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Archive for the tag “Healthy”

Is This Dieting? No, It’s Paleo . . .

I like baseball. I like movies. I love baseball movies. Whether The Natural with Robert Redford or Kevin Costner’s classics, Bull Durham (which also launched Tim Robbins’ career) and Field of Dreams, there’s just something iconic and all-American feel-good about them. The other thing about memorable movies is their great lines. Field of Dreams has one of the best:

That’s what I thought of this week as I got to the 20-day mark with 10 days left to go on the Whole30. I take a look at some of my meals over the last week, most of which come from Melissa Joulwan’s “Well Fed” book, available here. And, although I’ve heard that the Whole30 is just an amped-up version of Paleo eating, I sometimes find myself having a hard time believing I’m on a diet. And then I remember, I’M NOT!

This is a new way of life, not a short-term diet that I’ll yo-yo back to again and again. Or, worse, bounce to the next-best-thing diet six months from now. I know this because of the way it makes me feel and the fact that I know the food choices I’m making are healthier, but more importantly, can be maintained long-term. If I didn’t, do you think I’d be writing about it in this blog right now??? Well, hopefully not.

That’s why, with 10 days to go, I don’t look at it the end of the 30 days as a countdown. In fact, it’s barely even a milestone, since I’ve already planned to extend my Whole30 another 15 days and then maintain Paleo long-term. In the meantime, here are several pics of some of the delicious foods that have kept me very satisfied and maintained along the way (and again, the hus’ is loving this food too!). Enjoy.


P.S. A word of caution — clicking on the photos to enlarge may make you hungry. 🙂

Chipotle Carnitas Bowl: In a pinch, I was able to grab a quick lunch out at Chipotle. I ordered the Carnitas Bowl with extra meat and no beans or rice, pico de gallo, lettuce and guacamole. Divine!

Whole Roasted Chicken and Gravy: From Nom Nom Paleo, this is a whole roasted chicken made in the crock pot, with its own gravy that’s unreal. I served it with steamed green beans and mashed sweet potatoes.

Shepherd’s Pie: This is the Italian Pie version with ground beef from “Well Fed”. I can’t even tell you how good it was. I sent some leftovers to work with hubby today and had some myself. Even better the second time around!

The Versatile Frittata: Got eggs and some leftovers? Make one of these! A little coconut oil melted in the pan, scramble the eggs and add a bit of S&P. Pour in the pan and add a little leftovers. This one has some roasted chicken and onion. One day I used ground beef and served it with salsa and avocado. Just cook on the stove until it’s mostly set then pop in the oven under a low broiler until it browns on top. Slide out of the pan and enjoy. (Remember to use a high-heat safe pan).


Flat Iron Steak: Pan sear the steak in a very hot pan that has melted coconut oil. For about an inch think steak, cook 4 minutes on one side, turn and 3 minutes on the second (use a meat thermometer to check doneness to your liking). Remove meat from pan and let rest. Lower heat to medium and deglaze pan with just a touch of organic beef broth (check label for additives) then add mushrooms and saute until done. Pour mushroom sauce over steak and serve with another steamed veggie (I served asparagus), a salad or both!





Week One on the Whole30 . . . Check! (Three things I learned)

Happy 10-11-12! Having now officially completed my first full week on the Whole30, I thought I’d provide an update. As you may recall, Day 1 began on Oct. 2 with excitement, if not curiosity, as to exactly how I would adapt to this new lifestyle.

Did I mention that my household includes my hubby who is doing a pseudo-paleo with me, which means that he’s eating all of the healthy dinners I’m preparing and cutting out junk food, but he’s hesitant to take the plunge because he doesn’t need to lose weight. He’s actually trying to gain after a recent hospital stay during which his gallbladder was removed — hello red flag! I also am blessed to have my 19-year-old son living at home during his freshman year. Enough said. Dinner typically includes at least two different versions, but it’s been fine so far and I’ve not been tempted one bit, even with my son’s birthday this week! I was totally satisfied forgoing the cake and ice cream, which happened to be Culver’s Pumpkin Pie, one of my favorites!

So, what are the three things I learned in my first week?

New Foods and Flavors! Things I’d never heard of in some cases and just never tried in others. Now I can’t imagine cooking certain dishes Ghee - Clarified Butterwithout Ghee (clarified butter), which is heavenly, or coconut oil, a paleo staple. I also discovered coconut aminos, a substitute for soy sauce in Asian-type dishes, but also works when Worcestershire sauce is normally used. And one of my new favorites? Almond butter. Where have you been all my life? Whole Foods even has a station — much like you see for coffee grinding — where you can make your own almond butter. Fresh almonds go in and the butter comes out. Nothing else added. Delicious. I have about a tablespoon once or twice a day on apple or pear slices or even celery!

And, I’m drinking black coffee in the morning. This is huge for a gal who always ordered a Caramel Macchiato at Starbucks and then added two Splenda! I could opt for a little coconut milk but it doesn’t agree with me, as I shared in a previous post. I then thought almond milk was the ticket but found out it’s almost impossible to find a pre-packaged brand without additives that are not Whole30-friendly. So, I tried it black and it’s growing on me. Proves that my taste buds are being retrained so that I really appreciate the good and natural flavors in healthier food!

Healthy Food is Expensive. Now, this is probably a big “duh”, but I underestimated how much the initial cost of switching to organic fruits and veggies (as much as possible) and getting healthier cuts of meat would impact my budget. Not to mention planning nearly every meal at home, which is more economical but means that many more groceries. Luckily, I received my three “Paleo Bibles” that I ordered and there’s tons of great recipes that will help going forward. “It Starts With Food,” “Well Fed“, and “Practical Paleo” have already proven to be invaluable resources. Plus, I’m learning to navigate between which stores will offer me the best deals — more on that in a future post. The bottom line is that it’s worth it! A healthy lifestyle will only save me money in the long run and, combined with the other benefits, I’m all in. Why? Because . . .

It’s Working! After a few days of detox in the first week, I am starting to feel the benefits of a radical diet change. My mood is generally improved, I “feel” lighter (not bloated and never over-stuffed) and I can visualize my goal of completing the Whole30 and maintaining a paleo lifestyle for the long-term. I still have a headache here and there, but I’ve long suffered from that, and I think overall my headaches have improved. The only downside is occasional trouble sleeping, which I understand can be a result of the lack of carbs and my body still adjusting. I’m working on it, so I hope that it improves in short order.

Last but not least, I have to admit I cheated. I stepped on the scale after my first week (strict Whole30 says to weigh only at the beginning and the end of the 30 days). Drum roll . . . five pounds lost in seven days! I’m happy about that, but trying to set my expectations. I had no goal weight in mind for the Whole30 (although I do overall), only to retrain my taste buds, adopt a healthier lifestyle and start a revolution. The new-found discipline has also inspired me to tackle other projects that have lacked my attention, including a complete reorganization for my walk-in closet and kitchen pantry. And, without an emotional attachment to food, I was able to truly clean out and discard those foods in my pantry that were past their prime, unhealthy, or both! Much better.

Now, as I rush headlong into Week 2, I have no regrets, very little temptation and an excitement for continued positive results. If anyone else is taking this journey, please share your comments. My next post will be back on the topic of PR.


Here we go …

imageI thought I’d share my very first “official” Paleo-approved meal. Having just returned from Trader Joe’s with a Paleo shopping list in hand, I was famished. So I prepared lunch (or maybe it was a snack) consisting of an apple, banana and a handful of almonds (all organic). With a large bottle of water, of course!

I was surprisingly satiated afterward and, more important, happy about my choices. What’s even more exciting is that I started my day with a brisk walk/jog of nearly 2 miles! Believe me, that’s totally new territory for me, but it felt great. So excited to be embarking on this Whole30 program and discovering what it will bring!

More later,


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