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TheWholeEmily

TheWholeEmily's first Whole30

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Today I started the Whole30, after almost 3 years of being unable to stick to anything more than a week or two. My goal is weight loss, but more than that, it's a change in perspective and habits. I've gained almost 90 pounds since conceiving my son (who was born nearly 3 years ago!) and spiraled into slumps of inactivity, depression, and weight gain. Always weight gain.

 

Perfection - well, failure from perfection - is a big stumbling block for me, and I'm the kind of person who will fall and then slink off to hide in embarrassment and keep falling, instead of picking back up again, so here on day 1 I'm giving myself permission to stumble and get up and keep moving forward.

 

Breakfast: 2 eggs in a tbsp coconut oil, roasted vegetable "goo", a handful of walnuts

Lunch: Massaged kale salad with kalamati olives, sliced cucumber, some ham (not enough protein)

Snack: Banana, iced coffee with coconut milk (from a can)

Dinner (will be): Chicken legs, sweet potato roasted in olive oil, bell peppers & onions sauteed in olive oil

 

Starting weight is _88.8 - and no more scale for me until 10/20.

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I am on Day 4 of the Whole 30, have put on almost as much weight in the last 5-8 years (but with no children to show for it, so hey, at least you've got that!), and like you, have not been able to stick with something for longer than a week or so, without cheating and backsliding, then abandoning the plan altogether. I have been reading about Paleo for the last couple of years, but had yet to make a real commitment to changing my lifestyle over. I like that no cheating is allowed, as this is about resetting habits. Anyways, I just wanted to say hello, and that I relate to you. You can do this, one day at a time. <3 

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Note: I don't think you can find ham in the United States that is not cured with sugar. I've never seen it myself and never heard a report of ham not made with sugar except in other countries. You do not have to start over for mistakenly eating sugar-cured ham, but you do need to avoid it in the future. 

 

Part of the work of a Whole30 is becoming familiar with what you eat. That is part of the motivation for eating better going forward.... knowing how much sugar and other junk is included in most foods that most people eat without thinking about it.

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Thanks, Tom! I started Whole30 yesterday on impulse instead of the old "I'll start tomorrow/Monday/next week/next month" stand-by. It was sort of an "emergency" use of ham, because it was the only protein I could find in my refrigerator readily available / not frozen solid in the freezer. Switching to a protein-heavy diet is a big challenge for me because I'm ordinarily someone who eats all the carbs, but only meat two or three times a week. I'd already exhausted the eggs and nuts, and I was due a grocery trip. It won't happen again! :)

 

So this morning, I woke up ravenous and kind of grumpy because my husband decided to go back to bed instead of helping with toddler care while I cleaned up from dinner (bad habit!) and made breakfast - and realized I didn't have vegetables readily available. They were there, in the refrigerator, but not in an edible state. So between yesterday's ham and this morning's veggie-less breakfast (which did not include toast!!! or a smoothie) my first big Whole30 lesson was preparation and ease of access are key for me.

 

 

I have a lot of preparing to do.

 

Today:

 

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs, banana, handful of walnuts (I have got to get a system together)

 

Lunch: Beef vegetable soup made with beef bone broth I made last weekend, garden-fresh tomatoes I pureed and froze last weekend, and an assortment of soup vegetables.

 

Dinner: Lemon dill salmon, baby red potatoes roasted with olive oil and chives, cucumber salad made with a paleo mayo recipe I found (which I hope is Whole30 compliant - an egg, lemon juice, dry mustard, olive oil). 

 

A lot of water.

 

 

I made a farmer's market stop this morning and loaded up on quick-cook vegetables like zucchini and cherry tomatoes, which are easy and suitable for fritattas. In fact, maybe I should make a frittata before bed tonight to have available in the morning (preparation!). 

 

Doing some research on the "Kill all the things" and the headache portion of Whole30, because I'm prone to migraines anyway, and I'd rather not traumatize my preschooler this week.

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I am on Day 4 of the Whole 30, have put on almost as much weight in the last 5-8 years (but with no children to show for it, so hey, at least you've got that!), and like you, have not been able to stick with something for longer than a week or so, without cheating and backsliding, then abandoning the plan altogether. I have been reading about Paleo for the last couple of years, but had yet to make a real commitment to changing my lifestyle over. I like that no cheating is allowed, as this is about resetting habits. Anyways, I just wanted to say hello, and that I relate to you. You can do this, one day at a time. <3 

 

There are stressful and demanding things in life besides kids! Work, social live, the voices in our heads ;) but the important thing is recognizing the damage and putting on the brakes, which you did 4 days ago. You're my Whole30 hero, getting that far. I can't to be able to say I completed day 4. 

 

Paleo is something I always sort of turned my nose up at. Fatty red meat? Butter on everything? Cooking in lard? My low-fat, complex-carb, limited-meat brain didn't know how to cope. Two days in and I'm realizing there's a whole world of food I never thought of before - and all these habits of mine. Oh, these habits. They're probably a bigger issue than the food itself.

 

Thanks for checking in with a few words of solidarity and support. I appreciate it, and it's nice to know I'm not blogging into the ether. :)

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I feel like I'm doing a lot of dietary trouble-shooting. I swear I've been to the grocery store every day - and sometimes twice a day - since Saturday evening. Today's run was a $40 trip for almond butter, a bigger variety of nuts than walnuts, and Lara bars (because when your toddler's half-hour play date turns into a three-hour event, you need a backup plan). I confess I'm wondering about longer-term sustainability, cost-wise, but I'll cross that bridge during re-introduction.

 

So today's going not-bad. I started to have one of those skimpy breakfast-in-parts (a hard-boiled egg, then a piece of fruit half an hour later, then a baked sweet potato...was sort of my plan) but at the last minute decided to fill a plate with last night's leftovers. That was a lot more satisfying for a lot more hours, but having salmon two meals in a row has resulted in a never-before-experienced-by-me "fish burp". Yuck. 

 

I'm feeling...not bad, but I did walk down a hill, and then back up it again (a very short hill) with my toddler and felt kind of weak/out of breath just over that little thing. I wonder if that's my body asking WTF the sugar/carbs have gone?

 

Back later with a whole day's food, and thoughts on it. Trying a coconut flake/almond flour chicken nugget recipe tonight. I'd say I can't wait, but my stomach isn't the least bit hungry. :)

 

Back later with the full day's log. 

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Hi Emily!

First let me say good job for posting so much. It really helps us help you and I know for myself it really helped to vent feelings, frustrations etc.

I also found myself at the grocery store almost every day and the cure to that issue is to follow Melissa Joulwan's Weekly Cook-Up recommendations in her book Well Fed. It Starts With Food also has the same ideas at the back of their book. Doing this ensures that you have easy and quick to prepare meals during the week. The key to success during your W30 is being prepared!

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Hi Hols1! I come from a "tracking food" background but there was always something missing -- too much emphasis on food, too little emphasis on feelings/reactions/habits/thoughts/etc. So I'll probably keep blowing up the forum with my log. :)

 

I'll check out Melissa Joulwan's book. It's on my to-read list. :)

 

 

No chicken nuggets dinner last night. I had egg salad on bell pepper strips at about 3:30pm, still in my "snack before dinner" mindset, and then wasn't hungry for dinner until 10 or 11 pm. Confession: I had a headache and the stomach rumbles around 10, so...I made a pb&j sandwich at about 10:30, and then I stood and stared at it for a few minutes trying to figure out why I'd done that (habit, convenience), then tossed it in the trash without taking a bite. Habits have such an iron-fisted control! But I'm going to beat them.

 

I'm trying to break my breakfast-food associations, so no breakfasty breakfast today. Sweet potato with coconut oil, leftover chicken from a weekend dinner, hot water with lemon juice because, ahem, reasons. Then I'm off to take my tot to his preschool day. Interesting coffee observation; i could totally do without it these days, since I'm not adding cream and I'm not sitting on the sofa for an hour each morning nursing two cups of coffee instead of just making breakfast.

 

Lunch... salmon salad with garden veggies, olives, mayo as dressing.

 

Snack (I need to eat smaller meals to control reflux): Banana, macadamia nuts.

 

Dinner: Garden salad topped with grilled chicken, olive oil/lemon/vinegar dressing on the side.

 

I'm starting to feel tired at 6 pm which I know is totally normal, this is the wind-down time of day, but I work from home and have a deadline to meet tonight, and I'm seriously sleepy. Must resist the carb boost. I am wondering how much a cup of coffee would affect sleep, though. I don't plan on hitting the pillow until 11 (or this project is finished) so maybe...?

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I'm still trying to get beyond the "I just spent HOW MUCH at the grocery store?!" and "Didn't I just shop yesterday?!" scenarios, too.  Something that really seems to help is sitting down and doing a week's worth of meal planning/grocery listing....then cranking out 3-4 major meals in one afternoon to have on hand for the next several days (even double a few to put in the freezer).  I bought Danielle Walker's Against All Grain Meals Made Simple at Costco a few weeks ago, and I LOVE that she has a few MONTHS worth of weekly meal plans with grocery lists (just have to make sure not to do things with honey in them).  Also, Melissa Joulwan (per^^^ post) has weekly meal plans on her blog with kick-a** Get-Her Done In A Few Hours instructions: http://theclothesmakethegirl.com/2013/12/29/whole30-2014-week-1-meal-plan/.  I've got a toddler, too, and can understand the challenges with that!  Pretty proud of the little dude, though; today he ate sauteed chopped liver and kale with only mild gagging (after a promise of fresh blueberries!). Ha ha:)

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Carrye, thanks for the link and the book rec! I will check them out. I've decided I'm not going back to the store again until Friday or Saturday (my usual grocery days), because I have a ton of food in already and I can live without this thing or that thing, but with as much as I've spent, I really do need to use what I've already bought.

 

So the food is good. I think twice a week I might have to cook off different meats just to have them waiting and ready to eat as part of a meal, instead of having to head into my kitchen to actively prepare and cook three meals a day. I know that's not a crazy concept, and I like cooking, but on a day to day basis I need to be able to rely upon minimal kitchen time except for maybe dinner.

 

But I want to talk about something besides food -- the way I've been feeling.

 

  • My ankles and feet aren't stiff and sore when I wake up in the morning.
  • When my toddler wakes me up, I don't groan and roll around in a fog of sleep gum, telling him to go back to sleep it's not time to get up yet. He wakes me up, and I'm actually, actively awake.
  • Without coffee. I don't need (or even WANT) coffee. Dude, what's up with that?!
  • I'm on Day 5 and I haven't yet experienced sugar/caffeine withdrawal headaches. This is huge. I get migraines, so where are my headaches?!
  • I brewed a cup of coffee mid-day and I couldn't really figure out why. I didn't WANT it. It just seemed like something I should do. Habits have SO MUCH POWER. (I dumped the coffee.)
  • No mood swings. None. I sometimes have temper issues, alone all day with a toddler.
  • No anxiety issues.
  • Clear-headed.

All that. Huh. I'm kind of waiting for the carb-flu shoe to drop, but maybe I'll be spared...? Here's hoping.

 

 

Oh, food.

 

Egg salad, homemade mayo, chopped garden veggies, hot water w/ lemon for breakfast.

 

Salmon salad, cherry tomatoes, banana, macadamia nuts for lunch (I'm working my way through the leftovers, and trying to do a smaller lunch because I haven't been hungry for dinner. Plus reflux.)

 

Baked chicken breast served...some way. I'm not sure yet. With a big bowl of carrot soup (big dollop of coconut oil to sautee the veggies, 1/2 can of coconut milk for creaminess).

 

Lots of water.

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So yesterday. The headache/tiredness was pretty mild and I chased it away with a couple Tylenol and a cup of coffee.

 

Day 6's breakfast was - 

 

scrambled eggs and bacon (no veggies, bad me, but the headacheyness led me to asking DH to make breakfast, and he doesn't know the stuff. At least he didn't offer me toast. He's actually being really supportive.)

 

creamy kale soup (coconut oil, coconut milk, tons of kale, onion, turkey broth homemade), a little chicken salad, half a banana, some hazelnuts

 

baked pork chops (olive oil), spaghetti squash with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.

 

 

I'm finding miniature meals work better for me, especially if they're a little lighter on the protein recommendation (I only need "one palm" instead of 1.5 or 2 in my later-in-the-day meals)

 

Day 7 (today!!!)

 

I woke up feeling lighter. I visibly have less abdominal fat. How about that?

 

Breakfast: Leftover kale soup, chicken salad, water w/ lemon, black coffee

 

Lunch: Not sure yet. Maybe the leftover pork chop plus veggies.

 

Dinner: We'll see how lunch goes. I took a whole chicken and two delmonico steaks from the freezer, and have ground beef thawed, but I also need to go through the vegetable drawer and see what needs cooking ASAP. There might be a fritatta in my dinner future.

 

And UPS will deliver my grass-fed ghee today, woohoo!

 

 

This weekend I want to do a Well-Fed style cookup, so I need to take stock and get my chickens in a row. I also want to start a workout routine. Time to do some research.

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Tina Marie, I think it was just time. :) A month ago, I might not have tossed that sandwich.

 

 

Today...today was not good.

I messed with the template, did not have a protein-veg-fat breakfast (LARA bar fail), and suffered all day, despite attempts to balance everything with quality meals the rest of the day. I can't wait for a do-over tomorrow, which is...farmer's market day!

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Tina Marie, I think it was just time. :) A month ago, I might not have tossed that sandwich.

 

 

Today...today was not good.

I messed with the template, did not have a protein-veg-fat breakfast (LARA bar fail), and suffered all day, despite attempts to balance everything with quality meals the rest of the day. I can't wait for a do-over tomorrow, which is...farmer's market day!

Hey Emily,

 

Great log!  How did your big weekly cook up go?  The first time I did it I cooked way too much, then the next time, too little.  After a few try's you get the hang of it and it sure helps with not spending hours in the kitchen during the week. 

 

So you're in Day 11 now?  How are you doing/feeling?

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Hi Emily- I just wanted to check back in with you. It is really great reading the progress you are making and the differences you are experiencing physically. I am feeling really rooted in this way of eating. I have been sleeping like a champ (UNHEARD OF FOR MY INSOMNIAC ASS), waking up earlier, going to bed earlier, less bodily pain. My energy isn't through the roof per se, but nor am I dragging ass. I love that you threw out your PB and J, and I think what you said about not spending an hour on the couch nursing two cups of coffee in lieu of breakfast, is a very insightful observation. So much of this experience is about learning how to take care of ourselves first, so that we may better help those in our lives. I am going to share this link with you, as it has been insanely helpful. It's a round up of whole 30 approved recipes on Nom Nom Paleo. I have been making the Leon's Caper sauce and putting it on leftover chicken and veg. Delicious. 

I have grassfed beef and organic pork meatballs slow cooking for tonight's supper along zucchini noodles and ratatouille. I also have a grassfed flank steak marinating for carne asada tomorrow night (I will use hearts of romaine in place of a tortilla...) I feel you on the pocket-book and time consumption issue. Remember: the crock pot is your best friend. Keep up the awesome work! 

http://nomnompaleo.com/post/42057515329/the-round-up-30-days-of-whole30-recipes

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