Aldi Finds for Whole30

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Found these items at Aldi’s today.  spaghetti sauce. Also found organic coconut oil, chicken broth (the fit and active, not simply nature), grass fed organic ground beef, and 2 pounds of wild caught salmon in the freezer.

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Whole30 Cooking Fails

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If a recipe has more than five ingredients or three steps, I am probably not going to make it. Before Whole30, my idea of cooking was to throw some Tyson bread chicken strips and tator tots in the oven. Maybe microwave some green beans out of a can or from one of those steamer bags. If I wanted a fancy meal, I would put Salmon with olive oil, lemon juice, dill and garlic into the oven, and rice into the rice cooker. Still steamed the vegetables in the steamer bag.

With Whole30, my cooking “style” has not changed very much. But I have tried a couple of new things and techniques.

Roasting vegetables: My roasted cabbage was awful. I couldn’t even rescue it by cooking it in chicken broth later. I ended up throwing it away. But I did roast some beets this week and they turned out fantastic. I sliced some leftover beets and cooked them in oil and apple cider vinegar. Even better. They tasted like pickled beets. Next time, though, I’ll roast them one at a time, instead of three at once. No one in my house eats beets except me.

Paleo chicken nuggets: It’s a good thing I sauteed half the chicken in a pan with my usual spices thrown in. My family wouldn’t eat the nuggets. But I packed my pound of chicken nuggets into meal size protein portions and I will eat them over the next several days. Maybe they will taste better sauteed in olive oil!

Beef bone broth: It just didn’t turn out good. I am going to throw it out.  Maybe I need to follow the recipe better. Or my crockpot wasn’t big enough. Or something. I did make good chicken broth with bone-in chicken thighs, the usual vegetables and spices.

Avocados: I don’t like these yet. I don’t know how to pick good/ripe ones. And sliced unripe ones don’t taste that good. I give up, for now.

Black coffee: Bleck. I was in the habit of putting a double dose of those creamers in my coffee. I had started to wonder if I put the creamers in a cup of hot water whether I would miss the coffee. I have been trying some new things with my coffee. First, I now make it weaker. (Saves money, my friends). Then I have thrown various things on top of the grounds before brewing. Cinnamon: Good. Cloves and Cinnamon: the cloves overwhelmed the cinnamon. Cinnamon and cocoa: I couldn’t taste either one, but the coffee had “depth.” Whatever that is. I wouldn’t waste the cocoa on it. Pumpkin pie spice: Good. I’ll let you know how experiments go with this in the future. My daughter, Mary, has suggested I throw some fresh mint leaves in the coffee.

That’s all for now. I am enjoying the food on Whole30. I cook simply with few ingredients. I don’t bother with crushing garlic. I have large containers of ground spices from either Costco or Gordon foods. And I throw them on the food till it looks good to me. I could not tell you how much I use. My mother cooks like that.

Well, here is yesterday’s breakfast. Egg, taco meat, and veggie scramble with “pickled” beets on the side.

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I am not giving up on roasting vegetables, but I’ll have to get some more advice from my foodie friend.

Eat. Good. Food.

The Coffee Conundrum

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The first morning on the Whole30, I tried black coffer. Bleck. I couldn’t drink it.

In the last year, I have begun to wonder if I liked coffee or just the flavored creamer I put in it. Lately, I had been putting two of those little creamer containers in my coffee. Every morning at work. Two or three times. I wonder if the reason I think Dunkin Donuts coffee is so delicious is due to the half and half they put in it.

After the first morning, I made the coffee weaker, and liberally sprinkled cinnamon on top the grounds. Not bad. This morning I added some ground cloves. The cloves overwhelmed the cinnamon, but was very good. I might try some fresh mint (Grows aggressively in my front garden) and cocoa mixed in. Or pumpkin pie spice?

What have you tried? I haven’t tried any of the compliant “milks” yet.

Eat Good Food.

Ann.

Menu Template

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When I was growing up, our menu almost always included the following:

  • Two vegetables
  • Potatoes or noodles
  • Protein
  • Home made bread
  • Milk
  • Fruit

On special nights dessert was included. My mother grew up on a farm during the depression. They harvested and canned all available sources of food. We had two vegetables at every meal. She grew her own vegetables, bargained with farmers at the farmer’s market, and received baskets of vegetables from my grandparents’ farm. When they came to town, we kids were called in from our play to help with the canning.

On the Whole30 my template includes:

  • At least two vegetables, one of which has higher carbs (potatoes, carrots, winter squash, Turnips, etc.)
  • Protein
  • Fruit (not every meal)
  • Healthy Oil/nuts (I haven’t tried olives yet)

If it weren’t for potatoes of all kinds being allowed on the Whole30, I doubt I would have started on the whole 30. Low carb diets leave me shaking.

Breakfast:

Melt 1-2 teaspoons of coconut oil in a pan. Throw spinach in pan and saute till slightly limp (stirring around). Break two eggs on top of spinach. Cook till done. Serve on top of a baked potato.

or

  • Left over Brussels sprouts
  • Left over chicken
  • Spinach
  • Apple slices

or

scrambled eggs with taco meat and vegetables, cantaloupe

or

sauteed sliced potatoes (American fries, right?), two eggs sunny side up, served on a bed of spinach

or

leftover steak, leftover sweet potato, green beans.

It helps to eat enough.

Lunch is usually a salad, or leftovers since I take my lunch to work.

 

 

Here was supper tonight. 11535890_10152952262461381_388402089485565084_n Two pounds beef stew meat, red peppers, a package of sliced mushrooms, and quartered onion dumped in the pan. Cooked in olive oil. Broccoli on the side. I made two pans of this, one without red peppers for my daughter. I made noodles for my husband and daughter. Neither one of them is on the Whole30. But as long as I am making nutritious meals for myself, they may as well benefit. There was enough for everyone to have the same meal tomorrow for lunch.

Day 9 is done.

A New Way to Eat

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A diagnosis of an autoimmune/inflammatory skin condition started me on the Whole30 journey. I started to wonder what else might be inflamed in my body. Things I couldn’t see. So I went to Google, the source of all great knowledge, looking for autoimmune/anti-inflammatory diets. Whole30 kept popping up.

So I downloaded “It Starts With Food” on Monday and read it in about three days. I ordered the Whole30 from Amazon, along with some cookbooks. (I’ll review some of them later in this blog.

On Thursday I decided to start it on Monday, June 8th. My husband and my youngest daughter were gone for a week to house sit for my son while he was in Seattle doing IT work. And babysitting his cats. Perfect. The ones most likely to sabotage my new way of eating were gone for a week. My older daughter, Mary, went along for the While30 ride.

On Saturday, I went to Costco and bought organic chicken thighs, drumsticks, and ground beef. I bought some organic vegetables at a local grocery store. On Sunday, I did my first cook up. I browned some ground beef, baked some sweet potatoes, and cooked a couple of pounds of chicken thighs.

Today, June 16, is my eighth day. Last week I had a headache for several days, but not too bad. Mostly, I noticed that I wasn’t eating everything in sight, and my digestive distress was mostly gone.

I don’t have a menu of what I ate each day, but here are some pictures.

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Sauteed vegetables, chicken and baked sweet potato

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Steak, cauliflower, and blue berries plated on a bed of spinach (notice how I fancied up that description)

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Eggs sauteed with spinach, topping a baked potato (a common breakfast)

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Salad with chicken, vinaigrette.

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This morning – Chicken, summer squash, kale, onion sauteed in coconut oil, with apple on the side. (I’m not going to lie – I like the taste coconut oil in many of my dishes. I didn’t know it existed before starting Whole 30).

So so far so good. My husband returned on Saturday, and hasn’t been very helpful. But he is willing to eat what I make some of the time. More about this later.