Whole30 Week 3 Recap

Whole30Week3

One more week down and kind of one more to go, and I don’t want it to end. I think I am going to stay on the Whole30 for a while (that might be another month until college starts, or another year). I am definitely going to reintroduce certain foods back into my diet. I am going to add a little bit of dairy. I have to admit I miss Chobani! I never would’ve thought I’d say that. I am also pretty excited to be able to weigh myself soon, just out of curiosity. I can’t wait to find out how much Sam lost!

IMG_1380

Last Saturday we went to a wedding, and here is the thing, I couldn’t remember my dinner choice. So Sam and I had an agreement to be flexible and just eat. Turns out I had a prime rib, and Sam had pasta. My prime rib came with green beans and potatoes. And Sam’s pasta was, well, pasta. I have to admit we broke the rules for that night, and even had some cheesecake. Now the interesting thing is, Sam felt pretty sick after the heavy carb and dairy meal, while I was more or less okay. Another thing that hit me while I was eating what is not a part of Whole30 diet – I don’t miss it that much. Food is just a fuel for my body so I can function. And that’s the biggest lesson we’ve learned while on Whole30 – self-control.

So we are going to finish our week and a half and go from there.

IMG_1357 IMG_1378 IMG_1379

Out of the recipes I tried last week there were a couple that totally didn’t work. I made a beef and sweet potato casserole that had too much sweet potato, so neither one of us liked it, but we still ate it, because I don’t like to waste food.

Another thing I tried to make was braised cabbage in a crock pot. I am not sure what happened, I think I had way too much cabbage, but it wasn’t as good as the baked recipe that I’ve made before. But I am still working my way through it.

I made banana blueberry muffins for breakfast yesterday, and those turned out amazing. They are absolutely not sweet, and nothing like the sugary muffins I used to make, but I am not complaining. I am also starting to realize that I don’t like almond butter as much as sunflower butter.

IMG_1362

But the real gem that I made was Kale Pesto, and that’s the recipe I wanted to share with you today!

IMG_1377

1 avocado

1 cup frozen kale

2 garlic cloves

1/4 cup olive oil

Parsley (I used about 1 tbs dried parsley and a small amount of fresh parsley – one of the few things that grows in my garden!)

Salt to taste

Add all the ingredients to the food processor and pulse until desired texture achieved. So easy and so delicious. I almost thought I could get Sam to eat it, but alas, I didn’t succeed.

I am excited for this week, Blake brought over a Swirlio, so I can’t wait to make some frozen desserts.

Whole30 Week 2 Recap

Whole30Week2

Week 2 of Whole30 is over and I am pretty sure Sam lost at least 10 pounds by now. You are not allowed to step on the scale at all while on this diet, so I am not certain, but people at work have been telling him he looks different, and I’ve noticed the changes too! Meanwhile I am here eating watermelon, and I can’t stop!

This week was definitely easier than the last, at least for me. I think the biggest part of it was me going to Costco last Monday to do some grocery shopping. Costco always makes me feel better, and I made sure to stock up on meat to last us for the next 2 weeks if not more.

I mentioned that I will share a few things that I bought for Whole30. So here goes: eggs, chicken, beef, bacon, salmon, bananas, watermelon, carrots, dates, avocados, peaches, broccoli, snap peas and a whole lot of nuts! I can’t emphasize how incredible it is to have this membership, and how much easier it is to get all my shopping done in one place.

For this week’s post I also asked my friend Kate to share her experience with Whole30, she was the one who got us all eating right after all 😉

My name is Kate and I began Whole30 on July 6. I am almost half way through with my first 30 days and I feel amazing! I work 40 hours a week and am a busy mom so planning and meal prep has been critical for me. 

I love the meals and how I’ve been feeling while on this program. It really feels like a lifestyle change. Plus now I have enough energy to workout again!!! 

I am not the best in the kitchen, but I have found the recipes to be really delicious and pretty easy. While making Clarified Butter I did start a small fire and burn my arm. So for now I will be buying my Clarified Butter (ghee) from Trader Joes! 

My favorite recipe so far has been one that I made with my Mom (she is also on Whole30). We made Romesco Garlic Shrimp with Zucchini Noodles. We plan on making it again for an upcoming family dinner. 

A few of my favorite things this week: 

IMG_1194

Also the app TwoGrand (soon to be YouFood) has kept me accountable! I love checking off my daily goals and sharing my food photos. 

IMG_1195

Now to share some of my favorite recipes with you!

Saturday night I made this Chicken Apple Orange Spinach Salad for dinner, and Sam said that it has probably been his favorite so far.

IMG_1191

2 chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces

2 tbsp olive oil

1 apple diced or sliced (whatever you prefer)

1 orange peeled and diced

1 cup spinach (or more if you like spinach)

Salt and Pepper to taste

Turmeric to taste (it will make the chicken yellow, so Sam calls this Yellow Chicken Salad)

1. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in the pan, add chicken and spices and cook until done.

2. Meanwhile prepare your spinach and your fruit and mix in a bowl.

3. Add chicken, mix well and serve.

Beef and Turkey Meatballs was another meal I cooked up for us. I’ve been craving meatballs way before we started Whole30, so getting to finally making them is a huge accomplishment.

IMG_1192

 

1 lb ground beef

1/2 lb ground turkey

2 eggs

Rosemary and Parsley to taste ( I grow those two in my very very small garden, seriously it’s two pots, but I was really excited to use them in this recipe!)

3 tbsp flex seed (now this has a weird taste, and if you’ve never had it I suggest you skip out on it, or start with 1 tbsp).

1 medium onion diced

Salt, pepper and garlic to taste

1. Preheat oven to 375.

2. Mix all ingredients in the food processor.

3. Scoop onto a foil or parchment lined pan with a spoon (I use an ice cream scoop!)

4. Bake for 10 minutes, flip and bake for 10 more.

Makes about 32 meatballs.

For the sauce:

1 can Organic Tomato Paste (I use the Costco brand)

1 Roma tomato diced

3 small peppers diced

Italian seasoning to taste

Mix all the ingredients in a small sauce pan, heat for about 5 minutes.

And finally, I want to share this Cashew Date Craisin Bites recipe. I got the idea from Lee of Fit Foodie Finds.

IMG_1193

 

25-30 dates

1 cup cashews

1 cup craisins

Pulse all the ingredients in the food processor until well mixed, then shape into bars, or roll into bite-size balls. These can be dangerous though, because they are pretty much all I want to eat now.

Well I hope you liked this week’s update, I can’t wait to share more!

Great Vintage Finds and Thoughts on becoming a Vegetarian

Today has been one strange day, but every day is strange in Zhenyaverse! That’s why I blog about my life, and not my neighbors life. Besides if I blogged about their life, you all would be depressed and crying your eyes out. Well, let me tell you a secret, there are sad times in my life, especially when I go visit my Grandpa at the hospital. Good thing he will be home soon!

The first thing I want to share with you, is that Sammy D from Sammy Davis vintage added me to her blog roll! Yup! I made it, I am famous now 🙂 You can check it out here http://sammydvintage.com/ , I am right there under Fab Fashionistas! That’s right, it’s me! Love you Sammy D! I will be bringing you vintage from Russia! 🙂

As some of you know I have recently made myself a skirt, and it’s all vintage too, because fabric is from the 70’s or so, it has paisleys people! Alright! (Can you tell I am hyper? Because I am, it’s all that coffee I’ve had tonight! Coffee and yoga! If you have never done yoga check out Namaste Yoga by Kate Potter, right now! Go and google it! She is that amazing! Well finish reading the post first! 🙂 ) So today I was looking around and found these amazing pieces of fabric, in the colors that I absolutely love. I also found a pair of white gloves, so if you have any ideas when and where to use them (other than Minnie Mouse on Halloween), I will be extremely grateful.

My mind wanders on! I followed a recipe I learned from one of my friends at the Bridal Shower, and made this wonderfully – amazing vegetarian dish.

Now vegetarian or not, it’s worth trying. The veggies are from the frozen food isle, so is the dough! Butter the pan, put it all in, sprinkle salt and spices, add some oil, cover up with the dough, and bake for about 40 minutes at 350 F. For those of you chicken lovers – you can add that too!

I have tried becoming a vegetarian before. A few years ago when I worked at DHC, my friend Jessica showed me a book called “100 things to do before you are old and boring”! And one of them was “being a vegetarian for a week”. Back then my week ended several days early, because I just couldn’t resist spaghetti! Yes, I have great memories of camp food! So maybe now, I will actually stick to the plan! Let’s see if I can be a vegetarian for a week!

PS If you love sewing and have ideas on what magic I can do to those vintage fabric pieces, let me know!

DIY Bridal Shower Gift

I am attending a wedding next weekend, and this Sunday I’ve been invited to a bridal shower. There will be a separate post about this shower on Sunday, but so far, we’ve all been asked to wear something pink, with ruffles. And since this dress wasn’t available,

I had to  settle for something else (which I am going to keep a secret for now).

Anyways, another thing we had to do for the bridal shower – is prepare a scrap book page with a recipe or two for the newlyweds. I loved the idea, and decided to share 3 recipes that I love. Why 3? One for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Now I am not going to share recipes, I can, if you really want me to. But today’s post is dedicated to how I made those pages.

I started out with cutting out 3 pages (there was a particular size I had to match) out of one big scrap booking sheet.

Then I took 3 large index cards

Trimmed them, wrote “Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner” in black Sharpie

And all I had to do was fill the index cards out! Easy-peasy!

The bachelorette party post is coming this Sunday! Stay tuned!

Prison Food?

About 5 years ago I was visiting with an old friend of mine and his wife. We were having dinner in a small midwestern town on the Mississippi, when Penny brought out the green bean casserole, and referred to it as “Prison Food”. The expression stuck. So today, while on the phone with Sam, I said I was making “prison food” for dinner, but I also said that it’s gonna be good!

Sharing dinner with my grandfather, who is sharing his body with the Parkinson’s Syndrome these days, my thoughts went back to – PRISON… I have a tendency to compare and run parallels. There we were 2 people, a generation apart, imprisoned. My grandfather – in his body, in the apartment. Me – with my grandfather in the apartment.

I can only leave him for a few hours, and every time he needs to go somewhere, unless it’s to get the mail, I have to go with him. I guess that’s why I came to Russia, to take care of my grandparents, because no one else will!

PS. The recipe for my casserole is the following:

5-6 medium potatoes, peeled, sliced

1 onion, sliced

1 tsp salt

3 tbsp oil

1/2 cup mayo

1/2 cup shredded cheese

Mix all ingredients, bake uncovered for 40 min at 375 F (180C)