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First Whole30, starting Jan. 11

Brooklyn esq.

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I started eating "paleo-ish" in August 2014. At the same time, I started a more regular exercise regime, and at this point I've lost about 16 pounds since my first August weigh-in.


I've been curious about the Whole30 since then, and decided to do a Whole30 now as a sort of reset to all the excesses I indulged in over the holidays. In addition, I'm hoping to get to the reintroduction protocol to get some information about certain things I suspect might be causing some unwelcome effects. My first priority is to get some help for my migraines, which I've suffered from since age 9. I know that hot temperatures, heavy exertion, and dehydration are triggers for me. (Luckily, while exercising is a trigger, the more fit I am, the less likely it is to be a trigger, so that helps motivate me.) But I also suspect that wheat and sugar may also be triggers.


In addition, I have repetitive/postural stress strain to my shoulders, neck, and back, from logging long hours at my desk job. I'm curious to see whether the Whole30 can provide any relief for that.


My sister and her husband will be joining me in this (though they're starting in a few more days), which I'm very excited about! My husband is mainly supportive and loves the food I've been making on our paleo-ish adventure, so I can count on him to help, too.


I just learned that I may have to take a 3-4 day work trip at the end of January. This is the only thing that I expect could derail me. It's going to be hard to be 100% sure of what I'm eating while living in a hotel (though I'm going to try to get a room with a kitchenette so I can cook). In addition, it's meant to be a bonding experience with co-workers I work with every day but only see once a year, so celebrating with them may become more of a priority. We'll see what happens as that time gets closer!

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One more thing I forgot to mention from earlier: I WANT TO TAME THE SUGAR DRAGON. Sugar has been a source of comfort and delight for me for so long—I want sugar when I’m sad, mad, stressed, tired, and when I celebrate! I want its hold on me (must have dessert after lunch and dinner, with a big sugary snack in between) to be gone. So that’s included in my goals with this W30.


Day 1

Sleep schedule (night before): 1:00 am to 8:45 am (not typical!)



Eggs scrambled in coconut oil (the first time I’ve used it! Good results.)

Sweet potatoes with sautéed cabbage and Brussels sprouts (leftover from dinner last night)

¼ avocado



Pre-WO meal:

small roasted chicken thigh


Exercise: “Spin flow” class (30 min cycling, 30 min yoga)


Post-WO meal/lunch:

mint tea, green salad with avocado, beets, tomato, carrot, cucumber dressed with lemon juice; homemade tomato-red pepper soup with shredded small chicken thigh; 1 clementine, 1 medjool date



white tea, 2  stalks celery and ½ small apple with almond butter and a few raisins



beef stew, shredded Brussels sprouts cooked in ghee, ½ apple, 1 medjool date


Headache report:

I started getting a headache during spin (this happens for me often). Yoga seemed to resolve it, but it came back later in the afternoon, so I took some Excedrin.



Not snacking in the afternoon is going to be tough with our schedules. During the week, I usually eat breakfast around 7pm, lunch around noon, and dinner around 8pm. I accidentally skipped having coffee this morning. I’ve been cutting my consumption and was down to ½ a cup in the mornings. This morning I didn’t make it and by the time my husband did, I wasn’t interested. I’m not sure I want to quit it entirely, but I may see where this goes.


I can’t imagine that my reports will be this long during the week!

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DAY 2 (Mon)


Prior night’s sleep schedule: 11 pm to 6:10 am (one snooze)

I had some trouble getting to sleep last night, which is unusual for me. Pretty groggy (normal amount) upon waking. Project Get 8 Hours of Sleep is going into effect tonight.


Breakfast (6:45 am)

2 medium-boiled eggs, ½ large sweet potato, compliant hot sauce, small handful blueberries, 2 celery stalks with 2 Tbsp almond butter, 1/2 c coffee


Snack (10:45 am)

1 hard-boiled egg, 1/3 apple


Lunch (12:30 pm)

1 ½ roasted chicken thighs along with ~3 c mixedveg: sweet potato, broccoli, green beans and Sunshine Sauce (Well Fed); 2Medjool dates


Snack (3:45 pm)

2/3 apple


Dinner (7:30 pm)

5-spice ribs (Clothes Make the Girl), kale sautéed in coconut oil with garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, and coconut aminos, cauliflower rice, Clementine, Medjool date, dried unsweetened mango, dried unsweetened cherries



Started feeling shaky/hungry at 10:45 so I ate some snacks I brought to work. Suspect I didn’t have enough protein at breakfast but I have a hard time eating enough early in the morning. Maybe that will change? I’m going to keep track of what time I eat so I can see if that has any effect. Stopping snacking is hard!

I’ve had a sore throat since Friday so I consumed herbal tea all day to soothe it. I went on a bit of a dried fruit binge after dinner—I’ll have to keep my hands out of that cabinet. Also had some stomach upset after dinner.



DAY 3 (Tues)


Prior night’s sleep schedule: Can’t remember!



3 scrambled eggs over sweet potatoes and sautéed kale, 1/2 c coffee



Green salad topped with grilled chicken and sweet potatoes



5-spice ribs, green beans, cauliflower rice



Sore throat went away today, herbal tea drinking decreased proportionately (I still drink some because it's very cold in my office)




DAY 4 (Wed)


Prior night’s sleep schedule: 10:30 pm to 6:15 am


Breakfast (6:45 am)

2 soft-boiled eggs, boiled potatoes tossed in ghee, leftover shredded Brussels sprouts; 1/2 c coffee


Lunch (12:30 pm)

Green salad with bell pepper, boiled potato, green beans, topped with tuna salad with homemade mayo; balsamic dressing; 2 medjool dates


Snack I can’t even remember if I had one!


Dinner (9:00 pm)

3 olives, beef stew with potatoes, sautéed kale, 2 Medjool dates


Workout: 1 hour Pilates



I made a third (hard-boiled) egg to eat after my workout this morning, but I was surprised that I didn’t want it.



DAY 5 (Thurs)


Prior night’s sleep schedule: 11:00 pm to 6:30 am (one snooze)

No trouble going to sleep. Same wake-up.


Breakfast (7:00 am)

2 medium-boiled eggs, white and sweet potatoes tossed in ghee, sautéed kale, compliant hot sauce; 1/2 c coffee


Lunch (12:45 pm)

Faux pad thai: spaghetti squash, red bell pepper, green beans, shredded roasted chicken, tossed in Sunshine Sauce (Well Fed); blueberries, two Medjool dates


Snack (4:30 pm)

1 hard-boiled egg, small green salad with oil and vinegar


Dinner (9:00 pm)

Spaghetti squash in olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes, tossed in 1 scrambled egg, with roasted chicken; 2 clementines; 2 Medjool dates



Some stomach distress this morning. Good steady energy throughout the day until around 5:30.

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DAY 6 (Fri)


Prior night’s sleep schedule: 11:15 pm to 6:45 am

I got a burst of energy around 10:30 last night so I stayed up too late. Had a really hard time waking up this morning.


Breakfast (7:45 am)

2 soft-boiled eggs, medium sweet potato, compliant hot sauce, 2 celery stalks with 1 Tbsp almond butter, half cup coffee


Snack (11:30 am)

1 apple


Lunch (1:00 pm)

Tuna with homemade mayo (Well Fed); Green salad with bell pepper, boiled potatoes, green beans


Dinner (9:00 pm)

Made a mostly W30 dinner for a large (mostly non-w30) crowd tonight. I ate: salmon rubbed with chile and lime (from Zenbelly) with a premade compliant cilantro pesto; roasted butternut squash with a chile-cilantro dressing (from Smitten Kitchen); salad of greens, pomegranate seeds, and avocado with homemade dressing; green beans with almonds and cranberries. Dessert was fresh strawberries and blueberries and a couple of Medjool dates.  It was really hard to resist the ice creams and chocolates that the other dinner party guests were enjoying! My brother-in-law, who is also doing the W30, observed that this was the psychological impact.



DAY 7 (Sat)


Prior night’s sleep schedule: 1 am to 8:15 am

Surprisingly, it wasn’t that hard to wake up. But then again, it was Saturday.


Breakfast (9:30 am)

3 eggs scrambled in ghee, roasted sweet potatoes with spices, frozen green beans cooked in ghee and spices, hot sauce, ½ c coffee


Lunch (2:00 pm)

Packed an insulated bag to take to my mom’s with my W30 meal! Beef stew with potatoes and frozen broccoli; 1 clementine; hot tea


Dinner (7:00 pm?)

Back at my place, my mom and my husband had take-out from the Middle Eastern restaurant across the street while I quickly assembled leftovers: 2 small roast chicken thighs and cauliflower rice, sprinkled with lemon juice and za’atar, plus a side salad from the restaurant of chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onion with lemon and olive oil; 2 Medjool dates. Later, binged on more dried fruit—didn’t mean to do that.

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DAY 8 (Sun)

Prior night’s sleep schedule: Midnight to 7:45 am


Breakfast (9:30 am)

2 scrambled eggs, compliant chorizo (delicious), fingerling potatoes from our CSA parboiled then fried in ghee and spices, 1/3 apple, ½ c coffee. I wanted to eat something that would take me through my workout.



30 min spin, 30 min yoga


Lunch (2:00 pm)
Barbacoa beef (defrosted from freezer) wrapped in lettuce leaves—ate a small amount because I knew I would be snacking all afternoon


Snacks (3-6 pm, during the football game)

Sliced bell pepper, carrots from the CSA, celery, and cucumber, with my husband’s awesome guacamole and with homemade “ranch” dressing (cumin-lime dressing from the Clothes Make the Girl, so much better than the stuff from the bottle!); 3 Medjool dates and 2 dried pears


Dinner (8:15 pm)

We went out with friends tonight, to a hipster Caribbean place. We arrived before our friends so I cornered the hostess (who turned out to be a fitness instructor familiar with Paleo) to ask about ingredients. I ended up having their peppered shrimp (delicious and spicy, cooked in canola oil), fried plantains (again canola), spicy slaw (no mayo or sugar), and a green salad. Also a seltzer with lime.


Snack (10:00 pm)

Apple with almond butter.



I’ve got to cut down on the dried fruit. I was really pleased to be able to try a new restaurant and stick to the w30, but I did miss (1) trying a nice cocktail, (2) not being able to try all of the food (eg the jerk chicken which had some sugar in its brine, and (3) missing out on the complementary dessert, a coconut gelato that was very modest in portion and looked delicious. Also, my dinner portion was somewhat small and it was hard to supplement--hence the apple with almond butter.


This is when I started complaining to my husband that I couldn’t wait for the w30 to be over—he took it well! J



DAY 9 (Mon)—MLK Jr Day


Prior night’s sleep schedule: cannot remember. I had off from work so the schedule didn’t much matter.


Breakfast (9:00 am?)

2 soft-boiled eggs, ½ c coffee, carrot and celery sticks in leftover ranch, apple


Lunch (1:00 pm)

Beef and butternut squash chili (defrosted) mixed with cauliflower rice; compliant hot sauce, sliced jalapeno peppers, and cilantro


Dinner (7:15 pm)

Deconstructed lamb gyro platter (The Clothes Make the Girl), including salad and sauce; beet, orange, and endive salad with blood-orange vinaigrette (Zenbelley)



I cooked for most of the day today to prepare for the week. I got really tired of wintery foods last week so I resolved to make some more summery flavors and try some new things. It was nice to have the extra day attached to the weekend so I could enjoy this, but it was sure tiring!

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DAY 10 (Tues 1/20)


Prior night’s sleep schedule: 10:40 pm to 6:30 am (hit snooze and stayed in bed until 6:45)

Had a hard time waking up this morning. I hope it’s because my sleep was so wacky over the weekend and it will settle out as my schedule normalizes.


Breakfast (7:30 am)

2 soft-boiled eggs, bowl of roasted cauliflower soup with lime and pinenuts (Zenbelly)


Lunch (12:30 pm)

Leftover lamb gyro with sauce, roasted broccoli, green salad with tomatoes and cucumbers (lemon/olive oil dressing). I forgot to pack any starchy veg—whoops! That may be a problem later on.


Snack (3:15 pm)

Cashew cookie Larabar—turns out the lack of strachy veg at lunch was an issue. I was starving and shaky at this point.


Workout: dance class, 2 hours. I forgot to eat my hard-boiled egg before class and was shaky about an hour through.


Dinner (9:00 pm)

Cocoa-chili pulled pork (Zenbelly), roast acorn squash with ghee, roast broccoli with garlic, hot sauce (Trader Joe’s jalapeno, compliant and quite tasty!), 2 clementines, 3 Medjool dates, 2 dried pears



Today I decided to quit coffee. I’ve been wanting to do this for a while and have been ramping down my intake. Since I’m anticipating a business trip next week with little access to good coffee, I decided to start now.

I was uncomfortably full after breakfast but hungry by noon, about 4.5 hours later. This isn’t the 5-6 hours I’ve heard I should go without being hungry, so I’m still trying to figure that piece out.

I started getting a headache around 3 pm. I’m not sure if it’s the lack of coffee, not enough lunch, or something else. When it stuck around until 5 I took Excedrin so I could get through my dance class without pain.

On a pleasant note, my hair looks really shiny.



DAY 11 (Wed 1/21)


Prior night’s sleep schedule: 10:45 pm to 6 am

Woke up a few minutes before my alarm, dozed, got up pretty easily


Breakfast (6:30 am)

Leftover pulled pork


Workout: 1 hour Pilates


Post-workout snack (9:30 am)

Beet and orange salad—Pilates is not a hard workout so I didn’t think I needed another serving of protein.


Lunch (1:00 pm)

I ate with a friend so I had a salad from Chop’t (spinach, romaine, tomatoes, grilled chicken, jalapenos, bell peppers, avocado, lemon juice, and olive oil), followed by a sweet potato brought from home mashed with ghee and nutmeg


Dinner (7:00 pm)

I did not feel like eating any of the meat I had cooked for this week, so I assembled a platter of compliant prosciutto (Applegate), frozen green beans (dipped in homemade mayo doctored with fresh garlic and lemon), roasted broccoli, and olives, with a side salad of orange and beets. 1 clementine, probably a couple of dates too.



I read these two articles this morning:



And now I feel so much better! I’m doing well on the W30. I can keep working on my over-reliance on fruit and snacks, but I don’t have to feel bad about it.



DAY 12 (Thurs 1/22)


Prior night’s sleep schedule: 11:15? pm to 6:30 am


Breakfast (6:30 am)

2 soft-boiled eggs, baby carrots. I tried to eat more cauliflower soup this morning but I am not enjoying it in its leftover state.


Lunch (1:00 pm)

Lamb gyro, roasted broccoli, roasted acorn squash, with gyro sauce (Well Fed)


Snack (3 pm)

½ c coffee



Pan-roasted flank steak marinated in olive oil, garlic, and lime juice; homemade cilantro chutney (cilantro, garlic, lime juice, salt, olive oil, jalapeno); green cabbage slaw with lime/cilantro; roast beets; roast acorn squash. 1 c mulled cider.

1 Tbsp almond butter before bed.



Despite sleeping all the way through the night (usually I wake up once to go to the bathroom), I was tired all day today; it felt really awful, especially because work was busy. I also found out that my coworker is doing W30! I have been really feeling tired of the W30 and its restrictions, and eating the same boring food over and over (even though I’ve been trying to stretch my culinary boundaries and have really changed it up this week!). I guess I am deep in the psychological effects stage!

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DAY 13 (Fri 1/23)

Prior night’s sleep schedule: 10:45 pm to 7 am

I had The Dream last night. I was at work and there was some sort of celebration with sweets. I decided “to hell with this diet” and sank my teeth into a brownie with frosting—I could actually feel the frosting on my teeth! Then I tried to hide it from the coworker who is doing W30. When I woke up I was convinced I had broken the diet.


Breakfast (8:00 am)

Leftover pulled pork and roast acorn squash topped with 2 fried eggs; leftover cabbage slaw; cilantro chutney; hot sauce. Satisfying breakfast.


Lunch (1:00 pm)

Leftover lamb gyro meat, roast acorn squash, cilantro chutney; green salad with beets and orange with blood orange vinaigrette


Snack (3:30 pm)

Tea with coworkers and a banana


Pre-movie snack (7:00 pm)

Prosciutto, olives


Post-movie dinner (10:00 pm)

A meal at Ellary's Greens in the West Village, one of the two places I've found in NYC where it's relatively easy to be compliant: shrimp scampi (oil, no butter) with tomatoes and zucchini; roasted fingerling potatoes; swiss chard with mushrooms, pinenuts, and pine vinaigrette. 3 Medjool dates when  I got home.


Observations--these are long; this was my toughest day yet

I had a pretty big breakfast, but nonetheless when I walked into my office building I “felt” hungry. I talked to myself (silently) for a long time about this—why am I feeling this way? I had a big, delicious breakfast, am I really hungry? Unlikely, so what’s causing this feeling? It was the first time I’ve really been able to step back from the irrational “I’m hungry” feeling and really question it.

Around 11 I started having major chocolate cravings—I could smell it. By noon, I had shifted to craving reduced-fat Wheat thins with pre-sliced cheddar cheese, a snack from my college days. I kept drinking tea and talking to myself. Throughout the day, though, I felt worse and worse. I was craving almost everything not permitted on the diet and wondering why I had committed myself to 30 days of this crap. I got really frustrated with my husband when he couldn't have dinner with me before the movie, and at every turn I kept thinking about quitting the W30.

Eventually, I took a look at the W30 timeline and realized I was smack in the middle of days 12-15, where cravings are anticipated to be the most intense. So, I convinced myself that if I felt this bad tomorrow, I could quit. I just wanted to finish out Friday and see if things would get any better. So by the time I went to sleep, I was still "on the wagon."

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DAY 14 (Sat 1/24)

Prior night’s sleep schedule: 1 am to 10 am (interrupted by cats misbehaving)


Breakfast (10:30 am)

Leftover pulled pork, 2 soft-boiled eggs, leftover cabbage slaw, a few baby carrots 


Workout: 2 hour dance class


Post-workout snack (2pm)

2 pieces compliant prosciutto, baby carrots


Lunch (4:00 pm)

Leftover flank steak over salad of lettuce, endive, roasted beets, cucumbers, avocado, with olive oil and cider vinegar; homemade "soda" of mulled apple cider (no added sugar) and seltzer. 1/2 grapefruit.


Dinner (8:30 pm)

Seared tuna steak with homemade pineapple-avocado salsa (jalapeno, cilantro, lime); homemade tostones (green plantains) fried in coconut oil; broccoli raab with jalapeno and garlic. Also, drank sparkling water flavored with a lime slice out of a wine glass, which was surprisingly satisfying. 4 bacon-wrapped dates. 5 pieces dried unsweetened mango.



I felt a lot better today. Still having some cravings/resentment, but I felt a lot more cheerful about it. I also decided to break the rut of the wintry food I've been cooking by making our tropically-inspired dinner, which was an enjoyable cooking session and a rewarding result. The pineapple salsa was amazing (intended to be mango but the ones at the store were all unripe). I also found Pederson's (compliant) bacon at Whole Foods and bought 2 packages. Used 3 slices to wrap the dates for me and my husband, saved the remains of that package for breakfast tomorrow. Froze the other package. 

While some of my frustration about the strictures of the diet has been craving-based, I have also experienced it as limiting on my cooking and my enjoyment of going out, two things that are very important to me. So making tonight's special dinner satisfied some of those desires.

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DAY 15 (Sun 1/25)

Prior night’s sleep schedule: 12 am to 8 am 


Breakfast (9:30 am)

2 scrambled eggs, leftover broccoli raab, 2.5 slices compliant bacon (so thrilled to have this)


Pre-WO meal: small amount of tuna with olive oil on top

Workout30 minutes spin, 30 minutes yoga


Post-workout meal (2pm)

1 hardboiled egg, 1 sweet potato 


Lunch (3:00 pm)

Leftover tuna over romaine and cucumber with pineapple salsa over everything--delicious. 1/2 grapefruit.


Dinner (7:30 pm)

Burger (from beef CSA) with kale chips, roasted sweet potato spears, roasted broccoli, compliant curry sauerkraut (Hawthorne Valley Farm), compliant dijon, couple slies avocado. Also drank sparkling water flavored with a lime slice out of a wine glass. 1 Medjool date, couple pieces dried mango. 



I felt better still today, though still with some desire to quit. I started getting a migraine during spin that I thought went away during yoga, but it came back later in the afternoon. 1 dose of Excedrin fixed it.

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DAY 16 (Mon 1/26)

Prior night’s sleep schedule: 10:30 am to 6:30 am

Woke up with my alarm feeling pretty alert. No snoozes necessary.


Breakfast (7:00 am)

2 softboiled eggs, over roasted carrots and broccoli 


Lunch (12:15 pm)

Ground beef with spices (from The Clothes Make the Girl's plantain nachos recipe), really tasty, over frozen broccoli. Cut up raw red bell pepper and carrots.


Snack (5 pm)

5 prunes with about 10 almonds--needed something after hustling home loaded with groceries and bottled water, prepared for the blizzard. Followed up a little mindlessly with 1 small glass of fresh cider. 


Dinner (7:30 pm)

Canal house chicken with lemon over root vegetable mash with bacon and dijon; kale chips. Sparkling water with lemon. 2 Medjool dates and several pieces of dried mango while we watched a movie. 



WIth the blizzard coming to NY all I wanted was to do my traditional things: drink hot cocoa and bake! I replaced those impulses with putting effort into a dinner that turned out to be delicious and didn't miss the cocoa nearly as much as I thought I would. 

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DAY 17 (Tues 1/27)

Prior night’s sleep schedule: 11:15 pm to 7:00 am

Woke up before my alarm (which had been set for 7:15)

Breakfast (8:00 am)

2 soft-boiled eggs over leftover root veg mash, haricots verts, and 4 apple slices. ½ c coffee.


Lunch (1:00 pm)

Escarole salad with butternut squash, currants, crispy prosciutto, lemon-olive oil dressing. Pineapple.


Snack (5 pm)

 Apple slices with almond butter, 1 prune.


Dinner (8:30 pm)

 Cider-braised pork shoulder, mashed red kuri squash, leftover roasted broccoli. Dried mango.

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DAY 18 (Wed 1/28)

Prior night’s sleep schedule: 10:30 pm to 6:30 am

The cats were loud last night, so it was a little hard to get out of bed


Breakfast (7:45 am)

2 soft-boiled eggs over sweet potato cubes with lime and cayenne; raw carrot sticks and bell pepper, blueberries.


Lunch (12:15 pm)

Leftovers: whole chicken leg, root vegetable mash. Sauteed spinach. Dried mango.


Snack (3 pm) almonds and prunes—too many; 1 cup apple cider; compliant pickle


Workout: 45 min spin class. Took 1 dose Excedrin before to ward off migraine. Got a little headachy during class but it didn't stick.


Dinner (8:00 pm)

2 compliant hot dogs, roasted sweet potato, green beans with ghee, leftover spinach, compliant pickle, sauerkraut, mustard, jalapeno slices, . 1 c apple cider. 1 Medjool date.



Today was really tough, I wanted to be done with the Whole30 again. Luckily my sister was available by text to talk me off the ledge. On the up side, I feel an increased sense of focus when I’m at work. Also, my thighs feel really muscular.

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DAY 19 (Thurs 1/29)


Prior night’s sleep schedule: 11:00 pm to 7:00 am

I woke up with my alarm without an issue, but it’s not like I was ready to jump out of bed.


Breakfast (8:00 am)

3 eggs scrambled, leftover roast carrots, frozen greenbeans


Lunch (12:30 pm)

Leftovers: cider-braised pork with red kuri squash; frozen broccoli.

I was feeling really bad after this and wanted a candy bar. Instead, I ate a grapefruit and a Lara bar—maybe not the best response, but at least I stayed compliant.


Dinner (7:30 pm)

Spiced ground beef with roasted carrots; blueberries; dried mango.



I’ve been wondering if this new way of eating is helping with my various sources of pain/inflammation. Today I realized I haven’t felt pain in my knees in a long time (that could be relieved by stronger legs/weight loss). The pain in my shoulder/back also seems to have lessened (though it’s not totally gone). I’ll keep track of that.

My period started on Tuesday, almost a week early. A quick look at the women’s forum shows this is a relatively common occurrence, but it makes me extremely cranky nonetheless.



DAY 20 (Fri 1/30)


Prior night’s sleep schedule: 10:45 pm to 6:45 am

I was really tired this morning. Snoozed once and had a hard time getting out of bed. In addition, I woke up on the WRONG side of bed. My husband felt the same so I wonder if it was something we both experienced. We shut the cats out of the bedroom due to bad behavior and our room got really hot, so that could have contributed.


Breakfast (7:30 am)

2 medium boiled eggs, ½ a Niman Ranch andouille sausage (compliant and delicious!), ½ sweet potato, ½ c coffee. Tried to have some avocado but it was not ripe.


Lunch (1:00 pm)

Green salad with chicken and oranges and homemade vinaigrette. Carrot sticks. Blueberries. This meal was not supposed to be so “light,” but the avocados I got were bad and I forgot the pistachios that were supposed to go on the salad.


Snack (2:00 pm)

1 cup hot apple cider


Pre-workout (5:15pm): 2 slices Applegate roast beef, carrot sticks


Workout: 45 minutes spin


Dinner (8:30 pm)

Cilantro-lime roasted shrimp (Zenbelly) with homemade spicy lime mayo, nappa cabbage slaw, sweet potato hash, compliant green salsa, dried mango, tea.

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DAY 21 (Sat 1/31)

Prior night’s sleep schedule: 12:00midnight to 8:07 am


Breakfast (9:00 am)

2 fried eggs, 1 Andouille sausage, some leftover sweet potato hash, ½ c coffee


Pre-WO snack: 2 slices Applegate roast beef with 2 tsp homemade mayo

Workout: 2 hour dance class

Post-WO snack: 3 slices roast beef (I didn’t have any starchy veg left in the house)


Lunch (3:30 pm)

1 compliant hot dog with mustard and sauerkraut, red kuri squash mashed with bacon fat and spices, green salad with “creamy” dressing (homemade mayo thinned with lemon and mixed with garlic granules); citrus-flavored (compliant) Kombucha, dried mango.


Dinner (8:00 pm)

 Braised pork tacos in plantain “tortillas” (Zenbelly) with Napa cabbage slaw, compliant salsa, avocado. Dried mango.

I thought a lot about whether the plantain tortillas violated the W30 rule against recreating problematic foods with compliant ingredients. Here’s why I decided to make them: (1) I don’t have a problem with eating too many tortillas, ever. I love tortillas but I always know when to stop. (2) I wanted to make these as a new way of eating a starchy veg (plantains), not as a replacement for tortillas. I’ve eaten lettuce-wrap tacos or taco fillings on a plate plenty of times and enjoyed that a lot.



It occurs to me that I haven’t looked in the fridge for a snack in quite a while! I told my mom about W30 and some of the results I’ve seen already (shiny hair, less knee pain, fewer/less intense migraines, relatively steady energy tho no tiger blood). She later texted me and told me that I had inspired her! What  nice message to receive.



DAY 22 (Sun 2/1) Super Bowl Sunday

Prior night’s sleep schedule: 1:00am to 9:30 am


Breakfast (10:00 am)

Scrambled eggs with ½  Andouille sausage link, blueberries, grapefruit, ½ c coffee. 1 tsp almond butter.

I’ve been really enjoying my weekend coffees and not missing them at all during the week, a big win for me.



Chicken salad with homemade mayo, green olives, and unsweetened dried currants over greens, red bell pepper, and cukes. Compliant pickle on the side.


Dinner (8:00 pm) at the Super Bowl party

Crudite with my homemade ranch dip, green tomatillo and pork chili, my pulled pork, guacamole, ginger Kombucha that I brought to stave off beef cravings. It was surprisingly easy to make it through this evening!



DAY 23 (Mon 2/1)

Prior night’s sleep schedule: 11:40 pm to 6:45 am, 7 am to 7:30 am

Woke up SO tired so I went back to bed. I think this poor sleep had repercussions later in the day…


Breakfast (8:00 am)

2 soft boiled eggs over pulled pork, green beans, and sweet potato with hot sauce.


Around 11 I started feeling nauseated, slightly dizzy, and slightly headachy—a pretty sure sign that I’m having a migraine (even without the intense headache). I was able to lie down for a big, which helped, but I was still really nauseated, hence the odd lunch.


Lunch (12:45 pm)

Chicken broth, grilled chicken, sweet potato, 4 cuke slices, 4 brussels sprouts, 2/3 tangerine


Dinner (8:00 pm)

Chicken thighs with lemon, roasted sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts. Dried fruit after.


Going on a business trip tomorrow so I may not get to post my log for a few days—wish me luck!

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Wow! It sounds like you have been having great success! Congratulations!

I noticed that you said your migraines have become less frequent with your healthy eating. I thought I'd share my experience since you said you've been suffering since such a young age.

When I was 16 (sadly, a lifetime ago), I had debilitating migraines. They started when I was around 12 and got progressively worse. By the time I was 20, they were so frequent and intense that I could only lay on the floor in a dark room with a cool cloth on my forehead, trying not to vomit and sleep them off. They affected my relationships, my work, everything.

I saw every kind of specialist and had every kind of test imaginable. At one point, a neurologist told me "it was all in my head." I knew he was wrong.

At that point I had been suffering for more than 10 years. And I mean suffering. The pain was a 9-10, as in kill me now, it would feel better.

Luckily when I was about 24-25 I visited a new family doctor whose office was in the same building as my dentist. I gave the doctor my headache history and he ran out of his office to bring my dentist into the examination room. Together they determined that I had a TMJ problem (with my temporo-mandibular joint). They referred me to an orthodontist and I was fitted with braces.

The happy ending story is that I NEVER HAD A MIGRAINE AGAIN and I am now (ahem) 54 years old.

Diet matters. But you may have a physiological cause of your pain, too. You should consider having it checked out. I suffered for 10+ years and I've been migraine-free now for 30+. I can tell you which is better.

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DAY 24 (Tues 2/3) 

Breakfast: I can't recall but it was compliant. 

Lunch Egg salad with homemade mayo, green salad with olive oil and vinegar. Compliant pickle on the side.

Dinner on the plane: I packed & ate roast chicken, roast sweet potatoes, and roast brussels sprouts, some pistachios and almonds, sliced raw carrots and bell peppers, and some Medjool dates.


This is when I discovered that airports are a trigger for me! I hate flying (I'm not scared, but I hate the indignities of the modern airport experience), so I look forward to "treating" myself to candy once I'm in the airport. I had somewhat anticipated the treat factor (though not how much), so I had planned to go to a bookstore and buy a paperback, which I did (and enjoyed instead of the TV once on the plane). Also because I had packed good food to eat I did not feel deprived.


I got in late to my travel destination but made it to a Whole Foods to pick up some compliant prepared foods to have at my hotel, where I had a mini fridge and a microwave. I also had packed some baked sweet potatoes in my checked bag (so they stayed cold).


DAY 25 (Wed 2/4) 

Breakfast: Whole Foods "naked" roast chicken, WF guacamole, baby carrots, sweet potato, WF broccoli


Lunch: The cafeteria at this work location has a halfway-decent salad bar so I loaded up on every compliant ingredient I could find: mixed greens, grilled chicken, shredded carrots, steamed broccoli, tomatoes, sliced olives, bell peppers, sliced raw mushrooms, and sunflower seeds. Balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and fresh lemon wedges for dressing. Fresh fruit cup.


Dinner: at a restaurant. Plain grilled steak; baked potato with chives and I added olive oil on top. (This baked potato was the size of my head so I ate only half.) Some baby carrots and pineapple when I got home. 


Workout: 30 minutes on the hotel fitness room elliptical, light weights. 


DAY 26 (Thurs 2/5) 

Breakfast: Whole Foods "naked" roast chicken, WF guacamole, baby carrots, sweet potato, WF broccoli


Lunch: Same salad as yesterday, unsweetened ice tea, banana. 


Dinner: at a Cuban restaurant with a large group of coworkers--this one was hard to navigate but I think I made it work. Shrimp cooked in oil with tomatoes and peppers, plantains, and a green salad. Pretty easily resisted the appetizers ordered for the table. Pineapple and dates at the hotel.


DAY 27 (Fri 2/6) 

Breakfast: Sweet potato and broccoli at the hotel; two hard-boiled eggs and fruit cup at work (breakfast with a colleague).


Lunch: Same salad.


Snack: This time I didn't have great homemade food to take on the plane, so the siren song of airport sweets was stronger. But I managed to find some unsweetened fruit chips and dried fruit that could help me stay compliant, and I passed. 


Dinner: takeout from a trustworthy place: chicken kebab, baba ghanouj, green salad. 


DAY 28 (Sat 2/7) 

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs, compliant bacon, roasted white sweet potato. 1/2 c coffee.


Lunch: sauteed green beans, two compliant hot dogs, sauerkraut, pickle, mustard.


Dinner: at a friend's house for a birthday party. They ordered pizza but I brought my own chili and drank a sparkling water.


DAY 29 (Sun 2/8) 

Breakfast: Fried eggs, roasted sweet potato, compliant bacon, 1/2 c coffee, small spinach salad with tomatoes.


Pre-WO: 1 boiled egg 

Workout: 30 minutes spin, 30 minutes yoga

Post-workout: 2 slices Applegate roast beef

Lunch (very soon thereafter): kale salad with roasted butternut squash, topped with a poached egg. Chamomile tea. Small amount of sweet potato.

1 hardboiled egg, 1 sweet potato. 1 grapefruit.


Dinner: Takeout from Hu Kitchen, a paleo-friendly restaurant we're lucky to have in NYC. (Not everything is compliant though so we had to search out foods that would work.) Small amounts of: meatballs, "fish sticks," almond-crusted chicken tenders; acorn squash stuffed with a mix of (I think) sweet potato, kale, and cashews; sweet potato curry salad; broccoli salad; cauliflower "tabbouleh." (This was shared among 4 people so we all had bites of everything.)

Afterwards: too many dates. 



DAY 30 (Mon 2/9) 

Wait, hang on a second. I had calculated that tomorrow was day 30. This is crazy! Day 30 snuck up on me! I think I may push it through tomorrow just because that's what I've been anticipating. 

Breakfast: Almond-crusted chicken tenders, roasted sweet potatoes.



Big salad of baby spinach and kale topped with "flavor-pounded" chicken breast, tomatoes, and sweet potatoes. Balsamic-mustard-evoo dressing. I can't get over how well this chicken cooking technique worked, and it has so many flavor possibilities! The chicken (which I cooked on Sunday) was tender and succulent, even when cold! Link to the recipe--note it's not a W30 recipe so may have to be adapted: http://www.splendidtable.org/recipes/flavor-pounded-chicken



Dinner: roasted salmon, roasted butternut squash with chili-lime vinaigrette, sauteed sugar snap peas

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I decided to come back and post my results.


During my first W30, I experienced the following results:

-Feel great about how I look

-Lost 5.5 lbs—now I’m at my pre-law school weight (I didn’t take measurements, unfortunately, but I know I lost inches)

-Shinier hair

-Realized how important 8 hours of sleep is—my next “W30” may be 30 days of 8 hours’ sleep!

-Improved my meal-planning and cooking skills dramatically

-Reduced (but did not entirely slay) my sugar dragon (this is all on me!)

-Almost entirely eliminated migraines except those related to exercise—though I’ve seen a reduction there, too

-Quit coffee except for an occasional treat, and feel happy about it

-Do not feel the need to snack (though I’ve also learned the importance of the pre-WO and post-WO meals, especially if my last true meal was a long time ago)

-Less swollen knees

-I used to get “random” stomachaches, but I never do anymore! I didn’t even realize it until I realized that I hadn’t reached for the pepto in over a month!

-Different attitude toward food

-Understand much more about my cravings


Results I did not get but had hoped for:

-Reduced under-eye circles (could be related to my allergies?)

-Reduced cat allergies (this was a pipe dream but a hope nonetheless)

-Glowing skin L

-Elimination of neck/shoulder pain—this has decreased, but I was hoping my results would be like Dallas’s

-Tiger blood


I want to talk about the Tiger Blood specifically. I was really disappointed not to experience this (because it sounds so great). However, when I first started my Paleo journey in the fall, I did have Tiger Blood for a while. (I was following W30 principles but allowing cheats and not worrying about trace ingredients.) I was amazed at how much my energy grew and smoothed out then. So I have a few thoughts about why I didn’t experience that during my first true W30:

  1. It’s winter, it’s cold, and the days are short.
    1. I know I need sun to feel good, and that’s in short supply here in NY at this time of year.
    2. I may be Vitamin D deficient. My dr told me I was a few years ago, but I ceased taking the supplements.
  2. My sleep has been more erratic than usual. Before, I probably wasn’t get 8 hours most nights, but I went to bed and woke up around the same time every day. In the last month I’ve had many more weekends where we stay up late.
  3. Maybe I do have Tiger Blood after all… In August, I went from rarely exercising to exercising 2x/week. In the last month, I’ve done more like 4 workouts per week, and I intend to continue. I’m wondering if I actually reached a “new normal” stage where I’m expending extra energy on working out and therefore not feeling like I have a true surplus.


This food log was really helpful, so I’m going to continue with something similar during my reintro phase and potentially beyond. Here’s the link: http://forum.whole9life.com/topic/25316-whole30-reintroduction-and-beyond/

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