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Showing posts from 2017

Post Whole-30 Reflections

It's been a long month since I finished my Whole 30 in August. I've had SO much going on but I really wanted to take the time to reflect on the changes I've experienced since I completed my first Whole 30 round.

First of all, I lost a total of 16 pounds over the course of the month. I've since lost 4 more. I weighed myself a few days ago fully expecting that I had put weight back on. I have not even been close to eating anything that resembles the food I was eating on plan. I was shocked that I hadn't gained any weight. So shocked that I kept moving the scale to make sure it wasn't stuck on something because I couldn't believe it.

I feel a lot better without the extra pounds on my body. I've been having so many back problems, and I can't afford the co-pay with my chiropractor right now, so I've been doing a lot of stretching and twisting. I imagine that it would be so much worse if I was still carrying an extra 20 pounds of body weight on my twi…

Days 28-30+

I made it and I couldn't write about it because I couldn't find the mouse for my computer. I still haven't found it, but I borrowed a stand-in until I can find the real mouse.

I strongly recommend that you don't do a whole 30 while you're moving. It was incredibly hard. It's still incredibly hard. We got pizzas for our moving helpers and I couldn't eat a bite of it. I was bitter. Especially when I had to go pick up the pizzas and drive them around.

I had a celebratory glass of white wine and a bunch of tater tots at McMenamins on the final day. It also happened to be the second day of school and we had an Opera on Tap show (which I did not have to deal with my kids at). I was in a VERY good mood all evening. I weighed myself the same morning and discovered I'd lost 12 pounds. I also feel like I'm less bloated and gassy, my skin looks great, I've had much more even hormonal shifts, and I feel like I'm less anxious and reactive. So...pretty mu…

Day 24

My cat chose 5:30 this morning to yowl at the top of her lungs under our open bedroom window to let us know that she would like to come in the house and have breakfast. She's an indoor cat. She escaped. Again. Calloused cat cares not.

I couldn't sleep so I pulled out my Kindle. I've been reading Daring Greatly by Brené Brown. I read the section on numbing - one of the three strategies people use to avoid vulnerability/shame. It hit me like a sucker-punch to the forehead.

"American's today are more debt-ridden, obese, medicated, and addicted than we have ever been." 

"...the most powerful need for numbing seems to come from a combination of ... - shame, anxiety, and disconnection."
reading on

"Shame enters for those of us who experience anxiety because not only are we feeling fearful, out of control, and incapable of managing our increasingly demanding lives, but eventually our anxiety is compounded and made unbearable by our belief that if…

Days 22 & 23

I think I'm starting to get the hang of this. Yesterday was jam packed with dates, meetings, and errands. I didn't have to think too long about packing up food for the day. I ended up taking our big insulated trader joes tote full of whole30 approved lunch and snacks. Day went pretty smooth. Nobody was hungry, nobody complained about the food that was offered. Win!
Charlotte spent the night at the neighbors and had cereal for breakfast. When she came home, I was eating a pretty yummy salad dressed with tahini sauce from Trader Joes, sliced cucumbers, and chopped rotisserie chicken. I tried putting sunflower seeds on it, but I think my stash had gone bad so I had to toss them. Charlotte tried to steal a bite and asked if I'd make her a salad too. 
Charlotte asked me to make her a SALAD. With LETTUCE. GREEN STUFF.
I was out of lettuce but I made her a salad of cucumbers and chicken with the sauce. She scarfed it down. She also scarfed down strawberries, an Rx bar, and so…

Day 20 & 21

The last couple days have had some big wins and big fails. Don't worry! I didn't slip or give up!

Yesterday was a morning of grocery shopping, salad bar lunch at New Seasons, and dinner at my friend Emily's. Emily has been on an anti-inflammatory diet for a very long time and I feel like I learn something from her every time we eat together. I had zucchini noodles for the first time and I now I can't wait to get moved so I can go buy a spiralizer to make them again. We also had a fantastic kale salad. Yes the word fantastic was used to describe kale. It was so good I had it again for lunch today with some beef. And so I must share the recipe:

kale - ripped into small pieces
olive oil
apple cider vinegar
fresh tarragon
raw garlic, sliced into matchsticks

sprinkle olive oile and vinegar on kale leaves. Massage the leaves with the dressing to soften them. Add the rest of the stuff - however much you like. Eat the crap out of kale salad because now it's ac…

Day 19

Another day in the books. It was kind of uneventful, which I am rather grateful for.

I didn't really struggle much with food today. Cooking is coming easier now and I feel like I'm in a good groove. I am kind of struggling with this whole notion of "Tiger's Blood" though. I struggled a lot with breathing today. Something was bothering my asthma I think. And I feel like I'm constantly worn out. This is sort of the opposite...

I haven't really worked exercise in much yet since I have enough things to try to keep going and, even though I know all about good endorphins and having more energy, I just can't do more right now. I had to take breaks between packing boxes today. Before I started this journey, I'd wake up in the morning and go nuts cleaning and knocking out to-do list stuff. Lately, I've been waking up tired from not sleeping well. I've also been having a daily slump in the late afternoon. I just want to take a nap and not move.


Days 16, 17 & 18

I almost didn't post again today, but I decided better to catch up now than to try to recall several days at once. And I don't want to fall out of the habit.

I was feeling very positive today. I went to get some work done at the high school and got to see several students I hadn't seen all summer. I'm giddy about having the choir room for my classes, and I'm really looking forward to living in such close proximity to work for the first time in my entire career! There are so many things with work that are really falling into place and I have so much to be grateful for. Especially considering how awful it felt a year ago.

My good day did not endure. When I got home I found out that the roof repair that was supposed to cost $400 is now going to cost $900. Not something I was expecting. Not something we can afford either. At one point I glanced at a bowl on a side table and desperately wished it was cereal. I almost never eat cereal. But in that moment cereal would hav…

Day 15!

Halfway y'all! I've made it!

This has been a very long couple of weeks. But I feel like I've come a long way and have a long way to go still. It's not easy at the beginning of a journey when you don't know what the end will look like.

At the encouragement of my barista (<3 a="" and="" as="" checked="" could="" do="" feel="" hartwig="" i="" in="" inspiring.="" instagram="" it="" just="" kristina="" like="" made="" me="" melissa="" nbsp="" not="" out="" p="" promised="" really="" s="" small="" this="" was="" way.="" you="">
I decided the best reward for making it my 15 days was to take Charlotte clothes shopping for school. We bought a couple shirts and a j…

Day 14

Um...this book promised me food porn dreams and I have yet to have any. I'm a bit disappointed.

"Day 12 to 15: I dream of...junk food?"


No sweat though, I have plenty to be happy about. I managed to not have any major snafus today! And my kids didn't throw giant fits over food! It was a good day.

I had a bit of a hazy headache today that I'll attribute to inconsistent sleep patterns and no coffee today. There shall be coffee tomorrow. But overall, I'm starting to feel pretty good.

With several errands to run today, I packed lunch (leftover chicken legs, sliced cucumber, carrot sticks, two apples, almond butter, two packets of cashews, and a white nectarine) in a mini-cooler to have on hand so the kids wouldn't be whiny all day. It worked! Archer actually asked specifically for cashews!

Let me just say, we haven't eaten exclusively from home in a very long time. The sheer volume of actual food I have to buy is kind of amazing to me. I mean, I kno…

Day 13

I think I'm going to make an app that maps and rates salad bars. I had to run to get a couple more groceries for this week's meals and I ended up at New Seasons with Archer. 
New Seasons is supposed to be my happy place. They have all the weird expensive natural things right? Turns out most of their food is as off plan as anywhere else. I'd been shopping already for a couple hours and we needed lunch. I figured we could probably get something out of the deli, surely they'd have something. But nearly every single item in their deli display had been made using canola oil. Archer had already eaten a whole apple and banana on this shopping trip, so I figured we could make it home before he was too hungry. Then I spotted the salad bar!
Salad bars you guys.
I don't know why they're so forgettable. When I was pregnant with Archer I would stop and get kale salads with oil and vinegar in the morning. By lunch, the acid had made the kale softer and less bitter making the…

Day 13

Today I took the day off. Not from the program, but from cooking.

We went to a friend's housewarming and I took some stuff with me to eat, but I decided not to totally restrict the kids on what they could eat. It made the whole thing far less stressful. Although Charlotte was still throwing a fit, screaming and crying, when we left. So I guess I'm left with a choice. Deal with the fits from being denied food or deal with the fit that comes later from avoiding the first fit.


I spent a fair amount of time trying to track down the ingredients in the Aidell's Smoked Paprika sausages I had. I recycled the belly band that has all of that information on it so it would take up less room in the fridge something like a month ago. If anyone has any leads, I would greatly appreciate it! Most of their sausages are safe on the plan so I decided I'd risk it.

By the time we got home, everyone was exhausted and our dishwasher is broken so I would have had to hand-wash dishes bef…

Day 11 & 12

I didn't want to blog last night. I managed to go to bed by 10 pm! And I think it was worth it because I woke up feeling so much better today.

Yesterday was pretty uneventful. Our power went out right as I was prepping dinner. Let me just say, it's really hard to cook with Archer whining and crying at me and begging for food. Paul usually runs interference so I can actually cook without another human wrapped around my leg. He's been on graveyard shift though and isn't always up in time to keep me leech free. It's been kind of rough. Fortunately, he's back on day shift next week!

Anywhoo...the power went out, and I still needed a couple of ingredients, and it was getting late. So I decided to store up what I had prepped, and we went to 5-guys.

I think where I've landed with my kids is to try to keep them whole-30 compliant as much as possible, but to choose my battles and to try to meet them halfway. In other words, at home, they don't have alternative o…

Day 10

I got some much needed me time today. My mom came with me to look at countertops for the kitchen remodel that feels like is never going to happen and then took the kids so I could go to my chiropractor appointment without them. I love my mom.

I have been really stressed about our moving timeline, the start of school, and the money tied to all of it. I feel a bit paralyzed right now, there's not much I can really do until there's a bunch to do at once. It makes it kind of difficult to really enjoy my last few days of summer. So does not eating ice cream. Or anything that gives me joy.

I took advantage of the little bit of "me time" and went to Costco to replace the mass amounts of fruit my kids eat. (yes, I spend my "me time" grocery shopping) I'm already starting to dread having to feed them when they're teenagers. It was a bit more brutal than I had anticipated. Who the hell decided to put the pastries right next to the produce?! Really?! I could h…

Day 9

"By this point, the newness of the program has worn off...You're still struggling to establish a new routine (you are so. tired. of. eggs.) and while you've been trying really hard to have a good attitude, today you are incredibly aware of all the foods you're "choosing not to eat right now"
This is for days 10 and 11 but it applies early for me. I'm so lucky.

Today was a bit easier because I didn't leave my house. I ate my eggs, which definitely helped with my cravings today, had leftovers for lunch, and managed to have a pretty easy time figuring out food for my kids all day. Archer ate 3 apples. Normally I keep them in a basket on a ledge, but he keeps climbing up and snagging them. Better than crackers I suppose.

Dinner hit some hurdles. The plantains I had planned to eat weren't ripe enough and I'd already marinated and started baking the pork by the time I figured this out. I sent Paul to the store to find riper ones but neither store …

Day 8

Um. Snacks. Today was snacks. All the snacks. All the kids eating all the snacks. Mom eating all the snacks.

Highlight of my day:

Throwing candy across the parking lot.

I didn't have eggs for breakfast for the first time since I started. I think it was probably a mistake. I've been craving snacks ALL DAY. And my kids have been worse.

They're kind of amazing actually. They pick around their meals and manage to extract anything with natural sugar or that isn't too unappealing. Then they snack like crazy between meals so that by the time we get to the next meal they can get away with not really eating again.

Today was the first day that I've thought much about the food I'm not eating. I've been so focused on trying to wrap my head around what I CAN eat that I haven't been too concerned about what I can't eat. But now that I've kind of got a better reign on the program, it's easier to think about what I'm missing.

I decided to put my foot do…

Day 7

1 week! I made it 1 week!

The day was pretty uneventful.

I sat and did a meal plan for the week and Charlotte and I went grocery shopping at the Milwaukie Farmers Market and at Trader Joes. There's a fantastic produce stand at the farmers market with beautiful produce at grocery store prices (or cheaper in most instances). I stuck to my list for the most part and let Charlotte pick out a couple more things. I basically bee-lined back to the car to avoid our usual vices and money drains. Markets can be dangerous!

I've been trying to crack this meal-planning code for years. I get into routines for awhile that work well, but then I derail again and can't begin to figure out how to plan for cooking. This is a hurdle I'm hoping to figure out on this program for sure.

In the past I've tried to plan for two weeks of meals at a time. I sit and figure out my 8 or so recipes (how this was supposed to last two weeks I'm not sure) and I'd put the meal in the calendar. …

Day 6

"Over the next two days, prepare yourself for the overwhelming urge to Kill All the Things. Your kids will forever be working your last nerve, the way co-workers talk, chew and breathe will annoy you, and chipper cashiers and baristas will cower in your crankiness."


Today was rough. Really really really really rough.

I got a later start than I should have this morning. I made scrambled eggs full of veggies and sausage patties for Charlotte and I (which she ate after an argument), and made some eggs with greens for Archer. I put them in a tupperware for him to eat at the parade we went to this morning. He was NOT interested.

At lunch, both kids were whining and throwing fits over what I was cooking because it wasn't what they wanted. I kind of lost it at that point. Both stayed in their rooms until lunch was ready. Charlotte's attitude turned around. Archer finally ate his eggs so he could have some of the sausage.

I was proud of myself, we went to a birthday par…

Day 5

I am so tired! According to the book, most people feel really tired around days 6 or 7. I think I'm on an early schedule, which suits my personality fine.

The kids and I went to ikea with my mom so we could stay out of the heat again. We had lunch in their cafeteria. Lunch was really stressful.

I tried to have a big meal before we went, and I even had a snack in the car on the way there (apple with almond butter) in case there wasn't anything I could eat there. But this did not prevent me from having a meltdown in the food line.

They had some salads that would have been fine for me if they could make it without cheese or hummus. I asked a lady behind the case if this was possible and she looked at me like I was out of my mind and walked away.

I'm trying to keep my kids on the program too and they didn't have any options available for them either. I was so frustrated trying to figure out what to do for them and for me. I ended up getting them chicken strips and green be…

Day 4

It's 11 pm and 80ºF in my house right now. I almost fell asleep several times, but my 2-year-old saw fit to get out of bed, turn all the lights on in the house, and peel 3 bananas instead of staying in his bed. Between that and my very loud cat, I've dozed off and abruptly woken several times and now my brain is buzzing and won't quiet.

Day 4 felt pretty good. I ate chia seeds soaked in home-made almond milk for breakfast this morning (a welcome change to my usually more involved breakfasts so far) and a banana. Charlotte threw in the towel and had a clif bar, a giant bowl of cheddar bunnies, and several other contraband foods all day. She complained about having a stomach ache this afternoon. I'm kind of glad there were consequences, but also sad that food is hurting my baby.

If you haven't tried shishito peppers, they are a wrinkly thin japanese pepper that looks like a cross between a jalapeño and a pepperoncini.  Eating them is a game of roulette. Most of them …

Day 3

Today reached 106ºF outside. We don't have air conditioning. It sucked.

We stayed in to avoid the heat and left the house in the afternoon for my chiropractor appointment. I made sure to pack whole30 friendly snacks for me and the kids and took a very large cup of ice water.

I got my results from my x-rays last week and the scoliosis that was under control a year ago is back with a vengeance. (Yay for a year of having no time whatsoever to schedule an adjustment!) The good news is that it's treatable. The bad news is that treatment is expensive and I don't know if I can afford it. Yay stress.

After a very very long appointment at the chiropractor, I decided we should beat the heat at Ikea. We're in kind of a limbo period where I can't really do much to prepare for moving yet, but the Ikea kitchen planning tool online has kept me feeling like I can do something while we wait and I had some questions about cabinets anyway. It's therapeutic. But, yet another sourc…

Day 2

Lessons learned.

I'm still getting used to cooking. I can't remember the last day I actually cooked all three of my meals at home. I either eat something out for at least one meal or skip the meal entirely (usually breakfast).

The last two days I've been forced to think about and make my food. I am not conditioned for it. I'm so used to caving to my sense of overwhelm when it comes to cooking and opting for something less mentally challenging like my coffee shop or a drive-thru window.

This got the best of me yesterday.

I decided to have tuna salad over greens for lunch about when I should have been eating it rather than when I should have been prepping it. I have ADHD and it's difficult for me to stay focused on one task at a time so I was also clarifying butter, potty training my toddler, trying to clean up from breakfast, trying not to think about the mess in my living room, and lord knows what else at the same time. It felt like making my lunch was taking forev…

Why Whole30?

I'll consider Monday my trial-run (although this proved a bit devastating for Charlotte). I didn't realize that pasture butter was only okay if clarified (milk solids are a no-no) and that pretty much all bacon has added sugar.

I procured the book from the library and dug in. Let me just say, this book feels like it was written by real people. There's a whole chapter dedicated to walking you through how you'll probably feel from day to day and I really like that. It reminds me of pregnancy books that tell you how your body may change each month and how your baby is growing. It's helpful to have an idea of how you may react to the changes and why.

"Day 4 to 5: Kill all the things  ...You walk into the kitchen and, upon being greeted by the smiling face of your significant other, you are suddenly overcome with the desire to punch them in the face for being so darn cheerful this early in the morning." They know me.

Having done every diet under the sun and sw…

Day 1: Whole 30 Plunge

When I decide to do something I'm all in. It's one of my husband's favorite things about me (or maybe his least favorite thing...)

For the last few weeks, I've been contemplating trying the Whole30 plan. It's kind of a bit commitment since the creator of the plan clearly states that you cannot cheat AT ALL. The point is to completely eliminate foods that could cause inflammation from your diet so that your body can detox and you can evaluate what foods are helping and what foods are harming you. If you cheat you have to start over.

The last five days I've been dealing with a pretty severe tailbone injury. I woke up one morning and couldn't hardly walk. Between that and two kids, I've been completely overwhelmed. Last night I decided as I went to sleep that I would get up and go for it. We've been eating out for nearly every meal lately and I'm just tired of having to think about what I'm going to eat next. It's a mental burden that drive…