My Whole 30 Journey {Days 23-29}

So the end is in sight…Can’t believe I’m at the last hurdle.

Here goes…

Day 23

 

Breakfast: Fruit for breakfast today. I know, I know I said I would get better at this…

Lunch: I had egg and bacon scramble with peppers and onions.

Dinner: Oven baked salmon with lemon and dill, boiled new potatoes (boiled with half a lemon and some smashed garlic cloves – this seriously transforms ordinary boiled tatties), carrots and spinach.

Snacks: Snacked on coconut, cranberries, almonds and an apple today.

 

Day 24

 

Well, woke with the most awful pains in my stomach. Really bad stabbing pains, and sometimes I could hardly catch my breath. I’m blaming the cranberries, they are the only thing I have eaten differently over the past couple of days. That makes cranberry sauce at Christmas a no no then 😦

Breakfast: Monkey salad.

Lunch: Ham omelette and a satsuma.

Dinner: Slow cooked a chicken during the day, to transform into stock and dinner. Ate chicken, a couple of new potatoes, boiled carrots and cabbage and spinach. Not exciting at all – family had gravy and it could have done with it, but hey, it’s still good food and it’s better than what a lot of people get to eat, so I won’t complain.

Snacks: Snacked on coconut, almonds and an apple today.

 

Day 25

 

Breakfast: Fruit. Say nothing.

Lunch: Well, for the first time in almost a month I ate out today. Went out with husband for a bowl of soup and had to leave 2 places because I couldn’t eat them. Eventually found somewhere with a DF, GF and otherwise compliant soup – Curried Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash – I’m so making this…

Dinner: Used the leftover chicken and made this Chicken, Bacon and Mushroom Quiche from Stupid Easy Paleo (click the link, it’s totally worth it). This was easy and delicious and I’ll definitely be making it again…PLUS, there is plenty left for tomorrow, so I can have some at breakfast. Yeay!

Snacks: Had a banana and an apple today with a little almond butter.

 

Day 26

 

Breakfast: Leftover quiche.

Lunch: Made a soup today, Spicy Sweet Potato and Carrot – recipe here.

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Dinner: Mince and tatties – easy for everyone, just boiled potatoes for me.

Snacks: Had an apple with a little almond butter – love this snack!!

 

Day 27

 

Breakfast: Rushed rushed morning, didn’t get a breakfast 😦

Lunch: Finished off the quiche today.

Dinner: Prawn curry on a bed of spinach.

Snacks: Had some beetroot, parsnip and carrot crisps today – just a few…self-control exercised!

 

Day 28

 

Breakfast: Found this recipe at Whole Family Strong, for Sweet Potato Hashies. They are delicious and super easy. And I’m pleased to find a breakfast alternative.

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Lunch: Leftover soup for lunch.

Dinner: Made these chicken nuggets from One Lovely Life…too delicious for words. Made some oven baked salt’n’pepper fries, steamed carrots and a vine ripened tomato on the side. Oh, and I made this super easy mayonnaise from PaleOMG, which I just love…although I made it plain this time, no spices just garlic powder. GREAT dinner, definitely be making the chicken nuggets again.

nuggets

Snacks: Had 2 dates today.

How I feel now it’s near the end: I’ve loved this food journey. I have never eaten this clean ever. I have found a lot out about food and packaged produce that I didn’t really know, I have knocked cramping stomachs and headaches on the head. I have lost the sluggish afternoon feeling and my jeans are looser…AND I’m wearing a belt for the first time in 9 years!

I can’t ever imagine going back…at least not completely.

 

Day 29

 

Penultimate day – woo hoo!

Breakfast: So, today I had this: Warm Banana Coconut Breakfast Bowl. It was pretty good, although I only used one banana, there’s no way I could eat two at one time.

Lunch: I made crab cakes for lunch…ate two with salad and a splodge of homemade mayo. Recipe at Paleo Fondue. Very tasty and made enough for leftovers 😉

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Dinner: Had breakfast for dinner! Made this tasty treat from The Urban Poser. Had it with a fried egg. Lovely. Had a satsuma for pudding 😉

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Snacks: No snacks today. 

So tomorrow is the last day! At least the last day in some respects. I’ll be keeping a lot of these new habits although will, much to my husband’s relief, have a Chinese takeaway every now and then!

Grace and Love

Helen x

Spicy Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup

A quick and simple, tasty soup…I love Winter soups with a bit of spice to add warmth. This is super easy, and delicious.

You will need:

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 red onion, chopped

1 tbsp mild/medium curry powder (adjust to taste if you have a different strength curry powder)

3 cups sweet potato, chopped

2 cups carrot, chopped

1 1/2 litres chicken stock

Method:

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium/high heat. Add onion and saute for 3-5 minutes until soft.

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Add the curry powder and cook for a further minute, coating the onion well.

Add the sweet potato and carrot and cook for another couple of minutes, stirring frequently.

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Add the stock and bring to the boil.

Simmer for 15 minutes or until sweet potato and carrot have softened.

Allow to cool sufficiently to transfer to a blender and puree until smooth.

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Return to saucepan and heat gently. Serve warm with cracked black pepper. Mmmm.

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Grace and Love

Helen x

 

My Whole 30 Journey {Days 18-22}

Day 18

 

Breakfast: I had fruit for breakfast today. I need to change this – next week will be better!

Lunch: Bacon and eggs for speed only, needed to be quick today.

Dinner: Stir fried vegetables and pan-fried haddock. Was surprised at how much I didn’t miss a stir fry sauce. Having tried to find one without sugar and failed,  decided I’d be ok with just fish and veg. I used garlic infused oil to fry everything in and that added sufficient zing to make it a very palatable meal. We also have the advantage of good, fresh fish living here, so that surely helped!

Day 19

 

Breakfast: Well, it’s Saturday again so breakfast sort of goes out the window. Ate some fruit mid-morning.

Lunch: Made curried coconut and pumpkin soup, recipe here. This was pretty good. 🙂

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Curried Pumpkin and Coconut Soup

 

Dinner: Made a pork stew tonight; this was lovely. Recipe from Sustainable Dish. Can’t recommend this enough. Made lots too, so good portions left.

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Butternut Squash and Pork Stew

 

Snacks: Had a few dried figs this morning.

 

Day 20

 

Breakfast: Found this recipe so had this : Monkey Salad from Good Cheap Eats. I LOVE this. Tasty and a good change from eggs and fruit.

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Monkey Salad

 

Lunch: Baked a sweet potato and had leftover pork stew from last night. Quick, easy and delicious – that’s the best way!

Dinner: So, my husband found grass-fed organic sirloin steaks half price at the supermarket because they needed eating today…so we did!! Steak, home made potato wedges in garlic and salt, and an egg.  

Snacks:  Only a couple of figs today and an apple.

 

Day 21

 

Breakfast: Ate Monkey Salad again – I love this, the flavour combinations really appeals to me.

Lunch: Vegetable scrambled eggs

Dinner: Mocha rubbed slow cooker roast, mashed sweet potato, broccoli, spinach and carrots. Delicious recipe from Stupid Easy Paleo.

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Mocha Rubbed Beef, mashed sweet potato and steamed veg

 

Snacks:  1 fig…did well with the snacking today!

 

Day 22

 

Breakfast: This is still the meal I fall down over. A rushed or busy morning (like today) and I have no chance. So only coffee, and I was out all morning so couldn’t pick anything up either.

Lunch: Ate the leftover mocha rubbed roast with a baked sweet potato. Good leftovers 🙂

Dinner: Made Asian Meatballs from Nom Nom Paleo. These were good. I made a large stirfry out of cabbage, carrots, red onion and peppers, stir-fried in coconut oil. Tossed a few dried cranberries, cashews and toasted almond slivers in to mix the taste up. I also made rice for the rest of the family too. Whole lot devoured…really tasty.

Meatballs from Nom Nom Paleo

Meatballs from Nom Nom Paleo

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Asian Meatballs mmm…

 

Interestingly, I always thought a stirfry needed a sauce. Having not been able to find any without sugar, that’s twice now I’ve stirfried veg and found they taste just fine on their own…maybe masking the taste of fresh vegetables with a thick, sugar-lade sauce wasn’t as good as I thought!

Snacks:  Had an apple with almond butter…probably my favourite snack, although I have to go easy on the almond butter…I could scrape it out of the jar and eat it by the spponful! 😉

How I’m feeling now:

Still not springing out of bed in the mornings, but I have lost the afternoon sluggish feeling.

No stomach cramps for a long time now 🙂

No severe indigestion and uncomfortable feeling under ribs.

No headaches.

None of my jeans fit properly…I had to put a belt on yesterday, the first time since I had children (8 1/2 years now).

My husband is still laughing at me photographing my meals 😉

 

Already, I won’t go back to eating the way I did before. I feel so much better overall. Now I’m coming up to the last week, there are a few things I look forward to having here or there over Christmas, but generally speaking, this is a way of life for me now!

 

Grace and Love

Helen x

Curried Coconut Pumpkin Soup {Whole 30}

So, a hearty easy-to-make soup was in order today. Last month I took full advantage of cut price pumpkins and bought 3, chopped, cooked and pureed them and bagged them up for the freezer. Along with the chicken stock I have, I managed to cook up this tasty lunch:

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Defrosted 2 1/2 cups of chicken stock and 4 cups pumpkin puree.

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Chop one large or 2 medium onions.

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Sautee the onion until soft, add a tablespoon of mild/medium curry powder and cook for a minute or two.

 

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Add a cup of coconut milk, the stock and pumpkin and heat through.

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Let the mixture cool a little and then puree in a blender.

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While your soup is cooling, grill some bacon until crispy.

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Serve with cracked black pepper and slice the bacon up…delish 😉

 

To recap:

Curried Coconut Pumpkin Soup – serves 6

You will need:

2 tbsp coconut oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 tbsp medium/mild curry powder (adjust to your taste-this made a soup with some warm heat but not overpowering)

2 1/2 cups chicken stock

4 cups pumpkin puree

1 cup coconut milk

Bacon – I allowed one rasher per person

Method:

  1. Heat the oil in a large soup pan over a medium heat. Add the chopped onion and sautee until soft – 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add the curry powder and coat the onion well, cooking for a further minute.
  3. Add stock and purée and bring to simmer. Stir in the coconut milk.
  4. Allow mixture to cool sufficiently to whiz through the blender. In the meantime, grill the bacon until crispy.
  5. Warm soup and serve with sliced bacon bits on top.

Easy! Enjoy 😉

 

Grace and Love

Helen x

 

 

 

 

My Whole 30 Journey {Days 8-12}

So, into week 2…

In terms of general health – my jeans are looser for sure. I’m still tired in the mornings, but I have not had the same foggy-mid-afternoon-must-sleep-or-die feeling. Towards the end of Day 7 I felt great and Day 8, I felt positively lively! I’m also feeling less hungry between meals. When I eat fruit, it’s not usually out of hunger, but because it just looks good! I’ve also found that to avoid any evening comfort eating, if I just brush my teeth early on in the evening, then I feel less inclined to bother looking for food because, well I’m just too lazy to brush my teeth twice in one evening for the sake of a small orange!

So here’s my food round up:

Day 8

 

Breakfast: Found this a while back – lovely recipe: Sweet Potato, Apple and Pancetta hash. Awesome.

hash

Lunch: Made a beef soup for lunch; recipe in It Starts with Food. Hearty bowl, no bread required 😉

Dinner: Dinner was great – Deconstructed burgers – beef, lettuce, tomatoes, olives, peppers, home-made vinaigrette for the salad. Also served it with some green beans drizzled with home-made pesto.

burgers

Snack: A couple of figs and a banana.

Day 9

 

Made Chicken stock today. Whole chicken in the slow cooker with lots of herbs, garlic, onions, peppercorns, sea salt, carrots and celery, topped up with water.  Cooked it on low for 6 hours and then strained it – made 4 litres of stock. I shredded the chicken to make a dish tomorrow 🙂

Also, made cake again for house group – didn’t even want a piece – vanilla cake with strawberry frosting…yep, just didn’t even want to taste it!

Breakfast: 2 boiled eggs – kept it simple today. Yes, coffee. Assume there’s always coffee!

Lunch: Leftover beef soup from yesterday.

Dinner: Lamb stew, boiled potatoes, broccoli. I could have had mash, but my husband and kids like their mash with milk and butter, so I scooped a couple out for me before I mashed them up. 

Snacks: Finding my need to snack is decreasing. I had a banana and a satsuma at different points of the day.

How I felt after Day 9

Well, I have come to the conclusion that I need to drink more water. I have felt thirstier than usual, and I’m actually not a fan of water! It makes me feel bloated, and it’s just tasteless. However, I drank 2 large glasses over about an hour and a half and the nausea went. Need to get better at this so am knocking a cup of coffee off a day and replacing with water.

 

Day 10

 

Breakfast: Made mini egg frittatas this morning. Whipped some eggs through a hand blender, added salt and pepper and poured into muffin cases. Added some spring onions, baked and voila. Ate 1 and a banana.

Managed 2 large glasses of water between breakfast and lunch – woo hoo!

Lunch: Made a Morrocan Chicken dish out of the leftover chicken. Ate it with a small baked sweet potato. 

mor chick

Dinner: Prawn curry – easy and quick. Onion, curry powder, tomatoes, home-made stock, green beans and prawns. I ate this on a bed of spinach.

prawn curry

Snacks: Just a few dates and figs today.

How I felt after Day 10

Drank a lot of water today. This is not like me at all, so I am pleased because I have always wanted to be better at drinking water.

 

Day 11

 

Breakfast: Back to old eggs and bacon today. Boring but true.

Lunch: Whipped up a bit of chicken soup – still had leftover chicken from the other day’s slow cooked effort, so added some onion, carrots, asparagus and chicken to my home-made chicken stock. Seasoned it well – delicious 🙂

Dinner: Well, dinner could have been very difficult for me today because we were going to a bring and share dinner at church. Fortunately for me, it’s baked potatoes and fillings, so I made a lamb curry that I can eat as well. So that was it – baked tattie, lamb curry and a nice side salad!

 

Day 12

 

Brunch: Thanks to a slow and lazy Saturday morning, I didn’t manage to distinguish between breakfast and lunch. So I made myself a sweet potato and pancetta hash.

Dinner: Made slow cooker mince and tatties – husband’s favourite. Steak mince, onions, mushrooms, carrots, garlic, threw some asparagus in that I had left over. 500ml of beef stock and the mixture reduced over the course of the day, so it didn’t even really need thickening with gravy. I ate mine with sweet potatoes. Everyone else had mashed white potatoes (which I know are permitted but I am just limiting at the moment due to my fairly sedentary lifestyle).

Snacks: Had a couple of medjool dates and a banana.

 

So far, it’s going fine. I’m in the zone now and can pass up on cakes etc without too much effort, and I don’t feel like I’m missing out.

Headaches have passed but I have a sore throat in the mornings still, feel a bit clogged when I first wake and my nose can be a bit runny. No stomach twinges for a few days either.

 

Are you doing or have you done a Whole30? Any recipes to share? 😉

 

Grace and Love

Helen x

Simple Midweek Meal – Thai Prawn Curry

So, are week nights as crazy in your house as they are in ours? We have swimming lessons (x2), Anchor Boys, Brownies, Church clubs (x2), homework, playdates…yep, so it goes.

I’ve spent a good portion of this week trying to find ways to cut corners without compromising on making sure my family gets a good meal…but most of that’s for another post.

Here is a simple midweek supper (although, let’s be honest, a prawn curry is good any night of the week!)

 

Thai Prawn Curry

 

Ingredients
 

1 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, chopped

2-3 tbsp Green Thai curry paste – depending on how hot you like your curry. 3 tbsp will make a curry with a hot kick.

1 400g tin chopped tomatoes

1 cup coconut milk

120g sugar snap peas

250g cooked prawns (I used the small, frozen ones, defrosted before use)

Rice to serve

 

Curry ingredient
 
Method
 

Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium-high heat. Add onion and fry gently until softened.

Add the curry paste and fry for a further minute or two.

Add the chopped tomatoes, coconut milk and sugar snap peas and cook for a further 3-4 minutes.

 

Curry cooking

Add the prawns and stir through, cook for a further 3-4 minutes. Be careful not to boil the sauce or heat the prawns for too long or they will go rubbery.

Serve over brown rice.

Simple!

 

Curry final

 

Grace and Love

Helen x

 

 

Iced Carrot Coconut Loaf

If you make cake with vegetables in, does it count as 1 of your 5 a day…? In the hope that yes indeed it does, here is something else to do with those vegetables…

Last time I made a loaf, I made 2. I love this recipe, because you can take the basics of it and add pretty much whatever you like to make 2 delicious cakes. Easy and straightforward. One for now. One for later. (Just kidding. Enjoy cake as part of a varied diet 😉 ).

Here goes.

 

You will need:

 

For the cake
 

2 lined or greased loaf pans

3 eggs

1 cup oil

1 cup brown sugar

2 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup coconut milk

3 cups self-raising flour

2 tsp ground cinnamon

3/4 cup dessicated coconut

3 cups grated carrot

For the icing

1 cup icing sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

2 tbsp coconut milk

 

What to do:

 

Preheat the oven to 170ºC.

Lightly whisk the eggs in a large bowl.  Add the oil, sugar, vanilla and coconut milk. Whisk together until well combined.

In a separate bowl, mix the flour, cinnamon and dessicated coconut until well combined.

 

dry cake mix

 

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix together – yep you’ve got it, until well-combined.

 

cake mix

 

 

 

Stir in the carrot.

 

grated carrot

 

Ladle into your prepared loaf pans and bake for 40-50 mins, or until a skewer comes out clean.

Allow to completely cool before preparing your icing.

 
For the icing
 

Sift a cup of icing sugar and a teaspoon of ground cinnamon into a bowl and stir in the coconut milk, a tablespoon at a time.

This will make a thick icing that can be drizzled in wide stripes.

 

final cake carrot

 

Delicious! Enjoy!

Grace and Love

Helen x 

 

 

Banana Maple Pecan Loaf

I’d always thought of cupboard basics as things like eggs, flour…stock…maybe some tinned tomatoes and dried pasta.  Until someone bought me a Nigella cookery book one birthday and her cupboard basics looked nothing like mine.  Far fancier, and most of it I wouldn’t even know what to do with!

But what did catch my eye was this:

Maple

 

Now, I LOVE maple.  Maple syrup, maple candy…anything with maple flavour in it. So, I quickly discovered I could get it on Amazon and I near enough squealed when it arrived!

But…what do I do with it?

Having started to experiment a bit with making loaf cakes, I thought…mmm, banana….pecans…maple…I think it’s a winner.

I love this recipe because it’s easy.

So, here is my invention, thanks to one small bottle of maple.

Banana Maple Pecan Loaf

 

This recipe will make 2 loaves

You will need:

3 eggs

1 cup of oil

1 tsp vanilla

2 tsp maple flavour

3 cups self-raising flour

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 cup caster sugar

1/2 cup light muscovado sugar

3 ripe bananas

1 cup chopped pecans

ingredients cake

Start by preheating the oven to 170º C and lining 2 loaf tins with liners.  I like the pre made loaf liners, because they are less messy and make it possible to turn your cake out beautifully.  If you don’t have any, grease your pans before you start.

prepared pans

 

Mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl: flour, ground cinnamon and sugar.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs with the oil, maple, vanilla.

flour and eggs1

Now mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until they are well combined. The batter will look quite doughy and dry at this point, but don’t panic!

mox without banana

Next, mash 2 ripe bananas with a fork and stir them into the batter. It will become wetter quite quickly and look more like a cake mix should!

mix with banana

 

Stir in the pecans until they run well through the mixture and then divide evenly into the prepared loaf tins.

Place into the centre of your preheated oven and bake for 50 minutes.

 

in the oven

 

Cool on a cooling rack and then you will have a beautifully moist loaf, packed with deliciousness!

cooling rack

I have to confess, I love a piece when the cake it still warm…mmm…enjoy!

 

final cakeG

Grace and Love

Helen x

 

 

Leftover Roast Chicken and Thyme Soup

I’m trying to get better at using leftovers.

I don’t throw all leftovers away.  I refrigerate them first.

Then, FAR too often, I throw them away.

So I am trying to get better at NOT doing that and using them.

So here is my recipe for today’s leftovers…

Roast Chicken and Thyme Soup (Serves 4)

Let’s face it, leftover chicken doesn’t look all that appetising.  This is what was left from our Sunday lunch today.

Chicken leftovers

But with just a few extra ingredients and about 20 minutes of your time, you can easily transform it into a whole new dish…super easy!

You will need:

Ingredients

Leftover chicken

1 tbsp oil

1 medium onion

Garlic – I use Very Lazy Garlic, so if you’re using this, a generous teaspoon full will do

1 litre of stock – I use the Knorr stock pots because I think they’re packed with flavour.  2 stock pots will make you a flavourful litre of water.

250ml water

4-5 small carrots or 2-3 larger ones. Chop them on a jaunty angle – why not?

1 tsp dried thyme

Leftover chicken

 

Start by slicing the onion and frying it in the oil over a medium heat until soft – 5 minutes should do it.  Add the garlic for the last minute, taking care not to burn the garlic or brown the onion.

onions

Add the stock and water and bring to the boil.  Reduce to simmer and add the carrots.  Let them simmer for 7 minutes until just softened.  I like my carrots not-too-sloppy.

carrot

Stir in the chicken – you have to admit it looks much better now it’s been shredded – right?!

shredded chicken

Simmer away for another minute or 3 until the chicken is heated through.

Soup

Enjoy – today I opted for olive bread.  I’m not saying this is the best accompaniment, I just love olive bread!

Grace and Love

Helen x

 

 

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