Well, we survived the first three days. It was not as easy as we thought it might be. Arrogance, I suppose. We also didn’t stick exactly to Arielle’s plan, but we used her as a guide. Sometimes, we switched up the meal entirely while other times we just altered her recipes a bit. If you want to use her recipes, they’re all here. Ours are here. The choice is yours.
Arielle: Toast with natural peanut butter, banana slices, and chia seeds
Us: Toast with natural peanut butter, banana slices, and cinnamon
- First things first, this is NOT my breakfast. Those disgusting round disks would not come near my lips under any circumstances. The problem for me was that peanut butter on toast with nothing else is rather dry. It also didn’t provide any servings of fruit. But hey, if the choice is “eat a banana or skip fruit,” I’m always going to choose the latter.
- Since we don’t like chia seeds, my sister opted for cinnamon. Her verdict: “Yes. Do this.”
- We had a hard time finding bread with no added sugar at 9PM in this turd hole town. The two cleanest places we have access to are Publix and Panera, but Panera was closed when we went grocery shopping (yeah, 9PM is late here). We settled on a 12 grain and seed with Omega 3 for now. It has 3 grams in it, which was fine for the moment, but we’re going to Panera next. Look at all their sugar free breads!
Arielle: Quinoa bowl with kale, chickpeas, grilled chicken, lemon juice, salt and pepper
Us: Kale and quinoa bowl with chickpeas, grilled chicken, lemon juice, sea salt, cracked pepper, and paprika
- This was so simple to make. We made it the night before and took it to work where we both ate it cold. Heating it will most certainly make the kale gross, but if you can’t stand the taste of cold chicken or quinoa, you could take the kale and chickpeas in a separate container and add them after you’ve heated the rest.
- We made WAY too much quinoa. More on that coming up.
Arielle: Spaghetti squash boat with marinara, mushrooms, spinach, olive oil, chicken sausage, and lite mozzarella cheese
Us: Spaghetti squash boat with marinara, mushrooms, spinach, olive oil, chicken sausage, and fresh mozzarella cheese
- Yeah, this will change your life. It looked so good we decided not to alter it really. We were right. It was amazing.
- The marinara might be the tricky part here. We’re sauce snobs and rarely use sauce from a jar. I’m pretty sure my grandparents send a thunderstorm to earth every time we do. Besides, the taste is usually pretty atrocious. However, Del Grosso is pretty damned close to our family recipe, and it has no added sugar. We decided it would probably work. It did.
- Okay. A quick difference of opinion on full fat, light, and low fat dairy. In two words, I don’t. I realize there are compelling arguments from both sides of this debate, and I respect your choice to go with the lower fat options if you so desire. For me, however, I’m firmly in the camp of thought that says I will eat much less of something like mozzarella if it’s full fat than if it’s low fat. Realistically, in most cases, you aren’t getting a huge cut in fat or calories by going with the low fat or light option, anyway. Besides, low-moisture mozzarella just does not match the taste of fresh, and if I have to give up sugar for 30 days, I’m going to at least try to enjoy it.
Snacks and Dessert
Snack 1: Plain nonfat Greek yogurt with orange slices
Snack 2: Carrots and an apple
Dessert: ½ serving frozen mango chunks, ½ serving frozen blueberries
- We. Are. Arrogant. We had no idea we’d need snacks as badly as we did. We’re not big snackers normally, so we didn’t really plan for them. Big. Mistake. We were starving between meals because we’re so used to eating filling sugar-laden garbage. We thought it might just be a one-day thing, though, so we kept on without snacks.
Arielle: Toast with Asiago cheese, smoked salmon, capers, and cracked pepper
Us: Toast with peanut butter…well, okay, one piece of toast with peanut butter and one with straight up butter.
- Neither of us is into cold fish. Same goes for capers.
- We wanted to go with Asiago toast, but time got the best of us and we had to make breakfast quickly. We just defaulted to the peanut butter from the previous day.
- Let’s talk about the butter, though. After slice 1 of dry peanut butter toast, we couldn’t swallow it anymore and desperately read the label on the butter. Hey, it’s only day 2. We’re not perfect.
Arielle: Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice (cauliflower, olive oil, garlic, green onions, shallots, lime juice, salt and pepper) with black beans, corn, red peppers, avocado, and lime yogurt sauce (plain nonfat Greek yogurt with lime zest, lime juice, salt and pepper)
Us: Leftover spaghetti squash.
- We started to evaluate the amount of food we bought versus the amount we would actually use and realized we might have had too much.
- Add to that the same time constraint that hindered breakfast and we opted for switching things around a bit for this lunch. The food items were the same, but this is when we started to get out of order from Arielle’s plan. That’s right: Day 2.
Arielle: Spaghetti squash with marinara, mushrooms, chicken sausage, an egg, and everything seasoning
Us: Quinoa bowl #2
- We made way too much quinoa for night 1, had a lot of chickpeas left over, and had an avocado that didn’t have much longer to survive so this is a fully improvised dish to make sure we used everything we bought.
- It was alright.
Snacks and Dessert
Snack 1: Apple
Snack 2: Baby carrots
Dessert: Mashed frozen banana with frozen strawberries
Nope. Stupid again. We’ll learn soon enough.
- I got very hungry between breakfast and lunch but not so much between lunch and dinner. Next grocery trip, snacks!
- This was a bit of a bigger problem on this day since it was a gym day. We’re going to have to work on at least some pre-workout snacks.
Arielle: Egg White Cups with mushrooms, spinach, lite mozzarella cheese, and everything seasoning
Us: Egg white cups with mushrooms, spinach, Asiago, tomatoes, sea salt, and pepper.
- You’ll notice “sea salt and pepper” often in my recipes. When I say “sea salt,” I mean the least amount possible, like a half pinch.
- I started to think about having to add some different spices, though.
- The “everything seasoning” Arielle uses might be a blend she created, but it also might be the “Everyday Seasoning” from Trader Joe’s because she’s a big fan of the store. There are several others it might be, but the only “Everything Seasoning” I could find was “Everything But the Bagel.” Probably not a top choice for eggs. We don’t have a Trader Joe’s close by, but even if we did, that store has never impressed me. Probably an unpopular opinion, but we all have our preferences. Reading the Everyday Seasoning, though, it’s probably quite good. I just don’t do “all purpose” seasonings because, well, control issues.
- These were…eggy. I’m not sure how I feel about egg cups that don’t have some kind of meat to break up the egg mouth feel. They were good, but my sister and I both felt like we were just downing eggs.
- When I cut up the vegetables, they didn’t look like enough variety. I grabbed a tomato and added that to the top.
- We used Asiago because the rest of our mozzarella disappeared overnight. This is an ongoing mystery that may be worth its own post some day.
Arielle: Salad with apples, carrots, yellow bell peppers, chickpeas, avocado, grilled chicken, and lime yogurt sauce
Us: Quinoa bowl #2 leftover
- That f%$#ing quinoa. This was the end of it. Finally.
- We didn’t purposely skip this one, but taking it to work would have proven difficult. With apples and avocado, it might not have been as good after sitting around for several hours, even refrigerated. It looks very good, though. We’ll make it soon.
- Big question, though. Is there a green in here? When she says “salad,” there’s no clarification there. I’m probably going to have to add some kale to this when I make it. Otherwise, it sounds great!
Arielle: Cilantro lime cauliflower rice with black beans, corn, red peppers, and chicken sausage
- Another huge winner, this one. This is really, really good.
- We kept it pretty close to her recipe, but I added cumin and chicken.
- If you’ve never had cauliflower rice, you really should change that. I like it better than real rice because, frankly, I’m picky about where rice is used and what kind it is.
Snacks and Dessert
Pre-workout snack: Raw almonds
Snack: Blueberry RX Bar
Dessert: Mashed frozen banana with frozen strawberries
Apple with peanut butter (Pre-workout snack)
- I’m finally starting to learn, it seems. That apple was a great help!
FINAL THOUGHTS AFTER DAY 3
- I’m a huge water drinker. I actually don’t drink anything BUT water except coffee and beer. I can imagine this being very difficult if you’re a soda drinker or you like other beverages besides water. Be strong. Choose H2O.
- To be fair, I don’t drink alcohol every day, but I do drink coffee every day. For this, I’ve started taking my coffee black. If you decide to do this and you don’t usually, buy a high quality coffee or you’ll be disappointed. I drank the coffee at work with nothing in it and it ruined my day. We have yet to encounter the alcohol problem. I’ll let you know when we do.
- ALL. I. WANT. IS. A. DONUT. My sister and I have never missed sugar more. It’s weird, but it shows how big a part of our lives it normally is. We don’t feel badly physically, but we do have a psychological need that can’t seem to be satiated.
- Physically, however, I feel great. My energy is up and it stays up. My sister said the same is true for her. Now if we could get our mental space to catch up to our physical space, that would be great.
- I think we need to add some snacks.