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The Unofficial Official Last Day

It’s January 30th and that means I made it to day 30 of this Whole30. Well, technically I did cheat one day, so it’s not an official Whole30, but since this is my third(ish) time through, I think it counts. So in the words of Vicki Gunvalsen, Wooooohooooo!

I haven’t updated here for awhile because, well, things have been pretty routine. Cook, sweat, shop, sleep, repeat. We’ve been using our dehydrator a lot for fruit, which I think has saved us some grocery money. However, I’ve yet to find a good shopping routine. We plan to stick with this Whole30 way of eating for the foreseeable future (while allowing a cheat meal or drink once every two weeks) so I’m still eager to fine tune the shopping and spending. I was spoiled in California. Within 5 miles of our house we had several big chain supermarkets, two Trader Joe’s, two Whole Foods, a Sprouts and, my personal favorite, Whole365. I even went to Whole365 when we visited last November, for old time’s sake. Here, I have to drive about 20 minutes for Trader Joe’s and a little longer for Whole Foods. I can certainly find enough of what we like at the in-town supermarkets and the couple small, natural food stores. But the mark-up is all over the place. And don’t get me started on how hard it is to find a good avocado.

Sad lil guys

The good news is that’s forced me to try a few new recipes. On Monday I made this beanless chili recipe in the InstantPot and it came out great. On reheating, the sweet potatoes fell apart, but that didn’t affect the taste. I used ground beef instead of turkey and I doubled the Rotel. I also didn’t measure the spices because I like to live dangerously. I’ll definitely be making it again!

Pretty much the only thing I need to go to Whole Foods for is compliant dressings and mayo (yet somehow I always seem to spend $140 there…) so I think I finally have the kick in the pants I need to start making my own. Biff has been kicking around the idea of making another batch of Kombucha, but I’m ok with not having a living yeast culture on our counter.

So I’m off to workout and then to the grocery store today! Tomorrow I’ll weigh myself and maybe I’ll have a gluten-free cider to celebrate. And then, it’s right back into another Whole30!

 

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Uncategorized, Whole30 Journey

I’m Probably Not Dying

Holy moly- day 20 already? Time is flying and things have been busy- as evidenced by my little delay in posting! We got some snow overnight; it’s the first significant snowfall we’ve had since we moved here so I used my free time making mildly panicked grocery runs this week. And wouldn’t ya know it, I still didn’t have enough ghee and we’re already down to two kombuchas?!

On Thursday, I had a physical with my new doctor here in town. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but during a round of the Whole30, you’re not supposed to weigh yourself. But since I didn’t weigh myself to start with, I rationalized that I wouldn’t get discouraged by learning my weight at this juncture. So I weighed myself before I went and it was about what I thought. But somehow, just an hour later with nothing additional to eat, and the lightest clothing I could get away with, I was 7 pounds heavier on that damn doctor’s office scale. Never fails. What is that? Maybe it’s time to stop using the stupid sliding thingy. I was also a good inch shorter than what my driver’s license says. Rigged. Otherwise, the check-up went pretty well. I have to do some bloodwork still so I’m not 100% sure I’m not dying, but it’s looking that way.

Five Tiers of Fun!

We also got a new, Whole30-related kitchen gadget this week: a dehydrator. One of the few “treats” we allow ourselves is dried fruit. It’s really hard to find without added sugar, and it’s stupidly¬†expensive for what it is. So we took matters into our own hands! We dried out some pears, bananas, mangoes and apples so far. They all turned out great except we should have pealed the mangoes first because the skin was a little tough.

And then today, I’ve just been fighting the temptation to hunker down with some wine while watching the Patriot’s game. Does Tom Brady drink wine? I peg him as a Chablis kind of guy. I was also tempted to finish my son’s hot chocolate (he ate the whipped cream off and then declared he was full) while watching the neighbor’s snow-blow, but ultimately, I stayed strong!

I added a few new dishes to the rotation this week, too. I got a suspiciously good deal on some pork chops, so I cooked those in a pan on the stove top and then deglazed the pan with the leftover marinade, some garlic and onions. I poured that over the chops, mashed potatoes and asparagus. Now I think I’m an expert in deglazing. I did a similar technique with steak tips the next night. Who knows what I will deglaze next!

So just ten days to go on this round (not counting my transgressions last weekend). Right now, we’re planning to take a day or two off and then probably get back on another round. Or, at least, do two weeks on, have one day off, and then two weeks on, one day off, and so on. I think we could really do that for a long time. Feeling good feels good!

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Uncategorized, Whole30 Journey

A Few of My Favorite Things

If I had a dime for every time I was confused with Oprah, I’d have, roughly, a couple of dimes. At the risk of furthering the confusion, I thought I’d share some of my favorite things! It looks like I have a few friends starting or contemplating the Whole30, and these are some items and tips that I think can help.

A Favorite Pan
You probably have a favorite pan already. I bet you even have a favorite burner on the stove. Who knew life could be this thrilling!? The Whole30 requires a lot of cooking, and if that’s a change for you, consider investing in a decent pan that’s super easy to clean. When we started our Whole30 last year, we got this one and this one from Target. They pretty much stay out all the time.

Instant Pot
I didn’t have an Instant Pot until recently, and I’m looking forward to using it this Whole30 round! It’s really great for making hard boiled eggs (among many other things). I don’t know what I do wrong when I make them on the stovetop, but my kitchen looks like a crime scene after I’m done trying to peel them. A dozen hard-boiled eggs will yield like one edible egg. But not with the Instant Pot! They peel super easily.

Parchment Paper/Silpat Mat
Yeppers, more cooking stuff! I roast potatoes just about every day for breakfast (for example) and it’s much easier to throw away the paper when I’m done or wash off the Silpat than scrubbing the pans. Which leads me to the next helpful hint…

A Simple Breakfast
I used to be someone who didn’t like eating the same things all the time- until I started actually making breakfast. With all the time and energy that can go into cooking daily for the Whole30, I like being able to do at least one meal on autopilot. Breakfast is generally: roasted potatoes, two eggs scrambled with onions, peppers and spinach, bacon or avocado. Sometimes I’ll use a dab of mayo as the healthy fat. I bet I made some variation of this breakfast 300 times last year.

Everything But The Bagel Seasoning
Trader Joe’s has a fun little selection of seasonings, and this one is my favorite. Add it to some sweet potatoes and it’s like the G-8 Summit of taste buds. I’m not really sure what that means. But it’s good!

Image Courtesy: PrimalKitchen.com

Primal Kitchen Dressings/Mayo
Sure. You can make your own compliant dressings and mayo. But what is this, Puritan-times New England? You can find these at Whole Foods or order online. I’ve seen a couple of their products in regular grocery stores too, sometimes they’ll put them with the “exotic” health foods. They’re not cheap, but for me, the time and effort they save is worth it. I keep saying I’ll attempt to make my own mayo, but let’s be real. That’s as likely as Kate ever getting along with her third stew on¬†Below Deck.

GT’s Kombucha
It’s alive! Kombucha can be an acquired taste, but I think GT’s does a pretty good job of cutting the sourness with some nice flavors. Kombucha is one of the few “fun” drinks allowed on the Whole30. A lot of kombucha brands will add sugar after the fermentation, which of course, is a no no. GT’s is compliant however. I like the Cosmic Cranberry the best. Biff and I will usually each have a ‘buch in the evening while we watch murder shows on Nexflix and eat dried mango. Is this what the kids mean when they say “Netflix and chill?” Cuz it’s definitely lit.

So those are a few of my expert tips and picks. Impressed? As always, be sure to read labels! I’m seeing a lot more products this time around that are stamped with the Whole30 logo, which is very helpful. I hear there are even some microwavable meals you can get at WalMart now (I don’t have a microwave and I hate going to WalMart so don’t count on seeing a review of those products from this gal!) Now…how do I get these companies to pay me for my incredible endorsements…?

 

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Uncategorized, Whole30 Journey

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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