Well, I’ve gotten this far! Normally I cave in about now … and I must say I was really tempted yesterday as I made my family mushroom and chicken san choy bau for dinner (not my recipe choice) and while it contained some very lovely paleo ingredients, it also called for kecap manis (sweet soy) and peanuts. In hindsight I should have just substituted coconut aminos (why didn’t I think of that last night?!). Instead, I considered eating the very tasty looking mushroom mix v/s $300 donation to Mr Rabbit … and decided to skip dinner.
I haven’t been 100% clean on W30 though — week 1 I made some W30 compliant scallop and lobster laksa-style soup that was waaay too sour (recipe called for lemon juice — bad idea) and I was feeding it to others, so I considered all the options and decided a tablespoon of brown sugar was required just to take the edge off (1 tbsp in approx 2 L of liquid). It worked, and yes, I ate the soup.
Secondly, I went out to dinner with my folks. The menu was a bit of a whole 30 challenge but not impossible — we ended up with the degustation which had a good selection of meaty/vegie options. I bit into some spiced quail before realising that it had probably been dipped in flour (it was cripsy, but not visibly so, and as such I didn’t realise this before eating it — mum and dad happily devoured the rest of my plate), and I had a taste of the horseradish cream that came with the wagyu steak, but sadly it turned out to be more cream than horseradish. If you’re in Melbourne, and looking for somewhere to eat around Federation Square, http://www.taxikitchen.com.au/ isn’t too bad an option if you’re paleo. The Scorched oyster, salt & vinegar pork crackle is a delightful and bizarre experience (I normally hate salt and vinegar but this was good). The seared salmon was beautifully cooked (with warm sea lettuce & zucchini salad), and while someone had sliced the char grilled wagyu flat steak along the grain (why?!?!) other than being a bit chewy, it was really tasty. I watched others eat my passion fruit souffle dessert (I actually hate passion fruit so this was easy). The lemon meringue pie sounded spectacular, and I’d like to go back and try the candied pork with coconut, red chilli dressing too.
As penance I’m doing two extra days of Whole 30. I’ll save my $300 for other causes, as I will at least do 30 days of Whole 30 this time.
I have found Whole 30 to be a bit of a chore, especially as I’m living with other people (it was much easier when I lived/cooked on my own). At first it’s great, because it helps me reset poor eating habits. I’ve found it gets challenging after week 2 when the novelty has worn off, the food prep isn’t quite as good as it should be and rest of the family are eating perfectly healthy foods that are not Whole 30 approved, and I have to make a totally different meal. This is usually a rice or rice noodle problem. I’ve trained them over the last couple of years to eat sweet potato or pumpkin as their main carb, but they (and I) do enjoy rice or rice noodles from time to time. Mum’s also discovered some amazing (her words, I’ve not tried it yet) gluten free bread — it’s more like a seed loaf, but it has non-W30 quinoa and rice syrup. That’s on the list of foods to try day 31 (or 33 in this case).
The no drinking bit is easy enough, although for some strange reason I’ve been missing beer, which is really odd as I don’t drink it normally because it doesn’t like me much. I have been sniffing a lot of other people’s wine glasses too. The wine my folks got with our dinner smelled AMAZING (big heavy duty Margaret River chardonnay, lots of malic acid, my favourite kind) but I left them to it. It’s so much easier for me to say no to the first glass than the second or third …
My energy levels were really poor the first two and a half weeks. I was initially wondering whether my carbs were too low, but it didn’t help that I was detoxing (I ate and drank a lot of tasty contraband on holidays, one week before starting W30) and I wasn’t 100% well at the beginning (jet lag/sore throat/sleeping poorly). According to the W30 peeps, you’re supposed to start feeling awesome about day 16. I started sleeping better about day 12 and since day 20 my energy levels have been good. This also coincided with me cutting out strong coffee on day 18. I realised that I was getting major energy ‘lows’ mid morning and then I realised I’d started having a cup of coffee before work — I’d also noticed that if I had a cup around mid morning, I would feel flat not long after lunch. I’ve since worked out that if I have coffee, about 2 hours later I get a major ‘low’. Solution: half strength (I use an Aeropress to make coffee, so it’s simply half a scoop instead of a whole scoop). I’ll follow up with some yerba tea if I need more of a ‘boost’ but I don’t get the highs and consequential lows anymore.
After my Whole 30 is over, I’m going to stay off gluten, wine and chocolate for at least another 30 days. These things aren’t beneficial to my health and with wine and chocolate, I haven’t the ability to consume in moderation, so it’s best I don’t consume at all.
I’m also going to be doing Mindful in May — 30 days of mindfulness and meditation. I started this last year, and I think I really need it at the moment, as my thoughts (and life) have been very busy of late, and while it only requires a few minutes a day to pause and ‘switch off’ I don’t do this of my own accord, so I’ve registered for some assistance (delivered straight to my inbox each day). The money raised goes to a good cause too.