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Hello everybody and hope everyone had a nice long holiday weekend. Sorry I haven't been around but Santa brought  me a lovely case of the flu so I haven't been up to doing much of anything. I'm at work today but it ain't pretty. I managed to stay compliant (thankful for my giant cook-up-a-thon when I made chicken bone broth) but certainly didn't fit the meal templates since I couldn't eat much. My Christmas dinner was about 2 bites of sweet potato and 5 bites of a beautiful ribeye steak :( My husband did all of the cooking -and cleaning-and even roasted some cauli & carrots (but my stomach told me not to go there). Before I got sick I managed to make a batch of brown butter ghee. It's so expensive that I never want to buy it and it's pretty much just melted butter; I can do that. That is some seriously delicious stuff!! It tastes like caramel! I also made some harissa. It was supposed to go on the Christmas cauli but that didn't happen.

Sonyaf- good job winning the cookie battle! Is it getting any easier yet?

LadyLis- I was lucky and managed to miss the holiday party here. I'm a single-person department but work closely with another so I'm in a kinda no-man's-land and get forgotten but I'm ok with that. I like having my own little corner of the world where it's quiet and (mostly) calm. Where was your backpacking trip? We're doing a big family trip (well, relatively big since we have a small family) at the end of March to Big Bend National Park in south Texas. That is one of my motivations for doing another Whole 30 + another one in January :) Getting sick really threw a monkey wrench into my plans. I was going to start hitting the rowing machine and instead I lived on the sofa for two days and plan on heading right back there after I survive this day at work. I feel like an achy, wet noodle

Today is Day 23 for me so it's REALLY almost over for the rest of you!

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Sonyafarah, we're all running the gauntlet of familiar decadences this time of year. I encourage you to trust the process, and be patient with yourself. The weight loss shows you that it's working, and meanwhile, I echo what SugarCube said. 

That's what I'm doing, trusting the process, that is, and I'll be honest, Christmas was full of temptations. I came down with a sore throat on Friday, and am still sick, so I'm a pouty, melancholy mess. I've been using zinc lozenges, and Fishermen's Friend lozenges, too, which helps me sleep because otherwise my throat is too scratchy, and I feel contaminated with sugar and muckety muck chemicals. Wah. I realize it's "medicine" and not really a slip, but I don't like it one bit.

Late last week I pan-cooked some beautiful organic strip steaks, then sliced them up, and am still enjoying the leftovers. Santa got me WELL FED WEEKNIGHTS! Hurray! I can't wait to try some of those recipes, and know it will give me a bounty for years to come. Yum yum.

Holly, I made my first batch of mayo using that expeller pressed sunflower seed oil you recommended from VitaCost, and it is absolutely divine. Thank you!

How's everyone doing? I keep remembering Melissa's words about "there's no such thing as a perfect W30", and I'm giving myself - and all of you - a lot of credit for taking it on in December. I'm still learning not to under-eat. Sometimes I eat twice per day, and it's ok, and other times I might eat twice per day and I know it's NOT ok, because I feel hungry, but I don't want to eat late at night, say if I have a late breakfast, and a late lunch, and don't feel hungry until it's bed time...that's too late. Then I eat in the morning, but I'm still hungry after what should have felt satisfying, because, what, I've under-nourished myself from the day before? That's not good. So, I'm working it out...so far so good today. I had a good breakfast at a decent hour, have plans for a compliant restaurant lunch, and there's plenty in the fridge for dinner, so I should be fine today.

Best to all!

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Oh! Poor Holly! I sometimes forget to look on a new page for recent posts, and just saw yours...I'm so sorry you got sick! The flu is the pits! Hey, you mentioned another one in January, are you going for 60 days? I wish you rest and recovery! Yes, good thing you made all that beautiful food! Yikes! = (

Isn't it awesome to have a trip to look forward to? Will the wildflowers be blooming yet in March in South Texas? I hear they're legendary, though I've never seen them, myself. Where I live the blooms start in March. Our big trip last year was the Rae Lakes Loop in Kings Canyon National Park. It was classified as challenging, and it was that. I might have mentioned that I learned not to thumb my nose at trekking poles. I guess I thought I didn't need them, and I was just flat out wrong about that. My knees are not quite recovered. I can't squat down on my haunches which I've always said was a life goal, to be able to do that all of my life, even when I'm 99 years old. So I have been very humbled! On top of being sick at Christmas, the air quality was bad, I mean pea soup, can't see the mountains up the valley bad. That made me double depressed. But when the air is clear it is very beautiful where I live, and we have access to Sequoia and Kings Canyon, and get up there as often as possible.

Hey RunGirl, how are you doing? EWilbur?

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LadyLis- So sorry to hear you're under the weather as well. I was felling pretty sorry for myself but, in reality, I think I'm recovering pretty quickly and I think a lot of that is because I've been eating so well and treating my body so well. I woke up Saturday and felt like had a big daddy of a hangover but it passed by the time I finished my coffee so I just chalked it up to more Whole30 detox. Saturday evening I couldn't get warm. I very rarely drink tea but I made a giant cup of lemon/turmeric/ginger green tea because that's what my body said it wanted- it would have been nicer with some honey but it was still good. Sunday morning I realized I was actually sick and after eating a good breakfast, I succumbed to the sofa and got worse. I truly think that eating good, wholesome foods that support your immune system is the way to go. Obviously the flu shot isn't! And, yay, glad you liked the oil!

It sounds like you live in a beautiful place but that sucks about the air quality. My geographical knowledge is-uh-weak; I'll have to take a look at a map but it sounds wonderful. Funny you should mention trekking poles! We have one pair and don't think about getting a second pair until it's too late so we wind up sharing. I was thinking about getting some collapsible ones since we'll be flying and I don't think the TSA would see them as anything but a weapon. I don't know when the flowers bloom. I just got a guide book and a trail map on Friday and was planning on spending a bunch of this weekend reading it. It's going to be a great trip- 11 people coming together from 5 different locations in LA, TX, TN and WA. Motivation!! So, yes, I'm doing a Whole 60. After I did my first Whole30, I didn't really feel like I had truly broken out of some unhealthy patterns. I ran across this article https://www.thepaleomom.com/habit-formation-new-years-resolutions-2015/ and it made a lot of sense so now I'm going into this with more commitment AND more time.

 

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Hey gals - Sorry to be so out of touch -- our daughter arrived home from college last week, so we've been busy, busy!  It sounds like you all have been sickly, sickly!  What a bummer, especially for the holidays.  But it sounds like you're doing an amazing job of staying on track through it all!  Well done!

Bad news on my side:  Our Christmas weekend included a really nice bottle of wine... and then another... and then sugar cookies!?!  Sigh.

And it all started because I weighed myself on Sunday morning -- isn't that crazy?  The scale can be such a powerful force (and not for good!)  I couldn't resist weighing myself after 3 weeks of W30 -- and I'd lost more weight that I expected which kind of threw me for a loop.  Suddenly the wine from the holiday gift basket and my daughters' homemade sugar cookies seemed like OK choices.  Ugh.  I completely lost sight of all of the other NSVs I'd been enjoying, not to mention the satisfaction of completing the full 30 days. :(

Lessons learned: Apparently wine interrupts my sleep.  And I had horrible stomach pains a few hours after the cookies. 

So... today we're starting back on W30 for the rest of the year.  I know it won't be an official Whole30 success, but I'd still like to finish strong.  And my goal for January is to start re-introduction in a sane and healthy manner!

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Hi RunGirl, nice to see you here! I appreciate your honesty, and find it very understandable. Good self-evaluation and observations about sleep and stomach pain...and good for you for getting back on track for the rest of the year and doing your re-intros in the new year.

Today I had a lunch date with a new friend who feels like an old, dear friend at my/our favorite restaurant. I had already cancelled on her, so even though I felt less than great, still coughing, I didn't want to cancel. We exchanged feelings about Christmas, being lonely, and missing our mothers and families, with some tears...and I decided it would be a holiday lunch for me, and though my warm spinach salad was mostly compliant (the bacon certainly was not), I let myself have treats, including a few bites of an appetizer, and sharing a dessert, and putting 1/2 & 1/2 in my coffee. (It was decaf. I haven't had even decaf since November, but as for hot flashes, we will see.... ) I feel a little ashamed of myself, and am noting the lesson about not eating your feelings. Then at her house afterwards since I had already transgressed I had a glass of sparkling cider...she's a new friend, and I have never discussed W30 with her, so she had/has no idea what I was trying to do.

Was it worth it? Yes. My tail is between my legs, but, yes, it was worth it. It felt more like Christmas than Christmas day to me. I needed that.

Holly, I've been reading Food Freedom Forever, and MH, like PaleoMom in the article you linked, talks about habits taking around 66 days, debunking the old myth about 21 days....this makes sense. And so it makes so much sense to do a W60. Looking at the year ahead, I think I would benefit from doing a W30 every season. June and September are out (camping, and a festival respectively) so I'm thinking Feb., May, Aug., Oct. This ties in to a "living healthy with the seasons" approach that is already on my mind. I think I had better put it in my calendar to keep myself honest on that.

Even though I've marred my W30, it really kept me safer than I have ever been over the holidays, and I am pleased as can be about that. I haven't stepped on the scale yet, but I'd be really surprised if the scale doesn't show a change. Meanwhile, my belly is feeling flatter, and finally I am sleeping a little better, even with a sore throat. 

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11 hours ago, LadyLisbette said:

Was it worth it? Yes. My tail is between my legs, but, yes, it was worth it. It felt more like Christmas than Christmas day to me. I needed that.

And sometimes that's just the way it is. Don't let "perfect" get in the way of "good" and you both had lots of good:  better sleep, lessons learned, NSV's and scale victories as well plus it was during the holidays! I think being sick actually helped me through the missing family part of Christmas. My phone blew up all day with tons of fun pics from everybody but I was so miserable, I was just happy for them and not feeling like was missing out-also good not being Typhoid Mary if I was with them. Today is another story; I'm a weepy mess and not sure why. Post Non-Christmas blues? Hopefully it passes soon.

RunGirl- EVERYTHING messes with my sleep and I'm really trying to work on that. Not drinking definitely helps plus, when I DO wake up, I'm not berating myself for drinking so I think I fall back to sleep a little more easily.

LadyLis- I really like the idea of a seasonal W30! My big festival time are the first & last weekend of June so it runs over into May & July plus October. Having that kind of plan might help me ride my own bicycle a little better in between.

Now that I'm feeling pretty close to normal, I need to focus on W30 things again. It's all been a blur the last several days and I've just been existing but I got thought it. I'm sure going to miss y'all in January!!

Finish strong & re-intro strong!! Many hugs to you!

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Thanks for all the positive remarks, Holly. I like what you said about perfect and good, that was a great reminde. I'm sorry you're weepy and blue. You've been so sick and are still recovering, having powered through work yesterday "just existing" when you'd rather be home in bed...I imagine you are just spent. Wishing you comforting things and time to rest. And the holidays are tender times, so that's a lot going on emotionally. Now that you're ready to focus on W30 things again, which I think includes working with the meal template?...I am guessing your mood will pick up soon with your recovery - 'hope so! When we're sick we can feel fragile physically and emotionally....I felt that way on Christmas and the days leading to Christmas.

Now that my 2nd round is almost over, I'm feeling a closer relationship to this food freedom thing, and feel hopeful for the future...

Also, I think I will stay more present on these boards between rounds to help stay in the spirit of things. So I will stay in touch in January! xo

Hugs back!

 

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Day 25 (and only 35 to go!) :) I think I'm finally getting back to "normal". After working a 10 hour day yesterday, I still had enough energy to fix breakfasts & lunches to get me through the rest of the week and package up leftovers to freeze for future meals. Dinner was delicious- a piece of sirloin steak that my husband cooked perfectly and roasted cauli, peppers, onions and carrots (only had a couple of those; they're mostly for hubby) and put a big dollop of harissa in them right before they were finished. They were really good but I probably should have used a lighter hand with the harissa; it's pretty potent. I'm starting to understand why everybody raves about the stuff! I didn't get back into my exercise routine but plan on doing that today- inside. It was 13 degrees this morning! 

NSV: my clothes are definitely looser and I feel stronger and leaner even though I still have a long way to go. Yaaay!

Happy Thursday!

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Congrats, Holly, on feeling better, and for all of the awesome NSVs! I was wondering if your mood had improved, it sounds like it has! I've never tried harissa, and now you have me real curious. Do you make your own?

Yesterday was a good day, I had a decent breakfast of chicken apple hash, green beans, and some roasted yams. It kept me full for 5 or 6 hours, then I had a grilled chicken salad with avocado from the Mexican place, I think I've mentioned this salad before. I finally remembered to bring a big mixing bowl to work so I could toss it well with a little oil/vinegar, plus a small amount of homemade mayo, and boy, tossing that salad makes it even better. I had a too-small meal for dinner, after kitchen chores I just grazed on leftovers while my hubbie ate his not-W30 dinner I made for him (orange chicken out of the freezer). 

I thought I was feeling better yesterday until I got to work, then I discovered/remembered that working is demanding, and I lamented that I had to work, because I felt really awful. Fortunately, I didn't need to rely on lozenges to sleep last night, and I know I am creeping toward regained health. This has been a really bad year where we live for colds and flus. It seems like everyone in the town is sick!! So to your point, Holly, about this way of eating supporting immunity, yes, I know that is true. The woman who I think I caught my throat bug from has a serious respiratory problem now, and mine (knock on wood) is still in my throat ONLY, no sinus or chest issues, and I am on the mend.

Last time around, on my W60 last spring, I boldly cold-turkeyed off my allergy meds that I took for sore throat/post nasal drip disgustingness, that I relied an all year-around since moving to this area 5 years ago. I was fine, and have not needed it since! Yay, huge NSV! Hello improved immune system! So when I got this sore throat, and there were no other symptoms, I worried and puzzled that it might be allergies, and how unlikely since I was doing a W30...Meanwhile, I am feeling a need to journal as I know that for me throat issues are also about Voice, speaking up, saying what I need and what I think without so much reservation, and that is up for me these days, too.

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Okay, so I just got around to spiralizing zucchini for the first time. I prepped three big fat zucchinis this morning and stuck them in the fridge. I came home hungry, and heated some up in a pan with s/p, onion powder, cumin, and cinnamon, and used it as a bed beneath a sauteéd fish, and it was heavenly! Gasp! How wonderful!

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Confession: I am a spiralizing failure. My Mom gave me a spiralizer and I just can't make it work- and that was before I had limited use of my left arm/hand! She finally took pity on me and got me a second one that's more like a veggie peeler but it just makes small shreds- great for salads but not great for cooking- think baby food. I am determined to try again, though. I want to make a nice big batch of sauerruben (sauerkraut made with turnips instead of cabbage) and I'm not crazy about the texture when the turnips are grated so I think spiralizing would be perfect. Since we planted turnips and daikon radish as a cover crop for our garden this year, I have no shortage of turnips. This weekend I AM going to spiralize!!

Yep, LadyLis, I did make my own harissa. I combined 3 or 4 different recipes- some add a little tomato paste but some don't, some use a roasted red bell pepper as well as dried chiles and some don't use dried chiles at all even though it is a chile paste. I was lazy and didn't toast my chiles because only one recipe I looked at did and I think that was a mistake. It is good but definitely has a raw dried chile taste that improves when it's cooked. Next time I'll know. I made notes and am going to get it all written down in one place this weekend. I'd be glad to pass along the recipe if you're interested. It's easy but uses 2 different dried chiles (New Mexico and guajillo). I wasn't going to bother with the 2 different types but read that Paula Wolfort said that combination best approximated the traditional chile that's used so who am I to argue.

You're salad sounds delicious and even though it's freezing damn cold here, I'm wanting a nice big salad. I hope you're feeling better! I work in a large, healthcare facility so no telling where I picked up my bug- probably a door knob or something- I hate doorknobs (and handrails) for being the little germ harbors that they are. Every time I look at one I think of it as a vector for disease- I know I have an issue :) I have lots of issues and the list keeps getting longer LOL!! My husband just says to add it to the loooong list of things that make me crazy!

Wooohooo! I just (prematurely) rewarded myself for my first W30. I just ordered a pair of Vivobarefoot hiking boots that I have been wanting but was balking at the price. 25% off clinched the deal and I didn't know how long the sale was going to last so I didn't want to wait till next Wednesday. The Keen's I have now are totally shot and I really wanted to get something less rigid and more foot friendly- keeps my feet way happier. Yeah I have issues there, too!

TGIF everybody and have a great weekend!

 

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Yay for your new Vivibarefoot boots!!! Good for you!

I have realized lately that I'm kind of in a rut...and that it's deffffinitely time to learn some new tricks. So reading through Well Fed Weeknights helped me there, and also, I had a little stuck spot about the spiralizer. I bought mine two months ago from a friend's kid's school fundraiser catalog thingy, and I expected it to be a bust. Really, I can't believe how quickly I have already polished off the first batch- less than 24 hours. I admire you for taking another "stab" at the whole spiralizing thing, and can't wait to hear how it goes = ) Speaking of getting me inspired out of my rut, you have really given me SO many ideas.

For some reason, even after 33 years in California I've never learned about different chilis, but just in the last year I've been learning a little. The chilis you mentioned I have never heard of, but I am determined. I read that some harissas use ancho chilis, which is what we called dried poblanos? Does that sound right? Do you have those in TN? That's as far as I've gotten, but I might just cruise through the best asian/mexican market in my area, and take my chances with a couple kinds that are already dried and see what happens. Maybe roasting my own is the way to go, that can't be too hard. I've oven-roasted all kinds of things, why not chilis? Yes, a recipe would be grand, and any tips you have for a beginner. Thanks!

I love turnips. I forgot to buy some today - I thought it would be fun to spiralize those, too.

I do feel better - thank you! Ha ha, I work in a drug store, so like you, I'm absolutely surrounded by sick people all. day. long. I giggled thinking of you eyeballing said villainous hand rails and door knobs. Nothing escapes your discerning germ radar! At this point, I'm very sure that it wasn't allergies. Again, I'm so grateful that I have some new empowerment with boosting the immune system. As for cravings, I think I've come a long way. I did a ton of errands today, and I was a little tempted, but it was just a mental thing, an idea, like the ghost of an old habit, and not a real craving.

It made me almost giddy to buy a bag of pork rinds which seems like such a piggy junk food...but as you may know, Mel of Well Fed stardom uses them in place of bread crumbs. Have you ever used them that way? I'm a pork rind virgin. When I got home I was hungry, and my moment of living dangerously was opening the bag to taste one, knowing it might provoke a snack attack. I prevailed, and toiled away unpacking my groceries, then whipped up the remaining zoodles with leftover pork roast and a few bites of yams. If I'm honest, I could eat less yams...I'll dial that down in the new year while riding my own bike...and I'm thinking I might let myself step on the scale once a month just for...fun...not fun exactly, I don't know, curiosity. I think I feel slimmer than the scale will tell me, but we'll see.

Happy weekend Holly and other comrades if you're there!

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Happy New Year, comrades!

For New Year's Eve, at dinner last night we shared a bottle of wine, a gorgeous Well Fed meal and then some bubbly. I remained otherwise compliant. Today I was compliant also, but do have added sugar on the menu this week with some salad dressings (Well Fed Weeknights' Tahini-Garlic, and Sesame-Ginger, just delicious!), one that has honey, and another one that has maple syrup. Otherwise, I have no calculated plans for my re-intro. I have a feeling that beans are okay for me, so I'll try that, and if it goes well as I think it will I'l try doing one or two meat-free days per week and see how that feels. All 3 meals might be too much, I'll start with one or two bean based meals in a day. I know that bread/pasta/rice makes me feel puffy, and I don't crave them, so I will avoid those things until I come upon something that seems worth it. Like toast points and brie at my favorite bistro, which brings me to cheese...I don't crave that either, much, but I know I will want some here and there. Really it's bread and cheese together that will tempt me occasionally. I'll cross that bridge when I get to it, meanwhile, I'm just so happy and grateful for how I feel right now.

My belly feels a little flatter, my immune system was bolstered and when I did catch a throat bug, I recovered more quickly, I know it. I have almost no hot flashes anymore, just rarely. I lost a few pounds. I know that it's coming off slowly, and that's awesome. Because mentally I'm in a place where I am confident in what I'm doing, and know that I can continue and trust myself to keep learning new amazing, delicious recipes, get quicker with the recipes I do know, and make good decisions. This was my 2nd W30, and I'm appropriately no longer obsessing, but feeling more confident. It's like I've learned how to drive - I know how it works, and I can get myself around nicely.

Holly, how are you doing? Greetings all comrades who might be reading - EWilbur? RunGirl?

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Happy New Year, Happy Re-intro and Happy Day 30 for me! We had a fabulous weekend and even if I did wake up with a 103 temp Sunday morning :(, Fri & Mon were great! I think I finally figured out that I have a sinus infection simmering in the background that keeps rearing its ugly head so I'm rinsing my sinuses, using some oregano oil and stopped taking all of the antihistamines I've been taking for the last couple of months. I didn't sleep for sh!t last night but I still feel great! Our anniversary was this weekend and we went to see some live music Saturday night at a venue with communal tables. We shared a table with Ricky Skaggs and his in-laws, The Whites. Don't know how much classic country or bluegrass you're familiar with, but they're a BIG DEAL! They were as nice as can be and I tried really hard not to be too much of a dork :) The show was great, too! All around fabulous night even if we did almost freeze to death on the drive home before the car warmed up.

LadyLis, sounds like a good re-intro and a lovely NY dinner. For me, cheese is like bacon: there's no such thing as too much and everything is better with it. SO, that's something I have to keep reined in. Surprisingly, I haven't missed it much at all but it would be really easy for me to let it slip into more than one meal/day. I have never used pork rinds as a breading (even though I've made them from scratch-fun but messy) but it sounds great. I love them anyway and it's one of our road trip car snacks- esp the Louisiana Hot Sauce-flavored ones! I'm going to have to try it. I'm not crazy about almond flour as a breading; it just seems to get greasy and heavy so that would be a good alternative. I didn't do much this weekend since I spent a whole day on the sofa sleeping with a kitty (not the psycho door-opening one but our other uh..eccentric cat that loves it when I'm laid out on the sofa) and Star Trek reruns. I did make the W30 Thai slaw and was only OK with it. Too many carrots for me (not my favorite veg) and I think it could have used some mayo but didn't feel good enough to make any. Made Mississippi Caviar yesterday to get our lucky black-eyed peas in and I ate exactly ONE black-eyed pea. I love beans and think I might start having them occasionally after I finish W30-ing.

Here is the harissa recipe. I get the dried chiles from a big international market here. The Thai chiles made it pretty spicy but I had some in my freezer from our garden so use whatever fresh chiles you have access to and in whatever amount your spice-tolerance dictates.

Ingredients:

 

8 dried guajillo chiles (about 2 oz.), stemmed and seeded

8 dried new mexico chiles (about 1 1⁄2 oz.), stemmed and seeded

1 roasted red bell pepper, skinned and seeded

3 hot red chiles, like Thai chiles

1⁄ 2 teaspoon caraway seeds

1⁄ 2 teaspoon coriander seeds

1⁄ 2 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon dried mint leaves

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

5 cloves garlic

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 ½ teaspoons tomato paste

 

Directions:

 

Place dried chiles into a skillet over medium heat and toast until fragrant. Transfer to a bowl, cover with boiling water, and let sit until softened, about 20 minutes. Heat caraway, coriander, and cumin in a skillet over medium heat. Toast spices, swirling skillet constantly, until very fragrant, about 4 minutes. Transfer spices to a grinder with the mint and grind to a fine powder. Toast peeled garlic cloves and fresh chiles in a dry skillet and toast until browned on the outside and slightly softened.

 

Drain chiles and transfer to a blender with the remaining ingredients. Purée, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl, until the paste is very smooth. If using a food processor, you may need to repeat this a couple of times.

 

Harissa paste will keep for up to 3 weeks and freezes well. Makes about 2 cups. (I didn't use the mint because I didn't have any but I think it would be really good.)

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Congrats, Holly! Woo Hoo! You did it! OMG your dinner adventure with Ricky Skaggs and family sounds absolutely charmed! What a lovely occasion. I'll write more later when I have time, but I wanted to congratulate you xo, and thank you for the recipe.  And hope your sinus infection clears up soon! 

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15 hours ago, hollysmokes said:

I have never used pork rinds as a breading (even though I've made them from scratch-fun but messy) but it sounds great.

You made your own pork rinds, WOW. You are an all around wiz, and I am totally impressed!!

I read through the harissa recipe more carefully and all the toasted ingredients make my mouth water. I can't wait to try it. I'm feeling like my hot flashes are under control enough that it will be safe to try it, and come what may, it will be worth it. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe!!

Congrats on your anniversary, and it sounds like a divine night! I don't know a lot of blue grass or country, but I have heard of Ricky Skaggs. I love the mandolin.

I had a clobbering day at work today. I just pulled a couple of pork tenderloins out of the oven for the next few days, and will go and kick my feet up for a while before bed. Aahh. I took a boxed salad to work filled with colorful greens/radicchio, red cabbage, cucumbers, yellow bell peppers, and leftover Moroccan steak (Well Fed), and a tahini garlic dressing, and it was delicious. I have another one lined up for tomorrow...

Oh, I got up extra early to work out and do some yoga/meditation, and plan to do that every day, or most every day, working up to a greater intensity...that was a small triumph.

Hope you're feeling better!

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So...not sure whether to call this Day 1 again or Day 31; still trying to figure out which gives me a bigger boost. You keep grabbing me with your salads, LadyLis! That sounds really good. I'm a big fan of cold meat on salad and  tahini dressing is so good. I made some tuna salad for lunch today with tahini and lemon plus have some olives, pickled turnips (sauerruben)and spicy pickled carrots sticks to go with it. You also got me on a meatball roll! I made the Cuban meatballs last night for dinner and had them again for breakfast. Hubby was a little skeptical about olives (not his fave) and raisins in meatballs but really liked them and just wished there was some sauce. I need to work on a sauce inventory. I'm thinking I need to have a meatball cook-up, too! I think I'm going to get a bunch of ground meat and make a few different flavors to have on hand in the freezer. Thanks for all of the inspiration! I, too, had a long day at work yesterday and didn't feel like cooking AND had no plan. Thankfully my husband had the foresight to pull a pack of ground beef out of the freezer and the meatballs were a breeze to make. Pork tenderloins tonight! So weird that we're so often on the same page :) 

As for the pork rinds, when you get a half of a pig, there's a LOT of skin and I hate to waste. I did a meat curing challenge a few years ago called Charcutapalooza and got really involved with sausage making and other charcuterie so I still make a lot of things and am still trying to learn to cook (and like) the odd bits. Cooked tongue a couple of weeks ago- I'll spare you the details- and I have a pig head in my freezer right now from my last half pig. We decided NOT to tell my husband's  grandkids that when they came to visit in October-LOL

I've never had a problem with hot flashes (lucky me). I had a partial hysterectomy over 20 yrs ago so I don't know when I started menopause but, at 57, I know I'm there. Are you worried about the spiciness making them flare up? You can always decrease the heat level to accommodate. That recipe makes a lot, too. A half batch is still a pretty goodly amount.

The big NSV I want to see in the next 30 days is strength & stamina. I fell off the yoga/weight lifting/move more bandwagon when I got sick the first time so it's time to put my big girl britches back on and get started again. My NSV's for the first go-round were looser clothes and being able to wear some that I couldn't before, way less achy especially my back (working on that posture), no more allergy meds. I'm also eating more interesting meals and trying not to just throw a bunch of stuff in a bowl because it's there and easy.

The big news is a total scale victory: I lost 15 pounds!! I'm trying not to over focus on that but since I have plenty more where that came from, I'd be thrilled to follow that with another 10- I'm trying to set reasonable goals. Trying.

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Congrats on the scale victory! That's almost 4 lbs per week - very impressive. I came upon an awesome post last night, and it seems relevant to this conversation, and so wise, I'm really taking this to heart right now, and thought you would like it, too, if you haven't already read it...  http://meljoulwan.com/2015/12/28/version-2016/ 

I picked up a salad spinner recently after reading 2 great tips in WFWeeknights (or one of the WF books, I've been re-visiting the others) about 1) crisping up even pre-washed greens, and 2) boxing up a salad with the dressing on the bottom, meat and vegetables on top of that, and greens on the very top, in order to just shake it up and chow down. That lit up my brain and I had amazing salads all week at work, with those two dressings I mentioned. Last night when I served the pork tenderloin (LOL about our serendipitous meal plans!) I brought both dressings to the table in case the hubbie wanted to use one as a sauce, even though I didn't think they really needed it (I used mayo which he avoids like the plague, being afraid of fat as he is...) and he slathered the meat with the sesame ginger dressing. I kept mum about the fat equivalency, just happy to see him enjoying my witchery. So that got me thinking about your point about sauces, maybe looking at salad dressings as starting points? I'll let you know if I make any discoveries! It would be awesome to have sauces to go with the picadillo meat balls (coconut/tomato, maybe), and others! Traditionally I love tzatziki, but somehow I find adding lemon to the mayo makes it too sour, especially with something like the Greek balls which are already a tad sour with lemon. Once I watered the mayo and added z'atar and dried mint  a la Mel J...that was good...please share anything you come up with!

Fascinating about the charcutapalooza! My starting point for any charcuterie was learning to add cream of tartar and baking soda to the meat, a la WF2! You made me laugh out loud re the grandkids and the pig head in the freezer. I love your adventurous spirit and fearlessness. As for pigs, after trying lots of different pork roasts, I've decided that there's really nothing that compares to port tenderloin. I am planning, however, to get a 4 lb. pork shoulder soon and try my hand at Char Siu out of WFWeeknights...I can't find the recipe online, but it sure looks delicious and promising. I'm not a huge fun of slow cooking/pulled meat type texture for some reason, but prefer a steaky type thing.

Getting back to indoor home exercise this week - I overdid it at the beginning of Dec. and spent the rest of the W30 not exercising, just focused on food - it was too cold to get my usual hiking/meditation in, and neglected to do even a modest home yoga practice that I am darned capable of and practiced in. Why do I think I can't sit still and meditate if I don't hike first? That's my favorite routine. Not to beat myself up, but in the back of my mind I knew I could go back to that at-home, on the floor, calisthenics thing I had taken on, and take it a little easy at first, followed by yoga and sitting. So that's what I did for the last 2 days, whew! This is important for me also, because traditionally I get lost in the summer when it's too hot to hike, and I need a back-up plan. The gym is out of the question, too far away to sustainably drive from home. So, this feels like a good start. 

I'll spend January keeping-on-keeping-on with W30 habits, going off road here and there, expanding the commitment to include (indoor and outdoor) movement and meditation. This feels right and good. Working on consistency with early to bed, early to rise. 

Turnips are on my shopping list, so I'll try spiralizing them! Also, want to put some yams through there and make oven fries!

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Happy New Year and Day 30 and Re-Intro, my friends!  So great to read all about your NSVs and SVs!  Wow!!!  And you're still trucking along, HollyS, which is amazing.  (BTW, I vote for calling it Day 31 -- that just sounds so kick-ass!)

DH and I managed to finish they year strong after our Christmas detour.  I think this is the first year of my adult life that 'eat healthier' or 'lose weight' are NOT on my New Year's resolutions list.  So grateful we dove in and started W30 in December :)  Do you all feel the same sense of... not sure what the right word is... satisfaction? security? like 2018 is already proving to be awesome?

In addition to great NSVs -- like vastly improved sleep, "vibrant" skin, and no night sweats -- I lost 9 pounds. My goal was 7, so now I'm focusing on eating well and maintaining a strong core and arm strength.  (I think the add'l protein/fat in the W30 and the addition of non-cardio exercise to my regular running schedule made a huge difference in a short amount of time -- which is amazing considering I'm heading toward the big 5-0 this year!)

LadyL - I'm interested to hear how your Re-Intros are going.  Have you hit anything that is just 'no go' for your system?  So far, I've determined that wine interrupts my sleep, a little bit of dark chocolate at night is OK (yay!) but multiple sugar cookies are NOT OK, and plain yogurt with vanilla whey protein powder is a big NO (not sure if it was the yogurt or the whey or the combo but that made for a miserable day!)  I was able to have some parmesan cheese on zucchini noodles on another evening without problem, though, so maybe there is some dairy that's do-able?  Will need to explore that a little more.

Next up to try will be rice.  And corn.  We have tons of sweet corn in our freezer from the garden last year, which I want to add back into the carb veggie rotation. 

Not missing beans at all, so that one is low on my priority list, though I do like peas so may add those to a stew later this week and see how it goes.  Same thing with bread -- just 'meh' about adding it back, though I'm sure an occasion will come up to try it sooner rather than later.

Congrats on all your victories, ladies!  All the best in 2018 :)

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Mel's post about being the best you that you can be was a perfect read! I was feeling it but hadn't tried to put down on "paper" and she did such a great job. RunGirl, I definitely feel that sense of satisfaction and...peace. It's very calming to not have that pressure to perform. I'm a big list maker and used to always have lists of things I NEEDED to get done over the weekends. I love crossing things off of my list but then there were things I didn't get around to plus other that I accomplished that weren't on the list. I finally realized that, sometimes, having no plan is the best plan. We'll start doing routine housework and it turns into a free-association kind of thing and we actually wind up getting more things done that way. I'm feeling the same sort of freedom here. So, here's to our no-plan plan for 2018! It IS off to a great start.

LadyLis, I love tzatziki, too and it's the only way I can eat cucumbers that doesn't come back to haunt me over and over and over :) Do you do other dairy when you're not W30-ing? Aside from weight gain, I have no bad reactions to any foods or food groups. Uh, wine and sleep irregularites for sure, though. Randomly (and only at work) I was having some severe GI issues after lunch but I have never been able to trace it to anything in particular. I've been keeping a food diary this go-round and, of course, have had no issues. I'll have to continue it during re-intro to see if I can solve the mystery. Funny about your hubbie and fat! Mine is on the healthy fat bandwagon but is suspicious of "odd" ingredients so I have to hide coconut flour, coconut milk, fish sauce and such. I love all things porky but am not crazy about slow-cooker textures and flavors; everything tastes the same. Let us know how your Char Sui comes out. I might have made a little too much tahini dressing so I think I'm going to make faux-lafels this weekend. I have an extra head of cauli and I'm a little tired of it so that will give me some lunches. I can't remember the source of the recipe but I have it at home if anybody's interested. I think I like it better than regular falafels and I like them a lot!

Ooooh RunGirl, I love, love, love corn; it's one of the things I really miss. We used to get an entire sack of just-picked corn from the farmer's market and freeze it to have on hand all year. I limit it now to perfect, fresh and my favorite way of cooking it: grilling it in the shuck so it steams in it's own deliciousness.

Thanks, Day 33 it is!! :) 

 

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Hey RunGirl, congrats on your strong finish and awesome NSVs! Woo Hoo! I love what you wrote about the way you feel, and yes, I feel a sense of promise of the new year's possibilities already because for the first time in my life I came through December not just unscathed, but ahead of the game. Even including the transgression towards the end, that was *nothing*!!! compared to every other December of my entire life. This is an amazing feeling! Like you said Holly, it doesn't need to go on the list because it's already in progress! = )

As for re-intros, I'm what I think Melissa calls slow-rolling...I'm no longer W30-ing, but I'm just not feeling the need to systematically re-intro like the first time...so I've been eating added sugar like store bought chutney, honey or maple syrup in salad dressing, and taking note of the dragon -- so far so good! Yesterday I ate pretzels with my picadillo-ish egg salad (delish!) and I was a bit windy for the rest of the evening. I know (I think!) beans will be ok but I haven't gone there yet. Oh! Today I had 1/2 1/2 in my coffee and there were no ill effects. One day soon I'll try doing a more substantial dairy in two daily meals and take notes, so that's a plan....I also had a madeline and gatorade today, which was tempting the dragon, and still, I was ok, and no GI distress.

I think part of my hesitation is that I'm still mulling over my takeaway...wondering how I might tweak my plate each day to maximize weight loss but stay sated. Or spin it around, to stay sated and maximize weight loss since I only lost about 4 pounds. When I held back on fat I wasn't sated for more than 3 hours...On the other hand, at this rate, even with added sugars and off-roading here and there, if I keep it up, I'll be in a really good place before long, right? Today two people told me I look slimmer! Yay! I think I could focus on how much is a fist-size of starchy vegetable. Maybe I was overdoing it there....

Holly, I'm the same way, not really having big reactions to food other than weight gain....But once I cut out all the usual cuprits I enjoy a near total absence of GI distress of any kind. Isn't that amazing? So, certainly things were upsetting my gut. You guys, too?  As for dairy, I used to eat yogurt regularly, sometimes cheese, and occasionally will bring home whole milk for a recipe, and use it in my coffee...otherwise, I'm not really missing it, or cheese, though once in a while I really love a cheese plate with fruit and wine and nuts...a Persian poem on my palate. Aaahhhh. You guys mentioned corn - I do love corn - oh, and I did eat tortilla chips a couple of times and I was able to refrain from my usual gluttony and noticed I didn't like them as much as I used to, so I will try to avoid.

A friend of mine is moving and wants to give me her propane grill! I've never had my own, and I'm excited about this!

Tonight I made pork medallions with cauli puree, and Me'ls caramel applesauce -GASP!!!  https://meljoulwan.com/2017/12/05/caramel-apple-applesauce/ Tomorrow after work my grocery shopping will be to prepare for Char Sui, pork and bok choy stir fry, and a bison salad. All three are Mel's recipes. I finally did write her that love letter I've been talking about - and she even wrote back!!! = ) I've been so enjoying her new cookbook that I haven't eaten that harvest hash in, wow, 2 weeks! LOL. I have one lonely jalapeno left from last week so I'll have to think of something to do with that - maybe another batch of tropical tacos for Sunday morning. Hubbie liked that.

I got three morning work outs in this week!

Faux-lafel recipe, yes please! That sounds good...

Here's to our freedom in 2018!!!

 

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Happy Monday! How did your Char Sui pork come out? Congrats on the grill; it's so convenient having one. Ours died this summer but we're tired of buying cheap ones that don't last so instead of dropping a bunch of money on a good one, we decided it was time to learn to use charcoal. We got a Weber kettle and the difference in flavor is amazing but the convenience factor is definitely an issue, especially when it's really cold outside.

I did a terrible job on re-intro last time so I'll need to plan better this time. I like your slow-rolling approach instead of immediately re-introducing the foods that get me in trouble all at once. I love dairy and make cheese but I probably don't need it with every meal :) I'm with you on the cheese/fruit/nut plate with a glass of wine- that could be a meal for me every day (but I won't go there). Since I am trying to lose weight, I try to mostly steer clear of the starchy vegs but I've been having either sweet potato or some kind of winter squash once or twice a week, at most. Carrots aren't my fav and I have to be careful with beets because I could definitely overdo them without even thinking twice. Thankfully, my husband loves them too so when I cook some he eats most of them and saves me from myself! 

It sounds like you're on the right track with your weight loss and workouts- great job. How are your knees feeling? Did you notice any improvement with your diet? That's one of the reasons I'm doing a W60 instead of a W30; I wanted to see if I could boost healing and decrease inflammation. Jury's still out on that! I did a good yoga Friday evening and a 30 minute rowing session yesterday but my meals were a mess. I didn't eat enough and definitely didn't eat enough veg but I was able to eat out Saturday afternoon- grilled flatiron steak and a big pile of  broccoli. It was so good and I didn't have to cook it! Last night I tried to make up for my lack of veg and made a shrimp stir fry with a bunch of veggies. I used NomNom's All Purpose Stir Fry Sauce-YUM!! Lunch today is faux-lafels on a big bed of baby kale and arugula. Speaking of Faux-lafels, here is the recipe:

Faux-lafels

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Recipe By: adapted from ibreatheimhungry.com

 

Ingredients:

1 cup raw, finely riced cauliflower, 4 oz

1/2 cup ground almonds, 2 oz

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1/2 tablespoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 clove garlic, minced

3 tablespoons chopped parsley

2 large eggs

3 tablespoons coconut flour

 

Directions:

 First chop the cauliflower up with a knife, then add it to a food processor or magic bullet and pulse until it’s blended but still has a grainy texture.  You can grind the almonds in a similar manner – just don’t over grind them, you want the texture.  Combine the ground cauli and ground almonds in a medium bowl.  Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until well blended. 

 

Heat a small amount of oil until in a non-stick pan until sizzling.  While it’s heating, form the mix into 2-inch patties that are about the thickness of a hockey puck.  Cook them until browned on one side and then flip and cook the other side.  Resist the urge to flip too soon – you should see the edges turning brown and they'll start to look a little drier  – maybe 4 minutes or so per side. Serve with tahini sauce.

 

Tahini sauce: 2 Tbl tahini paste, 1 Tbl water, 2 Tbl lemon juice, 1 clove garlic, minced, 1/2 tsp sal Blend all ingredients in a bowl.  Thin with more water if you like a lighter consistency.

 

Notes:

 This recipe multiplies well; I never make a single batch since they are a little bit of trouble to make and freeze really well-hc I thought it was a pain in the butt to rice the cauli then have to measure it because it was a guessing game as to how much to use. Weighing it before you rice it is so much easier. The original recipe called for slivered, blanched almonds which I never have so I just use my regular almonds that I get from Costco and they're fine.

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Thanks for the recipe, I can't wait to try it! I spent the entire day cooking yesterday, and it was so much fun! I struggled a little bit trimming the fat off the pork shoulder for the char siu. My first time with that cut of meat. Granted, my knives are all due for a sharpening, but as I got it where I wanted it, I ended up with pork tenderloin-shaped pieces, which would certainly not have to be trimmed. Maybe that would be better!!! This morning I read Michelle Tam's piece on char siu and she suggested not trimming the fat off the shoulder at all! Oh! So I don't know which cut of meat I'll go with next time, shoulder or tenderloin, but I'm definitely making it again! It's delicious! I also made "Buffalo Salad", Mel J.'s spin on spicy buffalo wings, so I made ranch dressing, I used ground chicken for the spicy meat mix, and a huge chopped salad that inspired me to get out my mandolin. I boxed up five salads with that recipe and still had enough for my own lunch as I cooked. Then I tried to spiralize parsnips which was a bust - too difficult with the hand held gadget, so I did what I could, shredded the rest, and plan to try out parsnaffles with my waffle iron http://inspiralized.com/savory-parsnip-noodle-chive-waffles/ The really exciting thing though was that I re-organized and transferred my spices to a different and better cupboard, and cleaned out my pantry. Ah, that's better! At 9:00 pm I looked up and said, "oh, this is Tiger Blood!" LOL

And she makes cheese, too!! Wow. Have you ever made yogurt? I'll bet you have. Ooh, I like beets, too, have you ever tried them in balsamic, the smallest bit of oo and s/p? That's my favorite way. Thanks for asking about the knees...they are better, I must say! I'm trying to get more squatting down to the floor when I'm at work, and home, and it is feeling a little better! Like you, I'm hoping to get a handle on imflammation. I stopped the behaviors that were aggravating my knee, and that feels right, but I hope to be ready for hiking season, and have the interim to research some good trekking poles to preserve my knees! I'll get the kind I can strap into my backpack, might auger for a trip to REI!!!! = ) You said the jury is out, does that mean the shoulder is status quo right now? At least it's not getting worse, right? If it's not getting worse, I'm sure it's healing!

What tripped you up about eating (not eating enough) after the rowing session? Were you out of your routine? Every day can't be perfect. Isn't that an awful feeling though - did you recover well from it with energy? I keep reading about the Nom Nom stir fry sauce, that looks amazing!

This morning I wanted to make a smoky peach dressing to go with the char siu and zoodles. I thought that would be clever since I used peaches instead of applesauce for the marinade and glaze...but I didn't have time, so I stirred some muscat champagne vinegar into some homemade mayo, and that was quite tasty! Tonight I'll make fried rice to go with the char siu. I'll make actual rice for my husband, and a big batch of cauli rice for me for two separate batches of fried rice. It would not be a bad opportunity to re-intro rice if it is otherwise compliant...I'll think it over! Meanwhile, yesterday, I did have a piece of three cheese artisanal bread toasted, and it was absolutely delicious. I had a GI reaction, but that could be because I *also* had two cups of coffee, both with coconut milk, so that was not very scientific. So far, so good with the hot flashes, they continue to be rare, and I think I can connect them to coffee, so that is giving me some feeling of control and empowerment....

On Saturday I had corn tortillas with my Mexican grilled meats lunch, a little rice in the albondigas for the started, and ate a little of the rice on the side of the entree. I had no reaction at all.

I very much suspect that the reactions will/would come with combinations. For sure if I ate the seafood enchilada it would be a disaster.

When I cleaned out my pantry I set aside a bunch of give away things for my friends/others went to the trash that included some very suspiciously "odd ingredients" like oatmeal (!) and thought of your husband. Back when I was cooking a lot of out of Moosewood Vegetarian Low Fat (ages ago!!!) I was using weird things like wheat gluten, and oat bran, powdered milk, and I don't know what else! Ha Ha! How far we've come. My trash was very heavy when I took it out afterwards, but it really feels good to get that pantry where I want it. And there's space in there now! ...it was such a mess that I had duplicates of things because I couldn't find anything (spices, too!

 

 

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Hahaha "parsnaffles" sounds like a cartoon character :) I have never eaten a parsnip before and I need to try them. I love it when I can cross something off of my "never had that before" list. I had kohlrabi a couple of years ago and love it! I don't think I've met a brassica I didn't like (much to my coworkers' chagrin). Yay on cleaning out your pantry! I've been working on mine too and my freezers. I have a bad habit of getting something special and keeping it FOREVER because I don't want to finish it up. I've been trying to go through my pantry and freezer and use up the little bits of stuff I'm either "saving" or can't decide what to do with and use them up. Makes me feel like I've accomplished something every time. 

Cheese is fun. And magic. I haven't done aged cheeses like cheddar but mozzarella is a hoot and I have my feta down! I had a hard time finding good feta here, finally found some but then it got to be hard to find and only Whole Food had it for $25/lb! So, I figured I can make that!! It took a couple of tries but now it's the only feta we ever have and I have to make sure I have some ready to go when tomatoes start coming in season.   Rikki at New England Cheesemaking Supply is the Cheese Queen and has any/all info you might need. Some of the fresh cheeses don't need anything special like cultures or molds (either the living,fuzzy kind or the shaping kind). I love yogurt but, except for Fage, have never liked the mass-produced stuff; it's just too sour for me. I got some yogurt to use as a starter from Sandor Katz, the fermentation god, so I use that and some really good non-homogenized, low-temp pasteurized grass fed milk I get locally. Great stuff but I haven't made any in a while so I hope my starter is still alive. I may make that one of my first re-intro foods.

The balsamic sounds great on beets and I recently splurged on some really good balsamic so I'll have to try that next time. I usually use a little salt and a big, fat glob of homemade mayo like my grandmother always did. At first my husband thought that was weird; he'd only had them pickled, being the south Mississippi country boy that he is. Now he has some beets with his mayo! I usually trim some/most of the fat off of my pork roasts but then I grind or chop it up and render it so I can use the lard. Did you use Mel's ranch recipe? I've been wanting to make ranch but haven't gotten around to it; maybe this weekend. Hubbie would be thrilled.

I was tripped up eating all weekend long! I got out of whack time-wise and just never got myself back on track. I headed in to work on Saturday without eating (I was having an "anything but eggs" day and had no leftovers) but I knew I was stopping at WalMart so I figured I'd get something there. Hah! The ONLY compliant deli meat I could find was a pack of prosciutto that didn't have a price on it but by then I didn't care so I wound up having prosciutto, guac and cherry tomatoes at 10 AM. My shoulder is doing pretty well; I can even reach above my head to stretch when I yoga- my deltoid still doesn't fire completely but it's almost there. Child's pose is still a bit of an issue but getting better. The lingering inflammation and nerve damage in my hand is the problem I'm trying to address. I'm still hoping I might be able to wear my wedding ring again one day! I'm planning on trekking poles from REI, too. It's a good thing REI is about 40 minutes away! Even though we try to stick to sale items, I'm still hoping we get enough back in dividends to help pay for them plus the dividend notice come with a 25% off coupon and it should be here before too long, I think.

Oh, I'd be so sad if I had a problem with coffee. I don't even record it in my food diary; it's a given. I have 2 cups every day but on the weekends I usually have 3. That's my only caffeine consumption and I drink it black so I tend to not give it a second thought. 

Time to do some anti-sitting moving around. Have a good one!

 

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