One of the questions people invariably ask when I start to tell them about the Whole30 is - "So...what do you eat?" (Usually accompanied by a somewhat horrified expression, as if the thought of life without cheese is just not worth living.)
So I decided to take a photo of our groceries for the week. (This is from a couple weeks ago.) We already meal planned anyway, so it was only a little extra effort to meal plan for a Whole30 diet. I plan our meals on Friday for the following week, make a list, go grocery shopping Friday night and to the farmer's market on Saturday morning. (I know, grocery shopping on a Friday night, how exciting. But the alternative, which I did for a while, was grocery shopping on Saturday afternoons and that was torture.)
For those of you that don't know, when you're eating what they call "Whole30 compliant" you basically just eat vegetables, some fruit, meat, eggs and nuts. Y'know...real food. Nothing crazy or groundbreaking here. No grains, which I surprisingly didn't miss. No dairy, which, again, I didn't miss as much as I thought I would...not after the first week or so anyway. No legumes, including soy. No added sugar, which was perhaps the toughest part for me.
But I did it! My last official Whole30 day was Monday and I'm feeling pretty great. I have had some dairy since then, but it's no big deal. I have yet to reintroduce most grains - I've had a serving of rice, but no wheat or oats or anything. I did make a beef & broccoli recipe for dinner on Tuesday night that had both soy and added sugar and it tasted so sweet to me. Eating like this for a month definitely changed my tastes - for the better!
I lost 8 pounds, numerous inches and I'm sleeping better than usual, even with a sick baby and a sinus infection. I have more energy and was motivated to take up running! (If you know me at all, you'll know that this is CRAZYTALK.) All in all, though I don't plan to eat this way all the time from here on out, it was a very good experience. It really helped me stop and reevaluate my relationship with food, particularly sugar.
I did not start out with any major problems, unless you count my sweet tooth, so I can't say that it helped any chronic pain issues or anything like that, which is what some people hope for. I do not (yet?) think that I have any real sensitivities to any particular food group, like dairy or gluten, but I suppose I'll find out as a reintroduce more types of food back into my regular diet!
If you're interested, here's what's pictured above:
3 dozen eggs
half a dozen zucchinis
box of baby spinach
can of pineapple (fresh ones weren't on sale that week and E desperately wanted pineapple!)
6 baby oatmeals for H for breakfasts (the kids were not following this diet, for the most part)
yellow cherry tomatoes
cumin (we ran out! *gasp*)
half a dozen or so kiwis
half a dozen or so apples
1 can tomato sauce
1 bag frozen broccoli
1 bag baby carrots
1 bag regular carrots
2 bags "sweet butter" salad mix (I'm not a fan of bitter greens, but I love butter lettuce!)
1 head cauliflower
1 head golden cauliflower
2 boxes strawberries
1 box blueberries (a splurge!)
half a dozen or so sweet potatoes
1 bunch bananas
yogurt (for E)
garlic cubes (these things are the best)
2 cans fire roasted diced tomatoes
2 cans tuna
1 bunch leeks
not shown: whatever meat we ate that week (I didn't want it to sit out)
(also there's something back there in a produce bag that I can't identify...eh)
I hope to share a few of the delicious recipes we ate over the month!
Because I am crazy, I decided to make E a dress for her birthday. Why is that crazy? Because of when I decided to make E a dress for her birthday...exactly one month before her party. Out of hand dyed fingering weight yarn. Yep. That's me.
Well, despite the short (for me) time frame, I did get it finished! I wove in the ends and sewed on the buttons mere hours before her birthday party, all while holding a newly-sick-with-his-first-ear-infection baby. Poor thing.
The dress is perfect. I mean, just perfect. The colors are perfect (since I dyed the yarn myself), the fit is perfect, the buttons are perfect...it is quite possibly the most perfect thing I've ever knit. Just look at the fit on her wee little shoulders!
The pattern is Nova and I was given a head's up that the pattern runs small and thank goodness for that - I knit E the size SIX and it fits her tall, slender 3 year old frame just perfectly.
Hold me. No, wait, go get me a bagel and some cream cheese.
I don't need that! In all honesty, it's been both harder and easier so far than I'd thought it would be. I really don't miss a lot of the stuff I thought I'd miss. So far. At least, not as long as it's not sitting right in front of me, taunting me. I started phasing out grains and dairy last week but yesterday was the first "real" day for us doing the Whole30. (Yes, M is doing it too!)
We've been having some delicious meals - sweet potato kale chicken patties up there - and generally feeling better. I almost fell into a carton of cottage cheese yesterday while making cauliflower pizza bites for E. Oh goodness, it looked so yummy... And this morning when I got into work, someone had just used the toaster oven to make, well, I don't know what but something toasty and bready and yummy-smelling.
E is a skinny toddler. I mean, not freakishly so, but she's a slender, tall, string bean of a child. Her pants fall down. Sometimes even off. (One day, at daycare, apparently her pants fell down around her ankles while she played and she didn't even notice.)
So what's a mama to do? I purposely seek out slender brands and styles of pants. Some of her pants have adjustable waistbands. Then there are the pants that have decorative drawstrings. How cruel is that? Here I am thinking I'll be able to hike up her pants and tie that drawstring to keep them there but no. (And then a mama friend mentioned it was because of strangulation hazards. Oops.)
So one day I saw some toddler belts on one of those baby deal-a-day websites and had the presence of mind to realize that duh I could make one, before I clicked that "buy" button.
And that's what I did! My only complaint is that the ribbon isn't double sided and I didn't sew on any backing so if it falls in a certain way you only see the back of it in all its thready glory. Still! For the cost of under a yard of cute fishy ribbon and a package of four little belt loops (I can make another!) I have a cute, custom made belt for my girl!
I bought, I believe, 2/3 (maybe 3/4?) of a yard of 1 inch wide ribbon and a package of 1 inch wide belt loop thingies.
Then I hemmed one end, wrapped the other around two of the metal loops and sewed it shut.
Voila! Toddler belt! It took all of about 5 minutes and was so easy and spur of the moment I'm not even counting it as a finished sewing project for my 8 in 2013, though technically I suppose it is a finished sewing project...
And of course now that she's got a belt to wear, she seems to have grown and doesn't need it as much... Ah, well. It will fit for a while! Those 4T pants are coming right up and I'm sure they'll fall down too without some added assistance.