Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Whole30 Recipes- Week 3

We are on the home stretch!

We have one week left on this Whole30 journey.

Positives: We're feeling good and enjoying knowing that we're making good choices for our bodies.

But let's be real: We're bored with breakfast, and one of us (me) is totally ready for an occasional quick and convenient dinner (read: Take-out, dinner out, pizza, Chick-Fil-A... anything I'm not chopping, marinating, prepping, grilling, baking, etc.)

That being said, we for sure have a list of new favorite recipes.

So here's a look at what we ate last week:

Day 15
Date and Shallot Rosemary Chicken
recipe here from paleOMG
photo from paleOMG

We loved this recipe so much in week 1 that I made it for our entire family when we hosted Father's Day at our house. I will say that I marinate the chicken overnight (this time I marinated it over 3 nights) and I use more of the marinade than what the recipe calls for. I use 1/4 cup each of olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and balsamic vinegar as well as 2 cloves of minced garlic per pound of chicken. All of that goes in the marinating bag with the chicken and marinates overnight. The chicken has such good flavor this way.

Day 16
Crock-Pot Balsamic Pulled Pork

These ingredients are very similar to Day 15's recipe, but the added ingredients + pork tenderloin make it taste completely different. Plus it's a crockpot meal, so the closest thing there is to take-out on Whole30. You're welcome. ;)

One, 2lb(ish) pork tenderloin, trimmed
1/4 cup each balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, chicken stock, water
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ground sage
1/2 tsp Himalayan Sea Salt

Cook everything in the crock pot on low for 6-8 hours. Pull apart and cover with sauce left in the crock pot. Let sit for a few minutes in the sauce before serving. We served with roasted carrots, broccoli, and riced cauliflower (recipe here).

Day 17
Salmon with Avocado Salsa
(recipe here from The Cookie Rookie)
photo from The Cookie Rookie

This is another recipe we had in week 1 and loved! The leftovers are great on salad the next day too. I add 1tsp of garlic powder to the rub and use the GoodFoods guacamole (we buy it at Costco) that's already made on top (guac image here). This recipe is SO easy and SO good!

Day 18
recipe here from Paleo Running Mama
photo from Paleo Running Mama

This recipe was not my favorite but I am completely positive it was me, and not the recipe. We had my parents and sister and her kids over for our nephew's birthday and I made individual ones for everyone and totally overcooked them. Such a bummer since it was our nephew's birthday dinner and meatloaf is his favorite meal, and because I'm certain this recipe tastes great when you don't over cook it. ;) So give it a try anyway, k?!

Day 19
Taco Bowls
recipe here
Another week 1 recipe repeat. Am I becoming uncreative on Whole30? You betcha. But when you find something that's good and normal tasting, it's just so hard to risk trying something new when you can't order pizza as a backup. #keepinitreal

Day 20
Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
recipe here from The Real Food Dieticians

First of all, The Real Food Dieticians is my new favorite food blog for healthy recipes. Love their recipes and love that anytime I tag them on Instagram, they take a second and respond. So in my book, they're great chefs and food bloggers, and they're nice. So check them out and for sure make this recipe because holy YUM.

Oh and besides this recipe involves the Crock-Pot (total Whole30 WIN), the leftovers are DELISH on top of a salad.

Yes. So good.

Day 21
Southwest Turkey Stuffed Peppers
recipe here from The Real Food Dietitians
photo from The Real Food Dieticians

So since I found The Real Food Dieticians, and since I was wanting to make stuffed peppers, I searched their site to see if they had a recipe. And sure enough they did. And funny enough it was the first recipe they ever shared on their blog! And awesome enough, I found a new trick for making stuffed peppers that is SO smart and easy. All that goodness can be found in their post here.

That wraps up week 3! To see the recipes we ate in weeks 1 and 2, click below:
Week 1 Recipes
Week 2 Recipes

The next time I write our recipes post we will be DONE! Hallelulah. Bring on the coffee creamer and wine.

Have a great week, friends!


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Whole30 Recipes- Week 2

Today marks day 18 of our Whole30 month, so we are more than half-way finished!

And honestly, we're both pretty much in a groove with this way of eating. The prep work is another story. ;) But we love how we're feeling and have really enjoyed almost all of the new recipes we've tried.

I think it's different for everyone, but the first few days were the hardest for us, and the first week was the hardest for me as I figured out what I could and couldn't make for our meals. 

Now that I have a better understanding of what we're allowed to eat, the meal planning feels easier, but there is definitely a lot of planning and prep work involved in making sure our meals are set for the week.

And also now that we've turned down some of our favorite non-Whole30 foods enough times (pizza, pasta, ice cream, popsicles, Chick-Fil-A), it's not nearly as hard to say no to it.

This was me with pasta the first week. I might have even texted my girlfriends the pot of mac and cheese I made for the kids:

Initially, the hardest part was not only saying no to the food, but to the convenience of being able to grab food out and not have to come home and cook, or just making one thing that I knew all of us would eat. So if we could just have a chef at home preparing our meals while we are out to eat with our kids, or while I was making their dinner, this whole process might be a breeze, hah!

But honestly, every time we sit down to eat a meal that I've prepared for us over the pizza or pasta that we served our kids while we were out, we comment on how much better we feel after the meal, and on how much we like what we're eating. So inconvenient, yes, but we're definitely noticing a difference in the way our bodies feel having cut out some of our favorite foods for a little while.

So that's a little update for now. I'll talk more about how we plan to reintroduce foods after the 30 days and some of the new habits we'll keep in place as we get closer to the end.

For now, here's a look at what we ate last week!

Day 8
Zesty Chicken Bites (recipe here)

If you have a crazy chicken nugget addiction prior to Whole30, this wouldn't technically qualify for you as Whole30. I just wanted to do something other than grill chicken this night, and I can count zero times that Matt and I have eaten chicken nuggets for dinner. ;)

Day 9
Whole30 Beef Stir Fry (recipe here)

We ate this twice in two weeks. It's a new fave for sure. And the leftovers the next day are so good for lunch in a lettuce wrap!

Day 10
I made a sesame chicken recipe that was not good at all, so I won't link that recipe for you. ;) Fortunately, it was the first meal in 10 days we didn't like.

Day 11
Shepard's Pie (recipe here)
from The Real Food Dietitians

Yum, yum, yum! This recipe was so good! It's a little more labor intensive, so either save it for the weekend, or do what I did and do all of the chopping and prepping during nap time. ;)

Day 12
Steak & Potatoes
I buy our steak from Trader Joe's, and the potatoes and broccoli come from Costco. I rubbed the steak in salt, pepper, and balsamic before grilling. The potatoes (image here) are pre-made and ready to toss in the oven or on the grill, so I grilled them in their container alongside the steak. I drizzled the broccoli with olive oil and sea salt and roasted on 400 for 15 minutes. And then we dip the potatoes in Tessamae's ranch, because we are dipping people, and Whole30 compliant ketchup is not our fave.

Day 13
Roasted Lemon Salmon in Foil (recipe here)
from Hungry by Nature

photo from Hungry by Nature

This recipe had great flavor! I don't know if it was just me, but the cooking in foil method took way longer than the normal time to cook salmon, which doesn't make any sense, so it was probably just me. Hah. Anyway, whether you use the foil method or not, this was a super quick (prep-time) and flavorful way to cook your salmon.

Day 14
Veggie Taco Soup

I will share this full recipe later this week, but it's a spin-off of this recipe called Hamburger Soup found here.

If you missed week one recipes, you can find them here!


Monday, June 18, 2018

Emily Merrit- ONE

Our sweet Emily is ONE!

She is learning so many new tricks like climbing the stairs, standing on her own for a few seconds at a time, waving hello and bye-bye, signing "all done," nodding her head "yes" to answer questions, and tucking her arms behind her ears to say "soooo big!"

This month she has taken extra interest in Tally and loves to drop food to him from her tray and snuggle with him on his bed.

She has the greatest laugh ever, and let's it out the loudest when you blow raspberries on her belly.

She is a total daddy's girl and will cry when Matt hands her over to me. And I love it. ;)

She is all about keeping up with Ryan and Natalie now and loves getting to play alongside them.

She loves climbing! Stairs, cabinets, ;) the little ledge in and out of our pool. When we're all swimming together, one of us sits near Emily and let's her go up and down the little step into the water over and over again. She's been practicing going backwards to get down and is getting really good at it!

She has the sweetest temperament and lights up when she sees her people.

She goes with the flow and sneaks in naps and then wakes up happy when the day's schedule is full.

She gets so excited about birds and other animals and usually flaps her arms and legs and gives that big, open-mouth smile.

We couldn't love her more and cannot wait to watch her grow!

Happy first birthday, Emily!