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Bennerob's Whole30 Log - Started 06/30


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Hello! My husband and I started Whole30 on June 30 and we, for the most part, followed the Week 1 plan in the book. Now that we've got a bit more of a handle on how Whole30 is supposed to work, I feel I can keep up a log with how it's going. 


Reasons for Doing: My husband, who is only in his mid-40s, has some aches and pains that are keeping him from participating in physical activity and he's much too young for that. I, in my late-40's, want to understand the components that make for a healthy meal that I haven't been incorporating thus far. And, I'd like to lose some weight although I understand that's not the emphasis of Whole30. 


Challenges Coming In

  • We have three very active children -- 12, 14 and 14. The 12-year-old is an avid baker, tempting us with berry crumble, cinnamon rolls, pizza dough, biscuits, and cinnamon sugar doughnuts (and that was just this past week)! She barely eats what she prepares -- loves feeding it to others. The 14-year-olds just need a lot of food. Although, they're not actually too much of a challenge in they'll eat what I put before them and then round it out with other food that doesn't interest me throughout the day.
  • We both have unpredictable work schedules and that, combined with the busy schedules of the kids, makes it so tempting to grab dinner out a couple of times a week. Like many, after a long day of work, the last thing I want to do is to make dinner. Of course, the last thing I want to do any evening or on a weekend day is to spend hours in the kitchen prepping food for the week. So staying committed to preparing three meals a day, seven days a week is going to be a challenge.
  • Summer equals a bit of travel. I thought July would be a good time to do this because the kids go away to camp for two weeks. However, my husband has a conference for five days we'll both be attending and then another three-day conference that only he will be attending.  


Week One

  • Summary. It wasn't too, too difficult for us to get through this first week. As mentioned above, we mostly followed the meal plan in the book and that made things a bit easier. Prior to Whole30, I relied on a little soy creamer in my coffee to stave off night sweats (and I've played around with it and it does work for me), so the first several days of Whole30 were filled with toss-n-turn nights with quite a bit of night sweats. The night sweats stopped around Day 4, so I've got my fingers crossed that they'll stay away. Day 5 - July 4 - was the toughest. Not only was I in that angry phase (could have been because I was so, so, so tired of cooking all the time), but I also wanted to treat myself to ice cream or something because it was a holiday. We both got through it by eating way too much watermelon, too many nuts and several dates, but we did technically make it through. Day 6 and today, Day 7, neither of us are very hungry.
  • Week One Results
    • I was more mindful about the processed food I would have had. I thought I ate pretty well pre-Whole30, but I was amazed at the number of times I would have grabbed something processed or cooked outside of the home just because, i.e. not a meal necessarily, but just something grabbed on the go even though I wasn't hungry. 
    • Physically, I don't feel "improved." In fact, I'm a bit bloaty and woke up with a pimple on my nose. It seems this is pretty par for the course this first week, so I'm not concerned. 
  • Where We Went Wrong & What We're Changing Next Week:
    • No More Smoothies. Prior to Whole30, we started our day with a spinach, fruit and protein powder smoothie (2 cups spinach, 2 cups almond milk or coconut water, 2 cups fruit plus a banana, and 2 scoops whey protein powder split between four people). This was perfect for me to have when I woke up and before my workout because it was light and filling  (eggs threatened to come back up during a workout). We had a couple of these this past week just to have something more palatable for breakfast (along with leftovers or eggs or whatever else was on the menu), but I realize if we're going to commit to Whole30, we'll need to leave these behind. Big sigh as my skin, as well as my teen boys' skin, improves quite a bit when drinking these smoothies on a daily basis, and it's gentle on my stomach before a workout. I'm going to try a hard-boiled egg before my workout but am a bit concerned.
    • Hold Off On the Nuts. I love nuts, and I would often have a handful of nuts or a spoon of nut butter with a piece of fruit as a snack pre-Whole30. I've noticed on Whole30 that they're my near daily go-to snack when I have a craving. So, rather than dealing with a craving by waiting it out, I'm reaching for nuts. To break that habit, I'm going to cut them out entirely this week. Although, I'm thinking if the hard-boiled egg doesn't cut it as my pre-WO meal, I might be doing the spoon of nut butter next week.
    • Breakfast. We've got to find a breakfast that works. I've read through the breakfast-related forums, and we're just not at that stage where we think lunch / dinner food make for a yummy breakfast. The thought of eating shrimp (last night's leftovers), tuna or chicken in the morning . . ugh . . . hard to overcome nearly 50 years of conditioning of what constitutes "breakfast," but we are trying. I'd love to fall back on the chia puddings, no-grain oats and all the other wonderful workarounds for this dilemma, but, at week 2, I'm going to stick to the spirit of Whole30 and embrace the meal template for breakfast. This is probably our biggest challenge. It's a bit difficult to get my head around the fact that bacon or sausage for breakfast every day is better for you than a spinach/fruit smoothie or oatmeal with a spoonful of almond butter (pre-Whole30 go-to breakfasts). 

Thanks for reading my long post! Week 1 done this evening with just three more to go!


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Meal planned and went grocery shopping today for Week 2. Picked up coco aminos, tahini and cocoa, as well as fresh fish and hamburger meat, from Whole Foods, with the rest of the grocery list coming from Trader Joe's. Last week, our grocery bill ran about $75 more than normal and, this week, it's about $150 more than normal. I take solace in the fact that (1) we used absolutely everything bought for Week 1, i.e. no vegetables thrown out, no meat stuck in the freezer to keep it from going bad, etc; (2) the total for a family of five eating out at a Five Guy's is about $50 and at The Counter is about $100, so cutting out restaurants each week is probably bringing us even with what we spent for food overall pre-Whole30; and (3) I bought quite a few staples this week that won't be on the grocery list for a few more weeks, so next week should go back down. 


Looking forward to starting Week 2!

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Week 2, Day 1


No problems today. Energy fine. Sleep was fine last night. And no particular cravings.


Breakfast: Baked eggs (recipe at http://crazytogether.com/easy-delicious-breakfast-saved-whole-30, veggies included 1 red bell pepper, 1 onion, 3 zucchini, 3 cups spinach) with handful of blueberries and raspberries. Two cups of coffee, each with a 1/2 tsp. of coconut cream.


Lunch: Leftover greek salad (recipe from Whole30 book) with grilled shrimp and a peach. Glass of water.


Dinner: Hamburger with tomato, 1/2 avocado, about 12 kalamata olives plus half a plate of green beans sautéed in ghee and balsamic vinegar and about a 1/3 cup of sweet potatoes roasted in the oven. Glass of water. 


Cup of Tazo organic peachy green tea.

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Day 9


Woke up: 5:30 a.m. (Went to bed at 10:30, but was woken up by cat and wasn't tired). Cup of coffee with 1/2 tsp. coconut cream.

8:30 a.m. - Breakfast: Baked eggs from day before. One cup of coffee with a 1/2 tsp. of coconut cream.

11:30 a.m. -- Hungry but was busy so didn't great lunch for another hour.

12:30 p.m. - Lunch: Chicken salad from Whole30 (apples, dried cherries, chicken, raspberry walnut vinaigrette)

5:00 p.m. -- Starving and started cooking dinner. Had a couple of Jicama sticks and kalamata olives as I cooked. Nodded off for a few minutes around 6 while waiting for chili to cook -- didn't even know I was tired.

6:30 p.m. -- Dinner: Chili from Whole30 with 1/4 avocado on top.


Kids having a sleepover with sausage pizza and homemade (by daughter) brownies. Not tempted by the pizza so much, but those brownies . . . time to get a cup of tea so I don't give in to temptation.

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Thanks fmr_sailor. I seriously considered making a cauliflower crust, Whole30 ingredient compliant pizza last night to go alongside kids' pizza, but then read the article on SWYPO where they discuss why that's not a good idea. And, it made some sense. I could argue that there doesn't seem much of a difference between switching out pasta for zucchini noodles or butternut squash and switching out a flour crust for a cauliflower crust, but I'll go with it because when it comes to pasta, I can take it or leave it, but when it comes to pizza -- I'll only stop after two to three pieces and, if it's really good, more.


On to Day 10 . . .

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Day 10


It was a rougher one today. Woke up with a moderate sinus headache and was a bit lightheaded most of the day. By evening was feeling fine. I wasn't very hungry when I woke up.


9:00 - Breakfast: Egg bake with raspberries. Two cups of coffee with 1/2 tsp coconut cream each.

1:00 - Lunch: Leftover chili

4:00 - Snack: Leftover chili. Was starving and had just watched kids eat sandwiches from Which Wich so might have been a bit "cravy" as well.

6:30 pm. - Dinner: Marinated flank steak (pineapple juice, garlic, ginger and coconut aminos) and cauliflower with broccoli.

8:40 p.m. - Cup of 100% cocoa with water

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Day 11


Yesterday, my daughter fixed pancakes with raspberry syrup. Not much of a temptation. This morning she fixed blueberry scones. Bit more of a temptation, but once we dropped her and her brothers off at the bus for sleepaway camp (next two weeks), we came right home and threw what was left away (kids had them for breakfast). Whew! She's a great baker, so the daily sweet baked item temptation is on hold for two weeks.


8:30 - Breakfast: Proscuitto wrapped veggie mini frittata. Two cups of coffee with 1/2 tsp coconut cream each. One glass of water.

1:00 - Lunch: Avocado egg salad over greens. Glass of water.

6:00 - Dinner: Lettuce wraps with hamburger, peppers, onions, olives and tomatoes. Two glasses unsweetened tea.


Another glass of tea before bed. Need to up water intake.


Day was fine. Energy was sufficient.

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Day 12


Another day down. Was busy with work so no time to think about cravings of the like. Sleep was fine.


8:30 a.m. - Breakfast: Two proscuitto wrapped veggie mini frittatas and blueberries. Two cups of coffee with 1/2 tsp coconut cream each.

1:00 p.m. - Lunch: Protein salad with chicken, spinach, arugula, mustard greens, celery, cucumbers, bell peppers, green beans and raspberry walnut vinaigrette. Two glasses of unsweetened tea.

6:30 p.m. - Dinner: Chipotle carnitas salad with onions, peppers, guacamole, lettuce, salsa and a couple of handfuls of grapes.

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Day 13


Breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs with sausage. Two cups of coffee - black.

Lunch: Went to Trader Joe's looking for a compliant salad, but no luck. So made my own. Mixed greens, roasted chicken, cucumbers, bell peppers, few pieces of diced dried, unsweetened mango and unsweetened coconut flakes with a olive oil and apple cider vinegar dressing

Dinner: Salmon with balsamic-roasted sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts


Day 14


Breakfast: 3-egg frittata with 1/2 sausage and lots of asparagus

Lunch: chicken salad at airport

Plane: nuts and dried mango with club soda

Dinner: bass sauteed in olive oil, steamed squash and slightly sauteed kale with unsweetened ice tea and sparkling water


As soon as we walked into hotel with a beautiful lounge with ocean behind it, I wanted a nice glass of red wine. But stayed strong and sat out on the deck and split a bottle of sparkling water with my husband instead.

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Day 15 - First Full Day (Carlsbad)


Breakfast at hotel: Two poached eggs with arugula, sauteed potatoes and bacon (bit non-compliant), two cups of black coffee

Lunch at hotel: Seared tuna ahi wrap with jicama, bell peppers, carrots and sprouts with fruit salad and loads of ice team (didn't eat the wrap or the mayo, compliant)

Dinner at hotel: wood-grilled octopus with a red pepper crema (didn't eat the creama), steamed halibut with a fish broth and a bowl of berries, plus lots and lots of sparkling water (believe fairly compliant)


Day 16 -- Second Day (Carlsbad then to SD)


Breakfast at hotel: Two poached eggs, chicken sausage (compliant?), and sauteed potatoes, three cups of black coffee

Lunch at restaurant: hamburger with lettuce, tomato and avocado (without the bun) and sauteed olives and bell peppers, lots of iced tea

Dinner at ball park: wood grilled tri-tip with cole slaw (mayo for cole slaw probably had sugar but pretty good considering we were at a ball park) and water


Day 17 -- Third Day (SD)


Breakfast at hotel: Watermelon, honeydew and blueberries with bacon (probably has sugar) and coffee. Couldn't eat eggs because they already had cheese in them. Limited options.

Lunch at restaurant: Green salad with broiled halibut, loads of ice tea

Snack from grocery store: Watermelon, olives and coconut water (not because hungry but because on vacation . . . felt ugh in a couple of hours)

Dinner at ball park: chicken and cole slaw tacos (without the tortilla and cole slaw was just cabbage, no binding agent) plus 1/2 order garlic fries (ingredients compliant, method of cooking not so much) but second night at the ball park . . . ) and water


Day 18 -- Last Day (SD)


Breakfast at hotel: Watermelon, honeydew and blackberries, sausage patty and eggs (picked around the melted cheese), cup of coffee

Lunch and Dinner still to be determined

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Day 18 -- Rest of Last Day (SD)


Lunch at restaurant: Prosciutto, peach, mixed greens, pecan salad with balsamic vinaigrette, iced tea

Dinner at airport: Hamburger with bacon, lettuce, tomato, avocado and pickle (no bun) with a side of grapes, iced tea

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Day 19


Breakfast:  3 scrambled eggs, 3/4 chicken sausage, 1/4 cup spinach, one cup of coffee, blueberries and strawberries

Lunch: lettuce, cucumber, carrots, bell pepper, 4.5 oz tuna, 1/8 cup mayo (compliant), iced tea, balsamic vinaigrette

Dinner:  roasted carrot-onion-ginger puree with 3.4 oz seared halibut and leftover salad with 1/2 nectarine and cashew pieces, balsamic vinaigrette, iced tea

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Day 20


Pre WO: Spoonful of sunflower seed butter

Breakfast (Post WO): 1/2 sweet potato with a bit of clarified butter, 3 scrambled eggs with spinach, onions and peppers. Cup of coffee.

Lunch: Mix of kale, arugula and spinach topped with cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes, red bell pepper, and salami (compliant) with red wine vinegar/olive oil dressing. Water.

Dinner: Chicken cacciatore from Whole30 book with iced tea and a nectarine

Night Snack: 1 oz salami


I've not worked out since starting Whole30 because was a bit intimidated by the "no energy" stories, but the workout was just fine on day 20.

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Day 21


Breakfast: Three eggs with spinach and berries. Coffee

Post WO: Spoon of sunflower seed butter

Lunch: Chicken Chowder from Whole30 book, except used halibut instead of chicken and green beans instead of broccoli

Dinner at restaurant: clams and italian sausage plus iron steak with a chimichurri sauce and red peppers and asparagus, water (lots of water)



Day 22


Breakfast: Three egg frittata with spinach and tomatoes, peach and coffee.

Snack: 2 spoons of sunflower seed butter and nectarine

Lunch: leftover chowder

Dinner at restaurant:

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Day 23


Breakfast: Leftover steak with sauteed onions and two scrambled eggs, coffee

Lunch: kale-cabbage slaw salad with bell pepper, carrots, mango, coconut flakes and home-made vinaigrette, banana, water

Dinner: chicken skewers, kale-cabbage slaw salad and coconut cauliflower rice, lemon/lime/ginger sparkling water (all recipes in Whole30 book)


Headed into the home stretch -- just seven days left. Honestly, haven't seen much difference in my sleeping (slept pretty well before), my skin (spinach smoothies I had before seemed to keep my skin clear) or energy level (still tired but think that has to do with serious lack of hydration -- must work on); however, I have lost weight; I've got a much better grasp on adding vegetables (lots of them) to a meal; I've learned that I don't need those two snacks a day and that everything seems to have added sugar (!); and even though Day 31 will involve a breakfast other than eggs (still hardest meal on Whole30), I am curious to see if the switch from eggs to a spinach smoothie or unsweetened greek yogurt with nuts/berries effects a few times a week changes anything.  I gotta say that situational cravings are still there and I've been amazed at how often they come up. I drive by a Starbucks or a bagel or donut store or whatever quite frankly and still have a momentary, ooh, such-and-such sounds good. But, it's surprisingly easy to drive by and get it out of my head, unless, of course, I'm at a stoplight right next to the donut place and then it just keeps screaming out to me -- and I don't even really like donuts past the second bit.

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Day 24


Breakfast: Diner Breakfast from Whole30 cookbook (sausages made from turkey), coffee

Lunch: Leftover kale-cabbage slaw, supplemented with spinach, peppers, cucumber, plus water

Dinner: zucchini noodles, Trader Joe's compliant spaghetti sauce and Aidell's chicken-apple sausage, sparkling water, few grapes


Made baked mac-and-cheese for kids' as special "first night after camp" meal (one of their favorites). So, adult dinner had to be quick. Discovered, after making our food mostly from whole ingredients that past 24 days, that the jarred spaghetti sauce tasted "processed," and I didn't like it very much. The "tomato" taste just wasn't there. And, I was surprised that I wasn't really tempted by the macaroni and cheese all that much. Of course, we've got a ton left over and as the days go by, that may start to break down. As such, I'm not going to be making lunch or dinner for kids until that's gone :)

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Day 25


Breakfast: Asparagus, onions, red bell peppers, and sun-dried tomato frittata with orange/banana as side, coffee

Lunch: Cold Thai chicken salad from Whole30, water

Dinner: Hamburger with onions, bell peppers and sun-dried tomatoes in lettuce wrap with bacon, tomato, avocado, iced tea

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