My Whole30 Results

It's been almost a month since my Whole30 challenge ended.  No grains, no dairy, no legumes, no sugar (of ANY kind) for 30 days.

Have I reverted back to my old {bad} eating habits since then?

No, not really. Although I've added dairy back into my diet I haven't noticed any severe adverse effects from doing so.  I allow some sweeteners such as honey or maple syrup or agave, but I've been pretty good at keeping white sugar out of my diet.

This has been a long, cumulative process for me to get to this point of healthier eating.  For the most part, I have eliminated wheat and processed sugar from my diet.  My 30 days without garbage food left an indelible impression on me, namely, that I felt better overall and had tons more energy from eating the right things.  I started sleeping so much better also.  Sleeplessness seems to be a thing of the past now.

Some of my old snack staples are now snacks of the past -- Pringles, Butterfingers (and these are still in the house because hubby likes 'em!), pastries from Panera -- nada since early September.  The upside?  I have NO desire to eat any of my old snacks.

For the sake of the hubby, I have eaten some restaurant food items in the last month.  A chicken flatbread pizza at Buffalo Wild Wings, a coney dog with cheese covered french fries at Freddy's Steakburgers, a chicken wrap with fries at Red Robin..... honestly, the worst was the coney dog.  I felt horrible afterwards, SOOOOO bloated and yucky feeling.  I only ate half of the wrap at Red Robin, with some of the fries, not all of them, so I didn't feel so awful afterwards.

I'm good with occasional cheats.  And I do mean occasional.  I feel so much more alive and vibrant when I eat the right things, and that's worth a lot to me.

I'll admit I'm still not the best veggie eater, and I will always be a work-in-progress where vegetables are concerned.

Fresh salsa from our garden veggies

I use so many food items from our kitchen pantry now, more than ever, and I have new favorite kitchen tools. I bought this little mini spatula/spoonula set from Target last year, and now I use it AllTheTime!!  I wish I could provide you a link, but I can't find this little gem anywhere nowadays.  If I remember right, it was less than $10 for the set. I love the molded all-in-one-piece design (no food gunk gets into hidden places) which makes for easy clean-up.  I'm glad I bought a set for my son and daughter-in-law before they disappeared!

Can't live without.

My new favorite snacks are minimally processed nuts from area health food stores (Yum Nuts cashews is my #1 fav), Fage brand plain yogurt, an occasional Noosa honey flavor yogurt, and occasional Bare Fruits apple chips.  I eat way more fresh fruit these days -- apples, bananas, pears -- and I keep oranges and limes on hand to slice up for my water.

Speaking of water, I bought a Pur water pitcher from Amazon so my water is a bit cleaner than it might be if I were drinking it straight from the tap.  I have never been fond of water, but this experience has taught me the importance of drinking more water and keeping myself hydrated.

I try to go for a walk with Trixie and Ringo almost every morning.  They both look forward to our walks, esp Trixie.  Ringo has always gone outside with me to do farm chores.  He's the best off-leash dog in the world.  Trixie, not so much.  So these walks are pretty exciting for her, since she's typically accustomed to the large penned area we have for the dogs.

Sometimes I leave the dogs in the house and go for a run.  Trixie & Ringo are both around 10 years old, and Ringo's hips have started bothering him the last few years (I give him Cosequin DS everyday, which does help a lot). They both tend to slow me down when I run.

I still have more to do -- more exercise, a few more pounds to lose.  I've lost in the vicinity of 10-12 lbs but would like to lose at least 5 more pounds.  It's not imperative, just a minor goal at this point. The major goal was to FEEL better, and I've accomplished that.

Bottom line?

This is what's right for me, at this point in my life.  I'm not saying it's right for everyone out there.  In the first place, you need to reach that point in your life where you just can't stand the crappy way you feel most days.  You have to reach that point where you say "enough is enough".  That's when you'll find the motivation and chutzpah to make the necessary changes, no matter how drastic they may seem.

I'm getting older and quite frankly, I don't want to coast into old age on the couch.  I want to live life large and do as much as I can do before something happens to render me incapable. I'm 52 and soon to be 53.  This does not even seem possible, and yet the calendar says it is so, much to my chagrin.  My body also reminds me of this fact the last few years, with more aches and pains, and less endurance. I really hate that.

Would I recommend the Whole30 challenge to others?  You betcha!  Is it hard?  Only the first few days.  And they ARE hard.  There's no soft-pedaling that one.  But so worth it.

In fact, I'm sure I will do it again, as needed, to remind myself of what's best for my physical body.

So my final takeaway is that I've finally cleared most processed food out of my diet, and I've stuck to it this time, and I don't miss it one iota.  Not only do I have no desires to eat Taco Bell or McDonald's or Sonic, quite frankly, I don't want to put that kind of nasty food into my better-for-me "new" body.  My slimmer, new me along with more energy and endurance and overall positivity are not worth sacrificing for fast food or Pringles or Ho-Ho's!

Note:  If you're interested in trying the Whole30 challenge, read my prior blog posts regarding my experience.  There are many links to other websites, with several recipes, in those older posts. 

Why {Most} Roosters Are Mean

Ok, now that we've had a few roosters in our flock, I think I'm at least semi- qualified to explain this phenomenon, which gives roosters such a bad reputation.

I'm sure many of my readers can relate-- if not recently in their lives, then perhaps earlier in their childhood they can remember some rooster stories to make us all laugh. Of course, at the time, I'm sure it was no laughing matter!

Our buff orpington rooster, Foghorn, in his younger days.  RIP.

Roosters seem more than happy to perpetuate the myths of their terror-stalking ways.

One thing I've learned is that they ARE territorial.  And if you don't remind them who is the boss, they will happily take that role over for you and be the boss of everything around them, including YOU.

That was the mistake I made.  I let our roosters strike fear into me, and I avoided them.

HUGE MISTAKE.

Here's the best explanation I found on the internet and I hope it helps others realize the best way to make your rooster see things YOUR way.

Go ahead, click on over and read this. It's very interesting, full of good information, and it's a short read too.  What more could you want?


So what do you think after reading the above page?  Is this new information for you, or did you already know this? It makes good sense, doesn't it?

I already knew that it's a good thing to handle chicks (and guinea keets) as much as possible the first 2 weeks after hatching, if you want them to be tame. In our case, this is extremely difficult - we both work and we're gone enough that it's hard to be consistent in this endeavor.

Sally with her young chicks in May 2013 (2 months old)

In addition to our time crunch, our buff orpington Sally was diligent in watching over her chicks 6 months ago.  She made absolutely sure that we did NOT touch them in any way!

But I do believe even though we missed this crucial first step, we can still catch up for lost time by consistently reminding our rooster -- with a broom, a boot, or a spray of water from the hose -- that WE are the dominant alpha entities at this house!! The back porch is now off limits to him, and we boot him off every time we see him perched there.  (So far it seems to be working!)

Roo-boy, crowing his supremacy... um, no.
We'll be taking back our living area starting TODAY.

So I don't blame our rooster - he's just being a rooster, after all.  He wants to be King of the flock and everything else around him. It's in his DNA.  He can't help it.

We'll commute his death sentence for now, and give him another week or two of grace, and see if he accepts our alpha-ness. He's young; he still has the potential to learn a new game.

I hope he's smart and decides to play along, and play nice.  After all, he IS a pretty boy.  It's hard to see in the photos, but he's beginning to grow some green feathers in his tail -- gorgeous!


If he doesn't want to be nice, well, there's always chicken and noodles.  A 7-month old rooster would do nicely.

Making Homemade Mayonnaise ~ The Whole30 with Oz Girl

I'm halfway through my Whole30.... WOOHOO!!

I've done pretty good overall.  My toughest moment came last night when the hubby was drinking a few adult beverages, while I sipped my fruit-infused water.  ARGHHHHH!!!!  I wanted a glass of wine SO.BAD.

But I held out, hard as it was.  And I woke up happy this morning, that I didn't kill the last 2 weeks of progress.

Today I needed to make more mayonnaise, so that I could make some creamy Italian dressing for my salads.  I love homemade mayo -- so creamy and with a slight lemony taste!

{I'm not including a mayonnaise recipe here since there are SO many floating around out on the web. But I am including a link to the best mayonnaise recipe that I've found.}

While my Chocolate Chili simmered, I made my mayo. Let me just say this -- after making mayonnaise twice now, I'm thinking a food processor might be the better appliance to make mayonnaise.

The key to fluffy homemade mayo is 1) having your ingredients at ROOM TEMPERATURE and 2) streaming the extra light-tasting olive oil as thinly as you can.  And do be sure to use cheap, light tasting olive oil.  If you use extra virgin olive oil you will most likely be sorry - it will taste strongly of olives!!

It takes anywhere from 2 to 3 minutes to stream a cup of olive oil. While I'm streaming my extra light-tasting olive oil into the blender through the top removable cap, I get a lot of spatter even at the lowest "stir" speed.  So I try to barely crack the top cap open, letting the oil hit the edge of the rubber lid where it rolls down into the glass blender. And it would appear that others have the same spatter issue (read some of the comments on Melissa's mayo blog post).

This might give you an idea of the mess involved?!
Think OILY.

All that being said, the next time I make my mayo, I'm going to try using my immersion blender. It appears that it's way easier to make mayonnaise this way, unbeknownst to me.  So here's the link for you, my dear reader, that I just found. You will also get a very brief chemistry lesson if you click through to that link - very interesting to read!

Luckily, my second mayo creation turned out as well as the first time.  Fluffy, light and yummy, the way it's supposed to be.

It's really not this yellow in person.  Really, it's not.

What's really cool and neato is that the mayo recipe makes enough to fill a jam size canning jar, and then if I dig the rest of the mayo out of the very bottom of the blender, and up the sides of the blender, I get 1/4 cup more, which just happens to be the amount I need to make my creamy Italian dressing!

I know, pretty cool, huh?!

Creamy Italian Dressing (left) and fresh mayo (right)
I used red wine vinegar for my dressing - you could use balsamic or white wine too.

It's easy to make your own mayonnaise, really it is.  And so much healthier for you.  And just think of the modifications you might try.... I think I might add a little cumin to my next batch!  And I would also like to try a batch of aioli, which would be the mayo with garlic and basil added.

With my next mayo batch, I want to try this salad dressing recipe:  Southwestern Cumin Lime Dressing.  Doesn't that sound super delicious yummy?!

Only 15 more days to go with my Whole30!

And now, until the next blog post, I think I hear two puppies yapping my name.... they are so NEEDY.  :-)

Lucy and Molly, 6 months old now!