Tuesday, February 24, 2015

My Problem With Paleo!

Due to the Whole30 being similar to the Paleo Diet, I have bookmarked and "liked" a bunch of Paleo recipe sites. But now I am getting fed up with them. Everyday my Facebook wall is flooded with chocolatey, gooey Paleo faux food. I can't stand it! Paleo chefs have decided that since they won't eat regular cookies, cakes, and candies then it's perfectly okay to replicate these naughty foods with Paleo ingredients. Since the whole point of the Paleo Diet is to change the way you eat, why would you replicate all the bad foods??

The final straw for me came when I saw a post for Paleo Girl Scout Samoa cookies.Those cookies are the epitome of an unhappy food relationship because they are full of unhealthy ingredients and the whole box is typically a single serving, at least in my world. With so much effort put into following the Paleo requirements, why would you want to support unstable eating habits by mimicking bad food?

Apparently the Paleo Diet is no better for you than any other popular diet. The low fat diet took normal food and recreated it as fat free or low fat by swapping out oils for sugar and carbs. The sugar-free craze took normal food and substituted chemicals to add sweetness. Now the Paleo Diet is swapping out processed foods for their less processed but equally psychologically damaging look alikes.

I am not questioning the physical benefits of the Paleo Diet because eating less processed foods is always good for your body. I am questioning the psychological benefits of a diet that pushes the same chocolatey triggers that people have to avoid in order to live healthy. It's hard enough to change what you eat without having to dodge mind-bombs about how to eat. There's nothing stopping me from downing a whole tray of Paleo brownies if they taste as good as regular brownies. My mouth doesn't know the difference and it doesn't care. It just wants to eat all the foodz!

So now I will be unliking a lot of Paleo sites and working on avoiding those naughty foods even if they are Paleo Oreos.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

It's a good day

Today is a good day. I weighed myself and did a double take on the scale. I am 188 lbs today. I haven't been this thin since at least 2006. Whoot! I wanted to weigh in today because I have been eating a lot lately. The food has been Whole30 approved but I just couldn't stop shoving it in my face. I had two large servings of curry coconut sweet potatoes for dinner and lots of dried fruit and nuts for snacks. The past few days have been a food parade. I was super relieved to see the scale numbers.

I used to have major diet anxiety. I would get so worked up about what I should and shouldn't eat that I wouldn't eat anything. That would last for about an hour before I would say screw it and stuff my face with all the bad things. This cycle would happen day after day. I would go to bed vowing to eat better from then on. I would wake up on track and then fall apart by 10am.

During the Whole30 I learned some of my triggers which cause me to go off plan. Dairy products are out for me. It has nothing to do with milk allergies or lactose intolerance, I just can't stop eating cheese. I love it. On previous low carb diets I would use dairy as a replacement for the grains and sugars I didn't eat. Whole meals would be just cheese or yogurt. So no more dairy for me. Another trigger is time of day. I get cravings at 3pm and 8pm. I know those are times when I want bad foods so I try to ignore the cravings and eat fresh fruit instead of chips and chocolate. Luckily fruit doesn't seem to make me crave sugars, like it can in some people. I made some homemade banana nut larabars today for those 8pm cravings. They're just banana, almonds, and dates. Yum!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Life after the Whole 30

I took a vacation from the Whole 30 a few days ago after finishing the first 30 days. I ate King Cake from New Orleans, had whiskey and beer at a party, ate chips, cheese, chocolate, lasagna, bread, beans, and every other off-limits thing I could find. After two days of that, I was ready to go back to the Whole 30 plan. The two days off left me feeling really bloated and grumpy. The off-limits food I ate didn't taste any better than the on-plan stuff I had been eating. I thought my reunion with my friend dairy foods would be like heaven, but it wasn't. It was not as exciting as it could be and left me feeling blah.

Now I am back for another 30 days of the Whole 30. I learned a lot during the first 30 days and I am ready to keep going.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

And now for something entirely different...

This blanket was knitted by my mother-in-law. It's made with yarn from my Angora goat. It's a goat fur blanket. And it's darn gorgeous!!!!!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Whole30 Break

I went to a party last night so I gave myself six hours to eat and drink whatever I wanted. And boy, did I!! I had whiskey and chips and lasagna and brownies and cupcakes and cheese and beer. After eating so many forbidden foods, I realize it's all just calories and not much that I am missing in terms of tastes and flavors. I wasn't impressed with that stuff even after not eating it for 30 days. I don't feel deprived at all by the Whole30 rules.

Now I will go back to the Whole30 today. The six hour break was fun and I may do it again but I don't think I will keep that up. I prefer the Whole30 to the alternative.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Day 30: I made it!!!

It's day 30!! I did it. I feel great! I have slayed the sugar dragon and killed the carb ogre. I lost ten pounds and have tons of energy. I am used to the rules and enjoy the food I can eat. I will be extending the Whole30 for a while.

There is a lot of fear of my reaction to sugar and carbs once I start eating them again. My husband got a ton of chocolates, flavored popcorn, and flavored peanuts from his parents today. It is hard to see that deliciousness and not dive in mouth first. But I have the Whole30 in my corner and I know that wanting a treat and craving a treat are two entirely different situations. Wanting is a minor annoyance. Craving is insidious and takes over your brain. Craving is addiction related to me. I get cravings when I am addicted to certain foods. My brain says "Just take a little bite, it won't hurt. The food wants you to eat it. It loves you and won't hurt you. Besides you can quit anytime." Cravings crawl in my head and don't stop until they are satisfied (usually by me falling face first into a bag of chocolate covered pretzels at 10pm). Due to this problem I would like to keep the cravings away by avoiding my trigger foods all together. So it's Whole30 all the time baby!!

I am not worried about staying on the Whole30 indefinitely. It's a lot easier to just stay on it than to reslay that f*****ing dragon with an ogre on its back.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Day 27: Unexpected Benefits

I am getting close to completing my first ever Whole30. A few days before I started it, I had never even heard of it. I was looking for a change of pace and had started investigating the Paleo Diet when I found the Whole30. In a flash of fate and good timing, I started it and haven't quit. I certainly can say that I have started a lot of diets and quit a lot of them in my life. Luckily this one clicked this time.

I have experienced a lot of expected benefits, like weight loss and more energy. I have also found a few unexpected benefits. One is that I consume a third less to two thirds less calories a day. I used to shove endless snacks and unnecessary food in my face all day long and eat three cheese and carb laden meals a day. Now I eat three meals a day and some fruit and nuts for snacks. Some of my meals are only fruit or veggies so they are way less calorific than others.

Another benefit is related to snacking. I was a closet snacker who would eat when I thought no one was watching. I would eat in the car or after my family went to bed. I would gorge on chips, cookies, crackers, and bread everyday. My preferred snacks were ones that were hard to keep count of. I would bake cookies instead of cake or brownies because it's harder for someone to tell how many you ate. I would eat whole packages of things so I could dispose of the evidence before anyone saw.

My dentist will love the fact that I floss every day now. I didn't plan on better dental hygiene as a benefit but since I am eating a lot of fibrous foods, I have to floss constantly. I even have floss at work now. I never used to floss because of my heavy diet of dairy and soft pasta and breads.

As I approach the end of the thirty days, I am looking forward to living this lifestyle for as long as I can.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Ice fishing: Part Deux

My husband brought home more perch. Yay...... Luckily he also brought the neighbors home with him to help eat the darn suckers. After a marathon fish cleaning session by the guys, I took over and cooked them. I did my new favorite of lemon juice and fried in coconut oil. I also breaded some in a coconut flake and almond meal mixture. Those ones were reminiscent of coconut shrimp. Pretty good. Of course it helped that there were four extra people eating them so it didn't look obvious that I only ate a few.

I made a trek to the big city and got some shopping done. I stopped at Chipotle for the first time ever and had a very good salad of lettuce, grilled peppers and onions, salsa, guacamole, and corn salsa. I know corn is off limits but since this was fresh corn, I figured it fell under the white potato rule of being more a vegetable and less a starch. The salad was great! If I do it again, I would get double peppers and onions because those were really good.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Ice fishing

I finally figured out how to prepare perch in a way so I can actually choke it down. My husband enjoys ice fishing but only ever catches perch, TONS of them. I am not a huge fan of lake fish and perch are way to small, bony, and tasteless to ever be worth bothering with them in my opinion. My husband brings them home and patiently cleans then cooks them. He gets mad when I make gagging sounds at them and then I feel obligated to try to eat them to make it up to him. My husband prefers to cook them by dunking them in flour and then pan frying them in lukewarm oil for about ten seconds. He insists that you shouldn't overcook perch. I insist that his method of cooking them is only good for encasing the scrawny little suckers in wallpaper paste. Bleck!!! My husband then dumps cocktail sauce on them and chows down. With that much cocktail sauce he might as well just save the time cleaning the fish and pour it over toast. It would taste the same.

So tonight I came home determined to cook the remaining perch in a way that I can actually eat them. I did succeed. All I did was rub some fresh lemon juice and garlic on the fish, and then fry it until crispy in coconut oil. I then put them on a bed of capers with some Trader Joe's 21 Spice Salute blend. The perch tasted pretty good and even my four year old approved. Now gone are the days of paste and cocktail sauce. My only remaining wish would be that the days of my husband bringing home buckets of perch would go too.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The beginning of the end...

I can see the end in sight and of course my cravings for chocolate and chips have come roaring back. Most of that can probably be attributed to my riding the express train to PMS Land. This makes me want to stuff my face constantly for two days straight. I was good tonight and stuck with fresh fruit, dried fruit, and nuts. Although, I almost beat up a coworker for his sandwich at lunch today. I'll have to stock up the pantry for the weekend to keep my mouth filled with good stuff.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Day...let's say...22

Still going well on the Whole30. I am having some post-30 anxiety about how I should handle being off of the diet. I would like to extend it for a while longer because now I am in the groove. I feel that it is a lot easier to navigate food choices when you have very strict and clear rules to follow. I didn't have a terrible diet before this and wasn't able to feel good and lose weight like this. (Okay, maybe I did tend to eat like a shame-filled seventeen year old, but even when I did concentrate on eating good stuff, it was a real struggle to make a difference). The cooking every night is getting easier. And lots of the recipes are really awesome. I am in love with Nom Nom Paleo!! I think you've really hit the Whole30 stride when you start craving fish sauce.

I do have a dilemma because on Friday my coworker is having Mardi Gras king cakes hand delivered from New Orleans. I don't know when my next opportunity to find the baby will be so I think I will totally have to break some rules for this (okay, not "some" rules, ALL of them!!!). The big fear is that one bite will send me on a downward spiral where I will wake up to find myself covered in chocolate ganache and Cheetoh dust in the backseat of my car two Wednesdays from now. Oh well, my commitment to myself will be tested but if I am going to stay healthy, I have to pull on my big-girl pants (not fat pants!!).

Monday, February 2, 2015

Day 20: Snow Day

I wome up this morning to -4F and blowing snow. Ugh.... After a short internal debate, I decided that driving thirty minutes through the snow in a no-wheel drive car on a day when I have nothing time sensitive at work to do wasn't worth it. I stayed home and binge read Fifty Shades of Grey, which was the dumbest book I have ever read. I don't know which part was more idiotic: the repeated, improbable sex scenes, Ana's ridiculous inner goddess BS, her idiot inability to realize that Christian actually likes her, or her conviction that she can change him. I can't stomach the idea of reading the sequels because if I have to read two more books that involve the flip-flop "he loves me, he loves me not" garbage, I will actually barf. If you took out the sex scenes it would be the most boring book on the planet.

Ok, enough of that. Other than eating too many pumpkin seeds, I ate some good stuff. I had a morning smoothie. Lunch was a scramble of bacon, roasted potatoes, veggies, and eggs. I recycled the fresh salsa from yesterday into a yummy ceviche for dinner. I just added some cucumber, more lime juice, some salt, and precooked shrimp. I put that over lettuce and spinach with an avocado. So good!!

I have been doing some doubling up on meal prep. When I made almond crusted zucchini fries the other day, I took all the leftover batter and breading and put it into meatballs. Yesterday I used the juices from making the chile lime marinade to add to the salsa. I am beginning to remember how much I like cooking. Good times.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Day... : I've totally lost track!!!

Considering that I posted two Day 17s, it's safe to say I've totally lost track of where I am (or I can't count at all). I'll take it as a good sign that I can no longer tell what day I'm on because that means I am so used to the Whole30 options that I am not desperately counting down to the finish.

Today is Super Bowl day. We traditionally have a party where I dust off all most fatty and nutritionally terrible appetizer recipes. It's typically a smorgasbord of cheesy, sugary, or carb laden greatness. This year will still feature plenty of appetizers but many will be Whole30 approved. I am making chile lime wings from Nom Nom Paleo, bacon wrapped pineapple, bacon fried Brussels sprouts, fresh salsa, fresh veggies, and fresh fruit. Yummy!!