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??

 

 

 

 

 

Review of Week 5:  There's a lot of muscle showing off around here!  My husband and son are very pleased with results of their exercise this past month. LOL  It's made me a bit jealous...so I finally started back into my exercise regime last week....not a lot...  a few push ups, arm weights and a little time on the stationary bike (which I loathe) but it's a start!

We already have made these and other physical observations of changes taking place over the last month with our Whole30 dietary changes and other things we have done to improve our overall health (exercise, forming healthier habits instead of giving into food cravings, more prayer time and increasing spiritual (Orthodox) readings, etc.) and yesterday was our actual weigh in day before adding in any of the food groups we have given up over the last  35 days....  the results were phenomenal!!!! (in my humble opinion)  My husband had the biggest number results!!!  🙂   Congratulations honey on 20 pounds shed away!  I lost about 6 though I wasn't really trying....and my son.....  WHEW.... he gained 1.8 pounds! THANK GOODNESS!  I think the kid would have been rather irritated with me had he lost anything....  he's always been a small kid so GAINING is much more important to him.... and with him, I think it was all muscle.  😉

Other physical symptoms that have improved among us include less acne, better sleep, less digestive issues (almost none!), less PMS symptoms, less congestion, and even by far less cravings near the end of the month...

So What's Happening For Week 6?  We will continue eating the same way we have been with the exceptions of the single food items we are adding in on our test days:  Test Day 1 - Dairy,    Day 2 -  Gluten (wheat products),   Day 3-  Legumes,   Day  4  -  Non-gluten grains.    You can add in these items in whatever order you like.  My husband was wise enough to discern we shouldn't add in the two we most highly suspect will cause us issues next week, during Holy Week, when we plan on attending church services each day.  Thus we are starting with dairy and gluten this week.

Today is the day for dairy.  We will follow all rules for the Whole30 with the exception of having a dairy product with each meal today.  Yogurt with breakfast,fresh mozzarella cheese with lunch and we will have a single serving of chocolate ice-cream following dinner tonight.

On Friday we will introduce gluten. Reintroduction follows an every three-day schedule to allow full observation of possible side effects that could occur up to 48 hours later.  Some will tell you that side effects could occur for up to several days passed that...  but for this we will stick to the every three-day schedule as prescribed by the Whole30 website.  The gluten products we have selected are English muffins with breakfast, a wheat roll with lunch and spaghetti for dinner.

My son is thrilled.... My husband? Not sure but he is looking forward to ice-cream after dinner... Me? Almost terrified...  I have a feeling dairy and gluten are not going to go well for me.  SOMETHING has caused the digestive and congestion issues to go away.... I'm thinking it HAS to be one of those two if not both...  I've always known dairy has been an issue for me but have not ever given it up entirely.   I have a feeling after this Whole 30  'experiment' I may be forced into realization and using it by far less than I even was before....    🙁    I love my dairy.... but alas, if it's really not good for me...then....

So here is the menu for the week!

Week 6 Menu

Monday:

Breakfast:  Leftover egg dishes from last week, sliced ham, sautéed kale, chicken broth

Lunch:  Leftovers as usual!  Had some really good ones still left from last week!

Dinner:  Chicken Roast in the Crockpot with turnips, sweet potatoes, carrots, celery, onions and I stuffed the chicken with half an orange with left this very pleasant delicate flavor of citrus in the chicken and broth...mmmmm! DELICIOUS!  and a salad of course!

Tuesday:

Breakfast:  Egg Frittata with tomatoes and spinach,  Sweet Potato Hash mixed with leftover sautéed kale, Chicken Broth, Yogurt (one full serving each)

Dinner:  Meatloaf, Sweet Potato Fries, Mixed Vegetables, Salad

Dessert:  Small servings of chocolate ice cream

Wednesday:

Breakfast:  Scrambled Eggs, Ham slices, Sweet Potato Hash, Guacamole, Chicken Broth

Dinner:  Cauliflower Chowder with/broccoli, carrots and shrimp,   Salad

Thursday:

Breakfast:  Sweet Potato Sausage Quiche (double recipe for easy heat up tomorrow), Sautéed Kale, Guacamole, Chicken Broth

Dinner:  Chicken Ranch Salad (chicken and strawberries served atop Spinach or Mixed Greens along with slivered almonds and Paleo Ranch Dressing)

Friday:

Breakfast:  Sweet Potato Sausage Quiche, Sautéed Kale, Guacamole, Chicken Broth & and English Muffin with ghee

Dinner:  Spaghetti with Homemade Sauce, broccoli, salad

Saturday:

Breakfast:  Fast Day (We will be attending the Liturgy for Lazarus Saturday) I have found that I am able to get by well with just an RX bar....  I eat the coconut cacao ones on these days as they are my least favorite.  My younger son gets a lara bar along with some applesauce and olives.

Lunch: (Coffee Hour)  meat and lettuce wraps, guacamole, nuts, salads, RX bars  (this is all generally packed so that we have a choice after services depending on what we are feeling a need for)

Dinner:  Venison Crockpot Supper, Salad

Sunday:  Fast Day (Palm Sunday)

Dinner:  Leftovers!

Now I will leave you with a recipe for Ranch Salad Dressing that I whipped up on my own.  After attempting several paleo ranch salad dressings from a variety of sources, none of us were satisfied that they even closely resembled ranch so I made a brave attempt (it was - I am rarely one to just whip up something without a guide), I came up with my own paleo version which totally satisfied my son...and if it satisfies him...well... that's all it takes! 😉

Paleo Ranch Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Paleo Mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk (more or less to desired consistency)
  • 1 tsp. dried dill
  • 2 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder

Directions:   Mix all ingredients well.  Store in mason jar or other container of choice in refrigerator.  Enjoy!!