Sunday, March 23, 2014

Whole30: Hello, Happiness!

Sorry for the short blogging hiatus: my senior capstone project, which I mentioned a few posts ago, is FINISHED. I spent the last week working nonstop and barely sleeping, so I've been using this weekend to get back into my normal routine. It feels so good to sleep, workout, and cook again!

That being said, the Whole30 truly made this week less stressful. Instead of relying on cups and cups of coffee, my energy and enthusiasm have been at an all-time high. While my team was snacking on greasy, not-so-nutritious snacks to stay alert, I packed servings of almonds and tea packets to stay satiated. I also managed to squeeze a few short workouts in there, which served more as stress relief than fitness!

In my last post, I mentioned my Turkey Sweet Potato Bok Choy burgers; I food prepped so many that I ate them throughout the week and didn't have to worry about cooking amidst all of my work!

Turkey Sweet Potato Bok Choy Burgers

2 tbsp coconut oil
1 cup sweet potato, peeled and diced
1/4 of an onion, chopped
3 cups bok choy (or kale or spinach)
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 pound ground organic turkey
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 medium egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsp almond flour

In a large skillet, heat coconut oil over medium heat. Add onion and sweet potato, sauté until onions are translucent. Add bok choy and cook until wilted. Set aside to cool. In large bowl, combine turkey, dijon mustard, egg, garlic powder, and almond flour. Add sweet potato mixture and gently fold. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour. Form 6 patties, and grill.

Obviously, I didn't survive on turkey burgers alone (although that wouldn't be the worst fate). I also relied on...

Protein shakes for when I was running out the door, which was seemingly all the time. This one happens to be Vanilla Coconut Matcha Green Tea.

EGGS ON EGGS ON EGGS. Seriously, they are the easiest things ever to cook and were a godsend to me during this insane week. If you're a college student and don't rely on eggs, I don't know what your doing. I made this with pork, guac and almonds.

And obviously, if you know me AT ALL, you know I had to celebrate finishing my capstone the only way I know how...

BRUNCH. Hello, two eggs over easy, local chicken apple sausage, avocado, and fruit salad. It was enjoyed with my girl Georgie post-Barre class (which is my new obsession, by the way).

This week was an amazing turning point for me. I realized eating the Whole30 way, once you get the hang of it, is actually super easy and stress-relieving during hectic weeks. Nothing is too hard if you plan appropriately.

Long story short, I feel healthier and happier than I have in a long time. Even though I'm entering the scary real world in a few months, I've never felt more balanced and content.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Whole30: Food Prep!

I hopped on the food prep bandwagon earlier this year, and it has totally revolutionized my weeknight eats. Seriously, how did it take me so long to realize how great it is?! Food prep is particularly important while doing a Whole30 because having clean food at your disposal makes the risk of cheating waaay less probable. So on Wednesday night, after I arrived back at school after spring break, I food prepped... I food prepped hard.

Turkey burgers, chicken sausage, veggies, oh my!

My proudest accomplishment...

Turkey Sweet Potato Bok Choy Burgers (over brussels sprouts)! I'll have a recipe up on le blog shortly. They were super simple to make, and insanely good. I was seriously shocked by how great these tasted.

Other noms from the past few days...

Bok Choy + Carmelized Onion Frittata with Guacamole

Pumpkin Pie Protein Shake topped with pepitas, coconut, and flax seeds

Chocolate Raspberry Coconut Protein Shake topped with pepitas, coconut, and flax seeds- what can I say, I have a bit of a crush on my Vitamix blender!

Also, the Whole30 will NEVER take away my love/need for brunch... so I made it work!

Eggs over easy, pastrami-smoked salmon, and a side salad at the Carriage House Cafe

Omelette with avocado, tomato, and portobello mushrooms with sliced apples and a side salad at Cafe Dewitt 

Whoever says the Whole30 isn't delicious is clearly lying... I'm loving it!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Whole30: The [Healthy] Hangover

Alright guys, I have officially entered the hangover phase of the Whole30. Basically, my body is realizing it won't be getting energy from refined sugars and grains, so it's totally out of whack.

Still, I had some food highlights...

What I Ate

Perfect Breakfast Plate - over easy eggs, sliced tomato, spinach, almond butter, and blueberries. Lovely, colorful, and oh so filling!

I went out to dinner with my family, and fortunately was able to Whole30 without much struggle! I had Salmon with Brussels Sprouts and Asparagus in a shallot vinaigrette- originally there was quinoa instead of asparagus, but not for this lady.

I went to NYC for the day for an informational interview and had lunch at Gotham West Market! I got the Slaw Salad from the Little Chef- it was raw beets and carrots in a cumin vinaigrette topped with pepitas. THE PEPITAS. Also, juices are not promoted on the Whole30 because they suggest you eat your fruit to stay fuller, but this concoction was Beet, Apple, and Lavender... how could I possibly say no?

What I Learned
  • I am tired and cranky. All the time. As a glass half full type of person, I'm not used to feeling so on edge with others, and it's no fun.
  • I'm always hungry. Always. I was never the biggest snacker, so I think I'm simply not getting enough calories in during my meals without carbs. I'm going to try to get more healthy fats in per meal.
  • Restaurants are super accommodating to specialty diets! I've had no issues thus far.
How I Felt
Tired. Hungry. Sleepy. Angry. Tired. Tired. Tired.

Mistakes I Made
On Monday, I worked out for the first time since starting the Whole30 on Saturday. I didn't change my meal size or increase meal frequency, and in a hunger-induced rage I binged on some almond butter after dinner... hard. Spoonfuls on spoonfuls on spoonfuls of the stuff. Part of me is sad I caved, but I should have eaten more during the day to account for the workout. I will try to learn from this mistake, but at least I binged on something Whole30-approved.

Obviously, I've got more learning to do... trial and error, I suppose! I'm definitely learning so much about my body, and I'm so happy I'm having fewer stomach problems. Sadly, I think cutting dairy from my diet is key- rest in peace late night froyo runs.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Whole30: Day 1 Recap

As of yesterday, my Whole30 challenge has officially begun!

I don't plan on doing regular daily recaps for the next 30 days - partly because I don't want to bore you, partly because I'm busy and can't keep up. I plan on sharing some favorite meals, some major wins, and some struggles a few times a week.

However, I figured I would share day #1 because the first few days are known to be the biggest adjustment. I found this timeline on the Whole30 website that outlines the most common responses to the challenge, so I'm aware of the imminent emotional roller coaster to come ;).

What I Ate

Started my day with an Arbonne Protein Shake. They're vegan, paleo-approved, and, oh yeah, did I mention delicious? I had one scoop vanilla, one scoop chocolate, a scoop of fiber, and almond milk.

It was the first sunny day in a while, and when the weather is nice I always crave something green and refreshing. I had a salad with eggs, strawberries, tomato, and edamame w/o dressing. If you're familiar with Whole30, you know I made a mistake here... if not, I'll talk about it later. #embarrassing

Since it's the first day of spring break, I went out with my friend and boyfriend for sushi to celebrate. I initially thought I was stuck with a plate of sashimi (which is not a problem by any means), but I noticed a cucumber-wrapped roll on the menu- yay! I had a Naruto Roll, salmon sashimi, and yellowtail sashimi.

Alright guys, I have a new snack obsession. It's these Chia Pods, and they're flawless. This one has only three ingredients - chia seeds, coconut milk, and real mango. It reminded me of my beloved yogurt but is completely paleo/Whole30 approved! I also snacked on half an apple, a shot of espresso (black), and Arbonne Detox Tea during the day.

What I Learned
  • Whole30 diets are expensive. I went to Trader Joe's to pick up some goods, and even at their amazing prices the organic/raw products definitely took a toll on my wallet.
  • Salads without dressing are actually insanely delicious. I had dressing on the side of my salad, but I was enjoying it so much I forgot to put it on!
  • Pinterest is such a great resource for Whole30 participants. Georgie and I have a board where we share fun recipes to try, feel free to check it out!
How I Felt
Fine. Quite hungry by dinner, but no big. It was only day one, haha!

Mistakes I Made
Ugh. I can't believe I already messed up on day one. I was eating edamame on my salad and asked myself, is edamame a legume? I googled it, and it turns out not only is edamame a legume, but it is also made of soy. #fail. Fortunately, it's early enough in my challenge that it won't make me sick, and I'll make sure not to do it again. But still, can you believe I messed up already? Classic.

That's all for now! If you have any tips or comments, feel free to share them below. Stay tuned for more updates on my Whole30 challenge!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

I'm Back to Bloggin': Whole30/30 Days to Fit!

I know, I know, I know- y'all thought I died. Fear not, dear readers! Frantipasto is back!

My senior capstone course, Ad Lab, is taking over my life. I say this with the utmost joy- I am obsessed with it. To sum it up, we are competing in the National Student Advertising Competition, through which colleges from across the country create full-fledged advertising campaigns for a client (this year, it's Mary Kay). Regionals in NYC are in a few weeks, and hopefully we'll make it to Nationals in Florida! As the Director of Copywriting, I spend the majority of my time devoted to this class.

I was planning on resuming the bloggin' life post-Ad Lab, but I'm embarking on a new food adventure this weekend and wanted to blog about it to keep track of my progress and stay accountable. What prompted this new challenge is a winter malaise- I've been eating less healthily, been less enthused about working out, and haven't felt confident in my own skin. Fortunately, Zumba instructing is keeping me sane, but I desperately need to switch things up!

As of this Saturday, I will be..... starting a Whole30!

(Nerdy pic of me with my copy of It Starts With Food)

What's a Whole30, you ask? Their website is super helpful, but to sum it up in layman's terms, it's an intensified paleo challenge. No dairy, no added/refined sugars, no wheat/gluten products, no alcohol, no legumes, no caffeine, no paleo-ified junk food. Just all natural products from the earth for 30 days- most meats, eggs, veggies, and fruits are fair game.

Also awesome- a friend of mine who is an Arbonne district representative hooked me up with a free Arbonne 30 Days to Fit kit! This includes paleo-approved protein shakes, energy chews, detox tea, and a great support system. I'm going to integrate both 30-day programs into one hybrid, Fran-approved plan.

How will I stay accountable? Well, I'm doing this with my bestie and blogging buddy Georgie- we'll share recipes, struggles, advice, and accomplishments. I've been reading up on other peoples' experiences and it definitely has its highs and lows, so I'm so happy my lovely friend will be there with me every step of the way. Also, regular blogging will keep me on track!

So, get ready for Frantipasto to get back on her blogging game! If you have any tips or advice for my latest challenge, or just want to say hi, comment below!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Finals Hiatus (and a recipe!)

Finals week is officially in motion, and I'll be taking a short break from Frantipasto while I'm busy with my exams, presentations and essays!

Before I go, here's a quick recipe I've been meaning to post: I made Sally's Baking Addiction's Nutella-Swirled Pumpkin Pie for Thanksgiving and a pot luck with friends, and both times it was a major hit! Major bonus: it's so easy.

Instructions are on her blog; I also highly recommend using her gingersnap crust recipe!

Season's Eatings, all!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Farmer's Market Finds: Pumpkin Ricotta Ravioli

One of my favorite places on earth is the Ithaca Farmer's Market. I try to go every weekend until it closes for winter, armed with an empty mug for hot apple cider and a reusable bag to be filled with fresh, local produce. I also can't leave without a baked good... lately, I've been obsessed with Pumpkin Walnut Chocolate Chip bars!

During my last trip, I picked up some Pumpkin Ricotta Ravioli from the Culinary Kiosk. This purchase has been weeks in the making- I had tried to buy them the prior two weeks in a row, but they were sold out before I could get them! I made sure to get to the market early and was thrilled to FINALLY pick up a bag.

That night, I called up my foodie friend Blake and we planned an excellent dinner; I would prepare the ravioli, and he made a side of garlic parmesan asparagus. I started by preparing an incredibly simple brown butter rosemary sauce.

Brown Butter Rosemary Sauce

4 tablespoons butter
A few sprinkles of rosemary, to taste (I happen to like a lot)
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano

Directions: Melt butter until it turns into a golden noisette. Add rosemary and remove from heat. Add lemon juice, and viola!

Garlic Parmesan Asparagus

1 pound asparagus
1/2 cup parmesan
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
A few cloves of crushed garlic, to taste
Olive oil

Directions: Preheat oven to 375. Coat baking sheet with olive oil. Spread out asparagus, coat liberally with parmesan, breadcrumbs, and garlic. Bake for 10 minutes.

On the side, we enjoyed a local Ithaca Ginger Beer. The pumpkin ravioli were definitely worth the wait- they were SO flavorful and delicious, and went amazingly with the brown butter sauce! I look forward to another Farmer's Market-inspired dinner.