Wednesday, September 30, 2015
But today I feel inspired!
After my super sad salad at Chevy's Monday I've been jonesing for a burrito bowl type situation. The problem is the majority of the delish components are off my menu at the moment. Beans: Nope! Rice: Nope! Corn: Nope! Sour cream...you get the idea. Then I remembered I had half a cauliflower left from when I made that amazing veggie biryani Saturday night. So I decided to adapt the recipe to make a Tex-Mex type rice that I could top with some taco meat, lettuce, and guacamole and then pretend like I got it from Chipotle.
1/2 Cauliflower Head, riced
3 Tbsp ghee or light olive oil (I used ghee)
1 onion, diced
1 cup carrots, diced
1 zucchini, diced
1 can (14.5 oz) fire roasted tomatoes (I used Muir Glen)
Juice from the tomatoes, plus broth/liquid to get it to 1/2 cup
Taco Seasoning, about 2 Tablespoons (I used Danielle Walker's recipe, it's not online, womp womp)
Melt ghee in big sauce pan over medium heat. Saute carrots and onion for 5-7 minutes. Stir in cauli rice and seasoning, cook for another 5 minutes or so. Add broth, tomatoes, and zucchini, stir to combine. Lower heat just a notch, cover and let it bubble for about 15 minutes.
I just sampled a bit and I can't wait until dinner time.
Oh, and I'm still on track, I feel good, etc. etc. etc.
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Yesterday I worked a half day then met a friend for lunch. She's moving to Hawaii (such a pity, right?) and I might not see her for years unless I convince The Husband we need to go. Anyway, I had the saddest salad ever for lunch. I 86'd the cheese, tortilla strips, and corn salsa from the salad and I used salsa for dressing. That wasn't the problem, the problem was the portion sizes. It was a big plate of lettuce with maybe 2 oz of grilled chicken and 1/8 of an avocado with a sprinkling of bacon bits and chopped red peppers. Despite the lacking the portion size, it was tasty and I wasn't hungry anymore. Guess I can't really complain, then?
Last night I tasked The Husband with grilling up some steak, chicken breasts, and some burgers so we'd have some protein for the week. We ate grilled veggies and burgers last night, tonight is busy so we'll just have the grilled chicken. Actually, every night this week is busy! Band practice, homecoming parade, more band practice, orthodontist appointments, a football game Friday and so on. I knew if I didn't have some stuff ready, I'd be scrambling.
I'm still sleeping great except for getting up to pee two times per night. I fear that will never change, I can't remember a night when I didn't get up at least once. I've been meaning to analyze my FitBit data to see if I'm less restless and whatnot.
So basically this is all very boring. I'm planning, I'm eating, I'm feeling great, etc.
Sunday, September 27, 2015
Last night I made the most delicious dinner. Seriously. It was soooooo good. I made a vegetable biryani (another delish dish from Danielle Walker) and I put cashew chicken curry on top it (sans yogurt). Oh, I also left out the raisins. Because raisins are gross. I also added red bell pepper to the onions and stirred in fresh broccoli at the end. It was just what I needed to break me out of my food slump. I had some more for lunch today. It's seriously so good that I hope I dream about it tonight.
I would like to pat myself on the back for tonight's dinner prep because it involved taking a bag of soup from the freezer (a Day 1 prep) and putting it in the crock pot. Done and done. So easy. I think I ate a gazillion vegetables today.
I still need to master my mayo. I attempted to fix yesterday's debacle, but it turns out my blender is too big for such a small batch. So I'll probably end up buying a smaller food processor or a newer stick blender that doesn't require me to hold the button down because I just can't do that with my lack of grip strength/joint pain in my hands.
I'm still sleeping really well, too! All in all, I don't regret making the decision to give this another try. I've tried it before a few times in the last year and never made it past Day 4. One of my friends (she's also my neighbor) is sticking to the W30 lifestyle for the most part too, so it's nice to have someone so close by who gets it. She drank seltzer with me last night while watching Doctor Who. All in all, it was a nice weekend.
Speaking of Doctor Who...some may consider what follows spoilerish, so if you're not caught up or if you care, quit reading now.
Um. What the hell is up with the shades? Those better not be a replacement for the sonic screwdriver. Because seriously. What. The. Fuck?
Saturday, September 26, 2015
And I'll tell you all about it tomorrow.
I tried a new recipe for Meatza and while I wouldn't call it a fail, I wouldn't call it a win either. It was just too weird for me to wrap my brain around. I topped mine with onions and peppers. It made me not hungry, so it did its job. It was not pizza. Sigh.
I changed up my salad for when I was at school and added shrimp instead of chicken. That was a nice change. The frittata/egg bake I made for brunch has been fab for breakfasts. Even though I'm eating a variety of things, I'm kind of bored with what I'm eating. To combat this, I'm making a W30 compliant chicken curry tonight. I need something exotic-ish and different.
So that's a basic wrap up from the last few days. I'm still following the rules and getting through my days. I'm waking up naturally and not feeling tired (as evidenced by my 7 am blog post on a Saturday).
I would like to discuss my homemade mayonnaise for a second, though. Even though it's tasty, it's just too runny. I've googled and tried all the tricks and it just won't set up and get thick and delicious like the store bought stuff in a jar. I'm going to make another batch today, but I'm going to use just an egg yolk instead of the whole egg. This makes me happy because raw egg yolks are far less gross and nasty than raw egg whites. Raw egg whites squick me out. I'm not worried about the raw egg, I buy eggs locally from a farm that lets their chickens mill about freely. I'm also going to use less lemon juice. The flavor has been a bit too lemony in my last few batches. Maybe I'll switch it up to regular vinegar for this batch and see how it goes. Oh....adventures in mayonnaise.
Lastly...these microwave chips are getting me through this PMS-y week. I think. I'm not sure if The Husband agrees. I hid upstairs last night while they ate real pizza. Well, it was Papa John's...I'm not sure how real that is. Anyway, look at these chips! From the microwave! No oil. Just potato and salt. Nom nom nom.
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
No really. I want chips. Thank the universe for that Pampered Chef voodoo chip maker. I had a potato's worth of chips this afternoon. Had to do it. It did the trick. This thing is getting me through PMS on the W30.
In other news, I woke up naturally at 5:30 again and had a great day. I'm starting to get sleepy now as I watch more Arrow.
I'll write a real post tomorrow when I'm not on my phone.
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Things are a little different this year. First of all, I have seltzer not wine. And I'm making my own dinner. And I'm having zucchini noodles (zoodles). While zucchini is delicious, it is not pasta. Sidenote: Do you have trouble spelling zucchini? I do. I'm a great speller, but I always, always, always want to put one c and two n's. Anyway. I'm sure this meal will be fabulous, but it's certainly lacking the indulgent anniversary dinner qualities that usually come along with any meal eaten on September 22. I couldn't find a compliant marinara at the store (added sugar), so I made my own. I used hot Italian sausage for protein. I found a decent sausage [insert joke here], but it had sugar on its ingredients list. Guess what? I bought it. I cooked it. I'm going to eat it. Fuck it. The overall sugars for per serving was zero, so I feel okay about the minuscule amount of sugar that was contained in the sausage spice mix.
School was a bit crazy today. I had fewer classes to teach because while I was subbing with my same students, I was filling in for the lead math teacher, not the co-teacher. I only had to teach math, not math and science. At about 11:30 I felt like I needed a drink, but that was because 3rd period was OUT OF CONTROL. They've never been like that for me before. It was crazytown. I got a break at 4th period, so I ate my salad and regrouped. I got to see a few of my buddies from across the hall from Friday, so that made me happy. And I forgot I needed a neat bourbon. Then 5th period came in and it was so very different. They were far less crazy than their counterparts. And when I left after class, one girl exclaimed, "What do you mean you're leaving? You usually stay for science too! Don't leave!!!!" and another kid told me I was his favorite teacher. So that totally made my day. And these teachers. And their lounge. There's always something on the table that says "help yourself". And it's usually cake or some sweet bread of some sort. Today's offering was banana bread. I'm going to leave a bowl of kale on Friday and see what happens.
I hit the store after school to buy the non-compliant sausage, zucchini and stuff for brunch tomorrow. Schools are closed and a friend invited me to lunch since she's not working either. I didn't want to have to try to find something I could eat out at a restaurant, so I counteroffered with an invite for brunch at my house. I'm making a some eggs, home fries, blueberry muffins for the kiddos, fresh fruit and coffee, juice, etc. This way I know that I'm compliant. Unless I decide to throw some of that sausage in the eggs. You never know. I'm feeling crazy!
As to how I'm feeling, I feel like this is a good thing for my body. I'm less achy than I have been after being in the classroom all day. I went to the store after work and didn't bitch about it. I wouldn't turn down a long walk right now. Normally by 6:30 I'm exhausted and, as The Husband likes to call it, I've retired to my chambers. While I'm tired, I'm not beat. I feel less fluffy. I do have fleeting moments of wanting to eat a bag of chips or a whole pizza, but they pass.
So that's today. I'm going to go eat my fancy anniversary dinner now. Here's what it looks like.
Fortunately for me, I have a cool gadget that can make me W30 approved chips.
It's from Pampered Chef and it's awesome. You can make potato chips, sweet potato chips, apple chips, and so on. A friend said I sounded like the Forrest Gump of chips when talking about what you can do with this thing, but for reals. Chips made in my microwave? Yes, please.
Seriously. Look at how these chips turned out. From my microwave. It's voodoo, for sure.
Aside from the chips emergency, my day was smooth sailing. I hit up IKEA with a friend and then Lowe's in search of a closet solution for her kids. I walked the kids to and from school, and then we had leftovers for dinner (pork for the kids, Hawaiian chicken burgers for me and The Husband). At dinner though, I ended up feeling full before I was done. It was a different full, a good full. And I was kind of bored and tired of eating. So I stopped.
I was in bed by 9:30 and surprisingly alert and awake this morning at 5:30. That's new. I'm subbing today and I'll be packing my usual salad with grilled chicken. I'm not sure what I'm going to do about tonight for dinner. I don't think the kids would be pleased to have pork a third night in a row. Maybe I'll conjure up some type of Taco Tuesday with a twist.
Monday, September 21, 2015
I learned that doing this Whole30 thing is far easier than I thought it would be once I put my mind to it. Daily posts certainly don't hurt either. As I eyed my kids' carbtastic treats I asked myself if I was willing to mess up this hard work I've put in and then have to come clean about it on my blog. Nope. Not willing to do that. And truly I'm not doing this to lose weight, I want to feel better. I can't say that I'm feeling excellent and this is the best thing I've ever done in my life, but I am feeling pretty good. I also noticed that when I wake up, I no longer have a crampy gurgling in my bowels. I didn't wake up with that feeling daily before W30, but it was often enough to notice that it hasn't happened once in the last week. I do feel quite sleepy in the evenings and I've noticed that while I often get hungry in between meals it never turns into hanger and it often goes away. That's a new (and weird) feeling.
Planning what I was going to eat each day (in advance) was truly the key to my success. I have this week mostly mapped out and several delicious things already cooked and ready to go in my fridge. Yesterday I made a braised pork roast from Danielle Walker's Meals Made Simple cookbook. It was soooooo good. I had mine on top of a sweet potato and some hot sauce. I used a few ingredients I haven't used in a pork roast before. Like fennel seed. And pancetta. I also ditched the wine the recipe called for and used chicken broth. I bet the wine would add a great depth to the already delicious flavor. Next month I'll try that! There were tons of leftovers. I'm going to freeze half for emergency dinner and use the other half to nosh on during the week. I also set aside a few cups of the shredded meat to turn into Cuban sandwiches.
I also went to Six Flags yesterday. I was a bit nervous about being in a place that pretty much had zero options for me as far as food and drink were concerned aside from water. But I made it work. I had a huge breakfast (finished off my egg frittata and some guac, gotta make more of that today), I packed lunches for everyone and we had a "picnic" outside the park gates instead of buying nasty, overpriced food at the park. It worked out pretty well and I even picked up some best practices from other people I saw picnicking. Next time I'll bring camping chairs! And one group we saw even brought boxed wine. They said it was the only way they could get through the day in the Kiddie Land. Ha! I also had a snack bag of raw almonds stashed in my purse for emergency snacking and I found I only needed to have a few almonds toward the late afternoon. I had a ton of fun, but by the end of the day, I felt like I'd been hit by a truck. We were home by 6 and my dinner was already done in the crock pot. I felt like a winner! If I hadn't been doing Whole30, I probably would've suggested pizza or Chinese takeout for dinner. Not only did I eat something more healthy, I set myself up for success this week with the leftovers.
I'm ready to jump in to Week Two!
Sunday, September 20, 2015
Saturday, September 19, 2015
So even though I was tempted last night and the night's not quite over, I'm going to go ahead and say I finished Day Six successfully. It's far from over because I'm going to a friend's house later to watch Doctor Who. She knows what I'm doing and is being supportive. I'm taking a giant cup of unsweetened tea and a handful of raw almonds with me. Woo.
I slept way longer than I planned to this morning. I didn't get up until almost 9 and I went to bed at 10:30. I like sleeping, but I was surprised I slept that long. I'm actually tired now, too. One of the other marching band moms and I discussed Whole 30 last night and she mentioned getting "the carb flu" and warned me to prepare myself. Maybe that's why I'm so tired? I dunno. I had some coffee and more veggie frittata for breakfast. I planned out next week's menu and then went for a long walk with a friend. For lunch I finished up the meatballs I made earlier in the week along with some sweet potato. It was tasty, but at one point during the day I really, really wanted a pan pizza from Pizza Hut. That's not even good pizza, but it was all I could think about for a while. I vented to a friend on Facebook and she assured me the feeling would pass. It did, eventually. But now that I'm discussing it again...
I hit the store to get supplies for most of this upcoming week's menu and also ingredients for dinner. Tonight's dinner was Hawaiian Chicken Burgers. I have Danielle Walker's cookbook, but this was the only place I found the recipe posted online. I've never watched The Doctors. Is it an annoying show like Dr. Oz? Anyway, they were super tasty, even the kids ate them (on buns and sans toppings, though). Here's a picture that's way less awesome than the one in the link above.
I have a few leftover chicken burgers, some grilled chicken that we cooked at the same time as the burgers, and tomorrow I'm making a giant pork roast in the crock pot that we will nosh on throughout the week. I bought a conventionally raised pork roast because the organic, pastured pork roast price damn near killed me. I'm going to shop around though and find some humanely raised pork in the future. Or give up my fancy hair cuts. Because damn.
We're going to Six Flags tomorrow. I'm packing a cooler full of food so I can stay on track. Hopefully I'll be distracted by all the walking and roller coaster riding. As for how I'm feeling, I feel good, not great. My energy hasn't skyrocketed or anything. Joints are still achy and I'm still feeling a bit bitchy, but I'm definitely not worse!
Friday, September 18, 2015
The class I subbed in today was small (14 kids) but it was all special needs kids, some more severe than others. It took a lot out of me, but it was so, so, so rewarding. Many of these kids were so sweet. I made a new friend and he was sad when I told him I wasn't going to be there Monday. I will be subbing Tuesday, though, and my classroom is right across the hall from him. I told him I'd say hi. I seriously applaud these teachers.
I mentioned cake. Let's talk about it. I'm not, and never have been, a big sweets eater. Savory, salty things have always been my vice. Today I was offered cake fifty zillion times. Apparently teachers at the middle school like their cake. It was pretty easy to say no, but never in my life have I been offered cake so much. One of the teachers insisted I take some anyway and give it to The Boy later. No means no, Miss Tasha.
So I survived the work week and I'm running low on prepped food. I think tomorrow I'm going to map out next week and get some cooking done. We may hit up Six Flags on Sunday, so I need to make a plan for that, too. I've been trying to write this post for far too long now, so I'm just gonna close it out now.
Thursday, September 17, 2015
I didn't wake up hungry and I broke the "rule" of drinking coffee before eating anything, but I did manage to eat something after only an hour of being awake. That's huge for me! I ate some more breakfast hash with eggs, veggies, and guac. I got some approved hot sauce yesterday, so my mouth was super happy.
After walking my daughter to school, I changed into my Cinderelly clothes and unleashed my inner Monica. I got a ton of cleaning done. I was tempted to make the kids stay outside after school today so that my beautiful sanctuary stayed spotless. I met a friend for lunch and it was easier than I thought, though I did eye her sandwich quite a bit. I ordered a simple salad, added grilled chicken and avocado and got the raspberry vinaigrette. I added some pickled jalapenos to it (can you tell I like spicy things?) and that really made the dish. I was pleasantly full but not stuffed. Does that make sense? I'm noticing that feeling these last few days. I feel happy and satisfied with what I've eaten but not all blarghy and gross. It's nice.
For dinner I threw the meatballs and sauce* I prepped yesterday into a crock pot and walked away. I had the meatballs with the roasted spaghetti squash I'd already cooked. I sprinkled on my hots (this time crushed red pepper) and pretended like I was actually eating pasta. I wasn't. But I wasn't miserable. I tried to get the kids to try the squash (no dice), but they did eat the meatballs which were secretly filled with carrots. Bwahahahahaha, kids!
I don't feel quite as tired today as I did the other days. Progress. Tomorrow is going to be busy! I'm subbing and The Boy has a performance with his marching band. I'm nervous I'll be tempted to eat bad things, but I'm just going to pack a bunch of portable snacks. I'm one of the marching band food moms so I'm going to be there making sure everyone eats and whatnot. Also, I'm not subbing in my usual class, the special needs class needs a sub and they asked me if I'd switch. I'm hoping that doesn't throw off my usual eating routine at school. I'm flattered they are already seeking me out so early in my subbing career, but since I know them already from The Boy's IEP/504 whatnot, I think they have confidence that special needs kids don't scare me. They don't. She also told me she'd feel better having someone she knows in the class with those kids rather than just some random sub who pushed "1" during the robo-call. That kind of made my day.
*The sauce I referenced yesterday called for honey. I left it out. I am still pouting about this.
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
I woke up yesterday horrified because I had dreamed of eating all the food at the grocery store, chowing on Chick Fil A sandwiches, and eating an entire order of chicken lo mein from our favorite Chinese takeout place. None of these things happened, of course, but I've also never dreamed about food before. Weird.
One of the "rules" of Whole30 is to eat your breakfast within an hour of waking up. I've never done this. I'm not an early breakfast eater. I'm just not. I get my coffee and then usually eat 2-3 hours later. I'm not one to force myself to eat, but yesterday I tried to eat before I even had my coffee. I wasn't overly hungry, so I ended up not eating enough. I was starving by 10 am. The Whole30 peeps want you to try to eat only 3 meals a day with minimal snacking. But they've never seen me hangry, so I was smart and packed snacks to take with me to school. What were said snacks? Carrots. I got over being hungry really fast. I just really didn't feel like chewing. I started substitute teaching this school year and I was in the classroom yesterday. I knew the distraction of the science and math would help with any lingering thoughts I may have of cheese and crackers. It did. But I was still hungry.
Lunch was a green salad with the best chicken you'll ever eat and a hard boiled egg. It was pretty tasty. I had to run some Marching Band mom errands yesterday which means I went to Wegmans. I went to Wegmans slightly hungry. Never do this. Especially if you're on Day 2 of Whole30. The bakery...the cheese shop...sigh sigh sigh. I lived, but wow was that a rookie mistake. Never again. I came home and had a handful of raw almonds and half of a honeycrisp apple.
The Girl declared it Taco Tuesday and insisted we have tacos for dinner. I had browned up some ground beef on my prep day, so I had lettuce wrapped tacos topped with guacamole, peppers, and tomatoes. Everyone else had theirs on crunchy corn shells, some cheddar cheese and rice. I didn't miss those extras too much, I was too freaking exhausted to care. I went to bed earlyish wondering if I would actually wake up hungry on Day Three.
The answer to that is nope. Not hungry. I had coffee and a hard boiled egg before I walked The Girl up to school. After that I did some yoga and THEN I was hungry. I browned up some potatoes and onions (yes, white potatoes are allowed) and served with the egg & veggie frittata I made on Monday. I topped the whole thing with half a diced avocado and tomatoes. Yum! All that was missing was some hot sauce. I need to find a compliant sauce ASAP.
Today I'm going to make some meatballs and a red sauce to have with the spaghetti squash I roasted Monday to serve for dinner tomorrow. Tonight I'm making a crock pot soup which will be full of veggies and diced chicken. I have to hit the store to pick up some broth because my homemade broth leaked in the fridge while I was thawing it. Fail. I will definitely make sure that I am NOT hungry when I go to Wegmans today.
Monday, September 14, 2015
Let's back up to why I'm blogging about food and what led me to start eating in this (perhaps faddish?) way.
I think something hinky is going on with my body. And as far as blood tests go, I'm pretty much normal. I have your usual run of the mill mid-30s mom ailments, but I also have some other more alarming things going on.. Now that I said mid-30s I realize I'm a liar. I'm in my late 30s. Oof. When did that happen? Anyway, I'm always tired. Always. I often run low grade fevers in the afternoon. I have joint pain almost all the time. I have weird muscle weakness and no grip strength. I had a field vision loss in my left eye (which is what started this whole thing!) and it was recently discovered that I have cataracts already. They're tiny, baby "salt and pepper" cataracts, but they're already there. I was incredulous when my eye specialist told me that --- I reminded him I wasn't 75 even though I often feel like it. Let's see what else is wrong with me. Oh! I'm always cold. My feet, hands, the tip of my nose. Cold. I developed a weird skin rash on my cheeks, I've had some intestinal issues off and on, etc. Basically, I have a bunch of little things that are annoying but when they're all going on at the same time I'm miserable. And I refuse to let this be my "normal".
My doctors are all baffled. I was treated for a B12 deficiency in 2013 and my symptoms improved once my numbers went up. I just had more tests run and my D3 is now borderline low. This is alarming to me because it's the end of summer. I was outside a lot. And I take a supplement. I feel like I should have a good, solid number, and I don't.
I promise I'll talk about food soon.
Anyway, doctors don't know what's wrong with me, I don't know what's wrong with me, but something definitely isn't right. Many of my friends suggested many different things. Yoga, did it. Gluten free, tried it. Less stress, I quit my job. Etc. I don't want to rely on prescription medication if I can avoid it, especially the ones that have side effects worse than what I'm already dealing with.
So now I'll discuss food. I read It Starts With Food. And I'm going to try their recommended food plan Whole30. Basically, I'm going to eliminate a bunch of food groups from my diet and see how I feel. And while I think that many of the conclusions they arrived at are not studied nearly enough to substantiate their claims, I really can't see how eating more vegetables, no processed foods, no alcohol, and no refined anything could possibly be bad for me. Who knows? Maybe food really is the best medicine.
Today was Day 1. I survived. I ate a veritable horn of plenty*. Sweet potato, butternut squash, peppers, onions, carrots, cucumber, greens, sugar snap peas. I ate some grilled chicken with a fresh, homemade vinaigrette, hard boiled eggs, avocado. Coffee, black. No dairy. No grains. No legumes. No added sugar. No alcohol (that's easy, it's a school night). I did a ton of prep work today to get ready for the week ahead. I think I can do this. My friend Allison already did it. She reported feeling better, having more energy, etc.
I'm a Type A planner person, so I'm pretty confident that as long as I have a plan and the right foods in my fridge, this will be easy. I did take measurements and I weighed myself today, but that's not what this is about, even though I could stand to lose about 20 lbs. I want my new normal to be a happy me. Me, starring less fatigue, less aches and pains, maybe just a little less bitchiness.
The Whole30 people made no guarantees about bitchiness, though. Apologies to my husband.
*Many thanks to my friend Eric for reminding me of the horn of plenty.