I am about to sound like their earnest followers of 1979 who claimed that “once they were into Amway, but now Amway is into them.”
If I acknowledge this up front, if I am aware of it, then you know I am still in my right mind and not trying to get you into a pyramid scheme.
Day 24 of The Whole30 and, in a nutshell:
I like it.
I like shopping the walls not the aisles of the grocery store. I like eating food that God ripened to readiness, and all we’ve applied to it is a little heat and a fork. I like the un-goopy feeling of eating meat, fruit, and vegetables. And, as any woman will attest, the tiniest movement toward physical health wakens the possibility of beauty that seemed lost. Crepe shirts and pedicures and ruby drop earrings, yes, I believe I will. And stand up straighter and dip into the back of the closet and into the far regions of the jewelry box and out of the routine of one pair of denim shorts and the magnolia stud earrings I’ve worn for two years. Honestly, who doesn’t want this, or need it at 49 and 2/3 with one child left in the nest?
We’ve gotten better in the kitchen, and it isn’t destroyed three times a day. We even entertained a family of five tonight for dinner and never mentioned the Whole30.
The Whole30 travels pretty well, too. The trick of Whole30 on the road is not in finding a compliant restaurant; it is in trying to be gracious, to order unobtrusively so that all the relatives at the reunion don’t hear your clipped, specific instructions to the waiter: “Chris, I want a grilled chicken breast and some steamed asparagus. Make it happen.” This option is nowhere on the menu, of course, though it seems so simple to do.
But Chris has dreams of his own, and he wants a glowing review on the on-line survey offered at the bottom of the receipt. So he calls your attention to it in the aw-shucks way meant to appeal to any mother of a son. I am on to his wiles, but he manages to make a cameo appearance in our vacay video.
And he makes the grilled chicken/steamed asparagus happen, but it is expensive and, no surprise, doesn’t begin to fill you up after nine hours on the road and a thunderstorm on I-10. So you have spent a lot and eaten a little but followed the plan. And that’s pretty much the way each day on the road goes. It is very possible, but more expensive to eat less, which is a little disgruntling. And you will be hungry a lot because some vacations are so busy with events and people that you can’t get to the store to buy fruit and nuts.
Oh well. You will live.
What about the reception buffet with sandwiches, pasta salads, and baked beans? Eat the meat off the sandwich. Choose the slaw – yes, there is probably a little sugar in the dressing but one has to ingest something and I am committed to being unobtrusive in the food moment. Select a pickle, one Swedish meatball to demonstrate your full-fledged camaraderie, to say “I’m over here killing these meatballs. Anyone want to join this party?” And all the fruit tray you want. See? You have successfully avoided the pasta salad and the pound cake and no one has noticed.
At Day 24 it behooves one to begin thinking about what’s next. Here’s what I’ve decided. The only thing I will change is that I will allow myself more 2% milk in my coffee, and will happily reintroduce the scant 2 inches of dry white. And popcorn, because looking forward to a bowl of popcorn is how I make it through February’s game 32 of a 50-game high school basketball season. Is it just me, or is each game and the season itself longer and colder than a calving iceberg? If I hashtagged, it would be #keeptheclockrunningformercysake.
Well, that about sums up Day 24. I have bought the T-shirt, so to speak. And, as an aside, I predict that Chris the Waiter’s dreams will come true.