D: grilled chicken cashew salad (no dressing) from Culver’s*
Seems I feel a bit hungry all the time now, despite eating hearty meals.
*I am guessing my salad at Culver’s was not Whole30 compliant in some way. ( Cornstarch in the chicken and the cashews may have had peanut oil was all I could find that wasn’t compliant.) For some this would mean the Whole30 was over or needed to be restarted. Being an adult and having my own goals of not snacking and reducing junk food I am merely going to press on. I actually consider this meal a win as I normally order a pork tenderloin sandwich or fried fish plate. And I did not take even one teensy taste of my son’s ice cream.
B: two fried eggs, 1/2 grapefruit, a banana
L: egg salad, rest of grilled asparagus, 1/2 pear And I watched “Chesapeake Shores” while I ate. Ooh I am such a rebel eating and watching tv at the same time! 🙂
D: an apple and some cashews eaten before I went to my son’s school for Curriculum Night. (I had planned on eating leftover chicken hash after I got home but I just wasn’t hungry. It is awfully hot and humid here these days.)
Finished the 1000 piece puzzle!
B: last of the chicken hash, 1/2 grapefruit
L: chicken tenders, carrots, small baked potato w/ghee and a banana
D: roasted pork loin, pan roasted brussel sprouts and butternut squash, applesauce
The house smelled wonderful with the roasting meat and dinner was tasty and had an autumnal feel, but frankly it was a bit much for the triple digit heat.
B: quiche and a banana
L: chicken tenders, leftover brussel sprouts and squash, applesauce
Finally the local PBS has the latest season of the “Great British Baking Show” on. I watched the first episode this afternoon. Yum!
D: apple and cashews
Well, there is no day 26. I officially ended my Whole30, er Whole25 this morning with a piece of toast (homemade bread from the freezer) and peanut butter (TJ’s no sugar added). I accomplished my goals of no mindless snacking and reduced my sugar intake. I lost 4 1/2 lbs which was rather disappointing. I felt like I ate so much less and certainly no junk food. But I am back in my weight window so I did succeed with my goal.
I am halfway done but it feels like I still have a long way to go. Sigh.
I was going to go to the commissary today but with the eclipse I decide to wait until tomorrow. I look through the fridge to make sure I have enough compliant food to get me through the day. Should be okay. I am feeling quite lackluster about food these days anyway.
I am so not in the mood to deal with grocery shopping. All that temptation but it has to be done. I am tired and crabby and the return of triple digit heat is not helping. On my drive to the commissary I have a little talk with myself. (Hopefully the other drivers just think I am on a hands free phone.) I remind myself that it is just hormones going crazy and hopefully in a few days I will be back to feeling “normal”. The only really critical task that has to be done today is shopping. Dinner can be leftovers with a bag of salad and there are some Trader Joe’s meatballs in the freezer if something more is needed.
I give myself permission to take the rest of the day off. I can color or work on the puzzle, watch a movie, take a nap. The sky is the limit!
Food prep day. Happily I am feeling a bit better so the task doesn’t feel so onerous. I make the quiche of the week. I use the kale and ground pork already prepared from the freezer. I add a grated carrot for color and extra nutrients. I found a half a bag of already cooked shrimp in the freezer and made a simple shrimp salad: finely chopped onion and celery, a bit of mayo and some dill. I am looking forward to having something different for lunch. I feel like I have eaten a ton of meat lately. This reminds me to thaw some chicken for later this week.
No “tiger’s blood” for me these days. I didn’t really think healthy eating would be able to trump crazy peri-menopausal hormones. I remind myself of my goals: stop snacking, less sugar. I am accomplishing both these days. I do wonder if I am still losing weight though. I decide to add more vegetables to my meals and less sweet potatoes and yams.
B: quiche, four olives and a banana
L: shrimp salad, snow peas and an apple
D: leftover pot roast, the last spoonful of mashed sweet potatoes and roasted cauliflower
I made myself a batch of “Melissa’s Chicken Hash” for lunch today and found myself wondering if I would eat this if I wasn’t on the Whole30. Hmmm. Aside from limiting snacking and desserts (I have a plan!) I haven’t given much thought about how I want my meals to look post Whole30. I want to eliminate processed foods for the most part. But I think I am okay with eating just about anything if I make it myself. I started buying heritage flour that is grown and minimally processed locally. I am adding more organic items to our diet all the time. As long as I continue to incorporate more veggies into my meals I will consider it all good.
B: quiche and roasted cauliflower
L: 1/2 can of tuna in olive oil with 1/2 an avocado, last 4 oven fries, snow peas, an apple and some cashews
Took my photography class today, hardly thought about the Whole30 at all.
I had my first cheat today. I chewed 1/2 a piece of sugar free gum during bowling. I just needed it. Banish me from the Whole30 Hall of Fame.
This picture is from my photography class. My instructor called this “Chipotle Art”. Where you take a picture of something ordinary and make it black and white and voila, art. 🙂 I was working on depth of field with this one.
The class left me very excited about taking photos. I know there is a lot more to learn but at least I know enough to be able to use full manual mode and have a better shot at getting what I want to see to appear on the end product. (Did you get the pun? “Better shot”, haha!)
Onto to week 4 with a decidedly diminished lack of enthusiasm for food.
I am impatient for autumn. I am always impatient for autumn. Hands down it is my favorite season. Even with Christmas looming I always feel a bit of a pang when I take all those colorful leaves down and pack up the pumpkins.
I also feel a bit off kilter this time of year. It is August, it is hot, it is very much still summer. But school has been in session a few weeks now. That is supposed to mean autumn is peeking around the corner. There should be a hint of frost in the early morning air, a crispness. But it will remain shorts weather well into October and some years even November. My poor brain has a hard time coping with this.
I seem to be doing a fair amount of on-line shopping lately. A replacement for snacking? (I hope not!) I look at my purchases and realize I am looking for autumn. I am excited to be getting ready for my son’s birthday and the upcoming holidays. And by holidays I mean Halloween and Thanksgiving. I have bought pajamas for my son for both holidays. It can be hard to find Thanksgiving jammies which baffles me. What are you supposed to wear while watching the parade and eating pancakes?
I have been buying fun Halloween candy, Ghost Poofs, how cool! A Halloween game and Halloween stampers for prizes at school. Okay, yes I also bought a set of stamps for my son and I to share.
I have also been buying sweaters and long sleeve shirts. What? I know it is crazy. My logic is I am looking for lightweight sweaters/shirts more suited to our pretend winter. And I have been stuck on the color gray for some reason. Six gray shirts I have bought this year. Two are for my sports teams, Miami Heat and the Denver Broncos. Now I am ready for January! My favorite find? A lightweight sweater with birds on it from The Vermont Country Store. Perfect fit, feel, super cute and on clearance! I can’t wait to wear it.
I know it is illogical but I am hoping for an actual cold winter this year. We had the hottest June and wettest July, is the snowiest January that farfetched? At the very least I want to be able to wear long sleeves (without sweating). I have to add that because I could be one of those people who ignore the actual temperature and dress according to the calendar. Honestly I fear that may happen to me this year.
I keep telling myself to be patient. Autumn is still almost a month away according to the calendar. Soon I will be bringing in the autumn totes and decorating away. Soon. I give myself permission to start working with my son to figure out his Halloween costume. (Maybe an elevator, how fun is that!?) And maybe I take a peek at my Gooseberry Autumn cookbook. And paint my toenails orange. It feels the perfect color to transition from late summer to almost autumn. Plan an apple picking trip for Labor Day weekend, yes please. And we have our first U of A football game 2 Sept. Maybe autumn isn’t as far away as it seems.
While it feels like all Whole30 all the time I do still have a life outside of eating healthy. (Not much of one, but still.)
Swimming is on hiatus due to a slightly green murky pool now full of chemicals. High heat combined with just enough rain make it hard to keep the pool clear. The spouse is trying but the pool just isn’t appealing these days.
New carpet! Yeah! It was an item on the to do list that I have longed for yet been avoiding because of having to move so much stuff! So for about 10 days I will be spending time each day moving stacks of book, knickknacks and eventually smaller items of furniture either downstairs or into my office, making my office unusable for a while. 😦 I don’t even want to think about it.
Photography class. Remember when I signed up for that class in June that was unexpectedly cancelled? I am signed up for it again this Saturday. Let’s hope it happens this time. In pretend preparation I am reading an Ansel Adam’s biography and enjoying it immensely.
I came up with a great solution to stop myself from mindlessly checking my phone for e-mail when it is lying on the kitchen counter. I hung it up on the wall! I put a little hook on the back (an IGripz) and then a hook on the wall. Voila…
This would also work well for people always losing their phones in the house.
And finally my ob/gyn appointment. I really liked the Doctor. We had a good discussion about all my peri-menopausal symptoms and options. My uterine fibroids are cherry and blueberry sized (fruit makes such a good visual for size) and apparently 70% of all women have some. The location is not problematic so for now they stay.
I did have my IUD removed. It wasn’t actually necessary but may help ease the heaviness of my periods. If my periods remain crazy long, frequent and/or heavy then I am thinking about taking some progesterone. But for now I am going to give it two or three months and see what happens with my body. I am not surprised that so far I am sticking with my original thought that menopause is a natural phase of life and it is best to let it run it’s course on it’s own. Either way I feel better having a doctor that listens and provides multiple options.
I think that about wraps things up. The next two weeks will remain devoted to the Whole30 and prepping for carpet installation. But that’s okay because after that football season starts and camping and hiking return. And Halloween…whoooo! Let’s hear it for autumn…rah rah rah!
I have a desire to weigh myself but move the scale into my husband’s closet.
B: Banana, three scrambled eggs, 2 slices of bacon and one small potato. It doesn’t seem very healthy and I vow to eat more veggies the rest of the day.
Today is food prep day. I clean a bunch of carrots, bake two yams for tomorrow and make the quiche of the week. Quiche of the week includes leftover taco meat, sautéed spinach and cherry tomatoes.
I also decide to clean up one of the shelves in the kitchen pantry that has become a bit of a mess. It is full of “contraband items” but sorting the food doesn’t bother me. Oddly the only thing I have really had a hankering for is cheese and crackers (Wheat Thin type). Whatever.
Experiencing a bit of um, gastric distress. Hoping this means my stomach will be flatter in a day or two.
Also spouse’s birthday. I send him and my son off for pizza and I stay home and watch “Rear Window” while eating my tasty yam, chicken, apple mixture. I had my son do most of the work on the cake so I wouldn’t be tempted to lick my fingers. I just put the cake pans in and out of the oven and got the cakes out of the pan. We froze one layer and E frosted the other for tonight. He did a great job!
I have my doctors appointment today to get my IUD removed and chat about my uterine fibroids. Since my appointment is at 11:10a I prepare egg salad so my lunch is ready before I go.
I am really not hungry enough for dinner but I want to eat a little something when I take my calcium and magnesium pills. Plus I don’t want to wake up hungry in the middle of the night. I settle on an apple and a handful of cashews. I sleep through the night without any problems. But I am having weird food dreams. I wake up sure I had eaten some of my son’s pretzels. But I know I didn’t. Is there such a thing as sleep eating?
My stomach is flatter! Not completely flat (yet) but decidedly flatter for sure.
Yesterday and today are the days most likely for people to quit according to the Whole30 timeline. I can see that. It would have been very nice to eat lunch out either yesterday or today while running errands. That’s okay though my egg salad was pretty tasty. Why don’t I make it more often?
B: leftover yam, chicken, apple mixture and 1/2 grapefruit
L: leftover egg salad, 6 olives, 2 carrots, a small handful of macadamia nuts and blackberries
D: pot roast (cooked in the crockpot, the smell permeating the house all day), mashed sweet potatoes (ghee, not butter) and steamed broccoli
I am pretty proud of how few snacks I have eaten so far. I am doing a much better job of incorporating fruit and nuts into my regular meals.
I wake up and I am feeling out of sorts. What? I had been feeling so happy. I look at the calendar. Hormones dammit. I am not sure what to do. Are my typical PMS cravings going to run me over? Or will my decreased sugar intake lessen the impact? I have a Mango-Pineapple Rx bar at the ready. I spend the morning keeping busy cleaning the house a bit. Then decide getting out of the house for awhile would be good. I have to drop off cupcakes at church for the men’s shelter dinner anyway.
I know, crazy. I realize I probably haven’t been doing myself any favors these first two weeks with the temptations: making peanut butter cookies for small child’s after school snack the first week of school(the first week of myWhole30), birthday cake, and now cupcakes. My son mixed up the batter and I spooned into the tins and baked them. But yes, I had to icing them, without licking my fingers once! No wonder why I feel a bit crabby.
My son and I had a wonderfully lovely day together. We went to the mall, not a favorite or typical trip for us but he wanted a few more polo shirts for school so we went to JC Penney’s and found enough choices on the clearance racks plus we had a $10 off coupon. And then we browsed (for a full hour!) around The Container Store, a place we both love. We found a few items and then he was hungry so we headed to the food court. I had an Rx Bar with me because I didn’t think there would be any thing I could have there but to my surprise there was a Chipotle’s. And we both happily ordered salad bowls from there.
For dinner at home I made oven fries and we grilled burgers that were so tasty. Hit the spot and for one meal at least I didn’t feel like I was on the Whole30.
I have to confess this healthy eating is starting to feel a bit boring. Need to put some thought into the meal plan for next week. I am still feeling a bit grumpy too which isn’t helping matters.
I decided to do another Whole30 as a kick-off to implementing “My Healthy Life Manifesto“. The main goal of this Whole30 is to stop snacking and eating when not hungry. I know I have a tendency to eat when bored or tired and the habit has gotten completely out of control. I will also admit I am hoping to lose a few pounds as well. I looked at the calendar and decided to start the same week school started. I am hoping this will give me some extra time for all that food prep plus no big holidays or major travel plans to make things more difficult.
Here is a summary of the first week:
Day 1: Totally not prepared this Monday morning. The thing is, school doesn’t start until Thursday. My bad. So I eat a banana with some cashew butter and a carrot for breakfast and then get to work on some food prep. I make hard-boiled eggs and clean a bag of carrots. And then I make my favorite quiche:
I grease a 9″ pie pan with coconut oil and bake at 425° for ~ 20 minutes
The best thing about this recipe is you can mix up what you add and eat it everyday on the Whole30 if you wish. Some suggestions: mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, cooked grated yam or sweet potato, ground beef, spinach, thinly sliced Trader Joe’s sausages. Really anything compliant that you like. This is so much easier than breakfast “muffins” and I think a bit tastier than a straight egg bake.
I eat a piece for lunch (along with a sliced tomato) and now I have breakfast ready for the rest of the week. I also cook enough pork and kale for a second quiche and stash it in the freezer.
Day 2: I have a solid meal plan for the day so it seems easy.
B: quiche, 1/2 grapefruit, one small potato. I microwave the potato, let it cool a bit, dice it, then crisp it up in a little olive oil.
L: salad with 1/2 can of tuna in olive oil, 1 HB egg, cherry tomatoes and avocado
Snack: cut up peaches we picked ourselves and that need to be eaten
D: grilled steak, homemade oven fries and green beans
I am the only person in the house doing the Whole30 so many nights there will be separate dinners but tonight’s worked for everyone. Yeah!
I am not going to write every single meal down because that would be boring. I am feeling rather tired today. I expected it but it was still a bummer. See the Whole30 timeline.
Note to self: be careful what you read and watch during these crucial first days of eliminating cravings. “Howard’s End”, not a good movie to watch, in terms of food anyway. Seems they were always having tea and cake. Reading “Endurance” by Alfred Lansing was a good choice. This book is about Shackleton’s expedition to Antarctica. While there is a fair amount of talk about food it is items like seal steaks and penguin hearts that are mentioned. And for a treat? Fish paste. No triggering of cravings here!
I seem to have skipped right over the “kill all things” phase and now “I need a nap” and “Why are my pants tighter” phase seem to be overlapping. Geez.
Grocery shopping day. Halloween candy already? (No more grocery shopping until after this is over!) I eat a good breakfast but we have a bunch of errands to run. By the time we get to the base I am getting rather hungry. I get my son a sandwich at Subway in the food court and then scan my options. Nothing. So I eat my apple cinnamon Rx bar. By the time we get home I am pretty hungry. I nosh on sugar snap peas with a single serving size of guacamole while getting the groceries put away.
Now it is 3:00p and I am not sure what to do. Do I eat lunch or try and tough it out until dinner? I decide to eat a hard-boiled egg and make dinner an hour early. It is taco salads so husband and son can re-heat the meat and make their own salads when they are ready.
Today is one of those days that really are tough on the Whole30. We are going up to Phoenix to watch the Cubs play the D’Backs. We are supposed to leave at 9:00a for a 1:00p game because of the crowd expected. Spouse gets out of work late (he is working extra hours for an exercise) so we don’t leave until 10:30a but it all works out surprisingly well.
B: banana, quiche, potato
L: Eaten in the truck on the trip up is chicken salad (diced grilled chicken breast, dried cherries, walnuts and mayo), snap peas and a few cherries. As we walk from the truck to the stadium (about 12:30p) I drink a bottle of Zupa Noma soup. I bought a six pack to try out because they are Whole30 approved. I have the Beet-Orange-Basil flavor. I finish it but I don’t think I would buy this flavor again, too basily for me.
Snack: For inside the park I have dry roasted pistachios (in the shell) from Trader Joe’s and an Rx bar. The game is exciting and I am not hungry until the seventh inning. I eat a few pistachios, but probably half or maybe even a third of what I would have normally eaten. That’s it.
D: We stop at a Five Guys on the way home. I was prepared bringing a little container of my own mayo. I get the lettuce wrap with two burgers, tomato and raw onion. No pickles because they are out of pickles. What?? (They got a bad batch from their supplier and were waiting on a replacement shipment. Just my luck.) But with the addition of the mayo I don’t feel like I am missing out on anything.
So the Cubs and I both win! The week wasn’t bad at all and I am very happy that I have not been snacking on dried fruit or raisins like in Whole30s in the past. I survived a busy day running around and a road trip. A successful week one is in the books.
I decided I needed to write down some healthy eating guidelines for myself. That led me to thinking about how big a role stress and lack of sleep play in my eating habits and I decided what I really wanted was a healthy life. So I expanded my manifesto just a bit.
The last few months I have been reading a lot of books about diet, nutrition and eating habits. Many of them left me feeling like I needed to have an MD (or play a doctor on tv or sleep in a Holiday Inn Express at least) to know how valid the logic/research/argument was. I was left to rely on my own common sense. And Michael Pollan’s “Food Rules”. I love this beautifully illustrated little book of 82 rules. I understand them, they make sense to me and they are easily followed. By that I mean anyone can do them with a little time and effort. No special pills or equipment needed. I plan on glancing through this book daily to give myself reminders of how I want to eat.
What I like about this manifesto is that it is set up for me. Yes, you can borrow it as a starting point for your own but you really need to devise a manifesto that will fit your own life. Every person is unique with an individual set of circumstances that make up your own needs.
My Healthy Life Manifesto
Recognize symptoms and alleviate
Change with the seasons/weather as needed
Qigong or Tai Chi
10k steps and hand weights
Nap if needed
Cultivate Better Eating Habits
Learn to eat only when hungry
Change the way you shop
Less stocking up
Keep meals simple
Replace processed foods with fruits and veggies
Rx Bars for hormonal emergencies and travel
Make sure you have broth on hand
Make everything from scratch
Eat at local restaurants
No guilt over being an introvert
So there it is, my Healthy Life Manifesto. I am not sure about the fasting. It seems better suited to people who are obese and trying to lose weight but I have decided to keep it in my hip pocket as a back up plan if I am not doing well with controlling my snacking or the middle age weight gain continues.
I printed out two copies, made them all pretty and put one in the kitchen and one in my office. I’ll be reading them everyday for now. I am ready to feel not just better but good, really good!
I have decided that “summer part II” shall be officially named “Estate Piovoso” which is Italian for rainy summer, because everything sounds better in Italian!
And boy has it been raining! We had 14 consecutive afternoons/evening with rain. And not just a sprinkle or quick downpour but hours of showers. I believe at my house we have had more rain this summer then in the previous six summers combined. Crazy!
I have not been spending much time on-line these days. Just not in the mood I guess. Instead I have been working on this in my sketchbook:
Listening to “The Island” by Elin Hilderbrand while working on my latest needlepoint project:
I took a trunk full of items to Goodwill and mailed off a bag of clothes to Thred Up.
And I tried to take a picture of the back of my hair to show how humid it is here in the desert. Not easy to do and then I was quite shocked at all the gray! And here I thought I just had a few strands in front.
On that note I am off to make popcorn and my son and I are going to watch “House on Haunted Hill”. (His choice, not mine!)
“One of the standard-issue life lessons, which I’m sure I’ve posited along with everyone else who thinks about these things, is that one’s life is enriched immeasurably if you’re able to find an abiding passion. You don’t have to be good at it, it just has to be something that would consume every waking hour if you let it.” **
I, of course, am totally aware of the idea of finding one’s passion but the second sentence gave me pause. You don’t have to be good at it?? I assumed that one would have an innate ability, a natural talent for one’s bliss. Sure, maybe you take a class or two or read some books to polish up your gift. You practice, a lot. But right from the get go you would do something, love it and be good at it. You would know this was where your heart lies. Hence the reason I am so lacking a sense of purpose these days. I have been thinking about things all wrong!
I like to do lots of different things but I am not particularly good at any of them. I dabble. I brush the surface of various hobbies. I try lots of things once or twice, find I am not exceptionally good at them, and figure they are not my heart’s content. And I move on.
A cool plant I saw on my meander yesterday up at Summerhaven, AZ.
But now? Well, I am in a quandary. How do I know which hobby is the one I should truly focus on? Which one will give me the sense of purpose I crave in the morning? I have been doing some cogitating. Do I have to pick just one? Can I rotate through a few choices? Now that the pressure is off will my hobbies feel different? Easier to enjoy now that I know I don’t have to be good at them?
As of this moment I do not have the answers. But I will be looking at my old hobbies with new eyes and trying new ones with renewed enthusiasm.
I took this photo yesterday on my way down the mountain. (Perfectly safe, I was stopped at an overlook!) You can see Thimble Peak, center left in the distance. From my house I can see the other side of Thimble Peak and for some reason this always thrills me.
** From “Julia Child Rules, Lessons on Savoring Life” by Karen Karbo.
I find it comforting to recognize that Julia Child wasn’t a natural cook. She wasn’t even a good cook when she started. And she didn’t find her bliss until she was a full fledged grown-up. I still have time! I met a woman yesterday that took up sailing in her sixties. She joined a club and found she loved crewing for races. So many possibilities in my future.
Normally it feels like I am always writing blog posts in my head. But the past week or so I have been thinking about all my medical test results. In a nutshell here are the results: My colonoscopy via mail came back negative. Yeah! My mammogram showed nothing suspicious. Whew!
The x-rays of my hands showed nothing (except that I have hands of course). My doctor’s response was to continue to monitor the situation. How is that helpful for pain? Does an x-ray rule out carpal tunnel? I was trying to figure out exactly how to reply when the hands got moved to the back burner.
I got my pelvic ultrasound results and they revealed that I do indeed have two uterine fibroids. After the initial wave of panic I did what everyone does, I looked for information on the internet. It appears there are two options, ignore them and hope they shrink when I hit full blown menopause or surgery. With surgery they could remove just the fibroids or they could remove the fibroids and uterus.
My gyn appointment isn’t until mid-August. Do I need to go sooner? Since my symptoms aren’t too horrid I have decided to wait unless the doctor thinks I need to come in sooner. (It is easier to do doctor appointments after school starts.)
So for now I wait and tell myself all the benefits of surgery. No more crazy long, frequent periods. A day or two in the hospital can be thought of as a vacation from housework and laundry and cooking. I promise myself a box of dark chocolate candy from See’s if I do need surgery.
There’s the plan, now I can put all this medical stuff out of my mind for the next month and get back to writing blog posts in my head. What a relief!