June 3, 2014

Whole30 Eating

Those who follow me on instagram know that I have recently started a Whole30.  What's Whole30 you ask?  The short version?  Eating whole foods for 30 days to heal your insides and create a better relationship with food.  No sugar, alcohol, grains, dairy, legumes and a few other things for a month.  For the entire breakdown on the program you need to visit The Whole30, or buy the book It Starts With Food.

I first heard of Whole30 from Kristal a little over a year ago.  She took on the challenge and had some great results.  But at the time I was like oh hell no.  I am not giving up all that stuff.  Not even for a month.  Nope, no way in hell, can't do it.  It popped up on a variety of my social media outlets here and there in the last year, and finally I decided why the hell not.

I was eating like crap (way too much sugar for no good reason) and feeling like crap.  And not liking what I was seeing in the mirror.  For a while I went back and forth, thinking I didn't want to do it, and being really driven to change my eating habits.  But a 30 day period where I didn't have any real big commitments or holidays or birthdays or anything of that nature scheduled showed up on my calendar, so I decided to go big or go home.

Though the program is not designed as a weight loss program, I'd be lying if I didn't say that was probably my biggest motivator.  All of the other benefits are great too, I'm already capitalizing on not having a headache in the afternoon from eating junk, but truthfully the hopes of looking a little better in a swimsuit the rest of the summer is what really got me going.  We're also getting to that point where another baby might be on the horizon, and I want to start a pregnancy as fit as I can be.

Why did I think a Whole30 was a good fit for me now?  Well we've done a pretty good job of cleaning up our diets in the sense that we've cut a lot of grains, rarely eat out, usually eat meals of protein and veggies.  I don't have a soda or coffee habit that I need to break.  I don't drink milk or eat a lot of yogurt or anything.  My only vice is sweets.  And I'd done a month without sweets in January, so I knew I could pull that off if I really tried.  So at this point, a Whole30 didn't seem as daunting.  Don't get me wrong, right now I'd probably kill for a chocolate bar.  Today (Day 6) is the worst it has been for me.  The first couple of days were a breeze in terms of cravings.  It has gotten progressively worse as my storage of extra sugars has been depleted.  I'm hoping that my body will soon figure out how to function without it.

Aside from the sugar cravings today, the hardest part so far has been having to cook nearly every meal.  Part of that is because I didn't really plan ahead, and decided I would start the day after we got back from vacation.  So I've just been kind of winging it.  And I still have yet to completely finish It Starts With Food, so I'm regularly having to flip through the book to make sure I'm doing it all 'right'.  Trying to come up with meals that only contain compliant ingredients has been somewhat stressful.  Thankfully, even though he isn't fully participating, Chris is supporting my little adventure and eating the same stuff I am at home.  I think the longer I stick with it, the more second nature the cooking will become, and the more products I'll discover that are compliant.

I've posted a few of my meals on instagram, but some people requested all my meals.  So here is what I've been eating the last six days.  Before you get all excited, remember I'm not all that creative with food and I am absolutely NOT a food photographer in my horribly lit dining room with my scratched up table.  Ok?  Ok.


My first meal was an egg scramble with spinach and mushrooms, blueberries and grapes on the side.  Meal number two was hot dogs (don't laugh!) baby spinach with berries and some watermelon.  Applegate makes hot dogs that are compliant and they are good for something quick and easy.  Plus it would be a good way to help your kids participate in a Whole30 with you.  If they ate hot dogs of course.  Ryann, naturally, does not.  My third meal of the day was grilled chicken with sweet potatoes and steamed green beans.  The potatoes ended up being really good.  I just roasted them in the oven with a little olive oil and Trader Joe's garlic salt.


Day two started off with another egg scramble, this time adding onion and red bell pepper to the mix, with a side of berries.  Meal two was leftover chicken and green beans with some cherry tomatoes.  Because I planned to do my long run the next morning, I figured I should throw in a snack?  I have no idea, but I ate a banana around 3:00.  And for meal three Chris grill up some Trader Joe's 100% Grass Fed Beef burgers and I made some veggies in the wok.


I woke up early and set out for a seven mile run.  Oh my word, one of my worst runs EVER.  The book says the first week you will have less energy while your body learns to fuel itself with fat instead of sugar.  I couldn't believe how terrible I felt running.  I was exhausted and felt completely out of sorts.  It turned in to a four mile run, and another 2.4 mile struggle to walk/jog the rest of the way back to my house.  I had to sit for a long time before I felt up to getting myself water and a banana.  A little later I was feeling a bit more perky and attempted to make an omelet.  I always fail at that.  So egg scramble it was (with some spinach) and some berries.  For my second meal it was more hot dogs, leftover veggies, tomatoes and cantaloupe.  Meal three was grilled salmon, steamed asparagus and cauliflower rice.  Which tastes almost nothing like rice, but I do like it!


For my first meal I attempted to make sweet potato hashbrowns.  Ha, egg scramble with a side of sweet potatoes and onions.  Sunday was Ryann's first dance recital and I was a little anxious about getting her ready to go, so I wasn't in the mood to eat.  Therefore meal two consisted of leftovers and an apple.  After the recital I was feeling hungry so I ate a Larabar.  Chris grilled us some pork loins for the third meal of the day, and we topped it with guac, because guac makes everything better.  Threw in some broccoli and bell peppers as well.


Meal one, a huge surprise I'm sure.  Another poor attempt at an omelete with some berries, and a banna because I was extra hungry.  Meal two was leftovers.  Meal three was spaghetti squash topped with ground turkey and mushrooms in Classico's tomato basil sauce.  Oh and for the record, my run this day was four miles of no fun as well.


After yet another not so wonderful run (but maybe slightly better than the last two?) the thought of cooking eggs made me want to vomit.  So I attempt sweet potato hashbrowns again (fail) with some Aidells chicken & apple sausage and berries.  I found my sausage at HyVee, I know other people have picked it up at Costco.  Meal two I threw a lot of random stuff in a bowl and called it a salad.  Chicken, avocado, apples and yellow bell pepper.  I have yet to make my own dressing so I just drizzled it with a little olive oil and called it a day.  I really loved the apple in there.  The sugar monster hit hard and I may have snagged a couple handfuls of raisins this afternoon.  For meal three we had grilled chicken, sauted veggies and cauliflower rice.

People on instagram are making all sorts of interesting and delicious looking recipes, and hopefully I'll get brave enough to attempt making them, but for now this works.  Prep is definitely key and I feel a lot more confident about getting through the day when I know I have compliant food in the fridge ready to go.  Having all sorts of Whole30 photos pop in my instagram feed also helps.  The one that really inspired me to get started was @jennaskitchen.  If you have any questions feel free to ask, I'm no expert but I'll do my best!

Only 24 more days to go...


J Young said...

Wow, great job! I don't know if I could do this, I have pretty much zero will power. Keep it up! I bet after the first week it gets (a little) better! :)

Kara said...

I've always wanted to do this challenge, but just never get around to prepping for it. I've been reading allthingsgd.com for awhile now, and I feel she has some great recipes, prep, and ideas you might want to check out. Good luck!!!