Monthly Archives: August 2014

Day Thirty One – Whole 30

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Aaaahh.

I did it.

Now comes the part where I gradually reintroduce those pesky potential problem foods into my life. The book suggests starting with legumes, so today, ¬†my banana will have peanut butter, instead of almond butter. (I’d rather have the almond butter).

I sort of don’t want to stop. I took off 17 pounds in the last 30 days. Considering I still have 110 to go, I’m loathe to run out and scarf a cheeseburger. Not to mention the fact that I’m fairly sure a cheeseburger would make me really sick.

Yesterday

Breakfast: Banana with almond butter

Lunch: Leftover salmon and grilled veggies. (The LAST of the grilled veggies. Epic sad face.)

Dinner: Burrito Bowls. I omitted the bell pepper, because I didn’t have any and used a pound of turkey instead of ground beef. I also used Muir Glen Fire Roasted diced tomatoes. I highly recommend this modification, those things are freakin’ delicious. These were not a big hit with the littles, but I loved them. I’ll definitely be making up some of these for quick lunches and breakfasts. Maybe with a little paleo friendly “sour cream.” And black beans. Because I can have those again. ūüôā

Are you thinking about a Whole 30? It does sound daunting, I know. When I was contemplating it, giving up more than half the things that make up my diet felt like a stupid exercise in self punishment. I’m not into that sort of punishment. (Other forms are open to negotiation however. ) The first week was hard. You read a lot of labels. You search out a lot of crazy stuff. (Coconut Aminos? Fish Sauce?) But no joke, I feel better. I’ve enjoyed almost every dinner I’ve made during the last thirty days. And I’m a little shocked at how much refined flour and sugar I had to eliminate. That’s good. It’s always good to take a hard look at your diet and habits. There are always improvements to be made.

Try it. Give yourself 10 days. If it’s still feels impossible after 10 days, stick it out for one more. And then one more after that. At some point, it stops being torture, I promise. Just read those labels! Sugar and chemicals are sneaky little bastards.

Give It Starts With Food a read and see what you think. And then come back and tell me your thoughts. I’d love to know – good or bad.

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Day Twenty-Six – Whole 30

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Less than a week from the finish line and I’ve lost sight of it.

No. I didn’t give up. Actually, it’s the opposite. Eating this feels so normal now, I’m not really thinking about the end anymore. I imagined myself ticking off the days, hashmarks on my wall,¬†√† la Orange is the New Black. But no. I actually had to go back and count my days on a calendar in order to title this post.

I feel good. My favorite pants are so loose I can easily pull them off without unbuttoning them. They were comfortably snug before this, but I am swimming in them now.

It’s hard for me to sit still now. Instead of struggling to get up and do something, I find myself flitting around the house, picking up, doing small chores. It’s a change, for sure.

I’m looking to the future now. I may ask Santa for good running shoes and a quality running bra, because I want to take up running. Crazy, I know.

No pictures, this go around. I flatly refuse to take pictures of my food in public. And the rest of the time, I’m hungry and don’t think about a picture until the meal is half gone.

Day 24: This should have been a hard day. I was at a writing workshop all day. I ignored the muffins and pastries at breakfast. I didn’t even bat an eye at the sandwiches and pasta salads offered at lunch. My cocktail at a friend’s birthday party was virgin, I abstained from the sushi rolls and even chose fruit over the delicious looking chocolate roll cake my friend Andrea made. Andrea is a talented baker and to not cry when being denied one of her treats is heroic indeed.

A Lara bar and a small cup of black coffee.

Zucchini spears wrapped with proscuitto, tomato chunks and iced tea.

Sashimi and a non-alcoholic juice cocktail with a touch of basil that was magical. MAGICAL. Strawberries for dessert.

Day 25: An easy day. I stuck close to home, exhausted from being out all day the day before.

Baked sweet potato and a fried egg

Leftover almond breaded chicken and ranch dressing.

Tropical Flank Steak¬†with grilled vegetables; mushrooms, a red onion, zucchini and sweet peppers, cut into chunks, tossed in olive oil and a bit of salt, then grilled in a grill basket. The veggies were awesome as always. I made a huge batch, because I wanted plenty leftover. The flank steak was good, but next time, I’ll add a tablespoon of fish sauce to the marinade. It needed something.

Day 26: Typical day Рshoving the kids out the door, tending the baby, doing a little housework, because what the hell, right?

2 hardboiled eggs and a bowl of grilled veggies with a quarter of an avocado sliced into it.

Leftover flank steak and grilled veggies. (They are that freakin’ good. I promise.)

Blackberries and a spoonful of almond butter.

Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa¬†and a herbed salad with tomatoes and Awesome Sauce for dressing. The salmon recipe is superb. I’m glad my kids refused to eat it. More for me, suckers.

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, saut√©d 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. ūüėČ

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?