I recently read a post from a fellow Whole 30er that said something like, “I no longer eat to feel good. I cook to feel good.” That really resonated with me. And I’ll probably steal it. The biggest NSV (non-scale victory) for me during this whole process is that I’ve become WAY more comfortable in the kitchen. Had you asked me even six months ago if I would be whipping up spaghetti squash and chicken meatballs, beef brisket, and baked salmon for dinner — all in the same week — I would have laughed directly in your face and reminisced about the many times I’ve started a fire in the kitchen whilst attempting to boil water (not even kidding). Yes the amount of planning, shopping, and prep nearly killed me, but I learned so much about the food that makes up the typical American diet. Even when we think we’re making smart nutritional decisions and we assume we’re nourishing ourselves, we’re very often self-sabotaging without even realizing it. Y’all, there is SUGAR IN EVERYTHING.
I’m now a habitual label reader and even as I start to transition to a less strict nutrition plan, I’ll likely avoid a lot of the “no foods” that were part of the Whole 30. They literally do nothing for my body but throw me into intestinal distress! Chad learned that this week as he started to reintroduce some foods (and drinks) that he had gone without for a month. I’ll spare you the details, but he felt yucky. And he actually turned down a beer last night when offered one because he knew he’d feel like crap today.
So what I’ve realized is that this 30 day adventure was not about torturing myself. It was about learning what foods make me feel good and what foods I can live without. I have been legitimately surprised that I didn’t really miss the red wine. Anyone who knows me is well aware of my affinity for the vino (even the boxed variety), so I had braced myself at the start to really struggle with the “no alcohol” rule. I still think it will be my drink of choice when I do choose to indulge, but I don’t *need* it.
This week’s meals included some old favorites and some new things. Wednesday’s dinner was a slow-cooker chili. Since I usually don’t get home until after 7pm on Wednesdays, crock pot meals are the way to go. Again, I think the Whole 30 recipe calls for too much broth, so I’ll cut it down even more next time — it turned out a little soupy for my taste, but was still really good. My new fave is sweet potatoes with ghee and sea salt & pepper, and that made it even more delicious.
Thursday night I grabbed some of the frozen chicken thighs we bought at Costco and tried a new recipe: Crispy One-Pan Paleo Bacon Wrapped Chicken. I got the Whole 30-compliant bacon at Whole Foods (it was on sale!), an aside from waiting for what felt like hours for the chicken to defrost, this was a SUPER easy recipe… and quite a crowd pleaser. After I deboned and de-skinned the thighs, I just sprinkled them with onion powder, paprika, salt, and pepper & then wrapped each one in a slice or two of bacon. Brown for 2 minutes in the skillet, flip, then put the skillet in the oven for about 15 minutes! I served it with salad and roasted red potatoes. Delish!!
Friday night we were going to head to our friend Katy’s house to help her install a new giant television (seriously, it’s huge), so I decided to make the same dinner I was going to make for Chad and I for, as it turned out, 8 people. I tried a new Whole 30 recipe: Walnut-crusted Pork Tenderloin with Sweet Potatoes and Asparagus. I rubbed the loin with a mixture of onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper, and then slapped on the chopped walnuts. Apparently it’s really easy to overcook pork loin, so I set it for 30 minutes on 375. Katy was kind enough to make the asparagus, and dinner was served. It was fun to share one of my Whole 30 meals with a bunch of friends, and apparently the pork loin was a hit! Definitely something I would make again.
So now that I’m *thisclose* to finishing my Whole 35, I’m getting ready to go back to a new normal. Food-wise, I’ve decided to continue to cook my dinners using Whole 30 rules. I’ve been so impressed with how delicious the meals from the Whole 30 book have been, and I’m excited to dig into the Nom Nom Paleo book some more to find even more tasty dinners. Chad’s on board! So (especially until after the wedding) I’ll still limit my meals out so I have control over the food entering my face hole. And speaking of the wedding, I KNOW that the Whole 30 plan is not designed for weight loss, but most people see a huge drop on the scale… and I’m preparing myself for Monday’s weigh-in to be a huge disappointment. My clothes aren’t really fitting any better, and I can’t see a bit of difference. (Meanwhile, Chad’s pants keep falling off & even his belt is too big.)
But I have a plan! The first thing I’m reintroducing is whey protein. Why? Because I’m going back on the Isagenix plan. Some of you may remember that I lost a ton of weight a few years ago following a strict Isagenix “shake for breakfast, shake for lunch, & then eat a nutritious dinner” plan, with some cleanse days thrown in for good measure. I tried this again (admittedly, not 100% compliant) a few months ago and literally lost no weight, but I’m hoping after this month-long reset on Whole 30 my system is ready to drop some poundage. I have to fit in a (beautiful, fantastic, elegant) wedding dress in less than 6 months, people!
So I’ll likely keep blogging here and there about my progress, things I’ve learned, and stumbling blocks along the way. It will keep me accountable and hopefully keep you entertained.