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Ælfric’s W30 №2 (Jan 2020)


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I did W30 last January, then had a year where the depression spent as much time in control of me as I did in control of it; my diet completely fell to pieces; and I piled on weight. Tipping the scales at 90 kg (that’s about 198½ lbs for the metric challenged) on the weekend was a wakeup call—I need a major reset, and this time I need to follow through properly once the 30 days are completed.

This really wasn’t planned or properly prepared for—I just went down to the supermarket and grabbed a few things to get going.

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Day 1 (Monday, 6/1/2020)

M1: Scrambled eggs. 4 eggs, parsley, a little water.

M2: Peaches (tinned).

M3: Sardines (tinned) with lemon juice, and a banana, blackberry, strawberry, and blueberry smoothie with almond meal and almond milk. This meal was supposed to be sweet potato and pumpkin soup, but I went for a bike ride after work, and at 8 pm the soup wasn't even started.

Drinks: Tea, liquorice tea, herbal tea, water (1 litre) with lemon juice.

Exercise: About 27km in about 70 minutes. The “abouts” are because it was really three short rides (running errands), and Strava decided that it didn’t need to record the middle section, so I had to reconstruct that part of the ride using Google Maps for the distance and my best guess as to the time. Fun coming home from Nudgee along the canal—there was a gentle tailwind and it was a nice fast ride.

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Day 2 (Tuesday, 7/1/2020)

M1: Chicken (½ a breast) and vegetable (a stir fry mix including carrot, cabbage, and broccoli stems) egg (3) thingie. It wasn't really an omelette because the chicken and veg were in the egg mix, and it wasn't quite a frittata either because it was cooked entirely on the stove top. Whatever, it was nice enough, but it really needed some form of sauce to perk it up.

M2: Apples (tinned).

M3: Pumpkin, sweet potato, and ginger soup. Nice, but it needed to be thicker and creamier, so I poured a small tin of coconut cream into the bowl. Yum.

M4: A few figs, a couple of dates, and a small handful of nuts.

Drinks, Tea, liquorice tea, herbal tea, almond milk, water with lime juice.

Exercise: Weights: parallel grip deadlifts, 5 × 5 × 75 kg (~165 lbs).

Note to self: don't expect to use commercial stock, as both brands in the pantry include sugar for some reason. So the soup was made using water only.

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Day 3 (Wed, 8/1/2020)

M1: Chicken & vegetable omlette/frittata thingie, with a lemon sauce. The sauce was just lemon juice thickened with tapioca starch—lacking something sweet or salty to balance the sour. Might try adding Chinese five spice mix to the eggs instead of a sauce.

M2: Chilled orange vegetable soup with salmon. Dumped two tins of coconut cream into the soup (I made a big vat) which made the soup sit better on the tongue. Added a can of tinned salmon to the bowl. Nice.

M3: Banana and berry smoothie made on almond milk.

M4: Figs, dates, and nuts.

Drinks: Tea, liquorice tea with slices of ginger and lemon, herbal tea, almond milk, water with lemon juice.

Exercise: Cycled 16.7 km (10⅜ miles) in 43 minutes. Wanted to go further, but only had about 45 minutes of daylight remaining when I left home. Noticeable headwind outbound, but sweet coming home.

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Day 4 (Thu. 9/1/20)

M1: Chicken & vegetable omlette/frittata thingie. Added ginger and five spice. Muchly improved.

M2: Chilled orange vegetable soup with sardines.

M3: Figs, dates, and nuts.

M4: Grilled chicken in an Italian-style tomato and onion sauce.

Drinks: Tea, liquorice tea with slices of ginger and lemon, herbal tea, almond milk, water with lemon juice.

Exercise: Piked. Was planning on lifting, but needed to run an errand immediately after work, and too late when I got home. A rest day won't hurt as I've exercised four days straight (day 0 was a weights day).

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Day 5 (Fri, 10/1/20)

M1: Spinach Eggs. Onion and spinach cooked in a frypan, then make wells in the spinach and crack egss into the wells, cover and cook until the eggs are done.

M2: Orange vegetable soups with coconut flakes added.

M3: Egg and fruit smoothie (poast-workout).

M4: Figs, dates, and nuts.

Drinks: Tea, liquorice tea, herbal tea, water with lime juice.

Exercise: Zercher squats 5 x 5 x 67½ kg (just shy of 148⅞ lbs).

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Day 6 (Sat, 11/1/20)

I didn’t sleep much last night, which doesn’t augur well for having a good day. These are the days when my depression can run riot. They're also the days when I'm so badly unfocused that I can easily injure myself (so I don't play with knives, hot objects, or machinery because I'm rather attached to my fingers and thumbs).

M1: Orange vegetable soup.

M2: Egg and fruit smoothie (the Ninja’s blades are totally enclosed when running, so I figure it’s safe for Mr. Clumsy to use).

M3: Figs, dates, and nuts.

M4: Orange vegetable soup with salmon.

Drinks: some water, some coconut milk (the dilute kind). Nowhere near enough.

Fortunately there was lots of soup in the fridge, and other compliant food in the larder.

Hopefully some sleep tonight.

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Day 7 (Sun. 12/1/20)

Slept better, but still with a low mood. But at least not likely to slice and dice myself while prepping food, or drop weights on my foot while exercising.

M1: Scrambled eggs.

M2: Stir fried turkey breast with vegetables, flavoured with tahini and lemon.

M3: Egg and nut smoothie (post workout).

M4: Rosemary roast vegetables (pumpkin, sweet potato, turnip, swede, parsnip, carrot, cauliflower, onion, and garlic doused in olive oil and with a bunch of fresh rosemary sprinkled on top).

M5: Berry smoothie.

Drinks: water with lemon juice, plain water, coconut milk, almond milk.

Exercise: Weights. Parallel-grip deadlifts: 1 × 20 × 65 kg (143¼ lbs); overhead press: 1 × 15 × 17½ kg (38½ lbs). Was supposed to follow up with Lat pulls, but the depression got the better of me. Still, as Meat Loaf so poignantly sang, Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad.

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Day 8 (Mon, 13/1/10)

M1: Grilled salmon with ginger, spring onion, lemon peel and vegetables. This would have been perfect except the citrus zester has gone into hiding and so I cut pieces of zest off the lemon, but no matter how hard you try, you get some of the pith that way.

M2: The last of the orange soup with tinned salmon added.

M3: Grilled turkey breast and roast vegetables.

M4: This was really a delayed desert from M3. Banana poached in coconut milk. I first had this dish at a restaurant called Grandma Thai in the High Street in Rochester when I was living in the UK back around Y2K. I’m sure they added sugar to the coconut milk, but I’ve found a blend of spices based around cinnamon is just as nice, so that’s how I made it to be W30 compliant [I also slice the banana because it cooks faster and more evenly that way when done at home, even if it lacks the panache of serving the banana whole]. Yum!

Drinks: water with lemon juice, tea, herbal team, liquorice and ginger tea.

Exercise: Cycled to Nudgee Beach and back after work, as I had about 70 minutes until sunset. The round trip was 23.6 km (14⅔ miles) in 61½ minutes. Comfortable ride out, but I struggled with the wind coming home. There’s a short section where the path was sheltered from the wind, and there was a noticeable spike in my speed at that point. I need to work on getting this ride under the hour (actually I’d like to get it down to a 50 minute ride as that would put the main section from Toombul to the beach and back along the bike path at about 30 km/h—I think asking for anything faster than that from a guy in his mid 50s on a touring bike isn’t a reasonable).

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Tuesday, 14/1/20.

M1: Scrambled eggs. According to the how many can you hold in your hand, I should be eating six eggs, but there's no way I can eat that many. Four is plenty.

M2: Pineapple (tinned)

M3: grilled turkey with roast vegetables.

M4: Banana berry smoothie.

Drinks: water with lime juice, tea, herbal team, liquorice and ginger tea.

Exercise: Went Scottish Country Dancing.

And now the oops. I was feeling peckish just before bedtime, so I grabbed a spoonful of the shredded coconut. It's like desiccated coconut, only in slightly bigger pieces. Not normally something you would eat by itself, but rather use as an ingredient (as I've been doing the whole way through). And it tasted sweet. Far sweeter than coconut should taste. Checked the ingredient list, and sure enough, Mackenzies have seen fit to adulterate it with sugar. Because this had been in the pantry from before I started, I'd not checked. So today is day zero.

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Oh nooooo!  I keep hearing on the FB group of these stories of the accidental sugar intake.  It has made me so paranoid! I’m walking around like I trust no one and nothing. :unsure:  Im like “my friend offers me a glass of water and I’m like, can I read the ingredients first” paranoid.  

I hope this doesn’t knock the wind out of your sail, you have such good momentum going.

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@BabyBear: Thanks for the kind words of encouragement.


OK, Here I Go Again.

In the previous 10 days I lost about 1½ kg (~3⅓ lb). That's not water loss because I'm fully hydrated—probably the only thing in Australia that is. Starting weight this time is 87.5 kg. 


Wednesday 15/1/20 (Take 2, Day 1).

M1: Salmon, spring onion, ginger, lemon zest soup (the both part was coconut milk). The prodigal zester has returned, and zest is much nicer to cook with.

M2: Grilled eggs with herbs.

M3: Grilled turkey in a tomato herb sauce flavoured with onion, garlic, and parsley.

M4: Banana berry smoothie.

Snack: A few dates stuffed with pepitas. The bad thing about medjool dates is that they cost at least an earl's ransom. The good thing is that they have so much more (and better) flavour than ordinary dates, so you eat less of them.

Exercise: Piked. Today was a bad day with the depression, and exercise just didn't happen.

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Thursday 15/1/20 (Day 2).

M1: Scrambled eggs.

M2: Tinned peaches.

M3: Grilled "breaded" (with almond meal) turkey breast and stir fried veggies.

M4: Banana berry smoothie and some stuffed dates.

While at the supermarket last night I picked up a dozen chicken drumsticks on sale. From the 2 kg of drumsticks I cut off just over 1 kg of meat (will make a nice curry), which left just under a kilo of bones, skin, scrag ends of meat, &c. These, with some vegetables, have been simmering away all afternoon. [Two hints on making bone broth: use a cleaver and crack the bigger bones (which is why I like using drumsticks) as it makes it easier to access the marrow; and use a pasta insert to hold the solids so you can just life them out of the broth and drain them easily].

Drinks: Lemon water; tea; liquorice tea.

Exercise: Weights: Parallel Grip Deadlift: 5 × 5 × 77½ kg (~170⅞ lbs). Right in the groove, like a well tuned machine. Felt moderately heavy, but not quite back to working weight yet.

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@BabyBear: Glad you found the idea useful. The idea was inspired many years ago when watching my ex struggle to extract the solids from the stock pot. She was using a slotted spoon or some such to lift the solids into a colander suspended over a bowl. It dawned on me that the pasta pot was essentially a colander, and was made to fit the stock pot. The process is the same as cooking pasta except with the stock you keep the liquid and discard the solids.


Friday 17/1/20 (Day 3).

M1: Vegetable frittata-ish thing.

M2: Chicken broth. Came our of the fridge as a jelly-like gloop (which is how it's supposed to be). Just warmed it enough to make it liquid again.

M3: Banana smoothie. Got bad from my ride, and couldn't face the concept of solid food.

M4: Salmon and coconut soup. Flavoured with basic curry spices and lemon zest, and with added coconut flakes (and  no sugar!).

Drinks: Lemon water; rooibos; tea; herbal tea.

Exercise: Cycled to Nudgee Beach and back after work. 23.6 km (14⅔ miles) in 60¾ minutes, so a little faster. There were some storms coming down from the north, so I wasn't sure how long I'd have, but they're only now (after 9 pm) reaching Brisbane. But it was a slog into the wind on the way out, and a fast ride home. The splits were about 33 minutes out and 27¾ minutes coming home. On a windless day, that split should be about 29 and 31 (due to the one hill), so the wind was a big influence today.

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Sunday 19/1/20 (Day 5).

M1: Grilled turkey breast and vegetables.

M2: Banana berry egg smoothie.

M3: Chicken and vegetable curry.

Drinks: Water. Lots and lots of water.

Exercise: Nil.

I spent part of the day making a storage cradle for my kayak. Essentially it’s just a frame made out of cheap 70 × 35 mm (I think that’s 3″ x 1½″ nominal) pine lumber, some casters that I rescued off my father'’s bed base when he replaced the bed (the bed was next to the window when a hail storm struck their house—dad had replaced the legs on the base with the casters when it was first bought, and had totally over-engineered this (we’re talking 125 mm (5″) diameter casters)), and a couple of lengths of 40mm PVC pipe. It was a warm day and very humid—I drank about 2 litres of water while making the cradle—and by the time I was finished my clothing was sodden. I really didn’t feel like exercising after that. I also didn’t feel like eating, which is why lunch was liquid.

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Monday 20/1/20 (Day 6).

M1: Smashed eggs (not as scrambled as scrambled eggs, but not intact either—crack the eggs into the pan, and gently stir them every once in a while).

M2: Apricots (tinned).

M3: Banana berry and egg smoothie (post workout).

M4: Chicken and vegetable curry.

Drinks: Green tea, mint tea, liquorice tea, lemon water.

Exercise: Weights. This was the workout I should have done yesterday.

  • Zercher squat: 1 × 20 × 55 kg (121¼ lbs).
  • Bent over row: 1 × 15 × 33¾ kg (74⅜ lbs).
  • Dips: 3 × 5 × 88½ kg (195 lbs) [that’s me plus my clothing] + 2 × 4 × 88½ kg + 1 × 2 × 88½ kg. The plan is for 5 x 5, but I’m not quite there yet (but losing some weight certainly helps).
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Tuesday 21/1/20 (Day 7).

M1: Salmon and vegetable omelette.

M2: Peaches (tinned).

M4: Chicken and vegetable curry.

M4: Banana berry smoothie.

Drinks: Tea, rooibos, liquorice tea, lime water.

Exercise: Scottish Country Dancing.

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Wednesday 22/1/20 (Day 8).

M1: Chicken scrambled eggs.

M2: Apricots (tinned).

M4: Berry & egg smoothie (post ride).

M4: Salmon.

Drinks: Tea, herbal tea, liquorice tea, lemon water.

Exercise: Cycled to Osborne Road and back. 26.4 km (16⅜ miles) in 71 minutes (average about 22.3 km/h (13⅞ m/h)). The weather radar showed a storm coming in from the west, so I cycled to the west so the storm couldn't get between my position and my home—learnt that lesson the hard way some time ago.

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Thursday 23/1/20 (Day 1).

Yes, that's day one again. Just before I started doing the W30, I had purchased a couple of cases of almond milk on special. It was the same brand as I'd used last time, and so was Whole 30 compliant. Or so I thought. Apparently some time during the last 12 months, the manufacturer has started using rice as an ingredient in their almond milk. I only picked it up because I realised I would need more to make the end of the W30 and it was on special again, and as I'm doing the W30 it's now automatic to glance at the ingredients. So in the last 2½ weeks, I've probably gotten to day one on those days that I had coconut milk, and gone back to day zero every day

M1: Hard boiled eggs. It's been so long since I've made hard boiled eggs, I had to look up the recipe (how long, do the eggs go into cold or boiling water?). Made a nice change.

M2: Banana, cherry, nut butter, and egg smoothie.

M4: Berry & egg smoothie (post workout). Not good, but it was 8:30, and was about all I could do in the face of the disaster (see below).

Drinks: Water. Lots.

Exercise: Zercher squats. 5 x 5 x 70kg (154⅜ lb).


Yesterday was pay day. The pay was a little short because I had taken some unpaid leave, but nothing to worry about—there were enough prepped meals in the fridge to spin things out to next pay day.

Today I was rather under the weather with the depression, and didn't go to work. I went grocery shopping, got home about midday, put the groceries away and made the smoothie for lunch. Popped the half used coconut milk into the fridge, and went to sleep.

After my workout (some 7 or more hours later), I went into the kitchen to make dinner (more correctly, to raid the bowl of  chicken and vegetable curry for dinner), only to find that the meat had shifted at some point and caused the fridge door to pop open. In the middle of summer. How bad was it? There was a half pat of butter in the fridge left over from Christmas which is now a puddle of molten goop, so I don't think any of the raw meat I bought, the bone broth, or the prepped meals are safe to eat. The eggs should be okay, and the vegetables as well. The contents of the freezer (a small amount of chicken, a few portions of salmon, and plenty of berries) are fine as only the fridge door was unsealed.

Suddenly there are no prepped meals in the fridge, and half of the ingredients I purchased aren't there either. And there's no money to replace what was lost.

It's 13 days, or 39 meals, until payday (not counting the smoothies, which I count more as medication: the bananas are to supply L-tryptophan (the precursor to serotonin) to assist with the depression—they're even more important when doing W30 as dairy, my other main source, has been removed from the diet).

At a rough count, I have about enough ingredients for eighteen W30 compliant meals, plus the budget to buy eggs (and bananas) that would spin it out to maybe two dozen or so meals.

That would mean two meals plus a smoothie per day.

I am not a happy camper when hungry.

On the other hand, the larder is chock full of food. Tins of beans, lentils, and chickpeas. Bags of rice. Half a bucket of homemade muesli. The non-compliant almond milk.

I don't really think there's much more to be said. I'll be back to start again on Thursday 6th February.

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Oh man that’s terrible, and definitely a disaster of epic scale.  We had a freezer incident this week and I lost 10lbs of chicken and about 25lbs of venison along with a bunch of baked goods for my son with multiple food allergies. It was like a kick to my gut.  I just kept crying No no no, like it would somehow make it better.    

Taking care of you and putting first things first is most important.  The whole 30 will be here when you recover from the loss of so much food ie money!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thursday 6th February (Take 3, Day 1)

Starting weight 88.1 kg.

M1: Grilled Eggs

M2: Pineapple (tinned)

M3: Turkey with tomato gravy

M4: Berry Smoothie

Ex: Nil

Friday 7th February (Day 2)

M1: Smashed Eggs

M2: Peaches (tinned)

M3: Salmon and Coconut Soup (flavoured with five spice and sichuan pepper)

M4: Banana Berry Smoothie

Ex: Nil

Saturday 8th February (Day 3)

M1: Scrambled Eggs

M2: Pineapple (tinned)

M3: Banana Berry Smoothie

Ex: Nil

Have had three days of bad depression.

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