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Hi all,


My name is Bronwyn. I am a 28 year-old living in Toronto, Ontario and am currently four days into my Whole30 journey along with my partner Dan. I hope to post a bit about my journey with nutrition, and the Whole30 here.


I have spent the first 6 months of 2015 working with a nutritionist following her meal plan which is a low grain, low cow's milk dairy, no processed sugar diet. The first few months of it, I was following it to the t and feeling great! High energy, great digestion, and better health. While I thank her for my increasing interest in healthy living, I slowly came to realize that it never fixed many of the bad habits I've developed over the years (binge eating, food-related guilt, sugar addiction, eating until I get sick).


In the past month I have found myself facing overwhelming cravings and going "off plan" frequently. I headed to 7-11 on the regular binging on chips, gummy candies, freezies, popsicles, cupcakes (need I go on?) until I felt physically unable to move. I cannot even count the number of times I have had food prepared in the fridge from this meal plan and headed to Just Eat to order food. Food that doesn't even make me feel nourished. What a waste of energy, and money! The Whole30 is me saying "no more". It is me taking my health into my own hands, and being accountable for my life. Through this lifestyle change, I am also hoping to mitigate digestive distress, ongoing anxiety, hormonal imbalances I've faced since getting off BCP two years ago, irregular cycles, and raging PMS. And like the W30 creators say "it starts with food".


I've been pretty lucky in my first three days in that I was off of work on "vacation", so I've had ample time to prepare meals and get some alone time when I am cranky. I am also very overjoyed that my partner is completely on-board with this. It makes this a far less stressful month and is a fantastic bonding experience.


For my first week, I decided to use the one week W30 meal plan provided in the book, and have been thoroughly enjoying it. I am sitting here eating some pulled brisket, butternut squash, and a bit of an apple. I bought all of my groceries on the Saturday before I started at Fiesta Farms (fellow Torontonians this is a mecca for fresh, local meat and produce), prepped a bit on Sunday (bone broth, mayonnaise), and went for it on Monday morning! I've been drinking lots of water, herbal tea, and a half-glass of GT's kombucha with dinner for the benefits of fermentation.


Observations so far:

  • It has been incredibly difficult not having a smoothie as ususal in the morning. I am a smoothie junkie, and of the mindset that it is a really great way to cram in a bunch of nutritious things in one powerful shot.
  • I was incredibly tired the second and third days (requiring a small nap on the third day).
  • My patience is pretty slim right now
  • I am actually starting to notice the energy the food is giving me. Before it's time to eat, I notice that I get a little bit cranky, but after? I feel incredible.
  • I follow a *lot* of non-compliant food accounts on Instagram that I had to unfollow because I got a little angry every time I scrolled by them. I am trying very hard to focus on the foods I can eat, rather than the ones I can't.
  • Who knew that sprinkling lemon zest and juice on a frittata was so delicious? (recipe is in the Whole30 book)
  • My digestion isn't great right now, and is likely getting used to my new way of eating. I have been taking the Genestra HMF intensive probiotic for two months, which doesn't seem to be helping me digest, so I've ordered these digestive enzymes that are "wheat, starch, yeast, gluten, soy, artificial flavoring or antimicrobial preservative" free: http://www.amazon.com/Genestra-Bio-Enzymes-Chewable-tabs/dp/B003IGNAN2

Here are a few pictures of my breakfasts over the past three days and some slowcooker bone broth (which gelled up beautifully)





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I don't have much to add, but I'll be following along - I am the "Dan" mentioned in the OP.  :D


We're only a few days in but I am definitely noticing less bloating in my midsection. I haven't noticed a significant change in my energy levels as of yet, but I'm certainly grumpier today than usual (this is day 4, which is said to be one of the grumpiest days).


The most frustrating part for me so far is the meal prep. As Bronwyn mentioned, we have been following a meal plan from a nutritionist for several months and with the way that plan is laid out, you prepare most of your week's lunches and dinners on Sunday. It's about 3-4 hours of cooking on Sunday but makes it so that you're not doing any cooking on the weeknights (in theory). Following the 7 day plan in the W30 book, we've been lucky because we were off work for a few days but we're both back now and the thought of cooking tonight after a long day of work is not something I'm looking forward to! I think in future weeks during our W30 I'd like to find a few great W30 recipes that we love and cook bigger batches so that we have food prepped ahead of time. Except eggs... nobody likes reheated eggs. 

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You might want to look at this...


Weekly meal preparation
Good for you focusing on what you can have and not what you can't. And stay strong avoiding the smoothies. It helps to get your satiety signals working properly to eat all whole foods and most smoothies include too much fruit sugar. 
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I love what you said about Instagram! I'm in a similar boat. I have a friend who's a chef and he sends group texts with pictures and descriptions of what he's making. It is not compliant, to say the least. I'll refrain from giving examples, as typing it will probably make me want to toss my computer across the room.




I haven't been doing much meal prep, as I'm off for the summer, but one thing that's worked for me (because, honestly...I'm lazy) is to make batches of proteins and veggies (baked, grill, roast, steam, whatever) and then throw whatever sounds good on a plate at mealtime with some seasoning. That way I don't have to worry about recipes and I'll have cooked food ready to be eaten.


Good luck on your journey, you two!



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Day 4 and no one died! Breakfast was late because there wasn't time to cook it and eat it before my training session @ 7:30 am. It was a good workout, some cardio some strength and I went to pilates - strength and mobility. I had a pre workout snack and then breakfast at 10:30. Which kind of meant that I skipped lunch as I had a meeting from 2-5 powered only by a black coffee. I cant find compliant bacon or sausages in the UK but am finding more than sufficient choice in the plan.

Slight headache and a bit lower energy but ready for day 5 - thank you all for your posts, they inform and include and make me smile and cheer for each of our sucesses

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Thanks so much for all of your replies! We're going to rock this out.


Dawn - I totally feel you! Maybe your chef friend can brainstorm some creative compliant meals and send you pics of those (and the recipes of course) ;). W30 dinner party?


McNix- That sounds like a fabulous start to your day. What do you usually eat for a PWO snack? I usually do mild HIIT cardio and weight training most mornings but thought I'd take week 1 off to give my body a break while I'm adjusting to this diet. I haven't found any compliant bacon here in Canada, which is a bummer. But I'll survive! The W30 book has a sausage recipe that I'm planning on making later in the week. I will let you know how it goes! I hope you manage to get in all your meals tomorrow. 


I think that my partner in crime has entered into his "Kill All The Things" phase, so I am in the other room posting a bit about my day. I definitely didn't eat enough for breakfast which set a poor tone for the day. I had two scrambled eggs, some sauteed spinach in ghee (which I was not a fan of), and a handful of blueberries. I think next time I am going to add in one more egg for more protein (and a different side). There's something about the texture of wilted spinach that makes me gag. 


Day 4 discovery: A pickle I had mindlessly put in my tartar sauce I had made for my salmon had sulfites in it! Which I realized after I had already eaten some of it. I am still getting used to reading the ingredients in labels, and will not beat myself up over this mishap. I threw out the jar, and will be even more cautious with processed items from this point forward. I will soldier on through the next 26 days (and try a pickle made with sulfites very last on my reintroduction phase).


I went to Healthy Planet after work and stocked up on some emergency foods (Plain Sea Snacks, Nick's Sticks, Kombucha, Nuts, Lara Bars). Sometimes I get home late from work, and I can't afford to come in the door like some sort of a ravished Tasmanian Devil. I know myself well enough to know when I come in the door looking like the guy below, I will Eat All The Things. I don't forsee eating most of the snacks in the next 26 days because I got a bunch, but it's great to have on hand in case.




Dinner was filling and delicious. Half a glass of G&T's Maqui Mojito kombucha, salmon cooked with clarified butter, S&P. Served with a heaping side of coconut oil sauteed broccoli, peppers, onion topped with tomato sauce I had made earlier in the week and a bit of the tartar sauce (which was delicious, but if I make in the future will be sulfite free!) 


Prepping butternut squash soup and some hard boiled eggs for tomorrow! 


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Hi, preworkout snack was a small salmon patty, made with rec onion, eggs, spinach and some coconut flour and a tiny banana. I went a bit dizzy after a sprint ( my bp is low) so we did circuits with free weights alternating the cardio at a steady pace. Which made the world seem steadier. Breakfast was a two egg omelet with sauteed veggies. The eggs were huge tho, and I wasn't ravenous, just ready for my dinner.

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Thanks McNix. That sounds really delicious!


I spent most of yesterday even tempered, but had a Kill All the Things night after realizing that the Omega 3 + D supplement and probiotic I'd been prescribed by my nutritionist were non-compliant (Omega 3 supp. contained Non-GMO soy, Probiotic contained trace amounts of Maltodextrin). I had checked over the labels prior to starting, but in very fine print at the bottom there is a non-medical ingredients section. Oh, man was I upset. I think I took it out on DanR a little bit :wub:


Needless to say, I threw out what remains of my supplements and will be looking for alternatives (or scrapping them altogether for the next 25 days). I think that the capsule version of my probiotic doesn't contain any unapproved ingredients, so I am relieved. It is fantastic! I also discovered that the digestive enzymes I ordered yesterday are unapproved, so I won't be using them until after the Whole30. C'est la vie!


I am just glad that I found out sooner rather than later. I beat myself up a little bit for not checking my labels hard enough, but I feel like that's pointless and accomplishes nothing in the long run. All I can do is try to do better in the future, avoid labels, and when I can't, read every label possible. I did have a thought, though: How cool would a Whole30 app be where if you weren't sure about an ingredient, you could scan items and it would tell you whether it's approved or not?


I am not planning on starting the entire W30 over because I truly didn't know. I feel like the difference between having to start over and not is actively knowing something is unapproved, but going for it anyway fully aware of the consequences. I was under the impression these were completely allergen free. Perhaps I will re-introduce those things a bit later on than I was initially planning for. I've never been much for soy, anyway. 



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Thanks everyone for your helpful advice. The "Kill All the Things" is alive and well, and my dragon is cranky, but we're doing okay. Today's breakfast was really filling, but I'm not sure how on board I am to eat soup for breakfast. It just felt weird!  :blink:


We sat down last night and made a meal plan for the second set of 7 days. I think this will make things a bit more manageable starting next Monday. It's a lot of prep otherwise. Last night we got home from our jobs, started cooking, ate dinner, did the dishes... sat down for an hour and it was time to get back up and make butternut squash soup, prep salads for today, and make the meal plan for next week. It felt like we were doing W30 stuff all night long!


The meal plan that we created last night, using recipes from the W30 book, will be easier. We designed the meals to be cooked in bulk (like we're used to) rather than cooking every day, so that we can just heat things up and go. I think that's definitely the right way, for me, to do this. 

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Went grocery shopping last night at Fiesta Farms. I can't help but wonder if the cashier thinks I am a crazy person for buying massive quantities of meat, veggies, and eggs. I got a little bit hangry when I was shopping, because I don't think that my portion of protein was big enough with dinner. I would kill for my usual RISE kombucha, dark chocolate, and salt & vinegar chips at the moment. I did find some compliant sausages and lunch meat, though! Success!


When I got home, I ate a package of spicy Nick's sticks and one regular pack of Sea Snax. I felt much better after that, but still not completely satiated. I am noticing that eating this way certainly isn't cheap, but when I take into account that I am not going out to restaurants on the regular like I used to, or buying lunch at work I feel much better about it. 


I am feeling incredibly tired this morning, but I dragged my butt out of bed when my alarm went off and made a kitchen sink frittata with bell peppers, onion, tomato, spinach, and avocado. I had a bit of leftover pork chop on the side and a small amount of cherries and watermelon. There is nothing like fresh watermelon in the summer, I tell you.


I had half a cup of Two Bears cold brewed coffee over ice with a bit of coconut cream. It was so incredibly delicious! I bought my usual probiotic pills (HMF Intensive) last night and had it with my meal. These are the real deal, and much better than the similar powder I was mixing into my water. I am feeling much more ~*regular*~ today (TMI). It's about time.


I will be having some salmon cakes, soup, and veggies for lunch and have pork carnitas in the slow cooker as I type this for dinner! We are going out tonight to a Fringe show, so it will be nice to return home to a meal and not have to stress too much. I will probably bring a snack in case. 


Happy July 4 to all of you Americans. Your Canadian siblings celebrated our own birthday on July 1 (but I don't know that it's ever quite as big as you guys do :) )


Here's some pictures of what I ate yesterday. I tried the Jicama home fries from the Well Fed book with my dinner, but wasn't a fan. They definitely were not as crispy as I had anticipated. Had a firm apple-like texture. At least I tried something new...




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I'm not sure why anyone ever cooks jicama, it's definitely better raw. Peel it and cut it into sticks to dip in guac or homemade ranch dressing, or chop it into bite sized pieces and put it in a salad. So much better than cooked.

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I'm feeling pretty good this morning. The pulled pork and sweet potatoes we had last night for dinner were amazing and today's breakfast (basically leftover pulled pork with an egg on top and some remaining jicama homefries on the side [which I like, though Bronwyn doesn't]) was great.


I've noticed that my face looks slimmer and my belly looks way smaller (whatever makes me bloat, has been cut out), and I've adjusted to the '3 meals no snacking' thing - the meals are so filling that I really haven't been feeling a need to snack anyway.

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Just posting a quick update. I am feeling pretty good today! I got a little bit tired after lunch. I am starting to suspect fruit is the culprit so I will limit my fruit intake until dinner time. 


Today's Meals:


M1: Two chicken sausage patties, 1/4 of a pepper / onion / spinach fritatta, a dab of mayo.

M2: Vietnamese chicken salad with a bit of mayo and sunshine sauce, 4 strawberries and a handful of blueberries.

M3: Grilled grass fed steak with clarified butter, prosciutto wrapped asparagus, mashed cauliflower and a small glass of kombucha. It was unreal and rivaled any dinner I've had in a steakhouse. Beretta makes beautiful organic steak!


After dinner I had an unsweetened passion iced tea from Starbucks. I am hoping to get into bed at a decent time tonight because I was up later than usual yesterday. Still sleeping soundly once my head hits the pillow, and noticed in the mornings I am alert much more quickly than before. I definitely don't drag my butt as much as I used to.


Ideally, I'd like to begin working out in the mornings before going into the office. I had a solid routine going that was interrupted by spring-to-summer transitory bronchitis. What the heck! 


Here is my beautiful steak dinner cooked using the instructions in the W30 book. The asparagus recipe is from Nom Nom Paleo. I wish it turned out a little more medium rare than medium.



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Tomorrow is day 10, and I'm feeling good. I'm feeling a tiny bit bloated tonight but that's likely because we ate a bunch of cabbage and kale with dinner. Today's meals:


Breakfast: 3 egg frittata (with veggies and avocado)

Lunch: Leftover Vietnamese chicken salad with mayo, sunshine sauce, and cauliflower mash

Dinner: A burger with mustard, sweet potato, and a heaping helping of slaw


I had every intention to BBQ the burgers, but a thunderstorm made me change my mind. I wound up baking them in the oven, which usually turns out mediocre at best but these were great. I think it's a combination of good quality meat and a different binder (cream of tartar mixed with baking soda and warm water instead of an egg or a flax egg like I've used previously).


I'm surprised at how smooth this has been so far. Generally, I've been getting my portions right - I've only reached for an 'emergency snack' twice in the 9 days so far, and both times I know why (generally, I packed too small of a lunch to bring to work and didn't realize) - and both times were compliant snacks, which was good.

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Winding down right now after feeling consistently crummy all day. I've had a migraine to boot and have felt incredibly tired (even after 2 coffees and a full night of sleep). What gives!?


I am not sure if this is food-related, or what. I've been trying as best as I can to follow the template with protein, fat, veggies, and occasionally fruit. Dan's been dealing with a headache, too. I know that the barometric pressure has dropped a bit so that's my best guess.


I managed to squeeze in a few full-body toning workouts on Monday and today. I've noticed I feel a bit more balanced and stronger.


M1: 3 scrambled eggs in coconut oil and ghee, salsa, and 1/4 of an avocado, cold brew coffee with coconut milk. 

M2: Shepherd's pie with mashed butternut squash on top, asparagus and broccoli with ghee, a handful of blueberries, and grape kombuhca.

M3: Same as yesterday. Burger with kale and cabbage slaw, sweet potato coins, kimchi, a dab of mayo, and some sparkling raspberry lime water. (See picture).


Here's to being in the double digits!



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Yahoo! Day 11 down. Just four more days until the halfway point. I have to stay hopeful and motivated!


I am hoping that the worst of this is over and I start feeling the mythical tiger blood soon. This community has been an awesome place to stay on track, connect with others, and record my progress. I feel like I would have been completely lost otherwise. 


I was dragging my butt hardcore again this morning, but managed to perk up after an afternoon coffee. I am not sure whether this is a "win" though. I bought a can of coconut milk to keep in the fridge at work in case the mood strikes.


Non scale victories so far:

  • I am fitting better in my work clothes and feel more "confident".
  • I am not craving food in between meals.
  • I haven't been getting very "hangry" lately.
  • Pictures of non-compliant food are not phasing me as much. 
  • My hormonal cystic jawline acne hasn't plagued me like usual this month.

My digestion is not great, though. I am used to being pretty regular, so this is throwing me off a little bit. I tried my best to cram my day with high-fibre and fermented foods, but nothing so far. I stopped by the Vitamin Shoppe after work and got some Natural Calm, Vitamin D, and Digestive Enzymes. I took an enzyme with dinner, so we'll see if that makes a difference.




M1: Onion / red pepper / spinach / avocado frittata. I've been drowning a lot of my meals in Frank's Red Hot Buffalo sauce for a bit of kick. I highly recommend it. 

M2: Butternut squash / turkey shepherd's pie, broccoli and asparagus.

M3: Rowe Farms turkey sausage / kimchi / 2 crispy prosciutto pieces, coconut cauliflower rice with veggies, sunshine sauce, and ranch dressing for dipping (A bit of a mish-mash of what I had in my fridge). I had a little bit of dried mango and berries after dinner because I wanted them! The crispy prosciutto was amaaaaazzzing.  A great substitute if you haven't been able to find bacon. I baked it on a silpat sheet in the oven at 350 for 10 minutes. 




Goals I want to accomplish: 

  • Maintain consistent sleep and wake times
  • Take supplements regularly (probiotic and vitamin d with breakfast, enzyme with each meal, and magnesium before bed)
  • Strength train M W F, HIIT Tu and Th, throw in some yoga somewhere.
  • Be a bit less strict with the meal planning. Buy different varieties of meat, veggies, fruit, and throw together "hot plates" like dinner tonight. 
  • More egg-free breakfasts. 

Tomorrow is our first night going out during the challenge, so we went with Chipotle, which I feel pretty confident navigating on this challenge. I am looking forward to a big heap of guacamole! 


Until next time! 

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Just posting a quick over-lunch update to say that cashew butter and slice apples are deeeeelicious! I am noticing that fruit is tasting way sweeter now that all forms of sugar are off the table.

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Just posting a quick over-lunch update to say that cashew butter and slice apples are deeeeelicious! I am noticing that fruit is tasting way sweeter now that all forms of sugar are off the table.

I've seen this said in the forums before, but watch out for the nut butters. They can be a Food With No Brakes for many people. I've hidden the almond butter I bought from my husband because peanut butter was a major FWNB for him pre-Whole30. Take care!

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Drool. Nectarines and peaches are just in season here in Canada. I am so looking forward to eating some. 


Yesterday was a success. Managed to stick to the rules at Chipotle (lettuce w/ no dressing, salsa, carnitas, and guacamole) and had a fun night out afterwards. I was a bit hungry after my long bike ride home and eating about 2 hours earlier than usual, so I had a turkey Nick's stick and a few carrots and ranch when I got home. I even managed to stop when I was satiated. Other than that, I have been good with the snacking. In comparison, 3 weeks ago I would spend my Fridays eating pizza, chips, and an assortment of gunky candies. I consider this a win. 


Got a Vitacost order in the mail this weekend with a few epic bars, coconut aminos, and ghee in it. Beautiful stuff! 


This weekend is pretty low-key. I am volunteering at a local farmer's market today, so I will be on the hunt for compliant meat and fresh produce. It will be a bit hard to side step the ice cream sandwiches and deep-fried egg rolls (with nutella filing), but I will be okay. The unhealthy options are few and far between. I will bring a bottle of water and an in-case-of-emergency snack. 


We'll be planning next week's menu tonight and going for the big shop tomorrow. Cheers to the weekend! 


I threw together what turned out to be a delicious breakfast this morning: Crispy fried eggs in ghee on a bed of spinach with ranch, a few pieces of sliced turkey breast and fruit. Probably more fruit than I usually eat, but I am in the mood today. Keeping it simple.







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Yahoo! The day was a success. I snacked on some wild raspberries at the market, and sipped on black coffee and water. I wasn't mad about it at all! 


NSV's of the day: 

  • I ate breakfast at 10:30 and didn't get home for lunch until 3, and was not hangry. I didn't get agitated at all like I usually do, which is unreal
  • My shorts I wore all last summer were loose when I put them on today. I could fit two fists down. So cool!  

We bought quite a bounty at the market and some local shops afterwards: cherries, raspberries, spinach, peppers, bone-in pork chops, rib-eye steak, ahi tuna, swordfish steaks, scallops, sausage, ribs... Need I go on? I don't mind spending a little bit of money on quality meat, and we seem to have a lot more of it now that we are eating in nearly 7 days a week.


M2: Burger patty with coconut cauliflower rice sauteed in ghee / coconut aminos, guacamole, salsa verde, and kale slaw.




M3: Surf and turf: Grilled rib-eye with charred rainbow peppers, ghee roasted fingerling potatoes, garlicky mayo, and scallops. Quite possibly the best meal I've made on this so far. What a nice treat. 




If anyone sees this, I wonder how much mayo you typically go through a week? I make a new batch every week for two of us, and finish it. Also feeling like I go through light-tasting olive oil like crazy. I just worry I might be eating too much fat, I guess.


Until next time!

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I made a batch of mayo toward the beginning of the week and have use maybe a third of it? I'm the only one who uses it, though, and I get lots of fat elsewhere: avocado, cashews, and olives mostly.

I'm not really sure what to use mayo on as I rarely use it in my normal diet. I made some protein salad and used it in that and some egg salad. What are some examples of how you use it?

Also, your surf and turf sounds a-may-zing!

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If anyone sees this, I wonder how much mayo you typically go through a week? I make a new batch every week for two of us, and finish it. Also feeling like I go through light-tasting olive oil like crazy. I just worry I might be eating too much fat, I guess.



I don't make a batch every single week, but on weeks that I do, I go through most of a batch in a week, all by myself. If you're staying full for 4-5 hours between meals, you're probably eating about the right amount.



I'm not really sure what to use mayo on as I rarely use it in my normal diet. I made some protein salad and used it in that and some egg salad. What are some examples of how you use it?



I dip roasted vegetables in it (roasted sweet potatoes seasoned with salt, pepper, and chili powder are really good dipped in mayo). Or use it as a salad dressing, either as is, or mixed with herbs and thinned with a bit of vinegar, or sometimes I even make a salad with browned ground beef (or a hamburger patty), assorted leafy green stuff, tomatoes, pickles, and anything else that would be good on a burger, and mix mayo & mustard for the dressing. There are also recipes for baking fish or chicken breast coated in mayo, to help it stay moist -- like this fish almondine recipe (obviously sub ghee or other oil where it calls for butter).

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