Category Archives: Uncategorized

Things I’ve Learned on Whole 30.

Things I’ve learned on Whole 30

  1. There are never enough tomatoes in the house.
  2. Cinnamon is used in normal cooking far too little.
  3. In spite of number two, or perhaps in acknowledgement of this fact, I had 3 nearly full bottles of ground cinnamon in my pantry.
  4. Just because a variety of a particular sauce does not include sugar that does not mean that the original version of that sauce is also free of sugar.
  5. Eating out is extremely difficult. It’s almost off-putting to even attempt to keep Whole 30 when going out without just having a salad.
  6. The most casual acquaintances can be extremely supportive when they see someone else working toward their fitness goals. Faith in humanity restored.
  7. Any dish that uses potatoes is made several times better with the substitution of sweet potatoes.
  8. I feel like I’ve eaten more eggs in the last month than I did last year.
  9. Leeks are fabulous.
  10. How to ignore flashy words on packaging like “All Natural,” “Cage Free,” and “100%” and just read the ingredient list.
  11. How to poach an egg properly.
  12. Actually poaching said egg properly.
  13. That food had a ton of control over me, and nothing good could come from anything having control over me.
  14. That I can change my life.

Whole 30, Day 26

Well, I certainly didn’t plan to skip two weeks worth of updates. January just got extraordinarily busy, some of the details of which I’ll post in another update. Suffice it to say that I’ve had little time to write, but that I’ve been good and stayed on plan, even on days when I’ve had to be out of the house. It hasn’t been easy and my choices to just not eat at certain meals probably made the whole ordeal a lot more difficult for me in the short term, overall making the right decisions is what is most important.

A few highlights from the last two weeks:

I tried to make a giant pot of turkey chili, hoping to freeze some of it, so that I could use it to help reduce future meal prep during the month. I had the meat browned and the other vegetables in the pot with Contadina crushed tomatoes. I had cans of Italian Herb Tomato Sauce from them but that wasn’t quite the flavor profile I was going for, so when I needed the chili to have a little more sauce I grabbed their original flavor tomato sauce. Surely the only thing different would be the lack of Italian herbs, right?

WRONG. Third ingredient in: sugar. WHY? Why must everything be ruined by sugar? It wouldn’t have been a big deal but I had opened the can and dumped it into my chili before I read the ingredients. Several pounds of chili were now ruined for Whole 30 because of one 8 oz can of tomato sauce.

I still managed to whip up a dinner in fifteen minutes after that fiasco, but there was a definite dark aura looming over me for several hours. It was my fault, though. I need to be more diligent in checking labels when I buy food. I can’t assume that similar products from the same company will have or omit the same ingredients.

Later in the month I made a 30-minute turkey chili because, dang it, I wanted turkey chili.

30-Minute Turkey Chili
30-Minute Turkey Chili

I had never eaten spaghetti squash before but I finally got the chance to make faux pasta with one and I loved it. I served mushrooms and shrimp in a homemade marinara (all with approved tomato products, this time) over a bed of the squash with just a bit of ghee tossed with it and it was amazing. Anyone who knows me can attest that I am a huge pasta fiend but this substitute could make me forget that I could be using noodles instead.

Spaghetti Squash with Mushroom and Shrimp Marinara
Spaghetti Squash with Mushroom and Shrimp Marinara

I also made an awesome pork tenderloin that only slightly got overcooked, but was still extremely moist and tender (just missing that gorgeous pink center). It is in a tie with the aforementioned spaghetti squash pasta for my favorite dish this month. And I made the leek puree again to rest the pork on top of and the combination was spectacular. Leeks are quickly becoming a staple in the household.

Roasted Pork Tenderloin on Leek Puree
Roasted Pork Tenderloin on Leek Puree

I also managed to eat out on several occasions. Twice at Jason’s Deli which were successful attempts at proving to myself that I can inhale more boiled eggs than should be humanly possible. Once at a Denny’s following a convention where I opted to just wait for dinner to even try to eat anything on plan. Our server was kind with my requests and put my salsa on the side so I could determine whether I thought I could eat it or not (he couldn’t tell me if it had sugar in it) and the cook staff graciously altered my veggie skillet (more eggs, less scrambling) so I could be sure of what I was eating in case something stuck out as being a potential problem.

Denny's Fit Fare Vegetable Skillet with Whole Fried Eggs
Denny’s Fit Fare Vegetable Skillet with Whole Fried Eggs

I also tried to eat at Chipotle because apparently the carnitas are Whole 30 compliant. This would have marked my first visit to Chipotle and I was looking forward to this magical experience that everyone always makes Chipotle out to be.

Except apparently Chipotle has a nationwide pork shortage right now. So no carnitas for me. I opted for a veggie salad (hold the veggies, they’re cooked in forbidden oils) with guacamole and salsa with some tabasco sauce to round out the “salad.” Perhaps some day I’ll eat at Chipotle. Some day.

Chipotle Veggie Salad sans Veggies
Chipotle Veggie Salad sans Veggies

Five more days until the Superbowl where I’ll officially be off my Whole 30 (31, really). When I looked at the plan at first, I never would have dreamed that I’d really reach the end, but I’m almost there and it’s really made a huge difference on how I look at food. What an amazing journey.

Whole 30, Day 12

A co-worker asked me today why I had stopped updating my blog after Day 8. No, I haven’t stopped doing the Whole 30. In fact, I’ve been working harder than ever to ensure that I don’t break the plan. I’ve been good and I’ve even eaten out and had a completely Whole 30-approved meal, something that I thought would be impossible to do. But nothing is impossible, only difficult, and anything worth doing isn’t easy.

I almost gave up completely on eating out on the weekend. I went up to see my friend and decided we might try to order something in, but after going through several menus and trying to determine what parts of what meals I could eat I just gave it up. I was frustrated initially but it reminded me that this process requires a lot of planning, especially when going out.

I will be going out next weekend. I am going to figure out a plan of action now.

The past several days I’ve run into cravings a little more often than I had in the first week. I think my brain is getting to the point where it wants a reward for being good. My brain, not my body. I don’t need chocolate or soda or Cheez-Its. I just want them. It’s about this point that my past attempts at changing my eating habits usually fade and I regress back into poor choices. Having a support system is crucial to completing the Whole 30. Luckily I have wonderful friends who are supportive of (and patient with!) my dietary restrictions including my mother who is doing the Whole 30 with me. I could have tried to do this alone, but why risk the chance at failure?

People are bugging me for food and menus and recipes and stuff. Yeah yeah yeah, here is more food. Recipes for everything should go up this week and the photos and links below will point to the appropriate posts.

Day 9

Potato Hash and Poached Eggs
Potato Hash and Poached Eggs
Mushroom Chicken Sausage with Leek Puree and Cauliflower Rice
Mushroom Chicken Sausage with Leek Puree and Cauliflower Rice
Shredded Crockpot Pepper Lime Chicken
Shredded Crockpot Pepper Lime Chicken

Day 10

Spinach and Mushroom Omelette with Homemade Salsa
Spinach and Mushroom Omelette with Homemade Salsa
Spicy Salmon
Spicy Salmon
Italian Chicken Sausage on Hoimemade Salsa and Leek Puree
Italian Chicken Sausage on Hoimemade Salsa and Leek Puree

Day 11

Scrambled Veggies and Eggs with Sweet Basil Chicken Sausage
Scrambled Veggies and Eggs with Sweet Basil Chicken Sausage
Lemon Garlic Salmon
Lemon Garlic Salmon
Chicken Salad Wraps with Homemade Mayonaise
Chicken Salad Wraps with Homemade Mayonaise

Day 12

Sweet Potato and Beef Sausage Hash with Poached Eggs
Sweet Potato and Beef Sausage Hash with Poached Eggs
Pepper Lime Chicken with Zucchini and Mushrooms
Pepper Lime Chicken with Zucchini and Mushrooms
Panera Power Steak Lettuce Wraps (no Basil Pesto)
Panera Power Steak Lettuce Wraps (no Basil Pesto)

Whole 30, Day 8

Week 2 is here officially. The first seven days of the challenge have come and gone and I have a confession to make.

Today, I actually feel kind of rough.

I woke up a little cloudy and it took me longer to get up and going than usual. My stomach felt a little upset and in general I just felt off. This is the first time since starting Whole 30 that I haven’t felt great (apart from being sick at the start of the year, a residual effect of 2014), but I’m not sure what’s to blame. I slept for 6 hours, which is actually above average for me, I just felt really tired. Maybe I just need more sleep in general.

After enough time the feelings passed and I returned to feeling pretty darn good. Maybe I just got up on the wrong side of the bed.

One of the lingering habits I picked up over the last 30 years is the rate of consumption of my food. I practically devour it as soon as it is in front of me. I’ve had people comment that it takes me much longer to make a sandwich than it does for me to inhale it. I attribute this to trying to find what I thought were better uses of my time at lunch during middle school and high school, either homework or socializing. As much as I enjoyed food, sitting and enjoying a meal didn’t make sense when I could be using the time to do so many other things. So I swallowed my food as quickly as I could. And I still do today. Even during the Whole 30 (which directs against it) I find myself lifting spoonfuls of food to my mouth before I’m done with the last one, striving for a peak in efficiency with which I clear my plate.

Today I ate breakfast slowly and calmly in an attempt to get myself used to eating appropriately. It felt odd, but I managed not to just pull my plate up to my mouth and shovel the contents into my gaping maw. Somehow.

Today’s Menu

Breakfast

Boiled Eggs with Mushrooms on Salsa
Boiled Eggs with Mushrooms on Salsa

Lunch

Sweet Basil Chicken Sausage with Bell Peppers and Tomatoes
Sweet Basil Chicken Sausage with Bell Peppers and Tomatoes

Dinner

Pangasius with Vegetable Saute
Pangasius with Vegetable Saute