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tunibell's Whole30 Log


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Who I am and what I'm doing here

I am a 41-year old mother of two looking to improve my health and avoid the family legacy of obesity and diabetes. I have psoriasis (historically very mild and currently in total remission) and celiac disease, both of which put me at increased risk for further autoimmune issues. I have extensive environmental allergies (for which I will soon be receiving allergy shots) and a history of annoying sinus issues. I've also been experiencing interstitial cystitis symptoms since June, which is most likely related to my very overactive immune system.


I'm planning to take my "official" before photos/weight/measurements tomorrow, but I weigh roughly 136 lbs, which is about 8 lbs outside the healthy range for someone of my height. 


Step 1: Choose Your Start Date

I'm beginning on January 1, 2016. Aside from one child's birthday, it looks to be a month that is light on events, which is always helpful.


Step 2: Build Your Support Team

Done. I've got an incredibly supportive husband and network of friends, and now I've got you all to keep me on track. :)


Step 3: Get Your House Ready

Since I live with three other people (none of whom are participating fully), I've done a brief kitchen clean-up. I cleared one shelf for myself and filled it with approved pantry items. Over the next two days, I plan to clean out my refrigerator and make a full week's menu.







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Step 4: Plan for Success

This step is a biggie, and I thought this step merited its own post. Inspired by an episode of Silicon Valley, I'm ready to SWOT this plan!



  • My diet is already pretty clean. I recently did a 22-day autoimmune paleo protocol, so this is familiar territory.
  • Celiac disease: I had to give up gluten permanently at age 36, so 30 days without something is not feel overwhelming.
  • Celiac disease + kids with food allergies = awesome at reading labels and unlikely to make a careless error.
  • I like to cook.


  • I'm really good at starting projects. I'm less good at completing projects.
  • I like wine. A lot.
  • That 22-day protocol I mentioned? It was supposed to be 30 days. You know what got me? See above.
  • I'm busy. I have a job, kids, pets, hobbies, volunteer obligations, etc. Often meal planning and meal preparation get sacrificed for convenience.


  • I'm thinking about using this time to do some real self-care. I can schedule a massage, take some yoga classes, buy a nice body oil, and basically pretend that I'm at some sort of spa/ashram for the month.
  • No wine = better sleep = more energy for my busy life.
  • Less dining out = more money in the bank.


  • We usually spend Friday evenings at one of our friends' houses. It's like an extended family get together. Wine features prominently.
  • My husband and I like to have breakfast out together on Friday mornings.
  • My younger child has a birthday this month, which means yummy foods.
  • Like everyone else, I have stressors in my life. Stress makes me thirsty. For wine.
  • My current diet is low sugar, but it's not no sugar. No sugar is a whole different beast. Last time I tried no sugar I looked forward to having an upset stomach so that I could eat some Tums.

Armed with this information, here are my If/Thens...


If I'm going to a friend's house...I will bring a yummy mocktail and drink it from a wine glass.


If I'm having breakfast out with my husband...I will make compliant choices or just have a cup of tea.


If I'm finding my dedication waning...I will check back in here.


If I'm really craving wine in the evenings...I will make myself a cup of tea and go to bed.


If I'm feeling stressed...I will do something that involves pampering myself in non-food/drink ways.


If I'm pressed for time...I will make sure there are easy food options at the ready.


I also really like this idea for keeping a project going. I will print out a calendar and get my red marker ready!


Time to plan some meals!

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Building Week One's Menu


I thumbed through a couple of books worth of recipes to come up some candidates. It's worth pointing out that in addition to my celiac disease, both kids are allergic to nuts, one is allergic to fish, and my husband is allergic to shellfish.


The Whole 30

  • Southwest Scrambled Eggs, p. 204
  • Spinach Frittata, p. 206
  • Diner Breakfast, p. 208
  • Steak Salad with Cilantro-Lime Mayo (with eggless mayo), p. 220
  • Banger Sausage Patties with Sweet Potato Mash and Caramelized Onions, p. 249
  • Pulled Pork Carnitas, p. 254
  • Green Cabbage Slaw with Lemon Oil, p. 282
  • Coconut Cauliflower Rice, p. 366
  • Lemongrass Chicken Skewers, p. 367

The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook by Mickey Trescott

  • Olive Tapenade, p. 91
  • Parsley Garlic Dip, p. 96
  • Coconut Milk Chai, p. 102
  • Raspberry Vinaigrette, p. 116
  • Pomegranate and Arugula Salad with Fennel, p. 146
  • Classic Chicken Soup, p. 165
  • Creamy Celeriac and Leek Soup, p. 169
  • Curried Chicken and Vegetable Soup, p. 178
  • Seared Broccoli with Coconut-Basil Pesto, p. 204
  • Sole Filet with Tarragon-Caper Sauce, p. 245

Yummy Supper by Erin Scott

  • Poached Eggs with Lemony Spinach & Crispy Hashbrowns, p. 27
  • Baked Eggs on a Bed of Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, p. 38
  • Rainbow Slaw, p. 76
  • Halibut 'Baked in Parchment with Tarragon Pesto, p. 97
  • Hanger Steak with Gremolata


Here's my first pass at a menu. I might tweak this tomorrow, and chances are that the subsequent weeks won't be as intensively planned, but this will do for now.


Friday, January 1

B: Poached Eggs with with Lemony Spinach & Crispy Hashbrowns, sugar-free bacon

L: Creamy Celeriac and Leek Soup

D: Hanger Steak with Gremolata, Pomegranate and Arugula Salad with Fennel


Saturday, January 2

B: Spinach Frittata

L: Steak Salad with Cilantro-Lime Mayo

D: Roasted Chicken, Seared Broccoli with Coconut-Basil Pesto, roasted fingerling potatoes


Sunday, January 3

B: Southwest Scrambled Eggs, Bacon

L: Salad with Chicken

D: Banger Sausage Patties with Sweet Potato Mash and Caramelized Onions, p. 249


Monday, January 4

B: Diner Breakfast

L: Chicken Soup

D: Zucchini Noodles with Meat Sauce (pasta for kids & husband)


Tuesday, January 5

B: Baked Eggs on a Bed of Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

L: Chicken Apple Sausage, salad

D: Pulled Pork Carnitas with Plantains and Guacamole


Wednesday, January 6

B: Sweet Potato, Apple, and Pancetta Hash

L: Leftover Pulled Pork

D: Whatever's Around


Thursday, January 7

B: Sweet Potato, Apple, and Pancetta Hash

L: Shrimp and Zucchini Noodles with pesto

D: Lemongrass Chicken Skewers and Coconut Cauliflower Rice

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Thanks, miemoo! I'm really trying to learn from past missteps, and I think the SWOT exercise is really helpful for that.




Pre-Whole30 Measurements

Weight: 135.7

Upper Arm: 12"

Bust: 39.5"

Abdomen: 33.5"

Natural Waist: 31"

Hips: 38.5

Upper Thighs: 23"/L, 23.5"/R

A1C: 5.7 (This is a measurement of average blood sugar over a 3-month period. Normal range is 4.8-5.6. This is the second year running in which I've been a toe over the line into what is considered "pre-diabetes.")


I also took side, front, and back pictures, which I can't figure out how to post and mostly made me wonder what I can do to fix my posture. 


Off to clean out the fridge and prepare my shopping list.

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Day 1 - Cat Pee is on the Approved List, Right?


Before going to a party last night, I did a little grocery shopping. I was running late, so I put the perishable stuff away and left the rest of the bags on the kitchen floor.


This morning, I grabbed a potato out of one of the bags. It was wet, but I didn't think much of it, since it was in a plastic bag with other vegetables. I made hash browns.


Later, while unpacking the rest of the bag, I realized that everything was wet, and not with water...


Man, am I glad I rinsed, peeled, and cooked the bejesus out of that potato.


Other than that, the day was pretty smooth. I ate according to plan, and went on a short hike with my family. I did a few stretches designed to help correct my pelvic tilt. I also treated myself to a new loofah and body butter. Now it's 9:45 p.m. and I'm all tucked into bed for a nice sleep. 

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Day 2 - I Really Need to Learn from My Mistakes


So...remember yesterday, when I inadvertently ate hash browns marinated in cat pee because I failed to put away the groceries? Yeah. Today, I also went shopping, and I also forgot to put one of the bags away. The bag that contained $20 worth of organic meat which I had to toss when I discovered it sitting at room temperature, five hours later. The moral of the week is put away your damn groceries, woman.


On the plus side, I hit the local farmer's market this morning and found some organic, pasture-raised, sugar-free breakfast sausage that I did remember to put in the freezer.


I strayed a bit from my pre-set menu today. Here's what I ended up eating:


Morning: Chai tea with coconut milk

Brunch: Omelet with spinach and tomato; leftover steak

Snack: Apple with sunflower seed butter

Dinner: Roasted chicken leg, sautéed greens, roasted fingerling potatoes with leftover salsa verde


For exercise, I ran/walked 3 miles at an average pace of 13:28. (I'm on Week 2 of a 20-week couch-to-half marathon program).


Tomorrow is the last day of my two week holiday vacation. Monday I'll be back at work and back to my very busy life. I'm definitely feeling a lot of trepidation. It's so much easier to take care of myself when there's so much less to do!

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Thanks, Danananda!  :)


Day 3 - The Calm Before the Storm


I have made it to Day 3 with no signs of carb flu. Frankly, I wasn't expecting any, since I'm already gluten-free, but it was nice to have a few easy days at the beginning. The last few cleanses/programs I've done have also been caffeine-free, which makes for a monstrous start. I gave up daily coffee a few months ago, and that first week off was just wretched. This has been a very gentle transition, and I'm feeling grateful for that.


B: Southwest Scrambled Eggs, Bacon, Chai with Coconut Milk

L: Salad with Chicken


D: Banger Sausage Patties with Sweet Potato Mash and Caramelized Onions


Today was filled with lots of running around and preparing for back to work/school/adulting. Tomorrow's schedule involves not only work but a 30-minute run and an upper body workout. 


Deep breaths...

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Day 4 - In Which I Killed None of the Things


Today was a very good day.


I did the work, the run, and the upper body workout. 


I also tried something new this morning, which worked out very well. I got up at 6:30 a.m. (about 30-60 minutes later than I usually wake up on a work day) intending to run. But here's the thing about 6:30 a.m. in December...it's dark. And cold. So I decided to postpone the run until after work, and enjoyed a lovely, quiet half an hour of solitude drinking warm tea and planning my day. It was just blissful, and I'm planning to do it again tomorrow.


B: Omelet with spinach and tomato, chai with coconut milk

L: Chicken soup and leftover sweet potatoes

S: Two handfuls of cashews (I was very hungry post-workout)

D: Zucchini noodles with meat sauce


Exercise was 30 minutes of walking/running (2.28 miles, average speed 13:09) plus weight lifting.


I also managed to clean off the dining room table and get everyone to sit down for dinner. I sent my mom a text of appreciation for all the family dinners I enjoyed growing up, because let me just say that getting everyone to the table at the same time and for the same meal is no easy feat.


Today was the first day that a glass of white wine with dinner sounded dee-lishous. 


Tomorrow's another busy day. Work will involve lots of planning for a Wednesday night meeting. I also need to fit in 30 minutes of cross-training (I haven't decided what kind yet) and a lower body workout.



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Day 5 - The Day of Unrelenting Hunger


I spent most of today thinking about food and wondering when and how I could get more. At one point, I fantasized about opening a packet of sugar and throwing it back like a shot. My husband's company is going through a "re-org," so the stress over here is...high.


Still, I stuck to the plan, biked for 30 minutes, and did a lower body workout.


B: Baked eggs over tomatoes and artichoke hearts

L: Chicken soup with spinach

S: Two handfuls of cashews

D: Lemongrass Chicken Skewers and Coconut Cauliflower Rice (because that Pork Butt I bought is apparently never going to thaw)

S: Apple with sunflower seed butter


Tomorrow is a rest day, exercise-wise, which is good because I can barely bend my poor legs at this point. Busy work day though, and a late one. And I have no idea what to make for dinner.

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Day 6 - The Day of Too Many Cashews


Snackiness continued today, without even the excuse of exercise.


B: Southwest Scrambled Eggs, Chai with coconut milk

S: Cashews

L: 1/4 lb shrimp, cucumber sticks with olive tapenade

S: More cashews

D: Pulled pork and sauteed plaintains


Long day. Tired. Off to sleep. Might eat more cashews.

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Day 7 - One Week Done!


Today I decided to take the book's advice and make my meals a little bigger. It definitely helped stave of the snackiness. 


B: Omelet with spinach and tomato, sausage

L: Leftover pulled pork, roasted sweet potatoes

S: Apple and handful of cashews

D:  Spinach and apple salad with chicken

S: Cucumber sticks with olive tapenade, kale chips


E: 28 min (R2/W2), upper body workout


I am proud to say that I'm fitting into my size 6 pants, and my stomach is noticeably flatter. Lots of skin breakouts this week, though.

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Day 8 - Make My Mocktail a Double


My complaints about today include the following:

  • I hit a parked car.
  • My husband got confirmation that his position is being terminated at the end of the month.
  • I spent nearly an hour at Home Depot with three children under the age of 10.
  • I finished my book last night and have nothing to read now.
  • The cat(s?) peed on more seemingly random things.
  • The new moisturizer I spent $20 on at Whole Foods makes my face itch.
  • A major thigh cramp de-railed my stationary bike cross-training session.
  • Someone ate Thin Mints at my seat at the table, thus covering it with gluten dust.
  • The no-butter omelet I ordered this morning was so clearly made with butter that I had to spit it out.



B: Aidell's chicken & apple sausage

L: Scrambled egg with avocado & salsa

D: Zucchini noodles and shrimp with basil/garlic/pumpkin seed pesto. Double mocktail (pomegranate juice, sparking water, lime).

S: Cashews and olives

E: 13 minutes on bike, 10 minutes walking, lower leg workout minus lunges that I'll need to fit in over the weekend because I ran out of time

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Day 10 - A Much Better Day/Back to Adulting


​Mood very much improved today.


B/L: Two strips of bacon, scrambled eggs with salsa, hash browns 

S: Olive tapenade and cashew milk cheese on bell pepper strips

D: Chicken sausage


E: 3 miles (R1/W2). 2.25 mile hike.


I also:

  • Meal-planned for the rest of the week
  • Went shopping
  • Attended a party and was not tempted by off-plan delights
  • Was complimented on how healthy I looked by two separate people at said party
  • Declined to buy more cashews/nut butter at store since I clearly cannot be trusted to moderate said items
  • Took off my size 28 jeans without unzipping or unsnapping them
  • ​Am in bed and ready for sleep before 10:30...night night. :)
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Day 11 - The Day David Bowie Died


Today was deeply unnerving, and not just because of the above.


I called 911 twice today because a child (not one of mine) had an allergic reaction to peanuts. The child is fine, but in honor of the struggle of allergic kids and their families everywhere, here's what I'd like anyone reading this to know about peanut allergy:


  • There is no such thing as a "mild" peanut allergy. Allergies are like the stock market; past performance has no bearing on future results.
  • The current protocol for known ingestion of an allergen is a *timely* injection of epinephrine (Epi-Pen). Benadryl can mask symptoms of anaphylaxis, and delaying epinephrine can be deadly.
  • Epinephrine only buys time to get to the hospital.

I feel I really earned my mocktail tonight.


B: Two piece of bacon, sautéed kale and tomatoes (a haphazardly arranged breakfast thrown together when I realized the eggs I tried to buy yesterday never made it home with me)

L: Celery root soup

S: A million spoonfuls of sunflower seed butter, eaten as comfort food in a freaked out haze

D: Roasted chicken and potatoes


E: 30 minutes on stationary bike, upper body workout

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Day 12 - Business as Usual


I really should do these updates less close to bedtime. Zonked.


B: Omelet with kale and tomato, hastily shoved in a to-go container and scarfed down at work.

L: Chicken sausage with spinach and so much garlic

D: Leftover chicken, leftover potatoes

S: Dried mango, raspberries, mandarins


E: 28 min (R2/W2) plus lower body/abs workout

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Day 14 - The Day Alan Rickman Died


Tough week for awesomeness.


​B: Scrambled eggs and two pork sausages

L: Chicken soup

D: Shrimp provencal with broccoli, cauliflower, and butternut squash

E: Upper body workout, 28 min (R2/W2)


Some things I've noticed:

  • I only really started to crave sugar the last few days. I am blaming stress and fatigue.
  • My skin looks fabulous.
  • My gut is noticeably less fluffy.
  • I would very much like to step on a scale.
  • I am getting a ton accomplished lately.
  • I still love waking up for tea at 6:30 am.
  • I've been on a self-care binge. I had a mani/pedi the other day, and I've got a brow wax scheduled for tomorrow. I might go crazy and schedule a facial. 
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Day 16 - Downward Glide


Today was the first day of the Whole Life Challenge, an 8-week commitment I made before I even picked up the Whole30 book. Thankfully, it's pretty much the same deal, minus a few items (potatoes, fruit juice) and with a few added back in (butter, stevia). Obviously I'll stick with the Whole30 foods until the 30th...this just means no more hash browns or pomegranate juice cocktails for me.


The beginning of the WLC requires a starting weight or a set of measurements and a "measurable workout." So I stepped on the scale with my eyes closed and had my husband enter the number. I am dying to peek at it, but I will resist. I ran a mile in a respectable if not impressive 12:16.


At the recommendation of a friend, I checked out a new Pilates class in town. It was to Pilates as pot is to meth, and I might not be able to walk tomorrow. Which is deeply inconvenient, since I have a four mile run tomorrow morning.

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Day 17 - So Much Energy at 7 a.m., So Done by 9 p.m.


A list of things I did today:

  • Ran/walked 4 miles
  • Went to a hot yoga class
  • Had tea with friends
  • Picked up food and a cake for my soon-to-be 7-year-old's party tomorrow
  • Took said soon-to-be-7-year-old present shopping
  • Bought crafts for party
  • Cleaned and decorated for party
  • Walked 1.5 miles with 9-year-old
  • Ate kohlrabi for the first time (made fritters...pretty good!)
  • Grilled fish
  • Ran 9-year-old to play rehearsal twice, because I am that bad at reading a calendar
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Day 18 - I Did Not Eat Cake Today


My little one turned seven today. The children ate cake. I did not.


I did, however:

  • throw a birthday party
  • eat compliantly at a restaurant
  • make a delicious-looking pork and sweet potato stew for tomorrow
  • make chicken bone broth
  • eat a ton of greens (spinach, kale, and arugula)
  • bike for 30 minutes
  • do an upper body workout
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Day 19 - The Day I Called 911 for the Third Time This Month


An adult visitor collapsed at work today, thus necessitating my third call to emergency services. She's fine, but between my apparent new gig as first-responder-summoner, my husband's job uncertainty, and a whole host of other life stuff...my nerves are just shot. I thought I was doing okay until tonight, when I grossly overreacted to what I now think was just a bit of debris in child #2's hair by delousing the family. Apparently, despite the healthy eating, the exercise, and the extra sleep, I'm not managing my stress as well as I thought I was. 


Ah well. Tomorrow is another day. Deep breaths.

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