Oh really, Whole 30?

Ok.  I haven’t read the book.  I’m sure there are important reasons in regards to emotional response to food or something idiotic like that.  But I do NOT agree that we can’t enjoy healthy, whole foods that are encouraged on the Whole30 diet if they are “whipped up” somehow to remind us of foods we love.

I’m speaking specifically to YoNananas.  I have no desire to use this machine for myself, nor do I enjoy banana ice cream.  However, while searching the forums about something else, I came upon a spirited scolding from a Whole30 “moderator” to the group about the dangers of YoNananas.  Now, if you are not familiar with this contraption, it is magic.  It takes frozen bananas (and add-ins if you want, like other fruit, cocoa, etc.) and pulses them somehow into the texture of frozen yogurt.  My kids absolutely LOVE this thing, they beg for “banana ice cream” and I am thrilled to have found a way to let them enjoy unadultered bananas in a fun way.  There is NOTHING ELSE in the “ice cream”.  Ingredient list:  bananas.  So WTF?  We aren’t supposed to have it because it “replicates the reward sensation of ice cream?”  Puhleeeze.

To me, this is a lifestyle change focused on what we put into our bodies and finding ways to eliminate things that are bad for us.  I’m all for the whole-foods-only mantra and hope that even after this challenge I can continue eating only the most wholesome and “real” foods out there.  I’m also hoping to gradually shift my kids’ eating to mimic this (with allowances for, yknow, life).  But if a magic machine turns my whole bananas into “ice cream” or a thin slice of fresh veg pan-fried with coconut oil turns my food into “chips” then so be it.  I have no problem with enjoying food in this way.

Day 3

I’m going to start writing this as a breakfast blog.  Breakfast seems to be the hardest and most critical part of my day, and I still haven’t gotten it down.  Part of the issue continues to be quantity/hunger, part is variety (of which there is little since I still fall into the “breakfast foods for breakfast” camp), part is timing.  I’ve come to realize that it’s not just about what time I eat – it’s about what time I finish.

I did follow my own advice and tried this morning a “pack & go” type of breakfast.  Some hardboiled eggs, a little bit of cold leftover bacon (still delicious!), a handful each of grapes and strawberries, and a ziplock of raw carrots with a little organic sunflower seed butter.  PS Organic Sunbutter is not nearly as yummy as the sugared variety.  Shock!

The eggs were hard to choke down, probably because they were cold/dry and probably because they were plain hardboiled eggs.  Nothing sexy about that.  Coffee helped.  But after consuming those, the bacon and a few of each types of produce, I was feeling the blargs.  I thought it would be valuable to eat more carrots, so over the next hour in the car I basically snacked those until the thought of another made me want to hurl.  This is not a sustainable plan.  Plus, since that made it 9am before I was finished, my 1pm lunch came too soon again.

So I shift my focus yet again.  I think I need to worry less about portion and more about making something I actually want to eat.  This is very challenging during a week of early camp, but I know if I haven’t gotten the hang of it by Friday, I should have a bit more time the mornings after that.  And rather than worry about being too hungry for lunch (I was abiding hard & fast to the idea of waiting 4-5hrs between meals), I will embrace it.  I’ll either be actually HUNGRY which has yet to happen on this nutritional journey (I would welcome it!) or — as if it were so bad! — I’ll add a little snack in there midmorning.  Heck, my toddler snacks every 25minutes it seems, so I could just participate in one of those 🙂

What I learned so far on Day 2

1.  Breakfast is not my jam.  Yeah, I F*ed it again.  Even with the gift of my husband, I managed to mess up.  I came downstairs to a gorgeous plate of hash browns, bacon and fried eggs.  Amazing!  But I failed again to plan enough time (seriously, these meals take eons to consume) and I didn’t try hard enough to add some good veg/fruit to the meal (it was hard enough to eat half of what was there – will my hunger in the AM come back?)

Breakfast is just hard for me.  Hard to eat, hard to dress up nicely, hard to prioritize.  So tomorrow will be attempt #3 — a prepacked meal.  Hardboiled eggs, chopped fruit/veg, maybe a handful of nuts or something.  If it is packed up and ready to go, maybe I’ll nibble while prepping the boys and continue to nibble on the drive to camp?  If not, I may have to resort to smoothies or something which I know aren’t ideal but it’s hard to imagine being too hungry afterwards.  I still wasn’t hungry today 5hrs after breakfast!

2.  It would be REALLY easy to overdo fat on this diet, Atkins-style.  We are encouraged to eat meals with protein, veg and FAT, which is freeing in a good-but-also-dangerous way.  Almost everything we’ve made so far has started with ghee in the skillet or oil in the pan, and it is easy to get carried away because “fat is good for us.”  I’m not advocating that we remove it, but how much is too much?  Breakfast was too heavy for me, and not just because of my failures.  Bacon is fatty on its own, but mixed with eggs and potatoes cooked in bacon fat?  I need to try harder to cook with *some* fat but not so much that I’m drowning in it.  And I need to balance it more with unadorned produce.

3.  Tuna packed in olive oil is INSANELY DELICIOUS.  Where have you been all my life, can o’ lusciousness? Why do people buy tuna in water and then ADD MAYO, when this is yummier, healthier and easier to consume?  I always avoided tuna because I can’t stand mayonnaise (it is seriously one of the most disgusting substances I have ever seen/smelled) but I also can’t stand dry-as-dirt tuna.  And “packed in oil” was always a sinful mistake that only stupid people made.  OR SO I THOUGHT.  This tuna we found is just the fish and some olive oil, which I’m “supposed” to eat anyway.  And as a topper on a salad of mixed greens, diced carrots, cucumbers, apple and almonds, it transformed my experience.  I’m talking Best Salad Ever.  I’m curious if I’ll still feel this way, though, after a month of damn tasty salads.

4.  Onions are my kryptonite.  I tried for the second time today to dice one up and had you happened upon me you would’ve immediately given your most sincere condolences.  I wasn’t just sniffling, I was flooding walls of tears down my cheeks and onto my clothes.  Must invest in space helmet.

5.  I used to seriously pity people who told me they had to cut out dairy.  Or wheat.  Or sugar (!!)  It always sounded so impossible and sad.  Yet somehow cutting out all three seems easier.  I know what that sounds like, but it’s true.  Because instead of trying to tiptoe around a “regular” life and worry about ingredient lists on every product (is there sneaky whey in that? rice syrup?), this is just a new life.  I’m not worrying about finding the right bread that has no dairy, or the right tomato sauce without sugar.  I’m just eating the real stuff.

6.  As “easy” as this seems in some ways, I also see how incredibly easy it would be to give this up.  I started having intense, stabbing pain in my foot that my hubs had read could be related to vitamin deficiency.  It seems backwards to me that I could be missing any vitamins, given that I’m eating more veg & fruit than I ever have in my life.  But if that is the case (I’m going to start a multivitamin tonight), I would race so quickly and easily back to hot cocoa or yogurt or whatever I’m missing.  I’d keep all this great food on the menu, I’d just add in some other things to see what my body is screaming about!

Day 1

We’re doing it!  I’m so glad someone <<apparently smarter than I>> convinced my husband to read It Starts With Food and get on board with the food=health relationship. Because truly I couldn’t have (wouldn’t want to have?) done it on my own.  This is a two person job, learning and prepping and catching each other (I’m looking at you, sneaky carageenan, wiling your way into our almond milk.)  It’s more fun this way, more supportive, more exciting and I’m really hopeful that we will come out the other side feeling world’s better than we do now.  We’ve made some changes over the years and have tried to be better.  But this is a full-on, overhaul-everything-you-do-regarding-buying-consuming-enjoying food process that actually makes sense to me.  Not a diet, not a fad.  A “Do Better, You Deserve It” kind of journey.

So it’s Day 1 and, of course, I’ve already F*ed up!  Not with the food, thankfully, since it would be pathetic if one meal in I’d already have eaten something wrong.  But I didn’t plan the morning right and let stress and overtiredness get the better of me.  My son was up a lot last night which left me absolutely wiped, plus this was the first day of a new camp that required me to pack a bag with lunch, two waters, three snacks, two outfits, swim gear, emergency clothes, sunscreen, permission slips and the sink from my new Whole30-approved kitchen.  By the time we were on the third argument about why he doesn’t like the same-as-it-always-is-and-yet-somehow-the-tiniest-but-most-offensively-different oatmeal, I had only gotten some of the clothes, two of the snacks and one of the waters prepped.  Towel, goggles, swim shoes, another nut-free snack and 39 other things still needed to appear, the kids had to be dressed (thank goodness for the hubs) and I had to brush my teeth and grab a hat/bra/pants/decency.  Was I really going to be whipping up a healthy breakfast and finding time to eat that, too?  Unlikely.

Which is how I messed up.  I didn’t eat…which meant I had to come home after dropoff…which meant I missed my exercise window at the Y…which meant I didn’t eat until much later that I should have…which meant I couldn’t possibly stomach lunch at an appropriate time…which rendered pointless the chicken in the slow cooker that was prepped to be done at exactly 5pm (kid-life dinner time)…which meant reorganizing meals/schedule for the day.  So.

Tomorrow’s goal is just to eat breakfast on time.  That’s it.  I’m going to pre-cook some egg “muffins” tonight so that I have a grab-and-go option, I’m going to prep some of the camp snacks and clothes in advance, and I’m going to probably already be tired of sweet potatoes by the time the day rolls around.  We’ll see what I F* up tomorrow.