My whole 30 diet adventure

On March 1, 2018 I started an elimination diet plan called Whole 30. I lost about 9 pounds in two months, which is not bad considering I consumed two jars of mayonnaise during that time. Since I was most eating meat, veggies, fruit and fats during that time, I cooked every meal from scratch and had to come up with some creative ideas.

One of my favorite tactics, was to mix 4 to 6 ingredients together with mayonnaise as a cold salad, and eat it on the go if necessary. So for example, I might take cook sausage or chicken, combine it with chopped apples and or fruit sweetened cranberries, along with some endive, perhaps some fennel, and some walnuts, mayo over the whole thing stir it up and eat it. Deelicious. I also got a spiralizer and got serious about spiralizing vegetables. I never been a big fan of zucchini, but spiralized zucchini does work well as a substitute pasta, or noodle type ingredient, mixed with meatballs, or tossed into a soup and cooked for a few minutes. Other vegetables I spiralized included yellow squash, purple cabbage, sweet potato, potatoes, cucumber, and something else I can’t remember what the heck it was.

I relied on various Whole 30 cookbooks of which there are several, along with recipes printed from the Internet, and the latest Nom Nom Paleo book.

Let’s take a look at some stuff I ate:

 

Spiralized potatoes, bacon and parsley

 

Frittata with mushrooms, carrots and more.

 

Chicken broccoli stirfry with cauliflower rice.

 

Spiralized potatoes and this thing that looks like a mushroom is actually the core and end of the potato after the rest has been spiralized.

So what was it like going a full month without any grains, dairy, sweeteners, carrageenan, MSG, sulfites, and alcohol? Well about 4-5 days in I went through withdrawal symptoms, probably mostly from nixing sugar from my diet, as well as rice and other high carb foods I had been consuming. The withdrawal symptoms felt like… I don’t know the flu maybe …kind of headachy and just overall blah and yuck. But when that faded I felt pretty darn good. The most impressive thing is how balanced and stable I felt. I wasn’t constantly riding the blood sugar roller coaster, doing stupid things like grabbing some chocolate, eating it, and then thinking “I don’t feel so good” and reaching for something else stupid like Doritos, and then wondering why I still didn’t feel good, just stuffing my face trying to feel better. Obviously the strategy was not working for me and I knew it so I wanted to turn over a new leaf and try this new diet, which is billed as a way to reset your habits. So on the 30 days of Whole 30, you’re not supposed to have chips, or anything that is a treat, like cookies, pancakes or muffins or anything like that, even if all the ingredients comply with the dietary restrictions. This is to help you overcome habitual eating patterns.

Oddly, the thing I missed most was simply some sort of bland white food that I could use as a base for a sauce laden meal, or a soup. I could not use rice, noodles, toast, crackers or anything. But I could use that “zoodles” (spiralized veg). So I made my share of “cauliflower rice” and “zoodles”.

Going in, I already knew that alcohol, sugar, wheat, made me feel sick in one way or or another. So when it came time to do the food introduction phase, I didn’t even bother with these. The first thing I did try was soy, specifically miso, figuring it would be just fine, and 15 minutes later my stomach was like “what the hell did you just do? “. Then I had some tofu. And I spent the next hour or so feeling like digestive disaster was going to occur. Actually beyond that first hour I didn’t really experience any problems. But I do feel a little wary of soy now and will do some more experiments in the future. I did not appear to have much trouble with the other ingredients I tested, except some excessive burping after eating cows milk yogurt, but I knew that was likely to be an issue anyway, as I have had that reaction with dairy products for several years now since my gallbladder trouble.

Now that I’m eating my regular diet again (minus sugar which I am not eager to get back to), the digestion has been working overtime, which is a little rough, but at least I can have a break from all this cooking. And now I know if I need a “reset” I have a plan that has a community behind it.

Random salad of endive, apple, spiralized yellow squash, walnuts and dried cranberries, with lemon juice and olive oil.

 

Cauliflower, bacon, tomato sauce and I forget what else.

 

Tomato stuffed with ground cashews and parsley.

 

Purple salsa: red cabbage, tomatoes, lime juice, red onion, salt and pepper. I couldn’t have any chips with it though so I ate it with ground beef.

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Japan was amazing 3: Food Surprises

Breakfast bar at Hotel Nikko Narita…I could not find any non-dairy milks, which was a surprise since I’ve heard most people in Japan are lactose intolerant.

 

The breakfast bar at Hotel Hikko Narita offered supplements.

 

Top to bottom: fruit, mystery substance, soup of some kind.

 

Oshinko pickles, soy sauce, and a shrimp floating in broth with mystery substances, one shaped like a flower cut out.

 

Raw fishes of various kinds.

 

Bottom to top: Shrimp, okra and mystery substance skewer over seaweed, mystery substance, gelatinous mystery substance over monkfish liver.

Indonesia was amazing 3

I had some amazing foods and meals in Yogyakarta. Our hotel had this stunning breakfast buffet. Here some other meals.

Novotel Yogyakarta Hotel Breakfast Buffet

 

I actually can’t remember where this was!

 

Ordering off the menu at Novotel Yogyakarta Hotel. This was one of their local specialties.

 

 

I can’t recall the name of the restaurant but they had the best tempeh ever.

Indonesia was amazing: 1

I came back from my trip to Indonesia February 2, 2018 but haven’t had any time to post anything about it. I figured I at least should put up some photos!

I left the USA on January 22, 2018 and flew to Yogyakarta via Tokyo and Jakarta. The goal was to meet up with His Eminence Avikrita Vajra Rinpoche, His Eminence Abhaya Vajra Rinpoche, Her Eminence Dagmo Kusho Sakya and dozens of other travelers from Sakya Monastery in Seattle, and from around the world, in order to undertake a pilgrimage to see various sites important to Buddhism, such as the temples at Prambanan and Borobodur.

I arrived in the pouring rain, and each passenger was handed an umbrella as they stepped off the plane. We had probably a quarter of a mile to walk to get to the airport.

Welcome to Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Here is your umbrella and your first experience of rain soaking through your sandals.

They say that Indonesia isn’t a good place for travelers with mobility issues, and they aren’t kidding. Imagine trying to shlep a wheelchair here:

This is the road between the hotel where I stayed and the nearby Galeria Mall.

We stayed in the Novotel Yogyakarta Hotel and it was pretty posh. Here are some of the fancy treats that awaited my roommate and I:

This is a Javanese coconut treat.

Snakeskin fruit

One last thing, because I wished I could have found a photo of the plug in the hotel before I went, is a photo of the plug in the hotel. I geek out on weird things. 

I will try to post more in the coming weeks!

Fun with the Air Fryer

I got an Air Fryer recently and have been playing with it. It’s called an Air Fryer because people love fried food and the idea of “frying” with little to no oil really sells these gadgets. Really, it’s like a mini convection oven, so it’s good at making things crispy.

Here’s what I have tried so far:

  1. Potato chunks
  2. Spinach
  3. Cauliflower

All three of these were done up simple. A splash of olive oil (or in the case the the spinach, a bit of oil spray) and some salt and maybe one or two other seasonings. I would have photos but they disappeared too fast. The spinach, I’m not kidding, was inside me and my kid in minutes.

These things were good, especially the spinach (if you like crispy kale you should try it for sure).

But tonight I took it to a whole new level and made the Buffalo Cauliflower Things from Ready or Not! the newest Nom Nom Paleo cook book. This is basically crisp-ish roasted cauliflower with Buffalo hot sauce. Sublime.

Have you made anything with an Air Fryer? Have a favorite recipe to share?