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Grrrrr ...

Completed my second Whole30 last May and felt like, this is it. I have arrived. Peak health, here I come!

Nooope. The minute I relaxed my standards, I tumbled down a rabbit hole of junk food. So this time, my plan is to just keep going. Not that I'm planning on a WholeEternity - that would be a little impractical - but let's just see how far I can go.

The rationales:

1. While foods like grains and dairy do contain nutrition, I am not at the point where I have the willpower for reasonable serving sizes, and overindulgence leads to pain and discomfort.

2. Refined sugar does NOT contain nutrition. I have no brakes for sugary foods, and they give me nothing my body needs.

3. My dad's diabetes has gotten to the point where diet and medication can no longer keep it fully in check. This is to be avoided! 

 

The plan:

1. See how long an unbroken streak of compliant days I can do.

2. If, for whatever reason, I go off plan, go back on plan at the earliest opportunity. Also, make the healthiest choice while off plan, rather than using it as an excuse to go crazy.

3. Expand the range of on-plan foods I eat. There are certain things, like winter squash, sweet potatoes, and assorted kinds of greens that I've just never really liked. But I want to like them - they're so colorful and fun to grow in the garden! 

 

Things to do this week:

1. Get rid of remaining non-compliant foods in the house. I have half a container of freezer burnt ice cream that will definitely start calling my name soon ...

2. Choose a food ... I think I'll start with sweet potatoes ... buy one and cook it.

3. I feel like I should have a third thing here since I have three in the other sections. I've already done a meal plan and prepped some food. So ... check?

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Hi @stealthstitcher welcome back!  

I didn't eat sweet potatoes before W30, now I absolutely love them.  I eat them at breakfast, browned gently in ghee then roasted until tender in the oven, about 10 - 15 minutes depending on how small you've diced them.  I like them with my eggs, some prosciutto for a flavour hit and a bit of fried kale, which is another veg I didn't eat before but love it now.  I also love sweet potatoes mashed with ghee on top of my shepherd's pie.  I often mash them with other root vegetables too (white potatoes and/or carrots and/or turnips or rutabagas), just add ghee and salt for an easy side dish with steak, pork chops, etc.  I hope that you can find a way to enjoy them.  

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Day 1 went well - didn't try anything new, just some old standbys - eggs and broccoli, meatball vegetable soup, and chicken stir fry. A friend got me a tiny little lunchwarmer crockpot for my office, which is awesome - I can pack my soup in the removable inner section, put it in the crock pot at work and warm it up for lunch without needing to wait for a turn at the janky old microwave in the main office, and then take the empty inner container home to wash and refill. Truly a useful little item.

12 hours ago, ShadowInTheKitchen said:

I didn't eat sweet potatoes before W30, now I absolutely love them.  I eat them at breakfast, browned gently in ghee then roasted until tender in the oven, about 10 - 15 minutes depending on how small you've diced them.  I like them with my eggs, some prosciutto for a flavour hit and a bit of fried kale, which is another veg I didn't eat before but love it now.  I also love sweet potatoes mashed with ghee on top of my shepherd's pie.  I often mash them with other root vegetables too (white potatoes and/or carrots and/or turnips or rutabagas), just add ghee and salt for an easy side dish with steak, pork chops, etc.  I hope that you can find a way to enjoy them.  

All sounds excellent! I was debating on putting them in a dish with other ingredients, mixing them with white potatoes or something, or just cooking them by themselves. I think in the past when I've tried them, I always just treated them the same way I would white, yellow, or red potatoes - same cooking method, same seasoning. And then when I ate them, my taste buds would go "This is not a potato! Something is wrong!"

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1 hour ago, stealthstitcher said:

And then when I ate them, my taste buds would go "This is not a potato! Something is wrong!"

@stealthstitcher sweet potatoes are in fact not a true potato, but from a different vegetable family.  You probably already know this, but I didn't until W30.  Once I learned this, I re-framed my attitude towards them.  I use regular potatoes as a carb substitute and therefor I try to limit them.  Regular potatoes also belong in the edible nightshades family of vegetables, another reason I try to limit them.  With Sweet potatoes however, it's no holds barred!  I eat as much as I want without having any reservations.

I love the idea of the mini crockpot, never heard of that before.  Well done on finishing Day 1.

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On 1/12/2021 at 10:47 AM, ShadowInTheKitchen said:

@stealthstitcher Regular potatoes also belong in the edible nightshades family of vegetables, another reason I try to limit them. 

Many of my favorite foods are nightshades ... it sounds so sinister! Fun fact, when I moved into my house the back yard was overrun - and I mean overrun - with poisonous nightshade. Like, nightshade instead of grass. I actually did some research before planting a garden just to make sure it couldn't accidentally cross polinate my tomatoes and peppers. 

Yesterday was a day. It was so cold and I wanted hot cocoa! Also I didn't pack quite enough lunch and was super hungry by mid-afternoon. The first time I did Whole30 I had no appetite for quite a while. It was all I could do to eat an egg and a half for breakfast and I definitely didn't finish my vegetables at most meals. Now three eggs feels like a modest serving and a head of broccoli might need another vegetable to supplement it. 

I've also found, unlike my first time around, that both my second and this third whole30 (all three days of it so far) are easier in terms of my body adjusting. I expect things like grocery shopping and meal prep to become easier as I gain more experience, but the first time I did whole30 my body was like, What is happening?!? And now, it's like, Oh, we're doing this again? No problem, let me just flip the switch. I mean, I'll take it but it's a bit surprising. My mind still has challenges, but my digestive system has no issues. I haven't even had a headache, and I was all in on the sugary baked goods over the holidays. (I'm probably jinxing it and tomorrow will be a disaster ...)

I still haven't picked up any sweet potatoes - it's cold and I don't want to stop at the store! 

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Sweet potatoes acquired! 

It was a struggle to not grab a "treat" at the store. Not because of the intense cravings but because I've been doing that automatically every time I get groceries. Need to pick up some groceries, grab something sugary on the way out. You know, body, it's not really a treat if you have it so often that you grab it on autopilot and eat it without thinking about it. 

I have a weird schedule on my Tuesdays and Thursdays right now - no matter when I take a lunch break, it will always be 7 hours away from one meal. I can either eat lunch 7 hours after breakfast but shortly before supper, or shortly after breakfast but 7 hours before supper. Neither choice fills me with joy so I'm taking a third option - eat half of lunch during two short breaks. It's not perfectly ideal, but I don't think I have the willpower to not snack or grab fast food on the way home if I have that long between meals right now. It annoys me because I like to have a consistent schedule, but I suppose I should really try to be more mentally flexible. It's not a good idea for me to be too rigid about my routine. 

Did not time my cooking well last night. Sauteed assorted vegetables and was apparently not paying attention to when I put them in, so I had soggy zucchini, crunchy cauliflower, and burnt onions. I usually try to stagger when I put them in the pan so they all get to the same level of doneness at once, but that did not happen last night. And then the chicken took forever to get done in the oven so I just ate my vegetables first so they woudln't get cold or soggier. Eh, the texture wasn't great, but put some ghee and salt and pepper on things and they're still pretty okay. 

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Very low energy yesterday, so I just had eggs and vegetables for supper and didn't tackle the sweet potatoes yet. Am I putting them off? Maybe a little ... Sometimes I have what is almost a slight fear reaction to trying foods - scary foods! It's not at all a rational thing - after all, if I really don't like it I can just not eat it. And I've had sweet potatoes before and it's not like a hate them - more like, eh, I don't really like this that much. It's not like they're fish heads or something.

Very sleepy last night and went to bed early, but then couldn't sleep and had a restless night. 

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One week down. My sleep is still somewhat erratic but my energy level seems to be stabilizing - not high energy, but consistent throughout the day. No mid-afternoon crash. 

I attempted sweet potatoes on Saturday. I sauteed half a small sweet potato with chicken, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts and cooked the other half with ghee and cinnamon. It was ... fine. Didn't hate it, wasn't particularly excited about it either. I think it really is a question of exposure - I'd never even once tried a sweet potato until I did my first whole30. My family just never had them and I never really thought to try them. We never had winter squash, either, and carrots only in frozen mixed vegetables. No orange vegetables, really. I don't know why. Come to think of it, we never had cantaloupe either. Maybe my parents had a vendetta against the color orange. Which is funny because my main reason for wanting to develop a taste for sweet potatoes and squash is primarily because I just like the color and want to have a reason to grow them in the garden. Yes, nutrition and variety, but also have you seen all the shapes and colors?! 

 

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Sweet orange peppers then! 

I buy the orange/brown skinned sweet potatoes, but will be trying the pink fleshed ones soon...   I'm curious if they'll be orange inside and taste the same or not.  Carrots are so versatile, I hope you enjoy them, and cantaloupe... yum!  Try it with a sprinkle of salt for a change.  I'm with you on wanting orange on my plate. 

Way to go getting the first week done.

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What a morning ... nothing terrible, just one little thing after another. Woke up late, faucet handle broke in my hand, didn't have time for breakfast, hair decided today was a good day to be frizzy, no staff parking spots left ...

But, rather than stop for a double-chocolate muffin I brought a little extra food in my lunch - today is my weird double mini lunch day so I'll have lunch one a little early and make lunch two a little more substantial. But it would be nice if today would just calm down a little. 

I was going to do a chicken stir fry last night but wasn't in the mood, so instead I breaded the cut up chicken pieces with almond flour and fried them. I wasn't sure it would be crunchy, but it was. (Last time I attempted such a thing the almond flour turned out to have expired two years ago and the result was a sort of soggy almond mush. Not recommended.) 

This evening I'll fix the now-leaking faucet. Ordinarily before attempting anything plumbing-related I would get fast food so I wouldn't have to bother with cooking or cleaning the kitchen. Today I'll first have the supper I planned, clean up the kitchen, and then see what I can get done. If I end up not having energy the faucet can just leak for a few more days. (A faucet should be simple but I've found with plumbing, it's never simple.) 

 

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Yesterday did NOT calm down. I ended up working late in order to repair a giant rip someone had torn in the stage curtains and it was an extremely tedious and time consuming repair job. So I decided to let the faucet drip for another day and used my truncated evening to cook a good supper and relax a bit. Definitely a wise choice. I was tempted to go off plan following such a frustrating day but I knew nothing short of half a large pizza and a bag of chocolate would be satisfying, so instead I had the salmon, red potatoes, and broccoli/cauliflower I had planned. And it was pretty gosh darned good. I also had some fresh raspberries I'd been saving for just such an occasion. 

I continue to have no real cravings (I wanted junk food out of grumpy laziness yesterday), no headaches, and better-fitting pants. 

Talked to my mom and mentioned something about not eating junk food ... she said, "Are you on that low calcium diet again?! Women need dairy!" Sigh ... 

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33 minutes ago, stealthstitcher said:

I wanted junk food out of grumpy laziness yesterday

Just wanted to say that I relate to this state 100%! Good on you for staying on plan after a gnarly day.

"Mom, did you know that almonds and leafy greens contain tons of calcium?"

Hope today goes more smoothly for you :)

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I'm sorry @stealthstitcher you had such a crappy day. I smiled when I read how you cooked that lovely dinner and your healthy NSV's sound perfect.  Wishing you a much better day today, and another delicious dinner this evening.

@Contessa I love your reply to the calcium snip.  Let's all keep that in our back pockets for when such a comment surfaces again.  

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23 hours ago, Contessa said:

"Mom, did you know that almonds and leafy greens contain tons of calcium?"

I know it's just that she's worried, but some days hearing about the importance of fat free milk and raisin bran for the calcium, iron, and fiber (can't get those from meats and vegetables, you know!), or the dangers of red meat, egg yolks, and all fats, drives me crazy! The 90s have a lot to answer for ...

Yesterday was almost too calm! But I got a lot of cleaning done. The house needed it - I don't think I'd done a really thorough cleaning since before Christmas. After my cleaning binge I didn't feel like cooking much so I just made eggs and vegetables. Eggs and vegetables are my "I'll just have a sandwich" of whole30.

My breakfasts and lunches are incredibly repetitve, but for some reason that doesn't bother me at all. I have eggs and broccoli almost every morning, and I make a big pot of some meat and vegetable soup for the week for lunch. I do mix up the soup, typically using either beef or chicken and whatever vegetables and seasonings I have on hand that appeal to me. This week I have a chicken and tomato taco soup with some brussels sprouts and carrots that needed used up. I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out - brussels sprouts and chicken taco seasonings? But it actually worked quite well. 

Another NSV I'm particularly noticing this time is how I don't feel desperate for meals. I get hungry, but I don't have that "how am I going to survive another two hours until lunch?" feeling. When I'm not eating in a whole30 way, I get to the point where I want a snack about once an hour. I think part of it is just habit, but part is that it really is so important to get enough protein and fat to keep from feeling hungry all the time. 

I'm also noticing how much pressure is off since I've decided to do this longer term. There's no, "in three weeks, I can eat ___" and trying to figure out how I'll manage to limit those foods to reasonable amounts and not end up back where I was. I know people say this isn't sustainable for ever, and I definitely see that perfect compliance isn't, but I feel that for me saying, "no, that's just something I don't eat" works better than trying to be moderate. 

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1 hour ago, stealthstitcher said:

I'm also noticing how much pressure is off since I've decided to do this longer term. There's no, "in three weeks, I can eat ___" and trying to figure out how I'll manage to limit those foods to reasonable amounts and not end up back where I was. I know people say this isn't sustainable for ever, and I definitely see that perfect compliance isn't, but I feel that for me saying, "no, that's just something I don't eat" works better than trying to be moderate. 

You have perfectly highlighted a mental tug-of-war I'm starting to get into. "After this Whole 30 is over, I'll have a boba tea." "After this Whole 30 is over, I'll put ice cream back in my freezer." It's depressingly easy for human beings to forget their past (even their very recent past — feeling low-energy and wobbly after carelessly consuming just such foods only a few weeks ago). I have thought for some time about simply cutting out some foods from my diet, period. I know people who don't eat "recreational sugar," for example, or friends who just don't go near white flour. It's a liberating thought. If we know we're going to feel terrible when we eat these foods, maybe let's just... not eat them?

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Well, that was a weekend. I accomplished many annoying chores that I'd been putting off, including the plumbing repair which, as all plumbing repairs do, took approximately four times longer than anticipated and required two trips to the home improvement store. 

The result of all this productivity is that I absolutely did not want to cook. Since it was the weekend, all my batch cooking for the week was pretty much gone. Without technically being non-compliant, I definitely had some meals that were not ... ideal. Did I have one meal that was just bacon? Yes, yes I did. I also had way more fruit than was probably wise, because it was just so much easier to grab a banana than to stop and clean up and fix a meal. There is a Chipotle that I could have ordered from, but that gets expensive and also ... am I even allowed to say this? I don't really like Chipotle. (Gasp, shock, horror! No, but really, I've had a number of people react with shock to this. You HAVE to like Chipotle!) 

So a note to future self: when planning a super productive weekend of messy and tiring chores, make sure to have all meals planned, prepped, and ready to go - either with no cooking or prepped in a foil packet or something. 

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What a weird night ...

I've been having restless sleeping - lots of weird dreams and waking up off and on through the night. But I don't usually have a problem falling asleep. It's more like, I'll wake up briefly at midnight and two and four ... But last night, I could not get to sleep. I was really sleepy and went to bed just a bit early, right around 10 ... and laid there for HOURS. I was sleepy enough that I couldn't seem to get myself up to read or potter around the house for a bit, but also wasn't able to fall asleep. Around 2 I finally got up and read for a while - super sleepy the whole time - then went back to bad and STILL couldn't fall asleep. I finally fell asleep some time around 4 and, of course, overslept. I have no idea what was going on with that. But my stomach was just a little bit upset - the only think I can think of is that I had some rather underripe strawberries with supper. But I can't imagine that would keep me awake all night.

Due to oversleeping I once again didn't eat breakfast before coming to work. I haven't done this a ton, but there have been a few days where I've overslept, and I just can't seem to squeeze in cooking and eating breakfast before work. Today is very cold and very gray and I only have dull routine tasks that need to be accomplished. I'm going to take a few minutes to sip tea, stare at the wall, and try to get motivated.

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Hmm, sleep is still a bit weird. Also today I don't have much of an appetite. I wouldn't say it's food boredom - just, eating at all seems like too much trouble. I feel like I have had this with whole30 in the past, so I don't think it's really weird and it will probably pass in a few days. 

Last night was pretty rough - the only reasons I did not go off plan were that I didn't have any baking supplies in the house and the weather was lousy so I didn't want to go out. I've found that no matter what it is, I can do pretty well for two weeks - an exercise plan, eating well - and then after two weeks it doesn't feel worth it any more. I think that's probably because by the two week point, any exciting newness has worn off but you're not really seeing any big results. Small results, but not big exciting ones. I always plan to plan for this - "Okay, you know that at the two week mark, it's going to get rough, so have something pleasant to get you past that." - but then I fail to actually plan anything. This also tends to be the grayest part of the year in my area - we might go weeks with no real sunlight, and that always hits me hard. I did try a light box before but didn't notice any positive effect. Oh well, enough whining. 

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I had unexpected company over the weekend, and ended up going off plan. So that was 21 days for my first streak of eating whole30-style. This log probably doesn't actually belong here, as I'm not doing a proper whole30, but am rather keeping track of my eating and how it effects me in general. Maybe I will wrap up here and move to the post-whole30 logs, which is where this probably belongs. 

In regards to going off plan on Sunday, I don't feel that it was necessarily a poor choice. I made a deliberate choice to eat something that isn't particularly a problem food - barbequed short ribs, provided by my brother. I feel like it was a reasonable off-plan choice. 1. My brother didn't know I was doing Whole30, 2. Barbeque is not a food without breaks for me, 3. The rest of the meal was on plan, 4. I didn't use this as an excuse to go on a crazy binge. I think that last one is the most important. If I'd gone off plan for chocolate cake or something, there's no telling where it would stop. 

So, the counter restarts and now I see if I can break 21 days. 

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