Day 5 – More improvement!

I was able to sleep soundly and get out of bed without a problem when my alarm went off this morning – huge progress compared to the last few days.  The brain fog/flu-ish symptoms are minimal today.  I have to admit, I did get a little tired again about an 1 1/2 after I got up, but this is better than before (maybe a nap is in my future).  Oh, and I didn’t have any crazy food dreams last night.  🙂

Here is another great benefit that I am experiencing, though most people don’t like to talk about; but I am having regular BMs (around the same time each day) and feel like I am getting rid of more now.  This is one of the ways the body eliminates toxins, so I think this is a great benefit from the Whole30.  Yay for fiber!  Eat Your Veggies!

Breakfast – Leftover Pork & Veggie Hash (yay for leftovers!)

Lunch – Zucchini Lasagna Leftovers.  I ended up putting it on a plate for serving, which made it much easier to cut up and eat.  I also ended the meal by eating some coconut flakes (thanks Kim) to make sure I get my healthy fats in!  Seriously, if I don’t eat enough fat, I can tell, and not in a good way.

I actually had some energy to take a 30-minute walk this afternoon (which is a big deal for me).  I am recovering from major surgery and severe adrenal fatigue, so these moments when I feel like being active are precious to me.  I got a little tired halfway through, but made it.  I started to realize that I was getting hungry again way before dinner time and remember that since I exercised (and walking is big exercise for me right now) that I needed a snack.  I had organic celery with a little raw almond butter and felt much better afterwards. 

Dinner – Mocha Steak (Dallas & Melissa’s Recipe) from “It Starts With Food” and Kids Love Cabbage Slaw from “Everyday Paleo”

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Okay, I got over halfway done with my meal and forgot to take a pic.  I was that hungry.  🙂

You can find the mocha steak recipe here: http://www.naturallyleah.com/food/whole-30-week-one-recipes/

Cabbage Slaw is here: http://www.farrcleanerlife.com/2012/12/everyday-paleos-kids-love-cabbage-slaw.html

I left out the coffee from the mocha steak due to my adrenal fatigue.  I stopped all caffeine for over 6 months now to not artificially stimulate my adrenals.  It was a decision I made with the help of my nutritionist, Jessica Drummond, and I will follow it until my adrenals are in a healthy place again. 

Both turned out to be really good!  I am making these again! 

PS: After several days of soaking the crockpot, the darn burnt pieces will not come off!  I have even tried a pumice rock with no luck!  So I did some research and found it was recommended to apply a large amount of baking soda, a little soap, and water to cover the burned area, and place in the crockpot to heat for 2-4 hours.  Verdict: It works!  Eureka! 

Day 4 – A Little Better!

Still having trouble getting up this morning and feeling a little flu-ish, but better than I was last night.  Yikes, that was bad.  The low carb-flu is real people! 

Interestingly enough, last night I dreamed about eating dessert.  I specifically remember sitting at a table with many desserts: doughnuts, cookies, chocolate cake, etc.  Then I dreamed about McDonald’s food.  This is crazy!  I haven’t had McDonald’s in probably 2 years or more.  The last time I had a doughnut was probably over a year ago as well.  Where is this coming from?  I was happy to see in the Whole30 newsletter that this is normal for day 4.  Man, it is amazing to me how much food affects your thoughts and behaviors (and I was gluten/dairy-free for 6 months before doing this!).  I have never dreamed about stuff like this on any of my previous cleanses.  Very interesting and strange.

My mom was a little freaked out when I told her about my flu-like symptoms.  She thinks that if I am not feeling better soon I should stop and go back to my old way of eating.  I do admit, I miss my green smoothies.  I told her that this is all normal and part of the detox, and it should get better after the first week.

Breakfast – Ground Pork and Veggie Hash

I cooked some plain ground pork that I bought from a local organic farmer.  I added the shredded zucchini and sweet potatoes, as well as the diced green apple I had leftover.  I also put in some coconut butter and topped with cinnamon.  This made about three meals, so I will have leftovers for a few days.  It was good.  I have found that it is hard for me to get in enough calories with this style of eating.  I have found that if I do not eat enough fat, I will get hungry again 1-2 hours after eating.  It was hard for me to finish off my bowl of breakfast, but I did.

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Lunch – Leftover Pumpkin Soup.  It’s all gone now.  Will have to brainstorm some lunch ideas for tomorrow.  Maybe a salmon salad?

Dinner – Zucchini Lasagna

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I have been wanting to swap pasta for zucchini and use my mandolin slicer, so this was a good way to do both.  I sliced up 4 zucchini this morning as well as cleaned and cut my broccoli that I did not have energy for yesterday.  I have decided to take advantage of my energy while I have it.  I got this recipe from the cookbook Everyday Paleo by Sarah Fragoso.  It is called Hasta La Vista Pasta Lasagna.  Here is a link to the recipe: http://www.drkehres.com/2011/08/recipe-hasta-la-vista-pasta-lasagna.html

It turned out alright.  I added fresh mushrooms (because I love them so!) as well as chopped a lot of fresh spinach up and threw that in (I need my leafy greens).  I think the recommended 5-6 Zucchini’s is too much.  I would probably only recommend 3 or 4 at the most.  It was very messy and hard to eat the long zucchini pieces.  I had to cut it up into smaller pieces.  I think next time I will shred the zucchini and make it into a casserole like dish.  Live and learn!

I have to admit, I am getting tired of all the cooking and dishes, but that comes with the territory.  I think it was challenging for me to prepare dinner today in between appointments.  I had to prep part in the morning, part in the afternoon, and bake it when I got home. 

I did make a grocery store run and it was kind of cool to look in my cart and see only veggies and dried fruit that I found that did not have added sugar (wow, you really pay more to make sure the legal crack is not hanging out with your dried cranberries).  It is a good feeling to know that day 4 is in the bag.  I am worn out.  Going to take a shower and go to bed.

Day 3 – aka I Think I Have the Flu and Want to Punch People In the Face While Eating Dark Chocolate!

Last night, I noticed increased swelling in my abdomen, which I am attributing to my body adjusting to all the new changes while still recovering from surgery. 

It was hard to get up this morning – felt very exhausted and cranky.  Why did I decide to do this again?  Oh yeah, to get healthy!  I can tell the detox is here and in full swing.  I feel achy, especially the joints in my hands.  Not sure if this is part of the detox or from all the chopping, cooking, and dishes.  🙂  It’s probably a combination of both.  From what I have read, this is normal and will pass after the first week; and so we push on! 

Breakfast – Curried Veggie Hash (Recipe from “Everyday Paleo” by Sarah Fragaso)  Here is a link for the recipe:  http://www.glutenfreewhisperer.com/2013/06/19/curried-veggie-hash/

Here is a link to her cookbook if anyone is interested: http://www.amazon.com/Everyday-Paleo-Sarah-Fragoso/dp/098256581X/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1382976917&sr=8-2&keywords=Everyday+Paleo

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This was very good.  I think tomorrow I might add a little diced apple just for variation.  I shredded 2 sweet potatoes and 2 zucchinis in the food processor and have a ton leftover still, so let’s just say I may be eating this for a little while, but it tastes so good I don’t mind! 

Lunch – Left over Pumpkin Soup.  Thank goodness for leftovers!!!! 

Dinner – Left over Apple Pork Chops and Hash (or more like grab whatever you can find, throw it in the skillet with some coconut oil, and call that good because I don’t have the energy for anything else right now)

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This picture is upside down, I am leaving it.  It is a testament to how well my brain is functioning right now. 

I was starving around 5 pm, but wanted to wait the recommended 4-6 hours between each meal.  So I chugged a ton of water and watched some Long Island Medium episodes to distract me.  When 6 pm rolled around, I was hit with this flu feeling.  Body aches, fatigue, and a serious craving for some dark chocolate (Aunt Flo is coming soon).  I didn’t plan this out well – PMS plus a flu-ish detox day does not make for a pleasant mix right now.  I was SO tired that I literally could not heat up my left over pork chops.  Yes, you read that right.  I ate them cold rather than waiting the 30 seconds to one minute it would take to heat them up.  WOW!  I ate my cold pork chops (which tasted great because I was ravenous) and afterwards felt like I had just enough strength to get my veggies ready.

I had it all planned out that tonight I would make steamed broccoli with lemon.  Well, my insides feel like they want to be on my outside, so that sure didn’t happen.  Desperate times call for desperate measures, and I just grabbed the items that I already had prepped and decided to make a side out of that.  So, I threw diced green apple, onion, and shredded sweet potato into my cast iron skillet with some coconut oil and just cooked that up.  I sprinkled some cinnamon on top and called it good.  The broccoli will have to wait for another day.  I just didn’t have the energy to wash it, cut it, and steam it. 

I signed up for a daily newsletter from The Whole30 to help motivate me during this time.  The title for today was “Day 3: One of the Toughest Days.”  Amen to that!  It also mentions that it is not uncommon for folks to catch a bug or cold because your immune system is working hard right now to help you heal, and it may be too distracted or overwhelmed to be able to fight off a bacterial or viral invader.  It recommends to eat ginger and apples, sweet potatoes, butternut squash or pumpkin, and bone broth.  Wow, I have eaten all that today without even planning for this.  Thank you guardian angels.  And now, I am going to take a hot bath and go to bed.  So ready for this day to be over, and hopefully tomorrow will be better.  It is amazing to me how much food does play into our brain chemistry and how well we function.  I am getting that message loud and clear right now.

Laura’s tip of the day: make sure you have food on hand and ready to go before Day #3.  It is a beast! 

This. Too. Shall. Pass.  I’m going to bed. 

Day 2 – Oops!

I was ready to eat when I woke up!  Feed Me Seymour!  Breakfast this morning consists of Paleo Pumpkin Chai loaf (no sweeteners, no flour) topped with coconut butter and a few slices of turkey bacon (no nitrates, hormones, etc).

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It was delicious…delicious until I found out it is not Whole30 approved.  <cue sad trombone music>  My friend, whom I now think of as my Whole30 Yoda, sent me some links from the Whole30 website, which talks about how you are not supposed to bake any breads, cookies, muffins, etc; even if using approved ingredients.  Also, you cannot have bacon if added sugar is in the ingredients, which my was.  Tricky people!  The nutrition facts show 0 grams of sugar, but the ingredients list it.  They put sugar in bacon?!  Who new?  Well, better to find out sooner rather than later.  Here are those links if anyone wants to read more about this:

http://www.whole9life.com/2013/06/the-official-can-i-have-guide-to-the-whole30/

http://www.whole9life.com/2011/10/sex-with-your-pants-on/

Well, can’t dwell in the past, must press onward. 

Lunch – Leftover Pumpkin Soup

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Dinner – Apple Pork Chops on a bed of Spinach

I sliced up two apples and put them in the blender, added cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger, and blended until it looked like apple sauce.  I poured this in the crock-pot.  I put two frozen bone-in pork chops in the crock-pot.  I diced up two more apples and put those on top of the pork chops and sprinkled with more spices on top.  I left it on high all day, but now realize that was not such a great idea, as the outsides burned…

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I usually sear my meat on both sides before I place it in the crock pot, but forgot today.  I think the meat tastes better when you do sear it.  I will remember that next time.  Also, I will leave the crockpot on low so that I can eat more of the yummy apples next time.  Live and learn.  Overall, it was pretty good.  I put it on top of some spinach to get some leafy greens in for the day.  I also realized afterwards that my meal did not have any healthy fats in it, so I ate a spoonful of coconut butter with it. 

Symptoms – today, I felt tired, a little achy, and my energy high from yesterday is gone.  I realize this is part of the detox.  I took it easy and didn’t do anything too strenuous today.  This too shall pass.  I did hide a post on facebook about recipes for cookies so I didn’t have to look at it for too long.  A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.  Right now I hear manager Jimmy Dugan from “A League of Their Own” telling me “It’s supposed to be hard!  If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it.  The hard…is what makes it great!”

Well, made some mistakes today, but learned from them as well.  Maybe I need to make this a Whole32 to make up for my boo boos.  Will continue to press forward.  🙂

Day 1

It’s day one and I’m feeling so hard core.  I’ve got the Rockey theme song going in my head.  I have all my meals planned out, and I am feeling pretty good.  Time to rock this out.

Breakfast – Sweet Potato Omelet with Spinach sauteed in Coconut Oil

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I am proud to say I came up with the omelet idea myself.  When we were kids, my mom would make potato and egg omelets for us, topped with cheese and chili pepper.  This was my healthy spin on the dish.  I peeled a sweet potato, shredded it in the food processor, put that in a bowel with 2 eggs, mixed everything up, and fried it up in the pan with some Ghee.  Toped it off with cinnamon.  Yum!

Lunch – Pumpkin Soup

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This is a recipe that I tweaked from my friend Jessica Drummond and her Winter Cleanse.  It has homemade bone broth, grass-fed pork, butternut squash, apple, celery, carrots, and jalapeno.  I topped it off with toasted pumpkin seeds.  It’s one of my favorite soups!

Dinner – Spaghetti Squash with a Meat and Mushroom sauce

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I felt great most of the day.  I even had energy to go for a walk.  I got the nighttime munches, but fought them off with herbal tea.  When I got hungry again, I decided to just go to bed. 

One day down!  🙂

The Whole30 Challenge

Well, after taking the advice of my functional medicine doctor, my chiropractor, the “Eat Right 4 Your Type” book, and a good friend; I have decided to embark on a 30-day challenge called Whole30, in which I will eat only whole real food.  This means no dairy, grains (even gluten-free), legumes, carrageenan, MSG or sulfites, white potatoes, alcohol, or added sugar of any kind, real or artificial.  I can eat real food – meat, seafood, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats from fruits, oils, nuts and seeds.  Why the heck am I doing this?  Well, I’ve had some health challenges and issues over the years including: daily headaches/migraines, chronic pelvic pain, digestive issues, constipation, fatigue/exhaustion, hypothyroidism, and not to mention my body tried to kill me two years ago when I grew a softball-sized soft tissue sarcoma called a desmoid tumor (aggressive fibromatosis) in my left abdominal wall.  Needless to say, I’ve felt pretty crummy for the past several years.  I don’t really remember feeling healthy since high school and I just turned 29 years old.  So, I am grabbing the bull by the horns, or more like grabbing the veggies and animal meat, and I am ready to commit to the next 30 days, with the hope that I will feel better and notice improvements in my body.

My goal is to document the good and the bad, the mistakes and triumphs, and to have a little fun along the way as well.

If you are interested in learning more about The Whole30, I would recommend checking out the book “It Starts With Food” by Dallas & Melissa Hartwig and also check out their website – http://www.whole9life.com/2013/08/the-whole30-program/

In health & healing,

Laura