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Chronically sick - first whole30


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Today is the fifth day of my first whole30, but I thought I'd get on here and keep a super insanely exciting record of my progress.  


I never thought I'd read what other people eat on a daily basis, but it's helping with portion control.


Here's some background on meeeee:


I'm 30 years old, female, slender build, but have a "runner's belly", 133, 5'8 1/2", my body fat on a scale hovers around 20% but when I get it measured with the calipers its 12-15%, so who knows.  I live in Chicago, but am from Cincinnati.


While not diagnosed with anything, I tend to say I have a weak immune system.  I've been sick with basically every virus, bacteria possible since I was a kid.  If I have a week where I am not sick, it's a miracle.  I'm 30 years old and this has been true since my little feet pitter pattered across the kitchen floor.


I have 3 chronic injuries, knees (both were scoped in the summer of 2009), they never healed, left foot has felt "broken" for probably 9 months, nothing is wrong with it, but it's painful which I'm sure leads up the chain and affects my poor pitiful knees.  And finally left shoulder which has tendinitis that will not go away (probably 3 to 4 years at least). 


Most of these injuries are feeling pretty ripe when I run (2 marathons, bunch of halves).


Despite all that, my workout schedule per week includes 3 45m-1h crossfit style workouts, 2 or more sessions of yoga and hopefully atleast 2 30 minute extra cardio sessions.


Worst fear of this:  I love wine and I love diet coke.  Equally and with fervor.


OK, here's my first 4 1/2 days worth of food + observations:


Day 1:

2 Eggs + tons of veggies/shrooms + olive oil

3 cups of coffee(!)

Spinach salad + grilled chicken + olive oil/apple cider vinegar

Ground Turkey(made with onion and olive oil) + bell peppers/shrooms/chives/spinach/tomato + oregano

Sleep Deeply Tea (Churchills in Cincinnati)


Felt pretty good all day.  Slightly worried I'm eating too much.


Day 2:

2 Eggs + tons of veggies/shrooms + olive oil

3 cups of coffee(!)

Handful of Pecans + apple (coworkers went to a fish shack - nothing to eat that wasn't fried)

Smoked Salmon + ground turkey + bell peppers/shrooms/spinach + olive oil + cherries (dessert-ish)

Buddha's meditation tea (from Coffee Emporium in Cincinnati)


Day 3:

Handful of Pecans (pre workout) 

1 cup of coffee

Handful of Pecans + apple (post workout)

Leftover turkey concoction from day 2 + 1 egg + 1/2 avocado+ cherries and strawberries

Snack: Bag of kale chips + almonds (too many/too much!)

Green curry (awesome!) with pineapple, chicken, spinach, sugar snap peas, red bell pepper


Day 4:

2 Eggs (in coconut oil, yum) + spinach/sugar snap peas/mushrooms + spinach salad with olive oil and balsamic + 1/2 avocado

Had like 4 cups of coffee(!)

Ground turkey + green garlic/spinach/tomato/mushrooms + olive oil (very filling - finally)

Red curry (less awesome! - probably due to lack of the pineapple) with 2 Italian sausages + bell peppers/onions/sugar snap peas/spinach + Cherries and Strawberries 

Some kind of licorice herbal tea 


Day 5:

2 Eggs (olive oil) + mushrooms/tomato/spinach/dill + 3 strawberries (trying to keep a lid on the fruit)

2 1/2 cups of coffee (hooray, down a little!)

Green curry (left over from Day 3) + 5 strawberries


Morale of the story - My meals feel too big, but are probably too small.  I've been drinking too much coffee, but otherwise am good.


My nose still runs every time I eat which I thought would go away.  I'm also having some "digestive issues" which were miraculously gone today and hopefully for the rest of the 30 days.  I've had some scattered headaches and massive diet coke cravings.  Oh and I drank wine in my dream last night...cheating?







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"Chronically sick"  That's me too!  Well, it was at least.  I'm still pretty susceptible to every single dang virus in town and the minimum days I can ever get through a virus is eight.  I have a knee issue, a left foot issue, tendonitis in my right elbow - smiling - I feel like we could be genetic sisters!  (And I also love a good cup of coffee - or cups)


I, however, have not been doing any exercising which is rather a drag.  I loved running last year and preparing for a triathlon, but this year I'm just working on cooking healthier and getting more sleep.  I'm hoping it will pay off in the long run.


It will be fun to see how you feel at the end of the 30 days.  I completed my first Whole30 in April and didn't have any magic happen, but I did just feel plain old better.  And I feel like my overall immune system is heartier.  I've been eating as much as I want - even till the point of feeling stuffed - but somewhere along the way, I just started eating less without paying any attention.  

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Hey EandK and Tom!

Thanks for reading and responding.


I'm not really expecting "magic" although it would be nice.  I was on weight watchers for a while and it basically took over my life with portion control (I lost 25 lbs and was unhealthy looking, have gained 10 back) so I'm a little afraid of eating so much food!  I hope by end of my 30 days I will be rid of the whole tracking mentality.


On to today's action!

Last night, end of Day 5:

I had left over red curry, with ground turkey and an egg.  Then I had cherries and strawberries and I feel like I went a little overboard.

I felt pretty tired and didn't end up going to yoga.  It wouldn't have been pretty anyway because my stomach was rocked last night.  The book says that'll happen around Day 10 (I think), but now, got it on day 5.

2 cups of Sleep Deeply tea and to bed for me.


Day 6:

Woke up 1/2 hour late with a wicked headache.  Immediately to the coffee well.  Had 2 1/2 cups so gradually trying to get that down.

I made a italian chicken sausage from whole foods, one egg (farmer's market, yumtown), 1/2 zucchini, 1/2 onion, and probably 2 handfuls of mushrooms.  Used 1 tbsp of olive oil to cook it all and oregano and rosemary for spicing.  I ate half this concoction for breakfast along with 3 strawberries and felt really full.


I ate the other half of my breakfast scramble for lunch along with an apple and closed handful of pecans.  I don't really feel full but I have a back up idea of some almond butter I bought that is literally just almonds, so I might have a spoonful of that in 30 minutes or so if I'm still feeling hungry.  It's weird that what was satisfying for breakfast isn't satisfying for lunch, but I seem to have an apt. to fight the sugar dragon around 2 every day.


Great news though, stomach issues and headache have lessen considerably from yesterday/this morning.  


My intense cardio day is at 5.  Say a wish I make it.



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I didn't make it to my workout without some food.  I ate a teaspoon of almond butter with some cinnamon sprinkled on it.


How I ate just a teaspoon and not more, I will not know.  I'm tired and my workout has been delayed to start at 6:15 now because of work, so it'll be almost 7 1/2 hours since lunch before I eat dinner.  I'll probably have another spoonful of almond butter now that I'm thinking about it since it'll be another 2 hours plus before I eat.


I think I'll make deviled eggs, I saw a recipe that used avocado, lime juice and paprki to make them that'll help me if this situation happens again.

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Oh, I must admit that I am jealous of your exercising!!!  I'm not doing a thing and I have to just let that be for the time being.  I lost 40 pounds last year counting calories so I get what you're saying about portion control.  I think the thing I loved the most was that we cleaned out our kitchen and so on the first day of Whole30 I knew I didn't have to hold back and resist foods because everything in our house was a-okay.  The only problem was it wasn't as immediately interesting to eat :)


We all do things in our way, but for me, I definitely let myself eat as much as I wanted.  I didn't have the energy to deal with work, life, kids and all the amount of cooking to also stress over my portions.  I didn't expect to lose any weight, but I did.  I lost 10 pounds of that bloated weight that used to accompany me everywhere.  And then last month eating grains and travel foods, I gained a few, but this month I think I've probably already lost a few.  I'm definitely telling myself that I'm okay with the slow route and I read somewhere that Tom lost two pounds a month eating this way (he'd be a better source than my "I read somewhere") and I can easily see that happening.  I just don't think I can eat that much spaghetti squash and sweet potatoes to pack on the pounds like I did eating Reese's, cheese and tortillas.

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I'm definitely in the chronically sick boat. Have you had your iron levels tested? It didn't solve all my immune system problems, but learning I had low iron a couple of years ago got me out a a cycle of being constantly sick in the way you describe (once I added iron supplements). I still get sick more often than I would like, but not as much. So many women have borderline low iron and don't know it. I think in my case it had been going on for a LONG time.

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And I forgot...shorts.  Seriously, who forgets shorts.


 So working out is going to end up being a video (Jillian!) when I get home.


I HATE when I do that, I did it on Friday too except that time it was a shirt.  Does Whole 30 make you forgetful or careless?  Yeesh.


Selene, a while back, like maybe ten years, my iron was too low - I got rejected at the blood bank and the woman told me to "eat liver from a cast iron skillet" so that wasn't happening - but according to my doc in January, it was "fine".  Also at that time I had slightly high cholesterol which made zero sense then considering how much I worked out, but makes perfect sense now after reading It Starts With Food.

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Last night went pretty well.  I did level 2 of Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred.  Sometimes I can do two of them (like level 2 and level 3 right after) but not yesterday, I made it through level 2 just barely.  

Then I made a dinner of a sausage from whole foods and a delicious simple salad of a tomato and some rainbow chard topped with Olive oil and Balsamic.  Had about 15 cherries after that, but they were mainly gross so I stopped (I took one bite of probably 10 of them and they were sour, when I first bought them they were awesome, so I think they've gone bad).


I'm pretty reliant on tea to "fake" getting dessert, so last night I had a kind called Spirit I bought at the Logan Square Farmer's Market.


It's Day 7 now, and I'm starting to feel pretty good about this whole thing.  I told my friend, who's getting married, that I'll be a sober buddy during the bachelorette party in Nashville next weekend, she took it pretty well and we joked about telling everyone I'm pregnant, ha ha.  That'll be a trying weekend that's for sure.  But I really like the fact that I don't have to think about being tempted and constantly making food choices, instead it's just yes or no, no waffling around.  When the training wheels have to come off, that'll be a hard pill to swallow.


No headaches this morning but my stomach is still a little iffy.


Alright, here's what I consumed for breakfast and have planned for lunch:

Fried egg and a sausage + rainbow chard/tomato salad (I had to force myself to finish this, but now, it's 9:45 - so 2 1/2 hours later - and I'm hungry)


For lunch, I plan on running or doing elliptical for at least 30 minutes then I'll eat 2-3 hard boiled eggs, rainbow chard/tomato salad and half an avocado.


I have band practice after work, 6-8ish, so I brought more hard boiled eggs to work and will probably finish the avocado as well before practice as a "snack".  It sucks to have to eat dinner so late, it'll probably be 9 before I eat, but such is life.

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Those hard boiled eggs sure are a life savor.  I traveled with those, a cooked sweet potato and almonds.  They're like my best friends for getting me through cravings or exhaustion.   You've got a pretty busy life - band practice in the evenings - sounds fun, but also busy.  I was also once told to use cast iron pans, but luckily they didn't mention liver.  My iron is fine these days, but my Vit D was crazy low.  I've been supplementing that consistently and do think it makes a difference overall.  This has been my healthiest year in a long time though I'm sure a lot of it is due to weighing less and now to eating foods that don't trigger all the stress on my system.  Good luck with today! 

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Thanks EandK.  My perceived exertion during my workout (just 30 minutes elliptical) was super high. I think my energy is fading, but that's ok.


I found on the forums earlier the website nom nom paleo http://nomnompaleo.com/  Man, this is definitely going to help me get through the next three weeks + 2 days.  ha ha.


I just finished my snack of 2 hard boiled eggs and half an avocado.  Band practice will be a snap.  


I'm already planning what I'll buy at my weekly grocery trip (tomorrow, hooray!).  Definitely will be picking up some sweet potatoes and more sausages (those make a super easy fast meal and at whole foods you can find whole 30 safe ones), rainbow chard (so yum), and mushrooms!

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Day 7 is over!  First week complete.  Everything has been going pretty good aside from some weird dreams in which I accidently eat cookies or have a glass of wine and then feel super guilty, extreme tiredness, and some bathroom "issues".


I was pretty tired after band practice so I just polished off the two remaining hard boiled eggs I had with a whole avocado and a whole tomato mixed in.  Put some hot sauce on there (Tobasco -regular kind- seems whole30 safe) and pow, awesome food times.  Then I tried to finish my cherries, but they were officially gross, so I banished them to the garbage can.


I noticed last night and still this morning, that, while my skin is still kind of blemishy, it is looking pretty luminous.  Hooray, my first positive effect of this, let's call it what it is, project. 


Day 8!

This morning I upped my egg intake since I was hungry before lunch the past couple days. 

I had 3 eggs, 1/2 onion, 1 tsp. coconut oil, 1/2 zucchini, 1 tomato.  It was pretty good and I still feel full now, so it got me 1/2 hour longer than yesterday's breakfast.


I'm eating a lot of eggs this past two days as my planned lunch is hard boiled eggs over a salad that I'll buy in my work cafeteria plus some avocado.  I brought 4 eggs, so I'll probably have 2 at lunch, then 2 around 4:30 because I've got a workout from 5-6:15, then need to hit up the grocery store, so I won't be eating until probably 8 again tonight.

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Last night I worked out, but I cut it to 45 minutes, rather than 1 1/2 I was planning.  I was just too tired after the first half, plus I had big cooking plans!


Pre workout, I ate some raw pecans and a plum because it didn't really make sense to eat 2 eggs considering I wasn't that hungry yet.


Post workout, hit up whole foods.  Wow, eating like this is expensive.  I threw down 150 on who knows what because I forgot my list.  I keep telling myself, 150 isn't that much considering I'm not eating out - at least not yet- and I'm not drinking.


On the way home I had a minor breakdown trying to get parking.  I screamed at someone, and not just grumbling, but top of my lungs (car windows up, thank goodness) and then I cried.  Emotions!


At home I had big plans, I made Rosemary roasted almonds, set up some fruit/herb infused water, made ghee(!), cauliflower mashed fauxtatoes, and roasted chicken.


I used nom nom paleo's ghee instructions, they were pretty straight forward, but it took way longer than she said (I think I had the heat turned down too low).  The cauliflower went great and tasted great.


For the roast chicken, every recipe I found had the chicken marinated all day.  Well I didn't have all day, I had 15 minutes.  So I put 2 bone in, skin on chicken breasts in olive oil, shallots, garlic, scallions, regular white mushrooms and a few oyster mushrooms. Waited until the oven was at 450 and popped that in for 45 minutes.  It turned out awesome.  


So for dinner I ended up having, tons of the almonds (like 3 servings at leasts, opps), 1/2 one of the breasts (split with my boyfriend because they were huge breasts), some of the marinate, the cauliflower mash, and a few pieces of asparagus.  It was a fantastic dinner.  Only problem is, it was 9:30 by the time we ate.


So I went to bed around 11, completely exhausted yet it took awhile to fall asleep (probably bc of the late dinner).


Today is Day 9!

3 eggs is definitely my breakfast serving size, so I had 3 eggs cooked in coconut oil with 1/2 onion, spinach, mushrooms and zucchini.  


Lunch is a whole avocado, 2 hard boiled eggs, a serving (really) of almonds + a nectarine.


I'm doing yoga at 6 and then I'll eat my leftover chicken awesomeness from yesterday for dinner.


I thought not drinking would be really hard, but it's been easier than giving up cheese its.

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You made ghee!  Wowzers.  That sounds so impressive.  My big creative plan is to make sauerkraut next week when our cabbage arrives.  I know it's not hard, but till one's actually done it, it feels daunting.  Yay for completing week one!

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I've never done sauerkraut either. The ghee was really easy, basically put butter in pan, watch it for a while, then strain it with cheesecloth.  Done.


I seriously feel like I've been eating so much food.  I'm starting to feel guilty about it and really want to get on the scale and check.  sad face.

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Friday night I went to yoga then had my leftovers from Thursday awesome chicken dinner (with more cauliflower mashed fauxtatoes).


Saturday was a pretty bad day.  I felt like total crap and wanted to quit really bad.  I ate an egg concoction for breakfast, had a very hard workout.  My trainer said I shouldn't eat nuts after a workout - something about how it can hinder the workout hormones, but I had them anyway plus 2 nectarines..  Then ate out for the first time at a burger joint, had a burger (grass fed) with no bun, fried egg and avocado and then a side salad dressed with a lemon wedge.  It was pretty good, but then I ate a bunch almonds.  Nuts are my enemy.  For dinner I had a pretty nice salad, a great italian sausage with warm sauerkraut on top.  Then we saw a play and I had about 3 sips of coffee, but turns out, i can't drink coffee at night anymore, and so I left it (small victory).


Sunday was better.  I got up and went to brunch, had an omelette with red peppers, spinach, and mushrooms with a salad dressed with lemon juice.  Then we planted our garden finally, cucumbers and tomatoes and kale and all kinds of goodies.  Off to the farmers market where I had some awesome frozen blueberries which I bought, found some good eggs, spinach, sausages.  Turns out most sausages have sugar and msg, I've found a few kinds that don't, but it's hard to find.  My boyfriend and I were then going to a party which was having barbeque, so my bf made me some blood sausage (no baddies) and a good salad for that (with turnips! yum!).  I also brought one of my "infused" waters (strawberry and rosemary), almonds, and blueberries.  I ate a lot of that, but wasn't full.  When we got home I had some walnuts and a slice of watermelon.  So while I ate good foods on Saturday and Sunday, I was waaaay off on the meal plan.  I ate too many nuts, too much fruit, and too many times (3 meals turned into grazing at the party).


This week, I'm at a conference all week where lunch is provided, but I'm packing.  I had 3 eggs, 1/2 onion, mushrooms, a whole orange pepper, cilantro, and a tomato + a whole avocado (but it was small).  I still feel good and full and it's 11, so I think I'm starting to grasp that breakfast needs to be gigantic.


I had ordered Tracy Anderson's Metamorphisis DVDs and totally forgot, but I got them yesterday, so I have plans on doing 1/2 hour cardio + 1/2 hour method 1 exercise tonight  + yoga.  It's pretty ambitious.  We'll see what happens.


Has anyone done the Tracy Anderson videos?

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FYI Tracy Anderson videos are ridiculously hard.  


I got home from my conference yesterday and did one hour of her, then cooked up the 10 minute chili from ISWF (I didn't have chili powder so I just doubled the cumin), ate it exactly as suggested and just finished the leftovers from lunch, then I went to yoga, then I passed out like a sweet little baby.


For breakfast today I had spinach, onion, mushroom scrabble with 2 strawberries and I made sweet potato "chips", just basically pan fried thinly sliced portions in coconut oil.  Soooooo good.  I wasn't full though, so I had an apple about an hour later.


I was feeling pretty bad last week and I feel better now, but I would not say I feel "magic", just almost back-to-normal in terms of energy.

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Alright, Conference and Bachlorette party in Nashville complete and I'm still going strong.  I had one slight cheat on Saturday morning because there were no cooking fats at the house and I needed to make eggs.  All they had was something that was a combination of olive oil and soybean oil or butter cooking spray.  I choose the spray and just did one very very light spray and that was it.


I had a horrible stomach ache from a lara bar, so I'm starting to think my food allergy maybe in the peanut category (they are made in facilities that peanuts are made).  


I feel like I've been eating too much and I'm not experiencing any "magic", so it's starting to get disheartening, but it's day 19 so I'll stick it out until the end regardless.  I got on the scale this morning, I weighed 130, so no real change there either, not seeing any changes in my body either.


Here's what I had for breakfast:

1-whole30 safe sausage

2- eggs (cooked in olive oil)

spinach and tomato salad dressed with olive oil and balsamic


2 cups of coffee


I'll try and keep a better record of what I ate this week because perhaps it'll help me identify why I'm not experiencing magic.

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Yeah, in hindsight that's what I should have done.  It was really stressful to be away from home and to have to borrow people's cars to get to the grocery so I think my brain just shut down with the dumb butter spray.  But it really was just one light spray so I'm not going to restart the 30 days or anything (plus I didn't have a stomach reaction to it at all).  If I would have drank alcohol or eating a slice of bread, I'd feel differently, but I'm going with the flow of my body which says it was no big deal.

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Made it to lunch without wanting a snack, so I"m getting better at portion sizing.  For lunch I had a salad from our cafeteria (they have great ingredients, it's an awesome perk) of grilled chicken, crumbled hard boiled eggs, beets, spinach, mixed greens, tomatoes and red onion tossed in olive oil and balsamic.  I'm having a banana to top it off.


I also bought some coconut water for later (I checked the label, no added sugar).


Plan tonight is to do some tracy anderson directly after work, then yoga at 8.  Hopefully I'll find time to eat in there, but if not I have a lara bar (apple pie flavor).


Only 11 more days to go.

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Ugh, all my best laid plans of working out were thwarted when around 5 I got so tired I barely made it home from work.  I fell into bed and at 8:30 I forced myself up to eat some dinner.  I made 2 sausages with sauerkraut, onions and yellow peppers and then a spinach and tomato salad on the side, then I ate a bowl of frozen blueberries.  I was awake until about 11 and slept all the way through the night.


I weighed myself again today and gained some 131.  So I'm not sure what exactly I'm doing wrong.  Maybe eating too much fruit (which I have with pretty much every meal).


I made a fritatta for breakfast using 6 eggs, spinach, mushrooms, a tomato and 1/3 an onion + fresh rosemary.  I ate a little under half of it with 1/2 an avocado (used coconut oil to cook the egg stuff).  Then I had a small apple and 2 cups of coffee.  I'm now having Puerh tea, which is pretty good.


It's day 20, I feel like something should have happened by now, at the least some weight loss.  I'll obviously stick it out until day 30 (only 10 day more to go) but it's really disheartening because eating this way takes a ton of effort and if it's not going to pay off in a tangible way, then I feel like I wasted time.

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That's true.  I jumped on the scale mainly because I was feeling so generally tired I was just wondering if possibly that aspect was getting better.  I had to leave work yesterday at noon because I was so tired.  This is day 21, according to the "what should be happening" part of ISWF, my energy levels should have evened out by now, but they are even worse than they were before I started.


I finished the frittata I made for breakfast and finished 1/2 an avocado then had a bowl of frozen blueberries for lunch.  I was able to stay awake and work until about 4, but then I feel asleep and woke up for a phone meeting at 5:30.  Then I made some chicken legs, sweet potato chips and a spinach and tomato salad (dressed with olive oil and balsamic).  I cooked the sweet potato slices in coconut oil and cooked the chicken in ghee.  I had another bowl of blueberries for dessert.  I was back to sleep by 9:30 and slept until 5:30 am this morning.


This is a ridiculous amount of sleep, I haven't worked out since Friday and that was yoga, not even really that much.  I'm seriously so lethargic it's hurting my performance at work (obviously, had to work from home yesterday afternoon).


This morning I had 3 eggs with 1/2 can of fire roasted tomatoes and mushrooms cooked in coconut oil, plus 1/2 sweet potato's worth of "chips" cooked in coconut oil.  Then 3 strawberries.  Had only one cup of coffee.


I HAVE to make it through today as I have a ton of cannot miss meetings, plus a workout, plus band practice, plus I have to get to the grocery because I'm out of food.  


I'm really hoping the tiredness is stemming from the fact that I"m constipated, haven't gone #2 in 2 complete days, but I doubt it.


So basically, I feel terrible, bloated, tired and stressed.  Hooray!

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Sorry you feel so awful.

Are you drinking enough water between/at meals? Aim for at least 1/2 your body weight in ounces, daily.

A bowl of blueberries is not a meal (and yes, perhaps you are eating too much fruit: shoot for no more than 1-2 servings per day). How big is that bowl?  ;) A W30 fruit serving is the size of your fist.


Keep it up with the sauerkraut and/or kombucha to help with your digestion. The sauerkraut seemed to help me.

And stay off that scale.  :)   You're so close to completing the W30! You might find this article helpful: http://everydaypaleo.com/attention-scale-addicts-part-2/

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