Sunday, November 29, 2015

Whole30 Day 2-4 Meals and Thoughts on the Holidays

Time for a loooooooong post! I think I am starting to get in the groove of this. While it is not like my previous 10 days without sugar (after watching the amazing FED UP documentary) I did about two months ago, this is actually not too bad. I have been doing without some of these foods for awhile now so maybe this is the start of something new? We will see after 30 days! So let's get right into this! *If you would like to read Why I started, go here. For Day 1, go here. 

Day 2: (Whole30 Meal 4-6)
Meal 4- Breakfast was a repeat of Day 1 lunch. Since I liked it so much, I made it again. I have so many sweet potatoes in the pantry it makes for an easy staple. Sweet potato is such a versatile starchy veggie; it makes for a great base and with tons of Vitamin A, an essential building block for the body, and it is super filling.

Again, I cubed and sauteed the sweet potato in my cast iron skillet with coconut oil and then with the remaining oil left in the pan, I used it to cook my egg. Adding a smidgen of salt and pepper and it was an easy start to the day. I had a cup of pomegranate oolong tea with fresh pomegranate seeds.
Meal 5- Lunch. I had been eyeing this recipe for quite some time now so I was really excited to try it out and I knew it was finally the time to make it. I did tweak the recipe to make it more Whole30 compliant but I think it turned out really well! It does take a bit of time to prep -so if you are in a hurry, this may not be the best recipe for lunch!

I started by chopping the stalks off of rainbow chard and blanching its leaves in boiling water. Remove when soften and set aside. In a separate skillet without oil, I cooked 1 ground beef patty and added a 1 tsp each of roasted garlic powder and minced onion. Once finished,  it is assembly time. I placed the ground beef mix into the bottom of the chard (at the leaf/stalk base), a tsp of pizza sauce and began rolling up (much like a burrito or egg roll) and spooned about 3/4c of pizza sauce on top of roll-ups (i only had two). Placed in 400 degree oven for about 7 mins to warm the sauce. Once removed, sprinkle Nutritional Yeast on top (optional) and serve. And, it was amazing. I was so full after the first one I had to save the second. I had a la croix melon pomelo to drink.
Meal 6- Dinner. By this time I can feel the lack of sugar in my system. Headache. Hunger pains. I can see myself avoiding any food-related online post. Meanwhile, Thanksgiving is slowly creeping up and all I can think about is trying to focus on other things. Time to grab a book!

Dinner was actually pretty amazing really. I cubed more sweet potatoes, placed them in a small ramekin and seasoned them with a little clarified butter, onion, and roasted garlic powder. They went into my 425 degree oven for about 10 mins to cook. Meanwhile, I started my green beans in a small saute pan with EVOO and shallots (these go far so you only need a few). And, I prepped my steak (from the local butcher) with paprika and fine herbs. I placed the steak into my cast iron with a light spritz of avocado oil spray. After searing each side for about a minute each, it went straight into the oven for about 2 minutes - and on top i placed 1 tsp of butter. Half way through, I flipped the steak on the opposite side and placed it back in the oven. Once the steak was done, i removed it and placed it on a plate to rest for 5 minutes. Let me tell you there is nothing quite so delicious as a grass-fed steak. Perfection! And, another La Croix to drink with dinner.
I did grab a few of organic Turkish dried apricots for a late evening snack. It hit the spot and curved my craving for dessert. I am really having a great deal of craving for sweets at night - more than normal when I was eating them. I have had to abstain from watching food-related shows in the evenings. I have to keep my mind occupied with other thoughts. Time to re-train the brain!

Day 3 (Whole30 Meal 7-9)
Meal 7- Breakfast. I woke up feeling really good this morning. On the eve of Thanksgiving, you would have no idea that I am actually dreading this part of the challenge. I come from a southern family; we use bacon grease, butter, sugar, and we love to eat, especially bread. In true tradition, we have enjoyed this favorite past time for many, many years. But, regardless of it all, it is time to get into Day 3!

Breakfast was fairly quick to make this morning. I heated coconut oil in the cast iron skillet and lightly cooked two eggs. After they finished, I sprinkled about 1 tsp 21 seasons and a about 2 drops of Franks Hot Sauce on top. Paired it with a slice of turkey and a warm cup of green tea.
Meal 8- Lunch was pretty filling. Since I had a leftover beef patty from yesterday's lunch, I made an actual burger for lunch this day. I added 1 tsp each of paprika and 21 seasonings and reformed the patty. I already had pre-chopped purple onion, green pepper, red pepper, zucchini and yellow squash so i grabbed a handful and placed that in the cast iron with a spritz of avocado oil spray. While these veggies are idea for skewers, they are also a great side for lunch or dinner and they pair well with a lot of meats and seafood. I sauteed the veggie on high heat and then turned the pan down to medium to cook my burger; the equivalent of two small sliders. After slicing up a half of an apple, lunch was served! I enjoyed another La Croix with lunch and will be saving the other half of my apple for an afternoon snack.
Meal 9- Dinner. I was really happy about dinner prior to one of the biggest food holidays of the year. It was really "clean" eating and happened to be more unique than any of my other meals I had previously made. Dinner was rockfish grilled with a homemade dijon sauce and a spice rub grilled in the pan with the other half of my apple from lunch and a mini sauteed chopped chard salad with EVOO and shallots. I placed the fish on top of the salad to mix the dijon marinade into the salad and it was amazing. I loved trying fish a new way and having some apple slices was a great end to the meal - minus the fishy taste.

Day 4  (Meal 10-12) Happy Thanksgiving! I started off by saying "This day is surely going to be a struggle!" I love Thanksgiving and spending time with family and friends - but it makes the option of "cheating" on Whole30 another dynamic in the day. When you are at home in your own kitchen, you can control what you make and put into each dish. As you visit relatives, who do not follow the same guidelines as you do for meal prep, it makes for a more challenging meal.

Meal 10- Breakfast. I knew we would be eating somewhat heavy this day so I wanted to make a pretty dense meal nutrition-wise but without being overly filling. I had sauteed chopped sweet potatoes and a over-medium egg. I had considered making sausage but decided against it as I felt that would be too much.
Meal 11/12- Lunch/Dinner. Since Thanksgiving is always so filling I went for an easier approach. Since we were eating late (but the turkey was done early, I opted my "lunch" to be a few slices of turkey with mustard. It tied me over until dinner and was still compliant with Whole30- a win-win in my book.  Once the rest of the meal was ready, and everyone showed up, it was time for dinner.

My family was surprised to find I was not opting for stuffing or pie. Since we made mashed parsnips, it ended up working out really well for me (since my aunt tends to add milk and butter to her mashed potato recipe). Our turkey was made with just seasoning of dried herbs and drippings from the bird itself so it made for an easy protein. I had green beans and a cup of poms (instead of cranberries) and my meal was perfection. I had made it past without a problem. My family was surprised I decided to start Whole30 before the holiday's but I explained to them this was something I had decided on after my birthday and I could not turn back simply because of a simple holiday.
Surviving the holday's can be done on Whole30 with just a few adjustments. First, I made sure I brought at least one item I could eat - just incase. Second, I had to ask my family members their 'secrets' on how they made each item I was unsure about. Thirdly, some items I just had to clearly steer away from. It was not too difficult, but it was a challenge I faced pretty well. While I do not recommend anyone starting their Whole30 prior to the holiday season, I found it to be a challenge I succeeded.  While week 1 is still very much in the green, I am worried about my upcoming trip to Georgia. We will see how this goes!!

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