a peek inside the fishbowl

23 Mar, 2018

Whole 30: Day 23 update

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Recipes and Food

Last night I attended a special event at the Ottawa-Gatineau Auto Show that was hosted by Ford Canada. It was an opportunity to mix and mingle, learn a little bit about new additions to their fleet, and of course, check out the hundreds of vehicles on display at the Shaw Centre. (Which, by the way, I will ALWAYS refer to as the convention centre. I just can’t help myself. Sorry Shaw.)

It was a pretty nice event and I was glad I was able to attend. I mentioned there was a mingling component of the evening. Well, part of every great event is great catering, and Ford knows how to host an event. Sadly, it was all off-limits to me: The wine and beer, cheese, dips, crackers and crisps, and every single circulating tray of hors d’oeuvres. The fellow behind the bar mixed me up a very nice sparkling water with lime AND lemon, and so I had to be content with that. A couple of people who follow me here and on social media commented on the Whole 30 challenge, but, truth be told, it wasn’t terrible.

First, I wasn’t actually hungry because I had a good dinner before I left. I felt a tiny bit sad about not being able to indulge in a glass of wine, but hey, I was driving, so it was best I not drink alcohol anyway. As for the food, well, I deliberately stood away from the main spread. It was harder to avoid the servers walking around the room and I admit – those big juicy shrimp in cocktail sauce did look pretty good – but I can have shrimp any time, right?

The trick was really to have eaten beforehand and to stay hydrated, which I did. It would have been harder to resist had I been hungry.

I’ve been thinking a lot about temptation and willpower these past few weeks. Is willpower a muscle you have to exercise, or does each person have a finite amount of willpower to spend every day? I think it’s probably a bit of both. Why are we more likely to give in to temptation if we’re tired at the end of the day?

Why is it so hard to say no to food, sometimes? How is it that a glass of wine, a cupcake, or a bowl of chips can have such a hold on us? Yes, those things can fill a hole in our stomach, our heart, or feed an addiction, but we need to give ourselves more credit and find the strength within ourselves to say no to some of these foods more often, even when we are most vulnerable; mired in our moment of weakness. After all, who’s ultimately in control here? You? Or the chips? (Answer: it’s you. Always you.)

As I’ve mentioned before, Whole 30 is a heck of a lot easier if you’re focusing on your favourite foods and treating yourself to those foods.

Sidebar: have you ever made fried shallots? They are amazing! I have made a couple of batches because they are delicious on EVERYTHING. Here’s a recipe you should try.

My meals make me so happy that I tend to forget about the stuff I’m not eating. For example, this spicy, nutty, salad was so nice I made it twice in two days:

Whole 30 meal idea

It’s loosely based on this recipe. It’s a keeper for sure.

Mark and I only have a week left of Whole 30. I’m interested to see how I’ll feel introducing certain foods back into my life. I think I will be choosy. I am also curious as to how much weight I’ve lost, and whether we spent more or less money on groceries this month. (If I had to guess, I think it’s less!) Also, our dining out budget is probably at its lowest level ever. That’s a plus, for sure.


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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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