Monday, November 23, 2015

Day 28: this is the way the diet ends, not with a bang, but a whimper

While I realized that I stopped diet blog a few days short, I didn't realize that there would be anyone who would notice.  So, I was a bit surprised when I heard that there is at least one reader who wondered what happened next.  So, this one's for you, Curtis, at least as much as I can remember.

And now I must confess, the last few days were not smooth sailing.  I continued to eat dark chocolate on day 27.  I realized that large quantities of red cabbage are not happy-belly-making on day 28.  I then deserted the entire plan 12 hours early on Friday night, once again with popcorn and cocktails, which is sort of the way I started.

So, what have I learned?  I'm not really sure.  Stubbornness can get me pretty far, but if I'm focused on the rules and not the true spirit of the plan, I don't really make the progress that is needed.  I still eat too many snacks, and have issues with portion control.  I still keep things in the house that I know that I struggle with.  While I lost some weight, it was only 4 pounds, most of which have probably returned in the past week or so.  While I know that I should avoid gluten, I keep eating it, pretending that it's not really an issue.  I did confirm that gluten is only part of my problem; I seem to have a bigger FODMAP issue, and I need to start seeing what else causes problems.  So far, red cabbage and sunchokes = bad; leeks, mushrooms, and onions = fine (this is a big relief).  I did learn that eggs and veggies are a great breakfast and if I prepare them in advance I am less likely to have coffee shop breakfast of latte and pastry.  I realized that I don't really need snacks in between meals, and I can run for a long time without fuel once fat-adapted (which takes me a few weeks).

No big news story here, but I definitely obsess too much over what I'm eating / not eating.  I think a focus on mindfulness would be a better alternative for me than overly restrictive diets that just cause me to obsess further.  Perhaps a 30 day mindfulness challenge is in order for the New Year.  For now, however,  I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving with friends and a long weekend.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Days 23 - 27 - Catching Up

So, day 27 here, which means only 2 more days to go!  Highlights of the last few days:
  • after a few good nights of sleep, there were several bad nights of sleep, then sleep got better again
  • sunchokes are tasty, but not tasty enough to warrant the horrible GI impacts (Jeff and I share this believe after eating them for dinner Sunday; I felt the way I feel after eating massive amounts of gluten - pretty terrible!)
  • I continue to buy almond butter, and continue to eat too much of it
  • I am so happy eating delicious, veggie-filled breakfasts - this is something that will need to carry past the 28 days
  • I'm not as sure about coconut milk - I like it, but I'm not sure if it's worth a special effort
  • confession - had a latte for breakfast Monday and am not feeling any guilt
  • double confession - ate dark chocolate yesterday; I definitely do have regrets.  It was a holiday for me, not Jeff, and I tend to snack a lot when I'm at loose ends in the house by myself for extended periods of time.  Instead of leaning into that and not snacking at all, I bought what I thought would be the least bad option, and then overindulged.  It was a missed opportunity to exercise a new, better way of managing my bad habits.
Day 27 meals:
Breakfast:  eggs with kale, red onion, squash, sweet potato
Lunch:  spaghetti squash with tomato sauce, bell peppers, onions, Italian sausage
Dinner:  sauteed red cabbage and onion; grilled fish
Snacks:  almonds, chocolate (way too much of each)

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Day 22: ZZZZZzzzzz

Ah, sleep.  This week sometime (day 20? or so?) I feel like good sleep finally started.  Last night I was out before 10 and I woke up at 5:30 feeling fresh and ready to go, and it's Saturday - no alarm and no need to get up for anything.  I'm not normally a great sleeper, so this is a very good thing!

Day 22 Meals:
Breakfast:  roasted turnips, bacon, turnip greens, eggs
Lunch:  vegetable soup w/ chicken
Dinner: assorted salads, shrimp, smoked salmon, a pork rib (potluck)
Snacks:  apple, almond butter

Breakfast this morning was a great example of something I would have never thought to make were it not for this diet.  I diced turnips (from CSA) and roasted them in a hot oven, then finished browning on the stove (impatient, and my big burner is VERY POWERFUL), tossed with diced bacon and the turnip greens sautéed in some bacon grease with shallots and a splash of balsamic vinegar.  Top with over easy eggs and it's a upscale restaurant-worthy hash.

Friday, November 06, 2015

Day 21: Timely Advice

At the beginning of this eating plan, I signed up for a daily newsletter from the Whole30 people.  Today's newsletter was about media messages and how they can mess with us.  It was a great reminder - not just media today, but all of the media over time that has built up in my brain, feeding voices that had me hating myself as I was walking home from the pool this morning.  I've been mostly following this program for 3 weeks now, working out, going to work, and generally being a responsible member of society.  But here I was beating myself up for not being thin enough, disciplined enough, nice enough (I was very cranky to Jeff this morning), or good enough in every aspect of my life.  Note to self:  lighten up, self!  The one thing out of that long list that I do need to address is to stop being cranky towards the people around me, particularly those who have to put up with me the most and whom I care the most about.  Everything else will work itself out if I just get into a better mood.

Day 21 meals:
Breakfast:  stir fried veg with eggs, coffee with coconut milk
Lunch:  broccolini w/ pork chop (Wed l/o's), small apple
Dinner:  mixed green salad with grilled salmon
Snacks:  still TBD (dare we hope for none???)

Day 20: Sigh

Every time things get stressful, I contemplate quitting this plan.  Another reminder of just how much of a hold eating and drinking habits have over me.  Double sigh. 

Day 20 Meals:
Breakfast:  2 HB eggs, veg, sweet potato
Lunch:  stir fry with carrots, peppers, tofu
Dinner:  bok choy, seared tuna
Snacks:  small apple, pistachios, peanut butter, dried berries

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Day 19: Focus on Weaknesses?

Not today.  That happens enough in the running monologue in my head...  But, I have been steadily losing grip on the snacks (nuts, dried fruits, almond butter); this needs to stop.

Day 19 Meals:
Breakfast:  eggs w/ veg, sweet potato; coffee w/ coconut milk*
Lunch:  pork verde, avocado
Dinner:  roasted brocolini with grilled pork chop
Snacks:  almond butter, pistachios, dried peaches

*I've been forgetting to write this down.  Every day I have a cup of coffee with coconut milk.  Sometimes two on weekends. 

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Day 18: Focus on Strengths

This weekend I was getting really down on myself and decided (yesterday?) to focus on the strengths and assets that I bring to the table, rather than the bad habits / tendancies that I've been focusing on.  This is how our management system at work is supposed to work (focus on enhancing and utilizing strengths rather than trying to "fix" weaknesses), and while we still need to think about how to overcome or mitigate our trouble spots, it's very productive to try to leverage our strengths as much as possible.

When it comes to this eating program, I actually am in a pretty great situation!  A not-comprehensive list:
  • I love vegetables, protein, spices, and fresh, non-processed food
  • I am a terrific planner, and particularly love to plan meals
  • I can afford high quality food
  • I have the luxury of time to prepare / plan / shop for good food
  • I love to cook and am quite good at preparing delicious, varied, compliant meals
  • The only other person I cook for also loves to eat this way and doesn't "need" or "demand" to have food at the table or in the house that I would find tempting.  He can eat all the cereal he wants. :) 
  • I am healthy and active and already have good fitness habits
Day 18 Meals:
Breakfast:  eggs, veg, sweet potato, avocado
Lunch: seared tuna with seaweed salad, mixed greens, pickled onions and ginger
Dinner:  stir fried bell peppers, carrots, green onion, tofu
Snacks:  small apple, almonds

Day 17: Downhill Stretch?

I feel like I should feel more inspired being on the back stretch of this eating plan, but am a little discouraged that there are still 2 weeks to go.  And then I get anxious that this is how I should eat forever, and I'm not mentally ready to give up grains and sugar forever and have a hard time reconciling all or nothing.  My brain really gets ahead of itself sometimes (okay, almost all of the time).  Reminder:  just take the next 2 weeks one day at a time.  There is more time to worry about the future in the future!  (I realize this is not the first time I've written this - thus one of the values of this blog...)

Day 17 Meals:
Breakfast:  2 eggs, sweet potato, bell pepper, onion
Lunch:  leftover lamb, brussel sprouts, parsnips
Dinner:  Arugala with tomatoes, onions, smoked salmon, avocado oil and vinegar
Snacks: Almond butter, dried apples

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Day 16: Trangression Confession

I wasn't ready to admit it last night, but yesterday I cheated.  I ate a small amount of chocolate chips with almond butter (small amount of chocolate chips, not a small amount of almond butter).  I could provide some rationalization, but I won't.  I'm not starting over, but rather moving on.  The positive:  I didn't use that as an excuse to quit or eat anything else off plan.  I'm continuing to move forward.

Day 16 Meals:
Breakfast:  squash, bell pepper, onion, with 2 over easy eggs
Lunch:  chicken veggie soup
Dinner:  lamb chop, roasted brussel sprouts, pureed parsnips
Snacks:  almonds, apple, almond butter, chocolate chips, mango

Day 15: Halfway There!

By the end of this workweek, I was feeling very sick of the same old foods.  I normally can't stop planning meals, and yesterday there was nothing that sounded good.  Then I read an article about stuffed pumpkin in Pacific NW magazine and was inspired (the featured recipe included bread and gruyere cheese and sounded amazing, but I also thought some kind of cabbage, bacon, squash combo would be good), thus the roasted delicata squash with bok choy (from the CSA box) and bacon (local butcher) combo.  This morning I made Jeff oatmeal with sauteed apples and combined my portion of apples with some of the leftover squash (cook once, eat twice!) and slow-scrambled eggs.  Wow, so good!  The sweetness of the squash was amped up with by the apples which also added a little crunch and acidity - with the soft eggs the combo was perfect - fall paleo on a plate.

Day 15 Meals:
Breakfast:  2 scrambled eggs with 1/2 roasted delicata squash, 1 small apple
Lunch: chicken soup with leeks, mushrooms, celeriac
Dinner:  curried mussels w/ veg (red curry paste, coconut milk, mussels, ginger, julienned zucchini, red onion, bell pepper)
Snacks: dried apples, almonds