Whole30, Day [something a long time ago] – Day 19

Hi. It’s day 19. I don’t remember the last time I updated, but I’m pretty sure it was somewhere around day 5. Whoops. So much for daily food logging, huh?

To be perfectly honest, I’ve been really, really enjoying not keeping track of every morsel. I’ve been doing my best to follow the Whole30 template (the trouble lies in the post-workout snack – I don’t do that. I tried, but it was a post-WO fail). The biggest success so far is that I feel as though I’m making big strides in changing my relationship with food. I don’t think I’ve lost any weight, my minor skin issues aren’t really any better, and my clothes aren’t exactly hanging off me – but I don’t really care. My body will catch up to what I’m trying to do. And, really, if a size 2/4 is the smallest I can get now, if this is the smallest my body is comfortable being, that’s perfectly fine. I don’t need to fit into my old clothes. I’ll buy new clothes!

Such healthy body positivity happening right now. Can you tell I’ve been reading all the blogs?

So anyway. Let’s talk about food. Food is important. Here are some of the most photogenic examples of my meals over the past two weeks:

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As you can see, there are a lot of sweet potatoes happening. I generally eat 1/2-1 sweet potato per day, because, according to the forums, active humans, especially those who are female, can never have enough sweet potato in their lives. There are never enough sweet potatoes. It’s imperative that I eat all the sweet potatoes. Also, they are filling and delicious. I like microwaving them and eating them with a little ghee and salt, or cutting them up and adding them to my morning breakfast hash.

There is a rogue butternut squash in there, too, and yes, I do enjoy my cruciferous veggies. Brussels sprouts are back in season! I love the fall!

I’m also a big fan of Melissa Joulwan’s cauliflower rice pilaf – I’ve made that twice in the past two weeks, and it lasts at least a few days. I usually (no surprise here) have salmon for dinner. I love a good baked salmon en papillote, but I’ve recently taking to coating my salmon in onion- and garlic-related spice mixes and a little almond flour and pan-frying it. It’s so, so good. I love cooking.

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Also, fried eggs. I just recently mastered the art of the fried egg. I like to balance a fried egg atop a breakfast hash, but I’ll also eat it separately. I started off frying them in ghee, but transitioned to coconut oil because I feel like it’s probably a little better for me than ghee (but I absolutely adore ghee). The trick to the effective fried egg is this: make sure the pan is hot enough that the oil sizzles, and crack the egg with force and confidence so as not to shake the egg and break the yolk. I still sometimes break the yolk. The egg is usually still delicious, but not as fun as one with a runny yolk.

I don’t know that I’ve had the “tiger blood” that supposedly kicks in around this time. I wouldn’t describe my energy as “boundless.” I think I’ve been sleeping better, because I know I’ve been dreaming more often than usual. I feel like I’m getting stronger – I did some of my circuits yesterday using 10-lb. weights instead of 5. Nothing extraordinary, though.

So, no huge improvements, but I really like my food – that has to count for something, right? Right.

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Whole30, Days 4 and 5.

Welp, I made it through the fourth and fifth days without anything traumatic happening. Today was apparently the first day of “kill all the things,” but nothing suffered except a near-empty jar of coconut butter. The same fate belied a similarly filled jar of cashew butter yesterday. I vow from this day forward to avoid procuring delicious things that can be eaten directly out of the jars in which they are contained. I mean, unless they call to me, in which case all bets are off. I’m looking at you, cashew butter. I’ll be back for you.

Otherwise, the past few days have been comprised of fun and eventful cooking experiences. Yesterday, I made my very first breakfast hash. Today, I made my second breakfast hash, quite similar to the first, except omitting the sweet potato in favor of leftover butternut squash and kale instead of spinach. I’ll be honest: while today’s breakfast was scrumptious, yesterday’s was better. I’m still working on my egg-frying technique, but I feel like that’s just a good excuse to have another hash for breakfast tomorrow.

Lunches have been somewhat unexciting. I usually do salads for lunch, but the past few days have been leftovers. Not terribly thrilling, although it’s sort of exciting to use the microwave at work, mostly because it involves me getting up from my desk and going upstairs to the kitchen. My life is thrilling.

Dinner. I get so creative with the dinners. Last night’s was unexpectedly tasty: I made Mexican cauliflower rice (I made up the recipe! The secret: lots of cumin), heated up some shredded chicken from my Whole Foods rotisserie chicken, added some pico de gallo and spicy guacamole from Trader Joe’s, and that was dinner. Oh, and I broke up some compliant plantain chips and mixed those in there, too. It was super fast and quite a treat. That was lunch today, too. Tonight’s dinner was not as exciting (comprised mainly of leftovers), but made me happy as well.

The unfortunate thing is, my tummy has not been very pleased with me for the past week or so. I can only assume it’s detox-related, or because of the cashew butter that kept making its way onto my hapless spoon, but I’d really like it if it ceased being problematic.

True to form, I was sleepy again yesterday afternoon and took an hour-long nap when I got home from work, but I wasn’t tempted to do that today. I even cleaned the apartment this morning after I got home from the gym! Progress.

Otherwise, my workouts have been improving – largely because I’m so sleepy in the morning I can mostly tune out while running, so I make it through four miles without much awareness (and therefore, fewer mental battles: “I only need to do two miles today… I’m bored… I can stop at one and a half…”). My Jillian circuits are also fine – I’ve noticed that No More Trouble Zones (my favorite) is easy again, which means I’m in comparable shape to where I was last October/November.

Full disclosure: The plantain chips are sitting next to me on the couch right now. I’m going to, ahem, get rid of the few remaining chips so they don’t tempt me with their utter… chip-ness.

On to Day 6!… The plantain chips are gone now.

Whole30, Days 1-3.

So. Hi. I’ve been doing some Whole30-ing. It’s currently Day 3, although I’ve been doing this for about two weeks. Explain? Sure.

A friend of mine, who lives on the East Coast, let me know he would be visiting San Francisco. He told me a few weeks ago, while I was still planning on a September 1 start date for Whole30, and he was here last week, so I had to move my start date back a few days. But I was so excited to start Whole30 after Perricone that I… did. I basically did a Whole8 (8/26-9/3). I then took a few days to properly recover from my friend’s visit and started the “official” Whole30 on Saturday… although to be fair, Friday was also Whole30 compliant. That’s how I roll.

Anyway. Now that you have the background…

This official round of Whole30 is not as easy and enjoyable as the first. I think I got a little too comfortable making omelets stuffed with everything in the fridge for breakfasts and my tastebuds have acclimated. This morning, I made my very first paleo breakfast scramble. It had two eggs, and some sweet potato (my love affair with sweet potato continues), ground beef (grass-fed!) and lamb (my next love affair will be with lamb), and… some other things. Ghee! Ghee is amazing. Let me ask, is it “djee” or “gee”? Hard “g” or soft? I have no clue how to pronounce it and have to resort to calling it “clarified butter.” It’s either that or pointing and grunting.

Anyway, I’m posting all my Whole30 meals on Instagram if you want to follow me. Warning: They’re not all pretty. I’m usually more concerned with shoveling the food directly into my mouth rather than making it look presentable. I also think that’s totally reasonable.

I actually had a pretty exciting dinner, too. I made paleo pesto (my own “recipe”… err, random assembling of basil and things and borrowing my roommate’s immersion blender) and combined it with spaghetti squash and salmon and mushrooms. I also roasted some cauliflower and heated up a sweet potato with some ghee. I feel like I’m eating all the things, so it’s a good thing I go to the gym most days.

It’s Day 3. How do I feel? Sleepy. According to today’s email, that’s normal. My tummy is also not super pleased with me, but I suspect it’s because I got into the cashew and coconut butters last night (they’re like crack, especially together. Do not put them together, you will lose all sense of good and evil). I had a somewhat decent workout this morning, although I only ran three miles in addition to my three Jillian Michaels circuits, and I really would’ve preferred four miles. Perhaps tomorrow. I hope this sleepy stuff goes away quickly – my classes started last Thursday and I have homework due Sunday that I still haven’t started. Whoopsies. Here’s my motto: Procrastinate now! Don’t put it off!

Alright. I’m sleepy. It’s 8:45, so obviously that means it’s time for bed.

At least I won’t attract any vampires!

I’m in the midst of the 28-day Perricone Prescription meal plan and was getting bored with my meals, so last night, I roasted some onions and tomatoes and garlic to jazz up my salads. Note: Roasted garlic is delicious. It’s also pungent. I have garlic oozing out of my pores. At least I’m not single and hoping to attract eligible men. OH WAIT, I AM. Good work, self.

Anyway. That’s about as exciting as my foodie adventures have been lately. I’ll be starting my first Whole30 stint in two weeks, and I’m pretty excited about it. I just ordered Well Fed (the cookbook that sort of accompanies it) and a slow cooker, so I’m ready. I mean. I’ll be ready in two weeks.

Perricone’s meal plan is working, though, as usual. I’m currently comfortably wearing a pair of jeans I haven’t been able to wear since February, so I’ll call that progress. I’d be satisfied with just sticking to this way of eating, but I really just want to experience this Whole30 thing for myself – I want to know if it benefits me to cut out grains and legumes and dairy, and if I have any food intolerances. The only thing I’m not looking forward to is not having stevia in my coffee in the morning, but I think I’ll live. If I continue with paleo/primal, that will be added back in. This I already know.

Meanwhile, the full-time job I’ve been working at since mid-May is transitioning back to part-time, so it should be interesting to see how good I am about staying active while I’m not working. I’d be excited about it, except for the whole smaller paycheck thing. One month and I’m back to school!

Okay, so that failed.

One day.

That’s how long I lasted before I caved to the junk food goodness.

I was doing great on Friday, I really was. I had an omelet for breakfast and then I had a salad for lunch. But then… I went to meet my friend Lillian at her co-working office and I somehow convinced her that we needed to devour massive amounts of chips. I don’t know why. That’s when I feel off the food wagon.

Yesterday was even worse. I met a new friend and some of her friends for brunch, which was fine (another salad), but then we went to the Russian Festival. A true Russian, I cannot resist doughy, bready, delicious Russian food. So I ate… and kept eating. And OMG it was delicious. I started to believe I should move to Siberia so this extra layer of fat would have some usefulness and context.

So tomorrow, my blog friends, I start my month-long Perricone feast. Yep, one month. I will chronicle it on this blog, every day, complete with what workout(s) I completed and photos of the meals that I consumed. I’ve done this before, but it was only two weeks. This time I’m serious. I turn 28 in 32 days and I will fit back into my jeans by then, dammit.

Foodie returns.

Things that have happened since I last blogged:

  1. I started and finished my first semester of grad school with a 4.0 average. Go me.
  2. I got into really, really good shape.
  3. I quit my job (yay) and moved to San Francisco (double yay).
  4. I got stressed out with all the changes and the big move and stopped working out consistently and started eating everything in sight, so I gained some weight. Sad face.
  5. Probably several more insignificant things that I can’t recall at the moment.

So you see, it’s been a real rollercoaster of a time, especially the past few months (I moved in early January). I am currently unemployed (sort of – I’ve been doing some freelance work) and in grad school full time. At first I really enjoyed my faux retirement, but it started to prove difficult after a few weeks when I realized that work was the only thing that was forcing me to maintain a structure to my daily life. I then tried to start adding structure back into my day by waking up at 5:00 like I used to when I was working, but that’s been a challenge the past few days. I’ve been meeting my friend at a cafe so we can co-work, which helps a little. But if I deviate from the schedule at all, the rest of the day is shot. I woke up late yesterday and ended up not getting very much done and watching Glee for the entire afternoon and into the evening (with a brief respite to watch Tuesday night’s episode of Smash). I wonder how people are disciplined enough to make a career of freelance work. How do they stop the lazy from taking over?

Anyway, I decided to start blogging again to hold myself accountable for my eating and exercise decisions. I’m going to try to stick to Dr. Perricone’s eating guidelines, though not necessarily following his eating plan to the letter due to budget constraints and social engagements. Like tonight, since it’s technically Day 1, I’m supposed to have steamed spinach, but I have a bunch of brussels sprouts, so that will probably happen instead. Plus, I love brussels sprouts.

So, here’s to doing my best to get healthy again. I have ten pounds of smoked salmon in my freezer and I know how to use it.

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