What I Ate Wednesday #4

Well folks, it’s Day 6 of my second round of Whole30! (Technically it is about my fourth attempt at Whole30, I’ve successfully completed one, but once again, I’m going for a successful round two— it’s wedding season, you guys…)

More importantly than that, today was the last day of school! 😀
:::insert cheers and tears:::funny-school-signs Thankfully, this sign is not from our school, but the giggles are wonderful.

The last day, I knew, would consist of extra goodies and treats. I took extra precaution to fill my lunch box with delicious, healthy things to ward off the temptations sure to be lurking.

Breakfast: Running late to work, I quickly threw three eggs in boiling water to prep my Hard-boiled Eggs while I ran around my house trying to get ready. My Green Smoothie was also prepared, but devoured before it was photo time. Oops!eggsThe students got out of school early today, so the teachers were celebrating with an Italian Feast after school. During my break I opted to snack a little bit and wait to bring my Whole30 Italian Lunch to the feast.

Snack: Simple and delicious. An Apple Pie Larabar and 1/2 cup of Strawberries did the trick! Along with copious amounts of water.Larabar & StrawberriesAs I planned, the Italian Feast was overwhelmingly delicious looking AND smelling. And so NOT Whole30! I’m talking bread, cheese, and more bread… and cheese. With this in mind, I intentionally planned my lunch to be “Italian-themed”.

Lunch: Incredible. Say hello to Fresh Zoodles with homemade Roasted Red Pepper Sauce and Ground Buffalo Italian Meatballs. Can’t forget the Fresh Basil! Presentation, people.Zoodles with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce & Ground Buffalo MeatballsDinner, on the other hand, was an absolute mess. For starters, there was a piece of fish I was itching to cook, but apparently I waited too long since buying it. I also wanted to make some plantain chips. And you can see how that turned out…Burnt Plantain ChipsDinner: Chipotle saves the day!! Carnitas Salad with TomatoesHot Salsa, and Guacamole! Thank you, thank you, Chipotle!Chipotle Salad Chipotle Salad2And so, we end another scrumptious Whole30 day! Please say a little prayer for me as my roommate sings, “I love feta cheese! It’s delicious! And it’s yummy!” for the rest of the evening. Okay Sarah, I get it, cheese is delicious and not Whole30 approved! 😉

Happy Wednesday, everyone! 🙂

7 Fall Recipes from Paleo Pals

You probably have already heard of some of these incredible Paleo bloggers. If you haven’t, then my oh my are you in for a treat! These marvelous friends have whipped up some delicious Fall-themed recipes that you must try!


I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite Paleo Fall Recipes from my favorite Paleo Pals! Well, I wish were my pals. Maybe one of these days we’ll hang out. Until then I’ll just continue to creep all over their blogs…

1) Pumpkin Waffles from PaleOMGPaleo Pumpkin WafflesOMG is right! I have sampled this recipe on numerous occasions, even during the summer —going against all that is sacred about pumpkins and Fall. But you just can’t get enough of these delicious things! Get on this recipe, people!

2) Pumpkin Cinnamon Muffins from the Civilized CavemanPumpkin Cinnamon MuffinsIf you’re ever lucky enough to run into George, all you need to do is shake his hand and say, “Thank you”. This recipe is out of this world and he should be thanked often for his genius brain that came up with it.
Thank you, George. Thank you.

3) Brussels Sprout Chips from NomNomPaleoBrussel Sprout ChipsFor some reason brussels sprouts freak people out. Now you can eat this lovely in-season vegetable in a non-threatening form: CHIPS. How scary can chips be right? Give brussels sprouts a chance! Eat the chips! Michelle from NomNomPaleo seems like she knows what she’s doing. I’d trust her.

4) Pumpkin Spice Coconut Latte from Cook Eat PaleoPumpkin Spice Coconut LatteStarbucks will no longer own your life during the months of September-November. Finally. ::insert sigh of relief:: Now you can simply foster your PSL-obsession from the comfort of your own home! All is right in the world. Sit down, relax, enjoy a cozy sweater and sip away on your Paleo-approved version of this warm Fall drink!

5) Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pie Bars by Yours Truly The Thrive LifePaleo Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pie BarsI wonder who the brilliant mind behind this genius-of-a-recipe is. She must be pretty awesome. I’d like to hang out with someone who can come up with a great food item like this one. Seems like the kind of person you could just spend hours with, ya know?
Oh… and the recipe is awesome too.

6) Warm Beet, Kohlrabi and Watercress Salad from Rubies & RadishesBeet SaladBeets are BEAUTIFUL. How about that gorgeous ruby color, eh? This seasonal vegetable is perfect baked into chips, roasted, juiced, or spiralized as shown into a warm, mouth-watering salad.

7) 10 Minute Apple Crisp from Real Food Liz1Paleo-Apple-Crisp_blog1.jpg-e1403484129809Do you have a need for something sweet? Do you have 10-minutes? Liz to the rescue with this 10-Minute Apple Crisp. Apples, cinnamon, and crunchy maple-nut topping. Whoa. You can pass on Grandma’s Famous Apple Pie during Thanksgiving this year and not even feel bad about it.


Do you hear that sound? Yes, your kitchen is calling. It wants you to create one of these recipes ASAP. And I’d listen if I were you. 😉

Cinnamon Fried Plantains

Quick, simple, and delicious. I love it when a recipe is all three of those things. And that is exactly what can be said of these
Cinnamon Fried Plantains.

Cinnamon Fried PlantainsPlantains are part of the banana family, but differ in that they are larger in size, harder to peel. starchier and need to be cooked to consumed. Plantains are low in fat and have a fantastic source of carbohydrates, fiber, potassium, and Vitamin C. Recently I’ve been trying out various styles of cooking plantains, and this is my favorite. I enjoy it at breakfast time, as a snack, or a quick dessert.

Incredible Sweet Fried Plantains

Cinnamon Fried Plantains (serves 1)
Ingredients:
1 ripe yellow plantain
1 tbsp coconut oil
Cinnamon

Directions:
1. Heat a frying plan on low-medium heat and melt coconut oil in pan.
2. Cut open plantain and slice into even, 1/4-inch slices.
3. Place slices in pan and dust with cinnamon.
4. Fry for 3-minutes and flip.
5. Dust with cinnamon and fry for 3-minutes.
6. If needed, flip one more time to get crispy and golden brown.Cinnamon Fried PlantainsCinnamon Fried PlantainsCinnamon Fried PlantainsEnjoy this recipe as your next snack, breakfast-side, or dessert! The tasty sweet treat can satisfy your sweet tooth–naturally. 🙂

Life After Whole30, Now What?

I did it!
Wahhhoooo!
Yippee Yay-o Ky-eh!

BOOM

For REAL this time! 😉


This morning felt a bit like a dream. Usually every morning I have every meal planned out for the day and I know EXACTLY what foods are in it. I had nothing planned today. Well, that’s not entirely true. I did have some plans, in fact, I have been dreaming of this Day “31” and the foods I would consume. If you had asked me a little over a week ago, I would have told you that my meal plan for today would look something like this:

October 4, 2014 Meal Plan (Post-Whole30)

Breakfast: Pumpkin Spiced Latte from Starbucks, Pumpkin Donut from Dunkin Donuts, and a bowl of Captain Crunch; just to celebrate.
Lunch: Chocolate, Tacos with lots of chips and salsa, but not in that order; because I can.
Snack: Did I mention Pumpkin Spiced Lattes? I’ll take another now.
Dinner: More chocolate, a big plate of Pasta (but I’d add veggies) and maybe a glass of wine; I did the Whole30, remember?!
Dessert: ICE CREAM. Obvi

But something AMAZING happened when I woke up this morning… I didn’t want to “ruin it”. Even better than that, I enjoyed the way I have been eating the past 30 days. I felt energized and healthy. I have felt as though I was thriving off of all the veggies, fruits, grass-fed meats, nuts & seeds I have been eating– not to mention the amount of coconut I have consumed. It had been an amazing journey, but this is only the beginning! This is a lifestyle change, not just a 30-day challenge for me.

My day did not look like the way I had planned a few weeks ago…
This is how October 4th really went down:

I woke up after a full 8-hours of sleep and drank a giant refreshing glass of water with mint + lime. Starting off hydrated as I have been doing for the past 30 days.Mint Lime WaterI made Cinnamon Fig Pancakes without the help of Bisquik or Aunt Jemima, using all Paleo-approved ingredients.
Figs! I added figs to my pancakes! What has happened to me?!Cinnamon Fig Pancakes Cinnamon Fig PancakesAustin and I stopped in Wawa to get some coffee and I got mine black. No sugar. No milk. No creamer. Just black. My “usual” no longer includes a flavored-syrup & creamer. I enjoyed my lovely treat while watching a morning football game.Make It Black CoffeePost-football, I was inspired as we waltzed around the local market by all the brilliantly colored fruits and vegetables, so I knew a salad would be coming for lunch.Produce BrillianceThen lunch happened– yes, lunch! At this point I was “supposed to” eat copious amounts of tortilla chips & salsa with tacos, but no. No tacos here. Instead, a giant Pad Thai Salad with Sesame Ginger Dressing and a side of my Mojito-style Watermelon.

Raw Pad Thai SaladFruits, veggies and seeds– not a trace of taco to be found.Raw Pad Thai Salad Finally, my snack came around and it was time to attack that Milkyway I had been saving up. Well, I did have chocolate, but a single square of Paleo-approved dark chocolate with sea salt. That was all, just a small square. It was quite sweet and I only desired a taste. A workout happened today too! I spent time outside in the morning and got my sweat on in the evening. It was a beautiful night for a circuit workout + run.SunsetDinner included spaghetti squashroasted green beans, and chicken breast. Pasta was the farthest thing from my mind. No desire for that junk over here.Dinner Time

So what is going on with me? CHANGE. The kind that I want to be permanent. My experience with Whole30 has truly changed my life and I’m sticking with it. Not only are all these things from my last post still true, but after the complete Whole30 I have also noticed:

1) Weight-loss: I wasn’t doing this for any weight change, but for those of you who are skeptical and a bit “fat-phobic”, I lost 6 pounds while consuming coconut milk, fresh coconut, avocado and olive oil as part of my meals. I have always stared at fat grams on labels my entire life, so it took some trust, but I now know that these healthy, quality fats have made me feel full and satisfied after eating a meal and are essential to our health.

2) My nails, though: I know I posted about this already, but I simply cannot get over how quickly my hair and nails were growing!

3) Clearer skin: I’ve been on every acne medication under the sun. Even at the age of 24, I am still battling adult-hormonal acne issues. Also, keratosis psoriasis has been taking over the back of my arms since I was a teen. Both of these things have significantly decreased on my skin. I have stopped taking acne medication all together (the first time in quite some time) and during these thirty days I hardly have had a problem.

4) Love for cooking & new foods: I am constantly creating new recipes and sampling new fruits and vegetables. I can taste the slight sweetness in “unsweetened coconut milk”. Fresh mint, cilantro and basil are potent flavors to meals. I enjoy my time in the kitchen and look forward to meal planning. My attitude has completely changed about what “food” is and how it changes my health.


Overall, I know this post is crazy long, but I cannot tell you enough how this has completely turned my perspective around about food and health. I encourage you to at least try it for the thirty days to discover this for yourself.Tiger Blood

Real food and an active body is life-changing. 

Mojito-Style Watermelon

Why eat plain watermelon, when you can have it mojito-style? Juicy pink watermelon with a bright citrus splash, bits of cool mint, and a sprinkle of sea salt. Mmm mmm good. It may be Autumn, but Summer is still shining through this delectable, cool treat!

Mojito-Style Watermelon

Mojito-Style Watermelon (makes 3 cups)
Ingredients:
– 3 cups Watermelon, cubed
– 1/2 tbsp Fresh Mint, chopped
– pinch of Sea Salt
– Zest & Juice of 1/2 lime

Directions:
1. Cube watermelon into 1-inch chunks.
2. Place in bowl, meanwhile, chop mint and place in bowl with watermelon.
3. Zest lime over the bowl and squeeze in juice.
4. Sprinkle with sea salt; toss together gently.
5. Refrigerate, preferably overnight, the longer the better to allow flavors to marinate.

Mojito-Style Watermelon BowlAnd this is not just for a refreshing side or sweet dessert! Although, sitting with a nice bowl of watermelon while watching the sunset on the porch is quite nice. These flavors are also a perfect match for a fresh juice or a cool smoothie! Even this morning, I added a bit of coconut milk and BAM! Smoothie-licious! 😉


So… moral of the story here:
Get yourself to the grocery store and make this recipe ASAP.
It’s Mojito-Watermelon Time!