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Posts posted by Contessa

  1. Oh, dear. So sorry about yesterday's heartburn! That sounds dreadful. Yes, red wine can be pretty vicious. I wonder if it's the sulfates that your body doesn't like (they do make some decent sulfate-free red wines). But maybe it's just... red wine.

    I hope you're feeling better and glad that you have a tried-and-true approach to return to!

  2. Food journal for 6/23/20:

    Wow, 30 days starts to seem really long after a while.

    Breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs with spinach; black coffee

    Lunch: Avocado and spinach smoothie; neverending chicken salad

    Dinner: 1/2 turkey burger with bacon, avocado and sprouts + sweet potato fries and compliant ketchup

  3. Food journal for 6/22/20:

    Breakfast: Chicken salad

    Lunch: leftover green salad w/ roasted chicken, grapes, pecans, etc. + 1/2 "Gutzy" fruit & veg pouch.

    Snack: 1/2 lemon Larabar. From my emergency rations in my desk drawer. Dumb salads never fill me up.

    Dinner: Turkey burger with bacon, avocado and sprouts + sweet potato fries and compliant ketchup

  4. 23 hours ago, MadyVanilla said:

    I really go through a lot of self-talk when I'm faced with and indulge in a tempting food.  The entire script to try to convince myself not to go get the bag of chips from the pantry could win an Oscar.  Then there is the afterword, the self-flagellation of thoughts in an effort to punish myself and keep it from happening again.  The W30 and paleo are the only types of eating I've done in my life that are mentally peaceful.  I haven't put words to that feeling before, but that's what it is - mentally peaceful.  The internal struggle just dissipates when I'm eating wholesome foods.  

    Boy oh boy, do I relate to this! For me, the self-flagellation tends to be worse than the adverse effects of whatever I just ate.

    I feel like mental peace is a really important takeaway here. I tend to get pulled into a mental game of "I deserve [xyz]" when I am in a mental dance with an indulgent food. I never think, "Do I also deserve the mental disruption that [xyz] will bring me after I eat it?"

    One of the first sections of the Whole 30 "manifesto" It Starts With Food outlines "good food standards" from Dallas and Melissa Hartwig. The very first standard is: "The food that we eat should promote a healthy psychological response" (p. 24). I remember reading that sentence for the first time — it was like a light switch coming on.

    Wishing you safe travels today, and easy decisionmaking along the way.

  5. Food journal for 6/21/20:

    Breakfast: Chicken salad

    Lunch: big green salad w/ roasted chicken, grapes, pecans, apples, salad greens, balsamic

    Dinner: roasted cauliflower + kale + roasted chicken + 1 fried egg + sauce (I was really hungry! Salads never fill me up)


  6. Food journal for 6/20/20:

    Breakfast: Nom Nom Paleo's Waldorf Chicken Salad (delicious)

    Lunch: Avocado smoothie - it was approx 95ºF today here in Atlanta and I want things that are cool and easy to prepare.

    Dinner: Sweet potato + brussels sprouts + shredded spinach + roast chicken + sauce

    Kind of a quiet day here. My busted-up knee is coming back to life! I'm so excited. I did a challenging yoga class (online) today and was so happy to get through all of it without pain. I have lost a lot of conditioning in my self-isolation, but I'm slowly coming back. Very grateful.

  7. Food journal for 6/19/20:

    Breakfast: Brussels sprouts + meatballs + butternut squash + sauce; a little Forager cashewmilk kefir

    Lunch: Last serving of leftover salmon cakes + diced red potato + sauce

    Dinner: Oh my goodness, surprise California rolls with my boyfriend on the patio of a restaurant. Yes, this was an infraction of my Whole 30. This was not a compliant meal (rice + soy sauce). However, I went with "food freedom" in the moment. Because rice and soy sauce are not trigger foods for me, and because sitting on a patio with my man was such a luscious break from the difficulty of the past three months, I am fine with this infraction. I did turn down his playful invitation to get a big ol' milkshake after the sushi (this would definitely have been a step in the wrong direction).

    Three weeks into this W30, and about ten days before my reintroduction starts. I've been thinking a lot about what my "food freedom" might look like. (The mere phrase "food freedom" stirs a sense of hope in me.) Today I ordered a copy of Michelle Tam's Ready or Not cookbook, which features lots of compliant recipes for last minute meals or cook-all-day meals. Excited about that. Getting a handle on the food preparation will really help. This cookbook even contains some "freezer hacks," which will be really helpful as the life begins to speed up again. (Have I mentioned that I really don't want life to speed up again?)

  8. Food journal for 6/18/20:

    Breakfast: sweet potato + sauteed kale + roast chicken + 1 poached egg + sauce

    Lunch: purple smoothie with beets, spinach, blueberries, etc.

    Dinner: leftover salmon cakes + diced red potatoes

    Today I pulled my sleep data from my Apple Watch and compared my pre-W30 results to my mid-W30 results. It's really interesting to see this data. The graph on the left is my "deep sleep" from January. The graph on the right is my deep sleep from June.

    Red = not great results.
    Green = great results.
    Blue = so healthy that I am basically floating six inches above the surface of the earth.

    It's nice to see these colors!




  9. 7 hours ago, MadyVanilla said:

    Salmon cakes cause me to take pause, however.  Cake made of salmon?  And yet I like crabcakes.  Maybe if I make it one word - salmoncakes.  Anyway, I think I will try to make these.  

    I was also a little iffy on the salmon cakes, but curiosity won. Canned salmon is not a food I have worked with before. Also, the can of salmon contained... some tiny bones and tiny bits of salmon skin! (I was emotionally unprepared for this.) But once I separated the wheat from the chaff,  metaphorically speaking, the recipe was very easy. Even though I halved the recipe, it still yielded 3 servings. I will make this again. It's worth the weirdness.

  10. 4 hours ago, kirbz said:

    I make the Tex Mex version with the Lizard Sauce and pretty much just eat the Lizard Suace with a small piece of salmon cake on my spoon! LOL. So. Good.

    Oh wow. I have never tried her Lizard Sauce, but I have a bunch of dried guajillo peppers in the cabinets dying to be put to good use! This sounds like a kitchen project waiting to happen.

  11. Food journal for 6/17/20:

    Breakfast: cauli rice + broccoli + roasted chicken + sauce

    Lunch: Sweet potato + mashed potato + sauteed kale + meatballs + sauce; 1/2 apple + almond butter

    Dinner: Mel Joulwan's Salmon Cakes (fantastic!) + steamed broccoli + sauce

    Non-scale victories so far:

    • My sleep quality has improved greatly, almost since the very start of my Whole 30. My breathing is much clearer. Starting to think that my beloved daily yogurt may never return.
    • I do find myself feeling better in my clothing, which is nice. I really didn't want to buy more clothes.
    • If I'm not eating sugar, my mind is generally a more pleasant place to hang out.
    • My knee is not back to 100% yet, but it's much better.

    Another day of doing the thing. Chop wood, carry water. Chop vegetables, boil water.

  12. 4 hours ago, MadyVanilla said:

    Strategies for dealing with heightened emotions:

    I love this list.... and I love that you've written a list like this!

    One of my strategies during this W30 is to get up, walk around, and talk out loud to myself when I'm in a heightened state.

    Yesterday I got really grumpy over a project a coworker had failed to deliver on behalf of our client. I recognized the flinching wish to just go to the cupboard and eat something stupid. So I walked around my house and spoke affirmingly to myself. "Of course it makes sense that you would be upset about this. This sets you back in your relationship with your client. It's understandable. Let's think about ways to correct this and deliver a great report to the client."

    Displacing upset feelings with food is a strong "feedback loop" that I'm wearing down on this W30.

    Bravo on your progress, it's wonderful to witness.

  13. Food journal for 6/16/20:

    Breakfast: 1 poached egg + meatballs + sauteed kale + sweet potato + sauce

    Lunch: Butternut squash + roast chicken + brussels sprouts + mashed potatoes + sauce

    Dinner: Lord have mercy, I am very tired of cooking! Chicken fingers and fries with compliant sauces.

    At the end of the day, I gratefully remembered that Day 17 is typically my very worst day on the Whole 30. And today is my day 17! Day 17 tends to be Peak What Is the Point of All This? for me. My ennui and irritation today felt so familiar — then I realized why. I managed to hang on by my fingernails today and will live to sauté kale and steam broccoli another day.

  14. 1 minute ago, SchrodingersCat said:

    So I'm putting another moratorium on the scale. It adds nothing to my life and just has the potential to derail me. 

    GOOD FOR YOU for seeing this! I wish more of us would put our scales on notice. For me, getting on the scales is just an invitation to feel grumpy and dumpy. I don't need that kind of energy in my life!

  15. Food journal for 6/15/20:

    Breakfast: A bit of hardboiled egg; green smoothie with banana, blueberries, spinach, kale, ginger, etc.

    Lunch: Broccoli + mashed potatoes + roasted chicken + sauce

    Dinner: Leftover turkey burger + sweet potato fries + 1/2 "Gutzy" food & veg snack pouch

    Today was my first day back in the office after being away for a while. The very first thing I saw when I walked in the door of the office was two boxes of donuts, brought in by our office manager! Ha. That's a fine welcome back. I sailed right past the donuts without flinching.  (I'm REALLY glad the office manager didn't bring in two boxes of tender, fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies..... breakfast may have unfolded differently.)

    Seeing a couple of colleagues gave me a real lift. We "air-hugged" each other from a distance as we returned to our desks. Glad I had some compliant food ready to grab and go to fuel me through the day.

  16. 6 hours ago, MadyVanilla said:

    A reward for a job well-done, here's a big bag of technicolor chemicals!  Why in the ever-living black hole of eternity do we do this to ourselves???   

    Seriously. My inner 4th grader was so disappointed in that moment. The moment I'd worked for! the moment I'd dreamed of! and it just tasted like sweet, peanutty antifreeze.

    We deserve better!

  17. On 6/13/2020 at 10:52 AM, MadyVanilla said:

    -A general sense of hopefulness and well-being because I'm taking care of myself.  I'm in control and doing good things for my body.  Just a little over a week ago, I was dragging myself into this, trying to convince myself that I was ready to do another W30.

    This is one of the aspects of this reset that's easiest for me to forget. It feels good to put care and intention into my meals (hell, it feels good for me to eat meals instead of grazing mindlessly like a ruminant). I sometimes tell myself that all I want is to be able to eat anything with reckless abandon at any time, but... when I practice that philosophy, I end up feeling like garbage afterward.

    I'm glad you are feeling hopeful. What a difference eight days can make.

  18. On 6/13/2020 at 8:16 PM, ShadowInTheKitchen said:

    Living with Covid restrictions, restaurants closed except for takeout, and living too far away to rely on takeout has been immensely helpful in learning to cook good meals. 

    Isn't that a nice blessing of doing a W30 at this time? I feel lucky that so many of the places that have become "lazy" meal solutions over the years simply aren't options. Nice for the wallet, too. 

  19. Food journal for 6/14/20:

    Breakfast: I slept right through it!

    Lunch: Turkey burger (no bun) with avocado, bacon, and sprouts, with sweet potato fries.

    Dinner: Sauteed sweet potato + broccoli + brussels sprouts + meatballs + sauce

    Spent some time today doing extremely gentle yoga and whispering kind messages to my spasming back. I think it is helping.

    I need to spend some serious time thinking about my post-W30 life. I've already decided on a Fast Track re-introduction, preferring its structure to the loosey-goosey Slow Roll re-introduction. Despite the 3 or 4 Whole 30s I've completed, I've never done any kind of intentional re-introduction. In fact, at the conclusion of my first Whole 30, maybe eight years ago, I committed the ultimate careless error. The moment the 30 days were up, I tore into a jumbo bag of peanut M&Ms with absolute savagery. It's like the whole reset had been an endurance contest or something, and I was astonished to have lasted a full 30 days. (Side note: I remember how disappointingly chemical-y the M&Ms tasted in that moment... after month-long build-up, all I could taste was a huge hit of blue 1 lake, yellow 6, and gum acacia. Peanut M&Ms used to be a real binge food for me, but I have never enjoyed the taste since then.)

    Anyhow, I don't want to do the same thing this time! What I'm working on here is a sustainable, long-term relationship with food that honors every dimension of my life... physical, emotional, psychological. It's something worth careful meditation.

  20. Food journal for 6/13/20:

    Breakfast: Sweet potato + broccoli + 2 scrambled eggs + sauce

    Lunch: 5 oz kombucha; meatballs + mashed potatoes + sauteed kale + sauce

    Dinner: Brussels sprouts, broccoli, butternut squash, roasted chicken + sauce

    I have really reached apex Bowl of Stuff Plus Sauce here.

    A throbbing head and a gently spasming lower back made this day difficult. This morning, my chiropractor said that all his patients have been slowly limping into his office and telling him about all their bad behavior during self-isolation. I'm walking stiffly and trying to keep my back straight. Man. I'm such a wimp. I'd never make it as someone managing serious chronic pain.

  21. Food journal for 6/12/20:

    Breakfast: This was a grumpy breakfast smoothie of spinach, blueberries, cashewmilk, etc.

    Lunch: Spaghetti squash + ground turkey + brussels sprouts + broccoli + sauce

    Dinner: Melissa Joulwan's Cuban Meatballs + mashed potatoes + broccoli

    Woke up this morning feeling like straight-up trash. I don't think this is a Whole30 or carb flu thing..... probably more about not having been to my chiropractor since before COVID tranformed us all into shut-ins. I think my gimpy knee is affecting my gait; my lopsided gait is influencing my lower back, and my lower back is feeding me some pretty ferocious headaches. (I did check my temperature and got a normal reading. This doesn't seem to be COVID in disguise.) 

    Made an appointment with my chiropractor for tomorrow. I've been avoiding it but I think I need to get back to giving regular attention to these old bones. I'll just wear a mask and wash my hands before/after the appointment.

    Felt some mega strong cravings today but didn't give in!