Whole 30 – The First 10 Days

I loved when Shutterbean shared her Whole 30 progress, so I’m hoping you all will humor me and listen to mine.

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What I Ate (for the most part):

Moroccan chicken stew, from America’s Test Kitchen Slow Cooker Revolution Cookbook* – Everyone should eat this chicken. Everyone. I’ve had many-a-similar recipe, and this is my favorite of all. I think it’s the cinnamon stick that simmers with the stew the whole time. I forgot my husband doesn’t love cinnamon until after we finished, oops. He agreed this is amazing anyway. (pictured above, on my messy counter)

Chanterelle tacos, from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Every Day – I used 12 oz. of mushrooms, chopped super small, to match the 8 oz. ground beef I added. These were amazing. My husband ate them as regular tacos, with tortillas and cheese, and I ate them with lettuce “shells.”

Yankee Pot Roast, from the Nom Nom Paleo Cookbook – I can’t find the recipe anywhere, but this was the best pot roast I’ve ever had. I’ll make it again and tell you all about it.

Sheet Pan Lemon and Basil Chicken – believe it or not, I’ve never made a traybake (it’s what Nigella calls them) before. What on Earth took me so long? I was putting this together, thinking, this is just going to be plain chicken, but it was quite good. We did a separate tray with potatoes and sweet potatoes, and took the blogger’s advice: cut the potatoes small, and roast them 10 or 15 minutes longer.

Baked Parmesan hash browns – except without the Parmesan. I did add chives, and some eggs (4, maybe?) to hold them together. I don’t know if I want to live in a world where there isn’t cheese with my hash browns, but I had half a bag to use up, and this got the job done.

A whole lotta this kinda stuff, sans cheese and cream, obviously. I think an abundance of eggs is kind of a given on Whole 30. Currently have a “batter” for one with spinach, and the leftover veggies from the aforementioned traybake ready to go in the fridge.

Pre-grilled chicken with roasted veggies – This is my go-to lunch. Most nights after dinner, I chop up a bunch of veggies, roast them at 425 for a while, and put them in the fridge for the next day or two. I buy Bell and Evans grilled chicken breasts in the freezer section at Whole Foods (if they add something that’s not Whole 30-approved, I’m not interested in hearing about it). Then I mix those up and nuke ’em for lunch.

Unsweetened applesauce – at the recommendation of a good friend who has done a couple Whole 30s. You’re not supposed to snack on Whole 30, but my lunch is often half a meal eaten at noon, while Gooplet eats, and another half later while he takes his afternoon nap. Sorry, Whole 30 people, but that’s how it’s going to have to be.

Lemon water – Sparkling water is not my favorite, but goodness, you’ve gotta do something to make all that regular water taste a little more exciting. I love throwing limes and/or strawberry slices in too.

Some assorted thoughts, as I thought them:

-Holy moly, all I do all day is eat things you’re not supposed to eat on Whole 30. That first and second day were filled with me opening the refrigerator, and heaving a longing sigh because I had no idea what I could even eat in there. And I stocked my refrigerator full of Whole 30-approved foods.

-Holy, moly, this is going to cost money! All the bloggers say that. They’re right. I’m walking to the grocery store for more fruits and veggies ever other day. Not an exaggeration. Let’s hope what I’m saving on Starbucks is helping to make up the difference.

-The headaches are real (for the first 3 days). About midday for the first 3 days I’d get a headache that would hang around till dinner. When that hit, I started running for lemon water and praying the clock would move fast and I could eat another meal before it got any worse. I’m assuming that’s from the lack of sugar, not the lack of grains or dairy, but who knows?

-We know I’m all about ritual, and there is one ritual in which I partake daily, that has been hard to give up. Every afternoon, when Gooplet goes down for his second nap, I drink an ice-cold glass of milk and eat some sort of treat that I deem acceptable on that particular day. A piece of chocolate, a leftover cookie, you name it. This is sacred territory and helps me gear up for my last shift of mom life before dad comes home. Morning nap is like, do all the things! Emails! Laundry! Dishes! Get dinner in the slow cooker! Afternoon nap is like, ahhhhhhh.  I really miss that afternoon ritual. 10 days gone and that hasn’t changed at all.

-I am not now and (likely) never will be a vegetarian, but goodness gracious, I do not know if I love meat enough to keep this plan going. I didn’t realize that I didn’t eat that much meat. I did eat that many carbs. So now I have this void, where I don’t want pounds of meat, but I can’t have carbs, and I swear to you, if I have to look at another vegetable…(Dear readers, great news – I’m reading this now like, oh, pshhhh, I totally don’t have that problem anymore. I think it’s about finding the right ratios of meat to veggies to fruit, for you, and about figuring out what foods you’re going to enjoy eating on this plan.)

-Plan! Plan, plan, plan, plan, plan. And then plan some back ups. I always plan my meals out for the week on Saturday or Sunday, but I often change up the plan as life continues. Last minute stuff comes up, and the dinner you thought you had time to prepare, isn’t going to happen. And sometimes on Friday, you don’t feel like eating what you told yourself you’d make last Sunday. When you can eat whatever you want, that’s no problem, because you’ve likely got a fully-stocked pantry, but when you have serious limits on that, you’ve gotta get creative.

*Amen to this cookbook. I checked it out from the library because I wasn’t sure if I would want to buy it. I find a lot of the slow cooker recipes out there redundant, but I knew if anyone would get it right, America’s Test Kitchen would. They blew me out of the water. And they understand that

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