Oops! And an Update

Pondering the great outdoors while helping make pancakes

Pondering the great outdoors while helping make pancakes

If you receive updates from me via e-mail, I apologize for the empty message two days ago.  I updated the blog and it altered my newsletter settings, which I didn't realize (I'm not as technically savvy as I'd like to be).  

Also, we've stopped the Whole30.  The stomach bug we got while on vacation didn't go away as quickly as we hoped it would and we just needed a few carbs in our life.  I'm sure we'll try it again at some point (and we eat that way 90% of the time), but this isn't the right time.  I have been cooking on a regular basis and I have a new go-to weeknight approach to dinner, which is to purchase fish or meat and top it with Ali's Sauce Niçoise.  I made this twice last week (served once over halibut and once with chicken).  It couldn't be simpler to make, you likely have the ingredients on-hand, and it is delicious.  I also made these Oven Ribs from Smitten Kitchen - I omitted the brown sugar and they were still fall-off-the-bone tender and flavorful.  We ate ribs with corn on the cob - Blythe took a bite out of every piece of corn while "helping" me shuck it.  Note the tiny teeth marks in the ear of corn in the bottom right corner of this photo.

I'm getting back into the groove of posting so thanks for still reading and there will be more to come!

A Whole30 Hiccup

The view from our cabin.  There were some lovely parts of our trip.

The Whole30 was going really well.  We had a long weekend away planned with friends at Avalanche Ranch, I prepped for Whole30 complaint meals, and..... we all caught a virus, with Blythe getting the worst of it.  I'll spare you the gory details, but all I could eat yesterday were crackers and I just needed to be okay with it.  So, I had to start over today.  I'm headed to the grocery store now to stock up for the week and here is what I plan to make for dinner each night (I'll post again at the end of each week reporting in on what I actually ate... if any of you care).  

Looking pretty happy here!

Day 1 - Cod with Salad Niçoise

Day 2 - Pan-Roasted Pork Loin with Peach-Tomato Salad

Day 3 - Rob and I have a steakhouse dinner date, so steak and vegetable sides

Day 4 - Turkey & Zucchini Burgers (I'll make a version on the sauce w/o any dairy - thanks, Kate, for the inspiration)

Day 5 - Oven Ribs (I'll omit the brown sugar and sub ground, pitted dates for sweetness and serve with veggies on the side)

Day 6 - Dry Rub Oven Chicken (again, no sugar but add dates)

Day 7 - Chicken Soup, salad, leftovers - this one is TBD!

Blythe is really into kissing these days.  Maybe this is where she got the virus? 

The Whole30 - Week 1

I've survived the first week!  Actually, it is going quite well and I'm feeling really good. I'm certainly missing a refreshing IPA on the back patio after Blythe goes to sleep, but I've replaced it with Watermelon Agua Fresca and sparkling water, and I'm dreaming of the ice cream we'll walk to get at Sweet Cow in 3 weeks.

Below I've written out what I ate for each meal this week (this is going to be so boring for most of you - apologies).  In the next week, I'm going to share some of my favorite recipes and a few that I tried that did not work.  

BLT Salad - Chop avocado, tomatoes and cooked bacon into a bowl and add Whole30 mayonnaise, salt, and pepper to your liking.  Delicious (but best eaten immediately).  Delicious without mayo, too.

BLT Salad - Chop avocado, tomatoes and cooked bacon into a bowl and add Whole30 mayonnaise, salt, and pepper to your liking.  Delicious (but best eaten immediately).  Delicious without mayo, too.

Day 1

  • Breakfast - coffee with unsweetened coconut almond milk

  • Lunch - salad of spinach, tomatoes, asparagus, bell peppers, steamed beets, avocado, grilled salmon, and a dressing of olive oil and balsamic vinegar

  • Snacks - dried mango, raspberries

  • Dinner - cup of homemade chili (recipe to follow), roast chicken, and steamed green beans

  • Dessert - strawberries

Day 2

  • Breakfast - over-easy eggs, 1/2 an avocado, handful of cherry tomatoes, and an iced coffee with unsweetened coconut almond milk

  • Lunch - mixed melon salad (watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe), and a green salad with spinach, chicken breast, tomatoes, asparagus, and black olives

  • Snacks - banana with almond butter, dried mango, peach, beef jerky stick

  • Dinner - grilled halibut, baked sweet potato, and broccoli with pesto (no cheese)

  • Dessert - raspberries

Kale Saute with Eggs

Kale Saute with Eggs

Day 3

  • Breakfast - poached eggs with kale saute (I made a large batch of the sauce and made breakfast for 2 days for both me and Rob).  I use this to poach and hard-boil eggs.

  • Lunch - salmon nicoise salad and a cup of tomato soup

  • Snacks - blueberries, grapes

  • Dinner - almond-crusted cod with cucumber, tomato and olive salad (inspired by this SunBasket meal.  The salad was essentially a Greek salad without feta cheese and dressed with olive oil, salt and pepper.)

Day 4

  • Breakfast - over-easy eggs, kale sauté, and tomatoes.  

  • Lunch - BLT salad, unsweetened iced tea

  • Snacks - smoothie (coconut milk, berries, dates, spinach), raw cashews

  • Dinner - grilled salmon and a zucchini noodle salad with pesto, grilled vegetables, tomatoes, and olives

  • Dessert - cherries and grapes

Zucchini Noodle Salad with Pesto

Zucchini Noodle Salad with Pesto

Day 5

Day 6

  • Breakfast - over-easy eggs with 1/2 avocado

  • Lunch - leftover Pan-Roasted Pork Loin with Peach-Tomato Salad, papaya chunks 

  • Snacks - green grapes, homemade almond butter & jelly "LaraBar"

  • Dinner - Chirashi dinner out - chef's choice sashimi served over daikon instead of rice

  • Dessert - papaya chunks, coconut popsicle

Day 7

  • Breakfast - over-easy eggs, coffee with almond coconut milk
  • Lunch - spinach salad with steamed cauliflower, potatoes, tomatoes, and bacon bits with olive oil dressing and a bowl of chicken vegetable soup
  • Snacks - homemade LaraBar
  • Dinner - grilled steak with roasted poblanos and New Mexican chile sauce (SunBasket meal - one of our favorites)
  • Dessert - papaya, smoothie with coconut milk, raspberries, peaches, and avocado

The Whole30

In January, Rob and I tried the Whole30.  Our first attempted ended up being more of a Whole18, but I felt fantastic while we were doing it and we've decided to give it another go and to stick it out for the full 30 days this time.  I'm employing a few techniques I learned from Gretchen Rubin in Better than Before and her Happier podcast: enlisting my blog and my readers for outside accountability and starting tomorrow (I keep waiting for the perfect time to start, but there is no perfect time, so tomorrow it is).  There is even a Happier episode where Gretchen and Elizabeth interview Melissa Hartwig, one of the co-creators of the Whole30.  Check it out!

The following is the basic premise of the Whole30: "Eat meat, seafood, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats from fruits, oils, nuts and seeds.  Eat foods with very few ingredients, all pronounceable ingredients, or better yet, no ingredients listed at all because they're totally natural and unprocessed."  via the Whole 30 website.

If anyone is interested in the Whole30, you can read all about it on the website (or there is a book you can purchase that is smart to read before starting to understand this approach to eating, how to plan ahead, and how to reintroduce foods when you finish).  I'm listing a few of my favorite resources, websites, food companies, etc. from the last time we did it below and I'll update this site as I come across more.  I won't bore you all with a check-in every day, but I plan to post what I ate at the end of each week (along with recipes).  If anyone has done the Whole30 and has tips or favorite recipes, please leave a comment.

Whole30 Frequently-Visted Links

Whole30 Recipes

  • Tessemae's Whole30 Meal Planning (many recipes involve Tessemae's dressings, but you can always sub ingredients you already have)
  • Whole30 Pinterest Board
  • So Let's Hang Out (not all Whole30, but plenty are)
  • Recipes and a thorough overview and description of The Little Honey Bee's experience here 
  • SunBasket has a huge selection of Paleo receipes.  There are differences between Paleo and Whole30, but all of these are easily converted to become Whole30 compliant.
  • I'll keep updating this section...

Ingredients & Equipment (Planning Ahead)

  • In general, planning ahead is required for success.  You need to meal prep at the beginning of each week and ensure you have ingredients on-hand for when you are hungry or it is way too easy to reach for something non-Whole30 compliant.
  • Ghee (found at most grocery stores and definitely at Whole Foods)
  • Whole30 bacon (If you eat meat, bacon adds so much flavor and is easy to cook ahead. Check the freezer section for bacon that is labeled Whole30/Paleo - you'll be amazed that the vast majority of bacon has tons of added sugar)
  • Eggs (Breakfast is predominantly eggs and/or smoothies - no complaints here.   Also great for hard-boiled eggs for a snack.
  • Lots of fruits and veggies
  • A few Whole30-approved snack items (Larabars, for example) for emergencies, snacks, and stashing in your desk and/or purse.
  • Milk alternative for your coffee if you can't bear to go black.  We have permanently converted to unsweetened coconut almond milk.
  • If you want to spiralize vegetables so you feel like you are still eating pasta, you might want to invest in a Spiralizer.

Whole30-Friendly Products
Tesssemae's - Did you know that the vast majority of condiments are full of sugar?  Tessemae's has a line of ketchup, BBQ sauce, and salad dressings that are all Whole30 friendly and delicious.  You can create your own six pack so you get exactly what you need.

Barefoot Provisions - There is an entire section of this website devoted to Whole30 snacks. 

Larabar - An excellent snack option.  This website lists those that are Whole30 compliant.  My favorite is Cherry Pie.

Primal Kitchen - The regular and chipotle mayo is so, so good.  This is something we've permanently switched to at our house.  You can find it at Whole Foods or online.

Cappello's - Absolutely delicious pasta!  The ingredients comply with Whole30, although you aren't supposed to replicate things like pasta, pancakes, muffins, etc. during the Whole30.  We now eat this whenever we want pasta because it is that delicious.

Sun Basket

Roasted Chicken with Kale, Sweet Potatoes and Artichoke Romesco

Roasted Chicken with Kale, Sweet Potatoes and Artichoke Romesco

Over the last year, I've tried several meal delivery services where you receive all of the ingredients and the recipe and you prepare the vast majority of the meal yourself.  Until Sun Basket, I can't say I'd had a positive experience - the recipes were always fine, but one had way too much packaging that left me feeling incredibly guilty, one sent recipes that were more time-consuming than what I'm willing to tackle on a weeknight, and one had portions that didn't fill either of us up!  Recently I saw an ad for Sun Basket on Instagram of all places (apparently their targeted advertising is working) and decided to try it out (you can get 3 free meals with your first delivery).  

This week we've made roasted chicken with artichoke romesco (pictured above), grilled sirloins with piperade and arugula pesto, and roasted salmon with orange-jicama salad.  The longest prep time was 15 minutes (and really didn't even take that) and the meals were delicious.  We aren't doing the Whole30 anymore (more on that in another post), but we still enjoy eating that way, and Sun Basket has that option (as well as gluten-free and vegetarian options).  The meals are certified organic and sustainably sourced.  After your three free meals, they cost $11.49 each, which isn't inexpensive, but is less than what we'd spend to go out.  Also, every other order, you pack up the ice packs and send them back to Sun Basket and recycle the box the meals come in, which makes me feel better about the shipping and waste.  

Has anyone else tried Sun Basket or similar services?  I'd love to hear what you think.  We are doing one more week and I'm pretty psyched about the meals heading our way.  The New York Times just published a piece about meal delivery services if you want to read more on the industry.