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August (and a bit) log


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I'm planning to join in on the next Whole 30 starting August 1, and figured I'd get a jump start on it now while I'm feeling inspired. Today is Saturday, and weekends are actually a lot easier for me to avoid temptation since I don't have the candy, sugar and chips at home that they stock at work.

I did a Whole 30 in January, and made it to day 29 (a friend's birthday party). Since then I've been eating well at home and terribly at work, where I've allowed the lethal combination of boredom, stress and junk food to derail my good intentions. I think the keys to success for me at this point are:

  • Having stress relievers/techniques readily available. I've found that strong scents are particularly powerful for this, putting on a scented lotion or inhaling over a steaming mug of herb tea help more than you'd/I'd think.
  • Moving my focus away from food. I think about food more than anyone else I know, and I'm trying to shift away from that and think about something other than what's going in my mouth next. Vacation planning, or keeping in touch with friends, or home decorating maybe.
  • Never ever having anything sweet ever. If I don't have the first bite, it's much easier to avoid the second (third, fifteenth, twenty-third...). If I let myself have a tiny amount, I feel almost compelled to have more even if I don't really want it.
  • Sharing with others. Partly just for camaraderie, partly for accountability, and partly just to remember to ENJOY MYSELF. The hardest part of the last attempt was the loneliness, a lot of my social life revolves around the dinner table and I was avoiding social occasions and feeling sorry for myself. If I can't comfortably eat out on a Whole 30, I can damn well invite people over and feed them here. Or go see a movie, or to a baseball game, or whatever. If I'm doing the inviting, I get to pick the activity.

It felt good to write all that down, thanks in advance for sharing this experience with me!

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Sounds like you are on the right track! Congrats for being so self aware:) this really helped me see something I hadn't thought of before. I love to drink herbal tea and your post made me realize that the scent as well as the taste will comfort me and deter me from making bad food choices. Thanks!

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Finishing up the weekend strong, hoping to carry that momentum into the week. Made it a little easier by buying a rotisserie chicken from a place I trust, also made a pile of chopped salad and sauteed greens that I'll dress in what I call "macadreamia sauce". It's basically like tahini but with macadamia butter in place of sesame paste, I make my own mac butter with a food processor. Thought I was hungry for a snack today at about 3:00, had some water and no longer felt "hungry" for another couple of hours. Yay! I'm a habitual snacker so this was great to see. Quick recap:


Lamb sausage, summer squash and onion for breakfast

More of the same for lunch, plus some beet & fennel salad

Chicken with green beans and sweet potato, stir fried in coconut oil for dinner

Snack of a handful of pumpkin seeds


Chicken with zucchini, nopales, onion and salsa for breakfast. Didn't like it, need to think of another option for the nopales.

Coffee with clarified butter

More chicken with chopped salad (cuke, radish, celery, herbs) for lunch

Greens with mac sauce, chopped salad with a 1/4 large avocado and vinaigrette, slice of sausage/pepper/zucchini casserole

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Wow, a lot more logs in here today! Bet it really gets busy after the first. Today was the third day sugar free and the first work day without sweets. Yay! It helped that I was busy, but it's not like I didn't know that there was ice cream in the freezer (that I'd picked out in my favorite flavor from my favorite place for a work event) or that I didn't see the cookies on the counter. I'm chalking one up in the Win column for today.

Woke up extra early and groggy for an early conference call, and then worked late so that's a 12 hour day. Feeling exhausted now but I felt great (like, really GREAT) most of the day until I hit 3:30 and suddenly felt drained. Leftovers from lunch were there to tide me over for the next four hours though, so I'm grateful for that.

7:30 Coffee (too much, but that's a project for another month)

8:30 Italian sausage, parsnip, red pepper and zucchini bake

12:00 Garden salad with roasted chicken, avocado and vinaigrette. Also sauteed greens with mac sauce (pretty rich).

3:30 More salad with chicken and avocado

8:30 Bowl of stirfied onion, mushrooms and zucchini with pot roast slices on top. Yum.

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So far so good today, but tonight will be the challenge: invited out to eat at a French restaurant with visiting friends (who are known for living large). Avoiding wine (gracefully) will be the tricky bit, the French fortunately know the value of olive oil and animal fats so as long as I steer clear of anything fried I think I'll be okay. I'll just need to confirm cooking oils with the server. Deep breath!

So far today:

8:00 Italian sausage, parsnip, red pepper and zucchini bake with coffee

12:30 Salad with tuna and avocado

4:30 Half a serving of pot roast and kale. That ought to keep me from being ravenous later tonight.

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I'm calling that a success. Oysters, salad with vinaigrette, steak with mushrooms and salsify. Had the waitress pour me a tiny bit of wine and left it in front of my plate, because with this crowd I didn't want my not drinking to be the focusof attention. Had a decaf coffee for dessert.

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For whatever reason, I am suddenly twice as popular as I have been in months. I got another unexpected invitation to go out to dinner tonight, this time to a Mexican restaurant. At first I declined, because I couldn't imagine that there was anything that I could eat. But then I remembered my resolution to enjoy myself and went out anyway (fortifying myself in advance with odds and ends leftover from breakfast and lunch). I'm glad I went even if it was a little awkward (as I carefully ate around the surprise corn kernels in my ceviche), another social occasion under my belt and a chance to catch up with an out of town friend.

8:30 Pot roast and kale

2:00 (late! hungry!) Giant garden salad with chicken, avocado and vinaigrette. Plus a bit of mashed parsnip when I felt the sugar craving right afterwards.

5:30 Kale and vinaigrette

7:30 Ceviche and guacamole

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Very groggy and tired this morning, I think it's a combination of PMS and low carb flu. Ick. At least I have no plans tonight so I can relax and replenish my supply of cooked meals.

9:00 Pot roast and kale for breakfast. Coffee.

12:00 Handful of almonds roasted in olive oil

1:30 Cucumber, chicken and avocado salad with vinaigrette

5:00 A few olives

7:00 Thai curry soup with a ton of veggies and the last bit of chicken

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Another 7:00 am conference call, stupid time zones. I took the opportunity to make myself a nice breakfast at home though, which was nice. Still feeling some PMS symptoms but mostly physical and not emotional (which hit hard yesterday). Knocked out an afternoon carb craving with nuts and root veg, yay for preparing food ahead. Dinner I ended up eating out yet again, a friend just got laid off and wanted to meet up at Burger Bar. I thought I navigated the menu pretty well and was proud of myself for refusing all five (5!) offers to share my friend's fried zucchini and three attempts to get me to order a shake. But afterwards I wondered what the onions had been cooked in. Fingers crossed it's the abundant burger grease on the grill, like how In-N-Out does it. I just didn't think to ask at the time, so I'm kicking myself a bit. Ready for the weekend and to be alone for a bit.

7:00 Coffee

8:00 Two thick pieces of bacon, a fried egg, and half a sweet potato cooked in a quantity of coconut oil with a little shallot and jalapeno.

11:30 Thai red curry soup with chicken and veggies

2:00 Chopped salad with herbs, a handful of almonds and a bit of mashed parsnip

6:30 Buffalo beef patty with guacamole, grilled onion and peppers

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Slept in today, which I needed to catch up on a sleep deficit but threw off my eating schedule. For brunch I took some of the chopped salad I'd prepped Thursday night and sauteed it in the leftover bacon grease from Friday's breakfast, throwing in one of the salmon fillets I'd poached while the bacon cooked. Yummy, and good to know that chopped salad can multi-task. Didn't make it to dinner, but grabbed a few meatballs I was making mid-afternoon when I suddenly realized how hungry I was. I had trouble feeling satisfied for hours, kept eating more. I'm certain that work stress played a part, on Monday I will be letting my boss know that I won't be accepting my new role (which means I'll more than likely be tendering my resignation).

10:30 Sautted veggies in bacon fat, tossed with salmon. Side of sweet potato with coconut oil.

4:00 Pork, sweet potato and sage meatballs

5:00 Chopped salad with vinaigrette

7:00 Some more meatballs and wilted chard

8:00 A Tbsp coconut oil with 3 tsp mesquite meal, as a treat

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Slept terribly again, woke up in the middle of the night a few times with stress dreams about work.

9:30 Collard greens topped with salmon and a drizzle of homemade mayo. Coffee.

12:45 Beef patty

3:30 Handful of almonds, some raw veggies

6:30 Kale with garlic and chorizo, and acorn squash with a healthy dose of coconut oil

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Doing better! Slept through the night, PMS finally over, relieved to have finally (gently) raised the issue of the new position with my superiors. Who knows what the future will bring, but at least the dread is over. For dinner I made an old standby, as comforting to me as tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. In my family, my dad made dinner at least once or twice a week and more often than not it was mush (rhymes with push). It's basically a ground beef stir-fry, with plenty of garlic and ginger. Always reminds me of him standing over a smoking hot skillet, steaming up his glasses and vigorously stirring to make sure nothing stuck. I still cook the veggies first with their own seasonings just like he taught me, then put them on a plate while the beef and it's seasonings cook and then combining the two quickly just before serving. Dad hated overcooked veggies and so do I.

8:00 Kale and pot roast, coffee.

1:00 Acorn squash with pork/sweetpotato/sage meatballs, a few olives

4:30 A handful of almonds (last of my stash) and one more meatball

7:30 Ground beef with garlic and broccoli rabe

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I don't think I had enough fat at lunch, or maybe it's just that I'm on day 11 in the middle of Temptation Week because I had some serious cravings mid-afternoon. Did NOT help that there was cinnamon Babka in the break room from this morning, and my all-time favorite chocolate chip cookies from my favorite bakery after lunch. I made it though, with the help of whatever coworker ate the cookie I wanted before I lost my resolve. Hey, I'll take whatever help I can get.

8:00 Sausage meatballs in marinara with acorn squash

12:00 Ground beef with garlic and broccoli rabe, more squash

2:00 Big handful of macadamias and a few meatballs, plus some olives

7:30 Ground beef and Swiss chard with garlic and ginger, spoonful of coconut oil in my herb tea

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Really really hoping I can push through the cravings soon. Overate this afternoon, total stress eating and nothing to do with hunger. Trying to take consolation in the fact that my binge foods were macadamia nuts and an orange, and not mac n' cheese and cookie dough.

8:00 Sausage meatballs in marinara with acorn squash

11:30 Salad with salmon & avocado, vinaigrette. Couple of meatballs for good measure.

1:30 Handful of macadamias.

2:30 Orange. Feeling stuffed.

5:30 Demolished the rest of the macadamia nuts.

8:00 Veggie stirfry with ground beef.

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My mom's coming today, frantically cleaning the apartment this morning but still managed to make a nice breakfast. Mom has been gluten-free for years and is very supportive, so it will be nice to have some back up. Plus, it's a lot more fun to cook for two. We stopped at the farmer's market and got an AMAZING porkchop and some fresh veg for dinner. Seriously, deliciously, amazing. I don't think it's too much to say it's the best pork I've ever had. Also! No cravings today, despite the presence of doughnuts in the break room. Feeling very good about today, especially since I felt so crappy yesterday.

7:30 Three eggs, some Spanish chorizo, onion and zucchini

9:00 Coffee

1:00 Pork, sweet potato and sage meatballs (cold, while muted on conf calls)

2:30 Salad with salmon & vinaigrette

8:00 Best. pork chop. ever. with a small sweet potato and some beet greens.

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Another day of odd timing on the meals, can't believe I was still hungry after dinner but then I did try to serve modest portions. Still finding my way on portion sizes, but at least I'm not overeating out of fear that I'll be hungry later.

Mom is sitting next to me reading It Starts With Food, talking about buying it for her iPad and saying today is her Day One. I really hope this works for her, she's had digestive issues and joint pain for years and years.

10:30 Lamb meatballs, butternut squash, veggie stir fry

2:00 Oysters, salad with chicken and peaches (no dressing)

6:00 Beef patty with zhoug, spinach, butternut squash (with butter), lettuce with avocado and carrots

7:00 Sausage balls with marinara (half portion)

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Something my mom ate yesterday messed up her digestion, probably the fruit. She battled the runs all morning, but rallied to go to the museum in the afternoon. Sadly, she did feel compelled to fall back on her "white foods" (aka invalid food), so we stopped at a chinese buffet to get some plain rice for her to nibble on. It really hit home watching her after reading up on the vicious cycle of carbohydrates, we literally had to stop mid-block at one point for her to grab a few mouthfuls of rice since her energy was so low. I really, really hope that she buys, reads and follows ISWF and that it works for her. For myself, I'm looking forward to cutting back on carbs again when she leaves, I've been eating much more than usual and I'm sure it's because she doesn't consider a meal complete without them.

9:30 Coffee

10:00 Sausage balls with marinara (half portion) and zucchini

1:30 Nicoise salad (without potatos) plus three strips of bacon

6:00 Two small Dover sole fillets, parsnip/sweet potato mash, chicken skin and bits of meat from stripping a rotisserie bird

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Wow, busy day (but aren't they all?) Mom left after breakfast this morning, and then it was go go go at work. I kinda like that pace, but I was HUNGRY by the time I finally got to eat something substantial. Loving the chicken & olive combo, need to do that again.

7:30 One and a half little Dover sole fillets with a tsp of mayo, stir-fried zucchini, parsnip-sweet potato mash

8:30 Coffee

12:30 Piece of melon

3:30 Large salad with about a cup of chicken, four small beets, a handful of olives and some carrots (with vinaigrette)

8:00 Kale with chorizo and garlic, topped with a fried egg

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7:30 Pork meatballs with sweet potato & sage, butternut squash with butter

8:30 Coffee

12:30 Giant garden salad with chicken and olives

4:00 Large serving of parsnip/sweet potato mash. Total stress eating, blech.

8:00 Beef patty in lettuce wrap with zhoug and mayo, butternut squash

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