20 pounds gone.

20 pounds is a LOT of weight to lose in 2 months. I’ve worked hard and done a great job. My outlook has changed in fundamental ways.

Once again, I’ve cracked the 250 mark (you know, the one I SWORE I would never, ever revisit? Sigh.). I’m rapidly heading for 240. I’ve had to discard 2 of my favorite capri pants because they’re simply too big for me. The shirt I’m wearing today? This is the last day I’ll wear it as well. It’s too big.

That’s awesome.

I’m trying really hard to hold on to these little victories. I need to focus on the positive. If I don’t, I start thinking about the fact that even though I’m moving in the right direction and I’ve lost 20 freaking pounds, it’s only 1/7th of what I have to lose. 14% of the way there. 86% to go. When I think of that, I get really overwhelmed. I still have 120 pounds to lose. Oye.

I want it. I want it badly. But dude. It sucks to give yourself a cheat day and feel like the table full of men next to you are snickering as you eat the cheeseburger you have been longing for. They didn’t know this is the first day in 45 days that I have indulged myself to this extent. They didn’t know about the 20 pounds I’ve lost and the healthy foods I’ll eat for the next 45 days, with only tiny indulgences like 85% dark chocolate or paleo ice cream. Does it matter? No, not really. Fact is, they probably didn’t even notice me. Any censure I felt probably came from my own head.

I hate that I’ve put in all this work, but still can’t buy the clothes I really want to wear or sport a cute River Song costume this Halloween. I’ll get there, but I want something tangible, now.

But it’s worth the wait. It’s totally worth a year of my life, a year of sweat and sacrifice, of self-denial, to be healthy. To be hot. To be River Song.

If only I could just regenerate.


Guilt, Pressure and Betrayal


Now what?

Finishing the Whole 30 feels a little anti-climactic, to be honest. I’ve reintroduced legumes, cheese and bits of gluten, as well as wine.

Red wine now gives me a splitting headache. Apparently, my sulfite tolerance is low. I can drink white wine, but only in small doses.

I don’t like peanut butter nearly as much as I thought I did. This is shocking to me.

Eating bread makes me feel sluggish. It also put 2 pounds back on me.

I can now eat 2 pieces of thin crust cheese pizza and be totally content. This is a dramatic difference. I even wished I’d stopped after one. Dude.

I cannot have chocolate chip cookies in the house. Hello, my name is Jennifer and I am a cookie addict. I only ate one though. (Okay, two.)

When I ate the cookie(s), my husband looked disappointed. Maybe. I probably created that look in my head. But he’s been going on and on about how proud he is of me, how I have a strength of will that I’ve never had before, how great my ass looks, etc. etc. etc. I know it’s meant to be supportive, but my GOD, the pressure. I feel it all the time now. Last night, I wandered through Target, starving, torturing myself by going down the candy aisle. Not masochism, just wondering if there was a brand of chocolate in their stock that I could eat. The answer is no, by the way.

Anyway, because the candy aisle wasn’t enough torture, I hit the frozen section. I was looking longingly at the frozen burritos when the fat chick that will always live inside of me whispered, “I could really go for a Taco Bell burrito right now.”

That bitch.

But I pictured my husband’s face. The betrayed hope. The head shake that he never, ever does, but that I can see nevertheless. How much of that is me, transferring my own guilt onto him? I honestly do not know.

Instead, I picked up a package of Apple Farms salami, which wasn’t strictly Paleo, but a treat. I ate half of it on the way home.

And today, I’m down a pound. Yay, me.

But I’m still wrestling with my guilt, my feeling of responsibility and need for my husband to be proud of me. Stuffing down the resentment caused by a single look I’m not even sure I read right. My head, it is a bizarre and troubled place sometimes. I’ll work through it, I know. (I think) But for now, it’s one foot in front of the other, trying not to look back at the delicious, indulgent, comfortable place I’ve left.


Day Thirty One – Whole 30



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.


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. 🙂

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.

Day Twenty-Six – Whole 30


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, à 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 – shoving 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


One more week.

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


* 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!


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.







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


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


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


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!




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.