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Sara's PW30...the Learning Continues


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Day 4 of post W30. I had originally planned to reintroduce dairy but found the thought of it distasteful. I have been without all grains except corn for 5 months and am fine leaving that as is. My only corn prior to W30 was tortilla chips when out to eat.

So eating remains great. At the end of my W30 I found myself making rather boring repetitive though compliant meals. I wasn't enjoying myself at all. One of my goals post, is to make prettier meals with more variety.


This is last nights meal. My husband raved. I was afraid it wouldn't keep us comfortable until morning. But it did, very nicely.

I had wine this weekend. It was nice. But not particularly nicer than the past four weekends. My body definitely put the breaks on and I listened. I had some but not a lot. I didn't feel bad the next day but I didn't feel amazing either.

I put a tiny sprinkle of stevia in my coffee yesterday. Hated it! I could only taste chemical. Prior, my stevia was to my mind, my clean fresh tasting sweetener. Wow. That was eye-opening. I now can throw that crap away. I held onto it for 34 days sure I would want it again. I had been enjoying artificially sweetened desserts for a long time. My big dessert for later today? Fresh fruit from the farmer's market that I cut up and have let marinate together. And I'm looking forward to it!

It's Sunday and I'm pretty well stocked for the coming week. I'll do some prep cooking later so every thing is ready for the work week.

One last thing. I couldn't wait to weigh myself after my 30 days. I lost a couple of pounds and I lost my muffin top. I was so excited about my waist that I sent my sister a picture of it. The weight now is a nonissue. My weight stays very steady. I can stay the exact weight day after day week after week. Two pounds may not sound like a lot but I went to a number I hadn't seen in over a year. I'm happy with the changes I am now seeing and feeling.

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Day 5. I start most days with a bowl of food. I pull 2 or 3 pre cooked veggies from the fridge and a protein. Today I am having some leftover shredded beef crisped up in the pan. I warm up all the ingredients in a pan--today it's zucchini, acorn squash, and cauliflower. In the bowl I added some Tessemae's Southwestern hot sauce and fresh made mayo. It's not pretty but it's tasty. I try for 1 1/2 cups of veggies in the morning.post-30497-0-51643700-1372679604_thumb.j

It took me all of one minute to make my mayo. I now have a perfect jar. I put egg in the bottom add the other ingredients. I stick the immersion blender in and mayo rises up from the bottom in about ten seconds. Beautiful!

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I had two more amazing meals today. For lunch I crisped up a serving of leftover pork tenderloin in coconut oil, then added a chopped up ripe plantain. While that was carmelizing I chopped up a fresh tomato and a small avocado. Put all in a bowl with chopped cilantro and a wedge of lime. Best thing I've had all week. Maybe a little too much plantain.

Dinner was also delicious. I made it yesterday. I put boneless skinless chicken thighs in a Dutch oven. Made a sauce of coconut aminos, sunflower seed butter, water, salt, minced garlic, pepper, and just a little vinegar. I think. I wish I had written it down at the time. Three hours in the oven and it was so rich and creamy. Had it with a lettuce tomato salad, leftover beets, and snap peas.


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I woke up this morning at 5:20 AM today and decided to get on up since my alarm was set for 5:30. I love getting a few extra minutes in the morning and actually am happy when I wake up before the alarm. I leisurely enjoyed my coffee and was out walking the dog by 6. The weather had a touch of coolness and I was basking in the nice morning. And then I realized...I was pain free from head to toe! Every part of my body felt good. My mind felt good. 


I didn't talk about pain at all during my W30 but I had pain for the entire time. Right at the beginning, my lower back went out. That lasted almost three weeks. Then about the time that was feeling better, I injured my shoulder. That's been almost two weeks. So, being in pain was an undercurrent to the 30 days and beyond. 


As my nutrition improved, so did my desire to move. Some days I couldn't help myself. The energy would be so strong, I had to find some way to move. Gently of course. Today, I feel like with the pain out of the way, my energy is really flowing. Big contrast to pre-Whole30 when I had zero energy after work or on the weekends. 


The other sensation I had this morning, was feeling hungry! Morning hunger--yeah! I used to be desperately afraid of hunger. I dreaded the sensation and usually had food packed, just in case. Since about the last week or two of my 30 days, I have grown to love and appreciate the feeling of hunger. I love how it gently comes on, and steadily grows, and gives me plenty of time to prepare a meal. I just don't worry about it. It is a welcome friend, letting me know it's time to begin moving towards a meal. I don't rush to shove something in my mouth the minute it appears. This has been standard at lunch and dinner but breakfast hunger held out for a while longer.

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Today is day 7, PW30. I am still happy with my decision to bypass reintroduction. This means, I really did say goodbye to my once beloved cappuccinos. Instead of meeting a friend for coffee, it's tea. I would not have said I was a dairy addict before but looking back, the evidence may say otherwise. My essentials, as in always in my fridge, were sour cream, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, Swiss cheese, heavy cream, 1/2 and 1/2, butter, and Parmesan. And when I say always, I mean always, like if something ran out, that was on the grocery list. Cheese was a go-to snack. Having successfully eliminated it, I find myself with an aversion to it. Last night I reread the dairy chapter in ISWF and I see no reason to add it back. 


Grains. I gave up grains and sugar five months ago. About a week after that decision, my dad had a health crisis and I flew across the country to be with my family. He was in the hospital. We spent full days at the hospital. It was very trying. I went home. I flew back a few days later. We were providing round the clock home care. More hospital time. Nursing home time. I was away from my home for three weeks total. I spent many days sitting in a hospital. I didn't have access to my own cupboards and kitchen. Yet, I never once was in a situation where I had to eat a grain product or a sugar product. And if you are thinking that is because hospitals provide a lot of healthy food, you would be totally wrong.Did I have more than my share of nuts and boiled eggs? I did indeed. 


When I see people eating regular food, such as pizza or cake, I don't feel jealous. I feel sorry for them. This morning I'm eating a roast beef hash with spaghetti squash, 1/3 sweet potato, avocado, roast beef, and hot sauce. I can't imagine having anything better or more satisfying. When  put my plate together for each meal, I love the variety and I selfishly will not give up any nutrition for the sake of an old habit. 

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Sunday morning cooking...

2lbs of ground meet--grass fed beef and buffalo.

1 pot of braised kale and carrots

spinach and mushrooms (used half for today's breakfast)

baked cherry tomatoes--had some that needed using up asap. Used half for breakfast.

In the oven: 1 spaghetti squash, two large beets, and 1 acorn squash. 


Will take a dishes/wipe up break. Later on today will finish up the week's pre-cooking with a couple of pounds of chicken thighs, zuchinni squash, onions, green beans, and cabbage. Have fresh tomatoes, avocados, eggs, and plantains in house too. It always seems like SO much at the beginning of the week. Yet, it usually only gets my husband and I through Friday morning.


Bought a roast chicken at Whole Foods yesterday. My daughter also bought one. Hers had soy in the ingredients but the one I got was complaint ingredients. Labels matter.


In the car I asked her if she had ever heard of Kombucha. She had, in fact she had just tried it this week. She received it in her produce box to try. So she packed one for lunch. She was having a meeting at work and took her "tea" with her. Never having seen kombucha, she gave it a shake to mix up the stuff in it. So during her meeting, she started to open it and it hissed at her. She tried again and more hissing. Each time she casually tried to open it, it would hiss. I don't think my explanation of what kombucha is set her mind at ease. "There's what in it???"


On another kombucha note, I saw Williams-Sonoma had kombucha kits. For a mere $70. 


I've made it to the Farmer's Market for two Saturdays in a row. I live in a small town about an hour from the nearest one in Houston. It wasn't until I finished my W30 that I had the energy to get up and get there in time to get produce. Since I was already buying my meat in Houston (at non-early-morning times) I now do it all on Saturday. I don't know if I'll go every week, but I think I will through tomato season. I don't know if I can taste a significant difference in any of the other veggies. Well, the beets I bought were amazing. Otherwise, I'm just not sure. I'm buying grass fed beef and again, in taste I can't tell. But that's not the reason behind buying meat that is raised in hopefully humane conditions. I'm struggling with the chicken issue. The pastured chickens I've seen are quite expensive. I'm sure I'll come around one of these days or find a source that I'm comfortable with. When I pay $6--7 lbs for ground beef or chuck, I have a pound of meat. But when I pay the same per pound for a 4 lb chicken, I'm not getting 4lbs of chicken. Of course I get bones for stock. So much to think about.

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Last night I decided to make a quick spaghetti sauce with my pre cooked ground beef. I had a can of diced tomatoes and a can of organic pizza sauce. I love that pizza sauce so much but I avoided it all during my W30 and for the two weeks since. But since this was post I decided what the heck, I can handle a little sugar. I was so surprised when I read the label and discovered it was compliant! It's so good I assumed it had sugar in it.


This morning an omelet. The spinach and mushrooms and roasted tomatoes were precooked so it was easy.


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I really notice the difference between the taste of organic vs non organic fruit and vegetables....a couple of times, I've tried organic produce and disliked the taste - because they actually had a taste!

Grass fed beef seems to cook a lot nicer - more tender!

It is hard to justify cost, sometimes I have to tell myself that its better in the long run, and we're having a more positive impact on our health :)

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I'm going to talk about weight in this post. It's been on my mind...a lot. I gave up wheat and sugar and all other grains in February. I immediately, within a day or so, felt better. For the first time in a year or so, I didn't have digestive trouble. On day three, I had a flour tortilla. I was in pain the rest of the day. At the time, I started Wheat Belly, I was stock piling Pepto everywhere--in my kitchen, my bedroom, my car, my purse, my drawer at work, my travel bag. I had it everywhere! Because, I was always afraid. I had gas. I could suddenly get diarrhea. I never knew what would happen and I had no idea of the cause--though I suspected dairy. I was totally surprised that eliminating wheat caused an immediate cessation of all my horrible symptoms.


I was faithful to the Wheat Belly diet from Feb through the end of May. I lost 3 pounds. I have never considered eating wheat again. I'll stay a size fourteen maybe, but I will never live in pain again. However, I felt like maybe I could do more. I had looked at Paleo blogs and cookbooks. I like some of the recipes but I could never imagine adopting such a lifestyle. It seemed way too restrictive. But eventually I found the W30 site. Maybe I couldn't do it forever, but I could do it for 30 days. I did it. I did it and I can't imagine eating any other way. Even tonight when I am so freakin tired of doing a ton of dishes!


Did I lose weight? I'm going to say no. I put on a pair of jeans today, that I haven't worn since before W30 and they fit the same...just a little snug. I sometimes think my torso looks a little thinner but some days I'm not so sure.


I read a blog post on this site, 6 reasons why W30 didn't work. I really believe I followed it to a T. But I am a woman on the edge of menopause and the last few years have been difficult on my body. I am a woman, who is known to be kind of a health nut. From the time I was 21, I tried to eat a healthy diet. Sometimes I had bad information. Still overall, I felt I did the best I could. 


Yet, three years ago, I gave up. My kids were grown and gone. I wasn't happy at work. I started eating white bread. The good kind, crusty french. Who knew how good that was???? I started having wine daily. It was a three year spiral of bad nutrition.


I haven't lost weight. I don't have baggy clothes. I don't know if I ever will. But something happened yesterday and it gave me hope. I was walking around the building where I work, getting a lap in to stretch my legs. I realized that I felt nothing below my belly button. Nothing. Not that I was numb. But my belly was just there. I realized in that moment, that my belly had had its own personality for a year or so. It had it's moods. It had its somewhat good days. It had its bad days. It had days when I hated having to take it in public. But always, always I was aware of it. And yesterday it was just another part of my body. Not a bloated uncomfortable part. Just a normal part. And I was amazed. Because even when I thought it was feeling better, I still could feel it. Then yesterday when I didn't, I just knew some healing was taking place. 

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