Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Whole30 Days 6 & 7: We Almost Quit

Catch up on all the Whole30 posts by clicking here. 

You may be wondering why this post didn't go up yesterday. After all, today is Day 8, not Day 7. Well, friends, that because I wasn't sure there was going to be  a Day 8. Yesterday, I almost quit. Like, full -blown, throw-all-this-damn-produce-in-the-trash-and-go-buy-a-cheeseburger quit.

In order to understand how I arrived at that place (and by place, I mean facedown on my bed yelling about how I never want to see an egg again in my whole life), we must start at the beginning: Monday morning.


When I went to bed Sunday night, I had big dreams. I will get up early on Monday! I will make those delicious-looking twice baked sweet potatoes. I love sweet potatoes! I will be able to send Kenny off to work with a delicious warm breakfast. He will be the envy of all the other kids at work.

Then Sunday night happened.

If you will recall, the last stage of Whole30 was titled Kill All the Things. However, despite Whole30's prediction, I was firmly in my own Sleep On All the Things stage. That is, until Sunday night when I was hit with a brutal case of insomnia.

So as I lay in bed, staring at my ceiling at 12:47 am, knowing that I had an alarm set for 5:50 am to make these sweet potatoes, I decided to bail. The potatoes could wait, right? I changed my alarm to 6:50 am instead, played on my phone until my eyes were finally tired, and finally conked out around 1:30.

Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs / Larabar
When the alarm went off, I didn't feel great, but I at least had enough energy to get out of bed. Although I abandoned the sweet potatoes, I still wanted to give Kenny a hot breakfast that wasn't just three hard boiled eggs. So while he was in the shower, I  made scrambled eggs - faster than hard-boiled and 8 times yummier. I plannned to make some for myself as well, but my stomach was too upset from the lack of sleep to eat eggs and I had a morning meeting, so I couldn't wait until 10 to have an actual breakfast. Instead I grabbed a larabar and headed out.

Lunch: Leftover Tuna Boats, Apple
When we had tuna boats on Sunday, I was so excited. But when I looked at them on Monday, sitting forlornly on my plate, the avocado slightly browned, I was filled with revulsion and dread.

So instead of eating the sad boats, I began making a mental list of all the foods I would rather eat:
Five Guy's Little Bacon Cheeseburger
A tub of vanilla ice cream with snickers mixed in, covered in magic shell
A strawberry milkshake
Brie - just...all the brie
Cinnamon rolls
Chinese food
Quiche Lorraine
Hot chocolate
A croissant

And then, mental list complete, I ate the darn tuna boats.

Dinner: Chicken Avocado Salad on Greens, Cherries
Monday evening, Kenny and I opted to keep the guacamole train from the weekend rolling and make chicken avocado salad. If you're unfamiliar with this delicious recipe, I will explain: basically, you put all of the ingredients for guacamole into a bowl. Then you put all of the ingredients for chicken salad into the same bowl. Then you mix them together. It is very sophisticated. You should be impressed.

Before we could actually make this recipe, I had to make mayonaisse. After experiencing the store-bought paleo mayo that reeked of vinegar on day 1, I was determined never to use it again. So, I bravely cracked an egg into a little bit of oil and started blending. Low and behold, it turned into mayonaisse! Like real, honest to goodness, weirdly jiggly mayonaisse. I made mayonaisse!

Anyway, with our mayo finally ready, we dumped all the ingredients into a bowl, and mixed them together. Then, because we felt like we should have some sort of green thing in our meal (avocados fall into the fat category, so they didn't count), we put the chicken avocado salad on a bed of lettuce and washed some cherries. It was delightfully yummy and comfortingly familiar.

Highlights of the Day:
THE FRITTATA IS FINALLY DEAD. Kenny rejected the final slice so we gave it an unceremonious burial in the bottom of the compost bin.

Also, we succeeded in using a full bunch of cilantro for the first time in our whole lives. Never have I ever used all the cilantro. I always have to throw at least a little bit away.


Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs, Leftover Chicken Avocado Salad
Tuesday morning started out so delightfully. I made scrambled eggs for both Kenny and myself. Normally when I make breakfast, I stare longingly at my bed before reluctantly sitting down at the kitchen table (Whole30 strongly recommends that you have every meal at your kitchen table rather than in bed or in front of the TV). I had developed a pretty strong habit of eating breakfast in bed, so eating my eggs at an actual table is rather difficult for me. But Tuesday morning, when I glanced at our little 2-person table, I didn't feel reluctance - I felt happiness! I wanted to eat at a table with a placemat and a napkin and a chair in front of the sunny window. It was so beautiful! I grabbed some leftover chicken avocado salad to go with my scrambled eggs and settled in.

And this, my friends, is where the awfulness begins.

12:05 pm: Pilates
At noon, I headed out to go to my weekly Pilates class. I took a few months off last semester to focus on grad school, so I knew going in that I would be a little out of shape. The Whole30 book also warns you that your athletic performance will drop in the first two weeks or so as your body adjusts to getting energy from fruits and veggies instead of sugar. So I expected to be a little winded.

But I was so. weak. The class lasts an hour. I was ready to leave about 7 minutes in. I ultimately lasted the hour, but gosh, I don't know how.

Lunch: ha.
I think the ghost of the dead and buried frittata is haunting me.

As soon as Pilates ended, I headed home to mix up a yummy, protein-packed salad. I was ready to eat all the things! But when I got home, I realized that none of the salad things I had dreamed about were available. We didn't have any leftover chicken, so I would need to thaw and cook some. We didn't have any dressing, so I would have to make some from scratch. And, heaven help us, we were out of avocadoes.

Then I opened up my pantry and had a brilliant idea: I'll make those twice-baked sweet potatoes I have been putting off for days! The recipe only takes 50 minutes, so it won't take much longer than thawing and cooking chicken would, plus this way I'll have a yummy breakfast to send with Kenny in the morning! How perfect! I thought.

I was a fool.

The recipe told me to poke the potatoes with a fork and put them in the oven for 40 minutes. I did this. Then, the recipe told me to dice onion. Dice it. I checked the internet, I checked the Whole30 book. I checked all of my resources to triple, quadruple check that I understood how big these chunks of diced onion were going to be, okay? And my onion was appropriately diced.

Then, the recipe told me to cook the onion with some garlic until the onion was translucent. I did this.

Finally, the recipe told me to take out the sweet potatoes, cut them open, and scoop out the innards. I was supposed to mash the innards of the sweet potato into the skillet with the onions and garlic. That is what it said to do. Well, I put the potato in the skillet, but I couldn't mash it. Partly because there wasn't all that much sweet potato and partly because the interior of the potatoes still weren't cooked. They were hard! Even though I cooked them for five minutes more than the recipe told me too!

Now, the recipe says that if the potato isn't fully cooked, you should place the skillet on the stove and cook them until they're mushy. Well, yeah, okay, recipe. I did that and it didn't make my darn sweet potatoes any mushier. NOT AT ALL.

So finally, I gave up and just scooped it all back into the potato skins. Unfortunately, the volume and size of diced onions in this nightmarish hash was all wrong. Remember that I followed the instructions. I used the amount of onion I was told to use and I cut them into the size I was supposed to cut them into. And yet what I was scooping in the potato skins was not mashed sweet potato with a few chunks of onion. It was a pound of onion with a few small chunks of sweet potato.

At this point in the recipe, I was supposed to make a little indention in each potato half and then crack an egg in each. Well, there wasn't room in my potatoes to do this. The onions were hogging all the room. But I refused to give up! I had come this far, and I was going to have a sweet potato even if it was disgusting! And who knows, maybe the oven would save these undercooked potatoes. Maybe.

So, I pushed two skins together to make a larger work area, made my indention, cracked an egg, and put it back in the oven.

Before I show you what came out of the oven, let me show you what they were SUPPOSED to look like (plus some bacon, which we can't have because sugar):

And now, I can show you the monstrosity that came out of my oven.

Nailed it.

Then I tried to transfer it to a plate, at which point it fell apart. So this is what my potato looked like by the time I finally ate it (and yes, I did eat this horrible thing):

Did I mention this also took 45 minutes longer than it was supposed to? I didn't eat lunch until 2:45 pm.

Dinner: A plate of anger with a side of resentment
Okay, so imagine this:
A young couple enters the kitchen ready to make dinner. One of these two people had an unbelievably awful sweet potato disaster for lunch - or whatever meal you have at 2:45 in the afternoon. The other person just found out that Wednesday would be both treat day and the annual company picnic at work - neither of which would serve Whole30 offerings. Both people have been growing angrier and angrier all day about their inability to eat cheese.

This was us yesterday.

So we walked into the kitchen, prepared to make baked salmon and steamed broccoli. It was the last dinner on our list before going to the grocery store. We had no other lunches or dinners planned.

I pulled the salmon out of the fridge as Kenny prepared a baking dish. I cut open the packaging, spread the salmon out on the baking dish, and paused. Huh. This doesn't look like raw salmon, I thought. But it also doesn't look like cooked salmon.

"Kenny, is this salmon already cooked?"

"I don't know. It's still that, like, deep pink color. Isn't that the color of raw fish?"

"I don't know...Kenny....this package says smoked salmon. I don't think you can bake smoked salmon."

" your mom."

Turns out, friends, you can not bake smoked salmon. And according to the internet, there are only three ways to really eat the smoked salmon:
1. With cream cheese on a bagel (I wish)
2. With capers (We do not like capers. We really don't like capers.)
3. Ripped up and sprinkled on eggs. (I am done with eggs. Go away eggs. I do not want to eat you for a very long time.)

Also, more importantly, Kenny and I do not like smoked salmon. We don't. And I know that makes us uncultured heathens, and I know that we should have delightedly eaten the salmon, but we didn't want it.

We wanted cheeseburgers. And pasta. And goshdarnit, it was 7 pm and we were both so hungry and all of our meat was frozen and we didn't want to wait ages to thaw it because our microwave can't defrost things and I couldn't eat another egg if my life depended on it and just thinking about sweet potatoes filled me with shame.

And that is how I ended up facedown on my bed, starfish-style, loudly cursing the existence of eggs, sweet potatoes, everything green - even avocados, whatever nincompoop invented smoked salmon, the Whole30 book, myself for thinking Whole30 was a good idea, and basically anything in this world that is not cheese.

But even after all my angry cursing and yelling was over, I still didn't have food. And Kenny and I needed food.

So, we braved the kitchen one last time and found some frozen tilapia that we had forgotten we purchased. We thawed it out, which took about a half an hour, covered it in lemon juice, garlic, and dried parsley, and baked it for 30 minutes. Kenny steamed some broccoli. And then, we finally ate.

After dinner, we resolved to not quit. We may only be seven days in, but we had still put in a whole week. And we had purchased all this food and told people we were doing this, so we were going to do it, darn it.

So first, I read the section in the Whole30 book titled, "The Hardest Days," which predicts all of the things you will feel on the days you want to quit. And unlike me and the sweet potatoes, the Whole30 authors nailed it:

"You are cranky. You are impatient. You are a grown-up person who can eat cheese if you decide you want to eat cheese. And the Whole30 is just some stupid challenge anyway."

Then, after being reassured that this too shall pass, we planned new meals for the next four days, focusing on dishes that we were excited about and that had yummy things we enjoyed eating, like shrimp, avocados (I had already forgiven them. I love avocados too much to stay mad at them long.), potatoes (NOT THE SWEET ONES), and chicken salad.

Finally, we tackled Kenny's company picnic issue. We decided that we would eat breakfast together Wednesday morning, then I would drive him to work before stopping at the grocery store. Once home, I would cook up a delicious meal, pack a picnic basket, and meet him downtown for our own picnic.

And then, slightly less cranky than before, we went to bed.

1 comment:

  1. Yummy! Glad that you have an day 8. Looking forward!


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