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Posts posted by petitemortuaire

  1. Day 17 (10/1/19)

    AM BM, finally getting to the consistency of my old “Whole 30-worthy” BMs of yore.

    • M1: egg frittata + salsa + foraged mushroom + mixed greens + ghee
    • M2: braised beef + braised greens + roasted squash + roasted vinegar beets + green beans + cherry tomato + beef-vegetable soup 
    • Snack: two apples
    • M3: braised short ribs + beef broth + coconut aminos + red bell pepper

    The most difficult component I’ve been facing in this process so far is overcoming my desire to step on the scale and check to see if I’ve lost weight and, if so, how much. My desire to move the number down on the scale is so strong right now. Tells me I shouldn’t weigh myself at 30 day intervals. Perhaps I could still measure my key measurements at those intervals? 

    I think I gave into some emotional/boredom eating for my snack today. Not enough protein at lunch, so that probably didn’t help. 

    Day 18 (10/2/19)

    Roughest day so far. So many triggers for emotional eating. I think I did an alright job of managing my cravings to eat emotionally. Work party + having to hospitalize a client = emotions out of control. I ate M1 at home, knowing full well that there would be a lot of tempting food at the work party (including pastries from my favorite French bakery). I planned to eat fresh fruit at the party and did. I did, however, go back for seconds and wish I hadn’t. I had a really strong urge to eat more fruit after the party, but resisted. I did eat one more clementine with lunch (not even after, as dessert!) and am proud of that. I might be feeling better about myself if I had been able to say no to the clementine altogether. But this is progress.

    AM BM, check.

    • M1: chocolate chili + pickled banana pepper + red bell pepper 
    • Snack: blueberries + pineapple + blackberries + clementine 
    • M2: braised beef + braised greens + roasted squash + roasted vinegar beets + green beans + cherry tomato + clementine 
    • Snack: two kiwi

    So, I’ve been encountering a major problem during this Whole180 that I’ve never encountered before while completing a program/round: not being able to find or make the time to eat meals. It happened again tonight, when I went to a friend’s for dinner. She ended up not having anything compliant to eat except for kiwi.

    Day 19 (10/3/19)

    • M1: three hard-boiled eggs + olive/avocado oil mayo + bell pepper
    • M2: braised beef + roasted squash + roasted vinegar beets + green beans + cherry tomato + three clementines
    • M3: albacore tuna + olive/avocado oil mayo + carrot
    • Snack: roasted heritage chicken (roasted tonight with beef stock, lemon peel, carrot, rosemary, and onion)

    AM BM, check.

    Eating has been hard today. I’ve been feeling incredibly depressed due to work and life circumstances and I don’t really feel like eating anything at all. I’m still surfing the wave of a desire/impulse/craving to weigh myself. So few methods of weight management and health promotion have seemed to work for me since starting Prozac that I’m feeling unfairly skeptical about success on this Whole180. But learning to sit with discomfort and uncertainty is a major thing I’m trying to learn to do better.

    Day 20 (10/4/19)

    AM BM, check. M1 didn’t happen today. Planned to eat breakfast at work but ended up leaving early because I was so depressed from the hospitalization on Wednesday. Ended up crying a lot and going home early, and then crying some more. Then I went shopping. I ended up buying four sweaters for $40, and while this is totally within budget, I need to watch out for displacing my disordered behavior onto shopping now that eating seems more in control. 

    • M2: albacore tuna + olive/avocado oil mayo + sweet potato + salt + olive oil
    • M3: sashimi (salmon, tuna, bass, octopus, fluke) + lime + beet + sweet potato + salt + olive oil + red grape


  2. Day 16 (9/30/19)

    • M1: chocolate chili + mixed greens + pickled banana pepper + tomato

    • M2: braised beef + braised greens + roasted squash + roasted vinegar beets + green beans + cherry tomato

    • M3: chocolate chili + braised greens + roasted squash + roasted vinegar beets + green beans + cherry tomato

    No BM this morning, likely because I didn’t eat much yesterday. I also haven’t taken my magnesium supplement since Thursday.

  3. Day 9 (9/23/19)

    • M1: chicken stock (bone broth) + 2 hard-boiled eggs + zucchini + sungold tomato + red boat fish sauce 

    • M2: heritage chicken + ghee + salt + pepper + rosemary + sage + lemon + garlic + avocado oil + roasted carrot + roasted eggplant and red bell pepper hash + zucchini and  onion hash + green bean + olive oil + lemon zest + red potato + parsley + concord grape

    • M3: chicken stock (bone broth) + red boat fish sauce + baby turnip + green olive

    The past few days, I’ve been contemplating my fears around food. As an archetypical nurturer, one of my big fears is the fear of being empty: fear of having nothing to give, fear of being alone with myself, fear of isolation. But also, it’s fear of not eating enough, fear of being hungry. This makes sense in evolutionary terms, but GI distress has been a primary anxiety trigger for me since 2008. It started as fear of throwing up and hypersensitivity to feelings of nausea. Then, even regular hunger cues started triggering my fear of vomiting. So, (mostly unconsciously) I would eat as much as I could, whenever my anxiety was low. Likewise, I would eat to avoid being alone with myself and facing the discomfort of my anxious thoughts and isolation. These eating habits persisted even though my sense of loneliness and fear of vomiting have abated. 

    Day 10 (9/24/19)

    This morning, for breakfast, I made beef liver following this recipe (, but I got too weirded out by eating it to have more than two bites. At least my dog will be happy!

    • M1: chicken stock (bone broth) + red boat fish sauce + baby turnip + green olive + mcintosh apple

    • M2: heritage chicken + ghee + salt + pepper + rosemary + sage + lemon + garlic + avocado oil + sungold tomato + roasted eggplant and red bell pepper hash + zucchini and  onion hash + olive oil + red potato + parsley

    • M3: skirt steak + coconut aminos + garlic + lime + sweet potato + avocado oil + ghee + turnip greens + onion + chicken stock (bone broth) + cayenne + red pepper + salt + cracked black pepper 

    This was my first reaction to making it to day 10: 17 more ten-day rounds to go in my Whole180! 

    In some ways, breaking up my Whole180 into small is helpful: it keeps me motivated, and helps the whole process/project seem more manageable. However, I’ve been wondering: does it perpetuate an idea that this way of eating/relating to food is something temporary, rather than a major lifestyle shift? Is chunking my Whole180 in this way setting myself up for relapse? 

    I’ve also been wondering whether I should weigh myself at the six 30-day intervals over the course of my Whole180, or just weigh in at the end. Part of me worries that, if I weigh in and don’t see “enough” progress, I’ll want to abandon this lifestyle change.  In addition to developing a better relationship with food, de-couplng my sense of self worth with my success at helping others, learning to say no (to food, to things that go against my values and boundaries), overcoming fear of being empty (huger, existential emptiness, being alone with myself), and unlearning emotional eating, I also want to lose weight. And not just a little weight… 75 lbs. Losing this amount of weight seems almost impossible to me now. It seems impossible that I gained so much weight since the last time I did a Whole30. It seems impossible to lose it. It seems impossible to keep it off. And yet, this kind of denial disbelief, and devaluing of self is what got me here. These things are NOT impossible. 

    Day 11 (9/25/19)

    • M1: egg frittata + arugula + sweet potato + ghee + avocado oil + salt

    • M2: heritage chicken + ghee + salt + pepper + rosemary + sage + lemon + garlic + avocado oil + roasted carrot + roasted eggplant and red bell pepper hash + zucchini and  onion hash + green bean + olive oil + lemon zest + red potato + parsley + mcintosh apple

    • M3: chicken stock (bone broth)

    AM BM, check.

    Day 12 (9/26/19)

    • M1: egg frittata + pea shoot + sweet potato + white vinegar-pickled banana pepper + ghee + avocado oil + salt +paprika + mcintosh apple

    • M2: roasted carrot + roasted eggplant and red bell pepper hash + zucchini and  onion hash + green bean + olive oil + lemon zest + red potato + parsley + avocado oil + ghee + salt

    • M3: grass-fed beef burger + runny egg + tomato + pea shoot cremini mushroom + coconut aminos + red boat fish sauce + salt + pepper + cayenne + white vinegar-pickled banana pepper + concord grape 

    AM BM, as expected.

    Day 13 (9/27/19)

    • M1: mcintosh apple + chicken stock (bone broth)

    • M2: chipotle carnitas + carne asada + pico de gallo + guacamole + romaine

    • M3: delmonico + ghee + salt + pepper + rosemary + sage + thyme + roasted eggplant and red bell pepper hash + zucchini and onion hash + green bean + olive oil + lemon zest + red potato + parsley + sungold tomato

    Day 14 (9/28/19)

    M1 didn’t happen today. I wasn’t hungry until about 11 AM. According to the recommendations, I know I should have forced myself to eat something, but I just couldn’t do it.

    • M2: pistachio + cherry tomato + mcintosh apple

    • M3: sprouted almonds + red bell pepper

    AM BM according to plan.

    I didn’t have any protein pre-cooked and couldn’t stand to eat an egg or canned tuna. This is a theme that impacted the meals I did eat today.

    Day 15 (8/29/19)

    Another food prep day! Here’s what I made:

    • Cinnamon almond butter

    • Avocado oil + olive oil mayo 

    • Vegetable broth-braised grass-fed beef

    • Chocolate chili (

    • Beef-vegetable soup + onion + garlic + carrot + lemon + sage + thyme + parsley 

    • Roasted beets + spicy vinegar 

    • Green beans + olive oil + lemon zest

    • Roasted butternut + honeynut + delicata squash

    • Vegetable broth-braised rainbow chard + beet greens + onion + garlic 

    • Toasted squash seeds + avocado oil

    Another day without many real meals. I had a bite or two of each item I prepared, one composed meal  (M2; chocolate chili + pea shoot + pickled banana pepper) and a handful of toasted squash seeds later in the evening.

    I honestly don’t remember if I had a BM; don’t think I did. 



    Day 5 (9/19/19)

    • M1: 2.5 eggs + arugula + zucchini + avocado oil + salt + cracked black pepper 
    • M2: pan-seared trout + rosemary + lemon + avocado oil + olive oil + red bell pepper + red potato + leek + onion + crimini mushroom + coconut milk + salt + cracked black pepper + orange
    • M3: chipotle carnitas + carne asada + pico de gallo + guacamole + romaine

    Another loose-ish, dark brown BM this morning. It seems confirmed that I don’t digest eggplant seeds well. They continue to show up in my BMs.

    Eating out is hard! I definitely ate beyond the point of fullness at M3. I think it was a mix of the bounty of food chipotle gives you leading to “empty plate” guilt and emotional eating after a fight with my partner. 

    Day 6 (9/20/19)

    • M1: pan-seared trout + rosemary + lemon + avocado oil + olive oil + red bell pepper + pistachio 
    • M2: pork shoulder + garlic + salt + zucchini + pistachio 
    • M3: chipotle carnitas + carne asada + pico de gallo + guacamole + romaine

    Morning BM, on schedule. It’s so nice to know that I have a guaranteed W30 option for eating out at chipotle. Yet again, I finished my chipotle meal in one sitting. I’m wondering if it would be helpful to re-plate any take out so I can clearly align my portion with what’s recommended.

    Day 7 (9/21/19)

    Food prep day! Prepped lunches for the entire week. Cooked a whole chicken and made stock for the first time.

    No BM today.

    No real meals today. I was so focused on cooking that I actually didn’t eat any meals. I tasted a little bit of each of the things I cooked:

    • roasted carrot + avocado oil + salt
    • roasted eggplant + red bell pepper hash + olive oil + salt
    • heritage chicken + ghee + salt + pepper + rosemary + sage + lemon + garlic 
    • zucchini + onion hash + avocado oil
    • vegetable stock
    • chicken stock
    • green bean + olive oil + lemon zest
    • red potato + olive oil + ghee + parsley 

    I also ate a handful of concord grapes. 

    Day 8 (9/22/19)

    • M1: pan-seared sirloin steak + salt + pepper + rosemary + sage + thyme + avocado oil + ghee + sunny egg + sungold tomato + zucchini + onion hash + potato + parsley + mcintosh apple
    • M2 didn’t happen today; I did have a few Concord grapes around the time people would normally have lunch. 
    • M3: heritage chicken + ghee + salt + pepper + rosemary + sage + lemon + garlic + zucchini + onion hash + avocado oil + radicchio + red wine vinegar + red potato + garlic parsley oil

    M1 was a little too heavy on the protein and a little too light on the veg, so I focused on creating the opposite plating scenario for M3.

    PM BM today, after M3. 

  5. Day 4 (9/18/19)

    • M1: pork shoulder + garlic + salt + red potato + leek + onion + crimini mushroom + coconut milk + cracked black pepper
    • M2: three hard-boiled eggs + green olives + baby turnip + red bell pepper + red potato + leek + onion + crimini mushroom + coconut milk + cracked black pepper
    • M3: grass fed elk burger + assorted lettuces + tomato + red onion + sunflower seed

    Same BM, different day. K, my step-daughter and I ate out for the first time since I  committed to the Whole180. Honestly, eating out scares me. I’m always worried that something non-compliant is lurking in my meal, even if I ask questions and make special requests. I always find that there’s some question I forgot to ask,

    some detail of the meal that I didn’t account for, and feel too embarrassed to ask yet another question about what exactly is in my dish. However, the discomfort of asking “is there any sugar in this?” and prioritizing my health over assumed social niceties/restaurant etiquette is great practice for my inner nurturer, who tends to shy away from being too annoying or demanding, ESPECIALLY in a restaurant. I’m the child of a career chef and restaurant manager, so I know that a barrage of requests is complicated and frustrating for a restaurant staff. Moving forward, if I know where we’re planning to eat, I think I’ll call the restaurant in advance to see if they can accommodate a Whole30 approach to eating.


  6. Day 3 (9/17/19)

    • M1: three eggs + roasted bell pepper and eggplant hash + pea shoots + crispy trout skin + avocado oil + salt
    • M2: pan-seared trout + avocado oil + rosemary + salt + lemon juice + pea shoots + sungold tomato + green olives + green beans + lemon zest + olive oil
    • M3: pork shoulder + garlic + salt + arugula + sungold tomato + + red bell pepper + cholula + green olives

    Had a BM this morning upon waking. It was relatively loose and pretty dark, same as yesterday.i struggled with sugar cravings at work and almost instinctively reached my hand into the communal candy bowl for a mid-afternoon treat while walking past it, but was able to continue on without it. Last night, while falling asleep, I dreamt of accidentally eating cookies and felt so guilty!

    One of my big fears in committing to this process is being so mindless about my eating that I accidentally eat something non-compliant. But that’s one of the habits im trying to work on: mindless eating. It’s been helping to avoid eating meals while watching television (a common practice of K and I). Eating only three sustaining meals per day (vs. constantly grazing on/overeating whatever food is around) is also helping a ton. Eating at work has been a real challenge for me over the last three years. There’s always some kind of treat in the back office for folx to share and I always take a LOT. It feels instinctual. It’s like there’s a voice inside me that says “take a lot and eat it all… you never know when you’ll get food again.” I know that this is a human instinct that actually served a purpose at one point in history, but I think the impulse to eat whatever food is available has intensified in me for a few reasons:

    • I grew up in a household where I was not allowed to leave the kitchen table until I’d finished all of my meal. I was literally not allowed to stop eating when my satiety cues said it was time to. As a result, I often don’t know how to recognize or listen to my body’s satiety signals, and usually feel compelled to finish whatever I’ve put on my plate, even if I recognize before eating it that I’m not even hungry for it. Often, even as I’m preparing a snack, I’ll think “im not hungry for this,” but eat it anyway because I’ve already gone through the effort of taking it out and plating it. If I don’t finish the food I front of me, I feel intense guilt. I'd rather eat when I’m not hungry, beyond the point of fullness, than put something back or throw it away.
    • My anxiety often presented as nausea and intense vomit phobia, so whenever I was hungry enough to eat (or not even hungry, but calm enough to stomach eating without worrying that I’d throw up), I would eat whatever I could.
    • In grad school, I would use eating as an excuse to avoid doing academic work (“If I’m in the middle of eating, I can’t work on that paper,”etc.). To prolong my procrastination, I’d end up bingeing; eating for an extraordinary length of time, beyond the point of feeling full. Looking back, I can recognize this as a misguided attempt to numb my emotions and avoid the discomfort and stress that came with grad school. I continued this pattern of eating as avoidance of feeling/responsibility nearly every day. I still do it. The responsibilities and feelings I’m trying to avoid have changed over time,  it th coping strategy remains the same.

    Well, that’s probably enough self-analysis for tonight. None of these insights are new, actually. Knowing them has only rarely helped me out of the that unhelpful pattern. I’m hoping that, through this process, I’ll be able to dig a little deeper, uncover what’s left to be understood, and work towards healing in a more significant way.

  7. Day 2 (9/16/19)

    M1 (7 AM): three eggs + roasted bell pepper, eggplant, and tomato hash + avocado oil + salt

    M2: canned tuna + olive oil + jalapeno powder + bell pepper + pea shoots + sungold tomato + figs

    M3: pan-seared trout + avocado oil + rosemary + salt + roasted bell pepper and eggplant hash + green beans + lemon zest + olive oil + pea shoots + baby turnips

  8. Almost five years later and I’m back again.

    Four and a half years ago I successfully completed a Whole100 (read the whole thread here).  I was able to off-road successfully for a while afterward, but starting in 2016, habitual eating patterns crept back in. In the three and a half years that followed, I gained 50 lbs, reached the heaviest weight I’ve ever been at, and relapsed HARD i terms of emotional eating and using food as a way to cope with distress. Thinking back, I can identify a number of factors that contributed to this:

    • I stopped journaling about my experience.
      • Quite simply, without logging my experience and taking the time each day to reflect on my eating behaviors, I lost a sense of accountability and got better at rationalizing unhelpful choices. 
    • I stopped having daily check-ins with my best friend and accountability buddy, M, who introduced me to the Whole30 in 2013.
      • M and I had done the Whole100 together and kept in touch about it daily. Without that extra layer of support and accountability, I experienced a backslide into unhelpful behaviors. 
    • I went vegetarian.
      • Since 2015, I’ve been dating (and am now engaged to!) K, who returned to a vegetarian diet in 2016. I learned more about vegetarianism and decided to transition to a vegetarian diet for a few reasons:
        • Ecological impact/global warming/sustainability
        • Ethical treatment of animals
        • Apparent promise that eating vegetarian would lead to better health
        • Desire to lose weight that I gained since stopping my Whole100
      • When I switched to a vegetarian diet and cut a main source of fuel from my meals (animal protein), a returned to eating dairy. From my Whole100 reintroductions, I KNEW that dairy would fuck me up, but I ate it anyway (because what else do you eat if you’re vegetarian??). Of course, I started gaining weight and experienced a resurgence of acne (which I struggled with severely as a teen). After a few months, I got frustrated with this and decided to cut out dairy completely to lose the extra weight I had gained and calm my breakouts. 
    • I went vegan.
      • After cutting out dairy for a few months, I decided that I was close enough to vegan to just go for it full force. But with cutting out eggs came eating more grains and legumes, and predictably, more weight gain. 
      • I could only sustain veganism for about six more months and have since struggled to find a way of eating that fits my values and my body’s needs. 
    • I experienced significant mental health concerns, trauma, and stress.
      • In 2016-2017, my anxiety disorders and depression reached peak severity. This came about as a result of moving away from my support system to complete my doctoral degree and learning to navigate a relationship with K, an alcoholic. During this year I also worked a full time job and drove 12 hours every weekend. I constantly ate on the road and chose convenience/processed foods over food that I prepared. Since 2017, I’ve been working a highly stressful and emotionally taxing job as a therapist (note: the stress is related to the institution I work for, not the profession itself) and studying to become a licensed psychologist. 
    • I returned to emotional eating.
      • To deal with the stress of my job, my relationship, and my doctoral program, I relied on food to soothe me. This is a deeply-rooted pattern I’ve had since childhood.
    • I started Prozac.
      • I’m super grateful to therapy, 12-step meetings, and Prozac for helping me get my anxiety and depression in check. However, Prozac essentially eliminated my satiety signals. Emotional eating + eating no satiety signals = lots of weight gain.
    • I joined a weight loss study.
      • Through the study, we had to log all of our calories and weigh ourselves every day. I cannot emphasize enough how much this kind of self-monitoring fucked me up. I already knew from experience that this approach does not work for me, but I was desperate to feel healthier and was not ready to give up vegetarianism. I dropped out of the study early and ended up emotionally eating even more than when I started. 
    • Archetypically and psychologically, I’m a nurturer. 
      • I tend to over-source my self-worth from the act of nurturing others (I am worthy because of how I help you”). When out of balance, this psychological schema shows up in two ways:
        • Over-identification with the schema (e.g., difficulty saying “no” to others, going along with something I don’t want to do to avoid rocking the boat, poor self-care, desire to control others). 
          • In a major way, this led to me going with what helped the planet and aligned with my partner’s way of being (vegetarianism) despite evidence that this approach to eating was not supporting my health.
        • Withdrawal from the schema (e.g., abdicating responsibility to others, abdicating responsibility to self, complete lack of self-control).
          • This often showed up as eating foods and quantities of foods that were unhealthy for me because I was too emotionally exhausted to care. 

    My weight and health have been deprioritized, but I’m ready to make a change. I’m choosing to do a Whole180 (rather than a Whole30 or Whole100) for a few reasons:

    • The last time I felt healthy and strong was when I was working my Whole100. I know from experience that eating this way is what supports my health best.
    • 100 days was not enough to change my relationship with food. The biggest hurdle for me is my sense of self-worth and the ways that it impacts my relationship with/use of food. 
    • The foods that are eliminated during the Whole30 tend to be my trigger foods and those that I eat emotionally. Going for 180 days (at least) will give me the time I need to work towards changing my behaviors around food AND my psychology around food. 

    Factors supporting the success of my Whole180:

    • I accept that my relationship with food and the way I use it needs to change for good. 
    • I accept that I am not, and will never be a “moderator” when it comes to using food. I’m 100% an abstainer. 
    • I’m keeping a log here, which helps keep me accountable.
    • I’m keeping in touch with M, who understands the process. 
    • K is on board. 
    • K is actually OK with eating some meat. He understands that what works for him and his body (naturally slender) does not work for me or mine. We’ve been able to come to an agreement about sourcing animal protein: it comes directly from the humane farms near us or not at all.
    • My psychological health is a major focus this time.

    So, as of yesterday (9/15/19), I started my Whole180. I’ll be here, updating regularly. Very likely daily. I’ll log my meals, recipes, BMs (my favorite and most reliable indicator of health), and insights, especially as they relate to my psychological relationship with food. I’m nervous and excited for the months ahead.

    Starting stats:

    • Age: 29
    • Height: 5’2”
    • Weight: 209.6 lbs
    • Bust: 44”
    • Waist: 37”
    • Hips: 50”
    • Upper arm: 18”
    • Upper thigh: 30”