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Donna and Casey's Whole 30


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Donna - Yep, that's all me - the chef, sous-chef, creative director, food stylist, photographer, writer, tech support etc.

Today's been good. busy busy.

B: 3 scrambelled eggs, half an avocado and salsa, black coffee

L: sea snax, half a larabar, black americano

S: some cherries. mmm. So delicious. Eating them right now on my deck in the sun.

D: BBQd scallops, asparagus.

and perhaps some prosciutto wrapped melon for a treat tonight. I was so geekily excited when I read the ingredients of the proscuitto and it was "pork, salt, pepper". Yeah!

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kt- those chicken fingers look amazing! I have all the stuff to make them too, perhaps this weekend. Yum yum! They would go really well with a mint-coriander chutney to dip them in... I followed you on pinterest!

I love well fed! I also bought it in pdf for my ipad. I didn't follow her recipe for the pad thai closely. I used zucchini noodles, sunshine sauce, and topped with sugar snap peas, chicken.. I'll post my recipe and pics of it on the blog soon.

Casey - does your daughter eat Paleo-ish too? It's hit and miss with my son. Some nights he will eat our dinner, but other nights all he will eat is peanut butter toast. Argh. Husband "explained" to him what paleo was.. "It means no goldfish, no toast..." and he looked disgusted. It's hilarious when he says "Paleo baby!!" though!

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I did the Well Fed pad thai last week and it was good. Like you, I didn't follow the recipe too thorougly. I think I did zucchini noodles, chicken, carrots, and maybe some broccoli with the sunbutter sauce. It was very good!

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  • Casey: what a great night out! Did you see Venus crossing the sun???? My son told me about this over Sushi last evening. You guys are very innovative and find great things to do as a family. Where do you buy your GF burgers?

  • Katie: Those pops look amazing. But first I have to get a popsicle holder. I friended you on Pinterest and also you are doing really well. Love Well Fed cookbook. Save it for the weekend because my week is a rat race and requires fast prep times....
  • Ellie: Great going girl....tuna of the tin variety. Gotta love it! You are doing super duper with your meals but I totally identify with your salad and protein combos....gets a bit boring.
  • J: Definitely the moms need to eat as well....but you did great on the fly and kept it legal. And you even knew you weren't satisfied and ate a bit more legal. This time of year is crazy with end of school activities.
  • Mrstrudo: I look at your food preps and feel like a total failure. You have a gift. Run with it....Publish, make a book. You are well on your way with the blog!

Okay, so my day....sadly I had to attend a wake for a 9 year old student today.....puts my whole life in perspective. My problems are luxury problems.....those poor parents.

B: eggs/bacon

S: handful of cashews

L: Greens with tuna, wellfed mayo, fresh herbs (canned)

D: Tons of beef over greens

Lara Bar

Went to the gym and did one hour of weight training...chillaxing this evening with the hub!

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Oh, Donna, how utterly heartbreaking. I teach, but the only student death that's happened in one of my schools was while I was on maternity leave so I missed the whole aftermath. I can't imagine how hard that would be on a school community -- let alone the family. It really does make any whining about food seem ridiculous. So I won't whine, but I will say I had an awful, awful day at work so when a student brought me some cookies as an end-of-the-year thank you it was all I could do not to eat them, packaging and all. His mom makes SUCH good cookies. But I stayed strong and did not eat a single cookie. Of all the days, though! My lunch turned out to be too small so I had a bunch of snacklets: an apple, some pistachios, some carrots from the kids' dinner, some cashews. And after putting the kids to bed was still too ravenous to wait long for dinner so I just threw together what I could while poaching the turkey fillets. It turned out to be a surprisingly good dinner. I had roasted some beets and prepped (washed & trimmed) some leeks on Sunday, so I threw the leeks in with the turkey (along with herbs) and peeled the beets to have as a cold side. We always have baked sweet potatoes in the fridge for breakfast or a quick carby snack, so I sliced one up and fried the slices in coconut oil. I put a little ghee on the potatoes and leeks. OMG. Ghee. I hadn't used any so far since my wife is avoiding even ghee, and to smell and taste that buttery wonder... ooooh. So good. And the turkey was surprisingly good for just being poached. In the end, what I thought would just be a last-minute eat-for-fuel kind of dinner was actually quite tasty. MrsT - I want the kids to get to more paleo eating but right now they still eat a lot of GF bread substitutes. We were vegetarian until last year so neither had ever eaten meat in their young lives, and haven't made the leap too well yet, so they eat a LOT of nuts now that we have cut out soy and dairy for them. My daughter eats some chicken and tuna; my son really does not except if he has to. We hope to work on their eating over the summer when everyone is less stressed. I need to get Eat Like a Dinosaur but I've already bought the W30 success guide and Well Fed so I am trying to hold off on more paleo book spending (but I really want It Starts With Food, too). Time to go do some prep work for tomorrow's meals. Catch you all tomorrow!

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J: I get up and prep at 5am....that is MY time. I am a morning person, up with the birds, love cuddling with my sheltie....alone time. Mediation time to start my day. I journal, food prep, and am ready to face the day. I am a HS nurse but I mentor the boy whose brother died. We are in a huge school district. This boy had brain cancer for 2 yrs we have been fund raising and fighting the fight as a district. There are 4 siblings so there was a lot of school involvement for the child with cancer and the siblings who attended the middle and high schools. I came home and hugged my 21 year old who is home for a week from college between apartment moves. So horrendous.

You had a great day with the cookie distraction. It is so nice when a family will take the time to bake something special and you can't eat it! But my hub and boys reap the benefits....awesome willpower. I can pick up my CSA today or tomorrow. It's like Christmas morning here!!!! So excited to see this week's crop.

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Wow, Donna, I'm so sorry for your community, and you're coping so well. Your morning routine sounds perfectly zen.

Day 7 (*one week party dance*)

B - Last of my turkey breast, black olives

L - Tuna, peppers, 1/2 avocado

D - Went to a local cafe for a 3 egg omelette with spinach, onion and italian sausage (probably cooked in butter, but at least it's not veg oil), couldn't believe they served it with 4 slices of toast with jam/jelly! Felt like such a waste, but I left it.

S - Almonds and, er, four pieces of fruit (two green apples, two bananas, it was a stressful day...)

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I get up at 5:15 and prep, too, but it's just to get us out the door! :) When I can do a Well Fed-style cookup on the weekend, dinners are easier, but at this time of year the weekends are crazy busy too.

Today I am doing popsicle parties for the classes that returned their books on time at the end of the year. It wasn't many so I bought ice cream sandwiches instead of popsicles. They are such junk but I do love them, so it was a little hard not to have one with the first class, but as I walked away it was a really nice feeling to know I had resisted, and was none the worse for it. Hopefully I will feel the same as I do the rest of them today and Monday.

B: two-egg omelete with sauteed greens and mushrooms, coffee with coconut cream

S: mixed nuts

L: turkey and avocado with a squeeze of lemon juice wrapped in collards - pretty bland - I definitely need to make mayo but haven't had time. really.

D; "Country Captain" chicken from Health-Bent.- http://www.health-bent.com/proteins/country-captain. I will make some kind of veg, too, but I haven't figured out what yet.

I had never heard of country captain but someone mentioned this recipe in the What's For Dinner thread, so I gave it a try. Will report back after tonight to see if I like it. Paleo/W30 is really pushing me out of my comfort zone cooking-wise. Not just new proteins but now new seasonings. It smelled interesting but I am not sure it will be to my liking.

Ok, time for more ice cream sandwich distribution!

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Wow, Donna, that is so tragic. I'm really sorry to hear this.

I have a friend who's 10 year old is terminally ill and we're looking at the end of his life right now. We're all very worried about this friend because we don't think he's going to be ok in the least when his son passes. It's pretty hard to imagine what that would be like, seeing your baby get sick and you really can't fix it.

Yesterday ended up being unexpectedly chaotic and I was pretty exhausted from getting up way too early. I ate breakfast, but then I had to pack my daughter up and go help a friend out very suddenly - and it ending up eating the rest of the day and night. I didn't bring any food with me (I thought I had tuna in the diaper bag, but it wasn't there when I checked). I ended up missing lunch and then I was going to miss dinner too. I was trying to hold out, but I think being really tired and hungry, and dealing with a bunch of unexpected stuff set me up for a bad mindset. I had the option of just not eating (fasting is next to impossible for me when I'm tired) or "doing the best I could." I ended up "paleo-ing" McDonald's last night, which is not at all Whole30 (or good). I had a hamburger patty and some french fries. I had ordered a side salad, but they didn't stick it in the bag and we didn't notice until it was too late. So, my friend gave me some of her fries. Talk about the least enjoyable way to wreck a Whole30!

J and Donna sound like you get temptation after temptation. I'm used to having perfect control over the food situation. I wonder if that makes it that much harder to stick to my guns sometimes, because I don't have the practice of using willpower in certain situations. I don't know.

So, whatever, I'm picking up the pieces and moving forward. Back on Day 1. That's o.k. I'm not letting this one mistake turn into a week of mistakes or even one more meal of mistakes. Minus the sleep issues I'm still sorting out, I'm starting to feel amazing eating this way. My husband really notices it and he was almost hurt when he found out that I had caved. He told me he really likes how happy I've been lately, and he thinks it's the clean eating. I'm really glad he's noticing.

Today, so far, I've had homemade sausage (pastured ground pork and seasoning idea from Well Fed) with a banana for breakfast. For lunch I made Puerto Rican Beef (minus olives, we were out) from EveryDay Paleo.

Ok, going back in time here to answer a couple questions:

Mrstrudo: I fed my daughter only paleo and have since she was born. She went from eating any vegetable you put in front of her, to only eating a couple, and I think it is just the silly picky toddler thing. I can get her to eat kale chips, cauli "fried" rice, sometimes asparagus, green beans and any fruit, of course. She won't eat any type of potato, although today she surprised me and ate sweet potato. I do give her white rice, milk and cheese.

My husband is not paleo and I don't think he would let me drop the dairy on her. He just is not sold on that. He does occasionally give her bread or pizza behind my back, but she doesn't usually eat much of it when he does. Also, we have issue with grandparents feeding her things she shouldn't be getting. My in-laws have two other little grand kids who eat total garbage and they feed her that same garbage sometimes. I hear she has graham crackers for breakfast (that's it) and it just horrifies me.

Donna - I get my GF meat at Whole Foods.

I'm all typed out. Going to clean up the house a bit.

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Ellie: Had to laugh when I read your post....you had a backwards day....Breakfast for dinner and dinner for breakfast....Congrats on 7 days and keep it going....

J: Are you a school librarian? Sounds like that may be what you do....in school there is always junk around. Our cafeteria supervisor is really cleaning up our food and it is his mission. How was the chicken?

Casey: I am so sorry about your fall last night...but you are great to admit it and get right back in! So Day 1 or Day 7 or Day 11, we are all doing the same thing today and working toward better eating habits. IMHO, this is a lifetime change....you are right to not beat yourself up and just say, okay, it's Day 1 today. You still reap the benefits of the previous days you have done this. I always keep a Lara Bar and Paleo approved Jerky and Cashews and an apple with me....

Okay here is my shtik today.... Day 11.....

B: Bacon and eggs with veggies

S: Lara Bar, Banana with almond butter

L: Fresh romaine lettuce (organic) tuna salad with scallions and well fed mayo

D: Organic roast chicken from the farm, fresh from the ground today broccoli and swiss chard sauteed in garlic and olive oil

No time for exercise today as I had to go to the farm and pick up our CSA after work. Okay, I have to go put my veggies in the fridge for now.....and hey, does anyone know how to keep fresh clipped herbs in the fridge without them dying off?

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Day 8

B - Egg scrambled with spring onions

L - Avocado, crabmeat and salad

D - Sautéed red bell pepper, red onion, tuna and olives

S - Small handful macadamias, cherry tomatoes

Ah the end of the week, when I just put whatever I have left in a pan and hope for the best..!

Casey, if it makes you feel better, Donna is completely right. I slipped and reset, and the best thing is you've got all the goodness already happening in your body. Have to say this experience is so much easier when you're away from boyfriend and family and their foodie scepticism and fast food habits!

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Hi all. Just a quick checkin before I hit the hay. Had to take my kiddo to the doc to have his chin glued after he cut it really badly. I wanted to turn to junk food but I didn't. So much junk food in the house with my mom visiting but I am strong :)

B: two fried eggs, two mini chorizo meat loaves, salsa

L: turkey slices, avocado, red pepper

D: bacon and mushroom burger patty, salad and raw veg

S: apple with almond butter.

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Mrs. T, that's the worst. Way to go for staying strong!!!

Ellie, we're right here with you at the end of the week scrounging for whatever we can find.

Donna, do you get chicken as part of your CSA? That is so awesome.

Casey, I am impressed that you didn't even like the McD's fries and that you are able to let go and move on. Life happens and you just have to roll with it sometimes.

I wrote a long post yesterday but hit some button by mistake and it was gone, gone, gone, so you'll get the short version. Yes, I am an elementary school librarian, and I love it (most of the time! the end of the year is stressful!). There are tons of food temptations at school but it hasn't been too hard. My biggest challenge will be the farewell luncheon on the last day of school (Tuesday). The PTA sends the staff to Maggiano's which is so generous and kind of them. I *love* Maggiano's. I know I can special order steamed fish and veg, but everyone else will be eating a pre-set menu of things I love. I can't imagine sitting there for 2 hours watching people eat stuff I love. So I am still trying to decide whether to let go for that day or try to stick with it. There are pros and cons to both.

The chicken was yummy, and very different from things I usually cook. It was spicy, so we had avo with it, and some sauteed zucchini. I froze the leftover sauce so another week I can have an easy, yummy dinner - brown chicken and boom! good dinner.

After dinner S: paleo "granola" (toasted coconut, nuts, dates, cranberries, cherries, cinnamon - no sugar) - very yummy and hit the spot as I was hungry again

B: 2 fried eggs with salsa and avocado, plus of course, coffee/coco cream

Next week's eating will be pretty pinch-hit because this weekend is packed and I have no time to cook ahead.

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Hi everyone!

I feel like I must have missed a day posting or something, lots to catch up on.

Donna, so sorry about that little one. :(

Casey, good for you for not letting one "slip" send you down a "well, I screwed up so I might as well eat whatever I want for the rest of the day" kind of thing, which I have fallen prey to in the past. Yay for staying strong! :)

Jrustdc, what is your first name? These usernames are a pain. :) I am a librarian also but have not worked in a loooong time. Always thought the schedule etc of a school librarian would be awesome when you have kids, but large groups of children intimidate me. :)

Yesterday's food:

breakfast: cuban pork, 1/2 avocado, blueberries

lunch: turkey salad w/homemade mayo on Pure wrap, carrots, 1/2 apple

snack: spoonful of coconut manna, a few dried apples

dinner: pork chops, big salad with avocado, walnuts, blueberries, and tomato

snack: pina colada pop, a few pistachios

I am feeling kinda bad b/c with my intense focus on my own eating and making sure I have stuff I can eat etc I haven't been planning well for my wife's dinners, and she's starting to get ticked off. Have to work on that for the upcoming week.

Great job, everyone!


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I'm Jen. :)

Just got back from my son's preschool graduation (so silly, but cute). It is the DUMBEST things that appeal to me - they had lousy storebought cookies and there were some no-name brand lemon sandwich cookies looked soooo good. It wasn't really a temptation, but that they even caught my eye when I've been able to pass up so much better off-limits food entertains and annoys me.

Today's lunch: egg-avocado salad, and it is delicious as a dip for carrots. 2 hardboiled eggs mixed with half an avocado, some lemon, and some salt - super yum!


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Thanks everyone for the kind support!

Yesterday was a much better day, eating wise. We had salmon, this coleslaw recipe with olive oil in it that my mom gave me (pretty easy and tasty) and I had a banana a little later. This morning I had homemade sausage again with some butternut squash, and leftover coleslaw.

We took my daughter out in the bike trailer on our favorite bike trail system. We're lucky to live close to a 100+ mile network of bike trails that go through some beautiful areas of Southern Illinois. We did a 16 mile loop with my daughter and didn't hear a peep out of her! I couldn't believe it - she's never let us do that much riding with her at once.

I ate a couple cans of tuna in olive oil, some walnuts and raisins for lunch, out on the bike trail.

Jen - be really mindful about deciding to just abandon eating this way for one meal. I have to tell you, The rest of Wednesday and all day yesterday, after eating the McDonald's, was really hard. I was craving that crap (and still am a little) something fierce, which is weird because I didn't really enjoy it in the first place...? Not to mention, it messed with my sleep and made my digest track feel pretty terrible for hours afterward. The longer I eat clean, the worse an off-road food makes me feel. I'm just saying, it's taken some major will power to get back on track this time.

I'm glad we're all doing this together because I think that's what is forcing me to get back in the game immediately. Otherwise, I probably would have let that one mistake turn into a binge!

And, yes, Donna, this is much more than just a Whole30 to me anymore, I need this to be more of a rest of my life thing.

Katie - does your wife eat differently than you? My husband is not in the least paleo, but he's kind of stuck with what I feed him. Sometimes, I'll be kind enough to feed him some rice or even a pasta roni side, but usually, if he wants something else, he can make it himself. I told him this upfront that I'm not a short order cook, and he's been ok with this so long as I pick up what he wants at the grocery store when I'm out.

Speaking of which, I'm heading to the grocery store now. I think this week I'm going to keep things simple and just do a meat + 1 or 2 vegetables style meals, with some fruit and/or sweet potato as needed. No fancy recipes I start to dread by the end of the week!

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Casey, yes, she is a pescetarian. So only eats seafood but no other meat or poultry. She was potentially interested in doing this with me but decided that not being able to have soy would make it too hard, b/c she doesn't like to have seafood more than twice a week or so b/c of the mercury etc. So I have to plan for myself and for her and then my 3YO son eats some other random thing usually, and my 13YO daughter can usually eat something that one of the other of us is eating. But really it's 3 meals every day for dinner and it's a pain in the ass. I wish I could get her to fend for herself, but she works long hours and meal planning/creating is my job. She will help with ideas if I ask her, but I shop and cook at least during the week. For tomorrow night I want to plan a meal with fish that we can both eat, so that will be good. She's trying to do Weight Watchers while I do this, which makes it extra hard b/c some of the stuff I make that she could eat would be a lot of "points", because of the coconut oil/milk/etc and other fats. :(

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Oh, wow, Katie, that is so hard. In our house, my wife *needs* to eat this way because of persistent health issues and I choose to do it because my own eating was getting out of control, plus I didn't want to be cooking three different meals. We haven't pushed the kids into paleo because the past year has been an ever-moving target in terms of what the grownups are eating. As a result, the moms are eating much more diversely and healthily than when we all ate the same thing, but the kids have narrowed their list of foods. :( It's a summer project to improve what they eat and possibly shift it in a more paleo direction. As it is, with two different dinners, I find it stressful enough. My sympathies to your 3 meals. Ugh.

I grazed a bit while on the way home and making the kids's dinner, because I was starving. I had an apple, some pistachios, a bit of sunbutter, and some of the sweet potato chips I was making for our dinner.

Dinner: 2 chicken and apple sausage, sweet potato and olive oil chips, roasted asparagus with lemon. DELICIOUS!!

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Okay Ladies:

I had a rough day yesterday. I didn't go off the diet, but it was challenging. I have to re examine the use of the Lara Bars....I think they might be a trigger. I ran out of good fruit and chose them and I think they stir cravings....Have to stop and get some organic apples and berries. Watermelon doesn't do that for me although I hear it is not the choice fruit. Anyone notice fruit or nuts as a trigger????

and it is difficult managing our partner's dietary needs. Sometimes, like Casey, I feel like a short order cook. My husband was watching me last night....I had two huge pieces of Romaine on my GF burger as my bun with some onions and home made mayo.... He says "I am gonna try my burger like that from now on....it looks better than mine and the bun ruins the taste of the GF burger!!!!! We can only be examples....slowly, without asking he is loving this Paleo lifestyle....btw, I ordered a Breville juicer to help me with me kale, collard greens overload each week at the CSA. I will juice it and maybe use that for breakfast with some beef jerky......can't wait for it's arrival. We can make our own juices!!!!!!! YAY

Today is day 13 of a lifetime of Paleo....I just thought about why yesterday was hard also. I went into the local Amish market to buy fruit and it was wafting in my nose....the homemade pretzels, bakery section. It plays with your head and sometimes you don't even know it! It is so subliminal and I have to admit I am a carbaholic....so triggers are triggers....Have a great day all....

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Okay Ladies:

I had a rough day yesterday. I didn't go off the diet, but it was challenging. I have to re examine the use of the Lara Bars....I think they might be a trigger. I ran out of good fruit and chose them and I think they stir cravings....Have to stop and get some organic apples and berries. Watermelon doesn't do that for me although I hear it is not the choice fruit. Anyone notice fruit or nuts as a trigger???

totally. nuts are addictive to me, I try to not eat them, and high-sugar fruit (as in dates, as in larabars) will have my insulin spike and trigger cravings for more sugary stuff. Just a thought - try to cut back on those fruity carbs and eat a little more fat (a tsp of coconut fat?) instead.

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Wow, everyone, I'm still amazed that you've all stayed more or less on the wagon when working with hungry spouses and children. My boyfriend is really supportive, but his favourite foods are still brown rice and ramen! He's across the pond at the moment, and I have time for 2 1/2 Whole30s before he arrives, which I'm hoping will be enough time to have reset my habits and found happy compromises.

Donna, I tried my first Lara Bar yesterday. I only bought one, but I can definitely imagine that it could be a trigger. No more for me until I'm on my bike! (I'm also a sucker for cutesy packaging)

Day 9

B - Scrambled egg

L - Tuna, avocado, cucumber

D - GF burger, sauteed onion and portobello mushrooms with coriander, tomato and radish relish

S - Apple, banana, Lara Bar, parma ham, a few macadamias

Lots of snacking, oops! Wasn't even that hungry, I think I was just feeling that Friday feeling.

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Donna - good you are recognizing a possible trigger. I second the post above that sometimes it is easier to beat the sugar cravings by eating less fruit and more fat. I especially notice on days that I eat little to no fruit or sweet potato the first half of the day, I have zero cravings the entire day. And, I actually feel a lot better. But, I tend to forget this a lot of mornings and eat the rest of my daughter's banana. I need to start buying smaller bananas, I think!

I know all about the multiple menu thing. But, I don't believe in being the short order cook. My husband is a grown man and he knows where the kitchen is. If he doesn't like what I made for dinner (and half the time, he doesn't), then he is welcome to make something else. Sometimes he'll get smart and cook a side he wants along what I'm cooking. But, my husband is pretty laid back and doesn't think I should be going out of my way to cook for him either. It is a kind enough gesture that I make him food at all, really!

Oh, but Ellie, my husband does this thing where he will break out treats (like cookies or brownies) in front of me if we watch something on Netflix. That is so hard sometimes. Usually, that leads to me thinking about treats for days, especially because I know he has them in the house. You're so fortunate to not have that kind of temptation. I'm home all day with my daughter and those stupid treats. Ha, I guess that's why we spend so much time outside and at the park!

I think I got too much sun this week, and especially yesterday. I really didn't feel like eating much. I snacked on random leftovers in the fridge, but we didn't even make dinner last night. I'm not feeling too good today either. I get sick in the heat way too easily, though.

I did manage to get vegetables prepped and bought a couple of whole chickens for this next week. The indoor farmer's market I like to shop at is getting expensive now. They have nothing but expensive local produce and while I'd love to buy this, getting that total there yesterday was a shock. I'm going back to our outdoor market for the rest of the summer. I love this place, but it is always so crowded that it takes a long time to get everything you need. And time is a precious commodity for us moms!

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