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AT end of program, still missing something


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Dear all,

My name is Lyn. I'm now just getting connected to whole30 forum etc due to problems logging on.  My husband and I are at Day 31, and not committed to a date to start reintroduction phase.

For me, I'm not ready to get off whole30 because I don't feel that I've gained as much as I'd like.  I'm still fatigued, I've noticed the last three days (possibly connected to my cycle) that I'm irritable and short with my family. I'm certainly not experiencing food freedom because I'm spending a lot more time in the kitchen than previously (and enjoying it) but it's time consuming and I'm constantly thinking about, preparing, and eating food!! Admittedly I'm not getting enough sleep.  But I need help trying to figure out what I'm missing.  I'll share later this morning what my typical day of meals look like.  Thank you!



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Hey there - yes, in order to suggest any tweaks we'd really need to see what you've been eating.

Please provide specifics for the last 3-4 days, indicating types of veg, portion sizes, water intake, activity levels, hrs of sleep, stress levels, and any pre existing medical conditions.

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HI there! It's Lyn again. Thanks for your response.  I will do my best to answer your questions.

I am a 45-yr-old, married Filipina woman, born and raised in the Chicago suburbs; now living in Atlanta.   I consider myself active, energetic, and engaged in life.  I'm 5'2" and don't really know how much I weigh, don't have a scale in the house, weight never been an issue with me. ( I do notice that when I do gain weight, or I'm not conscientious of what I eat, the extra weight goes straight to my thighs and derriere.)  Most people have said that I don't look my age.  Throughout high school and until I got married, I could eat whatever I wanted as much as I wanted without (visible/conscientious) consequences. When I turned 30, I noticed that I could actually gain some weight, and I became more conscientious of my diet (I learned that I don't tolerate dairy well, so I don't eat much dairy).  When I turned 40, I was seeing a chiropractor for lower back pain, and he introduced my husband and I to a detox plan that included some shakes. (something I learned again is that I don't do well with gluten). I've done that detox at least once a year for 2 weeks for the last 5 years.

I have two wonderful sons, age 14 and 11 and I am dedicated to raising them to be great, responsible adults, and this includes driving them to sports activites, religious ed classes, troop meetings, etc.  I volunteer regularly at their schools, at church, in my community, and am a leader in Landmark worldwide.

I usually sleep anywhere between 11pm-12am, and wake just before 6am.  On Monday I do an hour of cardio tennis.  I walk my dog (leisurely) for at least 20 min twice a day.  On the weekends (one day), I usually go on an hour hike outside somewhere.

I have no idea how much I drink.  It's certainly not enough.  Maybe 4-5 cups of water a day.  A cup at each meal.  A cup or 2 in the car.  Need a better way to keep track of this.  I don't usually drink anything else.


Breakfast= pulled pork (1/4 c) with butternut squash (1/4 c), diced zucchini (1/8 c) and 1 soft boiled egg; 3 figs and a few cashews; Snack in car= 4 chestnuts; Lunch= mixed green and kale salad with figs, sliced almonds, apple slices, basic dressing, 1/2 cup pistachios and 3 sliced honey dew; Afternoon snack in car= 1/2 apple pie Lara Bar, handful of cashews, 1/2 plum; Dinner: 6pm-Slow cooker Chicken Saag (1 cup) with 1/2 baked potato, 8:30 am- more chicken saag (1/4 c) and 1/8 c potatoes; during presidential debate= 2 dates, 1/2 apple


Breakfast= spinach and chicken fritatta, (2 1/8 slices), a few green beans

Lunch= salad with Mexican tuna (2 T), grape tomatoes, cucumbers; 1/3 cup pistachios

Afternoon snack= beets and guacamole, mandarin orange

Dinner= Shepherd's Pie, Asparagus, handful of almonds, 3 slices of apple; came home at 11pm-- had a little more Shepherd's pie; bed at 12 am


Breakfast= Mirza Ghazemi, (1/2 c), 10 carrot sticks, banana

(Before lunch I made herb garlic mayo and red pepper sauce.)

Lunch= 1 chicken breast and baked sweet potato fries (1/2 sw. potato) dipped in herb garlic mayo (2 T), with cucumber slices, sweet pepper slices, carrots and beets

Dinner= Pulled pork (1/2 c), cauliflower rice (1/2 c), green beans (3/4 c)

car ride to class= almonds and coconut flakes (1/2 c); 1/2 apple,

1 1/2 hrs before bed= more almonds and coconut flakes (1/3 c); 1/2 apple

In penning this I realize more that I eat in the car.  Why? I've always kept food in the car, since high school probably.  I am a person that gets cranky and a little low blood sugar (no diagnosis, no medical conditions that I know of) if I don't eat every 3-4 hours.  And since I've had kids, and they had food allergies, I keep snacks in the car in case they get hungry (the maternal need to nourish my children runs deep).   So I know eating in the car is a habit, I also know that I'm a nervous driver and eating calms me.   And During the Whole30 I've challenged myself NOT to eat in the car, and I've noticed that I get a little anxious.  

I have no known medical conditions.  I have had eczema since an infant, but since adulthood is no longer on my extremities, now it's localized to my face, and I get red, dry, itchy particularly a week before my period begins.  

Let me know, jmcbn, if you need any more info.  I really would love and appreciate any feedback and advice you can give me.  That anyone is willing to share.  I really want to understand why I'm still so tired, and why I'm not filled with energy like every one else seems to claim.  I know it's somehow related to what I'm eating, or not eating. 

Many, many thanks!



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Hi Lyn,

The first thing that stands out to me is the amount of times you are snacking. You should be composing your meals to last you 4-5 hours. If you are still having blood sugar issues, I would recommend you lay off the larabars, nuts, figs and any fruit eaten alone. If you do need something between meals, stick with protein and fat. Your body needs to adapt to using fat as fuel first, not quick-burning carbs.

Second, get that food out of the car. You need to find a way to learn to drive safely without doing anything besides driving your car. A nervous/anxious driver who is also eating while driving is a hazard to yourself and anyone else on the road. Honestly. Every time your hand goes to your mouth with food to "calm" yourself, you're just solidifying the idea that you need to be calmed or that something scary is happening. Take that association away.  Try talking to yourself in a different light: "I am a confident person and I can safely drive myself from A to B without issue." Rather than continuing to tell yourself that you are a nervous driver. Melissa talks more about this in her new book Food Freedom Forever and the premise is that we can change facts we know about ourselves, we don't have to forever be what we once thought we were.

Going back to your food, the first breakfast that you mention has barely any vegetables. You should be aiming to have near to 2-3 cups of cooked veggies with every meal. Your lunch that same day is salad which is nice but salad greens break down immensely when chewed and don't provide any real nourishment. Add, again, 2-3 cups of cooked or sturdier veggies.

Check out the meal template linked below. Create each meal to last 4-5 hours. If you need food between meals while you are figuring out what an acceptable meal is to you, go for protein and fat. Try laying off fruit all together or if not, remove it at your morning meal.  Don't eat fruit until you've had your 2-3 cups of veggie with every meal.

My guess is that you aren't eating enough and your body is still relying on sugar/carbs rather than fat. Try tweaking as above for a week or two and see how you feel.  Report back!

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Ok, so you're eating a lot of fruit & nuts, and you're snacking.... That's the short version.

Here's the long version:

Fruit, when eaten on it's own the way you have been impacts blood sugar causing spikes & dips which impact our appetite, our energy levels etc. If you must eat fruit limit it to 1-2 fist sized servings per day, and try to eat with with or as part of a meal.

Nuts are a lot more carb dense than people give them credit for, plus they're hard to stop eating, have a poor omega 3:6 ratio, and are tough on the digestive system - limit them to a closed handful, every other day max.

Build your meals so that they keep you full for 4-5hrs - 1-2 palm sized pieces of protein, really FILL the rest of your plate with veg, & then add a fat source. Your previous style of eating pre-Whole30 most likely dictated that you needed to eat every 3hrs or so because of what you were eating (refer to my comment about the fruit above) - it's not that actually needed to eat. Protein & fat take a lot longer for the body to digest, and so they provide a nice slow, steady & sustained release of energy, meaning that if you eat enough along side your veg you should be able to go 4-5-6hrs without the need for a snack once the body is fat adapted. By eating in the way that you have however - fruit on it's own, snacks every few hrs etc - you have been preventing your body from learning to tap into it's fat stores by constantly topping up on sugar.

Put the snacks in the glove compartment or the trunk, an keep a bottle of water by the wheel for you to sip on - this will give you a focus, and will also help increase your water intake.

You also need to work on your sleep. You should be getting around 8hrs, and many people under estimate the impact that lack of sleep has on energy levels and on health in general.

As an aside those larabars are for emergency use only and I have yet to see an emergency that warranted one with tinned fish & olive pouches hugely portable and available in every store.

Hope this helps.



ETA: ladyshanny obviously has faster fingers than me! :ph34r:

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