6.16.2012

Whole30 - Day 16

Munchy.  It was over 100 degrees today and I was feeling exceptionally lethargic and munchy.  As a result of my lethargy - I'm not putting a whole lotsa effort into this post.  So here's what I gobbled, nibbled, snacked, and munched on through the course of my very very very long, slow Saturday.

Breakfast:
hubby made eggs with onions, scrambled in coconut oil and seasoned with a concoction of miscellaneous Penzeys seasonings
spinach, wilted in coconut oil
two homemade breakfast sausage patties
watermelon


Lunch:
We ate at El Toreo in Lancaster and as much as I wanted to order beef fajitas, I held off... since I was almost certain everything was cooked in some type of vegetable oil I played it as safe as possible.
shrimp salad - a bed of lettuce that was topped with tomatoes, avocados, shrimp, and black olives.  I 86ed the olives as I am not a fan of the texture or taste.  The dressing options were a little iffy, so I asked for a bowl of lemons/limes instead.  With a little salt and pepper, it was relatively tasty and right on par with my Whole30...


Afternoon Snack(s)/Dinner:
macadamia nuts
grass-fed hamburger patty with jalapeño mustard
garlic mashed cauliflower
raspberries in coconut milk (DELICIOUS!)


Now that Matt and I have finished all six seasons of The Sopranos, we have moved on to a new series for our Netflix marathons... right back to '24'!  Alas, I spent the remainder of the evening with my puppies, my husband, and Jack Bauer.

Whole30 - Day 15

I can't believe June is half way gone... I also can't believe how much simpler it was to get back into my groove again.  I guess consistency really is key.  Fall down, get back up.  Fall down, get back up.  For my January Whole30, I had the word "MOTIVATION" handwritten on a scratch piece of paper posted on the fridge.  I stared at it every morning to remind myself to be motivated... to remember my reasons for wanting to take care of myself. 

This time around, my handwritten word is "CONSISTENCY."  What I have come to terms with is that I love living a Paleo life.  I love the dietary habits that I have developed and continue to develop... and no matter how many times Ben & Jerry show up at my Paleo Party, my resolve to stay consistent means that this is very much a way of life.  And a very sustainable way of life at that.

Consistency.

Things I made in my kitchen today:
seasoned pork sausage patties for upcoming breakfasts
• grass-fed beef hamburger patties... emergency "I have to eat NOW" meat for the fridge
• browned grass-fed beef with homemade taco seasoning... more emergency "I have to eat NOW" meat for the fridge
Cuban Ropa Vieja in the slow- cooker for dinner
garlic cauliflower mash

Breakfast:
• grass-fed hamburger patty
• two poached eggs
Turkish Chopped Salad



Afternoon Snack:
• two pork sausage patties
• packet coconut butter
• 3 slices of watermelon

DinDin:
Cuban Ropa Vieja made with grass-fed round steak... and a few different tweaks (again) this was my favorite version yet!
garlic cauliflower mash, using ghee instead of butter and adding in some paprika
• leftover Turkish Chopped Salad



Tomorrow I'll keep on keepin' on.

Consistency.




6.15.2012

Whole30 - Day 14

Wow... I can't believe I'm already two weeks in to my Whole30... the more I do them, the faster they seem to go and the easier they get.

If you're stopping by for the first time and have NO idea what the Whole30 is, here is the short explanation from the creators of the program, the folks over at Whole9:
"Think of it as a short-term nutritional reset, designed to help you restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, calm systemic inflammation and put an end to unhealthy cravings, habits, and relationships with food. Since 2009, thousands of people have used our program as a jump-start to changing the way they eat for the rest of their lives."
I chose to attack this plan again because I had slowly slipped into a few of my bad habits after late March and even though I was eating a mostly Paleo diet, my relationship with my food wasn't where it needed to be.  I was allowing myself too many treats, too many cheats, and not focusing on fueling my body with proper nutrition.  As a result, my joints became stiff.  My tummy was bloated.  My pants were a little more snug than I wanted.  I was depressed.  And my thinking was foggy all over again.

Now that I am two weeks in, my mind is shifting back to where it was when I left for PaleoF(x) a few months back... I am eager to be in the kitchen and prep new foods.  My thought process around food selection is more focused and deliberate.  And I am once again putting a much deeper focus on the long term effects of what I am and am not eating.  In short - it's nice to be back into my good habits!  And I still have 16 more days to hone in even further.

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I started my day with a gut wrenching workout at Powerload Fit in Lancaster, CA.


As if my shoulders and hamstrings weren't blown out enough from the evening before at Murphy's Barbell Club... Powerload owner, Coach V, ensured I wouldn't be able to walk to my car or comb my hair for the next 24 hours.  My kind of workout!

I was surrounded by a fantastic and motivated group of women... and as I was huffing and puffing my way through Victoria's Birthday Beatdown, this supportive group of ladies ensured that I was doing alright.  I'm certain I looked a lot worse than I felt.  This heavy lifting lady isn't used to all that metabolic conditioning.  If my lungs would have had any energy at the end of that workout, I'm sure they would've punched me.

So how did I fuel and nourish my body after all that?

Post Workout Breakfast:
• leftover grilled round steak, ~ 4 oz.
• packet of Artisana coconut butter
Ella's Spinach/Apples/Rutabaga (a million times better than a Gu or gel could ever hope to be)

For a mere $3, I spent the afternoon at the community pool reading my new favorite book:


I was too sore and too lazy to walk home, so my sweet husband picked me up on his way home from work.  I got right down to chop, chop, chopping and getting dinner ready.  After tasting a delicious version while I was in Dallas, I opted to make my own attempt at the Turkish Chopped Salad from my Well Fed cookbook.  It is crisp, light, fresh and chock full of delicious veggies!

While I was in my chopping zen, I put the Lemongrass Coconut Chicken from the night before into the microwave to reheat.  I am amazed at how tender and moist the chicken remains after being reheated.  This meal is just as tasty as leftovers as it is the day it is made.

Dinner:
• leftover Lemongrass Coconut Chicken
• Turkish Chopped Salad




 


6.14.2012

Whole30 - Day 13

After a rough night of poor sleep and still feeling a little icky from the coffee I had the night before, I wasn't very hungry for breakfast.  I set off on errands for the day and planned to grab a snack while grocery shopping later in the afternoon.

Afternoon snack:
• handful of macadamia nuts
Roasted Onion Sea Snax
Ella's Carrots/Apples/Parsnips

Before I went off to get my rear end handed to me at Murphy's Barbell Club, I set up the slow-cooker with a batch of NomNomPaleo's Lemongrass and Coconut Chicken.  I prefer to use chicken breasts with this recipe and cook them on low for just under four hours.  While the chicken was simmering away, I was at Murphy's glued to Coach Bob's driveway struggling to stand up after 5 rounds of sled sprints.

When I arrived home, I was thrilled to see my hubby after he was out of town for work for two days.  Yes, we DID eat dinner together the night before... but the house just isn't the same when our wolf pack isn't together.  Even the dogs get sad when their daddy isn't around.

Post workout snack
• handful of macadamia nuts
• handful of cherries that we handpicked last weekend... and will probably go back and pick more before the orchards close for the season
 
Matt and I sat and shared our fantastic chicken dinner with a quickly thrown together side salad...



Dinner:
• Lemongrass and Coconut Chicken breast, served with fresh squeezed lime juice and chopped cilantro
• Salad with spinach, cucumber, red onion - dressed with St. Helena Olive Oil Co. Lime Extra Virgin Olive Oil, salt, and pepper




6.13.2012

Whole30 - Day 12

Day 12 of my Whole30 was a little busy.  As usual, my busy days entail a lot of driving... because everything that is anything is at least an hour from my house.  That's the LA in me talking.


Before I ventured out the door, I grabbed a small snack to tide me over for the day.  
 
Breakfast:
• handful of macadamia nuts
• handful of cherries
I need to get back to my breakfast vegetables... things just aren't right in my tummy without them!

My first stop of the day was The Lounge Spa in Culver City, CA.  What a delightful little place!  Since my back has been all spazzy and in pain, I decided it was time I finally get a massage... knowing full darn well the benefits of massage therapy.  See that?  Therapy!  For my knotted paraspinals and taut intercostals.  Why all the way to Culver City?  Because that's where my girl is.  Brenda.  We all have a "my girl"... for hair, for eyebrows, for nails, for massage... you name it.  We've got one.  Or maybe that's the LA in me talking again...  But if you're in town and looking for a fantastic massage - call BrenBren.  She can be YOUR girl, too.

After 80 minutes of being thoroughly warmed, kneaded, and melted down into an oozy pile of relaxed goodness I went to visit another "my girl" for a different appointment.  Smooth Skin By Simona.  My eyebrows couldn't be more happy.  And the arch actually counteracts my semi-permanent frown so I actually LOOK happy, too.  Sorta.

Then it was traffic time.  One hour from Smooth Skin to get on the freeway... you've all heard of the 405, I'm sure.  Then another hour to meet my husband for a delicious dinner in Camarillo, CA.  Three counties in one day!  That's how we Rottmans roll.

Dinner was at a fantastic fish restaurant called Lure Fish House.  Great menu selection.  Somewhat easy to stay as close to Whole30 as possible and incredibly easy when you're eating a less strict Paleo diet.  I ordered the Yellowtail.  No butter.  Seasoning only.  Spinach sauteed in olive oil, with fresh garlic.  And a side of grilled asparagus.  The produce is sourced locally.  Check out the bottom line of the menu!



The sauce looked like a dill mayonnaise.  Not sure of the ingredients, I avoided it this trip but will certainly be dipping my fork in next time around. 

Dinner:
• grilled fish, no butter
• sauteed spinach
• grilled asparagus

After dinner, I picked up an Americano at a gorgeous Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf in Camarillo.  I was hoping the caffeine would be enough to last me the two hour drive home.  Not only did it last the two hours, it continued to last for an additional four hours... while I lay awake, jittery, reading my brand new copy of "It Starts With Food" and playing Draw Something with my other crazy friends who were still awake.

I'm not a coffee drinker.  I don't even like coffee.  I remembered why last night.

Overall, a very good day... right up to the point where I accidentally drove over a frog in my driveway when I returned home.  I blame the coffee.









   




6.12.2012

Poblano vs Pasilla

And now... some fun trivia!

Last week while grocery shopping for my stuffed poblano recipe, I scoured the stores high and low for poblano peppers and all I could find were pasillas.  I finally "succumbed" to the fact that I would have to make stuffed pasillas instead for dinner at my in-laws.  My inquiring mind wanted to know the difference and lo and behold, they are the SAME!  Well, sorta.


Poblano peppers that are grown in Mexico and sold north of the border are erroneously called pasillas when they are sold in the U.S.  A true pasilla chile is the dried form of the chilaca pepper, whereas an incorrectly named pasilla (a true poblano) is a wider pepper whose dried form is known as ancho (via Wikipedia).  In the simplest terms - I was making my stuffed poblanos WITH poblanos.  Want to know more?... Keep reading HERE.

And check out this great page for identifying all different types of chile peppers: The Cook's Thesaurus.

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Whole30 - Day 11

Breakfast:
• Cranberry kombucha

Lunch:
• Grass-fed beef patties with green chiles and mustard
• Cherries

Dinner:
• A handful of macadamia nuts
• Another few handfuls of macadamia nuts
... yeah... I wasn't hungry, but feeling munchy and these addictive little suckers always lure me in.

Clearly not my best day, but I didn't plan ahead and have not yet completed this week's effort at a massive fridge stocking cooking session.  Soon.  Very very soon.






6.11.2012

Whole30 - Day 10

Today was my first full day back home after a quick little jaunt to Dallas, Texas to visit my mom.  It was a stressful overwhelming trip and my food wasn't 100% perfect due to the cooking oils and some questionable ingredients used when we ate out, but close enough to 99.9% that I won't beat myself up over it.  I'm happy with my choices and my planning... and I feel good about the the decisions I made and that's what is important.

After a nice long morning of sleeping in, Matt and I went off to pick cherries!


 

Needless to say, my breakfast was an obscene amount of fresh cherries right off the tree and also on the way home out of the bag of bright red sweet deliciousness.  I even picked up a jar of local honey to fend off summer allergies... but will be waiting to try it after the end of the month.  (No honey on Whole30)


Lunch:
• Leftover grilled grass-fed burgers with green chiles and mustard

Dinner:
BeX on Lancaster BLVD... Matt and I shared the tri-tip, medium rare.  I ordered a side of steamed broccoli.  He enjoyed the very garlicky mashed potatoes.  Everything was tasty and moist and I'm happy to report the service and set-up at BeX is getting a bit better each time we visit.  That's good because BeX is the only restaurant nearby where I can get a large satisfying meal that is completely Paleo.


... And for a post dinner snack...


Now that I'm back home and settling in, it's time to sit down with my array of Paleo cookbooks and prep this coming weeks menu... an activity that has most certainly become one of my favorite hobbies!



Whole30 - Day 9 (Travel Day!)

Breakfast:
• Poached egg with salsa and a side of watermelon at the Goldmine Family Restaurant in Garland, Texas.  I was about 40 years too young for this little local spot... in fact, my mom was probably about 40 years too young... but the watermelon was sweet and I was wishing I had ordered a second egg.


Munchies while sitting at the airport and on the airplane:
Cherry Pie Lara Bar
Sea Snax with roasted turkey breast
Ella's Spinach/Apples/Rutabaga
• Coconut butter


Dinner back at home sweet home:
• grass-fed burgers with mustard and roasted green chiles
• leftover roasted asparagus with homemade lemon-basil vinaigrette






Whole30 - Day 8

I woke up in College Station for the first time in many many years and started the day with a cup of detox tea.

I spent the morning scoping out the successful business venture of a good friend of mine.  It's a small physical space with a huge international presence and I look forward to seeing where he takes it.  After taking the grand tour and discussing future plans - it was lunch time!

Lunch:
Freebirds!  I ordered a salad prepared with the spring mix, steak, pico de gallo, red onion... and I forgot to add guacamole, but will certainly do so next time.  I really like the tomatillo dressing and drizzled a bit on my salad for "moisture."


After a short visit in College Station, we made our way over to Austin to visit with even more friends!  There was much chatter, laughter, playing with baby, and envious eyeballing of a lush and growing garden.




Then Mom and I were back on the road... this time heading home to Dallas.  We made one more stop to visit with even more friends and babies... then had dinner at Chipotle somewhere between Georgetown and Dallas.

Dinner:
• Salad at Chipotle - romaine lettuce, 2x carnitas (the one meat NOT cooked in soybean oil), 2x pico de gallo, and guacamole.  100% Whole30 friendly!  And delicious!!






Whole30 - Day 7

After an eventful Day 6, I wasn't much hungry on the morning of Day 7.  My first meal was a fabulous salad at Twisted Root in the early afternoon.

Lunch:
• Kangaroo burger in a bowl at Twisted Root in Richardson, Texas.  I ordered it without croutons, cheese, and just because of the Whole30 - no bacon.  No dressing, add guacamole.  And yes, you read that right - Kangaroo!  It is lean, high in protein... And it is quite delicious!



Twisted Root uses vegetable oil to prepare their food, so in that capacity my "official" Whole30 didn't hold up... but under the circumstances, I did the best I could and will continue on until June 30.

Dinner:
• 4 oz prosciutto
• 1/2 packet of coconut butter

After a late "dinner," Mom and I set off to our usual antics and started our late night road trip down to College Station.  Here's a peek at the weather we braved on our drive.  I hadn't seen or driven in a rainstorm quite like it since my college days... driving the exact same roads.


Mom and I were happy to arrive at our hotel safe and sound and unscathed.  And like little school girls, we stayed up until the wee hours gabbing, laughing, and gabbing some more.  I couldn't have asked for a more perfect day after such a rough ride she had the day before.




6.07.2012

My Mom's Birthday Present - A Healthy Heart!

On 6-6-12, my mother's 61st birthday, she spent the day in the hospital having a coronary catheterization.  My mom's father died when he was 51.  Of heart disease.  All of my mom's uncles lost their lives to some form of heart disease.  As the medical industry likes to say, "it runs in the family."

My mom started noticing symptoms lately that raised a potential red flag and insisted that her doctor run a stress test.  He was aghast to learn my mom wasn't on any medications other than Vitamin D and fish oil.  I don't know all the details of her symptoms and tests, as my mother insisted she didn't want me to see her without her Wonder Woman cape.  What I do know is that she WAS concerned after the doctor informed her that they found what could be a partial blockage on her follow-up CT scan.  Next thing I know, I'm flying to Dallas to be with her during her cardiac catheterization... and possible placement of a stent.

At 2:45 pm on Wednesday June 6, the cardiac doctor emerged from the "cath lab" with the results of Mom's catheterization.

Her heart is completely clear.
There is a small calcium deposit on the outside of the artery.
There are no blockages in the arteries which means blood flow is good.
The pressure inside her heart is good.
"Her heart is good.  She has a strong heart."
"I'd like to see her back in my office in a week or two to talk about medications..."

You could've heard a pin drop in that waiting room... up until the moment when my jaw hit the floor.  Hard.  Medications?  For what??

Whenever the nurses would ask Mom to list her medications, they each seemed dumbfounded that this 61 year old woman who could chat them under the table and make them laugh until they pee their pants... isn't consuming any type of chemical for any type of condition.

How does she do it?  In addition to a whole lot of biological factors that I don't try to understand... she eats very well.  It may not be the sole cause of her stellar (as I would call it) health, but it sure doesn't hurt!

For the past six and a half years, Mom has been consuming nothing but lean meat, vegetables, fruits, healthy oils, and very small amounts of dairy and sweeteners.  Even more recently after we shared menu notes and the potential health impact of certain foods, she has since eliminated the dairy and the sweeteners.  She'll indulge in a glorious sweet treat on rare occasion and might put some cream in her coffee every now and then.  She walks.  She exercises.  And has a new found love for coconut oil.

Take THAT "family history"...

When the doctor gave the status update, I teared up.  I almost cried.  I guess the Wonder Woman cape IS real.  And now I am more comfortable anticipating my own long healthy future, spending plenty of time with my healthy mom.

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Thanks to a beautiful friend from high school, Mom was able to gobble up some savory nutritious eats for her big birthday dinner... and I nibbled on the Baba Ganoush and Turkish Salad that my friend and her husband made from their Well Fed cookbook.  It was all so delicious and we are so grateful for her kind heart and warm generosity.


That trademark squinty smile means Mom is happy!  And so am I.  I am sharing that same "half-moon eyes" smile, as Matt likes to refer to it.  The room is full of joy and thanksgiving and we can do nothing but smile today.  Happy 61st, Mom.




6.06.2012

Whole30 - Day 6

Today was my mommy's birthday and we had some personal events transpire that were slightly unnerving for both of us... as a result, eats and drinks were a little off. 

Morning munchies:
•  Ella's Carrots, Apples, and Parsnips



The rest of the day I didn't eat.  Partially because I forgot to pack my snackins before heading out the door and mostly because I just wasn't hungry.

By early evening, a great friend of mine from high school offered to come by and bring food... she made a pit stop at Whole Foods and brought my mom a salad of spinach, mixed veggies, chicken, and salmon.  She also brought some homemade Baba Ganoush and Turkish Chopped Salad with a modified dressing made from her Well Fed cookbook.  I love having healthy friends across the country who are like minded and eat high quality food.  It comes in so handy when you are least thinking about it!


Nighttime nibbles:
• Baba Ganoush (oh this was FANTASTIC!!  Thank you K & R!)
• Turkish Chopped Salad with a homemade vinaigrette
 

I wish I would have taken a picture of the Turkish Chopped Salad.  It was so bright and fresh, with a taste to match.  The best part is that I have never made either of these recipes... what can I say?  I was a little scared to try them.  No more!  These are first on the menu as soon as I get back to sunny California. 





Whole30 - Day 5 (Travel Day!)

 ♥♥♥ HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOMMY!!  Less than 24 hours to enter to win a FREE "On The Go" Kit from hellomellow!  Head over to my June 1st post to get your name in the drawing.  Please spread the word, share the love, and let all your friends know to get on over and enter! The contest closes at 9 pm PST.  ♥♥♥


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Here's what I stashed in my suitcase to get through the doldrums of airplane travel yesterday...


• All fruit/vegetable baby food (why not?  The Whole9's Dallas & Melissa do it!)
• Deli turkey and prosciutto
Sea Snax
Coconut butter

It isn't the most ideal selection for meals, but affords me much better options than running up to McDonald's or any of the other icky airport eateries.

I was able to order a "grande hot water" at the airport and I packed a few packets of my own tea to get me through the trip.


I sipped my tea and while everyone else on board the airplane munched away on .02 oz of pretzels and peanuts, I discovered my new favorite snack:  roasted turkey wrapped up in Sea Snax.  Very yummy, super healthy, and a lot more satisfying than the six and a half peanuts I was offered by my flight attendant.


This was pretty much my sustenance for the day.  I ate a few egg muffins and leftover asparagus before leaving for the airport and then munched on miscellaneous assortments of the above photo menu when I got hungry throughout the day.  And I still have plenty of "leftovers" for the rest of my trip.


At this point, computer access is EXTREMELY LIMITED and I probably won't be updating for the next few days.

Once the contest closes and the winning entry is verified, the winner will be notified via e-mail.  The winning name will be announced on Facebook sometime on Thursday.  Don't forget to share the contest link with friends and give more folks an opportunity to rake in some loot.  Good luck to all, happy hump day, and most importantly: Happy Birthday, Mom!





6.05.2012

Whole30 - Day 4

 ♥♥♥ Only two more days to enter to win a super delightful "On The Go" Kit from hellomellow!  Head over HERE to get your name in the drawing.  Please share this post with friends for an additional entry and so more folks have a chance to win!  ♥♥♥

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Another day of lazy leftovers... which are so easy (and healthy) when you're prepared and your fridge is well stocked with plenty of options. 

Sunrise sustenance:
• cranberry kombucha
shredded zucchini and baby spinach wilted in coconut oil, seasoned with Penzeys Bangkok Blend


Lunchtime larder:
• a few slices of prosciutto I grabbed at the grocery store deli while running the heck out of some errands today

Since the LA Kings are well on their way to winning the 2012 Stanley Cup and we are without cable, Matt, the kids, and I ate dinner at his parents to mooch some time on their tv... and most importantly, enjoy the good company.

"To grandmother's house we go!"




Eventide entrée:
• grass-fed beef stuffed poblano peppers - I started with the Stuffed Poblano recipe from LivinPaleo, then made a few adjustments.  I used two jalapeño peppers (only one deseeded), added 4 oz. of green chiles, a lot more garlic, 2 teaspoons of cumin, and eliminated the cheese
• green garden salad - topped with my mother-in-law's tasty homemade guacamole and a scoop of the sauce from the stuffed peppers
• small bowl of blueberries and cut strawberries


I always love how brightly colored vegetables look together.




Tomorrow, I am off to Texas to be with my mom on her birthday!  Already have my travel food purchased and prepped and ready to go... check back to see how I stay Whole30 legit (as best as possible) while en route to my mama's casa!