A Good, Long Walk

So one of the other things that I am currently blaming on “The Bread” is the hormonal migraine that I’m experiencing.  I haven’t had one in 3 or 4 months (it’s been so nice, I stopped keeping count of how many times I didn’t have it!) and yesterday morning, Blammo!  It’s the only thing that I did differently so I have no reason not to blame the bread.

After work yesterday it was so balmy out and although my head was pounding, I decided to take Gracie for a long trail walk.  We usually go around 3 kilometers but I didn’t want to sit at home and think about how much my head hurt so I decided to extend the walk.  We went about 5k in 45 minutes which is a pretty decent pace, actually.  I used to run a 5k in 35 minutes, so……….

Gracie is blissed out when she gets a long, balmy, off leash walk.  You can feel the happiness radiating off of her!

Gracie is blissed out when she gets a long, balmy, off leash walk. You can feel the happiness radiating off of her!

Dinner last night was the Well Fed Cinnamon Beef Stew which was pretty decent.  It wasn’t originally supposed to make an appearance until Wednesday but this week is all screwed up.  I was pretty glad to have it available to pull out and heat up with no other preparation yesterday though!

I’m doing menu planning today and grocery shopping tomorrow for next week…which is a bit early but we have some other stuff going on this week and it’s the only place that it fit.

I really wanted to make a turkey this weekend but I honestly couldn’t justify it.  Our deep freeze is so crammed with meat and meals right now, we really need to be using what we already have.  Plus when I buy a turkey, I’m partial to getting the biggest one I can get my hands on and it’s just the two of us, so…………

Breakfast for 2.  Handful of green beans, chopped, half a yellow onion, half a red pepper, 3 chicken thighs.  All sauteed w/ ginger, garlic, S&P and topped with 2 eggs.

Breakfast for 2. Handful of green beans, chopped, half a yellow onion, half a red pepper, 3 chicken thighs. All sauteed w/ ginger, garlic, S&P and topped with 2 eggs.

FOOD (Monday, March 30)
M1: same breakie as pictured above
M2: leftover chicken dinner; chicken breast, butternut, green beans, avocado
M3: cinnamon beef stew w/ fist sized piece sweet potato

EXERCISE (Monday, March 30)
4.85km walk w/ Gracie in the trails.  Glorious and refreshing and calming.

Please, do NOT pass the bread!

Oh, ya, so the loaf of bread that I was all excited to test out?  Disaster.  DIS-ASS-TER! The results of eating 2 slices of the bread for 4 days are as follows:

bloating, headache, digestive distress, moody/crabby/cranky, apathetic, sad, exhausted, aching joints, cravings and itching (oh, the itching!)

I cannot believe how awful I’m feeling….when at this time last week I was feeling good, optimistic, energetic and overall pretty happy.  So the gluten free bread is out.  SO out.  Ray told me I should wait until I’m feeling better and then test it again.  I think that is crazy talk!

Moving on.  I made this soup on the weekend and then added some chicken meatballs (ground chicken, fresh thyme, garlic, salt & pepper and 2 tbsp tomato paste, all mixed together and baked) and topped it with avocado.  It was SO good. I should have taken a picture….but I was still traumatized from the ScreamAThon. 😉

I also bought some Whole30 approved bacon from my butcher on Thursday which I secretly baked up on Saturday morning for breakfast. It was more “hammy” than “bacony” but it was delicious!

Eggs on a bed of sauteed baby potato & kale, topped with eggs and served w/ BACON.

Eggs on a bed of sauteed baby potato & kale, topped with eggs and served w/ BACON. Mango Ginger Kombucha to drink.

Saturday afternoon I prepped a new batch of kraut.  I’d made the carrot ginger one and it’s really good so I wanted to try a cabbage version.  I am pretty sure I put way too much dill in but only time will tell, hopefully some of the dilly taste ferments out.  My goal is a “dill pickle kraut” that I’d tried from another live culture fermenter last year. It’s just cabbage, cucumbers, garlic & dill.  In my case I used cabbage, zucchini, garlic and dill because the grocery store didn’t have any nice looking cucumbers.

I did a 2# organic cabbage sliced up, half a bag of leftover coleslaw mix, 2 shredded zucchinis, 2 tbsp grey sea salt, 4 minced cloves garlic and a whack of dill (dried from my harvest last summer). The liquid you see there is was all created by massaging the veggies...which is the ideal way....if you don't have to make extra brine, all the better!

I did a 2# organic cabbage sliced up, half a bag of leftover coleslaw mix, 2 shredded zucchinis, 2 tbsp grey sea salt, 4 minced cloves garlic and a whack of dill (dried from my harvest last summer). The liquid you see there is was all created by massaging the veggies…which is the ideal way….if you don’t have to make extra brine, all the better!

Later on Saturday, Remy got dropped off for his sleep over.  It was…..good to start with.

Cool Baby

He was totally chill to play outside in his little leather jacket and even ate his dinner like a little champ. Then it all came unwound.  The poor kid screamed (oh yes, I mean SCREAMED) for an hour (I never though “an hour” seemed like a particularly long time until such time as I was holding a thrashing, SCREAMING, upset baby).  An hour is LONG. Poor kid was inconsolable.  Purple faced, not even on this planet anymore.  He eventually got given some Advil thinking maybe he has a couple more teeth coming in (2 bottom fangs already!).  He screamed through his bath and his jammies and then finally started to tire himself out.  I wasn’t supposed to put him to bed until 7 but at 6:15 I gave him his bed bottle and at 6:35 he was asleep and I put him to bed.  Slept through the night, woke happy and played with us all morning like a little angel.

Playing

Sunday morning he got picked up and given that it was absolutely pouring outside, we did what any self respecting bikers would do….we went down to the garage and detailed our bikes!  I waxed and chrome polished Captain Jack, every nook and cranny!

That was it. We have an interesting week ahead of us as far as routines and what have you.  Gracie is desperate for exercise and so am I! Fortunately it’s not supposed to be raining this evening after work!

FOOD (Weekend)
SaM1: bacon, eggs, kale, potato
SaM2: can’t remember!
SaM3: tomato soup w/ chicken meatballs
SuM1: tomato soup w/ an egg on top
SuM2: green beans, pulled pork, mushrooms, sweet potato
SuM3: roast beef, root veggies, the most disgusting “gravy” ever
SuS1: I made grain free brownies.  Thanks Bread Induced Cravings! I sent the rest of the brownies to work with Ray this morning.

FriYay, #4

Wow, FriYay #4?? Time flies!

I’m popping out at lunch time today to run to Costco (which is about 5 minutes from here) because all I need from there this week is veggies and they will fit in a cooler in my car with a couple ice packs.  Saves me having to negotiate all the after-work shoppers!  🙂

This weekend we’re babysitting Remy, we’re pretty happy to see him, he’s been vacationing in Arizona for the last 10 days.

Remy Sun

That’s pretty much going to be the bulk of our weekend, especially since it’s supposed to pour with rain.  😦

Here’s the menu for next week with approximate prep time.

Breakfast: chicken thighs, diced & sauteed veggies, topped w/ egg
Saturday
: tomato soup w/ mini chicken meatballs and GF toast
Sunday: roast beef, green beans & mashed potatoes
Monday: spaghetti sauce w/ ground turkey, noodles for Ray, broc/spin combo for me
Tuesday: mahi mahi, coleslaw, green beans
Wednesday: cinnamon beef stew
Thursday: CNO
Friday: CNO

PREP (total prep, 45 minutes, not including making Saturday’s soup & meatballs)
bake chicken thighs (5 min prep)
chop onions, green beans, peppers (10 minutes prep)
make mayo (5 minutes)
make cinnamon stew (20 minutes prep)

Same Old, Same New

Nothing going on here.  I rather like it that way.  I’m going to try my chaps on this weekend and see what progress is being made in my “dial in portions, use the gym” plan.  And, since it’s never just about weight loss, I also feel a bunch better than I did a month ago.  My skin is way cleared up, my clothes are fitting a bit nicer, I have more consistent energy, I’m sleeping great, my mood is more relaxed, I’m more productive at work.

The funny thing is that a lot of people see these changes when they go from a SAD diet to Whole30….but I went from basically a Whole30 + small amounts of added sugar in ketchup to a Whole30-style but with more appropriate portions and more specific exercise.  It is amazing the difference, really.  It’s not astronomic but it’s enough to put my finger on and say “Ya, I feel better!”.

For dinner last night we had Chocolate Chili that I’d made on the weekend and Ray made himself some rice.  As I am prone to do every 6-8 months, I “reintro’d” rice.

Chili

My result? Same result I always have; I’m really not sure what the point of the rice is.  It’s basically flavourless and has no nutritional value.  I’d rather have squash under my chili or a baked potato or spinach or just nothing.  The rice didn’t bother my stomach at all but I definitely noticed that I felt really full compared to the volume of food I ate.  So…rice…..not really worth it.

I also bought at the grocery store last night, a gluten free loaf of bread that was made with brown rice flour.  The bread loaf was like a brick but when you cut into it, it was pretty moist and quite delicious.  Lesson learned regarding the bread though, this is a Food Without Brakes for me and incites a snacky/carby riot in my head.  I should have taken a picture of my little bready snack but I didn’t think you all would approve of the inch of almond butter and conventional jam that I layered on top of it.  LOL

The reason I’m starting to test these non gluten grains is because I need to know with absolute certainty what bothers my stomach and how for when we go on our 10 day motorcycle camping trip.  I’ll try to stick to cooking proper meals each evening but for lunches the convenience of being able to use a gluten free wrap to make “sandwiches” on the road is too nice to ignore.

Anyway, the bread didn’t bother my stomach or my digestion.  I will eat two pieces per day for the next 5 days and see how I go, maybe it’ll be an option for the road.  I should probably stop layering on the AB & J though, ya?  😉

Breakfast

Breakfast this morning looks enormous in this picture but it wasn’t really.  It’s a good size but I felt happily content when I was done, not stuffed to the gills.  I got tired of omelettes so I did pork & brocoli omelette filling and roasted veggies but then just threw an egg on top.

FOOD (Wednesday, March 25)
M1: 2 egg omelette stuffed w/ pulled pork & steamed brocoli, roasted veggies
M2: enormous salad topped with palm size of steak
M3: as above, chili w/ avocado & rice
S1: 2 pc GF bread w/ AB & J

EXERCISE (Wednesday, March 25)
none, I chose to do half my weekly grocery shop instead

Making Progress

So remember my little rant about the hubby’s terrible sleep habits and his subsequently horrible sleep?  Seems that we are making progress in that regard.  He now wears a pair of orange wrap around glasses from 7:30pm onwards.  He adopted those with naught but a whimper.  I guess when you are severely sleep deprived your “cool factor” defences are down.  The first evening I had him wear them he was yawning up a storm in about an hour.  To be true, the guy never yawns.  Ever.

He also consented to covering up his alarm clock so he doesn’t have the little green light in his face all night long.  There is now a toque over top of the clock (and I covered up mine too). He also started taking Natural Calm last night.  I ordered us each a jar of it (in flavours, not on a Whole30 at the moment) and we started it last night at a quarter dose.  And finally, no rye & Coke for the last three nights!  I don’t think it’ll take long for him to start getting good sleep and then having a drink, getting shitty sleep and putting the two together.  🙂

I don’t want to get too excited about it since it’s only been 3 nights, but he woke up chipper and cheery and chatty this morning and talked my ear off all through breakfast and coffee time.  That NEVER happens.  Never.  So….maybe some progress? I’m going to keep working on little changes to improve his sleeping conditions but we’re on the right track.

In other news, Gracie and I went on a lovely walk yesterday after work. In the dapply sunshine of the trails.  I wasn’t going to let her off the leash because of her little spill the other day but she was just SO excited and SO full of energy that I couldn’t keep her tethered to me.  Off she went and had a blast.  She was a little limpy last night but not too bad.

Ma baybee is going grey!  :(

Ma baybee is going grey! 😦

We had a great dinner last night, rib grilling steaks, asparagus, a small bit of sweet potato and a nice big salad.  I served my salad in a serving bowl because…well….I like a lot of salad when we have it.  I don’t know what “side salad” means, LOL.

Dinner Salad

The steaks that I bought were quite big and I assumed that I would have half for dinner and half for lunch but when I really looked at the size of the finished product vs the size of my palm I ended up with more like a quarter for dinner, a quarter for lunch and there is still half of mine in the fridge….some for a pre workout snack tonight and the rest in a Friday omelette, maybe??  The salad was a mix of greens topped with fresh strawberries, quarter avocado, a sprinkle of sliced almonds and a drizzle of home made whole-grain Dijon balsamic vinaigrette.

FOOD (Tuesday, March 24)
M1: 2 egg omelette stuffed w/ pulled pork & mushrooms, roasted veggies on the side
M2: chicken, coleslaw, green beans, bit of avocado, couple pieces of butternut squash
M3: as above, steak, asparagus, sweet potato & huge salad

Something happened to this morning's omelette but I'm still not sure exactly what went wrong.  It seemed fine and then I went to get dressed and came back and it had committed Hari Kari!

Something happened to this morning’s omelette but I’m still not sure exactly what went wrong. It seemed fine and then I went to get dressed and came back and it had committed Hari Kari!

EXERCISE (Tuesday, March 24)
3.5km (2 mile) trail walk with Gracie

Phew, That Was Close!

I am nearly positive that I dodged the flu yesterday.  Yes, I know I was just sick with a high fever back in February but man alive, yesterday afternoon! I was freezing cold all day and around 1pm my body started to hurt. By the time I got home I was nearly ready to crack, every bone and muscle in my body was aching or on fire.  I hurt so bad all over that I almost wanted to turn myself inside out.

I love my tea pot.  It's an old Pyrex percolator coffee pot repurposed as a tea pot. Last night's tea was Forever Nuts, so fragrant and easy to drink.

I love my tea pot. It’s an old Pyrex percolator coffee pot repurposed as a tea pot. Last night’s tea was Forever Nuts, so fragrant and easy to drink.

I quickly popped an Advil and a Robax for the back pain, made a pot of tea, chugged a jar of bone broth and a glass of Kombucha, ate a roasted chicken dinner (lots of protein and veggies there!) and went to bed.  I had a mildly broken sleep but this morning I woke up feeling mostly fine.  Phew!  That was close!

This was served on a sandwich plate, I'm trying to consciously eat less.  Palm sized chicken, half fist of butternut squash, green beans and some leftover coleslaw.  Quarter avocado in the middle.

This was served on a sandwich plate, I’m trying to consciously eat less. Palm sized chicken, half fist of butternut squash, green beans and some leftover coleslaw. Quarter avocado in the middle.

Nothing else to report, really.

FOOD (Monday, March 23)
M1: 2 egg omelette stuffed w/ mushrooms & pulled pork, roasted veggies on the side
M2: coleslaw topped with warmed pulled pork.  That was SO good!
M3: as above, roast chicken dinner

EXERCISE (Monday, March 23)
Obviously none as per my almost flu.  Also it was absolutely pouring with cold, hard rain.

Weekend Recap

So much to talk about this morning!  Like watching some idiot tear up the side of a lady’s mini van and then try to leave without making amends.  Like taking delivery of Ray’s new Harley and then watching it pour with rain all weekend.  Like taking Gracie for a walk yesterday and having her take a spill and hurt her foot and then milk the injury just enough that she got premium snuggle spots and the best treats in town.

Friday I was home alone so I made scrambled eggs with steamed broccoli again.  It was so delicious but was a big ol’ reminder that too much broccoli, cabbage & cauliflower isn’t ideal.

Saturday morning we were up bright and early to go and spend time at the dealership getting Ray’s bike all worked out.  Quick breakfast before we left and then to celebrate the new bike we went out for lunch at the pub.

Quick Breakfast

To be honest, the pub lunch and the bike was the highlight of Saturday.  Around mid day I decided I was bored of staring at the new bike while it poured with rain outside so I went and took a nap.  Normally Ray wakes me up after an hour but he was all distracted with his new toy and I slept for TWO HOURS.  Woospie!  After naptime I threw a 7# pork shoulder into my slow cooker for Sunday dinner.  It cooked low and slow for 18 hours and holy mama, it’s SO GOOD!

Sunday morning as per normal we went out for breakfast. I always get the same thing and it’s delicious.  A mushroom omelette with no cheese and pan fries with no seasoning.  I actually ate this meal on Whole30 every Sunday as well, after asking many questions of the staff.  LOVE having something that I know is clean and that I love.  And the staff basically have my order memorized at this point, so…………..  🙂

After breakfast I put on two pots of chili (chocolate chili from well fed), one for this week and one for the freezer and then went out to the Gourmet Warehouse where I met my sister for a short shop.  They have amazing quality spices for such a reasonable price, it’s a bit of a drive for me to get out there but it’s so worth it.

Dinner on Sunday evening was the pulled pork with a homemade coleslaw and some steamed green beans.  Easy peasy and delicious!

Pulled Pork Dinner

And like many Sunday evenings, it was bottling night.  I did 5 bottles of kombucha, flavoured with just some regular Welsch’s grape juice.  Cheap and comes out almost exactly like GT Dave’s Grape flavour.

5 bottles that will sit out for 2 more days and then go in the fridge.

5 bottles that will sit out for 2 more days and then go in the fridge.

Ray took some pictures of the “recharging” process after I’d finished bottling, thought I’d share them with you.

Filling Vessel

My fermenting vessel holds 26 cups of liquid.  Once I bottle 5 jars, I have 8 cups of liquid leftover that will be my “starter fluid” for the next batch. I brewed 10 cups of tea, sweetened with 1.5 cups of white sugar (10 black tea bags) and then when that was all nice and strong and cooled, I added 8 more cups of clear water.  And then in it goes!

Replacing Scoby

Then, once the new tea is in the vessel, it’s time to replace the scoby into the jar.  My scoby is about an inch thick and several layers, next time I’ll peel a few layers off so it doesn’t get too thick and take up too much room.  It’s also heavier than it looks and kind of slippery/rubbery, so having it a little thinner is nicer to manhandle.

Floating Scoby

You can sort of see from the picture that the scoby wants to try and sink down but with a little gentle help it can be convinced to float.  I’ve never had it sink after placement.

Scoby Closeup

And here’s a close up of the scoby floating happily on top of the liquid. (click to enlarge)  Each layer represents a different batch.  Depending on how long I leave the batch to ferment determines how thick the new layer will become.

And just for fun, I thought you could have a tiny tour around this part of my kitchen!

Captioned

FOOD (Weekend)
FM1: omelette w/ roasted green beans
FM2: hamburger, cauli rice, a few olives
FM3: steamed broccoli & 3 eggs, scrambled

SaM1: 2 crispy eggs, japanese sweet potato, almond green beans
SaM2: egg hamburger w/ no bun, handful of french fries, GF beer (totally worth it!)
SaM3: halibut fillet, roasted bnut squash, asparagus

SuM1: 3 egg omelette w/ mushrooms, pan fries w/ no seasoning
SuS1: small scoop chocolate chili
SuM3: pulled pork, steamed green beans, coleslaw

EXERCISE (Weekend)
Fr: none
Sa: none
Su: walk, cut short because Gracie took a spill.  I wanted to do Mile-Row-Mile but I woke up on Sunday morning with my “bad” shoulder bothering me so figured I’d best just forget it.