Week One Recap:

I think the first week went really well.  I don't think any of us experienced any of the tiredness or other physical symptoms that my daily emails from Whole30 warned us of.  That may be because we do eat fairly well to begin with and our diet isn't anywhere close to that of the Standard American Diet.

I did have cravings...  CHOCOLATE being number one!  And going to the grocery store was difficult.  I've never noticed so many people standing around with their coffees before.  I have gotten into a habit of treating myself with a breve latte when I do my weekly grocery store shopping so that was hard.  Also, walking past the Easter Candy displays - even though their isn't any candy we can have there (we can't eat anything with artificial additives) just reminded me of the chocolates that I CAN have and wanted desperately.

We stuck to the menu for the most part.  There were two days we switched around and we also ended up having leftovers on Sunday after Church because even with eating leftovers for lunch there was still plenty left at the end of the week.  So I think I'll just keep my leftover day planned for Sundays and just have some sort of stir fry thing I can toss together as a back up plan if there isn't enough leftovers to make a meal.

We set exercise goals and I think we all managed to keep them.  My own was to simply do some very simple weight exercises most mornings and to use either the treadmill or stationary bike for ten minutes 2- 3x a week.  It's not much - but it's more than I've done in a few months.

Week 2 Menu:


Breakfast - Scrambled Eggs, Pork Sausage (I'm doubling this as my son asked if he could have some for snack time!), Sweet Potato Hash w/ steamed kale & Healthy Fat of Choice

Lunch (EACH DAY) - Leftovers OR  Egg Salad or Tuna Salad over greens with tomato and a drizzle of oil and nuts

Supper - Sweet Italian Sausage Soup (I'm doubling the recipe to either freeze for lunches for another week or another Supper sometime),  Salad


Breakfast:  Broccoli Quiche, Hot Pepper Sausage, Avocado or other Healthy Fat of Choice

Supper:  Greek Chicken (This was planned for last week but got moved), Baked Sweet Potatoes, Green Beans


Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs, Sausage Hash, Healthy Fat of Choice

Supper:  Thai Shrimp Soup, Salad


Breakfast: Broccoli Beef Sausage Frittata, Steamed Kale ( possibly a baked sweet potato for my son) and Healthy Fat of Choice

Supper:  Venison Loin in the Crock pot w/ tomatoes, mushrooms and onions,   Zucchini Noodles, Salad


Breakfast:  Scrambled Eggs, Sliced Ham, Steamed Kale

Supper:  Salmon w/ cream sauce, Baked Sweet Potatoes, Asparagus


Breakfast:  My husband will make some sort of egg dish 😉

Supper:  Seafood Chowder, Salad

SNACKS:   There will be on hand, if necessary for ourselves and always for our sons - Lunchmeat (no sugar added and of course, no nitrates!), vegetables and various Paleo dressings or dips, nuts, and fruit for the boys (we, my husband and I, allow ourselves fruit but not by itself... only a small amount and with a meal)

Healthy Fats:  Just to clarify what healthy eating fats are according to Whole30 guidelines (and myself), a healthy fat according to my standards and those of the Whole30 is avocado, cashews, coconut butter, coconut meat, coconut milk, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, macadamia butter, and olives as well as Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Ghee and animal fats.

Venison Crockpot Supper

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 15 minutes prep, 6-8 hours Cook Time
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

This dish is so easy and, of course, could be used with venison (our usual) as well as any beef or chicken meat you have available.  Be creative!


  • 2 lbs. meat (the meat itself can vary - I like using venison steaks or loins - as well as the amount), left whole to cut later OR cut in bite sized pieces
  • 1-2 medium onions, halved and sliced thin
  • 8-16 oz. fresh (sliced) mushrooms of choice (If you love them, add more!)
  • One Large Can Diced Tomatoes (I like Fire-roasted!)


Simply prep by putting the meat and vegetables in the crock pot together, meat on the bottom.  Cook on Low 6-8 hours (more time for more meat).  That's it!  Easy Peasy!  And really delicious.  We like to serve it now with zucchini noodles and a salad.  ENJOY!


It starts next Monday!  LENT and our adventures with our first Whole30.

If you are unsure of what a Whole30 is, I'll explain, but you can read LOTS more here at wpid-IMG_20140225_093916_387.jpgthe Whole30 Website!  This program was started by the folks over at Whole9 - Dallas and Melissa Hartwig - authors of It Starts With Food.

Melissa and Doug started the Whol30 program back in April of 2009  as a way for 30 days to strip all food groups (sugars, grains, dairy, legumes) that have a negative impact on our health without us necessarily being aware of such.  I learned about this program when I became introduced to the Paleo Diet and read their book- which I must say is a book I highly recommend as it really explains the reality of these foods and how they affect our bodies in pretty basic and understandable terms for the layman.   As you may be aware, our family is Orthodox Christian....so as we have been experimenting with the Paleo Diet and seeing the differences it is making within us, I have been grappling with what on earth to do when Lent comes around....  It is Orthodox Tradition to abstain from all animal products during the 6 weeks of Lent and Holy Week - the week before Pascha (Easter).  I struggled with this until speaking with our priest.  He set me straight in realizing that our health comes before the standard rules of the fast....and there is certainly more to the fast and preparation for Pascha than abstaining from meat.  So for this year at least, we have his blessing to follow the Whole30 for an extended period of time in lieu of the typical fast.  Of course, doing this during Lent is all the more reason to STICK to it and not even THINK about straying from the plan!

So .....  What does it entail?

For the 6 weeks of Lent and Holy Week (an extra week) we will be avoiding the following foods that will help our bodies regain a healthy metabolism, reduce systemic inflammation and discover how much these foods may be impacting our health...and determining which we might still want to keep in our diet as a daily, weekly, monthly routine or NOT AT ALL.....

  • no sugar of any kind..... no artificial either (of course, we don't do this anyway) - no sugar includes honey, stevia, maple syrup, etc.
  • no alcohol
  • no grains
  • no legumes (this includes beans, chickpeas, lentils, peanuts, etc and all forms of soy) - the only exception is that green beans, sugar snap peas, and snow peas are allowed if you desire as while they ARE technically a legume, they are more 'pod' than 'bean' and green plant manner is generally healthy.
  • No dairy (well at least that's SOMETHING that's part of our normal Lenten fast)
  • No white potatoes (or red or purple or gold....you get the point...- sweets are allowed!)
  • No carrageenan, MSG, or sulfites (This is a no brainer for us...we avoid the MSG and sulfites completely anyway and usually swerve from carrageenan - frankly I'm surprised that's all they list...  there's so many hidden ways of hiding MSG...most people wouldn't know this...)
  • No desserts or junk foods even if made with "approved" ingredients...in other words, avoid replicating junk food for the 30 days -   I'm still making my son his birthday cake for his birthday...  it may be gluten-free - and my husband and I won't eat it but my boys can...
  • No stepping on the scale or taking body measurements during the program - this is to help you realize it's not about weight loss (though lots of participants experience it)- it's about focusing on health and lifelong benefits...

So what shall we eat?

3 meals a day - each containing a protein ( Ruminants- a.k.a. beef, buffalo, lamb, elk, venison, etc.. - Poultry, Pork, Eggs, Seafood and yes, even processed meats IF they are organic or 100% grass fed with no added sugars or sulfites, nitrites, MSG, etc.), LOTS of vegetables, and a healthy fat.

We are allowed fruit in moderation with our meals.

We are not supposed to snack between meals if we can at all help it.... they say if you get hungry between meals it's because you didn't have enough protein or healthy fat with your meals to tie you over.

We are allowed Ghee - which is clarified butter as it does not contain the milk proteins found in non-clarified butter which could impact the results of the program.

We are allowed limited amounts of fruit juice as a sweetener within a recipe.  LIMITED

We are allowed vinegar as long as it doesn't contain added sugar or malt vinegar as that usually contains gluten.

I've started my meal planning.  I've used our favorites from these great cookbooks!



I've bought some 100% Paleo snacks to have on for my husband's work meals and to have on hand for those 'just in case' moments.  My husband works 12 hour schedules and can not always sit down to a meal....so we've planned.  He'll take things like salads that contain a serving of protein and a healthy fat (avocado or guacamole, salad dressing made with olive oil, or a handful of healthy nuts).  But he'll also have Lara Bars that are paleo (not all are...we have to read labels!), RxBars, and Chomps Snack Sticks to have in his locker at work JUST IN CASE he forgets to take his food with him!  So at least if he doesn't get a meal in, it's at least REAL food he's eating and doesn't have to starve or give in to a food that's not allowed.

I'll have those things in my purse too in case we get stuck somewhere unexpectantly - traffic or something.

My son is 15 - and while he wants to support us in our decision - especially Dad as it may help him lose some weight - and has an understanding that it really is healthier,  he's not thrilled as you may imagine.  We are making some exceptions for him and our toddler.  They will not be limited in snacking - but it will be Paleo foods only.  They will be allowed all the fruit they want for snacks as long as they are eating protein and healthy fats too.  I've also consented to allowing my teenager gluten-free pancakes 1x a week.... on SATURDAY....NOT a school day.  I really want to see if eliminating added sugars from his school days might make a difference in his attention and focus with school stuff.  And if he's at a friend's place.... he doesn't have to follow the Whole30 strictly.  That shouldn't happen too often so we should still be able to see a difference in the school week.

During the last two weeks, we will be adding the foods from the 'Not Allowed" list to try them out and see if and how they affect us.... one food for 3 meals for one day every three days....   in this order :   dairy, grains, wheat, legumes

So That's the plan....  It starts next Monday - so maybe I'll post weekly to let you know how it's going along with our menu plan and maybe a couple of recipes.

WISH US LUCK!  🙂  We are exited.....but a teensy bit scared too!