Avocado Egg Salad and Beginning Another Whole30

So far this year I’ve successfully completed two rounds of Whole30, then I got busy and life got in the way as it so often does (if you’re a regular reader perhaps you’d already guessed by my “radio silence”). In the interest of staying on track with my nutrition, I’m starting another Whole30: my husband will be joining in the fun again as well.

Avocado Egg Salad

While it’s perfectly ok to make paleo mayonnaise and create a traditional egg salad, I find that I enjoy the texture and flavor that an avocado imparts. I warn you, although this is not a pretty recipe, it is an addicting one: quick comfort food my friends, that’s what it’s all about.

  • 6-8 eggs (boiled, cooled, and peeled)
  • 1 large or 2 small avocados
  • 1/2 – 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp mustard (read labels to make sure it’s within the Whole30 guidelines)
  • 1 tsp ground mustard
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1.) In a large bowl, mash boiled eggs and avocado together until the avocado is fairly smooth and the eggs are small chunks
2.) Add salt, mustard, additional spices
3.) Taste and adjust spice levels according to what you prefer

That’s it! You can enjoy the egg salad as a side dish, a dip for veggies, in a lettuce wrap or on top of homemade, baked sweet potato “chips”.  I also recommend splashing a bit of compliant hot sauce on top for a little extra zing, Mom, if you’re reading this: Frank’s RedHot Original is compliant, feel free to do an appropriate celebratory dance.

Thoughts from Day 24 of a second round of Whole30

I’ve always known deep down that my relationship with food was an unhealthy one at best. I can’t think of any particular moment when it became this way but at some point food became a crutch. A rough day at school equated to french fries and a Little Debbie Nutty Bar for lunch, and by rough day I mean my brain was working hard all morning… clearly I was in need of a reward! The bus ride home was going to be tough too so I might as well pick up a bag of cheesy popcorn while I’m at it. Things didn’t exactly get better in college: staying up late to study while shoveling in skittles and lattes. Fast forward to stressful job situations and you can only imagine that things didn’t improve there either: de-stressing treats made daily appearances (many of which, unbeknownst to me at the time, were just compounding the problem). Somewhere along the way my mind learned that food is an effective way to deal with a mentally taxing situations and tasks. Life is mentally taxing, that’s just the way it is.

So, where is the break in the cycle?

It turns out that there is no break in the cycle unless you create one yourself. It takes perseverance and a lot of personal discomfort both physically and emotionally, but eventually you start to see some cracks and then, some daylight on the other side.

Realization began to dawn on me last night as I was walking though the grocery store. It was a particularly rough day at the office and I had joked earlier in the evening with my husband about needing a drink. As we walked past the potato chips and sour cream dip, he joked about buying some and maybe some corn chips to go with his salsa. And then it happened: a small voice inside me spoke up,

“Hey, that does sound good. You know salty potato chips always make you feel better. It’s been a rough day, that would make you feel better for sure.”

It’s certainly not the first time the voice has spoken up over the course of my journey to a better quality of life, in fact I rather expected it to. What I did not except was the complete emotional detachment, that came along with it. For the first time in many years (possibly the first time ever since I can’t actually remember this happening before) there was no emotional pull that went along with the thought: no instantaneous, consuming desire needing to be sated. It was a strange experience, I felt orphaned from myself for a moment untilI realized that the one that was detached was me and the small voice was only a remnant of the old cycle. Yes, I had a hard day at work. Yes, I was tired. No, potato chips will not take away the things that I still need to deal with in the morning, to suggest such a thing is ludicrous. Tough situations are only resolved by action, not by food. The orphaned feeling was replaced with different feeling all together: one of being completely raw emotionally. I mentally shot the small voice a withering look of disdain, and moved on.

Today, I feel raw still but at least I know why. Take food out of the equation and I’m forced to actually deal with stressors head on instead of using food as a drug to numb the discomfort. This is uncharted territory for me, it feels like I’ve just been dropped into an ocean and commanded to swim with very little knowledge of how.

I’m just going to have to wing it (and maybe go for an extra run this week).

Perry’s Run 100 (or cumulative 100) & Another Whole30

So, I caught a cold which has knocked me out of training for a few days: no matter, I’ll be back at it soon.

I’m debating on a couple different races for October. There’s the Moon Jogger’s October challenge which is a cumulative (or all at once) 100 miles virtual run: Perry’s Run 100 Mile Challenge (Full Hunter’s Moon) and then there’s the race that I used to do with my folks when I was a kid that holds a special place in my heart: The Dinosaur Dash 5k. I’m leaning towards the 5k just because it would be great to do that as a family and give my little running buddy the same experience that I had as a kid. Nothing was better than race day in October: crunchy leaves, dinosaur t-shirts and rosey cheeks,  and afterward we’d stop at a little cafe on campus for hot cocoa and fragels. For those of you unfamiliar with a fragel it’s a cinnamon raisin bagel that’s been deep fried and then rolled in cinnamon sugar: healthy? No. Delicious? Absolutely. Sadly, they haven’t existed in the area for a couple of decades which is probably good for me considering my gluten sensitivity: no nostalgic temptations lurking about.

Along the latter line of thinking, I’ve started another round of Whole30. My husband is also fully participating at his own suggestion. Today is day nine and so far things are going fairly well. I did have one serious recipe disaster this past week: I made a pot of belgian stew but didn’t like the flavor of the broth (read as: no flavor) near the end so I added some additional spices including some clove… which apparently leaps out of the spice shaker like water hitting a well oiled skillet.The resulting dish was inedible, perhaps it’s just me but excess clove reminds me of vomit. We managed to salvage the protein though by draining the broth and giving the beef and onions a good rinse before throwing it into a pot of curry so that was the silver lining.

Lesson learned: skip the cloves.

Whole30 Days 29 & 30

Day 29

  • Breakfast: Coconut butter, coffee, compliant hotdog leftover from last night
  • Lunch: I went on a lunch date with my husband to the Mediterranean restaurant I successfully ate out earlier in the Whole30 journey. I had Shish Kafta, salad, and baba ghanoush
  • Dinner: CSA day so dinner was an assortment of veg that needed to be eaten up

Day 30

I spent most of the day either on the road or on a trail so nuts, dried fruit, and bell peppers were breakfast and lunch. Dinner was a vegetable hash with eggs and beef on top.

After Thoughts

That wrapped up my first Whole30 experience, over the weekend I tried to experiment with a few of the things I’d cut out only to regret it not long after. So, I think that I’ll be returning to the Whole30 as a general lifestyle, but perhaps a bit heavier on the sweet potatoes and squash on run days.

I made it!

Master Quest: Ultrarunning

I’ve hesitated for a while to write this post, but it’s time.

There’s a part of my brain that lives by the rule of “always leave yourself an out”: it believes when people say something is too hard or impossible, laughs along with stupid jokes aimed to put me down, and argues with me about anything that may require effort. I’ve discovered over the years that most important learning experiences in life involve defeating that part of yourself; without such a victory there is no growth physically, mentally, or spiritually.

That is exactly the part of my mind that I constantly struggle with, the lazy coward inside me that will use any crutch available to avoid doing something difficult. Unfortunately, there are plenty of people happy to hand me such a crutch.

“Don’t tell people that you’re planning on doing something like that! You’ll only look like a fool when you don’t do it!”
“That’s too hard”
“Normal people don’t run marathons”
“Runners all die of heart attacks” or “You’ll ruin your knees”
“You?! Won’t happen”
“The only way you’d ever see me running is if someone was chasing me”
“You’re one of those crazy people that run in bad weather aren’t you. Ugh”

People that say these things are probably just giving voice to their own internal naysayer, but mine immediately emerges from the shadows to start whispering dissent and listing off all the possible negative outcomes of the entire project. If I allow myself to listen to these insidious whispers I begin to accept them as truth and sabotage any good work I’ve done up until that point in time: everything goes out the window as if I’d never trained a day in my life.

…the lazy coward inside me that will use any crutch available to avoid doing something difficult…

Doubt is a wicked thing.

The dreadful little naysayer has been stirred into a frenzy this week as I prepared to put my name on the registration form for something that has been a goal of mine for the last two years: my first ultra marathon.

The most common reaction I’ve gotten to voicing my plans for to run a 50 miler has been a look of horror and dismay accompanied by a statement or question bringing my sanity into debate. Thankfully, my husband is neither common nor a pessimist: when I first stated I wanted to do this over a year ago his response was simply, “Okay, let’s do it; that medal looks cool.” (I love him dearly)

Most common response to ultra running...

The most common response to ultra running…

So today, I finally put my name on the registration form and made a pact with myself to finish the race regardless of rain, shine, or the inevitable blisters. My inner doubt is pitching a bloody fit but when it comes down to it, regardless of what anyone says on the matter: it’s me that will be putting one foot in front of the other and sweating buckets on the trail, no one else. All that matters is that I take care to prepare myself properly for the adventure and only I can do that: anything else is just opinion.

On August 23, 2014 I’m running 50 miles, and I’m doing it Paleo. Let the training commence!

Whole30 Day 28

Homestretch!

I can’t believe the Whole30 is almost over, let alone that I’ve almost managed to complete the full thirty days without “falling face first into a box of donuts” haha!

The interesting thing is that I find myself not particularly missing anything. Occasionally, I want a crunchy, salty snack but kale chips or apples with salt take care of that. Desserts don’t have any pull on my anymore: I look at them and in the back of my mind I know what they taste like but I’m no longer a slave to the sugar!

I think I may have finally vanquished the sugar dragon: at least for now.

When my thirty days is officially over I may bake some paleo banana bread but aside from that, I don’t think I’ll be straying too far from the Whole30 lifestyle.

  •  Breakfast: Coconut butter, Raisins, Coffee
  •  Lunch: Baba ghanoush, Raisins, Mac nuts, raw zucchini
  •  Pre-workout: More coconut butter
  •  Dinner: Compliant hotdogs, raw zucchini, salted raisins

Whole30 Days 26 & 27

Just a quick update in the interest of accountability.

Day 26

  • Breakfast: Raisins & macadamia nuts with coffee
  • Lunch: Leftover Creamy Chicken Tomato soup
  • Dinner: 1 egg and Zucchini & Sweet Potato Hashbrowns from this Chowstalker recipe.

Day 27

  • Breakfast: Leftover “hashbrowns” from last night and an egg
  • Tiny post workout snack right before lunch: salted raisins and mac nuts
  • Lunch: The last of the Chicken-Tomato soup (I’m saddened by this, I must make more!)
  • Dinner: Baba Ghanoush mixed with some ground beef on raw zucchini rounds (I made a new batch of Baba Ghanoush with the last eggplant from the CSA haul)

Whole30 Days 24 & 25

Day 24

  • Breakfast: Coffee
  • Lunch: Egg salad and “franks” (made with paleo mayo and compliant hot dogs of course), leftover baba ghanoush and raw zucchini
  • Dinner: Wonderful, creamy, delicious chicken-tomato soup that I made based on this recipe. I substituted fresh tomatoes from the CSA where it called for canned, used fresh basil instead of dried, and I also skipped the chicken broth altogether opting to just add a smidge of water & a spoonful of coconut oil to the two cans of coconut milk. The entire pot of soup was nearly consumed in one evening by our family: it’s that good.
  • Snack: Raisins and mac nuts

Day 25

  • Breakfast: Coffee, raisins, and mac nuts
  • Lunch: Awesome leftover soup as noted above (are you catching on that I seriously love the soup?) :)
  • Dinner: Cube steak leftovers and a big batch of kale chips

Whole30 Day 23

Yesterday was one of those weird days where I wasn’t really hungry until lunch time. 

  • Breakfast: Coffee
  • Snack: A few raisins and macadamia nuts while traveling
  • Late lunch: Grilled cube steak on a huge bed of raw red kale, homemade mustard vinaigrette
  • Snack with the little man: a spoonful of coconut butter and some basil tea (from my basil plant)
  • Dinner: Baba ghanoush, raw zucchini rounds, a few dates

Whole30 Day 22

Just a quick update:

  • Breakfast: A few dates, coffee, coconut butter
  • Lunch: Curry over half of a sweet potato
  • Dinner: BABA GHANOUSH!!!! (we got more eggplants from the CSA) with raw zucchini rounds and a left over compliant hotdog from the other day.

Also, I got in a nice 5k hike on my lunch hour, my foot is starting to feel a bit better.