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Bucket - the first 1st Whole 30


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Day 1

I am excited about starting my Whole30. I have not finished reading the book yet so I know I don't have all of it down. Still even with just the basic guidelines, I am getting started. As I progress, more will fall into place. For now, it is about whole foods.

There are a myriad of reasons I have decided to take on this food challenge/adventure. Some of them are the usual – the stereotypical – wanting to lose weight, have better muscle definition, look sexier naked, be healthier, kill my cravings for unhealthy desserts, etc. Others are a bit more personal. One has to do with tapering off of all medications (and no I don't want to get into this). And another one of the major ones has to do with the ways in which my stomach had reacted to the dietary changes since moving to Singapore. I don't eat out all that much in Singapore. Partner and I go out to eat about twice a week together. He eats lunch out most days whereas I eat lunch at home. Still, even keeping to a lot of the same food groups that I ate back in the states – fruits, veggies, lentils, etc. – everything is different here and my body responds differently. Sometimes it does fine. Other times it does horrible, terrible things that remind me of when we were in Cambodia. Okay, not that bad but close.

I am committed to this Whole30 challenge. I know that it is going to get rough along the way, but that is how these things go. This is the first time I have taken on a food and fitness challenge since being married, so that is going to be very, very interesting. I know that P is most supportive, but sometimes he is not sure how to do it best. I will somehow learn to live with all the goodies around without indulging I hope.

I should have worked out this morning as working out in the afternoon after a day of cooking sucked. The chest and back workout was rough. I am following the Fit2Fat2Fit workouts.

Eating was good. I felt like I was thirsty at points but did not really want to drink. Because I excercised in the evening I was not all that hungry for dinner. Dinner was an apple and almonds. Probably not the ideal, but hey, it was me following the rules.

M1 - 16oz H2O

5oz left over burger, sauteed onions, field greens

M2 - 12 almonds, 1 passion fruit, 1 kiwi

M3 - Salad - lettuce, sliced apple, chicken breast

M4 - Sweet potato hash - purple sweet potato, onion, yellow pepper, ground beef

M5 - Almonds, small apple

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Day 2

Today will be busy as I actually have to go into the office. My visa and employment pass aren't fully settled yet, but that does not keep me from needing to work on projects. The red tape here is maddening.

Yesterday I got in a serious workout and really did not feel like having much of one today. I figured I might walk, but I woke up feeling sore and tired. I did not sleep well last night. I don't fault Whole30 for that, however - just call it life.

M1 - sweet potato hash

M2 - hand ful of walnuts, 2 kiwis

M3 - Salad - lettuce, chicken breast, apple

M4 - Bolognese sauce over zucchini noodles

M5 - walnuts, almonds, 1 dragon fruit.

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Doing the Whole30 as a new expat in Singapore is interesting. Yes, I do have access to new and different produce, but the down side of living on a tiny island that does not produce any of its own food is that everything is imported from somewhere - be it Malasia, Thailand, New Zealand, Australia, the U.S., etc. And because everything is imported from somewhere, food here is expensive. Then again, everything in Singapore is expensive.

So far I have been lucky and we have been able to find hormone and antibiotic free chicken, grass fed beef, and some organic produce. I have also started a fairly ambitious container garden on our deck that is now giving me enough lettuce for salads.

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Day 3

While I was at home today, the I felt pretty good - no cravings. And then I went grocery shopping and to pick up cupcakes for P -- yeah, grocery shopping was a bit of a downer. I walked through the store and just kept walking and walking past all of the things I would not be eating. Sigh.

It is the end of the day and I am feeling a bit more low energy and fuzzy headed than I would like, but it is not too bad. I had dinner because I knew that if I did not, I would just wake up ravenous in the middle of the night - not fun, not ideal. I was not super hungry, but I knew that I needed to have something. I have been thirsty today and wanting to drink which is a change from Monday.

M1 - Sweet potato hash and 1 avocado

M2 - 1 mango, almonds, walnuts

M3 - Salad - chicken, apple, field greens

M4 - Kiwi and walnuts

M5 - Olives, 2 figs, small amount of bolognese

M6 - Bolognese and zucchini noodles

I am fairly sure that I am eating too much fruit and too many nuts, but this is my first Whole30. My goals for this Whole30 are to follow the dietary principles of the programme in terms of keeping to whole foods - meats, vegetables, fruits, good oils/fats. I may not get the proportions right, but even just this change to the diet is a lot. I am not paleo-ifying anything; rather, I am cutting out the things that need to get cut out. Proper proportions will come later -- there will be other Whole30 Challenges once I make it through this first one :)

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Day 4

I woke up feeling pretty poorly yesterday. The first symptoms of carb flu perhaps. It was national day in Singapore so P was home. He started the day by heading out for a bike ride and I was going to go for a run, but my rather irritable tummy kept me in. I have been feelings pretty tired and sore for the past day or so, so I am just trying to listen to and respect my body as it adjusts.

Breakfast was awful. I purchased some mushrooms for eggs, sauteed them on their own first in the cast iron and then added them to the eggs. UGH. I don't know what they were - clearly not what I am used to, but I could only eat about half my breakfast before decided it was just not going to work and turning to nuts.

M1 - 3 eggs, mushrooms, olives (tossed out half of it)

cashews, brazil nuts, almonds - to make up for the lack of breakfast

M2 - Sweet potato hash, 1 avocado, 2 passion fruit

M3 - (to tide me over to dinner) banana, almonds, 2 figs, 3 dates

M4 - Chicken breast, remainder of hash

Today also involved another trip to the grocery store. Depressing. P and I went together and came home with lots of fruit. The novelty of living in the tropics and all of this new fruit that we would not be able to get in the US has not worn off yet. At some point I am sure I will need to clean up my act and focus on veggies, but I am trying to make the BIG change and fine tune from there.

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I'm jealous of your container gardens! I'm working on a real garden, but it's not producing much... yet.

When you get depressed about the things you can't eat at the grocery store, don't forget that it's only 30 days. You might not want them anymore after the 30 days... This isn't eternal deprivation we're talking about... just thirty days.

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Thanks for the encouragement, Emily.

My container gardens are certainly growing, but lettuce is about all I am getting right now. I am fearing that it might be too hot for the cucumbers and tomatoes to set fruit, but I am remaining optimistic. Regardless, the deck is covered in lovely vines from the plants, so that makes me smile each day.

I agree with you about it only being 30 days, but I do want this to lead to a permanent change (but I do want to try to make paleo treats when this is over!!!). Learning how to do it in Singapore is not easy - I was looking on US Wellness Meats and marveling at how cheap meat is and recalling all that we got from our CSA every other week back in Seattle - but it is an important change to make. It is my fifth day in and I am starting to fee like I have more energy once I get myself moving, so hopefully that will only increase as the days march on.

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Day 5

Things started to get interesting yesterday. By the middle and end of the day I had more energy, but I did not feel like myself. My head did not quite feel attached to my body and my body.... well, frankly it felt a bit loopy, like I was drunk, but that was only my body. I was keenly aware that I was not feeling right and I am wondering what aspects of this transition to Whole eating threw me into such a strange place.

I started the day with a HUGE amount of fat as I had finished off the sweet potato hash and needed to throw something together for breakfast. The small container of coconut cream was delicious over dragon fruit for breakfast. I snacked a bit after that, but really did not feel hungry until much, much later for lunch and I really was not hungry for dinner at all, but I knew that I was going to get up and run outside in Singapore for the first time (all of my exercise thus far has taken place in the lovely AC of the gym) so I needed to eat something.

7:45am - Red Dragon Fruit, coconut cream, passion fruit

10am - walnuts, dates (4), passion fruit

11am - Bolognase sauce - cold on its own - just feeling a bit snacky - probably wanting carbs from the veggies

3:30pm - Bolognase sauce over zucchini spaghetti, banana, almonds

9pm - 2 eggs, 1/2 red onion

Yes, I know that there were still five meals yesterday, but I feel closer to being able to get myself down to three. I have a better sense as to what I need to be eating at the big meals, and although I feel like I may function better snacking throughout the day, I am going to give this whole three meals thing a shot.

I don't know if I felt off because of the sugar from the dragon fruit and the banana or if I felt off from the large amounts of fat. Either way it was strange. But it was nice to have a bit more energy later on in the day. Craving are starting to feel a bit more manageable. I am realizing that I really should not have dates in the house. I love them far too much.

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Day 6

For me, at least for now, weekends are better than weekdays. I am caught in red-tape, visa hell with my employment pass, so while I have a job in Singapore, I can't actually start work yet. My weekdays are spent around the apartment doing work for my job for which I am not allowed to work, so the food temptations are greater. Weekends are a bit more activity filled with P, so food temptations are different then at least.

I have been doing pretty good in the cravings department. And I have been getting lots of sleep. Honestly though, since moving to Singapore almost three months ago sleep has not been much of an issue. I have only had two sleepless nights since we moved, which is way better than when we were still in Seattle.

I started the day with my first outside run in Singapore. This place is HOT and HUMID, so I have been hiding in the gym for all of my exercise since we got here. I felt pretty strong out there. I ran mostly with a few walk intervals and a serious sprint interval at the end which made me want to vomit -- that was new.

11am - ground chicken, sweet potato, and onion ISWF Moroccan style -- this was a fantastic combination. I probably should have found some additional or other veggie besides sweet potato, but it was what I had around the house. The rasins, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, and coconut milk made this a great breakfast dish.

3:30 - the ISWF Moroccan dish kept me full and was so good I could not help but have some for lunch with a kiwi too.

7:30 - Salad of field greens, 1 apple, 1 avocado, almonds

9pm - somehow I forgot the protein with dinner (oops) and while I certainly had enough fat throughout the day, I found myself hungry and needing some of the ground chicken from the ISWF Morocan dish.

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Day 7

Finally! I narrowed eating down to three meals. This week I am going to focus on the goal of three meals a day with no snacks. Perhaps the goal after that will be eliminating fruit, but goodness, I love this new life of tropical fruits and trying things I would never get stateside.

No workout today, but I spent some time splashing about in the pool and I am already feeling ready for tomorrow's workout.

8am -- ISWF Moroccan chicken -- this really does make for a great breakfast

2pm -- Bolognase sauce and lettuce (I really need to finish off that sauce), 2 passion fruit (goodness, these are so much fun to eat)

7pm -- Sauteed zuccchini and cabbage, bolognase sauce, 3 dates, 4 walnuts, 1 mango (the mango had a bad spot and was starting to go bad, so I really wanted to kill it off tonight - I figured it was better to have it tonight than for breakfast tomorrow).

I had a disastrous time trying to get to the butcher today. Finally I just gave up when P insisted I come home. This week's cook-up will happen on Monday. I am looking forward to making the WF chicken and the WF chocolate chili.

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Day 8

I slept terribly last night. Lots of trouble falling asleep and I woke up a few times during the night. Having trouble falling asleep is unusual for me. I was up until past 11pm - probably midnight in fact, which is not like me at all. Maybe it is all the energy, but I am not sure yet.

Not sleeping last night kinda killed my desire for a morning workout. Instead I am going to take a nice long walk to the butcher and back. Maybe I will workout this afternoon. That is, after I get going on this week's major cook-up.

In the recent past I got into drinking/making Kefir for its probiotic properties. I have been missing those major doses probiotics, but I am not a huge fan of fermented veggies, so I added my probiotic capsules back into rotation for this week. I will be curious to see what kind of difference having those makes while I do my best to stick to three meals a day this week.

8:45am - I was not super hungry this morning, but I know that I need to eat before I go out into the hot Singapore morning to run errands. I sauteed onions with a bit of cayenne and salt to really wilt them down and give them some flavor before adding in two eggs for scrambling. I paired this with some of the zucchini I sauteed up last night. I knew this was a good start but not enough so I had a whole dragon fruit to finish off breakfast. Another piece of fruit that needed to be eaten up quickly as it was getting some bad soft spots and I can't imagine wasting a beautiful red dragon fruit. We really do just have a party of fruit in our house much of the time. When we vacation in Thailand we don't eat dinner. Instead we head to the markets and pick up fruit to have at dinner time as we relax after a day of adventuring. We certainly could have worse habits, but doing Whole30 does make me consider our fruit consumption.

12:45 - Cabbage, WF Chocolate Chili, 1tpsb almond butter. My chili is not done yet, so I am sneaking this serving from the pot and OMG, I fear that spices like chili powder from the Indian spice market in this part of the world may be a bit more potent then the stuff Melissa is getting and used in writing the recipe for the Well Fed Cookbook. Seriously! My mouth is on fire. I do hope that with simmering this will mellow out. I am a wee bit concerned as I am making two batches of Chili at the moment - one for myself and one for my husband. P grew up in Cincinnati and LOVES Cincinnati Chili, so we picked up some additional spices to make a batch. I believe that Cinci Chili is not Whole30 compliant as it contains Worsteshire sauce, which is why I am making two completely separate batches today. His batch of Chili contains more than a quarter cup of the chili powder and additional cayenne, so his may have some serious kick. We shall see come dinner time.

5pm - Okay yeah, so I snacked, but it really was not snacking per se. How else do you check the flavor balance in chili and chicken if you don't eat some?!?!!? But once I had the few bites of chili and a bit of the chicken I did have a tbsp of almond butter to make sure I was getting both protein and fat in my snack.

I decided to use the 5pm snack as a pre-workout meal and do 40 minutes of Barre3. I used to open the Barre3 studio in Seattle three days a week and take class when we still lived there. The DVD reminded me of how much I missed those mornings. It is a great workout.

7:30pm - WF Chocolate Chili and a side of cabbage. P loved his Cinci Chili. He stopped off for hot dogs, cheese, and buns to turn the whole affair into chili cheese dogs. Even if I was not doing Whole30 I would not ever eat that, but I am glad he was able to throw something together that reminds him of home. He too agreed that it was quite spicy, but the bun and cheese seemed to temper the heat. Hopefully one of my avocados will be ripe tomorrow to temper my chili a bit.

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I decided to tweak the recipe a bit mid way through cooking and so I added golden raisins. Hopefully the sweetness from those cooked well with the chili and mellowed it out a bit. I was also preparing the WF Best Chicken You Will Ever Make and I am also finding that to be coming out too spicy. Chili powder here might just have a serious kick.

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Day 9

Hello, OMG, I am starving!!! That has been the theme of day 9 for whatever reason. I have more energy and drive than I have in weeks past, so that is good. The serious hunger is new. My goal for this week was to do three meals a day, but even making it to three hours between meals was pushing it in the afternoon. My guess is that this is related to the rate at which food has *ahem* been moving through me -- my apologies for the TMI. I am not sure if this is a part of the process or re-introducing probiotics. Because of the rate at which food has been passing through me, I decided to also work on getting a good bit of fat at each of my three meals. I am hoping that upping the fat intake will help, but this might be a shot in the dark.

8:30am - WF Chicken, salad greens, 1 passion fruit, 1 mango, 1 tbsp almond butter

12:15pm - Zucchini, WF Chocolate Chili, 1tbsp almond butter

3:20pm - Massively HUNGRY! WF Chicken, spinach, tiny banana, kiwi, almonds.

6:30pm - Workout

7:30pm - WF Chocolate Chili, spinach, 1tbsp almond butter

I thought my breakfast was HUGE today, and it did not sustain me as I was certainly hungry even before noon. Hopefully the intense hunger will die down a bit as finding good, quality meat in SG is already an expensive proposition

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Day 10 (!!!)

I am feeling pretty darn good about reaching day 10 of the Whole 30 journey. Sadly, however, the rumbly in my tummy continued this morning. Maybe it is all of the super spicy food I cooked this week. Honestly, I am not yet sure.

This evening we are expecting a delivery from the Organic Grocer - lots of hormone and antibiotic free chicken breasts from Malaysia and grass fed beef from New Zealand. It does make me sad that Singapore can't sustain itself in terms of food security. There is plenty of green space here, but none of it is used for agriculture. While we can't do much about buying local at least we can get healthy meats. Give that we have so much stuff coming, I used my meals today to finish off the WF chicken.

9:40 - Salad of chicken, spinach, and apple. 1tbsp almond butter and 1 passion fruit. My first meal of today was super late as I had trouble falling asleep, got woken during the night and had a lot of trouble falling back to sleep. I finally fell asleep soundly just before my usual wake up time. Yeah.... I decided sleeping was in order.

2pm - Swim. I only swam for 10 minutes, but this was my first time giving it a try. I don't really like swimming - I take issue with getting water in my ears, in my nose, etc. But it was a good 10 minute workout.

3:30 - Last of the WF Chicken, blackened carrots, apple with 1 tbsp almond butter.

7:15 - Finished the day with WF Chocolate Chili over spinach and a banana smashed up with almond butter.

I don't know if yesterday was an aberration or I just fed myself larger portions of things today, but the hunger that took over my body yesterday was not at all present today. I am please I was able to keep today to three meals with no snacks. I am not sure if my rumbly tummy will work itself out soon or not, but we shall see.

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I had a dream last night about cheating on my Whole 30 and I was so bummed because what I cheated with was so not worth it. I woke up and felt relieved that it was only a dream. Lol!!! I can't believe this has gotten into my subconscious.

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Day 11

Last night I used my sleep cycle app to set an alarm so that I would not be jarred awake and it seemed to help. I woke up several times during the night, however. Honestly it seems that while my sleep is not detrimentally worse on Whole 30 it is definitely not better and it is certainly worse.

9am - 1 c. WF Chili over spinach, 1 grapefruit

1pm - Salad of WF Best Chicken You Will Ever Eat and field greens. 1 tbsp almond butter. 1/3 apple flan

Yesterday I remembered a recipe that I made ages ago. Of course I could not find it, but from what I recalled like it was pretty Whole 30 compliant. Regardless, as it had been on my mind I wanted to try to make it and try to make it Whole 30 compliant. I knew that it required being finished in an oven and as we don't quite have an oven -- it is a Miele combination Microwave Oven and Grill (very odd) -- I knew it would require some further modifications.

Mock - Apple Flan

2 small New Zealand Jazz apple sliced thin and tossed in cinnamon

Sautee apples in 1tbsp coconut oil over medium heat in a small non-stick frying pan until soft

Turn down heat to low

3 eggs, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 3 tbsp coconut milk whipped together until frothy and well combined

Add egg mixture to apples.

Cook until done. The whole thing should be able to be removed as one piece.

This could probably be done with only one apple and I think that while it is a bit fruit heavy, it could make for a great breakfast with a serving of sausage.

4pm - Nuts and passion fruit

7pm - tiny serving of protein, bowl of blackened carrots, moroccan dressing.

Today I was feeling low-ish. Not down, not dead, just a bit on the low energy side, but I managed to do a lot around the house as I continue to impatiently wait on the Ministry of Manpower and my work visa. The past few days of feeling up and engaged were great and really show me that I can have that. I don't know if there is some mid-Whole 30 bodily regression. Hopefully tomorrow will be another up and engaged day.

I have decided that I am not beating myself up about the snacking. If my body is starving, I am going to feed it. Today I do feel full at the end of the day. My tummy feels rather backed up, which has not been characteristic of my Whole 30 at all thus far. I am further considering cutting out fruit next week or during the final week of my Whole 30.

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Day 12

This morning was weird. I got up and cooked some carrots to have with my breakfast. As they were hot I started with them and immediately after finishing the carrots and before moving on to the chili and avocado, I had this horrible feeling - this feeling of wanting to vomit. My body was heaving and heaving, but I did not throw up - thankfully. I had food poisoning a few months ago, and that was the first time I threw up since I was a kid. I was not looking for a repeat. I let my stomach settle for an hour or so before finishing my breakfast.

8:30am - blackened carrots

10:45 - WF Chocolate Chili, 1/2 avocado, 1 pasion fruit, 1tbsp almond butter. The almond butter especially felt good in my stomach to calm and coat it.

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Thanks, Renee. I don't know what happened with the carrot situation. But I managed to do alright for the rest of Friday and the weekend. But I did wake up feeling a bit nauseated on both Saturday and Sunday mornings. And yes, I am certain I am not pregnant!

The weekend was a bit of a whirlwind of trying to keep my stomach happy. We had two brunches to attend. I managed to eat Whole 30 compliant at both and turned down a number of things. I found myself frustrated because at both brunches I was uneasy when biting into things as I could not be 100% sure how they were prepared. I guess this is a part of the learning process. I feel like I ate a lot over the weekend. Until the weekend I believed I was seeing good changed in my body - now, I am not sure.

Today marks the half way point and while I was doing fine at the end of week one, the end of week two has me a whole lot less inspired. I don't think I am having cravings per se, but I am just finding myself a bit irritated. Maybe it is trying to limit myself to three meals, which I failed at last week but want to give another go at this week. I have also not been feeling up for working out, which really needs to change and I know it will improve my body composition and my general outlook on things.

I am enjoying the cooking and experimenting with new recipes. I don't miss too many things -- although I really would love to have a slice of good cake, which you can't find in Singapore.

I am optimistic about what this week will bring.

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Day 15

9am - WF Best Ever Chicken breast, salad greens, 1 avocado diced, WF dipping sauce as dressing

1:20pm - Salad of 1/3 c taco meat, avocado dressing, and shredded carrots. Mango and coconut creme

Taco Meat

1 onion finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic pressed

500g grass fed ground beef

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp chili powder

lots and lots of chopped fresh cilantro

Avocado dressing

1 ripe avocado

2 limes

3 tbsp water

3 tbsp EVOO

1 clove of garlic

fresh cilantro

zest of 1/2 lime

Combine all in a food processor and enjoy

6:30pm - taste of the stew meat that is cooking - recipe of sorts to follow. Taco meat, citrus carrot salad, and avocado dressing. Apple and almond butter.

Citrus Carrot Salad

6 large carrots, peeled, and shredded in the food processor

3 oranges segmented

Juice from 1/2 of a lemon

1/2 c. fresh mint

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp cumin

pinch of salt

2 tbsp EVOO

Comine and enjoy. Flavors mix over time, so this can be made ahead or just allowed to get better in the fridge over a few days.

Dessert habits seem to be creeping back in -- even if they are healthy. Once I run out of fruit, nuts, and nut butter this week, I think I shall avoid purchasing more and see how that goes. Although we shall see what really happens because a few of this week's recipes call for fruit in them - the stew which is simmering right now for example and the citrus in the carrot salad.

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I too have to limit what I am buying when it comes to fruit, nuts and nut butters.

The BF needs fruit at all times so he keeps the house stocked. I just have to learn to make it a choice to NOT eat it because it is in the house or these habits will never stick when he goes back to sugar, grains and dairy and I stick to the whole 30 after our 30 days are up.

I hope week 3 is even better for you.

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