Category Archives: recipes
I am the absent blogger, which really I need to keep up with more for purposes of keeping my weak-willed behind on task. I’ve had some moments of almost sheer panic related to not being able to eat food that is just horrible for me anyway. I definitely have some issues with certain foods, particularly sweets it seems. I fear it may be the amount of fruit I am eating, maybe having that sugar in my system is keeping my body from truly detoxing from the stuff and eliminating those cravings. The constancy of sweet treats on the break table at work has not been helpful either. But here I still am, following my Whole30 protocol. We are over half-way through now (on day 18) and while we are looking forward to drinking some alcohol at the end of this, we are still very much enjoying the food we are eating.
One of the food items that I have been missing greatly is grass-fed butter. I like to cook most of the things we eat in it, and I just haven’t been able to get that nice crispy sear on a steak without butter. We decided early on against buying butter to make ghee (since the amount of ghee I got was much less than I started with) or buying ghee already made (expensive) but I broke down and just bought some organic pastured ghee and am pretty much in heaven now where that is concerned. The steaks are turning out great, the eggs are creamy and buttery, the veggies have become more of a delight to eat, and the sweet potatoes are phenomenal.
Last night’s dinner was ghee explosion, everything was smothered in it. The steaks had that perfect crust (I don’t know what it is technically called, and cooked rare (yum!), I sauteed the shrimp in ghee with some minced garlic, salt, and pepper, and the baby carrots were steamed, then doused in ghee.
After our Whole30 is over I want to make some Shrimp Scampi, which I used to make all the time when I was on the Atkins diet in the past. I want to get some big juicy shrimp for that!
Outside of the realm of food (finally!) I have a pair of New Balance Minimus shoes on the way! I am excited to try them out and have my feet protected while getting the barefoot experience. I prefer to be barefoot and mostly always have. I have extremely flat feet and shoes with high arches (though I’ve worn them a lot in the misguided attempt to correct the problem) just make my feet hurt horribly. I have always been more comfortable wearing very flat-soled shoes (like Chuck Taylor’s and Old Navy flip flops). I have also looked at the Vibram FiveFingers which sound great and one day I will probably have a pair, but I think I am better off not having my toesies all exposed in the beginning. I was very pleased to find out that NB had come out with a minimal shoe and I think they are pretty cute too. Here is a pic of the pair I ordered (for a very reduced price on eBay):
So school begins again tomorrow (EEK!) and I am maybe for the first time not so excited about it. I have generally always loved school, but it has been about 8 years and I think I’m ready to get out in the real world and make money and have my free-time free again. I even have a prospect for an engineering internship with a great company for this coming summer in the works right now so am very excited. By this time next year I will be a full-fledged mechanical engineer with a degree and probably be working a full-time engineering job. Crazy stuff.
But for now the drudgery continues and I am still freaking a little bit on how this diet is going to work during school. We are both going to be very busy with school, as well as working 20-30 hours a week, and cooking every meal sounds very daunting right now. A couple things I want to try to do is cooking a big amount of meat one day so that some main courses will be essentially ready-made for really busy days, and I’m probably going to start boiling a bunch of eggs every week for quick snack/breakfast items for school days. Other than those two ideas, I am sort of at a loss. But veggie sides usually aren’t too much trouble or time-consuming so maybe it will work out well this way, if I keep up with the plan.
As far as exercise, still not really happening yet. Which is OK, we are supposed to be concentrating on what we are eating right now and making sure we don’t slip up. Today is beautiful though so we are talking about taking a bicycle ride up to the university today. I hope it happens, I miss riding my bike! I definitely need to pin down some sort of exercise routing for during school, I will be figuring this stuff out very soon so will have more on it in the near future.
This is getting long, so I will end with all the pictures I’ve taken of our food since the last time I posted 🙂
Of course, as I mentioned in the last post I believe, the ham is not nitrate/nitrite free, which is not Whole30 approved. I have been reading a lot on this pancreatic cancer link stuff with processed meats that has been floating around recently. The study was a meta-analysis of a bunch of other studies that did not control for other factors like obesity, type II diabetes, etc., and is extremely inconclusive. Leave it to the media to start a panic. I will continue to try to avoid processed meats containing nitrates and nitrites because I don’t think that it is necessarily conclusive in the other direction either, but I’m not going to pass out a great deal to get a large amount of food just because it is cured either for the time being.
We have been doing a little eating out and we tried Chipotle for the first time (which only recently showed up in Lubbock). It is pricy but very delicious! We ordered salads the first time, then bowls the second time. It seemed the bowls were much heavier in meat, so we will probably go with those in the future. Exactly the same ingredients, just more meat in the bowl. I had been seeing Chipotle mentioned in the paleo community so had to try it out. We have been ordering online then picking up, but in the future maybe we will try some of the tips on this site: How to eat wild at Chipotle
We made meatza one other time, several months ago. Of course that one had cheese on it. I mixed up the ground beef with salt, pepper, oregano, and some minced garlic and pressed it flat into a baking pan. We sprinkled some sesame seeds on it and baked it til it was just about done. Drained off the grease that smothered it in tomato paste and topped it with diced ham and red onion slices and baked it about 15 more minutes. I think at 350F. It was very delicious!
Another foray into eating out, this was for my hour lunch break from work and I didn’t wanna try to cook and eat in that time. I went through the drive-thru at Rosa’s. It was pretty tasty and convenient.
This was one of our BIG A** dinners, extremely filling. This meal was the first I made after we bought the ghee, so it was also ghee-licious! 🙂 Sauteed green beans and baby portabellos in ghee, steak, and these sweet potato patty things we picked up that we just threw in the microwave and then spread some ghee over and sprinkled some cinnamon on. OMG they are good and I am going to have to fight myself to not buy them anymore, surely I can do it with sweet potatoes anyway. They get really soft and tasted like some sort of pudding. Yum! And we love cantaloupe, especially filled with berries and coconut milk.
This breakfast sausage is nitrate/nitrite free! We also got some other nitrite/nitrate free sausage we are planning on having for lunch or dinner today.
Simple, quick breakfast, my favorite to make.
So as you can see, we have been eating pretty good. A banana with almond butter as become a favorite snack of mine, I try to stick to not more than one a day at the most. I’ve been getting almond butter from the grocery store where they have a machine that makes it fresh from almond pieces. The machine wouldn’t work last time we were there, which made me very sad.
I’ll sign off here. I am sure my attention to this blog will dwindle even further with school starting and all, but I will do my best!
I’ve been busy with work and cooking(!) and have been neglecting to post. The Whole30 challenge continues successfully thus far. I can’t believe it has only been 6 days. I haven’t taken pics of everything we have been eating (I get home from work so hungry I don’t even think about it) but I’ll include some highlights I did photograph.
One new dish we tried was some calf liver we picked up. It was really inexpensive and I always read about it’s nutritional value. I was scared about it but I think I really did give it an honest try and….hell no, not for me. The man liked it and finished his plate so I am guessing I didn’t cook it too badly, it just made me think of feet. I rinsed it the night before and let it soak overnight in lemon juice, which was suggested on many sites and is said to help pull toxins from the liver so yeah, I was doing that and the fact that such an action was needed was kind of scary. We went with the classic liver and onions and the onions did nothing for me. I couldn’t even really eat the rest of my meal, I tried two bites (see, took a second bite, I really tried!) and it just totally destroyed my appetite.
I would say that maybe the only fault so far is the amount of fruit we eat..though I don’t think there is anything wrong with it, I am not sure exactly how much fruit is really allowed. Probably 1 serving a day on average but there are some days like the day we had half a cantaloupe each filled with strawberry/banana/coconut milk smoothie blend. And I’ve been having maybe 1 banana a day, though there was today when I had two and a half (banana with almond butter has been my go to snack when I need something real quick). The fruit is beginning to run low though and thanks to having to pay a copay at the doctor’s office today the money is gone, so the fruit consumption should decrease drastically in the next couple of days. The almond butter is gone too, sad to say. That stuff was good.
We have also had some injuries with some of the foods we have had. I have a blood blister on my thumb from trying to get into some blue crab claws we got for a $1.00 without any tools for the job, and a we both got stab wounds in our hands from trying to pry the coconut meat out of a coconut. It has been fun, I’m sure cavemen got injuring while preparing food and eating it, right? 🙂
The seafood meal was a memorable one, the claws, albeit a lot of effort for a little bit of sustenance, were damn good. We also had salmon steaks (2 for $1.00!) and my sad attempt at coconut shrimp (still tasty!). We had stuffed green peppers one night (first time), stuffed with a mixture of ground beef, onion, mushroom, and tomato and topped with some SF tomato paste mixed with some water for a sauce. We had a roast one night which I sadly let overcook, I didn’t take a picture of it I was so depressed about it.
And one of my favorite things we had were some spicy sweet potato chips with guacamole, I wasn’t sure at first how well they would go together, but we had two extremely ripe avocados that weren’t really good for anything but guacamole or maybe salad dressing, and I had been seeing sweet potato chips online. I smeared the sweet potato slices with coconut oil and seasoned them with salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper and baked in the oven. I mixed the avocado with tomato, cilantro, and lime juice for the guac. I think sweet potato chips with guacamole is one of the tastiest things I have ever eaten. We will definitely be having that again!
I have to get to sleep, work in the morning. Feeling pretty great so far, not too much of the transition period woes, maybe the off and on paleo dieting before this got my body ready for it. I’ve already had people tell me I look like I’ve lost weight and I can tell I look slimmer in my work uniform, so there is definitely some results going on in that department. Can’t wait to see the final (lower) number on the scale on the morning of the 31st!
Still going strong on this Whole30 Challenge thing. I don’t think I have mentioned yet that we purchased some calf livers on our shopping expedition. I have never eaten livers of any sort and the more I think about it the more scared I get. I open the fridge and look at them sitting there in their liver juice, I’ve picked them up and they are squishy. Scary. I will give it a go though, not sure when, but probably soon since eating bad liver is even scarier.
Day Three went pretty good, there were actually some goodies on the break table at work that I could eat (veggie tray) so I had some baby carrots, celery sticks, and sugar snap peas (yom!). I didn’t eat breakfast which is often the case when I have to be at work before noon but I threw a small handful of almonds, same of brazil nuts, a big handful of coconut flakes, and some frozen blueberries in a bag so I would have something if I needed some energy. It was actually pretty damn good, the blueberries thawed up and the juice from them made the coconut flakes all juicy. I am somewhat off and on again obsessed with trail mix and since venturing into paleo-land have been wanting to make some paleo trail mix (I ate a lot of sugary candy-like trail mix before). This was a good start for sure so I know it can be done! I just have to try and keep myself from eating crazy amounts of nuts in a day.
I got home from work and had some of the leftover ham from Christmas (yep we still got some, not much though). I fried it up and then scrambled some eggs in coconut oil topped with some salsa. I love scrambled eggs and meat for it’s simplicity and quick cooking time. I do need to find some alternatives to eggs for breakfasts/quick meals. Probably after my Whole30 is over, I want to give Robb Wolf’s autoimmune diet tips a try. I definitely have a lot of autoimmune issues going on and am willing to try it and see if it helps enough to give up some things. Problem is there are some fairly main staples in my diet on the list, like eggs and onions in particular.
Dinner was AWESOME, rivaling the rib-eye steak and mashed cauliflower from the day before. Boneless pork ribs, sweet potatoes, and salad.
The easiest, best way for us to cook the ribs was baked in the oven, though I would have loved to throw them on a grill. We threw the bunch in a casserole-like dish (?) and seasoned them with salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper and baked at 350F for nearly an hour and a half. They came out really good, tender and juicy. I nuked a couple sweet potatoes wrapped in saran wrap in the microwave to get them kind of tender then sliced them up and cooked them the rest of the way on the stove top with some coconut oil and seasoned them with salt, pepper, and cinnamon. (The man says he is getting tired of cinnamon so I supposed I’ll have to stop going there soon). The salad was just pre-mixed organic spring mix with red onion and tomato added, and tossed in salt, pepper, olive oil, and vinegar.
That was a very delicious and satisfying meal! I was fretting about bbq sauce (I am from TX and am accustomed to bbq sauce with my meat) but I thought the ribs were juicy enough to stand on their own. I tried flitting around the internet for some Whole30 approved bbq sauce recipes, came up with a little, so maybe I’ll try some out here soon.
I am glad to make it past the third day, I find that day three of often the hardest when it comes to a lot of things I’ve experienced. Quitting smoking cigarettes and fasting are two that immediately come to mind. Day 3 for both of those things is torture for me. I wouldn’t say day 3 of strict paleo was torture, the diet coke thing is probably the hardest but it is not like I’m detoxing from caffeine, I drink plenty of coffee and tea. So I only expect it to get easier from here on out and look forward to feeling and looking a lot better!
And even toward the end of day four (where I’m at currently) I already am feeling and seeing some results. The acne I was getting from my stint of sweets and other badnesses at the end of last month has cleared up and no signs of return, I haven’t felt gross and bloated once since starting my Whole30 which is common after eating a SAD meal for me, my energy levels seem pretty good, though I won’t be surprised if they wane during the overall transition, and I just feel mentally happy with myself for really doing this and eating so healthy and knowing that I’m going to see some great results from this.
The Whole30 Challenge began yesterday but it was a a busy day and we usually have dinner kind of late so being a day behind is probably how it is gonna be.
I have not had any diet coke at all since the challenge began which I’m pretty damn proud of. I am doing good with that other than I habitually think about it all the time, like on my way to work, from work, and all of those times I usually would be picking up a soda.
As far as beverages it has been water, coffee, and trying out all the nifty teas we have around here. Coconut milk and occasionally a dash of cinnamon is how I drink all of it (except the water), and I very quickly got used to the lack of sweetness and it doesn’t bother me at all.
Another new experience was making clarified butter (ghee) with what was left of our grass-fed butter (which wasn’t much). I am not sure it was a flying success, I think I should have ended up with more clarified butter, but I apparently have not mastered the skimming of the milk solids from the top. From about a stick I ended up with maybe an ounce or two. I have not checked prices yet (haven’t been to the grocery store that carried ghee yet) but if buying it already done isn’t a whole lot more than butter I’m gonna skip all the work I think. We shall see.
We didn’t really do breakfast, I slept in LATE and the man had to be at work at 6 am. I started working on lunch when I got up though and we had chicken and butternut squash with sauteed onions. I just threw a banana on the plate because after dealing with the squash I got pretty lazy. We don’t have our own oven so I used the microwave and it was kind of a pain in the a**. Poked some holes in it and cooking it for a LONG TIME then painstakingly got the squash out of the shell. I guess I just suck at that or something. 🙂 Part way through I did cut it in half and throw some salt, pepper, and coconut oil on it for the rest of heating. All in all it ended up a pretty filling and delicious meal.
For dinner we had a special occasion meal. Big, juicy rib-eye steaks that I bought to have for dinner on our first day of the challenge, Mashed cauliflower, and asparagus. The steaks were (of course) cooked rare, and this was my first time with mashed cauliflower as well. I think maybe it needed to be steamed a bit longer for the purpose, of course this was done in the microwave in a bowl with a little water in it. I just did 3-4 minute length times until it seemed smooshy enough then went to town on it with a potato masher (no food processor here). I wanted to get the super smooth texture but it ended up kinda chunky, which was still really delicious. I mixed in some of the clarified butter I made, some minced garlic, salt, and pepper. The asparagus was cooked in a pan with olive oil, salt, and pepper. I think I could eat this meal every day!
And of course, with any special occasion meal you’ve gotta have desert! I cut up some strawberry, kiwi, and banana and mixed it all up in some whole canned coconut milk and stuck it in the fridge while we ate. The coconut milk thickened up nicely and I could also eat this every day, all day long. 🙂
So yes, a successful first day on the Whole30. I am looking forward to losing weight during this challenge, and while I’m not going to post my current stats or anything, I will definitely be posting weight/inches lost at the end. I will post my actual stats when I can be super proud of them!
Here is a pic of our Whole30 grocery run. $60.33 worth and it is probably about a week’s worth, if that. We have enough to re-up though. We will definitely have to budget a lot tighter by the end of the month but for now we have some extra cash to put into our food and make it successfully through this challenge.
We are still working on dinner for today (2nd day) so I will just keep with the day behind thing for now. If you are doing a Whole30 Challenge this month (which I know many people are) have a great time, I know I am!