Resisting Temptation: A Whole30 Weekend

Monday, April 15, 2013

T.J. and I have officially reached the quarter mark of the Whole30 challenge, and we are going strong! This weekend presented its biggest challenge because temptation was everywhere. Last week I mostly confined myself to home, so I was never tempted by the signs and smells of restaurants. Out of sight, out of mind. Most weeks I'd take at least a day or two and go work at Panera or a coffee shop, but since I can't have my usual chai latte (or anything else on the menu), I've had to work at home. I'd forgotten how the sight alone of certain restaurants can stir cravings, but when we were out this weekend, just seeing Chick-fil-A had me craving, of all things, a strawberry milkshake. (And I can't even remember the last time I had one.)

Saturday presented our biggest test yet when we attended the Battle of the Buffalo, the annual cancer foundation fundraiser hosted by one of the fraternities at T.J.'s university. It's a chicken wing festival/competition to see which of seventeen competing restaurants makes the best wing. That's right. Seventeen wing restaurants. Twenty-four thousand wings. And T.J. received free tickets to the event, so we could have eaten our fill of wings (and cotton candy and snow cones) for free if we hadn't been on Whole30. When T.J. told me about the event Friday night, I was already imagining myself caving as soon as I smelled that delicious barbecue. I was already rationalizing that I deserved a cheat day, that I could just add an extra day onto the end of the challenge, as if it works that way.

It was a beautiful day, and T.J. and I had a relaxing early morning breakfast and then drove over to the farmer's market. It was the first weekend it was open, and there were lots of plants for sale, but no fruits and veggies ready yet since we've had such a long winter. We also drove around to some yard sales since both our subdivision and the one across the road were having community-wide sales. We came up empty-handed there too, as we are looking for just a few specific furniture items, but we still really enjoyed just being outside on such a gorgeous day. That afternoon we headed to Big Spring Park, which is where BotB was held, and it was such a perfect day to be at the park--warm, sunny, but with a pleasant breeze. Too cool for bugs, but warm enough to be out in just a long-sleeved tee.

Although entering the event meant walking past tables full of people chowing down on wings (and smelling them), once we were inside and had done a loop around the booths, we went down to the children's play area to find some of T.J.'s friends from work. Fortunately, this area was away from that amazing barbecue smell, so we were able to relax and chat and enjoy our evening without feeling constantly tempted to cash in our tickets for a pile of wings. We left the event that evening proud that we'd stayed wing free, and we agreed that if we could survive that temptation, we could survive anything during this challenge! (And T.J. is going to be challenged a lot in the coming weeks. He attended a banquet at work last night where he could only eat olives and salad without dressing, and he has two more this week.)

We spent the rest of the weekend shopping for groceries (five different stores: Sam's, Costco, Earth Fare, Publix, and Kroger), hanging pictures in the house, looking at paint samples for the downstairs, and picking out new comforter sets for the twin bed guest room. T.J. also got a new lawnmower, which he was super excited about.

Tiny old lawnmower, meet your new big brother.
And while most people were eating out, chowing down on wings, or glutting themselves on sweets this weekend (which we would normally have done), here's how we were dining:

Day 5, Friday 
Dinner: Italian Crock Pot Chili w/ fresh avocado

Day 6, Saturday
Breakfast: leftover Sweet Potato Hash w/ a side of raw baby carrots
Lunch: leftover chili w/ avocado
Dinner: Paleo Meatloaf, mashed cauliflower, roasted asparagus

T.J. followed the directions for the meatloaf pretty precisely, but he added diced sweet peppers, and I really think they took the recipe up a notch. It might have been the best meatloaf I've ever had. The asparagus was also very good, but the mashed cauliflower...well, we're going to have to work on the recipe a bit. Ours was a little too garlicky (and that's saying something coming from me), and there was still a bit too much of the cauliflower taste in it that I hate. I'm making it again later this week, though, so hopefully we can learn from our mistakes.
Day 7, Sunday
Breakfast: Sweet 'n Savory Quiche and raw baby carrots w/ almond butter
Lunch: leftover meatloaf, mashed cauliflower, and asparagus
Dinner:  leftover meatloaf on a bed of steamed broccoli slaw w/ spaghetti sauce

Breakfast quiche. It was better than expected (because up until yesterday I refused to eat cooked spinach--it's a texture thing) but a little dry and needed a little more flavor. Maybe add mushrooms and a few more eggs next time?
Fresh, all natural almond butter from Earth Fare
Originally, I was going to make zucchini noodles for my "spaghetti." I was also going to  make my own meatballs. But T.J. was at his banquet and I wanted an easy dinner, so I used leftover meatloaf in place of meatballs and used broccoli slaw in place of zucchini, and the result was fabulous. (And made in under ten minutes.) (Idea and "recipe" for the broccoli slaw is from Pinterest.)
When we went to Kroger we looked high and low for a natural marinara sauce with no sugar, preservatives, etc., and we were so happy (and surprised) to find this one. DelGrosso is a company local to the area where we lived in PA (and I'd never heard of it before moving there). They own an amusement park about an hour from our old house, too, and we went to their Italian Food Festival last year. We'd never seen their sauces in the South before, and it was one of those things T.J. lamented that we wouldn't be able to find when we moved back to Alabama, but here it is!
Delicious final product! At first I just put the sauce on that way to take this photo, thinking I would add more afterward, but that ended up being the perfect amount. The sauce, meatloaf, and slaw went together so beautifully I felt like I was really eating spaghetti and didn't miss noodles at all.
Today's menu is the same breakfast as yesterday, same lunch as dinner last night, and a favorite from last week (tarragon chicken, grilled veggies, and fruit) for dinner. I have an exciting menu of new, different foods planned for the rest of week, though, so Week 2 should be interesting.


Rachael A April 19, 2013 at 7:54 PM  

Thanks for linking to my recipe! I hope you loved it as much as I do :)

-The Freckled Foodie

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