Last weekend we spent Labor Day in the hill country, and cooked hotdogs and made s’mores.
We also made this strawberry lemonade, and it was really good. It turns out that there are a lot of ways to make strawberry lemonade, and some of them involve pushing the pureed berries through a sieve. I don’t like pushing things through sieves, so I selected a pretty easy recipe but it did not disappoint.
My nine year-old said it was nearly perfect. Why not perfect? Because nothing is truly perfect, he said. I’m not sure what that really means, but it sounds kind of profound, so let’s go with it.
For some reason the younger kids wanted me to also photograph the lemonade with a polar bear.
The polar bear agrees that this in one refreshing beverage.
I also made the chocolate cereal bars that I was drooling about at the end of my Whole 30 month. I had to abandon them at a party so that they didn’t all go in my mouth so I don’t have any pictures. You guys, these are so good. They need a much better name than chocolate cereal bars. Chocolate cereal bars does not sound like something you should run out and make today, but you should probably run out and make these today. They will probably make you happy.
So…I’ve been dragging my feet about writing about the conclusion of my Whole 30 experiment. I think this is because my feelings about it are kind of complicated. In all, I lost about 5 1/2 pounds, which is not all that much when you consider how restrictive this diet is. But, the Whole 30 is not really billed as a diet, it’s described as a “short term nutritional reset.” While I did not feel vastly improved by the end of it, I did notice some differences. For instance, fruit tasted sweeter and more enjoyable when I was not eating any other forms of sugar. What I found really interesting was how it changed my sleep patterns. I fell asleep easily each night, and was wide awake between 5 and 6am each morning, whether I wanted to be or not. This surprised me. So, carbs are the reason that I’ve never been a morning person?
Whole 30 also seems to help a lot of people who have digestive issues. In my case, I did not begin with any digestive issues but this diet introduced them. I learned that my stomach does not do well with a lot of coconut.
When a friend asked if I would be gradually reintroducing foods after my 30 days (which is what is recommended) I made a rude snorting sound that roughly translated as, “Why, no, I finishing this thing and will probably be eating all of the forbidden foods tomorrow for breakfast, thank you very much.”
I also learned that I can eat this way, but I don’t particularly enjoy it. To me, the most interesting part of doing this was psychological rather than physical. It did give me some time to think about food and emotions and how the two are intertwined. I did this during a relatively stressful time in our household, and it probably prevented me from doing some emotional overeating. By the end of the 30 days, it really wasn’t particularly difficult to adhere to this style of eating, but I found it to be pretty joyless.