Whole30 Day 25 (with 6 days to go and counting)

If you’d told me on Day 2 or 3 that the rest of the days would speed by in a blur, I’d probably have bitten your head off. If it didn’t have any non-Whole30-compliant ingredients added, that is. But actually, it did fly by. By week 2 I felt “normal,” by week 3…downright energetic. Now? With 6 days to go and reintroduction on the horizon, I don’t actually feel a huge urgency to reintroduce much. Here’s my rough plan.

I’ll actually be out of town for work next week, so I won’t be able to truly engage in this until I return, so that will be more like day 33 (next Friday). First…I will weigh in, because I’m dying to know if the scale moved. Not that that was the main purpose of this, but it’s certainly a big part of my motivation to eat clean, get healthy, and look better. As far as food category reintros, I’m blazing my own trail a bit rather than following one of the prescribed Whole30 orders of introduction, simply because I want to hold off a bit before I try anything with gluten. My priorities are as follows:

  • Day 33: Wine (I’m not a lush or anything but I do enjoy a glass of wine now and then, and this is also supporting my husband’s desire to step into beer (alcohol, then grains, then gluten). Since he did this whole thing with me, it only seems fair.
  • Day 36: Non-gluten grains (again, to support the beer journey for the husband)–I’m thinking rice, for me, and maybe corn. Could probably do a great corn, rice and Kalua pig (no, not kahlua, the drink) mashup for dinner which would be perfect since that day is a Monday and I can get the pork shoulder in the slow cooker on Sunday mid-day. He’s also going to try non-gluten beer.
  • Day 39: This is where the husband and I diverge. He’s going to try his favorite beer (Yuengling, because, well, Pennsylvania), but I’m eager to try legumes, since my go-to healthy snack is cucumbers and hummus. I am really hoping this one goes well.
  • Day 42: Dairy. Now and then I really do love cheese. I just have to remember the brakes. I also suspect I may have a sensitivity here, so if I’m going to be let down, better to see that after I can drown my sorrows in a glass of wine (see day 33 above).
  • Day 45: Nope. Nothing. I don’t have any immediate plans to introduce gluten right now. My sister did a cleanse of her own and when she tried gluten her ears turned bright red…And since I know gluten is doing absolutely nothing good for me, it’s likely to cause me to overindulge, and I’m not actually craving anything with it right now (bread, pasta, etc.), I’m going to leave this out of the mix until I see a reallllllly good reason to add it in. Essentially, I’m heeding this reminder from the Whole30 peeps:

Reminder: If you don’t miss a particular food or drink that you know makes you less healthy, don’t bother to reintroduce it. Not missing tofu, black beans, cottage cheese, or brown rice? With evidence pointing towards these foods making you less healthy, there’s no reason whatsoever to add them back into your diet. Only reintroduce those foods that you suspect you’ll really want to include back into your diet once in a while, and leave the rest happily behind.

A note about sugar reintroduction, straight from the proverbial horse’s mouth:

Yes, you’ll likely get some added sugar in many of your “experimental” foods—that’s really hard to avoid.If you do choose a reintroduction food with lots of sugar—say, a Starbucks grande Caramel Frappuccino (with a whopping 64 grams!) with whole milk—you’ll have to deal with the dairy + sugar consequences all at once. Chances are, however, you’ll know intuitively what to attribute to which ingredient—digestive issues are generally dairy-driven, while energy fluctuations, cravings, and mood swings are probably sugar-related. However, some side effects, like skin breakouts, may be the result of the sugar, or the dairy, or the combination of both.

Stay tuned for an update probably the end of next week when the reintroduction has commenced and I am squealing with glee because the scale loves me (that’s optimism for you).


Countdown to Day 30 (a Whole30 Update)

Day 22! I can hardly believe this is my last full week! Honestly, it does get easier. As promised. Cravings are gone, energy is up, and I had one ginormous NSV (non-scale victory) this weekend. I went to get a pedicure, and Kim (my manicurist) said in her adorable Vietnamese accent, “OH! You lost weight!” as soon as she saw me. Since she only sees me roughly every two weeks, she saw a big difference. That was awesome.

I hosted Mother’s Day at my house, which was great because even though I had to work a lot harder than I’d prefer on that day, I did have control over the menu. So I got a fish tray (good Jewish comfort food that I knew my mom would love), and a big salad for me, my sister (who did a different “detox” program, and anyone else. On top of that, I made a chicken recipe from the Whole30 cookbook (with lime added, which was deeeelicious), to put on top, plus Porkitos from the Nom Nom Paleo cookbook.

I felt so good having my whole family laughing and celebrating in my house! 

Now, I’m in the countdown to day 30 (9 days!) so I am starting to think about reintroduction. I’m not gonna lie. I’m starting with alcohol (wine). Not that I can’t live without it, but I’d like to know if I can tolerate it so I can partake when the occasion is right.

Yo-da-man and Day 17

I may have mentioned once or twice that I have this other blog, ZenHenna, where I post all my Zentangle and Henna artwork, thoughts, ideas, etc. (and I also teach classes if anyone’s interested). So this week has been a challenge in that there is something-every-single-godforsaken-evening after work. Oh how I want a day off. And yet.

Yoda Zentangle Drawing

Yo-Da-Man: Zentangle Challenge

Meet Yo-Da-Man. So I thought I’d share this challenge I did (I do them most weeks) with Yoda, since the challenge was to use a particular tangle and attempt to use a Star Wars theme. (Confession: I am not a Star Wars person, but I don’t back down from a challenge).

On a Whole30 note, I’m on day 17 now and VERY happy to be on the “counting down” side of the 30 days. The funny thing is, I don’t really crave what I’m not eating anymore and don’t really plan to add much back in on a regular basis, but I still look forward to having some room to try a few treats. I do feel pretty good. I slept well last night (despite it feeling pretty warm and suffering the night before…note to self: showering before bed when it’s hot and stick out all day is a big win), I have significantly more energy during the day, and although my allergies are still a huge factor, I feel like I’m winning that battle one day at a time.

Last night I managed to get home from work early, make a big batch of spaghetti squash and meat sauce (though the kids insisted on pasta for theirs…baby steps), and sent the boys off to Dairy Queen for the obligatory post-school-concert (1 of 2) treat since I knew my resolve would be thin. Non-scale victories all around (and I have NOT stepped on the scale, which is also a win, truth be told, given that I’m not sure if I’ve lost any weight and really really hope I have).

The biggest challenge upcoming is Mother’s Day on Sunday, which I am hosting, so at least I can control the menu. I think I said that in my last post, but whatevs.

OK then, off to work at Big Blue, then concert number 2 of 2 at Thing 2’s middle school, then later, rinse, repeat…

Happy Hump Day!

Whole30 Day 14: Almost halfway and an awesome dinner

Tiger blood? Not quite yet, but tomorrow is the halfway point of my Whole30 and I feel pretty good. I can’t say I’m sleeping any better yet, but the cravings for unhealthy food is essentially gone and I do have more energy. 

The bonus is it was a perfectly beautifully day in the Philly ‘burbs so I enjoyed a break from reality. The pool is not yet open, but I lay out in the sun, listened to music, and pretty much let go of everything that stresses me out for a few hours.  


Whole30 Sunday Night Dinner

Last night I planned dinner for tonight and started making Kalua Pig from Nom Nom Paleo in the slow cooker (the house smelled awesome this morning). Today, I picked up shallots to get the final ingredient for the best Brussels sprouts recipe (also from the same recipe book) called Cavolini al Forno. Added in some steamed broccoli, and dinner was complete. And yummy. And filling. 

Plus, while the Brussels sprouts roasted I made my salads for the week. Boom. 
Next challenge: planning for hosting Mother’s Day next Sunday for my family. On the plus side, having control over the menu makes life easier. Here’s the plan:

  • Fish tray (Jewish style)
  • Cold cuts (for those who don’t eat lox, like my nephew)
  • Big salad (for me) with Tessamae balsamic vinaigrette (SO good)
  • Grilled chicken (for the salad)
  • Fruit 
  • Birthday cake for my dad (that’s gonna be hard to resist, but he’s 81, and birthdays should be properly celebrated!)

Between now and then it should be smooth sailing. I even have a couple of dinners planned ahead for the week. Go, me! 

Facetime with Dad

 One funny anecdote, my technophobic dad (who is also a world-renowned bioengineer and physicist) accidentally butt-Facetimed me yesterday. He was adorably mystified to find himself looking at me. I guess he didn’t realize what I was seeing so he left the phone on his kitchen table, which gave me an awesome view up his nose. I love that man so much. 

Day 12: Turning the corner

Zentangle Labyrinth

Zentangle Labyrinth

I think I understand now why they say so many people quit at days 10 and 11. It gets old. You miss having an easy out for when you don’t want to cook (or think, or really even breathe with much vigor). BUT, I seriously NEVER EVER want to do days 1-5 EVER again (did I say EVER?) so I’m going…and actually I think I might feel different. Not craving things that are sugary or even starchy. OK, I do miss my Friday morning bagel with lox spread and cucumbers, but I did find Whole30 compliant lox (who knew so much lox was cured with SUGAR?) and brought that and a cucumber and a green pepper for lunch, and I’m actually psyched for that. And “tiger blood” must be coming soon, right?

I’ve been drawing a lot to manage my overactive brain during this. Check out ZenHenna for more. I did a challenge this week that included learning to draw a labyrinth, which was perfect since I kind of feel like dietetically speaking, I’m in one…

Onward and upward (or downward, on the scale, hopefully)…

Day 9 Confession

9Travel is hard. I was really really strong on Sunday (travel day), but yesterday I had the hardest time finding a Whole30 compliant breakfast between my hotel and the office building I’m working in while in Boston. By lunchtime, I could have eaten an entire grass-fed cow (possibly not an exaggeration), but managed to stick to a salad and NO BREAD (saying no to bread at Saladworks is not as hard as saying no to bread at Cosi, which I did on Sunday, but was still really freakin’ hard). In the afternoon I was losing it…and one of the people in the workshop I’m in managed to come up with raw almonds and saved the day. BUT, by dinner…again…RAVENOUS. We went out to an Irish bar and I did have a nice compliant dinner–salmon and spinach which I specifically requested to be sauteed in olive oil rather than butter–but I confess I did have a few nacho chips as my colleagues passed their appetizer around the table. I was filled with self-hatred and loathing IMMEDIATELY. It wasn’t the biggest slip, but the Whole30 tough love mantra does not allow for cheats or slips, so if I were being true to the spirit of the program, this would be Day 1. I just can’t do that and keep my shit together. So I’m going to still stick with this being Day 9, but maybe at the end just slow down my reintroduction of food an extra 8 days. I KNOW…SEMANTICS…but this is a mind game as much as a body program, and I have to think of it in a way that works for me. At the moment, I’m thinking, a glass of wine on day 31 (May 19) and then I hold out another 8 days before I add in anything else (May 27, Thing 2’s 14th birthday).

Facetime with Thing 2

Facetime with Spike

I did get to have a really sweet Facetime call with Thing 2 and Spike (my French bulldog) last night, and that boosted my spirits and strengthened my resolve. AND I participated in a Zentangle weekly challenge at the front end of the week, which is good for inspiration, site traffic to ZenHenna, and my personal sense of accomplishment. Check it out.

Onward and upward, I found breakfast this morning at the mall in Cambridge (across the street from the office I’m working in today) via Au Bon Pain, ironically, where the guy was willing to make and sell me just an egg. Steamed. And some fruit. So today I’m doing well and I’m sticking with that.

And, I still haven’t had any Diet Pepsi and THAT is a victory in and of itself. So there.

Travel challenges…and hilarity

 Whole30 Day 7!

Last night I surmounted my first big challenge: Dinner out with the parents. We went to Outback because people on the Whole30 forum said they found them to be accommodating to special requests. So, I had salad (no croutons or cheese, brought my own Tessamae dressing), flame grilled sirloin (just salt and pepper, no butter), steamed broccoli (no butter) and a dry baked potato. I did not love being “that person” but the server was polite about it and the meal was decent (though the steak was overcooked).

Today, another big challenge–travel. I am off to Cambridge, MA for work. Being “that person” for several days in front of work colleagues and superiors I don’t know especially well is scary for this introvert, but I am committed to making it happen. Note: I am sitting in the airport eating hard-boiled eggs that I had the presence of mind to grab at 7 AM on a Sunday morning. I’d call that a minor victory.

And the hilarity: A TSA agent with an adorable Aussie accent reiterating instructions that nobody listens to, without breaking stride or tone, adds in (think a dispassionate tone),

If you want to be my lover, you’ve got to get with my friends, make it last forever, friendship never ends.

When I cracked up and a few people looked up he said,

“Now I know who’s paying attention!”

I appreciate someone who has a monotonous job breaking it up with some humor. Especially on a Sunday morning.