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Whole 30 for May 2016 - first time!


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Whole 30 the First Time

May 2 – May 31 2016


I have decided to try the Whole 30 program after a lot of encouragement from a coworker who had a lot of success with it. After reading about it myself and buying the Whole 30 book, I decided it was finally time to really get to the heart of my relationship with food. I am a chronic ‘under’ eater (it’s so easy for me to skip breakfast and lunch and eat a lot in the evenings) and I struggle to lose the weight I need to lose. I’m fairly active, though working to amp that up. I don’t eat too poorly, but I do love my sugar. And pasta. Luckily, my partner Brad is 100% on board and has tried this kind of ‘dieting’ in the past, so he will be a great support. So here we go - I will be updating on a daily basis!


Day One

Easy! Had breakfast for the first time in a very long time and it was delicious. Eggs, avocado, blackberries. Lunch and dinner were delicious. Thanks Brad for cooking for us! I was hungry all day, though. Had tea at night with coconut cream; lovely.

Day Two

Last night I dreamt that I ate bread and I was so disappointed in myself because I would have to start the Whole30 program over again. I woke up very stuffy and slept in by about 30 minutes. It was hard to get up and going! Managed another delicious breakfast and it will be leftovers for lunch. Today my head is aching, and I’m tired. And hungry. Now I remember all the crap I ate the few days before we decided to start the Whole 30! I’m drinking lots and lots of water. We had a really delicious pesto zoodle ‘pasta’ dinner and made meatballs and roasted veggies for the next day.

Day Three

Today I’m definitely cranky. I’m not sure I want to kill ALL the things yet, but I can tell I am about 50% there. Breakfast was a lovely salmon with wilted spinach, tomatoes and an egg and I’m having a black coffee right now with some coconut cream to help me out. I’m stuffy, my head is heavy and I have had a headache since Day One… push through! Brad has been struggling to get up in the mornings; we really should get to bed earlier. I find I need to pee all.the.time. On a positive note, I love today’s lunch! We made ground turkey thigh meatballs, made with a little coconut flour, alongside roasted sweet potato and beets. Delicious! I am trying to sloooow down my eating, so I ate half of my lunch, waited for about 10 minutes, then ate the other half. I actually feel fuller; that’s weird.

Day Four

Alright! Feeling so much better today. I slept well and we had a much bigger dinner last night. We had a lovely dinner of coconut-flour dredged basa fish (I grated some lemon zest in the flour with salt and pepper) and roasted sweet potato, snap peas and cauliflower rice. We filled our plates with the veggies and I can say I haven’t had a headache since yesterday afternoon. I suppose I wasn’t eating enough the first three days! This morning, though, my stomach was very very unhappy. It has levelled out a bit over the morning but it is still a little funky.

Day Five, Six and Seven

I’m writing these days together because it was a Friday to a Sunday and they were super busy days! This first weekend of the program was a real test. We went out of the city to visit family, then came back and had another family gathering, then dinner with friends. We explained upfront that we were eating a little differently and were totally accommodated, which was awesome. For dinner with friends, we just brought the dinner! That was really appreciated because they were able to try something a little different from what they normally eat. Since we have maintained increased portion sizes, I don’t have headaches anymore. The meals have been a little hard to plan – especially Sunday; Mother’s Day walk and then brunch with family meant we ate half of our ‘lunch’ with family and the other half after getting home and buying groceries. It was a little annoying, but still worked out. This morning we are tired and moody, but mostly from being overrun from a full weekend. This morning I just doubled our breakfast so that we will have the same thing at lunch. In terms of how I feel, I can tell my energy levels are increasing. My head is clearing, mostly from eating more during the day, I think. Brad is really craving for cheese while I’m missing sugar. Otherwise, this really is doable – if your portion sizes are big enough you can be satisfied! Oh and thank heavens for coconut butter. Coconut anything, really! This weekend we have had some great dinners with Brad’s dad’s Angus beef (organic, grass fed, happy happy cows) and tons of fresh and grilled veggies. I’ve had a lot more coffee this weekend and I’m getting a habit of drinking coffee every morning (just one). I am going to revisit this little habit this week; I think I just like having something warm in the mornings.  We bought salmon on the weekend and it’s easy to cook in a little coconut oil and zest some lemon on top with some dried herbs. We also made compliant Scotty’s nests yesterday which will definitely be in the morning rotation! They were amazing, and filling! I’m looking forward to this week… oh and I think I am feeling a little smaller J I didn’t get to the gym at all last week, but will start again this week and expect to start feeling even better by the end of it. One more thing; my stomach has really calmed down. On Friday it felt like it was rolling and doing flips and it steadily decreased over the weekend. 

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I took a few food pictures to share with friends and family, so I thought I could post here! The first one is the coconut flour fish with snap peas, cauliflower 'rice' and roasted sweet potatoes. Then, cabbage 'steaks' with salmon, and roasted sweet potatoes and beets. Then, the Scotty's nests from yesterday morning - compliant shaved turkey breast, with an egg cracked inside, a basil leaf, and sprinkled with salt and pepper. Served with fresh tomatoes and orange. Yum!




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Headaches for me almost always mean I didn't eat enough fat in the previous meal. Be sure to add 1-2 tbsp of fat to each meal - and not just what you've cooked with.


I got a caffeine addiction during the first week because I was so tired. I had to go cold turkey but it wasn't hard - switched to decaf tea. I do think just the warm drink was the main thing I was craving.


Your meals look really great!

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Thank-you for the advice! That is an interesting point about the caffeine addiction in the first week; I wonder if it snuck up on me and I didn't fully realize how tired I am. It's unusual that I have coffee daily... hmm I wonder if I really am entering the need to nap all the time phase... ha!

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Day Eight

It seems as though I am following the timeline in the Whole30 book, if not a little slower. I got home from work and napped for two hours – two hours!! – and went to bed early and woke up late for day nine. I never nap so I take it that I am hitting the ‘I just want to nap’ phase. My boyfriend is experiencing the same tiredness, with a good sprinkling of crankiness. I find it so helpful that the authors included the timeline in the Whole30 book, otherwise this process would be discouraging (do I want to be moody all the time? No! Just give me some chocolate and I’ll move on).  Good news is it seems like the dull headaches are a thing of the past and we are still really enjoying what we’re eating. For day eight, we had lots of salmon in the morning and for lunch plus made a ton of meatballs to have for dinner and for lunch on day nine.  Just push through, right?


Day Nine

Woke up this morning feeling pretty groggy, despite having quite an ample amount of sleep. An added bonus for the Whole30 is the increased amount of time my boyfriend and I spend together in the mornings; before we would rush out the door and I would either skip breakfast or have a shake mid-morning. Now, we’re sitting down at the table having breakfast together and we can walk into work together. It’s so fantastic!! I didn’t fully appreciate how eating in this way really forces you to sloooow down. I’ve decided that no matter what, today is a gym day! If I can show this kind of determination to make the Whole30 no matter what, I can do it for working out. This morning we made a version of Melissa's chicken has that's in the Whole30 book; wow is it ever good! I highly recommend this recipe. We have an amazing spirulizer attachment for our KitchenAid stand mixer which makes this recipe really easy. We don't eat nuts, so omitted the walnuts and didn't have the apple cider so just added more apples. Turned out great! We mixed in spinach just until it wilted and served with fresh blackberries and some oranges. We also ate some coconut flakes... next time I may want to serve the hash with an egg on top too, or add more chicken. 


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  • 2 weeks later...

Days Ten through 16

Wow, six days without updating… oops! Actually I wasn’t feeling great the last time I posted and I actually got hit with a cold that I think I picked up from a coworker. So, three days in bed but still keeping to whole30 (and watching sooo much of The Good Wife on Netflix) meant that by the weekend I was feeling pretty well back to normal. I didn’t even want to take Tylenol because I knew it was coated in artificial sweetener, ha ha.

Days 13-16 have been great. My appetite has substantially reduced; I am hungry when I wake up and have a good breakfast, but we have had to reduce our portion sizing. This morning (day 17 actually) we couldn’t even finish our breakfasts! We have definitely moved past the phase of craving. We have been around restaurants, out with friends, and totally fine about this diet change. We just know we have really good food back home. I’m still struggling to adjust to how much work this type of meal planning takes, but as a friend of mine said, I’m much more active in the evenings than if I quickly whipped up a pasta dinner and sat in front of the TV to eat it. So true!

I have really good energy throughout the day and I can see my skin is getting better. I live in a super, super dry climate and walk to work every day and have a hard time with dry skin, but that’s really disappearing. Awesome! I’m feeling a bit discouraged that I don’t feel like I have been losing much weight, but any time I have those thoughts I divert them to something more positive; I’m making a substantial change, it’s not about weight loss, I want to be healthy, etc. Really looking forward to how this week is going to go!

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Days 17, 18 and 19

It’s fun to start looking back on the first (almost) three weeks of the program – especially today as I’m starting to recognize some positive changes. I was reflecting this morning that my mood, and my boyfriend’s mood, have been more stable. I wake up with my alarm now, or a few minutes beforehand which was never the case before. I also have stable energy that lasts me the whole day. This is big for me; I would almost always ‘crash’ in the early afternoons. We made the BBQ sauce this week and made a pulled pork as well as some BBQ ribs last night – wow. That sauce is amazing! We’re going to make more this weekend because it was soooo delicious. Then last night, I made the mayo. It is amazing too! They’re not kidding about adding the oil very slowly; it took me 30 minutes to incorporate that 1 cup of olive oil, LOL. But so worth it! I made trout this morning with some of that mayo on top, and grated lemon zest on top of that. So delicious! I had to work to eat breakfast and lunch today but that’s okay; keeping to the three meal routine has been a really positive change for me. Funny note that Brad had his first food dream last night; he was dreaming he was cleaning up in the kitchen and found a piece of dark chocolate on the counter, absent mindedly ate it, then felt guilty. LOL. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

The final 11 Days

That's it - today is the last day of my first Whole30. I haven't stepped on a scale, eaten any artifical sugar, grains, or dairy for an entire month. I battled my cravings, I reflected every day on this challenge and committed to myself. I have to say, I'm pretty happy about that. The last week and a half has been much, much easier. Headaches are a thing of the past, thankfully. I used to snack every night but I have been very satisfied after each dinner that I don't even want to eat a snack. My favourite snack - kale chips covered in nutritional yeast - have not been part of my diet for about three weeks now. I didn't expect such an impact on my appetite! 


I suppose that's what I am most struck by, at this point. The biggest take away for me, from this Whole30 plan, is how much it changed my appetite. I don't think I realized, until now, how often I am hungry and how often I crave foods. Now, eating three full meals three times a day, I am content. I would say over the last two weeks my appetite has steadily declined, even. I can eat three meals but I don't want more after that. I don't want seconds, I don't want to snack. Now, I expect this to change when I start a boot camp I have signed up for next week, but that is to be expected.


Another side effect is how this plan has affected my gut. I will just share that I am finally feeling regularity, which I never really had before. I don't get cramps like I used to after eating, or pain sometimes that would come. I thought that used to be from eating too much but now, I am really curious to see if they come back with reintroducing foods.


Finally - my very dry skin has cleared up. This is wonderful!


I will report that this program is very much worth the effort. I don't feel like 30 days is enough for myself, so I do plan to come back to whole 30 eating mid-June (once I am back from my best friend's wedding and trip we have planned). I was not a terrible eater before but I know that my eating habits need improvement.  I am 30 lbs overweight for a reason! This Whole30 approach has been especially useful in that it, in fact, made choices easier. I find that once you have a definitive list of what you 'can' and 'cannot' eat, then all that's left is to say No. And you'll see that as you say no, more people will respect that decision. Where some may push you to eat a certain way, or say 'oh come on, just one more piece...' you can confidently say no and the conversation moves on. 


As for my weight, I have no idea if I have lost since we don't own a scale and I haven't weighed myself at the gym (as we are not supposed to). I do know I feel better, though. My clothes are more comfortable for sure. My bridesmaids dress, that I bought before the Whole30, fits great this week. It was feeling pretty good but tiiiiiight before; now it is relaxed and comfortable. I guess that's my answer.


For all those who want to start their first Whole30, I say, go for it. Plan your meals out and make sure you have lots of groceries and variety in your fridge. Expect this to impact your social life, if you like to go out a lot, but good friends should be supportive anyway. After all, it's only 30 days.

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