Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Whole30 Week 2 Menu & Progress

No comments:

We're now into our third week of Whole30, and remain a little mystified at how much easier it seems to be this time out. The first time this was when we crashed and burned and dropped out, running away as if we'd survived a horror movie.

The second time, we got through the 30 days, but the very idea of another couple of weeks doing a slow reintroduction was beyond us.

This time, we know where most of our potential pitfalls are, and mentally prepped for them to the point where they don't seem that hard at all. We miss the occasional drink.  I miss cheese on things that are simply better with cheese - but not so much that I no longer want to eat what I have.  Neither of us miss bread, unless there's a good sauce on our plate and no easy way to sop it up.

(I do realize that I have no totally jinxed us for this next week!)

During our second week, we had a couple days where we had to eat out, and that's by far the most challenging. No matter where you go, things are either breaded, ON bread, with cheese or sugared in some way. So. Much. Sugar.

The first time, we had a day full of errands, so we stopped at lunch at a local area chain of diners called the Silver Diner. They locally source their food, so the quality was a good bet. Even there, though, the only safe-ish bet was to stick to the breakfast menu and have eggs and bacon (which likely was sugar cured, so not perfect), and we ordered a side of roasted mix veggies that turned ou to be butternut squash, brussels sprouts and beets.

Our second time out was after an early showing of The Post - we went to a Nando's Peri-Peri Chicken, which was a great choice - their chicken was flavorful and succulent, and not breaded, and here also there was a side of delicious roasted veggies in balsamic vinegar.  There were also salads that could be modified slightly and still be interesting.

I'd hate to have to wrestle with restaurants often while on Whole30, although we did pretty well.  It does make it easier if you check the menu online before you go and develop a plan.

So here's the rest of what we ate this past week:

Cashew Chicken with Stir-Fried Cabbage
No real recipe here - I used cooked chicken from last week's roast chicken.  I stir-fried a half a bag of cole slaw cabbage mix along with some sliced mushrooms in a blend of coconut oil and sesame oil   and seasoned it in a sort of vaguely curry-ish blend of spices, a bit of fish sauce and hot sauce.  The chicken was added in and heated through, and a good sprinkle  of cashews was added to serve.

Pan-Fried Rib Eye Steak,
Caramelized Onions, Tomatoes and Mushrooms, 
and Avocado Slices
This was a joint effort - I put together the onions, tomatoes and mushrooms, intending to slow-braise them.  They got away from us though and before we knew it, they'd begun to scald on the bottom of the pan. I carefully scooped out the part that didn't get burned quickly enough to avoid an off flavor.

So we had much less than I'd hoped for - but the upside was that what we did have had cooked down
to a sort of marvelous savory jam that made a very nice accompaniment for Michael's steak, seasonedwith salt, pepper and Sweet Hungarian paprika, and cooked to a perfect medium rare.

Peruvian Aji Chicken over Coconut Cauliflower Rice 
with Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Spinach
Ok, this is where it got weird - I occasionally get meal plan kits but I was sure I'd set them to Skip for this month.  Then a Plated box showed up at my door - oops. Since I hadn't planned for it, it was totally random what was in it, of course neither of the two meals were Whole30.  Fortunately, this one, chicken with a yellow chile sauce and vegetables, served over coconut quinoa, was easy to fix by switching out the quinoa for cauliflower rice.  Very tasty!

Pan Roasted Chicken Over Cauliflower Rice, Brussels and Apple Salad
This was the other Plated dish - originally, it involved Farro instead of the cauliflower, and included Parmesan and a buttermilk dressing.  We skipped the dressing and used a drizzle of a Whole30 compliant Ranch dressing, instead.  I really liked how the tart apples added flavor and crunch to the dish.

Eggs, Hash Browns, Bacon, Guacamole
Then there was the day when I hated everything, so Michael made me breakfast for dinner.

Deconstructed Salmon Sushi
I really, really loved this one.  I used this recipe, and added some wasabi paste. The brightly flavored orange sauce and hint of heat from the wasabi was delicious!  We'll be doing this again.

Egg Muffins
Finally, this is a part of how we kept ourselves fed for breakfast on busy morings.  These take just a few minutes to prepare, and are infinitely modifiable.  The are fluffy and heat up well in the microwave.  I think they'd freeze fine too, although we just kept them in the fridge as grab-and-go options.

Here's all it takes:

Egg Muffins
(makes 12)

6 eggs
3 T water or coconut milk
2 cups. cooked vegetables (tomatoes and spinach are good - we used leftover cooked Brussels sprouts this time), and meat as desired (I sprinkled in some chopped prosciutto)
Seasonings as desired

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Grease a 12 cup muffin pan with coconut oil.  

In a large bowl, beat the eggs along with the water or coconut milk, and add in vegetables, meats and any seasonings.

Scoop some egg with fillings into each prepared muffin cup, leaving about a half inch at the top.

Bake for 30 minutes, until golden brown on top.  Remove from oven, let cool a couple minutes and then carefully use a table knife to help pop them out of the muffin cups.


(And yes - if you're not doing Whole30, these would be wonderful with the addition of some cheese!)

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Party in Your PJs #191

Happy Tuesday!

Welcome to the Party in Your PJs Link Party, where your posts will be seen on four different blogs each week.

You'll also find the Awesome Life Friday link-up here at RCHReviews, every Thursday evening at 8pm ET so we hope to see you there as well.

What are you up to in this week? I can't wait to see what you've brought to share!

 Meet the Co-Hosts

Nina @ Grandma Ideas 

Lynda @ Reviews, Chews & How-Tos 

Facebook // Pinterest // Twitter // Instagram

Teresa @ Aging Like a Fine Wine

Facebook // Pinterest // Twitter // Instagram

The rules for the group board include:
1. Limit of one pin a day.
2. Just like the party anything goes, but clear wonderful pictures with great descriptions are most successful.
3. Please no Spam ( Spammers will be deleted without warning)
4.  If you pin to the Pinterest Board, please link to the Party in Your PJs Party also, the party runs from 7 pm Tuesdays-Midnight Saturday (Central Time)
5.  Finally have fun and share this group board  with blog friends and followers!  The more success the group board is the more success you will see from your pins.

Lynda's Features!

 Make sure you head over to the other members of Party in Your PJs
 to see their features - we each pick our own!

All links are pinned to a Party can follow the board on Pinterest...feel free to follow the board, there is lots of inspiratioPn to be found there.

Ok...let's party!

Rules -Link to post, not your home page
-Link to something YOU made, wrote or thought
-No Etsy or Business Pages
-Link Parties, Roundups and Giveaways welcome
- Don't Link and Run! Please visit other links, make friends, learn something new, leave a comment.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Arianna's Magic Boots - Children's Book Review/Giveaway


I recently reviewed a pair of AFO (ankle-foot orthosis)s for baby dolls and expressed how important representation is for children. I'm so pleased to discuss another item that helps my daughter see herself in the things she loves. This time, it's a book!

Both of my children each have bookshelves with hundreds of books between them.

Reading is so special in our house and I'm always looking for new stories to share with them!

Arianna's Magic Boots by Karen A. Gasperini is a heartwarming story about a young girl who uses her imagination, and her AFO's, to go on a wonderful adventure!

The character in the story is based on both the author herself as well as her daughter Arianna, who both have a few disabilities including Clubfoot.

My three year old, Penelope also has clubfeet so I love showing her that she's not alone.

The magical aspect of this book is too sweet.

Arianna starts her day just as any other kid. She has breakfast and gets dressed.

Then she goes off to her Physical Therapy appointment, which is very relatable for many children with disabilities.

While in the doctor's office, she notices a new colorful poster of the jungle. Using her amazing imagination, Arianna stomps her feet three times and says “Away We Go!” which is what initiates her adventures.

We had so much fun reading this and following Arianna and a slew of adorable animals on this journey.

I am a huge fan of toys and books that make Penny feel like her boots or braces are not the enemy! While she no longer wears show inserts, she still related this to her night time brace.

That said, I believe this book is for all children, not just those who have experience with AFOs or other hardware.

While I find it incredibly important that children have books with characters they identify with, I also find it just as important that my children are reading about diversity and learning about the people who are different than them as well.

Arianna's Magic Boots goes a long way toward gently explaining to fully ablebodied children some of the experiences their friends or classmates might be having, and can be a launchpad to a good discussion.

Arianna's Magic Boots is available on Amazon for $10.99 in paperback or for $9.99 on Kindle, and it is available at not cost via  KindleUnlimited!

Keep an eye on their Facebook account for an upcoming interview the authors have with Rhode Island Channel 12 WPRI news.

I'm so excited to know that Arianna has more adventures in store for us! Volume Two, currently in production, will be about underwater exploring!

Coming Soon!

Karen A. Gasperini is giving away one SIGNED print copy of Arianna's Magic Boots to one of our readers worldwide - read on to see how you can enter to win!  I think you'll find this is a good addition to any child's bookshelf.

One winner will receive a signed paperback copy of Arianna's Magic Boots, by Karen A. Gasperini, valued at $10.99.

To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment in this entry as instructed by the Giveaway Tools Entry Form below. This will open up additional optional entries to increase your odds of winning. (If you don't leave a comment, any additional entries will be void.)

This giveaway is open WORLD-WIDE and will end just before midnight ET on 1/27. 

The winner will be notified by email 24 to 48 hours after the end of the giveaway by email. In order to claim the giveaway prize, the winner will need to respond within 24 hours of notification, or an alternate winner will be selected.