My 68 Day Challenge; The Whole30 Day 17

My 68 Day Challenge; The Whole30 Day 17

Feeling like a rock star!

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.

Cilantro Lime Shrimp

printable version

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs. deveined shell on shrimp (15 to 1 pound)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbs cilantro, minced
  • 1 lime
  • coconut oil
  • salt
  • pepper

Instructions

  • Toss shrimp, garlic, cilantro, and juice from the lime in a bowl
  • (If you are prepping other dishes do not add the lime until you are ready to cook the shrimp)
  • Salt and pepper the shrimp
  • Melt the coconut oil in a skillet on medium high
  • Carefully place the shrimp in the skillet so that they are in a single layer
  • Flip after the first side turns pink (about 3 minutes)
  • Remove from heat when the second side turns pink (about 3 minutes)

My 68 Day Challenge: The Whole30 Day 10

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:

  1. Open communication – tell people your needs and vision and they will help get you there.
  2. Look for ways to make it work – sure you can find a million reasons why you can’t, but focus on why you can.
  3. 80% planning 20% execution – don’t get caught unprepared.  Plan!
  4. 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.

My 68 Day Challenge; Whole 30 Day 9

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.

Chicken Burgers
Printable Version

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground chicken breast
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 Tbs minced mint
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • salt
  • pepper
  • garlic powder

Instructions

  • Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix to incorporate.
  • Divide into 4 parts
  • Form into burgers
  • Heat non-stick skillet to medium high with a small amount of cooking oil.
  • Gently place burgers on skillet. After 4-5 minutes flip.
  • Cook until done – about 4-5 more minutes

If you have a bacon griddle press, burger press, or a panini press they work fantastically to cook these through. Place on top of the burgers once they have been flipped

Dead Arm Mayonnaise

Many homemade mayonnaise recipes require power tools and face it, many kitchens do not have them.  I love this recipe because it doesn’t require any tools except good old arm power and it doesn’t make too much.  This is a concern because homemade mayo doesn’t have a long shelf life.  You need to use it up quickly.

Homemade Mayonnaise

Ingredients

  • 1 egg yolk (reserve the white and add to an omelet, scrambled eggs or a frittata)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp ground mustard
  • dash white pepper
  • 3/4 c avocado oil

Instructions

  • whisk the egg yolk and spices
  • very slowly – painfully slow – add the avocado oil and continue whisking
  • continue whisking until thick
  • *by painfully I mean “how long could this possibly take” not “oh my gosh, this is killing my arm”
 
This recipe is Whole30 compliant.  I’m on day 6 of my first Whole30 as part of my 68 Day Challenge.

Beef Brisket with Endless Possibilies

Busy households need easy solutions.  What could be easier than cooking once and making 4 (or more) great meals out of it?

As part of the 68 Day Challenge, a great “your best year starts here program” my husband and I are doing the Whole30.  In a nutshell:  meat, vegetables, fruit, and healthy fats for 30 days.

Slow Roasted Beef Brisket

Ingredients

  • 1 beef brisket
  • 1 small box portabella mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 onions, sliced thick
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • cracked pepper
  • salt (adjust this depending on the sodium content in your broth)

Instructions

  • heat oven to 325
  • put all ingredients in a dutch oven
  • cook until meat is fork tender – approximately 3 hours
  • let stand for 30 minutes
  • slice and serve
Meal 1 – dinner:  serve with oven roasted potatoes and roasted root vegetables
 
Meal 2 – breakfast: substitute beef brisket for chicken in this great recipe Chicken Hash
 
Meal 3 – lunch: Make brisket tacos or quesadillas (this is the only non-compliant meal for the Whole30)
 
Meal 4 – dinner: open face brisket sandwich.  Serve on Texas Toast with mashed potatoes (or left over oven roasted potatoes)
 
Meal 5 – lunch: pulled brisket with bbq sauce
 

My 68 Day Challenge: The Whole30 Day 2

Beware of labels!

Headlines this week all read “Americans Eat Way Too Much Sugar”.  Hello!  That’s not news.  Some, OK, most is no brainer stuff like soda and snacks.  Some is legitimately hidden in food that is made to appear like a healthy choice,  We are trying to be good and are tricked by the label.

A typical can of soda may have almost 40 g of sugar in it, and who drinks a can anymore.  You grab a Vitamin Water thinking you are making a better choice.  There is still around
30 g of sugar.  At snack time you choose a yogurt thinking this is the best choice and since you didn’t read the label you missed that your tiny little container of yogurt has 25 g of sugar in it.

My first Whole30 mistake was misreading a label on a jar of nut butter.  With the attention span of a gnat
– squirrel –
I read the portion of the jar that said “Contains: Sunflower Seeds”.  Perfect!  One ingredient and no sugar.  In the cart it goes.
Wrong!
When I got home and looked at the jar more closely what I read was not the ingredient list.
In the store I read what I wanted to see.  I was hoping for no sugar and there wasn’t any.  Unfortunately I was reading the warning for allergies and whatnot and not the ingredients.

If you want the soda, then buy the soda.  But, if you want the healthy alternative you must read the label.

MY 68 Day Challenge; Whole30 Day 1

You cannot improve in one area of your life without it having a positive trickle effect into other areas.

Testing the waters before “go” day we omitted cream in our coffee about a week ago.  This seemed a little more challenging than other sacrifices.  No rich creamy coffee goodness.  No grande non-fat latte frothing in  the green cup.

To pull a quote from The Whole 30 by Melissa Hartwig and Dallas Hartwig

Beating cancer is hard. Birthing a baby is hard, Losing a parent is hard.  Drinking your coffee black is. not. hard.  You’ve done harder things than this, and you have no excuse…

Truthfully, it is a little hard.  We create these morning rituals to start our day happy, invigorated, and fulfilled.  Black coffee just isn’t as rich and delectable and yummy.  There is a  positive trickle effect to drinking it black …less coffee.  1-2 cups instead of 2-3 cups.

We can do this.
What is the 68 Day Challenge?  Check it out on Facebook:  68 Day Challenge

My 68 Day Challenge; The Whole30 Shopping

Today was an adventure.   Reading up on the Whole30 I wasn’t intimidated or discouraged at all about the plan.  We eat pretty healthy now.  Everyone in my family can cook and, except for mushrooms, we are pretty daring when it comes to food. The only piece that seemed to be a challenge is where to find the ingredients? There are no fancy grocery stores or health markets to find organic farm raised meats around here.  Today we went searching for one.  Since when is shopping not fun?

Stop 1, a large health food market.  It looked promising from the outside.
Inside not so much.  The produce was ok, but the meat choices were pretty much chuck roast, chicken and ground beef.  That won’t do it for 30 days.  Moving on.

Stop 2, Whole Foods.  Here we hit pay day.  The meat counter pretty much had all of the cuts an ordinary meat counter would have and it had this awesome rating and tagging system to figure everything out.

We were lucky.  We only had to go to two stores to find an easy and reliable store.  You may have to go to more but, don’t settle.  Don’t go for less.  Keep at it until you get exactly what you want.  Wait for the best.

My 68 Day Challenge; The Whole30

To successfully achieve a goal you should spend 80% of your time in planning to ensure that the 20% you spend executing can be done with excellence.  Planning on successfully completing the Whole30 program I started my planning by reading the book It Starts With Food.

After reading this book, with an open mind, I believe that adjusting your diet for 30 days can make you feel better, sleep better, think better, and perform better.  If you want to lose weight, that is an added benefit.

It Starts With Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected WaysIt Starts With Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways by Dallas Hartwig
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is absolutely fascinating.
To those who gave it very skeptical reviews, I ask . . .why did you buy this book in the first place? Did you not read the description first?
I will be gifting this book frequently.

View all my reviews

I’m doing the Whole30 as part of a great program sponsored by my employer The 68 Day Challenge.  It’s open to the public.  Check it out!

My Whole30 Challenge

The top reason I have stayed with the same employer for over 20 years (dating myself) is that it is so great to work for a company with tremendous opportunity that encourages you to grow as a person.  Several years ago they made it even more fun to do so with the 68 Day Challenge.  Check it out here on Facebook:  The 68 Day Challenge.

W9 Manifesto-for-FB-Cover NEWThe challenge I am taking on this year – the Whole30 Program.  30 days of cleaner eating for better health.  No grains, beans, dairy, added sugar, and alcohol for 30 days.  What is  attractive about this program?
First, anyone can do just about anything for only 30 days.  Next, I love this philosophy that eating healthy is easy, it’s the psychology that gets in the way.

So, the challenge is 68 days and the program is only 30.  No worries.  This isn’t a program to jump right into.  The first few steps that I am working on now:

  1. emptying my pantry of temptation
  2. reading It Starts with Food
  3. meal planning –  for family members on the plan and those not on the plan
  4. schedule planning  

This last one, schedule planning, has actually been the hardest part so far.  Why make this program more difficult by trying to do it when there is extra temptation and will power busters?  We’ve (I’m lucky that my husband agreed to go along on this journey) moved our start date from February 23rd (the day after my husbands birthday)  to January 4th (let’s stop talking and get started) to January 8th (really, you have 2 business dinners this week).

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