Thursday, July 10, 2014

Whole 30 and Homemade Olive Oil Mayonnaise

Sooooo, I have kinda jumped upon this clean eating bandwagon.  Yes, it partially has to do with the documentaries I've been watching, and wanting to eat more real, unprocessed foods, but, honestly?  I'd really like to shed a few more pounds.  I'm thinking that cutting out pretty much everything but meat, fruits and veggies will help.  SO...Monday, I quietly started the Whole 30 program.  On Whole 30, you cut out grain/wheat, any and all forms of sugar, all dairy, alcohol (WHAT???!!! YES.  No drinking.  Yes, this is Amanda typing this out.), no legumes, no soy, no white potatoes, no rice or quinoa, no MSG, sulfites, nitrites, no chemicals.  You eat meat, seafood, veggies, fruits, some nuts, and some healthy fats, like olive oil and coconut oil.  THAT'S IT.  What?  You think I have gone temporarily insane?  Perhaps.  But I'm trying it.  I'm challenging myself.  And actually?  I'm on Day 4, and it's not nearly as hard as I thought it would be.  Day 1 was brutal, when I was doing my grocery shopping, and 75% of what I would typically buy was off limits.  No milk (for me, at least.  I'm not subjecting my children to this craziness.  All is business as usual for them), no cookies, no wheat thins.  No frozen pizzas (our go-to easy weeknight meal).  But I keep telling myself that this is not forever.  It's only 30 days.  I can do a lot of things if I know I can count down to the end.  And actually, we go back to the beach in about 2 1/2 weeks, and I'm going to give myself a slight break while we're on vacation.  But, I'll probably start over once we get back.  But from now until when we leave?  Whole 30 it is.

When I say that it hasn't been that bad, I mean that I am pretty impressed I haven't said to hell with it and dove face first into a huge bag of Funyuns.  Have I wished I could finish the kids popcorn at the movies?  Yes.  But that was a huge win for me, and only on Day 2!  I knew that if I could pass over movie popcorn, then maybe I could actually make this work.  Another reason that it hasn't been too bad, is that I did what they suggest on the Whole 30 website, and I prepared myself.  I threw away a lot of things in the fridge and the freezer that were off limits.  I meal planned for the week like usual, and spent a good long time in the grocery store, stocking up on good meal options, and some staples I knew I'd need.  I was ready to get started once I came home with a huge grocery cart full of fresh veggies.  It also makes it easier because I love seeking out and finding new recipes, and cooking new things.  Making dinner is not that much different, since I am used to searching for new recipes and cooking every night, so now I am just searching for different recipes.  And we're eating a lot of the same things, just no rice and no white potatoes as our starch.  Thank goodness the kids are good veggie eaters, because they are now getting their share!

One thing I have noticed already is how much I actually did eat and snack without even knowing.  Kids getting a lollipop?  Mama gets one too.  Ben didn't finish his crackers?  I'll eat them.  Ooh, that Snickers sounds good, I'll get it.  I have amnesia when it comes to snacking, and often forget the bites I take here and there all throughout the day.  But on Whole 30, I have to be very intentional with my food choices, and most snacks that I would typically grab and chomp down without thinking before, are restricted now.  I've had to do some research on what is "approved" and what's not, and what are some snacking substitutions for when I do need something in between meals, but for me, that's fun. of the first recipes I found that I really wanted to try was for homemade mayonnaise.  If you look on the side of your typical store bought mayo jar, there are 3 different kinds of oils, added sugar, all kinds of preservaties, etc. etc., and none of which are approved for Whole 30.  Only a handfull of oils are approved, and the whole point is to cut out the chemicals, so store bought mayo is a no-go.  But make it yourself?  Awesome.  And I have actually been wanting to try to make my own mayonnaise for quite some time (since it's one of my very favorite condiments), and I found an great recipe that made the most delicious mayonnaise I've ever had.  Thought I'd share it today!

Olive Oil Mayonnaise (Whole 30 Approved)

1 room temperature egg
2 Tablespoons lemon juice, room temperature
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1/2 Teaspoon Dry Mustard
1/4 cup and 1 cup lighter flavor olive oil (NOT extra virgin olive oil- the flavor will be too strong)

To Make it:

First, make sure all ingredients are room temperature.  Leave them out on the counter for 2-3 hours before you start.  Crack the egg into your blender, and add the lemon juice.  Let the egg and juice sit at room temperature together for 30-60 minutes.  Add the salt, mustard, and 1/4 cup of oil, and blend for about 20-30 seconds, until combined.

Then, the most important part, the streaming of the oil.  While your blender is processing, begin sloooooooowly pouring the remaining 1 cup of olive oil into the blender.  This should be about the thinnest stream you can pour before the oil would just drip.  To pour the entire cup in, it should take you 3-5 minutes.  If you pour too fast, it may never combine, and may separate, which would result in pure, oily nastiness, and we don't want that.  After all your oil is poured, and your blender has been processing the entire time, you should have a blender full of smooth and beautiful homemade mayonnaise!  As long as you follow the directions, it should work out perfectly.

It can be used to make tuna/egg salad, or mixed with spices to create a veggie dip or ranch dressing, it can be slathered on fish with dill and parsley for a yummy dinner, and many other things.  You can't have bread on Whole 30, so it's not like I'll be spreading it onto sandwiches, but, you can bet I'll be using some fr a garlic aioli to sip some roasted asparagus in!

Have you done Whole 30?  Any recipes or tricks to share?  What are your favorite snacks?  I need all the encouragement and support I can get, so pray for me (kinda kidding, but kinda not!) and cheer me on!  Here's to healthier eating habits!

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