Sunday, May 3

Whole 30 Week 3

It's Day 21! During the first few days even making it into the 20s sounded crazy, but here we are with only 9 days standing in front of us.

This past week was full of new challenges: the real world. I hosted my best friends bridal shower last weekend and had originally agreed to make the cake for dessert. What I found interesting was that although I’ve been gluten-free for years so I couldn’t even normally have a cupcake- all I wanted was a cupcake! So strange. I also found out how MINDLESSLY we eat. I can’t count the number of times I almost licked a piece of frosting off here or tasted a spatula there; all while not even realizing it. I’m absolutely shocked that I didn’t have anything but I didn’t have one crumb or sprinkle of the sweet treats. Luckily I had some other wonderful bridesmaids to help with the food so I wouldn’t be tempted with that mess as well.
Another struggle I found this past week was reality catching up; super long days in the office followed by running around after work, going to the gym or trying to catch up with life meant I was left several days without dinner until 8 or 9pm and sometimes lunch was nothing more than some fruit or a Larabar.

Dinner: Hamburger with bacon and a homemade pineapple-mango salsa (this is a similar recipe, I just left out the peppers as Scandinavians don't do spice
Arugula salad with a Dijon mustard dressing (omit the honey from this recipe
homemade sweet potato chips (got a little burnt- oops)

Dinner inspiration brought by Whole30Recipes Instagram account. A slow-cooker pulled beef that was pretty good although I’d increase the time a touch, it didn’t fall apart as much as I’d hoped for.
Garlic Cauliflower mash - don't overheat/cook it gets a funny texture otherwise
Fresh green beans cooked with balsamic and toasted almonds

Breakfast became an old stand-by, bacon, eggs and fruit

inspiration for dinner tonight came from Instagram Whole30Recipes too. It was a cashew/almond-crusted chicken tenders with homemade potato oven fries and another repeat of a quickly-becoming-favorite cucumber/tomato/onion summer salad. 

Cucumber-Tomato Summer Salad
1 English cucumber
handful of roma tomatoes
2-3 cuts of red onion (more if you like onions)
1 part water to 1 part apple cider vinegar
Fresh dill

Cut up the cucumber and red onion into slices and place in a bowl. Sprinkle in some fresh dill. 
Cover the cucumber/onion mixture with 1 part water and 1 part apple cider vinegar until it is completely covered **Apple cider vinegar gives it a sweetness, so don't be scared by the horrendous smell. 
Cover and let chill in the fridge for at least 1-hour.
Remove from the fridge, cut the tomatoes in half and combine in with cucumber/tomato mixture. Sprinkle in more fresh dill and salt and pepper for seasoning if you like.
Serve chilled.

Homemade Oven Fries
(serves 4 people)
3-4 white potatoes
olive oil
onion powder
garlic powder
fresh rosemary

Wash and dry the potatoes, patting dry with a paper towel.
Peel the skins off and then cut the potatoes lengthwise, creating long thin strips of potatoes, similar to a "french fry" shape.
Place the fries into a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil (I used a mixture of regular olive oil and garlic infused olive oil), salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder.
Lay out the potatoes on a foil-covered cooking sheet (foil=less clean-up later). Make sure the fries are evenly coated. Add more salt and pepper if you'd like. Sprinkle fresh rosemary all over the fries.
Cook on 350 until done, about 30-35 minutes if you like them soft. Flip them over half way through. If you like them crunchier, keep in for 5 minute increments but check frequently so they don't burn.

Proof that you can eat out during Whole30. Now it wasn't the most fabulous meal I've ever had but I got by. It was a turkey & chicken cobb sandwhich (obviously without the bun) which came with lettuce, tomato, turkey, chicken breast and topped with avocado. Then I had a side of fresh fruit and water with lime. I couldn't inspect the meat packaging on whether there was added sugar but you know what, for me, I had to go out to eat and it was something that I knew I was compliant mostly so I ate it and didn't feel bad about it. It was a much healthier option than the vanilla cheescake I really wanted soo.....

Other realizations and tips from Week 3:
1.    I realized I rely way to heavily on Larabars and sweet potato chips from Trader Joes (seriously these things are like crack)
2.    Planning is key to this lifestyle: no planning = becoming hangry = having meltdowns = poor eating = feeling bad. Plan ahead people!
3.    You CAN eat out if you’re super picky and very careful. Be “that” person who is “allergic” to everything and severly annoying…just remember to be extra nice to your wait staff and tip a little extra- it’ll go a long way!
4. On Instagram? Follow Whole30Recipes - that is where I got inspirations all the time for recipes and suggestions
5. I spend any morsel of 'free' time outside of work and the gym inside the kitchen. Seriously, it's exhausting.
6. You have to go to the grocery store multiple times a week if you eat a lot of fruit- it disappears!