Wait Game… and Thanksgiving

This has been an interesting week. My birthday was Wednesday, Thursday was Thanksgiving, and this weekend is the Iron Bowl. For my birthday we went to a place that is a buffet I went to many times when I was younger. I did not go crazy, but did enjoy the food. For Thanksgiving, we had yummy food as well, and I did not eat too much, I had it, and loved every minute of it, but I did not over do it. I finally had all my cokes as well, and am about to start all my water.

I am getting ready to start my liquid diet on Tuesday. I am nervous, but excited. I saw where some people have had the surgery and ate cream of wheat before they left. I do not think so! I do not like that at all. Not sure what I am going to do. I am ready for next week, I have gotten ready and have things that will help me throughout the week. I just need to get some sugar-free pudding cups. I have found that the most delicious ones are the ones found in Publix’s refrigerated section. The French vanilla is amazing, and the chocolate are so amazing! I also have my Matrix supplements ready. I found a wonderful recipe for an alternative to Starbucks’ Salted Caramel Mocha lattes and fraps. This one will use my vanilla supplement, sugar-free cocoa packets, some coffee and mix it with ice. I am going to use coffee granules when I make it. I may try it today!

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Final Weekend!

This was my final weekend to “eat like I want, as much as I want.” I did not go crazy and eat a ton of food. I ate pizza with the family as we cheered on our Auburn Tigers. It was great, and I even had a bite of Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie. I also started drinking my water and getting off cokes. It was not as hard as I thought it would be. I still had some, but I also drank a lot of water.

I am super nervous about starting my liquid diet and then clear liquids. I am so worried I will want food and not be able to do this, but I have gotten so much encouragement from others. I have already started getting a list of recipes together for when I can finally eat soft foods too!

I go to my nutrition class on Wednesday and I cannot wait! I cannot wait to get all the information for my new lifestyle change. My mom is going with me, so I will be sure to get it all written down. She will also be cooking a lot of what I eat, so I need her there in case I miss something.

Have you had to go through this too? What are some of your favorite soft foods or liquid foods?

Paleo Goes French

I am so sorry that it took me so long to get back on the blog. I had in mind to “Blog Like Crazy,” but so many things happened lately. First was the beach, and that was a fun filled time with us being pretty much on the go the entire time. We went for almost a week and went to a car show. We are car show people. We go for weekend events, just the day, or a week. It is fun for our entire family. We were also able to do lots of shopping while we were gone. One thing that I got while we were gone was an adult coloring book. No, not That kind of adult, get your mind out of the gutter! The adult coloring books where the designs are intricate and detailed. They are beautiful pictures and are made to relax you when you are stressed. I stay stressed and anxious quite a bit, so I am hoping this will help. I have OCD, so I do worry a little with them. When I was a kid I would buy lots of coloring books and never color in them. I was too worried that I was going to make a mistake, so I would never color in them at all. I have already started one picture, so it has gone well so far. I still worry over the colors and combinations, but I am trying to let that go.

We also had my birthday in November and Thanksgiving. I am a girl who has her birthday on Thanksgiving every so many years and that is a lot of fun. We were super busy with the Thanksgiving holidays. I did plenty of shopping on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Did you? I have all my Christmas shopping done, so it was mostly for movies, TV series, and a few extra surprises for my sister. Just fun goodies that I wait to buy every year until this time. Some of my favorites were Modern Family, The Big Bang Theory, Criminal Minds, Mad Men, Pretty Little Liars, Homeland, and True Blood. I cannot wait to find a free moment to watch some of these. Modern Family, Criminal Minds, Big Bang, and Pretty Little Liars I have already watched, I was just getting them to complete my series at home. I have not seen the last season of True Blood, any of Homeland, and some of the Mad Men episodes. Did y’all get any goodies on sale? Do you prefer Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, or Cyber Monday?

I am sorry to ramble on. I am sure you do not want to hear all about my shopping! I just love looking at you as my friends and updating on what is going on in my life. Oh! And how can I forget, one of the most wonderful days of the year happened the Saturday after Thanksgiving! The Iron Bowl! This is an annual event that sets the year for an entire fan base. It can make the next year happy or terrible. This is the game where Auburn plays their biggest rival and it means everything to the people in this state (and literally in many cases around the globe). The good guys, Auburn, have not had a great season this year. It made me sad as a fan, but I will stand by my team and coach no matter what. Our guys had nothing to lose, so I just wanted them to go out and play with all they had. I lucked up and on Friday night while I was in the theater watching Mockingjay Part 2 (great movie), I got a text saying my friend had an extra free ticket and asked if I wanted to go to the game! Of course I did! I was so excited to see an Iron Bowl from inside Auburn’s stadium, not matter what the outcome. I had a blast and yelled and screamed, and at times, booed. It would have only been better had we won. I am so thankful for friends who thought of me and offered me that ticket.

But on to why you probably got to this blog. I have a confession to make. Since I have been at the beach and having Thanksgiving, and now leading up to Christmas I have not been following a strict Paleo diet. I have gained a few pounds, but I have been maintaining the past month. I need to get back on it ASAP, but I think I am going to try and follow it semi closely, and hit it hard again after Christmas. In the meantime, I am trying out new recipes. This one is a favorite with Julia Child and from the movie Julie and Julia. I made a crockpot version of Beef Bourguignon. It was amazing and delicious, and so very simple. I know in the instructions it tells you to sear the meat, and sauté the onions, etc., but to me that defeats the purpose of the crockpot. I simply put everything in the pot and let it cook for 8 hours on low while I was at work. Easy peasy. I found the recipe on my favorite standard, Pinterest, but I am sure you can find similar recipes all over the internet. This particular recipe came from Buzzfeed. You can find the article here along with 32 other delicious Paleo crockpot recipes. I plan on using this list quite a bit! Here is what I did:

Beef Bourguignon

I placed in the crockpot

2 lbs. cut up beef stew meat

1 large onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 large carrots, sliced

1 bag of little baby onions (or pearl onions if  you can find them), I cut them in half

Rosemary (it called for 2-3 sprigs, but I used dried)

2 bay leaves

1 tsp. Himalayan salt

1 tsp. freshly ground pepper

2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

2 cups bone broth

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 lb. (I went ahead and used an 8 oz. package) sliced mushrooms

2 Tbsp. tapioca starch

2 Tbsp. water

There are a lot of instructions on the website for how to carefully prepare all the ingredients. I was not that patient and did not have that much time, so here is what I did, and it turned out wonderful!

I added all the ingredients into the crockpot, with the exception of the tapioca starch and water. I then let the entire crockpot sit in the fridge overnight. The next morning I put the crock in the heating mechanism and let it cook on low for 8 hours. When I got home, I took out the bay leaves, you can take out the rosemary sprigs if you used them. I took the tapioca starch and water and mixed it together until blended and added it to the stew so it thickened. I then served it to my guests. Everyone really enjoyed it. Here are the humble beginnings and the finished result:

Beef 1 Beef

The result was wonderful, tender, juicy, and delicious. It was even better the next day! I cannot wait to try this one again.

Happy eating everyone!

 

~ A

 

Weekend Full of Recipes… And Football

Wow, this weekend went by too quickly! Where did time go? Well, I know where time went… watching football games, reading, watching football games, cleaning my apartment, watching football games, returning a movie, watching football games… Do you get the feeling I am a college football fan? Like any good SEC girl, I am a huge fan of college football and Auburn athletics in particular. Auburn played on Thursday this week, War Eagle, and won (thank goodness), so this weekend was about pulling for teams playing against Alabama, against those who had ties to Alabama, or for those could prevent Alabama from getting into the college playoff. Do you get the feeling that I am a HUGE Auburn fan? Yeah, it is pretty bad. People who do not live in the state of Alabama do not get the relationship that is between Auburn and Alabama. We have the Iron Bowl which is one of sports biggest, if not the biggest (I am going by noted sports magazines, articles, writers, etc.), rivalries there is of all. This gives fans the right to brag for an entire year about their team to the other. It can make you experience the highest of highs or the lowest of lows. Most people do not understand because they do not live in the same state as their biggest rival. We have to eat, breathe, and sometimes live with the people who is pulling against us. At one time I was married and was in a “House Divided.” It was terrible. Never again I pray. I know God has a twisted sense of humor sometimes, so there is a possibility my future husband may be an Alabama fan, but I pray that he is not. Literally. Every single day.

This weekend, however, I did do a few things that were other than just sit around all day in my Auburn jammies and watch college football. I did two that I am quite proud of and one I am disappointed with, unfortunately. First, the disappointment. Have you read Gone Girl? Have you seen the movie? If you have, you read and watched a treat. You either loved, hated, or dealt with the ending. I personally loved it. For me, there was no twist, I am not one to be easily surprised in a book, so if you have one you think would do that, let me know! But the film was so beautifully written, directed, acted, just everything. So imagine my excitement when Dark Places was made into a movie as well. I had read the book and enjoyed it, so I was looking forward to seeing the film. The movie was not widely released, it did not even come out here in my small town of Auburn, AL, so I had to wait for the DVD. Luckily, it came out only two months later. Also, I should note that the reviews were not positive. But like any book fan, I forged ahead ready to see my book characters come to life. All I can say is… read the book. Do not waste your time watching the movie. Yes, it had big named actors. Yes, it followed the story pretty closely, but IT WAS NOT THE SAME. It was a huge let down. I am not sure how to describe it exactly, all I can say is that I was underwhelmed. I give it two stars.

One of the positive things I did this weekend was finish the book Outlander. I am a former elementary school teacher and elementary school librarian with a MLIS with a School Certification Add-On, so I am a librarian by degree. I LOVE books. I love buying them, reading them, collecting them. So you will hear me talk about them every so often. I am so proud that I finished this one because I listened on audio and that was over 33 hours of listening time. It was 896 pages of historical romance. I loved every single minute of it. I highly recommend it and give the book 5 shiny gold stars.

But the real highlight of the weekend… RECIPES!!! I made three Paleo recipes that I am pretty proud of that I would like to talk about. No, I did not create them myself, I am not that bold yet, but I found them in various locations and they turned out pretty amazing. I could not wait to share them with y’all.

First up… Paleo Pancakes. I read through several, and I mean Several, recipes for pancakes this past week. Some had too many ingredients, lots had way too many mixed reviews, or they contained ingredients that I simply did not have. But I was determined that I was going to make pancakes last weekend. I turned to the mighty Pinterest and found The Urban Poser. They had an amazing looking pancake recipe with pictures that could make you drool and great reviews. I knew I had found my recipe. I have included the recipe here. I also want to apologize in advance for my photos, because while my minor in college was Art/Photography… my apartment has terrible lighting and everything comes out yellow. So, sorry.

Here are the photos of the pancake batter, the pancakes a cookin, and one of the finished result. The end product does not look as beautiful as the website, but hey!!! It was my first try! These were so delicious, I will get plenty of practice in the future.

Pancakes BatterPancakes CookingPancakes

The next recipe I tried was a Cake in a Mug, also from Pinterest. I found it here, which when I went to the site to add it just now it said ebay, so that is strange, but stranger things have happened to me! I tried out the Chocolate Mug Cake. It was absolutely divine! I could not even wait for it to cool, I was already diggin in while it was still piping hot! It would have been even better with a dollop of coconut whip cream on top! Next time I just may have to try that! Here is the end result:

Cake in a MugPretty darn tasty I have to say! The chocolate around the top is from where it rose up past the top of the mug and then fell once it was removed from the heat. It was a little time consuming, as was the pancakes, but this was worth the effort! Plus, who does not love a dessert you can cook in the microwave?

The last thing I made was from the book Down South Paleo by Jennifer Robins.

Down South PaleoThis is a great cookbook full of wonderful Southern favorites. I already have about four recipes that I want to try in the coming week or week and a half, so look for those to appear. The first recipe I tried out of this cookbook was the Texas Slow Cooker Beef Chili. It was easy to make, the most time consuming part was cutting up the carrots, onions, and pepper. I got to use all my different seasonings to make the chili flavoring instead of some premade mix. And I got to try a new combination as I had never had 1.) chili without beans and 2.) chili with carrots before. I have to say this was delightful! This will be a recipe I will turn to during football season or in the cold months of winter (or what we consider cold in the South). The flavor was delicious, I did not even have to add any salt, and I was able to start it around lunch and have it in time for dinner. Here is the end result:

ChiliI have to admit that I was a little leery when I first tried it, but I liked it. The second night when I had it for dinner, I loved it so much that I went back for more! This one was a huge hit!

I am proud to announce that in two weeks I have been on Paleo and I have officially lost 12 lbs. It is a little in the big scheme of things, but it is a beginning and I am very proud. I do not find this lifestyle change to be too restricting, or crazy, or hard. I like the food, I like the limitations, and I like eating this way. I have enjoyed reading new cooks to get new ideas, checking out Pinterest for things that catch my eye, and trying new flavor combinations.

Thank you for following me on this exciting journey! I hope I do not let you down! Up next this week… zucchini! I have never tried it, so this should be interesting!

~ A