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Contessa

Summertime reset

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I'm back for another go. I am planning a Whole 21 this time around — long enough to give my body a nice reset. 

 

I've done 3-4 Whole 30s in the past couple of years, and am perpetually delighted by the long-lasting effects this approach to eating offers. Even when I am not on a Whole 30, these principles of eating offer a helpful touchstone that yields better choices and feeling better. No other eating plan has offered me so much bang for the buck.

 

Day 1:

Herbal tea

Breakfast: Egg & veg casserole (love this recipe!)

Lunch: big salad w/ carrots & raisins; meat loaf; green beans; sweet potatoes

Dinner: smashed red potatoes (OK, I'm doing some potatoes and some mild non-W30 things like that); mashed cauliflower; orange sesame chicken from the crock pot 

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Day 2:

Breakfast: Egg & veggie casserole

Lunch: grilled steak and rice

Herbal tea

Dinner: rice & seasoned ground beef with kale; shredded carrot slaw with garlic, peppers & lime

 

I ended up consuming way more rice today than I had intended, but it's OK. Rice doesn't seem to bother me. Tonight's dinner was an unplanned get-together with my parents. I'm glad that what was on their menu ended up being on the friendlier end of the Whole 30 spectrum. I turned down the three varieties of ice cream they offered at the end of the meal. I forgot how great it is to not have to have something sweet after every stinkin' meal.

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Day 3:

Breakfast: Egg & veggie casserole

Unsweetened green tea

Lunch: Giant salad w/ roast chicken, dried cranberries, walnuts, Tessamae's

Dinner: turkey meatballs w/ mashed cauliflower, roasted potatoes

Raw almonds for a snack after going dancing last night :)

 

Goal for the weekend is going to be doing a giant cook-up. I've been collecting some handsome new recipes to try, and I am ready to get going.

 

Also: every time I do a Whole 30 (or a modified reset like this one), it gets easier and easier. The Whole 30 has truly loosened the grip of some of my former crazy, off-the-rails, 7th-grader-whose-parents-are-out-of-town eating habits.

There will probably never be a day when I eat perfectly all the time (and I don't know that I'd even want that), but it's so much easier to stay on the reservation, having practiced this for a while.

I know that the Whole 30 isn't magic, but sometimes it feels like it. 

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Day 4:

Breakfast: "paleo pancake" of banana, 2 eggs, cinnamon & blueberries. (I know Melissa doesn't like these pancake-like deals. They are totally benign for me -- I don't really love "real" pancakes to start with and eat them maybe once every three years.)

G&T's Kombucha (and I'm on my way this afternoon to pick up a SCOBY so I can make my own! Yes, welcome to Hippieville.)
Lunch: ate out with friends. We call ourselves 'Margarita Maidens' and we get together every few months for margaritas, chips and burritos. Yeesh. None of it is on plan. This time I skipped the margarita, the chips, and had a salad instead. I'm sure the dressing was not compliant, but I am glad I missed out on the worst of the potential offenses.
Snack: got suuuuuper hungry mid-afternoon and had crispy potatoes and a turkey meatball with spaghetti sauce.
Dinner: crock pot braised chicken and steamed broccoli 

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Day 5:

Aaaaaaand there are the sugar cravings I've been dodging so far. Right on time.

My Whole 30 adventures are almost entirely about breaking the power of sugar in my life. Each time I get off sugar for even a little while, it brings added clarity and strength. (I used to think that I could never go 30 days without chocolate. And then I did. A few times. The cravings can get pretty gnarly, but now I know I am tougher than they are.)

I'm thinking fondly now of the delicious homemade ice cream in my freezer. Probably doesn't help that my cabinets definitely are not danger-free zones... there are a few stashed candy bars here and there, as well as some crackers and chips. 

The crackers and chips are less of a concern for me, but the ice cream is definitely on my mind today.

Breakfast: egg and veg casserole

Lunch: salad with steak and roasted chicken, carrots, cukes, peppers, etc.

Dinner: roasted brussels sprouts w/ balsamic, smashed potatoes, roast chicken

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Do you know why bananas are allowed?  I thought they were loaded with carbos and natural sugar.

 

All fresh fruit is allowed. However, fruit is optional on a Whole30. The recommendation is 1-2 servings a day, where a serving is a whole piece of fruit the size of your fist. Further, the idea is to eat fruit as part of or immediately after your main meal only, not as a snack. Among other things, this approach avoids using fruit as a way to feed the sugar dragon.

 

Carbs from fruits and vegetables are fine on a Whole30: the Whole30 is not a low carb way of eating.

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Day 6:

Breakfast: egg and veg casserole (the new week's concoction)

Lunch: client meeting at a client office.... man, this was kinda rough. I think I was the only person who didn't have a panini or a sandwich with chips. I had a big green salad with chicken, vinaigrette, walnuts, raisins, grapes, and blue cheese. Blue cheese was pretty hard to pick around but I did my best. 

Snack: crispy potatoes and meatball w/ spicy tomato sauce (I've been super hungry lately!)

Dinner: steamed broccoli, crispy potatoes, roast chicken

Feeling good after 6 days. My kombucha is starting to ferment! I have no idea how it will taste, but it's very cool seeing the fermentation happening.

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Day 7:

Breakfast: egg and veg casserole

Snack: crispy potatoes and meatball w/ spicy tomato sauce. An odd snack for 11 am. My stomach was positively growling; this was the fish-and-broccoli/irritability headache-level hunger. Interesting. Pretty sure I need to ramp up my portion sizes, and also figure out some better snack choices for this type of eating. Despite all the time I've spent hanging out in W30-land, I've never really figured out great snacks.

Dinner: I ATE CHEESE. OK, I'm putting it out there. Big W30 fail. Yesterday was a ridiculously stressful day at the office. I came home from work very hungry, and without a good meal plan on hand. The meal was mostly compliant.... Two roast chicken quesadillas with spinach in gluten-free wrap ("tapioca flour"). Both a violation of principles and SWYPO in one fell swoop. Yargh.

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Day 8:

Breakfast: "Banana omelette" -- banana & egg pancake

Snack: herbal tea, roast chicken (just straight out of the fridge container....)

Lunch: turkey meatballs with spicy mustard, sweet potato fries

Dinner: turkey meatballs with tomato sauce, mashed cauliflower

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Day 9:

Breakfast: egg and veggie casserole (I'm gonna need a break soon, the monotony is starting to get to me)

Snack: kombucha, roast chicken

Dinner: sushi. Holy cow, I remember what gets really hard about a Whole 30 way of eating: all the cooking! I came home after a fried day at work with two big sacks of groceries. Did not have the energy to do anything more than put things away. Off to the neighborhood sushi joint. It was unbearably wonderful to eat food I did not prepare. Brought my coconut aminos with me, so soy was out of the picture. A very welcome break from cooking! 

 

Things I'm noticing on day 9:

 - Consistent hunger before meals

 - Dead-to-the-world sleep with much greater ease waking (when my alarm goes off, I'm pretty much awake... no groaning and gnashing of teeth)

 - Some clothes are already starting to fit better

 - I feel so much better emotionally without having to deal with sugar in my diet. Maybe there are unicorn-like people in the world who know how to handle sugar in moderation, yadda yadda, but I really love going on vacation from it. I do not miss it At All. 

 

I'll be breaking the whole-eating plan on Monday 6/23 when my entire family will be together. Long boring story, but this will be a significant family celebration. I am baking a coconut cake for the occasion. I don't really want to have to watch every bite at the dinner. So I'll relax. I feel pretty sure that I won't go nuts at the dinner. Might have a little bit of cake. Given how I'm feeling now, I may just pick the reset up again the next day. Loving this. 

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Day 10:

Breakfast: paleo pancake (banana + 2 eggs)

Snack: Herbal tea + the last of the roast chicken ( :o)

Lunch: mashed cauliflower; turkey meatballs; spicy tomato sauce

Dinner: Chipotle carnitas

 

Yup. Ten days is about all it takes to make me get super burned out on cooking every morsel of every meal. In the past when I have reached this point, I have completely broken the Whole 30 and gone back to a lot of convenience foods. This time I am determined to stick closer to the plan while also giving myself permission to not cook every morsel of every meal. So, Chipotle this evening.... it was tasty and easy. 

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Day 11:

Breakfast: egg and veg casserole

Lunch: leftover carnitas

Snack: kombucha (homemade!)

Dinner: Chicken fingers with waffle fries (see day 10 notation!)

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I reach for jicama, carrots, celery, and other crudités as well as kale chips when I'm craving crunch. Way less damaging in all sorts of ways than nuts.

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Day 12:

Breakfast: egg & veg casserole

Snack: kombucha

Lunch: I went off plan in a very delicious way. I made burgers for my dad for Father's Day, and I ended up eating one (with a bun and everything). I have to say, it was an extraordinarily delicious burger! Definitely worth the splurge. I also had garlic fries. Drank water and turned down the dessert. Dad went back for seconds  :) 
Stopped on the way home from my parents' house to pick up some groceries. Going to the grocery store is such a weird experience on the Whole 30 (or even a highly modified version of it like I'm doing). I feel like 80% of the stuff in the grocery store is not on plan. It's strange. I get used to looking at the floor of the grocery store as I'm walking up an aisle, so I don't have to look at whatever heinous artificial crispy-crunchy-sweet factory-engineered product they're trying to promote.   

The floor of my grocery store is super clean, BTW.

Dinner: turkey burger with spicy mustard, crispy red potatoes, steamed broccoli. I made a ton of on-plan foods this weekend so I am looking forward to another good week. 

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Day 13:

Breakfast: the very last of the egg & veg casserole

Snack: sliced carrots + a bit of almond butter

Lunch: mashed cauliflower + turkey burger + spicy mustard

Dinner: 2 veg + chicken quesadillas (gluten free) + sweet potato fries. I'm letting some dairy back in, as I cannot discern meaningful side effect. 

 

One way I know I'm doing well with my diet is that I was up Swiffering my floors and tidying my kitchen before 5:30 am. My alarm goes off at 5:15, and I bounced out of bed quickly and was dressed and ready for boot camp right away. That's right, I had time to kill before my 6 am boot camp. Thanks, Whole 30, for the extra energy!

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Day 14:

Breakfast: banana/egg pancake

Snack: homemade peach kombucha; a couple of nuts and dried cranberries

Lunch: turkey burger, mashed cauliflower, spicy tomato sauce

Snack: 1 carrot and some roasted chicken

Dinner: way off plan.... BBQ, baked beans and french fries at a restaurant before going to see an MLB game.... this was a special night with my aunt and brother, and I just loved it. Unfortunately, the BBQ and baked beans were way too sweet for my taste (I've got that super-sensitive palette thing going, now that I'm not bombing my diet with all kinds of chemicals and artificial junk). 

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Day 15:

Breakfast: banana/egg pancake

Snack: homemade grape kombucha

Lunch: turkey burger with spicy mustard; veggies roasted with a bit of diced bacon (so good) -- carrot, sweet potato, brussel sprouts

Dinner: 2 pieces of fried chicken. I cannot be held responsible for what I did to that fried chicken. Mmmmm.

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Day 16:

Breakfast: curry chicken (with peppers, peas, potatoes, rice) (pulled this out of the freezer.... making an effort to mix it up)

Lunch: turkey burger + spicy mustard; mashed cauliflower; leftover roasted veggies from yesterday

Snack: a few nuts and dried cranberries

Dinner: curry chicken with rice, kombucha (time to start a new batch....)

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Day 17:

Breakfast: Banana + egg pancake

Lunch: Sushi with my best bud. Coconut aminos on the down-low from my purse.

Snack: roast chicken

Dinner: hurried mashed caulifower + roast chicken

After-dinner snack: About 3 oz prosecco (spontaneous 1st date with a fella from online!) 

 

 

Reflecting on the positive:

  • I think writing down food selections on this page, even the totally-off-plan foods, really helps me.
  • The past few times I did a Whole 30, I had a mild obsession with eating these tiny, brittle "raw cookies" with almond butter at the end of the meal. It was definitely a SWYPO situation. This time I have really laid off the cookies. Other than a few servings at the start of this little reset, I've been staying away from them. 
  • I let myself have the cookies during earlier iterations of the Whole 30 because, well, my eating was pretty terrible beforehand and I wasn't ready to completely change my diet and take on some of my compulsive eating stuff at the same time. The Whole 30 principles have provided such a valuable "handrail" through the treacherous world of disordered eating. I now feel better equipped to deal with the compulsive eating tendencies, because I'm on more solid footing.
  • I'm not saying I'm done with sugar for all time, end of story, but I'm appreciating the greater ease with which I am managing the psychological part of the food journey. I still have cravings, but every time I get into a Whole 30 scenario, I approach them differently.
  • Also enjoyed this brief clip from Dr. Mark Hyman, which I discovered last week.

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Day 18: 

Breakfast: roast chicken + veggie mix

Snack: a few slices of pepperoni

Lunch: meatball + red potato + spicy tomato sauce

Dinner: 2 quesadillas on gluten free tortillas with spinach and roast chicken

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Day 19:

Breakfast: I went to the coffee shop with my journal and had a latte! It was fantastic. I've been wanting to do that for a while. I added 1 packet of raw sugar.  

Brunch was eggs, grits, blueberries, herbal tea

Snack: air popped popcorn with olive oil (Alton Brown's microwave popcorn recipe)

Dinner: 2 quesadillas

I also had a bit of cake batter while making a cake for my dad. Funny how just that much made me start thinking fondly of sugar again for the next few hours. Such a nasty substance.

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