Monthly Archives: March 2013

Hollis Turns Three (+ Whole30 Day 16}

Well, my sweet pea is three. And what a wonderful day we had together! Nothing like starting the morning out with a birthday present (fresh bedhead and all). (It was this bathtub toy that didn’t work very well. I got it off Hautelook so I need to see if it’s returnable or not. At least I didn’t pay full price!)
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Some paleo pumpkin pancakes topped with syrup, whipped cream, and mini chocolate chips was the perfect birthday breakfast for our girl. And let’s be honest, all she really cared about were the “chwocwate chwips”.
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When the weather forecast called for 60+ degree day, I knew a little party at the park with her friends was the perfect way for her to spend her afternoon! Lots of playing, yelling, and mostly enjoying the sunshine.
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Little brother and his baton (that he kept a death grip on for the first half hour we were there)
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A little picnic with snacks and treats! Including these little beauties: Food Babe’s Almond Butter Brownies layered with fresh whipped cream and strawberries. It was slightly torturous putting these together!
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Hollis LOVED her party at the park. It combined her favorite things: friends, playing outside, playing on “huge toys”, treats, her little brother, and the sunshine!
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Back home for the next round of the party….Daddy had her “big” present ready and waiting. She had to follow the string all around the house and yard.
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…which led her to her pink Strider bike! For whatever reason, she started whining and saying “Nooooo!” as soon as she saw it (?!?). She literally ran away from it and hid her head in my legs. Um…not the reaction we were going for? Within a few minutes she had settled down and put her helmet on. And was touching the bike! So that was progress. We’ll see how long it takes to make some progress on learning how to actually ride the bike.
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We had some of her favorites for dinner: hamburgers (homemade patties, no buns) and fries (sweet potato fries fried in tallow). Really, anything that she can dip in ketchup is a favorite for her! Then it was blowing out some candles and then she finally let us sing her “happy birthday”. Also, right before bedtime she said “I love my birthday, mommy. And I love all the presents you got me.” It really was the perfect day!

Three Things I Love About Hollis
1) I love her imagination. She is so into creative play right now. She is constantly busy in her kitchen, making food, cooking, and trying to feed me and little brother. She loves to play library – she wants me to be “the lady” and check her books out for her. She also loves playing with her babies, and she is the best mommy to them. She’ll turn all the lights off and say “shhh, my baby is sleeping!” (Where did she get that from?!?) 😉 She is always feeding, rocking, and cuddling her baby and telling me what her baby needs. I just love watching her imagination grow and blossom!
2) I love watching her as a big sister. She is sooo incredibly affectionate and caring with Parks. She is always looking out for him, and telling me what he needs. If he is fussy or upset she gives me ideas on what I could do to make him happy. She (sometimes) loves to share with him. She loves to make him laugh and giggle. And she loves to be excited for him when he learns new things. I just love watching the two of them together. And I love the feeling of responsibility and pride that you can see growing in her as a big sister!
3) I love how sweet and affectionate she is. Her main love language is definitely physical touch, and she is constantly hugging, snuggling, and wanting to be in close physical proximity to me. She needs her little love tank filled up throughout the day. If she’s starting to lose it or get really whiny or difficult, I know that a quick snuggle session helps her feel connected and fills her back up, and gets her back on track. She loves to brush and play with me hair, she loves to let me hug and kiss her (right now she’s into “wiping” the kisses off, but then quickly asks for more 🙂 ).
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(this was a pose she wanted to do):
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Happy Birthday to my little Sweet Pea, my Punkin, my Tootie, my Precious Girl….my love and my heart.

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{Whole30} Day 15

I have officially completed two weeks of the Whole 30! In some ways it’s gone so fast and has seemed pretty easy. In other ways I cannot believe it’s only been two weeks…feels like forever since I’ve had butter :). I am feeling pretty good. I’ve definitely felt some energy surges, but honestly nothing quite as extreme as some of the testimonials I’ve read. Really wish I could a full night of sleep so that I could get a true feeling of what the difference is! Regarding sleep though, I am definitely noticing that I am sleeping more soundly and falling asleep quicker than normal. When one of the kids wakes up at night, it seems like it takes me forever to actually wake up, even though I’ve been hearing the cry for several minutes. I am noticing some changes in my skin, too. It’s certainly not perfect but the overall surface and appearance is smoother. And, it’s not dry at all! This time of year I ALWAYS have at least one little dry patch somewhere on my face, and also usually one on my arm. There are definitely none of those, not to mention my skin just feels soft and supple. Like if I were to forget to put lotion on at night, it wouldn’t really matter.

Going forward for the remaining two weeks I am excited about continuing to mix it up and try new recipes. I think one of the keys to Whole 30 is to keep a variety going in your meals. I don’t mind eating up leftovers, but it’s also good for me to always have 2-3 recipes in my head that I know I want to try. I am continually scanning the #whole30 hashtag on Instagram to get new ideas and inspiration. Breakfast is definitely the hardest, since it’s hard to come up with much variety! And I also just don’t have a lot of time in the morning, what with my two little hungry rascals that are hanging on my legs :).

Breakfast:
Speaking of a lack of variety, I basically recreated my dinner from last night. Couldn’t help it, that fried sweet potatoes + chicken sausage combo was so good! This time I added diced green pepper and spinach to the mix. And then threw a couple fried eggs on top. Avocado on the side, of course.
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Lunch:
More pot roast.

Snack:
I recently picked up some Green Tea Matcha powder, after reading this post. I gave it a try today in a little smoothie concoction that I came up with:

one cup coconut milk
one frozen banana
one spoonful of unsweetened cocoa powder
one spoonful of coconut oil
probably 1.5 tsp of green matcha powder
a couple ice cubes

It was SO good! I didn’t really taste the powder so I would probably add more next time. Loved it though!

Dinner:
More pot roast. Ummmm didn’t feel like cooking. The kids had already been fed and put to bed, and Bret was making a steak. So I just ate what I could find to get it over with!

{Whole30} Day 14

Breakfast:
As you can see, this was not an “ideal” breakfast. Not very heavy on the protein, nor heavy on the veggies. And, I definitely felt it! I was hungry less than two hours after eating. Compared to one of my better breakfasts which can last me 4+ hours. Lesson learned! I had leftover veggie fritatta, avocado, and a bowl of pineapple and blueberries.
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Lunch:
Leftover pot roast from last night.

Dinner:
Dinner needed to be quick and easy tonight! I filled a skillet with diced sweet potatoes and sliced chicken apple sausage. I wanted to get them good and crispy (I’m not a fan of soft sweet potatoes). A pan on sauteed green beans on the side (add a little coconut aminos + orange juice right at the end to give it a nice flavor kick!). This was actually REALLY good! Even Bret loved it (he usually hates the chicken sausage).
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{Whole30} Day 13

Breakfast:
Well, today was my last day with Grace, so I decided to whip up a little something special for breakfast. Now, the ingredients are all “legal” although, the dish itself really isn’t. But oh well. I wanted to make Grace a grain-free Dutch Baby, and that’s what I did! This is one of my most favorite, protein packed, quick and easy breakfasts. If you have your ingredients blended up and sitting in your fridge the night before, then it’s simply a matter of pouring it into the pan and waiting the 18 minutes for it to bake. And, the kids absolutely love it, so that’s a plus. In fact, I have served it to quite a few people and they’ve all loved it! It’s so good with butter slathered on top (ghee in my case for today), a pile of fresh berries, and syrup (or, applesauce if you’re Whole30 style!). Yummmm.
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Lunch:
I had another spinach salad (like yesterday), and then ate up one of the last acorn squash + salmon patties.
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Snack:
You know you’re actually truly hungry when you eat this for a snack: summer sausage (organic, grass fed, and nitrate-free) slices with (cold) sliced beets. I was trying hard to be “good” and not reach for a handful of nuts or fruit….so I opened the fridge and had this on a plate 60 seconds later. And really, it was pretty good! A little drizzle of balsamic plus a sprinkle of salt on the beets and they were good to go.
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Dinner:
Pioneer Woman’s Pot Roast. Pot Roast has always been one of my all time favorite meals. In fact, I can remember many years growing up when that was what I requested for my birthday dinner. Is that a weird birthday dinner for a 12 year old girl to ask for?! But I love it. And I fell even more in love when I found PW’s version. Holy delicious. The simplest preparation, too. Simply brown your meat, onions, and carrots in your dutch oven. Then deglaze the pan with some broth. Throw the meat and veggies back in, and add the super stellar ingredients that take it over the top: several sprigs of fresh rosemary and thyme. Make sure they’re pushed down into the juices. Then bake it low and slow (275 for 4+ hours). It’s so flavorful it’s almost sweet. Those juices are the best thing you’ve ever tasted. Of course, there’s nothing better than some roasted potatoes to soak up the juices….but of course today those had to be omitted. I did add some steamed broccoli on the side, and it was pretty tasty after rolling around in the juice on my plate! (Broccoli not pictured).
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Goodbye, Gracie! Thank you so much for visiting me and the little rascals! I had so much fun with you! And thank you for joining me on my culinary adventure :).
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{Whole30} Day 12

Breakfast:
Veggie Frittata and sweet potato hashbrowns (also avocado on the side, not pictured). I ordered 10 POUNDS of these sweet potatoes from my food co-op (Azure Standard). Annnnnd they sent me the white kind. I don’t even know if they carry the orange kind, but I was pretty disappointed that I ended up with the white kind. And now I have about 9.5 more pounds of ’em sitting on my shelf. Anyone want some?
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Lunch:
Spinach Salad with warm bacon grease dressing. Mmmmhmmm that’s as good as it sounds. Love this recipe, and I added avocado and tomato this time.
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Dinner:
Grace and I got to continue our favorite activity of Eating Out. We went to Downriver Grill, one of my favorite Spokane Restaurants. I was excited to see that they revamped the place a bit (updated look) and changed the menu a bit. Was it just me, or have they lowered their prices?! I mean, $24 for a NICE grassfed Steak with veggie + starch sides? Pretty impressive. And yes, it was delicious. And yes, I subbed my starch for a salad. FTW. (No pic unfortunately. It was dark in there, not to mention I forgot).

{Whole30} Day 11

Breakfast:
Bacon and eggs. Needed a veg and decided I’d just use up the last of the Raw Kale Salad from yesterday. Kind of a weird combo, but it did the job!
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Lunch:
My wonderful friend Grace is in town visiting me from Colorado this weekend! Kind of bad timing to be on Whole 30, since we normally LOVE going out to eat and trying new restaurants. But, it didn’t stop us! We had a delicious lunch at Sante, one of my favorite restaurants downtown. I had the grassfed beef burger, without a bun or cheese or condiments, of course. I got the veggies that go with it, and then a side salad with olive oil and vinegar. Absolutely delicious, and such a treat to eat out! I didn’t remember to take a pic until about halfway through:
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Dinner:
Grace and I had a smorgasbord of leftover, since there were alot that needed to be eaten up. I had some of the london broil from the night before, with a side of sauteed Rainbow Chard, and some steamed beets on top. I drizzled balsamic vinegar on top of it all. Yum!
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{Whole30} Day 10

I’ve been thinking how I’ve said a few times on here “this isn’t very hard!” I think I want to clarify, in case I ever do a Whole 30 again, so that I can remember what exactly I meant by that :). When I say “this isn’t very hard” I am referring to the point that I am eating plenty of really delicious food, I am not hungry, and I have such a great reason to be challenging myself in this way that it all feels worth it. Also, I love a good challenge now and then :). But yes, there are absolutely foods that I miss! I fantasize throughout the day about sinking my teeth into a piece of sprouted sourdough toast with a thick slab of pastured butter and raw honey on top. I could really go for a glass (or two) of wine right now. When I’m mixing up a bowl of homemade nut granola with yogurt and raw milk for the kids, it takes all I have in me to not lick the yogurt spoon or take a few *small* bites here and there. But ultimately, I (obviously) am not suffering. I am breaking old habits – not necessarily bad but also not necessarily good – and replacing them with new, better habits. I love the focus on making each meal as nutrient dense as possible: replacing the starches and grains with plenty of protein and fresh veggies, and always take a healthy serving of fat along with it. I felt like I practiced this a lot already, but with forcing myself to remove grains, I am prioritizing other foods even more now. Also, these first ten days have opened my eyes to how much I used sweeteners throughout the day: no, I never used refined sweeteners such as white or brown sugar, but I was always adding a bit of honey here to my toast, a bit of maple syrup there to my oatmeal, a bit of honey here to my tea, a bit of honey there to my smoothie. And I don’t necessarily think those practices are bad. It’s just been really interesting to be made more aware of these habits, and to (hopefully) continue to be more aware going forward. Good stuff.

Breakfast:
I found a bag of frozen pumpkin puree, and happened to stumble upon a recipe for grain free pumpkin pancakes, so I decided I must give them a try. It was a nice change to my usual eggs for breakfast, and yet it was still very protein filled. I probably should have added another veg on the side, but I ran out of time and figured the pumpkin in the pancakes would have to do. 🙂 After I took this photo, I added a little applesauce on top of the pancakes, and sprinkled a handful of blueberries. Delish! (Oh, also, I tried that Costco bacon again. This time when I was frying it up in the pan, I sprinkled a little extra salt on top = big improvement).
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Lunch:
Tried out this recipe for Salmon and Acorn Squash Cakes, along with this Raw Kale Salad. A little tomato and avocado on the side made for a yummy and well rounded meal! I really really liked these salmon cakes, and love the fact that you can cook up several at a time and then save the rest for easy meals later. (Sorry for the terrible picture, I remembered half way through my meal that I needed a pic still).
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Dinner:
I started this Balsamic Glazed London Broil in a marinade a few days ago, so the meat ended up being super flavorful. Loved it! I think that marinade would be great on any type of steak. (Note about the above linked recipe: he doesn’t say how much balsamic vinegar to add, so I just threw in about a half a cup. Also, I thought one cup each of olive oil and ACV sounded like a ton, so I cut both of those down as well, maybe to 2/3 cup?) We had some broccoli and asparagus grilled along side of it, and then I had a few leftover sweet potato wedges. No pic because it was late and I forgot. 🙂