Week two of our Whole30 challenge is nearly complete and I am proud (and still a little surprised) to say that I have not had a single gram of sugar, or piece of pizza, or bowl (or bite) of cereal, or cheese, or a cracker, or a chocolate chip in twelve days. And I live to tell about it! I continue to surprise myself with how well my body has adjusted to this lifestyle change, and I am starting to recognize a number of the benefits the program promises. I wake up feeling more rested, I seem to have more energy during the day, three planned and prepared meals a day has now become habit, and I rarely get hungry in between them. While Beau has been mentioning pizza more frequently the last few days I've noticed, I haven't found myself craving anything yet. Well, except maybe a cold beer on the deck last Saturday night...
But then I discovered Kombucha and it was (almost) as good. :)
I've also found that this positive change in how we think and consume food has led to some other great changes around here. Beau has been a Whole30 champ, and we've been sharing the task of prepping a lot of meals in the kitchen together. I've gotten pretty used to having a delicious omelet prepared for me when I get out of the shower in the morning, and more time spent around the table as a family has only led to more connection and togetherness. I've been working out in the mornings, drinking more water, and we have both really enjoyed seeing some pretty great physical rewards on the scale and on our waistlines. :)
What else have I learned on this Whole30 journey thus far?
1. I love avocados. Seriously, they have been a key factor in getting me through to this point. They remind me of our trips to Mexico and go well with everything. On burgers, in salads, with eggs, or just plain. I made some guacamole last night and discovered they're also pretty darn delicious with baby carrots instead of chips.
2. I actually like my coffee black. I drank hot teas for the first week because I have never been a fan of black coffee. But alas, the things your taste buds will accept when they're not hooked on sugar. I look forward to my morning coffee now and feel like a real professor drinking it black.
3. Everyone needs a vegetti! The Petries discovered this delicious slow cooker tomato sauce and meatballs and I officially got over my intimidation with making veggie noodles. These zucchini noodles took less than five minutes to make and they were so yummy.
4. Egg salad (and chicken salad) do not, in fact, require mayonnaise. Beau worked late on the garden beds last weekend and we were out of the mood to grill our planned meal that night. While any other night we would have absolutely ordered a pizza, I instead rummaged through the fridge to see what I could work up. I made this egg salad with six hard boiled eggs, a couple stalks of chopped celery, and one and a half avocados, mashed up as the sauce. Topped it with salt, pepper, and a little paprika, and served it with lettuce boats and oven roasted asparagus.
5. Egg bakes are a Whole30 challenger's best friend for busy weekday mornings. We've been enjoying a new one this week with eight slices of chopped bacon, three cups of chopped kale, and ten eggs. We warm this up every morning (or at least the mornings Beau is not making us omelets. :)
And still loving my monkey salads with almond butter, a sliced banana, and other leftover fruit from the fridge.
6. My favorite lunch this week was this sweet carrot and raisin salad with a homemade mayo. I left out the honey and used this recipe for mayo. The pineapple and raisin gave the mayo a sweet flavor and I couldn't get enough. And it paired excellently with the fresh turkey Beau grilled and sliced up for deli meat this week.
I ate out for the first time this week, meeting a friend at Cafe Due for lunch. I had a delicious salad with grilled chicken and a cilantro avocado dressing. And last night at If Table, we had Whole30 chicken taco salads loaded with veggies, and Jamie and I sipped coconut La Croixs with lime slices instead of margaritas. This weekend, though, will be my ultimate test as we're headed up to Madison to see Mumford and Sons. I have given myself permission to cheat a little, but at this point, I think I might have a hard time doing so. I have packed several Larabars in my purse and have requested the Dane County Farmer's Market for Saturday morning!