I feel as though I’ve spent the past month stuck in a kind of groundhog food haze. Day in day out you could hear my despondent whine: What’s can I have for breakfast? What about lunch? What the h*^^ are we going to have for dinner …

Well, it’s over folks. My thirty days are done.

I want to say it was life changing, that I saw such wondrous changes as to sing halleluja. I really do.

But it didn’t happen.

Here’s the thing:

  • I lost 5 lbs.
  • I think, but I’m not 100% sure, that my blood pressure is good. I have the sort of blood pressure that will be fine, then spike, then be fine again, and you end up not knowing what’s going on and when it’s going to do it, so all I can say is that it seems to be fine, unless it’s not, which is great, or not so great, depending. Also, unless I see the doctor I wont know if anything else has improved. My cholesterol has always been good. I do take thyroid meds so that could be interesting.
  • I found out that I didn’t need alcohol. Always a bonus. (Did I just say that?)

What else? I really can’t seem to think of anything.

What other things happened?

  • I got arthritis. O.K. so it didn’t just happen, but it flared up considerably. I had to take advil and everything … so, I won’t be recommending this diet to my sister who has chronic R.A. Not yet anyway.
  • I was constipated the whole time. Still am, but we wont mention that.
  • I feel low. I think due to the psychological ramifications of restrictions and failures and all those other psychological ramifications things.
  • I generally feel unwell. If you remember I seem to have that whole brain not keeping up with my head thing going on at the moment.
  • I am cold all of the time. I mean, really cold, unusually so. The kind where I need the heat on, the fire on, and an old lady blanket tucked tightly around my legs; and two extra quilts on the bed, while everyone else is lounging around in short-sleeved t-shirts and moaning that there’s something wrong with me and just put another jumper on why don’t you.
  • I’m tired and have no energy. P says he also has less energy so I don’t think it’s just me.
  • I’m bored. P is bored. Eating has become boring. N has taken to fast fooding because she’s bored with the boring choices in the house. That completely negates the healthy living attempt in my opinion.

The Whole 30 is said not to be a diet, but a life change.

It is a diet. It’s not a bad diet, but it’s extremely restrictive, and that makes it a diet in my books, and, did I mention that it’s boring?

So in conclusion:

I do think it’s important to pay attention to what you eat, but I didn’t have to eliminate many food items in the aisle section of the grocery store, (the ones in cans and with preservatives up the wazoo), because I rarely bought them in the first place. I think my only staple food items in cans or packages were, salt/sugar-free diced tomatoes, black, garbanzo and cannellini beans which I rinsed before eating. Organic where possible. Canned  beans are likely not as healthy as dried beans but what’s a girl to do …

I did use condiments such as soy sauce, fish sauce, mustards, olive oil, etc. for cooking, and occasionally pasta. Oh and cereal, mainly great grains and bran buds. Those were probably the biggest offenders.

As for dairy: Milk, cheese and plain greek yogurt. And I went through phases on the cheese, so that really was a hit or miss food for me.

I also used to eat potatoes, brown rice and sometimes bulgur and wheat berries.

I hardly ever ate chips, cakes, candies, ice-cream, pizza, etc. Just because it’s really not my thing. (I know, I know. Don’t hate me ‘coz you aint me). Once in a blue moon I’d have some but I wouldn’t go out of my way.

I honestly think the only reason I lost the 5 lbs was because I stopped drinking wine.

So, what to do now?

I will continue to pay attention to what I eat as really I always have, but I can’t be as restrictive. I’ve ordered a new paleo cookbook which I’m looking forward to, and I may well continue this next month to avoid wheat, alcohol and sugar, but not with such a vengeance.

What’s eating you people?

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With only three days left to go, Number 2 informed me this morning that he has “busted” his commitment to the diet. Frankly I’m not surprised, yet, due to circumstances that I believe were beyond his control, there will be no charges of insubordination set at this time. Unless, of course, I find out that the circumstances were within his control, then he’s in big trouble.

He has been with the away team for two days now, entertaining clients in a small colony known only as San Francisco and, as he contends, was presented with a distinct lack of choices in the menus selected by said clients.

Actually, I do kind of blame him. San Francisco, of all places, should have clean food selections on their restaurant menus. If it wasn’t for the canadian bacon, which I’m sure now must have had some sugars in it, and the fact that I don’t really know the full circumstances of his dilemma, I don’t think I’d be so lenient. As it is, however, at least I can be sure that I win the prize.

But, that said, the whole thing’s creeping me out a little. I feel as though I’ve become trapped inside the good girl who doesn’t dare put a foot wrong. The canadian bacon’s eating me up.

I’ve almost finished my sentence, but will I be able to stop?

Without moaning ;) I have felt pretty much unwell for most of the month. My joints ache, I’m tired and my head feels as though it leaves my brain behind each time I turn to face the other way. However, I have lost 5 lbs.

I still agree that leaving out sugar and wheat isn’t a bad thing, but this next month I think I will go more Paleo (have I mentioned yet how much I hate that word?) than Whole 30. The Whole 30 being, as far as I can tell, a more restrictive form of Paleo.

What does that mean?

Beats me, but I do know I’m going to have to start letting go of believing I’m a failure if I don’t want to do this diet.

Not can’t do, but don’t want to do. I think everyone can do it, but life has to be what we want also – and P wants wine tonight.

I actually don’t want wine. Really. I’m happy to plod on for now, at least until Monday when the thirty days will be up. Then, who knows what the h@** will happen.

I’m winging it here people …

 

I’ve added canadian bacon to my breakfast this morning because I’m just not feeling well. I think this is simply due to the fact that I’m not eating enough.

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That’s only one egg by the way, it looks like two, but I’m still kind of worried about eating that many eggs. I also added courgettes this time. I like them. Not something I would normally eat for breakfast, but they’re the best of a bad job I suppose.

I’ve put off eating canadian bacon before now because of the preservatives. There’s also sugar in some of them. This one had no sugar, and I decided to throw caution to the wind with the preservatives as I just got to the point where I needed something a little more for breakfast. Perhaps this is psychological, I don’t know.

The biggest problem I’ve had on this diet is breakfast and lunch. Dinner is O.K. albeit sometimes a little boring, but I don’t want to eat eggs every day for breakfast, and the smoothies aren’t really that great a substitute. And, please don’t mention vegetables. Aside from tomatoes and mushrooms, there’s definitely a time and place for them otherwise it all gets a little creepy. I suppose I could eat salad every day for lunch, that would get a whole bunch of veggies in that I don’t like eating cooked, but, for heaven’s sake, sometimes I just don’t – want – to – eat – salad. Shoot me.

As a consequence I really don’t think I’m eating well. I’m eating good things, but not enough of them. I’m tired, I ache, I’m constipated (sorry, had to be said. I feel as though I need to sacrifice my ‘coolness’ to all of you out there who are thinking of taking this, or similar, challenges so that you can know something of what to expect, especially if you’re not perfect at it, like me. So BE PREPARED PEOPLE, once every 5-6 days is NOT good, bad things can happen to good people who don’t poop). I did find some prunes without preservatives in them at Trader Joes. Never been there before, but the girl behind the register complimented my hair, grey an’ all, so I think I’ll be going back. Maybe those will help. I’m not holding my breath … I also bought some bitters, and, don’t lie, who wouldn’t try something called Urban Moonshine? Never had them before, but how mysterious are those little bottles of what the hell’s in there? Of course, now I’ve gone into hypochondriac mode worrying about the angelica root, but it’s either that or death by back up. I’m not sure if they’ll work, but it’s worth a shot, and it definitely spices things up a bit. Still living on the edge people.

Sooooo, I am having a bit of trouble. I’m nothing if not persistent though. I’ve already found out that shrimp are evil for my hands and feet, now the mission is on to make sure I’m getting a good all round selection of everything in my diet. I don’t think thirty days is necessarily long enough to adapt to everything going on here. I have my days of woe and anguish, (yes, I’m talking about yesterday),  but, as many, if not more positive days.

(O.K. trying to convince myself here – not working).

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Be brave people, today is just another chance to smile whether you want to or not.

 

Spirits are low. I can feel our souls leaving for happier places. Places where there are beans.

I’m bored. Basically I was too bored to post yesterday. I think I will be bored again tomorrow. Food has become a chore, so much so that when I put a fork of it into my mouth I immediately don’t want it. I chew it as though it’s never going to leave my mouth. It seems to know that there is no room for it in my stomach. My stomach doesn’t want it, and has become as bored as I am. Its ambivalence has become self-defeating.

I’ll continue to the end of the week when my time is up, but I’m going to have to break it to the Evil One that we can’t go on this way. Life’s too short, too precious not to enjoy food.

I’ll still pay attention to the naughty foods, and probably wont eat most of them. I’m not going to go into full-blown rebellion mode. I still would like to lose weight, and feel healthier, but my psychological health is just as important. It’s no use wanting to jump off a bridge each time it gets close to dinner time. Frankly that’s not working for me.

I know number 2 is already over the diet.

It makes me sad.

I can’t be sad.

I haven’t exactly withered away from not eating the banned food items, but my soul is packing its case as I write. I can feel that I don’t have much time left before my essence becomes mortally impoverished.

I have to act fast. Confronting the Evil One will be a terrible thing, but it has to be done before my spirit leaves me forever.

dum dum dummm …

Whole 30: Day 24.

Shrimp!

Now, who of you out there knew the answer and wasn’t telling me?

Caveman’s Log: Woke with bad arthritis again this morning, which was a little irritating as I’ve had no coffee since I banished it last week. My only thought now is that it could be the shrimp I ate for dinner last night. I’m on my way to give the good news to the coffee. The mugs are cheering. The bag of shrimp in the freezer, however, is a little worried …

But, they were yummy. Man this whole experience is turning out to be a bummer. It’s like I’m being punished for trying to be healthy.

I will not tolerate arthritis, however, and there is a lot of evidence on the internet to suggest shrimp causes flare ups in the disease. I do not want to take another medicine, in fact, I want to stop taking the ones I already have, and, more importantly I need my hands. I still haven’t made enough money from selling my jewelry to obtain the Noble Peace Prize, which I decided yesterday while N and I were at the cinema was my new goal in life. (Only $400 to go people before I’ve made $10,000 for charity. Not enough to even make it to the nomination list you say? Shame on you for your lack of faith, you won’t be saying that when I make my first million. Of course, wanting the peace prize in and of itself is somewhat a reason not to get it, but, I can dream can’t I …).

So, no shrimp for me. I shall reserve them for my worst enemies … mwahahaha.

But, as one relatively well know person was apt to say, when one door closes, another opens. O.K. so maybe he never actually said it, but I have found that the light, organic coconut milk made by Thai Kitchen, is remarkably drinkable in my tea. That, right there, is worth not having shrimp.

So now I just have to get my head around the vegetable problem and I think I’m set.

BTW, the new fruit of the week wasn’t as much a hit as the coconut milk. Papaya. I’ve had it before and didn’t really care for it, but thought I’d try it again. But nope, it was still kind of bleh. Maybe it’s not papaya season or something.

Mooovin’ on.

All the money I make from selling my jewelry goes to charity, namely, Save the Children, Care, Oxfam or Heifer International.

Caveman log: It’s day 21 and our spirits are low. Eating has become a chore rather than an enjoyment, and we fear that we will never be able to take pleasure in food again.

Yeah, right!

I am quite prepared to go through with this, for however long it takes for me to lose the weight and to feel healthier, but, and I am not kidding here, when it’s over it’s OVER! I love food. I enjoy cooking. Flavour is important to me. AND IT’S ALL BUT GONE. All of it! Sorry peeps, vegetables are NOT my favourite food, especially when they have become the new bullies on the block. Normally I enjoy them, but for some reason, their constant insistence that they be first in the whole dining experience has got right up my nose. Psychological? Probably, but whatever it is, the whole ‘lets eat some more veggies shall we’, scenario, has led me to hate them more than I hate anything else – except coconut milk.

P has stated that perhaps it’s unfair of me to take my anger out on the vegetables, but I say no!. Down with them all – and yes, the sweet potato will be first up against the wall when the revolution comes!

Until this mourning period has ended I shall drink my tea only from the black cup from hell.

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O.K. then, where were we.

Oh yes, the stinking diet …

I bought a book – Make Shi(f)t Happen. I know – it’s one of those, let me inspire you my way, self-help books, but sometimes I get this idea that I need one, until it arrives in my post box and I think, for heaven’s sake woman, why on earth did you buy this – you’re an idiot.

Yep, it’s like this continual battle.

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I found this little gem – here.

But, it isn’t too bad. It’s a quick read based on twenty shifts in attitude. I read the first two, which start on #20 and #19 so you just know #1 is going to be the one to watch out for.

The first two were O.K. and I kind of already know and do them – yes, I’m that good – but, it was good (did I just say that?) to be reminded of a few #19 pointers.

This Shift was titled – Ignore most (but not all) experts.

First pointer worth remembering: “First, they (falsely) believe that if everyone does exactly what they do, then everyone will achieve exactly what they have achieved.”

(I put falsely in parenthesis because it seems a bit harsh. I’m thinking of the Evil One here. Love her to pieces and truly believe she isn’t guilty of this).

It continues – “Each body is as unique as the fingerprints that accompany it, so the ‘one-size-fits-all’ mentality is strategically flawed thinking that just dosen’t work for most people.”

Second pointer worth remembering: “Second, they think we all react exactly the same to any particular stimulus.

Just because something works for you does not mean it will work for me. The problem is many of us have been conditioned to think that if it worked for someone else, then it MUST work for us as well.

If we blindly buy into the idea that everyone responds to stimuli in a similar fashion, then when it doesn’t work, we either think we are the problem because our body doesn’t respond correctly or we think we are the problem because we must be doing something wrong. The natural assumption that follows is to believe we are defective or lack the character required to achieve what everyone else seems to be achieving.”

That’s just what I needed to read last night as now I feel back in the driving seat people!

Yes, I’m stubborn, and proud of it. I’m not the, ‘my way or the highway’, kind of stubborn, but more the, ‘don’t tell me what to do or I’ll have to bite you’, kind of stubborn. O.K. so I’m not proud of the biting bit, but I’m working on it.

This doesn’t mean that I’m giving up on the diet, I truly think giving up sugar, and wheat, and, (perhaps) dairy (protect our tea!), isn’t a bad idea, but it does make me feel more in control.

Of course, now you are wondering what Shift #1 is, and let me tell you I was both relieved, and annoyed when I skipped through numbers 18 through 2 to read it. Yes, impatient as well as stubborn, now you’re getting to see the real me …

Shift # 1 – Go Paleo.

Go figure …

In my ongoing quest to find out just how our new diet is affecting our bodies, I have concluded that I may well have been experiencing withdrawal symptoms from not eating the ‘naughty’ foods. It seems my symptoms have taken a little longer to manifest themselves when compared with the data uncovered by I Pad One, but for the moment I am content to trust this recent finding.

Man. You can find so much wrong with all that naughty food stuff out there that you may very well wonder how on earth we’ve survived all these years. Not eating it is either the ultimate cure of the millennium or the biggest scam out there for the veggie people to make their billions and run.

I actually choose to go with the millennium thing.

I am going to look into supplements, however, as I do think that when you start messing around with your diet it may well take some time to get to the point where you’re eating as well as you could be. I don’t know, I kind of think that supplements shouldn’t be necessary, but, perhaps at first it might be a good idea.

So, to last night’s dinner.

If you remember, this is what we were going to have.

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Blackened Catfish Sandwiches – Cooking Light

But, due to the elimination of all the bad stuff, this is what we ended up having.

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It doesn’t look quite as appetizing, but it was the best I could do – what with the withdrawal symptoms an’ all …

I spread some horseradish mustard over the mahi-mahi and some paprika and cooked it in coconut oil.

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Then, I stir fried (bear with me as I try to remember, it was all a haze of excitement at the time), garlic, ginger, red onion, courgette, kohlrabi, white cabbage, mushrooms, some of those red, what ever the h*** that green vegetable was, stems, chopped up with some spinach stems because you know there just has to be some good nutrients in something as red as that. And then, at the end when those were done cooking, I added the green part of that obscure leafy plant so that it just wilted a bit.

I put this onto a bed of raw spinach with a little raw cabbage and placed the fish on top.

It was just O.K. Not bad, but not wow either. Probably wont’ have it again, although, to be honest, the green plant wasn’t too bad. I tasted it raw first, and it definitely tasted like chewed up grass, but cooked, it wasn’t so bad. Not great, not anything really. Rather bleh, but not disgusting. The fish was good though, but next time I will probably steam or bake it as the whole cooking in coconut oil thing looks to me like I’m cooking in lard and I can’t get that connection out of my head right now.

And, talking of coconuts …

Look at the scum on this.

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Tea with Coconut Milk

Now, be honest. Would you drink that?

Well I have to because otherwise I’d go completely nuts as my one true joy has been taken from me. Who knows what could happen. I might have to go on a rampage and run naked through the neighbourhood demanding justice for tea drinkers everywhere.

NOT a pretty sight people.

Let’s just hope this scummy excuse for a drink sustains me through the next two weeks before all hell lets loose …

And just a little extra something –

Addicted again: Going cold-turkey from dairy, sugar, wheat & Wall Street. Read the article – HERE.

As part of my food expansion programme I have decided to buy one new vegetable or fruit each time I go to the grocery store to add to my repertoire. Whether I eat them or not remains to be seen – there’s some weird-looking stuff out there people …

 

Today’s little lovely is red mustard greens,

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Not …

Now that I’m home, and checking the internet for the best way to cook them, they look remarkably like swiss chard, so what were they doing in the red mustard greens bin? Who knows what they are. I’ve never had either before. What’s the point of trying something new when you don’t know what the h*** it is you’re eating. You can hardly brag about it, can you.

Oh, by the way, I tried a new vegetable today.

Really, which one?

Beats me.

Doesn’t sound like you wanted to do it on purpose, does it? It seems like an accident, which defeats the point of wanting credit for being brave enough to try something new that looks like it’s going to taste like chewed up grass.

Oh well, we’ll just have to see. Mustard greens sound way yummier (if you can refer to any greens as yummy) than chard. But what’s to be done?

Tonight, we are going to have – this

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and it’s going to be yummy. Except Number 2 doesn’t ‘like’ catfish, so I bought some mahi-mahi instead, and we can’t eat bread or the dressing in the coleslaw. I was going to make the fish a bed of spinach instead of bread, but now I think I might add some of that red spiny leaf stuff as well, you know just to live on the edge a bit, then I was going to put the coleslaw vegetables on top of that, and drizzle some balsamic, olive oil and mustard dressing over the top – then the fish. But now it looks like the mahi-mahi thinks it might be a little too special perhaps to do the blackening thing to it.

Oh the worry of it all …

I suppose it’s not really that recipe at all now, but a completely different one.

Oh well. I’m still kind of P O’d over the green stuff to care now.

Caveman’s log: Day 16: The pain in my hands and feet worsens daily. As opposed to feeling the health benefits of the new diet, I wake barely able to move my hands. The cause of this eludes me, but I will continue to consult I Pad One until I find a resolution.

Darn healthy diet!

I’ve spent the morning rummaging about on the web trying to find a connection between my (new) food consumption and arthritis.

First I looked up blueberries. I’ve been eating a load more of these in the smoothies. I couldn’t find one bad thing about blueberries which was annoying as I was sure that must be it. (Yes, they say these things are healthy for us, but sometimes they lie … ).

Then I looked up all fruit because there must be some evidence, somewhere, that gives it up that fruit is actually bad for you, and will eventually be the end of us all. But nope, couldn’t find a darn thing. Go figure.

I haven’t changed my consumption of the nightshade foods so I doubt it’s that, sooooo, my only conclusion is that it must be the coffee.

Darn that I didn’t find that out before drinking that first cup this morning.

I don’t need to tell you that my life is on the line here people. I need my hands – and my feet to get me to where my hands are needed.

Thing is I wouldn’t be drinking the stuff it it wasn’t for the fact that I can’t drink my beloved tea right now. (Nope, the coconut milk has not worked out well. You just can’t mess around with tea like that. I guess it doesn’t matter to the Evil One, but, no one messes with my tea. No-one.)

I’ve had to stop drinking it :(

I was desperate for a hot drink :(

Coffee was the only thing I could come up with :(

The mugs were happy.

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They actually got to come out to play.

(This one’s actually filled with tea, but really it fails on two points under the guidelines for optimal tea drinking. Hence that was the first, and last, time that it saw the light of day. I’m not discriminating here, but it’s a coffee mug people, and, as such it needs to stay on its own side of the cupboard. It had its chance, and, harsh though it might sound, it failed).

So, what to do now? I suppose I will stop drinking the coffee as the arthritis really is bad, but my research says that one has to drink eleven cups to show any sign of arthritis. Eleven! I couldn’t drink that much if my life depended on it. But, as it’s the only thing I can think of right now it seems the most logical thing to omit from my diet.

Oh will the emptiness never end.

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I know this for sure. As soon as these 30 days are up, there will be tea in my life again.

I have not abandoned hope.

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