Comfort Food

I’ve been quite under the weather lately… Went from running a personal best 5K with my beautiful sister to almost being unable to hold my head up all day and passing out on the bus/in meetings… I’ve not exercised in a week and a half and it’s mentally starting to get to me… I’m hoping to go for a walk after work tonight… slow and not very far is fine by me but I need some freakin’ fresh air.

The one thing that has not suffered while I’ve been feeling unwell is my appetite, thank goodness!  While my sister and I were trying to rule possible causes of this either in or out, she was asking me if I was craving shit food, salty food etc…. thankfully no, I’m quite happy with my Whole30 choices and my standard fare…but sometimes you just want some ‘comfort food’.

The two new things that I am completely obsessed with right now are what I like to call Warm Turkey Coleslaw and Deconstructed Reuben.  One is my own invention and one is a knock off from Well Fed 2’s Reuben Rollups. Both are VERY easy to make and require very little effort, which is great for me right now…

First up, let’s talk Coleslaw… it’s one of my FAVORITE salads of all time!  When I did my first Whole30 last February, I gave up ‘sauce’ and ‘dressing’ because I wasn’t very culinarily (word?) inclined and making dressings and sauces seemed out of reach… so I ate a lot of ‘dry’ food… that meant that things that were on the menu previous, such as coleslaw were disallowed because there is no commercial coleslaw dressing that doesn’t involve at least sugar and vegetable oil…

After a year of making everything I eat and becoming significantly MORE culinarily inclined, I ventured into the world of sauces and the amazingness that is Paleo Mayo!  Home made mayo… kid you not, it’s good enough to eat right out of the jar off a spoon… forget everything you THINK mayo is and go ahead and make yourself some… you won’t regret it.

So!  Now that I had Mayo back, I could have things like coleslaw, right? 

Okay well, me being me, I like to have ‘one bowl’ meals… everything in the same bowl, all mixed together, covered in ‘sauce’ and eaten with a spoon.  Yes, it’s kind of weird but to each their own.

So enter Warm Turkey Coleslaw.  Salad, protein and warm… score!

Basically, during your weekly cookup, you’re going to cook a pound or so of ground turkey… add a ton of sage and thyme and a bit of salt and cook through.  You’ll also shred a few beets and slice up some cabbage. (I cut the cabbage in half and then slice the half rounds into long ‘noodles’.  You could also shred this like real coleslaw and it would be just as good).

When you’re ready for dinner, heat some coconut oil in a pan, toss in a few handfuls of cabbage… be generous, it cooks down.  When it’s almost cooked to your liking (shiny and a nice bright green color), add in some shredded beets and mix all together.  Then throw in your serving of the precooked ground turkey and let it all warm together.

Pile in a big bowl and then put a generous scoop of home made mayo on top.  Mix it all together and put a bit of salt and pepper on top.  Warm Turkey Coleslaw.  It’s amazing… just try it!  I’ve done this with left over cooked chicken thighs and when I ran out of meat, I made an opening in the middle of the pan and cracked a couple eggs into the middle… cook until the yolk is runny and the white is done and then squash it all together with the mayo in the bowl… also amazing!

coleslaw

The other really easy, really yummy thing I’ve been having is Deconstructed Reuben Sandwiches.  Basically just pile some pastrami or corned beef (good luck finding sugar free if you’re Whole30… I waited till I was officially done W30 to eat this because my Pastrami has a touch of added dextrose) on a plate.  Beside it pile some wine-free sauerkraut and then put a big dollop of home made mayo and a big dollop of wine free/sugar free grainy mustard.  You can be fancy and put the sauerkraut and sauce on the slice of meat and then roll it up if you’re inclined… that makes it look a bit nicer but I’m a smidge lazy lately.  The Reuben Rollup from Wellfed 2, which is where I got the idea suggests that you make a Russian Dressing (basically the home made mayo mixed with Kickass Ketchup) and use that as the sauce.  I’m sure it’s amazing but I’ve not made the ketchup yet so mayo and mustard it’s been and it’s pretty dang delicious!

reuben

Done… or Am I?

Okay so I was going to cheer a little celebration that yesterday was the 30th day of my Whole 30… but really… nothing changes.. I don’t go back to eating bagels and cheddar cheese for dinner or accepting the offers of chocolates in the office.  I don’t bust into my 18 bottles of wine in my bar (I need to have a PARTY!) or drink Jack Daniels straight from the bottle… (no I didn’t actually used to do that…. Did I???)

A Whole 30 is a great reset… a great way to remind myself of all the reasons that I choose this lifestyle.  It’s a tool to break the bit of a rut one (me) can kind of get into every once in a while when we (I) let too many treats go by.

The thing is… even the book says… No one is expected to do Whole365… not a single person.  We are ALL expected to build in off roading to be able to keep some balance, participate in life events and generally feel some modicum of sanity… sometimes ice cream IS sanity.

I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I didn’t know what I was supposed to learn from this Whole 30…. Well, I think what I’m learning right now is that it is important to listen to my body… it doesn’t want to be done.  It doesn’t want carrot cake yet… it doesn’t want wine with a friend and it doesn’t want to stop at 30 days.  Maybe it will want to stop at 35 days… or 40… I don’t know… what I do know is that I am going to let it tell me… in the meantime, I’ll keep Whole30ing on…

I also think it’s wildly unfair that my 30 day success picture was taken today, at the 2nd day of my Puffer-Fish Week… and the numbers… well they’re off too now… I know I lost 8lbs in the first three weeks… now the scale says I’ve gained it all back plus some…. That is not accurate and is yet another reason why the scale is kind of useless…

Anyway, here is the December 29th picture and today’s picture, 30 days later.

January W30

Also a before and after from when I first started this little journey… I’ve made a pact that once my 1 year W30 anniversary passes, I will no longer make before and after photos using the old 2013 picture.  I am not that person anymore… in any aspect of my life.  And to keep comparing after the 1 year anniversary seems a bit pointless.  I will keep them all tho… printed out and put in an envelope with all my other important documents and then I will erase them from my phone.

March to January

Good luck to everyone on the last hundred yard dash of January Whole 30 and to those starting! You can do it!

Delinquency is not really an option here…

Do you know what’s annoying? Making a life choice that stinks.  Oh sure, my life doesn’t stink and the choices that I’ve made probably don’t really stink either. But it’s really annoying when you put restrictions and boundaries in place for yourself and then they come back to cause you trouble.

What the heck am I talking about?  Why food, of course!

In the good old days of not caring what I put into my body, I could spend an entire Sunday laying on the sofa and not give a flying rat butt about the next day’s meal, let alone week.  I could always just run to the store and grab a bag of bagels and a hunk of cheddar cheese and that was dinner.  Breakfast wasn’t even on my radar unless it was a muffin… with chocolate in it!  And lunch could be anything or nothing… I’d eat a brownie for an afternoon snack if I was hungry…

Since I’ve put restrictions on myself that include not eating brownies and chocolate filled muffins (seriously!) and not skipping meals, it’s made my life harder.  What’s that about?  I thought we were supposed to do things in our lives that made them easier… more navigable… work smarter, not harder…

I can no longer spend an entire morning and afternoon lolling around in bed taking naps… I mean, I can, but the chicken is not going to cook itself…the salad dressing will not blend itself and the kale and eggs can’t steam/cook themselves.  And before any of that even happens, I’m required to spend a significant amount of time THINKING about food… what will I eat… How much should I cook.  I’m only one person, so cooking huge batches of anything doesn’t really work well unless I want to eat the same thing for dinner 12 days in a row.  Even cooking a pork roast… the smallest one I can find, means that I’ll be eating pork all week.  Last week I prepped/made pork roast, a chicken curry and meatza crusts for dinner.  Uh, for one person, that is a LOT of food… the crust and the curry all ended up in the freezer. I might have to consider looking up what other singles do because unless I just eat the same thing/two things in a week, which I already do for every breakfast and lunch, it’s kind of hard…

I did spend almost all of yesterday in bed.  I know when my body is tired and I am not out of the woods of this incredibly emotional time right now so I didn’t feel bad about it.  It’s just that it’s kind of stressful knowing that the freedom of eating whatever you want (or nothing) is not there… I have set up my life to force responsibility around certain things and that can’t be let to slide…

I’m very tired and I hope any of this makes any sense… In a nut shell: 

I’m tired.

I can’t eat bagels and cheddar cheese.

Food won’t cook itself.

That is sometimes stressful.

This makes me tired.

The end.

A Lesson I didn’t know I had to learn

You are not supposed to weigh yourself on Whole30.  It’s right there in the rules and if anyone knows me, they know I like rules… especially as it pertains to food.  The idea is that if you don’t weigh yourself during the 30 days, you’re more likely to be aware and appreciative of the other things that are improving from the experience.  Well, I generally live my life to the W30 code.. I know all the amazing results that are beyond weight… it’s why I keep to it for the most part even when I’m not officially on Whole30.

My skin is better, my sleep is better, my mood and tolerance is better.  My tummy is happy, I’m more energetic, more alert, less likely to cry.  I don’t think about food obsessively, I have no problem turning down treats because I am not sugar/simple carb addicted.  I’m less puffy and waxy looking which is something that I loathe…

One new thing I learned about the W30 and myself so far this time is that when I’m on it, I crave being outside.  There must be something about all the fresh food that makes me crave the fresh air.  I want to walk for miles, climb a mountain, run around the block all at the same time just to get outside and breathe as much fresh air as possible.

These are all things that a number on a scale can’t give you.

So all that said, it’s a very good idea to weigh yourself at the beginning of your W30 journey and then at the end and no where in between.  You need to learn these things and being obsessed by a number isn’t a good learning environment.

I was going to say that I broke that rule because as a person who generally lives on the Whole30, I didn’t need 30 days of no weighing to understand all the other benefits… only if I found this new ‘fresh air’ benefit in the last 9 days… what could I find in the next 21 days that might also be eye opening or interesting or worth learning… Such a silly goose am I that I actually thought that there was nothing left for me to learn.

Well, I have broken the rule.  I was going to tell you about the numbers in the last 9 days and pat myself on the back, but I think instead, I’ll just keep that little tidbit to myself and use it as a learning experience.  I learned that when you do the right things… what your body wants… you are successful.  And for the next 21 days I will remove the batteries from the scale and try and learn whatever else this program has to teach me this time.  I’m not going to start my W30 over just because I weighed myself… My intention was to extend it anyway so it’s likely I’ll make up those 9 days…

So I guess the lesson I learned is one I didn’t know I was supposed to learn… which is that there is always something new to discover and we (I) should never be so arrogant as to think that I know it all.

That’s not the way I thought this blog post was going to go but the writing of it has been eye opening and cathartic.  Win win I guess right?

Let’s be Real

So after 2 false starts of W30, I’m now officially on my 2nd day.  I did my first day three times… the first two of those times were great, right up until the evening when I sort of fell apart and found some left over Christmas chocolate in my house.  Having done a good job of consuming all of that, and also finding the skin on my hands getting worse and worse, I buckled down yesterday and successfully put the first day in the bank.

I’ll tell you something, cleaning up your act after three weeks of silliness is not easy!  It’s incredible how quickly your body becomes dependant on those nasty little things like sugar, grains and sugar…

For almost an entire year I ate as close to W30 as possible with weekly offroading days thrown in.  There was never enough in any one off road meal per week to bounce me into a dependency… so when I went completely bananas in December and ate and drank whatever was in front of me, I naively thought that I would be fine and I could just turn off the switch and go back to my clean living with no adverse side effects.  That is certainly not how it happened and I am currently fighting the ‘are you hungry, no you’re not, you don’t need to eat’ battle.  I think that our bodies have ‘muscle memory’ as far as food goes and I don’t think I will get a very bad case of Low Carb Flu or really be in this battle for very long… the long term positives that I already know about far outweigh any short term struggle to get back on track. 

I see no reason to lie about how easy detoxing after a free for all isn’t… or hide the fact that I had to do my 1st day three times in order to be successful.  That’s real life and anyone that tells you otherwise is lying.  That said, this idea of real and honest is the driving force of a new project I am a part of. 

My sister came up with the idea that there are probably a lot of women just like us out there, struggling to maintain balance between health, fitness and real life.  She found a group of us that are all taking different journeys in order to find our balance and we will be coming to you daily to share 90 second of our Real.  90 seconds of our struggles, successes, failures, hopes and dreams.  Every weekday a new 90 second (is) vlog from one of the contributors will be posted to hopefully help motivate, inspire and encourage you.  Every day you’ll see one of us being real about life and we hope that it inspires you to be real about where you are at and where you’re going. 

Please come and visit us at www.90secondsofreal.wordpress.com.  I will be posting there on Thursdays.  We’ve got three videos up with an expected four more this week as we get into the swing of it and get back into a routine after the holidays! 

You can subscribe to us (and to this blog if you’re not already), so you get an email when a new video is posted and we hope you participate with us in the comment section!

Early Fall 30 Day Tune Up

Sometimes September is the unofficial start of a ‘new year’.  This year I was quite enjoying September being a continuation of what was an excellent summer and much as I tried, I couldn’t muster the ‘fresh start’ feeling.  That said, last week, a six month chapter in my life came to an end and I’m feeling very ‘fresh startish’. 

October 7-November 5th will be my 3rd Whole 30.  It’s time to cleanse the summer madness out of my body and get back to being 100% tuned up.  I don’t regret much of what I did this summer and I still managed to continue to lose weight and tone up my body but now it’s time to get serious for a month and jump start my system again.

Along with the Whole 30, I am going to take this same 30 days and get some other things tuned up as well. I’m calling it the Early Fall 30 Day Tune Up.

      One of the things I plan to do on my W30, which is what I did the last time too, is limit the amount of sugar items.  Of course W30 is no added sugar or sugar substitutes of any kind and that goes without saying, but I know I even have a great sensitivity to sugar in its natural forms, so fruit, kombucha, coconut water will all be limited.  It’s not to say they’re completely off limits, but I will be very mindful of my consumption in order to make sure I feel the best I can at the end of this 30 days.

       I want to run 10 of the days of the W30… that works out to a little less than every M-W-F.  My regular run is 2.5 miles.  On two of the days, I’d like to run my 5 mile route, which would bring my miles logged for the 30 days to 30miles.  That almost seems to work out like fate, doesn’t it? 

       I want to take my Florasil supplements and liquid iron supplement every day for the 30 days.  I know I feel better when I take them… especially the iron, so it stands to reason that during my 30 day Tune Up, I’d include that. 

      I want to be in bed by 830pm and lights out by 10pm.  I spent all summer on a completely whacked out sleep schedule (totally of my own doing and totally enjoyable!) and now I need to get it all reigned back in. 

      I want to be on the bus on the way to work by 6:53am.  That means getting up at around 6:15… which, if I’m lights out by 10pm means I’m getting a full 8 hours of sleep and I won’t have to deal with school children on the bus in the morning, which will make my mental health much better!  I do not enjoy feeling like I take a school bus to work! 

       For the full 30 days, I want to consider everything that I do and measure it against whether it’s going to make me feel the best that I can feel.  If that is cleaning the house instead of watching some PVR, then I’ll clean the house.  If it’s PVR, then it’s PVR.  If it means laying on the floor in Savasana while the cat licks my cheek, then that’s what it will be.  I want to make ‘rules’ for my spiritual and mental health during these 30 days also but I honestly feel that just approaching every decision from whether or not it’s going to improve my life/health/wellbeing is a ‘rule’ enough. 

I weighed myself this am and will remove the batteries from my scale and bring them to work for the next 30 days so I can’t check in on myself but the weight doesn’t matter.  Much the same as why I started this journey, and why I continue down this path is because I want to FEEL better.  And FEELINGS can’t be weighed on a scale or measured with a tape. 

Anyone who wants to join in the Early Fall 30 Day Tune Up with me is more than welcome!  Leave a comment and let me know what you’ll as part of YOUR 30 Day Tune Up and if you want to blog about it and link up, tag your post with 30daytuneup.

What it looks like

I think it’s time for the before and after pictures.

Prior to now I didn’t want to put them up… the internal, mental and emotional changes going on in my journey right now were far more important to me than the way that I looked.  But like with everything that is going on for me right now, change and perspective and lessons are happening at an incredibly rapid pace and things literally change from day to day.  I’m confident with the knowledge that the internal changes will always be the most important and they’re always the first thing I tell people when they ask me why/how I am doing what I’m doing.  I always say I didn’t get into this as a diet.  And that’s always truthful!

Now, all that aside, here’s my thoughts on the past few days… and then the pictures.

I got all dressed up on Saturday night to go to a party.  There’s a lot in that sentence that is a big deal for me.

  • I got all dressed up.  I haven’t gotten ‘dressed up’ in about 7 years… when I was with my ex we never really went and did anything that required being ‘fancy’ and then as I gained weight, it was harder to find clothes that fit and made me feel confident enough to go out with other dressed up pretty people.
  • I went to a party.  Where I knew exactly one person.  That one person was the belle of the ball tho so it wasn’t like I was going to get to sit and chat with her for the whole night.  My friend told me a few weeks ago to put myself in uncomfortable situations to learn more about myself.  I’d mentioned at that time that I knew a lot about myself and I didn’t need to feel uncomfortable to know what I did and didn’t like.  However, about 30 min in to the party I wanted to leave.  I didn’t know anyone, all the girls were so beautiful and they all knew eachother.  Recipe for uncomfortable city extraordinaire!  But my friend’s words quietly whispered in my ear and I decided to at least give it an hour.  At just the time when I wanted to leave, more people showed up at the party and came and sat where I was sitting.  They were nothing short of spectacular and I had an amazing time!  I laughed till my stomach hurt and I had tears in my eyes (which is not unusual for me in general but is for being in a group of people I don’t know).  I stayed for four hours, laughing and getting to know my new friends.  We had some crazy conversations and I told some silly stories that made them laugh too.  I went home and sent a message to my friend mentioning that it was his words of wisdom that kept me there that long and that I was glad that I’d stayed.  His response?  “I’m always right”.  How modest!
  • Here’s a grainy photo of what I wore on Saturday night.  And you can’t see it, but I wore heels… I was VERY tall!

Outfit

 

  • I know I shouldn’t care what the scale says… lots of people who have Whole30’d and gone on to keep it as a lifestyle have given up their scales.  Which eventually I will too.  However, while I’m still in the active weightloss stage of my journey, it’s nice to step on and see the number go down occasionally.  I don’t live and die by what the scale says… I’ve said from the beginning and it remains true that I’m not doing this for the purpose of losing weight.  I started and will continue to do this for the goal of feeling better, healing myself mentally and emotionally and all the side effects, including weight loss are just extra perks. But it’s still nice to know where you came from and where you’re going.
  • I told my weight lifting coach on Saturday that I turn 35 in 6 months… and that I wanted the best forearms money could buy for my birthday.  He thinks it’s a completely reasonable goal and I think so too.  My favorite muscle in my entire body is my Brachloradialis.  It’s the muscle that runs along the top of your forearm that you can see (maybe) and feel if you hold your arm out in front of you and then flex your wrist backward toward your elbow.  I originally said in March when I started my first W30 that I would give myself 6 months with no concrete goals to just work at feeling better and I would end up where I would end up.  Three and a half (ish) months in, I think I need to set some actual goals.  I didn’t realize until the conversation with Al that I turn 35 in exactly 6 months and one day.  It seems like figuring out goals for a new six month stretch is meant to be.  The problem is that I don’t know what the goals should be.  I don’t want it to be a number on the scale because that’s just a recipe for obsession and disappointment.  Should it be wearing a certain outfit on my birthday?  Lifting a certain amount of weight by then?  Running a specified distance?  I don’t know.  But I do know that I’m all about goals and writing down journey plans so this is right up my alley… if I can figure it out.

So, all that being said, here are two pictures…

Left Photo was taken on New Years Eve.  Right photo was taken May 31st.

Left Photo was taken on New Years Eve. Right photo was taken May 31st.

Left Photo was taken March 15th.  Right photo was taken June 13th.

Left Photo was taken March 15th. Right photo was taken June 13th.