Day 30 – I made it! :-)

Day 30 is finally here!  Victory!  I feel really proud of myself.  It’s like I had to prove to myself that I could do this.  I feel good!  I know I can do challenging things, and I believe in myself. 

Here’s the menu for day 30!

Breakfast – Sweet potato hash with green apple, ghee, and eggs.  I love this stuff and look forward to it each morning!

Lunch – Finished off the pumpkin soup, which was a perfect meal for this cold snowy day.

Dinner – Pumpkin Spice Chicken Cacciatore.  This turned out really good!  I ended up putting everything in the crock-pot this morning and let that do all the work.  I had this over spaghetti squash.  Even my husband gave it 9 out of 10 stars.  Definitely give it a try.  Here is the recipe:  http://civilizedcavemancooking.com/entrees/poultry/pumpkin-spice-chicken-cacciatore/

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I have learned on this journey that I can live without sugar, even dark chocolate.  🙂  The brain fog has improved dramatically!  That has been the biggest benefit that I have noticed so far.  I can think clearer…finally!  I floss more, because real food tends to stick in your teeth.  🙂  I have learned to cook and am getting better at it.  I still have medical issues that I am working through, but feel that my body has really taken well to the paleo lifestyle.  The Whole30 newsletter states that, for some people, it takes longer than others to get that tiger blood.  I will stick with the paleo lifestyle for a while, since I am seeing improvement.  I probably won’t stick to the hardcore Whole30 plan all the time, but I feel this is a great detox and can see myself doing this a couple of times a year, like an oil change for my body.  🙂 

Tomorrow, I may have some bacon, but I feel like for me, sugar is something that I should continue to stay away from.  I don’t want to get sucked back to sugar island by the sugar dragon again.  I have already found a paleo apple spice cake that is only sweetened with green apples to make for myself for Thanksgiving.  I would like something that I can have while others are eating the pies and cakes that come with the holidays.  I have many different health issues that I am working on, some that I’ve had for almost 15 years.  I understand that it will take time to overcome these issues, but feel like a healthy diet is key for me to beat this.  I am encouraged that I have some doctors appointments coming up this week, which will hopefully provide me with more answers on my journey.  I probably will not post every day, but will continue to give updates and share the great recipes that I find.  Thank you so much for following my journey!  Oh, and I believe I need to purchase a fabulous t-shirt to commemorate this achievement.  🙂

Day 29 – One More Day! :-)

I’ll keep this post short and sweet.  It is past my bedtime, and all the traveling has worn me out.  It feels like winter!  We got snow today here in Amarillo, and it is currently 27 degrees outside…brrr!

Breakfast – I heated up the leftover eggs and sweet potato hash (that I did get to eat on the trip since we came home early) in the cast iron skillet.  This dish tastes way better when it is completed heated.  🙂

Lunch – Leftover paleo meatloaf and spaghetti squash with pesto sauce.

Dinner – Leftover pumpkin soup.  Again, this tastes way better when warm.  🙂

Today, before the weather got bad, I planned out my meals for the upcoming week, and we made a store run.  I’m definitely glad I did, as we are getting more snow tomorrow, and I hear the roads are starting to get bad already.  I now feel like I can confidently shop for a paleo lifestyle with ease.  I start with the produce and get all my veggies, head to the meat section for my organic grass-fed meats, on to the free-range organic eggs, and I’m good to good.  I also feel so proud when I look into my cart and see only real foods and nothing from a box or bag.  It’s rewarding.  On the menu this coming week: Pumpkin Spice Chicken Cacciatore and Cabbage Rolls with Tomato and Cranberry Sauce.  Yum!  That’s right, I’m sticking to Paleo for a while.  Maybe not hardcore Whole30, but definitely staying paleo.  I am hoping if I keep up with it, I will get to the Tiger Blood phase soon!  Even though I am not bursting with energy yet, I still have seen many positive changes, more so than anything else I’ve tried, and have a strong feeling that this is what I need to stick with to heal my body.  Stay warm!

Day 26 – Cooking Up a Storm!

Well, I am about to face my most difficult challenge yet on the Whole30…traveling.  We are going on a road trip tomorrow, so I have been cooking a lot to prepare.  I’ve made two servings of breakfast (sweet potato hash with egg), two servings of pumpkin soup, spaghetti squash with walnut pesto, sliced celery and green apples, along with almond butter and coconut flakes to take with us.  Whew!  It takes me longer to prep and pack my food than it does my clothes.  🙂  I’ve come so far, and I don’t want to let traveling get in the way of completing my Whole30.  Everything is finally done and ready to go for the trip.  My meals are packed, I have food ready for me in the fridge when I return, and I even have some dishes in the freezer to eat later.

Breakfast – Sweet Potato Hash with Diced Green Apple, Ghee, Egg, and Cinnamon

Lunch – Leftover Meatloaf with mushrooms

Dinner – Pumpkin Soup

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The Walnut Pesto I made was from the cookbook “Everyday Paleo” by Sarah Fragoso.  You can find it here: http://everydaypaleo.com/grilled-chicken-with-walnut-pesto-sauce-and-warm-arugula-salad/  It turned out really good!  I can’t wait to try it on the spaghetti squash tomorrow! 

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I like to listen to educational and information podcasts about health while I cook, and today I listened to more speakers from The Gluten Summit.  I wanted to share this quote from one of the lectures I listened to.

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I have to admit, after all the cooking today, I was beat.  I did two rounds of dishes, and my sweet husband is now doing the last round for me.  🙂  Eating healthy takes time and energy, but it is an investment in yourself.

 

Dat 25 – A little inspiration!

5 days to go!  I can’t believe it.  It has gone by fast!  Today was a productive day.  We are getting ready to go on a road trip, which means I need to cook some food to talk along the journey.  Today, I made paleo meatloaf and finished the bone broth.  I also cut all the veggies for the pumpkin soup so that tomorrow I can just throw it all in the slow cooker and let that do the work for me.  🙂

A friend shared this video on her Facebook page, and I found it very inspiring and wanted to share it with you!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lp7E973zozc

Breakfast – My Sweet Potato Hash Special  🙂  (sweet potato, scrambled egg, ghee, diced pears, and cinnamon)

Lunch – Finished off the last of the Chocolate Chili.  That was so good, and I am definitely making it again.  It’s my new favorite chili recipe.  http://www.theclothesmakethegirl.com/2009/02/22/my-favorite-chili-recipe/

Dinner – Paleo Meatloaf with Mushrooms Sauteed in Coconut Oil.  Here is the recipe for the meatloaf.  I found it on Pintrest.  http://www.theclothesmakethegirl.com/2009/02/22/my-favorite-chili-recipe/

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This meatloaf turned out very good.  My husband gave it 9/10 stars and ate every crumb.  That’s high praise!  🙂Image

It is very filling.  You don’t need much to fill up.  I love how this recipe includes a 1/4 can of full fat coconut milk.  Yum!  I had my first casualty on the whole30 this evening and cut my thumb while slicing mushrooms.  I made the mistake of dicing a jalapeno without gloves on prior to slicing the mushrooms, so the cut burns.  Ouch!  Looks like I won’t be texting very quickly until this heals.  🙂 

I wanted to add that, while cooking, I listened to The Gluten Summit, which is a series of lectures from my different professionals regarding the effects of gluten on our health.  I was shocked to hear that whole wheat bread has a VERY high glycemic index.  In fact, 2 slices of whole wheat bread will cause a larger insulin spike than eating a tablespoon of sugar or eating a Snickers candy bar.  Wow!  A cardiologist started asking his patients to remove wheat from their diet, and not only did their heart health improve, but they lost weight, their arthritis pain went away, and they felt great!  They blame the diabetes crisis on grains, and the USDA Food Pyramid is telling us we should get 6 + servings of grains a day!  Eat grains with every meal!?!  Is that a conspiracy I’m smelling?  Hmmm….food for thought.

Day 24 – Hanging in There

I have been getting a lot of questions about what will happen when I finish the Whole30…where will I go from here?  That’s a good question.  My doctors want me on a paleo diet long-term, so I will definitely stick with that, but I don’t think I will stay as hardcore as the Whole30 is for months and months.  I feel like the Whole30 is a great way to detox and reset your body, and I will probably do it again from time to time.  But I have to admit, I miss paleo baking, dark chocolate, vanilla extract, and BACON!  🙂  This experience has taught me that I can live without stevia and chocolate.  I always read labels, but this experience has taught me to really scrutinize them.  Before, I would see 0 grams of sugar and think, “No big deal” when looking at lunch meat or breakfast sausage.  Now, I realize that if you really want to go sugar-free, you have to avoid these seasoned meats.  I also learned about carrageenan…who knew they put this in almond and coconut milk?

 

Breakfast – My famous Sweet Potato Hash with Scrambled Egg in Ghee, Chopped Pears, and Cinnamon.  I could eat this every morning.  🙂

Lunch – Leftover Chocolate Chili with Spinach and Avocado

Dinner – Leftover Apple Pork Chops

Today, I also have some bone broth cooking in the crock pot for a delicious pumpkin soup coming later this week.  My fave!

Day 23 – One more week to go!

Wow, I am one week away from completing the Whole30 challenge!  Yahoo!  Today, woke up not feeling so great (female problems), so I have been taking things very easy.  This afternoon, when I was finally doing a little better, I came up with a meal plan for the week: paleo meatloaf, veggie hash with grass-fed beef, pumpkin soup, tuna salad, bone broth, and walnut pesto with spaghetti squash.  I will be cooking a little more this week because we are going out-of-town for doctor’s appointments, and I will need to have meals with me for the road trip. 

Breakfast – My sweet potato, green apple, and egg hash with cinnamon.  I love it! 

Lunch – Leftover chocolate chili with spinach and avocado.  This stuff is even better as leftovers.  So good!

Dinner – Apple Cinnamon Pork Chops (take two, without the burnt parts this time).  🙂  I follow a similar recipe to Sarah Fragoso’s Apple Shallot Pork Chops from Everyday Paleo.  http://everydaypaleo.com/hog-heaven/

I rubbed cinnamon and sea salt on the pork chops, then seared them in a skillet with coconut oil for about 2 minutes on each side.  I forgot to sear them last time, and it really does make a difference in flavor…so worth it!  I pureed 1 apple with a little water and some cinnamon in the blender and put that at the bottom of the crock pot.  Then I placed the seared pork chops in the crock pot.  I diced up two apples and added that on top of the pork chops.  Then I sprinkled more cinnamon on top of everything and left it on low.  This is one of my husband’s favorites!  I love it too!  Pork chops do love apples.  🙂

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I am on the hunt for a fun t-shirt to purchase to reward myself for making it through the Whole30.  Here are some of my favorites so far:

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It’s going to be a tough decision to pick one.  Which one is your favorite?  🙂

Day 22 – More Temptation

My sister was still in a lot of pain today, so I stayed with her this afternoon while my brother-in-law was at work.  I fixed her Frosted Mini-Wheats cereal and milk for breakfast, which meant going into the pantry (of death) and seeing so many processed foods – everything from cinnamon rolls, candy, pop tarts, chocolate, etc.  Sensory overload!  I grab her cereal and closed the door quickly before getting sucked in.  Confession – I used to snack on Frosted Mini-Wheats all the time in college.  For lunch, she wanted leftover pizza.  So hard to put that on a plate for her, and see it, and smell it.  I washed my hands quickly after handling it to get all the gluten off.  Another challenge, she has a scale in her guest bathroom that was tempting me to step on it and see where I am after 3 weeks on the Whole30.  I resisted, but it sure was hard.  Man, this is easier when I am safe in my home, without any tempting “Franken-foods.”  🙂  But, I am on day 22!  I am almost to the finish line and can’t let a Frosted Mini-Wheat or piece of pizza ruin this for me.  I have actually started talking back to commercials and yelling at the TV that the foods they are showing are not fresh, not natural, and not real.  My poor husband…a commercial for Cheerios comes on, and I am yelling, “Cereal is not real food, people!”  Hey, a girl’s gotta do, what a girl’s gotta do.  🙂

Breakfast – diced sweet potato cooked in a skilled with ghee with 2 scrambled eggs, diced pear, and cinnamon.

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Lunch – finished off the chicken and kale stew.

Dinner – leftover chocolate chili with spinach and avocado.

Snack – handful of raw pecans.

Went shopping with my husband tonight.  He’s lost over 50 pounds in 2013 and needed some new belts and pants!  I am SO proud of him!  I was also pleasantly surprised to find that while trying on clothes, they seemed to fit me better.  There was even a t-shirt that I liked, but at first glance, thought it looked too slim for me…but it fit!  So exciting!  My husband says that I look slimmer since starting the Whole30.  I have noticed that the swelling in my abdomen seems better, which is exciting!  I should point out that I am not doing this for weight loss, but for overall health and healing my body after major surgery and cancer.