Some Introspection

Things have been moving along.  I really like this way of eating although sometimes I really want some non-plan food.  Like the pb&j Hubs was eating yesterday looked amazing while I at my grilled chicken and sweet potatoes.

On Saturday I realized that the cashews and macadamias I was eating had been made with peanut oil.

Peanut oil = not Whole30.

So that was pretty rough because I was battling in my head about what I should do: should I start over? What would that mean to start over? Should I not start over? Does that mean I really did a “Whole30”?  I  was really discouraged yesterday. The thought of starting over made me want to cry.  Were my last 12 days wasted?

So after posting something on the Whole9 Forum and getting the opinion of some other friends I’ve decided just to keep going with what I’ve been doing.   I don’t know if I’m going to tack 12 days on to the end of the month, or if I’m going to try the reintroductions at the end of the month. I haven’t decided yet.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about why I reacted the way I did to the peanut oil and I think I realized why:  I like to follow rules. I like to know that I’m doing things correctly.  If I’m honest with myself, I’m one of those people that think if they are just good enough then God will accept them. I know that’s not true; it’s only by God’s grace that I am accepted.  Knowing that the first 12 days weren’t perfect messes with my perfectionism.  Maybe I won’t be able to say that I “did a Whole30” but I’ve made huge steps forward in the way that I eat.  I know I am becoming healthier.

So tonight I made Apple Dijon Burgers but I changed the recipe.  I used ground turkey instead of beef.  I added an egg to the meat mixture (I think it helps them stay together better), and instead of cooking them on the grill (which is packed away for the winter in the shed) I used the cast iron skillet on the stove.  I paired the burgers with some roasted root vegetables which I also changed; I didn’t use carrots, I used a yam. Little bit of oil with some herbs de provence. Yum! They could have been cooked a little longer but they were still good. This was the first time I’ve ever cooked a rutabaga (fun word!) and it turned out well.

I even started prepping for tomorrow’s dinner! I roasted the butternut squash and garlic for the topping of our shepherd’s pie tomorrow.  Now I’ve gotta go drown myself in creating a biology midterm for tomorrow morning.

Epic Fail and TMI

So I tried to make the mayo today after school.  Epic fail.  I was thinking that we could use the extra chicken I had to make chicken salad for dinner.  Nope. That didn’t happen.

First, I tried to use our Ninja.   We have this Ninja (the regular one?) not to be confused with this Ninja (the blender one?) so I’m blending away and the motor started to make this awful noise like a mother bear protecting her cubs and I knew I was done.  I probably burned the engine out and the whole thing is shot now.

So then I tried to whip it by hand. That lasted about a minute before I had my husband call the neighbors to see if they have a regular blender. Which they did.  However, I never got the initial egg and lemon juice to emulsify so adding all that oil afterwards did nothing to make the mixture mayo-like.  Also, there’s really no good way to add anything to a blender (Ninja or regular) because if you have the thing running, and take the lid off (or even open up a small part to add an ingredient) stuff starts to fly everywhere. The kitchen was Disaster City.

Needless to say we didn’t have chicken salad for dinner. What I did make was pretty good though. I don’t have a name for it but here’s what I did.

Saute some red onion in coconut oil until soft
Add a clove of garlic, minced
Chop one yellow squash, add to pan
Chop one  green squash, add to pan
Chop 2 small carrots, add to pan
Chop 2 small (or one medium) bunch of broccoli, add to pan
Add 1/4 – 1/2 cup Tessamae’s Lemon Garlic Dressing
Add chopped cooked chicken
Add various spices: paprika, celery salt, garlic powder, salt, mustard powder
Mix well until heated through

I just threw it together with what I had in the house and it turned out  pretty good. It kind of reminded me of those frozen Birds Eye dinners you can buy but without all the additive and preservatives.

So onto the TMI.  This Whole30 really causes you to listen to your body to figure out the signals it is sending you. Today, my stomach and GI tract had a lot to say.  There were a lot of rumblings/garglings.   The Whole9 Forum has been fantastic for my wonderings about the things I’m experiencing, if this or that is normal, what to expect at certain times etc.

Recently I search “poop” because everybody poops, and let’s be honest – things are changing.  A high fat diet can cause loose poo and if you’re going from a low fat diet (as most people follow because that’s what society has pushed on us) to a higher fat diet (as the Whole30 is) then your body has to adjust.  Your gut bacteria is changing. Did you know that the majority of your immune system is in your intestines?  The book details how the foods you eat can cause increased gut permeability, digestive distress, and systemic inflammation.  I never knew what any of those things were until I read the book and I’ll probably have to reread the gut chapter a couple times to fully understand it but the first step to healing is putting the right foods in your body.

A Real Challenge

Today I was really challenged to look at my Whole30 and examine my true motives behind why I am doing it.  Everyday I get a lovely email fromWhole30 Daily that includes tips and encouragement for me. Today the email was about personal assessment. I don’t usually get to read the email until the evening but I took the time this morning before my first class to check it out. I’m glad I did. Sort of.

I’m really good at convincing myself of something and then sticking to it 100%. For example, I have told myself that I can’t have sweets for the month of January, so it’s almost like the cravings aren’t there as much because I’ve so convinced myself that I can’t have them (although Friday after school I had a whirlwind craving for some chocolate).

When I think about how Whole30 is so much more than just changing what you eat (it addresses the emotional and psychological aspect of eating as well), I want to give up.  I mean, honestly if it was just about changing what you eat at your meals it would be super easy:  Buy different food.  Cook different food.  Eat different food. Done.  But it’s not just about buying, cooking, and eating different food.  It’s about changing our emotional attachment to unhealthy foods that promise satisfaction and then fail to deliver.  It’s about changing your palette and improving how your body functions on a day-to-day basis. It’s about the realization that how you were feeling before doesn’t have to be how you feel the rest of your life.  You might not even realize how exactly you are feeling (you’ve felt the same your whole life and it’s always been fine) until you find out how much better you can feel.

It’s so much easier to just eat whatever I want and live with those consequences than it is to fight against myself to change for the better.   I feel like there is a big revelation of something I’m going to have to face right around the corner; I can just feel it looming.

To really get the most out of these 30 days I need to make my Whole30 mine.  Melissa (Hartwig, co-author of It Starts With Food) recently posted on Facebook: “We’ve created the Whole30 with as clear guidelines as possible. We’ve explained our rationale many times, in detail. But ultimately, YOU have to own your program… AND your results.” So my first thought was, “Well, if I make it my own, and decide for myself what’s OK, then I can have more fruit.”   But that would be taking the easy road and that would not help me yield the best possible results.

But that’s not the point!  The point is to follow the guidelines no matter how hard it is because that’s how you’re going to experience real change: physical, emotional, and psychological change.   And it’s going to be hard!!  It’s not an easy thing to change decades of eating habits/emotions/psychological ties in just 30 days (sometimes it takes a Whole45 or Whole60 to really break free).

All this ‘psychological’ talk might make me sound like I’m crazy and need a shrink.  I wish I could detail chapter 4 of It Starts With Food because it explains so clearly  the link between the food we eat and the emotional connections we experience. And why.

I’m really working to figure out the different things I’m feeling: Am I hungry or just bored? Am I hungry or is this a craving (which will pass in 3-5 minutes).  Why do I feel compelled to eat when the bell rings around 3:00 or I get home from school? I know it’s going to be hard to answer these questions and others I don’t even know I have.

On a different note, I made the salmon cakes from the book. They are really good! Still haven’t made the mayo…..

The First Saturday – Day 5

Not being at work and having a set schedule made for a little more snacking today.  It didn’t help that we only had one egg this morning so Hubs didn’t really know what to eat for breakfast (He sacrifically let me have it).  I ate it with some of that pork stuffing from last night – so good! 🙂

Today was not my best day. I feel like I didn’t have a plan and not having a plan is never good.  For some reason when I was planning the meals for the first half of the month, I only planned Monday – Friday. I totally forgot about the weekends. Hubs looks at the calendar and says, “What are we just going to starve on the weekends?” So I pseudo-wrote something down but it wasn’t enough planning.  I feel like we just grazed all day long instead of having 3 solid meals.  I also seemed to feel hungry all day but that could have been because what I was eating wasn’t enough to keep me full.

We went to Wyebrook Farm today and decided against the bacon.  The guy at the market is really nice and we talked about why they use nitrates and sugar when they cure the belly.  I’m still doing some research into this but Whole9 has a Bacon Manifesto that details their thoughts about bacon.  While there we bought some green lettuce (which is beautiful!), some more ground pork (so good!) and EGGS! I’m so excited about the eggs! We bought 3 dozen (yes, we go through that many!) and they are gorgeous!  I love that on the carton there is a ‘lay date.’  One carton’s date was yesterday! Talk about fresh!

I made some BBQ sauce but I’m not too sure about it. I think I may have added too much apple cider vinegar and am wondering what I can add to balance it out! Didn’t try to make the mayo yet. Hopefully soon so Hubs can have tuna and chicken salad for lunch during the week.

I did accomplish some things I wanted to do: put away the remaining Christmas decor, dusted and put back up the pictures I took down, organized the guest room (aka storage) a little bit, took some bins of stuff to the shed (actual storage).

On a different note: I haven’t been running because I can’t find my cold-weather running gloves. Might seem like a silly thing to stop someone from running but if you’ve ever run outside in the cold with less-than-stellar gear, you know why; it is awful! PLUS it gets dark so early that I can’t get a good run in if I stay after school for any reason or run errands. I really need to start working out again so I came up with a crazy solution: get up at 4:00 am and workout before school. I know it sounds crazy but I think it’s my only option right now. Do I want to get up that early and work out? Heck no! But I also understand the importance of exercise and if I’m going to work hard to make my body healthy through the food I eat, I should work to make my body healthy through exercise! 🙂

Day 3 and 4

One thing that I like about this Whole30 thing (there are many actually) but one specific thing that I like is that I’m experimenting more in my cooking. No longer can I rely on pasta or rice to make up the majority of the meal. Now I fill it with vegetables: sweet potatoes, spaghetti squash, broccoli, asparagus, green/yellow squash, etc.

Tonight dinner was sausage stuffed apples. It was REALLY good! Secret ingredient? Cinnamon! It really adds some nice flavor!  There is extra pork stuffing so I’m excited to eat it with my eggs  tomorrow morning.  That’s another thing I’m enjoying, taking dinner  and adding it to my breakfast the next morning. The pork I’ve been using is from Wyebrook Farm.  I’m loving it! AND I’m getting bacon without sugar in it! The guy at the market is going to try make a batch without nitrates or brown sugar! I’m excited to see how it turns out!  I’m hoping to get some eggs there too! 🙂

I seem to be reacting just as the Whole9 has predicted:
Day 1: What’s the Big Deal? – I can totally do this.
Day 2-3: The Hangover – while I didn’t have a ‘hangover’ specifically, I did feel tired during the day. I even had a “slump” after lunch!
Day 4-5: Kill ALL the Things – I haven’t wanted to kill anything, though last night I did have a slight meltdown while Hubs and I were talking about our finances but I don’t think that was triggered by the Whole30. I think that was normal life stress.

So tomorrow is supposed to be anther “Kill ALL the Things” day. We’ll see how it goes.

I had my first major craving today. I was sitting at my desk after the bell rang working on the budgeting worksheets I’ve been creating, and all of a sudden I was like, “I need some chocolate!”  I know from reading It Starts With Food and on the Whole9life website, that cravings typically last between 3-5 minutes. So if you can distract yourself for a short time, the craving will pass.  Luckily I sent the documents to the printer and ended up talking to some colleagues so I completely forgot about it.

I have, however, not been able to shake the desire to munch today.  It’s not that I’ve wanted to munch on non-Whole30 foods (although I saw a picture for key lime cupcakes on Pinterest that looked heavenly!), the things I have wanted are nuts, maybe some dried fruit (another thing to limit)  and I know I’m not supposed to do a lot of snacking, I am supposed to eat when I’m hungry (determining the difference between actual hunger and a craving is a learned skill) but I just wanted to keep eating today. It could be due to the big P.

Dinner last night was salmon for me (Hubs doesn’t eat fish) and ground beef for Hubs (I don’t eat ground beef). I baked the salmon and had it with some roasted asparagus and broccoli.  The salmon wasn’t my best. I topped it with a hazelnut “butter” recipe from It Starts With Food.

I’ve been meaning to make some homemade BBQ sauce and mayo, so hopefully I’ll get that done tomorrow along with putting away the remnants of the Christmas decor.  There’s also laundry, general cleaning, etc.  The list never ends!

Back to work! Whole30 Day 2

After a very lovely week and a half off from work, I went back today and was surprised that I didn’t mind being there as much as I had anticipated. My schedule in the morning (thanks to a rotating schedule) was very open and I worked on creating a budget worksheet for Hubs and I to follow. There are still some tweaks that need to be made but I think it will work.  I’m trying not to stress over the lack of funds; I know God will provide.

I have to say that I’m typically a snacker. I like to munch. And the time between breakfast and lunch I almost always get hungry and eat something. Breakfast before Whole30, while I always had some protein (i.e. eggs), it never seemed to fill me up like I wanted. I inevitably got hungry and snacked, usually on cashews or some piece of fruit.  WELL! Let me tell you! I have met my breakfast match! What I had today filled me up completely until about 1/2 hour before lunch! It was fantastic!  The few times I thought I felt hungry I drank some water and then didn’t think twice about eating.

Breakfast: Two scrambled eggs, 1/2 cup ground chicken with taco seasonings (homemade) from dinner a couple nights ago, and 1/2 an avocado.

At first I didn’t think I would be able to finish it. That’s A LOT of protein! But I did. And I didn’t get hungry! It was lovely!

Lunch was leftovers from dinner last night: pork, apple, and sage stuffed pork chops (the recipe called for bacon but we haven’t gotten our Whole30 approved bacon yet so I substituted ground pork. It was lovely. Recipe: here); extra pork stuffing; some caramelized red onions with sauteed spinach (I add this to e.ver.y.thing because I love it so much!), and some roasted  broccoli. I also had a salad with 1/2 an avocado and the always awesome Lemon Garlic Tessamae’s Whole30 approved salad dressings. Check them out here. It filled me up until the bell rang around 3:00. I had some cashews and an apple and felt great until dinner.

Dinner tonight was spiced chicken legs (recipe: here) with a veggie stir-fry (coconut aminos in lieu of soy sauce) and some roasted sweet potatoes with herbs de provence (another current obsession).

I felt good today. Minus waking up with enough adrenaline to out run a cheetah (my alarm really startled me). Looking back I  don’t ever remember feeling tired and I didn’t have the after-lunch slump. 🙂

On a different note, I started my Bible reading but only got to “In the beginning God…” because the Bible that I downloaded for my Kindle is a study Bible so then I was reading all the notes that go with the beginning verses of Genesis.  I’ve started reading the Bible so many times (and never finished) that I’m really praying God makes these first couple books fresh and new.  I don’t want to read them thinking that I know everything about them, Clearly I don’t.