Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Sweet tooth.

This post is not about decorating for Valentine's day,
but I pulled some photos from my blog archive to honor this sweet holiday.

Anybody who's followed my blog knows that I have a sweet tooth.

Mmmmmmm.  Buttery, sugary, melt-in-your-mouth caramels.

Chocolate is my favorite.

Eating a gluten free and dairy free diet hasn't cured me of my hankering
for something sweet.  In fact, I've concocted a few recipes without
those ingredients that are mi-t-fine, if I do say so myself.

The holidays are especially difficult for me.   It's a slippery slope when baking and
cooking for others.  This year I lost all self-control and found myself
gobbling down cookies, fudge, candy, name it, I ate it.

A few weeks ago I went in for my yearly physical.  Eating a modified Paleo diet
 for almost 3 years has all but cured my IBS, but I still have a number of 
inflammatory/autoimmune symptoms that are troubling.  My doctor told me my lab numbers
 are excellent, but then she asked me the million dollar question.

How much sugar do I consume?
   Ehem......I had to fess up.

I eat a lot of sugar.

So, she challenged me to do The Whole 30.
30 days.
No sugar.  No artificial sugar.  No natural sugar.  No bacon or sausage cured with sugar.
No butter.  No grains.  No corn.  No legumes.  Yada yada yada.

I've already given up most of the prohibited foods, because I've found they're
my IBS triggers.  My lunch and dinner will remain relatively the same,
but breakfast is another story.  I tried the Whole 30 a few years back
but I failed miserably because although I love veggies,
I can't quite get my mind around eating them for breakfast.

What that means is, more Cheerios for breakfast!!!!!

Well, I've started the Whole 30.

On day 3, I was in tears trying to choke down my veggie egg bake
with 5 (yes 5!) veggies.  Spinach, broccoli, zucchini, and red and green peppers.
For breakfast!

I was ready to call it quits.


  I noticed that after only a few days of no Cheerios (the only grain in my diet)
my stomach was almost flat. I really thought I was okay with eating gluten free cereal,
but obviously not.   Maybe I  can do this!

I entered day 4 with a new attitude.  In desperation, I found a Whole 30
compliant sweet potato and apple dish with eggs and coconut milk that
when eaten hot with almond milk, is similar to oatmeal.
(I undercooked my sweet potato for more texture.)

The recipe can be found here.

A half serving of this makes my half serving of
Oscar's Mean Green Compost Casserole (what I call that thing on my plate)
almost palatable.


 ( The recipe can be found here. )

I try to avoid chewing it, which is against all rules,
but it's the only way I can force it down. A cup of coffee helps, too.

Black coffee and tea are allowed.

I'm not doing the Whole 30 as a fad diet, although weight loss is a fringe benefit.
I truly hope I reap enough benefits to keep me on track
 with healthy eating habits for life.

It's not easy, but I'm taking it one step at a time.

I guess you could say I'm my newest fixer upper.

9 days down and counting!

Thanks for visiting and Happy Valentine's Day!

If you've got issues of your own,
here are a few books I've read to help me on this journey:

A special thank you to my life coaches, Julie and Megan,
for inspiring me and helping me to see the humor
 when I get overwhelmed by it all.
xxoo, Mom


  1. OK Vickie, very very inspiring! I've forgotten what a flat stomach looks like...!
    Have a wonderful Valentine's Day!

  2. This is inspiring to me, too. I have followed a gluten free diet for many years...I'm going to look into whole 30 and try some of your recipes. And since I eat egg whites and veggies in the morning, it might not be such a stretch. But grains might be the hardest...
    Thanks for sharing, Vickie! Good for you!

  3. I don't know if you know, but I gave up eating processed sugar about 1-1/2 years ago. My hubby went along with me, too. We both not only lost weight, but our blood pressure went down, too. I do a ton of reading and research on nutrition and health, and I've learned how damaging sugar is to your body - that's the main reason we gave it up. It truly is "poison". I do still bake once in a blue moon, but I make GF recipes and use organic pure maple syrup as the sweetener. However, I know you can't even have that on Whole 30.

    I have a friend who did Whole 30 last year (she is thin, but she did it for health reasons) and she loved it so much that she kept it as her "forever" eating plan. She lost more weight and said she had never felt better in her entire life.

    Breakfast is hard for me, too. I'm not a big breakfast eater and I'm not a big fan of eggs (unless I'm eating out, for some reason). Usually I just have a handful of raw almonds and a banana or a spoon of almond butter and a banana. Though if I remember correctly, bananas aren't allowed on Whole 30 either, are they? I know they have a high natural sugar content.

    As far as the coffee, can you use almond milk in it? Best of luck to you - you got this! And you will look and feel great. :-)

    1. PS - I hate to be a Debbie Downer, but I thought you'd like to know...apples are very high in fructose, which makes them a high risk item on the FODMAP diet for IBS.

  4. You'd hate eating breakfast at our house, Vickie. Every morning Dennis cuts up veggies and sautes them in coconut oil. He serves them with an egg or quinoa, and we top them with salsa and sometimes a dollop of plain yogurt. If I get tired of this breakfast (he never does), I have quinoa with figs, walnuts and plain yogurt. I've never done the whole 30, but could probably do it. I might actually try it, as I could stand to lose a few pounds of winter fat. Giving up gluten has had a big impact on how I feel. No longer do I have pain in my knees. I just discovered coconut palm sugar, and that has a low glycemic index. I tried using it in a gluten-free brownie recipe and it did a pretty good job. Good luck with your whole 30 journey. Is that you in the photo with the kids? Gorgeous! xo

  5. Wow, Vickie, that sounds like quite the challenge - wishing you luck on your journey!!

  6. Wow, you have quite a challenge, Vickie! Kudos to you for keeping to this diet. Hopefully it's a little bit easier to swallow if it helps you feel better.
    Mary Alice

  7. Kudos to you vicki! I don't think I could do it, but I sure wish I could! Sugar is one of the worst things for ys, but so many things have it it makes eating right challenging. Good for you for sticking with it!


  8. Thank you for the recipes....I'm going to try both and I already know I'll love them! And also, your blog is a joy to read, and your photos are always inspiring too. Good luck with your eating!

  9. Hi Vicki, Great job taking on this challenge. I've done the gluten free diet overall for a few years and stay on it most of the time. Sugar is something I try and avoid but allow myself a treat now and then. It's tough but really makes a difference. Good luck with your plan and a flat tummy is a big plus!!!!
    Happy Valentine's Day! xo

  10. Good luck with the rest of the month! Now that I saw your book choices, I think I have Grain Brain!!! Seriously, my head is so much clearer and focused when I don't eat grains and sugar (as I sit here drinking a Coke). I need to get back ob the healthy eating wagon with you!

  11. After all, you introduced me to the KonMari method, so you might as well introduce me to the Whole 30 plan.

  12. I have thought about the whole 30.... not ready for that plan at this time! Good for you to do it!! I will try other ways to eat better, give up treats which I LOVE, aka, chocolate, cakes, know! LOL!
    Keep up the good work.

  13. Love your look back photos. Good for you on the whole 30. I hope you make it-you already have a great start. I've been cutting back on bad foods-just to lose some weight and started exercising after Hmmm? years. So far so good-it's been about 4 months with a super slow weight loss, but I hope it sticks. Good luck, Vickie-you can do it!

  14. I stopped eating flour and processed sugar on January 2. It's not a diet, but a life style change. I will eat bread again on a limited basis, but I know I feel and look better when I eliminate flour. I went to a bridal shower a couple of weeks ago and ate everything that was served including the fabulous cake. But the next day, I went right back to the no flour.

    Good luck with your new regimen - so glad your IBS is under control.

  15. I love sweets too. I've never tried that diet. I'm mot sure I would do well either because I love all the wrong things and would probably give up if the food didn't taste good. Good luck with this!

  16. You go girl. I am a carb and sweet eater too. I do not think I would do well on that diet as a way to have that be a new life style. I am trying to eat more proteins and whole grains and cut out carbs as much as I can. So far I feel better and it is working without feeling like it is too drastic of a life style change. I know people have done so well on the Whole 30 so I commend you for sticking with it.

  17. Wow, you're very strong willed. I haven't stopped grains, but oat is one I know triggers crisis for me. So no cheerios or oatmeal or oat cookies for me. I do find rolled buckwheat that I love. But Brittany is known for its buckwheat so it's easy to find for me, maybe not elsewhere in the world...

  18. Good for you! I don't think I ever do it. I have a terrible sweet tooth too. I am healthy as a horse, according to the dr., but I need to get back to exercising, walking, etc. and lose some weight!

  19. Good for you. I'm not sure I could do it. I have given up sugar for the most part but I still have grains. You look fantastic.

  20. Good luck, Vickie! The worst thing about being denied something is that you find that is the one thing your really want :-)


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