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Day 1 = Sept 4


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Hey there folks,

I started my Whole30 on Tuesday 9/4/12, so as of today I have completed 7 days, successfully! Who else is ending Day 7??

My journey to a healthier me began 2 years ago while baking gluten-free desserts for a friend with Celiac. After noticing that I felt much less bloated without gluten in my life, I decided to give that up in May 2011. Last October, my husband and I both kissed dairy goodbye, thus making our sinuses much happier. In my search for health, heading toward a vegan diet, I stumbled upon a blog of one vegan-turned-meat-eater, which led to my introduction to the Paleo lifestyle. That made so much more sense to me, and I've been eating paleo-style since January 2012. I tried the Whole30 in February with several failed attempts. This time, with my husband on board with me, it's a lot easier to stay focused without his chips in the cupboard, or bread in the fridge, or gluten-free soda bread begging me to eat it!

I am so thankful for the Hartwigs dedication to sharing this program with us, and for my commitment to it for 30 days. My food struggle has hounded me my entire life, so at 50+ years I want/need to figure this out so I can enjoy good health in the next 50 years! My first food-offender confirmation is milk. Oh, I knew it was problematic for my gut, but didn't understand the inflammation connection. That came after switching from butter to clarified butter. After two days of not using butter, the painful swelling in my feet and joints started to subside. What a sweet relief!

The best thing about this way of eating? - I never feel hungry or deprived because there are so many other fabulously yummy foods to eat! The biggest challenge? - that would be the amount of time required to prepare our food, clean the kitchen, pack a lunch (and for my husband a dinner as well) and keep food in the fridge! Where we used to eat out at least 3 times a week, giving me some reprieve, now I've all but given up any hope of finding approved food outside of my kitchen this month.

Coffee and stable blood sugar? I learned by reading "It Starts With Food" that I need to eat breakfast before having my coffee, because the coffee suppresses my appetite, causing me to skip breakfast. Then, when I got home at night, I would be on auto-pilot shoving "approved" food in my face. Now I eat breakfast, then brew my coffee and take it to work being sure to drink it before noon. I'm not even thinking about snacks anymore. I think about the lunch I'm going to be eating. I have learned to make bone broth in the crockpot, and spaghetti again, with spaghetti squash - and my husband eats it!!!

My goals for the next three weeks are:

1) Do most of the cooking on the weekends

2) Stock up on EVOO, lemons (so I can always make mayo)

3) Buy more storage containers (done today!)

4) Bike at least 3 times a week for a total of 30 miles

5) Get 7-8 hours of sleep a night and lower my night time cortisol levels

Uh, oh. I see that it is 11pm and I'm still awake. Gotta go catch some zzz's!


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Day 12 = Sept 15, No cravings - yay!

You know what I day dream about now? What I'm going to eat when I get home. Yesterday I bought wild salmon and cod, and broiled it all with paleo mayo mixed with capers and dijon mustard. I love eating wholesome food. This is the best "diet" I've ever tried (I know, it's not a diet - it's a lifestyle) that I didn't fail at!

Because I make sure to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner, I am rarely hungry between meals, which I find liberating - to not need to eat so frequently. It gives me more time to plan my next meal (ha,ha). And although I try to do a cook-up on the weekend, I still seem to be cooking during the week anyway. But for me that works out well, as it keeps me so busy cooking to keep the fridge full and cleaning up, that I don't wander around the kitchen looking for food to put in my mouth!

Breakfast: veggie omelette with homemade sausage patties from ground pastured pork, coffee black

Snack about noon in car, shared a banana with hubby, and a couple of olives.

Drove to Seaside OR and biked 6 miles

Late lunch/Dinner: at "Baked Alaska" restaurant in Astoria, OR, where they ONLY use olive oil and the chef caters to special diets! What a treat. Everything we had was Whole30 compliant and tasted FANTASTIC. Arugula salad with a cranberry/orange/vinaigrette, roasted veggies, smoked fish. We had water with lemon. Dessert was in the car: I had a white peach and hubby had 2 plums.

Dinner: arrived home at 9:30PM. Hubby went to bed. I heated some beef broth and ate 1/3 c. cooked bay shrimp with homemade ketchup sauce. Yes, sometimes I come up with strange combinations! I toasted a slice of frozen paleo banana bread (made with no sugar) and slathered on some clarified butter - satisfying. Sigh.

I am feeling more energetic now and have been making an effort to complete more bike rides, as that is the one exercise I can do successfully since my back surgery 4 years ago. Tomorrow will include some reps with the hand weights, and the row machine, and some sit-ups and push-ups. Eventually, I want to be able to do ONE pull up, so I need to work on upper body strength. Last weekend I pulled myself up 1/4 inch! Woohoo!

Tomorrow will be good, if I get myself to bed. Snitch on me, it's 12:50am. There go my cortisol levels. zzzzzz

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Day 13 = Sept 16

Because I stayed up too late last night, I woke up late this morning. I love lazy-day wake ups with time to drift out of sleep and stretch. That's one benefit of having grown kids and no grandkids. After cleaning up the kitchen sink, I was able to start my breakfast around 10:30, using my new Le Creuset braiser I got on discount from the Le Creuset outlet store! (Love at first sight.) It is beautiful, and so was my first meal of left-over steak with lots of veggies spiced up in curry seasonings. Happy food!

My goal for today is to make a list and accomplish something concrete, exercise, clean up the house, and start to plan our vacation next month. My husband asked me yesterday, over our deliciously compliant restaurant meal, what my eating plans are for our vacation, since it will occur after we have completed our Whole30 challenge. I asked him if he was planning on going back to his sugar ways, as I plan on eating this way most of the time! Will I indulge in gooey desserts or pastries, taffy or fish and chips? Probably not. I ate those before going paleo and they NEVER made me feel good physically. Am I willing to experience crabbiness, bloat, weight gain, gas, lethargy, and possible sinus issues for a quick fix? Think NOT. I told him that my plan was to seek out all of the paleo restaurants en route, and that we MUST find lodging with a kitchen so I can cook my own darn food if necessary. The vacation will be in being there, not in eating nutritionally-void products, when there is a whole world of wonderful food available!

So, after almost two weeks of Whole30, my sweatpants are getting loose. Now, I know you are thinking, "Of course sweatpants get loose - they stretch!" But the waistband rests on my hips totally un-stretched. I know my body is mobilizing fat now, because it feels different, I feel different (more energy-less lethargy), and I am pretty excited to see the real me emerge from under the stores of fat. Let me point out that I did not embark on this challenge with the sole goal of losing weight. My focus is health and energy. Losing weight is a by-product of that goal. So I say, "Bye-bye fat, I don't need you 'round, take a hike. (Cheap puns, I know.)

All food today was Whole30 compliant ... and awesome! :)

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Day 14 = Sept 17

Breakfast @ 7:30am: leftover cod and sauteed veggie medley (with a zing of dry curry seasoning - Whole30 compliant), and a white peach

Coffee black @ 10:30am

Lunch @ 3PM: leftover chicken heated in beef broth with green beans

Dinner @ 7PM: leftover salmon with paleo mayo/mustard/capers, spaghetti squash, zucchini, and a white peach (love those peaches!) and for a "dessert" a toasted piece of paleo compliant banana bread with drizzled olive oil. I don't usually do after dinner eating. I think I was extra hungry today because I had lunch 7 hours after breakfast and thus ate more in the evening.

Yesterday, I didn't make a list of goals, or clean the house (except for dishes) or plan our vacation, as I said I would, but I did do some light weight lifting. I need to be extremely careful of back strain since my back surgery in 2008, when the surgeons cut out 3 of my laminae, from "the roof of my vertebral arch" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lamina_of_the_vertebral_arch) which diminished the stability of my back by about 10% they tell me. As I've already lost an inch of height in the past four years, (ouch my back. If this keeps up my armpits will be resting on my hips - and that's not a pretty picture!) Therefore, I am careful about the type of exercise I do and try not to put too much pressure on my spine. Instead I use a stability ball for back support. I'm pretty sure I won't be doing crossfit. The best activity for me seems to be cycling - which is fun. On an historical note, I did ask the surgeon for my laminae back (or back laminae? pun) from which to make a nice necklace, but he declined my request. My spine laminae are now medical waste I guess. Pity. But I digress.

So, instead of creating goal lists or cleaning the house, I did what any respectable woman would do for a distraction - I bought a new cell phone. Then I stayed up till midnight learning how to use the darned thing! Interestingly, in spite of still being sleep challenged, I do find I have a lot more energy in the mornings, and I have never been a morning person. No doubt that was due to my previous lifestyle dietary habits.

I am curious, (for anyone who happens on this blog) what your experience has been with coffee, since going paleo. Have you found it to be true that cheaper quality coffee will give you a headache (I'm talking straight black here) but good quality coffee won't? I started drinking cold filtered organic caffeinated coffee (ground fine and filtered through a cone), rather than my usual decaf, after reading Dave Asprey's article on bulletproof coffee. http://www.bulletpro...r-morning-too/.

After years of avoiding caffeine to avoid the headache that followed, I seem to be doing OK with 10 oz of black coffee in the mornings only. Although, to be fair and experiment on myself would require me now eliminating coffee for a few days to test for a reaction. Anyone else?

Today was a pretty good day. Compliant at the halfway mark!

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Day 15 = Sept 18

Today was ok, except for the piercing pain I developed shortly before lunch. I had breakfast around 7:30 (eggs, spinach, yellow sweet peppers), then had about 6 blackberries around 10:30, then had a coffee break. Around noon I started to feel very sharp gut pains. I figured it was gas. It continued to spasm like a knife in my stomach, until I got home from work and took 5oz water with 1 tsp baking soda. Baking soda never fails me.

I'm thinking maybe the paleo bread I had last night with almond meal was the kicker, as I think I overdid the nuts when I went paleo last January. I have backed off of nuts (and coconut truffle balls!) since starting the Whole30. Anyway, aside from gas pains, the day was ok, and totally compliant!

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Keep up the hard work! I started the same day as you and so far its been good! I'm glad to be learning to read my body better and know what it wants and needs!

As to your coffee question, I have noticed some mornings that I get a headache after drinking it. I haven't figured out what it correlates with though, because its the same kind and same amount. Maybe if I didn't eat enough breakfast...hmm...I'll have to keep that in mind.

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Thanks Sara. Stomach is better indeed.

DAY 21 = SEPT 24

Ai-yi-yi. Why did I buy a new cell phone 9 days ago? It seems I spend way too much time messing with it, as if I didn't have enough distractions. I already feel stressed after work with all the prep, cooking, cleaning, laundry. Exercise anyone?!

I have been compliant the whole time. Although I miss not having a vodka soda, or butter in my coffee, I don't crave it. I don't snack anymore, preferring instead to eat real food. I don't get enough sleep, but the problem nagging the loudest is regularity. I've never been regular and I haven't yet figured out what is messing me up. I strongly suspect eggs and nuts, so I'm giving them up for the remainder of the 30 days, starting tomorrow, and I think I will go 45 days. I had 2 fried eggs for lunch today, then 1.5 hours later had diarrhea. I'm pretty sure it was the eggs. Sorry - TMI? It's just so frustrating trying to figure out my food offenders without feeling that I must give up everything and start over. Thursday was my last cup of black coffee. Friday and Saturday I had a headache and no energy. Sunday the headache had lessened and I realized it must have been caffeine withdrawal. My husband noted that on days when he does not have his green tea he feels really lethargic. Caffeine withdrawal? So we have a new challenge between us for no caffeine for the next ten days and see how we feel then.

On a happy note, I learned to make zucchini noodles (which are awesome by the way) with garlic and olive oil. My picky husband said they were yummy, and that's high praise! The garlic and red pepper flakes made the difference. Gotta get me a noodle maker!

9AM Breakfast: cold cucumber/tomato/parsley/onion salad (O&V) with butternut squash and shredded chicken. Took it to work because I was late, and it was exceptionally tasty!

3PM Lunch: 2 cups of cold roasted veggies (I was too impatient to heat them up) and 2 fried eggs in pork fat, and 2 oz pork sausage (homemade, no nitrates, no sugar).

Dinner: Not really hungry, but did eat some pesto with tomato (chard, parsley, fennel leaves, EVOO, garlic powder, salt, avocado, cherry tomatoes). Then had ¼ cup toasted coconut flakes.

9PM 1 tsp magnesium citrate in 8 oz water. Throughout the day I had 8 glasses of water plain and with fresh lemon juice.

Usually I go to bed around midnight. Tonight I'll be in bed at 10PM. Nite!

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DAY 22 = SEPT 25

OK. Headache is gone. I'm chalking it up to the caffeine in the coffee. Prior to reading about molds in coffee and how the caffeine actually protects the bean against mold, I drank only decaf. Then I read that decaf is not good. I have also read that coffee has a similar protein as gluten, so no coffee until I figure some other things out.

Sleep? Well, I actually was IN BED at 10:00pm, but couldn't get comfortable for at least an hour. Then I awoke a few times, then the cat woke me at 4AM, then my alarm went off at 6:00. I felt like I hadn't slept at all. I'm hoping tonight is better!

Otherwise, I'm happy to report that my jeans are fitting looser. Other than bowing out of a couple of office birthday sugar fests and a lunch last week, I haven't felt deprived one bit on this challenge. There seems to be no break from the kitchen. As much as I like cooking, I could use a break and spend my evening doing something else. (whine, whine). But I do it because I like the food.

Speaking of food, today I picked up two gigantic heads of cauliflower - beautiful! Time to roast more veggies, because that's the way hubby likes them...and raw too. :)

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DAY 27 = SEPT 30

Busy day. Lots of cooking. Best part was our 10+ mile bike ride - up hills even, and the awesome blast down the other side - woohoo! I was such a crabby apple before the ride, but my husband insisted we go (because he was tired of listening to me crab at him!). Mood much improved.

Afterwards, back at home, I had two failed attempts at mayo tonight. But they always turn out great. Don't know what's up with that unless it's the eggs - different farmer. Hmm. I was crabby again about that, then went to the yard and whacked away at the cosmos taking over our birchlings! That felt better. My husband calls me Morticia. I get in a mood sometimes.

Husband is looking forward to the end of day 30. I plan on going 42 days, till October 15th. Then I want to do another 30 starting November 1. I am a bit anxious about weighing myself. I seriously doubt I've lost more than 2 pounds because I haven't been trying to lose weight (I so hate diets), however, I'm pretty sure my backside and legs are smaller, so it's possible I may have broken 150. If not, no big deal. My energy level is up, my complexion is much better (after giving up nuts for the past week) and I'm figuring out the whole recipe thing. The next Whole30 should be a breeze!

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