We Did It!

And just like that, we successfully completed Whole 30! I feel like the month flew by! I quite enjoyed the challenge. It made me stop and think before mindlessly shoving food in my mouth.

Some things we will take with us:
*Our new obsession with homemade cashew creamer (recipe HERE).
*Lower sugar intake– for instance, when sugar can be avoided, we will do so! That means reading labels. Things like almond milk, peanut butter, & salad dressing with sugar as an ingredient get a big HECK NO!
*Ice cream will be a luxury and not a nightly occurrence.
*I’ll have healthy snacks & desserts ready to eat so we’re not inclined to eat sugary snacks & desserts.
*I like carbs and grains. They don’t have an adverse affect on me, so I will keep them in my diet (whole wheat, whole grains, brown rice, etc)
*I love a good glass of wine at night, so unless I’m pregnant or nursing, I will indulge.
*Planning for the week is necessary. Here is a shot of our fridge set up for a week of deliciousness! I will continue the meal prep over the weekend so our weeknights are easy, especially with school starting in a few weeks!

And now, our final week of meals (here are weeks ONE, TWO, and THREE)! It was a great month of recipes. We will keep a lot of these meals for dinner ideas because we really enjoyed them!

Saturday: Meat Sauce on zucchini noodles (meat sauce left over from this recipe because it made a ton)
Sunday: Egg Roll in a Bowl (Thanks Rachele!) This was a great one! We left out the mayo and it was just as tasty.

Monday: Pork Carnitas
Tuesday: Crock Pot Chicken Chile

Wednesday:Fajita Sweet Potatoes
Thursday: Stir Fry (yes this is the third time because it’s seriously delicious and super easy! Thanks, Kait)
Friday: Egg Frittata Tart (tart recipe below. I just followed the recipe and pre-baked the tarts earlier in the day. Then when we were ready for dinner, I whisked 4 eggs, salt & pepper. Filled the tarts. Topped with prosciutto and tomatoes and baked for about 8 minutes at 350*F until the eggs were firm.

Grain Free Tart
A grain free version of a classic tart. Can be used for savory or sweet dishes.
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Ingredients
  1. 3 cups blanched almond flour
  2. 1 egg
  3. 1/4 cup arrowroot powder
  4. 2 Tbsp melted coconut oil
  5. 2 Tbsp cold water
  6. 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325*F
  2. Lightly grease 11x7 inch tart pan
  3. Combine almond flour, egg, arrowroot, coconut oil, water, and salt in standing mixer with beater attachment.
  4. Beat on medium speed until loose dough forms.
  5. Gather dough and press it into the bottom of the pan and up the sides.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the crust is golden on the edges.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool.
Notes
  1. I filled the tarts with eggs, prosciutto, and tomato. I baked for an additional 8-10 minutes and served warm.
Adapted from Celebrations
Adapted from Celebrations
Little Baby Watson http://littlebabywatson.com/

A friend of mine asked me what our next challenge would be. She mentioned something called “Fright Camp” where you sign up for 12 hours of “pure hell”. You’re dropped in an abandoned camp and chased through the woods by zombies… I think I’ll stick with something less petrifying ;o)

 

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Whole 30 Week 3

Ok. I’m ready for a glass of wine. The first three weeks weren’t too bad. At this point I’m forgetting why I did this in the first place! But now it’s about willpower! I didn’t come this far to quit now! Stew and I are going on a date tonight for the first time since this thing started because, what the heck do we eat at a restaurant that’s not cooked in butter or loaded with cheese?! So, we’ll get a burger bowl or a salad and bring our own vinaigrette because, side note, did you realize EVERY dressing has sugar in it!? Every. Single. One.

I have made some changes that I actually enjoy and will keep: I’ve had more veggies the past three weeks than I’ve ever had in my life, and I like it. I feel like I might even roast up some sweet potatoes dusted in cinnamon during the day rather than pour a big bowl of starchy cereal. I don’t miss ice cream like I thought I would. I might even be able to do this no dairy thing … the jury’s still out on that one.

I’ve learned a few things along the way: cashew butter is great, but could never replace my beloved peanut butter. Sugar is literally in everything. I will read food labels even closer than I already did, which I didn’t think was possible. Maple syrup and honey are necessary when making baked goods. I made my favorite pumpkin muffins but replaced the honey with applesauce (my desire for fall is full on, but that’s for another day) and they literally tasted like cardboard. But I ate them anyway, because 1) I made the effort and 2) these ingredients ain’t cheap.

Now, for the good stuff! Our meals were GREAT this week! Here’s the menu:

Saturday: Burger on a bun (I’d actually skip the bun next time) with sweet potato “fries” (tossed with some olive oil and cinnamon and baked at 415*F)
Sunday: Chicken Stir Fry

Monday: Loaded sweet potatoes

Tuesday: Zoodles with Meatballs

Wednesday: Lemon Chicken (similar HERE just add the juice of a lemon to the marinade) with roasted sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts

Thursday: Bolognese over sweet potato noodles

Friday: Date night! We’re about to get us a nice big salad with homemade vinaigrette! Couples who Whole 30 together stay together??

Feel free to comment with must-try recipes for our final week! Have a great weekend!

 

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Whole 30 Week 2!

As I sit here and write this post, my kids are tossing colored pencils across the living room floor and racing to get them screaming, “FIREWORK!” But are they fighting? No. Are they crying? No. Are they playing together nicely and laughing? YES! I have no idea what’s actually happening in there, but I’m ok with that.

So we have finished week two of Whole 30! We’re at the point where we’re like, ehhh do we want to do this anymore? And I’m like… yea because I’m blogging about it! So on the up side, I feel amazing! I’m not starving (as long as I’m prepared), and my joints don’t hurt! I’m talking, I’ve had chronic ankle pain for 7 years, and it hasn’t felt this good since then! So it’s worth finishing this thing out! On the downside, it’s really hard to be social. We love getting together with friends and having BBQs. We have to bring our food and plan ahead, which is a challenge. AND, we can’t have a drink while chatting with our friends! I didn’t think that would be a struggle for me, but it is! But I keep telling myself I can do anything for 30 days!

One meal was an epic fail… the BBQ chicken casserole. I couldn’t find a compliant BBQ sauce so attempted to make my own. It literally tasted like spaghetti squash mixed with tomato paste. We ate it, but that was one I probably wouldn’t recommend unless you actually had BBQ sauce! I’m sure it would be delicious if that was the case! The rest were great! Lunches again were a mix of bars, smoothies, salads, & muffins. I made a few snacks that were BOMB and that are perfect for munching on for breakfast or throughout the day!

Snacks:

Plantain Chips/Chocolate Muffins/Banana Muffins/Nut Balls (I named them that because it’s hilarious when my kids ask for them)

And who can forget my afternoon iced coffee with creamy dreamy cashew creamer (recipe HERE)! Words can’t describe how velvety and luxurious this creamer is. For real. Ditch your almond milk and go whip up a batch of this. Add just a splash of full fat coconut milk (from the can–shake well before opening) and you’ve got yourself an afternoon delight!

Meals:

Saturday: Thai Chicken w/ Peanut Sauce <<–SO GOOD (Thanks, Kait)!
Sunday: BBQ Chicken Casserole
Monday: Spaghetti Squash with Ground Turkey, Tomatoes & Herbs (photograph below)
Tuesday: Cauliflower Tacos (regular ol’ tacos but on a cauliflower tortilla with ground turkey, tomatoes, lettuce and a bit of salsa)
Wednesday: Sweet Potato Waffles (photograph below)
Thursday: Mexican Stuffed Sweet Potatoes (Instead of the Rotel and taco seasoning, I just mixed the chicken with Franks Hot Sauce and topped with a few goodies: guac, scallions, tomatoes)

Just like that, two weeks down and two to go! I’m running out of clever dinner ideas, so feel free to share! Happy weekend, Friends! XOXO

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Whole 30 Week 1 Meal Plan

We got through our first week of Whole 30! We even muscled through a slew of BBQ’s to celebrate the 4th by packing and preparing our own food so we wouldn’t be tempted!

I feel like there’s a ton of info about Whole30 online. HERE is a link to the official site. One thing they say is that you shouldn’t try to recreate your favorite foods even if the ingredients are Whole30 compliant. I’ll tell you right now, I ignored that rule. I kept the ingredients legit, but I made things like “ice cream”, pancakes, and tortillas. So there’s my warning…don’t yell at me!

On that note, follow me on Instagram because I’ll be posting random smoothies and snacks as we go. There’s SO MUCH to share that it’s hard to organize it into blog posts. So that will give you snippets of food options too!

1.) For starters, I loaded up on a few staples so I had things to eat in a pinch and then made a specific meal and grocery list:
-Cashews (for ice creams and creamer)
Larabars (cherry pie this week)
RX Bar (Chocolate)
-Cashew butter (Read ingredients! NO SUGAR)
-Avocados
-Bananas
-Lemons
-Limes
-Dates
-Tapioca flour
Arrowroot Starch
Coconut Flour
Super Fine Almond Flour
-Lacroix

2.) Next step was to create a menu. I read through each recipe and wrote out a grocery list. Tip–Do your grocery shopping in one day. That’s a money saver! Each time you go to the grocery store (if you’re anything like me), you will most likely impulse buy an item or five!

3.) Meal prep! Things that can be made in advance (like tortillas, pancakes, egg cups, smoothie packs) do so! I picked two breakfast ideas for the week and prepped in advance. I spent an hour (during nap time) on Saturday making breakfast burritos and potato fritters to put in the freezer so they were ready once our week started. We also had the option of regular ol’ scrambled eggs and bacon or a smoothie, but if we wanted a bigger breakfast that we didn’t have to prepare the morning of, these were super helpful!

Breakfast and Lunch were more of grab and go type meals. For breakfast we had Breakfast Burritos (<<– printable and downloadable pdf recipe) and Hash Stacks <<–linked to recipe. One tip for the hash stacks is I made all of the potato fritters and froze them in a flat layer on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and then moved to a gallon size ziplock bag to have quick access in the morning. I reheated in the oven at 350 degrees F for 5 minutes and topped with my egg, avocado, and salsa.

When we weren’t hungry for a big breakfast, we just did some eggs and/or a smoothie with an RX bar or Larabar for a late morning snack.

Lunch was nothing to write home about. It was either leftovers, smoothies, avocado-tomato-cucumber salad, or one of those in combination with another!

Week 1 Dinner Menu:
Saturday: Grilled chicken with simple side salad (vinaigrette recipe here)
Sunday: Birthday dinner at my mom’s house– we ate what we could (Grilled sausage with some salad. Berries & watermelon for dessert)
Monday: 4th of July BBQ (we made some lemon chicken just for us while the rest ate our regular menu. Same recipe HERE just add juice of 1 lemon to marinade.
Tuesday: Spaghetti Squash with meat sauce (use tomatoes and sausage without sugar added! Read labels).
Wednesday: Tapioca flat breads (crust recipe HERE) —once crust is prepared and baked, top with sauce, prosciutto, cherries, and figs. Bake at 400 F for 10 minutes.  INCREDIBLE if do I say so myself!
Thursday: Roasted Veggie Hash (<<– printable and downloadable pdf recipe. Choose sausage with no added sugar)
Friday: Sloppy Joe Bowls (recipe HERE)

Flat Bread From Wednesday Night:



Veggie Sausage & Egg Hash from Thursday Night:

 So overall it hasn’t been too bad. The hardest thing is being sure I don’t mindlessly grab food while I’m making the kids’ lunch and dinner. I separated our Whole 30 friendly snacks in our cabinet so I know where I can grab from. The most helpful thing was having those bars I mentioned earlier and other homemade snacks ready so I’m not stuck starving and having to whip something major up in the middle of the day! Another thing I learned is that I like eating ice cream before bed…even if I don’t want it! It’s a bad habit. So we’ve been making “nice-cream” every night which has been hitting the spot! I’ll share a recipe once I perfect the measurements!

Happy Friday! I hope you all have an amazing weekend!

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