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@kirbz I hear you! I actually am not a batch cooker either, but rather a meal planner. I plan out my weekly menu to create a grocery list so that I avoid unnecessary trips up and down the aisle, but I rarely cook things ahead of time. I always make enough though so that dinner leftovers are lunch the next day, but otherwise I don't eat the same things for days on end. Like you, I get bored quickly, and don't like the idea of spending hours on my Sunday prepping, but that method totally works for others. To make weeknight cooking simple, I try to stick to these basic rules.

The meal must:

- Take no more than 45 minutes of my time, but this does not include cook time especially if I can leave it and do other things

- Use minimal amounts of dishes

- Require very few specialty ingredients

I also reserve 1-2 nights each week for "on your own", which means things like a quick canned tuna salad, egg hash using up leftovers, deli meat and veggie rolls, etc. 

Cooking so much can be incredibly stressful, but I know you can do it! There are so many quick, easy, and one pot dishes out there, and the microwave is not always the enemy. 

What are the super specific things that are bothering you? I'de love to help you find solutions.

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Oh, @kirbz, I am listening. It can be overwhelming at first, yes.

In your first post you mentioned Lucky Charms and Mac-n-Cheese. Does this mean that you don't have a lot of experience cooking? If that is the case, maybe relax your expectations of yourself doing a W30 and spend a few months enjoying cooking some W30 dishes as time allows. Take small steps at first. Take a deep breath, and whatever else helps comfort you when you're stressed out. It'll be okay.

 

 

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Thank you so much @ElizabethG and @LadyLisbette for your kind responses! 

ElizabethG, I really love your method and it's totally what I would love to be able to do (it's basically how I did it last time with added structure of meal planning and less trips to the grocery store). Unfortunately, I don't have access to a kitchen a few nights a week and basically split my time between two cities. How do I make that work? I guess I really see two options: 

  1. Do a large cookup on Sunday to get me through my workweek in two places (I can take a cooler and have access to a refrigerator, freezer, and microwave). After experimenting with that again this week, that's a deal breaker. I'm not doing it. If I have to give up time for the things I love and need most to do this, I'm not doing it. 
  2. Do daily mini cook-ups. But how do I do that without a kitchen on Mondays and Wednesdays (and sometimes Tuesdays)? That's new for me this round. I previously had access to a kitchen seven days a week. 

LadyLisbette, good question! I'm actually pretty comfortable in the kitchen and like cooking and trying new recipes (and they usually turn out well). I just don't like cooking for hours every single day and especially not for hours and hours and hours on my beloved Sunday (that is for time outside and with my family). I do tend to keep it pretty simple for most meals though and try special recipes once or twice on weekends for the family. :-) 

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@kirbz can you tell us a little more about your work travel? Are you going to a new city? What kind of accommodations? Are you given any sort of per diem to spend on your food? I really think there's a workable solution here. For example, there are so many "no cook" meals you can throw together in a hotel room if you at least have access to a grocery store and mini fridge. Happy to give some suggestions if this may work. This situation may require 20-30 minutes of prep each week, but thats it! This is going to be a little more difficult than most, but not undoable. The way I think about things is that life happens. There's always going to be a million reasons not to start making choices that are better for you. There will never be a perfect time to start. 

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Hey @kirbz don't give up! Today is Day 5 so you're already 1/6 of the way there! I totally understand not wanting to give up valuable outside + family time for a big cook-up but what about a little cook-up? Even if I don't get anything else cooked on Sunday, I make all of my breakfasts for the week and dish it out into 5 containers so then I know I have one meal covered every day. My go-to's are roasted veg add some browned sausage crumbles and scramble or fry up a bunch of eggs to top it off or a crustless quiche kind of thing with whatever veg is looking tired, sometimes some meat and a dozen (or so) eggs beaten with a can of coconut milk, spices and herbs. Scotch eggs would be another good one and I'm planning those in the near future- maybe with a schmear of mayo and some cherry tomatoes?

Looking at the Costco list that you so kindly supplied, most of those items would fulfill your requirements on the days that you don't have access to a kitchen plus you can add some packs of tuna or sardines, olives and cherry tomatoes. Costco has big bags of broccoli florets, too so I'll grab a handful of those and dress up my mayo with some Italian  (or ranch-type) herbs and extra vinegar and just dip away! My Costco doesn't carry the kraut but I make my own and it's pretty tasty wrapped in a lettuce or collard leaf with one of the proteins on your list and some avocado (or those little containers of guac you mentioned).

Ideally I like to make a big batch of something that we can eat a couple of times for dinner but that doesn't always happen so I fall back on a quick sauteed protein like pork chops, chicken breast, shrimp or fish when we want to splurge or burger patties. Add some steamed broccoli, asparagus, cauli, brussels or green beans and you're done. It takes almost no effort to throw a couple of sweet potatoes in the oven on the weekend and those travel and reheat well. It's just the two of us so I rarely cook just enough for one meal. That way I can either eat it one more time later in the week or stick it in the freezer for another day. Do you ever bake up a big batch of chicken? I got the organic chicken thighs from Costco and did that and they've lasted for months. In fact I'm eating the last of them for lunch today with a big glob of mayo so I can just chop them up, give it a stir and enjoy a quickie chicken salad. It took me about 2 seconds to throw them in a container last night and I just added the mayo to the frozen chicken knowing it will all be defrosted in time for lunch.

Eating shouldn't suck for any of us and you're not a buzzkill, stress is a buzzkill. 

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@LadyLisbette @kirbz I did my 1st round back in Jan 2015...and fell off afterwards pretty hard.

So this time around, my intention is about self care and self worth, re-frame my thoughts and re-wire my brain...adopt a new life style @ 60 ... never too late  right?

Snapping my fingers because it's that simple!

Eager to read about new tips, recipes etc...the one thing I remember for sure is that I was NEVER HUNGRY, and that  I HAD FUN COOKING! (even for 1 person...maybe my cat will enjoy left overs if any)

Let's do this!

 

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Hi there @LauraP! My focus this time is all about self care and self worth as well. I'm only a couple of years behind you and, no, it's never too late! I've made a few small changes this week and I'm already feeling better so I have high hopes for what I can accomplish in the next 30 days. Because I'm worth it, I've treated myself to collagen peptides, some yummy foot lotion and my first pair of Softstar slippers that I won't get for a couple of weeks yet.

I love cooking as well except for the times that I just want someone else to feed me;). Since it's a PITA to eat out on a W30, I'll probably do that tonight as a small treat before we get started tomorrow. I have two cats and they have learned that if I'm at the chopping board, good things come their way. One of them is nice and patient but the other is very vocal about it so I'm trying to break her bad habit right now. Right now they're enjoying beef scraps from my bone broth making last weekend.

Are you doing anything special as a kickoff?

I love your avatar...never forget.

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@hollysmokes, indeed, never forget.

tonight I am finishing off the "forbidden" .... without any guilt attached! But I already have got some compliant stuff, and will get some more. Will prepare something for tomorrow as I am on-the-go to the horse farm where I ...horse around - LOL - so I have something else than hot dog ,chips and Sour Patches in the car...! Will also plan for tomorrow night so I won't have to think about diner. Sunday will be prepping, cooking and planning for the week. And dusting off the couple of Whole30 books I have and also the Well Fed one from Mel Joulwan...

@kirbz...all of the above are wonderful advises. Baby steps and most important, be gentle with yourself!

 

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It's whole30 Eve.  I'm ready. Had an emotional day today. Back story: my husband died September 2 and I'm planning to move back to the Midwest from southern california. Quitting my job of fourteen years. Don't worry! The job is hateful and stressful. So this is a good thing.

Today, realizing I had one car too many, my little car with high mileage was donated.  Now I will be driving my husband's Jeep.

And I continue to downsize and pack.  

Tonight, though, I realized that, among so many other massive changes and unpredictable feelo feelings, the one thing I really need right now is feeling as if there is something in my life over which there's control....and control in the direction of feeling better mentally and physically. So tomorrow, December 1, I will move to eat whole foods, prepared healthfully and though I know it's going to be a rough few days (been here, done this) I need and want to do it.

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Happy Whole30 Eve! I made Mel J's chocolate chili yesterday and served it for dinner last night with BLTs using the last of the forbidden, sugar added bacon...so that was my last hurrah. Today was a nice compliant day starting with a M1 of chili and steamed broccoli. That held me for a long time, and good thing b/c I was too busy to eat again until 5, and called that dinner. At the end of my meal some stressful news came, that we have to move in two months. The owners are moving into our rental, so we are going to start looking for a place to buy. I could feel the urge to stress-eat. I made dinner for my husband and was tempted to snack on pistachios while he ate, but I thought better of it. It will be a tougher month than I thought, but I am ready for it. And I know I'll have support here, and am grateful for that. Daily movement and meditation would be a good anchor of stress management, and I should be on top of that with better consistency, anyway. You are my witnesses, gang.

@hollysmokes and @LauraP I love your focused, clear intention for this month. It inspires me. I'm grateful to have a couple of W30s behind me because I kind of feel like I know what I have to do, and it's familiar, so I can fine tune my habits and routine, and make myself accountable to take it to another level for myself...wanting to spend 2019 very much on program...I had a good year, but I could be more compliant. Not shaming myself, though, but I can feel that seedling inside my brain...this too is a practice, right?

@tinman57 I admire you so much for doing the program in the midst of so much change and grief. So life affirming! You're creating a new life, it sounds like, and coming from  self love to leave a hateful job, too. Congrats on that one! Are there loved ones in Midwest, I'm guessing? Good to stay close.

I realize that @ElizabethG and @kirbz got an early start, but to everyone I wish you a happy start day.

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@tinman57 Doing a W30 at any stage of our lives is a challenge but I'm with you on viewing it as a source of stability and positivity. I did a W60 last December & January after my father died. It made me feel like I was honoring his memory by taking care of myself. And, yes, gave me some control as well. Please stay active here and I hope we can help support you on your journey.

@LadyLisbetteOh no! Two months sounds like a long time but it's really not much time house hunt, go through all of the legal machinations involved in buying a house and move! We had to do all of that from another state and in post-Katrina chaos but it all went amazingly well. Hopefully your house hunt will as well. Trust the program!

Happy start day to everyone as well. I'm pretty excited about this round and have been looking forward to today all week. I keep seeing recipes that look delicious and I want to Cook All the Things which is better than Kill All the Things:lol: I think. I'm going to brave the weather (torrential down-pouring) to go to the farmer's market to pick up the meat I scored on Cyber Monday sale. Then I'm going to mess up my kitchen!

 

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Hey Gang,

I’m in for December 2018. Turning 37 in one week on 12/8 & this is the best gift I could give myself! I’ve done one Whole30 successfully and it was amazing. I’ve done several failed attempts since then but I’m optimistic this time. I have more tools in my belt!

Thanks! 

Shoshana 

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You can do!! I started Whole30 11/1/18 and finished yesterday.  The first 3 days was challenging, but I got through it. I am happy to say I feel terrific, eating healthy and more wholesome meals. I weighed today and 13 lbs vanished.  Thanks for the awesome program and support. I looking forward to maintaining healthier eating options.

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13 hours ago, hollysmokes said:

I want to Cook All the Things which is better than Kill All the Things:lol: 

That's funny! Today I picked up some gorgeous produce from my local CSA including some blue oyster mushrooms I've never cooked before, any advice there?

Day 1 is already not perfect, but good: morning M1, and afternoon M2, both perfectly compliant and delicious...then a big adventure looking at houses with the real estate agent. The good news is that I'm less fearful and even excited about the change. But I was too busy and excited to eat, and now it's too late to eat anyway, so I'll probably wake up super-hungry like this morning. I know this is not ideal, but, moving forward...and determined!

Welcome @Shosh2015 what a great way to celebrate your birthday! You can do it! And congrats @Una-lee on a great month!

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Day #1 went well considering a small head cold. Matcha tea is not as fantastic with compliant unsweetened almond milk but it was further data! I’m interested in the Walmart Whole30 frozen meals though I don’t typically shop there. Are there any equivalent compliant frozen meal options at Target? Thanks everyone. Here’s to day #2!!!

 

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Over the Day 1 hump and I had a really busy and productive day so I'm feeling pretty good. I didn't eat enough at M2 and was hungry mid-afternoon so I had half of an avocado and a little kombucha as a post workout snack and that held me until dinner. I got some good movement in- both exercise and just keeping moving beyond the speed of sofa all day- so I was pretty tired last night and was hoping for good sleep. Not so much but it wasn't terrible and I feel great today.

I have a batch of egg salad to go with some compliant (but not very good) smoked salmon and I put together some scotch eggs so my breakfast needs are met for the week with some left over for my husband if he is so inclined. I just finished baking up the gigantic Costco bag of chicken thighs so those are about to go in the freezer. Except for lunch & dinner, that completes my cook-up for this weekend so I can get outside to enjoy a beautiful day. It's supposed to get up to 70 today (wooohooo!!!) before it gets back to the business of being cold again so I'm going to go walk a Rails to Trails trail nearby since that's the only thing dry enough to walk on after all of the rain the last few days.

@LadyLisbette those mushrooms sound amazing. I've only cooked oyster mushrooms once and didn't know what to do with them so I just sautéed them. They were delicious but I bet there are better things to do with them. Y'all dove right into the house hunting! Since we were trying to look at houses from several hundred miles away, I spent a lot of time on-line just weeding out the ones we didn't want to see. It turns out the house I loved on-line was even better in person and is the money-pit :blink: we wound up buying. We still love it, though.

@Shosh2015 what a great birthday present to give yourself; glad you decided to join us. Hopefully your cold goes away soon. I'm not very familiar with Target's frozen foods so you'd probably have to read labels. I think there are some brands of frozen dinners that boast limited ingredients but it seems like most of those types of dinners involve pasta. Good luck!

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Best wishes to everyone who started this weekend! You got this! You all know why you're here. You've prepared. You're ready! You're gonna be great! 

@hollysmokes Enjoy the beautiful weather you're having and have a lovely time out on the trail! There is no better place than being out on a trail! 

@Shosh2015 I'm glad to hear your Day 1 went well despite a head cold! That's always rough so I'm thrilled you pushed through it and the day went well! 

@LadyLisbette Yay for moving past the fear and being excited about this! Nothing but good things will happen from this so there's no reason to fear! I've never heard of blue oyster mushrooms so I'm curious to hear what you end up doing with them. :-) 

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And thank you again to everyone for your kindness and encouragement! I am going to stick with this and feel like I maybe have a better plan for next week. We'll see. I just absolutely hate leftovers and will not eat the same thing for the whole week. That was awful. 

I haven't been eating the most "healthy" meals the last couple of days but I've been staying compliant and eating what makes me feel good (mentally). I needed that after the frustration and doubt I experienced earlier in the week! But I'm feeling much more positive and dedicated now! And have some good meals planned for the next couple of days. 

And for those of you who may be looking for some new recipes... My very favorite online recipe blogger is Paleo Running Momma. She has a Whole30 section on her site and I really love almost everything I've eaten from her. Here are a couple of my favorites: 

I also LOVE Mel Joulwan (author of the Well Fed cookbook series). Here are some of my favorites from her: 

Anyway, if you need some recipe inspiration, these are some good ones! 

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On 11/29/2018 at 5:18 PM, kirbz said:

Unfortunately, I don't have access to a kitchen a few nights a week and basically split my time between two cities. How do I make that work? I guess I really see two options: 

  1. Do a large cookup on Sunday to get me through my workweek in two places (I can take a cooler and have access to a refrigerator, freezer, and microwave). After experimenting with that again this week, that's a deal breaker. I'm not doing it. If I have to give up time for the things I love and need most to do this, I'm not doing it. 
  2. Do daily mini cook-ups. But how do I do that without a kitchen on Mondays and Wednesdays (and sometimes Tuesdays)? That's new for me this round. I previously had access to a kitchen seven days a week. 

 

Hey Kirbz!  Good to read you again.  What works for me is (roughly) alternate day mini-cookups.  So maybe Saturday you can cook up some stuff for you to cover you for Monday, then cook on Tuesday for Wednesday.  If you have no kitchen Mon-Tues-Wed and won't cook on Sunday, that's a challenge, but maybe you can find a cadence that works.

7 hours ago, kirbz said:

And for those of you who may be looking for some new recipes... My very favorite online recipe blogger is Paleo Running Momma. She has a Whole30 section on her site and I really love almost everything I've eaten from her. Here are a couple of my favorites: 

I also LOVE Mel Joulwan (author of the Well Fed cookbook series). Here are some of my favorites from her: 

Anyway, if you need some recipe inspiration, these are some good ones! 

I am a big fanboy of Mel, I cook her recipes all the time - I have all the ingredients ready for those salmon cakes and will be making them tomorrow.  Paleo Running Mama is pretty good too, but Mel and I must share taste buds or something, hers are just perfect.

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@kirbz I'm so glad you see you here! Yay! I'm doing a little happy dance to see your posts. Thanks for all your encouragement and kind words...and also for the awesome links. Like you, I love Mel Joulwan, and I have all of her books. I love the salmon cakes, and also the holy mackerel cakes.  Have you ever made her silken ginger zucchini soup? http://meljoulwan.com/2012/11/05/silky-gingered-zucchini-soup/...this will be the next soup, after the tomato soup which I haven't made yet because I have to get that beautiful compliant chicken broth at Costco first, but more about Costco later.

MJ's influence is literally all over my kitchen and my cooking...the elvis burger reminded me of her "PB&J" burger, which I have actually never made, but the nut butter inspired me to put a schmear of almond butter on this new favorite of mine:

https://www.jaysbakingmecrazy.com/2018/08/27/paleo-whole30-apple-cinnamon-breakfast-sausage/ Today my husband asked me to make more of these, which is stunning, and, a FIRST! He is typically very disinterested in food. During my first two W30s I was a bit neurotic and though I'm not proud of it, I didn't want to share the good W30 cooking with him because I felt he didn't appreciate it. Now I'm sharing it more, happily, and glad he is slowly noticing, etc. Oh, how the good things in life do often take time! Right?

I also love Michelle Tam, and just finished up the aforementioned wonton meatballs:

 https://nomnompaleo.com/2017/03/20/2017032020170320wonton-meatballs I often pan sautee them as sliders, but today I cooked them as sliders in the oven - I find them more manageable that way, especially for re-heating, and cutting up to put in my salad. Today I put some cholula in there for a little heat and with that, and a giant tray of roast brussels sprouts, also out of the oven now, I have momentum for a good week!

I appreciated your earlier post with generous list of compliant things at Costco. I will look for those! It is just the nudge I needed to slow down and take greater advantage of Costco. I go there reluctantly with a list of mostly non-food things that I need for our small business, and I take a deep breath, focus on patience and slowness, then focus and get through there, zip zip zip just to get only what is on my list. I don't like to shop, so I try to be focused. Thank you for giving me something new to look for!

@hollysmokes it's not news to you, I see, with your Costco chicken thighs. Good job being so efficient with your cook up and also getting outside! I hope you had a beautiful walk!

A small, simple food pleasure I'm enjoying this time around is tossing a little half spoonful of coconut butter on my steamed vegetables, this morning I did that with heavenly romanesco (love!), over a pile of lightly dressed greens to go with the last of the chocolate chili. http://meljoulwan.com/2009/02/22/my-favorite-chili-recipe/ I must say that was a delicious breakfast.

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@tinman57 so sorry for your loss...be gentle with yourself in this process...

Rainy and gloomy day yesterday in NY, so I put in good use the froceriea I got Sat evening. A lot of planning, cooking and freezing...I ran out of Ziploc! I mostly am unable to stick to a in-advance menu so I gave myself some options.

My main pbm is portion control...I didn't get 50 lbs over healthy weight by mindful eating...and now I have to rewire my brain to allow it to catch up with how much I fill my plate (visual) and my stomach (when it screams "stop! I can't take no more!")

And also the self body-shaming that runs 24/7... Learning about being kinder to myself...

But I'm here! :)

Have a great week everyone!

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on the pratical side of things:

I tried the home made mayo yesterday. I was surprised to see the recipe calls for 2 whole eggs...I was born in France...and I've always been aware that in the mayo one puts only the yolk... So I did just that, 2 yolks. And I only used 3/4 of light olive oil (instead of 1 1/4). Make sure to season to taste and also use a (compliant) mustard you like because that taste will come through. I used it on the salmon cake this am and it was delish!

But I'll have to revisit the salmon cake recipe...I found I'm not a fan of sweet potatoes so much...I'll try butternut squash or for even less calories and great taste... Acorn.

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35 minutes ago, Laura P. said:

on the practical side of things:

I tried the home made mayo yesterday. I was surprised to see the recipe calls for 2 whole eggs...I was born in France...and I've always been aware that in the mayo one puts only the yolk... So I did just that, 2 yolks. And I only used 3/4 of light olive oil (instead of 1 1/4). Make sure to season to taste and also use a (compliant) mustard you like because that taste will come through. I used it on the salmon cake this am and it was delish!

But I'll have to revisit the salmon cake recipe...I found I'm not a fan of sweet potatoes so much...I'll try butternut squash or for even less calories and great taste... Acorn.

Hi @Laura P. - interesting about how mayo is made in France! I bet your version was so rich and smooth!! For the salmon cakes, you can use canned pumpkin also. We don't worry about calories on Whole30 so use whatever squash floats your boat. ;)

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Starting off Day 3 feeling great! I overdid it on my walk/hike yesterday and have a couple of hot spots on my feet and sore/tired ankles but it was a wonderful day to be outside. I totally screwed up my meals but came through it well. I ate M1 much later than usual and didn't think about needing to bring M2 with me on my walk/hike. About 2 I was trying to figure out why I was hungry and, doh!, it was because I hadn't eaten since around 930. By the time I got home it was a little after 3 so I had a cup of beef bone broth with collagen, some olives and a handful of blackberries to keep me satisfied until dinner. Not ideal but it worked and was compliant.

@kirbz thanks for the links. I made the Salisbury meatballs a could of weeks ago and loved them. I took someone else's advice and made a double batch of the gravy so now I have some of that in the freezer to help out the steak that my husband grilled to DEATH last nightB)! Have you tried Mel's Cuban meatballs? They are awesome! https://meljoulwan.com/2014/03/28/mmm-cuban-meatballs/ .

@Laura P. My mayo recipe only calls for one whole egg and one cup (about 225g) of oil (I use expeller-pressed sunflower oil). I think that using the white adds extra liquid to help jump-start the emulsion and then I don't have a million egg whites that I have to find a (compliant) use for. I also use ground mustard powder so I don't get the Dijon mustard flavor unless I want it. I, too, am working on being kinder to myself. It didn't help that I bought a couple of new scrub tops last week and then realized they were too tight- not good for my already ailing body image. Do I spend the $9 to ship them off to exchange for the big girl size or do I add them to the stack of clothes that I can't fit in right now but will? Hmmmmm. 

@LadyLisbette when you make your ginger lime mayo do you use the lime juice as the acid (I usually use raw ACV) or do you add the juice just for flavor? Costco is my main grocery store! I don't find it any different from stopping at Publix or WalMart and I hate the WalMart near me so I try to avoid it whenever possible. I'll stop at Costco just to pick up 1 or 2 things and people in line will ask me if that's all I'm getting. I don't like to shop either so I blaze in and out as quickly and efficiently as possible and try to go when I think it will be least crowded- sometimes I'm right and other times I wish Scotty would beam me out of that crazy place. I wish I liked coconut butter and just don't but your breakfast sounds delicious! I use the refined coconut oil that has no flavor and then I have to wonder if the refining process has negated all of the benefits. 

How's everybody else doing? Especially you, @tinman57?

 

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