Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Whole30: Final Thoughts

I realize I am SUPER late in posting about my experiences with the Whole30, but better late than never right?
Overall, the Whole30 was great as a weightloss tool, which was why I decided to try it. I ended up losing 10 pounds by the end of the 30 days, which I was really happy about. Of course, I went right back to my old eating habits and gained the 10 pounds back pretty quickly, so my bad. Also, I didn't work out very much while I was doing the Whole30 because, unlike a lot of other people I've read about, I didn't have that much energy. I was pretty much always hungry and craving food that I couldn't have. Even though I enjoyed some of the recipes I tried, nothing could satiate my cravings for junkfood. I'm pretty bad that way, I eat a lot of crap. So, by the end of the Whole30 I felt like I was crawling past the finish line.
"Just let me eat some cereal!!!!"
Then there was the guilt that I felt after I'd finished when I ate non-compliant food for the first time. But it went away pretty quick.

So, for the final score I would say the Whole30 was a SUCCESS since I stuck with it and it helped me lose 10 pounds. Also, I was probably healthier while on the Whole30 than I've been in the past five years, so... there's that. I'll probably never do it again.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Whole30: Whole Shrimp

If you read my last post about my Tom Kha Gai then you probably saw a couple shrimp on the bowl. My post got so long I didn't want to mention them, however I'm bringing them up now.

You can find all kinds of cool foods at an Asian Market. While perusing the aisles for lemongrass and galangal, I spotted a box full of whole shrimp, meaning they had the heads and legs and everything. They were pretty inexpensive so I brought a pound home to try out. After looking up a couple recipes I found that the best way to cook whole shrimp is to fry them or grill them, so I tried it.

First, I rinsed them off under cold water. Then I ripped all the heads off. If you're adventurous the heads are totally edible, however I felt that neither I nor my husband would actually want to eat the heads. The heads come off easily and even take some of the veins with them. You want to devein them because, though the veins aren't harmful, they're pretty much shrimp poop. Gross. Since whole shrimp still have their shells you can use kitchen sheers to remove the veins.

Then I came up with an easy marinade to soak the shrimp tails in.

Juice from 1 lime
1 clove garlic, minced

I let the shrimp marinade for about an hour.

Heat up a pan of olive oil or ghee about 1-2 inches deep. Once the oil is hot place as many shrimp as will comfortably fit in the pan. Shrimp can become tough and overcooked easily so only leave them in long enough for them to turn pink. Then flip. Remove from pan, peel, and eat! They're so yummy!

First time cooking whole shrimp: SUCCESS! I will definitely do this again.

Whole30: Tom Kha Gai

Holy Cow, I'm on Day 26!!!! I can harldy believe that I have made it this far into the Whole30. My will is strong, my stomach is smaller, and I'm hungry! Only 4 more days to go.

I started to clean out my fridge today and go rid of all the paleo left overs that I am never going to eat. *WARNING*: This may disturb you. I threw away an 3 week old chicken neck from my first night on this diet which I planned on making into a stock or broth. Spoiler: I never did and it was SO DISGUSTING!!!! Clean out your fridge, people.

So, now that I'm halfway into my 4th and last week of the Whole30, I wanted to make something special and delicious. If you're like me then you LOVE Thai food and have been having serious withdrawals during the last 26 days. So, I decided to try and make my favorite Thai dish:

Tom Kha Gai or Chicken Galangal Soup!

Every restaurant has their own way of making this dish. Even when my husband and I went to Thailand we didn't always love how this soup was made. When done right this soup can curl your toes, however if done wrong it can be very disappointing in so many ways. I've had Tom Kha Gai that is too acidic or too bland and it's so sad. I made this once before and the recipe told me to add juice from 4 limes! It was so limey and terrible. So, I decided to consult the experts this time and used a little home printed cookbook my husband picked up from our local Asian market in Provo.

This is the original recipe by Kanakum Lawson:

Coconut Soup

2 cups water
1 cup coconut milk
1 stalk lemon grass (remove top 1/3 and slice the rest into 1.5 inch sections)
2-3 slices galangal (Thai ginger)
1/2 cup straw mushrooms
3 Thai chili peppers
1 chicken breast, sliced
1 lime
2 Tbsp fish sauce
3-4 Kaffir lime leaves (remove central stem)
3 sprigs cilantro
1/2 cup baby corn

Boil coconut milk, water, galangal, and lemongrass in a pot on medium to low heat. Reduce to simmer and stir frequently otherwise coconut milk can curdle. Add chicken, kaffir lime leaves, and fish sauce. Let simmer for a few minutes and then add mushrooms and corn. Bring back to a boil and turn off heat. In serving bowls, add crushed chili pepper and squeeze 1/3 lime into each bowl. Add cilantro for garnish.

I followed this recipe, however if you've gotten to know me at all you'll know that I can't help but add my own touches to other people's recipes. First, we have to make it compliant, which means no baby corn and using paleo fish sauce (without sugar). Everything else is perfeclty acceptable.

Also, I really wanted to make my soup hearty so that I didn't feel hungry two seconds after eating it. So, I added potatoes and bamboo slices which are two of my favorite ingredients that can come in this dish. I also doubled the recipe because I wanted to eat it for days.

So, there I was, following the recipe. It smelled awesome, a perfect mix of coconut and lemongrass. I had added all my ingredients and it was time for the moment of truth: The Taste Test. I took a spoonfull, brought it to my lips AND... it tasted terrible! It was completely bland. What was I going to do? Had I ruined the recipe by adding so many things to it? So, I had to fix it. I looked different recipes up online, added a few different things, and this is how it turned out:

Mikyn's Galangal Soup

4 cups water
2 cans coconut milk
5 pieces galangal
1" piece of ginger, peeled
2 stalks lemongrass, top removed and rest cut into 1/5" pieces
3 Tbsp fish sauce
4 chicken tenders, boneless, skinless, chopped into bite sizes
3 yukon gold potatoes, chopped into bite size pieces
1 can bamboo slices
1 can straw mushrooms
1 chicken bouillon cube
*1 Thai chili pepper, seeds removed
4 Kaffir lime leaves, middle stems removed
2 limes, juiced
1 Tbsp onion powder
3 sprigs cilantro
1/2 onion, chopped (optional)

I really wanted to bring that savory, hearty flavor to the soup without masking the lemon/lime flavor which is why I added some chicken bouillon and onion powder. The lime juice really amped up the citrus flavor and brought the soup from blah to awesome!

Here's how I would have cooked it if I'd started with this recipe in the first place:

Bring water, coconut milk, galangal, lemongrass, and ginger to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer for ten minutes, stirring frequently. Add fish sauce, chicken bouillon, onion powder, lime leaves, chicken, and potatoes. Simmer for another ten minutes. Add lime juice, mushrooms, bamboo slices, cilantro and Thai chili. Bring back to a boil for a few minutes. Serve with some fresh cilantro.

Adding these extra ingredients made the soup really good. I'm not sure why the original recipe didn't turn out well, it was probably some sort of error on my part, however I'm giving my new recipe a big SUCCESS!

Note about ingredients:

You should be able to find everything you need for this recipe at your local Asian market which will carry galangal, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, and thai chilis. Do not eat any of these ingredients, they are simply for flavor.

*Warning: Thai chili's are very hot and you only need one to spice an entire pot of soup. Handle them carefully. Remove the seeds and wash your hands, making sure you don't touch your face or eyes before you do.

Whole30: Paleo Burger

Week 4 of the Whole30! I'm so close, yet so far away.

Sorry, I kind of skipped blogging during my third week. Once people find out you don't have a job you start getting calls to babysit every few days. I'm a pretty hot commodity right now.

It seems like every week of my Whole30 I've had a different favorite recipe, so I wanted to go back in time and share my Week 3 favorite with you all. It's quick, easy, and delicious. It's the Paleo Burger!


I start out by frying up a patty of ground beef (you could use any ground meat). First, I mix a little ghee into the meat before I form it into patties. Then I season with salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder; just a little sprinkle of each on each side. Lastly, I slap it in a heated pan and cook for a few minutes on each side. I like burgers to be a little pink in the middle. You should be left with lots of juices in the pan.


Choose which veggies you like on your burgers. Personally, I grilled some onions in the leftover hamburger juices, then added some avocado. Tomato would have been good too, if I'd had any.

Don't forget the egg! An egg cooked over easy will really add some great moisture to this burger. One of the things I've struggled with most on the Whole30 is not being able to add sauces unless I make special paleo version myself. However, a nice runny egg yolk is a simple and natural way to add moisture to any dish.

If you don't like eggs, leave it off! No problem.

Now, you have all your components, time to put them together. Cut up some lettuce and put it on the plate first, then add your burger patty, the egg, and any veggies on top. You've got your burger, but you're not quite done!

Ranch Sauce

Like I said, you need a yummy sauce to top off your burger, and this ranch recipe I found on the Whole30 recipe website is really delicious.

Here is the recipe:

2/3 cup light olive oil
1 egg
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp granulated garlic (or 1/4 tsp garlic salt)
1 Tbsp herbs (dried or fresh)
2 Tbsp coconut cream

Place everything except oil and coconut cream in a food processor then slowly drizzle in oil while food processor is running. Then add the cream.

I did this a little differently and I really liked the results:

1. I put all the ingredients except coconut cream inside my magic bullet and it blended just fine.
2. The only herbs I used was fresh dill and it was delicious.
3. I left out the coconut cream altogether.

Done my way the sauce is very thin and not as thick and dressing like as ranch normally is. It also mixes so deliciously with the juices from your burger. I made it twice and it turned out great both times, so I know it's not a fluke.

Now that you have your sauce, drizzle it on top of your burger and enjoy! Your paleo burger is complete and completely delicious.

I'm giving this recipe a huge SUCESS because it got me through many days of cravings and many nights of ice cream dreams.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Whole30: Paleo Gravy

I'm on a blogging roll right now.

Last night I made super delicious pork chops for my husband and I. Now, when I think of pork chops I think of how my mom makes them. She pan fries the chops and then makes a gravy from the drippings which we put over mashed potatoes or rice. It's delicious. If you've never put country gravy on rice then try it sometime. Anyway, I wanted to try making a paleo version of this dish and lucky for me there was a recipe for mashed cauliflower on the Whole30recipes Instagram page by @rockinmomskitchen. This isn't the recipe I wanted to blog about, but I'll give a quick rundown.

I ate my pork chop before I remembered to take a picture... And I was really sad because it was PERFECT! So, I just took a picture of my cauliflower and gravy with the left over juices because the juices are the most important part! Sorry if it looks gross.

Crockpot Mashed Cauliflower

1 head cauliflower, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1 bay leaf
2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil or ghee

Place everything except the olive oil in a crockpot and fill with water til it just covers the cauliflower. Cook on low for 6 hours then drain. Add olive oil and mash.

So, I did this. Here's the thing: The cauliflower was super watery, I almost wonder if it would have been better to steam them instead of boil. I feel like I need to get some cheese cloth and strain it. Also, it's not exactly like mashed potatoes because you would add milk, butter, or cream to make them fluffy, but you can't do that here. So, I added a little bit of the cream from coconut milk, but they were so runny it didn't matter.

I didn't like it. I consider this a FAIL, but I'm sure I could do something to salvage it.

Anyway, on to the main event!

Paleo Gravy - I really just eyeballed this because that's how we've always done it, but I'll try my best with the measurements.

2 Pork chops
2 tbsp Ghee
1 large floret of cauliflower, boiled and mashed (Obviously, I used some from the crockpot)
1/2 can of coconut milk
Salt and pepper to taste
onion powder
garlic powder

Heat the ghee in a pan over medium heat. Season pork chops with salt and pepper and any other spices you'd like (I used onion powder and garlic powder). Cook both pork chops until white and juicy inside, if the pan gets dry during cooking then keep adding ghee, you want there to be a small pool. Remove pork chops from the pan. Add cauliflower to the leftover pan drippings and sautee for a minute or two. When the drippings and cauliflower have mixed start stirring in the coconut milk, adding a little at a time until it forms a nice gravy. You don't have to use the full amount as you don't want to overpower the drippings with coconut flavor. Add salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder to taste. If you want you can puree this gravy to make it smooth, but I left the cauliflower chunky because it still worked.

This was surprisingly good and gravy-like and I was able to use things I already had. I put it over rice for my husband and over the cauliflower for me. I'm giving this recipe a big SUCCESS, but I'm slightly biased.

Let me know what you think!

Whole30: Thai Basil Chicken

Hahahahahaha oh man! Good one, Kate! We almost believed you.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm feeling great right now! I went to the gym last night and ran for 20 minutes straight which, if you know me, is quite the feat; I am not a runner. But ever since last night I have felt really good. I feel skinny and not in the "I haven't eaten for days and I'm starving" way. In a good way. #Day12

BUT come on! I can think of at least 20 things right now that taste just about as good as feeling skinny feels, if not better. Have you been on pinterest lately? There are about one million recipes that I'm dying to scarf down right now and if it weren't for the Whole30 I would do it. Kate, your argument is invalid.

Now, if Kate Moss has said "Feeling healthy and good about yourself is worth not stuffing your face with treats every day" that may have been a legitimate argument. Not as catchy, but more true.

Anyway, you probably came here for a recipe. So here it goes:

I found this recipe for Thai Basil Chicken on the (you guessed it) Whole30 website! It's by @wholefork. If you're like me then you love Thai Food, which can be a hard food genre to swing on the Whole30. So, I was excited to give this recipe a try.

Thai Basil Chicken

1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/8 onion, chopped
4 oz boneless chicken chopped into bites (Again, left overs from Butterflied Chicken)
1/8 cup coconut aminos
1/2 red or orange bell pepper chopped (gross)
1/2 yellow zucchini shredded
Handful of carrot shreds
Handful of fresh basil

Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Sauté onions and garlic until they turn translucent. Add chicken and aminos and cook until chicken turns white, stirring every 2 min. Add veggies and mix with chicken and sauce. When veggies have softened to your liking add fresh basil and stir a few times until basil slightly wilts. Salt and pepper to taste.

I left this recipe pretty much how it was (besides the bell pepper) since I didn't really know how it should turn out. I guessed that the carrot and zuccini were supposed to act as noodles. Wishful thinking.

Instead of explaining what went wrong I'll just show you.

This is what @wholefork says the dish is supposed to look like:

Now, I know that my pictures aren't exactly professional, but let's take a look at what my dish looked like:

Do you see any discrepancies? The differences don't end there (I assume, since I've never tried her dish). Basically, it tasted terrible. I have some thoughts on why: The chicken I used didn't really taste good in the first place which kind of ruined the dish. I also may have overcooked the vegetables which made them slightly mushy instead of noodle-like. It wasn't great.

However, I was able to eat most of what I made by putting Ginger Sauce on it. This sauce saves a lot of things, apparently.

I'm giving this recipe a big *FAIL because not even basil could save it.

*I attribute all failures to my shortcomings, not to the recipes themselves.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Whole30: Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Day 11 of the Whole30! Good news, the second week goes WAY faster than the first. Then again, I don't think any week can feel as long as the first week of any diet. Still feeling good, still craving cookies like crazy. The last few nights I've even had dreams where I suddenly realize I'm eating something non-compliant, like a loaf of bread. It's terrifying.

Well, in my last post I mentioned that I wanted to post a recipe for Lettuce Wraps by @tara_eats_whole that I found on the Whole30 website. So, that's what I'm going to do. However, I did change it up a little bit to fit my own tastes.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

1 lb ground meat chicken, cut into small pieces (remember the left overs from Butterflied Chicken?)
1 Tbsp oil (coconut, avocado, or olive)
1 small onion, diced
2 cup chopped mushrooms (I hate mushrooms)
4 cup shredded carrots + cabbage Chopped
bell pepper (as much as desired) (I hate bell peppers)
1 tsp fresh or ground ginger
3 gloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ground mustard
1/4 cup coconut aminos (compliant substitute for soy sauce)
Salt + pepper to taste
Optional garnishes – cilantro, chives, cashews, mustard, etc.
Lettuce for wrapping (She used butter lettuce, I used Romaine, though typically Iceberg is used)
My additions:
Water Chestnuts (for that delicious crunch)
Green Onions (add to pan right before you other veggies are done)

Brown meat in a skillet or if using cooked chicken, simply heat it up in skillet. If using a very lean meat add a tablespoon of oil. Once meat is cooked through, add in veggies and seasonings. Stir and sauté until vegetables are cooked, about 10-15 minutes. Wrap meat mixture in lettuce, top with cilantro, chives, cashews, and mustards if desired.

Now, this was pretty good, but if you're like me and you love the lettuce wraps from P.F. Chang's than this recipe will be a little dry for you. So I added this amazing Ginger Dressing I found on The Clothes Make The Girl.

Ginger Dressing

1/2 cup light tasting olive oil (not extra virgin!)
1/4 cup rice or cider vinegar
1 tbsp coconut aminos or homemade substitute
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
1/4 medium yellow onion, peeled and cut into chunks
2-inch piece fresh ginger, grated (about 1 tablespoon)
1 medium clove garlic, peeled and smashed
salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Add all ingredients to a food processor (or blender or magic bullet, whatever you have) and puree. She suggests letting it sit for 10 minutes so the flavors can blend.

I didn't do anything to this recipe besides adding more ginger, carrots, and onion to fit my tastes. Just play around with it. This sauce made some good lettuce wraps into really tasty lettuce wraps and added the moisture I was looking for. I was thinking that adding some hot mustard would be good as well, if it's compliant.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps = Success!

P.S. Sorry, my pics aren't beautiful and professional. Oops!

Whole30: Taco Salad

I have officially made it to Day 10 of my Whole30!! Second week, baby! I've definitely had my ups and downs, but I'm feeling pretty good about myself and I'm excited to see my results at the end of this.

I wanted to mention that while I am on a "diet" exercise is very important to my results. My plan is to exercise 1 hour a day, 5 days a week. Unfortunatley I strained my thigh muscle during my husband's office softball game (while running to first) and I haven't been able to make it to the gym as much as I want. Excuses, excuses, I really need to pick it up, I know.

So, I was planning on blogging about a recipe for chicken lettuce wraps that I found on the Whole30 website, however I decided to talk about one of my favorite recipes that I've made in the last two weeks: Taco Salad. This is my first blog about a recipe that I put together myself, although I did model it after several established recipes. I hope you like it!

Taco Salad

Taco Meat - For this I looked up a recipe for homemade taco seasoning. This one is from Bill Echols at

1 lb ground beef (or any other ground meat)
1 Tbsp chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tp 3/4 cup water

Brown meat and discard grease. Add as much of the seasoning as you'd like (I use half) and the water (depending on how much seasoning you used). Cook until water is gone and the seasoning has mixed with the meat.

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette - This is a knock off Cafe Rio recipe which I changed to be Whole30 compliant.

6 Tbsp oil - I used olive oil. (Originally, the recipe called for half olive, half vegetable)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp white vinegar
1 small hot pepper, finely chopped (I used a tiny bit of Jalapeno)
Juice from one lime or to taste
Salt and Pepper to taste
If it's not sweet enough feel free to add more lime juice or even orange juice to taste.

Combine all ingredients and let sit for at least ten minutes to allow the flavors to blend.

Sweet Potato Chips - I used these on my second salad and I thought they added a lot. This recipe was originally from

1 sweet potato, peeled and thinly sliced.
1 Tbsp. oil (coconut preferrably)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix sweet potato slices with oil and salt and lay flat on a baking sheet. Make sure the potato slices are VERY thin, use a mandolin unless you have a real talent for paper thin slices, otherwise they won't cook properly and won't get crispy. Cook for 10 minutes on one side, then flip and cook another ten minutes. Take any chips that start to brown out of the oven, they won't be good burnt. Obviously.

Putting the Salad together:

Chop up some romaine lettuce, add the meat and chips, and drizzle with salad dressing. I added cut up avocado and fresh cilantro. Feel free to add whatever you like, I like to keep things pretty simple.

This is a really tasty meal that doesn't make you feel like you're on a diet. I love making mexican food at home and I can almost forget that there's no beans or cheese when I eat this salad. I'm giving this recipe a big: SUCCESS.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Whole30: Butterflied Chicken

Day 6! Does this seem like the longest week ever to anyone else?

One thing I forgot to mention about the Whole30 is that after the 30 days you are supposed to gradually reintroduce the foods that you've been abstaining from back into your diet. This will tell you how the different types of food affect your body. However, I do not plan on becoming lactose intolerant or developing a gluten allergy within 30 days. I'm a whole milk drinker and bread lover and nothing can change that! Right?

Today, I want to talk about the first recipe I made on the Whole30: Butterflied Chicken by @clean_eating_journal.

Recipe as found on the Whole30 website:

3 large carrots, peeled and chopped into 1″ chunks
3 medium onions (white, red, or a medley of both)coarsely chopped
3-4 sweet potatoes peeled and chopped into large chunks
6 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
Coarse salt + pepper
1 orange
1 whole chicken
1 Tbsp fresh or dry thyme
4 Tbsp avocado oil or ghee
1 lemon

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Fill the bottom of an oven safe high-rimmed dish with onions, carrots, sweet potatoes. Add a dash of salt + pepper, and 4 crushed garlic cloves. Slice half of the orange into rings, peel, place on top of the vegetables. Discard the peels. Butterfly the chicken by removing the backbone with a sharp knife or kitchen shears. Lay the chicken skin side up on your work surface, and apply firm pressure with your hands to flatten it. Rub the chicken with the 2 remaining garlic cloves, salt, pepper and thyme. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables. Squeeze lemon and the remaining half of the orange over the chicken. Drizzle oil or ghee over the chicken and vegetables. Cook for 1 hour, or until done.

While doing my paleo research I read that cooking a whole chicken can provide meat for up to 10 meals, so that was my main inspiration for trying out this recipe. I had a whole line up of chicken recipes I wanted to try and this seemed like the easiest way to get started.

First of all, when cooking an entire chicken, make sure it's completley defrosted. Otherwise you will end up with an icepick and a stick of dynamite up the chicken's you-know-what trying to get hack away at a solid chuck of ice. Tip: Apparently, this takes more than one day so plan accordingly.

To butterfly a chicken (I had to look this up on youtube) you hold the tail and use kitchen sheers to cut up either side of the backbone, removing the bone. Then the guy on the video removed the breastbone or keelbone by some act of wizardy that I failed to duplicate. Good luck. Smash the chicken down, put it over the veggies and pop it in the oven.

Bad News: My chicken cooked unevenly, I had to cut some off and put it back in the oven, and it took much longer than an hour. This made the vegetables a little soggier than they were supposed to be.

Good News: It tasted alright, the skin was pretty good, and I was able to save quite a bit of chicken from it.

More Bad News: The chicken I saved tastes funny and kind of ruins the dishes I use it in. I don't know if this is a result of the chicken being freezer burnt or of not waiting til it defrosted all the way. I'm guessing it's my fault and not the recipe's.

All in all I'm calling this recipe a Sucess, though a small one, because I learned how to butterfly and cook a whole chicken and it gave me a lot of leftovers.

Honestly, how do people eat paleo all the time?

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Whole30

As I'm sure most of you are aware, there is a new(ish) diet fad on the internet known as the Whole30. I started hearing about the Whole30 on Facebook. Friends had completed the program, they posted pictures, and they looked great. I thought, "Gee! That seemed to really work!" So, I filed that in the back of my mind along with all the other diets, exercises, and weight loss tips that I post on my secret pinterest board so no one knows that I want to lose weight. Well, here's the thing: When you pin things on your pinterest boards it doesn't mean that they'll happen. In fact, I've had a really hard time getting back in shape ever since I got married. I hear that happens a lot. So, out of *desperation, I turned to the Whole30.
First things first, I visited the Whole30 website so as to learn more about the program. Here is the Whole30 program in a nutshell:

You can't eat:
1. Dairy
2. Grains
3. Legumes
4. Added Sugar (of any kind including honey and "healthy" sugar subs)

You can't eat:
1. Vegetables
2. Fruit
3. Meat/Seafood
4. Healthy Fats (such as ghee, avocado oil, olive oil, etc.)
5. Some Substitutions (such as coconut aminos instead of soy sauce)

You eat like this for 30 days and *POOF* you are magically transformed. Ok, sure!
You can't weigh yourself the during the 30 days, just before and after.

This is no ordinary diet. The website claims that if you follow these rules, eat 3 meals a day, and don't snack, then your eating habits willl change. Not only your eating habits, but your entire view of food will be altogether altered and you will then be accepted into a magical world of paleo eating and understanding of healthy habits. Or that is what I gathered. In fact, the Whole30 isn't technically a weight loss diet, it's just an added bonus.

My next step was to ask my friends about it. It's always good to get first hand information from people you trust. So, obviously I wrote a facebook status asking people's thoughts on the Whole30. I got about three responses: one was a friend saying her sister-in-law did it and liked it, one was a close friend saying she was currently on day 28 of her second Whole30 and felt great, and one was a guy talking about all these facts about why the Whole30 was bad (men, bless their little hearts). He mentioned that it's not healthy to cut out entire food groups because these foods have nutrients that our bodies need and he had good points. I believe that we are meant to take advantage of all food groups, however I do tend to learn more towards the cheese and ice cream groups than I should. He had good points, but I figure, it's only for 30 days and it seems to work for people so why not give it a try. And my friend mentioned that she lost a lot of weight during her first Whole30, so there you go.

Long story, short I decided to give it a try. I even roped my sister into doing it with me because, hey, misery loves company. Luckily, the Whole30 website have a bunch of recipes to help you get started and, if you want, you can even sign up for a helpful daily letter that is specific to each day of the program.

Currently, I am on Day 4! Wooo! I started on March 1st and in the last four days I'm pretty sure that I've eaten at least $40 in grocceries since most of my diet consists of produce and a whole chicken. But, in all honesty, fruit has never tasted so delicious. You're not supposed to eat fruit to satiate your craving for sugar, however, I usually eat a grapefruit at breakfast and now I think they're super delicious without any sugar on top. IT'S A WHOLE30 MIRACLE!!!

I plan on posting some of the recipes I try out during my program, both good and bad, so stay tuned, folks! This will be pretty interesting.

*I say desperation because I really really really like to eat bread, cheese, milk, ice cream, candy, etc. And almost nothing could compel me to not eat those things for an entire month.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

50 Shades of Grey Part 2: 50 Shades of Meh

So, in the first part of this post I talked about how I decided to try to read 50 Shades of Grey. As I said, I've always been against reading this book, but I was curious enough to try and see what all the hype was about. In Part 1 I gave a not-so-brief synopsis of the portion of the book I read, now I'd like to discuss some of the things I noticed as I tried to read the book.


1. This book is not well written! Nothing is more annoying than trying to read a book that pays no attention to grammar, sentence structure, or details. When a book with terrible writing becomes insanely popular I feel sad for where our society is headed.

2. Literally, every thought Ana has is preceeded with an "Oh my!". It's as if her head is so empty that this is her only available thought. "Oh my!" I kind of get that it's supposed to be a cute perosnality trait, but it really starts to get annoying.

3. Much like #2^^, Christian tells Ana to stop biting her lip every few seconds because it makes him want to F*** her. If Ana feels the need to constantly chew her lip then she should be able to do that without Christian getting mad at her because he can't control his sexual urges. Okay, okay, maybe it was kind of hot the first or second time, but by the 20th time I just want Ana to say, "I bite my lip, Christian! Get over it!"

4. When Ana starts spending more time with Christian he starts getting more commanding and moody, which is sexy, right? Seriously, his mood changes every few minutes. If another boy, even one that Ana insists she's only friends with, gets near her Christian is automatically stand-offish and cold. Frankly, it would be exhausting to be with someone like that.

5. I can't help but notice the similarities between 50 Shades of Grey and Twilight, which is a book I actually enjoyed reading. The main character is a clumsy brunette that doesn't think very highly of herself. She meets a mysterious and gorgeous boy/man who is obsessed and overprotective of her. He also tells her that he is wrong for her, but will not leave her alone. I'm told that 50 Shades started off as a Twilight fan fiction, which would explain these parallels and also the bad writing.

6. Lastly, what girl wants a man who wants her to be his sex slave? Christian wants Ana to do everything he tells her all the time, not just sexually, and if she doesn't obey him then he gets to punish her. He wants her to accept any punishment he decides to give her gladly. Seriously? When did this become sexy or desirable? Since when does a man wanting to completley dominate a woman to the point where she can't look him in the eye or touch him become exciting? Personally, I would not have had a problem walking away from this man, no matter how gorgeous he was. Oh, what? You don't like it when I roll my eyes at you're deranged ideas? Well, that's too dang bad! And no you may not bend me over your knee, pull my pants down, and spank/massage my butt 18 times just to show me who's boss. If anyone is the boss, it's me, ok?

7. ^^ Really? "Laters, baby?" Does this embarrass anyone else?


1. Why did I keep reading this book? Because it was actually pretty interesting at first. I wanted to find out what happened. Also, as the book went on there were a few plot points the author used to keep it interesting. Why does Christian Grey have such a problem with wasted food? Why doesn't he like to be touched on his chest? (I still don't know the answer to this one). So, kudos for keeping it interesting.

Honestly, 50 Shades of Grey is known as an erotic, sexual book, but the sex isn't even the worst part. Granted, I stopped reading before they got into the weird stuff and I actually skipped almost all the sex scenes I came across (almost), but everyone knows its a sexual book. What I really had a hard time with was the bad writing, repetition, and the fact that this man we are supposed to be lusting over is seriously troubled. I'm really hoping that all the girls who read this book know that this man isn't someone to hope for. Like really.

First Attempt at reading 50 Shades of Grey: FAILED

50 Shades of Grey

Anyone who knows me knows that I love to read. I love books, especially fiction and fantasy, and I love to talk about the books I read. And I know you've all heard about the super popular erotic novel (can a book be erotic and YA? If so then that's this book), 50 shades of Grey. It was hugely popular a couple years ago when everyone started reading it (and loving it) and now the moving is coming out on Valentine's Day so everyone is all hyped for it again. And so far this blog has been about cooking and sewing and things like that, but I figure its a blog about my first attempts and I want to talk about my first attempt at reading 50 Shades of Grey.

A little background: I have been adamently against this book from the start. As I said, I love reading. However, I do not enjoy reading graphic sex scenes and I especially wouldn't enjoy reading an entire book full of them. So, during the first surge of popularity, when everybody and their mother was reading this book, I really couldn't see why normal people would like it so much. I was disgusted. I was right up there with all the Christian/Feminist bloggers who hated the book and everything it stood for. And I definitely never thought to read it.

Flash forward a few years to last week. I've had a lot of time on my hands lately and since I've spent so much time on TV and the internet, I've seen a lot of 50 Shades of Grey advertisements. I'm also married now and things tend to shock me less. So, I just decided that I wanted to see what all the hype was about. I thought I'd give 50 Shades of Grey a try.
I am just going to tell you right now, I did not make it all the way through this book. I don't even know what chapter I was on when I stopped reading, but I can tell you the exact moment I gave myself a good look in the mirror and asked "Why are you still reading this?" I knew from the start that I probably wasn't going to make it all the way through. Again, I'm not a fan of sex scenes. But I wanted to give it the ol' college try.

My First Attempt at Reading 50 Shades of Grey:

Plot Summary(Spoilers):

Anastasia Steele is a graduating senior at Washington State University in Vancouver. She is traveling up to Seattle to conduct an interview for her best friend, Kate, who is supposed to be interviewing a young business tycoon for the school newspaper. However, Kate is sick and asks her roommate, who is not on the school paper, to do it for her. (At this point I'm actually pleasantly surprised because I'm from Seattle and I didn't know it takes place in Washington). So, "Ana" drives to Seattle, trips into this guy's office, and conducts the interview. Of course, the young tycoon is Christian Grey, our hero(?) and of course, he's absolutely beautiful. In fact, he's so beautiful that Ana will use every other sentence to talk about how beautiful he is for the rest of the book. From the start she can hardly look at him and feels electric shocks when they shake hands. She interviews him, gets the impression that he's an egotistical control freak (oh, if only she knew) and leaves.
Back at college, Ana goes to work at a hardware store and who should show up, but Christian Grey? He asks for an odd assortment of materials such as straps or tie downs or whatever while acting very cryptic and Ana gets the feeling he's laughing at her. They end up setting up a photoshoot for the newspaper article.

The next day after the photoshoot, he takes her out for coffee. It doesn't last long and he doesn't seem to like talking about hsi family. On their way back, Ana trips and almost gets hit by a biker, but is saved by Christian Grey. While in his arms she wills him to kiss her, but instead he says, "I'm not the right man for you." or something like that. And she goes home and cries because a man has never made her feel this way. Even though he's apparently not the right man for her, Mr. Grey can't leave Ana alone and sends her some first edition books. She thinks its inappropriate. It is.

Fast forward, Ana and Kate take their last exams, are done with college and go out to party. They go to a bar with Ana's friend Jose and get wasted. Ana decides to call Christian Grey and drunkenly ask him why he sent her the books and he just says that she's drunk and he's coming to get her. She doesn't tell him where she is and goes outside to get some air. While out there, Jose tries to kiss her because he's always been in love with her. She tries to fight him off and is subsequently rescued by Christian Grey. But how did he know where to find her? He traced her cell phone, which isn't stalkerish at all. Ana blacks out. Grey whisks her back to his hotel where they sleep. In the morning Ana finds herself in his bed without her pants on. He assures her they didn't do anything, but that they did sleep in the same bed, which is a first for him. He's bought her new clothes, including underwear, which fit perfectly. He's also ordered her everything on the room service menu and gets mad when she doesn't want to eat it all because he has a problem with wasted food. Intriguing.

Long story short, they go on a date that night where he helicopters her to Seattle, they go to his apartment, and he makes her sign a non-disclosure agreement. She can't talk about anything they do. He then shows her a room where he has a bunch of BDSM toys, handcuffs, hooks on the ceiling, and a bed. There's other stuff, but you get the picture. Then he finds out she's a virgin and obviously they can't jump into the kinky stuff if she's never done anything before, so he leads her to his room and takes her virginity. This is the first sex scene. They do it twice. There's a lot of sex. You know that from now on there's going to be a lot of sex. The rest of the stuff I read consists of him trying to convince her to be his "submissive" to his "dominant" which basically means that she spends every weekend with him and has to do everything he says, sexual or otherwise. He can do whatever he wants to her, whenever he wants, wherever he wants, and she has to accept it happily or she will be "punished". He sends her a contract with all of this in it. She spends a lot of time considering this because she doesn't want to lose him since no man has ever made her feel like this before. But she also knows she wants a real relationship. Finally, he wears her down enough that she agrees to give it a try. And even though she hasn't signed anything yet the first thing he does is spank her 18 times because she rolls her eyes at him and he told her not to.
This is where I stopped.
Whew! Sorry that was so long. Check out Part 2 to hear my views on the book.