Forgive me Whole30, for I have sinned...


GlennR

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Catching up:

 

July 2 - Ate my way through a (small) box of dark chocolate orange twigs over the course of a day. 

July 3 - At my mother's with family playing games. Pizza and salad with soda for lunch/dinner (we ate late in the afternoon and so much we skipped dinner).

July 4 - Fourth of July dinner at my sister's with lots of noncompliant stuff: chicken and ribs with barbecue sauce, potato salad, soda, coleslaw, hotdogs on buns, etc.

 

Felt okay, maybe a little ill after the chocolate binge, sleepy after devouring all that sugar and starch, and beset by cravings days after. It was a stressful time, for several reasons, but even then the offroading was pretty much contained. (I'm still eating Whole30 compliant the rest of the time.)

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  • 2 weeks later...
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Two birthdays and a funeral.

 

July 11 - Stressed and pressed for time, I just got an In-n-Out burger, fries, and coke for lunch.

 

July 12 - My godmother -- my mother's best friend -- passed away on the Fourth of July. (My mother, sister, and I actually spent half the evening of the Fourth at my godmother's home with her family while the hospice nurse and funeral guys came, prepped her, and took her away.) Her wake was on Sunday, the 12th. Filipino wake means Filipino food, so I had some barbecue (sugar, preservatives, soy sauce) and a coke at the wake.

 

July 13 - The mass and funeral in the morning, then lunch afterwards with more Filipino fare, including rice and dishes that had flour, sugar, soy sauce, etc. Plus coke.

 

The 13th was also my mother's birthday (yeah, bad timing), so my family had dinner at a Peruvian restaurant (rice, sugar, flour, etc.) and Inca cola (a Peruvian soda pop). Then chocolate cake afterwards.

 

July 15 - My niece's 16th Birthday, which we celebrated at a French restaurant in the city. The expected culprits were there: dishes with dairy, flour, etc., plus a lot of bread and butter (which was pretty good -- definitely ate too much of that). And puff pastries with ice cream. And soda again. When the habit grabs hold, it's hard to shake off.

 

I felt really bloated after all this: my stomach felt tight a drum a couple days after this mini-binge. Also slightly ill. And, man, was I jonesing for soda. Took several days to shake that off -- and I still haven't shaken off the caffeine craving;. I'm still having more coffee and tea than usual. I hope to taper that off in the coming week.

 

 

EDIT:

 

July 14 - I forgot that I also had lunch with my brother-in-law at Jack's. Had a Reuben's sandwich, fries, coke.

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Looking back on my entries to this thread the past half year since my last Whole30, I'm basically straying from Whole30 eating about every two weeks or so, sometimes with several off-plan meals at a time. Which means about 95% of my meals are Whole30. Not a bad balance, I think.

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July 23 - Lunch again with my brother-in-law (we've been working on something); he wanted to go to the same taqueria, so I had the exact same lunch: tacos, chips, guac, and soda. Same effect as yesterday: lethargic in the afternoon, hungry in the evening.

 

July 25 - Another wake (the mother of a family friend died), another Filipino buffet. Had Filipino barbecue, a pork bun, chicharon (pork rinds), and soda, along with crudités and fruits.

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Aug. 10 - 2 salmon tacos, tortilla chips, guac, soda. So, corn, sugar, plus whatever went into the taco sauce. (I was so hungry I could't wait to go home to make lunch.) The usual aftereffects: bloat, sluggishness, sleepiness.

 

My father's in town the next two weeks to celebrate his 80th birthday, so lots of family meals and eating out are in the near future. As before, I'm not going to worry about staying compliant during these get-togethers; I'll just do my best to eat Whole30 when eating at home or at work (where I can pack my lunch).

 

The bigger challenge is that I'll be moving in early or mid-September to a place where I have no easy kitchen access. I'm going to have to resort to two or three cooking sessions each week that will have to last me all week. It's going to be tough.

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Mid-August through October, 2015 -

 

It's been a busy, challenged-filled couple months and change. My father was here in August for his 80th birthday. Lots of get-togethers and (noncompliant) family meals -- and also a health scare for him in which he had to extend his stay a couple weeks to recover from an illness. In mid-September, I left my apartment to stay with a couple of friends -- temporarily till I find a new place -- with all the attendant stress that comes with any move. As I mentioned, this move meant I have no easy access to a kitchen. I've been doing three major cook-ups a week at my mother's house to make meals for the whole week. Then in early October, my mother, in turn, had a healthy issue and had to stay in the hospital for a few days. Plus it's been busy with my jobs, with several largish events and projects I've had to help manage. Just one thing after another, some planned, some unexpected.

 

So it's been hard to stick to all template meals. I've had to eat out or do take-out every now and then (noncompliant food). What's worse, though, is that sugar and starch have crept back in my life in the form of soda, crackers, M&Ms, etc. At first, they were like occasional indulgences, but they kept taking up more and more space in my diet, so that sometimes, they even formed the entirety of my meals (as in, Cheez-its and coke for dinner, with cookies as dessert). They really are insidious.

 

Good new is that even through all this, I've still been able to stick to template meals about 2/3's of the time. Nevertheless, it's been difficult to shake off the hold the not-so-good stuff have managed to gain on me.

 

So it's time for Whole30 number three.

 

I'm starting on Tuesday, Oct. 27, so as to finish before Thanksgiving. The meals will have to be brutally simple and repetitive, given my kitchen issues. Whatever. The point is to get back on track.

 

And my sister is doing it with me! Finally, a member of my family is taking the plunge. So that's going to be fun.

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Third Whole30 is done

 

Thanksgiving dinner at my sister's tomorrow, so gonna be a lot of noncompliant foods. So I'll indulge tomorrow and maybe this weekend, go back to Whole30 for a couple of weeks, then continue what must be the world's slowest reintro. I've done non-gluten grains (not so bad), dairy (not so good), so I'll try gluten grains or legumes next. That's the plan.

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Yay!

 

Surprised no one has used MY acronym: SWYPOff. :D

 

Funny when you read it all through in one sitting, from the beginning (as I just did), I'm thinking "man" this guy is having non-compliant crap ALL THE TIME.  It's hard to get a sense of how spaced out it really is when it's all printed over the space of a few pages.  However, it's a fantastic way to stay mindful and discover how to "ride your own bike" (something I have yet to do).  Day 8 of my official (fully compliant Whole30), which was preceded by 14 demo days of almost-but-not-quite-compliant days since I thought I was going an a big trip to Europe and wasn't going to be able to get the full thirty days anyway.  So now I'm headed for Whole44, or Whole14 + Whole30, or whatever.

 

Cheers,

 

-Lauren (GGG)

 

P.S. - I will absolutely be doing some SWYPO but fully compliant (as far as ingredients) recipes after this.  I keep coming up with great ideas.

 

P.P.S. - Natural roasted almond butter (nothing but almonds) is food without brakes for me, even though it's technically 100% compliant.  I'm staying away, so far.

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Done with Thanksgiving offroading.

 

Nov. 26 - 

 

Had a slice of sweet potato bread with breakfast (honey/added sugar).

 

Thanksgiving dinner with family:

 

Turkey was basted with butter (dairy)

Gravy probably had flour in it (gluten grain)

Potato salad was made with store-bought mayo (preservatives)

Green beans had non-compliant bacon

Had several rolls of bread with butter (gluten grain and dairy)

Salad had goat cheese (dairy)

Slice of sweet potato bread (honey/added sugar)

Had a glass of apple cider (juice, concentrated sugar)

And a couple of glasses of champagne (alcohol)

 

Nov. 27 and 28 -

 

For lunch both days:

 

Leftover turkey with gravy

Leftover potato salad

Slice of sweet potato bread

 

Plus a Hershey's chocolate bar tonight.

 

 

Back to compliant meals starting tomorrow till Friday to re-set. Then reintroducing gluten grains on Saturday.

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Hey Glenn,

 

I just clicked through to your blog (accidentally, but glad I did) - you have been eating some GORGEOUS stuff, man!  Nice pics and great food!  How long is the flight home for you?  I just checked out the Philippines for the first time in 2013 and loved the people, the food and the weather/beaches!

 

Cheers,

 

-Lauren (GGG)

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Hey Glenn,

 

I just clicked through to your blog (accidentally, but glad I did) - you have been eating some GORGEOUS stuff, man!  Nice pics and great food!  How long is the flight home for you?  I just checked out the Philippines for the first time in 2013 and loved the people, the food and the weather/beaches!

 

Cheers,

 

-Lauren (GGG)

 

Thanks! I haven't been home for quite a while, but the flight is about 14 hours.

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Reintroduction: Gluten Grains

 

Continuing what must be the world's slowest reintroduction, with gluten grains this time:

 

Breakfast - bagel

Lunch - glazed donut

Dinner - shrimp and broccoli pasta

 

Effects were fairly minimal. Some lethargy set in after the first two meals: became sleepy and tired. After dinner, I had a slight headache, with throbbing in my ears, and maybe some extra aches in the joints, including the neck. I generally have joint pains, so maybe I was just more aware of it since I was looking for symptoms. Hard to tell for sure.

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Reintroduction: Gluten Grains (Conclusion)

 

Was gassy the morning after, though that might have been the broccoli rather than the gluten grains. All symptoms had faded by the end of the day.

 

However, I feel now that I minimized the lethargy and the headache and the joint pains that did occur. They were not severe; but neither were they insignificant. I can see how over the long term the effects of regularly eating gluten grains would be enervating. Not to mention the opportunity costs of not eating food that actually has nutrients.

 

So, not to be feared, but nevertheless avoid except for special occasions.

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Reintroduction: Legumes

 

Last group:

 

Breakfast - peanut butter (scooped onto a banana)

Lunch - peas

Dinner - tofu with soy sauce

 

An ever so slight constricting of my throat and neck muscles after the peanut butter and tofu/soy sauce -- so slight I'm not absolutely sure it wasn't just me being more aware of my neck tension than usual. But if it was there, I imagine it's something like an extremely mild version of anaphylactic shock. (And if it was there, it faded within a few hours.) Also slightly gassier than usual.

 

As with the other noncompliant food groups, avoid except on special occasions.

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though if you get any more  breathing symptoms seriously avoid and see and allergist.  If you have an actual soy/legume allergy you should have an epi-pen cause they hide in so many things.

 

 

Nah, it was really, really, really mild -- if it was there at all. Symptoms likely appeared only because I haven't had any soy/legumes for a long time, and so my sensitivity to them was heightened, my immunity lowered. But prior to this Whole30 lifestyle, I've eaten them my whole life.

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Dec. 15 - My birthday! In my family, the celebrant gets treated to the restaurant (or cuisine) of his/her choosing. I chose Indian. I had a yogurt lassi, and partook of naan, lentil crackerspotato dumplings, eggplant bruschetta, various stews (goat curry, lamb saab, chicken tikka masala), an okra/onion dish, plus a slice of chocolate cake after. Almost all the noncompliant food groups were represented, except maybe non-gluten grains (I skipped the basmati rice). And I therefore had the full panoply of adverse effects after: cottony head, joint pains, gassiness, lassitude. Irritating, but none debilitating.

 

Worth it, though, as a celebration. Food was delicious.

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Catching up:

 

Dec. 18 -

 

Someone brought lunch for the staff -- sandwiches and wraps and crudités. I went for it for convenience's sake, and felt just a tinge of nausea after. I think it was the preservatives in the deli meats and olives.

 

In the evening, I prepared a meal for a family gathering: arugula and beet salad, prime rib, roasted delicata squash. Sister brought fruits for dessert. All of which were compliant. However, I also served (and partook of) bread and juices (pear cider and apple/lingonberry cider). Had a slight buzz and felt lethargic after the meal.

 

Dec. 19 -

 

Had leftover bread with my lunch.

 

Dec. 20 and 21 -

 

For dinner both days, I had bacalao -- a fish stew, on which more later -- and bread. The stew had mostly okay ingredients, but also had garbanzos and green peas. And there was the bread, of course. Slight itching in several spots later, I think more from the nightshades in the stew (red pepper, tomato sauce) than the legumes.

 

 

Offroading is going to pick up pace from here on as we hit Christmas and the rest of the holiday break (though most of my meals will still be template). Family gatherings abound, with lots of celebratory and traditional food that I will definitely not refuse. This is the time for indulgences.

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Bacalao, A Love Story

 

Bacalao is a traditional Spanish-derived stew in some regions of the Philippines; it is typically made with salted cod, tomato sauce, diced potatoes, sliced roasted red bell peppers, garbanzos, green peas, etc. It takes half a day to cook (a full day if you include prep work and clean up), with the ingredients having to go into a pot of slow-heated olive oil in strict succession and with perfect timing to meld the flavors right. My grandmother used to make a batch of this on rare occasions when I was growing up -- usually during Christmas or Lent. She didn't make it often, not just because it was so time consuming to make, but because the ingredients were rather expensive, particularly the olive oil and the cod, both of which were imported from colder climes. It was always therefore a luxury and a treat when she would serve it for dinner, or dole out containers of the stew to each family in our clan, to be brought home and savored and stretched out, since it might be a long time before she could make it again.

 

My grandmother, like most traditional cooks, made bacalao the way she had been taught by her mother, who had been taught by her mother before that, going back who knows how many generations. As she grew older and frailer, it worried me that the recipe might be lost, since for some reason she had not passed on the knowledge to any of her daughters or step-daughters. So when I grew up, I brought her to my house and had her cook up a batch as I took notes, thus preserving the way of cooking this beloved family dish when she finally passed away.

 

In time, I have cooked this dish myself many times, getting better at approximating my grandmother's cooking with each batch. Indeed, it is now my traditional Christmas gift to my family. Every holiday season for the past number of years, I've set aside a whole day to make a big pot of bacalao and parcel them out in tubs and giving them to my family, at or just before Christmas, for them to enjoy throughout the holiday season. Rather than handing out more material things that we all already have more than enough of, I thought that this would be a better gift: the gift of my time, the gift of tradition, the gift of connection to lost or distant family, the gift of memories of Christmases past. And it's a gift for me, too, for when I spoon bacalao on sliced pan de sal (Filipino bread roll), with each bite I myself am blessed with all of these and more.

 

Oh, and it's delicious.

 

I've already made this year's pot of bacalao and gifted them out -- and kept some for myself to indulge in and be grateful for. I like and follow the Whole30 way of eating, and I know (from the knowledge gained from the program) that eating something like bacalao has its costs. But some things just matter more, some things supersede mere health and functionality, some things are worth it.

 

Happy Holidays to you!

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