Spring, Finally!

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Spring’s first day did not disappoint! The weather got a little over 70 today with lots of beautiful sunshine. I am so glad to be ending this week sunny side up instead of it being rainy and dreary. Ironically though, my mom emailed me today asking me if I’ve heard about the winter storm predicting to come next week. I am ignoring her for now and enjoying Spring, even if it only lasts for the first day….at least it was a good entrance.

After work I had to drive through town’s 5 o’ clock traffic to go to Bed, Bath and Beyond to get my best friend a present off her registry for her bridal shower on Saturday. I didn’t want to do it after work on Friday and I wasn’t able to do it any other day this week so it was today or bust. Afterwards, I stopped by the grocery store and purchased some button mushrooms, a bell pepper, and a red onion. Hubs brought home some sirloin tips the other day so, what better way to celebrate Spring than by grilling kebabs?!

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I literally just chopped up some veggies and put them on the skewer with the meat. I didn’t add any juices, spices, or fat. The only real effort I made was to make sure my husband’s skewer didn’t have any mushrooms on it because he doesn’t like them (more for me). I didn’t even salt and pepper them. I just didn’t feel like it. When I got home, I tied my running shoes up and went on a quick one mile fun run around the neighborhood to take opportunity of the lovely evening and to shake out my limbs from the drive.

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I kept it simple. No need to stress about dinner if I just don’t feel like spending as much time in the kitchen as I normally do. Don’t get me wrong, I love being in the kitchen; but tonight I just wanted to run a mile outside and come home to smell simple kebabs on the grill. Happy Spring!

Mean and Green

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So, I bought some fresh mint (since my own planting herbs are no where near growing this season yet) in honor of the upcoming St. Patty’s Day….which basically means the weekend before St. Patty’s Day–because who likes to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on a Monday?! I just realized though that if I’m buying mint to celebrate SPD instead of a case of Guinness like I have in years past I really don’t need my festivities to fall on any specific day of the week. Ha!

In the spirit of celebrating holidays (which my Hubs and I love to do–Christmastime requires a different Hallmark movie every night of the week), I am kicking off the end of my week with Nom Nom Paleo’s Green Chicken. I had two out of the three green herbs the recipe called for. I went to a grocery store that I despise going to, but it was on my way home from work, and I was optimistic that they would at least have fresh basil available. Nope. Well, at least I had mint, cilantro, and dried basil in the spice cabinet. I also had lime in the fridge which I can add towards my greenness.

This morning while my breakfast was cooking I blended all of the ingredients together: onion, garlic clove, lime, cilantro, mint, and (dried) basil. I didn’t have any Fish Boast sauce, so I just put some Coconut Aminos in it. I also didn’t put any of the apple juice the recipe called for so my puree ended up being less liquid and more chunky. I threw the mean green marinade in a bowl with my chicken drumsticks and let it sit for the rest of the day in the fridge.

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I was tickled that the chicken actually looked green! While the drumsticks were on the grill I sauteed some green beans in coconut oil with some diced sweet potato. Hubs and I are running a 5K in the morning and he mentioned wanting to “carbo load” tonight, so I threw in the sweet potato-ha! It definitely wasn’t his idea of loading on carbohydrates, but it suited me perfectly.

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The chicken came out absolutely beautifully. Once I saw how awesome they looked I forgot about worrying about my basil-to-mint ratio.

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Hubs was the first one to taste and I knew it was going to be good by his reaction.

ImageI made more green beans than I anticipated, so I have plenty of leftovers to carry me through my celebratory green weekend. I’m looking forward to our 5K tomorrow. Hubs and I haven’t ran a 5K together since April of 2011! It’s a huge local event that people go all out for. There will be tons of green and hopefully even bagpipes!

Sunday Mornings and Saturday Night Dinner

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I love Sunday mornings. If Sundays weren’t followed by Mondays I’d stretch to say they are my favorite part of the week. I love having the morning to myself while my husband sleeps in. I love taking that first sip of coffee after waking up and savoring its flavor in my mouth. I love it when Lady wakes up shortly after me and comes out of my sleeping husband’s lair in hopes of licking my empty breakfast bowl. Nope, sorry Lady, but you are welcome to snuggle in my lap while I force pictures upon you. Image

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Now that I have photographic proof, it is undeniably a perfect Sunday morning. I think I will just go ahead and say it is my favorite part of the week. It helps that I actually enjoy my job and don’t mind that Monday eventually arrives. There was a time that I hated a job I had so much that I would get sad it was Saturday, because I then had only less than 2 full days before I had to go back to work. Glad those days are over!

It is pretty cool in the house right now since the temperature dropped down to the 40’s overnight. Instead of turning the heat on I cloaked myself in blankets. Lady is also helping keep me warm. Today is supposed to be a high of 68, but I’m hoping it feels even warmer than that! The hints of warmer weather are really getting me excited for whats to come: afternoons on the beach, blueberry season, farmers markets, tan lines, and grilling out! Speaking of grilling out, we grilled for the second time this week.

I bought some chicken legs and chicken drumsticks on sale from Whole Foods the other day and found the perfect marinade from Nom Nom Paleo: Chile and Lime Chicken. I spent a bit of yesterday morning in the kitchen prepping everything for this evening, so by the time dinner came around it was super easy to put everything together.

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I made the marinade and got my hands dirty making sure all the chicken was well coated before putting it in the fridge. I also bought a turnip root and rutabaga for my side dish. I peeled and diced the roots which probably took up the most time. Rutabagas sure are hard to slice! I think I also got in a good arm workout (even if it was just my right side!). After dicing the roots I put them in the fridge until I was ready to boil them later.

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After about 5 or 6 hours, I added my diced roots to a boiling pot of water and let them simmer for a good 15 minutes or so. I then heated the grill outside and threw my chicken on.

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One thing I should have done was patted the chicken dry to get the excess marinade off. The recipe stated this, but it simply left my mind when I was in the thorough of cooking. Because I didn’t do this, the outer skin of the chicken charred much faster, so it was hard to tell if the chicken was actually cooked the whole way. We played it safe though and ended up cooking the chicken a bit longer in the cast iron on the stove. It ended up being fine and the chicken still had its grilled and charred taste.

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 While the chicken was cooking, I took the boiled roots and emptied them into my blender after draining them. They were a really pretty peach color! I added some ghee and then pureed them.

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I’ve only ever had rutabaga one other time. One my first Whole30, I added some rutabaga to a pot roast I made in the crock pot. I had no idea what they would taste like and hoped my husband wouldn’t have a bad first impression with them. They were so good! They had such a similar texture to white potatoes and were the perfect addition to a pot roast. I thought pureeing them would give a similar consistency and texture. We were not disappointed, not even Hubs! I added some salt and pepper to them and that was all it needed.

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And of course, I am happily adding some extras to my leftover collection to use during the week. After dinner, we headed to Hubs’ brothers place and played Trivial Pursuit. It was such a great time. It was nice being social without worrying about explaining to people why I’m not drinking beer or eating sugar. Instead, I had to explain why I am so bad at Trivial Pursuit. In my defense, the 25th Anniversary Edition has a lot of questions pertaining to subjects that occurred before I turned 10 years old.

I can’t believe tomorrow is Day 30. Surreal! However, I’ve been grocery shopping no differently. I still have a spaghetti squash in the fridge to find a recipe for. I feel pretty damn great and don’t plan on sabotaging the way I think and feel for anything, including chocolate. Or peanut butter. But probably beer.

Whome Stretch

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Get it?! I was going to type out “Whole30 Home Stretch”, but I decided to just combine Whole30 and Home together! Okay, I’ll stop.

Before I started typing anything I wondered what day am I even on?! So I counted and today is Day 26. I can’t believe it! After the halfway mark, everything just becomes so routine and I stopped thinking about what day I was on. Everything is starting to feel very second nature and so easy. I’m starting to become more and more nervous about what will happen if I off-road once I finish this Whole30. But, that is entirely another post for another day. Hopefully the easiness of this 30 day challenge will smoothly transition to a more whole lifestyle. Hence, the name of this blog. Note to self: don’t stop blogging after finishing Whole30.

This work week has flown by. I feel like I have been saying that a lot lately, but it has! I’m sure it is the time of year, so everything has been a little more chaotic while gearing up for Spring. I’m excited tomorrow is Friday! I left for work early this morning for a 7:30 AM meeting. Because of this, I was in the kitchen until 8:30 PM prepping everything for today. I cooked a chicken breast and made a salad for today’s lunch. I took last night’s leftover pork chops and green beans and made an omelet with some bacon for today’s breakfast. I even grinned up some coffee beans and filled the coffee pot with water so everything was ready to go this morning when I woke up. I am really glad that I prepped the coffee pot the night before! It was like magic just pushing the button with no extra work. I think I can even set it up so that it starts brewing the coffee at a certain time. I need to look into that! Anyway, with all of that said, I have not yet prepped anything for tomorrow! However, when I wake up tomorrow morning it will be Friday, so I don’t really care.

Our little lunchtime workout group stepped it up this week. We started the second phase of Focus T25: the Beta workouts. So far, I’m liking them more than the Alpha phase, but it’s most likely because it feels novel. Still, I love mixing it up. Today I was feeling a bit overworked because my body felt so sore. I was able to leave work a bit earlier today because of our morning meeting, so I decided to attend a 4:30 class at my gym called “Yoga Ball.” I had no idea what to expect, but it was just what I needed for my muscles. It was basically an hour of stretching with a stability ball but it felt great, especially for my legs.

The weather has been so beautiful lately. Hubs had the day off so I assigned him to cleaning the grill outside.We haven’t used it in months and it was in desperate need of a scrub. Tonight’s dinner was so good and so easy. I salted and peppered some pork steaks and threw them on the grill. That was it! I paired it with some oven-roasted asparagus. All I did was add some lemon juice with salt and pepper to the asparagus. After roasting it, I drizzled some Tessemae’s Lemonette over it and then I squirted some mustard on mine (I love mustard!!). It was so effing good. I forgot how easy grilling is. I hope this weather keeps up!

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Now I just need to figure out how to get my husband to remake the bed after he naps in it…