This is such an easy soup to make and is perfect for the cold weather. It really is a meal in a bowl. You can throw in whatever vegetables you have at home and even add some cooked shredded chicken for added bulk.
Heat the coconut oil/butter in large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over a medium heat. Once hot, add the onions, leeks, potatoes, garlic and a pinch of salt. Fry for two mins then cover and sweat until they begin to soften (about 8 mins). Add the stock, carrots & parsnip and bring to a simmer. Once simmering add the tomato & broccoli. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 20 mins or until the vegetables are tender until the vegetables are tender when you insert a fork. Season with a little salt and pepper to taste and then either serve as a chunky vegetable broth or blitz with a hand blender.
And that's it... so simple. I make a big batch and freeze it in individual portions. It is so easy to just pop it in a saucepan and defrost.
A few people have asked me about recipes for all the stuff I have been cooking during my Whole 30. I get most of them from Irish Paleo Girl, Nom Nom Paleo and Easy Stupid Paleo but I usually adapt them to slightly to my taste. Anyway I decided to share with you my Eggy Muffin recipe. These are a GOD SEND. You can make them up in a matter of minutes and they are perfect for a snack on their own, or with a salad for lunch or dinner.
I don't even know would you even call it a recipe as they are so easy to make.
Firstly chop up a large tomato and some spinach (but you can add peppers or whatever other veg you want). Then simply whisk up about 6 eggs, a little real butter (Kerrygold) and a pinch of sea salt to taste. Combine all ingredients together and set aside for a minute.
I then lined a muffin tin with streaky bacon and then just pour in your eggy mixture. (I also made some without the bacon).
Pop into the oven for 15-20mins and wallah you have a great snack.
I store them in airtight container in the fridge but they don't usually last too long once they are cooked.
Firstly apologies for the lack of blogging but life has been VERY hectic...Add on to that the fact I have to cook all my meals from scratch (and cannot really trust my husband to do it) I just haven't had the time to sit down with my laptop and fill you in on my Whole 30
But I'm back.
And the answer to the above question is NO I haven't fallen off the wagon. I won't lie, it hasn't been easy. I have had some rough days and the weekends are definitely the hardest. But in some ways week 2 and 3 are easier than the first week.
I have really started to notice changes in my energy levels and I'm convinced this is because of the foods I'm eating. Or not eating as the case may be!!! Also I’m sleeping better at night. I go to bed earlier and wake on my own minus an alarm clock. Usually I would go to bed at 1 or 2 am and drag myself out of bed at 8.30 for work , but now I’m asleep by 11 pm and up about 7 (this gives me loads of time to cook breakfast) .I'm also trying to pin down what my body needs for breakfast because I either eat too little and I'm hungry before lunch or I eat too much and then skip lunch (which is really bad because you shouldn't skip meals).
One of the biggest things I have noticed is I'm never hungry on this "diet". I am drinking alot more fluids including peppermint & green tea and my favourite infused waters. My skin looks great, I have loads more energy. But of course there are down sides too.
I am a really social person and go out nearly every weekend. But let me tell you its as boring as hell sitting in a pub drinking still water with a slice of lemon. I can handle it until about midnight but then I have to go home (plus it's well past my bed time cause I need a good 8 hours sleep since starting my Whole 30). It's also SOOOO hard not to step on a scales. Denise (Irish Paleo Girl) has warned me not to attempt it as it's so easy get discouraged if the figures on the scales don't match the figure in my head. But I do notice a difference in my clothes and my face is looking a little leaner than normal.
So with 3 weeks complete I'm starting to plan for life after my Whole 30. I will finish mine on Tuesday 10th June and have a hen party on Saturday 14th so I don't want to undo all my hard work in one weekend. I am a Malibu and Coke girl and I love a long neck Bulmers but both of theses are PACKED with sugar so I have to change to something different. (All ideas gratefully accepted!!! and NO I'm not staying off alcohol completely). I will probably introduce potatoes and porridge back into my diet. I love both of these and to be honest I am so sick of eggs for breakfast. But I will continue to cook my meals from scratch. I cannot believe all the CRAP that is in processed food. And really it only takes a little organisation and planning to set you up for the week. This Whole 30 has really made me think about what and how I eat. It has been a real eye opener and I just hope I have the will power to continue to "eat clean".
So what have I been eating.
So that's it for now. I will let you know how I get on this week and will write up a full post Whole 30 blog next week.
Until next time
So I'm still here and I haven't killed anyone!!! (yet!!!)
If you read my previous blog you will have seen that Day 3 was very hard. I got sick and my body decided it HATED me for not giving it sugar.
Nothing a early night couldn't sort out and on Thursday I felt grand again. I must say the last 4 days have been surprisingly good.
So what have I been eating?
Thursday Day 4 was a real lazy day. For breakfast I had an omelette packed full of spinach and tomatoes. This only takes minutes to make and is a great start to the day. I cooked the omelette in butter so I had fat, protein and veg in my meal. For lunch I had my left over Chicken Curry. This really was amazing curry and I will definitely be making it again this week. I wasn't hugely hungry in the evening so I kept it simple and just had a small salad with ham, chicken, tomato, lettuce and pineapple. I also had an avocado but it wasn't fully ripe so I didn't actually eat it all.
Friday Day 5 I was working so breakfast was another quick and easy meal. I made Sweet Potato Hash with fried eggs. I don't know if I cooked the sweet potato properly but it was a little soggy. Don' t know if I will be making it again. I made a quick lunch of pork chops with a little salad on the side. I rubbed sea salt, black pepper and curry powder onto the chops and fried them in little coconut oil. They were yummy. When I got home from work I decided to make some hazelnut butter. This is a real treat but unless you live near a health food shop its hard to get your hands on. I simply toasted a bag of hazelnuts for about 10 mins then popped them into my food processor and whizzed them until it got to the consistency I wanted. Then just scoop it out and put into an airtight container. I sliced some apples and had some of my amazing hazelnut butter with it as a snack. The evening kinda disappeared on me and I wasn't hugely hungry so again I had a simple salad with ham, boiled eggs, tomatoes and avocado (I got my hands on a ripe avocado and it was way nicer).
Saturday Day 6. I was going shopping for the day with my mum, sister and friend Annmarie. Annmarie is doing a "partial" Whole 30. When I say partial I mean she is eating all the healthy stuff that I am and staying off the alcohol to support me but when she goes back home after the weekend she will probably go back to her old bad habits.
Anyway I made up Sweet Potato Pancakes with strawberries for breakfast. Again they were amazing. However Denise has warned me that they are a little bit "sweet" so I should only be having them once a week if at all on a Whole 30. Oooppps. I have an awful sweet tooth so that's one thing I'm hoping to "RESET" on this Whole 30. Anyway back to the rest of the day. Whilst in Athlone we decided to have lunch. I choose MixGreens as they cater for all diets from Slimming World to Weight Watchers and also Paleo. They have a great menu and it was really hard to pick from all their great dishes. I eventually went with the Butternut Squash Wok Salad and a Orange, Apple, Carrot & Wheatgrass Juice. It was all delicious and I will definitely be back. We were home for dinner so I decided to so steak with plenty of veg and garlic butter. I was stuffed afterward but it was so worth it.
Day 7 Sunday Well I got up pretty late so I had a brunch of boiled eggs, rashers, some strawberries and a big glass infused water. Then for dinner I had roast chicken and veg.
I snacked on fruit and nuts anytime I feel peckish or fruit and nutbutter (Almond or Hazelnut only).
I will admit today has been tough. Sunday was always my worst day for eating junk food and takeaways. I'm still craving a regular cup of tea and even an auld Rich Tea biscuit would do at this stage. But as the above quote says (sent to me by the wonderful Denise from Irish Paleo Girl) I have to choose between what I want now and what I want most.
On the bright side it was great waking up this morning without a hangover!!!
So what have I learned from Week One?
Well be organised. You need to plan your meals in advance and be prepared. Don't worry it doesn't mean it's more time consuming it just makes life easier.
Try everything you might be surprised what you might actually like. e.g. I have been eating green beans, asparagus and broccoli all vegetables I would never have eaten before the Whole 30.
Oh and I am sleeping like a log. I usually have very broken sleep but the past week I have been sleeping straight through for at least 8 hours. !!!
So I'm ready for week two. Wish me the best of luck!!!!
Until next time
So I started my Whole 30 on Monday. I was off work for the day which gave me the whole day to plan out my meals.
That is one very important step with this type of lifestyle. Plan and organise yourself and your meals. It makes life a whole lot easier.
So what have I been eating. Well that is one thing I love about Paleo..there is never a shortage of food. Ok it may not include bread and pasta but there are loads of delicious recipes out there. Everything is cooked from scratch so this is where being prepared comes in.
I forgot to take photos of some of my meals - I would be half way through when I would think of it and I really don't think you want to see my half eaten meals :).
I am not a fan of vegetables...I actually hate most of them. Its all in my head really though. So what I have been doing is chopping veg up really small or using my hand blender. I'm like a child but it works. Like in my Curry their was Broccoli, Cauliflower and Spinach and in my burgers I had Onions, Mushrooms & Spinach.
There is a huge variety of recipes available on the internet. Some of my favourite are on Nom Nom Paleo, Irish Paleo Girl & Our Paleo Life.
So how have I being feeling?
Day 1 was great. I was really enthusiastic to get started. I wasn't hungry at all. I ate scrambled eggs with tomato, spinach and bacon for breakfast, lunch consisted of homemade roasted veg & chicken soup and dinner was porkchops, broccoli, cauliflower and carrots. I had nuts, berries and fruit in between and peppermint tea and green tea.
Day 2 was fine aswell. I was working though so it really drove the point home that you need to be organised. For breakfast I had sweet potato pancakes, roasted veg & chicken soup and a breast of chicken for lunch and dinner was beef burgers with carrots. I drank plenty of herbal tea and also made flavoured water. I simply chopped up peach and raspberries and put them in a jug of water. Leave it over night and it is just gorgeous without all the nasty artificial flavourings and sweetners.
Day 3 was ROUGH. I have had a cough for the past week and I got a headcold which caused a headache and just felt miserable. All I really wanted was a cup of regular tea with milk and sugar!!! (the little comforts in life). But I battled through with a little pep talk from my work colleges and of course Denise. She explained it was my body detoxing and because its so stressful for me because there is no sugar available as fuel, Cortisol (which is a stress hormone) was being released. This suppresses my immunity which is why I got sick. Isn't it mad how the body works!!!! I had a great big lunch of burgers and stir fried cabbage with bacon lardons. And I made the most gorgeous Coconut Chicken Curry for dinner. I made sure to drink plenty of water and added ginger and a squeeze of lemon to my herbal teas. I also was in bed by 10 o'clock. So after a great nights sleep I feel great today.
So that's how things are going so far. I am feeling much better today and I just hope all the badness has left my body. I am making more soup today so will take plenty of pictures.
So what do you think of the blog? Will I keep going?
Let me know in the comments below
I'm not even sure how many of your will be interested in this type of blog but I am going to keep a diary for myself and if you are interest it might help you out in some way.
I have decided to do a Whole 30. What is that you may ask? Well here is a little background about it and why I have decided to do it.
I have the pleasure of working with an amazing woman named Denise who would be know to the world as Irish Paleo Girl (_www.irishpaleogirl.ie). She has a huge following on her blog & Facebook account and rightly so. Denise is studying to become a nutritional therapist and passionately follows a Paleo Diet. In her words "The Paleo diet mimics the diet of our ancestors. The emphasis is on clean, real foods - with no grains processed foods, sugar or dairy."
Now I am NO expert on nutrition or the Paleo diet but after working with Densie for over 2 years I have a general idea of what is good and what is bad. And let me tell you we are all be hoodwinked by society today. I bet you think Special K is good for you...WRONG!!!! it is FULL of sugar. And sugar is BAD, BAD, BAD!!!I'm not going to get into a whole load of detail but if you are interested in finding out more go check out Denise's page.
So a Whole 30 is basically stripping certain food groups from your diet like sugar, grains, dairy, legumes oh & of course alcohol. These unhealthy, hormone-unbalancing, gut-disrupting, inflammatory foods are zapping my energy levels, making it impossible to lose weight, disrupting my sleep and basically killing me slowly. A Whole 30 is like pressing the reset button on you body. It is a great kick start to what will hopefully the start of my new healthier lifestyle
Now before you go saying oh it's the same as the Atkins or any of those other fad diets I can assure you its not. Yes you have to remove certain things from your diet like bread, pasta and sugar but if there is one thing Denise has taught me is that there is nearly ALWAYS a healthy tasty Paleo alternative.
A little about me!!!
Well where do I begin - I am 33 and have been over weight for nearly all of my adult life. I have a very busy hectic life (which I love) but unfortunately don't always have the energy levels to keep up with it. I suffer from PCOS and don't sleep well at night. That's me in a nutshell. And I'm hoping this Whole 30 will be the kickstart I need to fix some of those problems.
I have tried EVERY diet under the sun from Weight Watchers to Slimming World, Atkins, Lipotrim and the Cambridge diet to name a few. I always do well for about 6 weeks then I fall off the wagon and return to my old ways therefore putting on whatever weight I had lost (and sometimes even more). About 18 months ago I joined my local Gym and stuck to a brilliant regime and healthy eating plan (mostly Paleo) for over 3 months. I lost 2 stone and then Christmas came and I threw all my hard work away.
So I have decided to start again!!! I am kicking off with a Whole 30.
The Whole 30 is basically a really strict version of Paleo. It is a great way to jump start my new healthy lifestyle and even though it will be VERY tough I think I am up for the challenge.
I will keep you updated on here. It may not always be a full written blog but I will post photos of my daily menu and how I am feeling on them days.
Wish me the best of luck!!!!