Friday, July 1, 2016

Whole30, Days 26-30: But Wait, There's More!

Catch up on all the Whole30 posts by clicking here. 

Hello, everyone. As I write this, it is Day 31: nine whole hours since Whole30 ended. Or rather, "ended." See, despite what the Whole30 name would suggest, Whole30 does not truly end after 30 days. Oh no. We've got eleven whole days left, my friends.

At its core, Whole30 is an elimination diet. Rather than trying to help you lose weight, Whole30 ihelps you discover how different foods impact your mood, energy, and overall health. So, for 30 days, we cut out dairy, gluten, non-gluten grains (think corn, rice, etc.), and legumes (peanuts, soy, beans). Now that those 30 days are over, Kenny and I will embark on the reintroduction journey. Hopefully it won't be too painful. (And I mean that literally.)

But those posts are all in the future! I'm only 9 hours into dairy reintroduction, so I can't write that post yet! Instead, I offer up a recap of our final days on Whole30. (Miraculously, we did not quit...and I didn't want to quit. Except for that time that I tried to talk Kenny into getting ice cream on Day 29. I figured it was close enough.)

Sunday, Day 26

Breakfast - Chicken Avocado leftovers
When Sunday dawned, Kenny and I felt far too lazy to break out any pots or pans for cooking. So instead, we pulled out the Tupperware and dug into the leftover chicken avocado salad from the day before. We didn't even bother with new bowls - we just ate out of the Tupperware. We're heathens.

Lunch - Red Potato leftovers, Lemon Garlic Chicken leftovers
For lunch, we had S.L.O.P. (Some Leftovers On Parade. You can thank my Aunt Molly for that one ;) ). A beautiful side effect of Whole30 is almost always having lots of yummy, homemade leftovers in the fridge. There's something immensely satisfying about having a full fridge (it makes me feel like I'm adulting successfully), and never has our fridge been more full than it has these past few weeks. Also, our Rubbermaid containers are getting a serious workout.

Dinner - Cauliflower Fried Rice
Kenny was feeling ambitious (and hungry for Chinese takeout), so he whipped up a cauliflower fried rice dish on Sunday night. I was skeptical at first, but it ended up being really tasty. The cauliflower was a great vehicle for all the delicious things we mixed in (chicken, carrots, green onions, etc.).

Cauliflower wreaths have never looked so tasty.

We also used coconut aminos as a substitute for soy sauce (since soy is off limits during Whole30), and I really liked it. A lot. Coconut aminos may become a permanent soy sauce replacement in our household.

Sorry for the shadow of my head. I didn't realize I'd done it until longer after the food was gone. 

Monday, Day 27

Breakfast - Apple and Almond Butter
On Monday morning, I just wasn't feeling the breakfast thing. I didn't want to eat, but I knew that I should eat. So rather than skipping the meal, I sliced up an apple and ate it with almond butter. The Hartwigs would be ashamed. No veggies and very little protein. But it was yummy and I ate it and I didn't skip a meal. We can't have everything.

Lunch - Rice Leftovers
Cauliflower rice leftovers were for lunch. They tasted nice.

Dinner - Squash Pad Thai
Are you on Whole30? Are you looking for recipes to spice up your life? Do you miss pad thai terribly?

Then run away. Run far away.

This meal made me so sad. First, look at the list of delicious ingredients:

  • spaghetti squash 
  • shrimp
  • ghee
  • green onion
  • red onion
  • coconut aminos (my fave!)
  • garlic 
  • red pepper flakes

Doesn't that seem like it would make a delicious meal?

Well, it didn't. And all because of one heinous additional ingredient: coconut vinegar.

See, we needed a substitute for the rice vinegar required by the original recipe, and the internet told us this coconut concoction would work. But it didn't. It was awful. All it did was make the sauce extra spicy, which made the meal extra spicy. And vinegary. There was no real flavor other than spicy. It tasted like someone had cooked and mixed up all these foods that I loved, but instead of adding yummy spices, they just made all these foods spicy.

It was sad. I was sad.

Tuesday, Day 28

Breakfast - Food?
I assume I ate breakfast, but I have no memory or record of having done so.

Lunch - Spaghetti Squash and Red Sauce
While picking up coconut aminos at Whole Foods, Kenny and I also found some jarred tomato sauce that was totally Whole30 compliant AND it didn't cost an arm and a leg! Huzzah! Losing out on the convenience of pre-packaged food has been one of the most challenging parts of Whole30, so finding something that wouldn't ruin our diets was a delightful surprise. At any rate, we had some (untainted) spaghetti squash leftover from the Pad Thai From Hell, so I heated it up, threw some tomato sauce and leftover chicken on top and had myself a pretty yummy meal.

Dinner - Slowcooker Garlic Pork Butt
Oh. My. Heavens. I was pretty doubtful when Kenny showed me a hunk of pork butt and told me he was going to make a delicious dinner. But he was dedicated enough to get up by himself at 6 am to put the butt in the slowcooker and then stuff that butt with garlic cloves.

All day I doubted him.

Then, at 3:30, I removed the lid, stuck a fork in the butt, and the whole thing fell apart. It was the juciest, yummiest,most tender, pork I've had in ages. Unfortunately, I was rushing to get to my night class, so I could only eat a few bites before I had to run off.

My rush to beat rush hour also prevented me from taking pictures, so please enjoy this pic from Nom Nom Paleo, where we got the recipe.

Wednesday, Day 29

Breakfast - Sadness
I've been getting really bad at feeding myself in the morning. Like, really bad. I keep making food for Kenny (I believe I made him a potato Wednesday morning), and then just giving up when it comes to feeding myself. I had a morning meeting on Wednesday, so I'm sure I ate something. Applesauce? Avocado? Who knows. 

Lunch - Leftover Pork
Just as delicious as it was the first time. 

Dinner - Breaded Porkchops (for Kenny) and Shrimp with Avocado
Finally, miraculously, on the second to last day of Whole30, Kenny and I were able to whip up a meal with just the ingredients we had lying around the house. When Kenny got home, he expressed a desire to eat a bunch of pork, and I felt like shrimp. So we independently cooked up our meals and ate a healthy meal together. It was lovely.

Thursday, Day 30

Breakfast - Cinnamon Applesauce
Day 30. I had been dreaming of this day for weeks. This was the day when I would pop out of bed, happily eat eggs and avocado, and revel in the gloriously healthy new lifestyle I had built for myself. 

Instead, I folded some laundry and dumped some cinnamon into a cup of natural applesauce. Yummy? Yes. A meal? no. Unsurprisingly, I was hungry by 9:30.

Lunch - A Baked Potato
Day 30 happened to be a grocery day, so our kitchen had very little food. As I stood in front of the refrigerator at 11:32 am, I came to terms with the realization that Whole30 was going to end with a whimper and not a bang. The fridge held a bit of chicken and a few shrimp, but neithersounded appealing, and neither constituted a meal. However, we did have a whole bag of jumbo potatoes, so I slathered one in olive oil and popped it in the oven. 

It was disappointing. 

Second Lunch - Shrimp and a Ruined Shirt
I'm sure no one will be surprised to hear that I felt hungry again by 3 pm. I tried to resist food as long as I could, but by 3:45, my stomach hurt from hunger. I decided to reheat the shrimp from the night before, hoping that they would tide me over until dinner time. 

Unfortunately, one of these devilish little shrimp fell from my mouth onto my silk blouse, covering it in oil and garlic. So now I need to go to the dry cleaners. 

Dinner - Chicken Tenders, Broccoli, Grapes, and Potato Chips (Oh my!)
By the time dinner rolled around, I was hardcore hangry. Kenny's mere existence irritated me. How dare he offer to help me make dinner? How dare he unload the dishwaher? How dare he be in the kitchen? How dare he breathe?? I was a mess. And poor Kenny had to deal with me. 

My hangriness was only exacerbated by the disaster that was the chicken tenders. As some of you may recall, I wasn't a fan of the oven-baked chicken tenders Kenny and I made a few weeks ago with cayenne pepper. But while meal planning yesterday, I had found a pan-frying recipe that including zero cayenne pepper and looked quite tasty - at least, in the instagram photo.

Definitely NOT my photo. Taken from Whole30's instagram.

The first 2 or 3 tenders turned out really well, but soon the almond flour started burning in the pan, and I was left with a smoky kitchen, a bowl of almond flour and a huge bowl of raw chicken. In the end, I just pan-seared and then baked the remainder of the chicken. I also took no pictures. But don't worry, they weren't very appetizing. 

Lastly, Kenny and I ate a few Simply Lays sea salt potato chips. (Can I take this moment to share that Simply Cheetos are a thing? Like, someone at Frito-Lay thought, What chips/snacks should we develop for our pared-down, slightly healthier snack line? I know! Cheetos! Shoot. Now I want Cheetos. Back to the blog post!) See, we wanted to celebrate the end of Whole30 by eating something we weren't allowed to eat during the month, but we also didn't want to jeopardize our reintroduction plan. So we chose potato chips. 

These were technically off-limits for psychological and healthy habits reasons - it's easy to overeat chips or mindlessly snack on them at 3 pm because you're bored. BUT the ingredients list is technically compliant - just potatoes, sunflower oil and sea salt (at least for the bag we grabbed. Beware of soybean oil.) Surprisingly, portion control was pretty easy. Mostly because we were both worried about accidentally making ourselves sick. 

Then, once dinner was over, Kenny chopped up potato and onion in preparation for our Dairy Reintro Day breakfast, and I stared longingly at the ice cream in our freezer. 


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