Weekend with Friends
Woohoo, the end of the week! We celebrated with some delicious tilapia (cooked by Mike), a cabbage/ carrot slaw with homemade carrot and ginger dressing (this one here), and some sweet potato chips. I sliced them thin using the mandolin, tossed with a little oil, put them in the oven for 25 minutes, and let them cool on wire racks afterwards – they still didn’t get crispy! I’m thinking maybe I need to try a different type of oil (used olive oil this time)?
We rented Identity Thief from Redbox, and while I like both the actors – Melissa McCarthy and Jason Bateman (Arrested Development!) – the movie didn’t feel that coherent or funny =\ Oh well, we’re still looking forward to watching The Heat!
We woke up early on Saturday and hit the gym in the morning to get it done and out of the way for the rest of the day. I did about 30 min on the elliptical and then went to spin class with Mike and E. It was taught by a new instructor and she was TOUGH! Sprints at a 7/8 resistance level? I felt my quads burning the whole class and walked out with wobbly legs. Don’t you just love that feeling? lol.
I spent the rest of the day food shopping and cooking for Sunday’s BBQ. Local readers, the Safeway on King Street in Alexandria is closing for renovations, so everything in the store is 25% off!! I bought tons of meat and stocked the freezer :)
I made homemade mayo (not paleo, I can’t stand the taste of olive oil mayo), paleo ketchup, sweet potato salad for the bbq, and chicken salad for lunches during the week. Guys, homemade mayo is really easy to make – just whip an egg yolk with some mustard, vinegar, salt, and add a cup of oil very slowly. You can whip it by hand, or use a food processor or blender. I’m still not a fan of mayo, but at least I know my mayo is fresh. E took charge of marinating about 10 pounds of korean short ribs for the bbq on Sunday.
This sweet potato salad was delicious!! Cooked cubed sweet potato + bacon + hard boiled eggs + green apple + mayo/salt/pepper/olive oil/dill.
Chicken salad was equally delicious. I pan fried the chicken in some ghee with poultry seasoning, and mixed it with green apples, raisins, sauteed onions/ garlic, and mayo.
After all that cooking, I was more than happy to go relax by the pool with a book. I was grateful for a little breeze by the water, since this weekend was 90+ in DC. We headed over to Alexa and Andrew’s for a delicious dinner with Alexa’s family. Homemade meatballs and marinara sauce, and bread pudding for dessert! It was my first time eating bread in over 30 days, and I’m happy to report that I’m definitely not gluten sensitive :) I’m so grateful to have wonderful friends that know how to cook so well.
Sunday morning, we got all busy getting ready for the bbq! I made peanut butter “Rice Krispies” (with puffed millet) topped with melted chocolate, and whipped coconut cream to serve with berries for dessert.
Our guests started to arrive around 1, and after managing to light the charcoal (tough on a windy day!), we got grilling!
How perfect is that dessert for Independence Day? Red from the strawberries, blue from the blueberries, and white from the coconut cream!
The BBQ was a success and everyone loved the food. I won’t hesitate to make the sweet potato salad and coconut cream for dessert again.
It’s been nearly a week since I finished the Whole30, and I wanted to set down some of the things Whole30 changed for me, and what didn’t. Full disclosure: I did have a few non-approved foods, like vanilla extract, I accidentally ate some pistachios and cranberries that contained sugar, and I ate bacon at a restaurant without making sure that it was sugar-free. But overall, I would say I adhered to the Whole30 protocol about 99.9% of the time. Okay, here we go!
– HOW I view food – Whole30 helped me to value and desire nutritious, minimally-processed, “good for me” foods. For example, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with carbs, but there’s a lot of other things I can eat that are more nutrient-dense, so now I choose to eat protein, veggies, fruits and nuts for most of my meals.
– My sweet tooth – I used to have a huge addiction to sweet foods, but now I rarely eat desserts and can happily eat a savory breakfast. I find that it’s tough for me to eat sweets in moderation (1 scoop of frozen yogurt leads to a few more, then fruit, then maybe more frozen yogurt), so most days, I just don’t.
– How I eat – I used to think that I needed to eat 5-6 small meals a day to keep my blood sugar level, but I also ate constantly for lots of reasons – out of boredom, stress, or to combat tiredness. By keeping a food journal for 30 days, I was able to see how often I ate and determine whether I was really hungry. I found that eliminating grains and eating a higher portion of protein and fat kept me full from meal to meal and I never felt dizzy with hunger, and I also tried not to eat unless I was actually hungry. I now eat 3 meals a day and limit snacking, which equals a lot less time thinking about food!
– My stomach issues – much improved! I suspect high amounts of sugar don’t help my stomach. I wish I could say I was 100% better, but I’m still working to find foods that don’t digest well for me.
– My weight – this wasn’t a goal for me when I started, but I lost about 5 pounds over the 30 days. More important, I love how my body looks and feels more muscular and I feel better about myself eating Paleo.
– My sleep – I definitely slept better than before. Could be the change in seasons, change of work, I dunno – but it could have also been the diet!
– My energy levels – I didn’t get to a Tiger Blood phase! While I didn’t experience my usual 3 pm “crash”, I still felt pretty tired in the afternoon. My energy did not improve as much as i hoped =\
– Claims of seasonal allergies and acne disappearing did not pan out for me. I definitely still had allergies, and my acne (minimal, but still) didn’t go away.
So, what’s next?
Like many others, I found this diet led to a big shift in my eating habits and life, and I want to make those changes permanent. So I’ll be pretty much going Paleo. I’m happy to relax how I eat when we’re eating out or sharing meals with friends and family, but the other 90% of the time, I’ll be cooking Paleo food for myself. How hardcore? I’ll make a few exceptions like yogurt, and in general, I won’t be over-analyzing the labels on stuff I buy, because I don’t think a little sugar or oil or whatever will kill me. But I’ll be minimizing the number of processed foods I eat anyway and eating more veggies/ meats/ seafoods than before because I love the food I’ve been eating and I love how it makes me feel.
Paleo isn’t for everyone! But right now, it’s working for me :) Have a great Monday, everyone!
What did you do this weekend?