Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Whole 30 - Day 27

Sleep: 8 hours

Exercise: None, today is a work day!

Breakfast: Veggie egg white omelet
Lunch: Leftover crockpot pulled pork w organic red pepper slices
Dinner: Leftover tilapia with roasted brussel sprouts

Mood: Is it winter break yet?

Went to bed at 3am working on a spreadsheet for my dissertation.  Then I got my 8 hours and woke up at 11.  One advantage to grad school is that you can do these sorts of shenanigans and not get in trouble with the boss... :)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Whole 30 - Day 24

Sleep: 8 hours

Exercise: Walking for a mile in the Chicago cold...

Lunch: Veggie egg white omelet, turkey sausage patties, gluten-free bread & butter, 1 larabar
Dinner: Almond-crusted tilapia, roasted veggies (brussel sprouts / zucchini / carrots), banana "ice cream" --> one of the most delicious and satiating meals I've had all whole30 long!

Mood: "Oh shoot, there's school tomorrow and I haven't done any work all holiday weekend long"

Got some job apps & reading for school done today, but there's still so much more to go.  Don't think I'll ever finish :(  Wanted to go for a bike ride after church today, but I was feeling tired, hungry, and not in the mood to deal with the chilly air.  Maybe I'll try again tomorrow.  In other news, I went to Trader Joe's after church today and spent way too much $$ on groceries for the week.  Contrary to what people say, eating paleo can get really expensive, really quickly- frozen wild caught salmon ($10), frozen wild caught shrimp ($14), organic free-range chicken breasts ($9), pork shoulder ($8.50), coconut oil ($6 - but should last awhile), organic free-range eggs with omega-3 ($4.50), grass-fed/nitrate-free hot dogs ($5), 3 small-ish organic bell pepers ($4.50) ... SHEESH! Haha 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Whole 30 - Day 10

Sleep: 7 hours

Exercise: None

Breakfast: None
Lunch: Country fried steak (no gravy), vegetable latkes (daikon radish & zucchini), scrambled egg whites, and one spoonful of sugar-less sunbutter
Dinner: Chicago-style Italian beef (with sweet peppers), paleo stuffing, and sweet potato bacon-chive "biscuits"
Snack: 4 small turkey sausage breakfast patties, 1 slice of nitrate-free bacon, and 1 veggie green egg muffin (broccoli, zucchini, spinach, onion, & bell pepper)

Breakfast for lunch

Italian beef, stuffing, & "biscuits"

Mood: Unmotivated to work

Marathon cooking today in prep for the week, phew!!  Bacon is delicious, but my biggest complaint is that it's SO salty!  Same with the turkey sausage. There's really nothing that can be done about the bacon, but why does it have to be so heavily laced with salt? Hmph.

I also realized that these snacks and "second dinners" (which is not technically in the whole30 plan, hehe) are hindering weight loss.  Starting Monday (tomorrow), there will be no late-night noshing.  All food must be eaten by 7pm or nothing after that (except for rare, unforeseen circumstances of course).  Normal serving sizes too, since it's the off-season... I am no longer in hardcore endurance/CrossFit mode for racing, which means that I need to eat normal portions like a normal person (much to my denial). Shouldn't eat when I'm not truly hungry, just bc I "feel" like it or "want" to. Instead, only eat when my body tells me it's hungry. Need to exercise more too, making time for it rather than on the 2 or 3 days where I have more flexibility in my schedule. So, new goals for this week (ideally for the remainder of the whole30 but I am taking this one day/week at a time lol): all meals must be eaten by 7pm, exercise 4-5 days (at least 30 min each time) no matter how tired or busy I am.      

Correct portions or not, exercise or not, those first 10 days went by pretty quickly.  I've already noticed how much better I feel just by eating clean. Some slight cravings, but nothing awful.  Here's to the next 20!  Hoping to finish this challenge out strong... including Thanksgiving thrown into the mix for good self-control measure :)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Whole 30 - Day 9

Sleep: 4.5 hours, couldn't go back to bed, then 1 hour

Exercise: None... but walked around the city carrying heavy grocery bags. I was breathing heavier at times and arms were hurting

Breakfast: None
Lunch: None
Dinner: 4 BBQ chicken wings, a cup of chili, and grilled chicken salad
Second Dinner: Veggie pizza (spinach, broccoli, mushrooms, onions, pepper, & garlic) with cauliflower "crust" (1/4 pesto, 3/4 tomato sauce); 2 slices nitrate-free bacon, 1 spoonful of sunbutter (no sugar added... tastes SO different from the typical sunbutters w added evaporated cane juice).

Paleo pizza

Mood: Sleepy but happy it's the weekend!

Day-long church event that started early and after a long week at school, I was dragging. I learned a few things, so that was good.  They served donuts for breakfast and pizza for lunch, with candy all day for snacks.  Of course, all of that fails miserably as paleo, so I just ate nothing the whole day (except a cup of decaf black coffee).  The lunch break was a working session and in the 5 minutes we were given to get pizza, it wouldn't have been enough time for me to run to Panera or something next door.  I didn't bring a lunch w me bc I was too rushed to catch the bus (barely made it!)  In any event, avoiding these temptations was a lot easier than it had been in the past (i.e. when I did my first Whole30 only 4 months ago). Everything smelled SO good but I reminded myself of my goals and why I'm doing the Whole30 in the first place. 

After the event, went out to eat with a buddy.  She's like a big sister to me and we hadn't seen each other, so it was time to catch up.  We tried to go to Rick Bayless' new place (Xoco) but line was so long and I hadn't eaten all day so I was hungry. His other restaurant next door (Frontera Grill) didn't open for another hour. We went to a nice sports bar, where people were watching the Nebraska college football game. Since going paleo, eating out has lost its appeal (other than socializing and exploring new places/foods)... the food is just so unhealthy - lots of oils, high salt, hidden sugars - and I could make a far better version at home. I never really feel too good when I leave, though a full belly is always better than an empty one. After dinner, I went grocery shopping at 3 nearby places (Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, & a generic grocery store). Spent like $120, whoops :)  Spices were on sale finally - I've been waiting all year!! - so I got a few bottles, probably spent close to $30 on spices alone haha  The rest was on protein (and some organic veggies), in true paleo fashion 0:)   

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Whole 30 - Day 6

Sleep: 8 hours, interrupted

Exercise: 40 minutes of intramural volleyball (not strenuous at all)

Breakfast: 1 leftover turkey burger slider
Lunch: Chicken fajitas with fresh salsa & avocado
Dinner: Leftover crockpot chicken tikka masala
Second Dinner: 4 chicken tenders (breaded with almond & coconut flour), 4 leftover crockpot turkey meatballs with guac (it's not as gross as it sounds! Quite tasty, actually), 1 grass-fed/nitrate-free beef hotdog, roasted carrot "fries"

Mood: Stressed... lots of work to do, no time to do it!

After being on the Whole30 for a few days, this is when cravings and things start to kick in... I've noticed that I've been craving snacks, especially at night. Had the urge to reach for the last bite of almond butter.  Found out that roasted carrot "fries" helped me get by... perhaps I will roast more veggies from now on.  By keeping a food log, looks like I eat a ton of protein and not enough veggies.  I don't have too many veggies in my fridge - I will have to remedy this from now on, stat! Also, been craving pizza. Not sure if paleo pizza tastes any good, but I will see if I can come up with a recipe and see if it does the trick...

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Whole 30 - Day 5

Sleep: 7 hours

Exercise: 35 minutes of swimming, 2 miles of walking to/from campus (round-trip)

Breakfast: 4 Crockpot turkey meatballs
Lunch: 2 Bacon-avocado turkey burger sliders, roasted carrot "fries"
Dinner: Leftover crockpot chicken fauxghetti 
Second Dinner: 2 free-range/omega-3 enhanced scrambled eggs, 4 leftover crockpot turkey meatballs, 1 grass-fed/nitrate-free beef hotdog, a few spoonfuls of almond butter straight from the jar*

Turkey meatballs fresh from the slow cooker!

Lunch to go

Mood: Jittery... Constantly on-the-go today

*It has come to my attention that I nearly polished off an ENTIRE jar of almond butter in the span of 4 days.  Looks like I've been mind-numbingly sticking a spoon in the jar and not keeping track of how much I consume.  For the remainder of the challenge, I decided to remove all nuts from my diet and to eat real food instead.  The only exception is if nuts are part of a recipe (e.g. pesto, binder for salmon cakes, etc).  They will not be consumed on their own.

In other news, I felt unmotivated and tired to go to the gym and swim (decided to give my body a break from all the running/ellipticizing it's been doing).  But, I knew that if I didn't exercise, I'd feel even worse.  So, I took my time and slowly dragged my legs over there in the cold and rain.  My Tri Club emailed a swim workout, which I generally followed. Helped to eat up the time.  Then I got home, stuffed my face (second dinner), and was shocked to see I was one spoonful away from single-handedly polishing off a jar of almond butter over 4 days' time (I don't even want to know the nutrition stats). Maybe that's why I've been feeling better since I started the whole30, but weight stayed the same.  Blerg.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Whole 30 - Day 4

Sleep: 8 hours

Exercise: Rest day; 1 mile walk to school

Breakfast: Grass-fed/nitrate-free hot dog, roasted carrots
Lunch: Leftover chicken bacon fauxghetti
Dinner: Chinese stir-fry chicken, broccoli, string beans, & cucumbers
Second Dinner: A few spoonfuls of almond butter straight from the jar, 2 slices nitrate-free bacon

Mood: Relaxed

The hard part of the day was dealing with all the smells of non-paleo foods. My officemate heated up a slice of Domino's pizza.  The office smelled a.m.a.z.i.n.g.  A vegetarian friend who is doing the Whole30 with me (but modified appropriately for her non-meat/seafood needs) reminded me that those foods don't taste as good as they smell.  She was absolutely right. It didn't take long for the smell to dissipate and my mouth to stop salivating.

Then, I was at a church event in the evening.  It was my turn to bring dessert and since I started a self-imposed Whole30 with sugar detox, there was no dessert I could make that would satisfy both the attendees and my sugar detox.  I wanted to do something with apples (one of my fav things about fall) so I made apple dumplings, which got rave reviews on google.  Containing wheat, dairy, and processed sugar, this dessert was completely non-paleo.  It smelled amazing in my kitchen and all the people at church loved it!  Whenever I cook for others, I always like to taste what I made, but this time I couldn't.  At the same time, I thought of how crappy I've felt the past month after consecutive non-paleo eating and the desire to take just one nibble quickly disappeared.  I found that putting the dumpling to my nose and smelling it was enough to get by without eating it. Again, I reminded myself of what my buddy said - junk food doesn't taste as good as it smells.  Indeed!

4 days in and feeling alright... but I know the tougher times are yet to come.  

Monday, November 5, 2012

First 3 Days

Whole30 - Day 3
Sleep: 6 hours at night; 3 hour nap when I got home from the race/brunch

Exercise: Hot Chocolate 15K Race (9.3 mile run)

Brunch: Pesto lentil soup*, veggie egg white omelet, chorizo, & de-caf peppermint tea
Dinner: Paleo chicken fajitas, 4 slices of bacon, roasted carrots, tomato basil soup, and a few spoonfuls of almond butter straight from the jar

*Yes, I know lentils aren't paleo, but I had just run 9.3 miles in the FREEZING cold with strong winds and needed something hot ASAP. Didn't eat any breakfast and didn't take any gels during the run (they all contain sugar).

Mood: Tired and cold for most of the day.

Whole30 - Day 2
Sleep: 12 hours

Exercise: 11 mile outdoor bike ride

Brunch: Scrambled eggs, leftover chicken bacon fauxghetti, tomato basil soup
Dinner: Grass-fed/nitrate-free beef hotdog, leftover crockpot pulled pork, 1 organic red bell pepper (raw), and a couple spoonfuls of almond butter

Mood: Felt refreshed from sleeping in for the first time in 2 months, but still groggy.  Went to packet pick-up for the Chicago Hot Chocolate 15K and was angered by the long wait time (over 2 hours) in the cold and really poor administration by the race directors (Running Away Multisport). 

Whole30 - Day 1
Sleep: 6 hours

Exercise: 30 minutes on the elliptical, 25 minutes of ab work & lifting weights

Food: Leftover crockpot chicken tikka masala

Mood: Feeling disgusted with my poor nutrition & fitness habits over the past 2 months. Felt sleepy and exhausted the whole day.

First Post!

Hello!! :)

This is Pensive Paleo's first post! I started this blog to document my paleo/life journey and as a way to keep track of all my meals and recipes. I decided to do the Whole30 challenge (for the second time) for the month of November as a nutrition cleanse/reset. Life got really out of hand during Sept/Oct and with no sleep, huge stresses at school, tight job market deadlines, and getting over the hurt of a difficult breakup (emotional eating included!), my nutrition & fitness took a backseat. I found myself daily at the cafeteria for lunch, takeout for dinner, and snacks from the vending machine during the day. I hated eating this way (especially after such positive results from my first Whole30 experience last July) and it brought back addictive, unhealthy cravings that I didn't have the willpower to combat. Non-paleo eating made my body fee like crap, though I was in survival mode and eating to live was essential.

The Epiphany
On Nov 1 at 2am, I was finally finished with work for the day and started to wash up and get ready for bed (the 5 hours of sleep I'd be getting for the fourth night in a row). As I looked in the mirror, I could barely recognize myself. I looked like I aged 5 years... haggard, dark circles under my eyes, skin broken out, and my cheeks were puffy- I definitely gained weight. I really looked like hell. Plus, my jeans had started to feel tighter (after being looser this summer when I was paleo and exercising 6x/wk, 3-4 of which was CrossFit, the rest was endurance & hot yoga). It was really scary, and a huge wake-up call. I told myself that if I keep going down this journey of crap eating, high stress, no sleep, little exercise, and poor time management, I was going to look and feel a heck of a lot worse. I needed to get my life back in order; no one else would do it for me. I resolved to do another round of Whole30, starting when I woke up the following morning. This Whole30 would include a sugar detox (no fruit either). Whole30 suggested that people avoid doing the reset around the holidays because of the temptations of the season, but I NEEDED to do it for the structure regarding tempting foods or else I will continue on this downward spiral.

This blog will document my Whole 30 (Nov 2 - Dec 1) and my journey to getting my life back on track. Feel free to leave comments and suggestions/tips... it's always nice to know I'm not alone in my quest to live a paleo lifestyle.Thanks for joining me! :)