Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Whole 30 Day 15

Breakfast Leftover turkey stuffed pumpkin

Lunch: Chicken, courgette and capsicum

Dinner: Homemade pork burgers and salad

Monday, April 29, 2013

Whole 30 Day 14

I feel rotten today.

Also very close to having nothing in the fridge - shopping arrives tomorrow lunchtime. I did manage some good meals today though.

Breakfast 3 eggs scrambled with spinach and garlic,
served with onions and mushrooms

Lunch - fish cooked with garlic and lemon
served with roasted peas and beans

Dinner - turkey stuffed butternut squash with courgette

Dinner was an adaption of the sweet potato recipe - I like it more with butternut squash. I also have a piece almost that size leftover for breakfast.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Our first SMC/donor baby party

Our party at the weekend was quite an exciting event, as it was our first UK gathering with other mums and dads in a similar parenting situation to us. One of DD's long standing friends donated to a single woman around the same time that DD and I were deciding to parent together. They now have two children, the eldest of which just turned 2. The party was in her honour.

I was a little nervous about it if I am honest. This other SMC is a GP living in quite a nice part of London. I wondered how someone who has spent most of her life either in the outback of Australia, or the back of beyond in the UK was going to fit in, but it was great. Lots of interesting, educated people, and it was nice to be one of the younger ones for a change (where I live I am generally the age of the grandmothers and rarely have much in common with the other mums).

It was funny too in that PP (DD's partner) actually knew lots of people there. He really wasn't expecting that from his first 2 year old birthday party.  I think it has been hard for him to feel connected in our family recently as he has been away caring for his mum for a long time. Hopefully this weekend was good to help him feel like he belongs in the baby circle too.

I also want to keep a connection with the group. I think it is important that BB grows up knowing other kids with similar family backgrounds to him. The mother of the birthday girl and I plan to catch up again for a play date when BB and I are next in the city. I'm looking forward to it already.

Whole 30 Days 12 and 13


So, I went away for the weekend and I wasn't perfect. My food on day 12 went well BUT I did drink a glass of champagne!

Someone put it in my hand. I held it for a while and considered my options. I will share my rationale with you just for fun. I decided that the important thing for me here was to change my diet to healthily cut out wheat, and most likely other gluten grains too (but I am not sure about that until I reintroduce them), and also to test the effect of dairy and legumes on my body. Things that I could innocently be consuming every day that might be making me feel rubbish. Champagne on the other hand, I am already aware is not the best thing for my body, and I am aware that it should be handled in moderation - I do  not consume it every day and nor do I plan to in the future. Therefore I decided it was not a subject of the current investigation, nor something to be overly concerned about in the future, so I could politely consume!

Well, it worked for me, and it was nice.

All of the nibbles on offer were wheat based though (wraps, pastries, sandwiches etc) so I didn't eat anything at all while we were at the party and all my other drinks were water.

Day 13 got off to a good start with chicken and vegetables for breakfast. Then we were heading out at about 11.00 and  BB and I shared a banana before we left, so technically I was eating between meals. Then we went to a cafe for lunch. I chose the best thing on the menu under the circumstances - Chicken with mushrooms, courgette and leeks. I thought about asking questions about what was in the dish grain and dairy wise, but didn't want to make a fuss. Also, there was no better option that I could see, so it was fairly pointless to do so. I suspect there was a tiny bit of cheese in the sauce though.

Then there was tea. No rules broken with regard to banned substances, but not strictly what it should have been either. It was a bit of a quick snack tea as we had just gotten in from our long drive home and BB needed something before he went to bed. I had a paleo tuna cake left over from our travels, with a raw carrot some mango and pomegranate.

Anyway, I wasn't that great at taking photos either, but here are the ones I took.
Breakfast day 12

Lunch Day 12 -
half eaten - oops, was a paleo tuna cake and salad

Breakfast day 13 -
chicken, courgette, onion, lettuce tomatoes and beetroot

I am not too disappointed with myself really. I realise that I may have compromised the effect of the whole 30 a bit by allowing the champagne and suspect sauce to pass my lips, but I am also fairly certain that lots of aspects of the whole 30 way of eating will be with me long after the 30 days are up, which will hopefully compensate for that somewhat.

I will be better tomorrow - we are home now and my meals are all planned. It's eggs for breakfast, white fish for lunch and turkey thigh mince for tea. I will try to remember to photograph them too!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Whole 30 Day 11

Once again a quick post.

I tried the turkey stuffed sweet potato with lemon today and it was much nicer.

Lunch is a little on the burnt sale as I was distracted by BB who burnt his hand. Luckily after running under cold water and then making him hold a cold pack, it is fine. It did mean lunch was a little over done though - not too badly though. 

I am quite pleased we have done the first burn. Does that sound awful? I mean it in the sense that I have been telling him "don't touch - it's very hot" for months but he had no concept of what I actually meant. Now he definitely understands and got away with quite lightly. I hope it means we won't have any nastier accidents. 

The other thing I would really like him to do next is break something! I don't know how he's got away with it. He has dropped so many breakable items and they have bounced. It would be nice if he learned the concept of 'breaking' in a similar way - lesson learned with minimal damage

Anyway, back to my food. Slightly repetitive, cauliflower twice, and sausages again, but we are clearing out the fridge.

Leftover turkey stuffed sweet potato with lemon juice,
served with stir fried capsicum peppers and courgette

Salmon served with roasted cauliflower and asparagus

Sausages with onions and mushrooms
served with mashed cauliflower
I've just made some more paleo tuna cakes to take out with us tomorrow. I am going to hold off on publishing my recipe for that Abby, as I think I can improve it a bit. I followed the recipe more closely today, but I think I like some aspects of what I did the first time better, so I will have a third go and try to perfect it to my personal taste a little more.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Whole 30 Day 10 and my thoughts so far

I was inspired by this post to have tuna and cucumber for breakfast. I came across a problem as soon as I went to make it though - no cucumber. So, tuna and green salad it was, with half an avocado and an olive oil, lemon and garlic pepper dressing. I'm afraid I didn't enjoy it much. The tuna was very dry (not my usual brand), but I ate at least half.

For lunch it was our day to take Nana and Grandma out for lunch. So out we went and I supped on a black decaf coffee and a bottle of water whilst they all ate. This wasn't so hard as none of their meals looked particularly appetising. When they had all finished eating we left the restaurant and I had my picnic lunch (which I forgot to photograph) of 3 hard boiled eggs in a salad of green leaves, beetroot, carrot and spring onion, plus an olive oil, balsamic and mustard dressing. It was yummy. I also had half a banana (BB's left overs).

For dinner I joined the craze for turkey stuffed sweet potatoes which I served with crispy kale. I altered the recipe slightly based on the herbs and spices in my cupboard and also added green beans (to sneak some greens into BB). I actually found it a bit too sweet. The recipe did say to use yellow sweet potatoes but I haven't seen them here - perhaps it would be better with those. I generally like to have something lemony with sweet potatoes to balance the sweetness, but I wasn't sure about lemon and turkey. I have one left for breakfast so I might squeeze some lemon juice on and see. It wasn't bad though. I ate all of this!

I also had a little bit of BB's left over pomegranate.

Reflections after the first 10 days

  • I like this. 
  • I'm not sure if this means I am doing something wrong, but I don't find it a big effort. I think it is actually easier for planning, eating this way. A simple formula to follow (Protein + Fat + 2x Veg) 3 x a day. That's not hard at all. Just have a variety of stuff in the fridge and mix and match. Right?
  • I'm not missing much either. I did have a slight pang today when everyone else tucked into a box of chocolates, but even that wasn't hard to resist. Some cheese would be nice. 
  • I'm not drinking enough water
  • I eat so much more than other people doing this - when I look at other people's plates of food in their posts, they look so small. I do wonder if I am eating too much. I am breastfeeding, which might make a little bit of a difference, but still. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Whole 30 Day 9

I have had a massively productive day. I am feeling really great on this diet.

It's late so I am not writing a long post, but quickly here's what I ate today.

Breakfast: 3 eggs scrambled with a little ghee,
with roasted tomatoes and kale

Lunch: Salmon cooked in avocado oil, garlic pepper and lime
 with a salad of spinach, watercress rocket, carrot, beetroot, avocado,
spring onion and tomatoes and an olive oil and balsamic dressing

Dinner: Chicken cooked in coconut oil with orange and ginger
 served with stir fried capsicum peppers and courgette,
cooked in avocado oil with garlic, chilli and ginger

Meningitis: Keep Watching #meningitiskeepwatching

What is meningitis?
Meningitis is an inflammation of the lining surrounding the brain and spinal cord. It is caused when germs infect the fluid which circulates around the brain and spinal cord. Septicaemia is the blood poisoning form of the disease, which can cause shock, multiple organ failure and tissue destruction.

Meningitis and septicaemia can affect anyone. However, the majority of cases occur in children under five years with those under one year most at risk.

What is World Meningitis Day? 
Wednesday 24 April 2013 will mark the fifth anniversary of World Meningitis Day (WMD), a day dedicated to raising awareness of meningitis and supporting those who have been touched by the disease. 

Why get involved?
- Bacterial meningitis and septicaemia kill more children under five than any other infectious disease in the UK , with babies most at risk .
- The leading cause of bacterial meningitis is meningococcal disease . 
- Children aren’t protected against all forms of meningitis and parents should therefore remain vigilant for the signs and symptoms of meningitis.
- “One of the biggest myths is that children are protected against all types of meningitis through vaccination and this is, in reality, not the case”, says Dr Nelly Ninis, Consultant Paediatrician at St Mary’s Hospital London and supporter of the Meningitis: Keep Watching campaign. “Children are only protected against some types of meningitis so parents must be aware of the signs and seek urgent medical help as this disease can maim or kill within hours.”
- Anyone can catch bacterial meningitis at any time. As many as one in ten of those infected will die and up to one in five survivors will be left with after-effects including brain damage, amputations and hearing loss which may require ongoing care .

For these reasons alone it is vital that information about the very real threat of meningitis is spread to other parents. 

How can you get involved?
1. ‘Meningitis: Keep Watching’ is a campaign spearheaded by Meningitis Research Foundation, Meningitis Trust and Meningitis UK with support from Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics Limited, encouraging parents to remain vigilant for the signs and symptoms of the disease. 
2. Go to the ‘Meningitis: Keep Watching’ Facebook page at www.facebook.com/meningitiskeepwatching and Like / Share the page and the tab applications including our new Pledge to Protect quiz.
3. Share the posts and case studies from the Facebook wall or get in touch to speak to someone who has experienced this disease. 
4. Visit the YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/meningitiskeepwatch where you can watch our short film and embed it into your blog for others to watch.
5. Help us to share the campaign as widely as possible using the hashtag #meningitiskeepwatching
6. Champion the work of meningitis charities in the UK, who are dedicated to supporting families affected by the disease. For further information on meningitis as well as a number of educational resources, please visit the charities’ websites:

Further information
Symptoms of bacterial meningitis and septicaemia
Sudden and aggressive, meningitis and septicaemia can kill within 24 hours of symptom onset4. Symptoms can often resemble the flu, making it easily misdiagnosed in its early stages, even for experienced healthcare professionals . 

Symptoms may appear in any order and some may not appear at all. They may include some or all of the following :
• Fever
The Glass Test for Meningitis
• Vomiting
• Severe headache
• Painfully stiff neck
• Sensitivity to light
• Very sleepy
• Confusion
• Seizures
• Non blanching rash (doesn’t disappear under pressure - aka the glass test, see image)

Key facts
Bacterial meningitis and septicaemia
• can kill in less than 24 hours, even with treatment
• kills up to one in ten of those infected
• leaves up to one in five of survivors with after effects including long term disabilities, such as brain damage, amputations and hearing loss
• is the leading cause of death from infectious disease in children under five in the UK, with babies most at risk

Children are currently not protected against all types of meningitis, so it’s important that parents Keep Watching for the signs and symptoms.

Downloadable resources
Meningitis Research Foundation, Meningitis Trust and Meningitis UK have a number of resources available for parents to download, including handy symptom checkers. These can be found here:


Today is World Meningitis Day. To help spread awareness of this, and where to go for more information on this disease, that I am sure terrifies you as much as it does me, I am posting this press release sent to me by Ruder Finn PR agency, who work on behalf of Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics Limited, and who are supporting this campaign

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Whole 30 Day 8

I don't have much to say really - it's just another day of meat and two veg.

I did notice that despite eating until I was full, I was hungry about half an hour after my breakfast and lunch, but not after my dinner. Perhaps is this because I had dessert (strawberries and coconut milk again!). I wonder if it is a psychological thing - and that the other two times it was dessert I was craving. I wasn't really expecting that as I rarely eat dessert, but I guess I do nibble, and perhaps normally my response to that hunger would be to eat something.

Breakfast was left over chilli with courgette pasta. The courgette pasta cooked in avocado oil. It's not a meat heavy as it looks as there are lots of vegetables in the chilli.

Courgette Pasta and Chilli on a plate

Lunch was chicken and salad. The chicken was fried in avocado oil and then I added some lemon juice and cayenne pepper just at the end. The salad was spinach, watercress, rocket, carrot, olives, avocado and beetroot, with an olive oil dressing.

 in a white bowl

Dinner was sausages (note no attempt at gravy this time - they were great on their own) with green beans and mashed sweet potato. I didn't manage to eat all the beans (they were stringy) or the sweet potato, but I did manage a big bowl of strawberries!

I also had an afternoon nap today which was really needed and very much appreciated.

Now I am going to end there, as I must go and watch last night's Broadchurch! I am so pleased I got through the day without hearing anything about it.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Whole 30 Day 7

I have been feeling really dehydrated today and so have been really conscious of drinking water. I have done a reasonable job, the thing is I have to remember to drink before I get to that stage! Both yesterday and the day before I walked at least 10km pushing the buggy in the sunshine - that will be what did it! I have a 1L water bottle - I'm going to try and drink 2 bottles a day!

We had a busy day today. We were out at TumbleTots this morning and then BB had a hospital appointment (all good) in the afternoon, so I had to plan our meals around that.

I had scrambled egg with roast tomatoes and green salad and avocado. It was great.

Then  for lunch it was white fish (haddock) cooked with avocado oil and lemon zest juice, with roasted vegetables (courgette and butternut squash), I used avocado oil today and painted it on with a pastry brush. They were divine. I am loving avocado oil - not too strong a taste and a beautiful colour.

I prepared some pork chilli while BB had his afternoon nap. That way when we got back from hospital all we had to do was heat it up. He had his with orzo pasta (as he loves it and it cooks so quickly) and grated cheese, while I had left over cauliflower mash and courgette.

His was far more appealing! I didn't manage to eat all the cauliflower or courgette. It is strange because I really enjoyed them both first time round. Not sure if it is because they are not so nice reheated, or if it is a clever thing your body does when you already ate that recently, to encourage variety.

Having said that, tomorrow's breakfast plan is for the other half of the chilli with courgette pasta! We'll see how that goes. I could end up changing my mind about the courgette.

Reuniting My Selves!

Since I wrote this post and started the new blog I have had seven emails from readers. Yes seven - that more than I ever had in total until now I think. I'm not naming people as I feel they would have commented on the blog if the wanted their message a public one, but I can tell the essence of what they said.

Some said they would miss the recipes (Tiara said the same via comments), and would I still be posting 'kid food' here, or there. A question I wasn't quite sure of the answer too. I also had a dilemma re the 'cooking with kids' theme I was enjoying here. A couple of the emails went a bit deeper about how the diet is part of me, and that the enjoy the blog because I do share my life, and get healthy and losing weight is a big part of it that they can relate to. One person found my blog through the diet thing but now enjoys reading other stuff too.

One person (I do know her personally) asked me questions about why I felt the need to separate them. It was because I thought some people here were bored of seeing what I had for lunch, and I wasn't quite sure how I felt about people who googled a wheat free recipe would feel about seeing all my SMC posts. I guess it comes down to the fact that I was afraid of being judged. It sounds odd when you post about your life on line, but somehow I was hoping to retain some sort of privacy too.

As you know, I have a link here to the new blog and I know a few of you pop over (thanks for the comment Abby), in fact, this bog is the most common entry point according to the stats. I have also made a new online friend (not blogging yet but I hope she will ;o) ) who found this blog via a Whole30 search and she is also trying to shape up her body for pregnancy. The point is, she likes this bit too and she still found out about who really am even though the blogs were separate. I am also following several other women doing the Whole30 and many of them are doing this after pregnancy and juggling the whole caring for themselves and their kids thing too. We're all the same gang really.

I do feel a bit like I've separated my selves. Yet of course I can't. It's hard to know where to post things and where to link. It is also, just as I expected, and why I delayed it for so long, harder to maintain 2 blogs than 1. Apparently, it's also bad for my page rank to divide the blog, though possible better for my SEO - but I have to admit I don't fully understand how those things work anyway. I am still not really happy with the look of the new blog, and I am having hassles with the pinning app...

So, in case you didn't guess already, I am bringing them back together. Someone sent me some ideas for indexing so I can make it easier for people to find stuff - I will try to do that. And I will try and give posts sensible titles that help you know if you want to read it or not. I am going to copy over all the posts to here too. I figure it's best to do it now when there are only a few posts rather than wait until its too hard. Forgive me if I fill your feed - it's only temporary!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Whole 30 Day 6

I woke up feeling nauseous and far from hungry this morning. Luckiy BB was on a bit of a go slow too. He had some milk and then wanted to play with his train before we ate breakfast, so that option suited me just fine too.

I decided I would still go ahead and cook what I had planned to make for breakfast.  I made Paleo Tuna Cakes, the idea came from here via Kristen who writes at Change of Pace. She is also blogging about the Whole30, and is ahead of me, so I am getting both inspiration and ideas there. I did change the recipe a bit as I didn't have onion powder or garlic powder, so I added a finely chopped spring onion and some garlic pepper instead. I also made half the amount in the original recipe.

Even half the amount was enough for 2 good sized cakes so I only ate one for breakfast (the other was perfect for our spontaneous picnic lunch). I had some green leaves (spinach rocket and watercress) and some beetroot with it. It was amazing! I will definitely be making those again.

Once again I felt much better for eating. I was now full of energy and the sun was shining. It was also the day of The St George's Day Fayre in our town. There is a parade, a funfair, market stalls, street entertainers, kids activities etc. I thought we should go and take a picnic lunch, seeing as I promised a picnic yesterday and it didn't happen.

Inspired by the book, I decided to make some kale chips (kale roasted in oil for about 12mins). That is something I never made before. It tastes like greens. I wasn't the favourite part of my lunch, but it was good. I will do it again, experimenting with different oils too. The tuna cake seemed even nicer at lunch time than it did at breakfast - it was perfect picnic finger food too.

I also tried something new for dinner, mashed cauliflower. I added some ghee as I mashed and then put cheese with BB's serve and garlic pepper with mine. It was really nice. I have left overs of that too, so tomorrow is looking good already. The other things on the plate are chicken (cooked in coconut oil with the juice of a blood orange added one it was cooked, so it simmered in the juice for a minute or two) and roasted snow peas. 

We had strawberries and coconut milk for dessert again (they are on special offer everywhere at the moment and we both love them), but I forgot to take a photograph. You know what they look like though.

So, after a bad start, the day is ending on a positive note, feeling quite happy about this Whole 30 thing today.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Whole 30 Day 5

Soft Boiled Eggs with Roasted Tomatoes and Asparagus

The novelty has definitely worn off!

Today was hard. 

That may have something to do with the fact that a small boy had me up at 5am though.

Once we were up, my cooked breakfast was really rather tasty.

Then we had to go out. I am organising a sponsored walk and had to go and check out the route. We were doing this with a couple of other people and it was at lunch time. So we took a picnic. I anticipated being really hungry, as I planned to eat when we had finished the walk, and so took a banana and some macadamia nuts along, as well as another egg salad for my main dish. When we got to the spot we were planning to eat there was huge marquee being erected so that was the end of that plan. BB had already eaten most of his in the push chair on the way round so we carried on to the car and drove home. I ate my banana and macadamias on the hoof and the salad in my own back yard once we were home. That was at about 2.30.

As BB usually has dinner around 4 -4.30 I wasn't hungry at all, so I made him an orzo pasta dish which he loves and decided I would have my meal once he was in bed. I almost skipped dinner entirely. I still wasn't hungry at 7 and felt like just going to bed. I considered it quite seriously, and wondered how bad it would be to miss a meal, and then decided I should get on and cook.

So I made the meal I had planned for both of us as it was the most appealing. Sausages, mushrooms and green beans. I fried the sausages, onions and mushrooms and as I was about to add the gravy I looked at the packet, just to check (I know it is wheat and gluten free) but damn it - it did contain corn starch! I considered using it anyway, but then decided I'd better not. So I just added a little water and some herbs and salt and garlic pepper and let it simmer for a while. It still wasn't great so I added a little squirt of tomato puree. It actually thickened up just a little, not sure how, maybe the ghee helped, but it wasn't the best gravy I ever tasted! I need to work on that for next time.

Despite the gravy disaster I did actually enjoy my food and felt much better for eating it. The sausages were a new find and actually really nice, and green beans are one of my favourite veggies. I did crave some mash to go with it though, and even a beer would have been nice and I don't even drink beer, so then I started thinking of wine... I ended up having a passionfruit which did tingle my taste buds in a similar way.

I now have to start thinking about tomorrow's meals. I don't have much enthusiasm for it I must say. One meal must be chicken as it's use by date is tomorrow, and it's been a couple of days since I had fish... Hopefully I will be inspired by the book. 

Soft Boiled Eggs with Roasted Tomatoes and Asparagus

This post has moved to http://www.ablissfullife.com.au


Friday, April 19, 2013

Spotty Monsters

What better thing can you think of to do when you're spotty than to create some spotty monsters.

two spotty monsters created from empty toilet roll tubes
Spotty Monsters

These guys were made using toilet roll tubes which we painted. The dots were created with a hole punch, and some pipe cleaner arms. They are little pom-poms on the hat. We squashed the heads at the top and held the two sides together with a staple. I think the red guy might get a hat tomorrow.  BB wanted him to have one but was impatient for his dinner for us to finish it off. We might even stretch to some arms too.

These were inspired by the The Red Ted Art Book which is fabulous, but most ideas BB still needs to grow into - still, I had fun! He did some of the painting and I did the touching up (quite a lot of it!) and was able to stick things where I blobbed the glue, though the size of the dots didn't help. He loves the eyes. We then spent ages laying on my bed together this evening looking thought the book at the pictures of all the other things we could make so I think it definitely gets BB's approval. There is a Kindle Edition too if you prefer, and the blog in case you didn't discover it yet.

Whole 30 Day 4

Today has been a little harder. I think things might be changing.

My breakfast was mostly left overs from yesterday (with an added egg to top up the protein). I put it all on a plate and was totally overwhelmed by the amount of food in front of me. I didn't really fancy it at all.

I ate it though, well, I ate all the salmon and the egg, most of the beans, about half of the salad and a teeny bit of cauliflower, then the chickens got a lovely treat with the rest. I think part of the problem is that my portions are quite large. Probably bigger than usual, but I do eat between meals usually too so I am trying to make sure there is no doubt that I might still be hungry so that I don't eat in between meals. Perhaps it is time to gradually scale the portions back a bit though.

I don't think I have quite so much energy today either. It's hard to tell though as I have so much more than I did when I ate wheat, so everyday feels great in comparison.

Lunch today was sweet potato chips, roasted broccoli and white fish in a lemon and cayenne pepper sauce. I wanted the fish to have a sharp flavour to balance the sweetness from the sweet potatoes and it did work well. I wasn't so impressed with the broccoli though. I burnt it a bit, which didn't help, and it was the first time I have ever tried roasting broccoli so I should perhaps give it another try just to check.

After lunch I was feeling really full and yet hungry at the same time. I was craving for something sweet. I ended up making a decaf coffee with a splash of coconut milk and that solved the problem for a while.

When it came to dinner, I had planned to have chicken with beans and butternut squash, but I just couldn't cope with the idea of more meat and veg. That's the trouble with planning - what if you don't fancy what you planned?

In the end I made a salad with rocket, spinach watercress, beetroot, 3 eggs, spring onions, tomatoes, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, a small carrot, some bacon bits (dry fried) tomatoes and an olive oil dressing. Followed by strawberries. I did really enjoy it.

One bonus of changing my mind is that I have another meal planned for tomorrow, though I think I may swap my veg around a bit.

It's getting harder. I was thinking today that there are lot more days of this to go! I was also feeling heavier and fatter today too, but at least that helped to control the urge to weigh or measure. I eat early (4.30pm ish) with BB and I am finding this evening tough. I want to nibble. I remember them talking about that in the book - I think I'll read that chapter again tonight! Meanwhile a cup of valerian tea and then to bed - if I am asleep I wont be craving food - I hope!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The word of the week is... SPOT

BB's new word this week is spot. He says it a lot because he has a lot! He has also pointed at marks on my body and said spot. I am fairly sure that he is going to point out other people's spots to them just as soon as we get out of quarantine.

I am not 100% sure what is wrong with him. I think it is almost certain that he has Hand Foot and Mouth Disease as he does now have little spots on his feet and hands, and he did have a couple on his tongue too, and around his mouth. But he also has them all over his body. Some of them are much bigger, and blistery and look like chicken pox, though there's not so many of that kind (maybe 30). The pharmacist who sold us out camomile cream did actually say it could be both. Both are going round at his nursery, so I guess this is technically possible.

He is OK though, maybe a little bit more clingy than usual, and perhaps eating a little less than usual, but still quite happy, running around, playing games and being a cheeky little  monkey.

Being housebound I had to think especially hard about things to do. We were going to go to a nearby wood where you never bump into anyone, but it was too windy. So we have cooked together, painted together, hung the washing out together (that was a massive challenge in the wind - BB didn't know wether to laugh or cry when things were blowing all over - it dried quickly though. It was actually great fun.

I hope tomorrow we can go to the wood though. Whatever it is, apparently we should not mix with other people for 7 days after the spots start appearing. Some are fading, but there are still new ones coming... we will certainly have cabin fever in 7 days time!

I have been quite focussed on eating well. I did split the blog so that what I was eating went elsewhere, and have had an unexpected number of people tell me that they like my food posts after all... Ah well. it's done now, I think it will be better in the long run. So, if you are interested I have just finished day 3 of the Whole30 and am really loving it so far. I have eaten some great food. Here's what I had today.

Pork Bolognese and salad

Salmon with roasted cauliflower and beans

Chicken cooked with coconut oil, orange and tarragon

BB has enjoyed helping out in the kitchen as usual.

In some ways being home has been good for getting me started on this. It might be more tricky when we are out doing our normal activities and have less time to think about food.

BB has surprised me with what he has eaten. Each meal time I think about what he is going to have too. Obviously I am not going to subject him to the diet, so when I made bolognese with wheat free pasta he had normal pasta, and cheese. Today I thought about giving him fish fingers when I had the salmon, but I really want to be sure that his nutrition doesn't suffer as a result of me eating different foods, so I am letting him try my food and then have additional things (like dairy and grains!) with a back up plan if he doesn't like it. So far so good. He really liked roast cauliflower (perhaps because he had a hand in cooking it) and ate some salmon too.

Whole 30 Day 3

You may remember that yesterday I had a rough plan for today. Breakfast was going to be left over pork bolognese and eggs. As soon as I put the pork into the pan to heat it I realised the error of my ways. I had almost enough protein here already, and not enough veg. It's funny that up until starting the Whole 30 I regularly ate salad for breakfast - I think I am focussing too much on the protein as that is the bit that I thought would be hard.

I ended up changing my breakfast plan. I still had the leftover pork bolognese, but I also added a sizeable salad, along with one hard boiled egg just to top up the protein amount. With the vegetables in the bolognese I think I ended up with about the right amount. Half and avocado and an olive oil based dressing on the salad topped up my fats too. It was great.

Pork mince bolognese with salad
Breakfast Day 3

I did also ended up eating BB's left over fruit again. I thought I should photograph it, just to keep the record up of everything I ate today, and because I am aware that eating his left overs can be my downfall. It was a little bit of pomegranate.

For lunch I constructed a meal using the menu planner from the book, though I did make a few changes, I think I stuck to the rules. It was salmon with roasted cauliflower and green beans which was also delicious. I was in a bit of a dilemma with how much to cook. There were two salmon fillets in the packet, which I thought would be too much, one however, might not be enough, especially if BB was going to have some too. It also said on the pack that you had to use them within 24 hours of opening, so seeing as that meant I would need to have salmon tomorrow again anyway, I decided to cook it all. As a result I have some left over for tomorrow's breakfast. I will probably need to top it up with some salad and an egg again, but hopefully that's OK.

Lunch Day 3

As we were eating some fresh strawberries arrived. BB was very distracted by these, se we ended up with a dessert.

Strawberries in coconut milk

I was massively full after eating all of this, but half an hour later I was feeling hungry. I know this can't be the case, and that it is just my metabolically confused body trying to trick me, so I resisted the urge to eat again. Fortunately BB likes an early tea so it wasn't so long to wait. 

I don't think I cooked quite enough chicken for tea, but what I did have tasted great. I cooked it in coconut oil, adding the juice from an orange and some tarragon toward the end. It was a really nice combination of flavours and I will definitely make it again. I served it with some sale, and followed it with BB's left over pear.

Dinner Day 3

I am still feeling good. I was expecting to feel worse, that's what all the books say. Maybe it is yet to come. Maybe it helps that I have had a few weeks wheat free and didn't get sucked into the 'gluten free' trap. Who knows. I definitely think this is a healthy diet. In many ways it's not that radical. Meat and 2 veg is what your grandparents ate, maybe your parents too - it's certainly how I remember meals in my early years (when we were all much leaner!). In Australia the official recommendations are to eat 5 portions of veg and 2 of fruit, this is six veg and 2 fruit, so again not radically different. No dairy, grains or legumes might be a bit different though, but that might not be forever. I think in an ideal world I'd like to be able to add rice, parmesan and chick peas to my list, but otherwise its really not so bad at all.

Pork Bolognese with Salad Recipe

This post has moved to http://www.ablissfullife.com.au/2014/04/pork-bolognese-and-salad.html


Pork Bolognese and Salad

This post has moved to http://www.ablissfullife.com.au


Salmon with Roasted Cauliflower and Green Beans

This post has moved to http://www.ablissfullife.com.au

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Whole 30 Day 2 (continued)

Day 2 has not been so bad at all. I feel good. The thing I am struggling with most right now is not to weigh or measure myself. I feel thinner already, and after the twice a day weighings of the Elimination Diet I am really curious to know how this is affecting my weight. Fortunately the scales are tucked away under the spare bed so I have resisted the temptation.

My food today was great, I am really enjoying it so far. I still haven't got into the detailed planning of food, but I did have in my head this morning what my two meals would be made up of, though when BB fell asleep this morning I took the opportunity to swap them around so that I could get most of the cooking done while he napped. So, for lunch I had what I am calling Pork Bolognese with Courgette/Zucchini Spaghetti.

Zucchini Pasta
Pork Bolognese

For dinner it was a large egg and avocado salad (I managed 3 eggs), plus 1/2 avocado, lots of leaves, tomatoes, cucumber, celery, and spring onion and served with a dressing of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mixed herbs and seeded mustard. That was followed by banana, blueberries and coconut milk.

Egg and avocado salad

Banana, blueberries and coconut milk

I am really not a meat eater, so this whole thing is a bit of a challenge for me really. I was pesco-vegetarian for almost 30 years and I have an unhealthy association with meat. I didn't like it as a child. I would chew and chew but I could not swallow it - there was a gag reflex going on. I didn't like the texture either, but that could have been how it was cooked. I was made to sit at the table until I'd eaten my meat and there was no other food allowed until it was gone. Once the dog was asked to leave the house at meal times I found places to hide it, but never ate it. Finally my parents accepted that I wasn't going to eat it when I was about 7 and that was the end...

...Until I was about 37, when I started eating it in the most unexpected circumstances. I went on a fasting retreat for 10 days and despite the teacher being very pro vegetarian and me apparently having the healthiest pre fast diet of all the participants, I emerged craving chicken. I have eaten chicken (breast only) ever since. I believe I had metabolic issues as a result of overcompensating for protein with carbs, so finding new protein sources was a priority - discovering that chicken could go back on the menu was great. When I was pregnant with BB I craved ham, and then sausages (only good quality ones though). I ate a few things with pork.

It dawned on me only when I had a child of my own (for whom I hide green vegetables in food) that I might even like lamb too. Apparently I used to eat lamb, but then my parents started putting mint jelly on beef and telling me it was lamb, and suddenly I didn't like it so much any more. Thinking about it, as we had cattle and one always went in the freezer, probably nearly all the meat we had was beef. I don't like beef at all. I did make a cottage pie with lamb mince a couple of months ago though and it was bearable - not nice but I could eat it.

As I was cooking the pork mince today it smelled disgusting. I found myself thinking "this diet is not for me - I can't eat this much meat - what was I thinking?" I added garlic to mask the smell. It worked and it started to smell good by the end. When I ate it I was really pleasantly surprised. In fact I went back for seconds.

So, maybe I can do this meat thing.

I think I did OK with Whole 30 rules today (if you ignore breakfast), but I am still learning. Perhaps my 'dessert' was a bit of a rule bender, but I'm pleased I had it. I feel hungry now. I will try to remember to add nuts or seeds to salads like that in the future.

Looking at other people's ideas is really helpful. I don't have recipes as yet, but I do have a bit of a plan for tomorrow. Eggs and the left over pork bolognese for breakfast, and salmon, green beans and another veg yet to be decided for lunch, and then a warm chicken salad, probably with avocado for tea. Yum. I am liking this diet right now, despite the fact that is 3 forms of animal protein in one day!

Wheat Free Pork Bolognese Recipe

This post has moved to http://www.ablissfullife.com.au

Wheat Free Spaghetti Recipe

I made my first wheat free spaghetti today. Also known as zucchini pasta (or courgette pasta).

It was very easy and turned out great. An excellent discovery as it means I can make 'pasta' dishes for both BB and me.

If you haven't already discovered this, all you need is a zucchini a peeler and Julienne Peeler.

1. Remove the green skin

Peeled zucchini

2. Carefully (it's lethal!) work around the edges with the Julienne Peeler until you start to see the seedy bit (see photo) on the inside, then stop. You can save the middle for something else, but today I used mine to keep BB entertained while I finished cooking and asked him to feed them to our chickens. 

Zucchini shredded with a Julienne Peeler

3. Fry gently in a pan with a little avocado oil for about 5 mins. It does actually start to look pasta like in  texture so you know when it's done.

A serving of cooked zucchini pasta in a frying pan

Then serve.

I used 2 zucchinis for one person. Obviously it depends on their size, but in this case I think 3 might have been better.