Nightmare?

I had a dream last night about eating crackers, of all things. I don’t even like crackers! But in the dream, I had somehow devoured an entire Saltine without “realizing” it and then my husband had to stop me from eating more. And the dream’s biggest stressor was that I thought I had to start over with this month-long plan. Clearly I’m ready for Whole30 to be over!

That said, though, I’m more than ever looking forward to what our lifestyle/diet/nutrition will be beyond this. In many ways, the past two weeks have been about re-learning what we thought we knew about cooking, about food, and about vegetables. They aren’t so bad! Some are actually tasty! And many can be transformed or hidden in yummy things! I no longer think a grain-free diet would be that hard or that limiting. We’ve had plenty of tasty vegetable “sides” – one of the things I thought would be hardest.

After 14 days, I’d say I’m feeling pretty good now. Not nearly as “thicky” as the first 10 days or so. My energy does seem a little higher, but only once I’m two-cups-of-coffee-awake from a heavy sleep. Maybe it’s been harder to get out of bed because I’m just sleeping more deeply? That is, of course, when I’m not busy sleeping so lightly because my son keeps rolling/sniffling/talking to me…

This morning the scale says I’ve dropped a couple pounds, though I know now that is highly dependent on time-of-day/day-of-cycle/cycle-of-water-drinkage. Pounds or not, I do feel a little bit better and actually feel a little like I would dread now eating some of the things I enjoy. Namely, bread products. I’m not saying I won’t have them at some point, and I’m not saying I don’t miss them. I love myself some fresh bread and scones!  But I feel like I know immediately how I would feel if I did – bloaty and slow.  I’m much more excited to try “Paleo breads” and bars after our 30 days, since I’d like to have some of that variety available to me (I’m still crazy-sick of breakfast!)  I don’t anticipate honey wreaking havoc on my body (I’ve never noticed a negative response, like I have with wheat), so I’m excited to see what these fake-me-out bread products are like, as well as adding hopefully some greek yogurt back to my morning.

I’m glad to be halfway done, and glad to be feeling pretty good from this diet now.  We’re getting into a better groove, though it is still hard to “whip up” any and all meals because there really just is way more prep involved and way more cooking time.  But I know we’ll keep getting better at it, and I am looking forward to relaxing it at least a tiny bit once the 30 days is up.

YUM

If I can find more options like what I just devoured for lunch, maybe this Whole30 thing will live on past its current 30day sentence.

That time (pre-Whole30) when I weirdly bought that spiralizer and burnt some “curly fries?” Suddenly a genius forethought, not a kitchen fail. I spiralized myself some zucchini noodles today, fried ’em up a la Well Fed with garlic, oil, red pepper flake and almond meal “crumbs”, and spun myself a whole lot of yum. Lunchtime double-bonus? I was so sick of eggs this morning that I had eaten a quite terrible spinach-mushroom-sausage plate. Which MEANT that for lunch, I had the convenience of a quick protein which was just perfection scrambled atop my noodles.

And while I won’t claim to be feeling gangbusters yet, I will admit to overall feeling a little better of body the past day or two. Which means, I just ate something that easily felt like a “cheat” from an Italian restaurant, but instead did not come with a side of pasta bloat and blarg. I’m satiated and quite happy, actually.

Tonight I plan to make Well Fed‘s version of “pad thai” which will be another curious adventure. The spaghetti squash did deliver last night and magically transform into rice-looking-noodles, so those await my instructions from the fridge. If dinner is as yummy as lunch, well…..we might just be onto something.

Water Woman Weight

As I typed that I realized it sounded like I was calling myself Water Woman, a la Wonder Woman, and I decided I like it.  I will try to fill you in regularly with what <<dumdumdumDAHM>> Water Woman weighs.

Remember how I checked the scale the other day (hand slap from Whole30)?  Yeah, I forgot that I am a woman.  With wildly changing hormones on a minute-by-minute basis.  I forgot to account for the normal swings in weight, part of the reason that I almost never in real life step on a scale (though of course now I’m dying of curiosity.)  Anyway, point is that the 0.5lb gain was possibly false.  Since now two days later it’s 2.5lbs down.  Who knows what the real number is and I KNOW I’m not supposed to care.  But.  I’ll be peeking in on Water Woman anyway, because I’m curious to see what this process does to her.

Sticky Fingers

Yup, I F*ed up today.  But not in the way you would’ve guessed, had you followed my every move today (creepy, stop following me.)  Let me give you two scenarios:

1.  I spend a solid 90minutes preparing a new recipe from WellFed (delicious, by the way). Once ready, I quickly microwave a few extra veggies, grab some “backup-that-is-never-backup-because-they-are-obsessed-with-it” hummus for the kids, and we sit to eat.

2.  I tiptoe to the basement after dinner to surprise the boys with milk and two chunks of a Hershey bar.  After they gobble the pieces, I notice some dreamy, melted leftover-chocolate on my fingers.

Did you guess?  Right.  I did not lick the chocolate.  Which is not to say the hand didn’t instinctively move towards my mouth.  But I caught it just before paydirt.  No, the F* up in question happened at dinner in the shape of all-natural vegetables also known as HORRIBLE INFLAMMATION- AND DISFIGURATION- CAUSING PEAS.  Those were the quick extra veggies I nuked, because my one son (the one who eats) loves them and because my hubbie and I almost always enjoy them with an Indian-style dish (which was what I had made).  I had scooped a mound on top of my dinner and taken a bite before my husband looked at me quizzically.

Husband:  Aren’t peas not allowed?

Moi:  Ha ha.

H:  No, really.  They are like a bean or legume or POD OF DOOM or something.  (I might be embellishing)

M:  Shut up.  They are veggie-tables and I’m eating them.

Husband leaves dining table to type wonks into his compuscreen and come backs feeling very proud and not at all upset that I have F*ed up.  I think it pleases him.

H:  Yup.  They’re off the list.  Thought so [hiding smirk.]  It’s ok, I’m being more strict to this diet than you are.

M:  <<silence that means to scream I AM BEING SO STRICT AND WILL NOT EVEN LICK MY CHOCOLATE FINGER IN 37 MINUTES WHEN THE OPPORTUNITY PRESENTS ITSELF>>

Sigh.  At least this F* up is in the realm of being overly nice to a neighbor or accidentally bringing too many cupcakes to the office party.  Mmmm, cupcakes.

 

Warning: Do not look directly at the Funball

Ok.  I’m a crank today.  Hormones or tiredness or stress, who knows.  Point is, I’m totally over this “not a diet but a diet-like lifestyle.”  I’m struggling to see the rosiness of the big picture when the small picture is so dull and grainy.  It’s Day 8 and I have yet to see even one benefit from this challenge.  Do I understand that it will take time to reset the body?  Sure.  Do I recognize that this is a positive life choice forever?  Absolutely.  Do I want to continue?  Not one bit.  But I will.

Everything is hard.  After a couple of years, I had just gotten into a kind of groove lately with cooking.  I was able to get a nice meal on the table for our early-bird special almost every night, and even when it was stressful or time-crunched, I took pride in the fact that we could sit down together because of my weekly planning and daily prep.  Now?  Out the window, I have to learn everything all over again.  I have zero “go to” recipes, no parts can be pre-made, and the ingredients I’m allowed to use are way more limited and many of them still missing from my pantry.  I don’t feel like I have the time or energy to re-learn everything, and hate that I have to spend so much time reading again, searching for recipes, grocery shopping on a twice-a-day basis.  My husband rocked out dinners last week, but I knew that wasn’t sustainable.  He’s got work to do and the whole point of nap time (which has been veeerrryyyy limited lately, sigh) and night-before-time and crockpot-time is that I should be able to get it done even with two wild, fighting boys begging for attention.  But I still don’t have a plan for tomorrow and I HATE feeling unprepared, like setting my alarm for a shoot without knowing where I’m going to get a camera.

And even with the changes, the new time stresses and the not-that-hard-suck-it-up meal prepping, I STILL wouldn’t be so grouchy if my body seemed to be enjoying this even a little!  But I still have no increased energy (if anything, I’m more tired), my body still feels blargy (I would’ve bet ANYTHING that after a week of ‘food detox’ I would feel great), and — as I was thrilled to mention the other day — I haven’t lost an ounce.  Possibly gained.  And I still haven’t had any chocolate.  WTF WHOLE 30???

Attack of the chocolate cake

Today was sort of a throw-away day because my body took advantage of my husband – and not in a good way.  When we’re able (i.e. no birthday party, magic show, family gathering, tot-mini-music-singalong-graduation-recital), we give each other the “gift of sleep” on the weekend – he sleeps in Saturday, I sleep in Sunday.  Everyone is better for it.  Except this morning, my body really overdid it and I slept longer/later than I have in a LONG time.  I felt bad having left hubs alone to run around with the kiddos all morning, but what really bugged me….I mean REALLY REALLY bugged me….was that I still felt wiped out much of the day.  WTF?  My body still hasn’t figured out how to turn all this food into energy.  It’s ridiculous.

One wonderful happy thing today was a celebration for my grandpa’s 94th birthday!!  Isn’t that amazing?  And he hopped up to greet each person who walked through his door with a smile and a kiss.  We are really lucky.  Not so lucky?  My aunt, the queen of NYC, walked in with what she deemed the “best cake in all of Manhattan.”  Even worse?  It was chocolate cake with chocolate filling and a thick chocolate frosting on top.  Have I mentioned that I love chocolate? I didn’t find it THAT hard to say no, thank goodness, but it wasn’t my favorite part of the day, either.  Neither was wiping chocolate from my son’s covered face, watching my brother go for thirds, or having to have an entire conversation standing so close to the leftover cake that I actually could hear it begging me to eat it.

It’s been a week and I’m proud of us.  I’m just hopeful that this will get easier, with full knowledge that it will definitely get harder (boredom anyone?)

Will the weight matter?

I considered while chowing on my meat+oil lunch today (yes, there were veggies too but that’s not my point) that there is no way I will lose weight on this challenge.  I don’t feel any lighter/leaner and, while I KNOW this is “against the rules” (which you know I am so fond of) I figured I’d peek and see if my suspicions were accurate.  Sure enough, the scale tonight read almost 1/2lb MORE than when I started on Monday.  Of course it does!  Every meal I eat is protein-packed and heavy, there is always a drizzle of oil.  And while I appreciate the food challenge for what it is and for what it will hopefully do for me and my family, I would be lying if I said I didn’t care about possible weight loss.  Who wouldn’t be?

Whole30 is about changing lifestyle, about eating natural foods and removing all the harsh, processed, chemical-laden versions that are so easy to come by – the foods that could be making us chronically ill.  I’m thrilled beyond belief to be doing the research, learning how to cook differently, finding where the local farms are to buy produce.  I want every day past this one and past the next 24 to be similarly nutrient-rich.  BUT.  It is also hard to spend 30 days (hard to spend 6 days!) without chocolate, without bread, without yogurt, without honey – without things that can be pretty wholesome and pretty natural.  People I tell about this “diet” all commend me for my willpower, all shake their heads thinking they could never (would never want to) do it, and then all assume I will emerge from this thing looking like a stunted Heidi Klum.  Shouldn’t I get that reward for the “hard work”?  Why shouldn’t I want people to see me and think, “whatever she is doing, I want to do it.”  Or at least, “whatever she is doing, it must be hard!”

I do want the ultimate prize being dangled – to feel my best, for me & my husband to be relieved of our various ailments, to be on path to a healthier and longer future.  Of course that is paramount.  I believe in the time frame (though hard) to reset our bodies and to really see afterwards WHICH of those aforementioned foods can be reintroduced and WHICH should be banished for good.  But I also am feeling a little discouraged that for all this prepping, shopping, cooking, learning, children-ignoring and chocolate-avoiding that there is no obvious sign yet that my body is the least bit happy about it.

The one other time in my life that I actually tried a diet was South Beach – meant to be 2 weeks of similarly restrictive menu.  Now, I was childless and in my 20s then, so take this with a grain of salt.  But I had to stop after one week because I had lost *too much* weight too quickly.  I remember vividly feeling that energy burn, like my body was just flying through food.  It was great and made me feel really alive and healthy, with a strong metabolism.  This food challenge?  Six days in and I still feel a bit bloated and heavy, still am having trouble being hungry for meals and wondering when it is going to change.  And tired of feeling a little foolish when I have to refuse the birthday cake, explain why, and then get an “up-and-down” look that says, “well, I guess you just started.”