anticipation

Day 30!!!!!! I’m so nervous about my weigh-in tomorrow. Given how the last 30 days went, I think I’ll be happy if I weigh in at 193 pounds. At 194 I’ll feel ok, but slightly bad. I don’t think I can do any better than that. Ugh. I’ll update you guys tomorrow. I feel like I have a test or job interview and I’m as prepared as I’m going to be but I already know it’s not enough. Since I can’t pray the weight away, I think I’ll just talk about what I ate today.

Breakfast: “Cereal” (chopped hazelnuts and pecans, unsweetened dried apples, unsweetened coconut shreds), banana, almond milk, fruit salad (diced mango, peach, strawberry, papaya). The fruit salad was delicious, but I find that I’m not crazy about fruit. Does anyone have any ideas on how to make fruits less sweet? I just wasn’t feeling it.

Lunch: “Pasta bar” without the pasta or sauce. I guess I could just call it chicken stir fry.

Dinner: Half avocado, plantain porridge. This plantain porridge is amazing. The grocery store only had semi-unripe plantains so I was a little nervous about the starch content but it turned out fine. It’s a tiny little bit sweet, but I don’t mind it. Here’s the recipe I used, and here’s how it came out. I didn’t use any MSG cubes and I added chopped spinach, but otherwise I think I followed it more or less exactly. Aren’t you super excited? When last did I post a picture?

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Meanwhile, I went to the gym today, and the trainer scolded me and told me “we have to have a talk” the next time I come in. Yeah, ok. This time last week I was on my way home from work (9:55pm). He doesn’t understand quarter end. I really put my all into it today, though. I had a good time. How weird.

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reflection on day 28

Quarter end at work is finally over, and I feel sane again. And in this period of sanity I’ve been subconsciously reflecting. It’s day 28 and I’ve realized that in this round of the Whole30, I haven’t had any sugar cravings. I really miss wine and bourbon and cocktails (and tipsy conversations, to be honest), but no insane thoughts about chocolate and ice cream and bread like last time. My friend was hiding her cookies and San Pellegrino soda from me last night, but I had zero desire for them. I realized that despite the mess I’ve made and the lack of intentional nutrition I’ve put into this Whole30, I’m still reaping the benefits of cutting out starch, added sugars, dairy, legumes and alcohol.

That made me think to dig up this list to highlight all the benefits I think I’ve got from the Whole30 so far. Also, with this new clarity of mind, I’m not looking forward to ending the Whole30 as much as I was before, because I’ve found amazing new recipes I’d like to try. But I figure not being on the Whole30 doesn’t mean not eating delicious, good-for-me food. It just also gives me the opportunity to go out and enjoy some spontaneous dining – guilt free, and without reading the entire menu and planning all my substitutions beforehand. I like this new freedom. Part of this freedom also includes no cashews until I think I can stop using it as an emotional crutch.

Here’s my list:

Physical (outside): Clearer skin, longer stronger nails, leaner appearance, clothes fitting better, less bloating, glowing skin.

Physical (inside): Fewer PMS symptoms, less constipation, less gas, less bloating, improved “regularity”, no more acid reflux, no more heartburn, no more chronic fatigue, (haven’t rechecked my blood pressure/cholesterol numbers).

Mood, emotion, psychology: I’m generally happier, no more sugar cravings, no more carb cravings, improved body image, improved self esteem improved confidence.

Brain function: Uhhhhh….. how do I know if I’ve experienced better brain function????

Sleep: I fall asleep more easily, I sleep more soundly, I no longer need an alarm clock to wake up (seriously, I woke up between 6:12 and 6:17 every day this week).

Energy: No more mid-day slump, more energy to socialize, no longer need to eat every 3 hours, I can go longer between meals and still feel ok, no longer need sugar or caffeine to prop up my energy.

Sport, exercise and play: I have the confidence to try something new (and my body yearns more for exercise).

Food: I have a healthier relationship with food, I practice mindful eating (with the exception of the cashews haha), I know which foods make me more healthy or less healthy, I’ve learnt to listen to my body, I’ve learnt to eat to satiety, I’m no longer afraid of dietary fat, I’m no longer a slave to sugar and carbs, I know when I’m hungry and when I’m just craving, I have fewer cravings, food no longer has unwanted “side effects”. I don’t think I’m satisfactorily accomplished in this category.

Lifestyle and social: I’m more knowledgeable about nutrition, I have new cooking skills. This category is a bit silly. Having like-minded friends who support my eating style is not an achievement (although I suppose it can be argued as a benefit). Neither is a new, nicer eating vocabulary. What the hell is nicer eating vocabulary? I still think ice cream and ofada constitute great vocabulary. Bloody weirdos.

Yay! Well this week, I’m remaking the plantain porridge since the last one went a-flying in the air. Did I mention that here? Just when I was getting ready to savor it after I had saved it all week, I dropped the pan on my foot and it bounced upside down on the floor and I had no breakfast. I know, plantain porridge for breakfast. But you already know I don’t care for societal breakfast rules. If I find spaghetti squash, I’m going to figure out something to do with it.

reintroduction 1: dairy

Breakfast: 1 banana, 8 strawberries, 1 delicious yoghurt.

Snack: 1 banana

Lunch: Large cafeteria salad with a little cheese (maybe 1 tablespoon) sprinkled over it.

Dinner: Same as last night, still delicious.

Dessert: Haagen-Dazs small strawberry cup, whipped cream, 6 Lindt chocolate truffles.

The Experience: It seems I didn’t miss yoghurt that much. When I started eating it, I didn’t feel that omg I want this so much feeling. I could easily do without it going forward. To think this was something I thought was fairly difficult to give up. I also didn’t miss cheese on salad. I don’t think that’s something I would have done before anyway, but I didn’t think I’d mind it. It just tasted wrong. Maybe if it weren’t shredded it would have seemed better. Certainly not doing that anymore.

We had a little office breakfast today. Prior to the start, I had decided that the only things that would be worth it were either a croissant or an apple danish. Neither of those things was available. The fresh bagels looked good, and the cream cheese flavors looked delicious, but all in all I kept thinking about the treats I had waiting at home and the 10 pounds I lost over the past month. That’s right. 10 pounds! I weighed in at 199.8 this morning, and I’ve lost 1.25 – 1.5 inches in each place I measured (bust, waist, hips). Today I measured a few extra places so I can compare for next time. Last night, I decided that I’d be happy if I had lost 5 pounds, 6 was the most I thought I could actually lose on this plan, as I haven’t exercised all that much. This really makes me happy.

Since I lost more weight than I imagined, I have to revise my previous weight loss goal. Essentially, between now and the end of my next Whole30 (August 5), I want to a) lose 10 more pounds; and b) exercise 4 times a week, including 1 day of laps in the pool. I bought this groupon for a gym with a pool ages ago, specifically for the summer, and it’s almost expired so I need to go sign up! I know it’s going to be harder since I’m starting from a different place than where I was a month ago, but now I know it’s achievable if I put in the work. This will mean that I’ve reached my first goal in 2 months. In my head, that’s still impossible.

Especially as I apparently am no good with days off. I went a little overboard with my dairy reintroduction at dinnertime lol. But whatever. Almost totally guilt free, only because I knew I didn’t want the ice cream as soon as I started eating it. It tasted much sweeter than I remember, and I would have preferred a more wholesome flavor, like coffee. And I only meant to eat 3 truffles, but they were so delicious. I ate the first three quite hurriedly then spent a lot of time savoring the rest. I’ve looked forward to today for a while.

I finally bought my full length mirror, so I’ll have some before-ish and after pics. Not up here, of course. Well maybe one day, when there’s a real “after” to show. Do I have to buy a bikini like one of those TV commercials? Lol. Might not be fun but it will be funny!

the rabbit and the finish line

Day 30, June 30

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Breakfast: 2 scotch eggs, 1 banana, 8 strawberries, half avocado

Lunch: Boring cafeteria salad

Dinner: Roasted rabbit with asparagus, brussel sprouts and carrots.

Impressions: Day 30! I did it, I did it!!! I feel like doing a little jig. Today was surprisingly more difficult than usual. I had to remind myself several times that today is not Day 31. In other news, I made the worst scotch eggs ever. I used the same recipe I used for the meatballs last night, and it was quite ugh. Basically over seasoned for scotch eggs, but fine for meatballs.

Alright, the rabbit: It doesn’t look much different from chicken, but it tasted subtly different. It has a delicate flavor. You might miss it if you’re not looking for it. I cooked it a little drier than I’d have liked because I forgot to set my gas oven 25 degrees lower than the recipe called for. All the same, it wasn’t dry dry, probably because I spent a lot of time basting it. It was quite tasty, really. Here’s my step-by-step(ish).

I layered the veggies in the roasting pan, drizzled a little under 1/8 cup of melted clarified butter over it, sprinkled with salt and pepper, gave it all a good shake, then laid the onion rings over it.

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Then I rubbed clarified butter all over the rabbits, sprinkled with salt, pepper, thyme, dried parsley (because I stupidly used all my fresh parsley in my meatball/scotch egg mixture). I noticed they had a tiny little cavity so I stuffed 1 large smashed garlic and a few sage leaves in each one, and 1/6 of a lemon in 1 of them, just as a tester. I laid the rabbits in the pan and sprinkled some more sage and onions over them because I had just noticed that sage smells amazing, and I needed to use the leftover half onion, and I figured neither would hurt the flavor of the rabbits.

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I loosely covered the pan with foil and threw the lot of it in a 325 degree fahrenheit oven for an hour and a half (basting every 15 minutes or so), turning the temp up to 450 for the last 15 minutes to give it a nice gold-brown tone. That reddish-looking part sticking out is the neck (not the butt). I didn’t bother to cut it off. The asparagus is obviously a quite overcooked, but the other veggies surprisingly held their own.

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That’s it! Not very difficult. I think some dry white wine would have cooked nicely with this, as well as some mushrooms. I have a good mind to make some soup too, but I’ll probably be too lazy. Yay! Whole 30 done!!! I hope you guys will continue to follow me on my weight loss/healthy lifestyle journey. Other than having a semi-stalker trainer, knowing that there are people who read this keeps me accountable.

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the skirt test

Day 23, June 23

Breakfast: 1 cup cereal, 1 banana, almond milk 😀

Lunch: Boring salad – veggies in the cafeteria looked so sad today.

Dinner: Efo riro over steamed cauliflower

Impressions: I really enjoyed dinner. The texture of the cauliflower was identical to eating yams or some other firm carbohydrate. Plus this efo is just amazing. I was really hungry by the time I got home, and I can’t decide whether I ate too much or not. Work buddy and I took a little walk at lunch time, and that was nice. Just a stroll, really, but it felt quite relaxing. I found myself feeling quite restless towards the late afternoon, itching to get off my desk or leave work. Is this my body seeking more activity? Also, over the last few days, I’ve been breaking out. Does anybody know more about all this stuff and the way my body is reacting?

Meanwhile, I was dying to weigh myself and check my progress this morning, but then I had an idea that’s within the rules. There’s this skirt I bought last summer, and the last 2 times I’ve tried to wear it, it wouldn’t zip up. There was a big gap (somewhere between 1 and 2 inches) of skin between the two sides of the zipper. This morning, I tried it on, and IT FIT!!!!!! It was a bit snug, yes, but I could zip it up. I couldn’t tuck anything into it or I’d have looked like an onion, but I was just so happy that it fit. It validates good eating exercise. I’m literally preaching Whole30 now. Not just for the weight loss, but for the way I feel. I feel happier. I’m waking up earlier. I have more energy. I’m enjoying making all these meals (sometimes). Although I’m looking forward to ice cream, I’m not craving it. I know I can do without it. When I do eat it (next weekend, hopefully! lol), it won’t control me. Ok, ok, you get it. I started reading It Starts With Food, and while I don’t think I was the worst eater in the world before this, I definitely recognize that I was largely a stress eater, and somewhat of a comfort eater, and I understand some of the imbalances I caused my body. Reading the book has been worth it, despite my initial misgivings.

I’ve exuded enough excitement, happiness, and good cheer for one day, don’t you think?

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i feel happy

Day 22, June 22

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Breakfast: 1 cup cereal, 1 banana, almond milk. Here’s a clearer pic of the cereal.

Lunch: Efo riro with 1 boiled ripe plantain

Dinner: Same as breakfast. I couldn’t help myself!

Impressions: I’m still getting full really quickly, so I need to cut down my portions. Plus my mind spent some time telling me I had to have carbs to go with my veggies, so I might lay low on the plantains this week. This is all about my relationship with food, right? What am I going to do with all this plantain I bought, though? I don’t know. I made a new (bigger) batch of efo riro this morning. So delicious. It was nice to have a chill day with nothing serious to do 🙂 I only have 8 days to go! What if I haven’t lost any weight?? *sigh* perhaps it’s a good time to start reading the book. Haha!

a taste of home

Day 21, June 21

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Breakfast/pre workout meal: 1 cup homemade cereal, half banana, 2 strawberries, almond milk. (Cereal: hazelnuts, pecans, dried apples, dried coconut)

Post workout meal: half cup cereal, half banana, almond milk

Lunch: Makeshift plantain amala with efo riro. I really felt like amala and I had no unripe plantain, so I mashed my semi-ripe plantain. While it technically came together, It was too sweet, and not starchy enough. Not to be tried again.

Dinner: Real plantain amala with efo riro. Oh delish!

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Impressions: Woke up and made some almond milk. It took a little getting used to, being unsweetened and all, but I’m in love with it now. I read a lot of recipes for grainless cereal but all of them called for seeds – hemp seeds or sunflower seeds or chia seeds or all three – and I’m just not into that. I made this to mimic my favorite childhood cereal, and I think I did a darned good job. Self control has been difficult.

I don’t know if my stomach is smaller but I find that I now struggle to finish meals I could easily have finished before, even with salads during the week. Weird. Anyway, apparently the gym got flooded and since the guy just rents the place, he wants to move it to a new place. Today we worked out in the park, which was actually very nice. I think I did a better job than I usually do, plus it was just me and another lady and we both really got some personalized support from the trainer. I felt really good. After my workout I went grocery shopping to make some more efo riro and buy some more unripe plantains. Here’s the plantain amala recipe (no drying the plantain!), and here’s my go-to efo riro recipe. I didn’t have half the stuff, and of course I had to leave out the locust beans. Plus I cooked it in coconut oil, and only seasoned with salt. The crayfish really saved the day, I tell you. Anything tastes authentic once there’s crayfish in it.