Whole30 Week 2: How Habanero Meatballs Ruined My Marriage

A recent grocery store stop at HyVee.

Have you ever wanted to find out if your significant other really, truly cares for you as much as you care for them? Maybe you just wonder about enduring something difficult together and still coming out strong? Well forget about reality television or week-long vacations alone together, have I got the plan for you! Trying Whole30 is the perfect way for a couple to find out how far they can get into a challenge without killing one another.

To illustrate my point I thought about posting a "before" picture of my husband and I, with us lovingly smiling into the camera, cheeks smooshed together; clearly a couple in a happy, healthy marriage. This would be followed by a picture of us now, two weeks into Whole30. The problem is I don't have any pictures that would clearly illustrate our feelings towards each other now, so I would have to improvise. The best "during" picture I could imagine would be that of a lion and lioness, teeth barred, fur flying, hurling themselves at one another- fighting for that last bite of zebra leg.

Let's go back in time a little. Week one of Whole30 was great! After a few days of the diet our headaches were gone, our energy was back to normal and we were excited to incorporate something different and healthy into our lifestyle. It was fun to plan the lunches we would bring to work. I was enjoying making homemade healthy meals for my family to eat in the evenings. I actually liked shopping for compliant foods at the store.

Life was good, really good.

...And then we had the soy-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, non-GMO, free range habanero meatballs.

One of my more adventurous recipe adventures, I combined 2 cups of frozen squash (from my garden) with 3 fresh tomatoes, some fresh garlic, and various herbs. I served this seemingly innocent paste with some pre-made habanero meatballs I found at HyVee, with a side of sliced, coconut oil pan-fried potatoes. 

It all smelled really, really great.

However... it did not taste great. Somewhere between the vegetable paste and the spicy peppers in the meat, the meal flopped significantly.

As my husband and I tried to quickly gulp down the dish without tasting anything, I could feel the tension rising. Obviously, he and I had both started to become weary of some of the meals we were eating, but had not said anything to each other. We had been putting on a strong front that was about to crack. Other than us both agreeing that this meal was not my best culinary attempt, nothing else really came of it that night. 

But this wasn't over.

The next night we had an argument about my initial promise to plan his lunches for him if he agreed to do this diet with me. I disagreed that I should have to prepare every single lunch that he brought to work every single day. He insisted that that was an agreement I had made with him. This all ended with me, at 10:30 at night, stubbornly cooking up several meals for him and placing them in the refrigerator in nice, neat little Tupperware containers for the rest of the week.

Did it end here? Nope. Of course not. 

The next morning instead of taking a Tupperware I had specifically prepared for him until midnight the evening before, he took the meat I had also prepared that was intended for supper that night. I couldn't believe it! After all that fuss he took the wrong food. And now I had nothing to eat for supper (which I had been dreaming about all day in my head). This led to me sending an angry text. Or two.

Okay. I am going to stop here for minute. Let's think about this. My husband and I have NEVER fought about food before. Well other than that one time at McDonald's when I was frustrated that everything was so unhealthy and he said something along the lines of, 'Just eat it, it's not like you're a supermodel.' This is a new topic of semi-regular argument for us.

And it's not just arguing about food, food is all we talk about. What did you eat for lunch? What do you want for supper? Is this food okay for me to eat? Our text messages have imploded with grocery discussions!

Whole30 is not easy. It is hard. When I go online and research it, most people that quit usually do so around the second week when foods start to get boring and redundant. Even though we are struggling, we are committed. He has promised not to quit and so have I. We are in this together. And honestly, doing this as a team has been vital to both of our successes. 

We are halfway there, after all.

I joke, but the fact that we are impacted this much simply by just eliminating some of the unhealthy foods that we eat, is really scary. Food has such a mental pull on our ability to make smart choices. This experience has been really eye opening.

It's not all bad though. In fact some really good things have come from this so far. Although my husband is still waiting to see if this diet will impact his body positively in a noticeable way, I have been really happy. I have had no acne since this diet started. I have ABSOLUTELY no pain in my shoulder anymore so the inflammation seems to be completely gone (gluten I think). I have lost 7 pounds (but you aren't supposed to use this as a weight loss technique as it is obviously just a quick fix if you don't stick with the diet longer than 30 days). I also feel really informed about what I am putting in my body as well as my children's bodies. Although they are not eating all Whole30 compliant foods, they are making smarter choices that I hope this will continue long after these 30 days are over.

One of our "dream text chats" where we pretend we
can eat anything we want.

Look forward to another biting update next week. Oh and a few of you have asked for recipes from some of the yummy food experiments I posted about last week. Click here and here for those recipes.

Have you tried Whole30? What was the hardest part for you? Comment below.

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