That's right, folks, I'm officially at the halfway point! Yes, the days of wine and cheese are fast approaching and soon my escapades in making chia pudding will be but a dim memory of the past.
Also, BETTER PICTURES! I got out my legit camera to capture the meals I've been making, which helps big time. It actually makes my dishes look pretty good. I don't think being a full-time food blogger is in my calling (because ughhhhhh, that looks like a lot of work), but at least you won't be looking at plates of what appears to be prison food anymore.
OK, bring on the recap!
Breakfast: one egg scrambled, 1/2 baked potato mashed with ghee (plus the skin, I love potato skins), sautéed spinach, and 2 pieces of bacon.
Lunch: butter lettuce, red onion, 1/4 avocado, sliced raw almonds, hard-boiled egg, radish, cucumber and smoked salmon with a red wine vinaigrette, plus some leftover roasted asparagus and the final bowl of squash, sweet potato, carrot & ginger soup.
Snack: my friend was having a going away/40th birthday party at Schroeder's, so I was able to "snack" on bratwurst, a few slices of pickle, and some sauerkraut. This was probably the hardest moment yet on Whole30 because my friend's mom put out this gorgeous German chocolate cake from some Danish bakery in the East Bay, and it looked unbelievably good and tempting. As did the orders of tater tots and pretzels on the table. As did everyone's glasses of wine. Sigh. I drank water and nibbled on the aforementioned bratwurst, dipped in whole grain dijon mustard, which I know is not Whole30 compliant thanks to it including white wine but I had gone on a long walk in Golden Gate Park earlier with friends and their new baby, plus had gone to spin class that morning, and I was pretty hungry at this point. Also, I did not eat German chocolate cake. So there.
Dinner: the final serving of the white chicken chili! Hooray.
Breakfast: two eggs scrambled, 1/2 zucchini cooked in olive oil, 1/2 grapefruit (the pic is misleading; I was going to eat the acorn squash but got full on the other food)
Lunch: salad of butter lettuce, cucumber, sliced almonds, hard-boiled egg, red onion, radish, artichoke heart, carrot, and smoked salmon with red wine vinaigrette, plus 1/2 acorn squash mashed with a little ghee
Snack: I went on a walk with friends down to the bridge and came home pretty hungry. I had a slice of turkey meat, 1/2 an RXBar, a small raw carrot, a tablespoon of almond butter, plus some raspberries and blueberries. I know you are not supposed to be snacking a ton on Whole30 but I was really hungry from the walk (we did over 6 miles), plus I'd gone to Bar Method that morning, and my lunch was not really sustaining enough.
Dinner: leftover beef bolognese on zucchini noodles
Breakfast: bowl of chia pudding (chia seeds, unsweetened almond milk, banana, blueberries, raspberries and frozen cherries) topped with unsweetened coconut flakes, chopped pecans, about a 1/2 tbsp of almond butter and some more raspberries and blueberries, plus a piece of my egg casserole from the first week heated in the freezer (I'd put the last three pieces in the freezer because I am a genius!) and topped with a little Valentina hot sauce (because hot sauce).
Pre-run mega snack (aka small meal): 1/2 a baked potato mashed with ghee, 1/2 grapefruit, 1 slice deli turkey
Lunch: egg roll in a bowl! (This recipe turned out uh-may-zing, one of the best I've tried so far.)
Dinner: This is the only meal I've felt grumbly about — not because what I made didn't taste good (it was super delicious) but because as much as you CAN use butter lettuce in lieu of tortillas, hello, the point of fajitas is the tortilla makes an excellent conduit for getting it into your mouth. Seriously, this recipe for Sheet Pan Chicken Faijitas with Avocado Crema is really tasty, I just lamented not having a nice flour tortilla to absorb the juice from the chicken and vegetables and not get all over my hands. I'm happy to eat curry out of a bowl, can enjoy a hamburger patty without a bun, and have even wrapped my head around eating a zucchini as "noodles", but eating fajitas without a tortilla made me sad and unhappy. It's THE WHOLE POINT. Also if I did this again I might just make normal guacamole instead of the crema and spare myself dirtying my immersion blender (it was good, but I think regular ol' homemade guacamole is way better).
• I'm glad to be doing this during a month where I don't have as much going on socially because it is way harder to turn down chocolate cake in the company of others than in your own apartment. It's really not that hard to eat this way when I'm on my own, but being confronted with delicious food in the presence of people drinking wine and beer is not easy.
• I am glad to be doing a "reset" but it's a little lonely — typically on a 3-day weekend, I might be filling it up with activities to meet people for drinks and food. Instead, I've been making chicken stock in the slow cooker, planning out the next two weeks of meals, grocery shopping, prepping, and, of course, cooking the meals I need to eat right now. Oh, and cleaning, cleaning, cleaning my kitchen constantly. I will be grateful for a Fun February after living like an ascetic all month.
• Despite it being hard to do too much socially, it is really not that hard to eat this way day-to-day. It just takes some extra effort. I've discovered I enjoy zucchini noodles almost as much as real ones, don't need rice when eating a curry, and that coconut milk can make almost anything taste rich and luxurious. I can see myself incorporating a lot of these recipes into my daily life, although I can also see reverting back to many of the 'shortcuts' I do for ease and efficiency (e.g., making a quick sandwich so I can go do other things with my life).
• I haven't experienced quite the same timeline as the Whole30 founders mention. Only last night did I go, "you know what would taste really good right now? A chocolate chip cookie." I had a very bad day the first Sunday after starting, where I legitimately felt like I had a hangover and felt super out of it and fog-brained. Since, then I've maybe been a little more emotional than usual, but I don't know what's from gluten-alcohol-cheese-deprivation and what's from being isolated in my apartment more than usual. It's probably a combination of both.
• I'm glad I am doing this in a month with a three-day weekend in the middle as I needed the time to do a real Trader Joe's re-stocking and some meal prep. Glad I picked January to do this!
• Also glad I have a cleaning lady who comes every other week, because despite cleaning up after every meal and cooking project, it definitely needs a deep clean.
• I still haven't been getting enough exercise during the week, partly due to not getting off work in time and partly due to needing to put together meals. I'm hoping I can find a better rhythm to this that allows me to get off to the workout classes I like and not cooking quite as much. I did make it to yoga on Tuesday last week, so that's good.
All right, 15 days down, 15 to go. Any tips or advice for making it through the 2nd half, lemme know in the comments!