Feb – March Resolutions

Autumn word mat 1


Welcome to Autumn. I’m ridiculously relieved to have summer over with. Although we didn’t have much seriously hot weather this time, what we did have seemed really draining. Looking at the forecast for March, I can’t help but feel happy. No days over 30 degrees! My kind of weather. When I was young I was definitely a Summer kind of girl – the hotter the better. These days I’m more of an Autumn/Spring person, the milder weather suits me. I like to be able to get out and about and do stuff without sweating or freezing.

Now to my resolutions for February. They were:

Finance – NO CREDIT CARD !!!

Health and Wellbeing – Whole30, and 10,000 steps each day.

Education – Survive the first month of my course.

Creativity – Finish this cardi for Leila and start this one.

Decluttering/Minimalism – Keep getting rid of stuff and try not to rant at the kids.

Giving – Send lots of stuff to the op shop.

And how’d I go?

Finance – Massive fail! No excuse. Nothing more to say.

Health and Wellbeing – As I explained in my last post, we didn’t get all the way through the Whole30. I also haven’t reached 10,000 steps on many days.

Education – I’m loving my course, although I’m already behind on my reading ..

Creativity – I’ve almost finished the first cardi, just the cuff on the second sleeve to go. And I haven’t started the second one.

Decluttering/Minimalism – As usual, I’m not happy with my progress here. I’m actually feeling a bit like King Canute.

Giving – I took one load of bits and pieces to the op shops and would really like to have taken more.

So what am I going to try to do in March?

Finance – NO CREDIT CARD !!! I really mean it this time. When various people pull their heads out of their arses, Mark’s pay will go back to his pre-injury level which should make it easier.

Health and Wellbeing – Keep eating a roughly paleoish diet and walk with Mark and the dogs every day.

Education – Catch up on my reading (nearly there), stay up to day and get my first assignments in on time.

Creativity – Finn’s due for a new jumper, so I’ll do a basic vest for him. He’s growing up very quickly and he won’t be happy to wear Mum’s knitting for much longer, so I need to make the most of it while I can.

Decluttering/Minimalism – It feels very much like a Sisyphean task, but I’m going to continue to chip away at the stuff in our house. I don’t hold out any hope of turning it into a minimalist paradise, but it’d be nice to see some clear surfaces …

Giving – I’m going to fill the car boot once a week for an op shop run and to do a tip run at the end of the month.


Not the Whole30


Well, I’m a little disappointed to say that our Whole30 came to an end on Friday evening – day 17. A little disappointed but really quite a lot relieved, to be honest. The short answer to why is probably that now was not the right time for us to do it.

Mark struggled all the way through. You can read his comments here.

I feel like I’ve been doing well on this diet. I haven’t experienced the “tiger blood” I’ve seen mentioned, but in a very busy week last week, my energy levels were generally pretty good and I’ve been feeling quite well within myself. Over the 17 days I followed the Whole30 I lost three and a half kilos, and I have mostly lost the puffy look I felt I had (I feel like I have cheek bones again). In the last week or so I don’t think I’ve experienced any digestive upsets (bloating, reflux, etc.) I saw my mum and sister today and they commented that I looked very well.

I didn’t really miss any foods, except tea with milk and sugar. I’ve been drinking tea this way since I was about 2 (seriously!) so changing to black tea was a big thing for me. When I drank milk and sugar tea after two weeks without it, I was surprised by how calming it was. I realise that part of the point of the Whole30 is to remove food as a psychological crutch and tea is certainly that for me. At the moment, though, I feel that I need that crutch as I adjust to going back to study and being busier than I have been for some time.

I also found at times that the limitations of the Whole30 were difficult to manage. This came down to a lack of planning on my part and the business of trying to match the requirements of the Whole30 to the family’s dietary preferences. Again, now is not a great time for adding complexity to my life.

I am planning to keeping eating a mostly paleo diet and will continue to refer to It Starts with Food and Well Fed for recipes and ideas as they’ve been invaluable. I’ve gone back to drinking tea the way I like it, though, and will eat the odd piece of cake, or bread if it comes my way … and maybe steal the occasional lolly from the kids.

Whole30 Days 14-15


Day 14

I had my first morning class, but managed to make myself a cherry tomato omelette for breakfast anyway. It was yummy, as usual. The morning classes go for three hours and we have a break in the middle, during which I munched on an apple to keep me going.

I had a box of raw cashews in the car and they disappeared very quickly on the trip home. I’ve found, though that cashews, along with almonds, no longer agree with my stomach, so I won’t be having any more of them. Pity, I love cashews … but it’s really not worth the unpleasantness.

Lunch at home was some cold grilled chicken and salad with advocado, cucumber and cherry tomatoes.

I was going out after dinner, which meant that it had to be a quick one, so I made another frittata. This time it was pre-cooked minced beef with spinach and pumpkin. Aside from some dubious looks the kids ate it without complaint, which is always nice.

My sleep has improved since the weekend, although it feels like I’m not quite getting enough of it. According to my Fitbit, I’m averaging about 7 and a half hours a night, which is not bad. It may just be that Mark & I are getting up just after 6am to walk the dogs before he goes to work. It’s been years since I’ve been awake that early on a regular basis!

Day 15

And, with day 15, we reach the midpoint of our Whole30. It’s all downhill from here!

Breakfast today was another omelette, this time with blueberries. Bloody marvellous! I didn’t have any salad or vegies with it, and I know I should have, but I do find it hard to face them first thing in the morning.

Lunch was more of the beef, spinach and pumpkin frittata.

For dinner I attempted a repeat of the fish I did the other day. It wasn’t quite as successful. Tonight’s fish was Hoki. It was a lot wetter than the Whiting we had last week and the sauce didn’t really want to sauce, if you know what I mean. It was still nice, just not as nice. Instead of salad, I did cooked carrot, broccoli and cauliflower to go with it and oven potato chips to make the kids happy.

I have a morning class again tomorrow, so I’ll have to move quickly to make my omelette in the morning.

Whole30 Day 12-13



Day 12

Day 12 was a quiet-ish one for all of us, after our late night. The only problem with going to events in Melbourne is that we get home so very late that we’re all wrecked the next day.

I had an omelette for breakfast again, without any salad this time.

Lunch was the last of the minced beef we cooked up the previous weekend, with green beans and cauliflower rice.

During the afternoon Mark and I pre-cooked some more minced beef and some chicken thigh fillets for this week. They’ll come in handy on Tuesday evening when I have to go out to a class.

I cooked some pork spare ribs, using this recipe. They were a little over cooked, but still delicious, if a little too spicy for the kids. They were happier with the oven potato chips I made.

Energy levels are supposed to be improving at this stage, but Day 12 was not a good measure as we were all too tired to begin with.

Day 13

Day 13 was my first day of class in my course at The Gordon.

I started with an omelette with cherry tomatoes and salad again. I think this will be my regular breakfast for a while because I really enjoy them.

I had lunch at home which was just the cold chicken, carrot, broccoli and cauliflower  frittata with some cucumber and more cherry tomatoes.

Dinner was rump steak, marinated and cooked this way with green beans and broccoli. It turned out really well. I had left one piece of steak unmarinated, in case the kids didn’t like the marinade, but they didn’t even notice it. They might be developing tastebuds after all!

My energy levels have been fine today, although I am quite tired now. I wouldn’t say I’m “Tigger the bouncing tiger” but I did manage to keep moving through the day better than I think I normally would have. What I have noticed is that I’m not getting ravenously hungry between meals like I was for the first week or so. I ate breakfast and lunch today when I did because those were the times I had the time to eat them, not because I was starving. And I did feel a bit hungry before dinner tonight, but it was easily settled with a handful of raw cashews. This, I think, is a good thing.

My moods haven’t completely evened out yet, but I imagine (hope) that will start to happen as my energy increases. It’s easier to manage your temperament when you’re not feeling tired.

Whole30 Days 10-11


Day 10

The Whole30 timeline sums today up perfectly for me:

Fact: you are most likely to quit your Whole30 program on Day 10 or 11. By this point, the newness of the program has worn off. You’ve made it through most of the unpleasant physical milestones, but you’ve yet to experience any of the “magic” the program promises.

I came closer today to stopping my Whole30 than I have before. I would have eaten just about anything today, if it would make me feel a bit less tired and crappy.

I had a third poor night’s sleep in a row last night. Thanks to my Fitbit, I know that I’m sleeping for just over 7 hours a night, but waking multiple times during the night. Having children taught me that broken sleep – even if the overall total is respectable – is almost as bad as not enough sleep. As a result, I’m dragging myself through the day and not getting anywhere near as much as I would like done.

Breakfast today was a single boiled egg, followed by a small serve of fruit salad. I just couldn’t face salad, or any kind of vegetable this morning. I had a banana and a handful of nuts after dropping the kids off.

For lunch I had the last of that yummy salmon frittata – I’ll be making that again – with salad.

Dinner was some cold roast chicken with salad and some fruit salad to follow in honour of the warm weather.

I’m very much looking forward to the point where things start to get easier now. Although today was a hard one, I don’t think I’m in danger of giving up. I actually like the food I’m eating, but need to create a bit more variety, and am aware of some improvements, in spite of feeling crappy. Digestive stuff, overall, has been better. I haven’t taken antihistamines for a week or so – I usually take them daily through spring and summer. I’ve lost some weight (I broke the rules and weighed myself) and I feel less “puffy” in general.

Day 11

Another poor night’s sleep. This time it was due to the heat and the arsehat revhead doing burnouts and speeding up and down our street and through the neighbourhood in the wee small hours. Why does the heat bring out the dickheads?

For breakfast today I made myself my first every omelette. I have no idea how I’ve lived this long and never made one. I put some halved cherry tomatoes in it and had a little bit of salad with it. Very yummy breakfast, although I’d have loved it more with bacon or ham and cheese …

Lunch was a bit perfunctory. Just a tin of tuna and some more salad.

We’re going to see Paul Kelly’s Merri Soul show at the Melbourne Zoo tonight, so I’ve already made our dinner and it’s sitting in the fridge, chilling. Mark & I are having a chicken, carrot, broccoli and cauliflower frittata, with a bit of salad on the side and some fruit salad for dessert. The kids are having ham and cheese sandwiches and I might slip something sweet in the bag for them for dessert because they won’t eat the fruit salad. We shall all be virtuously sipping water while we watch the show.

Now would be a good time for that burst of energy to kick in, actually. We’re all quite tired and I’m not sure we’ll make it all the way through the evening without a little kick along.


Whole30 Days 8-9



Day 8

I didn’t sleep very well the night before day 8 and woke feeling very tired.

I’m writing this at the end of day 9 and I can’t remember what I had for breakfast yesterday, probably frittata and salad.

I do recall lunch, though. Finn had the day off school because he had hurt his neck the day before in a fall (he’s fine). I took him to my chiropractor in Point Cook and I took him to Nando’s for lunch. I had chicken tenderloins with the lemon and herb dressing and chips. My lunch probably wasn’t really Whole30 compliant, but I’m going to call it close enough.

For dinner I made a beef stir fry with snowpeas, red capsicum, broccoli and cauliflower. Mark & I enjoyed it but the kids weren’t quite so impressed. I intended to do some rice for them to have with it, but forgot, so they had to deal with real vegies in their faces!

All through day 8 I felt tired. I was certainly lacking a bit of sleep, but it was more of an emotional fatigue I was feeling, which was kind of worse than feeling physically tired. One positive of the day was the the diarrhea seemed to have passed.

Day 9

I had another not-great night’s sleep and woke feeling very much like just going back to bed.

For breakfast today I had a couple of boiled eggs, followed by a small piece of salmon frittata (goodness that’s yummy!) and some salad with a small serve of fruit salad to finish off. The fruit salad was a nice end to the meal and gave me a little to boost to get out the door.

After taking the kids to school and doing some errands I had a bit of time spare before I needed to eat lunch and go out again, so I tried to have an hour-long nap. I lay still for an hour, but didn’t sleep for any of it, which was disappointing. At least I had a bit of a rest.

At lunch time I had a piece of corned beef (aka silverside) that I had cooked earlier in the week with – you guessed it – salad. I know I said I was going to do some vegies to have in stead of salad, but I was short of time today.

For dinner tonight I made a kind of stir fry of the corned beef with carrot and cauliflower, seasoned with garlic, parsley, and other stuff (I’ve forgotten), with some more homemade chips. The corned beef came up really well when re-cooked/heated and it was a nice, if not spectacular, meal.

Again today, I’ve been feeling very emotionally fatigued. This morning, too, my stomach was bloated and … I’ll spare you any more info. Although the early parts of the Whole30 were difficult, I think this last couple of days have been the hardest so far for me. It’s not that I’m craving the foods I’ve stopped eating, it’s that I’m really tired of feeling crappy and having to overcome feeling crappy. The way I feel at the moment sounds a bit like days 10-11, except that, rather than eating something I’m not supposed to, I’d be happy to go to bed, fall asleep easily and wake up feeling refreshed. I’m really, really ready for things to start to improve.

Whole30 Day 6-7



Day 6

I woke feeling a bit better than day 5, which was nice.

For breakfast we had the chicken frittata I made on day 5, with salad. It’s pretty much a perfect breakfast. I had an apple after dropping the kids at school as I was starting to feel a bit empty

For lunch I tried a bit of an experiment. I decided to eat as much as I could and see just how much that was. I started with basically the same meal as breakfast, frittata and salad, but I had the salmon frittata instead. This was a piece of frittata with enough mixed lettuce, carrot and cucumber to fill a dinner plate. I finished and felt like I could still eat more, so grabbed another piece of frittata and refilled my plate with mixed lettuce. And I ate all that too and felt comfortably full. This is twice as much as I would normally consider having for lunch. I ate a handful of nuts to provide the fats I needed and I was done. This kept me going all afternoon quite nicely.

Dinner was whiting fillets done in the frying pan, with salad leaves, carrot, cucumber and avocado. There were also a few homemade potato chips (parboiled, then cooked in the oven), which I made to make the kids happily. Mark & I also had sundried tomatoes mixed with red wine vinegar and used to deglaze the pan as a seasonig on top of our fish. This was probably one of the best dinners I’ve had in ages.

Days 6-7 are described as the “I just want a nap …” . I wasn’t aware of this today, although I did feel it on earlier days, but I’m pretty sure Mark is going through an extended bout of it. He mentioned today on his blog that he has been feeling very vague and I think this is due to fatigue. Each day brings us closer to the point at which things should start to get easier, though, so we will persevere.

Day 7

I didn’t sleep well last night and woke up feeling very groggy. For a moment I considered not getting up and walking with Mark, but thought better of it pretty quickly and got out of bed.

Breakfast was chicken frittata with salad again. Still yummy.

For lunch I chopped up some roast chicken and ate it with … salad.

Dinner was some minced beef I’d pre-cooked on the weekend (Hot Plates) with some zucchini and tomatoes, seasoned with basil, oregano, parsley, garlic and a little chilli. Mark and I had it over salad leaves and the kids (lucky things) got pasta. It was nice, but not quite as nice as last night’s fish.

We’re a week in now, which feels like an achievement. Mark said that today he feels about 70% back to normal energy levels, so things are turning around for him. I’ve generally done better than Mark thus far, but today has been a hard day for me. As I said, I didn’t sleep well and I’ve felt tired all day, but when I tried to nap I couldn’t go to sleep.  I also have diarrhea, which is apparently normal for days 8-9, so it seems I’m running early. On the up side, I don’t have any bloating, or other digestive issues so things aren’t really too bad. It does mean, though, that I’m not feeling great physically and getting a bit frayed emotionally.

Salad leaves are also getting a bit boring, so tomorrow I’m going pre-cook some vegies to use for breakfasts and lunches.

In the meantime, I will keep reminding myself that it does get better.