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My First Compliment

We’re on Day 10 of this Whole30 and things are still chugging right along smoothly. Maybe even better than smooth– I went to see my esthetician today and when she came out to greet me she immediately asked if I’d lost weight. Ooooooo girl. I last saw her in mid-December so since before we started this round. I’m pretty sure she wasn’t just saying it to get a good tip. She’s also does my hair removal and I’m half Greek, so she understands I need her more than she needs me. One of the rules in the Whole30 is not to weigh yourself during the 30 days. You can weigh before, and after, but the idea is you don’t want to get discouraged by normal fluctuations. I actually didn’t weigh myself at the start of this round, so I’ll be going off of how clothes fit to figure out if I’ve lost weight. And so far, I think things are starting to feel a little looser. When I went for my appointment today, I was wearing leggings as pants (normally I reserve that for the privacy of my own home, or when I’m ensconced in a giant winter coat) which could have been what my gal was reacting to. It is quite a sight to behold.

Chicken Thigh Stir Fry. Taste the Rainbow!                                                         

Cooking has been going well too. I’ve enjoyed finding some new ways to use things like chicken thighs and pork loin. This week, I made the pork in my InstantPot and treated it like pulled pork. I used this recipe but adapted it to the InstantPot by adding a half cup of water and cooking on manual for 90 minutes. It came out great and it makes at least 6 servings. Last night, I cooked up the rest of the chicken thighs. First I marinated the chicken in Coconut Aminos (which is often used as a sub for soy sauce on the Whole30 because soy is not allowed) and some minced garlic. Then I sliced it up and cooked it on the stove top. I added in a Kale/Brussels sprout stir-fry mix and some riced veggies. I added some more coconut aminos during the cooking and a dash of rice vinegar. It looked great and tasted good too. Winner winner, chicken dinner indeed.

I’m eager to start seeing some progress at CrossFit. At my gym, you pay by the number of weekly classes you attend. Right now, I’m on a 3 day/week plan so I make sure I go Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I might see if I can add a day because I often find myself wanting to go more. At my gym California, you could go as much as you wanted so I was averaging about 5 days a week. That was probably a little too much, but I saw a lot of progress on some specific skills that we did a lot. Then again, I wasn’t as busy getting facials and pretending to be intimately familiar with the KonMari technique of “Tidying Up.” I spend a lot more time these days thanking my belongings and thinking about throwing them in the trash.

Tomorrow is dinner with some gal pals and I’m really looking forward to it. Will I give in and have a glass of cider or wine? Will I go on a queso bender and resurface next week in a Western Massachusetts dumpster? Check back here this weekend! Or if you have a WordPress account, you can follow me and it will update you when I get around to making a new post. Arigatou gozaimasu! 

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Uncategorized, Whole30 Journey

Tiger Blood!!!!! (maybe?)

Today marks one week since we’ve reembarked on the Whole30 journey and both the hubs and I have noticed a little pep in our steps. He got up at like 6am and made coffee and bacon. I got some gainzzzz at CrossFit and then decided to rearrange the living room before even taking a shower. I’m currently looking around and thinking about which household objects I can lift over my head. This could actually be a bad thing…

Whole30-ers call this burst of energy following the detox hump “Tiger Blood.” It usually happens a little bit later– maybe like day 10 or 11– for most people. But we seem to be on the Whole30 express train on this round. I slept like a rock last night, despite gale-force winds. Normally, I would lay awake, waiting for the chimney to collapse or for a tree to fall on my car. But last night, I only pondered my imminent death for like 5 minutes before falling asleep. Winning.

Yesterday, we visited the winter farmer’s market in our lil’ city. We got some great root veggies which Biff roasted for dinner along with chicken thighs marinated in Primal Kitchen’s Green Goddess Dressing. We also picked up some locally made chorizo which seems to be compliant, perhaps we’ll have that tonight! Ole! The guy selling it was very helpful. When we asked if some kinds of sausage had sugar he said “Yeah, but just a little.” A little is too much for the Bouses! I think one of the greatest benefits of this diet is the awareness about how much sugar is in everything– even if it’s just “a little.” The Whole30 is strict about sugar. You can’t have anything with added sugar/sweetener at all. Even if it’s honey or maple syrup. But fruit is allowed, and using fruit juice is ok as long as it’s in a recipe or just a splash in some soda water (basically, you can’t guzzle a glass of OJ). Sour Patch Kids are out. Free-basing Stevia is a thing of the past. No more Vodka-Crans.

So it’s nearly lunch time and I’m contemplating what to make. We really enjoy these Chicken-Lime Burgers from Trader Joe’s. They cook up fast and go well with a bunch of sides. You will need a chisel to break them apart when frozen, but it’s oh-so-worth it. I usually treat it like a bun-less burger and serve it on spinach with mayo, mustard, and whatever veggies I have handy. In the timeless words of Rachel Ray, Yum-o!

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Is That Fog or Shade?

It’s Day 5 of 30 here at the ol’ Bouse House and so far…so good. This time around seems to be a little less physically taxing, though we do have a couple of the usual first week ailments. Biff has had a dull headache the last couple of days and I’ve been a little foggy. Not necessarily tired, but just not as sharp, I’d say. I got sucked into watching a Taylor Swift concert on Netflix with my son yesterday. I found myself getting annoyed at her repeating the same three dance moves (and yes, I’m counting hair scrunching as one of them) yet I was too numb to look away. Maybe it’s the sugar detoxing, maybe it’s just the power of T. Swift. The world may never know.

I wonder which diet would give me legs like these…

I did CrossFit yesterday for the second time since starting this Whole30 round. I made sure to tell the people around me that I was feeling foggy, so they wouldn’t be alarmed if they saw me staring at a pile of weights, confused. I did ok in the workout, but it called for handstand push-ups. As the name implies, you do a handstand against the wall, lower yourself so your head is touching the ground, and push yourself back up again. I can’t do them fully, (mostly due to being scared of crushing my skull) but I can usually manage 5-6 in a row if I put a couple of mats between my head and the floor. This time, it was all I could do to just get into a handstand. Plus the shirt I wore kept coming untucked. It was a scene.

The good news is, I’m already starting to feel some of the positive physical changes, too. I feel less bloated. I wore my jeggings comfortably to Target yesterday (when I die, please someone have them put “Wore Jeggings to Target” on my gravestone.) My skin is looking milky white like one of them Downton Abbey chicks. And I seem to be sleeping more soundly.

We’ve been eating much of the same for breakfast– eggs and potatoes. Lunch has been salads mostly. I made a nice meatloaf with mashed potatoes and brussel sprouts a few nights ago, and tonight I’m contemplating what to do with a package of chicken thighs. I’m thinking of using some coconut aminos to make a stir-fry, served over cauliflower rice.

Later this week, I’m having dinner with some girlfriends. Fortunately, the restaurant serves organic steaks. I’m thinking it won’t be too hard to stay on track, though I might be tempted by a gluten-free cider. These gals always bring the TEA and I don’t know if I can handle it without a little drinky-poo. Either way, you bet your crop top I’ll be bringing my own salad dressing! #HotSauceInMyBagSwag

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Whole30 Journey

I’m Baaaaaaaack!

Foraging for something I can eat

My cabinets are stocked with sweet potatoes and ghee. That can only mean one thing: the Bouses are back on the Whole30! And I’m resurrecting my blog. Boom! I wish I’d kept it up longer last year, but it’s a familiar pattern: I get all gung-ho about something, people like it, I pressure myself to make it better, then I get worried I’m not keeping it fresh, then I get resentful, and next thing you know, I’m setting small fires around town just to feel alive. Oh and we moved across the country.

We actually ate pretty close to Whole30 right up through July, when we moved from California back to my home state of Massachusetts. Between the move itself, adjusting to our new surroundings, and living within walking distance of a dozen kick-ass restaurants, the last half of the year we’ve fallen off the wagon. By December my pants were tight and I was routinely getting the meat sweats. Time to get back in gear.

So here we are! Yesterday, was day one, because yes, I’m that basic that I start a new diet on New Year’s Day. Breakfast was potatoes, eggs and avocado. I had the same thing today. For lunch I made turkey burgers without the buns and for dinner we had the ol’ standby Egg Roll in a Bowl. I’m thinking the mental toll won’t be as high this time around because I’m used to cooking this way now. Physically….we’ll see! I’m hoping to drop a few lbs but mostly I want to feel better and get some mad gainzzzzzzz at CrossFit.

In case it’s not painfully obvious, I’m not a medical professional or fitness guru. So take all of my actions with a grain of salt. But for those of you who aren’t familiar, the Whole30 is basically an elimination diet. No grains, gluten, dairy, legumes, soy, sugar, friends or fun of any kind. Additionally, you’re supposed to only eat meals— dishes that consist of about 1/3 protein, 2/3 veggies and a thumb-size portion of healthy fat. So if you’re hungry in between lunch and dinner, you’re supposed to have a mini-meal that follows that template rather than, say, a handful of nuts. Sometimes I’ll fudge that rule a bit and have a Lara bar or said nuts. Snacking is definitely my weakness though, so I try to really determine if I’m really hungry or if I’m just bored by the current storyline of everyone ganging up on James on Vanderpump Rules. It’s not about the pasta, LaLa! I hope he can turn it around…

Ok so this should whet your whistle for what’s to come! I’m going be real and say I’ll try to update daily but I might not. Bravo is not gonna watch itself. Here’s to 2019: to health, fitness, and boom boom shorts this summer!

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Uncategorized, Whole30 Journey

Tostones!

Exercise: CrossFit
Food: Over-easy Eggs with Sweet Potatoes and Bacon, Turkey Burger with Tostones, Pork Sausage with Sauteed Veg and MORE Tostones

tostones

I promise there’s a burger in there somewhere. And TOSTONES!

You CAN teach an old dog new tricks. This round has been a little like auto-pilot at times. I don’t have to read labels as much since I’m buying the same brands/items regularly now. And I have a few go-to recipes that I’ve memorized (and/or I feel confident about the flavors I’m trying to achieve that I’m not too worried about doing it exactly the same way each time). But, of course, the downside is that can lead to a little bit of food boredom. Enter Tostones.

I’d seen them mentioned a few times in the Whole30 Facebook group, but I didn’t really feel compelled to make them. Then, today I was at Whole Foods and I noticed some ripe plantains and thought “I should do something with those.” I searched “plantains” in the group and I was assaulted by all the raves about Tostones once again. So I fired up the air fryer, sliced up those plantains, and got down to business. The first batch turned out pretty well. I had them with a turkey burger, some guacamole, and Vanderpump Rules on the DVR. I made them again for dinner to impress my man and this batch was a little more crispy. Next time, I’ll probably experiment with some spices (this time I just salted them). Crazy!

I did CrossFit workouts Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and I succeeded in making every part of my body sore. It’s been while since I’ve felt this taxed by workouts, but it feels good too because I know it’s a result of working hard. Monday was the biggest challenge. The workout called for doing toes-to-bar in sets of 21-18-15-12-9. Toes-to-bar is when you hang from a pullup bar and, as the name suggests, you lift your toes to touch the bar. I hadn’t tried one in forever but I decided I was going to go for it. Well, it took me forrrrreevvvverrrrrr but once I realized I could do them, I was determined to do them all. I ripped a callus at some point too! It gives me street cred.

So…takeaways from these last few days: who knew a little plantain could serve up such mealtime realness?; no pain, no gain; wait- Stassi isn’t even 30 yet?

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Slow n’ Steady Progress

Food: Scrambled Eggs and Sweet Potatoes, Green Salad with Veggies and Tunafish, Tri-Tip with Potatoes and Asparagus
Exercise: Barbell Club and Crossfit

eggplant

My first foray into Eggplant on the Whole30! I served it over some mixed-squash noodles.

Our second(ish) round of the Whole30 is moving right along. Today puts us at day 7, and though we haven’t had most of the withdrawal symptoms as the first round, both Biff and I feel a little hungover today. I swear, we each only had one Kombucha last night! I’m sure there’s a little bit of detox going on. I’ve also been really hungry today in between meals, which had subsided pretty early in round 1. Hm!

But we’re still seeing lots of progress. Yesterday, I bought myself a sassy pair of mom yoga pants (very tasteful ones- no sheerness and no camel toe!) and I comfortably fit into a size smaller than before. I will now wear them everyday. The gym is where I tend to see the most progress, mostly because we have measurable results daily. Both last night at Barbell Club and today at CrossFit I PR’ed some lifts. And our workout today had lots of running. While I was still pokey, I was proud that I didn’t need to stop and walk while running 1200m and then 800m (with pull-ups, push-ups and squats in between). I actually felt lighter while running. Is that a thing? My pull-ups felt easier too. I use a resistance band to “help” and a few weeks ago I was able to reduce the strength of the band (so I needed less help). Today I used that same, new band and I felt like I could even go down another step. Whoop whoop! Less body weight and increased strength make Melissa a happy gal!

So…takeaways from today: try pull-ups again soon; don’t impulse buy yoga pants, take the time to try them on and then find out the ones you like the most are the most expensive; you can be hungover without drinking! Fun.

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Day 22: New Pants

Exercise: CrossFit
Food: Scrambled Eggs with Veggies, Turkey Burger with Spinach, Onion, Mayo and Mustard, Leftover Pulled Pork with Cauliflower Fried Rice and Broccoli

Pork

Wow, I didn’t know Annie Leibovitz was doing blog photography now…

This morning, I had a little time in between when I dropped my son off at school and when the iPad Screen fixer place opened. I could have just gone home, but I was worried that I’d lose my motivation to get my errands done and fall into a black hole of Bravo programming (new season of Summer House is out! Who else can’t relate to those people at all?) So I decided to meander around Old Navy. I usually don’t find much there (though the GAP is my all time fav) but I somehow talked myself into “needing” new pants and I liked the selection. So I tried on a few pairs and wouldn’t ya know it? I’m a size smaller. I take this with a small grain of salt because I’m not so familiar with how Old Navy pants run. However, when I got home, I went through my pants drawer and tried on about 4 pairs I literally forgot about. The only thing I can think of was they weren’t comfortable or were maybe too tight and therefore relegated to the bottom of the piles and wiped from my consciousness. Well, those all fit quite nicely too. I do wish I’d taken inventory earlier, because clearly I did not need new pants.

I did however need new workout pants, and I got a pair of those today too. I promptly wore them to my evening CrossFit class. The workout was a good mix of things: rowing (lots), squats, sit-ups, kettlebells. I felt great, energy wise, and my pants mostly stayed put (I like to hike ’em up realllllllllll high). I know you’re probably thinking “Hey! Don’t you usually go to Barbell Club on Tuesdays?” And yes, yes I do. But my husband had a ukulele master class sesh at the same time and someone had to watch our child.

Biff went into the office today so I was on my own for breakfast. I still opted for pretty much the same scrambled egg deal I’ve been making. I didn’t have potatoes today though.

For lunch, I cooked up a frozen turkey burger and put it on top of a spinach salad with onions and tomatoes and mayo and mustard. It was quite satisfying. I had a banana with almond butter after and then I was really full. I’m beginning to think almond butter is a weakness of mine. But let’s not go there. I’m not ready.

And dinner was a repeat of a couple of nights ago: I had pulled pork left over and we had that on top of some cauliflower fried rice and broccoli. Nice!

So…takeaways from today: go through your drawers before you shop; I love almond butter; the higher the pants, the closer to God;

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Day 21: Tiger Blood?

Exercise: CrossFit
Food: Scrambled Eggs with Spinach, Onions, Tomatoes and Potatoes, Green Salad with Tune Fish, Egg Roll in a BowlIMG-4238

A lot of people report feeling a phenomenon called “Tiger Blood” around this time in their Whole30. It’s most commonly described as having boundless energy, mental clarity, and renewed motivation. I think I have it. I mean, physically I feel really good. Emotionally, I’m still a hot mess so I think my body is at odds with itself. But the tiger blood is trying to come out. This morning, a little cherub visited our bed around 3:45. He nestled in next to me, which was very sweet but not very comfortable. I fell back asleep but I was really restless. I finally gave up at 5am and got up (or really, went out to the living room couch). I was F’ing tired but not exhausted. After a little while, I made coffee, had two cups, and was ready to rock n roll.

I channeled that energy into my workout (even though I might have looked like I was moving slowly!) I went to CrossFit at 10:15am, and before the workout-of-the-day, we did some strength work. I’ll spare you the weightlifting terms that sound vaguely sexual and just instead say I got a PR on one of my lifts and it felt GREAT! It wasn’t easy, by any means, but I felt a lot more sure in my form and ability. I also had some small improvements during the workout: one being that I needed fewer resistance bands to complete pull-ups (the bands help pull you up to the bar if you can’t do a pull-up, fewer bands = less help needed).

For breakfast, I made my usual scrambled eggs with potatoes. Today, I topped with salsa for a little extra kick.

I had to run some errands in between the gym and when I had to pick up my son from school, so I put off lunch until later. Mistake. I was pretty hangry by the time I ate, and all I had the mental strength to make was a salad with veggies and tuna fish.

And for dinner, we went to our ol’ standby: Egg Roll in a Bowl. The first time I made it, I used Trader Joe’s Broccoli slaw and I did that again this time because I really liked how it turned out. It came out nicely again and it was filling and satisfying. Score!

So…takeaways from today: I would like to sleep a little longer tonight; who needs drugs when you’ve got Tiger Blood?; don’t sacrifice lunch to do stupid errands, you’ll be sorry.

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Day 18: Friday Headache

Exercise: CrossFit
Food: Fried Eggs with Sweet Potatoes and Spinach, Green Salad with Veggies and Tuna Fish, Pork Chops with Roasted Veggies and Spinach

breakfast

There’s an egg in there, I swear!

Less than two weeks to go and it’s feeling like smooth sailing at this point. The beginning is such a huge change all at once that you have to be hyper aware of everything you’re doing. Now that I’ve got the hang on things, I have to remind myself to not get too complacent and mess up on accident. Like forgetting to include a healthy fat in a meal, not double checking ingredients before using a new item, or taking a bite of my son’s leftover sandwich. The fact that he hardly ever washes his hands makes that last one slightly easier to avoid. Slightly.

The dull headache I had yesterday came back today, at a slightly alarming time: during my workout. More precisely, when I had about 5 minutes to go to the end of my workout, and I had 65 pounds of weight above my head. I could feel it creeping in, but at first I thought make it was just a symptom of the fatigue I was feeling at that point in the workout. And then when I was doing some heavy overhead squats (barbell is over your head while squatting down and back up) it started to get worse. I think I was holding my breath, I was really concentrating on my form. It was a heavyish weight for me to do as many reps as we had (I was on number 46. Oh and there was running, burpees, and kettlebell swings in there too. Dead). When I stood up, I knew I should stop. At that point there was about 2 minutes left. I don’t know that I’ve ever had to stop like that, but I’m glad I did. After having some water and walking a few laps outside, I felt a little better: enough to make me confident this was just the return of yesterday’s headache and nothing too concerning. I took some ibuprofen immediately when I got home, took a shower and had some lunch. I felt mostly better after that, and then I had to rush out to volunteer in my son’s class. I’m hoping the headache won’t return tomorrow. I did a little reading and it seems others feel this at this point in their Whole30. Some attribute it to Ketosis (basically when your body starts using fat for fuel instead of carbs) or a need for more salt or magnesium. I could also just be getting sick. Or PMSing. We’ll see! Yay!

For breakfast, I roasted some sweet potatoes and then fried some eggs, added some sautéed spinach and a side of bacon. Bam!

I had pretty much the same lunch today as yesterday: green salad with tuna fish. I was so glad I had prepped most of that before going to the gym. It was quick, filling, and refreshing.

And for dinner I made brined pork chops using a recipe I first used a couple of weeks ago. What I didn’t account for was that these chops were a little thinner than last time, so I overcooked them just a smidge. More sautéed spinach and roasted veggies rounded out our meal. Oh and we had apples with almond butter, perhaps my favorite thing.

So…takeaways from today: harness your child’s grossness to stick to your goals; don’t die at the gym in a literal way, it’s not cool; less than two weeks to go!

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Day 17: Resisting Temptation

Exercise: Testing My Willpower
Food: Scrambled Eggs with Spinach, Onion, Avocado and Salsa, Turkey Burger wrapped in Lettuce, Chicken Stir-Fry with Cauliflower Rice

Turkey Burger

Hold the buns!

After a fun and successful dinner at a restaurant last night, today was also a mix of socialization and temptation. We had a playdate afterschool with some of my favorite moms and kids. My son gets out of school a little later than the other kids, so by the time we got there, they’d had enough time to…bake cookies! The smell was divine. It had also just started to rain and the thought of how “comforting” a cookie would be crossed my mind. But the idea was gone almost as quickly as it arrived. Witness the rewiring of my brain! I stuck with my La Croix and juicy gossip.

I did have a “first” today: a nagging, little headache. I can’t be sure if it was Whole30-related, but it didn’t go away after coffee, breakfast, tea, and lunch. So I gave in and took a few ibuprofen. It’s “allowed” on the plan though not encouraged. If I didn’t have to go anywhere in the afternoon, I might have toughed it out. But when my friends started group texting about getting Mexican food for lunch, I decided I needed to be on my A game for this playdate.

I didn’t go to the gym today. The only mid-morning  CrossFit class on Thursdays is right in the middle of when I drop my son off at school, so I can never make that. I took a wait-and-see approach to going to an afternoon/evening class. But by the time we got home from our playdate I would have had to start immediately prep dinner to fit in a workout and I didn’t have the motivation. Where’s that Tiger Blood? I’m waiting!

Breakfast was the usual variation of the lil scramble I like to make. I did not have any potatoes today, I’m trying to limit those on days I don’t workout.

For lunch, I cooked up a frozen turkey burgers and made a lettuce “bun.” It was kinda a hot mess, though it tasted good. I had to eat it in 3.5 bites before it totally disintegrated in my hand.

And dinner was better in my mind than on my plate. I made a stir-fry using some chicken I marinated in coconut aminos. I used cauliflower in the place of rice, and I attempted to use a dash of rice vinegar on in. Instead I got more like a splash. It was still ok, but not to-die-for. Some apple slices and almond butter made me feel better about it.

So…takeaways from today: it IS possible to resist fresh-baked cookies; get your head right before a playdate; always look before you dash.

 

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