Sunday, April 30, 2017

Whole30: Day 2

Day 1 was yesterday, so the Day 1 post is complete. I'm only in the middle of Day 2, but as the urge to write has taken hold, I'm gonna go with it. And talk about the planning and shopping for this, which I did yesterday.

To be successful with any diet change, you're going to have to plan. If you wait until you're hungry to figure out what you're going to eat, you're probably going to choose whatever's fastest and easiest to put in your mouth. (The only times I've been able to avoid this are instances like yesterday, when I was already devoted to the idea that I was going to have salade nicoise for lunch and that I could make it happen and be perfect, and had work to do to make it happen, so I was spending my time on that and not thinking about things I shouldn't be eating. Also it was Day 1, I couldn't possibly feel deprived just yet.)

Fortunately, I'm good at planning, and genuinely enjoy both shopping for food and cooking it, so it was fun to read through the list of things we could eat on the Whole30 website as well as some recipe ideas they had and assemble a shopping list. Here's what I ended up with, and how I put it together:

There were some pantry items we needed that were Whole30-compliant: mayonnaise without soybean oil and certain additives, dijon mustard without sulfites, safflower oil and ghee for cooking.

Proteins to have on hand, or to build meals around: salmon, sausage, bacon, canned tuna.

Different kinds of potatoes to bulk up meals (or, specifically, to make my salade nicoise), as I come from the school of cooking where meals comprise a protein, a starch, and a veggie: russet potatoes, red potatoes, new potatoes. (I didn't buy sweet potatoes and regretted it a few hours later.)

Veggies that can be prepared in a variety of ways or added to a variety of meals: eggplant, green beans, arugula, spinach, onion, tomatoes (fresh and canned), broccolini, olives

Other foods for flavor: lemons, limes, chives, tarragon, cilantro, mustard (also named above); garlic and shallot and any number of other seasonings would also go here, though in our case they're items we already had on hand

Snacks or texture for salads (I dearly love croutons and will miss them): sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds

And finally, things to drink that are not beer, or wine, or cold brew that greatly benefits from the addition of milk and sugar: sparkling water, kombucha (a few different ones so we could find flavors we liked), and various types of cold brew along with some whole beans that we could use to make some ourselves

The resulting bill from Whole Foods is the largest I've ever seen where alcohol was not a contributor. This shit is expensive. Top contributors:

1.2 lbs of wild-caught King salmon (on sale for $24.99/lb!): $29.49
All the cold brew (3 Blue Bottle, one Venice, and two Stumptown nitro): $27.84
A pound of Groundwork Angel City beans to make cold brew: $15.99

Most expensive vegetable: baby broccoli at $3.99 for each bundle, and each bundle is about a serving (in my opinion, at least), so bought two

Things that were much cheaper than expected:
1.5 lbs of beef stew meat (purchased for an Instant Pot chili recipe): $9.34
A big bottle of Whole Foods sparkling water: $1.59

Everything else cost about what I'd expect, and there was just a lot of it. Good quality eggs, kombucha, bacon, ghee, Sir Kensington's mayonnaise, salad, safflower oil, eggplant: those all really added up.

Thing I was most surprised to learn: how much bacon has added sugar in it. It took work reading labels to find sugar-free bacon.

How I'm feeling: Woke up feeling sluggish after 10 or so much-needed hours of sleep, but felt a great deal better after splashing cold water on my face and cooking what turned out to be a friggin' amazing breakfast (below). Ingredients are everything. Have now had half a Venice Cold Brew and then one of those cute little cans of Blue Bottle Cold Brew and concluded that the Venice Cold Brew is way better; must go buy more. And have been munching on some Camarosa strawberries from Gloria's that Austin brought back from the Mar Vista farmers market. Kind of have a headache but that's probably from all the caffeine. Having a lovely Sunday thus far.

Breakfast: one fried egg; half an avocado, sliced, with some olive oil drizzled over it and a bit of salt; a breakfast sausage patty comprising ground pork ("farmers sausage" from the farmers market), some freshly chopped rosemary and sage, a shake of two of nutmeg, and salt and pepper. Ohmygod it was delicious; right after breakfast, I made two more with the last few ounces of pork so we could have it again tomorrow.

Update at 10:25 pm on 5/1:

Lunch: Didn't really have one because breakfast was on the late side; had a serving of roasted pumpkin seeds as a snack around 4 or 5.

Dinner: Made an adapted version of this Instant Pot chili from the Whole30 blog: couldn't find carob or cocoa powder, so scrapped all their seasoning ingredients and threw in a bunch of Penzeys Chili 9000 instead, along with a few shakes of ground chipotle powder. It worked out pretty well! Definitely cooking more stew beef in that thing, as it's more affordable and SO delicious and tender after only an hour of cooking. Had half a thing of GT mint mojito kombucha as "dessert", and honestly it really did taste way too sweet. No added sugar in there, but hmmm.

After dinner, was super sleepy by 10, sat in bed and read Twitter or something until 11, and then had trouble falling asleep when I tried to do so then, so probably not asleep until midnight, unfortunately.

Whole30: Day 1

I was inspired to do Whole30 by my friend JR, who is probably the sole reader of this blog (hi JR!). I had dinner with him and his lady and they were ten or so days into their second time doing it, and while we had a few other friends that did it a month or two ago, they're LA friends, and it feels like LA people are always doing some cleanse or other and so I don't take much notice of it. But these two live in Denver and had such good results the first time--things like "I stopped snoring", which it never even occurred to me could be impacted by diet--that it made me stop and think: I really don't know how food (and drink) affect me.

Aside from a few attempts at Weight Watchers, one of which was successful, I've feel like I've never really made a concerted effort to change how I eat. As I've gotten older, I feel the effects of bad decisions more sharply, but I generally don't know WHICH bad decision(s) I'm paying for. Whole30 promises learning what types of food have an effect on you, and even if I choose not to use that information, that certainly seems like information worth having. While a desire to lose weight is also undeniably a part of this, that hasn't been sufficient motivation in the past for sticking with something, so I'm hoping all these other things in addition--along with accountability to my husband, who's doing this with me, and to this record of it--combine to get me to see this through.

This certainly seems achievable: neither of us has much of a sweet tooth. We don't have any big events coming up in the next month. We're both good cooks and have relatively wide-ranging tastes in cuisine. We live in California in the spring/summer (summer weather is already here, in April), and have access to some phenomenal ingredients as a result, and already built up the habits to buy them: we've been frequenters of farmers markets for years now.

So here goes!

How I felt: Woke up fine in the morning, despite only seven hours of sleep and following a few drinks from the night before. Ate a hurried breakfast at 8:30 and wasn't really hungry again until 12:30, at which point I was craving salade nicoise, but had no ingredients for it except one can of tuna. So I hied myself to the Whole Foods and bought... a large volume of stuff (more on that later), including everything I'd need for my nicoise. Didn't get home from that trip until 2:30, at which point I set about cooking all the ingredients, which took half an hour (not bad, all things considered), and sat down to eat a friggin' DELICIOUS meal at 3. Wasn't hungry again the rest of the day: made dinner around 7 and ate a little before 8, I think? (Sipped on kombucha and had some pumpkin seeds between lunch and dinner, but that can't have added much.) And then was real sleepy around 10:30 or 11, at which point I went to sleep.

Breakfast: two fried eggs, a few raspberries, and some cold brew (was in a hurry to get out the door for a 9:15 am appointment)

Lunch: salade nicoise: one steamed red potato, green beans, a hardboiled egg, a can of tuna, some nicoise olives, and a glorious dressing that really pulled it all together made up of olive oil, champagne vinegar, dashes of dijon mustard and mayo, and freshly chopped shallot, thyme, and tarragon. It was all made fresh and so it was warm, but I think this will be a lovely lunch to bring to work: will add in tomato and some sort of lettuce next time (was too hungry when I made this to bring that in)

Dinner: seared salmon with a dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, a bit of dijon and mayo, and freshly chopped shallot and parsley (will use leftovers on a future salade nicoise: would prefer vinegar to lemon, but whatevs; actually, we have more salmon so it could be we can use it again on that); sauteed zucchini; roasted eggplant. The eggplant is peeled and cubed, tossed in a baking sheet with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roasted for ~20 minutes at 400 until the side on the sheet carmelizes. It might have been my favorite thing on the plate, to be honest.

Whole27: Seven (Eight?) Months Later

Breakfast this morning was cinnamon rolls. In fairness, I'm sick right now with something resembling that monster flu--hopefully it...