There I stood in my kitchen, churning butter.
Well, not really churning it.
I was actually clarifying it to remove milk solids –the dairy portion of butter. You might know clarified butter as ghee, used in many Indian recipes. You can buy it in health food stores, but it’s pricey. I had a few pounds of butter in my freezer so I thought, what the hell, why don’t I make ghee?
You’re probably wondering why I would make ghee. It’s because I’m detoxing.
I’ve removed all dairy, sugar and grain of any kind from my diet. That means zero, zip of anything that resembles those things, including artificial sweeteners, stevia, cheese, rice… you get the picture. I eat only fruits, vegetables and meats. That’s it. No alcohol. No half and half in my coffee, Black only. Which is the hardest thing.
It’s an elimination diet and can help with all sorts of medical conditions, far too many to list here. After 30 days, you can reintroduce those items slowly and on a schedule, and see if adding a particular item produces a symptom. Or you can stay on it forever. Or mostly on it forever. But for sure you must commit to those first 30 days.
The program is called the Whole 30 and I went on it impulsively, after reading very little about it and probably after reading far too much my friend, Trainer Tom, posts on Facebook about clean eating, GMOs, and additives. It was curiosity, at first, and also I knew it was time to take all that stuff out of my diet because the election did nothing for my eating habits. Talk about comfort eating.
So, I read enough to start and then began. I bought the book a day later and made a more detailed shopping list, which took me to more than one store. Because this diet requires constant cooking using various things I didn’t have on hand. Like coconut aminos. And clarified butter.
I can cheat the cooking a bit by haunting the paleo choices at my nearby Whole Foods, which sometimes has prepared food without the bad oils and dairy that I can’t eat on this plan. Not all paleo choices work for this diet but one day I found a lemon chicken and a pulled pork that do.
Of course, I’d really like to cook up a big pot of pasta and meatballs. But no-no-no! And I’d like to eat the pizelles at a party my friend is giving. Nope. Maybe I’ll take some and keep them till I am off the plan.
You can only imagine my body’s shock at losing cheese, shredded wheat and English muffins. Not to mention how it misses the comfort of chocolate cake and ice cream. So I had a few days of withdrawal with various tummy issues. And then, all systems normal. As I write, I just finished the first week. Although I’m hungry a lot, I don’t have cravings at all and really, very little appetite. The hunger is physical pangs but it doesn’t drive me to the pantry. They say that your relationship with food changes on the program and I can see how it does.
Many of those who start the program get a big energy boost. I haven’t seen that yet, but it would be great if it happened.
And even as I say this program is fairly easy, let me describe what just happened. We’re having guests for holiday dinner later and I was setting the dining room table. I began by putting the silverware settings out. M. walked by.
“Are we going to use placemats?” he asked. GRRR. Nothing irritates me more than when I am doing something domestic and he offers his helpful hints.
“Do you think this is my first rodeo?” I snapped back. “Wha’s it to you if we use them or not? Why do you even care? Why don’t you go in the other room do some banking law?”
I was on a roll.
“Carol,” he said. “Have a candy bar.”
Oh. So maybe, not so easy.
Have you done the Whole 30? Fill us in on your experience! And here’s a Whole 30-compliant slow cooker recipe that is yummy:
Cut 3 lbs. new potatoes in half and place in slow cooker with salt, pepper, sliced onions to taste, 4 cloves garlic and 4 T ghee (clarified butter). Add fresh rosemary or dill, whichever you like. Or nothing at all. Cook on Low for 3 hours and then raise to High for about 2 more hours, maybe more..
The original recipe called for 5 hours on low but by 3 hours they were still hard as a rock, so I upped it to High for 3 more hours. You might cook keep it on low for 8 hours or more and see what happens. It tastes amazing and the house smells so good, too!