Don’t Cry Over Spilled Pizza

That’s how the saying goes, right?

Last night I caved in. I was tired from my first day of classes and an afternoon of four-year-olds, and didn’t feel like cooking. I simply wanted to watch another episode of Call The Midwife, and eat pizza. So that’s what I did.

Afterwards, I felt terrible.

I sat at the kitchen table and cried over the fact that I had just consumed four delicious, cheese and mushroom filled pieces of pizza. I must also mention that only a few minutes before eating the pizza, I was also locked out of the online test I had to take and got an automatic zero. Test on the first day of class? What? Oh, yes.

BUT: today is a brand new day. And I’ve learned a bit from this pizza fiasco.

  1.  The past four days have been difficult – two liquid meals and one solid meal a day is just as bad as it sounds, and it has been getting harder and harder to consume liquid vegetables. However, I have to remind myself that I am not alone. I bet there are a lot of people on the Clean diet that snuck in a piece four pieces of pizza. This is so important for me to remember, because I like to do things all on my own. I have never liked group projects- the pressure of relying on other people is overwhelming. I have a hard time asking for help, which most likely explains my inability to do mental math, word problems, and long division. Even during this cleanse, I can rally support from those around me, and I must remember that in my darkest pizza-craving hour.
  2. Not everything is going to be perfect. Last night Caleb called me a Perfectionist. Me? A Perfectionist? Yes. Just writing this small post has taken me almost the whole day. Over Christmas break my mother-in-law said to me, “if you can’t do the best, do the best that you can.” If my body cannot handle two liquid meals in a day, I can still stick to the Clean food list, and eat four pieces of delicious venison steak.
  3. Pizza is a wonderful, wonderful thing. I cannot wait to eat more after the cleanse.

As I type, a Wendy’s burger commercial is playing on Spotify.

I WAS LISTENING TO BON IVER, SPOTIFY. How rude.

Nonetheless, it has been a fantastic week so far. I’m excited to take more classes that actually have to do with my major (Early Childhood Education), and next week I start Field Experience! Yay! I am most excited to wear all of my new “teacher clothes” that I got for Christmas. Thanks, mom!

-Kelly

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So long, Elimination Diet.

Yesterday was our last day on the Elimination Diet. Hallelujah!

We made it through one week, which proves that we can do this for three more. At least that’s what I’m telling myself.

I’m glad that we did the Elimination Diet before starting the Cleanse because it gave us a chance to try out shakes, soups, and other Clean recipes. We figured out what worked, and what we will never ever try ever again.

I also made a celebratory chocolate mousse, that ended up being so rich that I could only eat one bite. A celebratory chocolate mousse bite.

This morning we went to the Phoenixville Farmer’s Market, which turned out to be the lamest farmer’s market I’ve ever been to. In my mind I had pictured finding middle-aged women in overalls and sun hats, standing behind long tables filled with bountiful crates of fruits and vegetables.

Not even close.

It was under a bridge, it was raining, and old men were selling pre-packaged buffalo meat at $15/pound.

What is life.

They had some vegetables, but not much, so we left and found our vegetable utopia: Produce Junction.

Produce Junction is unlike any other place I’ve been to. There were mountains and mountains of fruits and vegetables at amazingly low prices. Might I add, all locally grown? What we didn’t realize is that you shop and stand in line simultaneously, paying for vegetables in one line, and fruits in another. However, after looking like Produce Junction newbies, we were able to buy all the produce we needed for the week (which is a lot), and only paid $30.

After finishing the Elimination Diet, I’ll be honest and say that I don’t really feel like much has changed, besides the fact that I have to pee every 20 minutes thanks to the 8 cups of water I now drink every day. I’m not looking to lose weight, but I hope that by the end of the next three weeks I’ll feel more energized, and will have better overall health. In the words of Outkast, I will be “So fresh and so clean clean.”

Peace & Love.

-Kelly

Apple Chips are labor intensive.

My Clean adventures today consisted of:

  •  Making turkey burgers with avocado for lunch. Caleb decided to be fancy and use a ‘lettuce bun,’ but I tried it, and lettuce is just…well, lettuce.
  • Broccoli Soup. While I slurped my green creation, I was really missing cheddar cheese, sour cream, and bread. I miss bread. I also thought of one of my favorite SNL skits. (http://www.ebaumsworld.com/video/watch/920731/)

*side note: as I am writing this, Caleb is singing a song to our cat, Milo, in “meows.”* and finally,

  • Apple Chips.

All of the recipes I found online said I should use parchment paper, and to slice the apples with a mandolin slicer. I knew we should have put a mandolin slicer on our wedding registry. (Too bad I used the rest of our Macy’s Gift Card on clothes. I’m not really sorry about that. I love clothes.)

I had neither of those things, so I sliced two apples as thinly as I could with my flimsy steak knife that was on our registry, put the apple pieces on aluminum foil, and popped them in the oven for 2 hours at 200 degrees.

In the end, they actually came out crispy, but stuck to the aluminum foil like that kid’s tongue stuck to the metal pole in A Christmas Story. 

They weren’t hard to make, but I felt like I lost a lot of apple chip casualties to the aluminum foil.   Tomorrow is our last day on the Elimination Diet, and Saturday we start the actual cleanse! Woo hoo!

One week down, and three more to go. Lord, help us all.

-Kelly

Fala-fail

Tonight I made falafel using a recipe from the Clean blog. (http://blog.cleanprogram.com/falafel/) I honestly think that “Jenny,” this mysterious Clean Blogger, realized that her recipe was haphazard, so she made falafel with non Clean-approved ingredients, took a picture of her perfectly golden brown falafel, and then proclaimed to the world that this recipe would be successful.

Well Jenny, you lied to me, and you should stop lying before someone takes away your blogging privileges. Yeah, I’m a little angry at this recipe. Jenny is dead to me. (Just kidding, your zucchini muffins were delicious.)

Two problems with this recipe:

  • The falafel fell apart while in the pan, and even after baking them for almost 10 minutes, they were still very mushy.
  • The recipe does not include tahini sauce in the falafel mixture, which made the falafel taste bland, and kind of weird by itself. Thankfully, we ate it in lettuce with onions, cucumbers, and hummus. Yum. Lettuce. (It really was good lettuce)

Veering off slightly from my Clean adventures, I thought a lot today about what motivates me. This week I started working full time again after being off for almost two weeks.

Let me tell you – I have had zero motivation to get up in the morning, zero motivation to work from 8-5, zero motivation to cook, and zero motivation to get ready for my classes that start next week. The Clean program is forcing me to look at every food label, to plan meals more carefully, and to cook three meals every day; these are all things that I should have been doing before, but hey, I’m a newly-married college student (full-time), with a part-time job that usually feels like a full-time deal.

I basically want to take naps all the time.

What then, will motivate me once I start work, class, wifery, and field experience?

As I thought about what motivates me, I realized that Caleb is the biggest motivator in my life.

He motivates me to do well in school (I loved telling him I had a 4.0 last semester, and even got a few kisses because of it), he motivates me to get out of bed in the morning, and to go to bed at a normal hour (I used to stay up until 3 a.m. almost every night before we got married, and now I’m usually in bed by 10). Caleb motivates me to be a better person, to care about the world, and to think of other people. He motivates me to look my best, to take vitamins, to cook more, to be less messy.

My students also motivate me. I am motivated every day to learn more so that I can share more knowledge with them; they are so inquisitive, and ask so many questions that make me realize how little I actually know. They motivate me to be more patient and creative, and to exercise so that I can keep up with them in the classroom and on the playground.

A flaw that I have is to give up or procrastinate on things when I am unmotivated, or when I don’t really care about something. I will wait the last minute to do a homework assignment. I procrastinated and didn’t pick up my check on time, so now I have to wait for it to be mailed to me.

I procrastinate on getting paperwork in.

I gave up on getting up earlier in the mornings because I’m “too sleepy,” and I gave up on exercising daily simply because, well, exercise isn’t always fun, and being sore is not always the best motivator to run 2 miles.

Thinking of my newest venture into the Clean world, I’ve made it a point to not give up under any circumstances.

 I feel blessed that I have a husband who is so willing to do this with me, a husband who is very brave and not afraid of vegetables.

I am ready to push through when I feel the least motivated, and make more breakfast shakes even when I’m tired of drinking mush. I will overcome! And I will be motivated.

-Kelly

“Muffins”: Starring, Zucchini

Tonight was the night.

I was going to make Zucchini Muffins; recipe courtesy of the Clean Blog. (http://blog.cleanprogram.com/a-clean-gluten-free-girls-zucchini-muffins/)

The recipe seemed easy enough, and we finally had all of the ingredients to make something delicious.

Fast forward about an hour, and they are completely done, and smell super delicious. Caleb is willing to wait until they cool (family members eating baked goods, especially chocolate chip cookies, as soon as they hit the cooling rack is one of my biggest pet peeves. *ahem,* I’m talking about you, little sister), but then we will devour them with complete abandon. A few things about my zucchini muffin experience:

  1. Zucchinis are hard to track down. Maybe it’s because I went to both Giant and Wegman’s at a fairly late hour, or because people were stocking up on zucchinis to get them through the winter storm, but I finally found one at Trader Joe’s.
  2. Almond. Flour. Is. So. Expensive. I used almost the whole bag of almond flour, and it cost me a whole leg. I’m still not sure if it was worth it. Once I eat a muffin, I’ll let you know.
  3. Coconut Oil is strange and expensive.
  4. Shredding zucchini is a terrifying ordeal. My fingers were almost sliced multiple times.
  5. When they tell you your muffins will look like this:
    The muffin picture from the website.

    The muffin picture from the website.

    They will actually look like this:
    The muffins I made on my new owl plate.

    The muffins I made on my new owl plate.

    5. I am officially a fan of chia seed gel, simply because I can sing the Chia Pet jingle, and because chia seed gel is so unique. I like unique things. It also takes seconds to make, and is a great egg replacer in baking recipes.

*Side Note*: My muffins are significantly more brown because I added 2 Tablespoons of coconut sugar, which apparently makes everything very, very brown. I also made Salmon & Asparagus Salad with Pesto, and let’s just say – IT WAS EVEN BETTER THAN LANTERN SOUP. So go, dear reader. Go and make a salmon salad for your loved ones. You won’t regret it. Here is a picture of my finished work:

I call this "Miracle on a Plate."

I call this “Miracle on a Plate.”

*Update*: The muffins were a smashing success. 

Happy Zucchini-ing!

-Kelly

Coconut Milk

After only three days on Clean, I have learned that not only is it going to be expensive, but it is going to be extremely time consuming.

Long gone are the days when I can get up at 7 and grab a piece of toast as I run out of the house to go to work.

You’re telling me I actually have to cook  breakfast, lunch and dinner?! Crazy talk.

Last night I made Lantern Soup (which was so delicious and everyone reading this should get off the computer right now, and make it.)

 I have always loved squash, but this soup solidified my squash love; which is ironic, since soup is a liquid, ha ha.

I also made coconut milk, which is now the title of this post because it was a great accomplishment to make something so tedious, yet so tasteless.

Honestly, I felt like a homestead wife. We also took a trip to Trader Joe’s which is basically an Aldi for hippies/health nuts. I was delighted to find almond butter, almond meal (I can finally make zucchini muffins! yay!), and coconut oil. All of which were painfully expensive (yet, significantly less expensive than Giant prices), but worth it for the sake of mine and Caleb’s stomachs.

I’m now fully convinced that the man that coined the phrase “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” did not mean “feed him only expensive coconuts and leafy greens,” so I need to find recipes that are sweet, and of course, easy to digest.

Image

Here is a cute little squash-heart. I also ate this.

I’ll spare you the pain of reading about our breakfast (mango pineapple shake; very mango-ey) and lunch (spinach with dates and almonds; SO GOOD).

When we got home from work, we had a beautiful package waiting at our doorstep – filled with pounds and pounds of venison, and a few fillets from the fish that we caught over Christmas break.

This package was certainly the highlight of my week. And yes, it’s only Monday.

Thank you, in-laws. I love you, and your gift of meat-happiness.

Tomorrow’s lunch will also consist of venison, which automatically makes tomorrow an awesome day.

Merry Clean Eating, Everyone!

-Kelly

The Battle of Green Coco

The highlight of today’s Clean adventure was breakfast. Totally kidding; this morning’s breakfast shake was even worse than the last.

We decided to make a “Green Coco Shake,” which includes:

  • 1 Avocado
  • 2 cups/1Can of Coconut Water
  • A handful of baby spinach
  • 3 Tablespoons of Cashews
  • Good Ol’ Stevia to taste

It sounded so good.

I am passionate about avocados, so naturally, it would have to be delicious.

I was wrong.

So. Very. Wrong.

The avocado and the cashews were suddenly in a fierce battle to see who could overpower the other. The baby spinach tried to intervene, but was slain (probably by the cashews) and left for dead; washed away by the coconut water, and long forgotten. Thankfully, the consistency of this shake was better than the infamous Blueberry-Coconut Mush, but overall, I would not recommend this shake to anyone doing the Clean program, or anyone in general.

Moving on.

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Last night I made vegetable stock, and had almost as much fun making it as I did taking this vegetable photo. I had to change the recipe a bit because there are some vegetables that we cannot eat, and a few that I couldn’t find at Giant. (They don’t sell leeks. Why don’t they sell leeks?)

Over Christmas Break, we made a visit to Barnes & Noble (one of my most favorite places), and bought two books on soup. Yes. Two books all about soup.

Who doesn’t love soup? I bet even Miley Cyrus loves soup. She probably took a break from swinging on that wrecking ball just to eat a bowl of soup. Can you blame her? No.

Tonight I am going to make Lantern Soup, which should be delicious because it is not one of the Clean Recipes (but definitely Clean approved).

I also discovered a recipe for Falafel, which I am so excited to try! I cannot wait to share more of my Clean experiences with everyone, and by everyone, I mean you, Mom.

You’re probably the only one reading this right now.

Love you! Text me. K, bye.

-Kelly