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Whole30 Recap: Week Three

Whole30, week three

We finished Week Three! If you missed my other posts about our Whole30, find them here: 

Whole30 Recap: Week One
Whole30 Recap: Week Two


  • I’ve linked to recipes where I used them.
  • We are loving the Whole30 version of bulletproof coffee- our regular black coffee blended with a spoonful of ghee. Tastes incredible and counts as a fat serving for breakfast.
  • I cured and smoked some pork belly this week for homemade bacon. Yes, I may have gotten slightly carried away. Yes, it tastes incredible. 
  • As I noted last week, smoothies aren’t recommended but I occasionally have one on a rushed morning when I need to get in veggies and don’t have time to sit and eat.

Here’s what we ate:

Tuesday, Day 15Pork Chile Verde Stew
breakfast: spinach + red pepper omelette. bulletproof coffee
lunch: Applegate roast beef, red peppers and snow peas, guacamole
dinner: Pork Chile Verde Stew, Avocado

Wednesday, Day 16
breakfast: steak and eggs with avocado, spinach, tomato. coffee, 1/2 banana
lunch: leftover Pork Chile Verde Stew, avocado, plantain chips
dinner: spaghetti squash with meat sauce (compliant sausage + Nello’s Marinara), salad

Thursday, Day 17
breakfast: pig in a skillet, bulletproof coffee
lunch: mason jar salad, leftover kalua pig over sweet potato
dinner: potato, red pepper, Aidell’s chicken apple sausage hash with fried eggs

Friday, Day 18
breakfast: spinach and mushroom omelette, bulletproof coffee
lunch: Applegate roast beef, cucumbers, tomatoes, guacamole
dinner: almond crusted chicken, raw veggies, sweet potato fries

Saturday, Day 19IMG_3102.JPG
breakfast: breakfast salad (runny fried eggs over spinach with bacon + balsamic) (James) Anti-Inflammatory Power Mango Smoothie  (me)
lunch: BLTA salads with leftover almond chicken (and homemade bacon!)
dinner: Chipotle salads, plantain chips, guac (Chipotle carnitas are compliant, along with the guacamole and all of the salsas except corn)

Sunday, Day 20
breakfast: potato, red pepper, sausage and fried egg hash, coffee
lunch: kalua pig, sweet potato fries, raw veggies with cauliflower hummus
dinner: Date Night! We went to The Fig House, a local restaurant, and were able to customize our meals to make them compliant. James had trout with asparagus, artichoke hearts, and pancetta. I had lamb chops with braised kale. 

Monday, Day 21IMG_3118.JPG
breakfast: potatoes, sausage, steamed kale and berries (Emma and I had a breakfast date at Whole Foods before we did our grocery shopping), coffee
lunch: tuna salad with brussels, celery, and homemade mayo, plantain chips, strawberries
dinner: chili lime chicken burgers (from the frozen section at Trader Joe’s) with guacamole, jicama + red pepper + tomato slaw
snack: banana + almond butter
Honestly, this week was much harder than the first two for me. I think part of that is because we’re getting a little bored, so I’m trying to add some more variety for week four. Also because I can’t stop thinking about how much better everything would taste with cheese. And cupcakes. This week I discovered that I kind of hate cauliflower, so there’s that. Seven more days!

Whole 30 Recap: Week One


IMG_2967.JPGSo I convinced my husband to do a Whole30 with me. We typically eat fairly “clean:” organic produce, good fats and pastured meats. But I love bread. And ice cream. And cookies. In other words, I’m totally addicted to sugar. After going dairy and gluten free for the first 6 or so months of my daughter’s life, I didn’t think giving up grains and dairy would be too hard. But sugar? That’s been WAY harder than I expected!

What’s a Whole30, anyway? It’s basically 30 days of squeaky-clean Paleo, with some added restrictions. No grains (or “pseudo-grains” like quinoa), no dairy, no sugar (including honey, maple syrup, stevia, etc.), no alcohol (no vanilla extract!), no legumes, no MSG, sulfites, or carrageenan. Also no “Paleo-fied” baked goods: pancakes, waffles, cookies, breads.

Sounds terrible! Why would you do such a thing? Yeah, it’s kind of hardcore. But people who do Whole 30’s regularly consider them sort of a “nutritional reset.” It’s about more than just restricting your food choices for a month- it’s also about breaking any unhealthy psychological relationships you might have with food. That’s the part that really resonated with me- I’m a textbook emotional eater. It’s so easy to turn to food when I’m stressed, bored, lonely, or upset. And that’s a cycle that I’d like to break. 

So what do you eat, anyway? Here’s a little recap of our meals for the week. I try to stay pretty close to the Whole30 template: 2-3 cups of veggies, 1-2 palm-sized portions of animal protein, 1 thumb-sized portion of good fat (ghee, coconut oil, nuts, nut butter, avocado, olive oil).


  • I’m still breastfeeding, so I do snack when I’m hungry (not usually recommended, but okay for nursing mamas!) and I try to have a starchy veggie with each meal.
  • I’ve linked to recipes where I used them.
  • We are loving the Whole30 version of bulletproof coffee- our regular black coffee blended with a spoonful of ghee. Tastes incredible and counts as a fat serving for breakfast.

Tuesday, Day 1
breakfast: frittata with red pepper and spinach (James), eggs with spinach and arugula, bulletproof coffee (me)
lunch: spicy tuna cakes (these are bomb, making more this week!), avocado, carrots & sugar snap peas
dinner: kalua pig (SO good), baked sweet potato, green beans

Wednesday, Day 2
breakfast: Aidell’s Chicken sausage, Japanese sweet potato hash with spinach + arugula, bulletproof coffee
lunch: kalua pig, mason jar salad, olives (James), chopped salad with kalua pig (me)
dinner: best chicken ever (I’ll be honest, this recipe didn’t live up to its title for me, but I do love brining chicken breasts before grilling them in general), balsamic roasted brussels (a pre-Whole30 favorite! I use bacon instead of pancetta), sweet potato mash with rosemary

Thursday, Day 3IMG_2897.JPG
breakfast: pig in a skillet (James), spinach, sausage, sweet potato hash with eggs (me), bulletproof coffee
lunch: leftover Kalua pig + sweet potato, mason jar salad (James), chopped salad with grilled chicken (me) 
dinner: thai turkey meatballs, cashews, spaghetti squash

Friday, Day 4
breakfast: sausage, sweet potato, zucchini hash. bulletproof coffee
lunch: Kalua pork, sweet potato, sugar snap peas
dinner: chocolate chili (this was also solidly “meh” for me) topped with avocado, carrots & celery, roasted potato

Saturday, Day 5 (Valentine’s Day!)IMG_2919.JPG
breakfast: sweet potato + spinach hash, fried eggs, bacon 
lunch: emergency Larabar (me), leftovers (James)
dinner: filet mignon, roasted potatoes, asparagus, strawberries 

Sunday, Day 6
breakfast: BLT breakfast salad
lunch: leftover Kalua pig over sweet potatoesIMG_2941.JPG
dinner: leftover chocolate chili + Applegate hotdogs, avocado

Monday, Day 7
breakfast: spinach, red pepper, and egg scramble. bulletproof coffee.
lunch: leftover kalua pig or chocolate chili
dinner: burrito bowls: cilantro-lime cauliflower rice, leftover chicken and steak, salsa, fajita veggies, guac

That doesn’t sound so bad! Really, it’s not. So far what I love about the Whole30 is that you’re eating real, whole foods and there’s no calorie restriction, so you never have to feel hungry. 

Okay, you’ve convinced me to do it. Where do I start?  Buy the book- It Starts with Food– and read it. It’s full of helpful information and food-nerd science/nutrition talk that will help you really understand the program. And spend some time on the Whole 30 website. I’d also recommend joining some Facebook groups ( if you’re into that sort of thing) or having a buddy for support!

I’d say our Week 1 was successful! Have you done a Whole30? Any advice for us as we start Week 2?

life update

So, um, a lot has happened since I last wrote here.

We moved to a beautiful townhome. seven weeks later, we had a baby.

Five weeks later, we moved (again) to a cute little house in Charlotte, NC.
It’s been a whirlwind, to say the least! we are settling into (another) new house and it’s slowly becoming home. We’re completely in love with our sweet baby girl (more on her later!), and we’re having fun exploring a new city.

I’ve been feeling the need for a creative outlet recently so I’m poking my head out of the sand and flexing my writing muscles again. More to come. 🙂

weekend links

Source: via Audrey on Pinterest

This post by Sarah Bessey had me nodding in agreement at every turn. ” …don’t let anyone silence you or the redeeming work of Christ in your life out of shame. Now, in Christ, you’re clear, like Canadian mountain water, rushing and alive, quenching and bracing, in your wholeness.”

Joy the Baker’s Brown Butter Blueberry Muffins are phenomenal. If you’re looking for something to bake this weekend, make it these. I promise you won’t regret it!

A good friend of mine shared this post about loneliness on Facebook recently and it struck a chord for me, as I suspect it will for anyone who’s ever experienced deep longing.

We’ve been taking baby steps toward eating real food, and Kitchen Stewardship has a great post about sourcing real food with a lot of helpful ideas.

Do you ever struggle with comparison stealing your joy? Does social media play a role in that struggle? Anne at Modern Mrs Darcy has a great post about Pinterest and social comparison.


What’s in store for your weekend? We are looking forward to spending some time with my family in Houston… although I’m not looking forward to the early morning flight that precedes our family time!!



Um, so. It’s 2013! It’s almost February. And i think i’m finally clear enough of mind to devote some more of myself to this little corner of the interwebz. Here’s a little catchup on what we’ve been up to, thanks to a “currently” prompt.


eating: Chevré and beet ravioliSpicy sausage, potato and kale soup. Lots and lots of homemade sourdough. After the small misfortune of the starter volcano, I set out to make a textbook batch of bread. Except somehow, in the process of mixing starters and sponges and doughs, I used the entire starter in the batch of bread. Which i actually didn’t realize until the next morning, when i wondered to myself “What did i put that starter in after all? Not the mason jar, that was too small… where IS that starter?” Ergo, there’s a new starter starting. *snicker*

Let’s just say the sourdough adventures are pretty exciting around here, folks.

drinking: Water. Lots and lots of water! Dehydration has long been my nemesis, and I’m working on correcting my water habits. I’ve discovered a few things about myself in the process: a) I get really, reallly thirsty in the car. And sometimes in the middle of the night. b) I like drinking out of straws- not straight out of glasses. Camelbak’s bite valves are perfect for me!

wearing: My new slouchy sweatshirt from The Printed Palette. It’s insanely comfortable- so much so that I may have worn it three times last week. And I might be wearing it now. Last week we had a little bit of snow during what’s now being referred to as “Icepocalypse 2013” and it was finally cold enough to justify wearing my Uggs. I’d forgotten how warm and cozy they are! Seriously, bring on the cold. Or I might start wearing them in the not-cold just because.

loving: The new sheets my Mom got us for Christmas, which were a perfectly chosen, impeccably timed gift because about a week before Christmas I put my foot through a hole in our existing sheets. A sad discovery, because I’ve had those sheets for years and they were the perfect amount of comfortable. However, our new sheets? Amazing. I promise that I’m sleeping better because of them.

weather: It’s been so weird around here. After our little snowy interlude last week, we’ve had cold days, warm humid days and torrential rainstorms coupled with tornado watches. My sinuses have been crazy, and I’ll admit to being more irritable than usual. Isn’t it crazy how much the weather really affects our bodies + spirits?

thinking: How grateful I am for a God who loves His children and protects them constantly. I had a little health scare last week that turned out to be inconsequential but left me with a lot of gratitude for a loving Father Who doesn’t let anything escape His watchful eye. He’s all-powerful and He’s always good. And that’s the most comforting thing in the world.

James & Audrey Jo Design

My husband and I recently launched a new design site & blog. We love typography art and wanted to be creators, not just consumers. We’re selling variety of printable designs, including hymnscarolsScripture, and photo cards. Right now, most of our products are Christmas (since it’s December!), but we’ll be adding more season-neutral prints early in the New Year. We’re also blogging some gift ideas and detailed descriptions of our designs.

I’ll be cross-posting a few things from our blog for the next couple of weeks.

Please take a minute to check out our new site. If you have specific verses or quotes you’d like to see designed, please send us an email – we love to hear from fans & customers!

weekend links


Angie’s beautiful post about failure and weakness – a great reminder that the One who redeemed us loves us even in our blindness.

Don’t these pumpkin muffins with eggnog swirl look delicious? We’ve been eating a lot of pumpkin around here, and this one definitely made it onto the list of new recipes to try!

How cute are these pumpkins? Little by little, fall is making its way into our decor- I’m thinking about making some of these to add some more!

I love the perspective in this blog post about the election from Jen Hatmaker. “No president can take the Kingdom out of our hearts. No candidate can steal what Jesus has already won. God’s kingdom exists anywhere believers are choosing love and grace and reckless obedience; it is undeterred by a red or blue context.” THIS.


What are your weekend plans? We’re taking it easy- some extra rest and relaxation, some time with friends, perhaps some homemade pumpkin ice cream- all the best of fall. 🙂

Happy weekend!

weekend links

Source: via Audrey on Pinterest


a secret weapon for your freezer: caramelized tomato paste! i read about this earlier this week in bon appetit, and was reminded as i saw this article that i need to go jazz up some of that tomato paste in my pantry! the kitchn did a great series on freezer cooking that has me rethinking some of my storage habits and wishing for an extra freezer all at the same time.

this book changed my life last week. okay, maybe i’m being a little dramatic, but i’m a little obsessed with it! the author, Jennifer Reese of The Tipsy Baker, writes wittily of her journey to discover what’s worth making at home and what’s not. she includes recipes and hilarious anecdotes featuring her children and the farm animals (goats and chickens) she acquires in the process. i got it from the library (and have renewed it to read some more!) but it’s definitely going on my wishlist.

a recipe for raw “cookie dough” bites. i made these last night and they are delicious! they do indeed taste like oatmeal cookie dough and they’re very filling so you probably won’t end up eating the whole batch. which is always a danger for me, honestly.

Photo backdrop DIY from Sew Caroline- i need to make one of these! or, rather, commission my sweet husband’s help to make one. 🙂

blog resources at In Honor of Design. some great tips and a few books that are going on my to-read list.

some thoughts on modesty from Tim Challies. another book that i’m looking forward to reading!


happy weekend, all! we’re making fajitas, building bookshelves, and looking forward to James’ first week of working from home… yikes! i’m looking forward to having him here all the time but i know there will be an adjustment period for us- change makes me nervous sometimes!

what’s in store for you this weekend?



a little break + a book swap

so obviously it’s been a little quiet around here. let’s just say i took an unintentional but much needed blogging break. that’s what summertime is all about, right? vacationing? 🙂 during said break, my sweet husband and i did a ton of traveling, house decorating, and i actually read a few books. it was glorious! i can’t wait to show you all some of the things we’ve done around the house- waiting on a few more pieces and then maybe we’ll do a little house tour. 🙂


but first, let’s talk about the book swap, hosted by Katie and Heather. i was paired up with sweet Michelle at the vintage apple, who sent me two books i’ve had on my list to read for a long time: Water for Elephants and The Help. while water for elephants was a good read, i’m definitely enjoying the help more- to the point that i’m reading it slowly so that i can savor it and it lasts a little longer. (am i the only one who does that?) and you’d better believe that the movie is going in our netflix queue- after i finish the book, of course.

thanks so much to Katie and Heather for hosting this fun swap, and to Michelle for picking some great reads for me. 🙂

what’s the best book you’ve read lately?