Sloppy Joe Sweet Potato Dogs

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I’m ready to kick March in the rear….and hopefully the cold weather with it. I wouldn’t mind basketball season ending either since UNC has already lost. Although, I am sure I will regret saying that since my husband is taking work off to see the Red Sox opening game tomorrow afternoon. Baseball season is always an everlasting holiday in our household. This weekend’s chilly weather inspired me to make some chili…dogs!

I had about a pound of some grass fed beef that I bought on sale at Whole Foods (score)! All I did was saute some diced onion, bell pepper, and garlic clove. Once the onions were translucent I browned the beef and added chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. I then finished my Sloppy Joe sauce with a small 6 oz can of tomato paste and let my Joe-sauce simmer.

sloppyjoeWhile I was making my Joe-sauce, I took a sweet potato and cut it in half. I then roasted them face down in the oven at 400 for about 10-15 minutes.

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I was also cooking some hot dogs. Yes, that is right. I was simultaneously making my Sloppy Joe sauce, roasting sweet potatoes, and cooking hot dogs all at the same time. Just call me the Kitchen Kween. The hot dogs didn’t take long at all. I used Applegate’s Grass-Fed Beef Hot Dogs and I broiled them in the oven while the sweet potatoes were finishing up their roasting. I would have grilled them, but it was raining outside. I didn’t want to deal with that. Plus, it only took the dogs about 5 minutes to cook. Can you guess what I did next?

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Oh yeah. Is your mouth watering yet? Just wait.

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Wait there is just one more thing….

sloppydinnerAvocado to top it off! The Sloppy Joe sauce was so thick and juicy. It made the perfect leftover morning meal this morning with two fried eggs in it.

I am looking forward to April. I am hoping to not spend as much money this month, get some house projects accomplished, and finish my Whole45 of course! Hubs has also already requested another repeat meal of last night’s dinner, so I’ll throw that into the mix for April to-dos as well.

 

 

 

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Kombucha-Ha-Ha

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That post title was supposed to go something like this “Kambucha…[evil laugh]”

Last week my local Whole Foods store was hosting a Kambucha tasting. I’ve always wanted to try Kambucha but I was hesitant to buy a $3 bottle of it without knowing if I’d even like it or not.. I have browsed the Kambucha selections before, specifically focusing on the added ingredients to make sure it was Whole30 compliant or not. I had a hard time finding a brand without any added sugar. Although I have recently learned that GT’s Kombucha brand is Whole30 compliant.

At the sample table they had three different offerings of Kombucha brands. I didn’t want to be a pain in the ass and go behind each table to scour the ingredients of each brand of Kombucha, so I picked the one less crowded and started up a conversation with the woman filling up my cup. She let me be a pain in the ass and pick up all three bottles to make sure they were all compliant. Luckily they were! The brand I tried was Buchi, which is actually a local brewery based out of Asheville, NC. I sampled their “Fire” and “Seed” flavors. Both were very different but pretty dang delicious. I bought both and had my first one this afternoon with lunch.

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I had the “seed” flavor this afternoon. The listed ingredients included: “Organic Raw Kombucha, Organic Apple Juice, Organic Coconut Water, Organic Pineapple Juice, Organic Pumpkin Seeds, Organic Black Sesame Seeds, Perilla Seeds, Organic Tumeric Root and Organic Natural Flavors.”

It also had fun informative facts on its bottle like “Contains Live Probiotic Cultures” and “Preservative, Additive, Gluten, Dairy and GMO free!

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I poured the Kombucha into a glass to see its color. The soapy head instantly reminded me of beer, which felt really fun-like I was flirting with the black and white lines of Whole30. The beverage was immensely flavorful. The up front taste reminded me of apple cider vinegar (which is one of my favorite flavors ever!). It was bubbly, tart and sour yet it was balanced with sweet fruity flavors. It was also probably the most carbonated beverage I’ve drank since I gave up soda months ago.

All in all, two thumbs up! Especially after reading more and more about Buchi’s company. Not only are the local but they are also very dedicated to sustainability. Plus, they even distribute their Kombucha to local cafes, restaurants, pubs, and grocery stores that offer it fresh on tap! How cool?! Looks like I need to plan a trip to Asheville. Cheers!

Why Whole45?

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Why not!? Actually, in all seriousness, I think completing a Whole45 would be a perfectly timed thing for me right now. I have successfully completed 2 rounds of Whole30 this year and always find trouble balancing afterwards. With each Whole30 though, I become a bit better and better at the balancing part. After my first Whole30, I ended with an out-of-town trip to a wedding. There was no time to dip my toes in and test the waters. Needless to say, I belly flopped and had a very hard time getting back onto land. Once back on though, I dedicated myself right then and there to a second Whole30.

The brother and I drinking beer before the wedding.

The brother and I drinking beer before the wedding.

After my second Whole30, I had a much easier time navigating the current. However, another out of town trip involving old college friends, a brewery, and late night pizza left me feeling discouraged. The weekend was such a great time though and I refuse to let myself feel down about that. I was able to get back on track and before I knew it, I had 2 weeks under my belt of eating Whole30 compliant without really trying.

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Reuniting with friends at a local brewery after playing paintball.

However, I have recently been having visits of my sugar dragon, which has led me to juggling a nut dragon as well. I have been consuming nuts just to cope with trying not to eat anything sweet. I think this is the perfect opportunity to buckle down and knock out this Whole45. I want to slay my sugar dragon while also making sure to stop a nut dragon from growing into a sugar dragon.  My Whole45 is scheduled to end on April 26th. I had to add a few days onto my Whole45 to make up for my nut-fests.

Why not Whole60? I actually thought about doing a Whole60, but I wanted to give myself enough space to not stress out about this new endeavor. I also wanted to make sure I gave myself enough time to test the waters this round. I have two weddings in May…which means I also have two Bachelorette parties I will be attending as well. I don’t want to end my Whole stretch on such a high note only to come crashing down with wedding cake, free booze, and bad dancing.

Plus, a Whole30 is just not enough! At the end of each 30 days, I always feel like I am just getting started. This time, I will get extra time to choose how I take advantage of my new found energy. Plus, I need some incentive to look better than I do now in coral at my best friend’s May wedding.

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Here I come…Watch out you overpriced coral colored piece of fabric!

Fat!

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So, I have been nut-free for almost 48 hours and all I have been craving is fat! I want avocados in all my meals and I can’t stop thinking about a thick juicy steak with bacon and avocado slathered onto it. I should do something about this! Last night I finished my jar of coconut butter. It was fattily decadent and perfectly did the trick. I wonder if it it’s my body’s strategy to bounce back from my nutastrophe. Anyway, it is good to know there are other ways that my cravings approve of to get my fat into my meals.

Aside from the intense cravings there has been a complete lack of energy I’ve had all week. It’s kind of like a paleofied version of the carb flu one gets when first starting Whole30. Except mine is a nut flu. I inhaled a lot of cashews, pistachios, pecans, and almonds….so it would be no surprise to me if my body was having to take its sweet time figuring out what the hell to do with all of the nuts I consumed. Anyway, today was a bit better with the energy stores. I was able to get a nice 25 minute full body workout in (thanks Shaun T) and do some very light yoga stretching for an hour. After dinner tonight I also chopped up some of our old couch in the backyard….for real.

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It was my husband’s bright idea to keep our old couch in the backyard once we bought our new couch. It was broken, so we couldn’t sell it and we didn’t want to dump it or pay to have the landfill take it….so, after a few months of it being back there I kind of forgot about it…..until I remembered. I asked my mom and dad to borrow their ax before the film crew of Hoarders came knocking on my door. Surprisingly though, I have really enjoyed swinging an ax! I kind of feel like I am getting a free Cross Fit workout in. Plus, it is so fun and kind of addicting….now I need to watch Lifetime’s Lizzie Borden Took an Ax.

Hopefully the couch will be gone in a week or so and my nut flu symptoms with it! I will happily keep my steak with a side of avocado and bacon though.

Going NUTS!

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I don’t know what has happened but the past few days have been a nut fest. I never thought I had an issue with nuts. I have enjoyed sprinkling them onto dishes for added fat and texture. If I ever eat them by themselves, I use the Emerald Mixed Nuts snack sizes that are already prepackaged to make sure I don’t overindulge. However, lately, I have been going nuts…quite literally! I have been eating pecans, almonds, pistachios, and cashews by the bagful. NOT good…Not even nut good…. After browsing the Whole30 Forum, I take solace in the fact that at least I am not the only one with this problem. But, I don’t want to ignore my history with disordered eating; so, I am going to eliminate nuts for a while.

This hopefully won’t be a problem since I’ve already consumed all the nuts in the house with the exception of my husband’s roasted peanuts. At least I didn’t eat anything off track. I thought about just eating something sweet which is what I was really craving, but the nuts at least kept me from straying too far off path. It could have been worse. So, I will chalk up this nutastrophe as a learning lesson…not to go nuts about nuts.

In other news, I have been Whole30 compliant for over 2 weeks now (with the exception of the nuttiness). I didn’t really intend to do it, but it just kind of happened, so I am going to milk it! I am going to aim for a Whole45 and add 3 more days on the end of it to make up for my 3 nights of nuts. That should hopefully kick my sugar/nut/wheat/ dragon in the ass. Here’s to a Whole45 that includes a nut-free Whole30!

Whole30: Going Stag

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So on my 30th day of my second Whole30, the Whole30 Facebook page asked if anyone who has accomplished the Whole30 solo without the aid of buddies, spouses, family, co-workers, etc doing it along with them would be interested in answering some questions. I jumped at the opportunity to hear from Melissa Hartwig and to pretend to know what I’m talking about.

She sent me an email with a pleasant note and several questions followed below for me to answer.

Dear Casey,

Thank you for helping us with this feature! Please answer as many or as few of the following questions as you like, in as much detail as you choose.

Best,

Melissa

Um, of course I’ll answer all the questions you want! And guess what? About a week and a half later, their Flying Solo:  Doing the Whole30 Without Family Support was featured on their website…and so was I!

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Just in case you can’t find me and my words of wisdom….

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I thought it was pretty cool! Anyway, there was lots of great advise on the write up, so check it whether you are Whole30 going stag or not.

Beetspiration!

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I received some cute little beets in my mini CSA basket a couple of weeks ago and it was about time that I use them. I don’t know if I’ve ever had beets or not. If I have, I didn’t know it. Their rich hues can make any dish instantly beautiful, but also make them pretty fun to play with too (see photo below).

I had no idea what to do with these little guys. I searched the Whole30 Forum to get some beet-inspiration or “Beetspiration” as my title implies. I figured I’d just roast them in the oven since it was my first time. I sliced them and lined the baking pan with parchment paper first. I had no idea if the beets would end up dying the pan or not, so I played it safe! I drizzled some melted coconut oil onto the indigo dices and then came the salt and pepper. While they were roasting, I wondered how the shade of beet would look on me.

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I needed a little bit of a sharper beet to make sure I stay within the lip lines. Homemade lip stick could be a future project…or maybe I should get some more practice in with handling beets in the kitchen first?

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Hopefully practice will make less mess. Not that it was actually messy; I just had to make sure I didn’t become the beet version of Tobias during his blue man group phase.

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So, the verdict? At first taste, they were very earthy. However, I didn’t peel the skin off and these little red nuggets came straight from the farm. I am going to need a round two do give an objective taste test. I will plan on doing a redo. But for now, they added some brightness to my ground chicken and red onion dinner bowl.

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