Tom Denham

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Everything posted by Tom Denham

  1. Tom Denham

    Boars head meats

    I doubt it. Most deli meats fail to measure up to the real, whole food criteria of a Whole30. The Boars Head website does not share ingredient lists online and that is a red flag to me. They do say, "For additional nutritional information, please call our customer service department at 1-800-352-6277."
  2. Tom Denham

    Claussen Kosher Dill Pickles

    You can eat the Clausen's but there are better choices available. Bubbies Kosher Dills are made with Cucumbers Artesian Well Water Garlic Salt Dill Spices
  3. Tom Denham

    French's Yellow Mustard

    I don't worry about "natural flavor." When I am in a restaurant, I like to put French's yellow mustard on grilled chicken. I use something else at home, but like to smear yellow mustard on pork chops near the end of cooking.
  4. Tom Denham

    Panera Bread Hidden Menu

    Most bacon in the U.S. is cured with sugar, but the chicken salad looks good otherwise.
  5. Tom Denham

    Weight Loss?

    Thank you for asking! Most people lose weight during a Whole30. Eating only healthy foods tends to make that happen. However, the Whole30 is not a weight loss program, it is a health improvement program. It really works best if you focus on trying to improve your health and let the weight take care of itself. Therefore, it takes some trust on your part that this program is good for you and will yield good results. Unfortunately, if you focus on weight loss, you can mess up your Whole30 and either slow weight loss or hurt your health. The key to this program is eating as much as is recommended in the meal template. If you try to speed weight loss by eating less food or less fat, it interferes with your hormones achieving a normal, healthy balance and often backfires. Here is a link to the meal template... Do not count points, track calories, or weigh your food. The replacement for that behavior is following the meal template and paying attention to your feelings. If you try to do both, you will fail at following the meal template and paying attention to your feelings. They may not seem your best choice now, but they really are what works for a lifetime of health and happiness. I lost weight with this program starting in May of 2010. I lost 2 pounds per month for 15 months in a row. I ate lots of food and was never hungry. I made the mistake of trying to speed the process by skipping some meals. Back in 2010, stepping on a scale was not forbidden. What I discovered is that I sometimes gained weight on days I skipped meals. I don't understand why. I also tried to speed weight loss by exercising more than usual. I would add a 5K run to my ordinary workout. That did not make me lose weight faster either. Finally after a few months, I settled down and just followed the program. I kept losing weight until I was down 30 pounds. I went from 215 to 185. 185 was my goal weight. I wondered if I would keep losing weight when I reached it. Curiously enough, I got down to 184 one day, but never lost more. I kept eating exactly the same, but stopped losing weight. Today, I weigh 195, but I am much more muscular than I was before. I have not had my body fat measured, but I suspect I remain as lean as ever, but when I started lifting heavy weights, my chest, arms, and legs got bigger. This program really works if you will let it. Just give it time.
  6. There is some controversy about whether yeast extract is a "natural" form of MSG or not. MSG is one of the big things we recommend avoiding. I don't know which way to go on the controversy, but would avoid products containing it just to be safe.
  7. Tom Denham

    Where is the guidance on reintroducing Alcohol?

    You can plug alcohol in to the schedule similar to any other food with the exception that you probably don't want to have a shot of whiskey at breakfast, a glass of scotch at lunch, and a glass of wine with dinner unless your lifestyle is friendly to drinking all day. Actually, a few servings of your favorite drink should give you an idea of how your body responds. I was impressed with how much more detailed the reintroduction advice was in It Starts With Food than anything Dallas and Melissa had written before. Now I hear you guys asking for more details. Some of that is developing though our discussions here on the forum. I am kind of saying you may need to reintroduce for several days in order to have enough servings of a food to get a reaction if you are going to have one. And then I think you need several days of clean eating before testing a new food to let your body get back to baseline. If you crowd tests too closely together, you won't get as good an idea of how strongly something is affecting you.
  8. I see testimonials of reduced anxiety and/or depression on grain-free diets semi-regularly. It seems that our gut flora and diet has a meaningful relationship with our moods, but our understanding of the relationship remains in its infancy.
  9. Tom Denham

    Loss of appetite on second Whole30?

    The Whole9 meal template applies to all of your concerns. Eat a serving of protein as big as the palm of your hand at 3 meals per day (whether you feel hungry or want to eat or not). You need that much protein to maintain your body in a healthy state. Fill the rest of your plate with veggies cooked in a measure of fat as big as your thumb. If you are participating in intensive exercise, you need a pre- and post-workout snack. This is your baseline need for food. Sometimes you don't feel hungry, but you should eat to this level regardless. If you feel hungry, you can eat up to 2 palm-size portions of protein at each meal. You can add more fat. You can add some snacks. You can add another meal. When you don't eat enough, your metabolism slows and your hormones get out of whack, making weight loss slow or even reverse. It may seem backwards, but that is how things work.
  10. Tom Denham

    Coffee Creamer?

    Terez, I love that you keep asking why. Asking why and confronting what I perceived to be inconsistencies is what secured me a spot as a Whole9 Envoy, forum moderator, and even editor of ISWF. That and working for the joy of a good cause.
  11. Tom Denham

    Coffee Creamer?

    Unlike most things I post in the forum, I prefaced my above statement "Personally..." I am reluctant to make a blanket statement that anyone who combines coconut milk, oil, and egg to make a coffee additive is blowing their Whole30. My New Year's resolution is to be more flexible and understanding. Flexible is not what I am good at, so I may misjudge a few things. In fact, as I think about it, maybe being flexible here IS a mistake. After all, one of the iconic lines from the Whole30 guidelines has to do with drinking your coffee black... It is not hard. Don't you dare tell us this is hard. Quitting heroin is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard. However, Jaym is absolutely right. A person who can't stand to drink their coffee black probably should not make a fancy, SWYPO creamer blend for their coffee during a Whole30. A guy like me who usually drinks his coffee black would be okay with it. Context really matters. Terez, maybe only you can say whether using the coffee lightener is okay for you.
  12. Tom Denham

    Coffee Creamer?

    Personally, I think the coconut milk-coconut oil-egg coffee creamer is a Whole30 fail! It is classic sex with your pants on. You are using compliant ingredients to make a version of something to which you are addicted. The Whole30 is a time to grow in your relationship to food, not to hold on to your past as closely as possible. It makes me sad to see so much energy devoted to recreating the coffee experience of an unhealthy past rather than exploring the broad vistas of healthy eating. The problem with heavy cream is the milk solids/proteins. They are removed from ghee. Ghee is allowed during a Whole30 because it is almost entirely fat.
  13. Tom Denham

    Can I have Angostura® bitters?

    No. They are 44 percent alcohol according to the Angostura bitters website.
  14. Tom Denham

    Coffee Creamer?

    All of this is fine for post-Whole30, but let me add a note here that using date paste, date syrup, anything to replicate a vanilla latte, etc is not okay DURING a Whole30.
  15. Tom Denham

    Compliant Chicken Broth

    There are very few sugar free chicken broths on the market. One I found at Whole Foods was the Imagine brand, but only the Organic Free Range Chicken. Other varieties included cane sugar. I found one other sugar free brand once upon a time, but I've forgotten the name.
  16. Tom Denham

    Water Chestnuts

    Water chestnuts are okay. I've cooked with them a bit, but they don't do anything for me.
  17. Nope. There is no wiggle room with the Whole30. Besides, there is a wonderful menu of foods you can eat. Take a pass on the compromised foods and choose the 100 percent good stuff.
  18. Tom Denham

    Approved sausage?

    I have found Whole30-compliant sausage in the meat case at Whole Foods - Bratwurst, Chorizo, and Andouille. And Whole Foods has some chicken sausage that is compliant by several different companies. The chicken apple is the one that I have found that is sugar free. The problem is that you have to check the ingredients everywhere you go. They may use different recipes to make sausage at different locations. I have made my own sausage from ground pork several times. I've just added whatever spices I liked without attempting to recreate any particular sausage taste. Mine has been okay, but not outstanding like some I've bought. But then, I haven't tried very hard either.
  19. Tom Denham

    Nightshade Reaction Symptoms??

    Your diagnosis sounds worthy of testing by eliminating nightshades. Here is a good list... Here is a nice discussion of good substitutes for nightshades...
  20. Tom Denham

    Bloated, looking awful, feeling low

    Your gut flora adjusts to whatever you eat habitually. When you change your habits, your gut flora must adjust too, but those changes tend to be slow. Your digestion is probably disturbed right now because your gut flora is still good for your old diet, but has not grown in the proper ways to digest your new diet. That's why you need digestive enzymes and maybe probiotics. Many people can adjust without taking supplements, but for those who adjust slowly, the sensible thing to do is supplement. Many people no longer need supplements after their bodies have had enough time to adjust.
  21. Tom Denham


    Every ham I ever looked at was cured with sugar. If you find one that meets Whole30 guidelines, tell us about it.
  22. Tom Denham

    Yeast extract

    According to Wikipedia, "Yeast extract is the common name for various forms of processed yeast products made by extracting the cell contents (removing the cell walls); they are used as food additives or flavorings, or as nutrients for bacterial culture media. They are often used to create savory flavors and umami taste sensations, and can be found in a large variety of packaged food including frozen meals, crackers, junk food, gravy, stock and more... Yeast extract contains an amount of naturally occurring Glutamic Acid or Monosodium Glutamate." To read the entire article: Many believe that food companies use yeast extract to hide the presence of MSG in foods from consumers. Here is a clear statement of the issue: You should avoid yeast extract during a Whole30 to avoid even small amounts of MSG.
  23. Tom Denham


    Back when I made meat loaf in my pre-paleo days, I added shredded carrots to the meat instead of bread crumbs and used salsa instead of ketchup. I just thought salsa was better than ketchup. Still do.
  24. Tom Denham

    Alternative to coconut aminos

    You could use a balsamic vinegar as an alternative. The taste is different, but it could work. In some situations, you might use fish sauce. Again, the taste is different, but it could work. I like coconut aminos, but actually don't use it very often. I never was big on soy sauce, which is what it replaces so well.
  25. Tom Denham

    Almond Flour

    Not okay. Muffins made with almond flour and fruit is SWYPO. Don't do it.