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Foodie starting first Whole30-- hoping for mental clarity and metabolic improvement


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Hello everyone (or I should say, anyone, since I don't know how many folks go around reading these logs!)


This is my very first Whole30 and I'm on Day 1.  I've read a lot online in preparation, but I'm still new to exploring the forum and I'm still reading the books, sort of concurrently (I go back and forth).  I discovered the Whole30 through my sister in law who has done two of them and is on her third, but we are not close so I don't expect much support from her.  Hence I figured I'd come here and see how it goes!


So the background:


My hopes for the program are to really repair the hot mess that is my current metabolism.  I am very overweight and have been for several years.  My former eating habits were really problematic-- I might not eat until several hours into the day and that would be my only meal.  Since I would be very hungry by that time, sometimes it would be very carb-laden, especially as I knew I needed that food to hold me over.  I'm in grad school and just finished a year of intense interning, so my schedule made regular eating extremely difficult.  But I knew that this way of eating was not helping me any, and although my food intake does not fluctuate much, I have seen a steady weight gain of a few pounds a month that has continued over time, even during my busy year while I was running all over and much more active than usual.  So I know that there are metabolic issues at play.  I do not have diabetes or PCOS but an increase in "skin tags" suggests insulin resistance.  I have also been told by a gynocologist that other problems I'm having are likely due to problems with estrogen.  I started limiting my soy exposure at that time but did not take it to the line of full elimination like in Whole30.


I have also realized over time that I likely also am experiencing the symptoms of undiagnosed ADHD.  I've recently read the symptoms are different for women and things I have struggled with for years are becoming more obvious.  As a graduate student who wants to finish and be a successful professional in a few months, I feel it is time to address this.  There is a lot of research suggesting that avoiding sugar, gluten, and dairy can be beneficial for this as well.


So I feel like I really found Whole30 at a serendipitous time.  I knew I needed to do SOMETHING, and I was intimidated by the thought of cutting out sugar, gluten, and dairy all at the same time until I found Whole30 and found it was just structured enough to be doable for me.


Alright, that's a lot of background and it was very dry.  Even facelessly on the internet these things can be hard to talk about.

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DAY 1 Meal Log:


My schedule is shifted a little later than a lot of people's right now, but I still didn't get my first meal til pretty late.  I had to take my partner to his own health appointment, but before I left I ate a few grape tomatoes and leaves of baby kale just so I wouldn't be hangry or foggy-hungry, which tend to be the two ways that I feel when I wait too long to have my first meal.


I was looking forward to some pork steak I found recently, but it was stored in our garage fridge that is bizarrely freezing things instead of just refrigerating them.  So they were pretty icey.  I thought the piece of beef steak I had would be softer, but it was also frozen.  I had mushrooms that needed cooking so I thought the steak and mushrooms would be great.


I was really hungry, so I didn't want to take the time to make ghee before starting.  (I really should have pre-made it before beginning at all, but various silly things keeping me out of the kitchen is part of why I didn't start until today anyway-- I really had been going to start on Sunday or Monday.)  I don't know if I just put too much of the coconut oil in the mushrooms or what, but they tasted so strangely coconutty.  Neither the steak itself nor the red bell pepper and baby kale I sauteed were the same, so I think I just overdid it.  Probably because I am used to sauteeing mushrooms in a lot of butter, cough-cough. 


The steak must have suffered from the rapid thaw I did in the microwave, because the texture was wretched.  And the final straw on my first Whole30 meal of fail was that I had given ZERO thought to herbs and spices having warnings that they were made in facilities that also process milk, wheat, and soy.  So I wasn't sure if using those would be too risky in terms of reintroducing small amounts of those things and ruining the elimination process.  So I dug around in the cabinet and used other things that didn't have that on the bottle.  Every garlic salt seems to have a variance in flavour and in saltiness and apparently I also over-salted the mushrooms.  I'm not used to cooking fails related to seasoning because I'm experienced with seasoning things.


I know many people will find it weird that I ate again since my first meal was so late, but I'm up late at this point in my life and I knew if I was going to get Day 2 headache, it would be much worse if I were starving on top of it.  I planned to make a hamburger but it looks like the hamburger meat I thought we had is gone.  So I sauteed mushrooms, spinach, and some sliced grape tomatoes briefly and poured three beaten eggs over it.  I have not mastered the omelet/frittata methods of letting eggs set and flipping/folding them, so I just end up scrambling the eggs with the vegetables in them.  This time I put some Cajun seasoning with good ingredients in the eggs themselves, but although salt was in the ingredient list, they weren't lively enough so I added a little Himalayan pink salt to the bowl of cooked eggs.  I've got to get a handle on this seasoning thing.


I plan on going to a market not too far from me that has great selection and prices on bulk spices, and I'm hoping to have luck finding stuff there I can use without worry.  This is yet another thing I had wanted and planned to do BEFORE starting, but sometimes life happens and I just didn't want to put it off anymore.  I feel like every day there will ALWAYS be some reason to say, "Oh starting today is not ideal."  I deal with perfectionism and wanting things to work out exactly perfectly and sometimes you just have to do what you need to do and not get wrapped up in over-idealizing things!


I should add that my partner and I live with his parents, one of whom is a homebound hospice patient, and I am the ONLY one in the house doing Whole30.  So yeah, especially in my situation, there will always be reasons that starting (or continuing) Whole30 is challenging in the context of the chaos around me.  The problem is I can't deal with chaos when I'm ill-equipped in terms of nutrition, health, and well-being.


So yeah, of course it would be great if I lived on an island full of pastured animals and vegetable farms and lived in a house with a Food Network kitchen, but I have also had a tendency for a long time to put things off because it didn't seem like the ideal time, and all that has done has put off my living my life.

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  • Moderators

One of the most important things you can do when you have metabolic issues is to eat a full breakfast within an hour of waking in the morning. It pressures your hormonal rhythms to fall into their proper sequence. It is so important that you should get up earlier to eat if necessary. Getting 8 hours of sleep is very important to health, but don't let staying in bed interfere with eating a proper breakfast. 


We don't consistently moderate logs, but I often comment on new ones. If you have specific questions, you can always contact a moderator. :)

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I had JUST read someone talking about this on another person's log last night.  I knew eating breakfast was important, but didn't know about the hour after waking part!  I'm definitely thinking about this now and will be doing some planning and prep to make this more feasible.


Thanks for the helpful input.  I appreciate it! :)

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