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Am I doing this right??


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So here is my question...am I doing this right?  I read the book "It Starts with Food" from cover to cover.  I went to my pantry and threw out everything that was not Whole 30 approved and I mean everything!!  The pantry was empty!!  I then went to the refrigerator and did the same.  I am 47 (soon to be 48 in 4 days) and I am sick and tired of feeling like I can't get out of bed because I have no energy, popping diet pills to increase my metabolism and loose body fat, trying to gulp down a protein shake or eat a protein bar, fixating on 5-6 small meals a day, and overall feeling like I am living in a body way to old for my years.  

I purchased Whole 30, as well as the cookbooks Well Fed, and Well Fed 2 to start my journey.  I read some of the forum messages and I expected to be in for a rough couple of days and/or weeks "detoxing" my body from everything I have put into it for 47 years.  I would have called my addiction to carbs and sugar pretty bad and I have the body shape to prove it.  But the thing is, I had none of the "side effects" that I read about.  I had no sugar cravings, no carb cravings, no desire to snack in between meals, no headaches, etc.

I started the program 16 days ago and since everything I have put in my mouth is Whole 30 approved, I keep wondering...am I doing this right?  Why would I not have the side effects that I have had on every other diet (and I know this is not a diet) I have ever tried?  Why do I not have cravings, I mean AT ALL!!  Not one from day one!!  

I want so bad to step on the scale or break out a measuring tape because the thought of going 30 days doing what I am doing and then finding out I am doing something wrong will be very upsetting.  Was I supposed to follow the 7 day meal plan food exactly or was it okay that I created my own meal plan based off the approved list?

Any advise or suggestions?


Amy D.

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Hi Amy!

First off, congrats on making it 16 days! I'm glad you checked in here - the forums are very helpful and full of supportive, wonderful people.

A few things -

  • You are not required to feel bad... most people do, but if you're not, and you're eating compliant meals, great! Your body might recognize what it needs right off the bat and not fight it :)
  • Are you checking labels for hidden sugars? Or just checking labels in general?
  • The meal template calls for a palm or two of protein (a 'palm' being your palm - compare size and thickness), 1-3 cups of veggies, and some fat - are you matching this?

Again, welcome, and I hope that this is really just that good for you!

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@AmyD68 - Congrats on arriving here. Everyone responds differently.  It's possible that you have no effects or even possible that you are so used to punishing your body that the "effects" you're having aren't even really that noticeable.

Given that you are used to diet pills and, guessing, restriction diets, it is really important to embrace the fact that this is only 30 days. 30 days after a lifetime of not listening to your body can be hard to come out from under and may take longer than 30 days.  That said, let's take a look.

Post a few typical days of food intake and include portion sizes as they relate to the meal template. Tell us how much of what you're eating and when. Include fluid intake, stress, sleep, exercise, underlying health issues. We can see if there is anything that stands out.

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Thanks for the support.  I want and need this to be a lifestyle change for me.  I refuse to start another "diet" or take another "weight loss pill" ever again!  I am committed to clean eating!

So an average day for me is...

Wake up around 7:30am and within 1 hour have a breakfast consisting of 2 organic and pasture raised eggs cooked in ghee and two slices of Whole 30 approved no sugar added bacon with a side of watermelon.  No snacking in between because I am not hungry at all.  Lunch time I had a serving of sardines in olive oil with a no sugar mustard and a plate of veggies (carrots and celery) and some strawberries.  Dinner was grilled chicken thighs with garlic powder and salt and pepper, cauliflower mash (recipe according to Whole 30 cookbook).  Drinking around 80-90oz infused water (lemon, cucumber, ginger, and mint).

Another day...

Waking up around 8:00am and had a breakfast that consisted of organic pastured raised egg and spinach frittata (Whole 30 recipe) and a peach.  Again, no snacking.  Lunch was no antibiotic and hormone free Asian turkey meatballs (Whole 30 recipe) and a side of fresh organic carrots.  Dinner was cauliflower rice (Whole 30 recipe), and a chicken breast stir fry with bok choy, zucchini, red onion and mushroom (Whole 30 recipe).  Again, drinking around 80-90oz infused water (lemon, cucumber, ginger, and mint).

Another day...

Wake up to a breakfast of two eggs, two slices of bacon and a serving of strawberries.  Lunch was spinach tropical salad with shrimp and avocado (Whole 30 recipe) and no side because of items in salad.  Dinner was macadamia nut crusted pork loin (Whole 30 recipe replaced walnut with macadamia nut) and cauliflower mash.

I am not putting anything in my body that is not on the Whole 30 approved list.  I threw out every oil in my pantry that was not EVOO, Light EVOO, Organic Coconut oil, and have invested in ghee and tallow.  I have spend quite a bit of money to make sure that I have the pantry staples available to me and am only buying organic (when necessary), wild caught, grass fed, etc. so that I can make the foods and recipes without sabotaging myself in the process.  I understand the protein size and am going off the recommended size from the program.  I haven't had any desire to cheat, snack, quit and no cravings for sugar or carbs!

I have noticed that I am sleeping ALOT better than I have in forever.  I would usually not be able to fall asleep until around 2:00am and then I was in bed or just lounging around until around 11:00am.  My energy has definitely increased so that's a plus!  I can't keep my eyes open past 10:00pm!  I have not worked out in two weeks because of doctor's orders (arm injury) but usual workout routine is average 3-5 days a week with weights and cardio.

With all that being said...I also don't see changes happening or feel changes happening good or bad (as so many have described in the book as immediate) and I am heading into my third week.

Thoughts?  :{

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Good for you, you sound super committed to this!

A couple things do stand out. First, organic, grass fed, wild caught is all excellent but if it's breaking the bank or causing you to limit your consumption (more on this in a minute), it's not necessary. Do the best you can. 

Your meals are small, friend. Eggs as protein are as many as you can hold in your hand. That's at least 3-4 for most women as a start. Bacon is a fat so your breakfasts are low on protein. When you have a frittata, divide the total number of eggs by the serving size and make sure your frittata piece contains the minimum 3-4 eggs. The breakfasts are also completely missing veggies. The watermelon and strawberries is delightful, especially as it's summer, but don't let the fruits push veggies off your plate. 1-3 cups of veggies per meal. Cooked will be easier to digest.

The sardine lunch was probably lacking in fat unless you ate/drank the olive oil they were packed in.  And some of your meals show a lack of added fat. Drizzling ghee or olive oil, adding homemade mayo or guacamole or olives would be good here. 

You can take a gander at the meal template linked below, just to refresh yourself. Are you comfortably making it 4-5 hours or is there a bit of a struggle getting to the next meal? You say you're not exercising now.......I would suspect if you were you would not be feeling as well as you seem to be on this small meal plan. Consider bumping up your meals a bit and let's see if you experience any difference.

That all said, improved sleep is a HUGE indicator that something good is happening. Amazing! Getting into a normal sleep schedule and not having that mixed up cortisol response is....seriously, huge. 

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Okay first up relax.  Relax by knowing that you are putting in whole unprocessed foods into your body.  Stressing yourself out about this is not going to help.  You are doing 1000 times better than what you used to do.  With regards to your meals - I'd echo exactly what ladyshanny says above.

There may be a few things going on here.  My first whole 30 (4 years ago now) I didn't have many side effects either except being really tired.  Like really, really tired - my desk at work looked like a comfortable place to nap, type of tired.  But I also felt really good.  Oddly enough.  And I was a sugar and carb fiend as well.  Then around Day 16 (or so) I noticed that I was starting to have symptoms that were laid out early on in the timeline.  I was about 10 days behind the timeline.  At that point I was still just going to carry on to the 30 days and that's it.  But by the time Day 30 rolled around I wanted to add 10 more days just to "see".  In the end I landed up doing a whole 45.

Now I am not saying you have to do this.  But keep an open mind that your body could be healing and readjusting.

I have also read that eating foods high in omega 3 fatty acids (sardines, salmon, other cold water fishies) helps alleviate the "carb flu" symptoms.


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