Friday, 31 May 2013

My May 2013 Whole30 Experience.



Hi all!

Hope you are all well!

Yesterday marked the end of my May Whole30 so today I was officially enjoying a little more leeway in my diet.

For those of you who do not know what the "Whole30" protocol is, in a nut shell it is a strict elimination diet which aims to promote healing through diet. It is a Paleo protocol eliminating grains, sugar, alcohol and dairy and aims to reduce digestive problems and gut issues which in turn leads to a reduction in inflammatory disorders. Check out their website on http://whole9life.com/ (Dallas and Melissa are a cute married couple who just had their first baby. Believe me, their beautiful photographs alone will inspire you!)

This was not my first Whole30, in fact it was my fifth Whole30 in the past 2 years. It was no more challenging than the past times though let me tell you! If you are a fan of my facebook page you will know that I had a little blip in my determination last weekend! I was feeling a little sorry for myself and truth be told I really wanted  a treat! But I got through it and I am so delighted to have succeeded at my fifth Whole30.

This time I set out with one specific aim - to improve my digestion. As a Nutritional Therapy student I understand the importance of good digestive function and emptying the bowels every day. Despite my best efforts I was not achieving this. So I decided to go 100% clean and alcohol free as well as adding a daily probiotic in order to achieve this (Optibac Maintaining Regularity).

I have to say the Whole30 was a fantastic way to achieve my goal. Not only was my digestion fantastic but my energy levels have been superb. I have had no dips in energy despite my busy schedule. Bloating and indigestion disappeared and overall I felt amazing.

Weight loss was not my goal so I was nervous I would loose too much. Thankfully my weight-loss did plateau at 4.5 lbs which I was happy with. I always panic after the first 1-2 weeks as I seem to loose weight quickly in the beginning but all was well in the end.

There is something terribly rewarding and righteous about eating 100% clean and knowing you are putting nothing bad into your body. It feels good and healthy and right. But it can also be stressful in social situations if not handled in the right way.

When I am doing a Whole30 I make sure I have nothing in my social calender which may deter me. However life is life and inevitably something comes up and you are cast into social ambiguity and really want a chip or an alcoholic drink or a bun and you cant have it! I was proud of myself that I managed to get through a recent unexpected dinner in someone elses house! Whilst I couldn't have a proper meal I was able to have some plain protein and coleslaw which was just enough to keep me full and just enough not to be rude!

Typical Daily Menu

BF: Spinach Scrambled Eggs
Snack: Almonds, banana
Lunch: Mackerel Salad
Snack: Pecans, Apple with almond butter
Dinner: Grilled Pork Chops with roast sweet potato, green beans, carrots, parsnips
Snack (if needed) Orange/Raisins

Overall my fifth Whole30 was a success and definitely will not be my last! In fact I am already planning my next one in August, though I think it will be more of a Whole14 or Whole21 next time! :)

Now, time for a glass of vino! ;)



Thursday, 23 May 2013

Recipe: Coconut, Chicken and Sweet Potato Curry




Serves 2

Ingredients:
2 Free Range Chicken Fillets, chopped into bite sized pieces
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 tbsp of Medium Curry Powder (check ingredients and ensure no nasty preservatives)
1 tin of full fat coconut milk
2 tbsp of coconut oil
1 tbsp of tomato puree
1/2 red chilli
Thumb sized piece of fresh ginger grated
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium head of cauliflower, split into florets.
1 cup of mixed bell peppers cut into strips
Large handful of spinach

Directions:
Fry chopped onion, garlic, 1/2 red chilli and ginger in some coconut oil until softened.
Add tbsp of curry powder and fry off for 2 minutes.
Add a tin of coconut milk and tbsp of tomato puree and stir until well combined.
Bring to a simmer for approx 5 minutes.
Add cubed chicken, peppers, sweet potato and 1/4 of the cauliflower.
Return to a simmer and cook on low heat, covered until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables tender (about 25 minutes).
Add spinach for final 2-3 minutes until wilted.
In the meantime, steam remaining cauliflower until just tender.
Mash using a potato masher until resembles rice consistency.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Recipe - Pork Sausage Burgers




I love sausages but unfortunately most sausages here are not Whole30 compliant and to be honest I find it very difficult to find a good quality sausage without any fillers such as rusk or horrible additives.

I thought about them and then decided that given they are just made from minced/ground pork why not just make my own?

So obviously I don't own a fancy smanchy sausage making machine and I was not inclined to get all technical with sausage skins, so I decided to just make them into burger shapes. Still the lovely flavour but with less cooking time.

These are really easy but very delicious. It should make roughly 10 small burgers and are ideal for batch cooking and keeping for during the week or freezing for another day.

Ingredients
400g ground/minced pork
1tbsp coconut oil (for frying)
1 egg (beaten)
1tbsp dried sage
1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
2tsp dried mixed herbs
Salt/Pepper to taste
Fresh lemon juice (optional)

Directions:
Preheat the pan on a medium heat.
Mix pork and dry ingredients together until well mixed.
Add beaten egg and incorporate. Mixture will be quite moist, this is good as the frying will dry out slightly.
Form into small, fairly thin burgers.
Melt coconut oil in pan.
Fry burgers in small batches turning as little as possible.
Place on some kitchen paper to drain.

Serve with an optional squeeze of lemon.

Really really good. You might want to eat them all!!