Whole30 V2

February 14, 2013

Life can sure be full of bugs, eh?

I mean, quite literally.

The boy and I somehow gave fleas to our cats. To imagine us doing so is not a stretch, because we essentially run a soup kitchen for the neighborhood cats on our front step. Over time many of these not-quite-domestic cats start to let us pet them. Which means we then start to pick them up to give them hugs. Which means their fleas hitch a ride into the former safe zone of my house and get all over my little Baby Ooosh (Virgil, as he is formally known) and start to make me a bit manic.

I’ve spent the last few weeks in a near state of panic as I obsessively comb through their hair, wash the bed, blankets, kitten beds, carpets, floors, basically everything they could possibly touch. I was (am?) literally spending hours a day trying to de-flea the house entirely. It has been so annoying. I suppose this teaches me a lesson: to never NOT have the cats on a flea treatment. I feel so mean not letting them cuddle under the covers anymore, but was already having a hard enough time sleeping at night imagining fleas crawling on me.

So, as payback, they started sleeping on my head, trying to make ME the fleabag. Bastards.

Primary fleabag of the house. My vet said in a multi-cat household fleas will tend to like one cat the best, and poor Baby Ooosh was the winner. Luckily, he takes pills well and got a strong dose of flea medication that had the fleas literally falling off of him, dead, within hours.

Primary fleabag of the house. My vet said in a multi-cat household fleas will tend to like one cat the best, and poor Baby Ooosh was the winner. Luckily, he takes pills well and got a strong dose of flea medication that had the fleas literally falling off of him, dead, within hours.

Anyways. It’s not like we had a major infestation, but I am a nutso about bugs like that. When I was a kid if I got a tick I would FREAK OUT and pay my brother and sister to scour my room for more. I still hate getting ticks, and that is basically what fleas are for cats. Little goddamn blood suckers. In Tennessee the ticks are ridiculous and can jump FAR. Can’t wait for that little treat when it’s time to mow the lawn again!

Moving on, the actual big news of the day is that I am doing another Whole30. I just decided I needed to do it. Was I eating crazy $h*t and going off the rails? No, not really, but there were two distinct patterns I’d developed that I knew were NOT contributing to me being healthier.
(1) I was eating a paleo treat every night after dinner – be it paleo pudding or chocolate balls, it doesn’t matter. I was training my brain to expect a treat of the paleo-fied chocolate variety every evening, even when I wasn’t hungry!
(2) I was really, really enjoying my (near) nightly vodka tonics. I found myself counting down the hours until the boy came home and we could have a drink and de-brief the day. I’d look forward to the feeling of the warmth under my skin as I started to relax. Geez, just typing this makes me realize I still really want a vodka tonic.

So far, this Whole30 has been a world different from the first. How so?
(1) Because I had still been eating a very clean diet (with the exception of the vodka and some other non-Whole30 but largely “paleo” items) I did not have the heinous feelings of withdrawal, sluggish-ness, headache-iness that I did with my first one.
(2) Because I had been eating paleo for 7+ months, it wasn’t such a stretch for me to “figure out” what I was going to eat. Breakfast wasn’t a big deal. I already knew what I was going to eat, and how to adapt recipes to be Whole30 compliant.

The primary focus of this Whole30 for me is to not eat after dinner. It’s that simple. I need to eat enough at dinner to keep me full until bed. It doesn’t matter that I *crave* something, if I’m not legitimately hungry, I am not going to eat. I’ve been trying to eat a good amount of vegetables at dinner along with my normal meat and fat to ensure that is the case, and so far I’ve done great.

In looking back, I can see that my first Whole30 I wasn’t *really* Whole30 because I obsessively weighed myself almost every day (annnnnd also ate paleo pancakes and had “SWYPO” paleo-fied deserts, albeit with Whole30 ingredients but you get the picture). This Whole30 I am trying hard to be a real Whole30.

Although I forgot to weigh myself until day 8. Ooops. But I figured I should take a measurement somewhere, so that at the end I can see if it made any difference there. I suspect it won’t really, well at least not like the first one did, when I lost probably about 12 pounds. Since then I’ve put on about 10 pounds, but not the same “weight” that I lost. I’ve beefed up significantly in my arms and legs thanks to my intense lifting program and the increased protein intake. But, on the first Whole30 when I was – for the first time – cutting grains, dairy, legumes, sugar my body let go of a lot of fat as it changed up its source of fuel. So it’s pretty unfortunate that even a Whole30 won’t fit my big old squat- and deadlifting-booty into my ice climbing harness anymore.

Have I noticed that I am sleeping better now that I am Whole30 again? God yes. It’s insane how much difference being really strict can have on one’s sleep, or maybe how much alcohol can affect your sleep.

Have I noticed any performance differences? Well, I had a huge PR on my back squat last week, and have had great lifts all week on my Wendler program, so while it’s hard to give a *definite* yay or nay here, I don’t feel like my performance has gotten any WORSE, that’s for sure.

Oh, I almost forgot! One of the tipping points for me to jump into Whole30 again was because I was having so many inflammation issues. I have been going to PT 2x/week for my shoulders, and I have a case of “belay” elbow (known in the rest of the Western world as tennis elbow). I wanted to see if I went Whole30 again if those inflammation issues would go away, like my golfers elbow magically did this summer during Whole30. And I can positively tell you that the level of inflammation has already drastically decreased.

The AC joint of my right shoulder was so inflamed that it was painful to touch just the surface of my skin. It felt like a deep, deep bruise. Not anymore! I am still doing PT and icing regularly, but it’s amazing how only 11 days of reigning in what I considered to be a pretty clean diet (yeah, I had yucca chips sometimes that are cooked in vegetable oil!) can make such a difference.

As a “treat” for myself on this Whole30 I bought myself a copy of “Well Fed” by Melissa Joulwan, which has been a really fun new source of recipes for me. Pretty much everything in there is Whole30, with the exception of a fruit recipe that is a “SWYPO” non-Whole30 compliant desert. From that book I can highly recommend the “Bora Bora Fireballs”, “Shepherds Pie”, “Mashed Cauliflower” and “Paleo Pad Thai.” We’ve really only begun to dig into it, but I can say that the recipes are a delight because of the layers of texture and flavor. I know that totally makes me sound like a Top Chef critic, but that’s fine, I’m a paleo foodie if there ever was one!

Other recipes I’ve tried out recently and enjoyed include:
Southwest Spicy Egg Bake – I know the recipe is for muffins, but I wanted to not have to clean all those stupid silicon muffin liners and plus I wanted more meat in mine, so I made it into a 9×9 dish and had to cook it about 45(?) minutes until the eggs set in the middle. But it was DELICIOUS! I also used turkey instead of pork and totally spiced it up to my tastes, so it’s barely like this recipe at all, actually.
Orange Poppyseed Dressing – this is fun for me because since going paleo I never have anything but plain balsamic, and this is just DIFFERENT from that. I added some applesauce because it tasted very orange-y, but I put it over a kale hash salad (so named because I was putting any fruits and veggies in it that had less than a day to get eaten before being tossed) and it was pretty good!
Carrot Ribbon Pasta Bowl with Coconut Almond Satay – OMG. This was SO GOOD. It has so many flavors and really reminds me of some kind of Thai food…it is so delicious! Also, I think mushrooms are disgusting, so I just upped the spinach content. Look at me, eating spinach!

Carrot ribbon pasta. BOMB.

Carrot ribbon pasta. BOMB.

What else is going on? Big, big things. BIG THINGS. I’ve got a team competition this weekend, we are really starting to get the house ready to go on the market (can anyone say STRESS?!?!), I’ve got some new contract work to take on and tomorrow I Wendler back squat. Lots of great stuff happening here in the durty, durty.

Oh, and did I mention that it is T-1 month until CANADA!!!!!!



  1. Man, as much as I’m not sure I’m mentally ready for the rigor and planning that comes with the Whole 30, I feel like I need to do one again. I might wait until after the Open, no drastic changes in the middle of competition season, but a lot of what you said sounds familiar. And I AM eating some things I shouldn’t!

    And congrats on the back squat PR 🙂

    • Thanks Katie! When I realized there were so many people around me doing a Whole30 and I kept thinking to myself, ‘man, I never want to do one of those again,’ then I knew it was probably time to actually do it! I definitely needed a re-set. It’s been so nice to not be nearly as hard as the first time though.

      And yes, since you are just a few weeks away from the Open, you may not want to change things up! I’m so excited to “watch” you during the Open, I have no doubt you are going to qualify for Regionals!

  2. I’m so mad that you’re on another Whole 30 before coming to my house this weekend. I have all that delicious vodka I made! I am sending you home with a bottle of POM though.

    • That POM vodka is so good, thanks for making some extra for me. Sorry, but we really needed to Whole30! We are psyched to come up and see you guys!

  3. I just ordered “Well Fed”. We finish our first whole30 on Monday and I need to really think about what I want to add in. I love how I feel but I’d like to be able to think about food less … I have enjoyed cooking and most meals have been delicious, but I’d like to get to where it feels like less work. :).

    • I’ve been wondering how it has been going for you guys. I am so proud of you! I think you will really enjoy “Well Fed” – even the ‘simple’ veggie recipes turn a boring vegetable into something special, like the green beans we made last night. TO DIE FOR. I am saying that about green beans, how nuts!

      Are you planning to re-introduce foods with the Whole30 guidelines? I’ll be curious to see if anything changes for you, or if your body lets you know that it doesn’t like something anymore.

      Oh, and one last thing – in Well Fed she talks about how to do a big one-hour prep session each week to make meals a lot less, and she also has a lot of easy stir-fry recipes as well, so I think you and Ben will totally love it!

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