We’re nearing the end of the Whole30


Tomorrow marks 30 days of not consuming alcohol, sugar, legumes, dairy and grains. Not to mention junk food, sulfites, or — as I’ve found — nothing you can’t pronounce or identify as a food product.

My first Whole30 experience has been a good one. Positive. Mind expanding. Challenging and liberating.

The diet started with a bit of a laissez faire attitude. I could care less if I lost weight. If I quit drinking beer alone, I was sure to lose seven or eight elle bees.

I started the diet to support Tina, her cousin and her husband.

Now I’m wondering if I’m ever going to quit the diet ever. Yes, it’s that good. I don’t miss any of the foods we aren’t supposed to eat. I’m not missing alcohol, and this was my BIGGEST fear on this diet. I was this close to consulting an AA sponsor before we started. On day 29, I have very little desire to have a drink, and I didn’t need AA to do it. Yay me! Continue reading

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Whole30, day 12, from a guy who never planned to join the cult …


It’s day 12 of our foray into Whole30. I never planned on doing this diet. And I’m still quite skeptical of the whole thing.

If I met me, today, and heard the bullshit that I’m cutting out for 30+ days, I’d be yawning and looking at my phone while I talked to me.

You know?

No dairy, beans, soy, peanuts, sugar, alcohol for how many days? And why?

“Everything in moderation, my dear boy.”

“Cut one thing out. Not a zillion, my dear boy.”

“Give yourself a break once in a while, my dear boy.”

I’m suspicious of anyone trying to sell anything magical, and here I am conducting the damn magic train and dictating what happens back in the caboose. And everything in between.

What have I learned so far on the Whole30 diet?

  • Cutting out all those ingredients/foods is not as hard as I thought.  Even alcohol promised to be the bombshell blonde temptress calling me back with dirty midnight text message booty calls and I’ve managed to turn her down every time.
  • As they told us in the Bible book: “Quitting heroin is hard. Fighting cancer is hard.” Eschewing a list of foods for 30+ days, not as difficult.
  • Fasting from a series of different foods and replacing them with creative new dishes with amazing flavor profiles is a fun exercise.
  • Facing the diet head-on with a partner is much more satisfying and breathes life into a successful strategy and turnout.
  • It’s day 12, and I haven’t experienced better sleep yet. It’s getting worse, really. I don’t even think I’m that stressed out. Or if I am stressed out, I don’t realize what I’m stressed over.
  • I started the diet to support Tina and her cousin, but now I’m doing the diet for me.
  • My ambition is discover how different foods that are considered inflammatory have affected me both physically and mentally.
  • Overall, I feel calmer, more productive, more concentrated on life, clearer, open-er (sic), lovelier, etc.

Would I recommend Whole30 to a friend? Yes. Would I tell them it’ll change their life? Probably. Do I speak from any kind of authority? Not really. I’m only 12 days in. I’m a hack. I’m a tourist. I’m what people refer to as the shithead in the room.

My outlook, though, is positive. I’m like Scrooge McDuck swimming in a pool of his own money and gold … only I’m swimming in a pool of excessive more time and possibilities of being more productive.

Although, at the moment, I’m so fucking tired it’s hard to concentrate. I’m worried that my fatigue will dictate evil temptations.

Yesterday, Tina went through a swamp of negative feelings and attitude. I’m not sure what was harder: when I went through them personally or being patient with her going through them.

Think about it, for the length of your life, you’ve eaten a lot of different foods. All of the sudden, you put the brakes on about 60%-70% of what you thought was fine, dandy, healthy, supportive.

Because of high blood pressure and cholesterol (and a sincere artistic thrill and so I could have a glass of wine while doing it), I started cooking almost every night of the week about 11 years ago. Nine years ago, Tina and I joined a proper gym and have maintained an exercise regimen that isn’t dictated by New Year’s Resolutions. We’ve managed to start different New Year’s style resolutions, but keep them.

Over the years, I’ve cut back (and failed to cut back) on things like salt, larger meat portions, sugar, calories, etc. There were years where I kept to the “no more than two alcoholic drinks per day (for men) maximum and not every day.” But there were many more when I have not! I blame laziness and fear for the failure of cutting out booze. Fear. Fear because when you think you love something, you think you’d be empty without it. Those thoughts are the little guy in a red suit on your left shoulder whispering in your ear.

I’ve always been intrigued by ideas of why pregnant women can’t have lots of different foods, supposedly for the health of the child. But what the fuck are we eating them for if they are bad for babies?

But the fads are so mind boggling. There’s TOO many of them. I just read in Tools of Titans that there is one guy who decided to cut out all plant-based foods from his diet and he’s never felt more healthy. We are dog-sitting for a friend’s pup who only eats raw chicken. He’s in better muscular shape than any dog I’ve ever seen. And I’ve never seen him do a crunch in my life.

Honestly, I hate the concept of “diets” and especially of the people who proselytize them as superior.

“I’m a vegetarian! I’m saving the planet because meat-based products are ruining the environment!”

“I’m vegan because I want to one-up the vegetarians! I have a superiority complex!”

“I’m a carnivore, because my body needs what evolution gave it to make it walk upright, talk, reason, and invent marketing, capitalism, Hallmark holidays and religion!”

“I’m a Whole30-er, because I’m a sucker for fad diets and creating the most awkward of scenarios in mixed company!”

Joking aside, I’m glad I’m doing it. I think I’m learning something about myself. About the world. About my place in it. I’m rejuvenated with a sense of self-worth, of self-betterment success, of elitism vs humility and of superiority and inferiority.

Self challenges are the mental gyms evacuated after the new year’s resolutions deflate like party balloons. Tina and I tend to find different fads and stick to them. We’ve drank self-made smoothies for three years, cutting out cereal from our diets. Do you realize how shitty cereals are, even the good ones, for eating breakfast?

Eating real food. I think that’s the fad diet everyone should get on. Finding out what does and doesn’t work for you, that’s even more important. Being reasoned in choices, food and otherwise, that there is advice gold.

Here I am hating on diets, and I’m advocating one at the same time. I’m a hypocrite. Just like you. Hold my hand a while, and let’s listen to this podcast on Superiority together.

You’re welcome.

 

 

Pork Chops with Quinoa and Tomatoes


Tonight’s dinner was pan fried pork chops with quinoa and tomatoes. I finished the chops in the oven for a few minutes. I’ve never done a pork chop that way, and it turned out a little tough, but the taste was still amazing.

If you haven’t integrated quinoa into your diet, try it. Quinoa is rich in protein. It’s a super food. And it tastes really good alone or with some seasoning.

I buy it in bulk. In bulk you might have to soak it for 20 or 30 minutes to remove the outer layer of bitter-tasting saponins. Saponins are nature’s way of keeping hungry animals from eating it. Once removed, the taste is flavorful and grainy without any need for seasoning (seriously).

I threw some garlic and tomatoes in tonight, though, which really allows the quinoa to express itself and get a little extra kick during certain bites.

Bon appétit.

Bonnie and Clyde


Julie over at Attempts at Rational Behavior followed up on my blog yesterday about Glenn Beck and climate change (I love Julie). I’m the Clyde to her Bonnie. I like working off each other. Partners in crime, I tell you.

So go read it, dammit. She’s able to post videos from the Daily Show right in the body of her post!

My favorite line from Julie is this one (emphasis mine):

I’ve considered myself an environmentalist for years, and though I’ve accepted the data regarding AGW, my main concerns have always been the general treatment of the planet and conservation. I’ve always loved the Haida Indian saying, “We do not inherit this land from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.” For me personally it never mattered whether global warming was occurring, and if so whether man helped create it. None of that was going to keep me from recycling or driving a fuel efficient car. Most green technologies, which may be expensive to implement now, will in time save people both ecologically and economically.

One of the greatest parts of being a rationalist and a naturalist is the very essence of respect from the bottom up en lieu of the top down starting with invisible beings. When one’s view comes from the idea that your significance comes from millions of years of beautiful, slowly-driven evolutionary history, a person respects the environment, the animals that he keeps or eats, and certainly the oxygen rich plant life that covers the earth.

Gastronomy is life, not some unsubstantial play on supernatural bread. No matter how hard a person tries to live on Jesus or Mohammed or Buddha alone, he still has to eat real food to get to next Friday.

Tina and I strive to be more and more vegetarian, and when we eat meat, we attempt to be mindful of the sacrifice. If you’ve ever heard the squeal of a pig at slaughter, you know they  aren’t willingly giving their life for your hangover breakfast. Religion stole the essence of respecting meals and degraded eating. There’s a trend among the religious that I criticize, and it’s the devaluation of food preparation, eating and digestion.

What does this have to do with the climate issue? We borrowed this earth from our Children. Live, eat, play and work like we do. Like YOU do.

Bon appétit.

Sunday Night Guest Dinner Chef Michael


My brother in law Michael cooked last night. It was excellent.

Menu was, lightly seasoned skirt steak with pesto, cheese ravioli with sautéed leeks, onion, red pepper, asparagus and garlic, and finally a stuffed artichoke.

Oh la la, bon appétit!

 

I was so hungry, I cut my steak before getting a picture. It kinda looks like a vagina.

another angle

Another angle. Yum.