how i survived whole30: 10 tips + what i learned.

how i survived the Whole30 Challenge.

If you read my last post, I [successfully, miraculously} completed the Whole30 Challenge.* It was grueling, and it was not so grueling. It was hard at times, easy at times, and I would totally do it again. Some of you wanted to know more about how I did it (probably because you can’t quite wrap your head around how I could live life sans grains, sugar, legumes, et cetera for an entire month), so I thought I’d make a little guidebook of sorts to doing it – should you be so inclined – and also what I learned from the process.

Whole 30 ultimately requires you to commit, plan, execute that plan, and be mindful at all times of what you are eating. Or not eating, as is often the case. It’s not about starvation or about “dieting”; rather, I gave exactly zero cares about calories during the program. I ate each meal until I was full, and then I waited – no almost no snacking – for the next meal. Rinse and repeat. It sounds like a “diet” at first, but it’s not really a diet as much as it’s just forcing you to be 100% clear on what you’re eating and when you’re eating it.

*I should note that in no way, shape or form did the Whole30 people sanction this. In fact, I would probably be on their list of the last people on earth they’d want to blog about it. Lest you were to think this is in any way sponsored, it is most certainly not. Just me subjecting my body to experiments.

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feast magazine, july 2014: halloumi bites (and what i’ve been doing)

feast magazine july 2014: halloumi bites.

(*scribble scribble crumple*)  Did you hear that? It’s me writing things!

Apparently my whole entire being felt the need to take a break for *ahem* a month or something. It wasn’t planned, but looking back, it should have been: it seems as though there are two key things I repeatedly forget in both blogging and in life, which are:

  • I can’t actually do everything all at once, and
  • There are not unlimited hours in the day; wishing does not actually make that so.

Whoops.

So, good news, I have not been kidnapped Misery-style by a Kathy Bates-like person, nor have I lost use of my fingers. Yay? I’ll tell you what I have been up to, though, if you’re interested. Continue reading →

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feast magazine, june 2014: pomegranate molasses-glazed chicken thighs + tangled arugula and summer berry salad.

pomegranate molasses-glazed chicken thighs + tangled arugula and summer berry salad.

I’m a little late to the party on this one; we’re already 4 days into June, and for reasons relating to my Wee One’s first week home from school and general summer happenings, I’m just now sitting down to write this. This month’s Feast Magazine is a winner; I know this based not only upon what’s inside it, but by the haste in which people snatched it off the shelves this month. My go-to newstand was cleaned out by June 2nd, and the place I finally found them at only had a few left for me to grab: evidently we are a burger-cover-lovin’ type of people here in Saint Louis. I couldn’t be more proud, and that burger on the cover couldn’t be more seductive. Continue reading →

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double dark chocolate-dipped fresh mint ice cream sandwiches.

double dark chocolate-dipped mint ice cream sandwiches.

Things this post has in common with my spinach turkey burgers post:

1. both are sandwiches.

2. both have delightfully green middles.

And that is where the similarities end, friends. Because this is a post about maybe the most refreshing thing you will make and subsequently inhale all summer long.

Probably all year long. Continue reading →

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mediterranean turkey + spinach mini burgers.

mediterranean turkey + spinach mini burgers.

Remember how I told you that I’d give you another thing you could use your Greek dressing with? It’s these very small turkey burgers.

And don’t worry, you’re not seeing things: those burgers are green, because they’re made with a combination of spinach and turkey. Does that sound weird? Maybe, but they’re really good and actually pretty healthy for you: they come from everyone’s favorite Gwyneth Paltrow cookbook, It’s All Good. You know I love this cookbook too, almost as much as I love cookies. Continue reading →

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quinoa + wilted arugula greek salad.

quinoa + wilted arugula greek salad.

In the spring and summer, I’ve noticed a pattern: I go Greek. “Greek” as in Greek salads, homemade Greek dressing, Greek bread, ingredients I normally associate with Greece, and so on. I don’t know what nudges me into that Mediterranean mindset: maybe it’s that I imagine the best place in the world to be right now would be in one of those bleached-stone and-blue roofed hideaways in Santorini overlooking the sea. Maybe it’s that I love history, and Greece is as old as time itself. Maybe it’s just that I love the food.

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feast magazine, may 2014: tomme, rosemary + walnut mini-scones.

tomme, rosemary + walnut mini scones.

Feast time! This month’s edition is all about wine; specifically wine made right here in Missouri. Outsiders: did you know we were in wine country? We are, and although I know the vast amount of you who read my wee blog aren’t in St. Louis, there are lots of things you’ll enjoy, such as: Continue reading →

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bake my cake 2014 competition entry: the bread pudding cake.

movita beaucoup's bake my cake 2014: the bread pudding cake.

Well, friends, it’s that time of year again: one of my favorite people/bloggers, Rachael (aka Movita Beaucoup) turns another year older, and we all get to celebrate by making ridiculous cakes in her honor. I’ve done two cakes so far for her: this crazy miniaturized bakeshop thing and this cereal-turned-into-donuts one, both of which were incredibly fun to make, even if they didn’t win. And they didn’t win, people: I manage to lose every. single. time.
This year, the theme is crappy cakes: all we had to do to is enter a crappy cake into the competition. As luck would have it, I’m pretty crappy at making a crappy cake, because my need to do everything correctly? let’s just say it doesn’t translate that well into screwing up a cake purposefully. I’m also prone to intense overthinking, and as the translation of “crappy” could mean myriad things, I struggled to interpret what she meant. Crappy like bad? crappy like gross to eat? Crappy to whom and in what way? On and on it went. Continue reading →

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the just one question project: question six.

the just one question project: question six.

The doctor is in.

This next installment of the Just One Question Project is about how to handle (and defeat, hopefully) writer’s’ or cooking block, but it’s just getting published now – weeks after I had planned to post it – due to, you guessed it…writer’s block. Poetic.

Before we go on, I’d like to offer a public and heartfelt apology for anyone who tried to make my tsoureki this weekend (and there were many of you, which warms my heart.) I published that post and promptly realized the next day I had left off the butter not in the ingredients, but rather in the directions, where it was to be added along with the wet ingredients. I (thought) I had done the update, then went to make my own tsoureki on Saturday, only to discover that my update had never taken place: there my recipe instructions were, butterless, resulting in a minor freakout here at home, a press of the update button, and a prayer that everyone who was making it hadn’t made it yet. Continue reading →

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tsoureki! [greek easter bread.]

tsoureki.

Hello, and welcome to perhaps the only recipe I’ve ever made which makes use of not one, not two, but all three of your stand mixer’s standard attachments. Hooray! It’s like the Holy Grail of Baking.

People of Greece: I want to thank you for this bread. Thank you for making this an essential part of your Greek Easter celebration, thank you for its incredible flavor, its delightful sweetness, and most especially for my ability to make it on my very first try without utter failure. I would have cried had it not worked out, because just the scent of the dough was enough for me to long for it. Seriously, this may be my most favorite sweet dough ever. And I’m going to show you how to make it. Continue reading →

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