I'm on day 11 of the Whole30 and things are pretty much going smoothly. I don't feel super amazing, but I also haven't been struggling in the least. Aside from resisting the siren call of Diet Coke, it's actually been easy. My gut has been readjusting itself quite a bit and that's still a little uncomfortable, but the headaches and sluggishness are gone even with far less caffeine.
The biggest change though, is one I really wasn't expecting. For as long as I can remember I've had that thing where a few hours after a meal, I know I'm not actually hungry, but I still want to eat something. I can resist it, but it usually takes effort. Well, after a week on the Whole30, that feeling is gone. Sometimes I feel like "Hey, I could go for a snack right now", I ask myself if I'm hungry and I'm really not and the urge to eat goes away. That has never happened in my life, usually it's something I wrestle over. That alone is really super cool because it saves me a lot of mental stress!
OK, onto some recipe reviews...
1. Better Butter Chicken from Everyday Paleo. Since I started avoiding salt, Indian take-out has been off the menu, not because it's high sodium by definition, but because the restaurant doesn't have a way to adjust the sodium in each individual dish, so as a whole I know I'd be getting way too much. But man, I've missed Indian food BAD! This recipe really satisfied that craving. My husband typically hates coconut curries, but he didn't even notice the coconut milk in this one... he loved it. I replaced the butter in the recipe with ghee (which frankly gives a more authentic Indian flavor anyway). Big thumbs up. I think next time I'm going to try serving it over cauliflower roasted with curry powder.
2. Chocolate Chili from the preview of Well Fed. This was another big thumbs up from the husband, great dinner while watching his team win a NFL playoff game! I substituted in some ground feral swine (yes really, they have it frozen at my natural foods store) for the beef, and used real beef broth (with no added sodium) instead of the canned stuff. Even using no-salt-added canned tomatoes, this was still super yummy. I served it with a bunch of little small bowls of toppings (a la Chili My Soul, now defunct) including minced green onions, chopped avocados, pumpkin seeds and a bit of shredded cheese for the menfolk. My son whined that it was "too spicy" for 10 minutes before trying his first bite and then decided it was "good" and ate a bunch. Gotta love 3 year olds.
3. Grain free dolmas. This one takes a little bit of a rewind... back in June, I put up some grape leaves in the freezer and they've been sitting there ever since. I finally got up the nerve to put them to good use to pack in my lunch bentos this week. This dolma filling is actually awesome, I used GF beef instead of lamb because the 3 markets where I'd usually get ground lamb were all out, but it was just as good with the beef. I had about 1/4 of the filling left over and I cooked it up with some shredded cabbage for a breakfast hash this morning and that was also yummy. The biggest revelation though was the actual grape leaves. You ever have dolmas in a restaurant and they taste good, but the leaves itself are chewy and stringy? Well I can tell you that homegrown leaves preserved by freezing (instead of brining) are soft and tender. Yum, yum, YUM!