My Second Whole30 - DanaChirps

I recently finished up my second round of Whole30. This round was a BREEZE in comparison to my first. For 30 days I did not consume any added sugar, grains, dairy, legumes, or alcohol. It really went off without a hitch. If anything, it was a bit anticlimactic because it felt like less of an accomplishment because it was easier! I knew how to shop, where to shop, and had designated go-to recipes for busy evenings. 

Looking back, I feel as though I had done another round of Whole30 too soon. My last round was in January. My motivation and enthusiasm just weren't the same this time. But I was committed to completing a goal I set for myself and so I did. Although, if I ever again want to quickly get good habits rolling (which was my main motivator to do another round), I would do a 10-14 day reset. 

One of my secondary goals for this round of Whole30 was to get better about eating breakfast. I started off strong, muscling egg cups down every morning. But by the end, I ended up not eating breakfast or eating an Rx bar. There's still quite a bit of room for improvement there. I also developed a bad habit during Round 2. I was consuming TONS of dried mango. Dried mango is one of the sweetest things you can eat on Whole30, but it's not meant to be consumed the way I was eating it! I finally had to cut myself (and Brett who did another round of "Whole30ish") from it. If I don't buy it, I have no problems.

The good news is that I still love Whole30 food, and am an advocate of the program. The food is absolutely delicious and the program works. For this round, I purchased Whole30 Fast and Easy. This recipe book was so handy and the food I made from it was a lot faster and easier than the food I made from the other two cookbooks I have. This was an ideal book to use during the workweek. However, I have the time and energy to cool, I still love relishing in the process of cooking recipes from the other ones. 

My three favorite recipes this round:

Roast Root Veggies in Curry Sauce with Ground Pork - If you like Indian food, this is the BEST Indian dish I've tried on Whole30. I'll be eating this again!

Cod with Citrus Glazed - Simple and delicious. Plus, who doesn't like balsamic reduction?

Chicken Satay Salad - This was my favorite recipe I made out of the Fast and Easy cookbook. That dressing was UNREAL.

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Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Days 25-29 - Whole30 - DanaChirps

Seared Scallops with Ginger Blueberry Sauce and Asparagus - Whole30 - DanaChirps

Seared Scallops with Ginger Blueberry Sauce and Asparagus - Whole30 - DanaChirps

I'm at the last stretch of Whole30, and I can't believe it is almost over! Overall, this program has been much easier to implement than I ever could have imagined. Below are my thoughts on the process of doing Whole30... I have a separate post coming to discuss results.

The hardest parts:

  • Traveling for work - I had to really plan and pack a tonnnnn of compliant food. But by doing so, I successfully avoided eating noncompliant food. However, I was glad the trip was a short 3 days. Had it been longer, I'm not sure if it would have been feasible. 
  • Going out to eat - This was tough. We barely went out to eat because most restaurants didn't have compliant options. The few times we went out, I hated having to spend money (or have Brett spend money) on something bland/compliant. On the plus side, I'm sure we have not spent nearly as much as we typically do wining and dining out.
  • Time - You spend a lot of time dealing with food. Reading labels, researching recipes, meal planning, grocery store trips, cooking, and Lord have mercy - the dishes - SO many dishes! But this does get easier as time goes on because you naturally learn which recipes are going to be a bigger time investment.

The best parts:

  • I feel way more competent in selecting the food I buy. I read every label!
  • The food. It is SO.STINKIN.GOOD! I tell people that even if they aren't doing Whole30 to buy a Whole30 cookbook just for the sake of having awesome recipes. I have sincerely loved nearly everything I've made. 
  • I've learned to appreciate and enjoy cooking. This is the first time I've really been adventurous in the kitchen, and I've really gotten into it. 
  • Picking recipes. Even though it takes a little time, I love meal planning. I think it is fun to select the yummy foods I'm going to make. Brett and I tag-team grocery shopping, and I actually enjoy this process more than I thought I would. I typically plan 5 days at a time. This is largely due to the fact we have a smaller fridge/freezer, so space is limited. 
Cherry Chipotle Chicken Thighs - Whole30 - DanaChirps

Cherry Chipotle Chicken Thighs - Whole30 - DanaChirps

Recipe Rundown:

Asian Sesame Meatballs Over Zoodles - This one was ok. I think I would have really liked this one more with less zoodles. 

Seared Scallops with Ginger Blueberry Sauce and Asparagus - Um, yes x1000. The scallops with the sauce... so flavorful!

Cherry Chipotle BBQ Chicken Thighs - This was a giant hell yes kind of recipe! It has a little kick to it, but the cherries are seriously like these flavor bombs that are so scrumptious.

Spicy Pineapple Steak and Chicken Kebab - I think we just love all things kebab'd... another winner!

Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Days 18 - 24 - Whole30 - DanaChirps

Bison Burger - Whole30 - DanaChirps

Bison Burger - Whole30 - DanaChirps

It is Day 24, and I'm coasting now! At this point, the key is to not get burnt out. I'm countering this by making and planning a mix of of simple recipes that I've made before, plus new/exciting recipes. 

Our friends Alex and Amanda came over to watch the Patriots game last weekend. It was my first time cooking Whole30 food for friends. We did veggies, and plantain chips to dip in guacamole, and buffalo chicken sweet potatos with a homemade "dilly dilly ranch." I whipped up a buffalo cauliflower rice version for Amanda because she's a vegetarian. I also made compliant chili lime drumsticks, and offered a few noncompliant foods (and drinks!) for our guests as well. It was a ton of fun to cook for other people, and they seemed enthusiastic (or REALLY polite) about the food I made them.

Another noteworthy recipe was one I made for Brett and I - Chimichurri Beef and Chicken Kebabs. This is easily one of our new favorites, and will likely become a regular meal here!

Chimichurri Beef and Chicken Kabob - Whole30 - DanaChirps

Chimichurri Beef and Chicken Kabob - Whole30 - DanaChirps

This week I had a major challenge of juggling a three day work trip while remaining on Whole30. With a lot of determination, and preparation, I managed to succeed in staying compliant! I packed a ton of food, and thank goodness I did because there was next to nothing at the hotel that was compliant. I packed: bananas, grapes, boiled eggs, sardines (yes, really), dried mango, pistachios, almond butter, prosciutto, RX bars, chomps, and Lara bars. Although what I packed was delicious, I'm glad I only had to do it for three days. By the time I got home last night I was so ready for some real food. 

And although I was able to remain compliant at the event I worked, I had an accidental slip up at the airport on the way there. I consumed the Bare brand of toasted coconut thinking they were compliant because I had looked at the "Contains" list instead of the ingredients. I was pretty pissed to have fallen for lackluster labeling, and tossed the bag out immediately. I probably had about a half cup total, and it is likely I will never buy their products again. It turns out there have been quite a few other folks who have been fooled by this, meaning, it's not just me.

Deceptive Marketing - Whole30 - DanaChirps

A Whole30 purist would say that a breach of any kind means you have to start all over. I don't think I'm going to go with that plan mostly because I know I have stuff coming up in the next 30 days that would not make Whole30 feasible. But I may reintroduce sugar last - more on that later.

Recipe Rundown:

Chimichurri Beef and Chicken Kabob - Sweet baby Jesus. SO good... and maybe my favorite recipe I've made. It's definitely Brett's favorite! 

Chili Lime Drumsticks - These were pretty good... the chicken was more moist than I was expecting, but I wish I had been able to marinate them a bit longer. I also think I'd like to try wings next time instead of drumsticks because I feel like you could get more of the chili lime flavor. But Brett really liked the drumsticks because they're (obviously) more meaty! 

Bison Burgers - Ohhhh were these tasty! I wasn't sure if I was going to like bison because I really dislike how beef tastes and makes me feel. But This recipe was a definite hit!

 

Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Bikini Pancakes

One of the things I like about South Florida is how active and healthy people are down here. I think the added motivation of being able to be in a swimsuit 10/11 months out of the year is part of what gets people off their butts and doing something. I've become much more mindful with what I eat since I've moved down here - gotta keep up! My friend Caitlan had posted on her instagram how she made these banana pancakes that didn't require any flour. She is super healthy, and the girl is FIT, so I knew if this recipe was good enough for her, it was definitely good enough for me! I didn't follow her exact recipe (I know, shocker -sarcasm-). But here is what I did.

                                                     1 Banana, 2 Eggs (just one yolk), blueberries

                                                     1 Banana, 2 Eggs (just one yolk), blueberries

1. Mash the bananas and eggs together.

                      Mashed eggs and banana.

                      Mashed eggs and banana.

2. Fry those puppies on a pan (mediumish heat) with some coconut oil. (Or your preferred oil)

3. Plop some blueberries into your batter while it's still doughy.

                Fried batter

                Fried batter

4. Add a tiny drizzle of agave. And boom, done.

         Bikini Pancakes

         Bikini Pancakes

I'm not sure if I've ever consumed pancakes so fast in my life. The flavor tasted similar to banana bread. The consistency was a bit spongy, but I like that. For those who prefer a more firm consistency, I would do a 1:1 banana:egg ratio.

So eat pancakes, and get sexy. ;)

Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.