Day 11: sh!t day

I love P!nk’s latest album, The Truth About Love. I cannot get enough of it. And to quote one of my favorite songs “Blow Me (One Last Kiss),” let me just say:

I’ve had a sh!t day.

I’m not going to go into detail and relive the frustrations of work all over again. I am racing against a deadline at work and the software I am using is not the user-friendliest! I didn’t even have time to shower today.

I work from home on Thursdays, which means that the best thing about my day was snuggling with the kids this morning. That, and I get to make myself and them a hot breakfast. This morning Finn requested omelets. I can do that! I fried up six slices of my U.S. Wellness Meats sugar-free bacon. (You will never miss the sugar. Trust me on this. Not sure why it’s used.) This bacon cooks up quickly and goes from  raw to super-crisp in nothing flat.  And it renders lots of yummy fat for more cooking. I poured some of the fat off and then sautéed a diced red bell pepper. The kids each wanted a three-egg omelet. (It’s nice to have chickens.) Finn ordered a bacon, red bell pepper, provolone and avocado omelet. Mona wanted everything but the veggies.

Cooking the omelet

Cooking the omelet

I had everything but the cheese. Y.U.M.

Day 11: BreakfastThree-Egg Omelet with Sugar-Free Bacon, Sauteed Red Bell Pepper & Avocado

Day 11: Breakfast
Three-Egg Omelet with Sugar-Free Bacon, sautéed Red Bell Pepper & Avocado

I HAD A GOOD LUNCH! Finally.

You know how I posted a few days ago that I never make the same recipe twice? Well, I am a big, fat liar. I have another recipe that has become a “Do again,” as my kids would say: Barefoot Contessa’s Caesar Roasted Swordfish, except I use salmon because my freezer overfloweth. This is so good. The last two times I have made this, I served it on Romaine that I had tossed with the extra dressing I made, which is excellent, by the way. (I made Everyday Paleo Family CookbookCaesar dressing. Meh. Did I make that on “meh” day?) It is now my go-to Caesar salad dressing. Who knew the Barefoot Contessa was Paleo? I bet she doesn’t even know.

Anyway, I had a lot of salmon leftover, so I put it in the freezer, because we have a tendency to get “salmoned out.” That’s an Enginerd term. I pulled that from the freezer last night and voila! Lunch.

Day 11: LunchBaby Spinach Salad with Roasted Caesar Salmon and avocado with Balsamic Vinegar and EVOO dressing

Day 11: Lunch
Baby Spinach Salad with Roasted Caesar Salmon and avocado with Balsamic Vinegar and EVOO dressing

Mona picked mussels for dinner this week, and Finn picked venison.

Finn went on his first hunting expedition this last October. Whether you are pro-hunting or not, you cannot deny that shooting your own deer guarantees free-range, grass-fed meat. And it turns out we all like venison. Mind you, I marinate the hell out of if, but it’s delicious. I pulled a couple of tenderloin out of the freezer, and had Finn mix up a marinade. I rarely use a “recipe” for marinade. Oil. Acid. Herbs. Garlic. Sweet. This is what we came up with this time:

Venison Marinade I

3/4 cup EVOO
1/4 cup coconut aminos
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tbs Italian seasoning
1/2 Tbs onion powder
1/2 Tbs garlic powder
sea salt
black pepper

What to do:

Pour everything into a gallon-sized Ziploc bag.

Mix. Add meat. Refrigerate.

We marinated two tenderloin for two days. This afternoon, I baked up a butternut squash and roasted some garlic for The Clothes Make the Girl’s Velvety Butternut Squash, vacuum-sealed the tenderloin and plopped them into my Sous Vide Supreme Demi at 120° for a couple of hours, until I was ready to deal with it.

When I was ready to deal with dinner, I made the squash and put that into the oven. I heated some bacon fat to smoking and seared the tenderloin.  As the meat was resting, I used the same pan to fry up the leftover purple “superkraut” from last week’s sausage-kraut dinner.

Day 11: DinnerVenison Tenderloin with Purple Kraut and Velvety Butternut Squash

Day 11: Dinner
Venison Tenderloin with Purple Kraut and Velvety Butternut Squash

The ramekins were 400°, so they got their own little bandannas to keep us all from burning our fingers.

Velvety Butternut Squash

Velvety Butternut Squash

Breakfast:        Three-egg omelet with bacon, red bell pepper and avocado

Lunch:               Spinach Caesar with Barefoot Contessa’s Caesar Roasted Salmon (leftover)

Dinner:              Venison tenderloin with Purple Sauerkraut and Velvety Butternut Squash

Today was one of those days where if I had not been following the Whole30 I would have had a bottle of wine…for dinner, along with a tub of chocolate chip cookie dough.

Hopefully tomorrow will be a less stressful day.

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Day 4: meh

That’s how I feel today. Meh.

I woke up with another (the same?) headache. If I am going to wake up with a headache, I want it to be because I partied too much the night before, NOT because I have stopped eating sugar and am eating more healthfully. The injustice of it all!

That said, I did not get any more sleep last night than I have all week—less, actually—and I feel pretty good today. Aside from the meh, but I will attribute that to our lovely January weather.

Also, I am not really hungry today. I ate breakfast, then after walking the dog I polished off the last of the cashews. I had a small handful of almonds a bit ago, and that’s it. Not in the mood to make anything for lunch. Crazy, I know. I do know from experience that I am going to need to cut back on the nut consumption if I want to lose any weight, but I am cutting myself some slack in that department right now.

After dinner last night I was jonesing for something sweet. The Whole30 gang says not to cave to the “Dessert Demon” by having fruit. Well, I had a satsuma, and then I had a few slices of dried apple, which sounds really good right now. Squirrel!

I placed my first order at U.S. Wellness Meats this week, as this is the only bacon and breakfast sausage I have seen without sugar. I placed the order on Monday and it was on my doorstep Wednesday afternoon. I do not like waste, however, so I fried up the last of the Whole Foods ultra-fatty-delicious bacon for breakfast, which I am certain was cured with some sugar. Whatever. It’s miniscule and I had one slice. Sue me.

I poured off a bunch of the fat to save for future cooking, and then fried up mushrooms and orange bell pepper in the remaining goodness. I used some of the veggies in my eggs this morning, and the rest I am going to use along with the sausage I ordered to make egg “muffins” this weekend for breakfast next week.

For dinner, I am using my slow cooker for the third and final time this week, and this is the easiest one by far. I am making PaleoPot’s Paleo Kielbasa & Super Kraut recipe. I used Bubbies Sauerkraut, which has no gluten or added sugar. And because I like my kraut on the sweeter side, I added some apple cider to the crock along with it. I had grass-fed beef sausages from Mountain Beef from my annual 1/3-cow order. We purchase a grass-feed steer along with two other families and then split the order three ways. This year at the pick-up–in the pouring rain!–they had lots of great grass-fed beef hot dogs and sausages and kielbasa, etc., so I got some. Here it all is ready to cook in the crock:

Day 4: Dinner ready-to-cook

Day 4: Dinner ready-to-cook

Breakfast:      Mushroom-Pepper Scramble, bacon, black coffee

Lunch:             Lots of nuts–cashews and almonds and some cabbage and a bite of kielbasa (I do not usually eat this way, and do not endorse it. It’s my “meh” diet.)

Dinner:            Slow Cooker Sausage and Superkraut

Thinking about my über-snacking mode, I am reminded by the Whole30 peeps to determine whether I am hungry or not.

Hunger vs. Cravings

It’s not always easy to tell whether you’re actually hungry, or just having a craving. Here are two methods to help you figure out whether you need to eat something healthy or just ride it out the next time the Sugar Dragon rears its ugly head.

HALT! This acronym stands for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired. The next time you’re having a craving, stop and ask yourself, am I really hungry, or am I just angry (or frustrated), lonely (or bored), or tired. If you’re not really hungry, then use some of our craving combat strategies below to see you through. If you discover that you really are hungry, then eat! (We’ll help you figure out what to eat when the Sugar Dragon is spitting fire next. Hint: it’s not fruit!)

Steamed fish and broccoli: This next trick is a bit simpler, and brutally effective. The next time you get a hankering for something to eat (and are wondering if it’s just a craving), ask yourself, “Am I hungry enough to eat steamed fish and broccoli right now?” If the answer is no… you’re not really hungry, you’re just craving, so act accordingly. If the answer is yes, then you really are hungry!

I have used that steamed fish and broccoli vision before, and it is effective.