Much To My Delight

Much To My Delight

Another Whole30 Update: How I Feel About Food

So, you know how everyone’s always complaining that time is moving too fast and their life is just passing them by? Well, I did it. I cracked the code. I have solved this existential crisis.

All you have to do is go on an eating plan that eliminates two dozen of your very favorite things in life.  TIME WILL CRAWL. I guarantee it.

I’m writing this on Day 17, and I swear the last two weeks have been the slowest in my life. People say December flies by because of all the frenzied holiday shopping, socializing and traveling. I say it’s the cookies. Cookies are fun, and time flies when you’re having fun.

And that’s my complaint  about the Whole30 Challenge. It’s not fun. Sure, I get a few jollies cranking out zucchini ribbons with my spiralizer, and it’s a bit of a tickle creating something new with somewhat limited ingredients, but overall, it’s made the art of eating completely perfunctory. Eating this way is exactly is what it’s supposed to be– it’s eating for fuel, for energy, for sustenance.

whole 30

 Dude…cauliflower can be made into pasta sauce!

whole 30

But I love eating for joy. I love cooking with joy. I love sitting around on my couch, drinking coffee with milk and sugar in it while reading cookbooks, dreaming of recipes I will create with joy.

So, that’s why eating “clean” 100% of the time is tough for me. It’s turned something that I often feel creative and inspired about into something that sometimes feels like drudgery (ie: endless food prepping) and occasionally makes me feel like I’m missing out on life’s best experiences. Sharing meals with others is wonderful, and right now I’m a pain in the ass to eat with.

This weekend, my friend Bridget and I went to the Bronx, simply because neither of us has spent a lot of time in the Bronx. We made our way over to Tremont Avenue, the Little Italy section of the borough. It was cold, so stopping into a cafe for hot drinks and pastries was a given. I sat there and had a plain black tea, and that’s it. I was proud of my ability to resist, but now I was that annoying person who sits across from someone enjoying their pastry while drinking black tea.  I almost jumped a waitress who floated by with a tray of cappuccinos, and when the kitchen door opened and the smells of fresh cream and sugar blew into the cafe I have never inhaled so deeply. I’m surprised I didn’t pass out.

In better news, Vin and I discovered Hu Kitchen, one of the only restaurants around here that is completely paleo. It felt like a hip, healthy adult cafeteria but instead of greasy pizza and milk cartons, everyone had organic chicken and a head of broccoli on their tray. We even saw a post-yoga Olsen twin walk in as we were heading out. I have no idea which one it was, but I was under the impression that they both survived on cigarettes and Starbuck’s, so I was surprised to see her there.

Anyway, for all my complaining, I’ll also say that my stomach and my skin look better than they did two weeks ago. I’m writing this while wearing a pair of jeans that haven’t fit comfortably in about a year, so there’s that too.

Truth be told, I’d rather be drinking coffee with milk and sugar in my slightly bigger pants.

But I’m sticking this thing out, no matter what. I’ll check back in again next week. Off to unsubscribe from the 25 instagram accounts that keep torturing me with pictures of doughnuts…





Jenn P.

30-something psychotherapist. Loves cooking, hosting parties, exploring new places. Texan by birth. New Yorker by choice. Likes to tell little stories. Pull up a chair; I'll tell you one.

  • Christy O’Shoney
    I’ve often had the thought, “Hmmm, maybe I should start eating clean…” but I don’t think I am emotionally prepared for it. I love how you have described your experiences here, and actually both of the meals you pictured look DELICIOUS! Especially the zucchini noodles with cauliflower sauce. Do you have a recipe?
    • Jenn from much to my delight
      Being emotionally prepared is key. The way we think of and treat food is definitely psychological! Here is the recipe for the sauce I made– it’s actually really wonderful, and you forget that you’re eating cashews and cauliflower. I made this whole recipe- it’s like a vegan casserole–but made extra sauce to use for other stuff. To make the zucchini noodles, you can either julienne or grate them, but I’d recommend getting one of those trendy spiralizer machines. They’re really fun!
  • Katherine Walsh
    Funny that you mention about unsubscribing from tempting instagram account pics. I am also trying to do the whole food, no grain diet. It is tough and I need to stick with it. But, in the meantime seeing “treats” and fancy coffee pics come across my screen I have to remind myself that these are not for me, they’re for other people. But, it does seems so restrictive. I haven’t been doing it long enough to reap the benefits – I’m sure that will help to encourage me. Good luck, it sounds like you’re doing really well with the clean eating.
    • Jenn from much to my delight
      SO MANY TREATS ON INSTAGRAM! I also never noticed how many bakeries were in my neighborhood until I stopped eating sugar and wheat! Good luck on our food journey. I keep waiting it for it to be totally worth it as well:).
  • Meg
    I can definitely relate to this. When I was incredibly devoted to Weight Watchers and pushing hard to hit my goal, I often felt like . . . something was missing. And that something was a cupcake. Not to be a WW ad at all, but that’s why I was able to stick with the program in the end: I could use those anytime points and indulge every now and then. Some of the best moments take place over sugary drinks, fat pastries and late dinners with friends and family . . . and you should be able to enjoy those things, too! It’s all about balance, balance, balance. I’m sure you look fabulous — you already did! — but sometimes we just have to enjoy that cappuccino. :) I guess I’m being a bad influence? I’m not sure this is coming out right. Let’s try again: Jenn, I commend you on your clean eating and think you’re doing phenomenally well!
    • Jenn from much to my delight
      I FEEL YOU ON THIS. I hate not having balance with this eating plan. It’s way too extreme for me. I could eat clean all day and just have coffee and be quite happy. You’re not a bad influence, Meg. You’re a voice of reason!