Sunday, June 26, 2016

Whole30, Days 22, 23, 24, 25: Stockholm Syndrome

Catch up on all the Whole30 posts by clicking here.

Alright. I went a bit rogue in my last post. Blame it on the sugar cravings. But this time I'm back to normal! Pictures of food, a regular eating schedule, and my uncensored thoughts on this whole Whole30 thing.

Now, before we get going, I should warn you, this post is full of oversharing about my bodily functions. You have been warned.


After going wild with cravings for the previous week, I woke up Wednesday feeling semi-normal. I didn't want to quit Whole30, and I didn't want cookies. Or at least, I didn't want cookies as badly as I wanted one earlier in the week. I definitely still wanted to eat a cookie.

Breakfast: Spoonful of almond butter
By Wednesday morning, Kenny and I were starting to run low on foodstuffs. The weekly meal plan told me I was supposed to eat leftover breakfast sausages, but I didn't want to eat that. So I had a spoonful of almond butter. Melissa and Dallas Hartwig would be so ashamed.

Lunch: Sausages with Avocado
By lunchtime, we truly had no food in our house, so I buckled down and ate the breakfast sausages. To make them more appealing, I sliced up an avocado to go with them. Surprisingly, it was very tasty. So then I regretted all the times I've eaten the breakfast sausage without the avocado. What a fool I was.

Once I had finished up, I accepted that we were out of food and that I need to just suck it up and go to the grocery store.

Snack: Raw Nuts with a side of Getting Pulled Over
Let me tell you a little story about my irresponsibility and ongoing hatred of the DMV. In June 2014, I moved to the lovely state of Minnesota. Minnesota requires that you get an in-state license within one month of moving to the state. However, I knew that I would be getting married and changing my name in November of 2014, so it seemed silly to deal with the DMV twice in six months. Plus, I'm a decent driver. So I figured that as long as I didn't get pulled over, everything would be okay. So, in November, Kenny and I got married. In February of 2015, once all the name-change paperwork had been filed, I finally went to the DMV and got a Minnesota license.

Unfortunately, although I filled out all of the paperwork corrently (I have the carbon copies to prove it) a clerical error/typo resulted in my new license getting sent to the wrong address. And the DMV will not forward mail. Of course, I didn't realize that the license had gone to the wrong address for a few weeks. Instead, I sat in our apartment wondering why my license still hadn't arrived after a full month.  By the time I called the DMV, figured out what went wrong, and waited an additional two weeks for my license to arrive at the correct address, the whole getting-a-license-process had taken 7-8 weeks. It was a nightmare.

So you'll understand, I think, that when I was offered a job at Macalester and moved to a different address in June 2015, I wasn't keen on updating the address on my license. I figured the position was only two years, I had had my license for less than six months, and I wasn't likely to get pulled over.

Well, problem is, the DMV uses the address they have on file for important things. Like mailing you reminder/renewal forms for your license tabs. And if you don't give them the correct address, they won't send these renewal reminders to you. And the post office won't forward them to you for security reasons. So when my tags expired in March, I  was clueless.

Fast forward to last Sunday, June 19, when my head popped off my pillow at midnight because I suddenly realized that it had been more than a year since I had messed with license tabs. Thankfully, Minnesota allows you to renew tabs online up to 10 months after they expire. Hooray! So on Monday, I got online to renew them.

Which brings us back to early Wednesday afternoon.  After eating lunch, I headed out to the grocery store to pick up food. I figured, Hey. I have been driving around with expired tabs for three months in blissful ignorance, and no one has pulled me over. I should be able to make a quick trip to the grocery store and back.

So naturally, on the way home from the grocery, I got pulled over for having expired tabs. And I also had an out-of-date license. And out of date car insurance because it had renewed the week before and the new cards were still sitting on Kenny's desk. It was a perfect storm of expiration.

On the bright side, the officer only gave me one ticket instead of three. (And yes, I did tell the officer that I had just renewed the tabs online, and yes I did show him the confirmation email, and no, he didn't care.)

And then I got home and ate some nuts.

Dinner: Chicken Burgers and Cauliflower Mash
By Wednesday night, I needed some serious comfort food - something warm and creamy and delicious. So while I whipped up some chicken burgers (using the meatball recipe in the Whole30 book), Kenny made some delicious cauliflower mash. It's no mashed potatoes, but it's still yummy and delicious.


Breakfast - I honestly don't remember
I assume that I ate something on Thursday. Maybe a larabar? Or maybe I skipped breakfast? I did have an early-ish meeting that day...

Lunch - Chicken Burgers and Mash
The chicken burgers were even tastier leftover. I'm telling you, this recipe is worth investigating even if you're not doing Whole30.

Shortly after eating those delicious chicken burgers on Thursday, my stomach started to feel weird - crampy and upset and just...not right. It was then that I realized it had kind of been a while since I pooped. (I warned you there were bodily functions in this post.)

Now, my digestive system has been kind of wonky since Whole30 started. I expected that in the first week or two (the book even warned me about it), but Thursday was Day 23, and I was ready to be back to normal. But I wasn't normal. I was constipated. And I hadn't been the bathroom since Sunday morning.

Frustrated and in increasing discomfort, I turned to the internet (naturally). And according to a "Foods That Help You Poop" Google search, my issue was vegetables. Or rather, a lack of them in my diet. I'm great on the fruit, fats, and protein front, but I just haven't been eating enough vegetables. (I had, however, been eating a lot of avocado, which is like number 2 on the poop list, but whatever. Clearly my body is pissed at me.) Conveniently, Kenny and I had already been planning a dinner heavy on the vegetables. So, knowing that relief was (probably) coming soon, I hunkered into bed and wallowed in my grumpy discomfort until Kenny came home.

Dinner - Chicken with Curried Vegetables
As soon as Kenny walked through the door, I hopped out of bed and turned on the oven. I needed vegetables, stat! Kenny and I set about dicing various root vegetables, tossed the veggies in olive oil and popped them into the oven to roast. Then, we turned our attention to the main attraction: the curry.

At some point in my childhood, I decided I didn't like curry. I don't know why and I don't know when. I just know that some foolish part of my brain ruled against it.

I also don't know why I thought it was a good idea to try curry again, much less while we were on Whole30. Perhaps I was feeling adventurous. Or maybe the picture in the Whole30 book just made the curry look a lot like delicious creamy cheese. Either way, we tried it.

And holy cow. I like curry. No, I LOVE curry. WHY oh WHY have I been avoiding curry for so many years? Oh my goodness this stuff was so amazingly delicious. Like, this may be one of my favorite foods. I don't mean on Whole30. I mean favorite foods ever. My iphone didn't know how to handle the dark blue of the cherry bowl and the bright yellow of the curry, so the photo is kind of junk, but TRUST ME. This was ohmygosh incredible. (If you've got a Whole30 book at home, it's the curry and roasted vegetables recipe. Make it.) How have I been living with out curry for so many years of my life?


Breakfast - Red potatoes
Unfortunately, the high of discovering my love of curry did not counteract my digestive issues. By Friday morning, I was exhausted (probably because my poop problems were preventing nutrients form getting to the rest of my body), I had a headache, and my digestive cramps had increased ten fold.

Although I had initially planned to get up early to make breakfast, my beautiful husband got up and made roasted red potatoes in my stead. In an attempt to relieve my poop issues, I paired the potatoes with some raw spinach. Except the potatoes just didn't really go with the spianch, so I just stacked spinach leaves on top of each other and rolled them up into little cylinders and ate them like cheetos. It was just as sad as it sounds. But I needed greens if I wanted to poop. And I really wanted to poop.

Lunch: Leftover curry
You know how delicious the curry was on Thursday? Miraculously, it was even better on Friday. Apparently letting the curry sit for a day or two brings out the flavors. Gosh it was good. It's been two days and I'm still thinking about it. Make this curry. Or any curry. Just indulge in some curry.

Also, around 11:28 am, something glorious happened: I pooped.

Dinner: Turkey Burgers
On Friday night, Kenny and I wanted something fast and easy, so we pulled out the leftover cauliflower mash (I needed veggies so that I could continue this pooping trend), chopped up some watermelon we had sitting in the fridge, and made turkey burgers. The burgers themselves weren't fancy - just premade patties from the grocery. But we topped them with red onions and guacamole (Also store-bought. I'm still too scarred from the jalapeno incident to make my own.) and they were delish.


Breakfast: Red potatoes
Leftover potatoes and turkey burgers. Nothing to see here.

Lunch: Chicken Avocado Salad
For lunch, Kenny and I broke out the Chicken Avocado Salad recipe we love so much (you can find it here if you're interested). We made it earlier on Whole30, but the avocados we used were weird and so the salad tasted weird too. But this time, all the ingredients were perfect! We also reduced the chicken content a little bit so that it didn't over power the avocado.

Then, we put it on a bed of spinach because healthy digestive systems are important.

Dinner: Lemon Garlic Chicken in Slowcooker
For dinner, we tried out a Buzzfeed recipe with only four ingredients: a chicken, a few lemons, rosemary, and garlic cloves. We also tried out a slow cooker liner for the first time. I am now in love. I will never use a slow cooker without a liner again.

As directed by the video, we transferred the slow-cooked chicken to a pan and put it in the broiler. We discovered that either our broiler is extra intense (we've never used a broiler before, so we have no frame of reference) or the recipe gave bad timing, because after only five minutes, it started to turn black. (The instructions say 10 minutes.)

Luckily, I heard the crackling of the burning chicken, so we retrieved it before major damage was done. In fact, the skin ended up being the best part!

Stockholm Syndrome / Reasons Why Whole30 is Sucking Less

And thus ends Day 26. Somehow, inexplicably, I am starting to feel kind of positive about Whole30. Could this be Stockholm Syndrome? Maybe. Maybe I've just forgotten how delicious cheese tastes. A lot of my frustration from a few weeks ago stemmed from not getting the result I wanted from this program. I had really been hoping for the boundless energy that so many other Whole30 participants experience, but it just isn't happening. However, lots of other good things have been happening:
  • My skin is clearer
  • I am sleeping soundly and through the night more often
  • I no longer feel like taking a nap between 1 and 3 pm every afternoon
  • Kenny and I have been eating every meal at the kitchen table instead of sacking out in front of the TV
  • I don't feel heavy and gross after meals the way I used to (I have a theory that I have issues with soy, but we'll see what happens once we get into the reintroduction days)
  • I have far more confidence in my cooking abilities. For example, ingredients list that include more than three items no longer scare me. 
  • I know what an immersion blender is and how to use it.
  • I am no longer afraid of mystery vegetables thanks to the magic of olive oil. 

No, don't get me wrong. I am still very much looking forward to the first day of reintroduction when I can eat some ice cream. But my resentment is slowly fading away. Especially now that I'm pooping like a normal person again. 


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