Saturday, August 16, 2014

Well - Whole30. I didn't finish it.

One of the hardest things about the Whole30 program is it is either all or nothing.  I felt, for sure, that this is what I needed to get me back on track after the summer splurges.  HOWEVER, after 10 days I realized it was not.  With the fear of failure, I set out to do this.  And I failed this Whole30.

I made it to day 10.  Days 2-4 were really tough - I was tired, I wasn't hungry, but I had the junk clearing my system and I knew what positives were coming.  Day 7 and 8 I had the energy I wanted back!  The aches and pains were beginning to subside and I didn't want to sleep all the time.  This is what I wanted all along!! I knew I could do it again!

Then came Day 10.  I made a choice to have a bit of wine with my friend and her extended family.  I didn't eat crazy things, I didn't drink a whole bottle.  I had a tasting and a few sips more.   And socialized and it was fabulous.

I don't think I needed a Whole30 to get me where I needed to be.   Instead I needed to commit myself to planning meals, food choices, not eating or drinking out of boredom or habit.  I needed to know that those choices give me the good feeling and energy I needed.  I needed to know that I can do this again without going crazy - that I'm not completely out of control.

So I came home, after being out with friend...and I made a healthy dinner.  And the next day, I got up and made all healthy choices and I've continued that.   It isn't that I won't be compliant or that I am a failure, but instead, I learned what lesson I needed to learn.

I failed at this Whole30, but I'm not a failure.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


One of the recipes I have read most about in this Paleo world is Zoodles!  "Noodles" made from zucchini!  I always had an excuse (I didn't buy the spiralizer, I didn't have the vegetti, I can't cut them thin enough)

Last week I saw an article about using them with a Julienne Peeler.  BINGO!  My mandolin (a $3.99 mandolin from Aldi) has a julienne attachment.  I cut a medium size zucchini with this attachment and then boiled for just a few minutes in water and lemon juice.

Last night for dinner I had two pieces of cracklin chicken, zoodles with tomato basil sauce and shredded brussels sprouts and cabbage sauteed in coconut oil.  Yum!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Whole 30 Again!

So this summer, I really indulged in a lot of treats... I enjoyed myself, but between the lack-of-exercise and the treats, my clothes are tight again and I feel not-so-good.  I am missing my endless energy and the feeling that I can accomplish anything!  My joints are aching again (pretty sure that is from my occasional glutening and the loads of sugar I've had) and this is not where I want to be.  I'm sleepy early in the evening and struggling to get out of bed each morning.  This is how I used to feel all the time, but it's not ok with me.  Now that I know HOW good I can feel, I want to feel that way again!

So I am in for another Whole30!   Whole 30 is simple - eat real food (meat, veggies, fruit, nuts and other healthy fats), prepare it yourself as much as possible and avoid a few non-negotiables (gluten, legumes, sweeteners of all kinds, alcohol and dairy).  Move daily and stay off the scale.  Eat 3 full meals and don't snack!

I have a few goals I am setting for myself and I am adding them here as an extra bit of accountability!

  • Eat breakfast every day.  This means planning ahead and getting out of bed.  I hope this helps me get back on track in two ways...out of bed on time AND starting the day with a healthy breakfast which will lead to less snacking/poor choices later in the day.
  • No drinking - even though this is one of the rules, I want to state this as my own personal goal.  We have been visiting lots of wineries and enjoying a lot of local Virginia wine, but that comes with a lot of empty calories AND leads me to snacking on things I know I shouldn't eat.  :)   So here it is.  No drinking.
  • Plan meals and shop with a purpose - throwing all the things in my cart is when I throw in the junk.  :) Adding a meal plan will help me make better choices too.  This also means cooking in bulk/larger portions and having leftovers on other days.   Today I am making NomNom Paleo's Cracklin Chicken to have some ready-to-go protein for a few meals this week.  Also, it will be delicious during football tonight for dinner instead of going out for wings! 

So there it is - stay tuned for lots of food photos as I move through the next 30 days! 

Friday, July 4, 2014

Icy Fruit Pops!

Earlier this week I was at HomeGoods and found these ice pop molds on clearance for $6.  I couldn't pass them up since they were so cute and there is so much yummy fruit that is local and ripe now!

First I chopped up some fresh fruit.  Today I choose peaches, strawberries and blackberries. I tried to cut them into small, diced chunks of about the same size.

Next I added them to the ice pop molds - filling them up as full to the top as I could.

Next, I added some juice.  I found this yummy Pom Hula on sale today at Aldi, so I filled them up right to the top of the container with Pom Hula.  I read a recipe earlier this week that says to use coconut water for an icy delicious treat.  I've also read about using coconut or almond milk for a creamy pop.  Yum!  So many choices!

Snap on the tops and let them freeze solid for a few hours.  
To unmold, run under warm water for just about 3 seconds.


These are fabulous ice pop molds.  The base is larger than the ice pop and the "cone" is hollow to catch all drips. Yum!  Perfect on a hot afternoon. 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Woven Bacon Pizza

I made the most delicious summer dinner tonight!  The other night I saw this recipe for a bacon crust pizza.  I couldn't wait to try it!   My basil plant has been producing lots of basil - giant leaves!   Yum!  So it was a perfect evening, after the storm, for bacon crust margherita pizza!

First, I wove the bacon into a sheet and followed directions for the Ketogenic Pizza and baked it.  While it was in the oven I made my sauce.

I used a pint of Tomato Basil sauce that I canned last year, added 2 cans of clean tomato paste and a handful of fresh basil plus a Tbsp of balsamic vinegar.  I simmered it until it was thick.  Yum!

Then I prepped my toppings.  I tore the basil into medium chunks. I sliced tomatoes thin and chunked up the mozzarella.

After the bacon crust was finished baking, I transferred it to the pizza stone and added the toppings: first a layer of sauce, then the basil, then the tomatoes and finally the cheese.  I stuck it in the oven under the broiler for just a few minutes until the cheese was starting to brown.


I served it with a tomato, basil, mozzarella and balsamic salad.  With Pom Hula Sun Tea and a Meritage from Cobbler Mountain Winery.  Delicious dinner!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Flavors of Summer

One of my favorite flavors of summer is sun tea.  My mom used to make sun tea just about every day in the summer.  We had a big, glass jug sitting out on the porch, brewing in the heat.  It has a nicer, fuller flavor than hot brewed tea made into iced tea.  And it's SOOO easy.

Honestly, the hardest part is finding a glass (not plastic) jug.   I like black tea - no particular brand favorite here, usually whatever I can find without tags.  If they have strings and tags (and tiny staples) I worry about that in my tea in the sun..

Put 8-10 tea bags in a glass jug of water.  Cover (use a lid if you can, foil if you don't have a lid) and set it outside.  Sun is optional, mine is usually in the sun a bit of the day, but shady on the porch the rest of the time.   It's the heat, gradual heat that matters. Let it sit outside for 3-5 hours then bring it inside.  Pour over ice, add mint or fruit if desired and enjoy!

I found this jug at World Market on Monday ON SALE!!  It's blue glass, mason jar look-alike and has a metal lid.  The only part I would change is the spout - I wish it were metal, it's plastic that looks like metal.  :)   However, I paid $13.35 for this 2.2 gal jar so I'm not complaining about the plastic spout!  This glass jug is a perfect fit in my fridge, so every couple of days I will brew a new batch and drink fresh sun tea!

Second taste of the summer - fresh berries!   I wanted a grain-free berry shortcake.  One of our favorite restaurants around here has a fresh mixed berry shortcake with ice cream that is my boyfriend's favorite.  However, I can't have the flour and I don't like the sugar and dairy necessarily.  So I tried a new recipe.

Cook, Eat, Paleo has a recipe that I started with.  I made a half batch of the shortcakes.  I attempted to make the cream, but it didn't set up.  I think it's the brand - unfortunately I didn't get the kind I like to work with since I went to a different grocery.

I also made a mix of berries (blueberries, blackberries and strawberries) that I mashed up last night with my pampered chef mix n chop and let them sit overnight in the fridge.  The flavors blended perfectly!

While my cream was more of a liquid than a whipped cream, this was still delicious and tasted perfect!

Plus, the berries look perfectly patriotic with ice cream.... just a great USA treat to have while watching World Cup Soccer!   I think I'm going to keep a container of smooshed berries ready all summer long! 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Converting a halter a two strap suit!

So last year, at the end of the season, I found several tankini suit tops on sale...and they were fine, but they are all halter tops.  These don't give me the support I need AND they hurt my neck.   But with three suit tops...I can't justify spending money on another new suit.

So I decided to convert one of them to a two strap suit!  Here's how it started.

I checked the suit straps....getting a good idea of how to far in fro the sides I needed to go and how tight the straps needed to be.  I pinned them with safety pins so I could try this on without worrying about stabbing myself with straight pins or pulling them loose.

 I tried two different widths to see if I liked one better than the other.  In fact, I liked the one that was closer to the edge than the center.  I measured with a ruler and pinned them both again, tried on once again to be sure.  

I hand stitched these down - using a backstitch across the width of the strap. Then I used a whip stitch to secure the strap down against the top of the suit.  I wasn't sure about whether the placement was perfect, so I wasn't ready to cut the last bits off the straps till I wear this a few times to be sure.  I think you could machine stitch and be perfectly fine.  Make sure you secure the ends and stitch this down tight - nobody wants an unfortunate swimsuit accident :)

I can't wait to convert the other two suits the same way now that I know this works!