Fitness Friday – 21 Day Whole 30ish Diet

Whole 30 is a diet that has been all over the place lately. I’ve seen many bloggers reporting on their results and I really love the idea of it. But truthfully, it’s not something I think I can handle.

Whole30RulesIn theory it sounds very healthy, except I don’t agree that dairy, grains, beans and tofu should be cut out.

I also like the idea of the 21 Day Fix diet for portion control. There doesn’t seem to be a list of foods to avoid, so I’ll be using Whole 30’s guidelines. For the month of February I’ll be avoiding processed foods and alcohol, and limiting the rest of the No list. 21 Day Fix Rules

One of my biggest goals for the month of February is limiting sugar along with processed foods, along with trying to get more fruits, vegetables and nutrients in general. I’m attempting to curb my sweet tooth and carb intake. My one cheat will be one piece of chocolate per night max.

It’s definitely going to be a challenge eating more protein and fewer starches and carbs, but I’m going to give it a shot. I’ll be looking for inspiration from Whole 30 and 21 Day Fix recipes and meal plans.

Have you tried either one of these diets? Do you have any favorite recipes?

Pictures not mine, found on Pinterest.

Thrifty Thursday – Sticking to a Budget?

So far it has been week 2 of shopping alone, and so far our grocery budget has stayed below $60 per week. I think that’s a pretty safe budget to shoot for from now on.

  • Small Shell Pasta – $0.69; These were not whole wheat but I needed some shells.
  • Jarred pesto – $2.24; A coupon applied to this without me planning on it, so we saved an extra $0.75.
  • 14 oz can of tomato sauce – $0.69
  • 2 cans of crushed tomatoes – $1 each
  • 2 cans of diced tomatoes – $0.69 each
  • Black beans – $1
  • Rice vinegar – $1.79
  • Shredded mozzarella – $2.24 with coupon
  • Unsalted butter – $2.50
  • Frozen vegetables – $1 each bag
  • Ground turkey – $1.88 each, got 2
  • Whole pineapple – $1.88
  • Large bag of cooking spinach – $1
  • Mushrooms – $1.69
  • Red pepper – $1
  • Avocado – $1.25
  • Tofu – $1.50
  • Deli cheese – $3.62
  • Deli ham – $3.98
  • Bread – $2.50
  • English muffins – 2/$6
  • Orange juice – $3.29
  • Natural jelly – $3.49
  • Body wash – $1.79

What I Read Wednesday – 100 Million Years of Food by Stephen Le

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This book will be released on February 2, 2016. I received a copy through NetGalley.

100 Million Years of Food is a study of the history of food and what our ancestors ate through the centuries. Part history book, part travel, the author talks about traveling the world, experiencing all sorts of different cuisines, and studying how these cuisines helped our health.

He starts with insects, which is a bit gross for my taste, but he really makes a compelling argument for why we might want to include them in our diets. Other subjects are touched on as well, including fruit, meat and fish.

The author comes to the same conclusion as Michael Pollan in In Defense of Food and Food Rules: eat what your grandparents ate and nothing they wouldn’t recognize. He goes on to add a few more specific rules as well. Get more exercise and sun. Eat sustainably. Don’t do fad diets. And finally, eat less meat when you’re young and more when you’re old.

If you enjoy history and reading about food, this is definitely a book you should pick up.

What I Read Wednesday – Chickpeas by Einat Mazor

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This book will be released on Feb 2, 2016. I received a copy through NetGalley.

I don’t have too much to say about this one other than the fact that chickpeas are one of my favorite foods. This book has dozens upon dozens of recipes centering around chickpeas, with a few that are very out-of-the-box, including using them in desserts.

It’s a great way to incorporate them into your diet besides just through hummus. There are many gorgeous pictures of the dishes and it is overall very inspiring. This is one book I wouldn’t mind having a hard copy of for myself.

Tasty Tuesday – My First Curry

Indian food isn’t something I’ve had a lot of experience with. I tried it once when I lived in Boston, but I’ve never tried making it. I found some curry powder for a good price so I wanted to try it.

I thought doing a side dish would be a nice way to try it out.

I didn’t have every ingredient required, since I don’t cook with onions and whole ginger. First I sautéed some garlic in olive oil and then added the curry powder with some ground ginger and onion powder. Then I added the spinach with a little water to steam, before adding chickpeas and tomato sauce.

It was a little bit watery because I didn’t have enough chickpeas, so I mixed in some rice.

Since the side dish was so flavorful, I decided to serve it with some baked herbed chicken. I really really liked the curried chickpeas, but it was the strangest thing, I took one bite and was reminded of Spaghetti-Os. My husband agreed, but we both liked it. I definitely want to make another curry dish soon.

Menu Monday – January 25

Today is our six month wedding anniversary! We went to Chili’s on Saturday for a little dinner together. I know they’re filled with calories, but their enchiladas are to die for.

This week I’m trying quite a few new dishes, but nothing too out of the ordinary.

Meals for the week:

  • Baked Shells with Pesto – Made this Sunday night. It was very good, but I’m not a fan of dishes that use 3 different pans to cook.
  • Grilled Chicken with Curried Chickpeas – I’m making my first curry dish! I went to a natural food store and found bulk curry powder for cheap, so I’ll finally get to branch out into some Indian food.
  • Tofu Stir Fry
  • Chicken, Black Beans and Rice – I don’t have a link to wherever I found this one, but it sounds pretty good. I’ll be cooking a whole chicken and shredding it for this.
  • Fish – I kind of ran out of ideas for the week so I’ll be cooking some frozen tilapia fillets with a side.

Dinner ingredients came out to about $22.

I’ll be doing a lot of food prep over the week, including boiled eggs, chopping a pineapple, cooking and shredding the whole chicken, freezing ground turkey, and possibly making spinach burgers.

Thrifty Thursday – Solo Shopping Wins Again

My husband has decided he’d rather not go grocery shopping anymore, so it’s now left to me. That’s not a bad thing though, we definitely save a lot of money and stick closer to the list when I shop alone. I also don’t feel rushed, he likes to make it like a race to go as quickly as possible. The main benefit to taking him with me is that he can navigate the deli counter while I continue shopping, and he can pick out his own snacks.

I went to two stores this week because we still had a gift card to another store.

First store:

  • Face wash – $3.99
  • Shampoo – $0.99
  • Grapes – $3.49 lb
  • Two cans of chickpeas – $0.89 each

Regular grocery store:

  • Bread – $2.50 down from $4.29
  • Sardines – $0.80; I tried sardines for the first time on toast with avocado, so amazing! Definitely going to be a regular lunch.
  • Coffee – $2.50 down from $3.49
  • Pasta sauce – $1.77; stocking up for later meals.
  • Quick oats – $2.99 down from $3.99
  • Frozen blueberries – $2.99 down from $3.29
  • Frozen tortellini – 2 bags, $3.34 each
  • Shrimp – $3.99; This is my stock-up price, I should start buying two when it’s this price.
  • Brussels sprouts – $2.99 for a package of already cut ones.
  • Green and red bell pepper – $1.99 and $2.99 a pound respectively.
  • Spinach – $2 down from $2.99
  • Organic bananas – $2.01
  • Lemon – $0.69
  • Avocado – $1.25
  • Turkey sausage – $3.49; These were on sale almost every week last year but so far this year, no sales.
  • Deli ham – $3.43
  • Orange juice – $3.29 each for 2
  • Milk – normal price is up to $2.19, not cool
  • Toilet paper – $4.99 for 12

We saved $15 or 20% of the bill. I saved on the bell pepper with $0.25 and $0.50 rebates, and a $0.25 rebate on pasta sauce.