Friday, July 18, 2014

Blogging the Menu: 21 Day Sugar Detox Days 12 & 13

So I didn't blog yesterday because I spent all morning running around, all afternoon napping, all evening dicking around with the kids, and all night (starting at around 7:45) sleeping.

When was the last time you were asleep before 8pm?  That shit is glorious. I was deeply unconscious right away and when my alarm went off at 4:30am I fucking bounced out of bed to go to CrossFit.  Early to bed, early to rise, bitches.  Of course, now I'm sleepy again, but I might just crawl into bed at 8 again.  Why not?
As far as menu pictures from Day 12, I don't have much.  I ate leftover chicken strips.

Reheated reasonably well, and tasted great.

While my husband took the smalls to the Y, I headed down to the Fox River Trail for 2 hours of intervals.  It was a phenomenal day, and I had a really good run.  Just about 10 miles which would be "slow" except that I only truly ran for 60 minutes of that.  The rest I basically walked, trying to keep my HR between 100-124.  Why walking?  Well, it turns out that drinking two pots of coffee over the preceding 12 hours jacks your resting heart rate into the stratosphere.  Heat and fatigue affects that, too, but I've run in hotter temps and on the same amount of sleep (none) on several occasions recently and they don't affect me THAT much.  

By 2pm I had hit the wall, so I took a nice 2 hour nap.  While I was sleeping, my fantastic husband was making sure dinner was squared away.  We had Crockpot Chicken Adobo and garlic mashed parsnips from the Detox cookbook.  It looks a little bland, but it was pretty damn good.  The chicken just fell off the bone. This was my first experience with mashed parsnips, and they were really good!  Nice potato-y texture, good flavor.  We decided they would work well on a shepherd's pie.  
Comfort food.  Chicken and "taters".

I slept like a corpse on Thursday night.  This morning I went to the box to hang out with my best bitches. The one regret I have with going to third shift is the fact that I can't make the 5:15am WOD with any regularity. I love the time of day and the crew of people that work out at that time are so much fun.  This morning we did log runs...I'm pretty sure there's a big bruise at the top of my spine and under my hair.  I can feel one forming on my shoulder, too.  Wouldn't be CF if I didn't end up black and blue.

After the workout I came home and did some cooking.  I made Southwestern skillet hash.  It's a concoction of ground beef, peppers, onions, parsnips, and eggs.  The parsnips are shredded to stand in for potatoes.  This smelled great while I was cooking it up.  The final step is cracking the eggs into divots you make in the hash and popping it under the broiler to set the eggs.  I let the yolks stay runny.  I also made the suggested avocado cream.  This recipe made a huge batch, and it was delicious.  If nothing else I got a shitload of awesome breakfast ideas out of this deal.  I also got an important lesson.  Wear gloves when you dice hot peppers or you'll end up basically macing yourself when you rub your eyes.  For days.  Even if you wash your hands a billion times.

Look how fucking pretty that is.  Life is too short to eat ugly food.

After breakfast the kids went off to daycare for half of the day.  I did my nails and registered for another half marathon (what is wrong with me?). I also did some more cooking.  This time it was Creamy Mushroom Soup.  Now, I love mushrooms.  My husband, not so much.  This recipe was extremely simple, very quick, and made use of the bone broth I made last week along with my trusty immersion blender.  I had a bowl for lunch.  This one will make another appearance in the fall.  I really liked it a lot.

I didn't have a sprig of fresh thyme for garnish.  Fail.

After my peaceful time was up, I picked up the kids and got them a snack.  I got myself one, too.  Macadamia nuts are delicious, but almost too rich to eat more than a few of.  I wasn't able to finish this handful.  Just too much fatty goodness.

Like 100 fat blocks.

Dinner was leftovers.  Cabbage dumplings with the extra filling mixed in.  These were a fork required item upon reheating.  The cabbage got a little limp.  Still pretty damn tasty.


Today was weird.  I haven't had any specific cravings since the first day or two with garbage-palooza in the break room.  This morning I was pouring orange juice for the kids and I had an intense desire for a large glass of OJ.  I was never much of an orange juice drinker, well, ever...and especially not lately.  The craving was really strong, though.  My mouth even watered.  Same thing happened later when I was portioning out grapes for the kids.  I just wanted them.  I'm going to take this as a notice from my body that we can forgo many things, but we fucking miss fruit.  Only 7 more days to go, really.  No sweat.

There's a recipe in the Detox cookbook that looked intriguing to me and I had a minute, so I made sunbutter brownies.  Pretty tasty, I must say.  

Dessert anyone?

The husband is heading to Oshkosh for a rugby event tomorrow, so I'm on my own with the kids again.  I realize that I'm not really cut out for parenting.  It's too late to do anything about that now, but the fact remains.  I think I discovered a new level of introversion wherein you really don't want to be around anyone, including your own crotchfruit.  My daughter did tell me tonight that I'm a great mom, but I think she's just sucking up.  

Tomorrow it's intervals on the treader.  Bleh.

Oh, I also registered for the virtual Beat the Blerch half marathon courtesy of The Oatmeal.  It will be my first virtual, but I really wanted to do this race and it sold out in like 43 seconds.  This way I still get the t-shirt and blerchandise.  

Wow.  I'm really sleepy.  T-minus 40 minutes.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Blogging the Menu: 21 Day Sugar Detox Day 11

It's Friday, bitches!  Well, for me it is.  After my shift tonight I'm off for 7 glorious days.   Say it with me:  Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Tomorrow I've got a 2 hour interval run on the schedule, which I think I'll do on the Fox River Trail just to change things up a bit.  Then I need to head over to the box to pick up my Nesco, etc and pay the man for the auction items I won.  This morning the weather was fucking perfect-a runner's wet dream.  Early sunrise and coooooool temps.  I'm hoping lightening strikes twice and tomorrow morning is another gorgeous one.  The Polar Vortex is my friend in mid-July.

Last night was relatively uneventful, busy busy but nothing strange.  A nice change of pace.  I ate my bag o' snacks and rejoiced in the fact that there were no boxes o' garbage in the break room.  Also a nice change of pace.

I lacked ambition to make much of anything for lunch, so I hacked up some chicken and tossed it with hot sauce and made-on-the-fly paleo ranch and dumped it on some schmancy lettuce.  Frank's Red Hot is the best wing sauce.  I don't want to hear about your artisan hot sauce or chutney or whatever the fuck.  Frank's is the bomb.  I would drink that shit.


I finished up my batch of banana chia pudding, but you've seen enough pictures of that.  Plus I forgot to take one.  I might try that with cardamom next time instead of cinnamon...or maybe both.  Give it a rice pudding vibe. It certainly has the right texture.

I made myself some breakfast after I got home today.  I remembered to photograph the package of my paleo "cereal".  In this picture it's mixed with unsweetened applesauce and boy is that tasty.  The bag isn't huge, but it's 14 servings (if you measure them, greedy guts).  I will absolutely buy this again, and once the detox is over I will throw a handful of berries or raisins in that shit.  Winter breakfast that sticks to your ribs but doesn't damage your intestinal villi.  Hashtag winning.

And bacon, because bacon.

Then I turned on the sedative fan of death and fucking slept forever.  Or until 3.  Today was yoga day at Jenstar for the boys and they were stoked.  Both of them fell asleep in the car.  But they were NOT TIRED.  NO.  I dropped them off at the studio and made myself scarce so they would actually pay attention to the instructor.  I whipped out Google maps, typed in "coffee" and walked down Main street a bit to Luna coffee.  What a cute shop.  I can't believe I didn't know it was there.  The coffee was good, and there was a place to sit down and knit for a bit before walking back to pick up the boys.  I managed to sneak in right before Jen (bless her) attempted to get the kids to lie still and breathe in silence for 2 minutes.  I listened to my boys tell her (loudly) that they could be quiet for a really long time and tried not to snort.  They fell asleep in the car on the way home again.  Nope.  Not tired.

My fabulous husband was busily preparing tonight's supper while we were out galavanting.  Steamed cabbage dumplings with pork filling and sesame dipping sauce.  These were wonderful.  Not exactly spicy, but with a deep flavor that was really satisfying.  The dipping sauce was good, too.  We have a similar recipe for Vietnamese lettuce cups that has a sharper, tangier flavor...this was different in a good way.  I'm not really a cabbage person, in fact I often avoid it (dude, it smells like farts), but it went very well with this filling. It was Napa cabbage, which I've knowingly eaten before.

Is this shit pretty or what?

Tomorrow morning I'll be trying out Southwest Breakfast Skillet with Avocado Crema.  It's a beef and parsnip hash, and I'm curious about it.  This cookbook has yet to steer me wrong, however, so I'm just going to run with it.  Tomorrow night I'm making mushroom soup.  It has to be better than Campbell's.  

Last night on!  I'm fucking giddy.  

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Blogging the Menu: 21 Day Sugar Detox Day 10

Last night went pretty well, which is a nice switch up from all the Bizarro-world stuff that's been popping up for the last two weeks.  I ate my good-girl lunch and snacks and got some bonus bacon on the way out.

I really need to get some doggy daycare arranged for Lucy on days the husband works and I'm "on".  It breaks my heart a little to have her crated up all day while I sleep with just a little break for playing at noon. She's a very high energy dog and I'm sure she just hates it.  That's my mission for my off week:  Get Lucy a play place that can wear her out.

So I started the "day" around 1am with some leftover pecan crusted fish and snap peas.  I had two fillets left over and they were getting a bit old so I just ate both of them.  Waste not, want not.

Not as good reheated in the microwave, but not bad.

I drank a crapload of coffee last night.  Like a whole pot between 11pm and 2am.  Usually I don't start up until around midnight, but I was kinda sleepy yesterday for some unknown reason so I was at it early.  I'm at it early again tonight.  I'll be switching to tea, though.  Another whole pot of coffee will eat a hole in my gut.

I had another bowl of chia pudding for a snack around 4am.  I wasn't exactly hungry, but I ate it anyway.

Delicious as always.

Of course, since I ate at 4am I was good and hungry by 7:30 when my shift was over, so I headed down to the cafeteria for some bacon and eggs.  There is a special run in the cafeteria every other week or so called Oatmeal Cake.  It's oatmeal baked with dried fruit and cinnamon, then put in a bowl and soaked with sweetened milk and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar.  It is what happiness tastes like.  It is so fucking divine I don't even have words.  They had it today.  I didn't eat it.  Not eating it made my heart hurt a little.  

So I had six pieces of bacon instead.  Which I totally fucking earned so get off me.

For dinner I made chicken strips from the Detox cookbook.  These are breaded with a 1:1 mixture of arrowroot and almond meal with spices.  The liquid portion of the dredge is coconut milk and hot sauce. I have to say, these were pretty damn good.  The kids ate the shit out of them.  I pretty much had to fight to keep enough to have as leftovers.  The coating ends up baking up a bit like a tempura coating vs. traditional batter.  I baked them on racks so they would crisp up, but a word to the wise?  You need to grease the everliving fuck out of the pan with these or the coating will tear right off.  I only got about half of the racks greased well enough.  Still tasty, but missing the oomph.  Dunked in chipotle mayo?  Yummy.

Also a mutant half-orange/half-yello sweet potato.  Clearly some hanky panky going on in the produce department.

My other exciting thing for today was the arrival of my materials for the knitting lesson I auctioned.  I got some awesome clearance kitchen cotton in fun colors and copies of Stitch 'n Bitch for less than $8 a book!  I love this book!  So depending on how many students I have I may have an extra or two.  Which is ok, too, because then I can hand them out to my friends who express interest in knitting.  And I get to keep the not-picked yarn to make dishcloths for my own kitchen.  I am, after all, a selfish knitter at heart.

The crochet manual is called "The Happy Hooker".

I am positively itching to work out on my off week.  I have some long runs queued up and am planning to get my CrossFit on something fierce.  I have missed my 5:15 class so much!!  We're still debating the Madison Mini, and now that I've booked our airfare for Portland I'm getting excited about the Oregon half and the Boring half.  I'm also excited about hanging out with my husband sans kids for four days and drinking some awesome Portland beer with friends at Oktoberfest.  

But until then...I am the night, so I better get back at it!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Blogging the Menu: 21 Day Sugar Detox Day 9

I'm pretty sure that anyone who read this blog and didn't know I work third shift would think the way I eat is really disordered.  Truthfully, it probably is, but when your days and nights are flipped every other week you just kind of do what you must to not be starving or have awful heartburn.  For me that means long periods of fasting punctuated by small meals.  HA!  Whaddya know?  I'm an intermittent faster and I wasn't even trying!

So last night I had this super-fantastic lunch/breakfast packed.
So cute, just nestled in my bag.

I started out with the hard boiled eggs I didn't eat the other night.  Cafeteria eggs are the only ones I can peel, and since they're only a quarter a piece I can't really justify boiling a dozen at home and then systematically reducing them to egg shrapnel.

There is something really cleansing about strong black coffee.

I made Vanilla Bean 'n Oatmeal from the Detox cookbook on Sunday.  It isn't really oatmeal at all, but it gives that appearance-hence the name.  I usually have some walnuts sprinkled on, but I forgot the non spicy ones at home so it was straight up banana.  At this point, chia pudding tastes like fucking candy.  With the banana?  OMG it's DESSERT!  You're leftover grocery store cake in the break room fridge?  Can suck it. This recipe makes a pretty sizable batch as well. Some chia pudding recipes claim they are 4 servings but are maaaaaaybe two.  This one is certainly four, especially eaten with sliced banana and nuts.  One of my favorites.  Just really delicious and filling.

Oh, banana.  How my detoxing heart loves you.

I had the last of the apple/carrot hash for breakfast in the morning.  I love hearing people around me say "What smells so good?" when I heat up my "weird" leftovers.  It validates the fact that food can be awesome even if it is somewhat unexpected.  I'll make this one makes such a nice big batch and keeps really well.  I obviously didn't have a runny egg to eat with it, but it was still damn good.
mmmmmmmm.  apple-y.

The girl child had her girl scout bridging from Daisy scouts to Brownies this afternoon.  When I was a Brownie you had a full on dress with a white and brown GS logo shirt and a sash to go over it.  It was required to wear that shit.  Now they get a vest.  Modern times, sigh.  We had the shindig at Kidz Town off Velp and I have to say that's a neat little place.  It's on the wavelength of the Children's Museum but scaled down.  Lots of toys and dress up and different play areas, but less expensive and with magic and balloon animals.  Today I learned that men use balloon animals to pick up chicks.  This lowers my estimation of my gender.  If you are turned on by balloon animals, we can't be friends.  

Let me say that parties can be pretty full of suck when you're detoxing.  No booze, no cake...suck.  Today at the party I had a couple of natural casing hot dogs (which were really awesome, if I'm being honest) and a meat cookie.  Thassit.  Because even the goddamn fruit bowl is off limits.  Today wasn't too bad, though.  Yes, there were chips and pasta salad and dessert, but I was fine.  The kids got balloons, we watched a little magic show, and there was also face painting.  Here is a picture of one of my boys.  I'm only posting the one picture, because they were both painted the same way and they are twins.  Every picture I took of our newly baked Brownie (seriously, the troop leaders constructed an oven and baked them into Brownies-it was cute as hell) was blurry as shit.

He is BATMAN, motherfucker.

So now it's back to the grind.  Two more shifts after tonight and I get my week off.  I can't wait to cook!  Tomorrow night I'm going to give the chicken strips from the Detox cookbook a go.  I've had middling results with paleo "breading" in the past, but this recipe calls for less almond flour and more arrowroot so I'm curious to see the result.

Oh, and a little product review of a commercially available paleo-friendly mayo:  Sir Kensington brand mayo makes a chipotle version in addition to their regular and the husband says it's pretty boss.  I got it on Amazon, because I really try to never leave my house.

Now I just need to bake up some sweet tater fries to dip in that spicy goodness.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Blogging the Menu: 21 Day Sugar Detox Day 8

This is going to be one of those "don't judge me" blogs.  My eating today was minimal at best, but I slept pretty much all day so that's why.  Also we need groceries, which I'm shopping for on my way home tomorrow after work.  I'm looking forward to my off week so I have time to cook and eat actual meals instead of cobbled together leftovers!

Last night I had a lunch with me, which was fortunate as there is still quite a bit of junk food lying about.  I had leftover Weeknight Chicken Soup around 1am because I was hungry and cold which is a bad combo. This did not disappoint as leftovers.  It smelled great and tasted better.

I am absolutely making this again.

I had some paleo "cereal" mixed with applesauce for breakfast around 6am.  I really like this stuff.  It's got a little cinnamon in it and has an ever so slightly sweet taste.  The texture is dead on as well.  It was aces mixed with unsweetened applesauce.  The brand is Paleo On the Go or Paleo to Go or something like that.  I'll post a picture of the bag at some point.

Looks like barf.  Trust me-it's great.

After work I caught a couple hours sleep and we went to the box for the fundraiser.  I deliberately wore jeans and floppies so I couldn't be conned into WODing.  It's a good thing, too, because the first person I ran into when I walked into the building tried to pull me onto a four man team!  I would've been less than worthless in a competition WOD after working all night.  

The kids bounced in the bounce houses and the husband and I did some socializing/spectating for a couple of hours.  We kicked in a few bucks for burgers and chips for the kids.  I bid on some silent auction stuff.  I won a basket of box shirts from the area, furthering my goal of owning only running and CrossFit related clothing.  My wardrobe consists primarily of scrubs (pajamas), sweats (more pajamas), running clothes, and shirts and tanktops covered with stupid sayings about weightlifting and/or logos for CF boxes and gear.  You'd think that at age 36-going-on-37 that I'd have an adult wardrobe, but I don't.  I dress worse now than when I was in college. I only own two "real" bras...all the rest are sports bras. I need to embrace the dress.  One piece, available with a built in bra, underpants optional.  That's probably never going to happen.  I look weird in maxi-dresses.  Like I'm wearing a slightly-too-short bag.

Lunch was a brat.  

It looks so sad.

Then we came home and I slept until 7pm.  I can't run that fan in our room. It's like some sort of freaky sedative drug.  I turn it on and just tune the fuck out forever.

Then again, I am basically a sloth.  I'd never move around at all if I could get food without standing up.

So we washed the spawn and read stories, I washed up and then realized I needed to put something in my system so I would't pass out.  This is what I picked.

Meat cookie with mustard frosting.

Again, because I am super lazy.  I could've heated up some fish and green beans, but I was like "Fuck it.  Meat cookie."

I am pretty excited about the items I put up for auction.  My 5:15 WOD buddies came through with some great bids for the custom socks and knitting lesson.  I get to make some socks for a friend (can't wait to see what color she picks!) and teach another friend to knit.  I'm just secretly creating my own knit night circle. Soon they'll all be 90 years old like me (cue evil laughter...).

From what I understand, the fundraiser was a huge success.  I'm glad I was able to help a little bit.  A big congratulations to all you badasses that competed today!  You are all awesome!

Night 4 of 7 in progress.  It's all down hill from here.  

I have a pretty good lunch packed, so I'll be avoiding all the stuff that remains in the breakroom (again? still?) without too much bother I hope.  

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Blogging the Menu: 21 Day Sugar Detox Day 7

Another dull food day for you!  I promise this will be a little more interesting from a food perspective once I get to the grocery store tomorrow and get some new stuff prepped.  I worked last night (no codes!  yes!) and since I was so stuffed from dinner at the box I didn't eat a damn thing until breakfast.

Tonight I have leftover chicken soup, roasted nuts, and hard boiled eggs.  That should be plenty to carry me through until breakfast.  I have new recipes to try next week as well, which is exciting.  I made Vanilla Bean 'n Oatmeal (chia pudding) tonight for snacks/meals next week.  I love that stuff, but it's a little fiddly to make.

Breakfast this morning was out of the cafeteria.  Yes, that's cheese on my omelet, and no, that's technically not allowed on the detox (no dairy) but for fuck's sake it's cheese.  Full fat cheese.  It ain't sweet.  The big pile of bacon is really what I was after this morning.  So crispy and delicious.
Here, piggy piggy.

Then I, you know, slept for a while.  I got up fairly early this afternoon, but I wasn't hungry so I just had a cup of coffee and waited for dinner.  Steak again, with some snap peas.  Steak is so awesome.  Here's hoping I don't get the gout!

Snap peas are fantastic.  Technically a legume, so sue me.

Tomorrow I've got a 60 minute interval run, which I need to accomplish in the morning.  We might hazard a trip to the box with the spawn if the weather is decent so they can bounce and we can get some raffle tickets and check on my silent auction bids.  CFGB was on the news twice today, which is a really cool thing.  I'm so proud of all the hard work that the owner and coaches and members have put in since opening in 2010 and I can't wait to cheer for the team in Carson.  

I also can't wait to eat the strawberry "cheesecake" and 7 layer "better than sex" dessert that are in my freezer.  7 days down, 14 to go.  I am fucking invincible.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Blogging the Menu: 21 Day Sugar Detox Day 6

Not much to show you today, since I forgot to take a picture of my breakfast!  I had quiche and spinach.  Do you feel better now?  Good?  Good.

Last night I faced the break room.  There were two cakes.  TWO.  A coffee cake, a couple of bags of candy, leftover doughnuts, cupcakes, chips, you name it.  But it's okay.  I made it.  No sugar consumed.  Winning.


I ended up having my breakfast around 5am, which worked out in the end because I ended up in a code from 6 until 7.  Had I not eaten I probably would've passed out.  It was hot in the room, and very crowded.  It was ugly.  It ended badly.  This one will stay with me for a long time.

I had a hard time sleeping when I got home, so I watched a little Netflix (Louis CK-it was a relief to laugh) and then finally fell asleep.  I slept until almost 5:30, so clearly no lunch or snacks today as I was unconscious.  Tonight was the CFGB fundraiser dinner and we had steak, broccoli, sweet potatoes, and avocado.  It was delicious.  I ate a LOT because I was pretty damn hungry after not eating for 14 goddamn hours.  There was paleo dessert (you can see it in the picture-it's a layered "better than sex" dessert) which I took to go so I can save it for the end of this detox.  I also have a piece of one of Bianca's ridiculous cheesecakes in the freezer for the end of the detox.  I feel like a dessert hoarder.

It was really cool to see everyone not in spandex.  Holy shit are we a good-looking bunch.

Oh yeah.  I ate it all.

Then I had to head to work.  Day 2 of 7!  Woo!

I didn't pack a lunch (no time), and the break room is full of food again, but I have some hard boiled eggs and some jerky and I'm feeling much more confident today.  Wish me luck!