Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Whole30 Challenge – The Prep Stage

This past weekend, one of my oldest friends came to visit me in Charlotte. She lives in New Orleans now and had never been here, so what better time than the present?! We had a great time exploring Charlotte and Asheville and hiking and eating and eating some more.

In fact, the past few months, for me, have really been about nothing but eating crappy food with a few workouts thrown in for good measure. And as a result, I have not had much energy. And with all the eating this weekend, it got me thinking that I needed to make a change. I knew my friend had recently completed the Whole30 Challenge, so I asked her about it.

She said it was literally life-changing, and that I should try it. She noticed a huge difference in her energy levels (no 3 o’clock slump!), she wasn’t hungry all the time so she didn’t feel the need to snack and she was even able to sleep better. Not to mention she lost 7lbs. I was intrigued. I have to take a sleep aid every night just to get almost a full night’s sleep and I still lose my energy about halfway through the day, so this seemed like something I could be interested in.

So I did some research on Monday. It didn’t seem too terrible. The recipes looked pretty tasty. But this would require some discipline in meal planning, and also with drinking (something my friends and I like to do on occasion). I have never been good at controlling my portions or meal planning (or sticking to any diet, for that matter), so I already knew this was going to be difficult. My friend also said not to do this by myself. She said it can be done alone (and there are articles online about doing it solo), but it helps tremendously to have support. So I texted two of my friends and just kind of threw it out there, not really expecting them to salute it. However, both of them said they had already been thinking about it! Ha! That’s awesome! We talked some more about it, and I think I have them convinced to do it. We shall see! 

One of the girls suggested I blog about it, and I thought that was a brilliant idea and a good way to combat doing it alone if they decide not to do it with me. So here I am. And here it goes!

Once I'd made the decision to do it, I wanted to start as soon as possible so that I could be done by Thanksgiving. Not that that will really matter since everyone in my family is low-sodium now, but it never hurts to be prepared. Maybe they will surprise me with some good food this year. ; )

Anyway, my plan was to grocery shop Tuesday afternoon after a workout I had planned and start cooking Wednesday. But Tuesday afternoon rolled around, and I was feeling pretty terrible. So much so that I had to cancel the workout and take a nap after work. This was actually all the push I needed to get this started ASAP.

So after my nap, I booked it to Harris Teeter and Whole Foods. It wasn’t a cheap venture, but if I’m being real, I did say I’d buy myself something nice with my first paycheck from my amazing new job, so this kind of counts, right??

When I got home, I started with two recipes I had found on the Whole30 Instagram page. One of them was a chicken salad with homemade mayo. The homemade mayo recipe looked difficult and required the egg and lemon juice to sit in the blender for 20 minutes to an hour, so I threw that in there and got to work on chopping the veggies and fruit and roasting the chicken for the rest of the chicken salad. About an hour later, I got back around to the blender and tried to follow the recipe. It required making an emulsion and blending for long periods of time while slowly drizzling olive oil into the rest. Well, I forgot how loud my blender is, and by the time I got around to finishing this, it was 10:30 at night. Needless to say, I’m sure my roommate hates me today, but I tried to finish it as quickly (but slowly for the sake of the emulsion) as possible. It seemed to come out alright, so I put it in a container in the fridge and finished up frying my Blackberry Sage breakfast sausages for the morning. Those turned out pretty good!

By the time I finished shopping, cooking and cleaning, it was around 11:30pm. Way past my bedtime, and I was feeling really guilty for not spending any time with Grayson, but I figured it could wait until tomorrow. I got in bed and started winding down/playing on my phone when I heard him meowing from the bathroom. It wasn’t loud or obnoxious, just a little pitiful-sounding, and that made me feel even more guilty.

So I got up and took him some of the new food I got him at HT earlier that day (wet food and a dry kitten mix). He loved it and me. At least for a little while (we still have to work on actually chewing the dry food though). Although he still rears back and hisses when I try to pet him until he figures out what I am doing, he immediately started purring this time, so I think I interpreted his pitiful meow correctly. Poor kitty. I told him if he would stop hissing at me when I don’t have food, that he could come out and explore my room and sleep in the bed with me. But I don’t think he understood me. I spent about 30 minutes with Gray, so by the time I actually got in bed and to sleep, it was well past midnight.

I was going to need coffee tomorrow.

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