Saturday, April 6, 2013

What becomes of the broken hearted...



There's nothing in the world like receiving major medical news about yourself. I don't care if it's good or bad, its always life changing.

On March 1st, I was given some life changing news - I need open heart surgery.

Now as you are well aware, I am 25 YEARS OLD! I can't say that I have been in perfect health all of my life, but I can count on one hand the amount of times I've had the flu (make that two fingers). I've never ever broken a bone. Life has been fairly uneventful up to this point. On top of that, I have begun a pursuit to even better health through food and other holistic avenues. So for someone to tell me a month ago that I have a life-threatening birth defect of my heart, I was shocked.

To be honest, I knew there was something going on. Back in 2010 my gynecologist noticed a heart murmur during my first visit. She urged me to visit a cardiologist and I conceded. The cardiologist basically said I had a mild leaky valve and something else that he wasn't sure about, but that the decision was mine to pursue checking it out further. Well I'm NOT a doctor, and I certainly wasn't going to volunteer to be poked, prodded, and tested for an unknown conclusion, so I went about my merry little way. The Hubs and I got married in April of 2011 and there went the fastest year of my life (that, by the way, is another blog post for another day).

It needs to be mentioned that my gynecologist is quite...how should I put this...intimidating. She's probably only 5 feet tall, but this little Puerto-Rican woman will put me in my place without missing a beat! (For instance, I saw her after completing my Whole30 experience and victoriously losing over 10 lbs, and she goes on to say, "You've gained some weight since the last time I saw you...?". Brutal.) Since I didn't want to face her during my visit this year and tell her I hadn't seen my cardiologist, I chose to be proactive...or cover my tail...and schedule a follow-up.

The old cardiologist was gone and a new one had replaced him. This doctor was wonderful, and took my issues more seriously. After a slew of tests and seeing doctors over the the course of a month and a half, the diagnosis had finally been made.

On April 1st at 7:30AM, the surgery took place to repair my mitral valve and to close a hole between my heart's upper chambers. That day was a whirlwind of emotions and a peace that I cannot describe. I woke up to the loving faces of family and nurses, all there cheering me on. The surgery went well, but my journey to recovery was just beginning.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Recipe: Primal Dirty Rice



Allow me to re-introduce myself...

I'm sure you've noticed I've been away for a while. I've been traveling a bit with the Hubby, seeing family and friends. I've also been accumulating some life experiences. I still don't feel comfortable sharing, but let's just say that I'll have plenty of time to blog in a couple of weeks while I get back to being myself.

Wow, that was cryptic.

Anyhoo, here's a recipe I made up TONIGHT! Here is what happens when I start to cook a meal without a specific recipe... I started with the idea of chicken livers and cauliflower rice with gravy. This weekend we went to Hubby' MawMaw's house to celebrate her 85th birthday, and she made the BEST milk gravy I have probably ever had...ever.  I wanted to replicate her deliciousness, but I didn't want to taint it's goodness with coconut milk. I know, I know, I love coconut milk too.  But I made the mistake of getting the sweetened variety, and sweetened coconut milk should not be used for gravy making in my book. So now I had to improvise (actually, I was already improvising, haha!). All of a sudden, after I threw my chopped onions in the sautéing cauli-rice, I realized that I was on my way to making dirty rice!

Primal Dirty Rice...how sexy does that sound?!?


Primal Dirty Rice

Ingredients:

1 lb of chicken livers (preferably pastured organic)
1 1/2 cups of coconut milk (optional)
6 tbsp of coconut flour
4 tbsp of corn meal (opional. I had some non-GMO organic on hand)
2 tbsp of cajun seasoning, divided
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp of salt
1 cup of olive oil, divided
2 tbsp butter
1 large head of cauliflower, processed or chopped to resemble rice
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup of frozen peppers


Directions:
1. Rinse and trim your chicken livers (trim away anything that looks sinewy or tough), then put your livers in a dish with coconut milk and let soak for about 1 hour. This will take away some of the bitter taste of the livers.
2. Pour half of your oil in a deep skillet set on medium high. Mix up the coconut flour, corn meal, 1/2 of the cajun seasoning, paprika, and salt in a bowl to dredge livers. When oil is hot (i.e. shimmering), begin dredging your livers and dropping them into the pan to fry. Make sure both sides of the livers are deep brown. About half way through your frying process, you may need to change out the oil. Dump the old oil in a glass or metal cup or can, then pour the other half of your new oil in the pan and continue frying until all the livers are cooked. Set to the side on a paper towel to drain.
3. In a fresh pan (or a freshly wiped out pan), melt your butter over medium heat. Toss in your cauliflower, onion, and peppers along with the other half of your cajun seasoning and some more salt to taste. Let veggies sauté until the texture of the cauli-rice suits your taste. Then toss in the cooked livers and chop them up in the rice with your spoon or spatula.
4. Eat and enjoy!

For more great recipes from around the Blogosphere, visit: Pennywise Thursday, Simple Lives Thursday, and Party Wave Wednesday!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Food in the News #1


The last few weeks have been pretty crazy. I will go into it more later, but lets just say that I have not been too motivated to do much blogging. I have, however, been coming across some really interesting articles pertaining to food in the news lately. I think I want to start sharing what I'm reading on a weekly basis. So, here is the very first installment of Food in the News:

1. Philadelphia School Lunches: Goodbye Fries, Hello Fennel


I'm a sucker for anything concerning kids, and this story is a total heart warmer! Local celebrity chef, Marc Vetri, has developed a school lunch program called "Eatiquette". According to Vetri, this program has been designed to teach students how to eat healthy and, "interact with each other."  The picture shows a student at People for People Charter School (one of 4 schools currently participating the program) serving dessert to his fellow students. This student is acting as the Table Captain, who's duties are to set the round lunch table with a tablecloth and place settings for his peers. Then he sets out their first-course salads and glasses of water before they arrive. The Table Captain serves his peers throughout lunch, bringing the other courses to them and serving them. The meals are healthy, family-style dishes that include fresh, seasonal ingredients. All canned, processed, and frozen items have been removed from the cafeteria kitchen. There are some accompanying articles on the program that question whether or not the Philadelphia school system can afford the program as plans move forward to implement Eatiquette in several other schools in the city. You obviously know what my opinion is - they can't afford NOT to! For many of these children (80% of whom at the school pictured above) are on a free meal program and never get the opportunity to have meals like this. The personal and social skills these children are learning through this program with stay with them for their entire lives.

2. Mediterranean Diet Shown to Ward off Heart Attack and Stroke


The most comprehensive study on a given diet has published some really great results (and is probably causing a lot of Paleo and Nourishing Foods believers to say "I told you so!"). After completing a 5 year study on 7500 participants between the ages of 55 and 80, researchers have concluded that eating a Mediterranean diet (a diet consisting of good fats and proteins from olives, nuts, avocados, and fish, and low in carbohydrates and sugars derived from bread and sweets) can lower symptoms pointing to heart attack and stroke in high risk people by 30%. There are a few things about this study that excites me. One is that there the other diet studied was a typical low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet with lots of calorie counting and, frankly, little success. Many of the participants could not stick to the low-fat diet (which was a part of the study). The Mediterranean Diet, however, consisted of roughly 200 more calories per day, but had no calorie counting involved whatsoever. They only lost 7% of their Mediterranean Diet participants over 2 years.  The other point that makes me smile is that the Mediterranean diet is naturally low in wheat, sugar, and processes foods. Yay!!!! Now we know FOR A FACT that eating whole foods is ACTUALLY good for you! Thank God for scientists, aka the true captains of the obvious :)


So that's all I have for today! Tune in next week for more Food in the News!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Whole30: My Post-Whole30 Life...so far


It's been 4 weeks since my Hubby and I completed the Whole30 Program. Hubby has lost 20 pounds so far, and I've lost about 12! We are more energetic, less "puffy", and we both sleep way better! Life has been pretty awesome, I can't even lie :)

We have reintroduced dairy into our regular diet (mostly just cheese and butter). We have also added chocolate and Paleo-Approved sweets. On occasion, we eat non-paleo foods, but we have learned a lot about what our bodies can and cannot handle on those occasions.

For starters, my body does NOT like wheat. Wheat does really awful things to my tummy, and it wrecks my sleep. It also gives be the loathed sugar high and crash. I am, however, tolerant of the occasional rice dish! That makes me happy because I love rice. I won't be eating it all the time because I'm still on a weight loss journey, but I'm glad it won't make me feel sick!  I don't crave sweets the same way I used to. I still like to have a piece of chocolate after a meal, but that usually does the trick!

~ Side Note: I bought Enjoy Life's Soft Baked Double Chocolate Cookies at Whole Foods last night (they are on sale!) and they are DELICIOUS! And be proud of me, I only ate one :) ~

The biggest challenge I have experienced so far is being prepared. I need to make sure I have protein-packed choices ready for lunches and snacks at work, and my dinners when Hubby works nights. Protein is expensive, so I'm learning how to keep good meal and snack solutions around without breaking the bank. My CSA had stewing chickens for sale last week, so I prepared one over the weekend and shred the meat for different meal applications. I also tried my hand at baking last weekend with some Coconut Flour Muffins, which turned out really well! That weekend I also made Apple Butter, which is amazing! (I honestly want to eat it straight of the jar with a spoon...but I won't...) Both of these recipes are inexpensive, simple, and very satisfying for breakfast or a snack.

My other challenge is saying "No". Saying "No" to the lady at the food court Chinese food stand asking if I want rice with my meal.  I didn't, but I said "Yes" anyway.  Saying "No" to people offering me candy, or treats.  I don't want to be rude, but in all honesty I'm not!  I can refuse junk food and still be considered polite. Saying "No" is something I've been working on for a while now, but I can say that I'm better than I used to be.

What surprised me most about the last month is how forgiving the body is. Even with all my cheats and adjusting, I still kept losing weight! Those off-days certainly slowed my weight-loss down, but I was expecting it to stop all together. I guess cutting wheat, legumes, (most) grains and refined sugars have really changed the way my body burns fat, just like the research said it would!

(I should mention, too, that I have only exercised ONCE in the last 2 months. I'm not proud of this, but the fact that I have still lost weight shows how effective cutting grains, legumes, and refined sugars can be to in a weight loss journey.)

So the goal for next month is to BE PREPARED! I want to have meats and veggies on standby at all times for lunches, snacks, and dinners when Hubby is at work.  I want to pack lunches the night before because Lord knows I hate getting out of bed earlier than I absolutely have to.  I want to batch cook on the weekends in preparation for the week. I'm so excited to check in again next month with my goals completed!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

My (Current) Kitchen Wishlist



I love kitchen gadgets! I could probably spend an entire day in William Sonoma or Bed Bath & Beyond, for real.  I'm also a newlywed, so I don't have the most equipped kitchen. I finally bought my first muffin pan LAST WEEK!

Yeah, it's like that.

So, as I am trying to live a more natural and holistic lifestyle, my kitchen needs are changing. Here's a list of 5...ish items that I feel could make my life much productive and efficient in the kitchen:




1. A(nother) slow cooker.
Yep, I need more than one slow cooker. Why, you ask? For broth, of course! I need a slow cooker than can practically run all the time for the sole purpose of preparing broth and keeping warn broth available for drinking anytime. This may sound weird to some, but broth is super healthy (Jewish penicillin, hello!). Plus I've been threatened by my CSA coordinator that if I don't drink broth every day, then....well...I'm crazy!  Finally, when I'm not making broth. I could always use this to batch cook on the weekends for the coming week! Since slow cookers are so inexpensive, I'm sure I'll be adding another one to my arsenal pretty soon.


2. A Food Processor
Doesn't this make EVERY home cook's life easier? Something that will do all that redundant slicing and dicing for you?  Well, I honestly don't mind the slicing and dicing because I'm trying to develop Iron Chef knife skills (watch out, Marimoto!). But there are a couple things I would be constantly using this awesome thing for. One would be seed and nut butters! It would also be super useful when I'm whipping up some Paleo-Friendly cookies by Kelly Bjelly. Then there's pesto, salsa, cauliflower "rice", SO many things I could do with this thing! Hopefully it won't be too long before I have one of these.


3. A new set of knives.
So, back to the Iron Chef knife skills...I want them. And not Iron Chef America skills. I want the skills of the O.G.s from Iron Chef Japan! I want to julienne a carrot perfectly in seconds. I want to be able to butcher an entire pig beautifully.  I don't want to go to chef school anymore, but I would LOVE to take some knife skills classes. I mean, there's no getting around using knives when being a home cook, so why not have some serious skills...and a super sharp set of knives! Yes, I'm talking about cuts-through-paper-with-one-fail-swoop sharp! Did you know that working with sharp knives is actually SAFER than working with dull ones? Yep, it allows you to make precise cuts with minimal effort, instead of hacking away at something with your poor fingers trying to stay out of the way! Yes, new knives would be a wonderful thing.


4. A Vitamix!!
OMG, I WANT ONE OF THESE SO BAD!!!  The Vitamix is the ultimate blender, used by the worlds best chefs and home cooks. From the speed controlling dial, to the tamper that allows you to push down food while blending, and the insanely powerful motor that will actually heat up pureed soups while blending!  This masterpiece is the perfect blend of art and science - a sleek design that stands the test of time. I have so many plans for this thing. Not only can I make nut butters, purees, soups, smoothies, coconut milk, coconut flour, etc, but I can also work on my skin and hair care line with this thing! And I'd me more than comfortable using it for both because they are a breeze to clean! Just put warm, soapy water in the container and blend! VOILA! With the price tag of over $500, purchasing one of these will take a while, but I'm willing to wait in order to get the best.

                    




{source 1}                                                                                                 {source 2}

5. A cast iron dutch oven and skillet
Okay, I know this is cheating a little bit, but I want them both for the same reasons - they are both oven safe! I want to make beautiful frittatas and seared steaks in the skillet, while making delicious braised meat dishes in the dutch oven. I love my new cooking ware (especially the fact that it was all less than $50!), but none if it is oven safe. Cast iron is the ultimate in cooking ware. It last forever. It is easy to clean. It's a beautiful presentation all in its own. They don't leak yucky chemicals into your food, and the skillet would even ADD iron to my dishes! It's the gift that keeps on giving!  The dutch oven could essentially be yet ANOTHER slow cooker when I'm home and can watch the oven. So many uses for both of these amazing products - I can't wait to have one or two in my kitchen!


This list is not necessarily complete, but I feel they are definitely the essentials. In the blogs I read, these items come up regularly in recipes and posts.  Please do not misunderstand - I am extremely thankful for what I have. My tiny apartment has a great gas stove that I don't know what I would do without. My current slow cooker doubles as a pressure cooker, which makes amazing stews! My hubby and I bought a Nutribullet not to long ago, and it works well for making smoothies, nut butters (with a little extra texture), and blending batters.  My life will go on if I never own any of these things, but it's good for me to have a wishlist. This process has allowed me to really compare the gadgets I desire to the list of tasks I'd actually perform with them and weed out the fluff. These 5...er...6 items would be used on a very regular basis, and that's why they made the wishlist.


What kitchen items are currently on your wishlist?


Friday, February 15, 2013

Recipe: Mushroom and Snap Peas Stir-Fry with Glass Noodles


Hey, bloggy friends!! I'm sorry I've been MIA lately... It's been one of those low energy weeks.  But I'm back with a DELICIOUS stir-fry recipe inspired by The Parsley Thief's version from a couple years back. I made a few tweaks (as I always do) to match my tastes and the ingredients I had on hand. I also want to share an awesome noodle that has become my saving grace on the Paleo Diet so far:



Korean Glass Noodles, or Japchae, are made from sweet potato starch, making them a great way to satisfy a persistant noodle craving such as mine.  It's definitely not an every day thing - they are very high in carbohydrates - but it's an awesome treat! These noodles about the same thickness as spaghetti, but are much longer and are traditionally cut up a bit before serving. Also, they have a very slippery, springy texture, making them lots of fun to slurp! Finally, you must cook your glass noodles thoroughly. Al Dente will mean very chewy pasta. You can find these noodles at any Asian market, or at an extremely well stocked (and perhaps high-end) supermarket.

Mushroom and Snap Peas Stir Fry with Glass Noodles

Ingredients:
2 tbsp coconut oil, separated
1 tsp of sesame oil
1 lb ground beef
1/2 lb chicken livers (optional, I just like to sneak them in wherever I can)
Sesame seeds
1 onion, diced
1 16oz pkg of mushrooms, quartered
1 12oz pkg of snap peas, sliced
1 bunch of green onions, sliced and separated
2 tbsp of tamari sauce
1 tbsp of Sriracha sauce
1 tsp honey
1 tsp rice vinegar
1/2 lb of korean glass noodles
Water for boiling noodles

Directions

  1. Fill pot with water and a couple tablespoons of salt and set on stove to boil.
  2. Add one tablespoon of coconut oil to a deep skillet or wok on medium high heat. When oil is hot, drop in ground beef and livers and cook until browned. Make sure livers are chopped up well and mixed in with beef if you have any leery eaters. Remove meat from pan and set aside.
  3. When water is boiling, add noodles. Will cook for about 10 minutes, but taste noodles often to check texture and doneness.
  4. Add 2nd tablespoon of coconut oil in your hot pan, along with the sesame oil, and add your onions and mushrooms. Cook until onions are translucent and mushrooms have shrunken. Next add in your snap peas and 1/2 of your green onions. Cook for a couple minutes more.
  5. When noodles are done, drain and set colander over empty pot. With kitchen shears, cut noodles roughly until they are easier to manage.
  6. Add meat back in your pan, along with the remaining ingredients. Cook for a couple more minutes, until all seasonings are mixed well.
  7. To serve, place noodles down first, then stir-fry. Top stir fry with green onions, sesame seeds, and more sriracha, if preferred.



Thursday, February 7, 2013

Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Chili

(This recipe is a contribution to Nourishing Gourmet's Pennywise Thursday Link-Up. Please click the link to find more great inexpensive whole food recipes and other homesteading tips)



This Butternut Squash Chili recipe is probably one of the easiest and most satisfying recipes I came up with while on the Whole30 program. There are many variations on this dish you can find on the Internet, but this combo best suited my budget and time restrictions. I can prepare this chili before I go to work in the morning, and its ready to eat by the time I get home. I recently added chicken livers to this recipe because it stretches the meal a bit, and it also adds nutritional value. Feel free to adjust this recipe to your own palate by changing spices, meats, or vegetables.

Ingredients:
1 lbs ground beef (I prefer 80/20)
1/2 lbs chicken livers
1 16oz bag of frozen butternut squash
1 10oz bag of frozen onion and pepper blend
1 28oz can of diced tomatoes
2 tbsp chili sauce
2 tbsp hot sauce
Salt and Pepper to taste
Cheese, Avocados, Chopped Onions, or whatever else you like to dress your chili with

Directions:

1. Brown ground beef and livers with salt and pepper in slow cooker (if you have a "brown" setting), or in a skillet over medium-high heat
2. If browned in a skillet, return meat to slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients to slow cooker and cook for 8 hours on low setting.
3. Taste chili and adjust seasoning as desired. Serve with preferred toppings and eat up!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Hair Success! How to Accomplish a Simple Braid Out


     Hey y'all! This is me...on a REALLLY good hair day! How did I achieve this hair day? Very simply! In fact, it was probably the most simple hair experience I have ever had!

     I have approximately 4A hair. It's pretty coarse, but it's not every thick (that will make sense to some). My hair gets very dry and tangles easily, so I usually struggle for hours to detangle it before I wash it!

This time I skipped the pre-wash, detangling, and shampoo all together!  Here's what you'll need:


Directions:
  1. Before hopping in the shower, fill your empty bottle 1/3 of the way with your apple cider vinegar. Once in the shower, fill the bottle the rest of the way with the warm shower water, then proceed to pour the mixture over your hair, close to the scalp. The plus to having a product bottle is that you can squeeze the mixture over the hair slowly, thus making it easier to cover the whole head without pouring it into one place.
  2. After you've poured the entire mixture on your hair, begin massaging the mixture into your hair, and carefully running your fingers through your hair. Do this for about 10 minutes, or until you can easily run your fingers through your hair.
  3. At this point you can either rinse out the apple cider vinegar, or put your conditioner directly on top of it! Just fill your palm with some conditioner, and apply it to your ends. Comb your fingers through the ends, distributing it thoroughly. Let the conditioner stay in your hair for about 10 minutes, or however long it takes to finish washing the rest of your body. At the end of your shower, rinse your hair thoroughly, then wrap it up in a T-Shirt to dry.
  4. Once hair is no longer dripping, but still damp, section the hair off into six sections. Take one section, put on some aloe vera gel then some jojoba oil, then proceed to braid. Repeat until all 6 sections are braided. Leave your hair in this style overnight, and wear a satin cap while you sleep.
  5. In the morning (or whenever you're ready) oil your hands with jojoba, and begin to gently take out your braids. After all the braids are out, work your oiled hands through your hair until you achieve the desired volume. And voila, you've got a gorgeous, and easy, braid-out do!

     The biggest trick to all of this is to make sure you use a mild washing agent, lots of moisture, and only manipulate damp hair. That's what I've found works for me, and I hope it'll will work for you too!


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

It's a CELEBRATION!!!


     That's right, folks! My Hubby and I completed our Whole30 experience on Friday, which meant this weekend was a celebration of that accomplishment!  Guess how the celebration began??

ZUMBA!!!


     I got up Saturday morning and headed to Meg Berg's "Zumba Fabulous" zumba class! It was 50 minutes of dancing and then 10 minutes of ab work. The saddest part was that I was probably one of two women still in my twenties, and I simply could not keep up!! I just knew I was about to pass out after just 10 minutes of dancing! But I didn't quit, I would just bring my intensity level down and kept moving. The awesome thing is that I felt great after the class was over! I was energized and alert and ready for the day!  I also had one of these waiting in the car for me...


     CHOCOLATE!!! I had a little square on my way home while I blasted Sam Sparro's "Happiness" and bopped like a fool!  Once I got home, Hubby and I prepared our brunch - Churros and Cheesy Scrambled Eggs. YUM!!  Every single bit was delicious!  All of my treats truly tasted like treats!

     After brunch, Hubby and I took our "after" pictures, and I honestly couldn't believe the changes in our bodies. I have lost about 10 lbs and could really see the difference in my face and upper body. Hubby lost about 20 lbs and looks incredible! Even if I didn't reap one benefit in my own body from the Whole30, seeing the changes that have taken place in my husband still would've made the process worth it.  He's happier, more energized, more focus, and overall healthier! It's truly a blessing.

     I must skip ahead a little and share what we did on Sunday, because it was awesome! Sunday morning (late), we got up and went to a restaurant called Poole's Diner for brunch with friends. This place is one of our FAVORITE restaurants in the area and a major treat for us. Here is the menu for that morning:


     Yes, that's a real chalkboard. Poole's menus change daily, so they write them on chalkboards all over the tiny restaurant instead of printing paper menus!  But don't think this place is some greasy spoon! Ashley Christensen, the head chef and owner, has been on multiple cooking shows - including Iron Chef America - and has won multiple culinary awards.  She is a true artist and her food speaks for itself. Here's one of her specialties and something I got to enjoy on Sunday:

     Poole's has the best Mac & Cheese in town! It's gooey and custardy, the macaroni is cooked perfectly, and I crusty top makes my eyes roll! Thankfully, we shared this delectable beauty among four people. But you better believe there wasn't a noodle left!

     The great thing about going downtown is that everything that you need is within walking distance. We were all able to work off a bit of sugar during our walk to a local bar, where we had a couple drinks and talked...and talked and talked! How wonderful! No schedule, just quality time. I love friends like that :)  Soon, however, we had to leave the bar due to a staff party they were preparing for, so one friend suggest we go to a ritzy Mexican restaurant called Jibarra.  This place was beautiful!  The owner (who apparently goes way back with one of friends we were with that day) was a sweet, generous man, and he prepared some delicious snacks to go along with our drinks. One of those snacks was a lovely Tilapia and Scallop Ceviche. OHHH MY GOODNESS!!! I cannot tell you how fresh and amazing it tasted! If that wasn't enough, the owner then brings each of us one of these...


     I honestly can't even tell you what this thing was called, because the chef just made it up!! But it was similar to a tostada, Asian style. There was shredded beef with bulgogi sauce on the bottom, tomatoes and purple cabbage, then a cool mayo and shiracha sauce on top with some black sesame seeds.  Can you say FLAVOR EXPLOSION!! I was truly blown away by the artistry of that beautiful little dish.

     In conclusion - Sunday was a very satisfying ending to an incredible experience. The food was great, and the company was even better!  If I was still eating the way I was, Sunday wouldn't have been nearly as special as it should have been. So I look forward to making good choices 80 percent of the time, so that the 20 percent can be decadent and memorable.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Whole30 Update: Day #30 ~ The Beginning and The End


     I can hardly believe that this is the very last day of my Whole30 Experience. It's bittersweet...mainly because my mind is literally putting the taste of dark chocolate in my mouth in anticipation for the real thing :)

     Honestly, I have learned so much about myself and my body over the last 30 days... 

  1. I have learned that I probably have some moderate intolerance to wheat. I remember when my Mom would give me cereal as a kid, my stomach would hurt SO BAD afterwards. I didn't think a lot of it, but it was definitely a sign that I didn't need to be eating that stuff. I'm glad to know that, if I avoid wheat, I will avoid those uncomfortable moments. 
  2. I have learned that sleeping is not hard when tons of sugar isn't coursing through my veins!  I've never been a good sleeper...ever. It would be anything from stomach trouble, to nightmares, to going to the bathroom in the middle of the night, to random thoughts racing through my head at a neck-breaking pace. Learning how to eat better (cutting out that pesky refined sugar and wheat), and also learning to de-stress WITHOUT food, I have been sleeping wonderfully!!!  It's been a great discovery and I'm forever indebted to Dallas and Melissa Hartwig for that.
  3. I have learned that I can start something and finish it strong. I can say "No!" to my cravings, no matter how loudly the scream, in order to encourage health in my body. I believe that living a holistic life demands this ability, because wellness must be more important than convenience. But I also feel like I have a stronger resolve now. I have shown my body who's boss. "No" means "no" again!
  4. I have learned that I really like to blog!! Sharing this experience through my blog has added joy and value to it. The friends I have made along the way encouraged me to the end. I'm so grateful to Kelly @ A Girl Worth Saving for her inspiring words! (and I CAN'T WAIT to make your yummy cookies!)
     And so begins a new month and a new way of life. My Hubby and I will be "one of those paleo couples" from now on!  I have learned to cook nourishing, delicious, and inexpensive meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I am ready to start working out again (yay for Zumba on Saturday!!). I am ready to prepare this body to house little ones! I'm so excited about the future and all the changes it will bring. And I'm excited about sharing the future with you here on my blog!

     I love you, bloggy family! Have a GREAT weekend!! And GO RAVENS!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

One Bad Apple


     Veganism or vegetarianism has never been a temptation to me. I love....LOVE meat! But there are many people who see these lifestyles as superior to other diets including meat and animal byproducts. My goal for this blog isn't to share my opinion on everything under the sun, but I couldn't pass up an opportunity to share some shocking articles that have been published recently about this subject.

     Steve Jobs was a famous vegan. Some, including Dr. John McDougall, believe that is vegan diet is to credit for Jobs living as long as he did with pancreatic cancer. There are others, like Dr. Kaayla Daniel, who believe that vegan diet (particularly Job's excessive consumption of fruit), may have worsened or even caused the cancer.

     Both of these positions are quite intriguing, but then this story pops up in the news...

Steve Jobs’ Fruitarian Diet Lands Ashton Kutcher in the Hospital



Read more: http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/01/29/steve-jobs-fruitarian-diet-lands-ashton-kutcher-in-the-hospital/#ixzz2JUZSUnV3


     According to Kutcher, his steady diet of apples resulted in him being "...doubled over in pain...", being rushed to the hospital and learning that his "...pancreas levels were completely out of whack...". 

WAIT...WHAT?????

     Yes, you read correctly. Apples were wreaking havoc on Kutcher's pancreas as he worked to become the man who died from pancreatic cancer not two years ago.

     So this is where I must give my opinion:

     Do I believe eating fruit will lead to cancer? No. 

     Do I believe eating meat will lead to cancer? No.

     Do I believe eating wheat will lead to cancer? No.

     What I believe is the human was created to live on a variety of whole foods.  No one food will harm you...unless it's poisonous. The real problem isn't the food, it's the volume and variety of those foods that are, or aren't, being consumed on a regular basis. The unfortunate thing is that Conventional Wisdom does not teach variety very well. It tells us that the majority of our plate should be grains, with some vegetables OR fruits (because they're all the same, right?), and a bit of LEAN meat protein thrown in for satisfaction sake. They don't take into account what state any of those parts of the plate are in (they could be covered in cheese, or a sugary sweet glaze, or plain...that doesn't matter). It doesn't matter where those components come from (they could come from a can, a garden, or pieced together molecule-by-molecule by some food chemist). All that matters is the "pyramid". 

     That's right. The USDA and the FDA are just a big pyramid scheme.

     I wanted to share this because I want people to have research at their disposal, not just my opinion. Yes, I will choose research that usually supports the choices I have made. But if I find a really thought-provoking article that tells of the dangers of cutting out grains and refined sugars from my diet, I will share that as well. But I wouldn't hold your breath :)

What did you think about the Ashton Kutcher story?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Whole30 Update: Day #26 and it's THE FINAL COUNTDOWN!!


I cannot believe I'm 4 days away from CHEESE!!!!!!! OH MY GOSH!!! I CAN BARELY CONTAIN MYSELF!!!

Okay, my freakout is over :)

Seriously, though. This has been such a great experience! I would love to say that I am feeling on top of the world right now and my body is coursing with Tiger Blood, but I can't. Aunt Flo is here and in full effect, and I basically slept all weekend. I didn't really experience major cramps, and I guess the pain never got to the point that I needed to take any pain reliever (which, now that I think about it, is a pretty big deal for me), but the fatigue, bloating, and back pain were all still there. I'm not complaining, necessarily. I know I'm in better health now than I was before I started the Whole30 program. I just wish Aunt Flo came during the first week  when I felt like crap already, lol!

Anyhoo, life is just grand around here. Friday the temperature never got over 32, and now it's about 70 out! Gotta love North Carolina weather!

I didn't take any food pics this weekend because I was basically out of it, but I did have some neat food breakthroughs! I made my own sunflower seed butter in our Nutribullet! It was delicious and way too easy! I also made a yummy Pork and Sweet Potato Stew for dinner on Sunday. It was sweet and savory and...Mmmm!

So that's basically it. My weekend was uneventful, but extremely restful which is exactly what I needed. 

How was your weekend?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Well the Weather Outside is Frightful...

(source)


     We are finally getting winter weather here in my hometown, and it is quite a sight! Allie and I worked a half day (why? I don't know), and my Hubby is off tonight!

     So what have I done since 1PM? 

     Uh...ate lunch...read blogs...took at nap. Yay for Snow Days!!

     It's gonna be a great, cozy, snuggly, weekend at my house :)


What are your plans for the weekend?


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Whole30 Update: Delicious Day #22 + Whole30 Approved Shepherd's Pie

(This post signifies my very first link up! I will be linking up with The Nourishing Gourmet's Pennywise Thursdays from now on. Check her out! She's amazing!)

One of the greatest perks from my Whole30 experience is the new arsenal of scrumptious, healthy recipes! I'm very proud of myself because most of the recipes I have cooked are original (thank you, thank you!)  According to my Hubby, they have all been delicious...but he's a pretty partial judge :)

One of those recipes is what I made us for dinner tonight: Paleo Shepherd's Pie!



Since I have gone through this entire experience and haven't posted a single recipe, I will use the last few days of the program to do so, starting with this awesome make-ahead supper! I literally made this yesterday while watching the premiere of The Taste on Hulu. My new work schedule has me at the office on the same days that my Hubby and I get to have dinner together at home (which is only 3 times a week). That means I get home after Hubby and he's usually starving while I'm just starting dinner. So this week I've cooked meals that are either prepared in the Crock Pot or are make-ahead dinners. Tuesday night was Butternut Squash Chili (I'll DEFINITELY be sharing that recipe soon, it was so easy and delicious!). Tonight we're having the Shepherd's Pie I assembled yesterday on my day off. When I get home, I'll just pop it in the oven for about 45 minutes, and we'll be good to go!

Whole30 Approved Shepherd's Pie

Ingredients:

1 lb of ground beef (the best you can get your hands on)
1 head of cauliflower (trimmed and cut into small florets)
4 cups of broth or water (I used turkey, cause that's what I had. I personally wouldn't use seafood)
1 1/2 cups of carrots, diced (or baby carrots cut into rounds)
1 1/2 cups of green beans, diced
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves of roasted garlic
1 tsp coconut flour
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Bring broth or water to boil with a good amount of salt in a stock pot and add cauliflower florets. Cook for about 10 minutes or until very tender. Drain cauliflower and, if necessary, let cool.

2. Put roasted garlic in blender with cooked cauliflower and blend until its thick and smooth. Set aside.

3. Brown ground beef in a large skillet. Remove cooked meat with a slotted spoon into a bowl. Add onion, carrots, and green beans into the remaining fat and saute until the onions are translucent and the carrots and green beans are tender.  Add ground beef back to the pan along with the poultry seasoning, salt, pepper, tomato paste, and coconut flour. Cook for about 3 more minutes, then take the pan off the burner and allow the filling to cool.

4. After the filling as cooled, pour it into your favorite casserole dish (my 8x8 glass dish seemed to be the right fit for this one. Then spread the cauliflower puree over top and smooth the surface with a rubber spatula or spoon.

5. From here you can either put in a 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes until the top of the casserole is caramelized, or you can put it in the friidge/freezer and cook when ready. If you are choosing the make-ahead preparation, let the casserole sit on your counter for a couple hours to thaw/take the chill off, then put in a 350 oven for 30-45 minutes until the casserole is heated through and the top is caramelized.

Happy eating!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Whole30 Update: Day #20 + Aunt Flo




What's up, friends! Today is Day #20 of my Whole30 experience and I'm pretty much loving life right now! I'm feeling pretty good and I've been eating really good!

Here's breakfast from Sunday morning:


"Purple Rain" Banana Crepes, as dubbed by my Hubby :) The topping is coconut cream, banana, and mixed berries. Then we had sausage and eggs on the side. YUM! That morning we watched "Aristocats" and I was LOLing like I was 5 years old!! I don't know what it is about Disney movies, but I'm instantly a kid again when we they come on.



Dinner that night was Pineapple Chipotle Wings with Tomato and Avocado Salad an Avocado Mayo dipping sauce. DELICIOUS!! I pretty much laid the smackdown on those wings. You could say that we cheated a little bit, because I "shallow" fried them in bacon fat and a bit of olive oil. But all the ingredients were Whole30 approved. Oh, and Hubby came up with the refreshing mineral water in the background. I could have had a gallon of that stuff!

So what's up with Aunt Flo? Well I've definitely been PMSing a bit this week because I start next week. (I know, that's a lot of info, but you're blog family now.)  I haven't had the bloating or the mood swings (WOOHOO!!), but I have had the urge to eat every scrap of food in the house. Honestly, I'm not snacking nearly as hard as I did in months past, sans Whole30. And, though I'm not munching on Mac and Cheese and Oreos, my choices have been very satisfying and I haven't really binged out on anything. I guess the Whole30 program has calmed my hormones to the point that a time like this wrecks much less havoc on my body than before.

With 10 days left (I don't know what I was smoking last time I was talking about having 10 days left...), I'm really pleased with the results I have experiences. I may even get brave enough to share my before and after pics with you guys on day 30!

Have a great week, and we'll keep in touch :)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Whole30 Update: Day #17 and Feeling GRRRRREAT!


Yep, that's me, feeling the tiger blood!  I definitely had some gloomy moments this week, but they have all led up to this! I feel AWESOME!  I'm starting to actually crave Whole30 approved foods. I think my clothes are starting to fit a little better. I have been getting great sleep, which is huge for me! (I have never been a great sleeper...EVER!)

Speaking of cravings, I still can't wait to have cheese in my scrambled eggs or maple syrup on my paleo pancakes again, but as far as things I want to have everyday that's kind of the extent of it. I know there will be bread, cocktails, and maybe even some McDonald's Mystery McNuggets in my future at some point (hmmm...maybe not the McNuggets), but now that I understand what it does to my body I'm just not chomping at the bit to have these things on a regular basis. I like who I am right now! I like waking up and continuing to feel awake throughout! I like feeling sleepy and actually falling to sleep...and STAYING asleep! It's a glorious thing that I just don't want to throw away just because I can't say "No" to a Bojangles biscuit.

*Shutter* I know I'm really letting some fellow North Carolinians down with that last statement. Those were my jam back in the day, but I just can't put my stomach through that anymore. But we're still friends...right?

This is what I made for dinner Thursday night:


Oh yeah, Coconut Curry Stew with Shrimp and Peppers. It was delicious, but I think it needs lemongrass. Unfortunately, I've never used lemongrass before! So I'll definitely be experimenting with that idea before I post the recipe.


All in all I'm a happy girl! My body feels good because it's not competing with all the junk to keep me alive and alert. My heart and mind are happy because I'm treating myself well, FINALLY!  Yeah, that whole "love others as you love yourself" idea has taken on a whole new meaning over the last 17 days. So many people, especially women, pour limitless love out on others every day while hating themselves through their choices, speech, and thoughts. We come by this behavior honestly, the generations before us have taught us to care for everyone else before we care for ourselves. There are times when that is necessary, but that shouldn't one's every waking moment. We are not to love and care for others INSTEAD of ourselves, but LIKE ourselves. It's a simple thought, but accomplishing it has proven more complicated than I thought it would be. I'm so happy to have finally started walking this concept out for me.

I can't believe there are only 10 days left of my Whole30 experience. I'm excited because I'm REALLY craving a baked sweet potato with an entire log of goat cheese in the middle, bacon over the top, and finished with a liberal drizzle of honey. YUUUMMM!!! But I'm a little sad, too. What a time of discovery! What a 19-Day journey to cracking my food-code! It's been real, and it's been fun. Thanks for sitting in the passenger seat :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

An Update and A Confession

So it's day #14 on the Whole30, and I'm okay. I'm regular. My energy is even. I'm never stuffed feeling after I eat, and today I honestly never even got hungry.

None of this sounds like a bad thing, but I'm a little bit depressed by it. I mean, I believe I had gotten so used to going from the feeling of starvation to being so full I want to vomit that I...well...miss it! And I miss the sugar highs and crashes. And I miss the pain I get from eating a giant bowl of spaghetti and meat sauce.

Do I sound like a masochist?

I'm not quite sure where I'm at with this whole thing. I mean I feel fine, though the weather here isn't helping (in short, it sucks). Maybe I'm hormonal. Maybe this is the next stage of breaking my food addiction. That sounds right. I've gone from physically missing the highs, to mentally missing the highs.

The fact is I have expended myself quite a bit emotionally over the past week or so and I've had nothing to numb the exhaustion that it has brought about. This is a good thing, I need to face my stress and deal with it. Essentially, food (especially grains and sugar) has been a security blanket for me for a long time and its been ripped away by my own hand. I'm doing myself a favor in the long run, but that doesn't make it feel any better right now.

I guess I'm just having a James 1 moment. I'm in a funk, but I'm allowing myself to be taught in and by it. That's the only way I'll mature and grow. And that's ultimately what I want, to be better.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Food and Fun in the Sun

This weekend in my hometown was beautiful! It was a heavenly 72 degrees and partly sunny, which meant everyone and their Mom was outside getting some fresh air! Dave and I, of course did the same and it was wonderful!

But not before we had our traditional Sunday brunch:





This Sunday, I made Banana Crepes with Banana and Mango filling and some Beef Breakfast Patties on the side. This is probably the best Whole30 meal I have made to date. I will definitely double the amount of crepes next time, because my husband inhaled them! That meant he loved them, of course :)

After brunch, we headed for the park. Our go-to spot was as crowded as the mall on Black Friday, so we decided to go to a new park. Their trail ended up leading us into a great neighborhood that we ended up walking around for probably an hour. The weather was perfect, the people were friendly, and the terrain was greatly and hilly! We had a wonderful time.

Then we headed out to Bed, Bath, and Beyond to pick up a Nutribullet. The backstory is we wanted a juicer but I didn't feel good about not consuming the pulp which has the bulk of the healthy fiber and nutrients. My suspicions were confirmed after reading the section on fruits in The Primal Blueprint, so we landed on buying the Nutribullet. Its essentially a more powerful Magic Bullet and it purées fruits and veggies into delicious smoothie-like drinks. Added bonus: it has a milling blade to pulverize nuts and seeds (homemade nut butter, anyone?) At $80 bucks, you can't beat it.

We also stumbled upon this beautiful set of pots and pans in the clearance section. It was a 10-pc set of Bialetti Aeternum cookware marked down to $99 because the set was missing the stock pot top. Being that the original price was $160, I thought this was a pretty good deal! To buy it, I would have to use money I was setting aside for something else but, after talking it over, this was just a deal I couldn't pass up. So we take it to the cash register and, well, this is what we ended up paying for it:

Hallelujah is all I can say about that!! God is truly good! I was cheesing so hard after we left my face was starting to hurt!

We finally got home with our spoils and, after cleaning my new toys, I cooked dinner. We had our favorite - Kale Stuff with Spaghetti Squash - and it cooked beautifully in my new covered sauté pan!

Sunday was a blessed, full day and I'm excited to see what the week holds :)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Whole30 Update: Days #7 and #8

Wow, I can't believe I've been doing the Whole30 for over a week!!

HAHA! Yes I freakin' CAN believe it!!! I've gone through just about every craving I could possibly through, and my tummy has had quite the time trying to acclimate to my drastic diet change.

However, the pros have totally outweighed the cons this week. I've had more energy (except for the last couple days, but I don't think that's the food's fault). I'm not starving! I eat about twice a day, with a couple of snacks (I'll probably cut out the evening snack, though). What makes me the most excited, however, is that IM ONLY ON DAY 8!! I can hardly believe that I've only Whole30-ing it for 8 days and am already experiencing these results!

Now for some pics!!

The first is a picture of this great brand of local, wild-caught shrimp that I bought on sale from Food Lion for $7.99!! If you know anything about wild-caught shrimp, you know that's a steal!

The next is a pic of my lunch a couple days ago - Okra and Sausage Sauté. It's something my Dad used to eat while he was doing the Adkins Diet, and I would always gobble up his leftovers :) This simple dish is only sausage ( I used some INSANELY good pork kielbasa from my CSA), frozen okra and some celery for a bit of crunch!

For dinner last night, I made a huge Chicken Cobb Salad (sans bleu cheese, of course). In preparation for the salad's dressing, the Hubby and I made our first Mayonnaise!! We, like everyone else, we needing up with something the consistency of salad dressing, i.e a soupy, but tasty, mess. Then I had the idea of making a sort of avocado ranch dressing from not-quite-mayo. I simply put half of the mayo mixture, some lemon juice, and 1/4 an avocado into the blender. Then, BOOM!! I had actual, thick, spreadable, scrumptious MAYO!!! It was perfect!! So for all of you who are about to give up on making your own mayo, just add avocado!

The last pic is of my dinner tonight! It was a dreary day here in my hometown, which means the perfect night for soup! I made a quick Chicken and Veal Curry Soup! Why chicken AND veal? Because I had a little veal meat that came off of my broth bones in the freezer :) One of my new favorite things is Trader Joe's canned coconut cream. It's perfect for making any soup creamy and delicious if you are lactose intolerant or refraining from dairy.

So that's all I got for today! This weekend I'll post some recipes that have served me well during my first week of the Whole30 program.

HAPPY FRIDAY!







Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Hinge

"The Biggest Loser" always gets me choked up, always. I'm sitting here eating my first meal of the day (an apple first thing this morning, now some sausage with sautéed okra and celery), watching the premier of the show and it breaks my heart. It breaks my heart because these people aren't obscure, these people represent America. They represent an epidemic has gone passed affecting adults and is now affecting our nation's children! Bob Harper (one of the trainer's on the show) said that there is a statistic stating that many in the current generation of children won't meet the lifespan of their parents. WHAT??? You mean to tell me that with all the technological, scientific, and medical advances we have made cumulatively as a country, our children still won't make it to the current average lifespan??? It's mind boggling.

But this is also the first time I'm watching "The Biggest Loser" while I'm actually doing something about my own weight!! I'm excited that I am finally taking ownership of my life. It's mine! While I am able to choose, I'm choosing to live my life in the fullness that God intended. He built me a beautiful body, and I'm going to celebrate it! And my mind and spirit will finally be showcased as it was meant to be.

Yes, yesterday was rough... My God, it was surreal and really frustrating. But my husband and I made it through WHILE making good choices. No slipping or caving, we just leaned on God and each other an and pressed forward. And now it's today, and today has been good!

Will post food pictures later, and some recipes! I mean it!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Whole30 Update: Days #5 & #6

Wow, I really don't know where to start with this day. I feel like Monday and Tuesday conspired to switch places. Monday was actually good! No tummy issues. I was really alert and focused at work. I skipped breakfast, but made a yummy salmon salad with a simple vinegarette. Then for dinner, I went to Dos Perros - THE BEST Mexican restaurant - for Taco and had their pork tenderloin, beef barbacoa, and veggie... the fillings only, of course! Finally, I got to watch Downton Abbey!!! YEEESSSSS!!!! It was a good day!

Today, however, was dumb. It was just dumb! I hate days like this. And it would have been the PERFECT cheat day!! OH MY GOSH!! I was in the car after my husband picked me up from work just dreaming of Mac and Cheese and French Fries!

And wine...Mmmm...

But this is the point, right? We are making a lifestyle change. We are learning how to eat for nutrition and for enjoyment, not comfort. I kept trying to remind myself of this as I was also dreaming of ice cream and a Mike's Hard Lemonade. Since I'm not having any of those things, dinner was pretty satisfying. Tonight I made...

(drumroll please)... Jambalaya!! I'm so sorry there are no pictures, I was still in a pretty rough mood until my second bowl :) But it was totally delicious! It was comforting because was tasty, but it was also a good choice! No matter how stressful my day was, I chose well. That was very comforting.

Goodnight :)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Days #3 and #4

Yay, life is slowly getting better on this Whole30 diet! I made something for dinner tonight that would have been perfect if I didn't add so much freaking lime... *sigh*. I made Meatball Curry Stew - and it was truly almost perfect. Last night I made my famous Kale Stuff, but with spaghetti squash instead, and it turned out great! As for the rest of the week? No clue. I am totally stumped for dinner ideas. I think I'll end up doing a cabbage and kielbasa thing for Tuesday night, and Thursday night ill maybe do a seafood stew...? Who knows. This Whole30 thing is really stretching my kitchen creativity!

My stomach issues are slowly getting better. It's still so sensitive, and I can't figure out why. Maybe getting rid of all the refined carbs and sugar and processed foods is suppose to be a bit painful. And I've only been doing this for 4 days, so I'm sure my body's just, we'll, detoxing.

I'm so glad I never had a drug problem. Detox sucks.

By the way, I totally agreed to Taco Night with my bestie and forgot I'm not doing grains, or beans, or alcohol, or dairy. This will be fun :) I will get to give her her birthday gift, though. I can't wait!!

I'm still happy to be doing this, though. I KNOW I'll lose weight because I'm probably eating less than half as much as I used to. I simply less hungry, and I'm not using food to comfort or entertain me anymore. I had one serving of dinner the past two nights! That is ground breaking for me. It helped that dinner smelled like vomit to me... Darn limes. But I will be posting that recipe, sans limes, and it will be delicious.

Anyway, if I keep talking, ill just keep complaining about ruining dinner.

Goodnight :)

Friday, January 4, 2013

Day #2

Today's score: 6 out of 10. It started with a pretty terrible night's sleep. The bloating plus my whacked out vacation schedule lent itself to me being wide awake from midnight to about 4. But, according to my husband, I did finally get some sleep and I woke up around 8:15 to make his breakfast and lunch and kiss him before he left for work. Today I was determined not to take a 4 hour nap again, so made myself a cup of tea and finally caught up on "Parenthood". Yeah, that's right, a couple of plain ol' tea. My stomach was still giving me trouble, so I didn't really eat anything until about 1pm.

That was too soon.

I finally had had enough, and began to google remedies for my digestion woes, when I ran across something called digestive enzymes. It turns out that I am not the first person to deal with bloating and constipation from the Whole30 program and people had experienced relief after taking these supplements. So tonight, before our baked chicken and veggies dinner, I took one as directed and...I'm beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel! I'm certainly not free of discomfort, but some relief as occurred and I'm truly grateful!

As for the headaches, they are still present and reminding me of my past addiction to carbs and sugar.

There is one thing that is changing, though. I feel like I am doing my body a huge favor! I feel like I am correcting some serious food relationship issues. I'm beating cravings. I'm learning new ways to entertain myself besides parking in front of the tv and snacking on the entire contents of my fridge. I'm reading and writing and studying. This is a good thing.

By the way, sorry for being a liar about taking food pics. Those will come, especially when the food gets a little more interesting.

There's so much more I want to say, but I fear being long winded.

Goodnight :)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Day #1 of the Whole30

If I had to score how I feel after Day 1 of the Whole30 Experience, I'm think I'm at a 5.

The food has been great - delicious and filling. I, however, feel like s***.

I'm super bloated, tired, and I have a headache. Granted, I have been pigging out on all my favorite crappy food in preparation for my new lifestyle (I know. That sounds oxymoronic to me, too.), but really?? I didn't think I would feel this gross.

Accordingly to the experts, it'll get better.

I'll take pictures of my food tomorrow. Today, I was just trying to make it.

Goodnight :)