I woke up with my gut still roiling so I took more activated charcoal. The melatonin did it’s job and I slept well. Because of my gut unhappiness the idea of solid food wasn’t too appealing so I stuck with homemade orange kombucha mixed with coconut flavored sparkling water for breakfast. I’m not hungry so it was fine by me.
Sunday I prepped some chicken kale salads using my homemade caesar dressing and I had set aside the extra creamy mushroom soup from earlier in the week so I grabbed one of each for lunch today. Note to self: more dressing. I was fine from a satiety perspective, but the salad would have tasted better with more dressing.
According to the Whole30 Timeline, today is the first day of “Kill ALL the things!” I was a little nervous with it landing on the first day back to work, but other than the grumbling gut (down boy!) I’ve been symptom free so far. Either this means, I’m doing something wrong… or my eating wasn’t as bad as I thought. No idea. I’m no stranger to low carb and generally don’t gravitate towards heavy bread and pasta type meals, but I’ve been far from good for the last six months.
After cleaning out the pantry I ran across some panang chicken curry paste I’d special ordered awhile back. I fell in love with panang chicken curry at Pickathon and wanted to upgrade from the pre-made bottled stuff that had a bunch of unnecessary ingredients in it. While doing chores and prepping for dinner I ate two JUMBO prawns and a piece of bacon.
To make the panang chicken curry with cauliflower:
- 50g panang curry paste
- 2 TBSP coconut oil
- 13.5 oz can of coconut milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 6-8 boneless skinless chicken thighs chopped in to bite-sized cubes
- Two bell peppers chopped kind of large
- 1/2 an onion, also chopped kind of large
- 1 head of cauliflower
It’s a really simple dish to put together. In a large saute pan on medium-high heat I fried the curry paste in the coconut oil to get it all toasty. Then I added the coconut milk, water, and chicken. I let the chicken simmer for about 5 minutes before adding all of the vegetables. I turned the heat up to high and go it to a rolling boil and then turned it down to medium-high to cook for another 10-15 minutes, until the cauliflower was al dente (I like it with some texture) and the chicken was all cooked through.
The panang curry paste and coconut create that great sweet-spicy flavor. I only wish I’d had some thai basil to add in, but that can be challenging to find. Pineapple and/or bamboo shoots would also be nice additions. The batch was about 3 generous servings (if one of them is Geoff) and would go much further over rice or bulked up with more vege. We had a good deal of the liquid left over even though we ate it as a sort of stew.
After dinner I had about 6 raspberries and a handful of almonds. It’s funny how sweet the almonds taste after being off sugar for just a few days.
Before bed I drank very, very low dose of magnesium citrate. I was crazy nervous about the possible laxative side-effects (don’t need help there!) so I probably only had about 1/4 a level teaspoon (listed dose is 1.5 rounded teaspoons).
No ill effects from the magnesium citrate in the morning so that was good. I might keep at the super small doses for a bit and very, very cautiously increase it. Goodness knows I can use the calming and improved sleep effects.
Breakfast was a piece of bacon and a half bottle (8 oz) of homemade kombucha flavored with a caffeine-free tea blend. It was an experiment. It’s okay. I mixed the flavored kombucha half-and-half with grapefruit flavored Perrier.
I really struggle with feeling hungry for breakfast. I know Whole30 isn’t big on meal skipping or fasting, but I’m inclined to believe that it’s not a horrible thing, especially considering I’m not training or exercising right now (soon!). I’m trying to be aware of when I’m actually hungry versus eating out of habit.
Lunch WAS another chicken kale caesar salad and leftover creamy mushroom soup, but my day was super crazy and I didn’t even get a chance to eat at all. The upside is that I wasn’t hungry so it wasn’t miserable, just disappointing. I found an apple pie LaraBar in my car and had that on the drive home.
For dinner I’d planned on making something more elaborate but by the time I got home I was hungry and needed to do homework. I had two jumbo prawns while I cooked up some taco meat to make taco bowls for dinner. There’s something comforting about ground beef taco meat or sloopy joes. I think I ate that sort of thing often as a kid. The taco meat was very simple. In a large skillet on medium heat I browned up:
- 1.25-1.5lbs ground beef (the fattier the better)
- 1/2 onion chopped small
- 2-3 cloves of minced garlic
- 1 TBSP chipotle powder
- 2 TBSP chili powder (I love chili powder)
- 1.5 cups water
- 2 TBSP tomato paste
- Salt to taste
I filled my bowl with salad greens and topped it with a creamy lime dressing (homemade mayo and lime juice). I added a whole avocado, a couple big scoops of taco meat, and topped it with black olives and chopped cilantro. It was really filling and really tasty. Now I kind of want it again… Unfortunately, Geoff liked it too because he ate all the rest of it so there were no leftovers.
A couple hours later I had a handful of almonds and two Bubbies dill pickles. I didn’t feel too bad about snacking after hardly eating all day.
No breakfast other than homemade kombucha again. I did start taking multivitamins since my usual ones are out (I normally use the gummy vitamins). I’m also trying to add in a D3/K3 combo supplement. The multi also has magnesium citrate in it so I’m going to see how that goes before trying the magnesium citrate powder again. I’m still worried about destroying myself.
Lunch was the kale chicken caesar salad and creamy mushroom soup that have been in my office fridge for the last couple days. For some reason today I’m FREEZING, so much so that I’m actually shaking a little. I don’t know if it’s diet, supplement, environment, or mental but the warm soup was nice.
Last night I was a bit emotional and grumpy which I think was caused by estrogen being released with my body switching over to fat burning instead of sugar/carb burning. I spent a lot of my formative years (most of my 20’s) on a low-carb/high-fat diet so I’m probably more familiar with the intricacies a dietary changes like this can have. Anyway, the extra estrogen caused my period to start FIVE days early. I’m never early. So add in the usual PMS grouch, sensitivity, and working through the final round of negotiations (post-inspection) and apparently you will find me crying over the roofing estimate while prepping brussel sprouts. (The roofing estimate actually wasn’t that bad. I was upset because it *sounded* like it was going to be really, really expensive. We got the actual estimate less than an hour later and it was in my expected budget range.)
Now the actual food… I pulled the outside leaves off, trimmed the stems, and cut the sprouts in to halves or quarters to make them roughly uniform. I tossed them with so coconut oil and a pinch of salt and put them in a preheated oven at 425º for 20 minutes. When they came out I tossed them with 2 strips of previously cooked bacon that I’d diced up and drizzled the whole thing with some aged balsamic vinegar.
For the steak I seared a top round steak. I’m not sure I’d highly recommend it the cut, but when you buy a whole cow (raised in all the good ways) you don’t get choices. Yes, may I have the 100% NY Strip Steak cow? Great, thanks. I ended up searing it more rare than medium rare, it was definitely better where it was more medium rare. I seared it in a very hot pan in coconut oil and seasoned with salt and pepper. After it was done (or almost done in my case) I set the steak aside to rest. I added some water and beef demi-glace* to the pan and brought it up to a boil. I scrapped up all the yummy fond* from the bottom of the pan. I wanted to tie the pan sauce in with the brussel sprouts since it was going to be thin so I added a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. I normally mount* my pan sauces with butter to thicken them, but butter is off-plan.
* Food Terms! I realize not everyone knows what these terms mean so I wanted to explain them. “Demi-glace” is effectively a heavily reduced stock. If it’s done well it normally has a jello like consistency when chilled because of the gelatin in animal carcasses. I make my own demi-glace frequently, but I always stock “Better Than Bouillon” in the fridge for when I don’t have homemade. “Fond” is the French word for bottom and refers to those browned bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan after cooking, particularly when you roast, sear, and saute at higher heats. To “mount” a sauce is to gently melt in cold butter to a hot water-based sauce. The butter will emulsify giving you a lovely sheen, some thickening, a great mouth feel, and tastes awesome. I like it because it’s far less fiddly than making a gravy using a starch when I’m just trying to coax the last bit of flavor out of a cut of meat for the two of us. I’ve become kind of “known” for my pan sauces and I use the same technique every time. I like the pan sauces because they reinforce the meat’s flavor and they can even help make up (a little) for meat being dry (that never happens, I swear!).
So that was your random culinary lesson. I watch too much Food Network and am kind of a geek for technical terms.