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Any UK people out there? First timer, 16/3 start


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Thought I'd post my own little "I've started the Whole30" since it seems like a good way to commit, writing it down!

I started my first W30 yesterday and I was just wondering if there were anyone else doing it in the UK? A lot of the recipes I have read are very US focused, naming ingredients I'm pretty sure I've never seen in a UK supermarket. So if there's anyone out there with some good tips or just wanting to share their experience I'd be all ears! 


So far my only issue with the W30 is the money - going from eating barely any meat (for financial reasons) to eating lots of it has been a bit of a blow to my wallet. I'm OK to do it for a month - I'm seeing it as an investment! 


Happy Whole30-ing people :) 



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Hi Maiken,


I'm in the UK and in the middle of my third Whole30. Shoot any questions my way! It's true that most of the menu suggestions are very American but for me it's opened up a whole new style of cooking and range of dishes that I'd never thought of before.


My top tip budget wise is go to your local farmer's market and talk to the people there: they'll tell you how the meat they're selling is raised as animals. They tend to round prices up or down to make it easier to count, and often will just chuck in a piece of something or other for free (e.g. I had a long discussion with my beef and lamb lady about liver and I was about to buy the cow's liver when she said oh have the lamb's liver as well and then decide which you prefer). The best advice to keep costs down is to go for the bigger, slow cooking cuts, e.g. pork shoulder, belly pork, whole chicken, brisket, etc. That way you can make enough food for several meals and it's usually cheaper per portion. Otherwise, Waitrose has the best choice of free range and higher welfare meat. The Clarence Court eggs are cheapest from Waitrose (and they were on offer when I bought them yesterday. They're stunning eggs, bright orange yolk and incredibly tasty. I don't even like eggs that much!!). Do a bit of investigation on your local butchers: you want to find out how their meat is raised. Most butchers will have bones for making stock; my local butcher will do a massive bag of marrow bones for £2.50 but up in Stafford our butcher gave us a massive bag of bones for free, so it depends on where you go! Marrow bones make the BEST broth in my opinion! Best butter to make into ghee is Kerrygold; it's cheaper than Yeo Valley. Unfortunately you can't get the unsalted version of Kerrygold in the UK but it doesn't seem to be too detrimental for my ghee; the salt usually sinks to the bottom. Cheapest place for coconut oil is this: http://www.coconoil.co.uk/63-virgin-coconut-oil-special-offer-4792133520611.html; don't bother shelling out for organic as all coconut trees should be organic -- the only reason they have an organic version is so it can be traced for certification purposes. Finally, if you're tempted to get coconut aminos, the cheapest way is to get it shipped over from iherb: http://www.iherb.com/ If you use my discount code ( PJQ508) you get some money off. I got 4 bottles for about £4. 


Hope that helps..as I said, shoot any other questions my way!

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Hi TDC, 

Thanks so much for your advice - very helpful! How is your W30 going? Has it gotten easier the more times you've done it? Have you felt big a big difference after doing them? 


So far I'm fine. I haven't had any major cravings as such - I can definitely feel a big difference in my hunger levels tho. I'm a lot more satisfied after my meals and stay that way for quite a while! I actually had to force down my chicken salad for lunch today, after a run this morning and eggs and bacon and avocado for breakfast. Wasn't hungry at all. I'm thinking it's the added meat - I barely ate any meat before this, only when out for dinner which is rare. 


Unfortunately we don't have a Waitrose where I live :( I live out in pretty rural Scotland at the moment (for another 2 months) and we only have a small Tesco and a Morrisons on the outskirts of town. But I will definitely have a look for Kerrygold and see what I can come up with. 

Also thanks for the links to the coconut oil. What are coconut aminos? 



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Hi MaikenAH,


Yes, each successive Whole30 has got easier and easier to the point that right now I barely even realise I'm doing it as it's all so second nature and natural. I only really notice it when I'm out in a pub and all I can drink is soda and fresh lime. I felt really bad the other day: after our final dodgeball game of the season we all went to the pub for a drink and after one drink my boyfriend (whose doing a WholeLent-ish, i.e. not at the weekends!) made signals that he fancied heading home, and I did too. And then one of our teammates said 'Oh you guys are so BORING when you're doing this diet'! Which made us both feel awful, so we stayed for another drink. So really that's when I notice it most: I'm just not so up for staying out late on soda and fresh lime...but I HATE being the person who has become boring because of their picky eating and drinking habits!


The other time I notice it most is when we have to go out for dinner. I get paranoid that there's nothing on the menu: chances are the steak or grilled chicken is cooked in butter! Or something bad has snuck in! Usually there's not a single thing on the menu that I can safely order without making a million modifications. So that does stress me out a little bit, but then I don't go out to eat too often on the Whole30, which is good for the pocket!


Interesting about your diminished hunger levels. I found on my first W30 that I was hungry a lot, and I think it's because I didn't really realise how much more fat and protein I need. Now I'm a little bit wiser, I never get hungry between meals. Sometimes I take my lunch a lot later than before, too, say around 1.30 or 2. Even if I'm hungry I don't get that 'I feel faint if I don't eat something NOW' thing -- I can easily hold off for an hour or two. But yes, I'm sure you're right that the increased protein (and probably, correspondingly, increased fat) is keeping you fuller for longer.


Morrisons is actually pretty decent on meat and veg quality so you're lucky there. The other thing I've found that is good to have for emergencies is parma ham -- usually the ingredients are simply 'Pork Leg, salt'. It's pretty much the only preserved meat that seems to be OK for the Whole30 -- all the others have a myriad of preservatives and sugar. Otherwise tinned fish is another cheap option: sardines and mackerel are the best for their omega content; salmon is more expensive. Tuna is fine too although I read somewhere that they siphon off all the oil from tinned tuna to put into fish oil supplements! So in that sense not great for the omega content, but so cheap and easy! Make sure you read the ingredients; tuna in oil is often sunflower oil although you can usually get tuna in olive oil. Check for sugar too! I make tuna/crab/salmon cakes using a tin of fish mixed in with 2 cooked sweet potatoes plus whatever herbs and spices tickle my fancy at the time. I usually try having some of those or some meatballs in the freezer at all times so that in a rush or when I'm short of time there's always some form of protein I can just grab. They defrost overnight in the freezer. 


Coconut aminos is the usual substitute used for soy sauce. If you don't cook a lot of Asian food then I wouldn't bother shelling out for it. But if you have the Well Fed and Nom Nom Paleo cookbooks or follow their websites (and I HIGHLY recommend these two paleo food writers!) then you'll come across 'coconut aminos' in their list of ingredients a lot. At first I substituted fish sauce (but be careful of this, I spent the first two using fish sauce that had added sugar! I could only find one bottle in the whole of Chinatown in London that was compliant!) but coconut aminos is much more versatile. In fact I prefer it to soya sauce! But as I said, only bother if you cook Asian food; I do, a lot, being half Malaysian.


Sorry for another long one, I hope it's helpful!



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TDC, I'm loving the long replies so no need to apologize! 

I find it very funny that your boyfriend is doing lent-ish. Is that not hard for you on weekends, seeing him eat non W30 foods?


Re the pub and eating out - this is probably one of my main issues with the diet. I'm not actually a big drinker at all, but I do like a glass of wine. No, I LOVE a glass of wine. That for me will be hard. But I don't tend to stay out very late as I work out early in the morning. And I am also writing my thesis so fun times are limited. 

 And eating out - right now it is good as I am low on money and so not eating out is for the best. But just today for instance I've been getting a bit stressed out. I have to go into Edinburgh for the afternoon/evening and I'm so used to just being able to go to a cafe and get a sandwich. So I've been trying to come up with food items that I can have in my bag with me for dinner. 


Thanks for the tips on the paleo food writers. I love the Well Fed website - yesterday I made mayo, cauliflower mash AND her chocolate chilli! Absolutely delicious. I always thought mayo was very hard to make but it was so easy. I felt very domestic-goddess-y.  

I've also bought coconut oil which I love. And I also bought parma ham :) Had it with my eggs this morning. Yum. 

I will definitely try your suggestion of fish cakes. 


I actually had a dream the other night where I ate pitta bread slathered in butter. In the dream I felt SO guilty and was really kicking myself. When I woke up I was so relieved it was just a dream. Set me up well for that day, that's for sure! 


You must be finishing your W30 right about now, no? 

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Thanks so much for these ideas!! I have been searching for coconut aminos for weeks and had given up, will check iherb (I'm in Ireland).  Fish sauce is tricky too, I'd never used it before, and bought a non compliant one to just see what it tastes like, and I'm never turning back!  But it has added sugar and I can't find a sugar free version anywhere... I think I might try to make my own, although I'm so intimidated by fish mongers!

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Kiervol: Interesting idea to make your own fish sauce, I've never even thought of it! I know I'm lucky, I can just about get anything here in London! Why are you intimidated by fishmongers? I think I know what you mean though, I'm a bit intimidated by butchers. For instance I would love to support my very local butcher but he is often a bit grumpy and you feel like you're getting a bit in the way by asking lots of questions. The butcher a couple of stops up the tube line is MUCH friendlier (although there was one woman who made me feel like I was taking up too much time...but most of them are really lovely and delighted to be asked lots of questions and suggestions on how to cook different cuts) but they don't NEED my custom -- they are in a pretty affluent area and they're always busy. The one down the road from me is pretty much the last 'traditional' butcher in Tooting..and I don't want him to go out of business! However, I suppose I need to shop where I feel most comfortable and welcome. My favourite place for meat is the stall at the farmer's market: the woman who runs it is always happy to talk about her animals (she is genuinely baffled as to why people would feed their animals grain), explains why certain cuts are and aren't available at certain times of the year, and what to do with the different cuts of meat. With regards fishmongers...I get intimidated because most of the times I'm lusting over fish I can't afford! Why is fish so expensive in this country which is surrounded by sea??! I absolutely love fish and the sole (no pun intended!) reason I don't cook it very often is because it always seems expensive. However, it's a mindset thing I think: I thought eating Whole30 was expensive to start with but once I got into the right mindset I don't find it that expensive after all!


MaikenAH: I don't know why I don't have a problem with my boyfriend eating non-compliant. I think I'm just really stubborn, and once I've made the decision that I'm doing this Whole30 thing there's nothing to stop me! Or maybe I'm just not that tempted by stuff. And to be fair to him, it's not like he's eating chocolates, biscuits and crisps at home: it's more about when he's out and about, for example having a beer or glass of wine when out with friends or not being uptight about ordering food out, and so on. He was away this last weekend anyway so it didn't matter! I wish I had been able to persuade him to do it properly though...he lost loads of weight in January on it, and he does have a bit to lost still. In a really cruel way part of me is hoping that he hasn't lost much, if any, weight this time round so I can say 'HAH see, you need to do it properly!' But obviously because I love him dearly I also hope he has had some benefit of it :-P


During the January Whole30 I went for a whole weekend CrossFit competition at the Copper Box in the Olympic Park, where I KNEW getting food was going to be difficult (even though most CrossFitters are Paleo!) so I made a really comprehensive lunch bag to stave off any hunger; this is what I packed: A big box full of egg muffins (I've since discovered that Nom Nom Paleo's recipe for prosciutto wrapped egg muffins are the best -- I made them this weekend for a brunch at a friend's and everyone loved them), carrot and celery sticks, hard boiled eggs, Naked bars (for absolute emergencies, we're not supposed to eat them too often...anyway I find them too sweet now! In fact I actually forgot to pack them on the day), some fruit, toasted coconut chips with cinnamon. I was determined not to get hungry! My new favourite emergency snack is fresh cubed coconut -- it's started to become available to buy in Sainsbury's and Tesco and it's an absolute life saver in emergency situations as it's pretty filling. It's usually in the pre-packaged cut up fruit section of the supermarket. Another idea, similar to the egg muffins, is to make a big frittata and take some slices. You can always buy a bag of salad leaves from a supermarket or a salad box from a sandwich shop; most places will put that together for you! Dressing is harder unless you take your own or buy a bottle of olive oil and vinegar. This is all probably too late since you're going this afternoon but essentially preparation is the most important thing! Eating out on Whole30 does become expensive versus just grabbing a sandwich!


Food dreams: I didn't get these this time round, so I guess that means the Whole30 is really working for me! But I do remember getting bizzare ones the first time round, eating stuff I don't eat normally! Weird. And weird how EVERYONE gets them.


OK this really wasn't meant to be a long one! Woops!

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Tesco fish sauce (Nam Pla) is compliant - not sure if you have Tesco in Ireland. 


I am in Exeter and am on my second successful Whole30. Tried a couple that failed. Going through from March 1 to Easter Sunday including 10 days of reintro. 


I have avoided coconut aminos as I was never a great soy sauce user anyway. Coconut oil is ok in stir fries to serve with Asian style meals but I can't tolerate the coconut flavour taint in things like scrambled eggs. Bought refined CO which I have since discovered has none of the health benefits. Total waste of money so I stick with EVOO or ghee - which I make using Kerrygold salted and it's fabulous. 


I have also just made my first batch of beef bone broth which is an amazing success. I love my slow cooker but this was the first time it has ever been on for 36 hours!!

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Kiervol and TDC: I'm also slightly intimidated by butchers/fish mongers, etc. Mainly because I feel I must sound so stupid because I know so little about fish/meat etc and also I live in Fife, Scotland, and the locals, while absolutely lovely, are very Scottish :) and sometimes I struggle to understand what they're saying if they're proper Fife people. 

But I will definitely seek them out at the farmers market. I've always 'avoided' them in the past because I haven't eaten much meat. 


TDC: You do CrossFit? I am moving to Edinburgh in May and am really wanting to try out Crossfit! How long have you done it for? 


I like your packed lunch suggestions - I will definitely see if I can find coconut chunks. I have never eaten this many coconut products in my life! 


SharynF: I actually really like the coconut flavour in eggs but that will potentially change the more I have of it! Even before W30 I used to make scrambled eggs with almond milk. I find that doesn't provide much flavour but works just as well. 

I need to try making some of this ghee sometime - I'm really intrigued. 


I'm impressed by the 36 hours of slow cooking! I've been wanting to get one for years - unfortunately I move around too much and can't have such big kitchen items. Someday soon I hope. 

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Yea, am starting to think that eating so much coconut can't be a good thing: not health wise but I mean for the planet. That's a major carbon footprint right there! 


I've been CrossFitting properly since June last year although I started in January then it fell by the wayside until I moved to a different gym in June. I love it. I can't explain it. I genuinely hated any form of exercise before this, and never stuck at anything. Hated the gym. I started CrossFit because a lot of Paleo people I follow do CrossFit and I did want to do some form of exercise. I never for a moment thought I'd make friends! It's just not something you do in the gym! But yea, you can't help but become friends with the people you're with. I go twice a week; I'm vaguely thinking about upping it to three times a week but I can't afford it at the moment. But even on twice a week I'm unbelieveably much stronger than I used to be, and toned up so much. It's a great environment and community to be a part of. You'll never look at people pounding along on a treadmill in the same way again!!

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Hi, fellow UK/Ireland W30ers! I'm going to start my first on the 2nd April and I'm really looking forward to it, been doing a LOT of reading up and planning. Thanks for info on coconut aminos and fish sauce. My contributions are: Ocado/Waitrose are pretty good for compliant things, the unearthed chorizo is compliant (and delicious) and I got both duck fat and ghee from there which were about £3 each and will last a fair while. Dolphin fitness is good for coconut oil, I got some Biona for around £4 I think, including delivery. Lidl's smoked salmon is compliant and in my opinion, the tastiest I've tried. The peppered smoked mackerel is compliant too and equally tasty. I have been eating paleo for a month now in preparation and often stop at Lidl on my way to work to pick up salad stuff.

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