Basically this is my apology in case you’ve noticed I’ve been a bit behind in the world of WordPress. Life has been so hectic it’s kept me from reading and writing as much as I would have liked these past four weeks.
One of the reasons for the madness is because a month ago I decided to embark on the “Whole 30.” If you’re unfamiliar with the program it’s essentially a thirty day eating plan/elimination diet that helps participants rethink their food choices, overcome cravings, heal their digestive track and eat 100% clean for thirty days. (I don’t want to bore you too much with specifics so if you want to read more about the Whole 30, click here.)
Basically from Oct. 23 through Saturday, Nov. 22, I abstained from all sugars (natural or otherwise), grains (even whole grains), legumes (except green beans and peas), alcohol and dairy. That sounds like an overwhelming list of “can’t have’s” but I did eat plenty of meat, seafood, eggs and vegetables with a limited amount of fruits, nuts and seeds added in for good measure.
For someone who eats lots of grains and is known to indulge in a few pints of delicious beer, I was very worried I wasn’t going to complete the challenge. In fact, I vowed not to mention my mission on this blog until it was over — just in case I threw in the towel. Not very confident sounding, I know, but hey, I’m realistic. I work in the food industry, my husband cooks everything with cream, butter and cheese, and the holiday stress level at work usually has me and my co-workers doing mid-morning shots by now.
But I made it and it feels really good to say that. I do eat fairly well in general so my cravings weren’t too bad and I didn’t suffer a lot of the detox pains that many people do the first week. What made it difficult for me was the struggle of time. On this program you have to make every meal — there is no convenience eating on days when you’re feeling overwhelmed. No English muffins for breakfast or ramen for dinner. Instead I would make huge batches of soft-boiled eggs, curries and roasted vegetables just so I wouldn’t be caught hungry and off-guard.
I could talk on and on about the results from the program and how I feel about it (and maybe I will in another post) but this was just to let you know what’s been monopolizing my time lately. I love to cook and I relish time in the kitchen, but I am really happy to be able to heat up a frozen burrito after a late night at work!
But don’t think I ate in misery for thirty days. Check out all the good things I scarfed down:
Another thing that happened over the past few weeks is I finally painted my kitchen. After endlessly searching for the right shade of yellow (remember this post?), my husband and I finally found it! I really should post a picture of fireworks here to illustrate how excited I am that we finally found a color we could agree on. On a side note: please remind me to never again paint a room in my house while I’m on a sobriety kick — worst idea ever. All that hard work and not even a beer to celebrate…Sigh.
On top of all that, I had family in town. Ten days ago my dad and stepmom flew in from Anchorage for a week-long visit. Who would have thought the day they arrived in Portland would be the day we would have severe weather warnings, school closures and freezing rain? It was actually warmer back in Alaska than it was in Oregon!
But we still managed to have a lot of fun — I took them to the International Rose Test Garden and to Multnomah Falls, two places I have never been in the winter. Let’s just say getting back into the car after each adventure was a relief!
We also manged to sneak in a few great meals, which were delicious even with my food constraints. One night we went to 23 Hoyt, the restaurant where my husband works, and he made us all kinds of tasty treats.
So what’s happening next in my life? I’d love to say that the madness is behind me but unfortunately the holidays are a special kind of hell at my job — chefs can be a bit like high-maintenance divas this time of year — but I’m ready for it!
Well, I will be after I drink this beer…