This past weekend, after many hours of St. Patty's Day fun, I came to the realization that sometimes I really hate my body. My feet were tired, my mind was happy, and if I'm being honest, I was a little bit tipsy. We sat down in a restaurant and I watched some of my friends share a deliciously cheesy pizza and another friend eat a yummy looking sandwich on fluffy, fluffy bread.
Today has been 14 days with any grains, dairy, or refined sugar. Yeeshk. Here's why: I've always struggled, for as long as I can remember, with IBS (ew. yeah I went there). It had honestly become part of my life, and I got used to it. But alas, there came more. Over the last 6 months (maybe longer? What is time, anyways?) I've noticed my body doing some weird, weird things. First, whenever I ate anything with dairy or wheat in it, my stomach would bloat and my entire body felt like it was swollen. Uncomfortably so. Then my anxiety began to get worse after eating. Near panic attack worse. And finally, I started having hot flashes like a mo-fo. All day, lasting for hours. Not a flash. Like a full burning at the stake. Now, I'm seeing a doctor about the twenty-eight-year old hot flashes, but I have noticed that they have tapered off tremendously since changing my diet. Excuse my language, but what the fuckin' fuck is that about?
After doing extensive research, I've also come to find that the absolute worst foods a woman with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) can eat are sugar and items made of refined white flour (cue sobbing). So, I figured if I wanted to stop being an anxious, swollen, sweaty mess and one day maybe pop a baby out of this dysfunctional body, I better shape up.
I've had a couple of pity parties. Mad at myself, mad at my body. But it doesn't look like anything is changing anytime soon. I need a violin. No really, this sucks. Oh, and yes, I know it could be much worse, shut up.
I started March 1st doing Whole30. But these past couple of days I've changed my tune. I need to get away from thinking about this as a 30 day challenge, and start realizing that this is forever (sob). Now, we won't count the drinking I did on St. Patty's day (I did stay true to my eating that day. Miracle), but besides then, I haven't slipped. I'm allowing myself to drink wine (because, duh), and I'm holding my potatoes close. No dairy, no wheat, no white sugar.
In order to not lose my damn mind, I have done a lot of digging and searching for yummy recipes. A person can only eat chicken, potatoes, and broccoli for so long before she starts playing in traffic. Below are five recipes I've tried these past two weeks that left me pleasantly surprised.
Baked Buffalo Wings by Jay's Baking Me Crazy
These wings were sooooo yummy and pretty easy to make! They are Paleo and Whole30 approved!
- 2 1/2 pounds chicken wings & drumsticks
- 2 Tbsp avocado oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 cup ghee
- 1/2 cup Frank's Original Red Hot
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a cookie sheet with tin foil. Place a wire rack over the lined cookie sheet.
- Place the wings in a bowl and pat dry with a paper towel. This will ensure crispy wings.
- Add the oil, salt, and garlic powder and toss until evenly coated.
- Place the wings on the wire rack, skin side up.
- Bake for 40 minutes.
- During the last 10 minutes of baking, make the sauce. Mix the ghee and hot sauce together over low heat in a sauce pan on the stove until the two are combined.
- Once wings are done, coat them in sauce and place them back on wire rack.
- Bake 5 minutes and repeat this process again. After the second round, I left my wings under the broiler for a couple of minutes for extra crispness!
- Serve with ranch (recipe to come below) and celery.
Bacon Wrapped Asparagus
- Whole30 approved bacon (you know how I feel about ethically raised animals- see this Whole30 article about how they're doing their part to raise awareness!)
- 1 bunch of asparagus
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Trim the ends of the asparagus stalks then cut the asparagus in half.
- Place cut asparagus in a bowl with oil, salt and pepper. Toss until well coated.
- Gather a mixture of stalks and heads. Wrap 1 piece of bacon around bunch tightly enough that they stay together. Place in 9x13 pan (or whatever you have that will hold the bunches)
- Repeat until you've used all the asparagus.
- Place in oven for 20-25 minutes depending on thickness of bacon. Broil for a couple minutes at the end for crisper bacon.
Cobb Salad with Whole30 Ranch Dressing
I was so nervous to make this ranch, but it is DELICIOUS. If you're in a hurry, or just don't want to, this Primal Kitchen Ranch is also da bomb.com!
3 cups spinach or your favorite salad greens
- 6 slices of approved bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 1/2 pound chicken tenderloins (seasoned with salt and pepper)
- 1/2 cup sliced and cubed cucumber
- 1/2 halved cherry tomatoes
- 2 hardboiled eggs chopped
- 1/2 medium avocado (sliced last to keep it from browning)
For Ranch Dressing
2/3 cup avocado oil
- 1 room temperature egg
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
- 1 tbsp fresh or dried herbs (I used fresh dill and parsley from my Herb Garden)
- 2 tbsp full fat canned coconut milk or coconut cream
- Season chicken with salt and pepper. Place in large skillet over medium heat. Cook thoroughly, about 5 minutes each side. Remove from heat and set aside. Once cool enough to touch, dice chicken into bite sized pieces.
- Assemble all the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Add cooked chicken and bacon. Add avocado last so it does not brown.
- Serve with dressing on the side.
For Ranch Dressing
- Place the egg, 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar, spices and herbs (everything but the coconut milk) in a food processor (I have THIS little guy and I love it! Perfect for dressings and dips). Pulse a few times. Measure out 2/3 cup oil. Slowly pour the oil in through the top holes of the food processor (running on low speed). It will take a few minutes to get it all in. Once all the oil has been added in, add the coconut milk and pulse a few more times.
- Store in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 4 days
Pizza Potato Skins by Jay's Baking Me Crazy
- 4 organic russet potatoes
- 8 tablespoons pizza sauce
- Ground Italian Sausage, cooked until browned
- 30 slices pepperoni (check for no added sugar or nitrates)
- Black olives (optional)
- 8 oz sautéed mushrooms (optional)
- Roasted garlic (optional)
- Seasonings (I used basil, parsley and oregano from my herb garden)
- Any other favorite pizza topping
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with tin foil.
- Wash and poke holes in potatoes, brush with oil (I used avocado oil) and bake for 40-60 mins depending on size of potatoes.
- Let cool about 10 minutes, then cut the potatoes in half and scoop out most of the inside.
- Brush both sides again with oil and lay them on the sheet face down. Bake for 7 minutes.
- Turn over and bake an additional 5 minutes.
- Fill with sauce, sausage, pepperoni and/or any pizza toppings you want. Bake for 10-12 minutes until sausage is crispy.
Zoodles with Fresh Basil and Tomatoes (Meatless Option)
- 2-3 large zucchini
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 3-4 fresh basil leaves
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- Using a spiralizer (I have this ONE and I love it!) spiral slice the zucchini. Place the spirals aside on a plate covered in paper towels for about 10-15 minutes (removes some of the moisture from the zucchini so you don't have soggy zoodles!)
- Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Place tomatoes in skillet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook for about 10 minutes, or until tomatoes have softened. Add garlic and basil and cook until fragrant.
- Add zoodles to skillet and cook for 4-6 minutes depending on how soft you like your zoodles.