Whole recap

Well I made it the 30 days!

Today is Saturday and while I do not normally have big plans on weekends, I do try to get out and make the most of a nice day. Maybe a walk is all but still nice to get out. I was feeling bad for not taking advantage of a nice day when I realized “it may be sunny but it’s -20 and over a foot of snow on the ground, take this time to relax guilt free”.

So I took a break from binge watching Riverdale (omg Archie am I right!) to do a little recap on my whole30 month.

I would like to start by just saying I’m really glad I saw my goal through and that right there is the best part for me. Sure I actually did notice some changes but those are the result of sticking to the goal that I set.

One thing that, maybe due to lack of research on my behalf, I learned is the reintroduction phase is an additional 12 days post whole30. I was not going to do them because 12 more days is almost half of another month!! Excuse me but that’s a lot of extra time to sneak in at the end. Then after reading further I saw that those who don’t do it, generally regret it. The idea is to reintroduce one food group back in at a time which I will further detail in a reintro post, but anyway I did decide to do it.

So, anyways I’m in the reintroduction phase right now but thinking back on the month – did it change my life? Not really. I mean definitely not in the way that I read so many people describing. Then again, I started at a spot where I was already making 98% of all of my meals at home and rarely buy lunch. Obviously if you were eating 98% fast food it would have a bigger effect? I did notice changes though, my clothes fit more comfortably and I felt in control. I never even once seriously considered eating something off plan. That level of control did surprise me as I don’t often see or feel it but I had made up my mind this time.

After the reintroduction where I find out if any of the food groups causes  reaction then I will likely continue to eat pretty basic and as I have been the last month with obvious exceptions. Another thing I learned on the w30 website is that Melissa, the blogger behind whole30 says that it’s not meant to be forever. The point isn’t to say I will never eat dessert again. It’s so that you eliminate potential problems from your daily consumption, add them back one at a time, and then going forward you will know that dairy messes up your gut but that it’s your birthday and your friends got you an ice cream cake and you can make the decision of yes, this might effect me but I am willing to face the consequences and enjoy this. No guilt. Move on. (I also just remembered that my sister told me that Dairy Queen ice cream cakes don’t contain dairy…which is weird because ice cream…? So good though right.)

I got a passion planner for Christmas and I just reached the first months end. I love that at the end of the month it prompts me to reflect and write down some answers about the month. I wanted to share what I wrote for
“What were the three biggest lessons you’ve learned in this past month?”

  1. Time passes regardless of effort. This is obvious but what I mean is that if I hadn’t set a goal January would have still flown by and we would still be right here in the same moment now but without any progress or changes. So even if 30 days felt long at times, not doing something doesn’t make time wait or feel longer or anything.
  2. Lots of people who make healthy choices go through phases 100% and 50%. I had been feeling guilty about making good changes a few years ago and then letting the old habits come back. Something I read on the W30 page written by the founder was that she often has to bring herself back and do another w30 when things get a bit out of control – like eating cupcake tops in bed. I realized, oh she lets her habits come back too. Maybe 100% all of the time isn’t realistic and that happens to other people and you just have to find your way back to a place you can feel good about.
  3. Sometimes bending the rules to best fit you and lead to more success is better than trying to do something that isn’t sustainable. This is how I feel about making smoothies on the w30 even while strongly discouraged. I see the point but at some point I needed to analyze and say “is having a smoothie with compliant ingredients really an issue? If I deny myself this, will it lead me to dig in the back of the freezer and find that Christmas chocolate that I froze?” I just found that bending the rules to best fit me, while staying within allowed ingredients was the best way for me to get to the end goal. I did make a pancake but only once and that was a choice I decided was ok for me.

Must get back to Archiekins. Happy snow day !

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Whole30 day 22

Hi again,

I haven’t really made an effort to sit and write once a week like I thought I was going to but here I am, day 22.

Things are going well! I haven’t caved yet and I’m pretty proud to say I’ll be seeing the whole 30 days through. I have also decided I would like to stick to the 10 day reintroduction phase after as well. I have never completed an elimination diet before so I figure this is as good of a time as any to see if reintroducing each food group one at a time will bring any issues to my attention.

Rob was home and just left yesterday and he was an awesome help. He and I stuck to the plan for the 10 days he was home and absolutely knocked dinners out of the park. We made some of the best dinners we’ve had in SO long. It was really nice to have his help even though he’s not participating in a whole30. We were able to customize our meals while both eating a super healthy dinner for example, we made zoodles and turkey meatballs and he had cheese on his, while I did not. We also got out for some good walks and some outdoor skating too!

As of right now on day 22 I’m feeling good but not magical. Reading a lot of other whole30 posts I see what people describe as “tiger blood”, like a rush of energy that magically fills you with an unstoppable power… YA NO. Not feeling anything coursing through my veins. I feel good in the sense that I’m super happy that I’ve stuck it out, tried new recipes, survived not eating cheese while watching Rob eat cheese…. but I don’t really feel THAT different. Maybe that’s good, maybe that means I didn’t have too much to detox? I don’t think that’s the case but possibly because it takes the better part of the 30 days to even feel anything. I have heard the last 5 days are when you feel the best.

I also encountered my first social outing and challenge. This was kind of hard but thankfully the menu had a lettuce bun burger and I didn’t have to feel weird creating a non menu item. I got the lettuce bun burger with no cheese, and only mustard as a condiment and all the toppings – tomato, onion, pickle. It was decent! The hardest part was trying to pretend like I wasn’t dying inside while everyone was eating mosaic dip… I also felt a bit awkward explaining why I was getting a lettuce burger, like it feels like it comes off as snobby almost… which I was not intending but I could see how it might sound like it when I’m saying I’m not eating certain foods that they are about to eat. I guess there’s one positive of having a very minor social life, one outing in 30 days is not bad.

Work has been really tame too. Normally there is a weekly announcement that so and so brought 3 boxes of doughnuts and they’re waiting to get eaten, or some type of celebration or even potluck. Nothing so far which is a relief! My appetite is picking up again but I’m definitely not as hungry as I felt before. I guess maybe my food is fueling me better and longer? Hard to say.

Rob and I sorted through both of our dressers, our stored summer clothes and all of our closets this past weekend. We donated 3 huge garbage bags of clothes to Salvation Army and 1 to the garbage. That felt awesome! We try to go through our clothes every season change but sometimes get a bit behind. I feel like with the elimination diet and clothes, I’ve been purging a lot of useless things in my life and that feels super refreshing.

I’ve also sort of realized that I’ve bent the rules slightly a few times. Apparently after the first 4 days you’re not supposed to snack AT ALL. Not going to lie, I’ve snacked and I’m ok with it. Sure it’s good to make it to your next meal but if I’m at work starving and it’s 10 AM I’m ok with having an apple to tie me over until lunch. Which brings me to my next point, I guess it’s strongly encouraged NOT to have fruit on it’s own, I suppose it’s a replacement for a sugar craving… again I do not feel the least bit of guilt for snacking on apples oranges and bananas. Smoothies are discouraged as well, but I’ve made a few. I had a banana with nut butter after dinner last night which is frowned upon because it’s like replacing dessert, but hey I still stuck to the food groups allowed and got to have some give. The biggest rule I’ve broken is I ate banana and egg pancakes which is only 2 ingredients, both compliant ingredients but apparently is a huge NO. Like the transformation of the two ok ingredients into a pancake is a huge debate and hot topic and is a strict NO on the site. Rob got frustrated that I said I couldn’t have it but then I decided that I would. For me, pancakes are not an issue I MIGHT have them 1 time a month, and I didn’t cheat and put syrup on them.  I stuck with compliant ingredients but I guess i didn’t follow the spirit of whole30 for that choice.

I’m pretty certain a lot of these rules are for people with really hard to break eating patterns. Someone who ate pancakes daily before starting whole30 isn’t going to make good changes if they create a new pancake to eat daily. For myself, I do not feel like it negatively impacted my mindset. I technically did break a rule but I feel like it’s more of a “spirit cheat” than an actual cheat. I stuck with compliant ingredients but I guess i didn’t follow the spirit of whole30 for that choice. Not losing sleep.

8 more days to go! I will see how I’m feeling at the end of next week and maybe I’ll be feeling the magic by then. I will also lay out the reintroduction phase because I think that will be hard. I’ve made it this far and I want to avoid just binging at the end. I want to see if something surprises me when I add it back into my life and then after that I can conscientiously choose if it’s worth eating.

Some of my fav eats:

Happy eating!

 

Whole30

Hey again!

Just wanted to make a post about my experience with the Whole30 food program. The way I’m going to set up this post is I’m going to make a contribution a little at a time. This way I’m going to be able to speak truly to how I”m feeling at this moment versus “ya I think week 1 was good”.

So – what is Whole30?
It can seem a bit extreme but keep in mind the 30 stands for 30 days. In the whole scheme of things 30 days is super temporary, but can still feel super long when you’re counting days.

Rules –

  • No sugar
  • No dairy
  • No alcohol
  • No legumes *
  • No grains

*although green beans and peas are a legume they are allowed. Also some people, including myself, are surprised to learn that peanuts are a legume (not a nut??) so this means no peanut butter too …

So…what can you eat?

  • Protein in many forms ~ red meat, poultry, seafood, eggs
  • Nuts & Seeds
  • Veggies!
  • Fruit
  • Good fat (coconut oil, ghee, olive oil, avocado oil)

Check out a much more detailed list of rules and tips here -> Whole30

You might be wondering “what’s the point”? well good question. Yes although it is January and a typical time for getting healthy and setting goals. I jumped on the bandwagon and decided to set some goals. This was a way for me to challenge myself and have set instructions. I find that I do cook similar to this on a regular basis but of course and not attentive to the things in sauces, I like drinks, dessert all that. I am in NO WAY committing to never eating those things again!! It’s simply a 30 day kick start. I just wanted to clean things up a bit and then adjust going forward. Sometimes I’m a bit of a rigid person in terms of black and white. I need yes or no, instructions and clear rules. That is why I decided to do a program versus just telling myself “ok, let’s eat healthy” because what does that even mean.

The crazy thing is I”ve tried to do things like this before without a program and I slipped up right away but this time I am not even considering a slip. I think it’s definitely a switch in mentality which in my opinion is the biggest hurdle to a goal. I realized a slip up isn’t you physically slipping your face into a pizza. It’s a choice. I’m choosing not to slip up and I’m really sticking to that (for once!).

Also I say program but really it’s 100% free. You can of course buy books, plans, sign up with a meal planning company or whatever but to do whole30 there is no membership or purchase required. There are facebook support groups, thousands of recipes on instagram, pinterest, tumblr, blogs, google. The internet is a wealth of information!

I have been planning whole30 January since October lol… that’s pretty much how much time I needed to mentally prepare…sort of kidding. I did a trial run in November except my good friend Justine came to visit me and I wanted to out for drinks and dinner and lattes and not be a downer like “hey I know I said I would show you that bakery…can’t no sugar no dairy”. so I went into that trial knowing I was going to half ass it and then give up entirely. And give up did I ever – that month was exceptionally busy in the work treat department. Then I knew to not even test December – I was going home for Christmas and I was going to eat stuffing god dammit. And chocolate. And booze. And everything.

So here we are, January.

Week 1:

I got back from my ten day trip home on Sunday the 31st and had the 1st off. I decided to officially start on the 2nd because when I returned I had zero food and I needed a day to prep and get ready. Plus it’s not whole31 ammiright?

Honestly so far it’s going surprisingly well. Did I push it too far in Nov/Dec and I’m finally like omg yes health food, or am I just sick of saying I’m going to follow through with something and then falling through? That being said I think if you were making a RADICAL lifestyle change like going from not cooking and eating out/fast food everyday to this extreme and cooking every meal than I think it would be super challenging. Luckily I am versed in the kitchen and actually enjoy cooking and making new things. I still think it’s possible for someone new to do it.

I haven’t had any intense cravings this first week thankfully. I have had a few general cravings for dessert, they always hit me at the same time – after dinner when I’m not ready for bed yet but I’m winding down probably relaxing and watching something on Netflix. Normally I would stuff my face with a family sized bowl of popcorn – I do still stove pop it with coconut oil and pink salt but still I can see how that is problematic. I also do crave coming home from work and cracking a cold Aprikat beer or having some wine / drinks with a friend but I did want to really pay attention to this because I find it easy to just get comfortable with having a beer every night after work or you know drinks at brunch on the weekend whatever it may be. I find I lean on it a bit much and I just really like booze.

Here are a few of my pics from the first week:

Yes, you can eat bacon BUT you must read the ingredients and make sure it fits the rules. If you see sugar or some other non compliant ingredient it’s a no. It’s possible to find the foods you want to eat that are compliant but you have to look harder probably go to a new store and READ THE LABEL!

Take extra caution on things like sauces and condiments. Ketchup is LOADED with sugar and so are most salad dressings. And “low fat” dairy products – I just want you think about what dairy is. It has fat in it. We need fat to function, not from dairy specifically, but in general our brains run on fat (think salmon, avocado, nuts). When you take a product with fat in it and make it “90% fat free” you are no longer left with the same product. So I would say there aren’t any low fat dairy products that are whole food. Dairy is excluded for the full 30 days but still.

Some tips I would suggest is having enough food. Just because it’s healthy doesn’t mean we are going to be starvings ourselves. The point of this isn’t strictly weight loss – if you do it strict for 30 days you might find you do lose some weight but it’s really about learning to read labels, changing your relationship with food – learning to eat for fuel versus pure hobby, and to feel your best. Actually you are only allowed to weigh yourself on day 1 and again on day 30, that’s it. So you’re used to having an egg and toast in the morning and you’re wondering how you’re going to make it? Try having 2-3 eggs and no toast.

Some snacks I have found helpful to have around.

  • mixed nuts
  • lara bars (read the label, some are compliant some are not)
  • pureed fruit&veg pouches (yes it’s baby food)
  • fruit
  • veggie sticks & guacamole (wholly guacamole is compliant)

You will find that a lot of Americans doing the whole30 have access to WAY MORE food options. There are a lot of American companies that create whole30 foods. These products are often not sold in Canada or super difficult to find. I found that really disappointing at first but then I realized you don’t need any pre made products to make it. These are simply a crutch and are almost besides the point of the program but hey it doesn’t matter. I also find living in a big city I have wayyyyy more options than if I were living in CR. This weekend I’m going to check out a store that I found out sells some of the items I was looking for online right here in the city.

I feel good so far. I haven’t really noticed a ton of changes yet as it’s only been one week. Except I have found my skin to be quite clear. This is great. It could also have something to do with the new toxic free makeup and face wash I bought from Beauty Counter <- check out my review.

I haven’t been very hungry the last two days. I didn’t eat all of my lunch and wasn’t very hungry after work which are both unusual. I have however had enough energy to make it to the gym in the mornings. I haven’t had any “detox” symptoms like headaches or raging which is nice.

This was a huge rambling post but hey I will check in again in one week! I hope if you guys set any goals, that you are kind to yourself. Sure it sucks when we make mistakes or don’t stick to our goals but think about why you’re making those goals. When it comes to eating it’s not just 30 days and then done, it’s a lifetime event. We eat every day and will for the rest of our lives. So if you make a mistake, just start over because it never ends.

Happy New Year!!

 

Asian style slaw 

This simple recipe was surprisingly amazing!! The dressing was really incredible. It would be delicious on so many things.

Dressing:
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil (key)
1 tbsp almond butter (can use peanut or other)
1 tsp sriracha
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 large grated garlic cloves
dash of salt

I combined the dressing ingredients into a mason jar, shook and set aside.

For the salad you could really add whatever you like. You could also use a pre-mixed coleslaw package for convenience. Carrot and any other veg would be a good addition too.

Cabbage
Red Pepper
Cilantro
Green Onion
Cashews
Dry Roasted Edamame (super good)

The edamame is a delicious crunchy salad topper! I recommend slicing the veg skinny lengthwise instead of chunks.

I was honestly surprised how delicious this salad was. Absolutely will make again. Very easy to whip together but could impress a guest, especially when they know you made the dressing! Could make a full meal by adding a protein or have as a side dish.

Enjoy!

Hi!

Well it’s only been about 6 months since my last post.

You know I take that as a good sign. I originally created the blog because I was bored out of my mind and now free time is awesome!

Since finishing school I’ve been working and honestly things are going so well. I really love my job as a legal assistant with the government. My schedule is ideal and I have a strict routine now. I work Monday to Friday, come home and make dinner, rest and do it all over again. I also have a good a decent social circle now with some awesome ladies.

Things are really falling in to place. Rob and I are both excited for our upcoming plans that I hope to share in the next few months! I will also be making an effort to post more recipes and check ins! 🙂

Thanks for sticking around,

~Katie~

Sweet & Sour Pineapple Stirfry 🍍

For the sauce I blended a chunk of fresh pineapple with my emmersion blender, 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 2 tbsp tamari. You could use canned pineapple instead and use the juice of that.

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Into wok at high heat add chopped pineapple (the canned if you used it). After 1 min add cashews.

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After another min add in green onion, jalapeño, garlic, fresh ginger.

IMG_0252After everything gets toasty, add in a bunch of snap peas cut lengthwise.

IMG_0253 Pour in the sauce and let it come to a light boil. Your choice of rice or noodles, I made rice.Top the rice with the sauce and veg and garnish with a variety of sprouts. Squeeze a lime over everything and dig in!

Yum!! Can add chicken or other meat or leave it veg!

Burger Buns

So this is a great recipe for anyone trying to avoid grains or just wanting to test out an easy new recipe that allows them to make every part of their meal! Super quick. Recipe found on pg 296 of Paleo Takeout.

In food processor blend all ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/2 almond flour
  • 1/4 cup hazelnut flour (I just use more almond flour)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp apple cider  vinegar
  • 1 tbsp fat of choice
  • 2 eggs beaten

Once all ingredients are pulsed into an even mixture, spoon it into rounds on a parchment paper covered baking sheet. Makes 8. They will rise, so thin circles will do.

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Bake 14 minutes at 375.

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We make Thankgiving burgers with turkey patties, cranberry sauce, mayo, avocado, red onion, white cheddar, spinach, tomato, and yam fries. So. Good.

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Creamy broccoli chicken pasta

Yum this was a delicious comfort food dinner that made a huge pot of pasta that will last me a few days of leftovers! 

For the Alfredo sauce you will need:

  • 3tbsp butter
  • 1 shallot 
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg 
  • Salt/pepper

Melt butter. Add shallot and garlic, saute until soft. Add the cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Keep on low heat to gently simmer while you prepare the rest of the dish – about 20 minutes total. 
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Cook a chicken breast, slice into strips and set aside.

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Add about 10 sliced cremini mushrooms to the simmering sauce. 

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Cook pasta or choice. I used a rice and veg pasta. You can use whatever you want, regular, rice, zucchini or squash noodles. Depends on what you’re feeling. I wanted the true pasta comfort feel. Add to the sauce once cooked.

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Add the chicken and about 2 cups of broccoli.

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Mix in a cup of finely grated asiago or Parmesan. Stir until melty. 

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Enjoy! 🍴

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Healthy Pumpkin Pie & Pie Crust 🎃💛

This year is the first time I will be making a full Thanksgiving dinner myself! I will probably make a follow up post with some other dishes I make for this occasion. Although we are not having Thanksgiving dinner until Monday when Rob gets home from work, I had some free time today and decided to make -> Apple Bacon Butternut Squash Soup <- (an absolute favorite) and this pumpkin pie which is a very first for me. By the looks and smell of it, it will no doubt be amazing.

I found this recipe duo on this blog I just found Elanas Pantry.

Ingredients you will need:
Crust:
2 cups almond flour (not meal)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons coconut oil (room temp)
1 large egg

Pie Filling:
1 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
3 large eggs
1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
1/2 cup honey
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 sea salt

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Add the almond flour and salt and pulse in food processor.

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Add coconut oil and egg and blend in food processor until the mixture starts to stick together and forms sort of a ball of “dough”.

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Press the dough into a pie dish. It says 9 inch and I believe mine was but I wasn’t 100% sure the diameter. It worked out fine. I took my time to press it out to ensure it was even and therefore would cook evenly.

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If at this point you just want to use the crust for something else or a different pie recipe you can bake at *350 for 8-12 minutes. If you are using this crust for the pie recipe below skip this step and bake all at once as the last step.

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Add the pumpkin puree and the eggs and pulse together in food processor. Then add in coconut milk, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and blend well.

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Pour the pie filling into the unbaked pie crust. You can then use a fork to press the edges of the pie for appearances if you wish.

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Bake the pie and crust in the oven at *350 for 45 minutes.

It smells soooooo good!! Wish I could eat it right now but have to wait 2 days 😦

Once the pie has finished baking allow to cool fully and then refrigerate for 2 hours so it can set.