I am completely astonished at how little I am struggling at this point. I had expected headaches and crankiness, but I feel fine. I am also completely aware that could change tomorrow. But, I’m grateful for the ease of the first three days.
Today, I tried some new things in the kitchen.
I did pork ribs in the crockpot. Like that’s pretty much the whole instruction. I sprinkled on a BBQ rub I have from Penzy’s spices (kind of my favorite company right now) that doesn’t have sugar in it. (There’s an assignment for you – go find a mix of spices intended as a rub for pork anything that doesn’t include sugar. Just kidding. You don’t have to go do that. It’s not a real assignment, but if it were…you’d struggle and gnash your teeth, I tell you!)
So, I sprinkled on a spice mix from a jar, then put the ribs in the crock pot and turned the knob to low. 8 hours later, I came back to fall-off-the-bone delicious ribs. Fancy people would put them under the broiler with a bunch of (sugary) sauce, but since I didn’t add any water, they had a nice crust on them right out of the crock pot! What?! So easy.
Also, I made ketchup. Yep. I made my own. Heinz ketchup (catsup?) and the like are off limits this month because they contain sugar or corn syrup. There is a recipe in the Whole 30 cookbook for ketchup that looks more like a Heinz 57 steak sauce kind of thing. It’s probably good, but it’s not for my hash browns in the morning. So, I found a recipe online that includes some dates for sweetness. Purebred Whole 30-ers would balk at that, but I’m no purebred anything, so I boiled and blended and made a terrific ketchup! Whole 30 or not, it was kind of cool to make a new thing.
I also made date paste, which sounds delicious, doesn’t it? If you come over, I’ll serve you some date paste – but not on a cracker; I can’t have crackers. So, just probably on a celery stalk or something awesome like that. Okay, so it is just equal parts hot water and chopped dates blended til super smooth. It’s like a super smooth apple butter, I’d say. This is also not a purebred deal, but I’ll tell you what it does for me: if I mix 6 tablespoons almond butter to 1 tablespoon date paste, I have an incredibly satisfying bowl of dreams to spread on celery. It’s so dessert-y!
Now, here’s how I feel about not being a purebred Whole 30-er. I know it’s only day 3 and I’m making date paste and ketchup, and yesterday I confessed that I am purposefully including extra fruit in my diet these first few days. 3 days ago, I was drinking embarrassing amounts of Pepsi, eating crackers for breakfast in the car, and scooping up bowls of chocolate ice cream with my daughter in the evening. If I can successfully eat whole foods, cook (and clean up!) all my meals every day, avoid dairy, grains, legumes, additives, refined sugar and all its hidden buddies, and drink only tea or water – my body wins. And if it takes some ground up dates to make it through, to make me say things like “date paste is so dessert-y,” then dates will remain on my shopping list. And my assignment is to buy them without dripping with guilt. Eating dates is one of the ways I’m being gentle with myself this month. (This would tickle my Gram, who always had bags and bags of dates in the bottom drawer of her refrigerator. She would love that I am eating dates, but mostly she would love that I’m being gentle with myself.)
Wild Berry Zinger tea is going to get me through this. Date paste is helpful, but Wild Berry Zinger tea is likely going to be the MVP of this whole game (or maybe it’s a season or a tournament – my sports analogies always sparkle with great accuracy). I’m brewing 2 quarts of this stuff a day, and today I put frozen berries in it…and a straw for some snazziness. No lie, I would LOVE to dump some sugar in the next batch, but I won’t.