Monday, 30 September 2013

Whole30 day 27, 28, 29

I had a busy Saturday because I wanted to feel like I'd had a weekend even though I was working Sunday. First thing I headed off to Tesco for the weekly shop, went home & unpacked then got back in the car to head back to Hughendon and finish that woodland walk that defeated me a few weeks ago. I did, with the help of the more detailed map & instructions I found AFTER my last attempt (though this time I missed out a chunk of the bit I did last time - the instructions still weren't perfect!) I walked 4.11 miles, didn't go back into the house or gardens as I'd just been there, and instead went to a second NT property, Waddesdon Manor. This house is owned by the Rothschild family of massive wealth & fame, and is essentially a gigantic art gallery. The grounds are massive but I went into the house first and frankly it left me cold (too art gallery, not enough house) so I went home rather than walking the grounds. Everything was very lush and ornate, but really too much for my taste. It's the closest thing I can imagine in this country to the 'country cottages' in Newport, Rhode Island.
Saturday afternoon wasn't great. I lost my marbles slightly and got a bit tearful over the never ending house move saga. By tomorrow I expect to be telling you the house sale is off & we're back on the market...
On Sunday I worked about 3-4 hrs. while also doing a load of laundry, making a slow cooker batch of caramelized onions, and roasting a beef joint for lunches, snacks & dinner all week. Oh, and whipped up a batch of 'peanut sauce' - using almond butter - for Paleo stir fry / dipping purposes.
I followed that with a 4 mile walk (went to a farm shop and loaded myself up too much again - will I never learn???) Then watched some TV, made a batch of whole30 pesto, and cooked a lamb roast dinner for M, lamb with pesto vegetables for me.
I also ate an insane amount of hazelnut butter yesterday, I just can't buy any nut butters anymore...

Today I woke up early with a headache and a passionate wish to stay home. Unfortunately with less than a month of employment left I don't want to take time off and I had a fairly important meeting so couldn't work from home, so I dragged myself in anyway. I was glad I had (kind of) because a new pair of walking boots I'd ordered were delivered to the office today.
Someone brought cakes and things in to the office today and for once included grapes and strawberries so I could partake for a (nice) change.
At lunchtime I went for a walk, planning to do the two miles. It was cloudy and cool and not that pleasant and in the end I just went back to the office after 0.8 miles… I did however train on the climber after work.

Food today:
Breakfast: eggs scrambled with veg and some cashews
Lunch: chicken veg soup & cold roast beef
Dinner: deconstructed pizza - a recipe from It Starts with Food. Cheese would have been nice on it…

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Friday, 27 September 2013

Whole30 day 26

In an attempt to avoid snacking between meals today I added the exact food I would have snacked on to the meals that would normally precede those snacks. It worked in that I wasn't hungry and managed not to eat the second snack until after my soup, but it didn't stop me wanting to eat something else for boredom mid-morning (I didn't)
At lunchtime I walked to the supermarket again, 2 mile trip again. It was nice and mild though the breeze felt a little autumnal.
Guess what I did after work? Go on, guess!!! No, I didn't head straight for the kitchen to experiment with new salad dressings. Nor did I head for the trough and eat everything that wasn't bolted down. No. I... trained. I went to the climber, I climbed onto the climber, and I stayed there for 41 sweaty minutes (on manual, not following a preprogrammed program). It felt so good. I feel so good! And s I finished I was hot with yet more house sale rubbish but it didn't reduce me to a stressed out heap! I may have thought slightly longingly about the bottle of whisky in my cupboard - for the first time in over a week - but I pushed the thought out of my mind, started prepping dinner, and stayed strong! Once in a very long while, I rock....

Food today:
Breakfast: eggs scrambled with veg and some almonds
Lunch: chicken vegetable soup and a coronation chicken salad (poached chicken thighs in my homemade mayo mixed with curry powder - so good!)
Dinner: 10 minute chilli - a recipe from It Starts with Food. This was delicious and tasted like it took much longer to cook (though I didn't only give it 10 minutes)

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Whole30 day 25

Back in the office today. My flawed reasoning (and unsympathetic reasoning) was to get away from the distraction of man flu in the living room, but of course I overlooked the fact that IT is a male-dominated industry and therefore I was moving from an environment with one sick man to an environment where I was surrounded by them... Plus M went to work today (after I'd left for the office) so the house would have been quiet anyway...
I slept appallingly last night. I don't know exactly how long, but I woke up at 3 and that was it. So I started the day with a headache, prickly eyes and a bad mood. So far no development on the cold front though. Some people eating Paleo claim it protects against infections because your body isn't fighting busy inflammation and toxins, it would be nice to prove the truth of that claim! I am drinking lemon juice in warm water in the mornings these days, there must be vitamin C in that so perhaps it will help. I started doing that in hope it would make me feel a bit more alert after a bad night, but that hasn't happened so far.
Deniz, thanks for your suggestions! I love spicy intense flavours (already planning to make horseradish mayo with my next batch of mayonnaise). I didn't know about that Jamie Oliver chilli ginger mix, but bought some at lunch time, already added it to my soup, and I think it could be just what I need!

Food today:
Breakfast: small chicken breast wrapped in prosciutto crudo and baked, with an apple
Lunch: chicken vegetable soup
Dinner: curried beef mince & veg with cauliflower rice
Snacks: nuts & boiled gammon

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Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Whole30 day 24

Still experimenting with making Paleo versions of things I would usually buy. Indeed, today I made a version of something I would usually buy for M – and not eat myself – tomato ketchup. M won’t eat it because it’s undeniably not the ‘real’ thing – the recipe allows optional sweeteners but whole30 doesn’t so I left them out, with the result of a tangier version. It also seems runnier than I expected – another time I’d cut down on the water. Why did I make something I don’t usually eat? Because I’m weird Because I wanted to use my homemade mayo to make a seafood sauce, and couldn’t add commercial ketchup. I was snacking on prawns, and I’m bored of plain prawns (plus they’re really too low fat to have as is). So I blended up the ketchup, mixed it with the mayo, couldn’t add Worcestershire sauce / brandy – but I’m not convinced they make a massive difference in the quantities I would use anyway – and called it seafood sauce. Again, its tangier and more runny than the real thing – but a very tasty alternative to plain boring prawns!

I worked from home today again. Its dangerous for me to do that because its so much less stressful than being in the office I don’t want to go back after just one day Winking smile.

I intended to spend my lunch break on the climber but by lunch time I was so hungry I ate my lunch before remembering what I’d intended. So instead I went out for a not very long or taxing walk into town – M is home with man flu and I had to buy him some medicine. And some cashew nuts for me of course. I think I’m coming down with a cold as well, so I’m really happy about that. No, really… Although it might give me an excuse to stay home some more if I’m coughing up my lungs the way he is…

Food Today:

Breakfast: BLTA without the bread - bacon, tomato and avocado in lettuce leaf wraps
Lunch: Salad with tinned red salmon & chopped capers in my homemade mayo
Dinner: Bolognese with courgette noodles                                   Snacks: Prawns in seafood sauce, cashews

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Whole30 day 23

I worked from home today, which as we all know brings its own set of challenges in terms of not going crazy with the food stuff…

I have only a week to go before the end of the Whole30 challenge (unless I was to decide to extend it – but Greek yoghurt is telling me not to Winking smileAnd cheese agrees.)

In the book the authors make the comment that ‘its only 30 days’ to which I have frequently wanted to respond, “yeah but… it’s 30 days!!!” with no cheating. No breaks. No relaxations… But today, it actually does feel like it’s only 30 days… and now only 7 days… what could possibly be so difficult about that??? It’s kind of a nice feeling if I’m honest. Regardless of the above comments about my favourite dairy products I’m actually not feeling at all deprived right now. It probably won’t last all week, but for now it will do nicely. That’s not to claim I was angelic today, I wasn’t – but everything I ate & drank was on the list of acceptable or desirable foods.

I walked about 3.2 miles today, just on brief shopping trips into town at lunchtime and after work. This morning I walked in in heavy fog, this afternoon in brilliant (and hot) sunshine! I enjoyed the second walk more, I don’t like fog under any circumstances and was especially glad I didn’t have to drive to work in it today.

Food today:

Breakfast: Was gorgeous, though going in I had my doubts… Russian red kale sautéed with garlic and one finely chopped rasher of bacon; I used refined coconut oil to sauté it because I’ve finally accepted the smell and flavour of the extra virgin kind is just too strong for my taste (I tried to like it, I really did…) and added a drizzle of water and a spot of cider vinegar to part steam it in as well. I then topped it with 2 poached eggs.
Lunch: chicken salad with homemade ranch dressing (I’ve never had real ranch dressing so can’t comment on how good at faking it this one is or isn’t, but it is nice) and some blackberries
Dinner: Rump steak pan fried with jicama fries (cooked this time) and salad dressed with the vinaigrette I made at the weekend.
Snack: Boiled gammon from a joint, cashew nuts and coconut flakes and some poached chicken

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Monday, 23 September 2013

Whole30 day 21 & 22

Yesterday I walked into Reading - about 5 miles - then caught the train back. I was wearing walking sandals so the blisters on my heels were fine, but the soles of my feet hurt instead! I didn't have anything much to do there but it felt like a good distance to aim for. Given how irregular and inconsistent my walking has been - combined with literally no other training - I wasn't really surprised that I was knackered later yesterday afternoon and evening and needed an early night!
Today I woke up at 4am (grrr) and barely managed to force myself to stay in bed until 5. I was hungry (I don't think I ate enough either day over the weekend to fuel the activity I was doing) but didn't eat breakfast for 2 hours and then did go ape with the cashew nut butter I bought last week (no-one else was in the office at 7 so the embarrassment factor didn't kick in). Ermmm the nut butter is all gone now... Crap crap crap crap.
I was tempted just to not eat again today at the time, but had just about enough sense to accept that wouldn't help.
Work is still hectic (and oh joy, I have to work Sunday so I'm looking ahead to a short annoying weekend) and thankless and making me daily more glad that I will be leaving at the end of next month. The muggy overcast weather today didn't help either - or the fact that I had to drive to work in the dark all the way - up till today it was just about lightening up by the half way point. I did manage a 2 mile walk at lunchtime, not particularly enjoyable but a very welcome break from work and very welcome change of scene from my desk. I went to the local farm shop and bought some veggies and apples. Among the veggies was kohlrabi, and I have no idea what to do with it! I now have quite a bit of experimenting to do - I have jicama, horseradish root and kohlrabi, none of which I've really used before. I have a plan for at least some of the jicama - namely oven baked & raw 'fries' - and a few recipes requiring horseradish root, but the kohlrabi is a mystery to me. It's an interesting slant on the whole30 that while I admit (frequently) to sometimes feeling bored / deprived by its restrictions, it's also inspiring me to try new things. I've never made mayonnaise before starting this plan. At the weekend I made a dairy free ranch dressing, vinaigrette dressing, and pesto, all from recipes in the It Starts With Food book - usually I buy commercial bottled dressings or settle for a squeeze of lemon juice. Last night I tossed steamed cabbage & cauliflower with the pesto sauce and loved it! And I've been experimenting with different herbal teas to fill the hole left by fizzy drinks and booze - in the process falling in love with Pukka Tea's 3 ginger tea bags, Indigo Herbs loose cut liquorice root tea, and Twinings peppermint tea. (it's not all good mind you - I've also discovered I don't like cinnamon tea, passion flower tea tastes much less interesting than it sounds.) Rooibos tea remains my all time favourite though.

Food today:
Breakfast: scrambled eggs with mushrooms, leek & yellow pepper
Lunch: chicken vegetable soup
Dinner: homemade beef burger with jicama fries
Snack: cashew nuts & nut butter

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Whole30 day 20

Two thirds of the whole 30 done – and yesterday I nearly broke the rules by mistake! I was making breakfast, and still only half awake. For a change I decided to make some plain egg omelettes and use them to make roll ups with slices of Brunswick ham. I made the first one (very ugly, with bulges of messed up omelette) and was cooking the egg for the second one when I thought it might be nicer if I spread Laughing Cow cheese on the ham first. I’d already done so when I realised what I was doing… luckily I hadn’t added the egg, let alone started eating it, so the next thing I knew I was holding the ham under the cold tap and washing off the cheese. Yes, I washed my ham, and then ate it. As cheese doesn’t stick to ham the way it does to bread it was easy enough to get it off, but I did feel a bit ridiculous washing ham… Just 10 more days before I can relax about that, and of all the things you’re not allowed on this diet, I’m pretty sure the one I’ll be reintroducing first – possibly the only one I’ll bother reintroducing – will be dairy, as I’ve never been aware of any problems with cheese or yoghurt anyway.

After washing my breakfast I shopped for the week and then went into London. My original intention was to get the tube to Hampstead, where there are two National Trust properties within a mile of each other, spend the rest of the morning and part of the afternoon visiting both, then go to the Whole Foods Market on Kensington High Street and a Scandinavian Deli near Oxford Circus. I changed my mind about the deli anyway – I plan to go back in to London next month when I’ll be free to try more varied foods, as I figure it could be quite frustrating right now. Then I had to change more of the plan when I realised that a large segment of the Northern Line had been suspended for the weekend so that Transport For London could perform scheduled engineering works. (Next time I go in I’ll check that before arriving at the tube station so I don’t have to readjust my plans while waiting for a train. The secret is in the word scheduled…) Instead I moved over to the Piccadilly Line and took a train out to Osterley so I could visit Osterley Park and House, which is an NT property my mother recommended I try to visit some time. It was very well worth a visit! As the weather wasn’t great – in fact we had drizzle there – I didn’t spend any time walking around the park (I didn’t want to take the whole days and be unable to spend any time in the city itself anyway) but I did tour the house, which is an incredibly well preserved example of the architecture and design of Robert Adam, the most famous Georgian architect & designer. It was a really peaceful place, even though its under the flight path to Heathrow, and I thoroughly enjoyed my visit, to the extent that once again I plan to go back on a brighter day, earlier in the year, to explore the park. It’s about a mile from Osterley Underground station, so that gave me a two mile round trip walk. That was when I discovered that I had a couple of blisters – one on each heel – from walking six miles on Friday Sad smile


After visiting the house I caught the tube back into London – to South Kensington and walked (limped/hobbled actually) to Kensington High Street. I love walking around Kensington, its one of my favourite parts of London, so that was really pleasant, and it was only about 2 miles so not too much of a trek for my abused feet. I did my shopping there – I’ve been hunting throughout Berkshire, Wiltshire and Avon for some jicama as it’s a recommended low carb substitute for potatoes, and hoped Whole Foods would finally end my search (it did – but I’d bloody better like the stuff now Winking smile) and also bought some horseradish root, celeriac, and a few other odds and ends. Much less than on past trips as I was ignoring all the processed food that I used to focus on. I confess I did make a very small amount of fresh hazelnut butter – and eat it on the train home Winking smile 

Foodwise it was a weird day. Rather than risk breaking the rules with some hidden butter or sugar in a restaurant I decided to buy food as I was walking around – food with an ingredient list, that is. I actually didn’t eat anything that could be recognised as a meal for lunch – I bought a pack of ham, some melon wedges, and had some cashew nuts and beetroot crisps (just dried slices of beetroot) and basically nibbled snacks through most of the day. It was surprisingly satisfying and I didn’t want much for dinner when I got home, so I settled for a bowl of homemade soup. Far less than on any previous trip to London that I can remember, and also the only trip I remember that didn’t involve having a coffee at Starbuck or any other coffee shop. As always Osterley Park’s café had absolutely nothing I could have eaten as a GF low carber even without Whole 30, and I must admit that as much as I love visiting the NT’s properties I do find it disappointing how little they cater for food allergies, intolerances and alternative diets. I suppose though they are always small venues and they are mostly supplied with fruit and vegetables grown either on NT farms or supplied by carefully vetted partners, so they do what they can with what they have (though the odd salad of leaves plus meat wouldn’t be that hard to provide if you ask me)

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Friday, 20 September 2013

Whole30 day 19

Hello Diane! Thanks for your very timely comment about how much of a feast my whole30 diet would seem to a real Paleolithic (cave)man! The other day I bought M some peanut butter (he'd agreed to do without while I was on this plan because its such a powerful craving to me, but I was feeling guilty about depriving him - and complacent about my diet) and its been calling me ever since... I was sooo tempted last night!!! Now that you've reminded me how much choice I still have really I'm feeling significantly less sorry for myself! Around lunchtime today I found myself weirdly craving fat... As most socially acceptable easily portable sources - such as cheese, cream, pork rinds - are off the menu at the moment I bought a jar of cashew nut butter and ate a few teaspoons straight from the jar. Just what I needed, and then I left the jar in my drawer at work so I couldn't go ape with it over the weekend (I'd be too embarrassed to do so in the office!!!) At the time it seemed just what I needed but it was definitely OTT as I felt bloated and uncomfortable afterwards (or was that the punnet of raspberries overloading me with fibre? Could have been....)
At lunchtime today I got in a 2.2 mile walk in very pleasant sunshine and after work I walked another 4 miles around a local nature reserve. The main nature I saw was bird life - a few ducks, a hissing unfriendly swan, and some noisy coots. It was 18 degrees, sunny and wonderful. As always I find myself asking the standard question after depression related slothfulness - why haven't I done this for so long? Okay, part of the answer is rain related and part of it housework based, but the rest was just apathy and a reluctance to look after myself, and I (now) think that's sad...

Tomorrow I'm hoping to go out for the day - into London - if the weather permits. I'm trying to decide whether to take some food with me - so I know I have something suitable - or buy something in a supermarket so I don't have to burden myself with a stash and worry about whether its cool enough... I think I will buy it when I get there, eating slightly less stellar food that's properly chilled etc. is probably the better option!

Food today:
Breakfast: scrambled eggs with mushrooms, leek, spinach & red pepper, with an apple Lunch: chicken vegetable soup, raspberries for dessert
Dinner: Bolognese sauce on courgette noodles
Snack: cashew nuts, roast beef

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Thursday, 19 September 2013

Whole30 day 18

The sun shone today! For about 5 minutes, during the morning rather than at lunch time when I could have made some use of it, but it was still nice to see, for that few short minutes. At lunchtime I only ventured as far as the corner shop because it felt like rain - and as I headed out the rain arrived,driving me straight back to the office. By the time I left work at 4 it was raining consistently and my drive home was not much fun, so when I got in I amused myself by making a big pain of chicken and vegetable soup and a new batch of Paleo mayonnaise - a different recipe this time, which used a whole egg rather than just yolks, as well as adding dried mustard. It's very yellow and very rich, I'm looking forward to using it as a dip and to make salad dressings from the whole30 book. I made it in my food processor,a stainless steel Magimix, and managed to spill enough light olive oil on it to give it the best shine its had for years while trying to drizzle the oil in from a measuring cup with a really inadequate lip ;-) Worth the mess though! And the overflow also brought out the shine in my granite work surface rather nicely... Again keeping busy with cooking / food prep and tidying up afterwards distracted me from looking for something to eat - I find it hard in the early evening because I get home at 4:30 and we don't eat till 7pm, which can seem like a long stretch of time alone and peckish. Of course once I start training again (soon! I promise!) that will kill the time very effectively as well.
Food today:
Breakfast: scrambled eggs with mushrooms, leek & red pepper
Lunch: prawns with salad dressed in macadamia nut oil & balsamic vinegar and strawberries for dessert
Dinner: salmon with veg
Snack: roast mixed nuts, roast beef

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Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Whole30 day 17

Well, today I'm still feeling more positive so I guess I'm adapting to the change in the weather (helped by continuing vitamin D supplementation I suspect)
My ongoing effort to improve my home environment is still ongoing but also still progressing nicely and that also helps. And as these things improve I'm no longer yearning for some of the things I've given up for the whole30 (still miss Greek yoghurt & cheese, don't get me wrong). Physically I'm feeling good and I can see that I am losing weight - its not falling off me but my stomach looks flatter and my face shows it too - so that's motivational.
At lunchtime I managed to get my 2 mile shopping walk in finally - it was supposed to be nice today but really just managed to be dry through the walk to Sainsbury’s (with a very chilly wind) and then drizzly all the way back. And because of the cold wind I'd chosen a fleece over a waterproof jacket.... Not the best decision I ever made! Still, it felt good not to have to rely on scrubbing floors for all my exercise!
I noticed something very weird in the office yesterday. There was a big meeting going on and as always they'd (over) catered lunch for it, so the leftovers wound up in the kitchen. I've always loved the smell of fresh bread, but as I walked towards the kitchen for a thrilling cup of peppermint tea I picked up an overwhelming bready smell that I actually found quite nauseating simply because it was so strong and so all-pervasive. The group of people standing there digging in clearly didn't feel it smelled bad and when I mentioned it to one person there he was really surprised and had no clue what I meant. Maybe he just has a poor sense of smell, (shared by all the other carb junkies in the office) but the impression I had was that as my body's gotten used to not eating bread its become more sensitive to it - negatively - and was almost warning me about something unpalatable. Probably just my imagination, but I've never reacted like that before, even in the bakery dept. of a supermarket with the fans blasting that newly baked smell straight at the customers...

Food today:
Breakfast: scrambled eggs with mushrooms, leek & red pepper
Lunch: sort of Thai beef soup - some left over gravy from dinner yesterday thinned down with beef stock & coconut aminos, to which I added cooked ground beef & onion, green beans and red pepper
Dinner: chicken and vegetable stir fry on courgette noodles
Snack: roast chicken breast, cashews

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Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Whole30 Day 16

Feeling a little closer to equilibrium today, although none of the things that were stressing me out have been resolved or even moved on towards resolution. I guess there's only so long the body can handle feeling so crap before self preservation kicks in and smoothes it over.
Or maybe there's another reason. I'm a natural slob (you've probably noticed already from my frequent moaning about housework) and I'm perfectly willing to tolerate levels of mess that would horrify my mother if she showed up without warning. Often M keeps my slobby tendencies in check, but since starting a new job with lots of commuting he's been less bothered too. I think perhaps we've also both been battling the feeling that 'I hate this house, I want to move NOW' which makes it even harder to care about looking after the place. At the weekend things reached critical mass and I decided something had to give... That something being my natural resistance to cleaning & stuff. So after work yesterday when I should have been training I was scrubbing limescale off shower screens and shoveling stuff into bins / cupboards / drawers as appropriate. I'm not finished yet but already it looks better, I've done something productive, and it distracted me from food thoughts and nibbling in the dead time between work and dinner. More of the same tonight; then once I have things under control I can start training again.
At lunchtime it was raining quite hard. I'd been planning a 2 mile round trip to Sainsburys but settled for a quick dash to the nearest corner shop in waterproof jacket & umbrella mode. Not a pleasurable activity...
As it was still raining after work I wasn't tempted to go for a proper walk and was able to get stuck into the housework again. No-one will ever mistake by house for a showhome, but it looks fit for human habitation again now - or will do after tomorrow ;-)
Food today:
Breakfast: scrambled eggs with mushrooms, leek & red pepper
Lunch: roast beef salad with the last of my avocado dressing. I'll have to make more mayonnaise and then experiment more with salad dressings.
Dinner: Thai coconut beef stew made with ox heart, and cauliflower rice
Snack: prawns, mixed nuts, apple

Monday, 16 September 2013

Whole30 day 13, 14, 15 - half way there!!!

My weekend sucked. Lots of drizzle to deflate my mood further than it already was, no long walks or training because hey, lying around wallowing takes less effort, no visits to NT properties, no meals out because whole30 doesn't really work in restaurants. (imagine the order - I'll have a steak please, cooked in olive oil, lard or ghee, not butter or vegetable oil. No herb butter or sauce on the steak. No dressing on the salad unless its just a plain olive oil-balsamic vinegar dressing without any added sugar, and it must be olive oil not rapeseed or vegetable oil. No starter, dessert or potato side dish. With a glass of water...) Saturday morning I did go shoe shopping in Reading, but as I HATE shoe shopping and was only looking for plain black shoes for work (that didn't come with a 4 inch stiletto heel) even that wasn't a lot of fun. As much as I feel the whole30 is good for my body, the list of things I can't eat while doing it adds to the reasons why a day out is less fun - I can't even enjoy a nice latte, and Americanos just aren't as treat-like. Saturday was the first time in ages I went to Reading and didn't bother popping into a coffee shop because there was just no point...
On Saturday I managed to reduce myself to close to the levels of crying myself to sleep, in fact. I ate too many nuts (definitely the chocolate substitute of my current diet) but managed not to dive into the carbs or break the no booze embargo.
The high point of Saturday was watching the movie The Hunger Games, which I thought was a brilliant adaptation, both well written and well implemented. The character and acting of Katniss was particularly very satisfying.
Sunday involved more feeling sorry for myself, lots of laundry, a pathetic 1 mile walk, and another movie which we did enjoy though it wasn't a patch on the Hunger Games - this one was The House at the End of the Street. It was definitely reminiscent of Psycho but without the tension...
So, today I was almost - not quite, but almost - glad to get back to work. I struggled to get up and spent the time before work laboriously cleaning the coffe maker instead of enjoying a quiet cup of coffee. I did remember that the kitchen at work was due to be out of action again this morning and stopped off at Costa on the way to work for a massive, unexciting Americano.
At lunchtime I had to waste time queuing in the post office so didn't have time for lots of walking. The weather was a lot better than over the weekend, and that does definitely make me feel a bit better. The house drama continues though, so I'm still stressed and uptight.
On the food front I'm not eating any of the forbidden foods / drinks but in terms of the spirit of the thing I'm eating more nuts and bacon than I should - they're both supposed to treated as condiments really, not the basis of entire meals, but as my stress levels have risen they've become comfort foods for me. I've noticed that since things started going pearshaped with the house I've been thinking much more about the foods I'm not allowed (greek yoghurt (sob!) Peanut butter (whimper!)), which I think could push me towards a comfort eating binge if I'm not careful, so instead of forbidding the nuts & bacon as well I'm settling for being glad there's something that helps which doesn't sit on the avoid totally list. It certainly doesn't help with the separation of food and emotions, and may mean I don't do as well as I should on the plan, but at least I hope not to crash off it too hard. The one thing about this plan that is both motivating and depressing is that if you cheat but don't want to just give up on it altogether you're supposed to start over, which in my case would mean the last 2 weeks would have been thrown away. It may come to that, but I'm fighting it at the moment since I don't think feeling like I've failed on this will help me deal with everything else that's going on...
Food today:
Breakfast: egg, avocado & bacon salad in my homemade avocado dressing
Lunch: Soup. And cashew nuts.
Dinner: Rabbit (curried but removed from the sauce - it proved difficult to eat when I had it as a curry a couple of weeks ago because it was still on the bone) with grilled asparagus & broccoli
Snack: roast beef

Friday, 13 September 2013

Whole30 day 12

Still stressed. If someone tried to give me a shoulder massage right now they might well sprain or break a finger...
Huge calamity!!!! The kitchen on my floor of the office was closed off all morning for repairs... And I was too busy to keep going upstairs for a drink, and my snacks were in the fridge in the closed kitchen, so all morning I had a quarter of the usual drinks (I've been meaning to cut down on the volume of liquid I'm drinking lately but not when under stress) and no snack!!!
Of course because I was so busy that wasn't the massive hardship it would have been on a quiet boring morning, but the doughnuts that were laid out on one of the desks were badly timed. However, I am still successfully whole30'ing so clearly I steered clear. It was easy! (because I'm not that fussed about doughnuts, thank god there were no cookies...)
However, I have to say that at lunchtime I dashed to the nearest shop for replacement snacks and ate my snack at lunchtime as well as my lunch... So the 'must make up lost eating time' side of my nature is still going strong :-(
Also the house sale calamity continues so I'm still spending good training time on the phone / email, and today my back's aching again, I strongly suspect due to the stress of it all.
Food today:
Breakfast: the soup I had for lunch yesterday
Lunch: and more soup... Followed by a punnet of raspberries
Dinner: Salmon with veg some gammon while stressed

Snack: pack of cooked king prawns

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Whole30 day 11

I have had the most stressful day ever... First work, then yet more drama and chaos from the house sale from hell. I now officially wish I'd never left Wales, since my life there was depressing a lot of the time but a doddle compared to this. If our house purchase falls through die to all this I may just walk back to south Wales....
So the question no-one's dying to ask... did I overeat? Hell yeah. Did I binge? Nope. Did I break the whole30 rules? Nope (except in the sense that overeating does break the rules). I ate extra nuts and boiled gammon. It was almost as comforting as chocolateand booze would have been... Ok that's a lie, it wasn't. But I felt better afterwards than I would have if I'd thrown away the last 10 days, I suspect. Alright, maybe not today, but soon, anyway. And I only wished for death once.
After work I spent close to half an hour on the phone to solicitors and estate agents. Earlier in the day I'd been planning a training session on the climber; lost all motivation during that session, but the sun was out so I did get a very short walk - just a mile, but it helped! For about 10 minutes. Then depression hit despite the sun and the real reason I didn't cave in? I didn't feel that chocolate or booze could improve my mood, or that I deserved to feel better anyway.
I have a stress headache... no backache though
Food today:
Breakfast: scrambled eggs with mushrooms & assorted veggies
Lunch: home made soup made with stock from boiling a bacon joint, with lots of veggies, chicken & gammon added
Dinner: chicken and vegetable stir fry with cauliflower rice
Snack: egg salad made with my homemade avocado-mayonnaise dressing; nuts, gammon

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Whole30 day 10

One third of the way!!!
Mostly feeling pretty good today physically, but still a bit down. I think you were right Deniz, I'm out of practice at dealing with this rubbishy grey weather and as always handling it in a grown up and mature fashion :-)
However often I check the rules, I'm still not allowed to cheer myself up with a small glass of whisky :-(
A sunny walk would have helped but wasn't on offer. It was dreary & overcast all day, though that didn't stop me walking 2 miles at lunch, but it started raining more or less as I walked out of the office and hasn't stopped yet...

Food today:
Breakfast: slow cooker breakfast bake - whole eggs, egg whites, bacon, mushrooms & assorted veggies cooked on keep warm setting overnight in the slow cooker, plus an apple
Lunch: more breakfast bake (I couldn't be bothered to pack lunch last night so it was easier just to eat more of this) with tomatoes
Dinner: chicken & vegetable stir fry on courgette noodles
Snack: tinned tuna salad made with my homemade mayonnaise;  cashews

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Whole30 day 9

Today hasn't been marvelous. I ate well, stuck to the plan,but I felt off all day - a low grade, barely niggling headache, feeling a touch light headed, fuzzy headed, slightly depressed. I don't know if there's any physical reason for it. I drank a mug of beef bouillon to see if additional sodium might help but it didn't seem to make any difference; nor did eating some nuts and a fig for carbs and fats. I woke up early so I might just be tired but on the other hand I slept reasonably well till around 4am so far from my worst night. It meant that I didn't walk properly at lunchtime, just a very brief excursion to the post office & corner shop (it was too chilly to be fun, I need to start dressing for the change in weather)
But when I got home my mood improved... My coconut aminos arrived and I can get my stir fry on!!!
I walked another mile then called it quits
Food today:
Breakfast: pork mince sauteed with apple, garlic powder, seasoning, cinnamon & nutmeg
Lunch: roast beef salad
Dinner: roast spatchcocked chicken salad with a dressing from It Starts With Food - homemade mayo, blended with lime juice, mild pickled jalapenos, avocado & garlic. Subtle, creamy deliciousness!
Snack: tinned tuna salad made with my homemade mayonnaise; hazelnuts & cashews

Monday, 9 September 2013

Whole30 day 6, 7 & 8

For once I am aching and happy about it!
On Saturday I finally went to another National Trust property, Hughendon in Buckinghamshire, once the home of Victorian Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli. It may have become my new new favorite NT property, though not so much while I was there. I arrived about 10 minutes before a free guided tour of the house was starting, so I jumped at the chance to look around as part of a small group before they opened the doors to everybody. It was a really interesting tour, and included an exhibition about the house's service in World War II as well as the Victorian furnishings and artefacts.
After the tour I went to the restaurant, hoping for a salad with ham or chicken. There was NOTHING I could eat. Not one thing. Flour, red wine or potatoes in every single savoury option, and all 3 are forbidden during whole30.
Instead of eating I decided to walk the woodland, following a signposted route that followed the estate boundaries. This annoyed me more than the restaurant as it was a lot harder to follow than they are usually. It's partly my fault for not picking up a leaflet on the estate walks, instead relying on a fairly high level plan in the general estate leaflet, but in other properties that's been enough. Not this one - the woods are criss crossed with other public walks, so you can't settle for just spotting the beaten path if you lose the route markers, and there aren't enough markers to clarify the route, so I went quite out of my way at one point, retraced my steps, found the route again, and then total FUBAR hit. I saw a marker pointing down what looked like an alley beside a garden. I followed that, and came out at the side of a road in a village that literally was not shown on the high level plan. I tried a possible route, but lost my nerve, and again ended up retracing my path and giving up. But before I left the estate I went back to the reception and found a better plan showing that my guesswork had me on the right path if only I'd stuck to it, so I will go back to do it again properly, and it took me to a small convenience store where I bought some cold meat for lunch as well, so there were pluses. The main good thing about the walk, and the main reason I want to go back despite the screw up, is that unlike most walks in this area it was a very hilly route, which has left me with DOMS from the waist down (still no back pain though - yay!) and as a result the feeling that I've actually done something good for my body!
Yesterday I walked into Henley thinking it would help to use those muscles again on a more level route, and walked about 6.5 miles in total. As my err... gluteal muscles informed me quite stridently, it wasn't a completely level walk, and I felt every dip in the road, but it was still good to do! Especially as its now pissing down and hasn't stopped for more than a few minutes all day, so I may not get another decent walk for a few days.
I did stick to whole30 recommended foods all weekend, though again in excess of recommended quantities in some cases. I had to eat more because of all the exercise of course, and yesterday I didn't eat enough, clearly, as I woke up at midnight, cold and starving. A snack & duvet later I was back in bed & asleep but sadly not long enough to feel anything but shattered today. All day long, I was close to nodding off this afternoon and had to go outside in the drizzle for a small breath of fresh-ish air!
Sue, hi, thanks for your comment on my last post. If you made it through the blathering above, I'm not ignoring or forgetting your question about the whole30! I did buy the book in kindle form. There's a lot of info on the website and I don't doubt its possible to do the diet without the book, but a) I have a degree in biological sciences and enjoy reading the sciencey bits in full, and b) I think the whole plan, and its reasoning, is better grasped by reading a well-written, coherent and structured book THEN referring to the website for snippets, extra info, bits that didn't make it into the book etc. For me the weakness - and strength - of using a blog / website to do a plan from the start is that its so easy to spot another interesting post or recipe and go off on a tangent that you might miss some detail of the structured plan along the way. I'm terrible for that - very undisciplined - so the book works better for me in the beginning. I also bought Mark Sisson's Primal Blueprint even though there's such a wealth of info on his website for the same reason. I guess its down to what works best for you! (By the way, totally agree about waiting till after your holiday to start, I think trying to learn the plan while surrounded by all that temptation and distraction would be asking way too much of yourself ;-))
Food today:
Breakfast: scrambled eggs with added veggies
Lunch: soup made with homemade stock
Dinner: homemade beef burger - just mince, garlic powder, seasoning and Italian herbs - I've been craving a burger for days but don't trust bought ones. With roast butternut squash slices to replace the roll, and salad
Snack: tinned salmon salad made with my first ever attempt at homemade mayonnaise; some slices of roast beef from a joint I roasted yesterday.

Friday, 6 September 2013

Whole30 day 5

I overdid the cashew nuts today, but one woman's moderation is another's pig out...
I spent today pondering one of life's big questions... "is it always wrong to kill your boss?" I think not, personally... In this case I think I'd have character witnesses falling over themselves to testify on my behalf...
As well as struggling with that ethical question I was also ignoring assorted cookies and cakes in the office and invitations to the pub for farewell drinks for other contractors at lunchtime. That didn't take any real effort as I didn't want shop bought chocolate and never drink in work mode anyway. I do feel work would be better if people occasionally brought in platters of antipasti meats or seafood instead of always defaulting to chocolate and added sugar...
Food today:
Breakfast: scrambled eggs with added veggies
Lunch: salad with prawns and baba ganoush as a sort of dressing
Dinner: curried rabbit with cauliflower rice
Snack: cashews & a chicken leg

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Whole30 day 4

When I'm not actually cooking / eating there is something as hard that's just as hard to give up as dairy / tamari... The scale! I am not supposed to weigh myself during this month and its hard to remember that fact when I'm a habitual daily weigher who generally weighs in while at least 50% asleep in the morning... I haven't weighed yet, but that may be one thing I occasionally slip on!
I'm wondering if the very sudden improvement in my back pain is down to the whole30 plan. One of the claims made by all this type of diet is that modern additions to the diet are often inflammatory in the human body because it can't use them effectively or even recognize them AS food in extreme cases. With the exception of the digestive difficulties I suffer when eating gluten I didn't think this applied to me - but the improvement in back pain since doing this (and walking lightly) has been between 80% on day 2 and 100% on day 4. It might be coincidence but I'm more open minded about that now! I had a lovely (if hot) 2.4 mile walk around the village at lunchtime and felt more comfortable than I have for weeks!
Jess, I've had a look in the book for information about vegan / vegetarian versions of the whole30 plan, and I have to say it doesn't sound very feasible to me. The first suggestion they make is to shelve the veganism for 30 days and eat animal protein, which they say will produce immediate improvement in your health. Well, we both know you don't feel that's an option for you as we've discussed it before regarding the book 'The Meat Fix'. They go on to say that if you can't do that or feel the need to add more protein, you can ignore the prohibition against dairy (except vegans obviously) and legumes - as long as you soak and/or sprout them first - but they place soy at the top of the list for vegans, and I believe you have problems with soy if you're not very very careful, don't you? I'm sure its not impossible to do a vegan version but I'm not sure how high the compliance rate would be! If you want to check for yourself there is a vegan 'shopping list' available on their website, - you might find enough 'acceptable foods' on there to make it worth a try!
Food today:
Breakfast: a recipe from It Starts with Food. The authors recommend sauteeing mince with onion, garlic powder, salt & pepper then dividing it into portions that can be quickly reheated with a second saute, adding additional herbs / spices & veggies to make a variety of meals. I used ground free range pork and added diced apple, cinnamon & nutmeg - not the most fantastic breakfast I ever had but quite tasty and a very nice change from the interminable eggs... And surprisingly filling too.
Lunch: courgette noodles topped with the second portion of yesterday's sauce
Dinner: grilled free range pork chop with salad including avocado for the healthy fats.
Snack: some prawns with baba ganoush

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Whole30 Day 3

Still whole30-ing and getting more used to the loss of my former snacking habits - I'm less starving every day!
Also pleasing is an improvement in my back pain since I started taking gentle ambling walks without the heavy rucksack. I still had some discomfort every day but it was starting later each day, lasting less time (without painkillers or tens machine use) and less intense while it does last. Today? No pain! I only walked about a mile yesterday, and just over 2 at lunchtime today. Its been a lovely day today and I got lots of vitamin D as well! However by the time I got home it was too hot for another walk to feel appealing - 30 degrees!!! It is hard for me to use the car for short trips just because I want some fairly heavy shopping - especially bearing in mind that I like walking and want to do it - but I definitely need to work on that, or I'm going to end up constantly cycling from bad back to nearly better to bad back again... I've felt so much better generally, not just my back, since I started these tiny little strolls up again, the last thing I want is to set myself back again. Yet again.
Food today:
Breakfast: 3 Scrambled eggs with spinach, mushrooms, yellow pepper & boiled bacon
Lunch: courgette noodles topped with a raw sauce from a lovely book called Paleo Lunches & Breakfasts on the Go - tinned and sundried tomatoes blended with herbs and mixed with mashed tinned sardines. A tad smelly for the office but in my current state of disillusionment with work I don't care (and in fact the only comment I received was that it smelled nice!) There were 2 portions of sauce so I'll have it again tomorrow! With 2 dates
Dinner: 5 spice tuna fried cauliflower rice
Snack: small bag of roasted & salted pistachio nuts (30 g including shells) and an apple with some prawns

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Whole30 Day 2

Well, I did ok at avoiding all the foods on the 'don't touch' list in whole30 yesterday, but not as well on the healthy replacements for my usual snacks - I waa hungry for large parts of the morning (probably down to insufficient protein & fat in my baba ganoush & veg snack) and a lot of the afternoon until I ate my not very good dinner about 90 minutes earlier than planned. The mussels I ate yesterday were not a planned snack but an extra that I bought because they were a better option than anything else I could think of. I did hard boil some eggs and defrost some prawns last night so I should be in better shape today. Still need to work on this a bit more though, I hadn't realized previously how much I was relying on cheese and pork rinds as snacks, and while I haven't seen a specific mention of banning pork rinds in the book of the plan - It starts with Food - that could be more down to me blocking it out than its not being there, I find it an unlikely inclusion in a plan defined as eating nothing that doesn't improve your health. Cheese of course IS explicitly banned. Whimper.
So. Hard boiled eggs, prawns, leftover chicken, fish, and other animal proteins with veg are the recommended snacks for the diet - basically smaller versions of the foods eaten in main meals. Sounds like a reasonable amount of choice, but to be honest it sounds pretty dull to me, and of course involves cooking at least part of each snack so its less 'grab and go'. I've spent years (on calorie counting diets) training myself to pretty much cook what I should eat in a meal so I get the portion control; its going to take a while to override that habit and cook enough for 'today's dinner AND tomorrow's snack' I suspect. Especially if the meals in question taste like ass as the stir fry last night did - ask me to eat that again today and I'll stab you with a fork ;-)
I wanted to walk today but instead had to spend my lunchbreak in my car in the office carpark on the phone trying to finally sort out the unsuccessful delivery of last week. I had also been ins really annoying and frustrating - not to say maddening - meeting this morning where I felt increasingly like a sacrificial scapegoat on one of my current projects at work. I was so pissed off!!!!!!! But didn't go off the rails in any way, neither emptying the vending machine nor slaughtering my way through the office. I feel I've grown as a person....
BTW yesterday after work I didn't walk or train because I was setting up my new laptop. Its a thing of beauty!!! Even though it came with Windows 8 on it...
Food today:
Breakfast: 3 Scrambled eggs with spinach, mushrooms, red pepper & some leftover carrot just to use it up (for the record, carrot omelet is just weird)
Lunch: gazpacho soup (bought - and delicious) and some prawns on the side
Dinner: 100% beef burger gammon with salad (the burger turned out to be only 95% beef and contained breadcrumbs... damnit! And I was so in the mood for a burger...)
Snack: vegetable crudites with baba ganoush, prawns

Monday, 2 September 2013

Making plans

Back in the office today but if you think that means recovered and no more whining about my back, sorry, I have to disappoint you... I came in primarily to pick up my new laptop which was delivered on Friday and to get my timesheet signed - as a contractor no signed timesheet = No pay. I'm still in a lot of pain and within half an hour wanted to hurl my office chair out of the window. Except I probably couldn't lift it that high. I know I should go to the doctor (thanks for your concern, Deniz) but I've been that route before and all that ever happens is a referral to a physiotherapist with at least a 13 month waiting list, possibly xrays that don't pick anything up (and also take months) and sometimes a prescription for pain killers. I want to try to do some back strengthening stretches (very carefully) as just resting it isn't helping very fast and I want to get back into more walking (without the heavy rucksack) just to keep my muscles moving and the blood pumping. With that in mind I walked 2.17 miles at lunchtime, without much discomfort (in fact it improved as I walked further away from my office chair....)

This weekend was a mixed bag. No long walks and no visits to NT houses / gardens. On Saturday I had to drive M into town to pick up a bike, the appointment was at lunchtime and took a while so after all that I just felt too lazy. All I did with the day apart from that was take two 1 mile long walks into town and drive myself to get a hair cut. And eat chocolate in the morning before a late, light lunch of homemade soup then losing my appetite and skipping dinner. Yesterday was my birthday (this combined with backache is making me feel really old ;-)) and M and I went to a steakhouse for lunch where I ignored low carb / Paleo totally... I had bbq chicken wings for a starter, followed by fillet steak with fries, followed by mango Eton mess (yes, pure refined sugar) all accompanied by 1 old fashioned, 1 glass of (high carb) prosecco and 1 cosmopolitan. In the evening I had a beer but no more food as I was still full. So I kind of intermittently fasted on 2 days over the weekend, both days stopping eating around 2pm!

I realised this weekend that I have been letting a lot of non-paleo / primal foods sneak back in while feeling sorry for myself over back pain and no exercise to speak of. The protein cookies contain grains - not even gf grains - and I've eaten peanut butter, drunk beer and eaten refined sugar occasionally too. In order to get back on track I'm doing a whole30 month (which should have started yesterday, but birthday blues made that seem a bad idea). So from today until Oct 2nd no grains, legumes, dairy, alcohol or refined sugars. And only healthy fats. It's only a month, I should be able to do that! Especially as M has agreed not to eat peanut butter for a month and finished a jar yesterday so that won't be leading me into temptation...

Food today:
Breakfast: Scrambled egg with spinach, mushrooms & 1 rasher of grilled bacon
Lunch: vegetable soup with some added lean gammon.
Dinner: tuna poached in olive oil with stir fried veggie noodles (they would have tasted better with Tamari or Braggs, but no soy on the whole30; I've ordered coconut aminos from Amazon today to fill that gap). As I did it today it was rubbish, so I hope they arrive very soon... No soy sauce could be the hardest change to make!!!
Snack: 12 cashew nuts, vegetable crudites with baba ganoush, jar of pickled mussels