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.

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 8 – Time Doesn’t Fly

Time doesn’t fly… and neither will I, apparently. Delta Airlines had a mechanical issue on my first plane today, for which I traveled 90 miles by car in the middle of the night, for a timely 4:30am airport check-in arrival. We were all seated and ready to take off; next thing you know, we are being asked to deplane and find another flight.

The next flight was seven hours later.

Travel Entropy

I have been sitting in the airport for two hours and I still have five hours to go. I am so tired and very hungry. I only brought enough snacks to get through lunch (when I should have been arriving home)… now, I won’t be home until almost midnight.

This will be a huuuuge challenge. The three hours of sleep I managed to get are all taunting me to lay down right here on the floor. My hunger demon is begging for pizza, and my brain is too mushy to immerse myself into work. The universe is really testing me today, as if it’s saying, “You thought being at your parents’ house was tough? Hold my beer!”

Mmmm… beer. I miss beer. And even though it’s only 8:30am, I’ve been up for six-and-a-half hours, so it actually doesn’t sound bad right now.

I guess I’ll peruse the airport to find some suitable grub, and maybe get in a few steps on my Apple Watch.

…..

Freshii to the Rescue

Freshii! You beautiful life-saver, you! In the middle of the grease pit food court is a little green gem with Whole30 options! Oh, bless you, Freshii! I was dreading having to live off snacks until midnight. Instead, your menu revealed a “Metaboost Salad” from which I only had to ask that they remove the cheese and edamame! And your chicken is boiled! No oil! And your dressing is compliant! Oh, how I love thee in Terminal A! Thank you thank you thank you!

Fast-forward a few hours (I slept for most of it. On the table. In the food court.), and my second plane was delayed by a little girl cracking her head open in the waiting area. We finally boarded 45 min later.

I get to my layover destination, where the same family with the little girl demands to see another medic before boarding the next leg (of course they’re on my flight); another 20 min delay. I guess one medic before the first flight wasn’t sufficient?

I finally get to my seat, upgraded to first class, and I’m sitting next to a jittery old man who appears to have Tourette’s or some other affliction, which is causing him to convulse, snort, and gargle his own snot every 30 seconds. Hellloooo noise-canceling headphones, thank you very much!

I’m 500 Calories under my target and haven’t had a warm meal all day, so I hope first class is serving something that’s at least partially Whole30-friendly. Otherwise, I’m going to drink tons of water and look forward to hubby making me some scrambled eggs and turkey sausage when I finally get home… around midnight.

Hubby said it’s snowing at home, so the 22 mile drive from the airport in the middle of the night should prove interesting.

I nearly lost my shit when the captain of my third airplane of the day got on the intercom and said, “Folks, we have an issue with the lavatory, so we are going to be a little delayed…”

All I could think was RUFKM?!?!

It was only a ten minute delay… thank goodness.

Delta had a chicken Niçoise salad! Hooray! They also served bread and cheesecake, which took way too much willpower to ignore…. but, I did. I gave the farewell wave to the cheesecake as I dismissed my tray.

My Food Today

All meals from 2am PT through 11:30pm ET totaled 1897 Calories

  • B: Rx Bar, Nick’s Sticks
  • L: Freshii Chicken Metaboboost Salad, Mixed Nuts
  • D: Chicken Niçoise Salad, Mixed Nuts
  • S: Dried Mango, Nick’s Sticks

Now, I’m finally home. Goodnight.

Day 7 – Ketosis

My mom politely offered me a sugar-filled mint (I had no idea that Altoids are basically sugar discs!), then some sugar-substitute-laden-cancer-causing gum as she explained my breath has a “funny smell.” My brother, a scientist, piped up and said, “She’s in Ketosis. That’s normal.”

Ketosis? Sounds like a type of disease. Fortunately, I knew it had to do with weight loss, and it was a good sign that fat burning was in full-effect, but I still had to look it up to see exactly what it was.

Unfortunately, mints and gum don’t jive with Whole30, so I just had to dragon-breath my way through conversations today.

According to WebMD:“Ketosis is a normal metabolic process, something your body does to keep working. When it doesn’t have enough carbohydrates from food for your cells to burn for energy, it burns fat instead. As part of this process, it makes ketones.If you’re healthy and eating a balanced diet, your body controls how much fat it burns, and you don’t normally make or use ketones. But when you cut way back on your calories or carbs, your body will switch to ketosis for energy.”

There is also an interesting article about the Top 10 signs you’re in Ketosis (bad breath is #2) at Healthline.com.

HealthyWage

I’m currently leading in individual weight loss percentage for the HealthyWage competition. We do still have 11 weeks to go, though… and my team keeps drinking beer!

I am not too keen on weight loss competitions, as it can lead to something unhealthy and damaging, but there was a lot of peer pressure at work to partake, and I figured there would be no better time to try Whole30.

Plus, my boss thinks his team will win this, and I have this pressing need to beat him *grin*

Scale-down Victories

When it comes to the scale, there is a conflict between HealthyWage and Whole30. HealthyWage encourages frequent weigh-ins on their shitty website in order to feed the competition. The Whole30 program emphasizes staying away from the scale for those 30 days, and paying attention to non-scale victories; they even have a Non-scale Victories Checklist you can download and print out!

You can check a box next to things like “fewer blemishes,” “less diarrhea,” “learned how to cook,” “less sleep apnea (apropos),” etc. I looked through the whole list and I couldn’t find “You have stank ass Ketone breath” – I think that should be considered a non-scale victory as well! According to WebMD, it can take seven (7) to 30 days to experience Ketosis, once you start a low-carb diet. I experienced it in about seven (7) days! Victory! “Friends/Family back up/offer mints when you’re speaking to them” would also suffice in the non-scale victory checklist.

I am participating in both; weighing myself when I feel “lighter,” and looking for non-scale victories.

Tomorrow is my last day of travel for awhile. I can’t wait to get back on a normal schedule that involves home-cooked food at regular hours.

Le Menu

1688 Calories today, and a semi-funky breakfast, since I stayed in a hotel and I don’t trust hotel buffet eggs from a carton:

  • B: Mixed Nuts, Mandarin, Nick’s Sticks
  • L: Tuna Salad Cups
  • D: Salmon and Blasted Broccoli
  • S: Eggs, Dried Mango

Day 6 – Piece of Cake

Cravings and temptations were the themes of the day. We celebrated my niece’s and Dad’s birthdays today.

I arrived at my parents’ house around lunch time, and the only Whole30-acceptable food I could find was lettuce, tomato, and a can of tuna. Mom only had Best Foods “bad” mayo, and she didn’t have any avocado oil, so I whipped up some EVOO Whole30 mayo. EVOO is not ideal for mayo – it is very heavy and creates a green tinge, but it did the trick for me in a pinch.

I made tuna salad lettuce cups. I was only able to eat half of what is in the picture. One can of tuna with “heavy” mayo is extremely filling!

Making your own mayo is simple. If you’re interested, a Whole30-friendly Mayo Recipe is below. If not, scroll-on.

W30 Mayo Recipe

Tools:

  • Food processor with ability to add ingredients while operating; or
  • Immersion blender and bowl; or
  • Mixer with wire whisk attachment; or
  • A hand whisk, mixing bowl, and a strong arm!

Ingredients:

  • 1 free-range, grass-fed, organic egg
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil & 1 cup avocado oil divided (light olive oil will also work)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp white Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground mustard
  • Lemon juice

Instructions (Hubby always calls these “destructions,” which, for some reason, irritates the living shit out of me – he says he thinks it’s cute. I tell him it’s cute only if you’re three years old):

  1. Put 1/4 cup of oil, egg, and seasonings into mixer/bowl/processor. Mix until emulsified.
  2. VERY SLOWLY drizzle in remaining cup of oil.
  3. Once completely emulsified, gently stir in lemon juice to taste.

That’s it! Homemade mayo! Makes approximately one cup. Season it however you like. Just beware that too much lemon will cause it to separate, so you always add it, slowly and to taste, at the end.

Birthday Dinner

Tradition in my family is that my mom will cook a meal of our request on birthdays. Her cooking is better than going to a restaurant, so it’s always a great smorgasbord of fantastic food. Tonight’s feast included BBQ chicken, wine, Marinated Tri-tip, wine, Shrimp Scampi, wine, Lasagna, Garlic Bread, wine, Green Beans, and Salad… annnnd more wine.

Did I mention wine? I miss you, wine.

I’m not sure if you noticed, but only one of those things (and my least favorite) is Whole30 compliant; salad…which, by the way, I kind of had for lunch; that tuna salad cup thing with the lettuce.

Thank goodness, Mom set aside a few raw shrimp and had a non-marinated steak for me. I made my own Balsamic Vinaigrette from scratch, for the salad, just to be sure I was not consuming hidden crap from all the other bottled dressings (have you read those labels? Scary!)

Red Meat Mayhem

I ate a bit more steak than I should have (6oz of meat instead of 4oz), and my tummy was not happy about it. Angry, in fact. Maybe that was just a little too much fat for the day. I’m thinking red meat should be consumed the least of all meats while on Whole30. It makes me very sad to even think that.

Desserts Backwards is Stressed

Time to blow out candles! I watched both my dad and niece blow out the candles together, with a high-five. By the time everyone was eating what looked to be a silky, delectable chocolate cake with layers of creamy chocolate mousse, I convinced myself that Dad and Niece had spit all over the cake in their synchronized extinguishing of the candles.

I came very close to making this the Whole 5.5 + Whole Maybe 24, if not for the mental image of raining spit.

Still, I was salivating like a rabid animal the entire time, trying to be social at the table; feeling crushing of my soul with every bite I saw and “mmmmmmmm” I heard.

Pure Torture.

Chocolate goes very well with some wines… and with milk, which is also Whole30-forbidden.

Dried mangos are totally a substitute for dessert, right? No. No, they’re not. Not even close.

I made it through the day and evening, feeling like I had endured a physical fight with my will power. It’s pretty bruised up, so I hope I can withstand tomorrow.

All My Boring Eats Today

All meals and snacks for the day totaled 1827 Calories (27 over Target):

  • B: Eggs, Nick’s Sticks (Spicy Beef)
  • L: Tuna Salad Wraps
  • D: Steak, Salad, Shrimp
  • S: Dried Mango, Mandarin

Day 6 is a wrap! Mmmmmmm…. wraps. Ugh.

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