Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Whole30: Get set...

Tomorrow's the day!!

I've got my food packed up, I've had all my favorites ;), dinner is ready to throw together tomorrow after my afternoon walk and strength training regimen, water bottle packed. Everything is all ready to go tomorrow.

Emotionally? I'm scared. On the one hand, its only 30 days. Like, really. I can do ANYTHING for 30 days. I'm not a picky eater, I like to cook, and ask anyone- I'm super stubborn. On the other hand, so many people I've talked to are on the "oh my gosh, I could never!" or "wow, I'm staying away from you this month!" or "That sounds awfully difficult" side of the fence. And tonight, those voices are kind of winning.

But I know I can do this. I know that I have the ability to get through this. It's just food. I mean really. It. Is. Just. Food.

So I think I'm ready! I'm prepped for tomorrow and I'm ready to face the new me head on tomorrow.

OH! By the way, I'm not allowed to weigh myself or take measurements during this. So I'm planning on weighing myself in the morning, but it takes me a while to turn into a human, so if I forget- I weighed myself on Sunday (3/28) and came in at 198. I was very pleased with that, as a year ago this time I was at 245. So that's fabulous, almost 50 pounds in the last year. I'll be sure to check myself at the end of my Whole30 and let you know.

Ok, it's super late and tomorrow is already a long day and it's late. I'll check in tomorrow night and let you know how my first day was!

Sweet dreams!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Whole30: On your Mark...

Well, hello there!

As is often the way of things, I got distracted, life got busy, I have a million excuses, but really, I just let this lapse. Oh well.

I'm gearing up for a Whole30, and I think it will be very helpful to be able to journey the experience. That's all I'm promising. A record and journal as I undertake this.

What's the Whole30?
The Whole30 is a month long nutritional reset program designed to change how a person views food. For thirty days, participants eat absolutely no added sugars, no alcohol, no dairy of any kind, no grains of any kind (including quinoa!), and no soy.

I am interested in trying this for many reasons:

  • to test my follow through on things I say I will do
  • to alter the addictive nature of my relationship with food
  • to change my taste buds
  • to help with body composition change & weight loss
  • to see how much the things I eat affect my energy, skin, and other slight physical issues

If you have questions about the program, please visit the website .

I'm starting my Whole30 on April 1. However, considering that that's a Wednesday, I wanted to do a lot of the food prep today. And now that I've got the shopping and most of the prepping done, I thought I'd grab a minute and talk about the things I'm already learning. 

I've been a big meal planner and grocery shopper for most of my adult life. I like to have a plan and when you're as busy as I am, not having to think about dinner is great. I typically plan dinner meals and then have a few standards for breakfasts. I tend to alternate between leftovers and salads for lunches. 
So I very carefully planned my week. Here's what I've got:

Monday: chicken and veggie soup
Tuesday: dinner meeting for work, so out.
Wednesday: barbecue pork chops with sunchokes and fingerling potatoes
Thursday: chicken breast with veggies 
Friday: Pork "sliders" with veggies

Breakfasts: muffin cup veggie quiche with prosciutto "crust"

Alright, I thought. Here we go. 

I bought "The Frugal Paleo Cookbook" a couple of nights ago and so far I'm very excited. Not all of the recipes are Whole30 compliant, but many are and the ones that aren't will keep for a month! You can find it here. I got the recipe for the barbecue chops and the ground pork sliders from there. I figured I could make up a tasty soup, and a baked chicken breast and veggies is pretty easy but 
filling. I also get a CSA box every Tuesday, which gives me some freedoms about my choices of vegetables. 

I made a shopping list. It read:

1 lb. ground pork
red onion
ground mustard
chili powder
chicken broth
apple cider vinegar
muffin liners

and a few other non-food items. 

All told this week, I probably spent about $90 on food. Ouch. Read on to find out where that went.

I hit the lottery right off the bat- organic grass fed ground pork was on sale for only $2.50 a pound! So I went a little hog wild (sorry, couldn't resist!) and bought six pounds to freeze. So that was an extra $12.50 right there.

But my local kroger doesn't carry prosciutto. Did you know that almost all deli meats have added sugar? Nope, me either. So there I was, holding up the line examining ingredients when I finally find it! Applewood naturals turkey: Turkey, salt and carageenan from seaweed! YES! $5 for a package. OUCH. I wince and buy it. When I got home, however, I found out that carageenan is on the no-no list. DAMN IT.  So I popped it in the freezer and added that to my "specialty store" purchases. Sure enough, Trader Joe's has prosciutto, ingredients: ham and salt. SCORE. I bought two packages, so I could make plenty of breakfasts. 

Next on the problem list is ghee. Ghee, or clarified butter, is pure butter fats. Basically, you warm up butter, strain out the last of the milk fats and proteins and when it cools, you get ghee! Since I'm mildly allergic to coconut, Ghee and olive oil are basically my only choices for cooking fats. Surprise, surprise, no ghee to be found at Kroger. I tracked it down at Trader Joe's too, 3.99 for 8 oz. Good thing I don't plan on using it much, as I like olive oil better for almost everything. 

Chicken broth turned out to be my real enemy here. There were NO brands of chicken broth that don't have added sugar, and most have added soy as well. I sighed and gave up, thinking I would look at the health food store. Then, I forgot to look at Trader Joe's and found some in the organics section at a second Kroger store. Riddle me this though: The brand had two different sizes of chicken broth. The small size? No sugar, no soy. The larger size? Added cane syrup. WHAT?! I couldn't find any other differences! I sighed, bought two of the more expensive small packages and bought them. When I got home, however, I must have forgotten the bag, because I do not have my broth. At this point, I'm about ready to give up on my soup, except I paid for the broth, and true to form, it wasn't cheap. So I guess tomorrow after work I'll drive BACK to the specialty Kroger and ask them about it... I wonder if I kept that receipt. The soup itself should be fairly easy to make, and quick, so it shouldn't through me off track. Just a bummer. 

Everything else was pretty straightforward- as long as I read the ingredients. And I mean, on EVERYTHING. Even the organic stuff! Everything but produce had to get checked and double checked for non compliant ingredients. 

I don't think I'll be doing my shopping on Saturday afternoons anymore. The stores were PSYCHO, and it was really difficult to ask an employee where something might be, or to stop and check ingredients without being totally in someone's way. Early mornings it is.

So, this morning, I got up and went to my kitchen. I started, ironically, with some scones. I had some scone mix on hand, and I needed to use it up, so I made wild blueberry scones to take to work tomorrow morning- where I can be sure I won't have them lying around in my house on Wedneseday!

As the scones were baking, I mixed up the barbecue seasoning for my pork chops and put it in a tiny ziplock container for later use. Then, I put some eggs (my new favorite snack!) on to hardboil. While the water was warming up, I tore up the last of my lettuce and most of my spinach for a salad at work tomorrow. Now that I have some mushrooms, I'll add those, two hardboiled eggs, and an avocado to round out the lettuce. Next I started some cucumber chips. I sliced two cucumbers very thin. Then I tossed them liberally in apple cider vinegar and salt before laying them out on cookie sheets and setting them to bake for 90 minutes. They're baking as I type this, but they smell good! I'm not a huge fan of cucumber, so I'm hoping this will help me to eat them, as I got them in my CSA box last week.

Then I went to start the chicken soup. Now that I've discovered the missing broth, I'll package that up and let the chicken keep defrosting over night before whipping up a quick soup when I get home tomorrow night. The last thing on my to-do list for today is the mini quiches. All I have to do there is chop up some cherry tomatoes, spinach, kale, onion, mushrooms and a few of my olives very small, and mix them all together. In a separate bowl, whisk up 12 eggs. Line muffin pan with liners. lay one slice prosciutto in the bottom of each muffin cup, mix veggies and eggs together. Pour the eggs and veggies into each muffin cup and let them bake for about 20-25 minutes. Pull them out, let them cool, package them up and pop them in the fridge- great, protein packed breakfasts! I'm also going to parse out some olives, eggs, and veggies for snacks in case I need them during the day!

Whew! Alright, y'all. I'm off to walk my dog before I finish making a mess in my kitchen so I can do the dishes and get myself off to bed at a reasonable hour. 

Eat well!