The first time Nancy suggested we try the Whole30 I’m sure I looked at her like she had grown a 2nd head. But after my son and daughter-in-law went on it (the former a much more finicky eater than myself) I thought if he could do it, I could. After looking into it I started to reconsider.
My family history is rich in cardiovascular issues (courtesy of that East Texas diet no doubt) and so I have to take my high blood pressure and high lipid numbers seriously and am on meds. Every year after my physical the doc says I need to cut back on carbs and with the exception of pasta and tortillas I eat multigrain bread if available. So what was there to cut back on? When I looked into the Whole30 I thought maybe it was time to do the no carb extreme and then see what the doc has to say.
Two weeks into the Whole30:
– I’m not much for sweet things. I only sporadically eat desserts, I drink my coffee black, detest sweet tea, and only drink a soda when there’s nothing else to drink, so I can check that box.
– Speaking of sugar, I knew there was sugar in a lot of the prepared foods and seasonings on the market, but it was eye opening to see how short the list of the items in our pantry was without sugar.
– Whew! Tabasco and Cholula are Whole30 compliant. That would have been a non-starter.
– The only thing I’ve really missed is snacks, crackers, cheese, peanuts, etc. I’ve had a lifelong habit of grazing during the day. Not having these snacks is probably a good thing.
– The closest I’ve come to blowing the Whole30 has been while fixing a non-Whole30 dinner for the g-kids and almost mindlessly nibbling while preparing it.
– Don’t think too much about replicating the foods you ate before, like a cheeseburger or eggs benedict, but fix dishes that look good and are naturally Whole30 or don’t take much to adapt to get them Whole30.
– No adult beverages is a little sad, but not a problem. If it were a problem, then I’d have a problem.
– I decided to be a Whole30 zealot and go the 30 days or start over. If I fudge in one place I’ll be more likely to fudge in another. Then I can trust the results at the end of 30 days.
– The Whole30 mayo recipe is easy to make and tastes like, well… mayo. Most definitely use a light oil like avocado or light olive oil. Don’t use extra virgin oil unless you want your mayo to taste like olives. (trust me it’s not good eats)
– I’ve been making vinaigrettes for some time now and they’re easy to do. They are naturally whole30 compliant and taste better than store bought. That martini shaker you’re not using to make adult beverages is an excellent tool for making a good vinaigrette. (the cilantro lime vinaigrette he made is a winner)
– The Whole30 ketchup is easy to make, but in the words of our grandson (the ketchup aficionado)it tastes like tomato sauce that hasn’t become ketchup yet. NBD since I only use ketchup when eating fries at Whataburger (Texans will understand)
– You can use the mayo to make their ranch dressing which tastes… umm, like ranch dressing.
– …and with a dab of the Whole30 ketchup, the mayo provides the base for a remoulade.
– The only time I’ve been hungry has been when I’ve not eaten three regular meals as the Whole30 prescribes, especially breakfast. Do not skip or try to get by on a banana for breakfast.
– If you’re hungry you’re not eating enough food or on a regular schedule.
– It’s been a joint operation. Nancy and I have split cooking duties, one doing the entrée while the other does the sides; sometimes me doing this meal and her that meal. I do a lot of the prep because enjoy it (it’s using tools and working with my hands).
– I like salads and they’re great for that quick meal in 5 minutes when you don’t want to cook, but I can eat only so many salads in a week. Quick 5 minutes meals that are not a salad take some planning and advance batch cooking.
– Avocados sliced, diced, and in guac are becoming a player in all three meals.
– New vegetables are entering the repertoire. Oven roasted beets bear no resemblance to the canned beets boiled in vinegar I grew up with in East Texas. (fumes from cooking beets in vinegar should be banned by the Geneva Convention)
– The Whole30 book says I’m adult and I can chose to not eat something if I don’t want to. I do not and have never liked the taste of broccoli, a taste which cannot be masked or eaten around. I choose to continue not eating broccoli.
– Not having bread products makes breakfast a challenge. I like eggs in all forms and eat them maybe 4 or 5 mornings a week, but without having a bagel or biscuit to throw in the mix now and then you find yourself doing eggs every day. Still working on thinking outside the breakfast box.
– Making your own bulk sausage (think Jimmy Dean breakfast patties) is easy. If you use the Whole30 recipe, double the spices except for the salt and add a teaspoon of red pepper flakes*. Just make it into a log and wrap it in saran-wrap.
* Optional if you’re not a native of one the southwest border states
– Still on breakfast, Nancy found Applegate makes a bacon that does not include sugar and it tasted really good. Better than some bacons we’ve bought with sugar added.
– The best meal to date: Pecan crusted pork tenderloin with garlic potatoes, and green beans with toasted almonds
– The best salad: Taco salad sans a taco shell.
– Most surprising dish: The no fuss salmon cakes are amazingly good.
– The best dish adapted to Whole30: My chicken tortilla soup. I omitted the fried tortilla strips and added some fresh diced tomato to the diced avocado. I burned some brain cells doing that one.
– The dish we won’t be doing again: The spinach frittata. Too much spinach, not enough frittata.
If I can avoid places where bread is being baked I believe I’ll make the whole 30 days.