The Whole100


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March 26th, 2013: After being on a weight loss journey beginning in August 2012, my progress had plateaued. A close friend (let's call her M) introduced me to the Whole30 and I started my first attempt.

 

One week in, I found out that my multivitamin contains soy. I didn't restart on Day 1.

 

In week 2, I snuck a peek at the scale. The plateau had broken! I was down almost 30 pounds total! 

 

Three weeks in, I went to Toronto for a family member's wedding and abandoned my Whole30 for whiskey and pizza. Feeling low and demoralized, I returned to a lifestyle of unhealthful and out-of-control eating that erased all of the progress I'd made and landed me back at my starting weight of 163 by October 2014.

 

October 26th, 2014: M was about to end another successful Whole30. For the past year and a half, I'd been resenting the Whole30 for sending me down the slippery slope that robbed me of all the progress I'd made. But thinking on my lack of true commitment to the program and my need for a fresh start, I embarked on my second Whole30 attempt.

 

This time, I was successful. I completed the whole 30 days, 100% by the rules. I'd lost 10 pounds, my skin was glowing, I was sleeping more soundly, and I felt in control of my eating in a way I never had before. I didn't, however, do a proper reintroduction.

 

January 28th, 2015: I'd been eating paleo-ish since my Whole30 ended. I'd been able to maintain my weight of 153, but noticed my body composition change for the worse. Though I weighed the same, I noticed the lurking shadow of a back roll when I looked at my profile in the mirror. My skin was breaking out in reaction to gluten and sugar. And then, M told me that she was starting a Whole100, and I decided to join her in solidarity.

 

Right now, I'm on Day 14.

 

In some ways, I think a Whole100 is easier than a Whole30. During a Whole30, I find myself obsessively marking days off my calendar, constantly thinking of The End. I find myself obsessively thinking about my food, which is just as unhealthy as feeling out of control when eating. On a Whole100, I know that the end isn't in sight, so I'm not as focused on counting down the days. Knowing that I'll be eating this way for a while helps me obsess less over food. I know the rules and I know the meal template, so I just focus on making sure I have compliant groceries in the house. And I'm confident that a Whole100 will more successfully lay my food demons to rest than a Whole30 ever could.

 

Still, I know this will be hard. Really hard. I'm prone to food dreams that leave me feeling guilty. Sometimes, I miss red wine and whiskey. This weekend, I found myself craving things I don't even eat, like crispy M&Ms. And in March, I'm going to San Francisco for 5 days (send your compliant restaurant recommendations my way, please!).

 

I've got M for support, but this time around, I know I'll need more. I need a place to document my journey. I need Whole30 community friends to encourage me, even when it's rough, because I know that these 100 days are totally worth it.

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Last weekend I accidentally left my freezer door open and lost over $200 of veggies (including a whole quart-sized Ziploc bag of peeled garlic cloves!), meat, seafood, and poultry. So, I've been buying groceries (read: protein) primarily based on what's on sale/cheap.

 

Pork seems to be having a moment in my kitchen.

 

Last Sunday, I bought 8 boneless pork chops that I halved and have been using as go-to palm-sized protein. This weekend I found a $7, 3.5 pound pork butt roast and made Everyday Paleo's Beyond Easy Pulled Pork (http://everydaypaleo.com/beyond-easy-pulled-pork/). I cannot recommend this recipe enough! It only took about 8 minutes to prep, and you just let it cook all day. (Now I just need to buy more chili powder...)

 

Meal 1 today was pulled pork mixed with zucchini sautéed in olive oil, seasoned with salt, pepper, and Chios N. 27 (http://shop.laboiteny.com/products/chios-n-27).

 

Meals 2 and 3 were rosemary pork chops, cashews/macadamia nuts, and crudités of grape tomato, carrot, and mini yellow, red, and orange peppers.

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Made this a few times earlier in my Whole100:

 

Tangy tomato soup

 

Ingredients:

 

1 can diced tomato and green chiles

1/3 cup lamb stock

1 handful grape tomatoes

A few generous squeezes of lime juice

1/2-1 tbsp Bailey Farms jalapeno hot sauce

1-2 servings roasted chicken (skin on)

1/4 cup coconut milk

A few dashes Red Boat fish sauce

 

Instructions:

 

Heat the can of tomato/chiles, lamb stock, and coconut milk until coconut milk is completely incorporated

Add lime juice, hot sauce, and grape tomatoes; continue heating until tomatoes burst

Simultaneously, heat up the roasted chicken until crispy

When both elements are sufficiently heated, add fish sauce to the broth, to taste

Add chicken to the broth

 

Sour, spicy, and satisfying!

 

 

 

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Day 15. 

 

Woke up this morning with glowing skin. Wearing pants I haven't worn since 2013. Gotta love those non-scale victories. 

 

Meal 1: eggs and pulled pork over zucchini sautéed in olive oil and seasoned with salt, pepper, Shabazi N. 38 (http://shop.laboiteny.com/products/shabazi-n-38), and Bailey Farms jalapeno hot sauce. 

 

Meal 2: raw cashews, pulled pork, and crudités of grape tomato, carrot, and mini yellow, red, and orange peppers.

 

Meal 3: pulled pork, kale, and bok choy, cooked in coconut oil and seasoned with salt, pepper, and Moruno N. 21 (http://shop.laboiteny.com/products/moruno-n-21); side of strawberries.

 

I've been adding less fat to my meals, knowing that cooking with the pulled pork will add extra fat. Does anyone know if that's appropriate? Or should I still be adding an entire serving of fat?

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I've been adding less fat to my meals, knowing that cooking with the pulled pork will add extra fat. Does anyone know if that's appropriate? Or should I still be adding an entire serving of fat?

 

Completely okay. But monitor your satiety and adjust again if you need to.

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Day 19.

 

Today I made roasted brussel sprouts, sweet potato, cauliflower and green beans in preparation for the week. Still, I know that won't last me through Thursday. Chicken thighs and steaks are defrosting, and I've got pork, chicken apple sausages, and eggs to hold me over until then. Bought my first cans of sardines this weekend, and I'm excited to try them! In general, I don't mind fishy, but I do have some anxiety around others smelling it on me. I also found compliant lox for the first time! Looking forward to putting it over eggs with chives for breakfast tomorrow. 

 

I went a little overboard on fruit this weekend. I try not to have more than one piece per day, and only 3 times per week, and never with Meal 1. I know that I'm prone to using fruit as a crutch, to feed my Sugar Dragon. Last night, I got home from seeing The Imitation Game at midnight, and ate a pear. That's a violation of three rules, for me: 1) no snacking, 2) stop eating a few hours before bed, and 3) no more than once piece of fruit per day. I can tell that it's affecting my judgment, because I had a whole grapefruit this morning, when I'd ordinarily only have half, and never with breakfast. With that in mind, I'm taking some time to reset. I'm going on a short fruit hiatus.

 

I can't believe I'm almost 2/3 through a traditional Whole30.

 

I'm hopeful that this Whole100 will help me reach my weight loss goals. I'd like to lose another 17 lbs, to weigh 136. It's at the high end of "appropriate" weight/BMI for a 5'2" female. I'm not looking to lose much more than that because I like being curvy, and I find that if I weigh less, I can't sustain it. I am wearing pants now that I haven't been able to fit in in a long time, but I'm not sure how much progress I'm actually making. I worry that I'm not losing much weight at all, because day-to-day, I don't notice any major changes in how my body looks. I wish I had taken before photos. I wish I had taken body measurements. And I wish that my stomach were getting flatter faster. I wish that those back roll shadows were totally gone, instead of almost gone. 

 

I was thinking about doing weigh-ins every 30 days, but have decided against it. There are a few very distressing cons: 1) I'd become demoralized and consider giving up if I weren't making the progress I'd hoped or expected and 2) it's not in line with doing a by-the-book Whole100. The only pro I could think of was to find out what sort of progress I'm making. Looking at the scale just isn't worth it. I'm going to try to focus more on the non-scale victories I'm experiencing. 

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Day 20.

 

2/10 through my Whole100 and I'm a little concerned about my energy levels. I don't wake up energized in the morning. I feel hungry after 4 hours, rather than after 5 (like during my last Whole30). I'm wondering if I should be adding more fat to my meals--I think I've got enough protein.  I'm wondering if this is to be somewhat suspected if you're working 12+ hour days. I'm wondering if it has to be with being up/eating Meal 1 so early and not ending my work day until 7 PM. 

 

I wake up every day at 6 AM. Most days eat Meal 1 at 6:30, Meal 2 between 11 - 1, and Meal 3 between 4:30 - 7.

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It might help to add more fat to your meals. If you're working 12+ hour days, it's also fine to add another meal or mini meal -- whichever you feel you need. Just make sure it follows the meal template as far as including protein, fat, and veggies. You shouldn't be hungry. You could play with adding more fat some days and having an extra meal some days and see what seems to work best for you.

 

I can tell you that I have days (thankfully not many of them) where I eat breakfast at 8:30 am, then head to work, eat lunch around 1 or 2 pm at work, eat supper around 6-7 still at work, and then when I get home around 9:30 or 10 pm, have a mini meal, just enough to not feel hungry when I go to bed. I tried to make it with three meals, but on those days, it just didn't work. You could try something like that. 

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Day 22.

Just wrote a long, funny entry about pooping and goulash. Then I accidentally refreshed the page and lost the whole thing. Feeling beyond frustrated, and too upset to rewrite.

Take home points:

1) Pooping is my favorite thing about the Whole30, but it takes me longer to get to "Whole30 worthy" eliminations every time I do another one. I finally got there, and it's great.

2) My friend (a food critic who I wasn't sure would be supportive of my Whole100--but he is!) came over and made me compliant goulash-inspired beef stew with tallow he rendered himself, and smoked paprika he brought back for me from Budapest.

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Made this a few times earlier in my Whole100:

Tangy tomato soup

Ingredients:

1 can diced tomato and green chiles

1/3 cup lamb stock

1 handful grape tomatoes

A few generous squeezes of lime juice

1/2-1 tbsp Bailey Farms jalapeno hot sauce

1-2 servings roasted chicken (skin on)

1/4 cup coconut milk

A few dashes Red Boat fish sauce

Instructions:

Heat the can of tomato/chiles, lamb stock, and coconut milk until coconut milk is completely incorporated

Add lime juice, hot sauce, and grape tomatoes; continue heating until tomatoes burst

Simultaneously, heat up the roasted chicken until crispy

When both elements are sufficiently heated, add fish sauce to the broth, to taste

Add chicken to the broth

Sour, spicy, and satisfying!

sounds yummy!
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Day 25.

 

1/4 of the way done with my Whole100! 

 

Went out for a fancy dinner last night with a bunch of people in my graduate program. It was my first time eating out during my Whole100. Eating at restaurants always gives me anxiety, because noncompliant ingredients can sneak into meals in so many unexpected ways. We went to an Italian restaurant, and I played it safe with grilled steak over a mixed greens salad, dressed with oil and vinegar. I made sure to tell them that I'm "extremely lactose intolerant," to make sure that the steak was not cooked with butter. But I'm guessing that they used/gave me canola or sunflower oil (common in restaurants), because I felt a twinge of of stomach pain after getting home from the meal. 

 

I also had buttercup squash for the first time on Friday. I found it in Walmart, of all places. After roasting the squash in the oven for an hour at 400 degrees, I mixed it with 3/4 of a can of Thai Kitchen coconut milk and a bit of salt. 

 

I also found tomatillos at Walmart, which was a huge surprise! I'll be making the roasted version of Food Network's salsa verde later this week (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/salsa-verde-green-tomatillo-salsa-recipe.html).

 

Today I FINALLY bought a muffin tin and made Nom Nom Paleo's Spicy Tuna Cakes (http://nomnompaleo.com/post/91332244628/spicy-tuna-cakes). I substituted dried chives for scallion, lemon juice for lemon zest, and Shabazi N. 38 for cilantro. 

 

I also made:

-Pan seared Shabazi zucchini

-Sautéed organic kale and spinach

-Oven roasted chicken thighs

-Pan seared rosemary pork loin 

 

...and in a couple hours, I'll be making The Clothes Makes The Girl's olive oil mayo (http://theclothesmakethegirl.com/2010/06/03/the-secret-to-homemade-mayo-patience/). I'm planning to take some of it and make smoked mayo, a la Nom Nom Paleo (1/2 cup mayo + 1 tsp smoked paprika + 1 tbsp lemon juice). 

 

In non-food-related news, people are noticing that I'm looking slimmer. I don't personally see much change, but like I said on Day 19, I look at my body every day. It's encouraging to know that the changes are noticeable! 

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Day 28.

 

Yesterday, I woke up with two pimples, which gives me concern. I'm wondering if sugar or other noncompliant ingredients snuck into my meal at the restaurant over the weekend. I didn't taste anything off, and I did my best to make sure I stayed compliant, so I'm trying not to stress over it. Nothing I can do about it now. 

 

I made soup last night with a friend. Here's the recipe:

 

Sautée 1/2 green cabbage and one large yellow onion in chicken fat, and season with salt and smoked paprika

Add pieces of one small organic chicken, broken down and seasoned with salt and smoked paprika

Add 8 small red potatoes (quartered)

Add one can chicken broth

Add 1/2 cup tomato purée 

Cover and let simmer over low heat for 45 minutes, or until chicken is cooked thoroughly

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My favorite thing: when you roast diced sweet potato and some of the chunks get all brown and chewy.

 

Also, do yourself a favor and sautée cabbage and onions in ghee.

Lived in the states for 30 years and never like the sweet potatoes serves for thanksgiving. Whole30 and the no potato rule made me fall in love with them... Browned and chewy yes! And ghee, wow any veggie tastes excellent with ghee...

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Day 30. 

 

If I were doing a traditional Whole30, I'd be done today. Now that I'm doing a Whole100, I see how not ready I am for it to be over. My body and my mind aren't ready yet. Here's why:

  • I know I said I had having "Whole30-worthy" eliminations about a week ago, but now they're not happening regularly. I'm not eliminating every day, which is really frustrating, considering how many vegetables I eat per day. I find that it takes longer to have good, regular poops every time I do a Whole30. Why is that?
  • I'm still fighting the urge to get on the scale. I won't give in!
  • My energy levels still feel a little off. No Tiger Blood yet. 

I am a bit worried about my upcoming trip to San Fransisco. I'll be eating out a lot, and even though I know there are plenty of paleo-friendly restaurants there, eating out makes me anxious. I'm planning to load up on/pack portable proteins and fats (cans of olives, nuts, sardines, tuna) and hit up a grocery store for veggies to keep in my hotel. 

 

Anyone have advice? Recommendations? Similar experiences or insights?

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Are you driving or flying?

 

When I traveled last year, I carried a lot of pre-made meals in containers in a cooler.  Some could be eaten cold (for on the road) and others could be reheated in a microwave or skillet.  Sweet potato hash was great - reheated quickly and I could add some eggs and have a great meal.  

 

Planning really is the key.  Look up online some of the resturants near where you will be staying/working.  Check out their menus.  Call them before you even leave.  Then you have a game plan.  I find it easiest to stay compliant at restaurants when I know what to order before I even walk in and I don't have to look at the menu as I am smelling all those good food smells.  :)

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Day 41.

 

Back from San Francisco and feeling a little dejected. I planned, brought emergency foods, and asked as many questions as I could when eating out. I never ate anything that was knowingly non-compliant, despite wanting to taste everything (Mexican and Chinese food). However, I'm noticing that I'm looking bloated/bigger than when I left for the trip. I'm sure that some noncompliant ingredients snuck their way into my meals, which upsets me. But I really did try my best to remain complaint. 

 

Right now I'm feeling thankful that I have another 59 days left to go, and looking forward to getting this bloat under control. I think it'll be a while before I eat at a restaurant again.

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Day 48.

 

Almost at the halfway mark! 

 

All in all, things are going well. Essentially, travel + menstruation = a bloated, unhappy Whole100-er. But I'm settling back into my routine, and feeling good! I am coming to the conclusion that if I want to see more changes in my body composition, I will have to start exercising. I'm sure I can find the time to fit it into my schedule, but I'm not feeling particularly motivated to do that yet.

 

Today was an adventurous day of cooking for me. I made two meals I've never attempted before: Shakshuka (for Meal 1) and baby scallops with curried kale (for Meal 3). Both turned out delicious, and are must-repeats. I had Shakshuka for the first time in San Fransisco, and after eating it, I knew I could make it at home. I'd recommend it to anyone looking for something new to spice up their breakfast game. I love scallops, but always worried about cooking them incorrectly at home. Fortunately, they were much easier to manage than I anticipated.

 

For the Shakshuka, I simply doctored some compliant tomato sauce with cumin, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper, and cooked the eggs in the sauce (covered) for 4 minutes. Put it all atop some sautéed carrots/broccoli/cauliflower/zucchini/yellow squash, and had myself a really hearty and satisfying breakfast. 

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