Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Life After Whole 30

Christmas Day I was helping my sister in law cook Christmas dinner and texting my sister at the same time. My sister said "We should take the girls an American Girl store sometime." And thus began the planning for a girls weekend. There was bargaining over where we would meet because there is no store halfway between us. Then my mother says "You really think this is going to happen?" She's known us (my sisters and I) for over 3 and a half decades you would think she would know by now that a comment like that only makes us  more determined to make it happen. So this past weekend my 9 year old daughter and I flew to Nashville to meet my mother, father, sisters and nieces for a girls weekend. I was way off what has become my regular diet the first day and by the end of the day I bloated and having a lot of abdominal pain. That alone convinced me to try to stick closer to my plan. It's not easy eating out and staying on a strict diet. I ate a lot of grilled chicken and salad. I know the dressing was on the plan but I did not eat as much of it as I once would have. I found some Larabars at Target and packed those for breakfast on the trip home. We stopped at Cracker barrel for lunch and I had grilled fish and sweet potato but had to scoop off the brown sugar.

I got home just in time for our Super Bowl party with the students from church. I ate off plan in a big way Sunday night. Monday morning though I just got back on track with eggs and thin sliced steaks. Lunch was chicken strips, roasted sweet potato and asparagus. I never thought I would be looking forward to my routine lunch but it was so good. This morning I cooked up the rest of the thin sliced steak. We had some for breakfast and saved the rest for lunch.
I put a roast in the crock pot for dinner and covered it with Tessemae's slow roasted garlic and added potatoes. The kids had 2-3 helpings each of the roast so I guess it was good stuff. I also used the Chesapeake Mayo as dip. First time I've had mayo in over a month. I've been a mayo addict longer than I've been a coffee creamer addict!
I gained 1 pound back in my off plan eating over the weekend but Hubby was at home and stayed on target. He's lost almost 20 pounds now. A lot of people have commented about his weight loss.

I did drink some coffee with real creamer and even one Starbucks coffee this past weekend. But Monday morning I went back to my coconut milk and cinnamon. Today is Fat Tuesday. Lent starts tomorrow. A lot of people will give up something for Lent. Sounds like a great time to start your Whole 30 journey!


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Whole 30: Reintroduction

Reintroduction is scary. Because the program works well. We eat well. We feel well. We're in a routine. Why change things now? We can continue if we want but that's not the way the program works. Part of the point is to find how certain food affect your body. Being in control of your choices and not letting cravings dictate what you eat and how much of it you eat is a huge gain.

Yesterday morning I got up, pushed the button on my Keurig and grabbed the new container of coffee creamer out of the fridge. Regardless of what the book said about reintroduction I was having creamer! And it was GROSS! The taste was all off. I had 3 cups of coffee with real creamer and today I went back to coconut milk, cinnamon and cocoa. It was much better and less sugar and less calories.

We had edamame at dinner. If you haven't ever tried this green legume you should (after your whole 30). We were introduced to them at a sushi restaurant and the whole family loves them. But by bedtime and again this morning my stomach was hurting. I think it was the coffee creamer but it may have been the edamame.

Tonight I made chili with plantain chips for dinner. It was pretty good. I think I let the plantains sit too long because I read they make better chips if they are green and mine were not. But we ate it. Two different students at church told Hubby he looked thinner. I think that made him feel pretty good.

Friday we get to reintroduce dairy. We'll see how that goes.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Whole 30: Day 30!!!!!!!

This is how I feel right now! We did it...as long as we can last the next 2 hours and 49 minutes. Today our food was mostly just about getting through the day. We had poached eggs and pork chops with greens and cherry tomatoes. I made 4 pork chops at breakfast so lunch was already cooked. We heated up roasted sweet potatoes (I like roasted sweet potato but I'm about sick of it just to be honest) and had salad with our pork chops for lunch. Dinner was baked salmon, asparagus and I made homemade french fries. So that's it. Our last official day. We still have another 10 days of reintroduction and will quite likely do a whole 10 or whole 14 several times in the next few months. 

I've lost a total of 8 pounds this month. And I was not hungry. I realized in October that I needed to lose about 15 pounds. I counted my calories religiously and went to bed hungry for 6 weeks and barely lost 2 pounds. This month we ate. A lot. And the weight was easy to come off. I have not added exercise to my plan yet. Quite honestly I have a stressful job and I come home to 3 kids ages 2-9. I have a hard time figuring out where to fit exercise. This month was about food and it took all my energy to cook 3 meals a day and keep the kitchen somewhat clean.

So a few pieces of advice I would give anyone thinking about taking on the Whole 30:

1. Read the book. Visit the website.- Make sure you have all the information about the how and why. In my experience if you understand why you are doing something it makes it easier to stick to the plan.

2. Get on pinterest and Instagram. - I can't tell you how many recipes I got off Instagram. Don't try to come up with your own food combinations. Thousands of people have done this before you. Take advantage of that.

3. Amazon.- Find the products others are raving about and order them. Our first week was rough because we had not done research on some of these products. Once we broke down and bought them it made things more enjoyable.

4. Have a buddy.- This is not something you can do alone. You need someone to sit down and eat meals with who can make a meal if you are sick or get too busy with other things in life. Accountability is key

5. You can do this.- I live 45 minutes from the nearest Wal-Mart and who knows where the nearest Whole Foods store is located. I work full time and am raising 3 kids. If I can do this so can  you!

PS- I am going to add a little creamer to my coffee tomorrow.


Sunday, January 31, 2016

Whole 30: Day 29

This morning I listened to a post on periscope by Melissa Hartwig about the reintroduction phase of the Whole 30. I tried to find it and link it here but with periscope posts are only up for 24 hours so it's gone. I looked for it on YouTube but it's not there yet. However, here is the link to her blog post on Whole30.com about reintroduction. My daughter and I have some plans this weekend for a girls weekend which will leave Hubby and the boys on their own for a few meals. Hubby says "We'll probably get pizza." I said "Do you really want to go back to eating that way?" He replied "No." That really made me think that we need a game plan for the next 2 weeks. The past 29 days have been pretty well laid out. It was easy and not easy all at the same time.

I made a point to read the reintroduction chapter of It Starts With Food. Day 1 we can reintroduce legumes. Hubby doesn't really like peas and lima beans (which I was raised eating and like) but the whole family is a fan of edamame (soybeans in the pod). So I'm thinking that may be our reintroduction day 1. By Thursday or Friday we can add dairy back to our diet. Grains and gluten don't get added back until around day 10. The point is to take a few days and see how certain foods affect our bodies before adding in more food. On periscope Melissa talked about how grains make her feel lethargic and unsociable. So she's aware of how she will feel if she eats too much of one certain type of food.

A few things I think we will continue doing after finishing the Whole 30:

1. Coconut Oil- This oil has less of the bad fat and more of the good fat we need in our diet. It has a mild taste and really doesn't make the food taste all coconutty.

2. Sunbutter- Even our kids like sunbutter without sugar as well as peanut butter. So why eat something with sugar when there is a healthier alternative we like just as well.

3. Tesseme- Why eat salad dressing with fake ingredients and sugar when there are healthier alternatives? We really like the Tesseme dressings and there are lots of options available.

4- Eating a full breakfast and lunch- I have really gotten used to eating a full meal at breakfast and lunch. I don't get starving hungry at 10 AM or 3 PM and have to have a snack. I think I have a clearer mind and better focus when I'm not hungry. I also don't get "Hangry".

5- Clarified butter- Have you ever tried this stuff? So much better than butter or that fake margarine. I love it on my baked potatoes!

6- Avoiding processed food- I've been preaching this for years but until now have not found a way to do it so completely myself.

So tomorrow is the last day. The first week was long and hard. But we've just about done it.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Whole 30: Day 28

One of the things we have given up in the Whole 30 is bread, well any type of grain actually. For years we have been told we need grains at every meal. But if you are looking for fiber there are lots of ways to get fiber without using grains. The Mayo Clinic web page has this chart showing the fiber content of different foods. Cutting out a lot of the food we eat every day has forced us to try new food and in new ways.

I wasn't very hungry this morning when I got up so I had banana and Sunbutter. I think Hubby made himself some eggs. I went for groceries and got back late so lunch was not until 2 and I made chicken on spinach and arugula with avocado, grapes and grape tomatoes. It was beautiful outside today so we cooked dinner on the grill outside. We had grilled chicken and steak and I roasted parsnip fries and asparagus for dinner. The kids had friends over and they even tried the parsnip fries and asparagus. Not sure they cared for it but they tried it.

I wanted to make the breakfast meatloaf I found on Pinterest again. Last time I used some Italian sausage I found but it really called for ground pork and added seasonings. I had looked for ground pork for weeks and could not find it. Earlier this week I asked one of the guys at the local grocery store if he could ground me some pork and he had it done by the time I finished the rest of my shopping. I guess that's the benefit of living in a small town. I've got the breakfast meatloaf in the slow cooker now.

I have been thinking about our reintroduction this next week. I don't want to go back to eating the way we have in the past. My skin looks clearer and I got into some pants today that I haven't been able to wear in several months. So I don't want to go back but I am looking forward to relaxing the rules a little.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Whole 30: Day 27

Friday is Hubby's day off work so I try to let him and the 2 year old sleep in. I get the other 2 kids up and ready for school. Today I made sausage and poached eggs for breakfast. The 9 year old told me she wouldn't mind eating eggs for breakfast every day so she had what I had today. The 5 year old pukes when I feed him eggs but he wanted sausage so I only had to make one breakfast this morning.

I ended up not getting to leave work for lunch. I had some fruit which held me for a little while. Hubby had to come to town at 3 so he brought me a salad with chicken, tomatoes and avocado. Kids wanted chicken nuggets and mac and cheese for dinner. I don't know about anyone else but by Friday evening I am worn out. Pan fried chicken and roasted sweet potatoes have become my quick and easy go to dinner. So while they ate junk I did not.

Not much planned for this weekend. Hoping to get some rest.

Sorry for such a short post tonight. I'll try to have some new information to bring you tomorrow night.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Whole 30: Day 26

So I was getting tired of eggs, sausage and sweet potato for breakfast every morning. I had cooked it about all the ways I could find to cook it. So today I decided to try salmon for breakfast.
I put 4 small pieces in the fridge to thaw last night and cooked all 4 this morning. Hubby helped me make poached eggs and wilted greens. It was really a good filling breakfast. I'm thinking I should have thrown in some avocado as well. We used the other 2 pieces in a salad a lunch. 

One night a month I volunteer as the nurse practitioner at a local free clinic. I knew I did not have time to get home and get dinner before going to the clinic after my full time job so I had an apple and sunbutter to get me by until I could get home. The manager at the free clinic usually makes dinner but since I'm being so particular about what I'm eating I just figured I'd eat when I got home. The manager had heard I was doing the Whole 30 and made a compliant soup with chicken, sweet potato and carrots. It was so good! I have found that people are willing to help if they know what we are doing.

I prepared meatloaf for the kids and Hubby to have for dinner. All Hubby had to do was stick it in the oven. He also cut up a sweet potato (the 9 year old was quick to point out she peeled the sweet potato with the potato peeler) and roasted it with some asparagus. The kids didn't like the meatloaf and I tried it when I got home and probably won't try it again. Kind of a strange flavor.

4 days left! I think we're gonna make it!