Monthly Archives: November 2012

A Recap: Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving

The past few days have been nothing short of glorious. Family, food, and some much needed down time! I am slowly adjusting to the idea that I will be entering back into the real world tomorrow. Also known as work, meal planning, laundry, and bill paying…

Thanksgiving Eve (yes that is a real thing!), was spent baking pies. Four pies to be exact. Dutch Apple, Cherry, Blueberry, and a Paleo Pumpkin. This is one of my favorite traditions of Thanksgiving-baking with my Mama! The Dutch Apple was the star of the show. Hands down favorite and first to be gone. The much looked forward to pumpkin pie was just eh. The walnut crust was not my favorite. I like these much better.

Thursday = Turkey Day!

I woke up early…as in 6:30 am early. I couldn’t contain my excitement! True story. I prepared my additions for the feast: a hummus and veggie platter and Melissa’s Waldorf Salad. So yummy! I think it is going to become a staple at all of our holiday meals! Ironic that my contributions centered around vegetables and fruit no??

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1. Banagrams 2. Hazlitt Wineries Spyder Bite Vino
  3. Waldorf Salad 4. Veggies and Hummus

Then I went for a short, brisk run in the sunshine. I had considered doing a local Turkey Trot, but glad I opted out and did my solo run. It was nice to enjoy the quiet of the morning and reflect on all that I had to be thankful for!

After some Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade watching, I showered and loaded up all of my goodies. The rest of the day was spent eating, cooking, walking in the sunshine (and moonlight), playing Bananagrams (new favorite game!), eating, laughing, snuggling with puppies, and watching The Incredibles (animated movies for grown ups-yes!). It was a good day!

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1. The Main Attraction: Turkey and Stuffing 2. Papa’s Candied Yams
3. Well Fed‘s Butternut Squash 4. Well Fed’s Green Beans

The whole day was my favorite. And the food seemed like it was the best ever. I love that my Mom and I made sure to add some of our recent favorite recipes. All three from Melissa alone! The end of the day was bittersweet. I didn’t want it to be over! These helped though… 

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1. Dutch Apple Heaven 2. Cherry 3. Pumpkin 4. Table of Desserts!

A Sweet Ending to a Beautiful Day of Family!

Sleepy Puppy!

What was your favorite part of Thanksgiving? Or any day lately…

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Happiness Is… [Thanksgiving Edition]

Charlie Brown knows best!

I’d be lying if I said that the comic section isn’t my favorite part of reading the newspaper. The comics, whether Snoopy or Garfield always seem to say it best. This Thanksgiving I have a lot to be thankful for. I could list out all of things that I am thankful for, but why would you want to waste your time reading about what I am thankful for when you could be spending quality time with your family and friends [and puppies!]??

The cutest puppy in the world. Be jealous!

So, for me, happiness is spending an entire day of quality time with my family-including my brother who will be home from college [yay!]. Read: we can indulge in our crazy sibling drive the parents insane antics even though we are technically adults [ick!]. Happiness is spending an entire night and day baking, mixing, stirring, and tasting! Happiness is taking a long walk to soak up some sunshine and fresh air. Happiness is taking time to appreciate the little things in life. Like pumpkins…

Pumpkins make me insanely happy!

Most of all, happiness is knowing how far I’ve come in the past year. And learning that no matter what happens, my family is always going to be there to help dust me off when I fall, clarify the blurry, and make me laugh. So, this Thanksgiving, I hope that you take the time to focus on family and friends, forget your worries, and tune out from the ‘world’.

Sunshine: Be Thankful!

Tell Me: What is your happiness?

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Whole 30: How I’ve Survived!

The Whole 30 can be fairly intense for some people. Actually, probably most people. No dairy, grains, soy,  legumes, sugar, or alcohol for 3o whole days? Yup. Focusing on 3 meals a day that incorporate lots of protein, fat, and veggies? Sounds fairly rational. Pre-whole 30, I followed a fairly ‘Paleo’ style way of eating. I wasn’t on a diet, I don’t restrict myself from non-Paleo foods, but bread and cheese have never really been my thing. Meat, anything coconut, and a plate full of veggies are more my style of eating! I originally hopped on the Whole 30 band wagon due to my lovely Mama. I decided I would do it to support her and as a challenge (because I can’t say no!). Beginning the Whole 30, I was mostly worried about ‘accidently’ eating something that I wasn’t supposed to have. And my social life-eating out with friends would be very difficult. I struggled with how much I should share with others. Most people  feel that the Paleo way of eating is fairly extreme, so Whole 30 would be a whole different dilemma! I don’t like being the exception or the person that everyone needs to accommodate.

I prepared for the Whole 30 by trying out new recipes each week. Sunday was a day of meal prep for the week: I would bake my eggs that I had every morning, and would make a big dish of Jambalaya, Pumpkin Cream Chicken Casserole, or Chicken and Vegetable/Crice Soup. Paleomgwas my savior. And trying new recipes every week meant that my meals were never boring!

1. Nesting Eggs: Over-easy Eggs and Spaghetti Squash, 2. Breakfast Burrito Bowl, 3. Egg, Spinach, & Mushroom Bake, 4. Squash, Roasted Brussel sprouts, & Egg plate.

I gradually cut out my morning snack of almonds or a Larabar by incorporating lots of avocado and coconut oil into my morning meal. This usually consisted of 2 eggs with veggies, topped with 1/4 of an avocado and homemade salsa, plus a cup of squash topped with cinnamon and coconut oil. Lunch was some type of meat/veggie mixture topped with more avocado. I also had an apple for some extra carbs. I had a third meal later in the afternoon, usually a hard boiled egg, carrots, and sunflower seeds. Then dinner a few hours later. This varied, but again consisted of a protein (beef, chicken, pork etc.) and lots of veggies (brussel sprouts, spaghetti squash, broccoli, spinach..etc.). In the past I have struggled with low blood sugar crashing feelings between meals, and this style of eating really eliminated a lot of that feeling. I worried less about having something to eat between meals because I was eating larger, more satiating meals!

Snack: Hard boiled egg with ketchup!

The biggest ‘obstacle’ was replacing my store bought salsa, salad dressing, and other condiments. This actually became an adventure for me-I really enjoyed making my own salsa and ketchup, and got to experiment with some yummy extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar! A few weeks into my Whole 30, I also rediscovered mustard. I now can’t get enough of it on my salads and as a dip for my carrots!

Carrots for the Week!

Cravings? What Cravings? I had very little cravings for non Whole 30 compliant food.  I think that this is mostly due to my love of the food that I was eating, therefore I wasn’t as focused on what I couldn’t have. I did crave popcorn throughout the 3o days, but this is a normal craving for me. I even survived Halloween with no candy or sweets! Instead it was Well Fed‘s meatza and an apple with cinnamon and coconut flakes for our ‘dessert.’ Early on in our adventure, I bought the Well Fed cookbook for my Mom and it was definitely I good move! Tons of awesome recipes!

Whole 30 Dinners: 1. BBQ Pork Chop with Sweet Potato and Salad, 2. Taco Salad, 3. Chorizo Stuffed Squash, 4. Paleomg Jambalaya.

Now that we are on Day 30, I would totally recommend doing the Whole 30. It is possible, especially if you are prepared. Take the time to read It Starts With Food, find recipes to keep you satisfied, and stock your pantry with Whole 30 approved food! Having a Whole 30 buddy is also especially helpful! More on my Whole 30 goals and reflection soon…

P.S. I realized I wrote this post in the past tense, as if all of my Whole 30 habits are no longer. However, this is still the way I am ‘living’ and ‘eating’ currently…

Are you up to the Whole 30 Challenge?

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