Whole30 Day 3/30

I have to apologize that this entry is a day late. Yesterday was not the best of days for me, overall. I found myself with a headache (expected) but also very emotional. (Unexpected, and its not *that* time of the month, either). Around 4:30pm, I went to the grocery store to get a few things for dinner (I was tired of chicken patties- which I’d had for 3 meals within the last day and a half). I read on Aidells website that they had products at the grocery store closest to me. I generally HATE that grocery store (their product section is small, and the quality is AWFUL) but I was in a hurry and was very hungry and this was a food emergency (haha). I grabbed a spaghetti squash (which I’d never tried before), a peach (that looked good when I picked it but it was GROSS by the time I got home), a potato and then headed to the sausage section. I found an Aidells sausage, but it was cajun something-or-other and thats not really something I’m into. (I’m pretty bland!) And, unfortunately for me, that was the only thing of that brand in the store. I checked the other sausages and NOTHING was compliant. So I walked over to the bacon and breakfast sausage and was met with the same fate. NOTHING COMPLIANT. By this time, I had started to throw an inner temper tantrum in my head, and had to reach out to my friend Lisa (who started her W30 journey today!) just to vent for a minute. I generally hate to vent to people other than my super close network of friends, but I feel very connected to Lisa in a way, and since she’s going through this, I wanted to give her a heads up on how I feel so she could mentally prepare herself for the onslaught of emotions.

Anywho, here’s what I ate yesterday.

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Breakfast 9:30AM

2 hardboiled eggs (make that 1 1/2 because I am SO OVER EGGS), and a fruit smoothie (pineapple chunks, raspberries, strawberries, coconut cream (I checked my label!) and the driest tartest cranberry juice on the planet (Yes, its compliant).

11AM came around and there was that old familiar friend- sugar cravings. I just drank some water and jumped into some tv shows on my DVR.

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Lunch 12:30PM

I made more broccoli cauliflower stuff and added some cut up (compliant) chicken patties. I forced myself to eat this because its good for me, but it tasted so bland. This was when the emotional breakdown began……

3PM I had a snack of raw almonds because I needed SOMETHING and I really just wanted chocolate.

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Dinner 6PM

I made spaghetti squash and homemade spaghetti tomato sauce. My sauce was all with compliant items and I will tell you it was AMAZING AMAZING. I was proud of myself and needed that little win in my day. As far as spaghetti squash goes- if you’ve never had it before, I want to tell you about it. I sliced it into rings, because that was what everyone on the Whole30 Instagram recommended. It will come out in long, beautiful strands and you will be so excited to have spaghetti once again. But let me tell you, the texture was a BIG ISSUE for me. It wasn’t soft like a noodle; it was crunchy. And I can’t quite think up something similar. Maybe like coleslaw? Softer coleslaw. Yeah, thats it. So. Now you know its not like spaghetti at all but bland, flavorless coleslaw…. even salt and pepper and italian seasoning wont save this stuff. I don’t think I’ll eat it again, to be honest with you.

All these emotions- I can’t believe they’re related to food. (And I’ve also got some tough stuff going on in my life thats just adding to the pain.

What I wouldn’t give for some Reeces Stix right now….

Have a good one y’all,

Sarah Montana

Whole30 Day Two

I must first mention that I made a boo-boo last night. I added peas into my dinner, and peas are technically a legume and those are no no’s on Whole30. Whoops! Learned my lesson.

Anywho. Day two I awoke the way I expected. Headache. It never was too bad today, so I am grateful for that. (I get migraines so as long as my withdrawal doesn’t turn into one of those, we are golden.). I went to physical therapy and noticed I ran out of energy a lot quicker than I normally do. I made sure to eat some of my left over sinful pea/broccoli/cauliflower concoction before I left, and took two ibuprofen and drank a lot of water, and that seemed to alleviate my pain. Thank goodness! I will also mention (TMI but I don’t care) that I am having better trips to the bathroom. You know, for more than just pee. I hate to say it, but I think all of the fiber in my new diet is really helping to move things along. So, one positive that I am noticing on the second day- I’ll take it!

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Breakfast 9:00AM

1 egg scrambled and cooked in ghee, fruit salad (peaches, strawberries and raspberries) with chia seeds, and a glass of unsweetened green tea with lemon.

10am was about when my headache was at its worst, but still tolerable. I also had some cravings for sugar, so I kept drinking my water.

10:35 was my pre- physical therapy snack. Had to make sure something was in my tummy before I went and sweat.

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Lunch 1:30PM

Chicken patty (Perdue makes chicken patties that are W30 approved and I added some spices) (cooked it on my George Foreman Grill) with tomato, yellow mustard and wrapped in butter lettuce. Fried two mashed bananas in ghee with cinnamon for something sweet to help tide me over.

3:00PM I REALLY wanted a donut. Instead I ate a cherry pie Lara bar. That helped.

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Dinner 6:00PM

Chopped up a skinned sweet potato into fries and coated them with EVOO, cinnamon, S&P and my favorite italian seasonings. Baked at 375*F for 40 minutes (while moving around and flipping every 10-15 minutes). Served it with another chicken patty on top of butter lettuce with a tomato and mustard. Fried some pineapple chunks in ghee and ate those for something sweet. (Warm pineapple is AMAZING).

I will say that last night, after I posted my blog and video, I had some toasted chocolate coconut pieces to help curb my cravings for sweets. Those Bare snacks are KILLER. I love them.

So thats all I have to say! I’m trying to go to sleep earlier and wake up earlier so I can start preparing myself for potentially starting work again soon. I am anxious and excited and feel stupid because I forgot all of my passwords to everything. Oh well. Thats what I get for being out of work for 8 months.

PS. I am listening to Fuels Sunburn album. 8th-11th grade me is so excited right now. I even did a MCM for Brett Scallions on my Instagram. haha.

Have a good one y’all,

Sarah Montana

Taking on the Whole30 Challenge

So today marks day one of the Whole30 challenge. (For more info go here.) I’m going to be updating you guys with pictures, recaps and sometimes recipes for any of you who are thinking about checking it out.

I did make a YouTube video on my new channel talking about why I decided to start this crazy diet, so if you want to view it, go here!

DAY ONE

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Breakfast 9:30AM

1 banana, a few strawberries, 4oz steak, 1 egg fried in ghee with unsweetened green tea with a lemon in it.

By about 11:30 I started craving sweets. I kept drinking more tea and soon the cravings went away.

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Lunch 12:20PM

1/2lb shrimp cooked with Badia blackened redfish seasoning, some pineapple, some baby carrots and more unsweetened green tea with lemon.

By about 2:30, I started getting cravings for sugar, so I drank more water and tried to focus on the InkMaster marathon I was working on (haha. Season 2, if anyone was wondering!)

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Dinner 6:30PM

I tried to make pea, broccoli and cauliflower patties, but they turned into a sloppy fail. They still tasted great, and I turned them into a more couscous-esq thing, served with baked potato ‘fries’, tons of W30 approved hot sauce, and a fruit salad of grapes, raspberries and pineapple. I also had a cherry lime LaCroix because that shit is amazing.

I am currently hungry and craving sweets. Might have to have a snack of some fruit and water or something. Man. I could really use some M&M’s right now (bonus points if they’re peanut butter m&m’s!)

Have a good one, y’all,

Sarah Montana

Last week in my world….

I wish I could say things have been busy around here, but to most people, they haven’t. To me, very busy. You see, when you’re out of work for an extended period of time, anything more than sitting on the couch is a big deal. I am now 7 months since my accident and just shy of 6 weeks post-op. (I injured my knee in a freak accident, and had to have arthroscopy in my knee, and the surgeon ended up doing a lateral release to help get my knee cap back in place. Gross. And ouch.) 

I started physical therapy this week. There is a noticeable difference in the size of my leg muscles between my left and right leg. 

  
Notice how small the right quad is. And it would seem smaller if it wasn’t for some excess weight chilling on my upper thighs and back of my thighs area. Pretty crazy how your muscles atrophy so quickly. So now the goal of therapy is to get all the muscles from my butt to my calves to bulk up. No I don’t mean Arnold in his hey-day bulked up, but strong enough to where I can do my job. 

On Monday the 29th, I drove up to Allentown PA to see my brothers drum corps (The Boston Crusaders). It just-so-happened to be his birthday, so it was extra special. 

Before I went to the stadium to see him, I drove to Bethlehem PA and stopped at a local bakery, Vegan Treats. While I am not vegan, I do enjoy eating vegan when I can, and I seem to be doing so more often these days. I bought 2 things from the case and a bag of adorable cookies to take back home with me. 

The first thing that I got, was this key lime strawberry mousse cake. It was by far the best thing ever, and I will definitely buy it again when I go back. 

 

  The other thing I got, was this Speculoos cheesecake. You all know in a sucker for cookie butter,  so this HAD to come home with me. It was also great! I was certainly inspired by what I saw there, and can’t wait to whip up some new stuff. 

  
 On the way to Allentown for the drum corps show, I saw this beautiful church while sitting at a stop light and snapped this picture. There was a sign out front that it was for sale (I think). Let’s. It a church and turn it into something awesome!   
Here’s one of the (many!) shots I took from my seat at the show. As I’ve gotten older, wiser, and more sentimental, I’ve noticed myself getting emotional at my siblings events and adventures. Once I moved out of the house for good, I realized just how much I love my family and miss them SO much, and love when I get the chance to support them any way I can. They had a great performance (the opening number was from Game of Thrones!) and the sound at that staying was incredible! I hope to catch them one more time this summer when they’re back in Allentown in August. (Eat em up, Boston!) 

 
If there was one thing I think you should know about me, it’s that I have a big hear the- especially animals. Sometimes, it’s to a fault. Well, lately, I’ve been seeing a kitten around my house, namely in my front yard. Our house is sitting along one of the busiest roads in Northeast Philadelphia, and this kitten has been walking mere feet from the cars. One night, I went out to pet him, and found out from a neighbor that she rescued him from the median between lanes of this major highway. I asked if she was going to keep him, she said no, and I decided to bring him into my Josie to try to find him a home that WASN’T next to a road. Well, this was Thuraday. Today is Sunday, and He’s still in my house, with toys, a litter box and a collar. (Whoops!) 

  
For now, he doesn’t have a name. I’m still toying with the idea of finding him a home, but a lot of me just wants to keep him. He is a lover. He follows me around the house (when the dogs are up in my bedroom-for safety. They don’t quite know what to think of him, and I’m not willing to take a chance!). He loves to snuggle with new, purr, and lick them every-loving heck out of my face when he can. What a sweetheart. I’m not mad to be getting such attention from a kitten. I’m pretty sure he’s adopted me as his mama.  

  

Tonight, after a busy day of grocery shopping, chore-doing and dinner cooking, I took Vega (our blue heeler) for a little walk around the block just to burn off some of his energy, and to give myself a little exercise. I’ve gained some weight since my injury (I’m used to 40 hours a week running around on my feet ((I work in retail)) and now all I’ve been able to do it sit. A lot. And eat. So while it’s not a long walk, it’s something. Of course my knee was swollen and so sore by the time I got home, but it was a few steps in the right direction. Here’s a picture of a beautiful flower bush in my neighbors yard. 

  
I hope yall had a safe and happy 4th!

Have a good one yall, 

Sarah Montana 

Quick Update

Just wanted to let y’all know that I’m still alive, but recovering from knee surgery! I am just finally starting to walk without crutches, which means I am starting to cook and bake again, so I’ll whip up some recipes to share. I had a request for monkey bread, so I’ll make sure I get that to ya.

Have a good one, ya’ll,

Sarah Montana

Happy Mother’s Day! 

Just wanted to wish a happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers and pet mothers and step mothers and other mothers out there! In celebration, I sent an edible arrangement (with my siblings) to both my mom and my step mom. Cards were sent to my grandmothers. And then there’s this: 

 The angel food cake with coconut cream frosting, raspberries and a strawberry tart cranberry purée on top. I made it for my boyfriends mother. It was heavenly. (No wonder it’s ANGEL food. Huh huh huh huh) 
Have a good one, y’all,

Sarah Montana  

What’s up, doc? 

I come with a very quick and totally awesome recipe for a side that works great with, well, anything for lunch or dinner. If you’ve got some patience, and like carrots, then this is for you!  

   
I found these carrots at the grocery store that I shop at for $1.99. And what’s better- they’re organic! Awesome. 

Recipe! 

1 bunch of carrots. They don’t necessarily need their greens, just as long as they’re carrots (that have been washed and the skins removed) you’re golden 

Ginger salad dressing. I found mine in the produce section. Has a little ninja guy on it. Adorable. 

A few dollops of butter. We really like Melt butter. It’s coconut butter, and vegan. Yum! 

Salt & Pepper 

Other spices (whatever you like, I used a leftover tossed potato spice mix I got a few weeks ago) 

Olive Oil. No measurements. I’m not the measuring type (yeah… I’m one of those). 

Pam or any other spray (I’ve been using coconut oil spray). 

How – To: 

1. Preheat oven to 350*F

2. Spray a glass baking dish with your Pam-like spritz of your choice. 

3. Put your carrots in the dish and sprinkle some of the olive oil on them. You don’t have to go overboard. 

4. Put a few little dollops of your butter. No precise science to this, people. Feel free to be a little willy-nilly. 

 5. Sprinkle your salt, pepper, and seasonings of your choosing on top. 

6. Pour some of the ginger dressing on top. I want to day I put about a quarter of a cup on mine, and then used a pastry brush to evenly distribute. 

  
7. Toss in the oven for about 25 minutes. Increase the temp to 400*F and roast for about 10-15 minutes more. Make sure you move them around a little bit every 10-15 minutes to make sure all the yummy juices get all over your carrots. 

8. Once they’re a little browned, take them out. You’ll want to eyeball the carrots when you increase the temp just to make sure you don’t burn the heck out of them. 

9. Let cool for about 10 minutes and enjoy.

  
I really really loved these and have a feeling I will be making those more often. 

Have a good one y’all,

Sarah Montana 
 

Quick & Easy Baked Apple Pie Oatmeal

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1/2 cup Trader Joes Rolled Oats (cooked following instructions on bag)
1/2 cup applesauce
1 apple diced into small chunks
Cinnamon to taste (I like a lot. I just shook some in until it tasted how I like it)
1 tbsp maple syrup, honey or agave
1 tbsp light brown sugar
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 325*F
2. Put all ingredients into a bowl (except brown sugar).
3. Spoon into 2 creme brûlée ramekins.
4. Put brown sugar on top
5. Bake for 15-20 minutes
6. Turn oven to broil and bake for an additional 3-5 minutes.
7. LET COOL. (You’ll burn your mouth!)
8. I topped mine with cream, but you could put any kind of milk, coconut cream, whipped cream….whatever tickles your fancy.
9. Enjoy!!

Have a good one, y’all,
Sarah Montana

Avocado-Basil-Spinach Pesto Pasta

Today I went to the grocery store to get necessary items for the next few days. I bought a thing of Rain Lime Gatorade to have on hand for those days where I need a few electrolytes. Unfortunately, those days are often due to some migrainse I’ve been having. Well, sometime during the ride home, that darn Gatorade spilled all over the contents of the shopping bag it was in- including a brand new box of Cavatappi pasta…. So when I got home and started unloading my things, I realized that pasta had to be cooked TODAY or it would get soggy and therefore be ruined. SO, making life out of Lime Gatorade, I made some pasta. Here’s a quick recipe for y’all, however there won’t be exact measurements since I’m one of those ‘non measuring types’.

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Avocado-Basil-Spinach Pasta
1 entire box of Cavatappi pasta (or kind of your choice).

SAUCE
1 avocado
A few basil leaves (to your taste)
Olive Oil
Scallions (I added roughly 1/2 tsp chopped)
Salt & Pepper & garlic powder & italian seasoning to taste
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Handful of spinach leaves
1 bag of shredded mozzarella cheese

DIRECTIONS:
1. Cook pasta per box directions.
2. Add all other ingredients into food processor (except cheese) and pulse until smooth. You will want to add olive oil every so often to keep a sauce-like consistency. Add more or less seasonings to make it the way you taste.
3. Dump pasta water out and put in bowl and immediately dump in bag of mozzarella cheese and stir while it melts.
4. Add in your sauce and stir until evenly coated.
5. Either place in fridge for a few hours for a pasta salad type dish, or serve immediately with some chicken or whatever you’re feelin’!
6. ENJOY. Its so tasty and healthy(ish) and the green color is gorgeous!

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*All photos by the devilishly handsome Douglas Horn.

Sorry I’ve been a little MIA!

Have a good one, y’all,

Sarah Montana

Something easy for two!

As the weather here in Philly gets a little cooler (cold, in my humble 16 years of living in Florida opinion), and Douglas is spending the next month in Florida for work (coincidental!? yes…), I am starting to crave hearty comfort foods. One of my favorite things to eat this time of year, is chicken pot pie, but never those nasty store-bought frozen food section ones, with a gazillion calories and preservatives. And with my work schedule getting crazier (reminder: I work at the mall), I am looking for something easy that will be filling, but not with so many leftovers that I will never get to. So here’s a recipe for something you can make in less than a half our (not counting oven time…) that will feed you and one other (or yourself again tomorrow!)

*The picture quality sucks. The lighting in my kitchen is very yellow/orange and I’m still adjusting to the lighting change because of the daylight savings!

Easy peasy chicken pot pie for the lazy person such as myself!

Ingredients

(*Note: you can double the ingredients to make enough for more people!) (I usually make a big pan of this for Douglas and myself and it lasts us a few meals)

*1 can Progresso Chicken Pot Pie soup (*note: I tried Campbells Pot Pie soup last time and I hated it, honestly).

*1/2 lb chicken breast, cooked (I pan cooked mine in coconut oil)

*1 1/2 cups Bisquick (This is becoming a staple in my recipes lately)

*1 egg

*1/3 cup milk

*1/2 bag frozen veggies (my mix has corn, carrots, peas, green beans and lima beans) (*I ALWAYS pick out the green beans)

*1/4 tsp McCormick Perfect Pinch Italian seasoning (my go-to every day seasoning)

*pinch of salt

*pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat your oven to 350*F

Cook your chicken however you like. I didn’t season mine just to keep it simple in this recipe.

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Put your soup in a pot and cook it. Add in your mixed frozen veggies and then your chicken (cut into cubes) and let it cook until its all warm.

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Mix your Bisquick, egg, milk and seasonings. You don’t want the consistency to be too watery. Add more or less Bisquick to make sure its thick enough to scoop out with your ice cream scooper thingy (you know, the one that you use to fill muffin/cupcake tins with!!)

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Pour your soup mix into a glass baking dish, I used my small one (forgot to look at the dimensions before I put it into the oven…but suffice it to say that its maybe 6″x9″ or so.

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Scoop your Bisquick ‘biscuits’ on top of the mix like so.

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Pop into your oven for 25-30 minutes. You want the tops of the biscuits to be a golden brown. (Don’t worry about the bottom layer, everything has been pre-cooked so you don’t have to worry about it being undercooked!) I put a piece of foil down on the bottom of the oven to catch any spill over so I don’t have to clean it later!!!)

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Remove from oven and cool long enough that its not going to burn the heck out of your tongue when you eat it! I like to serve this with a sweet potato on the side and some fruit!

Enjoy!

Have a good one, y’all, stay warm!

Sarah Montana