In the beginning...


Born Sandy

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So it all started today for me- July 1 and my first Whole 30. My main concerns upfront have been the omission of alcohol from my life. I don't drink excessively but I do work in an extremely stressful environment and admit that I do like to sit with a glass of wine or two sometimes and try to forget the day that was. I am also aware (in advance) of some incredibly stressful work moments that will be coming up in the next month so am already preparing for other alternate means of stress relief (like the gym!)

 

Anyhow, the first day is over courtesy of an omelette for lunch, some almonds and a banana mid afternoon and a slow cooked beef and root veggie casserole served with some spicy roast purple and pink sweet potatoes. I do intermittent fasting with paleo and am not a big breakfast eater so I may have to try and do better on the breakfast front in future although I did have coffee with coconut milk which filled me somewhat. I admit I also felt a little despondent with just tomato passata (all compliant!) and balsamic vinegar in the stew but it didn't turn out half bad, in fact it was yummy and I have a nice amount to eat tomorrow too. It is winter in Australia now so it also satisfied me in the cold.

 

My main observations of Day 1? Well, even though I tend to eat about 90% paleo anyway and stick to my known (mostly organic) food labels buying things in tins (such as coconut milk) and usually cook from scratch, I have to say once I started really reading labels I got a shock. Even some of my known "safe" labels had sugar in them. Isn't it amazing how sneaky they can be with the sugar thing?! So, I guess my first day has left me with that lesson-don't presume and don't trust that just because something says organic it is necessarily it is in its most natural form! Common sense really I guess in retrospect and you're all probably laughing at my naivety but at least I know now! 

 

Bring on Day 2! 

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Second day down, with no worries. Started with a coffee and coconut milk but have to say I think I'd rather my coffee black. My lovely partner (who follows the autoimmune protocol) made me a pork chop with some lamb liver (all from our fantastic local butcher who is all grass fed/organic) and rocket salad for lunch (fried the chop and liver in coconut oil and just poured the juices over the salad.) I had my first w/o at the gym after a terrible week with the flu but took it relatively easy. Not sure if it was the Whole 30 or just the flu recovery (I suspect the flu recovery) but I got pretty dizzy pretty quickly. Came home and dry roasted some almonds with some garlic powder and tossed them when cooled onto some rocket salad leaves with a small perfectly ripe and delicious avocado and some squeezed lemon for a snack. Dinner was left overs from my stew last night which was still very yum.

 

Physical things I am noticing. Last night I got very itchy. I am prone to rashes and itchiness which I personally attribute to allergies of some sort even though I do tend to eat fairly clean...ok....I'm fairly sure it is from alcohol consumption and to be fair I did have some alcohol the night before my whole 30 started on July 1 so guessing it was probably that leaving my system. There was a brief bit of dizziness at the gym which I am guessing was the remnants of my flu leaving but, on the plus side, my skin is looking instantly clearer and  is feeling softer. Am drinking a lot of organic herbal teas and upping the water intake so guessing that has a lot to do with it too. All up though, no major ill effects and no hunger pangs but I will need to get a bit more creative on the food front methinks. 

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Happy with day 3, really feel like I am learning to drive my body again and really listening to it. Managed a 6.15am gym class with some almonds and coffee with coconut milk before the class. I had an appointment with my trainer at 11 to do some weight training so dosed up on some sweet potato fried with coconut oil, two eggs and some baby spinach prior to that (about 9am). My PT was impressed with my energy levels and kept putting more weights on for me to lift which was good. Still had a bit of stew left over from the 1st day so heated that up for lunch and I have a roast chicken with a pile of roasted vegies currently in the oven for dinner for me and the family which will hopefully give me some left overs for lunch tomorrow as am in the office all day. 

 

Sooo....in short, the food is going okay. Physically, I was stronger in the gym this morning and I did manage two gym sessions in one day but I did get a bit of a headache this afternoon which seemed to relieve itself with some water. Psychologically and emotionally, I was pretty balanced. I work in a highly stressful environment and am quite prone to emotional extremes as a result of my work however, having had to confront a few angsty moments today I feel like I rode it pretty well at least, I stayed (and felt) calm. Long way to go I know, but all good for Day 3! 

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Day four and definitely noticing a difference in my strength and fitness levels. Got up at 5.30am and went to a gym class (the same trainer again remarked on my energy and strength in the class). Prior to the W/0 I had some almonds and a coffee with coconut cream in it, came back and was running short of time with managing children and getting ready for work so fried up a few eggs in coconut oil and had them with baby spinach leaves. Took in a lunch into work of left over organic chicken from last night's dinner some cauliflower fried rice and spinach and cherry tomatoes with some almonds and a banana for snacking. Roasted up a pork fillet with some persian spices for dinner and the left over roast veggies from last night. No major dramas on the food front, had training at work and the board room table was stacked with cakes and sweet things and then rolls and sandwiches for lunch but didn't really have any impact on me. The only  time of the day I felt torn was taking the kids to get a spontaneous meal of fish and chips and driving back with it in the car with the smell wafting around me while I was hungry oh and also, my partner cracked a beer and I really felt like joining him but that may have been tied  in with me previously wanting fish and chips and the physical memory of beer being the perfect accompaniment to fish and chips-maybe?  ^_^ 

 

One other thing is I am also noticing my recovery from working out is a lot easier and faster and my moods are balanced and mellow. Work is not stressing me in the least even though the stress has not changed and I'm not as reactive to my overly 'testing' daughter who can be very testing at times. All up, I would say Day 4 has been a success.

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Day five down and I can say there has been a degree of toughness about this day. The toughness has mainly been about organisation of food and meals with changes in my work day (i.e. I should have been more organised) and, feeling lulled into the normal behavioural practices of what I do with food on certain days (i.e. Friday night takeaway and alcohol).

 

I had to fly for work this morning and although I packed a quick lunch of boiled eggs, spinach leaves, avocado, cauliflower and tomatoes for the flight and snacks of almonds, a banana and a mandarin I didn't end up eating my lunch until after 5pm and ate the snacks over the day trying to fit them around my appointments. By the time I got home at 9pm I had a steak fried with coconut oil some salad and some roasted sweet potatoes. In the future I now realise I will have to carefully plan my movements and appointment timing and fit my meals in around them  and be rigid about this.

 

End result of all this was I had a bit of a headache at the end of this day and a bit of a lack of energy. I think this may have been from eating irregularly because I still ate compliantly just not as routinely as I have been and also no gym/exercise today might have contributed to that too.

 

.... and the no alcohol thing on a Friday night after a week of work and the desire to just drive straight to the local Vietnamese for seafood noodle soup to eat with a glass of champagne on the side? Let's just say I successfully stifled the urge but it was hard....

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Congrats on your success and your understanding of what works well for you. You got through a fly day with all of the airport temptations as well as your it Friday night. You're doing great!

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Thanks Calee, your support is appreciated. I guess the main insight I had from it today was my reactions and cravings were actually just normalised behavioural responses to me being in particular situations. For instance, the plane was delayed and my normal response would be to go and buy a glass of wine and some crisps while I waited to pass the time. This time I drank water and browsed this forum! :P  I'm a bit nervous about an overnighter I have coming up soon in a regional area where healthy food choices are limited and I have two days either side packed with appointments but just going to have to work around it. Preparation is the key!

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The good news is that you have s ome time to plan your best defense for that situation. I have a similar one coming up the first week of August. Three days and a fly day for a conference where the planner does the worst possible meals. She thinks more carbs and sugar = happy participants.

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Thanks SaraG and amberino21, really appreciate the support and the advice and yes, definitely will look into making cooked meals for times I am away.

 

My Day 6 went fine but I do think I need to work on the timing of the breakfast meal after a w/o. I went to a 7.30am boot camp doing tabata training and to be honest I felt pretty flat and not quite there. I had a pre w/o 'meal' of some almonds and a coffee and coconut milk but I think yesterday's out of routine meal arrangements messed my energy levels about for today's training. 

 

Had a little treat for breakfast though (well it became more brunch by the time I ate at 11am) with some grass fed organic bacon from our local gourmet butcher (who cures the meat himself with celery and some fruit), some eggs, some lambs liver and some baby spinach was very yummy. I can take or leave bacon anyway so it wasn't feeding any chronic habit but it was nice to add as a treat. The hearty breakfast was a good idea though because I ended up getting caught up in a work meeting that went from 12.30 -5pm and just drank water through that and some green tea.

 

I wasn't super hungry but it was beginning to creep up on me when I came out so I stopped in our local seafood place on the way home thinking I would buy some fresh salmon for dinner. I also bought a dozen fresh Pacific oysters thinking I could have them as a little entree pre: salmon baking in oven and also knowing my kids and partner would come buzzing around as soon as they saw them (they did and I shared happy that the kids are so paleo now they love a raw oyster with lemon and salt  :D ). So, dinner was fresh oysters with celtic sea salt and lemon for starters (the expense of which I justified thinking of the money I was saving in not buying my usual bottle of champagne for a Saturday night) and then salmon with a garlic/herb crust and some ghee accompanied by roasted sweet potato chips and cauliflower with some rosemary and some fresh wilted bok choy on the side. Feeling quite satisfied now.  :P

 

Thoughts on today? My energy was a little low in training and even though I had a rest day yesterday I think it was to do with not spacing my meals appropriately. Am now wondering if I may feel like this tomorrow morning given I kind of did the same thing today after getting caught up with my work. The other thing that is really evident though is my state of mind. I feel very very relaxed and calm. This is unusual for me as I am a nervous, anxiety ridden person and quite prone to depression. The stressors in my life are all still there (and predominantly to do with the nature of my work which is pretty intense and emotionally laden) but not hindering me. In fact, I have never taken anti depressants before even though they have been recommended me but am beginning to wonder if this is in fact how they make you feel. I'm reminded of friends that tell me anti-depressants 'take the edge off' and how I feel now could certainly be likened to that.  

 

All up, life is good in Day 6 land for me. Relaxed, no cravings and no hunger just a teensy bit flat on the training front...oh, and the fresh oysters rocked big time!  :D

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Was also thinking about my motivation in regard to the W30. Yes I want to get fit, healthy, strong and feel terrific of course! I also like the unintended benefits of a calm(er) mind and relaxed state of being. On the other side of things my partner has been doing the autoimmune protocol for years now with no lapses and if I gave up now it would be pretty disappointing for both of us. Yet another side to this little journey for me though is my brother. He was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer three months ago which now appears to be in his tissue. I'm very keen to explore all options that he could possibly avail himself of to relieve and assist him within his treatment and am happy to be a guinea pig and then discuss it with him.

 

So there you go, that's where I am at. Yes, all the self and fitness stuff is important but I also have a little bit more invested in it too. 

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Day 1 to day 7 comparison shots front and sides. Happy with this. Major bloat reduction and muscle definition firming up. Clothes are fitting way better and am back in jeans that I couldn't get over my thighs a few weeks back.   :)

 

 

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I saw this on the W30 Facebook page this morning and thought I must book mark that for fly days: http://www.sarahramsden.com/whole-food-snacks/  did you see that one Calee?

I had not seen this. I'll bookmark for fly days too! I generally just pack a big salad.

Your one week results at amazing. They are great motivation, no? The jeans must make you smile.

I'm sorry about your brother. That must pale any little problem. I can understand you wanting t o be your best self.

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Absolutely Calee, everything else does pale and gets put in perspective. I'm also doing the Dry July cause which is a fund raising thing here in Australia where you go alcohol free for July to raise money for adult cancer sufferers. I was more nervous initially about this than the W30 but I now realise that was about emotional attachment to alcohol's short term 'relief' from things...anyway, in the scheme of things (at least in regard to what my brother is going through) it is a completely redundant point. There are many things in my life right now that are far more important than my angst over whether I can be alcohol free or W30 compliant. I can and I will, that's all there is to it.

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Day 7 pre w/o was boiled egg and some salad and one of those bullet proof coffees (threw it all in the nespresso frother-was quite nice). Breakfast was a yummy Sunday fry up of bacon, lambs liver, eggs, salad, avocado plus some yummy local organic kale sauerkraut. All that food held  me over most of the afternoon until I realised at 3pm I hadn't eaten anything so I made a quick snack meal of liver and cabbage with some garlic. Dinner was the most divine slow roasted, organic, grass fed pork loin roast from George (the Best Butcher in the Southern Hemisphere) with those crispy roasted brussel sprouts, kale and sweet potatoes (pic below for your delectation  :) ). 

 

Highlights of this day? My daughter ate every inch of her vegetables including the brussel sprouts. This is the first time she has EVER eaten brussel sprouts without a fight....I admit I did have to change the name of it and called it tiranak off the top of my head because brussel sprouts are too entrenched in her food defiance repertoire to ever get a look in again-but, she ate it (and I'll tell her another time what she ate once the thrill of her eating it subsides  :P ).

 

Second highlight? I totally kicked arse at the gym with my weights this morning and squatted 40kg and leg pressed 80kg. I was particularly happy to see guys taking weights off or reducing the weight on the machines after I used them. Feeling really strong and good.

 

Angsty moments? Dropped my daughter at a kids birthday party today with friends who are Indian and had entire tables full of absolutely incredible looking Indian sweets-definitely one of my weaknesses in my non W30 life. I had no major cravings but I could feel them stirring so I bid a hasty exit (don't you love it when your kids get old enough that you can leave them at parties?!)

 

Day 7 over and out and happily rocking on through this W30 caper.  :D

 

 

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Day 8 pretty much over. Managed an early morning work out this morning and lifted some good weights. Fuelled myself before with some  almonds and a bullet proof coffee. Came home to the my partner cooking up a great cooked breakfast for me but this time I also chose to fry up some sweet potatoes, garlic, onion and cabbage to have with it because I realised I wasn't starching it up enough previously with my post w/o meal. Breakfast then was liver, bacon, my sweet potato hash meal and some salad and eggs. Only problem was that completely satisfied me food wise for the day.

 

Began to get hungry around 4-4.30pm and thankfully the goat curry I had thrown in the slow cooker earlier was really starting to spread its delicious aromas around the home so I nibbled on that as an early dinner. I chose not to use a pre-made curry sauce with it and instead used a mix of dry spices and some spice oils I had with a tin of organic tomatoes, I also threw in some blocks of frozen spinach to mix in with the meat as it cooked. Was absolutely delicious and perfectly suited to the chill that is in the air tonight. Was very impressed with the sweetness of goat as a meat to eat and my horticultural mates also tell me it is one of the most sustainable and healthy meats we can eat here in Oz so was very chuffed with that too.

 

Other bonuses from today was trying to prepare for my work trip away next week which has now spread out to 2 days. I was seriously dreading it just with the disruption to the routine I have got going with the food and was worrying about pre-packing/cooking additional food for the 2 day duration and having to argue that through security screening checks with the airport however....explained this all to my work and they have managed to secure for me a little eco friendly studio type arrangement that has a kitchenette (two stove cooker) and a microwave in there so I'm set. Cooking for myself is going to be far far easier than dealing with restaurants and arguing with waiters about ingredients. Not that I think that is impossible, it's just a hassle I don't want to bother with along with the work situation being equally stressful and busy. Also, just did a quick internet search on food sourcing options in the area I am going to and was happy to read it is one of the chief grass fed farming areas for the state so I'm sure I'll be able to buy some good quality meat and farming produce out there.

 

Day 8 fairly calm and uneventful though I have really had some severe wine cravings today. Trying to mediate that with some sparkling water with lemon and lime. All good though, nothing too difficult it is insurmountable and focus is still set on the end result. 

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Day 9 done.  PWO 'meal' of boiled egg and bullet proof coffee then came home and made up a sweet potato and cabbage breakfast type hash with eggs. Lunch was left over goat curry and dinner a plate of roasted vegetables (including three different types of sweet potato, eggplant, zucchini, fennel, garlic and cherry tomatoes), some sauteed kale on the side with a yummy grass fed scotch fillet. I have heaps of veggies left over and will make up a frittata tonight with them for tomorrow.

 

I did buy some dates today, had one and realised they would be dangerous for me and seemed like a treat so put them away. In the same place I also bought a bulk load of vegetables really cheaply but excellent quality and variety. I'm really lucky to live in a vibrant multicultural area and the local growers mart really reflects the global population of the area so was really happy with the huge and diverse amount of vegetables I got for very little money.

 

Calmness of mind still the main thing that is evident for me in the W30. Next week is going to be a killer stress wise for me with travel Monday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, stressy work situations Tuesday and Wednesday and my daughter's birthday Thursday but my mind and body still don't seem to have caught up to the stress which is good-the W30 seems to have kept it at bay, at least I think it is the W30 because it is the only thing I have changed. 

 

Physically I feel stronger but not necessarily like I have lost weight, in fact it is possible I am probably heavier. I do wonder about the extra weight I have been lifting primarily I think as a result of the extra energy I have with the W30 and if it is muscle gain, not sure, but happy just to keep being happy with my training achievements and the food. 

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Day 10...Day 10 say what?!!! My excitement at moving into double digits clearly distracted me and I forgot the protein part of my PWO meal only having a bullet proof coffee to get me through my 6am gym class. By 6.20am I was ready to eat my knee every time it came near my face doing diagonal bicycle crunches in my abs and stretch class-I was sooooo hungry. 

 

Managed to get home and quickly eat left over roast vegetables from last night and the final remnants of my goat curry from the other night for breakfast. How very paleo I thought as I sat there chowing down on goat for breakfast  :P .

 

Lunch was a hastily put together frittata with the final roast vegetables along with some strips of smoked salmon. I served that with half an avocado and some salad.

 

Dinner was some organic chicken winglets marinated and roasted in lemon, garlic and rosemary (still haven't managed to find some coconut aminos here in Sydney but admittedly I haven't looked hard) and an abundance of delicious and yummy sauteed vegetables. Attaching a photo of said vegetables cooking because I thought they looked so delicious and they made me happy just looking at them.  :D

 

Snacks for today were some olives in the afternoon and, a persimmon I shared with my daughter. The key lesson of the day? Definitely, eating protein pre-WO. 

 

Key observations of the day? I bounced out of bed at 5.05am before my alarm at 5.15am to get ready and get to the gym by 5.50am. Lots of energy and still going for today. It is now 11.20pm in Sydney and I'm finishing this post up then getting my head into a pile of work until I crash. Mind you, I might take a break from gym tomorrow and have a rest day. Will see how I feel. :huh:

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Yay, you're getting the tiger blood full of energy. Congrats on reaching double digits. Your food is so interesting across the pond. Every meal of yours, I think I'd like to be invited to dinner! I eat leftovers for breakfast all the time. The meat really sets my day right.

You're so right about just making the decision forv Dry July. I'm the same way. Once the decision is made, just do it. It's the waffling around in the decision making that feels nutso.

You're doing great! Congrats on walking away from the dessert buffet at the party.

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Hi sandy, good to hear you are going so well! I love dates, they are a challenge. I am not on a whole 30 ATM so dates, potato chips, dark chocolate and wine are regulars in my diet... But guess what, that is it, every thing else I eat is still whole30 and my body thanks me for it everyday with good health, clear skin, energy and sound sleep! Weight loss didnt turn out to b a major thing for m but I'll happily take the other benefits anytime

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Back from a mini few days hiatus with my daughter down in the deepest darkest country....well, at least it had no internet and phone coverage so I guess that qualifies as deep and dark. After a stressy Thursday and Friday (which were essentially "work" days I chose to spend away from work and ended up having a few hassles with the said lack of internet and phone coverage) I ended up closing up the computer, turning off the phone, getting into some delicious food in front of a roaring fire and reading the entirety of ISWF. 

 

Cracker of a book, absolutely and completely loved it. I particularly liked the positive and encouraging tone and was left thinking "these are genuinely good people." It also really did assist me in further understanding my journey in the last few weeks (when I didn't have the book), made me realise where I could pick things up in my W30 and made me even more determined to follow through on some big changes already started in my life.

 

Having said that Thursday was a bit of a fail day as far as my W30 endeavours. Not fail as in lack of food compliance but rather work and real life intervened in a major way. I had an urgent report that needed to be in and it just had to be done on the Thursday before I left for my holiday. I had started it on the Wednesday night and then restarted it around 4.30am Thursday morning and worked on it non-stop until I left home at 3.00pm.....all without food and with a few bullet proof coffees for sustenance....yep, I know, pretty poor when I'm trying to get my body back into a routine with regular food....but then again, instead of beating myself up about it, I had a good think about on the drive down (while munching a banana and some almonds) and figured, well, work life does sometimes play a deeply interfering role in my life and that is okay, because I have allowed it to be like that out of choice and because I believe in what I do...which kind of held off the hunger pangs until I got to where I was going only to realise I didn't really have any food I could cook straight up for me and also had to feed my child (she had organic chicken sausages but I held off on them because although organic and gluten free there were a few other things I identified as suspect W30 wise). Ended up scarping down half a packet of smoked salmon and some roast veggies and salad. But did feel like it was a bit of a fail day as far as the program at least as far as not giving myself enough food and feeling like I might have thrown my body back a few days as a result.

 

The next few days were better as far as decent breakfasts, lunches and dinners, difficult to remember it all but there has been beautiful grass fed racks of lamb with roast veggies, salmon with home grown avocados, swiss chard, okra, loads of kale, eggs cooked in multiple different ways (collected from the chicken house by my daughter first thing in the morning), grass fed beef eye fillet with local field mushrooms-all of this buoyed on of course by frequenting local farmers markets and buying really amazingly coloured and delicious local produce (both in the meat, vegetable and fruit side of things.). The food side of things has gone really well, apart from the Thursday shocker but meh, you get that sometimes.

 

I guess one thing that did arise for me upon reading the book was the 'sciencey' stuff about hormones and stress. It really did help me understand my relationship with some of my "comfort" sources a bit more namely, champagne and potato crisps :huh: . My rationale has always been my busy life and family responsibilities, my stressful work, running my own practice, my study (currently doing a doctorate), any host of real, and justifiable reasons however.....like the book states (at least I'm sure it does, somewhere in there) if you take away the excuses and the eating/drinking outcomes arising from them you are actually required to confront "stuff" a lot more clearly and deal with it. I feel I'm kind of at that point now. For instance I have a week ahead that I know pre W30 would have filled me with absolute dread. Flying/travelling/working all day tomorrow, giving evidence in court (as part of my work) Tuesday/Wednesday, my daughter's birthday Thursday and travelling Friday/Saturday/Sunday to be home Sunday evening. A literal maelstrom of stressful events (apart from my daughter's birthday which will be love-er-ley and I can't wait!  :) ) but....I feel calm and good and strong about it all. This is not normal for me and I can only bring it back to dietary regulation, lack of alcohol and something 'shifting' for me around how I perceive myself in relation to what goes into my body and subsequently, how I perceive myself in relation to the world around me.

 

Big picture stuff I know, and I for one am shocked, whoever would have expected something like this to arise from a nutritional reset. It really does start with food!  :D

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