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Yesterday, I ate non-gluten grains - bowl of oatmeal for breakfast and rice with my dinner.

Back to W30 till Sunday to give myself time to observe if this had any noticeable effect on my system. Thus far, I can't objectively say. Work has been increasingly stressful (projected break in July/August though!) and I'm teetering on sleep debt, so it's hard to say. I see the wisdom in waiting 3 days before moving to the next reintroduction step.

I did not do a Sunday cookup this past week. Did that Monday/Tuesday instead, and lost sleep because of it. Also lost some sleep time last night cooking. Lesson learned: Cook on Sunday or eat eggs and greens all week. The food was not worth the sleep sacrifice.

Lesson of the week: when a recipe calls for 1/2c fresh parsley &/or cilantro, packed, don't pack. This message brought to you by the (dairy-free) Dump Ranch Dressing recipe, which resulted more of a parsley-and-cilantro-puree. (Apparently when I pack, I reeeeeeeally pack!)

Sunday, I'll try dairy. Haven't decided what, exactly. Probably cheese and yogurt? I have no interest in milk, and if I never eat dairy ice cream again it will be a glorious evolution of comfort for my digestive system.

Movement-related news: Yesterday after work, I scored a Schwinn Airdyne bike for $8 at a church garage sale fundraiser.

No, that is not a typo. Eight. Dollars.

EIGHT.

The electronic readout pad thingy appears to be dead (pretty sure it got rained on sitting out on the church lawn), but otherwise the machine is in excellent condition. SO STOKED for an instant-workout with a small footprint and no impact. A similar bike at my local CrossFit gym is what helped me rehab after CFS and build the strength, stamina, and enthusiasm for weightlifting. The hopes, they are high!
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Kinda dropped the ball on these posts, didn't I?

Only 3 more days to go! So far, so good. Eerily enough, I haven't experienced any cravings. I get hungry, but since I know I basically can't eat out, I don't eat or I eat whatever I have on hand that is compliant.

The strongest emotional eating urge I've had to date was after I very intense, difficult meeting at work. I wanted a sweetened coffee for comfort.

Doing the W30 together has been wonderful. We're spending more time together because of all the cooking at home. We love to cook together. If the W30 doesn't do anything else for us, it will be worth all the hassle for that gift alone.

Last night, we made our own BBQ sauce! It is a spicier recipe than my general preference for BBQ sauce, but quite tasty nonetheless. In theory, we'll be using it in a "BBQ Chicken salad." There was an emergency project at work that required my entire QC team & as a thank-you, we got lunch from a local BBQ place. Happily for me, I was able to get plain burnt ends & a half-chicken w/ no sauces or sides. Takes care of our meat needs for a few days!

I've already marked the calendar for my reintroduction. The book says legumes first (well, actually it says to do alcohol first, which is pointless for me since I don't drink). I don't want to eat legumes for a variety of reasons, so I'm skipping them and introducing non-gluten-containing grains (rice/corn) for a day instead. 3 days back on strict W30, then I'll try dairy for a day. Another 3 days on W30, then gluten-containing grains (wheat, so pizza & sourdough breads because I already know about anything else is a Bad Idea).

I should be all reintroduced & able to resume a more normalish diet in time for our Colorado trip June 13th!
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Lesson of the Week: Do not use an immersion blender when making vinaigrette. My raspberry-walnut vinaigrette turned into some kind of spreadable butter.

We got through an overnight stay out of town & to my knowledge did not violate any W30 rules! Our B&B host seemed to enjoy the challenge and made us a fabulous breakfast where he worked some kind of magic on kale. We also successfully navigated a Mother's Day cookout! Took that opportunity to grill up extra meat for the week.

Rin is about a week behind me... he made it through the first few days of horrible soda withdrawal and is now experimenting with adding balsamic vinegars to sparkling water. Sunday, when J was teasing him by drinking a soda in front of him, he joked that he was past the point where he would murder J and drink his blood because it contained soda...

Interestingly enough, the biggest thing we've noticed so far is how much less trash we're generating as a household! Mostly due to less take-out. I did order a steak recently; LongHorn has always been incredibly accommodating about special dietary needs. They'll cook things on tinfoil if needed to prevent cross-contamination of sauces/oils/spices.

Eating W30 really forces us to cook. Takes more effort to locate a W30 compatible eatery and communicate all our restrictions than to make food at home. This is not a bad thing! I'm less organized/planned than I'd like to be, but given some of the recent challenges in life, that's ok. (Even food failures are fun - a failed Larabar-alike made a marvelous cereal.) I like cooking. I bought a meat thermometer but I think it might not be very good; the "magnet" for hanging it on a fridge is so weak it slides down and falls off! Considering getting a lemon juicer gizmo, and a meat tenderizer.

Next week, I'm planning on making some Asian-inspired dishes. This week, we're chowing through grilled meat leftovers and I'll make some sweet potato soup w/ homemade sausage for a hearty, savory twist. Still not tired of eggs. Not sure I'll ever be tired of eggs. Hot damn, we like eggs around here. We should invest in chickens.
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Prior to day 1, I scoured my kitchen for non-compliant foodstuffs. Those I could part with I donated to a local church program. Those I wanted to keep are stored out of sight, or if in-sight, clearly labeled/segregated so I don't grab them by accident. Did some shopping and food prep last Sunday so I'd have lunches for the week.

Observations/successes from the first week include:

1. Proscuitto is delicious. Why do we even have bacon when we have proscuitto? (Probably $$$. Bless Costco for carrying this in an affordable bulk package, btw.)

2. I FINALLY FIGURED OUT HOW TO MAKE MAYO!!! 100% thanks to Foolproof Homemade Mayo, my long history of failed mayo is OVER. Immersion blender + better egg-oil ratio = NOM NOM NOM. I already have an (ancient) immersion blender, and a large stockpile of that exact size of wide-mouth glass jars.

3. Coconuts are miracle foods. Coconut butter is so damned delicious.

4. I made my own clarified butter - kind of fun, super easy, cost-effective, and a fantastic cooking oil! Never tried it before; last W30 I bought ghee, which was ok but expensive and has its own unique flavor that didn't always work with what I wanted to use it for.

5. Instead of rewarding myself with food, I bought myself some music-related items (stand light, portable multi-instrument stand), a fun nightgown, and a new kitchen gadget to help with my increased cooking! I don't know how others will think this looks, but for me, this is tremendous. I'd buy myself expensive sugary treats without hesitation while actually needed, useful, and/or highly coveted non-food items of lesser value went unpurchased.

Reflections from the first week and expected challenges ahead for the second )

Week 2, here we go!

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