The “Whole 30″ Diary– Week 2
We have just finished week 2 of our Whole 30 challenge, and we’re still very committed to staying the course! No cheats, and we’re seeing nice results–we always feel full, we never feel sluggish, and our bellies feel less bloated. Here’s a day by day look:
Day 8: I am good at many things. Making eggs is not one of them. Since I have spent the majority of my breakfast eating years nibbling on toast, english muffins, oatmeal and other sweet and bready breakfasts, I find the egg to be a bit of a foreigner to me, at least on busy weekdays. But now I’m cracking ‘em up all the time, and while they taste pretty good, I have a knack for making fried eggs look absolutely dreadful.
I hate to admit this, and it saddens me to say it, but…I feel better without my morning coffee(s) than with it. Ugh. I didn’t want that to be true. But no, I don’t need coffee to wake up and I have felt more consistently energetic throughout the day during the last 8 days than I have in a long time. Still, I miss coffee more than anything else– far more than cheese and carbs, surprisingly.
I miss it not only for its terrific taste, but also for the sheer ritual of it. I miss waking up and holding that hot little mug in my eager hands. I miss stepping out for a quick break with a co-worker to indulge in a little late afternoon liquid love. I miss my friend. Java will be returning to my life on June 8th, just with a lot less sugar and milk. Right before filling my cavity last week, my dentist asked if I’d considered switching to black coffee. I looked at him and in all seriousness asked, “What do I look like? Some kind of an animal?” I’m thinking (hoping, rather) that after being off sugar for a month, I’ll need less to satisfy my sweet tooth. I’ll probably switch to a good decaf too.
Just as we settle in for a nice dinner of beef and broccoli stir-fry over spaghetti squash (instead of noodles) and coconut aminos (instead of soy sauce), I ask Vin to share how he’s feeling a week into this thing. Rather than complain about withdrawal from baked goods and missing the staff at Dunkin’, he says that he feels great and really likes eating this way. He mentions that he always feels satisfied, but never uncomfortably full like we did when eating meals like pasta or other carby dishes with cheese. He also mentions that it feels easier to wake up in the morning and his sleep has improved. He actually said, and I quote, “I can really tell that there is a connection between eating well and feeling good.” Somebody call a tow truck. My big ass jaw is on the floor.
Day 9: Today is Saturday and we’d like to go out to eat. I’m finding going out to restaurants to be a big drag on this Whole 30 program, because so much of the menu is off limits and I’m used to choosing my dishes based on desire rather than practicality. We go to Bare Burger, one of the places in our neighborhood where we know we can get multiple offerings of organic meats. Vin gets the elk burger and I get bison; we have them wrapped up in lettuce leaves instead of buns and leave off the cheese. WHO ARE WE? My very lean burger is tasty, but I’m pretty sure the order of onion rings at the next table just winked at me.
We meet up with Vin’s friend, who is in the process of cooking a huge, delicious meal for his girlfriend’s birthday dinner, and is out in the hood food shopping. We foolishly accompany him to a local beer and cheese shop where pretty much every single item is off limits to us for the next few weeks. The beer holds little appeal, but I stare at the cheese counter with the type of longing reserved for someone who’s recently left for war. We make the rounds through the neighborhood, picking up massive amounts of kale, parsnips and broccoli rabe at the produce market, two juicy steaks and a whole chicken at the butcher and a bouquet of pretty flowers from the outside stand. I always feel like I live on Sesame Street when we do our shopping this way. I kinda love it.
Day 10: Sunday morning is when I want coffee the most. It’s not uncommon for me to make a pot of coffee and sip on that until noon instead of eating. Terrible, I know. I do tons of food prep today. That’s what I like least about this way of eating. I am always cooking. But truthfully, it’s not really that different than the way I usually cook. Lots and lots of veggies with a side of protein. Except two weeks ago I would have thrown it all on top of a batch of grains and topped it with cheese. I find that it’s just as satisfying without both of those extras.
We make steak, roasted sweet potatoes and broccoli rabe for dinner. Vinny is in heaven. I think this way of eating is pretty easy for him, as burgers and steaks are his comfort foods. My comfort foods are things that come wrapped in or stacked on tortillas, filled with refried beans, melty cheddar and roasted poblanos. You can take the girl outta Texas, but you can’t take the plate of Tex-Mex out of her grubby, coffee-bean stained paws. Until she goes on the Whole 30, that is.
Day 11: I woke up this morning and ambled into the living room to see that Vin made a run to the grocery store last night for snacks. This usually involves a seriously delicious-looking bag of potato chips or cookies. You know what he bought last night? Three oranges and a box of cherry tomatoes. It’s like living with a stranger.
My stomach is definitely flatter. I like the way it’s looking, and I haven’t said that about my stomach in a little while. I think my jeans are looser too, but it could just be because they’re from the Gap and Gap jeans stretch out ten minutes after you put them on. I’m not sure if I’ve actually lost weight or not because you’re not supposed to weigh yourself through the 30-day period. I don’t have a scale anyway, so that rule sort of worked itself out.
Day 12: Vin and I start fantasizing about what we’ll eat when this is over. We both agree that we’re going to take ourselves out for milkshakes. I’m a little concerned about what it will feel like when we start reintroducing foods back. Will it be worth it?
Day 13: I miss some stuff, but my cravings aren’t terrible. Plus, we’ve been eating really well and we’re never left feeling hungry. I don’t get the shakes anymore from my blood sugar dropping in the afternoon. My body tells me that I’m hungry, but not in that desperate, manic, “If I don’t eat something right now I’m going to lose my shiz” kind of way. Here’s a little peek into what I’ve been cooking:
Cauliflower fried “rice” with stir-fried broccoli, green onion, cilantro, garlic, red peppers,
shrimp and chicken
(*Cauliflower is riced by shredding it in the food processor; there’s no actual rice in this dish)
Chicken, sweet potato, onion and kale stir-fry with crushed pecans and dried cherries
Mixed salad with organic shredded chicken, carrots, radishes, avocado, toasted almonds in
lemon-olive oil dressing.
Broiled salmon with raw kale salad with radishes, almonds, avocados, lemon and olive oil
To-go lunch: grilled chicken topped with mango/pineapple salsa, avocado, and roasted sweet potatoes
Tortilla soup (sans tortillas) with a big scoop of guacamole!
Alright! I’m off to cook some more! More homemade Larabars and butternut squash boats stuffed with ground turkey and caramelized onions.
Anybody else ever do a Whole 30? Would you? (I swear…it’s not that bad!!) PS: They have meal plans for vegetarians too!