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Eat Everything

Hey gang! It’s been a while!  I needed to take some time to enjoy life for a bit.  Last week was Scotty’s birthday and it was a BIG ONE so we had to celebrate. We took time off, enjoyed some libations, and some delicious goodies.  It was awesome!

Since we’ve last chatted I have reintroduced a new item into the diet and am doing a pass.  I tried rice and it was a’right.  YOU GUYS, it was just a’right.  It left me feeling not fully satisfied and made my heart race a bit.  Then later I crashed hard, like whoa.  So did Scott.  I was at work but Scott totally fell asleep and took a nap.

A few days later I tried it again and had some sushi.  The sushi left me feeling bloated and like a fake “full”.  I was full but still hungry.  It was so strange.  So rice is on the outs for me.  Scott said he could do without rice as well which is major because dude loves his rice.

So yeah, corn and rice are no goes.  So is gluten (except for beer on occasion).  Scott can handle gluten a little better than I can but it just causes me to bloat, feel tired, and crave sugar.  Not cool.

Dairy I can do in small amounts. Butter and yogurt being what I gravitate towards with cheese on occasion.

That’s where I’m at for reintroduction.  Beans I’ve been kind of avoiding but at some point I’ll test them out and see.

Back on track this week and I kicked off the day with an awesome big breakfast after working out (early, I got to the gym at 7am! BOOM!).

Eggs, potatoes, and sausage

Scrambled eggs, roasted potatoes, and some chicken sausage from TJ’s.  I’m not a huge fan of this chicken sausage. :/ It was OK at first but then it turned weird. Like each bite started tasting like it was made from pellets.

Lunch could not come soon enough today. About an hour and a half after breakfast I was hungry and ready to eat!  Unfortunately, Scott said that since it was not even 11am that lunched had to wait.

GAH! What?!

So I had two clementines to hold me over.  Except they didn’t so I got busy making lunch.  I’ve been craving a big plate of greens lately so today I finally got to face plant into some.

Chicken thighs and kale

Sauteed kale with chicken thighs and half a leftover brat.  I dipped the thighs in Sir Kensington Special Sauce for some extra saucy goodness.  I also had a smoothie on the side, standard smoothie:

  • 2.5C Water
  • 3 Large Handfuls of greens
  • 1.5 Frozen Bananas
  • 1C Blueberries

Makes enough for two large smoothies.

Midafternoon snack I had some dried mango slices and a few pork rinds. I am a bottomless pit today!

Taco bowls

Dinner this evening was taco bowls.

Ground grassfed beef that I got from Butcher Box (See a recipe and review here) with peppers, onions, and placed on top of some cauliflower rice.  I added some lettuce and tomatoes on top.

Easy peasy and delicious!

Now I’m off to have some tea and get comfy watching some hockey. There may be some dark chocolate in my future.

 

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January 2017 Whole30 Reflections

Burger and side salad

It’s been a little over a week since ending the Whole30 challenge.  There’s a part of me that can’t even believe that because it feels like it’s been a lot longer.  Reintroduction is going well (sort of? I’m learning a lot so that’s what I’m focusing on.) and I’ll do a whole post on my findings.  Most of them are total surprises to me.  Some that bum me out and some that I could care less about.

This journey was so much different than last year when I did the challenge.  I learned so much more about my body and foods.  Last year I got really frustrated over not being able to have things like sausages or bacon because of the wee amount of sugar in them. I also got stabby over missing bourbon.

This year I did not.  Sure there were times where I wanted bourbon but taking time to stop and examine the situation, I realized that I didn’t really want it, it was more of a situation thing that was triggering.  That was eye opening.  I had a lot of those.  I have food triggers and I didn’t even realize it until now.

I also was a lot more relaxed during this challenge.  I still had smoothies even though Whole30 says you should not.  Their reasoning is that they don’t want you drinking a meal and I can understand that.  I was not drinking a meal, my smoothies were part of my lunch so I felt OK with that.

I also felt OK with snacking as long as the snacks were compliant.  And by snacking, I mean fruit, nuts, RX bars, and things along those lines.  I also didn’t obsess over every single detail.  Was I eating enough? Was the protein, carb, fat ratio proper? Was my meal big enough? And so on.

Having this more relaxed attitude made the challenge run so much smoother.

At the start of the challenge I ate all. the. time.

Seriously I could not get enough to eat.  My body was going through major detox (I know people hate that word. I also do not care.) working out all the junk and alcohol it had for the past two months and taking in all the awesome food.

Probably for the first two weeks of the challenge, all I wanted to do was eat.  Because there’s no counting calories or macros, I was able to do this.  I was able to feed my body delicious food and not worry about calories or the scale.  I could just focus on meals and that was so freeing.

I also slept a ton.  I was averaging between 9-10 hours of sleep a night and that was the best thing.  I LOVE SLEEP.  And sleeping that long felt so good!  Plus my sleeps were deep and felt so restorative.

There was a noticeable change immediately during this challenge.  I felt better, my clothes fit better, and I was sleeping better.  I didn’t ever get Tiger Blood during the challenge but I wasn’t lacking for energy either.  Unless I didn’t eat enough one day and then I felt that during my workout the following morning.

Now that the challenge is done and I’m working through reintroduction, ugh, I do not feel as amazing.  That’s on me though and honestly I’m probably going to continue to eat this way because that’s when I felt the best.

Did I lose weight? Sure. Not as much as I would have liked but yes the scale went down.  Weight loss wasn’t my main goal though, finding inflammatory foods and foods that don’t agree with me was the main goal.  I’m on the right track.

I still have a few more things to reintroduce but a more Paleo way of eating is the direction that I’m leaning. I never thought I would say that and 7 years ago my previous self would have told you that you were crazy.  Never say never because we don’t know what the future holds for us.

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Reintroduction: Corn

Today is the first day for my post Whole30 journey.  I’m going slowly through the reintroduction phase so I can fully assess what is causing inflammation and if I need to eliminate it entirely or just cut back to only having that item on occasion.

I hit the gym up at 7am this morning!  YESSS bring back the early morning workouts!  Once home I had some eggs and roasted potatoes for breakfast.  This was actually a Whole30 compliant breakfast.

Eggs and potatoes

I’m introducing corn today and almost, almost, had some tortilla chips to snack on while breakfast was heating up but I passed.  The thing with reintroduction is to have a lot of whatever the item is that you’re introducing.  By a lot, I mean, with each meal that day.  And I can understand that but I’m going to try to stick with eating the food item how I normally would.  Normally I don’t snack on tortilla chips first thing so I passed.

I also passed on ketchup today with my potatoes.  I wanted some and figured that the sugar wouldn’t be that significant but when I checked the stats, it came out to 4g of sugar for 1TBSP of ketchup.

That’s freaking ridiculous.  So I skipped it and that’s how breakfast stayed compliant.

Lunch was super easy to put together.

Smoked salmon and broccolini

I heated up some Honey Smoked Salmon and some broccolini.  There was also a smoothie and some pork rinds on the side.  Mmmm pork rinds.

The smoothie was a basic one:

  • 2C Water
  • 3 Large Handfuls of greens
  • 1.5 Frozen Bananas
  • 1/2C Frozen Blueberries

This makes enough for two smoothies.

Dinner was TACOS!  And you guys, I’m kind of over tacos.

Tacos and slaw

I KNOW.  I’m now questioning the meaning of life and wondering who I am.  I snacked on a few tortilla chips with salsa while I was cooking dinner.  I only had about 5ish total before I passed them over.  I was looking forward to that moment for days.  It was my plan to introduce corn first and tacos with chips and salsa was the meal. I had been dreaming about this moment and could not wait for dinner today.  I was so excited!

And it was eh.

I seriously could not even believe that was possible.  I thought I would love them and want to inhale them.  But I didn’t.  I stopped once I realized they weren’t really doing it for me and I snacked on a few Siete grain-free tortilla chips instead.

The tacos were bison tacos and I had those in regular corn tortilla shells.  Topped with a dairy-free “Not ‘Cho” sauce that I’m working on (it is so good!).  Again, the tacos were just OK.  I honestly would have rather had a pile of the taco meat with some of the sauce and chopped romaine instead of the shell.

Who am I?  This is so weird!  I totally did not expect this outcome and it’s kind of blowing my mind right now.  I need to tuck this experience away and ponder on it for a bit.

The other thing I introduced today was sugar sources in a few things.  The salmon had honey but it was a very minor amount.  The mayo for the slaw had honey as well, again, very minor amount.  I felt comfortable adding this in with the corn today because the amount was so small and it would be more similar to how I’d eat on a daily basis.  And since I didn’t end up eating all that much corn, I’m not really concerned about the wee amount of sugar.

Now I’m wondering how other reintros are going to go and what other discoveries are going to pop up.

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January Whole30 Days 29 -30

Today is the last day of the Whole30 challenge!  WHOO!  I’m so proud of this challenge because I did it 100%! No slips and no cheats.  BOOM!

I also made it through the whole month without any alcohol, not even a sip at work to test new beers.  I feel awesome about that!  I will be doing a full wrapup and recap post soon.  This time around was much different and I’m pretty stoked to talk about it.  But let’s check in with the last few days of eats!

MONDAY:

Chia seed pudding with TJ’s grainless granola and a sprinkle of dried coconut on top for breakfast after working out.  That I totally forgot to take a picture of! Sorry about that. Derp.

I was so hungry for lunch (Thanks, PMS) and could not wait to get some food in my bellah.

Burger, crab cakes, snap peas

I had a burger, crab cakes, and some snow peas.  The burger and crab cakes had homemade tartar sauce top.  Super easy, it was made with:

  • Mayo
  • Whole Grain Mustard
  • Pickles
  • Dried Dill

Dinner was leftovers heated up when I got home from work.

Chicken, broccolini, parsnip mash

Roast chicken, broccolini, and some parsnip mash.  There was also leftover gravy as well.  Then I went straight to bed.  My work days aren’t terribly exciting because I’m tired when I get home and am so ready for jammies and bed.

TUESDAY:

Banana before working out.  Once home, I was starving and needed a bigger breakfast.

Sausage, kale, butternut squash bowl

Sausage with kale, peppers, onions, and I also added in some roasted butternut squash.  The sausage and kale mix I made on Saturday and so that was ready to go and I also roasted the squash that day as well.  This came together in minutes because all I had to do was heat everything up.  Check out that steam action!

I wasn’t super hungry at lunch and decided to just throw together some random items.

Tuna salad, random snack plate

Tuna salad hiding out in the back.  Cucumbers, peppers, and tostones along with random leftover protein; crab cake, chicken breast, and a slice of pork tenderloin.  Those goodies along with some kombucha made up lunch.

Dinner was another easy meal featuring some beef stew that I pulled out of the freezer.  I made this in the Instant Pot last month and knowing that I was heading into the Whole30, I was sure to make it compliant.

Beef stew

Today is the first day during this challenge where I’m actually pretty tired and worn out.  I also just started my cycle (I have no fucks to give if you feel that’s TMI. Sorry.) and I think that’s more the culprit than the challenge.

The theme for today was to keep things simple. I could have ended the challenge with a big bang but my goal was to stay on track and go with the flow.  I did that pretty well today!

I’m going to have some tea and maybe some pistachios, then it’s an early bedtime for me.  I’m trying to hit the gym earlier in the mornings so we’ll see how that goes!

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Marinated Top Sirloin Steaks

Top Sirloin

Butcher Box recently contacted me asking if I’d like to check out one of their boxes and I jumped at the chance! I’ve seen a lot of other folks get boxes and cook amazing things that I could not wait to give them a try.

Butcher Box is a company that provides quality meats to your doorstep each month.  They offer grassfed beef, organic/pastured chicken, and heritage pork.  They also offer multiple boxes to pick from, each box contains 8-10lbs of meat and is $129 a month with the option of adding on additional cuts if you’d like.  You are in charge of the boxes. You can pick the frequency of when they are delivered (Each month, every 2 months, every 3 months) and you can switch between boxes if you’d like. You’re not committed to a certain box once you pick it.

Seriously, this is a freaking amazing deal.  You get quality meats delivered to your door.  This is especially great if you live in an area where finding top quality meat is challenging. By signing up to get delivery, it also eliminates one less thing you have to focus on because it’s taken care of. You can check meat right off your list and move on.

Included in the box is an invoice that lists all the meats and how much of each, along with cards that feature a recipe on one side and information about that particular cut on the other side.  Very handy if you are just getting your feet wet with cooking protein.  But even for seasoned chefs, checking out recipes for inspiration is always beneficial.

For this shipment, I picked a beef and chicken box and I received:

  • 2pkg Chicken Drumsticks
  • 1pkg Chicken Tenders
  • 1pkg Beef Sirloin Tips
  • 2pkg Ground Beef
  • 2pkg Top Sirloin (Each package contained two steaks)

This box reintroduced me to drumsticks and tenders!  Something that I never really purchase on my own but I loved them.  I also had never cooked with sirloin tips or top sirloin before so this was a new experience.

The drumsticks I marinaded and then baked.  The chicken tenders I breaded with almond meal.  The ground beef was used in tacos and soup.  The sirloin tips I used in a beef and broccoli Asian inspired dish and the top sirloins I marinaded and then cooked in skillet.

And I’ve got a recipe for those bad boys!.

Andrea’s Marinaded Top Sirloin Steaks

  • 2 Top Sirloin Steaks
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, crushed or finely chopped
  • 1TBS Olive Oil
  • 1/4C Coconut Aminos (or Soy Sauce if you prefer)
  • 1TBSP Flavor God Everything Seasoning (**see note at bottom)
  • 3 TBSP Ghee or lard for cooking (Can also use olive oil or coconut oil)

Place steaks in a medium bowl or large storage bag.  Mix garlic, olive oil, coconut aminos, and seasonings in a small bowl and pour over steaks.  Massage steaks so that they are fully coated in the marinade and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or over night.

Remove steaks 30 minutes before cooking and allow them to come to room temperature.

In a large skillet, heat the fat over medium high heat for about 3 minutes then place steaks in skillet.  Cook steaks till preferred doneness. I went to medium, so I cooked them about 6 minutes on each side.

Remove steaks from skillet and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.  Serve and enjoy!

**If you don’t have Flavor God seasoning then use:

  • 1TSP Garlic Powder
  • 1TSP Onion Powder
  • 1/2TSP Smoked Paprika
  • 1/4TSP Salt

These are great as is, sliced for sandwiches/wraps, or make a pan sauce out of the drippings and drizzle that on top.  Or place on top of a salad and top with a creamy horseradish dressing.  Ahhh, now I’m getting hungry for lunch!

Top Sirloin Steaks

We loved our experience with Butcher Box so much that we signed up for a subscription.  I already can’t wait to get our next box!

If you’re looking for quality meats, then definitely give Butcher Box a try!

 

Disclaimer: Butcher Box sent me a box to sample. I was not compensated in any other way nor was I required to do this post. All opinions and recipes are my own.