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Where am I now?

Where am I now? Is that not an iconic saying? Does it not bring memories flooding back from the past?

Progress, such a simple yet complex word. Below is the dictionary term for progress:
prog·ress
noun
ˈpräɡres/
  1. 1.
    forward or onward movement toward a destination.
    “the darkness did not stop my progress”
    synonyms: forward movement, advance, going, progression, headway, passage

    “boulders made progress difficult
verb
prəˈɡres/
  1. 1.
    move forward or onward in space or time.
    “as the century progressed, the quality of telescopes improved”
    synonyms: go, make one’s way, move, move forward, go forward, proceed,advance, go on, continue, make headway, work one’s way

    “they progressed slowly down the road”

    Progress is both a noun and a verb. During a long term weight-loss journey the same can be said. It’s both a noun and a verb. Progress is telling the BIG voice of doubt in your head to keep quite, that you’re doing this for you. You’re making progress to be a healthier person, you’re setting a short and long term goal. Progress can mean anything during this journey. So you only lost “one” pound, well you at least lost it and as long as you set your mind to it you’ll never get it back again. That voice in your head telling you that you can’t do it along with people in your life telling you that can’t do it shouldn’t be your focus during this journey. So as long as you really are doing this for you. You have to set your own perspectives and not allow outside or internal devices to derail you. I am here to tell you that if you keep taking those little bits and sips then those little things turn into big things and now you’ve gained that “one” pound back and added about 10 more along with it. It’s a slippery slope that wont end until you put your foot down and say NO! I know this because I have lived it, I’ve tried a few different ways to “be healthier” and loose weight. I worked out but still ate the same I changed the way I ate and told myself its ok to have that handful of candy you’l l just work it off later. Well guess what? Later came and I ate more candy and I never worked it off.

    This is not an easy topic to talk about but I think I am finally ready. I hit rock bottom around October of 2015. My best friend Erin had found the love of her life and they decided to have a November wedding and guess what? I was to be in the wedding as a Bridesmaid. That sounds so romantic, you get to experience the whole show from behind stage and on. Well along with that comes a lot of responsibility and pictures….oh the pictures…and parties….and a dress fitting! Lets take a moment to talk about the pictures and the bridal showers. Well since I was in the wedding I was also the center of attention I had to stand along side of the gorgeous bride to be at her showers. So that goes without saying in the day in age of camera phones there were a ton of photos taken of us. There was a lot of attempting to suck my gut in to “look skinny”, well you can’t look skinny when you’ve got a lot of adipose. This one picture in particular made me sad not happy as you’d think I’d be standing next to the Bride to be!

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    Well I must confess once I saw this photo I was devastated! Devastated at my size. How did I allow myself to get out of control? Meanwhile I wasn’t thinking that as I got seconds and had desert just prior to taking the picture. It didn’t matter to me, I was spiraling out of control and didn’t even know it. I was squeezing into pants and telling myself that I looked great in them. I didn’t know how I was going to fit comfortably into a bridesmaid dress and look good too! I didn’t realize it but I had hit rock bottom.

    The bride had already had this epiphany months in advance she was on a strict diet to help herself look good and make healthier choices for the long run. She told me about this program she was doing that I have mentioned in my previous post; about how skeptical I was; but before my eyes she was shrinking! I said to her I’d like to try this program. and in October 2015 she took me with her to one of her appointments. During this appointment you’re told to get on the scale to have an idea from where you’re starting. I am ashamed to say this but I weighed the most I have every weighed in my life! I was 259 pounds! I started crying when I saw that number, I couldn’t fathom allowing myself to get that big. I set my goal weight to be around the 170’s that meant I had to loose 89 pounds. From that moment on my life has changed almost dramatically. I had so many obstacles in my way, I had Halloween, Thanksgiving, the wedding, and Christmas! What a time to start the path down weight loss right around the time people tend to gain about 8-10 pounds I lost 8 pounds right before the wedding and that bridesmaid dress fit like a dream! I wasn’t bloated and miserable. I actually felt pretty. I was able to enjoy myself and still loose weight. I made it through the holidays and still managed to loose weight while everyone else gained. I was eating “normal” and “diet” food. It is now April of 2016 and I am down 31 pounds and a total 55 inches. I now weigh 228 pounds, 31 pounds is a big deal to me. I can’t remember the last time I was in my 20’s. This program has changed my life for the better. The plus side is there is not set time to loose the weight I can loose it on my own schedule. It’s very difficult when you have people around you who are not on the same page. People who say “it’s just one bite of this or one drink of this or that”. Just because people aren’t on the same page as you doesn’t mean that you have to bow to them and have those bites and sips. Do this for you!

    So as this article says “Where am I now?” Well here are a few progress photos my best friend kindly made for me. 

    The latter photo is from March 2016. It was taken as a joke and when I saw it I started to cry. I didn’t realize what progress I was actually making, don’t get me wrong I knew the scale was going down and my clothes fit better, I was even able to go a size down in pants. BUT to SEE the progress that everyone around me had already started to notice was a big deal. I was sad and happy again, sad I had allowed myself to get so big and happy that I finally made a choice to live for myself. Happy that I look darn good and feel darn good too. It’s easy to say “I’ll start my diet tomorrow or I’ll start eating better Monday” you can keep living in denial. I’m here to tell you that the grass was greener on the other side. I am doing this for me. I am 31 years old and by the time I’m 32 I won’t even be able to recognize myself in the mirror and I can’t wait to meet her.

    I will kindly step off my soap box now. I just hope that this can reach the right person and encourage you to make a change in yourself.

     

     

     

Jicama Cinnamon Sticks

Jicama Cinnamon Sticks

Jicama Cinnamon Sticks

Jicama Cinnamon Sticks

So I have been MIA for a while….however during that time I once again started to find myself along with my inspiration. I started down a new path/diet called Ideal Protein. (clickable link) I saw a good friend of mine go through this crazy transformation of weight loss so I asked her to take me along one time to the center she goes to. Read bellow about it.

*Taken from official website.*

This is the Ideal Protein Difference

Maintaining a stable weight after dieting often requires changes to your lifestyle habits. This is why Ideal Protein strongly emphasizes education and understanding. You must learn to eat “smarter” or risk regaining your lost weight. Therefore, when you begin our program you will be assigned a personal weight loss coach. Your coach will assist you through each of the 4 phases of the Ideal Protein method. In phases 1 & 2 your coach will help you set your weight loss goals and support you on that journey. In phases 3 & 4 your coach will shift focus to weight stabilization and post diet living, teaching you weight maintenance habits that may assist you in keeping the excess pounds off after dieting. You will learn:

  • how your body fat is burnt;
  • the relationship between insulin and weight gain;
  • which foods are best suited for healthy weight management;
  • when, why and in what combination to eat carbohydrates, fats, and proteins;
  • and much more.

I am in love with it so far and am not finding myself struggling at all. I have proudly lost 8 pounds and a total of 14 inches on my first week! So I have to eat 4 cups of veggies a day and believe it or not its very hard to do when you’re not used to it. So desperate to get my allotted veggies in I came up with this simply delicious recipe.

Jicama Cinnamon Sticks

This is kid friendly and takes minutes to make.

What you’ll need:

1 jicama cut up into sticks or pre-cut Jicama sticks from Trader Joes

1/2 lemon worth of lemon juice

about 2 tsp of cinnamon

1 packet of Stevia (or favorite sweetener)

large zip top bag or Tupperware container

Instructions:

Toss the jicama in the lemon juice until coated. Then add sweetener and cinnamon and tops to coat.

Viola you’re done!

This recipe made about 2 cups worth.

Jicama Cinnamon Sticks

Roasted Garlic

Roasted Garlic

See I have this awesome women in my life Bev and she has always big such a big supporter of me. Shes unbelievably influential in every aspect of my life and has always been my cheerleader. When I told her I wanted to start a food blog she said “THEN DO IT!”, just like that! There is nothing that stands in her path! She also has a blog EscapingOurComfortZone where she writes about her life and all of adventures her and her husband get into. The other day she wrote about how she was going for a run and she hit that wall where her brain told her to just stop and give up, but she didn’t she told herself to keep going. Check out the post here, in it she describes how running has to do with every aspect in your life, if you just stop and give up then you have let your inner demons win but if you say “NOW” and keep going then you have won the war. She talks about how she didn’t want to label herself as a quitter. Here is a very perfect quote from the post “And sitting here staring at that picture of my NOW, just made me realize that NOW spelled backwards is WON.  If I want to win, if I want to reach my goals and live my dreams, then I must live right NOW.  Do it NOW!  All I have is NOW.  Let us begin.?”

What does this have to do with roasted garlic? Well to be truthful nothing at all, BUT I haven’t been able to get that post out of my head, as I said she’s very inspirational, since that post I have been telling myself NOW. What am I waiting for to post a recipe? I just need to get up and do it! I have all these ideas in my head but I just need to do it NOW! So now that I am down off of my soap box lets get down to business and what you have come here for!

Roasted Garlic

Roasted Garlic

What you’ll need:

1 head of garlic

olive oil or oil of choice

salt

tin foil

Roasted Garlic

Directions:

Pre Heat oven to 425 degrees.

Slice off the top of your head of garlic

Place cut side up in tin foil and sprinkle with salt and about a tablespoon of oil

Wrap tightly in foil

Bake for about 30 minutes

Remove and let cool

Squeeze out and use your imagination.

Roasted Garlic

The smell is so intoxicating when it’s cooking!

I used mine to make roasted garlic mayo.

Roasted Garlic Mayo

1 egg yolk

1 cup light oil of choice ( I used olive oil)

1 teaspoon of dijon mustard

salt

Stick Blender

Directions:

Crack your egg and either keep or toss out the white

Add the mustard, roasted garlic and salt then blend together

Add the oil slowly and blend until it begins to solidify and become mayonnaise.

Use in place of regular mayo.

ENJOY:)

Shredded Brussels Sprout Gratin

Shredded Brussels Sprout Gratin

Shredded Brussels Sprout Gratin

What can be better then brussels sprouts?? The answer!? NOTHING!

If there could be an aware for ADHD/OCD/Procrastination but still being organized I’d surely be the winner! See I have this issue where I hate to be lazy and I can’t ever sit in one spot for to long without getting up and doing something else. For example when I clean I usually clean about 4 rooms at one time because I have ADHD and OCD and I remember to clean something in the other room when I’m still cleaning in the other. So the point I’m trying to get at is I was supposed to write this post yesterday but instead I spent the day creating more brussels sprouts recipes to post! AH but it will be worth the wait!

So if you’ve ever been scared to try these baby greens then this is the recipe for you!

What you’ll need:

1 pound brussels sprouts

2 cups shredded cheese of choice

1 cup of full fat cream

2 tbls butter

salt and pepper

1/2 cup almond flour

3 cloves minced garlic

food processor or mad knife skills to shred the sprouts

baking dish

What you’ll need to do:

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees

Shred the sprouts

Melt the butter

Mix the butter, sprouts, flour, garlic, 1 cup cheese, salt and pepper together in a bowl and place everything in an oven safe dish and pour the cream on top and top with remaining cheese then bake for 30-40 minutes or until cheese is melted at the top.

This is a melty yummy goodness! I baked mine in cast iron which gave it a crunchy crust.

Shredded Brussels Sprout Gratin

Potato Clam Chowdah

Potato Clam Chowdah!

Chowdah Time!

Potato Clam Chowdah

Potato Clam Chowdah time that is. It’s a very rainy cold day in “sunny” Florida so what is better then smelling a chowdah cooking all day in your new green Cuisinart cast iron dutch oven that you got for Christmas? I digress but seriously what else could be better on a rainy day?

This recipe started off as an idea and I just let my creativity run away. I believe in flavor and I know that this recipe will not disappoint. It’s stick to  your ribs in a very healthy way type of chowdah.

Ingredients:

1 pound golden butter potatoes or yukon golds; diced

1 package frozen cauliflower florets

1 large leek

4 cloves garlic, minced

4-5 cups chicken broth

4 slices apple wood smoked bacon, cooked and chopped

1 3 oz can of chopped clams in water

salt and pepper

1 tbls olive oil

Optional topping:

shredded cheese

drizzle of olive oil

Directions:

Cook chopped bacon until crispy in dutch oven. I watch way to much food network and have discovered a new way to cook bacon in a pan. Drizzle olive oil in pan with bacon and cook until it’s starting to crisp, then splash water or broth of choice in bottom and continue to cook until bacon is to your liking. This is a fool proof way of doing bacon I swear and it’s not even soggy! Remove and set aside.

Add the garlic, leeks, salt and pepper to the bacon grease and cook until fragrant.

Add about a handful of the diced potatoes, cauliflower, and 2 cups of chicken broth, simmer for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Take out a handy dandy immersion blender and blend until your hearts content. At this point it will be very thick, go ahead and add the other 2 cups of chicken broth and (reserve the last 1 cup for later) stir. Add remaining potatoes and cook for about 1 hour or until potatoes are soft. If it’s still to thick for you then go ahead and add remaining chicken broth and entire can of  clams and stir to combine. Before serving test to see if it needs more salt.

Serve warm with crumbled bacon and shredded cheese. Enjoy!

Potato Clam Chowdah

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Garlic Dill Salmon Packets

I hope everyone has had a wonderful holiday season. I’m sure everyone has been just as busy as me between the holidays and working myself to the bone. Thankfully there isn’t another major holiday or anything going on for a while so I’ll be back in the kitchen cooking up some good dishes for everyone to try. Today I have a simple flavor packed dish for you to try.

Garlic Dill Salmon Packets

Garlic Dill Salmon

Need: 

tin foil

2 pieces of salmon

roughly 4 tbls lemon juice

2 cloves garlic;minced

2 tsp dill

3 tbls butter; melted plus 2 tabs for the asparagus

1 tsp old bay seasoning

1 bunch of asparagus, trimmed

Garlic Dill Salmon

Instructions: 

Pre heat over to 400 degrees.

Melt the butter, garlic, dill and lemon juice in the microwave.

Place the asparagus on the tin foil hen place butter there then top it with the salmon filet and brush the butter garlic mixture on top of salmon and close up the sides of the tin foil.

Garlic Dill Salmon

Bake at 400 for 20 minutes.

Enjoy.

Garlic Dill Salmon

Whole30 Week 4, I finished!

Whole30 WhatJessiEats.com

 

Well hello there! It has been one long month let me just tell you, I finished my second Whoe30 challenge, I feel great and my allergies are finally back under control. I’m also sure I’d be sleeping if I didn’t have such noisy neighbors….it doesn’t matter what time of day it is they will rev up their vehicle that doesn’t have a muffler and its like surround sound in my house! I feel better now that I got that off my chest. I was looking forward to day all month not because I wouldn’t be so strict on my “diet” but because I was looking forward to a nice glass of wine. Which I am drinking as I type this up, (lucky me).  I hope everyone had a lovely week. For me it was mediocre which I haven’t been able to say in a while. I was still super busy working my butt off but I doubt that will ever change. So you see I deserved this glass of vino!

 

So for dinner/breakfast I had:

 

Greek Meatza, Plantain Chicken Club and Spaghetti and Smokey Meatballs.

 

Greek Meatza

Probably the best combination of flavors known to man. Though if I hadn’t been doing Whole30 I’d have added feta, I can’t get enough feta.

1 pound ground beef

2-3 tbls greek seasoning

4 tbls roasted garlic paleo mayo/guac

Toppings:

marinated artichokes, sun dried tomatoes, black olives and pepperoni.

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350F, add seasonings to meat and mix together.

Grab your favorite or least favorite up to you pie pan/dish and form a giant hamburger patty into it.

Bake for about 15 minutes, remove add toppings of choice and bake for another 6-8 minutes.

Try and wait for it to cool off before devouring.

Whole30

Spaghetti and Meatballs

6 of Jessi’s smokey meatballs recipe to come

1 whole roasted and shredded spaghetti squash

3 tbls coconut oil

1 can of fire roasted tomatoes

1 pint of cherry tomatoes, I used orange ones

white pepper and salt to taste

1 small onion, diced;sauteed

1 tbls tomato paste

3 cloves minced garlic

Sauce directions:

Heat soup pan over medium high and saute the garlic and onions until soft.

Add the fire roasted and cherry tomatoes as well as the tomato paste. Stir and add salt/pepper to taste.

With a hand blender blend all the ingredients together and let simmer for about 30 minutes. *hint during this time you could be roasting your squash*

Once you’re happy with the flavor of the sauce add the meatballs then let them thaw out and cook for an additional 15 minutes. Once meatballs have thawed out serve the sauce on top of the squash or stir and combine.

In honor of my 30 birthday I did the Whole30 but lets face it you can do it just because it’s Monday!

Good Luck and have a blessed week!

I ate a lot of plantain chicken sandwiches because they’re just so easy to make and I am addicted, I mean there could be worse things to be addicted to!

I joked with my mom yesterday saying I was going to turn into a plantain chicken monster.

WhatJessiEats.com Whole30 Week 4

Whole30 Week 3

whole30

 

Done and Done! 3 weeks down and 1 week to go…or in my case less then 1 week to go since I really slacked at getting a blog post out by yesterday, sorry! It’s week 3 and I must admit I miss eating 100% Paleo and here are a few reason why: for one thing my allergies are finally under control again and I wake up refreshed…and it also doesn’t take much to notice that my clothes are starting to feel loose on me again😀. There are so many benefits to eating Paleo those are only a small small list of them. The whole point of a Whole30 is to remove everything that’s not natural, you’re removing all of the processed things you’re used to eating and then once it’s over you slowly add things back in. For me I know and have always known I can’t handle dairy but what I didn’t realize until going Paleo is that I can handle certain types of dairy better then others. For example I can handle grass fed butter and certain types of cheese. I wouldn’t dare drink an entire glass of dairy cow milk…I’d be in a huge mess of trouble with my stomach and my allergies. See I discovered if I have something with dairy in it then the next day my face is puffy and my allergies are out of control no matter how much medication I take. So dairy has to go….😦 which is sad because I love me some cheese and ice-cream! I’m sure I”ll have a slip up here and there and regret it the next day but for the past 3 weeks and going forward I’ll be able to lay off the allergy pills and be happy!

I had another hectic week which is no shock to anyone who knows me. I’ve been having dental issues that are about to finally be over and I can’t wait to no longer be in pain and only being able to chew on one side of my mouth. On top of that I’ve kept up my working over time at every chance I can, the awful thing is that my dental appointments are usually on the days I picked up a night shift. You know when I should at least be attempting to take a nap before working over night? Nope out of the question for me so I relied on quick and easy food preparations on the days I could call my own which has been only 1 day this week so far. In fact I”m working over time tonight as well…I guess you could say I’m a glutton for punishment or money, the jury is still out on that. On the unfortunate side I only have one recipe to provide for you this week, I’m sure you’re not going to be disappointed though.

 

I just discovered the most amazing thing this week at Trader Joes which is they now carry, ( in my store at least) cashew butter and it’s Paleo and Whole30 compliant! I also found some plantain chips (again with my addiction to them) that are Whole30 and Paleo, so I scooped them up as well and that was my breakfast while at work for a few days this week. I also finally found their sauerkraut which will be on the blog next week. So for this week when I went to the farmers market I picked up some unique cauliflower heads, I got purple and green, I was so excited to get home and use them.

 

 

Whole30 WhatJessiEats.com

I’ve yet to use the green one but I made a pizza crust with the purple one using this recipe: Cauliflower Pizza Crust  to make it Whole30 just add nutritional yeast instead of cheese.

Whole30 Week 3 WhatJessiEats.com Cauliflower Pizza

I just thought how cool would it be to have a purple pizza?

Whole30 Week 3 WhatJessiEats.com

It was yummy.

I also picked up some gorgeous baby heirloom tomatoes from the farmers market and decided to make a tomato bacon fritatta.

Whole30 Week 3 WhatJessiEats.com

6 slices of cooked bacon, see my recipe here for baked bacon

8 eggs, whisked

1/3 cup coconut or almond milk

salt and pepper

1 quart of heirloom tomatoes, sliced in half

coconut oil to grease the baking dish

*optional but not whole30, some of your favorite cheese*

Whole30 Week 3 WhatJessiEats.com Heirloom Tomato Fritatta

Whisk all ingredients together and bake on 375 for about 45 minutes or until the middle doesn’t jiggle. Let cool slice and serve.

I chose to eat this for breakfast but this could easily be eaten for lunch or dinner too.

I wish everyone a blessed weekend.

:)

Whole30 Week 3 WhatJessiEats.com

Whole30 Week 2

Good morning and welcome to the conclusion of week 2. This week should have still be a small struggle but on the positive you should have started to notice you’re sleeping better and waking up refreshed. Though if you’re anything like me you still needed your morning cup of coffee. I need mine to get through my grueling 12 hour shifts and remain pleasant. I gotta say not having sweetener and cream in my coffee was tough at first but once I discovered Bullet Proof Coffee and got used to tasting the actual flavor of the coffee it made all the difference in the world. So I stated in my post last week I’m a shift worker. It took a while to get used to working 12 hour shifts and not having normal break times and/or schedule. My weeks usually look like this: 4 days on 3 days off and then they flip and I’m on 3 days and off 4 days;those are my favorite; and usually on both of those weeks I’m picking up extra shifts. So needless to say I’m a busy girl! Well this past week was my off 4 days and I worked overtime 2 of those days on an opposite night shift, boy does that throw off my sleep pattern. Anyway this last week felt like a week from hell…everything that could have gone wrong went wrong. For example when my roommate and I got locked out of the house when she came outside with me to help me take pictures for this weeks Whole30 recipes. Then my kitchen sink faucet broke while the water was on…and you’d think that you could just turn the water off under the sink..NOPE think again, my house was built in 1940, so plumbing not up to date! I had to turn the water off at the street while my roommate was sleeping because she works nights. SO needless to say it was a tragic time at 830 at night when I should have been getting ready for bed to get up at 430 the next day for work! I had to rig the sink so it didn’t run all night long and turned the water back on. My amazing mom came to the rescue the next day and bought me a faucet while I was at work and had my dad install it. There were a few other little things but those little things can throw you completely off your game! So after all of the drama of this week, I only have 2 Whole30 featured recipes to share, but they are amazing none the less.

Here is a quick run down of my week:

Breakfast: almond butter and apples; paleo cereal and bullet proof coffee.
Lunches/Dinners: grilled chicken and brussells sprouts; Dino Ribs *featured*; BLT salad; Chicken BLT *featured*; grilled chicken and plantain fries; and the most amazing Paleo shrimp scampi ( not pictured because it didn’t last long enough on the plate) I’ll have a recipe in the coming month for you all. As I said I had a pretty busy week and didn’t take to much time to cook.

 

I can promise you this coming week will have more recipes:)

I feel like I need a side note to describe BulletProof Coffee, if you live in the Paleo-verse like I do then I’m sure you’ve heard the name thrown around here and there but do you really know what it is? Well I suggest checking out the official creator here: BulletProof as far as I’m concerned I don’t think I’ll ever go back to normal coffee again. The basics are: coffee, grass fed butter, MCT or Coconut Oil and a blender, that’s all! There is no buttery taste just a coffee that looks like you added your favorite creamer. You could add your own flavor to it , completely up to you, you could also add sweetener but then it’s not Whole30.

Now for the good parts:

Paleo “Dino” Ribs

Paleo Dino Ribs

2 racks of beef ribs

apple wood smoked rub ( I used a gluten free  rub from Pampered Chef)

2 tbls of coconut oil

Paleo BBQ sauce, I used homemade but am still working out the recipe

Paleo Dino Ribs

Pre Heat oven to 250 degrees.

Coat the ribs in the coconut oil then liberally sprinkle the rub over the ribs top and  bottom and rub it in making sure every part is coated.

Grab a large baking sheet and double wrap your ribs in tin foil making sure you create a tight seal.

Cook low and slow for up to 4 hours, I checked mine at 3 1/2 hours and they were already falling off  the bones. So cooking time will depend on your oven.

At this point turn on the broiler to high and unwrap the ribs and place them under broiler for about 7 minutes to get that crunchy exterior.

Then remove from oven, let cool slightly and devour or coat in your favorite BBQ sauce and devour.

Paleo Dino Ribs

Salami Chicken Club

Chicken Salami Club

2 very green plantains

6 tbls coconut oil

2 small chicken breast or 1 large cut in half

salt and pepper

2 tbls roasted garlic mayo

2 garlic pickles

2 slices of tomato

2 slices of salami

2 pieces of butter lettuce

toothpicks

Heat a grill to medium high heat and grill chicken 7 minutes each side then let rest.

Start out by heating up the coconut oil in a pan until smoking and hot.

While the oil is getting hot peel your plantains and cut in half.

Cook the plantains until golden brown on all sides. Remove and smash between to cutting boards, then fry them again.

To assemble:

Spread the garlic mayo on both sides of the “bread” , place the salami, tomato, chicken, lettuce and pickle down then top with other half of the plantain and enjoy.

Chicken Salami Club

The beef ribs make you feel like you’re back in the cavemen days eating whatever giant animal you just slayed and cooked over an open flame because the ribs are so large. Hence the name Dino ribs:) They really were fall off the bone tender. I prefer them over pork ribs honestly. As I have noted on several recent post I can’t get enough plantains in my life, I use these as a bread substitute all the time. The key is really getting them crispy enough to withstand whatever you put between them. They typically suck up the juices which makes them even better! I hope you all have an amazing weekend:)

Whole30 Week 2

Whole30 Week One Work-up!

Whole30

Well folks today is day number 7 which means you have now got one week under your belt, in my opinion;not that you asked but will be told anyway; week one is the hardest if you’ve never tried Paleo before. At this point your sugar monster is still rearing its ugly head but you’re able to tell it to shut up and stay quiet. Week 1 is always the hardest when you’re doing anything. Your body is going through all of these changes and you’re not sure if you want to stick to the changes or not. During this whole time period you and your body are trying to figure out why it thinks you’re slowly trying to kill it, or your body could be thanking you for all of the changes you’re making for the positive. My week one wasn’t to bad, there were a few times I was tempted to give up, for example when you know that there will be a Tex-mex themed retirement party at work….and there will also be cake. I was strong though extremely tempted, but but lo and behold I was Paleo super women and had pre-planned for this and packed my own lunch. My key to success is to always have snacks available. I also did a two week meal plan so that I knew what I’d be eating all day and by all day I mean all 12 hours I’d be at work.  Yes I said 12 hours, it’s very tough considering that I am a shift worker and don’t always get “regular” break times or “normal peoples” scheduling. So to counteract the hanger I make sure I have sufficient snacks to hold me over until I am able to eat a real meal. I try to snack on fruits, nuts and meat. How do you fight off the hunger monster?

I did a huge kitchen overhaul after making a two week Whole30 meal plan and cooking up most of the meals ahead of time and freezing some of them. My freezer meals will be on another post soon.

Week One: August 1st-August 7th, 2014

whole30 week one

As I previously said I work 12 hour shifts and those shifts entail me getting up at the crack of dawn…mainly around 0430 am and working until 1800 hours (6pm). I am not one to be hungry as soon as I wake up, I usually get hungry around 0700 hours. On my days off I by no means keep to that awful schedule.

Day 1: (off from work)

 Breakfast:

Bullet-Proof Iced Coffee and Paleo “cereal” which included: unsweetened coconut chips, cashews, blueberries, sliced banana and almond milk.

Snack:

Turkey and Salami lunch meat roll up with an unsweetened Iced Tazo Passion Tea (made at home but can be bought at Starbucks) I brought this alone while running errands so that I wouldn’t be tempted to be bad.

Lunch:

Bun-less Burgers with Roasted Garlic Paleo mayo and balsamic roasted brussells sprouts.

Dinner:

Kraut and Smashed Potatoes.

I wanted a little something sweet after dinner so I had a hand full of nuts and unsweetened coconut chips.

Day 2: ( 12 hour shift)

 Breakfast:

Bullet-Proff iced Coffee, and a half  of a Blueberry Lara bar ( I forgot my real breakfast at home, shame on me, thankfully I always keep a Lara Bar in my work bag), then on my first break I had Paleo “cereal”

Snacks:

Turkey/Salami roll up, hard boiled egg and a mixture of olives.

Lunch:

Jalapeno Chicken Wings

Dinner:

Dinner was leftovers because lets face it who wants to cook after a long 12 hour day when you still have 2 more 12 hour shifts to work?

So what I had for dinner was: 2 jalapeno burgers with spicy roasted garlic mayo ( I just added hot sauce to my garlic mayo), a piece of pot roast (leftovers from my mom)  and a small side salad.

Needless to say I was starving when I got home that day, since my day started off on the wrong foot.

Day 3: ( 12 hour shift)

 Breakfast:

Bullet-proof Iced Coffee and Apple Slices with Justin’s Brand Almond Butter then on my frist break I had Paleo “cereal”- blueberries, unsweetened coconut chips, banana, cashews and almond milk.

Snacks:

Turkey/Salami roll up, hard boiled egg and a mixture of olives.

Lunch:

Chorizo Beef Chili

Dinner:

Meatball salad

Again I took help from my pre-made freezer meals and lettuce I had in the fridge. The dressing I used was my roasted garlic mayo and hot sauce, I can’t get enough of it.

Day 4: ( 12 hour shift)

 Breakfast:

Bullet-Proof Iced Coffee and homemade chicken sausage patty, then scrambled eggs and homemade chicken sausage.

Snacks:

Turkey/Salami roll up, hard boiled egg and a mixture of olives.

Lunch:

Jalapeno Burgers and smashed potatoes.

Dinner:

Pesto Zoodles and Smokey Meatballs with Vanilla Balsamic Mashed Potatoes

Day 5: (off from work)

 Breakfast:

Bullet-Proof  coffee and banana slices, cashews and almond milk.

Lunch:

Grilled chicken and brussels sprouts.

Dinner:

Grilled chicken breast and a banana.  ( I picked up a night overtime shift and after running errands all day I didn’t have the drive to cook anything fancy.)

Day 6: (off from work)

 Breakfast:

Bullet-Proof Coffee and a banana.

Lunch:

Grilled chicken salad with lettuce, tomatoes, and banana peppers.

Dinner:

Grilled chicken breast tossed in hot sauce in a lettuce cup. Served on the side of you guessed it my Garlic Mayo.

Day 7: ( 12 hour shift)

 Breakfast:

Apple Slices and Paleo “cereal”

Snacks:

Salami roll up, and cherries.

Lunch:

Leftover grilled chicken lettuce cups.

Dinner:

Grilled chicken BLT with plantain “bread”.

As you can see I prefer to do a lot of quick and easy meals, I try to make it easier to cook when I get home at night and then have to almost turn around and go right back to bed to repeat my day all over again. On my nights off when I don’t have to work the next day that’s usually when I tear up my clean kitchen with lots of pots and plates and utensils all over the place.

My Whole30 Recipes:

Paleo “Cereal”:

 blueberries, strawberries, banana, cashews and almond milk.

Paleo Cereal

Homemade Chicken Breakfast Sausage:

1 pound ground chicken

¼ tsp tried thyme

½ tsp cayenne pepper

½ tsp fresh black pepper

1 tsp salt

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp olive oil

Optional and not Whole30- add 1 tbls maple syrup

Kraut and  Bratwurst:

image

1 pound bratwurst

1 package of Farmhouse Culture raw organic Kraut

kraut and potatoes

Chorizo Chili:

1 pound of Columbian chorizo, broken up

1 pound of ground beef

2 cans of diced tomatoes

½ tbls tomato paste

1 large yellow or sweet onion; diced and sauteed

3 cloves garlic, diced

1-2 tbls chili seasoning

1 tbls smoked paprika

Saute the onions until translucent then add in the garlic and stir around until fragrant. Add the meat and cook until browned. Once the meat is browned you can add the rest of the ingredients and cook on low for as many hours as you want to. Or you could turn heat up to medium high and cook for about 20 minutes and serve.

chorizo chili

Shredded Chicken BLT:

1 large chicken breast; baked and shredded

a bunch of romaine lettuce

1 small tomato, diced

2 or 3 slices of bacon; cooked and chopped

2 or 3 tbls roasted garlic mayo

Optional, hot sauce

I layered my BLT’s I put the roasted garlic may on on the bottom, then chicken, tomato, bacon and lastly hot sauce.

shredded chicken BLT

Jalepeno Chicken Wings:

I took some help from a fellow Paleo Blogger for this day.

Meatified

chicken wings and smashed potatoes

Smashed Potatoes:

1 pound of fingerlings potatoes or small potatoes

salt

pepper

EVOO

Boil your potatoes until fork tender and turn your oven to 375 degrees. Layer a baking sheet with tin foil.

Remove and drain potatoes, then the back of a wooden spoon and gently press down on potatoes. After all are pressed drizlle EVOO and bake until crispy.

 smashed potatoes

Pesto Zoodles and Smokey Meatballs:

1 pound ground beeg

1 pound ground pork

1large zucchini

½ cup Paleo pesto

1 tsp each of: salt, smoke paprika, white pepper, liquid smoke, chipotle powder, garlic powder and onion powder.

½ small onion, diced

Mix all ingridients together. This recipe made 42 small ish meatballs.

Pre heat oven to 375 and back for about 20 minutes. I freeze these guys and take out what I need to cook with each time.

Zoodles:

Heat a small skillet on medium low and saute your zoodles in the pesto for about 5 minutes. Toss to coat.

Zoodles and Smokey Meatballs

Roasted Garlic Paleo Mayo:

1 egg

½ cup almond oil

Whole roasted garlic clove

½ tsp lemon juice

Blend the egg and lemon juice together until frothy and slowy add in the almond oil until a mayo type consistency starts to form. Stir in the roasted garlic cloves.

whole30