Thursday, January 8, 2015

Whole30 Week One

Well, we did it! I'm so proud of Evan and I for completing week one of no dairy, sugars, grains or alcohol. We even hung out with some friends for a game night and brought along a bag of carrots and some fruit to snack on as well as our gigantic mason jars full of fruit-infused water (TOTAL. LIFESAVER.). We're cute. Our friends made wings and had chips and guac and drank beer and snacked on Christmas cookies in front of us and even though we were like, "Oh man, that does look good," we were strong and resisted all of the food (except for the guac because it was safe and we learned that guac + carrots is actually really good). Some days have been harder than others. There have been times when I want dessert so bad I can't even stand it. Evan filled my stocking with my favorite candies and I hardly ate any of them before our diet and so they're sitting in our cupboard taunting me but I am doing good so far. My friend Jamie told me to just brush my teeth when I have a sweets craving. Totally works and that's my absolute favorite piece of advice so far. If I feel like I absolutely need something sweet I have a piece of fruit. A few blackberries totally kicks the need for candy right where it counts. I know the point is to get out of that mindset but I'm taking it easy on myself since this is week one.

Like I said up there, infused water has been the biggest lifesaver! Before doing Whole30, I wasn't conscious of my water intake at all. I would have a glass here and there and even bought myself a nice, fancy water bottle to make myself drink more water. But then I also have an espresso maker and a ton of fancy teas and coffee with cream always sounds like a good idea and water gets pushed to the end of the list of things I want to drink. I can only do so much "plain water" so I just keep a couple of mason jars with fruit + water in the fridge and have been challenging myself to drink at least five a day. They're 32oz so that's 160oz a day, which should have great effects on my skin and overall health. My favorite infused blend is lemon + lime but sometimes I get creative with mint and berries, too.

I haven't had any headaches but I feel like I'm hungry all.the.time and so I made sure to buy lots and lots of snacks--things like apples and almond butter and carrots and little things like that. The other night Evan and I played some games together and we would normally snack the entire time, usually on popcorn. I brought out a handful of carrots and we drank hot tea and we didn't die.

That's the biggest thing I guess, we haven't died yet. Eating better won't kill you. Imagine that.

So, here's the list of food we've been eating over the past week (L to R):
//Sautéed chicken breasts with fresh tomato, avocado and lime.
//Chicken with mushrooms and spinach and sautéed sweet potatoes with salt, pepper and Mrs. Dash.
//Chopped spring mix salad with chicken, cauliflower, tomatoes, almonds and homemade balsamic dressing (recipe below).
//Grilled steak, mushrooms and onions cooked in olive oil and sweet potatoes again (They're so good. I could maybe eat those for the rest of forever).
//Larb gai (recipe below).
//Grilled pork chop with green beans sautéed in mustard and almonds.
//Cilantro lime chicken with green beans again.
//Creamy cauliflower soup (more like mashed potatoes but still good. Recipe here.)
//Chicken tacos in lettuce cups with homemade guac and cauliflower and carrots roasted in olive oil and lemon. 

You can tell that our meals have NOT been boring. They're colorful and flavorful and I'm eating way more veggies which is actually totally weird because I love my veggies but I definitely wasn't getting the proper amount of fresh fruits and veggies before. I thought I would be eating a lot more salads for my main course but as you can see, I ate only one. I am surprised at how diverse our meals were and similar to what we eat normally, just better for us, obviously. But aside from really wanting some pizza and sugar, I haven't been disappointed in any of our food.

Maddox eats everything that we eat but I do give him some cheese and his favorite thing in the world is peanut butter toast ("pea buh" he calls it as he's climbing the shelves of my pantry to get to the jar) but he ate half of my steak and most of my pork chop and like five bowls of that cauliflower soup and so he's not missing our old meals at all.

Balsamic dressing: My favorite pizza restaurant has the most delicious house dressing for their salads (that come with pears and grape nuts [yes, the cereal]). Last time we ate there, their recipe must have been a little off because all I could taste in the dressing was mustard. I never thought I could recreate it because I'm not good at tasting something and pulling apart the ingredients but once I knew it had mustard in it, I knew I could make something similar. So, this isn't it 100%, but it's similar and I could probably drink this right out of the jar.

Equal amounts olive oil and balsamic vinegar. A generous splash of apple cider vinegar. To taste: Salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, dried basil. Generous heaping spoonful of minced garlic. Generous squeeze of mustard (french's is compliant!). I add all ingredients to a mason jar and shake-don't stir. Let it sit for an hour and taste it and adjust amounts as needed. If you aren't ride or die vinegar (like me; I could drink it straight), then lessen the amount. Get creative with it!

Sweet Potatoes: This could possibly be my favorite way to eat sweet potatoes. Heat oil in a skillet and peel and chop the potatoes. Add them to the skillet and stir or toss to coat all the potatoes in oil. Add a little water and cover, cook them for about 7 minutes or until soft. I season them with salt, pepper and Mrs. Dash. They're the perfect side to basically any meal.

Larb Gai: This is actually pronounced "lawb" and it's something I had never even heard of until I saw it on my favorite whole30 instagram (teamwhole, get it), and you can get the recipe here. It's my number one dinner that we've made so far.

Green Beans: Saute green beans in olive oil (and a splash of water for faster cooking) over med-high heat. Once tender, add mustard but don't leave your pan because the mustard will burn quickly. Add a sprinkle of almonds (and parm cheese if you're not whole30) and eat! My favorite way to eat green beans and asparagus.

Roasted Veggies: I love roasted veggies more than any other kind of veggie. We roast a lot of cauliflower around here and I had the idea to add some lemon to the pan. It might have been one of my best ideas because it was delicious. Just toss your veggies in olive oil and spread evening in an oven-safe pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and squeeze some fresh lemon over everything. I like lemon so I tend to be a little heavy-handed with it. Roast at 350 for 15 minutes, or until your veggies are tender.

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