Dieting Delight & Some Other Stuff

Okay, so I broke down and added milk back into my diet. I did go 2.5 months without drinking milk when I was backpacking through Asia. Would you drink milk in Cambodia? Bali? Thailand? I think not! So, I have gone the long haul without it, but my body likes and needs it. The whole purpose of the WHOLE 30 is to figure out what your body can/can’t handle. Plus, I was drinking tea in the morning and my body DETESTS tea. I like tea, but my Buddha (my belly) does not!

So, I wanted to go back to coffee! I can drink cold coffee without sugar but I can’t do it without milk! So, for 4 days, I followed the diet to the last instruction, but on day 5, I added 1 cup of milk to it, so I could drink two cups of coffee!

I haven’t cheated again or in another way since, except for that one recipe that called for ketchup, but that is it.

HONESTLY!!!!

I am not allowed to get on a scale or take measurements…for 30 days!!! But measuring feels less measuring than a scale, which is more precise…so I did measure. Only once, I have lost a little over an inch in my waist and hips!

But this diet is not supposed to be about losing weight. Even though it is and I need to do it. It is about how it makes me feel.

I felt like crap the first 4 days and I think that was the tea thing. I can’t do tea. It probably was also my body going through detox and serious sugar withdrawals as it went from pumpkin pie, sugar cookies to oranges and apples only!

Almost instantly, the addition of the milk made me feel better whether it was psychological, childhood comfort food/beverage or what! Doesn’t matter it has made the diet completely doable for me!

So, I am going to stay on this trajectory till February 1 and then add the yogurt, mayo, back in…

Right now, I am enjoying the play on foods and making them work and trying new foods.

So, I read that Cinnamon is a good substitute for sugar. It tastes sweet, so I have used it.

The other night I needed brown sugar for a recipe. The same recipe I needed ketchup. I replaced the brown sugar with apple juice. I am allowed to use real fruit juices as substitutes, so I did. It worked.

How do I feel? I feel amazing. My Buddha doesn’t hurt and it feels clear if that makes ANY sense at all. I have absolutely NO aches and pains. Is it the omission of the gluten or the sugar or both?

I was waking up and feeling pain as I wobbled to the bathroom in the morning because the bottoms of my feet hurt. Not anymore.

So, I feel great, plus seeing a thinner face in the mirror is nice as well.

I had shared a few food recipes with you from my first few days on the diet.

Here are a few more….

ACORN SQUASH WITH SAUSAGE & KALE

IMG_1190

I found a recipe for acorn squash.

I cooked it face down for 30 minutes @ 350.

I had brushed olive oil on the two halves and sprinkled with salt and pepper.

In a skillet, I first put in olive oil and then added onions, garlic and let the onions get translucent. Then I added mushrooms, one diced leek, and one link of chicken sausage. (Remember I am cooking for one here! Double, triple, quadruple if necessary!)

When that was good and cooked I poured it into a bowl and set aside and added a little more olive oil and then kale to the skillet. I cooked the Kale till it turned a pretty green. Then I tossed the kale into the bowl with the other ingredients.

For presentation purposes, you scoop that mixture into the acorn squash and eat, but if you are me and eat virtually everything out of a bowl. You scoop the acorn squash into a bowl and place the mixture on top.

It was so good that I ate both halves of the acorn squash. It was a baby one, but still. But as I said to my mom, how can something NOT taste good when it has sausage and is cooked with sausage?

All, my recipes have been doctored on this diet to some extent to make it work for the diet.

I found a recipe for Pad Thai using zucchini instead of noodles. I love Pad Thai. But if I could eat it and pretend the zucchini IS THE NOODLES! Score!

The recipe missed the mark. It was good, but not great! However, it was super healthy. Follow a pad Thai recipe and replace the brown sugar with apple juice (100% apple juice, must be only ingredient when doing WHOLE 30), and either cheat like I did and use the ketchup or maybe puree tomatoes, I don’t know. It is a recipe that needs to be played with some more. I literally did a pad Thai recipe EXCEPT instead of noodles I used zucchini and I garnished it with 6 shrimp. Also, peanuts are not on the diet so I used crumbled cashews bits. Again, I ate it all.

IMG_1191

I really love to walk for exercise and I like to be outside if I can, but the weather has not permitted it so I have been going to the market and walking the aisles at lunchtime.

Various markets from Kroger to Trader Joe’s to Fresh Market.

At Fresh Market, I saw a beautiful chicken breast that the man behind the counter said the secret is the slow cooking rotisserie behind me. We add nothing to these chickens.

I bought a breast for $6 and it lasted me for 4 meals because of the portions I am allowed to eat. Yes, it was a VERY big breast.

I took it back to work and ate some at lunch with broccoli I had cooked with garlic, pea pods I had cooked in ginger and paprika and or a combination of veggies and heirloom tomatoes. This has become my staple lunch!

IMG_1188

Over the weekend, my afternoon snack, late lunch consisted of a handful of almonds. The way whole 30 says you see how many you can eat is to put some in your hand and as many as you can fit and still close your hand is your allotment. I can eat 9!

IMG_1189

Then pickles (cornichons) and olives, heirloom tomatoes and an apricot for dessert.

Everything suddenly tastes better, maybe I appreciate it more, maybe I am more careful about what I buy or maybe I have changed my belly. Either way, I am thinking this is the way to go! This should be the way I eat. I know it and always have but this diet is confirming it.

Will I ever eat pizza again? Will I ever eat Graeter’s again? Of course, but I am thinking maybe once a year on my birthday in April. But then I will feel like crap on my birthday so do I want to eat it then? I just don’t know when I will cross that line back and if I do, can I just do a day of it and then get back to this? Hmmmmmm…so unimportant, but it does make me think…

I guess these zucchini strips are the new rage. I heard it was cauliflower. Cauliflower is the new Kale of 2015! I read that chefs are going to use cauliflower to replace rice in dishes. I am not kidding. But I digress..I keep seeing zucchini strips used instead of noodles/pasta. I found a recipe for Shrimp Scampi on a bed of zucchini strips.

shrimp scampi with zuch

I put olive oil in the pan. I tossed in leeks, garlic, scallions, salt and pepper. I cooked them up and then added the zucchini that I had peeled with a carrot peeler to get those long strips. I guess I could have used my Cuisinart for it. If I could have figured it out. Hey, more exercise for the fitbit and my arms.

Once that was finished cooking, I set the ingredients aside and tossed the shrimp in the oil with garlic and onion and then combined them. It was tasty.

I can’t believe I am 12 days into this diet and actually following it with the exception of a few mistakes. Milk, but to me that is not a mistake. Ketchup. I started the recipe and noticed I had to add it and could not think of a suitable replacement for it. And on Monday, the unmentionable family member and I went to Panera for lunch and I ordered the Greek Salad and forgot to tell them to take the feta out of it. Little mistakes, but at least they are harmless mistakes. Now, if I forgot and let them put on croutons (not that that is on a Greek salad) I would have taken it off, but protein in the form of dairy seemed relatively harmless.

RANDOM THINGS…. that I want to share with you.

Elvis would have turned 80 last week. I can’t believe it. I went to Graceland years ago and it was quite the sight! I remember my Aunt coming over to our house so she and my mom could watch him on television.

My mom gave me a list of food blogs that were the top 76 food blogs. I had some time over the last few weeks to check them here and there and BELOW are my 20 favorites. I can’t tell you if it was presentation, the foods, the photography, the recipes, the people, a combination or all the above. Now because I am on a low carb, starch FREE diet the ones that were HEAVILY carb weighed tended to NOT make my list. But a lot open with beautiful pics of carb delights but I dug around looking for interesting and unusual mains, breakfasts and veggie dishes. The ones here grabbed me for one reason or another….

The two that have asterisks beside them were my favorites and I spent a lot of time on those sites and could spend a lot more on them.

See if/what you like….

1 Fine Cookie

http://www.1finecookie.com/

A Couple Cooks **

http://www.acouplecooks.com/

The Every Girl

http://theeverygirl.com/

Foodness Gracious

http://foodnessgracious.com/

Gimme Some Oven

http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/

Girl Versus Dough

http://www.girlversusdough.com/recipe-index/

Handle the Heat

http://www.handletheheat.com/

I AM BAKER

http://iambaker.net/

In Sock Monkey Slippers

http://www.insockmonkeyslippers.com/

Joy the Baker

http://joythebaker.com/

Just a Taste

http://www.justataste.com/

Katie’s Cucina

http://www.katiescucina.com/

Kevin and Amanda

http://www.kevinandamanda.com/

La Fuji Mama

http://www.lafujimama.com/

Leite’s Culinaria **

http://leitesculinaria.com/

Life’s Ambrosia

http://www.lifesambrosia.com/

Mouth of the Border

http://mouthoftheborder.com/

TWO OTHER FOOD WEBSITES that are worthy of mention…not on list but check them out. People are so bloody creative with their website names…

FOODGAWKER

http://foodgawker.com/

FOOD PORN DAILY

http://foodporndaily.com/

Lost through the cracks….

I found this great quote that Alice Waters used and wanted to share it with you!

Alice Waters

I keep forgetting to show you this picture my mother took of the Grasshopper that was holding onto the windshield for dear life. I was so impressed. He was such a trooper till the highway…I hope he flew somewhere safe instead of splat into another windshield. I made up an entire story for her about him escaping that day as we drove off and witnessed him.

grasshopper

My cousin Deb sent this recipe for a really easy and creative cake….

It is worth a look at this short clip!
http://www.wimp.com/fruitjars/?utm_source=fb&utm_medium=pp&utm_content=fruitjars&utm_campaign=winter/

I came across these lumenocity pics and realized I have never shown these to you! Bet late than never!!!

If you ever get a chance to see this show…YOU NEED TO GO!

Lumenocity 1

Lumenocity 2

Lumenocity 3

Lumenocity 4

Lumenocity 5

I noticed that there is something in New York called Midnight Brunch! I am checking it out the next time I am there. I think it looks like a lot of fun!

http://midnightbrunch.com/

Until we meet again…

Enjoy! Eat, travel, laugh…often….

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