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It has been a rough couple of days of whole30. It is day nine but it feels like it should be day 20. I will admit that I have had a few moments of weakness the last couple of days. My weakest moment was yesterday when I wanted to dive head first into a roll of sushi. Forget the cookies and cake, I want sushi. I thought surely I was going to quit and bring everyone down with me…but then something magical happened…. dinner. My urge to quit Whole30 stopped as soon as I had some good food in my stomach. I think I gave Dez false hopes though…

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We have all had out moments of weakness, I think Dez is aching for cupcakes as much as I am aching for some sushi. I believe I remember her trying to bribe me with sushi… it is my kryptonite.

As we tried to get over our wanting to quit whole30 fit, Dez made us some delicious pork tacos with mango salsa. Yum.

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Not only were they pretty, but they tasted amazing. There was not much left over.

Hopefully there are easier days ahead.

Onto day 10!

 

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It is Day 5 of our household whole30 challenge. I bet you thought we quit again. Nope. We are still going strong. Come on now, have a little more faith in us than that. Sure, there have been a few struggles, but no slip ups. I think we are going to make it this time. Now onto the food.

I should have a lot more food to post but have been in a bit of a pinch with photos and am in need of some new plates for food photography purposes… until then, here was one of the favorites of the week.

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I love carnitas. Maybe that is why this is my favorite. I know, carnitas are not nearly as fun without a taco shell or a tortilla to go with them but I promise you that with the right fixings, they are still damn good. I thought about serving the carnitas in a lettuce wrap…but I have done that about a thousand times and I always end up frustrated with a mess in my lap ( or my plate if I am lucky ). Unfortunately lettuce is just not as great of a  food transportation device as a tortilla. Instead of a lettuce wrap I decided to saute some cabbage and top it with carnitas. Perfect. No frustration, yet with all the flavor. It is not as pretty, but in the end, it is the taste that counts.

I served Yucca root as a side for the carnitas, which many people have never tried before. Let me tell you, if you are missing potatoes, and are turning orange from eating so many sweet potatoes than this is the way to go. I prepared them “cuban” style which means you make a sauce made up of onion, garlic, and olive oil and then pour it over the cooked yucca to finish.  To prepare the yucca all you need to do is peel it, cube it, simmer it unitl tender, and then finish it with your sauce.

For the Sauce:

4 garlic cloves, minced

one onion, diced

1/4 cup olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

I put all of my ingredients in a food processor and pulsed until everything was nicely minced, but you can do it by hand as well.

Place sauce in a pan over medium high heat and sautee for a few minutes just to get the raw onion/garlic flavor out. DON’T BURN YOUR GARLIC.

Pour the sauce over your yucca and toss. Season with salt and pepper. Easy peasy.

I also served homemade salsa and guacamole. Nothing is complete without guacamole.

On another note, today I am starting the first day of my last lab class for culinary school. ( granted I pass ) I am almost done. I am all sorts of nervous and excited. I remember the first time I slipped on these chef coats… I couldn’t help but smile. It was the beginning of a new chapter of my life. A chapter I had always dreamed of. Hard to believe that dreams really do come true. I am curious to see what the next chapter in my life has in store for me. I don’t plan to stop dreaming anytime soon.

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It is not usually a good sign when there is a pretty big blogging break in the middle of a Whole30 challenge. As you may have guessed, or assumed, we had a false start. ( That is what I am calling it for now.) We all decided that it would be best for us to start after New Years and after my birthday which was on the third, and my roomies birthday, which is today. I REALLY wanted birthday sushi, and although my other roomie Anna isn’t doing whole30 we didn’t want to have to worry about eating whole30 at wherever she decided to go for her birthday.

So this means we restart our whole30 challenge tomorrow. Call me crazy but I am excited. I normally wouldn’t recommend being so anal about the food you eat. The whole30 challenge is TOUGH. Eating in a restaurant and knowing your food is 100% whole30 is nearly impossible. Planning ahead is the key to a successful whole30. It takes a lot of work and thought to just simply eat. I wouldn’t live my whole life this way…but if you are someone who normally doesn’t really think about what you are eating, or know what is in your food, this is a great way to be more aware of what you put in your body. The best part is… it is ONLY 30 days.

I am going to confess now, that although I will be 100% whole30 compliant at home, I am not going to sacrifice the way my food tastes at school. This is my last quarter of culinary school so I am going to have to draw the line here. Since this is my second time participating in the whole30 challenge I already know what foods my body is not so fond of. I know that the Hartwigs ( the creators of the whole30/whole9 program) say that you never have to eat anything you don’t want to and that there are no excuses… well I beg to differ. Sorry Hartwigs, I need to graduate…and find a job. So I need to taste my food before I serve it to a chef. My reputation is on the line here!

If you want to know more about what you can and cannot eat on the whole30 or would like to follow along, PLEASE read this first: http://whole9life.com/2012/08/the-whole30-program/