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So this is my Day 6.  Before Whole30, I was 70-80 lbs overweight and basically living on carbs and junk food.  I was absolutely a hardcore carb addict   Since starting Whole30, I basically haven't been hungry at all.  Don't get me wrong- I'm following the program and eating my three meals a day.  But I never feel starving and I barely feel hungry.  Also, I'm not craving ANYTHING (what the heck?).  It makes me wonder if I'm doing something wrong.  I don't think I'm eating too much or anything, but this is just SO strange.  I expected this to be so much harder.  The Sugar Dragon has yet to rear its ugly head, and the only things I'm really missing are Diet Coke and a glass of wine after work.  I'm not even relying on fruit, I've only been eating one very large fuji apple a day.  This isn't normal for me- on previous carb-cutting eating plans I've tried, the Sugar Dragon was brutal.    
HOWEVER

I feel like my mood is basically a rollercoaster.  My experience really isn't closely following the Whole30 timeline.  I go from feeling good about things, to ambivalent, to downright grumpy.  I never really had a "Kill All the Things," just grouchy.  And I'm already really really bored with food.  Which worries me, because it's super early, and also, I've been cooking a large variety of Whole30 compliant recipes.  I've been sleepy the whole time and also not sleeping well.  I had to pop a melatonin the last two night just to get some sleep, since I'm a nurse and if I don't sleep, I put my patients in danger by being less alert.  

Anyway, I'm just seeking some sort of validation or confirmation that this can be normal.  I am 100% committed to my Whole30, and I am 100% committed to improving my health.  Thank you in advance!
-Jessica

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Can you give us a few days worth of your food/liquid intake, indicating portion sizes?

The rollercoaster mood you describe could well be from a lack of starchy veg - are you eating a fist sized serving of something like sweet poattoes, beets. parsnip etc every day?

The sleepiness could be from a lack of fat, a lack of water, or a lack of salt...

Both could also be from a lack of food overall.

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Day 4:
Breakfast:  2 hardboiled eggs, half a large sliced apple, one tomato sliced, one whole avocado, tea.
Lunch:  Ground pork stir-fry with cabbage, carrots and green onions, other half of the sliced apple, sparkling water.
Snack (sorry):  Handfull of dry roasted macadamia nuts and cashews.  
Dinner:  4 ground grass fed beef paleo meatballs in homemade compliant marinara sauce, water.  

Day 5:
Breakfast:  2 hardboiled eggs, half a large sliced apple, one tomato sliced, one whole avocado, tea.
Lunch:  Ground pork stir-fry with cabbage, carrots and green onions, other half of the sliced apple, sparkling water.
Snack (sorry):  Handfull of dry roasted macadamia nuts and cashews.  
Dinner:  1 large grass-fed rib-eye steak, large sweet potato, glass of Kombucha

Throughout the day I'm drinking water, about 3 liters total with the tea and sparkling water.  

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Ok, when eggs are your only source of protein in a meal you should be eating the number of whole eggs you can hold in one hand, which is 3-4 for most females. I'd ditch the apple (save it for meal 3) and add more veg -  the recommendation is for 1-3 cups, but 3 is optimum. One tomato really isn't cutting it. When your breakfast is too small you spend the rest of the day playing catch-up - hence the nuts  ;) 

Your lunch doesn't look too bad, but I wonder what kind of serving  of carrots we're talking here? Also, I see no mention of fat.

Dinner - again no mention of fat, and I'd probably add some veg on the side.

 

If you're having truble sleeping you might consider making that veg in meal 3 a starchy one, and you could also add in a magnesium supplement.

The fat, the starchy veg, and the increased sleep should all help.

 

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I tried 3 eggs and I couldn't even finish the meal.  It felt like lead in my stomach.  But I'll take the fruit out of breakfast and move it to later and see how that goes. Breakfast never feels small, in fact it feels like I cannot even finish it most days.  I've included a photo of my typical breakfast.  

As for lunch, the carrots were about two cups of shredded carrot for the whole stir-fry, which made about three servings.  The cabbage made up the bulk of the volume in this meal.  The fat was the coconut oil and sesame oil I stirfry'd in.  I included a photo.

As for the fat for dinner, in the meatball meal, the fat does seem to be missing.  I thought the tomato sauce I made sufficed as a veggie?  Good call!  But the steak meal had coconut oil for pan searing the steak, and a serving of ghee for the sweet potato.  

I just want to add I'm not eating the nuts out of hunger.  More just because I don't want to end up too hungry for dinner since I don't get home until after 8pm.  My typical nursing work day is up at 6am, home by 8pm, in bed by 10pm.  Prior to Whole30, I was overusing and basically relying on benadryl, melatonin, or other over the counter sleep aides to get rest.  Which, as a nurse, I know isn't quality sleep.  It's pretty much "fake" sleep which isn't restorative.  

 

Thank you again for your help with this.  I feel like I'm following the plan to the letter, but apparently not!

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If 3 eggs seems like too much maybe try some other kind of protein, and if you're struggling to finish the meal wrap it up to eat as soon as you feel able - this is a much better option that eating the nuts later!! Also, it doesn't matter how much you spread the tomato over your plate, it's still just the one tomato - even add another half....

If two cups of carrots was for three servings then you could definitely do with more starchy veg - and as I said if you eat this at meal three it will help with your sleep. Cooking oil can pretty much be ignored as most of it stays in the pan - try adding some olives, or drizzle some oil over your meal, or add some mayo.

Personally I'd have added more veg into the sauce - mushrooms or leeks work well in sauces and you can never have too much.

Your meals look really colourful & appetising - nice work!!

As for the melatonin - I'm sure you know it's okay short term, but taken long term it can impact your body's ability to produce melatonin on it's own. Your schedule is obviously very tight, but if you can dim your lights when you get home & really try to limit screen time before bed your body will start producing melatonin when it should. Melatonin & cortisol production are quite closely linked so this could well be why you're not hungry for a bigger breakfast in the mornings - keep working on it though and it will come.

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Eating a whole avocado at breakfast may make eating 3-4 eggs difficult. Avocado is a great fat source, but you would do well to add half an avocado to your lunch and your dinner with none at breakfast and then increase the number of eggs you eat at breakfast. One of the most powerful ways to reset your hormones to support better sleep is to eat a good breakfast and plenty of protein is part of what a good breakfast needs. 

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I'm worried about consuming so much fat, since I'm overweight.  I'm also not an athlete, and currently not going to the gym (though I plan to return), so I was trying not to eat starchy veggies if I can avoid it.  I took to heart when they said if potatoes are a trigger for you, don't go there.  I'm trying to heal my body but also change my habits.  If cooking oil was negligible, why don't they say that in the "rules?"

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Olives are a good portable fat - you can get those little vacuum packs of them which are also handy to keep in work.

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I have not read the entire conversation, but PLEASE remember that fat does not make you fat.

Fat keeps you satiated instead of looking for more, and more, and more food -- therefore allowing you to eat less calories overall and lose weight. Which is what you are experiencing now with your appetite calming down.

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There are few things on this planet I hate more than olives, so I guess I'm out of luck.

I am perfectly good eating fat as instructed by Whole30, and I completely understand the physiological rationale behind it.  Another poster was saying the fat used for cooking (coconut oil, etc), "doesn't count."  I'm having a hard time understanding that.  It's not something talked about in It Starts With Food or on this site.  I do not want to overconsume fats.  

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Another poster was saying the fat used for cooking (coconut oil, etc), "doesn't count." I'm having a hard time understanding that. It's not something talked about in It Starts With Food or on this site. I do not want to overconsume fats.

Actually, this has been discussed quite a bit on this forum and it's in The Whole30 book (p. 83). When you saute, much of the cooking fat stays behind in the pan. As such, you may need to compensate in these situations by adding more fat after cooking. Use energy and satiety to guide you on tweaking your portions.

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Actually, this has been discussed quite a bit on this forum and it's in The Whole30 book (p. 83). When you saute, much of the cooking fat stays behind in the pan. As such, you may need to compensate in these situations by adding more fat after cooking. Use energy and satiety to guide you on tweaking your portions.

I have a Kindle copy of this book, so I was unable to find the reference since Kindle copies don't have page numbers.  I'll have to take your word for it.  I guess I will take the chance of "over-fatting" myself and try to find the right balance.  I knew from 'It Starts With Food' that you should add fat if you are feeling hungry between meals, but I hadn't done that because not only was I not feeling hungry between meals, I'm not even hungry FOR meals.  

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Another portable fat option i use are coconut flakes.  They are delicious, and I'll take a ziplock bag full of them. I got a nice big bag at Whole Foods. Also, nuts are a fat, and they are portable. 

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I think this is why I'm relying on only nuts and avocado for my fat- coconut is another thing I absolutely cannot stand.  So that won't be an option for me either, unfortunately.  

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Have you made homemade mayo? That works beautifully on many things.

Other possible fats include clarified butter, ghee, tallow, bacon fat, duck fat, and any sauces made with compliant oils, mayo, or nut butters.

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Using ghee and loving it.  I have a compliant mayo in the house, but haven't found an occasion to use it yet.  I'm good on compliant oils (been cooking with mostly coconut oil), and have a little stash of almond butter that I also haven't found something to eat with yet.  Avocado is one of my favorite things in the world, so it's been easy to rely on.  And I love macadamia nuts and cashews, so those are my go-to portable fats as well.  

Is there really a problem with what fats I'm choosing?  Is this enough of a screw up to have to start over?

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Is there really a problem with what fats I'm choosing?  Is this enough of a screw up to have to start over?

 

No way.  You're doing great.  :)  Folks are just giving feedback because you asked questions!

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I guess I'm wary because in the past, I've eaten too much fruit or used healthy fat as a crutch and ate too much of it.  I just want to be successful.  Really really badly.  Genuinely.  

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Jess, I spent the first week really questioning how this can be working. I mean, it seems so EASY. I'm full all the time, ordering at a restaurant is not a problem, my sugar dragon is dead for the first time in. my. life. and I also had whole days where I would not be hungry ( a real first for me).  I've hit a few bumps in the road the last couple of days, but for the most part, this is still just so much simpler than anything I've ever done before. I think it's easy for us to question it. But your meals are great, and its fantastic how quickly our body's can leave behind their old bad ways and adjust to this new way of eating.  

Let's finish this out strong!

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Hi Jess. I think there is a big mental shift for a lot of us who have had years of hearing traditional diet advice like "only eat low fat foods," "have lots of whole grains" and "avoid red meats." The Whole30 is a really different way of eating, but I found that it worked really well for me once I embraced it. During my first Whole30 I ate quite a lot, ate plenty of sweet potatoes, ate nuts as snacks sometimes (sorry!), and was very liberal with the fats and oils. The result was that my cholesterol dropped 30 points. 

 

I agree with you that there are a few recommendations that the moderators make often which could be stipulated more clearly in the program. For example, they often tell people to be sure to eat a starchy carb like sweet potatoes every day, to bump up the amount of food and starchy carbs before your period, and to add fat even if you've been cooking in fat. The moderators are basing their advice on the common issues and solutions of real people on the forums doing a Whole30, and their suggestions for fine-tuning a Whole30 can be really helpful. 

 

But like others have said, you are doing really great in your choices. They are just giving advice for you to bump up your morning protein, veg, starchy carbs, and fats a little overall to help with the rollercoaster mood and sleepiness.

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Hi Jess. I think there is a big mental shift for a lot of us who have had years of hearing traditional diet advice like "only eat low fat foods," "have lots of whole grains" and "avoid red meats." The Whole30 is a really different way of eating, but I found that it worked really well for me once I embraced it. 

I think the problem for me, chezjulie, is coming from a low-carb mentality.  I've always tied fat consumption to satiety only in the sense of hunger.  Since I haven't been hungry whatsoever, I figured my fats were adequate.  Also coming from a low-carb mentality, I'm forcing myself to embrace starchy carbs and fruit as not poison LOL.  I ADORE sweet potatoes.  And it took me 5 days into the program to have one, because I'm terrified of "overdoing it."  I'm still limiting my fruit to about one serving a day and trying to take in more veggies.  The first time I had a compliant kombucha flavored with fruit, I felt like I was doing the worst thing in the world LOL.  It's going to take some mental re-training FOR SURE! lol

So last night's dinner- 

Leftover grass fed taco meat with a tomato, some diced onion, and a whole avocado in a bowl.  Baked sweet potato on the side.  Strawberry Serenity Kombucha.

My mood wayyyy improved and I slept like a baby without any aides.  

And guess what?  I'm hungry for breakfast.   :D 

Thank you all for your wisdom!!!

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