Whole 30 Day 4: Kill All The Things Or Cook Some Radishes

I decided to give Day 4 it’s own blog post. Day 4 is notorious on the Whole 30 Timeline as being the hangriest, most emotional day. Essentially, you are the Mr. Hyde to your Dr. Jekyll on Day 4. This time, I threw a pad of post-its across an empty room and then later used the words “Could you just shut up?!” in a meeting. Oops.

#KillAllTheThings
#KillAllTheThings

Let’s talk about why Day 4 is so terrible. Well, you haven’t had processed sugar, alcohol or any grains for three days….which means that you haven’t been feeding the infamously vicious, very demanding Sugar Demon.

First, let me just remind you that even your “whole” wheat fancy bagel is wreaking havoc on your system. That’s right. It is not just wine, Milk Duds and Junior Mints *wipes away drool* that are pumping sugar into your body. Eating two slices of whole wheat bread could spike your blood sugar levels more than if you’d eaten two tablespoons of pure sugar. And, I ain’t lying.

So, listen up Bagel Face, let’s just all agree we love sugar. Bread, candy, soda, wine…it’s all pure evil. Please allow me to break it down:

1. You stuff that sugar in your face. Don’t get the idea that because the sugar composition is the same in fruit and cake, they’re interchangeable. (Seriously, they’re not.) For one thing, fruit offers good stuff like vitamins, antioxidants and water, while candy, soda and desserts are nutritionally void. Fruit also tends to have less sugar by volume. And your bagel? Well, there is an argument that wheat is addictive. And what else is in that bagel anyway? Let’s move on.

2. It hits your digestive juices and your noggin’s reward system ignites, immediately unleashing dopamine.

2. Enzymes in the intestine make sucrose into fructose and glucose within seconds.

3. Glucose travels through your bloodstream to all of your funky fresh tissues, because every cell readily converts glucose into energy. In a nutshell, the human body requires glucose for normal functioning of the brain and other tissues. But you can get glucose through starchy vegetables, fruits (grapes, especially), yuca plant, potatoes and other better options. And, just like anything, you can have too much (and we do).

4. In contrast, liver cells are one of the few types of cells that can convert fructose to energy, which puts the onus of metabolizing fructose almost entirely on one lonely organ. Poor, poor liver. Over time, excess fructose can prompt globules of fat to grow throughout the liver, a process called lipogenesis, the precursor to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Too much fructose also lowers HDL and causes chronic systemic inflammation.

5. So, your body breaks down the sugar to be used as some sort of fuel for some process. Sugar (carbohydrates) boosts brain tryptophan levels, which makes us sleepy. This tryptophan boost increases brain serotonin levels over time, which makes us feel content and satiated (“food coma”). But then your body wants more…and more…and more…and it takes more to trigger this reaction, over time. More food, more sugar…and your ass gets larger and larger and your sweet tooth gets bigger and bigger.

We are all sugar addicts.

So, here you are at Day 4, or maybe 5. And, just like any good addict, you are craving sugar and simple carbs. Your cells are *literally* screaming for that sugar high. So, the first human face you see on Day 4 is just someone else who is keeping you from your sugar fix.

Enter: #KillAllTheThings

I am going to leave you with my suggestion on how to keep hangrily murdering your friends and family in an attempt to find the dark baking chocolate that you were sure was in this cupboard-now-god-damnit-where-is-it?!…because that hasn’t ever happened to me…

Now, some people will recommend eating a banana. Or an apple. Something with a naturally high level of fructose, balanced out with some fiber to slow down absorption. How about this alternative…

Eat a fucking vegetable. And, maybe some good fats.

Vegetables are high in “complex” carbohydrates, meaning that they break down into sugar in your body steadily over a period of time, instead of causing quick sugar spikes followed by intense sugar drops.

My favorite thing to keep on hand are root veggies. They are starchy, easily prepared and typically pretty inexpensive. Slather them with some coconut oil or ghee, some herbs, and throw those puppies in your 450 degree oven. Have a few pistachios while they are cooking. Let them cool (or risk the ouch-that’s-hot-excuse-me-while-I-dry-vomit-on-the-plate scene) and pat yourself on the back. Make extra (for leftovers) so that next time you aren’t salivating in front of your oven.

We all know how to cook a sweet potato, so try out Roasted Radishes. Bonus: You can eat their greens. MOAR FOOD

Roasted Radishes
Roasted Radishes For Your Bagel Face

ingredients:

2 bunches of radishes
2 tablespoons olive oil, coconut oil, or ghee
salt to taste
herbs and/or garlic (I like thyme and garlic myself)
lemon juice
method:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Trim the greens away and SAVE THEM. Trim away the very top and bottom of the radishes.
Put the trimmed radishes in a bowl or container with the fat and herbs. Mix it up, shake it, whatever.
Spread them out on the lined cooking sheet.
Roast in the preheated oven until tender but firm in the centers, tossing every 5 minutes, 15 to 20 minutes. Drizzle with lemon juice.
Let them cool because they are real fucking hot right out of the oven.

Note: you can wilt the greens over ghee. Just get the ghee hot, wilt the greens, squirt a bit of lemon juice, a dash of sea salt and bazinga! This takes like 3 minutes…so wait ’til the end of the roasting.

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Whole 30 Days Two and Three: Pinch My Fat OR How To/To Not Dine Out

Welcome to Days Two and Three. You are still riding those sugary carb stores and your body hasn’t noticed that you are about to throw it into the dietary equivalent of an icy Lake Michigan. Life is good. You might have a headache, but you have had those before. Don’t worry, it get’s much worse. Enjoy these simple times. Let’s talk dining out and dining in.

Sidebar: Allow me to launch into a totally inappropriate dialogue. I used to wonder why all these other bloggers called it “Dining Out”–I mean, who says that? “Oh Ted, I am feeling famished…shall we dine out this chilly eve?” Uh…hello..don’t we just say eating out? Wait. No, we don’t. I realized that as soon as I typed it into the title of this blog. We don’t type the words “Eating Out” in reference to eating at a restaurant because…well…ya know. Vagina.

Anyway.

Day Two: How To Dine Out

When you are at a restaurant, just be that person. Ask what oil they use, where they source their ingredients, and what-the-hell creamed greens are. I have eaten at Wendy’s successfully on a Whole 30–so trust me, it is possible to eat almost anywhere.

So, brunch was good. Next came my baseline fitness and body fat test. This meant a half-Cindy, which is As-Many-Rounds-As-Possible of 5 pullups, 5 pushups and 5 squats for 10 or 20 minutes. It also meant Body Fat Testing with skin calipers. I also did before photos. I will post all of this at the end of my Whole 30.

Day Two is otherwise always easy for me, so let’s skip to Day Three. Day Three was easy. Yoga, brunch again..but then came…Meal Prep (or How To Not Dine Out).

Day Three: How To *Not* Dine Out

Listen to me when I say this, Whole 30-ers: YOU MUST MEAL PREP. You must. You will be hangry all the time if you don’t. Your boyfriend, your kids, your pets…they will all suffer if you do not food prep. And, your success rate with the program will plummet if you don’t food prep. SO PREP THOSE MEALS.

Yes, it takes hours and hours. And, yes, your kitchen looks like this halfway through:

FoodSplosion
FoodSplosion!! WHAMMMOOOO!

But, I am telling you that it is worth it. Because, when you get home after your long day the last thing you want to do is cook, right? You just steam a bland, chewy chicken breast and some broccoli and grab a handful of almonds and wish that it was day 29 of the Whole 30.

When you meal prep, you can make big batches of interesting, nutritious food and you cut down on food waste. So, you end up with this:

IMG_20150104_205132 IMG_20150104_210423

Now, isn’t that more appealing than a floppy chicken breast? Yes. It. Is. I will link some recipes at the bottom.

If you have tried this before, you know that it is time consuming. And overwhelming. So, let me share my fabulous list of…

Five-Not-So-Tricky-Tricks of Meal Prepping

1. Buy containers. I like these Reditainer containers, available on Amazon.com. They come in a lot of sizes, are freezer safe, microwaveable and BPA free. And if I misplace one, it was only a dollar. You cannot use them in the oven–but you already cooked this stuff! You are reheating it!

2. Choose meals that have common ingredients. This is the most important thing I do. I look for recipes that have common vegetables, spices and cooking methods. This saves time in prep work and is way easier on your brain. Again, recipes I used will be linked at the bottom.

3. Make a list. I am pretty sure that if there was a television show that was only about making lists, I would watch it. My idea of a good porno would be Robert Downey, Jr making a list. That’s it. That is all I need. Maybe with a glass of bourbon. But, I can’t have that right now. So, just Iron Man…making a list. With a fancy pen.

First, take stock of what you have at home (duh). Then, your list should ideally be divided into sections of the grocery store, list quantity for each item and also be coded by meal to make the prep easier. This is what my lists look like:

BrownChickenBrownCowwwwww
BrownChickenBrownCowwwwww

4. Start Cooking! Take that list, pull everything out and divide it. Maybe even make another list that tells you what time to start cooking things and *be still my heart* even what ingredients get what prep. The list tells you how everything gets organized and saves your brain a lot of work when you start cooking and portioning out.

5. Storing It. Portion and let everything cool in the containers on the counter for a bit. If you are freezing them, let them cool in the fridge overnight before freezing. It will reheat more evenly.

Other things to keep on hand/prepped:

  • Fruit (but this is not an every-meal-sub-for-dessert thing)
  • Cashews, Pistachios (you will get sick of almonds and they aren’t even the best nut!)
  • Whole 30 compliant jerky
  • Frozen veggies (seriously, stock the fuck up) to toss into scrambled eggs, etc
  • Eggs (hard boiled….the right way…so you don’t peel away half the egg
  • Cans of coconut milk and tubs of coconut oil and ghee
  • Coconut Aminos
  • Herbal teas

Things that seem like a good idea to keep on hand, but are actually pretty awful:

  • Larabars and Kit’s Bars. Your body doesn’t know the difference between these fruit-sugary treats. Your headache and cravings will never go away if you eat these. And they have basically zero protein.
  • Fruit Juice. Empty. Calories. Ditto what I said above.

Well, those are my tips for today! I cannot promise the next post will be as cheerful. I am entering Day 4…which is the start of #KillAllTheThings. For those of you who want to try the recipes I used, here ya go. You will notice a lot of cauliflower, mixed veggies, a variety of protein and lots of color…Enjoy!

From Now On, I Am Only Giving Kittens As Gifts: Day One of My Whole 30

I had this dream last night that I gave everyone in the world a kitten. How bizarre is that? I am not even a cat person. I delivered them all, just like Santa Claus. Only, not in a sleigh. I was in a Mini Cooper. And my hair was really long and luxurious.

But, guys, everyone was really happy with the kitten gifts. Lots of smiles. And none of the kittens died waiting inside the elaborate kitten shaped boxes that they were hiding in. And you can get kittens on the cheap. So, I should probably consider kittens for future gift giving. Fuck what the Humane Society says.

Anyway.

Yesterday I completed my first day of January 2015’s Whole 30. So, let’s talk food. I am always rushing around in the morning, so my go-to-breakfast usually looks something like this:

Power Breakfast
Power Breakfast. Yep, I took this photo. And my table is dirty.

It’s pretty easy. Just sauté veggies in Coconut Oil (which is my favorite cooking and beauty staple…seriously, put that shit anywhere…attention, ladies…really ANYWHERE) and throw on some scrambled eggs. Half an apple and some black coffee later, you are out the door! I like to keep frozen veggies on hand for quick meals.

I am going to pause here and talk about scrambling eggs. A lot of you will put in a ton of cheese and milk and who-knows-what-else in your eggs and then mash them all around the pan. You, my little snickerdoodles, are really fucking up your scrambled eggs. They are eggy and flat and dull and maybe even burnt on the bottom.

Let me help you. For Whole 30, or really just to make a better tasting and simple dish, this is what you do:

  • Put your eggs and optional liquid (I like pure coconut milk) in a giant ass Pyrex measuring cup thingy. You know what I am talking about. Use roughly 1 Tablespoon of liquid per egg. Or don’t use any liquid. Ladies choice. Add a pinch of salt, maybe a dash of pepper.
  • Whisk it. Now, I mean WHISK IT. Get that deltoid muscle in on it. Clench your ass for extra calorie burning. Actually, do air squats too. Whisk it, whisk it good, until it is light and foamy.
  • Put some fat in the skillet. Use high heat until the fat is shimmery. If you are using butter or ghee, it will start to bubble a little.
  • Pour those frothy eggs into the center of the pan. DO NOT STIR IT. Wait a damn minute. Let the fat roll to the outside of the pan.
  • Now, the heat is still on high, so pay attention. Start to scramble the eggs with a spatula. Stir it slowly.
  • As soon as big chunks of delicious eggy curd start to appear, turn down the heat to low.
  • With the heat on low, start folding the eggs in on themselves with one hand. The other hand is gently shaking the pan. Your ass is clenched, you are squatting. You are folding and shaking the pan.
  • As soon as the liquid is gone, and the whites are still a little shiny, dump those beautifully formed eggs onto a warm plate. Let them rest for a minute….and voila!

You are welcome. No more scorched, nasty, flat eggs.

What else did I eat my first day? Good stuff. It was a success. I thought about what I was eating. Made it deliberate. More specifically? A giant salad, a piece of salmon and some roasted roots veggies and some pistachios. I would show you pictures, but I was so hungry that I just ate it all. Sorry. New to this blogging thing. Note to self: be more deliberate about food photos.

As a parting gift, however, I offer you this photo of my probiotic-rich, tasty GT’s Kombucha that I did remember to take. I will go on a probiotic/Kombucha rant another day.

A bottle of sunshine
A bottle of sunshine to light up the darkness of your mouth

Just Don’t Put It In Your Fucking Mouth (or) A Whole 30

Hey, what is more deserving of deliberate attention than what you shove in your face? Not much.

There is this program called The Whole 30 that promises to change your life in 30 days. I am not going to yammer on about the details because you can all read. But, let me summarize it for you:

Just Don’t Put It In Your Fucking Mouth!

Beans? Rice? Nope. Put down the spoon. Oatmeal? Sriracha? No way.

Sugar? Bread? Ha.

No alcohol, no legumes, no grains, no sugar, no dairy and no artificial junk. No fun!

I know, it sounds really hard. And, it is…but…you know why? Because we all just put things in our mouth without thinking. Like, last night…I put this AbsolutelyFuckingLutelyDelicious chocolate in my mouth:

Then She looked over at the chocolate, and She saw that it was good.
Then She looked over at the chocolate, and She saw that it was good. And evening passed and morning came, marking the start of the Whole 30.

Actually, let’s be real. I ate two of them. They were small!

Why did I do that? Well, partially because I started this Whole 30 today and I knew I couldn’t have it for a month. Partially because it tasted good and made me feel good (for about 10 minutes…and then I went into a coma). And partially because, well…I just did. I wanted to, I didn’t think about it…and I just put it in my mouth.

You can read about how sugar is more addictive than heroin and how much damage is does to your gut and to your brain…but, trust me…I should NOT have eaten that chocolate bar.

So, I am doing this thing for the 3rd time, this Whole 30 with these awesome people at this awesome place called Iron Wolf Crossfit (more about that later). THE THIRD TIME. Because, as healthy as I eat it is a daily battle to keep eating well. Especially when there are milk duds in the world. And popcorn. And wine.

So for January 2015, my focus is on the Whole 30 and nourishing my body. I am going to be deliberate with what I put in my mouth. I will be posting photos and recipes and what happens to my body (before and after photos)…and bodily functions (squeeeeee!!!)…so you can follow along.

(If you want to join me, there is this book and the Whole 30 site to help you)