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whole 30 camping ideas {family camping, part 1}

when we decided to give the whole 30 plan our family’s whole-hearted commitment, i wondered if we could do it.  i wondered if my kids would choose to stick with it, and if i would have the self-fortitude to help them.  i felt such a burden to be prepared, to leave them no excuses if i could help it.  (little do they know i’m already considering it our “first” whole 30…)

 

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this week we planned a family camping trip, and determined to do it while honoring our whole 30 commitment (we are right smack dab in the middle!).  i was amazed at how each family member took it in stride.  there were a couple wistful comments about s’mores and their lack, but we planned and we prepared and we ate delicious food (always part of a camping trip in our book), and honestly, i don’t think anyone felt deprived!  here are some of our preparations – i thought others might benefit from our whole 30 camping ideas, too.

 

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leading up to our trip, i asked if anyone had special requests.  because we couldn’t were choosing not to do some of our usual unhealthy treats, i wanted them to feel they really had a choice in making our meals both healthy and delicious!  then i got creative, trying to honor the principles of the whole 30 plan as well as excite our palates.  i made my meal plan and shopping list, and put a copy of the plan in our food container so i wouldn’t forget.  i also grabbed plenty of compliant snacks, most of which we actually didn’t end up eating!

 

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the day before, i got up early and shopped for our produce and any remaining proteins.  the kids helped me peel potatoes, cut up veggies, and label ziploc bags with each meal’s ingredients.  (i have to give credit where it’s due – my daughter is super organized and has a knack for keeping me on track when i get distracted with “big” projects like this.)  we packed each meal together in a labeled plastic shopping bag (which we later used to throw away garbage as we cooked/ate).  finally, we packed the meals into the cooler so that we reached for the first meal on top, and so on.  this worked really well!

 

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while we are at camp, we expect everyone to pitch in.  when there’s fire and dead-wood-collecting to be done, no one really complains.

 

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first night:

dinner: burgers over campfire, grilled zucchini, marinated mushrooms, foil baked apples, coffee/tea

 

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we made our grass-fed beef burgers in advance, seasoned with trader joe’s 21 seasoning salute.  we bought local zucchini and seasoned it with olive oil and salt and pepper before traveling, so all we had to do was throw it on the grill!  our mushrooms were marinated in half/half red wine vinegar and olive oil, with minced garlic, salt and pepper.  we sauteed this in our iron skillet on the camp stove while the burgers and zucchini grilled.

 

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i’m not sure if this would technically be considered a “remake of a dessert,” in which case it wouldn’t be compliant, but we made baked apples over the fire.  at home in preparations, i cored apples and stuffed them with unsweetened dried cranberries, lots of cinnamon, and crushed walnuts.  before we baked them over the fire, we drizzled in some apple cider and ghee and then closed them tightly into little pouches.  (i did notice my tummy hurt after dinner, and i think i probably could have skipped the fruit.)

 

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breakfast the first morning:

 

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breakfast: bacon wrapped sweet potatoes (we made a variation of this recipe from fast paleo; we peeled and quartered our sweet potatoes lengthwise and roasted for 10 minutes with olive oil at home, and wrapped each quarter with one slice of bacon before grilling), sauteed apples and bananas (simply sliced apples and bananas from home along with a few we found on our hike, then cooked in the iron skillet with ghee and tons of cinnamon, sprinkling with almonds at the end).

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lunch: grilled applegate hot dogs, home made refrigerator pickles (try these!), and fruit (clementines, bananas, dried mango)

 

littlest whittled his own stick for grilling his ‘dog.

 

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i’m noticing that participating in a whole 30 challenge has made us all more contemplative, more intentional about our choices, and it’s made the kids more creative, as well!  there are days when i don’t get something made, and i’m noticing they are taking initiative and making themselves something new that honors the healthy eating ideals!  so cool…

 

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on one of our hikes, we found a fresh herb garden and nibbled on mint, chives, and basil.

 

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what choices are you making as a family to take better care of your bodies?  do you have any helpful tips to share?

 

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whole 30, part 1 {a christian perspective on the whole 30}

this semester, as part of our health curriculum, the older two at home are going to read It Starts With Food.  (clicking this title will take you to my amazon affiliate link for the book.  purchasing through this link does not cost you extra, but may bring me a small commision.)  we are also, as a family, doing the Whole 30 challenge.  i’m excited, because as i read the book, i’m in awe of how much truth lines up and stands at attention in the authors’ words.  so much is ringing familiar with concepts of idolatry… of “not being mastered by anything,” as paul once said.  and as i read, it occurred to me that it might be interesting to some (especially since there’s even a comment on “creationists welcome,” as it relates to the premises behind the paleo diet) to hear a christian perspective on the whole 30, as well as get an inside look at a whole family’s experience with the challenge.

 

when we first told the kids we were going to embark on this journey (ONE MONTH of eating no grains, sugar, dairy, legumes or, ahem, alcohol), you’d have thought we threatened them with starvation.  which broke my heart, because clearly, no one here is suffering.  “we caaaaaan’t go without milk for a MONTH, mom!” moaned my second.  and with that, i knew the trouble was real.

 

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at the time of writing, we are halfway into the book, and halfway through the challenge.  so far, i’m enjoying the science in the book, minus the evolutionary hogwash.  (on that note, i’m always amazed that people can study the human body and come to believe it was a happy accident, magically evolved from some other “stuff…”) the more i read wisdom in the whole 30 teaching, the more i wonder how they come so close but don’t see the amazing, mind-blowing, impossible-to-imagine wonders of the human body and become drawn to know its Maker!

 

but the concepts of craving, as associated with both our actual physical needs and our psychological reactions, are so familiar to me.  i’ve always known that food is tied to emotion and to memory, and seeing its hold on us, because it is also necessarily connected to true need, is so intriguing.  the idea of abstaining from particular foods for a full thirty days, in order to discover what really works well for our bodies, is not new.  but the writers of the book, dallas and melissa hartwig, use a combination of scientific evidence, personal and client-related feedback, and a good dose of humor to make this somewhat daunting (in modern america’s food-rich but nutrient-poor climate, that is) journey seem not just doable, but necessary.  (note: caution with sharing the info with your kids directly through the website.  there are some tongue-in-cheek phrases that quite accurately describe the concepts to grasp in the program, but inappropriate for a rated-g audience.)

 

so many moments during the afternoon as she’s reading, my daughter will come grab me to read some section of the book and share what concept she’s discovering.  she’s said more than once, “mom, they’re so close to getting to the heart of the truth, if they just understood how we are created!”  and she’s right.  they just miss the mark when it comes to the need, i believe, to connect our spiritual habits, desires, and true need for fulfillment, to our tendency to try to fill those needs with physical food.  having said that, we are finding that the psychological connection is so close, and if we read the concepts in conjunction to what we know to be true (sacrifice is sometimes for our good, God made us to need emotional fulfillment as well as to discover who we are in Him, when we don’t find who we are in the Truth of Him, we’ll seek fulfillment, usually in things that will ultimately damage us, body, soul, or mind, etc…), we get such a fuller understanding about the connections with this body of ours!

 

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as we enter our first half of the journey, i’ve spent a ton of time researching recipes.  (refer to the original book, the newer book the whole 30, and a google or pinterest search for “whole 30 recipes” or “whole 30 meal planning” for a plethora of recipes!!)  i created a pretty plan and stationed the clipboard in a prominent place in the kitchen so the whole family could refer to it.  next i printed selected recipes from the oodles of recipes i’d pinned, and made my shopping list.  i’m not going to lie, we’ve spent a TON of money on food this month.  i journaled that i really felt like the proverbs 31 woman who traveled afar for her goods, as i searched high and low for special sauces, ghee, and snack-able items so no one would feel “deprived” on this journey.  and to be honest?  i would do less of that the next time around.  i feel like i’m getting smarter about what we really need to be nourished, and what is a splurge that we can do without, and am focusing instead on real-life matters, and simple, clean food, well-seasoned and well-prepared.

 

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above are some of my favorite meals we’ve cooked.  i did notice that at the beginning i needed to stick closely to our plan.  as we’ve progressed, we’ve all gotten more creative, remembering to check ingredients (it is SHOCKING that there is sugar in nearly everything we purchase), and remembering the concepts of eating to live, not living to eat.

 

in order, the meals above are:

fried eggs with blistered tomatoes (seasoned with salt and pepper and italian herbs), avocado halves drizzled with trader joe’s hatch chili salsa

kale salad with leftover roasted sweet potatoes and garlic, venison carnitas, fresh salsa, and tessamae’s lemon chesapeake dressing.

layered salad in a jar: tessamae’s dressing, chicken and apple sausage, shredded carrots, yellow peppers, arugula, slivered almonds and poppyseeds.

favorite snack/side of all month: home made refrigerator pickles.  try this recipe; we left out the additional veggies this time and just used fresh garlic cloves and baby cucumbers.

roast chicken.  slather with ghee and fresh rosemary under the skin.  roast on top of carrots, celery, onion, and potatoes with whole cloves of garlic.  this is perfect for dinner and leftovers get used for chicken salad, chicken soup, and chicken on top of a quick veggie stir fry.

chopped apples and mandarin segments with flax meal, coconut flakes, coconut milk (the thick cream from a full-fat can), and clean bacon.

fish fillets topped with macadamia nuts, roasted green beans with sun dried tomatoes, and a simple carrot salad of shredded carrots stirred into coconut oil and sprinkled with sea salt.  side of, of course, a pickle!

romaine spears with roasted garlic, blistered tomatoes, and toasted pine nuts.  a quick dressing made by stirring lemon juice and olive oil in to deglaze the pan after cooking tomatoes and garlic.

 

there you have it – our take on the first half of our first whole 30.  what are your thoughts?  have you tried the plan?  would you like to?  have you made the connection between your heart, your mind, and your body, and how it relates to food?

 

 

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apple avocado {kale salad recipe}

so i learned a little trick a while back – do you know this trick? you should massage your kale.

i know, it sounds funny, but for this kale salad recipe, i was determined to do it. normally, i’m too lazy hungry, and i skip it.  but my husband’s one complaint when i feed him salads with “alternative” greens (or lawnmower mulch, as he fondly refers to anything other than romaine), is that it seems “sharp” to him.  so i told myself i would massage my kale when i tried this recipe.

 

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funny story.  i was elbow deep in my bowl of kale, massaging it into gentle submission, when a knock sounded at my front door.  i should clarify, my kitchen was a disaster, as it was “set up” for a long day of recipe developing and photgraphy, so there were boards and backgrounds, lighting and props, dishes and ingredients strewn everywhere about our humble, albeit sun-filled temporary kitchen.  i expected no guests, and i was dressed, well, as you might be if you planned a guest-free day in your kitchen.  lo and behold, new friends we’d never met before were stopping by, and they’d driven two hours, and had no plans for the day!

 

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thankfully, they were gracious and stepped past the mounds of mess culinary treasures and sat right down to enjoy this recipe for a yummy lunch.  we all loved it, and i fully intend to make it again next week.  perhaps with a cleaner kitchen and perhaps in something other than my sweats.  perhaps. 

 

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oh and the massaging trick totally works.  the kale was soft and seemed to soak up the flavor of the dressing so well.  it seems like it doesn’t make much, but it was more than enough for 8 people!

 

kale salad recipe angela sacket b

 

apple avocado kale salad
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 large bag fresh kale, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 apples - cored, and diced (Crispin preferred)
  • 2 avocados - peeled, pitted, and diced
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes, or more to taste
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • ½ bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
  • optional:
  • ½ cup goat cheese, crumbled
  • ¼ pound sliced cooked chicken or turkey
  • Dressing:
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 pinch dried oregano, or to taste
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Layer kale, apples, avocados, tomatoes, red onion, and cilantro together in a bowl.
  2. Whisk olive oil, cider vinegar, garlic, oregano, salt, and black pepper together in a bowl until dressing is smooth and thickened.
  3. Pour dressing over kale mixture and toss to coat completely.

 

 

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this recipe was adapted from melissa’s kale salad at allrecipes.  i made very few changes, except to add a couple proteins to the salad, and mustard/honey to the dressing.  i liked that so much i made it again a day later and used it to top a salad with my beloved arugula.

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