Monday, January 16, 2017

Day 13 of the Whole 30 and a new creation from Kathleen #whole30 #januarywhole30 #cleaneating #rainbowloom

I realize the days have gotten away from me again as we had a busy weekend and our girls were home again today for Martin Luther King day. Wanted to take some time to catch up on what's been going on! It is Day 13 of the Whole 30 and we are still going strong and doing well!

This past weekend we travelled to Target and was looking for some healthy snacks to get us through when we are hungry and either wanting something quick, or we are out on the road and need a quick snack to hold us over until our next planned meal. :-) We picked p the following snacks to help us do that. You may note the Larabars...on the Whole 30 only certain ones are allowed. They are: cashew cookie, carrot cake, apple pie, cherry pie, pecan pie, coconut creme pie, banana bread and key lime pie. Some of the others contain vanilla extract which is considered alcohol on this diet... or another ingredient that you cannot have.

It is very important to read all the labels on your foods before purchasing. Even after completing the Whole 30 this should become a habit to help improve your health. :-) You'd be surprised how much sugar and artificial ingredients are in there!

The other items are freeze dried fruits, baked apple slices and other bars that are compliant. I must say they have really helped when I find myself getting really hungry and needing a quick fix! ;-)

I also experimented with unsweetened coconut milk. I'm not a huge fan of coconut, but I gave it a try and it was bearable, lol. The tea is Lipton Pure leaf tea bags in a peach flavor (all natural ingredients). The omelet has onion, mushrooms, salt and spinach in it. The sausage is a chicken apple sausage I found at Walmart, also very good!! Finally was able to find a sausage without pepper so I was quite happy about that!

My red grapes, always washed and ready to go for a quick, sweet snack!! Grapes are delicious as a frozen snack too if you keep a few in the freezer.

                                 This was a simple shrimp stir fry I made one evening too.

Kathleen has been making all kinds of new creations with her Rainbow Loom bands and most recently she made me this Tigger, which I absolutely love! She has her own little business selling them and I'm so proud of her!!

                                                      Aren't they both so precious ;-)

    Hayley enjoying some time with a very spoiled rotten Elvis!! :-) She is preparing for her final exams! Hard to believe the year is half over already! Where does the time go?

                                        And Mr. Blue Heron is back visiting our pond again....

                            What's new with you? How's your New Year starting off so far?

"If you can't fly, then run, if you can't run, then walk, if you can't walk, then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward."      ----Martin Luther King Jr.


Thursday, January 12, 2017

Day # 9 of the Whole 30 and catching up #januarywhole30 #whole30 #cleaneating

"We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are"  Anais Nin

We received our first big snow here in our new home and it basically closed things down for awhile in the South, especially as far as school days go. The girls had off for 3 days from a snow we got Friday into Saturday. When they are home I always enjoy spending time with them so my blogging was put on hold; however staying committed to the Whole 30 was not ;-)

One day for lunch Kathleen wanted to make smoothies for us and she did a great job. Just added some frozen strawberries, grapes, ice cubes, little water; very simple but enough for a nice sweet, guilt free treat.

We enjoyed the smoothie with 2 hard boiled eggs, an apple and carrot slices with almond butter.

For dinner one evening I cooked turkey tenderloins in approved chicken broth and it was so moist and tender and delicious! I also roasted up some butternut squash, another delicious side we enjoy. Red grapes have become one of my favorite additions for something sweet to hold me over.

This recipe I found in the new Whole 30 cookbook page 121, is roasted chicken thighs. The book calls for skin on, but I made them boneless, skinless and they were delicious!

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
6 cloves garlic minced
2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
3/4 dried thyme crushed
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon black pepper ( I leave out due to allergy)
12 bone in, skin on chicken thighs (I used boneless)

In large bowl, whisk olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, salt, thyme and pepper. Add chicken and coat well. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or overnight.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Remove chicken thighs from the marinade and lay skin side down on the baking sheet. Be sure to throw away the leftover marinade.

Roast thighs about 40 minutes and in that time be sure to rotate them at least once, until skin is browned and inside temperature reaches 170 degrees.  Enjoy!

Another delicious side from the new Whole 30 cookbook page 227, is Greek-Style Lemon Potatoes

1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon dried thyme crushed
1 tablespoon dried oregano crushed
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
6 medium russet potatoes (peeled or unpeeled) cut into wedges

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine broth, lemon juice, olive oil, thyme, oregano, garlic, and salt in a large bowl and mix well.

Arrange the wedges in a single layer in a large baking dish (I used 9 x 13 pan) Pour broth mixture over top, cover with aluminum foil and bake; stirring once. Cook for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Enjoy!

I also added peeled and diced fresh carrots after softening them up on the stove for a little bit. :-) Love how it release their flavor and you really don't need to add anything to them.

Delicious dinner and we are all finding on this diet we are getting fuller, faster! Small portions and we are done for the night usually. Sometimes I will have a piece of fruit with my hot tea in the evenings, but overall feel pretty satisfied.

I will admit about day 7 I struggled a bit; for some reason I was hungry and craving everything I shouldn't have. I think it was because Hayley's friend spent the night since they were off school and had chips, oreos, etc. LOL. But I stayed strong and did not cave in and I'm so thankful I didn't! This is a lifestyle change so I know I will have my challenges.

I also kept the promise to myself to make this my year to get healthy. I have been walking or getting on the elliptical each day. I also scheduled my doctor's appointments I have been putting off so next week I will be busy! On Tuesday I talk with a surgeon, Wednesday I get a mammogram and Thursday I see a cardiologist. In March was the soonest I could get a gyn appointment. I'm always so busy caring for others that I tend to put myself on the side. This year I need to do better and I am so far  :-)

Kathleen used her time off to start cleaning up her room and Skippy wanted to be her helper, lol. More like a supervisor I think! ;-)

                    She then had me come upstairs and read this sign on her dry erase board.

She had her room all cleaned up and a little scavenger hunt of surprises she did for me. This book is amazing. It has little coupons throughout for all different things. She even used paint sample cards from the local Lowes to use as tickets. She's so creative!

Those of you who follow my blog know she also likes to plan and serve lunches and dinners and I thought this menu was cute as she is trying to keep us on the Whole 30 plan. :-) Although we have no lunch meats on hand and so far only Boar's Head has some approved ones ;-) It's o.k. we got creative and used leftovers!

                                       My poor little turtle was buried in the snow for awhile.....

                                          We even had icicle sightings here in the South!

         I left some of my Christmas decor out as it seems to go with our cold, snowy days :-)

This morning after we had warm temperatures yesterday, this was pretty much all that was left of the snow.... Kathleen's fort :-) The girls finally went back to school, though it will be a short week! It's also Hayley's finals week for this semester so we have to wait to see how they will reschedule everything.

The cats were happy to take up their usual post at the front door to watch Hayley get on the bus :-)

Kathleen has discovered Harry Potter and we have been working on watching all the movies, though I told her and Hayley both they must read the books! So much detail in them. I read all of the them years ago except the last one... I still don't know what happens, lol... but the 2 part Movie 7 is next on our list!

And as the house becomes quiet again this morning, I plan out my menu for next week and blog to start the day. Then I have about a mile long to do list to tackle ;-) Although my laundry was started early this morning. Back to the normal routine!

                                                                    Enjoy your day!


Sunday, January 8, 2017

Day 6 of the Whole 30 and our first snow in our new home :-) #JanuaryWhole30 #whole30 #cleaneating, #snow

We have had a busy weekend already here in our household, I'm guessing we didn't move far enough South because we got quite a bit of snow starting Friday evening and continuing through Saturday. :-) The snowblower has been coming in handy! Jerry wanted to sell it or get rid of it when we left Ohio and I said no way, with our luck we will get a big snow when we move. Well guess who was right? LOL

I'm still steady doing the Whole 30 and will keep updating every other day or so on our progress. The other night I drizzled some oil and salt on brussell sprouts and potatoes and roasted them in the oven at 425 degree for about a hour hour until they softened. Then I made turkey burgers with egg and a little onion for flavoring. We used the homemade mayonnaise I made for extra flavoring. A quick, easy, delicious, healthy dinner.

For lunch yesterday I had turkey burgers and potatoes left over from dinner and I added some grapes and was all set! One thing I am finding on this diet is it can be expensive, especially if not properly planned. You really want to be sure you have things on hand so you don't get too hungry and want to grab the wrong foods. I am making enough to have leftovers for all of us to help save on costs and planning because sometimes the craziness of life and schedules can make things more challenging. Being prepared helps to avoid that. I also have fruit through out the day and almonds or cashews on hand for snacks, but truly if you eat well at each meal you won't feel too hungry in between.

Still loving the kitchen sink scramble from my previous posts and we made it again this Saturday with fresh cut pineapple which I'm also really enjoying!! :-) Pineapple that is good has a sweet refreshing taste so it helps when you need something to keep you from devouring any kind of chocolate you can find, lol. It's about changing your thinking too, what you "think" you need versus what you really do need.

Today, Sunday... I made scrambled eggs. Then sauteed sweet potatoes and peppers in a pan. Then I transferred them to a baking sheet and baked for about 10 minutes or so until softened and enjoyed that with blueberries and hot earl grey tea, plain for breakfast.

Since Jerry and Hayley and Kathleen love all meat, they had sausage and bacon with theirs and they wanted fried eggs. :-)

Still drinking my water throughout the day and adding in more exercise. We are going to be unpacking and organizing Jerry and Hayley's room in the basement today. So will be burning a few calories there! ;-) It will be partly his man cave and partly her jewelry design area. I will probably do a post on this in the future.

We are feeling pretty energized too, I thought I would crave things really bad, but I can honestly say in 6 days I'm doing good and not wanting sweets or anything. I can tell my body is feeling better.

The snow started out lightly on Friday evening and Kathleen was so excited to see it again, lol. She just had to go out in it right away! When Jerry got home he went out and took down the Christmas lights before the snow got too heavy. That was part of our plan for the weekend anyway :-)

           By Saturday morning it was still falling and she enjoyed going out and playing in it.

                                               Of course there had to be snow angels :-)

Our friend's Ed and Lynn that moved down here from PA so Ed could work with Jerry again, braved the bad roads and hung out with us for awhile. Ed and Jerry helped Kathleen build an ice fort. When we originally lived in NC back in the late 90's (also Hayley was born here) Jerry and Ed worked together and became great friends. He has several guys he formed close friendships with back then who have now come to work for him again at this plant. It's like coming full circle... Good friends who quickly become our family. She is loving her fort!!

We parked our vehicles under our carport behind the house to help keep the snow off our vehicles, still reached some of it but not as bad as if they were parked in the driveway by the side of the house. The dogs didn't venture out too much either, the temperatures are just too cold.

                  Ed helping Kathleen :-) In his shorts and tennis shoes... silly northerners! ;-)

Jerry was pretty bundled up after going out earlier in his shorts he learned his lesson, lol! The wind was brutal yesterday!!

Our own winter wonderland!

The roads are pretty terrible on the side streets, this runs by the front of our house... the schools have already closed for tomorrow due to road conditions and low temperatures. I'm so thankful they consider the kids safety. Back in Ohio they sent them in all kinds of bad weather and it always had me so worried.

                                    The trees are so beautiful with all the snow on them.....

This is a picture of our pond from the road. Our shed is to the left and back on the right side is our neighbor's house.

                                                                     Enjoy your Sunday!!


Friday, January 6, 2017

Day 4 of the Whole 30, Follow up for Day 3 :-) #JanuaryWhole30 #whole30 #cleaneating, #recipes

"A great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do"  Walter Bagehot

Yesterday afternoon and evening were quite busy yesterday so it looks like my posts will be a day off and catching up. :-) So today I will cover Day 3 (yesterday).

For breakfast I had hot black tea plain, fresh cut pineapple and a recipe called kitchen sink scrambled eggs and it was amazing!! Very flavorful and it also kept me full throughout the day. This recipe also comes from the first Whole 30 book (page 202) and it is easy to make. However our mornings are crazy getting Jerry off to work and the girls to school so I prepped all the ingredients the night before so they would be ready to go and it didn't take long to cook that way. The recipe serves 2 as is, but I doubled it for my family and we actually had a little left over for today.

Kitchen Sink Scrambled Eggs

2 Tablespoons cooking fat (I use Olive oil)
1/2 onion roughly chopped
1/2 bell pepper, any color cut into strips (I like to dice mine because I find the more it's hidden the easier it is to sneak in for Kathleen to eat it, lol)
1 cup sliced button, cremini, or portabella mushrooms
1 cup chopped greens (kale, spinach, chard, mustard greens) I used spinach
6 large eggs beaten
1 avocado, split lengthwise, pitted peeled and diced (I left this out as avocado is still not a big hit with everyone in our house)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper (I left out due to my allergy)

Add oil to a large skillet to heat. (I love using my tabletop skillet, it is so handy for so many things and it is easy to keep the food warm too). When hot add onion, bell pepper and mushrooms. Cook until onions are translucent.
Stir in the greens until they begin to wilt, then add eggs and cook stirring frequently and scraping bottom and sides of the pan to prevent sticking until they are scrambled, fluffy and still look wet, but not runny about 5-7 minutes.
Remove from heat and add avocado, salt and pepper. 

For lunch I had leftover chicken salad, more fresh pineapple ( it was so amazing) and leftover "zucchini zoodles". I also took a few minutes to sit in the sun room and enjoy some quiet time. I lit a candle and read for a few moments to unwind, it was much needed :-)

For dinner I made a new condiment and that is the cilantro-lime mayonnaise (Whole 30 book page 310)

This starts with the basic mayonnaise recipe I featured in my other post, you can refer there for full instructions:

1 1/4 cup light olive oil
1 large egg (room temperature)
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
INSTEAD of lemon juice you will substitute 1/2 of a LIME
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
1 garlic clove minced.

                                 I just added all the ingredients to my food processor :-)

This cilantro-lime mayonnaise will become a dressing later for my steak and chicken salad I made for dinner. This is the meat marinading in the cilantro-lime sauce.

Steak Salad with cilantro-lime mayo (Whole 30, page 220)

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 limes juiced
1/4 cup finely diced onions
2 cloves of garlic minced
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 pound beef (flank steak, sirloin, or strip steak) (I added more to feed my family and have leftovers)
4 cups salad greens
1 avocado,split lengthwise, pitted, peeled and cut into large dice
1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1 red, yellow or orange bell pepper, seeded ribs removed and cut into large dice
1/2 cup cilantro-lime mayo

                                                    Prepping to add these to the salad.

After making the cilantro lime mayonnaise you will want to seal it in a container and store in fridge for about a week.

Just a quick tip I wanted to share, if you have kitchen tools such as this onion slicer or the inspiralizer or other tools with sharp, hard to reach places a new clean toothbrush works excellent for keeping it clean. I keep the toothbrush stored in the kitchen with my other cleaning utensils. Works perfectly!

I can't stress enough how having hard boiled eggs on hand is helpful for staying on track. Quick for breakfast or snacks :-)

Back to the recipe!

To make the marinade, in a food processor combine the olive oil, lime juice, onion, garlic, cilantro, and mustard powder and blend on low speed. Place the beef in either a resealable bag or a nonreactive bowl and cover. Refrigerate for 1-8 hours. You can also leave it marinating overnight.

Remove the steak from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking. Preheat the oven to 350, then heat a grill to high heat 500 degrees or a heavy skillet over high heat on the stove. Then line a baking sheet with foil.

Take the steak out of the marinade and discard leftover marinade. Sear the beef 2 to 3 minutes until a light crust is formed. Transfer to the baking sheet roast according to size of meat 8 minutes or more depending on size and desired doneness. (Is that a word?, lol) Let it rest about 10 minutes then thinly slice.

While beef rests, toss the salad with the tomatoes, peppers and avocado. When beef is ready, sit on top of salad greens and add cilantro-lime mayonnaise. To thin the mayo into a dressing add 1 tablespoon of water ( couple more may be needed to thin it to the right consistency to pour.) Be sure to shake it really well!

This is a picture of the greens with the peppers, tomatoes and the avocado. It was really ripe so it didn't dice very well.

Beef resting.. Jerry likes it slightly above raw-medium, but we keep it a little more cooked for the girls. I also baked chicken breasts in a little olive oil for me since I don't eat red meat.

This is my dinner plate before the dressing. I also roasted butternut squash which is absolutely delicious!! Also had some blueberries but again forgot to put in the picture!

With the dressing :-) I will say the dressing has a little "kick" to it, but I found mixing it well with the meat to absorb it improved the taste. It wasn't too bad but definitely something I would have to get used to. Jerry and Hayley had mixed feelings on it too.

                                                                      Jerry's dish....

The last 2 evenings I have made hot chamomile tea before bed. Plain of course and no additives and find it very relaxing and I seem to sleep a little better, always a plus ;-) I will also eat some kind of fruit or have a couple almonds, although last night I broke out after eating the almonds so that could be an allergy  I'm noticing... I really thought I would be hungrier on this lifestyle change but actually I feel more satisfied and haven't wanted to snack or anything.

Last night we ended up at Walmart to pick up a few more groceries since they are calling for anywhere from 4-10 inches of snow here and we wanted to be sure we were well stocked and didn't need to go out. I will do my overview of that trip too price wise soon. It was funny because they were all out of potatoes of all things... I thought well in a snow storm if you lose electric how in the world are you going to cook a potato?? LOL. I would have expected milk and bread to be slim pickings, not potatoes... Anyhow I won't lie it was hard walking past the bakery area and snacks and not thinking about having some, but I did well and so did Jerry... he kept saying we got this! ;-) And we did... supporting each other and buying only what was on my list. Day 4 of the Whole 30 and still doing well! I did see a doctor today and my blood pressure has been really high so I have to start on medication to try to lower it and then follow up in 2 weeks. I really don't like taking medications, but until I get my healthy lifestyle back I need to do something, she's worried about me having a stroke or worse my numbers were that high. Few more things going on too, but I will take it day by day as it requires more follow up appointments with specialists. Getting older is no fun and stress is not either.  :-( More posts coming soon!

         Couldn't resist sharing this little funny joke...  ;-) We all need a good smile every day :-) Hope everyone has a great weekend!!!