LIFESTYLE

My Whole30 Journey

Week One

A few weeks ago, after posting about my experience with a miscarriage, one of my best friends from college sent me a text asking if I had considered trying Whole30.

 

I was familiar with the plan, I had actually kinda, sorta tried to do it about a year prior – but I didn’t exactly follow all the rules and I definitely didn’t make it the whole 30 days!

 

She gave me that kind of unasked for advice that only a friend of 10+ years can give – the kind that is amazing, and exactly what you didn’t know you needed to hear!! That kind, she’s awesome like that.

 

She knew that the hubby and I have been doing everything we can on the fertility front and, as a Whole30 veteran, she had heard lots of success stories from couples who had difficulties conceiving and getting pregnant after completing a Whole30!! She figured I would be up for the challenge and that I should give it a try.

 

I mean, what could it hurt…right?

 

Well, let me just explain to you exactly what it means to be on Whole30…

 

You CAN NOT eat: dairy, grains, legumes, sugar of any kind (real or artificial), alcohol in any form, SOY, carrageenan, MSG or sulfites, anything processed or that you can’t pronounce, you can’t even try to recreate healthy forms of baked goods, treats, or junk food. Last but not least, you are not allowed to step on a scale or take body measurements for the duration of the program!

 

You CAN eat: meat, seafood, tons of veggies, some fruit, and plenty of good fats.

 

So yeah, that’s what it means.

 

If you need a visual of that long list of things that are off limits, here ya go:

 

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It’s intense.

 

However, as my college bestie put it – you can do anything for 30 days!

 

And you know what? She’s right.

 

I was pregnant for 40 weeks, I delivered a baby, I was in a sorority at a party school and managed to graduate (with an impressive GPA), and then go on to Graduate school, write a thesis and a dissertation and walk out with two Masters degrees and a PhD.

 

Those things were hard.

 

Giving up all the foods that I basically survive on, that’s not hard.

 

I could do that…right?

 

Probably.

 

Maybe.

 

Don’t they say that a failure to plan is a plan for failure?I mean, I don’t know who “they” are, but I’m pretty sure whoever it is was prepping for a Whole30.

 

Now, I’m a planner by nature – I got the genes and it’s in my blood. I’m totally analytical and I like to research things to death, so I knew that I could put this whole thing off a while just by getting “prepared”. I also knew that the longer I waited to start the less likely it was going to happen.

 

So, literally all I did was buy this book…

 

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and headed to the store for some staples (I researched just enough to know what I needed to survive).

 

These items were my saving grace this week:

 

Whole30 Week 1 Food

 

  1. Justin’s Almond Butter – you can only have the classic version but it is pretty delicious

 

  1. Cauliflower rice – you could make your own, but why bother when you can get it pre-packaged at Trader Joes? I use this in place of rice – sauté it in a pan and add your favorite seasonings and you really can’t tell the difference…I promise!

 

  1. Organic Unsweetened Coconut Flakes – sprinkle a little bit on some apples or bananas, mixed with almond butter and you are in business. This is the closest thing to dessert I got this week, and for a sugar addict, I was surprisingly satisfied.

 

  1. Chile Lime Chicken Burgers – These bad boys are so amazingly flavorful and perfect for a quick meal. Keep them in the freezer and take them out as needed – doesn’t get simpler than that. You can find them at Trader Joes in the freezer section, I have heard the grass fed beef, turkey, and bison burgers are good as well (if you want some variety).

 

  1. Shaved Brussels Sprouts – Trader Joes for the win…again, making my life easy. Who wants to shave brussels? Not me. But they cook so much faster that way and just look so fancy.

 

  1. Aidells Chicken Apple Sausage – I could eat these for breakfast, lunch or dinner (and I did). They are pre-cooked so they don’t take long to prepare for a meal and are super yummy. You can find them in most major grocery stores I think.

 

  1. Hard Boiled Eggs – So, fun fact about me – I can’t cook hard boiled eggs! I always mess them up. Either they are soft boiled or the shell sticks to them or I get so frustrated that I throw them against the wall (just kidding, I wouldn’t be willing to clean that up). Anyway, Trader Joes has pre-packaged, peeled, hard boiled eggs and I am all about it!

 

  1. Ghee – It’s pretty much your compliant cooking staple, I use it to cook ALL THE THINGS!

 

  1. Roasted Plantain Chips – These totally satisfy my need for a crunchy snack when carrots just won’t cut it. They are perfectly salty and I wish they came in a bigger bag because I am obsessed.

 

  1. Light Coconut Milk – Trader Joes is one of the coconut milks I know is compliant so I picked up a few cans, or maybe it might have been ten, I don’t know. It was a lot, let’s just say that. Since I can’t have my usual almond milk in my morning coffee anymore (stupid carrageenan) and milk or creamer is obviously out, this has been my saving grace since I WILL NOT drink plain, black coffee – unless it’s cold brewed (I explain why here).

 

  1. RX Bars – basically this is protein bar with only 6-8 whole food ingredients, so they are compliant with the program (at least these flavors are). Lara Bars are also an option but I think these taste so much better. You can find them at Trader Joes and Whole Foods or order them on Amazon.

 

  1. Pederson’s Bacon – pretty much the only bacon that doesn’t have added sugar. I was able to find it at Sprouts.

 

So those are pretty much my favorite go-to’s so far. If you want to know how I used them in my meals, I’ll share that with you too – I literally wrote down everything I put in my pie-hole for an entire week… just for you!!

 

But, if you think reading about what I have eaten the last seven days sounds worse (and more annoying) than a continuous feed of people’s food on Instagram, I don’t blame you and just scroll on through to the end of the post – no hard feelings. Promise.

 

Day One

Breakfast: Black coffee with coconut milk, scrambled eggs in ghee, bacon, tomatoes

Lunch: Green salad with grilled chicken and O&V for dressing

Dinner: Crock pot Chile Verde over cauliflower rice sautéed in ghee and cumin

Snack: Banana with almond butter and unsweetened coconut

 

Day Two

Breakfast: Black coffee with coconut milk and a Lara Bar (I had an early workout class)

Snack: Butternut squash with salt

Lunch: Green salad with lamb kabob, veggies and vinaigrette

Dinner: Chicken fajita salad and some plantain chips

Snack: Banana with almond butter and unsweetened coconut

 

Day Three

Breakfast: Black coffee with coconut milk, scrambled eggs, a slice of bacon, an Aidells chicken sausage and leftover cauliflower rice.

Lunch: Chile lime chicken burger with tomatoes and an apple/banana with almond butter and unsweetened coconut

Dinner: Smoked drumsticks, salt & vinegar potatoes and shaved brussels with shallots and prosciutto

 

Day Four

Breakfast: Black coffee with coconut milk and RX Bar (early workout)

Lunch: Green salad with grilled chicken and apple/banana with almond butter and unsweetened coconut

Dinner: Bacon mustard chicken with a baked sweet potato

Snack: Plantain chips

 

Day Five

Breakfast: Black coffee with coconut milk

Lunch: Veg 8 Mix (from Trader Joes) with tahini sauce and chile lime chicken burgers

Dinner: Fajita chicken salad

Snack: Apple/banana with cashew butter and unsweetened coconut

 

Day Six

Breakfast: Black coffee with coconut milk and hard boiled eggs

Lunch: Veg 8 mix with tahini sauce and plantain chips

Dinner: Italian cauliflower rice with Aidells chicken apple sausage

Snack: RX Bar

 

Day Seven

Breakfast: Black coffee with coconut milk and hard boiled eggs

Lunch: Italian cauliflower rice with Aidells chicken apple sausage

Dinner: Filet mignon and asparagus

Snack: some plantain chips and apple with almond butter and unsweetened coconut

 

So, after all that, what are my thoughts one week into this whole thing?

 

Well it’s really not bad at all. Surprisingly. Certainly not as difficult as I imagined in my head – not by a long shot!

 

Shocked right!?

 

I kind of imagined myself curled up in the fetal position, convulsing in the corner. Or sneaking sugar packets from restaurants into the bathroom with me where I could savor that sugary deliciousness I’d been jonesing for in secret!

 

Neither of which happened, by the way!

 

I’ve been told this is the typical timeline, at this stage of the game…

 

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I would have to say that’s fairly accurate.

 

The first day was easy-peasy, totally not a big deal.

 

The next few, I had a constant dull headache (no doubt from the sugar withdrawal) and was probably a little irritable – we can ask my husband.

 

By the end of the week I was fatigued around that mid-afternoon slump, but I seemed to bounce back pretty well after a snack.

 

By far the most difficult part, at this point, has been not stepping on the damn scale. I’ve been tied to it for years, and while it’s not the reason I’m doing this, I have noticed my pants are a little looser so I’m totally intrigued at what the final number will be.

 

What I can focus on are all the NSV’s (non-scale victories) I have noticed so far. I have a clearer complexion, my dark circles are less noticeable, my sugar cravings are practically non-existent, I am drinking more water, and I have more energy and better endurance during my workouts!!

 

So far I am pretty happy with the results – plus I am eating ALL THE TIME!! And things like bacon and nut butters, that I usually never eat because of the higher calorie content, which is awesome!

 

My take away of Whole30 after week one is this:

 

  1. Thank goodness I like coconut, because it has literally saved my sanity.
  2. Stepping outside my comfort zone and trying new foods can be a delicious surprise (i.e. cauliflower rice)
  3. Eating real, whole food is $$$ but worth it.
  4. There is sooooo much added crap in our food that we don’t need.
  5. It is possible for me to meal plan after all!

 

I’ll keep you all updated on my progress as I make my way through these next 23 days.

 

If you are on the program too, please send any must-have foods or recipes my way – I’d love to be support for one another. Accountability is everything after all!!

 

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2 thoughts on “My Whole30 Journey

  1. Love you more than words. I’m so proud of you. I knew you would like it and I knew you would kill it (like absolutely everything you set your mind to do).

  2. Great to read! I’ve done similar challenges in the past but not for 30 days. Keep up the hard work my friend and your meals sound delish! I need those recipes!

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