Whole30 – Reintroducing Foods

The first Phase of Whole30 came to an end for me and hubby on February 22, 2018. As much as we were looking forward to reintroducing “bad” foods (per the Phase 2 plan), we wound up waiting until February 26! Ironically, it was just too inconvenient and a little scary to STOP eating the Whole30 way. Hubby and I are only about half way to our goal sizes, so we contemplated staying in Phase 1. However, we were also both curious as to the effects of different “bad” foods, so we took the gastrointestinal leap. Our reintroduction of alcohol/sugar, grain, dairy, and gluten yielded the following results:

Alcohol

Alcohol made sense as the first choice; I have been obsessing over wine since Day 1, and, we have a friend who has an extensive wine collection and loves to share. He’s been very disappointed in us over the last month-and-a-half or so, because we haven’t been able to partake in his wine offerings (Saturday night binges for old people). I believe his exact words were, “When are you going to be off of that stupid hippie diet?” So, we chose him as our first non-Whole30 experience in Phase 2.

Me: Holy muthafuggin headache. I was in pain for two days after two glasses of red wine. I probably should have kept it to one glass, but my inner lush was in attendance. Our friend serves some very rare bottles, and my palate was in heaven. Wine was not loving me back. Excedrin joined the party.

Hubby: Alcohol puffed him up, but he peed it out within 24 hours. Other than that, no issues.

Grain

Grain was a challenge because the only grain we could find that we would both eat, which also doesn’t contain gluten, is rice. Hubby isn’t a quinoa kind of guy.

Me: I felt inflamed and lethargic; noticeable lack of energy and a definite decrease in cognition. In short, I felt like shit. It took me all three days to recover from inflammation and fogginess caused by grain. I definitely can’t have grain on a work night. I was zombiefied the next day, compared to when I was eating clean, and people noticed.

Hubby: No issues. He retained a little water, but, again, peed it all out within a day. Said he felt great. WTF.

Dairy

Hubby was dying for cheese, so he bought like 1000 lbs of it from Costco. Cheese is delicious, but I feel like I need it to be melted. On pizza. Or lasagna.

Me: No issues with cheese at all (finally!) Butter, however, turned my stomach into a wild gymnast, causing the opposite of the normal effects of cheese. I was throne-bound for the night. I’m a ghee girl from now on.

Hubby: Apparently, cheese goes well with prunes. It doesn’t, but that’s how he had to eat his last few servings. Cheese is like colon cork for hubby.

I still want pizza.

Gluten

We waited to have a fancy cheat-meal before we had gluten in the form of Bad Boy Blue Bread at Boca; a delicious light Italian sourdough with flax and other tasty seeds coating the crust. So worth it.

Me: I started with the Bad Boy Bread, and Potatoes Soufflé appetizer, followed by Hamachi Crudo with grapefruit, then I had a Tajarin with Bolognese, and finished my entree course with a Branzino in Bouillabaisse.

Hubby: Hubby also started with the Bad Boy Bread and Potato Soufflé, followed by Scallops and Brussels Sprouts, then a Potato Gnocchi, and finally a three-meat Burger.

We split a Creme Brûlée for dessert.

Honestly, I thought I’d be in pure hell the next day over all the sugar and (I’m sure) butter, but I felt fine! As a matter of fact, I was down one pound after the end of the next day, and I didn’t feel awful! I certainly felt better than I did after eating rice the week before!

However, the next day, my Rosacea suddenly came back with a vengeance, like it was dormant and starving for either refined sugar or gluten! It was unbelievable how red and splotchy my cheeks and nose became! I actually got Rosacea cysts in my nostrils; so painful! It had to be the refined sugar or the gluten! My two favorite things, of course! We had tried everything else prior to that cheat meal.

Hubby said he over-ate and drank too much, so he was feeling pretty bad, but he said he’d do it all over again in a heart beat; the food really was THAT good. We figured we had better make our cheat meal count!

The Verdict

We found some unfavorable interactions with foods; mostly grain, gluten and sugar. We also didn’t lose any weight during reintroducing foods, but we didn’t gain weight back either.

After our reintroduction experiences, and numerous conversations, hubby and I decided that we are going to continue Whole30-style eating, with modifications; he will incorporate butter and rice; we will both eat cheese; and we will both stay gluten-free and refined-sugar-free except for the occasional cheat meal. I’m not going to go crazy with honey and agave either… I eat way too much of that when it’s in front of me; definitely SWYPO.

This will be our lifestyle, going forward…unless we are on vacation in Europe… ain’t nobody saying “no” to a Parisian croissant in this household.

Week 3 – Getting used to Whole30

I started off Week 3 with the scale beaming a 15.6 lb total weight loss so far, which equates to just over 6%, and we are about 1/3 of the way through the HealthyWage challenge, where we sit in 6th Place as a team! THAT made me feel great! Especially since the boss’s team is currently in 45th Place.

Since my last post, I have been INSANELY busy! Working 10-14 hours per day and trying to eat well has been a serious challenge. Hubby and I have been pretty good about food prep, and my cabbage soup made 12 servings; thank goodness!

Cravings

We are both becoming used to this new, healthy way of eating, but we both still have major cravings! We are approximately 20 days into the Whole30 program; for him, his long lost love is bread, and for me, it’s wine. Together, we’re quite biblical!

I was lamenting to my boss last night that I miss having a glass of wine in the evenings… as Hubby and I watched him enjoy a glass of Carrera. I used to come home, start a fire, open a bottle with Hubby, and we would sit in our club chairs in front of the fire, chatting about our day, sipping in the relaxation. Now, we come home, grab a tall glass of water, and sit together bitching about this diet and all the foods we miss! Then we always say, “but it’s working!”

In addition to fighting cravings, it’s also tough to find anywhere to eat compliant foods! I keep choosing sashimi, and I have to go out to eat at least twice per week for business lunches. Not only is my staff getting tired of sushi, I probably have a tapeworm or some kind of fish-causing parasite by now.

Work is Going Well

Great news at work! My boss announced that I will have a Global Senior Leader position when the dust settles from the merger. All my hard work is paying off! However, last night he said that our Board presentations are going to take on a monthly cadence, going forward, which basically puts me perpetually in PowerPoint HELL. But, if he wants to pay me to make PowerPoint slides, who am I to complain?

Back to Whole30…

I’ve finally started to notice some non-scale effects of this way of eating! My body is so cold all of the time! I had to turn our thermostat up to 68°! It’s normally set at 64°. I also had to buy flannel sheets and put an extra blanket on the bed!

Hubby says that I have far fewer headaches, even though the stress of my job has increased. Major bonus there for our marriage.

My pants are finally looser and all my size 14s are now button-able without pliers and a vice grip. Size 16s are too big to wear without a belt. This tells me that, at least for me, there are about 15-17 lbs separating size 14 and size 16 at 5’8.

The Veggie Paradox

The biggest challenge so far (aside from no wine) is trying to find veggies that Hubby will eat. I am almost to the point where I’m just going to make him broccoli and make myself whatever I want.

We had a veggie convo last night….next to the fire…with our water… and I cycled through an entire alphabet of veggies with various preparations, trying to entice him to try them. The result? Here are some excerpts:

  • Me: “How about eggplant?”
  • Hubby: “Only breaded and fried.”
  • Me: “So, just broccoli?”
  • Hubby: “I like canned, French-cut green beans.”
  • Me: “We are not eating trailer park veggies. How about zucchini?”
  • Hubby looks at me like I broke his favorite power tool
  • Me: “Okay, no zucchini. Broccoli and cauliflower mash only. Really?”
  • Hubby: “I honestly wish I enjoyed vegetables, but ughck- most of them just taste like ass and yuck.”

Two flavors with which I am certainly not familiar, and I don’t want to know how/why he IS familiar.

So, the veggie battle continues…

Day 12 – Mental Acuity!

One of the Whole30 non-scale victories is feeling sharper and thinking more clearly. I finally noticed this was occurring today! My memory is much better as well!

I was having a conversation today, with someone who normally intimidates me, and I was surprising myself with the insightful contributions leaving my mouth! This is exciting! I also slept for a full 8.5 hours last night, which had to have helped.

The “bacon on the plate” (since I can’t have “icing on the cake”), was that I didn’t feel tired at all by the end of the day, like I have in the past. I used to be so exhausted when I got home, that I would practically cry at the thought of having to ascend the 15 or so stairs to get to the bedroom! This is a fantastic non-scale victory!

If Only…

It’s a shame that greater patience and higher tolerance for aggravating people are not Whole30 non-scale victories as well. I could’ve used some of that today… well… every day.

I mean, WHO – after receiving a message that someone is too busy to attend a meeting and they’re heads-down to complete a deliverable, expressing they’re compressed for time due to time zone differences on completing said deliverable AND displaying a status of DND

-WHOOO goes to that busy person’s desk right after they receive the meeting “decline” and message, ignores the DND sign, and interrupts their work to ask if they “have two minutes” (if I did, my sign wouldn’t be up and I wouldn’t have panic on my face)… AND when the busy person politely requests the entitled person come back later, THE JERK STARTS YAMMERING ANYWAY! About shit that doesn’t matter!! WHO DOES THAT?!?!? I’ll tell you who! A narcissistic, egomaniacal, snake of an ass hat. THAT’S WHO! Ugh!

Deep breath…

Cheers (with water) to the Freakin’ Weekend

I actually left work today while the sun was still up. Well, technically, it was setting, but there was definitely still light outside! I rushed home to enjoy some peace and quiet in our hearth room before hubby came home and peppered me with questions about dinner. This is my version of decompressing without wine; an easy-read (yet informational) book, tall glass/cup of cold water, a fire burning, and a view of the sunset. Life is a-ok. This is Friday night for old, tired people.

The weekend is finally here, and I plan to stay home and relax! Hubby and I may do a little shopping and food prepping, but my ass needs a staycation.

Comida de Hoy

Only 1211 Calories today, in the following forms:

  • B: Eggs and BACON!!!! Bacon bacon bacon bacon. I love BACON! Pederson’s was really tasty!
  • L: Chicken and Hubby’s Whole30 Gravy
  • D: Argument with hubby over finances
  • S: Rx Bar, Mixed Nuts

I felt really good today! Sharper mind, less tired, and two fewer pounds on the scale! Plus, it’s Friday! Yay! At least, it seemed like a “yay” day until dinner time.

Day 10 – Losing Footing

Sleep evaded me last night, again. Hubby’s phone went off at 3am (he forgot to put it on silent before bed), so I only got 3.5 hours of sleep. That makes 7.5 hours of sleep in 72 hours, and tonight won’t be any better. I have to be awake at 3am for a call with my boss, overseas. I’m so tired, I want to cry.

And the cravings. Oh my gawd, the cravings! If I had any kind of beer or wine in front of me, I would drink it. I day dream of huge cakes, donuts, and chocolate covered bacon. Salivate even. My choco-hound magnet in my stomach is on full power and I know hubby has a Toblerone bar in the house somewhere. I can practically smell it.

Cravings and extreme fatigue aside, I seem to also be experiencing some kind of pain in the metatarsophalangeal joint of my left foot. This morning, it was more nagging and annoying than anything. Now, it’s painful and I’m hobbling like one of those wind-up toys with no knees. It’s late, so I’m heading to bed and keeping this short tonight. If I don’t get decent sleep soon, you may find me eating my way through a mound of cupcakes, mumbling to myself between bites.

Food (if you can call it that)

I am way under my Calorie goal at 1353 today. Funny thing is, I’m not even hungry. Cravings are out of control, but I’m not truly hungry. Food hasn’t tasted great to me since I returned home from Cali.

  • B: Egg whites with spinach and homemade turkey sausage
  • L: Chicken breast and Whole30 gravy, made by hubby
  • D: Rubbery Cod that tasted like it came out of a microwaved TV dinner, Blasted Broccoli, and Sautéed Asparagus
  • S: Rx Bar, Nick’s Turkey Sticks

Food sucked today. It made me sad. Here’s another rubber fish:

Day 9 – Exhausted

Does a combination of travel and fatigue cause increased hunger? For the last two days, I’ve been eating over my target Calories, and I’m only eating when I’m hungry (at least, I’m pretty sure I’m doing that). I’m not “holy-shit” over the target… but total daily Calories are slowly creeping into triple digits more than I should be having.

I only lost .4 lbs over the weekend. I’m hoping I’m just bloated from flying and sitting for hours, and that more weight will come off tomorrow or the next day. When doing the metabolism vs intake math, I should have lost two (2) full pounds.

Yesterday was one of the toughest travel days I’ve had in awhile. I wouldn’t be surprised if both stress and fatigue were causing me to hang onto some weight.

The boss is overseas this week, so the office is extremely quiet. I’m trying to get some slides done for him for a big meeting this week, and the added pressure is giving me anxiety. I need to start working out to relieve that pressure in a healthy way – especially if I’m not drinking that one magical glass of wine during the evening to relieve the tensions of a stressful day.

Wine & Cake are Bae

That reminds me… as I was leaving my parents’ house this weekend, I saw this on the counter:

My two favorite things. Together.

Somebody hates me.

Scared of Salmon

Today was really uneventful; more sushi for lunch – although I have decided to temporarily forego salmon sashimi due to the recent article and YouTube video about the sushi fanatic with a 5.5′ tapeworm that he pulled out of his own butthole and wrapped around a toilet paper tube (which, by the way, I thought were called ‘dootdoodoos’ until I was like 25 years old: Thanks, Mom! But, I digress), which he THEN brought into the ER to show a doctor what was giving him stomach aches and making his butthole bleed! OMFG. I can’t make this shit up. It all went down in Fresno.

Anyhow, I had amaebi (sweet shrimp), scallops, and yellowtail today instead of my beloved salmon (my favorite sashimi). All quite delicious… and beautifully presented! I avoided the sauce and used only lemon. I still haven’t purchased Aminos (soy sauce substitute) – I keep forgetting!

More Whole30-ish Snacks

Hubby and I did slip up on accident tonight. I ordered snacks from a link on the Whole30 website, called Wild Zora Meat and Veggie Bars. I got a sampler pack to share with Hubbs to figure out if/what we should order in bulk. I just assumed hey would all be Whole30 compliant – I paid no attention to the fact that one (and only one) of the flavors had Parmesan cheese in it! It was a minuscule amount, but it was still a non-compliant food. We each took one bar (they’re tiny), and began chomping. “Wow! These are good!…. too good… let me check the ingredients.” Sure enough – Parmesan cheese! By that time, we had each had one little square. I’m sure it was less harmful than the two Excedrin I took on migraine day. We checked the other packages, and they’re fully compliant. The snack was surprisingly tasty, and we both can’t wait to try the others, but it was a good lesson in “Always read the labels!!!”

Only the Whole30-compliant packages are pictured here. These tasty little protein bundles come from wildzora.com, where they say, “Don’t be a Jerky!”

Cute.

Stuffed Myself Today On:

My total Calorie intake today was 1948. Yikes! 148 Calories over budget, and I didn’t exercise to make up for it. I’m not sure why I was so hungry.

  • B: Eggs w/ Spinach and Homemade Turkey Sausage
  • L: Sashimi
  • D: Zoodles and Whole30 Meatballs
  • S: Dried Mango (1.5 bags – something tells me that THIS is where I blew it. Half a bag is one serving), Nick’s Sticks, and a Whole30 Imposter Wild Zora Veggie and Meat Bar

Day 5 – Travel

Only five days on the Whole30 plan, and I’m faced with travel; 11 hours of it, mostly by plane. I went to the airport armed with an arsenal of snacks:

  • Nick’s Sticks (of course)
  • Snack bags of mixed nuts
  • Mandarins
  • Dried Mango; and
  • Rx Bars

I’m pretty sure TSA thought I was heading to California from Ohio to partake in their “special” laws.

The bag of dried mangos was gone before I even got on the second plane. I went to four different CBS News stores to find more, and they’re all out! Is there a mango shortage???

All was well until I was bumped up to first class on the second flight. Immediately, upon sitting down, they asked what I’d like to drink.

“Water.” *big sad face*

Next, are the meals. Airline food gets a bad wrap, but Delta food is actually REALLY good. My seat neighbor let me take a pic of her dessert before she ate it….Slowly… little bites…Red. Velvet. Cake.

THEN she described all of its delight in detail to the flight attendant, who romanced with her over other similar desserts while I felt my inner sweet tooth kick me in the gut. Of course, my seat neighbor weighs all of 90 lbs, so she couldn’t possibly finish a dessert barely bigger than a strawberry… so, it sat there… staring at me. As the flight attendant cleared her plate, she says to me, “We have a salmon and a red velvet cake left if you’ve changed your mind.” My seat mate said, “Oh no… she’s on a special diet.”

I forced a smile and reached for a packet of nuts and a mandarin. *sulk* My appetite was bordering on ravenous pig by the time we landed in Sacramento, and I was already at 1100 Calories for the day!

I told a friend I’d meet her at a restaurant for dinner. I mentioned I was doing Whole30, so she picked the place. Sushi again. I love sushi, but I love other foods too. Tonight’s sashimi was really fresh, so it really didn’t need sauce of any kind. Lemon was more than enough.

My friend had tempura – one of my favorite things.

I love food. I want to eat something besides sauceless sashimi when I go out. Why do so many options have to be so darned unhealthy?

The Day’s Eats

  • Only 1600 Calories today. Even though I came in under my target, I’m actually not hungry. B: Eggs w/ Spinach, Kale-Spinach-Apple smoothie
  • L: Nick’s Sticks; Spicy Turkey & Spicy Beef
  • D: Sashimi
  • S: Mixed Nuts, Mandarin

Day 4 – n<1800=Nope

I know better! Eat ALL my calories! My actual intake (n) was too far under my target (1800) at the end of Day 4 (in case you were trying to figure out today’s cryptic title), but I had dinner early, and arrived home late, so I chose not to eat anything else before bed. I went to bed hungry. The domino effect ensued; tummy demons growling, restless legs, pouting, cravings for cupcakes… and then I was wide awake and hungry at 5am! Dumb.

Setting the Bar

Overall, my energy is still up, and I breezed through a very active, long, and stressful work day. I also had an HOA meeting at a downtown bar at 8pm – talk about a danger zone! I LOOOOOOVE beer. I love bar food! You may as well tell me I can’t breathe if you deny me those things and then flaunt them.

I drank water. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be! Aside from wiping away a few tears and a little drool, I came away unscathed. I was sure to eat a healthy and satisfying dinner before I left, and that helped a lot! Two hours in a bar and all I consumed was water; I deserve a freakin’ ribbon.

Changes?

My boss gave me a coaching session yesterday about my tolerance to certain personalities. We are embarking on a whole new journey, expanding the company, and going global. If I’m to be leading a global organization, I need to behave like nothing jilts me. I’m a highly emotional, intolerant-of-malicious-ignorance, demanding, middle-aged woman, working with some very snakey, untrustworthy douchebags. Every once in awhile, my patience is exceeded by the aforementioned triggers. I’ve worked on this over the years, but it’s a lot like maintaining a fitness regimen; some days, you just say, “fuck it.”

I told him I was confident my attitude would get better and I’d have more balance in the near future as a result of this Whole30 and HealthyWage competition and lifestyle change. While that may be somewhat true, the whole truth includes that I can’t stand liars and back-stabbers, so I’ll just have to find an alternative to walking out of meetings, yelling, or flaming them on email. Ironically, suppressing those urges will likely be more stressful! Ha!

Tomorrow, I’m taking my first flight while on Whole30. Being away is going to be tough! I can only eat so much sushi and lettuce. Plus, I’ll be visiting my parents, and my mom makes dessert every day. From scratch. Ugh. I’ll just consider this weekend to be Whole30 bootcamp!

Today’s Eats

I only consumed 1572 Calories – I don’t recommend being more than 100 Calories under your target; it does more harm than good – like middle-of-the-night whimpering:

  • B: Eggs w/Spinach, Kale-Spinach-Apple Smoothie
  • L: Zoodles (zucchini noodles) w/ Whole30 Meatballs
  • D: Lettuce-wrapped Turkey Burger w/ Whole30 Mayo
  • S: Dried Mango, Nick’s Sticks: Spicy Beef & Spicy Turkey,

Day 3 – What’s This? Energy?

This morning, for the first time in months, maybe over a year, I woke up without an alarm… feeling RESTED! I wasn’t groggy or lethargic. I popped right out of bed like I NEVER do. Is this Whole30-related, or am I just so stressed and nervous about the big changes at work, that I’m in overdrive? I suppose we shall see over the next few weeks! However, last night, I got six hours of sleep (I normally require eight), and I woke up energized as hell! Yasss!!!

Choo Chooooo!

Unfortunately, I’m still snoring like a train, according to my poor hubby, who hasn’t been sleeping well at all. It’s my hope that losing weight will take the extra fat away from my neck and chest, and make the locomotive leave the station. However, this could be months away…*sigh.*

Hubby keeps bugging me about doing a sleep test and getting a CPAP, but I went that route once, recently, and the test was inconclusive. They wanted me to take more tests and I was already into it $1000 for the preliminary tests, so I decided it was all a scam and my snoring couldn’t be that bad; if it was, I’d have a prescription for a CPAP, right?

Hubby begs to differ and there’s no convincing him otherwise. I think he just wants me to look like a plastic elephant while I sleep, expelling human exhaust. (Why do they make the air come out like that? The inventor of CPAP was obviously not a cuddler or snuggler. CPAP is an unsexy, loud, spoon-blocker.) I would rather buy earplugs for him.

Nick’s Amazing Sticks

I received my Nick’s Sticks (Whole 30 compliant snacks) in the mail today. They’re all scrumptious, but my favorite is the spicy turkey! Between dried fruits (Whole Foods dried unsweetened mangos and stuff we dried in our dehydrator), Rx Bars, Nick’s Sticks, mixed nuts, and mandarins, I think I’m well-stocked for evading my hangry self.

The Green Monster (named by my staff) AKA “WTFisKale?”

I’ve also incorporated a Kale, Spinach, Apple smoothie into my morning for 94 Calories, which has helped stave off cravings until lunch time. It’s made of kale, spinach, 1/2 Granny Smith apple, 1/2 banana, tbsp lemon juice, coconut water, and ice. Very yummy! Blend it all in a magic bullet for 45 seconds, and voila!

Day 3 has me feeling MUCH better. Days 1 and 2 sucked ass.

Today’s Menu

Here is what I ate today, totaling 1764 Calories:

  • B: Kale-Spinach-Apple Smoothie, Eggs w/Spinach
  • L: Chicken Soup, Mandarin
  • D: Sashimi w/lemon (instead of soy sauce. Next time I’m bringing my own aminos with me. Lemon doesn’t cut it)
  • S: Rx Bar, Dried Mango, Spicy Turkey Stick