Sunday, September 8, 2013

Food: Paleo and Whole30

I didn't really announce it (although maybe I should have) but for the month of September I'm trying the Whole30 "reset".  I don't want to call it a cleanse, or a diet, because both of those words have negative connotations.  I'm not trying to lose weight, and I'm not really coming off a binge of excesses, although sugar might count.  I *have* been having inflammation problems... the old frozen shoulder, my throat (I have an elongated styloid process on the left that I really don't want to have surgery for), joints that feel sprained.  I read the book, "It Starts With Food".  This is not a diet.

This is a fact-finding mission.

By cutting out "trigger foods"... wheat, dairy, sugar, un-healthy fats, and legumes... for one month, and then re-integrating them slowly back into my menu, I can figure out what's making me feel un-well.  Then decide if I really want to keep those foods in my rotation, or cut them out.  It's about finding a balance.

Leading up to the first of the month, I started easing into it by cutting back on sugar.  On the first of the month, I dropped it all (and believe me, that was not an easy thing to do having just made almost FOUR DOZEN burritos for the freezer).  I actually hit the symptoms of days 6-7 of the "what to expect" timeline on the 3rd of September, probably due to my "easing" into it.  Now on the 8th, I'm physically somewhere around days 10-11.  I'm bored with this.  My meat is always dry, I'm already running out of greens and it's a week before I can hit the grocery store again.  The highlight has been "crab boil night" (minus the little red potatoes and corn on the cob... sigh) with flash-frozen king crab legs, shrimp, and a foil packet of tilapia fillet in homemade citrus dressing.  (I was amazed the seal held)  Plain salad and sliced cucumber on the side.

But not every night can end with a pile of exo-skeleton on your plate.  And even *I* am getting bored with having to spend a half an hour in the kitchen every time I want to eat something.

So I bought a few of these cute little Rubbermaid "Lunch Blox" salad kits.  Last night I set my shoulders and lined myself up with three kits, using the separated trays and dressing container to line up ingredients from the Paleo Power Lunches book with a few modifications to fit what I had on hand.  I'd already made the Citrus Dressing with lime, and the Honey Mustard (OMG... yum) dressing earlier in the week, so it was basically a half hour of chopping and portioning.  So on those days when I hit eleven am and I'm starting to feel like gnawing off my own arm, I can just grab one of these and settle in for lunch.

And I'm sorry, but no amount of coaxing is going to get me to post a "beauty shot" of the inside of my fridge.  Let's just say they're lined up like good little soldiers, ready to be deployed.  The Lunch Blox are really quite neat, though, with nesting hollows on the lid for convenient, spill-proof stacking in your lunch bag.  They come with a fitted cooling block, too, and although I don't need them now, I might later.  I wish they'd had these twenty years ago.

I have already noticed an improvement in my shoulder and throat, so I definitely think there is something to this.  I'll try to keep you updated on my progress.

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