Saturday, March 28, 2015

Days 18, 19, 20: I Missed You Too!

I am still cheat-free and this week has been great. Things are finally coming together in my head with respect to what I am learning and hoping to take away from this food experiment. People have been asking a lot of questions and as I continue to articulate what's happening in my body and in my head, it forces me to think more critically about it all and I am nearly ready to right a mega post on what I think, how I feel, whether I'm going to be paleo afterwards (short answer: no), where I'll head next, and why I think the Whole30 is probably worthwhile for anyone seeking one or more of the following: a more efficient metabolism, kicking the sugar / cheese habits, increased awareness of how your body processes food, mental and/or physical healing of something that may be food-related, some rockin' biceps. What I've experienced firsthand as a Whole30er has largely corroborated what I've heard or read before, notably from my acupuncturist (sugar is fuel for bacteria and fungus) and my former personal trainer (it's 90% how you eat and 10% how you work out). Everything seems like less of an uphill battle right now. Taking care of my skin, working out, flossing, getting organized, problem-solving with foresight, thoughtfulness, and detachment. Not my usual reactively/emotionally/shortsightedly dealing with life's demands. All that said - it's not magic, I have some low-level anxiety about reintroducing certain foods and concerns re: how I will tolerate things I've historically enjoyed v. much, and I still ethically oppose the daily consumption of meat. This is all a preview of what's to come. I'm drafting in my mind. I've got a lot to edit out and structure better. This is stream of consciousness right now (in case you couldn't tell). I also have ten more days to go and chicken livers to fry and who knows what else.

So here's what I've eaten for the past three days. I accidentally deleted one breakfast picture and I didn't manage to photograph some things, as it's been a busy (but super fun!) few days.

Day 18, Thursday. Egg hash for breakfast (same as Wednesday, basically); PWO chia bites and banana; leftover chicken and brussels sprouts for lunch; dinner part 1 roast beef, guacamole, jicama, celery; dinner part 2 lackluster chicken stew. This is one of my deleted-photo days, so we're left with  just a picture of lunch, luckily the most photogenic and tastiest meal of the day.

Day 18 Lunch

Day 19, Friday, more on it with camera. Breakfast was kale, mushrooms, tomatoes, scrambled eggs, salsa, magic green sauce, sauerkraut, some strawberries. Lunch leftover salmon coconut soup and some apple with sunbutter. Dinner was big green salad with three tuna-sweet potato burgers, sprouts, jicama, and guacamole. Late last night, we hosted a concert with snacks and alcohol. MC made me a mocktail with coconut milk, passionfruit juice and lime juice and it was delicious and did not at all make me feel the way I did after Naked Juice last week. There was much less juice involved, the juice was less sugary, and the coconut milk (fat) cut against metabolizing the sugar super fast. All those things worked so well in my favor that I had two. (Probably like 5-6 oz each, plus some soda water to top off each glass.) Also nibbled on veggies, almonds, and chia bites while everybody else enjoyed M&M's, cayenne shortbread, chips + roasted red pepper hummus, and, according to my friends, some crazy good crackers that I randomly got from Kowalski's.

Day 19 Food

Day 20, Saturday. Breakfast with my girlfriends at Yum: chilaquiles, minus tortilla chips and challah (?), plus breakfast potatoes. Their eggs and potatoes are dairy free, btw. Makeshift lunch at home: chicken-apple sausage, carrots, celery, jicama, olives, sweet potatoes, magic green sauce. More satisfying than you'd think.

Day 20 Breakfast and Lunch

Took a break from working out today. Tonight is going to be challenging. More on that later. I am out of food!

Happy weekend! Happy spring break! xoxoxoxoxo

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Day 17: So Much Closer to Day 30!

Right? Day 17 sounds like I'm in it to win it.

One thing I need to win it is some sleep, so I'm limiting this post to an account of what I ate today. Lucky you.

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I mixed it up this morning with breakfast! Are you kind of proud of me? I had all those leftover roasted roots from last night, so I went crazy and made a hash. Added mushrooms, prosciutto, tomatoes, and Penzey's Sunny Paris seasoning. Topped it with two eggs that I'd fried up in ghee and ate it alongside my daily dose of sauerkraut. Super good. 7:30 a.m.

PWO at 11:15 (in the locker room, where I've diligently been enjoying my PWO food): homemade lara bar.

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Lunch at 12:15: a banana, roast beef, guacamole with carrots, celery, and jicama.

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Dinner was late as tonight we had parent-teacher conferences, so we ate after putting the children to bed. I had some apple slices and almond butter at about 7 pm and then this delightful salmon stew for dinner at 8 pm. I added jalapeƱo with the garlic and ginger and cilantro stems when I added the broth and coconut milk. MC complimented it. I contemplated seconds. It was almost - almost - as good as this one - which Sarah B. doesn't call "The Best Coconut Soup, Ever" for nothing. (FYI Sarah B. is my hero.)

I also made a giant pot of chicken stew tonight, based on another Not Without Salt recipe. (I can't call it pozole because there is neither hominy nor pork in it!) I will thank my future self for this endeavor, as it's good enough and smells wonderful and I know it will taste even better tomorrow, AND I have four lunch-sized portions of it ready to transfer to the freezer in the morning so that I can have some quick reheatable options during the next couple weeks. That said, it was a fair amount of work and next time I think I will just stick with my chile verde stew, which is simpler and, I think, more flavorful.

Enough about me. Good night. xoxooxxo

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Day 16: Back on Track

Hooray! I had GREAT food today! Because, as I said last night, there was nowhere to go but up, and once I realized that was the only direction I could head, I took advantage of the momentum. I made a plan, I went real grocery shopping (as opposed to the 12-minute fake version attempted yesterday), and I stuck my children in a tent watching Octonauts so I could get to work!

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I made this chicken and brussels sprouts recipe that my friend Rhiannon recommended. She did not let me down. It exceeded expectations big time, and I was expecting a good meal. This is super delicious. Make it. And don't be withholding where the garlic powder's concerned. Go big or go home. It's the primary seasoning! I used ghee and it was perfect (though messy; I had to clean a lot of grease splatters after this one). The thin pan sauce that settled in my cast iron skillet after baking went straight into a little jar for tomorrow. I have no idea how I'm going to use it yet but I can't wait to figure it out. I might just drink it. It's lemony, garlicky, buttery bliss.

My nearly 4-year-old took a bite and said, "Thank you for making this yummy chicken dinner, Mommy. It is sooooo good." I might have cried. I don't want to talk about it.

Back to the plan!

Here's the plan!

1. Breakfasts will continue to be eggs, salsa, greens, other veggies lying around. It's working and I need to keep what works.

2. Tomorrow's lunch will be tonight's leftovers. I could not be more excited to eat lunch tomorrow. Tomorrow's dinner will be Salmon and Coconut Stew with some cooked greens tbd.

3. Thursday's lunch will be on-the-go: roast beef, fruit, veggies, nuts. For dinner that night, I'm making this pozole - and I'll be posting, for the sake of the rookies, about how to Whole30-ify a recipe.

4. Friday's lunch will be a big salad and some tuna cakes. Dinner will be one of my Melissa Clark favorites: Roasted Broccoli and Shrimp. I usually eat it with a grain, so to make it a heartier meal, I might make another favorite - Lottie and Doof's potato rosti. Every time I make that I wonder why I don't make it more often. We are partying that night too, so MC is going to make me this coconut-pineapple mocktail.

5. Some big news: I am committing publicly, right now, to making crispy chicken livers. Because apparently the Whole30 really DOES change your life.

6. Starting tonight, I'm working on the sleep part of the deal. On the days when I don't have caffeine (today and yesterday, last Tuesday and Wednesday), I have had a dramatic lull in energy in the afternoons.

7. Write my novel.

8. Reverse climate change.

9. Make a food plan for next week.

And finally, today's meals.

Breakfast of Champions at 7:30 am. Also had tea with coconut milk in it at about 9:15.

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PWO at 10:45 am. Bar with sprouted flax and dried fruit. Pretty satisfying. Felt good after eating it.

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Lunch at 1 pm. Big salad with guacamole, sprouts, nuts, seeds, beets, strawberries, mint, romaine, scallions, lemon juice, and olive oil.

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Dinner at 5:30 pm. Chicken legs and brussels sprouts; roasted parsnip, sweet potatoes, and rutabaga. The best. (Ask my son.)

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Another day in the bank. A much better day, actually.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Day 15: HALF. WAY. THERE!

I am glad today is about to be over. Because today being over means I am closer to Day 31. A day I am really starting to look forward to.

I ran out of food. I tried to remedy this by going grocery shopping in the twelve minutes I had to spare beginning at 11:42 a.m. Needless to say it was a spectacular failure. They didn't have brussels sprouts, I didn't have a list, and I was still late to pick up Beckett from preschool. I ended up coming home with a lot of bananas, a lot of chicken, and no plan.

Hence the beautiful meals depicted below.

Day 15 Food

Breakfast at 7:30 - Eggs, tomatoes, arugula. My worst breakfast in a while.
Lunch at 12:45 - Chile verde stew with an egg and some guac.
Unpictured snack at 4 - Banana, 2 chia bites.
Dinner at 5:45 - Beautiful, colorful salad with beets, mango, pepitas, carrots, lemon and olive oil... and hot dogs.

The first day of the best week yet did not really meet my expectations. Tomorrow I'll do better. I mean, from bad eggs and good hot dogs I have nowhere to go but up, right?