Wednesday, March 25, 2015

"Rain on car roof"

I have a white noise app that I use all the time. I love that I can listen to a cat purring while I write (without having to vacuum up cat hair) or turn up the crowd and traffic noise to drown out the people around me at Panera.  And yes, I use it to help me sleep when my usual trick of "staring resentfully at the ceiling" doesn't cut the mustard.

My favorite track to listen to at night is one that mimics the sound of rain on a car roof, which is oddly distinct and unusually comforting, at least to me. There's something very insular and comfortable about it, like it's raining out there but I'm nice and cozy in my little metal bubble of awesome.

This is a long-winded way of explaining why I'm sitting in my car in a parking lot watching the rain pour down while I grin like a maniac. I need to go inside and warm up for the gym .... but not yet.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Whole30, day 17

Look! It's a taco salad onto which I threw everything that was even vaguely Hispanic in my fridge! Yes, there's lettuce under there somewhere.

Also pictured: pineapple juice mixed with sparkling water. It was useful for cutting through the relatively insanely spicy meat and peppers on the salad. Good thing, too, since that role is usually played by cheese and sour cream. Oh, cheese, how I miss you.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Whole30, day 15

Today I took Liza with me to the grocery store, mainly because she was home from school and I needed to go, and partly because I wanted her to see what it is like to truly be surrounded by temptation and not give in.

She held the list and checked things off, and she was the designated label-reader for anything she wanted to get. That girl can spot sugar derivatives at 30 paces, let me tell you. And even though she whined and cajoled a bit, her heart really wasn't in it. I pointed out that she has been sleeping better, hasn't had a stomach ache, hasn't felt sick, and hasn't even had a sniffle since we started, as opposed to how she was when she was eating whatever she wanted. She admitted that she felt better...but she still wants a pizza. I don't blame her one bit!

Breakfast and lunch were variations on previous days: hard boiled eggs, sausage, and fruit; leftover soup and some guacamole dipped with those weird veggie potato chip things.

Dinner was a somewhat labor-intensive salad a la nicoise, with steamed green beans, boiled potatoes, hard boiled eggs,  roasted peppers and stuffed olives, and canned tuna. Homemade vinaigrette dressing turned out really good, even if the use of yellow mustard rather than Dijon did render it sort of bile-colored. I will totally use that recipe again, though, because it is quite tasty.

I also made some scrambled-egg-and-prosciutto thingees for breakfast tomorrow, and I have a pot of Cincinnati style chili simmering on the stove for dinner tomorrow. I have a long day of work to face, and a meeting tomorrow night, so I figure something I can just hear and throw over some Zoodles will be just about my speed. Thank goodness for planning at least a little ways ahead!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Whole30, day 14

Let's see, what is there to report? 

> I'm down nine pounds, and I fit into my skinnier jeans well enough to wear them all day yesterday. 

> Liza still complains about not having sugar, but she's stopped whining about it after school and instead of standing in front of the pantry pining for food she can't have, she asks which kind of fruit she's allowed to have. Score!

> On Friday I didn't bring a lunch, and I got stuck waiting until almost 2 to eat. I didn't die. I wasn't even ridiculously hungry, and I didn't get a headache or anything. And I got a salad from Chipotle (which was out of the officially compliant carnitas, so I said screw it and got half chicken and half steak). I had a small pang when I stood there looking at the cheese and sour cream, and another when I had to walk past the soda machine to get to the unsweetened iced tea, but it's not like it was a consuming craving or anything. I missed it, I shrugged, and I moved on. Winner!

> Saturday we went out to Jimmy John's for lunch (unwich with no cheese or mayo; it's better with guacamole). It wasn't that inspiring, and we had to stare at the big pile of bread while we are. But it was way better than Moe's last weekend, so it was declared a success.

> We got together with friends last night at the last minute and brought our own snacks, which we shared with them. Freeze-dried fruit is insanely popular, by the way.

> I did not spend all day yesterday or today obsessing about menues and going to grocery stores. Instead, I enjoyed myself, used leftover stuff to make Mexican chicken soup for dinner, and I'm going to figure out a few meals we can make without having to kill ourselves shopping and cooking for hours. Hopefully I'll find a good balance of effort vs. payoff that will give us a sustainable way to do a scaled-back version of this going forward. Keep your fingers crossed!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Whole30, day 11

Meal 1: I had leftover tomato soup with chicken added, Jason had leftover gumbo and some fruit, Liza had an apple with no-sugar-added peanut butter. Yes, I know peanut butter isn't compliant. No, I don't care - having Liza be 100% compliant was never going to happen anyway.

Meal 2: Jason had leftover tomato soup with shrimp, and some fruit; Liza had ham and tropical fruit; and I had roast beef, a hard boiled egg, the leftover carrot salad, and some blueberries. Turns out, I will eat hard boiled eggs if there's salt on them and I have some mustard to dip them in. Who knew?

Meal 3: Zoodles (zucchini cut with the spiralizer and lightly cooked) with arabbiata sauce (which is mostly bacon and tomatoes) and some sausage. Liza had sausage, strawberries, a carrot, and various other fruits.

Why yes, my kid is eating a lot of fruit. I do not see a problem with this. We throw vegetables at her when she watches tv  and isn't paying attention to what she's eating. Sneaky, right?

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Whole30, day 10

Meal 1: Hamburger and half a grapefruit, both of which I prepped the night before.

Meal 2: Large salad with leftover shrimp from the night before, plus fruit.

Meal 3: balsamic vinegar chicken, plus a carrot/celery/cilantro salad with sesame dressing.

Liza had a carrot, some fruit, and a plain chicken breast. Verdict: I had forgotten how good this recipe is! We hardly ever buy boneless skinless chicken breasts anymore, so I haven't made this in years. The Trader Joe's chicken breasts were giant, to the point where I had a hard time eating a whole one plus all the veggies. Liza had no issues, though, tearing through hers in record time.

Observations: I have 3 triumphs to report:
1. My stomach felt better today, and I wasn't hungry until mealtimes (for the most part).
2. I successfully went to a bagel store (where I used to buy a bagel and diet coke for lunch almost every day) and bought an unsweetened iced tea, and I left the store without leaving a trail of drool and regret behind me. Go, me!
3. A sales rep came to the shop today and brought us cookies and brownies from the bakery next door. He left them sitting on the main table, where the brown bags could stare at me all day. I was good - I thought about them, maybe even fantasized about that brownie a little bit - but I did not eat them. Even when Erika had one. Even when Kathy brought in her own cookie and ate it in front of me. It was a long day, and I tried to stay away from the table as much as possible, but I made it through. I am insanely proud of myself.

Whole30, Day 9

A day late and a dollar short, so here's the quick rundown:

Meal 1: Leftover jambalaya (yay! Even better the next day!)

Meal 2: Small salad that left me hungry all afternoon and I didn't have any snacks with me and still I survived so I'm awesome.

Meal 3: Grilled shrimp, and tomato soup, both of which were totally nommy.

Observations: I was starving all day, especially once I realized I had left my snack at home and wouldn't have anything until like 4:30. Then I started having cramps, and I felt mildly awful all day. Then just before dinner things cleared up, moved along, and I felt fine. I suspect I wasn't hungry all day, I was feeling the day 8/9 stomach woes the web site warns about. Thank god for that, because if that was going to happen every day, I'd be done.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Whole30 day 8

I've invented a new award: the Golden Donut, which is awarded to a Whole30 participant who confronts a long-entrenched routine and fights against it for the good of her compliance. Today, I won it because I didn't have time to eat breakfast before I took Liza to school, and I didn't really want anything at home anyway, which usually would mean I would stop at McDonald's or Subway (or Burger King, which is located right next to my gym) for breakfast and a giant Diet Coke. And today I seriously thought about doing it, only ordering stuff that was as close to compliant as I could get. But nothing sounded any better than the crappy food I had at home, so I manned up and went home for breakfast. Yay, me!

Liza, on the other hand, caved in the face of the second classmate's birthday in two school days, and she ate the cupcake. And her stomach hurt afterward. And I asked if it was worth the stomach ache, and she said it totally was. Bitch.

Meal 1: Jason and Liza revisited the "baked sweet potatoes and ham," but I couldn't stomach the thought of it, for some reason. So I came up with little sandwich roll-up things with roast beef, roasted red pepper, dill pickle, and mustard. Between that and about 1/4 cup of an all-fruit smoothie, breakfast was done.

Meal 2: Jason and I had leftover jambalaya of awesomeness, plus some fruit. Liza had sliced deli roast beef, applesauce, and some veggies.

Meal 3: Ronaldo's beef carnitas with guacamole, fried onions and peppers, and pineapple. We subbed carrots for the veggies on Liza's plate, but otherwise she ate the same as us.

Whole30 day 7

Meal 1: Jason and I collaborated on scrambled eggs for breakfast, throwing in just about anything that wasn't nailed down this included onion, green pepper, mushrooms, ham, and kalamata olives. Verdict: olives do not belong in egg dishes. 
Liza had fried ham and half a banana, plus more fruit for snacks during the day.

Meal 2: After a trip to Heinen's, where I STILL couldn't find everything I needed for the week, I stopped by Moe's to pick up a quick lunch for all of us. Liza got the steak, plus some fruit from home. Jason and I got salads topped with half chicken half pork, fried onions and mushrooms, pico, tomatoes, olives, cucumbers, and cilantro. Got a cup of guacamole and threw half of that on top of each salad,
Verdict: I was not impressed. Apparently I need the cheese and sour cream to make this sort of thing palatable, because this was bitter and kind of gross. Given that Moe's is one of my favorite places to eat, this was definitely a disappointment. 

Meal 3: baked sweet potatoes, roasted cauliflower, and Paleo crab cakes. The kids had ham slices, carrots, sweet potato, and applesauce. We had friends over, so this counts as our first attempt to entertain on the plan.
Verdict: This turned out okay, and it was nice to have "normal" food to serve to our guests. The crab cakes weren't perfect (canned crab and coconut flour - oh, the horror!) but they were okay, and everyone had seconds. The sweet potatoes could have cooked a little longer, I think - they weren't as squishy as I would have liked. But at least we ended up with plenty of leftover cauliflower for this week!