The (Whole30) End Is Here

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

It's day 30! That means T.J. and I have officially survived thirty days of clean eating: no grains, no dairy, no sugar, no legumes, no alcohol. And no corn, no canola oil, no vegetable oil, and minimal preservatives (no MSG, sulfites, or carrageenan). I'm actually kind of dreading tomorrow, when we add dairy back into our diets.

Coming off of Whole30, you're supposed to stagger your reintroduction of contraband food groups so you can see how they each affect you. We thought dairy would be the easiest to reintroduce alone, so tomorrow our breakfast and dinner will involve plain Greek yogurt and fresh parmesan cheese, respectively. Baby steps. You're supposed to reintroduce groups about three days apart, but because of our weekend plans (Brewfest! Yay!), we will probably have to rush the timeline a bit: grains on Thursday, sugar Friday, alcohol Saturday. Basically, this is just a test so we can narrow down which foods make us feel the worst and cut those from our diet (as much as possible) from now on.

I feel a hundred times better than I did a month ago, but part of me wonders if my feeling better doesn't have more to do with the fact I eat three well-balanced meals a day (protein and veggies at every meal), instead of the diet of meat, carbs, dairy, beans, and sugar I used to subsist on. I guess we will find out in the coming days! We will still be eating three well-balanced meals a day, so we will really be able to tell the effects of these other food groups. I have a feeling we will learn he has issues with dairy and gluten, while my issue is with legumes and sugar. Especially sugar. :-( Surprisingly, as much as my mouth salivates every time I skirt past the bakery section of Publix, I haven't had any serious sugar withdrawals. But who would, when you are eating food like this:

Dinner last Friday: Dijon Pork Tenderloin, mashed cauli, roasted broccoli
Dinner Saturday night (and Sunday night, and Monday for lunch) started with T.J.'s meatloaf. It doesn't look like much here, but trust. This is the greatest meatloaf I've ever put in my mouth. It is a wondrous thing. I will post the recipe when I can get it from him.
The meatloaf was paired with French-style green beans, cooked my favorite way: two cans of beans (try to find BPA-free cans), drained, and spread out in an 8x8 glass dish. Sprinkle the top with sea salt, pepper, and a generous amount of Italian seasoning. (Make sure your seasoning is just herbs and spices, and avoid the Good Seasons Italian Seasoning packs. They taste the best--and that's what I used to use--but they're mostly just preservatives and sugar. If you can't find a purely herbal Italian seasoning, make your own.) Cover the seasoned beans with melted ghee (about two tbsp.), and put in the oven at 350 for about 45 minutes. This will make about four servings. Easy and delicious!
And meatloaf wouldn't be meatloaf without potatoes, and since we'd already had enough mashed cauli for the week, this meal demanded sweet potato casserole! I might have been more excited about this dish than I've been about anything in a long, long time. I might have bounced around the kitchen singing about how ready I was to eat it. I'm still tweaking the recipe, so I'm not ready to publish it yet (it's coming; I promise!), but you guys. Those pecans are coated in chocolate. (Unsweetened cocoa powder is my new best friend.)
Dinner last night (Day 29!): Creamy Roasted Chicken Breast, roasted broccoli, and sauteed cinnamon carrots. (Carrots were cooked on the stove top in melted ghee, nutmeg, and cinnamon, and they were delicious.) Simple and healthful.

And for the grand finale last night:


I know, I know. It's crazy-looking, right? Like a dinosaur egg. It doesn't look like it could be one of the greatest fruits you've ever put in your mouth. But it is. It so is.

We saw these when we were produce shopping at Kroger on Sunday, and I'd never seen or heard of a cherimoya before, so I wasn't about to waste $7.99 a lb. on one. (And a single cherimoya was a little over a pound.) But I was intrigued, so I went home and Googled cherimoya on Monday and read this blog post about them and promptly called T.J. and asked him to stop by Kroger on his way home from work to pick one up for dessert last night. I checked at Publix yesterday, too, and they didn't have them, so I feel pretty fortunate that we were able to discover this rare, succulent little treat right at the end of their season.

We decided to follow the bloggers suggestion and just eat the cherimoya plain. I sliced it in half.

And then we spooned out the delicious, soft white flesh, spitting out the large seeds.

Yeah, we kind of liked it a lot.

The flavor is difficult to describe, only I would say it is tropical. I could taste hints of coconut, pineapple, and pear, and the texture was kind of like an apple/pear if it were soft, not crunchy. In some parts of the world, it's referred to as the custard apple, and I think that's a really appropriate description.

T.J. thought it tasted like the juice in fruit cocktail, but in a good way. I could definitely taste that too, after he said it.

If you ever see these in your local grocery, do yourself a favor and get one! You will not be disappointed. (Unless you don't like fruit, and in that case...I really don't have much to say to you.)

The sugar dragon has mostly left me alone the past thirty days, and I can only imagine it's because of delectable treats like this one. When there is so much natural sweetness in fruit, sweet potatoes, and the like, it makes you wonder why we ever thought we needed refined sugars? (Don't answer that.)

Tomorrow, our first day post-Whole30, I will post a wrap-up, including health (and weight!) results. We're excited to weigh in tonight. Until then, happy eating!


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