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 28 – Traveling

It was challenging to stick with the Whole30 while traveling.  I made sweet potato hash and egg for breakfast, but our room did not have a microwave.  The mini-fridge was very cold, and my breakfast was frozen.  The hotel had a community microwave, but I don’t think it worked very well because, even after 3 minutes, there were still frozen areas in my breakfast…but I ate it anyways.

I don’t think my breakfast had as much fats as it should, because I started getting hungry about two hours later, so I had some raw cashews to tie me over until lunch.

It was very cold, windy, and rainy, and I decided for lunch I really wanted to eat something warm.  We ended up going to Chipotle, and I had a salad with greens, beef, peppers and onions, and avocado.  I think the protein and fat did a great job of holding me over for a full 4 1/2 hours.  It was a little challenging, since the last time I was in a Chipotle, I had rice and beans, but this meal was still good without the grains and legumes.  We needed to get on the road before the weather turned bad, so this was a good place to go to get higher quality food fast. 

For dinner, I had cold pumpkin soup in the car.  I knew there would not be a place we could stop on the road where I could get a hot meal and stay true to my Whole30 challenge, so cold soup it was.  I liked it much better warm, but it wasn’t horrible.  We stopped at a Sonic, and I asked for a cup of hot water so that I could make some herbal tea (I always travel with my own tea).  It was nice to drink something warm when it was 23 degrees outside, crazy windy, and sleeting.  Again, I don’t think the soup had enough fat in it, because I became hungry three hours later.  So once home, I had a few slices of green apple and some raw almond butter to tie me over.

Not bad for a day of travel.  I ended up eating a few cold leftover meals, but did the best I could under the circumstances.  It really makes me appreciate my cast-iron skillet and having warm meals, especially during the cold weather.  As a bonus, I did not suffer from any travel constipation!

Day 27 – Travel Day

Well, today is the day that we are going to travel for the first time on the Whole30.  I packed my meals for the road and packed some snacks as well so that I will not have to rely on fast food or snacks from a gas station on this road trip.

Breakfast – Sweet Potato and diced apple with ghee and Leftover Meatloaf.  I ran out of eggs and did not have time to run to the store, so leftover meatloaf was my morning protein.  Improvising!  🙂

Lunch – Spaghetti Squash with Meatloaf and Walnut Pesto Sauce.  This turned out really good!  I loved the Walnut Pesto sauce.  It adds so much flavor to the spaghetti squash!  Yum!

Dinner (on the road) – Leftover Pumpkin Soup.  I heated the soup and placed it in a Thermos before leaving, so it was warm for me when I was ready to eat it.  It was interesting to eat it in the dark, but that’s all part of the fun.  Plus, we managed to fit all the food into a small hotel mini-fridge.  Winning!  🙂

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!