Tag Archives: clean eating

Day 28: we’re 4 weeks in WHAT?

I have been the worst blogger ever…. These past 2 weeks have been so busy with work. I’m teaching a brand spankin’ new math course so I’ve been spending a lot more time prepping for it than I would for any other class. We have been cooking up a storm lately and have made a bunch of new items. For instance, we made this amazing tomato soup that tasted very similar to Panera’s creamy tomato soup. We both really enjoyed it and will be cooking it again this week. We also made an oven braised Mexican beef Friday that was to die for and I have a great story to accompany it 🙂

This is our last few days of whole 30 and I must say its one of the best things we could have done for ourselves. We literally changed everything about our diet and gave up many things that we love (oatmeal, yogurt, pizza, bisquits,…. The list could go on forever). And by reading that you probably think we weigh 300 lbs a piece (totally not the case, my husband is a stick) and can see why we needed to change up our habits. We have also had our eyes opened to the copious amounts of preservatives and sugars that are laced in everything we used to eat. I had a salad at chick fil a the other night and the dressing had tons of sugar and other junk in it as well as the walnuts they gave me and the granola (not sure why they gave me that).I wouldn’t have gone there normally, but Chris and I were meeting someone from our church and salad was our only option. What I used to think would have been a very healthy meal, I now realize can have MANY hidden Ingredients which don’t really offer much in the way of nutrients. I find that incredibly annoying and a touch depressing. I never wanted to be one of those girls that read all the food labels to check for preservatives, oils and sugars. I would like to trust the grocery store and food places that they are feeding me real food. Reality is, however, that you can’t trust ANYONE when it comes to food! Not even those high dollar organic food stores like trader joes and whole foods. Oh yeah, I’ve found plenty of items in their stores that have yuckies in them. I think the point I’m making is that you have got to be aware of what you’re putting in your body and be well educated about those chemistry sounding ingredients.

Since I’ve brought up whole foods, let’s talk about the fun experience Chris and I had there this weekend. I’ve been dying to go there because I knew they carried whole30/paleo friendly salad dressings (yay no more ranch making). They carry Tessemae dressings which are delicious and completely all natural and super expensive if you order online. Unfortunately the closest store is in Roswell, GA and we live over an hour away from there now. While my husband was in college he lived and worked in Roswell so we had actually been there a few times. We finally had an excuse to go down there, so we made a day out of it. That place is humongous, larger than Walmart and maybe even SAMs club! I was like a kid in a candy shop. There was sooooo much to see and almost all of their produce is organic. The downside to organic is that it is very costly 😦 but we did find lots of new veggies to try like Japanese sweet potatoes (yum in my tum). I also went ahead and bought vanilla extract and almond flour and the most exciting part was that they had ghee!!!! Yay finally some butter in our lives. While we had so much fun we spent almost double what we normally do and we certainly can’t maintain spending that kind of money every week. And I will never buy almond flour again. I’m already making almond milk at home and the remnants in the strainer can be baked and turned into almond flour. Hello I pay $14 for a bag of almonds and I at least get 3 batches of almond milk and flour out of it verses $11 for the smallest bag of flour I’ve ever seen.

My sweet darling grandmother has been asking me what we’re going to do when we’ve finished this fast so I imagine many of you are wondering as well. I’ve somewhat mentioned our plan but I think it needs more explanation. Before we began this fun little adventure we had already decided to research the paleo lifestyle and continue with it after this “diet.” Paleo is not much different from what we’re doing now. We will be eating only whole foods that are preservative free and minimally processed. What we can add back in is sweeteners (honey, vanilla extract, maple syrup, agave, etc), desserts and breads. There are tons of recipes out there that are paleo friendly for desserts and breads. Instead of wheat we use coconut flour and almond flour and instead of sugar we use honeys and vanilla extract. There are so many ways to substitute out oils and even eggs. I’ve made muffins before using applesauce and a banana to cut out the oil and eggs. I think it’s fascinating how yummy the product is even though it’s made with non traditional ingredients. I plan on making bread this week and will post about it later on to let everyone know how it turns out. We do plan on having a “cheat” night every now and again but we have really liked the changes our bodies are making and don’t want to get back into old habits. I think the point of all this is to realize that a biscuit every now and again is okay and that moderation is key. If you want to go out to a meal with your family and splurge a little then you should. As a matter of fact Chris and I are celebrating at one of our favorite restaurants, Chow Baby, on Wednesday. But we will continue to eat paleo for the remainder of the week.

One of the biggest things I’ve learned is that change takes time and while our minds desire instant gratification, our bodies do not and cannot recover instantaneously. The results are incredible and worth the hassle. I think I’ve lost nearly 15 pounds since the end of December and I feel so much lighter. I checked my blood pressure yesterday and it’s gone down considerably. My energy levels are the same from the moment I wake up until I go to bed and I sleep so incredibly well every night. My skin has cleared up a lot and I no longer have heart palpitations. Like I said, the results are worth the suffering. Speaking of suffering, I had some medical issues in December and needed a ct scan to figure out what was wrong. Holy moly at the bill I got in the mail!! The reason why I bring this up is because my darling in-loves were over for dinner tonight and my husband brought up a lovely thought: What if we took care of ourselves from the inside? What effect would that have on our health later on? He is such a brilliant man and is absolutely correct, taking care of ourselves now will lead to less medical bills and doctor visits in the future (by goly I’m NEVER going to another doctor again for the rest of my life). Just wanted to share his thoughts with you all.

Earlier I said I made this amazing Mexican beef. My father in law tried it tonight and immediately asked for the recipe. I wish I could lie and say that I came up with it myself, but I did not. Nomnom’s done it again. I have got to buy her cookbook since I’ve been borrowing all her recipes from her website. The recipe can be found here. I was very excited last week about this recipe but unfortunately did not read the full recipe and therefore did not know it would take 3 hours in the oven. So I get home Friday all excited to make this dish and realize I’m short an onion. So I called the hubby and asked him to pick one up for me and when he got home I started putting the meal together. Well…it was 6:45 when we got started and when it got to the part where it was time to put the dish in the oven I read it was going to take 3 HOURS!! Oh boy, I about passed out when I figured that out and was not a very happy camper. But we had already put it together so in the oven it went and we had an egg and sausage scramble to hold us over. I tell you, that beef was worth every minute of every hour it was in the oven!!! It was so scrumptious and would be awesome in a taco or fajitas, it was like meat candy. Haha, I hope you all enjoy my mishaps because I sure do find them funny later. We have really had some successes in the kitchen and we have had multiple failures in the kitchen. I suppose it is what makes life fun and unexpecting.

Have a wonderful evening and sorry for the lengthy nature of this post,

Ash, Chris and Alf the pup

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