Thursday, January 30, 2014

Whole30 Week Four: Holy Crap I did it!

DAY 30, Y'ALL!!!! As of today I survived my Whole30. Here is what I ate over the last nine days, and then some thoughts.

1 - Tuna salad on cucumber slices instead of crackers. It's a sneaky way to get a veggie serving in, it's crunchy and refreshing, and it's a nice snack. Warning: this hardly qualifies as a meal so don't pack it for lunch. I used canned tuna (oops, learned later it contains soy) so next time I will use the packets of tuna. Add in a hardboiled egg, a chopped stalk of celery, homemade mayo, salt and pepper and you're good to go.

2 - Pot roast with onion and carrots (again... it's cold and I wanted some warm comfort food) with a side of sweet potato (I buy a steamer bag of whole sweet potatoes and do them in the microwave at the beginning of the week and then refrigerate them until I need one.) Paired with a spinach and cucumber salad with a homemade dressing (olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard.)

3 - Scrambled eggs, bacon, and spinach sauteed in bacon fat. I mean. I love a diet that is cool with me eating bacon or bacon fat at every meal.

4 - Dude, did I mention it was cold here lately? I was having a rather emotional night and decided I wanted some MORE comfort food. I opted for Neece's spicy sausage, sauteed carrots, onion, garlic and celery, with some red pepper and salt. Delicious. Go easy on the salt because the sausage is salty, too.

5 - Lemon chicken (recipe here) with sweet potato and spinach salad.

6 - Leftover chopped lemon chicken from the night before ON a salad of spinach and cucumber. I didn't even need dressing because the chicken was so (god I hate this word...) moist.

7 - Bacon Acorn Squash Patties. They are a little crumbly but they are delicious and bread-like, and still paleo (recipe here). 

8 - Grilled burger patty, topped with spinach, a slice of tomato, and grilled onion. Grilled zucchini (sliced, tossed in olive oil, chili powder, and salt), guacamole, and of course... a sweet potato.

9 - Leftovers for lunch. Burger with mustard, grilled zucchini, and a tangerine.

10 - Those acorn squash pancakes topped with a fried egg or two. Perfect to soak up the gooey yolk!

11 - Roasted carrots. I had a bag of baby carrots that I needed to burn through, so I chopped them in half length-wise, tossed them in olive oil, chili powder and salt (my old faithful spice mix) and roasted them in the oven at 400* for 40 minutes.

12 - Roasted tomatoes and mushrooms. Tossed in olive oil, spread on a pan, sprinkled with sea salt. Divine. Maybe my favorite thing I ate all month.


Impressions: This has begun to feel like something I do, not something I think about constantly. You'll see most of these meals are just improvisations based on what I had in the fridge. I love that this "diet" makes it possible to use odds and ends and has, for the most part, eliminated any food waste in my kitchen. I eat most everything before it goes bad and dinner leftovers become healthy, fulfilling lunches.

I feel like I'm doing something good for my body, for the environment, and for my wallet. Yes, it's expensive to eat real food, but I don't spend money on processed crap and then throw half of it away. I'm actually getting my money's worth in terms of nutrients and not putting it in the garbage when it goes bad in my fridge.

Biggest accomplishment: I finished it.

Biggest setback: My friends don't get it. Everyone has their opinions about the paleo lifestyle, and for the most part, these friends eat like crap so there's really no point in trying to explain it to deaf ears. It's really frustrating when they say things like "but corn is natural!" and "but wheat is good for you!" Also, I've had a few friends who were self-righteously just waiting for me to fail (one even placed a bet on it), which kind of shows me they aren't friends at all...

Biggest surprise: I'm not interested in reintroducing dairy or wheat into my diet. When I started this, I swore the no-cheese thing was only for 30 days and then I would jump head-first into a swimming pool of queso and find some tortilla chip to float on. I'm sure there will be occasions where eating paleo isn't possible (at holiday functions, family functions, etc.) but so far I've found a way to do it, so I know it's possible.

And the biggest surprise? I want to maintain the paleo lifestyle. I have not felt the intense burst of energy or the better sleep or anything, but I feel less bloated, I've lost over 15 pounds, and I don't feel guilty and beat myself up before I go to bed every night for eating badly. I'm worth more than that.

There, I said it. It's an emotional thing.

Next steps: Join 9Round? CrossFit? P90X? Trying to decide!