October 13, 2016

Whole 30: Week 3

Whole 30 - Week 3 on Shutterbean.com

As I write this I am on Day 24 of  Whole 30:

I have 6 days left.

Why is this starting to sound morbid. It’s not!!!!!



Part of me wondered why I shared this journey with you.  Is it annoying? Is it boring? Do you think I am crazy? Don’t answer that.

I am sharing this process because I want to be accountable for my actions. I want to say I am going to do something and DO IT. Having you involved in the process means I have more motivation to keep it going.

My willpower is stronger as a result.

So, thank you.

I believe that this is proof that we build better connections when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable. 

This week I’ve been working on:



What I learned most during week 3 was this:

I have incredible willpower. What I need to manage is my impulse control.  Through this process, I am starting to understand what kind of habits and patterns I’ve created for myself. Slowly, I am figuring out ways to fix them. I am loving how less stressed I am about food because I don’t eat the things that triggered my anxiety. 

What is impulse control?

-failure to resist a temptation, urge or impulse that may harm oneself or others.

When I am stressed, it is much harder for me to control my impulses (like drinking alcohol or having a carb party). Taking the time to understand what my impulses are has helped me make better choices around food. Impulses come from feelings and I HAVE SO MANY OF THEM throughout the day while I am rushing around-doing too many things at once. Instead of understanding how I am feeling and WHY I am feeling a certain way, I tend to self-medicate by swallowing my feelings.

Impulse control can be managed by slowing myself down.

I am learning how to tell myself —in a gentle way— that it’s OK to eat certain things but I need to be aware of how much I am eating. AKA DON’T GO OVERBOARD.

Before I would say things with a mean/angry/jerk voice.

That jerk voice is definitely not a voice I would EVER use for anyone I loved.

When I am not surrounding myself with distractions, I can CLEARLY think about the food choices I will make based on the structure I have for myself right now.

Before, I impulsively ate my face off because I had no structure/no limits/no boundaries.


before (said in a frantic/jerk voice):

  • omg there’s cake
  • i want cake
  • omg i should just have a sliver
  • but then i’ll just want another slice
  • just get the bigger piece, Tracy
  • but that bigger piece WASN’T ENOUGH.
  • have another slice! make it SMALLLLLLLL
  • oh. you did it. wow. OK. So WOW. Ummm.
  • how are you gonna work this off?
  • what do you have to sacrifice today to feel OK ABOUT EATING ALL THAT CAKE?

now (said in a loving, supportive mom voice):

  • Slow down
  • Pay attention
  • Take a deep breath
  • Examine the situation
  • How will cake make you feel? Can you have a little or would you be happy with fruit?
  • Do you even like cake?
  • Make the choice that will make you feel best.
  • PROCEED, you got this.

What else is up this week?

I had a few moments this week when I went CRAZY on a bag of  plaintain chips. BECAUSE OLD HABITS DIE HARD.  Just because I can eat something within this “structure,” doesn’t mean I can eat ALLLLLLLLLLL of it. If I want to end this program feeling lighter, I have to pay attention my portion control.

Last weekend I spent 7+ hours at a family party where everyone was drinking (too) much wine and eating crazy good food. I put kombucha in a wine glass… I ate a lot of salami and nuts. I made some solid choices and I put myself in a quiet place every time I felt like I couldn’t handle being around so many people/temptations.

Sometimes you just gotta walk away and give yourself some time and space. 


.I threw my back out. Felt sorry for myself. Crawled into the kitchen and still made good choices. Laid in bed with a heating pad while my husband drank a hot toddy RIGHT NEXT TO ME. The jealousy! It was cold out! I wanted a hot toddy. I made myself tea. EVERYTHING WAS FIIIIIIIINE.

OK. That’s all for now. 6 more days!

BTW- I am working on a bigger post to show you all the foods I’ve eaten and what I’m into.

You can read my Week 2 post here btw.

If you’re doing the Whole30:: What day are you on? How’s it going?!!!

October 12, 2016

Grain Free Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal

If you're trying to eliminate grains from your diet, try this Grain Free Cinnamon Apple "Oatmeal" made with cashews, apples, vanilla bean & raisins! Find the recipe on Shutterbean.com

I’m writing this on the floor of my bedroom right now. I threw out my back. I want to eat a sleeve of Oreos only because I went down some rabbit how on buzzfeed where someone jammed a fork in the creamy filling of an Oreo and dunked it into a glass of milk. Now I want to eat all the Oreos. Also, that’s a pretty awesome technique.

If you're trying to eliminate grains from your diet, try this Grain Free Cinnamon Apple "Oatmeal" made with cashews, apples, vanilla bean & raisins! Find the recipe on Shutterbean.com

As I write this on my floor of my bedroom with back pain, I’m on day 22 of the Whole30. Someone told me that they were super sick of eggs by this point. Fortunately I figured out how to make this apple “oatmeal” on day 5 and I’ve been alternating it into my meal prep for the weeks. I haven’t had enough eggs to be sick of them yet. WAHOOOO.

If you're trying to eliminate grains from your diet, try this Grain Free Cinnamon Apple "Oatmeal" made with cashews, apples, vanilla bean & raisins! Find the recipe on Shutterbean.com

Not only is this Whole30 compliant, but it’s vegan and gluten free with no added sugar. It tastes like a cross between apple sauce and oatmeal. The soaked cashews in the mix give it that same bite you get with oatmeal and it’s nice and thick to boot!  It’s great served cold as a snack in the afternoon, but I like warm with bananas, raisins and nuts. I think tomorrow I might stir in a scoop of almond butter and coconut flakes.


October 10, 2016

Hash Brown Omelet

Hash Brown Omelet! A new take on breakfast. Inside you'll find fried eggs, tomatoes with oregano and bacon. Recipe on Shutterbean.com

I am currently on day 21 of Whole30. ONE MORE WEEK TO GOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Seriously though, it hasn’t been that bad because YOU CAN HAVE POTATOES ON WHOLE30 (now! apparently!).

Hash Brown Omelet! A new take on breakfast. Inside you'll find fried eggs, tomatoes with oregano and bacon. Recipe on Shutterbean.com

I’ve been trying to keep things interesting around here food wise. I don’t want to burn myself out on anything, so I’m playing around with preparations. Eggs and potatoes for breakfast in all different ways. This technique of making an omelet out of a hash brown was pretty fun!  It’s a little softer than my hash brown waffle situation. If you don’t have a waffle maker, this Hash Brown Omelet is your best bet!

Hash Brown Omelet! A new take on breakfast. Inside you'll find fried eggs, tomatoes with oregano and bacon. Recipe on Shutterbean.com

Inside that crispy/soft omelet, you have two eggs nestled in snuggly with strips of crispy bacon and blistered tomatoes with oregano. Whole30 doesn’t looks so bad, does it now? Still though…. I was dreaming of cinnamon rolls all weekend.


October 8, 2016

My Everyday Life: Week 40

Cooper turned 8!!! Casey and I surprised him with a father/son trip to Fenway Park to see David Ortiz’s farewell

I missed my boys but THEY HAD THE BEST TIME EVER, living out their baseball dreams.

My Everyday Life: Week 40 on Shutterbean.com

I can’t believe he is 8.  EIGHT.

My Everyday Life: Week 40 on Shutterbean.com

Birthdays call for sprinkles.

My Everyday Life: Week 40 on Shutterbean.com

I made rice krispie treats with white chocolate + sprinkles on top for Cooper’s class.

My Everyday Life: Week 40 on Shutterbean.com

None came home (I made more than I was supposed to).

My Everyday Life: Week 40 on Shutterbean.com

My friend Leslie came over and made me breakfast while my boys were gone.

My Everyday Life: Week 40 on Shutterbean.com


October 7, 2016

I love lists


Welcome to I Love Lists! Let’s surf the net together:

  1. Sweet mother….I wanna make these.
  2. I’ve always wanted to take an ikebana class.
  3. Fascinating read– Cosmetology in Prisons.
  4. The sweater I haven’t stopped wearing.
  5. I wanna caftan! 
  6. Wait. Does this really work?
  7. Best plants for filtering the air in your home.
  8. Inbox zero…phssshaaaawww
  9. I watched this. 
  10. Working on it.
  11. Wow
  12. I love this so much.
  13. Dream tunic.
  14. For when I can eat popcorn again.
  15. Colored pencil drawings are incredible. 
  16. I think you should make this soup this week.
  17. Have any of you painted over tile?
  18. Maybe I’ll be a panda AGAIN for halloween this year.
  19. There’s a Salvador Dali Cookbook. Oh boy.
  20. Don’t tell me this is the skinniest I’ll be all year. 
  21. Thank you for this. This world needs it right now.
  22. Random web search lead into learning about the statue of David.
  23. What a dreamy backyard.

new books on my bookshelf:

have a great weekend!

October 6, 2016

10 Essential Spices

10 Essential Spices for your first kitchen! Find more on Shutterbean.com

Dear 19 year old Tracy,

You have your first apartment. YAY. Sorry your roommate is a dud. You’ll be better at picking friends when you get older (I hope). You just don’t have much perspective in life yet. Oh! I heard you’re going through a vegetarian phase. I totally get that. Dorm food can do that to you. Just remember that eating just cheese, pizza and hummus is not necessarily the best way to do vegetarianism. The vege in that word comes from the word VEGETABLES, so try to eat a few, K?

Your boyfriend Casey is going to visit you in Oregon soon from the Bay Area. Spoiler Alert: You marry him when you’re 27.  

Anyways, you’re going to make your first Thanksgiving away from home. This is all you. No Mom to help you!!!!  It’s just the two of you and you have an 8lb. frozen turkey, a bag of potatoes and a box of stuffing. You’ve seen your mom do this several times.  You’re ready to impress.

The thing is…your spice cabinet just has black pepper in it. Black pepper, although a wonderful spice, won’t get you very far in your culinary life.  Thirty-seven year old Tracy is here to help you, so listen up!  I (we/you) have a kid and now food+ photography is my/our career. You’ll be happy to have this information, young me. Trust me/you.

Here are the 10 Essential Spices from McCormick that will dial up flavor and aroma in your dishes:

10 Essential Spices for your first kitchen! Find more on Shutterbean.com

10 Essential Spices for your first kitchen! Find more on Shutterbean.com 10 Essential Spices for your first kitchen! Find more on Shutterbean.com

  1. Ground Cinnamon: My most used spice! Did you know that cinnamon is tree bark? Take a closer look at the sticks of cinnamon you normally see in your hot drinks. THAT IS TREE BARK!  Cinnamon is a wonderful baking spice or it can be used for savory things like chili. I know you know what cinnamon is. It’s what makes that Mexican mocha you like to drink so spicy!  If you’re looking for a healthy snack, try Cinnamon Apples. Remember those cinnamon tortillas you loved at Taco Bell as a kid? I recreated them with Cinnamon Wonton Crisps!  Oh and when you get older, Baked Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts will be a thing. That’s right. We have figured out a way to BAKE DOUGHNUTS.

10 Essential Spices for your first kitchen! Find more on Shutterbean.com

10 Essential Spices for your first kitchen! Find more on Shutterbean.com

  1. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes: This is the second most used spice in your kitchen repertoire. Maybe you aren’t super into it now but you’ll learn why your dad and your brother cover their pizzas with it. You love it so much,  you have it at the dinner table.  As an adult, you now put red pepper flakes on EVERYTHING- including Sausage Soup, Quick Tomato Basil Pasta, Zucchini Noodles and PIZZA! You like the spice!


October 4, 2016

Whole30: Week 2

Whole30- Week 2 on Shutterbean.com

I just jumped right in without notice. Today, Tuesday is day 15 of Whole30. I thought that I would just spend a few days “trying it” out to do some research, but then I just kept eating that way and now we’re here- Day 15. OMFG I’M HALF WAY THROUGH.  I have a big family party to go to this weekend that involves a ton of wine and cheese so PRAY FOR ME.

Cliff’s Notes to Whole30:

remove these things from your lifestyle for 30 days:

  • dairy
  • grains (even corn!)
  • sugar
  • legumes
  • alcohol

The key to being OK with all of that is focusing on all the things you can have!!!  And there are a lot of things….like POTATOES, MEAT, EGGS, FRUIT, VEGETABLES, NUTS, ETC.!! 

Why am I doing this?

Because I want to have a better relationship with food.  Food and I have been going through some crazy times lately. Bad habits were developed and I’d like to create some new/better habits.  I want to feel less tired all the time and I’d like to give my body a rest/reset. I know there are things I eat that aren’t good for me and I am trying to figure out what those things are and what they do. ALSO WHAT THE HECK HAPPENED TO MY METABOLISM (hello, 37). Finally, I just wanted to see if I could do something for THIRTY DAYS STRAIGHT.

Things I am noticing:

  • Whoa. I’m less puffy. Like, my stomach isn’t bloated. I think I see my jawline again. Hello, jawline. WELCOME BACK.
  • The first Friday was really hard because I normally like to end the week with a cocktail. I had to figure out something else to do while I had that craving. I watered my plants. I worked on my bullet journal. I did everything I could to resist temptation and I DID IT. Whew.
  • Hanging out with friends wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Instead of having a drink, I put la croix in a glass with some frozen fruit. It gives me the same mouth burn I like in a cocktail so it felt kinda fancy.
  • I am taking my time eating.
  • Whoa. I didn’t realize how much sugar I ate…even for a person who isn’t a sweets person. Sugar is in everything!
  • I am not hungry all the time, which is weird.
  • There is less energy put into thinking about food and how I shouldn’t have eaten what I did and BLAH BLAH BLAH. That brain loop is gone. FINALLLLY.
  • I don’t feel sluggish and sore all the time. Things were crazy for a bit. I felt like my whole body had arthritis the past few months. Well, that stopped.
  • I have to fight my problem solving brain that wants to find work arounds to the Whole30 diet and cheat the system. It’s definitely not helpful. Also, I learned the term SWYPO- Sex With Your Pants On. It’s basically like eating a ton of Snackwell’s (remember those?!) when you’re on a diet. Just because they’re “diet foods” doesn’t mean you can go hog wild.  I am trying to avoid having sex with my pants on…FIGURATIVELY. No dry humping here. I’m married. Geez.
  • My sleep is really deep. My dreams are pretty vivid. I had a dream that I was drinking a root beer float and it was sooooooo good and then I was like WHAT DID I DO?!! Apparently it’s totally normal.
  • I’m getting used to almond milk in my coffee and I actually had it black the other morning because the restaurant I went to only had soy milk as a milk alternative. I can’t believe I drank black coffee. I didn’t hate it. BUT I DO MISS SUGAR IN MY COFFEE. Maybe I won’t by the end of this….
  • I feel empowered by making choices that make me feel better. I make Cooper’s class treats for his birthday and didn’t eat ANY OF IT. Not even a little sprinkle accidentally fell into my mouth.
  • I’m slowing down my thoughts to understand why my impulse is to go crazy on a bag of chips at the end of the day.
  • My body is processing food faster. Hi food/Goodbyeeeeeeeee food.
  • I definitely eat my feelings. Now that I am feeling good, I am more motivated to eat better for my feelings.
  • Restriction breeds creativity, so I am really enjoying figuring out things I like eating with these limits.

Here are some thoughts I’m working on, because changing the way one eats can bring up soooooo many feelings:

-When food is one of my coping mechanisms, what new habits can I create to take the place of an old/bad habit?

-When I’m feeling anxious and I want something crunchy to eat, I ____

-When I am super hungry and it’s not even meal time, I _____

-When I’m not hungry and I want to eat, what is going on?

-When I slow my brain down, I can make better, healthier choices for myself. I just need to REMIND MYSELF to slow down. 

-The times when I really wanted to have a cocktail, what was really going on? How did I want to feel? How did I feel when I said no? How was it hanging out with friends and not drinking?