The 20 days (again)

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The 20 days (again)

I’ve had so much success with this plan that my husband is actually wanting to do his own plan. We’re starting the 20 days again! I’m prepping for it now with some spicy coco sauce and carrot and ginger soup. I’ve lost 21 pounds on this diet. That’s waaay more than I expected. It’s possible that with the restart I could lose even more. I was even able to eat lasagna one night and a sandwich the next day without reacting. I’m hoping that this time around I pass bread. We’ll see what happens.

I’ve done pretty well eating plan style, but I know that I ate more veggies and salads during the 20 days. It will be good to go back to a set menu so that I can remember all of the guidelines. I think that my moods have leveled out a little as well. When I find myself in a bad mood I have a bit more self-control and I can talk myself down. I have fewer mood swings and I have notice an increase in my luteal phase which means my fertility has been increased!

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Day 41 15 pounds healthier

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Today I am testing pork. I got a really good deal on pork chops and I used half for a test. My husband grilled as it is beautiful out here in the south! Hopefully it goes well because they were really tasty!

I have been on this plan for 41 days and I have lost 15 pounds! The last few days I have been decreasing by .2 instead of .5 or more. Maybe I’m reaching my set point. I also got very eager to try recipes on pinterest recently which made me scale back on the veggies because I spent so much time on the main courses. I am trying this week to make better salads and be sure to eat multiple sides in a meal. That is the part that is hardest to stick to. I don’t naturally make a side AND a salad in one meal because I’m only cooking for one other person.

It’s hard to find grain-free breakfasts that aren’t just meat piled onto more meat and fruit. I’m keeping my eyes out for that. Cutting out grain though hasn’t been that hard. I only miss it when it’s offered to me and I have to say no. If I don’t see it then I don’t even miss it. I feel so much better on this diet. I can tell my mastocytosis has improved too! It has faded a lot although it is still there. This has been a very good change in my life.

Food Hangover

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We went to a Super Bowl party on Sunday night. I ate gluten free pepperoni pizza, tortilla chips and buffalo chicken dip. Everything was delicious, but I paid so dearly for it. Part of the problem I think was overeating. I am very used to eating what my body actually needs to sustain itself so eating more was a huge issue for my body to deal with. I also had gluten. Apparently, certain brands of ranch has gluten in it. So do communion crackers and delicious shortbread cookies.

The list of foods and their effects could go on forever, but in the morning what was certain was that I had heartburn for the first time in a very long time and also that I had gained a pound and a half. I ate friendly foods the next day and still gained half a pound. Today, I had a headache. It could be sinuses, dehydration as I didn’t space out my liquids well or it could have been a detox headache. I guess only time will tell. One thing is for certain though–this is a sustainable diet. Even my husband who mostly just eats dinner with me and drinks half his body weight in water wanted to be more in tune with what he is eating. He has realized that even though pizza is one of his favorite foods, tomatoes don’t agree. He wants to avoid red sauce pizza much more now that he has experienced his own “Food hangover.”

On a cheeri-er note, I took a picture of dinner which was a stir fry and chicken.

Vegetable Stir-Fry with Chicken and Sriracha

I made extra chicken and then turned it into a Chicken and Avocado salad for tomorrow’s lunch. I left out the mayo because I don’t like it and haven’t tested it. I only used one portion of chicken so I used 1.5 avocados and I added a jalapeño pepper just because.

Chicken and Avocado Salad

Experimenting with old recipes

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I lost .4 lbs yesterday so I would say tomatoes definitely passed. I’m also very glad that I had so much avocado yesterday! I looked at the sodium content for the chicken broth and it was unbelievable! 1 cup of broth is about 20% of daily value! I guess that rules out any possibility of a chicken noodle-less soup. Between the broth and the celery I think I would hit my daily limit!

Omlet Plan

This morning I made a delicious omelet! My husband is a pro at making them and I guess I learned a thing or two from watching him. It had kale, mushrooms and herb goat cheese in it. I also cooked it in coconut oil because Aldi sells that now!

For lunch I knew that I was not having an animal protein for dinner so I decided to go ahead and eat the chicken tortilla-less soup. I had a salad with blueberries and pumpkin seeds. I made a vinaigrette that I modified from a recipe book. 1/4 a cup of olive oil, 1/4 cup of apple cider, 3 tbsp of apple cider vinegar and 1 clove of garlic. (the original recipe called for mustard too, but I haven’t tested that yet.)

Tortilla-less soup and blueberry salad

Dinner was a new take on an old fave. My husband loved the recipe and I realized that with a few changes I could make it for myself too! I substituted spaghetti squash for pasta (for me). I didn’t eat any bacon, but I did use bacon grease for sauteing the onions and mushrooms. I used manchego instead of parmesan (although I would have been fine with parmesan). I plan on making spaghetti squash pad thai tomorrow when my husband is in class and therefore not eating with me :D. I think this is the fun part which is finding exciting and delicious recipes that fit my body’s requirements and my family’s preferences.

Spaghetti squash carbonara Spaghetti squash cooked the right way

I read a blog post which talked about the right way to cook spaghetti squash. Apparently, the spaghetti is in rings so when you cut the squash in half length wise it essentially cuts the rings into halves.

DIY Coffee Bag Headboard

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I am not really good about taking pictures of every step so to see my inspiration click here. While hubby was building the frame (we checked the measurements, but the tutorial you see is for a queen bed which is what we have), I was busy sewing the burlap sacks together. I opened up one coffee bag so that the front and back were flat. I checked the measurements and discovered that while the length was more than enough to overlap on both sides, I needed a bit more width. I cut a second burlap sack and attached it on the right. I sewed wrong sides together for the seam and used the triple seam on the machine. (it sews each stitch 3 times before moving on to the next stitch). I read another blog on working with burlap and it was suggested that this type of project would need a backing so that the batting didn’t come through the loose weave of the burlap. I have also seen a tutorial for a headboard that used the canvas painter’s cloth as a cheap fabric to cover their headboard. I decided to buy canvas drop cloth from home depot which ended up being about $12 and I have a toooon leftover. I measured and cut it and then sewed it to the back. I wasn’t worried about these seams or how it would look so you can see the seams around the edges. It was all stapled to the back of the headboard anyway.

Sewn Burlap sacks

Hubby made a frame like the one from the first tutorial by gluing (with regular wood glue) the 2x2s onto the plywood (which home depot cut for us). He clamped each plank with three clamps (he just used the same clamps for each one and let them dry before gluing the next piece). He then drilled tiny holes into the plywood and attached screws to the back. He then measured the holes for the bolts, marked it and drilled through the 2x2s. This is where it got tricky because we built this inside of our apt. We had leftover wood from the 2x2s being cut down to size. He put a plank underneath the one he was drilling. Once he got through the first wood he stopped! No accidents yay!

batting foam and fabric Burlap on top of batting on top of foam

We bought a roll of 2″ foam from Hobby Lobby. We had to cut off the the end and add it to the bottom of the frame. Once all of the upholstery was done though, you couldn’t tell. I had leftover batting from Joann Fabrics for another project and we just cut off a little more than we needed to cover the frame. With all of those layers on we lifted up the legs so we could begin stapling the sides. We made sure to pull the fabric from the top of the headboard (the part closest to the ground while we were stapling) underneath and stapled each side alternately so that it would be taut. We cut a small slit at an angle on the parts that wrapped around the post and then stapled everything onto the 2×2. It was kind of like wrapping a gift. We then worked on stapling the bottom and the top. Making sure to pull everything as tightly as possible!

Here is the end project! Made for less than $100 in an apartment! Not bad! It took a few weeks from start to finish so don’t sweat it if you can’t do it right away. There is a lot to the project and of course we had to make 3 trips to Home Depot before we got everything we needed 😀 It’s also a bit flimsy and I’m worried that the wood will split if we bump it too much. We have a bit of leftover plywood that is cut to the right width and is about a foot in height. Hubby may glue that to the frame to give it a bit more stability at the bottom. The entire thing is held up only by 2x2s after all!

Coffee sack headboardFinished product

Materials:

3- 2×2 boards

1- plywood (cut measurements 33″x60″)

3- C clamps

wood glue

Drill

9-15- 1 1/2″screws

4- 1/2″ bolts with nuts and washers

Staple gun and staples

2″ foam

batting

2 coffee sacks

Cloth dropcloth

sewing machine

tape measurer

Scissors (to cut the foam)

New Recipe!

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Today was a good plan day. I lost a pound which was an excellent way to start the day. I had kefir, blueberries and flax granola for breakfast. I finally made it to the grocery store for some much needed salad! I made a carrot and beet salad on mixed greens with avocado and pumpkin seeds. That’s a mouthful!

Beet and carrot salad and rye cracker with goat cheese

I continued the theme of avocado with chips and guacamole because it was going bad. Then I had avocado in the tortilla-less soup I made (recipe found here). I am piggy-backing off of the current fad diets to find recipes. I have discovered that gluten-free searches usually turn up with alternative flours and using cauliflower to simulate grain. I would much rather eat my fill of vegetables and enjoy what I can have than find ways to “cheat gluten.” Paleo and Whole 30 recipes seem much more feasible and in line with the spirit of the plan.Tomorrow I plan on getting spaghetti squash and turning one of my beloved pasta recipes into something I can eat…with a salad of course.

Tortilla-less soup with avacado

One more exciting thing was that my grocery bill this week was $36 and I only needed to go to Aldi! I didn’t have to buy much produce because I already had a lot leftover which saved me a lot of money. Hopefully, I can limit my trips to Kroger to once a month! That would be phenomenal!

Wedding Weekend

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Well I gained 1.6 pounds after this weekend. Between running out of lettuce and therefore not being able to pre-prepare lunches and the parents coming in/going to a wedding, I found it very hard to stick to my diet. I definitely od’d on the sodium content, but I’m hoping that that’s it and not so much the inflammation. If it’s just water retention it should come off quickly.

I still don’t have lettuce (grocery day is tomorrow!) so for lunch I ate at Wendy’s with my coworkers and had a value salad and a frosty. I had stir-fry with sriracha sauce for dinner.  I didn’t manage to drink enough water today either so I doubt I’ll lose weight tomorrow. In any case, I haven’t totally given up nor do I really have a desire to give up. The food frankly doesn’t taste good enough to gain all the weight back. I like my vegetables now. Tomorrow is a new day, and I’m hoping to begin again. I don’t think I’ll be testing for a while anyway because of my luteal phase. I’ll wait for it to pass so I don’t confuse the data.

Sriracha stir fry