After thinking about it for 24 hours, I decided I just had to keep going. I then announced on Facebook that I’m going to make it a Whole60, ending March 2, and lo a few friends were thinking the same thing. They too were loathe to stop. We’re all re-upping, staying the course, and heading onwards. I’ve sort of even lost count of what day this is. Day 4? Whatever. Pretty soon it’s just “Sunday.”
Yesterday would’ve killed me a few months ago, but yesterday I made it through in decent shape, and am up and around quite nicely this morning. The kids were invited for an all-day playdate at a friend’s house. So Ben and I decided to have a “day date” up in Cleveland. Step one, we went to the museum. The Cleveland Museum of Art just underwent this incredible renovation and we hadn’t seen it. (It’s really beautiful! And free! Go there soon!) So we went up there and had lunch in this lovely atrium and then walked through a bunch of exhibits. For hours. I did get tired out at times, and had to sit down and pretend to really examine a painting closely for a while. But I then would get up and roam some more. Ben and I have been watching this old TV series called “Civilisation” (british spelling) “A Personal View By Lord Kenneth Clark.” It’s really cute. Lord Clark is like the real life Lord Grantham. It’s art history from the middle ages to the industrial age. Then a new series kicks off, “The Shock of the New” which is all about Modernism, and the Fauves! And the Dadaists, and so on. Very scruffy-haired, 60′s narrator. Anyway, with all this under our belts it was fun to go see some of the paintings and artists in real life.
I really was exhausted when we got back to the car, but Ben needed to get some shirts. He’s very trim what with all his running and his push-up regimen, so has shrunk. That took a little while. Then we went to get spices at Penzey’s. Got a huge ton of things I’ve been wanting. Hate it when recipes call for “Sunny Paris” or “Tsardust Memories” and I have no idea what that contains.
After that we had a sort of trying shopping experience at Whole Foods. The goal: grass-fed steak and a salad. In and out in five minutes. The reality: they were out of grass-fed steak! And … here it comes… I just couldn’t bear to eat the conventional corn fed. I know! it’s getting pretty serious! So Ben was disgruntled. We had some marital discord. The butcher was also disgruntled. But I’m like, Dude, it’s WHOLEFOODS!! You have to expect customers like me. So I finally regrouped and settled on some wild caught halibut and Ben capitulated and we headed out. On the way to the car I said, “Were you amazed that I managed to out-snob Whole Foods” and he goes, “Amazed is not the word for it.” We laughed, I think it’s very tiring to be Ben sometimes.
Next stop, picking up the kids. However, we were invited to come in for a minute and then ended up being there for an hour and a half. The kids didn’t want to leave mid-play of course, and Ben wanted to have a beer with the dad, and I wanted to talk spices with the mom (they are from India). I brought in my haul and we sniffed all the wonders and she ended up giving me some lovely spices she gets at the Indian store. So we finally stumbled into our house at 8:00. I had to get dinner on the table STAT. Everyone was totally tired and hungry.
I did pull it together quickly, though. And the new spice collection saved the day. I used “Sunny Paris” in some almond meal and made an instant paleo crust for the halibut and baked it in a hot oven in ten minutes. Some veggies, and voila! Done!
I know this was an inspired moment that came along as a sort of blessing to me, but I think that so many people assume that good cooking is beyond their reach, sooo difficult and time-consuming. There are large segments of our culture that have completely lost touch with cooking from scratch as a concept. I had a conversation with a caterer (!!) one time and basically couldn’t understand her, and she couldn’t understand me, because she really believed in her heart that opening a can at your house makes the item “homemade.” It’s true the Whole30 entails a lot of cooking. If you are starting off with Lean Cuisine is your “easy” and Hamburger Helper is your “difficult” meal, it will take a while to get comfortable. But you can do it. You really can.
As I was going to bed last night I was prepared for the usual bone-exhaustion and muscle/joint aches. But … no….? I went to bed thinking, “By gosh I feel pretty good!!” My legs actually felt sort of tingly, like they were happy with all the walking?? This really bodes well for London, and for just life.
So how is it being Paleo in a grain-centric world? It’s hard at times. When I shop, even at the healthiest possible venue, I feel an odd sense that I live on the other side of the looking glass. There are aisles upon aisles of things I no longer can imagine ingesting. Not that it’s wrong or bad, so much as baffling. Just … why? Yesterday at the museum there was a treat case full of lovely little tarts and cookies, but I tricked myself, as I so often do, into believing that they were made of plastic. That sort of worked. It wasn’t really that I wanted some so much as I remembered wanting — and having– some in the past. It was like a faint echo.
Do I get cravings still? Sometimes. Lately I’ve been looking forward to having dairy again, especially since I was planning on plain yogurt on January 31. But when the option was there, I just opted not too. Not that I never will again. But… not yet. Sometimes in my old haunts I still get a pang. The bakery section at the Mustard Seed (local upscale health food market) can be tough, especially if they have samples! So tiny and so easily popped into the mouth. But I’ve walked by now many times. At first the kids would hold my hands still, giggling, and I would pretend to shake as we walked by. But now it’s easier. The ice cream area in Earthfare is an issue, as is their chocolate department. I keep walking. Get berries. Walk on by. It’s a little easier each time. Meanwhile, I look at these things and wonder how blindingly sweet they must be by now. Now that I’m discovering sweetness in unlikely places, like coconut milk and carrots.
Whole60?? Yes! How will this all look in a couple more weeks? Even better!