The Cravings Ketchup

“We’re going to make pizzas,” she said. “It’ll be good,” she said.

Granted my mother meant I was going to make her pizzas (on sliced zucchini) with cheese. Mine, on the other hand, would be just be sauced zucchini with “toppings”.

Whole30 says you’re most likely to quit during days 10 and 11. It’s day 12 and I think my “cycle” is two days off.

While slicing up her mozzarella and sprinkling on some parmesan, I reflexively did what I usually do and went to eat the small remainder left on the cutting board. I literally sat there, tongue sticking out of my mouth, wide-eyed, looking for something to wipe the cheese off my taste buds before it could even enter my mouth. In my mind it felt akin to trying to swim back to my paddleboard the other day when I fell into the shockingly cold water.

Today, I reached for and visually saw myself taking a sip of my mom’s soda. I woke up and wanted to freeze a banana, whip up some fake dark coconut milk cocoa sauce to coat it, and then roll it in chopped up raw almond slivers. I don’t even know why I walked down the Easter aisle. Did you know there are Oreo creme eggs?

That said, this is the point in the program where I start to venture into the things I thought, I could do without. I started out 12 days ago thinking it wouldn’t be that hard to do without ketchup. I don’t usually dip my fries in the condiment, and a tomato should serve as a good enough substitute on a burger.

Wrong.

I didn’t follow the actual Whole30 ketchup recipe. I don’t have apple cider, and I didn’t do the cooking portion of it. I just took the leftovers of the plain ol’ compliant tomato paste I used earlier to make zucchini “pizza” (which I must say is one of my favorite things to eat when I can have cheese on it), added some water, some of the called-for apple cider vinegar, juiced a 3rd of an apple, and mixed in some ground cloves.

It. was. Delicious. I sang a little song realizing I’d have extra for the baked sweet potato fries that would accompany my burger. I could see myself making ketchup fresh for my future family every meal that called for it. I mean, why not?

Honestly, I’m starting to see why moms want the one-pot or 30-minute meals. I love cooking and could totally see myself being a homemaker. But I’ll tell you what—meal prep (though I’ve done it before) is no joke. Meal clean up? Even less funny. It’d be nice to live in other rooms than the kitchen is all I’m saying.

Seventeen more days.

Anyway, so as I try to survive and get through all this stuff and pray I start to see results (I am feeling less fluffy, actually), I can see where the recipe book ranch will be attempted and yes, even the stuff I dubbed egg oil sauce in the beginning (mayonnaise made incorrectly). The things I thought I could live without? Yeah, I’m basically crooning Mariah Carey’s version of “Without You”.

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