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nomnomNW's Whole30 Blog


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I am writing this at the end of Day 1 of my Whole30. Whew! 


I'm writing to you not as a Whole30 novice. Actually, I've tried the Whole30 diet before, without following it completely through day 30. Over two years ago, I drank the kool-aid and jumped on the crossfit and paleo wagon. I love both lifestyles because they keep me interested and challenge me to get better at whatever I do, whether it's in the box or the kitchen. I love that both have fairly limited rules and complications to be successful. 


About a year ago, I was at my peak health and fitness. I had been generally eating paleo for several months and was regularly working out. Fat adaption was magic - and tasty! Alas, life was soon to become very, very, very busy. Last fall, I was applying to grad programs, working full time in a stressful industry, doing research on the side, in a committed relationship, and working out. In order to stay sane, I told myself to not worry about diet. Looking back, committing to healthy habits would have been one of the best decisions. 


Around February 2014, I had also changed jobs and was now commuting farther to work each day. It became incredibly difficult to make it to the gym regularly. To make things worse, I now worked in proximity to every tasty fast food and take out restaurant you could imagine: Togos, Chipotle, Hawaiian Plate Lunch, Bah Minh, Bubble Tea, Pho.... I succumbed to a diet of take out. I realized, I am again eating food with no breaks. 


To make a long story short, I've moved close to work (from a 45 min drive to 10 minute commute). I've also changed Crossfit gyms to a gym about 6 mins from home and work. This was hard to do since I was so close to my gym, but this change made working out SO much more practical. I'm now cooking more and in general, more relaxed. 


Diet is my next step. I want to get back to a mostly paleo lifestyle and think that a Whole30 is just the challenge. 


So, stay tuned :) 


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Day 2. Today went pretty well, albeit cravings every few hours. I found the hardest adjustment wasn't actually craving the FOOD, but breaking the habits like the urge to go to a fast food restaurant for lunch. My work out was pretty tough today (crossfit). Felt a bit light headed, which I expected to. I understand that the first week of workouts are tough... 

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Day 3: 


Overall, today was MUCH better than yesterday in terms of cravings and urges to eat out/bad habits. I felt more normal and energized, but there were still rough moments when I craved something. Bonus: I felt REALLY good during parts of my work out. I am hoping that tiger energy starts to show itself more and more.


Send me some positive vibes internet folks! I have quit before during my first week, so I am so determined to hang in there. I WILL DO this Whole30.  

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Day 4: I didn't have time to check in yesterday as my boyfriend and I were traveling to the coast to celebrate our anniversary! Packed all Whole30 compliant food. I had prepped a lot of food over the labor day weekend and was able to freeze the extras. We have a spaghetti squash and Italian sausage (whole30 compliant) bake with basil. I also brought with me some bacon (uncured), basil and lemon mashed sweet potatoes to go along with a turkey roast I made on Tuesday. We will be making almond breaded chicken with sweet potato fries (baked) with a buffalo sauce aioli for dip tonight! Salad on the side and watermelon for desert. I love how this way of eating encourages me to be creative with recipes, and also gets me EXCITED to eat veggies and fruits. 


I am glad that I am away from work and stress during day 5-7. I know these are supposed to be rough days according to the Whole30 timeline. I know that I can take it easy and have plenty of time to prep food. 


Day 4 went pretty well except I prolonged dinner in order to pack for the coast. This was a BAD idea because I became very cranky until I ate. I remember with paleo/whole30 that things go south pretty quickly if wait longer than 5 hours between meals. I definitely wanted to "kill all the things!" I wasn't the nicest person, but luckily I found some protein and veg just in time for our long ride to the beach. 


I also dreamt about food last night. I recall it was alfredo pasta or something... Strangest feeling when you wake up thinking "oh man I cheated, got to start from day 1 tomorrow! oh wait..." LOL funny dreams. 


Day 5 is going well so far. Had my normal sage breakfast sausage (whole30 compliant) and eggs with avocado. Eating my apple now. 

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Day 6: Today we went about 2 hours north to a historic coastal town. I made breakfast and packed lunch, but planned to try to eat out for dinner. Man, it sucks to try to make a meal compliant. I did so, but think there might have been a smudge of sugar in a salad dressing. I know its not kosher, but I eat natural sugars in fruits and veggies. In the grand scheme of things it is not dairy, soy or gluten etc, which I've eliminated. Cooking food around paleo/whole30 is much more appealing and tasty than trying to make a meal in a restaurant work. 


On to day 7!

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Week 1 recap: 


I'm mid morning of day 7, and we have a busy rest of the day (long drive home from the coast, a friend's kid's bday party, unpacking and ultimately cooking), so I will recap now. Despite the possible sugar in some balsamic dressing at dinner last night, I am really proud of my ability to make it to day seven with only 1 "cheat" on the books. Yes its a cheat, but its still sugar, and we still eat natural sugars....UGH the reasoning on this meal plan. I don't think I've made it THIS far, being as compliant as I've been. I'm pretty happy with that fact. With other Whole30's, I would slip up on day 2 or 3 and find reasons for why it was OK. I treated Whole30 as some treat Paleo vs non paleo: 85/15, 90/10, 60/40...I ate my carrot stick with this muffin right? HA.


So as I enter week two, a FULL work week (UGH) and into the harder days according to the plan's timeline...I will try to sum up my experience so far. I'll also write a couple of goals (just a couple, because I want to have grace for myself).


1. So much cooking! I actually really love this. Albeit, I've had more time than usual to cook with 2, 3-day weekends back-to-back. For me, cooking is meditative. It helps me think about the day's events, but also day dream about non-work things. So in a way, it is self-care, which I am all about! Cooking also means MANY dishes, which is not so cool, but fortunately my boyfriend has been really kind and has done most of the dishes. Heck, I cook awesome meals, so cleaning the dishes is sort of a natural way to say "thanks." While he is not doing Whole30 with me, he's been very supportive and eats anything paleo.


2. Habits die hard! I've been more aware of how food plays a big part in social interactions and daily traditions. Note: after-work happy hour, the 2-o'clock bordom at my desk at work (key in urge for carb-loaded snack), the lunch break, the morning rush to get to work (no time for breakfast, urge to go to starbucks), the anniversary vacation weekend (usually with wine, chocolate, and fancy dinners)... the list goes on and on. My automatic reaction is to do these things, but then I remember I'm on Whole30. The denial of these daily habits is difficult for me and likely for you all. 


3. Each couple hours are different. It's crazy during the first week that you go from feeling AWESOME to feeling like crap in the matter of a couple of hours. This can hurt morale, but I am hoping it gets better. 


Overall, this week has been better than I thought it would be. I am proud that I am doing this for myself, not for work, not for some other gain. This is for my health and well-being. :)


Some goals this week: 


-Work hard to have health greens in EVERY meal. 

-Keep planing and cooking in advance 

-Focus on awesome pre-post work out nutrition 

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Day 8 update: 


So I am preparing my dinner: zucchini noodles and homemade marinara and meatballs (do i really need to say "homemade" in this forum, lol). UM, I am kind of obsessed with "zoodles!" I finally learned how to cook them right today at lunch. I am so obsessed that I am making a second helping for dinner. It's awesome to take a guilty pleasure meal and transform it into something really, really healthy. So sneaky and delicious!


If you are reading into my enthusiasm, you're right. Today rocked! Today was the first day where I felt closest to normal. One thing I've been noticing is that because this is such a radical change, I've been slightly obsessive about whole30. Over the last week, its really all I think about when I have a few moments to day dream. I noticed today that, YES, I did think about whole30, but just less. I also made it through three meals without snacking, or wanting to snack. I didn't feel like I needed that much coffee today. 


ALSO, my crossfit workout ROCKED.  :D It looked so tough and it had been 5 days since I had worked out. I considered not even going as I surely thought it would be a disaster. You know what? It was really really long ... 42:40 minutes, BUT I felt good the ENTIRE TIME. It had been five days which in crossfit land is a long time between workouts. There was no reason why I should have felt OK and powered through. I surely think this meal plan is showing some of its magic this week. 


So yeah. Things are good for now. 



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Day 9: 


Overall felt pretty good today, but energy levels were not as awesome as yesterday. I feel that my lunch was a bit smaller than normal, so perhaps I was a bit underfed. Will work on that! Life is a bit chaotic and so I haven't had as much time to cook this week. Hoping to make a bit ol pot of chocolate chili sometime Thursday. 


I noticed my sweet tolerance is really low! I have been enjoying kombucha throughout the month (under 2 grams of sugar, no sugar added), and today it was SO SWEET. I even asked my coworker to taste it to see if it was just super sweet. NOPE. He said he picked up on more sour notes than sweet notes. Crazy, but cool. 


Onward to DAY 10. WHAT WHAT! Almost one 3rd complete. 

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Day 11:

Day 10 was compliant but meh. Just starting day 11 with a second day of a serious lack of appetite. >_<

I think this might be a normal time to be disinterested in food (considering the W30 timeline). I am also very stressed with work. Been under the gun the last 2 days and I normally eat less when I am stressed. It is crazy but I really FEEL this anxiety churning my stomach like never before. Nevertheless I have been forcing myself to eat big meals as it's worse if I don't....

I feel like I am craving plain foods (compliant of course), less spiced/spicy to deal with this lack of appetite.

Another strange observation: my body Oder does not smell. Crazy!!! Has anyone experienced this?

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Just a funny update. So at the health food store that has breakfast bar, I was sitting there trying to gulp down eggs, zucchini, and some white potatoes when I glace over to see what other people are eating...


I see a man with a big chocolate cupcake with three inches of white frosting and a big piece of chocolate on top! I felt like I was in the twilight zone. It didn't look tasty at all (zero cravings) but it just didn't make since. I guess W30 has me programmed to think this is a silly breakfast choice. 


Just made me laugh inside...which was needed since its Day 11

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Sorry you are having a stressful time - it's nearly the weekend so focus on that!  Actually, here in Dubai it IS the weekend now - yay!


Totally get what you mean about being less interested in sweet things.  Incredible.  And yes, whilst I used to be a grande-latte-and-blueberry-muffin-for-breakfast kind of girl, Starbucks must be seeing a drop in profits over the last 11 days.  I look at colleagues in the office eating toast, muffins, cereal for breakfast and it just seems weird.  And I find myself thinking, poor them!


Good for you, and happy weekend!  We're a third of the way there  ;)

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Day 12: 


First can I get an amen! Day 12! Proud of myself :) 


Today was much better. Was able to make it through meals without feeling queasy or having an upset stomach. My energy levels were normal to high throughout the day and I didn't feel tired at any point, unlike the last two days. I was able to eat three good meals.


While I didn't weigh myself or take measurements (I am using before/after photos... not sure if that is the best idea, should have taken measurements), I feel like I am leaning out in the collar bone, arms, obliques and legs. I have a bit of a pooch and don't expect that to go away substantially after 30 days - that will take some time. My clothes are fitting better, again especially in the arms. I would estimate that I am 180 at 5'6, but have quite a bit of muscle from crossfit. I've found that even at my peak health/fitness last year I hovered around 165-170... 


This afternoon I had a bit of an anxiety attack. Don't want to really delve into what triggered it BUT THAT WAS ROUGH.... I know I am an emotional eater during anxiety attacks so I instinctively was searching for a beer, a doughnut, sushi, pho ANYTHING... I am still fairly anxious but hope to be calming down later tonight. Anxiety sucks. 


On to day 13


Sorry for the sporadic post, but I am feeling edgy.. 

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Day 14: 


Whew. Day 14...going on 15. Hours away from the half way point of this Whole30 experiment. While I could describe how I am physically feeling and all the wondrous (and less wondrous) updates from clean eating, I am more or less preoccupied with my mental state. Its been a stressful last 4-5 days due to work stuff and I've just really been beating myself up about it. I have a history of and am prone to depression so I am trying my best to redirect my thoughts and cognitions to a more positive frame of mind. The one thing good about Whole30 is it FORCES me to prep. While I am feeling very demotivated and mopey I still have to cook. This afternoon I made a luxurious sweet potato soup with coconut milk. It tasted like heaven. I also made some bacon and mushroom beef burgers from Nom Nom Paleo which was also delish. I roasted some sweet bell peppers just cause I could ;) will be yummy to eat as a topping for just about anything... 


Cravings are a bit more frequent today and yesterday than they have been over the last week. When the pizza man showed up at my neighbors house, I day dreamed about a big pepperoni pizza. I went out for a friends birthday party and really wished I could have a beer. I was really craving Mexican food today. It's made me think more about what I do want to introduce after day 30 and what things I want to try to avoid. I've thought about switching to a primal paleo-like diet where I allow myself some dairy. Not very interested in adding back in gluten or other grains (except maybe fresh corn). 


I want to focus this coming week on making sure I am sticking to the template of meat/protein-veg-fats-fruit at every meal. Even though I'm eating technically compliant ingredients, I've been slacking on my veggie intake, especially raw veggies. I've have found, however, that a meal without protein is USELESS (I don't feel fueled or full), so I usually try to have a decent portion of protein at every meal. 


So without further ado, on to day 15!

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Keep on going, you are doing great!  And nice to see you troubleshooting your own meals already.  We are behind you cheering !



p.s.  I noticed you used the term "drank the kool-aid"  - I have said this myself, and it always bothers me when someone laughs, but it's awkward and you can tell they don't get it.  Really!?  Anyway thanks for the genuine laugh this morning B)

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Day 16: 


First off, thanks mamakitty for the encouragement :) 


Yay! I'm pass the mid point of this whole30. Whodda thunk? Its amazing to me that I've gone almost 16 DAYS without bread, beer, dairy, or so much other junk. I've only had take-out a handful of times during lunch (mostly chipolte salads without the dressing) which is also a feat within itself. Prior to this Whole30, I'd have takeout almost every single day for lunch during the work week. I do have breakfast from a local natural foods store but they list the ingredients so it is always just eggs, veg, and some white potatoes a couple of times per work week. I know its expensive and not ideal (for my wallet mainly), but its the little convenience I am allowed in the midst of all this whole30 cooking and planning. 


Stress was a little less yesterday, plus I made time to make it to crossfit which always decreases my stress. My workout was a good one, and I felt my energy was pretty consistent even thought it had been almost a week since my last workout. I've been dealing with a food injury so I don't make it to the gym as often. 


As far as food prep goes, I have been wanting to make a bit pot of chicken noodle soup (without the noodles) but have to track down a big enough pot to cook a whole chicken :( Luckily I've frozen a portion of most of my meals so I think I can eat out of the freezer a lot this week. 


Best to you all! Lets finish out day 16 and be onto day 17!

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Day 18: 


It's the AM on Day 18 and I am kind of liking checking in first thing when I get into the office and recapping how I feel today and how yesterday afternoon/eve went. I'm kind of dwindling with the food in my fridge and have been slacking on defrosting some of my pre-cooked meals. I ended up making a frittata and roasted some acorn squash for dinner last night but both came out bland. Bummer. I mustered up the ability to eat a decent portion but I was left hungry again just right before bed time. I did NOT want to eat less than tasty food so I just drank a couple cups of sleepy time tea and went to bed. I've found that on this diet, I don't force myself to eat unappetizing foods. Last thing I want is a negative association with the narrow food group we are allowed to eat... 


Needless to say I woke up pretty ravenous this morning and went to the breakfast bar near my work to grab a big heaping of eggs, veg, and white potato. Thats tided me over but I do feel a bit bloated and full from eating so much :( 


On to the rest of my day... 

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