School officially ended for us last Friday. And end of year testing officially began this morning. Such emotional highs and lows going on over here.
We celebrated with a pizza party Friday night. I made a gluten free crust for the family using my gluten free flour mix and used a sliced yellow squash for my crust. I’ve been wondering how I could possibly have gone through essentially four months of Whole 30 dieting and come out without losing a single ounce. I think we all know this comes down to calories in and calories out – for the most part.
I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: paleo does not encourage calorie counting. If you are filling your plate with vegetables, fruits, healthy meat and fat, your body should know when it’s had enough and hunger/fullness will naturally regulate. The thing is, that doesn’t always happen in a text book sort of way.
Lots of tips about Whole 30 and other such diets/detoxes warn of over-eating fruit and nuts in particular. Why this happens probably varies greatly from person to person, but for me, I did eat more fruit than I normally would and I definitely ate more almonds than usual. The fact is, almonds pack a powerful caloric punch and I was probably eating too many. I ate them to keep from being hungry and wanting to snack on chocolate instead. Yes, I think this was a good choice, but a few less calories would have been ideal.
So, back to the squash crusted pizza: I’m keeping a close watch on what I eat these days. I’m not being restrictive in the ‘what’ so much as I am keeping tabs on calories and how many grams of protein, carbs and fat I’m consuming. I’m aiming for about 40% fat, 20% carb and 40% protein. I don’t hit that most days, but it’s what I’m working toward. I use the My Fitness Pal app, which I find works really well. On Friday, I knew that gluten free pizza crust would push me way over the edge on calories and carbs, so I enjoyed squash pizza instead. It was still really good and I felt good afterward, which was a plus.
One other side benefit of this level of food tracking, is that if I end up not feeling well after a meal, I know exactly what I ate. I don’t have to rely on my memory. Huge bonus!
I hope to not have to do this long term, but I felt it was important, for a while anyway, to see exactly how my calorie consumption was stacking up each day. And you know what else I noticed? Some days I hardly eat any vegetables! How does the happen? I feel like I eat them ALL THE TIME. This serves as another reminder that I need to constantly keep looking for ways to get in the veggies.
On to fun ways to get your calories…..If you haven’t checked in lately, I’ve recently
posted a delicious strawberry salad recipe and a cauliflower crust pizza recipe. Both of these have been huge hits around here.
There was a chocolate emergency in my house this weekend and I whipped up the most delicious flourless chocolate torte/brownie/cake. Any way or shape you make it, this is an amazing dessert, filled with only real food ingredients and no flour of any kind. Not too sweet, but just enough sweetness and chocolatey-ness to satisfy any such emergency. I’ll be posting the recipe this week.
I’m also working on some throw-back recipes this week. Some are foods from my childhood that have been off limits on paleo and others I just haven’t gotten around to perfecting, like meatloaf.
I did get my AIP enchilada recipe updated this past week and it was sooooooo yummy! My kids used to really hate this, but they loved it this time. I think it’s because I finally figured out how to keep the tortillas from getting gummy. If you haven’t made this yet, give it a try. The Nomato sauce is amazing in and of itself. Keep some in your freezer at all times! It’s totally chocked full of vegetables and your picky eaters (even if it’s you) will never be able to tell!
Happy cooking this week!