Whole30 Day 28, 5K PR

I ran my best ever 5K today (PR=Personal Record). My time was so good (for me) that I'm a little suspicious of it. I didn't feel that fast! Was the course short? Was the timing system off? I'm not going to complain about it though! I came in 1st woman and 3rd overall. I will add that only about 12 people were running, so the odds were in my favor. I won a cool white Brooks running cap and a $25 gift card to a sports store that I've been wanting to go to anyway. Yay!

Today's food recap is going to be in 2 categories, pictured and not pictured. First, pictured are:

Pre-5K breakfast: coffee with coconut milk, blueberries with almond butter & shredded coconut

post 5K lunch: 2 eggs, some spinach

Not pictured:
  • post-race apple slices with almond butter
  • plain apple slices at an afternoon gathering
  • potluck fare: chicken, peppers sautéed in tomato and garlic, curried veggie hash made with sweet potatoes & zucchini (my contribution), 2 kinds of green salad
Day 28 reflections: It's the last day of September and I'm thinking about my running streak. I've run every single day this month. I like it! Sometimes when I do my run in the morning, I feel a little disappointed later in the day that I don't have my run still to look forward to. (However evening runs are not great this time of year, they're DARK, so morning is better. Still dark, but not as much traffic.) I'm wondering whether I'll continue my streak after the Whole30 or what. Can I keep going until the snow flies? My 10-minute minimum rule seems totally manageable. With cross-training from Spinning class and boot camp, I am getting into pretty good shape. For me, that is.

28 days, a lunar cycle, feels like enough of this Whole30 thing. But we're committed to continue until Wednesday morning. Here's the food outline:
  • Monday dinner: fried chicken tenders and some kind of veggie
  • Tuesday dinner: steak tips with mushrooms and some kind of veggie
  • Wednesday dinner: Go crazy day. We're actually attending an annual meeting that will have catered gourmet pizzas. I haven't decided if I'll actually eat them. Then we're planning to go out for drinks. Grammie will babysit!
  • Thursday dinner: pork chops with milk gravy and some kind of veggie
  • Friday dinner: Indian takeout and beer. I may try cauliflower rice instead of basmati. WHAT?
Have you ever been in a race and thought the timing was way off? It happened to me on a fun run this summer--it felt like I was really kicking butt, but my time was way slower than I'd been for weeks. Weird.

Whole30 Day 27, Quiet Saturday

Hi! We're still at this Whole30 thing! You know, the grain-free, legume-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, alcohol-free eating program that will Change Your Life. It's too early to tell if this is changing my life, but I can definitely tell that if I put my mind to something (that is reasonably within reach) it will probably happen. Even though eating a very specific way for 30 days has not been my favorite thing, by gum if I said I was going to do it then I'm doing it.

Today's food was:

Breakfast: sausage, sweet potatoes, & coffee w. coconut milk

Lunch: Gilfeather turnip soup with crab

snack: tiny Macoun apple from the Farmer's Markt

Snack while working on dinner: guacamole & carrots

Dinner: Chorizo sausage and cabbage

Day 27 reflections: Did you know that there are some other rules to the Whole30 besides avoiding the foods mentioned above? I may have touched on some in other posts, like the strong suggestion not to snack. Also you're not supposed to have a bunch of fruit to try to replace sugar cravings, or to suck back pots of almond butter because hardly anything else like it is allowed. You're not supposed to reward yourself for a job well done with food. You're not supposed to "paleo-fy" foods that you used to eat, like trying to make pancakes out of coconut flour or ice cream out of frozen bananas. (I don't really get that one, because "meatza" sounds a lot like paleo-fying to me but it seems accepted. Just eat the meat and tomatoes and don't bother pretending it's pizza!) Smoothies are discouraged because the point is to eat your nutrients and experience foods as close to whole as possible. Most of these make sense to me. I like that the Whole30 is pro-CSA and suggest looking for local meats & produce as much as possible. I like that it's making me read labels and learn about different additives and which foods are likely to have surprise sugar (ketchup! bacon! sliced turkey!).

What I don't know about the Whole30 is exactly why I'm avoiding these foods. I know that they have been connected to inflammation and inflammation is bad, but I feel if I knew more about those actions or pathways I would have a better idea what foods to continue avoiding and what I can reintroduce. I guess I could treat this program as a massive elimination diet. Whatever I add back in, I could do it in an isolated manner so if I start seeing or feeling changes, I'll know exactly why.

Also I might start paleo-fying stuff when this is over. I really wouldn't mind coconut pancakes, or paleo morning glory muffins, or pizza made on a nut crust. (I'd add cheese to that pizza though, I really would.)

A note about today's coffee--unlike last weekend, I tried WHOLE FAT coconut milk this time (not LIGHT), and it did make my coffee a little bit nicer. So that's lovely. How do you like your coffee? Skim milk? Nothing at all (I'm looking at you ValleyWriter!)? SOY? Sweet or no? Do you not drink coffee?

Whole30 Day 26, TGIF

This week did seem really long, as I predicted. One more weekend and then two more days and our Whole30 eating program (meats, seafood, veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, healthy oils, and that's it) will be over! I think we're going to make it! And that four days will seem like another week at least.

Keeping the photo food diary going:

Sweet potatoes, kale, sausage


Unappealing lunch: leftover spaghetti squash with scape pesto

Avocado with dressing

Leftovers: chicken-olive stew, cauliflower, beans

Like candy! Fruit balls with shredded coconut
Day 26 reflections: My eating partner is so ready to be done with this! We spent the evening wishing we were having beer and Indian takeout, which is our normal Friday ritual. We've had a movie from Netflix for about 3 weeks but never have the heart (or stomach?) to watch it because we can't have popcorn or chips or other usual snacks that we love to munch while watching. We'll probably get around to it next Friday. (It's "Too Big to Fail.")

I ran in the rain today at last. Just around dusk, I got out the full rain gear and did my 10 minutes there and back down the road, dodging the puddles that live in the lower-elevation sidewalk squares.

I planned turnip-crab soup for dinner but we just weren't in the mood. We're saving it for lunch tomorrow, or sometime.

A very minor point of interest: I didn't eat any eggs today.

Lots of plans for the weekend, I hope I get some of them checked off. Grocery shopping, 5K, farmer's market, water plants, prep food, a potluck party, plus Brattleboro-West Arts is having their annual open studio tour and Kid's Playce indoor play space is opening for the season.

Whole 30 Day 25, Full Moon Vibes

I've been having problems with full moons lately. The one at the beginning of August really affected me--SO moody and grumpy and confuzled, having bad days and general lunacy. This upcoming moon (I think it's on Saturday) also seems particularly sizzling with all kinds of loopiness. It occurs to me that my sudden need for desserts and more snacks are related to moon-stress. I need something to get me through to the other side of this zapping from space! And this is not hippie woo-woo stuff either. It's science. If the pull of the moon is enough to change the tides, think about what it's doing to the fluids in your body and in your BRAIN. I have syzygy brain, and it's annoying.

Photos of food anyone?

Sweet potatoes, eggs, kale


I almost forgot to take a photo of my salad. Here's the last bits.

Snack: seaweed & apple

Dinner: salmon patties & broccoli
Day 25 reflections: I don't have much to report about the Whole30 today because I've just been dealing with life in general and no time to think (or moan) about food. My 6-year-old had an EPIC tantrum today complete with screaming, thrashing, room trashing, and other insanity. We find it very confusing and draining when this happens. We also don't know why it happens or what to do when it happens. I hope we'll laugh about this someday. Right now it is hard, though most of the time she is wonderful. Children!! And that darn moon!!!

Whole30 Day 24, Photography Error

It's Tom Bombadil's Feast Day again! In my made up Lord of the Rings religion. Here's to happy spots of comfort and solace along the crazy-scary roads we travel.

I forgot AGAIN to take a picture of my food. I think that's three days in a row. I will insert a placeholder, see if you can spot it.

Breakfast: Salsa-avocado omelette, yummy black tea

More bloody BLACK COFFEE

Lunch: You spotted it! This is a paint scraper. My lunch was a gorgeous salad.

I almost forgot to take a picture of my apple snack.

Dinner: lemon-olive chicken, chocolate cauliflower, and green beans
Day 24 reflections: OK, I'm ready for this to be done. Three weeks was fine. This last week is too slow! I drink my black coffee and fantasize about how it will taste on Wednesday with sugar and half & half in it. (I would love to just use milk, but my workplace only stocks half & half! At least it's organic! Also it's complimentary!)

Today I tried the chocolate cauliflower recipe from Well Fed, my go-to paleo cookbook this month. Don't be fooled, we're talking unsweetened cocoa powder here, along with garlic and paprika. I could have used a lot more of these seasonings. The result tasted undeniably of cauliflower.

I found out the 5K I thought was on Saturday is actually on Sunday. So I did one last long run (for me that happens to be a 5K, huh!) before I'll taper off with short runs until the race.

I've run every day this month and I've never run in the rain. Another sign of climate change? It did rain on a few days, but not while I was running...

I don't have much more to report. I'm already in October in my mind, sipping wine and eating cheese. I am toying with the idea of introducing grains very, very slowly. I'll have to do more research on that. Of all the things I've cut out this month--sugar, grains, legumes, alcohol, dairy--I wonder about grains the most and whether they are health culprits. I wonder about legumes a little bit. I wonder about sugar, alcohol and dairy not at all--I am READY TO GO with those.

Do you like cauliflower? What do you do with it? One recipe I like is to steam it whole and serve it slathered in cheese sauce.

Whole30 Day 23, Dinner Error

So I remember, before the start of this thing, reading a post on Jeremy & Kathleen about Day 23. Kathleen was on Day 23, remembering how at about Day 4 she was hearing about Day 23 and finding it hard to imagine she'd ever be there. As I read about her Day 23 right around my own Day 4, I found it hard to imagine ever being there. And now we're here. One week to go. I have a feeling it's going to be a long week.

Photo reporting:

Breakfast: egg, kale, tea, sweet potatoes


Lunch salad: Did I get a complete rainbow in there? I think so!


Dinner: Sardines, spaghetti squash, beet greens

Dessert: fried plantain with coconut & almond meal sprinkles
Day 23 reflections: Here's the dinner error--I didn't read the package of turkey sausage until halfway through making little meatballs for dinner. It had SUGAR in it. So I had to suddenly change dinner plans while I was already cooking it. I opened a can of sardines for myself, and my eating partner had a pair of fried eggs. I kick myself for not reading that label in the store. I really need to read the label on any food I'm considering that has a label. Lesson learned.

Here's a secret. I like Paleo breakfasts and lunches. I like having a big pile of eggs and kale and sweet potatoes, or a salsa-avocado omelette. They fuel me up well for the day, and they're yummy. And I like having a big salad for lunch. I was already getting into that habit during the summer, so this seems to be confirming that habit. Really, it's just the Whole30 dinners that are strange. I've basically got the hang of how to make a Paleo dinner, but it doesn't seem "normal." I'm already looking forward to having everything under the sun at my disposal again. I'm tired of pretending acorn squash is at all similar to basmati rice.

Have you ever fried plantain before? Tonight was a first for me. I didn't slice it thin enough (thinly!), so instead of crisp plantain chips I got crunchy-outside, gooey-inside plantain blobs. Not bad though. Let me know if you have plantain tips! I bought the plantain on Day 6 and it took this long to ripen!

Whole30 Day 22, Takeout!

Chugging along with the Whole30 eating program. In the past few days 3 separate people have commented on my "losing a lot of weight." I must admit I'm feeling good. As I've explained before, you're not supposed to actually weigh yourself during the Whole30. That's fine, since I hardly ever weigh myself anyway. I prefer to go by how I feel and how my pants fit. Right now I feel good and my pants fit just about the way I like them. Any more and I'd have to buy smaller pants, which is not good.

Today's food:

I forgot to take a picture. It was really good. Plus sweet potatoes and tea.

BLACK COFFEE in my ridiculous travel mug

Look look! A meal I didn't make myself! It's a.... salad.

Mid-afternoon snack: last of Thai chicken stew

Lamb curry over acorn squash with green beans

Dessert snack: apples & almond butter
Day 22 reflections: Yes, for the first time during this program I actually ate something prepared by a stranger. A salad with oil and vinegar. Oh boy! It was nice to be able to order something along with the others at the office though. I saved my other lunch, the chicken stew, for a tea-time snack.

So after today we have one week left. I'm already starting to get nostalgic about this experience, isn't that ridiculous?
Week 1 was: I am so confused, this food is strange.
Week 2 was: Change is so hard, I think I'm getting it but I don't like it.
Week 3 was: I've totally got this. I've already changed. Whatever.
Now week 4 is: Wait, will I have to go back to that other strange food? I might get so confused! This is what I eat now!

Walk in the Woods. Also Whole30 Day 21

What a gorgeous fall day today. Cool, clear and breezy. Perfect for a family walk in the woods. As usual we were on sharp lookout for our favorite woodland denizens--newts. And the woods delivered big time.

Newt #1

Newt #2 extreme closeup


Cool toadstools

Cool toadstools with BONUS, Newt #3

Birch bark closeup

I love Sunday woods walks. That is our church.

In the Paleo world, nine more days until wine & cheese! Haha. I mean nine more days until I assess my future foodways from a seasoned & responsible standpoint. Today was Day 21 of the Whole30:

This was part 2 of breakfast, plus almond butter. Part 1 was a small dish of sliced pear.

Yummy black tea

Lunch: leftover Thai chicken curry

mid-afternoon coffee w. coconut milk

Dinner: Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Slaw, same as day 15
Day 21 reflections: Today I went to a Thrift Fashion Party, such a neat idea! A local woman who loves to find amazing pieces at thrift stores but can't possibly use/want everything she finds is offering her services as a Personal Thrift Shopper. I am totally going to do this! Today's gathering was to spread the word a bit and give a bunch of us a chance to see/try/buy some of what she has collected. I am so excited to get some help in the fashion department. Once she knows my style and what I'm looking for she can keep me in mind while she's thrifting. The very idea of having a Personal Thrift Shopper is making me carefully consider my style and my closet. Everything I want to get rid of seems to be from Old Navy. Hmm.

About the diet thing... not much to report today. I am still sick-ish so kept a low profile. The fridge is so well stocked with ready-to-eat items it's a little overwhelming actually. Here are my dinner plans for the week:

Monday: Slow cooker lamb curry with green beans
Tuesday: Turkey Sausage meatballs with tomato sauce & spaghetti squash
Wednesday: Chicken with lemon & green olives with cauliflower rice
Thursday: Gilfeather turnip soup with crab (omit potatoes) with some kinda veggie
Friday: Paleo salmon cakes with some kinda veggie

What are you having for dinner this week? Are you an ultra planner like me? Since I started the Whole30 I not only plan every dinner, but have a spreadsheet for every single meal & snack, including extra rows for kid's food. It's just that complicated...

Whole30 Day 20, Sick

Ugh. I woke up with a tickle in my nose that gradually became a full-on runny nose/cold thing. I am dosing it with herbal tea and herbal supplements. I had a normal day--errands, groceries, weekend food prep--but I'm going to try to get to bed very soon (it's 8:43pm) in hopes that sleep will cure me!

I have some important news today from the BLACK COFFEE front. Today... I can hardly write it. Today... I put coconut milk in my coffee. GAAAH. I knew this day would come. I just wanted to know if it would make black coffee taste any better. And I got my answer: not really. It didn't taste like coconut. It still tasted pretty much like black coffee, just a little better mouthfeel. Only a little.

Breakfast: Sausage, sweet potatoes, tea

Coconut milk in my coffee! I had to capture the moment.

Paleo sushi for lunch

My sushi was smoked salmon, blanched carrot, orange pepper, and lots of avocado. Plus wasabi.

Apple snack while driving.

Here's a shot of the roots I prepped. We ate the parsnips & carrots.

Parsnip cake for dinner. I had 3.
Day 20 reflections: So being kind of sick is not good, but it didn't slow me down much. I got in a super-fast 11-minute run. (I passed another runner on the way, love that.) My sushi lunch was exciting. Since I really eat sushi for the wasabi kick, it didn't matter too much that there was no rice.

For dinner I made another version of my Parsnip Cakes. This time I used the whole parsnips, plus yellow and purple carrots (instead of just the leftovers from milling parsnip puree). I milled them and just put everything together again afterward. Then I added half a chopped red onion, half a chopped jalapeno, a small amount of chopped ginger, salt, pepper, coconut aminos, and about 10 cooked shrimp that I snipped up with kitchen shears. I fried them in coconut oil for about 5 minutes per side--the idea is to sear them so they'll stay somewhat intact. (They are pretty mushy.) My eating partner was pleasantly surprised by this combo. Using coconut aminos instead of soy sauce was not bad.

OK, my nose is starting to run, I'm off to bed. Hoping to whup this thing in the night! Stay well and HAPPY FALL!