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Better than Bad, It's Good! Log - Whole30 style


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I'm Vicki.

I am an actor and bartender in NYC. These two things are very physically and mentally demanding and I want to be my best self because I deserve to run like a well-oiled machine and have energy to accomplish my goals.

Because who wants their life to coast past them while they're stuck in a foggy rut? Not this girl!

This Whole30 is me trying to get over my extreme fatigue, mood swings, sluggish digestion, disrupted sleep and regulate bloating/water retention. I want to get rid of "the fog" that clouds my brain and brings me down with depression and anxiety.

*Edit* I totally forgot an extremely important reason: My family has a strong history of heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes! My mom has diabetes and I have had a pretty reactive hypoglycemia since being a tween. I definitely want to keep myself as healthy as possible; THRIVE, not just function.

Now, I'm not starting from a bad place, really. I tend to slight on the side of healthy, but what does that mean when I have also been voted "Best Drinking Buddy" by numerous friends? While my food choices are usually paleo-friendly, drinking definitely takes me down the wrong path and opens the door to the Binge Monster (bartender...alcohol...you do the math). I have been struggling with binge-eating for years and have been yo-yo-ing with weight loss success because of it; some fairly strong body dysmorphia that lies to me on a regular basis.

It's been messing with my headspace and I am taking charge and prioritizing my health above all. I need a reset!!

Currently on Day 2 and not feeling too bad. Still catching up on sleep from a 2 day Atlantic City sleep-deprived drinking bender.

Yeah. I need this.

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Hi and welcome. I imagine your pace is pretty hectic. I'm on the other coast and when I visit my son in Manhattan everything is sped up. That said, NYC does have great food options, though pricey. But I've heard that the food provided on location shoots isn't necessarily the best. It sounds like your bigger challenge might be the drinking. You can do this! Just stay out of social situations that might be too challenging. Yeah, easier said than done. It's only 30 days.

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Thanks for the support Tom and Calee! Starting Day 4, so far so good.

A little groggy today....Saturday/Sunday work shifts always challenge my resiliency because I "clopen" (Close late and Open the next day--in the Sunday case, for an unpleasant double).

Not really feeling that different than I normally feel, though I did notice some tingling of my skin yesterday and today which is interesting.

Day 2 I think I ate too many nuts. Had some cramps in the lower torso area (to be honest, can never tell menstrual vs. intestines). Day 3 I had 3 meals and 1 snack over the course of a 15hr span. This doesn't seem like enough? I was a little hungry in the couple hours before bed, but thought I should just wait.

Boxing class today. Hopefully I will have the energy.

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Still have the tingly skin. Felt tired and foggy until coffee and almost had a mishap with teriyaki sauce(!) but I caught it before it was too late.

On a resilient note: Found out my manager is pregnant because she said I would be the official beer taster tomorrow for the sales rep's tasting and I responded with a firm and quick, "I'm not drinking. Like, not even a drop...." Thank goodness I had mentioned that I'm detoxing!

Definitely feel my energy sapped and had some urges to binge....I suppose these days are craving territory though! Made it through fine. Not so productive and boxing class was cancelled. Probably better to rest! Off to bed.

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Day 5

My leg muscles feel weak for some reason. I've been taking a break from my intense weight workouts since after Day 1 to avoid burning out and feeling worse than I might; still sore. Seems strange. Going to lift tomorrow and see how it goes.

I have resisted re-weighing even though my reflection is telling me I am getting bigger. My jeans fit me badly before the start so it's hard to say if there is a difference yet. My skin is breaking out in a few spots and my dark circles seem darker? The storm before the calm, perhaps. It is easier waking up, but not easy, per se. I still feel tired and like I want to sleep more.

Definitely looking forward to getting over the first week hump!

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Day 6

Had a coffee at 4pm before work, which usually runs out of steam by 10pm. Last night I was a bit tired, but got home and made bone broth (still cooking in slow cooker) and home-made olive oil mayo. I'm so excited for both! Not gonna lie, when my roommate drunkenly brought home a girl at 3am and I'm sitting there making home-made mayo the situational irony made me laugh. (Who does that? :D)

My stomach has been feeling better since I stopped eating so many nuts. Much less bloated.

Did a quick weight workout today. Felt pretty good, but not as strong.

A couple people asked why I was in such a good mood last night which I will take as a good sign! I wasn't half as physically tired at the end of the shift as I normally might be.

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Day 7

Got a little snacky today. Cashews and frozen mango and pineapple. The desire came after excitement and then a let down in plans with a guy...Probably not the best choice; definitely emotionally driven. Glad to have avoided it. Sad to have induced some bloat.

Bone broth turned out great! Also made deviled eggs (traditional, curry & spicy). Tomorrow morning will be the czech meatballs.

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Day 8 in the bag.

Had a GREAT workout. My energy levels were up all day with no caffeine and my mood was fantastic. I was very productive and efficient which felt really good.

I just felt really good yesterday. Even went to a house party and brought club soda and hung out, refusing several offers to drink and the pizza they ordered. There was an inner resolve that almost spoke for me in those cases. The scotch was kind of calling my name, but from hearing it in the wind from 10 miles away. Pretty cool. The cigarettes were sort of calling my name, but it was more like in the wind from 2 miles away. Not a struggle, just a passing recovering addict thought.

I did somehow manage to get a little cold over the past couple days. It started the evening of/morning after I went to bed late 3 days ago. Been sipping bone broth once or twice a day and sleeping well. Waking up is so much easier! Not effortless yet, but much easier than before.

My skin is broken out in the usual hormonal spots, oddly enough. It is likely due to PMS symptoms. That said, if it is PMS then my moods are doubly amazing considering the normal extreme highs and lows that I experience. Skin can't be that bad though because a friend who I was catching up with said my usually good skin was better than usual and glowing from underneath which was really cool. We split a salad and had tea at a cafe; I was a little self-conscious when ordering dressing on the side for her and olive oil and vinegar for me with a side of avocado. I hated being "that person," but it was torture and I was happy in the end.

YAY. I am more excited each day to see the improvements in my life as each day passes.

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Day 9 complete.

Day 10:

Had to take a nap before work. Felt drained from being productive.

I am less and less nervous about eating outside of my cooking. Going to a medieval themed dinner party tonight for which I made toasted almond-stuffed prosciutto-wrapped dates! They are very, very tasty and of all the themes this one has odds of working in my favor the most.

Long day of work ahead! At least I get to see friends at the end of it all and have the day off tomorrow!

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Day 11

Slept a long time today. Like 11 hours in bed, 10 or so sleeping. I feel much better in terms of the congestion/sneezing that has been happening. Guess I needed it!

Had a great workout after a Bulletproof coffee. Not as strong as I used to be! Tried to front squat 95lbs in the bucket and the guard bars saved me when I couldn't get back up. There's a first time for everything. I hate lowering weight, but it must be done for the sake of form.

So far meals today have looked like:

Meal 1: 4 czech meatballs, 1 celery and carrot, guacamole, mayo/mustard dipping sauce, mug bone broth

Snack: handful almonds, handful olives, bulletproof coffee (1T ghee 1T coconut oil 1T unsweetened cocoa)

Post-workout: can of tuna packed in water, dollop of grainy mustard

Meal 2: broccoli beef asian stir-fry, guacamole

Meal 3: (tbd depending on if I need it...it would be super late)

I am feeling more confident and even signed up for an improv class (something I have been avoiding for years because it was out of my comfort zone) and am going to ballet on Friday (haven't taken a ballet class since 2008). It seems like my belly bloat has gone down a bit. Skin still acting up a bit.

Speaking of skin, I made homemade ghee today and it got a little overdone and when I was checking it the thing exploded into my face and burned splatter marks onto my forehead. Not an emergency; definitely surprising; made me feel like a bourgeois buttface with a big set of uptown problems. "My homemade ghee made of grass-fed cow butter splattered into my face and burned me...." :P

Excited for tomorrow!

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Day 12

overate today.

BP coffee, 5 olives

Meal 1: meatball, palm ground beef, guac, mustard, few carrot sticks

Snack: handful walnuts, orange

Meal 2: spinach, grape tomato, red onion, walnut, grilled chicken salad with olive oil/balsamic

Meal 3: (officially) small serving zucchini noodles, small chicken tender with moroccan dipping sauce. (handful almonds, taste of tuna salad, taste of zucchini noodles)

6 olives, handful almonds

It would seem like nuts are a food without brakes. This is truth. Did my major food prep for the week (Well Fed's Best Chicken You Will Ever Eat, Zucchini noodles, Waldorf Tuna Salad, Moroccan Dipping Sauce, hardboiled eggs). I didn't feel satisfied for some reason after eating my last meal.

Also, of MAJOR NOTE: I'm feeling much better from the weird congestion/sneezing thing and just discovered a small cold sore starting on my top lip which is crazy because I just had one while on vacation (bridesmaid stress and major dietary changes for the worse) and I only get them once maybe A YEAR. So wtf :( bummer. I will take it as a good sign that my body is stirring things up. I have been more and more stressed about my upcoming apartment move and an upcoming audition. Makes sense, I guess.


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Day 15 coming to a close.

My skin was glowing after a ballet class today. I am a little paranoid about eating out this late into the game for fear something will throw me off track.

Was seriously tired after ballet and a few hours of manual labor. Only had two hb eggs in between the two. Need a nap.

Going to yet another birthday drinking party tonight, but i'll be club soda-ing it up. I miss drinking alcohol, I dont miss how I felt after drinking the next day and days after. I have had some cravings brain the past two days a little bit.

I might be a little smaller than when I started. My confidence is greater though.

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Holy crap, it's been 8 days since I last updated. I'm in the middle of Day 23.


Things have been going well. My brain is trying to trick me into sabotaging my Whole30 early in a last ditch effort to remain in its comfort zone. Not having it though. I have overeaten a couple of times on nuts particularly when emotionally weird about something or another. Mostly when dealing with disappointment. 


I have been very stable in my energy levels recently. There has been A LOT happening with my schedule and I am crazy busy. Between work, rehearsals for two separate shows, rehearsal and preparation for a new scene study class and improv on Monday night AND looking for a place to live July 1st it has been HECTIC, but manageable. I am grateful for the schedule and for having things to do that I enjoy. I have also been coping with stress in a new and positive way and I am really enjoying being productive rather than feeling overwhelmed and backing away.


I have been avoiding working out for some reason...and now that I'm putting that out there it makes me want to go to the gym.


My face is still broken out in the usual hormonally-influenced spot on the left side of my chin which I find annoying. TOM is coming up shortly though so that could also be it. That could also explain some craving things happening. I have felt somewhat destructive lately and am glad that I dont have alcohol or junk food to use as a crutch. I have been having some cravings for garbagey junk food lately especially when I walk by the deli on my way home. 


Sleep has been higher quality, but not 8hrs. I still feel good for my really long days though.


Off to the gym.

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  • 1 month later...

BACK. back in the new york groove....


Here's an update: I finished my Whole 30. I felt great. I had lost a lot of bloat and was starting to get a little smaller. I felt better than my numerical results indicated. I had only lost 4lbs off of a serious bloat and didn't work out very much. I was walking a lot more than usual and had expected a little more in terms of weight loss. I KNOW it's just a measure of my weight as opposed to fat/muscle ratios, but dang i felt disappointed. Skin wasn't perfect, but the weird eczema on the back of my scalp pretty much went away which was cool. My dark circles were hardly there....still had acne, but it was in the typical hormonal places....I was so stressed from everything I nearly skipped the whole TOM, but luckily it was just 3 weeks late. This could also have something to do with the acne. Energy was through the roof and my moods were incredible. Things didn't bother me as much. Much more even-tempered. Then..


I reincorporated dairy, including ice cream and that was IT. I went off the effing deep end and spiraled straight into a binge bender. It was awful. Delicious, but awful. I calmed down from that and then life exploded and shat on me and all that's left is this bloated mess after a week of binges set off by someone giving me unsolicited advice on my body..............mentioning Paleo as a novel and new idea to which I wanted to say GO FUCK YOURSELF, but instead boomeranged it right back at myself and tried to eat myself to death. and smoked a lot of cigarettes and drank a lot of liquor. UNHEALTHY.


I know this might seem stupid to write in this particular forum, but I will do so for my own sake: Liquor makes me feel like CRAP the next day. It is clear as crystal that it makes me feel less than stellar, but I still like drinking...I live in NYC for goodness sake......maybe perpetuating the cycle of mediocre perhaps? Not sure, there is a world of shit there when it comes to sabotage.


Another update:


Just completed DAY 2. Hell yeah. I remember the first half of the original Whole30 going slowly last time and feeling sluggish. Ready for it this time. Not necessarily looking forward to it. 


I prepped a bunch of things already and am excited to enjoy rosemary chicken, ground beef, arugula salad with aged balsamic and heirloom tomatoes and sliced peppers, salmon cakes... I'm hungry as I write this. Don't want to mess up those Leptin levels though. Think I overconsumed fat last time, mainly in the form of nuts and potentially avocados. Nuts are a food without brakes. Noted for this time around.


Goals for this Whole30:

Weights 2x/week. Extra walking/light activity 1-2x week. (I think this is a modest, attainable goal)

Aim for sleep before midnight, no less than 7hrs of sleep. 

Take fishoil, probiotic, supps every day. 



That's all I have for now. 

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  • 6 months later...

Soooooo I am back. I was a bit lax on posting on my previous whole30 (which I COMPLETED!) and this time I am going to post more often. I am currently on day 2 of whole30 2.0 and I can feel that same determination regardless of the events and holidays and valentine's business coming up. I need this.

I've been with a new boyfriend for 6 months. I am not sure how we stayed together because he is the opposite of healthy lifestyle, but I am now reasserting what I want and need out of my lifestyle.

I want to be really healthy.

I want to be really fit.

I know what needs to be done so here I am making headway towards things that make me closer to these goals, and thus, happier with life.

I will exercise at least 3 days a week with specific activities. I'd like to get back into yoga, Pilates, and intervals a bit rather than my usual weights and intervals.

I will check in here daily for at least 5min to keep grounded.

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Day two is down. I need to get some portable sources of fat that aren't nut-based since they make me bloat and I tend to over-consume. Yesterday's meal 2 and 3 we're not very satisfactory in terms of deliciousness and I want to nip that in the bud. I also didn't have a source of starch besides some beets in unsatisfactory deli salad and my breath was weird. I hate low carb breath!

I am going to grab some olives, more avocados, sweet potatoes and some English breakfast tea at the store which I have been craving. Coconut cream will be lovely in that.

Did a nice interval tabata on the treadmill yesterday and it felt great. Like I tapped back into my power and woke up the little confident person that goes to sleep sometimes for longer than is helpful.

I plan on doing some light yoga or Pilates later and I will post this so It keeps me accountable.

My digestion is working again already! My stomach feels different in a good way...less bloated perhaps? Like a smaller feeling or something which is maybe what a non-bloated tummy feels like normally? Not sure!

Also, I was grumpy this morning. Poor BF had to get an earful of it. I am going to hole up in my apartment for a couple days and make some foods to keep prepared and save the world from my biting tongue. Hopefully this passes sooner than the normal 5-6 day mark or whenever because I have an opening on Thursday and shows all weekend. There is a huge after party on Friday and I plan on having club soda and I am very cool with that.

BF already knows Valentines day has to be compliant so that is taken care of! Relief. I never care about the chocolates or anything, but I will likely lament the nonexistent glass of wine. But honestly, it's early and I'm sure I'll be fine.

Anxiety brain is at work. Calming soon hopefully. Unemployment still hasn't come through and has been a nightmare thus far and buying beautiful produce and meats seems impossible, amongst other things. There is a world of shit happening around me currently and I still feel positive and determined to do this fully. Maybe less variety, but it will happen.


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Day 3:

M1 3poached eggs and salsa, 3 large carrots. Black coffee. 


M2 lemon chicken, guac, roasted garlic almond broccoli, beets and sweet potatoes over arugula. (from Dig Inn!)


M3 chicken paella http://www.primalpalate.com/recipe/paleo-paella/comment-page-1/


Holy crap that paella is good and i didn't even use turmeric (didn't have any). Wasn't hungry between meals. Aside from starting the day mean, today has been a good day in terms of mood. I feel focused.

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Day 4:

M1 beef soup with veg, 3 olives, 2 mugs English breakfast tea with coconut milk

M2 beef soup with veg

Handful almonds at rehearsal

M3 chicken paella double helping

Hungry more so today. My avocados are not ripe and I needed that today because I don't feel as satisfied as normal. I have been craving cigarettes and cakes/cookies today. Normally don't crave cakes and things unless I'm emotional eating.

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Day 5 recap

M1 3 poached eggs, salsa. Tea with coconut milk

M2 large portion chicken paella, tea with coconut milk +40min later guacamole with sweet potato chips

M3 few bites chicken paella

Times respectively 11:15am, 4pm, 12am. Was very hungry for each meal. Always eat later than 1 hour after waking and wondering if this bothers anything. It's just how it works out while commuting around from place to place and having shows.

Slept badly for the last two nights. Certain that it's partly to do with life stresses. I am looking forward to that deep sleep coming up. Opening night was stressing me out, but man, once it's together it is a good feeling.

I am looking forward to making more ketchup, sweet potato things, deciding what to do with a pound of ground beef, maybe making more soup...I love cooking.

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Day 6

I have had a weird schedule and not planned accordingly and it's messing up the rules for me a bit. Nothing crazy, but could definitely be better.

M1 chicken paella, tea with coconut milk, guacamole

M2 guacamole, baby carrots, tea with coconut milk, sweet potato fries

M3 3ish salmon cakes

6:30pm Coffee

M4 8:45pm Larabar

Coffee at 6:30pm I wasn't thinking straight! It was out of pressure to be drinking something at a restaurant for a get together with an old buddy. I am a little wired still and all I wanted was some peaceful sleep. Ah well. I have been hungry hungry hungry, not starving though. Breakfast was closest to the recommendations and it was definitely the most satisfying. I would be starving if I hadn't had that larabar before the show.

Also, I did not drink two nights in a row while hanging out at bars with friends! That is some good stuff. It's really annoying having to explain why I'm not drinking to every single person though. People are curious and that is understandable. Still. Annoying.

Things that will help me that could be improved upon: more balance of protein fat veg ratios. No caffeine after noon.

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I've been having cravings the past couple days. Cakes and cookies and Oreos and milk. All in copious amounts. Like that familiar need to binge and feel full. Not sure what that's about. Perhaps it's stirring things up inside and my already crazed emotions are at it again.

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Day 7

M1 Coffee with coconut milk

2.75 eggs with salsa

Half avocado


M2 3 salmon cakes, half avocado, roasted broccoli

M3 beef soup, roasted broccoli, tea with coconut milk

Handful almonds

Half a plain seltzer

Day 8

M1 3 poached eggs, salsa, 3/4 avocado, tea with coconut milk

M2 1 avocado, two small baked sweet potatoes, ground beef, baby carrots

Mint tea

M3 ground beef, 1/4 avocado, baby carrots, chocolate tea with coconut milk

A little sleepy during the day. Ate more vegetables purposefully today and feel more satisfied for sure.

I am noticing a change in body comp...at least the bloat is definitely gone and now I seem smaller for sure. My bf said it looks like I've lost "loads of weight." I don't care about the number on the scale, I want to fit into my danged size 29s like I did before; tight Tshirt and no muffin top or camel toe! Hah

I have noticed less fluctuation with moods and I'm crying less. Good things. I'm inching in the right direction and i can't help but feel hopeful for my future because of it.

Got a Pilates reformer class card and cannot wait! I love the way Pilates changes things subtly and straightens out the posture.

Looking forward to grocery shopping tomorrow to try some new exciting things.

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Day 9

Slept really well last night! I am a lot less grouchy lately. Coincidence? I think not.

M1 half small lemon chicken, roasted beets, brussels, and sweet potato (no time to finish whole thing)

M2 (45min later) other half, half avocado

Small coffee with coconut milk

M3 half large braised beef, kale w purple potato, roasted sweet potato & brussels

Chocolate tea

M4 other half. Could have eaten more.

Did not go major grocery shopping because of the snow storm. Lugging heavy groceries around as a pedestrian in the snow and taking 3 trains home did not interest me in the slightest. I did however get some things only available at the whole foods like avocado oil for mayo and celery seed for coleslaw. Starting to crave cakes again and am going skiing this weekend for the first time ever and know I will be missing alcohol at the end of the day. It's alright though because we're staying at a condo with two vegans and other people who won't mind clean eating.

Also did some intervals today which felt great and tomorrow I am scheduled for the first of 4 Pilates reformer classes. Very excited for this!

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