on sugar. I'm anticipating that I'll feel worse before I feel better. So I'll just have to stick it out. Wish me luck!