Whole30 – Day 5: Menu Planning Sucks

Exactly One Hobby

Marathon Training: Day -79; right foot still sore, likely from being barefoot all day; right hips still clicks while walking; back still sore overnight. 30x ankle raises, 30x dips, 2 minute plank rotation; need to get better about doing full exercise rotation. Whole30 has proceeded along, but the drain of not meal planning gets harder and harder each time we block out thirty days for this limited diet. We’ve had potatoes for every meal (either russet or sweet) to keep the carbs up. I am trying to find ways to pre-cook carbohydrates. This could include acron squash (Katie’s favorite winter squash), carrots, or even different flavoring on potatoes. In terms of stable meals, I’ve brought it down to a handful of decisions that can pull together a meal.

Meal Options

  1. Protein
    • Chicken: thigh; boneless, skinless breast; party wings
    • Boneless pork chop
    • Ground beef
    • Egg
  2. Carbohydrate
    • Russet potato: baked, or diced
    • Sweet potato: baked, diced, or (experimental) noodles
  3. Sauce
    • Olive oil: usually with salt, pepper, garlic powder
    • Tahini: cut with water, add some combination of curry, cumin, tumeric, garlic
    • Tomato: spicey with chili powder, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika; savory with garlic and onion
    • Basil: lots of olive oil and garlic, and whisked thoroughly
  4. Vegetables
    • Salad
    • Brussels sprouts

Breakfast for the two of us is down to a very specific routine.

  1. Clean a russet potato, slice into quarters longwise, then slice on mandolin’s middle setting. Begin cooking in skillet with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  2. Chop Brussels sprouts by cutting off ends, then slicing in half. Begin cooking in cast iron skillet with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  3. Stir the potatoes, to ensure an even char.
  4. Place 6 slices of thawed bacon onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Set aside.
  5. Cover Brussels sprouts to steam the vegetables and soften them.
  6. Continue to stir the potatoes as needed.
  7. Put bacon in the cold oven, set to 400°F and cooking time of 17 minutes. When time expires, let the oven turn off, but allow the ambiant heat to remain.
  8. Check the Brussels sprouts, check the potatoes.
  9. Pull out 6 eggs and spinach.
  10. Add ghee to second skillet and start pan heating.
  11. Uncover Brussels sprouts, and ensure all pieces are cut-side down. Katie likes them soft, but charred (but not too charred).
  12. Fry three eggs sunny side up or overeasy - whatever I’m feeling
  13. Plate eggs and put spinach into pan; cooking until spinach is sufficiently sautéed.
  14. Clean the eggs skillet, add clarified button and heat back up. Katie doesn’t like ghee, but does like clarified butter.
  15. Usually by now the bacon in finished - place on paper towels in serving dish, put into microwave to keep warm.
  16. Plate half the potatoes and half the Brussels sprouts with the eggs, place in oven to keep warm.
  17. Put remaining Brussels sprouts into a bowl, and set aside. Katie likes her sprouts room tempurature.
  18. When Katie is ready for breakfast, cook 3 eggs, scrambled. Katie likes her eggs just so.
  19. Plate Katie’s eggs (with pepper) and potatoes; place plate at seating.
  20. 1 cup of orange juice for Katie, coffee for David (already prepped the night before).
  21. Pull bacon from microwave and David’s plate from oven.
  22. Eat food as quickly as possible, before the baby wakes up.
  23. Quickly throw fill the dishwasher and leave the rest to soak.

Somewhere in there, I also pull out whatever we’re having for lunch — be in leftovers or can-of-protein and potatoes.

## What can I do better?

Clearly, blocking off an hour or so to actually plan lunches and dinners on the weekend, and before grocery shopping, will make evening meals a lot easier. Right now, it is an impromptu, stress-induced discussion on the way home. I am feeling completely uninspired. I start cooking a potato, then start cooking a protein. I then chop up whatever vegetables, throw them into a skillet, create some sauce or flavoring for everything, and eventually throw it all on plates and hope I didn’t screw it up too badly. Most of the time, it comes out at least good, sometimes even really good. However, it gets really, really tough to keep trying to be creative with meals. During the first Whole30, we would map out on a whiteboard the week’s meals. That helped a significant amount, because I could look ahead a day or two and start to do food prep work in my spare time. These last few days, I feel as though I have just been playing catch-up… and I’m only barely winning. I need to get back to doing it better.

I think that’s enough of a rambling. This post certainly wasn’t very helpful to anyone, but I guess I do need to also get better at writing. Hopefully soon enough, I’ll be able to post some more about Vigil - I am started to get excited again about the latest progress I’ve made.