Update

So as you know, I finished the 30 days of this challenge and wrapped it up feeling….ok-ish. Nothing stellar. It’s been a couple more days of blargs but I’m realizing I’m just going to have to fine-tune my own diet and figure out over time/through trial-and-error what works for me. I’m still undecided about almond meal, since nut consumption (almonds or otherwise) hasn’t seemed to bother me at all BUT that epic pizza night seemed to slay my body. My husband wants to have another pizza night tonight and I’m not sure if I should try “our” pizza again or not. Risk it?

On a good note, I did decide to add some dairy back in to my life and haven’t really noticed any negative effects. I had a small latte the other day and felt fine, plus I’ve had some chocolate every day for the past 3. I need my choco fix! I found some 85% Organic chocolate that one of the bloggers recommended and MAN is it delicious. I mean soooooo good. But it’s going to be a pricey habit, since I could easily eat 1/2 a bar in a day (and that’s with willpower working overtime!) and the bars are $3+ a pop. So I’m going to have to figure out ways to get my fix that aren’t so indulgent!

This morning I had 1/2 a small cup of Fage yogurt to test the waters and everything seemed to slosh along nicely. It was an experience trying to eat the whole fat version of yogurt, I practically needed a knife and fork. But a teensy bit of organic raw honey (that one surprised me – really good!) and some fresh berries made it palatable and I’m sure I’ll come to really enjoy it. Time to break out a paleo granola recipe!

In good spirits today about a lifetime of paleo, we’ll see how my emotions ebb and flow. Just a few days ago, I wanted to throw in the towel and go back to “easy” eating since this all felt so worthless. But now that I’m feeling a little better again and noticing some of the positive changes (deeper sleep, fewer allergies/stuffiness, etc.), I don’t want to give it up. Plus, just a little effort has rewarded me with plenty of recipes for clean versions of food I miss/enjoy. It’ll just come down to picking and choosing, I think, when I “cheat” since there are way too many opportunities! We had a party invite tonight, we’re hosting a bbq tomorrow, I owe a friend a birthday drink/dessert, etc. I refuse to suffer the consequences of going off paleo every time, but I’ll definitely want to indulge now and then. How long do I have to wait until there are paleo desserts at my local cafe?  My husband says his friends who introduced us to this go out once/twice per year and just eat whatever the heck they want. For them, apparently, since it is so rare, their bodies don’t go all haywire and short out. I can see us adopting a similar policy and then also going off in much smaller ways a little more frequently. Because sometimes, a girl just needs a beer.

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.

 

 

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.

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.

 

 

 

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!