Sunday, June 3, 2018

Stress, Sugar & Shopping!

The Triple "S"--Stress, Sugar and Shopping.  


They all go hand-in-hand for me and my experiences of going through on average about 3 Whole30's a year since 2015 has helped me realize this.

Whole30 is a 30 day elimination diet (and I use the word, "diet," loosely) aimed at helping you evaluate your relationship and habits when it comes to food.  You eliminate processed sugars, grains, legumes, alcohol, and dairy--all of which are known to cause some bad reactions in the body.  (Are you thinking, so what do you eat?)  Well...quality meat, fish, eggs, good fats, veggies and fruit. Whole30 isn't only about how these foods physically affect your body, but also how some foods have a psychological hold on you (sugar for me!)  After the 30 days, you reintroduce those foods one at a time, very systematically to see how they affect your body.  You can then find your own food freedom and see what foods are worth it to you and know how they will affect your body.  You can always go back to a Whole30 when you need a reset if you realize you are going overboard and not feeling amazing like you should.

When I'm in the midst of a Whole30 and find it to be a high stress time of year for me, I want to turn to sugary coffee drinks (a Grande white mocha with coconut milk to be exact) and especially sweets like chocolate chip cookies.  I also find myself mindlessly shopping online because of the high I get when I order a cute new outfit or even just a new rug for the living room.  It makes me "feel" better, but in retrospect...does it really?  No, it doesn't.  When I find myself wanting to turn to sugar or shopping when in a high stress situation, I now deal with it by using a meditation app and breathing techniques, hot green tea or just being outside helps.  It feels SO much better and doesn't come with a sugar hangover or a lighter check book.

So...how do you deal with stress?  Have you ever really thought about it?  I didn't until Whole30 entered my life, and it has changed my life for the better.


Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Whole30 Asian Slaw


I hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!  Ours was full of swimming with family & friends and LOTS of food!  We're 22 days into this round of our Whole30 and we were able to eat compliant foods all weekend.  Lots of hamburgers with no buns, fruit and veggies, and this amazing slaw that I put together (we ended up making it 3 times this weekend!)  Mine was based on recipe by Tasty Thin...here you go!:

Ingredients:
2 bags of coleslaw (I chose one with lots of carrots & red cabbage)
1 additional bag of shredded red cabbage
1 red pepper
4 green onions
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup cilantro (you can never have too much cilantro!)

Dressing:
1/4 cup coconut aminos
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon ground ginger
3 large pitted dates
*Place all dressing ingredients in your blender and blend away!  It makes a thicker dressing that is sweet and tangy!

Combine all of your slaw components with the dressing just before serving!  It was SO good!  Hope you try it out too!  And if you're in the midst of a Whole30 right now....YOU GOT THIS!

Thursday, May 10, 2018

The 4 Tendencies (Family Edition)

You all know I love reading/listening to personal development!  I fully enjoyed Gretchen Rubin's book, "The Four Tendencies."  As I was listening to this one, I couldn't help but nod my head as she was going through each tendency and identify which one my husband, my kids and myself all fall under.  It's really helped with how I communicate with all my boys and check myself sometimes in different situations.  Here's which tendency we all fall under:

Emily--The Upholder: 
An Upholder wants to meet outer and inner expectations.  This is SO me.  I'm all about setting my own goals and sticking with them.  However, I'm also a people pleaser.  I really like to meet or exceed expectations and like to go above and beyond for others. 

Dustin--The Questioner:
A Questioner meets their own expectations and doesn't really worry about the external expectations.  They are no grey areas--everything is black and white and needs to make sense.  He's not a big fan of chaos and like to get things done in a timely manner.  

Dylan--The Obliger:
An Obliger is all about the outer expectations.  OMG, Dylan is such a rule follower.  He gets upset if we go over the speed limit and if on the kids menu it's 9 and under (he's 10), there is absolutely no way he can order off of it.  

Tyler--The Rebel:
The Rebel, Tyler.  If you know Tyler then you're not surprised.  We've always said what a joyful & confident kid he is and how he marches to the beat of his own drum.   

I'd encourage you to check this book out as well and see which tendency you and your family fall under!  

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Whole 30 Tomato Sauce


We had a surplus of Roma tomatoes from our garden this year so we decided to make a bunch of batches of tomato sauce and freeze them to use throughout the year!  We make our tomato sauce so that it could also be used a tomato soup as well (YUM--I love soup...especially when it starts getting chilly out!)

Here's our recipe (Whole30 approved, of course, and super simple!)

Ingredients:
  • 5 lbs fresh tomatoes from your garden
  • 3 onions, 10 garlic cloves (diced up how you like)
  • salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes (That's. It.)
Instructions:
Set up an assembly line for the following:
  • Start by rinsing all the dirt off your tomatoes in the sink
  • Core and score your tomatoes (cut out the end, and score an "X" at the other end)

  • Place in boiling hot water for 3-5 minutes
  • Take out tomatoes and place in ice water to peel (careful they are super hot!)
  • While you are boiling and peeling your tomatoes, dice up your onions and garlic and begin sautéing in olive oil in a big pot until translucent.  
  • Start adding your peeled tomatoes and crush ever so slightly as your pot is filling up
  • Add your seasonings (I never measure, so dump it in to your liking and taste as you go!)
  • Let your yummy tomato sauce simmer for 3-4 hours (make sure you check on it a few times and stir it up) then use a handheld emulsion blender to blend up (if you'd like to--your choice on how chunky you'd like it!

  • Let cool then bag up to freeze to enjoy throughout the year! So good!
*Our serving size was 3 cups in each gallon bag we froze--we did around 5lbs of tomatoes the first round and ended up with 6 bags total*

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Fat Bombs



These are the bomb.com (lol, had to do it!)  If you're like me, I like to have a little sweetness at some point in my day.  And because my Food Freedom says I can do it and I feel good about it, then I do it!  However, I'm not talking about eating a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup every day.  Here's my take on them with our Fat Bombs (they don't last long--I have a hubby with a sweet tooth too):

Fat Bombs
Ingredients:
-1/3 cup coconut oil
-1/3 cut almond butter (we like Justin's)
-3-4 tablespoon of cocoa powder (depends on how chocolatey you want them!)
Sea Salt
-4 drops liquid Stevia (not Whole30 approved, but you can add if you want just a touch more sweetness)
-Grab some cupcake liners too (you can do mini ones like us or regular size--we switch between both because we have both sized pans)

Instructions:
-Place all ingredients (except for the salt) in a medium saucepan and stir continuously until all the ingredients melt together
-Start pouring your mixture into your cupcake liners
-Sprinkle your sea salt on top of each fat bomb (this is key and really makes these the BOMB!)
-Place the pan in your freezer then pop one out to enjoy!  They're so yummy!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Paleo Chocolate Zucchini Bread


We LOVE our garden and the bounty of zucchini's we get from it!  We get pretty creative with how we use them (lots of grilling and making zoodles), but every year my hubby requests chocolate zucchini bread!  Since we're Whole30's, we try to make most of our recipes grain and sugar free.  I'm calling this recipe just Paleo though as with the "rules" of Whole30 you can't try to recreate treats.  Also, you can add a couple of other ingredients for extra sweetness (noted in the recipe). 

So, here's my recipe!  It's a combo of a few different recipes I found on Pinterest!

Chocolate Zucchini Bread
Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Ingredients:
-1 cup grated zucchini
-1 cup almond butter
-1/4 cup pure maple syrup (not Whole30 approved)
-Splash of vanilla extract (not Whole30 approved)
-3 large eggs
-1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
-3/4 cup coconut flour
-1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
-1/4 c. cocoa powder
-3/4 teaspoon baking soda
-1/2 teaspoon sea salt
-1 teaspoon cinnamon
-Add nuts and/or chocolate chips/cocoa nibs in the recipe if you'd like!

Instructions:
-Combine all ingredients with a hand mixer (this gets the almond butter smoothly distributed)
-Coat the bottom and sides of a bread loaf pan with coconut oil
-Bake for 35-40 minutes until toothpick comes out clean in the middle
-Let it set about 10 minutes after you take it out of the oven and then enjoy! 

Friday, June 23, 2017

Kale Chips


Kale, yes!  Okay, I'm going to be super honest with you--I'm not the biggest fan of cooked kale.  I like it raw in a salad (drenched with Whole30 approved Tessemae's Creamy Ranch dressing), but cooked--not so much.  Kale is super healthy for you!

-It's high in omega-3 & 6 fatty acids, which helps with glowing skin
-Low in calories, but high in fiber (which aids in digestion)
-1 cup of kale contains 3 grams of protein (which ladies, we usually don't get enough of!)

We have all seen posts on Pinterest about Kale Chips, and I've tried to make my own but have never succeeded (they usually just ended up burnt!)  I finally looked into a couple different recipes and came up with my own that I finally liked (after a couple of failed attempts.)  Here you go!


All Heart Kale Chips:

-Line a cookie sheet with a bunch of kale (sorry, I don't do specific measurements like ever)
-Drizzle generously with olive oil then massage with your hands to get it evenly coated
-Add red pepper flakes to taste and nutritional yeast if you want a cheesy flavor
-Cook at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes until crisp
(you just want the edges crispy...if you do it too much longer it will be burnt to a crisp and just crumble)
-Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste
(don't add this before--it settles to the bottom of the pan and when you scoop it out, it all comes out SUPER salty)
-Lay out a paper towel in a bowl to catch excess oil and enjoy!  You can store in an airtight container to enjoy later and add to other recipes (don't put it in the fridge because it will get soggy!)