Latest nonsense

It’s a hazy Sunday (in my brain, not outside where it is actually quite lovely!) and I have just a minute to make three notes on my Whole30 journey.

1.  I love my fridge.  Not the actual mechanics of it – though they are are perfectly adequate – but the way it looks when I open it up. Immediately in my face are two huge plastic cartons of greens, and then a quick scan registers in my brain just produce, some meat, eggs, various leftovers and farm milk for my boys.  It looks so happy and clear and devoid of the crap it used to house.  I know it is not “perfect” by any stretch, but man it looks so much healthier than it used to look and that makes me feel great.

2.  Maybe Whole30 was right about “paleo” breads and such.  I don’t know.  I still don’t buy into the reasoning behind avoiding certain foods merely because they make us think of other foods.  If the actual ingredients are acceptable by Whole30 standards, then the food is automatically acceptable by yours truly.  But last night I did make a paleo pizza crust for us – nothing but Whole30 ingredients – and I was soooo proud when we sat to eat.  It tasted much better than the last attempt at “pizza” and felt like a treat even though it was perfectly within the bounds of the challenge.  Totally worth the effort!  But sure enough, today I am really paying a price.  I can’t be 100% sure it’s the pizza that did me in, since it also had ground pork (which I’m not confident I have ever consumed before) and I did eat till I was VERY full.  Plus, I passed out shortly after eating, rather than the couple of hours later that I was “supposed” to.  But in my heart, I know somehow it was the pizza – maybe just too much almond meal in my body?  I felt pretty crummy upon wakeup and so far today, at 1pm, the only food I have been able to choke down has been one single carrot – and that was just because I wanted to see if eating would make me feel any better.  I’m going to have to really keep an eye on this stuff.

3.  Women are ridiculous.  Not me, of course!  I just mean women in general and our obsession with weight.  I saw my mother yesterday and the Whole30 challenge was not a surprise to her – I had seen her the week before and already explained the what/why/how.  At the time, she had invisibly rolled her eyes and silently shot energy waves at me to get over myself and my “healthy eating.”  Yet yesterday, she must’ve recognized a slight slimness in my frame and realized that Whole30 *could* be a way to drop a couple of pounds.  I still maintain that I have lost next to nothing – *possibly* as much as 5lbs (though it really all depends on the minute I choose to step on the scale), but more likely 2-3lbs.  Miniscule.  I have noticed that my clothes fit a little looser and some dresses I ordered to try on for an upcoming celebration were all too big.  So yes, I think I’ve slimmed a tiny bit.  But nothing drastic by any measure.  Yet, when my mother saw me and saw that I looked a little trimmer, she threw a backhanded compliment my way, “I love you, but, you’ve really lost too much weight.  You are just too skinny.”  This is NOT ACTUAL CONCERN.  First of all, I am nowhere near the stick-and-bones anyone would be worried about.  Second of all, when a woman says “You are too skinny” or “You’ve lost too much weight” what they really mean to say is, “Oh!  You’ve slimmed down a bit!  Something you are doing is working and I am jealous!  I want to do it, too!”  Sure enough, she kept up her “concern face” long enough to grill me about the specifics of our diet, what we are eating for meals, and how she might adopt changes.  I guess that’s what I wanted back when I asked “Will the Weight Matter,” but really the whole thing is insane.  If a guy said to another guy “Dude, you’ve lost too much weight” there would be no hidden compliment or agenda in there.  He’d be expressing concern.  If a woman says that, the recipient is supposed to glow with pride and thank the concerned citizen, followed by a declaration of just how wrong she is and how really, it’s nothing, I’ve actually gained weight and it’s disgusting how much I eat.  Sigh.

 

 

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Groggy

Well, either Whole30 really does have me on a rollercoaster of energy (she’s up! she’s down!  the highest peak!  the lowest valley!) or another culprit is to blame.  I’m thinking it’s a combination of both.  It’s not that I fail to recognize the impact of a hunk of dramamine I bit off this morning, necessitated by the arrival at our boat launch only to find the boat rocking the dock up and down.  I get it – that made my brain as choppy as the open water.  But I don’t want to put all the blame on 1/2 of a 1/2 serving of meclazine.  I’ve found this food challenge impossibly squidgy to nail down and I swear every OTHER day I feel good.  Guess I how I feel the rest of the days?

Bad/tired/hungry/weird days like today leave me feeling far less optimistic about the future than chipper days like the last time I wrote.  I’m feeling a little grumbly/dizzy, and I reallllllly want to sip a gingerale to make me feel better.  Even if it only works in my mind, and produces no actual positive benefit to my body.  I’m feeling crankytired, so I reallllly want to enjoy something sweet and comforting to boost my spirit and temporarily spike my energy.  And I’m OVER the forever-long cooking process (not to mention the 30,000 minutes my husband & I each seem to spend washing dishes, cookware, prep bowls and the like), so I realllllly want to grab a pre-made granola bar, fix myself a sandwich on a napkin (sans plate means sans dishwashing!) or go to Starbucks to eat both of those things with my grande nonfat latte.  

I realized today that my kids are “suffering” a little, too.  Not because we are restricting their intake to a similarly small pool of foodstuffs, but because:  a)mommy & daddy are always cooking (my son tonight asked me what recipe I was looking for in Well Fed and when I asked how he knew it was a recipe book he replied, “Daddy is ALWAYS looking in there for a recipe”); b)the things we are always cooking offer no appeal in taste or smell, apparently, to my children (they are always whining about the smell!); c)dinner is now a slap-together-something-for-the-kids affair, since we end up preparing and eating dinner the two of us much later.  We enjoyed those 5pm powwows over the table, even if one kid was always spilling something and the other couldn’t stop talking long enough to take a bite.  Even if the food was “semi homemade” and probably 10X less healthy (with 10X more sodium).  It was nice to have and share a meal, rather than sit and watch them eat and try to remember not to instinctively lick the mac-and-cheese spoon.

Hopefully as we adjust after the 30 days, we’ll find better ways to eat/cook/schedule ourselves back to the dinner table.  But right now all I can think about is how tired and blargy I feel AGAIN, and how that makes me realllllly want some hot chocolate.  Mmmmmm.

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???

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.”

Must….drink….coffee

I was a mess today.  First of all, I was exhausted the whole day.  Like heavy-eyelids, saggy cheeks, humpback posture kind of tired.  It probably didn’t help that my son decided to wake me up this morning at the deepest part of my REM cycle with a loud “BOO!” or “YEEACHA!” or “WATER BUFFALOS UNITE!” or whatever the F* he said.  I don’t know, I didn’t hear specifics (sleeping deep – see above), but I certainly did have a response to the loud scream in my ear.  And then, the day began.

There *was* hunger this morning which was novel and fun, but I couldn’t exactly take advantage of it by scarfing down some heavy scones with a large latte.  One can dream, right?  Nope, it was eggs & veg again.  Sigh.  At least tomorrow is Saturday which of course means…..bacon!!  I should have actual time in the morning while my muffins (mmm, muffins) munch cereal and stare at the cartoon box.  I CAN COOK BAAAACON.  Maybe I’ll skip all the other stuff and just eat that for breakfast with a piping hot coffee.  Sold!  I’m back on board with this challenge!

Once I scarfed the vegg mix (like how I did that?  veg+egg=vegg=i am a TOTAL GENIUS) and a sip of coffee, it was off to camp.  There was actually a window in between camp for one boy and pool for another, so we came back home and I had a little more of the vegg.  I tried to convince my toddler to nosh it with me, but he wouldn’t, um, bite.  And he usually eats everything ESPECIALLY if mommy is eating it!  But he rolled his eyes at me when he saw me wave another limp spinach leaf in his face and walked away.  After breakfastredux, I needed another coffee (#2) and my new-favorite-dont-stop-me-ever treat, a spoonful of almond butter.  I know this is probably wrong on many levels of the Whole30 challenge (except the important one, which is the actual FOOD, so shove off), and I know I probably shouldn’t be doing this after every meal.  But I love it and am doing this after every meal.  You shall not convince me to stop.

After the pool was a crying-jag-in-place-of-nap which was most unwelcome, thus another coffee (#3) while toddler&me continued our day as if no nap ever needed to be.  More boy stuff….blah blah blah….a disgusting incident I will save for my parent friends since anyone reading this while being childless might actually die of horror…..dinner, bedtimes, more grogginess and crankiness by me.  In fact, just as I sat down to yet another coffee (#4*) — *decaf, this time, but still giving me the illusion of a pick-me-up — my younger munchkin woke up like 9:30pm was the start of his new day and please would I come get him.

What does all this boringness mean to you?  It means that Whole30 has yet to bestow upon me its magic source of energy.  That I was tired as F* today, felt blargy and heavy all day, even while crunching carrots and pickles and peas.  And that the only saving grace is that tomorrow with my BAAAACON I can have a coffee.  A LARGE coffee.

 

 

 

Love – Hate

Today was definitely better than the first 3 in terms of how I felt.  Goodbye ridiculous veggie-bloat!  I’m hardly a lean-mean-greens-machine but I certainly didn’t feel like I was still trapped in quicksand while wearing moon boots.  Hopefully this is moving in the right direction, since I’m pretty sure I was promised perfect sleep, glowing skin, reduced thigh-age and an Einsteinian boost in IQ.  I <<guess>> it will take more than 96hrs.

A nugget of what I learned today:  there are foods that I apparently don’t really love as much as I thought I did (NO WE’RE NOT TALKING ABOUT DARK CHOCOLATE WHICH I REMAIN FOREVER DEVOTED TO.)  And there are foods that are pretty friggin’ great, now that they aren’t being displaced by Ben & Jerry’s.  A few standouts of the day:

1.  Cheese:  There have been times in my life when this has made my Top 3 (below coffee and OH YEAH CHOCOLATE OF COURSE), with it’s creamy, tangy, salty, sharp flavor.  And yet, here it is just a few days in and cheese does not sound even the TINIEST bit appealing to me.  In fact, while searching for recipes I stumbled upon a picture of a burger dripping with cheese and I actually recoiled.  Will I forever shun it?  Probably not.  There is still some yumminess to be explored.  But do I miss a stretchy, gooey accompaniment to my eggs and veg?  Absolutely not.

2.  Carrots:  Seriously, these are not delicious.  I tried carrot juice once a long time ago and was grossed out by the coyingly sweet flavor.  And yet I continued to chomp them for the purpose of consuming Sunbutter, hummus, or to distract myself from eating piles of chocolate (see above.)  I will still toss them in a salad to cover my bases and probably still gnaw them when I need something to chew/carry Sunbutter.  But I officially do not like the taste of carrots.  The end.

3.  Apples:  Where have you been all my life, sweet, tart, crunch bursts of flavor?  Oh, right in front of me, consumed mindlessly as a mediocre backup when there was no time to prep anything else or when I was trying to undo some chocolate mistake?  I never paid attention, I guess, to the apple in its glory.  Now?  Not only do they elevate my salads to a holy place, but I actually feel a little guilty after dicing them and realizing I can chomp a few “extra” bites around the core.

4.  BACON:  OMG.  What the what?  It’s like I finally tuned into the channel that everyone else has been watching since the dawn of time/television.  Crisp, salty, unctious goodness melting in my mouth?   Yes, please.  I didn’t realize what I was gaining during the Great Preggo Swap of 2011.  It was the first time in my life when shrimp was revolting and bacon intriguing.  And bacon, you’ve just kept getting better.  I don’t miss the cockroach of the sea!  Thank you for being you, bacon.

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.