Whole30 – Day 29

8 Nov

So close I can almost see the end!  Must be my internal excitement because I should be sleeping right now and can’t, which is a really big bummer considering I have to work tonight.

I did my fifth massive cooking session and am pretty happy with the results!

I decided to try to make my own kombucha at home.  The first step is to make (or buy) a scoby.  I decided to try to make one since I’ve been successful doing this several years ago, but I never really got into actually making the kombucha.  Kombucha contains lots of probiotics which help your gut and although the process involves sugar, the fermenting process eats up most of the sugar.  In two to four weeks I should know if my scoby is going to grow.  Maybe in a month and a half I’ll actually have home-brewed kombucha!  If I get this to work I’ll post more about it in the future.

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See the little floating things in there?  That’s part of a scoby that came in my drink and what will hopefully continue to grow.

Look what I found, finally!  I’m so excited!  Coconut Aminos.  Now I can finally make my crack slaw (and many other recipes) as intended.  Thanks D for letting me know where I could find it locally.  For those of you in the PNW, the co-op in Astoria has it in stock and if I remember right it was $6.99/bottle.  Much better than the $16.99 I saw it for on Amazon.

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From top to bottom, left to right, I made a balsamic pot roast with sweet potatoes and green beans and a gravy similar to the one I made for the chicken last week, spaghetti squash pad thai with chicken and shrimp, roasted vegetables including carrots, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and green beans, cauliflower rice, and crack slaw.  The pad thai recipe made a ton so I froze some of it immediately.  It’s not as delicious as pad thai from my favorite Thai restaurant but it’s still pretty good.  I made fewer vegetable dishes and a larger quantity of the ones I did make this week which saved a little time.  Also, I stuck to vegetables I know I like so I won’t have the rutabaga/turnip debacle I had last week.

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I’m seriously so excited!  I can’t believe I’m really starting my final day (officially).  Like i’ve said before, i have no intentions of stopping my whole30/wholelife way of eating any time soon.  But just know that I can commit myself to such a big change for 30 days and accomplish it is huge.  If you set yourself up for success this is actually a pretty easy process, so long as you focus on all the things you can eat instead of all the things you can’t.

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Whole30 – Day 28

8 Nov

I can’t believe I haven’t eaten any junk in 28 days!  If you know me and my sweet tooth that’s amazing all in itself.

I managed to get my shopping done today and tonight is cooking night!  I have some new recipes to try and I can’t wait because one of them is Pad Thai, one of my favorite dishes in the universe.  When I first started out on this journey grocery shopping took me forever but now I’m finding it to be a breeze.  I still don’t like what the cash register total comes to but I guess I’m getting more used to it.  Every week seems to be roughly the same, about $115 in groceries.  I know I could cut down some costs, but I do buy grass fed beef and free range chicken, no added hormones/antibiotics, and that’s worth a few extra dollars.  I could also shop what’s on sale but I’ll be honest, I’m not there in my cooking yet.  Right now I sit down and look through recipes, or I find something during the week, that looks good and that’s what I make.  Maybe one of these days I’ll focus more on eating this way on a bit of a budget.  One thing at a time I suppose.

Breakfast

Spinach, zoodles, poached eggs, and almond butter!  Yes I ate it straight out of the container, but no I did not eat the whole thing.  I ran out of avocados and needed some fats so almond butter sounded like a good way to get it in.  If you’ve never tried the machine that grinds it fresh for you, you really should.  It’s is so much yummier than any pre-packaged almond butter I’ve ever tried.  It’s good enough I probably could eat the entire container if I didn’t have a little self-control.

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Lunch

Chili topped with ranch dressing.  In my mind this was an awesome combo.  In my mouth, not quite so awesome.  It wasn’t too horrible to eat but I wouldn’t recommend it.

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Dinner

Seriously one of my new favorite dishes.  Chicken and Gravy by Nom Nom Paleo with mashed sweet potatoes, topped with clarified butter and LOTS of gravy!

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As you know I don’t usually write my blog this late at night, but I slept and slept and slept today!  It’s my day off and clearly my body was telling me I needed it.  Hopefully my body was doing some much needed repairs during that sleep.

Did you forget?  Only three days until I announce my results and the giveaway details!

Whole30 – Day 27

6 Nov

What a day!  Thankfully I’m writing you from my weekend which is going to look a lot like lazy other than the cooking I’ll be doing tomorrow night (which I haven’t even planned yet).  One thing I know for sure I’ll be making this upcoming week (yep, week5!!!) is going to be some crack slaw.  I can’t believe I’ve gone a week without it.  I really do miss it.  It feels like such a staple to me.  It makes me so happy to hear back from the many people I know who have made this dish who love it as much as I do.

I have no idea if what I’m experiencing is Whole30 related or if it’s just a random coincidence, but my jaw has been killing me for the past few weeks.  I haven’t mentioned it because it all started with one side or the other popping, usually once a day or so.  It would be pretty painful when it popped, and so loud that my ear would ring for a short while, but then it would feel better.  Well that changed a few days ago.  The right side of my jaw is so sore, and it’s not popping anymore.  I scheduled a visit with my dentist to try to find out what’s going on with it.  Originally I thought maybe my inflammation was going down so things were resettling, but even if that is the case it hurts like hell.  Hopefully Monday brings me good news and less pain.

Breakfast

Wilted spinach, avocado, and poached eggs!  I don’t think I’ve ever eaten so many eggs in one month.  Eggs are one of the most nutrient dense foods you can eat so I don’t feel bad about it.

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Lunch

Nom Nom Paleo’s chicken and gravy with some mashed sweet potatoes and the roasted veggies I don’t like.  I managed to choke down some of the vegetables while they were smothered in sweet potatoes and gravy.  I know they are good for me but dang they are not good.  I’ll be changing things up drastically in this department for next week.

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Dinner

So part of my exciting day after work included getting a new phone!  New phones are great but they always seem to be a pain to set up.  Luckily, once I figured out how to do it (thank you Google) the iCloud backup made it pretty easy.  Why am I talking about this for the dinner section?  It’s because my phone was in the one of many updates when I ate dinner so you don’t get a picture today.  I had the chicken curry and green olives!  Still one of my favorite combos.

I still really can’t believe my first 30 day journey has almost come to an end.  I realized something today, that I probably already knew.  I am an emotional eater.  I got really upset and frustrated today, over something mostly stupid but still annoying, and I was driving around during this time.  I saw Dairy Queen and I wanted a Blizzard so bad.  Believe me, Blizzards have been one of my go-to foods in the past when I’m upset or wanting comfort or just something sugary and delicious.  Crazy how our society has utilized food to comfort, soothe, and take the place of healthy stress relievers.  Luckily I can realize this now, it’s not a real craving but a mental trigger.  When we feel stressed out is not the time to pump your body full or crap because that only stresses out our bodies more on a different level.  But I guess it’s taken me 27 days to learn this, and it’s going to take even longer before I completely lose these triggered cravings (obviously).  I wonder if they would ever completely go away?  What are you food triggers?  If you are aware of what makes you want to eat foods that are not good for you then you can have a mental plan on how to redirect your focus to a healthy one.  Just a little “food for thought”!

Whole30 – Day 26

5 Nov

I feel like the last few days have been fairly uneventful, and I think that’s probably a good thing.  Whole30 is becoming less of a struggle and more of a normal every day event.  I have my routine down and it seems to be working pretty good for me.  My sleep has been really rough lately though and today was no exception.  It was so good before but I’m thinking it’s due to adding the new supplements/prescriptions.  My body is probably all confused again, but I know it’s for a good reason.

By the time I got home from work I was both super tired and not hungry at all so I only ate two meals yesterday and I went straight to bed.

Breakfast

When I went shopping this week they only had small bags of spinach (6oz) and I usually buy a 10oz bag.  Like usual I made half the bag.  By the time the spinach had wilted down it looked so puny and unsatisfying so I threw some of the garlic roasted cabbage in the pan with it.  That made for a much more filling breakfast.  I also had poached eggs and half of a cantaloupe.

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Lunch

No bean and lots of carrot chili and some almonds and pistachios.

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Even though it’s been 26 days of nothing but clean eating and whole food I’m still loving the food options.  They all taste so good and I think I forgot just how good real food can be and it doesn’t take a ton of ingredients to make it taste really rich and amazing.  I look back at what I used to eat and I can see now how horrible it all really was but until you separate yourself from the junk I don’t think it’s possible to understand just what you’re feeding your body every day….poison.  How can you expect your body to be healthy and heal itself when it’s constantly trying to cleanse and fight off all the toxins?

I’m really hoping my body will eventually heal itself to a point where I don’t have to take all of these supplements and prescriptions anymore because it is so expensive.  I just had a battle with my insurance company who refused to cover any part of the prescriptions.  I think I’ve gotten it figured out now, apparently the pharmacy the doctor had them called in to did not file claims into the insurance company the way they wanted them to and therefore they wouldn’t work with them or cover prescriptions from them.  So, I found a local pharmacy that “should” work, I still don’t have it completely worked out though.  Seriously, insurance companies are so difficult.

Whole30 – Day 25

4 Nov

That finish line is looking so close!  Really it’s not the end of anything, except maybe blogging every single day about food, lol.

After all the information overload from yesterday I think I’m actually doing okay today.  I just keep thinking about how it is that I can make myself healthier and better.  I know this new way of eating is worth it for my health long-term so I truly have no desire to cheat or go back to eating the way I was before Whole30.  I did have a dream about bread though!  Damn subconscious will get you every time.

Breakfast

No more crack slaw until I make some more so I had to settle for spinach, poached eggs, and an avocado.

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Lunch

Curry chicken with green olives!  Seriously so good.  I thought I didn’t like curry very much but I think it’s growing on me.

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Dinner

I had an appointment after work and didn’t get home until around 11 AM, when I usually eat dinner by about 8 AM.  I was STARVING!  Chicken, sweet potatoes, and gravy!  I was in heaven!  This gravy is really so good that I wouldn’t miss regular gravy and I don’t think anyone else would notice either if they weren’t told.

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I heard something interesting on a podcast I’ve been listening to lately called The Nourished Podcast by Shawn Mynar and Meg Doll.  They mentioned how important it is to add salt into your diet when you’re eating clean/Whole30/cooking from scratch, because you’re no longer eating processed foods with tons of added salt for preservatives.  And apparently not enough salt can cause low blood pressure.  I don’t think I have low blood pressure but this is something to think about for sure.  While processed foods have way too much salt our bodies still need salt and other minerals to function properly.  I swear, sometimes it seems that there is just so much to know and keep track of.  I guess all we can do is keep learning.

Speaking of learning.  I’ve been thinking lately about going back to school for some type of nutrition degree.  I’m not sure exactly what this degree would be called because I haven’t researched it much, but I do know that this is the sort of thing that really interests me, and I love helping people.  I’ve been private messaged and texted by several people during this little journey of mine and I’m not even kidding when I say that it makes me so happy to have some type of positive impact on a person in terms of them learning more about their bodies and healthy eating/living.  I think this may have become my new passion, who knew!

Whole30 – Day 24

3 Nov

Well, I did have my doctor’s appointment and now I have some answers but I’m not even going to pretend I know what I’m talking about at this point.  What I am going to do is lay it all out there so you can get a feeling for just how messed up a person can be by just eating poorly.  It’s really amazing how badly our bodies can become messed up.

The first thing my doctor told me was that I needed to start eating better.  She didn’t know that I had already started, and almost completed the Whole30.  She was really happy to hear this and told me that I need to keep at it, which is what I had planned to do anyway.  You have to realize the blood work that was done was pre-Whole30 so if my body has experienced any benefits to date I don’t have the numbers to show that.

I learned that I can’t eat gluten, at least for now.  I do not know for sure that I am gluten intolerant but at this point it’s just best for me to avoid.  They’ll be retaking my blood samples in about three months so it’ll be interesting to see what the tests show at that point in comparison to what they are today.

I also learned that my thyroid is low, super low, which I had already expected to hear.  My T3 and T4 as well as my Free T3 are extremely low…as in off the charts low.

One of the most scary things for me today was learning my B12 was low.  That in itself doesn’t sound like a big deal, but the big deal is that I now have to give myself a shot every other day, a shot of B12.  I did my first one today and it is freaky looking at that needle and knowing you need to plunge it into your stomach…so scary!  But, I did it and it actually didn’t hurt at all, nothing like I expected it to be.  I imagine it’ll take me a while before I’m pro at it and don’t think twice before giving myself the shot.  I really feel for people with diabetes who need insulin and women who have had to do shots for fertility.  It’s not fun.

Based on my stool analysis tests I found out that I have a candida overgrowth throughout my body.  If you didn’t know candida is yeast.  Yep, just like yeast in bread, it feeds off of sugars and breads/pasta and other similar foods.  I have to start taking something to help kill that off too.  Apparently diet alone can’t get rid of it but the Whole30 will help keep it from coming back.  This has become a pretty big problem for lots of people.  I don’t know too much about how it affects your body but I know when you have it your body is constantly trying to fight it off, which isn’t healthy because it just can’t win the battle.  Candida also plays a big part into what’s called “leaky gut syndrome”, where your body cannot absorb the nutrients it needs to in the small intestine.  In addition to the medication to kill the candida off I’m also taking a new probiotic which helps to restore the healthy bacteria in the gut, which is what’s supposed to stop the candida to begin with.  But, when the good bacteria are gone or damaged they can’t do their job.

So, as if that weren’t enough already I also have what’s called “estrogen dominance”.  This is when you have too much estrogen and not enough progesterone and testosterone.  You guessed it, I have to take different medications for both those issues too.  Some of the literature my doctor gave me on this says that estrogen dominance leads to “weight gain, headaches, bad temper, and chronic fatigue”.  Yep, that’s totally me.

If I’ve counted correctly (and I may have missed one or two), I’m now taking 8 new supplements/medications.  It is a lot to take in and even my doctor kept telling me it was a lot.  And, even though I am a bit overwhelmed I am also relieved that someone finally listened to me and didn’t just send me out the door telling me I’m fine.  It’s actually a relief to know there may actually be some end out there to these several years long issues I’ve been having.  This also explains why even the Whole30 has not been a miracle for me, but another piece of the total puzzle.  I’m totally committed to getting healthy and feeling good.  I can’t even remember when the last time I ever felt “normal”, with good energy and ready to take on the world.  I sometimes wonder if I ever have.

The good news is that I might not/shouldn’t/maybe won’t have to take these things for the rest of my life.  I do believe that at least some of them are pretty temporary, while others may take longer to get rid of, or maybe I’ll just have to take less of them down the road.  I’m as optimistic as I can be that I might finally have some answers to these health questions I’ve been having for such a long time.  The sad part of it all is that I’ve done extensive research over the years regarding my symptoms and I’ve even reached the same conclusions as these blood/stool tests, but I just couldn’t find a doctor who would actually listen.  Now that I have found one I feel that she is a priceless assent in my corner.  It’s so nice to have a visit with her that’s an hour long and she actually talks to me the entire hour….and she listens!  It’s like it’s a new concept in medicine.

I guess the positive take-away to all this is that no matter how long you’ve been suffering with medical problems you have to keep pushing forward and seeking out someone who will listen and who will give you some answers.  Only time will tell if this is going to make me feel better but I will be sure to post updates in the future as to my progress.

Whole30 – Day 23

2 Nov

It’s day 23 already!  I actually feel like I missed a day yesterday but between all the switching back and forth from graveyard to day shift and back to graveyard there was a lot of sleeping done yesterday and not a whole lot of eating….so yeah, day 23 is what I’m calling it.

Speaking of a lot of sleep.  I wasn’t kidding.  I slept 12 glorious hours…and I still woke up tired and dragged ass all night long.  How is that even possible?  I have no idea but I’m finally going to get my blood work results tomorrow morning after work.  I’m excited, anxious, and a bit nervous.  I’m hoping the news isn’t too terrible and that I’ll hopefully be started on some medication to help me feel better than I do right now.  But, I don’t always get what I expect when I go to the doctor so I’ll wait until after my appointment to count my chickens.

Breakfast

Breakfast was my favorite again.  Crack slaw, spinach, poached eggs, and avocado.  It doesn’t get much better than this!

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Lunch

I tried my beef chili for the first time.  It was really good.  The spices are just right.  Even G ate some and didn’t die from the lack of preservatives and sugars so I call it a win.  He did suggest I add green beans next time so I might give that a go.  I also had some roasted vegetables.  This has to be my biggest flop yet.  I’m not sure what went wrong but they really are not good.  I guess I’ll eat them because I don’t have a choice, unless I decide to cook something else.  I’ll see if I can push through.  Even the ranch didn’t save them but I was able to choke it all down.  The sweet potatoes are pictured but I ended up not bringing them to work because it just looked like too much food, and it was, even without the potatoes.

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Dinner

I ate some of the chicken curry.  You can call me crazy but I really like the green olives added to it.  They add a nice salty tangy bite to the dish.  I also had a persimmon and a glass of bone broth.  Bone broth is not my favorite thing to drink but they say the health benefits, especially for those having gut problems, is huge.  So I’m giving it a go and hoping it’ll help repair my system even faster than I assume it has been up to this point.

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I’m not going to lie, I’m looking forward to my technical Whole30 being over because finding time to write my blog every day is pretty time consuming, especially when you consider I’m actually cooking my meals on a daily basis.  Both very new things for me but I’m making it work so far.  I have decided to do a fun giveaway which will be announced on my day 31, progress update post so stay tuned for that!