The Whole30 and Toddlers…. and a Second Week Check-in.

I have gotten a lot of questions on how we’re doing this Whole30 thing with the kiddos. I am sure there are a lot of parents out there who can complete the Whole30 while also feeding their toddlers all the yummy fruits, veggies, and delicious poultry, seafood and beef creations they materialize day after day…. said no parent ever. (No really, I am sure SOME people make it happen – but not us crazy folk).

Toddlers don’t eat this stuff!!!!!!!!! Well, mine don’t at least!!!

WAIT!!! I take that back. I really believe Makenna would give pretty much everything we have made a whirl and a pretty decent effort if she didn’t insist on eating dinner at 4:30pm every.single.day. Occasionally we’re able to give her leftovers but it’s not as often as I would like as we normally take all the leftovers for lunch at work (Bad parents?? Ha – Maybe). However, my Gavin – doesn’t stand a chance with the Whole30 – it’s silly to even try. The child has a 5 item meal rotation – chicken nuggets, boxed pizza, fish sticks, PB&J, Granola Bar – and repeat. To boot, all of these items have to LOOK exactly the same each and every time we serve them to him or it’s a no go…. and I am not kidding – in any way shape or form. He only eats green beans out of a can and they are the ONLY veggie he will even come close to entertaining. He eats strawberries and bananas, grapes, apples and mandarin oranges and is a huge carb feign but – trying new things is not really up our Gavin’s alley. Pointless really.

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SO making the decision to do the Whole30 was easy for us so to speak when it came to possibly complicating life with toddlers…. We feed our kids separately every night as it is (not ideal, but reality)….. not much changed!!! Wasn’t an issue! Whew!!

OK moving on to Week 2!!! Week #1 went really well and we’re jumping head first into Week 2!!

Over last week I planned our menu for this week and it quickly evolved into an amazing variety of different meals I was really excited about.

The list however was a tad overwhelming – maybe even intimidating for me.

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I went to my new favorite store: Wegmans – with my list handy and spent an HOUR and a HALF picking through the produce, meat section, grocery aisles and spice racks to gather everything we would need. I managed to find everything but ONE item and decided I could substitute instead. (Who manages to find Ras El Hanaut in the store anyhow?)

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After my shopping trip we were ready!! This weeks menu was a little steep in price (I think Jeremy had a small heart attack when he saw the total bill) – but we needed to restock on a lot of the spices for certain recipes and also got totally new items we’ve never used or cooked with before. I honestly had a really good time looking for all the difference items and filling my cart. (I lead a wild life don’t I??? Don’t get too crazy now!!)

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I spent all of Friday afternoon after work and evening  prepping for different dishes we could save and use through out the week. It was a ton of work and I was exhausted.

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Week 2 Menu
Friday – Beef, Pork and Veal Bacon Burgers with Spicy Avacado and Cilantro Dipping Sauce. Side was a Tomato, Cucumber and Onion Salad with Garlic, Basil and  homemade Balsamic Dressing
Saturday: NY Strip Steaks with Sauteed Mushrooms and Onions (in Coconut Aminos) along with Sweet Potatoes and Steamed Broccoli
Sunday: Smoked Bacon Chili
Monday: Curry Chicken with Kale and Cauliflower
Tuesday:  Herb encrusted Pork Chops with Sauteed Broccoli and Tomato Cucumber Salad.
Wednesday: Steak Salads with Balsamic Dressing
Thursday: Chicken and Shrimp Stir Fry with a side of Zucchini and Squash Pasta

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I also made Chicken salad – from a whole chicken I boiled and shredded. I used the homemade mayo we made and added celery, onions and a variety of spices.  (I made homemade chicken stock – killed two birds with one stone so to speak – that I plan on using for homemade chicken and vegetable soup in the coming weeks).

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I put together an Egg Salad that we ate for our breakfast with Smoked Salmon and Bacon…. DELISH!

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I am finding that after just one week of planning, shopping and cooking this way – I am learning and growing in my knowledge of “good food” and what I am looking for and want to make. I am learning to actually read labels and I am understanding the actual ingredients and what we’re putting in our bodies and I am loving every second of it. It’s quite eye opening to say the least. I don’t think I will ever look at certain foods the same – something I never thought I would EVER care about. I am even starting to REALLY look at the labels of the food we feed to the kids and am looking into better/healthier options (as if that is an easy task).  I love seeing all the natural colors on our plates mostly and I really enjoy buying and eating organic and grass fed meats again! (Again – we’re living on the wild side over here!!)

Here are a couple of the delicious meals we made over the last couple of days.

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Last week my Kimmie showed me how to make the homemade mayo…. We used this recipe and its actually really very good. (Tastes alot like store bought if you ask me). I tried my own hand at this craft this  past weekend and wasn’t so successful the first time around. You REALLY have to follow the instructions and pour the Olive Oil EXTREMELY slow to get the right consistency. Otherwise you will end up with soupy, nasty curdled oil with egg in it. YUK.

The “good” Mayo.

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I have also been killing it in the gym recently. I have always been a gym/fit/love to work out type of person but with 2 kids and Jeremy’s work schedule it’s become really hard to stay consistent. I realize that sounds like an excuse or a cop out and that there tons of parent’s who go to the gym with their kids and put them in the gym daycare, but my kids are already in daycare 9+ hours a day – I cannot imagine picking them up to put them in ANOTHER daycare just so I can work out.  I really hope (with Jeremy’s work schedule) I can keep this up. I made it to the gym 5 times last week and it’s also my goal for this week as well. I am feeling really good with my work out routine and I LOVE incorporating this aspect of my life into the Whole30.

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I am allowing myself to weigh-in at the half way point (which you’re NOT supposed to do on the program- but whatever)… which happens to be next Monday and I am really looking forward to it. Maybe it will even be a little motivational push!!!

Happy Whole30 week Two – I am honestly loving this entire challenge and new way of eating and living!!

This week I will leave you with this AMAZING Smoky Bacon Chili Recipe we made for dinner last night!! I tweaked it a bit and we ate it sans Sweet Potato but it was SO delicious I can’t help sharing it.

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What I used:

  • 6 slices of bacon, cubed (I didn’t drain the grease, it just added to the flavor in my opinion).
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • Diced Portabella Mushroom Slices (Use as many as desired).
  • 1 small Jalapeno Pepper, diced
  • 1lb ground beef (I used a Beef, Pork and Veal combination).
  • Minced Fresh Cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 (14) ounce cans of fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 (8) ounce can of tomato sauce
  • salt and pepper, to taste

What I did:

  1. I decided to chop all my veggies prior to starting so everything would be ready to go.
  2. In a large stock pot, I add the cubed bacon and let it cook down.
  3. When the bacon finished browning and was a bit crisp, I added the garlic clove and onions. (Do not drain the grease).
  4. I let that cook for a few minutes then added the rest of the veggies one by one.
  5. I let this cook for about 6 or so minutes, then I added the ground beef (I used Beef, Pork and Veal combination meat) and all the spices.
  6. Once the beef is browned, I added the tomato sauce and 2 cans of fire roasted tomatoes (I used more than the original recipe).
  7. I stirred frequently while I brought to a boil while letting all the flavors come together.
  8. I then simmered on low for the next 20 minutes or so, stirring occasionally.

SO GOOD. Seriously SO Good.

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