Man, after the being on the autoimmune protocol, doing the Whole30 again is a breeze.
I’m on day 3 and I feel amaaaazing. One of the things I have found I absolutely love about the whole30 – and going strict paleo in general – is how quickly I feel better. All that puff from eating too much bread and cookies disappears almost overnight and I start actually liking my body again. My mind is clearer. My mood is more positive. I feel strong again. I find myself looking down at my stomach more often than not, surprised that so much pudge is already vanished. I always forget how big a difference just losing the water weight makes.
That said, I have been sorely tempted by sweets and treats. Yesterday I couldn’t stop thinking about donuts and if someone had brought some into work, I might not have made it. Thankfully they brought in the treats today – bagels and cinnamon rolls and chocolate cookies and spinach dip and coffee cake – but I went and got a plain coffee instead. That kind of spread of bready treats happens all the time here at work, which is why it’s so hard for me to limit myself to just one treat in any specified time frame. There’s almost always something and it’s always right behind my desk.
IDK how people can just eat one cookie/bagel/baked good and leave the spread alone for the rest of the day – even the week – but if any of you know the secret, please share. Because I am fine with one. But it never stops at one, does it?
Anyway: as I admitted before, I hadn’t anticipated that going whole30 would be that much of a change from my day to day, and I was right. The biggest difference isn’t in my meals – it’s in my snacks. No more half bagels mid-afternoon. No more grazing on crackers and chocolate chips in the evening. No late night runs (literally) to Trader Joe’s for vegan cookies and wine.
It’s too early to see much of a change aside from the reduction in puff, but I’ll keep ya’ll updated. For now, here’s a recipe that’s both Whole30 and Autoimmune Protocol friendly:
Garlicky Chicken Liver Meatballs
– 2 pounds ground beef and/or pork
– 3 oz chicken liver
– 3-6 cloves of garlic (if you/your coworkers can handle it, go for 6)
– 1 tsp oregano
– 1 tsp marjoram
– 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
– 1 tsp salt
– 1 tsp black pepper (or more, if you dare)
– 1 tsp ground caraway seeds, or 1 tbsp. whole caraway seeds (leave out if AIP – seed spices are not allowed)
– 2 tbsp. fat of choice (coconut oil, bacon fat, lard, etc – even ghee if you know it’s okay) if using lean ground meat
First of all: preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prep a baking pan with parchment paper or whatever you prefer to use.
Measure out all your spices into a small bowl and mix, then set aside. Blend/pulverize your chicken liver with the vinegar using your favorite blender/immersion blender/what have you. It will liquefy. It will be glorious. And disgusting.
And the spices and fresh garlic to the liver and pulse to mix it some more. Put your meats into a large bowl, wash your hands, and pour that liquid liver mixture (god that sounds awful) over the ground meat. Make sure you don’t have to open any doors or get anything else out or answer the phone because your hands are about to get icky.
Mix the meat with the liver thoroughly. Then mix it some more. Now form little 2″ diameter(-ish) balls and place them on your baking sheet. With 2 pounds of ground meat, you should end up with 16-20 meatballs.
Wash your hands thoroughly and bake your balls (kekeke) for 20min. Remove. Let cool. Don’t forget to turn off the oven.
I really don’t like the taste of liver, so 3oz is on the safe side. It’s recommended to eat about 4oz of liver a week, so if you can handle it, add a wee bit more. Additionally, chicken liver is less potent than beef liver, so adjust accordingly if you can’t find chicken. You can always add more garlic, too, but at the risk of scaring off your friends. I found 6 cloves on the upper limit of garlickiness.
You can also do 375 for 25 minutes or fry them in a pan. Meatballs are incredibly forgiving.
Play with the seasoning! This is my go-to for liver meatballs, but anything with strong flavors should work.
I’ve been eating these – or at least something very similar – for the past year as part of the Autoimmune Protocol. Mixing up the spices a bit keeps them from getting too boring. And I’m slowly learning to add more and more black pepper to get a spark of spicy back.