The Start of Whole 30

Hey y’all,

Don’t mind the southern twang that I inherited from Nashville this past weekend. My friend Shanna and I had a nice relaxing visit and we ate a lot of good food. Down there it was surprisingly easy to eat paleo and make modifications to my food (if needed). Shanna is actually vegan, so the combo of a paleo and vegan diets made it a bit tricky. We both did some good research before heading down there, so it was pretty easy to find good places.

Here’s a breakdown of the weekend:
Friday we got in around 6pm and headed straight to the hotel. Once we changed and got ready, we went downtown Nashville and got the Nashville experience. It was nice out on Friday night so we found a sweet spot called Pub 5 and ate on the rooftop. I had some mussels and a cool artisan cocktail. We then headed to a bunch of the Nashville bars to catch some live music.


Saturday we got up and decided to detox in hot yoga class. I luckily didn’t pass out in that hour and half class. We got lunch at the Calypso Cafe went to the Parthenon near the Vanderbilt campus. Like Zach mentioned on his last post, this was a “hole in the wall” cafe near the Vanderbilt campus that was probably the best paleo meal I had when I was down there. Mashed sweet potatoes, rotisserie chicken and a side salad. We next headed to the Parthenon in Nashville’s Centennial Park. It was a cool experience. Nashville has a few trendier, off-the-beaten-path neighborhoods, that we decided to hit up next. We went to the 12South District and then walked over to Hillsboro village. Both had really cool boutiques, restaurants and bars. We finished the night by going to a bar called Belcourt Taps and listened to 4 really talented artists there.


Sunday we decided to go back and hit up the shops/restaurants that we missed on Saturday in Hillsboro village and 12South. For breakfast, we went to the Pancake Pantry and waited outside for 45 min (while listening to live music). It was well worth the wait. Shanna got pancakes and I got an omelette with lots of coffee. For lunch we went to a place called Burger Up. They had vegan options there and I had a really awesome shredded Kale salad with a grass fed burger patty on top. It was a good burger and I would highly recommend the place for their atmosphere and food.

Yesterday, I started the Whole 30 challenge with about 6 others at my gym. It is really not much different for my current diet, but it says to try to stick to 3 well balanced meals a day, no snacking, no alcohol or any added sweeteners AT ALL and limit coffee intake :(. There is actually a lot more to it than that, but that is what will be different for me. I may be a little crankier the next month because I am not eating as much, but hopefully my body gets used to it and I will feel awesome.

I pretty much decided to do it until our vacation on Easter weekend in Phoenix. It’s technically not 30 days, but I don’t plan on getting too crazy in Phoenix as it is. I am very excited to see improvements in my overall health.

I am headed to Indianapolis today for work and will be there until Friday… MORE TRAVELING. The thing I love most about traveling to Indy is that I bring my food with me. I know I am super nerdy, but I love having control of what I put on my plate. I pack breakfast and lunch and will find something good for dinner. Zach is great and is holding down the fort here. After this week, I will not be traveling for a few weeks so I can finally get back into my routine.

More info to come on how Whole 30 goes, so I hope you enjoy. If you are interested in learning more about the Whole 30 challenge, I absolutely recommend the book “It Starts With Food”. It is an eye-opening book that gives you the research and testimonials to back up why this is such a great diet.



Chipotle chocolate chili

Okay so hear is the finished product. I added a little extra toppings to mine (avocado slices and bacon bits). I would recommend using a game meat with this one because it changed the complexity of the dish. A game meat would go great with the flavors this chili produces. To add to that, this is totally a manly night in for me. I made a big hardy chili and I’m going to sit down and watch James Bond! What a great night.


Warm Meal for a Cold Spring Day

Hey everyone. Yet again, it has been another very busy week for Joelle and I but we have managed to make it through completely unscathed from our Paleo routine. I am officially on spring break!! I am very excited about this. For this one week I actually don’t have to pack all of my meals. I can just make them at home and eat at home. When you are full blown Paleo, it is a luxury not to have to pack every meal for the day. Is it sad that I am looking forward to that? Also, our plastic to-go containers will get a rest this week,lol. Wow, I am even talking about our to-go containers like they are human. Today I was chopping all of our veggies for the week and I was like “wow, why do we have so many containers available?”. Well, it is because I won’t be using them this week. Also, if you didn’t know Joelle has been doing some traveling this week. She spent two days in Michigan, just outside of Detroit, for a work conference. I felt so bad for her. She was running me through her day and what she was able to eat, it sounded terrible. For breakfast one morning all she had available were some grapes and a banana. She had to run on that until lunch time, so from 6:30AM to 12:30PM all she ate was some grapes and a banana. I told her I wanted to drive up there and bring her a meal. If you have been following our blog at all you know that food is our number one priority. It is literally all Joelle and I think about. Also, Joelle does not have as much patience as I do when it comes time in between meals. Sometimes Joelle gets hungry 2 hours after she eats. I don’t understand it but hey, whatever. For one of her lunches in Michigan they had sandwich wraps catered in, so she had to take the meat and veggies out of the inside of the wrap and eat that. I am sure some people were giving some odd looks but little do they know what that wrap is doing to there body. Oh and while Joelle was in Michigan we faced time for the first time!! Huge step in our relationship, lol. But really what a great invention, it was really nice to see her because I really missed her. While we were face timing I was eating dinner and I felt bad about that too. I was stuffing my face with our awesome Paleo food while she had struggled all day to find anything to eat. After Michicagn Joelle flew to Nashville. She is there for the weekend with a friend from work. She already told me she got a full Paleo meal at a little cafe they went to. She got rotisserie chicken with a curry sauce, side salad and mashed sweet potatoes with coconut shavings. That sounds like a pretty awesome Paleo meal. She was so pumped too. That is probably been here first full Paleo meal since Wednesday. For those of you that follow the blog you know that on Monday March 24th Joelle is starting her second Whole 30 challenge. This time she wants people to join her. She told me she already has seven people that are going to do it with her. I think that is awesome, there is nothing better than doing a challenge with other like minded people. It almost becomes like a support group.
So, with Joelle gone this weekend where am I going on my Paleo endeavors? Well, tonight I am making a pot of beef chipotle chocolate chili. Yes I said chocolate! This recipe is from Paleo OMG ( Normally by this time of year I wouldn’t really be looking forward to chili but with it still being so cold out this will be a perfect meal for tonight. Really the best part about making a pot of chili is there are always leftovers. In the recipe it calls for elk but I am using ground beef tonight. My inspiration for this came from a small pumpkin that Joelle’s mom had given us. She wasn’t going to use it so of course we took it. This recipe calls for cubed pumpkin in it. I am also going to throw some cubed butternut squash in there to add some extra carbs. As for Sunday morning, I will be making those lovely sweet potato apple cinnamon pancakes that I had made last Sunday for the first time. These pancakes might become my Sunday staple. For those of you that don’t know me I used to call Sundays “pancake Sundays” because I would make these protein pancakes every Sunday. A while back when we went 100% Paleo I got rid of those. Now with the discovery of these lovely Paleo pancakes I might just have to make the return of “pancake Sundays”. They are very simple to make. All they call for is mashed sweet potato (which we always have on hand in our house), grated apple, 1 egg, cinnamon, salt and arrowroot powder. Mix it all up together and make pancakes. I will also be putting some almond butter in between these hot cakes to add a little extra goodness to them.
I have to get back into the kitchen. Time to make some chili. I will post tomorrow and let you know how it turned out, along with some pictures.

Paleo Emergency!!

I just have to tell all you guys about a little Paleo emergency that I experienced yesterday. As some of you may know I am “Zone/Paleo”. This means I follow a zone diet (all of my meals have to be balanced with carbs, protein and fats) and all my food sources are Paleo. So yesterday I get to my lunch period at school and I sit down to eat my normal salad. My source of protein in my salad is chicken. As I am forking through my salad I start to notice I have not had a single bite of chicken yet. Then it occurs to me that I forgot to put chicken in this salad. On Sundays I make all my snacks and lunches for Monday through Thursday. My beginning of the week is extremely crunched for time and this saves me a lot on the back end. Well as we were prepping on Sunday we ran short on chicken. I knew this and on Monday I grilled up extra chicken breast. I forgot one thing though, to add the chicken to the salad. So, what did I do…. I grabbed my salad, my wallet and my car keys and hit the road. There is a Culver’s near my school. I thought they have to have a grilled chicken sandwich on the menu. I ordered a grilled chicken breast plain with no bun. The girl thought I was crazy and asked, “you just want it plain?” After waiting 5-7 minutes I got a plain chicken breast and cut it up and dumped it into my salad. Whew, that was a close call.



Whole 30 Challenge Anyone?

Good morning!
I’m headed to Detroit today for 3 days and hitting up Nashville this weekend with a friend. I still plan on sticking to the diet, but I will probably be having some beverages while I’m in Nashville.

I haven’t cheated yet with our diet, but I will say that I have been having larger portions. When you make food as good as Zach and I, it’s hard to portion control. I decided to keep myself motivated and challenged and I am going to do the whole 30 challenge starting Monday (the 24th).
I know I am going to need a little bit of a detox after Nashville and beach season is right around the corner. There are about 30 days until Zach and I go to Phoenix for Easter weekend so I will be doing the challenge during that time frame. Is anyone interested in doing it with me? I need some motivation!!! The whole 30 is completely paleo, but it focuses more on your overall health (I.e – sleeping, timing of meals and portion sizes). There are also no sweets or drinking in this challenge. I did it back in August last year and had some awesome success with it. It was very challenging and I have to give kudos to Zach because he had to deal with me and my crankiness from it. 😉

Let me know if you are interested!!! I would love to have people help me out with this challenge.

100% Irish Full

Oh what a food weekend it was for Joelle and I. Sometimes I think we have the best food weekends when we really don’t plan anything. We knew on Sunday that we would be having corn beef and cabbage in honor of St. Patrick. As mentioned in our last post we got the recipe from “Against All Grain”. We got it off the website. It did take some preparation four days in advance. We had to brine the corn beef but let me tell you, it was well worth it. We also boiled some carrots, parsnips and turnips then stirred them with ghee, salt, pepper and thyme. So simple but went perfect with the corn beef and cabbage. Best part about all of this is we made very large serving of all this and we had plenty of leftovers which is always a good thing.

So dinner was set for Sunday but what about breakfast. Joelle and I finally had a Sunday morning that we could take slow. Usually we are always being rushed and have something to do. This Sunday we slept in (until 7:30am), got up and got the corn beef in the crockpot, got some coffee going, and then started to make a great breakfast. We had a rutabaga and we wanted to make skillets. We turned the rutabaga into hash browns with some onion and bacon in them. We made some eggs over medium to place on top of the rutabaga hash.

No Sunday breakfast would be complete without some pancakes. I took to our newly bought Paleo recipe book (Paleo breakfast and lunches to go) by Diana Rogers. In there I found a recipe for sweet potato apple cinnamon pancakes. It included mashed sweet potato, grated apple, cinnamon, 1 egg, salt and arrowroot powder. These turned out to be a amazing. I will be making these again next Sunday.


We met Michelle Tam and Diana Rodgers

Hey all,
Happy St. Patty’s Day weekend! We are excited to make a paleo corned beef and cabbage dinner tomorrow. We found a recipe on Danielle Walker’s website (against all grain) for her paleo version. It called for a 4 day brine that we started on Thursday. I am very excited. We’re going to throw some parsnips, turnips, carrots, and cabbage in there. It will be going into the crockpot early tomorrow morning and torture us all day with the wonderful smells.

Today we got a chance to meet Michelle Tam (nom nom paleo author) and Diana Rodgers (paleo lunches and breakfast on the go author) in downtown Naperville at the Anderson bookstore. We had not heard much about Diana and her cookbook before going, but ended up buying her book and having a really nice convo with her. We got both authors to sign our cookbooks and got a pic with Michelle. It was cool to meet them, but we got to the signing kind of late and they seemed to be checked out.

Here is a pic from today:


We will be posting a nice long blog for our breakfast and dinner tomorrow, so stay tuned!