H.T.

Hungry, don't want to eat, kind of miserable

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I'm having some trouble coping with meals. I'm on day 19 right now, and I'm getting to the point where I actually have to force myself to eat at mealtimes.  Breakfasts are the worst (I understand this at least is a common problem); I don't think I can choke down another egg, and that was the only thing that I would normally eat that I still could. I don't like most of my options, I'm having significant trouble finding a protein source that I can even remotely palate in the morning and try as I might mostly it's a fruit I have with it anyway, because I just can't make myself have a veggie that isn't carrots that early.  Carrots really get old after a while, too. 

It's not just that though, the best I can say about anything I've eaten since I started is that I've tolerated it, I have enjoyed nothing, and it makes me frankly want to cry. I get that I have a somewhat emotional response to eating, as I do not enjoy many things in my day to day life and it was always a small thing I could look forward to, but not enjoying anything is becoming a really really difficult thing. I thought I had been mentally prepared for this at the start, knowing how restricted my meal prep was going to be during this (there's at least one aspect of every single meal that I would normally have that makes it off-limits to this plan), but it is becoming a very difficult hurdle to get over.  

 

I've mostly been having eggs in the morning lately with a banana for a fat and some carb and maybe a couple of carrots. I've been using salsa in the eggs for any kind of flavor, but I'm starting to find that repulsive. For the first two weeks I was having soup or chili that I made for lunch, and that was all right, but I can't make that soup and I don't want to ask my family to make another one for me, and the chili is just another thing that I'm choking down because I can't make it the way I'm used to eating chili. I don't find it enjoyable, I find it just barely palatable. Dinners are seeing some small but occasionally better results, but my only two real protein sources are beef and chicken because I can't stand sea food, do not eat pork that is not bacon, which I have not been able to find allowable to the program, and while I will sometimes eat a piece of roast turkey, I just can't make myself go through the effort to make a turkey dinner that I mostly won't be able to consume. So eggs are getting old, chicken is getting old, most of the ways I would cook beef I can't have right now, and I don't like the taste on its own.  I could only finish half my petit serloin last night and that was a fight. I'm really missing my Japanese Curry, but it's made with a roux that I can't have, I would love to make some stir fry, but I can't have soy sauce, and coconut aminos do not taste good at all to me. I just bought some fish sauce in the hope that that would be closer, since that is what soy sauce was trying to be when it was first created anyway, but I don't have very high hopes at this point. Literally all of my flavors have been very garlic heavy, because it's one of the few things I can still have. (On the upside, I am probably invulnerable from vampires at this point.) But even garlic is a flavor is getting old now. I can't stand most of the common suggestions for sauces and Alternate meals, so I really don't know what to do at this point besides just accept that I'm going to hate everything I eat for the next two weeks, and try to force myself to eat it. I'm finding myself going further between meals and being hungry longer because of it though, so it is very much a fight of willpower to continue at this point. I'm not good company, and I am avoiding going out for social reasons not so much because I'm afraid of being exposed to food I can't have, but because my mood and attitude are so foul right now.  

I'm batch cooking what I can, because the effort to make meals I know I'm not going to like day in and day out is getting to be too much.

Im mostly having sweet potatoes and green beans as the bulk of my dinner lately, but that is getting old fast. I don't really do salad right now because I don't eat salad dressing, and missing the cheese just makes it really Bland. Zoodles are tolerable at best, I've done steamed cauliflower a couple of times, again with garlic, but I never really like to cook cauliflower to begin with and eating raw veggies without some kind of dip just tastes Bland as well. And I can't make my dill dip because it has dairy in it. I don't like Ranch I don't like Mayo, I don't like much of anything I can still eat. I knew diet fatigue was a thing that could happen, but I never expected to actually experience it. I can understand how people die of it, because I just can't make myself eat some of this stuff anymore.

I don't know that I expect any response that can actually help, I am very probably just on my own, but I needed to vent because this is very rough, and I am very unhappy, and can expect about another two weeks of being very unhappy at least.  The health benefits I'm supposed to be excited about are minimal at best: my energy has not improved, my pain has not improved, and I'm not sleeping any better; I'm having slightly better results with my IBS, but I already had that mostly under control when I started watching my fat sources , and I can't say the slight Improvement is worth this) and I can't check if I've had any luck with my weight which is the only thing I am really leveraging this effort against for a few weeks yet.

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It sounds like you're having a really tough time and for that, I"m sorry.  This program can be most difficult for people who have limited dietary likes and almost unlimited dietary 'unlikes'.  You mention that you cant make soup and you'd have to ask your family to make that for you - why can't you make it yourself?

Many of the things that you normally eat CAN be made with compliant substitutions but you have to be willing to try and expand your palette and be willing to try  new things... your dill dip can be made with almond milk probably as the dairy substitution for instance.

I totally get that chicken and beef can become boring if cooked the same way for 30 days but there are unlimited recipes on Whole30recipes instagram page that you could find a different way of cooking chicken or beef for every day of the program.  You say you don't like seafood - does that also include fish?

You're probably not eating enough and that would be the reason why you aren't getting better energy and maybe not seeing other results that you might see at this stage if you were eating enough.  Maybe make a list of all the types of foods you DO like so that you can work off that list instead of working off a list of things you do not like - even that slight change of your outlook and perception from negative (do not like) to positive (do like) is going to change things for you.

Also, banana isn't fat so if you're using banana for a fat source, that's going to be problematic.

Take a look around at the Whole30recipes instagram feed as well as even the Whole30 hashtag (with caution as there are definitely items on there that are not Whole30) and see if you can find something that sparks your interest.

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57 minutes ago, SugarcubeOD said:

It sounds like you're having a really tough time and for that, I"m sorry.  This program can be most difficult for people who have limited dietary likes and almost unlimited dietary 'unlikes'.  You mention that you cant make soup and you'd have to ask your family to make that for you - why can't you make it yourself?

Many of the things that you normally eat CAN be made with compliant substitutions but you have to be willing to try and expand your palette and be willing to try  new things... your dill dip can be made with almond milk probably as the dairy substitution for instance.

I totally get that chicken and beef can become boring if cooked the same way for 30 days but there are unlimited recipes on Whole30recipes instagram page that you could find a different way of cooking chicken or beef for every day of the program.  You say you don't like seafood - does that also include fish?

You're probably not eating enough and that would be the reason why you aren't getting better energy and maybe not seeing other results that you might see at this stage if you were eating enough.  Maybe make a list of all the types of foods you DO like so that you can work off that list instead of working off a list of things you do not like - even that slight change of your outlook and perception from negative (do not like) to positive (do like) is going to change things for you.

Also, banana isn't fat so if you're using banana for a fat source, that's going to be problematic.

Take a look around at the Whole30recipes instagram feed as well as even the Whole30 hashtag (with caution as there are definitely items on there that are not Whole30) and see if you can find something that sparks your interest.

Thank you for your kind reply.  (The soup issue in question is merely that I've never been able to successfully make it, it's my mom's vegetable soup; when I try, it turns out bland and just... not good.  The chicken noodle soup I can make no problem, but that doesn't do me any good right now because two of the integral ingredients are non-compliant.)  I've tried as many substitutions and changes to make things I like compliant as I could think of, but in many cases, there just is nothing comparable to use.  A substantial amount of my cooking uses soy sauce or miso, and there is just nothing that tastes like it (as I said, coconut aminos just.... didn't, though I still have to try the fish sauce I purchased yesterday, so I have some small hope there.)  I've done all the lettuce-for-bread swaps that I can handle, so I'm at least able to have some pale facsimile of things like tacos or fajita, and if I use enough lettuce to cover the flavor of hamburger I can kind of manage that too... but things like curry or any of the other 'the flavoring is the problem' foods are difficult.  (I was never a big fan of the coconut milk base varieties, favoring the soy sauce more stew-like ones, and my go-to roux I honestly don't know how to make from scratch to try to get around it.)  So I've made a great many adjustments to things I'm familiar with in trying to make them work and stay compliant with both the spirit and technicality of the rules, but have had very little success.  (Past trying maybe coconut cream in the dill recipe, I don't know what else to use; almond milk wouldn't work, I don't think, it is replacing sour cream.) 

(I was going with the banana because it is a high fat fruit, but I guess I'm stuck again.  I suppose I can choke down some avocado in the morning, too, since I'm not sure what else to do there.  I made myself have a truly disgusting kale shake with coconut cream and (separately) a piece of sausage this morning just to get something in my system, but it was not a good time.)  Perhaps I'm not eating enough, but I hadn't noticed if so; I'm not really hungry between meals anymore, and I'm full after I eat, just deeply unsatisfied.

Unfortunately, no, I do not like fish.  At all.  I keep trying, but when I can get past the flavor, the texture puts me right off.   Even more unfortunately, I really hate coconut.  I've been trying to use it in recipes that have a strong enough flavor where I don't notice it, but it somewhat reduces my options.  I have, however, been spending a large amount of my time since starting this program searching for compliant recipes I could work into our meal plans (including getting three of the books), though, with little success.  I promise, I'm not just sitting here feeling sorry for myself, I am trying everything I can think of, it's just...  not much has panned out.  Like I said, at best, things are tolerable; I haven't enjoyed anything since the garlic green beans, and those are starting to get old, too.

I went into this trying to be very positive, but it's difficult to keep that when you just don't... enjoy anything.  All the same, I'm sure my attitude isn't helping, but I am not sure how to counter that without some sort of... improvement?  I can't really be positive when the thing making me miserable isn't changing.  In the end, I think I just really am going to have to suffer through this.  It is what it is.  Venting helped a little at least.

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I'm so sorry you're not enjoying what you're eating! I realize that there are some very definite likes and dislikes going on here, but it sounds as though a lot of what you're trying to do is find ways to get your old foods in a compliant manner... which unfortunately does tend to be a disappointment, because finding a substitution we enjoy as much as (or more than) the "original favorite flavor" is pretty darn rare. For me, I found that it works best when I'm NOT trying to eat the things I've always loved -- i.e., I skipped scrambled eggs for the first 3 weeks since I usually would eat them with cheese, I avoided bacon except as flavoring within food because I didn't want to be disappointed by the flavor of it by itself (so no bacon on my burger), I didn't cook beef burgers until last week (during reintro) because I didn't want to be haunted by a lack of cheese, I was terrified of trying to make a "stir-fry" with cauliflower rice and coconut aminos because I knew it wouldn't be the same (turns out, it was actually really good, just not soy-heavy)... and so on.

I had to make it an adventure of finding new things to eat and new ways of cooking, else I might've gone mad. But because I did that, I have eaten things in the past 41 days that I wouldn't have imagined eating otherwise. Who knew that pumpkin puree is an awesome thickener in soups and chili? (My Australian friend, that's who, but I didn't!) I have an extreme aversion to "fishy" smells and flavors, but have even had 3 different fish dinners that I've cooked right here at home without any issue (we had tilapia twice, flounder once), and I'm excited to try out a new one this week.

For the dill sauce, maybe something like this would work? https://yourhealthyfamilycoach.com/2-minute-sauce-saved-whole30/
I know you said that you don't like mayo, but it can be a great base in dips/dressings/sauces where the other ingredients hide the taste of the mayo enough that I'm good with it (I'm not a fan of mayo-taste, either).

In recipes that require a roux, I've generally just used tapioca starch to thicken the liquid instead and it's worked well for me so far. Some people don't prefer the texture of it, but I haven't had any issues to date.

Anyway, I'll shush. I just hope you're able to find something that sparks for you. Good luck!

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I'm sorry to hear that this is such a struggle for you. You should be proud of your commitment for making it this long! Though I sincerely hope that things improve for you and you find some of the joy and benefits that so many others (myself included) have found! 

One thing that seemed to jump out to me is that it seems like you're trying really hard to re-create all the things you used to love. That can be hard and frankly, I just end up disappointed when I try to do that. Have you tried finding new recipes that are delicious all on their own? Perhaps something you've never tried before so you won't have a comparison to how it tasted before? I strongly recommend that you find a blogger or recipe book that focuses on Whole30 food and try some new stuff! 

My favorite bloggers are Paleo Running Momma and Mel Joulwan. Others on the forum often really love Nom Nom Paleo. All three have websites with dedicated Whole30 sections that are reliable. There are others, though you'll find a lot of false information on Whole30 recipes out there, so be diligent about checking the ingredients and making sure they align with the rules! Check out the @Whole30Recipes Instagram feed for daily recipes from featured bloggers. That'll give you lots of other ideas and will point you to more reliable sources. 

As for breakfast, I really struggled with breakfast for a long time. I didn't love eggs either and vegetables were also hard for me. What I've found now is that bacon, eggs scrambled in leftover bacon fat, and soup works really well for me. I alternate the Silky Gingered Zucchini soup and the Golden Cauliflower soup recipes referenced below. Bacon can be hard to find but Pederson's Natural Farms and Applegate Naturals are two brands to look for. I believe even Costco carries their own brand that is compliant as well. Online could always be an option too. 

If you're interested in trying some new stuff, here are some of my favorite recipes: 

I truly do wish you the very best and hope you find something great from this! 

 

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@kirbz I swear, I had one of those two soups you linked every single day during my Whole30. Having the soups in the fridge and some proteins already cooked meant that I could make my breakfast and actually sit down to eat it (because I wasn't cooking from scratch every morning) rather than throwing something together and eating it in the car while driving to work. They're also really yummy.

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I second the idea of trying totally new dishes. Agree also on the salmon cakes, very palatable and not fishy tasting, IMO.

Also agree that a great Meal 1 option is soup. Basically chop up onion, garlic - saute. Add spices and maybe some minced ginger - I love a little cumin and plenty of coriander. Add carrots, zucchini, tomatoes or other veg you like and then add your (already cooked) protein and compliant chicken or beef broth. Simmer for awhile. Finish by tossing in some chopped baby spinach or kale (or not) and squeeze some fresh lemon juice in just before you're ready to eat.

A wonderful side dish is Mel Joulwan's Velvety Butternut Squash. I add an extra egg for more protein. You can also make this into a soup by omitting the egg and adding chicken broth (see linked recipe).

Another good idea: Ingredient Meals. Definitely make the Sunshine Sauce.

I highly recommend getting Mel Joulwan's Well Fed cookbook. It TOTALLY got me through my first whole30. Her other cookbooks are also great but the first one really shows you how to cook a ton of food in short time, and customize the flavors over several meals. 

Be proud of yourself for trying. Your taste buds will change to like more foods as your palate adjusts to no sugar. You can do this!

 

 

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Dear H.T. 

I have had times where I couldn't think of anything that I liked too - not just this food, but ANYTHING.  Usually it happens when I am going through a really rough patch with work, family or health.  I have learned that for me, taking time to write down what I do like, and focusing on those things helps me get out of (or at least through) my slump.  For me, the things I like are reading a good book, an art festival, art galleries,  movies, parks, sunsets, flowers, cats and dogs, antiquing, planning a trip, helping somebody, music, etc. and I try to make plans to do some of those things.  Sometimes I get crafty, and will make my own greeting cards or dream catchers or knitting (which involves going to Hobby Lobby or somewhere to get papers and supplies), and engages my mind in something other than what is making me unhappy.  When my mind touches on what I don't like I make it pop off to something I have set up in my head.  My image is a picture of me walking on a dirt path through trees with sunlight all around and a sunset coming up ahead.  

Right now, I am immersed in finding Whole30 recipes, learning about it, reading other people's stories and what they are doing, shopping for the ingredients and trying out new foods and recipes.  Clearly that is not something you are enjoying, but maybe you can find work arounds that make it the easiest it can be for you, like buying pre-chopped ingredients, or simplifying your meals to just a few things that you like fairly well and are on program, and then spend more time focusing on something else. I'm a new-comer to Whole30, so don't mean to be giving you sage advice, but I have read and learned enough to know that this plan isn't just about the physical impact of food, but as much about the mental/phychological impact of food. 

You didn't say why you started this program, unless I missed it.  Is it for weight loss, or something else in addition to that?  In my case, I have a lot of pain and am hoping that by eliminating inflammatory foods, my pain will be somewhat alleviated and I will be able to do more of the things I like to do, like walk.  

I don't mean to be telling you what to do, so hopefully you won't take it that way,  I just want you to feel like others understand and have felt like you're feeling, and this is a good program from which to get support for all aspects of making a big life change.

Good luck to you!

Laura

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