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My first Whole30 (after 11 months paleo!)


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I'm a little late to my own party here. I started my Whole30 on June 27th so it is nearing the end of day 9 for me. I kind of wish I'd started this in the beginning, but I'll do my best to remember what's happened so far.

I switched to a paleo diet last August, let paleo treats creep in during the holidays, and I've been struggling to get back to basics since then. In addition, I was a triathlete and training very hard for my toughest race season yet when I was tripped by my dogs out on our farm and I destroyed my right foot. This happened on March 3rd and I still have 3 screws in my foot (that come out in two weeks). I was non-weight bearing for 10 weeks or so and managed to maintain my weight during that time. When I got off the crutches, I started to gain. I'm up 10 lbs from where I was (20 from ideal for me) before I got injured. I think it's related to a drastic reduction in my activity level (getting around everywhere on crutches is hard work) and no change in my eating habits. Feeling sorry for myself as my non-existent race season started (and all I could do was spectate) triggered a little extra treat consumption, too. So, I needed a restart. Enter ISWF and my very first Whole30!

Day 1: I was HUNGRY. I kept eating, but I kept being hungry. I think it was mental. I felt fine though.

Day 2: I awoke with a headache and it didn't go away for days.... I was hungry, so I tried to up my fat intake and I managed to eat avocado at every meal!

Day 3: I was grumpy and still had a headache. Everything else felt ok.

Day 4: Cramps started (unrelated to my Whole30!) and I was exhausted. Still had a headache.

Day 5: Still exhausted, still with a headache but only at the end of the day (thankfully).

Day 6: Sugar cravings started. I didn't really 'crave' sugar, but I really wanted it and couldn't stop thinking about it. I didn't eat it though. I also noticed that my morning appetite was GONE. This is VERY weird for me as I've been ravenous in the mornings my whole life. I didn't even want to eat my breakfast.

Day 7: July 4th. Really, really, really wanted a glass of wine, but that was lifestyle related and not a real craving. I ate only 3 squares this day and didn't want any other food. I do notice a growling feeling in my stomach about a hour after eating but I know it's not really hunger so I ignore it.

Day 8: Same 'growling' feeling still happening. Same lack of hunger in the morning, too.

Day 9: Same as day 8, really.

I have been tracking my food elsewhere so I'll copy that here to this log sometime tomorrow.

So happy to have finally come to this forum!!

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Thanks Melissa! This is a great place!

Here is my food for the first 9 days:

Day 1

B - cold chicken, 1/2 apple, almond butter

S - black coffee, 1 oz nuts

L - steak fajita salad with quac and salsa

S - 1 T coconut butter

D - huge fricken steak with a pile of asparagus at a restaurant (that only serves local grass fed beef and it was outstandingly delicious!)

Day 2

B: cold chicken breast, 1/2 banana, nectarine and 1 T coconut butter

S: black coffee

L: mixed greens salad with walnuts, onions, roasted red peppers, avocado and grilled salmon. Topped with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

S: 1 oz nuts (macadamia, pecan, almonds)

D: beef sausage and cabbage and onion stir fry

Had a banana right before bed because my stomach was growling.

Day 3

B: leftover cabbage and beef sausage stir fry

S: coffee (black)

L: 3 c mixed veggies topped with avocado, sundried tomato sausage, nectarine

D: grilled steaks, sweet potato souffle (paleo comfort foods), asparagus

Day 4

B: bacon and eggs with spinach, onions, mushrooms in them, coffee (black)

L: ?? (can't remember!)

S: guacamole and carrots

D: chicken breast topped with mango salsa and grilled green beans, two lettuce wraps

Day 5

B: bacon, asparagus and mushroom frittata, 1/2 c blueberries, black coffee

L: garlic artichoke sausage, apple with almond butter

D: berry chicken salad from Panera, sans dressing

Day 6

B: leftover frittata and 1/2 c cherries (from neighbor's tree!)

S: black coffee and a banana

L: chicken breast topped with mushrooms and tomatoes, grilled green beans, steamed broccoli

D: copper river salmon, roasted sweet potatoes, sauteed zucchini

Day 7

B: 3 oz cold chicken, 1 sm banana, black coffee

L: 2 egg white tortillas (paleo comfort foods), guacamole, tuna, spinach

S: apple

D: grilled chicken topped with avocado, roasted mixed veggies (parsnips, carrots, beets, brussels sprouts)

Day 8

B: scrambled eggs w spinach and onions in it, bacon, black coffee

L: leftover chicken topped with avocado, left over sauteed veggies

S: handful of macadamia nuts

D: grilled burgers topped with home made guacamole, baked sweet potato 'fries' (paleo comfort foods) and home made orange iced tea (no sugar)

Day 9

B: frittata with bacon, mushroom and kale in it

S: black coffee and a banana

L: burger topped with quacamole, baby carrots and more guacamole and then a handful of blueberries

S: apple

D: thai pumpkin curry with chicken (no rice, extra steamed veggies instead)

Day 10: Today I feel really, really positive. I'm in a super good mood. This could be partly because it's Friday, but I think the nutrition has something to do with it as well. I do still have a low grade headache, but nothing too distracting. While I still wasn't hungry at breakfast, I did manage to eat the whole thing without discomfort. I had leftover frittata and a handful of cherries and it held me over until lunch at noon.

Today I also will be starting formalized exercise again. I've been having my PT twice a week and I lead a fairly active life (we run a small farm on top of full time jobs) but I haven't been doing any actual workouts in awhile. This is partly due to my foot and partly due to a fairly obvious lack of energy lately. I feel pretty electrified today though, so today is the day I get back on track on that front. :-)

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Adding a couple of additional details about myself.

Name: Catherine

Age: 44

Height: 5'4"

Highest weight (in 2010): 175

Weight when I went paleo:152

Weight when I got injured:145

Weight at the start of my current Whole30: 157 (June 27, 2012)

Long term goal? Around 135 lbs...a good healthy racing weight for me that leaves me feeling good about my body (and allows me to fit into all the clothes in my closet!).

Ultimate Goals:

Be happy in my skin.

Be able to run again.

To re-learn the love of lifting weights (somehow, I got away from it when training for triathlon)

To utilize ALL produce harvested from our garden this year. (not the fruit trees/berries...but at least all the veggies!)

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I had a busy weekend! It wasn't a *good* weekend, but it wasn't bad either. Saturday, my husband was really irritable for no apparent reason (Whole30 related?) and then on Sunday, that was me. So we made it through, got quite a bit done around the house, but it wasn't one of our better weekends. It was also hot (hot for us here in the PNW anyway) but yet I didn't feel good about complaining based on what the rest of the country has been going through!

So here is my food from Friday, Saturday and Sunday:

Day 10

B: frittata with bacon, mushroom and kale in it, black coffee, handful of cherries

L: leftover thai pumpkin curry with extra veggies thrown in

S: handful of macadamias and some cherries

D: tacos (2 egg white tortillas, spinach, pico, taco seasoned ground beef, guacamole)

Treat: 1 frozen banana w/ small handful of pecans

Day 11

B: bacon, eggs w veggies and leftover taco meat and topped with guacamole, black coffee, blueberries

L: chicken apple sausages, baby carrots with guacamole, cherries

S: a mammoth-sized peach

D: Huge salad - all veggies, topped with olive oil and balsamic

S: orange

Day 12

B: scrambled eggs with zucchini, mushrooms and onions topped with avocado, bacon and black coffee

L: mango sausage, apple with almond butter

S: raspberries and blueberries from our garden

D: fajita steak salad with guac and grilled veggies, topped with salsa

S: orange

On Day 12, I woke up with crazy amounts of energy. I was super charged up! I did manage to deplete it all by the end of the day, but considering my pedometer read 28000 steps (a typical day is 12000), it's no wonder.

We had a serious discussion about sticking to this (I plan to, but he was wavering) at dinner on Sunday night. And then we talked about what things we actually missed. For him, it was sweeteners (for his coffee, his iced tea and his diet coke) and ice cream. For me, it is cream in my coffee and I have wanted a glass of wine twice in the past 13 days. I think this comes up more on weekends (or days off) than it does during the week. I think we've built up a mentality that weekends are a time to relax and food is part of relaxing. Plus, for some reason, we feel the need to 'treat' ourselves on the weekends. Bad habits are tough to break!

Anyway, it's still full steam ahead for both of us. Day 13 underway and going well. I've got pork shoulder marinating in the fridge today for asian BBQ pork from Well Fed. I can't wait!

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I may have turned a corner! I felt really good yesterday and I feel really good today. Even energy even though sleep has been poor (due to our dogs barking at the coyotes all night long!) and very little hunger. Yay!

Day 13

B: leftover eggs with veggies scrambled in and a 1/3 piece of bacon

S: black coffee and a banana

L: 2 chicken apple sausages, 2 c mixed veggies

D: peach, pecans, baby carrots with guacamole and char siu (Chinese BBQ pork from Well Fed)

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Day 14

B: leftover eggs with veggies, a peach, black coffee

L: fajita salad (steak, chicken, peppers, onions, lettuce, guacamole, salsa)

D: carrots, guacamole, BBQ pork, blueberries

S: handful of macadamia nuts and pecans

Yep, definitely have turned that corner. Yesterday during an all day meeting, I wasn't interested in snacking at 3 pm when everyone else started pulling out their snacks. Energy was good all day, into the night! Today will be a real test. We were up late last night from a late class and then I had to be at work extra early today so I'm running on short sleep for the second day in a row. So far, so good though. :-)

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Day 15

B: eggs with leftover taco meat in them, blueberries, black coffee

L: chicken apple sausages, mixed veggies with olive oil

S: a pint of raspberries!

D: salmon cake (from ISWF), blueberries, macadamia nuts

I continue to feel really good. I'm definitely perfectly happy with only 3 meals a day now (though I am still forcing myself to eat a good breakfast when I'm just no longer hungry in the AM). I only snacked yesterday because I bought the raspberries at a farmer's market at lunch and they were sitting next to me on my desk all afternoon. And boy, were they DELICIOUS! Easily the best raspberries I've ever had!! I don't know if it's because these were just particularly good berries, or if my tastebuds are more awake now due to this Whole30...but either way, they tasted positively decadent!

I can feel a difference in my pants. Today I am wearing a pair of slightly higher rise work pants and the last time I wore these, I was depressed by the end of the day because they were SO tight in my waist. Now they are loose again and I'm pleased. I'm looking forward to fitting into the bright red jeans in my closet one day! ;-)

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Day 16

B: leftover eggs topped with avocado, black coffee

S: banana

L: two salmon sweet potato cakes, mixed veggies topped with olive oil, blueberries

D: pork fried 'rice' - Chinese BBQ pork stir fried with cauliflower rice, onions, snap peas and egg (from Well Fed). Delicious!

Another good day. I'm sleeping like the dead. It's kind of freaky to me since I've been a very light sleeper my whole life but I'm getting used to it. It's still difficult for me to get up in the morning but I'm certain that's because 1) I'm not getting enough sleep (too much to do!) and 2) my bed is crazy comfy! Once I'm up, I'm awake and full of energy though, so it's a little odd. I don't even need coffee in the morning anymore.

Tonight we are doing grass fed steaks on the grill and I can't wait. I'm craving red meat! Maybe we'll try grilling sweet potatoes and veggies just to keep all the cooking outside for once.

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Day 17

B: Salmon cakes, blueberries, black coffee

L: fajita salad with salsa for dressing

S: peach

D: grass fed sirloin, baked sweet potato, sautéed zucchini

Day 18

B: sweet potato, egg and chicken apple sausage scramble, black coffee

L: left over pork fried 'rice'

D: meatza (pizza made with a meat crust, homemade pizza sauce and topped with mushrooms, onions and tomatoes

Day 19

B: bacon and eggs scrambled with veggies, black coffee

L: chicken apple sausage, apple with almond butter

D: veggies with guacamole, salmon with hazelnut butter, green beans with fig vinaigrette, butternut squash and roasted garlic puree, arugula salad with olive oil and vinegar and poached pears in raspberry crème for desert. YUM!

I've been feeling really, really good. In fact, I have been flirting with the idea that I've accomplished what I set out to do with this Whole30 and that I could end it right now. I won't though. I HAVE been thinking very carefully about how I want to do my reintroduction. The first item I want to test are artifical sweeteners. I don't eat a lot of them (really at all) but I do like the occasional diet coke or piece of sugar free gum. I've never gone so long without ANY sweeteners, so I'm curious to see how I really react to them. The second item will probably be dairy, but I haven't decided that for sure. I am definitely planning on remaining low carb for another month or so. I'd like to get closer to my goal weight before making any changes to my carbohydrate levels (since my endurance training is virtually non-existent right now anyway).

I do love the even energy levels. I also love only eating three meals a day. I no longer have to pack up about a billion little tupperwares of food every day to keep me eating all day long. It's incredibly free-ing and a benefit that never even occurred to me until it happened. I even bought a smaller insulated lunch bag over the weekend because I didn't need to carry the big sucker anymore! Awesome!!

Oh, and if it wasn't apparent from my food log, I made the 'fancy pants' dinner from ISWF for friends on Sunday night. It was a HUGE hit. These were non-paleo foody friends, so I'm very pleased with their reaction. I was particularly impressed with the salmon and the poached pears and we will definitely be making those again soon. It's too bad that salmon and hazelnuts are not in season at the same time. Same is true of pears and raspberries. I may have to change the raspberries to blackberries since those are closer in season to pears (and I like to eat in season when possible). It was all delicious though!!

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Thanks Derval!

Day 20

B: leftover salmon, rainier cherries

L: leftover pork fried 'rice', two nut-banana-apple clusters

D: bacon and eggs topped with avocado and pico de gallo, peach

Another day down. Still feeling good (and kind of on top of the world!).

Thursday I have surgery scheduled to remove the three screws that are holding my foot together. They will be putting me under general anesthesia and the last time they did that, they required me to eat something once I was awake. Last time, I was paleo (not Whole30) and the best they could offer me was applesauce and jello. I obviously wasn't going to eat the crackers or the granola. This time, I don't even want to do applesauce, so I'm putting together a plan. I'm going to have my husband bring me food. I'm going to pick out the purest, blandest baby food that I can find at the store. And I'll have him bring me a small container of coconut chips (the toasted, salted ones from Well Fed are delicious and I think the salt will be good). Hopefully, they'll let me eat this stuff instead of their chemical laden guck. :wacko:

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Day 21

B: leftover scrambled eggs with veggies, blueberries, black coffee

L: BBQ pork, mixed veggies drizzled with olive oil, blueberries

D: nectarine, hamburgers topped with guacamole, leftover green beans, sweet potato oven fries

Not much to report. Business as usual. :)

I am still sleeping like the dead. I can't get over it. Last night, my husband hit me in the jaw by accident (he said it was flinging a mouse off him - nice dream!) and I was so sound asleep that it took me a few moments to even realize what had happened and why I was awake. In the past, the slightest peep out of my husband would have woken me!

I am a little weirded out by my bruising. Typically, I don't bruise at all. I made it through 6 years of playing rugby with barely any evidence of the beating I was taking! What is odd is that in the past week, I've had three bruises show up (two on my arm, one on my thigh) and I have zero recollection of what could have caused them. I can't help but wonder if it's not related to my change in diet.

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Day 22

B: cold steak and a peach, black coffee

L: tuna, guacamole, mixed veggies, blueberries

S: spinach/mango/pear baby food

D: bacon wrapped scallops, grilled asparagus, one carrot slice

Another good day. I only ate the baby food because I'd bought two pouches so that I'd have something to take to the hospital when I had surgery. I knew they'd make me eat (they did) before they let me go and I wanted to try it to make sure I liked it. It was runnier than I thought it would be but it was quite tasty. I picked out an organic brand that had only spinach, pear and mango in it. It should work well for surgery day.

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Day 23

So this morning I had my surgery. What was very funny was that for the past few weeks, I've not been hungry in the morning for breakfast. today, when I was not allowed to eat or drink anything (even water), I was starving! Go figure!

Surgery was at 7:30 and it went well. When I awoke, they wanted to see me eat something and then to walk/hobble to the bathroom on my own before they'd let me leave. The nurse was also paleo, so she was worried about their food options. When I told her that I had food in my bag, she got it for me and was impressed with my forethought!

I was home by 9:30 am and still very hungry, so my husband made me bacon and eggs topped with salsa. I'm drinking hot tea now because my throat is very sore from the breathing tube. I'm looking forward to a full recovery...some day. ;)

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Day 23

S: pouch of baby food (spinach/pear/mango) after surgery

B: bacon, eggs topped with salsa, tea

L: chicken apple sausages, apple with almond butter

D: thai pumpkin curry over steamed veggies, peach & raspberries

So I held out and had a good 'on-plan' day but I am very, very thankful that this all happened late in my whole30 otherwise, I might have caved. I spent pretty much the entire day on the couch with my foot propped up. Because of the anesthesia, I was a bit dizzy and headache-y the whole day, so I really was uncomfortable reading (my normal distraction of choice). I watched TV (and movies) instead. OMG, all day long I was assaulted with images of gloriously decadent food. I mean...ALL DAY. No one advertises for broccoli, right? No. Just brownies, soft serve ice cream, baked goods, mac and cheese, creamy coffee drinks loaded with chocolate and sugar, etc. It was unrelenting. I'm thankful that we had nothing 'bad' in our house (though admittedly, I did think about those extra dark chocolate chips I tucked into the back of the pantry on multiple occasions). I made it through and today, even though I'm still laid up, I'm feeling well enough to read instead. Phew!

It's no wonder people in this country are so overweight and struggle so much with healthy eating. Even with a successful Whole30 well underway and in a house full of nothing but real food, I was feeling the pull. It could very easily be a total undoing for anyone in a lesser circumstance!

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Day 24

B: bacon, eggs w/ veggies, black coffee

L: guacamole w/ raw veggies, peach

D: salad from Chipotle (lettuce, guacamole, carnitas, pico, salsa)

I was hardly hungry all day so I had to force myself to eat. I guess that's what happens when you spend the whole day on the couch!

Day 25

B: sausage and sweet potato hash, eggs, black coffee

L: mango sausage, apple w almond butter

S: blueberries, macadamia nuts

D: steak, snow crab legs, grilled shrimp and mixed veggies

Craving a LOT of ‘bad for me' foods today and I was crabby when I didn't get them. Having crab legs at dinner helped a lot. It felt really decadent, so I told my whiny inner child that it was a splurge and she believed me! ;)

Day 26

B: bacon and eggs with veggies scrambled in, black coffee, melon

L: mango sausages, apple with almond butter, coconut milk drink with chai spices in it

S: half a peach

D: salmon with hazelnut butter, garlic butter green beans, leftover butternut squash puree, 3 baked chicken wings, banana

I was an eating machine at dinner! I spent the entire day standing or walking both today and yesterday and since I'm back to wearing the boot, I think I burned a lot more calories than normal.

Observation about sugar: On Wednesday night, my husband and I were out for a meeting at dinner time. We skipped ordering dinner at the meeting location since nothing would easily 'fit' and we ran to a different restaurant afterwards to eat. I had scallops with asparagus, and in place of the pasta, I asked for the carrots they were serving with another meal. When it came, I ate a carrot and wanted to spit it out - it was coated with a really sweet glaze. Not only was it not Whole30, but it tasted disgusting! It was a nice place though, so I swallowed it and proceeded to eat my asparagus and scallops (cooked in olive oil...I asked!).

I'm not 100% certain, but I *think* I had a reaction to the sugar on Saturday. I think it is the reason for my cravings and for my bad mood. This struck me because my husband had cravings and a bad mood on Friday and he always digests food faster than me (don't ask how we know this). If this is the cause, I'm actually afraid to even try natural sugars again! Who wants to feel like that? I certainly don't. Oh well, sugar is not high on my list of foods to re-introduce come the end of the week anyway.

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Day 27

B: leftover sausage and sweet potato hash, melon, black coffee

S: banana and a handful of mixed raw nuts

L: tuna and guacamole

D: burgers topped with guacamole, sweet potato oven fries, 2 baked chicken wings, herbal tea

I had to eat the banana and nuts because I had to run an emergency errand at lunch and wouldn't get to eat until really late. And then when I did finally get a minute, it was literally barely a minute! I stuffed the tuna/quac into my mouth and ran to a meeting. I couldn't even eat my veggies! It was not one of my better days but at least it was all Whole30 compliant.

My husband and I had an interesting conversation last night (and this morning via email). We were discussing our reintroduction tactics again and we both were loathe to start eating a lot of things again. I mean, he drank plain herbal tea with me last night and actually called it 'delicious'! Honestly, that is hugely telling...Mr Sweet Tooth is coming around! Anyway, this morning we were talking about retirement (our plans are to retire at 55 in about 10 years) and we both came to the conclusion that sticking closely to Whole30 going forward will be a smart part of our retirement planning. We want to 1) feel good and be healthy enough to enjoy it and 2) save on health care costs as we age. So it looks like our Whole30 will be changing into a WholeLife. Who woulda thunk it? ;)

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HI Catherine - I just read through your log. You have some nice insights along with your food logs. I am on Day 16 and trying to figure out what Day 31 looks like as well. I am thinking that my beloved red wine for special occasions only and my 100% Pralus Dark chocolate a few squares once a week. As much as I love cheese, it's gotta go (too many stomach problems). I'll be interested to see how your re-introduction goes...please keep us posted. And I think it's great you are planning healthy for retirement!

Good luck on your recovery!

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I am so excited to see a breakfast without eggs! I'm definitely going to try the s.potato and sausage hash. Any seasonings?

Not really. I just browned some bulk purchased breakfast sausage (sage and a few other seasonings already in it). Then I added a shredded sweet potato to the pan and cooked until it was softening. I think I probably added fresh ground pepper, too. Delicious!

I also just printed a recipe for sausage stuffed apples that I'm going to make ahead for tomorrow's breakfast so I'll be sure to post an update if they are as good as they sound!

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HI Catherine - I just read through your log. You have some nice insights along with your food logs. I am on Day 16 and trying to figure out what Day 31 looks like as well. I am thinking that my beloved red wine for special occasions only and my 100% Pralus Dark chocolate a few squares once a week. As much as I love cheese, it's gotta go (too many stomach problems). I'll be interested to see how your re-introduction goes...please keep us posted. And I think it's great you are planning healthy for retirement!

Good luck on your recovery!

Thanks, Kim! I think I'm going to reintroduce heavy cream for my coffee first. Then maybe dark chocolate followed by wine. Those are the three things I miss the most from my pre-Whole30 days. The rest of it, I can live without!

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Day 28

B: burger topped with guacamole, blueberries, black coffee

L: chicken apple sausages, mixed veggies topped with lemon and olive oil, peach

D: apple w/ almond butter, baked chicken wings

When I came home from work, I was super thirsty so I downed a big glass of water. Then I headed out to the garden to harvest kale for dinner. I munched on a couple of loganberries and a blueberries or two. By the time I'd cleaned and prepped the kale, I had zero desire to cook and for whatever reason, I wasn't even a little bit hungry. I ended up baking up a bunch of chicken wings for my husband and ate a few of those with an apple for dinner. It was late, too - like 9 pm but luckily, I slept fine anyway. Phew!

Tonight I'll be doing a bunch of cooking because we don't have much prepped in the house right now. I'll be doing the stuffed apples I mentioned above, the chicken, mushroom kale recipe I'd planned for last night, and something from the ISWF book that I'll modify to enter into the contest. :)

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