{Whole30} Day 23

Only seven days to go! In some ways I am so ready for it to be over. In other ways I don’t really mind and it’s easier than I expected it to be. There is so much to process through in what I’ve learned and what I’ll take away from this. I will for sure be keeping up a lot of these new habits. I love being so intentional about incorporating tons of veggies into each meal. I love being mindful of getting plenty of protein and fat in each meal. I’d say lunches and dinners haven’t been hard to make the switch, and I see many paleo style meals in our future, post-Whole30. I really love the practice of replacing the starch in your meal with more veggies.

Breakfast is the one meal that I sometimes crave something different. A BUTTER, a piece of toast, soaked oatmeal once in awhile, the occasional paleo pancake WITH some real maple syrup, BUTTER…those are things that might sneak their way back in once in awhile :). I also miss my sweeteners. I’ve said before, I don’t use refined sugar, ever. But I do enjoy some healthified paleo-style treats now and again. And coconut sugar in my coffee. And honey in my tea. Ahhhh, yes, I have learned new and important habits. But I also am not afraid of some of the ones I had pre-Whole30. I will strive for a healthy balance going forward!

Breakfast:
I’ve had this two days in a row: an egg scramble with chicken sausage, zucchini, and mushrooms, and those mini sweet peppers (my new obsession!). And then I decided to give this Sweet Beet Smoothie a try. Sounds gross, I know. It’s actually quite delicious! And the kids chugged it down. I was inspired to make it because I had a container of steamed beets in the fridge that needed using up. Then when I came across this recipe for the smoothie, I noticed that it called for cooked beets. Now, I can’t say that I would ever go through the trouble of cooking beets just for this smoothie (they’re really a bit troublesome to cook, what with the peeling and inevitable pink-stained hands). But because I already some cooked and in the fridge, I decided to give it a go. And it was so good yesterday (and I had enough beets left over) that I made it again today! Also, it should be noted that I’m not really a huge smoothie fan. I like the idea of them. But then when it comes time to drink it I usually get about half way through and lose interest. Something about the texture? But this one I had no trouble at all getting down.
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*recipe notes: I omitted the protein powder and the honey. I added about 5 ice cubes just because I like my smoothies really cold and somewhat slushie. And I added a handful of frozen kale just to see if I could get away with it – didn’t taste it at all!

Lunch:
My sweet mother in law took me and the kids out for a day downtown. We tried the Nordstrom Cafe for lunch. I was pleasantly surprised to immediately find something on the menu that needed very few changes to make it Whole30 compliant! I went with the Salad Nicoise with Herb and Garlic Salmon. It was so good! In case you’re not familiar (and since I forgot to take a photo), Salad Nicoise is a traditional French salad with hard boiled egg, green beans, capers, tomatoes, red onion, and potatoes. I believe it is traditionally topped with tuna, but I was happy to have mine with salmon. I of course omitted the potatoes, and used oil and vinegar for my dressing. Very very good and I’m excited to recreate it at home sometime.

Dinner:
This dinner was a total Hail Mary that turned out as a win. We were getting ready to leave the house this morning when I decided at the last minute that I really wanted to try and come up with something to slow cook while we were gone, since I knew we would have a late afternoon and I would be crunched for time to make dinner. I literally ran out to the freezer in the garage and scanned the shelves. I found a hunk of round steak, ran it inside, cut the plastic off, and plopped it in my dutch oven. Then I poured a jar of Trader Joe’s Organic Tomatillo Salsa on top and added a little water. I put the lid on and threw it in the oven (250) and said a little prayer. When we got home five hours later, the house smelled heavenly. I pulled it out and things were looking hopeful! I cut up the meat into smaller chunks so that they could all nestle into the sauce a bit more. I had a head of cauliflower that I really needed to use up, so I decided to try making some “rice”, which I thought could be a good accompaniment for some saucy chunky meat (just take your food processor to your cauliflower until it’s in tiny pieces, and then boil those for 5-10 min and strain. Rice!). Sauteed a sliced zucchini, and we were good to go! At the last minute I decided to throw some diced avocado on top of the meat+rice. Heaven. Seriously, it was so good. Full disclaimer, though: Bret wasn’t really a fan. He wasn’t a hater, but he wasn’t excited about it. So, I’m not sure if I’m the weirdo or if he’s the weirdo. Try it at your own risk!
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