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Hi all! Today is day 1 for me, and I didn't expect to be so confused out about my pre-workout meal while planning for all this! I probably shouldn't have planned a workout on Day 1 because it added a level of stress that I could've done without! I'm asking for advice about my morning meal-planning. 

So, I wake up about 1.5-2 hours before my morning workout, sometimes 2.5 hours before, and I usually eat within 15 minutes of waking up. I do crossfit or Orange Theory, which can be pretty intense. I read the Whole30 book, and I understand the meal template. Based on that, my plan was to wake up and do a pre-workout meal with a protein and fat, then an immediate post-workout meal with sweet potatoes and a protein, then have Meal 1 after my shower. But after my pre-workout meal this morning of 2 eggs cooked with clarified butter and 1/3 avocado, I started to doubt my plan. I didn't feel like I was eating enough and that it was too long of a gap between my meal and my workout. I ended up not doing my workout for unrelated reasons, and was actually relieved!  But I need to have a better plan for future workout days, including tomorrow, so I got on the forum and read all the posts I could find about meal timing around workouts. From what I've read, many people suggest skipping the pre-workout meal and just sticking with Meal 1 if there will be a long gap before a workout. I think this applies to me, and I'm going to do that tomorrow. I'll still do an immediate post-wo meal, then Meal 2 a while later. 

Here's my question: since Meal 1 will be 1.5-2 hrs before my workout, should it be a full meal that includes meal-sized protein, fat, veggies and starchy vegetable and/or fruit, or should I skip the carb portion since I will be working out relatively soon and want to use fat for fuel instead of carbs? If I'm interpreting everything correctly, I think I should just eat the regular meal, carbs and all, but just want to be sure. 

Thank you for your help!

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This is something you can play with a little bit and figure out what works for you. If you can eat a full meal when you first wake up, and you still feel good for your workout, that's fine to do, and probably better than just the pre-WO, but if it's enough food/not enough time that you end up feeling nauseated or otherwise just not great during your workout, it would be okay to just do the pre-WO too.

Your meal can include starchy vegetables and fruit (or one or the other), or not, whichever works for you. Not all meals have to include starchy vegetables, they just have to include vegetables in general, and you never have to include fruit if you don't want it. Anecdotally, some people find having fruit along with their first meal leaves them hungrier later in the day or more likely to have cravings, while others are fine with having it. Skipping the starchy vegetables and fruit at breakfast might help you get fat adapted a little faster, or it might not -- it probably depends on how much of them you're eating, both in that meal and at other times throughout the day. 


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Thank you for the info Shannon! Very helpful!

Day 2! Yesterday I didn't eat enough with my 2 eggs and 1/3 avocado. Today I way overshot. I had 3 eggs cooked in clarified butter, 1/2 avocado, and a tomato drizzled with vinaigrette. It was way too much -- felt like i had a brick sitting in my stomach for at least 1 1/2 hours! At least I kept it down during my workout! Maybe it was too much food or maybe just not the right foods. Probably the latter, like too much avocado first thing in the morning? They say you should eat the number of eggs that'll fit in your hand. I can hold 3, but it's a tight fit. 2 1/2 eggs seems more like it! I'll experiment with different ratios and different veggies tomorrow and see how it goes! 

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Day 4, and what a difference! I feel great today!!

First, a summary of the last couple of days.

Day 2 I had a mild headache all day, not bad but noticeable.

  • M1 as above, too much food. Not mentioned above was that my crossfit workout felt very difficult, as is expected during the first several days of W30. I had to rest a lot more than usual, and everything felt heavier and was more of an effort.
  • Post-WO meal was some homemade sweet potato chips and a bite of hard-boiled egg (forgot to take out the yolk; finished the rest later when I wasn't in the car). I could feel my body thanking me as I was eating the sweet potatoes! 
  • M2 (my favorite W30 meal so far, yum!): chicken salad made with homemade mayo, diced apples (one apple for 4 servings of chicken salad), some pecan pieces, and salt&pepper; served with about 1/3 large avocado, a small scoop of carrot slaw made with dijon (compliant) vinaigrette; then a banana.
  • M3: chicken burger, roasted Trader Joe's Cruciferous Crunch, guacamole, leftover sweet potato "chips"**. I needed to finish up some strawberries, so I had some strawberries and blueberries topped with chunks of coconut cream straight out of the fridge (pretty good, actually, but a bit too indulgent for regular consumption during my W30, IMO). 

(**The sweet potato "chips" are actually a failed attempt at my first try making sweet potato chips. Nothing was right. The oven was not hot enough, the slices were too thick, and I used two pans on two racks. They came out cooked but soft. I've been heating them in a pan with clarified butter just to use them up. But I realized today that when I've been adding them to my meals, including M3 on Day 1 which isn't listed, the amount I use equates to only about 1/5-1/4 of a potato! Hardly anything at all! All makes sense now, see below. My second batch of chips were far from perfect, but at least they were crispy enough that I felt like I could eat them right out of a baggie after my workout.)

Day 3 (yesterday). I was so tired the night before, that I was in bed by 9:30, slept 9 1/2 hours and woke up with a worse headache than yesterday.

  • M1. Eating M1 was a major struggle. I felt so nauseated and discouraged, but I had to eat something before going to work. I heated up leftover cruciferous crunch in some clarified butter then scrambled it with 2 eggs, topped it with a small scoop of guac, and then coffee with coconut milk. This proportion of food felt better for me. I had another cup of coffee with coconut milk at work about 3 hours later.
  • M2 was at 1pm: same meal as yesterday except 1/2 apple instead of a banana. 
  • snack: By 5:30, I was getting legitimately hungry, so I had 2 hard-boiled eggs, another small scoop of guac, and the rest of my failed sweet potato "chips".  
  • M3 was at 7:30 and was some beef sirloin roast, roasted little potatoes, and more broccoli than I've ever eaten in one sitting in my life, with a generous scoop of mayo, well over 2 thumbs. 

Which brings us to today, Day 4. No headache, and I feel great!!! I'm sure it's from adding the roasted potatoes last night, in addition to the small amount of sweet potatoes for my snack yesterday. Up until then, I think I've really been short-changing my carb intake.

  • M1 today was like yesterday, 2 eggs, cruciferous crunch and 1/3 small avocado, and I made my coffee with about 1/4 cup coconut cream instead of coconut milk. I didn't want to overdo anything this morning, because it was also my pre-workout meal.

I went to crossfit about 2 hours later, and that's when I really noticed how much better I'm feeling! I wasn't at all lightheaded and had the stamina to push myself through the workout. Not necessarily better than pre-W30, but better than 2 days ago! One thing I noticed that is different from pre-W30 is that I was a lot more talkative today than usual!  I'm a true introvert, so when I'm at the gym, I'm friendly with people but not very chatty and stay pretty focused on my workout. Today I felt less restrained somehow. Not sure if it's the W30 starting to do it's magic, or something else in the air, but I'm happy!

My questions/concerns: One of the reasons I'm posting all of this is because I want to make sure I didn't do anything wrong. I know everyone's W30 story is different, but everything I've read indicates I shouldn't be starting to feel good yet. Did I overdo the potatoes yesterday? Am I at risk of slowing my fat adaptation? Knowing that I don't do well with quitting anything cold turkey, I did slowly wean off many sugary things over the last 2 weeks. By a few days before my start date, I had already stopped my 2-3 times daily Chai Tea Lattes and had been drinking coffee with just milk. I continued to have my 1/3-1/2 cup of granola for breakfast up until Day 0, as well as daily cottage cheese and a string cheese snack. And an occasional savory snack bar made with rice and some pea protein, among other things. That's not all the food I used to eat, just examples of non-compliant stuff. So I'm not really a bread/pasta person and don't eat a lot of other kinds of junk food. Could my relatively low pre-W30 carb intake explain my Day 4 success? 

Thank you!

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