Kale Chips – Yum

I just made some kale chips and am currently dehydrating apple rings for the kids. I have bought kale chips in the past and found them absolutely gross, but these homemade ones are pretty good. I thought I’d give you the recipe.

Kale Chips

  • Bunch of Kale
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil melted
  • Sea Salt

Cut off the stems of the kale and cut into small bit size pieces. Try to make them about the same size – err on the side of small.

Place the melted coconut oil in a bowl with a good amount of sea salt and add the kale. Mix until covered (but not sopping). Place as a single layer on cookie sheets and stick in a 300 degree oven for 30 minutes or so. Wait until the kale turns really dark green, maybe a bit brown. Taste one and add more salt if necessary. Let cool, put in a bowl and eat.

Apple Rings

  • 2-3 cored, peeled apples
  • bowl of water with lemon juice
  • cinnamon

Using a mandoline or apple peeler slice the apple rings very thinly. Place them flat in the lemon water. Remove from water and place in single layers in your food dehydrator. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

For chewy rings leave for 6 hours, for crispy leave for 8-12 hours.

I would give you the recipe for sweet potato microwave chips, but I burnt them while I was writing this post, so I’m not sure if it works. Maybe next time!

Whole30 Day 11

I was just re-reading my goals from my first post and realized that my non-compliant behaviours on Days 8 and 9 actually fulfilled one of my goals – I’m now very aware of where I get derailed: social situations where I’m not accountable to anyone. Especially after I’ve had a glass of wine.

I’m going to go ahead and say that this was a productive derailment, then. I learned something about myself and now I can actively manage those situations. So that’s good, I guess.

The Chief is leaving tonight to go fishing with the guys for the long weekend. That’s part of the reason that I let myself slip at my conference. When we decided to do the Whole30 in May The Chief knew he had this trip booked and admitted without guilt that he’d stay food-compliant, but drink would make an (significant) appearance.

So I’ll be cooking dinner for the next four nights. I NEVER cook dinner unless The Chief is gone. My plan is to look through the Primal Cookbook with the kids tonight and pick out some meals that we think we can make. The Chief and I have a weekly routine of picking up all of our food at 2 markets and an out of town organic greenhouse on Saturdays. I’ll take the kids with me instead and we’ll pick up everything we need. I’m thinking steak will feature prominently. As will Whole30 compliant sausages. And bunless hamburgers.

It’s good for the kids to be involved in food preparation. It gets them ready for real life and also increases their confidence in the kitchen (and in themselves). I didn’t do this as a kid and I’m just now getting quasi-confident with cooking.

Another thing that didn’t come up in my house was the connection between what you put in your mouth and how it fuels your body. You wouldn’t pour water in your gas tank and think that your car will work, but most people don’t seem to think that their day to day performance is impacted by what they did or didn’t consume. I’m glad that I’m helping my kids learn this lesson. It’s foundational, in my opinion.

Whole30 Day 10 – Back on Track

I woke up not feeling very well from my wine exploits the day before. I’m very disappointed with myself.

I got up early and made the kids bacon and eggs. I understand from The Chief that while I was gone my son made himself bacon and eggs (and a whole big mess of dishes) both mornings and The Chief helped my daughter get a blueberry smoothie ready the night before for breakfast.

On Tuesdays my daughter’s school has pizza lunch. She also gets chocolate milk every day (we signed her up in September). She’s been giving her friend the chocolate milk while she’s on the Whole30. Yesterday she watched her friend also eat her pizza. I’m sure that was hard for her. I’m so proud of her resilience!

My son is being haunted by the giant cookies in his cafeteria. His friends are always pushing him to cheat on the Whole30, but so far he hasn’t succumbed to the siren-song of the cookie. I’m not sure how long it will last, but I’m very proud of him. His love of carbs is very strong. Also – his acne seems to be going away. He got a B on his math test, which is awesome and above average for him, but I don’t think we can credit the Whole30 at this time.

We had pork chops and asparagus for dinner and went on a 10 km walk. It felt so good to be home! I love being back on track and my sleep was crazy awesome last night! Yay!

I have noticed, though that I continue to be quite congested nasally and that hasn’t changed since I started the Whole30. I’m starting to wonder if I’m allergic to my cat.

Lesson 1: I am stronger when I’m with my family.

Lesson 2: I really really like how well I’m sleeping at night.

Whole30 Day 9 – Toronto Conference Part Deux

The second day of the conference was much like the first. As I had already kind of blown my Whole30 with the wine the night before I was thinking I might need to start over again (as per our original rules).

I’m telling you this to justify that at coffee break I cracked open a can of Coke. I kid you not. I had a sip and couldn’t believe how sweet it was. It was like drinking corn syrup. Back in the day, I used to LOVE Coke. So – I only had a couple of sips and then got rid of it. I am legitimately surprised at how different food tastes to me now in such a short time.

After the conference I had a glass of wine on the patio with my colleagues while we waited for our train. On the train, I also had a couple glasses of wine. I am soooo weak. Also – my gluten free meal was a bust. The salad and fruit was fine. The rice cake I didn’t eat. The main course, though was bland chicken in rice and corn! I picked out the chicken, but I imagine some of the rice got in me anyway.

At that point, I felt I’d really blown it and was ready to give up. I confessed to my family when I got home. We decided together that no one really wanted to have to start over from scratch and that I’d better be good going forward so I didn’t let everyone down.

I slept so poorly that night.  Lesson learned!

Whole30 Day 8 – Toronto Conference

The 2 day conference was a last minute booking that happened after I’d already started the Whole30.

I packed a lot of extra snacks and food in case there wasn’t anything for me to eat. I packed 2 coconut lara bars, 2 chocolate lara bars (it’s so hard to believe that they are Whole30 approved, but they are), a package of dates, carrot and red pepper sticks, apples and homemade salad dressing. I also brought fish oil and vitamin d.

Since it was a last minute booking, we ended up having to book hotel rooms on the “club” level which meant that breakfast, afternoon tea and h’orderves were included. Plus, you didn’t have to pay $10 a cup for Keurig coffee in the room.

I was surprised by the Whole30 approved options available to me for breakfast: ham, turkey, boiled eggs, berries, and melon. Plus coffee. My favorite!

Lunch was salad and sandwiches. I just picked the meat out of the bread. Supplemented with my salad dressing and carrot sticks, another score!

Most of the vendors had chocolate and pens to give away. I stuck with the pens.

After the conference there were complimentary drinks, and I admit that I had a glass of white wine. 😦 For dinner we went to Biff’s Bistro and I had duck. Mmmm. And a glass of pinot noir. 😦

Lesson 1: I am a sucker for free alcohol and peer pressure. I can’t say that I was a beacon of success as a role model for my kids.

Lesson 2: Same as last time. It’s easier to be Whole30 compliant when you are in charge of  the menu. And you aren’t presented with free alcohol.

Whole30 Day 7 – Mother’s Day

My older sister, daughter, and I took my mom to Port Stanley for the day. As kids, my parents always rented a cottage at Port Stanley on Lake Erie for two weeks every summer. We have a lifetime of memories there and it’s nostalgic to visit every once in a while.

We had lunch at a great little restaurant called Me & Suzie’s. They pride themselves on serving fresh, locally sourced ingredients. It wasn’t hard to stay Whole30 compliant -the smoked salmon and asparagus frittata fit the bill – I told them I was celiac and lactose intolerant. I had brought my own salad dressing just in case, but I didn’t need it. We had mineral water and lemon while my mom and sister enjoyed beers (mmmm. I miss that).

My daughter opted for the Lake Perch fried in a light gluten-free dusting. Not technically Whole30 complaint. Neither were the fries that she had with it. I let it slip, though I probably shouldn’t have. I was hoping it might legitimize the glass of wine that I envisioned having at the work conference in Toronto. I’m so bad.

If we were playing by our original rules, we should have technically started the 30 days over after that meal. But we didn’t.

Lesson 1: the Whole30 is easy until you get into typical social situations that involve food and drink, or where you don’t have control over the menu.

Lesson 2: I can rationalize just about anything. 🙂

Whole30 Day 6

Day 6 of Whole 30 and things are still singing along.

Our observations:

My daughter had no idea how much food she was sharing with her desk mates at school.
My son is sleeping better and waking up at the crack of dawn. He seems like he has more energy, too.

I’m sleeping better, too. Also – I’m going on a conference with some colleagues tomorrow (last minute thing) and I’m worried that I won’t be able to maintain my perfect record. I want to stay on track, but we are travelling VIA One on the way home on the 15th and will be served dinner and wine. I’ve ordered a gluten-free meal but that doesn’t mean it will be Whole30 compliant. I’ll have to give it some thought.

Whole30 Day 4

We’re on Day 4 of our family’s first Whole 30 and so far it is going very well. We realized after the first day that we had to beef up (no pun intended) on the snack options if we wanted to set the kids up for success. So, The Chief cooked up 2 lbs worth of hamburger patties and 2.5 lbs of chicken thighs to nibble on from the fridge, cut up veggies, made some more paleo chili and beef soup, roasted nuts because all the pre-roasted store bought ones were cooked in vegetable oil, boiled up some eggs, made some paleo mayo, stocked up on coconut cream larabars (mmmm) and dates.

He also pulled out our mandoline and dehydrator and showed the kids how to make dehydrated apples with cinnamon. A big hit! Normally the kids make their own lunches, but this week I’ve been more involved to help them stay on track with the plan.

The upside of all of this has been that we’ve actually been spending way more time with the kids preparing food and talking about our day than we normally do and we’ve all really enjoyed this. We’ve also been able to talk about our challenges and successes at the dinner table, and that seems to be bringing the family together, too. My daughter described how when she went to her friend’s house today and was offered pizza as a snack, she politely turned it down. We were so proud of her, since she is a people-pleaser, and this was a huge step for her – not just for will power, but also because it empowered her to advocate for herself. I’m so proud!

So far I’m very surprised at what’s come out of our Whole30 experience. I had only thought about the body, but clearly the mind and spirit have also been affected, too! I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s journey. Cheers!

Whole Family Does Whole 30

When I first heard about the Whole30 over at the Whole9Life.com blog a little over a year ago, I thought they were crazy. I mean insane. Truly. No one but no one gives up ALL dairy, ALL grains, All sweetener (artificial and natural), ALL alcohol, and legumes and white potatoes. Who would do that? There wouldn’t be anything left to eat!

Fast forward a year and not only am I in the thick of my first Whole30, but I’ve also dragged my family along for the ride. The Chief was a willing enough participant, but my 16 year old son and 12 year old daughter, not so much.

What changed in year?

For the past year I’ve been following the primal principles of Mark Sisson, possibly the coolest ancestral health advocate in the blogsphere. The Chief has, too. And we’ve both seen awesome results. We look better, we feel better, we sleep better, and we do a couple of other non-PG things better (or at least more often), too.

Our goals for the Whole30 were simple:

1. Get the kids eating better and see if eliminating specific food groups in their diet would make a perceivable difference in their health and wellness.

2. Empower our family to realize how much they are capable of and the amount of control they have in their lives.

3. Make us more aware of our food behaviours and where we derail ourselves. My son has a pretty wicked carb addiction that we were specifically hoping he could exorcise.

4. Plus, I’ll admit it, I was hoping to maybe get down one more pant size…

This blog chronicles our experiences over the next 30 days. I hope you enjoy it!