dana

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hey there,

i did a complete, no-cheat whole30 in january--probably the best food-related decision i've ever made--and have been eating nearly whole30-compliant ever since--the glaring exception being wine with dinner. plus i eat out every 2 weeks or so, and stay basically compliant but who knows what's in the sauce and i don't want to be an insufferable bore:). oh, and every other week or so i've been splurging on an expensive organic fantastic dark chocolate bar (just so i don't get completely out of practice:).

i had been moving toward "primal" eating prior to whole30, but still slipped into super-unhealthy habits on weekends and just "couldn't" give up my daily muffin, even though eating it made me feel sleepy and bloated. it was more a matter of (imagined) comfort and familiarity than anything--didn't even taste that great, if i paused to think about it.

for me, at least, it really took doing a full-on 30 days with no exceptions or cheats to make a sustained, monumental shift--not just in what i eat, but in how i think about food and eating.

to be honest, i didn't find eating whole30 compliant food particularly difficult, probably because i'd been moving in that direction for years--even while a vegetarian for a decade, up until my mid-20s (i'm 37 now). but it was very hard to adapt to socializing while fully compliant, which is the main reason i'm not 100% compliant now, months later. Still, i was pleasantly surprised to find that, after doing a little post-whole30 experimentation, i had actually come to prefer eating whole30--nearly all the time! didn't even go back to the muffins, to my utter shock. my "comfort" foods had shifted--in a way that was WAY more closely aligned to what is healthy and what i find tastes good.

so....months later, i'm still on a whole30 of sorts, though i've come to accept things don't always work out that way in social situations. and, over the past few weeks, since i've been staying with family, i've come to have wine with dinner each night. that last bit is the major reason i feel the need for a "clean" spell now--no cheats, not even red wine. don't get me wrong--most folks would see my wine intake as fine or even healthy. but i know that for me, it affects my sleep and makes me less "clear" in some way. feels about time for a break, so i'm taking 15 days to "think" about it.

so...whole15 (whole30 compliant with no cheats or off-roading) starting tomorrow, april15 (i like numbers to align nicely:). i'd welcome companions on this short trip--having such companionship was super-helpful during my first whole30. at that time, it was through the Mark's Daily Apple Forum. i'm so, so, so happy to now have an entire forum devoted to whole9/30. it has inspired me to get started on this new project (and will be an awesome place to have every 6 months or so, when i do the full 30 days again).

cheers and smiles, dana

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day Zero. ate a bunch of stuff today i haven't eaten (or even wanted) in quite a while. weird, but some part of me still feels the need to "get the bad stuff in" before going "cold turkey". no, i mean it's really weird. because i haven't been held by any rules for months, yet have actively and effortlessly chosen to stay whole30. but when i commit to something, there's NO wavering (as proof other than whole30: i recently committed to and completed--plus went beyond--a 30-day cold-water shower challenge).

but knowing that once i commit, i commit, also prompts the urge to get in last "kicks" beforehand. so tonite i did.

though, even with that, there are certain things that made me nauseous to contemplate--and that i definitely didn't ingest--even on a "night before". in particular, i've come to find these things so unappetizing i can't stomach them at all (not even for a night): soda, zero-cal artificial sweeteners, cows milk.

also avoided bread, though i ate a few wheat thins, along with 2 mini cupcakes and a little sample of good cheese.

in total honesty though, the best part of tonite's pre-whole15 meal was totally whole30 compliant: 2 grass-fed, very rare hamburgers with avocado. the other stuff--which is not stuff i've eaten for months, was sort of like a self-imposed, expected bachelorette party before the full-on commitment. definitely not necessary or even enjoyable. mostly i just savoured the hamburgers--and was VERY glad i'm not giving those up!

oh, and i should add, i'm very, very aware that i'm going to feel like complete sh*t tomorrow, on account of tonite. it's a super-good reminder of why this sort of thing just isn't worth the consequences to me anymore.

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a super-good reminder of why this sort of thing just isn't worth the consequences to me anymore.

This is definitely what keep me on track. Even if I don't have actual proof I believe that "if I eat x I will feel sick". In fact it is thinking like this that has kept me off cigarettes since I quit in 2001.

Good luck on Day 1, hope you don't feel too bad, and feel great again by day 2 :)

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ahh...as expected, not feeling so stellar this morning. but i find solace in the fact that:

1) could've been worse (could've been pizza & cheesecake, for instance--both of which make me feel very, very sick)

2) it'll pass by tomorrow, after a day on my regular diet

3) i can stay home today, avoiding everyone but my crazed siamese cat Ling in this bloated, nauseous state

4) Ling still loves me:)

and, i'm quite sure this will take away any "urge to splurge" for weeks to come.

hurray for Day1 !

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nothing too crazy today, food-wise.

first meal was eggs (somewhere between fried & scrambled--wasn't pretty), a ginormous avocado, half a grapefruit, coffee with coconut milk.

second was 2 nearly-raw grassfed burgers topped with sliced red onions & hot red peppers, another ginormous avocado, a simple salad with EVOO, a handful of some mushy Whole Foods organic frozen veggie medley (i never eat frozen veggies and now remember why--sprinkled some cayenne peper on top which helped slightly though i burned half my tongue off), sparkling water with squeezed lemon.

i really like avocados but feel funky when i overdo them (especially if they're super-ripe). i learned not to avocado-OD in my first whole30, but today they were staring me down, all dark and soft and needing to be eaten ASAP before mould set in....probably should've just made one into a face mask. thankfully there are no more in the house for now.

skipped classes today (usually go to CF or bikram--occasionally both). went for a short run/walk (something i rarely do anymore) then had a home WOD involving a rather unorganized, short sequence of lunges, sit-ups, and lifting (got my first very own 45# olympic bar last month for my 37th bday--isn't that what every girl wants when turning 37?). it all felt very half-*ssed, actually. but to make up for that, i did three attempts at a handstand pushup against the wall, then closed up shop with 50 turkish getups with a barbell. the TGUs were what i needed.

will be so much more enjoyable to be in the world and my body tomorrow, after a day of whole30 eating. those around me will be happier too, since i won't be such a grumpy pants.

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Day 2 and feeling better already.

also slept way more soundly than usual last night, which i expected based on my first whole30. i'm fairly certain cutting out the wine with dinner has the biggest impact in that department. regardless of wine's potential health benefits, it interferes with sleep just like all alcohol--whether in obvious ways or on subtler levels. and, of course, it's also a depressant. so nice to have a break.

my food today is simple and good but not terribly inspiring. first meal a big salad with EVOO and canned Whole Foods tuna in water, plus coffee & coconut milk (more of the latter than usual, because my can of fabulous Native Forrest organic non-sugar milk was nearly empty and i felt like slurping the remaining bit). second meal is in the works, but basically will consist of another salad & a double portion of grilled chicken (currently marinating in EVOO, turmeric, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper). might make a fried egg to go alongside if the meat doesn't do the trick (heavy lifting at CF today, and back squats make me hungry).

what i'm really craving is more hamburgers. i swear i could eat bloody-rare hamburgers or raw fish nearly every single night and be totally happy. if foods could be besties, those would be mine.

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Day 3's meals just came to an end.

Meal 1: couple handfuls of greens eaten out of the bag while preparing a rare hamburger & a messy fried egg, eaten with sliced red onions, olives, walnuts, & a very runny rendition of WellFed mayo, plus coffee w/ coconut oil

Meal 2: few olives & pistachios as an appy; salad w/ more WellFed mayo; grilled salmon with sliced avocado alongside, paired with sparkling water w/ lemon, plus TBS of coconut milk for dessert

One thing that's much more challenging for me this time, compared to my first whole30, is that i'm temporarily sharing a living space and dinner table with family (in my first whole30, it was just me and my cat Ling, who's mostly whole30 compliant). I'd already been sticking to whole30 eating while staying with family--and i don't find that difficult. But i had been joining in the wine-drinking at dinner and now of course am not (which is the major difference between this whole15 and my regular diet). I find not drinking wine while eating with someone who is much less enjoyable and more uncomfortable than simply keeping it out of the house (which is what i did when living alone, making the whole thing easy). I do suspect, however, that it will get easier each day, because i know from experience that the more days or weeks without alcohol, the better i sleep, the better i feel, the better i look--and the less tempting it is to give up all that good stuff just for a glass of wine. Still, definitely more to work with this time, now that it's more than just me & Ling.

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Day 4: so done.

Meal 1: free-range organic turkey parts drizzled in EVOO & coated with turmeric & cumin--baked with mushrooms, wrapped in bibb lettuce to eat with sliced mini tomatoes and yellow peppers (bought a couple 1lb packages of these turkey parts from WholeFoods for $2.50 each when i got sick of eating canned fish for lunch everyday but needed cheaper lunch options than daily grassfed beef or fresh fish--one package covers me for 2 days, though the 2nd day's helping is sadly smaller than the first so i have to supplement with something extra); plus espresso coffee with coconut milk, of course

Meal 2: few olives & 3 strawberries as an appy; salad w/ WellFed mayo; 2 raw--i mean rare--burgers topped with red onions; roasted carrot "fries" (my riff on WedFed cumin carrots--tonite used coconut oil + cumin, nutmeg, cinnamon, cayenne); paired with sparkling water w/ lemon (oh, and dessert was a tsp of coconut milk and all the fat trimmings from my dad's steak. Totally. Unnecessary.)

Today's fat/oil intake felt on the high side, even for me. (in addition to the above, i had a very fatty morning coffee & a very fatty afternoon matte, plus a tsp of cod fish liver oil.) i think it was eating the steak fat that put it over the top.

Doubled up on classes today: bikram in the morning & CF in the evening. started the day with lots of sweating. ended it lifting lots of stones.

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How about smoked mackeral fillets for your lunch? I know they are cheap over here €1,99ish for a pack of 2-3, enough for 2 lunches in a salad with leaves, veg & avo. They are also lovely with scrambled egg for breakfast,

Your carrots sounds great!

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thanks for the suggestion! i have done that from time to time...but went thru a phase very recently where i was eating canned fish and/or eggs for lunch nearly every day. the idea of eating so much canned food (even "good quality", bpa free, etc.) doesn't sit well with me. and i also just wanted a change that involved another cheap but whole-food option.

the carrots were ok...i keep aiming for crispy carrot fries but they're always on the soft side.

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oh--ok! that looks lovely and i really like smoked fish--way more than canned (though it's pretty expensive here and i wasn't sure whether it was whole30-approved--i'm guessing it depends on the specific brand, etc.). i love smoked salmon also, but can easily eat an entire $8 package from whole foods in one go, and definitely don't want to spend that much on lunch every day.

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Day 5: It has been finished. (Envision my 4'5" adorable chinese herbs teacher saying those words in a totally other context.)

Today was a bit unusual because i met 2 friends for lunch. We went for sushi so i easily kept it clean. Just raw fish & green tea. No rice, no soy sauce, no miso soup. Unfortunately though, it wasn't nearly enough food for me. But don't worry--i came home and promptly made short work of yesterday's baked turkey.

Meal 2 consisted of an appy of olives & pistachios followed by a 6-egg omelette with red onions & shrooms, cooked in EVOO (i only ate half it); salad drizzled w/ more EVOO; half an avocado; half a package of smoked salmon--which BTW was the one kind in my nearby safeway that didn't contain sugar and/or other horrid crap; sparkling water with lemon.

I was a bit sad because i couldn't eat the super-fancy extra-special non-nitrate all-natural organic bacon i bought at WholeFoods 2 weeks ago. but, you guessed it, more sugar.

bikram yoga today was hotter than usual. i think i was sweating blood & lymph.

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Dana - I have a bacon addiction. It isn't new, in fact...when I became a vegetarian in college my mothers exact words were "you really aren't going to eat bacon?" And the first time I attempted a whole30 it was a lack of bacon or even the ability to cook with bacon fat that really did me in. I can make it without so many other things, but my weekend breakfast was just pathetic without some salty pork! And brussel sprouts just weren't as tasty roasted in avocado oil.

If you haven't tried the whole30 approved US Wellness meats bacon, you really should! Very good product :)

gosh, I miss Bikram yoga, sweat a little for those of us that don't have a studio nearby, k? Thanks...

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Dana - I have a bacon addiction. It isn't new, in fact...when I became a vegetarian in college my mothers exact words were "you really aren't going to eat bacon?" And the first time I attempted a whole30 it was a lack of bacon or even the ability to cook with bacon fat that really did me in. I can make it without so many other things, but my weekend breakfast was just pathetic without some salty pork! And brussel sprouts just weren't as tasty roasted in avocado oil.

If you haven't tried the whole30 approved US Wellness meats bacon, you really should! Very good product :)

gosh, I miss Bikram yoga, sweat a little for those of us that don't have a studio nearby, k? Thanks...

i hear ya, bacon is great. thankfully, my addictions are elsewhere--raw fish & nearly raw hamburgers. oh, and coffee--which i really do hope to give up again one day, transitioning back to tea. but somehow keep getting off track with that.

i've been wanting to place a u.s. wellness order, mostly for lots of weird parts that i hope to someday turn into 1) super-rich organ sautees and 2) soups with chicken feet & ox tails & such things bobbing about on the surface. but i'm a very humble, simple (eh, bad) cook and fear the project will manifest an expensive nightmarish scene that leaves me banned from the kitchen forever. maybe i'll just order their whole30 bacon.

bikram is another addiction of mine. i've kept to a daily yoga practice for 15 years or so now, but my "yogic background" is more iyengar and anusara based. there wasn't a bikram studio where i lived til very recently, so it used to be a special treat on holidays or visits. i used to be so against it for all manner of self-righteous reasons. but now i hate missing a day. also find it complements crossfit very nicely, even though they sort of work against each other (or balance each other out) so far as strength & flexibility. ultimately, if i had to choose, i'm a yogi at heart and my home solo practices have been my deepest. Still, i'm loving getting my daily sweat on in a great community with gifted teachers. i'll sweat a little extra for you today!

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Day 6: Let's get this party started.

When i did my first whole30, weekends were always the hardest bit--probably because, before whole30, that's really the only time i let my largely "clean" primal diet go to hell in a handbasket. There was pizza, there was partying, there were double-desserts. The result: i spent sunday thru tuesday feeling sluggish, bloated, and less "clear" or "sensitive" in perception and awareness.

Then, on the jan whole30, i started off projecting my old weekend patterns onto my new food plan--this basically took the form of overeating friday and saturday. Sure the food was whole30-approved, but too much is too much, and i found myself with a "food hangover" the first 2 sundays. Thankfully, I broke this habit for the most part and have continued to stave off relapse since...usually. But one reason i felt the need for this whole15 is i sensed the weekend bender creeping back in. Sure, it was no longer with pizza or double-desserts, but trust me--there are plenty of primal-friendly foods & beverages that can make for a weekend off-roading disaster.

So. This weekend won't be like that. Plus, since i'm staying with family, i won't have to face the other thing that made weekends challenging--socializing without drinking with people who are smashed.

To get things started right, i ate these 2 meals today:

Meal 1: sugar-free smoked salmon accompanied by sliced orange bell peppers, sliced mini yellow & red tomatos, olives, walnuts & WellFed mayo--using big leaves of bibb lettuce to wrap-n-eat; stovetop espresso with coconut milk

Also had a rare snack this afternoon: blueberries & a mate with coconut milk & MCT oil

Meal 2: raw oysters as an appy followed by grilled jumbo scallops (marinated in EVOO, paprika, salt, & black pepper) sprinkled with lemon; salad tossed with EVOO & olive juice; 1 1/2 avocados; sparkling water with lemon

I'm not going to lie. That was too much avocado. It's not a matter of too much food--trust me, i can put away half my weight in burgers. But when i overdo the green beast it brings on the bloat. I know this. And i did it anyway. So maybe i haven't started off the weekend completely right. BUT i least i didn't go for coconut milk on top.

Bikram & Crossfit today. I've doubled up like that 3 times this week--my way of rewarding myself for doing a whole15. Lots of sweat in the morning. Lots of lifting in the evening. Lock your knees, focus one spot in the mirror, hold absolutely still don't even blink your eyes. Deadlifts, hang power cleans, push jerks, repeat.

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Day 7: Epic Fail. (& grad 4.0 GPA from 5-yr Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine programme)

This isn't something that happens everyday. And at some point in the late morning I made a deliberate decision to fail at the whole15, on account of it. (Basically, failing meant drinking red wine & eating chocolate.)

On the one hand, the experience feels like shit. Because i'm not used to doing these things and cheating--like ever.

On the the two hand, it made me think, This is something that would work for me long-term if i can swing it: eating whole30 (which i've done almost fully since january), but plus wine and chocolate on saturdays. Still not sure whether i can trust myself with that, but might give it a go. Again, not totally convinced and i'd be open to convincing otherwise.

On the three hand, the rest of my whole15 (if you're still willing to accept it as that) starts tomorrow, at day 8 (or 1, as you will).

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Day 8: Rainy Work-from-Bed Day

Rainy, raw day here. I spent much of it working in bed--bundled up in blankets with my books, my laptop and a sleeping ball of siamese that is my cat Ling.

Wasn't particularly hungry as a result (and as a result of last night's indulgences). Had a simple lunch of canned sardines with bibb lettuce, mini tomatoes, walnuts, and blueberries (generally don't like to combine fruit & fish, but that's the way it went today), along with espresso with coconut milk and MCT oil.

Dinner was more appealing: 2 rare grassfed burgers; salad with EVOO; a small avocado; butternut squash mashed with coconut oil, nutmeg, cinnamon, ground cloves, fresh ginger, fresh parsley, & a dash of cayenne; paired with sparkling water with lime (plus blueberries with coconut milk for dessert).

Looking forward to my regular, more mobile day tomorrow. Bikram & CF are on the agenda.

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Oh, Dana, I was reading through this SO EXCITED.....now I feel your pain. It sounds like you were doing great...

Its funny, I see a lot of myself in that I can eat BIG portions, and, in fact, love paleo for this "option"....but know that there is an enough is enough sign. Your food log has given me some ideas for new meals.

If you ever get some funky animal parts from US Wellness, please post. I'm not a terrible cook, but I, too, see "expensive diaster" looming in my future whenever I think of organs, marrows or tails.

Git yerself back up, dust off. I myself would have used the opportunity to go hog wild after I fell, and let that utterly stop me from feeling good about myself. I'm encouraged that that doesn't seem to have happened to you.

Good luck!

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yes, speaking of BIG portions, my dad just marvelled yet again at what i had on my plate (huge hunk of turkey breast, amongst other things, which i finished off no problem).

I'm not sure how to think about this portion thing for me. It only seems really problematic when i feel "overstuffed" afterwards (which usually doesn't happen so long as those big portions are mostly meat and not nuts or avocado). I do only eat two meals a day, with no snacking. Those meals are big and well-rounded. and i'm going to bikram daily right now...plus CF on top of that 3x/ week and doing mini home WOD's with my barbell a couple other days a week.

On the other hand, part of me wouldn't mind losing a couple pounds--and i'm quite certain that cutting my portions to "average-sized" would make that happen in a snap. But i have barely any fat on my body as is, so would be losing muscle. i'm 5', at around 99-100lbs. for years of my life i weighed less--like 90-95lbs--but also had way less muscle. Having more "muscle weight" and a different "build", particularly in my upper body, is relatively new to me (after a year or so of weightlifting/CF). Still kind of getting used to it...and not really sure what the scale "means" anymore (something compounded by the fact that i went a couple years without weighing myself until recently, while staying with family; oh, and i highly recommend the whole "ditch the scale" thing).

it's probably not an issue, since i keep working out and then eating BIG portions. but i do sometimes feel as though i'm not sure what's "normal". right now, i think i'll keep on eating big w30 meals til full--while avoiding the over-stuffed sort of full. Sound like a plan?

Today's 2 meals looked very similar by the way: unseemly hunks of roasted turkey breast, olives, avocado, salad with EVOO, blueberries; paired with coffee with coconut milk and/or sparkling water with lime.

Bikram before the first meal; CF before the second.

Body and belly are comfortable & content.

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Today was a day involving hours upon hours of work on my laptop (thankfully) punctuated by 2 play breaks and 2 yummy meals.

As always, started my day with a stovetop espresso plus coconut milk & MCT oil. While the espresso contraption was doing its thing, i slurped the juice of half a grapefruit squeezed into a glass (i usually open mornings this way when there's grapefruit to be found).

Then hit my laptop running to furiously finish two assignments by deadline.

Mission accomplished, at 11am i took a recess. This basically involved picking up my 45# bar, putting it down, and picking it up again--repeated with slight variations. It also involved some pushups, squats, and lunges. Oh, and some Black Eyed Peas & Dierks Bentley (not at the same time). All in all a very laid-back affair, as my home WODs typically are. I consider them "extra" rather than "real" workouts and go super-casual in my mind.

Playtime over, i threw together Meal 1: turkey breast drizzled in EVOO with olives, sliced peppers, & cherry tomatoes, using bibb lettuce as a wrap-around utensil; paired with a second coconut-milk espresso and sparkling water with lime; oh, and blueberries for dessert

Nicely full, i set my lunchtime reading material (latest GQ) aside and opened my laptop for another round of finger-cramping work stuff. Did take a couple breaks thru-out the afternoon to check in with Ling, spend 10 minutes on my back in the sunshine, and whip up a coconut-milk & MCT oil mate.

Still, playtime 2 couldn't have come soon enough. Hopped a bus for the bikram studio, where i breathed and sweated and stretched a lot.

Then home for a little more work followed by Meal 2: grilled artic char with squeezed lemon matched with a salad tossed with EVOO and oven-roasted coconut-oiled carrots coated in cinnamon, nutmeg, a dash of cayenne, & roughly torn parsley; paired with sparkling water with lime; plus the last bit of turkey breast for dessert.

Now it's back to work (sigh). But thankfully whole9 is here to help me procrastinate...

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