Whole100 – Week Seven Recap

Today is DAY FIFTY!  The halfway mark! 

Overall feeling: well….before Friday afternoon I was feeling pretty good. Around 2pm, shit went down and I basically felt like crap all weekend, run down, stressed, exhausted. I also can now empirically say that I have a stress stomach….as in, stress comes and bloat/upset is right on its heels.

Change in plans: going forward into the second half of the Whole100, I’m going to stop daily logging a few things. Skin/Hair/Nails for starters, followed by Energy and Mood. I was logging those items because they were in a poor status when I started and I wanted to watch how that changed in relation to how my Whole30 progressed. But they are mostly in a good state now and suffer just normal fluctuations that can be attributed to weather, hormones, work etc. They aren’t food related anymore so tracking them is too microscopic for me. When I eventually get around to adding certain things back in, I will once again pay very close attention to all the markers so I can see how my body and mind both react.

Hardest aspect: I’m really, REALLY not feeling it and want to end it. However……..there is no end. Unfortunately. Ever. It might as well be called my WholeForever. You see, I want to end it and sit on my sofa under my electric blanket and binge eat halloween candy until I fall into a blissful sugar coma. I don’t want to end it so that I can have a nice glass of wine (although that would be lovely) or so that I can use ketchup again. I want to end it so I can comfort my emotions in a drunken coma of sugar. So ya….great.

CARBS!: my digestion and general wellness have brought to my attention that, while it is winter squash season which is GREAT, there is too much of a good thing. You see, I learned how to gently roast & caramalize delicata squash into something that is SO delicious, it is a major problem for me. Major. http://summertomato.com/better-than-butternut-roasted-delicata-squash-recipe/

They are chewy and caramelly and a bit crispy around the edges and you can eat them like french fries…dipped into Well Fed Mayo. As I said, huge problem. I ate two entire delicata squashes between Friday evening and Sunday morning….by myself. Not that they are huge squashes…but it was a bit much. So much in fact that after breakfast on Sunday morning I didn’t eat until dinner at 6pm and was not hungry in the slightest. So, while squash and beets and carrots and turnips and sweet potatoes are all healthy and delicious and nutritious foods, I need to claw them back about 300%. Might be contributing to my sleepiness/more lethargic-ness, too.

Skin, Hair, Nails: all good.

Energy: has been good, actually. Even on Sunday when I was stressing and bitchy and wishing to lay in bed napping, I didn’t. I did all our weekly food prep, walked to the farmer’s market, helped Ray close up the motorhome for the winter (which I never did get to go camping in this year), washed and then covered up Captain Jack and then I used all my excess cranky energy to blitz the house and tidy and chuck and vaccum and wipe and dust. So I’m kind of looking forward to going home this evening and battening down our hatches for the major storm that is being predicted for our area. They are predicting wide spread power outages and heavy wind and rain. Could be exciting!

Green Time: definitely didn’t win this week. Missed three days due to an unexpected appointment, wicked weather and my regular grocery day. Sleep/Sleep Habits: sleep has been alright. Definitely noticed a preference for staying in bed, not sure if that’s weather related or stress or just a normal fluctuation. I didn’t actually sleep in this weekend though and I didn’t nap.

Digestion/Headaches: all good on both fronts. Thought I was getting a headache on Sunday night but I think it was just tension.

Cycle Hormones: still some fluctuations there….which is irritating

Happy Eating!

100 days is a long frigging time….if you count it in meals it’s….. 300! THREE HUNDRED MEALS.  From scratch.  So I thought I would post some of the winners that keep me out of hot water.  Obviously I use the Well Fed cookbooks a LOT.  Well Fed mayo, all the Well Fed spice mixes (jerk, ras el hanout, sausage seasoning, sunrise spice).  I didn’t link to all of them because they are in the books and not all available online. Buy the books, you won’t be sad!  When I want something different than the Well Fed recipes I turn to the internet.  And Ye Olde Internet has been darned good to me!!  I’ve listed out some of my winners….things I’ve found that are in The Permanent Rotation.

http://robbwolf.com/2013/01/06/ultimate-paleo-chili/  in my ongoing quest to find a decent bean-free chili, this one comes close. Still not QUITE the same….but it’s close.

http://theclothesmakethegirl.com/2010/11/11/crazy-good-barbecued-pulled-pork/ we fought each other for the leftovers of this one. Ridic! Next time I will buy an even larger pork shoulder.

http://everydaypaleo/smokey-roast/ this is a perfect one for the crockpot on a dreary Sunday. Put in at breakfast time, eat amaaaaazing meat at dinner. VERY good flavour

http://tarable.blogspot.ca/2013/03/paleo-shake-n-bake-chicken.html  excellent spice mix. I did with pre-ground cashews so I just mixed all together in a bowl, dredged chicken in egg and then in the mix. I’ve done this using pecans before (as is stated in the recipe) and I preferred the pecans to the cashews.  Although the cashews were more convenient being pre-ground…but they didn’t crisp in the oven.

http://againstallgrain.com/2012/05/03/paleo-fish-tacos/  just the fish, not the tortillas and can’t speak for the toppings

http://theclothesmakethegirl.com/2009/07/21/sunshine-sauce/ I fry ground pork and when it’s done, drown it in a whole batch of this sauce and then put it over whatever veggies you have (peppers, cabbages, green beans/snow peas is a good combo) that have been sautéed w/ ginger, garlic, sesame oil & sesame seeds. Instant creamy, comfort stirfry

http://paleomg.com/leftovers-curry-meatballs/ next time I would bake the meatballs in advance and then just rewarm them in the sauce. It was delicious but the basically raw meatballs disintegrated when the sauce came. Serve over shredded & sautéed cabbage or cauli rice/mash

http://www.familyfreshmeals.com/2013/05/diy-homemade-taco-seasoning.html I add about 1-2 tbsp arrowroot powder when I make the spice mix for the thickening effect. Taco meat over a regular baked potato and then topped with avocado (bonus points for making avocado CREAM) is insane!

http://stupideasypaleo.com/2013/03/08/indian-pineapple-cauliflower-rice/ this is my hands down, high five, no contest winner in cauli rice recipes. ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE.

The recipes written out below are ones that I found some variation of online in my travels but which I have edited to suite our tastes and which are SO regular in The Permanent Rotation that I have them memorized.

 

Pork Burgers (8 good sized patties)

2# ground pork
2 tsp Franks Red Hot
2 tsp (or more) fresh minced ginger (get a micro plane, your life will never be the same!)
2 tsp garlic powder (or fresh, whatever)
4 green onions, sliced
1-2 tbsp sesame oil
2 eggs
S&P

 

Chicken Burgers (6-8 patties)

2# ground chicken
2 tsp garlic powder
Handful cilantro
Handful garden chives
½ small can waterchestnuts chopped up
Drizzle sesame oil
As much ginger as you want (I use a LOT)
S&P

 

Avocado Cream Sauce (that you probably have all the ingredients for in your kitchen!)
1 ripe avocado
2-3 tbsp lime juice (or the juice fm a fresh lime)
2+ tbsp coconut milk
Handful fresh cilantro
½ – 1 tbsp garlic powder
Salt

Buzz all ingredients in a magic bullet or similar. If it’s too thick to adequately buzz, thin with extra coconut milk.  Should taste limey, garlicky, cilantroey and salty all at the same time.  Spoon over foods with reckless abandon!

If you are going to buy or are thinking about getting the Well Fed cookbooks, our favourites are: salmon burgers, Pina Colada Chicken, Coconut Almond Green Beans, Eggplant Strata, Scotch Eggs, mayo, sunshine sauce, best ever stir fry sauce, best ever chicken (although the brining I can take or leave, doesn’t seem to matter).

Whole 100 – Week 6 Recap

My daily logging is still going on along the top.  Or click here.

Overall feeling: this week felt long and the commitment that I bit off seems huge and kind of silly. Nearing the halfway mark and I feel like I’ve been doing this forever. I am torn between whether I’ll feel amazingly wonderful by 100…or if the magic happened in the first 30 and the rest was an exercise in redundancy. I’ll do it because I committed to it and I’ll do it because I think it’s the right way to live and I’ll do it because the sugar dragon isn’t dead yet. But I’m curious if where I find myself now is where I’ll find myself on Day 100.

Hardest aspect: turns out the sugar dragon made a comeback…and with such little prompting! The emergency ration (crunchy fruit/coconut bar….basically a delicious cookie) that I had on the Saturday when we were in the bush woke the beast, eating a bowl full of defrosted strawberries got his motor churning and then munching on creamed coconut after dinner a couple nights in a row opened the floodgates. Especially since I wasn’t feeling tops for a couple days there, I think I was extra suseptible to an invasion. Nothing non-compliant…but the emotional aspect of eating when not hungry and eating sweet things to feel better actually made me feel awful. So now the creamed coconut is off limits for awhile and I am once again reminded of my issues surrounding sugar.

Change in Prep: I made one extra protein on the weekend (by accident) that was a Godsend for me in Week Six. Normally I make exactly what we are going to eat but having this extra buffer was an ass-saver in a couple situations. Going forward I’ll be doing that each weekend….cooking an extra protein that is not assigned to anything yet.

Favourite Finds: First, sugar pie pumpkins! OK…so all winter squash…but the roasted sugar pumpkin was awesome! Second, we figured out that we have the ability to smoke meat on our BBQ and boy-oh-boy is it ever GOOD!

Skin, Hair, Nails: hair and nails couldn’t be better, skin needs some work.

Energy: didn’t have a tonne all week, was totally in “rest” and “survival” mode. I did notice, rather resentfully, that although I was feeling like absolute garbage, there has not been one single day where I didn’t get a decent amount accomplished. Not one single day where I didn’t make meals, didn’t either walk the dog or go get groceries or do the laundry. Not one single day that I missed of work. So while I was a bit resentful of it when I noticed it, I think I have to say that even when I’m feeling awful, I still have enough energy to get things done. I have not needed to surrender. I’ve WANTED to…..desperately. But at no point have I felt like I simply couldn’t do what needed to be done. And now I know…if I ever experience a day where I simply have to surrender? It’ll be full on legit.

Mood: mood and energy are so intertwined that I sometimes have a hard time defining how my mood was. If you look it up online, many times a mood is actually an “energy” word (energetic, lethargic, lazy) which is not helpful at all, LOL! Overall in Week 6 I would say my moods were probably trending toward quiet, a bit mellow and basically just tired. I’m looking forward to an uptick next week.

Green Time: my original goal was to try for 30 minutes of outdoor time per day as a minimum. In 42 days I have a 79% success rate. I am very pleased with that!

Sleep/Sleep Habits: keeping with my sleep schedule and overall feeling pretty good. This week the overnight sleeping has not been great because I haven’t been feeling well…but I am confident that it will go back to being very good.

Digestion/Headaches: Not such wonderful news this week about the headaches. Got one on Day 37 that didn’t quit until Day 40. After a little research I fall into the category of Menstrual Migraine which is characterized by a one sided throbbing/pressure, sore skin, light & sound sensitivity and which comes normally 2 days before your period and lasts for the first 3 days. Yep. Menstrual migraines do not respond to migraine meds because they are hormonally triggered and they tend to last longer than other types of migraines. I am going to try epsom salt baths as magnesium deficiency can definitely contribute to increasing the severity of the pain. I think my previous almond butter addiction was unknowingly supplementing my body with magnesium and in the last 6-8 months since cutting out nuts altogether (food w/o brakes and stomach upset), the headaches have come back and been worse.

Cycle Hormones: Cramps/flow and PMS has been significantly less severe this round.

Whole 100 ~ Week Five Recap

Don’t forget, you can follow my daily log for my Whole 100 at the “Whole30 Logging” tab across the top…or just click here.

Overall feeling: I definitely had some sugar monster issues over the weekend and while I definitely did not venture into non-compliance territory, I felt a bit like the sugar monster was in more control than I was. Once I realized it and reined in my thoughts and feelings and drowned the little bastard in tea and water, things improved well. Other than that, this update will be short, not too much to report. Working early for the rest of the month of October which means getting off early also….so I’m dearly hoping to be able to do my dog-walking and then spend some time in the new gym before Ray gets home. Ah, the best laid plans…………………….

Hardest aspect: nothing is overly difficult anymore, I mostly feel awesome and sane and it’s not any more work cooking this way than I was used to. What I am finding is that 100 days seems really long….like as I was approaching “30”, the numbers were getting really big (28 is REALLY close to 30) but as I have passed 30 and the next milestone is 100, the numbers still seem small and far away.

Easiest aspect: really glad with how Ray is starting to understand some of the “why” behind what I’ve chosen to do. And loving how he is thinking critically about ingredients and effects. We’ve settled nicely into the routine and while he doesn’t deny himself something he wants, he doesn’t offer to me anymore which is so much nicer! He gets it now.

Skin, Hair, Nails: had to finally break down and trim my claws. Usually they top out and don’t get any longer. Such is no longer the case.
Energy: consistent and edging into consistently high. Even in Alien Pre-week…I’m tired but not sacked.
Mood: overall, quite nice. Optimistic and happy. No big swings of highs and lows.
Green Time: 337 minutes! The wood-gathering on Saturday definitely boosted my total!
Sleep/Sleep Habits: have been sleeping very consistently and feeling rested and good to go.
Digestion/Headaches: I’m in Alien Week by 2 days now and have not had a single headache since Day 10 of Whole30. Historically I would have had a horrible headache for the entire week leading up to it. I’ve been extremely diligent about staying hydrated in case that makes a difference. I’m extremly overjoyed to not have had a headache in 26 days. TWENTY SIX DAYS! If sugar is what triggered hormonal headaches in me, we are officially broken up.
Cycle Hormones: so far so good, will know more next week.

Whole30 Summary

My first 30 days ended yesterday and I know I said I wasn’t going to post a summary but I couldn’t help it.   ;)

Over the Last 30 Days
Eggs = 86
Bone Broth = 81 Litres
Water = 44 Litres
Kombucha = 23.5 Litres
Cups of Coffee (w/ coconut milk & gelatin) = 36
Decaf EG Tea Lattes (made w/ coconut milk) = 11
Mayo = 4 Cups
Sleep = 251.5 Hours
Green Time = 867 minutes (14.5 hours)

As far as what I gained while I was eating all that food and spending so much time sleeping? I gained clearing skin (FINALLY), revitalizing sleep, stronger hair and nails, a stable mood & happier disposition (even in the face of stress or upset), consistent energy, consistent outdoor time, interesting information about my relationship with food and a huge sense of accomplishment!

Me, on Day 30!

Me, on Day 30!

So what did I lose? Bloat, stomach upset, mild depression and hopelessness, anxiety, brain fog, eczema and a short temper.  I also lost a total of 4.5″ across my entire body which is not overly significant and which temporarily suspended my delight at completing my first 30 days.  Fortunately I then took my head out of my ass and celebrated the 4.5″ and all the other amazing markers that remind me that I am happier and healthier!

W30 Measurements

BA Front BA Side

So, the next 30 days? So exciting! Daunting, a bit.  But exciting and challenging and I’m open to whatever might come, whatever I might learn about myself and whatever path this experiment takes me down.  I’m ready!

Whole 30 Week Four Recap

Don’t forget that I’m keeping a Whole30 log as a separate tab along the top.  Go here

Overall feeling: really awesome, actually. Level and stable and clean and firing on all cylinders!

Hardest aspect: feeling super nauseated and sick on Sunday (fuzznnaise incident) and not knowing what I could give myself to feel better.

Easiest aspect: I guess the fact that this is all starting to become “old hat” including having “happy hour” with kombucha and no potato chips and going out for a ride and drinking clear tea with no “treat”. I’ve been thinking a lot about moderation and if I could do it…and I still think no.

Suckiest thing this week: being reminded of what stress feels like. I can happily say that I generally live my life mostly stress free. That was certainly not the case a year ago and it floors me that I spent so many years living at such a high level of chronic stress, discomfort, upset and unhappiness. I had a couple stress-related events this past week and driving home one day I could actually TASTE my stress reaction and I was reminded of how that used to be the taste in my mouth and the feeling in my head/chest, every day. Some things you don’t notice until you eliminate them and then they make a reappearance…stress is one of them. I really thought, back then, that it was normal to live that sort of high octane life as long as you can “manage” or “handle” it…and it’s really not. This is not to say that I live each day on a cloud of spun gold and that I shower in sparkles and kitten kisses….not at all…..but that chronic physiologic stress reaction that I was in 24/7…that is gone.

Interesting observation: reduced congestion….as in….I can actually breathe freely more often than not! I meant to mention this in my week three update but I forgot…and it’s just as well, because after the accidental poisoning (assuming soy-based), my sinuses/nasal passages clammed up like they were under assault. A few days past Soy-gate and I’m breathing mostly freely and unencumbered again. I used to also have (excuse the TMI) a constantly running nose….disgusting, yes. Gone. Full stop. I look forward to even more improvement in the breathing regard as time goes by! I also think this will be one of my quickest “warning signs” when I eventually do come off the plan.

Weird Trigger: I made the Well Fed Pina Colada Chicken one night last week and it has the jerk seasoning (which contains a good dose of cinammon & nutmeg) as well as some vanilla powder and coconut milk. The combo of the coconut milk, vanilla and cinammon/nutmeg sparked a huge pudding-craving MONSTER that I had to beat back with a clear decaf tea and some bone broth. It was a savoury dish so I found it strange that it would incite pudding-cravings; I don’t even eat pudding in my normal life. Just a quick sign from the Whole30 fates that I am not wrong in continuing on past 30 days, I guess. ;)

Skin, Hair, Nails: nails and hair is awesome, skin is finally clearing up!
Energy: overall is very consistent! No big dips or spikes, just level from the moment I get up until my head hits the pillow
Mood: also really consistent, no stabby, no hangry, no depressive
Green Time: 217 minutes of outdoor enjoyment. Said I was going to improve on that over last week and I definitely did!
Sleep/Sleep Habits: pretty great! Deep and restful sleep. Until very late last week I was still sleeping right to my alarm but hopefully I can start waking up naturally soon.
Digestion/Headaches: obviously soy-gate rocked my little world, but aside from that, no digestive upset and no headaches to report!
Cycle Hormones: this is a new one I’m watching because I would love to see all my hormones become more regulated and consistent. I won’t be able to tell this for a couple weeks but fingers are crossed!

Other Thoughts: My ”thirty days” is up on Tuesday but, of course, this was never meant to be a 30 day plan, it was a Whole100 right from the beginning. I’ll keep on posting weekly recaps as I continue on. As far as posting into the Whole30 Logging page, I kind of like the idea of being able to read back on the whole thing so I’ll keep posting there for now. On Wednesday morning I’ll retake my measurements since you are technically allowed to measure after the 30 days. I think that there should be some change in the measurements because my clothes seem to be fitting better….but having a bit of body dysmorphia (which I’m certain every woman on the plant has to some degree), it’s hard for me to SEE it when I look in the mirror. So measurement day will hopefully be a happy surprise.

Whole30 Week Three Recap!

Overall feeling: Sunday not included, I was starting to feel really great. Even, balanced, well, healthy, sane. Slimmer and like my body was running more efficiently. Optimistic and energetic.

Suckiest thing this week: the out of town wedding…which was a disaster, chaotic and ridiculous in and of itself, but apparently the “safe” salmon was marinated in something that made me feel HORRIBLE. Flared up eczema, super stiff and sore joints, uncomfortable stomach/b’rooming. My guess is probably a soy-based something-or-other….which pisses me the HELL off! I’m not super worried about it because I’m Whole100’ing….but it was a grind to get to where I was on Saturday morning which was feeling pretty awesome…..and then to get pushed down the stairs in one stupid meal, not impressed.

Interesting observation: it has been interesting to me to observe when and where I actually want to eat food (or beverage) outside of meal times and why. Especially interesting because I was positive when starting this, that I would not discover anything new about my mental relationship with food. So far I have desired “something” when out riding on a sunny afternoon and arriving at a coffee shop and then this week realized that I really want “something” on a rainy, dark evening while snuggled up on the sofa watching television. As a seasoned emotional eater, I am surprised to find that I haven’t gravitated towards wanting food when sad or stressed (both of which have happened at least once in rather high intesity in the past three week), but that I gravitate towards wanting to “celebrate” and give myself “comfort” in situations where I’m ALREADY happy or comfortable. So odd. I have avoided snacking altogether with two exceptions which were due to not packing enough food…not due to psychological reasons (and the snacks were mini-template-meals). One night last week while comfy on the sofa sipping a decaf tea with coconut milk, I could have “legally” eaten an apple with almond butter….but in the effort to figure out and understand my psychological connections with food, I chose not to go down that path. I hope that during the duration that I am doing this, that I can suss out further what those triggers are (and if there are others) and how to best handle them. I will say that the horror show of adapting to this more balanced way of eating over the first 12-15 days was (I hope) enough incentive to make sure that the content and frequency of future off-roading better be really, really worth it.
          UPDATE: after that was written we went on a Sunday afternoon ride for coffee…I ordered a decaf tea, sat on the patio with my hubby and enjoyed the time…while he ate an almond croissant, I had just my tea…and felt perfectly happy about it.

Volume: I cannot believe the volume of vegetables that we are going through. I mean…yes, we’ve always eaten a lot of veggies….I have always said that our diet is vegetable based and includes meats and fats. But I replenished our veggie stash at Costco on Thursday and it included:

  • 2 bags (2lb each) fresh green beans
  • 1 large bag baby kale
  • 1 large bag spinach
  • 2 cauliflowers
  • 3 cucumbers
  • 2 lbs cherry tomatoes
  • 6 large bell peppers
  • 5 lb sweet onions
  • 5 lb bag apples
  • 1 head each green and red cabbage

I want to say that some of this will last us into the next week….but the percentage of that is quite small. When really concentrating on balancing the right amount of veggies over three meals and trying to get variety, the volume adds up! Out of interest, the rest of my cart included:

  • 2 pkg (6# each) ground pork
  • 1 tray chicken thighs (25 thighs)
  • 5 lbs ground beef
  • 1 tray of wild pacific cod
  • 1 large jar stuffed olives & pickled onions (YUM!)
  • Avocado oil
  • Olive oil
  • 3 dozen eggs
  • Lemon juice

In fairness, the meat/olives/oils portion of the cart will last us much longer than one week.

Skin, Hair, Nails: my nails are ah-MAY-zing! Hair is pretty good also! My skin needs more consistent attention and then I think it would be awesome also.

Energy: building….staying consistent and even through the day.

Mood: was in a good mood all week. Except Sunday. Sunday I felt like pewp.

Green Time: 174 minutes. Dropped the ball a bit this week….but am picking it back up for Week Four

Sleep/Sleep Habits: overall really solid. Not sure about sleeping right to my alarm though. Pre-Whole30, I woke up before my alarm….about every 3 minutes…for an hour. Not sure if sleeping solid TO my alarm is better (ie, more sleep, deeper and consistent) or if it’s because of a lack of energy that I am not waking up early?

Digestion/Headaches: Monday and half of Tuesday (Day 15 & 16) I had a wicked headache, AGAIN. But by Tuesday afternoon it was gone and hasn’t been heard from since! Digestion has been great also…until this weekend.

Other Thoughts: I’ve really come to value my Green Time and am so glad that I bit the bullet and wrote that into my expectations of this 30 days. Admittedly, sometimes I would rather just get home, make dinner and put my pajamas on…but then I get out into the fresh air and away from my phone and my house and away from multi-tasking and my chores. The only thing I can do when I’m out walking around…..is walk around. My thoughts slow down, my heart rate increases a bit (or a lot if I have tonnes of energy) and everything else takes a back seat. It’s lovely. I’m grateful to myself for assigning a duration rather than a distance or speed because it feels more natural and self-respectful and because it can then be whatever I need or want it to be that day.

Going into Week Four I’m bringing in morning gym time. I’ve got the basic W30 plan down, I have and continue to dial in my portions and now it’s time to make another big step and work in consistent morning gym time. I’m going to assign time to this as well and go for 45 minutes of any combination of stretching/yoga, cardio/rowing, bodyweight and heavy lifting…and I’m going to assign it as 3 days per week for the first week. There’s no reason that I cannot get some morning exercise 3 days out of the next 7 because it can be ANY combination I feel like doing. Plus the gym we built is beautiful!