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Starting January 27th - with plenty of travel and challenges


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Hi everyone!


My name is Anna and I completed my first Whole30 February 2013. At that time I had been following a low carb diet for a year, lost quite a lot of weight and started exercising regularly. Whole30 didn't change things dramatically for me (I didn't lose any weight despite still being obese) but I think it's a great program and very much in line with how I want my relationship with food to be. I followed a mostly paleo diet until the summer and then when I started a stressful job everything went down the drain with lots of unhealthy food, alcohol and little time for exercise. 


In September I moved to Norway, started my first full-time, post-university job and found it really hard to adapt to my new lifestyle which involves a lot of travel for work, working nights and constantly being surrounded by alcohol (I work for a spirits company!). I gained 6 kilos during the fall, started eating bread after 1.5 years without (in Norway bread is the main lunch food) and ate out a lot.


Now I need to find a way to combine my job with a healthy lifestyle. I know it's not really adapted to the Whole30 program - I travel Monday-Thursday/Friday almost every week and I work with alcohol (but drinking is by no means a requirement) but I figure this is a great chance to prove to myself that I can combine the job I love with the healthy lifestyle I want to lead. 


So far I am preparing by giving away non-compliant items in my kitchen and pre-cooking and freezing plenty of meals for the nights I get home late and know I will be starving. I think my freezer already has 15 compliant meals in it! I am planning on making my own jerky (don't think there is any compliant protein sources other than canned tuna in Norwegian grocery stores) and calling ahead to hotels to ask if they can help me out with dinner. 


Any other tips a week before I get started? I am going to Berlin next weekend and starting the day after I get back - if anyone knows of places in Berlin where I can find compliant groceries to bring back let me know! And if anyone else is starting on the 27th, let's support each other. I have a feeling I am going to need it :)


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Hi Anna! I moved to the USA from Denmark in August. I technically started my whole30 on the 16th, but I've been traveling a lot since then and haven't been able to control my food as much as I'd like. My meals have been technically compliant but I've been struggling. I'd be totally willing to do 30 days with you starting on the 27th!

Enjoy Berlin!

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Hi Cavegirl56! So sorry to just be seeing this now - still up for it? Even if we don't end up having the exact same start date I would be happy to share the ride and challenges! I just got back from Berlin and am so excited to start tomorrow. My freezer is full of meals I prepared last week and I am planning to bring some of the lunch boxes to work tomorrow so that I have meals in the office freezer for the days I'm there. I'd love to get some tips and pit falls from you (great job staying technically compliant!!)

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Good Luck.


I think that as an expat (I left the US in 2003) you have a definite advantage in that comfort foods that you might usually crave aren't as easily accessible to you.  And lots of the paleo-treats and snack foods are US only things.


Unfortunately, things like compliant fish sauce, coconut aminos, spaghetti squash, arrowroot powder, tapioca flour and sunflower seed butter are harder/more expensive to source.  Applesauce is non existent here and even leafy greens are a bit difficult for me at certain times of the year.  But, again with a positive, I think European meat is of better quality. 


Stick with meat and veg until you know what other things you can source. If your labels aren't in English you might struggle to know if things are compliant.  


Here's a helpful e-number list: 


E-150b (sulphite)

E-150d (sulphite)
E-221 to E-228 (sulphites)
E-407 (carrageenan)
E-621 (MSG or Ve Tsin)

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Thanks Annabel! Though I've lived in the US a lot I actually speak Norwegian so reading labels isn't tough. Today, day 2, was my first day traveling and I will be away from home until Sunday. I started the day with a morning Bodypump class and a breakfast from the day 1 email (ground turkey, apple, cinnamon and nutmeg + I added a carrot and some onion). It was delicious and despite a 2 hour delay at the airport I was not tempted by anything.


When I arrived at my destination two hours behind schedule I was starving. I had packed nuts and dried fruits for emergencies but didn't want to use them unless absolutely necessary. One of the amazing things about Norway is the great availability of good fish and seafood and on my walk from the hotel to the conference location I passed a fish market selling home-smoked salmon without any added sugar or bad stuff! It was absolutely amazing. Whilst working (I work until 9 pm when I travel!) I had some fresh raspberries. When I went back to my hotel I explained that I was excluding various things from my diet to identify food allergies and the chef made me some awesome cod fried in olive oil with root vegetables.


I am feeling so much more optimistic about doing this whilst traveling than I was before today. I am super lucky because I pretty much control my own food when traveling (on the downside I often have dinner alone at my hotel) and I can afford to eat nice seafood when I am traveling for work. Also the hotel breakfast buffets all have boiled (usually free range) eggs and some assortment of fresh vegetables so I think I'll be fine.


Today the toughest thing was probably remembering that I cannot taste anything when I hold tastings (mainly whisky tastings). But I haven't slipped so far and I think these first days will be toughest! 

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