So here we are in the midst of Holy Week and taking on the final week, week 7 of the Whole30 we vowed to keep all of Lent.

Review of Week 6: Last week we started testing dairy. Just one day - three portions of dairy consumed at three different times through the day with meals.  No big surprise there...it didn't go well for me.  It wasn't quite as BAD as I expected, but it wasn't good either.  It definitely caused digestive issues.  Dairy and  didn't seem to cause any obvious signs in my older son or my husband but dairy did possibly cause some digestive issues with my younger son - but not to the degree it caused me.

Unfortunately, my digestive issues with dairy lasted long enough that on our Wheat/Gluten Test Day, I wasn't 100% sure if it was the gluten or just the dairy still in my system.  I'll have to retry it to be sure, but I feel fairly confident that it was much more the dairy than the gluten for me.    Gluten also didn't seem to cause any obvious signs in my husband or sons.... nevertheless, my husband and I have read enough about this culprit to know that excessive consumption can lead to problems- and - strangely enough- though he didn't notice any overt signs, he didn't gain but he also didn't lose any weight during this week that we tried dairy and wheat/gluten.  Coincidence?  I think not.  We also noted feeling a bit sluggish the day of gluten.  Again.... coincidence?  We'll have to try it again another time, away from the dairy and compare results.

So What's Happening For Week 7?  Yesterday was Legumes.  This one we were hoping would not cause problems so that we could still rely on them for a good protein source next year during Lent when we typically fast from animal products. Besides the obvious 'gas' issues most people associate with legumes that I and my youngest certainly experienced, my husband got severe swelling in legs...something he hasn't experienced during all of the Whole30.  🙁   He loves peanut butter.  I think almond butter has found a permanent residency in our home.

This Thursday we will test non-gluten grains (rice, corn, etc.).

Sunday (EARRRRLY on Sunday - our service starts very late Saturday night and into the wee small early hours of Sunday morning) will be the celebration of Pascha (referred to as Easter in the West).  Traditionally, we make a Pascha Basket filled with ham, numerous cheeses, butter, Eggs, Horseradish, Salt, and of course, Pascha Bread - a large round loaf of bread made of white flour, eggs, milk and honey....hmmmm....   We will consume foods in the basket in the Church social hall with our church family admist many Orthodox greeting of "Christ is Risen!" Usually my husband makes a TON of Pascha bread.  He's at least limiting it this year.  We'll just have a small batch but it's a tradition that, at this point in our lives, just has to be had!  I will also be buying less cheese. I only have one package of raw cheddar for the basket.  There will also be chocolate, wine, and a few extra sweet goodies.  It will definitely be a 'feast of feasts' after the fast but not to the degree it has been for us in past years.

Week 7 Menu:

Monday:

Breakfast:  Fried Eggs served over a bed of sweet potatoes and kale mixed with sausage and onions.  Also, as this was Legume Testing day, we had an apple with peanut butter on the side.

Lunch:  We went grocery shopping during lunch hours...I know, but it was the only way to make the rest of the day work...so lunch was RX bars and cucumbers and carrots with humus.  The rest of the week will be leftovers as usual aside from Thursday (see below)

Dinner:  Mexican (Taco Salad) - I wasn't sure it would be all that good without the chips, cheese and sour cream...but it was great!  See recipe below!

Tuesday:

Breakfast:  Fried Eggs over sautéed kale mixed with green beans and onions

Dinner:  Chicken Legs, Baked Sweet Potatoes, Broccoli

Wednesday:

Breakfast:  Tomato Spinach Frittata

Dinner:  Crab Cakes over a bed of greens served with sliced tomatoes,  berries

Thursday:

Breakfast:  We'll be fasting this day as we have a liturgy service in the morning - but I will have rice balls with a side of mango prepared to eat after the service.

Lunch:  When we get home we will have corn with whatever leftovers we have for this day.

Dinner:  Gluten Free Pancakes with Sage Sausage and Cinnamon Apples

Friday:

Breakfast:  Scrambled Eggs, Sweet Potatoes or Kale

Dinner:  Ratatouille

Saturday:  Scrambled Eggs, Sweet Potatoes or Kale

Lunch:  Leftover Ratatouille

Dinner - No dinner today.... we will be fasting for the service tonight so lunch will be eaten just a little later.

Sunday:  We will be exhausted.  We typically do not get home until at least 4 in the morning.  I've tried for years to still have the traditional sit down Ham and Mashed Potatoes dinner but it just doesn't work.  This year we may have to take our daughter back to school on this day too so breakfast, lunch and dinner will be a 'whatever you can gather from the fridge and Pascha Basket on your own kind of day"...except for the little guy... I'll get him his food too!

 

Recipe:

Paleo Taco Salad

This is a really simple dish that whips up in no time.

  • 1-1 1/2 lbs ground meat
  • Taco Seasoning  (I use the same one I used back in our NON-Paleo days)
  • Romaine Lettuce, cut fine
  • 2-4 beefsteak tomatoes, diced
  • black olives, sliced or whole (pitted)
  • avocados
  • Awesome Sauce* (or some other Paleo Taco Style Sauce)

Directions:  Simply fry the meat mixed with some onion and taco seasoning.  Serve over a bed of the other ingredients.  Top with Melissa Joulwan's Awesome Sauce (Found in Well Fed 2) or another Paleo Taco Style Sauce of your choice.

Do you have any other suggestions for toppings for a Paleo Taco Salad??

 

 

 

 

 

So what DO you eat??

I am often asked this question.  It's usually right after a brief explanation of what our family can not eat, due to severe allergic reactions...now that we don't eat the ingredients I've mentioned in previous posts ( The Truth About MSG  and Our Food Story), our reactions to these ingredients when accidentally ingested are usually quicker,  more obvious, and sometimes severe like major mood swings but are usually things like rashes, itchiness, hives, vomitting, anxiety, headaches and sleeplessness(though now we are much better at identifying what we can and can not have, accidental ingestion is very rare).

Well, my quick answer has always been....if God made it, no problem, we eat it.  If man messed with it.....nnnnot so much.  But recently, I've realized we were eating more things that man messed with than I realized or at least admitted.

We were still eating organic granola bars, pastas, pizza dough (homemade and organic pre-made brands), cakes, cookies, and more.  Let's face it.  God did not make pizza or pasta trees nor can you find any chocolate chip cookies growing in your garden.  These are not natural foods. So I guess my answer should have been, "Food products that do not have completely artificial ingredients added to them and a lot of minimally processed meals that are made from scratch with lots of vegetables included."  That may have summed it up a little bit closer to the truth.

But now I can say we do, about 90% of the time, eat only what God made for us to consume. The Lord knows what we need and that is what he's given to us.  I've read quite extensively in recent months to further understand how processed foods and foods most people 'think' are normal healthy foods and comparing them to how our ancestors ate and whether the 'nutrition' in these 'normal healthy foods' is really what conventional thought claims it to be or whether some of these 'normal healthy foods' are actually more problematic to our health than good.  I'm finding such foods, namely grains, legumes and (oh how I hate to admit it) dairy to be more problematic than beneficial.

Soooooo, much to my older son's dismay, the members of our household still living at home full time are now transitioning to even less of those foods that man has messed with.  In other words, we eat mostly vegetables, nuts, fruits, eggs, and meat/seafood; the foods that God provides to us as readily available.  Things that don't need much in terms of processing to consume (other than someone to process the cow/deer/chicken, etc.  I'm NOT doing that).

We are actually experimenting with what is termed the Paleo and/or Primal Diet.

Now let me explain the 90% that I wrote above.

Life is hard.  We're not perfect.  And there are foods that, well, we are basically addicted to and going out to friends and families' homes that do NOT eat Paleo and Primal...well that would be hard.  It was hard enough on my extended family members when we were only avoiding artificial ingredients, let alone grains and legumes.  So we do, at least for now, allow ourselves an occasional meal with a SIDE (not main course anymore) of something with pasta or rice and occasionally I'll make a batch of brownies or cookies to put a smile on my son's face.  But now I have much smaller portions....one portion... and that's all. This way we are less likely to have a strong adverse reaction if we are eating somewhere that in order to be polite involves eating such foods.  We still will 100% avoid artifiical ingredients.  Eating that stuff would make us sick and that is just not worth it.

Now there are people who follow the paleo and primal diets that would say we can't call ourselves paleo or primal if we do that.  Oh well.  It is what it is.  This is what we are doing right now.  Some day I'd love for our family to do the Whole 30..... 30 days of essentially following the paleolithic diet a full 100% to see if we notice even more positive health changes than we have doing it our 90% way.  I like perusing over the Whole9 website.  I absolutely LOVED the It Starts With Food book written by the couple that are in charge of that program.  If you have time, I highly recommend reading the book and taking a look at the site.  Good information!  Information you won't see or hear at your doctor's office because, frankly, our dear family physicians and specialists are simply NOT trained in nutrition. There is simply no nutrition taught in medical school.  (My Dh is a physician ---  we have many friends that are physicians --- they are taught medicine - NOT nutrition) So it is up to us to research what is making us sick.  And the answer, my friends, is what we are putting into our bodies and exposing our bodies to in the environment.  The biggest factor, of course, is food.

My kids learned a long time ago what I think is the biggest health for all to learn, the difference between FOOD and food PRODUCTS.  The Standard American Diet is largely comprised of food products, not food.

So......   What do I eat???   I eat real food.

  • Grass-fed Meat & Wild-Caught Seafoods (of course we research to see what's considered safest in the seafoods)
  • Eggs from free-range chickens
  • Vegetables (legumes not included)
  • Fruits
  • Nuts
  • A small amount of dairy
  • dark chocolate with a bit of sea salt (A girl has to have her chocolate...lol)
  • And yes, occasionally, a small yummy that might contain a small amount of grain, sugar, or larger portion of dairy because I just haven't kicked the habit entirely and don't want to make things hard.

So there it is.  That is what I eat.  Any questions?  🙂