Day 1. And so it begins!

“If we wait for the moment when everything is ready, we shall never begin.” Ivan Turgenev

Day 1. Here we go! I definitely took advantage of the last few days to relax a little bit. I had ice cream over the weekend (good stuff, made by hand) and a little cheese last night as a snack. And, like clockwork, I woke up this morning REALLY congested. Nothing debilitating, but I definitely noticed it and it was unpleasant. So that’s interesting, and now the desire for ice cream is out of my system, and I actually craved greens this morning. (Seriously, what am I, an alien?)

I enjoyed one really delicious cup of coffee today – I’m officially finishing up my bag of high quality whole beans, and then I’m cutting myself off. I haven’t quite come up with an exact game plan for this, but off the cuff I’m thinking that the coffee I have will last me two or three more days, then I’ll either switch to a really good quality decaf or start drinking this (I ordered a bag to try it out). I’m hoping this will allow me to enjoy the ritual of coffee drinking while getting me off the caffeine. In advance, I’m apologizing to anyone that may have to deal with me during week two.

Then, because I’m a compulsive procrastinator, of course the next thing I had to do was organize my pantry – below are some of things that are pretty much always around, if anyone needs some suggestions for keeping things stocked!

Delicious pantry staples.

Unsweetened coconut flakes from Iovine Brothers in Reading Terminal Market. Great for snacking as is or for making THIS RECIPE (great for movie watching or if you’re craving something toasty and sweet/salty).

Boneless & skinless sardines in olive oil – these are from Trader Joe’s but I also found them at Whole Foods AND Superfresh, so we’re talking a pretty decent range of prices here. These are great to stash in your desk drawer on days you forget your lunch or just to toss in your bag when you know you’ll be away from a fridge/microwave all day.

Coconut Milk (Arroy-D brand has no additives at all. I got this at the Superfresh on 2nd and Girard – it’s actually in the produce area on a shelf near the bananas).  Coconut milk has a bajillion uses in cooking and is a great fat source.

Diced Green Chilis – can be found in every grocery store. This is my favorite turkey burger recipe ever! The chilis give it great flavor and a nice kick.

Kasandrinos Olive Oil – no explanation needed, once you try it you’ll never go back to the store brand stuff. Visit and use discount code CFCC!

Coconut Oil – I picked this up at Trader Joe’s but you can find it at Whole Foods and pretty easily online. I use coconut oil CONSTANTLY as a cooking fat (it’s liquid because it’s still warm in my kitchen, but when it’s cold it will solidify). It works in almost any recipe from scrambled eggs to stir fries and is great for roasting vegetables if you want to bring out the sweetness rather than the savory flavor. I also use coconut oil on my face in the winter instead of store bought lotion.

White Rice – BECAUSE I’ve experimented and cut this out for a month and added it back in with no digestive issues, I’m going to use white rice as part of my carbohydrate arsenal. And to allow me to eat sushi, because then I’ll be a happy camper.

Powdered gelatin – I grabbed this from Whole Foods so I could experiment with the tea-infused gelatin from Practical Paleo. It was delicious when I made it, so I’ll work my way through this supply and see about grabbing this kind instead in my quest to ingest more gelatin/collagen.


The state of my fridge:

 True confessions. My fridge really, really REALLY needs to be cleaned. So, ummm, I may or may not have staged things strategically in this photo. You get the idea. IT’S ON MY LIST OKAY??

All the things.

Sun Ja’s Brand Kimchi (Whole Foods, in the refrigerated section) – delicious and spicy, and a good way to change things up from sauerkraut. VIVA FERMENTED FOODS!

Homemade mayo courtesy of Melanie. Want to try your hand at homemade mayo to avoid the nasty oils that are in the storebought kind? Here’s a great recipe from The Clothes Make the Girl. Don’t be intimidated, it’s not so hard!

Wasabi powder, horseradish, salsa, brown mustard, FRANK’S RED HOT – all crucial for keeping meals exciting!

Pastured lard from Wyebrook Farm (that’s the white stuff in the tall tupperware container on the left). I’ve literally met the pigs at this farm and I know they’ve lived a happy, healthy life. Lard is a great option for cooking due to its extremely high smoke point – it also tastes very neutral.

Bacon fat (not pictured, cause I was cookin’ with it) – we reserve the fat from all of our bacon (we only get it from Fair Food Farmstand, so it’s really high quality). It lives in a jar in our fridge and gets used for all sorts of things from potatoes to veggies to pate!

Unsweetened cocoa – is actually a great spice for stews and earthy dishes (and brownies, but that’s neither here nor there).

Apple cider vinegar – I throw a little in the crockpot with any meat I cook to help tenderize things.

Natural Calm (magnesium powder) – one of the few supplements I take, Natural Calm can be really helpful to getting better sleep. Many people are deficient in magnesium, and I find that it helps me relax at the end of the day (not in a dependent groggy sleeping pill kind of way, but just in a sleep-really-deeply kind of way).

 Bacon from Wyebrook Farms, because I ran out of bacon from Fair Food Farmstand.  No explanation needed.

Pequea Valley yogurt from our CSA. This IS delicious yogurt from grassfed cows, but I can’t really tolerate it that well. Angel usually eats it.

 Pastured butter and lots of it.

All the eggs. From Fair Food Farmstand.

It’s all Ron Swanson style, all the time up in here.


Veggies from the CSA and the farmer’s market – zucchini, fresh dill, 2 ears of corn, and a bag of mixed greens (I get this blend from Superfresh). Eggplants, bell peppers and kale (and possibly an Asian pear?) are in the crisper.

Other seasonings/flavorings:

My preferred flavorings – hot chili oil (used for broth when I’m getting sick), balsamic vinegar (crappy cheap stuff, I’m definitely replacing it with something higher quality), fish sauce, hot sauce with the Greatest Name Ever, Ghost Pepper sauce (because my husband is a leeeetle crazy), and Adobo seasoning.

 And more. Dear Self, THERE ARE TWO OF YOU IN THIS HOUSE. But in my defense, the apples and the pears  and squashes were in our CSA box, and the potatoes were frigging cheap (plus that means you guys get to learn how to do homemade potato chips pretty soon!) And the tomatoes were just pretty.

Butternut squash, apples and pears (from our CSA), fresh tomatoes and a half bushel of potatoes ($10 from the farmer’s market!)


So that’s the state of my kitchen right now. Here’s what I ate/am planning to eat today. Coincidentally, the brunch is one of my go-to speedy meals for any time of day when I don’t have the energy to deal with anything else. Bacon+eggs+greens in the fat, 10 minutes later, you’re stuffing your face. Boom. Planned dinner is another fast/delicious option that’s in been in our rotation a lot this summer, simply because it was 115 degrees in my kitchen the second I turned the stove on EVERY SINGLE DAY – sashimi grade tuna with avocado, wasabi and possibly a little white rice, I’ll add a photo once it’s made.

Brunch, Day 1.

(Not pictured, a small handful of cassava chips before dinner – ingredients were cassava, palm oil, salt). Yum.

Dinner, Day 1 (this was a plate for 2 people). Sashimi grade tuna, 1 diced avocado, wasabi, and white rice.

How about everyone else? How’s the first day panning out for you? Any questions or challenges so far in getting things prepped for the week? Post meals to comments!

15 Responses to “Day 1. And so it begins!”
  1. Eileen says:

    Great post Meg! I’m always looking for ideas about what to keep stockpiled in my cabinets for those emergency moments. I have tried herbal coffee and found it to be a great substitute for regular coffee. My good friend from West Philly makes and sells her own version of herbal coffee (as well as a great sleep tea). Check it out!

    • crossfitcentercity says:

      OOOOH Eileen, thanks. I’ll definitely check out your friend’s coffee! I bought one of the flavored versions from Teecino for something new (I never really buy beans with flavors in them, was feeling wild, haha), so I may need a good “plain” flavor as well!


  2. YAY for a clean fridge and paleo-ed up pantry! Hope y’all have fun tearing up for 30 days. XO from Austin!

  3. Mel says:

    Re: caffeine: I quit cold turkey at the end of February. What helped the most was changing my routine. This guy was on my old show talking about habit formation and basically what he said was to change your cues and your reward system: i.e. if you went for coffee to take a break, maybe walk around the block. Still a break, but no longer associated with coffee.

    When I quit, I was not sleeping well for various reasons — and it took maybe a month before my sleep cycle went back to normal. Good luck!

    • crossfitcentercity says:

      ooh, Mel, I really like that idea. Maybe next week when I’m weaning off I’ll think about walking around the block in the morning instead of drinking the coffee.

  4. Melanie says:

    Hey look, my mayo got a shoutout! Today was pretty much like the last week for me, as I got this whole party started a little early. Mostly broth, black coffee, kombucha, bacon, greens cooked in broth, some grass-fed ground beef, 1/2 avocado and some semi-crappy jerky from the side of the highway (in my defense, I was driving home from taking care of my boyfriend in VA who just had surgery, and I underplanned on snacks as in I didn’t have any, and the jerky was the best of a lot of bad options, i.e. no MSG, no bad oils). I don’t expect to be in that situation again, and if I know I”ll be on the road I’ll plan ahead. I actually can’t believe the only off-plan thing I’ve eaten in the last week happened to fall on the first official day of the challenge! Ah well, I’m human. Still feeling amazing and (fingers crossed) my eczema is finally apparently healing.

  5. Alyssa D. says:

    Day 1 of Level 1 went well! Started the day with Croga and had an omelet with feta and tomatoes for breakfast. It was a 3 bean salad for lunch (from Cooking Light) and homemade chicken sausage lettuce wraps (from Bon Apetit – subbed out olive oil for the vegetable oil) for dinner. What’s the BCCC story with snacking/small meals? I’m used to eating little bits throughout the day, so I also had an apple, banana, kale, and almonds today. Better to eat larger meals? Or eat more frequently?

    In the big win column, I only ate one cookie that I baked for my Hong Kong blog post and took only one taste of the batter during baking. I’m attributing that success to knowing I’d have to post here and hoping next week’s baking is BLT-less, as well!

    • crossfitcentercity says:


      I generally tend to suggest to people that your meals should be big enough that you’re not hungry between them. I also think it’s a good idea to let your digestive system just “have a break” sometimes – that is, if you’re eating every 2 hours, it’s just a lot of work for your system all the time. But I understand it can take some tweaking! You don’t want to be so stuffed when you eat that you’re uncomfortable, but it’s good to be able to recognize that you’re actually hungry for a meal, not just “hungry” because it’s “time” to eat. Does that make sense?

      Practically speaking, I noticed that as soon as I began to conscientiously eat protein and fat with each meal (and carbs too, they’re just not the bulk of things anymore), then I was NEVER hungry between meals. Snacky for the sake of snacking? Oh yes, but that’s a whole other animal.

      Glad the accountability is helping already!


  6. Larissa says:

    Love the post Meg! So much info crammed in here! I can’t wait for more… last night for dessert I made the sweet/salty coconut flakes. soo yummy.

    also tempted to order some of those herbal coffees. I’m drinking coffee black this challenge and am just not satisfied with the taste. Need to find a good substitute, might switch to black/green teas.

  7. Mason says:

    That tuna looks great Meg… makes me sad that we have to watch the mercury levels in fish these days, I envy the times when that wasn’t an issue.

    Day One was a bit of mix for me as it was the last day of a weekend visit to my grandparents in Florida. As with most stereotypical grandmothers, mine does not allow me to visit without ordering enough food for a casino buffet. She would not relent until I had at least tasted some of everything…

    I managed to keep caloric intake somewhere around maintenance and have been eating perfectly since I flew home this morning, so I’ve given myself a passing grade for handling the distraction. Now I’ve got to be perfect for the rest of this week before I leave for a trip to Germany next Saturday (which is where the biggest challenge of this BCCC will begin).

    — Mason

    • crossfitcentercity says:

      Mason –

      Yeah – I don’t eat large fish enough that I worry too much about mercury, but it makes me very sad that it’s even something we have to consider!

      Good on ya for making it through the Grandma Gauntlet!


  8. Travis Wells says:

    Day one was pretty easy. I have been sick with a cold for the past 5 days so my appetite was not that great. I only ate two meals but I wasn’t really hungry.

    I started a new tumblr so I can post photos and descriptions of my meals during the challenge. I think I should add to my original goals that I WILL KEEP UP MY FOOD LOG. This has been so helpful in the past for me so I really want to make sure I keep up with it.


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