Last week I ate my ultimate bowl of rice.
Gone are the days of bottomless gluten free spaghetti, or the idle Red Bull Red which packs a delightful pick-me-up in the afternoon, at the expense of 39g of sugar.
I look sorrowfully at the drawer in my kitchen which houses the red potatoes, which seemed like I had just enjoyed yesterday.
Wine, my good friend…
I am on day 3 of the Whole30 cleanse.
I have written out my Whole30 disaster plan on a posterboard and taped it to the cupboard with electrical tape, because no one could find the Scotch tape (again).
Since Friday, Day 0, I have lost 3 pounds of rice/bread/gravy/beer fat.
And, I feel fine…I say, confidently.
Honestly, I feel kind of guilty about it since so many people have horror stories about the unmitigating headaches, nausea, irritability, awful pain and growing horns out of your skull and bleating like a goat until dawn…
The horns and bleating are unsubstantiated, but the suffering is not.
Dieting…excuse me, cleansing…is a serious deal.
Especially when you have to buy a book for it.
On the plus side, I get to put a stick blender into a watermelon and make watermelon gelatin and blow the kids minds on how I got the jello in the watermelon. #awesome
So, being a forward-thinking, rather smart woman who already has an incredibly restricted diet (see: Celiac+Kosher), a diet in which I cannot have pizza, pizza with pepperoni, ham, clam chowder, shrimp, sausage, gravy, crackers or bacon… why on earth would I do an elimination diet?
What is there left to cut out??
What is there left to eat???
Well, I’ll tell you:
I’m doing it because a friend told me it was great, and I already talked them into giving up gluten (because they were painfully obviously Celiac), and fair is fair.
How’s that for a motivational speech.
Plus, I honestly do want to feel better, more clear-headed and a greater energy threshold than I have now. Because even though I have the amazing, and extremely convenient excuse of “I’m tired because I have 5 kids and we homeschool,” I shouldn’t be this tired. I shouldn’t feel foggy in the middle of the morning. And I would like to feel better, physically, in general, instead of blaming it on age or whathaveyou.
It’s just time to do something. And Whole30 is definitely something.
It’s pretty much a Paleo-Atkins-LowCarb diet plan…I mean cleanse. They say it’s not a diet, it’s a cleanse, a million times in the book. So, okay, it’s a cleanse.
It still doesn’t have beer in the plan, so I can only be so excited about this.
Now, the nice thing is it is a 30 day plan. This means I don’t have to do it for 6 months, which would take me well into the heart of autumn at this point, and it lasts longer than a week or two, so it gives me time to really nail down better eating habits. And I’m okay with this.
However, there are 30 different emotional stages you are going to go through.
And I took out my Crayola purple marker and wrote down each one of these stages as a reminder for myself.
Because I know me…and if I have a day when I am out of energy, or have a headache, or feel sick, or have just completely lost every ounce of willpower to be patient with daily life…then I am going to stop. Because I don’t want to make things worse, and maybe I could be making things worse; reverting to old ways would seem like the safest route to go.
Knowing this about myself, though, I wrote down the 30 different stages of the month to visually remind my lizard brain that what I’m going through is okay, it is a process, some parts of the process is harder than others, and I can make it to the end.
And maybe learn something along the way!
I could not believe this, but I actually discovered something just today that blew my mind.
I am the Queen of excusing pain away, and I know this. I don’t know if I have a high pain threshold, exactly, but I know for a fact that I have the stubbornness of a Russian ox and I can withstand whatever pain hits me for as long as it lasts. Oh, sure, I’m not entirely cheerful about the whole ordeal…but my teeth are firmly set to last it out to the end.
I also don’t know if this is healthy at all.
But the other morning I made an amazing dish of Shakshouka, which is eggs poached on top of tomato sauce. No one was more shocked than I when I served this on top of a corn tortilla for the kids, and they all ate it and liked it. It was astonishingly good! I liked it, the kids liked it, and I call it a winner!
Until this morning when I made it again.
I always liked eating eggs in the morning because I felt full for hours and hours afterward. There would be little to no need to eat much until the afternoon, because the eggs had filled me so thoroughly. This was extremely helpful…because I very much enjoy eating. Frequently. And a lot.
However, this morning as I was sitting on the couch and doing some reading with the kids I realized that my stomach was a little upset. Like, sour. So I had an apple to appease the nausea. That didn’t work so I had some water. That didn’t work so I had some green tea. That didn’t work so…
I realized that I didn’t feel full after eating the eggs, I felt bloated and barfy. That is completely different than “full.” That is actually the opposite of what I was going for, which was good food which helped me out. All this time, eggs were giving me problems and I just ignored it and thought it was a good thing??
And this is just day 3!!
So, tomorrow morning I am going to re-think breakfast and see what I can come up with. I was thinking about making some apple-chicken sausage, bell pepper, leek and sundried tomato hash and serve it over a bed of spinach…and see if I don’t feel remarkably better!
All in all, I’m glad I’m doing this. It isn’t as bad as I expected, and that’s definitely a relief.
In closing, here are a few things I’ve made!
The infamous Shakshouka, which still is pretty fabulous. I didn’t eat it with a corn tortilla, for the record.
This dish was amazing. It is a Chicken Waldorf Salad with Avocado dressing (just blend the avocado and add a little coconut oil, that’s all you need). The kids wouldn’t stop eating this until I took the leftovers away…because I wanted lunch the next day 😉
Also, I didn’t eat the potatoes on this, and some kids got Mom’s dinner hand-me-downs…but kabobs are a lot of fun, and this turned out really well. I used chicken, pineapple and red potatoes (which you can’t eat on Whole30, but you could use sweet potatoes! I just hate sweet potatoes and they gross me out, so no thanks).
After dinner I had a bit of a sweet tooth, so I diced up some boiled beets and put them on a bed of spinach and drizzled raspberry vinegar on top.
That was super adult of me. I am okay with this.
For drinks, I’m just chugging water and green tea until the thoughts of wine leave my head.
Which will be soon. I’m positive…
I remember in the 4th grade finding the shelf in the library with the Nancy Drew books. This shelf took up all of my time and a good chunk of my mother’s gas as she drove me back and forth to the library after I’d devoured yet another handful of stories and required more.
That summer was the easiest summer reading list I’ve ever had, because once I was done with that I went on to Trixie Belden…and then on to The Babysitter’s Club…and then Sweet Valley High…and then…
….school started 😦
Coming up with a summer reading list isn’t always this easy, though.
Finding the right books for picky readers might be more difficult.
I’ve made many lists of books I intended to read, but either I couldn’t find them at the library or I couldn’t find them in a bookstore, and I was left with Kindle or Amazon to finish my list…
But I’d kinda rather not have to buy every book. I’m a hardcore library type of gal.
When it comes to finding a good summer reading program, libraries always have a summer reading program for kids, so that is a good place to start.
And there are thousands of free Kindle books available on Amazon, believe it or not.
But where else could you find good summer reading for you and the kids, besides random free kindle books?