Whole 30 Experience – Days 19 thru 23

Day 19

I skipped my walk this morning and attempted to sleep in, but I basically got up at the same time and got some things done around the house before heading out to work and away for the weekend.  (I settled on a mini-walk around town before work started.)  For breakfast I had two eggs and coffee.

Throughout the morning, I snacked on and off on plantains – and I had a second cup of coffee.

For lunch I had a piece of fish and left over zucchini.  I also snacked on some apple slices mid-afternoon.

I had a Larabar post-workout, and for dinner I had some broccoli with beef.

Later in the evening I snacked on half a dragon fruit and some plantains.

Day 20

Today was my day off – from work and from working out!  Loved it…but I always feel a little guilty about not working out.

For breakfast I had 2 eggs and a breakfast sausage, and of course, coffee.

I spent most of the day in the City doing some shopping and celebrating a birthday, so for dinner out I had a small steak with onions, mixed veggies, and potato.  This was a really great meal out and it kept me satisfied and feeling full all night.  Which worked out well because I had a wedding reception to go to and there was food and booze and dessert…and this gal did not indulge in any of it.  I just enjoyed the company and the atmosphere.

Day 21

Breakfast this morning was one egg, a breakfast sausage, a very small peach, and coffee.

At lunch, I hit the gym and then did some grocery shopping as I’m getting a little bored with veggies and meat.  I also picked up some pumpkin spice coffee because I am a nut for everything pumpkin.  (I also found some pumpkin spice wafers but I’m not able to eat them until October.)

Post-gym/post-shopping, I snacked on a Larabar to tide me over until dinner.  I spent the weekend away so I had some cleaning and laundry and food making to do.  When I finally had dinner, I made a fish taco bowl.  I’ve never made this before but it was so good and I’m definitely going to be making it again.

I had large leaf romaine lettuce (which formed the bowl inside my bowl, but eventually, I made into tacos), diced cucumer and green peppers (I thought I had red onion, but I was wrong – next time, onion for sure), baked haddock, and baked heirloom tomatoes drizzled with olive oil, diced black olives. I tossed in a handful of the veggies on top of the lettuce, then added the fish, and spooned some pesto onto it, and added in some avocado, then tossed on some more veggies.  SO GOOD!

Taco

I was sort of bored last night and decided to make Whole 30 compliant cookies/pancakes (they’re pretty flat).  I mashed up two bananas, mixed in two eggs, and some cinnamon.  I blended it up really well then poured it onto a baking sheet and tossed in the oven.  Once they were cooked, I ate two of them. They’re not bad.

Day 22

This morning was a walk/run before work.  It was cool and dark (still dark when I got back home) and the only bad thing about being outside this morning was that a skunk had been hit right by my house.  I could smell it all thru the neighborhood.  I was trying to plug my nose while running but 1. it’s not easy/it’s hard to breathe thru panting and a closed nose 2. I really must have looked stupid to the passersby.

This morning I was happy to (finally) indulge in some pumpkin spice coffee!  So excited. For breakfast I had two eggs and one of my cookies/pancakes with some homemade pumpkin butter spread on.

Pumpkin Butter
 
What You Need:
2 15-ounce cans plain (organic) pumpkin (not pie filling)
1 cup good quality apple juice or apple (I diced mine and threw them in the food processor)
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of cloves
pinch of nutmeg
 
To Make:
if cooking in a saucepan:
put all ingredients into a saucepan, and bring to a boil, immediately after mixture comes to a boil, reduce to low, partially cover to (help prevent splattering) and simmer about 30 minutes stirring frequently. The pumpkin butter is done when is is slightly darker in color, and you can run a knife through it and the line will stay in the butter. Allow to cool. Store in the fridge or freezer.
 
if cooking in a crock pot:
place all ingredients in a crock pot, and cook on low for a whole day, about 10 hours. Once finished cooking, stir, and let cool. Store in the fridge or freezer

For lunch today I had Eggs in Purgatory – which is a simpler take on Shashuka.  I love this dish.  It’s warm and, although it’s only tomatoes and eggs (I also added mushrooms and spices), it’s hearty.  I have made it with meat before – sometimes chicken and sometimes ground beef or sausage removed from the casings.  It’s really good.  If you like eggs, then I suggest you try this dish.

I had a Larabar mid-afternoon as a pre-workout snack.  And for dinner, I made cauliflower rice stir-fry with chopped up sausage.  Before dinner, I also had 2 of my pancakes with pumpkin butter.  And later in the evening, I snacked on a handful of coconut bites.

Day 23

This morning I was up at 20 to 6 to meet a friend for a pre-work run.  We walked/ran for just under 5k.  We could have gone further but she has to be to work an hour before I do, so we headed back before 7.  Great morning tho and we’re intending to do it again tomorrow.

I had my regular breakfast of coffee and two eggs.  For some reason, this morning they were extra spectacular and tasty.

Once I got to work, I snacked off and on on nuts and cranberries.

For lunch I had leftover Eggs in Purgatory and a lot of water.  I was really full.

Late afternoon, I ate a mango as a pre-workout snack.

Post-workout, I made Pumpkin Cauliflower Rice-otto (instead of risotto).  Oh.Em.Gee.  I’ve made regular pumpkin risotto before, and the cauliflower-rice version is just as good. And super easy to prepare:

Risotto

Here’s my recipe:

I sauteed 1/3 onion and 3 small garlic cloves in ghee (clarified butter) – but you can certainly use olive oil.  I sauteed them for a few minutes then added in 1/2 cup of mushrooms.  Once that was sauteed for about 2 minutes, I dumped in a big bowl of riced cauliflower…I used up what I had left which worked out to be about 2 cups.  The regular calls for vegetable or chicken stock, but for the healthier version I just added in water. You have to add in a bit of water every few minutes and stir it in.  Eventually, I also added in some more ghee, about a half a teaspoon.   Cook the rice for about 7 minutes and then add in the pumpkin.  Because I had so much rice, I used close to a cup and a half.  Mix it and keep an eye on it.  You may have to add a little more water (the cauliflower is very absorbent).  Cook for another 5-7 minutes, add in salt and pepper, and serve.

I have to also admit that, since I went shopping after teaching my boot camp class, and by the time I showered and did laundry and was making dinner, I totally snacked on some plantains and coconut.  🙂

~FB

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Whole 30 Experience – Days 16 thru 18

Day 16

This morning I only managed to get a 25 minute walk in because I had physio before work. But, 25 minutes is better than nothing.  I followed up my walk with 2 eggs and a homemade pumpkin spice latte (see my healthy recipe in my last post).

During the morning, I snacked here and there on date bites.  And for lunch I finished off my salad with chicken and had a half a cup of cherries.

At 4:30 I had an apple for a little carb snack prior to my gym sesh.

For dinner I had leftover mixed veggies and half a pork chop.  And later in the evening I was still really hungry and had an early morning workout planned for the next morning so I chowed on some salad and plantains.

Day 17

I was up bright and early this morning to get a good workout in at the gym.  It’s going to be a long day as I have to teach boot camp after work and then I’m going on a little hike with a friend.  That being said, I refueled with two eggs and one of my hash browns.  As well as my morning coffee.

This morning and this afternoon I’ve been snacking on and off on coconut date bite things. They’re a good little snack and dates are a perfect pre-workout fuel (even better with coconut).

For lunch I had mixed veggies, half a chicken breast, and leftover soggy salad (try not to be jealous).

Prior to boot camp, I snacked on an apple.  And for dinner, post-boot camp and post- hike, I had Rappie Pie.  This is an Acadian dish and it’s my favorite food in the whole world.  It consists mostly of potatoes, chicken broth, and chicken.  It looks gross but it makes my mouth water just thinking about it.

Rappie

The crust of rappie pie is made from butter, so I couldn’t eat what little crust there was on mine…but I did add some ghee to it.  🙂

Day 18

I wanted to sleep in soooo badly this morning.  I was exhausted and cozy and my cat was sleeping by my head, purring away.  But, I dragged my butt out of bed for an extended early morning walk.  When I got back home I indulged in my coffee and had eggs and prosciutto for breakfast.

Thursdays are my big day at the gym.   I head to the gym right from work and work our for 1.5-2 hours, then I finish my evening off with a Zumba class.  (The last two weeks there has been no classes.)  Therefore, on Thursdays, I normally try to fuel up moreso than on any other day of the week.  So, at 11 am I snacked on a blueberry smoothie I made this morning (blueberries, a few cherries, unsweetened almond milk, water, and a spoonful of ground flax and ground blueberry powder).  It was perfect and I needed the boost.

For lunch I had a salad of mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, mandarin oranges, red onion, cranberries, and almonds.  I also added some tuna in for protein.  I have to say, I wasn’t sure when I dumped the tuna on top of the oranges and cranberries, but it was actually really good.

This afternoon I snacked on apple slices.  It was my pre-workout snack.  I hit the gym right after work and aside from my warm up, I spent most of the two hours lifting.  At about 7:15 I ate a Larabar to keep me going thru Zumba class and to tide me over until I could finally eat dinner.

Because I’m working out for long on Thursdays, I usually fully expect dinner to be a late one and I almost always eat a bit more pre and post-workout.  But this night I wasn’t overly hungry.  I made a medley of mixed zucchini and cherry tomatoes and had a pesto glazed pork medallion as my protein.

Zucchini

Aside from the clump of herbs and pesto that hasn’t been swooshed around yet….doesn’t this look so good?

~FB

Healthy Pumpkin Spice Latte

I am a huge pumpkin spice fan.  Huge.  In fact, I look forward to this time of year – all the time!  I am obsessed with everything pumpkin and I love me a good pumpkin spice latte.

Pumpkin-Spice-Latte

That being said, although I love a good PSL, they aren’t the healthiest option and are loaded with sugar (and who knows what else!).  So, if I deem myself favoring one, it is definitely a treat.  In the meantime, if I feel like I want to partake in the seasonal goodness, I make my own healthier version of a Pumpkin Spice Latte (I made one this morning).

Here’s what you need

  • 1 cup milk of choice (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
  • 1-3 tbsp pumpkin purée (I went on the side of 3 tbs)
  • 1 tsp of pure vanilla (not vanilla extract)
  • ⅛ tsp ground cinnamon
  • tiny pinch ground nutmeg
  • tiny pinch ground ginger
  • ½ cup strong coffee
  • *1-3 dates
  1. Add the milk and pumpkin to a small pot. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a whisk, until the mixture begins to simmer. Add in the vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg (*if you like your latte a bit sweeter, this is where you add the dates. Let them simmer in the wet mixture and they will literally sweeten the pot). Whisk the mixture until it becomes frothy.
  2. Add the coffee to a large mug, and pour the milk mixture on top.
  3. If you fancy yourself a Frappuccino type, let both the pumpkin mixture and the coffee cool (make the night before and let sit in the fridge), toss in the blender or Bullet with some cubes of ice and blend away.

If you want to make your drink even fancier by adding whipped cream, make this healthy version:

  1. One can of full fat coconut milk (Put in freezer to freeze). Once it’s frozen, remove and let sit in room temperature for 30 minutes.  Flip the can upside down and open from the bottom.  The coconut water separates from the milk (you can save the water to drink or for other recipes).
  2. Dump the coconut milk into a mixing bowl (or blender) and whip it on high until you get a nice whippy, fluffy consistency. Add in a little vanilla (or a dusting of Stevia or teaspoon of date water if you prefer it a bit sweeter) and continue whipping.
  3. Add the whip to your drink and dust with cinnamon.

~FB

Whole 30 Experience – Days 9 thru 15

Day 9

After my morning walk I indulged in 2 eggs and coffee for breakfast.

My lunch consisted of left over zucchini noodles (zoodles) and a 1/4 pork chop.  I also had a small peach and some cherries before heading to the gym.  I did not eat a lot or enough.  On the way home from the gym I had errands to run and I could feel that my sugars were getting low (I’m Hypoglycemic) and I was getting light-headed, so I snacked on a Larabar.

For dinner, I made mixed veggies and steaks.  We don’t usually eat red meat and it was kinda gross.  I snacked on dried cherries and nuts afterwards because my palette was not satisfied.

Day 10

I was up way too damn early this morning to get to the gym and I worked my ass off.  Therefore, I was near starving by the time I got to work.  I had two eggs and a hash brown for breakfast (along with an ice coffee I drank on the way to work).  Mid-morning I was still really hungry and decided to inhale yet another hash brown.

For lunch I had a can of tuna (packed in water) mixed with avocado and chopped up dill pickle.  I also sucked back another iced coffee.  I’m very tired.  During the day I snacked on a few plantain chips and dried cherries.

Dinner was spectacular!  I made spicy crab stuffed avocado and it was so delicious that I can’t wait to make it again.  (Cut the avocado, remove pit and scoop out the fruit.   Chop up crab meat (I put mine in my blender – kinda gross but did the job) or use canned crab, a little red onion, and a little cucumber and mix in a bowl with the avocado, a little lime juice, and a little paprika.  Once mixed well, spoon it into the avocado shell.  You can eat it cold but I popped mine in the oven for a bit.  #sogood

I also had a little of the sweet potato brownie as I was prepping some for Day 11.

Day 11

Post-morning walk I had 2 eggs and some turkey bacon – plus coffee.

I do not know what was wrong with me today but mid-morning I was starving.  My sugars were down, I was light-headed and a little dizzy, and completely hungry.  In fact, I was so hungry I kinda ate two lunches.  First, I had packed with me some mixed veggies with a few pieces of shrimp.  This equaled about a half a cup and did NOT satisfy my hunger.  So, about 45 minutes later I picked up a piece of chicken and some potato.  I also had a half dozen cherries to go with it and felt satisfied.

To be perfectly honest, now that I’m thinking about it, I don’t know if my hunger was a result of just being really hungry today or if it was for lack of water.  I normally drink a couple of liters in the morning but it was a busy day and this morning I only filled my water jug once (which is about a liter and a half).  I think that had a lot to do with it.

After hitting the gym, I was excited to get home to eat.  I made the rest of the spicy crab from the night before and also had a slice of prosciutto to go with it.  I snacked on some coconut balls while I was making dinner and meal prepping for the next day, and a bit later I also snacked on some plantains.

Day 12

I was up at 5:25 this morning so that I could get to the gym bright and freakin’ early (got there just before 6 *barf*).  I actually really enjoy my morning workouts – whether I’m just up for my morning walk or hitting the gym to lift heavy.  I feel very accomplished afterwards.  But since I was up so darn early (it’s really dark that time of the morning), and because I lifted so much this morning, I made sure to prep a good breakfast.  I had cauliflower pancakes (eggs and cauliflower) and some prosciutto.  And I’m on my second coffee already.

For a mid-morning snack I had a Larabar and for lunch I had the remaining leftover crab and avocado salad, a pork medallion, and some cherries.

I snacked on more cherries in the afternoon.  And for dinner I had some basic (compliant) bacon and eggs.  I went out with the girls later in the evening to a local pub and, unfortunately, there was not a single thing on the menu that I could order.  This particular restaurant is a bit on the pricey side and I really didn’t want to spend a lot of money on something I couldn’t eat.  So, at 10pm, I ordered a basket of fries while my girlfriends shoved super delicious treats in their faces.  Technically, fries are compliant but certainly the Whole 30 program wants you to shy away from them.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, because this is, like, my 10th round of the Whole 30, I have made peace with having to go “off-program” here and there and this was one of those times that I had to.  I also was running a 5k obstacle race (Foam Fest) early the next morning, so I tried not to feel overly guilty about the fries.

Day 13

The next morning I was up again at 6:30 to get ready for the Foam Fest.  One thing I will admit to – on or off the Whole 30 – I hate exercising on a full stomach.  I absolutely cannot do it.  And as such, I did not eat breakfast this particular morning.  My BFF and I split a date/energy bar a bit before the race but that is all I ran on.  Oh, I also made half a cup of coffee.

After the race, BFF and I had to stop at the grocery store and while she was shopping she was eating taters from the store’s deli…She shoved a few of those at me to tide me over until I got home.  And once home, for brunch I made eggs and prosciutto and another cup of coffee.

That afternoon I went shopping with another bestie and she and I grabbed coffee.  I almost never have 3 coffees in a day but I was exhausted from my early mornings all week and from the run in the morning.  Black iced coffee was my bff that afternoon.

I did not eat again until dinner that night.  I roasted a chicken, carrots, and cauliflower.  I basted my chicken with a little olive oil and mixed herbs and garlic.  It was perfection.

Day 14

Once again I had eggs for breakfast (are you at all surprised?  Eggs are my staple.).  I had a lot of work to do to finish up my preparing for my online boot camp session to launch before I headed out of town for the night.  Hence, why I made the chicken dinner the night before.

For dinner, my other half decided to go to Subway.  I already had my chicken dinner but decided to pick up a chopped salad at Subway and throw in some of the chicken with it.  I also had half a dragon fruit.  And in the evening I snacked on some plantains.

Day 15

After finally having a semi-decent night’s sleep, I got up and made eggs and coffee for breakfast.  Once my honey woke up, we went out for a mid-morning coffee.

For lunch I had some leftover salad and chicken.  It was a very lazy day (Labor Day!) and I didn’t do much until I had to leave to teach boot camp.  After class, I came home to meal prep and make myself dinner of eggs and a small pork chop and some cauliflower.

I will fully admit that this weekend I did not eat enough and went off chart a bit.  I usually stick to my guns when it comes to staying compliant.  And I feel like if I hadn’t been so darn tired this weekend, I would have made more choices, better choices, and would have eaten more.

 

Whole 30 Experience – Days 5, 6, 7, & 8

Day 5 

I managed to stay up this morning and get my walk in.  In fact, I was up before my alarm was due to go off.  Even better.

For breakfast I had my regular coffee, 2 eggs, and the last slice of the prosciutto.  You likely won’t hear my talk about the prosciutto anymore.  I only bought it on a whim because it was on sale.  😝

Once I got to work I sipped on a black iced coffee from McDonald’s. and at 10:30 I had some coconut chips to munch on and a little after 11am I had half a blueberry smoothie.

For lunch I had mixed grilled veggies and chopped up hamburger patty.  There were Timbits floating around my office but I steered clear.

After a Friday afternoon gym sesh I headed out of town for the weekend.  My beau and I picked up a small rotisserie chicken for dinner and I had some watermelon and plantain to go with it.

Day 6

Today was rest day so aside from my coffee I didn’t bother to eat until later – for brunch I had 1 egg, 1 sausage round (compliant), and a small salad with garlic olive oil.

For dinner my beau took me out for anniversary dinner and I had pan-fried haddock, mixed veggies, and some home fries.  Thank goodness white potatoes are compliant (now).

In the evening we had a movie date and while popcorn was going around, I snacked on some plantain chips and salsa.

Day 7

This morning I had breakfast of two eggs and some prosciutto (look at that, more prosciutto) and, of course, coffee.

I hit the gym early afternoon and then spent the next few hours at my BFF’s working on new videos for my online boot camp (starting September 4!).  I was super exhausted and struggled to get through the video exercises and then realized I hadn’t had any carbs.  Whoops.  So bestie grabbed us each a pear to chow on.  Thank goodness because by that point my sugars had also dropped and I was dizzy.

For dinner I made a pork burger (aka I chopped a pork chop in half) on a sweet potato bun (complete with avocado, dill pickle, and tomato {I forgot the lettuce}) with a side of cauliflower mash.  It was so delicious.

Day 8

Whoot!  Made it thru week one with no cravings.  Although, I did have some really bad belly bloat that lasted most of the week that I’ve never really experienced before.  I’ve heard about people having issues with bloating and other things while getting thru the first week or so of Whole 30.  But this was my first time.

After a 40 minute walk this morning, for breakfast I had two eggs and some prosciutto (I swear I only got it again because it was still on sale!) and coffee.

A little after 11am I had 6 cherries to snack on.  I still feel hungry but I’m trying to hold out for lunch.

Lunch today is leftover cauliflower mash and a 1/4 chopped up pork chop (leftover).  I snacked a bit throughout the afternoon on a combo of plantains and cherries.  And about an hour before teaching my boot camp class I shoved a banana in my face. #fuel

For dinner I made – FROM SCRATCH – coconut chicken tenders (slice a b/s chicken breast into strips and dip them into melted ghee and then into coconut (I also added in a bit of salt, pepper, and garlic & herbs) and zucchini noodles.  I also made a dessert/snack of sweet potato brownie:  sweet potato (cooked and scooped from the skin shell), melted coconut butter and nut butter (I used almond-hazelnut), and cocoa powder.  Mix it all together and pop it in the oven.  I made enough for a single serving.  It was actually really good and tasted like a warm, gooey brownie.  I know I’m not technically supposed to be having dessert, but, I’m recovering and refueling.

~Cheers

 

 

Whole 30 Experience – Days 2, 3, and 4

I want to note, as I did in day 1, that I drink a lot of water throughout the day. Usually a few liters while at work and at least a liter at the gym (more if it’s hella hot and humid like it has been).

Day 2

I was up bright and early this morning for an early morning walk (it was still dark out when I got out of bed – urg) and when I got back home I made my regular coffee (same as yesterday) and made two eggs.  I had physio this morning and then headed to work. By the time 9 o’clock rolled around I was starving again.  I’m thinking my metabolism must be hella revved these days from constant exercising and lifting.  So, to satisfy my hunger until lunch time I had some hash brown potatoes (shredded potato, ghee aka clarified butter).  Around 9:30 I started my second coffee which I sipped until almost 11.

For lunch today I had some of the cabbage rolls I made last night.  They were so good.  I also had a tangelo to go with it.

For dinner I had chicken breast (b/s) and grilled mixed vegetables.  In the evening I was feeling snacky (actually, again, I was hungry) so I munched on some plantain chips.

Day 3

This morning I was up at 5 to go to the gym.  I usually go Tuesdays (I don’t teach Tuesdays), but yesterday was so hot and humid (I think the humidex was close to 40) and our gym doesn’t have A/C, just big fans that do not do the work.  So,  went to the gym this morning.  It was 27 degrees inside the gym (23 outside, but still very humid)!  I think I made a good call yesterday in not going…I can’t imagine how hot and gross and suffocating it would have been last night.

So, of course, working out this morning, once I got to work I was extremely hungry.  I had prepped so I had scrambled eggs (2), 2 slices of roast turkey (compliant), and one hash brown.  I normally don’t eat this much at breakfast but this morning was an exception since I put in a good hour and a half at the gym in the morning AND have to teach boot camp in the evening.  I didn’t want to leave myself feeling famished all day.  I also had a coffee,  although this one was a black iced coffee from McDonald’s (hello Dollar Days) with my almond milk.

For lunch today I had some leftover cabbage rolls and a handful of cherries.  I also had a few pieces of organic, raw coconut chewy things.  Don’t worry, they were compliant.

We barely made it through boot camp class in the evening because of the high humidity, but, my group peeps are troopers and we all rocked the workout!  After working out so much today, I could not wait to get home and eat.  But, I was exhausted and didn’t feel like doing too much so, I made another cauliflower pancake, some grilled mushrooms, and a little grilled prosciutto.  For a little dessert while I lounged on my couch watching Big Brother, I had some sliced frozen banana dipped in almond-hazelnut butter.  Um, Yum!!

Day 4

I got up early this morning for my walk and decided to go back to bed for another 40 minutes.  I don’t normally do that – once I’m up, I’m up.  But I was really tired and kinda groggy, and I literally fell right back to sleep.  Obviously, my body needed the extra rest.  I feel a little bad for missing my morning solitude and exercise, but i’m going to walk on my lunch break and also hit the gym after work.

For breakfast I had my regular coffee, two eggs, and a slice of prosciutto. I don’t normally buy prosciutto (or other processed meats – although this is compliant) – but I got a good deal on it and I don’t want to waste it.

For lunch I had the last of the leftover cabbage rolls.  They really were yummy.  I also had a 1/4 cup of blueberries.  Around 4 pm I was starving (I totally did not eat enough for lunch) and since I was heading to the gym a good hour and a half I grabbed a hash brown and rammed it in my face.

For dinner I had some grilled veggies and a piece of chicken breast.  I usually sprinkle my food with some herbs from Epicure, BTW.

If you’re interested, the recipe for the cabbage rolls is as follows:

  • 1/2 to 1 lb ground meat (beef, pork, chicken, turkey – whatever you like)
  • 1 head cabbage* (I literally just pulled off enough leaves to use until the meat mixture was gone)
  • 1½ – 2 cups cauliflower rice
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (check labels to ensure it’s compliant) – or use fresh tomatoes
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 1 cup of mushrooms, minced (optional)
  • salt, pepper, and any other spices or herbs you want to throw in.  I used a bunch of different ones.
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
Mixed all ingredients (except cabbage and tomatoes) together
Prepare cabbage by washing, drying, and spreading the leaves out individually.
Fill each leaf with about a spoonful of the meat mixture and roll it up like a burrito and place in cooking pan.
Spread the tomatoes (and any extra mushrooms) over the rolls and cook on 350 for about 30 – 45 minutes.  Ensure your meat is cooked thoroughly.
Last night I was feeling munchie aka still hungry so I had a handful of plantains and half a blueberry protein smoothie.  The Whole 30 is iffy on the smoothies.  If you’re looking at a smoothie as a way to have a dessert, then they don’t want you to indulge.  But if it’s a way to get extra foliage inter your diet, then it’s okay.  The protein I used is one I got from my sister-in-law and is completely compliant.

Whole 30 Experience – Day 1

Since I am a huge fanatic of the Whole 30 program, and have blogged and bragged about starting the program this week, I have decided to journal my experience with it. As you may know, this is not my first rodeo with the Whole 30. And, of course, results will vary each time and for each person. But I am stoked about this time around and could not wait to get started. (Don’t think, however, that I didn’t ram my face with some chocolate last night.)

Meet-Fruits-Vegitables-Nuts

Day 1 – My alarm went off this morning at 6am and I jumped out of bed to get rolling for my morning walk. Already was filled with excitement about my food path for the next 30 days. Once I returned home, I started my morning brew and once I was showered, I drank my coffee with a little unsweetened almond milk, and cooked up 2 eggs. Just plain. Fried in a pan. Simple and delicious.

By 11am I was starting to feel a little hungry. This really is nothing new for me. Since I’m up so early and work out so often (I hit the gym yesterday morning for an hour and a half, then went on an 8.5 k walk like night, and up early this morning for a 3 k pre-work walk), I’m usually hungry all the time. Instead of stuffing my face with something, I settled my stomach growls with another cuppa joe (with almond milk). I also drink water consistently throughout the day.

My lunch consisted of a small portion of chicken breast and some mixed veggies which I made in advance. One sort-of challenge about Whole 30-ing is that I do find I have to actually meal prep. Especially if I am going out of town for a night or two. I can’t just skip down to the deli to grab a quick meal as almost everything is processed (breaded or sauced or mixed). So, last night I made a nice, healthy meal for lunch. My coworker and I also went on a good walk during out break (which I thought I might collapse from heat stroke, but alas, I made it) and I did stop at the grocery store to grab a few things…including a peach for a walk-back snack.

Yesterday was about 34 degrees with the humidex and our AC was spazzed out at work. I had to teach boot camp after work so around 4pm I ate an apple. I needed something cool and fresh and carby. After my class (where I guzzled about 7 gallons of water), I ate dinner of small pork chop and a cauliflower pancake (riced cauliflower, one egg, garlic).

cauliflower-pancakes1

I had also meal prepped for the next few days since I’ll be out of town and made my first batch of cabbage rolls (recipe to follow). And, once they were finished cooking and since I was still quite hungry, I had one.

And that completes day 1 of my Whole 30.

~FB

Slaying the Sugar Dragon

SugarDragon

I finished my last Whole30 in May and it was a really great 30 days of strictly clean eating – with the exception of having a small sliver of cake at my grandfather’s 99th birthday party.  I fully acknowledged I would possibly being doing that prior to starting my 30 days in May and I fully made amends with it.  I have done the Whole 30 program so many times over the last two years and I decided that if I wanted to have a piece of cake with my grandfather to celebrate his 99th birthday, I darn well would!  And without the guilt (although I did feel some) and without restarting the program.  Like I said, I’ve committed to 30 days many times in the past and this one indulgence was an exception to the rule.

THEWHOLE30

This book changes everything!

But, since I finished those 30 days and since the start of summer, I feel like I have been overindulging way too much.  I feel sluggish and fat and bloated and kinda disgusting.  So, I decided last week that I would start a new Whole 30 this coming week.

At first I was okay with it.  Then I was feeling a little panicky because I’ve been enjoying my treats this summer.  And that right there is the problem!  Too many treats!  the sugar dragons are slaying me and I need to change that around.  So, now I’m back on board and fully excited about starting fresh on Monday.  I literally cannot wait.

So why wait?  I’m sure you’re asking.  Because I need to get ready.  To be honest, I (personally) don’t find the Whole 30 program that hard.  There have been a few times in the past that I struggled a bit with cravings, but most of the times I’ve done the program, I have been A-OK.  And I’m pretty stubborn, so when I commit myself to doing something like this, I fully commit to it.  That being said, it’s not something I want to jump into.  I need a couple of days to plan it out.  I need to think about food choices and meals and preparation and “it’s still summer and where am I gonna be next week?” types of things.

But I’m ready.  And I am motivated and committed and I can’t wait.  And each time I look in the mirror and I see that weird little belly bloat, it gives me the kick-in-the-butt-motivation I need to ensure I go through with it.

Sugar Dragon

That’s me slaying the beast…I’m the one in pink.

If you haven’t tried this program, I encourage you to do so.  It’s only for 30 days and it can help you rid your body of bloat and inflammation and possibly even excess weight.  The benefit of ridding yourself of sugar cravings and having food freedom – even for only 30 days – can make it all worthwhile.  And you don’t have to skimp on meals or count calories. You get to eat delicious, fresh and whole foods.  And you can experiment with different foods or food combination.  I have never felt less than satisfied when doing a Whole 30.  And Pinterest is a great place to find recipes, guidance (although I fully recommend that you read the book The Whole 30, it might change your life), meal ideas, etc.  Here’s a link for some great lunch ideas.

If you’re not ready to try 30 days of clean eating, maybe ask yourself why.  What would you be afraid of?  That chocolate cake or ice cream sundae will still be there in a month’s time. Going without processed mayo (Whole 30 has several recipes for mayo) is not going to end you.  Check out the book and the website and consider giving it a try.  And if you have any questions, comment below or shoot me an email

~Cheers.

 

My Top 5 Wellness Favorites

wellness

I was asked recently about favorite personal wellness tips and as I’ve been reflecting on my regular routine, I’ve been able to narrow them down.  Here are my top five favorites:

1.

Exercise and nutrition/clean eating.  Obviously I have a passion for fitness and good basic nutrition.  They have become such a huge part of my life that it is more than apparent that they would be number one on my list.  And, since I believe fitness and nutrition go hand-in-hand, I have joined them as top rank.  I am a huge lover of cardio, but for the past 8 months, I have been completely obsessed with my strength training and have been focusing most of my gym time on that.  I would encourage everyone to add a strength training routine to their regular fitness regime.  I’m also a cheerleader for clean eating and following the Whole 30 program.  I am not a clean eater 100% (I literally just ate a handful of salted caramel chocolate chips), but I often try to stay away from processed and junk and fast foods as much as possible.  In fact, I am gearing up for a Whole 30 in a few weeks.  I also love starting my day off with some form of exercise.  It used to be a crazy Insanity workout or other form of cardio, then it was yogo, and this summer it has been early morning walks.  I am so in love with my early morning walks for a few reasons but the biggest one is the solitude in the mornings.  It’s usually just me out there and I love the stillness and the quiet and the fresh air in my face.  I also love the little feeling of accomplishment in the mornings and the walks have been giving me that.

2.

Water.  Lotsa water.  I love water.  It’s my favorite drink.  In fact, aside from a morning coffee or the occasional glass of wine, it’s the only thing I drink.  And I drink a lot of it. Water is essential in every day life – you can read here a past post on why water is important.  I love water and I constantly have a glass of it on the go, whether I’m at work or working out, I try to continuously guzzle.

3.

Sleep.  Sleep is right up there with water – it’s essential.  And it’s a big part of how I’m going to function.  I hate not getting enough sleep.  About 5 years ago I had a bad bought of insomnia for months on end and it was terrible.  I was barely functioning.  I was a walking zombie.  I’ve written two posts previously on sleep and I stand by my word (you can read them here and here) and there’s also plenty of research being done by companies, like Elysium Health , on the science behind sleep—you can learn more about their findings on cellular health and NAD+ and their connection to sleep here .  I love sleep.  I try to get as much as I can but it doesn’t always work for me.  A good night would have been sleeping 7 hours but most nights, according to my FitBit, see me sleeping anywhere from 5 to 6 hours.  Eventually, when I’m exhausted enough, I’ll manage a good 7 or 8 hours, but I will always strive.

4.

Me Time.  It’s really important – no, make that crucial – that every person take some “me time”.  Although my morning walks and other workouts can often be accounted for as me time, I like to find time during the day just for me.  Time far away from chaos and hustle and bustle and social media.  This me time is usually my reading (or writing) time.  I am an avid reader and become completely enthralled in my books.  And I look forward to curling up under the summer sun or before bed to leave where I am and, instead, get lost in the words of my book.  I urge everyone to take 20 minutes (at least) each day to themselves.

Sparkles

5.

Quality Social Time.  I am a social being.  In fact, my nickname has always been social butterfly.  Just as it’s important to take me time, it’s also important to have social time with other people.  I love spending time with my family and my friends and my co-workers and my workout buddies.  Getting out and enjoying the company of others (and allowing them to enjoy your company) is very important to maintaining good mental health.  And mental and emotional health are just as important as physical health.  Having fun or having a good cry (if required) are important to keeping us healthy and balanced.  And this means getting social in person – not hopping onto Facebook to chat.  Your mind, body, and soul need you to interact with other human beings.  So, whether you go to a fitness class or a Bible study or book club or just get together with your friends or family, ensure that you do it.  Often.

mind-body-soul_design

So, that’s it.  Those are my personal top 5 (I’m sure there are more) favorite wellness tips to living a healthy life.  What are yours?

~FB

 

Veggie Spring Rolls

This afternoon I got a hankering to make my own spring rolls.  Something I had never done before.  But, I said I’d do it…and I did it.  I wanted something that I could take to work for lunch, something yummy and interesting and I believe I succeeded.  It was actually really simple and cheap and they were delicious.

I picked up a package of rice paper at the grocery store – the only required necessity – and a few more vegetables to add to what I already have in my fridge and went on my merry way.

Rice paper

You dunk the rice paper rounds in warm water for about 20 seconds then spread them out on a plate or platter

I had a gorgeous repertoire of veggies – and an apple for a little bit of sweetness and added crunch and chopped everything up perfectly.

Veggies

Red and orange peppers, red and green onion, cabbage slaw (because I’m really cheap and really lazy to buy it all separately), tomato, cucumber, and apple. 

I tossed heaps of all that beautiful and healthy goodness onto my rice paper and rolled like a pro.

Veggie Rolls

Beauties.

I left most of them cold and raw but wanted to try a couple of them warm so I tossed them in the skillet and sauteed them.

Skillet Rolls

This one looks like it’s had a rough night, but I promise it was just as delicious.

There you go!  An easy meal option when you want to eat healthy and try something new.  (If you have kids you can fake like it’s Taco Tuesday and let them make their own rolls – super fun!)

I’m not a big fan of people who say eating healthy is “expensive”, “too hard”, “gross”, etc. and use that as an excuse to eat junk.  The package of rice rolls was around $3 and I think has 12 or 15 rolls in it.  I made 6 rolls in total – 2 or 3 would be enough for a meal on it’s own (1 or 2 if you’re having it as a side to something).  I have plenty left over for lunches.  AND, you can put as much fillers in as you want – as long as you’re gentle and don’t tear the paper.  Cheap and easy and healthy and decadent.

~FB