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Pickled Penny


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So, here it goes:

I am completely new to all of this. I wouldn't say I believe in any particular type of eating pattern or lifestyle besides common sense, I do think it gets you very far... Skeptical as I am or have been of Paleo in general, I however don't think that is a good enough reason NOT to try a Whole 30. Why not go completely cold turkey on basically a bunch of things that my common sense (not a book, not the latest medical headline in the tabloids) has been telling me I need to cut down on or try and eliminate from the food I eat? I see this as a trial in reevaluating and rebuilding my relationship to food, which used to be good but has slowly deteriorated over the past year or so (coincidentally when my boyfriend moved in, who lives on carbs and sugar).

I need to start taking better care of my body. I'm constantly tired and have experienced a mild depression a while back that I do not want to return to. Although that might just be the lack of sun in Sweden this time of year, I have a feeling these things absolutely go hand in hand with general health, nutrition and sense of comfort or confidence in oneself. After having succeeded in excluding sugar completely before (took a whole lot of effort, but my stubbornness got me through, that time), I quickly returned to my cookie monster ways with a sense of accomplishment I think only a smoker who quits smoking just to prove they can quit at any time - simply to pick it back up again - can feel. I need to not only quit stuffing myself with bad foods and toxins for quitting's sake; I need to do it because I can, because I want to and because I believe we as thinking, critical human beings have a responsibility to ourselves, others and our planet to do so. More on the last bit later...

Anyways, Day 1:

Breakfast: A handfull of deer meat (shot by my father earlier this fall and prepared for Christmas a week ago, brought home as left-overs) cut up and heated/sautéed in clarified butter with one green onion stem + a carrot on the side.

Really have to get used to this food-food as breakfast thing...

Lunch: Was planning on mashing avocado over some eggs, but the avocados weren't really ready yet, so instead made us a salad. Green onion, 2 carrots, a few raw brussel sprouts and some sugar snap peas chopped up and tossed with a dressing of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper and a tsp of tahini. Served with egg and the ripest of the avocados I had, sliced up.

Snack after an intense walk (we live on a hill by a huge city park): One kiwi and 4 almonds.

Dinner: Skillet roasted lamb chops with brussels sprouts, cooked in coconut oil. Delicious! (Almost exactly according to Tom Denham's recipe).

At the same time as dinner, I tried making mayo. It went superbly consistency wise - it came out fluffy and beautiful. BUT tasted so incredibly bad I had to immediately whisk another egg in there to soften the bizarre bitter taste. Ooops, I used my fancy schmancy organic extra virgin olive oil that tastes like olives straight off the tree. Not so good in mayo. Plus, thereby wasted two good egg yolks. Also, realized all my vinegars have potassium disulfite in them (except for the balsamic vinegar). Freaked out feeling like a complete whole 30 failure for a moment, until I went on here and saw that using EVOO is a common mistake when making homemade mayo, and that sulfites are tricky little nasties. So much for the new apple cider vinegar I bought just yesterday solely to be able to make the aforementioned mayo. I might lick my wounds and give it another try in a week or so, for now I have to throw the whole perfectly looking and disgustingly tasting thing out.

Post-dinner snack: Coconut flakes and a couple of almonds - barley a closed handfull in total.

My boyfriend is not following the whole 30 and is more of the mentality that "just because I eat something doesn't mean that you have to" (sigh, ever heard of solidarity and that is is freaking hard to discipline oneself when the person next to you, that you happen to love making and sharing dinner with, is eating chips!?). I almost licked the spoon with remainders of hummus as I was clearing, sort of by habit, but stopped myself and felt extremely proud. Ha! You eat your salt and pepper chips. You eat your delicious hummus. I have these coconut flakes that I think are the best thing ever. Ha. Hm. Wonder how I'll feel a week from now... Might have to deport him to another room (a.k.a the bedroom as we live in a two-room apartment) if he's gonna be eating chips in front of me like that!. For now: I rule.

Phew, long post, but think I got it all in. Until tomorrow.

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Ah... good choices for day 1! I'm just getting started with W30. I too live with one who does not comply and eats ice cream in bed most nights. He can eat anything and not feel GI distress or gain an ounce - doesn't mean it is good for him. I will just try to be a good example and hope to feel great in the long term with this new way of eating.

Good luck to you!

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Not to worry. I too used EVOO on my first attempt, but turned that into a nice salad dressing, so not really a fail. I tried ACV on one attempt, but really like my mayo with lemon juice. Also, since we rarely use plain mayo on anything, after the mayo is emulsified, I throw in a tablespoon of dried dill and a teaspoon of mustard. I also found I do not need to drizzle as slowly if the lemon is room temperature and the eggs have been sitting out for at least 30 minutes.

Good luck Penny.


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Day 2:

Woke up much later than I would've wanted. Had to go into university today (I'm employed as a PhD student, so I have flexible hours). Quickly realized that this will get so much harder when I'm back in everyday routine, starting next week when the faculty and students are back and the cafeteria reopens. I have formed a habit of running down there to get my sugar fix in the afternoon and will have to watch myself not to slip up!

Also, ouch, headache. Note to self: drink a lot more water. A glass at breakfast and one at lunch was not enough to get me through.

Breakfast: Sweet potato hash. YUM!

Did not feel like snacking at all between breakfast and lunch, but perhaps that was due to me eating my breakfast at 9. Oops.

Lunch: Leftover lamb and brussel sprouts.

I held out all afternoon, resisting my go-to three o'clock fruit break from the fruit baskets in the teacher's lounge. Went food shopping (again!) to find some new mild olive oil (score!) and salmon for tomorrow's dinner. Got super hungry on the bus up the hill and had to eat half a kiwi while cooking dinner to prevent myself from just sitting down with the raw eggplant.

Dinner: Ratatouille

Had a big craving for ice cream just as I finished eating dinner. Ugh. Ate the remaining half of the kiwi and then took exactly one pecan and about a third of a handfull of coconut flakes to get me to forget about it slightly. Not as a replacement for ice cream, but I realized what I was after was actually a change of tastes in my mouth. Even though the ratatouille was amazing, and filling, I needed something with a strong flavor to break off the tomato/veggie sauce. An olive would've done it too, but I think I'll just settle for the flakes and pecan tonight.

Now, about an hour after dinner, I feel like I have a heartburn coming on, which is weird cause I don't usually get them. Will try to drink a ton of water before going to bed (with the risk of having to go pee in the middle of the night), as I do not like this feeling at all. Is this a common thing, to get heartburns during your whole 30? Seems like it would not be, but just want to make sure.

Day 2. Done and done.

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Day 3:

Another late start. Not sure if it's the weather (gray and miserable, raining when I first woke up), but I snoozed for quite some time. I never snooze. I always get up when the alarm rings, jump out of bed. I don't really think these past mornings' sluggishness is entirely related to whole 30 though, as I'm sort of getting out of a Christmas/New Year's late rising period, but still - not great when I have work to do! Either way, although it was hard to get out of bed, I felt kind of great when I did. Not at all bloated like yesterday.

Breakfast: Hash of one sweet potato plus one beet thrown in the mix. Turned out a great pink/purple color when mixed together!

Didn't quite finish the whole plate, was really full. I prepared the grated goods last night, just to try it out for when I will actually have to get up and out of the house on time and don't want to use my KitchenAid at 7 in the morning. It was still as fresh, so hopefully that'll be a plan for the coming weeks.

Tried to time out my meals according to this late wake up/late breakfast, as yesterday I was barely hungry when time for lunch came around. Today however, I was slightly lightheaded when I eventually stood up to go make lunch (working from home today). Did not feel it at all before that - had been drinking a lot of water all morning to avoid a headache like yesterday (which worked!). Was weird that my stomach wasn't screaming for food, which it usually does right before noon, but rather that it was my head/rest of body telling me I needed to eat. Good thing, I had a really quick lunch planned and could get right to eating it all up!

Lunch: Boiled eggs with mashed avocado. So yummy! I put in half of a chopped up tomato and had the remaining few forkfulls of the left-over hash + half a dozen almonds.

Dinner: Roasted salmon with stir-fried cabbage and peppers. So good! Thank you Tom for all these great recipes!

Couldn't eat all of the serving as according to the recipe though (I must have gotten a huge head of cabbage, cause I only used half and it was still way too much for two servings, more like 4) which is ok as I now have lunch for next week.

Had my "typical" craving for ice cream right after dinner, but didn't snack on anything. Brushed my teeth, always a good trick to get myself to not anything more as I hate having to brush them all over anyways.

Yes, three days down. Let the weekend "kill all things" begin, I'm ready!

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I also got headaches for the first couple of days, today day 4 for me was the first time I didn't. The tiredness also hit me pretty hard, friday mornings I usually can't wait to get going and this morning I didn't want to get out of bed. I love the recipe links, totally trying a few of those out. I am starting to get sick of my breakfasts so this is great. Thanks!

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Day 4 (& 5):

Weekend = sleeping in and thereby almost missing a whole meal...

Met up with a friend yesterday and had my "backup plan" ready in case she would suggest going to a coffee shop - I brought a bag of nuts in my coat pocket in case of emergency as well as thought out in my head that I would get tea and a fruit, or a typically Swedish open faced shrimp & egg sandwich (where I'd just leave the bread and eat up all the goodies on top). Turned out we walked around town for a bit and then went home to a friend's house. I offered to cook dinner for the two of them, seeing as I have these restrictions now. Worked great, they enjoyed it and I got to be compliant while still with friends. Super expensive meal though, and not 100% filling between the three of us, but... The friend who had invited us had made a chocolate cake (before learning I'd be "taking care of" dessert) that I "allowed" the two of them to have, right in front of me, while I ate some berries with fresh mint leaves. I know you're not allowed to "Paleofy" desserts during your whole 30, but I wanted to have something directly post-dinner for us all to enjoy together - so plain, delicious berries seemed ok to me - they just ate theirs with chocolate cake underneath(!)

I'm so proud of myself for not caving in, not even taking a second spoon of berries! Yay, go me. My BF was out with friends having dinner and drinks and invited me to come join later in the evening, but I felt like it was best to just stay clear of that bar environment all together.

Ah, now Sunday and a nice brunch - only problem is I ran out of eggs! Had to run down to the corner store, although not sure if they were free range. The little man who owns the place sells them from big trays, so maybe he gets them locally? (let's go with that...)


Brunch: Baked Eggs with Tomato, Spinach, and Onion + a kiwi and one bite of a banana.

Dinner: Scallops fried in olive oil with garlic and fresh chopped up salvia and lemon balm leaves (think that's the translation). + a closed handfull of mixed berries mixed with mint leaves.

Fresh herbs were on sale, so I went all out, made a nice touch! I made sure not to overdo it, even "put back" a spoonfull when I realized I was closing in on an open handfull. So delicious!

On the tram home at around midnight: 5 nuts (4 pecans and 1 almond) from my emergency pocket stash.


"Breakfast": A kiwi while writing this post and planning the day.

Brunch: Beets, celery root & onion hash with poached eggs.

I absolutely LOVE celery root (or celeriac as it's sometimes called) - best discovery this last fall. So yummy to just slice up in my KitchenAid to make super thin chips to fry in oil, or roast in the oven with butter (clarified of course).

Dinner: Roasted butternut squash coconut curry soup (although I modified it slightly and added some protein as well)

Might allow myself a banana gently sautéed in coconut oil with cinnamon thrown in sometime during the day. Will try to stay away from nuts. Managed to stay away from both nuts and banana. However had a small closed handfull of coconut flakes before dinner.

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Day 6:

Back to work for real. Ugh, it was sure hard to drag myself out of bed this morning. Felt like my mind was completely blank. A shower helped only slightly. Realized I did not have anything planned for breakfast and almost panicked a bit, but then realized that hey, I can have dinner for breakfast now!

Breakfast: About a cup of left-over soup from last night with half an avocado.

I brought my "emergency bag" of nuts and the other half od the avocado with me to work, just in case I'd get super hungry or not manage to keep away from the fruit baskets. DId not have to break into it even once!

Lunch: Left-over salmon and cabbage from Friday night.

Got my usual afternoon craving for cookies and held off for about another hour or so, but as I knew it would be a while until dinner, I allowed myself a pear. Went grocery shopping with a slightly growling stomach, so hard with all those bags of chips and candy right by the exit - but I made it!

Dinner: Herb lamb meatballs with zucchini noodles, tomato sauce and sugar snap peas.

No recipe, just felt tired of recipes tonight, and wanted to make something that "came to me" at the store. Lamb grounds did the trick! Put in a bunch of herbs and garlic and rolled the whole package of meat up, so now I have meatballs in the freezer waiting to be cooked, packed in palm-sized portions!

Still haven't really had my "Kill all things"-moment, so I'm wondering if I'm perhaps doing something wrong? Sounds weird, but keeping up with the "symptoms" at least lets me know I'm on track... Instead, I've been having occasional irregular stomach cramps. Woke up with it last night for a bit, then came back for a few minutes today. Read somewhere on here about someone else who had experienced that, but not sure it's a "good" or bad sign. Had the same last summer when I thought I was lactose sensitive. Haven't done anything differently these past two days that I didn't do the days before, so not sure what it could be.

Ah, 20% done, only 4/5 of the 30 left. Yay!

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Day 7:

Pretty straight-forward, but tonight I had to resist a whole lot of goodies when I met up with friends... Managed it, picked out something fully compliant to eat. Although now, once home, I am having a small nut snack to take the edge off and to get some more fat, which my dinner salad didn't really provide a lot of.

Breakfast: Lamb meatballs, cabbage and mayo

Lunch: Left-over curry soup with half an avocado

NO snacking between meals at all - didn't need to!

Dinner: Salad with salmon and shrimp

Actually, just realized, the salmon was smoked, so it probably had some additives perhaps??? Iiiiiieeeee, nooooo! Have I broke my whole 30 now? I was so happy to find something that had both protein and was compliant! :/ Guess that teaches me to dare to eat anything outside of the house...

Evening snack: Less than a handfull of pistachios

Really hope this salmon didn't mess things up :(

Have been so proud for making it 7 days and resisting multiple temptations that have come up. Got into a "fight" about whole 30 over dinner, and felt like all the people I usually detest - defending it with all kind of different weird arguments. In the end, I'm doing this for me, it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks or if they think I'm ridiculous for doing a "diet" while not visibly overweight or the like (that I could be doing it for my health was not accepted, sigh). Next time I'm just going with that I'm simply not in the mood for bread, or that I'm testing to see if I'm gluten intolerant, because I hate having to explain myself every 10 min. Makes you not want to go out at all during these 30 days...

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Good job on your first 7 days. You should be proud> Just my opinion but I wouldn't consider the salmon thing a "mess up", I like to see these things as "learing as I go" no GUILT. Keep up the good work. Thanks for posting those food links!

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Day 8:

Nothing out of the ordinary. Had such cravings for basically everything when leaving work though... indian food, naan bread, chocolate, ice cream.... mmm... I want! I had hoped I would be seeing an end to the cravings soon, but nope. One thing I am feeling however is soreness, in my entire body! Not a nice feeling, and my feet kept falling asleep while at work - not sure what that's all about. Not usually that bad, although I used to have poor circulation and low blood-pressure (but not anymore). Also, finally at a stage where I just don't feel that hungry anymore. Nice, I can eat because I want to, and make considered choices now, not feel starved and just eat whatever.

Breakfast: A kiwi + a cup of left-over curry soup (the last of it)

Lunch: Left-over ratatouille and an avocado.

Dinner: Sautéed portabello mushroom, green onion and orange peppers w/ poached eggs, some cabbage and two spoons of mayo. Just under a handfull of pistachios for some fat.

Didn't feel like making anything too time-consuming, and was not that hungry, so this was perfect.

No snacks whatsoever. Amazing. Didn't even want to go grab more pistachios. I use tiny little bowls to discipline myself/get a better understanding of how much is enough - they're great!

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Day 9:

Brakfast: two boiled eggs with mashed avodaco

Lunch: had lunch out - a salad with peppers, lettuce, tomatoes, egg, sprouts and pesto/olive oil dressing. 6 pecans. One banana.

I realize I just can't go out this entire month... Attempted to have lunch with a colleague. Not only did I lead us all around town to find a place, we then settled for a stupid salad place, but I felt ridiculous ordering a salad with basically nothing of all the good things at the choose-your-own bar. Accidentally got a few pieces of corn in there - think I ate one before realizing (cause all of a sudden it tasted so goood...). The pesto dressing supposedly was homemade with olive oil, but who knows... Just one little egg. Buu! Such a disappointment and I'm sure I ate tons of non-compliant things snuck in there!

"Pre-dinner snack": Three cranberries (sweetened with apple juice)

Dinner: Lamb meatballs and roasted beets, root celery, sweet potato and garlic with mayo. Yum

I realize I've gone away from recipes. On weekdays, I really just like making whatever I come up with or feel like.

Yup, not a great day with the whole lunch debacle, but overall not feeling that hungry and resisting snacking (except from the little cranberry "snack" I had while walking up the hill with some groceries from the eco-store!

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Day 10:

Breakfast: Egg and avocado

Lunch: Left-over roasted root vegetables, portabello mushrooms, green onion with mayo

Dinner: Salad (out again) with half an avocado

So, another salad, another "meal" out. Fortunately I had supplies with me ready in case I wouldn't be able to find anything... I had to go for the salad, although it came with delicious looking goat cheese that I gave away to my friends. Left was a pretty standard salad, quite a few walnuts (which I know is not the best) and sun-dried tomatoes. I'm pretty sure there were traces of honey from the honey drizzled goat cheese, and the sun-dried tomatoes probably came from a jar with some non-compliant oil or something stupid. Ugh, once again - it's just no use! I'm worried these past few days with salads out have messed everything up, although I realize that it would just be very tiny amounts of non-compliant stuff that would've entered my mouth, but still... At least now I definitely realize I cannot eat out during this period - there's just no way to know where things come from or how they are made.

10 days though (if I don't count these past few "incidents" with possible traces of non-compliant things -which I've decided not to, but perhaps that is the wrong decision?), I'm a third of the way to 30!

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Day 11: (feels so weird to write! more than a third)

Breakfast/lunch: Eggs, whipped together with some coconut milk and a bit of coconut flour, a dash of cinnamon and ginger, fried in coconut oil as "pancakes" with half an apple and a banana chopped up.

Not sure this was an allowed meal or not, as it sort of replicated pancakes, but just wanted to make eating eggs a bit more fun, and I like cooking too much for it to stay the same for too long - I wanted the challenge. Although it didn't come out all that tasty without any sugar (the consistency of the coconut flour is also not great), I added the fruit and it turned out ok. A bit more fruit than what I would've wanted, but the banana went really well with the coconut flavor. I do however realize that fruit is not so much an issue - I've been keeping it to a once a day maximum and I don't really crave more when I'm done eating it.

Dinner: Fish stew with all kinds of stuff thrown in there: Pollock lightly fried in clarified butter, then added some finely chopped red pepper, black olives, sun-dried tomatoes, capers and a container of crushed tomatoes, with parsely, thyme, garlic and some other dry spices.

Had serious cravings for cupcakes all evening, due to watching a TV-show where a girl took up a cupcake, licked one little bit of frosting and then proceeded with other events in the show. All I could think of was: "why is she leaving it there on the counter, look at that delicious cupcake, I could eat it!". Hahaha. Other than that, I feel ok. Still really sore in parts of my body and almost had a headache come on that I drenched in water. No super-energy yet, but I am thoroughly enjoying the fat adaptation, not feeling hungry is a great help in resisting whipping up my own cupcakes ;)

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Day 12:

Breakfast (sort of): One orange

I had this while deciding what to make for actual breakfast/brunch, and waiting for the bf to wake up.

Brunch: Sweet potato hash

Went out for the afternoon, and got so hungry while we were grocery shopping at a store quite far away that I had to munch on a cherry tomato on the tram home. Also, while making dinner (which took a while to cook) I had an olive and another cherry tomato.

Dinner: Chocolate chili - so delicious! (I did make a few minor alterations though, like adding a red and green pepper, which were just as good)

While cooking the chili, I also boiled a couple of eggs and roasted some sweet potatoes to have for the coming week. I'm all set, bring it on!

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Day 13:

Breakfast: HB egg and spinach

Lunch: Left-over chocolate chili + half a roasted sweet potato

Snack: The other half of the roasted sweet potato

I knew I wouldn't make it until dinner as I was working late, so had to go get the other half at around 4 pm... I probably could've done without it... Also, I had two olives while cooking dinner, not necessary but oh so good!

Dinner: Roasted brussel sprouts with cranberries and pecans - so delicious!

Was gonna do it "plain", but realized I had both pecans and cranberries at home and went for that suggestion, a great choice! Although I used just half a cup of cranberries and about a handfull of pecans + protein.

So excited to be closing in on the halfway mark! I feel like this last week I've not stayed exactly on plan, with a few stupid salads last week and then the "pancakes" Saturday, which I also realized says specifically as an example of a bad idea as it resembles the kinds of food I want to be cutting out. I do however feel like I haven't done anything too out of the program. If anyone has any thoughts on this, please share, as I want to stay committed and hope I haven't ruined anything by these minor transgressions!?

Feel really bloated again this evening - not sure it's the late dinner (7.45 is just way too late for me to eat!) or that I've had quite a lot of big portions of food today... I felt really "slim" the first week or so, I don't want to loose that feeling as my tummy has been the major addition to my figure the past year and used to be my one point of proudness prior to that (never had abs or anything, but just felt like it was a sign of good health or whatever that it was sort of flat).

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I am always amazed by how long it takes our bodies to "get over" a mistake we make. For me, 2 minutes of mouth pleasure can lead to 3 days of bloating or just not feeling right. The best thing to do is eat right, can't go back and change it...

You are on the right track the last couple of days! congrats.

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