Coffee Talk 08.14.16

Coffee Talk with Jo-Lynne

It’s been almost a week since we started Whole 30, and I promised an update. I get a lot of questions about what I’m eating and how it’s going. Honestly, I don’t feel like I have much to share, but you know me — I’ll say that and go on to write 2000 words. Ha!

I actually feel like my food is pretty boring. I’ve tried a few new dinner recipes, but I have no problem eating the same things for breakfast and lunch, and that’s what I’ve been doing. I eat eggs with some veggies mixed in at breakfast. I try to have leftover dinner veggies in the fridge for that purpose. I’ve been following meals with a clementine to cleanse my palate and satisfy my craving for something sweet, and that works really well.

For lunch, I eat a salad with homemade lemon vinaigrette and canned tuna on top. We planted a few tomato plants this year, so I’ve been enjoying a fresh tomato cut up on my salads each day.

That doesn’t work for my husband because he hates tuna, and I haven’t really gone out of my way to find another option for him. He’s also not crazy about leftovers, but he’d eat them if I sent them to work with him. The problem with that is, we rarely have leftovers. We’re a family of 5 with 3 voracious teenagers, and unless I set some aside before I put it on the dinner table, most everything gets consumed. I can usually manage to keep a few veggies out for my morning eggs, but sometimes even then I have to request them to leave some for me. Anything that is a meat or a starch gets eaten.

I should probably buy that pre-cooked and sliced chicken from Applegate Farms for his salad, but I doubt it is Whole 30 compliant. Then again, neither are we. Haha!

That’s a great segue, actually!

I’ve been making up some of my own rules as I go along. Two biggies — I use butter in my cooking and I put cream in my coffee. I am not convinced that dairy is bad, and these small exceptions aren’t going to make or break my progress. I decided not to get bogged down in the minutia of the plan and just follow the basics.

What I’m Eating

In a nutshell… (haha! no pun intended!) We are eating lots of meat, seafood, eggs, and vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats from fruits, oils, nuts, and seeds. No added sugar, artificial sweeteners, grains, and legumes, but I’m allowing good quality dairy (organic, grassfeed, blahblahblah) and wine with dinner.

Yep, I have also been enjoying wine with my dinners. I decided when I started this that I’m not giving up my dinner wine. I actually find that I eat more slowly and intentionally and enjoy my food more when I have wine with it, and I don’t want this to feel like a diet. I want it to feel like my new normal. Heck, I want this to BE my new normal… but we’ll see how far I get. Eating real food is work, and it will be easy to regress into old bad habits if I don’t stay committed.

I’m also trying not to re-create baked goods, junk foods, or treats with “approved” ingredients, which is one of the Whole 30 rules, but I might make an exception for those paleo apple cinnamon muffins I used to make. Those were a nice treat, but I was always tempted to overeat those when I made them, so I can understand why they have that rule. Maybe once I get back on track and prove to myself that I can make eating this way a habit, I can make those every once in a while.

In fact, I’m not even doing this with a 30-day goal in mind. I’m just saying I’m doing Whole 30 because most people know what that means, and it’s the easiest way I know to describe how I’m trying to eat, but I’m making modifications to their program and eating the way I want to eat longterm.

In the past, when I’ve done this sort of thing strictly for a certain number of days (ahem, 21 Day Sugar Detox…) I think I felt so deprived that by the time I went off it, even though I felt great and wanted to stick with it, I still had that mentality of, Yay, it’s over! Now I can have fill-in-the-blank…

I’m hoping by doing it this way, it might stick.

New Dinner Recipes

I was feeling pretty bored with dinner, so I’ve been trying some new dinner recipes, and that’s been fun. Preparation is the key to eating this way and maintaining it, so I’ve had to force myself to take time to seek out new recipes, make a grocery list, and actually shop.

I’m trying to keep it as simple as possible so I don’t get burned out and give up. I soon learned that if you Google Whole 30 Dinner Recipes, you will find a slew of complicated recipes with all sorts of different fruits and nuts and veggies. I am sure it is more healthy to eat that way, but I don’t have the time or interest. It was overwhelming me, so I started printing out only recipes that have a small ingredients list of things I would typically buy.

We really liked this shrimp and asparagus stir fry. I bought a bag of cut up asparagus and mushrooms and onions at Trader Joe’s, and I used those. I also got my raw shrimp at Trader Joe’s. Next time I make this, I plan to sauté some riced cauliflower to serve with it. (I bought a bag of cauliflower already grated at Trader Joe’s.)

Another one we liked was this Grilled Salmon with Mango Salsa, although I used mahi mahi. I actually bought the salmon I needed for this recipe, and I bought the mahi mahi for a different recipe, and then I defrosted the mahi mahi by accident, and I wanted to use up the mango I bought, so I just did this recipe with mahi, and it was great.

This week I plan to try the Paleo Blackened Cajun Mahi Mahi, which is what I bought the mahi for to begin with. I need to get over to Trader Joe’s again and restock. I like buying my fish at Trader Joe’s because it is packaged in small portions and already frozen and easy to pick up the amount I need.

Another night this week, I made Colleen’s Kale Salad that is here on my website along with my Red Wine Marinated Flank Steak. I also fried up some leftover boiled potatoes in butter and sliced onion.

I love that white potatoes are allowed on Whole 30 because they are not typically considered paleo-friendly and I often eliminate them when I’m trying to eat super healthy. I probably wouldn’t have made this exception on my own, but we do love them, so I’m allowing them. It also helps to have a filler that the kids all enjoy because eating this way isn’t really going to sustain my teenagers and their voracious appetites.

I’m trying not to make potatoes too often, though, because I do tend to overeat them, especially when I haven’t been snacking on carbs and I’m craving them.

Last night, I made this 1 Pan Lemon Artichoke Chicken with a side of steamed green beans, and it was delicious! My husband asked me to make it once a week.

So, how’s it going so far?

My goal with doing this was to feel better and to drop a few pounds and to do that by developing healthier eating habits. So far, I feel like I’m on the right track. I definitely feel less bloated, although my temperamental tummy is trying to adjust to consuming more vegetables, and that is taking some getting used to. I know from doing this sort of thing in the past that I will adapt and be fine. I probably should be taking some digestive enzymes, though. I used to take those a lot for my heartburn and gastritis symptoms.

Speaking of heartburn, I have had none since starting this modified Whole 30 experiment last Tuesday. Hooray!

As far as weight loss goes, I didn’t get to the store until Monday so we didn’t officially start until Tuesday, and I’ve lost a total of 4 pounds in 5 days. I know that it’s mostly water weight, and I’m expecting it to level off over the next few weeks as eating this way becomes more routine, and then I can adjust my portion sizes and exercise to maintain where I want to be.

My goal is not to lose major weight, although it sure would be fun to be a size 4 again. Those were the days… but I am 44, and I am not trying to change my pants size. I just want to fit comfortably into the pants that are hanging in my closet.

I have to admit, I keep asking myself what is going to make this different than all the times in the past that I’ve tried to implement new eating habits, but I certainly won’t succeed if I don’t try. And I have to remind myself, I have made major changes that have stuck. I’ve been gluten-free for 5 years, and I gave up my 3-a-day soda habit, so I figure if I can do that, surely I can do this.

I think the key for me is to keep it simple, and make it a priority to keep stocked up on good foods so I don’t resort to snacks and pizza takeout. I know my trigger foods (potato chips… cheese & crackers… GF cookies…) so I’m trying to keep those out of the house. It is hard with teenagers because they like snacks, but as long as I buy snacks that don’t tempt me, I should be able to stick to the plan.

Well, I’m at 1700 words! Ha! I didn’t quite make it to 2000, but I think I’ve said all I have to say at this point. I’m happy to answer any questions in the comments.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!