Contessa's 60-day Lift Ticket


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I'm making my way into the new year with those few extra pounds that seem to always find me at the end of the year. Today is the start of my office's 60-day "Biggest Loser" weight loss challenge. Being a true W30 aficionado, I don't give a hoot what the number on the scale says, but I went ahead and signed up for the challenge. I will enjoy the group camaraderie while I once again boot sugar, alcohol, dairy, and grains to the curb.


Eating got pretty hard over the summer when I started dating someone whose eating habits were the exact opposite of mine. J. was a vegetarian, a pasta hound and someone who never met a pastry he didn't like. Whew. 


I want this to be a modified Whole 30 because I am traveling a lot more for work now and I know I have multiple overnight business trips in Jan/Feb on which I will need to make my own way. There's also a special event in late January at which I may choose to have a glass of wine. 


My goal is to just stay sane, make the best choice possible in the moment, and not obsess. Honestly: going 60 days without using sugar as a coping mechanism is my big overarching goal. Every time I get off sugar, it gets easier to get off sugar, and I feel happier about getting off sugar. I'm excited about stretching the commitment out longer this time.


Without further ado:


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Day 1 (01/05/15)

Breakfast: egg/sausage/potato hash; herbal tea

Snack: raw sunflower seeds

Lunch: Preppy Paleo's butternut squash soup (love this recipe!) + crumbled ground beef

Snack: A few 'go raw' Lemon Super Cookies, about a tablespoon of almond butter

Dinner: Turkey meatballs + sweet potato mash + ghee


No cravings yet, but I suppose they're coming!

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Day 2 (01/06/15)

Breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs, a heap of julienned kale; herbal tea

Lunch: butternut squash soup + crumbled ground beef

Snack: sunflower seeds

Dinner: Turkey meatballs + sweet potato mash + a bit of mustard


I forget sometimes how good it feels to eat really simply!

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Day 3 (01/07/15)

Is this the most boring food log in the world? Yes, it probably is! And yet I feel like it helps me, a lot, to write stuff down here.

Breakfast: egg/sausage/potato hash

Lunch: butternut squash soup + crumbled ground beef

Snack: carrot slices + herbal tea

Dinner: big bowl of chili


Felt really energetic today.

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Day 5 (01/09/15)

Breakfast: egg/sausage/potato hash, herbal tea

Snack: carrot slices,  Go Raw lemon cookies with almond butter (breakfast was not big enough)

Lunch: mashed cauliflower + turkey meatballs

Dinner: butternut squash soup + crock pot seasoned chicken

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Day 6 (01/10/15)

Breakfast: scrambled eggs, sauteed kale, bacon

Lunch: sweet potatoes + crock pot seasoned chicken

Snack: "gingersnap" cookies (fully compliant and not very cookie-like)

Dinner: mashed cauliflower + crock pot seasoned chicken


The cravings are getting rumbling. They are very much mental cravings. Like thinking about an ex-boyfriend. "Hmmm, I wonder what sugar is up to right now. I wonder if it's thinking about me. I really miss it."

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Day 7 (01/11/15)

Pre-WO snack: sweet potatoes, a few almonds

Breakfast: scrambled eggs, sausage, roasted potatoes, black coffee

(This was my first time going out to eat since my eating plan began. I steered clear of the entrees with dairy and grains. Even avoided ordering an omelette plate, because it came with a biscuit.)

Lunch/dinner: scramble with roasted sweet potato, kale, eggs, roasted chicken

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Day 8 (01/12/15)

Today feels like a day when it's getting gnarly. I woke up feeling cranky. My COO made a joke about how every employee who takes a sick day should be required to produce a doctor's note. I wanted to deck him. I forgot to bring my breakfast to work, and I hope I didn't leave it on the counter (because it was going to be tasty).

So.... I just had half of my lunch for breakfast.

Breakfast: Mashed cauliflower + roasted chicken

Lunch: Mashed cauliflower + roasted chicken

Snack: carrot slices + almond butter

Dinner: Scramble with roasted sweet potato, kale, eggs, roasted chicken (thank goodness I left it in the fridge!)

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Day 9 (01/13/15)

This was a travel day for me, and it was a partial food fail. Client trips are really tough — these are situations where I really do not have a choice about what to eat. So on these trips, I'm just putting the offender food groups into hierarchies. I'm not going to be able to control the oil used in the preparation of the food. Dairy is not super terrible for me. Alcohol is easy for me to turn down. Grains start to encroach on clear no-no territory. And sugar is the top of my personal hazard list.

Breakfast: Hash with eggs, chicken, bacon, sweet potato, kale

Lunch: Chick-fil-A at the airport (no bread).... this was a very stressful morning, packing and then going to the airport and then sitting in on a conference call while at the airport and then racing to the terminal and getting on the plane

Dinner: My boss insisted on taking us out to PIZZA. The least friendly Whole 30 food out there, perhaps. I did not have a choice here. In the plus column, the pizza was incredibly fresh and light — sort of the opposite of the typical North American gut-bomb. I ate only two slices, which I enjoyed. I turned away wine and dessert, and was razzed for doing so. I'm counting it as part fail and part success.

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Day 10 (01/14/15)

Another travel day. It was less of a fail than yesterday.

Breakfast: Even though there was a bagel shop in the lobby of my hotel, or perhaps because there was a bagel shop in the lobby of my hotel, I ordered room service.... scrambled eggs, sausage, hash browns.

Lunch: This was client-provided and I managed to make it fairly OK. We had about five minutes to eat and dash before I had to go to the airport. Green salad with raisins and vinaigrette + roast beef sandwich (no bread). When I got to the airport, I bought trail mix which contained a lot of nuts and raisins but was definitely not W30-approved. I was very hungry. Did manage to turn away those delicious biscoff cookies on the plane.

Dinner: Chick-fil-A at the airport (no bread). Another borderline fail, but my god, I was cranky after a couple of 18-hour days and did not want to cook.

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Day 11 (01/15/15)

Back at home. Trying to get my feet back under me and get my head right.

Breakfast: glorious hash with eggs, chicken, sweet potatoes, kale

Lunch: mashed cauliflower + roasted chicken

Dinner: Thank God for the Whole Foods deli... meatballs + garlicky kale + potato wedges + big green salad w/ vinaigrette, carrots, pumpkin seeds

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Day 13 (01/17/15) 

Breakfast: dined out with a friend.... would've really liked to have chowed down on the English muffin that was served with my eggs, potatoes and sausage, but did not. No coffee, just water.

Lunch: Turkey meatballs + big green salad with carrots, pumpkin seeds, vinaigrette

Dinner: Dined in the home of some friends. I had a glass of white wine wine. I also had a big beautiful caesar salad with grilled chicken. Skipped the pasta and the lemon pie for dessert.

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Day 15 (01/19/15):

I woke from a vivid dream last night about eating a huge powdered doughnut covered with little chocolate candies. I didn't even want the doughnut, but I ate it anyhow. (That sounds like my relationship with sugar in a nutshell.)

Pre-workout snack: A few almonds

Breakfast: veggie hash with eggs and bacon

Lunch: Paleo spaghetti & meatballs

Snack: Sunflower seeds, herbal tea

Dinner: Sweet potato "toasts" brushed with ghee, steamed broccoli, 2 Applegate Farms sausages

I am going to be away from home for three days this week and three days next week. This is the "gauntlet" of work travel that almost made me not want to attempt a Whole-30-like experience. However, I am sticking with my mantra of Just Do the Best You Can and Then Get Back on the Horse.... it may be an extended sojourn but I'll be back. 

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Day 16 (01/20/15):

Was awake very early for a one day business trip. A very long day.

Breakfast: veggie hash with eggs and bacon

Snack: 1/2 Paleo power bar of some sort

Second breakfast: Breakfast wrap with eggs and veggies (purchased from a coffee shop before client meeting.... I was starving). Medium latte made with soymilk.

Lunch: "Chinese salad" (greens, vinaigrette, shredded carrots, pulled turkey, mandarin slices, sesame seeds)

Dinner: Back at home — Paleo spaghetti & meatballs

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Day 18 (01/22/15):

Breakfast: veggie hash with eggs and bacon; small latte made with soymilk

Lunch: chicken fingers + fries (had to get fast food while on the road)

Dinner: This was the company meeting I had been anticipating for a long time. I definitely went off-roading, but it wasn't too terrible. And it was an incredibly delicious and special meal. One cocktail, an appetizer of fish cakes covered with veggies in some kind of creamy sauce, a 1/10 portion of a "chicken and waffles" appetizer, fried chicken, steamed collards, and a "hoe cake" for dinner. Uff. It was so good. No dessert was offered, which is good, because it is right at this time that the sugar cravings always hit. Argh. 

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Day 19 (01/23/15):

Breakfast: hotel meal... 2 scrambled eggs, 2 sausage patties, hash browns, OJ

Lunch: crappy meal-in-a-box from the hotel.... it was a turkey sandwich with chips, cookie, etc. I ate the turkey and the chips. Skipped the bread and the cookie.

Came home with some very fierce sugar cravings. Managing to hold the line.

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Day 21 (01/25/15):

Breakfast: I did not stay on Whole 30. Two eggs over medium with toast. And coffee — coffee with cream. I was out for breakfast. I decided to go for it. Eh.

Lunch: Sweet potato "toasts" with steamed broccoli and 2 Applegate Farms sausages. A few slices of pepperoni as a snack. Still staying away from sugar. That is my guiding light.

Dinner: scraping the verrrrry bottom of the leftovers barrel.... a bit of ground turkey, scrambled eggs, diced potato. My travel schedule at work makes it kinda tough to time my cook-a-thons.

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Day 21 (01/26/15):

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs and bacon

Snack: sliced carrot with almond butter; some sunflower seeds

Lunch: Spaghetti & meatballs (paleo)

Snack: Cheese and crackers. Yes. I had an incredibly frustrating morning at the office, with technological snafus making the day kind of a waste. I came home early. I did not want to eat another sad handful of almonds.

Dinner: Sweet potato fries + 2 egg/banana pancake. 

OMG, I am so sick of cooking. So sick of washing dishes. I need a break, and soon. The cravings aren't bad, but I'm at the point in the cycle where the perpetual meal planning, shopping, prep and clean-up is feeling burdensome. This is the feeling state that makes people decide to call for carry-out pizza.

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Day 22 (01/27/15):

Breakfast: 2 egg/banana pancake, mixed with a scoop of 'primal' protein powder.... I was famished after a workout and wanted to eat something quick.

Snack: Gingersnap Go Raw cookies + almond butter

Lunch: Grass fed beef meatballs + mashed sweet potatoes with ghee... trying to stretch some leftovers until tomorrow morning, when I leave for another business trip

Dinner: chicken strips + fries with KETCHUP. Chick-fil-A. Not on plan.

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Day 23 (01/28/15):

Breakfast: scrambled eggs + bacon, at about 4 am, just before heading out to a long series of client meetings

Snack on the plane: salted peanuts

Lunch: Turkey + bacon club sandwich, served at client meeting... potato chips

(this is my 3-day stretch of possible off-roading)

(but at least I skipped the delicious-looking chocolate cookie for dessert)

Dinner: Went way off track here. Giant client dinner with a big bowl of pasta, cocktails, wine, etc.)

(but at least I skipped the dessert tray that looked incredibly delicious.)

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Day 24 (01/29/15):

Breakfast: quick hotel buffet.... scrambled eggs + sausage + diced potatoes, just before another long client day

Lunch: Chicken + artichoke sandwiches served at client meeting, with green salad

Dinner: Way off roading again. Dinner with my boss and colleagues. Ruth's Chris Steakhouse. 1 cocktail + 1 glass of wine. Beautiful petite filet + roll with butter + baked potato + potatoes au gratin + brussels sprouts. Coulda been worse. 

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