Contessa's January reset

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1 hour ago, Contessa said:

My challenge, much more than eliminating problematic foods from my diet, is gently learning how to not eat every time I feel stressed/bored/frustrated. Those are 3 big "feeling states" that tend to spark self-destructive food behaviors.

This statement absolutely spoke to my heart. I struggle with this daily and do feel like W30 is what I need to help me learn a better reward/comfort outlet.

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Muscle cramps were back last night, but thankfully, they're decreasing in intensity/duration. Thanks @ShadowInTheKitchenfor the helpful tips on salt! I'm sure cutting out all packaged foods has curbed my sodium intake...  I'll try adding more salt to today's dishes. 

Today I am missing crunchy foods... something besides carrots, I mean. Grilled toast... tortilla chips... come at me, crunchy foods.

Food journal for 1/13/21, day 15:

Breakfast:  1 perfect scrambled egg, pulled chicken, shredded veggies, mashed potatoes, sauce

Lunch: Kettle & Fire coconut curry soup, supplemented with some additional chicken.... take that, sodium level! a glass of kombucha

Dinner: Oven fries with compatible ketchup; pulled chicken, shredded veggies, steamed broccoli

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Yep, food boredom is real. And yet I'm glad to be selecting from a limited menu. Today was an seriously bonkers day, with a doctor visit, work deadlines, conference calls, and unexpected errands. Oh, and the people in the apartment above mine are re-doing their floors. Apparently a lot of hammers are involved. I was harried all day but still felt great. It was a blessing to have reliable Whole 30 food to hang on to.

Food journal for 1/14/21, day 16:

Breakfast: 1 perfect scrambled egg, pulled chicken, diced spinach, shredded veggies, mashed potatoes, sauce

Lunch: Chocolate avocado smoothie

Dinner: Spinach-avocado chicken burger, sweet potatoes, steamed broccoli, sauce

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I agree with what Shadow said; your meals sound delicious!  I also keep forgetting to ask you the name of that soup place in ATL with the Whole 30 compliant soups.  I have been craving some yummy soup, and if there's a good place in the area, I would love to try it!  

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Tonight I am prepping this coconut chicken curry recipe, which appears to be completely Whole30 if you substitute cauliflower rice for the traditional rice. I'll post taste test results tomorrow!

Food journal for 1/15/21, day 17:

Breakfast: 1 egg, pulled chicken, shredded veggies, mashed potatoes, sauce

Lunch: Spinach-avocado turkey burgers (ground turkey = not as good as ground chicken!); oven fries

Dinner: pulled chicken, shredded veggies, mashed potatoes, sauce


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Today may have been the first time I've ever prepared a dish that made the taster physically step back and say, "Oh my GOD" in awe. Such was the feedback from ye olde boyfriend on the NYTimes' coconut chicken curry. With compatible oil and compatible rice/noodles, it's totally Whole 30! Cool!

(Truly, I'm not sure if it was "Oh my GOD" worthy. It was good.... but for some reason, he really liked it.)

Also, I just realized that yesterday's Day 17 passed without incident. For some reason, Day 17 is the point at which my enthusiasm wanes and my motivation goes missing. Day 18 feels so much farther along than Day 17, go figure.

Food journal for 1/16/21, day 18:

Breakfast: I slept in and missed it!

Lunch: The aforementioned coconut chicken curry with spiral butternut squash and cauliflower rice (can we all agree that having access to mainstream, unsauced, free-of-a-million-processed- ingredients frozen cauli rice is really nice? Thanks, Green Giant.)

Dinner: the everpresent chicken, veggies, and sauce

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Man. Grinding away over here. I wish my cravings were not as gnarly as they are, here on Day 19. I've really been honoring the program. Usually my cravings have been crippled by this point. And okay, watching Gilmore Girls this month has probably not helped my situation. That show is a serious junk food extravaganza. The pizzas! The Chinese take-out! The platters of burgers and fries at Luke's Diner! I hold Lorelai personally responsible for these cravings.

Food journal for 1/17/21, day 19:

Breakfast: 2 eggs fried in the coconut curry sauce from yesterday

Lunch: coconut chicken curry with butternut squash and cauliflower rice

Dinner: Ground beef with sauce, mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli

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Hmmmm.... I wonder where my entry for yesterday's food went. It was all good Whole 30 stuff. I have so many tabs open on my browser this week that I've started to confuse myself and write over drafts. Alas! Will democracy be safe if it never knows that I spent yesterday eating protein, vegetables, and sauce?!

Food journal for 1/20/21, day 22:

Breakfast: Chicken plus veggies plus sauce; coffee with almond milk

Lunch: Ground beef + shredded veggies

Dinner: Paleo chicken soup from the soup goddess

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Lord have mercy, this week at work is just wrecking me. I'm trying to do the jobs of 2 people. The company has brought in a new person to help, which is good, but you know... onboarding a new person always slows you down at first. This is what's known as irony. I think that if I wasn't doing a Whole 30 right now, I would probably be rage-eating over how overwhelmed I feel, so.... yay for not doing that, I guess?

Food journal for 1/21/21, day 23:

Breakfast: Ground beef plus veggies plus sauce

Lunch: Avocado-chocolate smoothie

Dinner: Last of the coconut chicken curry with Very Good Brussels Sprouts* and balsamic aioli dipping sauce**

*Friends, the secret of deilcious brussels sprouts is just nuking them within an inch of their little sprouty lives! This ultra simple recipe from Cooks Illustrated yields delicious sprouts with perfect tender/crispy texture. As with all Cooks Illustrated recipes, it's a tad fussy, but also worth the fuss.


  • 2 ¼ lbs  Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved    
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil    
  • 1 tablespoon water   
  • Salt and pepper

Serves 6 to 8


If you are buying loose  Brussels sprouts, select those that are about 1½ inches long. Quarter  Brussels sprouts longer than 2½ inches; don’t cut sprouts shorter than 1 inch.

1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 500 degrees. Toss  Brussels sprouts, oil, water, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper in large bowl until sprouts are coated. Transfer sprouts to rimmed baking sheet and arrange so cut sides are facing down.

2. Cover sheet tightly with aluminum foil and roast for 10 minutes. Remove foil and continue to cook until  Brussels sprouts are well browned and tender, 10 to 12 minutes longer. Transfer to serving platter, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.


Put some mayonnaise into a fancy little bowl. Drizzle just a few drops of balsamic vinegar into the oil. Stir with a spoon. Dip sprouts and enjoy.

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My older brother and I have been working on our Whole 30s together this month, and together, we seem to have accidentally inspired our mother to start a Whole 30 of her own. I have very mixed feelings about this. My poor mother seems to have been on a diet of some sort or another for her adult life (she is 75). She takes exquisite care of herself, isn't on any prescription medication, cuts a trim profile, and has a darned "healthy diet" as it is. I truly believe I have inherited some generational body image dysfunction/food obsession tendencies from her. Now she's all gung ho for a Whole 30 and excited to try it. Sigh. I am not letting this steal my joy or anything, but it's landing in a weird way today. The dynamic between mothers and daughters can be very complex! Joint stiffness has bothered her in recent years. I certainly appreciate her desire to get some relief from it and will cheer her on while continuing to pay attention to my own stuff.
Probably Not a Good Time to Quit Therapy

Food journal for days 25-27.... I just stopped recording food here for a few days, because it was all sort of melding into this river of sameness. But it was all Whole 30, and tasty.

Food journal for 1/25/21, day 28:

Breakfast: 1 scrambled egg plus the latest batch of Very Good Brussels Sprouts and veggies

Lunch: Winter vegetable soup with chicken sausage from the soup goddess (wish I had the recipe for that one, it was dynamite)

Dinner: Veggies + ground beef + sauce

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1/28/21, day 31:

Well, here we are at the close of this Whole 30. This one has been an adventure, and I'm grateful for the chance to have this time at home. In hindsight, I probably did not put enough energy into cooking and meal planning this time around! Even with infusions from the soup goddess, I drove myself slightly nuts with the same meals every day! I do like what I like, except for when I have it 3x/day with little variety.
Wishing my fellow W30 sojourners a satisfying close to this month's journey, a pleasure to travel alongside you.

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