Whole 30 {Week One}

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Have you heard of Whole 30? If not, read about it, and seriously consider doing it. I’m only 7 days in to this 30 day adventure, and already, I’m feeling fabulous. On day 7, my energy was officially way up, and I’m really feeling like I’ve got the hang of this now. Also, read this hilarious article (click the image):

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I found a few blogs around the interwebs documenting what people ate, so I decided to do the same thing. Hopefully this might help someone who is unsure decide to make a big change in their life, too! Scroll to the bottom for some reflection on days 1-7.

Day 1:

Breakfast: 1 egg, 1 egg white, apple
Lunch: lots of nuts and grapes
Dinner: salad – mixed greens, 2 hard boiled eggs, mushrooms, onions, and a little bit of bacon
Dessert: about one cup of mixed pineapple and banana

Thoughts: I know lunch looks weird, but I didn’t really have time for lunch before I went to work. Luckily there were a bunch of grapes and nuts there so that got me through. Not a great way to kick it off, I know.

Day 2:

Breakfast: apple, 1/2 orange, veggie omelet
Lunch: sweet potato, a few pieces of Boar’s Head turkey, handful of cashews
Dinner: veggies sauteed in EVOO, baked flounder
Snack: Small glass of fresh OJ

Thoughts: I still feel fine today – not too different than how I usually eat!

Day 3:

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Breakfast: 2 turkey meatballs, 2 eggs scrambled with veggies, handful of blueberries
Lunch: Salad with greens, chicken, 1/4 avocado, cashews, carrots, onions, and cilantro salad dressing + banana (not on the salad, of course)
Dinner: We were out to eat for a meeting, so I ordered a salad with salmon, pine nuts, oranges, and avocado, no dressing. The salmon was a good size, but everything else was a little skimpy. So later at home, I was still hungry, and had a few cashews and a little piece of turkey.

Thoughts: Still fine! Just hungrier tonight.

Day 4:

Breakfast: Same as yesterday…creature of habit!
Lunch: Salad with spinach, chicken, 1/2 avocado, carrots, onions, cucumber, tomatoes, apple, and cilantro salad dressing
Snack: handful of cashews, a few slices of turkey
Dinner: Turkey stuffed bell peppers, 1/2 roasted sweet potato, kale chips

Turkey stuffed peppers

Thoughts: I was pretty tired today, but I am honestly attributing that to poor sleep last night, and a few other outside factors. I’m plenty full after each meal, but tonight was craving a dessert of some kind. Resisted any “treats,” including fruit, because I wasn’t actually hungry and have had plenty of good food today. Just a cup of cinnamon tea before bed!

Day 5:

Breakfast: Same thing…I don’t like to think too much in the morning.
Lunch: Salad with spinach, chicken, 1/2 avocado, carrots, onions, cucumber, tomatoes, a little bit of bacon, a few grapes and blue berries, and cilantro salad dressing
Dinner: Sweet potato and left over filling from the peppers last night. I inhaled this as I went from one job to the next.
Snack: I was starving when I got home late, so I had a cut up banana with a few chopped cashews and a little coconut milk on it. Sounds weird but hit the spot.

Thoughts: It was a long day, but overall, still going strong.

Day 6:

Breakfast: Same thing!
Lunch: Out for a work meeting. Had a nicoise salad (tuna, hard boiled egg, olives, tomatoes, green beans, squeeze of lemon and some pepper over lettuce) and a cup of mixed fruit.
Snack: Cashews and grapes
Dinner: We were at an event with Mediterranean food, so I have a plain salad with chicken kabob and lamb meat on it. Hit the spot!

Thoughts: I was a little crabby today. I contribute that 75% to hormones, 20% to being stressed and tired, and 5% to really wanting a slice of pizza like nobody’s business.

Day 7:

Breakfast: Same, same.
Lunch: Mixed salad of shrimp, chicken, 1/2 avocado, tomato, onion, cilantro and a squeeze of lime. Plus an apple.

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Snack: Cashews and fresh OJ.
Dinner (late): A big ol’ 11 oz sirloin (don’t judge. I was starving.) with a side of double veggies (zucchini and squash). This was a pre-concert meal, and I had a late night apple before bed.

Thoughts: Energy is WAY up today. I got a ton done, and even made it through a late concert and a long drive home, no problem. I also had no problem ordering at a restaurant out, and saying no to the many temptations there. Starting to feel pretty settled in this new routine.

OVERALL THOUGHTS ON DAYS 1-7

So as I look over my week’s meals, I see a few things. First, I’m snacking. Granted, it’s only when I am actually hungry, but maybe I need larger meals so that I don’t feel the need for snacks. Second, I’m eating a LOT of meat. I think I need to incorporate some meatless meals, and maybe even days. At the very least, decrease meat and add more seafood.

But seriously, I’m feeling awesome after only a week. Ready for week 2!

Click here to see Week 2.

Click here to see Week 3.

Click here to see Week 4.

Click here to see the end results!

Click here to view all of my Whole30 recipes and posts.

Turkey Stuffed Peppers

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So, this recipe seriously satisfied my wants for spaghetti, sloppy joes, and a hamburger all in one meal. It’s a very simple recipe, and could easily be made a little fancier by adding cheese or rice, but in the paleo world, that’s a no-go. So just stick to this easy meal, and you’ll be good to go!

Turkey stuffed peppers

Turkey Stuffed Peppers (serves 4-5)

Ingredients

4-5 bell peppers (any colors you want), cut in half and seeded

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 onion, diced

1 lb lean turkey meat (could also do pork, beef, etc)

1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes

3 tablespoons tomato paste (my hubby loves this stuff so he added the whole can…just go with your gut on that one)

Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt, & pepper to taste

a few leaves of basil, chopped

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 450. Place bell pepper halves in a baking dish and bake for about 20 minutes, until they start to get soft.

2. On medium-high heat, saute the garlic and onion in a little bit of olive oil until they begin to appear translucent. Add the turkey and cook until browned. Add the can of tomatoes, tomato paste, and seasonings. Once heated through and simmering, add the basil.

3. Remove the peppers from the oven, and fill each with the meat mixture. Place back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes. Enjoy!

Raw Cilantro Salad Dressing {paleo}

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I can’t say I LOVE this salad dressing (see yesterday’s salad photo), but it’s the first paleo dressing I’ve made, and honestly, it works for me! It’s a great base, as well, if you want to play around with the herbs, veggies, and seasonings you might throw into it. I think next round, I’ll work on a cucumber dressing of some kind, and hold the parsley. So without further adieu..

Raw Cilantro Salad Dressing

Ingredients

1 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup walnts
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 medium orange, juiced (about 3 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/8 cup water
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Blend it all together in a food processor, and put it on anything you want!

Chicken Seasoning

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So I’m eating a lot of salads these days, so I have to have some pretty darn good toppings. No plain chicken this week. So I HIGHLY recommend this delicious little seasoning combination for your chickens this week!photo

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Season your chickens, and enjoy!! Paleo salad dressing recipe coming tomorrow…

Turkey Meatballs

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So I made these this week actually to eat with my breakfasts. I started a Whole 30 on Saturday (more on that later), so I wanted to add a lean animal protein to my breakfast. Well, here’s a pretty simple way to do it!

Be warned, these meatballs are not like, delicious, decadent, moist meatballs of your childhood. They are really basically seasoned meat to accompany your morning eggs. Next week, I may splurge on some all natural, no filler breakfast sausages from whole foods or something, but for this week, it works!

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Well now that I’ve totally sold you on these…here’s the recipe if you need a little meat for your morning! I make 10 large meatballs so I can grab 2 each morning of the work week, but you can divvy these up any way you’d like.

Turkey Meatballs

You’ll need:

1 lb lean ground turkey
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 green onions, chopped (whites and greens)
2 teaspoons italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
(optional: for a little more umph, try adding some chopped dried peaches or apricots.)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl (I use my hands – it’s easiest, really). Form into 10 large balls, and place in a muffin tin. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until cooked through. If you make them smaller, reduce cooking time.

Enjoy your meat!!

Healthy Egg Salad

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Healthy Egg Salad

Sometimes you just need a little something delicious, and you don’t need the extra calories or fat! Reach for this five-minute recipe next time you’re wanting some old school lunch love.

Healthy Egg Salad (Serves 2)

You’ll need:

2 hard boiled eggs + 2 hard boiled egg whites

3 tablespoons plain greek yogurt

1 tablespoon mustard

red onion (to taste – some people like more or less!)

1/4 cup chopped celery

dash of celery salt

dash of garlip powder

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Chop it all up and mix it up! This seriously hits the spot when you are wanting something light but a little bit creamy. Play with the seasonings to make it how you like it. Greek yogurt makes a great substitute for anything with mayo or sour cream in it. Do not be afraid of the greek yogurt!!

A Valentine’s Day Round Up

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I confess, I have never been all that into Valentine’s day. Don’t get me wrong – middle and high school was wrought with butterflies-in-stomach as I wondered if my longtime crush would finally say something or if I, in fact, should make the first move. In college, it became awaiting packages of smidgens from my dad or a care package from my mom. As serious relationships ebbed and flowed after college, some years were memorable and some were less so.

Three years ago, after dating for only one month, my now husband drove all the way from Murfreesboro to Nashville, with flowers and a vase he’d bought and arranged on his own, made friends with our office janitor, got into my office, left said flowers and a card on my desk, and got back to Murfreesboro in time to teach at 8:00 a.m.

I’m preeeetttty sure I already loved him at that point, anyway.

And it was the start of a new era – an era where I love Valentine’s day more because it is an excuse to make things that are pink and shaped like hearts than it is a special holiday. My husband and I have so many things to celebrate throughout the year that truly, this is simply another day to be together, which is A-OKAY with me!

I confess, I haven’t had time to make much valentine-y stuff this year, so here are a few of my favorites from the past! Click the photo to see the original post. I hope to make something new over the weekend!

Valentine Chocolate Scones

Valentine Scones

Valentine Sewn Paper Tea BagsValentine Tea

Valentine’s Cupcake Wrapper WreathValentine Wreath

Valentine Heart PieValentine Pie

Valentine Present WrappingValentine Present

And of course, NEVER forget about Amy’s Caramel Apples…

amy's

 

Whole Wheat Apple Muffins

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Whole Wheat Apple Muffins

I believe these may be my new go-to whole wheat muffins. They are healthy, unprocessed, and could really serve as a base for other muffins – you could add any kinds of fruits, nuts, or veggies (carrots, zucchini, etc.) to this mixture.

Whole Wheat Apple Muffins (12 large muffins)

You’ll need:

1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 cup greek yogurt (I use fat free even though technically that’s not “clean”)
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick), softened (but not melted)
1/4 cup honey (more if you want very sweet muffins)
3 tablespoons egg whites (or 1 egg / egg white)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 apple, peeled and diced (I like gala, but any apple will work)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine whole wheat flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine yogurt, butter, honey, egg whites, and vanilla. Blend with a mixer on medium speed. Add applesauce on low speed. Slowly add your dry ingredients, still in low speed.

Fold in the apple, and distribute the batter among 12 muffin cups. It’s a thick batter, and won’t rise very much. Bake for 14-18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Enjoy!

Nutrition: Serving size – 1 muffin; calories – 120; fat – 4g; carbs – 19; protein – 3g; sugar – 7g.

Sweet Potato Hash, Bacon, and Egg Skillet

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I am definitely not eating exclusively paleo. BUT I have been eating a lot cleaner, and find myself often asking “Is this paleo? Is this clean?” etcetera. I have to say I think this is my favorite new recipe I’ve made this year – and I think my husband might agree.

Also, this is the kind of thing you don’t bother getting your camera out for, becuase you are so hungry by the time it’s done that you want to devour it, not take your time taking photos of it. So please, forgive the iphone pics. I will try to make it again soon and update with nicer photos. But meanwhile, enjoy!!

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Sweet Potato Hash, Bacon, and Egg Skillet (2 servings)

You’ll need:

1 medium sweet potato, peeled
1 sweet onion
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
salt & pepper to taste
4 slices bacon (you could also totally make this with sausage)
4 eggs

*additions: You could do so much with this – try adding black beans, green chiles, other veggies, etc. Delicious!

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a skillet, saute the bacon until fully cooked. Remove the bacon on to paper towels, and pour the grease out of the skillet, leaving just a little bit behind. Pat your bacon with a paper towl.

While the bacon cooks, in a medium bowl, grate both your sweet potato and onion. Combine well with garlic powder, salt, and pepper, as well as other seasonings you might like (red pepper flakes would be good!).

Put the sweet potato combination into your skillet and begin to saute. Crumble the bacon back into the skillet as well. Cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat.

Creat four wells in your hash, and crack an egg into each. Place the entire skillet into the oven for 5-8 mintues, depending on how runny you like your eggs.

Remove and ENJOY!

Puppy Preschool {National K-9}

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I felt like such a mom on Saturday. We had a vet appointment at 9:15 (she’s perfect), and then puppy preschool at 10:30. Then I rushed home to make a quick lunch and go work at Banana 1-5. It was a busy little Saturday!

And yes, I said puppy preschool. It’s SO precious, and I’ve found it definitely worthwhile. A coworker told me about the program at National K-9 here in Columbus. For $60, you get a one-on-one session with a dog trainer to discuss basics and to get a little bit of an assessment on your dog’s personality. Then, for three Saturdays in a row, you go to a class with 8-10 other puppies and owners. It’s a great opportunity to socialize your pup with other dogs and strangers. They also introduce the dog to things like vacuums, bicycles, and other loud noisce / moving objects.

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As you might imagine, Ryman is pretty popular not just with all the people, but also with the other pups. These two played for half the class… And yes, they are the same age.

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Anyway, it was a fun morning, and it tuckers our pup out for the rest of the day. I highly recommend it if you’re in the Columbus area!

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