Jump to content

dudeascending's first Whole30 (1/1/13 - 1/31/13)


Recommended Posts

I just started my first Whole30 and thought it'd be nice to register here and journal my experience. I'm hoping to lose weight, manage stress, reduce anxiety, and get more energy--I always feel a little deflated in the winter, except around my waist (thanks, holiday binging!).

Here's my goals worksheet:

  • I will eat dinner with my fiance five days a week at the table, with no distractions.
  • I will get 8 hours of sleep every night.
  • I will make a gratitude list every day.
  • I will exercise three times a week, 30 minutes each time.
  • I will stretch for 10-15 minutes after every workout.
  • My fiance and I will go on one date (i.e., planned, non-normal activity) every week.
  • I will book an appointment with a career counselor.
  • I will bring lunch to work every day.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 59
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Day 1

  • Breakfast: Fried eggs, 1/2 avocado, salsa verde
  • Lunch: Shrimp green curry with basil, eggplant, and red peppers
  • Dinner: Roasted cauliflower
  • Beverages: Coffee, green tea with coconut milk, water

This was a good baseline day. I felt pretty much entirely normal, except for menstrual cramping (my username notwithstanding, I'm actually a lady). I recently got a copper IUD placed, and my first post-IUD cycle started on Tuesday. My bleeding has actually gone down, which is unusual, but the cramps are significantly worse. Not life-altering or anything, but I need to take two ibuprofen every 6-8 hours, whereas in the past, my cramping was very minimal and always subsided within a day.

The shrimp curry was so delicious my fiance and I were both licking our bowls clean. All that coconut milk was incredibly satiating, too; we were both too stuffed to eat the pork chops I made for dinner.

We went to bed really early... maybe 9:30pm, or 10pm.

Day 2

  • Breakfast: Homemade chicken broth with chicken bits
  • Lunch: Pan-fried pork chops with roasted cauliflower
  • Dinner: Shrimp green curry with basil, eggplant, sweet potato, and almond butter
  • Beverages: Coffee (x2), green tea, water, seltzer with salted plums
  • Snacks: Raw cashews, 1/2 Asian pear, 3/4 of Satsuma mandarin

I woke up naturally around 6am, most likely because I got to bed so early the night before, but it felt utterly delicious. Nonetheless, I had two small coffees on day 2, more out of habit than anything else. I switched over to green tea afterwards, but it just isn't the same. However, my salted-plum seltzer was amazing. If you're worried about pesticides, then this is probably not for you, since I've never seen organic salted plum, but holy, do they spice up plain seltzer.

My pork chops were really disappointing. I usually make them with some kind of sauce or topping, but just made them plain to be Whole30 compliant. However, the curry was once again awesome. I'm so psyched on curries! They're the perfect winter meal.

I hit a wall at around 3:30pm in the office. Felt unfocused, tired, etc. I also felt hungry after lunch, so I had a handful of raw cashews and then most of a mandarin orange at home before dinner. I'm really trying to cut down on my snacking. My fiance had a whiskey after dinner, and I gave him sad puppy-dog eyes.

Cramping continued to be pretty bad. We went to bed around 11pm, and I tossed and turned quite a bit.

Day 3

  • Breakfast: Shakshuka
  • Lunch: Shakshuka
  • Dinner: Pork saltimbocca with roasted asparagus
  • Beverages: Coffee (x2), green tea, seltzer
  • Snacks: Raw cashews, Satsuma mandarin

I didn't feel completely rested when I woke up this morning, but I did have enough mental energy to make shakshuka for breakfast. It's eggs braised in tomato sauce with pimento, cumin, onions, garlic, etc. I usually make mine with some cheese, and it's divine to eat with bread… but none of that on Whole30, of course. Nonetheless, it was really satisfying. Nonetheless my nonethelessing, I still felt hungry after lunch and dug into my bag of raw cashews, and I'm so looking forward to going home and eating my mandarin.

I'm going to try making a Whole30-fied pork saltimbocca tonight. I think it should be easy—just omit the cheese—and I have my fingers crossed that it'll be no less delicious. And yes, I hunted down Whole30-compliant prosciutto.

Alcohol continues to be my big temptation. So big that it's entirely eclipsed dairy and sugar. I'm not fantasizing about chocolate or cheese, but I am wistfully imagining the taste of a perfect rye Manhattan.

I thought my skin looked uncommonly good this morning. I usually have crazy-dry skin in the winter, but I randomly started moisturizing with coconut oil this week. It really does seem to be doing something.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Isn't coconut oil amazing on your skin! I have a tiny glass container which I put coconut oil, olive oil and essential oil drops (Oregano or Tea tree are my latest favs) I use this on my hands when they are sore (oregano) or on scrapes etc that need disinfecting (tea tree). So many uses. Have a great W30!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks ORBren! I love your idea about adding essential oils. I'll have to dig around my pharmacy and see what they have.

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning because I had the worst cramps of my life last night. They woke me up out of a beautiful, sound sleep. I was writhing in bed until the ibuprofen took the tiniest edge off. I'm still wincing now. I know that this is probably completely unrelated to Whole30, but God, I still feel terrible.

Day 4

  • Breakfast: Homemade chicken broth, shredded chicken, spoonful of coconut oil
  • Lunch: Pork saltimbocca with roasted asparagus
  • Dinner: Andouille sausage with salsa verde, deviled eggs, salad
  • Beverages: Coffee, green tea, water
  • Snacks: Raw cashews, mangosteen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ugh, I really need to figure my portion sizes out. Was ravenous by 11:30am and again by 4:30pm. Tried the newsletter suggestion of asking myself, "Am I hungry enough to want to eat steamed fish and broccoli?" The answer, both times, was a resounding, "YESSSS, GET IT IN MY BELLY." I ended up having a small avocado, a few slices of homemade roast beef, and carrot pickles at around 5, in addition to the items planned above.

On a more optimistic note, I've successfully resisted three chocolate bars, two boxes of chocolates, chocolate-covered cherries, free beer, chips, and cookies just in the past three days. Go me! Also, my office is truly a sugar pit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 5

  • Breakfast/Lunch: Stir-fried ground pork with basil, peppers, garlic chives, and egg
  • Dinner: Braised pork shanks and fennel salad
  • Beverages: Coffee, seltzer, seltzer with salted plum
  • Snacks: Raw cashews, raw and home-toasted sunflower seeds, roasted chestnuts, 1 apple

This has been my toughest day so far. I'm feeling short-tempered, edgy, impatient... basically, I'm hitting the lowest part of the Whole30 curve. I'm not physically tired, but I feel emotionally exhausted, even though the worst thing that's happened to me today was accidentally buying non-Whole30-compliant canned tuna.

Also, when we went grocery shopping today to pick up some non-pork meat, the smell of the bakery just killed me. We go to this place semi-regularly, and their baked goods are never that tempting. But today, I wanted to shove an entire bag of dinner rolls into my mouth. I salivated the entire time.

But before this becomes a downward spiral of whining, I'm grateful for:

  • Getting out of bed before my fiance this morning. This. Never. Happens. I didn't feel like I had a terrific sleep, but obviously, I woke up with more energy than normal. Yay!
  • Recognizing the sneaky sugars in the sausage I was going to buy.
  • Now having so many delicious meats in the fridge. Pork! Lamb! Beef! Salmon! Shrimp! Imma eat you all.
  • My fiance, who is putting up with my epic grumpiness right now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 6

  • Breakfast: Sweet potato, kale, and pork hash with fried eggs
  • Lunch: Lamb chops with chimichurri and fennel salad
  • Dinner: Hanger steak with sauteed kale and mushrooms
  • Beverages: Coffee, seltzer
  • Snacks: 1 apple

Feeling better emotionally today, but have a small headache that keeps lingering and lingering. Also feeling less snacky, but that may just be the late breakfast. Trying to keep my snacking down and also trying to cut down on coffee.

The braised pork shanks last night were terrific. I made two, which was an absurdly huge portion. I seared them in a Dutch oven; removed the meat; added in sliced garlic, stirred until they were golden; dumped in a 14 oz. can of diced tomatoes, a handful of Kalamata olives and their juice, a few slices of fennel, some bay leaves, some tarragon, and a small splash of chicken broth; nestled the meat back in; and put it in the oven for about an hour and a half. It probably would have been better had I left it longer, but the smell was driving both of us crazy. I used some of the leftover shank for the hash this morning, and we'll fight over who gets to take the rest for lunch tomorrow.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We went to a movie yesterday, so I snuck in a lemon seltzer and a box of kale chips (I know, I know, bad because no protein). When we got out, it was time for dinner, but neither of us were hungry, so we skipped eating. Maybe my appetite is finally regulating itself? I made it through the day with one snack, too, although it's still fruit. I'm going to try to make it through today without any snacking, which, guyyyyysssss, not to make a big deal of it, but... that's a big deal for me. ;)

Also, I have to brag that yesterday's lamb chops were off the chain. My fiance and I fought over the last chop, and I licked my plate clean. It was super easy: salt and pepper some lamb chops, rub some coconut oil on both sides (it'll harden, a la Magic Shell, because the lamb is cold--kind of neat), and broil for 2-3 minutes per side. Chimmichurri sauce is Whole30 heaven: throw in two handfuls of parsley 1/2-1 handful cilantro, some sliced garlic, some red pepper, some cumin, a splash of your choice of acid (lemon juice or red wine or apple cider vinegar), and some olive oil. Process until delicious--i.e., keep adding olive oil and salt until it tastes the way you want it. SO. DELICIOUS. We kept spooning it over every bite of the meat.

In the interest of record-keeping, the fennel salad was just fennel sliced very thin with a mandolin, olive oil, salt, and pepper. In retrospect, some lemon juice and parsley would have been nice. In pre-Whole30 times, I would add some shaved parm, but honestly, I don't miss the cheese. Without out, the fennel is so much more... fennely.

Some other notes:

  • My cramps did end up subsiding two days ago. I bought a big bottle of Vitamin E to supplement with next cycle.
  • I didn't sleep well last night--lots of tossing and turning. It might be the temperature, which is controlled by our downstairs neighbor, who keeps it at raging inferno levels. But it's so cold outside, if we crack a window, it's too cold. What to do, what to do.
  • Nonetheless, it took me about 45 seconds to go from groggy, go-away, five-more-minutes, why-are-you-doing-this-cruel-world sleepy to pretty much wide awake. That's new.
  • I think I might be in ketosis? My pee smells funny, and I woke up with a pretty terrible taste in my mouth, too. I'm wondering if I should pick up some of those testing sticks just to know... I'm really curious.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, Derval! (Holy shizz, I'm impressed by your post count.)

Day 7

  • Breakfast: Steak and eggs with sauteed mushrooms
  • Lunch: Pork shank with arugula salad and 1/2 sweet potato
  • Dinner: Lamb chops with chimichurri and sauteed broccoli rabe
  • Beverages: Coffee, green tea, seltzer
  • Snacks: NONE! (so sayeth me at noon)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Love your recipe for chimichurri! I will definitely try it! Keep up the great work. I was nauseous the first 4 days and still get like that if I am hungry or dehydrated.. Tom suggested I eat & drink more. Coconut water helps, too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, anniem! I'm trying to keep hydrated, but also trying to stay away from coconut water because I like it too much. I'd chug gallons of it if I could. ;)

ORBren, I know, it's extremely silly. I looked at the concessions menu just in case, but nope, nope, nope, nothing I could eat or drink.

So we ended up having green beans instead of broccoli rabe last night because rabe is prohibitively expensive right now, but the beans were lovely. I blanched them, then tossed them into a pan with olive oil, shallots, and garlic. Very delicious.

Day 8

  • Breakfast: ½ of remaining steak and lamb chop and 1 fried egg
  • Lunch: Steak with spicy sautéed kale, mushrooms, garlic, and anchovies
  • Dinner: Salmon cakes and arugula salad with herb-avocado dressing Baked salmon with kimchi
  • Beverages: Coffee, chai tea (just the leaves, no added dairy!), seltzer, water
  • Snacks: I broke down and had a handful of raw cashews and a raw fig before dinner :(

I was a bit groggier and slower to wake up this morning. I'm still not sleeping uninterrupted, a combo of the temperature and our crazy cats, who like to go bump (or crash) in the night. I'm feeling more dazed than usual for this time, maybe because I got my eyes dilated at the doctor's this morning. I had a single espresso on my way to work, and I feel unpleasantly jittery.

However, I did notice that last night, I went from wide awake at 10:15pm to sleepy by 11pm. Usually, I have trouble falling asleep, so it was nice to have a normal sleep cue. My skin continues to feel very soft in the morning, although the winter air and wind pretty much strips that away during my walk to the bus and then to the office.

This morning, I had some leftovers from the day before, but got pretty stuffed midway through, so I left the rest for my fiancé. Usually, I'm pretty ravenous in the morning, so I wonder if this is another sign of my appetite regulating itself. That said, I'm pretty hungry now, but I think I can hang on until 12:30pm before I dig into lunch.

Also: while I haven't stepped onto a scale during Whole30, I might as well disclose my starting weight of 136. I was so stunned when I found that out. This is the heaviest I've ever been—ever. I'm more than 20 (!!!???!!!) pounds heavier than when I met my fiancé six years ago. No wonder I can't fit into my jeans from then. :(

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 9

  • Breakfast: Steak with carrots and celery
  • Lunch: Braised oxtail with parsnips and carrots
  • Dinn​er: Beef stir fry with eggplant, basil, red pepper, and green beans
  • Beverages: Coffee, green tea, water, seltzer

Health notes:

  • Had a good night's sleep, finally! Only woke up once or twice during the night. I budgeted nine hours for sleep, and I needed every single second. I think from now on, I will try budget ten hours to get to a full nine hours. Again, I was wide awake at 10pm, but sleepy by 10:30pm.
  • It took a little longer for me to wake up this morning. Felt groggy getting ready, but was very clear-headed by the time I walked out the door.
  • Skin continues to look and feel good.
  • This is so unexpected/weird that I might be imagining it... but I swear, my distance vision is crisper. It might just be the clear winter air, though?
  • Feeling slightly less ravenous today.

I've definitely been overeating protein, as this week's $160 (!!!) meat bill suggests, so I'm trying hard to stick with palm-sized protein portions, plus lots and lots and lots of veggies. I need to expand my repertoire of hearty green vegetable recipes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Uggggghhhh, snacking, you will be the death of me. Start feeling twinges around 3. Stronger twinges at 4. Drank a full glass of water. Waited. Still hungry. 4:30pm. Drank a green tea. Still hungry. Waited. Give into a handful of cashews.

If you have to snack, just try to make it a mini meal. To me, cashews just give into my cravings and snack dragon. I want to starve them both. Also, try increasing fat and protein in your meals.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, slw600. For future snack outbreaks, I'm going to try to find some Whole30-compliant deli meat so I can have some protein and some avocado or greens.

I'm eating a minimum of 8-10 oz. of meat per meal right now, cooked with lots of fat. I probably have 1-2 spoonfuls of coconut fat on top of any cooking fat as well. Do you think I need to up my fat and protein even more?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 10

  • Breakfast: Homemade gravlax with arugula salad and olive oil (+ one spoonful of coconut oil)
  • Lunch: Beef stir fry with eggplant, basil, green beans, and sichuan peppers
  • Dinn​er: Green shrimp curry with eggplant, basil, green beans, red pepper, and yam
  • Beverages: Coffee, green tea, water, seltzer

One of my gravlax hunks is ready! I took the thick side of a Coho salmon fillet, drenched both sides in kosher salt, and laid a bunch of fresh dill on the meat-side. I did the same with a second fillet, except I added sichuan peppercorns instead of dill just to experiment. I wrapped both of them, set them on a baking tray, set a second tray on top, and loaded it with heavy cans. It's been in my fridge for about 36 hours. The smaller fillet seems pretty cured, but the larger one still has some time to go. I cut off a piece of the smaller one for breakfast today. Tastes great! I definitely don't miss the sugar.

Also, at the grocery store last night, I found Whole30-compliant Spanish chorizo. I'm super psyched--chorizo and eggs will be on the menu soon! I'll try to Whole30-itify Portuguese kale and chorizo soup, which usually has white potatoes and white beans in it this weekend or next week...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your fat and protein sounds good. I haven't read your whole food log, but how about some starchier veggies like sweet potatoes or winter squash. Also, have you done the "am I really hungry" test? Next time you want a snack, ask yourself if steamed fish and broccoli would work? If not, go for a walk or have a cup of hot tea. Hunger and cravings are very different.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for chiming in again! I packed a sweet potato today for lunch, in case that would happen. And yes, I'm using the fish/broccoli trick, and the answer is always YES, I would eat the hell out of it. ;) I had a full glass of water and a mug of tea yesterday before I gave into my snacking impulse... so maybe I really am hungry, instead of snacky?

My lunch today is truly giant: 1/2 lb. of beef, two big handfuls of green beans, an entire eggplant, and an entire onion, PLUS a sweet potato on the side. I'm going to eat 80%-90% of it for lunch and save the last bit for a snack in case.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Since I'm a third of the way through my Whole30, I wanted to check in on my goals and write down some general observations.

Doing Good:

  • Eating dinner with fiancé with no distractions, check!
  • Going on one date a week, check!
  • Bringing lunch to work, check!

Doing Okay:

  • Getting 8 hours of sleep: only sometimes. I'm probably averaging 7.5 hours, and I'm finding that I feel so much better with 9 hours.
  • Gratitude list: I haven't really been sharing them here, and it's haphazard. I'm recommitting to this starting now.

No Progress:

  • Exercise. Haven't stepped into a gym at all this year and haven't been able to make myself go running, either.
  • Stretching: Ditto above.
  • Career counselor: Haven't booked anything yet.

More generally, I wanted to lose weight, manage stress, reduce anxiety, and get more energy. I have no idea if I'm losing weight or not. My jeans feel slightly looser, but I was super bloated from holiday eating and drinking and PMS right before I started Whole30. My stress has gone down significantly, mostly because I do have a lot more energy and am getting more things done at work and at home. I think my anxiety has been slightly blunted too (I distinguish anxiety from stress as anxiety = nonrational worrying and stress as rational worrying), but it's hard to tell. I've definitely had some anxious moments over the past 10 days.

However, I find that I'm falling asleep and waking up more easily, which is huge for me. I've had problems with insomnia in the past, so it's great to have a normal sleep cycle! I still wish I was sleeping more, though. Nine hours seems to be optimal, which also makes sense (more sleep in the winter). I also installed f.lux (http://stereopsis.com/flux/) on my computers, which may be helping.

My energy change has been the most apparent. I'm prone to the winter blahs, but I really do feel great. Before Whole30, I often didn't have enough energy to make myself breakfast before going to work, and I didn't feel like I had really woken up until a good hour into my day. Now, I'm usually wide awake as soon as I'm vertical. I make breakfast every morning, and this morning, I had enough time and energy to make a whole new batch of stir fry for lunch, even though I hadn't prepped the night before. I've been getting a TON of stuff done at work, as well as, um, other, non-work stuff. ;)

I do find that I'm getting tired faster or more readily at night, when it's approaching bedtime. But again, I think this is a good thing. Before, I think a lot of my nighttime energy was nervous, anxious energy. I never did anything with it except worry.

I know I've had some cravings, but I don't really remember them at this very moment.

Very excited for the next 20 days!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know, I'm sneaky, hahaha. It's a joke username, of course, based off of Marcel Duchamp's famous Nude Ascending a Staircase paintings.

Last night, I had my first naughty food dream! It was insanely vivid. I was sitting at a table, and someone served me a fresh baguette, salami, and Chinese sachima cakes. I tore into the baguette and sachima, even though my dream self knew I shouldn't be eating them--I just didn't care!

Weirdly enough, I haven't been craving bread, but we do have sachima in the house. My fiance is taking alllllll of it away to his office.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...