Clean Eating Restores Equilibrium

The morning of day 4 after my eating experiment ended… I think I’m mostly back to normal…

My hips still hurt today, to the touch, which is weird. Perhaps the physical therapy on Monday was more than my body was ready to handle. My sleep is still affected, but it’s getting better. Over the last three nights, my deep sleep has climbed from 5 minutes to 23 minutes to 39 minutes, and my REM sleep has risen as well. I’m still waking up more than I should, but this is a trend I can appreciate. I’m sure people who are around me will also be thankful I am starting to sleep more.

Yesterday, I logged zero minutes of tension on my Spire. If that isn’t amazing, I don’t know what is! My tension usually is in the 10-20% of the time that the Spire logs as calm, focus, tension or activity. I am frequently getting reminders to take a break, but yesterday was surprisingly absent from tension. I even had to wait at the dermatologist’s office, and had a conversation or two that could have been considered problematic.

Here’s a graph of my weight before, during, and after the experiment (I’ve removed the weight scale numbers for all of our benefit; the term “controlled” is in relation to my eating choices). This is hopefully the first of many points of my reestablished baseline, but it’s nice to see what goes up will come down when I make the right decisions.


I had an errand to run this morning and I thought I would have a couple of steak and egg breakfast tacos (minus the tortillas). You would assume that fajita beef would be very low on ingredients, but it all depends on what they marinade it in.

I successfully had fajitas during my Whole30 at the original Ninfa’s on Navigation, a local Mexican restaurant, as they were willing to make mine without their soy-based marinade. I’m sure the un-marinated fajitas were a little less tender than the marinated ones, but they tasted delicious to me.

I have learned that most Mexican restaurants tend to use marinades that contain soy, which is problematic for anyone with a sensitivity to soy products. I have also asked Fiesta Azteca and the Laredo Taco Company (inside Stripes gas stations) and both serve fajitas in a soy-based marinade. But, I did fine on my reintroduction of tacos, so I don’t feel I have a problem with soy or small amounts of vegetable oil. Besides, I being a woman in my 40s, now may the best time of my life to tolerate soy products!

I have previously made HEB Hill Country Fare Beef Fajitas, including tortillas, and everything was okay with that reintroduction.  For comparison, here are the ingredients in the HEB Hill Country Fare Beef Fajitas : Seasoned beef (containing up to an 22% solution of: water, sodium lactate, sodium acetate, sodium phosphate), fajita seasoning (salt, spices, dehydrated garlic, citric acid, hydrolyzed wheat gluten, dehydrated jalapeno, autolyzed yeast extract, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, dehydrated bell peppers, papain, lactic acid, calcium lactate).

I asked about the ingredients at the Taco Cabana, and learned the following:  They cook them on the grill with butter. The ingredients in the fajita marinade are as follows: Seasoned beef for fajitas water binding product tenderized with bromelain and papain: mechanically tenderized, contains up to 30% of a solution of water, seasoning (salt, monosodium glutamate, dehydrated garlic, spices, dehydrated onion, paprika, caramel color, yeast extract, lemon juice powder (corn syrup, lemon juice, lemon oil), natural smoke flavor, bromelain, papain, contains sulfites 33ppm), stabilizer (modified tapioca food starch, whey protein concentrate, carrageenan, sodium citrate), margarine (liquid and hydrogenated soybean oil, water, salt, less than 2% of vegetable mono and diglycerides, soy lecithin, sodium benzoate, citric acid, natural and artificial flavor, calcium disodium EDTA, beta carotene, vitamin A palmitate), vinegar, sodium tripolyphosphate, tenderizer (maltodextrine, bromelain, papain, containe sulfites: 25ppm)

Bromelain and papain are actually intriguing foods in a good way. Bromelain is an enzyme found in pineapple juice and papain is an enzyme in papaya; they both digest proteins, so can be used a meat tenderizer. They seem to be rather beneficial, so that’s a nice change from normal ingredient searching. On the flip side, we have our friends MSG, carrageenan, sulfites, and hydrogenated soybean oil. Partially hydrogenated soybean oil is in the HEB fajitas, but they did not contain the MSG, carrageenan, or sulfites.

I will see how those new ingredients in my breakfast make me feel, but even if I feel good, I’m glad to know which ingredients I ate to help me make more informed decisions in the future. I felt a little silly asking the cashier and then the manager for information, but they were helpful and allowed me to take a picture of the ingredient list. As consumers, I think we have a right to know something about what we are eating.

Speaking of which, I walked around Whole Foods the other day, and I was excited to see that they listed all of their ingredients on each item for their food bar. It was so nice to be able to see exactly what was in each item and be able to make an informed decision on what you wanted to eat. I look forward to a day where this is common place!

Until then, I think the best thing we can do is prepare our own marinades with ingredients we approve of. When I was on the Whole30, I used these marinades for chicken steak and they were amazing (provided you like garlic and spicy). I will have to try them both as a fajita marinade!

All Recipes Jalapeño Steak
All Recipes Spicy Garlic Lime Chicken


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