June 30, 2011

Whole 30 - Day 12

On to day 12. At this time I'm just relaxing on my couch, having some tea and am about to watch a movie. I don't exactly know why but my energy levels seem to be dropping, I guess it's partly because of the heat and pollen. And the fact that most people I meet during the day seem to be tired and moody has something to do with it too, that really brings my energy down. I should do a course on 'how not to take over other people's mood', because that's exactly what I seem to be doing. I know my mom has the same problem.. When we're together and either one of us gets tired or annoyed, the other one will feel the same way too, guaranteed.
Sometimes it's really hard to recognize if you're experiencing a certain feeling because it feels that way for you, personally, or if it's just because the person next to you feels that way. Usually, when you don't know why on earth you'd feel that way, it's because of someone else. If you think about it, it's ridiculous that I let someone else's mood affect me to such an extent. I guess the best thing I can do is think about my upcoming holiday! Just 4 more weeks of work to go and I'll be out of there for a month. Ha! Can't wait!

On to my meals now. In case you are wondering, yes I skipped dinner tonight. Wasn't hungry at all, so I just chewed on some fresh coconut and that was that. Easy does it.

Whole 30 day 12 - 1
Leftover chili lime chicken, 1/2 avocado, some cherry tomatoes and carrot sticks.

Whole 30 day 12 - 2
Kohlrabi, turnip, carrot, 1/2 avocado, 2 scrambled eggs and some mackerel.

Carrot and fresh coconut

June 29, 2011

Whole 30 - Day 11

Day 11. Just had a really fun workout!
I got to choose a CrossFit WOD, and chose 'Nancy':
5 rounds of:
- 400m run
- 15 overhead squats
For time.

Our run wasn't exactly 400m, it was much more: 550 at the least. (couldn't measure it accurately on google maps..) The tough part of the workout is that the squats will tire your legs, so the running gets harder.
My time: 14:09

Afterwards I made an attempt at sled pulling! Pretty hard.. We took the sled outside and there were quite some people watching me struggling to pull the thing forward 'How many miles do you have to go??' someone asked. Of course I had to laugh and then the sled didn't move anymore at all.

Question to all of you: How do I keep 1/2 an avocado without turning brown in my fridge?? I tried adding some lemon juice, wrapping it in plastic foil.. Nothing seems to work. Help!

Here's what I ate today:

Whole 30 day 11 - 1
3-Egg salmon, celery and carrot fritatta, with 1/2 avocado and some cherry tomatoes

Whole 30 day 11 - 2
Leftover beef stew with cilantro and kohlrabi

Whole 30 day 11 - 3
Chili lime chicken with creamy spinach

1/2 avocado and some fresh coconut

Chili lime chicken

Whole 30 day 11 - 3

Another Asian-style chicken recipe! Yup, I often make chicken this way, but I use different spices every time. My mom taught me everything about spices and they way they can make every dish taste better.
I have to say that this recipe worked out really well. And am I glad I've got more chicken, limes and cilantro, because I will be making it again really soon!
It's tasty and very healthy as well.
Why is it healthy?
It contains:
- coconut oil: good source of fat (want to know more about fats? Read this article on Balanced Bites)
- turmeric: has anti-inflammatory properties
- chili: helps the body to cool down during hot days
- chicken: lean protein, what's not to love?
- cilantro: anti-inflammatory, detoxifying, just to name a few (read this article for more info about cilantro)
Did I mention it's tasty yet? Oh and it's really quick and easy too..
Anyway, just try it.

Chili lime chicken (serves 2)
- 2 onions, chopped
- 400g chicken breasts, diced
- 3 tbsp coconut cream
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp dried chili flakes
- zest and juice of 1 lime
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 tbsp coconut oil

1. Heat coconut oil in a wok or skillet and fry onions until soft.
2. Add chicken and fry until browned, then stir in the coconut cream, turmeric and chili flakes and bring to a simmer.
3. When the sauce has become really thick, stir in the lime zest and juice and the fresh cilantro.
4. Serve hot, and enjoy!

June 28, 2011

Whole 30 - Day 10

And we're one third of the way there! Day 10 of the Whole 30.
Time seems to be flying.

Today someone asked me, as I was telling about my CrossFit WOD last Saturday, if I didn't eat too little food to do a workout like that. It took me quite some effort not to start laughing, but I managed to reply that I in fact eat a whole lot of food, but that I eat lots of protein and fat instead of carbs. And that fat is an excellent energy source, so I got more than enough food. (I got a weird stare when mentioning fat, and a few more after that)

I took this morning's breakfast as an example of my food intake. The -pretty standard- reply I got: 'Yuck... Beef and eggs?? For breakfast?? Even the smell of it in the morning would make me sick!'
I couldn't resist adding that I actually look forward to my breakfast when I wake up..
Must be so hard for someone surviving on cheese sandwiches (or crackers), yogurt and some fruit for most part of the day to understand that there in fact is a different way of eating. And that that way of eating will make you feel energized, able to do tough workouts, think straight all day long and you can even eat as much food as you feel like. Not the plain and simple kind of food, no, nutritious, wholesome, delicious food!
Oh and it will also make you healthier, just a side note..

Enough said.
Here's what I ate today!

Whole 30 day 10 - 1
Leftover creamy Arabic steak, 1/2 avocado, cherry tomatoes and a 3-egg kohlrabi leaf fritatta, garnished with cilantro

Whole 30 day 10 - 2
Broccoli stem, cucumber, tomatoes, 1/2 avocado and grilled salmon (with EVOO and lemon juice)

Whole 30 day 10 - 3
Leftover beef stew (with onion, carrot and tomato) with some cilantro, cherry tomatoes and a chopped turnip

June 27, 2011

Coffee cookies

Coffee Cookies

Why am I posting a recipe for cookies while I'm on the Whole30??
Because I made these today, for my parents, and they loved them. I didn't have any, didn't even feel like it, but my parents liked these so much that I figured I might as well share the recipe with everyone.
The picture shows my dad's cookie. We had just agreed that I should post the recipe, when I realised I hadn't taken a picture yet so I made him stop eating and quickly snapped a shot!

The batter makes approx. 4 cookies, although I only made 2 huge ones so I wouldn't even be tempted to have any. (thinking ahead! I simply don't trust myself with cookies.. yet..)

Coffee cookies
- 1 1/4 cup almond meal
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp cookie spices
- 2 tbsp coconut oil, liquefied
- 1/4 cup freshly brewed coffee
- 2 tbsp agave nectar
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
2. In a bowl, mix the almond meal, baking powder, cinnamon and cookie spices.
3. Stir in the coconut oil, coffee and agave and mix until a sticky dough forms.
4. Stir in the raisins and walnuts and divide the dough into 4 equal pieces and roll these into balls.
5. Drop the balls on the prepared baking tray and flatten them with your hands to form cookies.
6. Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden brown. Cool for at least 30 minutes, so they will become firmer. Enjoy!

Whole 30 - Day 9

Whole 30 day 9 groceries

I went to the market and got.. A whole lot of veggies! Being prepared for the week is key here. Afterwards I went to the supermarket and stocked up on beef, chicken, eggs, some spices and more.
So, in case you are wondering. What veggies are in the picture; what will I be eating this week?
Beets, broccoli, butternut squash, cabbage, kohlrabi, zucchini, cauliflower, carrots, avocados, limes, lemon, cilantro, coconut, tomatoes, turnips and celery root + leaves.
This time they had left the kohlrabi leaves on, finally, as you can easily add those to any meal you want. I think I'm going to stir-fry them, or add them to a fritatta or scramble. I'm not sure yet..

My parents came over this afternoon and we had a great time. I had baked them both a huge cookie and I didn't even crave for it, which felt pretty good! I didn't have a clue if the cookies tasted good, as I didn't try any, but my parents gladly tested and loved them. So that's why I'll post the recipe soon, so anyone else can try them too.
They brought me a beautiful top from Rome and they showed me their pictures, it really is a wonderful city. I don't think I'd like to go there though, there are a little too much cultural sights to my taste. I'd rather see a nice waterfall or forest or something like that.

Anyhow, despite the amount of veggies I bought, I still had a lot of leftovers as meals today. (I had to, because I didn't have enough room in my fridge for the fresh produce)
Because my parents stayed over for dinner, I made a beef stew with some stir-fried zucchini. I like making my meals look good, especially when I've got guests, but I failed horribly for dinner.. Too bad. Luckily it tasted good, because that's the main point.

Whole 30 day 9 - 1
Leftover salmon and broccoli and 2 egg scramble with pepper

Whole 30 day 9 - 2
Leftover chicken curry and leftover veggies from yesterday's lunch

Whole 30 day 9 - 3
Beef stew with stir-fried zucchini

2 carrots, a couple of cherry tomatoes and a small bit of fresh coconut water

June 26, 2011

Whole 30 - Day 8

Cool, I learned how to do a Power Clean today!
Not that I can do one perfectly now.. And the weight looked so sad.. That huge 20kg barbell with 2 teeny tiny weights of 2,5kg each.
It's more important that I get the technique right though, and I'm sure I can start adding some weight as soon as I practice those lifts more often. I also tried to do a full clean, but apparently doing lifts you usually don't do, tires your body pretty quickly.
I liked it though! Lifting is fun! I like squats best.
Someone even got me an e-book about the Juggernaut training method, which I'm going to read soon. It's supposed to be really interesting and I'll keep you posted about it as soon as I finished the book.

What did I do the rest of the day? Not much.. Some laundry, reading articles, cooking.. I simply needed to relax.
On Sundays I'm usually hungry all the time, and so I was this afternoon. I ended up 'snacking' on 1 carrot, some fresh coconut and a scrambled egg with some veggies. Somehow I craved protein. Perhaps because I've been doing quite some strength training over the last 2 days? I think so.

Temperatures will rise up to (and possibly over) 30 degrees Celsius tomorrow so it's going to be really hot for Dutch standards. I'll make sure to get to the market early tomorrow morning, and my parents are coming over in the afternoon to show me the pictures of their trip to Rome. Will be fun!

Whole 30 day 8 - 1
Leftover chicken curry

Whole 30 day 8 - 2
Stir-fried veggies (with Moroccan style seasoning) and grilled salmon

Whole 30 day 8 - 3
Creamy Arabic steak and oven roasted broccoli

1 carrot, some fresh coconut, scrambled egg + some veggies

Creamy Arabic steak

Whole 30 day 8 - 3

To be honest, I don't like beef steak all that much, unless it has been cooked properly and there are no tough parts. An almost impossible result to achieve at home, unless you pay a whole lot of money for a decent piece of meat. That's also why I usually make stews. Very tender and tasty beef, doesn't cost much and you still get yourself some good quality protein!
What else could you wish for?
Today however, I realised I still had some steak in my freezer, that needed to be used. After over a month in my freezer I figured it wouldn't be so tender anymore so I decided to chop it up, marinate it and add a creamy sauce. Pretty good!
Would have been even better if I'd had some fresh herbs to add, but I didn't.. Of course you should definitely add some mint or cilantro to this dish if you happen to have some!

Creamy Arabic steak (serves 2)
- 300g beefsteak, diced
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp Arabic spices
- 2 onions, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 3 tbsp coconut cream
- 2 tsp coconut oil

1. Stir the Arabic spices into the olive oil in a large bowl and stir in the diced steak until well covered with the marinade.
2. Marinate in the fridge for at least an hour, preferably more.
3. Heat coconut oil in a frying pan and fry the onions and garlic until soft. Remove from pan and transfer to a bowl.
4. Fry the marinated steak over high heat until browned on all sides.
5. Stir in the coconut cream and onions with garlic and mix well.
6. Serve immediately and enjoy!

June 25, 2011

Whole 30 - Day 7 & CrossFit

Here we are, on to day 7 of the Whole 30! One week has gone by and I'm still going strong.
Today might even have made me even stronger because I had my very first WOD at an official CrossFit gym! It was awesome!!
Best training ever. (so far, haha)
I didn't really know what to expect, but everyone was really nice. Everyone was relaxed, ready for a good workout.
We started with some rope jumping and then went on to the warming up. The gym's slogan is 'Your workout is my warm up'. I totally get why, because the warm up was:
10 kb deadlifts
10 kb cleans (5x each arm)
10 kb snatches (5x each arm)
10 kb swings

My heart rate had already gone up quite a bit afterwards, and I started sweating. Good warm up! After drinking some water, the WOD could begin.

We did 3 rounds of Whitten:
- 22 Kettlebell swings
- 22 Box jumps
- Run 400 meters
- 22 Burpees
- 22 Wall balls

If you wanted you could scale down the workout to 15 reps of each exercise. I only scaled down the box jumps. After approx. 26 minutes, I was done, and needed to sit down to take a rest.
Another good thing about the workout, that we all did a cool down as well. That definitely helps for recovery. There even was coffee and tea afterwards, everyone was chatting for a bit, just having a good time.

So. What did I learn today?
- I LOVE CrossFit!
- Snatches and cleans (nope, couldn't do those yet)
- Snatches and cleans can hurt (I have a bruise on both my lower arms because I was too slow  in making the movement at first)
- did I mention that I love CrossFit yet?

And last but not least; my meals:

Whole 30 day 7 - 1
Leftover lasagna + 1 avocado
You only see 1 piece of lasagna in this picture, but right after finishing it I realised I didn't eat enough (was still hungry + keeping my WOD right before lunch time in mind) and had another piece.

Fresh coconut (because of my huge breakfast, I wasn't that hungry and only had some coconut)

Whole 30 day 7 - 2
Chicken lemon curry (approx. 200g chicken, cabbage, onion, pepper and coconut cream)

June 24, 2011

Whole 30 - Day 6

What a tiring day at work.. But  it's weekend now! Finally some time to relax and de-stress.
I found out that I'll be having a BBQ next week at a party from work. I carefully asked what kind of food there would be, but they couldn't really tell. They wanted to make some phone calls to check the ingredients, and also suggested I'd bring my own food. I refused both.
First of all, I don't want to take the risk of getting tired of food that secretly has lots of additives. The fact that something is gluten free and dairy free, doesn't mean it doesn't contain any MSG or soy (both will certainly get my energy levels down for a few days) and I know I'd be a pain in the ass when they'd have to take care of 'special' food for me. And then again, the only thing I'd be eating is meat. Dry, tasteless meat. (somehow people think you can't add any spices when someone has dietary restrictions)
Question they asked me 'but you can eat salads, right?'. No I cannot eat potato salads with lots of dairy and other crap. That's not a salad in my opinion.

Bringing my own food feels stupid and I'd have to watch that it doesn't get served to someone else by mistake. Either way, I'd end up constantly watching my food, instead of enjoying the party itself.
I know people think I'm a buzzkill that way, but the risk of eating something that will make me tired and the fact that the food won't be good anyhow, just isn't worth it to me. I'll just have my dinner before going to the party.
It's a shame people don't seem to understand, but they're going to have to live with it.
After all, I'm going there to have a good time, not to please others.

You might ask yourself now 'Do you ALWAYS eat really strict then?'. No I don't. And whenever I don't, I regret it 9 out of 10 times. By now, I've learnt when something's worth it, and when it's not.
Some buffets in Las Vegas for example: totally worth it!!
Of course I'll still eat paleo over there and according to my diet, but you won't hear me complaining about a few 'hidden' ingredients. There are so many amazing food options over there, it won't be hard to fill myself up with good quality, healthy food.

Now that we've got that out of the way, I have to share with you what one of my penpals sent me as a gift: a jumbo cupcake mould!
They even have this annoying-but-funny commercial:

I won't be doing any baking for a while now, but as soon as I'm going to make a pie for a special occasion, I'll be using my new cupcake mould. It's so cool.. I bet it works really well with an almond flour cake too.
Let's get to my meals for day 6 now:

Whole 30 day 6 - 1
Beef stew with leftover oven roasted broccoli, 2 scrambled eggs and 1/2 avocado

Whole 30 day 6 - 2
Leftover cauliflower fried rice with 1 scrambled egg, 1/2 avocado and grilled salmon

Whole 30 day 6 - 3

Some fresh coconut

Paleo lasagna

Paleo lasagna

I made this lasagna for dinner tonight. It was surprisingly easy to make, and pretty quick too; I was able to pop it into the oven in just 30 minutes. And another 30 minutes later I had a piece of lasagna on my plate and was enjoying it.
Instead of pasta, I used omelets to add some extra protein and firmness, and I used a lot of Italian herbs.
Paleo comfort food!

Paleo lasagna (serves 4)
- 4 eggs
- 2 tsp dried Italian herbs
- 2 onions, chopped
- 450g ground beef
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 small can (140g) tomato puree
- 2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 2 tbsp fresh oregano leaves
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- black pepper
- 1 zucchini
- 2 tsp + 1 tbsp coconut oil

1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius.
2. Whisk 2 of the eggs in a bowl, together with 1 tsp dried Italian herbs.
3. Heat 1 tsp coconut oil in a frying pan, pour the egg-mixture in and make a thin omelet, transfer to a plate.
4. Repeat with the other 2 eggs.
5. Heat 1 tbsp coconut oil in a wok or skillet and fry the onions until soft.
6. Add ground beef and spices, and fry until browned. Then stir in the diced tomatoes and tomato puree and bring to a simmer.
7. Simmer for approx. 10 minutes until thickened.
8. In the mean time, wash your zucchini and slice it lengthwise into several thin slices.
9. Put one omelet on the bottom of an oven dish, top with half of the zucchini slices, then scoop on half of the beef mixture. Repeat with the remaining omelet, zucchini and beef.
10. Bake for approx. 25-30 minutes until zucchini is soft, cut into 4 pieces and enjoy!

June 23, 2011

Whole 30 - Day 5

Here's my food update for day 5 of the Whole 30.
Still going strong and loving it! My energy levels seem to be much higher and still rising. Let's see where they end up..

Going back to work today sucked.. After all the studying I had been doing I felt like it was time to relax for a couple of days, but I guess I'm going to have to do that over the weekend. Luckily it was 5pm before I even realised it, so I went on to the gym for my 300 workout. Last week it took me 45 minutes (because of the heavier weights), and today just 37 minutes. I just love improvement..
Afterwards I got myself some groceries, bought 2 whole chickens that were on sale (who doesn't love that?), and another coconut. Unfortunately this one had a really thick scalp, so it took me much more effort to crack it with my hammer. It all worked out in the end though, and of course I had a few bites of the fresh meat as well.

I also ended up moving my furniture around for a bit yesterday and am already loving the way it looks. The amount of positive change you can make by arranging the same objects in a different place is amazing. The same thing accounts for life.. Small changes, big results!

This Saturday I'm going to have my very first CrossFit WOD at an official CrossFit gym! Pretty cool, right? I'm already looking forward to it!
Ok, let's get to the food part now:

Whole 30 day 5 - 1
Cauliflower fried rice, beef stew and 1/2 avocado

Whole 30 day 5 - 2
Salad with mackerel and scrambled egg

Whole 30 day 5 - 3
Oven roasted broccoli and shredded chicken

1/2 avocado, coconut water and a small amount of fresh coconut meat

Cauliflower fried rice

Whole 30 day 5 - 1

Finally, another recipe! This is what I made for breakfast this morning. Of course it's not exactly breakfast food, but I woke up pretty early and figured I might as well make myself a good meal. I served it with some beef stew and 1/2 avocado, kept me going all morning!
You could also add some chicken or salmon pieces to the cauliflower to turn it into a meal on its own. Be creative!

Cauliflower fried rice (serves 2)
- 1 medium head cauliflower
- 2 eggs
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 1 sprig lemongrass, very finely chopped
- 2 tsp freshly grated ginger root (or 1 tsp dried)
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 tbsp coconut oil

1. Take 1 tsp of the coconut oil and heat it in a frying pan. In the mean time, whisk your eggs in a bowl.
2. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and make a thin omelet. Transfer to a plate.
3. Cut your cauliflower into smaller florets and grind them in a food processor until a rice-like consistency.
4. Heat the remaining coconut oil in a wok or skillet and fry the onion until soft. Add pepper, lemongrass and ginger and fry for a few minutes before adding the cauliflower rice.
5. Stir-fry for just 30 seconds, then add the turmeric, coriander and cumin and fry for another 1 to 2 minutes over medium-low heat.
6. In the mean time, cut your omelet into thin strips.
7. Stir the lemon juice, cilantro and omelet into the cauliflower rice, remove from heat and serve hot. Enjoy!

June 22, 2011

Whole 30 - Day 4

Foodwise, this was a really boring day.. I started with a salad, had a salad for lunch, and guess what was for dinner? More salad!
I planned to make a chicken stir-fry for dinner, but I ended up getting home really hungry from my exams and I was in such desperate need of food that I threw the first thing that I could find in my fridge on a plate, mixed it up and ate it. Which happened to be a salad and some shredded chicken. Tasted good though!
I'll just add more veggie variety tomorrow.

I wanted to get myself some food at Amsterdam airport, my favourite place to transfer trains whenever I'm travelling my train. I pretty much take any excuse to browse the shops over there, and there's this supermarket over there that has lots of good eats (also paleo!), but guess what? There was some kind of bomb alert, and that supermarket had been closed until further notice. Was the bomb alert inside that store? Nope.. It was in a different terminal. Why did they close it then? Don't know.. My stomach was most confused of all!
I just ended up treating myself to a grande cup of green tea to go at Starbucks, which kind of made up for the disappointment.

So, after getting soaked in the rain when cycling home and having some food, I now feel like I can really start counting down to my trip to the USA! Yay! Couldn't be happier.
I realised I haven't been posting that many recipes lately, but I plan on doing some more cooking during the next few days. There's a recipe for cauliflower rice coming up, and I might just make some kind of lasagna over the weekend.
For now, I'm going to move my furniture around a little bit. During one of my attempts on studying over the last couple of days an idea popped up in my head and I can't wait to try it! Feels like my home is in 'winter mode' (even despite my yellow and blue wall), and that needs to change.

Here's what I ate today:

Whole 30 day 4 - 1
Salad with avocado, roasted onions, chicken breast and scrambled egg.

Whole 30 day 4 - 2
Salad with mackerel and scrambled egg.

Whole 30 day 4 - 3
Salad with shredded chicken.

Fresh coconut

June 21, 2011

Whole 30 - Day 3

Day 3! Since I was going to spend most of my day studying once again, I decided I'd add in a workout as well, just to refresh my brain.
I had emailed a CrossFit trainer from the Netherlands to ask if I could join them for a workout sometime, to see what it was like. He wanted to know what I was capable of, my fitness level and he also asked my time for Fran.
Fran? Yes, Fran.. A CrossFit workout, consisting of: 21-15-9 reps of thrusters and pull-ups.

Of course I had to give Fran a try today.. (after doing lots of pull-ups over the last couple of days, yes I'm already making excuses..) My trainer looked up Fran online while I was doing my warm-up and asked me: "Are you SURE you want to do this?"
Yes, I was sure.. How else was I ever going to become a crossfitter??

I did my thrusters with a 15kg barbell, which wasn't too hard to be honest. I think I can do it with 20kg next time, when my muscles have had a day of rest before.
Then on to the pull-ups.. I was kind of proud I could do 21 in 3 sets, of course with help of my trusted rubber band.
Then muscle soreness set in and the next 2 sets of pull-ups were hard.. Although I made it!
Due to the amount of rest I took in between pull-ups and the fact that switching between pull-ups and thrusters didn't exactly go smoothly (ball rolling from underneath my ass, in need of a step-up because I couldn't reach the pull-up bars.. etc) I was slow. I'm embarrassed to put it up here, but my time was 9.17. Slooowww..
Well-trained crossfitters do Fran 3 times in the same amount of time!
Check out this video:

That's awesome, right?
Anyhow, I am going to give Fran another try soon, and I'm determined to do it much faster then. At least I now know what it's like.. The fact that the guy who did his pull-ups after I was done needed the same rubber band and did much less reps before being in need to sit down for a while did make me feel a little better, although I'm still ashamed of my result and felt out of shape..
For now, I don't like Fran all that much, but I'm going to keep practicing my pull-ups and will do better next time. One problem still stands though; how am I ever going to explain this to that guy who asked me for my time in the first place?

First things first though, and that's more studying which I should be doing now.. Those exams will be up tomorrow and I'm glad they are because I'm pretty much done with it. Why is it that as soon as you get the feeling that you have to do something, you don't want to do it anymore?

Here's what my 3rd day looked like, foodwise:

Whole 30 day 3 - 1
Beef stew, 1 egg scramble with shii-take, broccoli stems and chives, and some leftover roasted broccoli

Whole 30 day 3 - 2
Lettuce, kohlrabi, carrot and tomato salad with EVOO and lemon juice, 1 scrambled egg, 1/2 avocado and 1/2 grilled mackerel

Whole 30 day 3 - 3
Lemon rosemary chicken, with 1 1/2 roasted onion, 1/2 grilled zucchini with paprika and a lettuce and kohlrabi salad (with EVOO and lemon juice)

Some coconut water and a few pieces of fresh coconut meat

Lemon rosemary chicken

Lemon rosemary chicken

Here's an easy, basic recipe for a roast chicken. Despite its simplicity, it tastes great because of the large amount of fresh rosemary, and the lemon adds a whole lot of flavour as well.
You can serve the chicken with any vegetables you like, some broccoli, cauliflower, a salad, a stir-fry, fresh tomatoes from your own garden, whatever you can think of.

Lemon rosemary chicken (serves 4)
- 1 whole chicken, insides removed and rinsed
- 1 lemon
- 1 bunch of rosemary (approx. 15g)
- crushed peppercorns
- 4 onions
- 1 tbsp coconut oil

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
2. Generously season your chicken with the peppercorns, inside and out, and stuff the cavity with the rosemary.
3. Cut the lemon in half and stuff it into the cavity as well, and tie the chicken's legs together with kitchen string.
4. Heat coconut oil in a frying pan and brown the chicken on all sides.
5. While the chicken is browning, peel your onions and cut them in half.
6. When the chicken is browned on all sides, add the onions to the Dutch oven and cover the pan with a lid.
7. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for approx. 90 minutes, or until the juices run clear.
8. Let the chicken sit for another 10-15 minutes to allow the juices to absorb, then carve, serve with the onion halves and enjoy!

June 20, 2011

Whole 30 - Day 2

Day 2 of the Whole 30 has arrived. I had a really good night's sleep, felt fit as soon as I opened my eyes. Then I jumped out of bed, and.. my muscles felt pretty sore from yesterday's workout.
Might be from those DB squat cleans, I really liked those though.
The soreness wasn't that bad though, so I went to the gym this afternoon to do my regular workout. Went really well, I even added a few prowler sprints afterwards.

This morning I went to the market to stock up on veggies and fish. I bought quite a lot of food.. Including some avocados! I bought 4 of those and the guy who sold them was looking at me like 'what on earth are you going to do with 4 avocados?'.
At the veggie stall I started loading up as well, I guess the low prices make me a little greedy because I bought way too much. So I'm going to have to do some extra cooking these days and freeze some meals.
The best thing I bought was a coconut, just 75 cents for a whole coconut. One of the first things I did when I got home was smacking it (and drinking the coconut water, so tasty) and of course I had a few bites of the delicious coconut meat as a snack. It put the rest of the coconut meat in a container and keep it in my fridge, that'll certainly last me a few days.
I also chopped up a huge salad, so I'm going to have to eat a whole lot of salad these days because I don't want it to get spoiled. It's a good way to increase my veggie intake though.

These days I often watch the 2011 CrossFit Games updates online. I don't think there's anything else that can motivate you to take care of your body as much as those movies do. Check this one out:

And here's my food for the day:

Whole 30 day 2 - 1
fritatta with 2 eggs, meat from 1 chicken thigh + leg (leftover from Sunday), shii-take, chopped broccoli stem and chives, plus some leftover roasted broccoli and cherry tomatoes

Whole 30 day 2 - 2
Leftover cabbage noodles with oven grilled salmon fillet

Whole 30 day 2 - 3
Lettuce, kohlrabi and tomato salad with leftover steak tartar and 2 eggs, drizzled with some EVOO and lemon juice

Whole 30 day 2 - 4
2 carrots, some fresh coconut meat

June 19, 2011

Whole 30 - Day 1

Here it is; my first day of the Whole 30! And not just my first day; Rob, from PrimalFood is joining me as well!

I made sure my first day was a good one and started with a good breakfast.
Next up: a tough workout that would get my metabolism going for sure. I did my first WOD from CrossFit.com ever, the Lumberjack 20. Of course I had to modify the weights I used, and there happened to be a nice track around the building my gym is located in that was a little over 500m so I used that for my runs.
It was pretty hard, and it took me approx. 33 minutes to complete. I enjoyed it though!

- 20 Deadlifts (24kg kettlebell)
- Run 500m
- 20 KB swings (16kg)
- Run 500m
- 20 Overhead Squats (20kg barbell)
- Run 500m
- 20 Burpees
- Run 500m
- 20 Pullups (using a purple rubber band for assistance)
- Run 500m
- 20 Box jumps
- Run 500m
- 20 DB Squat Cleans (using 8kg DBs)
- Run 500m

I spent the rest of the day studying, cooking, doing household chores etc. Since it's been raining all day, I couldn't go outside much and that made this day slightly dreadful. Hopefully it'll be better by tomorrow!
Here's what I ate today:

Whole 30 day 1 - 1
Three egg scramble with onion, zucchini, fresh chives, and a few cherry tomatoes.

Whole 30 day 1 - 2

Fried chicken thigh + leg, with cabbage and carrot 'noodles'

Whole 30 day 1 - 3

Steak tartar, fried egg and oven roasted broccoli

June 18, 2011

Walnut cookies

Walnut cookies

What's a girl to do when she finds herself at home on a Saturday night, it's raining outside, she just got a huge amount of walnuts, she's addicted to carbs, is recovering from a 'birthday cake hangover' and doesn't start the Whole 30 until tomorrow??
That's right, she bakes a batch of cookies! (and eats them while watching a movie..)

I spent about 45 minutes cracking walnuts to get enough for this recipe, but it was worth it.
Some time ago someone saw my supply of walnuts and mentioned to me I could also buy ones that have already been cracked. There's nothing wrong with putting in some effort to get yourself some food; it actually a really primal thought.
I also totally understand why primal people never ate that many nuts. They didn't have nut crackers back in the days so it must have taken one hell of a long time to crack them. I wonder how they did that..
Perhaps they smacked them with a rock or something like that. Maybe we could give some nuts to a chimp or orangutan and see what they do with it, that might give us an idea.
For now, just enjoy the fact that cracking nuts is an easy job for us and try making some cookies with them.
If you want you can save a couple of walnut halves and press them into the cookies for decoration right before baking, like I did.

Self reflecting after my birthday

Raw vanilla chocolate cinnamon cheesecake

It's the day before I start my Whole 30 and I'm looking forward to it!
Yesterday was my birthday and I had a great day! Went home early from work, did some groceries, cleaned my home and by the time I was done my parents came over to visit. Had a great time discussing anything and everything. They got me a new camera and I'm so happy with it!! They even added a memory card (8GB, so lots of storage for my pictures in the USA), a tripod and a weather-proof camera bag. I feel really spoiled! And that's not all they got me; they also got me a laptop pillow, something I really needed because I ended up with a bright red leg because of keeping my laptop on my lap for too long (the redness didn't fade until a few days afterwards) and last but not least I got the best birthday cake EVER!
My mom made it herself; the crust was made out of macadamias and walnuts, then there was a thick cashew filling with vanilla flavour, with a cinnamon swirl, and a creamy chocolate frosting (also made out of cashews) topped with some pecans. So good..
We all enjoyed a big piece, and later at night I enjoyed another piece because I liked it so much. And I've got another piece left for today!

I realised that, at this age, it's still kind of fun to get a year older. I'm 24 now. And instead of looking at the things I have yet to achieve, I decided to look back at the things I have accomplished so far:
- I bought my own home, by myself
- I have a job I enjoy and that interests me
- I have traveled to many countries
- I used to be a successful swimmer
- I got over ME/CFS
- I have learnt how important my health is and know how to maintain it
- I know how to roast a chicken
- I do pull ups at the gym and practice handstand push ups
- I focus on working to be able to live, instead of living to be able to work
- My parents are proud of me (and I'm proud of that!)
- I enjoy my life!

So, yeah, I guess I did pretty well so far. I feel good about it!
That doesn't mean I don't have any future plans or things I hope to achieve. I do. I have lots of them and that's exactly what I'm going to focus on. This post just shows that it's good to look back at the past at times as well, it makes you feel better.
I couldn't have achieved all of this without people supporting me of course; mostly my parents. I love them for that.

My next goals?
Completing the Whole 30 successfully. Passing my exams next week, and eventually getting my diploma in 2013. Enjoying myself in the USA. Getting my CrossFit Level 1 trainer certificate. Travel some more. Become even healthier and feel fitter.
And those are just a few..

This might sound like a pretty dramatic post, but I felt like it.
As of tomorrow I'll be on the Whole 30, 30 days of super clean eating, I'll blog about every single bite of food I eat and try to take as much pictures of it as possible. I'll post about difficulties I run into and about my workouts, and will try to add as much recipes as I can, of course. This is a recipe blog after all.

What did you guys accomplish in your lives so far? Anything in particular you're proud of? Let me know in a comment.