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2012: week forty-one

October 7 – October 13

Today is Day 29 of my Whole30 challenge. For those of you living under rocks, who don’t click links, or who otherwise prefer me to explain things, Whole30 is an paleo-like elimination eating plan, meant to be followed for 30-60 days.

Things you can eat:

  • Meat of all sorts
  • Vegetables of all sorts, except for white potatoes
  • Olive oil, coconut oil and milk, and animal fats
  • Some nuts and fruit

Things you can’t eat:

  • Rice, pasta, corn, quinoa, wheat, bread
  • Dairy
  • Sugar and artificial sweeteners
  • Alcohol
  • Beans

I decided to try it out for a number of reasons. Although I try to eat healthy most of the time, working many jobs really wreaked havoc on my eating habits and choices. I was eating a lot of junk, sometimes out of choice, sometimes out of necessity, but more frequently, just plain stress eating, which I didn’t realize was a problem that I’d kicked until it came back. Anywho, I thought that a prescribed, short-term plan would be a good way to remind myself that food=fuel and get back to having good habits.

I decided to coerce The Boy into joining me because I enjoy receiving text messages  that read “Can I eat XXX” and then replying “No,” and then getting a reply that says “A:@#$fin I HATE YOU,” repeated multiple times daily. Just kidding. I asked him to join me because I knew if I didn’t, every day he would eat some bread or something and then ask, very sincerely, what exactly is so WRONG about bread, and I can probably just have a little bite, right?

Anyway, I would definitely recommend a Whole30 challenge to anyone who wants to feel more in control of his or her health and food choices. It’s not as hard as it looks, and although you think you can’t live without X, Y, or Z, just take a deep breath and remember that you have lived many months and will live many more and THIS IS ONLY ONE OF THEM. Slow your roll. It is a little more expensive than normal eating, because cheap calories are cheap and real food is pricy, so be warned and budget accordingly.

I wasn’t a perfect Whole30er – I relied a bit too heavily on nuts and fruits, didn’t eat enough veggies, and may have willfully ingested some corn starch while on the quest to find the elusive crispy sweet potato fry (this recipe is the best I’ve found so far!). I also didn’t see any life changing, world-altering results… probably for those reasons exactly. However, I have felt the same general benefits I’ve felt other times I’ve given up sugar – the steady energy levels, the ability to differentiate between physical and mental tiredness, the absence of food cravings (save for the occasional dessert-related fantasy). I had fewer headaches and no stomachaches.

I generally feel more well-rested and healthy, less worried about what I eat, and more in touch with what foods are nourishing.

Also, I learned to eat olives, embraced flavored seltzer water, and had a happy/sad moment when all of the 30 dollar pairs of pants on the sale rack at Banana Republic were too large.

I will probably do this again, maybe 2 or 3 times a year, to reset.

Aaaaaaand on Wednesday, I am going to a bar after work to eat nachos and drink a beer.



  • The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
  • The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
  • Books about tuberculosis, Charles Dickens, and Frederick Douglass


  • Just realized that both seasons of Shameless are on demand. Heck yes.
  • Tried to watch The Wire, but had a little trouble paying attention enough to follow what characters were what, and then my DVD player stopped reading the disc.
  • Tried to watch Midnight in Paris, but it was really late at night and it was silly and I wanted to go to bed.

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