Week 4, A Few Days From the Finish Line!

I started on Jan 30th, but I think I’ll keep Whole 30 through this whole week as well.

I’ve learned a few things.

First: the coconut milk and almond milk creamer is tasty and I use a lot less than I did of heavy cream or half and half, so it’s a $$ saver as well.
Second: I seem to be allergic to raw zucchini and yellow squash! Weird, right? I eat it cooked all the time with no problem, but I made raw salads with zucchini and had awful, stabbing stomach pains both times. I wasn’t thinking so I ate just a few slices of yellow squash as I was cutting it up to saute and had the same reaction.

Third: I don’t have to get up and go to the bathroom at night. My unscientific, no facts theory is that some of the chemicals in, well something, were irritating my bladder and causing it.

Fourth: dried lemon slices are awesome in water! I bought a big bag of them – just dried lemon slices, nothing else added – and pop 3-4 in my water bottle in the fridge overnight and it’s nicely flavored lemon water the next day. I use these off Amazon from Sincerely Nuts. Nothing but lemon slices.

And Fifth: unadulterated foods taste really good! Simple meals, not a lot of sauces or gravies*, no fancy shmancy, expensive spice blends, just real foods.

*because pureeing onions, carrots, celery, garlic -whatever veggies you add to your proteins – pureed in the pan drippings make an awesome gravy!

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Week 3 Whole30 and Rocking Along

Slight hitch this week: cravings!

I hadn’t had any real ones so fat, but I had a honeycrisp apple and it really made me want cheese lol.

I white knuckled through it, but it was tough. I had several green olives, and that squashed it pretty well 🙂

I have been using nutpods creamer (whole30 approved and available at netrition.com)but they weren’t quite creamy enough for my tastes. If I am adding cream to coffee (I usually drink it black)it needs to impress me.

The nutpods are good, but I decided to take a crack at it.

I mixed 8oz Aroy-D coconut milk and 1/3 cup Organic Almond Milk (HEB brand) with a pinch of salt and 1/2tsp vanilla bean powder.

Turned out really creamy and had great flavor… and about ½ the price of Nutpods.

I may adopt this creamer outside whole30, it was that good!

I also made a salad with freshly roasted beets(roasted, peeled and cooled, then sliced), red onions, EVOO and balsamic vinegar that was really good.

Another side dish I made was a sort of Riced Cauliflower Salad:

  • I riced a 1lb bag of frozen cauliflower and drained it well, then added:
  • 1 diced large tomato
  • about 6 Kalamata olives, chopped (any olives you like would work probably)
  • red onion, chopped(about 1/3 cup)
  • a handful of chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper AFTER it’s marinated for 30 minutes

Just toss everything in a lidded container, leave at room temp for 30 minutes, giving it a little shake every 10 minutes, then add the salt and pepper as you like, then chill for an hour or two before serving.

I think some roasted garlic, or maybe a garlic red wine vinegar would be good in this.

Snacking on Whole30 or Any Plan

The urge to snack on “not allowed” things can get overwhelming at times.

No matter how much we know it’s not a good idea, our brains can be our worst enemy lol.

For me it’s fruit.

I know fruit is allowed, but I can easily overeat it.

To help combat that, I’ve found 3 herbal teas that really take that sweet tooth edge off:

Choice Organic Teas: Organic Mango Ceylon with Luscious Vanilla

and

Tazo Wild Sweet Orange tea.

Tazo Passion tea is a hibiscus based tea that is wonderful iced.

They all have “clean” ingredients and a nice, fruity taste that doesn’t need sweetener.

Additionally, they’re both excellent hot or iced, making them a good all around beverage (no caffeine, no chemicals).

On the fruit side, I buy organic apples that are small and limit myself to one, if I really want fruit.

An easy way to up that fruity goodness is to dice a small apple, add a teaspoon of ghee and a hearty sprinkle of cinnamon and microwave for 30 seconds until soft. Kind of a chunky applesauce 🙂

Nuts are also easy to overeat, so I make packets and keep them in the freezer.

My “nut nibblers” are: 4 almonds, 3 pecan halves, 3 macadamia nuts and 2 brazil nuts.

It’s not a lot, but the fiber and good fats really do the trick 🙂

Product Review: Safe Catch Tuna

I love tuna. Most canned fish really. Anchovies, tuna, salmon, mackrel, sardines, pretty much any canned fish.

The reason I wanted to post my thoughts on this particular product/brand is because I was surprised by it.

tuna

Ok so. This brand claims to be the lowest in mercury content, which caught my  attention.

Then, as luck would have it, my local HEB grocery store also carries it, so I picked up three cans of the “elite” option.

Out of the can: “Is this cat food?”; “ugh”; “smells weird”; “why is it  a solid brick?” – all this from a tuna lover.

But I’d already bought it, so I might as well try it.

I broke it apart with my hands to get a uniform “flake”, mixed it with my home-made mayo, salt and pepper. Tasted and felt dry. Added more mayo. Meh.

So I stuck it in the fridge overnight and some kind of miraculous change came over it. It was moist, tasty and absolutely wonderful!

So my thoughts: Don’t think it’s going to be a “whip up and eat” kind of tuna. Make it a day ahead of time (or maybe a few hours at least).

The texture is dry compared to other brands. I think this would make a good tuna muffin or tuna cake.

Whole30 Week @ Woo-Hoo

I feel really good.

My appetite is still way down (I am eating meals, but no feel for snacks).

I am sleeping really well.

I am not getting up at night to go to the bathroom. My totally unscientific and without anything to back it up theory is: the lack of chemicals in my diet that irritate the bladder.

I’m making a big batch of Avocado oil mayonnaise this morning and making tuna and chicken salad for this weeks lunches.

I also picked up a really big pork roast that I’m going to cut into two parts and make nomnompaleo.com’s Kalua pork with 1/2 and garlic roast the other 1/2. (Slice about 10 cloves of garlic in half and cut slits all over the roast and stuff them in, salt and pepper and roast it until it’s cooked).

Hope everyone is hanging in there and feeling great!

Filling Brunch-Fest for Whole30

I’ve said, many times, I am not a breakfast eater.

Now and then I do opt for a Brunch(ish) meal around 11am.

This is a completely Whole30 compliant meal-in-a-bowl that is ready in about 15 minutes and loaded with veggies!

This is a HUGE bowl, so split it with a friend if you can’t eat it all lol.

The Brunch-Fest of Champions Bowl

Ingredients:

  • 2tsp fat of your choice (I use coconut oil)
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • ½ a small onion, diced
  • 1 cup green cabbage, diced or sliced thin
  • 1 roma tomato, diced
  • 2oz whole30 compliant ham (I used applegate farms)
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ an avocado (about 1.5oz flesh)
  • Franks Hot Sauce to taste

Heat the cooking fat in a medium skillet and add all the veggies except the tomato.

Saute until they soften  and start to get some browning.

Add the tomato and cook until the tomato breaks down a little (2-3 minutes).

Salt and pepper then add the eggs and scramble them into the veggies. The retained heat should cook the eggs in about 30 seconds.

Dump into a bowl and top with the avocado and hot sauce.

Dig in!

Week 1 Down and Feeling Great! Bonus Carne Guisada Recipe

After the first week of my Whole30, I feel really good.

I noticed bloating and water retention is way down, so are cravings and appetite, like a lot.

I kept my foods very simple: proteins, loads of veggies, a few apples, chicken bone broth, coconut oil, ghee and extra virgin olive oil, home made mayonnaise and yellow mustard, and coconut aminos, along with all sorts of spices.

I know… boring! But it really wasn’t. I was enjoying the flavors of the foods themselves, not all the additives.
For the “Big Game” day, I made carne guisada.

I don’t know how authentic this is, but it’s the way my family and I like it 🙂

Once you’ve done all the chopping, it’s pretty much just simmer and stir now and then.

I made quite a bit because it’s one of those dishes that is better the next day, and the next.

Carne Guisada

4lbs beef roast (I used an arm roast, but chuck is better & cheaper!)

2 large onions, sliced thickly

2-3 whole fresh jalapenos, cut the cap off(leave the seeds in if you like heat)

4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

4 Tablespoons cooking fat

28oz can organic diced tomatoes

28oz can organic tomato sauce

20 oz water*

1 can rotel diced tomatoes and green chilies

1 Tablespoon each: cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika

1 teaspoon each: salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper

4 Tablespoons chili powder(you can add more or less depending on your tastes)

6oz organic tomato paste

Dice the roast.

If you have plenty of time, you can do larger dices because it can simmer for several hours. If you have 2 hours or less, go with smaller pieces.

In a very large pot, heat the cooking fat over high heat and toss in the onions and jalapenos. Fry for 3-4 minutes until they start to brown a little then add the garlic and cook until you can smell it.

Add all the beef and let it brown on all sides, stirring every 3-4 minutes to prevent burning.

Add the spices then stir around, then add everything else except the tomato paste.

Once it comes to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, cover and let it cook from 2 hours to 4 hours, stirring every now and then to prevent sticking or burning.

About 30 minutes before you’re ready to finish cooking, add the tomato paste and let it thicken the stew.

The longer it cooks, the more the meat will break down and tenderize.

The jalapenos will also get very tender so you can break them up with a spoon easily.

Serve it as-is like a stew or in tortillas; over rice or potatoes.

*If you like, you can add 20 oz beef broth in place of the water.

**The next day, put a large spoonful in a skillet and scramble some eggs into it for breakfast!

***IF you cook this in a slow cooker, omit the water and cook on low for 8 hours, adding the tomato paste at the start.

***IF you cook this in an electric pressure cooker, brown everything as directed, and make sure to watch your “fill line”. Cook on high pressure for 40 minutes, natural release for 15 minutes, then add the tomato paste and use the ‘saute’ function to cook it in for 10 minutes.