Saturday, June 30, 2012

Whole 30 Day 24

With such a hearty dinner from the night before, it took me a while for my appetite to pick up this morning. It was slim pickings in my produce bin, so I had to be a bit creative with my breakfast. I only had 1 kiwi and 2 apricots, so that was my fruit portion of my meal. I had a leftover burger from the night before topped with a small tomato, and two over easy eggs on the side.

My goal for the day was to do house work, so it was basically an active rest day. I was super sore from the workout from the night before, so I needed a break! Between my laundry folding and floor cleaning, I prepped two batches of applesauce in the slow cooker. Even though the apples were more ripe compared to the apples I used in the first batch on Day 8, they were still really tart. So, now I have lots of applesauce to eat now and store in the freezer for later.

Because my breakfast was so late and also quite big, it took me a while to be hungry for lunch. I kept it simple and had two scrambled eggs, some applesauce, and three raw carrots with almond butter. I never sandwiched carrots between almond butter before, but it was really tasty and I'm sure kids would like it. As I said, food is getting low so I didn't have much in the way of emergency protein or a variety of vegetables.

I was invited to a friend's house for dinner. I wasn't sure what would be served, so my sweetie and I made a fruit salad...he contributed the melon, I got the grapes. He's been so great about making sure there is always something for me to have. Together the fruits looked so pretty! At the party, they had burgers and chicken kebabs, but unfortunately I wasn't able to get a picture. I had a burger with mustard wrapped in lettuce. I also had some of the grilled chicken and vegetables from the kebab. I had a big serving of fruit and they had a green salad, which I had a big spoon of too. I have found that my biggest temptation in social scenes is wine. I love wine; I consider it a "sensible indulgence" because I usually drink a dry wine, and therefore am not having a sugar bomb girly cocktail. It's one of the things I plan to add back in once this Whole 30 is over. I don't drink much, but for special occasions such as the bbq on Tuesday and then tonight, it would have been nice to have had a glass.

My Favorite Homemade Mayonnaise

Making a batch of homemade mayo is becoming a weekly habit because it's so versatile. It's also a lot tastier than the store-bought stuff. You can dress a salad with it, use it in a dip, fish cakes, or just slather it on anything that need a bit more flavor! It's a great way to add a creamy texture if you are avoiding dairy. I've tinkered with this recipe a lot and make several variations, but this one is my standard recipe. This one is good for dressing because while it's thick, it's also smooth enough to break up when you toss it on salads. I used it in one of my recent recipes. Here is one of the many ways to make great mayo:

My Favorite Homemade Mayonnaise
Printable Recipe

1 large egg, preferably from free-range chickens, at room temperature (I like to wash the outside with warm water)
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp mustard (I use anything from Dijon to spicy brown, use whatever you like)
big dash of each white pepper and cayenne pepper
pinch of salt
1 cup light tasting pure olive oil

1. Crack the egg into the pitcher of a blender or the bowl that comes with your immersion blender. Or you can go the Julia Child route and use a bowl. Add the vinegar, mustard, peppers, and salt. Start whipping them together with a wire whisk if you are using the bowl method, or just turn your machines on.
2. Slowly begin trickling the oil in. I know the oil is going in too fast if it pools on the surface of the mixture. Begin with trickling drops, then as you add half a slow stream, then by the time three-quarters is emulsified, you can add a bit thicker of a stream. I always use my immersion blender, and to make sure I have an even emulsion, I move the blender portion up and down the cup to pull the mixture from the top to the bottom.

Servings vary widely depending on how much air you whip in, so I feel a nutritional breakdown isn't effective for this one.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Whole 30 Day 23

I thought I was feeling good around Day 10 or so, but now I feel as if I have rocket fuel in me. Yeah, work makes me tired, but not weary and like I "can't go on!" It's a good kind of tired, the kind that lets you know you put in your all. The fact that I'm able to put in a full day and still get to the gym a few days a week for a really hard workout is even more remarkable.

This morning I had a big breakfast to make sure I could keep going for hours because I had a lot of stuff to work on today. I made a veggie scramble with three eggs, spinach, and peppers. I also had the last of the leftover roasted sweet potatoes and the last of my fresh raspberries.

Lunch consisted of the last of the pico de gallo tilapia and a big salad with butter lettuce, and little piece of leftover avocado (my last one!), red peppers, and walnuts with Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette. I also had a nectarine to help cool me off.

I left work early to run an errand for work! Afterwards, I had some celery and almond butter to keep me from getting too hungry during my workout. I have been focusing on trying to lift heavier for my upper body. For my lower body, I've recently had physical therapy for my knees, so I am focusing on maintaining what I did in my sessions plus a little more challenge. I do the Lifecycle as a leg workout plus cardio, and I really love it. In April, I was only able to do level 1, now I do level 6 then pump it up to 7 for the last 2 min for an extra challenge.

Dinner was a bit later than normal because I was at the gym for a long time. Therefore, I was super hungry! On my plate is a burger with pickles, tomato, and homemade mayo, sweet potato fries, and salad dressed with olive oil and lemon juice. I had seconds on the sweet potatoes and burger and thirds (or perhaps fourths, depending on who is counting) of the salad. This was a particularly delicious dinner; it really hit the spot and was everything I need to recover not just from my workout but from my entire busy week!

Rainbow Coleslaw

I love salads that can be prepared in a big bowl and lasts a while in the refrigerator. Because I eat salads frequently, just making one for myself creates a small mess to clean up every time, but keeping prepared salads on-hand means less to clean up overall. I'm a big fan of leftovers, and I'm finding them to be utterly essential during this Whole 30 challenge.

This salad was particularly good because of all the pretty colors! Purple and light green cabbage, darker green onions, red and white radishes, and orange carrots. The green onions, radishes, and mustard seeds add a nice kick to what could otherwise be regarded as a boring salad, especially if you are used to the store-bought version (only green cabbage, carrots, mayo, and maybe some sugar...boring!). The water from the vegetables helps create the dressing, and is becomes a pretty light pink color from the vegetables! Plus, the vegetables in this salad are some of the cheapest in the produce section, so you can have a nice salad that doesn't cost a lot!

Rainbow Coleslaw
Printable Recipe

1/2 medium head green cabbage
1/4 medium head red cabbage
6 large radishes
2 medium carrots
2 green onions, sliced
3/4 cups homemade or good-quality mayonnaise
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp dried dill
1/2 tsp yellow mustard seeds
1/2 tsp celery seeds
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Shred the cabbages with a thin slicer blade for a chunky texture, or use the shredder blade for a finer texture. Add them to a large bowl, and with your hands, massage the cabbage until it starts to release a little water; set aside.
2. Shred the radishes and carrots and add them to the cabbage.
3. Toss the shredded vegetables with the remaining ingredients. For best results, refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
  • Servings per recipe: 8 
  • Per serving:
  • Calories: 170.4
  • Fat: 15.5 g
  • Saturated fat: 2.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 5.7 mg
  • Sodium: 155.9 mg
  • Carbohydrates: 7.6 g
  • Fiber: 2.6 g
  • Sugar: 1.8 g
  • Protein: 1.8 g

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Whole 30 Day 22

Today was another long day at work. I ended one of my summer experiments, so that's a huge relief. I planned a social for the grad students in my department, so I got off work a little later than planned then rushed home and got ready as fast as I could. I made it just on time, managed to avoid temptation, and overall had a great eating day!

My breakfast was pretty much the standard: just 3 plain scrambled eggs, some leftover cabbage (surprisingly good in the morning!) and some raspberries with black coffee.

Lunch was a full course of leftovers from the night before: pico de gallo tilapia, roasted cabbage, and roasted sweet potatoes. I had two nectarines because I find fruit cools me off nicely midday.

As I said before, I had a social in the evening. I had every intention of eating a snack beforehand to stave off my hunger, but the best I could do was half a pickle. I had already perused the menu beforehand, and pretty much everything had cheese or was cooked in questionable oils. I intended it to be just happy hour, but the bar was packed and folks also wanted dinner, so we got a table. I was quite hungry but I ordered my pre-decided water with extra lemon. I chugged down three glasses easily (one of which I "stole" from the person next to me who was drinking a beer...they didn't notice) but the waiter was slow to fill my glass...I could have happily had more after a hot day like we had. I was quite hungry, so I saw on the menu a side salad. I asked what was in it, then requested no cheese and no fried wonton strips, which left me with iceberg lettuce, cucumber, and tomato. The dressing was just lemon and olive oil, but for some reason this simple salad tasted so good! I never would have liked something like this so much before Whole 30. I always liked lots of stuff in my salad like chicken and eggs, but now plain old veggies and a little lemon juice and oil taste wonderful to me. I also skipped the homemade honey wheat rolls and butter...they smelled awesome, but I admired from a distance : )

When I got home I had a real dinner of everything I had for lunch today: tilapia, sweet potatoes, and cabbage. I followed it with a cup of decaf green tea.

I had a lot of food repeats today, but at least I didn't have to cook much! Easy!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Whole 30 Day 21

I can't believe I only have about week left of Whole 30! I forgot to post this the other day, but over the weekend I went and got a couple pairs of inexpensive shorts from Forever 21 because my shorts were looking so baggy that they looked terrible. A lot of their pants are sized by waist measurement. Well, I ended up getting shorts that had a waist measurement 3 inches smaller than the ones I was wearing at the beginning of Whole 30! They're super cute, too. I got these ones (and no, I'm not going to tuck my shirt in with these like the model did, that looks nerdy) and something like these ones, but not this exact pair.

I've been enjoying some fresh raspberries that were on sale at one of the grocery stores in town. I like to add a lot of variety to my fruits and vegetables, as you may be able to tell! I had the raspberries with another kiwi and the last three prosciutto egg muffins. Of course, I had my black coffee on the side!

My breakfast was a bit small for the level of work I was doing, so I was super hungry by the time I had lunch. My lunch was a bit small, too. I didn't have much leftover protein, so I only had a chicken leg along with the last of the coleslaw, a pickle, and some watermelon.

I got home mid-afternoon and I was quite hungry, so I had lunch part 2, with some canned tuna emergency protein. I mixed it with chopped celery, pickle, homemade mayo, and mustard, and poured it onto butter lettuce and a whole sliced tomato. I sprinkled chopped almonds on top for crunch. This was really good yet simple! It was the extra burst of nutrients I needed to get through a workout. I've been working really hard lately and all the demands on  me can be stressful....I find lifting heavy things helps a lot with that!

Dinner was more fish, this time tilapia. I browned it in a big skillet and made pico de gallo to stir-fry in the pan drippings. It reminded me of a Brazilian fish dish I had years ago. This is one to make for people who don't like fish! I also roasted some cubed sweet potatoes with cinnamon, cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, and coconut oil. To further experiment, I roasted some shredded cabbage because my big pan was being used for the fish. I tossed the cabbage with slivered onions, coconut oil, salt, pepper, and dried chives for extra onion-y goodness. The cabbage became a little roasted on the edges, and the rest became sweet as it roasted. This is a delicious and affordable side dish! My dinner plate had a lot going on...I actually couldn't finish it all!

Even though my diet is limited right now, I don't think my meals look restricted at all! I have a lot of variety!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Whole 30 Day 20

When I woke up this morning I was so sore from all the work I had done the day before. It took a lot of effort to drag myself out of bed. I made a nice breakfast for myself of some more egg muffins. These ones are like Denver omelets because they have peppers, onions, and ham. I had some gorgeous raspberries and a kiwi on the side.

I had to go to campus in the afternoon, and though I packed my lunch, I ate it at home. I'd had a nectarine at work, which tied my hunger over so that I could enjoy my lunch while sitting on my couch instead of at my desk. For lunch I had my last stuffed pepper and cauliflower rice. I had some cole slaw on the side.

I went to campus to see my friend's final seminar as part of her dissertation defense, and of course she passed. Afterwards, I went home and had some much-needed coconut water. It was 105 degrees today! I basically sweated all day long because I was walking on campus. Afterwards, there was a party for her. Therefore, to make sure I wouldn't be too hungry and be tempted to indulge, I had 2 more egg muffins and some celery and almond butter along with my coconut water. It was a bigger snack than normal, but I had no idea what the dinner would be and I broke my "rule" because I didn't have anything prepared to take...I went to the party at the last minute. Luckily, there was a veggie tray with the tortilla chips with various dips, so I dipped some raw carrots, snow peas, and grape tomatoes in a little salsa. There was also roasted beets, grilled with olive oil and garlic, and I ate a piece of that and it was really good! I normally don't like beets; perhaps my tastes are changing. The food was grilled with olive oil and garlic and I could see in the bowl that it was olive oil, so I thought that the meal would be Whole 30 compliant. It's one of those cases where you can ask what is in things and then hope there's no other hidden ingredient. There's only so much you can do---in my opinion, Whole 30's not meant to make you go crazy, it's meant to help you understand that what you put in your mouth can either make you feel bad or good: the choice is up to you.

Well, I didn't get a wheat belly, so I think it was all safe! The veggies were actually my favorite part. I skipped the various sides like spinach dip with tortilla chips and mashed potatoes. On my plate is grilled steak, asparagus, peppers and onions, 1 chunk of chicken because my friend who was next in line doesn't eat beef so I saved the last bit for her,  more raw veggies (carrots and grape tomatoes) with some pico de gallo. I drank a lot of water and skipped the beer. My biggest tempt was that someone brought a big bottle of cava, a sparkling dessert wine. I was called in to open it because I'm the "wine expert" and I successfully opened it without bubbles spilling over! The aroma itself was was good quality. I took a glass for the toast but drank water instead of the wine. It was really hard to pass it up. Even though I was called out for passing up on the "fun foods," I have big goals I want to accomplish!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Whole 30 Day 19

This is going to be a busy week for me because I'm ending an experiment and starting another one. Today I went to my out of town site. Unfortunately, my breakfast wasn't enough for the level of work I was doing, and I got hungry early. I had two eggs scrambled with some peppers and onion. I cooked one and a half pounds of meat Sunday night, using half in my main course, so I could eat the remainder for quick meals. I added some of that to the scramble. I had what might be the most perfect kiwi on the side, along with my usual black coffee.

Sorry it's a little blurry
I packed a lot of stuff to take with me, but I only ended up eating a handful of almonds, the cole slaw, and the mango because it was just too hot to eat. I figured I would have lunch when I got home, but I got back to town and I ended up working a couple more hours. I was exhausted and super hungry. I had an intense, but momentary, craving for something sweet...I'm sure it's because I didn't eat enough to recover from the work. I came home (finally) and had a leftover stuffed pepper and cauliflower rice.

For dinner I mixed the leftover cooked ground beef with the last bit of homemade marinara sauce that I made last week. I had seconds of the meat, about the same amount as you see here. I also had a salad dressed with some Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette and a little shredded prosciutto that I crisped in a pan.

I went to campus to work in the evening, and on the way back I stopped and got a few more fruits and vegetables. I had a little baby watermelon when I got home, which was really refreshing.

I was never more ready to go to bed!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Whole 30 Day 18

I'm at the both the end and the start of two experiments, so all I have been doing is working lately. Therefore I'm a bit late on this post.

Every morning since starting Whole 30 I always wake up and look in the mirror to see if I look different. I have been beginning to notice how my clothes are fitting a little more loosely. Actually, I've been doing some sewing repairs to my summer clothes, and a shirt that I needed to take in 2 inches at the end of May now needs to be taken in 4 inches! I am anticipating my final results so badly!

Breakfast was really special today because I recently got some prosciutto to add more protein and flavor to my meals. I only had two eggs, so I cooked some finely diced vegetables to mix with the eggs. I cut two pieces of prosciutto in half and used them to wrap around the edges of four muffin cups, the I poured in the egg mixture and placed a few more shreds of prosciutto on top of the eggs. I ate all four muffins, but it really wasn't that much food because it was only 2 eggs and two pieces of ham with veggies. I also had some mango and blueberries on the side.

Lunch was simple: leftover cole slaw, a chicken leg, and a pickle. I had seconds on the chicken and cole slaw...


Dinner was pretty special because I made stuffed peppers. I hadn't made these in a long time. I made them with the help of a Persian recipe, adding cauliflower rice instead of regular rice. I prepared more cauliflower rice to go on the side. I just cooked it in the pan I cooked the meat in for less dishes, and I seasoned it with turmeric for a pretty color. This was a great meal, and things like stuffed peppers make awesome leftovers because they just taste better the longer they sit in the refrigerator!

Later on in the evening I wanted a snack, so I had a few ants on a long...celery with almond butter and raisins.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Whole 30 Day 17

I got in from the drive in at 2 am last night. Normally I don't stay up that late...I try to be in bed by 10 pm because I work most days of the week...but it was nice to be out doing something fun. It was a double feature, and the first movie was Dixney-Pixar's Brave. I hadn't even seen the previews for that one because I don't watch a lot of tv, so I had no clue what it was about. I enjoyed it because it was a good escape from thinking about work. Also the plot wasn't too complicated, so it gave my brain a rest. That's one of the many reasons I like cartoons. The second one was Avengers, which took me way too long to see. I like comic book-based movies. Some of them don't have good plots, but I just like the fantasy aspect. Again, it's nice to escape from reality for a while! I thought it was pretty good.

Despite my late night, I was up pretty early, partly because I have always been an early riser, and partly because my normally quiet neighbor was being really loud. Nothing like hearing people talk through the wall right by your sleeping head to wake you up early!

For breakfast this morning I made a veggie scramble topped with pico de gallo, the last of the sweet potato fries, and half of a small avocado with my usual black coffee. It was pretty good, but I would like to switch up my breakfast to something else soon.

After breakfast, I decided to clean up my veggies in the fridge and made a big batch of coleslaw. I made homemade mayo for the slaw, but this time I tried the food processor because it was already out for shredding the vegetables. Honestly, my immersion blender makes mayonnaise so much better, so I think it would have been worth dirtying another piece of equipment. The mayo in the processor became emulsified, but not fluffy. It splattered on the lid and all over the sides, so I felt like it was a bit wasteful. Also because of the splattering, part of the mayo didn't get properly emulsified so the texture was a bit wet. At least I know now to stick with my reliable immersion blender!

I got a whole bunch more apples from the apple tree this week, so I froze the batch of applesauce I made previously (but not before I took 3 bites of it!) with the intention of making more to freeze for later on. Applesauce is great for baking or I can use it as a quick side dish, snack, or as part of breakfast.

Then, I got a call from my honey saying that his friend invited us to watch the France v. Spain soccer game, and I root for France so I went. I knew that there would be Persian food, yet I didn't know what it would be so I was sure to bring one thing I could put on my plate, which was another batch of Shirazi Salad using tomatoes I picked up from one of the greenhouses at work. I had some little round and little plum ones and two big purple heirloom ones. My boyfriend picked up a watermelon because he knew I could eat that. Therefore I knew I had two things going onto my plate already. To be truthful, going to people's houses for parties can be a little stressful if you are eating a special diet because you don't want to look different by not eating and also it may cause the host(ess) a fuss because I'm sure they will want to provide you something you can eat. There were some Paleo snacks, too...I nervously nibbled pistachios and dried plums during the game, but unfortunately my favorite lost. Looking on the bright side, the main course was totally Paleo and Whole 30, so I was in luck! The girl who made it even showed me how it was done, so I knew all the ingredients going in. It was a grilled eggplant, tomato, and egg dish. The name is complicated, so I just called it eggy eggplant, but it's really called Mirza Ghasemi. It had a lot of garlic in it, but surprisingly, it mellowed out a lot when it was cooked in the extra virgin olive oil and grated fresh tomato and seasoned with turmeric. The eggplants where charred whole on the coals of the bbq grill, and then the skin was peeled and the flesh was chopped and added to the tomato mixture. Then, beaten eggs were added. The texture was fluffy and the smoky flavor of the eggplant added an interesting element that I didn't expect. I skipped the pita bread and the cucumber yogurt side called mastva khiar, though if I weren't on Whole 30 I would have had some. After lunch, we cut the watermelon and I had several big chunks. It was amazingly juicy and had just enough sweetness. Unfortunately, I didn't get any lunch pictures, but to have an idea of what I had, I had about 1 cup of Mirza Ghasemi and about 1 1/2 cups Shrirazi Salad (I added a lot of chopped cilantro instead of the dried mint and a big dash of cumin!).

Shirazi Salad

Lunch was late, so I wasn't too hungry for dinner. While I was out picking up some fabric for a shirt I'm going to sew, I got some cage-free chicken legs and simply roasted them with Roasted Chicken Seasoning and had the coleslaw I made earlier on the side along with more leftover Shirazi Salad. While the chicken was cooking, I cut up some mangoes I got on sale at 3/$1. I ate a few chunks, but they were so sweet I didn't want to ruin my appetite so I stashed them in the fridge for later.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Whole 30 Day 16

It's all downhill from here! I was so tempted to step on the scale this morning...I actually put my toe on it, but then I told myself I will ruin my moment of triumph if I peek at the scale now! I feel a little leaned out, especially my neck, shoulders, and chest---I can't wait to see what the next two weeks will do for me!

Today was a long, hot day in the field. I fueled up in the morning with two fried eggs, some leftover sweet potato fries, and a whole small avocado. I almost ate a third egg, and I wish I had because I got hungry a little earlier than I planned today.

Lunch was a bit small, now that I think of all the hard work I did. I had 2 mini burgers with mustard and half a pickle, a side salad with leftover Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette, and a cup of blueberries. I wish I had more leftover burgers to pack, but that was all there was. I probably had about half a gallon of water in the field.

By the time I got home in the late afternoon I was super hungry. I haven't been too snacky during this Whole 30, but today I really needed one. I had a little plate with some cherries, a hard boiled egg (thank you emergency protein!) and a little heart of celery rib with unsweetened almond butter. I am on an almond butter kick lately, and this one from, that I finally cracked open (no pun intended) is really high-quality. I also drank about a quarter gallon of water.

Looks like an awkward smiley face...

Dinner was Freebirds, again. I had the same salad as the last two times, and no camera again, so here's the picture from the first time, if you need reminding what my salad looked like from Day 9.

Tonight is the drive-in movie! Taking my own unsweetened iced tea. No need to bring food, my salad tonight was even bigger than the one posted in the older picture!

Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette

Here's the fig dressing I made for my salad last night. There are so many possibilities with this one! I tend to eat embarrassingly large salads, so I calculated 8 servings for this one. If you eat normal people salads or side salads, you could probably get 10-12 servings out of this dressing. It was a nice sweet-and-sour change from just oil and vinegar! Feel free to change up the fruits, vinegars, and oil. This recipe is more a method or concept than a hard-and-fast rule. For a more jam-like or dip consistency, skip the water. Otherwise, you need it to give this a dressing consistency.

Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette
Printable Recipe

6 small dried mission figs (can substitute other figs or any other gooey dried fruit, like prunes)
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
10 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp water (or more, as needed---depends on how gooey your figs are)
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Blend all ingredients in a food processor, blender, or immersion blender with its matching cup. Chill until you are ready to serve.

  • Servings per recipe: 8
  • Per serving:
  • Calories: 169
  • Fat: 17.5 g
  • Saturated fat: 2.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 22 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 4.5 g
  • Fiber: 0.6 g
  • Sugars: 2.6 g
  • Protein: 0.1 g

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Whole 30 Day 15

Halfway done! Only 15 more days left and I've made it through this Whole 30 challenge. I think challenge is an overstatement for me because I didn't really change my eating too much, but I did become more conscious of my eating, which is never a bad thing. However, I have been missing wine a lot lately. If you can't tell, I'm a viticulture researcher which means wine is my career. Despite that, I don't drink a lot, but I do enjoy an occasional glass. Now that it's summer it would be nice to have a cold glass of white wine in the evenings. Actually, I was doing some lab work and used some wine in an experiment, and when I opened the bottle the aroma alone made me crave a glass like none other. But I won't be drinking any for two more weeks!

For breakfast I kept it simple with two hard boiled eggs, half a large avocado, and some leftover sweet potato fries. No skillet to wash makes me happy.

Lunch was virtually the same as yesterday, except I had a hard boiled egg in place of the celery. I had some melon and the last of the leftover zoodles (zucchini noodles) with chicken ragu.

I did my workout in the late afternoon. I hadn't been to the gym this week because I've been working outside so much, so I thought I needed a rest. Also, I've been listening to my body, which has been tired the last couple of night, so I have gone to bed early the last two nights and skipped the gym. Today I woke up exceptionally refreshed, so I knew I could go back to the gym. I don't want to exercise in an exhausted state because I don't want to release excess stress hormones or tax my adrenals!

Dinner was more leftovers! The last salmon kebab that I made last night. I didn't heat it up, just let it sit at room temp while I prepared my salad and dressing, and I actually liked it better cold than hot like yesterday. It's the perfect way to enjoy it during the summer. I need to start buying more salmon, I think! I felt like I needed to bump up the veggies since I didn't have an extra side of them at lunch, so I made a butter lettuce salad. In pursuit of an interesting salad dressing...more than just oil and vinegar...I got out my good friend the immersion blender and some dried figs that I've been needing to experiment with and made a rich, sweet yet tangy balsamic vinaigrette. I loved the little seeds from the figs in the dressing because they pop when you bite them. I topped the salad with a handful of raw walnuts, which gave a nice bitter contrast to sweet-and-sour dressing, and some crunch against the delicate lettuce. There's a lot of possibilities with this dressing...

I used small figs, and I ended up eating one while I was doing the dishes : )

I'm deep into my summer research, so leftovers are really helping me! I barely had to wash any dishes today, thankfully!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Whole 30 Day 14

Last night I listened to my body when it said "go to bed early," so I woke up feeling really refreshed this morning. It was exactly what I needed. I was pretty hungry for breakfast, too, so I made a nice big meal of 2 over easy eggs cooked in olive oil, one and a half mini burgers (I think I mixed the other half of one into my scrambled eggs the other day), half an avocado, and some berries with unsweetened shredded coconut.

Lunch consisted of leftover chicken ragu with zucchini noodles, some melon, and some more ants on a log (celery with almond butter and raisins) because I noticed my celery is starting to look limp and I don't want it to go to waste!

I realized I hadn't had much fish during this challenge, so last night I bought some salmon brochettes that were on sale from one of the more "gourmet" grocery stores we have in town. I simply seasoned them with black pepper and coconut aminos and seared them in a pan that I melted some virgin coconut oil in. I had been in the field a little while today, but was mainly on  my feet in the lab working out an experiment, so I had some sweet potato fries. I like to toss the fries with olive oil, salt, pepper, cinnamon, cumin, and paprika and cook them at 400 degrees F for about 40 min, tossing in between. They're really good! I found leaving the skins on adds a nice chewiness, too, and I can save time by not peeling the potatoes. I didn't feel like cooking more vegetables because I had a few peppers and onions on the skewers already, so I just had a cold pack-style pickle on the side. After I took the picture I remembered I had a little bit of homemade mayo left, so I used that as a dip for my fish. This was a really filling meal...probably because I did get another handful of fries...I was really hungry!


In the evening I cooked some hard boiled eggs and had a small stalk of celery with almond butter on it along with a cup of peppermint tea. I didn't take pictures because it was pretty uneventful. I have been craving almond butter for the last couple of days, and I think it's a sign that I wasn't eating enough fat in the last few days. I hadn't had any coconut flakes for a couple of days, and I think I was skimping on avocado, too.

Off to bed early!
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