Posts Tagged ‘Paleo’

Unrecipe of the Week: Beet Hummus

March 13, 2017

 

 

Rainbow carrots, beets and radishes, ready to roast. I bet those carrots would have made a delicious hummus too!

Once again, I am in the throes of Whole 30, a healthy elimination diet that is geared towards breaking up with the foods that may be inflammatory to you for a whole 30 days, in effort to better your health, and change your relationship with food. Similar to the Paleo diet, it encourages you to eat fresh, whole foods and eliminate grains, dairy, legumes, sugar, alcohol and anything processed. That pretty much leaves you with fruit, vegetables, meat, poultry, seafood and eggs, with a few nuts ( not peanuts!) thrown in for good measure. Unlike the Paleo diet, any form of sweetner, or foods that are compliant, but resembling other foods, are out of the question. Read: alternative grain pancakes, breads or pastas etc.

Most of the time, it’s not so bad, but as the days wear on, it can get a bit dull. Couple that with not being a meat eater and it gets really dull. I thumb through recipe books to find interesting vegetable dishes, and dismiss many of them for having a non-compliant ingredient. Beans, grains, a little crumbled cheese or a drizzle of honey disqualifies the dish from Whole30 compliance. I’m not dying for a pizza, or a cookie; just a new texture, or flavor profile to break up the monotony of it all.

Today, I made a roasted beet hummus accompanied by a pile of raw vegetables to dip in it. The creamy consistancy, the beautiful magenta color and the jolt of tahini hit all of my senses in new way. It’s a great snack, and pairs well with a simple piece of broiled salmon, or a bowl of cold shrimp. Tahini, made of sesame seeds, is also a source of plant based protein. Although hummus is traditionally made from garbanzo beans ( chick peas), it is much like making pesto, where the main ingredient is easily changeable with interesting results.

Beet hummus with carrots and celery

Beet Hummus:

Scrub and trim 3 or 4 beets and toss them with olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt.
Roast for about 1 hour at 375 degrees until they are easily pierced with a fork.

Once they are cool enough to handle, rub them gently to remove the skin. Place the beets in the bowl of the food processor with a clove or two of garlic, about 1/4 cup of tahini, and the juice of a lemon. Blend until smooth. Taste to correct flavors.
Beets vary in size, so you may need to add more tahini, lemon, salt or garlic depending on your taste.

Serve drizzled with a little olive oil and sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds as a garnish if desired.

Enjoy!

Check out our post on Cauliflower Hummus for another variation.

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Find Your Comfort Zone

April 7, 2016

 

4989100064_compYou know that commercial for Weight Watchers, where Oprah talks about how much she loves bread, and how glad she is that she can lose weight and still eat bread everyday? I hate that commercial.

I hate all the diets that let you eat sweets, and bread and pasta. I cringe at celebrities and models who say that they believe in moderation, not deprivation, or even worse the ones who say they don’t diet or exercise, and fill their Instagram feeds with In and Out burger photos and triple scoop icecream cones, all while having a flat, toned midriff.  Or Kim Kardashian’s nutritionist discussing her 1800 calories per day diet, which includes 4 oz. of cheese, and how it is very restrictive to help her lose the baby weight. (1800 calories for not very active 5’2″ woman is far from restrictive!)

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Why do I hate all this? Because for me, none of that works. And because some of them are out and out lying.

First of all, for those of you that I haven’t met, let me state that I don’t have a weight problem. I am on the small side of the equation, but an extra few pounds really shows up on me in all the wrong places. I work out 5-6 days a week, and I walk almost everywhere I go. I eat a healthy diet, but I go rogue every once in awhile and it gets a bit out of control. Because of my usually healthy lifestyle, losing a few unwanted pounds means I need to resort to drastic measures. Calories in and calories out does not work for me. If it did, I would weigh 27 pounds. Nor does “moderation’, eating sugar and carbs, or drinking alcohol.

I don’t think that I have any major food sensitivities but after eating a refined carb heavy diet, or increasing my sugar intake from 0 to daily for awhile, I start to bloat up. I get a gut, and it is a gut that is upset most of the time. It isn’t how I want to look, or feel.
After doing a couple of Whole 30s, I have discovered that I fare best on a fairly rigid program of eating only vegatables, fruit, chicken, fish, eggs and some nuts. When I know that a cookie, or french fries are strickly off limits, I simply don’t eat them. If I try to eat them in “moderation”, I tend to fall off the wagon and over indulge. And it is a wagon I am comfortable being on, most of the time.

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I think it is important to figure out what type of diet and exercise person you are, and figure out how to make that work for you. It may in fact be comprised of a little of everything, or it may be a strict regiman that is completely different from mine. For me, staying the course for at least 30 days, and then allowing pre-meditated treats, works. That means deciding to have a bowl of pasta and a glass of wine at a nice dinner out, but not wavering, just because its Tuesday and there’s cookies in the office.

Exercise follows the same idea. If you find what you like, you will actually do it. In my case, a very set regimen is key. I get up, I go to the gym. When I get too relaxed about it, I find I don’t go, or go so late that my window of opportunity has closed and I am not performing at my best. I know I need to shake it up, and try to diversify my workouts so that each day is different from the one before it. I build in rest days, where I can regroup and recover. Much like my diet, if have to I miss a day or two, I don’t get crazy, and go back to my routine as soon as I can, but I never simply don’t go because I don’t feel like it. This keeps me on track, feeling energetic and strong. If I adopt a “whatever” attitude, I know I will lose the momentum that I have spent years establishing.

I see a healthy lifestyle as important as anything else…I schedule in exercise and plan ahead so that I am not stuck in a situation where I have to eat something unhealthy and unenjoyable, simply because I don’t have a better option. If I am going to eat something that is off my regular diet, I want to enjoy it and move on without regret. I wouldn’t blow off a business meeting, so why should I skip out on the gym? You may find that going for a walk a few times a week is all you need. It really is a matter of to each his own.

Now that I finally know what type of plan works best for me, I can comfortably follow it without feeling too restricted or deprived. That is, as long as Oprah stops talking about all that bread!!

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Unrecipe of the Week: Almond Herb Crackers

April 4, 2016

 

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I try to stay true to my Whole 30| “Paleo-ish” diet on a day to day basis. That means no grains or gluten, dairy, legumes, sugar, sweeteners, or alcohol. For the most part, I am perfectly content with this, but once in awhile, I need a little something extra to get me through the day. Sure, there are all kinds of packaged Paleo treats, but if it is all about eating a clean diet of whole, natural foods, doesn’t buying Paleo cookies ‘n cream bars kind of defeat the purpose?

This recipe, adapted from Living Paleo is the perfect solution. They are all natural, Paleo compliant, easy to make and provide that bit of crunch I am looking for with a bowl of soup, or a plate of vegetables and eggs.

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Almond Herb Crackers:

Combine 2 cups of almond meal, 1/2 tablespoon of salt and 2 tablespoons of herbs. You can use fresh rosemary as the original recipe suggests, or any combination that suits you. I used dried herbs de Provence.

Add 1 egg white, 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon of coconut oil. Mix well.

Roll the dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper until it is about 1/8″ thick.

Place it on a baking sheet and remove the top layer of paper. Cut the dough into squares and bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes until golden brown. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and allow to cool before removing from the pan.
Enjoy with your favorite dip, or as is.

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Food Fatigue

March 25, 2016

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I’ll cut to the chase on this one… I am on day 40 of another Whole 30. Yes, that’s right. I am 10 days past the program deadline, and still compliant. Why, you may ask? Because I am food numb.

I don’t have a specific craving for anything, my energy level is fairly high, and my stomach isn’t filled with hot lava anymore. All good. Except that I am so bored, I don’t even want to bother eating anymore. During the last 10 days, I have loosened up a bit. I sprinkled a tiny amount of soy sauce on something. I ate a French Fry. I even used a dollop of non-compliant mayo on my tuna fish. Part of the reason to do a Whole 30 is to change your relationship with food. Mine has certainly changed. Food has become completely dull to me.

There are plenty of foods that I can enjoy on this diet; vegetables, fruit, fish, chicken, eggs and most nuts. Olive oil, coconut oil and ghee. Surely, I can put together something that stirs my senses, yet I keep going back to the same few dishes.

I need to find some balance in my eating life, to sustain the positive effects of an extreme Paleo diet, sans meat, and a regular American diet filled with processed carbs, sugar and even more meat. I get irked at all the recipes and food photos that pop up on my various feeds, because everything seems to have butter, cheese, sugar, or is fried. My own site is filled with non-compliant recipes and decadent baked goods available to order. Yet, I can’t eat any of that. And while clean eating and a healthy diet is great, a little flexibility and, frankly a little enjoyment isn’t a bad thing.

After my last Whole 30, I had a little fear that once I started to go rogue, I would fall back into bad habits. And I eventually did. I want this time to be different. I want to be able to indulge a little, and go right back to what I hope to be the new normal. I know it works for me, but is there a really good reason to leave out all grains, legumes and dairy? I need to explore what does and doesn’t suit MY body, and tailor my eating accordingly. While Whole 30 and ultimately Paleo focuses on a meat heavy diet, I can’t tolerate meat. But maybe I can tolerate the yogurt, rice or beans that I left behind. It is time to gently and slowly start exploring other healthy food groups and see how they make me feel. And a glass of wine after my event tonight might now be a bad idea either.

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Paleo Cough Drops and Other Musings

March 3, 2016

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It has been a flurry of break downs around here yet again. First, the puppy got sick and had to go to the vet, followed by my laptop breaking down and having to go in for repair. Just when I figured out how to deal with all this, I came down with a nasty cold | flu type thing. I had a flu shot this fall, as I have every year for as long as I can remember, but this cold seems worse than others. Headache, stuffy head and coughing convulsively is not fun. I don’t know what it is, but it ain’t pretty. To top it all off, I have been back on my Paleo diet for a couple of weeks, and I am  just starting to get into the groove of it again. I am determined not to let this sick thing derail me. I don’t have much of an appetite, or taste buds for that matter, so its not like I am craving anything that I can’t have, but sometimes something has to give. I know that cough drops are not paleo, but when gasping for air and drinking water doesn’t help, sometimes you need to embrace modern times and suck on the damn cough drop! I am pretty sure if cave people were offered a Hall’s mentholyptus, they would have tried it too. I am eating this way to be healthy and to feel great, so its not like one little cough drop is going to ruin my life, which at this moment is pretty unpleasant.

I am trying to keep up with work, but my clients don’t want me around, and  frankly, I don’t want to get out of bed.  I am trying to hold off until the last minute on filling baking orders, because even with a mask and gloves, I shouldn’t be around other people’s food until I am not contagious.

I have a charity cycling event on Sunday to benefit Cycle for Survival, and I am supposed to cook for a homeless shelter on Saturday, so I am hoping that I will be recovered by then! I certainly don’t want to have a seemingly kind gesture turn bad by spreading my germs to all the shelter guests!

If this post sounds like a cheap ploy for sympathy, you might be on to something. I hope to be back to normal soon, but until then, feel free to feel sorry for me.

In the meantime, if you would like to support our team as we raise funds for cancer research, now is the time. A generous foundation is matching all donations this week, and if we collectively raise $1 million, ( and we are really close!) they will add another $million to the deal. Every cent goes directly into life saving research and clinical trials at Memorial Sloane Kettering Hospital, which benefits cancer patients globally. If you would like to donate, please click the link above, and join the battle. My flu will go away, and I will be back to normal in a few days, but there are people whose lives depend on this important work.

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Unrecipe of the Week: Paleo Hummus

February 22, 2016

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Sometimes, when I want to eat something I know I shouldn’t, I ask myself which I want more: flat sculpted abs, or that treat. While the answer varies wildly, right now I am hedging towards the first choice. Flatter abs, more energy and less stomach aches to be precise. The only way I know how to achieve all that is to go back to the extreme version of Paleo that I was on successfully last summer.You can read about it starting here.  I won’t bore you with the details, but I will say it is a little harder in the winter. Harder to go out in the cold to buy all the foods I need to have on hand to make this work. Harder to be seduced by all the fresh produce lining the stalls in Union Square, when there are only a few vendors selling the basics. Due to the fact that I don’t like meat, it is much harder to get that warm, comforting feeling that we all want in the winter. Most of the time it isn’t really that difficult to eat this way if I am prepared. I can have all the vegetables, fruit, poultry and fish I want. But in eliminating legumes, grains, and dairy along with sugar and alchohol, sometimes it just gets dull. I mean, giving up all beans, dairy and grains for an almost vegatarian is a bit of a sacrifice. Just one of those categories would open up the menu choices dramatically.

I stumbled upon a recipe for Paleo hummas on Livin Paleo, and had to give it try. The chickpeas are replaced by, of all things, CAULIFLOWER! Is there anything that ball of white florets can’t do? It is truly the chameleon of the vegetable world. It can fake us out for mashed potatoes and rice, masquerade as a pizza crust, and stand in for a steak. This time, it acts as a base for a creamy, somehwhat spicy hummus.

Cauliflower Hummus: (adapted from Livin Paleo)

Clean one head of cauliflower and separate it into florets. Toss it lightly in olive oil, cumin, paprika and salt. Peel a couple of cloves of garlic and and toss them in. Roast in a 500 degree oven for about 30 minutes, or until soft.

Place the cooked cauliflower and garlic into the food processor and add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, 1/2 cup of tahini and the juice of 1/2 a lemon. Blend until smooth. At this point you can adjust the seasonings to taste, adding a little more lemon,garlic, tahini, salt or cumin to the mixture.

Transfer to a serving bowl, drizzle with olive oil and enjoy with cut vegetables.

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Unrecipe of the Week: Roasted Nuts

September 3, 2015

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Nuts are a great snack. They are plant based, all natural and high in protein and heart healthy fats. That is until a commercial company gets ahold of them.

When I began my Whole 30 quest a couple of months ago, I became a stickler for reading labels on anything that had them. While most of the food I eat doesn’t come in a package, nuts are a whole food that typically does. When companies roast nuts, they add oil to them. Planter’s, one of the largest commercial nut companies adds peanut and/or cottonseed oil to thier nuts, as well as salt. Since legumes (peanuts and peanut oil) are off limits, as is cottonseed oil on Whole 30 and Paleo, I decided to roast my own.

Everyone I share my freshly roasted nuts with loves them. Nuts are already high in healthy unsaturated fats and don’t require any extra oil when roasted. By roasting them “naked” the flavor of the nut is enhanced, and not over powered by the flavor of the aditives. They are so easy to make, that there really isn’t a good reason to buy those cans again.

How To Roast Nuts:

Heat the oven to 350 degrees*. Spread the nuts (I love cashews!) in an even layer on a baking sheet with sides. Roast in the oven for about 5 minutes, and shake the pan or stir the nuts to redistribute them. The nuts on the edges of the pan will brown much more quickly than those in the middle. Continue to roast the nuts until they are an even light brown color, and begin to release a delicous “nutty” smell. They will likely take about 10-12 minutes, but could take longer or shorter, so keep an eye on them. Beware; once they start to color, they brown very quickly! Remove from the oven and cool before enjoying.

Store in a glass jar after cooling.

*Smaller or more dense nuts may benefit from a slightly cooler oven temperature. If you are roasting pine nuts, for example, use a 300 or 325 degree oven, and watch them carefully.Time may vary due to the size and density of the nuts.

Do you like celebrity gossip? Where do you draw the line?

Photo: Glasshouse Images

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Healthy Reset: Week 3

July 20, 2015

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Week three began with a lot of stress. There are looming deadlines across both businesses, all culminating in three big meetings this week. It is hard to even think about the shopping and preparing that should be done to keep me on track. I have no specific cravings, but I do have a longing for something that tastes different. I am not sure what I might do differently, but I do know I am in a food rut. The joy of pure food, healthy eating and scrupulous preparation has reduced itself to an “eating for fuel” mindset. I am mulitasking (highly discouraged on Whole30) by typing this as I eat a bland chicken breast with tomatoes and a couple of olives for zip; all I could scrounge together before work this morning.

Wednesday night I met friends at a Japanese place for drinks,which basically translated to a glass of sparkling water with lemon. A quick pre-scan of the menu ( a slightly obsessive habit, but one which allows me to think about what I can eat in advance,) showed that there was absolutely nothing I could eat there. Soy sauce, even the gluten free kind, is off limits (legumes) and rice is out of the question. Even plain steamed edamame is a no-no. I guess it is a good thing that I couldn’t stick around for dinner anyways.

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On the way home, I called my husband and asked him to order in. He read me the menu of the local place we order from that has lots of greenmarket specials, as well as a very vegetarian friendly selection on their main menu. As he reads, I realize there is a deal breaker item in every dish. Asian=soy sauce, Greek, Caesar or Cobb salad= cheese. Crispy=breaded or battered. Many of the salads have farro or quinoa, which is also off limits. I finally had a grilled chicken breast with broccoli, green beans (the only acceptable legume) and slivered almonds. I am sure they were cooked in something I shouldn’t eat, but hey, YOLO! At least it was something different, and I didn’t have to cook it.

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At 11:30 p.m. I was simultaneously, working, blogging, baking and helping my daughter pack for a trip. A glass of wine would have been really, really nice at that point. The good news is that I have had a lot of energy, and I haven’t needed an antacid in awhile. When I get overwhelmed, I tend to throw caution to the wind and eat poorly, and then feel horrible post binge. This is forcing me to stay the course, even during a tough week. Things calm down next Thursday, and I finish Whole30 the following week.

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On Friday night, I wrapped up with the knowledge that it was going to be  a working weekend. The weather was beautiful, and it was a great night to go for a walk, grab some dinner and a glass of wine to unwind. Trying to find a place where I can eat was not the easiest task,  but not impossible. I just had to be “one of those people” who makes special requests. The wine, was, sadly not possible. And I really, really wanted that glass of wine. Oh well, two out of three ain’t bad!

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So far this week, I have made graham crackers and marshmallows for s’mores, chocolate marble cheesecake brownies, and fortune cookies for Indigo Jones Eats. I am developing recipes to go with Pinkberry’s new summer flavors, and I  experimented with graham cracker crust mini frozen yogurt cakes with a strawberry coulis, and freeform cookie cups, with blueberry frozen yogurt and a blueberry sauce. (Recipes coming soon to the blog!) I did not lick a spoon, or taste a crumb, let alone indulge in anything more than that early squirt of Sriracha.  I had to rely on expertise and instinct in my cooking, rather than being able to taste and perfect as I go along. I know this is a good thing, as those little tastes tend to add up, and trigger cravings that make me go “off the rails” a bit.

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Twenty one days down, nine to go! This coming week involves three all-day meetings where it may be difficult to eat a compliant lunch, and awkward to bring my own. I am armed with lots of vegetables and fruits to keep things easy. Stay tuned…this could be interesting!

Photo: Glasshouse Images

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Healthy Reset: Week Two

July 13, 2015

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This week has been pretty unremarkable. I am completely into the vibe of eating only whole foods, and don’t feel deprived or overly hungry at all.
I fully understand why they don’t want you to weigh yourself on this program. It distracts from the idea that this is a way of life and not a crash diet, and they don’t want you to obsess over a number on the scale. Of course I weighed myself anyways. I  was shocked at the almost five pound drop last week, (which is a huge amount for a relatively small person,) but on day nine, some of it seemed to be back. No big surprise, as daily fluctuations occur, but it can be a bit disconcerting.  Add this as just another reason to step away from the scale during Whole30.

The key to success has been preparation. I have been working from home lately, but this week I needed to head to the office. I roasted an assortment of vegetables, boiled some eggs and cleaned some salad greens so I could have healthy, compliant lunches, and a jumpstart on dinner when I get home. During the week, leftovers often added variety. In the past, I could broil a piece of fish and steam a little broccoli and call it night. If I wasn’t satisfied, I grazed. Now I focus on a delicious, healthy dinner, eaten mindfully at the table with my family, so I walk away satiated. It seems to be working. I sip a cup of mint tea after dinner, and it has become my post meal ritual to relax, and aid digestion before bed.

I am often making food for others that I am not eating. I can’t get the rest of the family to join my quest, so I am making pasta, bread and sweets to supplement my protein and plant heavy diet. I tend to entertain over the weekend, and run a small baking business on the side, so the temptation to eat broken cookies, taste icing or cake scraps is always there. I know this sets off a chain reaction, so “nope, not going there” is my mantra. It is easy to walk away from the crumbs, but not easy to stop once that door has been opened. Another lesson from Whole 30.

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The weekend is here. The sweets in the office and the pizza at home held no great appeal, but I wouldn’t mind a glass of wine about now. I am not a big drinker, but relaxing with a nice glass of wine at the end of a busy week is more of a spiritual indulgence than a dietectic one. It’s something I know I will want to add back into my diet at the end of the month, in moderation. Plus, a little wine does have its health benefits.

Freshly made pasta that I won't eat. One of the many things on that list!

Freshly made pasta that I won’t eat. One of the many things on that list!

Willpower! I just made s’mores, mini shortcakes (for strawberry shortcake), coconut icecream, and fresh pasta, none of which I will eat. Monday’s baking includes marbled cheesecake brownies, yum! Before you start to feel sorry for me, or tell me to just “eat the cookie,” let me tell you about the dinner I have planned tonight.

We are celebrating a friend’s birthday and I am making her favorite dishes. The guests will have a salad with roasted beets and heirloom carrots, chicken piccata on a bed of homemade fettuccini with butter and parmesan cheese. There will be roasted green beans, and grilled tomatoes. They will finish the meal with the above mentioned strawberry shortcakes with coconut icecream and fresh strawberries in Grand Marnier. ( The other stuff is for indigo jones eats customers.)

I will have the salad and vegetables, and my chicken will not be breaded. It will be simply prepared with fresh lemon and capers, rather than the buttery lemon- caper sauce the others will have. No pasta, and sparkling water instead of wine. For dessert, I will have fresh strawberries. That doesn’t really sound like a big sacrifice, does it? I certainly don’t think so. Once again, the event is at my home, and I am the one cooking, so it is easy to be compliant without inconveniencing anyone else, or making an unwanted fuss about my restrictions.

I have hit the half way point, and I can see eating this way indefinately, with a few splurges and a little wine along the way.

On to week three!

Top photo: Glasshouse Images

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Healthy Reset: How Its Going Week One

July 3, 2015

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The new eating plan got off to a rocky start on Monday morning, when I discovered that the only thing to make a smoothie out of was a few freezer burned strawberries and some pineapple chunks. Those mixed with water left me a bit cold, but it was better than a completely empty stomach as I headed to the gym. The lesson was quicky learned; be prepared.

In order to eat fresh, whole foods, one has to have them on hand. On the way back from the gym, I detoured through Chelsea Market and picked up lots of fresh produce and some fish to facilitate easy meal preparation. I am lucky to live in New York where I can walk out the door and have my pick of places to buy healthy food within a block or two. A word to the wise: if you have to drive to get groceries, stock up!

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The rest of the day went off without a hitch. While the program allows snacking if you are hungry, it is preferable to eat three healthy and filling meals instead. Some of the snacking cycle is in our heads. We get bored, or tired and think we need a snack. Sometimes we do, but often times we just need a glass of water or a cup of green tea and a diversion. Yesterday, I needed a snack.

Most Whole30 participants complain of headaches and low energy during the first week. This is a result of our bodies coming off of sugar, caffeine ( although coffee and tea are permitted, without dairy or sweeteners) and much of the excess junk that we previously consumed. My diet is not all that different on a daily basis, with the exception of dairy, mostly in the form of Greek yogurt, so I am hoping to bypass the hangover feeling that many people endure during days 2-7. Afterall, it was that hangover feeling that I got when I ate poorly that prompted me to try this. So far, I made it through a cycling class followed by a pilates class, so I guess I am doing fine.

Although the plan strongly urges you not to count calories or weigh yourself for 30 days, I recorded my food and exericise in my journal anyways, and discovered that even though I ate three healthy, balanced meals, my caloric intake was extremely low. Most experts advise eating at least 1200 calories per day, without exercise. Given that my workout burnt over 700 calories today, eating less than 700 calories can’t be good, so I treated myself to a little Monkey Salad. It is a paleo fruit salad, consisting of a sliced banana, a handful of cashews, and a liberal sprinkle of unsweetened coconut flakes. It is considered an acceptable indulgence since it uses approved foods, contains fruit, fat and protein, and doesn’t mimic something we are trying to avoid. It hit the spot, and could become a go-to. It also contained almost 300 calories, so it is important not to go crazy with it under normal circumstances. However, it drives home a good point: although Monkey Salad has as many calories as a cookie (or 2), or a bowl of ice cream or some chips, it is healthy, nutritious and contains no additives. ( Check the labels when buying coconut and cashews to make sure that is all that is listed on the ingredients. Sweetened, salted or preserved coconut is a big no-no.)

Day three brings no news, and if I continue to be home, without travel or social plans, this could be easy to sustain. It requires a lot of shopping, and chopping, but I know that I am not putting anything into my food that is against the rules. I love vegetables, so eating lots of them is fine. I am not longing for anything at this stage, but I am only a few days in. The weekend presents a challenge, when we typically eat out for brunch, and I indulge in a little wine and whatever at night. I am committed to NOT doing that this weekend.

Day 4 brings an ooops into the equation. In repurchasing a few things that I had on hand, I read the labels more carefully and low and behold, I have been using a few non-compliant items.

Srirachia contains sugar, a big no-no on this plan. The rules state that you must start over if you eat non-compliant foods, but there is no way I am going to go nuts over a tiny squirt of hot sauce that probably contained mere grains of sugar. But, speaking of nuts, Trader Joe’s roasts their cashews in rice bran oil. Yep, not on the list. Today I bought raw cashews, and will roast them myself, without any oil at all. While all of this sounds a bit extreme, the lesson here is to read labels carefully, and avoid packaged foods wherever possible. Freshly roasted nuts are delicous, and Tabasco sauce and Chola are both compliant, so I am not really giving up anything else here.

Whole 30’ers report feeling nasty and viscous on day 4, but so far, I don’t feel any malice towards anyone. I didn’t sleep as well as I should last night, so I am a little tired, but otherwise, all is normal. Many of the participants don’t workout, but I am keeping up with my workout schedule as usual. I guess the more detoxing you need to do, and the worse these first few days are. I don’t recommend going cold turkey on this plan, if your normal eating habits are poor. If you decide to do it, it might be best to start weening off the addictive foods on the list a bit before embarking on the full deal.

I am planning to invite a few friends over for Fourth of July dinner. I don’t mind making a dessert for them and not eating it, and I often serve meat to my family or guests that I don’t eat, but I would like to make all the side dishes compliant. With vegetarians in the mix, it will be a challenge to give them enough heft without dairy, beans, soy, grains or flour. Perhaps putting non-compliant ingredients on the side will be the answer. Check back for the verdict on how the holiday weekend went, temptations and all!!!

Photo: Glasshouse Images

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