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Puzzler’s log


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First day: Monday, November 11.

Food: Apple, hard-boiled egg, some carrotte rappees, 3 egg omelette w spinach. Gonna have a salad smoothie and another egg now, I think.

I have been looking at Whole30 and this forum for a few weeks, and following a somewhat modified version. I had been eating 2.5 oz brown rice with natto (Japanese fermented beans), plus I was making a coffee smoothie that had peanuts and probably more fruit than preferred.) I decided this morning (Veteran’s Day, I had off) to do it for real, starting immediately. 

I spent the day meal planning and shopping and cooking. This week will be salmon and sweet potato hash for breakfast, salad smoothie and a hard-boiled egg for lunch, and Savoy chicken (no cheese for compliance) with butternut squash and Brussels sprouts for dinner.

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Day 2. Tuesday, November 12, 2019.

Sweet potato hash w pepper and onions. Two boiled eggs.

Savoy chicken w butternut squash and Brussels sprouts.

Carrottes rappees, apple, hard boiled egg, Japanese pickled radish.

Salad smoothie.

At about 3:30 had an ugly ogre craving for a brownie. Before that, had a couple of hours of just feeling happy and grateful. The rest of the day was fine.


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Day 3. Wednesday, November 13, 2019.

Sweet potato hash w salmon, pepper and onions.

Salad smoothie, 2 hard boiled eggs.

Savoy chicken w butternut squash and Brussels sprouts.

More butternut squash and Brussels sprouts. Almonds. Japanese pickled radish. More almonds.

Felt fine, mostly. Was expecting the “hangover” (https://whole30.com/revised-timeline/), especially with the major noshing night 0 (including, but not limited to, half of a leftover birthday cake), but everything is fine. I’m just starving. This will not be sustainable. Gonna pick up some avocados.

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Houston, we have a problem.

I grabbed my dog’s food on the way out the door this morning instead of my salmon sweet potato hash. It’s good stuff- organic pastured raw meat and veggies, so totally compliant. But no, I didn’t eat it. :) This meant, however, that I was one meal short (needed 3 today, as I had an event after work). So I got a bowl of “good” stuff- greens, chicken, veggies, and dang it, hummus. All those questions to the staff about dairy and sugar and I missed the obvious.  Dawned on me as I was almost done eating.

I tell ya, I was going to just ”not notice” that mistake. But I just realized that my salad smoothie, which I consume every day, has wheat germ in it. Totally messed that up. Just kept making it like always without noticing what I was doing.

The problem is that if I have to start over, I won’t be starting over. When I committed to this program, I was going to power through Thanksgiving and follow all the rules. But if I start over, now I will also overlap with our company holiday party. And of course, shortly thereafter, we have Christmas and New Years. I am not going to miss out on all of that.

So I am giving myself a pass. These were not instances of caving in to craving, not a lapse in commitment. They are, IMO, small errors and they are early in the game. I want to do this program, and I don’t want to push it back two months. I feel like giving myself the pass and staying with the program for the original and full 30 days - through Thanksgiving -is the healthier path, and it is in keeping with my promise to myself.

That’s my confession. Now to the boring stuff that keeps me focused:

Day 4. Thursday, November 14, 2019.

Salad smoothie with 2 hard boiled eggs.

Savoy chicken with butternut squash and Brussels sprouts.

Salad with chicken, olives, onions, peppers and hummus.

Felt pretty normal.

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Day 5. Friday, November 15 2019.

I've been reading some other logs, and I realized it wasn't the food that made them interesting, but when the poster shared all the other stuff. When I started, I didn't think anybody would really care about all the stuff going on in my life and in my head, but I guess that's the stuff that we relate to. That's the glue that binds us together. So I'm going to take that observation and turn it into a license to blather on about whatever strikes my fancy.

<Cracks knuckles.> <Thinks.> <Stretches neck.> <Thinks.> Huh. I guess there's a lot of static going on in my head. Whole lotta nada.

All right, let me talk about why I am doing Whole30. Frankly, I'm not even convinced it's a good idea. I read that this idea of re-setting the body doesn't really make sense, as foods that we are perfectly fine eating can cause discomfort if we haven't eaten them in a while. This fits with what I've observed in life. For example, when you switch your dog's diet, they always tell you to do a slow introduction of the new food. It is very common for the dog to experience loose stools even when switching to a better and more appropriate diet. And you see people posting, during reintroduction, about bad experiences with foods that never caused an issue before, like not being able to eat cheese because their body stopped producing the lactase needed to break it down.

I only heard about Whole30 recently. My friend was talking about it, and she had prepared some soup that was compliant. The food was delicious, she and her husband had both lost something like 20 pounds, and this was not a Paleo diet. (I've never been a fan of Atkins. I was a biology undergraduate, and the idea of eating all that fat and protein made me cringe for people's livers and kidneys. No carbs? That's ridiculous. Veggies are carbs. Veggies are good for you. I cannot subscribe to a diet that eschews veggies. That makes Whole30 far superior, in my veggie-loving opinion.) I was a little curious, did some reading, and found it fit some of my thoughts about 'healthy' (no bread/pasta, no dairy, no sugar, no alcohol), but not all. I firmly believe grains and legumes are great sources of nutrition. And so I followed a modification, which really was the diet I made up myself.

And then I'm not sure what happened. I had my 49th birthday on Saturday. I suspended all the food rules for the weekend. I came back to my apartment Sunday night, and my roommate was talking about her list of 40 things to do before she turns 40 next month. And I thought I should come up with some goals (and reach them!) before I turn 50, and I needed to work on making improvements to my life. And I also thought I should at least try to hit my Healthy Wager, which is now a stretch goal of losing 30 pounds in 3 months. I needed a program that would give me a good chance of losing a chunk of weight while still not being stupid unhealthy. I decided (you might have figured out this ending, since I'm on this website) at about 9pm that I was going to do Whole30 starting the next day. It was a holiday (Veterans Day), so I would have the opportunity to plan and shop and cook. Therefore, on Sunday night I drank and ate as much birthday cake as I could handle! And on Monday I began my journey.

Let me emphasize that I have always done my best to follow the rules, and I continue to do so. I am just not convinced that this the "tao", the way, the path, the road. I fully expect to feel better. This should happen with the rigorous avoidance of booze and the crap foods. I also fully expect to add grains and legumes back into the mix later. However, I am also secretly hoping that I may have stumbled upon a life approach which will become the basis of my amazing future. So I will follow the rules and keep an open mind and see what happens.

And, I must admit, I do feel pretty good today. In spite of not getting enough sleep all week. Very much looking forward to the weekend.

Boring food stuff:

Sweet potato hash w salmon, green peppers and onions.

Savoy chicken with butternut squash and Brussels sprouts.

Was starving. Made up a recipe - an egg & olive jumble* (chopped hard boiled egg, green olives, mayo). Still starving, made it again. Wanted some veggies with crunch, made celeri remoulade (basically, celeriac jumble). Wanted desert, had a handful of raisins and a handful of almonds.


*I don't think it's right to call any mish mosh a salad. A salad should have a solid base of leafy greens. Anything else is just a jumble of ingredients. It's not an egg salad, that's misleading. It should be called an egg jumble.

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Day 6. Saturday, November 16.

Great day. First day of 2 weeks PTO, nothing aside from Thanksgiving planned. Life has been so crazy the last several years, I haven’t had the chance to really do nothing in such a long time. And a pleasant surprise for me, my roommate is out of town this weekend. Aside from some minor errands, I didn’t have to speak with anybody all day. Amazing.

This did enable me to pay more attention to myself, and I found I was getting quite hungry an hour and a half after eating. I am eating protein at every meal, and I think more fat than previously. Maybe it is just an a symptom of the adjustment my body is making to these food changes. I am famished right now, but I have decided that after a filling dinner, the kitchen is closed. I can eat as much as I want at breakfast.

Sweet potato w salmon, green pepper, onion.

Savoy chicken with Brussels sprouts and butternut squash.

Egg & olive jumble. The last few bites of celery remoulade. Salad smoothie.

I haven’t been writing it down because it is so obvious to me, but maybe I should mention I have about 4 cups of coffee a day. I almost always have a cup of herbal tea at night. Water somewhere in there, too. 

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Day 7. Sunday, November 17.

Over the last couple of months, I had been trying to get back into running, using a run/walk program. But my right hip kept hurting me, so I would run/walk for a day or two and then be out for a couple of weeks. I am back in a no-pain zone, guess I have been for a while, but I kinda gave up on running, so I haven't been paying attention. I decided it would be good to get back into it, but I am going to do this slowly, with the goals of avoiding pain and still start building a habit of just moving. I walked for 30 minutes, did a few sun salutations (yoga).

Oh, what got me started thinking about exercise was something that happened Thursday. I went to an event, where I was in the audience. I had some awful restless leg syndrome stuff going on. To keep myself in my chair, I kept squeezing my calves as tightly as I could, and boy were they sore the next two days. I have gotten that weirdness before - just a strange sensation in my calves that makes me feel like I MUST move. It has never been particularly regular or often, but that night was pretty bad. I googled what to do about it, and exercise was one of the suggestions.

Feel pretty good. I had a few moments of joy for no particular reason today and yesterday. Moments of happiness and gratitude. I notice I get those sometimes when I am in periods of sobriety. I like them. I should not drink more often. I've been thinking about doing a year, which is a little awkward for several reasons I won't get into, but it might be something I do purely for myself. I haven't decided yet.

  • Sweet potato w salmon, green pepper and onion. This time I added 2 eggs over easy.
  • Egg and olive jumble. Salad smoothie.
  • Snack of monkey salad. I've never had this before! I have half-bananas in the freezer from some smoothies I am not making during my Whole30, and I happened to have some leftover cashews and coconut flakes from whatever recipes I've made in the past. This was very tasty! In fact, it was so sweet to me I had to double check the coconut didn't have anything added.
  • Last of the butternut squash and Brussels sprouts. A carrot. Some grape tomatoes. Trail mix - I had some mixed nuts, but I had to pull out all the peanuts. I added raisins and dried apricots. 

Too much fruit today. I ordered some meat sticks, which should be helpful for snacks and emergencies.

Up until today, I have been thinking I would get used to the plan and move toward 3 meals, but that hasn't been happening. Instead, I am so worried about being starving in an hour, that I am eating more than I want at the meals. I don't want to do that anymore. I would rather have 4 or 5 meals that are smaller than 3 meals where I am eating to the point of discomfort.

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Day 8. Monday, November 18.

Today was supposed to be a big shop and cook day, but I got pulled into a situation after shopping. In the evening, I made time to at least prep the breakfast meal for the week, so I have food for the morning.

Part of the day was walking 2.5 miles. Now my hip is cracking with very low level pain.

Sweet potato hash w salmon, green pepper and onion.

Egg, handful raisins , handful almonds.

Salad smoothie. Egg and olive jumble. Last of the sweet potato hash. Monkey salad. Was still hungry, but managed to distract myself until it was really too late to eat anything else.

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Day 9. Tuesday, November 19.

Tired, no narrative today.

Bubbles and squeak (potato, cabbage, bacon, ham). Meats were compliant; different taste than I am used to, but very good.

2 scrambled eggs w spinach and tomato.

Thai coconut soup from the Whole 30 cookbook. Used cod instead of chicken. I don’t really care for this recipe, but there are still several servings left.

Mexi-bowl. This was inspired from someone else’s log, cant remember who. I’m sure theirs was great, mine could use some work, but I’m willing to try again. Chicken w taco seasoning, peppers, onions, cauliflower rice w tomatillo salsa. Will add avocados once they are ripe, possibly some tomatoes also.

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Day 11. Thursday, November 21.

Yesterday, I had an emergency dog issue, never posted. I don’t remember the food specifics, but stayed on track.

I think I am a little ahead of the timeline. I did have a day when the belt was one notch longer than usual, but today was one notch shorter, which shouldn’t happen until Day 12. Also on the timeline is food dreaming. I haven’t experienced anything hallucinogenic, but I have had some cravings. Yesterday was an Italian sandwich ... and I think there was something else. Actually, I may have had an intense dream about Ethiopian food. 

I had to go to a training today where they served food, but most of it was not compliant. I didn’t have time to eat before I left the house, but fortunately I was able to bring some stuff to tide me over. I still ended up eating a lot of fruit.

It hit me that I am only 11 days in, and it feels much longer. Probably in part because I was doing a modified version for several weeks before I committed. It just felt like there was so much more food preparation ahead, and it feels like a lot of work. But I reminded myself that this was a commitment that I made to myself. Sure, I can stop any time. Totally up to me. But this is something I want for myself.

Cherries. Bubble & squeak.

Salad w balsamic. Chicken breast slices. Olives.

Banana, tangerine.

Mexi-bowl w avocado. Thai coconut soup.


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Day 12. Friday, November 22, 2019.

It makes sense that there isn't as much activity on the forum this time of year, with the holidays and whatnot. I wish there were more posts, though. That's what I do to battle cravings, is just read, read, read. Could not have quit smoking without the internet.

Got a craving for cheesecake. I am not even a fan of cheesecake.

Hip didn't bother me yesterday, so I walked today. Then I had some clicking/grinding later in the day, but very minor.

Otherwise, felt fine. I keep saying that, I feel fine. For me, fine is better than what most people think of as fine. I am usually all over the place, emotionally, depressed, angry, bitter. Oh, yes, I did have a period of rage today while doing the dishes. Used some meditation techniques, calmed myself down. Otherwise, I felt fine. And fine is pretty great.

M1: bubble & squeak.

M2: salad smoothie, olives.

M3: Thai coconut soup w a handful of spinach thrown in. Raisins & almonds. Negative on the cheesecake.

Other: walk 30 minutes, 3 sun salutations, 15 minutes meditation.

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Day 13: Saturday, November 23.

I had some conflicts today. Really wanted to throw in the towel and just get drunk. Because everything sucks just a little too often and no one will know. Spent some time reading the internet to talk myself down from that ledge, and then spent some time reading about overcoming food cravings to walk away from that precipice as well.

I’m still in it, baby.

Noticed feeling a little lightheaded and cold (at 79 degrees), so I guess I have not consumed enough calories lately. Will have to watch that.

M1: salad smoothie

M2: bubble & squeak

M3: Thai coconut soup w spinach

 M4: salad smoothie. Meat stick.

Other: walk 30 minutes, 3 sun salutations, 15 minutes meditation 

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You are doing very well!
These are the worst days, the most likely ones to want to give up - so congrats on keeping up!

You mention calories. I don't know much about that. But your meals might be a bit light on proteins perhaps?
I'm assuming salad smoothies are only veggies, and I'm not sure that bubbles & squeak dish (amusing name btw) have enough proteins either.
Remember to have 1-2 palm-sized portions of proteins in your meals and don't forget about fats either! 

Also smoothies are not a great meal choices.
Drinking your meals is not the same as eating them, so whenever possible choose eating your veggies without blending them.

But, most important of all: Keep it up! :) 

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@Amura Thanks for the reply!

Bubble & squeak has ham and bacon, so lots of protein and fat there, although not necessarily enough for the day, it’s true.

The salad smoothies have kale (this is the only way I can consume kale, I really don’t like to actually eat it), spinach, parsley, total of about 1.5 servings fruit (strawberries and blueberries), pumpkin seeds, cacao, spirulina and turmeric. (It used to have wheat germ and molasses for vitamin E and iron, but I had to modify for Whole30). This really doesn’t have any good protein- I usually eat two hard boiled eggs with it, but forgot to buy them last week.

i appreciate your feedback!

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Day 14: Saturday, November 24.

Still light-headed; mostly happens upon standing. I have had this before and needed to watch my iron intake, but I have been very good about taking an iron supplement. I assume the current episodes are from blood sugar levels. Not sure whether to be pleased, as that could indicate weight loss, or to be concerned that usual supplementation is not helping.

Some more rage- same situation. This should fade with time. Pulled out the app on my phone to breathe it out.

Trying to finish up some food before heading out to see family tomorrow. Will be cooking there to ensure I can follow the plan over the holiday.

M1: salad smoothie

M2: last of Thai coconut soup. Trail mix. Meat stick.

M3: Mexi-bowl w avocado

M4: salad smoothie

Other: nothing extra today

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Day 15: Monday, November 25.

Not feeling great today. Morning started with mild pounding in the back of the head, stuffy nose, fatigue. Evolved into sore throat and just low energy.

M1: salad smoothie

M2: last of Mexi-bowl w avocado. Ate this in two sittings.

M3: creamy Tuscan chicken. Twice baked potato. A little tomato & cucumber. Two handfuls trail mix.

Other: 15 minute meditation

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  • Whole30 Certified Coach

Where is all the other stuff you were going to share? ;)  Have you tried magnesium for restless legs?  I've heard it can help some people.  I use it for (literally) bone-moving-leg-cramps and it helps with that.  I use a topical one. 

Great job getting through day 13.  It sounds like it was a tough day for you.

Maybe I missed it but what is a salad smoothie?  Oh, wait, I see it now.  Amura mentioned them too... not against the rules but the recommendations are to eat to template (you know, the whole palm of protein, maybe some starch or fruit, fill you plate with veggies, thumb of fat thing...).   Check it out here!  I'd be willing to bet that eating to template might make you feel a little better overall (sickness aside)! 

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Day 16. Tuesday, November 26.

@littleg I will have to look into the magnesium, thanks! The leg thing actually was pretty irritating last night when I was trying to go to sleep. I had to get up and stretch my calves a bit. I think the exercise had been helping, but because I haven’t the last few days (hip, travel and not feeling well), it started acting up again.

I also have not been remembering to make my entries until right before bed, so what with wanting to sleep and typing on an iPad instead of a regular keyboard, it definitely keeps the entries shorter.

Today was an under the weather, stay in bed day: headache, sore throat, stuffy nose, congested chest. It occurred to me that most cold medicines have alcohol in them. I wonder if that is discussed somewhere in the guidelines? I didn’t have any today, so I’m still safe, but I may have to check that tomorrow- I started developing a cough this evening.

M1: salmon, twice baked potato, avocumato jumble.

M2: 4-hour salad. I hate eating salads. It takes me four fricking hours to eat a salad, all that annoying chewing. Smoothies are much, much better for consuming leafy greens, but I don’t have a blender this week. I therefore have to do this the old-fashioned way, using my teeth. Ugh.

M3: not much time left in the day for dinner when it takes that long to eat lunch. Tiny portion of Creamy Tuscan Chicken, half of a twice-baked potato. All I could squeeze into my stomach that was still volumized by the lettuce.

Other: again, not much to add here. Did knock a few things off of my Amazon and Netflix lists!

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  • Whole30 Certified Coach

If you live near a Whole Foods they Sell Life-flo brand topical magnesium and if you keep your receipt you can return it if you don't find it helpful.   I've taken oral magnesium for years and really find the topical helps with the cramps more.  It burns when you put it on so I spray it on the soles of my feet and then stick my feet into plastic bags for 20 minutes :lol: But it is worth the trouble for me... and I'm pretty lazy ;)

Hope you start to feel better soon - any access to good chicken stock? 

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4 hours ago, littleg said:

If you live near a Whole Foods they Sell Life-flo brand topical magnesium and if you keep your receipt you can return it if you don't find it helpful.   I've taken oral magnesium for years and really find the topical helps with the cramps more.  It burns when you put it on so I spray it on the soles of my feet and then stick my feet into plastic bags for 20 minutes :lol: But it is worth the trouble for me... and I'm pretty lazy ;)

Hope you start to feel better soon - any access to good chicken stock? 

Fantastic! There is a Whole Foods near work, so I will definitely look for that topical magnesium, thanks!

I don’t have homemade chicken stock, but I have been drinking chicken bone broth. One never really knows for sure, but I think it has helped because my symptoms are lighter than usual.

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Day 17. Wednesday, November 27.

Never posted last night, getting this in now.

I looked information about restless legs and magnesium, and found this in a Healthline article:

<start >Foods with magnesium

You can add more magnesium-rich foods to your diet. Foods rich in magnesium include:

  • dark greens like chard, spinach, and kale
  • nuts and seeds, including pumpkin and squash seeds 
  • fish like mackerel and tuna 
  • beans and lentils 
  • avocados
  • bananas
  • low-fat and non-fat dairy, including yogurt


I realized that I was regularly consuming beans and half a banana on a daily basis before I started the program, but I gave them up. I think I tanked my magnesium consumption when I started, which probably explains the restless legs. It may be more the result of the sudden change than on ongoing issue, so I think I will hold off on trying to treat it immediately, and see how the next two weeks go. 

M1: salmon, twice baked potato, avocumato jumble (eaten in two meals)

M2: 4-hour salad (eaten in two meals)

M3: remainder of last nights dinner, Creamy Tuscan Chicken, half of a twice-baked potato, roasted cabbage with cashew butter. I really like this meal!

Other: still congested in nose and chest, so I am milking this half-sick plus holiday excuse to be pretty lazy. No deliberate exercise, only 15 minutes meditation.

Note to self: so far, really enjoy Creamy Tuscan chicken, Savoy Chicken, twice-baked has real potential (I might like it better without the bacon and adding mushrooms), roasted cabbage, egg & olives jumble. Brussels sprouts and butternut squash always reliable.

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  • Whole30 Certified Coach

In general lots of us are magnesium deficient.  We get it mostly from the soil via foods grown in the soil and since our soil is depleted... so are we :)  I casually (and with no medical license) recommend magnesium to anyone with sleep issues, muscle issues, nerve issues and everyone who has ever started on it feels better.  Some people who have started it for sleep also notice other things (usually some kind of chronic neck/back/etc pain)  clear up.  My go-to oral has been Magnesium Serene in the berry flavor (watch out for the tangerine - it is TART).  Also, there is stevia in it... so you can wait until after your W30 or decided how you feel about it being a "medical necessity".  Whole Foods sell a different brand, but again, like anything in their "wellness" department, if you save the receipt you can return it after trying it. 


What are the recipes for creamy tuscan chicken and savoy chicken?  Always on the lookout for good recipes!

Try steeping some ginger in water for that stuffy nose!

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14 hours ago, littleg said:

What are the recipes for creamy tuscan chicken and savoy chicken?  Always on the lookout for good recipes!

Try steeping some ginger in water for that stuffy nose!

The Creamy Tuscan chicken: https://www.paleorunningmomma.com/creamy-tuscan-chicken-paleo-whole30-keto/

The Savoy chicken was an amalgamation of several recipes that were pretty similar, but I’ll have to look for my notes once I am back home.

Tell me more about the ginger for stuffiness!

I will look at magnesium again at the end of the thirty days!

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Day 18. Thursday, November 28 (Thanksgiving)

Busy family day. Cold seems nearly entirely gone.

M1: salmon and avocumato jumble

M2: 4-hour salad and twice-baked potato (eaten in two meals)

M3: not too much at the Thanksgiving table I could eat. I had thought I would be able to at least have turkey, but that was cooked with butter. Potatoes, cauliflower, sugar free tomato sauce.

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Day 19. Friday, November 29.

I opened up the forum last night to post, but I was just so tired, I decided to go to sleep instead. Posting this the 11/30. Traveled home after the holiday, did a walking tour that covered about 5.5 miles, had to perform a rather involved favor for my roommate that took a couple of hours. The schedule did not allow a lot of down-time, so eating opportunities were limited. I had breakfast at 12, lunch at 7, dinner at 10.

My first noticeable NSV: I was expecting my hip to hurt after that tour and to limp for a few days, but feeling pretty good. Maybe a 1 on a scale of 1 to 10- don’t even notice it unless I mentally probe for it.

No restless leg issues. I like this journaling business- it reminds me to make a note even for the days where I don’t notice.

M1: salmon and avocumato jumble

M2: Creamy Tuscan Chicken, twice-baked potato, roasted cabbage w cashew butter

M3: Creamy Tuscan Chicken, twice-baked potato

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