This week was a little trickier. I must’ve been detoxing or something, because I was very tired and crabby and additionally felt a little icky. My digestion and my sleep were off, and I comforted myself by eating too much delicious jalepeno-sausage which, although is paleo, is not necessarily the wisest nutritional choice as many times as I had it this week. My sleeping schedule was a bit thrown off too, as Andrew started class this week. This is a huge blessing for us but it also means that we get up at 5 a.m. Ugh. So with the sleep being a bit “off” so was my appetite. And thus my energy levels. But I think I’m on the upswing, thanks very much to all of the exercise I’ve been doing lately. This week I got in two circuit workouts, five yoga sessions, and some easy cardio via walks and jogs. I have a week’s worth of incredible meals planned ahead to keep things fresh in the upcoming week, and I hope to continue on this pattern of extra exercise.
Day 8: The very day after I vowed to eat less fruit I chowed down on a fruit salad first thing in the morning. I cut up a small banana, half a red pear, and added a squeeze of lemon and some shredded coconut. Later I had a hardboiled egg with some smoked salmon and, as always, black coffee. After an hour of yoga and I had the last of my Roasted Chicken Chili over half a roasted sweet potato, plus half an avocado sprinkled with dulse and nutritional yeast. Weird things, yes, but I’m trying to squeeze in lots of vitamins and nutrients! Dinner was Slow-Cooked Kalua pork roast eaten Korean style, with lettuce “tacos” and toppings like cilantro, avocado, kimchi, raw cabbage and coconut oil-fried plantain chips.
Day 9: Started out the day with black coffee and a 1-egg scramble with kale, sweet potato and sausage, plus half a pear. After another hour of yoga I had leftover pork with lettuce, cabbage, cucumber, red bell pepper, cilantro, half an avocado and lime juice. Rooibos Vanilla Chai tea from my friend Hannah rounded out the afternoon. I made a raw coconut oil “chocolate” that is nothing like the real thing but helps me to pretend I’m eating the good stuff (melt coconut oil, add in cinnamon, vanilla extract, cocoa powder, let solidify in the fridge), and had a couple of bites before I went to a circuit workout at the gym on base. A snack was a hardboiled egg with a smear of almond butter, recommended by an Instagram friend (it was good!). Dinner was a mushroom “cream” soup inspired by this recipe, topped with leftover pork and a crumble of bacon, with a side salad and a few little Onion Herb Biscuits. Hot tea and a little more chocolate was my dessert, and we watched the film “Butter.” All I want is butter.
Day 10: I got a ton of sleep on this day because I went back to bed after Andrew went to work (I NEVER DO THIS) and didn’t wake up until I got a phone call. Whoops. I had breakfast when he came home for lunch – an all-veg green smoothie, a fried egg and a “Paleo pancake” made of one banana mashed with one egg and cinnamon, then fried in coconut oil and topped with almond butter, shredded coconut and chia seeds. Another hour of yoga helped to make my day a teensy bit more productive, and when I got home I had some bell pepper, a hardboiled egg with mustard, 2 pickles, 2 small Onion Herb Biscuits, smoked salmon and a dab of Zucchini “Hummus.” Plus Yogi Peach Detox tea. Later I made a smoothie with frozen blueberries and coconut water, and for dinner we had a lazy veggie saute of everything in the fridge plus some sausage and herbs, served with saurkraut.
Day 11: Today’s breakfast was finally a win, and finally at an appropriate time. I heated up the leftover mushroom “cream” soup and poached two eggs in it, and enjoyed with hot coffee and emails. After a long walk I made a banana “salad” with one small sliced banana, a swipe of almond butter, a pinch of cinnamon and some shredded coconut. Lunch with Andrew was a Greek-inspired tuna salad over lettuce with red bell peppers and kalamata olives. I combined one can of tuna in water with one can of tuna in olive oil, added dried oregano, salt and pepper, diced avocado and zata’ar seasoning. While grocery shopping I devoured an Apple Pie flavored Lara bar — I don’t usually go for these things as they’re very caloric and full of fructose from the dates, but I needed some energy and that was the best option available. Dinner was Unrolled Cabbage Casserole made with ground chicken and local sausage, and Creamy Mashed Cauliflower from my new favorite cookbook, Well Fed. We ate some sauerkraut along with this, which apparently is one natural way to improve your skin.
Day 12: After an invigorating morning run with some friends down by the river, we cooked up a huge brunch of scrambled eggs, delicious bacon, and huge pot of coffee and a fruit salad made up of sliced banana, a few peeled and segmented cuties, frozen blueberries, and apple, some lemon juice and unsweetened shredded coconut. There were some yummy treats (homemade blueberry muffins!) but I steered clear. My lunch/snack at 2 p.m. was a riff on egg salad, made with 1 hardboiled egg and 1/2 avocado mashed together, plus a little salt, lemon juice, and garlic powder. I ate this with some red bell pepper strips. Dinner was a burger over salad greens, topped with caramelized onions, grilled jalepenos and bacon. (Lots of bacon today…oops.)
Day 13: Breakfast was a simple and cleansing green smoothie, made with baby kale, cucumber, celery, 1 small banana, ginger, a squeeze of lemon and some coconut water. I ate a hardboiled egg with mustard later, and lunch was a fresh salad with roasted golden beets. (I’ll be posting the recipe later this week.) I baked 4 dozen chocolate chip-butterscotch-oatmeal-coconut cookies for Andrew’s class, and although the kitchen smelled heavenly I wasn’t feeling tempted to eat one. Okay, okay. That’s a lie. But I didn’t eat one and that’s the main victory. Instead I drank some Yogi tea and ate a few spoonfuls of almond butter. I started to go for a walk this afternoon but, although the sun was shining, it was bitterly cold with the wind in my face. Instead I did some stretches and enjoyed the rest of the Sunday quite lazily, snacking on roasted sweet potato and reading with Andrew on the couch. I just got this book in the mail and I’m already digging into it (and looking forward to finding some local raw milk after this Whole30). Dinner was a frittata with ghee-sauteed mushrooms, baby kale, and dried basil and sage. I served Andrew some sausage with is, and roasted up some asparagus with mine. (Again, I’ve overdone it on the proteins lately, so today I tried to eat a lot of veggies to get in extra nutrients and help cleanse my digestive system.)
Day 14: Back to the early morning rising after the restful weekend! Breakfast was diced sweet potatoes and baby kale pan-fried in coconut oil, served with a fried egg and black coffee. Lunch was Crockpot Beef Plantain Caribbean Stew with a few tweaks, served over steamed beet and radish greens tossed in ghee, and topped with cilantro and a squeeze of lime (it would have been great with cloves of garlic and diced sweet potatoes). Later I had some Yogi Peach Detox tea, a Bubbie’s pickle, and a big chunk of “raw” chocolate. (Just noticing how weird of a combination that is together. #noiamnotpregnant) The raw chocolate was gross to me when I first tried it, when I was still eating sugar a bit around Christmas and my taste buds weren’t as sensitive to natural sweetness as they are now. Now, I can’t get enough of it, although I’m looking forward to adding some stevia after the Whole30 is finished. After errands I went to the gym and spent a little time on the treadmill before a tough circuit workout, then headed home to start dinner and snack on bell peppers and some pecans. Inspired by Mel’s cookbook, I made “The Best Chicken You’ll Ever Eat,” creamy spiced butternut squash bake with Ras el Hanout spices and pecans, and a pan of simple steamed kale, sauteed in ghee with a little salt and garlic. (Unfortunately, there’s no photo of this gorgeous meal because I ate it so fast.) The day ended with peppermint tea, my new favorite book, Deep Nutrition, and an early bedtime.
I’ve still been pretty tired lately, but today marks the halfway point of the Whole30!! I celebrated by baking off a big pan of local bacon. I must admit that I’m enjoying this process of learning about and listening to my body, and I feel like I’ve already made so much progress that I hardly want to stop when the month is over. That being said, I’d really love a big fragrant glass of red wine…
In addition to dialing in my nutrition and trying to increase my sleep and exercise, I’m also looking at how my skin is reacting to the Whole30, and what I can do to encourage smoothness, clarity, evennes of tone, etc. This post about natural skincare by Liz at Cave Girl Eats has really inspired me to take a deeper look at what I put on my body, in addition to what I put in it. In the next few weeks I’ll be working on implementing some of her tips like cleansing/moisturizing with oil, using apple cider vinegar as a tonic and a toner, and upping my intake of certain vitamins to help improve my skin.
One thing I am grateful for is that I know now what sort of good habits to continue to bring with me in my daily, non-Whole30 life. Habits such as avoiding sugar and industrial grains and fats at all cost, limiting alcohol to the weekends, making sure my sleep is sufficient, and keeping things healthy with plenty of veggies and lots of good fats like coconut oil and ghee (my new favorite). I’m keeping notes of what I’m learning and liking, and I’ll share a more holistic roundup at the end of the Whole30.
Is anyone else participating too? If so, how’s it going for you? Do you have any questions about my Whole30 experiences? Let me know, I’m always curious!
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Don’t forget to enter my giveaway to win a copy of Well Fed, a paleo and Whole30-compliant cookbook written by Melissa Joulwan, author and blogger at The Clothes Make the Girl. You have until the weekend to enter and I’ll draw a winner next Monday, Jan. 21. Good luck!