Day Twenty-Three – Whole 30

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One more week.

I’m totally having a donut next Friday. Just so you know.

Developments

* Joint pain is back, but only about half of what it was and only if I work out.

*Sleep is gradually improving. I think if I just stopped reading on my iPad before bed, it would get dramatically better.

*Black coffee is not the horror I believed it to be.

*Cucumbers and cabbage are NOT kind to my tummy.

*I can’t quit thinking about running. Which is ridiculous. But still.

*I’m totally ignoring the no scale restriction. Seeing weight loss (even though that hasn’t been my primary motivation) has kept me on track. 15 pounds gone. DO NOT BE ALARMED. When a very heavy person starts a new eating plan, it’s typical to see large losses up front. It will plateau into a more gradual loss as I go on. I am consuming plenty of food.

Have you been going through crappy picture withdrawal? You have? Well, I have a fix for you!

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Last night’s dinner. Paleo Ranch chicken from Nutrish by Lish.  Delicious, but I recommend buying almond flour and not trying to make it. HUGE pain in the patoot. Steamed zucchini and sparkling water with a dollop of blurry on the side.

 

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BLACK COFFEE BECAUSE I AM A GROWN UP. AND STUDLY. AND POSSIBLY TOO IMPRESSED WITH MYSELF.

 

 

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Breakfast this morning. Soft boiled eggs, steamed zucchini and blackberries with a bit of coconut cream.

Earlier in the week, I made Damned Fine Chicken from Nom Nom Paleo. It was fine, but I don’t know about damned fine. I’ve been eating a lot of shrimp, because I can’t stop eating almond butter and bananas. I’m trying to balance the omega 6 from the almonds with the omega 3 from the shrimp. We also had burgers, seasoned with dry mustard, coconut aminos and paprika. Very good stuff. Very good indeed.

As I continue with this, I’m starting to feel much more comfortable with creating my own dinners, branching out and experimenting. I still do a lot of internet searching for recipes, but I’m not as reluctant to take a non-compliant recipe and alter it. This bodes well for future meals. I’ve also learned to buy and cook way more veggies than I think I’ll need. The leftovers come in very handy for breakfasts and lunches.

Anybody out there inspired to brave a Whole 30?

Day Nineteen – Whole 30

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UGH. I apologize in advance. There’s no funny here, no inspiration. Just a lot of anger and hurt with no outlet.

It’s really a perfect illustration of “if you can’t say something nice, say nothing at all.”

I’ve been following the Ice Bucket Challenge with excitement, because I lost my dad to ALS and it was frustrating how little is actually known about this disease. Tonight, one of my favorite bloggers, Garrett McCord of Vanilla Garlic, posted this:

“Dear Readers, please stop doing the ice bucket challenge which has raised over $9 million nationally and has insane celebrity backing. That nonprofit is doing just dandy now funding wise. Instead, please direct your donor dollars to your local nonprofits and better your own community a bit.”

UGH. I’m sick of a lot of things. I choose to keep them to myself, because I don’t like hurting people. It doesn’t matter how I feel about Bit Strips or Candy Crush or anything else. Other people aren’t sick of those things. They enjoy them. I can ignore it.

So yeah. I’m angry. Punch a dick in the face angry.

Breakfast: Banana slices and almond butter. I should have added an egg. We’re helping my grandmother unpack and I stupidly volunteered to get doughnuts. NEVER AGAIN. Also, DAMN, I WANT A DOUGHNUT!

Lunch: IMG_0966

Salad greens, carrot shreds and cucumber slices with sautéed shrimp and Awesome Sauce

Dinner:IMG_0970

OH Hades, you guys, this was good. Slow Cooker Korean Beef from Nom Nom Paleo.

Let me honest here. I did not use grass-fed short ribs like Tam suggests. Short ribs cost the earth, even at Winco. I used a brisket I found on sale. I cut it into 2 inch chunks and browned it. I also used shallots instead of scallions and a Gala apple instead of an Asian pear, because that’s what I had. AND I threw in some chopped pineapple to boost the sweet flavor and tenderize the meat a little. YUM. It’s definitely going in the regular rotation.

Be kind to each other and hey, donate a buck or two to ALS just to flip off stinky bloggers who have no idea what they’re talking about.

Day Eighteen – Whole 30

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Today was a true test. My mom, aunt and I all helped my grandmother unpack her boxes after a recent move. I had a steady flow of energy, worked hard all day and have very little soreness. Mostly, it’s just muscle fatigue. I feel pleasantly tired, like I had a great workout.

A month ago, I’d be in bed with an icepack, 4 advil pms and a glass of wine.

This tells me it’s working. I’m not resisting temptation for bragging rights. What an empowering feeling! The struggle and feelings of food envy have been worth something, beyond blog fodder and the occasional, semi-amusing Facebook post! YAY!

Breakfast: 

 

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2 very broken fried eggs, herbed salad mix with homemade ranch and broiled tomatoes.

Lunch: No picture. A salad bowl from Chipotle with romaine lettuce, carnitas and avocado. NO DRESSING. I’m glad this is worth it, because I love Chipotle’s salad dressing.

Dinner: IMG_0965

Cabbage and chicken apple sausage, sautéd in ghee. I’m also having a cup of cubed cantaloupe. Because I worked hard and turned down the best chicken salad sandwich in the greater Sac area AND a glass of wine.

Still. Worth. It.

Day Seventeen – Whole 30

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I’m starting to see real benefits. My energy level has evened out. My appetite is at a reasonable level, for the first time in memory. My skin is looking great. The joints aren’t aching, even after walking the kids to school.

It’s still a struggle to manage the sugar cravings, but I’m getting better at it. Progress where we can take it, people.

And I lost 11.5 pounds. Ssshhhh. This really isn’t about weight loss and I’m not supposed to be weighing myself. I “forgot” to tell Art to hide the scale. Don’t report me to Whole9, okay?

Also, I broke down and bought a spiralizer. It’s a nifty little gadget. So far, I’ve used it on zucchini, carrots and cucumbers. It’s so much fun! My kids like cucumbers anyway, but they were absolutely delighted with the cucumber “pasta” salad.

Day 15 Breakfast – Scrambled eggs with spinach and fried proscuitto. I love this.

Day 15 Lunch – Leftover roast with salad.

Day 15 Dinner – Salad bar veggies with cooked chicken and homemade ranch that I smuggled in. Fun fact: less than 50% of Chuck E. Cheese’s salad bar is Whole 30 compliant. No worries though. I had a great salad with iceberg, romain, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, hard boiled eggs, green peppers and red onions. Thank goodness they have crap pizza (though it smelled fantastic) or I would have been way more tempted. Every time I wanted to grab a piece, I went and played skeeball. Let’s just say I won a lot of tickets. ;)

Yesterday’s Breakfast – leftover zoodles with paleo meat sauce and a chunk of leftover roast . I’m not linking to the meat sauce recipe because it was disappointing.

Yesterday’s Lunch – chopped carrots, snow peas and cooked chicken with homemade ranch dressing.

Yesterday’s Dinner –  GetAttachment.aspx

Grilled chicken breast and cucumber “noodles” with chopped pepper and ranch dressing. It was delicious.

 

 

 And now for today:

Breakfast – IMG_0956

Almond Butter and Sliced Bananas. This is going to become a favorite, I can tell. I made the almond butter by whirling some toasted almonds in my Vitamix with a dab of coconut oil.

Lunch – 

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Leftover cucumber salad and shrimp sautéed in ghee, garlic and lemon.

Dinner – IMG_0961

A half a chopped salad kit (veg only), leftover grilled chicken from last night and awesome sauce for dressing.

Next goal is to start making time to exercise. I’ve been very unmotivated to start up again, even though I have more energy. Also on the list: learning to take better pics with my iPhone!

Day Fourteen – Whole 30

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Wait. 

What?

I’m almost halfway through?

How did that happen?

It’s going well. I’m still struggling with sugar cravings and fruit intake. I can NEVER buy dried figs again. I have no will power where they are concerned. None. Nada. Zilch.

A while back, I accidentally purchased a big pack of chicken wings. How does one accidentally purchase chicken wings you ask? It’s easy. Take your children shopping with you. While you’re telling them to keep their damn hands to themselves and for the love of Moses, please shut up- notice a package of chicken on sale and grab it. Don’t look carefully, your son is scaling a mountain of toilet paper packages.

Voila! Surprise chicken wings.

Anyway, last weekend, I tossed those wings with some paprika, salt, cumin and pepper. My husband grilled them and a big mess of red onions, zucchini, mushrooms and garlic. NOM NOM NOM. So good. No, I didn’t save you any. Sorry.

Breakfast:  2 eggs, scrambled, topped with a bits of crumbled, fried proscuitto; a white nectarine. Hot tea with coconut milk.

Lunch: Leftover chicken wings with Awesome Sauce and grilled veggies. (I said I didn’t save you any, not that there weren’t any leftovers.)

Dinner: Pot Roast and steamed carrots.

Interesting story: I generally make my pot roast by tossing it in the slow cooker with balsamic vinegar and beef broth, so that’s what I did this time. Not five minutes later, I’m looking at the Whole 9 forums and happen to see something about balsamic vinegar. Guess what? My brand of balsamic vinegar is not Whole 30 approved. It has added sulfites. Ick. So I rinsed the roast and veggies and plopped them back in the crock pot with broth and a little fish sauce. Day saved.

I’m sorry, that was so not an interesting story. That may have been the most uninteresting story ever. It does have a moral though. Read the damned labels. Know your shit. Pay attention to what goes in your mouth!

Three morals for the price of one.

I don’t know if anyone is reading this, but if you are, I apologize for the spotty posting. I’m trying to get back into a more regular pattern. I promise. Of course, more regular post mean more boring stories and crappy photos, so be careful what you wish for, you know?

Whole 30 – So Far

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No, I didn’t fall off the wagon. It’s been a busy few days and my blogging has suffered for it. I’m up to day ELEVEN and still going strong. Not quite halfway through.

I’ve made some discoveries. Chief among them: I am a sugar fiend. Of course, I’ve not been eating added sugar at all, but a few days ago, I noticed how much fruit I was eating, particularly dried figs. Oye. While fruit is allowed on a whole 30, you’re cautioned not to go overboard.

Someone toss me a lifejacket. I eat several servings of fruit a day, which means a lot of sugar. This might be why my energy is so low at the end of the day. Of course, that could also be attributed to keeping us with a very active little baby as well! I’ve decided to limit my fruit to one serving a day, and I’m going to try to keep it at lunch. My control is a lot better if I postpone the treat.

Another problem: not enough veggies. A couple of times, my breakfasts have been all protein. (Carnitas topped by a fried egg, anyone?) 1-2 palm sized portions of protein is plenty. I’ve never gone over that, but I need to be eating more veggies with that! I’ll be tossing a big basket of chopped veg on the grill tomorrow. Having it prepped and ready seems to help. I blanched a big bag of fresh broccoli florets, steam sautéed several cups worth of carrot slices, and got some salad mix thrown together. Planning and prep seems to be the key to success.

I almost bought a bottle of Prosecco for Day 31. Then I realized I might not even want it when the day came. The desire for a glass of wine has diminished so much, I barely think about it. Of course, I do catch myself trying to plan for what I’ll eat once this is over but I’ve come to realize that’s defeating the purpose. Yes, I might succumb and snarf a doughnut. Or a taco. But even if I do, it’s okay. I have a feeling I’ll be eating Paleo a lot more often than not. Especially if I keep improving the way I feel.

And finally: a victorious day: I not only made pancakes for the kids (nary a lick of batter for mom), but made it through a family dinner at my mom’s house. They were having my favorite pizza, but I was content eating my salad and buffalo shrimp with homemade paleo ranch dressing. It was delicious.

I may make it through this thing yet!

Days Seven & Eight – Whole 30

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Oof. Today has been hard. I feel restless, hungry, bored with my options. This is typically where I ditch any program I’m on and go back to my old ways.

So far, I haven’t, but my children just made popcorn for a snack and it smells delicious. I want to fall face first in the bowl and devour it all.

Yesterday was easier. Hopefully tomorrow will bring some mojo with it.

Breakfast: Chicken sausage, roasted veggies and spinach. I used the left over veggies from Day Six. It was delicious. I will be grilling more veggies very soon.

Lunch: The last of my chicken salad, hastily eaten while feeding a baby. Still yummy, but not very satisfying – probably because I was so distracted.

Dinner: Nom Nom Paleo’s crockpot roast chicken, mashed cauliflower and steamed broccoli. So, so good.

Today -

Breakfast: Chicken apple sausage with steam sautéed spinach.

Lunch: Last night’s dinner also made a delicious, light gravy from cooked onions and chicken drippings. It makes a LOT, so I took some of the leftover, thinned it with chicken stock, threw in some leftover chicken and steamed carrots and made a soup. It was pretty dang good and perfect for a rainy, cool afternoon. (Never mind that it is AUGUST and has no business raining!)

Dinner: 

Drumroll please

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CRAPPY PHOTOS ARE BACK!

Shrimp Salad with Cumin Lime Dressing. I got the dressing recipe from the Well Fed cookbook. It was delicious.

Let me share something with you guys for a moment. Gather ’round.

We decided to go buy bike helmets for the kids. At 7:30. Because sure, when you’ve already had a long day and are tired and just tracking done, why not try on a million helmets? It’s a great time to listen to complaints about that one being to big and that one looks dorky and that one feels “like an alien laid an egg on my head.” My children are fucking exhausting and I would do serious harm to some innocent soul for a glass of wine. But as weak as I felt, I soldiered on. And when they asked for a treat, I stayed in the car and played on my newly fixed phone while their father bought them ice cream. I know myself. I would have caved.

I’m so proud of me right now.