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Everything posted by Muse_of_Fire

  1. I love plantains. I love them! They are one of my favorite starches and every time I have a chance to order them at a restaurant I get them and they are wonderful. I have been trying through my entire Whole30 (I am currently on day 26) to incorporate plantains and they fail every time. They take forever to peel, and when I do manage to peel them, the skins take half the edible "meat" of the plantain with them. They never seem to get done, no matter how, or how long, I cook them. The resources I have found say to wait until they are really, really ripe, but they all have different definitions of what "ripe" looks like: yellow with brown spots, mostly black, completely black. I have tried cooking them in all stages of ripeness. I know there are different ways to cook them based on how ripe they are. None of them have worked for me. I did do a recipe where I just peeled, sliced, and roasted them in oil with seasoning, and those turned out OK but it was still a TON of work to peel them, and I think they were either still too unripe (even though they were basically black) or I didn't cook them long enough (even though they were in the oven for 20 minutes longer than the recipe called for), because they were still pretty hard/tough. Aren't they supposed to soften up when they cook? How are restaurant plantains so soft? "Bake them in their skins!" they said. "It's so simple!" they said. I tried. After baking them (for 20 minutes longer than the recipe calls for), they still would not give up their skins. And now that they are (theoretically) baked, and peeled, they are turning black. Are they supposed to? Some are really hard, some are really mushy. The only common denominator in this is me. So what am I doing wrong? Everyone else seems to have magical plantain power. How do you peel them? Cutting a long slit still means I have to spend forever hacking the peel away in chunks (regardless of stage of ripeness). How do you cook them? Why can't I figure this out? Please help so I can enjoy my plantains without raging out every time.
  2. Muse_of_Fire

    Too much starchy veg?

    As of today (Tuesday) I am currently on day 29, but I will continue my W30 through the weekend, because I had a couple days mid-program where I was eating added sugar in some dried fruit that I thought was compliant and realized later wasn't, and also because it will be easier for me to plan my reintroduction over a weekend and start reintroduction next Monday. Throughout my program I've been trying hard to listen to my body and tweak/adjust as I go. Early on I was feeling dizzy so I upped my food intake; also I had *horrible* PMS -- I was so moody it was scaring me: paranoia, mood swings, completely irrational thoughts. I usually get a little moody and sensitive/depressed during that time but this was way different. I searched around on the forum and saw some suggestions for women to up their starchy veg in this case, so I started that. I will have to wait until my next period to see if it affects my PMS moods but I will say that as soon as I increased my starchy veg I felt generally better overall. However now I am worried I have overdone it. In doing some other reading I am seeing that the recommendation is 1 fist-sized serving of starchy veg at ONE meal. I have been including one at *every* meal, plus my template-sized protein and fat, and the rest non-starchy veggies on my plate. Is this too much? Starchy veg is either potato, plantain, or sweet potato, depending on what my body feels like it wants, but those are my 3 choices for starch. I have been feeling much better generally since adding this back in but I worry it is too far "off-template" since the recommendation is only at one meal. Starting to feel the worry of "what happens when I start reintroduction?" at this point in my program (i.e. will I lose all my progress?) and am worried that the starch is also a contributing factor in this. Thoughts/suggestions? Thank you.
  3. Hi all. I'm a first-time W30-er, currently on day 15. Prior to this my diet was kind of my own creation, based on research I've done on all sorts of nutritional stuff. As a semi-professional athlete I am constantly monitoring my food and trying to stay up on research and seeing how my body feels and how my food affects my performance. So my typical diet has been paleo-ish mostly, with some tweaks to support my athletic training and what makes my body feel good. This past year I went through a divorce so I was more focused on that than anything else, and the stress from that meant I stopped all physical training and was stress eating and just eating what was convenient (i.e. mostly garbage), just to get through the divorce and the life change. Now I am settled into my new life and started W30 to reset my body back to the food it was used to, after almost a year of eating garbage and almost no physical activity (what an unpleasant spiral). During the last part of the transition into my new life, I allowed myself a couple of weeks of "Whole 30 Lite," recognizing that I'd probably have slip-ups but I was still not in a position to fully plan/prep 100% compliant meals, etc. I considered it sort of like the Reintroduction phase, but in reverse -- just to remind my body what good food was, get used to some of the recipes, get back in the habit of cooking good stuff gradually, even though a lot of my cooking stuff was still in boxes from moving, etc. Also I have a history of disordered eating so I wanted to be sure I did not take the "compliance" mentality too far inside my own head, to avoid the cycle of thinking about being "good" or "bad" on a diet, which is highly destructive for me. I know the idea is to pick a date, commit, and start, but that seemed really scary to me given my history so I wanted to ease in and build good habits around food over the course of a few weeks, gradually "stacking" more and more compliance into my routine until I got there. In any case 2 weeks ago I was in a position to officially start and I did. I am on Day 15 with no problems: fully compliant, I feel great, I had a few days of "Kill all the things" and "I just want a nap" early on but it has been Tiger Blood, or at least a sense of "feeling like The Real Me," most of the time. I plan to get back to my athletic training program soon -- in the next week or two. I want to be sure I'm doing it right, so here is a sample of what/how I've been eating: Morning: Black coffee blended with ghee and unflavored collagen protein powder (I get up at 5:30 and am on the road for a 45 minute commute by 6 so I am not able to eat breakfast while driving). Also fish oil capsule & CoQ10 supplement. Mid-morning (around 9:00): Breakfast -- usually a "hash" with protein + veggies cooked in coconut or avocado oil, or today it was a plain ground beef patty + riced cauliflower, riced sweet potato, & 1/2 avocado. Also B-complex supplement. Lunch: leftovers from dinner or a salad with shrimp or chicken, shredded cabbage, kale, carrots, and vinegar or lime juice + oil (sometimes also with Thai red paste or Costco no-salt seasoning mixed in) Afternoon snack: almonds, sometimes a little dried fruit, but not usually. Also fish oil capsule. & 2nd B-complex supplement Dinner: Something from the Whole 30 cookbooks (I like a lot of variety) Before Bed: herbal/chamomile tea (unflavored, just herbs) to help me sleep, magnesium supplement, vitamin D supplement in oil (I live in a winter climate so I use the Vitamin D only in fall/winter; magnesium is for sleep, muscle cramps, menstrual cramps). My primary beverage is water, sometimes with lemon, usually plain. I sip from a huge water bottle throughout the day. Juice is a once-in-a-while treat and I usually dilute it with some plain sparkling water. I know the supplements are kind of discouraged because the idea is to get everything from food, however before W30, during my athletic training (especially during season), I found the supplements to be extremely helpful, even with my mostly paleo diet. (I was training about 20-30 hours per week and therefore putting really heavy demands on my body). Also when I do not supplement magnesium my menstrual cramps are debilitating. So the mag at least is here to stay. It *feels* good in my body so I imagine this is working for me, but I do find I miss some grains (brown rice, oats, corn, etc.) -- mostly for how they seem to aid my digestion. My poops have been weird since I started. :/ But aside from that, energy is good, sleep is good, my body feels ready to get back to training, etc. Feedback, thoughts, comments, questions please??? Am I missing something?
  4. Muse_of_Fire

    Am I doing this right?

    Great suggestions, thanks. I do take my meds 1st thing upon waking, then spend the 30 minutes getting dressed, etc. then I am out the door. I feel silly for not thinking to change the "shape" of my breakfast so I can eat it earlier in the car. Sundays I usually meal prep breakfasts for the week in containers, to eat at my desk during my prep period (some 4 hours after I've woken up), same thing for lunches. Breakfast is usually some kind of meat and veggie hash but I just realized thanks to your suggestions I could change the "shape" of the hash into a wrap -- putting all the meat and veggies into a cabbage leaf instead of mixing the shredded cabbage in. I usually buy a big thing of grass-fed hamburger patties for the freezer. If I prep those and pre-make a bunch of sweet potato buns during my Sunday prep, I can easily do a breakfast sandwich each morning. I was so stuck on the idea of hashes I couldn't think outside the box. >.< Thanks!
  5. Muse_of_Fire

    Am I doing this right?

    OK another breakfast concern. Although things are going super great I am starting to feel the "not having breakfast until hours after I wake up" thing. I definitely would like to add in breakfast right away but it's a struggle. I cannot eat right away when I wake up because of medication that has to be taken on an empty stomach and needs 30 minutes to absorb, and by then I am commuting on the interstate. I can either get up 30 minutes earlier (no way -- 5am is early enough). Since it's early morning, my commute is not the congested stop-and-start slowness that makes it somewhat easier to eat... although eating + driving is not ideal. I am cruising along at 85 (um, I mean 70 if any police officers are reading this...) so the best option would be a handheld bar or some such that I can eat on the road. Once I get to work I am not in a position to eat until my prep which is 4-5 hours after I wake up. Last time I was training for competition and on my training diet I made egg bakes in advance and just had a big handheld frittata piece every day, but I will probably do a murder if I have to eat eggs ever again (seriously -- it was 3 months of eggs every morning, every day... I can't do it any more). I have been researching W30 approved bars. I know the Larabars and such are too sugary to be a good choice for a daily breakfast option so I'm not looking at those (although I do want some carbs in the morning so will probably do some kind of sweet potato whatever if I can figure it out, sweet potato toast maybe?). However I am checking out the Epic bars & bites that are approved, since they are so protein dense. My question is... since most compliant bars are usually in the category of "technically OK but not great since there is the potential to over-rely on them and not learn from your body," would these Epic bars be an issue, since I plan to use them for breakfast every day (except weekends)? I'm thinking of maybe making a "sandwich" with an Epic bar between two pieces of sweet potato toast, glued together with some almond butter or something. Will this screw me up? I ask because last week I was suddenly having terrible afternoon brain fog/crashing and discovered that the dried cherries I was using in my homemade trail mix had added sugar, so that was 3 days that threw me off, woke up the sugar dragon, messed me up. I don't want to make this mistake again by substituting "convenience" foods and making it harder for me to sort out what my body needs. So is my proposed "quick and easy breakfast" solution workable or is it more in the line of over-relying on "snacky" kinds of foods? I welcome your advice, TIA.
  6. Muse_of_Fire

    Am I doing this right?

    Thanks. Maybe I just wanted some external reassurance. This is new to me, and I want to be sure I didn't miss some important detail, or wasn't barking up the wrong tree. I cannot wait to get back into the gym and the training hall... my body is *dying* to work out, but I have a few post-divorce schedule bugs to work out first. Sometimes I do eat my breakfast right away at 7:00 (a little over an hour from when I wake up) -- I am a teacher, I get to school around 7 and if there are kids in my room needing help I either have to wait until my 9:00 prep to eat my breakfast, or I sort of nibble while helping them, which doesn't count really as "breakfast" since I'm distracted. Sometimes I am not hungry until 9 though. But, good to know I am on the right track and I can trust what my body seems to be telling me.
  7. Hi all. I haven't officially started my W30 yet because I have set my start date for Feb. 3 (reasons -- trust me it makes sense to do it that way), but I have been experimenting with meal composition and getting a handle on meal-prep, etc. So you could say I'm doing a "soft start" before going in whole hog (kind of like reintroduction phase but in reverse). In any case the past week or so my breakfast has usually been a version of bulletproof coffee (coffee w/ vanilla bean ghee, cinnamon, & keto collagen protein + MCT powder), eggs w/ herbs, sliced avocado, & some sweet potato. I have been fine with this breakfast & have eaten these foods my whole life without issue. The BPC is new-ish to my diet but it's been about 2-3 weeks on it and I haven't had any reactions. Today I had my BPC without issue (I have a long commute so usually drink my BPC on the commute and then eat my breakfast first thing when I get to work). One bite of breakfast = fine. Bite #2 = sudden terrible nausea. I almost threw up right then and there. My body was all, "NOOOOOPE!" This has never happened before. I stopped eating right away and snagged a bit of candied ginger (totally off-limits but I haven't started W30 officially yet and I did not want to yuke all over my desk --after my start date I will just munch on straight ginger slices). The ginger helped but I am scared to go after my eggs again... but I also don't want to skip breakfast! It is absolutely impossible that I am pregnant so it's not that. The eggs tasted fine and did not seem old/off/bad. The only difference is today I was out of sweet potato so my breakfast was just eggs cooked in oil & herbs + avocado. Nausea is my kryptonite (I can muscle through just about any pain or fatigue but the slightest bit of nausea and I am down, useless, wishing for my own death), so I am really nervous about trying these eggs again. Any ideas what could be happening here?
  8. Muse_of_Fire

    "Pre-introduction" before start date?

    (Just realized this probably should have gone in the "Join the Whole30" section, and not here.... my apologies. If a mod wants to move it there and has time to do so, thanks in advance.)
  9. Hi, all. (Kinda long, but I feel like I have to explain a lot for context). I am a first-time Whole-30er, set to start in February (going through a divorce and waiting until I am moved in to my new place, so I can start from scratch with a totally empty pantry, buying only compliant stuff). However I am spending most of January planning, strategizing, and preparing so I can ensure success on my program when I do start. So I have been reading the books and looking over recipes and kind of "big-picture" planning. I am a semi-professional athlete but due to life (mainly the divorce and the events leading up to it), I have taken a year off of training and my diet has been in the pits. When I am training I am usually on a hybrid paleo/Mediterranean diet that I designed myself based on lots of experimentation, research, and food journaling. It works great for me, but since the hiatus from training I have been really eating poorly (disastrously!) and am looking forward to starting my W30 as a reset to get back to good eating and back on my training program. I am also a confident cook and have an incredibly busy life (don't we all?) -- juggling semi-professional athletic training with a full-time job. So I have been a little scared to start my W30 as I will be adjusting to a lot at once -- returning to a conscious way of eating (but a new one for me), living on my own for the first time in 20 years (i.e. not being able to rely on my "wasband" anymore to help with meal prep, groceries, etc.), becoming the sole caregiver to my dog, and managing a 45-minute one-way commute each day. I have been anxious about how I will manage that all, so that has been kind of my excuse for eating poorly ("Oh, I haven't started my W30 yet so I can eat whatever"). I was feeling terrible (obviously) and then I finally realized, hey, I ~know~ how to eat well. I have eaten really really well for most of my adult life until things fell apart. Just because I'm not planning to start my W30 until I am moved out, doesn't mean I can't at least eat well, use what I know, and kind of try out some of the W30 recipes and practice a little with meal composition starting now, and do some experimenting with W30 concepts just to build some basic habits. So right now I am trying some of the recipes, but with shortcuts for now (i.e. jarred pre-minced ginger, or soy sauce, which are not compliant, but it's what is available in the house and I don't want to buy all new compliant stuff if I'm only here for another couple weeks) -- knowing that when I officially start, those are things that will need to change. This has helped me a lot with the feelings of nervousness about how I will manage all the changes that are coming. I call it my "Half-assed 30" or my "Pre-introduction" (almost like a reverse re-introduction phase). When I am moved in to my apartment (last week in January), I will officially start with full compliance. I have chosen Feb. 3 as a start date. I'm not counting this "pre-introduction" towards my 30 days but it has helped immensely in helping me feel better about how I will manage this change on top of everything else, and reminding me it's not that far off from how I was eating before (I had abandoned wholesome eating and consistent athletic training for so long I was afraid I would never find my way back), and also it's giving me some hands-on experience with the recipes so I can get a feel for how long they will take, which is aiding in my meal planning given my commute. Also once I start back to my athletic training, that will quickly ramp up to 20+ hours per week, which will require a lot of planning as well, to stay compliant. So it's serving as a reminder to me that I have what it takes to manage this, and that it's doable. And it's making my body feel better, to boot. "Half-assed 30" is certainly better fuel than pasta with pre-packaged pesto (hey, I said I had gone WAY off the wagon). In essence I am giving myself a little practice/preview period, mostly as a "you got this" to myself. Super excited to see how I feel once I am on full compliance for the full 30 days, starting Feb. 3! Has anyone else tried this? Thoughts/ideas/comments? I'm feeling good/positive about it so far.
  10. Hello there! I am a semi-professional athlete who eats mostly paleo/mediterranean but due to overtraining and also coping with major life changes (divorce, moving, mental health issues) I have put my training on a major slowdown, refrained from all competitions, and been super relaxed about my diet. I'm planning to use Whole 30 to do a diet reset, to get back to my training and to get back to competition. It is my first time doing Whole 30. My start date will be 2/1/18, and I have my sights on a competition in May. I'm trying to plan ahead as much as I can for my Whole 30 start so I'm trying to set up a rough 30-day meal plan in advance. I use homemade pickled red onions in a LOT of stuff. They are my go-to add-on to top meat, steamed veggies, bowls, etc. The recipe is red onions, rice vinegar, red wine vinegar, salt, and sugar. I am wondering if there is a compliant recipe out there. I have the Whole 30 Quick and Easy cookbook and there is a recipe for quick-pickled veggies in there. It uses pineapple juice for the acid and the sweetener, so I'm thinking of trying to apply that to just the onions but I think it will be too sweet. Anyone have a compliant pickled red onion recipe? Can I use unsweetened apple cider? I welcome your advice. I will try not to be too much of a noob.
  11. Hi there! I am a semi-professional athlete who eats mostly paleo/mediterranean but due to overtraining and also coping with major life changes (divorce, moving, mental health issues) I have put my training on a major slowdown, refrained from all competitions, and been super relaxed about my diet. I'm planning to use Whole 30 to do a diet reset, to get back to my training and to get back to competition. It is my first time doing Whole 30. My start date will be 2/1/18, and I have my sights on a competition in May. I'm trying to plan ahead as much as I can for my Whole 30 start. I will move into my new place the week before so that seemed a good time, I can skip the "pantry clean out" step and just start fresh with compliant food. I am a ballet dancer (retired), ADAPT-qualified parkour coach, parkour athlete, and student of Bei Shaolinquan (forms, full-contact sanda fighting, full-contact lei tai fighting, lion dance, and traditional Chinese weapons). I also do weightlifting as well as yoga, rock climbing, and other forms of dance for fun and to supplement my training. I love travel and cooking, and am a high school French teacher. I am really excited to get going on my Whole 30 and get my training back on track. Happy to meet you all and pumped to feel good in my body again!