Week 1-Whole30

Ok, seven days done and 23 more to go. I believe I have passed the “grouchy, I’d rather eat your finger (cause I know they are full of sugar) than talk to you” phase. This was especially true for my children. As day three fell on Valentine’s Day and my two beautiful, if not over sugared, kids came home with bags and bags of in-your-face reminders of this experiment. Each child crinkling plastic packages of nutritiously void temptations smelling of artificial fruit and happiness. These candies called to me like a Chinese restaurant dumpster calls the alley cats. I knew just one of their fingers would both quell my need for protein and sugar. But, I resisted, it is February and our health insurance deductible is yet to be met…best to space out those payments.

But now, a week in and a week smarter I can say I am feeling pretty stable. That is, stable enough not to commit a felony. I think I even learned a little in the short time since we started. I have a couple of hints/hack which might be good for anyone embarking on this discovery of self deprivation and nutritional freedom.

Basic Cooking Hack

1.) Find a Smokey Sea Salt variety pack

image from website

For Christmas we received a basic pack of four different sea salts from Salt Odyssey. This Greek company’s website, has some award winning products with great selections and recipes, along with a history of salt and it’s healing properties. These salts have made a measurable difference in the satisfaction of our meals and will be staple purchases when our current stock is gone. I want to draw attention to especially to the smokey paprika flavor. We used it as a last addition to our meals, after the dish has been plated, to add an extra smokey goodness to everything. We keep it by our stove for in the moment seasoning too. For whole 30 foods which can be a bit regular and mundane (read eggs and avocado everyday) the smokey salts are a MUST in keeping your taste buds dancing and pleased.

We keep ours in Whitefish Pottery bowls for easy access to the stove. Cute huh?

So take our advice and pick some of these up. As an additional hint, you could find these or something similar in the kitchen section of TJMax. The culinary options there are eclectic and tend be what we love, but is not mainstream popular. We have had good luck with all types of TJMax snacks.

2.) From Scratch Mayonnaise

In my first perusing of the Whole30 Cookbook (which we checked out a copy from the library to save cash), I came across a recipe for approved mayo. I first balked at the idea steaming from my fear of highly processed mayo and the threat of a that texture. However, I had heard from many people when mayonnaise is made fresh it is pretty good, and they were right!

Now my family is a saucy family, meaning we like to put sauce on things and for us, being both from the cajun realm of Louisiana and having spent time in the spice world of Mozambique, we like HOT. Sriracha and hot sauce is a lifestyle, not just an occasional experiment. They also have added sugar, which means they are sauces non grata for the next little bit (pause while the tear falls…). But this fresh mayo is a stop gap in a need for condiments. Check out the super easy recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/4 cup of light olive oil, divided
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 to 1 lemon, juiced

Instructions:

  • Place the egg, 1/4 cup of olive oil, mustard powder, and salt in a mixing bowl, blender, or food processor. Mix thoroughly.
  • While the food processor or blender is running (or while mixing in a bowl with a stick blender),  slowly drizzle in the remaining cup of olive oil.
  • After you’ve added all the oil and the mixture has emulsified, add lemon juice to taste, stirring gently with a spoon to incorporate

*recipe from Whole30 Site

Simple enough, right? The great part of this mayo is it serves as a blank canvas for your artistic expression in food. We added garlic powder and fresh garlic to have more of an aioli, perfect for our bun-less burgers. A pinch of cumin and ground coriander and you have the best substitute for sour cream on your Tuesday Tacos, made with fresh lettuce leaves instead of tortillas. Add paprika and chopped horseradish for a compliment to roast, or go buck wild and blend in some jalapeños for a spicy treat which goes on everything! There is no limit to what can be made and used for this mayo. ***It is important to use good olive oil*** Or your mayo starts our skanky, which is never good. Check out this site for tips on picking the best oil.

I can tell a difference in my body just after seven days. I have been waking up without my usual head cold, my belt fits more easily, and I really do appear to have more energy. An unexpected result, and this could be the combination of the previously noticed differences, but my mental state seems to be in a better place. I would expect, however, that just committing to do something healthy can add power of persuasion played out in a good mood. It is certainly not the winter weather in Arkansas that’s making me happy. Heading into the next twenty three days I feel excited to see what continual changes are in store. Happy cooking and eating to you!

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