Day 31: a look at the Whole30 experience


Well, we did it! 30 days of super-strict Paleo eating. And with the exception of a glass of wine at T’s work banquet last night, we didn’t have any known slip-ups/cheats. T lost 10.5 pounds, which is damned impressive in a month where neither of us felt like we were starving/dieting. (I mean, we ate bacon for gawds sake!) My own weight loss was less impressive at 4 pounds, but given how light my exercise schedule has been and the aforementioned bacon, I’m pleased with it. I’d like to lose another 7 before training ramps up in a few months,(Not so much for vanity, but lighter=better for running and bike riding) so we’ll see how it goes.

When you read about this challenge online, you see tons of stories and testimonials of people who felt crazy energetic and amazing. Neither T nor I experienced this level of “magic.”

What went well:

  • The low-level of daily stiffness in my achilles disappeared, despite running 4-5 days per week.
  • I can go 4-5 hours between meals and don’t have that crashy “hangry” feeling when I get hungry.
  • 30 days Diet Coke free, without any major cravings for it. We’re going to keep that rolling!
  • We ate a ton of veggies. I still can’t wrap my head around how many, but I am pretty excited about it.
  • I learned the simple joys of an evening cup of tea or kombucha out of a wine glass.
  • I made my own mayo! It wasn’t even that hard and tasted so much better than the store bought kind!
  • Good, solid sleep, only waking up the middle of the night to pee. Once we moderated our evening water consumption, that wasn’t an issue any more.

What could have gone better:

  • I got really tired of having meat in the morning. I really missed my morning smoothies. I’ll definitely add a few of those into the mix, making sure that there are lots of veggies in there and combining them with some eggs or protein.
  • We got the hang of it after a while, but it was exhausting to have to think about what is in our food all the time. It made going out to lunch with my officemates or going out to dinner a frustrating experience.
  • I never had the great all day energy. I still have the afternoon lulls (which are what usually drive the Diet Coke cravings, so I’ll have to keep an eye on that… )
  • I had a few episodes where any intensity in exercise made me dizzy and feel terrible. That might be lack of fitness, but I feel like it also had to be diet related.

Our next phase is to slowly introduce some of the eliminated elements back in with days of clean eating in between to see how our bodies react. We’re starting this process tomorrow with dairy. I’m looking forward to seeing how it goes. There is a part of me that’s scared I’m going to discover some terrible food sensitivity, especially gluten. The thought of not being able to eat T’s bagels or Delancey pizza fills my heart with dread, but we’ll see what happens. Once get through the various eliminated foods, we’ll figure out how we want to structure our diet moving forward. I definitely want to keep the amount of veggies in our diet and the three meals a day structure. I also want to keep our treats intentional. No more eating things “because they are there” or using food as a crutch. Overall, it was a cool experiment and I feel like I learned a great deal of useful info.

Hanging out with little Rowan


We haven’t had a lot of time to hang out with the Grumpersons since their new arrival. In the whirlwind of new parenthood, they’ve had a steady stream of in-laws visiting, so we have only seen them briefly. But we finally had a chance to hang out at their place and spend some time with them and little Rowan. Uncle T got a chance to hold her:

IMG_3941(I appreciate his coordinating his shirt to complement her blanket.)

She is a very good baby (and this is from a non-baby person.) She slept for most of the evening until it was time for her to eat. Afterward, she hung out with mama to watch some TV:

Rowan2 Rowan1Naturally, the other baby in the house needed to get some attention, so Fergus upped his “specialness”:

IMG_3940It was really awesome to get to hang out with M & J. I’ve missed them. And should you want to see more adorable baby pictures like this one…

IMG_3988I HIGHLY recommend you follow @grumblehog on Instagram.



Halfway there


Sorry for the lack of blog posts, but there hasn’t been much to write about. We’re plugging along on the Whole 30 and for the most part it’s going well. It’s definitely an adjustment, but it’s really forced us out of our lazy meal planning rut. (It’s amazing how much motivating meal planning is when you can’t just order a pizza… ) I haven’t yet hit the amazing part where you have tons of energy and your body is a fat burning machine, but each day I feel a little better and more used to eating this way. I love all of the veggies and we found a really great Paleo cookbook that has given us some really fantastic dinners. (We made a pad thai out of it that we ended up making two days in a row, we liked it so much.)

I’ve been experimenting with a new approach to my running before real training starts up again and am trying to do 5 runs a week while keeping my heart rate under a certain number. At first, this was the world’s saddest run workout. As in, I’d run five steps, my stupid watch would chime at me that my heart rate was too high, I’d walk for a minute, repeat 4 million times while resisting urge to hurl stupid watch in the lake. Yesterday, I finally had a workout that was mostly running. (There are a million things that could have influenced this, including the new battery I put in the strap, but I am still going to call it a victory.) I was running slowly, but running all the same. The nice thing is that these workouts are so low impact that the frequency is not a problem at all.

The other big experiment this week was a TRX class. For those who are unfamiliar, TRX is this crazy system of straps that you can use your own body weight as resistance. I’d bought a Groupon for the classes at the place I go for physical therapy, so it’s a relatively cheap experiment. I didn’t love the instructor and feel like they could greatly benefit from a little 10 minute orientation for the newcomers in the group. (There was one point where we had to adjust the straps quickly between exercises and I couldn’t do it and was getting super frustrated.) But I definitely got a good workout and was very sore afterward. Hopefully, it will pay off with some good strength gains or six-pack abs or whatever the TRX infomercial promises… 😉

That’s all I’ve got. Hopefully, something blog worthy will happen that will spare you another boring post about what I’m eating and how my running is going. 😉

It’s a whole new year


First off, I’m thrilled to announce the arrival of M’s baby: little Rowan Caroline James Grumperson (last name changed to protect the innocent.) was born in the evening of 12/30/12. It was a long and difficult birth, but it sounds like M was a freakin’ rock star. (No surprise here!) I kicked off my New Years Eve plans with a visit to the happy family in the hospital. (I’m sorry that I don’t have pictures, the lighting of the room combined with my temperamental phone camera would not have done her justice. You’ll have to take my word for it that she’s adorable. (And I’m not a baby person, so that really says something!)

Then T & I went out for a little dinner date before we embark on a new challenge of our own. We’re tackling a Whole 30 Challenge for the month of January. They call it a “nutritional reset”, which I really like. The rules are pretty basic: no grains (including corn), sugar/alcohol, soy/vegetable oils and no dairy. You’re supposed to pair a palm-sized amount quality protein with a tablespoon or two of healthy fat and a ton of veggies. The goal is to eliminate things that cause inflammation in the body and cause insulin spikes. For folks with food allergies/sensitivities, you can figure out what foods are causing you issues. So, while M was having a baby, I was buying groceries and doing some freezer cooking to help keep us on track.

As we headed into the challenge, our refrigerator was out of control:

Fridge(And that’s the shelf ABOVE the very full produce drawer!)

Since we spent the last two weeks eating like we’re about to go on the Biggest Loser or something, (So many carbs! All washed down with wine or Diet Coke… ) I was worried that the first few days would be miserable. But except for a low-grade headache for the first day or two, it really hasn’t been that bad. We’d done really good meal planning this week, so we’ve been eating some really great food. I’ve been spamming Instagram with pictures of my lunch for the last two days:


Lunch2(I promise I’ll stop doing that… )

I’m sure we’ll move into the meltdown where the cravings for pizza/dessert/Diet Coke make me really cranky, but it’s feels really good to start the new year off this way. It’s so much better than our Clean diet experience in May, when I was trying to get training done while eliminating a bunch of stuff from our diets. This time I can be flexible with my exercise and workout when I feel up to it and chill out when I don’t. I’ll try not to bog this blog down in dietary musings, but if I do, I’ll try to pair them with cute pictures of Rowan or pet hijinks. Sound good?