The Whole30 Pt. 2: Tiger Blood!

According to the Whole30 timeline, from days 16-27, many people sticking to the plan begin to experience something they call “Tiger Blood.”

TIGER’S BLOOD! It sounds like something a colonel with a handlebar moustache would yell in a Rudyard Kipling novel when he sees something astonishing.

It’s actually a state of being in which Whole30-ians experience boundless power, deeper sleep, and a general natural high. Whether this is because you HAVE the blood of the tiger in your veins, or you DRANK said blood (is that technically Whole30 compliant?), you should be a wellspring of vigour.

…So it figures day 16 has felt like the hardest yet.

At the grocery store there was sugar or soy or dairy in E V E R Y T H IN G. I tried to make Paleo Mayo (palayo!) and it backfired and refused to emulsify. I melted a piece of tupperware by accident by leaving it on the stove. Ruh roh.

Despite all of this, I now am over the half way point, with only two weeks left. The hardest part of the program is NOT the restrictions to what you can eat—it’s the restrictions that THOSE restrictions can put on your life.

Last weekend, my friends and I went to the flea market. One of them proposed grabbing a bite after, and then the issue was raised that I’m still on the plan. I insisted that I could have a coffee or find something to feed myself, but we skipped going out for food. I appreciated them not eating something in front of me (likely at the risk of me asking if I can smell it), I also felt pretty self conscious about the fuss, especially when talk of their hunger started. Everyone in the situation chose for themselves, but still, being the instigator created friction with my anxious desire to be selectively invisible.

Another example? I’m going away for a weekend to visit friends out of town. Immediately after making the plans, I began to stew over what I was going to eat, or even how to bring up the subject with my hosts. I didn’t want to offend by bringing my own stuff… But I also did not want anyone to go out of their way just for me. This is the sort of lifestyle change that is big enough that it draws attention to itself. I’m hating that aspect.

I am, however, lucky to have friends who support me. Both of the above stories above have resulted in preparations of special menus, shared Whole30 friendly dinners, and open dialogue about what I’m doing, and why.

That feels pretty big and important and awesome to know you can count on your people, even while you’re counting down the days.

Meal Prep and Momentum

Confession: I love telling stories and I love cooking, but I never read the prose part of recipes posts on food blogs… So I’ll keep this short. This weekend, I started a new fitness Instagram (#fitstagram?) to keep me motivated. (Follow me at @rilesrunswild!) This morning I woke up, geared to cook lunches and dinners for the week, so I did. This afternoon, I went for a good Couch to 5K run. I’m feeling pretty good, and I’m hoping this momentum lasts!

Butternut Squash & Black Bean Enchiladas – 320 cals per serving
Serves 3-4 (how hungry are you?)


Enchiladas

1 tbsp olive oil
3 cups butternut squash, cubed
1 1/2 cups black beans
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
9 small corn tortillas
1/2 cup old cheddar cheese (optional)

1 cup of Red Enchilada Sauce (adapted from Budget Bytes)
2 tbsp canola oil 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp chili powder
2 cups water
4 oz. tomato paste
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)

Directions:
1.
Preheat oven to 400 F. Toss cubed butternut squash in olive oil, salt and pepper. Put into over to roast until fork tender, 15-20 minutes.

2. Get saucy! Combine canola oil, flour and chili powder in medium saucepan. Whisk until combined and bubbling over medium heat, about 1 minute.

3. Add water, tomato paste, cumin, and garlic powder to the saucepan. Whisk and bring to a simmer, letting it thicken as it heats. Stir in salt to your desired taste.

4. Sautee onions and garlic in a saucepan until fragrant. (Lazy tip: I emptied the sauce into a measuring cup and used the same saucepan.) Add black beans, a few spoonfuls of sauce and stir to combine, gently heating until warmed through.

5. Remove the squash from the oven and stir into black bean mixture. Reduce heat to 350 F.  Warm up your tortillas in the oven for a minute to increase pliability.

6. Spoon enchilada sauce into the bottom of a baking dish (9×13 or 9×9, use whatever you’ve got). Now assemble the enchiladas. Spoon some squash and bean filling into each tortilla. Roll up as snugly as possible and place seam side down in the pan.

7. Complete with the rest of your tortillas, and snuggle them into the pan together.(You may have some filling leftover. Lucky you, it’s delicious by itself!) Add the rest of the enchilada sauce over top, smoothing it into cover the tortillas.

8. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle with cheese and return to oven for five minutes until melted. Serve with your favourite toppings: red onion, avocado, salsa, sour cream…the possibilities are endless!

Lentil & Mushroom Stroganoff feat. Cauliflower Potato mash with fresh Spinach – 350 cals per serving
Serves 4

Stroganoff
1/2 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tbsp olive oil
4 cups (340g) mushrooms, diced
2 cups brown lentils, cooked
1/2 – 1 cup vegetable stock
1 garlic pickle, chopped
1/2-3/4 cup greek yogurt or sour cream
2 cups fresh spinach

Mash
1/2 head of cauliflower, cut into large florets
2 medium red potatoes, chopped
Salt to taste
1/4 cup soy milk (or milk of your choice)
Butter (if desired)

Directions:
1. Prep the mash. Put cauliflower and potatoes into a pot of water and bring to a boil. Salt the water and boil the vegetables until fork tender. Drain and then mash, adding milk, salt and butter to desired consistency and taste. Set aside.

2.  Add olive, garlic and onions to a large saucepan. Cook until fragrant. Add mushrooms and cook on medium heat until most fluids have been released and mushrooms are brown and cooked down.

3. Add lentils to mixture. Stir to combine, then add vegetable stock and simmer to desired consistency. Stir in chopped pickle.

4. Allow to cool slightly and then stir in yogurt or sour cream. (it’s okay if it “breaks”, it will still be tasty!)

5. To serve, line the bottom of a bowl with 1/2 cup fresh spinach, top with 1 cup mash, and then 1 cup of mushroom and lentil mixture.