October 31, 2011

Whole30 day 8

What a shame the clock was turned 1 hour back last weekend.. It gets dark really soon now, so the days feel much shorter than they actually are. Soon, I won't seen any actual daylight when I'm outside on workdays. I guess I'm just going to have to get used to it until Spring, when the clock is turned an hour forward again.

My workout went pretty well this afternoon! Double unders were a little easier, and I found out my New Balance Vibrams are awesome for sprints.
Ring dips were hard though! This was the second time I did those, and I needed a rubber band for assistance, but I managed to do 6 rounds of 5 power cleans + 5 ring dips, in 8 minutes. I didn't really feel that tired, but my arms sure did!

Here's what I ate today:
Breakfast: 3 eggs with onion, endive and apple.

Lunch: Spinach salad with tomato, carrot, walnuts, desiccated coconut and olive oil, and a grilled tilapia fillet.

Dinner: Sauteed leek, carrot, pepper and salmon in a tomato sauce with dried herbs and topped with fresh cilantro.

Whole30 day 7

Yesterday was day 7, which means, 1 week down, 3 1/2 to go. Time flies!
I thought I wasn't that sore from Friday's workout, but yesterday I really felt it. This was actually the first time I had sore muscles in my hands! Probably from holding that sledge hammer..
I already feel much better today, so it's time for another workout in a few hours;
8x40m sprint
and an 8 minute AMRAP of:
5 power cleans
5 ring dips
I'm not sure about the power clean weight I'm going to use yet.. I'll just try what feels good before I start with the amrap.

Before I head to the supermarket to stock up on groceries, I'll show you yesterday's meals:
Breakfast: steak tartar with kale, onion and tomato fritatta
Lunch: coconut braised tilapia
Dinner: chicken breast with stir-fried kale with tomato, onions and bacon

I also snacked on slightly too many nuts in the evening.. I don't know why, I guess old habits die hard.

October 30, 2011

Whole30 day 6

Day 6 of my Whole30!
I'm still doing pretty well, despite a major carb crash in the morning. (read: trembling hands, dizziness, sweating...) Luckily some water and a good meal made all of that go away.
I only have 2 pictures to share with you, because I forgot to take a food picture of the dinner I prepared.. People were coming over and I was pretty stressed out so I forgot.
First, here are my breakfast and lunch:
Breakfast: sauteed onion, tomato, carrot and 1/2 apple, topped with an egg (I attempted to make 'eggs in a nest' but couldn't find the pan's lid so my egg was slightly undercooked. Tasted good anyway)
And I also had some tasty beef with it.

Lunch: steak tartar with carrot fritters (carrot, egg, sesame seeds, Italian herbs and some arrowroot) and crispy bacon pieces with kale and tomato (sauteed in bacon fat).

Between lunch and dinner I snacked on just a few walnuts because I was crazy hungry..
Next up was dinner. It took me over an hour to prepare and cook everything, but it was well worth it, especially the good time we had.
I roasted pumpkin slices in the oven (with black pepper and cinnamon), stir-fried zucchini noodles in some coconut oil, and the 'main' dish was meatballs in a thick tomato sauce with onions, bell pepper and lots of Italian herbs. I was quite happy with how everything turned out!
For dessert, I made an apple-blueberry crumble, which was really yummy. Not exactly 100% Whole30 approved, but most certainly didn't contain any ingredients that would cause  insulin spikes.

Coconut Braised Tilapia

Here's another recipe with tilapia. It had been such a long time since I cooked anything with tilapia (I mostly eat salmon these days) and thought it was about time to eat some white fish again. I also found some pumpkin seeds and decided to pan roast them and top my fish with them, that actually turned out really well! If you don't feel like roasting pumpkin seeds, feel free to use some cashews for garnish, that'll make a nice combination as well.
I ate this as a simple lunch, but you could serve it with some more veggies to turn it into a bigger meal. Just be creative!

Coconut Braised Tilapia (serves 2)
- 2 tilapia fillets
- 2 onions, chopped
- 1 zucchini, chopped
- 1 cup thick coconut milk
- 3 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 tsp curry powder
- ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1 tbsp coconut oil

1. Heat coconut oil in a skillet and fry onions until slightly translucent.
2. Add chopped zucchini and fry for about a minute, then add in the coconut milk, lemon juice, curry powder and black pepper.
3. Bring to a boil and let the tilapia fillets carefully slide in.
4. Reduce heat to low and simmer for approx. 3 minutes, then carefully flip the fish so the fillets stay intact.
5. Simmer for another 3-4 minutes until the fish is cooked and the sauce has thickened.
6. While the fish is simmering, put a frying pan over medium heat and roast the pumpkin seeds until slightly popped and browned. Keep moving the seeds in the pan around to make sure they don't burn.
7. Carefully transfer each tilapia fillet to a plate and top with the coconut sauce and vegetables.
8. Top with chopped parsley and pumpkin seeds, serve and enjoy!

October 29, 2011

Whole30 day 5

Sorry! I'm a day late posting this, but I was kinda busy last night (workout, having fun, etc) so I'm posting it now. Will keep it short though, as I have dinner preps to make! (and a b-day to attend, and much more)
I hope everyone is having as much of a fun weekend as I am!

Yesterday's workout at Breda Strength and Conditioning was fun, nice people, nice WOD, I had a great time!
This is what we did:
Triple tabata:
- sledge hammers
- burpees
- sledge hammers
Sounds easy, but it was pretty intense! (and fun!) I even got hungry afterwards..

Yesterday's meals (lots of leftovers)
Breakfast: diced chicken and 2 egg scramble with spinach, oven roasted cauliflower and Brussels sprouts.

Lunch: salmon and sauteed spinach with oven roasted cauliflower.

Dinner: leftover hamburgers with oven roasted cauliflower and Brussels sprouts.

PWO snack: 2 scrambled eggs with some coconut milk, 1/2 apple, some walnuts and lots of cinnamon.

October 27, 2011

Whole30 day 4

Almost weekend.. That's what I've been telling myself today.
Not that things at work are so bad (guess what, work is much more fun when you have energy!) I'm simply looking forward to my weekend. I won't be at home, but I'm sure I'll be able to confiscate a laptop for a short while to blog about my meals.

Over the next 2 weekends, I'll be cooking for some people, and I also want to make them some sort of dessert. So, there are 2 options: I make dessert and don't have any myself, or I create a more or less Whole30 approved dessert (in other words: fruit sweetened) so I can have some too. (guess what, the last option is my favourite) I'd love to make some ice-cream, but my ice-cream maker sucks and refuses to process anything with coconut milk, so that's not an option.

I browsed my recipes and found a few options:

Chocolate avocado pudding
Pumpkin Pie (which I would top with some pecans)
Strawberry banana cheesecake (can probably be made with other fruit than strawberries as well)
Morning Glory Muffins from Paleo Comfort Foods
Peach Crisp from Elana's Pantry (without the agave)

Now, one of my weakest points is choosing. Especially when it comes to food. I simply like all of it. So I ask you for advice!
What to make for dessert??
Or does anyone have any other recipe options that will blow me away and will make choosing much easier all of a sudden? I would definitely appreciate suggestions!
Please leave me a comment :-)

Here's what I ate today:
Breakfast: fritatta with chicken, spring onions and chives, and oven roasted Brussels sprouts.

Lunch: Spinach salad with carrot, raw broccoli stems and grilled salmon.

Dinner: beef stew with slightly charred cauliflower, which I seasoned with some garam masala.

October 26, 2011

Whole30 day 3

I believe the carb withdrawal symptoms are already starting to appear.. Brain-fog, sweating, minor headache.. I hope that's all, and that it'll be over soon. Luckily those symptoms didn't come with cravings! Probably because I eat enough protein and fat with every meal. It's nice to feel like I'm doing something right for my body.
Since my dinner gave me lots of energy again, I went to the gym for another workout:

3x5 overhead squat (30kg)
and 3 rounds of:
100m sprint
25 medball ground to overhead (8kg, they didn't have heavier ones)

Things went quite well, except for the squats.. While I didn't feel weak or anything, and cleaning and pressing the 30kg didn't feel hard, I had difficulty finding my balance. Since you kinda need a proper balance while doing OHS, this went wrong twice. Oops..
I fell on my butt (yes, twice). And yes, everyone stared at me, twice.

Ah well, I do feel like I had a good workout! That's what it's all about.
Now, let's get on with the food part of the day:

Breakfast: 2-egg and salmon fritatta with leftover roasted broccoli and 1/2 avocado

Lunch: Spinach salad with tomato, carrot, avocado and five-spice chicken, drizzled with olive oil

Dinner: leftover burgers and curried cabbage

October 25, 2011

Whole30 day 2

Today, I told some people I eat as much protein from meat/fish/eggs as 500g worth of beef, every day. You should've seen the look on their faces!! Hilarious!
No, I'm not bragging about my diet to everyone who wants to hear. Although I do have the tendency to get overly enthusiastic as soon as I start talking about it, I'm not acting like a sales person who's about to get a raise when he sells just 1 more product. Or at least I try not to. The last thing I'd want is to annoy people with my diet.
Still, I couldn't resist stating this fact and it was so funny to see their reaction!

Alright, on to the point of this post: showing you what I ate on my 2nd day of this Whole30.

Breakfast: leftover salmon and a 2-egg fritatta with broccoli stems and a small avocado, topped with cilantro.

Lunch: Leftover curried veggies from last night and a chicken breast, seasoned with five-spice.
Around 4pm I got really hungry, so I snacked on a hard boiled egg and a tomato.

Dinner: oven roasted broccoli and 2 home-made burgers (with onion, cilantro and lots of spices)

October 24, 2011

A new start, a new Whole30

Today is a good day!

Why? Well, a lot of things happened: my laptop crashed last night (it refused to start) and I got it to work again this morning (with some help), as soon as I heard it make its trusted Windows *pling* sound, I was happy, and even more so when my desktop actually showed up. I only lost 1 important file in the process; my holiday photo book I made last week, but luckily, that's replacable by making a new one. I still need a new laptop though, don't want this to happen again, after all, my loyal companion has already celebrated its 5th anniversary this year. That's at least 80 in human years!

Next, I went to the gym (yes, I had the energy to go to the gym this morning!) for the first day of my new workout routine. I'm going to do a CrossFit WOD 3 times a week; with at least 1 rest day in between. That's it. Nothing else, unless my energy levels go through the roof all of a sudden, which isn't likely to happen.
I started out with some stretching, foam rolling and double under practice.
Then I did this:
5 rounds:
2 min. AMRAP of:
- 4 power cleans @25kg
- max rep 10kg plate slam
1 min. rest

And I ended with some more stretching and doing a few pull ups to see if I could still do those.
- I can still do pull ups after 2 1/2 week of rest
- my Rogue speed rope is awesome (double unders are easier now, but they still require more practice)

Oh, and I started a Whole30. I hear people thinking; didn't you do that 2 weeks ago? Yes, but I gave up after 4 days, and figured today would be a perfect day to start as the Official Whole30 Version 5.0 starts today.
Since I experienced quite some health problems over the last month, I decided I'm tired of being tired and I need to take the best care of my body as I can. A Whole30 seemed like the best way to start. And in order to stick with my plan, I'm going to take lots of food pix again and will show them to you all with a daily blogpost.
What am I hoping to achieve with this Whole30? Stable energy levels throughout the day (and more of it), less cravings and the ability to see food as fuel, not so much something I mentally need. And it would be awesome if I'd be able to fit into my favourite pair of jeans again :)

What did I eat today?
I wasn't hungry at all this morning (snacked on nuts last night, my gut didn't like it) so I only had a PWO meal of a double-egg fritatta.

I sauteed a red onion and some wild spinach, added 2 chopped hard boiled eggs, chives, ground black pepper, and poured over 2 whisked eggs to turn it into a fritatta. Topped with some tomato slices, it made a good meal with lots of protein.
By the way, adding hard boiled eggs to a fritatta is really tasty!!

During the afternoon I scooped out a small avocado, and for dinner I had some grilled salmon with lemony curry vegetables and cilantro.

Since I'm mentioning stuff that made today a good day, I might as well add some more: I discovered why women like to combine Uggs and sweatpants. You can tell me it looks horrible as often as you like, I won't care, since that's the most comfortable combination ever!
I also discovered my love for the TV series Hart of Dixie. I've been lying on my couch all evening, watching 4 episodes straight and sipping green tea. I'm so enjoying my day off!
I hope everyone had as much of a good day as I did :)

October 21, 2011

Italian burgers

This one's for my mom! A recipe for Italian burgers.
I must admit that I still like her Moroccan spiced burgers best of all, but I'm quite satisfied with how these came out. The best thing about burgers is that you can add so many different spice combinations with them, and they always end up tasting great. Oh and they're super easy to make, plus they're hard to mess up, they'll taste better than supermarket-bought burgers anyhow. Every single time.
I guess I've made it clear enough how much I like burgers now, so here's the recipe:

Italian burgers (serves 3)
- 500g ground beef
- 70g tomato puree (approx. 1/4 cup)
- 1 egg
- 1 onion, minced
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp dried thyme
- 1 tbsp dried rosemary
- 2 tbsp coconut oil

1. Throw all ingredients, except for the coconut oil, together in a large bowl and start kneading the mixture with your hands, until well-combined and can be shaped into a ball.
2. Divide the mixture into 6 equal pieces, roll them into balls and press them flat to form burgers. Put the burgers on a plate.
3. Heat coconut oil in a frying pan and fry your burgers over medium heat for approx. 3-4 minutes on each side until browned and cooked through, or a 2-3 minutes when you prefer your burgers pinkish on the inside.
4. Serve with veggies of your choice and enjoy!

October 20, 2011

Apple / pear clafoutis

It's time for a 2-in-1 recipe today!
All because of some experimenting I did over the weekend. On Sunday, I felt like having a snack, browsed around the kitchen and found a few ingredients. Next, I surfed the web for a recipe, found something that contained lots of agave but still sounded good and decided to make it: pear clafoutis.
The only ingredient I didn't have was agave itself though. Since I'm not a huge fan of very sweet cakes and such anymore, I decided to drop the agave from the recipe and tried to make it work.
My clafoutis turned out quite well, although the only problem was that it was slightly undersweetened. (is that a word?) The day after, I visited my mom and told her about my clafoutis that wasn't sweet enough. And before I knew it I was making another clafoutis, this time with apples, made some changes to the batter ingredients and it worked out really well!

So, if you're looking for a dessert that's super easy to make and doesn't fill you up to the brim, you could try making this clafoutis. It doesn't matter if you use apples or pears, use whatever suits your fancy.

Apple / pear clafoutis (serves 2)

- 2 medium apples / 2 pears
- 1/4 cup almond flour
- 1/4 cup desiccated coconut
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp vanilla marrow (or 1 tbsp vanilla extract)
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted over low heat
- 3 eggs
- 6 tbsp coconut milk

1. Preheat oven to 165 degrees Celsius.
2. Wash the fruit, remove the core (you can leave the skin on) and slice into thin slices.
3. In a bowl, combine almond flour, desiccated coconut, cinnamon and vanilla, and stir to mix.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, eggs and coconut milk.
5. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry, until a smooth batter forms.
6. Divide the fruit slices over 2 small baking pans and pour the batter on top, dividing it equally.
7. Bake for 35-40 minutes until set and golden brown. Allow to cool for 30 minutes before serving. (or risk some serious blisters in your mouth by caving right in, like I did..)


October 13, 2011

Spinach salad with bacon

Finally, my Blackberry services *seem* to be working again, which means I can upload my food pictures again. What about bluetooth, you may ask, I tried it, and it took my phone much longer than I had patience for, so I decided to just wait for the RIM services to work again.

Enough about phones, last weekend I made this spinach salad and my food tester and me both loved it! How do you make something simple taste good? Add bacon.
Yes, it's that simple.

Now the downside of this, is that I shouldn't be eating too much bacon despite feeling like this could end up in a bacon addiction (darn, I'm intolerant to pork..), and I know there are so many more bacon-addicts out there!
If this sounds familiar, try this recipe for a new way to include bacon in your diet (although you've probably thought of this yourself already), and if you're not too keen on bacon; try this recipe and you may just find yourself to be a bacon addict soon.

Spinach salad with bacon (serves 2-3)
- 3 handfuls of fresh spinach, chopped
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- 1 cup of roasted pumpkin pieces (just bake a medium pumpkin for 1 hour at 200 degrees Celsius, allow to cool, cut in half, scoop out the seeds and chop it up, no need to peel it!)
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- freshly ground black pepper
- 10 strips of thinly sliced bacon strips

1. Put a frying pan over medium heat and fry the bacon strips until crisp, turning them after approx. 2 minutes. Don't let them burn! Transfer to a plate and allow to cool for a few minutes.
2. In the mean time, gather and chop up the other ingredients and combine everything in a large bowl.
3. Toss to mix, then take your bacon and crumble it over the salad.
4. Serve, and enjoy!

October 11, 2011

Paleo Comfort Foods cooking

Remember my review for Morning Glory Muffins, from Paleo Comfort Foods? They were so good.. By now, my book has arrived in the mail and I've actually gotten the chance to pick some dishes that appealed to me and start cooking!
I ended up making 4 recipes and everything, yes, everything, turned out great! This book truly makes cooking Paleo easy.

That's a lot of praise for a book, I know, so let me just show you some pictures of the dishes I made and let them speak for themselves:

I started out by making their pumpkin pancakes. One batch of batter made me 20 pancakes! I served those with their fried apples with pecans (pretty hard not eating those before serving..) and a salad I made up myself.

Next up was their banana bread! At the time I didn't have a hand mixer available, so I threw all ingredients in a blender and that worked out very well. I stirred in the walnuts later on, poured it into a cake loaf pan, baked it and voilá, a yummy banana bread.
We found out that this banana bread tastes really good when you drink some paleo hot chocolate. But it pairs great with some fresh strawberries as well.

The next meal I made was their chili. I must admit that I wasn't able to find all of the ingredients over here (I'm not in the USA, so I guess I just have to deal with that..) but it still turned out to be a really tasty dish. I certainly didn't mind eating the leftovers the day after!

I also loved the fact that most of the recipes show options so you can give it a twist or adapt it to your liking/convenience. Very thoughtful!
One thing's for sure, I'm not done cooking from this book yet! And even while I've started a Whole30 today, there are still lots and lots of dishes in it that I can make.
Interested? Check out their website: http://paleocomfortfoods.com/

October 4, 2011

Chicken and chard stir-fry

Tonight's dinner consisted of mainly leftovers; shredded chicken, lamb sausages, and a mix of some fruits and veggies I got from my aunt and uncle's veggie garden; Swiss chard, onion and apple.
That's not all I got from them though... They got me: a huge bag of Swiss chard, collard greens, kohlrabi, onions, carrots, beets, leeks, spicy peppers, endive, apples, cooking pears and walnuts. Needless to say my fridge is stuffed (it took me over an hour to chop the chard and collard greens to fit my fridge) and I won't need to buy any veggies for the next week and a half. Thanks!!!! =D
And also a big thanks to my mom and dad for the additional supply of coconut flour, almond flour and fish, and for driving all the way over to my place because there was no way I could've taken this all on the train by myself. That would've been one hell of a farmer's walk from the train station to my home..
Upon arriving home I found my copy of Paleo Comfort Foods, yay! It was a shame I had to go to work this morning, otherwise I'd have spent my day in the kitchen making a few meals out of it. By now, I've carefully studied the recipes in it and can't wait to start cooking!

First off, here's a quick recipe for an easy yet tasty meal.
In this dish, I decided to get out of my usual habit of adding the same spices to the same kind of meals every time, and combined cinnamon, cardamom and caraway seeds in this dish. One word: yummy!

Chicken and chard stir-fry

- 1 onion, minced
- 200g cooked and shredded chicken
- 100g lamb sausage, cooked and sliced
- 3 cups Swiss chard, chopped
- 1 sweet apple, chopped
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp cardamom
- 1/2 tsp caraway seeds
- 1 tsp coconut oil

1. Heat coconut oil in a frying pan and sautee onions until soft.
2. Add chicken and lamb, heat for about a minute, then add the chard, apple and spices.
3. Stir-fry over medium heat until the chard has welted and the apple pieces are soft.
4. Serve hot and enjoy!