Sunday, June 12, 2016

Whole30, Days 8, 9, 10, & 11: Pan-Sear All the Things

Catch up on all the Whole30 posts by clicking here. 

I haven't blogged much in the past few days because, honestly, I think we might have turned a corner in Whole30. [Or rather, we found the corner, went back to Grumpytown on Thursday, and then returned in order to actually turn said corner on Friday.] But even though I have less hangriness to vent, I am enjoying the process of recording our Whole30 journey. SO, on to pictures and food.


After the nightmare that was Day 7, aka The Day We Almost Quit, Kenny and I decided to approach Day 8 with a better attitude and a fresh meal plan, packed with yummy foods. So, after eating breakfast together, I drove Kenny to work then headed over to the grocery.

I arrived at SuperTarget just before they opened, and I have to say, 8 am may be my new favorite time to shop at Target. There are almost no other customers to get in your way or to clog up the cashier's line. And you get to be the first person to stumble upon the home decor section that has been freshly covered in 50% off clearance stickers.

So in addition to the groceries I picked up, I also grabbed these adorable bowls for less than $8 total:

After my grocery trip, I headed home and set about getting life back in order - cleaning the kitchen, doing laundry, etc.

Lunch: Pan-Seared Pork, Grapes, Carrots, and Chipotle Guac

As part of our new "Let's get over ourselves and have a better attitude about Whole30" initiative, I had decided to make and bring lunch to Kenny in downtown St. Paul.

I followed the Whole30 book's pork recipe (Pan-searing is my new favorite thing. How did I not know how deliciously tender this makes meat?) and chopped up some fresh fruit and vegetables as sides.

Once I arrived downtown, Kenny and I decided to eat at a table outside Chipotle. Except, we felt bad taking up Chipotle chairs without patronizing Chipotle, so - oh darn - we decided to buy guacamole to justify our presence. So far, the discovery that guacamole goes amazingly well with pork chops is one of my favorite Whole30 revelations. It's obvious in retrospect, but somehow it never occurred to me to pair these two things.

Bonus picture of Kenny looking cheery:

Dinner: Spinach Salad, Lemon Garlic Shrimp in Avocado

For dinner, Kenny and I made a recipe that we had had on our to-make list for nearly a week: shrimp sauteed in ghee (dairy-free butter), lemon juice and garlic, served in half an avocado. Honestly, the photo of the meal is kind of gross. The ghee made the shrimp look kind of slimy, and the lighting makes the shrimp look uncooked. But let me assure you, the shrimp was well-cooked, not slimy, and was utterly delicious. Whole30 is basically just becoming an excuse for me to test avocado and guacamole with various seafood and meats. I'm adding shrimp to the list of delicious avocado pairings.


When Thursday dawned, my bad attitude had returned. To understand why, I should explain a little more about Whole30.

On the surface, Whole30 is just about the food you eat: no grains, legumes, alchohol or dairy for 30 days. But Whole30 also seeks to break unhealthy food habits you might have. So, for example, even though french fries are technically allowed in Whole30 (potatoes are okay, as is cooking oil), they are banned because they promote mindless overeating. Same goes for things like chips, smoothies, and banana-egg paleo pancakes.  Snacking is also discouraged, though permitted in the first week or so as your body adjusts to new energy sources.

Well, my unhealthy eating habits revolve around boredom. When I am bored, I snack. When I am home alone, I snack. When I am bored and at home alone, I snack A LOT.

So, tell me if you see the problem: I am in the midst of two weeks of freedom. My spring classes have ended, but my summer classes have not begun. My internship ended for the school year and the musical I'm in has not yet begun. So I sit at home all day, without Kenny, twiddling my thumbs.

And I. Want. To. Snack.

Thursday was essentially just me staring at a wall growing angrier and angrier that I couldn't snack on peanut butter.

Breakfast: Leftover porkchops and guac
I ate this, and it was yummy. However, my frustration that I couldn't have peanut butter limited my enjoyment.

Lunch: Leftover shrimp, avocado, and spinach
Once again, delicious. No peanut butter.

Dinner: Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps
By the time Kenny got home, my boredom-fueled anger had reached such incredible heights, I had gone on hunger strike. If I can't eat peanut butter, I won't eat ANYTHING. How DARE this program take me away from my precious peanuts!

Kenny opted to be the more mature partner and whip up some scrumptious chicken salad. We (yes, I calmed down enough to eat) wrapped the chicken up in lettuice leaves so that we could eat it like a burrito. However, a lettuce burrito doesn't make an exciting picture, so I photographed this yummy salad pre-wrapping.


Breakfast: Leftover Tilapia (from The Day We Almost Quit)
On Friday, I realized that my boredom was sabotaging me, so I decided to get out of the house. After a quick breakfast of tilapia (which tasted more like lake water than I remember), I headed out. 

On my agenda:
- toiletry restocking at Target
- picking up a check from TurnStyle (a consignment store)
- stopping at Michaels / Barnes & Noble / Staples / Blick Art Supply to get materials for a bullet journal. 

The shopping trip was a wonderful success, and my TurnStyle check covered the cost of the bullet journal - so no money was lost! I may or may not blog about the bullet journal, but if you're curious to know what it is, Buzzfeed has a pretty great synopsis. 

Also, here are some pictures:

Lunch: Leftover Chicken Salad
I returned home to chicken salad and a better attitude. No longer bored out of my mind and craving peanut butter, I settled in to work on creating my bullet journal.

Dinner: Burgers in Lettuce Wraps, Cauliflower Mash

With our renewed attitudes, Kenny and I set about making dinner. Kenny focused on the burgers, which turned out splendidly:

So much delicious onion and mustard.

And I set about making the cauliflower mash. I have been pretty pumped about this recipe ever since it started popping up in my Pinterest feed a year ago. It's fairly simple to make too, at least if you plan ahead. I did not plan ahead. So when the time came to add the ghee, coconut cream, and chicken broth, I realized I had none of these things.

But I refused to give up! (Also, the cauliflower itself had already been mashed. I was committed.) So, I quickly clarified butter on the stove, threw some coconut milk in the fridge (it separates out into coconut cream), and grabbed some beef broth as a substitute for chicken.

In the end, our dinner was delayed about 45 minutes, but the mash was delicious. Kenny and I can't get enough.

Also, I got to use my new bowls:


Finally, we arrive at Saturday, which was a simple and photo-free day, so I won't drag it out.

Breakfast: Potato, Onion, Kielbasa Hash
Lunch: Leftover Burgers and Cauliflower Mash
Dinner: Fresh Chicken Salad on Lettuce, Bananas with Almond Butter (a love letter to almond butter is coming. just wait.)

With 11 days under our belts, I am starting to feel pretty okay about Whole30. My energy levels are consistent throughout the day (no 2 pm slump for me!), and I am sleeping fairly well. My skin has cleared a little, and I think I'm even losing weight? It may just be that my body composition is changing (fewer deposits of flubby fat), but either way, my clothes are fitting better, and that's pretty cool.

Best of all, I am starting to build versatile kitchen skills. I am no longer afraid of raw meat, unknown vegetables, or recipes that require an immersion blender. I have even started shopping for a cast iron skillet.

Baby steps.


  1. Congrats on making it to Day 11! I'm not on Whole30, but something very similar. I will warn you, Day 18 sucks, but you can do it!

  2. Congratulations! I am not into this program, yet. I will start it on vacation! Till then reading about it!

    1. Starting Whole30 on vacation sounds ambitious! I'd love to hear how it goes!


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