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much needed w30


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Been thinking about starting another w30 since, oh, last June or July? There is always a reason why it's not an ideal time. But it needs to be done!Sick of clawing my way back into the wagon only to fall off a few weeks or days later.

I kept things in relative control, a few slips here and there into a wheat-eating morass, but kind of hanging on to my wobbling bike. Over the holidays I went fully off the rails. I made myself so sick I was googling "when to check yourself into the ER for constipation." I seriously had to use my birthing relaxation practice to get to sleep one night. Breathe into the belly, breathe that baby down.

I planned to food shop today but the weather was brutal and I never got groceries. I started making excuses. "Feb won't work anyway. I'll want wine on Valentine's Day and I'm visiting a friend and we always drink of bottle of wine and March is busy maybe I'll wait till April."

Instead I made some energy/magic/algae soup and pulled a salmon fillet from the freezer. I'm going for it.

Been meditating if not eating well. Reading a lot about meditation anyway, and meditating a bit each day. Listening regularly to a great podcast on vipassana meditation. Also my New Year's resolution was to get good sleep. I've been doing much better on that front. Until my UP band crapped out I was averaging 7.5 hours. (Still getting that but it was much easier to track with the band. Been waiting two weeks for a replacement.)

When I thought last year about one big change I wanted to make this year it was sleep. Sleep is critical to all other areas of concern for me: eating, mental health, parenting, creative work, joyfulness.

Day 0



- make this really a WHOLE, with sleep and meditation a priority

- enjoy the simplicity and rhythm of w30 and template eating

- get to a place where dark chocolate feels again like an indulgence (been completely off rails with sugar)

- more veggies

- the grasping monkey mind has me wanting to fit back into my jeans

Working on the first step of loving kindness: sending loving kindness to myself.

May I be well. May I be happy. May I be healthy. May I be free from suffering.

* 2nd w30 was a w27 or 26, after which I continued mostly eating on track and AIP for a bit.

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Thinking about this w30 I'm thinking I'm not going to go for strict AIP. I haven't been following it at all lately (aside from what and sugar I've also been eating eggs and nightshades). My psoriasis honestly seemed to respond way better to light treatment than diet. And I want to just get back on track with the big stuff before fine tuning.

I really do want to do an AIP run at some point so I can--finally--do a real reintro that pinpoints what makes my skin flare. But I'm feeling shaky and low on confidence on the eating front. So I'm just going straight up W30, which will let me try some of the sauces and spice combos that appeal to me.

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There is absolutely nothing wrong with desiring to fit into your jeans--and feeling at home in your body.


Also, I think doing a W30 without the restrictions of AIP right now is the best way to go. Are there certain things you know cause flare ups? I know peppers and tomatoes (especially raw tomatoes) are no bueno for me, so I limit them. That seems to work well rather than going whole hog with the no seed spices. I resent life without cumin.


So glad you're back! Cheers to this gift you're giving yourself!

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Day 1


m1 8:30am pan-fried salmon in CO, magic soup, black coffee


m2 11am scrambled egg in ghee, magic soup, slices of apple


Feeling snacky. I have gotten into the same old rut of turning to chocolate/sugar for energy at my energy lulls. I do feel like my baby meditation practice will help me. Fingers crossed.


m4 3:30pm few bites tuna and half cup soup


m5 7pm chicken sausage (compliant) and sautéed kale with garlic, herbal tea


Was definitely crabby with the kids this afternoon. Especially when DD refused to go to her ballet class. She is 3.5 so I know I shouldn't force or pressure her--or take it personally--but it's frustrating when I paid for the class and we trekked to the Y on the bus in frigid temps despite my aching back and crab crab crab.


My back was finally feeling better this morning after an ill-fated stroller in the snow push the day before the "historically disappointing" blizzard that never was. Gotta get back to consistent core work. 


I did however get to see my son dribbling a basketball and he's getting so much more comfortable with it. And my kids were running around the outside of the track with the high and middle school track practice. My daughter is fast! I also grabbed some more veggies and some compliant sausages till I can get to a real food shop tomorrow. 


I finally followed Lady M's advice and bought Well Fed 2. Since I'm not doing AIP (unless my skin starts going crazy) I figured I may as well add some spice to my life. And I need more veg ideas. On first perusal I see *many* things I want to make. 


Day 1, so far so good. Bit of a raging headache. Hitting the hay.


Thanks for the welcome backs! LM, you are totally right about limiting certain things. Tomatoes are also out for me except in very small amounts. But yeah, go seed spices. 

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I was just talking to a woman at barre class about how I can justify the expense of classes alone with the money I'm saving not going to the chiropractor every week. Core work is for real a game changer for folks like us with hip and low back stuff. I thought I was doing core work before, but there's always more to be done. 


Yay for WF2! Enjoy and keep us posted on what you try and love. Chicken Nan King, taj majal curry, and two types of meatballs are in my fridge right now. I swear, and I think I said this before, it'll be worth it for the bangers, burgers, and balls section alone. You and your kids will love the wide variety of tasty finger foods made from ground meats. The meatballs aren't so tedious with a 1T melon baller/cookie scoop and eliminating the cream of tartar/baking soda step, which I find pointless. Also, I recommend reducing heat and cook time to 20 minutes at 350.


One other thing: I think adding starchy veg (I know you love your sweet pots) to your day will help with those sugar cravings and energy crashes.


Great stuff. It's fun to see your kids growing up from afar!


Also, you're making me think it's just about time for a batch of magic soup at my house. Next time I make bone broth, it's pegged for that!

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Magic soup always helps. Great tips on the meatballs. I do have a little scooper I started using for meatballs--instead of cookies. My son LOVES gyoza so I've definitely got those balls in the queue. And I got fixings to make the green curry ones. For me. :)

Barre is indeed great for the core. Last spring/summer while I was doing my ballet workout I had no back issues. Gotta get back on that, but right now I need the slow therapeutic lower back yoga.

Day 2

Sleep: 7.5 hours with some wake ups (waiting for my replacement UP band with bated breath)

M1: 9am salmon, magic soup, black coffee

M2: grapes, cukes with kids' snack, bite tuna to make it mini-mealish

A little tired. Two different crazy dreams about two different long ago boyfriends. Woke up early. Yay. So did my kids. Boo. They always seem to wake up five minutes after me. Need to creep more quietly out of the bedroom I guess. Didnt meditate or do short lower back yoga DVD in am as planned.

M3 3:00PM hot dogs, kraut, water

M4 7:30PM roasted chicken, garlicky kale, sweet pot and carrot fries, cold glass of agua

Nibbled on some sweet pot fries while the chicken finished. Actually a whole bunch. I was pretty hungry by the time dinner rolled around. (Or maybe I was psychically following Lady M's advice to load on carbs, especially before bed.) Lunch was light on veg and scarfed hastily so I could make another food run before getting my son from lego class. Not terrible inter-meal eating/snackiness though for day 2.

Meant to get to Whole Foods for a wide-ranging shop but got my lower back yoga in and that was worth the 23 minutes. Managed to grab a couple bunches of greens and some pastured chicken and beef, ingredients to make a few things from Well Fed.

I'm already enjoying sautéed kale more than I had before, mostly bc I'm cooking it down in chicken stock. Duh. Seems obvious in retrospect. Also nice to plate juicy chicken on top of the kale like in a restaurant. Sautéed hearty greens are one thing I almost always prefer in a restaurant. (I really like my sautéed spinach and chard but realizing I need more patience and liquid for kale.)

Sleep! It doesn't seem so daunting to prep meals when I'm not completely exhausted and overwhelmed.

Also my house is super clean (for me) because we've had my daughter's coop here the last two weeks. (Six kids under 4 plus their teacher.) Tomorrow we are all making gluten-free blueberry muffins. Hot muffins with fresh toddler-shaken butter will be tempting but I can hold out.

Tired but happy. Gonna clean up the kitchen fast as possible then zzzzzz.

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A clean house, food plated restaurant-style, yoga, meatball plans . . . all wonderful things!


The gyoza meatballs are really wonderful. And they're very futzy. I rarely make them because they require so much tiny chopping and sauteing before balling. ;) I've become relatively lazy in the kitchen--that way I can make more in less time and have a stocked fridge! Oh, and with the green curry recipe, I halve the curry, fish sauce, and garlic, and leave out the salt altogether. I made them by the recipe the first time and they were just too overpowering for my taste.


One other thing I wanted to encourage you to try from WF2 is the sunrise spice. It's her take on Penzey's Tsardust Memories, but about a million times cheaper to make yourself. I sprinkle it on roasted sweet pots with ghee and flake salt and it's about the best thing I've ever eaten. Spectacularly good. I also dust all my roasted root veggies and winter squash with it. I've also been loving Michelle Tam's magic mushroom powder for anything that needs a hit of umami after plating. The spice blends are my favorite thing I added to my W30 rotation this time around.

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Day 3

Sleep: In bed for 8 hours but slept horribly, took forever to fall asleep, restless dog kept jumping down and crying to come back up on bed, nudgy annoying dreams.

Meditation: 5 mins in am till interrupted by daughter. Again kids woke as early as I did. Must wake up earlier.

M1 9am salmon pan-fried with old AIP curry blend I had in the cupboard, magic soup

M2 10:30am raspberries, more of m1, more soup and picking at salmon in pan while kids had snack

My belly's full but I'm snacky. I can't tell if it's habit, thirst, or the sated/satiated thing from ISWF. Have to re-read that. Still I feel much more sated/iated at this time than I did yesterday or the day before. Progress.

M3 12:30pm l/o 1/2 chicken sausage, sweets pots and carrots in chicken juices from last night, sautéed collards w oo and garlic, 2nd cup black coffee

Satiating despite having not quite enough protein. Prob a lot of fat. Also need a nap.

M4 4:30pm green curry balls (thanks, LM!), sweet pot fries w cardamom and cumin

Had a little food prep burst when I came home hungry from picking up my son from school. Above balls and sweet pots, plus coconut cauliflower (and dog food). I am still not sure what the texture of cauliflower rice is supposed to be, but giving myself the freedom to cook with spices is amazing.

M5 9pm chicken thigh, salad with balsamic vinaigrette, handful sweet pot fries for nighttime carbs

Husband came home from TX with a bad cold and I waited for him to eat. In the past I've had issues with eating late and I prefer eating earlier with the kids.

Meditation: 15 mins while listening to my meditation podcast

My UP band replacement arrived! I know it's not totally accurate when it comes to sleep depth etc but I do like that it tells me when I fall asleep and wake up--especially on nights like last night when it feels like I was up "all night long." I also like that it makes me walk more.

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I finally figured out how to get a texture I like for cauli rice. The trick is in not putting too much/many cauli florets in the food processor at once (fill the bowl just shy of halfway) and make sure they're uniformly small. Then pulse until desired consistency. That's how I've gotten the best "rice" out of a cauliflower. I'm still not entirely sold on the idea, but I've been keeping a gallon ziploc of the raw "rice" in the fridge, scoop some out, microwave it with a little water, covered, for about three minutes, and I have an instant bed for whatever I'm eating. It worked well for the taj mahal chicken this week, anyway.


Do you think your snackiness is simply a matter of working your way up to proper meals? I think when we get used to smaller portions eaten more frequently, it just takes time to get back into the habit of three (preferably sit down, if possible, though I know that's tough with the wee ones to tend) meals. It certainly doesn't look like you're eating too much food.


Sorry about the sleep. It will come.

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Yes. I read that bit in WF2 where she said you sometimes need to pulse cauliflower in two batches. That did seem to help. I wouldn't eat a bowl of it but I figure if I eat a few scoops with a meal that's some extra veg as well as the feeling of a starch accompaniment.

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In terms of hunger it's probably just the adjustment period. I wouldn't say I was eating small meals so much as eating nothing till starvation set in at 2pm, at which point I'd drink more coffee and stuff my mouth with sweet pot chips (or, since the holidays, any old chips), raisins, chocolate, a spoonful of ice cream, a bite of a Momofuku crack pie I "made for a holiday family dinner" in mid-Jan, froze and proceeded to eat myself sliver by frozen sliver.

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Day 4

Sleep: 7.5 hours. Both kids up with nightmares. I've gotta be IN BED at 10:30 so I'm sound asleep by 11. (Also woke up with a new extremely itchy patch of ps along my bra line. I ate a lot of bell peppers in my salad last night. Boo. I always hold out hope for those bell peppers!)

Mediation: none in the am

M1 11am: salmon, sautéed collards with ginger and coconut butter

Woke up feeling extremely nauseated. My daughter has had stomach issues this week so I'm assuming it's a stomach bug vs. something I ate. After walking my son to school I felt better and made breakfast. Discovered I'd left my broth out last night :’( and it was all bubbly. I chucked it. Collards were bitter without it so I added a spoonful of CB. Not bad.

M2 3:30pm green curry meatballs, sautéed cabbage with ginger and coconut milk over coconut cauliflower rice

Meal was too heavy to finish. Took a digestive enzyme, thinking back to the time I was eating Eat to Live-ish and consumed massive amounts of cauliflower and cabbage--and had to use a laxative after days of pain.

So far so good. I'm feeling tired and run down but that's probably partly the stomach bug. I also didn't have a second cup of coffee.

More broth bubbling in slow cooker.

M4: more of the above. Difficult afternoon. Snacky. Craving sugar or caffeine. Ate a spoonful of coconut butter. Didn't eat a dried peach.

M5: chicken thigh, salad with avocado and red onion, lemony vinaigrette

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Day 5

Sleep: 7.75 hours

M1: Magic soup

Took daughter to MoMA early with her buddies and had to get son to basketball. Morning was hectic. Was worth it to catch the end of the Matisse Cut Outs exhibit.

The kids (3) were too little to enjoy, especially bc the museum was crowded. "I want a snack bar!" Son would have enjoyed it more. I enjoyed it! All the cut outs had tiny pin holes in them. Matisse surrounded himself with the pieces and rearranged them. Maybe my favorite part were the photos of his home--walls covered in widespreading cut outs.

Snack: grass fed beef jerky/"hot dog stick" and almonds--snack of desperation

We were there from 9:30 till 1:30. Eating was tough. I didn't eat a real breakfast but packed a lunch. We stopped at a cafe and the other moms had chocolate croissants and good-smelling lattes. I ate my thermos of food.

M2: salmon and gingery cabbage

M3: ditto after walking in STAHVIN'

Pre-bed carb load: sweet pot fries with sunrise spice and mayo

Off-kilter after missing breakfast! Tired.

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Glad you got in some art even if your daughter didn't love the experience. It's balm for the (grown up, appreciative) soul.


It never ceases to amaze me how you parents never really get any downtime. Weekends are at least as full of kid stuff as weekdays! God love you.


"Didn't eat a dried peach."--LOVE this!


The longer I do this the more convinced I am that eating a proper M1 within an hour of waking is one of the most powerful things we can do to make our hormones happy and have the best possible day.


What did you think of the sunrise spice? I just made a new batch yesterday with penny's roasted garlic powder, a new freebie with my last order. Very excited to taste it.

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Can't imagine living so close to the MoMa but *can* imagine it would be a pretty different experience visiting with my daughter. Still so cool you got to be there with your daughter. I bet the other moms felt kind of sick after their chocolate croissants, I would! 

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Ooh. Roasted garlic powder sounds awesome. I love the sunrise spice! My mom who claims to not like sweet pots was here yesterday and also enjoyed the spice. Definitely a valuable player.

Yeah, the weekends are definitely not restful with kids. I wouldn't have normally gone into Manhattan on a weekend and was gripng about it but I was actually glad the other moms talked me I to it. They are much better at taking advantage of culture (easier with one child) and it's good to be cajoled into doing stuff.

Abby, thanks for your comment! I brought my 6 year-old son there a few weeks ago to the Robert Gober exhibit. It was a big installation, very conceptual. Figured it'd be over his head and he LOVED it. "This is the most amazing thing I've ever seen." That was when I got the membership. The museum has a room with kids activities and headphone tracks just for them. So it's not all bad. :)

Day 6

Sleep: 8.5 hours

Took the kids skiing today to a little hill in NJ. In a frenzy I packed up lunch before we left. And a tub of sweet pot fries and mayo.

M1: chicken sausage, sautéed cabbage, garlicky swiss chard, black coffee

M2: sweet pot fries and mayo (cold, totally cold after two hours outside in a naked glass container, sunset spice made it still somewhat enjoyable!)

After standing outside in sometimes sleeting 32 degree damp cold day I really wanted those nasty ski lodge/shack fries!

I didn't have to dig into my emergency coconut butter or almonds.

M3: chicken sausage and chard (bitter, not yummy in a thermos)

M4: plantain nachos with taco ground beef, salad with lime mayo vinaigrette

I don't have the required mandolin so I hand sliced. My plantains were not even. Some were overcooked. I ate them all anyway, mostly crumbled into the salad.

If I had these sitting around all the time they'd be FWOB but they are annoying to make. So OK for an occasional treat. I made less than one plantain and ate it all. :-\

I'm tired and emotional. Super emotional and nostalgic. Was almost weeping while listening to Blonde on Blonde and slicing plantains. Trying to be mindful and bring myself back to the breath when I get lost in memory land. Obsessed with getting to sleep. This is the yummy sleep time of the w30.

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Is this how you do sweet potato fries? I swear I'm going to try her futzy method one of these days just to see how great they are. But maybe better to put it off. I might want them all the time.


I made plantain chips once. They were a real pain in the ass and way too delicious dipped in guacamole. I still have a batch of them in the freezer.


Yes to sweet, sweet sleep and bringing yourself back to the present when lost in the past.

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I'm impressed that you take your kids to MoMA!  I'm not good at exposing mine to culture.  Even if it's not exactly their thing, it's so awesome just to expose them to it.  WTG!  And skiing, too!  What a good mama.  You did great with food, too!

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Thanks guys. Some of the parents in my daughter's co-op are artists/work in creative fields and are way better at taking advantage of living in the city. I also love art but was always too tired and apprehensive of my kids' behavior to bring them to many places. At the museum the other day the kids were running around in front of a video installation. If it was just me I'd be like, "stop jumping around" or would've been really nervous about them bumping into something. (We all agreed later we had visions of the kids getting tangled in a big floor-to-ceiling lightbulbs on cords construction. ) But I think it's good for them to think about cultural spaces as being fun and somewhere they want to hang.

LM, I just cut a sweet pot into logs and toss with CO and salt and spice, oven roast like any other veg. They are probably FWOBish but I try to split into two batches if eating myself (my weird kids don't like them, husband does), in which case I'm eating half a sweet pot. They are good for portability if not for conscientious eating. The MJ version looks great but more elaborate. Mine only get crispy on the side that touches the pan. Which is fine, it's all about salt/spice distribution.

Day 7

M1 10am taco ground beef over salad greens with lime mayo vinaigrette and avocado, baked plantains, 1/2 cup black coffee

Yes. Plantains definitely a hazard. As many have found. In the past I've pan fried ripe ones and not gotten a very good texture. (Not like the greasy, sweet salty delicious ones at the Whole Foods hot bar) .Having a chip crunch in a salad or as a vehicle for dips is definitely nice but could easily lead to bingeing. USE WITH CAUTION.

M2: 1:30pm good ol' grass fed burger, sweet pot fries, mayo, magic soup, other 1/2 cup black coffee

This day is going in a decidedly chip/fry direction. Time to get back to the greens. The cold my husband got from our daughter last week is creeping creeping up on me. As I prepared lunch I felt my lower legs turning into anvils. Now I'm achy all over. Uggggggggghhh.

At least I spent the morning being productive wrt housework. I also did something I always mean to do: chopped up a bunch of cilantro and processed in food processor with CO, froze in little balls to add to recipes. I have long wanted to be more of a machine when it comes to herbs--like, since I started cooking for myself in college. I often end up throwing out half the bunch when it wilts. Now I have cilantro to add to recipes whenever I need. Want to grab Thai basil and do the same. And the parsley in the fridge. (How else do you ever use a bunch of parsley? Besides chimichurri?)

My head is doing the thing it does when I clean up my eating: getting crazy itchy. My ps on the other hand seems to be calming down.

Daughter requested meat cake with mayo for lunch. Though I've never tried to get my kids to go w30 they definitely benefit from my sustained effort to eat better. Partly because of what I'm cooking and have in the house, and partly because I start feeling horribly guilty about the less-junky junk food I lean too heavily on. (Like for ex organic, lower sugar, slightly less processed versions of snacks. Pirate Booty. Applegate chicken nuggets. )

Suspect Lady M is correct about eating within an hour of waking. DD reminded me this am I said I should eat with them, but the wintry mix ice pellet (!) morning was so gray we all had trouble getting going. Something else to work on.

Predicted M3: chicken thighs, sautéed kale or roasted broccoli, some form of sweet pot

My logs will get shorter I hope. Ah well. Writing is therapeutic

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The last time I was at the MoMa, (I think!) was during Marina Abramovic's exhibit, which I didn't know too much about at the time, and since then really enjoyed watching the documentary about her. 

I want to try that sunshine spice you've mentioned, sounds kind of magical. Speaking of magical- what's your magic soup? 

I bought plantain chips to go with our meals but my husband broke them out on day 1 of my whole30 and the first bag is now gone.  -_-

I'm trying not to beat myself up about snacking since I'm pregnant but on the other hand I really want to avoid it. 

I just finished reading "Help. Thanks. Wow." by Anne Lamott and wonder if you would like it, since you are working on meditation... it's a book about prayer (but not specific in whom is prayed to, don't mean to offend if that's not your scene). 

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Oh I love Anne Lamott! I would definitely read that. After I get through my pile of half-read books. ;)

And as my book or podcast said, Buddhism is more of a psychology than a religion. I'm not Into the karmic aspects of it. Just want to clear my head of all the cobwebs, the self-destructive modes of thinking and move forward.

I've never seen an Abromovic piece. Is the documentary on Netflix? They have a few art documentaries, also on my long to do/read/watch list.

Magic soup (my husband calls it algae soup):


-I make it all in one pot, onions and garlic first. I don't use mushrooms.

Sunrise spice:


All the delis around me sell plantain chips but I'd never tried them till recently. They are good--much more snackalicious than my DIY baked ones, but most seem to be made with questionable oils.

M3 update: I was tempted by CMTG recipe for sweet pot fries (crispy!) and had the required Japanese yam. Much fussier. And heavier. Ehhh. I prob stick with mine. They aren't crunchy but these are in my belly like a lead weight.

Also ate too late!

- grassfed burger, Japanese sweet pot fries

Moving on from fries and chips tomorrow! This isn't leading me down a healthy food relationship path. I'm not sure if I'm technically breaking the rules but I feel like trying to recreate crispy fries crossed a threshold that my usual sweet pot logs, shall we call them, do not.

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