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Day 16: Out and About

Exercise: CrossFit
Food: Scrambled Eggs with Sweet Potatoes, Tunafish with a Green Salad, Flank Steak with Mixed Green Salad

Dressing

Is that dressing in your purse or are you just happy to see me?

I’m a little late in writing this post for a good reason: I met up with one of my nearest and dearest homegirls last night. She was in Silicon Valley for work, so I hopped in my car and met her for dinner. This was my first foray into dining out on the Whole30, and just like everything else on the plan, preparation was key.

She and I had met up last summer when she was out for work. I’m not super familiar with the area there (it’s about 35 miles away, and starter homes there are about $1million so…) and so we chose to eat at the same place we did last time. I scoured the menu ahead of time and decided that the best options for me would be a mixed green salad and a flank steak. I had a sad little club soda with lime to drink. When we got there, I double checked with the server that there was no banned ingredients used in the preparation of the steak. And I asked for the salad dry. When it arrived, I might have heard a few “oooh” and “ahhhhs” as I produced my own dressing from my purse. This is how it’s done, people! No shame.

We had a lovely time, and it was great to have a meal that I didn’t prepare. My choices were pretty limited (well, I could have probably attempted a few other items, but they would have required a lot of modifications and I felt like I was already pushing it by being a lady with dressing in her purse). It was totally worth it for a special occasion like this, not to mention my buddy paid using her business lady money, but it’s definitely easier and more cost-effective to eat at home on the Whole30.

I got in a workout earlier in the day at my usual CrossFit class. The workout called for 3 rounds of running, burpee box jumps and pull-ups. Running is not my forte but I was already feeling zapped by the second round. I figured I was either dying or didn’t have a big enough breakfast (or both!) but after my much fitter classmate mentioned that it was tough for her too (even though she pretty much lapped me).

For breakfast I roasted some sweet potatoes and we had those with scrambled eggs and spinach, onion, salsa and avocado.

I had to eat lunch quickly in between my workout and some errands I wanted to run before getting my son from school. So I made a green salad and added tunafish on top.

And you already heard all about dinner!

So…takeaways from today: it is possible to have a social life on the Whole30; don’t be afraid to bring your own condiments, but try to use a nice purse to counter balance your faux pas; there’s nothing like seeing an old friend!

 

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Day 15: That’s Half of 30!

Exercise: Barbell Club
Food: Scrambled Eggs with Spinach, Sausage, Onion, Potatoes and Avocado, Leftover Bolognese with Carrot Noodles, Chicken Breast with Onions, Peppers, and Sweet Potato “Nachos”

chicken and nachos

Chicken and Sweet Potato “Nachos.” I’d say my dishes are looking slightly more appealing.

Well well well. Here we are at the halfway mark in my Whole30. It’s all downhill from here! It’s usually in days 16-18 that people will experience what’s called “Tiger Blood.” That describes a surge of energy, mental clarity, and general bad ass-ery. I thought I was feeling that a little bit yesterday but a friend who has been through the plan before says you’ll definitely know if it has arrived. I’m a little scared to wake up tomorrow.

One of the things I’m starting to grasp at this stage are all the “little” rules of the Whole30. These are the kind of rules that address more of the mental/emotional part of eating. So they can seem a little willy-nilly. For example: pancakes. Most of the ingredients in regular pancakes are not permitted on the Whole30 anyway (I guess..I don’t really know how to make pancakes. Pretty sure you need milk.) so regular pancakes are out. But you can make fake pancakes that fool no one using compliant stuff like bananas and cinnamon and mushing it all up and doing something else with it. Well, that’s a no-no too. The theory is that you’re fooling your brain, you’re feeding that “need” for pancakes. I get it. Kinda. I was a little confused yesterday when someone posted in the Whole30 FB group about his sweet potato nachos. Everyone was oooh-ing and awing and I’m like “why aren’t they telling this dude he’s a failure and needs to start over?” An admin eventually chimed in and said this was allowed because it was just sweet potato– he hadn’t combined other ingredients to mimic a chip. I’m still a little fuzzy on that one, but I figured if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em and you bet your ass I made those with dinner.

I felt great at Barbell Club tonight. We didn’t go too crazy heavy with anything, but I was sweating like crazy. Release those toxins!

For breakfast I made scrambled eggs and spinach, sausage, onions and peppers. I reheated some potatoes I made yesterday but they were a little blah. I was also trying to help my son finish his homework so I wasn’t really savoring my meal anyway.

Lunch was the rest of the Bolognese sauce from the other night. I served over some Trader Joe’s carrot noodles, of which my husband is still not a big fan. I had a pretty eventful morning of going to the dump, so I needed something quick and easy.

And for dinner I baked some chicken breasts in the oven with peppers and onions. I made the sweet potato nachos just by making thin slices and roasting them in the oven for about 25 minutes. I topped with chipotle mayo, avocado, and salsa. Ole!

So…takeaways from today: I’m awaiting my Tiger Blood; pancakes aren’t allowed but nachos are; carrot noodles hit the spot after a cathartic trip to the dump.

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Day 14: A Quantifiable Victory!

Exercise: CrossFit
Food: Fried Eggs with Potatoes, Onions, Tomato and Avocado, Left-over Egg Roll in a Bowl, Apples and Almond Butter

White Board

We record our results for each workout in this handy app. It kindly ranks us.

We’re two weeks in and nearly halfway through the Whole30 program. All along, I’ve noticed little changes: slightly better skin, a happier gut, feeling less bloated. But today I had a small victory at the gym that I definitely think is a result of my cleaner eating (or rather, losing a little weight and bloating from eating better). For the first time in a long time, I was able to string together sets of 7-8 double-unders. For you non-CrossFitters, that’s when you’re jumping rope, and the rope passes under your feet twice per jump. Because why just do once? It requires jumping a little higher, obvi, keeping your form tighter, and not getting so excited after doing a few that you blow your whole rhythm. Peeing your pants is optional.

I’ve been doing CrossFit for about 18 months. It took me a long time to even be able to do a few double-unders. About 10 months ago, I lost a little weight and I could magically do a bunch at a time! But then I didn’t keep practicing them and the weight creeped back on and I was back at square one. Today, our workout called for a set of 40 double-unders so I figured why not try a few. And boom! I did 8 in a row! I’m sure my form was not pretty, and my feet thudding on the ground did not please the folks doing the circuit class across the way. But it felt great. I continued to do 7-8 at a time throughout the workout and even got a set of 10 in there. We’re not supposed to weigh ourselves until the end of 30 days, but my clothes are definitely fitting better. And things like double-unders can certainly get easier if you’re lighter. I’m sure it’s no coincidence that the last time I “got” double-unders was after having some weight loss. I’m not letting them go this time!

Perhaps my hearty breakfast powered those results? I made some sweet potatoes in the oven and fried up a few eggs with onions and peppers. I had avocado and tomatoes on the side.

Lunch was lame today. I honestly wasn’t hungry, which is a no-no in the Whole30. You’re supposed to have 3 square meals (at least). I had a Larabar so I wouldn’t get hangry, but that was about all I could stomach after learning my car needed new tires AND new brakes. Happy New Year, car!

And for dinner I reheated leftover egg roll in a bowl and topped with two over-easy eggs. We had some apples with almond butter to fulfill out healthy fat requirement.

So…takeaways from today: Whole30 gives you double-unders; brakes are overrated; leftovers make dinner so much easier.

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Day 11: All Work and No Play

Exercise: CrossFit, Doing an Art Project with 12 Kindergartners
Food: Scrambled Eggs with Potatoes, Spinach and Avocado, Big Ass Salad, Chicken Breasts with Potatoes, Onions, Garlic and Chipotle Mayo

Steam Workout

Things got steamy during our workout. (They’re all in the witness protection program)

Today was a day of a million little tasks. After dropping Atticus off at school, I had to work on a newsletter, then shower, eat lunch, volunteer at Atticus’ school, take him to a dentist appointment, try to finish the newsletter and then try to get to the gym. I’m really glad to have a few, go-to dishes that I can make easily. But man, I hate having to rush when I’m eating. I pretty much only do it three times a day, I wanna enjoy it. If I can’t have wine, give me this at least, cruel world!

Despite going to the grocery store daily, we’re somehow really low on food. I need to do a big produce replenish tomorrow. (Would “Produce Replenish” make a good band name?) I’m so glad we have so many good grocery stores nearby. I keep reading about people on the Whole30 Facebook group who live two hours from the nearest Trader Joe’s. Is that any way to live?!

I went to the gym in the evening because of the busy morning schedule. It was a great workout today, the only issue is that it’s been foggy all day and the sport court we run on was pretty slick. I still ran my normal, slow pace but I made it seem like I was only running slow because of the conditions.

Breakfast was a boring mash-up of what we had on hand. So eggs and potatoes it was! I scrambled in some onions and peppers and spinach and topped with avocado. I really like to use this Italian seasoning blend I got from Trader Joe’s in these breakfast dishes, it’s especially lovely with the potatoes.

For lunch I made up a salad, also with whatever we had around. That wound up being tomatoes, avocado, turkey, bacon and Green Goddess dressing.

And for dinner, I had figured we’d have the Bolognese sauce from yesterday over carrot noodles. But Biff isn’t the biggest fan of those, so while I was at the gym he improvised a nice chicken dish.

So…takeaways from today: being busy makes eating just one more thing on the to-do list; run gingerly if it’s wet; plan meals your spouse doesn’t like so he’ll cook instead. Genius!

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Day 10: Paranoia

Exercise: PTA Board Meeting
Food: Oh you know it’s that same ol’ scramble, BLTA Salad, Bolognese “Pasta” with Zucchini Noodles, Banana and Almond Butter

Salad

BLTTACO Salad

Day 10, a third of the way there! Some pinpoint days 10 and 11 on the Whole30 as the toughest. I’m sure the reasons vary–  for me today’s challenge stems from falling into a routine. I’ve had 10 days of cooking 3 meals a day, and I have some confidence and pride that I’ve done it this far. But that is also giving me that feeling of  “ok, this is starting to feel easy, I must be missing something. Did I eat something and not remember? Was almond butter on the forbidden list this whole time and I didn’t notice? Is my kid still at school waiting for me to pick him up?” (I’m pretty sure he’s in bed sleeping.) So I’m finding this routine comforting and at the same time still a little uneasy. Maybe because it happened so fast. One minute we’re having drinks at the bar, the next I’m caressing my kombucha sweetheart nightly.

Physically, I’m feeling great! I’m not really hungry in between meals, though that 3pm slump is rough some days. Coffee helps, but that’s also a little late in the day for me to have caffeine and I find on the days I have some, it takes me a bit to fall asleep. But once I am asleep, I’m out. I’m talkin’ REM cycles all over the place.

I didn’t workout today because the CrossFit class times didn’t align with my schedule. Plus my knee felt like it could use a day off. Fair enough! This evening I had a PTA meeting and I successfully avoided the cheese and crackers on the table. And really, even if I wasn’t on the Whole30, I probably wouldn’t have had any because I was intimidated by the cheese slicer thingy.

So breakfast was once again scrambled eggs with the veggies I had handy, topped with avocado and salsa. ‘Nuff said.

I made up a cute salad for lunch using lettuce and spinach, bacon, tomatoes, cukes, sliced turkey, onions and Primal Green Goddess dressing. I call it the BLTA salad. It was just the right portion.

And for dinner I needed to use up some ground beef so I just made a quick pasta sauce using it and onions and peppers, etc. I served over zucchini noodles which my husband likes better than the carrot noodles. But I still prefer carrot noodles. I’m so glad we have differences like this to keep our marriage spicy.

So…takeaways from today: trust my brain, it hasn’t had booze for 10 days after all; you can put anything on lettuce and call it a salad; cheese now intimidates me.

 

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Day 9: Can we talk about recipes?

Exercise: CrossFit
Food: Same silly egg scramble I made yesterday, Air Fryer Fried Chicken with Potatoes, Riced cauliflower, and a Pickle, Brined Pork Chops with Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Green Salad

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You might be doing the Whole30 if your texts look like this

So…I’ve had to look up a lot of recipes. Even for simple things like how to make mashed sweet potatoes (sad face). And with that, I’ve noticed the trend of long, verbose descriptions and stories of each recipe and what it means to the author. I realize that I probably read a lot of these out of the context of a larger blog or website or book. But I just want to know how to make the dish! Maybe when I get better at cooking, I’ll want to hear how sweet potatoes remind someone of that one time she got her period in the produce aisle.

I’m writing this before today’s real test of our Whole30 willpower. Tonight, we’re going out to see the one night-only, national showing of The Room (because why would we use a rare date night at the movies to see something critically acclaimed). Pretty much everything at the concession stand is off-limits. And snacking isn’t really “allowed” on the Whole30 anyway. So I’m going to BYOK– bring your own kombucha– and we’ll look smugly around at everyone else while out guts heal.

I did my usual Wednesday 10:15am CrossFit class today, and I felt like I did pretty well. I was able to use a heavy-ish weight for the workout, which seemed appropriately challenging. I swear my workout pants felt a little more comfy.

If it ain’t broke don’t fix it – I had the same breakfast as yesterday. I cooked up some onions, peppers and spinach, scrambled in some eggs, and then topped with salsa and avocado.

For lunch, I fried up a chicken breast in the air fryer. It came out a little better than the last time I made nuggets. I served with potato “fries” and cauliflower rice and a cute lil’ pickle. I added some compliant mayo on the side for dipping.

And for dinner I made some brined pork chops using this recipe my husband found. What I like most about it, is that the author shares my plating aesthetic (note the paper plate and its placement on top of the washing machine! Genius!) It came out very nice! We had mashed sweet potatoes and sautéed spinach.

So…takeaways from today: skip the long intros on recipes, I don’t read ’em; a happy gut feels better than popcorn tastes (I hope); real plates are overrated

Movie

Date night!

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Day 7: Back to School

Exercise: CrossFit
Food: Scrambled Eggs with Potatoes, Onions, and Peppers, Chef Salad, Egg Roll in a Bowl with Apples and Almond Butter

Egg Roll in a Bowl

Egg Roll in a Bowl, on the Stove

It’s back to the grind in the Bouse House. My Kindergartener went back to school today following winter break. Even though he doesn’t start until after 9am, I still had to scramble (literally) to get a meal on the table for everyone, find his backpack, and pack him a lunch that I could throw away later when it would come home untouched. But we did it, and then I was faced with the prospect of four hours to myself. When he first started going to school, I would say I was paralyzed by possibilities. And when I couldn’t decide what to do, I would default to watching Bravo shows. I did a little of that today (WHEN is Schwartz going to stop cheating on Katie!? But she kinda deserves it, right?) but I hit the gym first. It’s all about balance, people.

I’m feeling pretty good today. I’m seeing more, miniscule improvements in my skin. My nose is looking dope. I’m pretty sure that’s something only Beyoncé and I say. Sleep has definitely improved, which helps everything of course. I went to my usual Monday CrossFit class today in the morning and I felt strong and steady. I really wanted to push my front squat a little but I decided to just do the suggested weights. Next time, front squat. Next time.

Breakfast was a quick mash-up of scrambled eggs, potatoes, onions, peppers, spinach and some avocado. I ate it while trying to explain to my son how to turn his pants right side out.

For lunch, I made a chef salad using some Whole30 approved deli turkey, avocado, peppers, tomatoes and hard-boiled eggs. The eggs were a great idea, until I tried to peel them. It took me approximately four hours. To do three. I even googled all the hacks. Sigh. And then my kitchen smelled like farts. Oh the things we do for protein.

And dinner. Oh dinner. My friend recommended Egg Roll in a Bowl, and I see it mentioned a lot in the Facebook group. So I gave it a whirl. It’s basically ground pork, onions, garlic, some spices and shredded veggies (coleslaw mix is called for, I used broccoli slaw because I couldn’t reach the cabbage slaw at Trader Joe’s) and then coconut aminos. It was really good! It was a nice change of texture and flavor. My hubs and I decided that when we have the leftovers, we’ll put a poached egg on top for a little more oomph.

So…takeaways from today: my nose skin is dope; those Vanderpump Rules kids could probably move out of those sad apartments if they didn’t go out so much; Egg Roll in a Bowl is a winner.

Grilled Cheese

Oh hello, butter, cheese and bread. Didn’t see you over there. I’ll never forget what we had. But it’s over now.

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Day 4: Getting in the Groove

Exercise: CrossFit, Lifting my son onto and off of a god damn motorcycle chair at his haircut
Food: Scrambled Eggs with Peppers, Onions, and a Side of Banana with Almond Butter, Green Salad with Tuna, Mini Veggie Meatloaves with Asparagus and Sweet Potato

Whole30 Book

Is under the candy dish really the best place to keep this book?

I’m happy to report my mood has lightened a bit from yesterday. I was able to interact with several people today and not only was I nice, but I was able to form complete sentences. I noticed a few other positive changes today too (in Whole30 forums they called those “non-scale victories” or NSV). First, I’m not feeling as hungry in between meals. I’ve found a better timing to when I’m eating and I think that’s helped: breakfast is around 8:30am, lunch at 1pm, dinner at 6pm. Even with a workout in between breakfast and lunch today, I wasn’t ravenous like I would often be way back in 2017. Second, it seems my skin tone has evened out a tiny bit. That’s really encouraging because the prospect of better skin was one of my reasons for doing Whole30. And the last one I can’t really write/talk about because I’m a lady, but let’s just say I’m spending less time in the shitter.

My workout was good today. I decided to go a little bit lighter on some of my weights, based on how I was feeling earlier in the week. I’m glad I did. We had quite a bit of rowing in today’s WOD and toward the end I really felt out of gas. Otherwise though, my body is feeling good. Despite not sleeping well last night again, thanks in part to a 6-year-old who likes to share my pillow, I wasn’t sore or stiff this morning. And it’s been awhile since I’ve made it to the gym 5 days in a row.

For breakfast, I quickly made some scrambled eggs with spinach, onions and peppers. I had a banana with almond butter (see pic below) which I think was a nice bit of extra fuel.

Lunch was another “easy” meal of a simple green salad with spinach, veggies, avocado, and tuna fish.

For dinner I tried a new recipe recommended by someone on a Whole30 group page on Facebook. It was mini meatloaves made in muffin tins and it turned out great. I have 3 servings for leftovers to boot. I served it with sweet potatoes and asparagus with some chipotle mayo on the side.

Bananas and Almond Butter

What I like about this photo is that you can see the exact moment I gave up trying to spread the almond butter on the banana slices. #skillz

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read my little ol’ blog- and to those of you who have commented (in person and online) and offered up encouragement!

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Day 3: Stabby and Sleepy

Exercise: CrossFit/schmossFit
Food: Over-easy Eggs with Potatoes, Apples with Almond Butter, Chicken Nuggets with Brussel Sprouts, Left-Over Meatballs with Carrot Noodles

eggs

Oh look. More eggs.

One of the benefits people report after completing a Whole 30 is better sleep. But apparently, it gets worse before it gets better. I’ve read about a lot of people having trouble sleeping these first days. Especially if they, like myself, are used to having a glass or two (or seven) of wine in the evenings. My husband and I both tossed and turned half the night. We were so exhausted when we finally did fall asleep that we slept through a 4.4 magnitude earthquake. This morning, I was the embodiment of that clichéd saying “Don’t talk to me until I’ve had my coffee!” And I pretty much stayed at that level of cheeriness all day.

I had a haircut during my normal Crossfit class time (#priorities) so I dragged myself to a 5pm class. The brain fog combined with the logistics of a small gym space (and a full class) had me feeling stabby by the time class was over. The handstand push-ups didn’t help. I guess I’m glad I went. But after I was so zoned out that I watched”Creative Galaxy” for at least 20 minutes after my son had left the room.

Breakfast is getting easier. I made some eggs and put them over yesterday’s leftover potatoes, which I warmed up with some peppers and onions. We had apples with almond butter on the side– the first real fruit I’ve had since starting.

For lunch I tried something new and made chicken tenders in the air fryer. I first battered them, but in hindsight I left too much egg on as they were a little too “sticky.” For veggies I made sweet potato fries and Brussel sprouts. Some compliant mayo on the side made for a nice dipping sauce.

Dinner was leftover meatballs in marinara sauce from yesterday. I served it over spiral carrots from Trader Joe’s and I REALLY like those as a noodle replacement. They were a little more firm than zucchini noodles and enhanced the dish nicely. We also had a big ass salad on the side again.

So…takeaways from today: don’t interact with people more than necessary when tired, even in the name of physical fitness; leftovers are handy; this is really a good length for my hair.

don_t-talk-to-me-until-I_ve-had-my-first-cup-of-coffee

This business lady looks like she means business.

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Day 2: Old Habits Die Hard

Exercise: CrossFit
Food: Scrambled Egg and Spinach with Potatoes, Green Salad with Sausage, Meatballs and Zoodles

First  Deadlift

They call ’em deadlifts ’cause you might die. This was from the first day I ever did deadlifts back in July 2016. I have better shoes now.

My son is on Winter break still from school, but today resembled a typical day in that we were busy. And that meant that I had to be more mindful of what I could eat quickly, without falling into old habits. In the past I’d have a protein bar, or waffle with peanut butter for breakfast. Easy, fast, provides enough energy for my workout (or so I thought). But now I actually have to cook! I didn’t know we had this many pans!

Another habit that I probably share with a lot of parents is eating off of my son’s plate. Today, I was putting a snack in a bowl for him, when I reflexively put a piece in my mouth. The horror! It touched my tongue! In what was perhaps a bit of an over-reaction, I immediately spit it into the sink, and washed my mouth out. Unfortunately, my son’s diet is pretty much the opposite of the Whole 30: yogurt, bagels, meats in animal shapes, etc. So having these non-Whole 30 foods around is an extra layer to the challenge, but I don’t think I have the strength to bend his 6-year-old will to a whole new way of eating. Maybe after the sugar detox.

Speaking of that, I think I’m feeling the withdrawal a bit today. I went to the gym at 10:15am. We worked on deadlifts, which I’m usually good at, but today I felt a little foggy and I didn’t finish my last set (it was a weight I’ve done plenty before, though I was also using a different grip, which threw me off ). We’ll play it by ear tomorrow. I know a lot of people will skip the gym the first week of a round of Whole 30.

Breakfast today was roasted potatoes, scrambled eggs with spinach and onions, bacon, and avocado. It was easy and filling. I made two extra servings of potatoes to have for another meal.

Lunch was a challenge as we didn’t have a ton of time. I quickly cooked up a sausage and made a side salad and wolfed it down while trolling people on Facebook. It was probably not enough food. I think I should have done a mini-meal as a recovery from my workout and then had a better lunch when we got home later.

As a result, I think I overserved us at dinner. I made beef meatballs in tomato sauce, served over zucchini zoodles with a big ass side salad.

So…takeaways from today: eat a bigger lunch; don’t try to be a hero at the gym; don’t speak again of that one Trader Joe’s puff that I nearly ate.

Deadlift 245

This was from when I lifted 245# for the first time, my PR is a little more now.

 

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