The Whole Shebang - Week 1 of Our Whole30

Captain's Log // Stardate: day #7 of the Whole30 program. 

I am only blogging to try to keep my brain alive and awake when it's been in Coma Light mode since I woke up today. And since moving my fingers on keys is the extent of physical exertion I can handle today, here we are. Let's update my Whole 30 journey!

The coma seems to mean I am right on track with the program's (hilariously written) timeline of what to expect. It annoys me that I am so predictable, but more so it's just a huge relief that crippling fatigue/falling asleep on the potty on day 6-7 means, "you're doing it right! keep it up! but also get off the toilet, maybe!?"

I was a little surprised to be hit by this fatigue symptom because days 1-6 were pretty easy for me. I did have the soaring hubris of "THIS IS SO EASY" on day 1, but wasn't brought low by any hangover on the next few days. And you'll have to ask Jesse about increased irritability on days 4-5 because  I didn't really notice any mood change  (update: YES, apparently I was presenting pretty hard with "kill all the things" symptoms those days and was a sweetie pie rainbow blossom to be aroundNOT).

Answers to the questions I've been getting:

What was your last meal before you started? 

As the last few grains of sand in the dietary freedom hourglass tumbled out (grains that contained gluten, uh-doy), around March 30, we kind of threw off the, "ease ourselves slowly into the program and not have a free for all" attitude we'd embraced the past few weeks when we knew we'd be cutting out dairy/sugar/grains/legumes. We relapsed hard for that last day and went with Mellow Mushroom's Buffalo Chicken Pizza for last dinner.

UNNNNGH . What I wouldn't do to this guy right about now.

For dessert, I wanted my most favorite cupcake: the Miss Princess from Gigi's (cream cheese icing on strawberry cake). Jesse got an oreo one. We split each with Judah and Layla so "only" a half of each sugar bomb went into our systems on Program Eve..

I do really DO miss this princess.

How do you feel? Today: tired. But until this morning, waking up had been so much easier the first few days of the program (I am assuming that will return. Name it claim it). I describe it like: I'd still be more than willing and able to sleep more if I could, but my body and brain are also very alert and accepting of staying conscious and becoming vertical. This a HUGE change for the better from my normal wake up routine which is akin to the grieving process: 

Denial: no, it simply is NOT 7am NO 
Anger: this is that freaking Jesse Dukes' fault for keeping me up so late last night by getting me addicted to Walking Dead 3 years ago so now I have to stay up and watch 5 hours straight of it!
Bargaining (aka prostitution) "Jesse, seriously, I will do ANYTHING you want if you just take the baby out of here and let me sleep an extra hours. *tries to lick lips suggestively but tongue is made of dehydrated leather and breath is of grave-dust. Gives a sexy look instead and falls back asleep winking. Jesse denies me and sends Layla in to assault me with conversation.*
Depression: WOE TO ALL THE EARTH I shall be tired forever. *Ugly cries into mirror while brushing teeth because she's the only one who understands*
Acceptance: Fine, dammit, I'm up. But I am totally getting a huge coffee AND a bakery treat for being such a hero. I DESERVE THIS.

What are you eating? Lots. The program says to try to avoid snacking, but has a caveat for breastfeeders which says that snacks are okay, just not grazing all day. I am super paranoid about my milk supply, so I don't spend a ton of time doing the "is this a craving or genuine hunger?" like non-lactators would. When i am hungry, I eat something. 

We are creating sinkfuls of dirty dishes, but besides that, I am actually enjoying the cooking and weekly prep of staples (mayo, chicken salad, soft boiled eggs, pre-chopping, mixing salad dressings, lunch-portions of salad greens into individual bags). I really enjoy cooking meals when the stupid grunt work is done for me ahead of time.

I often forget to photograph my food because I'm so excited about the meal about to go in my mouth, but I did capture all of day one's victuals:

Okay I forgot to photograph this one cooked, so just snapped the ingredients. Sugar-free bacon (1 slice...its thick like ham), and a runny egg over greens. I am not a breakfast person so forcing this one has been tough, but thinking of it as meal one rather than Breakfast has helped (pork chops! chicken salad!)

Lettuce wraps. 3-ply Bibb lettuce under applegate farms roast beef with matchstick carrots (was out of broccoli slaw) in homemade mayo and lemon juice on top. 

roasted (in coconut oil) butternut squash, sauteed (in homemade ghee) shredded brussel sprouts, and salmon ($6 for a huge arm-length filet at Kroger. Wild-caught! Not the best salmon I've ever eaten, but for $6 wild caught, I bought 7 of them).

snacks: #1: a few olives and some sweet potato hash--I keep a bag of about 4 potatoes worth of diced (I have no knife skills so this thing is my savior) sweet potatoes in the fridge to just make a little batch of (cooked with cinnamon and coconut oil in a pan) when a craving hits. #2: raw almond butter on a banana and plantain chips with compliant salsa (this brand was nasty and I will make my own next time)

So no wonder I had hubris on the first day. That was a day very well-planned and provided for. But many of my meals have looked more like this:

Car porkchop! I felt so classy at stoplights hammering down this lil' piggie.

Not ideal, but they are the very armor of the Lord at a small group party that has endless heavy hors d'oeuvres. These are 3 of the few compliant flavors or Larabar. 

What are your kids eating? A lot of what we are (they MUST try at least a bit of everything), and if they dont eat enough of that to fill them, they may have whatever is in the house that we might normally eat. 

Judah is enjoying giggling and mocking us with "you can't have soda!!!" 

What's been the hardest? So far the cravings haven't hit us hard, and we have planned well in being full (bellies or lunchboxes) of our whole foods when we go somewhere where all kinds of yummy non-program stuff will be served so that we arent tempted.  The biggest temptation has been ambush food. 

Like yesterday I caught Judah bingeing on Easter candy he had snuck down from the shelf--Reese's eggs, a favorite. He had eaten a few already, but I caught him just as he was unwrapping another. After I talked to him about why that was wrong, I was just standing there holding this chocolate egg in my hand. I could almost taste the salty fake peanut butter inside the egg--unencumbered by the pointy crenellations on the conventional Butter Cups that I don't like. If it had been wrapped it wouldn't have been as hard to just chuck it. But I was hungry, it was already naked, and it was only a foot from my mouth. I could almost fall down and accidentally eat it. Walking it over to the garbage (Judah's punishment was losing the rest of the candy) was very hard. But not as hard as pouring the soap on top of it to make sure it was truly beyond my reach. (Big mommy is NOT above eating out of the garbage like a dirty Costanza).

The biggest thing (and yall warned me about this) is having go-to stuff ready or ready-to-make for when you didn't plan a specific meal but it's almost time to eat. For us it's pre-diced veggies and always some meat defrosting in the fridge.This way we can pop something in a pan or on the grill ASAP. We also lean on the chicken salad batch I make every Monday for MUSTEATNOW situations (great on greens). 

So you are drinking black coffee? LOL. No. I thought I was in a step-down program in  to get me from candy-latte to black coffee by April. Jesse had said he was only putting a little bit of flavored creamer in--and less and less every morning--so I thought I could do it and it would be peachy that first morning. I even made almond milk from scratch to try that. NO. I even looked up recipes for things to add to coffee to make it more palatable. Coconut butter, coconut oil, coconut milk. No No No. Nonoe of these natural things taste like Almond Joy (the true coconut source) flavored creamer.

My first sip on Day 1 I literally gagged and almost threw up very expensive bacon. It tastes like ASPIRIN! So I am just not drinking coffee. (I have yet to try the bulletproof version of Whole30 coffee, but I have realized it isnt the milk I am missing, but definitely the sugar element that make coffee drinkable for me). All those pinners saying that they have a delicious "so sweet" Whole30 coffee recipe are loco!!!

How is your milk supply? Completely unaffected as far as I can tell. If anything, I feel fuller in that department.

Any other physical side effects? I am getting headaches sometimes, which was very expected. I take something as soon as I feel a twinge because I cannot cope with headache pain. 

My skin has somehow gotten WORSE! I am hoping it's a case of "it'll get worse before it gets better" and is just the nasties leaving for good.

Falling asleep has gotten super easy and enjoyable. I read every night, no matter what time it is or where we are, to fall asleep and sometimes if I am really into the book I will stay up 3 or 4 hours reading (Gone With the Wind had me up til 4 two night in a row!)...to my detriment. But even now I am reading something I really enjoy (Bonhoeffer biography) and I am passing out and dropping the book (scaring myself to death) like 2 paragraphs in. Dietrich shall live forever this way.

Have you broken any program guidelines at all? NO! Okay well, just one tiny one, but I have a divine excuse. It was communion on Easter Sunday. So help me, I will not turn down the body of Christ on His rebirthday. I think the juice is 100% grape so whatever (also it's just a thimbleful), and then the eensy wafer has like 3 gluten particles in it, and whatever, I think Jesus can supernaturally protect me and my Whole30 program from "harm" in celebrating the Lord's supper.

How is Jesse doing? He is great. His yearly 3 day full-on fast (nothing but water and black coffee) in preparation for Easter was the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th of April, so he got one day of Whole 30 and then nothing for 72 hours so when he started eating again, the Whole30 meals felt downright indulgent. He went to a birthday party with Judah that had cookie cake, and was actually thankful that he had double accountability with the fast AND whole30, because no man is that strong!

How much weight have you lost? Get behind me, satan! I am A) not doing this to lose weight and B) not allowed to weigh myself the entire 30 days. I did grab a before weight and will weight after I suppose, but I am doing this to retrain my mind and my mouth and my stomach into eating like someone who has plans to live beyond 45. Don't get me wrong, I'd be thrilled if that also happened, and will actively try to lose weight after I wean Noa (whenever that may be), but nothing is going to stick and become a lifestyle if I just aim for a number on the scale. Amen.

Is it horrible? No! it really isn't. I was nervous about Easter with Jesse's family but they grill porkchops which were so scrumptious, and we brought our own dressing and diced sweet potatoes. I was seriously shocked by how satisfying our meal was, even alongside the rolls and creamy mashed potatoes with butter that we couldn't enjoy. 

There are definitely times when I have wanted something in a moment that wasn't a craving or an emotional eating response, like a cocktail with Jesse, and that has felt like a bit of a bummer, but, at least for now, the benefits on the horizon that I am working towards have outweighed any inconvenience or craving.

Okay I think that covers all the questions I've been getting a lot. It feels good to be 25% finished. please do not disturb me as I nap on my spacebar now.

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