Wednesday, May 27, 2015

First Week of Whole30

I'm now on Day 10 of Whole30. That's 33 percent of the way there! I have to say, the time went by fast, but now without difficulty. The plan definitely started feeling tedious around Day 5, last Friday. That evening, I ended up having dinner with my sister and Ramon at a sports bar. I ordered a wedge salad with no cheese and added steak. I'm finding that asking for salad with various modifications is a good alternative, but being surrounded by beer and alcohol at the end of the work week and not being able to order a drink sucks. Later that night, we attended a live music show with a couple of friends. As Ramon sipped beers and Jameson shots, I focused on drinking water to stay hydrated. I comforted myself with the thought that alcohol would deplete my energy, so I was much better off not drinking. I'm sticking to that.
I did end up breaking the rules on Day 6 when Ramon and I had brunch with a friend from the Bay Area and his girlfriend, who recently moved to Seattle. They picked a hip Mexican restaurant where the menu featured so many things I loved, but can't eat right now like tacos, tortas and micheleadas. I ordered an egg scramble with nopales (cactus). It was delicious, but it came with a side of black beans that I promised myself I would ignore, but didn't. I admit, however, that I didn't feel that bad about it. I think there are worse ways to cheat than with beans.
It was a three-day weekend and while we started out with lots of ideas: six-mile hikes! music festival! road trip to visit Mom! museums! We ended up going on some long walks and watching movies and a mini-Entourage marathon instead. It was nice to just vegetate on the couch and be lazy. My brother and his wife came over Saturday night to watch pro basketball and a movie. But, then, about an hour or two after dinner (we had sauteed chicken, roasted vegetables and a hearty salad), both my sister and I started started to feel hungry. We realized we had only had two meals that day, but since it was evening, we didn't really know what to eat. We snacked on almonds as we brainstormed what we could eat and realized that other than cooking up another whole meal, we didn't have many options. That was a rookie mistake. Getting through Whole30 requires a lot of planning and anticipating those moments when you will want to snack or have a craving. I'm learning as I go.
I just created a Pinterest board of Whole30 recipes and ideas. It has really helped even though I realized that Whole30 really just means simplifying your diet to cut out all the crap and filler you don't need like bread, pasta, rice and sweets.

Last night, we made beef tacos using lettuce wraps instead of tortillas. A part of me feels like a traitor to my Mexican heritage by substituting anything for a tortilla, a cornerstone of my culinary life up until this point. At the same time, the tacos were really good. I made a pico de gallo that turned out very spicy, like "whoooooo that's hot!" spicy. This has been an interesting experience in terms of all the creativity involved just to make food that is simpler than what you are used to eating.
So, my take aways after 10 days would be these:
  • Plan ahead and anticipate cravings. Keep appropriate snacks on hand.
  • Think creatively about dishes you eat a lot. My next experiment is to substitute cauliflower for rice.
  • Learn to say "NO!" to food you see everywhere and are used to eating. For me, even skipping cream in my coffee has been an adjustment.
I already feel a little bit leaner and my blood sugar levels feel much more consistent with less spikes and crashes. The biggest reward is feeling like I'm in control and am making good decisions for myself. It's very empowering to say "yes" to only the best, most healthy food.

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