Well, hello there world. To say I owe you an update on the Whole30 would be the understatement of the last month and a half.
We were cruising along well, enjoying the second half of our self inflicted restriction plan, when a death in the family teetered our smooth sailing choo-choo into the darkness and depths of a very wide chasm. The day after we learned of my father-in-law's death, Mr. Musky booked two tickets on a flight west while I scrambled to batter our kids about like pinballs between friends and neighbors. On the flight out, my husband declared the Whole30 over and ordered a cocktail.
I suppose that's allowed when your father dies unexpectedly.
A kind reader warned me that the first cocktail post plan would "knock my socks off." She was close. After a single, teeny tiny airplane-sized bloody mary, I found myself enunciating every word in a loud whisper to my husband.
"Why are you talking so slowly?" he asked.
"I. Am. Tryyyyiiing. To. Ar-tic-u-late."
"Are you drunk?"
"Yes. A little bit."
I declined the second drink offer from the perky stewardess.
That night our train completely careened off the track as we dined at Tony's uncle's house. They welcomed us so warmly, and cooked us a homemade meal of chicken, rice, green beans and a jello dish. The company easily trumped the food on our plate. It didn't matter how we would react to grains and sugar and the processed item that surely adorned the chicken that night. We knew we wouldn't die and it was more important to shut up about the food and laugh with the people who sat across the table.
For the most part, we kept up with the Whole30 plan as best as possible while in Palm Springs, but we absolutely drank a cocktail or glass of wine every night we were there. There's just something about 75 degree weather that mandates it.
Needless to say, the ensuing days and weeks proved difficult for us to maintain the program 100%. I feared we'd plummeted off the edge of the cliff permanently after Ron's funeral, when Mr. Musky declared he was making fried onion strings and fried fish tacos for dinner. With the funky oil, flour, and grain, he was gunning for a trifecta failure.
Is it wrong that I was hoping that everyone would feel like shit the next day?
If so, then sue me. Because everyone felt like shit. And I did the happy dance. They were ALL requesting Whole30 food again - including my mother-in-law, who surely thought we were crazy for our newfound food obsession. Even the kids HATED they way they bloated and felt blah and what their gastrointestinal tracts were doing in the form of protestation.
It was ugly.
So I promptly made chicken with 40 cloves of garlic. And I have to admit - I am so happy that wine is back in my life, in both my glass and in my food. Wine rocks. Wine adds depth of flavor to all things it encounters. Wine lifts my mood, and if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. My only regret is that due to our extenuating circumstances, we were unable to reintroduce foods according to the guidelines outlined in the plan to see how items like diary, grains and gluten affect us. Maybe we'll just have to do another Whole30 in January to fully experience reintroduction.
Now for the cool stuff - the results.
Jake - dropped a pants size or two and lost 12 pounds, 25 since last May. That's a 13 year old boy, by the way. If you have a kid who eats poorly and wants to improve, do this. I overheard him telling a friend the other day that it really wasn't that hard to do for 30 days. But...he did miss bread and he's glad it's back in his life, albeit in very small portions, mostly just at breakfast. The kid eats more vegetables now then he did in his first thirteen years on the planet. He even likes some salads! I'm thrilled with his results.
Kahley - shed 10 pounds, exclusively wears an extra-small in women's clothing now and looks lean and toned. She loves how she feels, and wants to keep eating this way as much as possible. She missed Coke terribly, and it still tastes good to her. But she is not complaining about its absence in the house, and is fine with just ordering it out as a treat. My goal for her was to realize that she can control what she eats and how it affects her health long term. I think we succeeded, as we've been talking about how to incorporate this new way of eating when she's away at camp this summer.
Mr. Musky - lost 17 pounds since October. He dropped two to three pants and shirt sizes, depending on the brand. He looks svelte and rather sexy, according to his wife. He bitches about it constantly just to tease me, but loves the food and the way he feels and looks. He wants to keep on with it, but admits that he misses pasta with cream sauce and mashed potatoes because, as we all know, "That shit tastes good." He loves pizza, but is appalled at how bad he feels after eating it. He realizes now that he cannot, positively should not, eat any kind of processed cheese whatsoever because of how he feels afterward. Nonetheless, he thinks it would be a neato experiment to eat Kraft Mac and Cheese. Weirdo. Maybe Santa will bring him a box in his stocking. He partied with his fraternity brothers a few weeks ago, and couldn't eat the following day until lunchtime due to painful cramps that wracked his gut. Fried food, bad pizza and beer are definitely off his list for good. Yesterday he ate a sandwich for lunch, noshed more carbs for dinner, and declared that the feeling of blah was not worth it.
Me - I'm happy. Energized. Smaller in inches, everywhere on my body (how do you lose over an inch around the calves in a mere month? Do the Whole30). I'm down 13 pounds since October, nearly 30 since last December and am still losing weight at the rate of about a pound a week. And the beauty? I AM NOT HUNGRY! And I don't feel restricted in any way. If I choose to eat carbs or sugar, I do it in smaller portions, guilt free, then get back on the Paleo train. I get so excited when shopping for clothes now that I actually lost my car key at Macy's one day and had to ask Mr. Musky to come bring me the spare. Because I can wear a Medium! A Medium! A Medium! Whoopiee!
Moving forward, we will continue to eat a paleo diet as often as possible. For each of us that means different things. For the most part, we will all eat paleo every lunch and dinner at home, unless it's someone's 43rd birthday and he requests pasta (but it's gluten free now!) with cream sauce, peas and garlic bread. Or when Christmas rolls around and it's Pierogi time. There's a recipe and accompanying cocktail coming on Friday for that reindeer game.