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Scattered Sundays and Meal Plan

Our weather was glorious this week! Temps in the high 70’s, low 80’s for multiple days. My house was 77 one night and we still had flannel sheets on our bed. It was quite confusing but lovely.

Though the 3 am boob sweat situation got a bit out of hand.

Troy and I took the next step in building our new strawberry towers this week. We were able to get two up and going before the tiny raving lunatic woke up from his nap.

I took lots of photos and notes along the way. I’ll share all the details in a future post if the new seedlings survive the season.

I wish I had space for this weird old Pyrex bowl.

We start Whole30 on Tuesday! I’m personally motivated to do this for a multiple of reasons.

  1. I adore a challenge. Love one. I’ll randomly give up a type of food for a month or so just to see if I can. Anyone remember when I gave up swearing for Lent and replaced all swear words with “meerkat”? Just try to scream “mother meerkater” and not giggle. Impossible!
  2. Resetting my sweet tooth which I do a few times a year.
  3. Supporting Troy while we try to see if we can figure out some health challenges.
  4. See if maybe, just maybe it helps my lifelong habit of being a shitty sleeper.

What I am not looking to achieve with the Whole30:

  1. Identifying food sensitivities in myself. Been there, done that. I can and do eat anything. I have a goat gut.
  2. Lose weight. I have been the same weight for 10 years minus being pregnant and then when I was dairy-free while nursing Jack and dropped a disgusting amount of weight. Thank goodness I understand nutrition better now!
    1. My clothes fit, I feel comfortable with where I am, with who I am, and I’m strong as an um, strong…thing(?). I routinely walk 15-20k steps per day, haul 50-pound chicken feed bags around, and can shovel composted chicken shit with the best of them. (Who is them??).
    2. This body carried two healthy babies, kept them fed, cared for a terminally ill parent, and makes it possible for me to get up each and every day at 5 am excited and motivated to work. It’s rad.
      1. And it likes Nutella.

When I was in corporate recruiting in Los Angeles, my company had an Operating Principle of “Openness to the 1%”. Translated from corporate speak that means “I’m 99% certain I am right but I will hold off on my victory dance for a moment while I listen to your side of things”.

I don’t really think Whole30 is all it is cracked up to be. I don’t think I’m going to develop the power of tiger blood in week two. But honestly, how cool would that be?

I’ve been dairy-free for nine months while nursing Jack and two months while nursing Bennett. I was gluten-free for three months while nursing Jack and in the last eight weeks of my pregnancy with Bennett. I’ve been sugar-free for weeks at a time (six is the record) for a random assortment of reasons.

But I have never been “free” of all things at one time. This could get interesting!

I’m declaring it right now that I’m not 100% following their rules and guidelines. I’m a rule follower by nature (I went to the school where my mom taught and my dad worked at juvenile detention. YOU tell me you’d get in trouble!) but I think some of these rules are super stupid.

There is a saying in the Whole30 community called Sex With Your Pants On (SWYPO). Their marketing department is brilliant. Basically, it means trying to find acceptable Whole30 foods and repurposing them into “banned” foods. So not mixing bananas and eggs into a faux pancake because pancakes are forbidden.

Essentially they’re trying to make sure you aren’t cheating the game. It’s supposed to be a full system reset. Which I get and support.

But here is the thing. They don’t allow for candy bars but will approve certain Lara Bars in some instances (they don’t encourage them). Store-bought chips and fries while dining out are off the table, but homemade fries are ok. And no breaded chicken but you can dredge chicken in almond flour and fry it.


Pasta of any kind is banned but sweet potato or veggie noodles are fine. Aren’t those things all technically whole food replacements for banned items?

Alcohol is banned including vanilla extract. But Troy and I don’t drink, so removing vanilla from our eating won’t actually be resetting anything. Cashew cream is frowned upon because it is seen as a replacement for dairy-cream items. But we eat cashew cream-based things already so it isn’t like we’re gaming the system or anything.

Basically, I’m doing this Whole30 in spirit with giving us room to not be dumb and too hypocritical.

Second generation DIY dino hoodie

A few weeks ago I sent out an email to everyone who is on my mailing list. In that email, I offered to set up Skype calls with the first five readers who responded.

Truth be told as soon as I hit “send” I started having so many second thoughts. What if no one signed up? What if everyone thought it was a dumb idea? What if I was super awkward on the calls?

In the end, I had so many people sign up that I just kept pushing the calls into May. I couldn’t say no! I’m halfway done with the scheduled calls and I am having SO MUCH FUN.

Oh my goodness, I so look forward to my chats with you all. I initially estimated about 35 minutes, but I find that 50 minutes has been the shortest one so far. We just can’t stop talking! A few readers have gotten to say hi to Troy and Bennett. One lucky reader (hi Brenda) even got to chat with Jack and my nephew Parker).

After one call that lasted over 90 minutes, Troy said “you guys were talking like you were friends”, to which I responded “we are friends. Duh”.

Seriously, I have the best job. I love you dorks so much!

Troy built an extension to his workbench using an old backboard. Smart, handy, and sexy to boot!

Speaking of love, over 30 of you emailed, messaged me on Facebook or Instagram to share the exact same thing:

Chicken-related dirty puns? Oh my, how well you all know me. This photo made me laugh each and every time one of you sent it to me. I love these!

On Sustainable Cooks This Week:

Unique Gift Ideas For Mom – Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

gift guide containing creative ideas for mom (mother's day)

The World’s Second Best Baked Potatoes

baked potato on a white dish with cheese, bacon, and green onions

Corrin posted this review of these spuds on Facebook:

I have been making these since you first (I’m assuming) posted these years ago. OMGoodness these are wonderful! I usually steal all the crispy garlic bits from my kiddos spuds! Yum!!!!!

Real Food Instant Pot Orange Chicken

Check out this review on the IP Orange Chicken from Paulette, a reader who has already made it:

Just made this tonight. We practically licked the skillet clean! Our oranges weren’t very sweet, so I added a little sweetener. I really like how the baking soda helped the texture of the chicken too! Who knew? Served it with riced cauliflower. Thank you so much, Sarah!! I’ve already forwarded the recipe to my sisters. 

The Five Most Popular Posts This Week:

  1. How to Plant Garlic – Step by Step
  2. Three Ingredient Lotion Bars (I feel like some of your moms are getting lotion bars for Mother’s Day. This post has been pinned a bunch this week!)
  3. Unique Ideas For Mom (another one that got a decent amount of pins!)
  4. The World’s Second Best Baked Potatoes
  5. Beginner Quilts: Cheater Quilts

Meal Plan:

Monday:: Takeout. I’m eating alllllll fried rice before Whole30 starts!

Tuesday:: A quick breakfast so Troy and Jack can head out to baseball. Eggs, pancakes, and bacon or sausage for the boys. Eggs, bacon/sausage, and fruit for Troy and I.

Wednesday:: Roasted chicken, roasted veg, salad, and biscuits for the boys. Jack is supposed to have practice but we’re skipping it. His game the night before is in a town 30 minutes away and doesn’t even start until 6 and lasts for over two hours. And then his coach wants to have practice the next night? Eff that noise. He’s “sick” that day friend. These kids are NINE.

Thursday:: Salad with leftover chicken for us and leftover biscuits for the boys.

Friday:: Popcorn, leftovers, and movie night. Troy and I will have leftovers of the Whole30 persuasion.

Saturday:: (bat a thon) Salmon Cakes, roasted veg, and salmon.

Sunday:: Family dinner

What We Bought This Week:

Smith Brother’s Farms: $18.05

Fred Meyer: $66.14

Costco: $92.51


Our local butcher: $14.73

What are you having this week?

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24 comments on “Scattered Sundays and Meal Plan”

  1. Hmm. I’m not aure when or why I stopped getting emails, but I have fixed that problem. Bummed I missed out on skyping!

    Usually when I mention cleaning up our eating I get a lot of opposition. This time around Jared’ s all, ” where should we go out to eat tonight before the whole30 starts?” He’s helping me fill all the junky (ha! That auto corrected to kinky?) food cravings.

    My plan for breakfast this month is to make a few frittatas and freeze them. Quick, easy, filling, and adaptable for me and the kiddo. Jared isn’t allowed eggs, damn anaphylactic allergies popping up in our 30s.

    Lunch will be a B.A.S (big ass salad) with protein (tuna, grilled chicken, roast, etc.).

    Dinners will mostly be grilled or crockpotted (love making up words) meat with steamed, grilled, or roasted veggies.

    Meals this week will be:
    Monday- culvers
    Tuesday- grilled chicken with grilled asparagus and steamed green beans
    Wednesday- something I the crock pot as it’s a late night.
    Thursday- meatballs with roasted veggies
    Friday- left overs with a veggie tray
    Saturday- thinking maybe grilled steak tips with grilled peppers, zucchini, and squash
    Sunday- another croc pot meal so we will have left overs to work with next week.

    One of our all-time favorite paleo recipes is this

    • My email system is judging you hard I guess girl? Don’t worry, I will do the skype offer again in a few months because it’s been such a blast.

      Wow, so glad Jared is on board with this one! What is Culvers? Haha, I checked out that recipe and love this comment in the post: “If you don’t like sweet potatoes, you’re wrong.”

      • Culver’s is a burger joint that started in the Mid West. They offer a decent selection of gluten free options and even have gluten free buns. And their custard is pretty yummy. It’s our go-to meal out.
        Yay for more skyping!

        I picked up sweet potatoes today 🙂

  2. I can’t believe you are smelling popcorn on Friday night and not eating it. When I stopped eating sugar and grains, popcorn was the hardest thing to give up. I am glad I like pork rinds.

  3. I got all the way through reading this post and then realized I READ THE WHOLE THING IN MY INBOX!!! I don’t know if you figured out how to make that happen, or if it just fixed itself, but I am so happy! That’s the good news… The bad is that I also noticed I didn’t get every post this week 🙁 I always recognize every post in “On Sustainable Cooks This Week” but today I was only familiar with one. As long as I know that I can check the site to make sure I keep up, but I thought you’d want to know. Hopefully it was a one time glitch but I’ll keep you posted if it turns into a thing.

    • Yeah, I forgot to put the post line break in the post. Whoops. I could always do it after the email goes out I suppose? But the other thing I found out is I violate Amazon’s terms of agreement anytime my full post goes out via email. Stupid Amazon!

      And re: the posts this week that was a bandwidth issue. The mail service I use only allows so many emails to go out per month. I guess I hit my limit last Sunday. It reset on Friday and sent all the posts from the week in one email.

      When it is in the budget I’ll switch to an email service I have more control over but right now I spend more to host this blog each month than I bring in.

      • Haha, well I guess my happiness was premature, but no worries. There are bigger problems out there – this is one I can deal with 🙂 I also posted yesterday (but it didn’t go through) that I feel like I only comment when I have something to complain about, which is terrible! I LOVE your blog. I went “simple living blog” happy a few years ago and subscribed to every single one I could find. Yours and 2 others are the only survivors. You always crack me up and inspire me and I love that you go to church and liberally use the f-word. You are who I want to be when I grow up!

      • Troy and I jokingly refer to those as first world problems. Like when we’re annoyed that the wifi in our house doesn’t reach our kitchen. LOL.

        I’d love to know the other two blogs you read as I am always looking for new ones! Thanks for being a long-time reader.

      • I’ve been trying to make conscious effort to remind myself of that lately. Something like wifi not reaching the kitchen probably would send me into a rage otherwise 🙂 My other favorite blogger is Andrea Dekker (used to be called Simple, Organized Living). She’s probably the most organized person on the planet, but she doesn’t seem to judge those of us who aren’t quite there yet… or a million miles away, whatever. I’ve also been enjoying One Good Thing by Jillee – I think she posts every day, which is insane, and she has a lot of good household tips.

        What about you? If you had to force all of your readers to subscribe to one other blog, what would it be?

      • Trust me, the wi-fi is a rage-inducing at least once a week. I think the poor call center people at the cable company are sick of us complaining. They finally sent someone out last week to give us a free wi-fi extender. Probably cheaper than the therapy we were sending their employees to.

        Thank you for recommendations; I will check them out! A little blogger insider info is that Jillee is probably republishing old posts with new ones mixed in. If you have been blogging longer than 18 months it makes sense to update old content and republish it as new (or updated). So much changes on the internet and most people are always getting better at photography than a post older than 12 months is outdated and can be refreshed. The easiest way to see if it has been updated (I always make a note at the very bottom of my posts if it is an update) is to look at the first few comments on the post. Chances are some of them are from 2011 or later. Guaranteed. In fact, my post I scheduled for tomorrow was originally written when Jack was 1.

        I am loving lately.

        Edited: OMG I couldn’t post this comment after multiple attempts because (wait for it) my wi-fi was shutting off. I can’t make it up.

      • Haha, of course it was! The wifi struggle is never ending. At our old house we constantly had issues with the internet in general and I complained non-stop for 4 years. They kept saying it was something on our end, our computer, our router or something. Finally I told them I was canceling so of course they immediately sent someone out to look at it… and it turned out small animals had eaten through the cables in the yard years ago. Cable companies are the worst.

        That makes a lot more sense about Jillee, and I know she also has a team helping her out. I definitely don’t read all of her posts because they don’t necessarily pertain to me (how could they??) but I have gleaned some good tips (check out her miracle cleaner – it’s life-changing).

        Just subscribed to Wholefully… salivating already…

      • Oh, my gosh are you serious? Rodents? For the love…

  4. I enjoy your blog so much! You crack me up. I just got a whole30 type cookbook from the library. It was right next to a pie and dessert cookbook. Let me tell you, it was a hard decision!

  5. Gotta be honest, I’m kinda dreading more hoopla and posts about the Whole30 diet.  I just get so tired of hearing about it from allllllllll my friends and acquaintances who have tried it.  I think it can make sense to try cutting back on sugar or meat and experimenting with tweaking one’s diet in those sorts of manageable ways, but Whole30 is so restrictive!  It really just seems unpleasant.  And it has sometimes made it tough hosting people for meals at my house who are on that diet too.  Okay, rant over!  I do love your Scattered Sunday and Meal Plan day though!  I’ll do my best to hang in there with you . . .

    • Never fear my friend! My posts are already planned out during this process and they aren’t Whole30 based. I’ve gone back and tweaked a few to offer a Whole30 ingredient swap/option but my posting for May is pretty much my normal stuff.

  6. We had amazing weather last week, this week it’s winter again, seriously, I have the heating on right now!

    • Isn’t it the craziest? It was 80 on Thursday and Jack’s baseball game was cancelled yesterday due to rain and we had a fire in our woodstove at night.

  7. I about died at ”shitting sleeper” because that’s what I call my gassy IBS prone husband who is sometimes banned to the fortress of solitude if he has had red meat. TMI I know 

    • OMG, ha! Just goes to show that apparently three times proof-reading simply isn’t enough.

      Stay away from the burgers, you sexy silver fox!

  8. Whew, that’s quite a long post reflective of a long week I guess. Mine days all blend together at this point with very little difference from day to the next. In fact a few times this week had to hit my fitbit to see what day of the week it was. Will be interested to see how your strawberries do with that method. I assume it’s plastic wrap? Visqueen? I wonder how hot that will get for the berries? Cute pictures of the little one. Not up to speed about what your health challenges are for your husband or yourself. Losing weight is never easy. Blog walking this am from a few of my blog feeds, and thus found my way here.

    • Ah yes, if this is your first here it looks like a long and odd one for sure. Every Sunday I do an odds and ends post about random stuff, share some photos and our meal plan. Other posts for the week are definitely more directed and applicable to real like – like gardening and cooking.

      The material in the strawberry towers is landscaping cloth aka weed barrier.

      RE: Whole30, neither of us are in it to lose weight. I’m perfectly happy with my weight as is. I’m healthy and strong! But a terrible sleeper.