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Moving to 100%.....maybe.


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I am a 28-year-old healthy, active female. I have a preschool-aged child, work part-time, and a husband with no interest in giving up bread or sugar. So far I have been complying 90% of the time and have been doing so for more than two weeks. I haven't felt any of the negative effects of withdrawal (even after no sugar for more than a week and a half) except for a headache on day 2. I am currently off running due to a knee injury, so I have been following a new weight training program (Thinner, Leaner, Stronger). I actually found ISWF through searches for books that have high-protein recipes to help with the building of new muscle.

I guess the biggest struggle is with logistics. Weird, small things that add up. I own one knife that can't cut anything denser than a bell pepper, so I have avoided things like squash for years (I witnessed my mother slice through her finger as a child and can't seem to stomach knives ever since) . I have exactly three containers for leftovers, so meal prep in advance has turned into something of a challenge. My bowls are slowly disappearing from the cabinets to hang out in the fridge with barely identifiable ingredients covered in saran wrap. I have managed to microwave sweet potatoes for the past two weeks, so I am ok with those, but after a while you start wanting something other than eggs and sweet potatoes for every meal.

I'm allergic to avocadoes. I love them, but I end up doubled over with severe stomach pain when I eat them, so it really isn't worth it. And I hate fish of all kinds (so does my husband). Quality meat has also become an issue. I went to the local grocer and the butcher acted like grass fed beef was the most ridiculous thing he had ever heard of. Our farmer's market doesn't start until May, so I have a while before I have that option. I have plenty of natural chicken options and cage free eggs, but the beef remains elusive. Also, going shopping with a small child is a practice in futility. Checking ingredients becomes impossible. I have brought home several things only to discover I missed the added sugar or soy protein.

Anyway, I don't get off work until after six every night, so cooking at that point is tough. I have had success with crock pot cooking, but I can't seem to find recipes that are compliant.

So, I guess my questions are these:

1. What are some brands that are easily identifiable (for things like sausage) that tend to have no off-limit ingredients? What about pre cooked chicken that I could use for salads at lunch?

2. What are some easy to make crock pot recipes that you like to make?

3. Where in the world do you find coconut aminos?

4. How much food do you precook on the weekends to make it through the week? How long does it take you?

5. What sort of meal plan do you make? I have tried the recipes in the back of the book, but whenever I make them, my husband makes a face and acts like it is the weirdest thing he has ever heard of. It ends up ruining the meal for me. Except for the curry. He is good with that, but I seem to run out of curry paste after two uses.

6. How do you deal with the readily available treats? Between the cookies and popcorn my husband enjoys every night, and the animal crackers and teddy grahams that get left laying around, I am surrounded by the temptation to snack constantly.

I feel like I really want to try it, but I also feel like I am drowning in meal plans and shopping lists. I plan on driving to another town today where they have a "super" food store. But I should go with a plan, and get enough to last at least two weeks.

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Good for you for doing this in the middle of your hectic life! I found the food prep to be the biggest challenge in shifting to this way of eating. Here is some of what helped me:

- You do need sharp knives, but you don't need a lot of them. An 8-inch chef knife, a 6-inch slicing knife, and one short steak knife or paring knife will get you most of what you need. Spend money on the items you use the most.

- You do need lots of containers. Cheap Ziploc containers work fine until you can upgrade to glass.

- I never cut or peel raw squashes anymore. Too much prep time for me. I bake them all whole at 350 for about an hour until they are soft and then cut open and remove seeds.

- I don't know about pre-cooked chicken, but a panini press grill will cook up chicken thighs in minutes (I use Well-Fed's grilled chicken thigh recipe)

- I do not do the big cookups on weekends, but I make either one meat or veg dish with leftovers every day, so I'm always rotating leftovers in my fridge.

- I have treats in the house that I'm able to ignore. I'm binary like that, if it's off the list then I'm not eating it. Except for cake frosting. Anything with cake frosting has to go into the trash. But that's a minimal compromise. We've definitely shifted eating habits here. No dairy, no cereal, pancakes, or pasta. The kids were excited when I served fruit with breakfast this morning, it's been so long since they've seen sugar on their plate. :)

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Hi There,

Since I am not sure where you are living I'm not sure what I am able to recoment here - but I will try.

Beef - do the best with what you've got for now. You can still get results by using regular grocery store beef for now. When your farmer's market comes into fruition then go there.

Sausage - Where I am, I haven't been able to find a compliant sausage - so I make my own out of gorund meat. Now I realize not everyone has this luxury. But Well Fed (the clothes makes the girl) website has an awesome sausage spice recipe - works good with pork, beef or chicken.

Pre-cooked chicken - If you have a Whole Foods (or something similar) nearby you can get a plain rotissirie chicken and use it.

Weekend cook off - generally it takes a few hours for a weekend cook off. But do the best with the time you have alotted. Sometimes it's full meals - like meatloaf or soups, or sometimes it's just the prep work for a meal that is planned for later that week - ie: stir fry. Cut up veg and meat, make the sauce, cook spaghetti squash/cauliflower rice. The best thing I find is to plan ahead what you are going to eat for the week - so that way there is less stress when you come home from work. I have a good go to stew recipe for the crockpot

I would seriously consider purchasing some containers for storage - Ikea has some decently priced BPA free ones. I also have a tendency to hang onto empty jars (for mayo, dressings and sauces).

For recipes check out The Clothes Make the Girl, and NomNomPaleo websites. They are mostly all compliant recipes. Also moderator Tom Denham has a website as well where he has nearly 400 recipes that are whole 30 compliant.

Snacking - I have some go to snacks when my other half is snacking on some non-compliant stuff - kale chips, coconut chips, fruit bowl, sometimes it's just a spoonful of coconut butter or a slice of proscuito. I find don't even really want to snack anymore...... But you have to remember you are doing this for you - not anyone else. And no matter how you would like them to stop - you cannot expect them too. It will be tough in the begining but it does get better.

Best of luck!

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IDK about Whole Foods, I haven't researched them, but be very careful of store-bought rotisserie chicken. Most of them are not compliant. They inject a slurry of all sorts of evil chemicals into the chickens, or brine them in non-compliant items. How do you think they get them so much juicier than anything you can do at home?

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Thanks for the replies!

As far as the Farmer's Market, I guess what that means here is different than most places. It is literally all the people who grow their own vegetables in the area (all nine of them). You can find seventeen different types of squash and tomatoes, and sometimes watermelon. It takes up exactly one empty lot. It's a pretty sad thing, but I try to support them because it's local. :-)

I guess I can relax about the beef then, but still keep an eye out. I'm looking forward to trying the steak rub from the book.

And the recipe link is very helpful. I even saw a few things my husband will eat. Maybe he will eventually come over to the dark side.

As far as rotisserie chicken, I guess I could probably roast my own chicken. I use to do it all the time until I got tired of trying to clean the meat off the bones.

As far as knives go, I will look into it. One other issue I have is my husband. He got mad when I bought kitchen scissors several months ago, so I am a little hesistant to spend money on knives. I have had to convince him that it is actually cheaper to buy whole food than to waste money on cheap pre-packaged stuff. It is only because the math worked out that I am able to do this.

But I guess the containers probably won't be terrible expensive, so it might be worth it to pick up some extras.

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If you have a Winners/Homesense/Marshalls nearby you can find some decent high quality knives at a good price. You can pick up Henkels knives at a fraction of the original cost. These knives are generally B-Grade quality - meaning the steel was either hardened too much [making them brittle] or not enough [making the knife edge a bit soft]. But they do a good job and you are not needing to spend hundreds on knives..... Remember a dull knife does more damage than an super sharp one.

Do some smart shopping around and then get back to him. I'm in the middle of shopping around for a new food processor myself.... :)

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Another great thing is to make bone stock...I always have it on hand and use it all the time. I usually get about 8 cups of stock from each pot and then freeze down in 2 cup portions. Soup bones are really inexpensive and since you aren't using the meat/fat I'd think it wouldn't matter where the bones came from. I also use the carcass from my roasted chicken and bones from other chicken cuts to make bone stock. I also just found free range chicken legs and they're supposed to make the best stock...we'll see this weekend.

I usually plan my meals for a week on the weekend and at least know that I have all the ingredients for what I'll be eating. I always make enough at each meal for leftovers the next day and sometimes I can take a complete break from cooking and have enough leftovers for a whole day!



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