Saturday, March 14, 2015

Day 6: Saturday Morning Observations

I do not crave sugar as much as I'd imagined, but I do crave something easy. I am v. tired of cooking.

My stomach feels thinner and more muscular. My fingers aren't going up and down in size as they tend to do in Minnesota, just like the floor boards.

My head is strangely clear. It's reminiscent of mindfulness, I think, like there's a constant out-of-body-looking-down-into-my-body thing going on. It makes me lose my patience less.

I feel empowered. Like, if I can skip dairy and sugar (and everything else) for five days, then I can totally... X, Y, Z. And X, Y, and Z have nothing to do with food, but to the other areas of life that would benefit greatly from some discipline.

One of the Whole30 objectives is to break the obsession with calorie counting and the misconception that how our body uses food can be simplified into a calories in/calories out calculation. I am a child of the 80s though! So of course I'm obsessed with calories, and in the past I have lost and maintained weight by focusing on calorie counting. Also, I just love data! Accordingly, on Day 1, I did count. And I consumed 2200 calories (900 of them from my mega salad at lunch - all those nuts and seeds add up). I am trying to not cheat (even the aspirational/mental parts (no calorie documentation), not just the food rules (no chips)), so I have not counted since, but of course it is on my mind to some extent, and I can tell that there is a range I'm eating within, 2000-2200 being the likely average. Why do I mention this? Just to point out that I'm by no means starving myself. 

The most significant change has been sleep. A lot of Whole30 recaps include the epiphany that one needs way more sleep than he or she realized, e.g. 9.5-10 hours per night. My experience so far is the opposite. I have never needed a lot of sleep. Pre-children, pre-law school, pre-coffee (with cream) addiction, I got by just fine on five or six hours. Once at a weekend retreat many years ago, during an ice breaker in which we were supposed to share something that helps us add value, I said, "I'm really productive on really little sleep." Since then adult life happened and children arrived and I started relying on coffee in the morning and hourly snacks to give me energy boosts to make it through the day without any serious dips. Pre-Whole30, for the past five years at least, I didn't know how much sleep I needed, I just knew it was never enough. The mornings were always painful, especially since my daughter started kindergarten. (Her school's start time bumped our life up a good hour and a half. We still haven't really adjusted, seven months later.) Since Day 3, I have trouble falling asleep but it's not restlessness. I really don't feel tired at 10 p.m. When I finally fall asleep closer to midnight, I'm anxiously anticipating the brutality of the 6 a.m. alarm, but then it doesn't really feel so brutal. I'm not tired in the morning. According to the emails, I'm still not able to read my body's cues. They are different than before, so discerning between hunger and boredom or not being hungry but actually needing fuel and exhaustion vs. so-over-cooking, etc., isn't simple or natural or clear yet. Time will tell. In twenty-five days, I'll have a better grasp of what my body needs, I guess. But so far, I'm pretty sure that this way of eating is giving me much more stable energy levels. Food, eh? It's for real.

Finally, a word on meat. It's WAY more meat than we cheese-preferrers typically eat. That said, it's not as much as I thought. It is a lot of eggs though, and I can't believe how many vegetables I've consumed this week. Here's the animal protein tally, just what I'm eating, not what I'm also feeding my family:

Monday - 2 eggs, 3-4 oz chicken
Tuesday - 2 eggs, 1 hot dog, 6 oz chicken (split between two meals)
Wednesday - 2 eggs, 3 oz chicken, 4 oz Atlantic cod
Thursday - 4 oz Atlantic cod, 2 oz ground beef
Friday - ~7 oz canned tuna (split between two meals)
Saturday - 2 eggs, so far 
Whole week - 3 lbs chicken wings to make 3.5 quarts chicken stock

No pork. Minimal red meat. Next week will look pretty different as I'm going to try to use up what's in my refrigerator before buying more protein. That includes frozen shrimp, scallops, side pork, prosciutto, and roast beef. I will probably buy some chicken for more stock, some ground beef to bulk up the chile verde stew I made on Thursday, and some more eggs (our CSA share of two dozen every two weeks is not cutting it). I may or may not manage a meal plan this week. I'll keep you posted.

And I'll leave you with...

This morning's breakfast: 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon olive oil, 2 teaspoons coconut oil, kale, tomatoes, mushrooms

Ugly picture but not a bad breakfast!

Not the most attractive of breakfasts, but pretty tasty. Flickr is being weird so I don't know if the picture is working. Here's the link.


P.S. The rest of the day's food looked a little something like this.


Lunch: carrot, celery, roast beef, guacamole, kale chips, plantain chips

Snack: lara bar

Dinner: At the Kenwood! They were unbelievably accommodating and custom-made me a (nearly perfectly Whole30-compliant meal) and my dinner was delicious AND I didn't have to make it myself. Sounds like a win-win-win! Except that I feel kind of unwell tonight. Maybe because I ate at weird times? Also hormonal stuff is wacky and I'm still getting over illness. There were fava or lima beans in my meal and MC ate those for me. The menu: olives, mixed greens with sherry vinaigrette (no sugar in it), pan-fried scallops, grilled asparagus, cara cara oranges (my favorite!), and a pesto-ish sauce minus cheese and nuts.

Party food: Grapes (which tasted like candy), prosciutto, carrot, tomato, more water than a person should ever drink in one day. Parties are way less fun without wine, and my stomach hurts even though I didn't eat anything I shouldn't have eaten. I'm a little grumpy.

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