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  • It Starts With Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways
    It Starts With Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways
    by Melissa Hartwig, Dallas Hartwig
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Friday
Aug292014

#Whole30, Day 4

Day Four is done, and I did not want to Kill. All. The. Things!
(The joke is that by days 4 and 5 of #Whole30, you run into a serious emotional wall and get cranky. Co-workers will testify to waves of poutiness on my part, but so far no major crank.) 

 Breakfast used up the rest of the shrimp, with a shrimp-to-egg ratio that was truly thrilling (cut back to 2 eggs). Peek-a-boo from underneath was the rest of my bag o' spinach. Suprisingly tasty, even without the Parmesan cheese I would normally have been tempted to add!

Lunch was more leftover Thai curry (think I can go without making quite so much next week). I found I actually *missed* my salad - and ended up not eating more than half of it.

The poutiness occurred after lunch (see above re: possibly not eating enough), and was prompted by the thought that I couldn't have a comforting, satisfying cuppa Builders Tea. But two cups of Rooibos later and I was on a roll with work.

Afternoon spaciness combatted by the realization that I had nuts in my desk drawer. Almonds and cashews to the rescue!

An early dinner, so I could be in the shop by 5 pm:

 I sauteed up two turkey burker patties and set aside one for breakfast for Day 5. The last 1/4 avocado, and a BIG slice of heirloom tomato as an ersatz bun made for a yummy turkey burger! Some quick romaine and more tomatoes for a speedy side salad. It was warm out again, so a little spritzer with grapefruit juice and soda water sent me out the door to go back to work to finish my second 12+ hour workday.

Biggest revelation so far: I'm not hungry in the same way I used to be! I used to get sharp, searing stomach pangs if I didn't eat every 4 hours. Now I just notice a deeper, subterranean rumbling and notice that I'm slowing down and getting a little spacey. Is this what other people are talking about when they say they forget to eat? Hmm.

Friend T had her first round of chemo on Thursday. If she has to be strong for her stuff, I can damn well do this, too.

 

Thursday
Aug282014

#Whole30, Day 3

Day Three is in the can!

I'm still coasting on the grace of relatively little internal struggle with this. Fingers crossed that I stay that lucky for a little while longer!

Less of a scrambled mess for breakfast yesterday, and more of a layering exercise:

Bottom layer: fork-mashed sweet potatoes with a bit of coconut milk to make a bit of a slurry; then slices of turkey breast on top. 

Cap it off with some scrambled egg (note to self: cut down to two! this is a lot of food!) ... and then add some tomatoes for extra veggie goodness. Oh, and steamed greens, too.

Kept me going until after noon!

 

 

Lunch: yup, salad.

This one was pretty mainstream: plain sauteed chicken, tomatoes, avocado over romaine and cabbage. But I thought I'd share what I'm doing to make my salad dressing:

If, like me, you're embarrassingly new to the process of homemade dressings (despite the fact that you've been told over and over again that they're easy), here's one to try.

1 part apple cider vinegar
1 part balsamic vinegar, or to taste (if you're using a strong one, cut back maybe)
2-3 parts olive oil (depending on how oily vs. tangy you like your dressing)
1/4 part Annie's Horseradish Mustard (a revelation! Horseradish delivery system with no sugar added!)
1/2-1 part diced fresh herbs (I've been using basil, since it's fresh now) 

(If you're making some to cover several salads, try 1 part = 4 Tbsp.)

I just shake mine up in a little airtight container - the little Duralex one pictured above is nice for dosing out a single portion to pop into my glass salad container to take to work. (Why do the French make all the best glass storage? Someone tell me why!)

Quickie to finish out, since I need to get to work early this morning: Dinner was leftover Chicken Curry from Monday night. (Work night, so had to plan for something grab & go).

Kept me going until 10:30pm, and only got a growly tummy in the last half-hour. Went to bed without extra snacking, either. On a roll.

Day 3 I realized I'm not eating the sweet potatoes in the quantity I expected to - not craving that form of carbohydrate. Think I'll cut back on those for my shopping next week.

 

Wednesday
Aug272014

#Whole30, Day 2

Day Two is done!

I got distracted at breakfast and forgot to take a photo, for the best of reasons - Boyhood was here! But for the record, what I made for both of us was an eggy scramble with shrimp, green onions, avocado, and a peach. Super-yummy!

The Lunch Salad reigns supreme:

I let some of my sauteed ground turkey marinate in my new-favorite, house-made dressing, and topped mixed greens with that, red pepper, and the ubiquitous avocado.

For some reason, I couldn't eat may way all the way through my salad (co-worker G, my salad guru, says "It takes work to chew!"), so I left it for an afternoon snack. Never got to it, but did take advantage of the other snack I brought along: an apple and some slices of turkey (which are quickly replacing my string cheese afternoon former snack position).

At about 2pm (bang on schedule), the first real pangs arrived: there's that afternoon 'grab some sugar' monster. After kvetching in the office and receiving rousing "NO!" support from my co-workers, it was off to the aforementioned apple and protein snack - stragely well-suited to the "apple pie and an iced latte" pang I was having.

(Friend T later told me that cinnamon is a great blood-sugar regulator - this, from her naturopath!, so perhaps a little jar of cinnamon in the desk drawer for that afternoon apple is in order.)

Second (and predictable) pouty-face occurred at the end of the work day: what's going to console me this evening if I don't have a glass of wine to look forward to? (This, the most dastardly of habits!)

Again, miraculously or strangely, the things I thought would be pretty insurmountable are non-issues (at least right now). I got in, popped my prepped items out of the fridge, and prepared a fantastic-tasting stir fry with shrimp, cashews, bok choi, and cabbage in less time than it used to take me to walk to the store for frozen pizza and Cabernet! 

Began with ghee and some grated fresh ginger in the pan, then added the hard vegetables (cabbage and the bulb of the bok choi), then the broccolini and shrimp. Tender greens and cashews at the end, and then (inspired thought!), a squeeze of Annie's Horseradish Mustard on the top and stirred in.

Tasted so good, I had to eat the WHOLE PAN. (Making up for lunch... at least that's what I'm telling myself!)

Sparkling water all through the night, a good Skype chat with friend T (she of the cinnamon tip), and to bed at a reasonable hour. An excellent result for Day Two! Phew. 

Monday
Aug252014

#whole30, Day 1

Day One is done!

I'd like to record every day here, (dearlordI'mgoingtobecomeoneofthosepeoplewhopostpicturesoftheirfood), for the record, and in hopes it helps someone craft menus or cope with working a Whole30 into their busy work week!

I've decided to keep one thing simple that's become problematic for weekdays: Lunches. I'm lucky to work with a bunch of creative, fabulous people, and G and C, two officemates at work, have been my inspiration for healthy eating for a while now - they bring Salad. Every. Day.

Day One's salad was lovely: fresh local tomatoes, spinach and kale and chard for greens, red bell pepper, some leftover bacon from the weekend's breakfast, and 1/4 of an avocado. My first attempt at making salad dressing was a success, too (why did I wait so long to try that?).


Breakfasts are often egg-based in Whole30, because it's the cultural norm and it's an easy platform for morning protein and veg. Day One I used some of the lean ground turkey breast I'd saut´eed up the night before, plus pico de gallo, wilted spinach, and the other half of the bell pepper that went into lunch. 

 On Day One, I went to the gym in the morning before remembering that I had a Kettlebell class that night (!), so I accidentally doubled-up on my workouts. (Boy, I love to overachieve early on!) Good thing I prepared for a pre-workout snack from work: the last 1/4 of that avocado, plus a few extra pieces of turkey.

 Dinner was some Thai curry I'd prepared the night before, because I knew I'd come home from Kettlebell class late, and because Boyhood was coming down for a date night! I added some cooked sweet potatoes to the curry, and made some more sauce. It was yummy - another first: Thai Curry paste! Hot, but not forcibly so. I surprised myself by eating less than I thought I would... Left quite a bit in the bowl. Surprising, after the busy day at work and the two workouts.

Two more things I learned just in this first day: a lot of my sweets-after-lunch craving has to do with wanting to refresh he taste in my mouth! I packed along a toothbrush and toothpaste and just hit 'reset' on the tastebuds. That, and a little walk to run an errand out in the sunshine, and I was more ready to go back to my desk without a cookie in hand. Also, mid-afternoon, rather than the black tea with milk & sugar that I'm used to, we cracked a box of Steve Smith's "Fez" tea: green tea with spearmint. Refreshing, tea-like, and a little boost from the green tea. A good workaround!

Day One can be deemed a success (though I dreamed of 'accidentally' eating pastries)! More on that next post.

Sunday
Aug242014

on becoming whole

Updates must be in the air... I'm full of a sense of renewed energy (perhaps typical for this time of year?)

The wardrobe re-vamp has been joined by an interest in clean eating, and clearing out the junky habits that have limited me over the past few years (I'm looking at you, Pinot Grigio!). I'm a big fan of Allison's blog, Wardrobe Oxygen - if she recommends something, I'm rather prone to trying it. Her post a few weeks ago, and then its follow-up, prompted me to look into Whole30, and I very much liked what I saw!

The premise is pretty simple: cut out processed foods, sugar, alcohol, and grains and dairy for 30 days. Eat vegetables with lean protein most of the time, fruit sometimes, and get good rest. This is intended to re-set your taste buds, combat the cravings for sugar that plague some of us every afternoon (ahem), and reduce inflammatory responses you might not know you have to things like wheat and dairy.

Fridge Makeover, 'after' edition

Now, I don't think I'm particularly sensitive to wheat - I likes me my toast! And dairy doesn't feel like it's ever been an issue. But a renewed commitment to healthy eating, to feeding myself like I matter, is the crux of it.

I had a rare Sunday when I'm down in my work town, at the condo, with a bit of extra time to plan and prep. My planning went like this: study the sections in the book where they outline basic meal prep; figure out what combinations of protein and veg I wanted to eat this next week, and then plot it all out in a cute day planner I started using and then abandoned. Cute toys = guaranteed success in my book!

For future reference (or in case anyone is interested in diving in and wants some ideas about how to organize grocery shopping and meal plans): I started with the protein/veg mixes that I thought sounded good... and for simplicity's sake, kept workaday lunches to salads + a protein. Figured out which evenings needed easy meals (working late, etc.), and then moved stuff around until I had a menu for the week: breakfast, lunch and dinner, every day til Friday night (on weekends I go home up to PT, and Boyhood and I can shop for the weekend's meals together up there).

Then I wrote out a grocery list, writing down each ingredient as it came up in the plan, and tallying how many servings per item: 5 halves of avocado = 3 avocados, ground turkey used 4x... and that made my list.

Armed with my list (and packing my planner, for reference when my brain fell out in the store, as it always does), went grocery shopping! Veg veg veg and more veg, plus hunting for exotic new-to-me ingredients like Thai Curry Paste and ghee. Total damage, for the record: $135. A minor ouch, but considering it's sparing me the $40 margarita-and-quesadilla post-work meltdown, it's worth it. Plus, no alcohol in that ticket - that's been pushing up the grocery bills for the past few years, alas...

Sunday night meal prep: Thai Chicken Curry!

So here we go! My intention is to check in here every day, post my progress and revelations, kvetches and successes. Plus, daily menus in case that helps someone out there start their Whole30 with success!