Meat Month commences

Hello from Day Five of what I am told is a Whole entire 30! I can barely even recall sugar and alcohol's sweet, sweet embrace! According to the literature, I should not feel particularly good yet, so everything is right on track!

First, I want to point out that I have so far been relying heavily (and happily) on Melissa Joulwan's excellent cookbook Well Fed. I highly recommend it to anyone who is not meat-avoidant. That said, I decided to kick things off with the two least appealing (to me) recipes for some reason. Probably because I'm worried that this little venture is not going to be enough of a challenge and I wanted to test myself right off the bat.

So...mayonnaise! My favorite!

Okay, this was because it seemed like a necessary component of ranch dressing.
Aaaaaand Meat and Spinach Muffins! Yep. Meat. And spinach. Muffins.

Honestly, this was probably just to be perverse.
I know, you're desperately trying to figure out where to sign up for this adventure with me right now. Don't worry, things quickly took a dramatic turn for the less frightening.

Lunch on Day One was sort of a scramble, as I had not yet generated any Whole 30 compliant leftovers, so I took some shredded chicken and put in in a bowl with mayonnaise and every vegetable I could track down.

I call it Chicken and Unpreparedness Salad.
But then I started consulting the professionals. I realized I was in good hands when this Chocolate Chili recipe gave me a chance to bust out my new Dutch oven and prove to the disbelieving sun that it is fall now. Who would cook chili in her new Dutch oven all afternoon if it were still summertime? That would be madness!

Also, it was delicious over a sweet potato and some steamed broccoli. Really delicious. This picture does not do it justice, but it was a fine, fine meal indeed.

What's that? My effusiveness is due to the fact that my brain is eating itself for want of carbohydrates? Fair enough.
And then I made some "Pad Thai." Look, sunflower seed butter, which exists, is not peanut butter. Only peanut butter is peanut butter. My tastebuds were not fooled. But spaghetti squash is apparently close enough to real noodles for my discerning palate, because my general reaction to this dish was "WHOA DOES EVERYONE KNOW ABOUT SPAGHETTI SQUASH?"

I know. Brain-self-eating.
Next up: Czech meatballs over mustardy cabbage. It was good. I was actually more into the cabbage than the meatballs. I...might be getting tired of meat already.

Uh oh.
And finally, a simple, no-recipe grill-em-up. Did use some of that mayo I made to create a mustard-dill sauce.

Way to step up, mayo.
Obviously it's pretty early in the game to draw any conclusions about this experiment yet. I will say that I feel like I'm eating a lot of meat and certainly like I'm BUYING a lot of meat and I just don't know if it's sustainable for me personally. But the food has been really good and it's been fun to spend the time planning and cooking.

Also, based on the recommendations to clear all non-approved food out of the house and get eight hours of sleep every night and take naps (!), I do wonder how many people doing this have small children. I've worked in offices and I realize they come with their own socializing and break room temptations, but I kind of doubt your co-worker has ever 1) made you watch Ratatouille repeatedly or 2) literally put a brie-smeared cracker in your hand and said "Mama, I need you to eat this one." Feel free to correct me in the comments!

Ivy is oblivious to the entire undertaking, as she's been pretty into her cars lately.

Typical 10-month gearhead stage.