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Days 25-30

Exercise: All the crap that comes with flying cross-country
Food: So many things

I mentioned in previous post that my Aunt passed away and we were preparing to fly across the country for her services and to be with family. So these last few days of our Whole30 journey, that’s where we were (hence this post lumping all of those days together). I didn’t want our diet restrictions to be a distraction and they certainly weren’t my focus during this last week. But I’m happy to report, we were able to stay mostly compliant faily easily. When we went out to eat, we chose the meals that seemed the most Whole30ish, but we did not go to great lengths to make substitutions. For example, I’m pretty sure there was butter in a couple of the side dishes. But at the risk of sounding totally smug, I wasn’t even tempted by a lot of junky stuff. Part of it was that I think my habits have changed, and part of it was being afraid of the wrath of my digestive track if I were to suddenly reintroduce a bunch of stuff. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

But there was one temptation that proved too great: wine. I had some wine. And Biff had some beer. So we did knowingly go off plan. I don’t regret it, it felt right to have a few glasses with my mom. My Aunt loved to enjoy a good glass of wine or a cocktail, and toasting her with club soda just wouldn’t do. I can’t really say how it affected me; I definitely noticed a negative change in my skin that seemed to pop up the next day. But between stress, possibly eating some non-complaint stuff, and the cold ass weather, who knows what, if anything, was to blame.

So we’re restarting, officially. Woo woo! Another month of this crazy train. I’m excited because (drumroll) we’ve both seen great results from this first go around. I lost about 7 pounds and Biff lost 8. I’ve had a ton of non-scale victories (as they’re called) too: better skin, more restful sleep, easier time falling asleep (I even slept on the plane yesterday, that never happens), feeling more motivated, improved cooking skills, elimination of unhealthy eating habits (mostly eating all the snacks after dinner), better awareness of ingredients, improved workouts, and better understanding about how food really fuels my body.

My brother and sister-in-law are coming to visit in March and so we plan to keep to the Whole30 100% until then. I’ll keep posting frequent updates- starting right back at day 1. Onward and upward!

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Day 24: Snack Shopping

Exercise: Giving the side eye to some jerk who rammed his cart into me at Whole Foods
Food: Scrambled Eggs with Tomatoes and Avocado, Chopped Salad with Turkey and Veggies, Meatloaf with Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Asparagus

snacks

That’ll be $3,000 please.

We’re leaving for the East Coast on Saturday for the memorial service for my Aunt. Biff and I have discussed how we should “handle” our Whole30 and we agree that we’ll do our best to stay on track, but if it gets stressful, or complicated, or just in-the-way, we’ll not feel badly about going off track. The most important thing is being with our family. It will be relatively easy to stay on track on the airplane, but it’s already a big departure from how we would normally prepare for a trip! I’d usually be stocking up on all kinds of crap. But not today! I went to Whole Foods and spent the rent payment on nuts and jerky. Oh and some Lara bars. I nearly choked on my own smugness.

No workout for me today. I had a few things on my plate and the CrossFit workout called for more running, like yesterday. I know I should make myself go when it’s the things I hate the most, but it was raining and I had to write a newsletter and I needed to make some lists and blah blah blah. My kitchen is pretty clean though!

We were running low on some things so for breakfast I threw in whatever veggies I could find with some eggs, scrambled it up and called it a day.

I was two scandals deep into an episode of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills when I realized it was lunch time. I made up a quick little chopped salad with some turkey, avocado, tomatoes, cukes, onions, etc., and scarfed it down while Teddy and Dorit rehashed their drama again.

And for dinner I winged it and made a meatloaf. I used ground beef and added in some onions, garlic, an egg, a spoonful of tapioca flour and a Primal Kitchen marinade I discovered at Whole Foods. It turned out very nicely! I mashed up some sweet potatoes with a little coconut milk and roasted some asparagus too. We had apples and almond butter for a little dessert.

So…takeaways from today: Whole Foods is cray; we’re going to probably get stopped by the TSA for too many high priced snacks; you can’t make me run!

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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 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 13: The Reeducation of Melissa Bouse

Exercise: Resisting the urge to sooth myself with food while reading Fire and Fury
Food: Scrambled Eggs with Veggies and Bacon, Turkey Burger with Sweet Potato Fries, Brisket with Mashed Potatoes and Asparagus

Have I mentioned that I’m not a good cook? It bears repeating. And I have to admit yesterday, I was kinda over it. As much as I’ve tried to make a few things ahead and plan on leftovers, I’m cooking a lot more daily than ever before. I was so grateful that Biff manned two out of three meals today. We also got a few new pans at Target, which he says might help with some of the things that are frustrating me. Next, we need to get our knives sharpened. However, I was glad we hadn’t yet because I nicked myself while trying to get an avocado pit out. My first CRI (cooking-related injury) since starting the Whole30. Aww. Anyway, it’s helpful having someone like my mans around who is intimately familiar with 300 Alton Brown recipes and techniques. He’s been giving me helpful tips (just the tip?) all along. I don’t necessarily take his advice, but I usually wish I had.

I didn’t do any kind of work out today. I thought about putting on RelationShep while the guys were at Atticus’ swim lesson and doing some sit-ups, but that would have required putting on a bra so I did nothing instead. Apparently, I wasn’t really that motivated (to either do sit-ups or watch RelationShep.) Back to the CrossFit grind tomorrow!

For breakfast, we had some oven-crisped bacon with scrambled eggs and veggies. Swim lessons are at 9am on Sundays, and last weekend we waited until after to have breakfast. That was a little too long so we stepped it up and got it in before.

I bought some frozen turkey burgers at Whole365 and Biff cooked those up for lunch with sweet potato fries. I had mine on a bed of lettuce, tomato, onion and avocado (so…a salad then?) The burgers are literally just turkey, so might not be something most people would buy versus just ground turkey. But I had a coupon!

For dinner, Biff made a brisket in the smoker. We had that as part of our Christmas dinner, and I noted at the time that it would be good for the Whole30 (and it’s deeeelish.) I finally remembered to buy it again! He made mashed potatoes using ghee and coconut milk and they were pretty authentic tasting! Some happy, little asparagus rounded out the meal.

So…takeaways from today: listen to your husband more (unless you don’t want to); Sundays aren’t for bras; coupons dictate a lot of my decision making.

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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 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 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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