Unibok

Sept 8 - Oct 7 Whole30

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Starting my first Whole30 today, and I'd like to see if this Journal helps keep me on track and connected with others. Some days I might post after every meal; others, I might post a round-up at the end of the day. I also do my best to eat seasonally, and I subscribe to a farm with regular pick-ups. Some farm-fresh foods just need to be savored now -- like watermelon -- for the last time until next August. I will admit to a pang of regret as I cut the corn off of 4 fresh cobs and froze them for use post-Whole30 rather than eating them today.

With that, here's what today looks like:

Day 1 -- feeling a bit desperate and ready to start after my doctor recommended Whole30 to me last May. There was too much going on in my life (including international travel!), so I set the intention of starting this fall. That brings us to today -- ta da! Starting!

Breakfast: Veggie and 2-egg scramble, with a side of smoked salmon. Veggies (scallion, bell pepper, swiss chard stems and leaves, tomato, garlic chives) sautéed in sunflower oil with a savory turmeric blend, scrambled with 2 eggs. Delicious and filling.

Lunch: Red cabbage slaw with cashews and cilantro, dressed with an oil/vinegar dressing. Also delicious and filling, but unfortunately too light on the protein. Side of fresh watermelon straight from the farm, probably the last of the season.

Dinner: Skillet hash with ground beef, potatoes, beets, peppers, green beans and arugula. Loaded with fresh thyme. Another side of watermelon. Plenty of skillet hash leftovers for lunches at work next week.

Exercise: walked with a friend and her dogs.

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Ok, mid-way through Day 2, feeling good. Made a few substitutions in the skillet hash dinner plan from yesterday: omitted the beets to save them for later in the week, and seasoned with fresh dill instead of thyme. I realize now that if I need more protein, a poached or fried egg on top would be terrific. Also, so far, lots of grocery shopping and a hella lotta dishes to clean. It took three stores (2 Asian markets and an upscale co-op) to find a compliant fish sauce (Red Boat, if you are curious).

With all that, here's what today looks like:

Day 2 -- slept horribly, with too much energy flooding my system. It will be interesting to see how that plays out as my body gets used to having less sluggish-inducing foods.

Breakfast: Similar to yesterday, but without the smoked salmon. Veggies were yellow pepper, arugula, tomato, garlic chive, mushrooms, and onion, again in sunflower oil and savory turmeric blend. Turns out that most smoked fish use some form of sugar as a preservative, so they are off-limits for the month unless I find something compliant. Having replenished my supply of olive oil, I'll use that going forward. It is still too warm to switch to sesame oil, which has more heating qualities. I'll save that for the end of the month.

Lunch: Baked haddock with a fennel, tomatillo, garlic, and onion sauce. I was a little short on the tomatillo quantity, so filled in the rest with orange cherry tomatoes. It was a beautiful dish, and very tasty. I made enough for 3, which fed my daughter and me while leaving a lunch portion for tomorrow at work.

Dinner: Beef satay is marinating now to be grilled for dinner, to be served alongside a baby bok choy stir-fry. I anticipate lots of leftovers on the satay, to be used for lunches.

Snack: an apple fresh from the tree with the last of my compliant peanut butter.

Exercise: walked along the lake with my daughter.

 

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I don’t believe peanut butter is allowed on whole 30. Even if you buy it without sugar, no peanuts because they’re not a nut, they are a legume and they’re not allowed until we’re done.

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Many thanks to those of you who have read my log and offered gentle corrections. Please, chime in any time -- I am most grateful for your guidance.

Day 3 is, as I had predicted, a very long day at work. I arrived around 7:30 this morning, and will be able to leave by 8:00 tonight. That meant lots of planning ahead and packing up yesterday's leftovers for lunch and dinner.  My energy has stayed pretty steady throughout the day, even through a series of long meetings. I did get a headache mid-day, so when pounding more water didn't help, I brewed a nice cup of jasmine green tea. Presto -- headache gone. I hope in the future to be able to manage that without caffeine, but not today.

Also, I've now learned that I really should not have had that apple/pb snack, as it wasn't compliant. The rules are simple, except when they aren't simple. Right? With this new knowledge, I briefly wondered if I should re-set the clock to begin again today, but I am going with the idea that a minor mistake on Day 2 isn't cause to start over. So I'm not, which makes today Day 3.

With that, here's what today looks like:

Day 3 -- slept better, but not deeply. I look forward to nights with deeper sleep. Still, I got going pretty well in the morning and overall had good focus and energy today.

Breakfast: My fave 2-egg scramble. Veggies were yellow pepper, kale, tomato, mushrooms, and onion, this time with sesame oil and the savory turmeric blend. It was darn cold out, so I was grateful for the extra warmth from the sesame. Interestingly, the quantity was more than I could fit in my stomach, and I couldn't eat it all.

Lunch: Leftover baked haddock with a fennel, tomatillo, garlic, and onion sauce, with little orange cherry tomatoes on the side. Just as delicious today as it was yesterday.

Dinner: Leftover red cabbage slaw with leftover Korean beef satay. So good! Luckily I have one more serving left of these yummy satays. Turns out I did not make the bok choy stir-fry last night, so that is waiting for tomorrow's breakfast or dinner. Instead, I served the satay over some leftover green beans.

Snack: an apple from yesterday's farm run. Not great, I know, but the best I could manage today.

Exercise: nothing more than I get in a typical day at work. I brought walking shoes to work, but it rained all day and I wasn't motivated enough to go out there and get wet.

Tomorrow after work I head to the Tuesday farmers market to replenish my rapidly dwindling veggie supply. 

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Ok, I'm happy to say I do not want to Kill All The Things. Yay! So far, today has been good energy- and food-wise. 

Given yesterday's overly-long day at the office, I let myself work at home this morning. While that was good for a leisurely breakfast and carefully planned dinner prep, I found myself too distracted by my house. I'm very proud of what happened next.

I decided to head to a favorite coffee shop just for the duration of one project I needed to complete this morning: a recommendation letter for a colleague. It is high stakes, and I wanted to do a good job for her. This would be my first time venturing into that coffee shop since starting Whole30, and it is a place where I usually like to have a cappuccino and pastry as a reward for my hard work. I needed a plan, so I drove over intending to order a pot of herbal tea, and work on my laptop until the job was done.

And that is exactly what happened. One pot of peppermint tea later, I submitted the letter and headed back home for lunch. I am so pleased to have found an easy way to keep that coffee shop as a focused place to work, while also staying true to Whole30 and myself.

With that, here's what today looks like:

Day 4 -- worst night of sleep yet. Up to go to the bathroom, then several sleepless hours until dawn. Deep sleep used to be my super-power, and I'm looking forward to getting it back. Whole30, are you my kryptonite?

Breakfast: the remains of yesterday's egg/veggie scram, plus a hearty bowlful of leftover beef skillet supper from Day 1. 

Lunch: the last of the red cabbage slaw, the last of the Korean beef satay, and not yet the last of the watermelon.

Planned for dinner: Shrimp and Cucumber, with avocado on the side, and sautéed baby bok choi w/coco aminos.

 

Edited by Unibok
clarity

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22 hours ago, Unibok said:

I briefly wondered if I should re-set the clock to begin again today, but I am going with the idea that a minor mistake on Day 2 isn't cause to start over. So I'm not, which makes today Day 3.

You could use the Whole 30 Jedi Mind Trick and instead of starting over, complete a Whole 32 instead :D. You'll feel awesome by day 30, what's 2 more days before reintro? 

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3 hours ago, Lokan_V said:

You could use the Whole 30 Jedi Mind Trick and instead of starting over, complete a Whole 32 instead :D. You'll feel awesome by day 30, what's 2 more days before reintro? 

Haha, Lokan! I'll keep an open mind and see how I feel on October 7th. I like your attitude.

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When, oh when, will I sleep well again? And night sweats -- ugh! And now my hot flashes are back again, after having gone away for several months. Peri-menopause, I thought I was so over you, but here you are back with me.

Other than that, things are good. I feel strong and on track, I am staying focused at work and getting things done, and my mood is very even. Whole30 is making me more organized in general, in forcing me to schedule more elements of my life and leave less up to chance and whim. This means I finally got around to that haircut I've needed for the past 6 months, and now I feel light and springy to match my better mood and progress toward health. Does a haircut count as an NSV?

The meat thing is rough to get used to, as I used to eat meat and/or fish only twice a week. Now it is twice a day, and that is a big leap! Although I don't love the idea of all that meat, my body does seem to love the nutrients. Or my body loves the lack of what I'm not eating right now. Either way, Whole30 is feeling very good in my tissues.

With that, here's what today looks like:

Day 5 -- woke several times drenched in night sweats. Was so exhausted by the accumulated lack of sleep that I let myself nap this afternoon. I think it was the right choice, as I feel so much better now. Unfortunately, I dread bedtime, as the nights have been so restless and uncomfortable and disturbed since I started this.

Breakfast: Today's 2-egg scram had oyster mushrooms, kale, onions, red bell pepper, and fresh tomato. Avocado on the side.

Lunch: Leftover cucumber and shrimp, with an apple on the side. I don't think there was enough fat in this, because I was hungry again a few hours later and needed a snack.

Dinner: Catfish with a sauce of husk cherries, onion, red bell pepper, and fresh thyme. Side of avocado and watermelon. Never heard of husk cherries? I hadn't either until yesterday's farmers market, but they looked interesting and so I decided to make a sauce out of them. It was delicious! They look like very small, orange tomatillos.

Snack: Not one but two apples (hey, they were small) with almond butter. I felt so much better after eating them. It was a well justified snack.

Edited by Unibok
clarity

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A huge test today: my first social event since starting Whole30. A group wanted to go for drinks after work, and I joined them. Normally, I need the wine to get me comfortable with being in a social situation, but that was off limits. My plan was to eat an apple before going so I wouldn't be too hungry, to get a club soda with lime, and to leave as soon as I wanted to order anything else. Also, I packed an extra venison bar in my bag just in case I really got the munchies on the way home. The plan worked. I actually stayed through two club sodas and lime, and left when I knew I was getting hungry for dinner. On the way home, I picked up some burger patties at the butcher, and headed home to cook my Whole30 dinner. I am so proud of myself! And, a little shocked, actually. 

With that, here's what today looks like:

Day 6 -- slept a bit better, with only one bout of night sweats and one trip to the bathroom. After that I managed to sleep deeply until 7:00 am (that's late for me!). Had a great morning routine, and it seemed like my clothes were not as tight as they had been. Oh, please let that be true. Now, at the end of the day, I have a new NSV: my bra didn't hurt by mid-afternoon, so I actually felt I could wear it comfortably all day. That hasn't happened for a long time.

Breakfast: 2-egg scram with oyster mushrooms, arugula, scallions, red pepper, fresh tomato, and a different turmeric blend. I do love starting the day that way.

Lunch: the leftover catfish with husk cherries from last night. I was afraid it wouldn't be enough fat, so I threw in a packet of (compliant) almond butter. The combo didn't sit well in my stomach, but at least I didn't get hungry an hour later.

Dinner: After drinks with colleagues, I made a Portobello Tower Burger. Jeez, the thing was huge. And delicious. Two grilled portobello mushrooms formed the "bun," each stuffed with mashed avocado. The burger itself was topped with a hefty slice of grilled onion and a fried egg. It was oozy and salty and amazing. And oh so filling that I skipped the watermelon that I had planned.

Snack: a well-timed apple to fill my tummy before going out for seltzer & lime.

 

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Well, crud. Turns out the kielbasa I bought has dextrose in it. I asked for the ingredients when I was at the butcher shop today picking up burger patties. Luckily, I had frozen the kielbasa and was going to thaw it out for a sausage/pepper fest over the weekend. Now they'll just have to stay frozen until next month. Sneaky, sneaky added sugar -- boo!!!  I'm so glad I asked before cooking and eating it.

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Had my first outing to Trader Joe's, based on recommendations here and on YouTube. Wow. TJs will make Week 2 so much easier! I grabbed several bags of the riced cauliflower for stir-fries, a pre-baked sirloin and pork belly, compliant dijon mustard, flavored seltzers, more mushrooms, mandarin oranges, mixed olives, a Chomp, more avocados, and a gift card for my daughter on her birthday.

What I did not find was compliant sausage, which was the primary thing I wanted. The search continues.

Today was also my first on-the-fly day, where I truly had to make do with food that was immediately available. All things considered, it went well.

With that, here's what today looks like:

Day 7 -- I slept pretty well until 4:50, when my bladder woke me up. This is progress! I never did get back to sleep after that, so I'm hoping for an early night tonight.

Breakfast: In spite of (or maybe because of) being up so early, I did not have the desire to make my favorite egg & veggie scramble. Leftover beef skillet supper beckoned, and made an easy and tasty breakfast. I stopped at a fancy coffee shop for a very flavorful black coffee, and was glad I did. If I have to drink it black, then it will need to be very good coffee. Luckily for my wallet, I only drink coffee once a week or so.

Lunch: In spite of (or maybe because of) being up so early, I had nothing ready to go. A venison Epic bar and an apple made for an okay lunch in a pinch between meetings and appointments.

Dinner: Back in the kitchen, I baked a mustard-crusted salmon and roasted some beets, tossing them with avocado oil. I'm feeling like I'm having a bit too much fat now, ever since the Tower of Grilled Things last night. It's starting to taste and feel gross, so I will back off on all the fat tomorrow. For example, I would have enjoyed the salmon much more if I had baked it straight, rather than coating the pan with bacon fat. It just seemed like too much, an unnecessary addition that actually detracted from the flavor of the fish.

That's it! Week-a-versary tomorrow!

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Congrats on making it to the week mark! I'm there as well.

And also, I believe there maybe some chicken sausage that is compliant at Trader Joes? (as in sausage links....I could be wrong.) As far as breakfast sausage, I'm still searching for that.

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10 hours ago, xx_firefly said:

Congrats on making it to the week mark! I'm there as well.

And also, I believe there maybe some chicken sausage that is compliant at Trader Joes? (as in sausage links....I could be wrong.) As far as breakfast sausage, I'm still searching for that.

Hooray for one week! Yay, us! 

You are right about the compliant chicken sausage -- but I can't eat chicken. It's the only kind of meat I can't eat, so I guess that makes me lucky. Happily, today I found some in the 3rd store I went to. Sausage, peppers, and onions for dinner tomorrow!

I hope thing are going well for you today.

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All in all, a pretty good day today. So far only 3 hot flashes, and not a bad night's sleep last night. Please, please tell me that my hormones are balancing and that the hot flashes will stop again soon!

A month or so ago, I had signed up for an all-day meditation workshop that started early this morning. It was great to practice meditation in a structured environment, but it was not good for my regularized eating schedule. Rushing in the morning to make sure I could get to the Center on time (it is 2 towns away), I polished off the last of that leftover beef skillet dish. Lunch was far too late and a hodgepodge of compliant things I had thrown in an insulated lunch bag on my way out the door. That's 2 days in a row of hodgepodge snacky lunches, and I do not want that to become a habit -- it's not satisfying, and I get hungry for a real meal much earlier.

As I drove home from the Center, I stopped in to a burger place that I thought would be a better alternative to the snacky items. Two things happened as I looked at the menu board. First, I immediately noticed that I would have to hold several ingredients on every item -- usually cheese and some kind of sauce. Second, the more I looked, the more I felt I would be better off with the little bits I had packed because I knew for sure that they would be on plan. Eating at that burger place left too much to chance, with too many opportunities for hidden sugar or hidden soy or hidden corn or hidden something-I-shouldn't-eat. So I left without ordering. Maybe I'll feel that way all month? That's why it is helpful for me to think of this as a 1-month thing and not a permanent lifestyle change.

With that, here's what today looks like:

Day 8 -- slept pretty well, woke early, and finally tackled all those dishes in the sink that I didn't take care of yesterday. Two observations: 1) egad there's a lot of grease all over everything, coating nearly every surface in my kitchen. UGH and ICK. 2) not cleaning dirty meat dishes right away means they start to smell really bad the next day. Lesson learned.

Breakfast: The last of the leftover beef skillet from Day One. It made for a quick and hearty breakfast as I ran out the door.

Lunch: a snacky mishmash of nuts, grapes, 2 mandarin oranges, a Chomps bar, and an apple.

Dinner: back to cooking again, for the first time today. Zucchini noodles (pre-made from Trader Joes) sautéed with onions and prosciutto, topped with a home-made tomato sauce (just tomatoes, garlic, and thyme) that I canned last fall. A side of mixed olives made this a lovely Mediterranean feast. 

Either tonight or tomorrow morning I need to plan out next week's meals. Pre-planning sure helped get me through Week 1. Here's wishing a smooth Week 2 for everyone.

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54 minutes ago, Unibok said:

Hooray for one week! Yay, us! 

You are right about the compliant chicken sausage -- but I can't eat chicken. It's the only kind of meat I can't eat, so I guess that makes me lucky. Happily, today I found some in the 3rd store I went to. Sausage, peppers, and onions for dinner tomorrow!

I hope thing are going well for you today.

That's awesome!

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Okay, Sunday is no longer a day of rest. Whole30 Sunday is a day of planning and prep. If I want the week to go well, then I feel like I need to use my weekends to set myself up for success on workdays. The dishwasher runs pretty much constantly. And, yes, a thin layer of grease still seems to be coating the main surfaces in my kitchen. Otherwise, no big insights today ... things are just chugging along.

With that, here's what today looks like:

Day 9 -- my first good night's sleep since this started. I had an air conditioner running, which may have counteracted the night sweats enough to let me sleep through them. Hooray!

Breakfast: Back to my 2-egg scramble, with spinach, red pepper, onion, mushrooms, and the last of my cherry tomatoes.

Lunch: Zoodles with the rest of the tomato sauce, sautéed with onion. I heated the Trader Joes pre-cooked/pre-sliced sirloin, and put that on top of the dish. It was quite good, with leftovers for tomorrow's lunch.

Dinner: Every other Monday I go to a local farm to pick up my share of produce. It's kind of fun, because I never know what I'll be bringing home. Anyway, the night before my share (so, every other Sunday), I rummage through the fridge to use up any unused veggies from my previous farm run. Stir-fry Sunday. Tonight's was broccoli, bok choi, and eggplant, stir-fried in sesame oil with garlic, ginger, and onion. Then I browned the pre-cooked pork belly from Trader Joes, and then heated the riced cauliflower in the pork drippings. That, too, was delicious, and made plenty of leftovers for lunches this week.

But oh, the dishes: the pots and pans and skillets and woks and saucepans and silverware and knives and bowls and plates and glasses and leftover containers. AGGGGGHHHHHH! I hear the dishwasher chugging away now. I've been so busy with the dishes I almost forgot to do the laundry! Yes, Sunday is definitely not a day of rest.

Wishing you all a lovely week ahead.

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10 hours ago, continue_my_dear said:

Sounds like a productive Sunday! I meal planned and prepped today too! How did you find a farm with produce?

I'm reaping the benefits of Sunday's work today, so it's worth it. For farms, google "CSA" or "Community Supported Agriculture." You might also look up "Farm Share." That should bring you to farms with memberships in your area -- even if you live somewhere very urban. I've been doing this for about 20 years, every place I've lived, and it is one of the first things I search for when I move to a new town. 

If you have a farmer's market nearby, you can ask the farmers there if they know of any farms who have "shares" or a "CSA." 

Belonging to a farm changed the way I ate seasonally and thought about food in general. It has been so long now that I can't imagine not belonging to a farm if I ever move somewhere else. Let me know what you find!

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A busy day at work, but not too busy to throw me off. My Whole30 is now 1/3 complete. YAY! On the other hand, I am not feeling good about so much 4-legged animal protein, and will make more of an effort to get fish and other seafood. I really liked what I made last week, but having had beef or pork too many days in a row I just feel heavy and over-fed. Today was farm day, so now I can build this week's meals around the fresh veggies I picked up today.

One good Whole30 moment at the farm: we are near the end of corn season, but with Whole30 I couldn't take the corn part of my share. I saw some friends, and told them they could have mine. They were so happy!

With that, here's what today looks like:

Day 10 -- Sleep is definitely getting better, and I'm waking at an appropriately early time without an alarm clock. Hooray for that!

Breakfast: 2-egg scram with spinach, red pepper, onion, and mushroom. Didn't have any tomato to deglaze the pan, so I used a bit of vinegar. 

Lunch: leftover eggplant/bok choi/broccoli stir-fry over riced cauliflower, topped with pork belly.

Dinner: fresh salad greens with avocado and sliced beef sirloin topped with a chimichurri sauce.

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29 minutes ago, Unibok said:

Day 10 -- Sleep is definitely getting better, and I'm waking at an appropriately early time without an alarm clock. Hooray for that!

Breakfast: 2-egg scram with spinach, red pepper, onion, and mushroom. Didn't have any tomato to deglaze the pan, so I used a bit of vinegar. 

Lunch: leftover eggplant/bok choi/broccoli stir-fry over riced cauliflower, topped with pork belly.

Dinner: fresh salad greens with avocado and sliced beef sirloin topped with a chimichurri sauce.

That all sounds so good! I'm going to have to learn to make chimichurri sauce one day. It just sounds cool.

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