Tag Archives: gravy

Whole30 – Thanksgiving

28 Nov

I had a very quiet Thanksgiving this year, just G and I.  Normally I wouldn’t have bothered to cook an actual Thanksgiving dinner for just the two of us.  Neither of us are huge on holidays because usually at least one of us is working.  This year we actually both had the day off.  Even with the day off I really hadn’t planned on cooking turkey and all the trimmings until I came across the Whole30 compliant recipes on whole30recipes Instagram which were created by pretend_its_a_donut also on Instagram.

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I made a turkey breast rather than an entire turkey and I chose to cook it in my crock pot so that I could make gravy similar to Nom Nom Paleo’s Gravy and Chicken which I’ve posted in the past.  First I dry brined the turkey breast using salt and other herbs and let it set for two days.  Just before getting ready to put the turkey into the crock pot I smothered it with ghee (butter with the milk solids removed).  I placed the turkey breast down which helped keep the breast nice and juicy!

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The cranberry sauce was my favorite thing I made I think, although it was all good.  Usually I made the most delicious brandied cranberries for Thanksgiving.  While this recipe does not take the place of my brandied cranberries it was still really good.  This is coming from a  girl who refused to eat cranberry sauce as a kid.  It was nice and tart and turned out nice and thick too.  I’d make it again in a heartbeat!

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Bacon wrapped green beans!  These were so good.  It was a challenge to find compliant bacon (no nitrates or added sugars) but once I did this recipe was actually really easy.  G even smoked the bacon for me before I wrapped it on the green beans so it had a nice smokey flavor!

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Balsamic brussels and persimmons.  This was good but I found the balsamic to be a bit overpowering.  Luckily I like balsamic vinegar so it was still good for me.  It did cover the flavor of the persimmons though.

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I also made some basic mashed potatoes.  I usually add milk to make the potatoes creamy.  I thought by adding a ton of ghee that I could accomplish the same thing but that didn’t happen.  My mashed potatoes didn’t look too nice but they tasted fine, especially topped with my gravy which was AMAZING!

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The only thing missing was the pumpkin pie, which I could have found a substitute for I’m sure.  I’m used to not eating sweets by now though so I really didn’t miss it. I sure wasn’t hungry after dinner!

 

Whole30 – Day 30

9 Nov

Woohoo!  I did it!  I set my goal and I reached it.  Now I can take a deep breath and relish in my victory over food.

I’m not going to lie, this one is going to be short and sweet.  Like I said yesterday I couldn’t sleep at all before my shift.  I managed 4 1/2 hours of broken sleep and I’m ready to crash.

When I wake up tonight I’ll be weighing myself, taking measurements, and photos!  I’m excited and nervous to see what the last 30 days has done physically.  I already know some of the mental changes and I’ll be addressing that too.

Breakfast

The usual!  Spinach, crack slaw, poached eggs, and avocado!

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Lunch

Balsamic vinegar pot roast with sweet potatoes and green beans, topped with gravy, and some almonds on the side.

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Dinner

My last meal to be photographed and I was too tired, hungry, and so over taking photos of food that I completely forgot.  I do know what I ate though!  Spaghetti squash pad thai on a bed of cauliflower rice and some almond butter (separately) for fat.  I think the pad thai is better now that it’s a day later.  Some of the extra sauce seems to have soaked in so it’s less liquid and it tastes better.

Not only have I successfully completed the Whole30, I also managed to blog every single day for over 30 days.  That in itself is quite an accomplishment for this girl!  I believe I would not have been so successful without having to be accountable to you, my readers.  Thank you for following me through my journey!  I hope you’ve learned a little something and I encouraged you to make some healthier food choices too.  That being said, I’m thankful that after tonight’s post I can take a small break from blogging.  Sorry P (and many others), I know you looked forward to reading every day but this girl needs a break from the keyboard.  Don’t worry, I won’t be far away.  I plan on doing several updates along my journey because I’m far from done healing my body.

Whole30 – Day 29

8 Nov

So close I can almost see the end!  Must be my internal excitement because I should be sleeping right now and can’t, which is a really big bummer considering I have to work tonight.

I did my fifth massive cooking session and am pretty happy with the results!

I decided to try to make my own kombucha at home.  The first step is to make (or buy) a scoby.  I decided to try to make one since I’ve been successful doing this several years ago, but I never really got into actually making the kombucha.  Kombucha contains lots of probiotics which help your gut and although the process involves sugar, the fermenting process eats up most of the sugar.  In two to four weeks I should know if my scoby is going to grow.  Maybe in a month and a half I’ll actually have home-brewed kombucha!  If I get this to work I’ll post more about it in the future.

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See the little floating things in there?  That’s part of a scoby that came in my drink and what will hopefully continue to grow.

Look what I found, finally!  I’m so excited!  Coconut Aminos.  Now I can finally make my crack slaw (and many other recipes) as intended.  Thanks D for letting me know where I could find it locally.  For those of you in the PNW, the co-op in Astoria has it in stock and if I remember right it was $6.99/bottle.  Much better than the $16.99 I saw it for on Amazon.

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From top to bottom, left to right, I made a balsamic pot roast with sweet potatoes and green beans and a gravy similar to the one I made for the chicken last week, spaghetti squash pad thai with chicken and shrimp, roasted vegetables including carrots, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and green beans, cauliflower rice, and crack slaw.  The pad thai recipe made a ton so I froze some of it immediately.  It’s not as delicious as pad thai from my favorite Thai restaurant but it’s still pretty good.  I made fewer vegetable dishes and a larger quantity of the ones I did make this week which saved a little time.  Also, I stuck to vegetables I know I like so I won’t have the rutabaga/turnip debacle I had last week.

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I’m seriously so excited!  I can’t believe I’m really starting my final day (officially).  Like i’ve said before, i have no intentions of stopping my whole30/wholelife way of eating any time soon.  But just know that I can commit myself to such a big change for 30 days and accomplish it is huge.  If you set yourself up for success this is actually a pretty easy process, so long as you focus on all the things you can eat instead of all the things you can’t.

Whole30 – Day 28

8 Nov

I can’t believe I haven’t eaten any junk in 28 days!  If you know me and my sweet tooth that’s amazing all in itself.

I managed to get my shopping done today and tonight is cooking night!  I have some new recipes to try and I can’t wait because one of them is Pad Thai, one of my favorite dishes in the universe.  When I first started out on this journey grocery shopping took me forever but now I’m finding it to be a breeze.  I still don’t like what the cash register total comes to but I guess I’m getting more used to it.  Every week seems to be roughly the same, about $115 in groceries.  I know I could cut down some costs, but I do buy grass fed beef and free range chicken, no added hormones/antibiotics, and that’s worth a few extra dollars.  I could also shop what’s on sale but I’ll be honest, I’m not there in my cooking yet.  Right now I sit down and look through recipes, or I find something during the week, that looks good and that’s what I make.  Maybe one of these days I’ll focus more on eating this way on a bit of a budget.  One thing at a time I suppose.

Breakfast

Spinach, zoodles, poached eggs, and almond butter!  Yes I ate it straight out of the container, but no I did not eat the whole thing.  I ran out of avocados and needed some fats so almond butter sounded like a good way to get it in.  If you’ve never tried the machine that grinds it fresh for you, you really should.  It’s is so much yummier than any pre-packaged almond butter I’ve ever tried.  It’s good enough I probably could eat the entire container if I didn’t have a little self-control.

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Lunch

Chili topped with ranch dressing.  In my mind this was an awesome combo.  In my mouth, not quite so awesome.  It wasn’t too horrible to eat but I wouldn’t recommend it.

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Dinner

Seriously one of my new favorite dishes.  Chicken and Gravy by Nom Nom Paleo with mashed sweet potatoes, topped with clarified butter and LOTS of gravy!

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As you know I don’t usually write my blog this late at night, but I slept and slept and slept today!  It’s my day off and clearly my body was telling me I needed it.  Hopefully my body was doing some much needed repairs during that sleep.

Did you forget?  Only three days until I announce my results and the giveaway details!

Whole30 – Day 27

6 Nov

What a day!  Thankfully I’m writing you from my weekend which is going to look a lot like lazy other than the cooking I’ll be doing tomorrow night (which I haven’t even planned yet).  One thing I know for sure I’ll be making this upcoming week (yep, week5!!!) is going to be some crack slaw.  I can’t believe I’ve gone a week without it.  I really do miss it.  It feels like such a staple to me.  It makes me so happy to hear back from the many people I know who have made this dish who love it as much as I do.

I have no idea if what I’m experiencing is Whole30 related or if it’s just a random coincidence, but my jaw has been killing me for the past few weeks.  I haven’t mentioned it because it all started with one side or the other popping, usually once a day or so.  It would be pretty painful when it popped, and so loud that my ear would ring for a short while, but then it would feel better.  Well that changed a few days ago.  The right side of my jaw is so sore, and it’s not popping anymore.  I scheduled a visit with my dentist to try to find out what’s going on with it.  Originally I thought maybe my inflammation was going down so things were resettling, but even if that is the case it hurts like hell.  Hopefully Monday brings me good news and less pain.

Breakfast

Wilted spinach, avocado, and poached eggs!  I don’t think I’ve ever eaten so many eggs in one month.  Eggs are one of the most nutrient dense foods you can eat so I don’t feel bad about it.

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Lunch

Nom Nom Paleo’s chicken and gravy with some mashed sweet potatoes and the roasted veggies I don’t like.  I managed to choke down some of the vegetables while they were smothered in sweet potatoes and gravy.  I know they are good for me but dang they are not good.  I’ll be changing things up drastically in this department for next week.

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Dinner

So part of my exciting day after work included getting a new phone!  New phones are great but they always seem to be a pain to set up.  Luckily, once I figured out how to do it (thank you Google) the iCloud backup made it pretty easy.  Why am I talking about this for the dinner section?  It’s because my phone was in the one of many updates when I ate dinner so you don’t get a picture today.  I had the chicken curry and green olives!  Still one of my favorite combos.

I still really can’t believe my first 30 day journey has almost come to an end.  I realized something today, that I probably already knew.  I am an emotional eater.  I got really upset and frustrated today, over something mostly stupid but still annoying, and I was driving around during this time.  I saw Dairy Queen and I wanted a Blizzard so bad.  Believe me, Blizzards have been one of my go-to foods in the past when I’m upset or wanting comfort or just something sugary and delicious.  Crazy how our society has utilized food to comfort, soothe, and take the place of healthy stress relievers.  Luckily I can realize this now, it’s not a real craving but a mental trigger.  When we feel stressed out is not the time to pump your body full or crap because that only stresses out our bodies more on a different level.  But I guess it’s taken me 27 days to learn this, and it’s going to take even longer before I completely lose these triggered cravings (obviously).  I wonder if they would ever completely go away?  What are you food triggers?  If you are aware of what makes you want to eat foods that are not good for you then you can have a mental plan on how to redirect your focus to a healthy one.  Just a little “food for thought”!

Whole30 – Day 25

4 Nov

That finish line is looking so close!  Really it’s not the end of anything, except maybe blogging every single day about food, lol.

After all the information overload from yesterday I think I’m actually doing okay today.  I just keep thinking about how it is that I can make myself healthier and better.  I know this new way of eating is worth it for my health long-term so I truly have no desire to cheat or go back to eating the way I was before Whole30.  I did have a dream about bread though!  Damn subconscious will get you every time.

Breakfast

No more crack slaw until I make some more so I had to settle for spinach, poached eggs, and an avocado.

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Lunch

Curry chicken with green olives!  Seriously so good.  I thought I didn’t like curry very much but I think it’s growing on me.

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Dinner

I had an appointment after work and didn’t get home until around 11 AM, when I usually eat dinner by about 8 AM.  I was STARVING!  Chicken, sweet potatoes, and gravy!  I was in heaven!  This gravy is really so good that I wouldn’t miss regular gravy and I don’t think anyone else would notice either if they weren’t told.

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I heard something interesting on a podcast I’ve been listening to lately called The Nourished Podcast by Shawn Mynar and Meg Doll.  They mentioned how important it is to add salt into your diet when you’re eating clean/Whole30/cooking from scratch, because you’re no longer eating processed foods with tons of added salt for preservatives.  And apparently not enough salt can cause low blood pressure.  I don’t think I have low blood pressure but this is something to think about for sure.  While processed foods have way too much salt our bodies still need salt and other minerals to function properly.  I swear, sometimes it seems that there is just so much to know and keep track of.  I guess all we can do is keep learning.

Speaking of learning.  I’ve been thinking lately about going back to school for some type of nutrition degree.  I’m not sure exactly what this degree would be called because I haven’t researched it much, but I do know that this is the sort of thing that really interests me, and I love helping people.  I’ve been private messaged and texted by several people during this little journey of mine and I’m not even kidding when I say that it makes me so happy to have some type of positive impact on a person in terms of them learning more about their bodies and healthy eating/living.  I think this may have become my new passion, who knew!

Whole30 – Day 22

1 Nov

Whew!  I survived the sweetest day of the year and didn’t eat a single piece of candy.  Just opening the bag to dump it into a bowl for the trick-or-treaters was torture.  I never realized candy could smell so strongly through the wrappers, but let me tell you it sure can.

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I came to a realization today as I began shopping and cooking my food today.  I actually really like eating whole food and I really don’t want to eat processed crap…except that candy, I really did want to eat that, lol.  But seriously, I feel like my taste buds have changed so much in the last 22 days and I’m really enjoying eating food that looks like what it’s supposed to look like and that doesn’t have ingredients I can’t pronounce.

I only had one day off this week so I tried to simplify my cooking as much as possible.  I ended up making three crock pot dishes.  Luckily I own two crock pots so that helped with time.  I was just happy to not spend all day on my feet in the kitchen, but it still did take quite a bit of time.

Top to bottom let to right I made: Paleo Leap’s Oven Roasted Garlic CabbageNom Nom Paleo’s Slow Cooker Roast Chicken and Gravy, roasted carrots parsnips and cauliflower, Pure and Simple Nourishment’s Texas Slow Cooker Beef Chili, roasted rutabaga and turnips, mashed sweet potatoes, and chicken curry.

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I had a panic moment earlier today.  I went to the bathroom and thought I was dying.  My pee was reddish-pink which is usually not a good sign.  I started drinking massive amounts of water because I was sure something was very wrong.  Then I thought about what I had eaten today and remembered I had eaten at least one whole red beet and another golden beet.  I googled it and found out that beets can actually dye your urine.  Totally crazy and thankfully I’m not dying after all!

I seriously can’t believe that I’m starting week four already.