Day 12: I’m all in

Sorry I’ve been so quiet lately, it’s been a crazy few days. I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I’m a teacher and the kiddies came back on Wednesday. That meant no more 1 o’clock posts in my pjs 😦 . However, Chris and I have been plugging away at our whole 30. I have had it with vegetables and chicken though. I feel like that’s all we’re eating (probably because it is. I called my husband tonight and asked him if he wanted to have a heat night…… He said no. Haha, I’ll be glad that we stayed in track when this whole thing is over. I’m getting to the point where I feel amazing throughout the day with consistent energy. The downside though is that I’m extremely hungry ALL the time. The other night I wanted to see how many calories I was taking in so I downloaded an app to help me out. I’m only having about 800 calories a day and I can’t think of a way to make that number go up. We eat big meals but the problem is that vegetables have very low caloric content. So we’re trying to figure out how to make sure we are eating enough calories in the day. Good news though, I went to the doctor today and I’ve lost 7 pounds. It hasn’t even been 2 weeks yet. I’m so excited to see some progress. My clothes fit SO much better too! I know in the end all this will be worth it, I’m just ready for some paleo cookies or blueberry muffins!

I was thinking about this concept if being “all in.” If I’m not mistaken the term comes from poker and refers to when a player wants to bet everything they have. I can only think of 2 reasons why someone would want to do that. Either they have the best hand that can’t be beaten OR they’re desperate and have nothing to lose. I was thinking about this in relation to this diet; I’m desperate to get healthy and I have nothing to lose (but maybe some pounds). The only way for me to be successful is to be fully emerged and committed. That is the only way I can make a drastic change in my life. I learned that about myself 4 years ago when I decided to accept Christ. I went back forth about what I was willing to give up and I finally came to the conclusion that I’m either in or out. That mind set reappeared as we were making decisions about this month. We were going to tweak the requirements to fit our needs. I was determined to keep oatmeal in my diet(my second favorite breakfast food next to bisquits). But I knew I wouldn’t get the results I wanted if I added in foods that are illegal to whole30. What I’m trying to point out is that commitment and full immersion are key to success (at least for me). I believe if this is something you’re considering you may want to start asking yourself the hard questions like can I really give up oatmeal and stick with it?

Before I close I thought I’d share a silly story. Chris and I love homemade spaghetti sauce and Chris is usually the one to make the sauce. Well…… He came home late so I decided to start the sauce early. Boy did I screw it up! I got a little spice crazy and added the wrong spices and made it a little sweet. Neither of us enjoyed the meal and made some green smoothies instead. Hopefully you can avoid my mistake the next time you make a homemade spaghetti sauce 🙂

Have a great weekend,

Chris, Ash, and my sweet pup alf

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Day 8: Hungry for Change

What a beautiful yet cold cold day. I went to get the mail and thought my fingers were going to fall off! So glad I got to spend the day indoors with my sweet cuddly pup. Chris and I watched a documentary last night titled Hungry for Change and what an incredible movie that talks about all the dangers of eating processed foods. I can’t believe how uneducated I’ve been about food! Good news is that our bodies want to heal and are designed to heal and that’s all I need to keep going with “clean eating.” If you want to check out the documentary, it’s on netflix.

My prosciutto frittatas were amazing this morning. Wayyyyyy better than the ones I made with bacon. I don’t have too much to report today other than no tummy ache this morning. I was very glad too because I hate feeling sick in the morning. I really hope everything starts to stabilize soon so I can really enjoy the energy I’m having.

I really hope that everyone stays warm and eats lots of good food!

Chris, Ash, and alf the pup

Day 7: Preparation is key

I have finally sat down from preparing in the kitchen. Oh man am I welcoming the break. We did all the shopping yesterday and got all the fruits and veggies cleaned up. I like doing it all at once in a vinegar bath in my sink. Very simple too, cold water 1 cup distilled vinegar and 1 tablespoon of salt. Mix and let produce sit for 30 minutes. Voila, clean produce that will last the whole week.

Ready to be jealous? We made a frittata this morning and it was pretty interesting. Chris really loved it. I liked it but I am starting to get sick of eggs.

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The plate on the left is Chris’s (you can tell by all the broccoli..yuck) and mine is on the right 🙂
Part of preparing for the week consists of making breakfast! I made those mini frittatas again but used prosciutto instead of bacon. That was a much better choice as there was no grease and the prosciutto got really crispy. I followed nomnom’s recipe minus the cherry tomatoes. Here’s the recipe.

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I’ll stop tempting everyone 🙂 I also made some Lara bars today. What an easy easy thing to make and a great lunch snack. 1 cup of pitted dates, 1 cup of nuts (cashews, almonds, pecans, etc) 1/4 cup of peanut butter(I used my almond butter) and 1 tbsp of water. Put in a food processor and blend till it sticks together. Add more water if needed. Then pull it out by hand and mold it into a rectangle on parchment paper and cut it into 12 bars. Then wrap it up in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.

Today marks 1 week on this insane regimen and I’ve noticed several results in this week. No more bloating!!!! I think my face has shrunk which is fabulous. I’ve had more consistent energy levels. I haven’t had a headache today or last night. I seem to be digesting food better too. I still haven’t slept too well but I think it’s getting better. More than likely I’m down a few pounds but I’m not a scale person (I like to be surprised when I go to the doctors office). I think all of that is great for just 1 week. Unfortunately I’m having trouble in the morning with a slight stomach ache. I think it’s just extreme hunger but it makes me feel just a little nauseous. I’m hoping that will start to go away so I can get up and feel super in the mornings.

I think I’m going to enjoy the rest of my evening with my hunny 🙂 he’s being a doll and is making us steak for dinner. Yum yum, I hope everyone stays warm tonight with all this wintery air moving in. I’m extremely excited for another day off work!

Goodnight friends,

Chris, Ash, and Alfie

Days 5 & 6: Busy, Busy, Busy…

Yesterday was so busy for me! I went back to work for a teacher work day and immediately came home and cooked dinner, then we went to my in-laws to watch the Ohio State game. I’m not sure you can call that a game but that’s what we were up to. In the mean time we ate lots of yummies. I made a crazy smoothie for breakfast Friday that had tons of Kale, Spinach, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and a banana with some coco milk and ice. It literally looked like something you might throw up but it tasted so good. I think the key with smoothies is having a banana in it. Surprisingly I was pretty full and was able to make it to lunch time. Lunch was interesting because I was the only person in my teacher circle that packed something. But I was a good sport and went to Moe’s anyway and just ate my packed lunch. I’m pretty sure they were all jealous of my homemade chicken salad ;). Luckily Moe’s isn’t really a temptation for me, I only get a cheese quesadilla anyway so I’m not really missing out. After I got home from work I made a lemon marinade that rocked. It was a blend of lemon juice, garlic, onion powder, black pepper, and coco aminos. We made skewers with the chicken and alternated in some onions and green peppers. I also attempted a cali mash and for the first time Chris has told me he doesn’t like something. I found it a little bit easier to eat than the cali rice but I think he just didn’t like how I flavored it. I used this recipeand I think the nutmeg didn’t blend well along with the fact that we used coco oil in place of butter. I would suggest this as an easy side because it really is the consistency of mashed potatoes and I think with some different spicing we’ll enjoy it more.

BTW I gotta say that my in-laws are the sweetest. They have really been supportive and have tried to accommodate us when we come over. I think that is so awesome, definitely different from my momma who wants to tempt me with sugar….grrr. Chris and I had an awesome breakfast over there this morning and we all ate whole 30 🙂

Tonight we had some success with sweet potato fries, also from nomnom, and I will definitely be making them again. Wow at the flavor! That recipe can be found here. I think Chris and I have really gotten the hang of proportions and how much protein, vegetables, and fat we need. We’re finally getting to the point where we know the difference between being hungry and having cravings. Tonight I had this realization that in my old diet I thought I was full when my belly felt tight and my pants were a little tight (y’all know what I mean, the feeling where you wanna unbutton the top button of your pants to give your belly room). The problem on this diet is that you don’t have that feeling and I just realized that’s because I was over eating in the past. We had the opportunity tonight to cook dinner for some of our dearest friends and I think they really enjoyed eating with us and asking us questions. These particular friends are clean eating and it’s been so much fun to talk to my bestie about different recipes and how to’s and where we’ve had some successes and failures in our meals. I will say being surrounded by other people trying the same type of things makes Whole 30 easier. Otherwise this could be a very lonely month. I would hate to go somewhere and tell someone I can’t eat what they’ve prepared because it doesn’t fit in with my lifestyle and would instead prefer to stay home. So, yay for friends who clean eat and yay for an awesome husband who will do crazy adventurous things with me.

Really though, I think it is incredibly important to have someone to do this with. Whether it be a friend or a spouse or a sibling, the accountability sets you up for better success. I would never last 3 hours if it wasn’t for my love muffin. Another cool thing about doing this is that we get to learn new stuff together and we always have something to talk about. Struggling through this together has really been a blast. I’m constantly asking him how he feels and if he liked what he had for lunch and what kind of things would he
like to add or take away from our meals. He actually sent me an email yesterday with some neat recipes to try out next week. My other tip for success is meal planning!! Knowing what you’re eating for each meal helps lower the chances of eating something you aren’t supposed to. It is also really helpful for grocery shopping because you only buy what you need for your meals and I think it cuts down the amount of time you’re in the store.

We are officially 6 full days in and there are certainly some consequences from our old eating style. For instance, I have had a headache the last 2 nights and I’m not sure exactly what it’s from (probably lack of sugar). Apparently that is normal for the first week or two. The other thing that is driving me crazy is the amount of times I have to potty in the middle of the night UGHH and I think that’s common because I googled it and plenty of bloggers complained of it. Chris and I are both having trouble sleeping as well (which is also common). Anyone who knows me would tell you I’m the biggest crank when I don’t get the sleep I need so let’s just say I’ve been cranky in the mornings. Luckily this is supposed to go away and we’re supposed to get the best sleep ever!

Hope this fills ya in on our last 2 days and maybe you’ve found some new recipes? I’m also going to give a link to my pinterest page if your want to check out some of the recipes I’ve pinned. here ya go. Also if you’re looking to make homemade mayo the recipe is here.

Have a fabulous weekend and stay warm!

Chris, Ash, and Alf the pup

Day 4: what’s with all the coconut?

I think almost every recipe we’ve tried so far has contained coconut in some form. My husband hates coconut in general, so it was difficult to convince him to try it. Turns out that coconut oil and coconut milk do not have that traditional coconut taste and we’ve been using it in everything. Specifically I made this incredible Italian chicken soup and it used a whole can of coconut milk. Ohhhh man, it was absolutely delicious. The recipe is easy and takes no time to get it going.

Here’s what you need: 1 can chicken broth, 1 can coconut milk, 1 can diced tomatoes (keep the juice), 3-4 chicken breasts, 2 tbsp Italian seasoning, 1 tbsp dried basil and if you want you can add other things like spinach, mushrooms, garlic, or carrots. I added spinach and garlic and carrots and dannnnggggg….it was very savory and creamy. Oh btw this is all done in the crockpot. The recipe said to put on medium heat for 7 hours, but I got it going a little late and cooked it on high 6 hours. Yum yum yum.

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There’s a pic of it after we cut up the chicken with my awesome pampered chef salad choppers. Yeah I used salad choppers and I specifically bought them to shred chicken 🙂 enough about my dinner lets talk breakfast! I attempted a sweet potato hash and let me preface it by saying that it tasted amazing. However, I think I did a few things wrong but I’m not sure what. Haha there are plenty of recipes out there and maybe I should try a different one? But if you love hashbrowns, then this is a great choice for breakfast.

I will say that the struggle is real. Eating clean is awesome and we’re eating good food, but going to the grocery store just about kills me. Chris and I walked down the baking isle (to get to spices of course) and we could literally smell the sugar. Haha, I’m not sure if I’ve just not noticed it before or if it’s because I haven’t had sugar in 5 days. Either way my mouth was salivating and I wanted to buy all the cookies. I’m just glad my husband was there because he wouldn’t let me 🙂 aside from the cravings my head seems to be more “clear” if that makes any sense. I don’t feel so groggy all the time. The other nice thing I’ve noticed is that I have loads more energy and the fatigue is just about gone. BUT I do go back to work tomorrow so I may have some trouble adjusting to a working schedule. Chris has mentioned that he feels more energetic too!

Speaking of work, I am not a morning person. The only thing that stinks about breaks (I’m a high school teacher) is getting off schedule and having to get back into routine. So bring on the coffee! Which is Whole30 and we are both so thankful. Only problem is I love creamer and sugar in my coffee 😦 those are not whole30 friendly. I believe almond milk is okay but it’s a dairy product (at least I think it is) and that’s a no no on this diet. So what’s a girl to do? This girl switched to caffeinated tea. Yup, we also love tea and have tons of it on hand. I specifically like the lady grey tea made by twinnings. It’s a black tea with hints of orange and lemon and bergamot. When we go paleo, there will definitely be some almond milk in the house and I’ll resume my coffee habit, but for now the tea is working. Speaking of tea, herbal teas are good for you and with it being winter I highly suggest having a cup of tea everyday. That’s my own opinion and there are no scientific facts to back that up.

That’s all I got today, hope everyone is enjoying their day and my lovely blog

Laters,

Chris, Ash, and our sweet pup Alfred

Day 3: need vs want

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I thought i’d post some pics of the yummy stuff we’re making. Last night we made a homemade spaghetti sauce and it was absolutely delicious.  I would recommend making that to anyone on any diet that loves spaghetti.  We used 2 cans of tomato sauce 1 can of rotel diced white onion diced green peppers 2 cloves of minced garlic and some shakes of red pepper flakes, basil, and cilantro.  Whew it was kickin’. I like to use ground turkey and here’s why: it’s much cheaper than ground beef and it is naturally lean.  I don’t have to drain the turkey after it’s cooked to get all the extra fats off. Yum yum.  Then for the noodle part! This is where we may defer because when you make spaghetti you use spaghetti noodles, well not on this diet.  There are several different things you can use to make faux noodles Tandy all you need is a julienne peeler to make that happen. We used zucchini last night, but you can also use squash and carrots to make noodles and it is beyond easy to steam them.  The noodle part of the meal took 5 minutes between peeling the zucchini and steaming it.  I think total meal time from start to finish was 30 min and we had a fabulous dinner and were completely satisfied for the rest of the evening.

BTW Happy New Year!!!! We are very excited for this upcoming year, mostly because this will be our first married year together 🙂 I know, how sweet! We feel confident this will be a magnificent year filled with blessings.  Speaking of New Years, last night was a struggle because hanging out with people eating non whole 30 things with lots of different chocolate options is not fun to have to turn down.  Besides, we were hanging with my mom who thinks its fun to tempt me with the best looking toffee I’ve ever seen 😦 . What a mean momma!! Chris and I held out though and we are thankful for it today.  I thought this would be fun to mention as well, I was asked last night why we started on Monday and didn’t wait until Jan 1st.  Haha well I have 2 reasons (I love feeling justified) why that is, first being we grocery shop in the weekends and didn’t want to buy more junk for just 2 days, plus it defeated the purpose of clearing out our food supplies. The second reason is sorta silly, I didn’t want this to be considered a New Years resolution because those tend to fail.  I know, I’m a silly girl!!!

So, if you’re curious where we found information on whole 30 then you should check out their website http://www.whole9life.com and there is tons of information on what we’re doing.  There’s also a list of things you can have and can’t have plus a very useful shopping list that highlights the best fruits and veggies to eat.

another website that I highly recommend is http://www.nomnompaleo.com .  Talk about TONS of awesome recipes for every part of the day you can imagine.

I titled this post need vs want for several reasons. First reason is the most obvious; wanting foods vs needing foods.  That’s one of the biggest things we’ve learned so far (in our 2 days of doing this and 10 days of preparing).  What is necessary to survive? Do you really need to eat tons of processed breads and pastas? Should you have desserts every day? Must you drink milk and is fat free really the best option? The answer to all those questions is no.  You do not need any of those things to survive, in fact you’re better off without them. Now do I want to eat a huge bowl of pasta with the best cheese out there and have a glass of Riesling to wash it down, absolutely. But what i’m learning is that I don’t need any of that stuff and it really doesn’t do me any good nutritionally.  For the next 28 days we are only putting in what we need to survive.  Second reason I titled my post need vs want is because ive been asked several times “are you sure you want to do this.”  I’ve got a few different responses to that question.  if you would have asked me on Christmas Day after eating the best ham ive ever had plus all the cookies and cheese dip I ate prior to said ham, my answer would have been YES I WANT TO BECAUSE I FEEL AWFUL RIGHT NOW.  if you were to ask me that question today my answer would be NO, WHAT WAS I THINKING.  But again, this is want vs need. For my own health I need to do this and reset how I feel about foods and what I put into my temple.  I need to do this to practice discipline.  I need to do this because it feels so amazing to set a goal and accomplish it.  I need to do this because what’s 30 days in comparison to a lifetime?   So, be careful when you ask us that question because instead of a simple answer you’ll get a paragraph about wants vs needs 🙂

Let’s talk for a minute about the rescind picture I posted.  That has been our yummy breakfast for the past 3 mornings.  The fruit has been rotating between bananas and berries, but the bacon ups have been consistent.  I think we’re out of them finally! They sure were yummy so I think I’m going to make them again Sunday but maybe with prosciutto instead.  Let me just tell you, we have been through a dozen and a half of eggs this week.  I had to run to the store and buy more yesterday! That’s a crazy amount of eggs.

Will this will do for today, we’re going fit make homemade Lara bars, chicken salad, and ranch dressing (jealous yet?).  Have a fabulous new year’s day 🙂

p.s. Shout out to my grandma for reading this everyday! If anyone supports us, it’s you!! love ya granny rose

Chris, Ash, and Alfie

Day 2: Happy New Year’s Eve and we survived day 1

Woo hoo! We did it, we made it through day 1. As was noted in yesterday’s title, I HATE vegetables. I don’t know why, I just do. Through the years I’ve learned to like onions, bell peppers, lettuce, and cooked tomatoes. If you spoke to my mom, she’d tell you that’s a great feat.  However, I need to be eating more variety of veggies.  Chris and I found several recipes that somewhat mask the vegetable and I’m hoping that will help ease me into finding more things that I like.  For instance, last night we made a cauliflower “rice”. I put a small head of cauliflower in my ninja and let it break it down into little rice like pieces.  i fried up some bacon and eggs and sautéed shallots and garlic and green onions and then added the faux rice.  I think where we went wrong was all the herbs. There was a strange flavor to it, but I know next time to be careful.  Anyways, we grilled some chicken and added it to the mixture as we’ll.  the hubby LOVED it, so I know I’ll have to make it again next week.  I wasn’t quite as impressed but ate it anyway (again, the spices and the texture threw me off). I will try it again and make some modifications.

Moving on, I forgot to mention yesterday that a part of our preparation for this month was cleaning out our fridge and pantry.  Chris and I easily give into temptation and we knew we’d never make it if we didn’t completely commit (and say a little prayer to our savior).  Holy moly at the food we pulled out.  We had tons of things that hadn’t been opened yet and we’re somewhat sad to give them away, but we know we’ll be better for it.  We still have a load of stuff to take to the food bank (we let our friends shop through it first).  no worries about what’s left because we can’t really make a meal of anything and all the snacky food is gone.

Let’s talk struggles for a few sentences. I can’t say that we’ve had any specific cravings but as we went to bed we were talking about feeling empty.  Not a hungry empty but a satisfied empty.  When we eat it tends to be more about pleasure than nutrition and I’m not so sure that’s a good thing.  Chris mentioned to me yesterday that he had the shakes in the morning and a slight headahe.  We’re both hoping that’s a coincidence since we hadn’t even really started the diet.  I will say that we both felt odd at the end of the evening, but we weren’t feeling sick or dizzy.  I’m thinking it’s just a side effect of not having sugar and grains.  Hopefully we won’t always get that feeling.  I think this is where Chris and I are really going to have to lean into each other and God.  Which isn’t a bad thing.  We have to learn to deal with struggle together and what an easy and non threatening way to do that.  One of our many goals in this month is to work on our dependency on God and each other and to learn a lot about marriage 🙂 this may just be the best part.

Last little thing before I bring this to a close! I keep using the word diet and I think that really isn’t the correct way to describe this life  change.  Here is why I say this, EVERY person I’ve mentioned this to says why is CHRIS going on a diet. First of all thanks…I know I’m the fatty but fatty’s got feelings too! And secondly, thanks, I know my husband’s already super handsome and stick-like.  With all of that being said, let me explain as best as I can why this isn’t really a diet.  Neither of us are looking to lose weight (although it will be a bonus) and we aren’t limiting the amount of food that we eat.  All we are doing is changing what we eat in order to change how we think about food and figure out the true purpose of eating.  That’s it people! This isn’t some lose weight fast program and neither of us want one of those anyways.  We want to feel better at the end of the day and have loads of energy to play with our puppy.  So next time I say diet PLEASE don’t remind me how my husbands too skinny to be dieting, kay thanks! As a reminder whole 30 isn’t meant to be a forever diet, it’s meant to be a cleanser and a way to reset your pallet.  After we complete the whole30 we will be switching to paleo, which is a lot less strict and gives us more options (hellllloooooo paleo cookies)

Who would’ve thought I could be so chatty?!?! Have a fab New Years eve 🙂 we’ll be eating yummy food and hangin with the coolest pup out there

Toodles,

Chris, Ash and Alfie