Yes, I Can Cook (or Whole30 Round 3)

Despite the rumors, I can actually cook. Or really, I can follow a recipe. I just don’t like to cook. Since I’m single, I tend to do what I call “lazy eating”—sandwiches, take-out, frozen meals, more take-out. Anything that’s quick, easy, and requires no thought, but that also tends to be unhealthy and fattening. The Whole30 Program forces me inspires me to cook because I have to think about what I’m eating instead of lazy eating. And since I have to think about it, I have to plan in advance. And so I meal plan and buy real vegetables, fruit, and meats, not frozen and processed food.

 

mealprep

Part of this week’s meal prep.

 

 

The first time I did Whole30 from mid-July to mid-August, I lost 8 pounds and 2% body fat. The second time, from mid-October to right before Thanksgiving, I lost 11 pounds and 2% body fat. (Read about Rounds 1 and 2 here and here.) Since Round 2, I have maintained the weight I lost. YAY! Even over the holidays, I used the lessons learned from Whole30 and ate mostly healthy. That’s not to say I haven’t had the good stuff (chocolate, alcohol, bread), but I overall have made better choices.

So now that the holidays and my birthday are over, I’m prepping for Whole 30 Round 3 starting tomorrow. I’ve found that doing Whole30 once every quarter is a good way to keep my sugar intake down and keep on track. And I am *this* close to going down another pant size (I can zip them up, but they’re just a wee bit too tight—I like to breathe), so I’m super motivated. Plus, I’m planning a trip to the Caribbean in the fall (hello bathing suit!), so I have even more motivation.

So I thought I share my food prep for this first week:

Egg Breakfast Muffins

(recipe adapted from I Heart Naptime)
eggmuffins.jpg

I discovered these during Round 1. So yummy, so easy, and so adaptable. You can put anything you want in them. Feel more southwest? No problem. Add peppers, onion, chili powder, and maybe a dash of cayenne pepper. Love bacon and potatoes? Easy. Cook up some bacon, dice some potatoes, and BAM!

Today, I browned ground turkey (spiced with turmeric, chili powder, paprika, and ground black pepper). I used 9 large eggs, whisked, and added finely chopped sweet potatoes and the browned ground turkey. Easy-peasy and very yummy. They freeze nicely, and I have 2 every morning with a piece of fruit.

lemondijon.jpg3-Minute Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette

(recipe from Laughing Spatula)

It really did only take 3-minutes. Just dump everything in the blender. How easy is that?

I will use it to marinate some chicken breasts that I will cook for dinner one night.

Zesty Chicken Bites

chikbites.jpg

(recipe from Lexi’s Clean Kitchen)

I didn’t have red pepper flakes, so I used chili powder instead and I also added turmeric, which in addition to being tasty is an antioxidant.

Very yummy and super easy to make. I’ll definitely make these again. This week, I’ll eat these as a snack along with the bag of tangerines I bought.

Easy Roasted Lemon Chicken

roastedchikveg(recipe adapted from Laughing Spatula)

I again substituted chili powder for the red pepper flakes and again added turmeric. (Yes, I’m on a turmeric kick this week.) I didn’t have fresh rosemary, so I used dried. I’m not a food snob, so dried is okay with me. Then I used sweet potatoes and parsnips instead of baby red potatoes.

This baked for an hour, then once it cooled, I divided it into 4 portions for easy reheating as this will be lunch Monday-Thursday. I love single pan meals. They’re easy and flexible.

Do you have any favorites easy recipes? Share your favorites in the comments below.

 

 

 

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Welcome to 2018!

This week we began another new year—2018.

Two thousand eighteen. Twenty-eighteen.

Can you believe we are 18 years into the new millennium? I swear 1999 was just a couple years ago.

But really, at this point can I continue to refer to this millennium, the 2000s, as new? I mean, we are now 18 years into it. The second decade of the “new” millennium is almost over. Really, it’s more like gently used than new at this point. But I digress.

2017 turned out to be a pretty fantastic year for me. It definitely ended on a high note. And I have even higher hopes that 2018 will be epic. For one, I will soon turn 42, and every good galactic hitchhiker knows not only where her towel is, but that 42 is the answer to life, the universe, and everything.

So with that, I kick off the new year with one of my favorite quotes by a phenomenal comedian/actress.

perfectending_radner.jpg

Even if you don’t know where life is taking you, enjoy the ride. It’s the journey that’s important.

Peace, love, & happiness for the new year.