Whole30 – Day 4

A late night and an early morning usually causes the hubs and I to gravitate toward caffeine and sugar. The caffeine remains but at least we’ve dropped the sugar. We were both in need of a good jolt this morning. I’m not going to lie and say I didn’t wish I was eating a scone with clotted cream and jam, or a cinnamon roll, or a pain au chocolat, or even a bowl of Pho this morning… anything to get that fogginess out of my head. Alas, our sweet potato hash had enough protein to do the trick. Take that, sugar dragon! :-p

Meal 1

Menu

  • Sweet potato hash — From the Nom Nom Paleo, recipe here, although I found I needed to squeeze the excess liquid from my sweet potatoes. They were very juicy (?!) and my first batch didn’t crisp well.
  • Pan-seared rib eye steak — EVOO, salt, pepper
  • Avocados
  • Sunny side up egg
  • Bacon
  • A handful of blackberries
  • Beverages: Black coffee, Paromi tea, lemon water.

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Overall grade: A-
Hubs: Loved everything, particularly the hash.
M: Finished her plate short of the avocados and berries. She had half a banana instead.
G: With a little coaxing (I bribed him with blackberries in between bites), finished his ENTIRE plate. The kids only got one egg and a smaller portion of everything, but nonetheless considering how much he’s eaten lately, I about fell on the floor out of pure shock. There were plenty of high-fives going around.
S: Ate her hash and bacon, flung her blackberries on the floor, then picked at the hash on her sister’s plate.
Me: The only reason this dish isn’t getting an A+ is because we (M and I, and really I can’t put the blame on her because I encouraged her to put a generous amount) overdid the Thyme on the hash. Otherwise, a quick easy breakfast.

Lessons: Less Thyme. Might be better to prep the sweet potatoes the night before so that they have time to dry out… although sticking them in the fridge uncooked alters their sugars to starch… I’ll have to research that.

Meal 2:

Menu

  • Grilled Big-O-Bacon Burgers – Nom Nom Paleo cookbook, page 227
  • Grilled Portobello mushroom as a bottom “bun”
  • Mushroom chips
  • Apple cole slaw — shredded Napa cabbage, carrots and apples, tossed in homemade mayonnaise* and apple cider vinegar.
  • Beverage: Chamomile tea for M, water for everyone else.

*I find that using a mix of avocado and EVOO works well for homemade mayo. I may have to try “Light” olive oil to see if that lends to a more neutral mayo. The one I made had a distinct EVOO taste. I didn’t like using only avocado oil because it made it a little too green in color… or at least the avocado oil I got from Whole Foods was very green. I should have saved the bottle for brand purposes.

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Overall grade: A
Hubs: Wasn’t sure about having the Portobello mushroom act like a bun and was concerned there was too much mushroom in the dish (particularly in the burgers) but was pleasantly surprised. Slaw turned out great.
M: Finished her plate.
G: Picked at his food but ate a little bit of everything.
S: N/A  — fell asleep before lunch.
Me: Thought it was delicious. The reason it didn’t get an A+ was because the chips weren’t as crisp as they were yesterday. I need to find a better storage solution.

Lessons: More prep (again): Burger patties could have been assembled yesterday, Napa cabbage and carrots could have been shredded yesterday, Portobello mushroom could have been grilled yesterday even.

Meal 3:

Menu

  • “Spaghetti and meat sauce” — Spaghetti squash, homemade Bolognese (see below), marinara sauce* and a fried egg on top (for the grown-ups).
  • Bolognese: Using Ghee or EVOO, brown ground beef. Remove from pan. Brown onions and garlic. Add beef back in. Add garlic powder, onion powder, tomato paste, and ground mustard. Cook until fragrant. Add marinara. Amounts of ingredients are dependent on the size of your family and how much of each spice you like.
  • Beverage: Lemon water.

*I’ve included a picture of the marinara sauce that I used that is W30 compliant. We got it at WF.

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Overall grade: A++
Hubs: His favorite meal to date. Would have liked more.
M: Finished her plate.
G: DEVOURED his plate. Asked for more.
S: Ate enough to make me happy.
Me: Definitely one of my favorites so far.

Lessons: One spaghetti squash does NOT feed a family of 5.

Other things we made today:

  • I finally got on the prepping band wagon (you would think I would be so much better at this!) and prepared the components of tomorrow’s breakfast and lunch ahead of time. Blanched broccoli, parboiled the potatoes for home fries, seasoned the steak, cut up the veggies for tuna salad.
  • Made almond butter! Didn’t realize it was as easy as it is. And WOW. It’s D-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s! To the point where the hubs and I tried just a little to taste but vowed to keep away from it for a while for fear of over consuming it. I think I’ll make ants on a log with it for the kids tomorrow.

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Note about the kids and snacking:

Since we’ve started the program, the kids have had snacks twice. Once on day one in the afternoon, which I forgot to write about (they each had a banana) and today they asked for a snack and I gave them a bowl of grapes. M doesn’t dig green grapes and we were out of red ones so she had a handful of almonds instead. Everyone was happy until dinner. We are definitely okay giving the kids snacks but have agreed to stop offering them because we don’t want to encourage grazing, so we wait from them to tell us they’re hungry. Seems to be working so far.

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