February 20th, 2013


You’re a nice vegetable, kale. But you’ll never be cheese.

This is day seven of my whole foods/clean regime, and mostly it’s been a breeze. Except since yesterday, when I started missing cheese. Today every sad love song I hear reminds me of all the special times we shared.

It’s not you, cheese. It’s me. I need a little space to figure some things out.

P.S. I’m looking forward to cheating with you this Sunday. Book a motel and cancel all your appointments that day.

Apart from that, I feel a noticeable surge in energy. Whether it’s due to actual nutrition, or it’s the heady rush of dietary superiority, who knows? The food has been crazy delicious. My creativity flourishes inside set parameters. Each meal is a culinary puzzle to be worked out. How can I make it conform to the rules without being boring? It’s been pretty fun. We’ll see if the novelty of meal planning starts to wear off this week. In case it does, I thought I better capture what worked, which was–honestly– everything.

Menu for Week One of Whole30-ish Eating:

Breakfasts: eggs or egg whites with fruits and/or leftover vegetables; or steamed quinoa (not Whole30 approved–I’m such a rebel) with dried prunes, apples and cinnamon

Lunches: leftover proteins and veggies warmed over or in a salad

Beverages: black coffee, herbal teas, lots of lemon water

Dinners: for ease of planning, I adopted a basic template of fish on Monday, poultry on Tuesday, eggs on Wednesday, pork on Thursday, fish on Friday (of course), poultry on Saturday, beef on Sunday. Here’s how that went down.


roast pork loin with pear balsamic-dijon rub, baked acorn squash & apples

(baked potatoes for heathens)


broiled tilapia, guacamole and pico de gallo with raw jicama “chips” seasoned with chili powder, lime and salt

(tortillas, cheese and black beans for heathens)


Mark Bittman’s herb roasted chicken, kale braised in pan drippings, roasted parsnips and shallots

(rice for the heathens).


beef stew, steamed green beans, leftover roasted parsnips

(mashed potatoes for the heathens)


salmon patties, garlic roasted broccoli, broiled pineapple

(fried potato cakes for the heathens, which the kids dubbed “smashed browns”)


homemade chicken soup, roasted butternut squash and apples with sage

(homemade wheat bread and cheese for the heathens)


Steamed artichoke with soft boiled egg for dipping, broiled grapefruit for me

(eggs, bacon and toast for the heathens)

Snacks: fruit and a handful of nuts usually

Sabbath splurge: red wine

An unexpected benefit was spending less money. Cooking at home from scratch and eating planned leftovers is definitely more economical, and that included buying far more organic food than I normally can work into our budget. And in case you wondered, I did lose a little weight, too. Between two and three pounds.

My Groceries for Week One of Whole30-ish Eating:

Rabbit food:

*1 lb baby cut carrots, 1 large bag washed and cut kale, white onions, *1 clamshell pack fresh poultry herbs (thyme, sage, rosemary), 1 lb. green beans, 1/2 lb. shallots, 1 lb. parsnips, 1 pint baby “bella” mushrooms, 1 head *green leaf lettuce, *1.5 lb. roma tomatoes, 1 jicama, *1 red bell pepper, 1 bunch cilantro, *broccoli, 2.5 lb. butternut squash, *3 lb. russet potatoes, *acorn squash, garlic, *scallions, 1 coconut, 2 limes, *2 lemons, *3.5 lb. apples, 1 whole pineapple, 2 mangos, 1 quart strawberries, avocado

Hippie Food:

1 lb whole natural almonds (lots leftover), 12 oz raw shelled pecans (lots leftover), 1 box Hodgson Mill packets of milled flax seed (for quinoa, salmon patties, and hiding in other people’s food), *quinoa, all natural dried prunes, Celestial Seasoning teas: Tension Tamer and Sleepy Time Vanilla

Flava flav:

Pure olive oil for cooking and dressings; Dijon mustard for pork roast rub and salad dressings; *Curry Powder for butternut squash soup; Old Bay Seasoning for broiled tilapia and salmon patties; kosher salt and black pepper, coarse grinds; Balsamic vinegar for dressing salads; Pear-Infused White Balsamic Vinegar for salads (Alessi brand); Beef broth; Saigon cinnamon


2 pints 100% egg whites; *2 dozen whole eggs; *2 X 5 lb. organic, free-range hens (on sale, froze one); tilapia filets; canned wild-caught salmon; 2 lb. boneless pork loin, 1.5 lb top sirloin

My Preshus:

ground coffee, 100% pure


All the recipes but two are my own improvisations: the chicken technique and the parsnips/shallots dish which was based on the only recipe I’ve used so far from a Paleo meal planning subscription I sprang for, thinking I would need inspiration. I think I’ve tried all the major menu planning services out there, and they never seem to work for us beyond the sample menu that pulls me in.

Have you had a better experience? And have you got a great recipe for me to try next week?

2 Responses to “Vittles”

  1. Cid says:

    I thought I had left a comment early about my new fav salad that I have introduced all my Paleo peeps to – Kale & Brussels Sprout. It’s on epicurious and a bunch of other sites. I make a bunch & it lasts a few days without getting soggy. My other Brussels sprouts fav is to roast them with sweet potato, bacon & maple syrup. Happy healthy eating.

  2. joan says:

    I think I would have been included as a heathen on Thursday and Sunday. 🙂

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