It’s Day One of the Whole30 Challenge! I’m excited to begin. Because lately, I’ve felt extremely bloated through my core and very unhealthy overall, even though my diet hasn’t changed drastically. Unlike cheese and me, “bloated” and me were NOT M.F.E.O. (Made For Each Other). I can’t stand it. And I’ll do just about anything to make it stop.
But why am I so bloated?
It could be medication. A few months ago, my OB/GYN discovered that my Testosterone levels are horribly out of whack (like I barely have any) and that I’m severely deficient in Vitamin D. I began BioTe therapy shortly thereafter and have developed a system to take my vitamin regime more seriously. (It’s called an Old Lady Pill Box beside my toothbrush.)
That has helped.
Near the same time, I began taking a new form of birth control pills because other pills I’ve tried lead to severe swelling in my legs if I sit for too long or if my sodium levels are too high. (Incidentally, during all three of my pregnancies, I suffered from above-average swelling and was put on 6 weeks of bed rest with our first-born due to high blood pressure.)
The combination of all these hormones may be the cause of the “bloated” feeling I’m experiencing. OR could it be something in my diet that my body has decided it can’t handle anymore? OR could my diet be messing with my hormone levels, causing the testosterone deficiency and the problems with the birth control pills in the first place?
I don’t know. But I’m going to find out!
I’m also struggling with poor sleep, low energy levels, pain in both of my hamstring tendons, extreme tightness in my inner thighs that feels more like an injury than a lack of flexibility, and a tingly sensation on the bottoms of my feet every morning when I get out of bed.
What if The Whole30 eliminates some of these issues? I can’t wait to see what my results will look like. But even if it doesn’t, I know I’ll learn SOMETHING from this experience. I’m sure I’ll discover SOMETHING about my relationship with food that needs to change. And I’m sure I’ll reap SOMETHING positive from a dietary standpoint.
So I’m starting Day One with a green juice.
Juice isn’t something Whole 30 really promotes, but based on my research, juicing vegetables (not fruit) as a supplement (not as a meal replacement) can do wonders for someone who is trying to increase their vegetable intake and needs some help between meals to do so. So I drank this straight out of bed, followed by my decaffeinated, organic coffee. (Whole30 encourages you to eat before you drink coffee because caffeine is an appetite suppressant. Since I’m drinking decaf, because I’m always eventually hungry in the morning, and because I like to start my morning with a drink rather than food I have to chew, I’ve bent this rule a little bit).
Friends, this juice is delicious. And you can find the recipe here. My modifications include a lemon OR a lime, not both (too tart for me). And I definitely juice the apple. I don’t drink any other fruit juice so I think this is just fine, and it adds the perfect amount of sweetness. I use parsley or mint, but didn’t care for the cilantro, even though I love cilantro served in other ways. (By the way, did you know that you can line the pulp catcher to your juicer with cheese cloth and wring it out over your juice glass before tossing the pulp? I just learned this trick from a friend, and it’s brilliant!)
Once I got the kids out the door, I settled in for this amazing breakfast:
Scrambled eggs cooked in Ghee (I chose to purchase Ghee at Trader Joe’s rather than clarify my own butter as a shortcut) dressed with Mateos Salsa (a local salsa product sold at Costco in bulk), roasted red potatoes, seasoned with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic (baked in the oven at 400 until potatoes are fork-tender, about 45 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes), a sliced tomato, and half an avocado. This got me to lunch without a snack.
Then I had this for lunch:
Three slices of prosciutto straight from the refrigerator (I purchased this uncured brand from Costco that is Whole30 compliant), a heaping handful of power greens (kale, arugula, spinach, and swiss chard, also purchased from Costco), cherry tomatoes, and the other half of the avocado I cut at breakfast. I drizzled the whole plate with a lemon wedge, olive oil, salt and pepper. Delicious! And it carried me through to dinner without a snack.
And for dinner, I had this:
Herb-marinated pork tenderloin (click here for the recipe). To make this Whole30 compliant, I used Spicy Brown Mustard instead of Dijon. Honestly, I liked it better this way. (And this is a good time to emphasize the importance of reading your labels! Dijon is NOT Whole30 compliant because of the wine.)
Lemony broccolini (click here for the recipe). To make this Whole30 compliant, I used Ghee instead of butter. This dish is simple and amazing! Simply amazing, I tell ya!
And Parsnip Home Fries. (click here for the recipe, Whole30 compliant on by itself!).
This meal was a HUGE success that I thoroughly enjoyed eating and that carried me through to bedtime without a snack! Yippee! (I’m a late-night snacker, one of my down-falls.) I plan to eat some of the leftovers tomorrow at breakfast and lunch.
None of these meals took more than 30 minutes of hands-on preparation.
The breakfast potatoes were leftover from dinner the night before, and eggs are easy peasy lemon squeezy. There was virtually no prep for lunch. And the dinner came together from start to finish in one hour (the tenderloin and home fries have to cook for 30 minutes, so do your prep, throw them in the oven, and get in a quick yoga workout on Gaiam TV while it cooks. That’s what I did!)