Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Deck and gazebo

We've moved! And we are in love with our new space. It's so quiet and lovely. We bought my man a gazebo for Father's Day! Here's a video of us putting it up! Enjoy :) 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Whole30 overview!

Well, we did it. 
I love that I was able to blog three times about it.  Yup.  That's my life.  And I'm alright with it!

Anyway- one of the goals of Whole30 is to have many non-scale victories!  Which I love because what's the point of lbs anyway? I mean really? Why does it matter how much you weigh if you feel good, have energy, and love life?!

So, without further ado, here is a list of just some of the things we have noticed since we completed 30 days of Whole30. 
  • dry scalp- gone
  • headaches- gone
  • back pain- gone
  • kidney stones- none 
  • energy levels- completely out of control amazing!  It's incredible how we all felt during this time.  I drank coffee because I liked it not because I had to have it.  
  • patience- here's a big one.  I'm not the most patient person out there but I could see a significant different in how calm I was during this month.  My children noticed too ;) 
  • attention levels in my kids- Greta has show great changes during her reduced sugar portion of the Whole30 lifestyle.  I ask her to do things and guess what? She actually does them.  It's incredible!  Plus I feel like she argues with me less.  
  • sleep- we both wake up feeling totally refreshed and ready to go for the day! 
I could probably keep going but I feel like those are proof enough.  Not to mention that we both went down at least one pant size and have a combined weight loss of around 20 lbs!

This past weekend we allowed ourselves to eat a little less clean but still tried to pay attention to how we felt after everything we ate.  I have to tell you- we are sold out for clean eating!  There is no way around it.  I had a beer Saturday night with our dinner and it didn't even taste that good.  It's been the only drink I've had since December and I don't miss alcohol at all!  It's like I finally figured out how good I feel sober compared to how I feel after a drink or two and it just isn't worth it anymore!

Also, we both tried a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup at the movies on Saturday night and it tasted horrible.  :(  I used to really like those but I think after a month on just good foods my taste buds have changed and I no longer crave bad sugar.

I'll try to up date this with some of our favorite foods that we've made but follow me on instagram @emilyhansen06 for more regular updates plus pictures of my babes! 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Whole30 Day 3 (1.3.15)

So as I'm typing this we're officially on day 16 of our Whole 30 committment and we absolutely love it.  Someone asked me yesterday if I was counting down the days or actually enjoying it.  The honest answer.  A little of both.

I love the way I feel.  I love how much energy I have.  I love how I haven't had a headache (other than day 4) since this deal started.  I love how I'm consciously thinking about everything I eat.  I'm a snacker you see.  A "finish whatever's on the kid's plates" type of eater.  But not anymore.  I'm thinking about every food decision and I'm loving it. 

That being said.  I'm already planning my first meal on January 31st :)  It's a Sunday morning and we don't currently have a church.  I'll probably try to not eat anything until arriving at Bylerys for a donut and Caribou Coffee Treat.  I'm not sure how it will all sit but since I won't have had dairy for 30 days I'm imagining the worst.  Will it be worth it? I guess we'll find out in 15 days :)

So, back to day 3.
B: I made a sweet potato hash and served with a couple of fried eggs and an avocado.  Homemade Pico de Bubna and some fresh strawberries.  Delish.  I can't remember where I found the recipe but you basically shred some sweet potatoes.  Combine with a bit of seasonings (see how vague I am?) and cook in coconut oil in a hot pan. 

L: Leftover Kale Soup. Here's another key to Whole30.  Make enough to have leftovers to save yourself from cooking another meal every single time. 

Snack: We had a birthday party to attend that day as well as a going away party for my cousin who is traveling abroad.  I knew we'd be around a lot of foods that were off limits so I made a smoothie for us to take to go! 

Dinner:  Please make this recipe as soon as you can.  They are amazing.  And listen to me when I tell you this: Do not make 1/2 a batch.  Why? Because you will be so glad you have them all!  Bora Bora Meatballs  Here's where I find Whole30 to be tricky.  I made these ahead of time so that I wouldn't have to worry about dinner right when we got home from our afternoon out.  But I forgot about sides.  This is when I would normally just throw some pasta in a pot or make some white or brown rice to serve with it.  But not this time.  No Sirree.  I fed my kids some fresh veggies while I whipped up some Cauliflower Rice Pilaf. The link here is for her basic version of this.  I used fresh chopped peppers in mine and pine nuts.  Absolutely delicious!

Evening Snack: Still a habit we're trying to break but we snacked on some water and a Lara Bar.   

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Whole 30 Day 2 recap

Day 2! We made it without making any big no-nos!  Seriously.  Try cutting sugar from your diet for one day.  It's really hard.   Not going without it.  That part is fine.  It's how they sneak sugar into everything that makes it hard.  You have to read every label! And then read it again.  And then ask a friend to read it. 

Breakfast #1: And omelette with spinach and orange pepper
Breakfast #2: A fruit smoothie with spinach and coconut milk. (I mainly made this because I got up super early and was hungry before lunch)
Lunch: Out at the Good Earth Cafe.  The waiter was super helpful and made me this gigantic salad with and olive oil dressing and it was delicious!
Snack: Hard-boiled Egg
Dinner: Turkey Kale Soup. Super Delicious! Just skip the brown rice and you're Whole30 friendly! 
Evening Snack: Banana Sun Butter Cocoa Smoothie and some dried fruits.  So so tasty!  

I was out this evening as well and had to turn down amazing snacks and plenty of adult beverages.  I have to tell you though.  Knowing that I would wake up feeling amazing the next day was super motivating!

Whole30 Day 1 recap

When I'm not doing a cleanse I usually drink my coffee with copious amounts of organic half and half.  I buy it by the 1/2 gallon because I drink so much.  I love cream in my coffee.  So, imagine my amazement when I realized that no dairy would mean no cream in my morning coffee.

But I have to tell you something.  If you're a real coffee drinker than you can drink it black.  And, there are other options to put in.  Like almond milk.  Or coconut milk.  Or, my new favorite method.

Bullet Proof Coffee:
8 oz strong brewed coffe
1 tsp ghee (clarified butter)
1 tsp coconut oil

Blend it up (I use my blender for it because I like it creamy and a little frothy) and pour back in the mug.  It's amazing!  Seriously, so tasty and really good for you! 

Breakfast: Friend eggs with an avocado.
Mid-morning snack: Fruit smoothie with coconut milk
Lunch: Waldorf Tuna Salad
Dinner: Pork Carnitas

The tuna salad was out of this world delicious and I'm not even a big fan of tuna!
The carnitas rocked my world.  We made a huge batch of them to share with our friends and to have leftovers and I'm so glad we did.  We served this with a sweet potato south American salad, a big green salad and avocados with fresh pico.  Also homemade.  I'm telling you.  Do this with a friend.  We have been sharing meals with our close friends the Bubnas and it's making a world of difference! 

I felt great on our first day of this challenge!  Super glad I purchased a lot of food in bulk ahead of time so that we were always ready for a snack if we needed one or a quick meal. Although- I'll warn you.  If I've learned one thing on Whole30 it's that you can't plan ahead enough.  Making quality food takes thought and preparation!  Do it with a friend.  Set a goal.  Make it happen.  You can do this!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Whole 30

So I guess it's time I start updating this bad boy a little more frequently :)

Nothing like a New Year's Resolution to get you motivated!  My man and I started Whole30 on January 1st with some of our best friends and it has already been life changing!  I'm going to attempt to update this blog daily or at least every other day with what we made and what we liked.  I'll attempt to post really crappy photos for your viewing pleasure.  I don't claim to be a food photographer!   I will also try to point you to where most of our recipes are coming from to give credit where credit is due!

The general gist of Whole30 is this:
Yes to real foods.  Meat.  Eggs.  Tons of Vegetables.  Some fruit.  Plenty of good fats from fruits, oils, nuts and seeds.  No processed foods if possible.

No to sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes, carrageenan, MSG or sulfites, and don't try to recreate baked goods, junk foods or treats.  

Let me just start with sugar.  Do you know how hard it is to find foods without sugar in them? Just start looking at your labels.  Seriously.  Go read a few and come back.  Did you see it? Sugar, in any form, is in almost everything we eat.  Maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, coconut sugar, splenda, equal, nutrasweet, xylitol, stevia...All of these are forms of real or artifical sugar that we are to try to avoid.

The idea is to give your digestive system and Whole body a reset.  30 days to reset the way you think about food.  The way your body treats food.  And the way food affects all other areas of our lives.  Almost every social function surrounds itself around food.  Trust me.  I've been invited to half a dozen since we've started this and I'm amazed at what we eat at social functions.  We pack our own snacks or eat before we go so that we're not tempted.  And truth be told.  I'm not really tempted.  Sure, that chocolate chip cookies looks tasty or yes, the nachos smell amazing but I know exactly what they'll do to my system what I eat them and do I want that? No thank you!

So wish us luck.  Or say a prayer.  We are attempting to completely change the way our family views food one meal at a time.  We're already 7 days in at this point and loving it!

Whole30 information

I want to start off by saying that I'm mainly keeping this record for us.  I want to be able to look back at old posts and remember which meals we like the most and which ones were ok.  Our plan is to keep eating as clean as we can next month. 

First off.  We made a box.  I'm pretty sure this isn't advised but since we started our Whole30 journey right after Christmas and New Years we had some stuff floating around we couldn't just throw away or donate. 

Inside our box is Reeses' Peanut Butter Cups and a bottle of vodka among other goodies.  We will probably feel terrible February 1st if we actually open this on the 31st but it's there none the less. 

Second off.  I use a lot of recipes from these sources:
Well Fed
The Paleo Foodie Cookbook
The 30 day guide to Paleo cooking
Pinterest and the internet general searches can be helpful too!

Third off.  I just found out today that something we have been using in quite a few meals isn't 100% Whole30 approved and I'm going to stop using it, make my own batch, and carry on as though it didn't happen.  For a few reasons.  1) I'm 8 days in and I'm not about to start over because of a Veganise that has soy in it.  2) I'm studying Leviticus right now in BSF and there is an entire category of sins by omission.  This is one of those in my book.  We studied the label hard and found that it didn't have sugar or an incorrect type of oil.  3) Although I'm trying to follow this cleanse as closely as I can these circumstances are purely accidental.  If I was going to break this cleanse it would be over the aforementioned goodies in that box.  Definitely not a mayo that cost me $8.

Fourth.  Money.  I will do my best to give you the details on what we're spending during this entire journey as I find it to be helpful.  My man and I started a budge 2 1/2 years ago and have found it to be entirely freeing to know our limits.  We have upped our grocery budget for this month (mainly for the first shopping trip when I had to buy stuff like coconut aminos, ghee, coconut oil, coconut milk, coconut shredded) but all in all we are sticking pretty closely to what we regularly spend.  Because we are not eating out or drinking we are able to put that money toward really healthy food options.  For instance, whenever I can, during this month we are buying organic.

Fifth.  Do this with someone.  I strongly recommend the "misery loves company" rule of thumb here.  On multiple occasions I have called my friend Renee during the past 7 days just to say, "This is hard. Like really hard" or "can we eat together since we're making the same food" or "do you have any chocolate?" It's been fun to meal plan with her and get everything organized for our weeks ahead.  Plus, she has fun ideas and has done this before!

Sixth.  Have a reason for doing this.  For us it's many things.  1) we eat too much sugar.  2) our kids eat too much sugar. 3) I get headaches regularly (probably from grinding my teeth at night but that's another story). 4) We don't want alcohol to be a part of our regularly daily diet.  5) We have been given these amazing temples and we weren't taking very good care of them. 

Seventh. I'm mainly just coming up with a 7th part because I just didn't want to end it on 6 :) Enjoy this as much as you can.  This is not just a sacrifice of your favorite cheese but a sacrifice of your time.  This is all you will do once you start.  Remember when you brought your new baby home and you learned that breastfeeding a baby will be all you do.  For all time.  Forever.  Yeah.  It's kind of like that.  Just thinking about food.  Prepping the food.  Cooking the food.  Eating the food.  Cleaning up the food.  Prepping for the next meal.  Shopping for the food.  Unpacking the food.  and repeat.