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About fierroaj

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  • Birthday June 8

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Urbana, Illinois
  • Interests
    I love to cook and eat good, REAL food. I love to travel domestically and internationally. I love music and art and have a great passion for jazz and Bossa nova. After years of suffering from some pretty nasty health issues, I am on a quest to gain a better self-awareness of my health and well-being and learn to be more mindful of where I am in my tiny little space in the universe.
  1. Ezekiel bread?

    If you are in the midst of your Whole30, you will want to avoid all grains, even sprouted. Which I am sure the moderators can clarify for you. If you are post, Whole30, you will want to be careful because most of their loaves contain soy. For me, this is one thing I am refuse to add back in, even post-Whole30. Not to mention, I am allergic to it, but even still. If you read the book, "It Starts with Food" there is a whole section that discusses grains, including soy. This will help you better understand why you should avoid them. But, again, this is something the moderators can clarify, too. Best of luck to you! I am Whole82...and can tell you it was the BEST decision I have made in my life!! Have fun!
  2. Food Budget

    The first few weeks of my first Whole30 I dropped close to $200+ a week for a family of four...which I thought was a LOT, but then when I started to calculate the total I would spend (prior to Whole30) on lattes and take out/fast food, I found I was actually saving money. It stings a little more when you see it all at once on one LONG grocery receipt. I was now buying groceries for not only dinners, but also for breakfasts and lunches...which, prior to my Whole30, I would either skip or eat out. Right? Ouch...that hurt that pocketbook...I felt the same way...I thought, "Man, this is going to break the bank for this old state employee!!" After the second week, I referred back to the book ISWF and took on some of their tips. I went to the web to figure out what produce was in season and found that those items were typically on sale at the grocer. I knew I needed to spend a little more on avocados and sweet potatoes and planned to do so, so I bought other items that were on sale. Bagged avocadoes are cheaper than buying them per piece. The book suggests buying only the dirty dozen as organic...this will save you TONS in money. Check that out. As far as meat goes...that is really hard...I found that my co-op has local, grass finished meats on sale, HALF PRICE on Wednesdays. So...look for tips like that...they don't advertise this, I found out from an make friends with your grocer! The other thing I realized is that the first few weeks you are stocking up on the pantry items you probably didn't have in your kitchen prior to Whole30, like coconut oil, ghee, organic EVOO, organic nuts, etc. Those cost money...after the initial stock only have to replace them as needed...and it shouldn't "hurt" as bad thereafter. By the third week, I was spending about $150-160 a week, plus a little more if I need to get household items like soaps, toiletries, etc. Which, by the way, the first two weeks, I was so into the food planning that I inevitably would forget about the rest of the household stuff..."WHAT? NO TOILET PAPER??" LOL! Now that I am riding my own bike...I have my set, go-to meals and my grocery bills have evened out - much easier to budget, for sure!
  3. Comments on how much I eat my opinion, you just have to make the best guess effort...if you cut it up into bite-sized pieces, you may be better able to "view" it in that palm-sized portion. Right? Like they say all over the Forum and in the book...just do the best you can do...and let your body be your guide. If you are If you aren't hungry at mealtime, adjust your that you can eat three meals a don't want to be ravenous by dinner and then lie awake all night because you were so hungry you ate your left, but seriously... Does that make sense? Don't make it harder than it should be...just look at the piece of protein and ask yourself if it looks reasonably like they size of your beautiful, now healthy palm? Plus...if I cook too much for dinner, then I have lunch for the next day already made, which makes me super happy because then I just pack it up and throw it in my lunch bag and I don't have to worry about a thing! How nice is that?
  4. Ok...I had this same problem and, so, I will stop and give you a mini-lecture. If you are eating enough at your meals, you should not be snacking in if you are, you are not eating enough at mealtime...but I do understand and as other people have suggested you will want to make them mini-meals and not "snacks". Some suggestions: sliced carrots with homemade guacamole...celery with almond butter...a half of a sweet potato drizzled with coconut milk and sprinkled with chopped roasted cashews...hard boiled egg...mineral water...water in general... I would avoid fruit and nuts. Like other people have mentioned these can be foods without brakes and your brain will or can read fruit as sugar and will fool you into thinking you need fruit (fructose) everytime you study. End of lecture, here: You may want to try and think about why you are wanting to snack during study time...high stress, tired, dehydrated...etc. You may want to avoid snacking during study/work/writing may be more emotional than hunger...and avoid caffeine at this time, too...push more to hydrate, hydrate, the end of the Whole30, see if you feel the difference in your academic abilities. Good luck!! Study hard!!
  5. Comments on how much I eat

    I had the same comments by friends and family when I was doing my first Whole30...and I lost 12 pounds and went down 2.5 numbers on the BMI chart, which is HUGE in my book! is impossible, if you are following the ISWF guidelines, to gain weight. Here are the ISWF guidelines I kept and still keep in my head when meal planning: Eat as much as needed to keep you satiated for at least four hours at a time...if you find you have cravings or are hungry within two hours, you are not eating enough good fat and protein, if you are not hungry in four hours or more then you are eating too much - in both cases, adjust your meals accordingly. AND, make breakfast your biggest meal - as it is the most important one. I also follow the meal measurement guidelines...and I have pretty big, let me tell ya, I can carry around a good number of eggs. Even so, I found that I was just not hungry for lunch if I ate the amount of protein in my personal two palm-sized servings, so I adjusted it. It takes time to find your comfort level...and only you can know what that is for YOUR body. This is the reply that I would give to my friends and family who 1) had not read ISWF and who 2) still buy into mainstream diet propoganda....I would just reply, "I know what my body needs and in what amounts and I know that everything here, on this plate, can be processed appropriately by my body." Then, I just let them sit back and watch me get healthy...and I did...silent testimony!! My weight dropped...wheat belly gone...finger and toe nails so so shiny and with so much like a twelve year, they are all like, "So...what is this diet you are doing?" and I just say, "Oh diet? I am not on a diet...I am on REAL FOOD!" FREE!!! Real food ROCKS!!
  6. Yuck.

    I agree about calling ahead...I also try and pull up menus online before getting there, which takes off some of the pressure when getting there and I can relax more while visiting with friends. I, too, always preface it with "I know I am being difficult, but I have some dietary restrictions..." and I ALWAYS make sure I tip well...especially if the server goes out of their way to accommodate my requests with regard to the menu, etc. My daughter has worked as a server to earn extra cash to pay for textbooks and other incidentals through I have heard the horror stories of problem customers and I never ever want to be "one of those people"! LOL! It has been scary living life post-Whole30...but somehow it just works and when something doesn't work out according to my best laid plans...I know I can fall right back into Whole30 living at the very next meal! I love more beating myself up, no more negative mindset, no more cravings or feeling, does that feel good.
  7. Yuck.

    Don't be afraid to ask questions. I was feeling the same way when I first ate out after my first Whole30 - but we do have to ride our own bike and live life to the fullest! I think it kind of fun to see what the servers actually know about the food on the whole table of friends roared with laughter the day I asked a server what was in the house vinaigrette and she replied, "Um, it's just vinaigrette...there is nothing else in it." It took several more questions to get to the actual ingredients by way of a manager who had to dig up an ingredient list. Here is what I have found...most chain restaurants are sketchy. If you can find a good, local restaurant - your chances are greater at finding an amazing meal. If things don't look promising, then I go with salad and slices of lemon (most restaurants even mix canola in with their EVOO for tableside) - and then order a protein, like grilled steak, fish, or chicken and I ask them to grill it dry (meaning I don't want them to dip it in oil prior to placing it on the grill). Like they say in ISWF...just do the best you can and eat as clean as you can the rest of the time. Remember, this is about freedom...eating should not be a chore or something you dread. Eating out, for me, has become more about being with friends and family and less about eating...I know, my next meal at home will be amazing and this kind of attitude seems to take the pressure off of the often less than stellar meal at the restaurant. Plus, I always pack roasted cashews in my I have something to nosh on while they are eating appetizers, etc. You can do this...relax, have fun...enjoy the freedom!!
  8. What kinds of tea can I have?

    I ordered a Vanilla Roobios tea at Starbucks the other day because I wanted something different from black coffee (so boring) and it tasted REALLY sweet to me, too! So I are the ingredients and they swore they didn't add any additional sweetener: ROOIBOS, LICORICE ROOT, BLACKBERRY LEAVES, CINNAMON, APPLE PIECES, PEACH PIECES, VANILLA EXTRACT, CHAMOMILE FLOWERS. Being that the licorice root is the second ingredient could explain the extra "sweet"...roobios in and of itself is pretty "sweet" in my opinion. I did notice apple and peach pieces...which could indicate dried fruit (thus sweetener?)...but I think they have to list it, if they use it. No? Anyway...they promised it was sugar-free (because I acted like it was poison if it had sugar, lol!), so I went with it. P.S. The Whole30 Dirty Chai sounds A-mazing! I am going to have to try it! The Tazo Chai seems to be compliant, ingredients are: Black Teas, Ginger Root, Cinnamon Bark, Black Pepper, Cardamom Seed, Cloves and Star Anise Seed. Yay for flavorful tea!!
  9. BHT on nuts...

    Ok...whew! I won't freak out then...I read labels like a fiend now and if I see anything with an acronym or letters that I don't recognize, I am on it like stink on a skunk trying to figure out what the heck it is... I realize I shouldn't be nervous about everything and also realize that not everything on the web is 100% accurate...but still. Better to ask then to find out I ruined 25 days of hard work on one closed handful of macademia nuts! Especially when I just added them back into my kitchen!! Do you know what I mean? I was thinking it was like an omen or something...Andrea should not buy or consume tree nuts...period. LOL!
  10. BHT on nuts...

    I was forced to do my grocery shopping in the midst of a recent snowstorm (bad one) and couldn't make it to my regular Co-Op to buy bulk nuts, so I bought unsalted, unroasted nuts from the baking aisle and intended to roast them myself when I got home. I didn't even think to look at the ingredients, I should states that BHT has been added to maintain freshness. I looked this up online and it states that it is a perservative to keep them from going rancid. From what I read online it seems that BHT is very now I don't know if these are okay to eat, or not. Do they put this on ALL nuts? I ask because I usually buy mine from the bulk bins at the Co-Op and have never really been able to read the find print on the bins. I just buy the raw nuts. Thankfully, I don't eat that many...and haven't eaten any of these ones I just bought, yet. But, does anyone know anything about BHT? I suspect this is not it? So confused...feeling so scammed...took me long enough to find a can of tuna that didn't have soy... Why do they have to ruin everything??
  11. Eating Too Much

    Right on!!
  12. Tessemae's, Ah-mazing!

    Did anyone hear back about the barbecue sauce? Has anyone tried it, if it is compliant?
  13. Eating Too Much

    I am right there with you, Scott! My first few weeks were bumpy. I found myself eating/binging on nuts/nut butter/dried fruit. Which, told me two things: 1) my overeating had more to do with emotion than sugar and carbs as I had originally thought (I always blamed my sugar addiction) and 2) that I had a serious need to reconnect with my "self" and my thoughts. is what I did. 1. I made sure I had enough good fat and protein at Meal 1 (a.k.a. breakfast). This means I have a half of an avocado with my eggs and veg, everyday! And, I, too, include a sweet potato or squash. Although, I have cut it back a little now, because I found I was not hugry for lunch until 3pm, which screwed up the family dinner times. By day 15 or so, I was in a groove. 2. NO nuts, nut butters, or dried fruit were allowed in my house until I got a handle on my snacking/binging/emotional issues. Again, by day 15 or so, I had that demon under control. I still stay away from nut butter...too risky to put a spoon in and eat mindlessly, so it is banned for now. But, roasted nuts are back in. 3. Fruit is kept at a brain sees it too similar to sugar...and wants to use it as a replacement. Especially dried fruit and bananas. is now it states in the book "It Starts with Food", you can get enough goodness from vegetables to keep fruit at a minimum. 4. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. I started drinking more water, herbal tea, and mineral water. This helped get through those inbetween times when I THOUGHT I should be eating something. 5. Deep breathing. Remeber to relax. 6. I made a conscious effort to stop snacking, because I realized it was just another game my brain was playing. When I started the Whole30 I did so with the agreement with myself that this was going to be at 100% or standing at my kitchen cabinet licking almond butter from a spoon was doing nothing to retrain my brain from old habits...which is the point of the Whole30. So, I was switching the grande latte with three sugar packets for a heaping spoonful of almond butter and a dried slice of mango...ludacris and unfair to myself. Like Melissa Joulwan says in her cookbook "Well Fed"...this lifestyle is liberating because you are allowed to "just eat". You can do this!! Right now you are worried about doing it right and you probably feel like you are doing something wrong, but be patient with day may be singing a different tune! Stick with is worth it!! Trust me! Andrea
  14. Prego Spaghetti Sauce

    Making your own marinara is super easy!! I use this recipe and it is always a hit at the Fierro house, especially when the basil in my backyard threatens to take over and swallow up my dog! I use my own jarred tomatoes, but I am sure you can find compliant canned tomatoes out there, just read the labels! AND...don't let the garlic scare cooks down nice and soft and almost melts away into the good...especially on squash, steak, chicken, poached eggs... If you are making meatballs...sautee some onion with the garlic, or add onion powder with the tomatoes and add a bay holds up nicely to the meaty flavors, whereas a regular marinara would get lost on a meat-a-ball! Thought I would chime in...because once you make this sawce (as we say in our house) you will never buy the grocery jars again! Trust me!
  15. Great! I will keep my eyes peeled for it! Can't wait! Thank you! Andrea