We are over half way through week 2 in our Whole30 challenge and I feel really good about our progress so far. No cheats or slips whatsoever! When I put on my shirt this morning, it felt a bit looser. That’s a nice surprise 🙂 My skin doesn’t feel as dry and dare I say it…..the black coffee with real coconut milk is not so bad. It’s not the sweet, creamy latte I have always loved but I could see myself maintaining a version of this by adding a tiny bit of date paste to the mix for a touch of sweetness. And yes, you read that right – dates.
Dates are deliciously sweet and will probably become my new favorite natural sweetener, which is why I’m being very careful to heed the “be mindful of dried fruit” caution. When you aren’t eating any sugar at all, those things can be like crack!! I don’t think that falls under the “promotes a healthy psychological response” guideline when you take one bite and instantly begin daydreaming about all the possibilities of date-sweetened creations. One of the points of Whole30 is to get over your sugar cravings. That’s why you are discouraged from recreating treats with allowable, technically compliant ingredients. It kind of defeats the purpose, you know? So the paleo ice cream recipe and my wonderful lattes will have to wait a bit longer, but I’m ok with that.
Meanwhile, back in Whole30 town, here’s a recap of what we’ve been eating this week and a few pics to go along:
Breakfast is still mostly eggs because they are cheap, easy and we like them. We also tried out a recipe from It Starts with Food that calls for ground pork, apple, cinnamon and nutmeg. We really liked it and it’s an easy dish to make in bulk and have ready for the week. Fat with breakfast has been mostly coconut milk in my coffee or avocado.
Most days lunch is just leftovers from dinner, which I don’t mind. It’s easier to fix a large portion at dinner and not have to prepare separate lunches. I did however, roast a bunch of chicken breasts on Sunday and had those ready to go if we needed protein for a meal. I also took a few of them and made chicken salad with homemade mayo (so easy & so very good!!). I will definitely do that again for next week.
I also made zucchini soup that I mentioned in my last post and it was delicious. Having a vegetable based soup ready to go in containers has been an easy way to ensure we’re getting in those required veggies, and it’s a good bang for your buck. For those reasons, I plan on making a soup each week to add to our meals. I’m thinking maybe tomato basil with spinach or butternut squash for next week. Yummm.
For dinner we’ve had the roast chicken with a big salad and soup, sautéed shrimp with baked potato and soup, but my favorite by far this week has been the Cuban vaca frita. Oh. My. Deliciousness. I slow roasted a London broil (but you could also use a roast) and then I shredded the meat and let in marinate in the cooking juices plus the juice of two limes. When it was dinner time, I gave it a quick fry in some coconut oil to crisp up the edges. I served it with some caramelized onions, fried plantains and my most favorite sauce ever – my Chipotle Orange sauce. It was amazing. I will definitely be making it again soon.
As my gift to you, I’m throwing in the recipe for my favorite sauce. It’s ridiculously simple but has an amazing depth of flavor. Do yourself a favor and make it today. I use it as a dipping sauce, marinade, salad dressing, or have been known to eat it straight from the jar! There’s lots of room to adjust the flavorings which is nice because you can tailor it to your own taste preference. If you like it hotter add more chilies and/or cilantro. (just keep in mind it will get hotter the longer it sits). If you like it sweeter, add more oranges. Either way your taste buds will thank you!!
Chipotle Orange Sauce
I small can chipotles in adobo sauce
3-4 mandarin oranges, peeled & segmented plus some zest – OR – 1 small can mandarin slices in water, drained.
Extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp fresh Cilantro
Directions: Place one chipotle pepper plus one tbsp of adobo sauce in a blender or food processor. Add mandarin oranges and cilantro. Turn on blender or food processor and drizzle in olive oil until desired consistency. Makes approximately 1 cup. Store in an air tight container and use within a week.
What have I learned so far? I still don’t seem to prep enough food. We have almost made it to the end of the week, but the recipes and meals I chose didn’t quite carry us through so I had to do some more cooking last night. Had I made a slightly larger portion of soup, chicken salad, and maybe larger portions of protein for dinner to ensure enough leftovers I think we would have made it through the entire week. I feel really good, however. No bloating or swelling, no digestive issues. I just feel good and I can’t wait to see where I am at the end of 30 days!