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Laura's Whole30 - started 7/9/12


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I'm on day 5 of my Whole30, and so far it is going well.

My hopes and reasons for doing this:

1. Better sleep, better energy. I have been chronically tired for more years than I can remember. Even before my kids were born, I was always the one who said I needed 9 hours of sleep per night but never got it. I have a hard time falling asleep (sometimes up to 1 - 2 hrs just laying there), and I can hardly remember making through a day without feeling like I needed a nap unless I had some serious coffee all morning. I am tired of being tired. I have been afraid to try something like this because I really love bread and cheese and didn't want to give up either, but 5 days without them and I am not feeling deprived, or even really craving them! It's pretty amazing. I looked at the bread as I walked past it in the grocery store today and thought, "mmm... that looks good" but that was where it ended. No serious urges to go buy some. Hooray! So maybe even my most ingrained food preferences can be trained out of me, and if I can learn to sleep properly and wake up refreshed, it will be worth it!

2. Acne. I don't have nasty, huge, red pimples, but I have a constant coverage of very small clogged pores, and the occasional whitehead. I am 37 years old, and sick of having pimples! I am very hopeful that this will clear up my face. And maybe the little bumps on my arms.

3. Body composition/weight: I don't really care how much I weigh, but I would like to reduce the fat hanging around my middle if I can. I'm 5' 8" and about 140 lbs, so most people would say I'm not overweight, but I wouldn't mind if I dropped 5 - 10 lbs. I am planning on starting my exercise program back up (maybe next week), so hopefully that will help, too, with both how I feel and how I look.

Day 1 I felt pretty lousy, but I also didn't have my coffee that morning, so it might have been caffeine withdrawal. Day 2 I woke up feeling great! Day 3 was a mixed bag again, not great, and yesterday and today have been grumpy mornings (I stayed up too late, was woken up by the kiddos at least once) but pretty good days. I normally nap when my kids nap, but this week I have had so much to do and have been able to stay up and be productive (maybe because my energy levels are more stable already without the sugar rollercoaster?). Today I really want to sleep, though!

My challenges so far:

1. Eating too much fruit. I eat more than 2 servings a day, I think... and I do like to have a sweet fruit after dinner because of old dessert-seeking habits. I'd like to cut that back a bit, but still, one date after dinner is way better than ice cream after dinner, followed by a 9pm snack of pretzels and juice!

2. Feeding my children, and convenience foods while out.My 6 yr old twins said they wanted to do this with me, but I'm not forcing it on them, and already this week they've had pizza twice and mac and cheese once (while I was grocery shopping, do cut down on the whining from them and my 3 and 2 yr olds). The good news is that they all do seem to like the Whole30 meals I make, since meat and veggies have already been a staple in our house. But convenience foods are hard to resist when we are out! I'm hoping to retrain their desires so they can walk past the pizza stand at Wegmans and not ask for it. I know better planning on my part will make a huge difference. We had ChikFilA the other day (I had the chargrilled and fruit salad with no cheese, and I know the chicken wasn't perfect, but I figured the overall sugar and preservatives in there on day 3 weren't going to kill my Whole30, right?) because we were out too close to lunch time and I still had errands to finish.

3. Overreliance on caffeine. I plan on cutting caffeine back out of my diet again soon, but I wanted the comfort of my morning coffee while I started removing other comfort foods. I plan to switch to half-caff next week, and to decaf the week after that. Hopefully by then I'll be sleeping so much better, I won't need it!

I'm very glad to have found this site! I can't wait to report when my "miracle" happens!


homeschooling mom of 4

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Any idea what the difference is between the fermented cod liver oil and Carlson's standard liquid cod liver oil? Or cod liver oil capsules from Costco? I have taken those in the past and re-started using the capsules this week.

Another question: I have noticed most nights this week, a weird feeling in my throat that makes me want to go get a drink of something sweet. It's hard to descreibe - it's like I have a taste of leftover meat in my mouth, or maybe feeling a little burpy. I have been satisfying that with water and a few grapes, or unsweetened decaf home-brewed iced tea. I'm wondering if the feeling is a bit of reflux or something? It doesn't burn or hurt, it's just different that I'm used to. Has anybody ever reported something like that? Any ideas on how to settle it or avoid it altogether?


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Day 7 - this was by far the hardest day for me. I really wanted to give in and have a cracker or a chip or something from the snack table at church, but I managed to walk away. Last night I had some stomach discomfort and diaharrhea, and I'm not sure why. Too many raspberries yesterday, maybe? Or my wheat-free tabouleh was too acidic for my stomach? Anyway, that plus staying up too late last night with friends really did a number on me today! I took at 3 hour nap and still felt tired when I woke up. And after eating dinner, I still feel pretty tired and somewhat rumbly in my tumbly. :)

Is this intestinal trouble normal when starting out on the program?

Here's what I ate:

Day 6 -

breakfast: omlette with suasage, zucchini, tomato; coconut crepe with banana and raspberries

lunch: peach, small bit of hamburger (wasn't hungry! I went running after our late breakfast)

late lunch: wheat-free tabouleh (uses cauliflower instead of wheat)

dinner: grilled chicken and a green salad with homemade salsa as dressing

I also snagged a few bites of my kids guacamole from Chipotle. They said it has no added sugar, so I hope it's okay.

midnight snack: beef and pork ribs (only because they took so long to cook that we couldn't have them for dinner, so we sampled some around 11pm!)

Day 7 -

breakfast: 2 fried eggs, fruit salad from church, cucumbers, and carrots (it was a significant act of will not to have the egg casserole they offered since it had white potatoes in it, and to pass up the cheese slices)

lunch: pork ribs and one beef rib, cherry pie lara bar

dinner: salad from Chipotle, (is the meat not actually Whole30 approved?), orange slices and cucumber slices

and then tums to try to settle my stomach (added sugar, I know!, but I feel yucky!)

So it's not perfect. I'm hoping I'll still get results since all of this is a far cry better than I used to eat.

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Day 8:

I'm feeling so much better today, nausea-wise. Phew! But I tried to skip my coffee this morning and realized I'm woefully reliant on caffeine...

I ate:

- a huge omelette with spinach, turkey, tomatoes and kale

- harney and sons hot cinnamon sunset tea

- pork tenderloin and green beans

- tried clarified butter in my coffee (yes, I finally gave in and had some at lunch), and was surprised that I liked it!

- apples and almond butter

- chicken with olives and oranges (Primal Blueprint cookbook) and a green salad

- a handful of cashews

I was tired today because I just couldn't fall asleep last night. Very irritating... I was in bed early but just couldn't sleep! I hope I fall asleep more quickly tonight, and that this Whole30 makes better sleep a reality for me!

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Day 10:

I have had some cravings today - first time since I started. Kept reaching for the almond butter and fruit! I think maybe it's because I ate too much fruit at lunch, so the sugar demon was rearing it's ugly head the rest of the day. I thought about chocolate with longing for the first time since I started. Ahh....

What I ate:

B: sausage patty, roasted radishes

L: orange olive chicken and jicama fruit salad

lots of little snacks: cucumber, avocado, almonds, cashews, a date, macadamia nuts, banana and almond butter

D: spinach salad and tilapia

I'm a little concerned that I'm eating too many nuts... they're so handy and yummy! I really need to get some good protein sources pre-cooked and in the fridge for snacks.

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Wow, it's been two weeks already! i am still feeling a little tired sometimes in the afternoons, but I have to admit I have a bad habit of staying up too late. I was hoping eating well would magically cure that tiredness for me even if I do go to bed late. Who knows, maybe it still will make me sleep more efficiently so I can get away with only 6 or 7 hrs a night and feel energetic all day. That would be awesome!

I had Chipotle (lettuce, carnitas, tomato salsa and guacamole) last night and didn't get diarrhea. Hooray! So maybe my digestive distress last time had nothing to do with the Chipotle guac. I think when I overdo it on the fruit I get a little bloated.

I do feel like my relationship with food is improving. There were several very tempting moments last week (in particular, the kids' pizza party for swim team, when all I brought with me was some coleslaw and apples - poor planning!) but I was able to survive them without cheating! I was at the mall and passed some candy machines, and the though to grab a handful of candy occurred to me, and then I thought about why I would have done that in the past. I realized I didnt need the sugar high to feel good and I can get plenty of enjoyment from eating delicious healthy food, so I was able walk on by without mental strain. That's an improvement!

At church today, several friends said I look thinner and asked if I have lost weight. I could only say, "I don't know! Probably!" It was a good feeling. And I only had a momentary glance at the cookies on the snack table, and I was very happy to grab some grapes and veggies and walk away satisfied. Lots if mini-victories!

Today I ate:

eggs and roast beef, a few apple slices

fruit and veggies at church

leftover veggie coconut stew (Primal Blueprint)

nutty protien balls (Primal Blueprint)

grilled chicken with homemade jerk rub and green beans

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Day 16 - I had decaf coffee today and even with having some caffeinated iced tea at lunch, boy did I feel the lack of zip! Several times today I felt really tired. I tried not to go back to old habits where I try to snap out of it by eating something sweet, but we did have watermelon cut up and on hand today, so I did snack on that more than I probably should have. At one point after lunch I was feeling really low and thought maybe I needed to have eaten more protein at lunch, so I went back and had some more chicken and a handful of nuts. I can't say it helped in anything like the way caffeine helps. So I'll be experimenting with that.

I really, really hope that my caffeine withdrawal doesn't last more than a few days, and that I start feeling more alive because my body is getting healthier soon! I got some decaf tea today to make my iced tea decaf, as well, so tomorrow, aside from finishing the regular tea that still in the fridge, I'll be off caffeine. Lord, help me to be patient with my kids as I go through withdrawal! :(

Today I ate:

- fritta with chicken, kale, onion, tomato, red peppers

- leftover pesto coleslaw (finally finished it!), leftover coconut vegetable stew (finally finished it, too!), leftover walnut-crusted tilapia

- watermelon snacks midday (I had a meeting and I was serving it to my guests, so it was too easy to grab pieces)

- went back for some more chicken and cashews

- burgers, grilled carrols, coconut creamed spinach

- banana and apple with almond butter (the kids wanted dessert, so we had fruit and I ate too much almond butter since they don't really like it!)

- decaf earl grey tea and one date (this evening sweet treat is a psychological desire after a very busy, somewhat hard day... going to work on that!)

I'm taking the kids to a birthday party tomorrow so I need to bring my own food! I will resist the junk and even the unknown stuff that looks healthy but might not be. But I can't wait to tell my friend about the Whole30, because I think she would do so well on it!

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Day 17: I brought my leftovers from last night to the party and wasn't even tempted by the delicious and beautiful cupcakes my friend made! And I didn't even feel the need to eat the Larabar I brought as my cake substitute. Hooray!

Today I ate:

B: leftover Frittatta, apricot

L: grilled chicken, olives, sauerkraut, green beans and broccoli

snacks: cashews, macadamia nuts, a bit of banana, a slice or two of apple

D: burger, grilled carrots, coconut creamed spinach, cucumbers, more grilled chicken (it was a small burger!)

I have to confess that I sneeked a peek at the scale the other day after the comments at church, and was surprised to see 137.6 - a number I haven't seen on my scale in years! Pretty much I've been stuck at 139 or above, even when counting calories, exercising and working really hard to "diet", so that was pretty daggone exciting! Especially since I haven't felt hungry or like I'm dieting at all. Sweet deal.

On the caffeine front, though, still no love. It's gonna take more than 2 days to kick this bad habit. I was tired today and really wanted a nap around 2ish... eyes burning... mind unable to focus... I did lay down and close them for a bit but didn't get a proper nap, just a little rest, which was nice. My friend said today I am the perfect guinea pig to see if this kind of eating program can stabilize energy levels, since I am and have always been a napper! Wouldn't it be great if I could make productive use of that time during the day instead?!? Here's hoping for a change soon. I wish I had just cut the caffeine out at the beginning and suffered caffeine and carb withdrawal simultaneously, instead of pushing it out in a second stage, but I was too chicken. Bok bok.

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Day 18: I made a super fancy breakfast and enjoyed it, but it was a lot of work and I don't have that kind of time most mornings! I'll post a picture after I download it from my phone. Caffeine withdrawal is a major bummer. I still feel very tired without it, even though I'm trying really hard to keep my water intake high, and eating good fats and proteins for energy. I keep hoping just another day or two and I'll be past this! It doesn't help that our AC is broken, so it's warmer than usual in the house. That makes me feel sluggish and sleepy. And I can't seem to get to bed before midnight no matter what I do, which doesn't help any, either!

I ate:

B: sauteed spinach with garlic and tomato, mashed cauliflower, poached egg, Primal Blueprint berry pancake, aidells sausage

L: Chipotle salad with carnitas, tomatoes, guacamole

D: big salad with grilled chicken, some olives, half a sweet potato

snacks: a date, handful of macadamias, and I'm sure I ate some sort of fruit but I don't remember what or when! Hmm... I guess that's not a good sign - mindless eating is dangerous! (I am writing this a day later, but still...)

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Day 19 - I felt good, with stable energy, but I did have a cup of caffeinated tea in the morning, so I wasn't sure whether to attribute it to the tea or the improving health.

Day 20 - Good news! No caffeine today and I didn't have a major slump! I would say I felt mildly tired midday after putting the kids down for nap, and I definitely could have slept, but I worked at the computer instead and my eyes did not feel bleary! This is a big change for me! Usually if I have to stay up from nap, I require caffeine or else I feel super tired the whole afternoon. Today I felt, well... like a normal human being! (who maybe stayed up just a little too late last night.)

I ate more fruit than usual today because Saturday morning our family traditionally has pancakes as a special treat. Instead I made coconut crepes and filled them with fresh fruit. And then we had family movie night and the kids had organic hot dogs, popcorn and smoothies for dinner (the smoothie had spinach, cucumber and cabbage in it, but also strawberries, bananas, blueberries and fresh figs), so I had a little bit of the smoothie. But I didn't feel gross afterwards, so I guess it wasn't too much. I am absolutely ready for sleep now!

brunch: coconut crepes with apricot, fig, strawberry filling, aidells sausage, sauteed zucchini and squash

late lunch: chicken breast, salad, with salsa, macadamia nuts

dinner: veggie/fruit smoothie

snack: almonds, a few slices of apple with almond butter

Hmm... that doesn't seem like much food! But I'm not hungry, so I guess I'm doing okay. And the amazing thing is that I had plenty of energy to play ultimate frisbee in the hot, humid weather this afternoon, too!

Monday I'm taking the kids with me on this journey! I have to make a good meal plan tomorrow so we're eating food we're excited about and so that I'm prepared for their cries for cheese or tortillas. Interestingly, I made bread last week so they could have sandwiches, and guess what? Mostly they ate the sandwich stuffing and not the bread. I was really surprised! Maybe they're losing a taste for it as they've been getting less and less of it. Very interesting.

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Day 21 - Whew! I spent all day planning, prepping, cleaning the kitchen, and shopping for food! I'm going to have to get more efficient on this, or else I'll go crazy! But my goal today was to have a plan for the week and have stuff ready so that I can spend less time in the kitchen so we can enjoy other things in our day. And I have to get ready to start school with the kids, soon, and I won't have any time to teach them if I'm cooking all the time!

I am happy to report that my caffeine withdrawal seems to be done already! WHOO-HOO! And, even better than that, my desperate need for a midday nap has abated. I cannot say it's gone without a trace... there is still some residual tiredness in the afternoons, but I think if I can discipline myself to get to bed earlier, that will be resolved. I see a light at the end of the tunnel!

My face is still breaking out like usual - possibly a minor improvement overall, but we'll have to get through more than a month to really test that, since my monthly cycles affect my acne, too.

I'm trying to avoid getting back on the scale until the end of my 30 (since I already cheated once). And I forgot to take measurements before I started! But maybe I can dig up the measurements I took before I started working out with my friend last summer... I bet they're about the same as what I was before this since I haven't exercised since, um... about 3 months ago, with the occasional exception. We'll see.

I ate:

breakfast: Lara bar on the way to church, fruit and veggies at church, harney and sons hot cinnamon sunset tea

lunch: sauerkraut and sausage, wilted spinach, salsa

dinner: thai-inspired coconut curry stir fry with chicken

snacks: I don't remember snacking because I was so busy, but I usually do - probably it was some nuts or a piece of fruit!

Stayed up later than I should watching a little TV (Psych) to unwind from all the shopping and prepping and cleaning. Still in bed before midnight, but probably not asleep until after.

It occurs to me now that I typed that up that I did have some caffeine in the morning, since there is caffeine in that tea! Ooops. I really do want to test this eating plan with no caffeine at all, but I sure do love that tea. Mmm... cinnamon... yum!

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Day 22: Wow, it's so hard to remember what I ate when I don't log it on the same day. I guess my memory isn't getting any better. ;)

breakfast: scrambled eggs, sweet potato fritters, and aidells chicken sausage

lunch: chicken salad with grapes, apples, cucumbers, celery and well fed's homemade mayo in lettuce wraps

dinner: date night with my sweetie! Steak, salad with avocado, and steamed broccoli at Chili's

snacks: unsweetened coconut flakes, macadamia nuts and cashews (we went to see a movie so I brought a popcorn substitute)

Day 23 (starting): I didn't feel very hungry this morning - too little sleep and too much food late at night, I bet. But I'm eating breakfast anyway, and having decaf coffee despite my strong urge to drink something caffeinated!

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This was Day 30!

My 30 day results summary:

- have been able to skip naps for the first time in YEARS (like, 10?) and not feel tired in the afternoons (this is HUGE for me!)

- no more cravings

- have lost weight (I think about 4 lbs, but I'll report tomorrow - and I forgot to take measurements! oh well...)

- acne is still here but maybe not quite as bad as before? The jury is still out on this one

- my memory? I forget. No really, no improvements in that department.

- not sure if I'm falling asleep faster, but just the fact that I don't need naps is probably some indicator that I am sleeping better overall

I have had too much going on to track what I've been eating here, but it has been going well, and aside from the fact that I have been spending more time in the kitchen than I can really afford to do long-term, this will be a great lifestyle for me. I have to start back to homeschooling my kids in Sept, and I can't lose an hour cooking breakfast when I need to be teaching! So I'll have to get in the habit of making egg casseroles on Sundays and eating dinner leftovers for breakfast -- or counting on my 6 yr olds to scramble some eggs for the family!

I started the kids on a mostlly Whole30 diet a week ago yesterday, and they're doing well. They are eating MACHINES!! Take away some of the extra carbs they were used to, and they chow down on more veggies, fruits and nuts than I've ever seen before! The good news is that they haven't complained much... only a few comments about wanting bread when I was serving dinner rolls at a church meeting (because we hosted but they provide food for the group) - when it's right in front of them, I can understand wanting it. We're going to have to start bringing snacks for them to sunday school, but I can live with that. And maybe the children's ministry will start doing more fruits and veggies for snacks instead of goldfish crackers!

All that to say that my Whole30 is pretty much going to be a whole45! Since I started the kids late, I don't want to try reintroduction ahead of them. However, my daughter's birthday is this weekend, so I will be allowing a bit of sugar for the kids because she wants a marshmallow party (but still planning on avoiding the grains and dairy). I might enjoy a paleo treat at the party, myself. I'm glad the timing worked out that I can make this choice and not mess up my 30 days. We will have marshmallows for various games, and I'm sure they'll eat some! But I think I may do fruit cups on walnut crackers with whipped coconut milk instead of cupcakes for the party, so they'll still be getting healthy treats, too!

Overall, I am so glad that I found the Whole30 and decided to give it a try! My friends are waiting for me to go back to "normal" eating, but I'm not overanxious to reintroduce things. I have visions of seeing myself "wearing" a body better than it was when I got married! I wonder if I could ever get back to what I weighed before the Freshman Fifteen of college? Hmm....

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Derval, that's awesome! I love the cake and might just do my best to copy it! Beautiful, delicious, and healthy!

Okay, I got on the scale today and did the happy dance! I'm down to 135.6! I haven't weighed 135 in more than 10 years! That's about 5 lbs down in just one month and I don't feel like I'm "dieting". Love it.

I found my measurements from after I did Insanity last summer. It was a year ago, but aside from a few pounds I managed to lose earlier this year doing a basic calorie restriction diet, they probably didn't get any better on their own before I did the Whole30. So here's my post-Whole30 measurement changes:

waist: 1.5 inches off (measured at my navel)

hips: 1.5 inches off (measured at the widest part of my bottom)

arms: about .25 inches off (measured at the bicep)

thighs: 1.25 inches off

Wow! I am amazed. :)

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Holy moly. I off-roaded with both dairy and unknown contents of gyro meat from the food court today, and I feel terrible! And then I used soy sauce at dinner because I figured I blew it already and I haven't gotten my hands on coconut aminos yet. Foolish decision. I felt extremely tired before dinner, though.

I wish I could say it's just the dairy causing this reaction, but since I don't know what was in the gyro meat, either... and since I had a few little tastes of grain-based cupcakes yesterday for my daughter's birthday, I can't say with certainty why I feel this way. Drat! I was doing so well, and now I'm tired like I haven't been in more than a month! My eyes are burning, my limbs feel heavy, I feel depressed and have no motivation to do basic life things that need to be done (like mowing the lawn), and I just want to sleep! I would say it might be because I didn't get enough sleep last night, but last night wasn't really any different than most of my nights while on the Whole30.

So, tomorrow back to the clean Whole30. I'll have to tease this out one food at a time the way I'm supposed to. :( I hope it'll just take a few clean days to feel good again, and then I can test it right.

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Well, I followed the rules yesterday but then had a few bites of ice cream last night when I took the kids to the fair. I was immediately phlegmy, but otherwise okay. Today I felt better than yesterday, but still really, really wanted a nap. I have been eating the right foods today, but I found myself doing late night snacking (unnecessary) probably trying to compensate for feeling tired. I hope tomorrow is better... it's a bummer that just a little off-roading can make days of difference. :(

Also, my son had mostly stopped sucking his thumb and totally stopped chewing his shirt until we went off plan last weekend, and now he's back at both bad habits. So no more dairy for him, either! I'm going to focus on the positive that we can see obvious reactions that let us know how to properly feed our bodies!

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