Day 21, one week to go (ok, 9 days)

September 21, 2013 at 3:53 pm

I’ve been sailing along through this round of the Whole30. It has been so much easier than the first time I did it. I guess there is a learning curve. I definitely learned that preparation is key, so I have continued to do bulk cooking on the weekends and always making double recipes so there will be leftovers.

Here’s a few of the things I created to eat the past two weeks…

Roasted eggplant:

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Grilled a bunch of chicken thighs:

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Roasted spaghetti squash:

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Using Melissa Joulwan’s method it comes out al dente and not mushy. Perfect. Cut in half. Scoop out seeds and pulp. Save the seeds to roast. Place halves face down on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Sprinkle a couple tablespoons of water around the squash. Roast at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes.

Pad Thai from the cookbook Well Fed by Melissa Joulwan, using the spaghetti squash and grilled chicken thighs:

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You can find the recipe on her blog here. The secret is the delicious Sunshine Sauce.

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The boys loved it and didn’t miss noodles. Maybe Cal only sort of loved it.

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I made collard greens wraps, stuffed with a salad I made with roasted eggplant, grilled chicken thighs, pecans, other veggies and homemade mayo dressing:

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I used some of the leftover spaghetti squash and mixed it with a homemade curry sauce:

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The spaghetti squash seeds, roasted with macadamia nut oil:

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A couple of breakfasts I photographed:

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A “hot plate” a la Melissa Joulwan and Well Fed, with a roasted golden beet.

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I have been using that cookbook a bunch this time around. Last time I used Paleo Comfort Food more. There are so many awesome recipes out there…an endless supply of other people’s culinary genius to exploit.

Roasted cinnamon/ginger delicata squash, based on the recipe here:

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Bacon/almond roasted Brussels sprouts, based on this recipe:

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Boy approved:

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I’ve become addicted to kombucha. I drink 1/2 a bottle every night. It is the substitute for the nightly ice cream thing that was happening all summer.

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Many of the veggies used in the above creations are from my bi-weekly Annie’s Organics Buying Club share. I haven’t been taking pictures of all my shares, but here is the last one:

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I have some ideas swirling around for what I’m going to make from some of this goodness. I love how the deliveries help to narrow down that nefarious question of what to make for dinner. It gives me a direction to go in. Got delicata squash? Find a recipe! And by the way that stuff is amazingly delicious. I think it is my favorite winter squash. Easy to cook. You can eat the skin. Tastes a little like sweet potato.

I’ve been thinking about the “after” this time. Last time I immediately took off for a girls’ weekend in Charleston after my whole30. It was a great weekend of fabulous food and cocktails. That was pretty much it for my clean eating. I never did get back on track.

This time I am planning to stick with a mostly #NSNG (no sugar, no grains) diet after my whole30. I am going to add back in dairy and beans judiciously, but really try to avoid added sugar and grains as much as possible. I WILL have the occasional cocktail or three. I’m going to do more research on more paleo-friendly cocktails and try to stick to those.

My friend Kate introduced me to the whole #NSNG movement, and I am IN. I just read the book by their spiritual leader:

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It was pretty good. What is even better is the testimonials by all of the #NSNG folks. It’s like the awesome testimonials from the Whole30 veterans, but regarding a lifestyle and not just a temporary challenge. It’s not that different than the Whole9 lifestyle.

Cooking and eating hasn’t occupied all of my time the past two weeks.

I went to a great Yelp Elite event at NOVA 535 Art Lounge. My friend Valarie was my date.

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This venue is only about a mile down the street from my house and I have driven by it tons of times. I never knew that behind that façade lay this beautiful space:

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NOVA 535 hosts amazing weddings and parties. I loved the upscale urban décor and artwork.

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Downstairs there is a huge banquet room and long bar.

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Upstairs is a VIP area and another smaller bar.

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Also upstairs is a large balcony overlooking the bamboo-lined courtyard.

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They have private spaces upstairs where a bridal party could get dressed or changed, and also have very lovely restrooms.

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The event was catered by ExecChef Catering, and according to Valarie everything was amazing. Here are some of the things that I couldn’t eat:

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There was also reportedly delicious lobster mac & cheese and what Valarie described as, “possibly the best crab cakes I have ever eaten.” Good for you.

They had a made-to-order stir-fry station set up…

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and the chef was nice enough to make me some stir-fried veggies that were whole30 compliant (no sauce).

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They were tasty and kept me from doing nothing but nurse a glass of water all night.

TapSnap was there taking photo-booth style photos.

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Their computer was pretty cool and you could edit the photo and add text or drag and drop props to the photo right there.

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They e-mail you the photo and were also printing them out that night for us.

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Awesome. Despite not being able to partake of all the amazing food, I still had fun socializing with my Yelp friends and Valarie. Thanks for being my date Val!

In the past couple of weeks (since Cal’s bus stop was finally changed to be closer to our new address) Mack, Chewie and I have gotten back into the routine of walking to school.

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On our walk the other day we witnessed a car crash. It was just a fender bender, but still scary to see.

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I am back to volunteering at Mack’s school once a week.

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Here’s one OOTVD (outfit of the volunteering day) GIF thanks to Google+.

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It creates these things even when I immediately delete all of the outtakes from my phone. And I always love them.

I finally drove out to the boon docks and got my Level 2 volunteer badge which I was approved for 10 months ago.

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Better late than never.

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We went to an open house at Cal’s school to meet all his teachers.

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I loved the ceiling in the art room.

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I drove out to the beach one day to meet up with my friend Amy and check out their new Treasure Island home. This is their back yard:

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Not too shabby, huh? We crossed the street to the beach…

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and had a nice long walk.

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I also went antiquing/thrifting with Amy a few days later:

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We got our irrigation system completely overhauled:

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We didn’t have a sprinkler system at our old house and have no experience with them. This one was in dire need of some maintenance. I don’t want anyone to have rage against the sprinkler because of me.

I sustained some bacon-related injuries:

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I went to a Depeche Mode concert with my friend Ali:

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We were in the grass at the amphitheater, but our tickets were free. That’s VIP enough for me. The concert was killer. Thank Ali!

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I had a long-overdue dentist appointment.

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The whole house-hunting, old home improvement, packing, house-selling, moving, new home improvement, unpacking, and decorating thing really threw me off the past six months. I’m overdue on all of my doctor appointments (dentist, OB/GYN, GP, Ophthalmologist). I hate the lecture you get because you are so overdue for a check-up, so I’m still procrastinating on those other doctors. Plus, I hate doctors. Sadly the boys are also overdue for doctor and dentist appointments, but I’m proud to say that at least I have called and scheduled them and Mack actually had his doctor’s check-up last week.

Mack got a new hoodie that has something to do with Minecraft.

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Gratuitous photo of Chewie for Angelika:

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Okay. That’s it. Caught up to today. Well, except for Part 4 of my “what I did on my summer break” series (August). I’m hoping to get that done before the end of September and then I really want to stay caught up. I’m tentatively planning a post-a-day marathon for October to really try to get back into the habit.

Cya.

What I did on my summer break: Part 3, July

September 17, 2013 at 1:42 pm

Yes, I’m still doing this. Part 4 will be the last one (August). Blogging is hard, ya’ll. I’m thinking of maybe doing a “blog every day” challenge for myself in October to really try to get back in the habit. I was wrong about July having less photos, however. This will be much, much too long. Just skip this one, as fascinating as it may be. I’m sorry if it locked up your computer trying to load.

Stuff that happened in July (not necessarily in the order in which it happened):

I finally got the dining room cleaned out enough that we could have our first family meal in there together.

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We had a Fourth of July party at our house.

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I hosted a girls night in.

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My friend Paula gave me this adorable dolphin wind chime as a housewarming gift:

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My neighbors have a gorgeous house with a gorgeous pool and cabana. After describing it to my friends they had to climb our barbecue grill and check it out for themselves.

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My neighbors totally busted them and were looking out the window at the ladies spying on them. I guess they weren’t offended because they have still been nice to me.

The boys and I went to Linger Lodge with our friends Ali and Molly.

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Do not visit Linger Lodge if you hate taxidermy.

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We went to the beach with a bunch of friends, stopping at a bait store first to buy Mack a new net.

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Around the house, we finally got the blinds installed in the living room.

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I made curtains for our living room window. This is probably my largest sewing project to date. I am very proud of these curtains.

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I had the grout and tile in our kitchen professionally cleaned, and they did an amazing job (Groutworks…highly recommend). Before being cleaned, this grout was a dark grey color and the tile was also dark grey in all of it’s textured spots. It’s over 20 years old but it honestly looks brand new now.

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Chad had the pool table refurbished. Chewie supervised.

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I’m kind of obsessed with these GIFs that Google+ automatically creates when you take several photos of a similar scene.

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I did a bunch of antiquing and shopping for the house and had fun decorating.

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The house continues to be a work in progress but the living room is now my favorite room and where I hang out most of the time.

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We had a couple of swim meets.

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I finally decided to sign up for Gwynnie Bee. It’s like Netflix for clothes (sizes 10 and up). Check it out. Tell them I sent you.

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The boys and I went to the Cool Art Show at the coliseum (wearing a Gwynnie Bee dress).

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We got to meet Mark Noll, the artist who did Chewie’s portrait, in person. He was displaying some of his amazing carvings and sculpture. Why didn’t I take a photo of that? Click here to see more of his work.

The boys went to Eckerd College All Sports camp.

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They got their free Slurpees on 7/11.

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Cal went to sleep-away camp for a week with his buddies.

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We got Mack registered at his new school. When we moved we changed elementary school districts. Cal’s school program is a county-wide magnet, so he didn’t have to change schools.

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The boys and I had a little photo shoot at Coffee Pot Bayou park.

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I had a fun night out with my friend Ali. We started off with sushi at Ichiban.

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Then we hit up Beaks Old Florida for a drink. Don’t forget to always check in on Yelp.

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Finally we went to a fashion show at ARTpool. This time it was Trashion Fashion, where all of the ensembles were created from upcycled materials. My friend Charlotte (of Charlotte Smiled) and her daughter were both artists and models at this show.

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Good job ladies!

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The models were all spread out throughout ARTpool giving us a preview of the show.

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Ali’s daughter had a dress that she created on display in the store.

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Of course we had VIP tickets…

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with seats right at the end of the runway. That’s how we roll.

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And now wayyyyy too many photos from the fashion show. Start speed-scrolling now.

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Charlotte and her daughter take the runway…

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There were so many artists at this show! It went on quite a long while. Just keep scrolling.

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Whew. And that wasn’t even all of them! It was a great show. Afterwards we hung out in the ARTpool courtyard for a while.

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Fun night.

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Holy cow. That took forever. Here’s hoping that I didn’t take so many photos in August.

Cya.