Coffee Talk 08.14.16

Coffee Talk with Jo-Lynne

It’s been almost a week since we started Whole 30, and I promised an update. I get a lot of questions about what I’m eating and how it’s going. Honestly, I don’t feel like I have much to share, but you know me — I’ll say that and go on to write 2000 words. Ha!

I actually feel like my food is pretty boring. I’ve tried a few new dinner recipes, but I have no problem eating the same things for breakfast and lunch, and that’s what I’ve been doing. I eat eggs with some veggies mixed in at breakfast. I try to have leftover dinner veggies in the fridge for that purpose. I’ve been following meals with a clementine to cleanse my palate and satisfy my craving for something sweet, and that works really well.

For lunch, I eat a salad with homemade lemon vinaigrette and canned tuna on top. We planted a few tomato plants this year, so I’ve been enjoying a fresh tomato cut up on my salads each day.

That doesn’t work for my husband because he hates tuna, and I haven’t really gone out of my way to find another option for him. He’s also not crazy about leftovers, but he’d eat them if I sent them to work with him. The problem with that is, we rarely have leftovers. We’re a family of 5 with 3 voracious teenagers, and unless I set some aside before I put it on the dinner table, most everything gets consumed. I can usually manage to keep a few veggies out for my morning eggs, but sometimes even then I have to request them to leave some for me. Anything that is a meat or a starch gets eaten.

I should probably buy that pre-cooked and sliced chicken from Applegate Farms for his salad, but I doubt it is Whole 30 compliant. Then again, neither are we. Haha!

That’s a great segue, actually!

I’ve been making up some of my own rules as I go along. Two biggies — I use butter in my cooking and I put cream in my coffee. I am not convinced that dairy is bad, and these small exceptions aren’t going to make or break my progress. I decided not to get bogged down in the minutia of the plan and just follow the basics.

What I’m Eating

In a nutshell… (haha! no pun intended!) We are eating lots of meat, seafood, eggs, and vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats from fruits, oils, nuts, and seeds. No added sugar, artificial sweeteners, grains, and legumes, but I’m allowing good quality dairy (organic, grassfeed, blahblahblah) and wine with dinner.

Yep, I have also been enjoying wine with my dinners. I decided when I started this that I’m not giving up my dinner wine. I actually find that I eat more slowly and intentionally and enjoy my food more when I have wine with it, and I don’t want this to feel like a diet. I want it to feel like my new normal. Heck, I want this to BE my new normal… but we’ll see how far I get. Eating real food is work, and it will be easy to regress into old bad habits if I don’t stay committed.

I’m also trying not to re-create baked goods, junk foods, or treats with “approved” ingredients, which is one of the Whole 30 rules, but I might make an exception for those paleo apple cinnamon muffins I used to make. Those were a nice treat, but I was always tempted to overeat those when I made them, so I can understand why they have that rule. Maybe once I get back on track and prove to myself that I can make eating this way a habit, I can make those every once in a while.

In fact, I’m not even doing this with a 30-day goal in mind. I’m just saying I’m doing Whole 30 because most people know what that means, and it’s the easiest way I know to describe how I’m trying to eat, but I’m making modifications to their program and eating the way I want to eat longterm.

In the past, when I’ve done this sort of thing strictly for a certain number of days (ahem, 21 Day Sugar Detox…) I think I felt so deprived that by the time I went off it, even though I felt great and wanted to stick with it, I still had that mentality of, Yay, it’s over! Now I can have fill-in-the-blank…

I’m hoping by doing it this way, it might stick.

New Dinner Recipes

I was feeling pretty bored with dinner, so I’ve been trying some new dinner recipes, and that’s been fun. Preparation is the key to eating this way and maintaining it, so I’ve had to force myself to take time to seek out new recipes, make a grocery list, and actually shop.

I’m trying to keep it as simple as possible so I don’t get burned out and give up. I soon learned that if you Google Whole 30 Dinner Recipes, you will find a slew of complicated recipes with all sorts of different fruits and nuts and veggies. I am sure it is more healthy to eat that way, but I don’t have the time or interest. It was overwhelming me, so I started printing out only recipes that have a small ingredients list of things I would typically buy.

We really liked this shrimp and asparagus stir fry. I bought a bag of cut up asparagus and mushrooms and onions at Trader Joe’s, and I used those. I also got my raw shrimp at Trader Joe’s. Next time I make this, I plan to sauté some riced cauliflower to serve with it. (I bought a bag of cauliflower already grated at Trader Joe’s.)

Another one we liked was this Grilled Salmon with Mango Salsa, although I used mahi mahi. I actually bought the salmon I needed for this recipe, and I bought the mahi mahi for a different recipe, and then I defrosted the mahi mahi by accident, and I wanted to use up the mango I bought, so I just did this recipe with mahi, and it was great.

This week I plan to try the Paleo Blackened Cajun Mahi Mahi, which is what I bought the mahi for to begin with. I need to get over to Trader Joe’s again and restock. I like buying my fish at Trader Joe’s because it is packaged in small portions and already frozen and easy to pick up the amount I need.

Another night this week, I made Colleen’s Kale Salad that is here on my website along with my Red Wine Marinated Flank Steak. I also fried up some leftover boiled potatoes in butter and sliced onion.

I love that white potatoes are allowed on Whole 30 because they are not typically considered paleo-friendly and I often eliminate them when I’m trying to eat super healthy. I probably wouldn’t have made this exception on my own, but we do love them, so I’m allowing them. It also helps to have a filler that the kids all enjoy because eating this way isn’t really going to sustain my teenagers and their voracious appetites.

I’m trying not to make potatoes too often, though, because I do tend to overeat them, especially when I haven’t been snacking on carbs and I’m craving them.

Last night, I made this 1 Pan Lemon Artichoke Chicken with a side of steamed green beans, and it was delicious! My husband asked me to make it once a week.

So, how’s it going so far?

My goal with doing this was to feel better and to drop a few pounds and to do that by developing healthier eating habits. So far, I feel like I’m on the right track. I definitely feel less bloated, although my temperamental tummy is trying to adjust to consuming more vegetables, and that is taking some getting used to. I know from doing this sort of thing in the past that I will adapt and be fine. I probably should be taking some digestive enzymes, though. I used to take those a lot for my heartburn and gastritis symptoms.

Speaking of heartburn, I have had none since starting this modified Whole 30 experiment last Tuesday. Hooray!

As far as weight loss goes, I didn’t get to the store until Monday so we didn’t officially start until Tuesday, and I’ve lost a total of 4 pounds in 5 days. I know that it’s mostly water weight, and I’m expecting it to level off over the next few weeks as eating this way becomes more routine, and then I can adjust my portion sizes and exercise to maintain where I want to be.

My goal is not to lose major weight, although it sure would be fun to be a size 4 again. Those were the days… but I am 44, and I am not trying to change my pants size. I just want to fit comfortably into the pants that are hanging in my closet.

I have to admit, I keep asking myself what is going to make this different than all the times in the past that I’ve tried to implement new eating habits, but I certainly won’t succeed if I don’t try. And I have to remind myself, I have made major changes that have stuck. I’ve been gluten-free for 5 years, and I gave up my 3-a-day soda habit, so I figure if I can do that, surely I can do this.

I think the key for me is to keep it simple, and make it a priority to keep stocked up on good foods so I don’t resort to snacks and pizza takeout. I know my trigger foods (potato chips… cheese & crackers… GF cookies…) so I’m trying to keep those out of the house. It is hard with teenagers because they like snacks, but as long as I buy snacks that don’t tempt me, I should be able to stick to the plan.

Well, I’m at 1700 words! Ha! I didn’t quite make it to 2000, but I think I’ve said all I have to say at this point. I’m happy to answer any questions in the comments.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Join The Conversation

32 Responses

  1. I enjoyed reading about your new diet. My family also started eating more healthy several months ago. I have been using the “Trim Healthy Momma” plan. We are eating better. Like you, the problem is the effort. I must constantly be looking out for acquiring the right ingredients, planning ahead, getting new dishes that fit the plan. I feel better, we are eating better…but it is work. I cannot imagine having to cook for your crew following the new plans of healthy eating. BUT, concentrate on what you are teaching them and the desire for GOOD food that this will put into their life.

    1. I’ve heard good things about that plan. Yes, it is sooo much work. It’s so much easier to do takeout.

      Thankfully, my kids don’t complain about my meals. They like good food, but they eat plenty of crap at school and stuff, so I really want to bring less into our home. What they do complain about is having no “good” snacks. Good snacks = junk, btw. 🙂

  2. Regarding your husband’s lunches: my son and DIL buy either chicken breasts or thighs and on the weekend. They cook up a crockpot full, layered with their favorite spices, their favorite veggies, and a drizzle of olive oil. Then they have this in the fridge all week to use for lunches, breakfast omlets, or to grab for a quick non-carb snack. They freeze the broth to use for soup recipes. They have found this really keeps them on track. Keep up the good work!

  3. I love your blog and as a dairy farmer I’m so thrilled to see that you are still including dairy in your healthy eating lifestyle. I love that you are not convinced it’s bad. Butter and cream should of course be used in moderation. I have unfolllowed countless bloggers for spreading misinformation about dairy. So happy your blog is a keeper!

    1. Hey Judy. I totally agree – I did a ton of research on real food/whole foods a few years ago and I am all for good quality dairy in moderation. I drank raw milk for a while but I got sick from it unfortunately and I’m afraid to go back to it. Do you drink your own raw milk from your farm?

      1. Our dairy farm is on Prince Edward Island in Canada and no we do not drink raw milk from our farm and I do not recommend that anyone drink raw milk. Our dairy is very clean and we meet and exceed all regulations and criteria to ship milk from our farm. That being said microscopic pathogens can still make us very ill and that is why the pasteurization process is so important. Our son couldn’t drink raw milk so we switched to pasteurized when he was a child and never switched back. Many farm families do consume raw milk and do just fine. However keep in mind because they have continuous exposure to the particular pathogens on their farm their bodies have developed some immunity. Therefore they don’t become ill but if someone from off the farm were to drink the same raw milk they could become ill.
        Oh my I’m way off the topic of your blog. #squirrel
        I have been reading your blog for about a year and love it. I too am a jeans girl! Although I do work away from the farm in a ladies fashion store a few hours a week and that requires getting spiffed up. You have a nice range from casual to dress up and I love how easy it is to navigate along with the casual overall vibe!
        Read it every day with my morning coffee…with cream….wink!

        1. Hey Judy, I understand all that and that is exactly the conclusion I came to and why I left raw milk behind. I am the opposite of your son, though. I cannot drink pasteurized milk. It upsets my stomach dreadfully. I can drink it if I take a lactaid tablet, though. Raw milk did not upset my stomach. I loved it. It was sooo yummy. My family loved it too, but we did get contract campylobacter, and it was traced to the farm where we got our milk and our exact container. Others got it too. This is my story. You might find it interesting. https://jolynneshane.com/sick-from-raw-milk.html

          Thanks so much for taking the time comment. It means so much to know that you enjoy my ramblings. 🙂

  4. Hmmm you’ve been gluten-free for 5 years? I remember when you did that. I always enjoy your food posts. I grew up in a family of five, and never have liked cooking for fewer, so with only three of us and one being a three year old we almost always have leftovers.
    I agree it always seems to be more work eating healthy food, but I’ve decided it’s good for us even if we don’t always keep up with it. It’s still more time we’re protecting our body from junk so I try not to worry about if I can do it forever too much. Good luck keeping up with it!

    1. I agree that it is good to keep up with healthy eating as much as possible, even if we still let the junk slip in sometimes. I am not aiming for perfection, I just want to lighten the load, ya know? That’s what I tell myself when I get discouraged. 🙂 Eating well some of the time is still better than eating well none of the time. Very few of us eat well all of the time. 🙂

  5. Totally off topic — but SWVA?! SHUT THE FRONT DOOR! I live in SWVA and NEVER (well, hardly ever ????) read of people who even know of the area. Found your blog via Grace and Beauty Blog and finally decided to nose around here because it’s an hour til’ church and apparently I like to push limits on timeliness… Just wanted to pop in and say hello! Will be following bc mid-forties and stylish sounds great!!

    1. LOL! Hi Jennifer. I know what you mean about pushing the limits on timeliness. I always feel like I have more time than I do. Ha! Where do you live? I grew up in Salem (next door to Roanoke.)

  6. Although I’m not exactly following any sort of meal plan or diet, your snaps did inspire me to clean up my eating lately and I feel 100x better. Summers are tough for me to shop and meal prep so we often resort to takeout and convenience meals. I was feeling so gross -the bloat, the sluggishness, the guilt! My goal is just to make healthier choices and smaller portions. I think it’s a great idea to give yourself some leeway on this to keep it a realistic for the longterm. Deprivation usually leads to overindulging later in my experience, and that defeats the purpose, right? Anyway, thanks for sharing and inspiring and good luck with this new lifestyle change! 🙂

    1. Yes, what IS it with summer!!!???? I always end up slacking in the summertime and end up in this situation. I’m glad you were inspired to clean up your eating habits some. It really doesn’t need to be a huge program. Small changes are often all we need and much less overwhelming.

  7. Good luck on the Whole30! I did it back in the spring. I think you’re smart to not restrict yourself too much. When I finished mine I ate everything in sight, especially junk. I ended up gaining all the weight I lost plus a few pounds ???? If I ever do it again I plan to eat less nuts and more fruit. Fruit keeps me from feeling like I am depriving myself, but still helps me break my sugar addiction.

    1. Yes, I agree on fruit!!! I did the 21 Day Sugar Detox 2 years ago and they didn’t allow fruit (besides green-tipped bananas and green apples.) I set out to follow that program to a T and I did for the most part, but I think the fruit rule was unnecessary and too stringent for me. I like that Whole 30 allows fruit and white potatoes. But then I disagree with the dairy restriction… so ya know. We all have to figure out what works best for our bodies, I guess.

  8. Thanks for keeping it real. It is impossible to stay with these very restrictive diets long term. A life style change is the way to go. Sunday coffee chats are a fav with me.

  9. I am trying to get back on a clean diet too. I did Great until the first of June and now I have gained back weight and feel defeated. Thanks for the encouragement!

    1. It’s a yo-yo, isn’t it? I have lost the same 5 pounds so many times… haha!!! All we can do is keep getting back on track. I just tell myself… think of the condition I’d be in if I DIDN’T keep trying. Ya know? Hang in there!

    1. Eating out is the hardest part because I tend to feel like that is a time to splurge. I haven’t eaten out this week at all, or ordered takeout. The kids wanted to order pizza on Saturday, and I considered it, but I knew it was too soon and I needed to stick to the plan, so I cooked, and I’m so glad I did.

      I think when starting something like this, it is best to do it when there are no activities or dining out plans for a week or two — once you start feeling good and lose a few pounds, then you can eat out and even deviate from the plan, and one meal won’t sabotage all your efforts. But if you start eating out too soon, then you won’t see overall progress and you will lose momentum before you really get into it. Does that make sense?

      Unless it is a special occasion, I try to be sensible when eating out. I rarely order dessert. (I make an exception for special occasions, but even then, sometimes I don’t b/c I know I will feel like crap. Sugar hates me.)

      The biggest issue when eating out, IMO, is portion sizes. I always eat too much. I wish I were better about separating half and asking for a take home box right away – those sorts of strategies help if you’re disciplined enough to do them. 🙂

  10. Hi friend! I am so glad I came across this today because my plan, once all of the children leave my house (which is MUCH too soon!), I am planning to start something like this too. I love your moderate approach, though. For me, if I have to deny myself the glass of wine or the potatoes or whatever, I’d be miserable. I have cut back on baking much this summer, so that shouldn’t be a problem. “Just eat real food,” is what my super-healthy daughter tells me. Can’t wait to hear how it goes for you!

    1. Yes, just eat real food – it sounds so simple, but then you go to the store and all those delicious packaged goodies are so tempting. 🙂 My biggest downfall is not having good food in the house and resorting to granola bars and stuff for lunch or breakfast…. and then being hungry all day and craving something more satisfying, which makes me eat more crap. It’s a downward spiral. The other issues is potato chips — the good ones, like Kettle Cheddar and Backyard BBQ — I will sit down and eat an entire bag with a glass of wine before dinner and then eat a full meal. Oh, and GF cookies – they are so good with a cup of coffee in the afternoon, and then I find myself grabbing one after each meal when I’m craving sweet. Okay, so I have a lot of downfalls. HAHA!

      Good luck with your new eating plan. I do think it will be SO much easier without kids in the house. But my husband is the one who brings home the chips. I have told him NO MORE CHIPS. For a while, anyway. Ha!

  11. We live on the West Coast, so I love reading your Sunday Coffee Chats early in the morning while the house is still quiet before the scramble before church. Here are a couple of recipes you can add to your repertoire. They happen to both be from the Pioneer Woman. I am not familiar enough with Whole30 to know if these would be approved, but they are made with real food and we really enjoy both of them. We are not what you would call “lovers of tofu”, but our son ate 6 of the tofu lettuce wraps for dinner ????



  12. I’m on day 14, so pleased. Trying not to look at how far I have to go (with weight loss) but be thankful for progress. I enjoyed hearing about you experience.

    1. that is the right attitude! 🙂 and according to the plan, you aren’t supposed to weigh yourself, but I’ve been weighing myself daily for 20 years and I don’t expect I’ll stop now. ha!

  13. JoLynne, I did not know you were doing Whole 30… awesome! I’m a huge fan of the program, thanks to my daughter (26). She encouraged me to try it with her about 18 mos. ago and it completely changed what I eat and my perspective on food. I, like you, wanted to adjust the rules (eat peanut butter, grains – the hardest for me to give up, use butter, wine with dinner, etc.) but she encouraged me to go all in. So glad I did because I learned how grains and other foods were effecting my health. Sure, tweaking for down the road, family tastes, etc. makes total sense. Now when not on W30, I eat W30’ish … PB, wine with dinner, a tortilla now and then oh and my love… chocolate! But for the most part veggies and eggs (just like you said!) for breakfast, huge salad for lunch. salmon and baked sweet potato for dinner. We’re doing W30 for a 3rd time this Sept (usually we do it in Jan as a semi “cleanse” after the junk of the holidays, but her wedding is 1/21 so that won’t work!). Each time I do it I learn something new, find a new recipe, etc. So all this (sorry!) to say thanks for letting people know about this natural and effective way to eat… you rock!

    1. That is awesome! yes I have done these things all in before and agree it is great to do it that way at least once. I was putting it off b/c I didn’t want to give up certain things so I decided to try it with my modifications… so far so good! I probably should lay off the popcorn but it is a nice little treat and doesn’t seem to be hindering my progress too awful much. W30ish is the perfect way to describe it. Ha!

  14. Jo-Lynne, I love reading about your approach to the Whole30. I’m seriously considering it now. Have you written anywhere else about when you first started? (I searched your site and came up with this post)

    I’d love to lost 7-10 pounds, and after a month of kicking up the workouts, its not coming off. I’m already a pretty healthy eater/cook, so a Whole 30 might be the tipping point. Any advice on getting started and meal planning? I’m crazy for meal planning, so that’s the key for me.

    Thanks again for sharing your progress!

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