Saturday, August 20, 2016

Busy Busy Summer

Hi JennyMac Fans!

Can you believe the summer is almost over? Those of you with kids I am sure are already celebrating in the south because your kids are back to school and those of you who are teachers like me may be on the spectrum of already back to school, prepping for classes to start or like me-- savoring the last few days before you are required to report back to school (August 25).
The county I work for starts the first day of school after Labor Day. Always, ever since I was kid and grew up/was educated in the same county where I teach now.  Have I told the story why we start so late? Skip down if you already know the story because you are my coworker and know the struggle is real.  We have an amusement park 2 hours away from here in Richmond, Va. called Kings Dominion and they appealed ("made a deal") to/with the state that since many students work for the park, to please open schools AFTER the biggest travel/last vacation weekend of the year (Really, it's not. That is Thanksgiving, but whatever.) So even though none of my students can work (middle schoolers) and none of the high schoolers are close enough to drive, we have to follow the same schedule.  I have a friend who works in a county about 30 minutes away and she starts school earlier and gets out earlier and clearly their county does NOT follow the "Kings Dominion Rule." So enough of my whining about something I cannot change yet everyone razzes me and says "whoa, you start school late" like I had something to do with it.

I know you haven't heard from me for awhile but life happens, you know....So let me catch you up to speed.

June 2015:
End of the year craziness. Keeping the kids educated and entertained (overly qualified babysitting services), keep myself sane wrapping up school while working through another Graduate Class, packing/cleaning up room, entertaining my "squad" after school, dealing with staff leaving our school for many reasons other than retirement and that is stressful and very sad.

July 2015:
Vacation to Virginia Beach (YAY!) and starting another Grad class on my vacation (BOO!). Yeah, K-man was NOT happy but the good thing is last year my very first Grad class started at the same place at the same time and that was new and daunting. However, now that I have the routine of online learning under my belt, it was not daunting because I became a better time manager of how to organize my work within the deadlines and still enjoy a vacation.  Online learning can be a beautiful thing once you get with the flow of how it all works. Started reading some fascinating books, they are so rich with information, you can stop reading however, you have to stop reading because it's too much to absorb.

The Book "Real Food Fake Food" I saw mentioned in an article that it was upcoming and I immediately pre-ordered it. I have been really obsessed in the past year with food science and the reality of the products we are eating that we believe is food. I am shocked and horrified how the government has much to do with it and as I go on in my little FACS world of teaching the MyPlate model to my students and how to eat a healthy diet, I really have to bite my tongue to go on a tirade. Some of my students find it fascinating, some shrug and some run home and make it dinner conversations and I get emails from parents how hard it is to get their kids to eat period and my education is causing issues.  My health education of our kids is a rough road.  Anyway if you care about fish, olive oil, kobe beef and other meats, cheese (mainly parmesan), wines, honey and coffee then READ THIS BOOK. If you don't care, (but you should) then try reading my other page turner.

I ran into Robert Lustig's work from a six degrees of separation thing. I was doing some article research for my class, found a very long article on The Sugar Conspiracy or Controversy (I can't remember which), which led to a reference to Dr. Lustig, which lead to my finding his lecture about sugar (The Bitter Truth) on (it's over (90 minutes but fascinating) and there is a TED talk by him (The Elephant in the room), but if you want a short 8 minute version see my embedded ABC news segment of him below. Regardless, all of Lustig's work is based on another man's controversial and groundbreaking work on sugar who was swept under the rug- John Yudkin, "Pure, white and Deadly. I have that book too but will save it for another post. If you have been reading my past posts while I was on Whole30....the struggle is real and it is amusing to me how people have finally accepted that smoking is bad and that overeating is a problem but how people go "PHHHFFFTTTT" over how sugar is the underlying base to all our problems with eating and perhaps our health. I think our new food nutrition label this year is gonna shake up some things with sugar, hopefully. Fat Chance by Dr. Robert Lustig, proof if you need to digest this in smaller doses at your own pace. I highly recommend it. It's going on my whiteboard trough at school for kids to see and pick up and read out of curiosity, right next to the Real Food Fake Food.

August 2015:

This was not a good way to end the summer with a loss of our furry 4 year old boy Scooter.  You have seen some of my past pictures of his funny antics and goofiness which we adored. I am tearing up writing this and although all tragic ends have a story, going into all the detail will depress you and possibly electrocute me as I try to type it all out. So we are still grieving and focus on our other furry girl Bikini and keep her happy and watch her evolve in a different level of princess being the "only child" of sorts which has been interesting. Many people think that by saying "are you going to get another cat" is a good topic changer for such a devastating event in our lives but it is not. When people have a human death in the family such as a child or husband, no one should be saying right after, "are you going to have another baby?" or "are you going to get remarried?" Yeah, if you don't say that about a human, don't say it either about a cat or dog loss either. Okay?  Thanks.  I know that loss of any kind makes people awkward. Some people have finesse with saying the right thing or not saying anything at all but just hug. Others mean well and say things that only make the flood gates open for the mourner. No one knows what will trigger tears for one coping with loss. I think I am okay about Scooter and I wonder why I keep seeing a butterfly everyday around the dining room where I sit at my computer. Sometimes I think it is his spirit (since I never had so many butterfly visitations at one spot in a condensed amount of time (yeah, I am huge believer in departed souls and spirits, watch the Long Island Medium and see Teresa Caputo in action and you will be a believer too). Anyway, I have elaborated more than I intended here, sorry about that.

As I return back to school I will go back to posting my Whole30/Paleo adventures in cooking.  I warn you that since September will be a crazy month with my returning back to school routine AND finishing my Master Degree, I offer no guarantees when the next post will be but stay tuned.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Salted Caramel Cookies with Bacon Bites

I know I am slow on getting back to a regular schedule...but what is regular, right? Right now K-man is installing my back splash in the kitchen and I am so excited because it looks so nice! Don't worry pictures will come.

I am on class number 8 for grad school...pretty excited about that. The last two classes get done simultaneously.  I don't know how that will pan out but thank god it's over the summer! I should be done in September!

We had a little scare with our fur baby Bikini- one night we noticed she was slobbering like a Saint Bernard and knew that wasn't normal. K-man thought the worst because he had a kitty from his past that was slobbering and found mouth cancer was the issue.  However, we took her into the vet and she looked all over her mouth that she could see (looking into a wriggling cats mouth is no easy chore) and found no, sores, redness, oozing....anything.  She had not been outside for supervised play lately nor had any new plants been added in the house.  We could only speculate that perhaps her bug hunting got the best of her somehow and she was on 24 hour watch. Before any other invasive methods were going to be used next. Luckily it dissipated that night and she was back to normal by the next night. Phew! So now, she is all updated, weighing in at 13.8 lbs and on a "less treats" plan.  LOL. Yeah, me too. Next week Scooter's turn for his yearly visit....K-man and I have wagers on HIS weight...I say under 10, Kirk disagrees.

Onto my product review.  You may remember in my last post when I blogged about Primal Bake shop and their products? Today, I am trying out the Salted Caramel and adding bacon. I am going to use two types of bacon and test which tastes best.  I have noticed that when cooked bacon get added to something baked it loses it crispiness and/or bacon flavor disappears.  I noticed this phenomena when I made a frittata.  So I am adding to half of my cookies, chopped Paleo bacon and the other half with Epic Bites Bacon (both are uncured with no nitrites).

1.  First, this cookie rocks! For me being a chocolate lover. I am really surprised when I like a cookie better than a chocolate one.  

2. The salt on top REALLY makes a difference. Do NOT leave it off.

3.  The real Paleo chopped bacon tasted better and remained crispy. You can also see it.  The Epic Bites didn't add any smoky goodness as the paleo bacon did.  I did a taste test with K-man and gave him half a cookie of each and asked him if he tasted any difference. He tasted the Paleo bacon difference.

4. I did not conduct myself in a true scientist way and leave some cookies without bacon but oh well, I will have to order more to try them again!

5. The batch made roughly 18 cookies all that is needed to make the cookies is one stick of butter and 1 egg. You need to brown the butter first and you can make it with ghee but I will try the next batch with ghee. Although ghee doesn't really brown, it's the milk solids that brown and ghee has all milk solids removed. Then, I haven't tried to brown ghee, perhaps that is my next assignment?

6. You do have to chill the dough before you bake it and the 350 degrees for 9 minutes didn't seem long enough.  I don't know if my dough was too cold but I had to cook them more than 9 minutes because they didn't seem cooked enough. These were slightly crispy edges and VERY chewy.  Loved them. Although, they were "harder" the next day yet still chewy, let me explain why I LIKED this....Paleo cookies made with almond flour are very difficult to get that crispy chewy affect to last. After 24 hours all almond cookies tend to be soft, losing their crispy edges. I enjoy how these are staying firm.

7. Would I make these again and suggest you buy them too? Heck yes and yes.  These mixes are great to have on hand in the cabinet for when you want a quick treat and don't want the hassle of dragging tons of ingredients out. Especially when you find out that you thought you had tapioca flour and it was coconut....grrrrrr.

8. The ingredient list on this cookie bag was pretty simple: almond flour, tapioca starch, coconut nectar sugar, baking soda and Himalayan pink salt.  I would love to make more types of cookies with simple list of ingredients like this! Simple is better.

9. Be glad this mix only makes 18 cookies. More would be bad.  I ate 3 on the first night.

10. Here is the video of the Civilized Caveman-George making these cookies. Hence, who introduced primal bake shop to me. Thanks George!


You want a cookie?

Friday, May 13, 2016

Still Whole30 with Paleo Parts

Seems so long ago when I was starting Whole30 and it was such a struggle....Really? Maybe the first few shopping trips and all that reading of labels....

Eating "Whole30 with Paleo Parts" so let me explain what THAT means. If you are STRICTLY Whole30, you are not allowed to do things like make pancakes (the Paleo egg and banana ones) or make pizza crust (out of cauliflower and cheese) and slicing potatoes and frying them in oil (fries or chips). Taking Whole30 compliant foods and putting them together to make processed foods we are addicted to or should be avoiding are NOT Whole30 compliant (this being your first initial undertaking of it). Keeping with eating Whole30 all day is not difficult or a struggle anymore. But my Paleo parts consist of....making Paleo Banana Bread and eating that for breakfast. Making my favorite Chebe/Cheenies Bread and adding NO cheese. (It worked and I can't wait to post about THAT soon!) Made some Paleo Cookies and ate a small sliver of Against All Grain Pesto Pizza.
No sugars at all, ate a few GMO, GF tortilla chips...Very doable....very happy. Here's a chocolate bar I made:

Coconut Chocolate Bar

1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup ghee
1/2 cup cacao powder
1/4 cup honey
1/4 tsp. vanilla (I make my own)
pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup unsweetened organic shredded coconut.

Line pan with foil. Stir all of the above together, pour in lined pan and chill in fridge until set.  YUM!

Did some more research on I have been following the many FB live posts of Civilized Caveman and he talks a lot and eats only RAW dairy.  Now, "Paleo-purists" do not use dairy at all, other "Paleo-ists" do only raw dairy, and "dairy-don't-care  Paleos" all dairy (that is what I used to do). As I did my research many states allow for the sale of raw dairy and many states like mine (dang you Virginia) do not allow the sale of raw dairy or milk. I can get raw cheese but not raw milk, cream or butter in VA. Some states sell raw dairy for "pet consumption only" and the people drink it.

The theory is when milk is pasteurized for the fear of bacteria, it kills about 90% of the nutrients like iron, calcium, and vitamin C from the milk leaving it relatively as good source of water and over 80% people who suffer from lactose intolerance do not have the symptoms anymore when they switch. Lastly raw dairy, boosts the immune system and protects again allergies. I ate some raw cheese on my burger and none of my allergies were triggered.

Here are some good sites to read about raw dairy: 

Of course, the CDC doesn't but they don't want their butts in litigation if they said it was totally safe....there is a risk to everything...I could fall off my chair during this post and sue the furniture company who sold it to me....but somethings aren't worth it.

I am so very excited about my next products I am trying....
Again, Civilized Caveman George, made some cookies and spoke about this company Primal Bake Shop who makes a line of products called "Pread." Now, I am no newbie to baking Paleo products but sometimes you just don't want to bother making it from scratch, you want some convenience of less measuring, quicker but STILL WHOLESOME! and it's P-A-L-E-O!!!!!

When I went to buy the cookie mixes online, I VERY hesitantly purchased some pumpernickel bread. I ordered Paleo bread online from Julian's Bakery twice....hated it.  So dry. Used to make my was okay but it never rises very high for me. Got the pumpernickel because that was new...never seen it anywhere....risky Jenny....

Got my box today....Toasted a slice with my baked chicken and mixed green salad dinner and OMG...with some ghee on it....this is when you start singing a little song as you chew (inaudible) and wiggle in you chair as you eat it...nom, nom, nom...Winner!  So getting this again....Even K-man liked it. He was jealous that I had bread with dinner and he didn' your potstickers got your wheat in there Primal Bake Shop Sliced breads $13.00

Here is the ingredient list to the bread if you don't believe me....

From left to right: Chocolate chip, Chocolate Brownie and Salted Caramel.  I have made plenty Paleo CCC and this I am excited about.  Then, when I make the salted caramel....I am gonna add BACON.  Just you watch. This was the Cookie Monster Mix $34 Order it online, fast delivery. Quality product!!

Thanks George for enlightening me about Primal Bake Shop!

Thanks Dana if that pumpernickel is that good...can't wait for these cookies to make me fall off my chair!

Paleo it's Good!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Whole30 -My evaluation

Was doing Whole30 possibly the best thing that I have ever done for a diet, eating plan or lifestyle change? HELL yeah! Lets go through my punch list...

-It all started when I was a 7 y.o child with a diet plan my mom made on a blue sheet of paper that was on my Grandmother's refrigerator door as I spent a few weeks in summer with her. Before I started 3rd grade my parents purchased their first home so being at Me-mom's was a good way to keep my eating in check and out of my parents hair during the move. All I remember was eating the Weight Watchers chocolate ice cream for dessert that was allowed on her plan. A child only focuses on what is really important.

-Scarsdale diet the whole family was on over my 7th grade year....can see a tremendous difference in my 7th grade to 8th grade yearbook picture. I remember big bowls of fruit salad on Tuesdays. Ham and Spinach lunch stained my favorite tote bag and making tons and tons of Mike's Bread (whole wheat whole grain bread) every weekend.

-Low carb in high school....Atkins was the rage, but not a name I heard because I remember it being an another idea from my mom because she was ALWAYS concerned with my eating and weight. I remember eating a lot of almonds and some weird shakes in the blender.

-Optifast (liquid diet) during my Junior year in college. My biggest weight loss yet.  Over 100 lbs. No food whatsoever, only shakes.  How the hell did I do that? But I did.  I remember my senior year, watching Oprah drag that wagon across the stage full of FAT in her skinny jeans screaming "Enjoy it girl! It AIN'T gonna last!!!" As I was slowly gaining my own weight loss back....

-Protein Power (again Low carb), my dad, his wife and I were all doing this with EXERCISE and we all lost a ton of weight. You were allowed to deduct the fiber carbs from the total carbs. We were obsessed with eating these 'crackers' that we thought were low carb...They were like almost negative carbs? We ate tons of them.  WE bought them by the case.  It started to because a craze with other people, then the company found out and looked into it and realized they were wrong  and changed the labeling. Have no idea what it changed to but I think the only thing that saved us was that we were exercising.  So we stopped eating the crackers...and the plan faded off because you miss eating crunchy stuff.

-Weight watchers group at my school with 10-ish staff members. All about attributing points to foods.  points to exercise, weighing in on a scale that only our leader looked at and commented on. It was great support and had great recipe ideas and it's just died because the staff stopped enrolling and the WW leader only came for an established group of 10. She didn't drive and only took cabs to all her locations.  She was petite and dressed like a flight attendant.  Energy like one too!

-Bariatric Surgery- back in the days when insurances were paying for all of this. Tremendous amount of drs appts, dr visits, lots of support group work, lots of pictures of change, 2 other friends at work did this.  We were so extremely helpful to one another with tips as each one of us did this.  I was #2 of the 3 who did surgery.  I lost over 160 lbs. (a whole person) and last remember weighing 185. My goal was 150 and my surgeon told me to be realistic, I would never see that number again. LOL, he's right. 2 of us developed an incisional hernia from it that had to be repaired.

-Paleo- got very much into it. I believe it was my co-worker Ginny who was on it...started talking about it...I looked into and got hooked. My husband wasn't into it but I bought lots of cookbooks and really enjoyed it.  Made my own bread, rolls, crackers, cakes. I stopped doing it because it was a hassle to make different things for my husband because he was not into it at all.

-Nutri-system- two years ago, lost over 40 lbs.  Very processed foods, some good, some gross. A lot of money. Another coworker was doing this and we stuck to it for awhile.  Loved the online tracking stuff. Again, it was a pain because now I was making whole entire meals separate for my  bike-fit husband because I was eating some processed meal and whatever vegetable I cooked for him with his meal. I couldn't even eat the proteins I made for hubby, I ate the protein only in their packages.

Then the Master Degree work started and those 40 NS lbs were gained and the pains started and I was turning 50....

-Whole30- by now, with all my combined health and nutrition knowledge that I have gained over the years- I felt like I was the parent smoking telling their young "this is bad habit, so never do it!" Talking to my students about health and nutrition whilst being overweight, yes made me a hypocrite.
But this whole program and it's special devotion to SUGAR, really works.  I also was a Diet Coke fiend and didn't think about all the warning about even drinking diet drinks contributed to obesity and I wasn't losing weight. Putting no sugar in any form in my foods really help kills the cravings and the extra snacking.  When I feel around 4 pm for a snack to hold me over until dinner, veggies and nuts really work. I really don't want bad stuff. And NOW, my husband has turned a corner. He wants eat better.  He had a few health issues and has been eating what I am eating and on occasion add bread to make a sandwich or eats his own treats in his man cave....

My future plans:
Eating whole foods will continue, I guess I need to say wholelife not whole30 now.  I will still avoid grains and refined sugars and processed foods. If we go out and I cannot determine if the tortilla chips have flour or the salsa has sugar. I will tough it out. I am planning on doing Paleo here and there. Because I do miss making Paleo bread, muffins and treats but I will do this now and then. 

Paleo Banana Bread
from Civilized Caveman 

4 super ripe bananas(yes, even the black ones you have in the freezer)
4 eggs
1/2 c. melted fat (ghee, butter, coconut oil, your pref)
1/2 c. nut butter (I used cashew because it was all I had)

Blend in food processor

1/2 c. coconut flour (or almond or tapioca flour)
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
Pinch sea salt

Blend again in food processor

Bake in silicone baking pan (swear it's the best thing to not have to grease!) Otherwise you will have to line with parchment paper.
Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes.
Great Stuff! K-man loved it....Thanks George!

I am still recovering from my new information about dairy in my life....Next time I see a bubbling pan of GF mac and cheese...I may have to pat myself down for allergy meds....otherwise, no thank you. 😭😥😭😥 😭😥 I may go through a period of mourning about this...

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Whole30 Reintroduction Dairy Day 7 and shocking UPDATE

Before I get to the cheesy stuff.  I want to follow through on my non-gluten grains stuff.  So the point of the reintroduction is to isolate one type of food for a day while being compliant with meat and veggies, fruit and wait 3 days to see if it had any effect. I did, in an interesting way.  You are supposed to eat (new food) with a compliant breakfast, lunch and dinner, (if you want) and wait for 3 days.  I ate only one thing (GF stuffing) for dinner BUT for two nights in a row.  No other GF foods though.

After the first dinner, I just didn't feel right.  Not badly, but I just wasn't feeling my norm from the past whole30 days of "happy full." I know it's not very descriptive but "ugh" is all I can give you. I moved around after dinner and that ugh feeling went away.  I slept fine.  Dinner with stuffing day 'ugh' feeling BUT I was having a fitful sleep.  Kept waking up and changing positions, was hot in bed even though the AC was on....we had the windows closed and when I woke up and my sinuses were all swollen as though I needed to take my decongestant. 😳 The past few days we've been sleeping with the windows open during this pollen season and I was not taking any meds for it.

Conclusion? Perhaps have something GF grains is not something I should be eating on a daily basis.  That is why doing Paleo makes so much sense now...Once in a while....but NOT definitely back to back. Make enough for just K-man and I leftovers unless he is going to eat it all.  No, he has a two day limit on leftovers.

In preparation for dairy day.....I made Cloud Bread....made two batches, one with greek yogurt and the other with cream cheese.  Fluffy but too delicate for me. I am sticking with my cheenie, chebe breads...

Shaved Beef over sauteed asparagus, mushrooms and onions....Note to self: Shaved beef doesn't need a marinade....or don't add marinade while cooking....I moved too fast while I was thinking this and dumped into pan.  Dry beef, not wet beef next time. Yes, don't send me comments that it looks like a vomit pile.  I realize this, I have eyes. 😖 But I am human and not all my dinner or food pix turn out like a magazine layout, no one's do....except for those food stylist people. I am sure all their meals are photo ready and they look at food blogs to get their critique on....Move on...

All day I dream about cheese......I miss cheese.  The gooey, chewy-ness of it....I really miss cheesy goodness.  I am gonna get cheese wasted...

-The Reintroduction Day 7- Dairy

Breakfast: egg salad sandwich on cloud bread (link above)

Lunch: Roasted chicken and veggie salad with cheese chunks
Dinner: Sausage Spaghetti sauce on spaghetti squash topped with Parmesan.

Noteable Notes:

-I was so excited to eat cheese and it wasn't a thrilling as I thought it was.  Meh. No Angels going "ahhhhh!" around eyes rolling in the back of my head. Then I got a cold.  Was eating dairy responsible?  UPDATE!!!! YES!... Here I sit Sunday suffering from what I think is a cold. I blow my nose....all clear.  I am congested yet can breath with difficulty. I am sneezing. I am coughing up gunk from my lungs and yet my nose stuff runs clear. I started taking my allergy meds then I start to feel better in the nasal area. 12 hours later....congested and blowing out clear stuff. Then I occurred to me...AM I SO STUPID TO NOT KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A COMMON COLD AND MY ALLERGIES COMING BACK? I am typing this after I took some allergy meds again and I feel absolutely fine.  I did NOT EAT DAIRY, one DAY....I did THREE DAYS in A ROW. I. AM. AN. IDIOT. So- did some research online about nasal allergies aggravated by dairy products and....BINGO! I told K-man I feel like I discovered the cure to cancer!(I wish) but I had no idea that my eating dairy was why I have suffered with allergies for SOOOOO long.  Just. WOW. Mind blown!!!

-I am going to to let you know that I am NOT going to do the gluten portion of the whole30.  Reintroduction is done to me. Why?  I just don't miss or need wheat.  And I was eating way too much bread.  Don't get me wrong but I love bread but I wasn't missing it like cheese. Wheat to me is just as bad as corn, GMO'ed to death. If I want a burger, I will ask for no bun if there is a GF option or just wrap it in lettuce if possible. These days restaurants are pretty used to all sorts of requests, "dressing on the side, can I get it without cheese?", etc. Burger places are pretty saavy now with GF buns or lettuce wraps. 

-BIGgest News?!?!?- Do you remember my disappointment with only losing 3 pounds from the original 30 days? AND ....that I said that I would devote my reintroduction week to eating less fruit, and nuts, nut butters and potatoes?  WELL I WAS RIGHT!!!!! I lost more in this week alone that those original 30 days! 6 FREAKIN' POUNDS! And I ate some grain foods for two days and a margarita and some cheese foods for two days and a homemade paleo Butterscotch coffee with a Tbsp of maple syrup!!!  😳 Yes, I know I overused the "ands" but I was happy for myself.

Tune in next time for my overall whole30 evaluation and future plans and recipes!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Whole30 Reintroduction GFG- Day 4

I get to incorporate into whole30 compliant day any NON gluten grain such as oatmeal, white rice, corn tortilla chips, gluten free bread. Not only do I want to keep being whole30 compliant with these foods but also making sure that if I eat oatmeal for breakfast and corn tortilla chips for lunch and a GF roll with dinner that they should all be organic and GMO free! Although, this day will be to have a splurge, I am more looking forward to the dairy day to eat me some CHHEEEEESSSEEEEE!

Sunday Dinner: Chili over zoodles, sliced avocado and mixed greens salad

-The Reintroduction Day 4- Non-Gluten Grains
Breakfast: 2 hard boiled eggs and 2 bacon strips
Lunch: Leftover chili and zoodles, carrots
Dinner: Pork chops and GF stuffing and rainbow swiss chard and onions

 Here is the stuffing I got at MOM's

How am I off a day? I was thinking I was on for GF food tomorrow and my whole30 buddy Jessica asked me what I was eating today and I was like Huh, that is tomorrow and she corrected me that clearly I can't count. So, I will have only one boring non-gluten food instead of one each meal.  Oh well, I don't need those carbs anyway! Next post will inform you of any thing that develops....but I doubt it unless my body just doesn't like digesting the grain and I get gas?  Stay tuned. Dairy day 7!

I get cheesy very soon!

Whole30- Reintroduction and Legumes Day 1

So during the re-introduction, what am I looking for as I experiment with beans, non-gluten grains, dairy and wheat?

Issues with:
Digestion -(gas, bloating, pain, cramping)
Energy -(3 pm slump? dragging out of bed in the morning?)
Sleep- (restlessly, hard time falling asleep? waking up in middle of night or too early?)
Cravings- IS the sugar dragon back? Are you having a hard time resisting the pull of sugar and carbs?)
Mood- (are you cranky, moody or otherwise less happy? Depression, attention deficit, or compulsivity?)
Skin- (break out, rash, hives or reappearance of eczema, psoriasis or other skin conditions?)
Breathing- ( congested, sinus pain, seasonal allergies return? Shortness of breath or asthma?)
Pain and inflammation- ( migraines, tendinitis, arthritis? Sore joints, stiff or swollen?)
Medical conditions- (returned symptoms or getting worse?)

I am the control of this science experiment of food in my body, all clean and I bring back these foods....I look to the above and pay attention to what is happening to my body.

Reintroduce - Beans and Alcohol... checking it Day 2

After effects? Not that I can tell.  But yeah, I was probably taking a huge risk on this because you are supposed to ISOLATE each food. But I am less concerned with these two things even though I love beans although they do not appear regularly in my diet like they do with vegetarians or one of my Latina friends who eats beans daily. So maybe I eat them 2-4 times a MONTH? And alcohol is something I splurge on like a Friday or Saturday and never to excess really.  I never drink during the week and I know when to stop because I just do not enjoy not having control of my hands and feet.  Once out of college, who thinks that is fun anyway?
So now as I review the list the morning after my Mexican dinner with friends.  I feel good. I did wake up from a sound sleep really late but it's Saturday so who cares about sleeping in? I missed breakfast!

Brunch: Bacon, Onion and Pepper Hash and Eggs (even better with Tessemae's Ketchup!)

Dinner: Smothered Cube Steaks gravy thickened with tapioca flour, avocado slices and Mixed Greens Salad

Friday, April 22, 2016

Whole30 - Day 30 and Reintroduction

Holy Crap today is day 30! Yes, and I still have to get through it.  Breathe.  I can get on the scale today....drum roll please and I am so nervous, Why? Deep breathing and maybe some wine on day 31, of course.  Did I know that I could make it this far?  Sure, I've been on plenty of diets in my life.  This was no different except for the shopping was a bit different and time consuming.  Once I had the right foods in the house, the cooking part was easy. But the book says, you may want to hold off on the can't let it consume and control you.  They suggested throwing the scale away.  Perhaps I should have listened...

Day 30

Breakfast: BST Frittata, 2 strips bacon and banana
Lunch: leftover sweet potato hash and chicken poppers, fresh fruit
Dinner: Keilbasa, onions and peppers and mixed greens with cukes and avocado

-The Reintroduction Day 1- Alcohol (optional?)

Breakfast: Frittata, 2 slices of bacon
Lunch: Roasted Chicken breast and mixed greens
Dinner: LOS TIOS!!! Chicken breast with pico de gallo, guacamole and black beans. (And I didn't take a picture because I was too excited to eat out?-Sorry guys I will be more mindful of this in the future!)
Reintroduce-  Skinny Margarita- Agave Tequila and Lime Juice

Of course this was optional but you have to celebrate when you are proud of sticking to something!

Breaking News!!!!!
In the Book, Melissa warns....that because you are doing a good thing and worked hard that perhaps you should NOT weigh yourself on Day 1 of the reintroduction... I did and I regret it. I lost 3 pounds.  I want to say I ONLY lost 3 pounds....But this is why they want you to NOT weight yourself. People put too much emphasis on weight number and because they worked hard for 30 days and if you don't get the weight loss number you had hoped for or will get disappointed and may throw in the towel and stop doing Whole30.  I get this.  I was a bit sad😪 this morning and now I am okay about it.  I am feeling so much better and having no sugar cravings is so worth it.  One of the things I found out from my friend Jessica in her reading about "losing weight on Paleo" and it was suggested to lay off the potatoes (oops)...less fruit....stay away from the nuts  and nut butters (triple oops) that explains the "not so impressive" weight change.  So much else has changed so I am happy about that.

I was going to have hard cider for my alcohol tonight and eat beans in a few days. But we decided to have dinner by invitation of a friend who we desperately wanted to catch up with (so much to talk about) and it's one of our favorite places to eat.  I was just going to get a shot of agave tequila and lime juice (a Paleo margarita) but they already had a 'skinny' margarita on their perfect!  I scanned the menu for dishes that were meat and veggies mostly.  I was going to get fajitas and toss the tortillas but I found a chicken dish with pico de gallo and I just asked for no cheese and no rice.  So I allowed myself the black beans and it was smallest little cup of about maybe 5-6 tablespoons and I ate about half. I also ordered guacamole (you know how they always put the chips and salsa out!) and I brought my own little container of carrot chips and cucumber slices and dipped them into the salsa and guacamole.  I suffered NOT one bit. Didn't miss the chips, cheese or rice! Back to clean eating and the next test is non-gluten grains!

Let the testing begin....

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Whole30 - Day 28 and 29

Day 28 is almost as good as day 30, right? Someone brought cookies to your meeting,  and you are so close...  Isn't 28 days just as good as 30? It's about commitment.  Giving in at day 28 and not 30 is no different than all those other excuses you used to 'go rogue' and fell off the wagon before. A fellow Whole30friend....told me that she had this same thing happen...went out friends were enjoying coffee and treats...she had tea and she was so close to saying 'screw it' I gotta put honey in it....just a bit won't hurt.  True maybe not.  But you know what it will hurt?  Your resolve. If you can commit to relationship with a person and not cheat, when we know now people also have relationships with food that are soooooooo dysfunctional....Weak people say....what's one cookie gonna do?  what's one sip of coke gonna do? Yeah, ask an alcoholic what's one sip gonna do? It's gonna poke a really BIG angry BEAR and it's going to rip your life back to shreds.

Day 28

Breakfast: Bacon, Spinach and tomato Frittata
Lunch: Roasted Chicken Breast, sugar snap peas and carrots
Dinner: Sausage, peppers and onions and fruit salad of grapefruit, oranges, raspberries, plums and cantaloupe

Day 29

Breakfast: BST Frittata, banana
Lunch: Leftover sausage, onions and peppers and mixed greens salad
Dinner: Chicken zucchini poppers, homemade guacamole and Japanese sweet potato hash

Tomorrow is the last day of the Whole30 experience! Wow I can't believe it!  Woo hoo!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Whole30- Day 26 and 27

Days of tiger blood and things changing.  Well, I've never been a 'tiger blood' kinda person, meaning I've never been a HIGH energy person. So I don't know what that feel like -even with coffee in me.

As for things changing, yes but it's not drastic because I haven't started exercising yet. Hard to do with pain but as it disappears moving around is much easier and you feel lighter on your feet for certain. Getting out of bed with dread is no more and my mood is better as well.

Day 26

Breakfast: Banana, bacon and raspberries
Lunch: Handful of nuts (was too busy planting in the garden to care)
Dinner: 1/2 Ribeye steak, 1/2 Japanese sweet potato, leftover roasted brocco-flower, grilled nectarines.

Have you ever had a Japanese sweet potato?  I hadn't.  I looks like a Russet but it messes with your mind when you eat it and it's sweet.  Bought a purple sweet potato today....that will appear soon.

Day 27

Breakfast: Eggs and sausage, onion and pepper hash (sooooo good)

Lunch: Leftover ribeye steak and sweet potato dinner
Dinner: Apple Pork Patties, Confetti Cauliflower, Strawberry Spinach salad

I don't know where I was going exactly with the pork patties....didn't want breakfast.  So I shredded one apple, handful of chopped onions and pepper....salt and pepper and cooked it @350 for 30 minutes.  Very tasty and very moist.  Great with some hot sauce on it!

Can't believe the first 30 is almost here...

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Whole30 - Day 24 and 25

"Who is this in the mirror?" It's me JennyMac and what are you doing in my mirror? lol I don't think I am quite to THAT point over obsessing what I see or feel by looking in the mirror.....but I am enjoying how I feel....sleep well, moving around better (heels are still hurting but I still have a way to that will go in time, I am not worried), no stomach upsets, no sinus swelling= no allergy meds. Totally feel sated, rarely snack anymore. No cravings. Don't miss sweets and being the sponsor for Cookie Club and rolling dough and baking them doesn't bother me in the least.  Very happy and plan on continuing this, no reason to stop when you feel so good.

Day 24
Breakfast: 2 hard boiled eggs and 2 strips of bacon, banana and almond butter
Lunch: Frittata, mixed greens salad and sugar snap peas
Dinner: Hamburger, sauteed mushrooms and onions, some baked fries and Civilized Caveman's Apple Cranberry Salad (the bomb!)

Day 25
When the day is crazy, the food is too....
Breakfast: Two pieces of bacon, Banana, Spicy Beef Stick
Lunch: Leftover Apple Salad
Dinner: Eggs and sausage, roasted brocco-flower

So it's at this time is when the reality sets in that the countdown of the last week begins.  It doesn't really mean anything other than, I begin another phase, nothing radical is happening here.  On Friday morning I will get to weigh myself, and I have purchased some Hard Apple Cider to celebrate.  Thursday is done with the compliant 30 days, Friday will have some non-gluten alcohol at the end of the day.  The food will still be compliant all day but will allow for the celebration.  Then start the cycle of 4 days back on and test one of the foods. This process will take about 25 days of testing one thing and 4 days back on.  I am cool with this.  Because testing some like non-gluten grains, I can have oatmeal for breakfast, corn tortilla chips for lunch and rice for dinner as long as the rest of the foods are compliant, this will eye-opening and fun!


Thursday, April 14, 2016

Whole30 - Days 22 and 23

"The scale is calling clothes are falling off and I really want to jump on the scale...." quoth the Whole30 bible....JennyMac thinks...Yes, I am dying to see what the scale says but I WISH my clothes were falling off....not me....yet. Well, this is one thing.... that really is different.  I can stick a whole fist in the cup of my bra.  😳 This is good and bad.  LOL

Day 22

Breakfast: Frittata, banana with almond butter
Lunch: Last of the BBQ pork, sugar snap peas, and half avocado.
Dinner: Carnitas with peppers and onions, Mexican mixed greens and cantaloupe and plums

Day 23

Breakfast: 2 hard boiled eggs and 2 strips of bacon
Lunch: Sauteed Chicken breast with sugar snap peas.
Dinner: Leftover roast pork and spinach and zoodles! Not seen cantaloupe.

Foodie Notes:
So I was watching a video on The Civilized Caveman FB page and he made this amazing salad using the Inspiralizer.  I have two other "fail" gadgets that do this (or supposed to).  One was a total fail (got one Christmas and threw it out after one use) and the other was the Veggetti.  Meh, I used it twice.  But this gadget?  LOVE!!!! Made noodles a mile long, fast and easy!  Very sharp though, George warned us during the video to not touch the blades or you will get cut.  I was talking to K-man as I picked it up and Zoinks.  Stabbed.  Not too bad but you need a bandaid or you will get blood on your zoodles.  I am going to make the apple and onion salad he made using this gadget marvel tomorrow and tell you how it tastes...It's going to be amazing, I just know it.

This is one spiralized onion and 3 medium zucchinis.  I thought I was going have tons of leftovers but it really cooks down.  If you are cooking for many you may want a BIGGER bowl and a big pot!
By the way, one of you asked about my spinach and zoodles recipe.  It's not much.  1 onion, 3 zucchini, one 5 oz box/bag of baby spinach, heaping tbsp. of ghee (doesn't burn) or olive oil. Saute onions first until translucent, add zoodles and salt and pepper to taste and cook until reduced by half,  add spinach leaves. Turn off heat when leaves are wilted.  Toss with more ghee or butter and serve.

One more week! Really?

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Whole30- The Tiger Blood but so over it? Days 20 and 21

You know those steps in your house?  You call to the child or husband to bring down/up the....(enter object needed here)? Yeah, that was me.  Sometimes I'd call to K-man at the top of the basement steps with something for him and either toss it down or call him so he'd walk up and get it....Sad.  But I've noticed lately when I know I need something on another floor, I go to get it now,  no hesitation.  I know some of you may thinking what is wrong WITH her? But when you have no energy and also joint pain, stairs are a debatable issue. ANDDDDD, I couldn't have anything in my hands going down the steps because I had a death grip on the railing.  I can go down the steps without holding the railing to brace myself from the pain. Keep on fading pain....won't miss ya!

So Day 21 is noted by food fatigue or boredom.  Well I guess if you are a lazy person who doesn't like to cook or do any food prep and are eating in a way that avoids cooking, cutting, slicing, mixing, seasoning or creativity, then I can see getting bored. Sucks being them.

Creativity, we all have it in our bones and it manifests itself in many ways,  It's something that should flow with everything you do.  If you put together a lovely home, put your outfits together differently everyday, make faces for your kids pancakes, love notes to your husband then why wouldn't you take the time to make a pretty meal that is pleasing to the eye and varied so you don't get bored?  Um, didn't we even vary our BAD meals? Take my chili that I made a few days back.  It was really good.  But the first day was in a bowl (the traditional way) and the second day was atop a bed of sauteed veggies.  Eat chicken one night for dinner, make the leftovers into chicken salad the next day.

Don't forget doing a plan like this is not hard is the CHANGE of old habits of cooking or eating that is the hard work. Sure you want to have a nice meal in front of you....but you can't have somebody else to make it for you.....that didn't work out for Oprah either.....So, if you invest in the commitment in doing this it right, don't cheat, look for outs. Whining and crying the whole way until day 30 is only torturing you are some fat kid camp who only gets celery sticks and water for a month (and you aren't!). Don't sabotage yourself on day 31 and binge out of desperation instead of starting the reintroduction.  Please don't say "DAY 31! I am ENTITLED, I suffered so I will splurge!"   This plan is an investment in your life and health and ARE YOU NOT WORTH IT?

Don't be like me at age 50 (ugh) and say "what the hell were/are you doing?" I know what I was doing....I was acting like I was some Harry Potter character, hoping to find the right magic wand to tap on my butt that would make all my weight and its problems go POOF, off of me. There is no wand, a major change is not instantaneous, be patient with the process and the rest will fall into place. The Whole30 book should have been used to whack me on the head decades ago!

Day 20
Breakfast: Sausage-Tomato-Spinach Frittata, raspberries and banana
Lunch: Leftover slow cooker pork, sugar snap peas and balsamic beets
Dinner: Leftover chicken nuggets and mixed greens

Day 21
Breakfast: STS Frittata, black olives, sugar snap peas
Lunch: Leftoverpalooza: a few nuggets, salad, beets
Dinner: Brats and Sauteed Zucchini/Onions/Peppers, steamed potato with ghee, bacon and green onions, and a roasted nectarine.

By the way:  Please, please....if there is anything recipe-wise you would like to know or any other questions about not. hesitate. to ask me.  Really.

To my friend who's put Whole30 on hold for now.....You have a wonderful new baby girl in your family of six to tend to right now, enjoy her! Just keep up the organics...the grass-fed, pastured meats....minimize the sugars as best you can....keeping the family eating cleanly not processed if you can help can worry about the dairy, legumes and grains later....Don't beat yourself up about this Momma Bear!

Must Watch!!!  Stumbled upon a post from Katie Couric on FB, which led to an sugar conspiracy article which led to this fabulous youtube video from Dr.'s over an hour....get your coffee and watch! Riveting!

Mind Blown!!!....

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Whole30- The Tiger Blood Days 18 and 19

Here you go, wait for tiger blood video!

Hahahahahha! Thought you'd enjoy that....that was many hours of retakes and editing I hope you know! (jk)

Some of you have asked me some questions about this and that....and I am so excited that my silly little food pictures and commentary is of some value to some of you.  Whether entertainment, nosiness or because you are doing whole30 as well....I am glad to know that my work here is not floating in hyperspace on some alien's Facebook page title "what stupid earth people do...."

First: Here is the almond butter I use:

Got it on one of my first whole30 grocery trips. I got the crunchy.  The crunchy bits are cashews! Remember: cashews, macadamia nuts and hazelnuts are the preferred nuts.  Almonds are suggested not as often. Raw is better because the lack of roasting keeps more of the nutrients in the nuts.  So next time I refill my nuts from TJ, I am getting the raw.  Being a rookie who not fully read the books yet,  I got unsalted, roasted, not raw.  But I use this maybe once, twice a week.  Needs to be refrigerated.

Next- Do not walk, RUN and go buy this....from the gods....Raw Cashew Butter....omfg....

So, my friend Jessica went to My Organic Market (MOM's -my new home) one day and found some sampler butters to try. She ripped it open and tried it with me,  her eyes rolled into her head and said it tasted like white chocolate. Now, I had to try.  White chocolate isn't my first thought but is it soooo dreamily smooth unlike the coarseness of the other butters.  Because it is raw, it has such a natural sweetness that you keep looking at the ingredients on the jar, swearing it has some kind of sugar in it. I am afraid during a moment of stress I could sit on the kitchen floor with a spoon and do some serious damage here.  Lovely.  MOM's's not located in the thick of the other's off up a few shelves and to the left....I don't know why ....but it certainly deserves to not be below with those other peon butters HA!  And it doesn't have to be refrigerated!!! I like this because my sensitive teeth doesn't like cold foods anyway and room temperature foods have better flavor I think.

Next: Sugar-free bacon is hard to find!

I think I should keep buying these in groups of FIVE, that perhaps if they think it's super popular they will buy more and always have tons of it.  The bad news...there are only 8 slices per package, maybe nine if you won the lottery this week. But the price is $5.49 but if you are the only one doing Whole30, you will become a miserly witch over each 68 cent slice and give the rest of your family the organic uncured, nitrite-free, OTHER bacons WITH sugar and SAVE this stuff for YOU! Strips of gold.  Okaaaayyyyy, if your whole family is doing Whole30 you better buy five packages at once too! I get out my griddle and do two packages at once, put in a ziploc....good for two weeks. Two package for one family for one meal, easy. Personally, I have no desire to being making bacon every day.  But batch frying makes my soul happy to have days off from greasy messes. I should go buy stock in this company....

Last product review for today: GHEEEEEEEEEE!!!! Hello, lovahhhhh. (I visualize Sarah Jessica Parker saying this while she's oogling designer shoes)

GIANT JAR.  At Mom's the largest jar they have is Organic Valley Ghee, 13 oz. jar is $12.99.  At this baby comes 32 fl. oz ...TWO for 35.00 (free shipping if you have PRIME, like me) for a price of 17.00 buck. *take calculator out* ...Unit price of Organic valley- 99 cents per ounce.  Ancient Organics- 53 cents.  No refrigeration unless been open for over 2 months.  Beautifully packaged, all paper, boxes can be repurposed for holiday time. Can be used as lotion but I am afraid that I'd start licking myself like the cats or they'd start on me....

Day 18:
Breakfast: Nuts and Berries, felt like a light day watching the SNOW fall for 1/2 hour on April 9!!! WTH!
Lunch: Leftover sausage, onions & peppers and fried eggs! Few berries...Love!

Dinner: Chicken Nuggets (organic chicken coated in coconut flour, egg wash , coated with seasoned unsweetened coconut and ground almonds), sauteed Kale and roasted carrots in ghee, raspberries and homemade mayo and Tessemae's ketchup to dip. (note: going to try another time with only coconut, by the end of dinner, the coating falls too easily off the nugget).

Day 19:
Breakfast: Cashew butter on bananas with raspberries & lil bit of cinnamon sprinkle. Coconut cream in my coffee.

Lunch: Spinach, bacon and tomato frittata (with enough leftover for next week's breakfasts!)

Dinner: Ribeye steaks, grilled asparagus with ghee, balsamic beets and strawberries (picture to come)

Additional notings: Some of you have asked me "Is K-man doing Whole30 too?" The answer is yes and no.  Kinda, is not a proper answer.  Yes, with me. No, away from home. At dinner he eats whole30 with me and expresses no whining about not having bread/rolls as we used to. During the day away at work, K-man eats what he's craving.  While he is still working his last days before retirement of 35 years from his devoted service to our city, he will enjoy eating what he does with his coworkers at his favorite haunts until the end of this month. 

K-man is a man-boy who likes his peanut butter, sandwiches, oatmeal and ice cream (cakes and cookies too). I'd like him to experience Whole30 to see first hand (not from ME telling him) how food choices (diet) can really have a positive effect and NOT make you pine and crave for crap. (Two hours after dinner he's searching around for treats and snacks- he has a HUGE Sugar Dragon in him and doesn't think it's a problem. 2 hours after dinner I am content and ready for bed. This is still very scary for him because he can't disassociate 30 days of discipline from a lifetime of denial. I try to explain that under Whole30, you go through an amazing change of not CRAVING empty calories foods. But when I start to get on my soap box, he reverts backs to the rebel teen who doesn't want to be told what to do and I begin to feel like that dog owner who is pulling their dog into the bathtub who hates getting wet.

The man who is controlled by his wife either doesn't know it or is okay with it.  The man who free to do whatever he wants, can eat what he wants and has no children to take care of anymore, the moment something new is suggested by their wife they think their freedoms are threatened and they begin to buck. I am willing to admit that I did not help myself at all by having/making tempting things around the house and buying those favorites of my husbands to contribute to his sugar delinquency. I am "fixing me" and when K-man wants to do Whole30 correctly and not partly, I will be here. So all I can do now is keep on truckin'....and me do me!

*clawing gesture* Rawr!