Whole30: Going Stag

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So on my 30th day of my second Whole30, the Whole30 Facebook page asked if anyone who has accomplished the Whole30 solo without the aid of buddies, spouses, family, co-workers, etc doing it along with them would be interested in answering some questions. I jumped at the opportunity to hear from Melissa Hartwig and to pretend to know what I’m talking about.

She sent me an email with a pleasant note and several questions followed below for me to answer.

Dear Casey,

Thank you for helping us with this feature! Please answer as many or as few of the following questions as you like, in as much detail as you choose.

Best,

Melissa

Um, of course I’ll answer all the questions you want! And guess what? About a week and a half later, their Flying Solo:  Doing the Whole30 Without Family Support was featured on their website…and so was I!

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Just in case you can’t find me and my words of wisdom….

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I thought it was pretty cool! Anyway, there was lots of great advise on the write up, so check it whether you are Whole30 going stag or not.

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Iced Coffee Weather

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Today was a perfect day for an iced coffee. I never get to treat myself with Starbucks because it is too far into town and always out of the way. However, today I left work in the afternoon to attend a seminar and passed by one. The beautiful sunny day had me craving an iced coffee! Ever since starting the Whole30 I have been grounding and brewing coffee beans at home which has been a lot cheaper than spending 3 bucks on iced coffee, but it was worth it! I appreciate the taste of coffee so much more now and have always preferred Starbucks-even over some local shops which saddens me but customer service and consistency will always trump local quaintness. I ordered a decaf iced Americana. I didn’t want to screw up my energy levels by drinking caffeine in the afternoon. However, I like to think that by even drinking decaf coffee my body doesn’t know the difference and carries out a placebo effect. Ha!

I ended my beautiful day with a quick 2 mile run around the neighborhood. I was frazzled all day and didn’t even get to work out at lunchtime. I got home late while driving through town getting stuck in traffic; plus I had to stop at the grocery store. I got home, put the groceries away, let Lady out, put some running digs on and hit the pavement. I haven’t ran in a while! It’s been over a week and I barely did anything while I was sick the past 6 days. I have a 5K to run this Saturday so I was a little nervous about how running today would feel. I didn’t want to push it but was hoping it wouldn’t be miserable. It could have been better, but I did feel really good. Plus, it was a run I actually really enjoyed running. That is always a good feeling!

Hopefully this weekend will include more iced coffee and beautiful running weather.

Sick Days

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I’d like to think I am up at 4 AM writing this because I’m making up for the constant sleeping-in and napping I experienced in the past 2 days while I had to take off work and get over my bug. I started feeling sick Wednesday morning. My throat was a bit sore, but nothing too crazy. By the afternoon, I was seeking Tylenol from co-workers for a blasting headache that didn’t go away until Thursday night. Thursday was the worst of it: fever, chills, body aches, sore throat, nausea, and headache. By the end of Thursday, sometime waking up after my third nap I was feeling much better. I was also getting optimistic that I could return to work Friday morning to help take some work off of my plate for Monday. Ha!

I woke up on Friday morning feeling worse than I did Thursday night, but still better than I felt on Thursday morning. At least it was some improvement. We had a pretty bad wind storm Thursday night, so unfortunately I didn’t have any cable TV or internet to help soothe the pain of my sick day. I was feeling better enough to drive across the road to the nearest Redbox and rent some DVDs: “The Great Gatsby”, “Don Jon”, and “Blue Jasmine”. I still have to watch “Blue Jasmine”, but luckily I’m up so early that I have plenty of time for that!

Yesterday, I noticed that my tonsils were swollen with white patches on them. Boo! That has only meant one thing to me several times in the past: tonsillitis. I’ve gotten tonsillitis at least 2 or 3 times since being in my 20’s; yet, not ever as a kid so I never got my tonsils taken out. All of my symptoms on Thursday were textbook tonsillitis, but I’ve always experienced the symptoms at a much higher level-plus, I was feeling better now. The first thing I did when I got up was to check in the mirror. They are not as swollen and as far as I could tell didn’t have any more white patches on them. Phew! I’ll take that as a good sign, even though my lymph nodes still feel a bit tender. My throat isn’t as sore and I can swallow now without wincing.

I wonder if my off-roading that occurred on Monday and Tuesday have had anything to do with my little sick spell. I’m sure it didn’t cause me to get sick, but it sure could have weakened my immune system and helped decrease my health, giving whatever bug the prime opportunity to infect me with its grossness. Anyhow, it’s not too far of a stretch. All I wanted were popsicles and ice cream the past two days, but I settled on frozen fruit and applesauce. I was never very hungry throughout the day, but at night when I was feeling better I’d get a pretty big appetite out of nowhere that I fed with copious amounts of almonds. I could have made worse choices!

Here’s to healthier days and hoping my husband doesn’t get infected!

Mardi Gras

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Fat Tuesday is an understatement….

Or at least that’s how I feel anyway! I had a great weekend but have missed my routine like crazy! I feel like I’ve gotten off on the wrong start to this week and it has been a challenge trying to get back into my groove. I really miss the structure that the Whole30 had given me and even though it has only been a week since I completed my 30 days, I am already pseudo-planning on going back again. And maybe even longer this time. I felt so amazing at the end of my 30 days and kept recalling how I felt like I was just beginning. Maybe 30 days isn’t enough for me. I’m coming from a past that has had my fair share of disordered eating, so I truly believe that a Whole60 would give me more time to tame my sugar dragon. Then again, maybe I am being dramatic. Anyway, it is something I am thinking more and more about it.

For the time being, it is Mardi Gras, and I have made a delicious compliant dinner to celebrate. Hubs loved this one! It was super easy too. I diced an onion and sauteed it in coconut oil. I then added some minced garlic to it. I emptied a bag of frozen chopped okra into the mixture and let it cook with a pound of Andouille sausage. I also added a bit of cayenne pepper to give it a Cajun kick! When the the sausage was browned, I added a pound of shrimp to it and let it cook until the shrimp colored. While everything was cooking, I pulsed a head of cauliflower in the blender and folded it onto a baking dish. Then I poured my Cajun concoction on top of my wannabe rice pilaf. I drizzled some melted ghee on top and put in the oven for a good 20 minutes.

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I was worried that my Hubs was going to see the slivers of Okra peaking out of the top and run. He does not like okra. Somehow, he didn’t notice and ate it up. He is having more tonight too. Score!

Date Night

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I’d be happier it was Friday if I knew I got to relax this weekend. After such a crazy week, I am happy it ended well but this weekend is going to be a whirlwind as well! Tomorrow morning I am waking up early to drive to the Piedmont for a UNC reunion with some of my very best friends from college. We usually do this every other month or so, but we haven’t met up since my wedding back in September, and I really wasn’t able to hang out with everyone then because I was doing other things (like getting married)! It will be so awesome to see everyone.

After Saturday’s festivities which will include a brewery tour and paintball (hopefully in that order too!), I’m going to drive back down to the coast (but about an hour north of home) to visit my parents. It is my mom’s birthday on Monday so I will spend Sunday with her. I’m hoping we can go to a yoga class early in the morning since she is on a yoga kick right now and then I can finally watch the season finale of Downton Abbey. She has it recorded and I have had absolutely no time this week to watch it. It will be better watching it with her anyway since she is the one who got me into it! Maybe we can even fit in a pedicure or a chic flick that day too. But I want to make sure I give myself plenty of time to get home Sunday and start prepping for the week ahead.

I’m a little nervous about how traveling will go without being as prepared as I was during Whole30. I thought about cooking some chicken salad or burger patties to take with me on the ride, but 1) I don’t feel like adding it on to what I’ve already got on the to-do list tonight: laundry, dishwasher, dinner, pack, blog! and 2) I want to start letting myself become more intuitive with balancing how to eat the way I want off plan. Besides, I will have some handy dandy on-the-go Paleo-approved goodies with me just in case. And once I make it to my parents house, I should be able to keep on course.

In spite of all the busyness this week has brought, it has been a great one! And honestly, I’d rather be busy than not. I finished my last day of Whole30 on Monday. Tuesday was business as usual, so I guess that means I completed a Whole31….actually, a Whole31.5 since I didn’t actually off-road until Wednesday night, right? 😉

Before we went out for dinner, Hubs and I split a beer from one of our favorite breweries, Rogue. Rogue actually inspired our Honeymoon plans to do brewery tours around the Pacific Northwest. We flew into Seattle, rented a car, drove across the Columbia River and spent the night in Astoria and then finished the drive to Portland where we flew home out of. It was perfect!

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Oh my god. It was so, so, so, so good! It was the most I’ve ever enjoyed drinking a beer….it was an experience! Thank you Whole30, for giving me the renewed sense of taste and the in depth appreciation of everything I now consume. Besides, look at that beautiful frothy head in that glass!

After we sampled our beer, we went out to dinner at a tapas bar. I thought it would be super easy to stay on track there, but the only thing that was kind of friendly was the $25 steak dinner with green beans and whipped potatoes. Plus, you could tell our waitress was new so she didn’t know the answers to any questions about the food and when I asked her if she could bring out the smoked salmon without the cream sauce cooked with it she looked like I pointed a gun to her head and said “Um, I don’t know-I’ll have to ask.” Never mind, I’ll get the steak. It was so delicious. I went ahead and ate the white potatoes too. I didn’t have any of Hubby’s pizza bites or crab dip because I honestly didn’t want any. This balancing thing may just work itself out!

After dinner, we headed downtown to the concert venue. It was such a great night! The Carolina Chocolate Drops played such an amazing live show. After we got home, I went straight to bed. Before I fell asleep, I wondered how I would feel the next morning after waking up. Would the dark ale I drank give me headaches from Hell? Would the whipped potatoes whip my stomach with knots and churns? Would my face break out into red patches that I’ve never experienced? No, no, and no. And better yet, I woke up feeling pretty damn great. I brewed my coffee and made myself one of my favorite breakfast meals  from the past 30 days: ground turkey, butternut squash, and onions sauteed in coconut oil with two fried eggs!

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It was a perfectly balanced post-Whole30 date night. And hopefully this upcoming girl/birthday weekend will be too!