Monday, March 9, 2015

Whole30 Day 1: I'm so Frexcited!

I didn't make up the word frexcited. Melissa Joulwan did. And she is hilarious.


So far so good? I don't really know. I guess there's already good, bad, and ugly. Because this is real life.

The good: Minneapolis is getting some spring this week. We might get above 60 tomorrow, it's sunny, the treacherous ice slicks have made their exit for - supposedly! - the season, if I'm to believe Paul Douglas (and I have every reason to). Beautiful weather makes everything better, you know? I skipped a real workout today and opted for a walk to and from preschool instead. It just seemed the right thing to do today.

The bad: Last night it took me forever to fall asleep. The new daylight-saving 11 p.m. felt way too early. Plus I had anxiety like the kind you get the night before you are going on a long trip and your flight is early in the morning and you are going through mental lists of what you need to bring and do and get in order before you depart and you are certain you forgot something or a hundred things and probably your house will flood while you're gone and IS THIS TRIP EVEN WORTH IT? Only my mind wasn't going all those wacky places, I just couldn't really relax. Ultimately, sleep arrived and we had a nice uninterrupted night (still sort of rare in our home; our son is afraid of a lot of things once bedtime comes around and thinks the parental bed is the most cosy so why shouldn't he get to sleep in it too since he is the member of our family most fond of cosy things?). But then I woke up with a sore throat (I've had hints of a cold for the last 3-4 days but it's not turned into anything real yet). Of course I panicked, and rightly so, as it wasn't the kind of sore throat that got better an hour past waking but has instead gotten steadily worse all day. It almost made me want to quit but then I remembered that probably cheese wasn't going to make my sore throat disappear any sooner. I drank a lot of hot beverages today.

The ugly: Well, not ugly. Just complicated. Even choosing how much I should share here is complicated for me. One sentence at a time, I guess? Not snacking is challenging - although, at least today, it was already obvious to me that the desire for snacks was psychological and not physical. I did not feel especially hungry in between meals, though I thought about food constantly. I reached for cheese out of habit at least four times. Not licking the spoon or knife (it's a dull one) that I use to make my children's lunches proved quite an exercise in self-restraint. I made a quick grocery run and all I could smell were baked goods, even though I almost NEVER buy baked goods (or even notice them!) at the Wedge. Most significantly: not drinking coffee will be hard. The taste, boost, and ritual of my morning coffee (which usually constitutes my entire breakfast) are all special. We shall see how that goes. (Note: coffee is permissible on Whole 30, but milk is not, and, despite some valiant efforts, I can't drink black coffee. I tried it with coconut milk last week and I thought it was disgusting. I drank two large mugs of green tea this morning and am hoping to wean myself of caffein over the next several days.)


On the plan:

Breakfast: Eggs with salsa and diced ham, green tea
Lunch: Big colorful salad with sunflower seeds, avocado, almonds, pear, olive oil; chia agua fresca
Dinner: Damn Fine Chicken, greens with mustard vinaigrette, baked sweet potatoes, roasted kale

What I actually ate:

Breakfast: Ate at 7:15 am; 2 eggs, a little olive oil, sautéed veggies (cabbage, kale, broccoli, tomatoes - made enough to have leftovers tomorrow), magic green sauce, two cups of green tea. Not the most attractive of meals, or delicious, especially since I don't usually eat so early in the day. But it was fine and I felt satiated until lunch time. I had a cup of bone broth at about 11:30, before heading outside for a walk to pick up Beckett from preschool.


Lunch: Ate at 12:45 pm; big colorful salad with sunflower seeds, avocado, almonds, half a pear, olives, carrots, lemon juice and olive oil; chia-lemon agua fresca; a few Sea Snax; some raw carrots. This meal was an example of the complicated stuff. The Whole 30 rules call for animal protein at every meal. I just can't do it, especially without yogurt. The rules also specify limiting nuts and seeds. There are a few rare people who do vegetarian Whole 30 Challenges, however - even vegan, which I am struggling to envision. My friend (and co-challenger) Amber sent me a link on a Whole 30 vegetarian approach. I'm going to research that a little more; I'm doing animal protein for the month but if I could manage at least one meal a day without meat, fish, or eggs, I'd feel like a much better steward of earth. (Read this for more on that.)

Snack: As I got dinner in the oven, I had 1/2 a homemade lara bar


Dinner: Ate at about 5:30-5:40; Damn Fine Chicken*, green salad with avocado and lemon-olive oil dressing, 1/2 a sweet potato with some ghee (the latter was my second course because my sweet potatoes took over 80 flipping minutes to bake tonight; as with chicken, I made enough for a few meals).

* Notes on the chicken:
1. I used 5 chicken thighs and 5 drumsticks, which I thought was an economical approach - that amount fed my family one dinner and I think it will provide one more dinner for me and MC tomorrow and my lunch tomorrow as well)
2. I thought the recipe was okay but not great. Maybe closer to Day 30 it will taste great, but at this point I am used to foods being aggressively flavored with butter and miso and maple syrup, etc. Coconut aminos + fish sauce were decent but not mind-blowing substitutes for soy sauce. That said, I'd probably still make it again.

Other impressions:
I was v. cold today, even though it was the warmest day here in 4+ months. Food-related? I have no idea. I don't feel grumpy or hungry or anything, but 30 days suddenly sounds like a VERY. LONG. TIME. Mostly I'm just annoyed that I have a sore throat. I had a fairly restful evening and am going to bed early. Hopefully that will facilitate some mending.



  1. Edith, are you still awake?

    Well done on Day 1. I hope to hear from the others, too. My day ended up being crazy, so I didn't get a chance to prep the chicken dinner. I've just arrived home, so I will bake a sweet potato and also chow on some chicken and steamed broc., carrots, and some more greens, etc.

    Quick question. Do the Larabars have to be homemade? Do the packaged ones fail the test? I have a box I never bothered to touch for several months, but my sweet tooth is like the devil on my shoulder. I normally would have no interest in these particular Larabars (not sweet enough or appealing to my taste), but anything sweet other than fruit (and I'm going to try to limit the fruit if not incorporated in a meal) is gonna feel more than necessary as I continue to deny myself the most luxurious indulgences.

    I'm down with cutting back on all the meat, too. Let's just ride these waves without crashing into an iceberg.

    Hunger was one of the biggest fears going into it, but I've managed today. 10:00am I made the eggs but forgot salsa since I was busy thinking about pushing through my busy day. For lunch at 4:00pm I had a BIG ASS salad containing much of what you recommended, but used walnuts instead of almonds.

    What about bananas? Stay away from those? I haven't done thorough research yet and will be too busy to have a chance to in Week 1.

    The cravings are definitely creeping up. In my class tonight, someone brought a ton of snacks, and all I could do was look away and drink my mason jar of bone broth. On my drive home, these cravings got dramatic because the music playing in the car could have served as a theme for a cinematic hunt for delicious baked goods. And luckily, the next song was a groovy reminder to...well, the chorus goes, "Give it up, now. Play it cool. Give it up, now. Don't let me down."

    So we made it! But damn it truly is gonna be a LONG month.

  2. Way to go Tommy!

    Lara bars are okay if they don't have peanuts or sugar as an ingredient. I know at least like five kinds are fine, but I can't remember which ones. Mine are homemade because I'm allergic to all nuts but almonds, and no lara bar is made only with almonds.

    I've read mixed things about bananas and have decided, especially since I work out and certain white starches are good for muscle recovery, to keep eating them. Maybe 3 times a week? Trying to not overthink it, but it's hard not to.

    And - yes. 30 days is evidently forever.

  3. Way to go Edith!!! You make eating clean look SO good! I'm cleanly eating the opposite foods as you on my nursing elimination diet. When I'm done I might do the Whole 30 (just so I can eat fish and eggs) and by then you will have posted many good menu ideas! So thanks! ;)