It’s Day 12 of The Whole30 Challenge. It’s also the end of the last week of school for our kids. We’re beginning to settle into life eating on the challenge, but we’ve also been really busy this week.
My journal notes reflect that.
Somehow from Day 9 to Day 12, I’ve lost some time.
And some notes.
So I’m using today’s post as Part One of two posts to catch you up to “real time.”
To this point, I haven’t been able to talk much about how Kory is doing on the challenge because he’s been out of town for a lot of it.
Kory shared with me that, while navigating Days 2-4 and Days 8-9 were challenging on the road, it wasn’t impossible.
At the retreat he attended, he chose to be bold and ask if there were alternatives to what was being served for meals.
And guess what?
When he traveled to Iowa to celebrate the life of his grandmother, he had to snack on fruit and nuts to get through it, but he managed.
Now that he’s home, he’s been able to focus on getting three meals per day into his system, with a better balance between animal protein, healthy fat, vegetables, and fruit.
During Week One, Kory suffered from what many refer to as the “carb flu”.
His symptoms included fatigue and headaches. He also developed an excruciating neck ache, which was ultimately diagnosed as a pinched nerve. His chiropractor believes it developed as a result of the new pillow he’s been trying and the new mattress (which I’m finally used to and love), but she confirmed that the Whole30 detox was likely aggravating it.
She explained that such a major change in the body’s intake can send the body into stress and can aggravate an otherwise unrelated problem. Kory is visiting the chiropractor and a massage therapist regularly to punch through this issue. He also has a special pillow on order for his “military neck” that should make a huge difference!
Because of his visit to the chiropractor, Kory had to jump on a scale on Day 9. He weighed in approximately 5 pounds lighter than the last time he was on a scale (many months before Whole30)!
This 5 pound weight loss was quite a surprise to Kory because he said he isn’t feeling deprived in the food department at all. Neither am I! Whole30 eating has been surprisingly delightful for both of us!
Kory also says that, while there is still pressure in his sinuses, they seem to be better than normal.
He hasn’t had an allergy attack (I can attest to the fact that seasonal allergies are in full-swing). And I can tell you that his breathing is changing at night. Kory tends to breath with his mouth opened at night due to his inflamed sinuses, but the last few mornings, I’ve noticed that he’s breathing with his mouth closed. This has to be a good thing!
I continue to experience a noticeable overall increase in energy during the day.
I’m also sleeping better.
My nighttime sleep patterns have improved to the point that they’re almost back to normal. One thing I’ve done this week to help is to go to bed as soon as I begin to feel tired, instead of trying to “push through” to get a few more things done before I call it a day. I’m falling asleep quickly, and I’m sleeping through the night.
All that to say, Week Two has included a few short-lived daytime “energy slumps”. I bordered on not feeling well as a result of them, so I let my body be my guide and got some rest. A thirty minute nap did the trick.
The Highlights of Week Two Cooking Include:
Pan Fried Prosciutto
A few weeks ago, we purchased 1 pound of uncured, clean, pastured bacon from the farmer’s market. (“Pastured” is more commonly used to refer to poultry and their eggs, but pastured pork is available too. Pastured pork comes from pigs that live, more or less, how pigs might live if left to their own devices: in fields and woods, free to move around, with small shelters where they can sleep and give birth and feed their piglets.)
I can’t even begin to express how wonderfully delicious it was! The kids had no problem switching from the bacon we usually buy from the grocery store to this clean version. The problem is that, right now, the vendor we bought it from is low on pastured pork, and I’ve been craving it ever since.
So I tried pan-frying prosciutto from Costco as a substitute:
So much flavor in such small pieces of meat! And it was an extra treat to dredge through the yolk of my sunny-side up eggs (because you know how I like to dredge things in egg yolks)!
In addition to craving tacos this second week (See Day 8 Post for Whole30 compliant taco meat recipe), I also wanted something on the Italian side. But because we were pressed for time all week, I couldn’t really do any research to figure out how to crack this nut. So we ended up with this:
Grilled chicken (prepared on the BGE at the beginning of the week), topped with Raos marinara sauce, frozen Normandy Style Vegetables from Costco used as substitutes for broccolini in the lemony broccolini recipe I’ve come to adore (this was a delicious tweak), and sauteed baby bella mushrooms and frozen multicolored peppers from Trader Joe’s, seasoned with some fresh basil and oregano from our garden.
This was delicious! And super easy to put on the table in the middle of the week.
The Whole Foods Salad Bar
On Wednesday, I had the best of intentions.
I put a mason jar salad together to take to work, along with a green smoothie (recipe link below), an apple, and some almond butter. But I left it all in the refrigerator and didn’t realize what I had done until it was too late to turn around.
I recalled reading another blog post that said the Whole Foods Salad Bar is a great place for Whole30-ers on the run because Whole Foods discloses all the ingredients used for every item offered on the salad bar. I’ve eaten at this salad bar many times, but honestly, I’ve never noticed this feature because it hasn’t been important to me. (Isn’t that sad?) Since there is a Whole Foods about 5 minutes from my office, this seemed like the perfect time to try it out.
My only complaint? No Whole30 compliant protein offered besides hard-boiled eggs. Since I’d had two eggs for breakfast that morning, I was disappointed. But otherwise, the salad bar was great, and now I know I can always turn to Whole Foods in a pinch!
This Green Smoothie
This green goddess smoothie includes a delicious combination of spinach, romaine lettuce, pears, banana, and avocado (I excluded the flax seed) and makes enough for two servings. I drank one in the morning and tossed the other one in a mason jar and put it in the freezer. This defrosted beautifully and provided a mid-afternoon snack a few days later.
Kory and I had a babysitter on tap for Thursday night, only to realize that Kory had a meeting at church that would interfere with any hopes for a night out together. So he went to church for a meeting, and I went on a date ALL BY MYSELF. I spent 3 hours at one of my favorite spots, Eatzi’s, writing, drinking my favorite decaf mango iced tea, and eating this delicious, Whole30 compliant meal, hot off the grill:
Roasted turkey. Steamed broccoli. And sauteed zucchini and squash. It was fabulous! I’m learning that eating out isn’t as scary as I thought it would be during the challenge. Sure, we have to be smart about where we go, but there are great, healthy options available for dining out.
Carne Asada and Shishito Peppers
On Friday night, my sister and her family came over for a spur-of-the-moment get together. We had carne asada (Click here for recipe), topped with grilled onions and tomatillo avocado sauce (1 jar Trader Joe’s salsa verde and one avocado, pureed), sauteed shishito peppers, and a green salad.
If I had been served this meal in a restaurant, I would have been pleased.
To make the shishito peppers (which I purchased at Trader Joe’s), I sauteed the peppers in two tablespoons of EVOO over medium-high heat until the peppers began to blister. Once the peppers were blistered and soft, I sprinkled them with sea salt and served them immediately. What could be easier? This was a delicious side, but would also be a unique appetizer to serve to guests.
This Decadent Treat
I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, that I started Whole30 trying to utilize familiar recipes so that the task at hand wouldn’t seem so daunting. One of the recipes I discovered that could be easily converted to Whole30 was this banana and walnut smoothie. I’ve been holding out to use it, waiting for a day when I really needed a pick me up.
Well, that day came on Thursday!
All I had to do was replace the almond milk with Trader Joe’s light coconut milk (canned) and freeze a banana ahead of time. I also used fresh, instead of dried, dates. You guys, this is like an ice cream milk shake. Seriously. It was delicious and such a treat! It was so good, in fact, that I forgot to take a picture! (The recipe is enough to split at least two ways. It also freezes great if you don’t have someone to share it with.)
Part II coming soon!