Jump to content

Amman, Jordan Whole30


Recommended Posts

Day -1:

cleaned out the pantry and fridge (and managed to only indulge in about 5 Pringles chips while doing so).

ate a healthy lunch (shrimp and zoodles) and dinner (coconut curry grilled chicken and broccoli soup).

did a massive grocery shop, and tons of cooking/prep (grilled coconut curry chicken, zoodles, pesto sauce, roasted red pepper sauce, shredded, green chile chicken).


Main difficulties I've experienced and/or am anticipating with the Whole30 here in Amman:

- lots of fresh veggies available and reasonably priced, but nothing is pre-cleaned/cut etc., which translates to a LOT of extra prep time to wash everything thoroughly.

- I don't have a dishwasher = even more prep/clean up time after all that cooking

- some of my favorite fruits/veggies are crazy expensive here (we spent about $15 on 4 avocados, for example, and I couldn't bring myself to pay the same for a few limes)

- out of season sweet potatos are not available in all shops right now, and those that are imported also quite pricey

- pork is not readily available (you can find it but only at certain shops and it's $$$), which cuts out a LOT of possible recipes

- I couldn't find any whole30 approved turkey or beef bacon (see above, pork bacon not too available)

- hummus is a part of every meal outside the house!

- lots of labels are in Arabic or other languages (depending on where it's imported from), which makes looking for no-no additives and sugars tricky! (for example all the imported almond milk is French). Spending lots of time using my Google Translate app.

- it's the middle of Ramadan, which means we can't snack/eat/drink in public during daylight hours, and also that we are invited to lots of Iftar (fast-breaking) dinners that don't start until nearly 8pm given the sunset time here. Also the traditional Jordanian dish (often served at iftar) is a HUGE communal plate of rice with lamb that has been cooked in yogurt sauce with more yogurt sauce poured on top).

- Many of the dinner invitations are also last minute, making meal-planning tricky!!




breakfast: spinach frittata and fruit, plus decaf coffee (black)

lunch: coconut curry grilled chicken and zoodles and mushrooms with Whole30 pesto

snack: almonds/walnuts and apple

dinner: ate out at restaurant for Iftar (traditional fast breaking) dinner: managed to say NO to: yogurt drink, fresh pita bread, lentil soup, hummus, fried dough-y items with meat inside, and dessert! Had a fattoush salad (picked out the bread, hoped the dressing didn't have added sugar), tabbouleh (it was grain-less), potatoes, olives, date, lots of water to drink, and plenty of grilled meats. traditional arabic coffee and watermelon for dessert.


I was bored and "snacky" in the afternoon, found myself opening the pantry/fridge a lot for no particular reason. Tried another decaf coffee with a splash of almond milk - not bad. Also drank lots of water (heat wave right now and no AC in the kitchen!) and tried seltzer water with a few fresh strawberries and basil leaves. Very proud of us for managing Day 1 with a difficult restaurant meal on the first official day!


Day 2:

I had a dream that I ate pizza (a very tasty white cheese pizza with garlic and spinach to be exact) without thinking about it, and woke up worried I had ruined the diet and was going to have to start over!! Phew, it was just a dream.


breakfast: spinach frittata and roasted red pepper sauce, grapes and pomegranate seeds, and black decaf coffee.

drank a regular black coffee at work and trying to keep myself to green tea otherwise.

lunch: (delicious!) salad of shredded green chile chicken, spinach, tomato, red bell pepper, cucumber, and avocado. plus an apple

dinner: plan is for oven baked salmon, cauliflower rice, and green beans. 


Feeling good so far, and glad that we ate fairly well in few the days leading up to Day 1 (hoping this means we won't have the major hangover effect!!) Our diets are typically low in processed carbs (no bread/pasta/etc at home), but we cheat quite a bit outside the house and have bad candy/sweets and creamy coffee/chocolate drink habits. I am feeling a bit hungry between meals to may need to increase sizes since I'm so used to snacking.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Failed to log properly, but keeping on track and now at day 8! Things that helped- having egg frittata prepared in advance and ready to go for a quick reheated breakfast each morning, making extra dinner to repurpose for next day lunches, making pesto and red pepper sauce to spice up and change breakfasts and lunches day to day. Ate out a few times and not afraid to ask for no cheese on salads/burgers, no bread, and checking for added sugar in dishes and juices. Also successfully drank soda water/lime Felt very tired for a couple days, but also not sleeping enough, so need to work on that. Hoping to back to the gym this week! Also preparing for July 4 and road trips this week so need to meal plan in advance!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 6:

Blueberry almond milk banana smoothie

Salad with grilled chicken

Burger with mushrooms and onions, salad with strawberries and pears

Lots of soda water/lemon instead of alcohol

Day 7:

B: Eggs with smoked salmon, spinach, roasted red pepper

L: ate out: cauliflower with tahini, baba ganoush, hard boiled eggs with Zaatar, salad

D: ate at friends place who kindly cooked whole30 approved baked chicken, salad, egg and veggie frittata, and melon for dessert. Drank fresh fruit juice instead of beer/wine.

Day 8:

B: Eggs with smoked salmon, spinach, roasted red pepper

L: sweet potato noodles with spinach, and leftover baked chicken

D: grilled shrimp and kale

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 10

B: Kale, banana, blueberry, almond butter, almond milk smoothie

L: almonds, hb egg, Greek salad with deli meat chicken

D: 4th of July bbq. Burger patties without bun, mushrooms, kale cabbage slaw, fresh fruit. Successfully avoided chips, sour cream dip, whipped cream dessert, bread and alcohol. Accidentally ate corn on the cob (small piece) without thinking - actually I was only thinking whether it was seasoned with whole30 approved clarified butter or not! Also ate some chicken wings that may have been marinated in a sauce with added sugar. But still feeling on track despite these small hiccups.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 11

B: egg and veggie frittata (made extra to freeze for quick breakfasts next week)

L: leftover grilled chicken, sweet potato fries, leftover shrimp curry soup, leftover kale cabbage slaw salad

D: probably eating out/on the road for the next few days of vacation, so packed a cooler with leftover kale salad, a chicken/beet/spinach/walnut salad, watermelon, grapes, nuts, hb eggs, carrots, and blanched broccoli

Link to comment
Share on other sites


B: hb eggs, cucumbers, tomato (avoided cheese and hummus served on the same plate)

L: fish, salad (avoided bread and amazing looking desserts, asked for fruit instead)

D: rocca salad with chicken, fish

Day 13:

B: hb eggs, almonds, fruit

L: kale and spinach salad with chicken, roasted beets, walnuts

D: chicken and vegetable bake (avoided bread and yogurt)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 14

B: scrambled eggs, fruit, sautéed veggies

L: hb egg and fruit on hike, then late lunch of mixed grilled meat and salad (avoiding hummus and fried bread croutons on the salad)

D: grilled lamb, roasted vegetables, and salad (avoiding rice, booze, hummus, baba ganoush with yogurt)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 15

Woke up with an upset stomach and all I wanted was ginger ale and saltines, but managed to find some ginger tea and club soda..

B: tea, scrambled eggs, banana

L: banana, Apple (nauseous and had no appetite)

D: baked coconut ginger chicken, sweet potato

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 16

Stomach still a bit upset, with nausea and the first bloating I've felt since starting whole30.

B: scrambled eggs, grapes, a few walnuts

L: spinach chicken avocado salad from my favorite restaurant (no cheese). For the first time ever I didn't finish it or lick the bowl clean and actually have some leftovers for tomorrow.

Pre workout snack: half hb egg, a few walnuts

Post workout snack: half hb egg, a few baked sweet potato fries

Dinner: coconut ginger chicken, broccoli with pesto. Didn't have a big appetite.

First Crossfit workout in two months today- felt good (except for overdoing it on my neck/back at the end). Hopefully with some ice, ibuprofen, and sleep, the neck pain won't be too bad in the AM and tummy will be all better too. Now let's see how late the euro cup final will keep me up!!

Started reading through the reintroduction section of the book to plan for post whole 30, and probably going with the second slow roll option, but will see if I can fit in 10 days of option one before I have a work trip.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 17:

b: egg frittata (had made it last week and cooked from frozen), and half orange

l: leftover coconut ginger chicken, sweet potato, steamed broccoli (all delicious together!!), and half orange

d: planning to make west african chicken stew and coconut cauliflower rice


on painkillers and ice for my neck/back due to overdoing it at gym yesterday, so no working out today... :( but appetite is back to normal and no nausea/tummy issues today

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 18:


very poor sleep last night due to ongoing neck pain :(


B: banana, egg frittata with pesto sauce, date

L: leftover west african chicken stew and coconut cauliflower rice, and steamed broccoli (wow that chicken stew and rice is good!!), plus green apple

D: planning to make either flank steak salad or a salmon baked in coconut broth with veggies

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 18 update: felt extremely nauseous at the end of the day, and only ate an apple with some ginger for dinner

Day 19:

Was still nauseous in the morning, and not feeling great throughout the day

B: scrambled eggs with bacon

L: almond milk, banana smoothie

D: carrots, a bit of salad, and a bite of shrimp green curry with cauliflower rice

Really felt bad after dinner, and it kept getting worse. Started vomitig around 1am. Finally my partner insisted I drink "the cure all stomach problems field medicine" aka Coca Cola. I was very reluctant, but feeling horrible, and relented, viewing it as necessary medicine by that point. I had tried bubbly water and ginger and everything else I could think of At that point, and was miserably sick. The Coke made me feel better for an hour, and then I vomited most of it up again. Finally slept around 3 or 4 am.

Now struggling with what's next - I'm tempted to just continue on with day 20, Hope the stomach bug is gone, and set aside the coke as medically necessary slip (that mostly exited my body anyway), rather than start over on day 1. In any case I plan to continue with mostly whole 30 past the 30, and do the slow roll reintroduction. Let's see how the day goes and what I can keep down!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 20

Still sick

B: scrambled eggs with white potato

L: banana almond milk smoothie

D: a few saltines and ginger ale - not whole30 approved but trying to settle my stomach. Finally went to the pharmacy and got some medicine and

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 20 cont (hit reply too soon!)

Anti nausea medicine and antibiotics

Finally managed to sleep and stop vomiting

Day 21:

Feeling much better, taking medication

B: half sweet potato, half banana

Let's see how the rest of the day goes...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok days 21 and 22 were continued sick days, mostly on plan (banana, sweet potato, eggs) with a few saltines, gluten-free chocolate cookies, and sprites to help settle the ongoing nausea/beat the bed rest boredom. Finally beat it though, with help of some antibiotics and other meds, and back on track day 23, and finally even got my appetite back!! AND even though I know I'm not supposed to, I weighed myself, and I lost 7 lbs!! Holy cow. Now it might be more than it should be because I haven't eaten much the last few days with this stomach bug. But still!! Now inspired to keep going, and already talking with my equally inspired partner about continuing to eat whole30 at home as much as possible and keeping the healthy habits we've started. Both of us are feeling great (and he's lost over 10 lbs!)

Day 23

B: sweet potato, banana

L: two hard boiled eggs, sweet potato, white potato

Snack: baked fish

Dinner: grilled chicken, cucumbers, watermelon

Looking forward to getting green veggies back in my diet tomorrow after days of potatoes and bland food!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 24

It feels so good to be totally healthy again!

B: egg frittata (forgot to eat my banana and was starving a couple hours later, so picked up some almonds from a corner shop)

L: salad with leftover chicken and avocado

D: baked salmon with coconut curry sauce and a heaping side of lightly sautéed veggies (ate about half of my meal and got full, and amazingly, stopped eating even though it was delicious)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 25

couldn't fall asleep last night, wondering if I drank too much coffee yesterday (1 decaf, two small caf throughout the morning, which is about average, but hadn't been drinking any coffee while sick earlier this week)


B: scrambled eggs with kale and roasted red pepper, banana with cocoa powder, nuts (too many)

L: due to big breakfast wasn't hungry until after 2pm (normally I'm starving before noon!): leftover grilled chicken, sweet potato, green apple

D: planning to make flank steak salad with cherries and pistachios

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 26

Caught up on sleep and feeling good. Now planning to get back to the gym today for the 2nd workout of my whole30 (how embarrassing... need to get back on track!!)


dinner was not exactly as planned since I couldn't find any avocados and the cherries I bought turned out to be bad, but added cherry tomatoes and extra romaine lettuce and palm hearts to the salad and it was pretty good.


B: over easy eggs and bacon (I went to the pork store and indulged!), and side of cut carrots/cucumbers. Probably eating too much protein and not enough vegetables and need to work on that.

L: leftover flank steak salad, green apple

pre-workout snack: half hb egg, nuts

post workout snack: half hb egg, some baked potato

D: planning on butternut squash bacon soup from damn delicious (and probably eating leftover salmon veggie curry while we wait for it to cook).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Update on yesterday - evening work event meant I had to skip my workout, and didn't have time to cook dinner, so I picked up lettuce wrapped burgers with mushrooms and jalepenos and an avocado salad from one of my favorite (very American style) little burger joint. Determined to get back to the gym today, and did a bit of yoga this morning.

B: mushroom omelette and banana, black coffee (having this daily but not always logging it, but I should because it's a major change to my past regular routine of heavy coffee mate and Splenda in the mornings)

L: planning to order a mango chicken rocca salad

Pre workout: half hb egg

Post workout half hb egg, bit of baked potato

D: planning to make yesterday's rescheduled butternut squash bacon soup

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 27 update

Had a great workout today, finally, and planning an easy morning run.

L: has a sesame chicken salad with a dressing I hope was compliant..I ate lunch very late and was starving, and am finding that if I don't eat when I'm first getting hungry I don't feel good after eating no matter what I'm eating (immediately feel bloated), and even when taking my time to eat (even though I want to scarf it down when I'm hungry!).

Pre workout- hb egg

Post workout- banana and a couple bites of flank steak

Dinner: the butternut squash bacon soup was so good, we literally licked our bowls clean! Had some watermelon for desert, and then ate some nuts/seeds which I'm realizing may be a semi no-brakes item for me, so gotta watch that. Also realised I was eating them because I was stressed, not hungry...still learning on day 27.

Planning to keep going with 90% (80/20 seems too lax to me) compliance after day 30, with slow roll intro. I know I have a heavy travel schedule coming up so need to plan ahead to bring road trip food and check restaurant/hotel options!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 28

Hb egg and a few pistachios before a Hour long walk this AM.

B: omelette and lots (too much) vegetables of all types on the side

L: late lunch after such a big breakfast, made tuna apple tahini salad. Delicious, but again felt like I over ate, and started feeling bloated gassy for the rest of the afternoon. (Maybe tahini?)

D: home cooked Indian food, ate a few bites of butter chicken before realizing it had yogurt in it, and also a mixed vegetable dish that had peas, but made cauliflower rice, avoided bread and other yogurt/lentil dishes, and booze. Watermelon for dessert.

Felt like I overate the whole day but maybe a reaction to the recent exercise increase. Plan for yoga tomorrow. Did a lot of meal planning and grocery shopping today, and went ahead and planned a whole week of whole30 meals even though we technically only have a couple days left. Committed to keep eating clean as much as possible!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 29

B: egg, bacon, mushroom, spinach frittata (made enough for next couple days too), black decaf coffee

Post yoga snack: almond milk banana cocoa smoothie

L: salad with eggplant, figs, grilled chicken, and Turkish coffee

D: planning to make shrimp, spicy sausage and zucchini skillet

Prepping food for the week: aside from frittata, made hb eggs, washing veggies, making roasted red pepper sauce, pesto sauce, and going to try mayo again as well

Link to comment
Share on other sites

DAY 30!!!!

I am excited but also feel like I need to continue, especially given my few sick/cheat days in the middle. Got a meal plan for the week full of healthy stuff so ready to keep going for now.


B: reheated delicious frittata from yesterday, reg coffee, nuts and dried fruit

L: tuna tahini apple salad with avocado

pre workout snack: HB egg

D: leftover shrimp/sausage/zucchini skillet and/or leftover indian food (the latter was not great for my system, however, so will reconsider)


I've realized a number of my triggers for unhealthy eating or when I reach for a gin an tonic:

- stress (work/home)

- being at home alone (combo of lonely/bored and no one is there to see what I'm eating/drinking)

- rewarding myself for having to work on a deadline

- mindless eating in the mornings or late a night watching news/tv

- for some reason thinking that travel meals don't count?!


In terms of NSVs so far, pants are looser, and feeling "lighter" and less bloated in general. More energetic. Happy that I've been able to be pretty active (long hikes, working out) in the last 15 or so days, and now thinking about food as fuel for these activities rather than rewards after those activities.


I am looking forward to reintroducing legumes since I like lentils and hummus and it's such a big part of a Jordanian diet, but happy to keep bread off the menu. I'd like to see if I can eventually reintroduce a bit of dark chocolate on occasion, but know I need to be careful with awakening the sugar dragon! But not (at the moment!) having any particular cravings for other off plan things, and looking forward to staying on plan, slowly reintroducing things as the opportunity comes along.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...