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Here & Now-Whole30 Log


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I’m starting my Whole30 today and I’m logging it here.


First, a little background. WARNING: Bloggy...


Here & Now


This is a concept prompted by my favorite coach/philosopher/author, Dan John. I’ve never met him, but I feel like I know him. I love him like a brother. I recommend his writings to anyone who wants to get better at any of the important things: lifting, living, loving.


Dan asks the questions:

Where am I?

What time is it?


The answers are: Here and Now. Pretty simple.


Well, maybe not.


In my head, I’m often not in the Here and Now. In my head, I’m in the past-- a lot younger, stronger, fitter. Sometimes in my head, I’m in the future, hoping to be leaner, healthier, smarter, richer, happier. You get the picture.


Being Here and Now is hard. It’s self-acceptance. It’s recognizing the moment and accepting things how they here. Here. And. Now.



OK, now on to my Whole30.


Today is January 1, 2015, Day 1.

I did one successful Whole30. I've started and quit several times since. This time, I will get it right.


Meal 1: "Egg Pie" This is a breakfast casserole that I always have on hand. Meat, vegetables, eggs, spices. It's all there to heat and eat. It's good cold, too.

               Sliced avocado and salsa. Grape tomatoes. A few olives. A few sections of grapefruit.


Meal 2: Sliced turkey, assorted salad vegetables, homemade mayo dressing, avocado, homemade applesauce.

Meal 3: Spaghetti Squash with Meatballs and Marinara Sauce.

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Today is a "cook up" day. So far: ghee, mayo, breakfast casserole, and a big pot of chili is on the stove. I've washed and prepped vegetables: cucumbers, bell peppers, radishes, tomatoes, etc.


I have bones roasting for beef broth. Standing by, waiting for the oven, I have Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, russet potatoes, and a spaghetti squash.


Either today or tomorrow, I'll make a big batch of breakfast sausage patties, chicken cacciatore meatballs, and a crockpot beef roast.


So far, so good.


I still have to get in a workout. It will feel good to swing a kettlebell and stretch after so much standing.

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Made it through Day 1 with no problems. I thought about how I was going to mourn the baked goods that have crept back into my diet.


I'm enjoying the daily emails--I've decided already that it was a worthwhile investment.


I have more food prep and cooking to do, then it's back to work tomorrow...that's the real challenge, but I'm up for it.

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A few thoughts....


I did a successful W30 in August 2012.  I lost fat; my skin, hair and nails improved; morning sinus issues disappeared; digestive complaints were resolved; joint pain lessened dramatically; energy levels increased and evened out; my outlook and attitude improved....


During reintroduction, I really didn’t notice any food that had to be avoided completely. That was unfortunate, as I smugly began adding foods, thinking, “I can handle this.”


Slippery Slope.


I reread ISWF several times. I started a W30 several times. And several times, I would go a few days (or hours) and then lose my resolve. I came to a point where I had to figure this out and get it right. I’m closing in on 62, I’m carrying around too much weight, I don’t feel good in general, and I know how to fix it.


I’m contrary by nature, and I tend to knee-jerk away from blanket statements like “It Starts With Food.” My contrary self has been thinking about this a lot lately and I’ve come up with a rationale that I may be able to accept.


It doesn’t always Start with Food. It Starts with My Head. Yes, I know the book lays out a beautiful argument supporting the title. I don’t dispute any of it. Logically, my head wants to jump on board. Getting my “inner brat” to go along is a challenge.


After some quiet reflection, I realize subconsciously that I don’t believe I deserve optimum health.


This is where it starts. Counseling and a change of perspective.

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Egg Pie--not so much a recipe as a method...

1 pound or so ground meat

1/2 - 1 cup each diced or shredded vegetables (onion, bell peppers, mushrooms, kale, potato, etc)

Seasoning blend to compliment other ingredients (see below)

16-18 eggs, beaten (another reason to love my immersion blender)


Brown the meat and add vegetables, cooking until tender and most moisture has cooked away.

Season with chosen blend and mix well. At this point, I usually stir in a cup or so of compliant salsa or marinara sauce. The tomatoes add something, but are not apparent in the result.

Place in greased 9x13-pan.

Pour eggs over and cover with foil.

Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 15 minutes. (I use a Pyrex baking dish, so I set oven to 325°F)

It should be set in center and lightly browned. Take care no to over-bake or it will be tough.


Cool and cut into 8 servings and refrigerate. (I wrap them individually. Heat in the microwave, 30 seconds at a time, 2-3 times. Top with salsa and avocado or other complimentary toppings.)



Breakfast Sausage--good with pork or turkey/pork mixture

1 tsp each of dried sage, dried thyme, paprika, salt, black pepper.  Pinch of nutmeg and cayenne pepper to taste.


Italian- Good with beef or chicken

I use Penzey's Tuscan Sunset blend and add salt


Mexican- Good with beef

I use Mrs. Dash's Chipotle blend and add salt


These are just a few of the ways I've made it. The combinations are endless. Have fun experimenting

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Marinara Sauce. I can't do any better than what I get at Costco. Kirkland brand Marinara Sauce is made of compliant ingredients and I love the flavor.


Meatballs: I make a lot of meatballs and I got the recipes from Well Fed 2 by Melissa Joulwan. She shares some of them on her website, the clothes make the girl.




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Day 2:

Meal 1: eggs scrambled with compliant bacon, onion, and kale, cherry tomatoes, a few sections of grapefruit

(Brilliant suggestion by Melicious to pre-section grapefruit and keep it in the refrigerator. A half a grapefruit is sometimes too much....and... I have to take my glasses off to eat it)


Meal 2: compliant hot dog with lots of vegetables, homemade mayo, olives

Meal 3: Crazy Good Crockpot Beef, roasted Brussels sprouts, sliced tomatoes, homemade applesauce


I had a couple bites of beef while doing stuff in the kitchen. This is one of the habits I must change. Even though it was compliant food, it was a snack.


So far so good, except for the workouts. I had two very busy days with food planning, prepping, cooking, storing, etc.




Boy, that's a lame-ass excuse...

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Day 3.

So far, so good.


I had to be at work at 5:30am, so I took something I could eat at my desk before we opened for business. I know it's not ideal, but I just can't get up any earlier than 4am. Besides it's usually just Sundays--this week I had to cover a vacation.


Meal 1--at my desk. Sausage patties, celery with almond butter, bell pepper slices, 1/2 apple.

Meal 2--at work, in the lunch room.  Tuna (homemade mayo) salad with lots of vegetables

Meal 3--leftover crock pot beef, green beans with ghee, sliced tomatoes and bell peppers, small serving pineapple.


I had a couple moments today at work where I felt that urge for a muffin or donut. I stopped and thought about how easy it had become for me to just cave in and go get something gooey.


Yay me.

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I had food dreams last night. I don't remember much but there was a huge candy bar made up of smaller candy bars. I didn't eat any of it. I also remember carrying something I wasn't supposed to eat and I didn't eat it. I was worried I would spill it on me (whatever it was) and that would ruin my W30. When I woke up, I laughed about it and didn't feel a bit guilty.


Today was day 4...another success.


Meal 1: Sausage patties, assorted salad vegetables, almond butter, half an apple

Meal 2: sliced turkey breast and a big salad with homemade dressing

Meal 3: Paleo Chicken fingers with dipping sauce; roasted Brussels sprouts, assorted salad vegetables, olives, homemade applesauce


I had a few food urges today, but no cravings. There wasn't a particular food I wanted, just something from the bakery. I passed. I am not going to spoil my W30 this time.

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Happy Monday.

My work week is Sat-Tue, so I'm almost finished. Work is a huge challenge for me to stay in control with any eating plan. So far, so good.


Meal 1: homemade sausage patties, eggs fried in coconut oil, cherry tomatoes and about 1/4 grapefruit.

Meal 2: tuna salad on a mountain of greens and other salad vegetables; homemade salad dressing, small serving pineapple

Meal 3: leftover crock pot beef, 1/2 a baked potato with ghee, yellow squash.


I'm feeling a little sluggish from lowered carbs, but no too bad. I had more strange dreams last night, but they were more work-related than centered around food.


I'm pleased that 5 days are nearly complete. I don't have to worry about temptation at home; I have a (mostly) compliant kitchen and pantry. My husband bought into Paleo the last time we did W30 and he has been able to stick with it and control his off-roading. He is great support to me, though.

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Today is Day 7

I didn't take time to log anything yesterday, but I stuck to the plan.


Meal 1 : "egg pie" with salsa and avocado, cherry tomatoes, small serving of grapefruit sections

Meal 2: tuna salad made with homemade mayo, lots of vegetables, small serving pineapple

Meal 3: spaghetti squash with meat sauce, small serving pineapple


It was a very stressful day at work.

That's not true...the whole day was pretty good. There was a phone call--one phone call--that was aggravating and I let it stress me out for a couple hours.


My co-worker who is on Day 4 of his W30, was very supportive. I pointed to the big, unopened Holiday Basket of sweets and treats, and said, "If I wasn't doing a W30, I'd be ripping into those chocolate-covered pretzels." We laughed about it.


It struck home about how easily I used to submit to cookies to cope with a minimal amount of stress.


Instead of soothing myself with food that I would later regret, I took a walk. A few minutes was enough.

Yay me.


Midday, my co-worker and I both complained of low energy and sluggishness. I mentioned that this is the time of day I would be having some sort of snack. Over the past several months, that snack had devolved from a handful of nuts to a giant cookie or muffin from the in-house bakery.


We agreed that what we needed was water. It worked. I wasn't hungry; I was in the habit of a snack and probably a little dehydrated.


I'll be back later with a report on today.

It's my normal three days off from work.

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I had my teeth cleaned this morning, and as usual, it was interesting. The hygienist is a weightlifter. She trained for the 2000 Olympic Games, but didn't compete, due to injury. I love hearing her tell stories about training and competing, etc. The downside....she has very strong hands and sometimes the cleaning can be a bit rough.


Meal 1: homemade sausage patties adn eggs, cherry tomatoes, small portion grapefruit

Meal 2: leftover Paleo Chicken Fingers, assorted salad vegetables, olives

Snack: (first one all week) Macadamia nuts and a few dried cherries

Meal 3: leftover spaghetti squash with meat sauce, small serving pineapple, compliant hot dogs, variety of salad vegetables, olives


[had to call an audible on Meal 3. Mother in law called from assisted living, saying she was confused and disoriented. We went to see her and to talk to staff. She's OK. A little dehydrated. And 91 years old.]


Husband wanted a mid-afternoon snack. He's fairly compliant to Paleo, but not doing W30 with me. He had a piece of grain/sugar/dairy-free banana brownie and I was feeling a bit left out. I had some nuts and dried fruit on hand, so I splurged on a small amount.


I did the Day 7 Food for Thought self-reflection worksheet. There is not too much to notice at the one-week point, though I am sleeping better.


I still have to get organized with my exercise. Developing consistency in my strength training is an important objective and so far, I've done little more than think about it.


On the over 60 thread I posted some comments about WW and W30. I could have gone on a rant, but decided that was not the place.


This is.


Weight Watchers, IMO, is not the ideal method of reaching a healthy weight. Oh, you can lose the weight. I did... over 90 pounds. I lost the weight and basically torched my metabolism. My hair started falling out. My skin was dry and eczema outbreaks were frequent. I had multiple "allergies." Later, I realized that my fat intake had been less than 10% of calories. I was starving the weight off; including precious muscle.


Once I was at Goal, I read a book by body builder, Tom Venuto, called "Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle." I learned a lot about how to eat and train to lose the fat, but keep muscle. Once I started strength training, I was able to turn it around....a little. I had to watch every bite for fear of gaining too much back. I kept meticulous records of macro-nutrients on top of the WW tracking of points. It was unhealthy compulsive behavior. BUT I WAS WEARING A SIZE 6!!!!!


With WW, it's all about losing weight. Not particularly about losing fat. The number on the scale rules all. Emotions run the gamut at a WW meeting. Big celebration for losing a few ounces and deep anguish for gaining some back.  The members share recipes for low point versions of everything, using fat free cheese, diet soda, artificial sweetener, etc.


Members often talk about what they ate yesterday and how it affected today's weight. Or how if they gained a bit from week to week, it was "muscle" from exercising. Gah.....


Members have their lucky "weigh-in" clothes. I've seen members strip down to underwear to weigh in. What is their plan for next week? Naked?


Been there, done that. And I could go on....

WW claims to be moving toward more "clean eating," but I'm not convinced. Look at the products they sell with WW logo. Plus, what they consider "clean and healthy" is not approved by W30. Whole grains, legumes, vegetable oil, fat free dairy, soy products. Yikes.


It's my opinion that what keeps WW in business is the failures of its members. Join. Lose. Cancel expensive membership. Gain. Re-join. Repeat. 



Rant over....

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Day 8.

First week is finished and I can't say I notice a lot of big changes. That may be because I had been following a semi-Paleo eating plan for a while. At home, anyway. DH and I eat relatively cleanly at home, with a splurge or two each week. We don't go out often, but occasionally have to travel overnight, and we don't go to great effort to seek out compliant eating places. We do the best we can with "regular" eateries. Not perfect.


My biggest challenge is at work. I work in a large hotel-resort-spa-casino with a huge convention center. Large=1600 rooms. There are a dozen food outlets and an in-house bakery. Our employee lunchroom has its own kitchen, but there are always "leftovers" from banquets, broken cookies, etc. You get the picture.


If that weren't bad enough, my coworkers are a bunch of junk food junkies. :o

On any given day, there could be donuts, pizza, candy, cookies, muffins, and so on. Over the holidays, it was ridiculous.


It all calls my name. I have tried to not let myself be ambushed by bringing my own "treats" to work. Huh. Well, that didn't work.


So....I have decided that a real Whole 30 is what I need. No more saying, "just a bite," or "one won't kill me."


Anyway, I made it through one work week completely compliant. So far so good.


What worked:

Taking something for Meal 1 on the mornings I had to be there by 5:30am. Eating at my desk isn't ideal, but eating at 4am is not going to happen.

Taking enough food to keep me satisfied between meals.

 Refusing to look at or go near the temptations, and reminding myself that those giant cookies in the lunch room had already been "served" somewhere in the hotel and were rejected. (Probably not true, but the image is convincing)

 Having a coworker also on W30; a person who was very successful with his first W30 and fell off the wagon when he broke his leg.


What I can work on:

Drink more water. I have become less mindful of how much water I consume.

Get back into consistent, dedicated exercise. Walking around the hotel on work days is not enough, even when I do several flights of stairs. I have enough workout programs to last me my lifetime (not really, but still). I need to pick one, start it and stick with it.


Today's meals:

Meal 1: sausage patties, kale, eggs, tomatoes

Meal 2: deconstructed club san: bacon, lettuce, tomato, turkey, avocado. Cup of bone broth.

Meal 3: Beef stew inspired by Well Fed

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I did quite a bit of cooking today. I turned my bone broth into tasty Paleo French Onion Soup from Meatified.com.



I mixed up 3 pounds of ground meat into meatballs to be baked tomorrow. I made my weekly egg pie and a paleo-ish chocolate banana cake for DH. I chopped vegetables for Beef Stew to be finished tomorrow. I washed and prepped lots of vegetables for my upcoming work week.


Spending a day--or part of two days--puttering in the kitchen saves me quite a bit of time on work days. I can grab an egg pie portion and heat it up in about 2 minutes, if I'm running late. DH doesn't have to worry about preparing any meals for himself; there's sliced meat and prepped salad vegetables standing by. Plus, soup and chili.

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Day 9

Didn't get the Beef Stew made, so Meal 3 yesterday was chicken tenderloins, green beans, and a cup of my onion soup.


I'm frequently thankful I keep a big bag of that chicken in the freezer. It thaws quickly, then I season it with a spice blend and pan fry it in coconut oil.


Woke up feeling like I might be getting a cold. Sore throat and some bronchial congestion.  It might be the air quality here. We're in a thermal inversion and there is a lot of gunk in the air.


I'm having coffee before my meal and it is helping my throat. Next will be a session with my Neti-pot. I thought about rinsing my sinuses yesterday, but didn't do it. I hope that's all I need. I don't want to get sick.


I got a summons for jury duty for Federal Court later this month. Whee...

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Yep, it feels like a cold. I'm congested and throat is sore. I drank some tea with lemon and that helped. I gargled hot salt water and that helped.


Meal 1: egg pie--sausage, kale, onions, peppers, mushrooms, eggs, topped with salsa

Meal 2: chili--full of vegetables and ground meat

Meal 3: beef stew-from Well Fed

Snack: macadamia nuts which were not great on my throat.


I kept it simple today.

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Day 10.

It's a work day and I called in sick. My throat is very sore and I'm congested. I could work (desk job) if I had to, but it's a small office with 3-4 people and I don't want to share this with anyone. Husband is resigned to being next...


I'm glad I got a lot of cooking done over my days off. Now that I'm off the hook for working, I'm feeling a little let down. I do have to work tomorrow, so if I rest up today, I should be good to go.


Food plan...

Meal 1: sausage and eggs, kale, tomatoes. (a steaming bowl of oats sounds good, but....)

Meal 2: bone broth onion soup with some leftover pot roast thrown in. apple with almond butter

Meal 3: leftover spaghetti squash with meat sauce

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It was a short day at work and I'm glad I'm home, flopped in my bib chair, nursing a cup of hot water with lemon and watching football.


My throat feels better, but I'm congested and coughing a lot.


Not much of an appetite, but chewing helps relieve the pressure in my head. I ate an apple with almond butter and some dried cherries, and it helped.


Dinner with be Beef Stew.

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I missed posting, but I have stayed on track.

Catching up on meals here...

Day 11:

Meal 1- homemade sausage patties, celery sticks and 1/2 an apple with almond butter. This was eaten in my office at work. No one else there yet.

Meal 2- not really a meal, as I left work early and came home. I had the other half apple and some almond butter

Meal 3- Left over Beef Stew


Day 12:

Meal 1-homemade sausage patties and eggs fried in coconut oil. kale, cherry tomatoes, small piece pineapple

Meal 2-sliced turkey breast and lots of salad vegetables, homemade dressing, pineapple

Meal 3- spaghetti squash with meat sauce. homemade apple sauce

Snack: some macadamia nuts and a few dried cherries.... (this is a bad habit I've started)


Day 13

Meal 1- homemade sausage patties and eggs fried in coconut oil. kale, cherry tomatoes, small piece pineapple

Meal 2-sliced turkey breast and lots of salad vegetables, homemade dressing, pineapple

Meal 3-beef stew

Snack: LARABAR at work. I was looking at the pastries in the Bakery and telling myself one of those would make me feel better. Yeah, right.


Now I need to catch up on my reading of posts.

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Day 14 today.

W30 Daily was about kitchen gadgets.

My favorite is my immersion blender. It has a small processor bowl that works with it. Very handy.


I have a mandoline that I have used only a few times. I can do nearly as well with a sharp knife.

I have a julienne slicer that I've used a few time, and usually I nick a finger with it. I'm thinking a Spiralizer is what I need, but until I know I will use it, I'll pass.



On my Amazon Wish List is the Instant Pot. After reading lots of recipes, I'm ready to make the purchase. I have a small kitchen, so multi-function devices are helpful. If I buy the Instant Pot, I can retire my Crock Pot.



Meal 1: 4 eggs scrambled in coconut oil with kale, seasoned with Sunshine Spice (Well Fed), cherry tomatoes, 1/2 grapefruit

Meal 2: Plan: sliced turkey with salad vegetables OR chili

Meal 3: Plan: Spaghetti squash with meatballs and marinara sauce


Keeping it simple while recovering from my cold. Now DH has it, and since he insists on doing all the kitchen cleanup, I'll keep it easy for him, too. :)

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I ordered the Instant Pot today. Now I will collect some more recipes. I have a trial version of Paprika recipe manager and i think I'll buy it, too. It's an easy way to "harvest" recipes from websites without a lot of reformatting.

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Instant Pot is a multi-functional cooking appliance. Pressure cooker, slow cooker, steamer, etc. I like that I can brown meat in the stainless steel insert before cooking.


It  defeats the purpose of a crock pot, to have to pre-cook some of the ingredients. I would rather not get another large pan dirty. But I'm lazy that way.

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