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Whole30

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Honestly, I don't remember how I discovered the Whole30 at this point. I know I got the book from the library (then wound up buying it), read it cover to cover, and something (probably the promises it made) just made me inspired and determined that I was going to do this!

What is the Whole30?

The Whole30 was created by Melissa & Dallas Hartwig. I would consider the Whole30 an experiment. The creators emphasize, it is NOT a diet (and it's not). Diets are about losing weight, and you typically do them until you reach a set goal or fall off the wagon. The Whole30 is done for a predetermined amount of time, and the ultimate goal is to figure out how different foods may affect you, with the added benefit of breaking food addictions.

You cut out the following food groups:

  • Dairy
  • Legumes/Soy
  • Grains
  • Sugar

At this point you might be thinking sheesh, what CAN I eat?

  • Meat & Seafood
  • Vegetables
  • Fruit
  • Nuts & Seeds

And you can eat until you're satisfied! No counting - carbs, calories, or anything else! As they'd say on Whose Line Is It Anyway - the points don't matter!

I cannot recommend enough to read the book for yourself. I cannot tell you how many times I've been browsing Pinterest and seen recipes for "Whole 30 approved xyz" (Fries, Pudding, Waffles - you name it!), that are NOT Whole30 approved at all! But you wouldn't necessarily know that if you didn't read the book for yourself. This is where the idea of food addiction comes in. If you can use whole foods to recreate a food that is more commonly known as "junk" food (including the list I just mentioned, think pancakes, ice cream, etc.), it's still not allowed. This is basically an effort to rewire your brain so that you don't see food as some sort of a reward, as that can lead to serious eating problems.

After 30 days of eating this way, you then reintroduce the food groups you eliminated, one at a time, and take a couple of days to see how your body reacts to having the food back in your system. While they reintroduce the foods in an order that is supposed to have the least effect to the greatest effect (legumes, whole grains, dairy, gluten), it was actually the opposite for me; and hey, that's okay! That's what this program is all about! Legumes wreaked havoc on my stomach and whole grains made me an emotional mess.

While it is recommended that you take measurements and weigh yourself before and after doing the Whole30 to see visible results, what the creators really want you to pay attention to are your "non-scale victories". For me, this included things like: MUCH clearer complexion, clothes fitting better, leaner appearance (I didn't necessarily notice this, but people at work kept asking what I was doing, so someone noticed it!), not needing (or feeling like I needed) an afternoon nap, control over cravings, and in my children: improved behavior!

It's a serious program (if you cheat, you have to start from the beginning!), but it also yields serious results!

Why not give it a try? What do you have to lose?

Cream Cheese and Shrimp Stuffed Peppers Wrapped in Bacon

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If you thought these sounded like a heart attack waiting to happen heavenly based on the title, you're right! Introduced to us by our friends, these things are like an orgasm for your mouth. The best part is, you can eyeball everything without worrying about messing it up!

Ingredients:

  • Bacon
  • Cream Cheese
  • Shrimp, Uncooked
  • Sweet Mini Peppers

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Cut peppers in half (lengthwise) and scoop out any seeds.
  3. Fill peppers with cream cheese (enough so that you can no longer see the bottom of the pepper).
  4. Place shrimp on top of cream cheese.
  5. Cut a strip of bacon in half and wrap around the pepper, securing the shrimp.
  6. Place on baking sheet and cook for 30 minutes, or until bacon is done.

We don't have pictures of the finished product, and I can only imagine it's because we inhaled them before I remembered to take a picture.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Brownies

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8×8″ baking dish and set aside.
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and brown sugar, stirring constantly until smooth. Remove from the heat, and stir in the peanut butter.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Add the egg to the butter & sugar mixture and mix well. Add the vanilla extract and stir to combine. Pour the mixture into the prepared dry ingredients, and stir to create a thick, smooth batter. Fold in half the chocolate chips, reserving the rest for sprinkling on top.
  5. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, spreading the batter evenly to the edges of the pan. Sprinkle with the chocolate chips and lightly press them into the batter.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes until the top is golden and the edges are slightly browned. Allow to cool in the pan. Cut into squares and serve.

This recipe is courtesy of Sweetest Kitchen.

Creamy Corn Chowder

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Ingredients:

  • 4 slices bacon (I would add more!)
  • 2 cups water (not shown)
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 2 medium-size red potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 12 oz can evaporated milk
  • 10 3/4 oz can cream of chicken soup
  • 20 oz tube frozen creamed corn, thawed (I used 30 oz canned)
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen yellow corn kernels (I used 15 oz canned)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • *OPTIONAL: Bacon Bits

Directions:

  1. Cook Bacon in a skillet over medium heat; drain and crumble.
  2. Set bacon aside.
  3. Place water, onion, potatoes, evaporated milk, soup, creamed corn, corn kernels, salt, thyme and pepper in a 5 to 6-quart slow cooker.
  4. Cover and cook on high 4 hours.
  5. Sprinkle with bacon before serving (add bacon bits, if desired).
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