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Whole30 Day 14 : Cold Fries and Hot Ketchup

8:40 a.m.

United gave me 20,000 miles back from a three page complaint letter I sent regarding our flights home from Barcelona. It’s a bit of an art with them – the right amount of complaining, status mentioning, threats to use another airline, disbelief that they care so little about a customer, and then a long list of specifics. They have to go down the list and address each complaint so if nothing else it makes them have to actually work.

Alexis pooped three times yesterday. That’s 6x her normal average. She was very excited and so was I. Curious to see how it progresses today.

8:59 a.m.

She also thinks she is losing weight. Well, not weight specifically but inches.

“Here, feel around my ribs.”

So I felt her boobs.

“Still carrying in all the right places.”

9:02 a.m.

Slept like shit again last night. Despite stretching and breathing before entering bed. I have a distrust for the world we are living in right now. An unease that is manifesting in my sleep.

Our fridge is still looking strong. Alexis took the lump of the first week and adopted skillfully. Our ingredients are lasting and the cost is WAY down. This is what happens when we are faced with new challenges. We adapt and evolve and become better and more efficient. Oddly enough, it’s inevitable. The irony that it is so scary to start a change.

9:14 a.m.

Breakfast is on the pan. Ben is standing in the kitchen with us drinking tea. He is talking about his New Year’s resolutions and mentioning that he has twelve personal relationships that he wants to repair. That’s commendable. I started thinking about people that I have broken relationships with. There was this one guy that threatened to kill me when he was on meth. He lived in the apartment in front of us. I used to see his truck at random times over the next five years. I haven’t seen him in three. Really hoping he’s dead now. I thought he actually might kill me. All because I didn’t want to be his weed smoking buddy.

9:25 a.m.

I have to work today. Like formally work. A full day training with Seeds. Alexis is prepping a smoothie and a mango for me. I’m the guy that brings fruit to work now and gets made fun of everyone while they are eating donuts out of the daily box.

I’ve been writing a ton thanks to the Whole30 blogs. I’ve also been neglecting my journal. I’ve got stacks of them on the bookshelf, hundreds of thousands of words I’ve written over the last 3+ years about every dark thought and meaningful life experience. I haven’t been writing much in there lately. I guess you only have so many words. Once you’ve hit the number there’s no motivation to push through. The thing that’s great about keeping a journal is it turns into data amassed over the course of years that allows you to step back and take a relatively objective look into your own mind. See where you’re happy, where you’re cheating yourself, the repetition of mistakes. It gives you everything. And for me, it gives  context to constantly make improvements. There’s this thing we all do, and it’s more obvious than ever on the Whole30, where we pretend there is a reason why we can’t have the things we want and do the things we want to do. After a while, it becomes so normal to not get what we want that we deem it a silly endeavor to think in such ways. I guess, we become practical and normal becomes okay.

I hate this about our human experience. Sometimes, it’s not even an experience. It terrifies me more than nukes. Being okay with being normal. The journal helps me improve myself and understand what I want and what I need to do to get there. It lets me be honest with myself.

10:10 a.m.

Mijon is making “Lesbian French Toast”. Greg’s cousin’s lesbian lover invented it at a restaurant in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The name stuck. I don’t know why. I’ve always heard that lesbians were mean.

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In one version of this story my friends were sympathetic to my dietary restrictions and acted like the toast wasn’t that good. In the real version of the story every bite sounded like softcore porn.

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12:12 p.m.

I used to snack a lot because I thought I was hungry. I would get this subtle itch behind my cheeks that made me think I was low in nutrients. So I’d stuff my face. I haven’t been getting that as much since the Whole30. Although I have it right now. I am uncomfortable not being home and fully in control.

2:39 p.m.

I’ve been hard at work so here I am just getting back to the blog. Alexis dropped lunch off for me at 12:37 on her way to singing lessons (she is polishing up her Cher numbers).

The Thai food from last night along with a simple salad with cucumbers and blueberries. Was a clever move to put a raw egg in there for me to add while reheating the Thai.

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I told Mijon I’m going to produce the rest of our food photographs in her kitchen. They have a commercial range and a separate spigot just for hot water. You can see it there (the silver thing above the kettle). Only inconvenience is that it’s a five minute walk from the range to the sink.

The rest of the team is eating Mama’s Bakery pita wraps. I’m not going to lie, it’s tempting. But not like it used to be. I ate my food. My stomach feels content. I’m more motivated to finish this experiment than I am to eat bread.

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Although that looks really good.

I smelled it.

Thank god Boston is standing with Whole30 Rock and eating compliant meals with us.

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It’s raining again. Which makes me a purchasing genius.

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I actually forgot to include this photo yesterday when it was taken so I waited patiently today for the rain to start again so I could use it and not technically be misleading.

Look at all that rain that is gently gliding down the polyester experience.

Last night, Alexis said, “Remember when Woody was my dog?” As I was wrestling his green ball away from him with my teeth. I have to bite him sometimes so he thinks I’m his dad. It’s how you form a pack.

2:52 p.m.

Only I’m really hungry.

This field trip is throwing off my perfectly structured Whole30 home experience. There’s a side of hummus larger than any dinner I’ve eaten in two weeks. The pita bread is just sitting next to me, swaddled in yellow parchment paper, perfectly crispy. Probably warm. Probably friendly.

Meanwhile, back home, Alexis is excited for Baby Caira to try the panda bread for the first time. We have been loving it so much that surely a small child would feel the same enthusiasm.

Perspective, to say the least. She tried to scrub it off her tongue. Erase all memory. But babies don’t really appreciate anything so we’re not taking it personally. I’m just upset that she wasted a piece of my bread.

4:42 p.m.

I’m nauseous again. Feel like I’m getting sick. I didn’t know it was possible to get sick twice in a row. I’ve pooped three times today which is 1.23 times lower than my national average. No great change in consistency. Many people today were questioning the health of this diet, not from an aggressive standpoint, but from a why the fuck would you do this to yourself? standpoint. Why are grains bad? Why is corn bad? Isn’t meat inflammatory? There were a lot of questions going around and, admittedly, I didn’t have very many answers. Here’s what I know so far – I’m eating clean. The food I’m eating is fresh. I can feel it and I notice it the more I look at restaurant food and processed food. It looks like an astronaut’s meal. Does that mean I’m not incredibly jealous of the taste? Of course not.

We are also spending more time in the kitchen thinking about and preparing food. We are spending less time out in the world consuming other forms of entertainment or products. Our “reality” has shifted. Another specific example of the hard-to-describe phrase, “It changed my life.” It has changed how we spend our time and our money and how we prioritize our thoughts.

The real question – what changes are happening objectively and what changes am I magnifying to defend my position as a person on this diet? I’m losing weight. Without question my abs are flattening and all the excess fat that hangs on to the bottom of the bones thanks to gravity is diminishing. My food-dependent mood is becoming easier to manage. It’s not a panic if I don’t eat every two hours. I can comfortably go three to three and a half hours without eating and feel steady. I have had no crashes in energy at any point in the day except for the one time we ate Chipotle for dinner. I wanted to go to sleep immediately after.

5:00 p.m.

I have anxiety about going to my boxing lesson. I got winded walking up the stairs. My nose is running. I don’t think I ate enough. I’m having a bitch fest with myself.

6:16 p.m.

The trainer, Mike, asked how I was feeling. I told him just so-so, expecting that would earn me the appropriate sympathies. He must have thought I said, “Let’s go-go,” or, “Please fucking kill me,” because we worked like his only goal was my lifeless corpse lying on the mat at the end of our session. I’ve mastered this kind of hacking cough that satisfies the desire to throw up without actually doing so. It’s not pretty, but it gets the job done.

Most of the rounds I go through thinking about how I’m going to die. Today I at least pretended to push myself harder without making excuses. For a little while I pictured Trump’s face on the bag. Then it was a loaded baked potato. Both very equal enemies at this point. Then I got confused between the two and just started punching Trump covered in sour cream.

Anger works as a motivator.

Yes, I mentioned his name.

We are going out to Burger Lounge for dinner. Our weekly meal out. New policy instated last week under the new administration. Burger Lounge is a essentially a high-end McDonald’s located in Southern California. Everything is grass-fed and organic. But it’s all trendy and cool with a manifesto written on the wall in different sized fonts. Words like “Create”, “Life”, “Vibes”, peppered into the mission statement. Alexis is making our own baked sweet potatoes for the road. Also, homemade ketchup. We are officially the brown bag kids riding the bus.

6:39 p.m.

How could one empirically determine the best diet in the world? I have vegan friends say it’ll cure cancer and alkalize the body. Paleo people saying some bullshit about cavemen. Moderates that saying a little bit of everything is good for you. Italians that swear by bread and pasta and are sweet dancers. Who is right?

My theory – many of us (allergy people excluded) choose our diets based on what we want them to say about us socially. It’s a branding technique. I didn’t even know what Whole3o was. I just knew I wanted to cut out sugar and snack foods. A good friend of ours gave us this book. I really like this friend. I trust her taste in movies and therefore find her to be intelligent. That was all it took to convince me that I would like the Whole30. I chose it based off the other people I knew who were doing it and what I thought about them as people. Not once did I consider their motivations or their physiques.

How did you decide to pick your diet?

6:42 p.m.

Off to Burger Lounge we go. It’s quiet in our household. Woody has a UTI. Vet confirmed. Apparently that’s why he peed on my foot. Poor little guy…. just cost us $131. That’s already 10% of his lifetime health expenditure allowance.

8:51 p.m.

“Am I doing something with this chicken?” Alexis asks.

“Yeah. Can we have some?”

We just got home from Burger Lounge. Can I say -  going out to dinner and finding parking and talking to a bunch of people is a lot more work than staying home with Alexis and Woody and cooking dinner while watching Breaking Bad in our cozy apartment. As such, I have officially deemed the Whole30 as a step backwards for introverts socially. I have so many more excuses not to have to hang out with people. And I’m using them in full. Sure, we could get cabin fever. But we have some great friends that we can interact with whenever the mood strikes.

Anyways, we got some bullshit little patties wrapped in lettuce and it wasn’t that tasty or filling. Our dinners are better. Burgers are useless without bread and fries. Why bother?

As stated earlier, we brought our own baked sweet potatoes and ketchup. In an odd turn of events, the sweet potatoes were cold and the ketchup was hot. I felt no guilt bringing our own food to this establishment. I think people respect it. It’s interesting at least. Not just another wanker ordering off the menu. I’d rather be memorable than particularly favorable. Truly, I’d like to be both, which is possible. But as George Carlan said, “People love when you’re honest. Until you’re honest with them.” Or something like that.

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My plate looks like Joseph’s plate threw up.

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9:13 p.m.

Alexis says she feels a lot more clear mentally in the last two days. She used to be distracted by thirty or forty things and now she is having an easy time focusing on single things. And being content with that. Normally she has to go back and reread every page of a book because she forgets or gets tired. Last night, she read 26 consecutive pages. Quantifiable improvement.

I am jealous. Also, happy for her.

Now I’m having a little rotisserie and some grapes because restaurants suck and don’t feed their customers good food. I’ve picked up on some social cues that indicate people think this diet is restrictive and causes you to ‘miss out on life’s great pleasures’. Having no inflammation and seeing 4-6 abs in my 30s seems like quite a pleasure to me.

So, away we walk in the night feeling proud of ourselves for just this moment.

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Read Day 13 HERE.

 

Spread the word!

    7 Comments

    1. monique
      January 13, 2017

      5 years ago crohns flare up helped me to decide i needed to try a paleo diet. a friend suggested a whole 30. i read the ‘restrictions’, and thought who the hell does this?? obviously wasn’t ready.
      after a couple years of paleo, i decided to give whole 30 a try. i’m glad i did. and i can relate to every single thing you’ve written. you’ve described it perfectly.
      socially i’ve given up defending it. all of it. paleo and whole 30. it makes them uncomfortable. me going to their dinner parties makes them uncomfortable. ‘what will you eat?’… i’ll eat, don’t worry. i’ll eat before i go to your house. fill my face so i’m not tempted. because its easy to fall off these diets, sorry, lifestyle changes lol
      i’ll admit i indulged over the holidays. decided that i was going to enjoy it all! lots of gluten and sweets. and i’m feeling every bit of it physically and mentally. was it worth it? perhaps at the time. spending time with friends and family. doing whats convenient rather than take the time to prep and plan…
      its time to reboot with another whole 30. thanks for the inspiration!!

      Reply
      • kirk hensler
        January 15, 2017

        Thanks for the thoughtful comment. I hear you on all fronts.

        Reply
    2. Mo
      January 13, 2017

      When do we see the and?

      Reply
    3. Amie
      January 13, 2017

      Your blog is hilarious! I look forward to reading it. This is our third whole30. To answer your question regarding how I decided to pick my diet, my doctor made me. The first time. Then we’ve done it here and there when we need a refresh. Best lifestyle change ever for us! Keep up the great work!

      Reply
      • kirk hensler
        January 15, 2017

        Thank you for answering! That’s good to know.

        Reply
    4. Lisa
      January 30, 2017

      I’ve slowly watched my 23 yr old daughter (who chooses to live with us) slowly change over the years from our VERY Standard American Diets to a mostly Paleo one. I watched as she brought in the things I’d never heard of before, such as Cassava flour, and started food shopping online and at places like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. (Notice I said she “chooses” to live with us. She has a very good actuarial job and can afford all these high end foods….). She attempted a Whole30 in 2015 with a friend but didn’t quite make it all the way. She would cook for us from time to time, and although it was weird at first, I got more and more used to the changes she was making. She claimed she felt better eating a Paleo-like diet and also claimed eating large amounts at once of her paleofied pecan pie at Christmas didn’t make her sick like the regular one.

      She announced she was doing another Whole30 in the new year of 2016, but she ended up starting it right after Christmas after feeling gross from all the Christmas crap we usually eat. Our church does a 21 day fast and prayer type thing every January, and I decided to try the Whole30 with her on January 1st as my fast. I literally woke up that morning and decided to do it, announcing to my daughter that I was joining her, and to please feed me. I had no knowledge of the program, but learned as I went. I went from eating bags of chocolate in one sitting to no sugar overnight. My daughter was a huge help to me, getting me going and helping with meal planning and purchasing. (It is $$$ to eat this way, especially at first). I bought the Whole30 program/cookbook during that time and slowly started helping with meal planning, etc. It has definitely been a journey. I was so overweight and feeling generally bleh without realizing I felt that way that it took a while to realize “Hey, I’m not taking a nap every day! I actually have energy to do things throughout the day!” But I’m not sure I would have labeled it Tiger Blood at the time.

      As the month went on, I decided I really needed a Whole60 to combat my lifetime of crappy eating, so I kept on. My daughter stopped at 45 days. I did the reintroduction, and nothing really bothered me but I decided to adopt the plan of 80-20 Whole30, eating Whole30 80% of the time but allowing some treats occasionally and things like pasta, cheese, etc, “as needed.” I lost 65 lbs in 2016 and feel so much better. I’m on Day 30 of my second round. I decided I’d try to do this every January as a reset. It is a bummer not being able to eat out, but we have gotten used to it. I agree, why go out for a crappy burger patty wrapped in lettuce when you can make so much better at home?

      Really enjoying your blog. My daughter and I both.

      Reply
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