Whole30 is Here to Stay

finished-whole30Day 38, we finally got back home to where our scale is.  First time on in 38 days, I knew my clothes fit better, my skinny jeans with lycra in them didn’t have quite as far to stretch around my belly and hips and my sleeves were getting longer, something I’ve never experienced before.  I felt a bit like the dinosaur with “little, bitty arms”.  The revelation was 9 pounds down.

Rich followed me on the scales, his reveal was 20.1 pounds. ( I hate my husband sometimes.)  So combined, almost 30 pounds in 38 days.  There is something to celebrate.  But there was more, we didn’t do this as a weight loss thing, although that definitely had some appeal, neither of us are at a healthy weight.  Our goal was to see what we could do to feel better…ask yourself, how do you feel when you get out of bed in the morning?  Are you stiff? sore? Do your joints ache?  Yeah, us too – that was the part we didn’t like.

A year ago I went on blood pressure meds, they helped enough to get rid of the headaches, but not really enough to put my blood pressure in a healthy, accepted range. Something had to change.

We had a little setback, a couple of days before we got home again, we ran out of vitamin C, something we take pretty faithfully in the winter months.  I stopped at the local drugstore and picked up the C and some Fish Oil.  I had read in the It Starts With Food book that fish oil was a good addition.  We started taking it and three days later, Rich could barely move.  He couldn’t walk very far, he had severe joint pain.  We talked about what we had changed and realized it was only the different vitamins.  Back at the hotel that afternoon we looked at those bottles.  The first ingredient is the Fish Oil was Soy, the Vitamin C had all kinds of binders in it.  Both bottles went in the garbage and I went and bought new.  Within two days, he was back to feeling good.  Who knew you had to read the ingredients on supplements as well, I won’t make that mistake again.

We have added back one little treat, but that is all…we are back at the coffee shop just a couple of days a week for Vanilla Lattes…this time made with Almond Milk, still no dairy in our world.  The vanilla flavoring with its’ sugar is our one vice.

I’m beginning the Whole 30 fresh again, the scale has been put away – no peeking for 30 days, and I’m focused on two things I’ve not been focused on before ( now that I have the food part down).  This next 30 are going to include portion control and the mid-day meal.  I couldn’t do it all before, this is the next challenge.

To re-cap – 38 days = 30 pounds; no joint pain, lower blood pressure – all while eating good, clean healthy foods.  Why not?  You only get one body, why not treat it right!

Whole30…the beginning

Baja, one of my doing-the-w30-IGfavorite places, Rich and I ran down for a few days.  The trip didn’t go as planned, but that’s ok, as long as we are together it is an adventure and that is good enough for me.  I find my favorite place to be is where he is.

On the way down, we read a book together, or rather, I read it, he listened.  Most places I paraphrased.  It Starts With Food is the book we shared, it is all about eating real.good.food.  If you know us, you know we love good food.  Rich has done a great job of choosing good food, me, not so much.  I don’t hesitate when someone offers me a cookie, or two.

So as we travelled, we made lists of what we could and couldn’t eat if we were following the Whole30 program.  Baja is a challenge, everything has queso, or tortillas, or both.  We love eating in Baja.  We stop at Adriana’s for shrimp tacos and shrimp quesadillas.  We go to George’s for chiliquilles, we find our favorite sandwich shop on the back streets of Ensenada for a Para Mi torta.  Don’t even get me started on the bakery just down from the Santa Isabel hotel, I can fill whole bags with treat after carb-loaded treat.

Toward the end of our trip, we decided it was time to start.  It was a Wednesday, the 19th.  As good a day as any to begin our Whole30 program.  We are doing this together, so it should be easier to stay on track.

First meal was breakfast, we dropped over to an upscale restaurant we have eaten at before.  They delivered cookies the minute we sat down.  We stared at them, but never touched.  Next option was a pork rind soup or cheese quesadilla.  We opted for the soup, it was filled with vegetables and protein, ok, maybe fat, but…most importantly, not dairy, not carbs.  We added an omelette and ignored the tortillas on the table, no hashbrowns, no beans.  We did good.

By the time we rolled around to lunch, we were back in the states.  We stopped at Chipotle and got salads, mine with chicken, his with steak.  Not very satisfying, but we were still on plan.  Then came dinner.  I knew exactly where I wanted to go.  Fish 101 in Encinitas.  We have always had good, fresh food there.  I had Opa, he had Yellow-tail, we both added a salad and the fried Brussel sprouts.  Oh my gosh, so good.  High five for us, we made it through Day One!

Day Two arrived and we found a local place and had another omelette, a fruit plate we shared, some sliced tomatoes.  By the time we got on the road, my head hurt.  This was the hangover they talk about.  I made him stop at Inn-n-Out for an ice tea, I figured all those years of Diet Coke were catching up to me, I had caffeine withdrawals.

We hit another local restaurant for lunch, I had a massive plate of roast beef and a salad.  My head still hurt, but the food was plentiful and tasty, so that was a plus.  We had plenty of roast beef for dinner too, I just needed to figure out how to fix it.  I took a nap when we got back and woke feeling better.  No more headache at least.  Rich had gone to the grocery store, so I could fix dinner.

That’s when I lost it.  They give you a Timeline on the Whole30 program that says about when you will want to kill your mate.  I got there early.  At the grocery store, he had not only gotten veggies for dinner, onions and mushrooms and the like.  He had gotten celery and carrots.  I was pissed.  Celery and Carrots are diet food.  We are NOT on a frickin’ diet!  I hadn’t realized that I had such a hangup about celery and carrots, this would be one of those emotional relationships we have with food that needs to be broken. I stomped around the house, ignored him and just generally stayed PO’d until I had eaten, then I told him what he did wrong.  Maybe I even worded it rather strongly, because he totally got the picture.

Tomorrow is Day 3, it will be fine, we are travelling all day again, but at least I have the prospect of being able to go shop and fix something that we can both enjoy.  I am excited about the change in what we are eating.  I think it will be good for us, with how my body and mind are reacting already, it is obvious I needed a change.  Why not join us for the Whole30?

Day 52 – Eating in Chattanooga

sofakingAnyone who knows us, knows that good food must be near by.  We are a family of eaters, and while we will survive on what is at hand, we love good food.  For a foodie, Chattanooga, Tennessee should be a destination place.  There is no shortage of good food in cool locations.

For breakfast we often go to the Chattanooga Choo-Choo for their buffet, the food isn’t spectacular, but it is plentiful and the atmosphere is awesome.  Right across the street, you will find The Terminal.  An odd shaped brick building built on an old siding in the shape of a wedge.  Three stories finds some home brewed beer and an incredible menu.  Start with the Ploughman’s appetizer, it’s delicious breads and cheeses to give you a taste of what is to come.  Plentiful food and great flavors will delight even the most discerning palette.

Another favorite is Nikki’s Drive-Inn, known for their onion rings, we also recommend the gulf shrimp.  Everything is battered and fried, but so very good.  There are a number of rules at Nikki’s, so watch yourself, no putting your feet on the seats, and don’t be trying to take a table if you are by yourself, tables require two minimum.  It’s worth it though, the food is great, and if mama is there, you will be treated to your favorite old tunes on the juke box, ending with Ring of Fire every night.

A newcomer on the block is Sofa King Juicy Burgers.  Only six months old, a sister to an old mainstay, Aretha Frankenstein’s.  Sofa King is just down the street from Nikki’s.  Now to all of you SNL  fans, I salute you, I’m sure you recognized Sofa King right away, I’m a little slow, I didn’t get it.  I thought Couch Potato, I was wrong.  If you are like me and are still wondering…say it fast, Sofa King…or maybe better written So-Fa King Juicy….so f**king juicy.  Like I said, I didn’t get it, like most blondes, I needed it ‘splained to me.  But the important part here, the food is delicious.  I had the hamburger salad, who knew it could be so good, and their milkshakes are made with liquid nitrogen, so they are cold, I mean, really, really cold!

There are a number of sites dedicated to food in Chattanooga, I found Chattavore to be my favorite, good reviews and pictures of some of the best, check them out, they’re local and can lead you to things we haven’t found yet, we only get here for a week at a time.

Day 350 – From Glitz to Glamour

The Big Texan

The Panhandle of Texas is an interesting dichotomy, you can find both cheap glitz and glamour, although the glitz is the easiet to find.  Dinner at The Big Texan is about as touristy as it gets, it reminds me of any of the surviving Route 66 travel stops, or the worst of Knott’s Berry Farm or Las Vegas in its’ darker days.  Everything at the Big Texan is designed for profit and ease.  The place is Hollywood cowboy décor from the costumes of the servers to the animal heads on the wall.  It is known for its 72 ounce steak challenge,  A one-hour challenge to eat 4 ½ lbs of beef and all the fixins’.  The record holder did it in less than 9 minutes back in 2008.  There is a table set up at the front for six people with a timer for each for anyone who wants to compete for the title.  If you manage it, the meal is free, if you falter, the price is $1 an ounce.  None of our group wanted to take the challenge.  The place is full of people passing by, I don’t think any locals frequent the place, as truly, the food isn’t that good, but man, have they made a name for themselves, the place was packed.  It was a fun stop, just to watch all the people and be able to say that we’ve been.  Next time, if there is a next time, it will be for one of us to take the challenge.

The glamour in the area is a little harder to find, it happens in a one-horse town, on the south-west corner of the blinking light, west of Amarillo called Vega, population 881.  Our first stop there was entirely by accident, this time, we made the choice.  There is a little restaurant there called the Boothill Saloon that is worth the stop every time.  The Boothill is a new place, although it’s built to resemble an old time saloon with swinging doors and a tin ceiling, a gorgeous long bar in front and classic red swag throughout the rest of the restaurant.  You can see it in any colorized Hollywood western movie.  This one has something spcial though, along the wall to the restroom, you’ll find a front cover from Bon Appetit that shows the ribs that helped make Rori Schpesi a Food Network Star.  The food is incredible, the place is well-lit and shiny clean.  Since it was lunch, we all just opted for the Boothill Burger, the first on the menu prepared with much care from the chef inspired kitchen.  The Boothill is a gem among imposters, hidden away to be treasured by those who travel off the beaten path.

One of the best parts of our daily travel is the food we get to eat, the restaurants we stop at and the meals we share with others.  We’ve got favorites all over, and I would bet we will stop at all of them over the next 350 days – where would you recommend we stop?