whole 30

Whole30 Days 7-9

Collect MomentsCravings. I thought I was immune, thought my resolve and excitement for this round would keep cravings at bay until week 3 or so. But they struck in full force, and no amount of fruit eating or tea drinking were sufficient to convince myself that they weren’t real.

I ate pistachios and willed them to be pistachio ice cream.

I ate chicken cauliflower curry and willed it to be a stack of naan bread with hummus.

I drank a black americano and willed it to be a mocha.

None of these things came to pass. So I cleaned my kitchen.

It’s not done in the strictest sense–I’ll post pictures later, when I’m prepared to say it is. But in an effort to minimize my kitchen to the most useful and cherished items, I unpacked every cabinet and only put the most loved and used essentials back in. I’m left with lots of open cabinet space, surprisingly coherent drawers, and fewer dishes to wash. It’s almost magical.

Today, while thinking about pizza almost constantly, I turned on some George Strait and donned a bucket, a mop, and a scrub brush and set out to scrub the kitchen floor. It’s amazing how disgusting wide, white grout lines can get in the course of a year–especially when two one-year-olds consistently sling at least half of the food we put in front of them.

My knees started killing me about ten square feet from the end. When I changed later that I realized I had worn blisters into both knees through my trusty yoga pants. I also came to the conclusion that I hate our tile floor.

If only I could minimize my floor. Coat it in a glass-smooth resin that could be easily mopped, maybe?

If you come over to visit and find the kitchen floor covered in tarps, it’s because tarps are remarkably painless to clean no matter how far pureed blueberries get slung.

Either way, my mantra for this week (and my attempt to drown out the call of pizza, naan bread, and hummus) is to focus on collecting memories, not things–and to get rid of the burdensome stuff that’s taking up space in life without adding value to it. It turns out that’s an awful lot of stuff. And apparently I’ll be doing it all with bandaged knees, because progress isn’t always pretty.

Whole30 Day 6

Today is Day 6. Biggest lesson from today? Don’t mess with the twins’ nap schedule. If they miss their one and only nap around 10 or 11 a.m., the rest of the day is miserable. For. Everyone.

Yeah, not Whole30 related, I know.

The big meals of the last couple of days were shepherd’s pie and spaghetti squash with homemade marinara sauce. The shepherd’s pie should happen very, very often. I used half gold potatoes and half yams for the topping, a ton of garlic, one pound of organic ground beef and a ton of frozen mixed veggies from Costco, plus a handful of spices. It made a full 9×13″ pan, which is already gone.

Lessons in Whole30’ing

Farmer’s markets are amazing. Today I needed to drive up to Cook Farm, the dairy where I get unpasteurized milk for the boys, so I decided to stop in at the Northampton Winter Market.

I love Northampton. Everyone is quirky and weird, there are kitschy little shops around every corner, Webs is there, and it’s home to some of the most impressively improbable architecture in the form of big, old Victorian homes.

Their Winter Market doesn’t disappoint, either. It was crowded–too crowded for a stroller, but I had no choice but to wear one kid in the Tula and push the other. Among the vendors were little creameries selling cheese, ghee-makers demonstrating DIY clarified butter, mushroom-infused soaps, handwoven alpaca scarves and blankets, hot lentil soups, freshly-baked breads and pretzels, winter squash, potatoes, roots, and hothouse greens, handcarved wooden spoons and bowls, and a troubadour with a 12-string guitar.

It’s worth the 35-minute drive to make that a regular stop–even if I can’t indulge in the breads, soups, and cheeses on the Whole30. I spent a while admiring the alpaca wares, Micah charmed a handknitted finger puppet from a vendor, and I bought a dozen eggs before heading to Cook Farm and then home. If I hadn’t already had a refrigerator full of food for the week, I would have stocked up on a ton of the beautiful produce. As it was, I left inspired by the whole farmer’s market atmosphere and the huge availability of real, local, organic foods in this area. Such a switch from Guam. I need to rethink my wintertime grocery routine and make it a point to hit more shindigs like that one. It’s definitely more fun than a trip to Stop ‘n Shop.

However, that particular shindig caused the missed naptime and the ensuing excitement of manic, tired one-year-olds who tried to cram each other in the dog’s crate and then lock the door.

Lessons learned.

In other news, I can’t believe tomorrow is Day 7 already!

Whole30 Round 2, Days 3 and 4

Whole30 ChallengeI’m very happy to report that things are evening out in the meal prep department and I’ve fallen pretty well back into the groove that is Whole30 eating. After the headache and exhaustion of Day 2, Manny took both kids overnight (and both slept until 6 a.m., which is nothing short of a semi-miracle!) and I slept on the sofa for a blissful 9 hours.

Eggless Whole30 Options 

Breakfasts are tough for me with this meal plan, mostly because I don’t eat eggs. Can’t eat eggs. Won’t eat eggs. I find pretty much everything about an egg repulsive, from the appearance to the texture to the flavor, whether it’s fried in a pan or whipped into an omelet or a frittata. So I scramble eggs for the twins and their dad, and then have fruit–usually grapefruit–and Aidell’s chicken sausage (a Whole30 staple) on the side.

The Whole30 book’s advice is to toss your assumptions about what constitutes breakfast food and just think of breakfast as Meal 1. That has helped get over the mental hurdle of not having toast, oatmeal, or granola in the morning.

Big Meals:

On Day 3, I prepared a pot roast that was hearty and warming enough for the cold, rainy weather. On Day 4, I made this chocolate chili–even though I was out of onions and cumin, two pretty indispensable chili ingredients. If you’ve never put cocoa powder in your chili, it’s time to try it.

I’m already finding things that need to be tweaked. Like–less fruit, more veggies. Less dried fruit, in particular. When you’re on a Whole30, binging on raisins and dried mango actually becomes a concern. Also, Lara Bars. Those things are freakishly good and I can’t imagine doing a Whole30 without them.

This morning, I’m spending breakfast at Starbucks so I can get some work done.

I’m remembering how much I miss my lattes. Currently going through every form of Whole30 approved beverage that Starbucks offers, which shouldn’t take long. Today is iced (black, of course) cold brew. I’m hoping it’s better than yesterday’s Americano. I don’t know how people drink this stuff black on a regular basis.

The Feels

When you’re eating nourishing food, it’s easy to overlook how refreshing it is to go to bed at night knowing that you ate the best foods you possibly could. Normally I go to bed with a couple of diet-related regrets–like eating one (okay, four) too many of the kids’ graham crackers when the meal was already over. Or buying that candy bar at the store. Just being free of the mental burden of living with poor choices is huge, but it’s easy to miss the difference if you’re not paying attention.

I’m guessing this is because it feels so normal and healthy to go to bed without the mental and emotional luggage of poor food choices behind you.

Physically, my energy is back to pretty much normal levels and I’m feeling pretty good. My body tells me when I need to eat more, which is great because pre-Whole30 I didn’t necessarily get hungry (probably because I was overeating the wrong things). I could go most of a day without eating much, then realize I hadn’t eaten and overreact in the other direction. Three servings of pasta! Hurrah!

On the Whole30, though, I notice my stomach growling and my energy levels flagging a little about three hours after a meal. At that point, I’m forced to prepare and eat real food, if I haven’t already started the process. It feels very balanced. I even managed to squeeze in a run a couple of days ago, thanks to sudden warm weather that melted away most of the ice and snow.

That’s all for now. If you’ve read this far, I want to challenge you to go do something today that makes you proud. Something that will make you smile when you turn into night. Anything so you can say, hey, I did that thing, no matter what it was. Because going to bed with a victory behind you (even a tiny one!) makes for a much happier night of sleep and a better next morning than just going to bed with just the daily grind.

Whole 30 Recap

For those of you who are at all curious, we finished the Whole30. No bread, sugar, legumes, dairy of any kind, or pizza.

Okay, so… 28 days. Does it make me a failure if my Whole30 was a Whole28?

On Saturday Manny and I ended up an hour from home after a day of wandering. We had walked a few miles scouting yard sales. We attended our local(ish) Tula Love Play Date, a babywearing meet-up that turned out to be amazing. And we hit up the Webs Tent Sale, a once-a-year yarn sale in Northampton that I couldn’t miss, despite the fact that my yarn connection rivals that of some small yarn shops.

After all that, mostly wearing babies, we were both starving. And there was a Five Guys Burgers & Fries. I’m sure you can imagine the rest.

I started the Whole30 as a diet reset. And it did that. It changed our normal and forced us to think of food differently. I lost 15 pounds over the 30 (ahem, 28) days without changing anything but my diet. I felt better, had more energy, and suffered from absolutely NO food guilt during that time.

I’m suffering from food guilt now. That hamburger doesn’t feel as great as it tasted. So the Whole30 challenge didn’t fix everything. It was still one of the best things I could have done for myself post-twins, and I wish I’d done it sooner.

After a lot of soul-searching and talking to Manny, I’ve decided to keep eating a mostly Whole30 diet from now on. I’m going back on the Whole30 completely for a few days to bounce back from the food I shouldn’t have eaten, then reintroducing a bit of milk and agave nectar in my coffee/tea (one thing that I really have missed!).

I’m also going to start adding in deliberate workouts (as in, something other than just weightlifting twins, which counts for not much). A friend in my Mothers of Twins group shared that she had great success with the much-acclaimed Mommy Trainer 15-Day Challenge. So I’m going to give it a try–it’s a good fit for the timeline I have between now and our two-week trip to Texas.

It’s a process.


Whole30 Day 9

I feel amazing. I want pizza. But I feel amazing. And I’m already a little terrified of what happens after this Whole30 is over and I have to trust myself to make reasonable choices without strict rules keeping me in line.

Part of the Whole30 program is a commitment NOT to step on the scale until it’s over. That’s probably a good thing, because I’m pretty sure I haven’t lost any weight (yet), and confirming that would be the worst thing I could do for myself right now. If I stop to think about it, I want pizza. Not a slice or two. I want an entire large pepperoni pizza.

And a latte.

But I don’t really. The truth is, I’m feeling more rested, and I have more energy to do things during the day. I think I’m less grouchy, though I’m not sure whether or not Manny would agree about that one. And knowing that I’m making good choices about what to put into my body makes me feel better about pretty much everything.

I’m really surprised by some of the things I don’t miss. Like sugar. If I thought about it long enough, I’d have to acknowledge that life would indeed be incomplete without cheesecake. But on an everyday basis, the only time I really miss sugar is when I’m making my coffee in the morning.

I don’t miss dairy, except cheese. Boy do I miss cheese.

I don’t miss legumes. I could live just fine without beans, peanut butter, or anything similar.

I don’t really even miss grains. Not the way I thought I would. I mean, I want my morning bowl of oatmeal, and I want to be able to eat a sandwich. Or, like I said, a pizza. But I could live without them for the most part. And the fact that I can say that is kind of monumental.

Unfortunately, we have managed to spend almost an entire month’s normal grocery budget in the week and a half we’ve been doing the program, so I’m going to have to get smarter about meal planning and shopping. On the upside, we’re not eating out, so that does help the budget issues a bit.

In other news, we moved the twins into their own room last night. It’s kind of sad and kind of strange to have our bedroom to ourselves again–and, more importantly, to be able to go into our bedroom after 8 p.m. without tiptoeing around in fear of hitting a squeaky floorboard. In moving them into their own room, I’m thinking about all the things I want to do to the room–new curtains, painting the dressers, putting some artwork up on the walls–to make it feel more like a nursery should feel.

I’m reading All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. The sad part? I’ve been trying to read it for two months now, and whenever I do have free time, so many other things seem more important. Like doing the dishes. Or knitting a thing. Or clearing out the flowerbeds outside. Or staring blankly into space.

So unless something clicks to make this book seem pretty important in the very near future, I’ll probably still be reading it when Thanksgiving rolls around. That’s #twinlife for you.