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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 are lovely sweet pepper flavor with the slightest bit of kick. But every once in awhile you get one that makes you want to cry. And cry I did. Last night I ate a bowlful and I swear I got three tear-jerkers in a row. I ate more for lunch and I should have bought a lottery ticket today because they were all delightful. I really like these for a crunchy, salty snack. Also for the thrill.

I had an early dinner with fellow opera-singer and whole30er. It was my first meal out of my kitchen in 4 days and I was grateful to have a whole30 sherpa to help keep me calm. I really did not want to  have to start over.

Other than having to pick the shredded parmesan out of my salad, it was pretty successful. I am still questioning the oil they fried the hamburger patty with though. The server said they don't use any and he lies. There was a lovely crisp shell on that hamburger patty.

It's weirding me out that I actually enjoyed this meal so much. It was a naked hamburger and a side salad. I had them add a side of avocado too. Normally this plate of food would make me feel deprived as hell at a restaurant. I would have that subtle ache in the pit of my stomach knowing that this meal would not leave me feeling satisfied. But it was so satisfying in an "I've had a good meal", not in a "I'm so smug I ate this rabbit food" way. I dug into the meal so grateful not to have to cook it myself and enjoyed every bite!

After lunch I went to New Seasons to hunt for some friendly foods that would help make this easier. I got some aardvark sauce (how I didn't already have this I don't know). It does list sugar in the ingredient list, but it's a fermented food and didn't have sugar listed in the nutritional values meaning that it probably was all consumed in the fermentation process and I'll allow it. I also got a very fat pint of blackberries, and some almond butter that comes out of the machine.

Driving home, I didn't have the "omg I have to cook dinner still and it's going to take me x amount of time to get kids, drive home, figure out what to cook and then actually get it on the table" panic. It was kind of nice. The kids ate some mac and cheese from the hot case at New Seasons and dinner was handled. I probably should have tried to get them to eat something a little more wholesome. Oh well.

I've been trying to keep my cooking really simple so far. I've avoided the use of recipes and try to rely on simple cooking techniques so that I don't get too overwhelmed or find an excuse not to cook - "whelp, I'm fresh out of sardines and pickled beets for this recipe, guess dinners cancelled" It's easier to buy what's fresh and looks good and then to figure out what to do with it later. I don't want to start cutting corners when I have time to do it right. Once school starts and we're moving, that's a whole different story!

On another note, I feel myself getting obsessive about doing this "right". I have to keep reminding myself what my goals are and why I'm doing this.

The book talks a lot about the repair of emotional and habitual eating which is a huge factor for me. I'm giving myself permission to have secret aardvark sauce but I don't feel compelled to use a ton of it and the trace sugar in it isn't going to derail my detox. If I was addicted to the stuff before I started, I think I would rule it out as a crutch. On the other hand, I am not giving myself permission to ignore the small sprinkle of shredded parmesan on my salad.

I have been catching myself questioning if eating cashews or fruit is okay when I could be having a vegetable. The book has some pretty specific guidelines about hunger versus craving. I have been trying to be mindful, but I don't want to "punish" myself either considering how well I've stayed on program so far. I won't be buying another bag of baby bananas from Trader Joe's soon. Let's just put it that way.


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