Sarah Murry

Newlywed, mom, full-time church communicator, music lover, photo taker, runner
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I usually don’t do this, but I’m posting my outfit today…because it’s kinda crazy and I like it. #ootd

The Glory flows into everyone, and back from everyone: like light and mirrors. But the light’s the thing.
CS Lewis, “The Great Divorce”

Major Food Post!!
1) Completely Whole30 chili dog! The chili was compliant and I got Applegate Farms beef hotdogs. No artificial stuff or added sugar. It was a LIFESAVING dish on a weekend when I was feeling very discouraged.
2) Homemade chicken soup. Like whole chicken and a bunch of veggies and cook for 8 hours kind of homemade. Dense, satisfying, flavorful. Still got some in my fridge. Great for a quick lunch!
3) Plantain chips fried in coconut oil. I am amazed by how clean of an oil this is. They didn’t taste or feel greasy in the least bit and they had a great crunch. Was also a weekend “treat.”
4) My husband helped me make some ghee and I made a quick hollandaise in the blender out of it. It was toooo thick for my taste…the hollandaise I remember was much saucier. Win some, lose some.
5) Chicken curry! This was a Sunday lunch. I’ve never really experimented with curry and it’s a flavor I have come to love. I browned the chicken in a skillet, deglazed with coconut milk, added banana slices, curry powder, cinnamon, and let it simmer until it got thick. Was so satisfying, especially with some fresh, crunchy sugar snap peas on the side.
6 and 7) This is one of the greatest culinary triumphs of my Whole30. I made my own Mojo marinade (the Goya brand in the store has sugar) and slow cooked a pork loin. It was AWESOME with some tostones (twice baked plantains) and veggies.
8) FREAKING PANCAKES. This is a slight Whole30 no-no, but this was my “I’ve made it to day 20” celebration breakfast. 2 eggs, a mashed up banana, and whatever seasoning you like (I used cocoa powder). They were DELICIOUS and had a very similar texture to real pancakes! I will definitely use this recipe beyond my whole30.

One of the benefits of this is that I feel like I’ve *really* been cooking. Even though life has felt like an endless cycle of messing up and cleaning the kitchen, I have enjoyed the extra quality time with my stove. It’s also made me realize that coming home and making food from scratch is not that big of a deal, and is actually a nice way to decompress from the work day.

Shout out to Chowstalker once again for being awesome. Most of these recipes were found there, on Pinterest, or by google searching for whole30 approved recipes.

Time for a MUCH overdue update! Things have been going pretty well. I’ve been faithful to the plan…that doesn’t mean that I haven’t still craved stuff like crazy!! Oddly enough, even a bit more than sugar, I find myself craving grains. It’s been torture to fix my son’s toast or watch my husband eat a sandwich. And…not gonna lie…when I fixed my son’s (homemade, not from a box) mac and cheese I stuck my head right over the steaming pot and took a couple of deeeeep breaths. Grainy, cheesy goodness. 

Something that’s really helped me is finding a recipe or two to try over the weekend. These have either been recipes that I don’t have time to make during the week, or they have been recipes that I only should be having once in a while according to the Whole30 guidelines. Many times it has been simply taking more time to poach my eggs instead of fry them. I cannot say enough good things about Chowstalker. I have NEVER seen so many useful recipes in one place…and it’s been my go-to site for Whole30 approved recipes. You do have to specify Whole30 because, even though all the recipes on the site are healthy and paleo, not all stick to the Whole30 plan. I’ve found everything from quick dinner ideas to more complicated, make-ahead dishes that I can munch on for the whole week.

Something that I’ve had trouble sticking with is the “try not to snack” guideline. At first it wasn’t hard because I felt like I was eating MORE food per meal than I was used to. I guess this challenge really has hit “reset” on my metabolism because I get hungry about every 4 hours. I’ve tried to make sure that I’m eating enough protein at every meal and that I’m drinking enough water every day… (I shoot for 4 nalgene bottles full in a day, but I usually end up drinking 3 which is 96oz per day) but I get so stinking hungry! Night time is the worst. I’m trying not to snack too much, but if I’m hungry I’m eating for the most part. My family has always been a “lots of little meals throughout the day” kind of family, so I think that’s just how my metabolism is naturally wired.

I’ll do a more in-depth post at the end of my 30 days that will reflect on all that this experience has done for me. I can tell you from where I sit now that I have seen an improvement in my overall mood and energy levels and I am MUCH less bloated and sluggish than I was. 

I’ll do another post later this week that highlights some of my favorite recipes that I’ve tried! 

I’m fairly certain I dreamed of waffles dripping with butter and syrup last night. Fighting the sugar dragon big time this morning: poached eggs over raw baby spinach, half a grapefruit, black coffee.

Well, I’ve made it through day 4. I felt fine on day 1, and even day 2. My family ended up going out to eat the night of day 1; I was able to order grilled salmon with veggies and I made sure there was no glaze on the salmon and requested no butter. Day 2 I was in Atlanta all day, so I took food with me and did pretty well.

Day 3….is when the ‘sugar hangover’ hit HARD. I woke up that morning feeling really awful…I was shaky and super low-energy. Eating breakfast made it a bit better. I did eat a half of a grapefruit with breakfast that morning, which I probably shouldn’t have done because my body was tweakin’ for sugar. It did seem to give me a bit of energy and got rid of the shakes. I made sure not to eat any fruit for the rest of that day. I had a dull headache for most of the day.

So today, day 4, has been better! I still felt pretty rough when I woke up this morning. It truly is a sugar HANGOVER because it totally feels like one. I was shaky and dealt with some nausea, even during and after eating. I found that my appetite was close to gone today…I only ate half of the omelette I made for breakfast and about a quarter of the salad I made for lunch. Dinner tonight was a resounding success!! I originally wanted to make pork chops tonight, but then I realized that I have never cooked a pork chop in my life and didn’t want to risk coming up empty handed for dinner because of lack of pork chop mojo. So, I perused the Whole30 recipes on Chowstalker and found a great twice-baked sweet potato recipe.

Baked sweet potato, shredded chicken, avocado, and green onion. It tasted great and was pretty easy to make! I’ll most likely put this on my Week B menu (which I have yet to make).

I’m really craving some soup or chili, and I’ve found a couple of recipes that I’m looking forward to trying. I think my week B menu will have more recipes instead of framework ideas. The menu for week A has worked, and I’ve had all of the ingredients on hand…but I haven’t had recipes to work with so I’ve messed up a couple of my menu items.

I’m looking forward to the energy spikes, better sleep, and overall feel good-ness that is to come. On to day 5!

I’m starting the Whole30 today. The basic rundown is that it is a very strict paleo dietary regimen for 30 days, and it’s supposed to hit the ‘reset’ button on your healthy eating habits. This means no sugar, no dairy (except eggs), no legumes, and no grains. This girl will be consuming a lot of protein, veggies, water, and some fruit over the next 30 days! 

I know I’m starting a bit late, but that is intentional. I have tried to start SO many things on January 1, and have never completed any of them. Call me superstitious or whatever you’d like, but I figured this time I would pick a different day to avoid that unspoken pressure that comes along with starting something on January 1.

I have been ANYTHING but healthy for the past 7 months. Getting used to wifehood has been a bit more difficult than I expected, including getting used to living with someone who has VERY different dietary habits than me. I think I’ve compromised many of my eating habits in the name of convenience. My husband doesn’t eat veggies and my 4yo son is going through his picky phase, so I have stopped making sure that healthy options are a part of my diet because it’s been easier to order a pizza or whip up some mac and cheese.

My main goal for the Whole30 is not necessarily weight loss (although some will take place); I really want to FEEL better. (Actually, part of the Whole30 is that you are NOT allowed to get on a scale except for a before and after weight.) I’ve been feeling sluggish and low on energy, my self-esteem has taken a dive, my acne has flared up, I’ve had some digestive issues from all the junk food, I’ve had trouble focusing on work/chores, and I DESPERATELY want to get back into racing shape. I haven’t done any running since December of LAST YEAR. After doing a half marathon, a Ragnar relay, and a 5k in Nov/Dec of ‘12, I fell off the wagon big time. I hope the Whole30 can help me get back into healthy eating habits so that I can start training and run the Run for God half marathon in April. I’m going to be doing some strength-building yoga during my Whole30, and then after I think I’m going to do an Advocare 24 day challenge and use the Can You 24 workouts to kick things up a notch. Then I’ll get on a training schedule for running.

Thus begins the journey. Here’s my shelf in the fridge and my little pantry area on the counter:

 Here’s this week’s meal plan. I’m also going to make a Week B plan and I’ll go through each week twice.

For my salad dressings I’m using either EVOO and balsamic (making sure the balsamic I bought has no added sugar) or EVOO and fresh lemon juice. I also have a great recipe for an oil-based caesar (sans anchovy paste and parm) that’s olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, salt and pepper to taste. It works really well.

My ‘chicken salad’ will use the smashed avocado as the mayo component. I have seen several recipes for Whole30 compliant mayo, but I’m not a big enough fan of it to make some from scratch.

The menu planning presented a few challenges, but I ended up thinking of things I’d like to eat or finding recipes on Chowstalker’s huge Whole30 database…then I would make sure that the ingredients I’m using to create the dishes are all Whole30 compliant. Good thing I already like veggies! I did conscientiously choose veggies that I’m already familiar with and that I know I like. I figured it would be good to do that for the first week…maybe later in my 30 days I can try some different veggies like bok choy or rutabaga.

So, here goes! Day 1. I’m going to try to post updates as much as I can.

I am 5’8 and 144lbs.

I woke up with this song in my head this morning. God really is in the business of waking us up and breathing life into our dark places. He crowns the year with His goodness: the golden thread that runs through it all, even when things are mostly bad. I know that now. Welcome, 2014.

What better time than Easter to resurrect a blog, eh? 

Poorly conceived puns aside, I’ve been toying around with re-launching the blog lately and I figured this would be a good time. I’d like to share a journey through Holy Week you can take with me through some music I love. Come along, if you’d like.

This song by John Mark McMillan was on repeat in my head all day yesterday. The crowds welcoming Jesus in Jerusalem were caught up in the excitement, but all the same I imagine them muttering under their breath: “Who is this, the King of Glory?” I love how the music swells as I imagine the people realizing through the events of Holy Week who exactly Jesus is…and they “open up [their] gates before Him.”

Palm Sunday.  

Sunday. (Taken with Instagram)