Brass Tacks: Clean Week


No starch, no sugar, no grain, no dairy, no beans. Easy, right?

Jacked From: istockphoto via at
Jacked From: istockphoto via at


  • Monday: Humus derailment. (Chickpeas are beans, now? OH – garbanzo beans. Right. My bad.)
  • Tuesday: Salmon with spice rub that included 15 different ingredients – all of which were some kind of pepper or chili until No. 14, which was sugar. I was in a rush and didn’t read the ingredients ALL the way through. This felt exactly like missing a reading comprehension question on the SAT — I knew the right thing, but missed it trying to go all fast like “look at me this is so easy.” (Why can’t I just read?!)
  • Wednesday: Convinced by a co-worker going through the full Whole 30 that a local smoothie shop had a sugar-free option that’s “totally on the plan,” I ordered exactly as she instructed me to.  After finishing the smoothie and not feeling great, I had my suspicions about its compatibility with the Whole 30, so I hopped on the web site to check out the nutrition facts and ingredients.  I found the nutrition facts easily, but they weren’t for the sugar-free option, so I started to check for ingredients.  There were three ingredients listed: banana, protein boost, and “Turbinado.”  Sure, there were only three ingredients, but two weren’t reduced to the lowest common denominator, and one was little more than a nickname.  What was IN the smoothie?!  I emailed the info address on the company website and got this note in return:


  • Friday: Without realizing it, I’d invited my team from work to happy hour Friday night. It just didn’t seem right to invite everyone to a happy hour and not get a beer.  Even though the Whole 30 Program admonishes this thinking as valuing your commitments to others over your commitments to yourself, I just couldn’t bring myself to be that odd.  (I guess I’m just selfless like that.)  After the happy hour, it was date night with My Favorite Non-Blob.  Since I’d already blown Friday at happy hour, and since it was already the end of the five days, I decided signature cocktails for date night were totally fine.  I know it’s weak thinking, but My Favorite Non-Blob convinced me it was “balanced living.”  I liked that.


  • Monday: Attended service group happy hour and didn’t drink.
  • Tuesday: Worked really late and still managed to eat asparagus, spinach, and eggs for dinner instead of frantically gnawing through office chocolates, coffee grounds, and fingernails.
  • Wednesday: Finally found a way to put something in my horrendously bitter black coffee (unsweetened almond milk is the new Frappucino mix. Not really, but it was better than nothing.)
  • Thursday: Made it through a BYOW(ine) get together with girlfriends drinking only sparkling water and eating only deli meat.  This was the highlight of the week because it was craft night (mason jars, chalkboard paint, power drills), and I drank no wine and ate no chips and dips.  To me, this was herculean.
  • Friday:  Participated in a work luncheon consisting of ordered-in tacos from my favorite local taco shop.  I found tacos with plan-compliant filling, and just didn’t eat the tortilla.  Since my usual order is the Trailer Park prepared Trashy AND Classy, to me, this too was herculean.


None, really.

I was never hungry between meals, and I already strangely didn’t crave all those stupid little freaking candies in bowls on everyone’s desks at work. I got a good laugh, though, realizing how much more I enjoy brushing my teeth when that toothpaste is basically the only sweet thing I taste all day.

The biggest hurdles were hanging out with my friends without drinking wine, and Friday date night without my signature cocktail (that last one didn’t happen).  It was also awkward when a fellow service-club member strong-armed me into taking a toast point laden with egg salad at our happy hour. I packed it in a to-go “for My Favorite Non-Blob” and then threw it away when I got home. I felt like DJ Tanner in the anorexia episode even though I’d scarfed down a ton of salad, humus (totally a bean, who knew?), and artisanal charcuterie.


Even with a few fails, and after only five days, I was already feeling better (sleeping better, more alert, running easier).  The best part was realizing it’s not quite as tough as I thought it would be to find stuff to fit the plan. Thank you, Austin, Texas, for being so deliciously weird. Living walking-distance from Whole Foods and Snap Kitchen, and working close to another Whole Foods and My Fit Foods definitely made this more do-able.

Since I’ve historically run better when my eating habits have been better, my March goal was to adhere to the Whole 30 Plan for this work week leading up to the Dallas Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon.  Even though this wasn’t a perfect trial run of the Whole 30, there were more wins than losses.  I felt much better on the run, and I managed to carry forward the principles of the plan on the road trip up to Dallas for the race (Burger King grilled chicken breast with tomato and lettuce only and unsweetened iced tea. SO. NOT. ME.).  Since wins outnumber losses, and since I was able to affect a real change beyond the challenge deadline, I’m counting this the first Bloblessness Goal win of 2014 — FINALLY!


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