Fajitas Poblano + Tricks and Tips For Making it Through a Whole 30

Happiest of Saturday to you!

This post topic has been on my radar for a few weeks now and after receiving multiple questions from close friends, I knew it was time to share. I completed my first Whole 30 in March 2016 and have since jumped into a few rounds near our wedding and around the holidays and with friends for fun.

The Whole 30 is a 30 days reset centered around whole food that naturally kicks your cravings to the curb, reduces the inflammation in your body, brings awareness to your eating habits, and helps return your gut to a happy state.
Although it is not designed to be a lifestyle, the W30 has been life changing for many people.

I’m going to go ahead and be blunt here– the Whole 30 is not hard.
It’s 30 days followed by a reintroduction phase. 30 days of eating food without processed sugar, grain, dairy, and alcohol. It is 4 weeks, or 2 two weeks, or 4 one weeks.

What is hard is conversation with people who “just don’t get it”. It’s the people who say things like:
“Everything in moderation is okay.”
“I think what you’re doing is a extreme.”
“You need to allow yourself a cheat meal or you’ll go crazy.”
“One drink isn’t going to hurt you.”
“You can have low calorie yogurt or cheese..”
“Whole wheat is good for you. You need the fiber.”
and my personal favorite– “Why don’t you just count calories?”

The struggle is where you find your friendships once you realize that you have spent your entire life putting complete (FDA approved) SHIT into your body and you decide that you are not going to continue living that way. All of the sudden, you are no longer fun when you’re not pounding drinks and eating an assortment of food. I know, let me tell you how I really feel! That is when the 30 days become challenging because as humans, we want to fit in and we’re meant to socialize.

Below are the tricks I use to stay in my element, on and off the Whole 30.

  1. Read the book, It Starts With Food. It’s one thing to purchase the cookbook and to read the basic guidelines but having the actual knowledge behind why you are doing what you are doing, from a scientific standpoint, fuels your success. When you learn how much food affects your hormones and what that leads to, it’s so much harder to throw in the towel. Lets read it together! There is an audio version perfect for your long commute and afternoon walks!
  2. Alcohol solution: Club soda in a cocktail glass at home or in public.
    Restaurants do not mind the glass you request. Although, many times the request catches the server off guard so I follow it with “I know it sounds silly! The glass makes me feel apart of the group though!”

    • Club soda in a jumbo margarita glass with salt and lime. (My favorite!)
    • Club soda in a wine glass.
    • Club soda in a rocks glass with a lemon twist.
    • Club soda in martini glass with an olive.
    • Club soda in a champagne glass with a tiny splash of OJ.
  3. Think protein when out to dinner.
    • Mexican favorites:
      • Ceviche with not chips or tostada’s.
      • Look for basic fajitas or a fajita option with veggies. Do not be afraid to modify the menu. Ask the restaurant to “x” the cheese, beans, rice, and tortillas. Or, if you have someone at the table to eat them, give them away immediately if it’s too tempting. I assemble my fajitas on a side plate with TONS of salsa and guac.
      • Tortilla soup (if there is no corn or beans in the description), no cheese or tortilla chips.
    • Seafood:
      • Raw Oysters- You’ll want to skip the cocktail sauce but if you like horseradish and “hot sauce”, layer that baby up!
      • Grilled fish or shrimp with veggies. Ask your server to cook your fish in olive oil and request no butter in your veggies. You’ll be surprised in what they are willing to do if you ask politely.
    • Chili’s: Sunshine burger, no bun, cheese, or special sunshine mayo. Sub grilled asparagus instead of fries.
    • Chipotle: Bowl with chicken, extra veggies, two pico’s, two hots, lettuce, and guac on the side. FYI, you get more guac if it’s on the side because they scrape the spoon.
    • Sushi: Sashimi, sashimi, sashimi! I keep coconut aminos with me and I don’t make a big deal about it. I remove it from my purse, pour, and return.
      • Houston/ Dallas area peeps: Blue Fish! They have riceless rolls that are amazing. My personal favorite is the Sashimi Roll which is wrapped in a carrot. They also have great happy hour prices that include select appetizers. The $5 sashimi trio, yes please!
    • BJ’s: Seared Ahi Tuna Salad without the wonton strips and dressing. Ask for oil and vinegar. Oh! club soda in a wine glass.
    • Steakhouse- Steak cooked to your liking with a plain sweet potato and seasonal veggies without butter. Bring your own ghee if that is what it takes.
  4. Always have soup in the fridge.
    • We make a pot of soup every week for convenience. For the most part, I’ve gotten out of cooking a new meal every night so Sunday is my prepping time. I opt for a big pot of soup and at least one casserole. They’re easy to grab for lunch and make the weeknights stress free when you’re exhausted.
      • If leftovers aren’t your strong suit, spend Sunday chopping your veggies. throw a few onions in a food processor and know that 1 cup is about 1 onion.
    • This is our absolute favorite Whole 30 soup. I add mushrooms and double the recipe. Swanson’s chicken stock is compliant and so yummy. The main different between stock and broth is that stock uses the animal bones and meat whereas broth is only from the meat. If you’re watching your budget and not making your own bone broth, stock tends to be less in cost and you’ll still receive some bone benefits.
  5. Coffee.
    • I don’t know when I began drinking my coffee black but understand that this one is A LOT for people to handle. It’s like, the moment you tell someone “no more creamer”, they throw their hands up and quit. Here are some fun ways that I treat myself to my own “latte”:
      • Coffee, 1 teaspoon of coconut oil or ghee. Blend until frothy.
        • A dash of pumpkin spice seasoning.
        • A splash of peppermint extract
        • Organic Vanilla extract
      • Added bonus- Collagen Peptides. This is my favorite brand for the price. These peptides are unflavored but adding any of the above helps with the taste my mind tricks me into tasting.
  6. Socializing.
    • EASY. Bring something you can eat. Nothing is worst than going to an event in which there is nothing you can have. Bring an appetizer or side dish big enough to share and make sure you have some.
      Options:

      • Salsa and carrot chips.
      • Buffalo chicken dip with celery and carrot chips.
        • Shredded chicken, homemade mayo, coconut milk, buffalo sauce, celery, chopped cashews from a food processor/ blender. Mix it all together, throw it in a casserole dish and bake.
      • Meat tray. Applegate has a lot in which you can choose from.
      • Meatballs.
        • BBQ: Ground pork, ground beef, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper. Form into meat balls. Bake on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Cover in a homemade BBQ sauce made from tomato pure, paste, coconut aminos, chili, garlic, and onion powder, and apple cider vinegar.
        • Italian: Ground pork, ground beef, fennel seed, Italian seasoning, garlic. Form into meatballs and bake as above. Cover in a compliant pasta sauce. We always go for Monte Bene. They have a spicy and garlic marinara. You can find this at H-E-B and Whole Foods. Budget concern: H-E-B sells this for $4.49 which is the lowest I have found.
      • Layered taco dip served with veggies
        • Taco meat, guac, salsa, the fat from a chilled can of coconut milk mixed with lemon and salt (sour cream), tomatoes, olives, chopped bell peppers, etc.
      • Ceviche with carrot chips.
  7. You’re not supposed to snack but sometimes we are put in situation where we are late to lunch or dinner and are stomach is screaming for food.
    • RX Bar- Made from dates, egg whites, nuts, and fruit. Trader Joe’s sells them for $1.99 and you can find them on Amazon. Blueberry is where it is at, 100%.
    • Lara Bar- I ate a few too many of these during the holidays. They have an apple and pecan pie flavor that really hit the spot that time of year. Cashew Cookie is also quite tasty. You can find these in your main grocery stores.
    • Raw nuts- cashews, almonds, and pistachios are my favorites. Be mindful of the roasted options. They’re often roasted in peanut and sunflower oil.
  8. RELAX. It’s 30 days. You can do it.
    There comes a point when you have to realize that what you eat and drink affects NO ONE else. For those who make unpleasant comments, forget them. Those people are ridiculous. I bet it’s those people who go to Instagram and comment on peoples thigh gaps and clavicles. They probably live like Kyle’s Dad from South Park and operate under usernames like “SkankHunt42”. Roll them off of your shoulder and move along. On the other side, don’t become them. There are enough Paleo Police out there and if people want to change their habits, they will in their own time. Do not spend your entire 30 days, or future if you make a lifestyle out of it, telling people what they should not eat. Food is personal and we are all adult enough to know that the #1 with cheese from Whataburger isn’t ideal. Zip your mouth and worry about yourself. Period.

What are your tricks and tips!? I would love to hear them!
If you are beginning your first Whole 30 or any other challenge, have fun! You are going to rock it!

Caleb and I decided to have Mexican Friday at home last night and with lent over, I was so ready to fajita my life! La Cabana is my parents local Mexican Restaurant that I grew up on. They serve fajitas in this amazing creamy pablano sauce made with cheeses and roasted poblano peppers that is honestly to die for. It’s amazing.

This recipe will most definitely be our our fajita fix. You can sub grilled chicken for beef and instead of blending the roasted peppers with beef stock, I would opt for chicken. I sincerely hope that you try this recipe and find it as great as we did.

Fajita’s Pablano
Servings: 6
Time: 45 minutes – 1 hour

Ingredients:
4 Large Poblano Peppers, 1 pepper sliced and set aside.
1/2 Cup Beef Stock
2 Tablespoons Ghee
1 Large Onion, sliced
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 Package of skirt steak, usually there is two steaks in a package. Cut each skirt in half.
1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
1 Tablespoon Onion Powder
1 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
Salt
Pepper
The cream from 1 Can of Full Fat Coconut Milk, chilled
1 Cup Coconut Milk
1/4 Teaspoon Nutritional Yeast, optional.
Cilantro to your liking

Directions:

  1. Bring the skirt steak to room temperature. Remove any excess skin from the back of the steak.
  2. Preheat your oven to 500°F.
  3. Place 3 peppers on a parchment lined baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes.
  4. In a small mixing bowl, combine all of the seasonings. Season both sides of the steaks.
  5. Remove peppers from the oven and let cool. Once cooled, remove the skin of the peppers by gently pulling the separated skin leaving some over cooked portions. The goal is to remove as much of the skin as possible while still having a charred flavor.
  6. In a blender or food processor, combine peppers and beef stock and blend on low until smooth. Set aside.
  7. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of ghee on medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for roughly 5 minutes until nearly translucent. Remove the onion and garlic mixture and set aside.
  8. In the same skillet, add the remaining tablespoon of ghee and increase the heat to medium-high. Turn on the overhead vent as this method may create smoke. Once heated, place the steak into skillet and cook each side for 4 minutes. Remove steak from the skillet and set aside to rest. You may need to work in batches.
  9. Lower the heat to medium low and return the onion and garlic to the skillet and add the roasted pepper sauce. Stir to incorporate.
  10. Slowly stir in the coconut cream and milk using a whisk. Season the sauce with Nutritional Yeast (if applicable), salt, and pepper. Once the sauce is incorporated, add the uncooked sliced poblano pepper and cilantro to the sauce.
  11. On a cutting board, slice the beef skirt steak against the grain into strips. Slowly place into the sauce mixture.
  12. With the steak in the skillet, increase the heat and continue cooking until the fajita meat is cooked to your liking. I personally prefer a more rare steak. In this case, I mixed the steak into the sauce and continued cooking the steak for about 2 minutes on low heat.
  13. Serve with guacamole and enjoy!
    • Whole 30: Serve in a bowl with a spinach base and guac topping.
    • Whole 30: Serve in a jicama tortilla  with guacamole.
    • Paleo Style: Serve in a Siete tortilla as a traditional Fajita.
    • Paleo Style: Warm Siete Tortilla in a skillet until stiff, top with meat as a tostada.
      • Siete Tortillas are sold at Whole Foods in the refrigerated section. My personal favorite is the cassava and coconut. They are made with pork lard and coconut oil and truly taste and feel like a real tortilla made from flour.

 

Happy happy Saturday again! We are off to a crawfish boil! Can you guess what we’re bringing?

Have a great weekend!

 

 

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