Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Whole 30 - Day 22 & 23

Ok, there's definitely something to this thing. After the potluck my belly was blargh! And last night we went to a dear friend's for dinner. I snacked on sweet tater chips that were cooked in some kind of veggie oil. Did not sleep well at all last night, super gassy, woke up at 3 am, and grogily got out of bed in the morning with a headache. I will definitely keep cooking with the fats we've been using this month. Of course, it's hard to control what you eat in other places, but since we eat 75% of the time at home, I think it will still be helpful.

Monday's Menu

breakfast: green smoothie and an attempt at sweet tater cakes that failed

lunch: leftover soup

dinner: roasted veggies, salad, fruit, chicken

snacks: clemmie, sliced turkey, olives, sweet tater chips (at a friend's house--not W30 approved)

Tuesday's Menu

breakfast: green smoothie and soft boiled egg

lunch: kale, turkey, avocado salad and an orange

dinner: ginger, chard, mushroom, & chicken soup

snack: frozen cherries, olives

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Whole 30 - Day 19, 20 & 21

Our life has been busy with non food related things so the food program has been in the background. I took two ordination exams on Friday and resisted bowls full of candy. We went to a friend's house for dinner last night and I managed to not eat chocolate cupcakes or mac & cheese. It does get obnoxious to have to communicate with the people who love you what you are and aren't eating. Today we went out with church folks for lunch and tonight we're going to a pot luck.

It's harder to do this when you want to go socialize with people or you have work events that feed you. We are actually considering stopping at the end of January, which will be day 25 for us. We have several social occasions and work events coming up that will involve food that is definitely not on program.

I do think we can see differences in our health, bodies, and energy levels from this challenge, and I think we're going to try and pay attention to the way the foods we add in affect us. As people who lives often center around table fellowship, I'm not sure this way of eating is something we could keep up consistently, but I'm glad we're done it.

Friday's Menu

breakfast: green smoothie and soft boiled egg

snacks: mandarin orange and dehydrated fruit (the one thing they had at the testing site that didn't have added sugar, grains, etc)

lunch: leftover kitchen sink soup

dinner: frittata, salad, and chicken sausage

Saturday's Menu

breakfast: frittata, sweet potato pancakes, fruit salad, apple sauce

lunch: leftover roasted veggie and hazelnut soup

snacks: banana, soft boiled egg, chocolate cherry mousse, mandarin oranges, frozen cherries, coconut butter (my attempt to make this didn't work out that well, it was super grainy--I guess some thing really do require a vitamix)

dinner: shredded pork and carrot sticks

Sunday's Menu

breakfast: green smoothie and soft boiled egg

lunch: salad with grilled chicken and grilled veggies

snack: mandarin orange and some prunes

dinner was a potluck and we can't be sure of the sugar content in the things we didn't bring. I ate: ham, turkey, roasted veggies, curried cauliflower, salad (scooped trying to avoid the crunchy noodles and cheese), and mixed fruit

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Whole 30 - Day 18

it's a hungry all day kind of day... probably because I'm supposed to be studying.... Also because I'm tired of leftovers... Also because I really want some gooey, melty cheese, and maybe a toasted hunk of a baguette. Nothing we're eating tastes like that.

Today's Menu

breakfast: green smoothies

lunch: leftover moussaka

snacks: toasted pecans, a few prunes, a boiled egg, some of that delicious coconut-chocolate-cherry-banana mousse (yes, I made more)

dinner: kitchen sink soup (veggie broth, carrots, onion, celery, rutabaga, tomatoes, chicken sausage, kale)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Whole 30 - Day 17

I'm tired when I don't eat enough protein. Also, I had to pick up a lasagna for our potluck that had been given in someone's honor. Driving with a hot lasagna and loaf of fresh bread was tough, especially as I'm still experiencing cheesy bread cravings... but I didn't cave, so there you go!

Today's Menu

breakfast: purple smoothies

lunch: leftover soup

dinner: tonight was church pot luck. we brought salad with apples, dried cherries, pistachios, almonds, and tuna. Also ate a deviled egg, ham from a ham biscuit, broth from a bean soup, and a few pieces of fruit. Hey, you work with what you have.

snack: a clemmie, a handful of nuts

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Whole 30 - Day 16

All day I've been craving a grilled cheese sandwich and I wouldn't mind following it with a warm from the oven chocolate chip cookie. I love dairy and bread-y type things, it's true. Still, eating this way seems to be good for me-- my pants fit better, I'm not hungry between meals, I find myself feeling less fatigued. Still, on February 6, I think I'll eat a grilled cheese :)

I do notice that not eating much protein at breakfast and lunch made me headache-y this afternoon and I had difficulty focusing. Interesting thing to notice...

Today's Menu

breakfast: green smoothies

lunch: leftover hazelnut veggie soup topped with almonds and prosciutto

snacks: marcona almonds, an orange, warmed coconut milk with cocoa powder

dinner: moussaka

Monday, January 21, 2013

Whole 30 - Day 15

Today's Menu

Breakfast: Purple Smoothies and soft boiled eggs

Lunch: leftover mousakka, paleo apple crisp

Dinner: Soup (roasted acorn squash, cauliflower, onions, carrots, garlic, apples, and hazelnut butter) with a sprinkling of sausage

snack: a clemmie

Whole 30 - Day 13 & 14

Saturday's Menu

breakfast: Civilized Caveman's paleo pancakes, fruit salad, scrambled eggs

lunch: leftover beef stew

dinner/snacks: leftover burgers and baked sweet tater fries

Sunday's Menu

breakfast: green smoothies

lunch: leftover stew/soup

dinner: paleo mousakka

snacks: chocolaty banana cherry coconut frozen goodness, clemmies

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Whole 30 - Day 12

Snow and two power outages will slow down a blogger... this was the day we were both longing for bread and sweet treats.

Today's Menu

breakfast: green smoothies and TGIPaleo's fluffy paleo pancakes (These were more like egg cakes, tasted like fried bananas, and were nearly impossible to flip. Finally, at the end, I let them cook on the first side longer and that helped.)

skipped lunch as we ate breakfast late.

snacks: clemmies and marcona almonds

dinner: burgers made with belmont's butcher's blend, caramelized onions. cooked mushrooms, homemade bar-b-q sauce, and baked sweet tater fries, a yummy dessert (in the blender I tossed cold coconut milk-most of the water removed, a ripe banana, cocoa powder, and frozen cherries in the blender--it was soooo good, and the rest is now in our freezer!)

Whole 30 - Day 11

Well, I kind of forgot to do lunch as I woke up late, ran all my errands in the middle of the day and then spent an hour prepping beef stew, so I was just a snacker. I will say that I love love love going to Belmont Butchery to buy meat. Tanya, the butcher, is awesome. She's answers all kinds of questions, explains every possible method for cooking something. I'm a big fan of her and her butcher shop. Another one of those I *heart* RVA moments.

On a completely different not, I'm craving chocolate like nobody's business. I swear whole foods was forcing the smell of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies through their ventilation system! This is a good reminder for me that desserts seem to be my food addiction (and go to comfort food). When we're done with this whole thing, I hope I don't crave them in the same way, even though I'm sure I'll still want to eat cookies. They're just so good. But hey, I can do anything for a month.

Today's Menu

breakfast: purple smoothie and hard boiled egg

lunch (jess): salad with tuna cakes

snacks (noe): 2 clemmies, some almond butter, half an avocado

dinner: beef stew and salad

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Whole 30 - Day 10

Today's Menu

breakfast: green smoothies and a hard boiled egg

lunch: salad and tuna cakes (tuna, carrots, onions, egg, paleo mayo, coconut)

snacks: banana and clemmie

dinner: salad with yesterday's chicken, toasted almonds, roasted beets, olives, and apples

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Whole 30 - Day 9

some food and body thoughts from noe...

my belly was angry this morning... it's either a bug (with the encouragement of our administrative assistant I decided to work from home, just in case) or something I ate. I was able to eat something at every meal today, but there continued to be an uneasiness in my belly. I find these kind of days to be frustrating. As the day has continued, I do really think it's a food reaction and that the puniness that followed was me failing to catch up to good hydration.

So other than being sick this morning, how am I feeling after the first week of this food challenge? Pretty good. My sinus congestion, while still present, seems to be lessening. I haven't had any headaches. I'm full between meals. I'm sleeping more soundly. I have identified my cravings for sweets (specifically chocolate and cookies) and have realized I'm never actually hungry when I crave those things--weird--it's totally connected to my emotions or boredom. (does anyone else eat when they're bored?)

I don't think eating this way is very difficult when you can cook for yourself. We've had plenty of tasty meals and they actually don't require a slice of bread to be complete. Who knew?! I do think if we ate out more I'd struggle with this challenge. I hate being the person at the table that asks a million questions. I wish menu's had to be written out with nutritional and ingredient information the way grocery store labels are. oh well...

Today's Menu

breakfast: green smoothie and a hard boiled egg.

lunch: leftovers from last night

dinner: a salad with apples and almonds, roasted beets, and Nom Nom Paleo's Tandoori Chicken (I went the coconut milk route. I didnt have tandoori spices, so i mixed Penzey's singapore seasoning with garam masala--it smelled good)

snack: nut-ola and whipped coconut milk

Monday, January 14, 2013

Whole 30 - Day 8

Today's Menu

breakfast: purple smoothies, nut-ola, whipped coconut milk, and frozen berries
(Noe made a first pass at "paleo pancakes," but they were, umm, kind of gross. . . flavor was nice, but we couldn't get past the texture)

lunch: (Noe): leftover carrot and fennel soup topped with warmed almonds and pancetta, a salad with avocado, smoked trout, olives, almonds, and homemade dressing
(Jess): leftover kitchen sink soup, some carrots, an apple, and an orange (Jess ate on the go before teaching a class, and yes, she's still hungry. . .)

dinner: delicata squash stuffed with apples, sausage, pecans, and kale (it was delightful!!)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Whole 30 - Day 7

Today's Menu

breakfast: purple smoothies, nut-ola, whipped coconut milk, and frozen berries

lunch: salad with apples & toasted pecans tossed with homemade dressing, 2 soft boiled eggs (just on  Noe's salad), leftover soup from yesterday

dinner: Eating Well's Pacific Sole with Oranges & Pecans (I used mandarin oranges and added ginger to to the fish spice, I also used cider vinegar instead of white wine vinegar, ghee instead of butter, didn't have dill, and added coconut flakes to the orange sauce) and roasted broccoli and carrots (coconut oil, salt, pepper, ginger, orange extract, and balsamic vinegar)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Whole 30 - Day 6

Today's Menu

breakfast: scrambled eggs, fruit salad, and a green smoothie

lunch: sauteed mushroom and bok choy (with coconut oil and splashes of sesame oil, fish oil, and coconut aminos), sliced leftover pork, and a soft boiled egg, topped with garlic pepper sauce

snacks: marcona almonds and a manadarin orange

dinner: Roasted Carrot and Fennel Soup (we didn't have basil or marjoram, I used tarragon. I also added a vegetable bouillon cube) garnished with with San Miniato Sausage Meatballs and fennel fronds

The finished product. YUM!
Roasted Carrots and Fennel
simmering with other goodness...

I *heart* RVA

the food scene in Richmond is so wonderful. I am reminded again and again how lucky we are to have relationships with local meat and veggie farmers, grocers, and food artisans.

Today at the South of the James Winter Market I visited:

Frog Bottom Farm for beautiful carrots, eggs, and pork chops (they have fantastic brussels right now, too... but I can't eat them too often because they don't always agree with my belly). I also got to see Lisa and Arlo, which is always a joy. There's a gentleness to this family that I'm so grateful for.

Here I am preparing for the first CSA pick up in the summer of 2009
We've been enjoying yummies from Frog Bottom since Arlo, who's now 3, was in utero. When we were still in school, we traded work hours for a CSA share, and I think this was the beginning of my love for locally grown food. Ill be sad to see them leave our part of the country to head for a farm in NY this spring.

back to my market stops... after holding up the line at the Frog Bottom tables, I popped by Crumptown Farm for oh so delicious red russian kale (it's great roasted, in soup, in smoothies, as salad... one of my favorites!)

and Deer Run Farm for beef soup bones.

....THEN! then! THEN...

I went with friends to check out the new grocer in our neighborhood. Little House Green Grocery had lots of local produce, dairy products, breads, meats, and other goodies as well. They even had oyster shucking demos today, but we passed on that due to my shellfish allergies. I'm excited to know that I can find such goodness less than a mile from home.

Y'all, I love this town. LOVE it. Richmond is a place that grows on you slowly, and once it's rooted in you, I think it may never fully let go. I hope you can explore the goodness here some time soon!

Now I'm sitting in our lovely home enjoying the smell of simmering beef broth and roasting carrots, onions, and fennel. Blessings abound. Goodness overflows. I am filled with gratitude.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Whole 30 - Day 5

an old photo, but the bows
make it so celebratory!
8 a.m.
I should let you know upfront that there may be some cheating today. If that means adding on more days at the end, I'm ok with that. Today I'm 33 and we are going to celebrate, so if a friend brings champagne to the house, I will drink a glass. Please don't judge me, just send me birthday love instead!

10 p.m.
I am contemplating renaming our month to be the Paleo Challenge instead. There's been a lot of drama on the Whole 30 Facebook page and I think they would say we aren't doing whole 30 because of things like smoothies, muffins, or granola. The thing is, tonight when I cheated I was reminded what my food weakness is. I don't eat muffins or pancakes nonstop, I don't crave pizza, I don't swim in buckets of fried chicken. The times I can't help myself are centered around chocolate, cookies, cakes, and pies. I made a paleo dessert for dinner tonight and caught myself sticking my finger in the bowl to test it again and again. Clearly this is where my impulse control flies out the window. So, today we broke our fast from sweet treats and booze (I had one glass of champagne and a sip of a friend's homemade beer), and now I see I need a long break from desserts. In that way, I do feel like we're following the Whole 30, but maybe others wouldn't agree. As a note we both felt bloated and overly full at the end of the evening.

Today's Menu

Breakfast: green smoothie and nut-ola with frozen cherries and spiced, whipped coconut milk (ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, lime juice, banana puree and date purree folded into the whipped goodness)

Lunch: leftover soup from yesterday's lunch

Snacks: marcona almonds and an apple

Dinner: Stone Soup made with friends, a big green salad with fresh fruit, and Paleo Chocolate Banana Pie (recipe below)

Paleo Chocolate Hazelnut Banana Pie

I used the walnut crust recipe from Mark's Daily Apple with a few changes. I used ghee instead of butter. I also baked the crust for 30 minutes because the filling was not something that would be baked in the crust.

Slice a banana and place the slices in the pie plate once the crust has been cooked.

Make Chocolate Hazelnut Ganache (adapted from Aran Goyoaga's Small Plates & Sweet Treats)

Coarsely chop a 6oz bar of 100% unsweetened chocolate (I used Dagoba) and place in a medium size heat-proof bowl

in a saucepan, whisk together:
2/3 c unsweetened coconut milk
1/4-1/3 c maple syrup or honey (I mixed the two)
2 T hazelnut butter (I made hazelnut butter in my food processor, so easy! These tips helped. I didn't sweeten or salt, but I did add a few teaspoons of walnut oil to help it along.)
heat until simmering

pour the coconut mixture over the chopped chocolate and gently stir to combine.

Stir in:
2 t vanilla
1/2 t salt

Pour the ganache into the pie crust. Cover and refrigerate.

Make Coconut Banana Cream

In a blender, liquify:
2 bananas
1 T maple syrup
1 T vanilla extract

Follow these steps from Oh She Glows to make coconut whipped cream in your mixer. Then stir in the banana mix. Refrigerate.

Pipe coconut banana cream onto the pie before serving.

Everyone liked this dessert, even the eight year old!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Whole 30 - Day 4

This morning I made nut-ola (grain free granola) because my beloved really likes to have a bowl of crunchy goodness for breakfast... also, I was excited to find a granola recipe we can use in the future since I have an oat allergy!

I found the basic recipe at Real Food Kosher.  I halved her recipe because I had two eggs whites in the fridge leftover from making mayo yesterday. There are some things I'd do differently if I made it again. My interpretation of the recipe follows:

noe's NUT-ola

In a medium bowl, whisk together:
2 egg whites
3 T date puree (or apple, prune, etc)
2 t extract (almond, orange, vanilla--use your favorite)
spices, 1-2 t each (use your favorite mix... my suggestions include cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, orange or lemon peel, cloves, cardamom, etc)
1 t salt

In food processor, chop to desired size:
2 C mixed nuts and seeds (we had walnuts, pumpkin seeds, pecans, almonds, cashews in the pantry)

Stir nuts into the wet mix along with:
1/4 c dried, fruit (no sugar, oil, or sulphites added)--I used raisins
1/4 c unsweetened, flaked coconut

Spread the mix in a coconut oil greased jellyroll pan and baked at 275° for about 45 minutes.

Stir and re-spread the mix in the pan every 15 minutes, checking it every 5 minutes after it's been in the oven half an hour to avoid burning.

Let cool completely before placing it in a sealed glass jar or container.

Today's Menu

breakfast: green smoothie and paleo blueberry muffin

lunch: kitchen sink soup (everything in the pot but the kitchen sink! well, not exactly... it's the last of the shepherd's pie leftovers, canned tomatoes, turkey stock, carrots, rutabaga, mushrooms, chicken sausage, and kale. YUMMY!)

snacks: earl grey with coconut milk, marcona almonds, banana

noe's dinner: I was driving a friend t the airport, so I had to get creative at a restaurant. The patty of a lamb burger on a bed of greens with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

jess's dinner: soup from lunch, a salad, and mix fruit with grated ginger and unsweetened flaked coconut

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Whole 30 - Day 3

Today's Menu

It's not the best photo in the world, but it sure did taste wonderful. . . 
breakfast: green smoothie and breakfast hash (butternut squash, apple, chicken sausage, toasted pecans, and cinnamon in the frying pan)

snacks: half an apple, a banana, and paleo blueberry muffin

lunch: leftovers from last night

dinner: half an avocado and tuna salad lettuce wraps (tuna, homemade mayo, grainy mustard, s/p, chopped apple, slivered pecans, and dill)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Whole 30 Day 2

Today's Menu

Breakfast: a paleo blueberry muffin and purple smoothie (many of yesterday's ingredients plus avocado and blueberries)

Lunch: leftovers from the bottom part of yesterday's shepherd's pie (plus nutmeg, mushrooms, and kale) with a poached egg and Louisiana Gold hot sauce

snack dispersed throughout the day: mandarin orange, marcona almonds, carrots, a kiwi, earl grey with a splash of coconut milk

dinner: paleo rice via nom nom paleo, oven roasted goodies (ginger, onion, carrot, broccoli, cashews, pineapple, coconut oil, sesame oil, and fish oil), asian inspired baked chicken thighs (recipe below)

Asian Inspire Baked Chicken Thighs

place 6 chicken thighs in a pyrex baking dish (I used the loaf shaped dish)

In your blender, liquify:

1/4 c pineapple chunks
1 small apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
1/8 c diced onion
2 garlic gloves, chopped
1 thumb of ginger, peeled and sliced
1 t orange peel
1/4 c broth
1 T sunflower butter
1 T fish oil
2 T cider vinegar
the juice of 1 lime

set oven to 350°

Pour blender mix over chicken and let rest for half an hour.

Bake 40 minutes, or until chicken is done.

Serve with stir fried or roasted veggies and cauliflower rice.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Whole 30 - Day 1


Today we began the Whole 30 challenge. You cut out a lot of foods that seem to be high intolerance foods for many people and eat what is sometimes referred to as a cave man diet. Basically you eat grass fed or wild caught meat, vegetables, fruit, tree nuts and seeds. No sugar, no booze, no dairy, no grains, no legumes. They also say you shouldn't paleo-ize junk foods, but I'm not really doing that part, I'm mostly concerned about the ingredients. I just think determining what is and isn't a junk food is pretty personal. Like they say you can paleo-ize fried chicken, but not pizza. They are also anti baked goods. Great for them! We're using our own sense to determine what works best for us in this plan.

We are doing this for a couple of reasons:
  • we both know we have different food intolerances and we want to see how an elimination diet will teach us more about the way certain foods affect our bodies
  • we hear it gives you a lot of energy and makes you less sluggish 
  • some people claim amazing health benefits around things like acne, joint pain, ibs, depression, headaches, etc. (we'll tell you at the end if we experienced any of that)
  • we want to be more intentional about the things we eat
Both of us thought it might be a good idea to blog about our daily menu, any changes we notice in energy or our bodies in general, and recipes we discover. So far I've made almond-hazelnut milk (ridiculously easy!) and learned how to soft boil an egg (hard to believe I had to look this up!).

I also learned about paleo baking (technically this is not whole 30 approved, but all the ingredients are, and I think food should be varied, fun, and delicious!) These blueberry muffins are adapted from a Today's Letters' recipe.

Paleo Bluberry Muffins
(this made 6 good sized muffins)

3/4 c cashews
2 T walnut oil
2 ripe bananas
1 egg
1/2 c almond meal
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t vanilla
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t cloves
1/2 t nutmeg
1/2 t ground ginger
1/2 t orange peel 
3/4 t Salt 
1/2 c frozen blueberries

  1. preheat oven to 375° 
  2. grease muffin tins with coconut oil or ghee 
  3. in your food processor, grind the cashews to a fine meal 
  4. add walnut oil, processing until well combined 
  5. add the bananas, processing to a sticky paste 
  6. in a separate bowl, whisk the egg
  7. stir in the cashew / banana mixture and vanilla
  8. stir in remaining dry ingredients
  9. gently fold in blueberries. 
10. spoon batter into greased muffin tins 
11. bake for 15-20 minutes or until done
12. cool completely before storing

  Today's Menu

Breakfast: soft boiled egg and green smoothie (mango, banana, orange slices, ginger, kale, almond milk, almond mush left from creating the almond milk, and parsley). We ate at 9 and I was still functioning at 1:30 (it was a late lunch kind of day).

Lunch: kale salad (with roasted pork, shaved carrots, lemon juice, olive oil, and some chopped, toasted pecans), baked sweet tater half (with olive oil, s/p, cinnamon, cayenne, garlic powder, and toasted pecans), carrot sticks, half an avocado.

my afternoon Snack: a handful or TJ's salted marcona almonds and a banana

Dinner: sauteed kale (with proscuitto, onions, and cider vinegar) and shepherd's pie (ground beef, onions, carrots, rutabaga, s/p, cloves, and a bit of ghee in the pan + steamed, pureed cauliflower,  rutabaga, garlic, ghee, s/p, and nutmeg)