Shutterbug Chef 2018: A Confession

Where did 2017 go?  Is Christmas really over?  Already?  How can it be January 2018?  If you follow this blog regularly, you may have noticed that my last post was in the middle of December!  I have no excuses, like: “I was so busy”, “There were so many holiday parties I couldn’t keep up”, or ” We had so much company for the holidays that there was no time to prepare a blog post!”

The only reason I did not post anything is that I just did not prepare….anything.  Nothing.  I spend so much time reading recipes in magazines, books, on the internet, Food Network.  Many times these are wonderful sounding dishes, but I have to re-think them to make them paleo-freiendly for this blog.  Lots of these recipes have made their way to my kitchen, to be “cleaned up” and some have worked out really well, and others, not-so-much!

Three years ago I started out on a “Clean Eating” challenge through The 30 Clean.  For 30 days, we omitted all dairy, all grains, all refined sugars and anything artificial.  We were limited to 2 adult beverages per week and were allowed 3 1-ounce pieces of dark chocolate per week.  This was easy to do for me.  After the challenge, adding these forbidden foods back into the diet is done by trying one for a few days before introducing the next ones.  For example, I could add some limited amounts of wheat into my diet for 3 or 4 days.  If no digestive issues occured, then it is probably not an allergy problem or worse for me.  Then I could try a little dairy for a few days, etc.

The beauty of the challenge is that by simply omitting these foods, I lost 12 pounds in 30 days and I had plenty of good food to eat, including snacks!  I didn’t have to add in difficult excercises, either, just continue with whatever my normal routine was. After the 30 day challenge, I felt so good and so energized, I stayed on the paleo plan and went on to lose another 10 pounds for a total of 22 pounds!

However, something changed in me in 2017, as far as clean eating goes.  It began in the summer, when I sampled some pizza.  I had been so good up to this point, but for whatever reason, I could not resist this pizza.  Then, other temptations came along.  Popcorn. Cheese. Pasta. Milkshake. Ted’s Hot Dogs!  Aaaarrrgggg!!

I realized, though, that these foods, in moderation, did not seem to affect my energy, stamina or my weight!

Around Thanksgiving (don’t get me started with that whole thing!) I commented to my husband that I feel like I had really been cheating all summer.  He looked at me and said, “It’s November.”  ;(   I was off my “Clean Eating” regimen.  I failed.  I failed myself, really.  Or, had I?  What harm was I doing to myself or others by eating a bit of pizza, tacos or a couple Christmas cookies on occasion?  There are no dietary issues that I knew of and my weight stayed the same!

So for 2018 I have made a decision to eat primarily clean, but that having an occasional bagel for breakfast, a sandwich on BREAD, a little pasta with freshly grated parmesan, some popcorn while watching Netflix at night, or a dish of home made ice cream (from the ice cream maker I got for Christmas…more on that later!) I CAN DO THIS!!  In fact, WE CAN DO THIS together.   But, LET’S DO THIS RIGHT ;0

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Shutterbug Chef!

Stay with me on this journey.  Let me continue to provide great soups, main course dishes, pasta sauces, baked goods, etc and some will be paleo friendly and others not…but all will be kitchen tested and delicious.

I plan to do a feature called:  Shutterbug Chef Cooks The Food Network Recipes.  In this series, I will prepare recipes from the famous chefs on TV, Ina Garten, Giada de Laurentis, Emeril, Bobby Flay, etc.  The reason is sometimes I will clean them up and other times, I will figure a way to do it that is easier for the home chef to do it….I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a staff waiting in the wings to clean my prep bowls and cookware.  It looks so easy on TV so I will try to devise ways to plan ahead, keep the kitchen running smoothly and assure that the recipes are wonderful!

Happy New Year!! 

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