Whole30 round two – week 3 (fieldwork hell)

Last-minute fieldwork trips this week made for a very difficult food week for me that involved way too many almonds, too much raw veg, and not enough wholesome homemade meals from my lovely kitchen.

Day 15:

  • Breakfast – 2 egg omelette, green pepper, cucumber, almonds & hazelnuts
  • Lunch – Leftover mashed potato and meatballs in tomato veg sauce.
  • Dinner – Mixed salad leaves, cucumber, radish, tomato, olives and half a baked aubergine with beef tomato topping. Apples and orange salad for pudding
  • Snacks – Apricot, dates, cashews and sultanas
  • Drinks – Water, watered down Beet & Apple juice, Green tea, Coconut milk coffee

    Day 15 of Whole30 round 2

    Day 15 of Whole30 round 2

Day 16:

  • Breakfast – Apple, berry delight Nakd date bar and some rubbery scrambled egg.
  • Lunch – A tomato, sliced beets, 2 hard-boiled eggs saved from brekkie, apple, leftover orange from breakfast and nuts & dates
  • Dinner – Salad, cucumber, tomato, fish cooked in tomato & coriander, beef chunks & pan-fried potato slices.
  • Snacks – Leftover beef Bolognese after fieldwork. Beef jerky and 2 date & nut bars mid-fieldwork.
  • Drinks – Green tea, water.

    Day 16 of Whole30 round 2

    Day 16 of Whole30 round 2

Day 17:

  • Breakfast – 3 turkey sausages & a fried egg, green apple.
  • Lunch – Tuna pieces, green pepper, cucumber, apple and 2 hard-boiled eggs saved from brekkie, 2 date & nut bars.
  • Dinner – Griddled steak with steamed carrots, courgette and broccoli. Baked potato on the side.
  • Snacks – A cucumber, banana, apple, way too many raw almonds, and some natural (amazingly totally sugar / syrup / additive free) trail mix with delicious dried figs, jumbo sultanas and pistachios & almonds.
  • Drinks – Green tea, Ristretto coffee pre-fieldwork.

    Day 17 of Whole30 round 2

    Day 17 of Whole30 round 2

Day 18:

  • Breakfast – 1 fried egg, 1 hard-boiled egg and an apple (sum total of what I could eat from the pre-prepared breakfast we were given!).
  • Lunch – Tuna chunks, a green pepper, a cucumber and 1 leftover hard-boiled egg from brekkie.
  • Dinner – Double-plate dinner in Doha airport business lounge! Compliant meatballs , tuna salad, baba ganoush, fatoush with lots of lemon juice, more fatoush, parsley and onion & lemon salad, and more baba ganoush.
  • Snacks – Date & nut bar post-run.
  • Drinks – Water, Green tea.

    Day 18 of Whole30 round 2

    Day 18 of Whole30 round 2

Day 19:

  • Breakfast – Slice of honeydew melon, spinach & mushroom 2-egg omelette, carrot sticks, cucumber, flaked almonds & sultanas and a chopped apricot.
  • Lunch – 2 apricots, cherry tomatoes, half a cucumber, a carrot, 2 date & nut bars and some walnuts & sultanas (mid-hike in the mountains!).
  • Dinner – Lush BBQ up in the mountains of a beef burger, a chicken breast, bbq’d squash slices, 2 green pepper halves, half an aubergine and half an onion.
  • Snacks – Fruit & nut mix mid-hike.
  • Drinks – Hot water with lemon and ginger, watered down beet & apple juice, lots of water, black earl grey tea.

    Day 19 of Whole30 round 2

    Day 19 of Whole30 round 2

Day 20:

  • Breakfast – 2 boiled eggs, cherry tomatoes, green pepper strips, a chopped apricot, cucumber, flaked almonds & walnut.
  • Lunch – Mid-hike leftover bbq burger, bbq’d squash slices & half green pepper, a cucumber and 2 date&nut bars.
  • Dinner – Simple chicken coconut-oil stir-fry with onion, ginger, garlic, pepper, courgette & carrot (and plenty of 5-spice).
  • Snacks – A carrot, too much fruit & nut mix whilst hiking,
  • Drinks – Black earl grey tea, lots of water.

    Day 20 of Whole30 round 2

    Day 20 of Whole30 round 2

Day 21:

  • Breakfast – Scrambled eggs (2), pan-fried coconut oil cauliflower florets, olives, raw mushrooms, carrot sticks and sugar-snap peas.
  • Lunch – Leftover cauliflower florets, sugar-snap peas, apple, and dates & mixed nuts.
  • Dinner – Pollo Al Fumigado salad at Pizza Express.
  • Snacks – Mixed nuts and dried fruit.
  • Drinks – Coconut milk coffee, lots of water.

    Day 21 of Whole30 round 2

    Day 21 of Whole30 round 2

This week was hard. Not getting around it. I flew to Qatar at the beginning of this week, for 3 days of fieldwork. I took snacks with me and picked up some emergency food (fruit & tinned sardines!) for during the daytime. The difficulty was in the evening – we were staying somewhere with no cooking facilities, and being provided with canteen-style breakfast and dinner each night. Aka no control over what I can choose from. I ate a lot of raw carrots and veg that I picked up from the supermarket in a panic. It basically came down to checking where I could with the food, and if in doubt, going a bit hungrier than I would have liked! The cook in the canteen didn’t inspire me with confidence though – when I asked him about the turkey sausages he just said “yes, yes just turkey”. Pretty sure that wasn’t true! Dinner on day 17 was particularly stressful. We went out to eat (figured I’d have a little more control over what I could eat), but ended up having a crap meal at Appleby’s. First they brought the wrong order, then they brought the right meal but with mashed potato instead of the baked potato I’d asked for. Then they brought the baked potato (no butter please) covered in butter and sour cream. Scraped it all off and cut away the buttery bits. Sad times. Ate waaaaay too many almonds and mixed nuts this week. Far too easy to snack on whilst you’re out in the field. Serves a purpose whilst I’m out on fieldwork and I get really hungry, but pretty sure it’s not that great for me. Ate something that was definitely not compliant for dinner on one of the nights, or my tummy just hated me that day – had really bad bloated tummy straight after dinner that was gone by the next morning. Weird. It’s one of the things that I notice really obviously now that I’m eating pretty cleanly – when I do eat something “off-plan” as it were, my tummy knows about it!

Weirdness of tummy bloating (evening and following morning). Pardon the terrible photo quality!

Weirdness of tummy bloating (evening and following morning). Pardon the terrible photo quality!

So good to be back in my own kitchen for breakfast the day after fieldwork – but straight up into the mountains for the weekend, so more eating on the go. No rest for the wicked! Lots more eating of nuts and dried fruit though……. Might have to take them out of my “allowed” snack foods next time I do a whole30! Then it was straight back on the road (ironically back to Qatar) for another couple of days of totally different fieldwork. I came prepared this time (plus we were in a hotel, not a catered accommodation block, which made meal choices a lot easier for me). I think the airport security thought I was a bit weird carrying a lunchbox with lots of little Tupperware boxes in my hand luggage rucksack on the plane! I was so pleased to discover that everything on the Pizza Express Pollo Al Fumigado salad is compliant, just dressed with olive oil and some fresh lemon wedges. Made my day a lot easier (and tastier!) (piccie of it is lifted from the PE website – my iphone had run out of charge by that point so no camera!).

What did I learn this week? Whilst I had the odd day of fieldwork last time I did a Whole30, it was only ever 1 day-trip, in country, where I could just prep my food the night before and take a cool-bag with me. None of this several nights away malarkey. I was blissfully ignorant of just how much pre-planning I should have done for a 4-day fieldwork trip (although in fairness I didn’t know what the facilities were going to be like, or realise the lack of food choice until it was too late).

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