My “Whole 30”

I tried to do Whole 30 during the month of January. Key word there is tried. I know you can’t call it Whole 30 if you don’t follow all the rules, but I had a hard time. My biggest challenge was, that I eat dinner with people often. I usually eat with my parents on Sundays and then meet with friends and have dinner with them during the week. My first full weekend I ate a chicken Caesar salad that my friend made and I had to pick out cheese and croutons. I’m sure I didn’t get every last particle of noncompliant ingredient and there’s a certain point during dinner where you have to take your hand out of your salad. It’s just good manners. Then on Sunday, my dad made potatoes, which are fine, but he put butter (non clarified) on them. I ate them anyway. So that weekend, I should have started over.
Then from there things got harder. I have to say, if I stayed 100% compliant, I probably would have been less likely to add sugar (Splenda) to my coffee. I know, it’s the #1 thing, drinking black coffee is not hard. Halfway through my second week, I wasn’t enjoying life. I needed my sweet coffee in the morning. At this point, I have to say I wasn’t doing Whole 30 anymore. But I still wanted to try some recipes and I feel like I have some experiences to share.
I definitely think that you should tell your friends and family that you’re doing the program. It makes you have to own up to it and keeps you in check. So, when I didn’t want to go out for drinks or dinner I had a reason. (This also helped my spending freeze). Also, telling your friends about it made it a lot easier to explain to someone new, who, let’s say you went on a date with. On top of trying Whole 30, I signed up for Match to start up my dating life. I didn’t go on very many dates last month, but the ones I did mostly included Starbucks and passion tea. My last day was supposed to be yesterday (the 31st) but I indulged on a date and ate whatever I wanted and enjoyed a margarita on Saturday.
Overall, I have no idea how to be compliant. It doesn’t factor into my daily life. I did enjoy seeing my weight drop and learning new recipes. The carnitas and chili recipes in the Whole 30 book are definitely worth trying no matter what. Even though I wasn’t perfect, I did feel better and had more energy. Just the sense of being overall healthy made me go to the gym more too. I went a little crazy today with too much trail mix and homemade peanut butter cups, but tomorrow’s a new day.
I want to share a recipe that got me through most of Whole 30. I love, love, love overnight oats, so when I had to give them up I needed a replacement. I needed something that was tasty enough to get me out of bed in the morning, but, also, premade. I started making “egg muffins” to go! Here’s what you need to do (adapted from: Gal On A Mission)
First, start by browning some breakfast sausage (or bacon). Make sure to read labels if you want to be compliant, or grab what’s on sale, like me.

  
While that’s browning, start picking out veggies. I liked to use onions, bell pepper, spinach, and whatever was going bad. Add those to the pan when the sausage is done. You can use coconut oil or the grease left behind from the meat. Is that gross or lazy, or both?

I started cracking my eggs and added salt and pepper to them. I beat them with my pig whisk. 

  Once the veggies have done their thing in the pan add them to the bowl.

  
I used ten eggs and that filled ten muffin cups after filling. Make sure you use coconut oil all over that pan. My friend made these and ended up having to throw out her muffin pan. Don’t skip this step. Also, the silicone pans help to get the eggs out.

  
Cook them for 20-25 mins in a 350 degree oven. Make sure they don’t cook too long. Give them time to cool before you start to take them out. I made these on Sunday and froze 4 of them to eat later in the week. The other six were good in the fridge through Wednesday morning. Eating two of these a day with a piece of fruit kept me full until lunch.

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Monday Rec Adventures and Easy Italian Chicken Skillet

I’m listening to the Acoustic Versions of Pop Songs on Songza again and there’s some major 90’s realness going on. Eric Clapton followed by 10,000 Maniacs. “Because the Night” reminds me of sitting in my room late at night listening to the radio. Turning the dial to Q104 and fiddling with the antenna because it was the 90’s. There’s some songs that take me right back to being young and so naïve about music. I didn’t follow any bands, I didn’t know what was “cool”, and I didn’t have any concept of what liking a certain type of music can say about you as a person. I just sit in my bed listening, waiting for the next song, and eating it all up. That was an unplanned tangent since that song came on while I was writing.

Speaking of staying up late at night, that’s what I did last night (segue = killed it). I could not fall asleep and it was so much worse knowing Monday morning was waiting for me. Around 2am I was grateful for my recent energy drink obsession because my fridge was loaded up for the day. In the morning, I snoozed a little bit longer because it was way too cold to walk to work so I knew I was driving. Also I knew breakfast was waiting for me because I make overnight oats. This combination equals peaceful snoozing on a Monday morning.

Work ended up going by fast and I wasn’t nearly as tired as I thought I’d be. When I got home I went through the daily struggle of deciding between napping or going to the rec center. Since I gave in to temptation this morning and ate a donut, the gym won out. I basically go to the rec to read. I got on the treadmill for a half hour at a comfortable pace and knocked out a couple chapters of “Faith”. When I got off, all the ellipticals were taken so I got on the stair climber. I like to the do the stairs but reading on them is nearly impossible for someone as clumsy as me. Turning the page while climbing requires a great deal of concentration. I got a couple worried looks as I needed to grab for the handrails. I did a solid fifteen minutes on that. I decided to get back to the safety of the treadmill but it had gotten crowded. I was relieved when someone got off as soon as I was ready to get on. Then out of the corner of my eye I saw I had just “cut” someone. Someone cute. I felt him glaring at me, but I was already committed to my rolling sidewalk, so I pretended not to notice. As luck would have it, the next treadmill to become available was the one right next to me. Great. Mr. Glary McHotty was about to be my neighbor. He didn’t say anything, but I couldn’t stop obsessing, so I got off after an appropriate amount of time had passed. Five minutes. After that, I was ready to go home and make dinner.
I made Easy Italian Chicken Skillet. It was pretty easy to make here’s picture of my colorful prep. 
And the final product.

  I added noodles because I was hungry but I barely ate a quarter of this. It was kind of bland to me. How do you make food taste good? I also made Cauliflower Breadsticks. Which I COVERED in cheese rendering them completely unhealthy. But tasty!

This kind of looks like a pizza, picture it cut into strips. I put my feet up, ate some dinner, and spent an hour with Agent Cooper.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention. My girlfriends and I started this 30 day challenge:

I can’t do squats because I have what my doctor calls “runner’s knee”. Which is ridiculous, you could tell after reading my experience at the rec. The pain is unbelievably excruciating so when the doc says avoid squats, I avoid squats. Anyway, the first day is super easy. Stay tuned.