Whole30 Week 3: We’ve Got Tiger Blood in Our Veins

It’s week three of Whole30 – halfway to cheese! Are we still surviving? Read on to find out.

:Week 1:

:Week 2:

Day 15

Molly: After my through-the-roof grocery bills at the start, I’m in a comfortable place now because some meals stretched longer than I thought, and others didn’t use up all of their ingredients. Since last week’s made-up frittata was a dud, I was glad to use some leftovers in a breakfast that I’m actually enjoying: sweet potatoes with baked eggs, with a side of sauteed kale, tomatoes, red onions and orange pepper. Hello, color!

These harissa portobello mushroom tacos are a hard recommend. If I make them again, I might go for the extra credit and make cashew cream to go on top.

Yes, that’s romaine, and yes, I spent a few hours crossing my fingers that I didn’t get e.coli (I didn’t).

This weekend somebody asked me if eating on the Whole30 is boring, and it’s a mixed bag. I’ve had so much fresh, delicious food that I couldn’t call that part boring. However, constantly thinking about what I have to make, and spending hours on meal prep, IS a bit of a drag.

Traci: I didn’t have to work today, so I’ve put off cooking until now. By cooking, I mean it’s a light day since I only made hard boiled eggs, made some breakfast sausages, cut up items for salad, and cooked the other Blue Apron meal of Togarashi chicken lettuce cups. So. Much. Meal. Prep.

And like Molly, I too spent an arm and leg on groceries the first week, and now I just have food/meals that are lasting a while. Including the kale avocado salad I made with the Blue Apron box, which apparently will last me a month.

Day 16

T: Also worth noting that I made mini fritattas too, and still eating those for breakfast. Also for breakfast – taking a whiff of my co-worker’s cinnamon sugar donut like it’s crack.

I also risked everything and watched “Somebody Feed Phil”, a new Netflix docuseries featuring Everybody Loves Raymond creator Phil Rosenthal. I loved his first show, “I’ll Have What Phil’s Having”, and the premise is similar for both – Phil goes to different places all around the world and eats their local cuisine. Most of which I can’t have on W30. But let’s be honest, it’s also barely plausible that I will be getting pad thai from a vendor at Bangkok’s floating market anytime soon. Point is that I watched it. Well, most of it. And didn’t crave non-compliant food! Little victories.

Molly and Tori were talking about the reintroduction phase once day 31 hits. I didn’t read the book. Am I not supposed to shove my face with cheese?

M: I put off reading about the reintroduction phase until this week and I’m a little scared I’m going to say screw it and eat all the cheese. What they DON’T tell you is the Whole30 is really a Whole40, with like one non-compliant thing every few days for the last 10 days. I don’t love it.

Somebody Feed Phil sounds amazing – food travel is one of my favorites! –  but I’m not sure if I can handle it as well as Traci did.  Just seeing Call Me By Your Name last week (and smelling everyone’s popcorn) had me missing living with a European family when I was young, in Spain, and allowed to eat grains, sugar and dairy.

Day 17

T: I finally ate the last of the kale avocado salad. With balsamic chicken I’ve had since last week. Honestly I have an overabundance of food. And 80% of it I’m only half interested in eating.

I will say that I feel like not eating all the things that aren’t compliant is becoming second nature to me. Dare I say, easy?

M: This week I ran across the phrase “tiger blood” and couldn’t stop laughing. TIGER BLOOD. These people are serious about the phrase “tiger blood.” That sounds like a disease you’d get in the jungle if you don’t get the right vaccines before you go.

Anyway, “tiger blood” hits around this phase of W30, when you’re feeling fresh, energetic, and like it’s – dare I, too? – easy. I think we’re both there! I’m used to what I can and cannot have, I’m more or less in a rhythm with cooking, and I’m not buying all the groceries in the world.  I’m really enjoying all of the stuff I’m making. It’s starting to feel like I can more or less eat this way when I’m done, bu, t with the addition of bread, pasta, oatmeal, quinoa, barley, cheese and the occasional sweet. So, nothing like this and exactly like I ate before. Never mind.

Day 18

M: We’re well past the halfway point (!) and one thing we haven’t brought up is alcohol. In fact, when people ask what the Whole30 rules are I always forget to mention it. I don’t know, both of us will have a drink or two socially but have definitely gone a month without alcohol without meaning to. And at 31, our social lives don’t revolve around going to bars like they did 10 years ago. Plus we don’t, like, Olivia Pope it with a tumbler of wine after work. Anyway, if you’re wondering why we haven’t brought it up, it’s just because it’s really a nonissue. Now, if I had to give up coffee and tea instead we’d have some Real Problems.

T: I’ve had to explain W30 multiple times to people over the past few weeks and every time, I forget alcohol. It’s an afterthought, and TBH it’s only been a problem when I realize I can’t have it when it’s an ingredient in certain dishes, NOT because I want a giant vat of sauvignon blanc.

Today’s self-debate: which of the things I’m not supposed to have will be the first thing i reintroduce into my diet? It’s like Sophie’s Choice. Dairy is winning by the way.

Day 19

M: I’m late to the game with this one, but I went to Chipotle and it was great for Whole30! I ended up with a salad with raw fajita veggies, probably 2-3 kinds of salsa, and a solid cup of guacamole. When I go to peoples’ houses I’ve taken to just bringing a container of leftovers and hoping I don’t seem crazy. This probably only works with family and close friends.

T: Look, we both said it’s getting “Easy” and #TigerBlood and all, but here’s another difficult thing that I faced today: i am starting to get sick of the food I’m eating.

Because I’m starting to get over cooking, it’s led me to only cooking dinners on Sundays, which means breakfast is basically hard boiled eggs, avocado and a breakfast meat of choice. And again, because I’m a rebel, I don’t lunch but rather snack, and there’s only so many roasted plantain chips (i’m not supposed to have) to be eating.

I JUST WANT THE OPTION TO EAT AN ENTIRE LOAF OF BREAD WITH BUTTER. I’M NOT ACTUALLY GOING TO DO IT. BUT I WANT THE OPTION.

M: I’m getting testy because I’m realizing that this is not that different from how I eat regularly, except with the ENTIRE LACK OF OPTIONS for “sometimes foods.” It’s important to note that neither of us like feeling bossed around, and I am feeling VERY BOSSED INDEED.

Day 20

T: Today I ate out TWICE! First, I had lunch after the Women’s March, but had to do extensive research for places that had W30 options in downtown LA. We ended up at a generic European place that opened one day before the Women’s March last year. The owner was our server and kept giving us free items like a jelly candy, charcuterie plate and tiny macaroons. I had two slices of the ham and ordered poke on greens without soy sauce. All very delicious.

Then I went out to dinner before seeing Disney’s Aladdin (the musical, not the movie, obvs). We usually eat at a place near the Pantages, Greenleaf, which is a lot of salads and the like. I did a build your own salad (with this great almond-crusted chicken) and my friend and I split an order of baked sweet potato fries and an avocado pesto dip (which we had to obnoxiously ask for an itemized list of ingredients).

Both of us (she is also on W30) were on our way back home and were still hungry. How. Anyways, it’s possible to eat out, just not as many choices.

M: I’m finding it really hard to eat out on the vegetarian version and I’m largely disinterested in the options available to me, like Some Broccoli or A Sad Bare Salad. Maybe that’s what W30Couple wants (I get that it’s Melissa and Dallas but I’ve taken to thinking of them as Melissa and Doug, of wholesome wooden children’s toy fame).

Day 21

T: Second round of Blue Apron cooking today, and it included a seared salmon & harissa vegetables with roasted red onion vinaigrette and then crispy chicken and italian tomato sauce with potatoes and collard greens.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. The fact that I have to cook two meals in the middle of my Sunday is annoying to me. But this is what I signed up for. The Whole40.

M: OK, so not only is it a for-real Whole40, but I somehow deluded myself into thinking of it as 4 weeks instead of 30 days. As in, over the weekend I thought to myself “okay, heading into week 4! almost there!”  I was celebrating my last shopping trip of Whole30, then remembered that I’m not done until next Wednesday (plus 10 after that…). Staying positive here, friends.

Advertisements

Whole30 Week 2: “It’s My Whole30”

We made it another week! What did we learn now that we’re seasoned experts? Read on to find out!

: See Week 1 here:

Day 8

Molly: I should probably mention that I’m doing the vegetarian version of the Whole30. I haven’t eaten meat since some time in high school, which was so long ago that there are now period films about it (Lady Bird, I’m pulling for that Oscar nomination). The W30 description of the vegetarian diet sounds like it was written by Regina George. It’s basically, “you’re a nonsense person who has chosen a garbage lifestyle, but here’s a way you could ruin your diet less I GUESS.” The difference is mainly that I don’t eat meat (obviously) but can eat some legumes. Whole milk organic pasteurized plain yogurt is OK but I’m not going to do it. I mean there were 4 modifiers before I even got to “yogurt.” This is actually the first day I’ve had any legumes – for the most part, I’m doing the regular W30 but with an almost obscene amount of eggs – but I realized my protein intake was a bit low so I made lentil soup and a roasted beet salad with edamame.

Peeling roasted beets is pretty gnarly, huh?

Traci: RX Bars – what is the consensus on these? I had one that contained egg whites, dates, almonds, blueberries, other items and it was super dense. I couldn’t even finish it.

Since I’m on my regular meat-eating diet, for dinner, I had pork chops with Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute that you can put on pretty much anything and it will taste like you actually put an effort into cooking. I had that with roasted broccoli and cauliflower rice, and it felt the most like a regular dinner since start this a week ago!

M: I’m not buying RX bars or Lara Bars. I make my granola bars in real life (real life being when I’m not doing W30 I guess?) and switching to premade ones would probably feel like dessert. #Sexpants. [Update: toward the end of the week I had a Lara bar in a pinch. It was OK but not great. I’d treat it as a backup food but not a regular thing.]

Day 9

M: Here’s something I’ve noticed: getting hungry makes me feel way more panicky than normal.  I was at the hardware store tonight and felt famished as I looked at the junk food by the register – and buying snacks on the go isn’t even something I do! But I couldn’t have it, was the difference.

They announced a snow storm for Friday into Saturday and I immediately knew I’d push my weekly shopping trip up to Thursday even though I avoid grocery stores the night before a storm. The idea of being trapped in my house with just a bag of frozen spinach and a dwindling egg supply was terrifying.

T: Do you guys know how hard it is to find a breakfast meat that doesn’t include sugar? 99% of all bacon (not a real stat) includes some kind of sugar, specifically brown sugar. Our friend Tori, who is also doing W30, suggested Pederson’s brand for all my breakfast meat needs. I went to Whole Foods since it’s the only local place that carries it – and a pack of uncooked no sugar hickory smoked bacon is $7.99!!! Gonna have to ration this shit out.

A lot of people at my work are sick, and since I’m paranoid, I felt like I needed to act before those germs could strike on me. But my usual plan of attack is to down Vitamin C and gulp a lot of orange juice. But can’t do that this time around. I’ve been eating a lot of oranges, but it doesn’t seem enough to me. Which is why I went to Whole Foods in the first place. They carry these wellness shots by Kor that are supposed to help the immune system. My friend also told me about these Elderberry & Zinc lozenges that I also purchase because this bitch isn’t getting sick. Especially not on W30.

My friend invited me to an impromptu W30 dinner, since 4 of my friends are also doing it, and 2 others just went along for the ride. They made baked waffle fries and this slow cooker chili (but added sweet potato and sliced carrots and used low sodium chicken stock, not beef). It was so freaking good and again, didn’t felt like it was a typical “W30” meal.

Day 10

T: You know what you shouldn’t do? Take the Kor wellness shot while you’re driving. I knew it had cayenne pepper in it but a greatly underestimated how it was going to effect me. It’s straight up ginger, cayenne, lemon juice, coconut juice, and tiny tiny little shivs made into particles that go down your throat. I had to get rid of the burn by grabbing some cashews originally rationed for lunch. But am I sick? No. Worth it? I guess.

Today I got halfway from the parking garage to my office and realized I forgot my lunch bag in my car. I couldn’t just leave it because it had my breakfast and all my W30 approved snacks for the day! I couldn’t survive off the things from craft services and the commissary – which I obviously would have to spend money on. I walked all the way back. Extra exercise, I guess?

Relatedly, besides all the cooking, my other complaint about this is how much money you spend. Between organic foods and items like coconut oil or ghee, it’s a lot of stuff I don’t usually buy that costs nearly twice as much as my regular groceries. Here are some super helpful tips on how to save money on W30 from 40 Aprons (home of the delish crockpot carnitas from last week) if you can relate.

I also just want to give a shout out to Simply Organic Dijon Mustard – it is giving me life through W30. It’s surprisingly delish and I’m maybe putting it on everything moving forward.

M: I donated blood today because there’s a shortage, I’m 0- (universal donor), and someone in HR specifically emailed me telling me there were cancellations and she noticed I had donated before. Hello, guilt trip. I have a super-low resting heart rate and tend to get woozy after donating, which is admittedly like … two times because I used to be ineligible. I was worried that I’d feel even worse being on the W30, but it was fine! I did have raisins and apple juice (no added sugar or weird stuff in either) right after because I know how I get.

Day 11

M: My Whole30 Mantra, because I have a Whole30 mantra, is “it’s my Whole30.” I use it when I read Whole30 commentary about the ideal way to do things, like not snacking and going full-egg if you’re a vegetarian. I’m doing this to reset my dietary preferences and habits. I know I’m not sensitive to legumes so I’m not stressing about doing the version that allows them. I’m also not trying to lose weight so – Whole30 controversy alert! – I’m still weighing myself since I know I won’t quit if I’m not losing. I don’t know what I’d do if I gained – back off the fruit?  No. “Back off the fruit” is the diet plan of a crazy person.

I really want, like, a single square of chocolate at night, but I am also deep enough into W30 to appreciate the total restriction approach. Until February. Then gimme me that 80% cacao.

T: I totally agree that “It’s My Whole30” should be everyone’s motto. It’s probably against everything the founder talked about in her book we didn’t read, but I still stand by it.

Here’s a good snack I’ve enjoyed at work: carrots and an individual cup of Wholly Guacamole. It feels like guac shouldn’t be compliant, but thank god it is.

Day 12

T: I was 3/4 of the way through eating my hard boiled eggs, avocado, and chicken sausage breakfast topped with Trader Joe’s Chili Pepper hot sauce when I thought to myself, “Hmm this hot sauce tastes a little sweet”. Then I looked at the ingredients. Right there, listed second, was SUGAR. Lit’rally an hour before, I was texting Molly and our friend Tori, and said “I decided if sugar sneaks in i’m going to pretend it didn’t happen.”

WELL IT DID, TRACI. IT DID. How much sugar is in it, exactly? 1 gram. OK FINE. IT’S BARELY ANYTHING, BUT STILL. This is how sugar just comes out of nowhere. We eat too much sugar as a society, y’all.

Anyways, I’m pretending it didn’t happen and moving forward with my life. Because I’ve been super careful up until then.

I’d also like to point out the dessert I just whipped up like a contestant on Chopped. If the contestant was given a basket of non-weird food items that go together.

M: While I’m avoiding anything dessert-y (including nut butters), that looks amaaaazing. I made a cereal that was the first sweet food I’ve had other than plain fruit (food processed walnuts, coconut, chia and raisins) and it was just like Traci with the RX bars – I  couldn’t even get through a serving because it was so dense, like fruitcake cereal.  I only made the damn fruitcake cereal because I have been powering through this frittata I don’t like for about 3 days and I need a break. I spend so long cooking that I can’t bear to waste perfectly ‘good’ food.

Update: 3 hours later my mouth still feels sugary and gross from the ‘cereal.’ There’s a reason the serving size of raisins is one box that fits perfectly in a dollhouse pantry. They’re TOO SWEET. Back to eggs and veggies for breakfast.

Day 13

T: I went to go see Call Me By Your Name and the smell of popcorn was wafting in the air as i watched my new favorite couple fall in love on screen. I just sat there and drank my smuggled in bottle of water.

I also received my first Blue Apron box! they’ve paired up with W30 to provide compliant meals and i thought what a better time than any to finally try it out! i got some kind of deal where i got $50 off (split between boxes) so it works out to be about $10/meal, which provides 2 servings. First up was Mexican spiced barramundi with kale, roasted sweet potatoes and avocado salad. there’s a step by step guide that times everything perfectly, so it’s basically cool proof. It wasn’t too laborious and tbh i wasn’t even sure if it was going to taste good. especially bc i’m so picky with kale. But let me tell you – it was DELISH. Like i was surprised at how good it was. And the kale salad? I went back for another heap of it bc it was that good.

The thing that’s always attracted me to Blue Apron (and similar boxes) is there you’re provided w the exact amount of ingredients and nothing more. EG a bag of Mexican spices. a sachet of pepitas. so much better than having to buy a full container of cumin that i’m never going to use again.

M: The Blue Apron W30 box is non-veg, but based on my friends’ reviews I am signing up for it once I’m done with W30. Most of the expense of this has been buying pricey ingredients that are bigger than I need. Like, why do fresh herbs come in bunches the size of my head?

T: Additionally, I went to a party/movie night where there was cheese, brownies, s’mores, and even tempted my then offer of an ice cream sundae to my face but i said no sir. again what’s super helpful about this is that four of my other friends there are also on W30 so it’s not as bad when other people are eating bell peppers and disregarding the moist brownies on the table.

M: The hardest thing about W30 for me is the fear of seeming rude or bratty for refusing things. It goes back to the vegetarian thing: I feel so sorry for how it inconveniences hosts that I will eat literally anything else somebody is serving. That’s harder to do on W30 – at restaurants too! – because vegetarian options usually contain grains or cheese. I was at a baby shower this weekend where fortunately there were some vegetables, nuts (thank you, charcuterie boards!) and a fruit salad, and I loaded my plate with those so you couldn’t tell I was skipping the assorted brunch foods. I had visions of being that annoying girl listing off all the things she doesn’t eat while everybody internally rolls their eyes. All I wanted was for people to not notice.

It was also my goddaughter’s birthday, and fortunately she chose Friendly’s as her dinner of choice. Their lunch/dinner menu is so bad (so, uh… we’re not getting that Friendly’s endorsement, huh?) that sitting there sipping a tea was fine.

The easier part for me: I couldn’t care less about skipping cake, ice cream, pizza and snacks, and when they talk about ‘trigger foods’ you can’t stop eating, it doesn’t compute. I don’t even keep snacks in my house in ‘real life’ (non-W30) except fruit and plain popcorn, and I’ve never related to not being able to pass up dessert.  Sometimes it feels like the W30 is written with this assumption that we all eat things like cookies regularly.

Here’s a legit vice of mine, though: in real life I drink diet soda even though I know it’s poison water pushing me into an early grave or whatever. I just think a cold fizzy drink tastes more refreshing than a cold-non-fizzy drink. Luckily I enjoy club soda and La Croix just as much, I just don’t usually buy them (to be fair, I wouldn’t usually have diet soda at home, but I’d order them out and sometimes pick one up as a treat when I’m grocery shopping … or to push through a mid-workday energy slump). Now I really wish it was easier to buy club soda/sparkling water on the go because I’d like to keep choosing these post-W30.

Day 14

T: Not to dwell on Blue Apron again (but I am for the rest of the W30, so deal with it), but I went to TJ’s today and barely had to buy anything. It was fantastic. Most of the stuff I was buying for dinner, but I pretty much have that covered thanks to Blue Apron. I’m their spokesperson now, it’s fine.

M: You could copy/paste Traci’s paragraph about Call Me By Your Name here. All of it. Just like last week, I don’t ever get movie snacks but when I can’t have them all I can notice is how everybody else is enjoying popcorn and what I can only assume is cold, delicious diet soda. I never said I had a refined palate, y’all.

That said, here are some recipe recommendations! This curried cauliflower rice kale soup was delicious and ACTUALLY spicy, unlike the disappointingly bland lentil soup I made earlier. I ended up doubling the broth and milk to cover all of the kale, but I think I used a bit more kale than it strictly called for. If you don’t want to use almond milk, I think you could substitute broth and add some more cauliflower, then puree some of the broth/cauliflower mixture and add it back in.

I’d also recommend this cauliflower tabouleh. It loses some of its ‘crunch’ after the first day, but on day 1 I found the cauliflower a little crispy for my tastes. If you want a softer cauliflower to mimic couscous or bulgar, you could roast and rice it like in the soup recipe. I’d also add some chopped olives – green or black – next time.

Boiled Eggs, Food Nightmares and Sexpants: Whole30 Week 1

Because we care about our health, are susceptible to peer pressure and want to look as radiant as Busy Phillips does in her Insta stories, we both embarked on the Whole30 for the month of January. The program in a nutshell*: for 30 days you do not eat any grains, added or artificial sugar, dairy, legumes, soy or alcohol. After you’re done you reintroduce foods to see if you feel better or worse when you eat them. Ideally, by the end you will have reset your dietary habits and preferences, and okay, it’s not ABOUT weight loss but I wouldn’t cry if I lost 5 pounds in the process. [Actually, I just want that thing where people do the Whole30 and say that suddenly they’re energetic and vibrant and their skin is glowing like a Renaissance painting of an angel at the nativity.] We’ve been friends for over half of our lives, so we’re pretty sure we can withstand a month as accountability partners – but just in case, we’re pulling in all of you. Here’s how our Week 1 went:

* nutshells: probably OK to eat, if you’re about that.

Day Negative One

Molly: It is back-to-work eve and I super resent having to do all of this prep. Both of us are cleaning our pantries like it’s Passover (source: Mama in All-Of-A-Kind Family) and I just housed an Aero bar that I didn’t even want because I know I will want it bad at some point before February.

The thing with boiling eggs is that it never makes sense and is always super confusing and everyone has a different method but you always end up with the same thing.

Traci: I am traveling back to Los Angeles after spending two weeks at home eating too much and not exercising enough (read: at all). I attempt to ease my body into the Whole 30 but my mom made me scrambled eggs with cheese without asking if I wanted them – what am I supposed to do as a 31-year-old adult? Say no thanks? Strike One: Dairy.

I skip the complimentary pretzels on the flight and at the Chicago airport, I grab a sensible salad with balsamic vinaigrette, then realize later the dressing probably has sugar. I also grab iced coffee and toasted coconut chips and again, am an idiot because I miss the bit where it says “cane sugar”. I eat it anyways. Strike Two: Sugar.

By the time I arrive, I’m starving and have no will to cook. I decide to screw it and have a last supper – a combo of pizza, dumplings, and chocolate, because I’m a fucking ADULT.

Day One

T: I spend about an hour too long at the grocery store looking for items in areas of Ralph’s I never even been in and spend a lot of money. Like both Molly and I spent over $100 each – and we’re only feeding ourselves. But also I’m not going to buy coconut oil and tahini every single week, so hopefully next week is less expensive?

I also spend like 3 hours in the kitchen prepping for the week and it is tiring. Honestly, what might take me down is not reading ingredients properly and lack of energy to cook.

M: I haven’t seen this many boiled eggs since The Shape Of Water.

My day 1 corresponds with my first day back at work. It’s also zero degrees out, which makes standing over a warm stove making sweet potato hash, zucchini ‘pasta’ and curried vegetable soup a little appealing.

My efforts aren’t for nothing, though, because anybody who comes to my house for the next nine years will be able to smell that I did, in fact, cook curry.

Day Two

T: Anndd my day 2 corresponds with my first day back at work. During my night of cooking, I made apple cinnamon hot cereal (recipe here), and in the morning, I heated it up and threw some almond butter on it. Recommend. Easy to make and had a good combo of sweet and salty.

It’s worth noting I’m a weirdo when it comes to lunch – I usually eat a few snacks throughout the afternoon instead of eating like, a sandwich or salad (that’s reserved for Fridays, because it’s a Special Treat). I know snacking is kind of frowned upon in W30, but I’m not going to change my routine drastically just to eat more. But the snacks I eat are barely filling. Sugar snap peas with tahini, Bare baked cinnamon apple chips, a Lara bar, and a banana. I am STARVING.

Luckily, I have slow cooker carnitas (recipe here) waiting for me at home. I threw a handful in a pan, poured some of the leftover juices on it, and made lettuce wraps with guac and hot sauce. SO GOOD.

Also, I think my head hurts a little but I’m not sure. Oh! And IDK if it’s bc it was the first day back to work, but it only took like 2 snoozes to get me out of bed this morning. Usually it’s all 6.

M: I’ve also had an easier time getting out of bed, but I can’t rule out a burst of Early January Motivation either. I’m surprised because my sleep schedule went way off-kilter over vacation.

My usual work lunch is like 2-3 pieces of fruit, some carrots, a bit of cheese, yogurt and almonds. I swap out the dairy products for two hard-boiled eggs that I will never finish unless I’m starving because that is TOO MANY EGGS. Like Traci, I split those into two mini-meals in the afternoon. Sorry, Whole 30: I’ve had 31 years of trial-and-error and I know that eating a big meal every 6 hours isn’t ideal for me.

Day Three

T: I’ll tell you this much – I thought I spent a lot of time thinking about food before, but this is insane. If I’m not eating, I think about what I will be eating in the near future. If I am eating, I’m thinking about how amazing eating is. And when I’m around food, I think about how much I can’t have it. Today there was lit’rally a box of chocolates on the table in the middle of our office. Like a tin box with hershey kisses look alikes and a spoon. A SPOON.

Unlike Molly, two hard boiled eggs is the perfect amount for me, and I had those with half an avocado, and threw some hot sauce on there too. Mango, almonds and Bare Cinnamon Banana chips made up my “lunch”, but the real travesty was that the RX Bar I purchased had CHOCOLATE in it. I unwrapped it and was about to put it in my mouth when I was like, “I should check the ingredients again”. GOOD THING I DID. I’m a dummy. This is how I’m gonna mess up. Accidentally eating something I’m not supposed to.

M: I’ve already decided that I’m not starting over if I mess up. Sorry for not ‘working the steps’ or whatever.

Fortunately I haven’t thought about food much at all, not because I’m good at this but because I have been eating those things I cooked on day 1 for … umm… three days.

Today I walked on the wild side and juiced some lettuce and maybe half an apple to add to club soda. The Whole30Couple calls cheats that are technically within the rules “having sex with your pants on,” I think, (hereinafter: sexpants) but I don’t think this was sexpants because it tasted like fizzy lettuce (which I liked). For the record: my mom got me a juicer for Christmas and I didn’t want to wait until February to tell her that I liked it. So when you really think about it, both of us are amazing daughters. Wait, what were we talking about? Diet stuff?

Day Four

M: On one hand, I’m nuts and already make my own bread, yogurt and granola bars (now verboten) and grow my own vegetables, and save pre-made foods for a Special Treat (TM Traci), so maybe this should be easy?

On the other hand, last night I had a nightmare that I ate a zucchini muffin.

[The only pre-made food I’ve used so far was some hot sauce that claims not to have sugar, but was worryingly sriracha-like. It’s fine. I’m fine. Totally relaxed and cool.]

T: I had a pre-breakfast before actual breakfast. One hard boiled egg and half an avocado. Think of it has a breakfast appetizer. Had that with the apple cinnamon hot cereal which I’ll continue having for another two days because there’s so much of it and I’m only one person.

Today my co-worker told me I looked skinnier which is HILARIOUS because I’ve only been on this for four days. Part of W30 is that you’re not supposed to weigh yourself, which is fine by me, because who likes doing that anyways?

Day Five

T: At work I had a meeting with lunch – Italian lunch with pasta and bread – with people I don’t work directly with. I had to be the girl who was like, “Erm, sorry. I’m on a weird diet so I can’t eat anything. So I brought my own salad.” Then I had to explain to these people what it was (it was like 4 other folks). The follow up question is always, “so what CAN you eat??” Meat. Vegetables. Things that don’t fall into of the unacceptable categories.

Oh and then later that day, my co-worker (who knows of my W30 status) threw a Werther’s Original at me and said, “CATCH!” and I legit hit it mid-air and swatted it away, and yelled, “NO!”

Later that night, I went out to dinner for the very first time! It was a Argentinian restaurant so I ordered the grilled steak and smothered chimichurri on top, and had salad as a side. I asked for no dressing on it and someone didn’t get the memo, because it arrived with the dressing all mixed in. I had to be that girl AGAIN my sending back the order until it was correct.

M: Nothing makes me feel more like an a-hole than explaining the Whole30 to people.

Speaking of which: I don’t know or care what the Whole30Couple looks like, but I picture them like a cross between the Two A-Holes from SNL and a beefy version of Chip and Joanna Gaines.

Day Six

T: I finally get to make my breakfast instead of having it on the go! V excited about making some sunny side up eggs with avocado, potato and chicken sausage. That night, I went to my friends’ house for dinner, and the great this is that they’re also doing W30 this month too! We had baked waffle fries, chicken sausage, and sugar snap peas. It was delish. I had too many waffle fries.

M: This weekend included Little Christmas, when I took a bunch of nieces and nephews to Coco and they all ate wonderful snacks that I paid for then stared at, and the first Bills playoff game since I was 13. I went to my parents’ house for the game and remembered that it is full of incredible, delicious food that I can’t eat. W30 is definitely easier if you live alone (me!) or with only other people who are doing this.

I made roasted red pepper dip and deviled eggs for the game.  I was so excited to find a W30 deviled eggs recipe that I forgot I’ve never cared about deviled eggs.

Day Seven

T: Did I mention I’m not liking the cooking portion of this? It’s probably the most annoying thing out of all this hullabaloo. I can deal with not eating the wheat, sugar, dairy, etc. but someone just fucking make all these meals for me. And the thing is that I don’t even really hate to cook in general. It’s that I have to spend 4 hours of my Sunday to cook dinner and breakfast for the rest of the week. Ughhhh.

M: I also cook a lot usually but this is ridiculous.

On the plus side, my grocery bill was only like $55 and a good $15 was cat food. I used InstaCart for the first time and my shopper couldn’t find Russet potatoes, which sounds a lot like bullshit to me. Those are the most regular potatoes. They look like if you asked a small child to draw a potato.