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Because I don't want 40 to become the new 50.


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Day 0:


I had cake for breakfast. And will have linguine for dinner. Seriously.


I'm inadvertently doing exactly what I was warned not to do, which is to overdue the Bad Stuff in the days leading up to a Whole30. However, today is The Little Girl's 9th birthday, so cake and linguine it shall be! And on with the good stuff tomorrow.


I cooked up a storm yesterday and am feeling very well stocked for tomorrow. I plan to do the before-I-changed-my-life scale and photo session this evening. That is, assuming the scale will even return my calls. We have not been on speaking terms since that unfortunate incident a few months ago.


I'm doing the Whole30 under doctor's orders. Even though I'm starting a few weeks later than she suggested, it has so far made it a bit easier to get serious.


And here's the list of things I want so that on Day 13 I can look back and remind myself why I'm here: Vibrancy. To wake up in the morning wanting to get out of bed. Brightness. To know once and for all if I'm really reacting to eggs (and then everything else, too). Hormonal happiness. The kind of energy that radiates. To find a new balance and then put food in it's proper place and move along to the next thing. My new normal. Integrity. The power of following through. Freedom.

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Day 1:


Breakfast - coffee, lamb sausage, sweet potato soup with a scattering of walnuts (yum!), clementine

I ate more than I expected to be able to stomach, as I am an unrepentant anti-morning person.


Pre-WO - grassfed jerky


Lunch - chicken salad made with no-egg mayo, almonds and celery (on romaine), sauteed kale (W30 recipe), mango

I ate a lot of food. No-egg mayo is not going to be my BFF but it worked. 


Dinner - a close encounter with a food court! Thanks to NeedAllTheFries, I negotiated a dinner at CAVA Grill with aplomb. 

spicy lamb meatballs on romaine with seasonal veggies, tomato and cucumber, lemon tahini dressing and olives


I ate a lot yesterday. I'm realizing how much I unconsciously limit my portions when I'm eating not-so-great foods. I may have overdone the portions because I really, really did not want to feel hungry and have some kind of subliminal diet monster rear its ugly head. But, I felt sated all day. 


Ended the day with a decaf herbal tea.


Go me!


More things I want that I didn't record yesterday: Fewer seasonal allergies and to finally shake this allergy-driven cough. Maybe, maybe, maybe one day to lose my allergy to stone fruits. To sleep soundly through anything again. 

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sounds like a good start - you might want to look up tahini, as I think it's made from sesame seeds, which I'm not certain are compliant, but it looks like you've done enough research into this already to be sure that they are, so maybe I'm missremembering.


good luck - it's good to have a recorded diary like this, where you list your aspirations - it'll make better reading in 30 days when you look back, and can tick off every thing on the list (and some), and tell us all how wonderful you now feel!

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Tahini (& sesame seeds) are fine for Whole30 purposes.

That said all nuts & seeds should be limited due to their poor omega 3:6 ratio and the impact they often have on the digestive system when eaten daily, so you might want to look at introducing some other fat sources as you had nuts/seeds at each meal.... Other than that your meals look good.

Did you have a postWO?

You may find going forward that you can drop the preWO (depending on the timing of your WO in relation to when you last ate) and add in a postWO of a lean protein & optional starchy carb - depending on the intensity of your sessions.

Nice start  :) 


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Did you have a postWO?

You may find going forward that you can drop the preWO (depending on the timing of your WO in relation to when you last ate) and add in a postWO of a lean protein & optional starchy carb - depending on the intensity of your sessions.

Nice start  :) 



My *plan* was to eat lunch early, workout, and then follow the workout with the jerky. Work interfered so I had to flip the order. I had breakfast very early, so I really needed something to get me through the workout. Then I ate lunch immediately after following the workout, so it became my post-workout "snack." I know that isn't 100% W30-approved, but I felt fine yesterday afternoon and so far today.


I like nuts.  :) Knowing that, I'm keeping my quantities in check. (I'm also taking an Omega 3 supplement just to cross the i's and dot the t's.) I also love olives, though, so I'm sure they will find their way to my plate!


Thanks for the support!

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Day 2:


Breakfast - coffee, lamb sausage, butternut squash soup with scattered walnuts, kiwi

I actually sat down and ate everything at once, unlike Day 1 when I stretched it over 45 min., and it was pretty challenging to get the food down.


Mid-Morning - a little extra coffee in anticipation of staving off Day 2 headaches, which didn't arrive. didn't arrive yesterday. (foreshadowing)


Lunch - chicken salad w/ no-egg mayo, celery and sliced almonds, W30 sauteed kale, half a grapefruit


Dinner - roast chicken, W30 roasted balsamic brussels sprouts and sweet potato, greens w/vinagrette & olives

seriously delicious!


Two things are helping me feel not only not deprived, but positively indulged so far. One is jazzing up my veggies. I ate a lot of veggies before (or so I thought before I learned what "a lot of veggies" actually means). Pre-W30, all my veggies were EVOO, S & P. The extra 2 minutes of adding a balsamic glaze, a little lemon zest ... wow! I will stick to this long after the W30.


The second thing is Tazo's iced teas. They're totally compliant. One giant tea bag makes a 64-ounce pitcher. Several are decaffeinated and herbal. It's like a mini spa in my refrigerator.


So all was going swimmingly until about 8:45pm when, out of nowhere... Kill. All. The. Things.


This is a serious biological phenomenon, and when we sort out a cure for cancer, someone has to study this. It was like I went into my well of patience for a bit of "stop dragging your feet at bedtime" zen attitude and instead fell into a bottomless pit, where, frankly, I wanted to stay because then at least all of these people making me crazy would be far away. And the entire time, there's this little part of me watching everything from afar asking, "What the hell?" Dude. Seriously. What the hell?

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Day 3: Day of the Dark Voices


Breakfast - sweet potato "toast" with (compliant) cured ham, roasted tomatoes and avocado

gourmet breakfast! learned that it's hard to get a full protein serving with cured meat, and that sweet potatoes may be too sweet for me in the morning. but, damn that was good.


Lunch - same chicken salad as above, leftover roasted brussels sprouts & sweet potatoes, half a grapefruit, olives

not loving the chicken salad on day 3


Dinner - two handfuls of olives, chipped beef with mushrooms, asparagus, a piece of bacon while I was cooking it for Day 4

boring but filling


I had a bit of a headache in the morning and was cruising along well enough until about 2pm when I could have taken a nap at my desk. Ok, maybe I did lie down on the couch in my office during a conference call. Not a video conference.


Then, about two hours later, the dark, depressive, hostile voices started. If anyone tries to tell me food is not a drug, I'm going to make them do a Whole30 to prove them wrong. There's some serious biochemical realignment going on. I didn't have cravings, and it wasn't as if the proverbial sugar dragon was steering me to the oreos. (Or, more appropriate to my old habits, the wine dragon steering me toward the cellar.) More like all negative emotions flooding at once.


Then, by late evening, it cleared. Now that I'm not in it's grip, I have new respect for food as a mind-altering, body-changing drug.

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Day 4: Day of the Headache


Breakfast - butternut squash soup with a sprinkle of (compliant) bacon, cured ham, roasted tomatoes

not enough protein and not enough food, but tasty


Lunch - turkey on romaine with pear and (compliant) bacon, leftover broccoli and asparagus

loved the pear and bacon combo!


handful of pistachios basically for the salt to try to stave off dizziness (see below)


Dinner - burgers on portabello bun with avocado and the last of the roasted tomatoes, cauliflower, salad w/ olives, watermelon and lime vinaigrette

even if I go back to eating bread, I will always have my burgers on a portabello bun. truly fantastic.


I officially gave myself permission to avoid the no-egg mayo today, and it makes a huge difference to me know I'm not going to make myself eat something I don't really like. So, my future meal planning will try different vinaigrette options instead.


I woke up feeling clearer, much less bloated, with a bit more energy. I had a headache most of the day, and by early evening I was feeling a little dizzy. I search of the forums showed the leading theory for dizziness (usually around day 8, I'm early) is lack of salt or not enough water. I haven't really changed either my salt or water intake. I think instead that I'm in limbo between sugar energy and fat energy, and right now my body is not sure where to get energy. It's looking but not yet finding it.

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Day 5:


Breakfast - butternut squash soup w/ handful of walnuts, end of the lamb sausage (which I'm realizing I overcooked), LaraBar in the car when I realized I didn't have enough food and was going to be out until 1pm.


Lunch - chicken & turkey on romaine with pear and (compliant) bacon, some kind of veggie leftover side (I have forgotten already!)


Dinner - roasted red snapper, swiss chard w/ lemon zest, green beans, olive/tomato salad

super yum!


TMI alert! The big change was that I woke up feeling like my midsection, especially lower abdomen, had shrunk significantly. Not weight loss, per se, but more like some inflammation or bloating had gone away and my abdomen had flattened. No, I did not wake up with "flat abs." It was more like my whole abdominal area shrunk down a size. This is hard to describe, and honestly still feels a little weird on the morning of Day 7 as I write this, but not in a bad way.


I easily navigated a birthday party with a glass of seltzer and a splash of grapefruit juice. Easy peasy. I did have one person try to stick a bite of cake in my mouth (a person who constantly acts like he was my little brother in a former lifetime), but as long as I was engaged in conversation, I wasn't thinking about food/drink and no one was thinking about what I was eating or drinking either.






Day 6: Return of the Dark Voices


Breakfast - pork sausage, sweet potato hash w/lots of ghee

yum, sweet potato hash! beware reading a recipe while not quite awake and rushed on a Saturday morning -- I spiced one pound of pork with the spice quantities for two pounds of pork. salty!


A bit later - bowl of fruit while having breakfast with friends

I planned this, and this was about an hour following my at-home breakfast.


Lunch - leftover red snapper, green beans, olive/tomato salad


Mid-Afternoon - compliant larabar

(more below)


Dinner - overcooked carnitas, jicama/red pepper/mango slaw, avocado

very disappointed in my carnitas, but overall I loved this meal so I will try again


This was a hard day, largely due to reasons that have nothing to do with the Whole30. But mid-afternoon I felt like my lunch had abandoned me, I was hungry, I needed the energy to get through the evening, so I had a pecan pie larabar. This was really my first snack of the Whole30.


I don't usually eat food in bar form, and I bought some larabars just so I would have something W30-compliant in case of emergency. I like these. They taste like real food and they're not too big -- just enough. At the end of the day I wondered if I had given in to my sugar dragon, which has mostly been sleeping soundly this whole time. But, in retrospect, if someone had given me a plate of steamed fish and broccoli at that moment, I would have eaten it. That said, I did notice today that with food firmly in its proper 3-meal-a-day place, I wasn't in the kitchen grazing to distract myself from some uncomfortable feelings.

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Day 7: So.... tired.....


Breakfast - last of the butternut squash soup and I was sad to see it go, a few walnuts, super salty pork sausage

soup for breakfast is a keeper


Lunch - leftover carnitas, jicama slaw, beet and orange salad

less protein than I thought was enough, but it kept me going until 6pm (almost 7 hours)


Snack - shredded coconut

this is me tiding myself over because the commute home took longer than expected, so I nibbled on these while cooking. I think I've been low on fats.


Dinner - turkey and sweet potato chili w/avocado

adaptation of one of our favorite recipes, swapping the beans for sweet potatoes, and I think I like it better!



First off, I did not get enough water today. That probably made the fatigue worse, but I don't think it's the whole story. I dragged myself through the day, more mentally exhausted than physically, but still just so tired.


I noticed myself dropping into some of my old habits, no doubt because I was so drained. I "forgot" I was supposed to eat within an hour of waking up. (I was even convinced it was Sunday, not Monday, and thought I'd turned the alarm on by mistake.) I was "surprised" that I was hungry by 11:30am, having blanked out on the new meal schedule. I almost put some melted chocolate in my mouth to test the temperature (helping The LIttle Girl concoct a fruit and melted chocolate dessert).


The inventor of the pillow should get a Nobel Prize... zzzz...............

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Day 8: Energy!


Breakfast - very salty pork sausage, sweet potato hash, olives

feeling the need to vary my fats a little more


Lunch - beef jerky, sashimi, half a grapefruit

weirdness explained below


Dinner - tomato/olive salad, melissa's chicken hash

planning went awry here, but I covered the meal template


The most important change of the day was new energy! I felt good, sometimes great, most of the day. I was awake and energetic right until 9:15pm when all of a sudden I was tired. That's also a change for me -- usually it's a long slow slide that starts as soon as I get home.


On lunch: I was supposed to go out for lunch to a restaurant where I knew I could get a giant salad but I wasn't sure I'd find compliant protein, so I had some beef jerky before leaving. Then the line at the restaurant turned out to be too long and we ended up at a sushi restaurant, where the only thing I really could eat was the protein. I had a half a grapefruit in the fridge at the office, so I had that when I returned. So, a weird lunch, but I didn't really feel deprived or hungry. I was definitely ready for dinner by dinnertime, though.

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Day 9:


Breakfast - sweet potato hash, broccoli soup, olives, end of the salty pork sausage

I will keep making sausage but I will *read the recipe* next time.


Lunch - turkey chili w/avocado, beet & orange salad


Dinner - baked chicken breast, ratatouille, olives

baked chicken breasts were a giant hit - a keeper


I felt normal all day, as in my kind of regular normal. I didn't have the big energy of the day before, but it was also nice to not feel the symptoms of clearing out the bad stuff.


But, as of today, I am officially sick. of. food. I'm sick of thinking about it. I'm sick of reading labels. I'm sick of second guessing, did I really read the label? I'm sick of cooking. I'm sick of spending all my free time looking down at a cutting board. Gah!


This is saying a lot because I was pretty food-centered before the Whole30 started. I'm taking the long view and hoping that part of my sick-and-tired-of-food means that food is becoming just food. Not distraction, not emotional support, not a substitute for meaningful whatever. Just food. Stay tuned.

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Days 10 - 14:


Camping! We left town for Memorial Day and I did not take notes, so this span of my log will not have specific meals. Here are the things that stand out:


Ghee is excellent for camping.

Shrimp with romesco sauce makes an excellent breakfast.

Camping makes it easy to tote a packed lunch -- no expectation of restaurants while hiking.

Hamburgers, hot dogs, steak, were easy on the BBQ.

I overpacked produce, but it was nice to have choices!

Sabra guacamole - yum!

Probably too many nuts, but only one larabar.


Everything I ate was Whole30 compliant. I didn't even buckle and have a s'more. (Take note, future "worth it" list.)


I backed off the caffeine, so I was tired and took two naps, but I don't think that had to do with the Whole30. But, I would say I didn't recover from the higher level of activity as quickly as usual. Also, it probably wasn't ideal to plan a somewhat adrenaline-inducing trip to an aerial course when I'm not so good with heights. It became immediately apparent I hadn't had any sugar in my system for 13 days. But... I got over it and ended up having a great time!


Car camping + Whole30 = totally doable

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Day 15!


breakfast - leftover bison burger, portabello and salsa

no fat, and hence...


10am - larabar emergency


lunch - chicken with proscuttio and roasted red peppers, banana

not really enough food but I wasn't that hungry, and hence...


3:30pm - green beans with ghee

5pm - beef jerky


dinner - rotisserie chicken, sauteed spinach w/ sundried tomatoes in olive oil

starving! and finally a meal with all the parts


I have no idea what happened today. At mealtimes, I just didn't want to eat, then I would get seriously hungry and need to snack. Very unusual for me. Eating at mealtimes and eating a full plate hasn't been a problem. I may have had more than my usual share of fruit while camping? That seems a stretch. Maybe just an odd day.

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Day 16 -


breakfast - turkey (deli smoked but compliant), guacamole, chopped cucumbers and red peppers, something else I can't remember

I was starving. I ate a lot.


lunch - sashimi, narrowly averting the soy/sugar sauces


snack - handful of pistachios

lunch didn't do it


dinner - chicken with pesto sauce, roasted fennel (so yummy), salad w/avocado oil dressing


I drank my coffee black before the Whole30, but in the interest of increasing the fat content of my meals, I tried the famed coffee and coconut cream. I like it -- I think I'll like it even better with cold press.




Day 17 -


breakfast - turkey meat on a portabello with guacamole, clementine, coffee with coconut cream


lunch - salad greens with strawberries, shrimp and balsamic / evoo


dinner - turkey with pesto, a larabar, pickles, and a plate of undressed salad


Ok, so dinner was totally compliant, but I had to go to a "thank you" event and I belatedly realized there would be very little there for me to eat. So I had some leftover chicken with jarred pesto (very handy, I'm starting to learn the tricks), grabbed a larabar, and then ate a giant plate of salad without dressing when I got there. I was fed, but it wasn't pretty.


I definitely noticed my energy perk up today.

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Day 18 -

breakfast: ??? (can't remember)

lunch: salad with shrimp and strawberries, balsamic vinaigrette

kind of post-wo snack: jerky in the car on the way home from school field day

dinner: wood-fired mussels, plain hamburger, undressed salad

after dinner netflix with coffee & coconut milk


I have not walked into many restaurant situations yet where I didn't have foreknowledge of what I was planning to order. Friday night, I knew I was going to order the compliant mussels (and honestly, I could have just doubled that order!). But for an entree, I had to ask questions. The waiter was extraordinarily busy and also very patient. I did ask a lot of questions, but somehow, asking him the contents of the dressing was one too far for me. I skipped it and I made up for the fat at home. (Maybe it just wasn't worth it?)


It's an interesting dynamic to observe -- the voluntary relinquishing of control in a restaurant. When I go for the complete immersion in some kind of culinary experience, I'm basically saying, bring it on, whatever effect this has on me, it's worth the experience. That's probably true once in a rare while. My routine restaurant-going is not life-changing in that way. It's lunch because I'm in a hurry, or dinner because I want a day off cooking, and already it feels like the trade off in convenience is not worth it. But I'm also seeing I won't be able to order dinner with obliviousness any longer.



Day 19 -


breakfast: breakfast sausage, watermelon, ??? (hard to remember breakfasts!)

lunch: ground beef chili, guacamole, salad w/ nectarine and vinaigrette

dinner: hamburger w/ guacamole and salsa, salad w/watermelon, roasted asparagus and scallions


Day 20 -


breakfast: romaine w/ watermelon & vinaigrette, sausage

lunch: chili, watermelon/olive salad

after lunch: coffee w/coconut milk

dinner: green curry with shrimp & veg, cauliflower "rice-ish" underneath



Some observations:


1. I'm eating more fruit as the luscious fruits of summer start appearing. I'm incorporating the fruit into meals, so I'm going to roll with it unless I start getting sugar cravings.


2. I ate a nectarine with no reaction on Saturday. Hoorah!


3. I've gone totally decaf over the course of 20 days. I did *not* go cold turkey on Day 1. (It's hard to prepare meals when shaking and muttering in the corner.) But, as of sometime last week, the caffeinated beans ran out and have not yet been replaced.


4. Now that I've ventured into coffee & coconut milk territory, I'm drinking it *a lot.* It's honestly hard for me to tell what's going on here. I drink a lot of hot beverages, and I do kind of lean on them for support. It's like trying to inject a tiny bit of relaxation into an otherwise hectic life. The coffee is also so rich when I use coconut cream that I kind of wonder whether I'm pinging some kind of ice cream circuit. And/or, my brain has figured out that I can stop thinking so hard about where to get my fats if I drink the coffee/coconut concoction. Something to keep observing.


Lastly, I got on the scale. I very deliberately, with purpose and a particular intention, got on the scale.


Here's what happened. I was swapping my winter and summer clothes, which meant I was spending a lot of time trying things on and standing in front of the mirror, and I was feeling increasingly anxious that I was not going to see the image I wanted to see on Day 30, and I DIDN'T EVEN START THIS BECAUSE OF WEIGHT. I was going into a mental spiral that I didn't like. Then the voice of reality chimed in and said, You can't expect a diet to do your workout for you. This got to the heart of the conflict -- it may start with food, but when you discover your life has become sedentary and you don't change anything, you can't expect the self you want to magically materialize out of coconut milk and greens.


So, I got on the scale to show my brain that the number displayed there measures one thing, and that it does not measure the energy I feel, or the post-workout flush, or pride in accomplishment, or a feeling of strength. And it worked. The anxious voices went away. This does not mean I'm happy I broke the rules. But, I needed something in that process in order to see past 30 days to my long-term goals.

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Day 21 -


breakfast: breakfast sausage, salad w/grapefruit and avocado, coffee with coconut milk

excellent salad!


lunch: last of the chili, a crazy miracle-grow-sized banana


post wo snack: compliant beef sticks


dinner: shrimp sautee with tomatoes and arugula, cauliflower "rice"


After dinner, I had this unusual urge to snack. I started thinking about dessert, mostly because it was after dinner, when I realized that I hadn't really added any extra fat to my dinner. I ate the rest of a jar of olives and was good to go.... interesting and surprising! Am I adapted to this meal plan already, to the extent that I expect the extra fats???


My workout was not that intense by universal standards, but I've been mostly sedentary since starting the Whole30, and it felt like I might need it, so I had some protein after my late lunch workout.


Also, I noticed last week that when I got pressed for time, I did pretty well with scrounging up protein but I was lacking in veggies. So I baked 8 sweet potatoes last night. That should help!

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