For three whole weeks, no cheese has touched these lips. No grains have graced my tongue. Nary a bean has entered this pie hole. More than that… no actual pie has entered this pie hole (not even pizza pie). These days I stress eat carrots. Do we call this progress? Maybe. Does the fact I think those carrots taste dang sweet feel like a victory? Not sure. Mostly I feel like nature is tricking me into feeling like veggies belong in a Willy Wonka film. That’s fine. We can make that chocolate river into a green smoothie. Add some chia for texture. Not too much, though, or we can’t boat on it. This has already gotten weird. You’re welcome.
All in all, things have been going really great. I don’t feel as tortured and dramatic in the day to day. There have been a few evenings of cravings where I just sub in something benign. Oh, I can’t have a hunk of chocolate? No problem. I’ll just eat this apricot and some almonds. The substitution does one of two things–it either satisfies you or you’ll find yourself grumpy and not able to eat it because it’s not chocolate. The second one means you’re not really hungry. If you’re looking all sideways at an almond and blaming it for not being dessert, just put the almonds down. No need to curse at them. I’ve already done it for you. We’ve had a dialogue. It turns out it wasn’t the almond that has issues, it was me. Typical.
I’ve decided I love fat. That’s right. Fatty-mc-fat-fat. I love it. An avocado with breakfast? Don’t mind if I do. Full-fat coconut milk in my smoothies? Yes. Crispy chicken skin? Duh. There is something about eating more good quality fat that makes me not quite as snack-y. I have less blood sugar dips and I feel more even keeled. I like to avoid those blood sugar dips when I can. You know what those are like. It’s like your world has spontaneously ended, you’re sweating on your upper lip, and there is definitely the promise of tears if food doesn’t make it to your face in approximately twenty minutes ago. Never good.
I used to be really freaked out by fat. Even after starting to eat more “real foods”, I had this terrible fear that if I ate an entire avocado I would most certainly blow up to the size of a hippopotamus, and quickly. After chatting with a dear friend and nutritionist, she gave me the low down: You need fat to feed your brain. No, it won’t make you fat. Eat that whole avocado. So, I did. You don’t have to twist this girls arm that hard in order to medically prescribe her more guacamole.
Still, I was trepidatious–what about the calories? What if my brain is all happy but my hips get all lumpy and my jowls get more jowly? Feeling the tug of an already snug waistband, I decided to give it a try. What I’ve been doing hasn’t been working, so why not modify, yes? Well, I can tell you that so far during this Whole 30, I’ve been eating copious amounts of fatty-mc-fats and have actually lost a bit of weight. Take that, fictional hippopotamus in my brain! Boom. Thanks, avocaderrrs! Dare I say that fat is phat? I dared.
Does it surprise anyone that those sauteed greens you see above are cooked in beef fat? No. Are they delicious? Affirmative. It turns out that thirty days without cheese and sugar isn’t all bad. In fact, I’ve been drawing inspiration from my friend Mickey who has authored The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook — because, hubba hubba — this book is pretty and there ain’t no cheese in it. The book follows a particularly strict Paleo diet called The Autoimmune Protocol (or AIP for short), which is specifically designed to reduce inflammation in the body and help to heal the effects of autoimmune disease. I’m pretty sure I might have just overly simplified the whole AIP situation, If you want to learn more, I suggest you check out Mickey’s blog. I’m gonna leave the real deets to the AIP VIP, ya dig? What I will say is that Mickey’s cookbook, no matter what your diet, will inspire drool. Lucky for me (and you too), nearly ALL of it is Whole 30 friendly. Huzzah! The recipe I cooked up for you today was inspired by some delicious looking lamb patties from this book. True story. Nothing like hot meat in a skillet to get your culinary wheels turning. Before I knew it there were meatballs and greens and apricots all making their debut together on my dinner table. I bet you want to ogle those lamb patties too and get all inspired! Well, fear not–I’m going to be giving away a copy of The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook! You can enter to win at the end of this post! Winner winner, chicken dinner. Literally. Or, beef. Or, fish. Or, kale. It’s got all of it.
Now, without further adieu, I’ll give you a play by play of WEEK THREE! You guys. There is only a week (and some change) left in this adventure. I feel like this is building up to some sort of graduation. Do they make Whole 30 caps and gowns? I’m looking forward to walking across that virtual stage and moving the tassel on my jaunty graduation cap from right to left. Alright, here goes this week!
Day 15: I’ve been having a lot of food dreams lately. There was one in particular where I risked my life in order to smuggle a churro into a prison. I’ve been watching a lot of Orange is the New Black. Also, churros are delicious. It’s not too hard to make that connection. Should I be worried?
Day 16: I’d like to be able to purchase 5 lbs of crispy chicken skin, fry it up, and then eat it from the comfort of my own living room while I watch 16 and Pregnant. Yes, there is a bib involved. I might actually try to convince the butcher at Whole Foods to give me ALL THE CHICKEN SKIN HE HAS. Is this how one gets escorted out of a Whole Foods? Only one way to find out. Also, you gots to make these chicken thighs. You’ll thank me later. We’ll be going halfsies on a purely chicken skin CSA box.
Day 17: Alright, so I have a wee wittle bit of a confession. I made some ice cream. Don’t look at me like that. It was sweetened with dates, and made out of coconut milk. I followed a recipe from this new Dairy-Free Ice Cream book and used my pretty new ice cream maker. You’re still looking at me with those eyes. Are you accusing me of having sex with my pants on again? Ugh. I promise, we used protection. I wore a bib. This got really weird really fast. Stupid sex with pants on metaphor. #NobodyWins #DryHumpingIceCream.
Day 18: Today is Friday. Holland wins their first game of the World Cup. I should be drinking legitimate booze with my Dutch husband. Instead I shove about 10 cocktail olives in my mouth and chase it down with a bottle of Perrier. I refer to this as a “deconstructed dirty martini”. We have a friend over to watch the game with us. I dish up a boatload of veggies and sweet potato fries. There was also something that I’m calling a chili-lime aioli. This is just code for “shmancy mayonnaise”.
Day 19: You know what’s fun? Going to Costco on a Saturday. Oh, wait… that’s not a thing. On Saturdays Costco turns into the IKEA for seafood and large jars of pickles. One way in, one way out. If you go in you best leave with a very large chunk of ahi tuna and make a large quantity of Ahi Poke. This is what we did. We also polished off an entire DOUBLE-WIDE clam shell of raspberries. Ain’t no shame in our Whole 30 game.
Day 20: My husband tells me he respects me as he watches me shovel leftover Ahi Poke into my mouth for breakfast. I respect him for respecting my need to shove my morning-mouth full of raw fish. He understand me. We understand each other. We go back to Costco and get TWO MORE DOUBLE-WIDES OF RASPBERRIES. I put them on my fingers like little hats and make them do a dance. We laugh. Our teeth are stained red. It’s like the best and worst Rom-Com to never have been made.
Day 21: The day these meatballs were born. They were brought into the world at approximately 5:30 pm. They weighed in at 1 lb and and an unspecified amount of ounces (I’m bad at math). Mom and meatball babies are resting comfortably on a bed of collard greens and apricots. Dad is proud. He’ll never forget the first time he held that cute little meatball on his fork. #sorry
Well, that’s all for now folks! I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did. It comes together very quickly and you only have to use one skillet! Less dishes is the best kind of dishes. Don’t forget to enter yourself to win a copy of The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook below! Just follow the instructions. You must be in the U.S. to enter.
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