Friday, October 30, 2015

Day 14: Hitting the So Over This Phase

I came very close to quitting the diet tonight (the rationalization was going to be "taking an evening off").  Between the blog, my conscious, and my husband, however, I was guilted into hanging in there.  So, still isn't easy, and it seems like Friday evenings are the hardest time.  Good to know.  Also, good to remember that everything is better with bacon...

Breakfast:  two hard boiled eggs, 1/3 avocado, small apple, coffee w/ coconut milk
Lunch:  leftover fish and veg, kimchi
Dinner:  roasted delicata squash, stir fried bok choy, shallots, bacon
Snacks:  kombucha, almonds, mango

Day 13: Move Along, There's Nothing to See Here

Day 13 Meals:
Breakfast:  breakfast casserole (last of it; so glad to be done!)
Lunch:  leftover puttanesca with tuna and spaghetti squash
Dinner:  grilled arctic char, broccolini, spinach
Snacks: almonds, mango

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Day 12: Sing along: "I'm not sick, but I'm not well..."

Okay, not really, but I've got this ongoing "I'm not hungry, but I'm not satiated" kind of feeling that I think I'm just going to have to get used to as a new normal.  This will be hard; I really want to fill this feeling (as well as any other feeling I might be having) with carbs (toast, rice, bagels, anything white and soft that is good with butter on top).  And I'm tired; I think this is more due to the rapidly shortening days, but I don't recall having been as affected by this in the past. 

But, enough with the whining about first world problems here.  Watching Harvey Danger might help with the energy.  That, and maybe some sweet potato.

Day 12 Meals:
Breakfast:  breakfast casserole, small apple, coffee with coconut milk
Lunch:  Moroccan chicken w/ spinach, carrots
Dinner:  Mixed green salad with grilled salmon
Snacks:  dried mango, almonds, coffee w/ cream

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Day 11: Chased by Bagels

Heating up my breakfast casserole in the office kitchen - very hungry having just finished a 6 mile run - I smelled the most amazing toasty smell and watched someone buttering a big, toasted bagel.  I reminded myself that while a bagel would taste delicious for a few minutes, those minutes would pass all too quickly, and then I'd be left with a stomach ache and guilt.  An hour or so later, I go to the kitchen for a cup of coffee and what do I smell?  Another bagel in the toaster.  Grrr.... why are they chasing me?  Breathe deep and enjoy the coffee.

Day 11 Meals:
Breakfast:  breakfast casserole, small apple, coffee with coconut milk
Lunch:  Morrocan chicken with carrots, spinach, and green olives
Dinner:  spaghetti squash with puttanesca sauce and canned tuna
Snacks:  almonds, dried mango (too much of the mango!)

Note:  the puttanesca sauce was amazing.  I don't know why I only think to make this when I eliminate other things.

Day 10: Psst, shh!

So, here's my dirty little secret:  I'm taking a break from this plan on day 29, so it's really more accurate to say that I'm following a 95%-whole-28 plan.  Weeks? months? ago we bought tickets to a beer tasting event on November 14th.  If I'd stuck to my guns the first time I started this a few weeks ago, I'd have gotten a full 30 days in prior to this event, but I reset on day 4 and here we are.  I did decide in advance of the restart that I was not going to miss this event, so regardless of how these 28 days go, I am pausing on the 14th.  Then comes my birthday, then Thanksgiving, then we're into full-on holidays, so I am motivated to stay on track for the next few weeks to build positive momentum running into those events.  I keep fast-forwarding to these events in my head, so need to keep my head firmly in today; I will plan for post-not-quite-whole-not-full-30 life when I'm further along this current path.  One day at a time.

Day 10 Meals:
Breakfast:  breakfast casserole (similar to last week's, but with cauliflower instead of sweet potato and swiss chard instead of kale), coffee with coconut milk, frozen mango
Lunch:  leftover chili with guacamole and mixed greens with oil and vinegar
Dinner:  Mixed green salad with smoked pork chop, small apple, hazelnuts, oil, vinegar
Snacks: dried peaches, almonds

Monday, October 26, 2015

Day 9: Getting into the Groove

Well, I'm finally feeling like I've hit the groove. Things seem to be clicking - looking better, feeling better, and not feeling too bad about the things I'm not eating.  I'm really trying to focus on being present and not projecting 3 weeks forward when I'm done with the 30 days - trying to focus on how good I feel NOW and that this is not just a 30 day plan that I'll abandon.  I'm still not sleeping well; I'm hoping this gets better this week.  Exercise is feeling okay, especially considering that I gave blood on Thursday.  I did snack on too many nuts after dinner (the one party leftover that I can eat and I took blatant advantage of this); will focus this week on not snacking after dinner.  It's herbal tea season - that should help.

Day 9 Meals:
Brunch:  "farmer's hash" from Portage Pay Cafe with 3 over easy eggs (ate 2/3 at the restaurant and the remainder a few hours later), coffee w/ cream (restaurant), coffee w/ coconut milk (at home)
Snacks:  almonds, cashews, 1/2 large apple, dried mango
Dinner:  small mixed green salad with olive oil and vinegar, Jeff's chili (exception alert - this did contain beans which are a big no-no, but there weren't too many, and this was certainly not worth making an issue over)

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Day 7 & Day 8: Party On!

Friday and Saturday were consumed with running around getting ready for our annual Falloween Party.  Jeff and I have hosted this every year for the past 14 years (with one exception when we were out of town Halloween weekend), and we have a lot of traditional treats that we make every year.  I do all of the cooking, and I was a little concerned about how cooking and baking and buying lots of yummy snacks and drinks along with the social element of hosting a party would go with this eating plan.  The answer:  really well.  Having made the same witch finger cookies and peanut butter eyeballs every year, I know what they taste like, and know that while delicious, they're certainly not worth going off plan.  I made a big batch of guacamole, which is on plan, along with lots of veggie crudite, so knew that there would be something delicious for me to snack on.  (Random aside - guac is the perfect food to bring to any celebration - vegan, gluten free, and yet indulgent, it is a treat that just about everyone can enjoy regardless of what special diet they may be on.)  I didn't make or buy too much and encouraged guests to take cookies/eyeballs home with them, so we had very few leftovers.  I did have a big urge to have a glass of wine when the party first started rolling (that "I've done all the work, now it's time to party" feeling), but after a little while that passed, and I was fine sipping sparkling water and being able to focus on the party.  So, week 1 completed successfully, party managed.

Day 7 Meals:
Breakfast:  eggs scrambled with onions, fennel, sweet potato
Lunch:  arugala with smoked pork, apples, apricots, oil and vinegar
Dinner:  grilled swordfish, green beans with toasted almonds
Snacks:  cashews, dried mango

Day 8 Meals:
Breakfast:  onion, fennel, sweet potato with 2 fried eggs
Lunch:  arugala with smoked pork, apples, apricots, oil and vinegar
Dinner:  cup of pumpkin soup
Snacks:  guac w/ bell pepper strips, almonds

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Day 6 - Focus on the Positive

For the record, it's mid-day 6 and I have started noticing some slight differences from the plan.  I just look better rested - clearer skin, brighter eyes, less puffy face.  Clothes that were feeling too tight are not quite as tight (very small difference at this point, but it's a start!).  I've felt a little more tired the last few days, but haven't had that "hit by a truck" feeling (yet).  No stomach ache or gerdy feeling (about 98% sure that's all about the gluten).  I need to remember all of this every time I think about quitting (which is fairly often). 

Day 6 Meals:
Breakfast:  last of the breakfast casserole (for this week; definitely making another this weekend!), small apple, coffee w/ coconut milk
Lunch:  leftover steak, roasted brussel sprouts, pureed parsnips
Dinner:  arugula salad with hazelnuts, dried apricots, oil and vinegar, meat TBD
Snacks:  goal is none, but still TBD

Day 5 - One Day at a Time

I actually thought about quitting last night with something as lame as a few chocolate chips.  Or a few chunks of cheese.  Or whatever I could find that I could make a lame excuse about.  Instead, I ate almond butter accompanied by guilt.  I finally brushed my teeth and called it done and vowed to do better in the future (and not replace the almond butter once it is gone).  It's always easy to say that the day is going well in the morning.  Much harder in the evening when I'm tired and just looking for a way to forget about the stressful stuff in life.  So, must develop countermeasures - what will I do (in addition or alternative to brushing my teeth and going to bed) that can counteract these itchy twitchy urges that I've previous addressed with snacking and drinking.  More to come.

Day 5 Meals:
Breakfast:  2 hard boiled eggs, pear
Lunch:  leftover roast chicken, broccoli, squash
Dinner:  green salad with grilled salmon (out at the local pub)
Snacks:  almonds, almond butter

Day 4 - Nuts and Crutches

One of the many reasons that I'm doing this eating plan is to reset some bad habits.  One of those habits is snacking.  Snacking is not inherently bad; eating small portions of healthy things between meals when hungry is a good thing.  I, however, have a habit of snacking beyond that - mindlessly and endlessly when bored or tired or hungry.  This current plan makes this much more difficult - no chips or popcorn allowed - but, I can have nuts.  And so salty nuts and nut-butters have been my downfall.  I've let it slide in the past as a crutch to get me through the 30 days, meaning to cut back, but rarely making progress.  This time, however, I mean to work harder in this area.  As soon as I finish this canister of almonds....

Day 4 Meals:
Breakfast:  leftover breakfast casserole, coffee with coconut milk
Lunch:  Cobb salad w/o cheese; with oil and vinegar
Dinner:  Veggie slaw w/ fish sauce, lime juice, oil, smoked salmon
Snacks:  1/2 apple, almond butter, frozen mango, almonds

Monday, October 19, 2015

Day 3 - The Exceptions

To truly follow the official Whole30, one has to follow it completely - no exceptions.  The rules are extremely clear.  Ironically, the only time I've done this successfully is the one time that I didn't know that I was following the official Whole30.  I was just following an elimination diet that other friends were on while getting guidance and instructions from nutritionists.  Since then, I've made some accommodations that make it more livable for me and still pretty true to the original plan.  When I try to make too many exceptions, it doesn't work at all - give me 24 hours and the one planned "cheat day" turns into cheat month.  However, if I have to ask what's in the vinaigrette every time I order a salad having already requested it without the cheese and croutons, I would no longer eat out, which would create counterproductive resentment at a plan that is already rigorous enough.  So, if there are any whole30 nutrition experts who might read this and wonder how it is possible to get bacon or a papaya salad that doesn't contain sugar, wonder no longer.  'Nuff said.

Day 3 Meals:
Breakfast:  leftover breakfast casserole, coffee with coconut milk
Lunch:  Vietnamese papaya/mango/lotus salad with steamed shrimp
Dinner:  roasted cauliflower, fennel, red onion with grilled lamb
Snacks:  small apple, almond butter, frozen mango, espresso with cream

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Day 2 - Talk about Breakfast

For many days of whole 30's past, breakfast has been hard-boiled eggs and a piece of fruit.  A virtuous, uninspiring, downright boring breakfast.  I always think it's what I should have, so even when not doing the whole30 thing, I'll pack some eggs and fruit for work, and then find myself in a coffee shop ordering a latte and often a croissant.  This weekend I decide to do something crazy - make a delicious breakfast that would last into the week.  I prepped all of the ingredients for a breakfast casserole last night, assembled it this morning, set the oven on delay start, and then went for a run with friends happy to know that while I was running, breakfast was cooking.  And it was, indeed, delicious, with lots of leftovers to get me at least partially through the week.

Breakfast Casserole:
1 large bunch kale, destemmed and chopped
2 small sweet potatoes, small dice
1/2 lb pork breakfast sausage
1 red onion, small dice
8 eggs
1/3 c coconut milk
Nutmeg, salt, pepper

Roast sweet potatoes and red onion in a 9x13 pan with a little salt and olive oil @ 400 degrees until onions are beginning to caramelize and sweet potatoes are cooked through.  Saute sausage until cooked through.  Add kale and cook until kale is wilted and most of the water is gone.  Drain out any remaining liquid and add kale and sausage to pan with sweet potato and onion.  Beat eggs with coconut milk and add to casserole.  Grate nutmeg on top.  Season with salt and pepper.  Bake at 375 for 20 - 30 minutes.  I found that this made 6 servings.

Day 2 Meals:
Breakfast:  casserole, coffee with coconut milk
Lunch:  leftover veg soup from Sat w/ chicken instead of egg
Dinner:  grilled steak, pureed parsnips, roasted brussel sprouts
Snacks:  frozen mango, pistachios; 1/2 banana with almond butter

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Whole30 - Day 1 (redux)

So, I'm starting the Whole30 one more time.  I did this for the first time in January 2012 with amazing success and have tried several times since with varying levels of success.  Several times I've started and quit in the same day...  I actually meant to start on Monday, then started for real on Tuesday, and then quit last night with a petulant negroni followed by popcorn and cheese.  So, I'm blogging about it this time to establish a little more accountability and to share some of the great meals that I'll be cooking up.  I am making a few minor modifications (so technically I'm not really doing the Whole30, but more of an elimination diet).  I know that I don't have problems with soy, so I'm going add the occasional tamari, miso, and tofu to the diet.  And while sticking to coconut milk in my coffee whenever possible, if I'm getting coffee out and it's not an option, I'll be using some cream (I also know that I'm not sensitive to dairy).  So, I'm eliminating grains, sugar, alcohol, processed food, legumes, and dairy (with the exceptions noted above).

Today's meals:
Breakfast:  sauteed leeks and chantrelle mushrooms with two over easy eggs; coffee with coconut milk
Lunch:  egg drop soup with carrots, shitake mushrooms, bok choy, miso, green onions, a spoonful each of tahini and miso (yes, the tahini sounds weird, but it gives the soup a nice creaminess), topped with green onions and toasted sesame oil.
Dinner:  roast chicken with steamed broccoli and roasted delicata squash
Snacks:  apple with almond butter