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April 2016

Health

Whole30: Day 30!!

April 20, 2016

I did it! 30 days of healthy food. I can’t believe I lasted this long without my daily oatmeal and without baking any cookies. This experience felt like it flew by so fast but it also feels like it has been a long time since I had a peanut butter chocolate chip cookie ūüôā Reintroduction of non-gluten grains starts tomorrow and I’ll be doing a whole reintroduction post so look for that! I’m still going to be eating my delicious savory breakfasts, now I have grown to love them!

dinner whole30

PROS:

  • If someone offered me a cookie right now, I could say no easily. Not sure exactly how but the Whole30 has made my cravings for desserts decrease a lot, in fact, cravings for all non-Whole30 foods like oatmeal and pasta are pretty minimal. I did smell my favorite pizza place that is next door to my apartment wafting down the street on my way home yesterday and it did make me hungry. And maybe after I start eating more food groups, I’ll go back to my need-dessert-daily mindset, who knows!
  • Skin is clearer and less groggy in general
  • Whole30 meals never leave you feeling super weighed down like if I were to eat a bunch of pasta
  • Discovered some new ways to cook veggies and some new meal favorites!
  • Taste buds are “cleansed” and I am more sensitive to added sugar tastes
  • My runs have been going really well, not sure if this has anything to do with it but it might!
  • Overall a great experiment for your body and mind!

CONS:

  • Super hard to go out to eat/be social obviously and a bit awkward to explain to people who don’t understand it
  • Super hard to get over not relying on fruit for ‘dessert’
  • I actually gained a couple pounds…too much fruit? I didn’t eat many nuts and ate normal portions otherwise so it must be the fruit. There are lots of carbs in mangoes and I ate a ton of those over the 30 days. I ate more regularly though and probably all together more food than before or at least higher calorie foods.
  • Expensive, food prepping and grocery shopping constantly! I can’t imagine doing this with a family, just by myself it was a lot and I’m even a pescatarian!
  • No fun for foodies who love trying new foods and baking

Even with all the cons, I definitely recommend doing this at least once in your life, just to reset your system for a bit and maybe learn something new about yourself.

WOULD I DO IT AGAIN?

Yes, for sure! In fact, I’ll probably continue to eat Whole30-ish after my reintroduction, adding the foods my body seems to handle well (and the smoked salmon in my fridge that has been waiting for me for weeks because it has brown sugar in the seasoning!) I mean, everyone should be eating veggies at every meal and eating healthy like 90% of the¬†time. Of course I am going to bake and eat cookies but probably less often than before and I’ll really think about whether a sugary treat is truly worth it before diving in next time. I sometimes forget that nature has already provided us with candy, in the form of fruits and dates (or my homemade dehydrated bananas below)!

dried banana snack

If you are interested in doing the Whole30 Program, here are some resources I found useful:

Whole30.com – the official website, tons of info, shopping lists and a forum for questions

MelJoulwan.com – great recipes

It Starts with Food – book by the Whole30 creators, a good read!

I found most of my recipes on Pinterest or blogs. Be sure to check out my other Whole30 posts!

Recipes

Kale Sweet Potato Egg Muffins

April 12, 2016

I make these sweet potato muffins very often now that I’m doing the Whole30. They are the perfect balance of sweet and savory and pack a lot of flavor for just being vegetables and eggs. They are dairy-free, gluten-free and vegetarian. I microwave two of these for breakfast during a busy work-week.

sweet potato muffins

Serves 12 muffins

Kale Sweet Potato Egg Muffins
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Ingredients

  • 9 whole eggs
  • 3 tablespoons full-fat unsweetened cooking coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons fresh chives
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups sweet potato, diced
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cups kale chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a standard muffin pan with oil (I use coconut oil) or use muffin liners.
  2. On the stove, heat a pan to medium heat with the olive oil and add the diced onion and sweet potato. Cook until onion becomes translucent and sweet potato has browned a little, about 8-10 minutes.
  3. Add the minced garlic and chopped kale to the pan cook until kale has wilted a little.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the 9 eggs with the coconut milk, chives and nutmeg, season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  5. Add the veggies from the pan to the eggs and stir everything together until well combined then pour the mixture into each muffin tin until 3/4 full (they puff up a little).
  6. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until cooked through.
  7. Then enjoy! These can be stored in the fridge for a week (or longer).
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http://www.thedailyoats.com/kale-sweet-potato-egg-muffins/

sweet potato muffins recipe

As you might be able to tell, I got a new camera! I chose the Nikon D3300 because I was looking for a beginner DSLR and it is one of the cheaper options (but still so $$$, thank god for my tax return!) but still has very good reviews. So far I am loving it!

succulent

I can’t wait to take more photos, they turn out so much better than my Iphone pictures!

me portrait

XOXO

Health, Life

Whole30: Day Twenty

April 10, 2016

It’s already time for my¬†day twenty¬†update on the Whole30! It came around so fast, I can’t believe I’m almost done with this program. If you are a newcomer, get caught up on my initial Whole30 post as well as my day five update and day ten update.

How I feel right now:

Good! I feel pretty healthy. The only bother I have right now is remnants of a cold that I got last week. I ran 9 miles yesterday and it felt pretty good so my running doesn’t seem to be suffering. I have been sleeping good as well.

What I’ve been eating:

A ton of eggs, veggies and fruit. I also tried making my own mayo and it turned out perfect (shout-out to my vita-mix), it became so fluffy that my blender stopped being able to blend! I followed the instructions on this recipe. Be sure to read all the tips like using light olive oil (not EVO). This came together in about 2 minutes and is super easy to make!

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I mixed the homemade mayo with chives and lemon juice and put it on some cod o bake with sweet potatoes.

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I also used the mayo to make deviled eggs for one lunch, so amazing! On the side we have a roasted sweet potato with guacamole.

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My current favorite kombucha flavor is this superfruit one. It has yummy black currant juice.

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My favorite weekend breakfast consists of homemade hashbrowns (throw some potatoes in the vita-mix to shred and then pan fry with olive oil) with scrambled eggs, TJ’s salsa verde (the best!!), TJ’s regular red salsa, sauerkraut and half an avocado. Mix everything together and enjoy¬†the most flavorful, filling breakfast ever! I like to have a side of fruit as well, my oranges have been gross and dry lately so I have moved on to strawberries and bananas.

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Another use of the homemade mayo: tuna salad with green onions, avocado and kale salad. I LOVE tuna but I try to only eat it once a week maximum because of the mercury content.

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A new favorite snack: jicama! Well, not really new actually, I used to eat jicama all the time when I was little but I forgot about it for twenty years or so haha. I love jicama because it is almost like a fruit to me, it’s kind of sweet, crunchy and mostly water but it’s a vegetable so I can eat as much as I want! It’s basically like a less-sweet watermelon. Yesterday I went to Whole Foods to get some fruit and veg and I asked if they had jicama and the produce guy said “wait a second, I’ll go look in the back”. He came back out with this enormous root (jicama is a root) the size of my whole head! I was a little shocked because I have never seen jicama in its natural form so I asked how much it was since it felt like it weighed ten pounds and he said $1.99 a pound which would make it around $20! We both laughed at the crazy thought that I would spend $20 on one vegetable and I asked him to take it back to the “back”. Sorry jicama root, one day I’ll be able to buy you but for now I’ll be sticking to TJ’s $2.99 snack box.

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Improvements?:

Still eating an ungodly amount of fruit…I could try to control it more I think but ¬†fruit isn’t bad for you and I love it so I’m going to keep eating it. I finally decided to stop buying dates for a little bit because I was eating a lot of them with almond butter and it’s supposed to be an occasional snack not an every single night snack so if I don’t buy them I won’t be tempted.

In other news, I went to the tulip festival with my dad last weekend, so beautiful! It was cloudy but still amazing to see. If you are in the Skagit Valley area of Washington sometime in late March/April you should check it out for sure!

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I’ll see you in 10 days for my final Whole30 update!

XOXO