Meal Planning

Two Low Carb Dinners

I wanted to share two recipes with you that we tried last week. Here is the first:

Balsamic Braised Beef Short Ribs:

Balsamic Braised Beef Short Ribs |Paleo
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-6 servings
From: http://www.joyfulhealthyeats.com/balsamic-braised-beef-short-ribs-paleo/
Ingredients
  • 2-3 lbs. of bone-in beef short ribs
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 15 oz. can of tomato sauce
  • ยฝ cup of balsamic vinegar
  • 4 whole dried dates
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed
  • Spice Blend:
  • 2 tablespoon of course sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon of dried rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon of dried sage
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon of onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, mix together course sea salt, dried rosemary, dried sage, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and black pepper.
  2. Pat dry bone-in beef short ribs. Rub spice blend into both sides of the short ribs.
  3. Heat a large skillet to medium high heat. Add coconut oil to pan and sear the short ribs for 2-3 minutes per side or until slightly browned.
  4. Put the short ribs in a slow cooker with a tomato sauce, balsamic vinegar, whole dried dates, and smashed garlic cloves.
  5. Cook for 4-6 hours on low or until beef is tender.
It doesn’t look pretty but it tasted really good! I made some sesame cucumber salads to go with it and the tartness of the salad was the perfect combo with the ribs.

We each had one (they were pretty big beef ribs) and then a few nights later had the leftovers and we both agreed that they were even better reheated as leftovers.

Michael made this dinner, even though crock-pot cooking isn’t something he likes to do, and it was really good! We both want to make it again in the future.

The second “recipe” wasn’t really a recipe but it was “lowish” carb and on the diet plan. I picked up the carrot “noodles” from Trader Joe’s a few weeks ago and we finally tried it.

Here are the stats on the carrot noodles:

8grams of carbs in a serving of carrot noodles. I also bought a jar of low carb spaghetti sauce. I hadn’t tried this brand before and another reader recommended a low carb marinara but it was really expensive when I finally found it! This particular bottle was half the price of the other one so I grabbed a jar to test it out.

A serving of this marinara was 5 grams of carbs. I also loved that it didn’t have a ton of sugar in it like a lot of red sauces have. We had some Trader Joe’s Turkey Meatballs on top with some fresh parmesan and opened a not-so-low-carb bottle of wine to go with dinner:

So how was the dinner? Really good! We both liked it a lot.

The carrots weren’t overpowering in flavor. They were slightly al dente, but I’m so used to eating spaghetti squash instead of real pasta noodles that it didn’t feel weird to me. The sauce? Fantastic! We both LOVED it! It was super spicy. We’d definitely make this dinner again.

I did comment that it needed some garlic bread. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Figuring Out Normal

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I’d have to say that one of the more difficult things with a newborn is figuring out a new normal– trying to figure out a schedule, trying to figure out HIS schedule, and figuring out what things you can just let go of.

Logan is a hungry boy and after a rough start with breast feeding and having to supplement with formula for a few days, I am happy to say we’re now feeding him entirely breast milk. I’m definitely making enough milk that I even have some that I’ve had to freeze (which will be great for later). Maybe it was those lactation cookies!

One thing though, with all of his eating and pumping on such a frequent basis, it’s been difficult to eat regular meals and cook. I am so grateful that a friend set up a Meal Trainย for us and that friends have brought us meals! It was a serious lifesaver. If you know anyone in your life that is having a baby or medical issues or just needs assistance, this is such a great idea!

One friend brought us burritos one night. Another brought meatloaf and some fancy bread from a local Portland bakery and then a week later she brought us homemade turkey chili with her amazing cornbread.

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Another friend made us chicken enchiladas and salad (after a week of eating junk food and convenience food, veggies were divine) and some treats.

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Another friend made mac n’ cheese and brought us salad and BBQ from Podnah’s!

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One friend came by to meet Logan and brought me macarons. ๐Ÿ˜€

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People have been so amazing. It was such a relief to have tasty food for dinner (and with leftovers) — especially after a really long day when I was super sleep deprived and just plain exhausted. And the leftovers were brilliant when Michael went back to work and I had to fend for myself for lunches. Simple things like finding time to make myself lunch has been a struggle on some days! Who knew??

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So trying to figure out eating has been a struggle. I’ve been able to get a shower every day and leave the house for a walk. I’ve even gone on a few solo walks with Logan and Bella:

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Bella has been great on our walks! She figured out the stroller pretty quickly and is even more well behaved now than she used to be on walks. The weather has been pretty nice (last week it was even in the high 70’s and 80’s!) and getting outside to walk has done wonders. I love being home with Logan but at the same time it’s kind of hard to be in the house all day. I’m so used to having a busy schedule, suddenly not having “stuff” to do is weird. So we go for walks (sometimes twice a day if the weather is nice) and he likes the walks, too. It’s good for all of us.

In some ways I’m starting to get the itch to work out again. I definitely can’t swim yet. I think it’s wise to wait for my 6 week check up with the doctor before doing that. But I’m thinking I might be up to trying the elliptical at the gym soon. That’s pretty easy and low impact and I can’t imagine it would do any “damage” if I take it easy. The rest of it — weight lifting, running, etc, can also wait until I get cleared by the doctor. My doctor agreed. She said it was ok to try doing the elliptical and yoga again but not to do too much too soon.

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Also,ย our new couch arrived! I am so glad we got the couch and that it came at the perfect time because we spend a lot of time lounging on the couch with the baby, cuddling and nursing and just hanging out. The couch is great. We broke it in with all of us laying on the couch snuggling and watched Jurassic Park. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Right now my days and nights kind of look like this:

 

1:00am – I wake up automatically pretty much like clockwork and Logan starts making noises that he’s hungry. I feed him, change his diaper, snuggle and burp him and then put him back to bed while I pump. Then go back to sleep somewhere around 2am (and some nights Logan decides he doesn’t want to go back to sleep).

4:30am – Logan gets fussy and wants his diaper changed and is hungry. Michael usually gets up and takes care of this one.

6:00am – Michael gets up with the baby while I try and get a little more sleep. He showers and gets ready for work and then puts Logan back in the bassinet next to me.

7:00amย -I usually start waking up around this time anyways. It’s time to pump again. Feed the baby.

8:00am – I try and eat breakfast. Some days Michael has time to make me breakfast before he leaves for work, which is really helpful.

9:00am – Baby and I both try and take a little nap. It depends on the day if this happens!

10:00am – He’s up and ready to play! Well, maybe not play so much as cuddle and look around at everything. I shower and do some chores. It seems like there is always laundry to do. And time to feed him and pump again (noticing a theme?).

11:00am – Logan, Bella and I go for a walk in the neighborhood.

12:00pm – Lunch time for both of us (usually him first so he goes to sleep and I can eat!).

1:00pm – More naps! I’m getting between 20-60 minutes of sleep at a time during the day, it just depends on how long he sleeps.

2:00pm – Logan, Bella and I go for another walk (weather permitting). Feed the baby and pump when we get back.

5:00pm – Michael gets home from work, takes the baby so I can either take another nap or do something for myself. I feed Logan and pump and then we start the evening routine. Dinner, more chores, watch some TV shows, etc.

8:00pm – The evening routine of feeding Logan and pumping and getting everything ready for that 1am feeding that is totally brutal. It’s the hardest part of the day–getting up at that ungodly hour!

9:30pm – Lately been trying to be in bed and asleep before 10 since I have to get up at 1am. Logan is pretty good about sleep for a few hours at this time and it’s made a huge difference!

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We saw the ENT specialist this week and he clipped Logan’s tongue tie. I’m already seeing a HUGE difference with feeding and I am optimistic that this will make things so much better. For one, I will be able to leave the house for longer periods of time if I’m not chained to the pump like I currently am. I am looking forward to just being able to feed him out and about. I’m already making plans with some friends and thinking of outings to get us out of the house and off the couch.

I’m sure our new “normal” will shift and change on a weekly, if not daily basis, but right now we’re making things work. Sort of! ๐Ÿ™‚ And I’m looking forward to getting back to some light exercise!