Day 37: Gluten Grains

Gluten. So tasty, so sneaky.

I started my gluten reintroduction day with my first workout since I went on vacation. Granted, I biked all over DC for 2 days and ran after my niece a bit… but I didn’t really “workout.” Truthfully, I enjoyed the break. I was feeling overworked-out and it was good to be back this morning.

After my workout I ate a slice of seeduction bread with almond butter along with a cafeteria veggie omelette. I didn’t notice any reaction other than fullness.  Like, I was seriously, seriously full. Notably full.

For lunch, I ate leftover chili / sweet potato and another piece of seeduction.  Again: really really full.  Bread is filling!  But not just full, that post-lunch, want-to-take-a-nap-now kind of full.  I hadn’t experienced that in over 30 days.  Usually my new normal “full” doesn’t involve feeling tired and lethargic.  Then, a few hours later… I wasn’t hungry again but craved more bread.  Shocker.

After dinner (pretzel roll!) I went to a meeting and when I returned home I mindlessly snacked on dried apples. I wasn’t hungry but I couldn’t resist.

Overall, I didn’t experience anything quite like I did with dairy.  I felt a little bloat-y and I was tired after eating my gluten.  But I didn’t seem to have a bad reaction that implies I am sensitive to gluten in an allergy kind of way. We shall see how the next few days go…

How I felt: full and really really tired after meals. a little bloat-y

What I ate:

Breakfast: omelette with veggies, bread with almond butter, black iced coffee

Lunch: chili with sweet potato, bread with almond butter

Snacks: dried apples

Dinner: Turkey burger on pretzel roll bun with salad

More Snacks: almond butter with dried apples

Omelette with Almond-buttered seeduction bread

Omelette with Almond-buttered seeduction bread

Turkey burger on a pretzel bun with side salad

Turkey burger on a pretzel bun with side salad

Day 36: Home Again Jiggity Jig

I had a great week visiting friends and family out east, but I’m glad to be back home.  I spent the morning / afternoon traveling back home to Minneapolis, then went to Costco and Whole Foods to restock my fridge. I have never seen my refrigerator so empty as  I had upon returning home. I cleared out all the non-Whole 30 stuff before starting the program, and it was bare without fresh produce and meat after a week away.

The best purchase at Whole Foods? A loaf of seeduction bread to eat on Day 37 when I reintroduce gluten-grains. It is my favorite bread and it will be worth it. I hope.

How I felt: Good, back to “new normal” after the Dairy adventure

What I ate:

Breakfast: egg scramble with tomato, coffee with coconut milk. I also had an iced coffee with almond milk at Dunkin’ Donuts at the airport and regretted it halfway through. They use Blue Diamond brand and whatever additives were in there didn’t agree with me.

Lunch: not much while traveling: an apple, hazelnuts, turkish figs, a beef stick.

Dinner: roasted brussels, chili atop sweet potato, apple chips with almond butter.

As far as I got with the DD coffee with almond milk

As far as I got with the DD coffee with almond milk

Roasted Brussels

Roasted Brussels

Chili atop sweet potato

Chili atop sweet potato in the least appetizing photo ever taken

Day 35: SWYPO Smoothie

Today didn’t seem like a good day to reintroduce another food, but I did *sort* of go off-plan today: I had a SWYPO food.  A Whole 30 program rule is not to eat food that is paleo-ified junk food.  They call this stuff “sex with your pants on” food.  Some good examples would be: paleo pancakes, paleo cookies, paleo cake.

Ok, fine. I get it. But… 1) technically I’m not in my first 30 days anymore, 2) I’m on vacation, darnit, 3) the ingredients were all in Whole 30 compliance individually and 4) I have been traveling for a week and losing my energy and stamina with finding appropriate foods and well balanced meals.  I didn’t really have any protein options other than almond butter at the vegan restaurant where we ate. So I had a smoothie. And it was delicious.

How I felt: Good, totally back to “new normal” and rested!

What I ate:

Breakfast: egg scramble with veggies (spinach, tomato, peppers, avocado). Coconut milk in my coffee

Lunch: Prana Smoothie from The Juicery: strawberries, bananas, raw almond butter and dates.  A big green salad with avocado

Snacks: Hazelnuts, banana

Dinner: Moroccan chicken with sweet potatoes, apple with almond butter

Prana Smoothie (SWYPO!)

Prana Smoothie (SWYPO!)

Salad with Avocado

Salad with Avocado

It doesn't look appetizing but… Moroccan Chicken with Sweet Potato

It doesn’t look appetizing but… Moroccan Chicken with Sweet Potato

Day 34: Out and About

Today my sis, bro-in-law, nice, and I headed back down to Wellesley for “family day” at the Davis Museum on campus. We met up with two college friends of mine (+1 daughter my niece’s age), and experienced family day in the rain. It was good to see them all and be back on campus for the second time on my trip.

We met my brother-in-law’s sister and her boyfriend for dinner at an Indian restaurant in Coolidge Corner. I asked the server to prepare my meal without dairy/cream- but ghee was ok to use.  My meal was fine, but I suspect there was something else in there (MSG? other additives?).  Also, Indian food is not nearly the same without being able to eat naan and rice. The baskets of naan passed under my nose looked soooo good…

How I felt: Good, back to the pre-dairy “new normal” usual feeling. I felt kind of gross after dinner, see above

What I ate:

Breakfast: egg scramble with veggies, coffee with coconut milk

Lunch: Whole Food Salad bar Salad with 2 hardboiled eggs

Snacks: apple, dried mango

Dinner: Chicken saag (stewed spinach)

No food pics today, whoops!

Day 33: Back to Whole 30

Today I ate in a school dining hall…. twice!  This week I have been visiting my twin sister who works/lives at a boarding school in New Hampshire.  They have access to the dining halls and we ate lunch there before I watched her teach her class.  We also stopped by the dining hall for dinner after picking up my niece from pre-school.

How I felt: Even though I didn’t have dairy, I *felt* like I did in the morning (see Day 32 for details). I felt fine as the day went on, but more tired than usual. It could be that I didn’t sleep much the night before and completely unrelated to eating dairy.

What I ate:

Breakfast: eggs, coffee with coconut milk, mango

Lunch: Salad Bar salad with with chicken, eggs, lots of veggies, pepitas.

Snacks: Dried mango, apple with almond butter

Dinner: Salad bar salad again but also with a piece of fish and a little guacamole

Egg/Veggie Scramble + Mango

Egg/Veggie Scramble + Mango

Dining Hall Meal: Salad Bar and Fish with Guac and Mango Salsa (I didn't eat the salsa since there was probably sugar)

Dining Hall Meal: Salad Bar and Fish with Guac and Mango Salsa (I didn’t eat the salsa since there was probably sugar)

Day 32: Dairy

Today was my first food reintroduction: Dairy! I started the day with a medium Dunkin’ Donuts coffee with half-n-half.  I sprinkled some cheddar cheese on top of my morning eggs.  I shaved some parmesan on my lunch salad.  I had a ricotta antipasti at dinner with roasted beets that also had some shaved grana padano.  I managed to sneak in dairy in small quantities for each meal to test the waters.  More on how I felt in a minute…

Just a fraction of the Bakery Extravaganza

Just a fraction of the Bakery Extravaganza

My willpower was tested to the max today, more than any time during Whole 30. I walked around my alma mater with a college friend before dinner in the town of Wellesley- and we stumbled upon a magical bakery festival in a residence hall courtyard.  The on-campus bakery hosted its annual festival, and there were tables of the most delicious looking treats: maple-bacon whoopee pies, mint carrot cupcakes, pumpkin truffles, cinnamon twists, pumpkin bars, chocolatey something-or-others, hot apple cider.  The environment (beautiful picturesque New England fall colors, the familiar stone-and-brick architecture, emotional memories) made me want to savor some of those treats. I had to decline all of it. Can you hear the tiny violin playing? Waaaaah.

A close-up of those pies. Ughhhhh...

A close-up of those pies. Ughhhhh…

For dinner, we ate at Alta Strada, a perfect meal for Whole 30 meets dairy. When I timidly asked the server some questions about ingredients, he interrupted with “Where do you think this is? It’s Wellesley! People hand me business cards with their dietary preferences!”  I didn’t feel so bad taking up his time to find out what oil they used after hearing that.  We started with three antipasti: Broccoli Rabe with garlic and chilies, Roasted Golden Beets with Grana Padano, and Ricotta with Crostini (I didn’t eat the Crostini).  For dinner I ordered Farm Raised Scottish Salmon with Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, Carrots, and Asparagus.  I can’t even begin to describe how delicious it was.

How I felt: Sh*t’s about to literally get real now that I’ve started reintroducing foods. Fair warning. My stomach was upset about 30 minutes after my first sip of coffee with cream.  About 30 minutes later I had to spend some time in the bathroom.  A few hours later I felt ok.  The rest of the day I felt fine, but never quite up to my “new normal” snuff.  I think that the cheese sat better with me than the half n’ half?  In any event, I am understand what my future opportunity cost of pizza looks like…

What I ate:

Breakfast: 3 egg scramble with spinach and tomatoes, a bit of cheese sprinkled on top. Coffee with half n’ half.

Lunch: Salad with shaved parmesan, 2 chicken sausages

Dinner: Apps (roasted beets with cheese, broccoli rabe, ricotta).  Salmon with fingerling potatoes, carrots, asparagus.  Apple!

Egg scramble with cheese and DUNKIN DONUTS COFFEE!

Egg scramble with cheese and DUNKIN DONUTS COFFEE!

2 Chicken brats and salad w/cheese

2 Chicken brats and salad w/cheese

Antipasti: broccoli rabe, beets, ricotta (I didn't eat the crostini or bread)

Antipasti: broccoli rabe, beets, ricotta (I didn’t eat the crostini or bread)

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Salmon with carrots, fingerlings, asparagus

Salmon with carrots, fingerlings, asparagus

Day 31: No Reintroduction…Yet

I fully intended to reintroduce dairy today, starting with Dunkin’ Donuts coffee with half n’ half.  I just couldn’t do it! I started the morning by making delicious eggs for myself and my brother-in-law, and had some coconut milk* in my coffee at their house.  I flipped open my work laptop and ended up glued to office tasks until 1pm!  By the time I was able to sneak away for DD coffee, it felt too late and not worth it. I will table reintroducing dairy until tomorrow.

I took this opportunity of being on “vacation” to end my official Whole 30 right- not with hardboiled eggs from an airport kiosk. For dinner I made us my favorite Whole 30 meal, Avocado Salmon.  I’m glad I didn’t end my Whole 30 today.

* while technically Whole 30, this coconut milk was a little suspect. Rather than come from the can, it was one the “So Delicious” brand kind in a milk carton- with at least 3 additive ingredients I didn’t recognize.  There wasn’t any added sugar, but I wouldn’t have had this stuff in the last 30 days.

How I feel: Good: well rested, stable, “new normal.”

What I ate:

Breakfast: 3-egg scramble with peppers, spinach, and avocado

Lunch: Cucumber, Tomato with chicken sausage

Snacks: hazelnuts, dried mango

Dinner: Salmon with avocado, sweet potatoes, apple

Eggs with Bell Pepper, Spinach, and Avocado

Eggs with Bell Pepper, Spinach, and Avocado

Cucumber, Tomato, and Chicken Sausage

Cucumber, Tomato, and Chicken Sausage

Avocado Salmon and Sweet Potatoes

Avocado Salmon and Sweet Potatoes