Sunday, November 26, 2017

Whole 30 Day 3 - Sometimes it IS hard.

The most often quoted statement in The Whole 30 plan is.... 
“It is not hard. Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Quitting heroin is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard.”
Personally I really liked it.  It's true.  Comparably speaking on the continuum that shows napping on one end and quitting heroin on the other end, The Whole 30 is definitely napping adjacent.

But apparently that pissed a lot of people off.  And three days ago when I first read that, I was pretty annoyed at those pissed off people.  Because it prompted the people who originally stated "It is not hard" to later write:

So today, for you, we re-write the tough-love portion of the Whole30, in the hopes that this language will resonate, and encourage at least one of you to give our program a try.
This will be hard. You will not be perfect. Don’t even try to be perfect. No one is judging, no one is keeping score, and there are no penalties for acknowledging that you are struggling. Be kind to yourself, be patient with yourself, and remember that it’s not 30 days – it’s just one day. One meal. One bite. Do this one bite at a time, if you have to, because it’s for the most important and worthwhile cause on earth –  you.
I'll admit I rolled my eyes a little at the idea that anyone took exception to the statement that a 30 day meal plan is not hard in a big picture kind of way.
Then today I opened my big ol' container of pre-washed salad greens and they were slimy and wilted.  
Determined to not let this one little setback get me down, I dumped it into the sink and pulled out the container of NOT pre-washed mini-heads of designer lettuce that I bought on a whim (thank goodness) and prepared, chin up, to move on.
I dug out and dusted off the salad spinner, tore up my designer lettuce and put it in the strainer, an decided to run the garbage disposal to get rid of the old, slimy lettuce before washing the new stuff. garbage disposal immediately clogged up.  This happened yesterday too, and I'm not sure why.  But I dug out the tiny little hand-sized plunger and set to work...with no luck. 
I opened the cupboard under the sink in search of the big plunger and found....water.  Fortunately not a lot.  But enough that I had to empty the cupboard out, wipe it out and put a bowl under it.  
And as I was pulling wet, slimy lettuce out of my sink I found myself muttering under my breath "Screw you...this is hard"
Cancer hard?  No, of course not. But tonight I'm cooking enough chicken to feed a small army (some to use this week and some to freeze), making three salads (one for dinner and two for lunches), packing up and freezing what's left of Friday's chili and getting tomorrow's dinner into the crock pot.  And what I REALLY want to do is call Pizza Hut.  
So yeah, I'm having a little bit of a pity party for myself right now and I'm completely aware of how ridiculous it is.  So don't judge.
I made the Whole 30 Green Goddess salad dressing and I'm not really impressed. Not sure what it's missing but it's missing something.  I'll have to do some Pinterest surfing to come up with something better for next week.
Once tonight's prep-and-freeze-fest is complete I'll be set with leftovers for lunch and dinner 'till Wednesday.  I actually feel pretty good.  My shoulder feels AMAZING.  Seriously the best it's felt since LONG before the surgery I had seven months ago.  My knees and feet feel good too, though I haven't been especially hard on them yesterday or today.  I had some sort of odd fluid release yesterday.  Seriously peeing every 2 hours all day and night.  But good riddance excess fluid.
Breakfast was an apple with almond butter.  Lunch was chili.  Dinner was a big ol' salad made with stupid fancy lettuce, tomato, cucumber, yellow bell pepper, pine nuts, hard boiled egg, olives, grilled chicken and green goddess dressing.  It was good.  The only change I would have made if I wasn't on this plan is that I would have used ranch dressing and added a little bit of feta cheese.  Oh and cranberries, which I can totally have if I can find them without added sugar. Snacks were mixed nuts, a banana, and some apple juice.
Back to the kitchen I go.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Whole 30 - Day 1.5 & 2.

I'm winding down day two and here are the Cliffs notes.

1 - Oh my God I miss gum SO BAD.  Worse than iced coffee.
2 - I miss iced coffee pretty bad too. 
3 - Cut corners and you end up with a gross lunch.
4 - Pack food for longer than you think you'll need.

After I last posted I went grocery shopping.  It wasn't bad AT ALL.  The RealPlans app kept me SUPER organized and the food I needed was all pretty easy to find.  I know I keep comparing this to The Ultimate Reset but that's the closest experience to this I've had and I can tell you that shopping for The Whole 30 is MILES easier than shopping for the Reset.  I think that's mostly because Whole 30 lets you decide what you're going to eat.  Downside is I'm not likely to discover new foods like I did on the Reset.  Good news is I'm not driving 45 minutes to find jicama and liquid aminos. 

Also, without being told what to have when, I'm able to just quadruple a recipe and get two lunches and two dinners out of it. 

I hate cooking WAY more than I hate monotony.

I spent $96.91 at Aldi and $47.83 at Giant Eagle.  And some of it was things like olive oil and almond butter (holy $12 jar of almond butter) that will last me far more than the one week.

As I was waiting to check out I was eyeballing the candy shelves and the little cooler with all of the pop and bottled iced cappuccino, and reminded myself of the little bottle of apple juice I picked up from the dairy isle.  I LOVE APPLE JUICE.  I don't like apples much, but I LOVE apple juice.  So I had that in the car on my way home and thoroughly enjoyed it.  It truly was almost better than candy.


When I got home and went to put all that away I realized my cupboards and fridge were in desperate need of clean out.  To be fair my freezer is too but I only bought one tiny little bag of frozen asparagus so that was no problem. Clearly Whole 30 is very geared to ward fresh and simple ingredients.

So an hour after getting rid of an embarrassing amount of expired canned and boxed food, I realized I had 45 minutes 'till I needed to leave and I had yet to have lunch. 

My planned lunch was chicken avocado salad.  First, I cut the corner of using canned chicken.  Technically compliant but not ideal.  Combine that with an under-ripe avocado and my lunch was, in a word, gross. 

The olives made it edible.

So lesson learned...never use canned chicken in anything that doesn't include a sauce to camouflage the odd taste of the tuna.  

But I made it out the door only 10 minutes late for a doggie play date, at which time it was discovered that my dog was peeing blood.  So from the parking lot of the dog park I made a vet appointment for 7:30 the same day.

Normally when I leave the dog park I hit Starbucks drive-thru before I get on the highway to head home.  And the urge was STRONG y'all.  Seriously.  But I made it home without a stress-induced snack.

Fortunately I had a few hours to kill between dog park and vet appointment so I was able to make my dinner recipe, which was chili.  

I think my house is going to smell like chili for a week but it was pretty good.  I'll use the recipe again when I'm done with the Whole 30, but I'll add tomato paste and beans....and cornbread...and cheddar cheese.

But it was good.  I can't share the recipe because it's part of the Real Plans Whole 30 subscription, but next week I'm going to use only Pinterest recipes so I can share them with you guys if they're good.

Of course about the time the chili was ready to eat, and I was good and hungry, it was time to go to the vet.  The appointment went well and Rue is on the mend thanks to antibiotics.  But I found myself driving home at 8:30 at night....right past McDonald's.  But I did not submit.  I came home and had my chili.  I try really hard not to eat after 8pm but desperate times call for desperate measures.

I ended day 1 feeling very positive.  Like "I can do this" kind of a feeling, which is nice.

Day two started with apples and almond butter, and stepping on the scale.

I didn't want to record my day-after-thanksgiving weight as starting weight for this, so I waited 'till day 2 to weigh in.  Good news is I've only gained 0.2 lbs in the last two weeks, Thanksgiving inclusive.  Bad news is my weight is just not acceptable.  

But I knew that.  Weight recorded and moving on.

Anyway, I don't think I've ever had almond butter before and this was pretty good.  $12 a jar good?  I'm not sure.  But pretty good.

I added a hard boiled egg that I didn't even really want but I knew lunch was going to be very late so I had it.

I knew I was going to be gone 'till at least 3:00 so I packed a 100 calorie pack of almonds and a banana, and thought I'd just have a very late lunch and dinner.

Well around 1:30 I realized I had made a huge mistake.  I was starving, starting to have blood sugar shakes and a good 3 hours away from getting home.  

Oh and I was also within walking distance of McDonald's and nothing else.  No stores that sell food. No gas stations.  Nothing.  

I got a sausage, egg & cheese McMuffin, without cheese, and threw away the muffin.  This breaks the rules because the eggs were cooked in non-clarified butter, and while pork is allowed, it's supposed to be lean.  In retrospect I should have ordered a plain grilled chicken sandwich and thrown away the bun, but I'm not beating myself up over it.

When I got home I had stuff I wanted to get done, like feed animals and blog, so I had about 1/2 cup of mixed nuts (no peanuts) to tide me over 'till dinner, which will be chili.  The plan was to make roasted potatoes with sausage & peppers but since I didn't have chili for lunch I'm going to just heat up a bowl of that and move the potatoes & sausage dish to tomorrow.  Another nice flexibility that The Ultimate Reset doesn't give you.  

And I may pair it with a nice full of apple juice.  

Friday, November 24, 2017

Whole 30 - Day 1

You guys. I feel like shit.

I lost something like 35 lbs on Weight Watchers last year, but I've gained it back and then some.  I've been off plan for about a month and don't seem to be able to find any sort of balance between weighing and measuring every bite I put in my mouth (every split second of which I loathe) and shoving everything in sight into my face hole.  My knees hurt. My hands are swollen.  And, worst of all, when I look in the mirror (or down at my hands, feet, knees, stomach), I see my mother. 

Weight Watchers is obviously not working. Well that's not fair.  It works when I do it but I don't seem to be able to motivate myself to do it in spite of paying for a full year up front something like six months ago.  Every Sunday night I tell myself that tomorrow I'm getting back on plan and by Monday dinner I'm so far off plan I can't even see its tail lights.  Something has to change.

I am literally (in the true sense of the word) afraid of what kind of damage I could do to myself between now and Christmas.  If I continue like I have been I'm about a week away from having to buy new pants.  And it would be highly unlikely I'd JUST continue as I have been because, if history is any indication of what I can expect, the break room table will be a foot deep in candy and cookies in about a week. 

So I decided day before yesterday, the day before Thanksgiving, to do The Whole 30 between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I start today (the day after Thanksgiving) and day 30 will be December 23. 

The timing is ideal, and not ideal.  I have a couple of events coming up which will be difficult to navigate without alcohol.  And temptation will be almost constant at work.  But the black and white thinking (which I'm pretty good at) will be an advantage because I'll just have to leave the sweets alone entirely, rather than convincing myself I'll just have one, which results in chocolate covered Oreos for lunch, and leads to KFC for dinner.

Also my complete lack of advance planning is ideal and not.  I don't have time to talk myself out of it, but it's currently 9am and I have NONE of the ingredients I need for lunch.  Breakfast was two hard boiled eggs and an orange, because that's just about all of the non-processed, unsweetened, chemical free, Whole 30 compliant ingredients I have in the house.

There's a cool app/website called Real Plans that looks like it's going to be a big help.  It supports several plans including Whole 30.  Gives you recipes which you can schedule into the plan, lets you import recipes (yay Pinterest), makes your grocery list for you and even tells you today that you need to, for example, thaw chicken for tomorrow. 

And even with all of that help it took me half of yesterday to get my week's plan together. 

I've done The Ultimate Reset twice.  This is similar in that it takes out all of the processed crap and artificial sweeteners.  But it doesn't take out caffeine (thank God) and doesn't force you to be vegetarian or vegan.  I like that I can pick my foods from SO MANY recipes and so many sources, or I can just go simple like a chicken breast and asparagus.  And I LOVE that I can set it up so I get 2 or 3 meals out of each recipe.  If anything, I'm having a problem with too much choice.  The Reset gave you a grocery list each week and told you what to make when.  I am a little bit of a deer in headlights with all of the options here.

Lunch today will be Avocado Chicken Salad and dinner will be Chili.

I'm not sure I'll be able to blog every day, or that you'd even want me to.  But I do miss writing and have found myself at a loss for what to write about lately so where I can find time between shopping, cooking, the holidays and year-end I'll check in here where I can.

For now, off to Aldi I go.

Saturday, January 7, 2017


Triage: The process of sorting people based on their need for immediate medical treatment as compared to their chance of benefiting from such care, when limited medical resources must be allocated to maximize the number of survivors.

I've been feeling lousy and writing it off to stress. Pushing through. Doing what has to be done. That landed me in the ER yesterday.
I've been working too much. It's been nonstop. 14-15 hours a day during the week. "Only" 10-12 on the weekends and holidays.
My job is always high stress and somewhat demanding and I think that's why I like it. I'm rarely bored. But these are extraordinary times. We have a new system, piled on top of year end, piled on top of big changes in my department. I have a team at work, including my boss, who want to help but precious little I can delegate. It's nobody's fault, it's just how it is right now. The bottom line is that 3000 people rely on me to get their money into their bank accounts every two weeks and they don't care that I'm tired, that our system is new and a bit glitchy, that I'm only one person. Their landlords and power company don't have two fucks to rub together about my situation. That's the reality in Payroll.
Long story short-ish I left work yesterday feeling nauseated. On the way home I thought I was having a heart attack. Saw the ER sign and went. Turned out I was having the mother of all panic attacks. I've had a lot of them in my time, but this one was a doozie.
Sitting in the ER listening to a woman with an obviously miserable but not in danger kid bitch because the elderly woman with chest pains (not me) was taken in before they were, I thought "Lady, Triage. Look it up"
And then I realized, that's what I HAVE NOT been doing. I mean I triage my work tasks. I am good at putting the issues that aren't keeping people from getting their next check aside in favor of those that are. But I haven't been looking at my life as a whole and figuring out which issues are life threatening (rest, sleep, exercise, healthy food) and dealing with those first, second or really at all. And let's be honest, if I end up hospitalized or dead, the employees' rent isn't going to get paid. And their landlords are still not going to care.
I'd like to say I'm going to make myself a priority moving forward, but let's be real. None of us has the luxury of doing that all the time. But I'm definitely moving myself up on the list. What did I do with that list?
I'll find it right after this nap.