Whole30: Week 1

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I’ve now officially started my second week of Whole30, and I’m happy to report that it’s going pretty well. There were some definite challenges this week, but I think mostly because I was already eating pretty well before I started the Whole30, I haven’t experienced some of the worse parts of the infamous Whole30 timeline, but just for fun, I’m gonna go through a mental recap using it as a guideline.

“Day 1: So what’s the big deal?” Yup. Felt that exactly. In fact, for breakfast day 1, I made the same thing I’d been eating for the whole week prior: bacon, mushroom, onion, and red pepper scrambled eggs. Breakfast scrambles are the best for using up any bits and pieces of random vegetables you have in the fridge, so that’s what I’ve been doing until I get tired of it. I also had leftover pulled pork and stir-fried veggies from the week before for lunch, and for dinner I ended up throwing some lamb shoulder chops on my grill pan and making a side of theclothesmakesthegirl’s silky zucchini soup. And, it did feel good to be consciously aware that I was making good choices.

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“Days 2-3: The Hangover” Not so much (at least not compared to the one I had the day before I started whole30). My breakfast continued to be my scrambled eggs, my lunch was leftovers of lamb and soup, and for dinner I threw together paprika roasted chicken thighs with pastured chicken we’d picked up at the farmer’s market a few weeks before and a wilted bacon spinach salad.

Not the greatest pic, sorry

Not the greatest pic, sorry

The only real challenge of these two days was  a pre-scheduled Austin Food Blogger’s Alliance happy hour at Sushi Zushi. I contemplated over and over again whether I should just skip it but when I saw that they had riceless rolls, I decided to go.  It was definitely difficult, and more than little disappointing to not be able to eat about 90% of the food they offered, but the shishito peppers and the riceless roll that they special ordered for me were both really really good.

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“Days 4-5: Kill ALL the things!” Again, not really. Or, at least, not sure, because these two days also coincided with a big deadline at work so I was already stressing out about that. My breakfast these days consisted of leftover bacon spinach salad with a fried egg and fruit and more scrambled eggs, this time with Mexican chorizo that made my week. I did, however, get tired of both my zucchini soup and lamb leftovers at this point though, so I used up some leftover sweet potato, cabbage, and bacon and made a sort-of stir fry that was very satisfying. And Friday Mr. Little Fish and I had a small, last-minute dinner party of grilled steak with caramelized mushrooms and onions, crispy salt and vinegar potatoes, and oil and vinegar coleslaw (that I unfortunately forgot to take pictures of). Our friends also brought sausage, cauliflower rice, and spaghetti squash. The whole meal was decadent and fantastic, and no one ever would have guessed that I had a particular “diet.” It did sort of suck not to be able to drink, but waking up without any of the aftereffects was kind of great.

“Days 6-7: I just want a nap….” This is an interesting one, because last night, having forgotten about this timeline, I was trying to theorize with Little Fish about why I was having such a hard time waking up this weekend. I thought it might’ve been because I’d started taking my allergy medication at night and it was knocking me out. But now I’m wondering whether it is indeed because of the Whole30. In any case, the food we made this weekend included a DELICIOUS Mexican chorizo, red potato, and spinach scramble for breakfast with a side of banana drizzled with some homemade cinnamon macadamia nut butter (heavenly).

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It also included some grilled salmon that I marinated in coconut aminos, ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes, but unfortunately for me, resulted in my only fail of the week when I accidentally burned it. It was still delicious; we just lost some to the pan. We ate it with leftover oil and vinegar coleslaw and cauliflower rice that I drizzled with some homemade ghee (see my instagram for some process photos)! I also made the happy discovery that Applegate grass-fed beef hotdogs are Whole30 compliant, so we rounded out the weekend with hotdogs and grilled onions and, you guessed it, coleslaw. And, of course, at some point I snacked on some apples and macadamia nut butter.

 

Overall thoughts: I know I’m not supposed to weigh myself and count calories and whatnot, but for me this is as much a fitness tool as it is a nutritional reset. So I’m pleased to say I lost at least 2 pounds this week and, even despite all the food I’ve been eating, I’ve continuously clocked in at below my calorie goals. I still get sugar cravings every once in a while, but I’m actually pretty impressed with my willpower, especially at the sushi happy hour. I am sort of preemptively sad that  I won’t be able to enjoy a nice, fun meal out for my birthday next week, but Little Fish and I will be scheduling a birthday dinner for when I get back from Mexico so patience I must have.

Pan-toasted Gnocchi with Bacon

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Good news: I have officially completed my first week of P90X3 (yes, 3!)! I work out in spurts. Do you? I’ll go full throttle for a month or two and then do absolutely nothing for the next few months. To be fair, working out is hard. Like, not the actual working out itself (which most definitely can be), but the making time and sticking to it. For a while I was taking barre classes, which I actually do love, but, all told, it takes up about 1.5 hours of my day to drive there, work out, and drive home. That was really difficult to fit into my schedule, so when I heard that P90X3, unlike it’s 1.5 hour-long older siblings, is only 30 minutes a day, at home, and with minimal equipment, I was sold. For my first week, I woke up 45 minutes earlier before work to exercise, and this week I’ll be trying out the evenings to see which schedule I prefer. But either way, I’m already feeling pretty great! I can actually do like 20 normal pushups! And like a bajillion girl pushups.  

Anywho, let’s talk bacon. Unlike most people on the Paleo train, Mr. Little Fish and I are regular-eaters of turkey bacon, so I kinda feel like we already have our go-to breakfast protein.  But every once in a while we decide to “splurge” and get normal bacon, and every time, I remember how good bacon is.  Particularly now that I’ve taken to cooking it in the oven.  350 degrees + 15 minutes=perfectly and evenly crispy bacon.  Plus, my arms and clothes get to remain bacon grease and burn free!

For this recipe, though, it’s worth risking (life and) limbs to cook the bacon on the stovetop. Because doesn’t every one want more bacon outside of breakfast time?  Especially when you get to combine it with the wonderful spring colors of wilted spinach and juicy just-popped cherry tomatoes? And gnocchi?? This meal is both a comfort food and a wonderful summer dish.  And since gnocchi is made from potato, you can make it totally gluten-free, like I did here.

Pan-toasted Gnocchi with Bacon
Adapted from Simply Scratch
Serves 4

Gluten free gnocchi

Gluten free gnocchi

Ingredients:

4 strips bacon, diced
1 pound gnocchi, gluten-free if desired
2 cups baby spinach
1 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
1 onion, diced
1 tbsp olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper
Parmesan cheese for topping

Directions:

1.  Bring a pot of salted water to a boil for gnocchi. Once the water boils, drop in the gnocchi and cook according to the package, or until the gnocchi start to float to the top. Drain the gnocchi once done and set aside to be added to the veggies.
2.  While the water is boiling, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crispy.

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3. Once crispy, remove the bacon pieces from the pan with a slotted spoon and onto a plate lined with paper towels.
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4. In the skillet with the bacon fat, add in the diced onions and cook until they start to get soft.  Add in the wilted spinach, and cook for about 3-4 minutes, until just wilted. Remove the veggies to the plate with the bacon on it, after you throw away the paper towels.
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5. Drizzle the olive oil into the skillet, and add the drained gnocchi to it. Cook them for a few minutes, stirring them around, until you start to see some brown color on the gnocchi.
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6.  Add back in the cooked spinach, onion, and bacon.  Add in the sliced cherry tomatoes and some black pepper.  Cook until the cherry tomatoes are just starting to pop.
IMG_69457. Serve with parmesan cheese sprinkled over the top!
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Pan-toasted Gnocchi with Bacon
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 strips of uncured bacon, diced
  • 1 pound gnocchi, gluten-free if desired
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • Parmesan cheese for topping
Directions
  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil for gnocchi. Once the water boils, drop in the gnocchi and cook according to the package, or until the gnocchi start to float to the top. Drain the gnocchi once done and set aside to be added to the veggies.
  2. While the water is boiling, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crispy.
  3. Once crispy, remove the bacon pieces from the pan with a slotted spoon and onto a plate lined with paper towels.
  4. In the skillet with the bacon fat, add in the diced onions and cook until they start to get soft.  Add in the wilted spinach, and cook for about 3-4 minutes, until just wilted. Remove the veggies to the plate with the bacon on it, after you throw away the paper towels.
  5. Drizzle the olive oil into the skillet, and add the drained gnocchi to it. Cook them for a few minutes, stirring them around, until you start to see some brown color on the gnocchi.
  6. Add back in the cooked spinach, onion, and bacon.  Add in the sliced cherry tomatoes and some black pepper.  Cook until the  the cherry tomatoes are just starting to pop.
  7. Serve with parmesan cheese sprinkled over the top!