Category Archives: Whole30

An Issue I can't run away from

For a few months now, I’ve been dealing with a strange issue.  It has taken a backseat to my kids and JD’s weird neuro whatever that has been going on, so I haven’t really dealt with it.  It seems to be getting worse, so I’m writing about it.  I don’t know why, but it feels good to acknowledge it.

Every once in awhile my stomach gets rock hard, and not in a good way.  So completely bloated and then I get intense, way-worse-than-labor-contractions stomach cramps.  My intestines hate me.  Other things happen too, but I won’t go into the gory details.  Basically, it isn’t good, and I feel godawful sick for the better part of a day or two.  But it definitely isn’t some sort of virus, and it has been recurring at least once a week for months.  Getting worse.

I haven’t been able to track down the culprit, I’m thinking that it probably isn’t just one thing.  That it isn’t necessarily a certain food, but something wrong with me that reacting to a group of foods.  The best I felt was when we did the Whole30 plan for about three weeks.  We didn’t make it to the end, and we didn’t switch to eating paleo.  Instead, we went back to eating horribly because it is so much cheaper.  Not nutritionally cheaper.  I think we got really frustrated, because it’s one thing to buy more produce and to not buy processed foods.  It’s a whole nother thing to replace flour with coconut and almond flours, to only use raw honey and real syrup as sweeteners in baking, and to eat a lot more meat and produce, taking out grains, beans, dairy, sugar, yada yada.  But I know that is what I need to do.  I’m at a point where I just don’t know how to do it all.  I can never think of a good recipe, especially that my kids will eat.  I would love to get them off gluten and processed foods as well and make a lot more fun stuff together.  But it is SO expensive to bake things!

Then I get really frustrated and I give up.  But then I feel like I have today, which I had popcorn and a few cookies last night….not sure what it was.  I had a lot of sugar over Thanksgiving, and never had an issue.  I even made a delectable salted caramel apple pie that was amazing, and way too sweet.  Nothing really happened to me.  Maybe a day of discomfort, but nothing like it usually is.  The thing is, I could go to a doctor, and they could diagnose me with something weird like irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s, celiac disease, or nothing at all….and the result would be the same.  I don’t want medicine.  I want to fix me with food because I am 100% positive that would work.  Wish my health insurance would pay for it!

Also, I ran a couple weeks ago, but haven’t since.  My ankle felt pretty good, but I almost twisted it AGAIN and I think my shoes must be out for me!  We don’t really live in the best neighborhood, and JD has been gone during all the daylight hours, so I don’t really have a chance to run right now.  I’m sure that would probably help too.  It’s frustrating to want so desperately to do things differently, and not have the resources and ability to do it.  I’m having one of THOSE days.

Recipe >> Autumn Pork Roast

Hey friends.  Throwing a couple of recipes at you this morning.  This is what I made yesterday, and man oh man, was it good.  Now, I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been on Whole30 for 5 days now, but everything I am making is tasting sooooo good.  I’d like to think it’s maybe a little of that, but mostly my awesome cooking skills.  This is the perfect recipe for people who don’t want to do much.  For those days that just seem like a lot of work, or if you have to work all day.  This can just cook all day in your trusty crockpot and be absolutely delicious when you get home.  I paired it with a small spinach salad with a little oil and a few sesame and cumin seeds.  I am not a salad guru.  I’m not big fan of salads, usually.  But I knew I needed something else that was super green.  Also had a couple orange slices, which was delicious.

Autumn Pork Roast

Ingredients

  • Pork roast (any pork roast will do)
  • 1/3 to 1/2 of a butternut squash cut into about 1″ cubes
  • 1 yellow or white onion cut into small slices
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cloves chopped fresh garlic
  • 1 scallion section
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme (x2)
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 cup water

 

Directions

Put pork roast into a crockpot with the fatty side up for maximum flavor.  Pour in 1 cup of water into the crock.  Mix seasonings, no rhyme or reason to it.  Just start with the salt and pepper, add a couple cloves of chopped fresh garlic, add in the thyme and paprika.  mix and put on top of the meat.  Add sliced scallions on top (optional) for extra flavor.  If that isn’t enough spice for your roast (depends on the size of the roast), then mix up more.  I like to have a starting point, but then go crazy with my seasonings.  Add in cubed butternut squash and onion slices all around and on top of the roast.  Then sprinkle the rest of the thyme on the veggies, and maybe a little salt and pepper if you like.  Let it cook all day.  I started mine at about 9am and let it cook on high until 4pm, then let it rest a little on low with the lid off and served it up at 5pm.

This is a great toddler friendly recipe as well.  My kids love stuff out of the crock pot.  Trying to get my 2 year old to eat spinach…another story.

Day 4 of Whole30. No quirky lines for you.

I am being reduced to a soulless, primal being.  All I want is a venti salted caramel mocha from Starbucks.  It’s all I think about.  I need to talk about something else.

At the end of day two, because I had skipped breakfast (slept through it…a very rare luxury), I needed something at the end of the day.  Made some guacamole and used tomatoes to dip in it.  OH SERIOUSLY WOW.  It was so good.  So here’s my recipe for some really awesome guac.

AWESOME GUACAMOLE

  • One avacado, scooped out of the skin and chopped and smashed
  • 1 tsp or so of lime juice
  • salt
  • red pepper flakes (to taste for added PIZZAZ!)
  • garlic (or garlic powder)
  • chopped onions
  • two roma tomatoes

Mix all the ingredients except the tomatoes.  Now, if you can eat chips or whatever, then just chop one tomato and add it to the guacamole and enjoy.  But if you want to cut that out, use the fleshy romas (or other veggie that can be cut to a good dipping size) to eat the guac.  We sliced them in about 1/8″ slices, thick enough to hold their shape, and used a spoon when necessary to scoop onto the tomatoes.  It was devine.  An amazing and very healthy snack.   I was so hungry, I didn’t take a picture.  But it probably would just look gross…I mean, a bowl full of smashed green things with lumps of other things?

Anyway, I ate this again for lunch the next day.  I gave E a little bit of the avacado and ate the rest myself.  I was very full for a few hours.  Then massively hungry.  I made soup last night and it was probably the best soup I’ve ever made.  Take that, comfort zone!  Still, I was craving something sweet afterwards.  I don’t know if I want that to go away or not, but that is kind of the goal of this program, at least one of them.  I just want something yummy so bad!  I actually just made C a sunbutter jelly sandwich….and now that is all I can think about.  And the coffee.  But that is right on the counter….I cut off her crusts….and they are just sitting there…and I want them…..so I ran to the computer fighting tears and wrote this.  I feel better now.  Whew!

My soup was made a day after roasting the chicken.  JD made stock from the leftovers, and we had some really good broth to start with and leftover chicken.  I added more carrots, onions, and butternut squash and WOW.  I steamed the carrots and butternut squash with a bunch of thyme, and then added it to the broth and let it cook for awhile.  I used garlic, ginger, paprika, dill, rosemary, salt and pepper.  It was amazing.  So so so good.  I am good at making soup, but this was a step up.  All because I had to go away from my staples of either beans or potatoes.  I have never eaten butternut squash before, but we got one on a whim at the store.  It was cheap, and we are roasting another third of it with a pork roast right now and will have more for this weekend.  New favorite produce!  I love fall!

Day Two. 29 to go.

I’m in the middle of day two.  Chicken is roasting.  I know that will help with tonight and tomorrow.  Because the kids haven’t been letting me sleep this week, JD let me go back to bed this morning when he got up, and I slept until almost 11am!  I missed breakfast.  Which is vitally important or something like that.  So for lunch (because JD forgot to take his leftovers to work last night…like always),  we split the leftovers and each had a steamed egg and half a green pepper.  He had some spinach, but I had a bunch last night so I passed on that.  Now I’m drinking my coffee with a touch of coconut milk (mostly for the nutrients in the coconut milk) and I am so glad we decided to forgo the “no coffee after noon” rule.  We decided no coffee 8 hours before bed was better.  We have long days, and two kids, and sometimes its that extra cup that really helps us move.  This Whole30 thing is hard, but I already feel better.  Ok, so I’m a little cranky, but it’s not as bad as I thought it was going to be.  It would help if I wasn’t home all the time.  There’s a lot of food in this house that we can’t eat, and we can’t change that.  Today I want bread.  A big loaf of sourdough or french bread with garlic and lots of yummy spices.  I would eat a whole loaf right now.  I want to.  I am very thankful for this blog.  It helps me know I have a place to vent and a distraction from my cravings.

healthy snack ideasFor a snack yesterday, I had a handful of cashews and a handful of pomegranate seeds.  SO good together.  I’m not a big nut fan, I could live my life without eating them at all, but in this thirty day period I think I am going to need something acceptable to snack on.  I allow myself one snack a day, basically a mini-meal.  If the kids are eating a snack, and I want what they are eating, it helps to allow myself this so I won’t do something off-program.  It has to have protein in it, and it would be good if it had veggies too.  I’d like to find a kind of dressing/dip I could make for carrots and green peppers that was dairy free and had good fat in it.  I would enjoy that.  That’s on my list for today.

Last night I had a salad because I didn’t know what else to make.  All of our meat was frozen, I wasn’t thinking ahead I guess.  I planned out a meal a day, but didn’t think about when it was going to be just the kids and me.  I like to fly by the seat of my pants, and planning things out is hard for me.  So I opened a can of tuna, and split it between us three.  I had a lot of spinach, cut up some tomato and avocado and at that on my salad.  I should have put some sunflower seeds on there too, and I didn’t use oil or vinegar.  I am looking forward to making some dressing and some pesto.  Maybe I can make a good dressing and/or dip from avocado.  Yum!  I need some flavor!  I didn’t like the tuna with the avocado or with the spinach.  Next time I will eat it on the side.  But I got my protein and my fat and my veggies, and I drank hot green tea with it.  The kids had the same minus the spinach and plus some triscuits.  C had some more pomegranate.  She loves them, but E only throws them across the room.

Tomorrow I am making soup…lots of chicken and onions and carrots.  Not sure what else I could put in there yet.  Any ideas?

Day One >> Whole30 Hard.

This program is already making me feel like a caveman.  I want to grunt and growl at everyone.  I want to go hunting.  For chocolate.  It’s all because I want something sweet, and I am post lunch.  Even though I had 1/4 of an orange after lunch, which was really sweet.  I want processed sugar in the form of chocolate and I want it NOW.  Buuuut in reality, I don’t feel super hungry, and I feel very satisfied.  I’m surprised because I am only two meals in.  The plan was to start yesterday, but we went camping over the weekend and were beyond exhausted Sunday night.  We had no energy to get to the store and do the major shopping required for this.  So anyway, here’s what we bought at the store for the next couple weeks-ish:

GROCERY LIST

  • 9lbs of 93% lean ground chuck
  • 1 whole chicken
  • 8lbs of pork (JD is skilled at meat cutting, so we buy in bulk.  This made two pork roasts and a ton of chops)
  • baby spinach
  • 5 onions
  • 6 tomatoes
  • 1lb carrots
  • 3 avacados
  • 2 pomegranates
  • 4 bags frozen broccoli
  • 2 bags frozen cauliflower
  • 2 green bell peppers
  • 1 can coconut milk (planning on getting more, but wanted to try cooking with it first)
  • 1 half gallon plain coconut milk
  • 2 half gallons vanilla almond milk (for kids)
  • cashews
  • bananas
  • 2 oranges
  • 2 dozen eggs
  • mushrooms
  • Spanish olives (yuck!  I’m gonna work on liking these!)

All of this was less than $120

It is amazing to me when people say they can’t eat healthy because it is too expensive.  First, because that is just complete bull.  Yes, I will have to go to the store more often, and yes, produce and meat is kind of pricy.  But when you cut out all processed foods (and dairy for us) and prioritize, you can afford it.  When you value your nutrition and factor in price, this is a lot cheaper to get what you need than buying cheap food filled with corn and soy and that is nutritionally deficient.  Calories help you survive, but can’t sustain you and keep you healthy.  Empty calories are worse.

WHAT I STILL NEED

  • shallots
  • ginger
  • more coconut milk in cans
  • grapeseed or coconut oil (whichever is cheaper for higher temperature cooking)
  • granola
  • yogurts
  • good coffee (we can’t have anything sweet in our coffee, so we need good coffee we can drink black…we usually buy this from Whole Foods where they roast it fresh, but usually not a whole month’s supply, just 1lb and that lasts about two weeks)
  • sesame oil
  • sesame seeds
  • coconut amino (I don’t know exactly what this is….)
  • stuff to make mayo, pesto, and curries (still need to plan out some easy, small meals for when JD is gone)
  • sunflower butter (with no sweeteners)
  • frozen fruit (blueberries, raspberries) from TJ’s (can’t beat the prices, and lasts a lot longer than fresh)

We have about $40 left in the meal budget for this stuff

Today we had omelets with spinach, green pepper, mushrooms, and onion for breakfast and Asian Beef & Broccoli for lunch.  JD works second shift tonight, and is taking the leftovers to work, and the kids and I will scrounge tonight.  Not sure what we will come up with.  Tomorrow, we are roasting a chicken and eating that with carrots and onions and a salad of baby spinach with a little oil and vinegar.  Leftovers from that will make soup, hopefully enough for a couple days.  It’s getting cold here, especially today, so I am in a major soup mood.  And I like getting everything in one bowl.  Don’t know what is up with that.  I love to eat out of bowls.  The kids are still eating graham crackers and triscuits and will continue to eat cereal until it is gone.  Then we will get them granola and yogurt (almond or coconut yogurt for E and organic plain for C).  They love that and it is pretty good for them.  I’m not focused on them being on this plan, but I do want to keep their diets pretty similar.  They eat the same foods for meals and love what we eat.  E will eat almost anything anyway, and C is really starting to open up.  The biggest thing that has helped us get our 2 year old to eat green peppers and broccoli and that sort of thing is to eat at the table as a family for every meal and leave cell phones and tv out of the meal.  It’s so awesome!  Even when it is just the kids and me, I love it.  I am focused on them, and I am cutting out unnecessary tv out at the same time.  They seem to benefit from it, and we have only been doing that for a couple days.