My Whole 30 – Week 1 Recap

I’m happy to say I made it through my first week of The Whole 30 with shining success! No grain, no pain!

I’ve had sustained energy and an extremely steady mood. I’ve known for some time how gluten and wheat caused me to have mood swings, but in the past week, in addition to being quite chipper for no reason, my chronic back pain has dissipated and my skin is perfectly clear and evenly toned – radiant! It’s crazy to think that the foods we eat release hormones that can cause our bodies to act against us. As described in the book I reviewed last week, everything we eat sends messages through our body and when we eat things like dairy, sugar, grains, and alcohol especially, our bodies struggle to balance it out, releasing insulin and leptin and a whole bunch of other hormones just in order to not get sick.

All our bodies want to do is feel good, naturally. With the way I’ve been eating the past week, I intrinsically feel like my body is not at war with food and it’s thanking me for taking better care of it by being way more alert, steady, and ridiculously happy for no reason! Like earlier today, I had a Michael Jackson dance party in my kitchen for no particular reason! I mean, well it IS Michael – care to join me for another?

Now THAT is good cooking music!
And I have been cooking a LOT – I have turned on the burner for almost every meal over the past 6 days. I’ve been trying out some new recipes (with some epic wins and some semi fails) but mostly have been making “hot bowls” – a mishmash of sauteed veggies with a generous serving of protein mixed in. I also started a new exciting full-time job with a very fun company this past week and have been pretty busy with that, so I’m happy that “hot bowls” are so easy to make.

Day 1 breakfast: 3 pastured eggs cooked with organic red onion, broccoli and spices in coconut oil, topped with guacamole and fresh diced roma tomato. Black coffee on the side.whole30-Day1bf

Day 2 lunch: Organic spinach salad with chicken breast, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, pepitas & my savory herb vinaigrette.Whole30-Day2lunch

Day 3 lunch: Curried onions and red peppers with chicken and cashews on a bed of coconut sauteed kale.Whole30-Day3lunch

Day 4 dinner: Big winner! Onion, garlic, lamb burger topped with grilled red peppers and guacamole on a bed of spinach surrounded by steamed broccoli and carrots. YUM! Then again, in case you didn’t know, I LOVE lamb.Whole30-Day4dinner

Day 5 breakfast – I scrambled 2 pastured eggs with onions, peppers, and spinach, then topped it off with fresh plum tomatoes and guacamole. I also made home brewed coconut cream chai and savored a medley of blueberries and macadamia nuts. Easy and delicious.Whole30-Day5bf

Today, Day 6, I went grocery shopping to stock up for the next week. I bought a wide variety of organic produce and sustainable organic meats and spent around $100 for what I’m hoping will last me the next week and a half. Following the advice in the Well Fed Paleo Cookbook, I prepped a bunch of stuff this evening to help make meal prep easy and seamless throughout my upcoming busy week.Whole30-Day6mealprepThe fun included baking 2 pounds of organic chicken breast tenders that I can use in salads or toss into stir fry or other hot bowls throughout the week. I shredded cabbage and beets and steamed a large yam. I made cauliflower rice (a recipe from Well Fed) and added cashews. I made more of my savory herb vinaigrette (sans the tamari since no soy) and whipped up a jar of spicy salsa fresca. I did all this prep in under an hour! I feel like I’m ready to rock out another week!

I’m not gonna lie – over the past week, though I’ve been fully satisfied and never hungry between meals – I’ve had subtle cravings, specifically for wine and chocolate.
I’m a single woman in my 30’s, go figure.
However, I’ve resisted the temptation and leaned on ginger tea and blueberries in my times of need.

Feel free to follow my daily activity on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. And I’m happy to explain any of my technique or go into more depth for any of the dishes above. Please leave your questions in the comments section below.

Thanks for reading and have fun cooking!

Advertisements

Austin was fun and now begins my Whole 30

eating and drinking in Austin

I just returned from spending a long weekend in Austin, Texas where I ate and drank and ate and drank and danced and sang around campfires and drank some more. It was a glorious, gluttonous time…

But that’s over now.

it-starts-with-food-cover

On the plane, I read a book titled It Starts With Food by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig. I give it two thumbs way up.

They talk about all the “science-y stuff” around food – the hormones different foods cause, how they affect your brain and your gut, about leptin and insulin and chronic inflammation, and about so many common diseases and how they are so often – if not always – related to the food we eat. The best part is that they say it all in such a simple (and amusing) way, it’s so easy to understand and be inspired by.

And I am inspired.

The Whole 30 is the plan they created, based on their backgrounds in nutrition, anatomy, and physiology, and from their personal experiences. The Whole 30 is a thirty day “nutritional reset designed to restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, calm systemic inflammation and put an end to unhealthy cravings, habits, and relationships with food”… because heaven knows, after this past weekend (and past several months in general), I need it.

It’s based around the Paleo way of eating and starting today, I am eliminating the following things from my diet:

  • All Grains (including corn and quinoa)
  • Dairy (even the goat variety, but clarified butter is okay)
  • Legumes (except green beans and snap peas)
  • Sugar (not even stevia)
  • Alcohol (ouch)

What I will be consuming via 3 meals a day, 5-6 hours apart is:

  • Organic, grass fed, and pastured meat and eggs (about 25% of my diet)
  • Lots and lots of organic vegetables (about 45%)
  • Some fruits (about 10%)
  • Certain oils, nuts, and fats like avocado, olives, and coconut (about 20%)
  • One morning cup of coffee, black (like Jack Kerouac)

Do I sound completely bonkers?  I’m actually really excited to see what results after 30 days of this! I have a feeling it’s going to rock my world. I have a few other friends riding The Whole 30 train with me and personally know others who rave about it, so that support will be helpful… especially on Friday when I get home from work and all I want to unwind is a glass of wine… not so cheers.

Lest I get ahead of myself.

The rest of the book details meal planning and grocery lists.  I went shopping this evening and spent about $50 on what I hope will last me a week. If you’re interested in it, check out the book and their website for more detailed info.

I’m now coming to completion of day one and I feel fantastic. I’ve had sustained energy throughout my work day and no cravings between meals. For breakfast this morning, I sauteed onions and broccoli in coconut oil, scrambled in 3 pastured eggs, salt and pepper, then topped it with a dollop of guacamole and one diced roma tomato. With my coffee on the side, it was super yum!

whole30-1bf

Day one done, only 29 more to go… I’ll keep you updated as to my progress by posting here and on my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I’d love to hear your recipe ideas and support each other if you decide to embark on The Whole 30 for yourself.

Best of luck!

And as always, your thoughts are welcomed in the comments section below.

labeling GMO food

I’ve heard several people ask, “If it’s Organic it’s not GMO, right?” The answer to that is NO. Just because a food is organic does NOT mean it’s GMO free! Santa Cruz Organic, Lara Bar, Cascadian Farm, Horizon Organics – ALL owned by big agribusiness and therefore GMO. Don’t be fooled.

Sadly, California’s Proposition 37 and the right to know if your food is genetically mutated didn’t pass tonight. Why? Because the campaign in opposition (which received > $32 million in funding) told people that if it passed the cost of their groceries would increase. Monsanto funded half of the “No” campaign proving they would have a lot to lose if it passed. Did you know GMO’s are illegal in most other countries? Makes me wonder what Monsanto is really hiding and what the long term effect of GMO ingestion will be?

Here’s some clever insight from Bill Maher on GMO’s and Monsanto:

I care about my health, have opposed GMO’s since the mid 90’s when they were introduced widely, and I want to know if my food is affected so I can make a conscious choice. Furthermore, I want to maintain a diverse food supply which is severely affected by cross pollination of GMO crops!

Whole Foods Market is labeling their products and I’ve sent a letter to Trader Joe’s to do the same. November 14th is Trader Joe’s 10th anniversary of their pledge to get Monsanto and its genetically engineered ingredients out of their store brand products.

I would like to share this website with a comprehensive list of GMO products to help you make informed decisions: http://shiftfrequency.com/comprehensive-list-of-gmo-products/

I wish it didn’t have to be a research project every time I go to the grocery store… Two more years and I really hope we see a proposition like 37 on the ballot again or better yet, our re-elected president will pass a federal law… in fact, here’s a whitehouse.gov petition you can sign to require the FDA to label all food that contains Genetically Modified Organisms. Take a moment to sign and be the cause of progress!

Your thoughts are welcomed in the comment section below.