Archives for posts with tag: Whole30

So, despite a wildly successful 18 days of my first Whole30, that all came crashing down when I sought comfort in friends, beer, a very un-Paleo burger,  sweet potato fries and a cupcake after tearing my ACL.

Deep down I was disappointed in myself for caving, especially since the junk food satisfaction I was seeking wasn’t as thrilling as I’d hoped. Except for that beer. That was a good beer. And those fries…. nom nom. I miss beer and wine. I’m not a big drinker, but I love me a pint of a quality hoppy craft brew or a glass of really good wine once or twice a week.

While I didn’t pay for that indulgence in the way I thought I would (upset stomach and sugar hangover the next day), my skin sure looked like hell. Hello dark circles and dry skin. Ugh.

But I was stuck in a sort of limbo. Do I start over with Day 1 until knee surgery (why I’m using this as a cutoff point, I don’t know. I think mainly because if I’m relying on others for food, I don’t want to be picky). Or just go back to Paleo but with a better conscious? How do folks reintroduce into a less restrictive eating pattern after a W30?

Then I realized – Hmmm. I should probably finally read the book that started this whole thing, “It Starts With Food” (Which is kind of a requirement before starting a W30 but a W30 cookbook looked more fun than the W30 “Instruction Manual”, of which I understood the basics).

And I have a fridge full of vegetables that need to be cooked and eaten, plus meat and veggies. So why couldn’t I start again? In fact, it’ll probably help prepare my body for recovery, as well as I can continue the best I can post-surgery if I prep a bunch of W30 meals and freeze them ahead of time. It’s fall anyway – great time to make soups and stews.

However – interesting observations. Since my caving in, which was on Monday evening, through last night, Wednesday evening, I let myself indulge a bit. I tasted those cupcakes and peanut butter/chocolate balls I made for the party last weekend. Ugh. They weren’t that satisfying. I had a piece of pizza at a friend’s house last night, which was really good and hearty on a chilly rainy evening, but I didn’t have a desire to get a second piece. I wish I’d gone with the small glass of beer instead.

This morning, waking up was like it’d been the past few weeks but man, I had a nagging headache as I left the house. Not a lack-of-sleep or a beer-hangover headache but felt sluggish. I’m wondering if I was paying for Monday-Wednesday’s indulgences.

So… back to the Well Fed Cookbook, The Clothes Make The Girl, Nom Nom Paleo and destroying my kitchen regularly with hearty dishes. At least for the next three weeks. In fact, tonight, I’m looking forward to finding a good chicken recipe and trying to recreate Brian’s veggie “noodles” he made for me the other night.

So, here goes. Whole30, Version 1.2.

So, Life kinda got busy last week – evening meetings, an overnight work trip, field work, trivia night and planning a baby shower. I had a stash of Whole30 meals prepped for the week (cauliflower rice and spaghetti squash to be topped with minestrone soup or Italian meat sauce, plus the usual eggs for breakfast), which helped tremendously when it came to needing to grab-and-go for my busy week.

Aside from the first few days of lightheadedness and headaches, finding time to prep food and trying to find meat products without sugar in them, following the plan has been relatively easy.

Then came Week Two and social outings that involved eating out.

The biggest challenge was the dinner with coworkers on Tuesday evening. We went to Skagit Valley Brewery and I ordered a basic salad with veggies and oil and vinegar. At the last second I added chicken, even though it was seasoned, thinking I could scrape it off. It came out thinly sliced though and the seasoning was pretty caked on there. So I just cut off as best as I could and had a very lackluster meal. My water with TONS of lemons was good, but I wasn’t sure what upset my stomach that night – too much lemon or the chicken?

For breakfast the next morning, I thankfully found a diner where I just ordered tomatoes, chicken, eggs and fruit, all ala carte. And it was awesome.

Even though boss was buying lunch, it was Chipotle and to save myself the agony of deciding, I just skipped it and waited until we went our separate ways after lunch to gobble down the italian meat sauce and spaghetti squash I had packed away for this purpose.

The next big challenge was prepping for the woodlands-themed baby shower I was throwing. It was a small intimate affair with six people, so I made minestrone soup (non W30, but had my own leftovers) and chicken salad (totally W30 and amazing, including the homemade mayo, especially since I hate chicken salad and mayo) and bought croissants for the guests.

Desserts, homemade, were chocolate-covered pretzels topped with graham cracker crumbs dyed green (moss on logs), peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate (acorns/buckeyes) and chocolate cupcakes with little owl faces (oreo cookies, candy corn and reese’s pieces).

While making everything, I quickly brushed aside the temptation to lick the chocolate off my fingers. The desire to eat this stuff burned the hardest on Saturday during the party, but it wasn’t agonizing. It’s just the way it was at the time and I knew I’d get to indulge in something just a delicious at a later date. No big deal. (I just didn’t realize it’d be so soon. Keep reading.)

Actually, I think I wanted the cheese and hummus and crackers more than anything.

So, second big challenge – baking chocolatey goods – accepted, taken, and conquered.

The third big challenge was having to prep food for a hike for a search mission, which are usually very long days of climbing/scrambling/bushwhacking through hard terrain. I debating bringing my old food of gels, bars and tortilla wraps (light and easy), but folks on the Whole30 forum kinda convinced me that I could do it right. So, I loaded up my pack with lettuce wraps of chicken, mayo and avocado, roasted some thinly sliced yams and made “chips” (which would have been fantastic if i hadn’t burned most of them), plus nuts, apples, left over chicken, an avocado and 8 LARA bars (which, are OK). But, as you’ll read later, that was all for naught.

Aside from the cooking and eating, the physical/emotional results from eating like this for two weeks have been … minimal. I think the biggest thing I’ve noticed is my energy levels (which most people would say are regularly high) have evened out. Or rather, it doesn’t take as long to feel alert in the morning and I’m (appropriately) crashing at the same time every night for bed. My afternoon crashes are minimal and the cravings to snack in the afternoons are minimal too. I probably snack mostly because I’m bored, which are then just almonds and apples.

My skin and dark circles under the eyes were pretty clear the first week but that all went to hell last week with the stress of the busy week, less than 8 hours of sleep a night and the monthly hormonal spike.

So, two more weeks, not a problem, right?

No. I go on a search mission on Sunday, slip on a wet rock, twist my knee and tear my ACL.

Monday night, after a long day of two doctors, one MRI, two meetings with folks about scheduling surgery and insurance/claims paperwork, my emotions couldn’t take it anymore.

I wanted to drink a goddamn beer – the strongest IPA I could find – a big fat burger topped with caramelized onions and bacon and bleu cheese and sweet potato fries. And a goddamn chocolate cupcake to top it off. With friends.

SO I did. And of all those things… I’d say the beer and the burger and fries were the most delicious. The cupcake was good too, but it didn’t quite give me the satisfaction that I thought it would. Actually, the whole thing (except for my first few sips of beer) didn’t give me as much satisfaction as I thought. Kinda. I don’t know. I think the fries and bleu cheese were on par with the beer too. I was sad when the fries were gone.

But it also proved that again, as I’ve figured, I’m more of a savory food type than a sweet tooth type.

I will admit, I weighed myself before I went out. My first weigh-in was in the morning on Oct. 2 and I was at 128 lbs. Last night’s weight-in was at 5:30 p.m. and I was at 125 lbs. I’d say give or take a pound b/c of my heavy lunch and hormones, my true weight was probably about 123. So, five pounds lost? Although a picture of me last weekend shows otherwise, I can tell in my face and in my belly. Quads slimmed down too.

So, now, where do I go from here?

Technically, I have to start over again with Day 1 if I want to truly complete a program and then do a proper re-introduction. “Detox” from my binge yesterday. Frankly, it wouldn’t be hard since I have a fridge STUFFED with Whole30 food right now. And eating Whole30 style, when on my own, at my house, is NOT that hard.

The most challenging is eating out and at Brian’s – although he’s been so sweet and trying to help me – he’s not doing the W30 but I think he’s enjoying the challenge of trying to figure out what I can and can’t eat and is fascinated by it. Or not (it annoys him he can’t cook us sausage) and he’s just really THAT nice. He did make me a veggie, yam and steak dinner though, just for me, the night of my injury. He even shaved the zukes and squash to make them “noodles” and honestly, they were amazing. Perfect comfort food, like egg noodles. I kinda cried while eating, it was so kind of him to do this.

I could do another three weeks, until my surgery… or just go back to a much healthier Paleo diet, just saying no to cheese and bread when eating out but allow myself a beer and see how I feel overall. I’ve thought about doing another W30 in January, when I’ll be more mobile and can cook on my own but it will be after the holidays, so I can enjoy pecan pie and pistachio jam bars.

And especially since I won’t be doing ANY vigorous workouts the next six-nine months, I’ll REALLY need to watch what I eat to fight the 35-Year-Old-Metabolism.

I should probably actually read “It Starts With Food” too.





Instead of doing three separate entries, since they’d all sound the same anyway, I’m going to cram Friday-Saturday-Sunday together. (October Fri 10, Sat 11, Sun 12)

Breakfasts – quiche, avocado, tomatillo sauce, tea/scrambled eggs with red peppers, avocado

Lunches – Sloppy joes leftovers, spaghetti squash with italian meat sauce, minestrone soup with avocado, homemade chicken soup

Dinners – sloppy joes with portobello mushrooms, sloppy joe leftovers, ground beef with roasted brussell sprouts and cauliflower rice

Snacks – bananas, tea, water, apples, cashews, pumpkin seeds, grapes

Sleep – 8.5 hours/7 hours/7 hours

Overall, my energy levels are balanced out (I’m very alert in the mornings now) but there is still some gastric distress (Timeline of Terrible Feelings said that will still happen at this point in the plan). I also partly blame this weekend’s Sloppy Joes. Haven’t tried working out yet but hope to give it a try this week with boot camp or a run. Noticing clothes are fitting a little easier. Those two nights of seven hours of sleep were terrible though and I paid for it on Sunday.

Funny story: Brian is taking statistics in grad school this fall. His brain is full of graphs and charts and plotting stuff. This weekend I apparently had a few dramatic spikes and falls of energy and he’s been plotting out “Tiffany’s Energy Levels” in his head and is coming to the conclusion that this Whole30 thing is not good for me.

Me: But I’m crazy alert in the mornings now!

Him: Yeah, I can’t figure that one out. Read the rest of this entry »

Day 8, Oct. 9, 2014

Breakfast – three eggs with red peppers

Lunch – pork chops, carrots and parsnips, mashed acorn squash (made with ghee, salt, pepper and coconut milk – FINALLY found the key to making mashed acorn squash taste good)

Dinner – pumpkin seeds, grapes (FAIL, I KNOW)

Snacks – pumpkin seeds, banana

Sleep: six hours

Afraid of my blog posts getting boring, thankfully, being on the road today for work made for some interesting situations.

One of my biologists bought cookies for those of us who came out into the field. Really good cookies from Country Aire Natural Food Markets. She had just enough for all of us. I politely refused and explained what I was doing. They just said, oh, well, cool. Psychologically, I wanted it (I’ve been wanting a lot of things lately I don’t normally want, like cupcakes with icing) but my gut said, nah, you’re good.

The other thing was wanting to nosh on some protein, i.e. jerky, on the two hour drive from Port Angeles. I went into the above-mentioned market, thinking they HAVE to have something. I found the small stash and everything had some sugar added to it or was NOT appealing or was vegan (really?!?!? This girl doesn’t do vegan.). Except the Echo Bars – dried cherries were added as the “sugar” to the beef with habanero bar. Technically, it’s legal.

After I hesitantly purchased it (also the first place I’ve been able to find bacon with no sugar!), one bite immediately reminded me of Clif Bar texture… then that sweet cherry taste… then kinda like dog food… then followed up by the spicy kick.

A few more bites, I eventually tossed into the back seat.

* sigh * Oh well. Back to pumpkin seeds.

While I was in the store, it occurred to me how ridiculous I was getting about label checking. Or am I? I mean, if I’m going to do this program, I’m going to do it right. So, frankly, failure doesn’t exist because I know what I need to do to not fail. So, label checking and no sugar it is.

(Yes, I realize that of the three people reading this, one of them is my father and he’s rolling his eyes right now. Just wanted to make sure I acknowledged this.)

I guess my point is that reading labels has really opened my eyes as to what’s in our food. I mean, I knew but didn’t really know. I know I’m getting a little fanatic about it, but I’m definitely getting an education too.

Talking to Brian about this tonight (Him: “I never would have thought there would be sugar in bacon!”) I was sort of ranting about the label reading and it just further proves my theory: eating fresh, local veggies and fruits and buying my meat directly from the person who raised the cow and having a conversation with them about their farm makes me feel better about what I’m fueling my body to function.

And as for functioning, despite getting six hours of sleep last night, I felt pretty good today. While it usually takes me a LONG time to even talk in the morning and dragging myself out of bed is one of the things in the world I despise, I was wide awake with 10 minutes.

Day 7: Wed., Oct. 8, 2014

Breakfast  – quiche and tea

Lunch  – coconut curry and spaghetti squash

Dinner  – beef and spaghetti squash

Snacks – banana, apple, handful of almonds

Sleep: eight hours

Was pretty hard to wake up this morning, but I partially blame on a 10:40 p.m. bedtime AND reading in bed just before turning out the light (that always makes me feel groggy the next day, compared to when I read on the couch). And it usually takes me awhile to get up anyway.

Funny though – I’ve been regularly waking up at 5 a.m. for a few minutes, then waking up JUST before my alarm goes off at 6:45 a.m.

It’s been so nice to have prepared food to just grab-and-g0. Today I had to make sure I had lunch, dinner and tomorrow’s lunch. After assessing the situation, yikes, I’m running out of protein!!! Good thing I’m home tomorrow night. After a trip to the farmers market, I’ll be cranking out an Italian meat sauce and experiment with a minestrone soup for a party I’m hosting next week. I also need to come up with a chicken salad. Experiment with more quiches with different ingredients too.

I really want to try working out, or at least going for a run. I think I could probably give that whirl on Friday at lunch or after work. I think my energy level is balanced enough. I’m also noticing, even though the scale has been squirreled away under the bed (no weighing oneself during this whole time), I’m slimming down, despite the constant eating and/or the larger meals I’m having. According to Whole30, this is my body learning how to rely on good proteins, fats and carbs as energy sources, not added sugars.

The Timeline of Terrible Feelings also discusses food dreams, of which I’ve had two in a row. I “had” a piece of cake on Monday night and I was doing/eating something related to food last night in my dreams, but can’t remember what it was.

This graphic popped up in today’s reminder email:



Thankfully, I can say NO to falling into the trap of any of these:

I’m not doing any “technicalities” because those defeat the purpose of what I’m doing.

I don’t think 2-3 handfuls of seeds or nuts throughout the day is too much. Just enough to satiate a hunger craving.

And trust me, I have NO PROBLEM eating more. Counting what? I didn’t take math in college and the idea of counting the amount of good food I’m eating makes me dizzy.

Allowing myself two pieces of fruit a day is all the sugar I need. Thankfully, I don’t have much of a sweet tooth. Welllllll….. except for that 2 p.m. dark chocolate craving I tend to have … daily.





Tuesday, October 7, 2014

(I swear I have not written this consistently in I don’t know how long. It’s nice to have a regular purpose for this blog for once.)

Breakfast – HUGE slice of the breakfast quiche with the avy and tomatillo sauce (making breakfast like this is SO brilliant).

Lunch – spaghetti squash, ground beef, a little avocado, apple and sunflower seeds

Dinner – SUPER late dinner – coconut curry and spaghetti squash

Snack – almonds

Woke up with a kind of “sickly” feeling, but that’s to be expected, from what I understand. But a little food and tea in me and I’m better. Woke up pretty groggy though, even for going to bed at 10:30 p.m. and alarm going off just before 7 a.m. 8.5 hours of sleep. It’s paying off. As is all the water I’m drinking. The Timeline of Terrible Feelings said around this time I’d hit a energy low/sleepiness before my energy starts to balance out.

Today is an office day, and the lunch bag is brimming with fruit, nuts, veggies, Sunshine Sauce and two containers of beef and spaghetti squash (to be topped with avocado) (which is honestly no different than what I’d bring to work in my usual eating regiment). We’ll see how the day goes. I actually have an at-home evening. May try and crank out a meat sauce for the spaghetti squash and zuke noodles. I will saute the zuke noodles too to see if my belly likes them better.

Mid-day check in: The day is going well – no real cravings and a steady feeling of awareness but slightly slumping energy level. Fog outside isn’t helping.

The rest of the day went well. Didn’t get to dinner until 9:30 p.m. (whoops) because I wound up going shopping for a baby shower I’ll be hosting in 10 days. Surprisingly though, I really didn’t get super hungry until after 8 p.m. The suggestions from the Whole30 plan that because I’m eating nothing but good fats and proteins and carbs (veggies and fruit), I’m staying fuller longer and not feeling the need to snack as much is proving itself true.

And man, 10 p.m. hit and I was toast.


Day 5, October 6, 2014

Breakfast – TWO SLICES of quiche – kale, chives, orange peppers, pork roast, mushrooms baked in seven eggs with coconut milk, no crust. topped with avocado and tomatillo sauce. Great mix! I think it needs garlic though. My favorite quiche in the world comes from a little cafe in Poulsbo but I think it’s because of the crust and cheese and sweet onions. And bacon. I can easily do the last two!

Lunch – banana and almonds – because I got caught in the field for work with no snack or lunch and didn’t eat for six hours until I got back to my car.

Dinnercoconut curry on zuke noodles

Snacks – zuke soup with ground beef

I woke up with no headache!!! Hooray! I also went to bed at 10:15 p.m. the night before (literally crawled into bed, lights out and promptly passed out) and woke up at 6 a.m. with the alarm. I was curious as to what the dark circles under the eyes would be with all this on-time-for-bed business and they’re improving. Yay! I’m SO glad I did the first four days toward the end of a week and on a weekend, as I don’t know how the week would go with all that fatigue. Or maybe I’d be so busy, it’d distract me enough.

Read the rest of this entry »

Day 3 – Saturday, Oct 4, 2014

Breakfast – leftover zuke soup with pork roast

Lunch – leftover Day 2 dinner of pork, parsnips, yam, carrots, green beans

Dinner – cold pork and broccoli dipped in sunshine sauce

Snacks: zuke soup, nuts

There seems to be a pattern here. But it doesn’t surprise me, as I do this normally – eat the hell out of my leftovers. I don’t know how people can NOT eat leftovers. Usually, they taste better the day after.  I’m the Queen of making extra and eating them for several days. Even ask my college roommates. Anything is edible when reheated and salsa is tossed on top. Read the rest of this entry »

Day 1 – Thursday, October 2, 2014

Breakfast – eggs, onion, kale, avocado, homemade tomatillo sauce, black tea

Lunch – yams and beef on spaghetti squash

Dinner – broccoli dipped in sunshine sauce and cold shredded pork roast

Snacks – sunflower seeds and apple

It went reasonably well and felt great. Felt like my normal routine, with some new flavors added. However, since it was a field day for work, and my usual routine is to stop for ice cream halfway between Port Angeles and Kingston, it took some conscious thinking to walk past the ice cream bin at the shop. Read the rest of this entry »