Whole 30 and DONE! 

  For the past 4 weeks I’ve been sharing with you my Whole 30 journey- I’m writing this post 4 days short of finishing for real but lunch today will be my last supper so to speak. I am currently on the train on my way back home to my family for my cousin’s 30th birthday celebrations. The food was preordered a couple of months ago and I’m looking forward to relaxing in the company of my best friends and having a good giggle!  

 It’s not for the drink or the food that I’m stopping my Whole 30 dedication today, it’s the ‘no pressure’ feeling. I managed on my friend’s Hendo and at a christening without drinking or eating anything other than Whole 30 compliant foods but I had to focus and think carefully and tbh, tonight I don’t want to have to think! I’m allowing myself a break I’m ok with that. I intend on finishing up my Whole 30 on the 2nd July as always but because of tonight, I’m viewing this morning as my last ‘pure Whole 30’ meal. I’ve loved my Whole 30 journey and there are many, many things I intend to keep making and eating as the weeks go by- I’m not suddenly stopping and going back to my old habits and I think that was my ultimate prize- a total change in attitude and taste! 

Another thing I’m going to keep going is my ‘ask if they can…’attitude. Yesterday I had a bit of a wait for my bus and it was warm and sticky out. I needed a drink but Costa was the only place open- I didn’t want a hot drink so looked at their coolers menu- I really fancied an ice-tea but figured it might have added sugar so I asked! Rather than making it with the syrup in, the lady offered to make it for me without and add slices of lemon- amazing! I didn’t even ask if they could- she simply offered!   

 
Along this journey I found people to be amazingly supportive and helpful. My husband and friends have totally understood what and why I’m doing this and haven’t made a big deal of it- my lovely teaching BFF still make me a cuppa but doesn’t even think twice now- she knows I’m not having milk! People out and about have been very accommodating too- read my last post to find out more. 

As if I needed anymore inspiration to keep my new found ways going- I jumped onto the scales this morning- 14 1/2 pounds lighter!!! That’s just over a stone people!!!!!!! I also struck a pose and snapped a selfie…   

 I know I’ve still got some way to go but I can actually see the curve above my bottom and into my back now and I look more like 3 months preggers not 6!!!!! Bonus!!! Apart from the weight loss my other positives are that my usually dry skin is smooth and clear, I have much more energy, I never feel sluggish or bloated and I’ve been sleeping soundly every night- why wouldn’t I continue? 

Some of the meals I am most certainly going to keep going are..

Breakfast no more toast and marmalade-   

 
This is my new go-to and I love it! 

Lunch I am most certainly not falling back into my school dinners routine of the past-    

  Amazing salad or left overs are my new lunch box staples. 

Tea even Mr T has enjoyed these yummy eats- 

 

To see my full meal plans and links to recipes click here and here.

So, this is it guys, my last post as a Whole 30’er but be sure to check back because I’m going to try hard to keep my new-found eating habits up and I’ll be sure to let you know how it’s going!

Have you just finished a Whole 30?

How have you found eating post ’30? 

I’d love to know…

Catch you soon

Mrs T Xx

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Half- way to Christmas Day!

We’re half way there guys!! I adore Christmas! It still holds the magic and excitement of my childhood and every year I try to out do the Christmasiness of the last. In previous posts I’ve talked about my nostalgic, sentimental self and my need to hold onto things and I’ve talked about my love of all things home-made and local so in this ‘half- way’ post, I want to share with you some of my favourite home-made and local finds of Christmases past so you can plan ahead for your very own easy peasy home- made Christmas! 

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Orange and Carrot Marmalade

A couple of years ago I ventured, tentatively, into the world of preserves. I blogged all about this yummy carrot and orange chutney here. Unlike ‘real’ marmalade, I needed none of the expensive paraphernalia or experience (or even common sense) to make this scrummy preserve. I decanted it into small Kilner jars and made these cute labels using a Kirsty Allsopp stamp set. I added them to a small wicker basket with some water biscuits and strong, local cheese and gifted them to some co-workers with a nice bottle of red wine.

Pedicure Set

A perfect ‘home enhanced’ gift for my girlie friends was a mini-pedicure set. I popped a sparkly nail varnish, toe spacers and foot scrub inside a jar. I downloaded the ‘For your Mistle Toes’ tags from this website and tied it around the jar- simple, thoughtful and not like all of the other Boots gift sets swimming around at Christmas time, plus I love the humour of the tag!

Sugar Scrub

As you may have guessed, if I can’t totally home make something then I like to, as I term scrub jarsit, home enhance it! A perfect example of this was a pamper set I put together for my aunties one year. Along with locally made and natural soaps and bath oils, I made them each a jar of vanilla and brown sugar body scrub. It was so easy that it felt as though I was cheating! If you would like to have a go then the recipe I used can be found here. I really recommend trying this as a home-made starter project or with children as it is very easy, cheap and effective. It smells yummy and you can add a cute tag to really set it apart from the shop-bought gifts!

Decorations and gift-wrap

When it comes to gift wrap, I’m a brown paper and butchers string kinda gal! Yet, whilst I love the simplicity of brown paper, I also love to add a little christmas cheer to each gift. I often buy tree ornaments which I love but won’t fit with my tree theme to embellish gifts with or wrap the raffia in a fancy style. 

 One year I decided to buy a block of Das clay and cut out stars and tree shapes. I then pushed a little whole in the top of them and used a holly stamp to push a pattern into the Das before leaving it to air-dry. I intended to paint them gold but once they had dried, I decided I like the white and so left them. When I wrapped a gift I simply added a star or tree onto the ribbon. I also cut larger ones out and used a clay tool to scratch the date and my niece and nephew’s names into the back of them so that after their gifts were opened, they could keep them as tree decorations. Simple, cheep and, of course, home made. This is another easy home- made christmas project I recommend doing with little ones.

I love wrapping gifts! Sad I know! I love making simple gifts look special and I adore the way the presents look under the tree but one thing I hate doing is writing gift tags! I always end up scribbling the same boring message on every tag and my handwriting just gets worse as the wrapping goes on! Bring in…..THE STAMP!stamp By far one of THE best things I have ever bought! All I do now is buy brown or cream luggage tags and stamp away! Then on the other side I simply write the name of the recipient. Over at The English Stamp Company website you can choose from a range of predesigns or select a custom option. This is what I did. You can select from 9 fonts and 8 boarders as well as typing your own text. I opted for ‘Ho,ho, ho! Merry Christmas! With love from the ‘Try-hard’ family XxX’ this way, as our family dynamics change, our stamp won’t have to! This simple solution cost about £18ish and lets me add that personal, home- made touch I so love to all of my gifts without getting hand cramp!

Baked Goods

Every Christmas Eve we have an ‘open-house’ where our friends and family pop in for a mince pie and a glass of mulled wine. Every year I like to bake a treat for them too. Often it is a little pack of gingerbread men (you can’t beat the smell!) but sometimes I like to whip up some cup-cakes. A lovely friend of mine from secondary school has her own business making printed editable icing sheets and I chose to purchase a set of cake toppers and a whole sheet print from her.icing sheet

They added a festive look to otherwise normal cupcakes and I got to support a smallicing closeup business. I chose to cut  triangles from the full-print sheet and arranged them to look like bunting- I think they look almost too cute to eat! Take a look at Fleur’s huge catalogue of printed icing here.

This Year I am loving this easy- to- home- enhance candle idea from The Suburban Mom  DIY-Christmas-Candles neighbor gifts 001Such a simple yet special gift I am planning on giving this year is the sent of Christmas. You can find the instructions I plan on following here. Danyelle gave them to her neighbours but I’m thinking of having them as my take-home gift at this years open-house.

I’m going to try- hard to be organised this year- good planing and plenty of time are the keys to a home-made Christmas!

Let me know if you try any of the things in this post. Check back in October (and of course before!) for my series of ‘How to’ Christmas posts.

Util next time…

Mrs T Xx

Whole 30 and Me: Surviving!

W30SurvivingSo this week has been a little more challenging let me tell you!!! I’ve never intended to make my Whole 30 blog journey a rosy and wonderful one. My intention has always been to show you the draw full of junk as well as the beautifully tidy living room, so to speak.

In this post I want to share with you some of my struggles and ways I have tried hard to overcome them. I’ve also included some meal high-lights and a couple more Whole 30 UK availble produces.

My struggle

I’m at the point where the novelty has worn off and ‘Whole 30’ ways are just becoming the norm- this is amazing, yes, but kind of deflating at the same time. In the first couple of weeks it was the excitement that kept me going so what is there to drive me now the lustre has worn off?

As I walked around the supermarket on Monday it was the first time during my Whole 30 that I was jealous. Jealous of all the muffins, cheese, lattes, wine and croissants in other peoples baskets! I was so jealous that I could have wept….but I didn’t. What I did do was look down at my weeks meal plan, which we were using as our shopping list, and thought about the food on there. I realised that there wasn’t one meal in my plan that I would sooner swap for a muffin or some cheese (the wine is another story!) and that’s the key to Whole 30 for me- yummy food!

That moment in the supermarket has been the only moment so far, and I include the Hendo and Christening I was at over the weekend, where I have faultered. When I stopped and reflected I realised that, yeah sure some of my normal meals are pretty scrummy but so too are my Whole 30 ones so what is there to be jeleous about?

It was bizarre to me that my green-eyed moment struck on Monday and not on Saturday or Sunday when I was surrounded by people eating and drinking away to their hearts content! I was at one of my best friend’s Hendo on Saturday and there was Prosecco  flowing and sandwiches galour- did I ‘cheat’? Did I heck! I stuck to glasses of sparkling water and asked, yes ASKED, if I could just have some ham and salad because I couldn’t have the bread. Out they came with a platter and I was in Whole 30 heaven right there! The book tells you to ask about things but I thought I would just be a ‘shut up and put up’ type but I plucked up the courage with super results- no one even batted and eye at my request.

I carried on my new found forwardness when we moved onto a cocktail bar- I perused the ‘virgin’ list and spotted one I liked the sound of but it had cranberry juice in it and I was sure it would have added sugar so I simply asked to see all if the fruit juice cartons and the Barman obliged! Sure enough I was right so I asked if he could replace it with pineapple juice instead- again it was no biggy!IMG_9881I know drinking fruit juice, whilst still compliant, isn’t recommended but there is only so much sparkling water a girl can take! Plus, other than tap water, it was the best possible choice- I’m rather proud of myself!

After Saturday night, Sunday was easy! One of my BFFs was at the Christening too along with her growing bump so I wasn’t alone in my soda water drinking! The challenge came when the Buffett opened as there was gorgeous looking quiche, sandwiches and cakes strew across the table but I happily filled my plate with cold-cuts of meat and a crunchy salad- I also packed a ‘Naked’ bar in my bag so that I was prepared just incase there wasn’t anything I could have- I was a Girl Guide you know!

As the week has gone on I have begun to embrace my feeling of familiarity and I’m viewing it as something to be celebrated, after all- you can flirt and giggle with anyone but it’s the one you can slob around in your pjs, feeling utterly comfortable and at home with that’s the keeper!

Meal run-down

Meals this week have mostly been dishes I’ve blogged about in previous posts so I’ve just taken pics and will include a brief description. (Click here and here to get more info)
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Tea was a lovely chicken Jalfrezi using a shop bought spice mix (more details below) and my very first attempt at cauliflower rice- yummy and sooooo easy!

IMG_9976We enjoyed this Jerk chicken, sweet potato wedges and grilled pineapple all over again!

photo 1

Mr T whipped up yet another scrumptious kidney-bean-less chilli and I enjoyed some more cauliflower rice.

This meal was all Mr T! He has an obsession with burgers covered in chilli ever since we had it in a brewery in Providence RI a few years ago- the egg and wedges just added the finishing touches- scrumptious! IMG_9975

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This is crispy chicken is now a firm favourite- read last weeks post for the original recipe and how I tweaked it.

UK available products 

I stumbled across this drink in M&S tonight whilst Mr T was picking out some bottles of IPA- I’m a dab hand at reading the labels now and just when I thought there was nothing for me I discovered this and I think it looks rather special, don’t you? IMG_9969

IMG_9970Another member of the ‘Feel Good Drinks Company’ came to my rescue when I was making my packed lunch for a school trip this week-

They are non- alcoholic and totally Whole 30 compliant- super handy and yummy!

I mentioned earlier that I had packed a ‘Naked’ bar just incase- photo-2 copyThey are handy if your having a busy day but as Whole 30 advocates less snacking then they should be kept to a minimum. There are loads of different bars and treats in this range but not many are compliant so MAKE SURE YOU READ THE LABLES!!

With only 12 more days to go I’m trying hard to focus on the feel-good side of this journey and not let the green-eyed monster get the better of me!

How’s your journey going?

What pitfalls have you tried hard to avoid?

Until next week…

Mrs T Xx

Whole 30 and Me: 2 Fridays down…

day 11

11 days in and I am loving it! I have eaten some awesome meals and haven’t felt bloated, stuffed or sluggish at all. In my last post, you might recall, I said it had taken until day 4 to feel satisfied between meals- the feeling of satisfaction is well and truly here to stay. I’ve felt no real desire to snack between meals and even my break time nuts have been knocked on the head.

In the rest of the post you will find-

1. A run down of my meals from day 5- day 11

2. Links to some recipes I have tweaked and tried

3. Some products which are Whole 30 compliant and available in the U.K.

My Meals

photo 4It was Mr T’s birthday so we had a lazy morning and didn’t sit down for breakfast until 10am- it was worth the wait! It felt like a massive treat but was totally Whole 30 A-OK! Love it! Since we ate late, I didn’t fancy much for lunch and we were going out shopping (for a drill, oh joy!) so I planned ahead and popped a ‘yo,yo’ in my bag along with a drink and some fruit- I will admit that I was ready for my tea when we got in though! Tea was chilli without the kidney beans and sweet potato wedges- scrumptious! I also took advantage of it being the weekend to make some cinnamon bananas- Mr T ate most of them but I had to try one just to check how tasty they were! I discounted the sugar and added a dash of ginger. Fried in coconut oil, these were delicious!photo 2-2I woke up on Sunday morning to no eggs and no bacon- Mr T had scoffed the lot! I resigned myself to a fruit salad in the garden while he headed to to gym and then the shop. I hung on until about 11:30 and could take it no longer so I decided to switch the day around- my parma ham. olive, beetroot and sugar snap pea salad with balsamic dressing was divine!!!! Seriously…..if there is one salad you try during Whole 30- this should be it!!! Ahmazing! I spotted the blueberry omelette on Pinterest and decided to give it a try when Mr T arrived home, in place of my lunch- another tasty treat! The cooked blueberries give of the slightest hint of sweetness which, if you’re having a craving is a perfect way to satisfy it as part of a meal rather than a snack. For tea Mr T made a gorgeous cottage pie with green beans rather than peas and a sweet potato topping.

photo 1-2Monday’s meals were perfect for a busy day- I started off with a delicious spinach and sweet pepper omelette wrapped in ham plus a cup of my new favourite Lady Grey tea. The rest of the day was leftovers- chilli for lunch and cottage pie for tea with extra veg. I’ve been drinking lots of water over the course of my Whole 30 even though I’m not its biggest fan! If you’re like me then why not add a couple of slices of cucumber and mint or strawberries and lime juice to it? I’ve sat in the sunshine with a glass of sparkling water over ice and strawberries and not felt although I was missing out on anything- a total 180 for me!

photo-4Breakfast consisted of the good-old scrambled egg and bacon with some avocado slices followed by a really tasty lunch of beetroot and walnut salad with added olives and homemade French dressing. For tea I branched out and tried something that I wasn’t 100% sure would turn out ok. I mixed almond flour (or ground almonds) with cayenne pepper, paprika and a couple of twists from my smoked chilli and garlic mill. Then I dipped the chicken in egg followed by a dip in the flour mixture and lightly fried in coconut oil until golden. Mr T had his in a tortilla wrap with hot sauce, I had mine on a bed of crisp ice-burgh lettuce leaf, mixed Italian leaves, sweet paper and avocado. This was so filling yet not bloating and was amazingly tasty.

photo 1At this point, remembering to take pictures of my meals is harder than following the plan! I started the day with one of my previous breakfasts of blueberry omelette with sliced avocado and a cup of Lady Grey. Lunch was a bowl of spicy butternut squash soup and mason jar fruit salad (sorry for lack of pic but I’m sure you can imagine a bowl of soup!). Wednesday night was beautiful so I quickly text Mr T to swap our food plan around- it was supposed to be burgers and skewers on friday but we had to take advantage of the sunshine! I nibbled on olives and sipped sparkling water with strawberries and a twist of lime in the sunshine while Mr T grilled away to his hearts content!

photo 2I loved breakfast today- it was the only meal I had planned and had everything for- the inspiration is posted below but I simply mashed a banana, whisked in 2 eggs and added 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon then scrambled it in a frying pan before adding a dollop of almond butter and enjoying! I was pushed for time in the morning and had totally overlooked making my lunch the night before! I quickly grabbed a bag of mixed leaves, sliced beetroot, sugarsnap peas and some ham- simple but tasty lunch! Because we decided to make chicken skewers the night before, we had no meat left for tea- Mr T made himself a cheese, bacon and egg wrap- totally not Whole 30! I didn’t panic and just had a nose on Pinterest instead- I tweaked this recipe using things I had in and it was rather tasty ( a little sweet but tasty)

photo 3Today I decided to use up left-overs seeing as it’s the end of the week. I started with a breakfast of bacon and eggs with avocado slices to finish off some open produce. For lunch I took the rest of my sweet potato quiche thing with a side salad and home- made French dressing. I was surprised to find that it was far more tasty cold than warm- I’ll be saving this for picnics in the future. I had a tea of chicken curry and cauliflower rice planned but friends invited us to their house for a BBQ so of course we went. I took some plain chicken drumsticks and steak as I knew most stuff would be in marinades and the burgers would have noncompliant ingredients- I really would rather have stake than a burger anyway! Whilst everyone was drinking, I was sipping ‘The Feel Good Drinks Co.’ lightly sparkling raspberry and passion fruit with a splash of sparkling water- refreshing.

Recipes I’ve tried, tweaked and loved!

Most of these recipes are Paleo but not Whole 30 friendly so beware! I simply took out the noncompliant ingredients and they still worked wonderfully!

Crispy chicken- Tastes of Lizzy Ts

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Cinnamon bananas- Dizzy, Busy and Hungry 

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Blueberry omelette- Stupid, Easy Paleo  

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Banana and egg scramble- Sweet Success

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UK available products

I have found that, unsurprisingly, most of the items listed in recipes are not available here in the UK so I thought I would share with any of my fellow  Pommie Whole 30′ ers a few items I’ve found useful and available here in the UK….

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The ‘Smoked chilli and garlic mill’ is from Marks and Spencer and is really useful for a adding a cheeky kick to a dressing or on top of sweet potatoes. The ‘Coconpure’ oil is now available in Sainsbury’s as is the Meridian almond butter. The coconut oils is great for frying things that you don’t want the taste over powering by EVOO and the almond butter makes a handy good fat source for pre/post work out snacks with sliced apple.

photo 5 photo 1

These products are all available in Asda and handy for picnics or lunch boxes (left picture) or as a time and mess saver (right picture). I used the soup mix to make lunch on Wednesday (day 8) and it was so easy and tasty, plus the packet only cost £1!!!

I’ve also discovered that some of ‘The Feel Good Drinks Co.’ bottles are compliant so if you’re heading to a BBQ this weekend and would like something other than water, these are perfect! This link will take you to the feature page on ASDA’s website for further information- they are currently only 79p!!!

Another tip is that some bottled Nando’s dipping sauces have sunflower oil in them but other than that they are totally Whole 30 compliant so if you’re out and about then Nando’s wouldn’t be the worst place to eat in- just check those ingredients first!

I’ll keep my eyes pealed for other UK alternatives to all of those US items we see so often.

I’m also trying hard not to step on those scales!!! I’ve resisted so far- have you?!

Until next Friday…

Mrs T xXx 

Whole 30 and Me: 4 days in

Whole304days

Let me tell you- my meals have been yummy but it’s been a struggle at times!

I’m sure if you come from a mainly whole foods/ Paleo dietary background then the adjustment to Whole 30 eating wouldn’t be such a slog as it has for this pasta loving, toast munching, potato piling girl!! Today (day 4) is the first day that I haven’t felt hungry between meals and I think this is because I’ve listened to my body and I’ve tried hard to respond to it.

I’ve learnt a lot already –

  1. I need a filling breakfast
  2. Nuts are my friend
  3. I’m going to get sick of sweet potato pretty quickly
  4. I don’t miss milk that much
  5. This is actually going to be fun

Breakfast – my usual diet consisted of either a bowl of Fruit & Fiber or 2 rounds of toast with marmalade so switching to whole 30 has meant that I’ve seriously had to change my habits! I started day 1 with fruit which was yum but not filling enough so as the week has gone on, I’ve upped my breakfast intake and found this has curbed the 10 o’clock rumblings.

Nuts – In school we have morning break at 10:45 and our staffroom always has biscuits! Usually I’d grab one or 2 with a cup of milky tea…bring on the nuts! Firstly, they don’t go with tea so it means I don’t crave my morning cuppa and secondly, they give me something quick and easy to snack on whilst everyone else is munching a biscuit! Sorted!

Sweet potato – As you will see in my meal pics, I’ve eaten a couple of meals with them in. Now, I love sweet potatoes but if I carry on at this rate, they will become less of the yummy treat I currently see them as and more of a boring staple in my diet, something I don’t want to happen (any and all alternatives for bulking up evening meals are welcome!)

Milk – I’m not a big milk lover but I do rely on my milky cups of tea at 3 crucial points in the day- answer- drink Lady Grey tea! It has a yummy orange/citrus tang to it and you most certainly cannot add milk!

And now to the fun- thinking of yummy meals! Here are mine from my first 4 days- Hidden under all of the salad stuff are 2 slices of thick ham- simple but tasty! My evening meal was delicious – jerk chicken, sweet potato wedges and grilled pineapple. In the little green tub are a couple of slices of cucumber and a sprig of mint ready to add to my Tervis beaker of water. All meals were tasty on day 2! These bacon, spring onion and egg muffins were super easy and only took 15 mins in the oven (2 eggs with added water made 4 egg muffins) although I learnt that I need a little more to fill me. Lunch was scrummy- I made a basic French dressing with EVOO, balsamic vinegar and a dash of Dijon mustard (sugar-free) and it was the pop the dish needed! Tea was a cod filled cooked in a foil parcel with EVOO, lemon juice and fresh dill.  Whist planning my lunch (different from on my plan) I discovered that my avocado was a little too ripe! I googled and found a simple recipe to follow for a salad dressing and figured it would go well with a nicoise salad (of sorts!) for lunch. I added some to breakfast to dip my bacon and eggs (cold left overs from previous day) in- tasty! Tea was so simple but really tasty and filling- I simply roasted chicken drumsticks with a splash of EVOO, ground pepper, a few sprigs of lemon thyme and sliced lemon. I roasted some veggies mediterranean style and devoured the lot- I’d of loved some aubergine to bulk it out further but the shop was out! Breakfast speaks for its self and I forgot to take a pic of lunch (it was like day 1 but with added beetroot and mason jar fruit salad). Tea was amazing! Mr T was having vermicelli noodles and sweet chilli sauce with his and I was mega jealous so I whipped up a kind of lime and ginger dipping sauce (recipe will follow).

I’ve tried hard this week to stick to the plan and have enjoyed thinking of tasty food combos to keep me interested.

I’m thinking I am going to have to keep trying hard over the next week- it is Mr T’s birthday tomorrow and I just know he will be cracking open a bottle of beer (or 10!) and to top it off- I’m going on one of my dearest friend’s hen do next weekend with afternoon tea and drinks- weep!

How is your Whole 30 going?

Do you have any tips for me?

Next Friday I’ll bring you an overview of my week and recipes for some of the tastiest eats I’ve stumbled across.

Until then, I’ll keep trying hard if you will!

Mrs T Xx