Tales of A Paleo Mom

Quick Update…Whole 30 Day 1

Day 1 of the Whole 30 and it’s going fairly well so far.

Meal 1: 2 scrambled eggs with spinach cooked in coconut oil, black coffee
Meal 2: leftover roasted chicken, sautéed green beans with garlic and olive oil, orange

I didn’t eat breakfast within one hour of waking and had to force myself to choke it down.  I just wasn’t hungry.  It was a hectic morning with the executive team walking through our classrooms.  As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I have had a few hectic days which has lead to beginning my second Whole 30.   Things should be slowing down I am hoping.

Crossing my fingers and toes I make smart choices the rest of the day!

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Weekly Meal Plan

Super quick…then off to bed…

  • Sunday:  my MIL invited my parents over, so she was in charge of dinner – steak, marinaded chicken, oven roasted potatoes, asparagus, spinach salad, garlic bread with brownies and ice cream for dessert
  • Monday:  Paleo Pizza Casserole from onceamonthmeals.com <——love that I found this site over the weekend…excited to try some of the meals and maybe prep by freezing a few we like
  • Tuesday:  Brick Roasted Chicken
  • Wednesday:  Pork Tenderloin
  • Thursday:  Coffee Marinaded Steak Fajitas from PaleOMG.com…prepped this for last week and stuck in freezer which turned out to save me a night of figuring out what to make this week 🙂

Not sure what the rest of the week will look like…I have some ground beef so maybe meatloaf or burgers on Friday or Saturday.  We shall see.

I was planning on starting a Whole 30 this morning, but not having stuff in the house and having stuff in the house we should not is making it really hard to commit.  I am thinking maybe during April I will try which would be give over a week to get things lined up and figured out. The new site I found Once A  Month Meals has a spot for recipes for Whole 30 which will probably be my go to.  Meanwhile, I am just working to get back on track.  I seem to have a good day and then things fall apart.

Setting a goal for tomorrow (was going to be for the week but starting small) – eat three meals starting with Meal 1 before leaving the house and drinking plenty of water, no snacking once I get home from work or after dinner

 

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March Challenge Update and Weekly Menu Plan

So…things are going.  Overall, I would say the family is making healthier choices, but we are still a long way from where I would love everyone to be.  Baby steps…baby steps.

My daughter, Sarah, worked on a school project at her friend’s house on Wednesday night.  She was invited to stay for dinner which ended up being takeout from In and Out Burger.  When I picked her up, she was super excited to share that she did not order fries or a milkshake (which would have been her normal order) and just got the burger.  She is my carb girl, so of course she ordered it with the bun.   I told her I was impressed that she thought about what she was ordering and was able to think about what would be better choices.  I left it at that.  Baby steps…baby steps.

My son went home with a friend on Thursday due to parent teacher conferences.  They went to Taco Bell.  No comment.

My husband is trying but has had quite a few meals out for a variety of reasons.  I know it is not easy for him (or the rest of the family for that matte) but he is trying…kind of.

Me…I have realized that I am too hard on myself and need to stop beating myself up over things and just move on.  Last week was not a great week as far as my eating, but not for the reasons above like my family.  It was a really stressful week last week – report cards and parent teacher conferences.  I ended up not eating enough during the day which resulted in nighttime binge eating.  I ALWAYS woke up feeling crappy the next day…which then resulted in not eating until lunch time and the pattern continued.  I am back on track for the most part after the last two days.  I set a goal for myself for the upcoming week.  This week my mini goal is to make sure that I eat breakfast within the first two hours of waking up.  Preparation is going to be key 🙂

In all honesty though, the family is eating healthier overall and that’s a good thing.  Makes me a happy mama 🙂

Weekly Menu for the Week of March 16

  • Sunday:  Prosciutto Pesto Chicken Roulade (with cheese for the others) from againstallgrain.com
  • Monday:  London Broil with Rosemary Vegetables from Against All Grain
  • Tuesday:  Bacon Wrapped Chicken Tenders with Honey Mustard Sauce
  • Wednesday:  Pork Tenderloin
  • Thursday:  Coffee Marinaded Steak Fajitas from OMG.  That’s Paleo?
  • Friday…
  • Saturday…

Off to finish my grocery list, shop, meal prep, squeeze in a Strong Curves workout and enjoy a bit of sunshine!

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Easy Paleo Slow Cooker Meals – Free eBook

Arsy Vartanian of Rubies & Radishes (www.rubiesandradishes.com) has a free eBook on Amazon for the next 36 hours….

http://www.amazon.com/Easy-Paleo-Slow-Cooker-Meals-ebook/dp/B00IIWQ2JA/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1393398892&sr=8-2&keywords=ruby+and+radishes

Who doesn’t love free?

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March Monthly Challenge – It’s a Family Thing!

That’s right…I convinced the whole family to join in a monthly challenge.  Well, I didn’t exactly tell them it was a monthly challenge but I challenged them to try and make better food choices for 30 days (I am taking baby steps to get the family back to paleo/primal).  To my shock…THEY AGREED!  Even the my 13 year old daughter!  Challenge on!

Here are the details so far….

THE CHALLENGE:  Healthier eating for the month of March – I will be doing my second Whole 30 and the rest of the family will be making healthier, real food choices most of the time (aiming for 6 out of 7 days).

Why are we doing this?  We all need to check our eating habits and I am determined to show the family they can feel better by making healthier food choices.

How will we survive 30 days?  LOTS and lots of planning, prepping and cooking.  I will be asking the kids for help with meal planning and prep.  We will probably need to do some compromising on both sides to make this work for the 30 days.

Stay tuned for meal plans, daily updates and recipes you can tryout!

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A Spring Break to Remember…

So I last left off excited that Spring Break finally was here!  We had plans with family and friends for Easter celebrations, and I had big plans for my week off since my kids were not off….shopping, shopping and more shopping with yoga in there a couple times.  That was until my world came to a screeching halt on Saturday night and I was reminded about what is most important in my life – my family and friends.

My son ended up in the ER at 11:00 pm Saturday night after having rapid breathing for much of Saturday afternoon and evening.  I knew he wasn’t feeling well that day since he had been sleeping and complained of a headache.  He didn’t seem like his normal happy self but it didn’t seem like anything other than being under the weather.  My husband noticed that he was breathing really fast at around 1:00 pm.  We kept an eye on it since Joey said he felt fine.   I ended up contacting an advice nurse who said it sounded like he was congested and told me to put him in the bathroom and run the shower on hot.  He needed to sit in there for 15-20 minutes in the steam.   He fell asleep and every time I checked on him, he said he was good but the breathing never slowed down.  Finally at 10:00 pm and after worrying for hours, my husband, neighbors, mother-in-law and I all agreed it wasn’t right and we were concerned that he wasn’t getting enough oxygen.  I called to speak to another advice nurse and she told me to bring him in right away.  (Lesson learned here…while I know I am not a medically trained professional, the next time something like this happens I will be heading straight to urgent care or the hospital without consulting the advice nurse.  My gut told me to go, and the ER nurse told me next time listen to my gut!)

Once we reached the ER, we were immediately asked how long Joey had had asthma.  I looked at the nurse confused and told her he had never been diagnosed with asthma.  He was a healthy kid.  Within two minutes of being admitted to the hospital, they had him in a room and were hooking him up to all sorts of machines, giving him medication, and getting IV lines into him.  It all happened so fast I couldn’t really process what was going on.  The doctors quickly ordered x-rays and blood tests.  My husband and I sat in silence much of the night/morning with the exception of the beeps from Joey’s monitors every once in a while.  Neither one of us got any sleep.  At some point in the early morning hours, a doctor came in and said they thought it was an asthma episode, and there was a suspicious spot on Joey’s left lung which could be pneumonia and the possible trigger for the asthma.  They were going to start treating him for both – steroids to open up his airway, Albuterol for the asthma, and antibiotics for the possible pneumonia.   Doctors kept telling us that if Joey started to improve there was a chance he would be sent home in the early morning but watching him lying there on the bed I knew that there was no way he was going home.  There was little change by 6:00 am Sunday morning.  The decision was made to transfer him to another hospital that had a pediatric unit.

Once at the other hospital, Joey continued the treatment they had started in the ER, but again no one really knew what or why any of this was happening.  He was on a constant feed of Albuterol which caused his heart rate to be elevated (140-150 beats per minute whereas normal range for his age is 80-100) and he was still breathing around 40 breaths per minute (should be about 20).  He had to have constant oxygen as well.  Joey’s improvement was minimal (although when you asked him, he was always “good”), and the doctors decided to give him an Epinephrine shot to open up his airways and help reduce swelling in hopes that the asthma medication could finally reach his lungs.  There was also talk about moving him to the ICU if he didn’t start to improve after the shot.

Fortunately, although very slow, he started to show improvements and we did not have to venture into the ICU (thank goodness!).  It took a total of three nights to get him to a point where he was well enough to come home.  We have had to continue the steroids for three days along with antibiotics one of which will be for 8 days.  Joey now has an inhaler and will have several follow up appointments to figure out if he is asthmatic and what might have triggered the asthma “episode”.

The events over the last couple of days have gotten me to stop and think about how much I take for granted.  It is so easy to get caught up in the stresses of day to day life without taking time to be thankful for all that I have….and I do have a lot to be thankful for 🙂

This week has helped me slow down a bit, but I am looking forward to getting back into a routine and to meal planning (there was none of that this past week and that caused some serious problems….aghhh).  More about my not so good stress eating tomorrow….maybe…it was bad….really bad…..I’m serious.  I ate things I haven’t eaten in a LONG time…it got ugly…M&Ms.Soda.Cookies.Nachos(mmmm those were worth it).More M&Ms.Mochas.Peanutbutterpretzels.Goldfish.  See.  I told you it was ugly!

Today’s Chow…

  • <insert face palm>

Today’s Workout…

  • jogged 3.2 miles in 29:52 (was just glad to get out and move!)
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SPRING BREAK…finally!

It has been a couple of busy days.  No need to rehash them especially since they were not particularly great days filled with events I don’t necessarily want to remember.  Nothing horrible…just a couple of “those days”.  My eating was pretty good considering I usually eat whatever I can get my hands on when I get stressed.  My mother in law made oven fried chicken on Thursday night which was fried in oil then baked in the oven.  I ate pieces with the batter taken off.  There was also a potato bake dish and I couldn’t pass up potatoes…today I am wishing I had passed on those potatoes.  Oh well, yet another reminder why I try and eat paleo most of the time.

Today was a GREAT day!  No work! I still had to wake up to take Sarah to school and then came home to get Joey ready.   After I dropped him off at school, my sister jogged over to my house and we went for a 30ish minute jog.  I sat around searching for recipes and then headed to shower.  I treated myself to a pedi and got my eyebrows waxed.  I wandered around the mall for a little while and picked up a couple of things.  Then it was time to pick up the kids from school, and we made a quick stop for dinner stuff for Taco Salad (change in plan since my mother in law wasn’t feeling well but said that Taco Salad sounded good).  Once we got home, I baked a loaf of the most delicious lemon bread I have ever tasted, cooked up the ground beef for dinner, and hard boiled eggs for Easter festivities.  We ate dinner and then I made a batch of Dark Chocolate Clusters (same recipe as Dark Chocolate Bark but I omitted the oil, walnuts, and nut butter and spooned batches onto waxed paper). So not really the same recipe but close enough…I am addicted to these and need help!

Lemon

But getting back to the lemon bread.  We have a little Meyer lemon tree.  The picture is of an actual lemon on our little tree taken by my daughter. (She is my blog photographer!)  It had quite a few lemons on it which we had to pick since the little tree looked like it was in pain trying to keep the limbs up with the lemons barely hanging on.  The lemons have been sitting in the kitchen, and I had been searching for a recipe with the hopes of finding something I could serve Easter morning to the gang.  I was originally going to make a bundt cake which I would not have eaten because it would have been full of tummy irritating items.  I stumbled upon a new blog I had never visited, Primally Inspired.  I was reading through the recipe page when I found what I was looking for but hadn’t really been looking for!  No Grains Delicious Lemon Bread with A Lemon Glaze.  I quickly whipped up a batch and popped it into the oven.  I chose to make it using coconut milk and coconut oil to keep it dairy free.  While it was baking away in the oven, I made the glaze.  After 40 minutes in the oven, the bread was golden brown and ready to come out.  I poured the glaze on and stuck it in the fridge.  I patiently waited the suggested 60 minutes before cutting myself a small piece.  OH MY GAWD!  It was moist and lemony and bready and soooo good.  I was eager to share the deliciousness and quickly cut a piece for my husband.  I watched thinking he would love it, but he didn’t.  He took one bite and had to follow it with a huge gulp of soda (don’t get me started on that rant!).  While I was disappointed that he didn’t love it, secretly I was jumping up and down because that means I get to enjoy a treat all to myself and I don’t have to share or worry about everyone else eating it all.  Why didn’t my hubby like it??? Because he is weird!  Just kidding….kind of…..he said it was moist and had a good texture, but the coconut flavor was too strong for him.  (He has eaten other baked goodies with coconut flour and never said anything!)  Maybe if I am feeling nice, I will try it again but use butter instead of coconut oil and whole milk instead of coconut milk.

No Grains Delicious Lemon Bread with A Lemon Glaze

Today’s Chow…

  • Meal 1:  coffee with coconut milk and coconut sugar, 2 eggs with kale
  • Meal 2:  apple with sunbutter, asparagus wrapped up in Applegate ham
  • Snacked on grapes and lemon bread while making dinner 😦
  • Meal 3:  tortilla chips and salsa (I Love Mexican Food!), taco salad with salsa for dressing, more lemon bread (couldn’t waste what the husband didn’t like)
  • Not really a meal….coffee with coconut milk and coconut sugar, 2 Dark Chocolate Clusters

Today’s Workout…

  • 30ish minute run with my sister
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Getting Organized

I am technology challenged.  I just figured out how to make pages on the blog and added the links.  There are still quite a few things I want to tweak, but I still have to figure that how to do it.  I am sure what I did change isn’t all that impressive to most out there, but I am super excited that I added a recipe and weekly menu page with working links!  Woo hoo!  Eventually it will be more organized into categories on the recipe page and links for the recipes on the weekly menu.  Or at least that is what I am hoping for…baby steps!  What are you waiting for?!?  Go check out all my hard work!

Today’s Chow…

  • Meal 1:  2 eggs with steamed kale, half an avocado and hot sauce, coffee with coconut milk and coconut sugar
  • Meal 2:  leftover meatballs with green beans, apple with sunflower butter and pistachios
  • PreWO Snack:  Apple Pie Lara Bar
  • Meal 3:  pork tenderloin, huge green salad with avocado and a simple balsamic dressing and a few strawberries
  • After dinner treat:  what else….Dark Chocolate Bark and a little bit more dark chocolate along with my cup of decaf with coconut milk and coconut sugar

I was starving all afternoon and hadn’t planned on eating the Lara Bar.  I am glad I ate something before my workout but that wasn’t ideal.  I have to work on that pre and post workout meal thing.  AND I went a bit nutty for nuts today. Oh well, things could have been a lot worse!

Today’s Workout…

  • Squats: 2 x 12 @ 55 lbs. (so wimpy!)
  • Push ups (hands on this at lowest spot I could grab without my knuckles scraping the cement, not nearly as high up as the grip shown) 2 x 12 super set with Seated Rows 2 x 12 @ 60 lbs.
  • Step ups (onto weight bench) 2 x 12 @ 30 lbs. (2-15 lb. dumbbells) super set with planks 2 x 1 minute and 15 seconds
  • 1 round of intervals 10 seconds rest/20 seconds work (total of 8 sets for 4 minute workout) – I alternated between jump squats and mountain climbers.
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Just Another Manic Monday…

It is a short work week, so I was excited driving in to school today.  Only four short days and then Spring Break.  Unfortunately, once my class walked in, I quickly realized that it was going to be a long four days.  For some reason, they are just being mean to each other and I am having to talk to the whole class constantly about feelings and bullying when we are supposed to be learning.  My teammate and I joked that if we called in sick the rest of the week we would make up the days during our week off.  Only I wasn’t joking…it sounded like a perfect idea to me!

To add to my delightful Monday, my dinner tonight was not so good.  I hate when that happens.  The “paleo” Swedish meatballs came out fine, but the sauce for the rest of the gang never thickened up.  Oh well…it happens to everyone right?  The meal wasn’t bad, but I won’t be making it with that sauce again.  I  apologized to everyone at the dinner table for the meal.   Much to my surprise, my kids complimented me on the meatballs which they had no idea contained almond flour instead of bread crumbs!  I love when they eat something they really enjoy and have no idea it is a better food choice for them.  Moms have to be sneaky like that sometimes.

On a happy note, I just shared some of my Dark Chocolate Bark with my husband and he looked at me and asked, “You really made this?”  I don’t know if he meant it, but it was what I needed to hear after a day like today.  I have already had two pieces and will be having at least one more with my cup of decaf.  Perfect ending to a crappy day!

Image

Dark Chocolate Bark

What you need…

1 3-4 oz. dark chocolate bar, broken into small chucks (I like Theo 85% dark chocolate.  It doesn’t contain soy lecithin.)

1 Tb. coconut oil

1 Tb. sunflower butter

2 Tb. dried cherries (I used Bing cherries from Trader Joe’s.)

3 Tb. mixed nuts of choice (I used macadamia and walnuts.)

 What you do…

  1. Melt chocolate in microwave safe dish in 30 second intervals.  After the first 30 seconds, add the coconut oil and stir.  Continue microwaving for 30 seconds, checking and stirring until the chocolate has melted.  It took three times for the chocolate to be completely melted.
  2. Add the sunflower butter and stir.
  3. Add the cherries and nuts. Stir until well combined.
  4. Pour into an 8 x 8 inch dish lined with parchment paper or wax paper.
  5. Place in the freezer.  Lick the bowl clean….don’t want to waste any chocolate!
  6. After the chocolate has hardened, remove from pan and break into chunks.

I have mine stored in the freezer and they are perfect.

I am thinking about trying to make clusters, so I will leave out the coconut oil and add more goodies to the mix.  The bark can be made with so many different combinations of dried fruits and nuts, with or without the nut butter, and maybe even sprinkled with a little sea salt before putting in the freezer to set.  Get creative!

Today’s Chow

  • Meal 1 – 2 eggs with spinach cooked in coconut oil, 3/4 of an apple my daughter didn’t finish, and coffee with coconut milk and coconut sugar
  • Meal 2 – leftover chicken “enchilada” with cauliflower rice and half an avocado
  • PreWO – blueberry Lara bar
  • Meal 3 – Paleo Swedish meatballs (with no sauce) and green beans sauteed with olive oil and garlic
  • Snack – dark chocolate bark (so far 2 but I am sure that is going to increase), decaf coffee with coconut milk and coconut sugar

Today’s Workout

  • 3.4 run in approximately 32-33 minutes – I had to stop at the crosswalk and wait for the light to flip.
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Meal Plan for the Week of March 24

I try and sit down on Sunday and plan out what we will be having for dinner during the week.  It doesn’t always happen, but it sure makes the week a little less stressful if I can get it done.  One problem we have had is feeling like we are eating the same things over and over again, so for the last month I have been using a month long calendar and filling it out on Sunday for the upcoming week.  It has actually been helpful and I hope to keep it up.  It is nice to be able to go back and look at what we have eaten.  It makes it easier to not eat the same thing every week, although we do have a few favorites that we could eat weekly (Taco Salad).

Here is the plan for this week…

  • Sunday -Leftover Roasted Chicken “Enchiladas” with Cauliflower rice (the family will eat regular enchiladas and rice)
  • Monday – Swedish Meatballs with leftover Cauliflower rice (noodles for those not “Paleo“)
  • Tuesday – Marinaded Pork Tenderloin with roasted asparagus (and roasted red potatoes for the others)
  • Wednesday – BBQ London Broil with broccoli slaw (I might try and do salmon this night.  It’s been a while!)
  • Thursday – my mother in law will be doing dinner
  • Friday – Pizza (out for the gang) and cauliflower or zucchini pizza boats for me 🙂

I had planned on making chili adapted from the Paleo Indulgences cookbook.  After groceries and a few other errands, I ended up baking Banana Snack Cake for the family, attempting to make coconut tortillas for my enchiladas, preparing enchiladas for dinner, prepping and cooking cauliflower rice, making Spanish rice for the family, and creating Dark Chocolate Bark for a treat (recipe to come).  Once I had prepared all of this and did the clean up, I didn’t feel like making the chili and I already had leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch packed so it is going to wait until tomorrow.

The coconut “tortillas” I made for my enchiladas were more like pancakes.  I mixed all the ingredients as directed in a blender (my little Bullet blender, which I love) and almost killed it.  If you haven’t cooked with coconut flour before, it absorbs a lot of moisture.  The recipe I followed called for 4 eggs, 1/4 c. melted coconut oil, 1/2 c. coconut flour, 1/4 tsp. baking powder, 2 pinches of salt, and 2/3 to 1/2 c. (which confused me because that is a greater amount to a lesser amount) of coconut milk or water.  I went with the lesser liquid amount and the batter was super thick, so I added more coconut milk and, even with the extra liquid, my little Bullet started slowing down.  It was not happy.  So I scooped out the mix into a bowl and continued to whisk the batter by hand.  I ended up adding more liquid (water this time) to get a thin enough batter to make tortillas.  I prepped the skillet with a little coconut oil and excitedly poured in the first tortilla.  I tried to swirl it around like I had done with coconut crepes in the past to thin it out, but that didn’t work so well.  When I went to flip it, the tortilla ripped in half.  Fail!  This happened twice!  Thing 1 and Thing 2 into the sink.

Tortilla FailI was about to dump the rest of the batter down the drain out of frustration, but I really hate wasting food and healthy food isn’t cheap!  So I tried making the tortillas smaller and not so thin…

Coconut Pancake  Paleo Pancake

Success!  While I was really looking forward to wrapping up my chicken in a “tortilla”, I ended up putting the tortilla onto my plate and dumping the chicken with enchilada sauce on top.  I also piled on the cauliflower rice and avocado to round out the meal.  It turned out to be tasty and hit the spot.  But I probably won’t be making these little guys again though!

Today’s Chow

  • Meal 1 – Sauteed kale, 2 eggs, bacon and olive scramble thing, coffee with coconut sugar – ran out of coconut milk 😦
  • Meal 2 – leftover beef roast, banana with sunflower butter (weird combination but I was in a hurry)
  • While out shopping and running errands – tall blonde from Starbucks (I felt odd ordering that!)
  • Post workout – more beef and a “tortilla” because I was trying to get dinner ready and needed to eat
  • Meal 3 – coconut tortilla, enchilada chicken, cauliflower rice, avocado
  • While making Dark Chocolate Bark…handful of macadamia nuts, a couple walnuts and a dried cherry or two, plus a couple licks of dark chocolate from the mixing bowl…I couldn’t let it go to waste!

Today’s Workout ( I am following The New Rules of Lifting for Women and just started back with the beginning workouts, so no laughing at the weights I am lifting.  I’m working on it!)

  • Dead lifts 2 x 12 @75 lb.
  • Dumbbell shoulder press 2 x 12 @ 15 lb.  superset with Wide grip lat pull down 2 x 12 @ 60 lb.
  • Lunges 2 x 12 @ 30 lb. (2 15 lb. dumbbells) superset with Weighted crunches 2 x 10 @ 8 lb.
  • 1 round of intervals 10 seconds rest/20 seconds work (total of 8 sets for 4 minute workout) – I alternated between rope waves and mountain climbers
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