So here are some general thoughts in no particular order regarding the Whole 30 dietary challenge now that week one is complete.

-) I have been remiss in documenting the whole 30 challenge so far in that I didn’t mention that my wife Erin is taking the challenge with me. I did so deliberately at first, because if you read my blog you know my editorial mindset. I generally don’t tell other people’s stories because I don’t know if they want them shared or not. But Erin affords me a bit of leeway. So you’ll hear more about her as this particular story advances going forward.

Thank God, she is taking part in the challenge with me. I would not have lasted 3 days left to my own devices. No doubt in my mind. She’s done an overwhelming majority of the recipe and food source research and coordination. She’s done 95% of the shopping, Kroger, Compare Foods, blueberry picking, the Farmers’ Market, farm fresh eggs. Converting 10 lbs of local sourced ground pork into a variety of clean sausages. She’s been amazing. If not for her, I would have been eating spaghetti with butter and parmesan cheese by Thursday. Thank you, Erin for bringing us forward this far!

-) Getting through the weekend clean was harder than the work week. Too much down time that I always seem to want to fill with a snack. Just a little something, a bit of chips, a cheesestick, whatever. It took quite a bit of concentration and deliberation. “Am I truly hungry? When’s the last time I actually put food in my mouth?”

“OK. It’s been a few hours, so what’s it gonna be?”

Again, Erin has been a phenomenal help in this regard. The clean snacks, ie: the fruit bowl is 180 degrees away from the corner with all the processed snacky junk that we’re trying to avoid.

Why keep that stuff at all? Fair question. We’re not imposing the challenge on our daughter. She can still have a serving of Goldfish for a mid-day snack, if we feel she’s eaten a healthy enough diet prior to that. She gets a sweet at day’s end, if she’s behaved all day and cleaned her dinner plate. So there’s still some stuff in the house that’s a temptation. That’s life. It’s always going to be there.

-) Saturday night was really tough too. Erin turned in early. I stayed up late watching a movie. Resisting the urge to pour a whiskey or put together a snack while watching was a real challenge.

-) Monday and Wednesday nights while we’re out at the Durham Bulls Ball Park are going to be a real challenge. I always savor my one beer at the ball park each time we visit. Passing that up this week is gonna smart. There’s no sugar coating that.

I can eat clean before we go and avoid the food without too much distress. There’s no ball park food that I absolutely crave when we go. Sure, I usually have a hot dog, but I can take or leave that. Sipping a bottled water instead of a nice Hoppyum IPA, is gonna be a drag. It’s just a fact. But it’s temporary…I think. So I’m good with it.

-) The novelty of the whole drinking nothing but water has warn off at this stage. I’m starting to think that if I misstep during this challenge, a beverage is going to be my undoing. I’m not talking about alcohol either. Some meals just go better with a beverage other than ice water.

-) I’m finding my tolerance for clever paleo-fied recipes and substitutions is gone. The whole process of beginning to piss me off. Actually, it’s always kind of rubbed me the wrong way, but this week my bull-shit filters are definitely compromised.

What I mean by this is the whole renaming of clean meals with popular titles that aren’t paleo. For example, the first one that comes to mind is Pork Fried Cauliflower Rice. You pulverize cauliflower in your food processor until its roughly the consistency of rice and use that as a substitute.

Just call it Asian Pork and Cauliflower, please? Don’t try to play head games. It’s a wonderful meal in its own right. I enjoy it. There’s no need to try and pass the cauliflower off as rice. It’s not rice. It will never be rice. You’re not tricking anyone. The whole process just gets under my skin.

-) Along those lines, Friday night we ate the simplest meal of the week and it was, if not the tastiest, emotionally the most satisfying meal of the week. We grilled up a couple of local sourced thick cut pork chops and steamed up some green beans from our own garden. No substitutions. No clever “eat this instead of that” deals. Simple, wholesome, food that I could take at face value. Damn, those were some good eats.

I suppose all of this is part of the process and learning experience.

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