As a former vegetarian, I really learned to dislike salad. Here is how it goes down…Coworkers want to go to a casual chain for lunch. “Oh, yeah they have vegetarian foods at the restaurant, salads!”. So you are happy as lunch time rolls around- yum, a big bowl of fresh veggies, some good dressing, a delicious roll. Then you get to the restaurant and the salads include a: Chicken Caesar, Chef Salad or Garden Salad. If lucky, the have a Taco Salad in a 1000 calorie fried tortilla. So your vegetarian salad is: romaine, some parm, croutons and bad dressing or iceburg lettuce, processed cheese strips, a rock hard tomato and two cucumber slices or a tiny amount of iceberg, some carrot shreds, one wedge of hard tomato, one cucumber slice or a fried tortilla with shredded iceberg, processed cheese, some salsa and sour cream. Oh, and two packs of saltines. And you are like fuck, why did I go out to lunch as you eat $12 of crappy salad (because they don’t discount leaving off the (*&*)(&^ protein) while your coworkers eat delicious looking food. And then you end up with food poisoning anyway. XO
So salads can suck. And when I first went paleo, I gave salads the middle finger. But recently I have been on a salad kick. A bowl of greens full of good stuff, with an amazing dressing and grass fed meats or warm grilled chicken or salmon is amazing. And miles away from iceberg, a hard tomato, one cucumber slice and some weird tasting croutons.
This is the salad I made last night:
3 big handfuls of rainbow chard, sliced (Trader Joes sells it in bags)
1/2 avocado sliced into chunks
2 green onions chopped
1 mandarin orange seperated into segments
5 pieces of asparagus cooked and cut into 1″ pieces
1 grass fed rib eye, grilled and cut into chunks.
2 T of my dressing (recipe to follow).
Mix all your veggies while the steak grills. Let the steak rest for 5 minutes. Cut into chunks. Put on the salad. Toss with dressing. Eat! Healthy, delicious, amazing, even decadant.
1 orange juiced
1 T white wine or chmpagne vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 egg yolk (option)
Blend the shallotte, juice, vinegar and egg yolk in a blender. Drizzle in the olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste.
I messed up my Whole 30. Half and half in some coffee, sushi when I was out of town, hashbrowns, a burger and a chocolate croissant. The funny thing is that in a BIG way, that was all a success. Nothing really pulled me off track, and I ended this week strong, even making a Whole 30 appetizer for friends. My weight loss was nominal- lost the weight I put on over the holidays (7 or so pounds).
I came to an epiphany today, that if I strive to eat Whole 30 all the time, my cheats are not a big deal and I can have what I really want. When I followed Primal, I ate a ton of “primal OK dark chocolate”. I don’t even like it. Frankly, I just ate stuff out of habit. I could justify a lot, then blame the banana or nuts.
I want to enjoy my food and my tastes have changed for the healthier. I have no desire for sweets these days. But damn it, last Saturday I wanted a BURGER on a BUN. So I ate it. Then I ate clean for the rest of the week until Friday when I had a CHOCOLATE CROISSANT. It’s fine. It really is. And today, I will be having potatoes in my lamb stew, I know I can not eat burgers and croissants on the regular. But I can have them on occasion, and better yet, if I’m not clogging my diet with treats I could care less about (dark chocolate), I can still lose weight and be really satisfied.
I need to pretty much give dairy beyond butter the boot- breaks my face out, and I didn’t want dairy anyhow except for my coffee. I need to keep wheat minimal, but utterly worthwhile. It will be interesting to see the next occurance of wanting wheat. I don’t really want sugar when I eat plenty of fruit. I hated processed foods long ago. I’m not into rice or pasta. I am going to bring potatoes back as an occasional side dish when they would really round out a meal (like sopping up the juices from a divine lamb stew).
To go forward losing weight, I think I need to be more careful with my portions (really, I could eat 6 ounces of steak and be fine). Mostly, I am overeating meat and it gets expensive. I need to be better about having a portion of good carbs on workout days with my dinner. I also got a little crazy with nuts the first two weeks. I feel like if I allow myself occasional cheats, I am FAR less likely to justify a bunch of nuts.
I do need to work out my body’s idea of occasional treat and be prepared to rein in the excess. Christmas was BAD. Not gonna lie. But i have a tool- Whole 30. And I need to push myself in the kitchen so I am not relying on less nutritious foods as staples. Stay sharp and not get lazy. Keep things moving and changing and keep my diet interesting. And if I jones for baked goods, try the paleo versions, but treat them as a treat- so no daily paleo cookie and no slice after slice of paleo cake. One and done, so to speak.
So there you have it. I’m a few pounds lighter, a bit broken out and looking forward to eating a hearty stew tonight. I don’t want chocolate, ice cream or a cake, but I do want some potatoes. I also still want to whip up paleo pancakes. With a side of bacon.
Well, I blew it. I had half and half in my coffee. My boss was firing someone in my very small office. It was awkward squared so my coworker and I hurried on out and ended up at a coffee shop. No excuses. Could have had it black. But I feel fine, It didn’t make me feel bad and I didn’t have a pastry. Not gonna lie- work was a stress cooker today and I wanted food. I had no outlet as it was a monsoon out! So all considered, cream in my coffee was not to be upset over.
Otherwise things are good. Needed a quickie dinner! Cut up the rest of my roast chicken, threw in some avocado and salsa and mayo. Very good, very quick and very comforting.
Nice type of day! Very active and enjoyable. Got a closet cleaned out, worked out (killer, LOL) and rode. Tons, tons of energy- great side effect of Whole 30. Did I say tons of energy? Yeah, tons. Closet cleaning was fun- threw out more fat clothes. My old shirts look so odd- wider than they are long. My new shirts are longer and narrower. It felt good. I also pitched about 123 old running race tshirts. They are not precious. LOL. Work out was more brutal than normal. I’m not a collapser normally. I usually finish and catch my breath and move on. Today I was just smashed. Riding was pleasant, my horse was fabulous. Love her to pieces.
I don’t have a recipe today, but wanted to share my “weekly prep”. I find that being prepared with good food keeps you from making a bad choice. I always have:
- Boiled eggs
- Coconut Milk
- Frozen Asparagus
- Easy to cook meat (chicken breast etc.)
- I stock up on the weekend, make aioli, boil eggs. I might roast a chicken or prep some pulled pork or make a roast too. That way on a busy day, I have something I will enjoy that is Whole 30. This is my list of stuff I like. Yours might vary. Today I wanted a snack- had a boiled egg to grab. Need a sauce? Aioli. Veggie? Asparagus. All in my fridge. No temptations to stray!
Today I ate:
Fried eggs on a bed of rutabaga hash which I found on PaleOMG blog, plus an orange and coffee
Snack- leftover duck, blueberries, boiled egg
Dinner- chicken and roast veggies- turnips, beets, rutabaga, carrots, parsnips.
If I’m going to not eat wheat, chocolate, cheese, dairy, bacon and sugar…. I’m going to eat amazing meat. No way am I gnawing a chicken breast. Or a lean pork tenderloin. Oh hell no. I’m gonna go all out.
DUCK. I love duck in all it’s fatty glory. Birthday dinner was a confit duck leg and a duck breast. I have thought about it since then. Craved it. But duck is hard to find and expensive around here. Today, at Earth Fare, they had duck breast. It was $13.99 a lb. In 2 lb packages. So $30. The butcher was kind enough to split a pack. So I bought it. It was a splurge.
I went online for info on how to cook. I did my own thing sort of.
Maggies Awesome Duck Splurge.
1 lb Magret duck breast
1/2 T butter
Turnip= sliced thin
Heat oven to 450. Take out the duck and score the fat without cutting the meat. I did about 1″ apart on the scores. Salt each side. Heat an oven proof skillet on medium high. Put the breast in fat down. Cook for 7 minutes without flipping. As it cooks, drain off the fat- I did this every two minutes or so. Flip the duck breast and put it in the oven for 5 minutes. It may get smoky. Take the pan out and put the duck on a plate. Be super careful- pour about 2 T of vinegar in the pan, with the butter and deglaze the pan. That is your sauce!
The meat needs to rest. Put some of the duck fat you poured off back in the pan- maybe 1T. Toss in your turnips and salt and over medium high heat, cook till browned. When they are done, saute the spinach in the same pan.
Slice the duck cross the grain- pour on the sauce, serve with spinach and turnips. The duck should serve two. But I could have eaten it all.
My other meal today was breakfast- just some eggs, coffee, avocado and salsa. Snacks were a banana, blueberries and almonds.
Another day of clean eating in the books…. haha…. my dinner was technically diet food. Yeah, ^%$*%^$ lean cuisine. Eating a meal like that on a diet where you lose weight completely negates any regret of not being able to eat pizza or bagels.