It is so nice to have the first week of the Whole30 in the books. It wasn't pretty!
Feeling energetic and excited about a new challenge, my husband and I gave the kitchen cupboards and refrigerator an overhaul. Anything that isn't allowed for the next month was taken out of the cupboard and sorted into the trash pile if it was opened, or bags to be donated to the food bank if it was still new. We are hoping that this would make it easier not to cheat when the cravings hit. It felt great to finish with just the necessities in the cupboard. Armed with my meal planning calendar and my shopping list I headed to the grocery store, and refilled some of the empty places in the refrigerator.
We also told the kids our new healthy eating plan. They were dubious (still are) but have agreed to be participants on this adventure too.
Everyone felt pretty good on the first day. There was sadness over no dessert, and no bread, but the energy created by a new challenge took us through. Just toward the end of the day a little grumpiness started creeping in.
These days are a blur of headaches, grumpiness and general misery. We had strange aches and pains too. Mornings were begun with my children stumbling around the house, flopping on the couch, and complaining of symptoms that at times made me wonder if I had made a terrible mistake in changing their diet so quickly, and if I needed to take them to see their pediatrician. We increased their fruit servings from 2 to 3 each day, but otherwise they stuck to the plan.
One particular low point was walking though a giant whole foods in the neighborhood, with my son limping because of his leg cramping and wondering if my daughter would be able to make it through her gymnastics practice. Each aisle full of things we are choosing not to eat made my son tear up a little.
My husband had a particularly difficult time. He described himself as having an empty void between his collar bones and mid-thighs. There was at least one night during this period where he felt so badly that he just had to go to bed after dinner, and end that day.
I was grateful that I had read, and heard from others who have done the Whole30 that the first few days are the worst.
Disaster struck today when water was spilled on my laptop. It was a complete accident, but everyone who was involved felt awful. After the computer starting to make a sizzling noise, and a chat with AppleCare, I found my day rescheduled to include a trip downtown to visit the Apple Store. Adding stress to a day when we were not feeling well really increased the challenge.
I found a restaurant that we would be able to eat lunch at, and even called to check the ingredients to make sure we would be Whole30 compliant, and we set off on the subway. In retrospect, it was a mistake not to eat at home, or at least bring a snack with me for the kids. When we arrived at the restaurant, the line was out the door and down the street. It didn't seem like a great move to add my crowd to the already packed line so we moved on to our second choice for lunch only to find that that restaurant was under construction and no longer open. With one child crying because she was hungry, and another limping because of a leg cramp we settled at the closest sit-down restaurant and tried to make it work. I think I did pretty well, but I cut the kids some slack.
The Apple Store visit was just as difficult, after looking at my computer, I was told that there was water inside, this voids the warranty, and it would be over a thousand dollars to fix it. Ugh! (I'm grateful to say that with my husband's ingenuity, a space heater, and a little time, we were able to dry out my computer and it is once again working. It feels like a miracle was handed to me.)
Needing to do something fun, we stopped on the way home at the public library and visited the amazing children's section. On other days I probably would have taken the kids, and myself out for ice cream or some other treat, but I was forced to find another way to console ourselves. The large public library turned out to be a great treat. My kids each picked up a few books, and read the whole trip home.
This was one of the days that I knew would be a challenge. It was the evening that we had planned to get together with friends for our wine club. It had been on the schedule, and we didn't want to miss it, but going to wine club and not drinking sounded a little lame. I have really amazing friends who chose to bring food that we could eat as appetizers, so even if we weren't drinking, we could snack and enjoy being together. Both my husband and I weren't feeling great, and our thinking was a little slow, so I'm not sure we were the most delightful guests. I'm glad we went though. We brought pineapple wrapped in bacon for one of our appetizers. It was amazing!
I got a burst of energy and rearranged the girls bedrooms. I think I'm starting to feel better. Working on cleaning up my diet has made me want to pare down and clean up other areas of our life as well.
My ankle no longer aches, and my thinking seems quicker. My husband is still struggling but he determined to see it through. I've found that sometimes it is harder for me to see others struggling than just just feel badly myself. The kids are feeling better too. I've noticed that when they get hungry, they are really hungry and their road from pleasant to puddle is quite fast. I've also had to increase the amount of food that I prepare if I am hoping for leftovers to turn into lunch. The kids worked really hard as we moved furniture and got rid of things. At about lunch time, they ran out of fuel and were really hungry and sad. Once again I saw that there isn't a lot of cushion between when the kids are hungry and when they need to eat. If I try to push it at all they are tearful and spent.
Favorite Recipes from this week
We ate some things that were delicious and some that were just "Meh". Some of this could have been that we were just feeling yucky and we would have been unsatisfied. Some of the best things we ate were the simplest.
Bacon Wrapped Pineapple- from Nom Nom Paleo- The Bacon is a little bit of a cheat. I haven't been able to find bacon with no sugar at all.
Celery Dipped in Cashew Butter- This is the kids favorite. It is sweet enough to feel a little like dessert.
Slow-Cooker Kalua Pig- This was a great dinner. We used the pork and made lettuce wraps topped with shredded cabbage, lime juice, guacamole and mango salsa.
Weeknight Roast Chicken- We served this with roasted carrots. The kids couldn't get enough to eat. Next time I'm going to make two chickens and hope for some left-overs.
Slow-Cooker Sweet Potatoes- I've found that this is an easy breakfast the kids like. All I do is was the sweet potatoes, toss them still wet into the slow-cooker and put it on low for 7 hours. We wake up to warm sweet potatoes and top them with coconut oil, cinnamon and a little almond butter.