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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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.

 

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.

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!