Sunday, July 14, 2013

Hows and Whys of Whole30

I briefly mentioned in my last post that my husband and I are embarking on a Whole30 Challenge starting today.  I feel like I have already learned quite a bit and identified what the greatest challenges will be for us on this journey.  But first, let me explain what it is and why we're doing this.

Whole30 seems to be a combination of the whole foods and paleo diets.  Sugars, grains, gluten, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, dairy, additives, and probably a few other things that I'm forgetting ;)  are not allowed.  I first read about it on another blog, desired to try it, but didn't think my husband would be up for it.  I know from past experience that it just does not work for us to be eating two completely different ways.  It's too hard for me to watch him eat something I can't have, takes too much time to cook two different meals, and it's usually double the dishes (and we do not have a dishwasher).

However, we had previously agreed to do the Focus T25 exercise challenge by Beachbody to try and lose our vacation weight and tone up.  DH mentioned that he would like to try some kind of healthy, cleansing diet during the workout challenge, I showed him the Whole30 page, and here we are!

Our goals for this dietary challenge are not just weight loss - besides, it probably wouldn't be accurate as we're doing the exercise challenge at the same time.  We are hoping to:

1.  Cut out the cravings for sugar and grease.

2.  Cleanse!

3. To identify any other dietary headache triggers that one or both of us may have. (I have already identified MSG, aspartame, and excessive food coloring such as in Skittles as my migraine triggers)

4.  Segway into a healthier way of eating.  We pretty much eat a standard American diet, save for avoiding the items I listed above in number three.  I think we each manage about one vegetable and one-two fruits per day, and I want to do better than that.

5. Get better sleep.  I've testimonials of other people that have conquered this challenge and said they slept much better on this diet.  Since I still struggle with insomnia now and then, that'd be nice.

I think the hardest thing for me to give up is cheese (I'm from Wisconsin, what can I say?) :)  For my hubby, it's soda.  I also got a sudden, strong craving for hot, fresh homemade bread smothered with butter in the middle of church today... :)

Reflections from Day One - I feel good, actually.  I've eaten about 1200 calories worth of fruit, veggies, eggs, and meat.  The challenges of this are going to be that it's expensive, the planning and prep required for every meal and snack, and there are more dishes to do.

I hope to post updates along the way, and share the end results!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Yummy Recipes

Today's post will be a light-hearted, fun deviation from the norm around here :)

Thursdays are my 'cleaning day', so I tackled that this morning.  This afternoon, I decided to try a new pie recipe for dessert.  I had originally planned to make this on Sunday, but we're starting a Whole30 challenge on Monday, and I didn't want to have to throw away any leftovers.  I had my favorite dinner planned for tonight, and figured this would be an excellent follow-up.

First, the meal.  Chicken enchiladas.  I'm not a fan of the typical red enchilada sauce, but these don't call for any.  I stumbled across this in one of my church cookbooks awhile ago, and it's been a favorite ever since!

Chicken Enchiladas
3/4 cup shredded cooked chicken
2 T (or more) green chiles
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 C shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 C milk
4 flour tortillas (I make mine from scratch)
Optional:  sour cream
Combine chicken, chiles, and cream cheese.  Mix thoroughly.  Put 1/3 C of mixture on each tortilla and wrap up.  Place in greased 9x9 glass dish, seam side down.  Pour milk over tortillas and cover with cheese.  Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.  Top with sour cream before serving, if desired.  Note:  This can easily be doubled and made in a 9x13 glass dish.  Today, I actually threw these in the Crock-pot on high for one hour, then on low for an additional hour.  It was just too hot to turn the oven on, and it worked great!

For dessert I made cream pie and tossed some partially thawed frozen berries on top right before serving.  I've never worked with gelatin before, and it's been years since I had to whip cream.  I was a bit nervous about this turning out, but it tasted great!  DH went back for seconds, so I'm assuming he really liked it as well :)

Monday, July 8, 2013

Our Milestone Blessing

I continued to be so humbled and amazed by how God is aligning all the steps for us to adopt.  After so many dark, lonely, and painful years, we see the light!

            If you’ve been following on our journey (I doubt many have, as I struggle to update this blog often!)  you know that we’ve been saving for several years to begin this journey.  We started work on a homestudy in November 2012, had an approved homestudy by March 2013, identified ‘our’ waiting child in April, and our dossier was shipped to Hong Kong on May 31st.  Currently, we are waiting to be officially matched with this child, and then take the steps to secure a travel date (!).

            In early June, we met a savings goal for this adoption - $25,000 total saved, which should more or less cover all adoption expenses (including fees we have already paid).

            I am still astounded as to how that happened…but I’ll do my best to explain how we accomplished that.

            We didn’t fundraise, ask people for money, or apply for grants.  Not that we think there is anything wrong with that, but our area and situation wasn’t conducive to fundraising, we weren’t comfortable asking people for money, and by the time we were able to look at grants it was clear that we didn’t need them.

            We did: Live on one income (my husband’s) while saving mine (minus tithe and taxes) for three years.  The first year, I was working around 20-25 hours per week; the next two years it was a full 40 with the exception of summer and vacations. We saved part or all of any money we were given as gifts.  I signed up to be a consultant for Lilla Rose, started playing organ for church on occasion, and put those earnings into our adoption fund. 

            It doesn’t sound like much, and I amazed by God’s blessing and provision to make everything fall in place.  To Him be the glory, honor, and praise, both now and forevermore!

I am linking up with: