Wow, has it really been that long? I missed my normal weekly post while we were gone on our Spring Break trip so I guess it has been. Hmmm...where to start? Well, to be honest, the past 2 weeks have been both great and hard at the same time. I'll start with the positive: Good, yummy food, of course!
I'm pretty sure I've blogged about the salsa chicken crock pot dish before, but it's really become one of my favorites. It's so easy and yet so tasty and pretty versatile. This time I served it in lettuce cups with taco fixin's. I think Erik and the girls ate it on tortilla shells, but I love me some lettuce cups.
Lettuce cups have actually become one of the go-to items in my diet. While on our trip, I was able to utilize them several times. One day we drove a couple hours to Sacramento and stopped at an In-N-Out burger place on the way and I was able to order a burger with the lettuce instead of a bun. It was wonderfully tasty. Then, another night my relatives served tacos and besides contributing some other veggies, I got lettuce so I could eat mine out of them instead of the shells. Then, the first day home I cooked up some modified sandwiches using lettuce.
I used the recipe from the Pioneer Woman for her Marlboro Man Sandwich but instead of serving it on hoagie rolls, we ate it on lettuce cups. I was actually surprised but extremely pleased when both of my girls told me that they preferred the meat inside the lettuce instead of the buns! :-)
Which brings me to one of the most exciting parts of the past week: my girls. I have been thinking more and more about wanting to get them off of grains, but didn't think I could do it to them cold turkey. So after they raved about the steak "sandwiches" I presented them the idea of cutting down to one daily serving of "bread". They were amazingly okay with it. We brainstormed ideas for breakfast that didn't include bread or cereal and talked about what "bread" was. Lindsay is a lot more supportive and not as sad as Kera. She keeps asking for certain foods that are grain-based and I keep having to positively present her with alternatives. She's my little bread lover, so I think the transition will be tougher on her, but I have to give her credit, it's been 2 days and she's hanging in there.
On Sunday, we whipped up some paleo muffins for breakfast, Kera helping me with chopping the apples and stirring the batter.
Paleo Apple Muffins from EverydayPaleo. (Have I mentioned that I seriously cannot wait for this book to come out?!) We ate our muffins with scrambled eggs, which was pretty good. The girls didn't love the muffins, because the texture is really different than "normal" ones, but I think after a couple weeks they will.
Another delicious recipe I whipped up was actually just last night. Again, notice the lettuce cups, ha! But the filling....oh.my.goodness. It was soo good. I could've just stood over the pan and eaten it by the spoonful. Seriously good. Everyone loved it, even Kera (after picking out the mushrooms). Lindsay had like 4 servings and was going back for more before I stopped her. This is one recipe you must try.
Some things I've noticed lately as a result of changing my eating habits: clothes that use to be too tight are fitting me much better. I've been able to pull out of the closet a jean jacket and a pink sweater that I haven't worn in quite some time, which is super encouraging. I've had to pull on a belt with my jeans that fit perfectly before. And, I noticed this morning that the KP (Keratosis Pilaris), which has been on the backs of my arms forever, is not as red as it once was--which is awesome! I am looking forward to it being completely gone.
Time for the tough stuff. Let me just say that traveling, being away from my kitchen and routine, is really hard. I packed healthy snacks and bought good things for breakfast in our room, which helped a little. Our kitchen was a mini one with a cheesy frig that froze everything, including the eggs, which was super frustrating. My family cooks pretty healthily, but tend to serve grains and lo-fat things, which makes it hard for me to stick with the good stuff. There was so much gluten, in so many different things, it was impossible to avoid it. And I felt it. By the time we got home I felt really crappy, and even Erik didn't feel great either by then.
I think harder than being at the mercy of other people's cooking was being the "odd ball". I hadn't really been in that situation as of yet, and it was weird. Not that anyone was giving me a hard time or anything about me ordering my sandwich sans bread at lunch, but there was something there. I found myself becoming defensive about my choices, especially when my MIL (bless her heart, she only cares about me, if she didn't care she wouldn't say anything) expressed her concern about me cutting dairy from my diet and my needing a calcium supplement because "I'm a woman". I couldn't remember the specifics to why I am actually better off not eating dairy or calcium supplements, so I couldn't even intelligently argue with her. It was frustrating. Don't get me wrong, I loved spending time with our family and no one gave me a hard time, it was just different. I can't really explain it. All I knew was I was looking forward to being home and being in control of my meals again. It also inspired me to do as much reading and self-education about my diet/nutrition so that I can be confident in my choices and be able to intelligently explain things to my friends and loved ones. But I know that I could read all the books in the world on paleo and it might not make as big of an impact on the people in my life as actually living it and showing the benefits in my health and body composition will, so I am inspired and motivated to be an example. In writing it's all about "show, not tell" and I want to do that with my health.