the whole30 january challenge, last update

DAY TWENTY-FOUR - Thursday, January 24th
I felt fine but I was traveling to my grandfathers so I snacked a bit on the drive in case we had dinner later. We ate at Red Lobster. I have only been once when I was little and I tend to stay away from chain restaurants (and we have so many good seafood places in Maryland, especially on the Eastern Shore) but I was pleasantly surprised with my meal. I just had them hold the croutons on my salad and hold the rice with my meal.

Breakfast: egg scramble with sausage, peppers, and onions

Lunch: chicken breast topped with jalepano mustard & tomato slices and zuchinni ribbons

Snack: plantain chips

Dinner: garden salad, grilled shrimp, scallops, lobster tail, green beans

DAY TWENTY-FIVE - Friday, January 25th
The cleaning lady came early to my grandfather's house that morning so he wanted to go to McDonalds. Obviously, quality is an issue but making do with what I was provided, I ordered three dollar sausage burritos and combined the eggs, sausage and veggies, carefully not to let the cheese detach from the tortilla. Lunch was much easier at the dining room at the retirement center and I made dinner since he never gets a home cooked meal anymore since my grandmother is gone.

Breakfast: egg "scramble" from McDonalds

Lunch: chili (picked out the beans) and a spinach salad with hardboiled eggs, bacon, sauteed mushrooms, and warm bacon vinaigrette

Dinner: roasted pork loin, green beans, baked sweet potato

Dessert: berries with coconut milk

DAY TWENTY-SIX - Saturday, January 26th
I was traveling back to Salisbury so lunch was going to be an issue. My grandfather didn't have much left at his house so I am not really sure how Paleo lunch was but I thought it was better than what I would have been able to get on the road.

Breakfast: scrambled eggs, sausage, pineapple

Lunch: Taylor's pork roll with mustard and a bit of gourmet chicken salad

Snack: raw almonds and pecans

Dinner: at Green Hill - garden salad (hold the croutons), filet mignon, and green beans

DAY TWENTY-SEVEN - Sunday, Janaury 27th
I was feeling sick in the morning but got really sick towards the end of the day. After we went to the doctor and finding out I had the flu, the Hubs made dinner.

Breakfast: skipped - I slept in late and it seemed fine to just wait for lunch (something I never could have done before the Whole30 since I was always hungry as soon as I woke up in the morning)

Lunch: power spinach salad from Panera (without fried onions)

Dinner: scrambled eggs with sausage

DAY TWENTY-EIGHT - Monday, January 28th
I stayed home from work since I felt awful (and my doctor pretty much told me I had to.) I did not have an appetite for a real breakfast.

Breakfast: herbal tea

Snack: unsweetened applesauce with blueberries

Lunch: chicken soup

Snack: a few plantain chips

Dinner: one big meatball in tomato sauce and spinach

Snack: a few plantain chips

DAY TWENTY-NINE - Tuesday, January 29th
I slept most of the day. My cough medicine really knocks me out.

Breakfast: herbal tea

Snack: unsweetened applesauce

Lunch: sausage and scrambled eggs

Snack: a few plantain chips

Dinner: Korean beef short ribs over zucchini noodles.

I made it! It didn't really feel like the last day. Maybe it is because I have had the flu the last few or because I don't plan to abandon this way of eating.

Breakfast: scrambled eggs and sausage

Snack: applesauce

Lunch: chicken soup and a banana

Snack: plantain chips

Dinner: red curry chicken over zucchini noodles
So what do I plan to do after this? Well, I plan to use the 80/20 rule. I will eat like this the majority of the time but I won't stress during special occasions or while eating out with friends if I can't really find anything that is paleo. This is not just a diet for me, it is now a way of life.

I am amazed at how much better I feel. I didn't realize how bloated I was and how sick I felt all the time. Although this is self-diagnosed, I am sure I have a gluten allergy or at least a gluten intolerance. I don't want to want to go back to feeling almost constantly nauseous and lethargic. And, yes, I lost a little bit of weight which is always nice but wasn't really the reason I started the Whole30.

What do you plan to do when the Whole30 is over?


being sick on paleo

On Sunday, when I found out I had the flu, the doctor suggested the usual BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast.) She also suggested some yogurt. I kind of panicked.

I only had three full days left of the Whole30, I didn't want to ruin it in my last few days. Plus, the chances of my body reacting badly to grains and dairy were pretty high since I had been without them for twenty-seven days and I didn't want to add anything bad to how I was already feeling.

So, although the want for plain toast on late Monday morning was there, I opted to keep up with the Whole30 (and maybe even kick this bug faster with nutritious food.)

Since eating strict paleo, I have found that skipping meals, eating a little later than scheduled, or eating smaller meals, no longer leaves me with low blood sugar, nausea, and incredible stomach pains. So I wasn't worried to just have tea for breakfast on Monday. The Hubs brought home a rotisserie chicken for me around lunch and helped me make a quick homemade soup since I barely had the strength to cut an onion. We sautéed onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and fresh ginger, added some chicken broth and shredded chicken, and then simmered for about twenty minutes. So, for the past few days, I have stuck with fruits (probably more than I would usually have on the Whole30), applesauce, and homemade soup. And when I feel a bit hungrier, I make a little meal with leftovers from the fridge. No more Saltines and Lipton Noodle soup for me!

What makes me the most upset is that I am missing the Eastern Shore Affiliate Challenge I was supposed to do with my CrossFit box's team on Saturday. I was not an athlete in high school so just signing up for it was way out of my comfort zone. But the doctor said that if I push myself this week, I have a high chance of relapsing and I certainly don't want to get sick again and I can't really afford to miss more work. Besides, the cough medicine the doctor gave me makes me extremely drowsy and when I don't take it I have terrible coughing fits - not exactly conducive to exercising. So no CrossFit for me this week and no ESAC. Boo!

What do you eat when you are sick? 


spicy meat lasagna

I obviously made this before I started the Whole30. My SIL and her boyfriend were in town for a few days during the Christmas holiday. Since my MIL was handling Christmas dinner, I decided to make dinner the day before Christmas Eve for everyone. And considering my MIL is full Italian American, her approval in my lasagna meant a lot.

My mom used to make a bunch of lasagnas at the beginning of the winter and freeze them to have through the spring. I started making them on my own in college from memory and it has evolved into one of mine and the Hubs' favorite meals. (It is also a favorite of some of my friends that do not even eat pork.)

I have a four-inch deep lasagna pan but I adjusted the ingredients below keeping in mind that your probably have about a three inch pan. But really, it is about ratios. The Hubs loves ricotta (it is really the only cheese he goes crazy for) so I add a bit more of that. But if you like more meat, add more meat. 

What I really think makes this recipe, however, is the tomato sauce. I make my own sauce, freeze what I don't eat, and then defrost it for this recipe. You can use sauce from the store but it will not be the same. Don't make your sauce on the same day - it will take you forever. Make it a few weekends before, freeze what you don't use, and you will be much happier.

serves 10 - 12

1 lb. dried lasagna noodles
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp. dried basil
2 Tbsp. dried oregano
1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. ground hot Italian sausage
6 oz. tomato paste
30 oz. ricotta cheese
3 Tbsp. dried parsley
salt and pepper
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus extra for topping
5 c. tomato sauce
1 lb. mozzarella cheese plus extra for topping

Preheat oven to 350º F. 

Cook lasagna noodles in boiling, salted water until barely tender. You do not want them to get to al dente - they will cook while in the oven as well. Drain noodles in a colander and make sure to coat all sides of noodles with EVOO so they do not stick and stay moist.

While noodles are cooking, heat EVOO in pan. Cook onions for 4 minutes and then add garlic, basil, and oregano. Cook for another minute. Cook beef and sausage until cooked through, for about 20 minutes. Drain fat and then stir in tomato paste. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine ricotta, parsley, salt, and pepper. Stir in eggs. Fold in Parmesan. 

Coat the bottom of a 13x9 pan with tomato sauce. Arrange four noodles lengthwise, making sure they overlap a bit. Then add a lasagna noodle to the end of each pan perpendicular to the other noodles, making sure to also overlap a bit. Add half of the meat mixture over noodles. Then spread half of the ricotta over meat. Sprinkle half of the mozzarella on top. Then coat with tomato sauce. Repeat the same way with noodles, meat, cheese and sauce. Then top with noodles, sauce, and extra mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake for 1 hour and then remove from oven and let rest for at least 30 minutes. 

Enjoy with a nice glass of red wine and a side salad. Buon appetito!


weekend: with my grandfather

around my grandfather's house . . . with a life-sized replica of king tut's sarcophagus . . . both of us in a life-sized replica of king tut's chair . . . huge meatball
My weekend actually started Thursday after I worked a half day and then headed to Hanover, Pennsylvania to see my grandfather. When I got up there, we went to dinner and then came home and talked to for a few hours. 

On Friday, we got up early to get out of the cleaning lady's way and headed to breakfast. After my grandfather's doctor's appointment, we went to the retirement community's dining room and had lunch with two of his friends. (I am pretty sure I met the old version of the Hubs and me.) We were going to go to the movies but it started to snow pretty hard so we decided it was better to go home. I did a mini CrossFit WOD and then we started two movies (that we ended up turning off since we weren't enjoying them.) I cooked dinner and then we watched The Odessa File. I fell asleep on the couch watching Dateline.

On Saturday, we got up and I made breakfast. After that, I helped my grandfather with a few things (checking his email, etc) and then I got dressed and ready to go. After lunch, I headed back to Salisbury. That night, we went to dinner with the Hubs' parents and his sister to celebrate his birthday. 

This morning, I woke up feeling sick. The cough that began yesterday had gotten worse and I was feeling weird. We went to the grocery store and had lunch and then came home to spend the day in bed catching up on Scandal. Unfortunately, the electricity went out so we ended up leaving the house for a bit to go for a drive. When we came home, we finished Scandal and I watched a bit of Revenge. The Hubs helped me cook some food for the week and I realized I felt a lot worse so we decided to go to the doctor. She said I had the flu and I am not supposed to go to work for the next three days (which stinks because I was already gone the end of last week and I hate falling behind.)

How was your weekend?


the whole30 january challenge, update 4

Honestly, these days were pretty easy. My energy was up, I wasn't having stomach issues, and I never really felt like I was hungry. I may have overdosed on plantain chips a bit though - those things are so addicting.

I wasn't really inspired this week to do a lot of crazy cooking. Simple meals were on the menu. I just wasn't feeling it.

DAY SEVENTEEN - Thursday, January 17th

Breakfast: scrambled eggs and plantains

Lunch: salad from Chipotle with steak, veggies, guac and extra mild salsa

Dinner: paleo chicken nuggets (adapted from here) with homemade ketchup

DAY EIGHTEEN - Friday, January 18th

Breakfast: scrambled eggs and plantains

Lunch: paleo chicken nuggets with homemade ketchup and stir-fried veggies

Dinner: pesto roasted cod, roasted broccoli, grilled asparagus

Dessert: unsweetened applesauce with blueberries

DAY NINETEEN - Saturday, January 19th

Breakfast: scrambled egg

Lunch: buffalo wings, chicken lettuce wraps, and crab and shrimp salad at Sunset Grill

Dinner: hearts of palm dip with plantain chips and carrots, chicken and veggie kebabs, and tomato and cucumber salad (with a glass of Pellegrino and meyer lemon)

Dessert: baked apples with cinnamon and nutmeg

DAY TWENTY - Sunday, January 20th

Breakfast: a Spanish omelet at our local diner

Lunch: a salad at Chipotle with chicken, veggies, extra mild salsa, and guac

Dinner: buffalo chicken wings

Snack: plantain chips

DAY TWENTY-ONE - Monday, January 21st

Breakfast: scrambled egg

After Work-out Breakfast: leftover cod and broccoli

Lunch: a salad from Chipotle with steak, veggies, extra mild salsa, and guac

Snack: plantain chips, carrots, and grapes

Dinner: egg scramble with turkey sausage, onions, and peppers

DAY TWENTY-TWO - Tuesday, January 22nd

Breakfast: egg scramble with turkey sausage, onions, and peppers

Lunch: chicken and veggie kebabs

Snack: plantain chips, carrots, and nuts

Dinner: a burger wrapped in lettuce with tomato and jalapeno mustard, green beans, leftover veggie kebabs

Snack: plantain chips

DAY TWENTY-THREE - Wednesday, January 23rd

Breakfast: egg scramble with turkey sausage, onions, and peppers

Lunch: a salad from Chipotle with chicken, veggies, extra mild salsa, medium salsa, and guac

Dinner: grilled chicken, zucchini, fried egg (and I made roasted rutabaga and didn't like it)

Snack: plantains (since I couldn't eat the rutabaga and wasn't satisfied - probably shouldn't make that a habit)

How is the Whole30 going for you? Try any new yummy paleo recipes lately?


perfectly stackable

So I know the bracelet stacking trend isn't particularly new but I am loving it. My favorite "stacker" is Bee from the blog Atlantic-Pacific. Not only does this girl have serious style and piece clothing items together effortlessly, she always has beautiful arm candy that is perfectly portioned, coordinated, and aesthetically pleasing.

The problem is, though, every time I try piece some bracelets together, I feel like an idiot. It just never seems to work the way it does on the fashion bloggers. I don't know if I just don't have enough bracelets in my collection to coordinate correctly or if I am over thinking it but I just can't seem to get it right. It is so much easier to throw on a statement necklace and call it a day but sometimes that isn't what an outfit needs. And I have never really been into "sets" where a bunch of bracelets that are already coordinated are sold together.

I hate forced style but I really thing this is a trend that works with mine (which is saying a lot because I don't usually jump on trends) so I really want to master it. Any tips?

How do you feel about the stacking trend?

{all images from Atlantic-Pacific}


weekend: a few visitors

friday morning snow . . . the atlantic hotel in berlin, maryland . . . carl . . . smiles . . . with his momma
I had an extended weekend because of the Martin Luther King holiday. On Friday, after work, I headed to the seafood market and then to the grocery store to pick up a few things. Then Tanya arrived and we cooked dinner. After that, we turned on Season 5 of Alias (that we have been wanting to catch up on for ages) and painted our nails.

On Saturday, we got up and Tanya went for a seven mile run while I headed to CrossFit. After that, we headed to West Ocean City to have lunch at Sunset Grill. After lunch, we went to Berlin to do a little antique shopping since Tanya is moving into a new place soon with her boyfriend and is already decorating. After that, we checked out some used furniture stores in Salisbury that I have always wanted to go in to and we went to one of the antique shops in town as well. Then, we came and ate dinner with the Hubs. He went out after that and we snuggled on the couch with the pup and watched a bit more of Alias.

On Sunday, Tanya and I went to breakfast at a local diner and then headed all over town looking for items to decorate my living room. I got a new chest which is perfect for storage and a table for drinks, a plant named Herbert, and some curtains. After we went to lunch and Tanya reorganized my two of my kitchen cabinets, she headed home. I did a little laundry and then the Hubs and I watched the Ravens game and then Shameless

Today, the Hubs headed off to work and I headed to CrossFit. Then I went to the grocery store and then lunch with the Hubs. After that, I took a quick nap because I was exhausted and did a few chores. Then Nezia, her new baby, and her husband stopped by since they were on the Eastern Shore. I had so much fun getting to know baby Carl and luckily the Hubs got home from work before they left to meet him too. After they left, the Hubs went to lacrosse and I am going to watch last night's episode of Downton Abbey

How was your weekend?


the whole30 january challenge, update 3

{I will be doing the Whole30 during the month of January. You can read more about the Whole30 and my challenge here.}

I am officially over halfway there! Yay! Here are some fun links for this week's update:

The 10 Best Paleo Restaurants Across the Country

Panera's Hidden Menu

DAY TEN - Thursday, January 10th
I felt pretty good. I had a good workout at CrossFit.

Breakfast: sausage and sweet potato hash

Lunch: a salad from Chipotle with steak, veggies, extra mild salsa, and guacamole

Dinner: chicken fajita salad with lettuce, chicken, sautéed peppers and onions, guacamole, and salsa (using a lot of the same techniques from here)

DAY ELEVEN - Friday, January 11th
I actually started feeling a little under the weather later in the morning so I wasn't very hungry but I forced myself to eat. I also snuck in a few Old Bay almonds I made really quick so i wouldn't be tempted by the Hubs popcorn and soda.

Breakfast: sausage and sweet potato hash

Lunch: butternut squash soup and roasted chicken

Dinner: quick meat sauce over zuchini noodles

Snack: a few Old Bay almonds

DAY TWELVE - Saturday, January 12th
I still wasn't feeling very well. I met friends for an early dinner and I may have cheated by accident. I was so concerned about asking about the crab cake I was potentially ordering ("What does no filler acutally mean? Are there breadcrumbs?")  and make sure they didn't bring me mashed potatoes and doubled the green beans that I didn't ask about the steak. It came with a bordelaise sauce which has alcohol in it but I am not sure if it is a huge problem if it is cooked out. It only had a tiny bit though. And I didn't touch the huge plate of nachos that everyone ordered.

Snack: hot airborne (probably not paleo but necessary)

Late Breakfast: scrambled eggs, fried plantains, and avocado

Snack: a few almonds

Dinner: strip steak, crab cake, and green beans

Snack: hot herbal tea

DAY THIRTEEN - Sunday, January 13th
I still wasn't feeling that hot but I felt better than the day before. Definitely didn't feel like cooking breakfast.

Breakfast: Panera power breakfast egg bowl with steak

Lunch: salad from Chipotle with chicken, veggies, mild salsa, and guacamole

Snack: onion mushroom soup

Dinner: chinese style ribs with stir-fried veggies

Snack: way too many plantain chips

DAY FOURTEEN - Monday, January 14th
I felt much better and I realized I hadn't been as famished in between meals nor did I have nearly as many cravings.

Breakfast: scrambled eggs, fried plantains, avocado

Lunch: meat sauce over zuchini noodles

Dinner: indian style chicken wings, sautéed mushrooms, and cucumber salad

Snack: way too many plantain chips

DAY FIFTEEN - Tuesday, January 15th
I couldn't believe I was halfway through the Whole30. This was definitely getting easier.

Breakfast: scrambled eggs, fried plantains

Lunch: chicken wings, cucumber salad

Snack: onion mushroom soup

Dinner: cottage pie (from the Well Fed cookbook) and green beans

DAY SIXTEEN - Wednesday, January 16th
Since it was really busy at work, it was tough to remember to drink water. I felt like I was hungry more and it was harder to resist the cookies at an event I had after work. Note to self: drink more water and good for you for STILL not eating the cookies.

Breakfast: egg scramble with sausage, onions and peppers from a coffee shop near work

Lunch: cottage pie and green beans

Dinner: paleo chicken nuggets (that I had made a few weeks ago and froze for nights when I would need to grab and possibly eat in my car) and quick homemade ketchup

How have you been trying to stay healthy?

{Feel free to link up with your own Whole30 experience below. I will have a link up available over the next few Thursdays as well.}


the winter maxi

I love maxi dresses and skirts since they are super comfy making them perfect for a cozy winter outfit. However, with all the layers you need to pile on in the winter, it is easy to look like a schlub when you wear one. These ladies wear one with style.

The key is to make sure you define a waist so you don't end up looking like a big blob. It is also important to think about proportions - if you have a fuller skirt, choose a slimmer top and vice versa. 

Would you try a maxi in the winter?

{images: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6}


onion and mushroom soup

I was feeling a bit under the weather this past weekend. I would usually turn to chicken noodle soup or Julie's flu chaser soup but neither of those are paleo. My friend, Ledesa, has been talking about figuring out the recipe for the onion soup you get before sushi sometimes. I figured this would be a good time to try.

This isn't exactly how the onion soup tastes in Japanese restaurants but it is very good and is perfect for sick days. Plus, it is super simple - who wants to spend a lot of time in the kitchen when they are sick? I do plan to keep trying to figure out the onion soup recipe, however. I added some mushrooms for a bit of depth and for something to munch on.

serves 4-6

3 c. beef broth
7 c. chicken broth
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
3 scallions, sliced
1 c. baby bella mushrooms, sliced paper-thin

Bring broth to a boil. Add onion and garlic and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove onions and garlic from broth. Garnish with scallions and mushroom.



weekend: at the boatyard

around annapolis . . . at the boatyard . . . sig, niki, and conlon . . . with brandon and kathy . . . the group
a little inspiration for the coming week:

a beautiful, honest piece about finding love - and getting help for an eating disorder

a Q&A with Girls costume designer
Friday, after feeling sick all day at work, I headed to get my nails done. After that, the Hubs and I went to see Ganster Squad. We had been waiting for it for weeks since we love Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone (Crazy, Stupid, Love, anyone?) and we enjoy the whole gangster thing. I thought it was good, not great, but I also could have built it up in my head.

Saturday, I skipped CrossFit since I didn't feel that hot and stayed in bed until almost 11 (with the exception of breakfast, of course.) After that, I got up, got dressed, and then headed to Annapolis to meet with college friends to do our annual Christmas get-together. We had been planning to do dinner and then stay in Annapolis, but one friend had the flu and wasn't coming, one friend had a really bad cold, and I wasn't feeling well so we decided on an early dinner. We met at the Boatyard and exchanged gifts. I got a beautiful pair of Kate Spade earrings that I actually wanted (my friends know me so well.) Then I drove back to Salisbury. I met the Hubs at Green Hill to watch the end of the Ravens game (which was awesome) and have some hot tea (since I felt worst and worst on my drive home.) After that, I came home and went immediately to bed.

This morning, I was feeling a little better so we went to Panera for breakfast and then went grocery shopping. After that, I prepped Whole30 food for the week and did a bit of laundry. And I finally took down the Christmas tree. Now, I am catching up on the latest episode of Scandal and I plan to watch the season premieres of Shameless and House of Lies tonight.

How was your weekend?


the whole30 january challenge, update 2

{I will be doing the Whole30 during the month of January. You can read more about the Whole30 and my challenge here and here.}

Well, I am over a week in! Woot, woot! Here are a few links I found helpful this week:

I loved this article by model, Erin Joy Henry, on her past yo-yo dieting and how she found the Whole30.

This timeline on how you may feel during each day of the Whole30 was very helpful. 

DAY THREE - Thursday, January 3rd 
I barely slept through the night and would wake up thinking about food. But luckily, when I woke up that morning, my headache was gone. I still felt hungry in between meals but I know I was eating enough because I would feel stuffed at the end of each meal. Since I felt pretty weak, I decided to opt out of CrossFit again.

Breakfast: leftover scrambled eggs and asparagus

Lunch: leftover no-bean chili over mashed cauliflower

Dinner: almond crusted chicken with mushroom sauce (substituted extra chicken broth for the sherry to make it Whole30 compliant), creamed coconut spinach, and green beans

DAY FOUR - Friday, January 4th
I actually slept pretty well but I had a mild headache all day so I tried to drink a lot of water in case that was the problem. I forgot to bring my lunch to work and I panicked with a what am I going to doooo?! When I realized I could make Chipotle work, I calmed down. That place is awesome!

Breakfast: scrambled eggs and bacon

Lunch: a salad from Chipotle with peppers, onions, chicken, extra mild salsa, and guacamole

Snack: dried pineapple from a coworker

Dinner: grilled chicken over coconut creamed spinach

DAY FIVE - Saturday, January 5th
I was kind of freaking out this day. We were driving to Manassas which meant lunch and dinner not at home. Although we were planning to just do pizza and appetizers, I made sure to make some sausage and peppers the night before to put in the crockpot to bring with me to share (with some zucchini noodles which were a big hit!)

Breakfast: scrambled eggs and bacon

Snack: almonds, pecans, and dried cranberries

Lunch: a salad from Chopotle with peppers, onions, extra mild salsa, steak, and guacamole

Dinner: carrots, sausage and peppers, and zucchini noodles

DAY SIX - Sunday, January 6th
We slept in super late - I was exhausted for some reason and I still proceeded to take a quick nap later in the day. Luckily, I wasn't as hungry as I had been.

Breakfast: scrambled eggs and bacon

Lunch: sausage and peppers

Snack: almonds, pecans, and dried cranberries

Dinner: chicken wings two ways (one recipe from here and one recipe of our own), celery, and sweet potato fries

DAY SEVEN - Monday, January 7th
I still felt constantly hungry but didn't eat much when I sat down for a meal. I tried smaller meals. I also made it to CrossFit for the first time in a week. Although, I was hungry when I got there I didn't feel to weak to do the workouts. And I wasn't famished when I got home.

Breakfast: sausage and sweet potato hash (one of my faves!)

Lunch: butternut squash soup topped with roasted chicken

Snack: coconut creamed spinach

Dinner: spaghetti squash and shrimp with paleo pesto

Snack: rooibos vanilla tea

DAY EIGHT - Tuesday, January 8th
I didn't feel as hungry as I did the day before. Anytime I felt hungry I am pretty convinced I was actually thirsty (running around the office all day made it hard to drink enough water.) I also resisted the beautiful cupcakes that someone had brought into work. I did smell them, though, because smelling isn't cheating.

Breakfast: sausage and sweet potato hash

Lunch: spaghetti squash and shrimp with paleo pesto

Snack: raw almonds, raw pecans, and dried cranberries

DAY NINE - Wednesday, January 9th
I actually started to feel normal - except for my craving for pizza. I felt a little weak at CrossFit but nothing too bad.

Breakfast: sausage and sweet potato hash

Lunch: meatballs, sauteed spinach, zuchini and squash, scrambled eggs (at the Commons at the university I work at)

Dinner: chicken enchilada stew

Almost a third of the way in, how do you feel?

{If you are doing the Whole30 and wrote a blog post, feel free to link up. I will have a link up available over the next few Thursdays as well}


new year's resolutions for 2013

This post is probably a little late but better late than never, right? If you follow me on instagram, you may have already gotten a peek at what my resolution is for the new year.

I pinned an idea awhile ago from Apartment Therapy on how to clean your house in twenty minutes a day. I attempted this somewhat as a resolution two years ago but it was harder than it looked. With this article, however, it gives a detailed list of what you are supposed to do each day and I think I will try again this year since someone has done all the brain work for me. Plus, after too many arguments with the Hubs the past few weeks about the house being a disaster, it is time for a change.

Since I am much more productive when I have a list to cross off, I printed out a calendar with my "chores" for each day. It is sitting on my fridge and I will tackle my task after dinner each evening (unless I have twenty minutes to spare in the morning.) So far, it is working pretty well.

The Hubs is my "vacuum guy," so he knows that sometimes he will be helping out too. I guess this has kind of become a resolution for the two of us.

What resolutions have you made for this year?


curried butternut squash soup

While traveling for work, I went to the Big Pickle in St. Michael's for lunch. I had been there this past summer with Tanya and we had the most awesome fried pickles and Bloody Mary's. Since I was going to be in the area, I knew I had to stop in.

However, knowing that getting just the fried pickles would not be a balanced meal, I decided on their curried butternut squash soup for an accompaniment. The soup was absolutely delicious and I vowed to recreate it at home. Although this is not an exact replica, it is so good and a great replacement.
serves 4-6

1 butternut squash
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 large carrots, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. sweet curry powder
1 tsp. garam masala
1 tsp. cumin
dash of cayenne pepper
1 14 oz. can of coconut milk
32 oz. chicken stock

Preheat oven to 350° F. Cut butternut squash in half, lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Drizzle with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil and place, flesh-side down, on a baking sheet. Roast for about 40 minutes or until tender. Allow to cool enough until you are able to handle it with your hands. Peel off skin and chop.

In a pot, bring remaining olive oil to medium-high heat. Add carrots, onion, and garlic. Saute until onions are tender. Add coconut milk and chicken stock and stir. Add spices and butternut squash. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 15 minutes or until butternut squash is tender. Use an immersion blender to blend until smooth. 


weekend: in manassas

gallivanting around in my grandmother's cape . . . we do ballet at our family gatherings . . . my cousins amongst the ripped wrapping paper . . . with my aunts, my sister, and my grandmother
a little bit of inspiration from the coming week:

this made my heart swell

so excited for this cookbook to come out

getting organized
Friday, I didn't do much. I ran a few errands, cooked something for our family gathering, and then went to bed. 

On Saturday, I got up, took the dog to my in-laws, and then got dressed. After the Hubs got home from working, we headed to Manassas to see some of my family. My grandmother and grandfather are moving so my aunt was in town from North Carolina to help them. My other aunt and uncle also live in Manassas so we did a little Christmas celebration. Our first stop was at my grandparents, where I acquired my grandmothers cape and mac (that is trench for you non-Brits) that she had gotten while in England (where she is from), an old Paddington Bear book and Winnie the Pooh book that I used to read when I would visit when I was little, and a few old pictures of my grandmother while she was in Paris. After spending a little time there, we headed over to my aunt and uncle's house for dinner and gifts. My youngest cousin, Melissa, squealed in excitement with every gift she opened. She was excited about EVERY SINGLE THING (even clothes) and that caused me to squeal too since it was one of the greatest things I have ever seen. I wish I would have gotten it on video. After that we headed back to Salisbury and got back late.

This morning, we slept in late - until 10 am. I took a shower and the Hubs surprised me with breakfast. Then we headed to the grocery store and then to my in-laws to pick up the pup. After that we watched football and I did some cooking to prep Whole30-friendly foods for the week. After a nap, the Hubs and I had dinner and now we are just hanging out. 

How was your weekend?


the whole30 january challenge, update 1

{I will be doing the Whole30 during the month of January. You can read more about the Whole30 and my January challenge here.}

I am only two days in and my body wants sugar like RIGHT NOW! It is taking everything I have not to run to the grocery and gorge myself on cookies. My grandmother sent the Hubs and I home with a tray full of cookies on Saturday. I had planned to save them for when Chrissy and Devin came on Monday but instead we housed them on Sunday. And I ate the majority of them. I lost count but I probably had about fifteen cookies throughout the day. This was a bad idea because, after all the festivities over the last month and those cookies, my body literally expects sugar after every meal (even breakfast.) Tuesday night, I seriously couldn't concentrate - cookies were all I could think about.

Hello, my name is Morgan and I am addicted to sugar.

By the time yesterday rolled around, I had a full-fledged headache. It got really bad by the end of yesterday and I didn't even make it to CrossFit. I am pretty sure it was from my sugar, bread, and pasta detox and not from eating too little. Just in case, though, I will eat a bit more today.

On a better note: The Hubs and I went to the movies on Tuesday night and he ordered a popcorn and soda. I used to hate movie theater popcorn but he turned me onto it so now I walk into the movies and expect it. Movies are the only place I have a little bit of soda as well. (I don't have it at home and I don't order it when I am out.) I didn't have a bite or a sip though. The Hubs even went to the bathroom and left the popcorn in my lap and I didn't waiver. If that isn't willpower, I don't know what is. Next time, the Hubs suggested I pack a snack in my purse like almonds.

Anyways, I thought each week, I would share what I have been eating in case you are in need of some inspiration. (You can also follow along on instagram and twitter as well.)

DAY ONE - Tuesday, January 1st 

Breakfast: scrambled eggs, grilled asparagus (to detox my liver from the night before), and rooibos vanilla tea

Lunch: salad with grilled chicken, arugula, spinach, red onion, cucumbers, grape tomatoes, and homemade vinaigrette

Dinner: no bean chili over mashed cauliflower

DAY TWO - Wednesday, January 2nd

Breakfast: paleo pumpkin pancakes with cinnamon apples and rooibos vanilla tea

Lunch: leftover pork chops with apples and leeks, sweet potatoes

Snack: rooibos vanilla tea

Dinner: burger wrapped in lettuce topped with a tomato and jalapeno mustard, broccoli, and a spinach and arugula salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, and homemade vinaigrette

How is your Whole30 going? Do you have any good Paleo meal ideas?

{If you are doing the Whole30 and wrote a blog post, don't forget to link up at some point over the next few days. I will have a link up available next few Thursdays as well.}