Day Fifteen (week three, day one)

We’re switching things up just a tad this week. Meaning: we’re switching two of the main dishes this week. Nick is traveling for 3 days so we tried to make it as easy for him to take some things with him, and for me to eat alone. Nick was able to pack 2 of the salads, and one of the main dishes. We talked about lots of ideas of how he could stay on the plan while away, so I think he’s going to do just great! Olive is always a bit antsy when Nick isn’t here. She’s used to him being at work everyday, but when he doesn’t come home at dinnertime, I can tell she misses him. I feel like she’s asking, “you mean it’s just you for 3 days??” in this picture!
Goober

Breakfast: (serving = about 1 quart)
Apple Pie Smoothie
Abundance diet day 15
This one definitely tastes like apple pie! It’s super cinnamon-y (I might add a touch less next time), and because you use fresh apples, it still has a little texture to it. You sweeten it with a single date, which didn’t quite get blended completely, but it too added a little bite of tastiness now and again. We also grabbed a bag of “power greens” from Costco this week for our smoothies. It’s a mixture of spinach, kale, and swiss chard. I like being able to get so many nutrients in my breakfast!

Salad:
Asian Cabbage Salad
Abundance diet day 15
I was excited about this salad. It didn’t have the fried, crunchy wonton strips, but the flavor definitely delivered. It was sweet from the oranges, and creamy and a bit salty from the sesame dressing. You have to supreme an orange for this recipe, and I knocked it out of the park! I feel like a fancy chef or something! This would be good with lettuce instead of cabbage, but I really enjoyed the crunchiness of the cabbage. And the edamame was a nice addition.

Soup:
Cheesy Smoky Spicy Black Bean Soup
Abundance diet day 15
Remember how I said I was a little iffy with soup? I was a little anxious about this one because I’m not really a huge black bean soup kind of gal. I think it always looks a little strange and it’s always so thick. But I powered on and made the soup thinking that I haven’t been disappointed yet, so why worry? It’s got a nice smoky flavor because we charred the onion and peppers. The cheesy part is from nutritional yeast, so it’s got a cheesy flavor, but not in a fake vegan cheese kind of way. I was surprised how much I liked this soup! The peppers that we chose (we couldn’t find anaheim peppers anywhere!) must have had some heat, because the soup definitely has a nice spice. But topped with a hit of cilantro and a dollop of cashew sour cream took it over the top. Creamy, spicy and satisfying.

Main:
BBQ Tofu and Avocado Spring Rolls
Abundance diet day 15
Yum! These are awesome. And anything with a dipping sauce is a win in my book. ;) These are the main dish we were only supposed to eat twice, but we decided to eat three times because it was easy for Nick to take them with him on his trip (he packed the dipping sauce in his liquid carryon bag!), and because we thought they would be easy to make as we needed them. The original serving size was 4 rolls, but we made it so we each get 3 each serving. (the recipe makes 16, but we stretched it to 18) These are filled with butter lettuce, avocado, carrot, cucumber, basil, mint and BBQ tofu. (which forgot the purple cabbage this time around, ha) They’re fresh, crunchy and extra tasty when dipped into the peanut dipping sauce. Spring roll wrappers are hard to work with, but Nick did a pretty great job at rolling these for us! We made them a day ahead and they stayed great in the fridge separated by parchment paper so they didn’t stick together. We also used brown rice papers as suggested in the book. We thought they might be hard to find, but we found them with no problem at Whole Foods.

Thoughts on today: it was a bit of a bummer to eat dinner on my own – this plan has definitely brought us together in the kitchen! I think that it helps that our new kitchen is much larger, but Nick and I used to have some major problems working together in the kitchen. I’m a bit of a rule follower when it comes to recipes and Nick isn’t so much. Now we have space to spread out, be together, and get things done! I’m also working on my water intake. That can always be improved. I felt very full and satisfied with the days meals and didn’t end up eating my salad until bout 4:00. We’ve got only one snack made for this week, but I didn’t feel like I needed to break into that. Feeling good!

Day Fourteen

Two weeks down, two weeks to go! We’re halfway there and we can’t even believe it. We started the day off with the last run of our C25K program that we were doing, and so starting the day with 4ish miles was a great start! After our run, and cool down walk home, we stopped and picked up the pups and took her for her walk. So, we started our day with over 5 1/2 miles of exercise! Needless to say, we were super hungry for breakfast!

Breakfast:
Vegetable Pudla
Abundance Diet day 14
This thing DELIVERED. We finally got our hands on kala namak (black salt) and it totally gave the pudla that eggy flavor that we were looking for. This has the perfect texture – crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy in the middle. The veggies gave it texture and it was filling and satisfying. We will definitely be making these again. The variations you could make are endless!

After breakfast we prepped a few things for the upcoming week and then got ready for the day. We headed to Maryland to check out a new shopping center where we both found some great summer deals and had fun window shopping. We took our Black Bean Burger salad with us and ate it in the food court. (it was an eat-on-repeat day of day eight) Who says you can’t eat well when you’re not at home? We had the rest of Abe’s Hearty Lentil soup when we got home, played with the pups a bit and headed off to church.

Dessert:
Cherry Garcia Soft-Serve
Abundance Diet day 14
After dinner and more prepping for the week, we finally got to dessert! We’ve made nice creams in the past, but sometimes I find them to be lacking flavor and texture. We made the entire recipe (4 servings) and thought, “We can eat 2 servings of this! It’s bananas and cherries!” While we did eat 2 servings each, we were both SO full afterwards. Bananas have a lot of fiber, yo! The addition of the cherries, and a few mini chocolate chips, made this taste extra yummy with an awesome texture! It definitely tasted like soft serve. YUM. Makes us so excited to try all the other varieties!!

Thoughts on today: like I mentioned, we can’t believe that we’re already two weeks in. We’ve both lost several pounds, which is just an added bonus. We do, however, that we find we don’t drink as much water on the weekends. You think that we’d drink more because we’re home, but somehow we don’t. That makes us both feel a little bloated, but by Monday we’re back into the swing of things.

Day Thirteen (lucky thirteen)

Yay! It’s the weekend!! That means breakfast AND dessert. Who doesn’t love that? We started our day on an adventure. We got up, enjoyed our breakfast, and off we went. We drove to Buckland Farm & Market in New Baltimore, VA. On our way we spotted Eden’s Natural Market, so we stopped and grabbed a few things from our list. We also grabbed a bottle of vanilla creme stevia for our (decaf) coffee. Win! The Buckland Market was so cute and quaint. They had loads of fresh produce, plus a whole room of pantry items. We’d definitely go back. Sooooo cute.
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When leaving, we realized we were only about 9 miles from Warrenton, VA, and they have a Farmer’s Market every Saturday morning. We drove there, met the sweetest dog named Jack, and bought a few chemical free veggies from the sweetest little man. We also found a cute coffee shop where we ordered an iced decaf americano with a splash of soy milk. Then we added a few drops of our new stevia. Yum! We then headed into the city to get the rest of the weeks groceries at Whole Foods, and then we were on our way home to enjoy the day.

Breakfast:
Raw Neapolitan Overnight Oats
Abundance Diet 13
These are the BOMB! I was a little skeptical because I’m a HUGE texture person and sometimes overnight oats make me want to hurl. These, however, did not. You use gluten free steel cut oats and grind them into a powder (not a flour) and then soak half overnight with cacao and non-dairy milk (we used unsweetened coconut) and the other half with vanilla extract and non-dairy milk. The next day you make two types of nice cream (bananas blended with a splash of non-dairy milk to make them smooth like soft serve) and layer them in a mason jar or glass. DELICIOUS! Who doesn’t love ice cream for breakfast?? So good. We’ll definitely be making these again.

The rest of today was an eat-on-repeat of Day 10. After dinner, we headed out to our favorite coffee shop to play games and enjoy our dessert! Full disclosure: this recipe makes 4 servings. We’ve always halved the recipes before, but we were feeling extra saucy, and so I made the entire recipe, and WE ATE THEM ALL. And you know what? WE HAVE NO GUILT. That is the beauty of this plan. Did we need to eat 2 servings each? No. But we easily could without derailing the plan. Also, these were meant to be day 14’s dessert, but since we’d already had nice cream for breakfast, we wanted to save the dessert nice cream, and swap the two.

Desssert:
Happiness in a Cookie Bite
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She’s not kidding with the name on these. These are like a lot of the energy ball recipes you see floating around the internet, but boy, oh, boy were they delicious! They’re super simple to make, albeit a bit messy, but totally worth it. I used half mini chocolate chips and half dried cherries. Mmmmmmm. These were great. I’ll definitely be making these again in the future to keep in the fridge for when a sweet attack strikes. We each got 5 bites, and enjoyed EVERY SINGLE ONE.

Thoughts on today: We ate our oats at about 8:00 and didn’t have lunch until 1:15 or so, and we didn’t get hungry. They were sampling watermelon at Whole Foods, so it was fun to enjoy a sample (or two)! We didn’t have the snack allotted for today, and that was another reason we didn’t feel guilty about eating 2 servings of cookie bites. :) What a great day!

Day 12… are you serious? Can’t believe it

Hey guys, today is eat on repeat of Day 9.  It also happens to correspond to one of my 9/80 days.  I’m seriously loving this change in work schedule.  I’m sure I work more than I used to back in Cedar Rapids, but getting every other Friday off is such a treat.  It’s amazing to just be able to take an extra long weekend and do whatever we want.  Today we decided to get up a bit early and hit up Great Falls National Park.  It was such a lovely park.  The falls are beautiful.  We added a few snapshots in here.

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Olive wasn’t really about posing for pictures, but I can assure you that she had a wonderful time.  (You can also see that it’s about time for me to get a new phone.  My camera has gone completely wonky.)
UntitledWe switched up the smoothie just a bit today.  The store was out of peaches so we bought some mangoes.  I thought it was a really good change.  Jacks thought that it had a little bit of a woodsy taste to hers. Abundance Diet day 12

My thoughts for the day are that it’s not as hard work as you might think. It’s really pretty easy, and then just being moderately active gets you on a road to feeling great and looking great. I’m enjoying the sun, I enjoy sleeping well (except for the fact that we have SO much liquid throughout the day that a full night is rarely able to be had) and I really enjoy not worrying about counting calories or whatever. All that being said today Jacks and I were constantly hungry. I’m not sure if it was the fact that it was a real day off and we had moments of boredom, if it was because we hiked so much first thing in the morning, or the most likely that we simply weren’t drinking as much liquids as we’re used to. We took it in stride though and just had a few more helpings of fruit and vegetables as snacks. When that’s all that you’ve got in the fridge it’s easy to grab some grapes or an apple as your snack.

I hope you all are enjoying following along and see how easy it is to incorporate whole foods into your routine.