Saturday, January 26, 2013

My Paleo Diary - #Whole 30 Days 20 – 26

Read about the reasons I am doing this Whole30 Challenge and my recaps prior to this one:

And So It Begins
My Paleo Diary – Whole30 Days 1 – 5
My Paleo Diary – Whole30 Days 6 – 12
My Paleo Diary - Whole 30 Days 13 – 19

I started and ended the week still sniffling and suffering a bit of an earache/sore throat from the cold I have been fighting.  That, along with a trip to the dentist on Tuesday to assess a broken tooth and then back on Wednesday to start the repair and have a temporary crown put in place, has taken its toll on my workouts again.

But I had a real breakthrough this week, healthwise and I am just over the moon about it.

For the past several months I have avoided doing any workouts/exercises that require me to move up and down rapidly.  The few I have done have left me dizzy and nauseous because there was inflammation in my inner ears and in my head.  I have been avoiding some circuit work, and Pilates and Yoga, in particular.  It was even bothering me to lay on my back and just sit partially up to do basic crunches sometimes.  So annoying and limiting.

I haven’t been feeling all that well but on Monday I was wanting to do something so I decided to see if I could pull off a Pilates workout.  I cranked up my favorite Pilates for Dummies DVD, and was able to get through the entire 30 minutes of the beginner’s mat without ANY symptoms at all.  I kept waiting for the dizziness to rear its ugly face but it never happened. Normally by the time I have done 10 rollups I am feeling ill.  I was so excited!  And still am because I repeated the workout one more time during the week and I also some Yoga movements that I have been dreading, too.  Hurray.  I am absolutely sure it is food-related and so I have been doing more reading about foods that can cause inflammation because I sure don’t want to start eating them again after this Whole30 Challenge is over.

So, here is what the week’s eats looked like:


I am still eating eggs every morning, and have been since this Whole30 Challenge began on January 1st so is it any wonder that I woke up on Monday, Day 21 and decided I just couldn’t face another egg?  Not really…. but I do like to have eggs because they are the perfect food to keep me satisfied till lunchtime.

So what to do?

Why, cook eggs and hide the taste of course. I came up with a Sweet Potato Breakfast Bowl Scramble, that has banana and vanilla in it and turns out more like a hot cereal. I couldn’t tell there was eggs in it at all….. I have actually had this or some version of it a few times this week.  The day I went to the dentist for the crown work, I made it with 2 eggs for added staying-power and I did make it one other morning with canned pumpkin instead of sweet potato, too.

Jan 23 breakfast bow scramble 001

I also made Gabby’s Sweet Potato Bites one morning… they are just some mashed sweet potatoes blended with egg whites and cinnamon… then baked. And they are lovely and fairly quick. I had mine with some almond butter spread on them. 

Jan 21 Sweet Potato Bites 004

Then another morning I made them with canned pumpkin instead of mashed sweet potato and I think they were even better.  I added cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and vanilla to the egg and pumpkin mixture.

Jan 26 Pumpkin bites 001


Fresh spinach leaves make a great base for salads, along with grape tomatoes and onion slices.  I have enjoyed this with shredded turkey breast and salsa, and also some chicken salad.  Give me a mess of greens and some protein and I am a happy girl.

Jan 20 turkey salad 001

I have continued to gobble up my homemade soups…  Curried Butternut Squash with Chicken

Jan 21 soup

and also Curried Coconut Butternut Squash and Carrot.   One day I had half a roasted kabocha squash topped with some sauerkraut and lean deli ham.  That was a real treat!


I discovered a new bagged ‘supergreen’s at the market this week.  It came in 3 different mixes and the one I chose is a combination of spinach leaves, bok choy, and Swiss chard. 

Jan 20 Super Greens 001

The first time I tried it, I heated some coconut oil in a skillet and then tossed in several handfuls of the leaves along with some dried cranberries.  I sauteed it just a few seconds till it turned limp and then plated it and topped it with slivered chicken breasts.  Wow. So tasty.

Jan 20 Super Greens 002

I am enjoying roasted spaghetti squash or kabocha squash with my Beanless Beef Paleo Chili….

Jan 21 chili with chicken on spaghetti squash 001

I also made some Cauliflower Rice one night and did a big stir-fry with chicken breasts.  I am really loving cooking with coconut oil these days where it works flavor-wise.

Jan 22 chicken stir fry with paleo rice 001

Friday I spent the morning in the kitchen.  We lucked into a good buy on some extra lean ground beef this week, so I made a meatloaf and also a huge pot of chili and put most of it in the freezer.  And then I cooked a batch of the Caveman Ketchup from this book I am loving right now….

Jan 19 Paleo cookbook 001
I borrowed this copy from the library but a friend told me it is available at Costco and that there is a follow up edition there too, that is actually better.  Looking forward to our next trip to Costco now.

The meatloaf was really tasty on a bed of the supergreens too, but I did them in olive oil instead of coconut oil this time. A few steamed carrots and it was delicious. The Captain has always loved meatloaf so every once in a while I like to make one. This one had no oats or crumbs and I really liked it much better that way. I used lots of onions and garlic and celery.

Jan 25 meatloaf dinner 001

On Saturday, I finally got around to clarifying a pound of unsalted butter for ghee.


Still munching on nuts and dates occasionally, and this week I made a few apple or banana ‘bowls’…. cut up fruit with milled flax seeds, raisins, almond butter, cinnamon and a bit of almond milk splashed on the top and stirred into the mix.   I might have one of these around 3:30 or 4:00 p.m. and then put off dinner till around 7:00 or so.  It's more like a 4th meal than a snack, really.

I have never really been an icecream fan but we both really like Banana Soft Serve so I whizzed a couple of frozen bananas and some almond milk in the food processor one evening and we enjoyed it with some nut butters and cinnamon on on top.

Jan 22 banana soft serve and almond butter 001

What would I do without almond butter?


Other than the head/dizziness thing that I already explained, there were no changes this week.  I am still surprised at how deep and easily I am sleeping.  My cold symptoms are on the wain and I am starting to feel more energetic.

I don’t think I could do this Whole30 Challenge if I didn’t cook ahead and freeze some things such as hard-boiled or baked eggs, soups, chilis, pasta sauces, etc.  It just makes things so easy and it is comforting to know that I always have something appropriate on hand to eat in a pinch.

I am still not missing anything in particular.  Which amazes me.  I don't feel deprived.  Oh sure, I could have a glass of red wine or 2, and I would enjoy some of the goodies I like to make with protein powder such as my pancakes, and smoothies, and sludges.  But I am not obssessing or craving.  Sugar desserts and treats? Chocolate?  Not even a little bit, and I am so thrilled about that. I don’t even miss my Greek yogurt or Laughing Cow Cheese and I have all but forgotten about grains and g-f breads. 

I have focussed on the positive and all of the good things that I can like to have and that nourish me, fuel me, and make me feel good.

I have heard that some people get bored on this plan. If I were eating the same foods over and over, cooked the same way, I would get bored too.  I need some variety.   I guess this is is what I was feeling about the taste of eggs… but after not have them done in the more traditional ways for a few days, I welcomed some scrambled eggs with just salt and pepper again.

I cannot seem to get into the idea of eating chicken or beef at breakfast. I mean if it was steak and eggs, perhaps... but chili?  or stew?  Not at this point at least.  Maybe later. 

I know I am eating too much almond butter and milled flax seeds.  I know it.

Other Thoughts

I am finally reading It Starts With Food – thanks to Gabriella who writes Gabby’s Gluten Free.  I won a copy on a giveaway she hosted a short while ago and it arrived early this week and I have been reading it word for word.  The information is so pertinent to me and I cannot get enough of the ‘sciency’ stuff.  I keep going back and re-reading sentences just to make sure I understand it well.  And although I have not read it all the way through yet, one quote from the book that really stands out to me is this...

The food you eat either makes you more healthy, or less healthy. Those are your options.

This sends off all kinds of fireworks and sky rockets in my head.
I get it.
I completely agree with it.
I love it.

Day 30 arrives on Wednesday next week. I want to be well-prepared and armed with information and some decisions already made before Day 31 dawns.


Sweet Potato Breakfast Bowl Scramble

Sweet Potato Bites – from Gabby’s Gluten Free

Curried Butternut Squash and Chicken Soup

Curried Coconut Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup

Beanless Paleo Beef Chili


  1. Wow, your food looks amazing. I think you're right in that the variety is the key to keeping you on this plan. You are very creative when it comes to meal planning.

    What would we do without nut butter?

    I totally agree with that quote. Love it. So true.

    Can't wait to read your final thoughts and learn what you're going to do next.

    1. Thanks, Carrie. I am going to make some cashew butter this week, just to change things up a bit... but honestly, I am really going to make an effort to eat less of it!

  2. Way to go!! I just had a week of paleo pumpkin pancakes and am ready for eggs again. Like you, I just can't bring myself to do meats in the morning. And how funny, I just bought that same bag of mixed greens yesterday to try! Ha!

    1. Thanks, Angela. I would love to have your recipe for paleo pumpkin pancakes!

  3. I love reading about your food adventures which are very similar to mine right now. I've noticed that there are so many endless combinations with veggies. And now that I'm not eating as much junk, the veggies taste so amazing. Egg idea I had today: add some coconut milk to scrambled eggs. It was delicious!

  4. Hey, thanks for that idea! I think I will give that a try. So nice of you to comment and tell me about it.

  5. That soup looks great! And I have that cookbook. Many of pages that are so drool worthy.
    While my family is not eating whole 30 (although I'd like to be), we have ramped up the organic foods. They are just so much tastier. Not to mention way better for you.

    Nice job!

  6. So happy you are finding what works for you! That is what counts in the long run!!! Glad this is working out AND you are feeling better - YAHOO!!!!!!

  7. Hooray for feeling better!! I hope it's all uphill from here!

  8. Thanks for all the great food suggestions! I'm not ready to go Whole30, but I'm trying to move in that direction and I feel like I'm constantly searching.

  9. Thanks for all the great food suggestions! I'm not ready to go Whole30, but I am moving in that direction and constantly find myself reaching for almonds because I can't figure out what else to eat...

  10. Glad you are feeling better and that this has gone so well for you. Can't wait to hear your final thoughts!

  11. I'm so glad you're feeling better Elle! You are such a wellspring of great meal ideas. I was so inspired I got It Starts with Food on my Kindle. I am not doing it whole hog (yet) but let's just say there are a ton of eggs going on here as well.

  12. Ooh I have to try those pumpkin bites! They sound great and with no flour, they are really high in protein! I am glad that this went well for you and am interested in hearing how you feel afterward.


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