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Two 20-somethings trying to heal years of damage 1/2/13


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This is my first Whole 30 I'm bringing my mac-n-cheese-loving boyfriend along for the ride!

I'm going into this knowing it will probably be easier for me than the BF. I eat W30 about 80 percent of the time. The rest: wine, protein bars, dark chocolate, peanut butter, the heel of a piece of bread. He eats a cheese-heavy sandwich every day for lunch and can't imagine his favorite green curry without rice. Dinner is usually protein + veggie (+rice/potato for him), so the challenge will be making sure he feels satisfied on what can look like less food.

He's very open to doing it and it was totally his choice. I'm excited to see his results, see if his belly gurglings and back pain go away, see if he gets more out of his sleep.

My goals are to spend the month truly enjoying my food and how it nourishes my body. I have insulin resistant PCOS and have been steadily gaining weight for 3 years. I'd like to see if all the little bites and nibbles (the 20 percent) are holding me back there.

We're both in our late 20s but sit at desks for most of the day, so we're adding a small walking challenge to the plan.

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Jan. 2, 2013: Day 1



Crustless quiche: 10 eggs and bunch of veggies in a 9x13 pan, 45 min at 350 degrees


Baked salmon and veggies (leftover)

macadamia nuts


green curry chicken with veggies

cauliflower rice

Day 1 went well... until dinner. I was hungry (but not starving) and I didn't make it home from work in time to make the planned dish (required 45 minutes in the oven). So I chopped up some chicken and thawed some frozen veggies and made an easy green curry dish served with thawed cauliflower rice from a few weeks ago.

We both slept really, really well, sleeping until the 7 a.m. alarm went off.

I found out yesterday my gym is starting a 3 month paleo challenge next week. I'm signing up and it will be easier that my boyfriend is doing the Whole 30 with me. Before we even started, he talked about how he doesn't need to eat bread/rice and might not add back dairy right away. We have one day in the can. We'll see what he says on day 30.

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You might need to add some carbs to your diet like sweet potato or winter squash. That will help fill the gap from giving up rice and bread. Most people feel and perform better with some daily carbs, especially if you are doing CrossFit.

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Thanks Tom! I forgot to write we did have some sweet potato wedges with breakfast, baked at the same time as the quiche. I also forgot snacks: an apple with almond butter; nuts, an avocado and organic deli meats.

I switched my PWO meal from a protein shake to sweet potato+chicken a few months ago and it's had a huge positive effect on how I feel immediately and the rest of the day. :) This weekend I plan to bake potatoes and a huge squash that's been sitting on the counter for weeks to eat at regular meals.

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Day 2 recap: Listening to my body

Breakfast: 3 eggs, red pepper and mushrooms

Lunch: turkey breast wrapped around red pepper and avocado, apple with almond butter

Snack: handful of almonds, few tablespoons coconut

Dinner: leftover thai with cauliflower rice

Snack: small chunk of sweet potato, microwaved with some coconut milk and cinnamon

The biggest challenge for me in this Whole 30 is listening to my body's signals and responding in a healthy, conscious way. Breakfast felt like too much to me, but I was ready to eat at lunch. At around 3:30 p.m., I got a mean craving for a latte from the best coffee shop in town. It's not a habit for me -- I probably drink 1 latte a week. So I'm still trying to figure out where that came from. I got busy with work for a few minutes and forgot about it, so I obviously didn't need it! At around 8 p.m., I was craving something, not anything in particular but just some food in my belly, so I microwaved some mashed sweet potato with coconut milk and cinnamon. It tasted decadent and kicked the "maybe I didn't eat enough at dinner" feeling out of my stomach.

We decided to save the leftover thai and pack a cold lunch instead, which ended up saving us at dinner when we both arrived home too late to cook. It's good to know that we can throw meals together like that in a pinch. I plan to stock the fridge this weekend with hard boiled eggs, julianned veggies and cheese. Just kidding on that last one - wanted to see if anyone out there was actually reading this whole thing. :)

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Day 3:

PWO: sweet potato and breakfast turkey sausage

Breakfast: Breakfast turkey sausage, avocado, handful of blueberries

Lunch: spinach salad loaded with mushrooms, tomatoes, avocado and topped with a turkey burger

Dinner: cumin crusted pork tenderloin, roasted onions and parsnips

I was not hungry when lunch rolled around thanks to THE MOST AMAZING BREAKFAST SAUSAGE EVER. I'm usually not a fan of breakfast sausage, but this sausage has changed me.

Dinner was late, which was OK because I wasn't hungry until 7:30 -- so different from when I was eating SAD foods a few years ago and from when I was snacking a lot on an 80/20 paleo plan.

Some friends asked us for drinks at the last minute. We hadn't talked about how we'll handle social situations yet and I was put on the spot, so I just said we already had plans. I didn't say we had plans to roast a giant pork tenderloin and watch Breaking Bad. Later, we talked about it and agreed we'd take it on a case-by-case basis. For example, we hadn't told the couple we were doing the W30 and I know they would have felt bad for dragging us to a bar (which they were already at, so it wasn't an option to change venue.) But if the event is something we can't miss, we will tell fiends and make sure they know we're OK sipping on seltzer. On reason I'm looking forward starting my gym's challenge next week is because there will be a couple dozen people who will want to hang out sans alcohol, pizza and other non-Whole 30 treats.

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Day 4: Blood sugar stabilizing

Breakfast: veggie hash, turkey sausage, 1 fried egg, fresh salsa and guac

Lunch: organic cold cuts, peppers, avocado, apple with almond butter, olives

Dinner: cumin roast pork (leftover), parsnips, broccoli, banana

No cravings for anything sweet -- even when I walked passed the brownie samples at Whole Foods! We were talking about how much better already we feel eating this way.

Breakfast really filled me up again, which was good because my little grocery shopping trip about twice as long as I thought it would and I didn't eat lunch until 3. I will not grocery shop on Saturday again this month. Both stores had tons of samples in the aisles. And being the first Saturday of the year, the produce section was packed with people pushing large shopping carts.

Yesterday was my first day without a snack and my boyfriend's second. For as long as I can remember, I couldn't go longer than 4 hours without getting cranky, nauseous or dizzy with a bad headache. Having insulin resistant PCOS, my doctor advised me to eat low-carb but also to eat every few hours to keep my blood sugar steady. This was always counterintuitive to me because every time I eat, my body has to release insulin. I didn't have any problem yesterday going so long without meals -- actually, I felt better than I did most days last month!

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Day 5

Breakfast: eggs, veggie hash, smashed avocado, little turkey sausage

Lunch: chicken with artichokes, salad with homemade garlic mayo dressing

Dinner: chocolate chili from Well Fed (amazing!) with sweet potato (BF ate a banana)

My boyfriend got the sugar withdrawal headache yesterday and we were both a little on edge (KILL ALL THE THINGS!) We powered through it with two fantastic meals and a lot of food prep. We chopped veggies, baked sweet potatoes

I couldn't get to sleep because I was so excited to get into the gym with my newfound superhero energy. Of course, I got less than 7 hours of sleep and wasn't as perky at 6 a.m. as I wanted to be. But I could tell a difference in my energy level and while doing back squats.

Random observations:

  • My boyfriend talked about missing cheese last night. I asked if his digestive issues were better. His answer: Point taken.
  • My olive oil is too strong for mayo, but I thinned it with water today and used it as a salad dressing so I'm keeping it.
  • I cannot believe how many seemingly healthy products contain a bunch of extra crappy ingredients. Example: this beef broth I'm glad I checked before I bought: Beef Broth, Contains Less Than 1% of the Following: Salt, Monosodium Glutamate, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Hydrolyzed Whey Protein (Milk) and Wheat Bran Protein, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Hydrolyzed Corn Protein, Dextrose, Onion Powder, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Caramel Color, Natural Flavor, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Thiamine Hydrochloride, Disodium Inosinate, Disodium Guanylate.

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Day 6

PWO: sweet potato and leftover roast pork tenderloin

Breakfast: eggs, turkey sausage, mushrooms, few macadamia nuts

Lunch: leftover thai chicken curry

Dinner: taco salads with a W30 version of my salsa chicken (no beans or greek yogurt, W30-compliant salsa) and guac, half apple with almond butter

Random observations:

  • My pants fit a tiny bit better today than they did Thursday. I can tell I'm not as bloated as I was on day 1.
  • I've dreamed every night but not about food. I usually dream about once a week so it's odd to dream not only every night but have several dreams in one night I can vaguely remember in the morning.
  • I am so full — a satisfying full that lasts me in between meals and wears out by the time I wake in the morning.

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Day 7

Breakfast: from-frozen egg casserole+veggies for me, eggs and chicken for him

Lunch: chocolate chili+sweet potato+larabar for me, salsa chicken salad+olives+clementine for him

Dinner: mussels in tomato sauce, broccoli, purple sweet potato with almond butter

We had so many first world problems yesterday. We ate a lot of leftovers. I usually love leftovers, but I'm craving new stuff more on W30. My boyfriend informed me he didn't really like the egg bake he ate 2 days in a row, so I'll be eating the rest of that. We need to buy another dozen eggs, again. We ran out of chili powder so we couldn't make breakfast sausage. The dog won't pee when we take her out in the cold. There's a lot of irritability in our house right now, but I'm hoping that will fade by the end of the week.

My boyfriend said he got hungry today about an hour after lunch. I think it's because he only had 2 eggs and no additional fat at breakfast and the fat at lunch (olives) probably wasn't enough because the chicken is so lean. This morning (day 8) he added an almost ripe avocado to breakfast, so I hope that helps.

One week down!

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Day 8

PWO: sweet potato and cumin pork with cinnamon

Breakfast: homemade turkey sausage, avocado, little sweet potato

Lunch: big ass salad with chicken, avocado, tomato, cucumber boiled eggs and olive oil/vinegar

Dinner: roasted red pepper soup with chicken sausage

Today was my first time eating out - lunch at an awesome local salad restaurant that happily answered my questions and steered me toward compliant options. I have another work lunch tomorrow at Chipotle and I already know what I'm ordering, thanks to the Whole 30 Forum. On Friday, I have a work potluck and I'm bringing deviled eggs made with homemade mayo and some veggies/protein to eat after in case options are slim.

My energy is still strong and steady and I noticed today that my upper back/neck pain is nearly nonexistent. I used to get sharp pains there toward the end of the day. It still aches but not like before.

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Day 9: First digestive problem

Breakfast: veggie hash, leftover pork tenderloin, 1 runny egg on top

Lunch: salad with grilled chicken, sundried tomatoes, cucumbers, olives and onion with olive oil/vinegar, apple

Snack: tomatoes, carrots, few almonds and pistachios

Dinner: salmon with sundried tomatoes, green beans, sweet potato

The lunch location changed but I still picked a viable option. When I got home from work I snacked on tomatoes, carrots and nuts because we were eating dinner late. I got a bad stomachache soon after. I'm not sure if it was the snack or the amount of oily tomatoes and olives on my salad. I've gotten stomachaches in the past after eating a lot of oily foods so I usually avoid them.

The biggest challenge for me so far is avoiding the scale. I've weighed myself every few days for the last 8 years, watching for fluctuations and mapping them against what I'm eating, drinking and doing for activity. I know I've lost a few pounds of bloat because my clothes fit a little bit better. My gym's challenge starts tomorrow and we'll be weighed and other measurements will be taken. Part of me wishes I had waited to start my Whole 30 but the other part of me feels so awesome I don't know why I ever waited.

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  • I cannot believe how many seemingly healthy products contain a bunch of extra crappy ingredients. Example: this beef broth I'm glad I checked before I bought: Beef Broth, Contains Less Than 1% of the Following: Salt, Monosodium Glutamate, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Hydrolyzed Whey Protein (Milk) and Wheat Bran Protein, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Hydrolyzed Corn Protein, Dextrose, Onion Powder, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Caramel Color, Natural Flavor, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Thiamine Hydrochloride, Disodium Inosinate, Disodium Guanylate.

All of those "Contains less than x% of the following" lists are killing me! If it's so little, just leave it out! I've found one vegetable broth that's compliant (although I've heard costco has a compliant chicken broth), but I just made some bone broth so hopefully that will add in a little variety.

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Day 10

Breakfast: turkey breakfast sausage, avocado, plantains twice fried in coconut oil

Lunch: paleo deviled eggs, veggies, guacamole, cashews

Dinner: beef meatballs and spaghetti squash, macadamia nuts, little sweet potato with coconut milk and cinnamon

I survived the potluck! My paleo deviled eggs went fast and I got a lot of compliments. Someone else made guacamole and two people brought salad dressed in olive oil and vinegar so there was more to eat than I was expecting. I felt satisfied but could tell later that I didn't eat enough protein. No workout yesterday because of today's challenge workout.

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Day 11

Breakfast: turkey breakfast sausage, avocado, mushrooms, sweet potato, 2 eggs

Meal 2: chicken, artichokes, half apple with almond butter

Meal 3: prosciutto, roast beef, carrots, half apple with almond butter, cashews

Meal 4: few beef meatballs and spaghetti squash

I didn't really eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. I ate breakfast at 9, came back from part of my gym's challenge test and ate chicken at 1, came back from part 2 and ate again at 4ish and was not hungry for dinner. But then I got worried I might wake up hungry so I ate two tiny meatballs with a little spaghetti squash.

I had to weigh in today for the gym challenge. No big deal. I was OK with the number and it's the last time I'll look until Feb. 1.

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Day 12

Breakfast: eggs, pork, mushrooms, green peppers, sugar free bacon, blueberries

Lunch: chocolate chili, avocado, sweet potato

Dinner: salsa chicken, guac, salad

New Sunday tradition: chocolate chili, roast veggies, bake sweet potatoes. I'm still feeling the tiger blood and am excited to start using it in the gym more. My gym challenge officially starts tomorrow - I'm off to get some sleep!

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Day 13

PWO: sweet potato and pork

Breakfast: eggs, chicken, green peppers and mushrooms

Lunch: chocolate chili, olives, apple with almond butter

Dinner: raw oysters, deviled eggs, sweet potato with coconut milk and tsp almond butter

Went out with a friend last night and as soon as we realized we had given up some foods for January (me, Whole 30; she, meat and booze) it was much more relaxed. She did order a beautiful chunk of cheese that I wanted to try so bad, but I'll go back in a few weeks and try it then. It was also the first time I explained W30 to anyone outside my family, and it was well-received.

I'm feeling the tiger blood, but it's so strong I can't fall asleep at night! I used to fall asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow but now I'm tossing and turning for at least an hour. Last night I kept waking up early in the morning even though I decided last night to skip the gym this morning so I could get a full 8 hours of sleep in, but I kept waking up and falling asleep between 5-6:30 a.m.

I'm going to try some naturally calm - anyone have success with that?

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The chocolate chili sounds good - I like the idea of chili, but was never a big fan of the beans, so this might be a good option! I have some unsweetened hershey's cocoa at home - just need to remember to check and see if it's compliant.

Glad that explaining whole30 went well - I have yet to do this, it makes me so nervous!

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Day 14

Breakfast: eggs scrambled with spinach and garlic, avocado and macadamia nuts

Lunch: big salad with avocado, boiled egg, turkey, tomato, onion and mayo+mustard dressing, half larabar

Dinner: salmon, green beans, sweet potato rounds, cashews

Two weeks down. We're pretty much in autopilot mode - eating stuff we already cooked, combining compliant foods to make a quick meal, etc. We talked a lot last night about adding stuff back in. For me: wine, dark chocolate and cheese. For him: cheese (but not as much) and milk in coffee. He said he doesn't miss bread or rice and would prefer not to add it back in.

I tried some Nighty Night tea last night and boy did it make me drowsy. I had an easier time going to sleep but I still woke up at 4 and then again at 5 (my alarm goes off at 5:43 a.m. and I used to wake up at 5:41 a.m.). I'm going to give it another shot tonight.

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The chocolate chili sounds good - I like the idea of chili, but was never a big fan of the beans, so this might be a good option! I have some unsweetened hershey's cocoa at home - just need to remember to check and see if it's compliant.

Glad that explaining whole30 went well - I have yet to do this, it makes me so nervous!

I never liked beef chili before, but I love the chocolate chili. Explaining W30 was easier because my friend is also eliminating a couple things this month (booze and meat) so we actually talked a lot about it. This is a shortened version of how I explained it:

"We're not eating all the things that have been proven to cause irritation or inflammation - dairy, gluten and other grains, alcohol, beans - for just 30 days. It's called "the Whole 30" and after 30 days you can reintroduce those groups to see how sensitive you are to them and how they can be part of your daily life. Lots of people have improved illnesses and lost weight doing it. We're sleeping better, have a ton of energy, etc."

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Day 15 - Halfway!

Breakfast: turkey sausage, avocado, tostones (my new favorite breakfast)

Lunch: pork tenderloin, sweet potato, broccoli, cashews

Dinner: orange braised beef shanks in the crockpot, mashed cauliflower, sweet potato

Yesterday was an extremely tasty day. We were both getting sick of eggs, so I spent the extra time to blend up some breakfast sausage and fry a green plantain. So worth it.

Night 2 trying Nighty Night tea -- I went to sleep much much easier. I probably would have slept 9 hours if our dog hadn't woken us up at 2 and 4 a.m. -she has an upset stomach :(

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Day 16

Breakfast: turkey sausage, avocado, sweet potato

Lunch: salad with turkey breast, veggies, guac, nuts

PWO: sweet potato, little chili

Dinner: more chili, sweet potato, avocado, half apple, sunflower seed butter

The salad was a little light and left me wanting more so I ate a handful of nuts - a big handful. I usually don't have a problem eating too many nuts, but they seemed extra tasty today. I'm only going to keep 1 serving at a time in my desk drawer at work, the rest are stored in my pantry.

I usually work out in the mornings and when I happen to go to the gym after work I never feel like I have as much energy as in the a.m. So I was surprised to have so much energy last night for back squats and a workout of clean and jerks and push ups.

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Day 17

Breakfast: Turkey sausage, avocado, tostones

Lunch: salad with turkey, tomato, avocado, onion, paleo mayo+mustard dressing

Dinner: prosciutto and salmon, red pepper, carrots and green beans dipped in mayo and guac, half apple wit sunflower seed butter

I had my first food dream last night. I don't remember what I ate, but it was bad and I ate a lot of it and I felt guilty. I realized it was a dream without waking up (inception!) so that was cool.

I woke up with a headache. I don't think I drank enough water yesterday.

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