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Caterer does her first Whole30: slaying my demons 1/4/13

Seana H

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Day 6 and I am excited to start my log.....this forum is an incredible resource!

Who am I? I am a caterer and wedding planner in Washington DC. Two wonderful kids (6 + 8), a 60 hour a week job, stressful clients and a love of Chardonnay. I have let these things become obstacles to taking care of myself over everyone else in my world. It is time to take charge!

Making it to Day 6 has been exhilarating and wonderful. I have more energy than I ever remember feeling, and I woke up yesterday feeling like I needed to shout from the mountain tops - "Everyone should do a Whole30!"

Luckily, I don't cook the food at my events - but I sell and plan events up to 2,000 people in some of the most awesome sites and museums in DC. Sounds glamorous, but really not so. I am around food + wine every single day. My job being in sales means lots of client entertaining and bride's tastings (usually 8 courses with wine pairings). HOWEVER, I am the master of my universe. No one has made me gain 40lbs or locked up my workout clothes so I can't workout. I have let this happen and am here to correct it.

What do I want to get out of my Whole30?

** Overall sense of well-being: I want to feel better about myself physically and mentally. I'm tired of feeling puffy, bloated, out-of-control and yucky.

** I don't want to be [or feel like] the Fat Mom at the pool.

** Weight: Even though this is not my focus, it is a part of my motivation.

** Improve my relationships with my husband and children, and be the partner and Mom that I want to be. I want to take care of myself first to be a better mother to my children.

Identifying my demons:

** Wine: I love wine. Before starting my Whole30 I was drinking wine everyday, 1-2 glasses per day. Can you say "calories"???; This is the only terrifying thing about declaring my Whole30. Can I really go 30 days without wine? [For those of you who don't drink alcohol, I know this sounds stupid. But it is my demon and I'm claiming it.]

** Bad Eating Habits: When the kids and husband went to bed, I would stay up and snack, drink wine [see Wine Demon above] and watch Netflix till 1am. I would tell myself "this is my only "me time"....yeah right!;

** Excercise Demon: I will just say it - I hate the thought of excercise. I love it AFTER the workout, spin class or run. But getting my butt out the door is a Herculean effort;

** Stress Monster: I think I am addicted to stress. It has given me the fake excuse to let myself go and ignore one of the most important aspects of my life: my health and well-being.

Well, the cat is out of the bag. No going back and no quitting or slips! I am so thankful we have this forum for support!

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Busy job- I catered several years- probably took the worst care of myself during that time. A wife and mom to 6 kids- I know what you mean !

Whole 30 is great- and you sound like you have it well in hand. GREAT JOB !!!!!

We lived in Maryland for 10 years- spent a lot of time in DC. You must be hoppin' ! And- my 15 y/o daughter dreams of being a wedding planner. She already works out religiously and eats about 95% paleo- off to a good start in that area !!

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Day 7 - I made it through my first event last night. I had a seated dinner for 220 at the Museum of American History. (The new FOOD exhibit featuring Julia Child's kitchen is awesome).

On the menu for my client was first course: mushroom bisque, carrot ginger soup, entree: tenderloin with my favorite sauce in the world, champagne poached salmon, mashed potatoes and sugar snap peas. Dessert buffet: whole cake display with 5 different cakes, miniature apple pie pops, homemade marshmallows dipped in chocolate, and a slew of miniature dessert parfaits.

It had been a long day with a tough set-up - and I was tired and stressed. But I did not slip once!!! I would usually stand by the passed hors d'oeuvre chef and pop goodies in my mouth (mac-n-cheese bites with BBQ Chicken), but I sent my assistant to handle cocktail hour so I did not have to be around the service bar with chardonnay (oh how I miss thee) and the yummy bites being passed.

Then for dinner, I talked to the chef and he made me a plate with tenderloin (no sauce), a piece of salmon, lots of sugar snap peas and luckily we had a vegetarian entree that was all grilled veg. To my delight I realized we had made a gluten free + dairy free version of the mushroom bisque. Score!

I am still shocked that I went to check on dessert kitchen on the 3rd floor and I had NO interest in taking a bite of cake or grabbing a dessert mini-pie lolipop. That was so cool.

I have been dreading my first event while on my Whole30 and so proud that I made it through without one hitch.

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Day 7

Today was a good day. Was able to get in a mini cooking session and had a fabulous trip to Whole Foods. Finally able to get items I've been waiting for: ghee, unsweetened coconut flakes, Kombucha, and sunflower butter.

Stopped by a friends house that I hadn't seen since New Year's Eve. Her husband saw me and said, "wow you look great. so much healthier than at you New Year's party....and you've definitely lost weight." I promise I didn't bribe him - it was so fun to get some compliments!

Here is what I ate today:

Meal #1: egg scramble with mushrooms and apple sausage;

coffee with primal creamer

Meal #2: Cocoa Chili from Well Fed (this is my new staple in the fridge)

Spaghetti Squash

Hand full of strawberries + blueberries

Snack on the road: apple

Meal #3: family really wanted to go to Hard Times Chili Parlor for dinner. I did great with no slips. Ordered a Grilled Steak Salad with tomatoes, bacon and lettuce. no dressing and no cheese. Iced tea with no sweetener.

Even though I'm just making it to the next meal with energy and hunger - I don't think I'm getting enough veggies at all. Really need to broaden my veggie options.

Here is my Food for Thought Day 7 Worksheet:

I find myself craving sugar, bread or sweets when I'm bored or stressed.

Sometimes, I think I'm hungry, but I'm actually just thirsty or tired.

When I'm craving sugar, I used to eat anything I could get my hands on! Mainly breads or starches.

During my Whole30, I'm going to reach for water or protein instead.

I thought I'd miss eating sweets and pasta, but I actually don't miss them at all.

I didn't think I'd like eating

I have the hardest time sticking to the Whole30 when I'm relaxing after kids go to bed and at my work events/tastings.

When I eat a good breakfast I feel energized.

When I prepare a healthy meal from scratch I feel happy + empowered.

Since I started my Whole 30, I've noticed:

that my exercise is not happening often enough....

that my sleep has improved and I wake up more refreshed with 8 hours or more...

that my emotions are more even-keeled and positive....

that my recovery after exercise (hmmm....) see #1 above....

that my body feels less achy.....

that my clothes fit a little bit looser.....

that I am much more alert and have tons of energy!

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Day 8

Today was my first day of hitting the wall. I popped out of bed at 5:20am and met a friend for a 3 mile run. I made the HUGE mistake of not eating breakfast as soon as I got home. Instead, had coffee packed everyone's lunches and got kids to school. On the way out of the door I thought, "Darn I'm hungry!" And then in dawned on me, "duh, I didn't have breakfast and I've been up for almost 3 hours."

Got to work, had hard boiled eggs and water. It was too late. I had a headache all day. Felt better after an awesome lunch, but then at 3pm I was starving and got very tired.

Need to advice here - what should I have adjusted???

Breakfast (late): 2 hard boiled eggs

Lunch (12:30pm): shredded chicken with Sunshine sauce (from Well Fed)

cabbage cole slaw mix

half an avocado

spaghetti squash with dried cranberries

Snack (3:00pm) grabbed a sweet potato when I started feeling slow and sleepy

Snack (5pm): ate an apple on the way home so I would not walk into the restaurant starving

Dinner: had dinner with friends at pizza joint - very nervous to slip....but didn't!

green salad with grilled chicken, prosciutto and tomato/oil + vinegar

Feeling very bloated and exhausted. It is 8:00pm and all I can think about is getting my kids to bed so I can fall on the couch.

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Day 10

Big news! I exercised twice today. Power walked 2 miles with friend Melissa, then friend Sarah called and wanted to go for a run. I didn't hesitate when I said "sure" and surprised even myself. My husband about fell over when I asked him to watch the kiddos.

Woke up at 7:30am very tired even though I went to bed at 10:30pm.

Good eat day - even made brownies and mac+cheese for the kids and their friends. Wasn't tempted to even lick the spoon.

Yesterday had lots of sugar cravings from 2pm on.....today not so much.

Breakfast: (2) scrambled eggs with (2) pieces of bacon

Lunch: Well Fed Chocolate Chili

(4) leftover coconut shrimps

Snack (while making dinner): (5) carrot sticks and handful of cashews

Dinner: homemade Carne Asada with chunks of pork and pureed dried peppers

salad with (1) hard boiled egg; half an avocado; Well Fed Creamy Italian dressing (yum)

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Day 11

Woke up at 5:20am to go for run. Raining, so running partners bailed. I was so cranky and sad and angry with myself that I have so much weight to lose. I feel better, and my clothes are a bit more loose than 2 weeks ago - but I'm dying to check the scale to see if I've lost any weight.

Breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs (made sure to eat within an hour of waking up to not get headache)

Lunch: roasted beets, carrots, and parsnips

1 cup cocoa chili (well fed)

1 cup spaghetti squash

snack: hand full of mixed nuts (no peanuts)

Dinner: (actually got the family at the table for leftover dinner night)

salad with 1 can of tuna, Well Fed creamy Italian dressing, cucumber

2 small slices chicken


Successfully did not eat anything after 8pm. (Newly committing no eating after 8pm). My kids actually unloaded the dishwasher and set the table. We had a great time cooking dinner together. However, I had to make something different for everyone. But in the end, just happy to have a nice family dinner. My daughter said "Mommy is that your new diet food?" I said no, this is food that is healthy that I'm choosing to eat."

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Day 12

Good day. Amazing how much energy I have at night to help the kids with homework, make dinner and keep my patience!

Breakfast: 2 eggs (no veggies, tho)

Lunch: very exciting. lunch at the office today was gilled salmon, green beans, and salad. didn't love the salmon, so added some packaged tuna

Snack: handful of nuts, pear

Dinner: 2 cups chocolate chili

small sweet potato

sauteed spinach with garlic and nutmeg (yum)

1/4 chicken sausage

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Day 14

Well - another good day. But a few bothersome physical responses have popped up that I'm not sure how to address. Ever since I was a kid, I have always had eczema on my fingers and wrists. It gets irritated easily if I handle acidic things (like slicing a tomato, juicing a lemon, or making hamburger patties) or if I wash my hands alot with strong soap. It has really flared up in the past week, as well as my face getting blotchy and red, and patches on my chest. Didn't think much of it until I started seeing other folks in the forum mention this as well. Food allergy? Ketosis rash? Who knows....

I also have had that metallic taste in my mouth the past 4 days that is weird and gross. This is definitely a symptom of ketosis, and in researching the forums it seems to point to the fact that I'm not getting enough good carbs. I'm trying to each a sweet potato everyday, but I have to admit I am VERY tired of them. So tonight I bought some butternut squash, acorn squash and spaghetti squash. I'm going to try in increase the good carb intake.

Hubby's birthday tonight - and we went out to dinner. It went great - and was a little tough, but I just keep thinking about how much better I feel on my Whole30. Funny tho, the waiter came over and asked me if I wanted a drink while I waited for the family to arrive. I said no, that I had given up wine for 30 days. She looked at me in horror and said "what the heck would make you do that?" So I gave her the 20 second elevator speech on Whole30, and felt it necessary to make her feel better by persuading her that it is a great thing and I've never had so much energy, etc. At the end of my diatribe, she said "can't you at least have vodka?" At that point I gave up.

Ordering at dinner went well, trading out potatoes for double veggies with a delicious hangar steak. But you never know what is going to sneak on those darn restaurant plates. It arrived with Bernaise sauce on the plate next to the steak. So I took a spoon and scooped it off the plate. Luckily, it hadn't been poured on top of the steak. But it is interesting that I felt like a pain in the butt if I had said, " can you please re-plate this with the sauce?"

Stopped by Whole Foods to pick up kombucha and more veggies. I love that place! It is so nice to have so many items that fit the Whole30. Where going into Safeway is a non-starter. Got some Mango Syzergy Kombucha and it was fantastic.

food today:

Breakfast: kids made me (2) scrambled eggs with sausage

I was on the road for client mtg and packed:

Lunch: (1) sweet potato with cinnamon, (1) Aidells Chicken + Apple Sausage

(1) banana

(first banana I've had in 2 weeks. It kinda feels like cheating to me. All I can think of is the commercials that say bananas cause belly fat and have a lot of sugar)

Snack: made awesome egg salad last night (olive oil mayo, s+p, dijon mustard)

Dinner: wedge salad with balsamic and olive oil

hangar steak with mushroom and green beans

Snack: after getting home from restaurant was having strange craving for a pb+j sandwich. Had a small bunch of cashew pieces.

I so wanted to get on the scale this morning. I put on a work dress that was definitely looser than 2 weeks ago - however, I had the dream that it would be too big to wear. Glad I stuck to program and didn't get on the scale! If it had been only a few pounds, I would have been disappointed and might have derailed my progress.

Geez - verbose today.

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  • 2 weeks later...

And- my 15 y/o daughter dreams of being a wedding planner. She already works out religiously and eats about 95% paleo- off to a good start in that area !!

Hi Bridget, thanks for the note! If your daughter ever wants to come down to DC to visit a wedding in the Nation's Capital let me know!

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Day 26.....where did the time go? Oh, yea, Inauguration Hell.

I am still feeling fabulous. But the past 3 days I am judging my weight results WAY to harshly. Clothes are feeling looser - but I read someone lost a dress size in 2 weeks and I got jealous. I can't wait to get on a scale, but scared I will be dissapointed. Been thinking that I've been letting sugar sneak into my Whole30. I've decided to take a bit of time off and then start another - just deciding on the date.

This past week I let my prep work + cook-up duties relax too much. Need to re-organize this part of meal planning. However, due to my newfound energy I have re-organized every room in the house except for my children's rooms and the garage. Feeling very in control of my house again. My husband finished a renovation on my home office which is putting me in a great mind-frame for my catering sales work.

Did not have the Well Fed Chili in the fridge this week, and the eczema on my fingers cleared up. I'm beginning to think I have an allergy to tomatoes. Might go to allergist to figure this out.

Need to plan my re-intro - but really I plan on staying on program, and just want to have a glass of wine a few times a week and some sort of sweetener in my coffee. I don't need dairy at all, and love the primal creamer that I've been making the during my Whole30.

If I reintroduce a sweetener to coffee, what is the best - Stevia, Raw Sugar, etc?

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