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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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 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 12: Supermarket Sweep

Exercise: Going to the Grocery Store, Family Walk
Food: Fried Eggs Over Hash Browns with Peppers, Onions and Bacon, Big Ass Salad(again), Egg Roll in a Bowl (again)

I mentioned in yesterday’s post about how nice it is to have a variety of grocery stores nearby. The newest one is quickly becoming my favorite. Whole Foods opened up a Whole 365 just about a mile from my house. That’s their more affordable brand. Some say it rivals Trader Joe’s. I say not quite– the produce, for example, is all organic so you don’t have the option to choose cheaper, non-organics there. But the quality is great. And I want the organic stuff anyway. Plus, it’s all shiny and new and the tweakers who like to hang out at my local Safeway haven’t discovered it yet. I spent about $165 and I think my haul will last most of the week. I’ll probably need to do another trip to get stuff for my son and maybe restock a few Whole30 items. So, I’d say I’ll probably spent about $225/$250 on groceries this week. That seems a little high for a family of three, but we’re also not eating out or buying booze (kill me now!!!!!) Oh and today’s total included cat food and cat litter. The organic kind. #whole30cats

I continue to feel better and better each day. I’m still sleeping like a rock, and waking up feeling refreshed. A lot of times I’d feel the need for a nap (my mom always took a 20 minute nap after work growing up. I thought “who only naps for 20 minutes?” Until I found myself doing the same thing.) But lately I haven’t. Boom! No workout today because I still felt a little stiff from yesterday’s. We went for walk/skateboard/bike ride as a family instead.

For breakfast, I spiced things up a little and did our potatoes as hash browns. They didn’t get as crispy as I wanted but that was probably due to my impatience. I topped with onions, peppers and fried eggs. A little bacon on the side and life was good.

Lunch was another salad of turkey, bacon, tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado, onion, spinach and romaine. We dressed it with Primal Kitchen’s Ranch.

And for dinner, I made Egg Roll in a Bowl again, mostly to use up some ground pork. I added some extra cabbage this time. I also learned that I’m not quite ready to poach eggs on my own. Biff had to rescue the operation. He did say the eggs might not have been right to start. I’ll go with that!

So…takeaways from today: try to look a little bit presentable when going to the grocery store because you’ll probably bump into a friend (I did!); ain’t nobody got time for naps; I might not know how to poach eggs after all. Bike ride

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Day 8: One Week In

Exercise: Barbell Club
Food: Scrambled Eggs with Avocado, Veggies and Salsa, Leftover Bolognese with Carrot Noodles, Leftover Egg Roll in a Bowl (now with more egg!)

Eggs with Salsa

What I lack in cooking skills, I make up for with my plating techniques

Today marks one week since we started following the Whole30. Boom! I think that pretty much makes me an expert? Maybe not, but I do feel that I have a pretty good handle on things. I went to the grocery store today (yes, another trip to the grocery store) and I had a much easier time reading labels and ruling out certain items. My biggest challenge is still cooking. I’ve alluded to the fact before that I’m not a good cook. And it’s not something I particularly enjoy. But I am proud that I’ve churned out some edible things and I feel like I’ve improved a little just by virtue that I’m cooking more daily than ever before. I may even foray into soups this week! Yeah, you didn’t think things were going to get so wild on this blog, so fast.

The Whole30 creators stress that it is not a weight loss diet. Though most people who can spare to lose a few lbs tend to see some good progress. So people aren’t encouraged to weigh themselves during the 30 days. But it’s so tempting! I do feel lighter– not necessarily weight-wise, but maybe I just have less bloat? Ultimately, I’d like to lose 40lbs, and I’m already thinking that when 30 days is up, maybe I’ll do another 30. Or add a macros counting component? But just like when LaLa dishes some hot gossip, I need to back it up! (Is two Vanderpump Rules references in two days too many?) One step at a time. I’m glad to already be feeling better, regardless of what the scale says.

I went to Barbell Club tonight instead of CrossFit. It meets at 7pm, so after I’d had all my meals for the day. I felt good! We worked on our Snatch. And Clean and Jerks. Those are real things. Man, things are getting wild tonight.

Enough about snatch work. Breakfast was…drumroll…eggs! Scrambled eggs with veggies, avocado and a nice salsa I found at Trader Joe’s to be exact. Quite good and satisfying! I’m trying to lessen my potato intake, and since I didn’t workout in the morning, I didn’t feel like I needed them.

For lunch I had some leftover Bolognese sauce over carrot noodles. I packed Biff the same thing for work, but he reports that the noodles didn’t reheat so well. Good to know!

Dinner was the rest of yesterday’s Egg Roll in a Bowl, this time with that aforementioned poached egg. I had to have Biff show me how to poach and egg so now I know. Ladies, find you a man who can handle eggs!

So…takeaways from today and a week of healthier, clean eating: if you practice anything enough, you’ll get better at it (ie cooking); no one likes a limp noodle, especially at work;  22 days to go!

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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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