Our 30-Day Eating Challenge | Week 2, plus Happy {Belated} Easter!

First of all, happy belated Easter!!  Christ is risen!  He is risen indeed!

Also, happy opening day of baseball!  Wahoo!  NES and I will be managing our first fantasy baseball team this season, so that should be an adventure and a half.

So first of all, here's our eating challenge update:

The Plan, updated:  The original idea was to follow the Whole30, which entails cutting

  • added sugar
  • legumes
  • dairy
  • grains
  • alcohol
out of your diet.  Our plan is to {mostly} cut these out of our diet for 30 days.  As I mentioned last week, we adapted our plan a bit.  We continued to adapt this week.

After discussing our plan with a friend who works with nutritionists, we decided that adding a limited number of whole grains back into our diet was a good idea.  This is partially for medical reasons, since I've been dealing with an injury since the triathlon that started our 30 days, and it just doesn't seem to be healing.  One of the things said nutritionists mentioned was that muscles grow differently without grains, so I decided that it wasn't worth the risk of continuing to hurt myself.  Maybe this will contradict some of the "healing" properties of the diet, but as I said, we're doing this to reset our eating and food choices, mainly.  

That being said, I have only added quinoa to my diet so far.  I'm intending to keep my grain intake to quinoa, barley, bulgur and similar whole grains.  We both agreed that we would not be adding any sort of baked goods. 

Lessons Learned and Favorite Foods:
  • Day 9 was rough for both of us.  I was actually really angry about not being able to eat some foods.  It was really strange.  Thankfully, that went away pretty fast.  I also had a rough evening on day 13.
  • Still living on avocado!  Love it!
  • Easter candy was one of the only things that made me crave sugar.  I'm glad it's not going to be sitting at every checkout staring at me anymore!  I haven't had a single Cadbury creme egg or Reese's pieces egg!  
  • I never thought I'd just eat all my dozen dyed Easter eggs like it was nothing, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to have no problem finishing them in less than a week this year! 
  • I finally thought to try making some muffin tin quiches this past week for breakfasts!  I just beat some eggs with salt and pepper, and added them to muffin tins with tomatoes and fresh spinach, or added salsa and added them to a muffin tin with just tomatoes.  I baked them for 20 minutes-ish at 375 degrees.
  • Salads in jars are still amazing! 
  • I made a sweet potato and chicken sausage hash for Easter breakfast (See below!) and I love it.  Yum!  It's even good leftover with leftover quinoa!
  • I'm still hungry all the time.  Carrots and almonds have been saving me in that regard! 
  • I never thought I'd be craving a syrup-laden, creamy coffee beverage.  But that's been my most constant craving!
Neither of us are feeling as amazing as we thought I thought we would.  I've still been tired (there were a few days I was more awake in the middle of the day, but crashed HARD before bedtime).  Maybe it's been that we've "cheated"/added grains, or maybe it's just been that we've been so busy (I'm never planning so much in a weekend again!).  Who knows.  We're halfway there, and there's still plenty of time for things to change.  Although, week 3 encompasses most of the events we planned into our time (a ice cream place opening and dinners with friends/family), so maybe this week won't be great either. 

But anyway, let's go back to Easter! 

Usually, I make sweet things for Easter breakfast.  During my childhood, it was always cinnamon buns.  Obviously that wasn't happening this year.  I had actually intended the sweet potato and chicken sausage meal I ended up making for dinner last week, but we ended up eating something else, so I saved it for Easter breakfast!

It was not too involved for making before church, and it was actually really yummy!  
Next time, I'll cut the sweet potatoes a little smaller than 1 inch pieces, since it took about twice as long as the recipe said to soften up the sweet potatoes.  
I loved the little bit of sweetness that chicken and apple sausages added.  Aidell's brand doesn't include any sugar besides apples/apple juice, so they were perfect!  
The peppers made a pretty contrast (although, getting an orange pepper was a little silly) and were also tasty.  

I'll be eating it on top of leftover quinoa all week for lunches, and I'm excited about it!  
I also {barely} managed to sneak in some egg dying this weekend!  Because it was late on Friday evening, after I boiled down the turmeric and red cabbage, I decided to leave them in the fridge overnight.  They came out vibrant, and I can't find a downside!  I think I have a new plan!  

Sweet Potato and Chicken Sausage Hash
adapted from $5 Dinners

2 tbsp. olive oil
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2"-1" cubes
2 red/orange/yellow bell peppers, diced
2 tbsp. minced onion
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. ground ginger
dash paprika
salt and pepper, to taste
ground red pepper, to taste
1 package chicken sausage links (I prefer apple!), sliced

Place the oil to a large skillet.  Saute the sweet potato cubes for 5-7 minutes, or until just slightly beginning to soften.  Add water, if necessary, to help the sweet potatoes steam and not stick.  Stir often.

Add the diced peppers, and all spices.  Stir and cook for another 5-7 minutes.  The peppers should be softened.

Add the sliced sausage and stir.  Allow the sausage to warm up (if fully cooked), or cook through (if raw).

Serve warm.  Serves 4 as a main meal, 8 as a side dish/small meal with grain and salad.


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