I feel so much better.
I know better than to think I’ll be this calm all 30 days, but coming home to real, nourishing food after a 4-day beach trip and family reunion made me feel like myself again.
Every year my family gathers at a lovely conference center by the ocean. We hang out at the beach, play games, the talented people put on a talent show (I watch) and everything, it seems, is structured around meals. It reminded me of college food. Only difference is, my 20-year old body reacted differently to processed, cafeteria-style food.
I wish I could put my finger on exactly why, but I summed it up to my husband as, “I can’t digest this food.” I got nauseous after meals, my belly made weird gurgles, and I stayed full too long. After the second day I tried to stick to the salad bar and fruit, but this girl needs protein. The pink nonfat yogurt was only sightly better.
I know there are plenty of people on this planet who do not have enough to eat and I should not complain. The beach was wonderful. The conference center was lovely and my family is fantastically-awkwardly-cool without trying. But the food made me feel lousy.
Since the reunion ended on the last day of the month, I’ve been planning to start a new month with a Whole30. I would imagine anyone who stumbles on this blog has read It Starts With Food, by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig. If not, here it is in a nutshell:
- No grains, sugar of any kind, dairy, legumes or alcohol.
- No processed food, meaning no unpronounceable ingredients.
- No seed oils.
- No permission to have these in small amounts. For example, I couldn’t put Grey Poupon on my chicken this evening because it contains wine.
- No cheating.
- As little snacking as possible.
After completing a Whole30 a few months ago, I knew my weakness was snacking on fruit and nuts. Therefore, I am allowing myself to use nuts only as ingredients and fruit must be consumed with my meals. It cannot be a dessert or snack.
So enough chatting. This is what I had today.
Breakfast: 8:30 am – Tomato-basil frittata
I started with four eggs and some coconut milk. (I use Trader Joe’s light coconut milk. It has two ingredients: coconut and water. I know full-fat is better, but I can’t find it without extra ingredients.) I fluffed up the egg mixture with an immersion blender, added some ghee to a hot skillet and poured in the eggs. After it started to cook on the bottom I added some cherry tomatoes and basil leaves from my garden. When it was almost done, I did the cool trick of flipping the frittata onto a plate and then sliding the eggs back in the pan uncooked side-down.. This served both of us, even though my husband picked out the luscious tomatoes. I do not understand. Tomatoes are delicious.
I ate mine with a sprinkle of ghost peppers and some leftover mango and pineapple. I also remembered to take a fish oil capsule and some digestive enzymes.
I did an 11:00 kickboxing class and instantly started to feel better. I spent the morning stiff, overly full, aching and tired. The exercise was exactly what I needed to sweat out the conference center food. I also burped fish oil during the whole class.
Lunch: 2:00 pm – Aidell’s chicken and apple sausage with onion, apple, and sweet potato. (Inspired by this.)
I was finally hungry. Since I seldom cook lunch for myself it felt special. Aidell’s sausage, which contains no sketchy ingredients, is available at Costco.
Dinner: 7:00 pm – salad with chicken.
When I got home I was starving and my phone had no charge left, so there is no picture. It was not an exciting meal but it tasted good, and I’m sure I’ll repeat it. As soon as I got home I managed to throw some chicken tenderloins in the oven, with just some brown mustard brushed on top. I put some leftover spring mix in the bottom of my bowl and added some cherry tomatoes and a cucumber from the garden. I placed some sliced chicken over the salad and fancied it up with some grossly-overpriced compliant olives. For dressing I used olive oil, lemon juice, a handful of basil leaves, and salt whizzed together with an immersion blender. I had some fresh cherries for dessert, I mean, alongside my salad.
My goal is to spend $200 on groceries this month, which is unfair because I stocked up on protein before the challenge started. Today I spent $55 at the health food store and then produce market. Yikes!
What is more important, sticking to my budget or interesting meals?