We're at the halfway point, here. Soon, in two short weeks, we begin the reintroduction process of this plan. You know what the first step is? The first thing we get to reintroduce?
Is it bread? Is it legumes? IS IT JOY?
I can't imagine this is an accident. The authors of the Whole30 Book probably knew DAMN well what people needed first in order to continue with this lifestyle while they slowly reintroduce foods back into their system. Sure, you have to look carefully at the kind of booze you're putting into your body, but I'm...not picky. I've had no bread, no sugar, no cream, no pasta, no chips, no fries, no soy, and ALL of the meat, vegetables, and fruit. Plus, my 5 year old has decided that, after being an incredibly easy kid, now is a great time to begin having tantrums. Our stress levels are through the roof on financials and the world is on fire. Oh! And I get a new knee on Thursday.
So. HEY! I'll take that booze anytime they want to hand it over.
See, there's a thing about the writing of the Whole30 that makes me cringe a little. A lot. It's not the guidelines or the restrictions, as those are the spine of the entire plan. It's not the explanations of the body process, or even that they write their recipes so they result in landfill-sized piles of food meant for two people. Nope. It's the attitude. They call it "tough love." I call it, "condescending as fuckall." Here's a sample:
"This is not hard. Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Birthing a baby is hard. Losing a parent is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard. You’ve done harder things than this, and you have no excuse not to complete the program as written. It’s only thirty days, and it’s for the most important health cause on earth—the only physical body you will ever have in this lifetime." - Melissa Hartwig, The Whole30
I get it. I do. All of those Real Problems they list are, in fact, hard. I've birthed a baby, lost two parents, had loads of friends die, had my heart broken, and all KINDS of fun trauma. Gueeeessssss what. I GET TO FUCKING DECIDE IF THIS IS HARD OR NOT. I've been alive for a bit, and I do understand perspective. I promise. I know that when I say food prep is hard, I mean "standing in the kitchen and consistently rejecting my kid's invitations to play for hours is hard on us both and not ideal," and not, "I think I'm gonna die ohmygodwhatisthispain hard." I also know that we live in the most privileged nation in the world. I know I'm a cis gender white woman. I know I'm lower middle class. I know that I live in a blue state and city. I know I'm fortunate enough to DECIDE what I eat. I know all of these things. So this kind of talk, where two bullet points later they actually say we're "all big boys and girls" is enough to make me throw my monthly-payment-plan-thanks-Verizon device against the damn wall in a rage. Shut up. Right now. Tell me my lists and recipes. Tell me the health benefits. Tell me all kinds of stuff...except how to complain. NEVER tell me how to complain. That way lies madness.
Ok! Rant over. Um...what was I talking about? Ah yes.
Sooooo I had some breakfast...
It was bird's birthday! A whole day together as a family, which pretty much only happens for half a second on Sundays, so this was a rare treat. This also meant going to places where we wouldn't be able to eat stuff, but we'd live.
We got up obscenely early, because we worried we had to wrap all the gifts before she woke up. Husband then casually pointed to the massive pile of gift bags accrued from her birthday party. "Can we use those?"
I stared at him. Silently, we both asked the other if we could go back to bed. We both told the other one yes, but we were holding coffee so it was pointless now. On top of that, her gift from her grandparents was wrapped, the scooter we bought her needed almost no assembly, and the one last-minute Amazon purchase was wrapped.
Since we had time to kill, I decided it was time for him to take the reins on some cooking. I showed him the easy recipe for my Meuslove. I told him he didn't have to replace any ingredients, since we had them all now. I would occasionally peek into the kitchen, only to see him squinting at some of the ingredients and fake-whining that he didn't know where they were. He was a cook. His faux ineptitude wasn't working.
Until he opened the bag of unsweetened coconut and it exploded all over the floor. I just looked at the mess, and headed to shower. I mean. I wished him luck and all, but nope.
He cleaned up, got it together, and made the deliciousness. It was either that or divorce, so I'm happy with that result.
Bird woke up, we fed her whatever bread and dairy she wanted, probably some candy (it was her birthday! Also, we're the worst), and watched her open her gifts. We played with damn near everything as the house slowly morphed into a gift crime scene, and it was glorious. Since it was scheduled to be warm for about five seconds, we decided to go fly a kite at the beach. Since this was hours after breakfast, we started to get hungry. Thinking quickly, I hit the kitchen and came out with these:
We had roast beef from Applegate that didn't have any sugar or carrageenan in it (which I can't say for any other lunch meat in the store), so I took those wee sweet potatoes from the night before, put some homemade mayo on them and tossed on a slice of roast beef. These were delicious and adorable. They would be just enough to tide us over. Beach time!
I hate sand. I'm not a fan of the beach, really.
However, flying this giant gorgeous kite was joyous as hell, and spending time with those two goofballs was aces. As we left, bird decided she wanted to go to Heartland. The only issue here was that WE HAVE NOT BEEN OUT TO EAT since we started the Whole30. We just didn't want to be those people, asking about every ingredient and squinting up our faces like, "ohhhh I can't eat thaaaaat." We aren't FIT to be out among regular diners. But hey. It was her BIRTHDAY. And if she wanted to eat at the restaurant that's close to our house, has a total hit or miss track record and mediocre food, well...who am I to stop her?
We ordered burgers. Seriously, it was the only compliant thing we could find. Sure, we just had roast beef, but whatever. She was having a giant pancake and bacon. Whatever.
After that, birthday bird wanted ice cream. We steeled ourselves, as we knew this would happen. She would want to go to the motherland. To George's in Andersonville. It's a glorious place of delicious things and happy people who get to eat the delicious things.
She got a scoop of chocolate and a scoop of cinnamon ice cream, because she is wise beyond her years. I just pressed my face on the glass and cried a little.
We wandered around the neighborhood, where my kid picked out her first pair of Converse hi-tops. She chose black. I...I've never been so proud. I don't even know what to say. I think I am done parenting now.
Once home again, we played some more while I tended to the simmering pot of stock on the stove. The massive. Simmering. Pot. What's that? Bone broth? I'm sorry, I've rejected that term, as I used my freezer scraps and didn't buy additional CHICKEN FEET to put in my stock. Apparently, that's what gives bone broth it's gelatinous allure. All that extra collagen! And I refused, as I was boiling the feet down and injecting the goo directly into my lips. Don't tell ME what to do with gross animal parts, you stupid book. I think, though, I had enough to work with.
Once the bird was in bed, it was time for me to serve up the short ribs that had been cooking all day. I made up some quick fried coconut avocado slices, and some cauliflower and sweet potato mash. People...the result sent me into the stratosphere.
I'm not even kidding, here. This was a beautiful and delicious thing I made. I was so pleased, I barely knew what to say...so I didn't say anything. I just shoved the food in my face and giggled like a kid opening her presents on her birthday.