Tuesday, December 12, 2017

NSV Goals and Accomplishments

Most of us are familiar with the Whole30 NSV Checklist (click here to see it).

Well we got to thinking about the checklist and making it into more of a Before/After worksheet type of thing!

It doesn't take much to get me to dive into Excel to accomplish that!  I ran it by Melissa Hartwig and she has given the thumbs up to share this.

The idea is to go through the worksheet and in the first column, check those items you expect improvement with.  On Day 31, return to the worksheet and indicate whether each of those Expectations were met, not met, or stayed the same.  BUT....go through the entire worksheet to see if there were other areas you didn't expect improvement in that you had improvement (or even worsening) with.

Below are the two pages. Also, to download the Excel file to work with, click here - to download a pdf to work with/print off, click here.

Roasted Cauliflower and Garlic Aioli

Lauren Wheeler

Pictured above is also a breakfast egg sandwich!

Yet another great idea from Lauren Wheeler!

Roasted Cauliflower
First, pan fry the cauliflower until brown on both sides.

Then bake in the oven until tender @ 425 for about 20 minutes.

Garlic Aioli
3/4 cup homemade mayonnaise
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
2 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

Stir and serve!  Lauren and her family like it best after 10-15 minutes in the refrigerator (it lasts about 1 week).

This is great for just about everything -- meat, veggies, you name it!

Pecan Caper Salsa

Lauren Wheeler

Wow, does this look fantastic or what? And to top it off, it also serves as a plated fat!

Huge thanks to Lauren Wheeler for this idea!!!!

3 Tbsp rough chopped parsley, packed
2 Tbsp capers
1/3 cup pecans
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp currants
Pinch of salt

Just toss, and  you've got your plated fat as well as something really yummy.  Good idea for those who are getting tired of the hum-drum of their plated fats!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Herbed Mayo

Simmie Sinow

This is THE BEST mayo ever!

It also can be very thick -- which may be a blessing for those of you that have issues with runny homemade mayonnaise.

The key to not having to worry about runny mayonnaise is adding some powdered type of spices to it as the extra powder will thicken the mayonnaise up really nice.

These will become your new best friend in seasonings for your  mayonnaise:

1 whole egg, cold right out of the refrigerator
1 egg yolks, cold right out of the refrigerator
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp dill pickle juice OR 1 tsp lime juice
1 heaping tsp mustard powder
1 Tbsp Trader Joe's "Everything But the Bagel" sesame seasoning **
1 Tbsp Trader Joe's Onion Salt blend **
2 1/3 to 2 1/2 cups oil (I use avocado oil or olive oil)

Note: This mayonnaise WILL be thick! No more fretting about runny mayonnaise.

What I do is "slam" the eggs into the bottom of the jar I'm making this in,  so as to break the yolk.  A fork or knife works just as well, but just isn't as much fun!

Add all the ingredients into your jar, in the order they are listed above. Be sure the oil is the last thing you pour in.

Before beginning to blend with your immersion blender, be 100% sure that the blender head is at the very bottom of your container.   This is critical.

Blend on low until you think your blender head is ready to pull up and LEAVE IT THERE longer.  Trust me on this.

When you think you've blended it a little too much.....give it another 20 seconds.

When it is done, it may not be super smooth, so take a spoon and just mix it up a bit and it will be fine.

You can use this as mayo or as a base for a dip to add some chipotle powder or other seasonings to as a veggie dip that also serves as your fat portion as part of your meal.

** Important Note: If you are using a different recipe that calls for less than 2c of oil, make sure to downsize the amount of the Trader Joe's spices.  Otherwise, you will wind up with mayo that sticks like glue!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Whole30 REINTRODUCTION -- a must!

Simmie Sinow

Did you know that Reintroduction is a mandatory part of Whole30? Yes, this is true.

We all know those who don't want to do Reintroduction.  Some because they don't plan to add things back into their eating program, others because they don't trust themselves. And others because they don't understand the process of Food Freedom.

What they don't realize is that Reintroduction is not necessarily about adding those items back into your food rotation, but knowing which foods you need to treat like poison, which foods you can tolerate occasionally with minimal reactions, and which foods can be added back into rotation with no reactions.

Doing an elimination diet and not reintroducing just makes no sense, because you don't come out of it knowing which foods are causing issues -- and that is the whole point. Whole30 is not a "forever" plan, so knowing where to start with customizing your way of eating is essential.

We all know that the reintroduction schedule from Whole30 is lacking some items.  Below you will find graphics of both the Whole30 schedule and also the schedule that has worked best for me.

You can also add another two categories: split wine into organic (no sulfites) in addition to the wine category; split sugar into an artifical sweeteners category in addition to the sugar category.  I found that adding an artificial sweeteners category to be super helpful. Splitting dairy into 2 categories is, in my opinion, really important -- a lot of people  can tolerate either yogurt/milk or cheeses, but not both.



Maryland Crab Cakes Redux

Beth Salerno Teixeira

From Beth, author of this recipe: We Marylanders are picky about good crab cakes. I needed a compliant recipe for my son's birthday that didn't have all the distracting fillers, so I created my own. He loved them. See for yourself:

1 can lump crabmeat or 16 oz fresh
1 egg
2 tsp Old Bay
1/8 tsp dry mustard
1 1/2 Tbsp mayo
1 1/2 Tbsp yellow mustard
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp olive oil or ghee
1 tsp parsley flakes
1/4 cup unblanched almond flour

Mix fillers first then fold in crabmeat and mix in the egg.

Form 8 cakes
Bake 375 for 12 min
Pan sear in 1 Tbsp oil 1 min each side until golden brown

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Chipotle Mayonnaise

Simmie Sinow

This is so ahhhmaaazing!!! Since I enjoy things really spicy -- if you don't -- scale back the chipotle powder to 1-2 tsp instead of the 1 Tbsp called for below.

1 whole egg + 1 egg yolk
2 tsp mustard powder
1 Tbsp vinegar (ACV)
1/2 Tbsp lime juice
2 +cups oil (I prefer avocado) **
1 Tbsp chipotle powder (try 1-2 tsp for less spicy)
1/2 Tbsp TJ Onion Salt blend

1/2 Tbsp chives

** With the addition of powders and spices, the 2 cups of avocado oil very often is not enough and the mayonnaise comes out really thick. What I recommend doing is adding more oil at the end and continuing to blend and then when you're done, take a spoon and just mix it.

Place head of immersion blender in bottom of measuring cup (2 cup measuring cup works just right).


Move head around the *bottom* of the measuring cup, but don't lift up. Keep blending bottom ingredients until thoroughly emulsified.

ONLY move the head of the immersion blender up when it has emulsified up to the very top except for a very thin layer of oil on the very top. Do not do this too soon. Do not tilt sideways!

Friday, February 10, 2017

New To Whole30? Read On!

It's an All-or-Nothing 30 days (up to 90 days) elimination diet plus a minimum of 12 days of reintroducing foods eliminated to get your eating, health, and relationship with food on a healthier track.

After the reintroduction, most people transition to Paleo, as Whole30 is not a lifestyle, but a learning tool to customize your way of eating for the rest of your life.  To read more on the learning tool and not lifestyle, click HERE to go to Dallas Hartwig's article on this.  http://whole30.com/2015/05/whole30-learning-tool/

Whole30 is not for the faint of heart -- there is a lot to take in, and it's important to fully understand what you're getting yourself into before starting. As I've been saying for at least 7 years (before my first Whole30), there is NO way of eating or changing habits that's right for everyone--there is no One Size Fits All.  Find the plan that is Right For You!

The best way to do Whole30, for optimum results (and who doesn't want the best ever results?) is to follow not just the Rules, but the Recommendations as well.  Don't half-a** this effort that is so important to every part of you -- you deserve the best results and not just some fly-by-night mediocre results.

Here are some links that I feel are critical to understanding and having a successful Whole30.  Please note that some of these links are only available on the Whole30 - First Timers Support Group on Facebook--those are indicated with an ** before the topic.  Italicized items are links to follow.

It Starts With Food  -- This is the most important book to read, along with Food Freedom Forever (FFF is for after your Whole30). This explains why you're doing what you're doing.

The Whole30  -- This is more of a mechanics of Whole30 and is intended more for those that don't want to know the Why behind what you're doing.

Food Freedom Forever -- This is extremely important to read, as it helps you to understand just What "food freedom" means.  This book was very well thought out and is critical to your future way of eating and how you approach food and change your relationship with food.

NOW.....for some Whole30 reading:

WHOLE30 PROGRAM RULES -- This is very important to read and understand fully.

Reintroduction is Step 2 of Whole30..don't skip it
-- Prepping for Reintro, links to other articles on Melissa's once-a-year Whole30, why to do Reintro, etc.
-- 12 day Reintroduction process
-- Slow Roll Reintroduction process

These are short articles, and will help you prepare for your next 30 days! Be sure and go to the full page for each article, don't just read the snippet.

MEAL TEMPLATE  -- Be sure and download this file -- it shows you what your minimum portion sizes should be and also what each meal should include.

** SNACKING -- Your eventual goal after a week or so of fine tuning your food portions, is to get to the point of 3 meals, no snacks. Snacks tend to be "mindless" eating, so let's get to it and make this mean something!

BECOME AN EXPERT LABEL READER -- I cannot stress enough how important it is to do your own homework on compliant ingredients.  After a while, it becomes second nature to you.  See the item below, "Searching for Whole30 information."

SWYPO  -- This is probably the most confusing part of all of Whole30.  Be sure and read the very end where it explains that there are some foods that are just plain off-limits to everyone for 30 days.

This is a list from the SWYPO article that itemizes those things that are off-limits foods/dishes/recipes for everyone.

-- Knowing that NOT doing this is part of Whole30
-- Break Up With Your Scale
This is one of the hard-and-fast rules of Whole30.  Do this, and it's back to Day 1.  There's a good reason for this, so read up on this.

Yes, you readlly do need to do this if you break one of the rules.  Because: the rules, your commitment to yourself, science. There are only 3 rules -- and good reason to restart if you break one.  Don't look at it as failure, but success -- by restarting, you are following Whole30 and NOT choosing to disregard one of the rules.

WHOLE30 PDF FILES --There are a bunch of helpful files at this link -- do go and download at least the Meal Planning template (shows you what each meal should include and minimum portions, along with pre- and post-workout snacks), shopping list (basic foods you can eat list), common additives (forbidden additives list and most common ok to use additives list), and sugar names.

Searching via Google for answers on Whole30 is really easy!  Just go to Google and put the following in (making sure to replace IngredientName with the actual name of the ingredient you're questioning--or the topic you are looking for answers on):  forum.whole30.com Ingredient Name (or you can use IngredientName Whole30).  Look for forum links and look for Moderator answers on posts on the forum.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Hamburger Stew from Mom - a la Crockpot

Simmie Sinow

This recipe and meal brings back some good memories from when I was a kid and my mom was still alive (she died in '93 from cancer).

This is a modified version of her recipe -- mostly I've added some mushrooms (because I love them and mom hated 'em!)

Serves 4

20 oz, Lean Ground Turkey
1 cup chopped, Celery, raw
2 cup uncooked, Diced Yams
1 cup chopped, Yellow Onion
1.50 cup chopped Tri-color Peppers (or
1 8 oz container Sliced Baby Bella Mushrooms
4 oz carton Baby Bella (Crimini) Mushrooms (the tiny ones)
1 cup chopped, Carrots, raw
14 oz can diced tomatoes (I use Fire Roasted)
2 cups Beef Broth
2 cups Water

Notes on ingredients:
(1) On the beef broth/water, you can also use all beef broth or all water
(2) Ground turkey: this amount was chosen because that is how the ground turkey is generally packaged. You can use 1 lb or you could use more than 20 ounces.
(3) You really can use any veggies you want, or add more to this.

Brown ground beef in a medium fry pan. Drain fat.

Place beef, vegetables, tomatoes and water in slow cooker.

Cook on low 8 to 10 hours or on high for 4 to 6 hours.  Test your yams/potatoes before deciding it's done -- the larger the chunks, the longer this will take to finish (hint: cut the potato/yam in cubes).

You can throw in a handful of black olives in your bowl at mealtime, or add some green olives in the last 30 minutes of cooking for your fat.


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Eggs in Hell

Simmie Sinow
Inspired by my mother (about 60 years ago), Mario Batali, and many others who have "fooled around" with this dish!

Serves 3

This is a complete meal template meal all in one pan! Nothing to add!

This is one of the most versatile meal-in-a-pan dishes ever! You can substitute out any of the veggies for different veggies, which makes it really great. You can also use some cajun seasonings, etc.

I overshot on quantities of veggies when I made it a couple of days ago, so I wound up with leftovers, which made for a very quick breakfast bowl!

1 cup diced small hash browns
1 cup diced sweet mini peppers (just put the strips in your blender and let the blender do the chopping!)
1 diced small yellow onion
2 cups diced small mexican zucchini
1 can olives
Any other vegetables you want to include (mushrooms would be great in this)
1 jar + Trader Joe's Puttanesca Sauce or any marinara sauce or salsa if you'd like that flavor spin. I used 1 jar and about 1/3 cup out of a second jar.

Put enough oil of your choice to cover the surface in a large frying pan and heat for a minute or so.

Then dump all the ingredients above except the sauce into the pan and saute on medium until the veggies are softened up a bit (less than 10 minutes).

Put the sauce in with the rest of the ingredients, mix well, cover, and cook until bubbly.

Crack how many ever eggs you want to use on top of the mixture, cover, and cook until the eggs are the way you like it.  Medium heat for 10 minutes gets me yolks that are still a bit loose; if you want eggs the consistency of almost hardboiled, give it about 15 minutes.

Dish it up and eat it!

If you're cooking just for yourself, this is a great leftovers meal!  Just put the leftover mixture (without the eggs) in a container in the refrigerator.  The next day, simply spoon out enough for one meal into a pan, heat it until bubbly on the edges, then crack your 2-3 eggs on top, cover, and cook to the consistency you like for your eggs.

Here's my leftovers bowl.....kinda sloppy looking but very yummy!