Buenos afternoon, dear readers! I can't believe I'm already on Day 19 of this stupid plan. Stupid, yet I'm sticking with it 'til the bitter, chia-pudding-clogged end.
This week has gone pretty well, although Day 17 was a little rough. So far, I haven't really aligned at all with the Whole30 "typical timeline" and have found most days fine, with some days horrible. Haven't experienced some magical surge in energy or happiness, although I have noticed that on some days my hunger in the late afternoon and early evening is less pronounced than normal. We shall see how I fare over the remaining 10 (!) days. Mainly I'm just counting down the days til bread, cheese, sour dough and wine again.
Anyhoo. Here's a recap of days 16-19!
Breakfast: chia pudding (almond milk blended with banana, blueberries, raspberries and frozen cherries with more fresh blueberries, raspberries, pecans and coconut flakes on top)
Lunch: egg roll-in-a-bowl!
Snack: a banana, handful of almonds
Dinner: I went on a walk with a friend after I got home from work and didn't eat dinner until late, which was kind of a mistake. (I had a tablespoon of almond butter to tide myself over until I got home and could cook.) I also snacked on a couple pieces of smoked salmon with a bit of the avocado crema from the previous night's fajitas and a raw carrot while I made another batch of red coconut curry with shrimp. I realized after serving it that I used way less coconut milk than I was supposed to ... whoops. I also I ran out of curry paste and the sauce didn't really thicken up well ... whoops #2. This was not a great meal because I ended up getting hungry again before falling asleep and didn't sleep well as a result.
Breakfast: beef bolognese on zucchini noodles with a fried egg on top (because adding a fried egg on something magically transforms it into "breakfast," right?)
Lunch: egg roll-in-a-bowl, again. This dish grew progressively less-tasty after I made it; I think part of my issue with it is it's quite oily, thanks to the high amount of sesame oil used in cooking it and fat in the ground pork. This recipe tasted great right after I made it but less so with each passing day.
Snack: about 7-8 almonds, a banana and half a RXBar
Dinner: since trying to use butter lettuce as a tortilla to eat fajitas made me angry, I decided to use some of the leftovers to make a salad instead. I used some mixed greens and added the chicken fajita mix, plus cherry tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, pistachios and radish along and dressed it with a vinaigrette of apple cider and red wine vinaigrette. I realized (yes, on Day 17) that my mustard has white wine in it! I really do not understand a diet that favors French's yellow mustard over a high quality dijon mustard, it's pretty baffling to me, honestly. We'll see if I skip adding my 1/4 tsp of dijon to my salad dressing for the rest of this, I get the point of being fastidious about sugar and soy in our food but nitpicking white wine in a teeny tiny amount of good French mustard? Come on.
Breakfast: Another attempt at chia pudding (which is slowly growing on me). Chia seeds and almond milk soaked over night, blended with a banana about 1/2 cup of frozen cherries; I ate half of this mixture and saved the other half for the next day. I added a couple fresh strawberries, unsweetened coconut flakes, chopped pecans and a bit of almond butter on top.
Lunch: salad from Whole Foods: mixed greens, romaine, kale, arugula, cucumbers, tomatoes, beets, red cabbage, grilled zucchini, roasted red peppers, cashews, bacon, chicken, pumpkin seeds, nutritional yeast, olives, and artichoke hearts, with some olive oil and balsamic.
Snack: 1/2 orange, a few almonds
Dinner: I had a ticket to a piano concert at Herbst Theatre after work, so I brought leftover zucchini noodles and beef bolognese to eat at work before I headed off to the show. I was pretty hungry by the time I got home and had 1/2 an RX bar and a couple strawberries before showering and getting ready for bed.
Breakfast: chia pudding! (Same as the day before.)
Lunch: salad made with mixed greens, some of the leftover chicken fajitas from the other night, tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, radish and pistachios, tossed with red wine vinaigrette.
Snack: 1 banana
Dinner: I stopped by birthday drinks at Emperor Norton's Boozeland and was grateful to eat 1/2 an RXBar on the way there (probably overdoing it on the RXBars on this but I've been glad to have a way to tide myself over until I can get home to cook). I ate leftover red coconut curry with shrimp before heading back out to a show at The Chapel, where I was happy they had a huge carafe of water I could help myself to all night long.
• Day 17 was one of the harder days so far, in part because I had issues falling asleep the night before. I felt really wired and hungry; around 12:30am I got up and had a 1/2 tbsp of almond butter — my usual go-to late night fix, I find it's often just enough protein and fat to satisfy my stomach. But this did not really do the trick, plus I had a crazy headache which I had to take an Ibuprofen for and which came back in the morning.
• I started reading up on coconut yogurt on the Whole30 forum and all the moderators are like "yogurt is bad for you and we want you to break the habit blah blah blah" but there's as much protein — and no sugar — in my small portion of lowfat plain yogurt as an egg, and I typically add 1/4 cup of a good quality granola that has more protein and fiber. It seems like the assumption is that people are eating sugar-loaded fruit-flavored yogurt, so I get trying to push people into choosing a more nutritious breakfast, but I think their take on it is a little extreme. I also question whether making a "pudding" with banana, almond milk and chia seeds is actually "healthier" than my normal yogurt meal, especially when it needs additional fruit and almond butter to make it palatable and lacks the probiotics found in yogurt. Anyway.
• Although I am eager to get back to my normal breakfast, I do find the mornings I'm eating the chia pudding I feel way better than having meat (e.g., eating an egg on top of chili or beef bolognese). I just feel way cleaner and lighter. I like eggs, but don't really enjoy dirtying up my kitchen cooking first thing in the morning. I have a couple more chia experiments to try (coconut milk? mangoes?) but am glad I am figuring out how to get breakfast in without having yet another serving of meat in my day.
• Something about doing this has made me want to eat cleaner and healthier more of the time (although include good grains, beans and cheese) and be more intentional about eating "less healthy" food. I do feel good eating these big salads and focusing on getting more vegetables than I usually do. If that is a good consequence of Whole30, I'm happy about it!
• I'm 2/3 of the way there and have only 10 days to go! Wooooohoooooo!!!