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food for 5.15.12

coffee with cashew/almond cream

4oz chicken thighs

1 strip uncured bacon

1/2 cup strawberries & 1 slice kiwi

Big salad with gf steak (3oz?)

Half avocado

1/2 cup Butternut squash

coffee with cashew/almond cream

pre-workout: Steve's PaleoKit (14g protein)

1 oz roasted cashews with ghee

post-workout: 2oz steak

1 hard-boiled egg

1/2 cup Butternut squash

1/4 cup blueberries

a few pumpkin seeds


6oz grass-fed steak with a red-wine sauce

1.5 cups grilled baby squash & zucchini

1/2 cup endive & radicchio salad with champagne vinaigrette

2 Livin Spoonful Coconut Curry Crackers:

still hungry at 11pm, so, mini-binge:

around 1 T coconut butter

around 1 tsp ghee with salt

half a larabar

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Food 5.16.12

coffee with cashew/almond cream

3oz chicken thighs

2 strip uncured bacon

Pork adobo with lots of salsa, onions, pico de gallo, guacamole

1/2 cup Butternut squash

1 cup blueberries & strawberries

a few pumpkin seeds

coffee with cashew/almond cream

no workout today; it's not on the schedule for wednesdays

Snack at a meeting: 1 living spoonful coconut curry cracker

Bombay curry kale chips


4oz steak (leftovers)

rest of the bag of bombay curry

2 handfuls toasted coconut flakes with cinnamon & sea salt (oh my god so good)

4 eggs fried in a little bit of bacon fat

Wow, I guess I was short on vegetables today.

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I blogged about volunteering at the CrossFit Games NorCal Regionals. That post doesn't talk about my food choices though -- so here's the deal! I stuck to the whole30. I did not deliberately eat anything that was not Whole30 compliant... despite tons of free food provided by the vendors and sponsors! I brought my own nut-milk creamer. I ordered giant salads without cheese from the one food truck that showed up. I brought paleokits and ate them for snacks. I skipped the free volunteer lunch, which was advertised as paleo, but actually was a wheat tortilla wrap with hummus! I did take advantage of free perfectly ripe berries all day... and in the 80-degree heat, all I had to drink was water.

Two possible slips:

  1. My salad-without-cheese had a drop of bleu cheese in it
  2. The korean slaw might have had some non-compliant oil

Food trucks are a really hard environment to be certain about ingredients. Yelling through a small window with a big line behind you -- not conducive to conversation. Moral: don't eat at food trucks during my whole30!

My energy was solid all day - no food crashes.


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I recently went out for a team lunch at work to a no frills Caribbean place. When I got to order I'd had a long list of instructions in my head so I started with "I'll have the greek salad..." and the guy immediately cuts me off and screams "GREEK SALAD! NEXT!". So I'm like "no no wait...I want chicken and..." and he says "RECALL GREEK SALAD ADD CHICKEN. NEXT!". He hated me for stopping him like five times and he finally looked at me like I was an idiot and says "so you want a greek salad with no feta, chicken, no dressing, and some lemons?" I should have just said F YOU and walked out. I hate that sh**

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No food logs this week, but also, brilliant, beautiful compliance. I'm so down. This is working. My lunch salads are getting HUGE with giant quantities of vegetables: arugula, broccoli, sugar snap peas, cherry tomatoes, shredded carrots & zucchini, plus 4-6 oz grass-fed steak, half an avocado, and balsamic vinaigrette.

I've been living it up with a coconut curry from Osha called "Osha Sea" which has crab and salmon and eggplant, with added duck for $3... then I steam broccoli or cauliflower and add it to the curry sauce. One order makes two HUGE dinners. So filling.

I'm also eating rather more paleokits than I entirely approve of, probably 3 this week. Um, maybe 4. or 5.... It's just the easiest way to get clean grass-fed protein on the go. Except that I'm eating the coconut paleokits, which are not grass-fed.

I've been enjoying adding a little fruit in. 2 or 3 or 4 servings of fruit a day; mostly berries, plus occasional grapefruit or an apple.

The itchy parts of my hands continue to heal; not itchy anymore, and the persistent swelling & redness is almost gone. This is the most concrete indicator to me that I had an inflammation problem caused by my diet.

The only wrinkle is that... at the CrossFit NorCal Regional, I met a rep from Beyond Organics, who have some pretty amazing-sounding dairy products. 100% grass fed cattle, heritage breed; they sell cultured raw dairy products. This sounds like the perfect stuff for my first post-whole30 potential-allergen-challenge, because it's the kind of dairy that is least likely to be allergic. (Except for grass-fed ghee, which is even cleaner.) So I ordered a whole bunch of stuff... but it got here faster than I expected! My whole30 isn't over until May 30 (wednesday) and I got the stuff yesterday. I left it all in the fridge at work, so that will make it easier not to eat & drink it.

I really hope I learn that I can tolerate dairy. I love dairy so much.

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Trying to decide when to officially end my whole 30. I thought I had started around the 27th, but looking back in my log, I committed to calling it a Whole30 and following Whole30 rules on Monday, April 30th. Which means I'm in this until I wake up on the morning of May 30th - Wednesday. I can do that; another two full days, easy.

Here's what I think will be my first dairy challenge food: Beyond Organic Amasai: fermented raw milk from 100% pastured cows, heritage breed. Then I'll try raw cream from grass-fed cows. Oohh... but first I'm sticking to my Whole30 rules for 2 more days.

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Today was Day 31. I had my normal coffee with almond/cashew milk in the morning, then went to a conference, where I let myself have coffee with conventional half & half -- 3 cups of it. Then at lunch I went to an Indian buffet across the street. I had chicken tikka masala and creamed spinach; pretty sure there was a lot of cream and butter in that. Then... around an hour later I got the familiar tired feeling, and my hands got itchy. So the lesson there was: half & half in my coffee makes me crash.

I did get some raw cream today, but I'm not going to try it until tomorrow. Maybe not even for my first cup of coffee; I don't want to risk starting the morning crashing. I enjoy my coffee with nut-creme. Maybe I don't need to go back to cream in my coffee every day.

The other thing is... I got on the scale and took my measurements. No change in waist or hip measurement, and the scale is at the bottom end of where things usually are for me. That is, I'd been at 177-180 for March and April, then stopped weighing myself for May, and today I was 176.6.

I'm confused why I didn't lose weight. My next step is doing a 30 day paleo challenge with my gym, which includes a Wellness FX blood panel... I know I have thyroid disease, so I'm curious what the thyroid panel will reveal.

I don't want the answer to be "eat fewer nuts."

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Benji - were you pretty paleo already when you started? Were there any other benefits? Hands less itchy? Sleeping better? Etc?

Also I seem to remember you saying you are training quit a bit. What's your workout schedule? Could you be overdoing it?

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I was very paleo before I started, with the exception of dairy and occasional sugar in the form of honey, maple syrup, evaporated cane juice, or rarely high-fructose corn syrup in conventional chocolate, and rarely agave. I didn't do any artificial sweeteners, but I did eat tofu and soy sauce regularly, and small portions of rice maybe once a week. So yeah -- I already lost the first 25 lbs by going paleo and low-carb.

Going on the Whole30, besides dropping dairy and sweeteners, I added in 1 or 2 servings of fruit a day, and 1 or 2 servings of starchy vegetables/tubers.

I'm doing CrossFit 4 or 5 times a week. I'm getting stronger every time -- and in truth some of the weight-non-loss is probably muscle I gained. That would explain why I look so great. Have I mentioned I look great? Even people who see me frequently and pay attention -- like my coaches -- are commenting on how slim I look. I'm also rowing intervals after CrossFit, but not on days where we row a lot, and lately I've been rowing instead of running or jumping rope, so I only end up rowing intervals around once a week. Extra work besides that is mostly just mobility work; nothing demanding.

I don't regret doing the Whole30 at all. The big benefit of the Whole30 for me is my changed relationship with food. I realized that it's possible to drink coffee without dairy products. It's possible to live for a day or a week or even a month without chocolate. I literally didn't know it was possible for me to say no to chocolate and sweets for an entire day. I've pushed myself to learn to cook a bunch more things, and I discovered some new favorites. I've learned how fantastic it feels to eat a giant salad for lunch, with a hefty dose of grass-fed steak and avocado. Previously for lunch I'd just eat a big portion of whatever protein was being served at work, and skip vegetables lots of times.

TMI: My *poo* has changed; from being hard, small, and sinking, now it's softer and floating.

My sleep was pretty awesome before: I got, and still get, 8 or 9 hours a night. The main problem with my sleep is that I would get up 3 or 4 times a night to pee. Now that's down to 1 or 2, but I still haven't had a night where I sleep through till morning without needing to get up.

My hands are generally less itchy, but that still comes and goes. I'm wondering now if tomatoes are part of the problem, based on something Johnny M said; tomatoes might correspond to itchiness for me.

Maybe I need to hire an expert to pay attention to my special circumstances and get individualized coaching. With the thyroid medication, an antidepressant, and testosterone, things are a bit complicated.


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Hey Benji,

Your medical history can definitely complicate things. There are a lot of moving pieces, as well as confounding factors. Melissa and Dallas do personal consulting, if you're looking to hire an expert? http://whole9life.com/personal-consulting/

Congrats on your thirty days! Also remember that although it's often an added benefit, weight loss isn't the GOAL of the Whole30. Judging from your food realizations, I'd say it was a success! You just might need a couple more tweaks to resolve everything that you've got going on.

Good luck on riding your own bike!

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I would consider your entire Whole30 experience to be nothing short of a smashing success. SMASHING. You clearly gained tons of awareness about what kind of ingredients they "slip" into foods you purchase in a restaurant or off a food truck. You figured out how some aspects of dairy affect you, which means you can now make educated decisions about how to incorporate them into your everyday diet (or not). You look fantastic - you said so yourself - which tells me that you've gained muscle AND lost body fat - bravo! Isn't that the goal of any dietary change? And it sounds like you are really doing well supporting your activity levels with your nutritional plan, with the addition of some more protein, fruit and starchy tubers.

I can't think of a single thing I would want to critique here. Remember, the Whole30 is just one step in a life-long process! It's not the Perfect30, either. What you've done, what you've learned, and the results you have achieved are commendable. You should be proud of yourself first and foremost - but if you'd like to have a little help with moving forward, especially in light of some of your special considerations, a consultation might prove helpful.



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