Lauraco

First Timer - started Jan 28

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Hi,  I am so happy to have found this forum!  I heard about this program from a friend in November.  She and I have similar health and anxiety issues, and she has been successful on Whole30, so I have been thinking about trying it.  I am going through a very stressful time at work, and really wanted to do something for myself, rather than eat my way through it.  I have osteoarthritis and spinal stenosis all over the place, and constant pain, especiallly when walking or standing or moving or cleaning or cooking or doing dishes - you get the picture.  I'm hoping the anti-inflammatory benefits of Whole30 will help alleviate my pain, and also that losing weight and generally feeling better will boost my mental outlook.  I am 62 years old and have been on kind of a bad food track for the last 10 years after going through a "big surgery" removing all of my lymph nodes from the waist down on my right side because I have Melanoma.  I thought I was gonna die, but here I am coming up on 10 years Melanoma-free, and I need to live better!  I will appreciate all tips, good recipes and support!  

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Welcome. It takes a certain kind of courage to move from considering something like this into actually doing it, so I hope you'll keep that in mind on days when it gets harder. Part of what made me keep taking it one day (and sometimes even just 15 minutes) at a time was being certain that I would be changed in the process, and come out the other side with a new perspective. And I was right :)

Moving on.

The first thing I want to suggest, since you're coming into this with pain during the basic steps of cooking real food - the prep work, the cooking process, and the clean-up -- prepping ahead of time might be a really good idea. For me, there are three types of prep...
-- on-the-fly: this is what most people think of when they think "I have no time to cook", because it involves making time prior to cooking for all of the prep work to get done. I've done this, and still do often, and sometimes I get started on things 2.5 or 3 hours before "meal time" is scheduled, just to get it all done in time! I do NOT suggest a heavy amount of that for you!
-- prep & store: this is when you do things like pre-chopping your bell peppers, broccoli, herbs, etc., and then saving them for later use. The "store" part of this could mean you've got them in baggies in the fridge or freezer, or that you've dropped all the items in a gallon bag and it's in the fridge/freezer until time to drop it in a slow cooker, or that you're freezing little cubes of herbs in oil, and so on. The point is that you're doing the prep ahead of time, so you have less to do when it's time to cook.
-- cook & store: unlike prep & store, where the idea is to cook it later, for this type of prepping you're actually doing the cooking now and then saving the cooked food. This might mean you're making little meal trays with a protein and some veggies to keep in the freezer or fridge for use over the coming days, or you might have some large baggies of roasted veggies ready to pull onto a plate to heat up, or have a bag of meatballs ready to be baked, etc. Again, this is where you've cooked ahead so you do less work before eating.

Ideally, we find what works best for us and go with it. Because of your pain levels, I think it might be worth considering a combination of prep & store and cook & store methods. For example, after getting groceries home and feeling up to prepping, go ahead and get veggies ready to roast but leave them in bags in the fridge for a bit before cooking them and storing them for later use. You could even shop one day, then the next morning do your prep, and maybe wait until lunch time to cook them. Then you eat what you want and store the rest, either in separate baggies or in plates to reduce the work you do before eating your leftovers.

I saw in some other topics that you're already getting bored with foods and are looking for some new ideas. A good place to start in terms of an internet search would be to Google "Whole30 freezer meals" or "Whole30 meal prep" (or "Whole30 sheet pan meal" is another good one, especially if you're only needing to cook for yourself).

If you want to give some idea of what you have been eating that you're sick of, though, I'm happy to try to give some ideas that might help you get a little more variety going :) 

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Jihanna - I am just now seeing your post.  thank you soooo much!  I have been doing some of what you mention above unconsiously, meaning that I am pretty organized, so chop a whole onion, extra celery, carrots, etc when I'm chopping for a recipe it and save what's left for something else.  However, actually thinking about doing it and making a plan is excellent guidance!  I will try your suggestions.  I've never been good at cook & store. Well, I don't know if I'm good at it or not, I haven't tried it, thinking that food tastes better freshly cooked.  But in order to have something good to grab "on the fly", it would be worth it, because I think that has been one of my downfalls in the past.  I get really hungry and grab something, not usually something that is a good choice, because good choices take longer to fix. Being prepared is a HUGE part of following this program, for me, anyway.

As far as getting bored, I'm not sure that is the right description.  I have this feeling that I want something at around 3:00 and then again after I finish work, and I think it's part of breaking a habit.  Getting a snack of cheese and crackers or some animal crackers as a pick-me-up in the later afternoon, and having a glass of wine to relax after work are habits that I need to break.  I just don't feel like grabbing a vegetable.  I could grab and apple or an orange, but too much fruit is discouraged as well, and I usually have an orange, plum or berries with breakfast. I'm also getting really tired of eggs, and looked up alternatives for breakfasts, which really don't appeal to me that much more.  I really want a piece of Ezekiel cinnamon and raisin toast! I love bread. Sooo... another thing I just need to work on.  I've made a couple of breakfast egg/meat casseroles that are really good, and I like it that they last a few days.

I have been googling "Whole30 'blank' " for recipes. Like Whole30 beef dishes, or Whole30 zucchini dishes, etc, and have been finding all kinds of new recipes that have turned out to be delicious.  I will try "Whole30 freezer dishes", I'd never thought of that. The amount of shopping, chopping and dish/pan washing has significantly increased though.  It's OK, I'll keep doing it, just sayin'.

I work full time, but am fortunate to work remote from home, unless I'm traveling for business, so I can work chopping and dishwashing in at different break times most of the time.  When I'm really busy and there is no time to prep or anything during the day is when it's hardest.  So there again, prepping ahead will be good.  I just don't want to get into full-time structuring, because that becomes a chore to me.  I like flexibility, which is part of why I thought Whole30 would be something that I could do.  When I was on Weight Watchers, the constant counting started driving me nuts. 

These are some of the recipes/food I've made: Hashbrown Breakfast Casserole with Sausage & Bacon; Homemade Taco meat (wrapped in lettuce leaves); cauliflower rice pilaf; coconut shrimp; Sweet Potaot & Brussel Sprouts Hash with Bacon; and roasted vegetables on a sheet pan.  I roast chicken in an instant pot with spices, roast pork tenderloin in the oven with spices, pork chops, grilled steak one time, then usually have a vegetable side that's a little more jazzed up than steamed broccoli, although I've had that too. (I am a cauliflower and brussel sprout hater, so those two were big additions for me)  I'm looking at Plantain Beef Pie and Beef & Cranberry Stuffed Acorn Squash and Hamburger Soup right now.  Do you have any favorite go-to recipes and/or freezer recipes?

Again, thank you for the suggestions and information you gave me above, and thank you for taking time to read my post and offer help.  I really appreciate it!! 

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Jihanna - P.S.  I am cooking for two.  My husband agreed to do this with me.  So far he has liked the dishes and has been pretty happy.  I would be happy too, if someone did all of the work and served it up to me :)

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So, I bought myself a vegetable spiralizer for Christmas, and I love that thing. It's not huge, it's not expensive, but it does the job and it's very easy for me to do the clean-up. It's super-easy to grab some veggies and "noodle-ize" them (what my husband calls it!), then toss into baggies until I'm ready to use. Summer squash "ribbons" are rather nice, and we've enjoyed those with a lemon thyme sauce. Sweet potato spirals are good to use for egg nests, or you can toss them into a food processor to make sweet potato "rice". Daikon radish noodles are probably my favorite ones, and they work quite well in Asian dishes (I used them in place of kelp noodles for this soup, and it was amazing).

All the adults in our house love these turkey avocado burgers (I'm linking my adapted version, based on the LaughingSpatula.com recipe for chicken avocado burgers). These are really easy to make ahead of time and freeze before cooking. I tend to do 2 batches each time I'm going to make them, and freeze half for the following week's meals (but I have 4 adults to cook for at the moment!)... with only 2 of you, the main recipe could serve for at least 2 meals. Another burger recipe we liked was this one from popsugar -- I added a bit of extra garlic and a dash of sage to my burgers, and we only did the portobello buns for ours. These would also be easy to freeze ahead of time to quickly pull out and toss into the oven for dinner.

This chili is lovely, and actually what I'm cooking for dinner tonight. We skip the cauliflower (hubby wouldn't eat it), cumin (my mom can't eat it), and cayenne (I can't have it too spicy)... and I replace smoked paprika with regular, and make my own chili powder on the fly... but the recipe is amazing and I love love love the way pumpkins and tomatoes play. This would be an easy thing to make a regular batch of, and then split the leftovers into containers (we use old yogurt tubs, the big ones) and freeze; then just thaw one out and dump it into a pan to heat it up for a quick and easy meal. (We usually pair it with salad or some other green vegetable.)

We love these braised greens (found the original on SkinnyTaste.com), and even my husband (who hates greens) goes back for seconds when I make these. I've always used a mix of kale and collards previously, but tomorrow we're going to try it with 2 bunches of green kale and 1 bunch of red kale... so that should be interesting!

Spaghetti squash with a chunky meat sauce is always a big hit in my house, too.

Meatballs are also super-easy to make ahead and store, just freeze them in the muffin tin for 15 minutes or so before tossing them into a big baggie to store. When ready to eat some, pull out enough for one meal and pop them in a tin to bake.

Roasted veggies you mentioned, but I have to throw butternut squash and acorn squash in there as probably my favorites for starches, and roasting is officially my preferred method for cooking broccoli, thanks to one of the recipes I used last month.


As for breakfasts... eggs are not the end-all and be-all for breakfast. There are a ton of sausage recipes out there, and I personally love eating my leftovers from the previous night's dinner for my breakfast (this morning I had acorn squash and green beans from last night, and made myself some fried eggs because the meat from last night was devoured). Most of my egg intake is boiled eggs cut up in my salads, honestly. For breakfast, my protein's far more likely to be chicken, a pork chop, roast, etc. Definitely don't let the name you call the meal interfere with your ability to play with it and make it fun and enjoyable! :) 


The times you're mentally reaching for something but don't want a vegetable definitely does sound like a habit trying not to be broken. When that happens with me, the first thing I do is reach for my ice cup, because sometimes it actually helps to deflect my brain if it feels that there's something going on... never mind that I'm just turning ice into water. It doesn't always work, but often enough that it's always my first reaction. If I still feel it afterward, I'll ask myself if I'd be willing to eat some food I'm getting kind of tired of lately (like boiled eggs during my 2nd week of W30!), and if I'm not then I remind myself that I'm just craving and that I can and will wait until dinner. If I AM willing to grab that thing, then I recognize it as legitimate hunger and take a look at my meals for the past day or two to see where I might be missing the mark (either in content or in quantity of food), because I shouldn't be getting that hungry between my meals.


I totally understand about not wanting to go into full-time structuring of things. With my family size, I have to do that or else I wouldn't be able to guarantee we'd have food to last the week! :D But with only 2, you've got more leeway, especially since many recipes are written for 4+ servings. I'd just suggest getting 3-4 days each week to cook, and make enough each time to last you guys several meals. As I noted above about the chili, soups and the like are great for freezing because they're easy to pull down and reheat, which can be a great way to get good food on the table without a lot of effort after a long/tiring day. Any meat formed into balls, patties, or loaves will be a pretty good option for quick and easy dinners that aren't actually pre-cooked.


I'm sorry for such long responses! My husband says I talk too much, and that's probably true for how much I type, too :) 

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WOW!  You are amazing!  Thank you so much for all of this information.  No such thing as too long. 

I have a spiralizer that has been sitting in a cabinet for a couple of years and finally used it to spiralize some zucchini last night.  We loved it!  Good ideas about spiralizing other vegetables.  It is really surprising that the shape of a vegetable can change the taste so much.  And I didn't think it would save well, so good to know that I can spiral ahead.

The chili sounds interesting.  I never would have tried it, because the pumpkin, cauliflower and sweet potato honestly sound kind of weird for a chili, to me, but since you say it's good - and so do others on their reviews - might as well give it a try :) 

My husband HATES kale, he is waiting for the day "they" find out that kale causes cancer ao he can rejoice that he didn't eat it.  He doesn't really like greens much, but he will eat collards and spinach so I'll take a look in the greens section and see what other greens might work for the braised greens.  

I'm going to go to Sprouts tomorrow, and I'll get some different kinds of squashes, we do like spaghetti squash, and acorn squash - the only problem is that my husband likes to load up the gold squashes with a lot of butter and brown sugar.  I think he'll still like it, since we've been off the sugar for 13 days now. I don't eat mushrooms - fear of fungus - and neither of us are big fans of avacados, but who knows what we'll try after awhile! 

I used to like eating leftovers for breakfast - like pizza or lasagne - somehow I haven't quite gotten to the point where I want to eat squash or beans, but I do eat peppers and spinach in omelettes, so, once again, who knows?

Thank you so much for all of the ideas!

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I LOVE Sprouts! It's always my first stop on my weekly grocery tour (I generally hit there, LIDL, and Kroger... maybe Aldi, if there's something on a really great sale to make it worth going, because everything else I can get there is also elsewhere). I always get my squash at Sprouts, usually meaning that I've got 1-2 acorn, 1-2 butternut, 1-2 spaghetti, and 4-5 each of yellow squash and zucchini. I also tend to get greens there, because they usually have a better price on the organic ones (often with some on a really good buy) than my Kroger... and greens are one of the few things I will not buy unless they're organic. (With so many of us, we definitely don't use organic everything!)

The chili really is amazing. I tossed some carrots in it last night to give it a little extra depth. My husband actually told me that last night's was "too much sweet, not enough spicy", but my dad and I both loved it and all 4 of us (me, hubby, mom, dad) really enjoyed the first batch I'd done. The only difference this time was the carrots and I did cumin since mom's out of town and won't likely try to eat the leftovers.

For the greens, go for a spinach and collards mix if those are two he'll already eat. You can get creative and play with different blends later, but that at least starts from something familiar to him :)

You can definitely add cinnamon to foods if that makes it more palatable to him, but I'd suggest trying it without any cinnamon first and then going lightly with it if you do start using it. Maybe a blend with ratios like 1 part cinnamon to 4 parts pepper to 8 parts salt (i.e., 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1/8 tsp cinnamon; multiply as needed) and then sprinkle that on top of prepared (oiled down) squash (or drop squash chunks, oil, and spices into a big baggie, then close and use it to coat everything as evenly as possible). If you like a bit of heat, you can add a sprinkle or few of crushed red pepper, too (cinnamon works well with spicy). There are also some great recipes that add a bit of cinnamon and coconut oil to cooked sweet potatoes to make a nice, creamy mash.

I think the important part when adding cinnamon and the like, is that you're doing so to enhance the flavor and not specifically trying to recreate a dessert or a dish that either of you was "addicted to" pre-Whole30... so don't add coconut flakes and/or nuts to the mashed sweet potatoes, because that would kick it over into dessert territory (reminiscent of sweet potato casserole), etc. That's part of why I'd suggested starting so low with the cinnamon for the squash, too, because it's possible that it might kick his sugar dragon into wakefulness if he tastes the cinnamon without the sugar.

I'm interested to see how things turn out, and always happy to talk (either posting my thoughts or if you want to message me). Enjoy!

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I went to Sprouts and Aldi yesterday, and still didn't find everything I was looking for, but that's OK, because if I get too far ahead, the fresh stuff will go bad and I'll have to throw it out.  A Lidl is opening close to me this week, I'm curious to check it out.  how do you find it? 

I was pet-sitting for 2 dogs + 1 cat over the weekend, and had to go let them out, etc. morning, afternoon and night, so with that, all of the grocery shopping and regular laundry and housekeeping chores, I was exhausted last night, so I made the easiest thing - Salmon, baked sweet potatoes and spinach.  I'm going to try to be a little more creative tonight doing something with chicken thighs.  All of this is so different for me, I usually just broil a chicken breast and have a steamed vegetable, very plain. The recipes are fun, but finding the ingredients and then making them, really takes a chunk of time.  I did not feel up to prepping and storing, let alone cooking and storing last night. Although I did made hamburger soup on Saturday and that has been a nice leftover to have for lunch, or in my husband's case 2nd dinner because he stays up late.  I figure that is much better than him going for the chipsto snack on  like he did before.

I'm going to try your chili one night, and will let you know how that goes. I love cinnamon, but my husband is REALLY missing the sugar, like last night in the sweet potato.  He put ghee in it, so that made it better for him.  Sugar will be the first thing he tries adding back in.  I think mine will be bread.  I know, I shouldn't be thinking about adding stuff, and I promise I'm not dwelling on it or fantasizing about it or anything. 

I have had a huge headache and my eyes have been really sore for about 5-6 days.  I'm hoping it is due to allergies from the warm weather we had last week starting up the buds and blooms.  Or it could be the different dogs and cat.  It's hard to tell what is regularly going on vs. any change that could be contributed to Whole30. Did you have any specific reactions?

I have a couple of questions about the site.  Is there a tutorial or instructions about the multiple uses, like the messaging you mention, and some people are tracking their menus and saving recipes online.  I haven't researched it a lot, because I am supposed to be working at my paying job :)  

Thanks again for all of your information and sharing with me.  This is fun.  Plus it saves me from boring my friends to death by talking about this when they aren't on it!

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You're welcome to check out my W30 log and my post-W30 log (won't be posting a log on the forums after reintro, I don't think, trying to decide how I'm going to journal it -- like whether I'll use an online journal or something more bloggy). I probably should've kept the trend of posting pics and recipe links in my W30 log, but oh well... I gave up on being quite that organized with it after a while, especially alongside keeping a spreadsheet food log :)

I didn't match up to the meal template very well for the first few days, but got better about that as time passed. I wound up learning a lot about how my body reacts to having (or not having) specific things, and even at specific times. That's something that comes with time, and I'm still learning for myself as well, but keeping track of it all will help it make sense because you'll start seeing patterns between what goes in and how your body reacts.

My second day was really bad, with body-wide pains and massive nausea (I actually had to take both Tylenol and Zofran just to mellow it all out enough to let me sleep). That wasn't entirely due to the W30 plan, but a good bit of it was definitely detox. After that, headaches were the issue I faced most often (which actually isn't much different than when NOT eating clean, but the type of headache varies; I've gotten far fewer headaches that reside in the back of my skull and threaten to debilitate me, but thanks to flip-floppy weather I still wind up with some of the typical sinus-pressure ones)... headaches and fatigue. It took a little bit to figure out my ideal balance of starchy vegetables, but once I did the fatigue showed up far less often. Looking back, I would say that more often than not, headaches last month went hand in hand with soreness behind my ears and/or sore eyes (almost a tired and stinging soreness, not the pulse/pinch at the back of the eyeball that goes with the headaches that try to lay me out).

Sugar's a hard, hard thing to walk away from, it really is. And while it's going to end up coming back after Whole30, it's important to have a real handle on it before you reintroduce, otherwise your sugar dragon wakes up and tries to undo all the amazing things you've learned about yourself during your experience! I used to sugar quite a bit of stuff, myself, but even now that "I can have some sugars", I still don't really add it to anything... I have tried it in my hot tea, but like it fine without so see no point to use it... I like my coffee with just cinnamon, so I'm good there... fruit is quite sweet enough on its own... I did add a few drops of honey to a vinaigrette I made, since I wasn't in the mood to mix fruit into it with a blender, but even that wasn't enough to make it "sweet", just enough to cut the bite.

One thing you can do to possibly help out with shopping time is to check into whether or not there's a shopping service available at any of your local grocery stores. I don't think Sprouts does, but I'd rather go in to pick out my own produce anyway :) Store shopper services can be really helpful for stuff you're not picky about, though, so even if you just do the non-perishables and cold-case stuff... the caveat there is that of course you'd have to make sure of labeling before putting things in your online cart, but it could save you a bit of time and walking if there's a way to make it work for you. That would leave you just having to hit the protein and produce sections :D

Re: LIDL -- I love mine. The app allows you to see what's on sale, and there are automatic coupons (you don't have to "clip" them, just scan your app at checkout to get credit). They've also just recently started a rewards program that offers some kind of reward if you spend $150 during the same month. Price-wise, I can't complain, and their specials are amazing. For instance, last week they had pork half-loin for 0.98/lb, grass fed filet mignon for 6.99 (8 oz), Bosc pears for 0.99 (2 lb bag), and russet potatoes for 1.85 (5 lb bag). They've got coconut oil and olive oil, and last week I saw where they had avocado oil briefly. They've had Garret Valley brand pork bacon for a while (didn't have it last week, though :(), which is compliant for Whole30 (it's also sold at our Sprouts, but for nearly twice the price). Think of it kind of like an upscale Aldi with a bakery... you don't pay for carts, but you do still bring your own bags (or buy new ones); the stock is shelved rather than stacked on pallets; and like Aldi they've got some store brands under specific names and they occasionally get a special buy for brand names you'll recognize from anywhere (mine had some Dunkin Donuts coffee last week, but it wasn't quite as cheap as my Kroger sells it).

 

About your questions -- if that's about this site, then people are probably referring to their personal logs (like mine that are linked above) and possibly some group topics (often found in the Join section). Sometimes groups might also set up a text message or facebook group, too, but that would be off-site (I've got a message group on GroupMe with some of the ladies who started Jan 1st like I did).

For tracking menus and saving recipes, the easiest thing might be a recipe-keeper that has a meal planner function. There are a ton out there, some on websites and others as apps (and some with both)... some paid (blah) and some free. The best one I've come across for my own uses is https://www.CopyMeThat.com because it's totally free (premium option but awesome functionality without it), you can enter your own recipes OR "copy" recipes from just about anywhere online with a click of a browser extension... if you've copied one, you can then tweak it however you want (including changing the title, adding tags, adding/removing steps or pictures, etc.). There's a built-in meal planner (and a shopping list feature, too), and if you don't have your recipe in the system then you can add a note to remind you to cook that other item (like "baked potatoes" or even "RecipeName from CookbookA page 126"). I've still got a bunch of recipes in mine that I have to go tweak, and a ton more to look at to see if I want to add them in from the websites :D But it's easily searchable (even without tags), which means it's not hard to find what I want even if I've got more than just a handful of recipes entered.

 

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Hi, I read some of the re-entry logs from your group, you guys are really intense!  Did you learn all of that in 30 days by reading the book and other online materials?  

I'm wondering what brought you to Whole30.  You mentioned that you used to eat a lot of beans, and that re-entry made you discover that they were causing you digestive problems.  Did you have digestive problems before Whole30?  Is that what you were trying to overcome?

I don't have digestive problems, or if I do, I know what caused it, like too much garlic or over-eating.  I usually eat pretty plain food, so the eliminations for me are primarily toast, bread, and sugars.  I haven't felt any drastic changes on Whole30, so am wondering if I simply don't have any bad reactive foods to begin with.  Can you shed any light?

Thanks! Laura

P.S. Your recipe saving tips are very much appreciated!  Thank you.

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When I found Whole30, I wasn't looking for a diet... or a reset... or anything, except recipes.

I'm a full-time homemaker, basically doing all the mom stuff with/for my kids that live at home, meal planning for the household, and all the grocery shopping (apart from anything special others choose to buy to cook on DIY nights). I also wash dishes, clean the kitchen, and help keep the downstairs common areas clean (my mom teaches private lessons in the home). My 9yo was diagnosed with dairy protein intolerance a few months ago, and my dad had started to eat low carb (so wasn't happy with the idea of pasta and rice most nights in a given week).

...I needed more recipes!...

During my search I figured out that paleo was a good buzzword to use for finding non-dairy stuff, and I wound up on this blog with some amazing looking decadence that was totally dairy-free... but the blogger kept using words like "SWYPO" and tagged things "Whole30", but I had no idea what either of those meant. Enter yet another search, this time to figure out what that nonsense was!

I probably was up until around 2am that night, reading everything I could find on the Whole30 website and then jumping into blogs with content tagged Whole30. I found a lot of stuff that really wasn't at all in the spirit of the program, and a lot of stuff that was amazing and sparked something in me. I had done elimination diets in the past (allergies, yuck), but the more recent one I did wasn't successful due to not having any clear plan of reintroduction... I tested the first 3 foods, then threw my hands up and went back to my old ways. This didn't look like just an elimination, though; I could tell it was so much more, and really loved the idea of using the time without those foods to go nitty-gritty and figure out why I have such a hard time with them (both how they affect me and why I kept going back to them, like my love-hate relationship with cheese). I think I did more research over the next few days, but after that it was on... I was doing this, I told my family and made sure they'd be fine with eating what I was going to be cooking (the other option was to cook for themselves for the month while I focused on me), and I started to prepare for opening up the new year in grand style.

About halfway through my Whole30, I finally was able to get It Starts with Food from the library (I'm only about halfway through it now; I really need to finish it!) and it's been opening my eyes even beyond what I've experienced personally so far. Once I finish it, I'm going to be reading Food Freedom Forever (I already have it, also from the library)... and I've got one of the cookbooks on hold, need to pick it up this week so I can peruse it and see if anything jumps out at me.

To be clear, I wasn't looking for a diet, but I was definitely on board for whatever I could get out of this experience. I knew I could stand to lose weight, but I was so much more interested in the idea of actually kicking my soda habit for good, and not feeling like sugary treats had any control over me. My non-scale victories far outweigh the actual weight I lost, but one of those victories is real hope that I can continue this progress and gradually change my lifestyle in more healthy ways.

I have had some digestion issues for most of my life (pretty severe acid reflux, burping that could get pretty bad at times, constipation on a regular basis, and nausea that comes with certain kinds of headaches). I've also lived with allergies, bipolar disorder, skin issues, stress out my ears, weight control issues, and so on :D The idea that any of that might actually be alleviated by changing my diet like this, it was enough to make me want to try it... and despite some of the blog posts and "reviews" I read, it didn't actually seem like a fad diet.

It's definitely possible that you haven't had a really bad reaction to foods that do tend to trigger things in most of us, but also possible that your body has adapted quickly to the new foods and you'll see reactions during reintroduction. I've learned to not take anything for granted where this stuff is concerned :) 

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That is so interesting, thank you.  I know I am an emotional eater, and I have already picked up on my  "snack after school" habit, which in my adult life, has turned into a "treat after work" habit.  I look forward to the end of the work day when I can let down, relax and not be bombarded with emails, meetings, demands, etc.  Now most days I am getting a glass of  sparkling water with lemon, sitting down and reading a book for that time.  Or if I work late or have other things I have to do in an evening, I jump right into dinner prep.  i don't drink soda, thank goodness, because I know that is hard to kick.  It will be interesting to see what I react to in re-entry.  For instance, I can go forever without eating chocolate, but if I start one day, I crave it every day until I consciouisly make myself give it up again.  I used to be that way with peanut butter, I didn't have it in the house for years, but now it seems really rich to me and I don't ever crave a lot of it.  When I think about it, I do know that eating carbs made me hungry and want to keep eating. I think that has been a primary problem - more of eating too much than eating so many bad things. 

Exercise is a really big factor, and I don't think I will ever be able to do enough.  I used to work out at the gym and walk/hike a lot, but with my arthritis, it is just too painful.  I can do more than I have been doing, though, I'm just not motivated.  I hope that will change.  I could do chair yoga/tai chi, some seated bicycling - I just don't.  

I agree with you, there are really tons of good recipes out there!  Last night I made roasted chicken thighs with brussel sprouts and fingerling potatoes in a really good marinade of lemon, rosemary, olive oil and some other spices. It tasted like butter!  Maybe my taste buds are changing  :) 

I got the Whole30 30 Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom book - I think it must be the first one, an overall look at the program basics and some recipes.  I have kind of flipped through it, reading different sections.  I didn't know about the other books, so I'll probably get those too.  I'm obsessed!  

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I've just ready through all of your posts in this thread - feel like I'm sitting in a cafe eavesdropping on the most interesting conversation! @Jihanna - your stories and commitment are amazing! Like you, I'm not sure where to go to continue to process this amazing experience - staying here posting about Reintro Day 89 seems unlikely. 
@Lauraco Sounds like you are NAILING this and really embracing the experience. Like Jihanna said, this is more than an elimination diet - I have learned SO much about myself from this experience and my relationship with food has changed significantly. I was really, really skeptical of the intital claims but now I am a huge believer in what W30 is trying to do. 

Carry on you two - this is the best thread on the forum :) 

 

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It Starts with Food came before Food Freedom Forever, I think... but ISWF gives a very clear and analytical look at the science of it all, so it's a great read if you want to delve into that side of things. FFF I haven't looked at just yet, but I know it's a favorite of many who've done this program, and I'm definitely going to read it as soon as I'm finished with the other. I just need to make more time to real reading, I think.

Exercise is definitely key. I'm not extremely active, never have been really (tried in high school but I tired easily). I do get many, many flights of stairs in daily though because we (me, hubby, my girls) live in the upstairs portion of my parents' house, and I'm constantly having to go between the levels (even down to the basement at times). My plan is to start incorporating some simple walking (either using a treadmill in the basement or walking around a local park) in March, once my schedule dies down enough to let me figure out how to get it worked into the days (and see if a friend is going to want to go with me)... and possibly starting some low-impact workouts a few times a week at home.

Taste buds definitely change, yes. Mine have, for sure! I'm glad you're enjoying the recipes you're finding (and that recipe sounds divine)!

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@Lorna from Canada I'm glad you find this as interesting as I do.  I'm feeling like kind of a voyeur, but I really like reading about what other people are doing and trying to overcome, their physical and mental food issues, digestive re-entry (is it re-intro?) experience, the reactions to food being taken away and added back in.  This forum is really helpful to me.  I've never participated in one before, now I've turned into Chatty Cathy.  I'm so grateful to Jihanna for commenting on my intro and letting me barge in on her knowledge. 

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I have been skipping over AIP, not knowing what it was, and I just now googled it and read this: "The autoimmune protocol (AIP) diet is designed to help reduce inflammation in the body to relieve symptoms of autoimmune disorders". Inflammation is what I am trying to elminate! Then I read the list of what not to eat, and it includes, in addition to what not to eat on W30, eggs and nightshade plants (eggplant, potatoes, peppers).  Sweet potatoes are on the AIP OK to eat list, though.  Oh man.  I don't know if I can also eliminate eggs.  I guess i'll see if I can. Rats!

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AIP is something worth considering if you feel it's necessary later, but I'd stick with just the Whole30 first to see where you stand after your reset and reintroduction of foods you want to test. I think it's pretty common for a lot of us to kind of naturally shift into something along the lines of paleo after Whole30, and AIP is probably easy (enough) to implement at that point. That's the kind of thing that I would think warrants at least a short discussion with my doctor, too, though... even if only to lay out what I've been doing, what results I got, and why I think an AIP elimination might prove beneficial... just to see what he'd say, if he'd have any thoughts, etc.

Laura, I just now realized your location shows you in Atlanta. I'm about 2.5 hours east of you :) This weather we've been having lately is just insane!

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Hi Jihanna,  I had planned to make Plantain Beef Pie last night, and it has 3 eggs in it so I went ahead and made it.  It is a 6 serving dish, so I figured it wasn't as bad as eating 3 plain eggs.  I think I will just be more conscious of eggs, peppers and white potatoes, but not totally eliminate them now.  My doctor just wants me to lose weight, i don't think she cares how at this point :)  Maybe I could do a separate elimination trial after the Whole30. I'll tell her about it at my next appointment.  She is very holistic, so it's not like she isn't supportive, but she can't solve ALL of my problems!  I went to an orthopedic doctor on Monday because my feet hurt so much and I wanted to know what was going on, althought I know from previous Xrays that I have osteoarthritis in them.  He did Xrays and I told me all of my joints are shot - there is no space between the joints in almost all of my foot bones, and they are all crooked and wacky.  He said the only permanent solution is surgery to fuse them together to alleviate pain, and I would be out for 12 weeks.  I think I will tolerate a lot more pain before I get foot/feet surgery.  So back to me being hopeful that Whole30 will help with pain, and also with losing weight so my feet don't have to hold so much.  I see women walking around in their high heels and just SMH.  You can't tell people anything, though, they have to figure it out themselves.  I should invest in wheelchairs because I think there is going to be a big demand for them when those women get older. 

Today is a leftovers day for me.  Yay!!  Yes, I live in the Smyrna area. I did notice that you were from GA, so thought you knew what I was talking about with the temps getting up to 80 last week.  My head and eyes are better this week, so I'm attributing that problem to allergies, although who knows.

Have a good day! 

Laura 

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My face feels like it's stuffed with packaging peanuts today. I think everyone in the house has been dealing with the flip-floppy weather patterns and getting their sinus issues out of the way early, but mine hit full force while I slept last night. Craziness.

I'm so sorry to hear about your foot pain. I haven't worn heels since I was a teenager, because I've always had issues with my ankles and I could just see those shoes as a perfect weapon for taking myself down. There are plenty of articles out about foods to eat (and avoid) as a way to help tend to joint health, and while some of them might not be compliant it's worth seeing which ones might be worth really taking a long look at during reintro to see if you can incorporate them going forward. There are a lot of really good anti-inflammatory recipes out there, too. Unbound Wellness is one of my favorites. Michelle's got lots of interesting things I want to try; all of her recipes are paleo (with AIP notations) and some are tagged Whole30, too.

Today is a very difficult day for me food-wise. It's noon and I still haven't managed to get anything nutritive into my system. Most foods I'd normally eat (for breakfast and lunch) bring on a wave of nausea when I consider them, and I don't know if it's a sign that I'm getting sick (which is totally possible, given my stuffy-headedness) or if something else is going on... but it's annoying! I know I need to eat, but it's so hard to make that happen right now. If I can't manage a "real meal" soon, I might have to settle for a smoothie (which I really don't like at all, but it is what it is).

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I hope you're not getting really sick, that will be hard to deal with on top of everything else you're trying to do.  Thanks for the recommendation on anti-inflammatory recipes, I look forward to looking at them.

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I did eat, twice, and definitely good portions of food rather than an I'm-dying-so-can't-eat-much portion. I'm going to make a conscious effort tomorrow to make sure I get three real meals in, regardless of how I feel about food... kind of an "if I don't eat by ___ time, I'll grab ____ to make sure I'm well fed" sort of plan. I'll have a better idea of whether or not I'm "getting sick" tomorrow, I guess, since I'll see how everything feels after a night of rest. I'll look in here when i've got a break tomorrow morning or afternoon, either way :)

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I wasn't understanding the timing of when to eat, and asked a question about it on this site somewhere (I still get lost on it) and two people clarified to me the importance of eating one meal within an hour of rising, enough to last 4-5 hours without hunger until lunch, same for dinner.  I was sort of snacking lunch, the right foods, but not watching the timing and not enough.  I understand it now, though, because I have known for a long time that it is important to eat something good for you (especially protein) or you'll get too hungry and grab something bad. So now, I am making a better plan.  Plus I now know that I really need to prep more on the weekend because it takes way too long for me to put dinner together,  I want to spiralize some sweet potatoes, but by the time I make the "main" meal, it would add about another hour for me to do that.  So your idea about spiralizing vegetables and storing them in ziplocks is one that is on my list for sure.  

I sure hope you feel better!  isn't it weird to not want to eat?  I have always fed a cold and fed a fever.  Nothing seems to stop my appetite.

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I actually don't eat within an hour of waking, because of how my schedule is and how my stomach has worked for years... I may try to work toward that, but I'm not sure yet. I get up at 5:30 and don't usually eat until 8:00-8:30, because I have until maybe 6:20 for "me time" before I'm on duty as Mom, getting my youngest up and out the door... get home about 8:00, then either cook or heat up a tray of leftovers. I have never been one to eat right away after waking, though; it's almost like my body needs time to process the idea of being awake before it can start to process the idea of having food :D

I'm still a bit nauseated today, and definitely have "the yuck" that comes from pollen and rapid weather changes. Sinus drainage is lovely, especially when it causes heightened pressure in the ear canal... haha. I'll be okay, though. I deal with this stuff at least once or twice every year, so I'm kind of a pro (I could even tell you exactly what my doc would say, if I went to see him with this). So, it's all good... might take me a little time, but I'll come out the other side just fine :)

I forced down some sweet potato and fried eggs this morning, but it's not settling very well. I don't do a lot of soup, but might actually make some this afternoon (which makes me wish I had some daikon this week, to make soup noodles!).

Ziplock prep is awesome. We do a lot of it here. Bell peppers get sliced up and frozen, fruit too, cauliflower is chopped or riced and frozen, broccoli is chopped and frozen, and I've been known to occasionally do slow-cooker dump meals that I've frozen until using, too. You can also freeze potatoes, but you need to cook them partially first or they'll come out covered in black spots (something to do with the starch). In the fridge, we keep chopped/sliced/diced (however we wanted to prep) carrots, celery, onion, mushrooms, cucumbers, apples, etc. I do enjoy doing some of the prep when I actually cook, but often times I'll go start things hours ahead of time, just so I can rest in between the steps... especially if there's lots to do. For tonight's mini meatloaves, for example, I'll go feed the summer squash into the food processor in a couple of hours, and go ahead and mix it and the spices up with the beef, then cover the bowl and store it in the fridge; a couple of hours after that, I'll take it back out and actually get it turned into loaves, chop the veggies for tonight, and so on. I try to do what I can to not feel rushed, so I can enjoy the process a little more... and I'm trying to get my 14yo involved sometimes, too, which also helps.

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