W30Virgo Round 2 January 2019

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Day 12

I'm still not feeling great. I did accomplish my two goals from yesterday, so that's a small win. I'm developing what I think is eczema on one of my fingers - I think that I'm going to give up nuts for all of next week to see if I'm able to rein in some of my digestive issues (still diarrhea), and the hives. If that doesn't help, I think I'm going to do another Whole30 soon after this one to try and get to the bottom of it. I would like to be in food freedom for Valentine's day, and I have plans to go to a beer fest in Pittsburgh on 2/23, where I will drink and probably eat some non-compliant foods. I'm planning to host a brunch ahead of it, and have a mostly Whole30 menu planned, so at least I'll have a healthful base for the day.

Anyway, I didn't get a ton done last night. For lunch, I couldn't finish my leftovers (honestly, the leftovers are not great), and ate some olives alongside. I also had a snack of 3/4 banana with cashew butter and unsweetened coconut flakes as well. For dinner, I made oven-baked potato wedges, dijon mayo, Aidell's chicken & apple sausage, and leftover cauliflower soup. It was really good. After dinner, my boyfriend left to go play basketball, and I immediately wanted to snack. This is an issue for me - binge eating alone - and I did my best to resist. I started to eat an Epic bar - I had about 1/2 of the bar, and wrapped it up and put it in the fridge. This is really a triumph for me - I'm feeling much better about reining in my cravings than I did last round, which is really great. I'm just not as able to celebrate NSVs like this when I'm in my current mental/emotional state.

I slept well last night. I set my phone alarm for 5:50 AM, and I did wake up with it, but, I was having a really interesting dream and decided to go back to sleep. I didn't end up waking up until 6:45 AM. I'm not too worried about this, and we'll see how late I'm sleeping this weekend. I wasn't hungry this morning, but still ate my breakfast within an hour of waking - the last of the chicken hash.

M2: Zoodles with cream sauce and steak

M3: Not sure - I was planning to make salmon with caper lemon ghee and roasted carrots with leftover cole slaw. This does not sound appetizing to me right now, so we'll see what happens.

Tomorrow, I'll go to Whole Foods to do my shopping for the week. Tonight, we're going to the Andy Warhol museum with some friends - they're apparently doing free admission tonight. We'll have dinner before. There will be a bar there, but I don't feel worried about it at all. I'm honestly not in the mood to drink to begin with. Besides that, I don't have much in the way of plans for the weekend. I'd like to take some long walks, but not much beyond that. Since the to-do list seems to help, here's mine for today:

1. Clean kitchen

2. Clean living room

3. Take 20 minute walk

I'll also go over my meal plan for next week:

Saturday: Capon's Chrissy Burger from Cravings, Sweet Potato Wedges from Cravings Hungry for More, and Grilled Vegetable Salad from Cook's Illustrated

Sunday: Potato & Spinach Soup the Ethiopian Way from Whole30 Slow Cooker Recipes, with meat Brunch: Tex Mex Hash: https://whole30.com/2017/01/eggless-breakfasts-3/

Monday: Chez Panisse Braised Cabbage https://nomnompaleo.com/post/4626288075/chez-panisse-braised-red-cabbage with Mini-Meatloaf Muffins https://nomnompaleo.com/post/62028051471/quick-easy-paleo-comfort-foods-the-recipe-for, and the Sweet Potato Bisque I had made previously

Tuesday: Buffalo Chicken Chopped Salad: https://whole30.com/2013/07/a-whole30-fourth-of-july-2/

Wednesday: Southwest Cumin-Lime Dressing https://meljoulwan.com/2011/02/24/southwestern-cumin-lime-dressing/ with Salad, Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken (I don't really have a recipe for this, I just cook chicken breasts with salsa in the crockpot) and Avocado

Thursday: Probably leftovers - I ended up needing to throw away some of the turkey sloppy joe we had last week, so I'm going to start to incorporate leftover nights in my meal planning. I'm pretty comfortable with putting together dinners of leftovers, so I think this will work well for us.

Lunch: I'm going to make Lemon Tahini Tuna Salad if I run out of protein, and I'm also going to make a recipe for Creamy Creamless Russian Dressing from Cook's Illustrated, and have that in collard green wraps with turkey, sprouts, and sauerkraut.

Breakfast: Turkey Sausage Sweet Potato Egg Bake: https://therealfoodrds.com/sweet-potato-turkey-sausage-egg-bake/ I'm going to make this with bacon, because I don't have turkey sausage

I'm planning to do my Sunday meal prep again - I think I'm going to try to incorporate some Saturday veggie prep for it, after grocery shopping. So, here's how my plan looks:


Veggie Prep:

Slice 1/3-1/2 c red onion & 1/2-1/3 c red bell pepper - for Sweet Potato Turkey Sausage Egg Bake

Finely dice 3/4 c onion, 1/2 c mushrooms, 1/2 c green bell pepper - for Meatloaf Muffins

Mince 1 t rosemary & 2 cloves garlic in a separate container - for Meatloaf Muffins

Thinly slice one medium onion - for Braised Cabbage

Thinly slice 1 head red cabbage in a separate container - for Braised Cabbage

Chop 2 lg onions & 2 T garlic - for Sweet Potato Bisque

Dice 1/2 c red onion, 1/2 c red pepper, 1/2 c mushroom, & chop 2 c spinach - for Tex Mex Hash

Peel & smash 2 cloves garlic - for Buffalo Chicken Chopped Salad

Shred iceberg, 1 lg cucumber, 2 stalks celery, 1/2 med onion, 1/2 c fresh parsley in a separate container - for Buffalo Chicken Chopped Salad

Mine 1/2 clove garlic & a few jalapenos


Meal Prep Sunday:

Make slow cooker salsa chicken

Make egg bake

Make Russian dressing

Make braised cabbage

Make meatloaf muffins

Make sweet potato bisque

Cook chicken for Buffalo Chicken Salad

Make ranch dressing

Make southwestern cumin lime dressing


I'm really trying to get into a good, sustainable meal prep routine during this Whole30, that I can take with me into the future.


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Day 12 Update:

We've decided to go out to dinner to a restaurant near the Andy Warhol museum tonight, called Federal Galley. It's a food hall with four different concept choices within it. I took a look at the menus and it seems like there's a couple items that I could have, so I'm going to eat out. I think I'm going to end up with a salad topped with seared tuna, and maybe a brussels sprouts appetizer that looks compliant. I'm excited!

One thing that I just realized is that I recently had the lemon epic bar for the first time, and although none of the individual ingredients have been very problematic for me in the past, it may be that one of those is causing the eczema. So, I'm going to quit eating those bars until the eczema clears up.

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Day 15

Ugh, I just wrote most of my update and it got deleted. Very frustrating. I didn't get around to updating at all this weekend, so I'm going to try to do a summary of what happened/how I felt.

Friday night, I ended up having the salad and shared brussels sprouts with my boyfriend while we were at Federal Galley. I paid this time, and our total was $48.25, after tip. We had a nice time at dinner and the museum. I felt fine remaining sober, and was happy that I was sober while we in the museum, because our group was getting a little obnoxious. After the museum, everyone else was going to a bar for another drink, but my boyfriend and I just decided to go home. I was happy about that, and would like to try to keep up with going home rather earlier when out with friends in the future. Getting a full night's sleep and staying closer to my normal sleep schedule is more important to me than having another drink. I fell asleep around midnight.

Saturday morning, I woke up at 6:24 AM initially, but stayed in bed to try to get closer to 8 hours of sleep. I ended up getting up around 8:20 AM. I ate breakfast within an hour of waking.

Day 13 Meals

M1: Three fried eggs, 2 slices bacon, 1 c roasted broccoli

M2: 1 chicken apple sausage, 2 c leftover cole slaw, banana with cashew butter and toasted coconut flakes

M3: Burger, spicy thousand island, roasted sweet potato wedges, and grilled vegetable salad

I felt pretty good on Saturday, and thought that I was getting myself out of my rut from last week. I made homemade ketchup for the thousand island, using the recipe in the Whole30 cookbook, and it was...interesting. I think I'd rather just not have ketchup (not my favorite condiment anyway) than have that, but it's useful for cooking. We went grocery shopping at Whole Foods:

Organic Baby Spinach - $3.49

Organic Carrot Juice - $3.50

Prepared Horseradish - $1.99

Free Range Eggs - $3.39 - great price for eggs. My boyfriend also bought a dozen

Cleveland Kraut Classic Caraway Sauerkraut - $5.99 - I love this sauerkraut so much. I usually buy mine from a local Polish deli, but this is a nice treat.

Applegate Turkey Breast - $5.49

Alfalfa Sprouts - $2.49

Rosemary - $1.29

Italian Dill Pickles - $5.49

GTs Tantric Turmeric Kombucha - $3.29

New Primal Mustard BBQ Sauce - $6.99 - This was on sale, I'm excited to try it!

Raw Cashews (0.73 lb bulk) - $9.35

2 lb 90/10 Ground Beef - $9.87

Eggplant - $2.44

Olives - $11.32

Spindrift Grapefruit Sparkling Water 4-pack - $2.99

2 Vine-Ripened Tomatoes - $1.65

4 Roma Tomatoes - $2.07

2 bunches Collard Greens - $4.00

Bob's Red Mill Potato Starch - $4.19

1 Opal Apple - $0.70

Green Bell Pepper - $1.21

Dijon Mustard - $1.99

Hass Avocado - $1.49

1 Zucchini - $0.98

Walnuts - $6.99

5 cans tomato paste - $4.95

New Primal Spicy Sauce/Marinade - $4.10

Ground Mustard - $3.99

5 oz Cholula - $3.49

Total: $128.31

I didn't end up getting it together to do veggie prep on Saturday. We just hung out around the house for most of the day/night otherwise, and I went to bed around 11:15 PM. I woke up on Sunday around 7:30 AM. I felt pretty depressed again yesterday, which sucked, because I wasn't very effective with my meal prep. I only got about 1 1/2 hours done for the week, and ended up running out of some veggies that I needed, so I'll have to go to the grocery store again at some point this week. For breakfast on Sunday, I made Tex Mex Hash from the Real Food RDs: https://therealfoodrds.com/tex-mex-sweet-potato-hash/. This recipe is so good! Highly, highly recommend.

Day 14 Meals:

M1: Tex Mex Hash w Fried Eggs and single-serve Guacamole

M2: Burger with Grilled Vegetable Salad with Spicy Thousand Island

M3: Burger with Grilled Vegetable Salad and Sweet Potato Wedges with Spice Thousand Island

Snack: 1 1/2 bananas with cashew butter and toasted coconut flakes

So, yesterday's meals were not ideal. I don't like the amount of red meat I ate, and I wish there had been more variety. But, I remained compliant, and that's basically all I could ask for from myself. I made slow cooker salsa chicken (it's just chicken breast with 2 cups of salsa in the crockpot), creamy creamless Russian dressing from Cook's Illustrated for my lunches this week. I also made the Chez Panisse Braised Cabbage from Nom Nom Paleo as well. I ran out of sweet potatoes yesterday morning, so couldn't make the egg bake or the sweet potato bisque, and I also used all of my mushrooms, so couldn't make the meatloaf muffins. I'll go out to the store later this week if we run out of the stuff from the Buffalo Chicken and Southwestern salads I'm going to make. One of my friends came over yesterday afternoon, which was really nice. However, it was really draining, because of how I was feeling. After she left, I was struggling to get motivated to cook dinner, so we just decided to have leftovers. So, I'll probably have to do a couple more meal prep power hours for the next couple of nights, but I'm sure I'll get things together.

I ordered a light therapy lamp on Amazon, and used it for the first time this morning. It's difficult to see whether anything has changed, but I'm hopeful.

As for the eczema that I talked about last week, on Saturday I got Benadryl and Cortisone cream, and have been using both. I didn't take Benadryl this morning, because I think it will negatively affect my motivation/productivity at work. I think it may be clearing up, but it's still there. I have a manicure scheduled for next Monday, so I'm really hoping it will be cleared by then.

I went to bed around 10 PM last night, and woke up at 6:45, with my boyfriend's sunrise alarm. I'm feeling pretty neutral today - neither positive nor negative. My goals for today are below:

1. Clean kitchen

2. Shower

3. Take 20 minute walk


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Day 15 Update

One other thing that I've been thinking about is that, obviously, I've been using bananas as a treat substitute. So, no more bananas, at least for the rest of Whole30. I think I need to slow down on nuts for a little while, as I don't know if they totally agree with me. So, I'm going to stick with berries as my fruits during the rest of my Whole30. I have a few strawberries left right now, and won't buy more fruit until I have another craving for it.

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Day 15 Update

I just realized that I didn't put in my meals for today, the whole purpose of this log, lol. I am really not feeling it today. I did accomplish cleaning our kitchen though, so that's a win.

M1: Tex Mex Hash (about 1 1/2 c of the mixture) with a fried egg and single-serve guacamole

M2: Collard Green wrap with Applegate Turkey, sauerkraut, sprouts, and homemade russian dressing. Honestly, I hate the russian dressing and am not going to eat any more of it. I have some leftover mushroom/bacon mayo that I'm going to try in my wrap tomorrow instead, and just count the russian dressing as a learning experience. I ate the wrap with pickles and olives. I still feel kind of hungry, but nothing sounds good, so I'm just going to wait this feeling out. 

M3: Buffalo Chicken Chopped Salad - really looking forward to this - I think I'm going to roast some potato to go with it. I want to make sure that I'm getting enough starches, since I've been feeling so down lately.

Yeah, so, I'm not feeling great today. I know that eating food that's bad for me will not help, and I'm determined to continue to make good changes in my life, so I'm just white-knuckling through these feelings. I know that things will get better, likely soon.

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Day 16

I'm feeling better today, at least so far. I slept well, woke up around 6:40.

After lunch yesterday, I ate a piece of turkey with mayo and an Rx bar. The Buffalo Chicken Salad was sooo good though! Highly recommend.

Here are my plans for today:

M1: Tex Mex Hash with single-serve guacamole and fried egg

M2: "Chef" Salad with Turkey, Hard-boiled Egg, Black Olives and Ranch dressing

M3: Fish Taco Bowls - cauliflower rice, cole slaw, cod with taco seasoning, southwestern cumin-lime dressing, salsa, and avocado

Hopeful that today continues to go well. Here are my goals for the day:

1. Clean kitchen

2. Clean living room

3. Take 20 minute walk

4. Go into the office

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Day 17

Continuing to be in good spirits today. Also, the eczema that I was dealing with has almost totally cleared up, so that's great! The fish taco bowls we had last night were really good - we used a fish taco recipe in Chrissy Teigen's Cravings cookbook, and just subbed Mel Joulwan's Southwestern Cumin-Lime Dressing for the spicy mayo. I woke up without issues at 6:35 AM this morning. It was a bit too cold for a walk yesterday, so I did 15 minutes of beginner yoga. It felt really good! My boyfriend and I are both working from home today, due to the cold, so I'm not sure if I'll do yoga again, or if I'll just use the elliptical in our basement for 20 minutes. Either way, I'll be sure to get in some exercise. I didn't get to the office yesterday, but I'm going to make sure I go in on Friday - tomorrow is supposed to be very cold as well. I did get some extra cleaning done yesterday, so that feels good.

I'm getting tired of having to clean our kitchen every morning, so I'm going to work on incorporating some time for my boyfriend and I to clean the kitchen after dinner each day. I'm also starting to make my meal plan for next week. We're going to a friend's house for the superbowl, but I'm a little unclear on what to bring. I think I'm going to bring sausage-stuffed bacon-wrapped peppers, guacamole and raw veggies, and I think I'm going to try a recipe for Whole30 buffalo chicken dip and bring that as well if it turns out well.

Oh, I should add that yesterday I did end up having a couple of snacks - I ate a hardboiled egg with a little mayo and leftover grilled vegetable salad around 3:30 yesterday afternoon - this makes sense as I had lunch around 11:30, and we didn't have dinner until around 6:30. I also had a closed handful of raw walnuts after dinner.

Here are my meals for today:

M1: About 2 cups chez panisse braised cabbage from Nom Nom Paleo, 1 1/2 strips of bacon, diced, and 3 fried eggs - I'm planning to have this for my breakfasts the rest of the week, but I do feel a bit overly full from it, so I think I'm going to try 2 eggs tomorrow. Sadly, we're running out of eggs after getting 2 dozen last week - this weekend we'll need to get 3 dozen!

M2: Turkey Collard Wrap with Dijon Mayo, sprouts, and sauerkraut

M3: Southwestern Cumin-Lime Dressing with Salsa Chicken, Salad, and Avocado - will roast some beets to go with this so there's some more starchy veg.

To-do list:

1. Clean Kitchen

2. Clean living room

3.  Do yoga or elliptical

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Day 18

Doing well! I feel pretty good today - not sure if I'm getting Tiger Blood, or if my light therapy lamp is working, but either way I am happy to be on the other side of the negative mood I was in last week. I slept in a little this morning, until 7:10 AM. We live in an apartment on the ground floor, and a car accident happened on the street outside our bedroom at around 2 AM, so my boyfriend and I both woke up to the sound and lights. I didn't get to do any exercise yesterday, so I'm going to double up today. I already did my 15 minute beginner's yoga this morning - and made it through the whole flow! I've had to take breaks in it earlier this week, so I feel really good. I'm trying to build myself up to be able to comfortably get through a full class when free yoga is really common in Pittsburgh in the summer. Planning to do the elliptical later on today as well. I didn't get to clean after dinner last night either, so I'm going to focus on that today. I'm also going to get myself set up and ready to go into the office tomorrow. There's a local kombucha brewer near my office downtown, and I'm planning to pick some up for the Superbowl on Sunday. We're going to a friend's house, and I don't think anyone else is bringing compliant food (I haven't made a big deal of the fact that I'm doing a Whole30 this round, so not everyone is super aware) but, I am going to bring enough compliant food that I can make myself a meal. Here's what I'm planning to bring:

Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Peppers - https://healthylittlepeach.com/recipe/bacon-wrapped-sausage-stuffed-peppers/ I made these earlier in the month before I officially started my whole30. I'm going to do half mini bell peppers and half jalapenos

Onion Dip with Crudites - https://www.everylastbite.com/2016/01/05/tahini-onion-dip/ I'm planning to make this ahead of time, to make sure it's good. I've been really into caramelized onions lately.

Buffalo Chicken Dip - https://www.paleorunningmomma.com/buffalo-chicken-dip-paleo-whole30/ Going to make this ahead as well. We may end up bringing two versions, this and the traditional one with cheese, for my boyfriend.

I was going to do deviled eggs, because one of my friends absolutely loves them, but I honestly think this is more than enough. We'll see how I feel after cooking on Saturday/Sunday. And I'll bring kombucha and seltzer for fun drinks. I feel good about my plan, and not worried. I'm really glad I'm in better spirits, because if I was still feeling like I did last weekend/week, I think I would be too overwhelmed to go.

I'm still in the process of planning my meals for next week, but I think we'll walk down to the Strip District on Saturday to do our shopping. It's supposed to finally warm up on Saturday (high of 43!), so I definitely want to get out of the house.  Below are my meals today:

M1: 1 1/2 c braised cabbage, 2 strips bacon, 2 fried eggs - we only have one egg left! I defrosted some chicken sausage for breakfast tomorrow and Saturday, and we'll get eggs on Saturday.

M2: Fish taco fish, cauliflower rice, jalapenos, guac, hot sauce, olives (I might add the leftover grilled vegetable salad I have, too)

M3: Salsa chicken, cauliflower rice, jalapenos, guac, hot sauce, olives

I'll have to figure out some lunch for tomorrow too - I'm going to freeze whatever leftover salsa chicken we have tonight, and will use it to make soup or something later.

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Day 19

In good spirits again today. I slept terribly last night, waking up multiple times throughout the night, but still woke up at 6:30 with my alarm. It's too cold to go into the office today, so I'll focus on cleaning our house, doing yoga, and working out on the elliptical. I have my meal plan set up for the week coming up, and I'm working on my plan for meal prep. We have some kind of weird leftovers in our fridge, so I'm not totally sure what we'll do for dinner tonight.

Saturday - Meatloaf Muffins (https://nomnompaleo.com/post/62028051471/quick-easy-paleo-comfort-foods-the-recipe-for), Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Mashed Potatoes (http://www.thedefineddish.com/whole30-mashed-potatoes/)

Sunday - Superbowl Snacks listed above.

Monday - Slow Cooker Thai "Peanut" Chicken (subbing cashew butter for the peanut butter) (https://therealfoodrds.com/slow-cooker-thai-peanut-chicken/), Coconutty Butternut Squash (https://whole30.com/2011/11/thanksgiving-2011/), and sauteed Collard Greens (https://nomnompaleo.com/post/2955900356/serious-eats-recipe-for-quick-cooked-collards)

Tuesday - Salade Morocaine (https://whole30.com/2017/06/july-4-2017/) w Basic Meatballs (https://meljoulwan.com/2014/03/24/mmm-basic-meatballs/)

Wednesday - Salad with Go-To Vinaigrette (https://meljoulwan.com/2018/01/29/go-to-vinaigrette-paleo-whole30/) and Beefy Foil Packet Dinner (love these, they were a staple of our last Whole30) (https://whole30.com/2018/06/in-the-wild-2/) - this recipe is for cooking outside, but we bake them at 400 degrees for about 30-35 min, until the beef is browned.

Lunch - Bacon Deviled Egg Salad - (https://nomnompaleo.com/2017/06/06/20170606bacon-deviled-egg-salad)

Breakfast - Egg Bake with Chicken Sausage and Whatever leftover veggies we have 

I'll post my meal prep plan once I finish it, as it helps keep me on track. Last night, I went to a happy hour with my boyfriend and his brother at a local brewery. I just had two seltzers with lime. I had Red Ribbon seltzer, which is bottled locally, and is really good! I think I'm going to buy some to bring with me to the Superbowl on Sunday. I was thinking about my Food Freedom, and I was definitely happy that I didn't drink last night. I think if anything, I would have some small tasters of some of the new beers the brewery had available, but I don't think I would have had a full beer. I'm definitely going to focus on my relationship with alcohol this year. I've done a great job in the past few years of dramatically reducing my casual workweek drinking. Now I almost never drink during the week. I also want to work on reining in drinking on the weekends too. I need to figure out when it's really worth it - only have drinks that really mean something to me, and in limited amounts. My boyfriend also wanted to go to dinner at a great local pizza place, which was on Bon Appetit's 50 best new restaurants list last year. I love this place - they ferment their own dough and sourdough bread, and it's featured in all of the food they have on their menu. When I reintroduce gluten, I'm going to get a loaf of their bread, as I'd like to focus on only having really high-quality breads, in sparing amounts, in my Food Freedom.

Anyway, here are my meals for today:

M1: 1 strip bacon, 1/2 chicken apple sausage, 1 1/2 c braised cabbage, 1 fried egg

M2: small amount of leftover fish taco fish with cauliflower rice, spinach salad w chicken, hardboiled egg and lemon garlic dressing.

M3: Leftovers of some kind - maybe hot dogs with roasted beets and spinach salad.

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@megbeveridge I've been sleeping better, generally speaking. I normally don't have a problem staying asleep, but I've felt much more rested, and waking up is easier. It's been really cold the past few days, as I'm sure you've been experiencing in Baltimore, lol. We live in an old house with our bedroom on a busy street, and I think the cold has been coming through our windows more, so I think that's the reason for my poor sleep the past couple of nights. I also recently got a light therapy lamp for my seasonal affective disorder, and I think it's been helping a lot with my energy levels throughout the day, so the poor sleep hasn't affected me as badly as it normally would. I hope you find something that helps you sleep better, if you're trying to improve your sleep! I'm not much help, since I've never really had an issue with it.

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Day 19 Update

Still feeling good - I did yoga and the elliptical so that's really great. Eating lunch now. I'm thinking dinner will be 2 hot dogs with diced onion, sauerkraut, and dijon mustard, and leftover grilled veggie salad.

I finished my meal prep plan for the weekend. I really love making detailed lists, it helps with my anxiety. My boyfriend also sleeps really late on weekends, so I like to keep myself occupied in the morning. Since I couldn't go to the office today, I still want to get kombucha. The farmer's market near our house has the same kombucha place as a vendor on Saturdays, so I'm going to try to go there as well. We're still carless, so I'm going to try to walk both there and to the Strip District tomorrow for groceries. It'll be cutting things kind of tight, so I'm going to try to go to the Strip District almost as soon as I wake up on Saturday. Stores there open very early, so I should be able to get some good shopping done, and miss the crowds. So, I may leave my pre-groceries to-do list until later. I'm also going to add in some herbed roasted nuts to the stuff I'm bringing on Sunday.


Saturday Prep (before grocery shopping):

Roast/shred chicken

Roast nuts

Caramelize onions for onion dip

Cook sausage, garlic, & onions for stuffed peppers and slice bacon

Saute onions and garlic of buffalo chicken dip

Cut carrot sticks for crudité

Dice onion for Thai Chicken and mince garlic – store separately

Cut Collards for Collard Greens (Serious Eats)

Mince shallot for Vinaigrette


Saturday Prep (after grocery shopping):

Make and test buff chix dip

Make onion dip

Prep bacon wrapped peppers

Cut crudité

Grate ginger for Thai Chicken and add to minced garlic

Mince shallot for Meatballs and egg Salad, store separately

Mince parsley & chives for egg salad, store with shallots

Hard boil & peel eggs


Sunday Prep:

Make Thai Chicken

Make coconutty butternut squash

Bake peppers

Cut leftover veggies for foil packets and egg bake

Make egg bake

Make taco seasoning

Make vinaigrette

Make meatballs

Cook bacon for egg salad

Make egg salad

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Day 22

I woke up this morning feeling terrible, and I'm not totally sure why. I ate some food that was prepared outside of my home over the weekend, so maybe it's a compilation of that, or maybe I'm getting sick from the weather change over the weekend. I have a headache, indigestion, and my throat is a little sore. Yuck!

Okay, so review of this weekend.

Friday night we went out for dinner, at my boyfriend's suggestion. We went to Franktuary, a restaurant near where we live in Pittsburgh. They are known for locally made hot dogs, and they have a create your own menu. I had a local chorizo sausage on a bed of greens with some grilled onions and avocado, and we shared roasted sweet potato wedges. I also had a local kombucha - this meal was great!

On Saturday we went grocery shopping with my boyfriend's brother and his girlfriend. I had leftover braised cabbage with one strip of bacon and one chicken apple sausage for breakfast. We went to Mad Mex, a local Tex Mex chain restaurant, for lunch. I had mahi mahi fajitas and an unsweetened iced tea. I believe there was something noncompliant in this, as I got full extremely quickly, and also had a headache almost immediately afterwards. For dinner, I made the meatloaf muffins from Nom Nom Paleo, mashed potatoes, bacon wrapped asparagus, and roasted brussels sprouts. This meal was good - my boyfriend and I both agreed that noncompliant meatloaf and mashed potatoes are definitely better, though. I'll be interested to see my reactions to different noncompliant foods, to see if my regular recipes will be an option moving forward. I do think the muffins would be a good breakfast or lunch in the future, though.

I woke up around 7 AM both days over the weekend, slept well, and generally felt pretty good. I did yoga both days, but didn't get a walk in. My mood was good, although I did start to get some anxiety before going to our superbowl party at a friend's last night. Yesterday, I had two eggs with a leftover asparagus bundle and brussels sprouts for breakfast. I didn't really have lunch, as I was cooking all day. I had about a palm-sized serving of extra stuffed pepper filling, but should have had more veggies. At the superbowl party, I brought seltzer and a kombucha and had that, along with some regular water. I felt perfectly happy not drinking, althought I did wish I could try some of the noncompliant foods people brought. I stayed strong though. The foods that I brought were all a hit. One of my friends made homemade baked wings - I had a few of these. Again, I started to get a headache almost immediately afterwards, so I think there was something noncompliant in them. I should have just stuck to my own food, but oh well. I was over everything and just wanted to go to bed around 8:30, but we didn't leave until the game was over, around 10:30.

I fell asleep around 11, and slept in this morning until 7:24. Like I said above, I feel almost hungover this morning, which sucks. I'm just going to try to be gentle with myself today.

M1: 2 eggs with 1/2 avocado

M2: Not sure - I have some defrosted broth and leftover roasted chicken, so I might make kind of a fake soup.

M3: Leftovers of some kind, likely.

I was feeling really good, until this morning, so I'm hopeful that tomorrow I'll feel better and can finish strong.

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Day 22 Update

I'm feeling much better now - I took some excedrin, did my 15 minutes of yoga (I'm going to increase to 20 tomorrow), and took a 20 minute walk. It's beautiful outside in Pittsburgh today, so my walk was really great. I had to get home for a work conference call, or I would have extended it longer. I also made homemade lemon almond chicken salad with some leftover roasted chicken for lunch. I have a nail appointment tonight at 5, so I'll probably need to eat a snack before I go to hold me over until dinner.

I forgot to recap my grocery shopping from this weekend. I first posted on 1/7, so this will mark my grocery shopping/eating out spending for a month. I'm going to tally these totals and use this as a springboard for reining in my food budget in 2019. I'm also going to look at what I spent on different categories to determine whether signing up for a CSA or maybe something like ButcherBox will be worth it for me in the coming months, as I focus on feeling my best.

On Saturday, we went grocery shopping at Aldi and at Giant Eagle Market District. We had lunch at Mad Mex, which I discussed in my last entry. I paid for lunch - $46 total for my boyfriend and I.


2 packages button mushrooms - $1.98

GTs kombucha - $2.89

Celery - $0.99

Baby Lettuce - $2.39

Organic Grape Tomatoes - $2.49

Chipotle Peppers - $0.99

Jalapeno Peppers - $1.19

Seedless Cucumber - $1.19

16.9 oz Avocado Oil - $6.99

Ginger - $0.99

Organic Arugula/Spinach Mix - $2.49

6 Avocados - $2.94 - amazing deal

2 dozen Cage Free Eggs - $4.58

Total: $32.10


Giant Eagle

Asparagus - $5.04

Chives - $2.99

5 lb Yukon Gold Potatoes - $2.49

2 Shallots - $0.48

2 lb Lemons - $2.99

1 1/2 qt olives from the antipasti bar - $21.84

Frank's Red Hot - $2.75

Giant Eagle brand organic Dijon Mustard - $1.99

Can Tomato Sauce - $1.39

Can Fire Roasted Tomatoes - $1

Can Diced Tomatoes - $1

Dried Thyme - $2.99

Dried Dill - $2.49

Peppermint Tea - $2.50

12 pack Polar Seltzer - $2.50

2 1 Liter bottles Polar Seltzer - $1.50

2.5 lb Ground Beef - $9.58

Green Giant Frozen Spiralized Zucchni - $3.99

Green Giant Frozen Riced Cauliflower/Broccoli - $2.99

Total: ~$74.25


Grand Total: $106.35 


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Day 23

Feeling pretty good. Was a little depressed/anxious yesterday and this morning, but focusing on staying positive to finish strong. I don't feel any kind of temptation to eat noncompliant foods, and have started thinking a little about reintroduction next week. My boyfriend and I have reservations at our favorite restaurant, Cure, for Valentine's Day. I will definitely eat noncompliant foods then. The menu changes, but looking at the most recent one, there's a mostly compliant trout dish that I think I'll get - I've had their trout before and it's divine, so I won't be depriving myself. I think that I'll probably want to try to reintro gluten/dairy/alcohol first, based on my plans for Valentine's Day. I'll only have one reintro day, so I think I'm going to do wine first, to confirm how I feel, that way I can moderate my drinking on Friday, when we have our reservation. One nice thing is that they actually have a thoughtful non-alcoholic drinks menu, with shrubs and tonics, so if I decide not to drink, or to just have one glass of wine, I can still have something that feels special.

I'm increasing my yoga today to a 20 minute session, which feels really great. I slept pretty well last night, and woke up with my alarm at 6:55 AM. My energy is still pretty high, but the headache that started, really, on Saturday, is still lingering.

Yesterday I ended up making lemon almond chicken salad for lunch, which I ate with spinach and cherry tomatoes. I was hungry again within 3 hours, so I'm going to add 1/2 an avocado today to see if it holds me over better. I had a handful of olives and an Rx bar before my nail appointment. I was getting hungry again towards the end of my nail appointment, around 6:30. When I came home, I had about a 1/2 palm portion of the leftover buffalo chicken dip, 2 leftover stuffed peppers, and some raw veggies. Then, I drank my peppermint tea.

Meal plan for today:

M1: 2 1/2 c red cabbage, sauteed with 1 1/2 strips bacon, 2 eggs

M2: 1 palm lemon almond chicken salad with spinach and cherry tomatoes, and 1/2 avocado

M3: leftover mashed potatoes mixed into cakes with broccoli & leftover ranch, with leftover buffalo chicken dip/stuffed peppers

I'm planning to do some meal prep/fridge clean out tonight, to assess where we're at food wise.

I also calculated a grocery budget based on my spending last month. Next month, the goal is to spend less than $700 on groceries (I know, I can't believe I spent more than that last month), and to spend less than $100 on eating out/alcohol. I'm also going to track my spending on toiletries/appearance to attempt to add that spending into my budget. I'm planning to sign up for a CSA in the Spring/Summer, adding an egg share to it, which will be one dozen eggs per week. I also may sign up for a Butcher Box subscription, following my CSA signup.


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Day 24

So far, so good today. Not much to report. I did some meal prep last night and have my Thai "Peanut" Chicken ready to go in the slow cooker this afternoon. I was hungry yesterday between breakfast and lunch, as well as between lunch and dinner. I had a snack around 4 PM (four hours after lunch) of olives, leftover buffalo chicken dip, and raw veggies. For dinner, the broccoli/mashed potato cakes were really good, but didn't really stay together well - I think I'll add an extra egg if I make them in the future. We had the leftover meatloaf muffins as well as stuffed peppers for dinner. The meatloaf is much better as leftovers. I'll keep this in mind, and maybe make them for lunch or eggless breakfasts in the future. I started to have a headache before bed yesterday, and ate 1/2 of an Epic Bar at around 9 PM. Didn't need this, but am not beating myself up over it.

I'm feeling a little sore from yoga, which is a good thing. I miss the feeling of becoming stronger, and am happy that I'm getting back to a good place again, movement-wise.

Meal plan for today:

M1: 2 broccoli/potato cakes, 2 scrambled eggs, bacon, 1 meatloaf muffin

M2: 1 1/2 palm lemon almond chicken salad, 1/2 avocado, spinach, cherry tomatoes

M3: Slow Cooker Thai "Peanut" Chicken, Coconutty Butternut Squash, Collard Greens

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Day 25

Woke up a little late today - 6:45 AM. I'm still feeling good and well-rested though, so I'm not too worried about it. Did more meal prep last night. I ended up doing the elliptical yesterday instead of taking a walk, since it rained all day. Definitely need to get out of the house a little today, though. I've been feeling more anxiety/depression symptoms the last few days, but haven't really experienced the fatigue that tends to go along with it. I'm still motivated and still getting my shit done, my thoughts just tend to wander to darker places in quiet moments, and I have familiar physical anxiety symptoms. I'm trying to just continue to take care of myself, and allow my thoughts and feelings to simply exist. I think yoga is definitely helping with this. I'm thinking that I'm going to build up to 30 minutes of yoga, then do the 30 days of yoga with Adriene on youtube videos, and work on some home strength training. I'm trying to build myself up to 90 minutes of exercise 5 days/week. Right now, I'm at about 55 minutes/5 days (20 minutes of yoga and 20 minutes of walk/elliptical 7 days each week), which is over halfway there. I'm really happy with where I've gotten with this.

I've also been working on planning some reintro recipes for the coming weeks. We have our special dinner coming up on 2/15, then a 3 day weekend. On the no-work Monday, I'm going to reintro dairy - I'll have reintro'd alcohol (wine) and gluten (bread with dinner 2/15) at least by then, and the following week, on 2/23, we have a Beer Fest that we're attending, and will probably have something noncompliant for dinner following it. I'm thinking one of the really good pizza places near us, so I'd like to see my reaction to dairy before we get pizza. So on 2/18, I'm thinking I'll have yogurt with my breakfast (I'd like to have yogurt as an easy option on the go for the future),  tuna mixed with olives, pesto, sundried tomatoes, & feta for lunch (this is a very common lunch for me), and a new recipe with cheese or cream included for dinner.

Also, our dinner last night was good! It didn't really make me super excited, which is fine, but my boyfriend loved it. I'll definitely make it again, since it was so easy and quick for a weeknight. One thing to keep in mind is that it only takes 4 hours to cook on low in the slow cooker, so I need to work from home for at least a 1/2 day when I decide to make it.

Meal plan for today: 

M1: Broccoli Potato cakes w 3 eggs and ranch

M2: 2 palms chicken salad w salad mix and cherry tomatoes, and 1/2 avocado

M3: Collard greens w Cauliflower Rice and Thai Peanut Chicken and roasted potatoes/carrots

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Day 25 Update

Over 5 hours since breakfast and I'm not even a little hungry. I think tomorrow we'll do 2 eggs and less broccoli potato cakes. I'm having some heartburn-ish feelings, but I think that it's just anxiety. Going to get up and take a walk now, hopefully will be feeling better after that.

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Day 26

I slept terribly last night - I had incredibly vivid, weird dreams, including ones where I ate noncompliant foods. Woke up at 7:04 this morning. Yesterday, I didn't end up having lunch, because I just didn't get hungry. I ate some olives at around 4 PM, and had my dinner - cauli/broccoli rice and Thai Peanut Chicken.

Feeling pretty good, in spite of my terrible sleep. I have my plan for meal prep this weekend. We're going to Costco tonight, and I'll probably go to Trader Joe's tomorrow to get some extras.

Here's our meal plan this week:

Saturday: Chicken Burger Stuffed Baked Potatoes: https://nocrumbsleft.net/2019/01/28/whole30-stuffed-baked-potatoes/ with Roasted Broccoli

Sunday: Salad with Go-To Vinaigrette: https://meljoulwan.com/2018/01/29/go-to-vinaigrette-paleo-whole30/ and Elena's Basic Meatballs: https://meljoulwan.com/2014/03/24/mmm-basic-meatballs/

Monday: Beefy Foil Packet Dinners: https://whole30.com/2018/06/in-the-wild-2/

Tuesday: Weeknight Shepherd's Pie: https://meljoulwan.com/2018/12/17/weeknight-shepherds-pie-paleo-whole30/

Wednesday:  Sausage, Peppers, & Onion Sandwich w Veg: Can't find a link to this - basically the cooked sausage is slit down the middle and stuffed with Dijon, peppers, onions, and arugula

Lunch: Bacon Deviled Egg Salad: https://nomnompaleo.com/2017/06/06/20170606bacon-deviled-egg-salad

Breakfast: Egg Bake w Leftover Veggies


And here's my plan for meal prep:

Saturday Prep (after grocery shopping):

Mince shallot for Meatballs, Vinaigrette and egg Salad, store separately

Mince parsley & chives for egg salad, store with shallots

Hard boil & peel eggs

Cut cauliflower into florets

Cut peppers and onions for pepper and onion sandwiches


Sunday Prep:

Make ghee

Make taco seasoning

Make vinaigrette

Make meatballs

Cook bacon for egg salad

Make egg salad

Make cauliflower mash

Make meat for Shepherd’s Pie

Make collard greens

Cut leftover veggies for foil packets and egg bake

Make egg bake


And my log for today:

M1: 2 fried eggs, 1/2 avocado, small portion broccoli potato cakes

M2: 2 palms lemon almond chicken salad, spinach and cherry tomatoes, 1/2 avocado

M3: Either leftover Thai Cashew Chicken or we may go out to a local chain, Burgatory.

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Day 29 - The Home Stretch!

Had a nice weekend - nothing exciting, just relaxing. We went to Costco Friday night, Trader Joe's during the day Saturday, and had a friend over for dinner Saturday night, when I made the No Crumbs Left stuffed potatoes. They were so good! I ate the last of the leftovers for breakfast, and feel overfull, so will definitely have to be mindful with baked potatoes in the future. My friend wanted to make a Whole30 "dessert," even though I explained to her that dessert wasn't really in keeping with the ideas of Whole30. She made date/almond cups filled with strawberry coconut cream. I had these with my meals, so not as additional snacks/food during the day, and they were quite tasty. Not super sweet, so not really feeding the sugar dragon. I wouldn't make them again, but the thought behind them was kind. I'm feeling pretty tired so far today, and I have some heartburn after breakfast. I think overall my body still needs more healing, and have started to think about options for the future. I have some plans for this weekend and next weekend that are noncompliant, but I think that after I do reintroductions, I may do another Whole30 limiting nightshades or FODMAPs to see if I have further relief with my digestion.

I forgot to mention that yesterday we went out for lunch to Piper's Pub in the South Side. I got a vegetable and chicken curry, which was tasty, but not super satisfying. I should have just gotten a salad with grilled salmon on it.

I'll input my grocery shopping info and meal plan a little later today.


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Day 29 Update

Okay, so I'm feeling very depressed today. I'm not sure why - I didn't do yoga or take a walk yesterday, which I feel may be part of it, but I'm not sure. I used my light therapy lamp this morning, and did some yoga. I'm trying to be gentle with myself, and do things that I know will make me feel good today. I'll take a walk a little later, and I think I'll have some nice hot tea in a little while. 

So, here's my review of my grocery shopping this weekend:


5 lb yellow onions - $4.49

6 bell peppers - $6.99

Grape tomatoes - $5.99

15 lb russet potatoes - $7.99

2 4 lb packs of organic ground beef - $39.98

5 lbs frozen cauliflower rice - $7.59

2 lg bottles Frank's - $6.69 - one of these bottles was $5.49 at Giant Eagle last week!

Teton Waters Ranch Uncured Beef Polish Sausage - $13.89 - compliant ingredients

2 lb Kerrygold Salted butter - $11.49

2 33.8 oz bottles avocado oil -  - I paid for half - $10

2L organic extra virgin olive oil - I paid for half - $7.45

5 dozen cage free eggs - I paid for 1/2 - $4

Total - $126.53

Trader Joes:

Coconut Oil - I paid for 1/2 - $2.50

2 bottles GTs kombucha - $6

Anchovies in Olive Oil - $1.49

Red Wine Vinegar - $1.99

Kale Basil Cashew Vegan Pesto - $3.79 - compliant ingredients, one of my friends recommended this - honestly I don't think it tastes great, and would rather make my own

Basil - $2.69

Dill - $1.69

1 lb ground turkey - $3.99

1 lb lean ground chicken - $3.69

Organic cauliflower head - $3.49

Parsley - $1.99

2 heads garlic - I paid for 1/2 - $0.90

Total: $30.52

Total left for 2/5-3/5: $542.95


Meal plan for today:

M1: Leftover ground chicken mix, baked potato, brussels sprouts with sliced strawberries and strawberry coconut cream

M2: Bacon deviled egg salad w salad

M3: Meatballs w Salad and Go-To Vinaigrette



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Day 30

I'm going to write some about NSVs today, and can focus on the scale/measurements tomorrow, after I'm officially done. I'm going to reintroduce white wine tomorrow - we're going out to dinner on Friday, and would like to see how wine/alcohol makes me feel before also eating potentially noncompliant food alongside it. I felt very depressed yesterday, all day, and didn't really eat a full lunch - just a few bites of egg salad and some olives. I did do yoga and take a walk and I did some work, but, I didn't get any meal prep/chores around the house done. I'm hoping that I feel better today. Tomorrow I need to go into the office, so it's important that I get my shit together by then. I'm going to take the day off on Thursday, to ride to Harrisburg with my boyfriend to get some stuff for his car. I think I'll pack a lunch for that, so I don't need to eat something on the road. That's about it for now.


Skin - Didn't really see much improvement here. I still have some acne, and I've developed the weird eczema that I had in the middle of my Whole30. Most recently the skin on just the fingers that had the isolated eczema has been so dry that it's peeling, even though I moisturize multiple times a day. I have been better with completing my skin care routine, as I have more energy/focus.

Clothes - I think my clothes are fitting better, overall, and I have more "you look good" days than I have in awhile.

Libido - This has been somewhat increased, which is great. I think it may be a side effect of the increased energy.

Digestion - I've continued to have diarrhea, some bloating, some heartburn, and some nausea/indigestion. The heartburn has been somewhat lessened, and goes away more quickly.

Allergies - No real improvement, we're not really in allergy season though, so I'm not too surprised by this.

Mood - Hasn't improved much, or as much as last round. Last round, I saw marked improvements in anxiety. I haven't seen that this round. I still have good days and bad, but, I have been better at taking care of myself on bad days. I was barely moving at all prior to my Whole30, and I'm now doing my regular exercise even on days when I'm feeling very down or anxious. I feel more secure in not drinking, although not more outgoing. I'm just fine with being less outgoing. I definitely feel more in control of my life and choices.

Eating Behaviors - This definitely improved, even more than last round. I didn't really "binge" at all, and had no problem remaining compliant. I've been more mindful while eating - not watching TV or reading during every meal, and thoughtfully considering whether I'm full, and having no problem stopping eating. I've always loved cooking, but I've become more consistent with cooking during the week and on weekends.

Brain Function - On most days this is improved - I have more focus, and mental clarity.

Sleep - This is probably the best NSV of this round. Sound sleep, less problems waking up, waking up rested. Still have some issues with falling asleep, but I am going to try to address them with better sleep hygiene in the coming months.

Energy - Generally, my energy levels are higher, and more even. I wake up rested, I rarely have a mid-afternoon slump, and I have much more energy to get things done in the evenings. Basically, I normally feel good to go from when I wake up, around 6-7, until I go to bed, between 9-10.

Exercise - I've started exercising more - I have built myself up to about an hour of exercise 5 days a week. My goal is to increase the intensity of my exercise as I move forward - maybe running, and more high intensity yoga/weight workouts. This has been a huge NSV. I've definitely been spending more time outside.

Lifestyle - I have tried new recipes, and have some new staples, and rediscovered some old ones. I have made new health goals. My meal prep isn't exactly where I want it to be, and I am working to further rein in my grocery budget.

My meals today:

M1: 1/2 ground beef foil packet w fried egg, mayo/pesto mix

M2: egg salad with a side salad

M3: basic meatballs w go-to vinaigrette and salad


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Day 31 - Reintroduction Day 1

Good Morning! I just weighed myself and took my measurements, so who's ready for some SVs?!

Weight: 232 lb - 6 lb down

Chest: 46 in - 3 in down

Ribs - 38 in - 4 in down

Waist - 35.5 in - 1.5 in down

Low Stomach/Love Handles - 43 in - 4 in down

Hips - 44 in - 0 in down

Thigh - 20.5 in - 1.5 in down

Arm - 11 in - 1 in down

Neck - 13 in - 1 in down

Total: 23 inches down!

Overall, I'm very happy with these changes, and hope to see more in the future. I like the freedom I have from the scale, but I know from experience it's important to check in, so I think I'll do a 30 day check in next month to make sure I'm staying on track after reintroduction.

Today, I'm reintroducing white wine in the evening, but plan to keep my other meals compliant. Friday, I'm going out to a restaurant, and am going to allow myself to order what I want, so we'll see how that goes. We have a few friends in town unexpectedly, so I may end up drinking on Saturday as well, but I'll let myself make that choice when the time comes. Monday, I was planning to reintroduce dairy on it's own, but since I'm not sure what Saturday holds yet, I'm not super attached to it. My plan for reintroductions is to prep Whole30 foods for the week, then do reintroductions on the weekends. Next weekend, we're going to a beer fest, so it's pretty obvious that I'll be reintroducing gluten at that point.

So yeah - great results from this round of Whole30. I'm going to start posting in the reintroduction log section starting tomorrow.


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Day 31 Update

I got a cortado with dairy about a half hour ago, on my way home from buying a Valentine's card for my boyfriend. After finishing the cortado, I almost immediately felt bloated, had a short headache, and am having some indigestion. Just from maybe 2-3 oz of milk! So...yeah that was not worth it. If I'm not feeling better by tonight, I'm going to put off the white wine until later.


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Day 33

I did end up having 2 glasses of white wine on day 31. I felt fine, caught a little buzz, but no other problems. I felt fine the next morning, as well. 

I took the day off to spend it with my boyfriend yesterday. We went out for breakfast, and I had an omelette with cheese. Again, felt overly bloated almost immediately. I love cheese/dairy, so I will continue to eat it occasionally, but will not make it a consistent part of my daily diet. I'm going to get lactaid and try it, to see if anything changes. 

For dinner, we went totally off plan. I made homemade French onion soup with a salad that had goat cheese, and made homemade brownies with regular flour. Everything was delicious, and worth the special occasion, but I felt bloated and nauseous and generally not good afterward. I continue to feel...not great today. I'm nauseous and not hungry at all for breakfast. So...yeah, not sure how much I'm going to do something like that in the future.

This morning, I'm back on plan. I ate my compliant cottage pie from Wednesday for breakfast. Tonight, we're going out for dinner to our favorite restaurant, so we'll see how that goes.

I am happy to see that I'm not very negatively affected by wine. Obviously, not an everyday thing, but knowing that I feel good after a couple of glasses is nice.


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