Friday, June 3, 2016

Whole30, Day 2 & 3: The Hangover


I woke up Tuesday morning feeling like death. Of course,  I expected this. Days 2 and 3 of Whole30 are titled, "The Hangover." To quote the book, "the amount of suck you experience in this phase is directly proportional to the amount of junk you consumed before you began the program." And let me tell you, I ate a lot of junk. (Parmesan-covered ramen, how I miss thee.)

So anyway, when I woke up Tuesday morning feeling like death, I wasn't surprised. I was however, surprised by the incredibly vivid dream I had the night before. Apparently vivid dreaming is a side effect of Whole30. Let me recap:

Debbie Wasserman Schultz (as in the chair of the Democratic National Committee) gave me a $5000 check and a greeting card telling me that she thought I was great but would like me even better when all the hipsters, millenials and I finally got over our Bernie-love and voted for Hillary. Then Bernie Sanders called me to ask what I thought of how he was running his campaign but I couldn't hear him because my brothers were yelling in the background (of the dream, not real life). Also there was fire? And ice cream? And girl scouts? It was weird.

Breakfast: Anything But Frittata
On to breakfast. I was too tired to truly make food for myself and the thought of eating that godforsaken frittata filled me with dread. (Kenny liked it though!) Also, I had too little energy to even exist. So I ate a pear and climbed back in bed with my phone. 

At about 8:45, the pear finally hit my system and I mustered the energy to get up and make some actual food: a baked potato. 

Although I used to eat baked potatoes consistently, I haven't made one in ages. After the lameness of the pear, I wanted to make sure my baked potato was both flavorful and filling. So rather than relying on my college-self's microwave technique, I did something crazy and actually baked the thing in an oven. I also slathered it in olive oil, salt, and pepper. 

Once again, I failed to take pictures of my meal because it was too delicious-looking (and I was too hungry) to wait. I covered the heavenly potato in ghee, green onion, salt, and the tiniest bit of ranch dressing from yesterday. Maybe I was just really hungry, or maybe these fresh ingredients really are better than cheese (blasphemy, I know), but that potato tasted better than any potato I've ever eaten. 

9:54 am
Once I finally had food in my system, I felt up to the task of preparing dinner: a beef brisket with sweet potatoes, butternut squash (the infernal butternut squash), and a bunch of carrots and onion. 

This should be easy, right? Just dump everything in the slow cooker and walk away. 

Well, the directions say to trim the brisket. And I am apparently Amelia Bedelia because I do not now how to trim a brisket. Rather than asking the internet and actually learning what to do, I attacked the fat with a knife and hoped for the best.

At least my brisket doesn't have ribbons on it.

Except it was really hard to cut off the fat. Like, really hard. And then I started to worry that I shouldn't be removing the fat at all. So I removed about half of it and put it in the slow cooker. I figured that either I was supposed to take off the fat and I succeeded partially or I wasn't supposed to take of the fat and I kept myself from making a complete mistake. I was either half right or half wrong. I'm living the dream here. 

After throwing the half-trimmed brisket in with the onions, garlic, thyme, and ghee, I retrieved the butternut squash. Well, half of the squash. Because I worried that if I put the entirety of the diced squash in, there would be no room for the brisket. The Whole30 book told me a full squash is necessary, but I don't believe you, Whole30 book, I don't believe you

Sweet potatoes and carrots also made their way in. 

In fact, there are so many carrots, squash, and sweet potatoes in this meal that I fully expected the brisket to turn orange. Like Arnold on Magic School Bus.

The look of  carrot-induced guilt.
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Lunch: Scrambled Eggs, Avocado, and Cherries
Since I had lunch for breakfast, I decided to have breakfast food for lunch! I whipped up a few scrambled eggs with ghee and salt, sliced up an avocado, and washed some cherries. It was delicious. And it was the first time I have felt full and just...normal after a meal since Whole30 began. So that was a treat. You know - feeling normal.

Dinner: Beef Brisket with squash, sweet potato, and carrots
Well, that darn butternut squash was freaking delicious, though I'm still not sure it warranted 40 minutes of dicing. Regardless, this was a delightfully yummy meal. I enjoyed it mostly because it reminded me how amazing sweet potatoes are. So thank you, slow cooker brisket, for reintroducing me to the magic of sweet potatoes.


I woke up this morning fully expecting to feel deathier than yesterday, but surprisingly...I didn't. In fact, I felt so full of energy, that I braved the final serving of left over frittata. Nothing could keep me down!

Breakfast: Leftover Frittata
But alas, even a solid night's sleep and a burst of energy could not help me make it through this stupid frittata. I ate half a slice before I just couldn't go on. I subbed in peeled carrots and ranch dressing so that I would at least consume enough calories to tide me over to lunch. 

Lunch: Leftover Brisket
I have found the secret to Whole30 and that secret is leftovers. If I hadn't been so averse to eating frittata, I may have discovered this sooner. But now that I've accumulated a million food-filled tupperware containers, I no longer have to prepare a fresh, hot meal three times a day and that is a glorious thing, my friends. For lunch today, I filled a bowl with leftover sweet potato and brisket and put it in the microwave. A meal in 3 minutes. Miracles do happen. 

Dinner: MORE Spaghetti Squash with Meat Sauce
In case I wasn't enthusiastic enough on Wednesday, I would like to take this moment to formally thank Whole30 for introducing me to spaghetti squash. Kenny and I had sauce leftover from our first supper, so we baked another squash to go with it. It's just so delicious. If you are not a regular consumer of spaghetti squash, I recommend trying it. Target is currently selling squash for 99 cents. Just FYI. 

Also, I restrained myself enough to get a picture this time. I even added decorative parsley for your viewing pleasure. 

Do you see that sauce? We made that on Wednesday. From scratch. Did you know that you can make tomato sauce? It doesn't just come in jars from Target? 

Tomorrow begins the third stage of Whole30: "Kill All the Things." Hopefully the drool-worthy sweet potatoes we're making for breakfast will help curb our murderous tendencies. See you on the other side. 

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