Maryann's Whole ?? #5


1Maryann

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I'm not good at keeping a log, but thought I'd give it a shot one more time. 

 

I don't log food.  I spent too many years on diets that made me count calories, or points, or fat grams, or carbs, or just about anything you can name.  This journey has helped to free me from the obsession to count, log, and critique every morsel I put in my mouth.  I just eat healthy food, and stick to the template.  Period.  And by following those two simple guidelines, I can enjoy what I eat without guilt and without second-guessing myself.  What a relief!

 

I started my first Whole30 in June of 2012.  I had just spent a couple of years on Atkins, with diminishing success the longer I did it.  I joined the forums, found myself an accountability group, weighed, logged, measured, and reported my weight loss success (or lack thereof) to the group secretary so she could chart us all and declare the 'winners' for the week/month/challenge.  It was a grind, and it wasn't healthy.  Not just eating that way, but having to spend so much time and energy on something that should be a natural part of life.

 

Anyway, I spent my first Whole30 treating it like it was every other diet--something to endure, something to jump on, get some results, then jump off and go back to my old ways.  Back then I was still fixated on losing weight, not getting healthy.  I didn't try any new recipes, I merely cut out the things I couldn't have and forged my way ahead on sheer willpower.  I fantasized about which forbidden food I would eat first when my 30 day sentence was up.

 

But something happened along the way.  Severe, debilitating joint pains began to disappear, pain I'd accepted as permanent, something I'd just have to live with.  And I gained energy, lots of it.  And I was once again losing weight after stalling on Atkins and struggling for every pound.

 

Once it was over, I quickly slipped back to my old ways.  And a few weeks later I realized my aches and pains were coming back, and I was feeling slow and bloated and awful.  So I did another W30 in Aug/Sept 2012, slipped a little but not a much and did a third that ended just before Christmas. 

 

Then I went completely off the rails for a couple of weeks and needed to get back on track again.  I joined a group starting a Whole100 on Jan 1st, and finally the good habits became a part of me.  I did very well for a long time.  I didn't even have any desire to reintroduce most things.  I was happy where I was.  I felt good, why mess with it?

 

Then my schedule got ridiculously tight this summer, I couldn't find time or energy to do the necessary cooking to have compliant food on hand, I used up my stash of back-up food in the freezer, and I just wound up pitching it for a couple of months.  I own a business, I was insanely busy, had lost my part-time help and couldn't find anyone with the skill set needed to replace her, so I wound up doing it all.

 

It truly is amazing how easy the SAD is compared to this.  You can slap a sandwich together in seconds, or you can find one anywhere--drive-thrus, grocery stores, even gas stations.  But compliant food takes time and planning.  Time I just didn't have.

 

But now I'm over the hump, things have eased a bit, and I started a reset today.  The nice thing about this way of eating is that it isn't hard to get back on the wagon.  The food is delicious and so healing.  These last couple of weeks I was craving real food.  I was so sick of the processed crap I was eating.  I just needed to stop the merry-go-round long enough to get my feet under me again and get back in the rhythm. 

 

So here I am.  There's a double batch of beef stew and a double batch of chocolate chili in the freezer.  The green curry will join them tomorrow.  I cooked a chicken in the crockpot today, so I'll have curried chicken salad for the week.  I made a batch of breakfast sausage and some roasted sweet potatoes, so my beloved sweet potato hash is back on the breakfast menu.  I'm still a bit light on veggies, but I'll make do until Tuesday when I can visit my favorite local organic market.  And I haven't lost my touch when it comes to making mayo.

 

So that's it.  I'm good to go.  And I can't wait to get my mojo back.

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Love this post.  I'm on my first W30 (day 10) and I don't know what the future post W30 holds.  but reading your story gives me total inspiration that hey, even if i end up SAD one day, i can always come back to W30 (and maybe even do a W100).

 

thanks

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Love this post.  I'm on my first W30 (day 10) and I don't know what the future post W30 holds.  but reading your story gives me total inspiration that hey, even if i end up SAD one day, i can always come back to W30 (and maybe even do a W100).

 

thanks

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Love this post.  I'm on my first W30 (day 10) and I don't know what the future post W30 holds.  but reading your story gives me total inspiration that hey, even if i end up SAD one day, i can always come back to W30 (and maybe even do a W100).

 

thanks

rollo, the longer you keep mostly to this way of eating, the harder it will be to go back to SAD.  So many things just aren't worth it.  They never taste quite the same as you remember them, and they no longer fulfill your emotional needs either.  On top of that, you may react badly to things you used to love, so the aftermath is too high a price.  I didn't so much fall off the wagon this summer as I found myself on too many occasions without good options.  And little by little I let more and more poor choices take over.

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I don't log food, but I enjoy sharing recipes.  My pinterest name is paleomaryann if anyone wants to check it out.  My pinterest account is a glorified online recipe file.  I have all my paleo stuff divided into categories. 

 

I love Thai curries, but avoid Indian curries like the plague.  I can't even enter an Indian restaurant because the overpowering smell makes me nauseous.  But I see so many people rave about Indian food that I've been trying to ease into it slowly.  That awful yellow stuff in the spice jar is a deal breaker, but I tried making Alton Brown's curry powder and found I liked it much better.  And it doesn't stink.

 

I made http://www.multiplydelicious.com/thefood/2012/05/curried-apple-chicken-salad/ for lunch today and it is worth sharing.  I also dislike raisins, and most curried chicken recipes I found call for raisins, so the apples worked much better for me.  This one is a keeper.

 

My original mistake during my first W30 was to continue eating a SAD, just without the non-compliant items.  It made for a boring month of grilled or broiled protein with steamed veggies and maybe a sweet potato.  Typical of the type of food allowed on WW, Atkins, etc. and boring enough to almost guarantee eventual failure.  No wonder I fantasized about my first meal when it was over.

 

But the longer I stuck around the forums, and the more I saw people post rave reviews for the new recipes they had tried, the more willing I was to change my mindset and embrace an entirely new approach to food and cooking.

 

I have had my horizons broadened to a degree I never thought possible.  No longer do I see a 'diet' as a form of deprivation.  I eat some of the tastiest food I've ever had, in quantities that satisfy me, and if I have trouble waiting until my next meal it isn't out of hunger, it's out of anticipation for the next delicious experience.

 

I know that even if I step away from time to time that I will always come back because the food I eat on this plan is so much tastier and more satisfying than any bowl of pasta ever could be.  And if I keep collecting recipes at the rate I do, I will have to stay on it just for the chance to try them all.

 

I didn't do very well with getting to bed on time last night, but I did make sure not to doze off with the tv on.  I never feel like I get a decent rest when I do.

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Hi maryann,

Such a positive post! I've just joined Pinterest and an still trying to work out how to use it! I want to store some receipes for Christmas, I have been on and off paleo/primal since last autumn but this is the first time I have truly stuck to it and I'm feeling great ! I'm already thinking ahead to Christmas and what delicious paleo food I can make!

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Proud of myself.  I managed to eat breakfast within 1/2 hour of rising three days in a row.  My normal routine is to get up, let the dogs out, and feed them.  Then all I want is to pour a cup of coffee and crawl back into bed with the laptop for 30 minutes or so before getting going for the rest of the day.  The problem is, when I get moving I have so much to do that I keep pushing breakfast off.  Once the sun is up, I can't justify feeding myself until after all the parrots are fed.  By then, it may be 2 hours after I got up.  So the only real niche I have for breakfast is my 'coffee hour'.  It is now, once again, 'breakfast hour'.

 

Still working on bedtime...

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Early breakfast again, yay me!  As I posted on my W100 group thread, this program is like riding a bicycle, once you know how to do it, you know how for life.  My biggest enemy is time--time to shop, time to prep, time to cook.  So I am making large batches of everything I fix and freezing the rest for other meals.  Looking at my cupboards, I have decided my storage container situation is sad.  I have thousands of mismatched tops and bottoms, recycled take-out containers, etc.  But I have quickly run out of the nice, square, flat containers that hold 1-2 portions and stack so easily.  So new containers are on my list, and so is a purge of the cupboard.

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I can't believe a week is up today.  I'm doing very well, and as off-track as my eating had become, I experienced far fewer detox symptoms than I expected.  I was ravenously hungry the first few days, as my body learned to burn fat instead of carbs again, but that has subsided.  I am doing well on eating first thing, but lousy on getting enough sleep.  I am only getting a solid 6 hours, and although I am not tired, I know I would feel even better with 7 or 8. 

 

I threw together a great meal last night and have enough leftovers for several more lunches and dinners.  I sauteed some fresh garlic in olive oil, added 1.5 lbs of sliced chicken breast, and when they were no longer pink I added a can of Hearts of Palm, a handful of sun-dried tomatoes, a big spoonful of capers, and a splash of chicken bone broth.  I let that simmer for a couple of minutes, then emptied an entire bag of fresh spinach on top, covered the pan and simmered until the spinach was wilted.  It was delicious!  It would be fabulous over zoodles, but my local store had really crappy zucchini this week, so I skipped it.

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Felt pretty good so far, or so I thought.  Until I had to restock at work.  I usually have no trouble wielding 50# feed sacks, but yesterday I could barely lift the 25# bags.  I had no strength at all!  Today I was closed, so we'll see tomorrow if my strength has returned.  There are still plenty that need to be put away, and another order being delivered.

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Woohoo!  Last night I slept through without getting up to pee!  Huge victory!  Some nights I get up 2-3 times.  Finally getting my hormones under control again.  Nothing feels better than to close my eyes at bedtime and not open them again until the alarm goes off.

 

My work life is still hectic, but I am managing to find time to cook.  One project 3-4 nights a week after dinner seems to work better than a weekly cookup at the moment.  Tuesday night I did a whole mess of venison cube steaks with onion, peppers, garlic, and bone broth.  Last night I sauteed a big package of asparagus while making a double batch of Swiss chard in bacon, garlic, and lemon.  Tonight will be roasted vegetable night.  I hate turning the oven on unless it's worth it, so sweet potatoes, broccoli, carrots, and whatever else I can find will all get done tonight.

 

I accidentally quit drinking coffee the other day and it wasn't pretty.  I have toyed with eliminating it at some point, and I was so busy the other morning that I poured the first cup and never got around to drinking it.  I was SO tired at work by noon, and had a massive dull headache.  I thought I was getting sick.  By closing time I could barely keep my eyes open.  I had no idea what was wrong until I got home and found my full cup next to the coffee pot, with the second pot still in the carafe.  Although the second day would probably have been much easier, I decided I have enough on my plate right now, so I am back on the java.

 

Gotta go.  Have to make a batch of venison sausage for breakfast.

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Ran out of time to make sweet potato venison hash, so I seasoned the meat and refrigerated it to cook tonight.  Instead I made an awesome egg salad--hard-boiled eggs, crumbled bacon, diced fresh tomato, chopped asparagus and homemade mayo.  Delicious and very filling, and it only took 2 minutes to throw together because everything wa already cooked and sitting in my fridge.

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Congrats!!  I'm sorta joining you again - I was eating whatever I could find for a few weeks during a house move.  Starting today I'm back on track.  It feels good.

Congrats to you on the new house!   That's exactly where I was this summer--so busy I was eating whatever I could find.  Proud of myself that there are so many protein-based meals in the freezer now, (no excuse not to eat right) and I shopped for and cooked enough veggies that they lasted the whole week.  Tomorrow is shopping day and I still have one serving each of broccoli and chard, as well as 2 plantains and some sweet potato for hash.  I did run out of most salad fixings, but had enough other veggies prepped that it wasn't a problem.  But I need a kale fix, soon!

 

Listen to me!  I'm Jones-ing on kale!  Whoever thought THAT would happen?  Not pizza, not brownies, KALE!

 

Oh!  And I only now realized that my chard recipe (with bacon, garlic, and lemon) actually qualifies as a mini-meal if needed.  All the more reason to keep chard in the rotation.

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I found two new, delicious-looking chicken recipes to make tonight for the week ahead.  One is a Thai dish with green curry, ginger, butternut squash, tomatoes, etc.  The other is with pears and balsamic.  I was all excited to try some new things, but for some reason the chicken I took out last night isn't defrosted, so all is on hold until tomorrow :(  Guess I'll have some of the roast I'm making for lunches this week.

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Finally made that Thai curry.  Awesome!  So many layers of flavor.  Chicken, tomato, butternut squash, and cashews, with garlic, ginger, lemongrass, shallots, and a little green curry paste finished with coconut milk, toasted coconut, fresh lime juice and hot sauce.  Happy, happy camper.

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I guess I'm on a chicken binge.  (Actually, it's the fact that I decided to defrost a whole buttload of chicken the other day and cook a few recipes for later.)  Tonight I made this 

http://paleodietlifestyle.com/balsamic-chicken-pears-spinach/ 

 

Very tasty, but took longer than her times said.  Even in my largest pan I can't wilt 2 lbs of spinach in 2 minutes.  I love the complexity of the garlic, balsamic, and pears together, and the chicken stayed moist and delicious.

 

Next up:  Butter Chicken   But I think that can wait until next week.

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I can't believe I'm at Day 25.  I guess what I'm really proving to myself is that I can do this most of the time.  It no longer feels limiting.  I am not even noticing the passage of the days.  It is second nature now.  I will probably continue on when it's over, because I cannot think of anything I really want that I can't have now, and because I still don't ride a bike well when I do off-road.  One 'cheat' leads to another. 

 

I still need to learn how to have one off-road item or meal and not use that as license to stuff myself with all kinds of crap.   My pendulum still swings in a wide arc.  Maybe I will work on remaining clean at home and at work, and not worrying about preparation so much when I eat out.  I know the minute I decide I can have coconut milk ice cream, the next shopping trip will include potato chips, and the one after that will include something else.

 

Part of me says I can do this until the holidays, then go hog wild for a few weeks, then get back on board for the new year.  But that won't teach me anything.  I need to find that happy medium.  It can't always be all or nothing.

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I changed up breakfast this week and I must say I'm enjoying it.  I love, love, love my homemade sausage and sweet potato hash, but kept seeing that people were doing sauteed cabbage and ground beef with their eggs and liking it.  So I browned a bunch of ground beef and sauteed a head of cabbage and have been eating that the last few days.  It's delicious and a nice change.  I was convinced I'd die before lunch if I didn't have that starchy carb in the morning, but it isn't true.  I'm hungry a little earlier eating cabbage, but not by much.  Still within the right range.

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Hmmm, I am going to keep this breakfast in mind when I grocery shop over the weekend. For whatever reason, I only eat cabbage on St. Patrick's Day, with corned beef. I need to include it more often. Kind of similar to why I only cook a turkey for Thanksgiving, rather than a few a year.

If you stick with this program long-term, you will find yourself cooking a turkey in the middle of the week, just because it will make several nice dinners, wonderful turkey salads for lunches, and the carcass makes an awesome bone broth.  I love turkey, but never thought to make it at other than Thanksgiving before this.  Now I'll do one every couple of months.

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