It is a perfect morning here in southwest Virginia! I’m waking up in the cutest little cabin today, about to embark on day two of riding the Virginia Creeper – with kids. If you’re not familiar with the Creeper, you can read my trip report from last summer and learn all about it. That trip report was from last summer and now it is fall, the most glorious season of all, and so it’s even more perfect here now than it was then. I’m so, so thankful to be here.
Breakfast: Black coffee on the porch swing, listening to the birds and the river. Even cream in my coffee couldn’t make this any better.
Once I dragged myself away from the porch, I ate a big salad with two fried eggs, bacon and avocado dressing.
Lunch: After breakfast, we headed down the trail to the town of Abingdon, which is technically the start of the Creeper Trail. This leg of the trip was about 15 miles and took us a little over two hours.
Once in town, we walked around a little and decided on lunch at a BBQ place called the Bonefire Smokehouse. I ordered brisket, turkey, green beans and potato salad. There may have been some sugar in the rub on my brisket, but that couldn’t be helped. The smoked turkey was the very best poultry I’ve ever had. If I could figure out how to replicate this turkey, it’s what we would have for Thanksgiving, for sure! The potato salad was really bland so I skipped that, but I ate all the beans and all the meat.
The big achievement here was that after lunch, we went to this dessert place that has the most decadent looking mini cheesecakes, pies, brownies, cinnamon rolls and on and on. I looked at them and admired them and even wrote down some ideas to try to paleo-fy, but I was fine with not having any. Really, I was. While my family enjoyed their ice cream, I strolled through the antique store next door.
After lunch and a little more walking through town, we hopped back on our bikes for the return trip to our cabin. The hot tub felt really, really good when we got back!
Dinner: This is where my Whole 30 became a Whole 27 2/3. I had done so well this whole time. To my knowledge, I didn’t consume anything off limits the whole time. Until now. And as a result, I feel really good. I’m not bouncing around like Tigger or the Energizer Bunny, but I feel good. I have no stomach upset and the arthritis in my feet is noticeably better.
For dinner, we picked a place which had received great reviews on Find Me Gluten Free: Cootie Brown’s in Bristol, TN/VA. They had tons of gluten free options including pizza and key lime pie! I got the pretty innocent grilled chicken breast with key lime seasoning (not sweet at all), mashed potatoes and cole slaw. I knew the slaw would have some sugar in it, but honestly, I didn’t care. I rode 30 miles today and I was hungry! I ate about half the cole slaw and most of the potatoes, and all of my chicken, which was just half a chicken breast.
The kids pizza looked sooooooo good. I decided to try a bite. It was indeed the best gluten free restaurant pizza I’ve ever had. I ended up having two pieces (they were the small, square pieces – not that that makes it ok).
I suppose my husband was sensing that I was essentially throwing in the towel at this point, so he ordered that gluten free key lime pie. It looked like no other key lime pie I had ever had. They had signs up all over the restaurant stating that they ship their key lime pie so I figured it must be amazing, right? and I just decided, “What the heck!” I’m having a bite. That bite turned into three, little bites. I regretted it. And yet I didn’t. I had weird feelings of remorse and yet elation.
So I made it a Whole 27. I’ll finish out my last two days because, why not? I’ve decided that because I’ve felt so good and the food has been awesome (not to brag) and I’ve felt totally satisfied, that I will give myself two days to eat what I want, then I’ll go right back to Whole 30 eating until Thanksgiving. You can bet that during one of those two days, I’m going to make some pumpkin goodies!!! My family will be stocked up on treats, I will have had a satisfying, paleo treat, and I’ll be ready to go back to my Whole 30 ways.
Edit: I’m writing this up a couple weeks after the fact and here’s a little preview of all those pumpkin goodies I whipped up in one day!! Be on the lookout for the recipes soon!