Days 31+: sugar is sweet, but not sweet as you

This is how I felt the morning of my first day post-whole30:
One day, Simba, all of this will be yours
 
I could eat anything I wanted.  Cupcakes, rice milk lattes, normal milk lattes, chocolate bars, pasta, burritos, blueberry pie.

And as much as I was excited to stop by the neighborhood cupcake place for a celebratory breakfast on my way to work, I felt weird for eating anything that was radically against the whole30.

It was kind of like breaking up with a guy after realizing things couldn’t really work out long-term, but despite this you still really respect him and are grateful for the perspectives on life you gained from the relationship.

Some things I’ve learned –

Jumping in – When you’re looking to try out something new (develop a new habit–whether it’s a diet like this, or reading more, or running, or anything), it’s a good idea to aim to do it every day for a fixed number of days rather than just decide you’re going to start doing it.  If you’re hesitant about making the change, you’ll be more likely to jump into it and actually do it each day knowing that you’re just doing it as a trial.  At the end of your set period of time, you can re-evaluate whether and to what degree you want to make this a part of your lifestyle.

This blog – Keeping a blog was great because it encouraged me to try out new recipes so I’d have different things to write about and photograph!  (I didn’t want to have to post a picture of fried eggs and broccoli every single day.)

Eating when you’re not hungry – One of the negative things about carbs is that you’re more likely to eat them when you’re not hungry.  I found that I was still susceptible to eating when I wasn’t hungry during the whole30–the things I would eat were Larabars and fruit (the highest-sugar foods I could have!).  On days 29 and 30 I cut fruit out of my diet completely, and found that I needed a lot less food overall.

Positivity – If you’re going to do the whole30, don’t think about all the stuff you can’t eat. Instead seek out interesting recipes that look good (don’t force yourself to eat steamed asparagus if you don’t like asparagus!) and focus on the awesome food that you can eat.  🙂

Day 30: real paleo food

Imagethis set of vegetables left its previous career as a cairn to join the sauce effort
Last day of the whole30!  Tonight I made paleo spaghetti and meatballs for dinner.  I’m one quarter Italian, so this must be how my paleolithic ancestors actually ate!  I didn’t bother to look up a recipe for the meatballs, figuring I could just throw stuff in a bowl and my fantastic ethnic background would pull through for me.  It sort of worked out…they probably could have used another egg.  Or some actual breadcrumbs instead of coconut flour.
Imagethe meatballs, cooking happily
Italian heritage paleo meatballs
  • 3/4 lb ground beef (because that’s how much was in the package I had)
  • one egg
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour (because that was the measuring cup I happened to have out on the counter)
  • 1 tsp italian seasoning (the italian seasoning makes it authentic and italian right?)
  • salt and pepper
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I had the meatballs with steamed cauliflower and a tomatoless marinara sauce.  The meatballs aren’t exactly spherical but that’s okay, because I don’t spheres had been invented yet in the paleolithic age.

breakfast

  • scrambled eggs with pesto

lunch

  • salad
  • lamb burger

pre-crossfit

  • fried egg
  • sliced almonds and coconut butter

dinner

Day 29: we are all born superstars

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Tonight’s dinner was grilled chicken with pesto!  The piece of chicken I was trying to pound today was thicker than last time, so my hammer wasn’t working too well.  I solved this problem by putting a thin plastic cutting board on top of the chicken and pounding on that to distribute the force (thank you physics!).
 
The basil, walnuts and olive oil for the pesto looked gorgeous!  I was thinking of submitting the photo below to Dove for their Real Beauty Campaign.  (stunning organic basil and walnuts and olive oil…that fits the bill, right?)  Then I realized I was about to stick them through the food processor to make them the way I wanted them to be.  This kind of goes against the whole “you’re beautiful the way you are and don’t need to change” mantra the Real Beauty campaign promotes.
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I also made blasted broccoli but forgot to set a timer…turns out it still tastes fine even when it’s a little overdone!
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I had a ton of leftover pesto, which means two things:  (1) scrambled eggs with pesto for breakfast tomorrow!  and (2) I had an opportunity to use my awesome mini saran wrap from Japan!  (thanks mom!!)
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day 29
breakfast
  • fried egg and avocado
 midmorning
  • macadamia nuts and walnuts
lunch
  • salad with grilled salmon
dinner
  • chicken with pesto
  • blasted broccoli

Days 26, 27, and 28: yolk is the new pit

Why eat your egg with avocado when you could eat it IN avocado?!  My friend Kyle saw that I have egg + avocado for breakfast all the time and recommend I mix it up a little:
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Unfortuntely getting flipped was a little too much for mr. eggvocado:
ImageThis afternoon was BEAUTIFUL and I went to a barbeque on a friend’s rooftop.  Barbeques are actually pretty whole30able–I had a burger without the bun with guacamole and garlic aioli (my contribution to the event!) plus grilled asparagus and fruit (my other contribution).
Here’s the garlic aioli being blended:

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day 26
breakfast
  • larabar
  • scrambled eggs with vegetables
lunch
  • broccoli and carrots
  • fish and shrimp thing at the work cafeteria
dinner
  • salad with crab
day 27
breakfast
  • larabar
  • siced almonds with coconut butter
post-crossfit lunch
  • pork and apple cabbage omelet with braised greens
 dinner
  • bunch of things at a small plates restaurant!  apart from possible “hidden ingredients” (aaaah so scary!) these new american cuisine places are actually pretty doable on the whole30 🙂
day 28
breakfast
  • egg in avocado
 lunch
  • burger with guacamole and garlic aioli
  • fruit (kiwi, apple, grapes, pineapple)
  • grilled asparagus
 dinner (wasn’t that hungry)
  • fried egg
  • sliced almonds with coconut butter

Day 25: dumpling dissection and signs of spring

Spring is upon us!  Cherry blossoms are in bloom!  The air is fresh with the scents of flowers and freshly cut grass!  And here in Whole30 land, there is yet another sign of the changing season and nicer weather. When I took my coconut oil out of the cupboard this evening, I found that it was slightly melted: a true sign that my apartment had become warmer than usual during the day.  

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a change in state

Earlier today, we had a team lunch at a dumpling place.  To make the dumplings more whole30-esque (they probably still had soy in them somewhere..) I just ate the fillings, not the wrapper things.  Chopsticks became my forceps for this dumpling dissection, and the whole process reminded me a little too much of fetal pigs from high school biology class.  
 
breakfast

  • banana
  • macadamia nuts
  • two larabars :/

lunch

  • salad
  • insides of dumplings

pre-crossfit

  • sliced almonds and coconut butter
  • strawberry banana coconut milk smoothie

dinner

  • sweet potato hash with a fried egg

Days 21, 22, and 23: I’ll have the avocado swiss burger but without the swiss…and the fries…and the bun…

Since my family’s in town I’ve been going out to eat a lot, and I’ve had a lot of fun ordering items off the menu without half the stuff on top and with the plainest salad possible on the side instead whatever interesting, usually-potato-based side the thing usually comes with.  I always feel bad making so many requests at restaurants because it’s more work for the waiter and the kitchen and it’s like I’m not appreciating their culinary efforts.

This is not a problem at sushi places, though 🙂

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minimalism

day 21
brunch

  • buffalo burger and salad
dinner
  • grilled endive with “bacon” and softish boiled egg
  • sausage and cabbage thing
day 22
breakfast
  • blueberries with sliced almonds and coconut butter
  •  sweet potato hash and fried egg
lunch
  •  chicken cobb salad
  •  apple
predinner
  • larabar
  • more blueberry stuff
dinner
  • SASHIMI
day 23
breakfast
  • strawberry banana coconut milk smoothie
 lunch
  • salad and meat from taco station at the cafeteria at work
dinner
  • sweet potato fries
  • seared ahi

Days 17, 18, 19, and 20: and the beat goes on

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sweet potato hash

this is one giant post spanning four days!  the most exciting thing is sweet potato hash, the newest addition to my breakfast (or lunch or dinner) repertoire.  I made it with chris back on day 6.  although that time it was still really good, this time I used actual sweet potato (which I think has a little more flavor than the japanese version when cooked in this way. i also cuisinarted the sweet potato to hash it up, which was a lot more efficient than cutting it up!  one regular-sized sweet potato makes a lot of hash…

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sweet potatoes, subject to the cuisinart hashing function

day 17
breakfast
  • one egg with avocado
  • blueberries with sliced almonds and coconut butter
midmorning
  • larabar! and macadamia nuts
lunch
  • lamb burger and salad
pre- and post-crossfit/dinner
  • larabar
  • paleo pac
  • a couple strawberries with sliced almonds and coconut butter
day 18
breakfast
  • banana egg pancakes
  • larabar
lunch
  • chicken with cashews at a restaurant
dinner
  • larabar (pre-dinner i guess)
  • blueberries and almonds with coconut butter (also pre-dinner)
  • steak salad at a restaurant
day 19
breakfast
  • blueberries with sliced almonds and coconut butter
lunch
  • sweet potato hash with fried eggs
dinner
  • broccoli fried in olive oil
  • more sweet potato hash with fried eggs
day 20
breakfast
  • more sweet potato hash!
family’s in town now! 😀  so there will be a lot of eating out…
lunch (at a restaurant!)
  • sausage/hamburgery thing with grilled onions and peppers and a side salad
dinner (at another restaurant!)
  • root vegetables and fruit
  • not-so-sloppy joe, because I got it without the bun

Day 16: pound that chicken

bang

Dinner tonight was dilled-except-the-dill-was-replaced-with-basil-so-i-guess-it’s-actually-basiled chicken picatta from the New Good Housekeeping Cookbook.  Since I didn’t have a meat hammer I just used a normal hammer, which works just fine!

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 12 ounces)
  • 1 ½ tbsp olive oil
  • Thinly sliced zest of ½ lemon (remove with a zester)
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter (except all the cool kids use ghee)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup dry white wine (except all the cool kids use ghee))
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh dill (or basil, which is how I made it!  much more awesome!)
  1. Pounding the chicken breasts. Put each chicken breast half between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound them with a meat pounder or the side of an empty wine bottle, using just enough force to gently spread the meat without tearing it, until each piece is ¼ inch thick and about 5 inches wide and 6 inches long. Season both sides of the chicken with salt and black pepper.
  2. Sauteing the chicken. Heat the olive oil in a large (10- to 12-inch) skillet over medium-high heat until the oil begins to smoke. Using tongs, lower the chicken breasts into the oil. Cook until lightly browned on the underside, 2 to 3 minutes, then turn and brown the other side for the same amount of time. At this point the chicken should be firm fully cooked. If you are not certain, cut into the thickest part with a paring knife to be sure there is no longer any sign of pink or translucence. Remove the skillet from the heat and transfer the chicken to warmed dinner plates.
  3. Sauce. Pour off any oil in the skillet, then pour in the wine and stir to dislodge the browned bits in the pan. Cook over medium heat until the wine boils down to half its volume. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and butter; swirl the pan until the butter is melted and incorporated. Stir in the dill. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if needed. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and serve right away.

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breakfast

  • one egg with avocado
  • blueberries with almonds and coconut butter

midmorning

  • macadamia nuts

lunch

  • salad with salmon

afternoon

  • macadamia nuts
  • larabar (bought it at the supermarket I usually don’t go to–and it was $2 and stale! I guess there aren’t many whole30ers in that part of town!)

dinner

  • chicken with lemon basil sauce
  • blasted broccoli

Day 15: a steak-y failure

On Day 15 (the halfway point!!) I decided to make flank steak for dinner.  I didn’t have time to marinate it like the recipes online suggested, so I just stuck it in a frying pan and poured some fish sauce  on it.  (yum, umami steak!)  I looked away for just 30 seconds to clean something up, and when I go to check on the steak it’s not flat anymore–it’s like SEMICIRCLE-shaped.  It’s basically STANDING UP in the pan.  It’s as if the steak was like “I’ve decided I don’t want to be a steak anymore.  I want to be a RAINBOW!”  There weren’t any guidelines in the recipe (or the whole30 website, or another blog, or anywhere) for what to do if your dinner is having an identity crisis, so I decided to find something heavy  and press it down with that.  (Unlike modern-day American children, when a steak says it wants to be unique and different, you force it back into its original mold rather than encouraging its individuality.)  Here’s what I came up with:

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(this is actually just a very elaborate way to boil water)

After cooking it for 10x longer than the internet suggested, it finally seemed done enough to eat.  Turns out that was a little too long.  oh well.

breakfast
  • two eggs over easy with avocado
midmorning
  • mixed nuts
lunch
  • thai food
afternoon/pre-crossfit
  • starbucks fruit snacks (welp)
  • mixed nuts
  • one egg scrambled
  • strawberry banana coconut smoothie
  • macadamia nuts
dinner
  • salade verte
  • attempt at steak