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60 Days of Whole30 - Results

2/27/2015 *Sara-Marie* 5 Comments

If you've been following me on Instagram or Facebook, then you know that I have been following the Whole30 program since the end of December with a goal of reaching 100 days of Whole30. Since I have completed four separate rounds of Whole30 in the past, this experience so far has truly been a breeze. I've never felt more committed and dedicated to eating only real, nutrient dense foods than I am right now. Yes, there have been crazy days when all I have wanted was for my husband to pick up some takeout on the way home. There have also been days when I've craved a piece of chocolate. But I have been able to overcome all of the cravings by simply preparing wholesome and delicious meals and reminding myself why I am doing this program.

My past experiences with Whole30 have always been great - I've lost weight, felt less bloated, had clearer skin, slept better, and had more energy. Since my first 30 days back in August 2012, we began incorporating a Paleo lifestyle with our occasional treats for special occasions or if we just felt like having pizza, we had pizza. I maintained my weight loss for the most part, but after having my daughter at the end of October 2013, I had a lot of weight to lose again. I did two Whole30s in 2014 and began to do Crossfit. These all helped me lose about 25 pounds throughout the year, but once the holidays came around, I gained some weight back. I feel as though I completely let loose and negated all of the progress I made throughout the year. I decided to embark on a Whole100 on December 29, 2014 because I really wanted to see what an extended Whole30 program would do for me.

Let me tell you that it has been the best experience so far. Today, I'm on Day 61 and while I lost almost 6 pounds in the first 30 days, I feel as though I'm experiencing the best results now 31 days past the initial program. My body composition is definitely changing. My clothes are fitting WAY better. My bloat is gone. Today I'm actually on my monthly cycle, and I typically gain 5 pounds of water weight and look like I'm 3 months pregnant. But I don't see that in my photo today! I would love to say that I'm sleeping better - but I have an almost 16 month old that has been crazy at night. However, despite the sleep deprivation, I am able to hold it together throughout the day with more energy - so that's still a win!

The funniest part of all of this is that when I weighed myself this morning, I didn't lose one fraction of a pound since Day 30. Maybe it is because I'm on my monthly cycle and I did in fact gain some water weight that is hiding my actual weight loss. Maybe not. Some would say that means the program isn't working, but it clearly is. Look at the difference in that picture above from Day 21 and Day 61! I thank God I have been taking pictures because if I didn't see this physical proof, I probably would be feeling terrible today about not losing any more weight. But I'm not mad, I'm actually feeling great and so motivated to continue on this journey.

In fact, I may never get on the scale again. It truly doesn't tell my whole story. Who cares anyway how much force is exerted on my body by gravity? I just care about how I look and feel, and gosh darnit, I think I'm looking pretty good and feeling even better.




What Does Isabelle Eat? 2/14/15

2/14/2015 *Sara-Marie* 2 Comments

I have a lot of ideas on where to take these "What Does Isabelle Eat?" posts, but haven't had the time to put those thoughts to paper. So for this week, I will just do another recap of the meals Isabelle has enjoyed this week in hopes of giving you some healthy meal ideas that you can try in your home too.

Isabelle tried two new foods this week: wild caught salmon and red beet and cabbage sauerkraut. 

Just last week I decided to start including high quality fish into her diet. First, we tried wild caught tuna and that was a success. Based on some research I did, my plan is to feed her about one ounce, once a week, alternating between types of fish. And even though she has really enjoyed the tuna and salmon, too much in a sitting or in a given week could potentially be a lot of mercury exposure for a little body. The benefits of the healthy and brain boosting omega 3s outweighs the risk though and if we do it once a week, Isabelle should be just fine! However, we are avoiding shellfish since I have an allergy and I don't want to test that out any time soon!

Now in terms of the red beet and cabbage sauerkraut, she wasn't exactly sure if she liked it or not. Isabelle would suck and chew on the pieces and then spit them out. (Check out the video on my Instagram or Facebook page - it's hilarious!) I decided to experiment with this food since healthy bacteria that can be found in high quality fermented foods like sauerkraut can be great for your gut. Yay probiotics! This would be another once every week or two thing. Hopefully she actually eats it next time! 


Scrambled eggs, orange slices and avocado

Peaches, pears, and scrambled eggs

Zoodles with a creamy ground beef meat sauce

She doesn't mess around when it comes to chicken drumsticks!

Olives, avocado, chicken, and orange slices. Isabelle loves the little compartments in this repurposed muffin pan!

Beef stew, avocado, and raspberries. She LOVED those beef stew chunks!

Wild caught salmon with a little homemade mayo and cut up grapes. This was a little messy but she housed the salmon. Actually left most of the grapes.

More scrambled eggs, sweet potato rounds, and strawberries with coconut cream

Roasted vegetable soup! Made with butternut squash, carrots, sweet potato, onions, coconut milk, and bone broth.She insisted on feeding herself.

Strawberries, avocado, butternut squash, and red beet and cabbage sauerkraut.

Below is a summary of the different foods she's consumed in the last week:

Fruits: Raspberries, Bananas, Strawberries, Oranges, Apples, Grapes, Peaches, Pears  
Vegetables: Sweet Potatoes, Butternut Squash, Zucchini, Carrots, Onions, Broccoli (Does the beet and cabbage count?!)
Protein: Eggs, Chicken, Beef, Bison, Salmon   
Fats: Avocado, Coconut, Ghee
Liquids: Breast Milk, Bone Broth, Coconut Milk, Water 

What new food did your child try this week? What was their reaction? Share in the comments below! 



Roasted Butternut Squash with Sweet Potato, Carrots, and Onion Recipe

2/13/2015 *Sara-Marie* 3 Comments

Roasted Butternut Squash with Sweet Potato, Carrots, and Onion Recipe

I first made this roasted vegetable dish for Thanksgiving 2012 with all of the vegetables I had on hand and it turned out oh, so delicious! It was special enough for a holiday dinner, but simple enough to throw together any day of the week.  This recipe came to mind this week and I've made it twice! Decided to update the blog post with a prettier picture since my old kitchen didn't get much natural light. In the picture above, I actually used rainbow carrots and they added such a wonderful touch of color to the dish. Try it and let me know what you think!

Recipe Ingredients:

1 butternut squash, cubed
1 large sweet potato, cubed
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 sweet onion, diced
2-3 tablespoons of olive, avocado, or coconut oil
1-2 tablespoons dried rosemary
Salt and pepper, to taste
Recipe Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Wash, peel and cube/chop/dice veggies and place in large bowl. The butternut squash will take the most effort but its worth it! Look how pretty!

3. Drizzle cooking fat of choice over veggies and add rosemary, salt and pepper. Mix until all veggies are well coated.

4. Transfer to a large baking sheet and roast uncovered for about 30 minutes.

5. Take out of oven, mix and do a final taste test. Add more salt & pepper, if necessary.

6. Enjoy!!!



What Does Isabelle Eat? 2/2/15

2/02/2015 *Sara-Marie* 3 Comments

About 6 weeks ago, I started a new series on my Instagram account (@considertheleafturned) called What Does Isabelle Eat? (#WhatDoesIsabelleEat). I get questions all of the time about how we are choosing to feed our daughter and I thought it would be helpful to share some of her everyday meals. 

I did write a post (Paleo Baby: Teaching My Daughter the Love of Real Food) back in the fall about our approach to feeding Isabelle real, whole foods and none of the traditional processed baby foods, but thought it may also be helpful to do a recap of what Isabelle is enjoying these days for my blog readers. If you're a parent, you already know that what your child may enjoy one day, she may hate the next, so I'd like to keep a journal of sorts here as we progress through Isabelle's eating habits. My plan is to also share a little more of the why behind our meal choices and provide a weekly round up of Whole30/Paleo meal ideas for toddlers and kids that my fellow mamas and dadas can apply in their every day lives.

For the most part, Isabelle eats whatever we are eating. Since we eat a Whole30/Paleo based diet, it's all nutrient dense food. I try to give Isabelle a fruit/veggie, protein, and fat at every meal. At 15 months old, her current favorites are raspberries and scrambled eggs - she never turns those down! 

Here's a recap of some meals she has enjoyed over the last week or so:
Roasted spaghetti squash with a veggie filled organic ground beef sauce

Scrambled eggs cooked in ghee (clarified butter) and an apple 

Here's another repeat of spaghetti squash and veggie meat sauce. As you can tell, she likes this meal!

Sweet potato rounds and mini burgers. Also homemade ranch to dip. 

Raspberries, sweet potato rounds, and almond flour crusted chicken thighs that I cut into little cubes

Avocado, baked chicken wings, and orange slices 

Strawberries and coconut cream 
Strawberries and avocado pictured. Not pictured: chicken, coconut butter, and bone broth

 They say you're supposed to analyze a toddler's diet by week, instead of by day. While she has her favorites and staples almost daily, I try to vary the foods she's exposed to throughout the week. Based on my memory, below is a summary of the different foods she's consumed in the last week:

Fruits: Raspberries, Bananas, Strawberries, Oranges, Apples
Vegetables: Sweet Potatoes, Spaghetti Squash, Peppers, Onions, Zucchini, Cauliflower, Carrots
Protein: Eggs, Chicken, Beef, Bison, Tuna 
Fats: Avocado, Coconut, Ghee, Almond Flour
Liquids: Breast Milk, Bone Broth, Coconut Milk, Water 

I think my little Paleo Baby is doing pretty well! 

Hope these toddler meal ideas are helpful to other mamas and dadas looking for healthy food choices for their little ones.

Questions? Thoughts? Leave a comment below!


Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice Recipe

2/02/2015 *Sara-Marie* 1 Comments

I've tried making cauliflower rice in the past and while it was edible, it wasn't my favorite. That is, until I started playing around with cilantro, lime, and a little bit of spice, which developed into this very tasty recipe that I'm sharing today.

This cauliflower rice goes REALLY well with my recipes for Sara's Chicken or Adobo Lime Chicken. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice Recipe

Recipe Ingredients:
1/2 medium head of cauliflower, chopped in food processor (about 6 cups "riced")
2-3 TBSP ghee, or other cooking fat of choice
1 garlic clove, minced
3 green scallions, sliced
1 TSP homemade Adobo seasoning
Zest and juice of one lime
1 heaping TBSP chopped fresh cilantro
Drizzle of chili infused oil or a pinch of red pepper flakes - optional

Recipe Directions:

1. Chop up 1/2 head of cauliflower in a food processor until it is the consistency of rice. In my ninja, it takes about 4-5 pulses. Set aside.
2. Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium heat.
3. Melt ghee or other cooking fat of choice and sauté scallions and garlic for about 1 minute.
4. Add "riced" cauliflower to pan, sprinkle with adobo seasoning, and stir to combine. Let cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Add juice from 1 lime, stir to combine, lower heat to medium low. Let cook for an additional 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until done to your liking. I like my rice soft but slightly browned, and not mushy. (Don't over cook or cover - extra moisture will make it soggy).
6. Stir in fresh cilantro and lime zest. If you'd like a little heat, add a drizzle of chili infused oil or a pinch of red pepper flakes.
7. Do a final taste test and enjoy!

Tip: I like to chop up the whole head of cauliflower and save the rest in the fridge so I can quickly make this again later on in the week! 

Until next time!