Thursday, February 26, 2015

Whole 30, Week 3

[Not even lying that I started this almost two weeks ago and am finally going to finish and post...]

I'll skip to the end first: Whole30 ended at about Whole21. It wasn't a failure though. I was reminded of quite a few things during the three weeks. 

It's called Whole30, not Whole365 for a reason -- it is just next to impossible to maintain that level of strictness every single day. Getting sick was just the first part -- when nothing tastes good or sits well, you eat what you can. Next, an anniversary deserves to be a celebration! I was not going to feel "deprived" by not having a glass of wine or a breadstick.... These things came up during the month I'd had planned, and that's just how life works. 

But I was reminded of how I feel when I choose certain foods over others. I can't eat cheese and feel good. Period. I can't eat much bread/flour and lose weight. Just can't. It's also a trigger food for me -- once I'd broken that after two weeks, it was ridiculously hard not to crave it. I need to stay away from it as much as possible. It also messes with my stomach at times, so staying away from it is just the best choice.

Here's one: I don't actually need coffee to live. I don't need caffeine to function. I LIKE those things, but I don't need them. Same with wine - which is good to remind myself! I've had coffee for the last few days and it's tasted great. I'm using less sweetener and creamer than before, which is good. 

Major reminder: If I don't meal plan, I eat crap. We made a huge dent in the freezer stock, and I got a new cookbook. The frozen weather around here gave me a challenge of cooking without making an attempt to go to the store first. I managed a few things just fine!
One of the prettiest frittatas I've ever made!
Sausage, zucchini, and Cali blend veggies
Anyway, I lost about six pounds. I fully expect some of that to come back with the carbs, but I'm more faithful in my workouts and trying to be thoughtful about the carbs I do eat (not counting the cornbread I made this week because it's freaking cold here right now). 

I'm also researching some modified options that will make me feel my best, have energy, and not pack on weight. More to come on that..

And with that, I'm hitting publish! Whoot!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Whole30, Week 2

This week didn't turn out exactly as planned. 

Monday's bootcamp was ridiculous:
  • 50 mountain climbers
  • 20 squats
  • 20 push ups
  • 50 lunges
  • 100 high knees
  • 20 sumo squats
  • 30 moving push ups
  • 40 step ups (20 per leg)
  • 50 run lunges
We made it through three times -- and my hatred for push ups stands. Ridiculously sore on Tuesday and Wednesday, which made what happened Wednesday even more difficult to figure out. 

Monday's dinner was the lovely chicken and lime soup I wrote about here, and on Tuesday we took chicken and beef fajitas to Bug. She's house- and animal-sitting this week for friends -- and by animals, I mean 11 dogs, 14 horses, some number of rabbits, chickens, pigs, alpacas, and goats. It's been cold this week, so she's having fun feeding animals at 6am when it's 26 degrees. We fed her, then went and visited the animals. That adorable baby pig was fast! He didn't want to be held, obviously.

Around 2pm Wednesday, I realized I was running a fever, my head was killing me, and I hurt all over. Fever got up to a bit over 101, which is major for me, and I was pretty sure death was near. (Dramatic much?) I'm writing, so obviously I didn't die. I haven't been truly sick for at least a year, and my tolerance is really low. I worked a couple of hours on Thursday, then pretty much laid on the couch all day. 

And that's when I had to break Whole30 a bit. First was the Theraflu -- aspartame in that one. Wednesday was leftover fajitas, so no issue there, but the only thing that sounded good on Thursday was egg drop soup. I'd already finished my chicken soup, so we ordered take out. It was really good soup, which actually is Paleo (or close to it), but those spring rolls? Not so much. The peach whiskey shot I had to stop my cough wasn't Paleo either. 

On Friday, I felt almost human--no fever--but my head was still just hanging on by a thread. I didn't eat a lot, but the leftover fajitas kept me on track that day. Friday was our anniversary, and I knew dinner on Saturday was coming...
Anniversary bouquet - my favorite!
We went to our "usual" anniversary restaurant - they had even sent us a gift card because we celebrate there often! A salad and a few pieces of rosemary bread first, and then...
Crab-stuffed ocean trout with a whipped wine/butter mousse,
polenta cake, and braised cabbage
Crab stuffing was a bit spicy, the trout (which I wasn't sure I liked before I ordered it) was fabulous, and the cabbage is ridiculously good--it's on all their dishes and I wonder every time why I like it. 

But seriously, let's get to the important stuff:
Yeah, pick one.
If you know me, you know creme brulee is almost impossible for me to ignore, and I've had it at this restaurant before. But we had to split something (to manage the insanity) and it's not RDub's favorite...

...and the bread pudding it is! So, so very good -- that Texas rum caramel sauce made us want to lick the plate. We left there full and happy. 

Sunday, as usual, is for meal planning and grocery shopping. I'm still not quite fully recovered, but at least I can think without my head hurting. Meals for this week are a little iffy, but we'll have pizza soup Monday, Paleo chick-fil-a-style chicken nuggets Tuesday, and spaghetti on Thursday. I really hope I can handle boot camp tonight - I'll probably take it a little easy just to be sure I make it through. The weather is gorgeous this week, which should help with the workouts. 

This post has been all over the place! I think I should stop and get on with the day. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Tasty Tuesday...on Wednesday

I totally intended to post this on Tuesday, and then stuff got all in the way. So here's a new Tasty Tuesday-ish. 

I stole this recipe, I'll admit. Actually, I steal most of my recipes. But I try to give credit!

This was on Pinterest as Chicken & Lime soup from It was Paleo without even trying. But I made some adjustments, and it really reminds me so much of a chicken tortilla soup (without the tortillas) and is one of my new favorites. I didn't know it was going to be, so I didn't take step-by-step photos...Go to this link if you need to see that kind of detail. It's really easy.

As with most of my recipes, the amounts here can be scaled up or down depending on how much you want. I love leftovers, so I keep that in mind when I'm making soups. 

Okay, what you need:
chicken breasts - I used about a pound, and they were frozen when I put them in
2-3 stalks of celery, diced
onion, diced, about a cup
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, diced, seeds removed
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tbsp cumin
1/2 bunch of cilantro
1 lime

Here's where I deviated from the original recipe:
2 cans Rotel
4 cups chicken broth
I changed it from the original because I wanted a little more heat. You could easily replace one can of Rotel with more broth to tone it down. Or you could use a can of Rotel and a can of regular diced tomatoes. The original calls for 6 cups of broth, but that was way more than I wanted. 

Saute the celery, onion, garlic, and jalapenos in olive oil for about 5 minutes. Add the chicken, broth, tomatoes, and spices. Get the "soupiness" the way you want it, then put the lid on and simmer about an hour. 

Remove the chicken breast(s) carefully, and shred using two forks. Return to the pot, and add the juice of 1 lime. Let simmer for about 15 minutes. Rough chop the cilantro and add to the soup, stir, and serve. Garnish with a few pieces of avocado.

I happened to make this on boot camp night when RDub wasn't going to be around while it cooked. He turned it off after the hour, and I got home about 30 minutes later. That's when Shredded the chicken and did the last additions. I think the flavors just settled in that 1/2 hour or so, but this was sooooo good. And hot. Don't forget the hot. Not unbearable by any means, but keep the amount of Rotel down if you're kind of a chicken that way. 

There ya have it! Paleo friendly Spicy Chicken & Lime soup!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Whole30, Week 1 down.

The last time I started a Whole30, I quit after four days. I'm at the end of Day 7. Here's how it's going.

I'm back to drinking my water - yay! I make this up every day in the big pitcher, and refill my glass every time I get up. Lemons, cucumbers, and oranges go in mine most of the time. 

I have gotten in a very bad snacking habit, especially when I'm stressed. This week has definitely tested my determination, with a lot of work and long hours, and just that craving to grab something crunchy or chocolate. Instead, I'm making do with this:
These raspberries are some of the best I've ever tasted. Those are walnuts on top. 

The meals have gone according to plan this week. Chicken salad for lunch on Monday and shrimp/chicken stir fry on Monday night. Tuesday was grilled pork chops...
...with butternut squash and kale saute, with pecans. Why yes, that IS a "K" branded on top of my pork chop. RDub was playing with his Christmas present. 

Wednesday night I made Crockpot Chicken and Tomato soup. It was really good, and so very simple. I added fresh spinach to my bowl -- I didn't want it to cook down in the soup, but this was just right. 
Recipe here if you'd like to try it!
Thursday night was a new recipe -- Asian Meatballs from nomnompaleo. 
I had to steal this picture from here -- I ate this three times and never took a picture. 

Simple ingredients -- the orange chunks you see is diced sweet potato! The strange ingredient (for me) was fish sauce. It's always sounded gross (no idea why) but it is quite versatile. Now that I know what it is, I'm seeing it in more recipes.

Friday was a grilling day! I love those days. Grilled shrimp, put into lettuce leaf tacos with Spanish cauliflower rice, tomatoes, and avocados. 

Saturday is always a little last minute. I'd sort of planned on salmon, but it was pouring grilling. Backup plan? Buffalo chicken meatloaf!

RDub and I really like this "meat"loaf -- in this case, it's ground turkey. Use Frank's Red Hot (which is just a tiny bit not-quite-Whole30 because of a smitch of sugar), celery, onion, spices...and it totally tastes like a chicken wing! On the side was a quick spinach, avocado, tomato, and lime juice salad.

Finally, tonight was our salute to pizza for the Super Bowl. I don't care much about the game, as long as Tom Brady doesn't win, so no party for us. 

Meatza is a Paleo staple -- the "crust" is ground beef, with toppings of your choice. The others in the house get cheese on theirs, but I stick to spinach, chicken, bacon, and veggies.

Now we're at week one and the real question is...How am I surviving without caffeine? No coffee for me, and I definitely had the three-day headache going. I've found a hot tea I like that doesn't make me want to add honey, so I'm fooling myself in the mornings with that. And the other looming question...the wine? Not a big deal. I get bored with water, since that's all I drink, so of course a glass of wine sounds great. But not a big deal. 

I made it to Boot Camp three times as planned this week -- very sore upper body at the moment. I'm figuring out how to get more steps into every day, given that I sit at a desk all day. Meals are planned for the coming week, shopping is done, and Saturday is when we're celebrating our anniversary -- one meal off!

This post has gone on way too long! Go, anybody but Patriots!