Saturday, November 26, 2011

whole30 afterthoughts

They said it would change my life; who knew they meant it?

I finished my first Whole30 on November 6 of this year. I experienced no cravings, though that may be a result of making relatively few changes in my diet, and really only mild bathroom scale withdrawal, though if you've read my posts, it may sound more than mild.

Because of the minor changes this program required of me, I didn't expect miracles. I mean some people are giving up sugar and dairy as they start the Whole30. Neither has been a big part of my life. In fact I have not had a taste of cheese, cream, butter or any other dairy product for well over a year. So I wasn't looking for magic; I was looking for improvement. I'm still not 100% sure of what I got, but I am completely sure it has changed my life.

Since November 6, I've been using my scale almost regularly. I think it's fun. I don't think it's meaningful. I've also had wine on a few occasions, though I absolutely refuse to drink so-so wine anymore. I'm also not sure yet what to think of the wine thing. It is not likely to become regular again. I have not added a single other food back into my diet. I've given myself permission to do that. I've reviewed the suggestions for how to do so in the Success Guide. I just haven't felt any desire to do so.

I am writing this two days after Thanksgiving, and I must add that our family Thanksgiving dinner is huge. It's also my favorite meal to help prepare. I tried to give myself permission to sample any dishes that are not off my plate for life due to allergies and such. I made the stuffing completely gluten-free, though not grain-free. I just didn't want to eat it. I didn't want the mashed potatoes. I was not remotely tempted by bread. Even pies and whipped cream did not appeal to me. I did wish for a moment that I'd been able to make a "Paleo-fied" almond flour tart or pie as I'd planned. (Had to pass on that because my oven is being temperamental at the moment.) It felt a bit odd. For dessert, by choice, I ate some beautiful hearts of celery that Kristen had included in our traditional relish tray.

I no longer ever even consider eating out, unless by unavoidable necessity, but it doesn't feel like I'm giving up a thing. Seriously, it's no sacrifice at all. I never, I mean absolutely never, buy anything prepared whether frozen, canned, or fresh. Yes, it takes a little time, but really very little. I work full-time and do all the cooking here, and I do not live in the kitchen. Some of you know me better than others, but either way, the simple fact that I blog about my relationship with food is a pretty clear indication that we're tight, food and I. I've been somewhat of a foodie since birth. I still am. But what has changed for me in the most seemingly subtle way is that even more than before, I now think of only fresh, natural,  unprocessed products of field and farm as food.

Thanks again, Whole9, I'm seriously impressed.

Friday, November 25, 2011

figuring out the holidays

I'm having a rough time right now wrapping my head (and heart) around festive holiday food. I know much of it comes from the emphasis all around us on sugar, sugar, sugar as we move into December. It's everywhere. And it's enticing to say the least. It's bright and beautiful. It's nostalgic. It's all kinds of wonderful. It's just not really...well, food.

I used to love to bake, to make candies, and put together fun little gift packages for family and friends. Even when I stopped doing that, I still thought about it every year. Now, somehow, it has a really sinister feel.

I felt a bit of that as I prepared dishes for our Thanksgiving Day dinner this year. Though I, personally, keep my diet pretty clean, this was not a Paleo or primal meal, nor was it gluten-free. The fact that I was not eating the questionable foods nor cooking with gluten, myself, did not make me feel much better about it. When we cook for people because we love them, we want to serve them foods they love and look forward to eating. I ordered a locally grown, organic turkey. Made sure we had the favored Turtle Island not-turkey for the vegetarians. We focus a lot on food safety, poultry guidelines, expiration dates, how long foods sit out before and after serving. We try to keep the hot foods hot and the cold foods cold as long as possible. We certainly don't want to make anyone sick. So why, then, I must ask myself, am I serving my family crap?

I personally, without coercion and with full knowledge, baked and mashed 12 pounds of potatoes adding a cup of butter, 2 of sour cream, and half a pound of cream cheese. This I "thinned" with another half cup of whipping cream. Jeez!  I also made a favorite of some family members, creamed onions, pearl onions with heavy cream, butter, and sweet rice flour. Sure they loved them. No, I didn't even taste them. But there's a problem here, a big problem. If I won't eat these foods, how in the world can I serve them with a smile to those I love?

I'm still working on this one. It's quite the quandary, and I'd love to know how others handle it.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

food overload?

and, no, I don't mean eating too much.

I have been so completely immersed in holiday planning and cooking lately that I somehow don't even know how to write about it. It feels a bit like I imagine circuit overload might feel. And it's weird. I love to talk about food. People usually have to shut me up. I'm sure, quite sure, that this will pass, and I'll be back to my wordy self soon.

I wish everyone who celebrates it a wonderful Thanksgiving. To those who don't, may you have a great week. I will post both mashed potato and gravy recipes soon.

Friday, November 18, 2011

small business saturday

I'm taking a bit of a break from Thanksgiving prep to invite everyone to one of my other favorite things this time of year, Small Business Saturday. Second only to governmental agencies, small businesses are the job creators and job sustainers that keep our economy going. The best way to sustain them is to do business with them regularly, and if not regularly, at least think of small businesses next Saturday, November 26.

These are a few of my favorite small businesses. I'll be adding more. Please add yours.
  • Russo's Books, Bakersfield
  • Planet Bambini (check out their Facebook page)
  • My Imaginary Boyfriend (check etsy)
  • The Blue Between (check etsy)
  • The Cookie Crock, Cambria
  • Felicity Watt Photography
  • Byrds' Eye View
  • 3 Rexes Jewerly (check etsy)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

don't cook (much) on thanksgiving

Sacrilege, I know, but hear me out.

I love Thanksgiving, and I always, always, always insist on hosting our family's Thanksgiving dinner. I've been doing this since my now adult children were tiny. I've always loved the planning and the shopping and the days of preparation. But by the time Thanksgiving rolled around, I was tired and cranky and pretty hard to take.

There are just over 20 of us for dinner these days, and somehow over time, we seem to have taken a holiday known for its excess and skyrocketed it to new dimensions. Seriously, we have a roast turkey or two, a faux turkey for the vegetarians, two or three kinds of stuffing or dressing (one of which will be vegetarian), mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, turkey gravy, vegetarian mushroom gravy, fruit salad, tabbouleh, Brussels sprouts, creamed onions, corn, a few additional vegetables, fresh cranberry sauce, jelled cranberry sauce, several varieties of dinner rolls. Then if someone wants to try something new like mashed cauliflower, it is added to the list. We don't replace; we don't substitute; we add. I didn't even mention pies here, as that would be another full page, and usually, I don't make any of the desserts on Thanksgiving. I should be clear here, very clear. I do not do all the cooking, not by a long shot. Many, many other people work for days, as well.

I mentioned recently to my daughter, Kristen, how much I enjoyed entertaining, having parties. Her response startled me at first, then I realized she was right on the money. She said, "No you don't, you hate it. You like the idea of having parties." What an awful thought, worse because it was true. I love the preparation and planning, but by the time a party has materialized, I am so damned tired and irritable, I just want to find a quiet corner and curl up for a week or two.

Working our way through this has not been quick, nor has it been very easy. One recent year, after we raced to get the 1500 dishes on the table, get everyone seated, trip over those who wanted to hang out in the kitchen to visit, and finally sat down to cold food that should have been hot and warm food that should have been cold, it hit us. If it's going to be cold anyway, why worry about cooking the gravy just before you serve it? Why boil, drain, and mash the potatoes in a kitchen already filled with pots and pans and people running in all directions? If it's going to be cold anyway, why try to time the turkey so that it has precisely 30 minutes to rest? Phooey, let's make it ahead and serve it dry and cold and tasteless. Yeah, that won't work, but something has got to. And something certainly does.

 I have, at long last, found a way to enjoy it all. After all, restaurants don't cook everything last minute. They couldn't. Good ones know what holds for a few days or a few hours, what can be frozen even weeks in advance, and what really needs that last few minutes of your time.

Today, 9 days ahead of Thanksgiving, I plan to make creamed onions and freeze them in an oven-safe serving dish that will make it all the way to the table. I love making creamed onions, though I don't eat them anymore. I love to take my time and enjoy making them. I can do that today; I cannot do it next Wednesday or Thursday. Other dishes that can be made a week ahead and frozen include many vegetables, sweet potatoes or squash, even gravy. Mashed potatoes can be made a day ahead and kept in the refrigerator. They are incredibly easy to reheat in a crock pot (at our house we sometimes use two.) 

Tonight I'll also start turkey stock, continue really, I started it yesterday. I'll cook a turkey breast and hind quarters separately the day before Thanksgiving to be sure we have enough to slice and serve without my brother, Bob, having to stand and carve the turkey I'll roast on the big day, all through dinner.

turkey hind quarters, browned under the oven broiler and ready to simmer with aromatics for stock

I will make vegetarian foods one day and those with meat on a different day. This not only keeps the vegetarian dishes meat-safe, it keeps them from contaminating the gluten-free, dairy-free, Paleo-friendly dishes I look forward to eating.

I'll add some more details in the next few days, including my suggestion for exceptionally good, though not dairy-free, mashed potatoes.

For some really good ideas of what to serve and suggestions for even more sources, check any of these recent posts. They're all good and mostly all Paleo. Some are even Whole30 approved.

Whole9 Thanksgiving
Ginger Lemon Girl Thanksgiving
Food Lovers Primal Palate Paleo Thanksgiving Recipes

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

time to prep for the holidays

Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. There's one reason, only one reason, of course: the food. Short, sweet, simple. For many years now, I have insisted, I mean seriously insisted, on hosting our family's Thanksgiving dinner. It is a combination of seriously traditional and somewhat innovative with the innovative usually coming from my siblings and children.

Our family is fun and diverse. We are also not without our distinct and sometimes unwavering positions about what holiday food should be. We have family members who are vegetarians, family members who fondly remember brown-and-serve rolls and don't think it's Thanksgiving without them, family members who love stuffing from a box or cranberry sauce from a can,  family members who like to make sauce from real cranberries and pies from real pumpkins, carnivores, omnivores, sugar-holics, health nuts, you name it. And I love it all, the cooking and trying to please part at least. I am embarrassed to say that I get excited about making food for people I love that cannot conceivably do their health any favors, but it's true. To the variety of tastes and dietary restrictions, this year I have added the complication of Paleo consciousness. What should be one pleasant meal, shared with gracious thankfulness has become what could turn out to be a political and dietary minefield.

For years our meals have had two or three of many foods that traditionally focus on meat. There's turkey gravy and vegetarian mushroom gravy. There's stuffing (dressing really) with meat, which usually has homwmade croutons, and without, which usually has Mrs. Cubbison's Corn Bread Stuffing from a box. We have a roast turkey, two sometimes, and a vegetarian wanna-be turkey. I love to roast turkeys, no smoking or deep frying or other nonsense for me. I do like turkey, but as far as I'm concerned, the primary reason for cooking a turkey is to have a basis for making gravy. If I could, I might just live on gravy. Luckily for me, or not depending on one's perspective, I'm really good at making gravy. I started making gravy as an adolescent, maybe even earlier, and have worked for years to perfect it. I make phenomenal gravy, sorry about the lack of modesty here, but I really do. It's smooth and silky and rich and flavorful. It's just not really healthy, and that's a serious issue, holidays or no.

I have a couple of issues going with trying to work on healthier gravy, not the least of which is that I really like the gravy I have been making, just the way it is. I like it, but actually, I can no longer eat it the way I've made it for years, not even a taste. Traditionally, I've used milk, cream, wheat flour, and a dash or two of soy sauce and Worchestire for color, in addition to turkey stock and pan drippings from the just-roasted turkey. Last year I substituted sweet rice flour for the wheat flour and made it without milk (sigh.) Sweet rice flour is wonderful for straight across substitutions in gravy and sauces. It is, however, a grain, a highly processed grain at that. This year, no grains will be on my plate at least, and I selfishly would like to eat some of the things I look forward to on Thanksgiving. I'm working on a couple of possibilities, one a simple reduction and the other using coconut flour. Lots of gravy expected around our house in the next week or two. We will see which wins this year.

Either way, this year the turkey gravy as well as the vegetarian mushroom gravy will be made at least a day ahead. I have realized how easy it is to do many dishes ahead and have them ready in the freezer or refrigerator for reheating on Thanksgiving Day. And forget about trying to perfectly time potatoes for mashing while you're juggling a hot turkey and too many guests hanging out in the kitchen.  I'll go into detail in a day or two about mashed potatoes (and mashed cauliflower) prepared ahead and perfectly, painlessly reheated in a crock pot.

Monday, November 7, 2011

the whole30, continued


While I am absolutely thrilled with completing my thirty days of the Whole30, I'm also not completely where I want to be health-wise. With this primary goal in mind, I'm sticking with the program, most parts of the program---yeah, I'm using my bathroom scale, for awhile. I'll let my body dictate how long.

Reading the information about transitioning after the Whole30, I became well aware that much of the testing and reintroduction of different foods is something I won't need to do. I have no intention of adding them into my diet. Before I started this, I didn't eat grains, dairy products, sugar, or legumes. Occasional natural sweetners, like actual stevia leaves from the herb garden, were just that, occasional. I am not a fan of sweet foods. Even wine is not of much interest to me these days. Though I have not ruled out having a glass of really good wine on special occasions, I don't see it becoming a regular part of my routine. I will probably add back a few of the "Paleo" versions of fun foods, like biscuits and such made of almond flour. These I rarely ate anyway, probably less than once a month, so I don't see that as much of an issue.
 Possibly, I may take a slightly more relaxed attitude toward some food, but I rather doubt it. I'm still narrowing the scope of foods I trust and shifting my emphasis even more from gourmet to impeccably fed and responsibly farmed. If I'm going to obsess, may it be in the direction of health for my family, the planet, and me. Right now and along similar lines,  I'm also obsessing about buying locally, which seems virtually impossible at the moment. More about that to come, most definitely.

My next posts will focus on holiday foods and advance preparation. I am a gravy fanatic, have finally mastered early preparation of most dishes for our absurdly massive Thanksgiving dinner, and look forward to sharing ideas. Since we serve traditionalists, vegetarians, and Paleo sorts at our house, this will include a variety of dishes I don't eat and rarely write about, but the emphasis will remain centered on Paleo, I hope.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

the whole30, day thirty

Yep, I'm feeling rather proud of myself today. Though I still have the annoying sinus issue, I am much more focused on my completion of The Whole30.

That said, I'm really not sure what, if any, changes I'm inclined to make, right now anyway. I like the results, so far, and I want more. I will, most likely, welcome back my bathroom scale. While I have experienced no food cravings in this 30 days, I have missed the scale. I may have mentioned that once or twice. I don't quite know how I'll react if my weight hasn't changed, though weight was not my motivator in undertaking this. I would guess that it's dropped by the way my clothes fit and what I see in the mirror, but that's not always the case. As we all know, muscle weighs more than fat, and I sure hope it's fat I'm losing and not muscle. We shall see.

On a somewhat lighter note, I've often, maybe way too often, mentioned that, like GK and Coco, I am a creature of habit. I like to call them rituals, but semantics is not in my favor here. So today, my Day 30 of the Whole30, I am somehow making my own coffee. That is not the way it works here. I cook, he cleans and grinds beans to make coffee every morning and brings me two cups of strong, black coffee. That is the plan, the routine, the ritual. This is seriously wrong, yet here I am, impatiently waiting for the brewing to be done, cream in his cup, nothing in mine, so that I can take him coffee. This is an anomaly; it is most definitely not the beginning of a new ritual.

Breakfast, a few hours after the coffee, was quick and none too exciting. Mine was small, one scrambled egg and a leftover pork chop, a pretty dry, flavorless, though not overcooked specimen. I'm thinking of calling it quits with pork for awhile. It is just so hard to find any with flavor or enough fat to make it palatable. I buy only meats that at least claim to be raised humanely on small or smallish farms. I avoid factory farmed meats and grocery stores, and it still is barely edible. I should mention that live in central California; those of you in other parts of the world may have very different sources and experiences. I'm thinking of sticking to ruminants, a little bit of poultry, and responsibly caught wild fish.

I will not be wrapping up my experience with the Whole30 today. As I transition out of this, if I actually do transition out of it, I'll do my best to pull the different aspects of my personal experience together here. I've learned a lot more than I'd expected, and I'm a lot less anxious to move on than I'd thought I'd be at this point. Next time I post, I will have completed these 30 days. Guess I'll be taking it one day at a time for awhile.

Since we all have different takes on this and reactions to it, it would be wonderful if anyone who's doing this or something similar would add your thoughts and experiences, as well. Thanks.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

the whole30, day twenty-nine

Years ago in a series of self-actualization trainings, again and again, I heard something like "Expectations are the seeds of dissatisfaction." I am paraphrasing, but that was the message. I think about that from time to time, and today I'm obsessing over it.

Today, Day 29 of my 30 days on the Whole30, does not fit my expectations. I didn't have a clear mental picture, of course, but I can promise you I did not for a single minute think I would be on day 3 of a killer sinus infection, complete with splitting headache, swollen face, and sleepless nights. Not for one single second did I picture this. I'm considering this a healing crisis; I do hope I'm right. Healing or not, I don't like it, and I am definitely dissatisfied at the moment. What I'd like instead is a warm glow of contentment and that sense of pride and honor that comes with completing a meaningful task. Any idea where I could order that?

Until this passes (oh! please let that be immediate!) there will be no thoughts of celebrating a completion. My plan right now is to tighten this up instead. Writing that, I almost had to laugh. What do I tighten? I prepare everything, I mean EVERYTHING, I eat. With the glaring exception of my bacon fiasco, I am not using anything processed. Virtually everything in my house is organic. I'm waiting to check out the clarified butter rule until next time around because I know I have some issues with dairy. (I did put several packs of pastured butter in my freezer to be ready, since it's seasonal.) My meat, beef and lamb, is grass-fed even though that wasn't a requirement here. Maybe I'll cut out eggs entirely; I've already cut way back. I'm almost at a loss. I am not at a dead-end, though. So many things feel so much better with the Whole30, and I will not give up. I'm wondering though, will Monday be Day 31 or Day 1 all over again?

Still, I'm left thinking about that training and my expectations. Somehow I can't quite put my finger on what I want to take from all of this right now. Maybe it's the headache. Maybe it's the sleeplessness. Maybe it's our weather with highs about 15 degrees less than the lows of two days ago.

Yet in the back of my mind I know, today is Day 29 and headache and sinus infection will soon be history (or so I hope.)

Friday, November 4, 2011

the whole30, day twenty-eight

At work today,  I was thinking about this process and realized the next time I'm at my desk, next Monday, I will have completed the thirty days of the Whole30. I have also realized that my body, while responding very nicely to this program, will take well over 30 days to heal. It is quite possible that the only concession I will make to completing these 30 days is to step on my scale.

I would be remiss to avoid mentioning missteps along the way to what I hope will be a successful conclusion of my first Whole30. Yesterday I stopped by Lassens, a local natural foods store, to pick up organic carrots for my soup. It always takes me by surprise when I run out of carrots, yet somehow they still don't replenish themselves. While there I picked up a package of Applegate bacon. I'd not tried it before but had read others' comments. People said nice things about it, and it's always mentioned when speaking of uncured, high-end products. Ridiculously, I didn't read the label, or if I did, nothing registered. Nothing as in the cane juice. I paid no attention either when I popped it into the oven this morning, happily congratulating myself on being all the way to Day 28 of the Whole30. Only later, after eating a few pieces and noticing my stomach was not feeling so happy, only then did I carefully look at that label.

Yikes! Not the end of the world maybe, but would this be the end of my Whole30? I stressed. I worried. I went to Whole9's site and searched "bacon." Jeez! They have a whole, nicely written section about why they don't routinely recommend it. They don't demonize it; they just don't sing its praises, and they recommend other options for regular protein sources. Of course, that is only IF you can find any pastured and well-cared for without sugar, nitrites, nitrates, and so forth. Why didn't I read this before? Why didn't I pay more attention to my rarely opened Survival Guide? What was I going to do now? Crap! I've been writing blog posts for almost four weeks, counting down my Whole30, no thought ever of slipping up.

Fortunately, I remembered how great Whole9 is about answering questions. I took a deep breath, clinched my fists once or twice, and wrote to them, publicly, in the comments of the newest Whole30 5.0 update. With two and a half days to go, was I about to start over? Melissa replied in less than five minutes. That was cool. The first time I read her response I misread the words and thought she said "the cane sugar in your bacon is going to mess up your 'reset' process." Somehow in my panic, I'd missed that little word "not" in her sentence. First I missed the stupid sugar on the bacon package and now possibly the most critical word in her response. Bottom line, I'm okay---feeling stupid, but okay with the healing process and the Whole30. Whew!

Thanks Melissa, thanks Whole9.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

the whole30, day twenty-seven

Did I just write 27? Yes! Yes! Yes! While I may not be making any radical changes at the end of thirty days, it will, nonetheless have been thirty days. Not that I'm excited or anything.

When I have food ready to go, mornings are so easy. I know I've mentioned this before, but overstating it seems impossible and repetition is almost demanded. This morning I grabbed the container pictured below and an apple and was on my way.

Last night I grilled a rib-eye steak on the stove using a Le Creuset grill pan.  GK was having bean soup, and my planned vegetable soup had not quite materialized. I was at a loss for what to cook, as I'd planned on the veggie soup and hadn't made it. He asked, "Don't you have a hunk of meat you can cook?" He loves to give me a tongue-in-cheek bad time about my meat consumption, partly, I'm sure, because I prefer it rare, and he prefers it on someone else's plate. I did have meat, though, hard as a rock in the freezer. I am almost ashamed to say that I pulled it from the freezer, added a bit of Kosher salt, and laid it still frozen on the heating grill pan. As it started to thaw a bit, I sprinkled a bit of dried garlic and ground some black pepper over the top. It cooked surprisingly well given my less than careful preparation. I kept the heat lower than I normally would to grill a steak and let it thaw as it cooked. The outside caramelized nicely with dark grill marks as the interior stayed rare, though heated through. While it cooked, I threw (almost literally) a halved zucchini sprinkled with sea salt on the grill pan along side it. I had a rather nice dinner with plenty of leftovers for breakfast and lunch today.

rare steak and grilled zucchini packed for lunch
Remembering how unlikely I am to want to start a slow-cooking process when I get home from work, I also tossed half an onion, a dash of cider vinegar, a quart or two of water, and what was left of my roast chicken in the crock pot. The only tricky part is that GK is going to turn it on this morning, and I do not dare insult him by calling to see if he remembered.

soon to be chicken soup
When I get home, hopefully, I'll just need to strain the broth and add it to a few sauteed vegetables. I'm looking forward to it. And when I wake up tomorrow, it will be Day 28.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

the whole30, day twenty-six

I'm beginning Day 26 wanting to stay in bed and enjoy the day. Unfortunately, work beckons. I am also scrambling a bit to put meals together for the day. Sometimes I get so used to being prepared that I forget to do what it takes to get to the point where I can be prepared. Today is one of those days. It's not that there's nothing in the house to cook or prep for breakfast and lunch. It's just not ready to go. It's also not super appealing, but that's a matter of mood and appetite.

For breakfast I'll scramble 3 eggs with a sliced summer squash and onions. I apparently let the mushrooms stay in the fridge a bit too long, or I'd throw those in, too. Not sure about lunch right now. Oh, sometimes I secretly long for the days when I would think it just fine to grab something out.

a little later in the day...
Breakfast turned out pretty well in spite of my momentary panic. I added a little leftover braisied beef to the squash and onion, then scrambled the eggs with them still in the pan. It may not have been beautiful, but it was yummy and filling. For lunch I grabbed a frozen container of chicken soup, stashed there for just such a time. Today is our first day of windy, almost cold weather, so soup sounds great. This is in stark contrast to the hot day when I made the soup, tired of waiting for the appropriate cool weather. I am a soup nut. I think, surpassed only by braising, making soup may be my favorite in the kitchen.

With that in mind, I'm picturing all the vegetables sitting in my refrigerator getting older by the day and thinking of a large pot of vegetable soup. There's nothing wrong with them. I just haven't felt inspired to do anything with them. It's been a mentally and emotionally exhausting week or two, so I've gone with mindless and easy much of the time. Making vegetable soup is not remotely hard; it just hadn't crossed my mind. So my plan when I get home today is to slice and dice and brown onions, celery, green beans, zucchini, turnips, carrots (if I can find some hiding), and then add garlic cloves, salt, pepper, and probably a bit of mixed Italian herbs from the garden. To these I'll add water to cover and maybe a couple of tomatoes, diced. Normally, my preference would be chicken broth or stock for the liquid, but this time I'll defer to GK's desire for less beastly stuff. Besides, I still have some leftover chicken I can through into mine when I serve it. He'll ask for beans in his, and for the time being, I'll try not to grimace.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

the whole30, day twenty-five

That pesky scale is still taunting me. The food is pretty easy. Avoiding sugar is a snap. Even wine isn't particularly appealing. But I really, really, really want to step on my bathroom scale. I admit it. I'm a scale addict, not because it's meaningful. Oddly, I guess, I find it fun. Believe me, it would be in a closet somewhere if GK didn't use it once or twice a day.

I do suppose I'm pretty lucky, though, if that's my only temptation. This has been an unusally crazy few weeks for me completely unrelated to the Whole30. If I were going to be tempted to diverge from this program, this stress would have done it. After today, I have 5 days to go. I'm thrilled, thrilled, thrilled. I may not change my eating habits, but I'm likely to reacquaint myself with that scale.

Being a creature of habit and a lover of routines, I again started the day with bacon and eggs at my desk at work. I find it amusing that my coworkers think of my eating requirements as restrive and limiting. To some degree, there's some truth to be found in that, but mostly what's restricted is serious junk and toxic matter. I eat really good food. I don't eat doughnuts or pizza or badly prepared cupcakes or jello and cool whip molds. I'll take steak or salmon or bacon and eggs any day.  I've found a locally produced bacon, through Abundant Harvest Organics that's uncured and neither overly smoky or sweet. I am in love, yet again. The pastured eggs came from them, too. If you live in central or southern California, check this out.

As for the rest of the day, I'm sitting at my desk daydreaming about braising. I may very well be weird, but this certainly does not consitute evidence. What could be more perfect this time of year than braising? I would love more ideas if anyone wants to share braising recipes, even though I could be 130 before I try all that I now have. It helps keep my mind off that scale.