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How I Make The Best Hard Boiled Eggs

8 Dec

 

I love  hard boiled eggs for quick protein. Up until a few years ago however, I never ate eggs. So when I first started, I had some pretty shaggy looking hard boiled eggs.

I have tried many methods from various other tutorials and kept what worked. My method is a compilation of several of those tips that have consistently worked for me!  I know many like the oven method or the steaming basket way of hard boiling eggs but to me the texture is never the same or as good as old fashioned hard boiled eggs.

First, I gather my ingredients: vinegar, baking soda, healthy pastured eggs.DSC_0130

 

Fill a pan with cold water and your eggs. Drop in a teaspoon of baking soda and stir it around till it dissolves.
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Then add a splash of vinegar. It shouldn’t fizz because you dissolved the baking soda first.

{I was posing the vinegar bottle while the baking soda dissolved fyi because I know you can still see it in this picture :-)}DSC_0142

 

Bring your water to a boil and while covered, turn off the heat and let sit for 10 minutes.
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While waiting, give attention to your screaming toddler climbing up your legs.

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When you get a minute, get some ice.
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After the 10 minutes are up, drain your water and fill with ice and cold water. This shocks the eggs and stops the cooking. DSC_0158

 

 

Now this is the most important tip I can offer. Look at your eggs and find the narrow pointed top part. DSC_0172

 

Tap the top part of your egg first. DSC_0174

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Then flip it and tap the wide bottom part of the egg. DSC_0176

 

 

I have found this is the best way to get easy to peel eggs because the act of tapping the eggs forces the air from the air pocket all around the egg and knocks the shell away from the egg white.

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I also like to have some cold water running to help rinse away the little bits. DSC_0178

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This egg basically peeled in two pieces. Don’t you love that!?

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Pretty, smooth, perfect hardboiled eggs! Not a shaggy one in the batch. DSC_0184

 

Rich and golden without any green ring! DSC_0186

 

 

 

 

 

As a bonus I will share with you my easy egg salad “recipe”.

First, chop up your 8-12 eggs in a medium size bowl. I LOVE using a pastry blender for chopping up my eggs for egg salad. It is quick and efficient! DSC_0190

Assemble your desired spices. I use about 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and paprika and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. I usually eye ball this part and season to taste but those amounts are pretty close. DSC_0192

Add about 2 big dollops of your favorite mayonnaise which is probably about 1/4 cup. Start with less if you prefer less mayo in general. I am a mayo lover so I like it really creamy. With that, add your favorite mustard. I prefer a slightly spicy brown mustard. I use a big squirt which is approximately 1 tablespoon. DSC_0194

Mix all together and enjoy!  DSC_0196

This is an easy lunch idea for my kids because they adore snack style lunches. They love crackers and egg salad or tuna salad with fruit. I love it too because it is super easy and a big batch keeps for about 5 days in the fridge.

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Two Thirds In?

22 Jun

Saturday was 2/3rds of the way into this 3rd round of Whole30. My previous 2 rounds I was much more diligent in doing weekly updates. This round, however, I haven’t felt the need to update so often. Let me explain: previously my intention in doing weekly updates was for accountability. It was much harder to stick with the plan and having the motivation of an update to record my progress gave me that extra push to keep going. This 3rd round is so much different. I have lost track of the days. I have surrendered to the process. I am honestly not counting down the days to the “end”. I feel amazing! I think the countdown mentality of previous Whole30 rounds was a great set up for my overall failure post Whole30. Instead of it being a push for daily clean eating, it was a race to win and finish. Something has switched this time around. I am not counting the days till I can have toast or cheese. Not that I don’t miss them! I just feel this round becoming more about lifestyle instead of a challenge with an expiration date.

I believe part of the reason for the change is that I now have more variety in my food options. A few months ago I started including organic and pastured chicken into my diet. It was a very hard choice to make. I became a vegetarian at the age of 9. I was also vegan for 6 combined years (3 years in high school and 3 years post college) I am 31 so if you do the math, that’s 22 years without eating meat. I started adding fish into my diet 2 years ago and eggs a few years prior to that. It has been a slow process of adding humanely treated, good quality animal protein into my diet. I do make sure I consume wild caught fish, pasture raised organic eggs and now the same for chicken. After being a vegetarian for the majority of my life, it is so crucial to me that I make these responsible choices in sourcing animal protein. Not only for my health but also for the health of the animal. It has taken me a while to get used to the texture and flavor, but I think I am slowly getting more comfortable with it.

Some of you may be asking, why? Why include animal protein? For years I thought I was doing things right and getting enough protein. I also consumed a lot of soy. As a young person I didn’t yet know about the dangers of GMOs and the estrogenic properties of soy. I have suffered with my own hormonal and gut issues in response to that. I eliminated soy from my diet about 6 years ago (except for the occasional organic tempeh or tofu less than a handful of times a year). I saw immediate positive results in my mood, hormones and skin around that time. That was also around the time my eyes were opened to the world of GMO’s and our corrupt food system. I eliminated soy and was left with a hole in my protein source. That is when I added eggs back into my diet. I thought that eliminating soy and adding in good quality eggs would be enough to help heal the damage to my body but it was not. As a vegetarian my diet has been very grain based. Grains, legumes, dairy and sugar are all major no-no’s when healing a leaky gut. But without adding in additional animal protein there would not be a sustainable way to consume less grains and heal. I think this will be a longer process and I may eventually need to follow some auto-immune protocols and eliminate eggs and night shades to determine trouble spots for my body. But for now I am focusing on just adding in more protein.

If you are still reading, thank you! hahaha All of that ties back into what I said in the beginning. The addition of chicken has given me so much more variety with eating grain/dairy free that this round of Whole30 feels much easier and sustainable for long term.

{Check out some of the yummy foods I have been eating on my Instagram.}

Making Asian style halibut in parchment pockets. #hellosaturday #whole30

A post shared by amandacolo (@amandacolo) on

The only thing that isn’t sustainable, is the amount of dishes created while doing a Whole30!!!!!

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A New Chapter

1 Jun

Well, well, well…. Hello old friend! It has been a long time since I have posted. Four months to be exact. A lot has happened in the past few months which has prevented me from updating. To sum it up, we were crazy busy getting our home market ready, listed and sold!

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IMG_1043{Our now ‘old’ neighbor created this gorgeous watercolor of our 1st home. Check out her amazing etsy shop!}

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We have since moved into a rental house, paid off student loan debt and gone on vacation. Now that we are finally getting settled into our new place I am ready to get back to things that make me happy, like blogging and creating new designs for Linden&Lilah. I want to do some posts recapping our total experience with selling our house eventually. It was/is an emotional experience that I think I still need to process. For now, I am embarking on my 3rd round of Whole30 because selling your house and moving is a sure fire way to flush healthy habits down the drain. Time to get back to it!! I will be posting weekly updates mostly for my own accountability but I’d love it if you followed along too.

Whole Health August – Reintroduction & Results

8 Sep

The Whole30 Reintroduction phase is meant to be about 12 days. In no particular order you should introduce one of the categories of foods not allowed on the Whole30. The reintro typically goes something like:

Day 1- dairy

Days 2&3 – strict Whole30

Day 4 – non gluten grains

Days 5&6 – strict Whole30

Day 7 – legumes

Days 8&9 – strict Whole30

Day 10 – gluten grains

Days 11&12 – strict Whole30.  

I knew I wasn’t going to adhere to this schedule because of some of our plans. Steven’s birthday is today and we had a weekend date planned as well. I was going to shorten my reintro by doing an every other day schedule. 

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Breakfast: Eggs with a side of strawberries and plain whole milk yogurt

Lunch: Beach day picnic lunch veggies, hard boiled eggs and cheese slices. I did indulge in a few dark chocolate almonds, which does have sugar.

Dinner: Coconut flour pizza and salad.

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Breakfast: Veggie scramble.

Lunch: Garbage soup and fried eggs.

Dinner: Salmon, green beans, tomatoes and red potatoes.

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Breakfast: Gluten free toast with fried eggs and a spinach strawberry salad.

Lunch: Brown rice pasta with broccoli and sun dried tomatoes with a side of juicy nectarine.

Dinner: Mashed potatoes and gravy, organic corn on the cob and a tuna burger with homemade bbq sauce.

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SO day 4 was supposed to be strict Whole30. I woke up sick as did Steven. I just couldn’t resist having some gluten free toast that morning but other than that I stayed true. 

Breakfast: Gluten free toast and veggie scramble.

Lunch: Garbage soup and left over tuna bbq burger.

Dinner: Leftovers! Except I ate broccoli instead of more corn. 

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 So this was my gluten day! But my meal pan went out the window because I was SOOO SICK. This cold knocked me out. 

Breakfast: Eggs, left over broccoli and TOAST! This was compliant except I did add butter to my toast.

Lunch: Than it went down hill. A sprouted tortilla with basil, tomatoes and fresh mozzarella with a side of fruit. You aren’t supposed to mix food categories but I did. Dairy and gluten.  

Dinner: And than the cold killed me and I succumbed to $5 pizza hahahha THE WORST!!!

 

Day 6 was an eat whatever required the least effort and recover day. 2 sick parents and 2 kids equals, anything goes!

Day 7 we felt much better. We were able to resume normal activities and went on our afternoon date which included wine, a gluten free goat cheese platter and Theo Chocolate tour, complete with samples! 

On to the results:

My last Whole30 I lost about 12-15lbs. This round I lost 15-16 lbs. I also had my act together last time with wearing the same outfit, oh well. I notice things are fitting better, my sweater is way to big now. Last round I noticed better sleep, allergy relief and clearer skin. This time I have a baby so sleep was obsolete. My skin has stayed the same, which is fine because it isn’t bad anyway. My allergies weren’t noticeably better his round. I even stopped diffusing my essential oils to see. Looks like I will still be diffusing for the time being!  

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Overall, I am super proud of what I did accomplish. I didn’t stick to everything I had hoped to, but this is a journey. I got what I had set out to achieve, a great jump start! I have a long way to go to be where I’d like to be health wise, not just with my weight. I think there will continue to be a lot of changes in my lifestyle moving forward. On a side note, since including some dairy and grains back into my diet Lilah has slept much better. I do think now it must have decreased my milk supply even though I was eating more than enough calories. She seems much more satiated and I have been able to catch up on more sleep, thank you Jesus! 

 

Whole Health August 4+

5 Sep

 

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This update is late, I know. I wanted to include the last few days of the 30 day challenge in this post so as to avoid a weird 2 day update for days 29 and 30. I will preface this update with a confession; I quit the 30 day shred. 😦 If you have been following, you know I had very spotty workouts because of sleep deprivation and exhaustion. It only got worse. Lilah was waking 6+ times a night. She would be up for hours straight. This effected my morning devotional time as well. And although I didn’t “quit” those, I missed many days and lost track. So for the remainder of this I will not include those in my update either. I  know my attitude should be to push through and do it anyway but it is just not me. I NEED my sleep and losing hours upon hours of it made it difficult to function and I am very proud of myself for sticking to a strict Whole30 diet while so tired. Something had to give and it was the workouts. Oh yeah, we also decided to potty train Linden during this time as well. What were we thinking!?!?! There was just way too much on my plate but at least it was Whole30 approved. 🙂 

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Breakfast: Asian stir-fry scramble for breakfast.

Lunch: A zoo trip meant hardboiled eggs, carrots, banana and lara bar for an on the go lunch.

Dinner: beer battered fish and sweet potato fries with homemade ketchup and watermelon. 

IMG_8882Breakfast: Simple scrambled eggs with spinach and tomatoes.

Lunch: Tuna melts on zucchini rounds.

Dinner: haha This day was nuts! I canned 16 qts of pickles that day so, out of starvation, I tossed whatever I could in a bowl and inhaled. I nuked a purple potato and topped it with leftover cauli alfredo sauce and had a spinach salad with hard boiled eggs and mayo as a dressing. Everyone else ate pizza!! 

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Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with tomatoes, home fried potatoes and blueberries.

Lunch: Fried eggs with spaghetti squash and marinara.

Dinner: Plantain fish tacos!! The best meal I have eaten on this Whole30! I grilled up some Mahi Mahi and tossed it with a slaw made up of tomatoes, cabbage, mango, onion, cilantro, avocado, jalapeño, and lime juice. 

IMG_8927Breakfast: Savory egg tortilla with blueberries and a side of squash and greens. It tasted like a blueberry pancake! 

Lunch: Side salad with coconut milk ranch and an artichoke sun-dried tomato egg bake. I adapted this recipe to be Whole30 and added 6 eggs to bump up the protein. 

Dinner: Leftover plantain tacos. 

IMG_8929Breakfast: Egg tortilla topped with marinara and “pizza toppings”. This was delicious!! It really quenched my pizza craving. 

Lunch: Leftover italian egg bake and salad. This casserole made lunch for DAYS!! 

Dinner: Tuna burger with roasted purple potatoes and broccoli romanesco. 

IMG_8937Breakfast: Leftover veggies from last nights dinner and some burned fried eggs because life is super glamorous haha.

Lunch: Repeat!

Dinner: Fried eggs with spaghetti squash and marinara. 

IMG_8961Breakfast: Egg pizza again!

Lunch: I will say it is much easier to do a Whole30 when you batch cook. Leftovers!

Dinner: Broccoli, zucchini and balsamic glazed salmon. 

IMG_9122Breakfast: Roasted purple potatoes and a sun-dried tomato and greens scramble.

Lunch: Leftovers.

Dinner: Tuna salad in purple cabbage cups with garbage soup.

IMG_9124Breakfast: Repeat!

Lunch: Eggs and garbage soup

Dinner: Potatoes and eggs benedict florentine on a bed of spinach. 

 

That is all folks!!! A complete Whole30! I am super proud of myself for sticking with it. There were some hard days in these final weeks. I almost through in the towel a couple times just because I was super tired and the idea of cooking somedays required me to summon all of the strength I could muster. I am trying to not feel horrible about quitting the workouts. I am a perfectionist and really hate when I don’t live up to the standards I set for myself. This is something God is really working on with me. I often don’t try because I know certain things will not be how I envision and so why do it? I am learning to embrace my “failures” and not be so short sighted. I worked out 11 out of 30 days. Granted I had days that were workout level active but I only had 11/30 shred days.   But that is 11 more than I had last month so I can move forward and hope to get that number up in the future. 

Lilah has been sleeping a little bit better ( by little I mean from 6 to 3 or 4 wakings.) I am starting to wonder if my Whole30 diet effected my milk supply. She started this waking before August but it definitely got worse during the month of August. We shall see if it continues to get better as I reintroduce other foods.

I am currently in the Reintroduction phase of the Whole30. I will do a final update next week to round it all out. 

 

Whole Health August 3

28 Aug

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I am a little late getting this update published. It is almost time for my 4th week update already!

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Whole30: Breakfast was an egg tortilla breakfast burrito. For Lunch, I had more soup and eggs.  I have been limiting the fish a bit more and eating A LOT more eggs, so dinner was zoodles with kale-walnut pesto topped with fried eggs.

30 Day Shred:ü

Devotions:ü
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Whole30: Mexican breakfast bowls are my favorite! Lunch was difficult this day. It was Steven’s company picnic and they had a ton of great food but none whole30 complaint, except some crudités. I tossed a few hard boiled eggs, carrots and a peach in a to go container just in case. Dinner was leftover zoodles with pesto.

30 Day Shred: We were out of the house early and gone most of the day so I slacked off a bunch.

Devotions:

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Whole30: Just a quick scramble bowl and a plum for breakfast before church. Lunch was left over soup and egg salad cabbage cups. For dinner I made a roasted eggplant with pesto, tomatoes and a balsamic reduction drizzled on top and served with eggs.

30 Day Shred:

Devotions:

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Whole30: ANOTHER scramble bowl, sorry if that bores you haha. For lunch I had more eggplant and hard boiled eggs. For dinner I made sweet potato noodles and a vegan cauliflower based alfredo sauce, and a simple pan fried cod.

30 Day Shred:

Devotions:ü

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Whole30: Same, same, same! Breakfast bowl, soup and tempeh “BLTAs” and leftover alfredo.

30 Day Shred:ü

Devotions:ü

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Whole30: I prefer kale and egg bowls but I ran out and have been enjoying the spinach instead. For Lunch I had more tempeh “BLTA”s and watermelon. Dinner was a delicious salmon filet with leftover balsamic glaze, purple roasted potatoes and asparagus.

30 Day Shred:ü

Devotions:ü

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Whole30: I decided to change up the scramble and had an asian stir fry veggie scramble today. For lunch I was starving after rushing around all day and quickly tossed 2 fried eggs on a bed of spinach with left over potatoes and melon. Dinner was my favorite!! “Beer battered” cod, sweet potato fries and melon served with homemade tartar sauce and whole30 ketchup.

30 Day Shred:ü
Devotions:ü
 

So, week 3 was pretty tough. Lilah really has reached a new pinnacle of waking through the night. I miss my sleepy girl! Perhaps I was being a tad too generous with estimating my ability to accomplish everything with a baby. I have missed a few more workouts and that usually dominoes into the whole day being a bit out of control. The food aspect is great. I am feeling strong and successful. Here’s to 3 weeks down!

Whole Health August 2

16 Aug

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If you hadn’t heard yet, we had a Super Moon last weekend. That super moon is the reason for my cycle returning, I am 100% postitive. It also made my children go completely nuts! You may think I am crazy to believe in the connection between lunar activity, mood and menstrual cycles but I think it is pretty telling that our word “lunatic” contains the latin word “luna” for moon. All that to say I was a crazy mama with crazy kiddos. Having my cycle return after almost 16 months, while on this Whole 30 reminded me of this SNL skit Annuale. I was basically out of commission for a few days. I stayed true to Whole30 food but just about everything else fell to the wayside.

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Breakfast: My favorite roasted red potatoes and tomato kale egg scramble!

Lunch: “BLTA’s” with tempeh. I reused that picture but besides mixing up the fruit or veg it was the same.

Dinner: Left-over lemony green beans, veggies and dip and salmon cakes.

30 Day Shred: ü

Devotions: ü Yes, because if I didn’t I know my hormones would have gotten the best of me.

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Breakfast: REPEAT! Can you actually eat too much kale? I should look into that. At least it is cooked! Because just in case you didn’t know this, kale and other cruciferous vegetables are best eaten when cooked because they contain enzymes that inhibit thyroid function and a host of other things.

Lunch: Umm this was an interesting day. I was trying to clean out the leftovers and had salmon cakes with tomato and avocado in cabbage wraps. Not the tastiest combo.

Dinner: Cauliflower rice with stir-fry veggies and an asian style cod.

30 Day Shred: Heck no!

Devotions: I haven’t figured out how to make time alone on weekends.

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Breakfast: A quick breakfast before church of scrambled eggs and an apple.

Lunch: Tuna salad with dipping veggies.

Dinner: Leftover cauliflower rice and stir-fry with asian cod.

30 Day Shred: Nope… with getting up early for church and my raging cycle I was not about to listen to Jillian’s voice that day.

Devotions: No, but we made it to church and I actually was able to sit in service for the worship, which is rare!!

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Breakfast: Kale tomato egg bowl.

Lunch: I was craving tuna melts on toast with cheese so I topped zucchini slices with tuna salad and tomato slices and broiled them. It was delicious.

Dinner: Egg “tortilla” with scrambled eggs, potatoes, avocado, tomatoes, olives, cilantro and mayo.

30 Day Shred:ü

Devotions:ü

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Breakfast: Repeat! I actually made a double batch on monday because tuesday we had a play date and mornings are chaos on those days.

Lunch: Another egg tortilla!

Dinner: Pecan encrusted halibut with lemon garlic spinach and mashed potatoes.

30 Day Shred:ü

Devotions:ü

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Breakfast: I ran out of kale. So I had a tomato spinach egg bowl and an americano with coconut milk.

Lunch: Vegetable soup in bone broth with a side of fried eggs.

Dinner: leftovers.

30 Day Shred: I actually got up and dressed to work out but it didn’t happen. Lilah was up about every hour that night and I was a zombie mama. I tried. I got my clothes and shoes on, came down stairs, sat down for a few minutes and fell asleep. So I woke up and did my devotions and than went on a quick coffee run. We actually had tree guys over to our house that morning too, which I will write about later.

Devotions:ü 

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Breakfast: Stir-fry veggie egg scramble and grapes.

Lunch: Repeat soup and eggs

Dinner: Sweet potato fries, pineapple “teriyaki” tuna burger in lettuce. I have not mastered the lettuce burger wrapping. MESSY!!

30 Day Shred: Night two of “Lilah the Lycanthrope”! This time I opted for just sleeping while she slept, instead of trying to work out and than passing out on the couch like the day before.

Devotions: Because I “slept in” it was a hectic morning which turned into a busy day, as Thursdays always are for us. In the summer we get our CSA from an organic farm in Arlington and so we switch up our normal Sunday or Monday grocery shopping trips to Thursdays.

 

All in all, it was a pretty hard week. Thankfully my body is back to normal! Emotionally, I felt pretty discouraged about missing so many workouts. I am trying to be gracious with myself though since going from not working out at all for over a year, to even a few times a week is a great change! Thankfully Lilah has slept a bit better the past few nights, although still wakeful. She is so near crawling that I think it is “milestone sleep regression” or teething. I am very proud of myself for sticking with this Whole30 round so far. Last round I had Steven with me. This time there is plenty of non-approved food around and I haven’t been tempted really to partake. I’d say the struggle isn’t so much temptation as it is autopilot. I have almost taken bites of things just to see if it was too hot for Linden, or while passing by and talking I almost sneak a bite of something. It shows how much mindless grazing I have been partaking in.

I still miss toast though…. mmm sourdough slathered in butter! homer!2 {Don’t you love my sweet ‘photoshop’ skills?!}

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