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Whole45, 1 & 2/45

Kristina Wright

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After this particular holiday season, I feel like a total slug, and I know that I need to crack down on the eats. So here we go, Whole45!

Disclaimer: I'm a poor college student and I live with my mom, who supports my efforts but does not do a Whole30 herself. Typically, I either cook for myself or for us both, so W30 meals are usually a non-issue. But when she cooks and it is something that is just barely non-W30 (like containing a few white potatoes or a small amount of corn), we don't really have the flexibility for me to cook a totally separate meal just to get away from it, so I eat it. I know this would destroy a W30 for someone trying to relieve severe gastro issues, but because this only happens in maybe 3 or 4 meals out of the entire 120+ meals and snacks in a month, I don't raise a stink about it.


I slept until about 11, so I skipped breakfast and went straight for lunch. I did, however, have my black coffee with lunch. I started drinking coffee black on my last super-low-fat diet, because skim milk is gross and I figured, why bother? I actually enjoy it now!

Lunch was a massive salad: spring mix, a diced tomato, chopped green peppers, and a can of tuna, topped with sea salt, black pepper, a splash of lemon juice, and a generous drizzle of olive oil. My absolute FAVORITE meal is a salad just like this with some kind of protein, olive oil, and S&P. I could eat this every day, twice a day (and I have, several times!)

I did feel the need to snack, but these didn't follow the snack template. I had a small handful of almonds early after lunch, and a sliced avocado with lime juice and S&P. Yep, the whole avocado!

Dinner was scrambled eggs and spinach! I put cheese on Mom's eggs separately and enjoyed some chopped spinach on the side. S&P was the seasoning of choice again (you seriously cannot lose with S&P).

I was up a bit late and got hungry yet again, and my cup of hot tea didn't shake it, so I made a cup of tomato soup.


I breakfasted on two eggs scrambled with salsa and half an avocado, which I enjoyed with my black coffee.

For lunch we met my fiance's grandparents at Cracker Barrel, which seems like a crazy bread-fest until you look at their salad menu. I snagged a grilled chicken salad, had them hold the cheese and croutons, and asked for olive oil, which they presented in a pretty little pour-thing (I have no idea what to call it, it was cute). I sprinkled my usual S&P and got to have my absolute favorite salad EVER at a restaurant notorious for unhealthy, country-style breakfasts (although many of us have realized that a bacon and egg breakfast is actually NOT one of the worst things you can do to yourself...).

My afternoon hunger pang hit just before I took to my keyboard, and I assuaged it with the remaining tomato soup. However, I added salsa, a pinch of cumin, and the other half of my avocado and got some tex-mex flavor into my life.

The snack attacks for me are typical of a first week on a Whole30. I have not been playing by the template, however, because I have not stocked my go-to snack proteins up yet. My bad!

Since we haven't defrosted any meats yet, dinner will most likely be some form of eggs and veggies.

Until tomorrow!

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Days 2, 3, 4, and 5/45

The sugar cravings are REAAAAALLY BAD right now. I've been catching myself prowling the kitchen for chocolate even though I know if I found any (I made darn sure it was gone on Dec. 31) I couldn't eat it. I have successfully circumnavigated the sugar dragon by not having a whole lot of fruit, either. I'm eating a banana every day, just not as dessert. I definitely played the "less-bad" dessert card on my last W30 and I don't want to do that again.

I'm really wrestling with the knowledge that much of my prowling for food is due to boredom. I'm a boredom/comfort eater, so part of my game-plan for this particular W45 is to concentrate especially hard on not eating until I am actually hungry, instead of eating on a schedule or at the first pang of what I call "confused stomach alarms." My stomach alerts me to eat when I'm not hungry, and then after one bite of something I realize I'm not actually hungry. I have to learn to let it simmer a bit to determine if it's hunger or "I'm not doing anything, feed me."

My fiance is totally stymied and a little grossed out by the concept of boredom eating. He can't fathom how someone could possibly eat when they're not hungry, and I honestly don't blame him for being a little judgmental. I guess for someone with normal hunger/satiety signals, who didn't spend his childhood squashing those signals as I did, it's a completely foreign notion. I honestly can't explain this urge to put things in my mouth and chew them that's totally dissociated from being hungry. Sure, I could probably learn enough about the hormonal dysregulation and such that's involved enough to break it down to a non-biology oriented person (which I'll have to do someday anyway, if I have any hopes of becoming a medical doctor worth my salt), but as far as explaining why it happens to me, and why an otherwise intelligent--albeit absent-minded--individual like me can't seem to rationalize my way out of it? That I can't do.

So far, the ONLY way I've been able to stop boredom eating is to embark on a W30. Somehow, the rigidity of the commitment and the knowledge that people who are older, less flexible, sicker, and with greater demands on their time have done it keeps me to the program when just telling myself, "Well, I'll eat like this 90% of the time and only break when it's really worth it." So far I can't "nutritionally off-road" worth a damn. Eventually it all breaks down.

That said, I had a couple "EAT ALL THE THINGS" attacks prior to yesterdays cooking spree that I sated with chopped nuts and dried fruit. Not the best thing for it, but I did it.

So, to food:

For dinner on Day 2 I ate some leftover pot roast that mom defrosted. It's another not-quite legal food, but see my previous "poor college student=if mom cooks, that's dinner" disclaimer. I scraped off the offending sauce as well as I could and ate some chopped spinach with it. I had a bad case of "comfort food scrounging" and tried to bludgeon it with a hot cup of plain Earl Grey. I have no idea what's so comforting about the smell of that tea, but I love it (Lady Grey is delicious too, slightly more citrusy... yum!). Drinking it black is once again a non-issue, because after my first W30 I became so repulsed by the idea of making a perfectly healthy black tea and dosing it with sugar that I quit sugaring all my teas (except chai, which is more like liquid dessert anyway and has a special category it shares with chocolate-flavored coffees).

The tea helped, but not much. I eventually gave up and went to bed.

Day 3/45

Breakfast was a pretty nomtastic combination of poached eggs, avocado, and diced tomatoes. Black coffee, always.

I snacked on some trail mix (scrounging), then had tuna salad made with homemade olive oil mayonnaise (http://www.theclothe...-mayo-patience/) and some zucchini I sliced into sticks. For dinner I was ravenously hungry but had nothing defrosted, so when I returned from my Thursday Night Grocery Hunt I grabbed The Joy of Cooking, found a recipe for poached chicken that proudly proclaimed an 8-12 minute cook time, compiled it, and put it on the stove.

It took 30 minutes to cook through. Rage! (I should mention this was--and still might be--my KILL ALL THE THINGS stage). It FINALLY finished cooking, achieved a nice yellow color (I put turmeric in there, no idea why) and was chopped up to be put on a spinach salad with EVOO and some lemon juice. The broth smelled AMAZING but the flavor was too turmeric-y to feed to my fiance and mother, so it was drained and saved for later.

Day 4/45

I drank some lightly salted turmeric chicken broth for breakfast and followed it with a banana and some nuts. Coffee fell in there somewhere (it always does!). For lunch I made curried chicken salad with more homemade mayo, a little lime juice, golden raisins, and lots of paprika and black pepper. Meanwhile, I turned the broth and leftover chicken into soup, to which I added lemon juice (I thought it would complement the turmeric) and diced tomatoes. It's not thrilling, just edible, so I don't recommend following my example here. Leave your chicken broth as chicken broth. Seriously. I had some soup, and taste-tested a few Italian-seasoned turkey meatballs I made by hand. They're not bad at all, but they're pretty well-done and could use some time simmering in sauce before they're REALLY good. I'm thinking that will be dinner tonight. The meatballs are infinitely freezable, so they'll last a while.

I'll catch up todays food tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to do more research for my undergrad thesis before classes start again Monday. Eek!

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Your awareness of your comfort eating will help a lot. Today I successfully used a 5 minute pre-planned distraction (cleaning out a drawer in my bathroom) to get past a sugar craving. I believe this can be done and you sound prepared.

Thanks for the mayo ink - that is on my list of things-to-do.

Back to school for me on Monday also, but as a teacher and YIKES from my side of the fence too!

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Well done, Kristina! I hear a lot of mindfulness here. I'm only 5 days into my first challenge, so I'm no expert. But I really think that meeting those moments of Kill All the Things/Eat All the Chocolate with patience and kindness toward self is where a lot of powerful growth comes from... that's where the action is.

I also hear a lot of self-awareness here, and just want to encourage that. Sounds like you're doing great, and I hope you'll keep it up.

I also have a huge tendency to eat when I'm bored or restless or uncomfortable with something. This tendency has been active for a couple of decades now, so it's pretty hard-wired. As I grow older, and particularly this month, I am trying to respond to those moments of Kill All the Things/Eat all the Chocolate with intense curiosity: what is it that I really want? What is happening with me on a mental or spiritual or emotional level that is making me want to check out and face-plant into a bucket of peanut M&Ms?

The curiosity doesn't always dissolve the cravings, but it does change the dynamic a little. And that helps.

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