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RECiPE RADAR | My First Date!

Monday, May 13

The Recipe Radar post for this week was inspired by my first date...the fruity kind - not a "date-date" 
at a recent visit to a local raw, vegan restaurant located in the quaint, historic town I live near - Mt. Dora.

subpar photos taken with my iPhone

I had seen the bistro several times in passing and decided it was time to investigate. *wink*
Following a delicious entreé...

Personal-sized Medi-terranean Pizza
Made with an almond flour crust and topped with veggies and kalamata olives

Here's where my obsession with creating a dessert made from Medjool dates began...
and ultimately the inspiration for today's post.

Chocolate Brownie 
(fresh fruit substituted for the á la mode)

When the waitress rattled off the list of dessert selections...
I was ecstatic to find out there was one single item (Whole30-approved)...
that I could actually eat.

I couldn't believe how delicious the brownie was.
I was told it was made from dates, cacao, almond butter and almond flour. 

I left the restaurant a very happy girl.

One week later, +Paula Biggs, a sweet friend from +Frog Prince Paperie posted some bacon-wrapped dates on Instagram/Facebook...
And that was pretty much it for me.
I decided it was high-time I buy me some dates!
I began to research some recipes to try to recreate the delicious brownies from Vitality Bistro.

Here's a great recipe I found that sounds and looks pretty similar...

by Gluten Free Vegan Girl

And here's  another date-filled recipe I found that most certainly caught my interest...

by Tessa Domestic Diva

And how about some bacon-wrapped dates??
These would be SO great for entertaining too!

by Angie Anew

Although dates aren't technically in season right now. (typically September through November from my findings)
I've now got some gorgeous Medjool dates in the fridge...thanks to a visit to Sam's this weekend.
I'm ready to create something delicious!

If you'd like to sample the recipes above...
click on the direct links just above the corresponding photos.

If you have some recipes you'd love to share using dates...
PLEASE leave a comment - I'd love to hear what you all have been doing with them.

Many of you know about the Whole30 challenge I embarked on last month...
as part of the  Self-Intervention I made public here on the blog and began on April 1st.
You may have followed along on my Instagram feed for updates…
or perhaps you kept up with me on Facebook throughout my journey.

You may also know that on April 30th  I completed my Whole30 successfully!!!
not one single cheat,  slip or hiccup along the way - I really am proud of myself for pushing through!

Here's what you may not know…
I still haven't stopped.
I kept my Whole30 journey going - beyond the 30 days!
I'm now on Day 43 and going strong.

It has been challenging to say the least.
I had a handful of moments during the first 30 days that I wanted to quit - but I didn't!
I've even almost convinced myself on several occasions into having ONE cheat day since I finished my first 30 days successfully.
But I can't bring myself to do it.
I've come too far to ruin it.
My goal right now is to go a full 90 days.
I'm taking it 30 days at a time.

I promised to share some results with you when I first shared my Self-Intervention post with you.

Remember me saying...
"IF I feel strongly enough that my results will benefit others...
I will consider sharing pounds lost, inches shed or sizes dropped."

So here are some of my real measurable results during Days 1-30:
- more energy
- sleeping more soundly

and although this isn't the most important one...
it's certainly the most measurable at this point...
my weight.

First let me say...
I weighed myself on Day 0 and did NOT weigh myself again until Day 31.
I honestly did not think I had lost ANY weight.
My clothes weren't fitting any differently (and still aren't)
and even on Day 29 I was still experiencing a good amount of bloating.
I was honestly preparing myself for a huge disappointment on the scale.
I about fell off the scale when I realized I had lost 11 lbs!
I could not believe it.
I still can't believe it.

I also have to tell you that I have not exercised at all during my Self-Intervention.
I intentionally wanted to be able to see the impact of just changing my diet.
I was originally thinking I would incorporate exercise at the start of my 2nd 30 day segment...
however, some back pain I've been having over the last 8 months has kept me from doing so.
I'll have my 3rd chiro visit this week and I'm hoping with some additional weight-loss the back pain will subside.

here's where I'm at.

I'm on Day 43.
I will continue to Day 60 eating completely Whole30 compliant.
I will re-weigh on Day 61 and report back.

That's it.
Not looking to turn this into a weight-loss series...
but I certainly 
want to share and inspire anyone else out there looking to make changes.
This is how this is working for me.
It's hard.
It's difficult.
It's challenging.
And it's everything I needed.

I have to say...
before my visit to Vitality Bistro,  I had never knowingly eaten a date.
I didn't think I was a date-kind-of-girl.
Now that I have a tub of them in my fridge...
I'm finding myself snacking on them like candy. (only about 3-5 daily)
They are NOT pretty.
In fact...they are quite unattractive.
Regardless... I have found myself stuffing them with walnuts
and even kalamata olives for a quick snack. Ha!
I know I'm going to love wrapping them in bacon!
The sweet and salty combination will be heavenly!

Although I had already pre-determined I was going to do a full 90 days...
if the results on the scale wouldn't have been as amazing as they were...
it would've been REALLY hard to press forward through another 30 days...
let alone a total of 90 days.
Just sayin'...

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