I do sometimes think about being a vegetarian, though I have never been able to do it for long. I guess I sort of think of red meat as my original ‘real food’ since I tend to eat it daily. It’s also murder. So. I get that too. To continue this eating strategy, however, you really have to put that out of your mind. Every animal that dies for me to eat has my deepest sympathy and respect. And while it is zero comfort, I appreciate their sacrifice.
Anyway, last night we went out to dinner at Outback with fellow Whole30er, Melissa. We were talking about all of the red meat we have been eating since starting the eating strategy. While this isn’t a big change for me, it is a big change for Melissa and Becky who don’t take part in it daily.
So, we wondered if we stayed on this diet and continued to eat the red stuff, will we be having our heart attacks a little earlier than every one else’s? With all of the recent research on fat, it seems more and more health enthusiasts are coming to the same conclusion. The problem isn’t cholesterol, it cholesterol combined with sugar, wheat, and other inflammatory parts of our diet. A friend posted some random website article on Facebook that addressed the issue like this:
“Simply stated, without inflammation being present in the body, there is no way that cholesterol would accumulate in the wall of the blood vessel and cause heart disease and strokes. Without inflammation, cholesterol would move freely throughout the body as nature intended. It is inflammation that causes cholesterol to become trapped.” (source)
I don’t know who this guy is, but he totally looks like a trustworthy Dr. in the photo, so I won’t be at all suspicious. Plus there is a lot of other information out there on this new research, but I thought that was succinctly put. Mark’s Daily Apple has been preaching this for many years. I used to include some of his nutrition posts in my daily newsletter, back in the day. Here is a bit from his blog:
For many years, the “cholesterol-fed rabbit” was a popular model for studying heart disease and gave rise to the now-popular idea that dietary cholesterol also elevates blood lipids in humans (thus immediately condemning them to a heart attack, naturally). Except it isn’t the case. Save for a select few who are “hyper-responders,” the vast majority of people can eat cholesterol without it affecting their cholesterol levels. And even when dietary cholesterol affects blood lipids, it’s usually an improvement, increasing HDL and the HDL:TC ratio while leaving LDL mostly unchanged. As for where all that blood cholesterol comes from, we make pretty much all the cholesterol in our blood in-house, and dietary cholesterol tends to suppress endogenous cholesterol synthesis. Boy, between “staying local” and “only making as much as we need,” our livers are downright green. I bet our HDL is GMO-free and organic to boot (not so sure about those sneaky LDL particles, though)…
- A 2011 study found that “reducing the intake of CHO with high glycaemic index is more effective in the prevention of CVD than reducing SAFA intake per se.”
- From a 2010 study out of Japan, saturated fat intake “was inversely associated with mortality from total stroke.”
- A 2010 meta-analysis found “that there is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of CHD or CVD.” (source)
So, my take away is that if we lay off the dairy, sugar, and gluten, the red meat won’t put us in an early grave. However, if we decide to eat this much meat, AND have the other stuff, we’re looking at speeding up potential heart clogging issues.
Breakfast | Adiells sausage, scrambled eggs, sweet potato, kiwi, a few macacamia nuts
Lunch | Pot roast, nuts, tangerine
I forgot to take a photo of this but you probably have an idea.
Dinner | Outback prime rib, salad, sweet potato
My prime rib was so rare, i think some people will be grossed out, so I am leaving out this photo too. The server asked us if we wanted to enjoy a drink, which I believe Becky did, in fact, want. However. We are on this Whole30 thing so no drinks for us. 🙂 We are totally teetotalers.
Speaking of which… this reminds of what I thought was a great episode of “Who do you think you are?” if you can imagine such a thing. Helen has an initially negative reaction when learning that her great-great-grandmother was a teetotaler and headed up the charge for the local women’s temperance society. However, after learning about the history of the time — kids would drink, men drank at work, there were violent brawls at the pubs on a regular basis etc. — she began to realize that her GGG was actually a feminist, who started daycares, helped get women ellected to school boards, and was a leader in getting women active in getting women the right to vote. In fact, her GGG was the very first woman to vote in her county when she was 90. She died 10 days later.
Physical Condition Report
I was able to exercise AFTER work last night, which isn’t common because I am usually so tired from my drive home. The drive still sucked, but it didn’t entirely zap my last bit of energy though, so that’s a good thing. I think that’s all there is to report today. Onward to day 23~~~~
Another day of eating stuff. I guess it’s like any day now, really. I don’t know if it’s a habit or not yet. In fact, the Whole30 folks send out a newsletter for each day of the program. The email today was about habits. Here are a couple tidbits from today’s newsletter:
- It takes approximately 66 days to form a habit even though the common wisdom is that it takes just three weeks.
- About 40% of the actions that you take each day are not the result of conscious decisions, but of habits.
- It can take up to 8 months for a complicated habit to take hold.
- Most habits run through three checkpoints—30, 90, and 365 days—before they become truly automatic.
- Missing a day or two here or there does not reduce the chance of forming a habit.
- The first few days of your new habit are the most important to be diligent about
They also offer up some sort of inspirational message that you are supposed to click on at the end of the day if you stay on the program. This was the message from today’s email… but only watch it if you ate healthy today!
Breakfast | Sweet potato and hard boiled eggs.
I still really enjoy this breakfast.
Lunch | Pot roast with vegetables
So I have made two previous pot roasts with two very different textures. I have found that one is far superior in terms of deliciousness. (see my tip below) Also, I added rutabaga this time which is very good. A good substitute if you really want a white potato which is not Whole30 compliant.
Tip: Bottom Round versus Chuck Roast
If you’re going to use the crock pot, use chuck roast. It tastes much better. Becky, however, thinks it is a little too fatty. She also doesn’t like bottom round.
Dinner | Steak, salad, sweet potato fries, guacamole, mango and tangerine
Forgot to photograph this till after eating most of the salad. We had red wine vinegar dressing, but I really wanted my Garlic Expressions which has added sugar. Everything else was delicious and satisfying.
Physical Condition Report
Feeling good again today. Did some more jogging this am and still felt strong. Still have the nicely regulated energy levels. All is well. Bring on day 22!
It’s been another busy few days, so I haven’t been doing my late evening blogging. Plus, I kinda think what I am eating is a bit repetitive so I imagine there isn’t much interest in the food. I also haven’t had many tips to speak of lately. But, I tell you what, that cilantro lasted a VERY long time in my fridge in that glass. That is a wining tip right there. And, I think I am getting much better at cooking an over easy egg. I think the hardest thing to learn about a lot of cooking is to not continually fuss with the food. For some reason I want to keep flipping or poking the food in the pan. I’ve learned to walk away and not touch for awhile. I guess food is like a little sister, maybe. Don’t mess with them too much and you’ll be happier for it.
Breakfast | Day 18 | Eggs over easy, sweet potato, 1/2 banana, pistachios.
Lunch | Day 18 | Prosciutto, mango, pistachios, bell beppers, guacamole, carrots
Dinner | Day 18 | Steak, carrots, blueberries, guacamole, and sweet potato
Breakfast | Day 19 | eggs over easy, guacamole, carrots, sweet potato
Lunch | Day 19 | Serrano dry cured ham (Fiorucci brand), guacamole, pistachios, mango, carrots, peppers
Dinner | Day 19 | Outback 8oz. prime rib, sweet potato (cinnamon only), and salad with red wine vinegar.
I shared about 1/4 of this prime rib with Abby, I think.
Breakfast | Day 20 | hard boiled eggs, sweet potato
Lunch | Day 20 | Chicken, tangerine, guacamole, mango, peppers, carrots
Dinner | Day 20 | Chicken, prosciutto, guacamole, banana
Physical Condition Report
If you’ve made it past all those food photos, congratulations! I have a couple things to mention here in the physical condition area.
First and foremost, I have been able to jog with my puppy every day for the last week or so. This may not be a big deal for some folks, but just a few weeks ago I would need at least a day to recover from soreness. It felt a little like my joints were burning… specifically my hips, and my bunion would flare up after every jog. It used to take a couple days for those areas to feel better, so I usually would do the jogging every other day, at best. Not so now. My body is recovering faster, and those pains have been significantly reduced. I also feel a little less cold. Strangely. Anyway. Two good things. I hope I don’t turn into one of those people who is all like “Ooooh, are you chilly? I prefer running in the cold. It’s so refreshing!”
Beyond those things, my sponsor (Chris) has suggested that I might have some smaller portions of protein. I have been a little on the tired side the past few days. I have been maintaining mental energy and a more consistent day-long energy store. But, my eyes are tired. I mean, I feel a bit tired mentally. Anyway. Chris said that it *might* be from larger protein servings. Protein can be harder to digest, so that might be a part of the tiredness. Also, she said that she feels most energetic after eating fats, so I am going to snack on some more nuts, or add them to meals.
Breakfast: 2 eggs, sweet potato, 1/2 banana
It’s kinda funny. I was very resistant to having eggs for breakfast every day. But this sweet potato and eggs thing is super delicious and I actually look forward to my breakfasts for that reason. I think I need to incorporate more veggies though.
Lunch: Tom Kha Soup with Chicken
I have been looking forward to eating this since I decided to do the Whole30. Unfortunately, I got out of the restaurant feeling a little off. I didn’t ask about dairy, because Tom Kah is usually made with just coconut milk.
Dinner: 6oz. Steak, guacamole, peppers, carrots, mango
Dinner was pretty good. My guacamole, was not as good. I forgot the garlic. That might have been a ruiner. But anyway, the rest of the meal was good. I wore a baggie my hands while cutting the mango to try and prevent the poison ivy lips. Wish me luck! Mango’s were 5 for 5 dollars. And they are delicious.
Breakfast: the usual. 2 eggs. sweet potato. 1/2 banana
Again, I ate breakfast without taking a photo. I think I am so incredibly excited to eat my sweet potato that I just forget. But it’s not terribly exciting to see a picture of the same thing every day. So, I am going to post a video of Dolly Parton singing Coat of Many Colors because she is fucking awesome and so is this song. I am posting a version with Shania because I love to hear Dolly harmonize. Dolly’s voice is so distinctive, she can’t be mistaken for any other artist. Despite her vocal power, and the fact that this is her signature song, she harmonizes so unselfishly. Love her. You can also listen to this Fresh Air interview with Dolly from 2001.
Lunch: leftover roast, guacamole with tangerines
I ate a bit before remembering to take the photo. But you get the idea. I mean it’s the same thing I ate my last two meals, so maybe a photo wasn’t even necessary. I have found that eating the same thing multiple times is a little boring, but very convenient. Have I mentioned how freaking good tangerines are in the world’s best guacamole? Good stuff. I recommend getting a seedless variety, however.
I had just a few of these after breakfast. I figure I need a little ‘healthy’ fat in the mornings too. And, I was still a little hungry after breakfast. Downsizing to two eggs since I’ve been a little too full in the mornings.
Dinner: Outback 8oz prime rib, sweet potato (cinnamon only), veggies
Taking a break from leftovers and/or cooking tonight, so Outback gets the call. I assume it’s not grass-fed meat, but I am choosing my battles since I just can’t get myself to cook every night. They say they want you to do the program 100%. I have seen folks on the forum saying they eat there, and nobody is saying they shouldn’t. Anyway. I think it’s all legal.
Physical Condition Report
Abby and I started the C25K program today. Started with week two and we did fairly well. Abby does not like the part where we jog for any specific period. She tries to stop the whole thing cold for a scratch or sniff. But I will keep working with her on staying focused.
Beyond that, I am not feeling much lighter these days. My pants aren’t any less tight than they were a few days ago, and I’m supposed to have Tiger’s Blood right now.
Halfway there m’er f’ers! It feels longer. The weekend is approaching, that means more triggers coming my way. Football. Parties. Peer pressure. Extra time. Only two weekends left after this! I mean there should be more weekends, let’s hope. But for the 30 day goal… you know what I mean.
Breakfast Day 15 | sweet potato, two hard boiled eggs, 1/2 banana
I ate it before I could take a photo. I was very hungry. Instead, I will post a photo of Muhammad Ali because he is fucking awesome.
Lunch Day 15 | bottom roast with veggies (carrot, celery, brussel sprouts, radishes, onion) and guacamole!1/2 banana
Dinner Day 15 | bottom roast with veggies (again), pistachios, kiwi
Leftovers are dullsville, but tasty enough. Here’s a picture of it.
Abby shared a pistachio with me. She can’t have many or she might get sick. But she shells them. Its cool.
Physical Condition Report
Not much to report here. Still feeling a nice consistent energy throughout the day, which is nice since I have been so busy the past few days. Unfortunately, it’s not making more efficient, and I feel like I need the extra energy to come home and make food! 🙂 But, that’s OK. Still better food. Better for the rest of the body too. And when the 30 days are up, I might know better what the foods are that murder my energy.
SO, has anyone else been thinking about trying this? If so, let me know! You should start now so you have some momentum with me! I’ll do the extra days with you if you want. Anyone?
Here’s what happened inside my mouth today.
Breakfast | Day 14 : hard boiled eggs, sweet potato, mango
Lunch | Day 14 : steak, tomatoes, carrots (part of an apple)
I had more steak than this. Probably about 4-5 ounces, but I ate some before remembering to take a photo. Had about half a bag of carrots and a few small fancy organic delightful tomatoes. A coworker shared a small chunk of her apple and I was good and full.
Dinner | Day 14 : prosciutto, carrots, avocado, 1/2 banana
I felt like a lite dinner tonight, so I kinda whipped this mix together. I find I like doing that for dinner. I realize this doesn’t make for the best TV, but it’s kinda how I am getting by when I am not super prepared.
I have a roast in the crockpot that should be ready to serve as my lunch tomorrow, and maybe lunch again, maybe another dinner. Just depends how the week shakes out. I added some new veggies to this one. Brussel sprouts, regular red radishes, carrots, onion, and celery. I just added the onions because I didn’t remember till now! Thanks blog readers!
I had a few before I made the roast because I was very hungry.
Physical Condition Report : Exercise Element
I have decided to add a new component to compliment my eating strategy. Since I now waking up with additional stores of energy inside my loins, I think I need to find a way to release it. I can’t seem to shake my legs at my desk enough to expend all of it. So, I am thinking the most reasonable way to expend this energy is in some sort of “exercise element.”
I am going to try the Couch to 5K program again. I have started this several times, but around week six and seven, I am just not able to keep up. I’ve had hip pain and my bunions flare up, and was having a little heel pain too. Plus, Abby the puppy, doesn’t really like to jog continuously for too many minutes in a row. But she and I will try together in the mornings starting someday soon. One of my reasons for doing this was to see if joint pain improved. I can’t say yes, so far. But I am going to keep at it. I just need to work out the shoe situation.
The end goal will be to do a 5k, which Becky has been wanting to do for awhile now. I’ll still be training for an upcoming cycling metric century ride coming up in May, but the cross training can’t hurt. And the dog is getting a little chunky. She is beautiful, of course. But she’ll jump higher for those tennis balls with a pound less on her frame. Not that I am turning into one of those people who worries about having an overweight dog. I have pretty much worried about it the whole time. So. Anyway. Still not interested in crossfit. Two more days till the timeline says I’ll have Tiger’s Blood. Tomorrow is halfway.