w30virgo

W30Virgo Round 2 January 2019

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Hi there, anyone reading this post

I'm a 27 yo female, planning to complete my second round of Whole30 this January. I completed my first round in January 2018, and experienced some nice NSVs for my sleep quality, lowered anxiety, and less digestive issues. I'm looking forward to a reset, as I've fallen back into some unhealthy habits. Habits that I took with me over the course of the year is a serious decrease in the amount of alcohol I drink, generally avoiding beer as gluten is not a friend to me, frequently cooking meals that do not include grains/gluten as a component, and almost always eating eggs for breakfast (I love eggs!). I am overweight, and sedentary, and I haven't always been this way. I want to guide myself in the direction of more activity, since I know that I enjoy it, and it makes me feel good. I have a history of disordered eating - in the past, when I've lost significant amounts of weight, it's through compulsive tracking and moralization of food ("good" vs. "bad"). I would honestly rather carry extra weight than put myself through that again; but, I know that there is a better way, if I can keep myself conscientious about how the food I put into my body makes me feel.

So, that's why I'm here. I kept a written log of my Whole30 last year, and have found it very helpful to reread. My goals for keeping a log here will be to log all of my meals, as well as my general emotions/anything of note, physical symptoms, and my groceries and budget. I love to cooking, and will be linking any recipes I cook from websites, or referencing cookbooks I use, as well. That's what you can expect from me, if you decide to read what I write here.

I'm planning to start my Whole30 on Sunday, 1/13, or Monday, 1/14. I live in Pittsburgh, PA, and my parents live in central PA. This Saturday, 1/12, I'm planning to go to the PA Farm Show in Harrisburg, which is a central PA tradition. One of the major draws of the farm show is the food - tons of dairy - including the best milkshakes and fried cheese curds. Obviously, these foods are not Whole 30. I've had a bit of a slow start to the year, and haven't fully completed my kitchen cleaning/coordination in preparation for the Whole 30, so I've decided to just start after the farm show, rather than prepping all of my meals for the day and dealing with temptation. I've already begun my meal planning/shopping, so I wanted to start my log, and I will log Whole 30 meals that I'm having this week in preparation.

So far, we took a Costco trip yesterday, where I stocked up on Whole30 groceries, and I cleaned out/organized the fridge as well. This week, I'll be cleaning out the freezer, pantry, and spice rack in preparation. I'll be on the look out for any compliant goodies at the farm show, and I am planning to go do some shopping in Pittsburgh on Sunday, 1/13. In Pittsburgh, we have a neighborhood full of ethnic markets called the Strip District, so I'll be going down there to shop at an Asian grocery store to buy some ingredients for a Red Curry recipe I'm planning to make from Chrissy Teigen's second cookbook for dinner on Sunday  (the recipe calls for brown sugar, which I will of course be omitting, but is otherwise compliant eaten with cauliflower rice). I'll also buy olives (my absolute favorite food) from an Italian grocery store as well.

Anyway, shall we take a look at my Costco purchases from yesterday?

Chosen Foods Lemon Garlic Dressing/Marinade - $8.59 for two bottles - Compliant ingredients, I figure this will be helpful for an easy dinner/lunch salad or marinading chicken or fish during the month if I don't feel like making something homemade

6-pack of Thai Kitchen Organic Coconut Milk - $8.99

6 Avocados - $5.99

Chosen Foods Avocado Oil - $9.99 - I use this to cook with at high temperatures, and to make the breakthrough of my first Whole30 - homemade mayo!

Aidell's Chicken Apple Sausage - $13.99 - Great, easy protein source

Kirkland Smoked Pulled Pork - $10.99 - I actually read about this on other people's Whole30 logs, and am excited to try it for an easy protein source!

Wild Planet Albacore Tuna in Water - $14.99 - I also love tuna in olive oil, but depending on how I'm using tuna, sometimes the kind in water is preferable

Cooked Beets - $7.99 - This was an impulse buy - I love the health benefits of beets, but hate the mess/effort of peeling and cooking them, so I'm excited to try these.

Power Greens - $5.99 - A mixture of kale, spinach, and chard - I'll use this for salads for lunch this week, and can use the leftovers to cook up for a frittata for breakfast next week.

Organic Ground Beef - $19.99 - One of my favorite easy meals from my last Whole 30 were ground beef foil packets, using chopped up leftover veggies from my weekly meal prep. You can probably just google Ground Beef Foil Packets and find a helpful recipe, I'm not totally sure where I saw the recipe initially. I just use whatever veggies I have around, and use whatever leftover fat I have (avocado, pesto, flavored mayo, etc.) and season according to the fat I have on hand.

Organic Young Chickens - $16.58 - Roasted chicken is one of my favorite meals. It's so easy, impressive, and I love to use the leftover meat to make lemon almond chicken salad (my hands-down favorite ever lunch) and the carcass to make bone broth in the slow cooker (so simple).

Organic Party Wings - $15.26 - I'm planning to make buffalo wings this week. I absolutely love wings, and am so happy that they're an easy food to make compliant.

Organic Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs - $21.63 - Melissa's Chicken Hash recipe is a great breakfast, lunch, or dinner recipe that I made at least once a week during my last Whole30.

Organic Chicken Meatballs - $13.99 - I was looking through the prepared meat section at Costco, and they have compliant ingredients! I had recently been on a kick with Aidell's caramelized onion and mango habanero meatballs, but neither is compliant. 

Kerrygold Butter - $10.99 - I got some cheesecloth over the summer to make homemade cold brew, and I'm planning to try to make my own homemade ghee this round. I was not impressed with Trader Joe's ghee last round, and it will be much cheaper to make my own homemade.

Mateo's Salsa - $5.99 - I saw this salsa on a Costco Whole30 grocery list, so I figured I'd try it.

Sweet Potatoes - $8.99 - I'm planning to make slow cooker turkey sloppy joe's this week, and will eat it in baked sweet potatoes!

Kombucha - $13.99 - I love kombucha - usually, I buy it from a local kombucha brewer, but the prices at Costco can't be beat.

Cage Free Eggs - $3.49 - Like I said above, even in my Food Freedom I eat eggs for breakfast basically every day. I love them, and will make some hardboiled eggs to bring with me to the Farm Show this weekend as meals on the go, along with some raw veggies. I'm planning to allow myself to indulge there, but, only for foods that I actually want to be eating.

Total: 216.91 (I bought groceries with my boyfriend, who I live with, so I just subtracted his total from our entire bill) This is more than I usually spend at Costco (we go about once a month), but, I really stocked up on meat here, since that's where I found myself spending a ton last round. I expected to spend some extra money on groceries, but, I know I will make up for it by not eating out as much this month.

This was a long entry, I'm sure my others won't be as long, but, I'm happy to be getting started on another Whole30 journey!

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Yesterday, the only Whole 30 meal I had was dinner. 

Roasted split chicken breasts on a bed of sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes were tossed in olive oil, and everything was seasoned with salt, pepper, and Trader Joe's 21 Seasoning Salute (love this stuff). I love roasting chicken this way, on top of chopped vegetables - you have an easy side dish and the vegetables soak in all of the chicken juices while they cook - delicious! This was served with charred broccoli. I used some garlic oil that I had saved in the fridge from another recipe to cook it in a cast iron skillet, seasoned with garlic, pepper, and salt. I wanted to use crushed red pepper flakes, but we were all out. Added them to the grocery list for the weekend. I'll have to make a stop at Penzey's in the Strip District to stock up on spices. I also need white pepper for the curry I'm planning to make Sunday. 

Honestly, just gearing up for my Whole 30 has me in higher spirits. I suffer from seasonal affective disorder in the winter, and I've been operating in kind of a fog since before the holidays. Yesterday, I felt more clear and energized. I was productive at work, I did some long overdue house cleaning, and I had no problem declining to eat the pizza my boyfriend's brother ordered to our apartment while they watched the college football championship last night. I was satisfied, but not overstuffed, from our dinner, and was happy to enjoy a mug of peppermint tea before bed. I know that these kinds of days can be fleeting in winter, but I'm hopeful that I'll be able to have more of them during my Whole30 and beyond!

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Okay, so yesterday for dinner we had a recipe that would have been compliant, if I hadn't been trying to use up some non-compliant ingredients in the fridge/pantry. 

https://healthylittlepeach.com/recipe/bacon-wrapped-sausage-stuffed-peppers/

These stuffed peppers were delicious! I have some leftover filling and am planning to use it to fill a baked sweet potato for a leftovers dinner later this week. I didn't love the sauce as much, but I used store-bought mayo, so I think that it would be much improved by using homemade avocado oil mayo. We ate the peppers alongside some leftover sweet potatoes from dinner on Monday, and some frozen broccoli that I just threw on the sheetpan with the peppers. I don't know if I was using especially small peppers, but I had probably 1/2 lb leftover filling, and I ended up baking the peppers for an extra 15 minutes to get the bacon more done, as an FYI if you try this recipe. I think that I'll definitely make these again for the Super Bowl, or any other social events I have coming up in the coming weeks.

Speaking of party foods, tonight we are having homemade buffalo wings. I love that Costco sells organic party wings. I definitely prefer the pre-split wings to buying whole ones - anything to save a tedious step in the kitchen. If I have time tonight, I'll make homemade ranch to go alongside them. We'll eat them with carrot sticks and maybe a side salad. I'm getting a little tired of sweet potatoes and broccoli, so it's time to switch it up.

Yesterday, I had a low/tired period in the middle of the afternoon. Instead of giving in to it and spending the night on the couch, I decided to go out and take a walk. My plans were foiled by a thunderstorm, but, again, instead of taking that as a sign to pop on some Netflix and relax, I did a youtube yoga video. I honestly am shocked by how out of shape I am - this is something that I need to change this year. The only way to change it is through actually moving my body, so I'm going to try to use my triumph yesterday as a catalyst to continue a yoga practice throughout my Whole30 and beyond.

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Wings last night were great! I made this recipe: https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-buffalo-wings-in-the-oven-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-211577

I used actual butter for the sauce, since I haven't made ghee yet. I made homemade ranch to go with them - search basic ranch on this website to find it. Most recipes call for fresh herbs, and I didn't have any, so I used this one. It turned out pretty well - I used dried parsley and chives for the herbs, and subbed apple cider vinegar because my red wine vinegar has added sulfites. I thought it was a little too vinegary, so I would probably use 1 1/2 T next time, but, it may have been because I was using ACV. I was happy to see that the dressing emulsified properly using my immersion blender. I had some trouble with making homemade mayonnaise with it last year during and after my Whole30, so I had mostly given up. Before this Whole30, I learned a trick - keep the blender at the bottom of the jar you're making the mayo in while you stream in the oil until it's emulsified, before bringing it slowly up through the rest of the oil. This seems to help!

We ate the wings alongside raw carrot sticks. A little boring for a vegetable, but we got it in and the ranch was a great dip for them.

Today for breakfast, I had some leftover stuffed pepper sausage topping with 1 c of chopped broccoli, heated in a cast iron skillet with two scrambled eggs and half an avocado. I bought 6 avocados from Costco on Sunday, and they ripened today. Every time I buy avocados it's always a mad dash to eat them all before they go bad.  I had a late breakfast today, eating at like 10:30 AM (I woke up at 7). I'll definitely be focusing on eating within an hour of waking during my Whole30, as I tend to just eat when I'm hungry otherwise, which gets pushed later and later each day, it seems. Since breakfast was so late, I probably won't be hungry for lunch this afternoon.

For dinner, I'm planning to bake a big sweet potato (the ones from Costco are huge!), and split it with my boyfriend. He can have some chicken or sausage filling to stuff it, and I'll have chicken (all sausaged out from breakfast), and top our potatoes with some avocado (gotta get through them!). We'll have a salad with the homemade ranch on the side. Easy peasy.

I've been feeling very comfortable repurposing meals and cooking so far. Even the clean up hasn't been so bad - we don't have a dishwasher, but I've gotten better with rinsing and reusing dishes during cooking, and cleaning as I go, so it doesn't feel as overwhelming. Last time, I remember definitely feeling overwhelmed with the amount of cooking/clean up, so I'm hopeful that I'll be able to take it easy this time around and not feel pressured to make a brand new recipe for dinner every night.

I'm packing for our trip this weekend today, and thinking about food to bring with me. I may make an avocado ranch chicken salad, to use up some leftovers, and bring it with carrot sticks to eat. I'll see how packing/cleaning goes today and tomorrow to determine whether I have time. Thankfully, tonight's dinner will be low dishes, so that's something to look forward to!

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Alright, so I ended up eating lunch after all yesterday, around 2:30 PM. I ate five of the leftover stuffed mini peppers that I made on Tuesday, with a cup of carrot sticks and the leftover awesome sauce. Dinner was again, Whole30 friendly, like I said yesterday. Side salad of power greens and tomatoes with homemade ranch, half of a baked sweet potato stuffed with chicken breast, Mateo's salsa, and half an avocado - yum!

This morning, I had breakfast around 9:30 - getting earlier! Three eggs scrambled with a 1/2 cup of leftover broccoli, and 1 1/2 c power greens, topped with 1/2 avocado, everything but the bagel seasoning from Trader Joe's, and Frank's hot sauce. Yum!

Lunch will be chicken breast mixed with mashed avocado and hot sauce, on a bed of lettuce, with the Chosen Foods Lemon Garlic dressing, I think. I don't feel like making homemade salad dressing for one salad, since we'll be away all day tomorrow.

Tonight, on the way from Pittsburgh to Central PA, we're going to Cracker Barrel for dinner. I love Cracker Barrel, and to practice my menu skills I went to their website to see if I could find anything Whole30 friendly. Sadly, all of the protein options were on their soy allergen guide, so if I was coming here during my Whole30, I'd have to just have vegetable sides and eat my protein ahead. It was good to get some practice on menu/website reading, though! 

Tomorrow, I'll be at my parents' house in the morning, and at the Farm Show in the afternoon. I'm planning to eat a healthy breakfast - bring an avocado, eat it with eggs and whatever vegetables they have around, so that I won't be starving at the Farm Show.

Back in Pittsburgh Sunday! Planning to make Classic Chili from the Whole30 book, with cauliflower rice and (you guessed it) avocado. Looking over my grocery list for the week, I think we'll be taking a trip to Whole Foods rather than the Strip District, since I need to get compliant Dijon mustard. Looking ahead, I think that my Whole30 will officially start on Sunday, 1/13/2019. Exciting!

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Good Morning, Whole30 Day 1!

I didn't end up starting yesterday - one of my boyfriend's friends had a birthday celebration Saturday night, and we ended up drinking/eating after midnight on Sunday morning, so I decided to make my official first day today.

On Saturday, I started the day with a couple of hard-boiled eggs. I had a ton of non-compliant food at the Farm Show, but mindfully considered whether the samples/items I was trying were "worth it." As of today, I think that the food was, but I'm sure I'll feel differently after these 30 days. I did buy some local Whole30 compliant hot sauce and pickles (I read sooo many ingredient labels!) at the Farm Show, so that was a success.

We went out with my boyfriend's friends Saturday night - I had a non-compliant dinner of a scotch egg at a local brewery. Yesterday, we got a late start to our day - I ate some non-compliant food in the morning, then made the Classic Chili from the Whole30 book for dinner. I invited over a friend who will be away next weekend for dinner. We ate the chili with cauliflower rice, roasted sweet potato cubes, avocado, and the new hot sauce. Everyone enjoyed the chili - I had to add a little more salt, and some cayenne, to the recipe, but otherwise it turned out great! Very hearty and filling for a cold day. I would also note that the recipe says it serves 2 with leftovers. In my experience, it would have fed at least 5 people.

I just realized I haven't had breakfast yet today - I jumped up in the middle of writing this to get it ready, and also take my weight/measurements quick. Yesterday, I was inspired by the Real Food RDs on Instagram to do a meal prep "power hour." I set a timer for 60 minutes, prepped as much as I could, then cleaned up. This was a nice way to get a good amount of prep done. I prepped the chili and sweet potato cubes from dinner last night, and mixed up a breakfast casserole for the week. My serving for eggs is usually 3 eggs for breakfast, so I used 10 eggs, 2 1/2 Applegate roasted red pepper sausages that I bought at Whole Foods yesterday, and 5 c of sauteed power greens from my Costco trip last week. It's baking right now, along with some sugar-free bacon from Costco. I think I'm going to try and keep up with the power hours of meal prep. I didn't get everything I wanted to get done completed, so I think I'll do another one tomorrow after work.

So here's my log for today:

M1: Egg Casserole (1/2 Applegate roasted red pepper sausage, 2 eggs, 1 c sauteed power greens), 2 pieces bacon

M2: 1 1/2 Applegate roasted red pepper sausage, 1/2 avocado, mashed, 1 c cauliflower rice, hot sauce

M3: Roasted chicken (1 palm), cauliflower rice stuffing (https://whole30.com/2018/11/thanksgiving-2018/ by Thyme and Joy), carrots (will roast under the chicken), handful olives

I'm planning to use the leftover roasted chicken to make Lemon Almond Chicken Salad, and make chicken broth with the carcass. I'm going to make slow-cooker sloppy joes for dinner tomorrow, so will probably make broth on Thursday or Friday. Tuesday night, I'll plan to try to roast more sweet potatoes, make mayo and the Chicken Salad, and make homemade ghee. If I have extra time, I'll work on prepping my upcoming dinners.

Yesterday, we went grocery shopping at Whole Foods. We don't have a car right now, so we took the bus, which required about a 1/2 hour of walking. Pittsburgh does not have many Whole Foods stores, so it was predictably mobbed. The bus ride experience was honestly more relaxing than trying to deal with parking in the lot, so I was happy we decided to go with that option. Below are the groceries I bought:

Cauliflower - $3.99 - Going to use this to make Mel Joulwan's Golden Cauliflower Soup tomorrow night.

Frozen Riced Cauliflower - $1.99 - I meant to buy this at Costco last week, but couldn't find it. We bought two bags - my boyfriend bought the other one.

Baby Lettuces - $3.49 - On Friday night, I'm making a London Broil with Mushroom Gravy and a Roasted Carrot and Avocado Salad

Thyme - $1.29

Limes - $2.99

Spicy Olives from the Olive Bar - $6.70 - Olives are probably my favorite food, and I can't walk past an olive bar in a grocery store without buying some.

Yai's Thai Red Curry Sauce - $5.99 - This was on sale, and I've read about it on this site, so I figured I'd give it a try!

Diced Tomatoes - $1.49 

Nom Nom Paleo Magic Mushroom Powder - $8.99 - Again, I'd read about this stuff through Nom Nom Paleo. We don't go to Whole Foods often, so I figured I'd pick it up and give it a try.

Sherry Vinegar - $5.99

Dijon Mustard - $1.99 - This was the entire reason that we went to Whole Foods in the first place - need that Whole30 compliant Dijon!

Chopped Celery - $4.50 - There was no celery available in the produce section, so I got some from the salad bar. I can't believe how expensive this was!

Cremini Mushrooms - $3.29

Parsley - $1.99

Applegate Roasted Red Pepper Chicken Sausage - $8.99 - Again, insane how expensive this was - I get 3x this amount of Aidell's Chicken Apple Sausage for $13.99 at Costco. It is really tasty though!

Top Round Steak - $18.18

Green Bell Pepper - $1.26

2 Red Bell Peppers - $3.15

Total - $87.15 - Honestly, this was less than I expected to spend at Whole Foods, so I'm happy. I had a pretty pricey weekend this week, but, we're planning to relax and hibernate all weekend next weekend, so I think I'll be getting back on track, financially.

Okay, so that's that. Below are my beginning measurements for my Whole30, as well.

Weight: 238 lb

Chest - 49 in

Band - 42 in

Waist - 37 in

Low Stomach/"Love Handles" - 47 min

Hips - 44 in

Thigh - 22 in

Arm - 12 in

Neck - 14 in

Here's hoping we see some changes in these over the next 30 days! I know this is about a lot more than weight loss, but I'm not comfortable in my body at this size, and need to make some changes to feel better. This is Step 1.

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Just a mid-day update on my Meal 2 - I used a curry hot sauce that I bought at the Farm Show on Saturday, and also ate about a 1/2 c of leftover roasted sweet potato cubes. My plan is to try to limit starchy carbs to my evening meal for the most part, but the sweet potato was in the same container as the cauliflower rice, and it wasn't much. Lunch was delicious!

I also went to Target this afternoon with my brother. I had a gift card from Christmas, and used the Cartwheel app to get some Whole30 goodies at a discount. Below is a list of the food items I bought. I wouldn't have bought anything but the coconut aminos if I wasn't getting a discount, so they're definitely not necessities, but I want to have an accurate list of the groceries I buy during this month.

Mixed Berry Rx Bars - $6.55

Cashew Cookie Larabars - $4.50

Lemon Epic Performance Bars - $6.20

Applegate Uncured Beef Hot Dogs - $5.19

Applegate Uncured Stadium Hot Dogs - $4.27

Justin's Cashew Butter - $8.99 - I tried about a teaspoon of this when I got home and OMG! It's amazing!

Bumblebee Boneless Skinless Wild Alaskan Salmon Pouch - $1.69

Muir Glen Diced Tomatoes 14.5 oz can - $0.98

Coconut Aminos - $6.99

Yogi Blueberry Green Tea - $2.39

Total - $50.08

I also got a black cold brew at a coffee shop when I met my brother, so I'm feeling jazzed! No side effects yet - I didn't expect any, as I've been eating fairly Whole30 since the beginning of the year. 

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Good Morning,

I'm feeling good this morning. I turned off my alarm this morning and slept an hour later than I usually would - I didn't fall asleep until after 11 last night, so 6 AM came a bit too soon. I think the coffees after noon probably need to end. I've always heard that after 2 PM, caffeine begins to negatively affect your sleep, so I've been good about stopping before that, but I think a new rule for myself may be no coffee after noon.

Just ate breakfast - within an hour of waking. I'll put my expected meal log for the day below. Last night, I forgot that my boyfriend had plans in the evening, so rather than roasting a whole chicken for myself, I heated up some leftover chili, with a little over a fist-sized serving of frozen butternut squash and about 3/4 c cauliflower rice. I added 1/2 an avocado, a splash of coconut milk, and compliant hot sauce - yum! In my efforts to clean out our apartment of non-Whole30 foods, I left some chocolate from the holidays, so my boyfriend could have it. They were really tempting me last night though, and I ate a larabar while watching TV. I wasn't hungry when I ate it, which is not ideal. I think I'm going to bring most of the bars to work to keep in my desk today, so they won't be so tempting, and I'm bringing all of the chocolate in to the office today to give away. It's just not worth it for me to have it in the house.

Today, I'm planning to go into the office a little later in the day. I need to shower and get ready still. When dealing with seasonal depression, my personal hygiene tends to take a back seat, especially now that I have a job where I can work from home basically whenever I want. I'm hoping to get a better handle on this during/after my Whole30, as it definitely prevents me from going out into the world. I'll spend days never leaving the house rather than shower sometimes. This seems stupid and silly, because it's not like it's difficult to shower, but, this is where I'm at. Anyway, below is what I'm expecting to eat today:

M1 (already ate): Same M1 as yesterday - egg casserole (1 serving is 2 eggs, 1/2 roasted red pepper chicken sausage, 1 c sauteed power greens) with 2 pieces NSA bacon.

M2: Chipotle Whole30 bowl - I let my boyfriend take the last of the chili for lunch today, and I'd rather get to the office earlier than figure something out with what we have at home.

M3: Roasted chicken w roasted carrots, cauliflower rice stuffing, and dijon mayo.

Day 2 - let's get to it!

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So, I didn't end up getting it together to go into the office today. So, for M2 I had a palm-sized portion of the smoked pulled pork I got at Costco last weekend, with about 4 c raw power greens, 1/2 tomato, and the Chosen Foods Lemon Garlic Dressing. The pulled pork is so good! I was getting pretty hungry about 3 1/2 hours after breakfast - I think I may start adding fruit in the mornings. I've been in the mood for it recently. When I go grocery shopping next, I think I'll pick up some berries.

Feeling a bit nauseous after lunch, and I've had some low-grade heartburn all morning. I think I may just be eating too fast. I'll make more of a conscious effort to slow down and be mindful moving forward.

EDIT: I just read some forum posts about heartburn, and I think it could be the amount of water I'm drinking with my meals. I just drank three 16 oz glasses of water with lunch - will definitely slow down on that.

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Hi fellow Virgo! You seem to really have a feel for Whole30 and how to do it. I suppose that comes with experience. 

I think your coffee rule is good, but maybe if you really want coffee in the afternoon you could do decaf? You'll get the taste and the warmth without all the caffeine. I get all kinds of anxiety when I have coffee so I've switched to decaf and I have way less anxiety symptoms, including sleep.

Good luck with the rest of your Whole30!

 

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@megbeveridge Thanks! I'm definitely finding this round easier so far, but it's only Day 3 so we'll see how things go. I think decaf is a good idea, but I'm thinking I'll probably just go with non-caffeinated tea when I want something hot in the afternoon. I love herbal teas, so this will be a good chance to drink more. I'm glad that switching to decaf has helped you so much! I'm not at that point yet, but I definitely want to experiment a little with giving up caffeine in the future.

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Day 3! I'm in good spirits today - still struggling with waking up in the mornings and getting motivated for the day. Excited for that tiger blood coming up.

Yesterday, I ended up eating an afternoon snack of pulled pork with coconut milk and compliant curry hot sauce, with (ugh) a larabar. I'm making it a goal to only eat larabars/emergency food outside of the house. If I'm hungry, I can eat some real food when I'm at home, period.  Because of the snacking yesterday afternoon, I'm planning to add some extra fat/protein to my afternoon salad today, to hold myself over.

Dinner last night was AMAZING. I used my favorite technique of roasted bone-in/skin-on chicken (this time a whole chicken) over starchy veggies (this time carrots). Yum! We ate the chicken with cauliflower rice stuffing that I linked in my Day 1 post above. It was easy to make, and definitely had the thanksgivingy hearty flavors coming through. I topped the roasted carrots with homemade dijon mayo. Mixed homemade mayo w Whole Foods dijon for some extra fat. I don't know if it was necessary to add the extra fat but I didn't feel overly full/sick after dinner, so I think it was okay. My boyfriend loved dinner, and ate probably 2/3 of the entire chicken. I was a little bothered, since I wanted to use the extra meat to make chicken salad, but I'm happy that he likes the healthy foods, so no worries. The crock pot has been going on low making chicken broth since last night.

My meal prep power hour last night basically resulted in me getting the stuff ready for broth, and making dinner, so not as successful. Still, I like the feeling of knowing exactly how long cooking will take, it makes things less overwhelming. I would do another one tomorrow, but I have an appointment for a manicure in the evening, so I probably won't get in any meal prep until Saturday morning. 

This morning, I had (TMI, but I'm using this as a log for myself in the future, so I want to note) diarrhea. I'm going to leave out nuts/nut butters for a few days, to see how things go. This, plus my heartburn yesterday, and some stomach grumbling in bed last night, has had me looking into digestive enzymes. I'm going to give it a week of tweaking my foods, and may end up buying some. I'll note how that goes, if I go that route. No heartburn yet today - I put my water aside at breakfast, and will do so again at lunch.

Here's my log for today:

M1: Egg Casserole from above, 2 slices bacon

M2: Power Greens w Lemon-Almond Chicken Salad, 1/2 avocado

M3: Sweet Potato Bisque (https://whole30.com/2015/12/soup-sundays-part-three/) w Pulled Pork and Frozen Veggies topped w Dijon Mayo

My goals for tonight are to get my slow cooker set up for slow cooker turkey sloppy joes (https://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-slow-cooker-turkey-sloppy-joes-231853) tomorrow, pre-bake a sweet potato, and make Golden Cauliflower Soup (https://meljoulwan.com/2012/10/24/golden-cauliflower-soup/), so tomorrow's dinner is basically ready when I get home from my nail appointment. I have a deal with myself to go in to the office at least 2 days this week, and I've worked from home the past three, so I need to get myself in gear to get to the office in the morning.

EDIT: One other win from yesterday - I went for a 20-minute walk after work. That was a great way to end my work day, and I'm planning to do it again today.

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Good Morning, Day 4!

Still struggling with waking up in the morning. I got my boyfriend a sunrise alarm clock for Christmas, and he hasn't been using it - I think I'm going to try to commandeer it this weekend and get it set up for next week. Feeling pretty good this morning. I stopped drinking water with my meals yesterday, which really helped with the heartburn. I have been experiencing some very smelly gas, which I've read can be a symptom when adjusting to a new diet. I'm hopeful it will settle down in the next week or two.

I didn't feel hungry this morning, but I still heated up Meal 1 and am eating it now. I forgot how many groceries this much cooking uses! I ran out of onions yesterday, so my boyfriend had to stop on the way home from work to get more. My meal prep last night didn't get very far, sadly. I made the sweet potato bisque, which we ate with the Costco pulled pork and leftover cauliflower rice stuffing. It was delicious, and I have about a quart of leftover soup. I also cut up the red pepper for the sloppy joes and trimmed the cauliflower for the dinner I was planning for tonight. I asked my boyfriend to do some dishes last night - they were definitely getting overwhelming. He didn't get to the slow cooker, so I'm going to ask him to try to make the soup, potatoes, and sloppy joes for dinner tonight. If not, I'll probably have the same thing as yesterday, since we have leftovers.

I don't have much else to say - still feeling good and steady, no real peaks or valleys. I didn't have stomach grumbling last night either, which was great. Oh, I ended up snacking on some olives after dinner last night. I'm going to count this as a learning experience - I'm happy I didn't cave to a sweet snack, but I really shouldn't be snacking period. I'm going to eat some extra fat with dinner tonight, in the hope that I'll be able to avoid snacking later on. Below is my expected log for today:

M1: Egg casserole from above, 1 piece bacon, 1/2 avocado

M2: Lemon Tahini Tuna Salad on a bed of power greens with carrots and dijon mayo.

M3: Either Golden Cauliflower Soup, Turkey Sloppy Joes, and Baked Sweet Potato, or Sweet Potato Bisque, Costco Pulled Pork, Leftover Cauliflower Rice Stuffing

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Here's the link for the Lemon Tahini Tuna Salad I referenced above: https://whole30.com/2016/05/whole30-recipes-lunches/. I just made it to bring in to the office - I didn't use all of the lemon, because I wanted to use up part of one that I had leftover, but it's really good! I'm probably going to dress the greens with some of the Chosen Foods Lemon Garlic dressing I've been using, because the tuna is pretty thick.

Also, just a note for myself - the power greens were on their last legs today, and I had to throw about 8 oz away. I'm not going to buy them again at Costco, because of this.

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Day 5! Normally, by Friday I'm totally dragging and depressed in the winter. But today, I woke up at 6:20! I'm definitely feeling more energy. Last year, on my first Whole30, I found a definite decrease in anxiety. I'm hoping for that again, because my jaw and temples hurt all day yesterday from clenching/grinding my teeth in my sleep the night before. So far, so good today though.

Last night, my boyfriend ended up cooking the Turkey Sloppy Joes, with a baked sweet potato and frozen butternut squash, along with a handful of olives. Two starchy veggies, but he's trying! The sloppy joes turned out great - they were lacking a little sweetness, but when eaten with the sweet potato I didn't even miss the bun. My boyfriend went out to play basketball with a friend after dinner and I made my peppermint tea and watched a little TV. I ended up eating a Larabar. I'm definitely learning that buying a box of bars like this is not worth the savings. If I'm in an emergency situation, I can just buy one at a gas station if I need to. But, I'm not letting this type of learning experience bring me down. The sweet at night is not helping my sugar dragon, but, I am remaining compliant, which is what's important.

Sadly, my boyfriend did not clean up the kitchen after himself last night when he cooked, so I have that to tackle when I get home before cooking dinner. It's okay, I have a short work day today so I'll be home fairly early.

A win from yesterday is that I took another 20 minute walk, and I'm planning to do so again today on my way home from work. I'm very sad that I've found a way to become so out of shape that this is a big deal for me, but, I know that if I want to get myself to a level of fitness that I'm comfortable with, I need to take these small steps to get myself there. It's supposed to snow 6-8 inches in Pittsburgh this weekend - I'm hoping I can walk to a local winter farmer's market in the morning tomorrow before the snow gets too bad. 

I've been getting kind of hungry for junky food so I think I'm going to make burgers with roasted potato wedges and veggies at some point this weekend. I also have some leftover ground turkey from the sloppy joe's, and I think I'm going to try to make some breakfast sausage patties with it.

Here's my log for today:

M1: The last of the egg casserole - I forgot how tiring those can get. So convenient, though! 2 pieces of NSA bacon

M2: Whole30 Bowl from Chipotle

M3: London Broil with Mushroom Sauce from Rachael Ray's cookbook 365: No Repeats and Roasted Carrot and Avocado Salad from Chrissy Teigen's cookbook Cravings: Hungry for More

EDIT: I write my posts on my work laptop, and I'm planning to leave it at the office this weekend, so I probably won't post again until Tuesday, 1/22. I'll be officially one week down, on Day 9, at that point!

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Hi guys, Day 6!

I brought my work laptop home with me this weekend, because I wasn't as productive as I'd planned on being yesterday, so I'll probably get a little work done this weekend. I figured I would update my log as well, to keep things current. 

So last night, when I got home from work, I realized that not only had I forgotten to pull out the steak to defrost, but we were also out of avocados for the salad I planned on making. I was feeling kind of overwhelmed by that, and the state of our kitchen. I also got kind of depressed at work yesterday. I'm not sure why, but I was feeling a lot of shame and just generally unhappy in the afternoon, hence, not being so productive. I asked my boyfriend if he wanted to go out for dinner, and he said yes. 

We decided to go to Gaucho Parilla Argentina, a delicious local Argentinian steakhouse in Pittsburgh that blessedly has compliant foods. We shared a Parillida Mixta plate - it had a piece of chorizo, a grilled chicken breast, and a grilled NY strip steak, as well as a house salad dressing with oil and vinegar, and oven-roasted potatoes. Yum! Gaucho is known for their sauces - chimichurri, a roasted garlic sauce, a pepper sauce, and a caramelized onion sauce. Thankfully, all of the sauces were compliant. Another bonus - my boyfriend paid.

I had lunch from Chipotle at around 11:30 (for my records the Chipotle was $10.55) and we didn't go for dinner until 6, so I had a Larabar when I got home from work around 4. I know, not a good choice of snack, and I'm clearly relying on them for something. I'm not going to buy them again moving forward. I also took my walk in the afternoon, on the way home from work.

When we got home from dinner and were getting ready for bed, I started to get some stomach pain and cramping, which carried into this morning. I was pretty gassy, but didn't find relief until we went on a long walk to do our grocery shopping around 11 AM. I'm think that the culprit was the Larabar, as I had some digestive stuff when I had them earlier this week, but, I think going out to eat twice in one day is a lot for me, even on a normal basis, and it's possible that something I had from Chipotle or Gaucho may not have totally agreed with me. Too many variables to know for sure. I'm feeling better now though, and will endeavor not to go out to eat as much in one day moving forward.

Anyway, I slept amazing last night - probably fell asleep around 10:30 and slept until 8:30 AM without waking up once. This is a really long time for me, but I figure my body must have needed it, and when I woke up I felt great! I'm so happy that I'm already seeing those sleep benefits - I haven't felt so reliant on caffeine to wake me up the past couple of days, which is amazing.

I made homemade turkey sausage using 1/2 lb leftover ground turkey from the sloppy joes, and this recipe: https://tastythin.com/whole30-breakfast-sausage-whole30-paleo-keto/. The patties were pretty dry - the recipe says to cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, and I cooked them for 4 minutes, I think I would try three if I used the recipe again. I also found them quite bland, to be honest, so would probably try another recipe. We had these with frozen broccoli for breakfast, and I had some dijon mayo on the side. They were a nice break from eggs. Not sure what we'll do for breakfast tomorrow - I'm making cole slaw as our veggie tonight, and might saute some of the leftover cabbage with bacon and eat it with poached or fried eggs - yum!

After breakfast we walked down to the Strip District - a market district in Pittsburgh - to do some grocery shopping with my boyfriend's brother. We went to a number of different stores - a meat market, an Italian grocery store, a produce market, Penzey's Spices, an Asian grocery store, and a new health food market near out apartment, over the course of our walk. I was able to find some great stuff, and we ended up walking about 3 miles altogether - on the second half of the walk, I had a 20 lb backpack on my back, full of groceries. I wore my Timberland boots on the walk, because it was supposed to snow in Pittsburgh this morning (it didn't), and my feet are hurting. I wish I'd worn sneakers.

Here's my shopping log:

Produce market (they don't issue itemized receipts here, so I tried to remember the prices as much as I could):

2 avocados - $3

1 red onion - $1.30

Bunch of bananas - $2.15

5 lb russet potatoes - $2

4 heads garlic - $2

2 big zucchini - $3

1 lb bag yellow onions - $2

Granny smith apple, small red cabbage, and medium red cabbage - $4 (not sure how that broke down for individual items)

Total: $20.45

 

Wholey's (Fish and Meat Market):

GT's Ginger Hibiscus Kombucha - $3.69

Strawberries - $4.99

Amylu's Chicken Chorizo Sausage - $5.99

1.25 lb bulk Hot Italian Sausage - $4.99

Total: $19.66

 

Penzey's Spices

Onion Powder - free, they had a promotion going on

White Pepper - free, see above

Crushed Red Pepper - $6.69

Total: $6.69

 

Pennsylvania Macaroni Company (Italian Grocery Store)

Sundried Tomatoes - $5.29

Sundried Tomato Stuffed Olives - $7.17

Sicilian Spiced Olives - $4.89

Bulk Slivered Almonds -$2.27

Total - $19.61

 

Grand Total: $66.41 - my cheapest week yet!

I didn't end up getting anything at the Asian store or the health food store, but I did see some good stuff for in the future. The health food store sells a lot of great stuff from local makers, and they sell hot beef bone broth for sipping! Yum! And the Asian store had amazing produce prices, so I'll definitely be back in the future.

So, it's lunchtime and I need to figure out what I'm going to eat. I know that I'm going to have leftover turkey sloppy joe meat, but I'm not sure what veggies I'm going to eat it with. Honestly, I'm probably just going to end up eating it with some leftover sweet potato bisque, even though I try to keep starchy veggies to my final meal of the day. I was going to make the Golden Cauliflower soup to go with it, but the kitchen is sadly still a mess, and if I do that I won't end up eating lunch until close to 4 PM, probably. 

Dinner is going to be hamburgers, using the Capon's Chrissy Burgers recipe in Chrissy Teigen's Cravings cookbook, leaving out non compliant ingredients, with Salt & Vinegar Fries from Chrissy Teigen's Cravings Hungry for More cookbook, and this cole slaw recipe: https://meljoulwan.com/2017/07/31/classic-paleo-coleslaw/. I've been craving burgers, and I'm looking forward to eating the leftover cole slaw with the Costco pulled pork. I'm going to use up the pulled pork, but I don't think I'll buy it again. I'm not sure why, but I think it's caused both me and my boyfriend to have stomach aches. 

Anyway, I'm feeling really great, and am looking forward to the rest of this long weekend. I'll write again tomorrow about how the rest of today went, as well as what I'm planning for my meals. I hope everyone else is doing good (if anyone else is even reading this, haha).

One other thing I wanted to add was that I had the eating noncompliant food dream last night. I woke up this morning convinced that I would have to start over because I drank two beers and ate a sandwich last night. It felt so real! It took me like ten minutes, and a conversation with my boyfriend, to realize that, no I didn't drink and my dinner was compliant. Wild!

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Back so soon! I just wanted to update on my lunch today. I looked in the fridge and realized that there was no leftover sweet potato bisque - my boyfriend took all the leftovers for lunch this week. He absolutely loved this soup and said it was in the "top five soups" I've ever made. This is saying a lot, because I love soup, haha! We did have some leftover cauliflower rice stuffing - about 2 cups. I'm eating that with leftover turkey sloppy joe - about 1 1/2 palms, and a handful of olives. Yum!

EDIT: Well, lunch ended up being a mini meal. I'm not sure why, but I'm not that hungry, so I'm not pushing it. I'll put the container back in the fridge and come back to it later if I'm hungry before dinner.

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Day 7 - one week down!

So, to pick up from yesterday - I ate a snack around 4:30 PM of about 3/4 banana with cashew butter and like 6 dried cranberries. 

Dinner took forever to cook, so we didn't end up eating until around 9 PM. It was worth it though! I made the cole slaw recipe above - yum! I'm excited to eat the leftovers, as they're supposed to be even better. We also had the salt & vinegar fries - another definite yum - although, they take some effort and may need to cook a little longer than the instructions call for, if you're making them. I made caramelized onions and a new batch of homemade mayo for dijonaise to go on the burgers, along with horseradish pickles I got from the Farm Show. I would have loved to make some Whole30 ketchup for with the fries, but I didn't have all of the ingredients, so I just ate the fries plain. For the burgers, I mixed some of the Nom Nom Paleo magic mushroom powder with the ground beef for the burgers, along with kosher salt, and crusted them with dijon mustard when I cooked them. The burgers were great, but were a little salty - the extra kosher salt was probably unnecessary.

This morning, I sauteed about 2 1/2 c of the leftover cabbage with some red onion and two pieces of cut up bacon, and ate that with three over easy eggs and about six strawberries. 

I went for a walk this afternoon - about 35 minutes, and got a cortado with compliant almond milk on the way. It's quite cold in Pittsburgh today - about 19 degrees - but I was happy to move around a little bit.

I'm eating my lunch now. I'm having the leftovers from my mini meal yesterday - handful of olives, about a palm of turkey sloppy joe, and cauliflower rice stuffing. 

I slept in pretty late again this morning - got up at around 8:05. I'm not sure if this is my body's way of telling me that I need more sleep, or what. I woke up at 5:23 AM - my boyfriend rarely sleeps through the night, and was looking at his phone, so the blue light woke me up - but I went back to sleep. Probably fell asleep around 11-11:30. I felt good when I woke up again this morning. I had sustained energy all day yesterday, and so far so good today.

I have a day off tomorrow for the holiday, so will meal prep then. I'm planning to set aside about 4 hours for it, based on the amount of time I spent prepping this week. I think this is probably a lot of time, but I really want to get things squared away for the week. I'm planning to make the Classic Beef Soup from it starts with food, Mel Joulwan's Golden Cauliflower soup I linked above, Melissa's Chicken Hash for breakfast, zoodles, do prep for a Bacon, Mushroom, Garlic Cream Sauce and make ghee.

Tonight for dinner, we'll have the Roasted Carrot and Avocado Salad with the London Broil in Mushroom Sauce that I was planning to make on Friday. 

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