WholeFamily Whole30 – Half Way

Day 15! Can you believe we made it?

I contemplated posting once-per-week, but I did that when I did a successful W30 back in 2016, and you can read all about it over here. Further, in order to achieve my 2019 goal of blogging more, I’m hoping to post twice a month on the 1st and 15th of each month going forward, instead of “all-the-sudden trying to climb a mountain that is too big” with posting weekly etc, so lets start with a realistic goal shall we? What do you think?

So, we’re I’m officially HALF WAY DONE with our “WholeFamily, Whole30”. (Spoiler Alert!)

Can I just tell you guys how lucky I am that my family is was doing this with me? When I did this on my own back in 2016, it was so hard! The fridge and cupboards were stocked with “non-compliant” food and I had to will power my way through it a few times.

The subsequential other times I tried doing a W30, back in January 2017, February 2018, and September 2018 I failed miserably despite wanting to succeed.  This time, since we only have Whole30 food in the house (upstairs anyway), there isn’t a real possibility to slip.

Jason: Ended up going off the program as of Friday the 11th, but agreed he’d stay W30 at home. I think this is a great compromise. He works construction, so his lunch choices were limited unless he wanted a salad for lunch, which he did not, and he wasn’t on Whole30 for himself, but rather in support for me. The amount of money we were spending in nuts, and compliant jerky/snacks was a pinch ridiculous for “sympathy eating”, and I could tell he was miserable, so I cut him off from feeling obligated anymore, and his mood lifted.

Kay: She is still on plan as of today. Her friends at school think she has some kind of medical condition. One kid at lunch thinks she must have diabetes if she can’t have any sugar anymore, and another kiddo commenting that “It’s just not natural to not have added sugar.”

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I think her lunches looked pretty darn good (and as you can tell by all the fruit, the girl is not lacking in the sugar department)!

Truth be told though, I think we’ll wean her off the program this Friday night, however. As a growing pre-teen, she needed more calories but just wanted fruit. The girl plowed through two pints of raspberries in one sitting. We decided her fruit addiction needed to stop, so as of the 18th – she’ll be in re-intro mode with some high-quality full fat, grass-fed dairy.  Hopefully, 18 days was long enough to get some stuff out of her system. I’m genuinely interested to know if she is dairy or gluten (or anything else) sensitive due to frequent complaints of tummy pain.

She did say, she still wanted home lunch however unless the school’s hot lunch was irresistible. Sounds 80/20 textbook Paleo to me! We shall see.

Me: I’m still going strong! (Don’t worry, I’m not bailing). This has been my best attempt yet. I feel in control, and not overly missing, “All the things”. The food choices I’ve prepared have been better, and I’m snacking a lot less which tells me my meals are balanced right. I’m also feeling – AMAZING. My painful heartburn, which plagued me nearly every day, along with bloating has completely gone away.

My ‘severe’ shoulder/back pain/inflammation that would nearly take my breath away, (that I blamed on our bed not being comfortable) all but disappeared. (Clearly, it’s not our bed, it was inflammatory foods.) Further, despite only getting an average of 6-hours of sleep I wake up in the morning completely refreshed. No more waking up in the middle of the night, tossing & turning while I process sugar from my nightcap(s) of wine and sugary snacks that went along with said wine. (Ahem pretzels/chips & salsa).

So – for the next 15 days I will continue to cook W30 dinners for my family, while also re-introducing foods for our daughter.

As for me – Cheers to the next 15 days!

Share:
– Do you have any resets that you’re doing in the month of January?
– Do you experience chronic inflammation such as upper back/shoulder pain, or acid reflux?

Have you ever tried paleo, or removing potentially inflammatory foods?

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Gear Review: Biolite Stove

When deciding which stove to purchase for the BWCA one thing was clear. I did NOT want to haul in a bunch of fuel. I don’t know if it was the idea of the added weight, or the potential for screwing something up with the canister etc. but the MSR type stoves really made me nervous for some reason.

I had contemplated just skipping the stove option all together – to opt for cooking on the fire grate until I ran across the Biolite stove.

Small, compact, and using NO fuel whatsoever except mother natures sticks, and fallen branches – i was immediately intrigued, while also remaining highly skeptical. I mean really – you just add twigs to it, click a light of fire and you’re set to go – with the fan charging the fan by itself?

At $130 a pop – this was not something I wanted to just “try” if it did not work. We decided to purchase EVERY piece of equipment needed for canoe camping since we decided early on that this was going to be our new ‘thing’ – so I did not want to waste money on an item that wouldn’t work.

The worker at REI swore that the thing worked amazing – but still I remained skeptical.

IMG_1608                                I put the stove on my REI wishlist that our family suggested we make for ideas for Christmas/birthday gifts last year, and low and behold my mother-in-law purchased this for me for my birthday! I was floored to try it because we likely wouldn’t have purchased it on our own.

IMG_1540                             On Christmas Eve we took our GSR Cook set along with some branches from the fireplace and tried it out. Much to our surprise in just 8 minutes we had boiling water [faster than our kitchen stove]- and were able to charge our iPhones as well.

I was instantly impressed and was ready to use it in the North Woods.

IMG_1533                         Upon entry into the BWCA our first meal was actually right on the fire grate – but thereafter we used our Biolite stove for every meal. We had our 7 year old daughter “hunt” for some smaller sticks/twigs and branches and form a little pile. This was always her camp chore which was easy for her – and never had a complaint of “its too heavy”.

We always gathered “quite” the little pile. Perhaps the amount of sticks/twigs that would fit in an average shoe box. Yes. You do have to re-stoke the stove by adding more in, but as long as you have all of the sticks/twigs gathered it’s easy peasy.

The food heated quickly without any worry of added canisters/fuel and the worry of running out or using too much etc.

As far as the charging went – it went okay. I kept my iPhone 6 in airplane mode and charged it every night at dinner keeping it consistently in that 50-60% charge.

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The BioLite Stove worked excellently for us since we experienced steady rain and snow for the first part of our trip making it difficult to keep the regular camp fire going. Being able to fire up the BioLite under the tarp was hugely beneficial, and we were even able to warm our hands on it!

We also thought it cooled down exceptionally fast being able to store it quickly in its nylon stuff sack.

I’m excited to try out the accessories on our next trip!

All in all I would give the BioLite 5 Stars out of 5 and was thoroughly impressed by it! Give it a try this summer or next!

Canning

Oh, hello there!

I have been busy blogging over at, Where Feet May Fail after the sudden passing of my father, but did want to get back to you guys and the happenings of life in Minnesota.

Our daughter has gone back to school already and is in the 1st grade and loving it! Last year she was the last class in Minnesota of 1/2 day Kindergarteners, and now all schools must provide all day kindergarten to all of their students. The transition in to a full day of learning leaves our little one tired, but also excited for learning! We can’t wait to see how she grows this next year!

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I’ve been signing up for the “Pick of the Week” program at Minnesota Fresh Farm which has proved to be an invaluable find this summer! Each week I pick up $25-30 worth of produce for just $20. I have been getting fresh cucumbers (since mine went to crap), tomatoes (since mine went to crap), green beans, peas, corn, and more! We’ve gotten so many cucumbers I decided this weekend to make pickles! I’ve never made pickles before, but thought I’d give it ago. I had two different recipes making for two different kinds of pickles.

Traditional Easy Refrigerator Pickles.

IMG_2656 My co-worker Breanne who blogs over at Borealis ~ Northern Life passed down her grandmothers recipe to me! I felt like I had won the lottery because aren’t grandmothers recipes the best, and always completely delicious!

It called for:
7 c. very thinly sliced cucumbers (into very thin coins) – Approximately 4-5 cucumbers.
1 c. sliced onion (I rough chopped mine since my husband hates onions, but doesn’t mind the flavor)
1/2 c. green pepper/cut lengthwise
2 T. Salt
1 T. Celery seed

Mix all together and place in 1 quart canning jars.

In a small saucepan heat until boiling together:
2 C. Sugar
1 C. White Vinegar

Pour sugar/vinegar mixture over the cucumbers in the canning jars to the top and refrigerate.

I have no idea how long they take to “cure” – so I need to find that out. They are so pretty however right?

Fresh Pickles
I found this baby on my favorite website – Pinterest! Of course it is complements of the blog Red Star Lone Star.
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2lbs small cucumbers ( I used regular size and just cut in half and then cut into quarters spears or more)
1 bunch fresh dill
Several cloves peeled and thinly sliced
4 cups (1 liter) unflavored club soda/carbonated water
3 tablespoons salt

Trim the ends off cucumbers. Layer cucumbers, dill and garlic in a glass container. Dissolve salt in water, pour over the cucumbers to cover them completely. Cover and brine in refrigerator at least 24 hours.

Apparently the carbonated water is supposed to make the pickles extra crunchy! I’m actually not a big fan of pickles… but my husband loves them, so I thought why not try something new. Plus homesteading is so much fun!