Here we are, just saying that reminds me of some 80’s song… as I start to hum it in my head… and since I don’t even know what the song is, I am compelled to google it.  I lost interest.  If you can figure out the song feel free to let me know, it can be like a little game.

Tell you what, you figure it out and you will win something!  Something greater than my love and adoration.  Not that you need it!  OK, day 8:



Here is what the official site has to say about day 8:

Day 8-9: For the love of Gosling, my pants are TIGHTER.

You’ve made it through the Hangover, and managed not to kill ALL the things, and you’re starting to feel like things are back on level ground again.  Then, you put on your pants. They’re just pants, completely normal pants. In fact, they’re the pants you wore just three days ago. (You were too tired to wash them. It’s okay, we understand.) And three days ago, they fit.  But this morning you had to take a big deep breath to get that button where it ought to be.  What gives?!

The same processes that ran over you like a truck a few days ago are still working their magic in your body.  Your body composition is not actually changing for the worse, we assure you. The enzymes that digest your food and the millions of bacteria that live in your gut are adjusting to your new intake of meat and vegetables, and the lack of easy-access sugars.  This is something they do naturally, and these adjustments have contributed to humanity’s ability to flourish throughout our history.  However, these adjustments can be a bit… uncomfortable. Bloating, constipation, diarrhea, or all three may appear as your gut starts to heal, rebalance, and process this new food effectively. The good news is that most people find this phase passes relatively quickly, and their pants are easy to button again within a week or so.

End of what the official site has to say.

Here is the good news, my pants are already loose, I lost about 20 pounds last year and haven’t replaced anything, therefore, ergo, I have some room for bloat?  Always check out the positive side of things.  All in all, we kept it pretty simple again here at the Handley household.  I stuck with a pancake made from sweet potato, ginger, banana, egg & flax meal.  Went for a swim, had another pancake for lunch… had some more brussel sprouts with grapes & coconut oil for lunch and the Tbone Steaks were on sale from Harris Teeter, so we had those for dinner with a simple side of broccoli and carrots, Meg had herself a baked tater.  She isn’t trying to lose any weight during this whole activity, however, she lost 6 pounds in one week… holy smokes!  She does some macro counting through another program as well and the two coupled up with her daily exercise is really crushing it.

As for some of the side effects mentioned up above, to be honest, I don’t feel bloated, I haven’t run in with my bowels being too much different than before… however, if I listen real hard, there is a battle happening in my belly now, and all the bad things could happen within the next hour.  That’s probably what I get for eating like 6 dehydrated peach halves.

There is something I haven’t mentioned to you, the snacking… most of it has been of the date bar variety, sometimes a hand full of raisins as I do a driveby some nuts of any variety tend to do just as well from time to time.  I do make a weak attempt to make sure that I also enjoy some fresh fruit from time to time, typically more filling as well.

Tomorrow, day 9 will prove to be fairly interesting.  I will be traveling through the the airport from Raleigh to Denver & I will be surrounded by a huge portion of easily accessed crappy food.  While it won’t be difficult to refrain from, I will give it some side eye.  I will hit the grocery store as soon as I land and stock up on some Whole 30 approved foods.  Until next time… hope you are keeping up with your New Years Challenges as well!

Whole 30 Day 7 | 9 Days till Tiger Blood

Here we are… down to single digit days left till tiger blood… sometimes you just need to keep repeating that to yourself like a mantra… for some reason I am thinking of Limp Bizkit – Nookie… then I wonder if I am the only one who is putting the Whole 30 and Limp Bizkit together as one… I don’t believe that they really go to well together… or is it they go together so marvelously that no one dared to combine them before… is this tiger brain?!  

We can dive into the food for the day, nothing overly crazy.  For breakfast, I put together some sweet potato & roast beet hash… served up with a fried egg and topped with some of that red pepper garlic paste from heaven…  where is a picture of that stuff… Sambal Oelek Ground Fresh Chili Paste.  

This stuff kicks Sirachas ass…anndd Siracha is not permitted during the Whole 30, it has sugar in it.

Back to the food, the hash… I cheat when I make this stuff, dice up the potato, dice up the beet and pop it into a ceramic dish, plop it into the microwave and press the potato button.  This typically cooks it up quite nicely, however, today, something went awry and they were overcooked, like dehydrated… I attempted to fry up in a pan afterward, which didn’t really do much good, however, drop a fried egg on it and it will do!

For lunch I think I am on day three or four of Brussel sprouts with cranberries, walnuts and bacon (microwave the Brussels & cranberries & finish under the broiler) served up with a filet of tilapia.  Rather tasty and filling.

Dinner, you may be thinking we were gonna rush up to some type of climax on the day, usually, thats where dinner shows up… but today, we simply seasoned up some chicken breasts, five of them.  Seasoned with salt, a little Italian seasoning in some handy little grinder from McCormick… is there really any point to that thing or is it a gimmick?  Either way, it went onto the chicken and used the handy dandy Mr. Mist to spray some oil over the meat in order for the herbs to actually absorb into the chicken… there is some reason and logic behind this which I found over at amazingribs.com – a highly recommended site for any cooking enthusiast.  Back to the chicken – let it rest for a bit, come to room temperature, which in North Carolina seems to be pretty chilly this year!  Let the grill heat up and toss them all onto the grill.  This is divided up in this manner: two for dinner – Meg and I had the chicken with some steamed broccoli with red peppers and we put a little Tessame Habanero Salad dressing on both chicken & broccoli.  The boys had some Jasmine Rice grace their plates.  The remainder of the chicken will be used throughout the week for salads of various types.

Feeling a little tired today, which if you actually check out the Whole 30 Timeline

It is spot on.  Of day 1-6, today is the first day I am feeling either or of most of the “symptoms”.  All in all, this is ok though, enjoying the ride!

Whole 30 Day 2 | 14 Days till Tiger Blood

Where are those little sad to happy face emojis when you are looking for them?!  They are probably scared… they shouldn’t be… my guess is that they are made of flour & sugar… or cheese & butter… which if you are familiar with the Whole 30, that means that can’t eat them, and I am currently hungry… dinner is in the Instapot though and I know we will eat soon.

Shredded Chicken Lettuce Wraps – this is actually pretty standard fare at the household… and I know what you are thinking… Taco Tuesday!  You’re not too far off base – actually you are red hot… somehow, we manage to have at least one taco a week.  These will be sans tortilla shells, cheese, rice & that enchilada sauce that tends to end up on the table.  Along with sour cream… that is, that is what Meg and I will not be having, but the boys will still have all of that =P… Will it be hard to see on the table?  Maybe a tiny bit, however, gotta keep thinking… Tiger Blood…

Overall mood today… fair… got to the gym rode the reclining bicycle for 15 minutes on the aerobic workout and ran a bit on a true form runner.

WordPress & I are having some fun with links… at any rate, if you have never tried out one of those true form runners, I would have to say it has a much more natural, almost languid feel to it, which does not convey the truth of the workout… once you keep yourself moving on this thing it clearly works your calf muscles in a way that no treadmill ever did for me!

Other items worth mentioning today: DIY Larabars – if you have never had a Larabar – it is essentially a nut & date bar with variations – such as apple pie, key lime pie, banana bread and more.  While they are not overly expensive, they are pricey, often $1.50 each or so.  Why do I bring them up?  Because they are one of the few pre-packaged snack foods that make the cut.  At least what I am aware of.  I enjoy them just fine, however, last year there was an apricot DIY Larabar that I never got around to making and for some reason still had a desire to have them.

Recipe for this delicious apricot & coconut bar can be found at Leite’s Culinara.  Time investment is about 10 minutes, taste is adjustable – I followed the recipe as is and find that it is rather tasty, just enough apricot a touch of coconut and an enjoyable hint of cinnamon & a dash of salt.  These stand in for an easy to grab snack any time of the day.  They are also just a nice treat for anyone who has a bit of a sweet tooth… which I somehow developed in 2017.

More to follow! Time to go put dinner on the table!


Whole 30 Day 1 | 15 Days till Tiger Blood

This time last year I was praising the dusk, welcoming the darkness… I was hung over and was working my way through my first Whole 30…  what I really wanted was a baked potato with cheese… maybe even some Cool Ranch Doritos and maybe a beer?  What I got was some pork tenderloin and some other nonsense I don’t recall because I didn’t write that shit down… I also recall making 3-4 different dips like roasted carrot hummus & baba ganoush and… some whole 30 compliant mayo… the kitchen looked like hell… and my head was screaming for vengeance.  Like Judas Priest… just like Judas Priest… at any rate – we made it through…

Don't stop thinking about tomorrow

Fatherhood for the Rest of Us – Brandon Handley Experience

Meg, the boys & myself, we all managed to make it through… each one of us with different experiences.  The whole 30 requires that you give yourself a reboot.  No sweeteners (not even honey… although I wonder if cooked down beet juice… probably not allowed either and not worth the effort), no grains, no beans, no dairy… no no no!

It forces you to re-examine ALL of your foods, for example in search for simple beef stock, I found sugar & caramelized coloring among other things, personally I was just pissed that there was sugar in my beef broth… one of the possible side effects of the Whole 30 is random rage… you probably won’t find it listed that way on their website. What was the other thing… ah yes… sugar in stewed tomatoes, I don’t recall being able to find any stewed tomatoes without sugar last year.  I haven’t really bothered to look this year.

Other you can’t eat these items includes carrageenan – its a thickening agent if I recall from 5th-grade science and it is in a lot of ice cream (also a 5th grad recollection)… where else do we find this?  Everywhere we don’t want it… coconut milk, almond milk probably cashew milk and what not as well… that’s not to say that you can’t find all of the above without it, its just an extra detail.  Why no carrageenan?  Brief inspection says its inflammatory to the gut… fine…

There were a couple of items that we have changed about this year… first and foremost – no hangover… I have not had a drink since May of 2017… this puts me a bit ahead of the game…  those dips?  No thank you, we didn’t even bother last year, gave most of them away, to be honest.  We have both decided to have the same meals every day for breakfast.  Meg is eating eggs, potatoes with hot sauce, and sometimes some bacon.  I will be eating a mashed banana, sweet potato, egg & raisin pancakes.  For lunch, she will be eating grilled chicken on salad with Tessame ranch dressing.  I am eating plantains & guacamole for most of the week then switching over to Brussel sprouts, grapes & tilapia.

The Whole 30 has the potential for a few things… first Tiger Blood (pretty sure that is the only thing I am after here)… and the potential for awesome mood swings as your body makes the adjustments.  Even though they are expected, when they show up it is rather difficult to mind your Ps & Qs!

At any rate, day one is in the books – snacks today included those green nuts… pistachios & some sort of Kind brand dried fruit nubs… stick around and see what happens next!