Guacamole has been one of my favorite things to make lately. The favorite part of my food freedom has been pairing the guacamole with some siete grain free tortilla chips, lime flavor! It has to be lime flavor! Otherwise, the guacamole goes perfectly on grilled chicken, shrimp, sweet potato fries , and with veggies for dipping.
It’s way to easy to be stuck in a rut with whole 30 meals and cooking. The only way i survived was by trying new recipes that were simple yet delicious. Here I will share with you my super easy recipe for loaded sweet potato fries using sweet potatoes, slow cooker pulled pork with tessemaes BBQ sauce (whole 30 compliant), and my guacamole recipe. 3 delicious things layered into one delicious meal.
I am so thankful that I stumbled upon the wonderful, Tessamae’s dressings, in the grocery story. My favorite store at that, Fresh Thyme, where I find most of the latest and greatest whole 30/paleo food items that are perfect for my diet.
Tessamae’s has a BBQ sauce that is 100% whole 30 approved and sooo sooo tasty! I am a person that loves BBQ sauce and having it especially on my chicken or beef. Finding this sauce was a lifesaver.
I have loved making meatballs and tossing them in the sauce and sometimes adding a whole 30 approved hot sauce to add a little kick, making it a delicious spicy BBQ sauce.
This recipe is everything a person could want. Simple, easy, whole 30 approved, paleo approved, gluten free, grain free and delicious!
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. What does this even mean?
A condition in which women have high levels of male hormones, increasing the risk of irregular or absent menstrual cycles, infertility, obesity, ovarian cysts, heart disease, and diabetes. PCOS is associated with insulin resistance. PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: NIH – National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)
PCOS is diagnosed by having 2 or 3 symptoms. The 3 symptoms are
- Absence of ovulation leading to absent or irregular periods.
- Excess body hair
- Cysts on one or both ovaries
This means you could have polycystic ovarian syndrome without having cysts on your ovaries but having irregular periods and excess body hair. PCOS is one of the most common reason many women are suffering from infertility today! Other common symptoms you may notice include:
- Weight gain
- Thinning hair/hair loss
- Sleep problems
- Pelvic pain
If you have noticed any symptoms, the best thing you can do for yourself is get checked out, have your blood drawn to check your hormone levels and find the best treatment for you as every person is different.
I am not a endocrinologists, not someone who feels is an expert in the topic nor am I a world renowned author or writer, BUT I am what I hope to be a more relatable girl that lives with PCOS every single day and a story to tell about it . Born and raised in Michigan, i have two bachelors degrees, not currently married and no children (not a shocker here). My PCOS journey takes me way back to middle school. I first got my period when i was 12 years old. I got it once more maybe 6 months later and then didn’t come back anymore. My mom made me a doctors appointment as this is not normal but my MD made me to believe it was completely fine. I was extremely active and it was not unusual for young girls my age, highly active to not see their period regularly. From there i was put on birth control. With birth control i had regular periods and everything was just fine. Once in college, i began the up and down with my weight but that is when i learned to appreciate the routine of a healthy diet and regular exercise. In 2011 i started my Instagram page which was focused solely on diet and exercise. In 2013 i decided (for whatever reason) doing a bodybuilding competition would be so much fun! I can do details of my competition prep and the competition in a later blog because that is a long story! After the competition is where the struggle began with food and exercise and finding a normal routine with it all. I put on weight that i didn’t ask for (lol) and so with that i tried every diet you can think of. Because of my restriction during competition, my brain really struggled with telling my self, “no you can’t have that”. It didn’t work for me so “dieting” just was not gonna happen. During this time i was still taking birth control and decided in 2016 that i was done taking it. I wanted to let my body be normal and let my body regulate my hormones on its own. Well boy was i wrong. In over a year i had one single period on my own. I went to my doctor where i received an ultra sound that displayed what i hoped was not gonna be the case…the ring of pearls on both ovaries. (Head to the PCOS tab to learn more).
Well there goes all of my problems right there. I was giving a few different medications from my doctor to jump start my period but it was a temporary fix. After that i started researching heavily what is the best way to fix PCOS. Certain supplements came up, i tried it, certain diets came up, tried that as well. In the end of it all, i don’t believe I’ve given anything a fair try. You have to be willing to commit to a new diet and/or supplement for at least a few months before you see result and i was giving up after just a few weeks. So i am here today, and now. Ready to give some things a try long term and to see what it takes for me to get these hormones balanced and this period of mine flowing like a woman’s should. A clear face and some weight loss would be an added bonus!
Here I am sharing a few of my whole 30 survival mode must haves! Me not finishing Whole 30 was not an option, so I had to find some of my favorite products that kept me on track, helped me make delicious food, and delicious snacks for when I was in a pinch during my long 12 hour extremely busy night shifts!
1. RX Bars- These are so perfect and convenient for when you’re in a pinch! RX bars are super clean, and don’t use sugar to sweeten the bars. So double win!
2. Rao’s pasta sauce- Of course pasta isn’t whole 30 compliant, but having pasta sauce to add to dishes packs on so much flavor nd makes your pasta noodle free dishes delicious! My favorite way to use Rao’s pasta sauce was over top baked or grilled chicken.
3. Coconut Aminos- Coconut aminos is used as a replacement of soy sauce. So if you find yourself out at a sushi bar ordering some whole 30 compliant sauce, pack up some coconut aminos. Fun fact: They also have to go packs.
4. Tessemae’s dressings and sauces-Most of the line of sauces are whole 30 compliant. Be sure to check the label before using if you are on a round. This is also perfect for salads. I especially love the BBQ sauce where i’ve made BBQ meatballs or topped the BBQ sauce on a bunless burger!
5. Primal Kitchen Avocado Mayo- This was an absolute must have for my tuna salad or for the base of making sauces for my chicken and fish dishes.
6. Bubly Sparkling Water-Strawberry is my favorite flavor from this brand and it was a life saver since technically most tasty beverages are full of sugar. Natural fruit flavors are allowed with Whole 30 and therefore, was constantly stocked in my fridge!
7. Nutpods- Most people tend to stop drinking coffee once on a round because of their love for the cream and sugar that they add typically. For me, I have learned to either drink it black, add almond milk, or add some flavorful nutpods creamer. I typically add just a dash because the coconut milk is so sweet it doesn’t need much more than that!
Keeping Whole 30 can be sooooooo hard. Getting creative was the key for me succeeding and completing my whole 30 round. It’s way too easy to have a meal with a meat, a veggie, and a fat but woah, so boring. I tend to find ideas by simply googling something I am thinking about making, find a recipe, and tweek it to fit whole 30 or to fit my personal taste buds. Anyone can do this!
First thing is to gather all whole 30 approved ingredients. YES bean sprouts are whole 30 compliant and thankfully because I do not feel any Asian dish deserves to be without bean sprouts. You cant deny the added crunchy texture that it adds, especially if you are doing no gluten or grains.
I made a sauce as a finisher but it was not totally necessary and can be eaten as is or even top with more coconut aminos! I made the sauce by mixing avocado mayo, red hot, coconut aminos, rice vinegar, and garlic.
Although a several steps involved, still not difficult to make at all and it was so tasty, I’d recommend this to anyone to try! Hope you enjoy this Whole 30 compliant Asian dish as much as I did!
Whole 30 can be really difficult. The most difficult thing I found at times was the amount of time I spent cooking in the kitchen. Creating a breakfast bake each week was the true life saver to me making it through whole 30. They lasted perfect as left overs for 3 days and even better, it was one less meal I had to make every few days! I hope you love it just as much as I do!
I am blown away first off that I was even able to stick to something for 2 weeks let alone 30 days! This month has not been easy by any means and I am super proud of myself.
Why: Doing a whole 30 seems crazy. And it is. Seems restrictive…and it is. Ive told myself since competing several years ago that I would not go back to anything restrictive. But this was a little bit different…hear me out. Here’s a short background….I decided to stop my birth control a few years ago and after that is when i started to notice my PCOS symptoms. After being throughly checked by my physician with lab draws and an ultrasound, it was confirmed that that was the problem. I was prescribed multiple medications and they just made me feel like crap. So I needed to take it a step further. I had started doing extensive research and saw things like keto and paleo diets helping to lessen and even resolve PCOS. I had done whole 30 a couple of times in the past and loved the results and how I felt but this time, round 3, my life depended on it. Whole 30 is extremely similar to paleo except its more strict. Now only strict for 30 days as you start to reintroduce foods after and find your food freedom after the 30 days is complete. So being strict for 30 days, I could mentally get past that. My main motivation was my health and wellness. At the age of 30, not having a regular period, having acne on my face (embarrassing), having eczema on my body, gaining weight and unable to lose weight despite how much i worked out and how much i tried to change my eating habits…..all this was nearly depressing. So knowing what i knew about whole 30 and its benefits, I had to dive in and try it again.
What whole 30 was like: Uh well. It was hard. Every day was tough. There wasn’t a day that went by that I didn’t think about the desert I was missing. Or for goodness sake, the ease of eating out. Like wow you literally have to cook every day. Each day was a challenge, but that is what makes finishing that much sweeter. Again, my motivation being that I could solve my PCOS symptoms and more, I knew I just had to push through and there was no way around it. And Also, I had started building a following on my instagram which forced me to stay consistent with my meals each day. I found a way to make it fun though. On previous rounds of whole 30, I thought my meals had to be boring with just meat and veggies and a fat, but this time I got creative and made something new each week which kept the interest and fun going.
The benefits: SO MANY!!! By no means is everything just perfect with me and my body yet because in the grand scheme of things, 30 days isn’t really that long when we talk about the issues that I do have. The acne on my face has cleared up! The eczema on my skin is almost gone! I have FINALLY lost weight! Losing weight with PCOS seems nearly impossible until you actually figure out what you are supposed to do. I can sleep longer than four hours at a time! And I work night shift and so this is usually a huge problem! My season allergies have been extremely minimal. Practically absent. And they are usually TERRIBLE!!!! I wake up for 5am workouts! Uh what. Yea. I have done a 5am work out quite a few times in this past month. Im crazy I know. Lastly, I saved a ton of money NOT eating out! I didnt even realize but I have significantly more money with just grocery shopping and eating what I made from home. Its quite amazing actually.
The downfalls: Because its not all good and I definitely like to keep it real! You have to meal prep every day. Although I enjoy cooking and making new recipes, seriously cooking every day can be a drag especially when your tired, in between shifts, or just busy. Its hard! You have cravings and you fight the cravings every single day and nothing really helps except just getting over it. The first week I got sugar withdrawal headaches but that soon resolved. I felt nauseous toward the end and I concluded that I believe it was my hormones trying to regulate themselves just like when you become pregnant and you have a fluctuation of hormones in your body and in turn causes morning sickness, it was the same feeling. So much that I even took a pregnancy test knowing I wasn’t pregnant. Hahaaa but it was bad!
Ultimately, I am super excited with my progress. It makes me want to continue this lifestyle. Life after whole 30 encourages a reintroduction of all food groups and finding food freedom. I do not plan to do a reintroduction as i know how most foods make me feel, but I will be on the quest for food freedom because I know it will be much more possible to stick to this lifestyle if I am kind with myself and allow myself some choices in moderation.
Here is a photo of my progress