Whole30, Day 12

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Okay, so here I am nearly 2 weeks into Whole30. I’m only half way through reading ‘It Starts With Food’, the guidebook, which is more than a guide book. I am very highly impressed with that book. Over the past two years I have read my share of anti-infamatory-type foods books, and this is by far the best when it comes to explaining food-related hormones. We’re not talking about female, moody, boo-hoo hormones, we are talking about the ones that are in charge of your nutrient intake and regulating… well, everything in your body when you eat anything. They explain it in very easily understood terms, and I couldn’t help but think how amazing it would be if this was a high-school text book. What would the American people look like in the next generation if it was taught these read food-facts in school?

Anyhoo, on to my results thus far…

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Whole30… eep.

Next month, I’m going to start my first Whole30 challenge. If you’ve never heard of Whole30, check out Whole9life.com for tons of information. My description of it is very clean Paleo diet for a month… get rid of grains, dairy, sugar, etc. for a whole month to re-set your eating habits and, if you don’t know already, discover problem foods that have been making you miserable without you even knowing about it.

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I haven’t done Whole30 before, as I said, but I have done elimination diets and already know that ALL THE THINGS they suggest removing are indeed problem foods for me. I finally have come to the point where not eating bread/pasta/crackers etc. doesn’t bother me (my downfall is cookies. *hangs head*) but I still struggle with dairy. Not milk, exactly… I haven’t drank (drunk?) milk in ages, but cheese… or real whipped cream… those things I am still hanging onto for dear life in spite of the fact that I know they make me feel awful and literally make me fat. And sugar. I was doing really, really well with not eating any added sugar in anything until about August this year. Then, my sister moved back home, slowly recovering from a concussion, and the two of us bought a very large bag of peanut M&Ms and sat on her bed watching Doctor Who and eating them every.single.night. until I had completely ruined myself for sugar. Again. There’s something very sad about knowing what food is doing to your body and eating it anyway. I understand addictions, because FOOD IS AN ADDICTION for many of us. Don’t think the junk-food industry doesn’t understand this. Anyhoo, I guess you could say Whole30 is going to be my food rehab. In preparing for it (this sort of thing take a while for mental preparation… jumping straight in is a recipe for failure) I have made myself a list of what I hope Whole 30 will do for me. Goals to keep me going when someone offers me a cookie.

  1. Loose 10 lbs
  2. Get back into size 12 jeans comfortably
  3. Clear up skin
  4. Mental clarity
  5. Physical energy
  6. Regular exercise
  7. Get back to me before Lyme Disease

See, I HAD those things, earlier this year. I was a size 10, actually, my skin was the clearest it had ever been, I had such mental and physical energy; quite frankly it was the best I had felt in my entire life. Until I got Lyme disease which wiped me out for a couple of months, then I added sugar back to my diet which has kept me there. My sister has had enough of me whining about how fat I’m getting again, and I am certainly sick of feeling awful. So… here we go.

Today I am working on a menu and shopping list. Oh, I wanted to order the book “It Starts With Food” which guides you through Whole30 (trust me, having reference materials to keep you sane and on track is a HUGE help), and I was biting my nails trying to decide if I should buy the Kindle book, ask my librarian to buy it for the library so I didn’t have to shell out (she does that sometimes… it’s nice. 😉 ) or just bite the bullet and buy the hardcover, when I remembered that Amazon had given me a $20 gift credit because they failed to deliver a package the day they said they would. Win! Free book. 🙂

I miss yogurt!

 I found out over a year ago, through an elimination diet, that dairy products and my body do not agree. It’s nothing violent; I won’t die if I indulge in a slice of cheddar now and then. However, with any regular consumption, I can watch in shock and disgust as my abdomen bloats and makes my jeans VERY uncomfortable for the rest of the day. And I gain weight. So, yeah, not a dangerous allergy, but I feel better if I avoid dairy.

And I miss yogurt. I used to (actually still do) adore yogurt. Home-made, especially. I would make it all winter long by just setting jars of starter on the cool side of the wood stove in the morning, pop it in the fridge before bed, and the next morning it’s beautiful, smooth, creamy, tangy… add fruit and a dash of stevia and breakfast was set to go. I lost the taste for store-bought flavored yogurt, the flavoring is so fake and it’s always highly over-sweetened. (You know your tastes have changed when you whip up a dessert to take to a friends’ gathering and find out that everyone thinks you forgot to sweeten it. Tastes good to me…)

I miss yogurt.

I haven’t eaten any in months. You will laugh (I hope) when I tell you that this morning, I pulled up an exercise video to help with my neck tension and it made me think of yogurt. It was a yoga video, you see. Yoga, yogurt. Follow? Yeeaaahhhh. So instead of stretching my ligaments, I googled how to make coconut-milk yogurt. Found a recipe that I even have all the ingredients for; simply coconut milk and probiotic capsules (let over from this summer’s adventures with Lyme-slaying amoxicillin). I haven’t made it yet, but believe me when I tell you a jar of it is going in my oven just as soon as I do my yogurt video. I mean, yoga video.

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Where has she been?

She (myself) has had one whirlwind after another over the summer and fall.

First, my brother got married. If you’ve ever had a wedding in your family (and I assume you have) you know what that entails.

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I had the privilege of being the florist for his wedding….

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Mini Chocolate Truffle ‘Cakes’

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This recipe has nothing to do with the 4th of July or BBQs, unlike all the other food posts the blogging world is producing the past few days.

This has everything to do with chocolate. And friends. I used to make these regularly, before I was stricken with health-consciousness *cough*, and I made them for the first time in a few years to take to a friend’s house recently. They were well received.

The original recipe is from Martha Stewart (or her food editor, or whoever), who makes them in standard sized muffin tins, but honestly, these are so intense and fudgy and rich (yes, I said rich… I’m turning into my grandmother.) that I feel they are best enjoyed in small bits, so I use mini-muffin tins. Anyhoo, on to the goodness.

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Strawberries and sisters.

My sister Fauna and I went berry picking today. She utterly shocked me by stating that she’d never been strawberry picking beside when we grew our own eons ago. She DID grow up in the same house I did, so I’m not sure how she missed out on that. It’s true, mom doesn’t care for it because even though they are fresh and ‘real’, farm berries still are not the same as home-grown*, so I guess she wouldn’t have taken us, but I’ve been a number of times with our aunt or friends.

We got enough to freeze some, eat loads fresh and I also want to experiment with chia-seed jam. I keep seeing very interesting recipes, and since I am not a sugar-user in this time of my life, I have hopes that this stuff might be amazing. IMG_0009

There’s a farm in VT with great strawberry beds, not to mention a great view across the lake of the NY mountains. We alternated between being fried by the sun and hearing thunder in the distance the entire time we were there.

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As I was saying… it was hot… and very sticky. Kneeling in the straw was a bad idea.

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I think the heat is getting to her…

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The fruits of our labor! The picking was good, and we had nearly 30 lbs of berries in about 1 1/2 hours. Now… we are enjoying the cooler temps. that a thunder storm has brought us, and we’ve planned a Bleak House marathon while hulling strawberries the rest of the afternoon.

Have a loverly Monday, all.

*I wish I could remember what variety we used to grow, but they were soft and sweet and had so much flavor, and would practically melt in your mouth. Most varieties available now focus more on being firm so they are easily transported. Basically, strawberries as I knew them growing up, did not crunch. At all. They were incapable.

In the heat of the morning…

It’s hot today, folks. I know, I know… those of you who live in the southern states are laughing a little hysterically at me, but trust me, it’s hot. It was 92* in the shade, and we live without air conditioning, so chew on that for a moment. 😉

This morning when I got up, it was already hot. And sticky. SO very sticky. My bed sheets feel damp and clingy because of the humidity. Blech. IMG_0005

For breakfast, I wanted a green smoothie. It’s what I have for breakfast most days lately, and I looooove them. I nearly always start with a heafty handful of baby spinach, one of chopped kale, half and avocado, a good long slosh of almond milk and… whatever frozen fruit I have that sounds good to me.

I’d forgotten that we didn’t buy spinach the other day because mom’s in coming on in the garden. I opened the fridge looking for it, and when I realized  there was none I kind of stared in glum denial…

Yes. I had to go outside in the blazing sun and PICK spinach for my breakfast smoothie. This isn’t a big deal unless you know me and getting up in the morning. It’s not a pretty thing. But actually, it was a nice stretch, bending and hunkering a good 15 minutes in the wet, steaming row of baby spinach.

And it’s sooooo much cheaper than the grocery store… currently organic baby spinach is running $6-7 a pound if you buy the big box of it. Several pounds costs us less than $2 for seed. Take THAT, world. 😉

It was worth it, the heat and bugs and grogginess and all. I had a scrumptious, nutrition dense and highly refreshing blackberry-strawberry ‘green’ smoothie, and even shared some with my dad, who said it looked disgusting and sucked it down in a flash.  IMG_0007

Best Friends…

 

“Best friends know how crazy you are, and still choose to be seen with you in public.”

True. But MY friend Kacie doen’t sit back and watch me be crazy; she’s right there beside me all the way. This past weekend we attended the wedding of mutual friends, where they had a photo-booth set up. For me, this was definitely a highlight of the day. I confess when I heard there was a photo-booth, I got all excited because… “I’ve seen those on PINTEREST!”
Yeaaaah, I need to spend less time on certain websites.

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The World’s Greatest Hero

He chose to take the cross, shed tears for the lost

The broken and the needy, forgiving those who were and will be

The angel made it clear, he told them, “Have no fear He’s not here, He’s not here”

There He goes, a hero, a savior to the world

Here He stands with scars in His hands

With love He gave His life so we could be free

The savior of the world.