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Posts posted by Contessa

  1. Already noticing some NSVs over here. My nighttime breathing has gotten clearer, which is nice. And my sleep has been steady and deep. 

    Today has involved a *tiny* bit of stress for those of us in the U.S., watching a ragged band of boneheads try to storm our capitol building. Sigh. Hoping to have a gentle evening with an early bedtime.

    Food journal for 1/6/21 - Day 8:

    Breakfast: spinach avo chicken burger with butternut squash and mashed potatoes with sauce

    Lunch: Egg drop meatball soup from the soup goddess; 1/2 apple with almond butter. I am singlehandedly keeping those soup people in business this month.

    Dinner: spinach avo chicken burger with butternut squash and steamed broccoli with sauce; 8 oz cashewmilk

  2. One of the things that becomes clear each time I go through a Whole 30....

    I need food to not be the highlight of my day. (I'm suddenly reminded of one hilarious friend's description of her overweight cat as "highly food motivated" — the creature lived for the whirring of the can opener.)

    Is it okay for food to be an enjoyable part of my day? Sure.
    Is it okay for me to take delight in food? Sure.
    Is it okay for food to be the bedrock of delight and enjoyment in my day? That's probably not a great idea.

    I think part of the growth I need to engage in this year is re-ordering my day/week so that food is just one enjoyable component of the day.

    And of course, this task comes with some complexities during covid. Consistently reliable sources of delight are not accessible right now — concerts, travel, shopping, hugs from friends.

    This is why I like doing Whole 30s.... I notice different stuff every time.

    Anyhow, another very straightforward food day today....

    Food journal for 1/4/21 - Day 6:

    Breakfast: Broccoli, shredded chicken, diced sweet potatoes, sauce

    Whizzed up a cold brew coffee with nutmilk and a shot of bottled almond milk "mocha" .... an exceptionally beige but still frothy drink.
    I enjoyed it... and yet.... there is no substitute for real dairy in my coffee ;)

    Lunch: Chocolate avocado smoothie

    Dinner: Spaghetti squash with meatballs and tomato sauce

  3. A nice, boring day of eating :)

    Food journal for 1/3/21 - Day 5:

    Breakfast: Broccoli, shredded chicken, mashed potatoes, sauce

    Lunch: Spaghetti squash and tomato sauce with meatballs; oven fries with ketchup

    Dinner: Broccoli, shredded chicken, mashed potatoes, sauce


  4. 55 minutes ago, Lorna from Canada said:

    My first W30 eradicated my chronic PF in my right foot after every treatment known to mankind failed.

    That's really something. As someone who experienced a spontaneous inaugural bout with PF early in the fall, and did not enjoy it one bit, I really like hearing about how nutrition clobbered your pain. I hope you get similar results from this round.

  5. 7 hours ago, MadyVanilla said:

    I think I was one of the subjects in those food scientists' studies....I was part of the experimental group that bought all the reduced rate Halloween candy on November 1. 

    Ha! I think I was definitely a member of the same experimental group, which focused exclusively on acquisition of peanut M&Ms and fun-sized Kit-Kats.

    It's been another solid, satisfying day here. I discovered a group of FB friends who are starting the Whole 30 on Monday. That group will be nice, maybe an additional bit of social support and conversation.

    Today's reflection was on another thing I love about the W30 — So. Many. Frickin'. Vegetables. I definitely eat more vegetables on this protocol than I do during my Regular Life. Sometimes significantly more vegetables. Whole 30 has a reputation out there as being very meat-centric, but for me, it's all about the rainbow of veggies.

    (Right now in my fridge: spaghetti squash, avocado, butternut squash, kale, mashed potatoes, broccoli, sweet potatoes, spinach, red pepper....)

    It's odd, in non-W30 times, to swap out a nutrient-rich item for a nutrient-poor item. Last month, I found myself thinking, "Is the English muffin accompanying these eggs going to be that much more satisfying than whatever veggie I would have had in its place during a Whole 30?" Don't get me wrong, I do love a good English muffin, but I also love unconventional breakfasts that aren't English muffin-oriented.

    Food journal for 1/2/21 - Day 4:

    Breakfast: Broccoli, shredded chicken, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, sauce

    Lunch: Chocolate avocado smoothie (from Danielle Walker's Against All Grain) – and yes, this probably qualifies as Sex With Your Pants On. The avocado is soooo good.

    Dinner: Kale, spaghetti squash, sweet potatoes, shredded chicken, sauce; 8 oz kombucha

  6. Now I'm remembering why I appreciate the Whole 30 so much — and I'm remembering why it is challenging. What's challenging for me is just eating three meals a day, and not snacking. That's always the hard part. My compulsive tendency around eating unfolds in bites, morsels, crumbs. Just a bit here, a bit there, but it really adds up and leaves me feeling uncomfortable in my body.

    My diet is reasonably nourishing. I do eat vegetables on a regular basis. I can enjoy a special treat (like the cheesecake I made for Christmas) in a paced, appreciative way without feeling awful the next day. I savored the hell out of that cheesecake with no regrets. 

    But I'm realizing today that I've completely fallen for the "tiny foods" in grocery stores — the baby candy bars and bite-sized Nutter Butters. ("One jelly bean contains only 4 calories! No problem!") Guys, it's almost as if they've engineered those treats to seem harmless. You'd think that Nabisco and Frito-Lay employ huge teams of food scientists who know how to stimulate our brains' reward centers!

    The "tinyness" of the treat makes it seem innocuous. But if I consume a bag of Nutter Butter Bites in morsels and mouthfuls over the course of a day, that's more than 1,000 calories that aren't going to satisfy my actual hunger or meet any nutritional needs. Jelly beans are sold in 2-pound bags because someone out there knows I won't quit with just one handful. Industrially produced snack food is just not awesome for my health, no matter how much I want it to be. And, once the snacking starts on a given day, it's really hard for me to stop.

    Anyhow, I'm rambling. Today was a good day. On a related note, I consumed 0 jelly beans today.

    Food journal for 1/1/21 - Day 3:

    Breakfast: Broccoli, shredded chicken, sweet potatoes, sauce

    Almond butter + cashew milk (a hilariously unsuccessful attempt to whizz up some kind of "special" non-coffee beverage)

    Lunch: Thai coconut chicken soup from the blessed soup counter

    4 oz blueberry mint kombucha

    Dinner: Spaghetti squash, meatballs, compatible spaghetti sauce

  7. I'm totally gonna hunt for that Bird's Eye frozen veggie bag you mentioned. I love all those veggies and it's great to know that it's compatible with W30. Thanks for highlighting that!

    Tomorrow is a perfect day to begin again, looking forward to seeing you then! :)

  8. Food journal for 12/31/20 - Day 2:

    Breakfast: steamed broccoli, shredded chicken, diced potatoes, butternut squash + sauce; decaf coffee with nut milk

    Lunch: golden cauliflower soup with meatballs and diced sweet potatoes

    Dinner: shredded chicken, kale, mashed potatoes, broccoli, sauce + 1 perfect poached egg

    1 spoonful of almond butter

  9. 11 hours ago, Lorna from Canada said:

    No air travel has been weird. Between Jan 1 and March 20 I had already taken 16 flights and Hubs was at 20... it's been SO strange not to fly at all. I miss it.

    Holy cow, those are some serious road warrior numbers! No wonder this year has felt strange. I'm glad you've had the Airstream to take the edge off your wanderlust, but... you're probably feeling bereft.

    Glad you have stayed flexible throughout it all. This year has surely been extra-extra hard for people who struggle with deviations from "the plan."

  10. 12/30/20 - Day 1

    Here we are, at the close of a unique and uniquely difficult year. Friends who work in health care are already getting the vaccine. And my work calendar for 2021 is slowly filling with commitments and the promise of an eventual return to client travel.

    Somehow, in the midst of a pandemic, my employer has had a great year. It's bananas. Today we closed one final sales contract for 2020, wrapping the year above our sales goal for 2020. This year should have been a total disaster for us, but somehow it was not.

    Perhaps because I've been lucky enough to avoid the virus so far, 2020 has been quiet, contemplative year. A genuinely scary yet somehow restorative year. Working from home, taking long walks, quitting my gym (which is simply not covid-safe, no matter how much they talk about wiping down the equipment...). When I think about jumping back into the fray in 2021, I feel.... not ready. In some ways, this enforced immobility has been good for my spirit. Not having set foot in an airport since March has been glorious.

    Today kicks off another Whole 30 for me. This Whole 30 will be a way of simply enjoying my time at home. The year of working from home has been such a privilege and a luxury — I want to savor every bit of it. Pre-covid, I rarely got to enjoy 30 consecutive days at home with no travel.

    My diet has been okay for the past few months. I've slowly slipped back into eating more processed foods and treats than I'd like to. But my sanity has generally stayed intact. I'm eating whole foods regularly.

    Today I discovered that the owner of the wonderful soup place in my neighborhood will be doing a Whole 30 in January. She has been adding tasty Whole 30 items to her carry-out menu. Did I just stock up on three different W30-compatible soups today? Yes, indeed. I feel extremely lucky that this option exists for this Whole 30, and I plan to take frequent advantage of it. (Check out this menu board. She even offers curry beef meatballs and zoodles! I'm getting that next time.)

    Food journal for 12/30/20:

    Breakfast: steamed broccoli, butternut squash, 1 perfect poached egg

    Lunch: Thai coconut chicken soup (thank you, soup goddess)

    Dinner: Sautéed kale, butternut squash, mashed potatoes, shredded chicken, sauce; 4 oz cashewmilk + 1 spoonful of almond butter


  11. Greetings from the U.S. on what may be the most stressful day of the year for many of us. Let's vote instead of snack. Yay!

    Things are going okay here foodwise. Since my last update, I had a couple of weeks that involved heavy off-roading (like, lost in a rainforest during a tsunami level off-roading) and a few weeks of keeping my oars in the water. Those metaphors don't really complement each other, but you get the idea. The current week feels very balanced (heck, maybe even a little too restrictive). I declared on 10/25 that I was going to skip "recreational sugar" (cookies, candy, cake, etc.) for two weeks. I'm still having sugar in my coffee and not worrying about small amounts of sugar in sauces. But laying off the hard drugs.

    This approach to sugar, combined with not-snacking, makes this feel like Day 9 of a Baby Whole 14.

    When I put recreational sugar in a time-out, I somehow forgot about the fact that Election Day was coming right up. Now that I made that pledge to myself, I'm glad. It's the encouragement I need to avoid doomscrolling all night, stuffing myself with simple carbs, and watching returns.

    It's getting dark early now, but I'm heading out for a quick walk to put some pep in my step for the evening. Massive amounts of network news tonight would be as bad for me as a bucket of Fun Size Twix, so I'm planning to have a quiet evening of knitting and cooking before going to bed early (with my phone out of arm's reach — side eye to the horrible night of sleep I got at this time in 2016). Let's be good to each other and extra kind to ourselves tonight.

  12. A good food week last week. Man, snacking is where it's (not) at. Yes, I'd like to be eating a little less "recreational sugar" right now, but I'm not bingeing, and I'm not snacking, and that is a good place for me.

    One thing I have learned during 46 years on the planet is that we humans are depressingly good at justifying our own behaviors. Whether it's a U.S. legislator making up new rules about the when to appoint a Supreme Court justice, or a citizen unconsciously plowing through half a bag of tortilla chips at mid-afternoon, we are good at creatively cooking up reasons.

    Speaking in general, snacks are simply not good for me. If I say otherwise, it's because I'm trying to creatively justify my behavior.

    Let's have another good unsnackable week, shall we?

    Cooked a big mess of compliant foods yesterday, and learned out where to replenish my Tessemae's Buffalo Ranch dressing.... so I'm set. Socially distant fist bumps to my W30 pals!

  13. After righting the ship and having some very good days last week, I see anew that snacking between is the start of a huge cascade of undesirable emotional and physical outcomes.

    I'm not talking about "Enjoying a slice of apple with peanut butter after a 5k" snacking.

    I'm talking about "It's mid-afternoon and I feel irritable with my job so I'll open up this bag of tortilla chips and suddenly look down and realize I've eaten 2/3 of it" snacking.

    A new mini-goal for this week: No snacks between meals. Period.

    I'll report back later on my findings :rolleyes:

  14. Just wanted to say that I love this plan for a reset.... sugar is also the one place where my eating feels truly unhelpful and out of whack.

    I spoke to a friend this weekend who permanently gave up "recreational sugar" (I love that phrase). Perhaps that's something for me to think about. If the cookies are antagonistic to my overall wellness today, is that going to magically change tomorrow?

    You're sure to experience a lot of benefit from this reset — I look forward to tracking your progress.

  15. 2 hours ago, UrsulaB11 said:

    The Whole30 program and mindset is clearly not a destination, but a journey

    Absolutely love this thought! Perhaps we should use it as a guide and let it teach us more about how we respond to food.

    I appreciate your takeaway on alcohol, too. It affects me the same way, impairing my sleep. Wine and beer are great as weekend treats.

  16. Rough going here in early September. I learned last week that cancer has returned to my beloved 75-year-old father. He had his first spin with this awful disease (multiple myeloma) back in 2014. He's beat it a couple of times, at considerable personal cost. He's had some unexplained pain this summer and now we have an explanation for it.

    It isn't clear yet what his prognosis is. (Weeks? Years?) He meets with an oncologist tomorrow to go over his options.

    I know none of us are meant to live forever. Science and skilled care have given Dad six active, high quality years since his first diagnosis. I am grateful.

    And... it's all just a tiny bit much right now. I was already teetering on the edge of an existential crisis before finding this out. (I dunno, a global pandemic and extreme political turmoil and the looming failure of constitutional democracy makes one start to question assumptions, amirite?)

    On Monday night, I ate ice cream and peanut butter cups for dinner. I was seeking comfort. Although the food tasted good, it didn't make me feel good.

    The urge to start another W30 does surface up right now... but at this point, I think a full W30 is not what I need. Neither is eating ice cream and peanut butter cups for dinner. So yesterday and today I wrote out a food plan in my journal. The plan is simply to avoid snacks and what I call "freelance sugar" (candy, cookies, ice cream, etc.)

    Today I'm sitting here chomping on cauliflower, brussels, broccoli, and garlic ground beef with spicy mayo (it's delicious!).

    Honestly, if I could just eat this way 75% of the time, I'd be golden. It's simple, it's healthy, it feels great, it keeps me on an even keel.

    Today is my parents' 54th anniversary. I hope they still have some good years together.