Monday, January 6, 2014

Whole30, the January edition!

We're jumping onto the January Whole 30 bandwagon today, about six days late. (Holiday travel and family visits didn't seem like a good way to start out). When we did our first Whole 30 in June, I felt pretty awesome a couple weeks in: strong, and lean, and snacking less, and eating piles of vegetables. It was a great kick-start to changing my diet.

A lot of the benefits have persisted: I changed my standard breakfast from oatmeal with dried fruit to a three-egg omelet with vegetables... and now I'm not starving at 9:30 am (except during peak training weeks). Eliminating dairy products and late night popcorn has taken care of most of my (infrequent) GI problems during long runs. I've cracked the lunch code: a big salad and tuna in olive oil carries me through the afternoon. And we're still eating boatloads of vegetables.
This morning's breakfast! 3 egg omelet with kale and pickled jalapenos (cooked in ghee), roasted pumpkin, black coffee.
Since June, I've added back in rice (a little in my omelet and some with my lunch tuna) and occasional white potatoes, which I am okay with, though I'll cut them back out for Whole 30. Occasional black beans, corn tortillas and a beer every once in a while I can live without for a month. My big goal this time, though, is cutting back on the sugar that's crept back into my diet, mainly in the form of dark chocolate and my Sunday post-run fancy coffee drink. I've never had much of a sweet tooth, but it'll be nice to re-set my palate and my eating habits.

Oh, and finally, we got two great paleo cookbooks for Christmas: Melissa Joulwan's Well Fed and Michelle Tam and Henry Fong's Nom Nom Paleo. A great excuse to try out some new recipes!

So, last night I did a bunch of prep:
  • I made paleo mayonnaise with my immersion blender (wow! this was stupid easy! you should try it)
  • Made a batch of ghee starting with a pound of local grassfed butter
  • Chopped a couple onions
  • Washed and tore up a head of lettuce for salad
  • Roasted a pumpkin
  • Dismembered and partially cooked a head of cauliflower (wow, that makes me sounds like a serial killer or something). 
The fridge is full of veggies, five dozen eggs, Whole 30-friendly sausage, and a couple of meals' worth of Whole 30-friendly leftovers from the weekend (chicken soup and braised oxtails, yum).

Aaaaand, this morning, we're off! Breakfast is a 3-egg omelet with kale and pickled jalapenos, cooked in ghee, and roasted pumpkin. And black coffee.

What's that? Want a recipe? Okay, here goes:

Quick Veggie-ful Omelet (serves 1-2)

1 Tbsp ghee, coconut oil, or lard
1-2 cups thin-sliced vegetables (I usually use sturdy greens of some sort -- kale is good, as are beet and turnip greens, chard, peppers, onions, summer squash)
2-4 eggs
Optional: Something salty or spicy like pickled jalapeno slices, olives, or capers

Melt cooking fat in a heavy skillet (I use cast iron) over medium heat. Add vegetables. If there's peppers or squash, let them cook a couple minutes. Greens don't need this. Crack eggs directly on top of veggies and break the yolks up with a spatula. Add optional salty/spicy goodies. DO NOT STIR. (The veggies are browning and stirring will make things stick). Cook over medium heat till it's set around the edges (5 min or so), then flip it over, hopefully in one piece. Cook a couple more minutes. Eat!

Okay, off to the gym -- with a windchill of -45F (seriously!), it's not an outside running kind of day :-)


  1. Sounds delicious! I am just curious - why ghee? I make something remarkably like this for breakfast a few mornings a week - eggs and chard or spinach, tomatoes, garlic and sriracha sauce - but I cook it in olive oil. Anyway, I'm looking forward to hearing more about Whole 30. I love your writing.

    Danielle Deaver

    1. Okay, so I had read that olive oil tends to break down into harmful components at high heat so you shouldn't cook with it. But your comment got me to look into it a little more, and that appears not to be case after all. It should be fine to cook with, according to this article, which seems to be well sourced:

      Your breakfast sounds yummy! We do a very similar thing for the kids for dinner a couple times a week too, a frittata with lots of chard or spinach, onions, and a half dozen eggs. It's hilarious watching them attack it and devour an entire large bunch of chard at a single sitting.

      Sriracha sounds good instead of my jalapenos. It's not paleo (read the ingredient list) but there are versions that are. We have a local hot sauce here (Mean Green Hot Sauce) that's amazing on eggs. Mmmmm, might try that tomorrow.

  2. Thank you for posting! I'm going to go look up that hot sauce :)

    1. I found it at the Seward Co-op. It's not cheap, but it's a total flavor bomb, with a very short ingredient list.

  3. Interesting... so, some thoughts. I was interested in why you chose no dairy from a previous post. Now I understand. That also explains the ghee.

    On to paleo... I just don't get it really... we'll I do, bit I don't. I understand the whole primal food choices based on our earliest ancestors. Of course, there are no records of how they faired, so I don't know what makes this diet choice valid... but that's just me. :) I do agree with whole foods as much as possible, and I think avoiding/minimizing processed foods is wise because of the physiological changes they cause.

    So, I get the omelet. I eat them all the time. Great way to get rid of the stuff in the fridge that's just got to go. Omelets are totally whole foods... except for the jalapeños. How are they whole? Curious mostly.

    Anyway, not naysaying and I agree really. I am just of the ilk that we should eat clean and avoid things that cause upset. Since I am of Mediterranean extraction, my system loves grains, dairy, fruits and fresh veg. Lucky me. :)

    Anyway, would love to hear your view... Blog post idea...