Shoulders, Toes, and Knees, I’m 36 Degrees

Hello again! Still in the Whole30 trenches, Day 36… so close to the end, I can almost taste the freedom. It tastes like raw honey and Medjool dates. :)

Just kidding, of course – I’m free to have honey and dates tomorrow if I wish, but I stick with the Whole30 because I want to. I don’t think I’ve emphasised that enough in past posts – it’s very easy to whinge and complain and talk about why the Whole30 program stinks, but that’s not the whole story. Even though the process has been far from “hiccup free”, it has been an incredibly rich experience, and I have learned so much – I am very grateful to the Hartwigs, and to all of the authors and bloggers who have provided so much information and insight (usually out of the goodness of their hearts, too!). And, of course, I’m grateful to all of you, for sticking with me through it all.

There’s something very empowering about choosing to eat this way – or, indeed, in making conscious, considered and mindful choices in any direction regarding food. I just want to make sure it’s not coming off as though the Whole30 has become my leash, shackling me to something I dislike or dread – remember, I volunteered to do it, and to extend the duration, to gain maximum benefit for my body and mind. Yay for me! :P

(But it will be kinda awesome to have honey again. Just sayin’.)

So, when we left off last time, I was going to have an early night and a rest day today, giving my exhausted body a bit of r’n’r. I did get my early night and a super-awesome night’s sleep – my experiment with refusing fluids after dinner has really paid off sleep-wise, so I’ll be sticking to it from now on. The “rest day” bit? Well, I didn’t work out, but I did spend most of the day running around the city, stocking up on groceries and trying to find a backpack (so I can run home from work without trying to carry a hardback) and a new pair of trainers and all the other silly billy things that need to get done… plus, a minor family emergency, which caused me a little worry. So not very restful in that sense – indeed, this is the first chance I’ve had to sit down for more than 10 minutes!

Still, like I said, I did get a really good night’s sleep last night, so I approached it all from a very well-rested place. Started off the day with my standard black coffee (with a sprinkle of cinnamon, just for something different), and a delicious breakfast:

Meal 1, Day 36

The Dude I Live With requested bacon and eggs (a “healing” meal, after his bout of illness yesterday), so I fixed some for myself as well, but instead of toast I had a side of chicken and veggie broth, and… (drumroll please) a grapefruit. My first ever! Why a grapefruit? Well, I’ve been missing fruit a little lately, and the apples that I bought to give myself a “fix” are FODMAP-laden. Of the list of fruits that are OK on the FODMAP front, the grapefruit sparked my interest – I’d never had one before, but I’d heard that they’re great for your gut (well, they have a whole raft of health benefits actually), and my Mum loves them, so why not? The experiment definitely paid off – it was delicious! I’d heard that they were really sour and bitter and difficult to eat, but I didn’t find it all that different to an orange, really. Perhaps my taste-buds have just recalibrated a little bit, after such an extended period without super-sweet foods? Either way, grapefruit = nommy. This one was a “Ruby Red”, and I have a “Marsh” one to try next.

Lunch came pretty late in the day. We’d used the morning to pick up basically all of the groceries we should need for the next week (so I’m not worrying about trying to find a time to shop, or trying to create meals out of the scraps left in the fridge, while I’m immersing myself in my new job), and I wanted to use the afternoon to prep a few meals ahead of time. So, I decided to make hay while the sun was shining, and create some lunch for myself out of the cooking I was already doing anyway.

I’d come across a recipe for “homemade blueberry pork sausage” (see the “breakfast sausage” I made earlier in the Whole30). I didn’t follow the recipe exactly to the letter, but close enough: essentially, pork and chicken mince, combined with a bunch of seasonings (sage, paprika, nutmeg, thyme, etc.) and a handful of blueberries. I formed the mixture into patties, and fried them in a pan greased with a little coconut oil. I managed to burn a couple pretty impressively, but that just made them taste more barbecued, so all’s well that ends well. While they were cooking, I was shredding carrot for another recipe, and heating up some spaghetti squash too (I’m going to keep you in suspense for now though, and reveal what they were for tomorrow…), so they formed my sides. Here’s what I ended up with:

Meal 2, Day 36Some “sausage” patties, carrot sticks, and spaghetti squash with some melted ghee, chilli flakes and dried parsley. This was actually surprisingly delicious! The patties were even better than I expected (I’ll admit, I was a little skeptical, but they definitely “worked”!), and I’m just a weirdo who really loves carrot sticks. So, down the hatch this went, then back into the kitchen to make stock, make lunches for The Dude I Live With, hard boil eggs, etc.

I was particularly excited for dinner – I was going to have a go at (drumroll please) bacon-wrapped mini-meatloaves! Doesn’t that just sound awesome?!?! I was so excited. I’d been planning to make them as a treat for The Dude I Live With yesterday, but when his lurgy struck I decided to postpone it. Tonight was the night!

I would provide you with a link to the recipe… but I don’t really feel comfortable doing so. Because they came out a bit crap. Most likely the chef’s error, of course, but I feel wrong linking to a recipe (from a really nice Paleo blogger, who has inspired many a delicious dinner in our household) that I’m essentially just going to bitch about. They didn’t come out anything like I expected:

Meal 3, Day 36The bacon was all slimy and weird, and the grease all bubbled up in the muffin tray I made them in, coating the base of my oven in a layer of fat. They just plain didn’t taste that good. And my side salad was a little boring – spinach, tomato and a splash of avocado oil. Would have been better with real avo… hmph.

So, yes, not real impressed. Give me some super-crispy pan-fried bacon any day. It’s made me a little nervous about how tomorrow night’s dinner is going to turn out… but that’s enough hints! You’ll just have to wait and see! :)

Tomorrow is going to be a big day, and – to be very honest – I’m a little nervous! And not just about trying to navigate the public transport! :) I hope you all have your fingers (and toes!) crossed for me. For now, it’s another early night, and hopefully a great run in the morning, to start my big day off right. Wish me luck!

Have you ever had a delicious-looking recipe go really awry? What are your favourite “prepare ahead” meals for busy weeks?

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