Whenever we’re in need of a new recipe (which is once a month thanks to my 101 in 1001 list), we ALWAYS search for something that is Whole 30 compliant. Our go-to recipes will always be Whole 30 compliant if that’s all that we look for. Which isn’t to say were constantly on Whole 30, because we’re not. But they’re safe from dairy and gluten and stuff that makes us feel gross.
All you do is melt the ghee in a sauce pan over medium-high heat, then add all the ingredients minus the chicken and stir together. Pour over chicken in crock pot and cook on low for 4-6 hours. Shred chicken with two forks before serving (I like to let it sit in the sauce for a little bit after it’s shredded).
Serve however you feel like. Baked potatoes, next to potatoes… we love this recipe and it lasts us for a few days. It is so delicious.
I KNOW these posts are supposed to be all like “Hello, September!” and all excited about the smell of pumpkin spice in the air and the chill of fall settling and the flannels whispering my name to get out from the back of my closet but WHAT THE ACTUAL HECK, IT’S ACTUALLY SEPTEMBER TODAY.
and I haven’t posted on my blog in almost an entire month.
Since the last time I posted, I’ve driven across the country – up to Seattle twice, moved into an apartment, spent 2 weeks babysitting (one away from home, one in a 3 hour commute away), and started processing life without a job.
I keep thinking I WANT to blog, but then I see a pile of unlisted inventory and think, “oh crap, that’s unearned money right there.” Blogging doesn’t make me actual, consistent money. Selling other people’s trash on Poshmark does.
I’ll make a separate post with my September goals, but honestly I can’t even remember any of my August ones. Life happened super fast this month and I feel like I’m lucky to have made it this far without a negative bank account balance and still getting a solid night’s sleep. Little victories, y’all.
Something cool, though. We currently don’t have a dining table, and until we do… the wall where we eventually will put one makes for really great, easy Poshmark photos. One day I’ll get a lighting kit, but until then…
Looks much better than just laid on top of a white blanket, if you ask me! Also I found all of those things at the GOODWILL OUTLET, NO JOKE. Just saying. Also, if you’ve never used Poshmark, you can use my code (BWCTE) and get $5 off your first purchase on the app! If you’re interested in something from my closet, I’ll hook you up with a discount in addition to the $5 off ;D
I thought, “it would be nice to ease into blogging with a cute little apartment tour,” and then I realized that I still haven’t even unpacked everything and that I should probably do that first, and that’s the point where I put a few things away and then walk down the street to get a coconut mocha.
In other news, on Monday we’re starting Whole 30 because I am in desperate need of a food reset. It’s so weird, after my first Whole 30 I went INSANE. I started eating EVERYTHING. A lot of it was because I had no idea what Whole 30 was really about. I’ve been (slowly) reading It Starts With Food and I recently ordered The Whole 30 and I now have such a deeper appreciation for the heart behind The Whole 30, and I am very excited.
Also we’re having a record heat wave in the Pacific Northwest and if I don’t at least get a mild, healthy tan out of it I’m going to breathe fire. Speaking of sun, why is sunscreen so expensive? Justen and I were at Walgreens and sunscreen is like $10 for a bottle! Which I obviously wasn’t going to pay so instead I spent $22 unnecessary dollars on drugstore beauty products because they had a buy 2 get the 3rd free deal going on. You know me, the poster child for discipline and self-control.
One more thing. Here’s a picture of me from the farmer’s market down the street. I was really pissed at Justen for not knowing how to make me look like an Instagram Celebrity, and then I ended up killing those flowers like 2 days later and I still have no idea how I did that…. any ideas?
RIP perfect Farmer’s Market flowers. You were $15 of temporary fun. Also that shirt was $7 on clearance at H&M. I tried finding the exact one on their site but I couldn’t. So here’s a bunch of other ruffle sleeves from H&M. Some of them are dirt cheap. But that’s coming from a girl who won’t spend $10 on sunscreen but spends $22 on drugstore makeup to get one thing free, so what do I know.
Okay one actual last thing. Anybody here know Taylor Swift? I think she should read the book Boundaries. I’m always kind of lukewarm about my feelings for her, but I’m currently stuck in eye roll mode when she comes up.
On April 1, I embarked on another round of whole 30. I’ve kind of toyed with it a little here and there since the new year started, but I haven’t stuck with it. Luckily this time I roped Justen into doing it with me, so every time I think “nobody would know if I just got a mocha,” I remember that Justen is missing pizza. and mochas.
Here are some of my favorite meals. and some clarification, because I did make a mistake in one of them.
Salad from New Seasons + La Croix. I ate every last bite of it. It was so good.
Here’s where I messed up. Justen loves wings. We impulsively decided at the store to make them. We used Frank’s Hot Sauce + Ghee + Apple Cider Vinegar. They were really good! But as we were getting everything together, I grabbed some corn… which is not at all Whole30 compliant. Oops. Everything else was, though. and the wings were REALLY GOOD.
Breakfast kind of always looks like this. Egg scramble (eggs + peppers), Whole30 compliant bacon, and a bowl of bananas/berries.
Dinner at work is hard. They serve food in the Community Center, which I take the kids to, but it’s not always Whole30 compliant! Okay, it’s RARELY Whole30 compliant, so I have to bring my own stuff. A grape/berry mix, a chicken patty with guac and olives wrapped in lettuce and a LaCroix.
Breakfast scramble: eggs, peppers, olives + Whole30 compliant berries and a bowl of melons.
One of the things I REALLY wanted to do was try stuffed peppers this time around, so we did that… and I was REALLY disappointed. The chicken didn’t have much flavor, it was difficult to eat (HOW do you eat a stuffed pepper???) and the juice got everywhere. Not the dream I’d imagined. I had half an avocado + plantain chips on the side.
Okay so let me tell you about this meal. Justen and I were going to make dinner. I looked up a Cilantro Lime chicken recipe, because CILANTRO + LIME = CHIPOTLE. I cooked cauliflower rice and asked if we should add peppers, and then brilliant Justen suggested we just put it all together and then this AMAZING cilantro lime chicken bowl was born. Plus avocado and a bowl of berries/bananas. YES PLEASE. and an americano. 🙂
I’m really boring. I like cauliflower rice, chicken, avocados and plantain chips. I could eat those for EVERY meal. Plus some grapes and a Lacroix and this is a pretty “Stephanie” Whole30 meal.
So those are my staples and some of the things we’ve tried. Can I just say that having someone else to do Whole30 with me helps SO MUCH? It’s fun to try recipes together.
It’s going really well this time, and I think a lot of it is because I didn’t post it or make a big deal about it, I just quietly decided.
Overall I’m feeling really great… I do miss mochas REALLY BADLY and I’ve lost some weight (we’re doing a weight loss challenge at my church so I have to weigh in every week) so that’s good. I’m looking forward to trying more new recipes and that mocha on May 1 is going to be SO DELICIOUS!
My friend Rhoda came to town this past weekend. Rhoda is one of my most favorite people in the whole wide world. When we were discussing what to do, she said “let’s do something from your 101 in 1001 list!,” because she’s that kind of person, you guys. We snapped this picture before she left:
Anyway, back to the story. We went through my list and decided to celebrate a random holiday.
It should be noted that Rhoda is vegan. and I am kind of in an open relationship with Whole 30. Full disclosure: Today would have been Round 2, Day 10 but I made some poor decisions. So today is back to Round 2, Day 1.
That said, we knew that any sort of pastry was out. Then we figured out the formula for homemade Lara Bars, went to the store, and got to work. You guys, it’s SO EASY.
Ingredient-wise, it’s really simple. We actually decided to add unsweetened coconut flakes, which we were so glad about!
1 cup pitted dates
1 cup dried apricots
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup shredded coconut
2 tablespoons chia seeds
For the record, we also would have added some cinnamon and/or cashew chunks (for texture).
Mix it all up. In a food processor. Listen, you guys. FOOD PROCESSOR. If you are the kind of person (like me) who says “oh. food processor? that’s just like a blender, so I’m fine,” let me tell you: FOOD PROCESSOR. It took us SO LONG to get it mixed up AND we broke the blender in the process. That said. I need a food processor. Oh AND it made a huge mess…
So again. Food processor. I don’t have one. I need one.
We lined a bread pan with wax paper, pressed the mixed up “dough” into it, and then put it in the fridge overnight. In the morning we poured ourselves a cup of coffee and ate a LOT of this.
We cut it into Lara Bar shapes, but then we just started tearing it off and eating chunks. Because it is seriously that good.
Happy Belated Apricot Day! Even if you didn’t get to celebrate it on January 9th, I hope you try this recipe. It’s definitely one I’ll be making again… once I get a food processor.
A little over a month ago, I had a really rough day. I couldn’t walk straight, my head was all over the place and I got really, REALLY scared about what was going on. I told Aunt Sarah, and she asked what I’d had to eat that day. The answer was… not much.
I shared about my food intolerances last month, but I didn’t get around to telling you something that had happened over Labor Day weekend. I had a gall bladder attack. The first time since I went to the ER two years ago. and I was so emotionally distraught over it. I’d made each decision on my own – the ice cream, the cheese… I made every choice. But I responded by avoiding all food.
It was a Friday. By Sunday, I had made my decision, and stocked up. I was going to start Whole 30. I’d been researching it, and it seemed like a really good move for where I was at.
Can I just say that I NEVER finish anything that I start? Haha. I knew that, so I didn’t make my Whole 30 journey very public. I wrote about it a few times on Instagram, but aside from that I didn’t publicize it.
But I made it. I finished Whole 30, and I am SO PROUD of myself. Here’s what I learned:
I can eat the same thing every day. Literally. Eggs with peppers + chicken apple sausage for breakfast, and either a Trader Joe’s Chili Lime burger w/guac or chicken + asparagus for lunch or dinner.
There is SO MUCH freedom in restriction. So much so that after two days off of Whole30… I’m starting again. I suddenly had ALL THE CHOICES IN THE WORLD and couldn’t figure out what to eat. Don’t want to go back to that.
Avoiding sugar isn’t as awful as you’d think. There were definitely days when I wanted a cookie. Right now, I could probably eat either a cookie or a BIG SCOOP of cookie DOUGH (which is actually better than cookies, can I get an amen??) but I don’t NEED to have it. I will survive without it.
Creamer isn’t as important as the experience of handcrafted espresso beverages. When I finally got the creamer back, I was slightly underwhelmed. What I was REALLY missing was the opportunity to get mochas. Mochas are my ultimate love language, I guess.
Food affects my emotions. Aside from the few days leading up to and through my period (which are just the worst, no matter what), I FELT emotionally well. I felt less irritable or cranky or sad. I just felt better.
Eating food is the secret to losing weight…. but eating the RIGHT food. I KNOW I KNOW… I’m not supposed to weigh myself on Whole 30, but I did because I was SO SCARED I’d be gaining tons of weight because I was eating more often. But I didn’t! I actually lost about 11 lbs (which means total I’ve lost 54 lbs). I just need to work on eating the correct foods.
Coconut oil has a lot of calories. Ghee doesn’t. Just saying.
WHOLE 30 IS FREAKING EXPENSIVE. I’ve started to figure out what foods I really like (mashed sweet potatoes, hello!) so going to the store is a little easier… it also helps that I basically cannot purchase anything that is within the inner aisles of the grocery store, just what’s on the outside in the produce and meat areas. But you know what? I’m okay with that.
Like I mentioned.. today I went to the store and stocked up on Whole30 approved foods, because tomorrow I’m going at it again.
I celebrated by having a dish-less breakfast. I grabbed a KIND bar. My favorite kind, the toasted oats + honey one. and it was disappointing. It wasn’t as full of flavor as I’d expected. It didn’t hit any special spot. It almost felt like a waste of a chance to eat something.
Whole 30 has changed my life in more ways than I can count. I’d like to write an entire post about that, but I want to tell you about how it affected one of the deepest parts of my being: my coffee drinking habits.
Prior to Whole 30, I was a lots of creamer in my coffee before I bought my mocha kind of girl. I was like “I like coffee but I don’t know if it’s ever good or bad,” and I realized that’s because I wasn’t actually taking the time to drink COFFEE; I was drinking a whole bunch of sugar and dairy-alternatives mixed with some coffee. Don’t get me wrong, I can down a black cup of joe from a diner like nobody’s business but that’s mostly for the mental release of drinking a cup of coffee.
For the past 30 days, I’ve toyed with my coffee. I’ve put ghee in it (so weird), coconut milk, coconut milk and cacao nibs, coconut milk and pumpkin puree, cinnamon… any and everything I could dream up to blend into a cup of coffee, I blended into a cup of coffee.
But sometimes that’s exhausting, and I have finally learned to enjoy a cup of black coffee.
I received this bag of coffee from Heirloom Coffee, and this is when I first realized how much Whole 30 has affected my taste for coffee.
For the first time, I was able to think about the quality of what I was drinking – it wasn’t just some random bag of coffee that tasted just like the next one. It tasted unlike anything I’d ever had before. I’m not quite “there” enough to be able to say it had “hints of blueberry” or anything, but it was a full, flavorful cup of coffee. It was also STRONG, which we all know I need in the mornings.
When I was researching Heirloom Coffee, I saw that they also offer UNROASTED coffee beans, which blows my mind. One of the ideas I’ve come across for making Christmas gifts is to roast your own coffee beans. I had no idea of where to get unroasted coffee beans, but now I do.
I’ve driven through Starbucks to order drip coffee (all the while dreaming of trying the TOASTED GRAHAM LATTE – tell me people… worth it??) and have stopped to really think about what roast I wanted. I’ve slowly sipped my way to the last drop of cups of coffee because I cherish it in a new way.
I think a lot of the point of whole 30 is just to get you thinking about what you’re putting in your mouth. Since coffee is an everyday thing, I noticed the change there the most. I’m glad to be entering into this whole new world of a deep appreciation for the taste and flavors of coffee.
ps I received this coffee in exchange for a review because of my participation with Tomoson.