Category Archives: church of paleo
Food and Religion
Wow, am I glad January is almost over.
About two weeks in, I realized this was the Worst Month Ever to Whole30. But I committed. So here I am on Day 26, with a plan to indulge in something non-Whole30 Friday night (Tacos with SHELLS?) or Saturday morning (pancakes?). I haven’t decided, and no one else but me cares, really.
Another reason for the Whole30 this year was this looming appointment I have with my gynecologist, who is best known for her Conversations About My Weight every time I see her. Even after I dropped 50 pounds, she’d “like to see me weigh less.” So, of course, after the holidays when I added ten more pounds to the number that she saw in October. Well, up a creek, as they say. I haven’t weighed myself since I started on Jan 2, but my appointment with her is on Thursday, so we’ll see what kind of progress has been made. Gah. Stress.
Ooh, on another front, I’ve been going to church. I KNOW! Let’s see. I’ve visited the Presbyterians, the Lutherans, and most recently this weekend, the Episcopalians. I was leaning Lutheran until I hung with the Episcopalians on Sunday, so I’m going to go there for a few weeks and see how I like it. Super Plus Bonus points for having an amazing choir, a robust presence of children, and getting communion from a lesbian priest.
They were a bit over the top, though, those crazy Episcopalians. So many people in the procession. So many robes and shiny crosses and chalices and shiny shiny big, loud, kneeling church! The Lutherans were more low-key, both in size and in practice, BUT I didn’t connect with the pastor as well as I did with Lesbian Priest. The Episcopal kneeling was kind of challenging – kneeling while balancing ones-self while holding the program and reading the prayers. That’s a lot of multitasking on a Sunday morning. I thought it would be more like the Catholics, but it kind of wasn’t? I totally needed the program to know what on earth was going on.
The Presbyterians had a nice choir and a lovely pastor, but there was really no “down time.” It was all pray, preach, sing, over and over. I like a little quiet reflective time in my church. Plus, when they did pray, it was kind of slow and droning. C’mon people – it’s church! Perk up!
I’ll keep you posted. Fun religious times!
So it’s been nearly three months since we wrapped up The Whole 30 (v2.0), and while we’re not officially off the wagon, we had some setbacks. These were mostly in the form of visitors. Though we LOVE visitors, they tend to come in waves upon waves upon tsunamis, and then we’ve started attending the Church of Oreo without even realizing it. It IS such a delicious faith…
Visitors are kind of like a holiday. An exception. A “I don’t want to make you eat like us” kind of world. Because not everyone loves spaghetti squash when they could have spaghetti pasta. And convincing a non-believer than spaghetti squash is just as good as spaghetti pasta is damn near impossible (although it totally is). Because eating paleo for more than 2.5 people gets expensive very quickly, when you’re buying meat meat meat.
And then someone buys a package of cookies and a 12 pack of Pepsi, and you’re like, “WHATEVER! I’M ON VACATION!” But you’re not. It’s like, late April.
Then there’s the whole knock-over-the-head realization of Sugar = Drug = I feel SO much better, Ahhh.
We recovered and detoxed from one visit, only to get hit by another few visitors back-to-back, and suddenly, I’m actually excited when RR’s not interested in her peanut butter sandwich, cause then I get to eat it. It’s a slippery slope.
This week, we had good intentions. But then this week is for shit. There’s the whole bit about not being pregnant, followed by my wife’s super long busy week, and the last adult music class last night (AKA SO MUCH BEER).
This is all to say that eating paleo, although delicious, rewarding, and cleansing, is as hard as it is easy. Or, rather, willpower is hard. Walking by the bagel place that sells steaming, hot, fresh cinnamon raisin bagels… and walking… and walking… is actually the hard part. This isn’t to say that I sometimes lose. That I find myself in the grocery store picking up an oven pizza, chips and salsa, a pint of ice cream, and some Pinwheels, happens because THIS WEEK IS HARD.
But! The part where we are still members of the Church of Paleo is when I realize that I don’t like sugar in my coffee anymore. That a larabar is more delicious than a hot bagel, and makes me feel less like crap. That I want to go to the gym in the afternoon and not feel lethargic and wanting to nap on the sit-up bench.
I could easily give up. But then I’d easily be 50 pounds heavier. (No, really) It’s not about looking better in jeans, it’s being alive longer, and keeping up with my VERY. FAST. toddler. So I’ll keep walking past the bagel shop, but not every day will it be easy, or will I be happy about it. Still yet – has to be done.
Whole30: Day 25
Well, folks, this might be the last official Whole30 blog update! I know, I know – it’s only Day 25. I might try to write again tomorrow, but we’re soon heading out of town for a bit, and the idea of writing anything longer than “kthxbai” with my thumbs on a mobile device makes me twitchy. This doesn’t mean I won’t try! It just means that sooner, rather than later, you will be reading more and more about (literally) crap like RR peeing in the potty. Lucky YOU!
For all of your hard work reading about my salads and meat, I give you a little side-by-side – the left from 2/21 (aka Day 4) and the right one from today. For consistency’s sake, I tried to look as amusingly surly as possible, as I did on the left picture. Grrr.
Subtle differences, perhaps. A little more pointy of a chin, more of a squared jaw, less cheek, maybe. Meh – it’s not like OMG WHO ARE YOU, but the gentle hue of BLOAT is gone. And I feel an ass-ton better, that’s for damn sure.
Thanks for reading and listening and commenting and waiting patiently for this to be over. The next time we Whole30, it will certainly be nice to have this to re-read and follow along with. I wished we had kept some kind of record of it the first time we did it, certainly.
So coming up will be the much-anticipated update about my children’s music endeavors, my upcoming adventures as the Logistics Chair at the ButchVoices conference this August, RR starting Montessori school, and my wife and I report back from Staying in a Bed and Breakfast with a Toddler and Living to Tell About It. And I promise you never have to ready about a salad again. Pinky swear.
Whole30: Day 24
What does it say about me that I’m writing here while eating a baked (well, microwaved) sweet potato WITH MY HANDS. Nothing good, probably. It is tasty, though!
And, while catching the elevator to my floor (with my sweet pot in hand) a lady I work with said to me: “Well, it looks like you’re eating plan is working! You look like you feel great!” Which is kind of the best compliment – a) because she didn’t call it a “diet” (even if it was implied), and b) She didn’t comment on my actual appearance, but the appearance of how I feel. Diplomatic, that one!
Truth is, though, today I feel less great. It has nothing to do with food, and everything to do with this looming date of March 15th, which will mark a year since my mom’s death. Ugh. I don’t even wanna write about it, so this might be all you get. I don’t really know what else to say.
So I’ll talk about food instead. Yay food. Or my outfit. If yesterday, I looked like a hobo, then today I look like I’m going to a wedding. After work, we hit the Shop-O-Rama, as RR likes to call it, and I bought a pair of non-hobo jeans a SIZE LARGE button-up shirt. That is some seriously crazy shit. Anyhow – so today, I look nicer. And less like someone might give me their spare change.
Food – last night we had beef with broccoli and cauliflower fried “rice.” Again, I was totally surprised by its deliciousness. Who knew cauliflower could be so good? Not me, dude.
Tonight is breakfast for dinner! Bacon, eggs, almond flour (sans honey) pancakes, and more bacon. OK fine, probably just a little bit of bacon. But bacon’s bacon, y’all!
Whole30: Day 23
Seven days left – can you believe it? Nutso.
Now, let me tell you a story about mushrooms. At 35 years old, I have spend approximately 30 years of my life avoiding mushrooms. I thought I hated them. Well, the secret is, I thought they were in a spaghetti sauce that made me sick when I was, like, eight years old. And I haven’t forgiven them since. I MAY have spent several years lying to people and telling them I was allergic to mushrooms. Lies! Turns out, when I was eight, I probably just had a stomach bug.
So a couple of years ago, I ate a mushroom for the first time. Sure, it was cooked in a ton of butter, but DAMN was it good. My world of mushrooms opened up.
Last night, my wife made these Stuffed Mushrooms for dinner (picture of them before they went in the oven). I think we also had other things, but I can’t remember, because the mushrooms were so good it’s erased my memory of eating anything else since. One thing about the Whole30 that you can definitely feel missing is cheese. Cheesiness. Cheesy goodness. Cheese of any and all kinds. I could give a shit less about a glass of milk, but I do like cheese.
In the recipe was this “cashew ‘cheese’ sauce” which … dude, after 23 days, tastes JUST LIKE CHEESE. I don’t know how. Don’t ask me. But my wife and took our first bite of the goodness and then stopped talking to each other immediately so that we could concentrate on each delicious bite. Tears maaaay have been shed when it was all gone.
In other news, we’re all a little grouchy that the gym is closed this week. One of the downsides to working at a University, and frequenting the less-popular gym. The popular gym is open, but is nearly a mile’s walk away. And really, at that point, can’t you just come back to your office and call it a work-out in and of itself?
Tonight is paleo beef and broccoli. Lunch is carrot and ginger soup, with a spinach salad. Today’s wardrobe is brought to you in part by ill-fitting jeans and a weirdly now-baggy sweater. I look like a hobo. An event coordinating hobo.
Whole30: Day 22
Blah blah, I suck for not writing over the weekend. I can’t promise I’ll do better next weekend, either, since we’re heading out of town for my wife to go to a conference. This is me apologizing in advance!
So instead of telling you all about our food, and RR’s first bike ride (SUCCESS!) this weekend, let me tell you a story about how we came to be proud owners of a Vitamix blender. On Friday (well, long before Friday), we had this long conversation about our lack of blending power in our house. We have The World’s Shittiest Blender, that we use to “blend” things, which is using that term loosely. We also have The World’s Worst Food Processor, which was gifted to us when our former World’s Best Food Processor broke. Oh, and then there’s the immersion blender that failed.
Paleo doesn’t require a lot of blending, but blending makes a lot of things easier. Like paleo mayo, or BBQ sauce, or smoothies and marinades. So, thank you tax refund, we considered buying a Vitamix, which a lot of people (including my gluten-free co-worker) swear by.
So here’s where the story gets AWESOME. So we looked at new ones, which cost a fucking fortune. Dude. But it was like… hmm, do we buy a blender OR get new windows for the house. It’s around that price. Then I found Ethel. We’ll call her Ethel, cause that’s her name. Ethel was selling a Vitamix blender on CraigsList. I emailed her, and she just emailed me back saying: “Call me @ 555-5555, Ethel.” OK, Ethel.
So I called her, and she told me all about her raw food diet that she couldn’t keep to. Everyone told her that she needed a Vitamix, so she bought one and used it twice. She really only bought it because it was red. She named her price (a full $250 less than we were expecting to spend), and we set a time and place for the trade to go down.
So Saturday at 11am, we sat in the gas station parking lot waiting for Ethel’s arrival in a “Blue Jeep.” (Side note: Why does making public CL deals always feel illegal? Or like a drug deal?) About 15 minutes past 11am, a blue jeep with SILVER FLAMES painted on the front rolls into the parking lot. I say to my wife, “I don’t know if Ethel sounds like a lady who drives a Jeep with flames on it?” But then my cell phone rang, “I’m here!” Ethel says. Huh. I love this town.
So Ethel steps out, Vitamix in hand, and offers to plug it into an outlet near the gas station hut. How she knows there’s an outlet, I have no clue. But she does. She fills it up with water from inside the hut and turns the sucker on. She gives me the recipe binder and DVD, I give her the money, and here it now sits on our counter:
Behold the power of BLENDING. We made a couple of smoothies this weekend and the thing just obliterates whatever you put in there. Like, ENTIRE APPLES. Then we made Nom Nom Paleo’s Sister’s Phenomenal Green Chicken (pictured here on our grill), which we then ate like savage beasts when they were done.
The moral of the story is – sometimes CL really pays off, as does calling people and not relying solely on email correspondence. Don’t underestimate the power of a really good blender. Oh, and also, don’t judge a Jeep by its cover.
This morning, I watched RR eat an entire hard-boiled egg, one tiny bite at a time, yolk and all. I was so proud.
Also, I’m seriously grateful that we have power, and feel a little bad for complaining as much as I did for the, like six, hours it was out in our house. I know some folks who may not get it back on until Sunday night, and that seems just plain shitty.
Breakfast sounds like a broken record – eggs (scrambled) and 1/2 a banana, with black coffee. Try to keep your jealousy at bay. Lunch was leftover Lime and Basil Beef Kebabs, which we had last night along with green beans, and mangoes that we tried to eat sneakily before RR noticed and ate them all. Tonight, dinner is TBD, since it was supposed to be slow-cooker chicken, but we ate that when we lost power. So… uh, plan B.
What else? Oh, I was super handy last night and installed RR’s new bike seat on the back of my wife’s bike. Hopefully, since the weather this weekend is supposed to be nice, we’ll get the chance to break it in.
Oh, and apparently RR is ready for dinner at 6:30pm SHARP every night, folks. EVERY. NIGHT. I don’t know how she’s gonna manage this whole Springing forward bit, so we’ll have to see about that. But every night, it’s a race to get dinner on the table for all of us at 6:30pm, since that’s when she shows up into the kitchen and says, “It’s time for dinner.” And then she climbs in her chair at the table. It’s like living with royalty. Well, royalty who likes to eat with her hands and won’t pee in the potty, but whatever.
Whole30: Day 17
Do you know what is harder than Whole30-ing during… oh, I don’t know… the holidays? Whole30-ing when you’re snowed in your house. It’s probably more human nature than hunting and gathering to go out and stock up on beer, chips, soda, and cookies when faced with an incoming snowstorm.
Alas, we made it through 24 hours of not-leaving-the-houseness still keeping our Whole30 vigil. Phew.
This morning, we woke up (well, we woke up a LOT during the night. Not the snow’s fault, but the crying, restless baby with a headcold and cough’s fault.) to find 7 inches or so of heavy, wet, angry snow falling and taking trees and tree limbs down with it.
We managed to keep power until around 8am. Between our awakening and then was just long enough to brew one cup of hot coffee and cook the bacon. Mostly. If you like floppy bacon. Like me. If you don’t, then you bite off the floppy bits, and give your wife the crispier parts. True love, folks. Thankfully, we had fruit (strawberries, blueberries, a banana), two hard-boiled eggs, cold brew coffee for my wife, and RR totally down with eating yogurt for breakfast.
RR played with her toys for a while until she got a bit bored around 10am, when we all bundled up and headed out for a hike. (Aren’t we cute?) Back to the house by 12pm in time to make RR lunch (crackers with peanut butter, a cheese stick, watermelon, and some pears) and eat our own lunch, thankfully courtesy of Steve’s Paleo Kits (to the rescue!), that had literally arrived in the mail yesterday. Jerky, nuts, apples. Yum.
We took turns shoveling, and watched the thermostat drop in the house. We did crosswords and rationed our phone internet usage. We got out more blankets. We bundled ourselves and RR. She had a successful-enough nap in her freezing room, wearing several layers of clothes and covered in a hundred blankets. Soon after she woke up, the power came back on, and all was right with the world. Snow was turning to rain, melting it on sidewalks and roads, and making it possible for the Papa Johns man to go racing down our street, his little car-hat teasing and taunting us.
Had we lost power until the night, we were actually prepared. We got out frozen chicken breasts to (kind of) thaw, and I brought up the charcoal for the grill. But thankfully, the power restoration allowed us to cook pumpkin curry chicken with cauliflower rice for dinner. And hot beverages. Ahhh.
So we resisted the temptations of microwave popcorn and walking up the street to the chicken shack that still had power. I’ll admit it was hard, though. The overwhelming desire for comfort food during hard times was almost too much. But we powered through. AND we have lunch leftovers for tomorrow. Score.
Also – day 17 is nearly over! We’re less than two weeks away from the end, which is nice, and proof that you really can do anything for 30 days. Next time, though, I probably wouldn’t time it to occur over my anniversary and a snow-event. Next time.
Whole30: Day 16
OK – so posts I owe you, so far, are one about clothing and one about my blossoming children’s music career (I will give you a teaser here with two ROUGH tracks so far). Oh, and one amazing post about how much I love my wife, in response to hers today, which cannot possibly be as amazing. No way. Impossible.
OK back to food. Thin pork chops, kale chips, and sweet potatoes last night for dinner. The kale chips are amazing – everything else was delicious, but nothing is really as delicious as those 50/50 were. I’m afraid those burgers set the delicious bar way too high.
Cantaloupe, eggs, and bacon for breakfast this morning, all while boiling some eggs to have with our salads at lunch time, along with some chicken. That seems wrong, no? Oh, and a banana! Which is like, paleo candy.
Anniversary dinner tonight will be NY Strip Steak with mushrooms. Hot damn.
There’s also apparently some wackadoo crazy snowstorm coming in tonight, too? Talk to me about snow in January, when I could be appropriately excited about it. Snow in March just makes me, and my daffodils, cranky. At least we still have our Hurricane Sandy preparations, plus a ton of food that we could grill outside or eat raw if we lose power. It’s not like the ice cream will go bad. HA!
Whole30: Day 15
Sorry sorry, Day 14. It wasn’t personal, promise. I’ll try to make it up to you this morning, deal?
Day 14 was a banner day, actually. We all woke up in good moods, and when RR grew tired of playing inside (around 10am or so), we all gathered ourselves, dog included, and went on a hike through the local trail that runs through our neighborhood. RR still fits into her backpack carrier, so we spent most of the hike part in the woods with her on my wife’s back. She walked a good half mile on the sidewalk when we headed back home. Needless to say, both she and the dog were exhausted when we got back, so naptime for everyone.
I think one of the things we’ll look more forward to after the Whole30 is at least the prospect of some kind of convenience food. Not saying we’re stocking up on happy meals, but when we forgot to plan lunch yesterday, the only solution we could think of was heading to the grocery store nearby and picking up a rotisserie chicken. Right? Totally less convenient than, say, a sandwich or something.
So we ate our chicken, and when RR woke up from her nap, it was just in time for Emily the babysitter to take over. A babysitter. I KNOW! Crazy shit. It was kind of a trial run for them, from 3pm-5pm, while my wife and I went to buy NEW PANTS. Cause wearing a size women’s 20 when you’re actually a size regular-lady 16 is less flattering in person. I swear to you – I can’t remember the last time I was a size 16. I may have BEEN 16.
One thing I’ll say about shopping in the “regular” person’s area is… holy crap, why do thinner people have such nice, well-made, soft, flattering, and less expensive clothes? It’s a huge, steaming pile of horseshit that plus sized people get, like, two styles of everything, for twice the price of other clothes, and less fucking flattering. And they only last, like.. a year. If you’re lucky.
So I spent less time being SO HAPPY to not be in the plus area, and more time being OUTRAGED that this whole other world exists at the exclusion of who I’ve been since I was in high school. Ugh. Whole other post.
So we got home and had 50/50 burgers (1/2 ground beef, 1/2 ground BACON) for dinner, courtesy of the Eat Like A Dinosaur book that we have checked out from the library. Holy fucking shit, it was SO GOOD. Dude. I can’t even talk about it. I can’t wait for warmer weather so I can grill these suckers outside and all the neighbors will come running into my back yard.
Dinners that good make you forget that cookies even exist.
This morning, we all had eggs and cantaloupe, and RR had an additional 15 blueberries, two apricots, and one lick of my avocado (an actual lick), while I was assembling this afternoon’s salads. Like a beast, I tore off a leg/thigh off of the leftover rotisserie chicken and put it in a tupperware with my designated 1/2 of the 50/50 burger (we made three total – ate two last night, had one left. I reluctantly gave my wife the other half.) and that’s my lunch today. Tonight for dinner is these pork chops. Yum.