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