Week 4 – The End is Near

Twenty missing pounds are shouting, “It works!” Whole30 works. It works very well, in fact. It’s a grueling, pain-in-the-ass, temporary, brutal “diet,” but it works better than anything I’ve ever tried in the past. Twenty pounds in 27 days. Not bad at all.

Don’t get me wrong – Whole30 is MUCH tougher to stay true to than most other things in life. I still have about three more days of the strictest phase of Whole30, but I’ve lost more weight on this plan in just under four weeks than I have on any other past attempts at a diet. The most fascinating thing to me was that I was able to do this without deliberately increasing my daily activity level one iota; I say “deliberately” because I naturally had more energy, so I squeezed more into my day, which resulted in more walking, etc. My Apple Watch activity rings were closing on a normal day of activity by the end of Week 2, whereas prior to Week 1, it looked like I had forgotten to wear my watch.

Whole30 eating, by itself, has resulted in 41 lbs total weight loss between me and hubby in just 27 days. Incredible. I have lost 20 lbs by just eating clean. That is astounding to me. I would kill myself on the treadmill in the past, and struggle, praying my relationship with gravity would decrease. I’ve heard that what you eat accounts for 80% of weight loss success, but I’d put that number even higher.

Non-scale Victories

Some non-scale victories hubby and I saw this week are:

  • Shirts are fitting more loosely
  • Able to zip up boots over cankles and calfs
  • The thought of having to climb stairs doesn’t seem like a Herculean feat
  • My watch band is no longer a tourniquet
  • Patience for stupidity has increased
  • I’m calmer in tense situations at work
  • I’ve become more pragmatic and less sensitive
  • I’m happier and I smile more
  • I have more energy
  • I feel “smarter” most of the time
  • I have more confidence
  • I require less sleep
  • I make a lot of things we previously store-bought; roasted mixed nuts, dried fruit, sausage, soups
  • Some restaurants will accommodate Whole30! Firebirds is one of them!
  • No, I didn’t eat the scrumptious bread that my lunch companion ordered

Some Things Never Change

Things that didn’t change, even though I hoped they would:

  • My hangry inner child is alive and well, throwing tantrums for red velvet cake
  • Cravings are at an all-time high. I can see why, when my friend hit Day 31 of Whole30, she went gangbusters on her cravings. I asked her, “How is the reintroduction of non-Whole30 foods going?” Her reply: “Well, I’m sitting in bed with a bottle of wine and a bowl of mac and cheese, so…. I guess… good?”
  • Acne is still playing Rudolph on my face
  • Cramps are still awful and debilitating like an evil gnome stabbing me in the gut
  • The gas. Dear sweet baby Jesus- THE GAS! Poor hubby. I decided to put Cayenne pepper in our chili to help the evil gnome cramps, but cayenne (like everything else) gives me awful gas! This last week was particularly mask-worthy. Hubby was beside himself and feared for his life for lack of oxygen. I tried to explain how Cayenne helps with cramps and his response was, “Oh! So, instead of you suffering through your period, I will!” Yes. Yes, you will.
  • Libido hasn’t increased. Perhaps it’s the gas? Or the angry hubby?
  • Pre-made meat patties contain sugar. Ain’t that some shit?
  • We both miss(ed) bread so much! Even the “healthy” breads all have some kind of sugar in them!

Holy Whole30! I was searching for Whole30 Bread online and I found an article about a girl who couldn’t eat anything; everything had to be grain free, gluten free, dairy free, and sugar free! This poor girl’s life will be Whole30 forever! Anyhow, she really missed bread… a lot…. and there were very few options out there for her. So, she and her mom spent hours trying different ingredients to create a simple bread recipe, and they came up with something brilliant. We had to try it! Immediately! We rushed into the kitchen and assembled all ingredients, then devoured the results. Granted, hubby and I should have calculated the calories before each consuming an entire “loaf,” but we were surprised at how much this stuff tasted like a cross between dense bread and a biscuit! We decided (a little late and almost 1000 Calories later) that 1/4 a loaf is plenty for one serving and we plan to make it again for breakfast with our eggs and homemade sausage. The recipe and article can be found on A Spicy Perspective. If you’re on Whole30 and craving bread, this is the best answer!

Basically, you beat two eggs, then add 1/2 cup of almond flour, 1/2 tsp baking powder, and 1/4 tsp Sea Salt. You can add lots of herbs if you want as well! Here’s the fun part: you put it in a straight-sided mug that has a few drops of olive oil in it to help the “bread” slip out, THEN, get this… you microwave it for three (3) minutes. Yes – MICROWAVE it! Fun, simple, and Whole30 compliant! Hubby and I both loved it! That bread hitting our mouths was like coming home. This brilliant girl named her creation, “Low Carb Magic Mug Bread.” You’ve GOT to try this stuff!

In a few short days, we start reintroducing foods. We are also discussing our go-forward plan. Stay tuned!

Day 13 – Food Prep!

As of this morning, I’m down 12 lbs so far. But, I usually spend Saturday mornings in bed, being super lazy and sloth-like. It’s the only day of the week I have time to do that, and it is glorious; no demands, no appointments, no obligations. Just me and my bed. Hubby always gets up early, which makes me grumble at him every Saturday morning around 7am.

Breakfast at 2pm? Sure! Why not? I can’t even begin to tell you how much we love the Pederson’s Whole30-approved bacon. We are trying to limit ourselves, because it is quite salty, but damn is it good! Bacon bliss.

Saturdays and Sundays are food prep days. We decided to avoid Whole Foods this weekend and shop instead at Fresh Thyme. We came out of Fresh Thyme paying 2/3 what we would normally pay at Whole Foods! Not to mention, in our locale, Fresh Thyme has a better selection! Bye bye, Whole Paycheck! I’ll still use your bags, though. They’re pretty convenient.

Don’t Skip Meals!

Hubby and I got busy during the day and missed “lunch,” (a meal between breakfast and dinner, which today would have occurred around 5pm) so we were beyond hungry while prepping food. This presents a challenge for portion control. We ended up grabbing a few Rx bars in lieu of lunch, but that’s not a habit I want to get into; using bars as meal replacements. They’re never as satisfying as you want them to be and they’re fairly Calorie-dense!

Something’s Fishy

Tonight, I tried my hand at cooking ahi tuna steaks and yellowtail. I really wanted to try both to see if it was worth purchasing again. By the way – Holy crap! Sashimi grade fish is expensive AF!

Anyhow, I found a recipe, made it my own, fired up one steak of each and split it with hubby. We wound up eating about 8 oz of fish each – too much; 4oz would have been PLENTY. Our eyes may have been more ravenous than our bodies, because it didn’t look excessive on our plates, but we could barely finish it. We should probably use the smaller plates.

Upon logging our Calories into MyFitnessPal, we discovered dinner was 800+ Calories! No wonder we were ready to burst! Nonetheless, the ahi turned out awesome! Soooo delicious and so simple! We will be having that again for sure! The yellowtail was good, but we both liked the ahi better.

Just in case you want to replicate tonight’s masterpiece:

Ahi Recipe – Serves 2

  • 1 Ahi Tuna Steak, divided
  • 2 TBSP Ghee
  • 2 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 1 TSP Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/2 TSP Sea Salt
  • 2 TBSP Peppercorns

Cooking Instructions

  1. Season fish with salt and cayenne pepper
  2. Heat ghee, olive oil, and peppercorns in a skillet until peppercorns pop
  3. Gently add fish:
  • 1 min per side for rare
  • 1.5 min per side for medium-rare
  • 2 min per side for medium
  • 2.5 & 2 min per side for medium well
  • 3 min per side for obliterated – you know what? Don’t even bother buying this beautiful and very expensive fish if you don’t like any pink in the middle

Squeeze lemon juice on top to taste. Hubby made cauliflower mash and blasted broccoli as our veggies for the night. It was all very good, and filling.

Healthy Eats Side Effect

I love broccoli. Why doesn’t it love me? Why do I always have incessant broccoli burps for hours after eating broccoli? So gross. It’s like a nasty mouth fart. Not awesome.

More Meal Prep Creativity

Meal prepping continued with a “What do we need to cook up?” concoction that I’ll just call Cabbage Chicken Soup. Hubby also took a few of the chicken breasts and made more chicken and Whole30 gravy; it’s the closest thing to comfort food that we have been able to make while on Whole30.

I’m really not sure how the soup is going to taste, but we certainly have plenty of veggies in that Instant Pot! The veggies in the fridge were all starting to turn at once, sooooo…. soup!

All of Instant Pot’s 10 quarts’ capacity was required in the making of this mystery soup; celery, carrots, onions, tomatoes, cabbage, garlic, green beans, and chicken. The aroma is divine. I’m just not sure about having added the chicken. Regardless, I’m sure hubby will eat it. He eats everything I make. He just told me, “98% of the time, it’s really good!” I’m pretty sure the other two percent consists of a rice mishap and a waffle fiasco, each circa 2015.

Instant Pot Love

I know I’ve said it before, but I LOOOOOVE my Instant Pot! Nom Nom Paleo (where I discovered Instant Pot) has awesome recipes, and I only need to modify some (like the meatballs) slightly for Whole30.

Here’s the mystery soup, in progress:

Today’s Grub

I came in a little light on Calories at 1474, due to missing lunch and trying to make up for it with an Rx Bar. However, I’m full as hell right now from dinner. No need for even more Calories:

  • B: Eggs w/added egg whites, bacon, kale-spinach-green apple smoothie
  • L: Rx Bar
  • D: Ahi Tuna Steak, Yellowtail, Broccoli, Cauliflower Mash (way too much food, in retrospect)
  • S: None today

These broccoli burps are revolting. WTF. Hubby may want to sleep in the other room tonight. Blech.