We are on Week 2 Day 2 of eating meatless on weekdays and today we made our own eggplant meatball recipe.
Since the Stay at Home order we have been eating well at the Thompson house. Too well. Although I’ve received a lot of flack over it, my husband actually came up with the idea to attempt going meatless on weekdays. Last week was the first week and we crushed it! There were no cheat days!
One difficulty has been finding recipes that don’t replace meat with another bad thing like frying in oil, a cup of soy sauce, or a pound of cheese. Today’s creation does have some cheese, but is very healthy.
Try our eggplant meatball recipe (even our 16 year old son ate them).
Note – the “Prepare the Eggplant” portion of the recipe can be done a day ahead. When I made this I prepared 2 eggplants. One for this recipe and one I cooked 15 minutes longer for baba ganoush.
We made this chili lime shrimp recipe and really enjoyed it. I think you will like it too.
Staying at home and staying healthy has been a challenge during this pandemic. We’ve tried to behave, but being trapped with our food is so hard. Those few ventures out to the store have also been a struggle. Determined to stick to our grocery list, but then . . . we accidentally venture down the vanilla Oreo’s aisle. This recipe is quick, easy and healthy and has so many serving options. Serve on top of pasta or rice, use as a salad topper, or our favorite way to serve them is as shrimp tacos.
Shrimp omelets are my favorite special treat. I always make a couple of extra shrimp for the next morning.
Reading the book, It Starts With Food before beginning the Whole30 is definitely the way to go. The authors give you everything you need to be successful.
Even tough love.
One struggle I had while reading it is that each chapter begins with a testimonial on how the program is “life changing”. Not to be cynical, but really, a 30 day meal plan life changing? How can eliminating certain foods from your diet for just 30 days be all that?
And then, at about day 15 it happened.
My husband and I were both feeling so good that we said “I am never going back”. What does that mean, never going back? We are not going to kid ourselves that we are going to be Whole30 all day every day, but we are going to do our best to be Whole30 80% of the time.
We feel that good.
Specifically, we both experienced these benefits:
Better sleep. This one matters most. It’s amazing how many other parts of your day are better when you get better sleep. Better sleep = better performance.
Wake up easier. Definitely a result of the first benefit, but it is important to point out.
Running and workouts became easier, Tiger blood is a real thing and we really experienced it. Once your body adjusts to burning fat instead of sugar – look out gym!
No afternoon slump.
Better looking skin. Smoother and brighter.
Weight loss. The incredible part about the weight loss is . . .
The dirty details, I lost 10 pounds and my husband lost 15. To be completely transparent, some of that was holiday excess and would have dropped off anyway. Or, maybe not.
There was only one negative to this program, and no it wasn’t going without our wine for 30 days. If you go pastured, organic, grass fed, all natural, etc.
This is what writer Eric Gillin had to say about that in Epicurious
IT HELPS TO HAVE TONS OF MONEY AND FANCY GROCERY STORES When did tree nuts and almond butter start to cost as much as uncut cocaine?
Our tips for your success:
Do it with a partner. It’s so much easier when you’re not the only one passing on dessert.
Cook once and eat many times. Making things like a beef brisket made meal planning for an entire week much easier.
Learn to love eggs.
Journal what you eat and how you slept. This will give you small celebrations throughout the 30 days.
Don’t give up on yourself – you can do this. Our mantra was . . .”It’s only 30 days”
They call this stage of the Whole30 Tiger Blood and I know why. For two weeks I went to spin class and felt a diabolical force resisting the movement of my legs and feet. The harder I tried to pedal the more resistance there seemed to be. Like I was getting sucked in by quicksand. I’ve gone to class after, well, let’s just say more than a few glasses of wine and done better, felt better, rode better. This week; I owned it. There was no quick sand holding my legs down. In fact, it felt like there was no gravity. Like I was spinning on the moon and could spin forever. It was awesome!
We are in this very strange place in the Whole30 process. We count down every day like it’s a victory. Day 11 – defeated. Day 12 – defeated. Day 15 – we are 1/2 way there. And at the same time, we keep telling each other I’m never going back. I feel too good. I like how I feel. I want to feel like this every single day. Sure, I’ll have ice cream and treats and wine, of course we’ll have wine, but I’m never going back.
Last night we cooked cilantro lime shrimp. I would say this was my favorite meal of our Whole30 journey, but OMG – it did not compare to the leftover shrimp and spinach omelet I had for breakfast today. I felt like I was having breakfast at a Ritz Carlton in someplace very exotic (1/2 of that was how good the shrimp was 1/2 was the Michigan winter blues). When you make this recipe be sure to make enough for your omelet the next day.
Days 10 and 11 are the biggest quit days for people on the Whole30. We are on day 10 and are feeling too good to consider quitting.
My husband had a business introduction meeting this week. I thought for sure he would cheat. No way was he going to be introduced to new business contacts at a restaurant and tell them about the plan. He surprised me. He had no problem telling them about the plan, in fact, it was a great icebreaker. Ordering compliant from the Italian restaurant they were at was no problem too. The server was more than ready to help. Awesome!
It’s funny, but not surprising, that our keys to success with this plan are pretty much keys to success for anything:
Open communication – tell people your needs and vision and they will help get you there.
Look for ways to make it work – sure you can find a million reasons why you can’t, but focus on why you can.
80% planning 20% execution – don’t get caught unprepared. Plan!
Try new things – if you keep doing what you’ve always done you will get what you’ve always got
We are doing the Whole30 as part of the 68 Day Challenge. Join thousands of people looking to make 2016 their best year yet 68 Day Challenge.
The authors of the Whole30 say that most people give up on days 10 and 11. The novelty has wore off, food fatigue, temptation. A whole lot of reasons. Being on Day 9 it doesn’t feel like I’m ready to quit tomorrow or the next day.
How are you doing on your 2016 goals? Need some motivation? ET always does it for me. Check out this video
Making the Whole30 fun by being able to be creative has been our focus. By just focusing on making it through each day until you get to 30, I could see how you might give up. If you focus on trying new things and being creative then you look forward to each new experience and don’t even count the day you’re on.
I’ve never even eaten a chicken burger before. That didn’t stop us for cooking them up for today’s brown bag lunch.