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Anew in Arkansas - Round 2


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Prepping for a January Whole30 (starting Jan. 5th to February 3rd). My first was in September. I felt REALLY REALLY good for several weeks after - but then the kids' Halloween candy started my downfall.

I've planned out my dinner menu (attached) except for the 3 days in February. I like to keep the sides a little more unplanned and decide closer to the day. However, I know this is a "plan" and part of that is knowing some days I may need to deviate. I did a ton of If/Then Planning with my first round and it was extremely helpful. If I don't feel like cooking what I have planned, then my backup meals are Whole30 Chicken Salad from WellPlated.com, pan seared Pork with whatever veggies I have to roast, stir-fry over riced cauliflower, or dinner out at Chipotle.

Other ways I've started prepping for the January Whole30 is getting back to drinking 80 ounces of water a day, paying attention to what I eat, and doing some workout videos; I want to incorporate exercise in to my Whole30 better than I did in September, and Tuesday (with two weeks' to Christmas day), I started some 2 Week Shred video on Youtube.

Whole30 January Menu 2020.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...
5 hours ago, Jim Baunach said:

@heb2014 I thought that whole30 was supposed to eliminate cravings.  I was excited to start whole30, but after hearing about all these post-whole30 experiences, am having second thoughts.



@Jim Baunach Ditto what JessFind said above. A lifetime of bad habits doesn't just disappear after 30 (or 40 days with reintroduction) - even if cravings are curbed. I would say it's a fight that I will have to the rest of my life. But 30 days of eating healthier is still a win in my book, even if I don't maintain it continuously afterwards. And there is so much more to learn doing a Whole30 - I wouldn't let other people's "failures" afterwards stop me from trying it.

The Food Freedom book is really helpful regarding what comes after - motivation ebbs and flows; you will likely cycle through phases, and one of those is coming to terms with the fact that you've slipped too far and need another reset. Two of the signals I set for myself were wanting coffee creamer daily and eating sweets daily. I got back to that point and realized it's time to do another Whole30.


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On 12/20/2019 at 10:15 AM, JessFind said:

Hi heb2014 -- Glad to see you back here for Round 2 with me! OMG I thought I was ahead of the game with meal prep but you have your whole MONTH already planned out?! I love it.  Excited to do this together! 

My New Years resolution is to simplify life and Mission Simplify 2020 started in December :-) Meal planning is a necessary evil in my book, so for me, doing it monthly rather than weekly takes some stress out of it. 

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9 hours ago, Jim Baunach said:


@ladyshanny But that is exactly what whole30 is purporting to do.  The Whole30 web site says "Change your life in 30 days with the Whole30".  See above.



It says it will change your life; it doesn't say "You will never crave something unhealthy again in your life".  Whole30 DID change my life - even if it didn't end the cravings that I have forever. And that's not what she means when she says "discover lasting food freedom". You really should read Food Freedom Forever in combination with The Whole30 or It Starts with Food.

You mentioned above that you were excited to try it - so try it! Define your "Why" - what made you excited to try the program?  And do it. See if it changes you in some way. 

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@Jim Baunach I would also suggest you start your own thread with these questions. Right now you're taking over @heb2014's journal and this probably isn't the tone she wants to start her journey on. (I don't mean to speak for you, heb.) Like with any lifestyle change, it's best not to be so literal about it. There is no fast and easy way to get rid of cravings forever. If you're looking for a magic pill, this isn't the program for you. But if you want to be diligent and change your habits with the help of this program with an open mind, by all means dive in. 

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17 hours ago, slc_melissa said:


I'm very impressed with your meal planning.  Do you happen to have a link to the Pozole recipe that you use/adapt?  Thanks!

This is the recipe I'll be using:  https://feedmephoebe.com/grain-free-red-and-green-pork-posole-soup-pozole-rojo-e-verde/

No hominy - so perhaps it shouldn't really be called "pozole" but she explains that she adapted the original recipe to make it Whole30 friendly by omitting the hominy.

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22 hours ago, JessFind said:

@Jim Baunach I would also suggest you start your own thread with these questions. Right now you're taking over @heb2014's journal and this probably isn't the tone she wants to start her journey on. (I don't mean to speak for you, heb.) Like with any lifestyle change, it's best not to be so literal about it. There is no fast and easy way to get rid of cravings forever. If you're looking for a magic pill, this isn't the program for you. But if you want to be diligent and change your habits with the help of this program with an open mind, by all means dive in. 

Thanks @JessFind! I certainly don't mind discussing things, but I was beginning to think I might have to start a new thread.

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Whole30 Day 1 Complete! And I feel like it's off to a GREAT start!

M1 (@9:00am): Eggs and bacon (ah, Whole30 bacon, I forgot how expensive you are!)

M2 (@12.45pm): Chicken Salad using lettuce as wraps or eaten on cucumber slices + 1/4 apple

M3 (@5.45pm): Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and green beans

Drank about 60 oz of water (my goal is 80 - still may be able to get the other 20 in tonight before bed)

Hot tea as I write this, cooling off (with hot tea - yeah it doesn't make sense) from Day 4 of Jennifer Giamo's Lean in 15 workouts on Playbook.  Giving this a try because the workouts are 10 minutes and that's about all the time I can find to start building this habit right now. I'm skeptical of results from 10 minute workouts (though they do get your heart going), but that's 10 more minutes than I have been doing.

Ordered my groceries online yesterday to pick up first thing this morning. I feel like it took less time reading labels online than in the store, but maybe it was just convenience. 

Cooked an egg, sausage, potato casserole for breakfasts for the rest of this week (I forgot how hard it is to find compliant sausage around here, so I bought a few). Made Zuppa Toscana from Paleo Running Mama for lunches. Husband will have leftover chicken salad tomorrow and our dinner will be leftover meatloaf (which my daughter LOVED - ate two pieces like she hadn't eaten all day). . 

Now...so many dishes to wash and water to finish drinking....

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Day 2 Complete - another good day.

M1 (@7.30am): Breakfast Casserole

M2 (@12.30pm): Zuppa Toscano (so goood!!!) and two carrots with Tessemae's Avocado Ranch (also soooooo gooood!!!)

Snack (@4.00pm): 1/2 apple w/ cashew butter

M3 (@7.20pm): Leftover Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, and Green Beans

Lean in 15 Day 5 Total Body circuit

60 oz of water

I have been exercising one+ hour after eating dinner (just after getting the kids to bed - it's about the only time I've found that works) but I've been having heart burn. Well honestly - I've been having more recently before I started  the workouts too. Just making note - hope it will get better with Whole30 (or some weight loss).

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Days 3 and 4 complete!

Day 3 (Tuesday)

M1: breakfast casserole w/ compliant salsa

M2: Zuppa Toscano plus a few bits of leftover meatloaf and mashed potatoes (which I probably didn't really need)

M3: Homemade marinara sauce (from the freezer) w/ spaghetti squash + steamed broccoli. 

M3 was not what I had scheduled, but I couldn't find the slow cooker coconut curry pork recipe I intended to make when I was ordering groceries. I already had the spaghetti squash that needed to be eaten and I keep marinara sauce in the freezer (which I make complaint) for when we need quick meals anyway. Save a little on groceries using what I had on hand.

Day 4 (Wednesday - traveled for work)

M1: breakfast casserole w/ complaint salsa

M2: (snacky lunch that I quickly packed to eat on the road) 2 slices of compliant turkey and prosciutto, an orange, a handful of cashews, and 3 carrots w/ avocado ranch. (I also packed a Larabar, grapes, and an apple - not sure of how hungry I'd be, but didn't eat them)

M3: Lemon Chicken Piccata w/ riced cauliflower and brussel sprouts.

80 ounces of water + 6 hours in the car or in meetings meant lots of pit stops; small NSV - I didn't purchase any food/snacks while traveling (which I typically do - fast food or an afternoon latte). Lunch was the best option I could quickly come up with that didn't require anything to be heated;  I didn't have time to stop at a restaurant because I needed to get back for a late afternoon dentist appointment; nothing like almost over-scheduling myself.

Husband heads out of town this afternoon for a two-night work retreat, which is probably best; according to my notes from Round 1 that I wrote in Whole30 Day by Day, I hit the KATT mood on Day 5. I may have had a touch of it Tuesday evening: as I was giving the kids a bath, my daughter keeps doing this high-pitched squeal; after the third time I found myself yelling "Stop screaming!"...and then laughed because I just did the very thing I was asking her not to do. IF I find myself in a bad mood after work tonight or tomorrow, THEN I'll take them to dinner at Chick-fil-a so they can get all their squeals out in the germ pit, I mean play area. I have leftover Lemon Chicken Piccatta or Zuppa Toscano I can eat after we get home, so I can just sit in silence and read while they eat and play. Ha - If/Then planning at its best.


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Well - after a very conscious choice, I am on Day 2 again.

Thursday (Day 5) and Friday (Day 6) both went well, For dinner Thursday, the kids and I went over to a friend's house with two other moms whose husbands were ate different meetings. The kids at whatever she found in her fridge and I brought leftovers from the night before - as well as some of my Zuppa Toscano to share. Friday evening, I took the kids to Chick-fil-a; I should have eaten before I took them, but I survived. 

Saturday (Day 7) I took the kids to a birthday party in the morning (where I avoided DD donuts!!). Husband got home around lunch and we set up dinner plans with his parents to celebrate his mom's birthday, which I didn't account for when planning my menu, but did keep in the back of my mind. My IF/THEN plan was to eat whatever was compliant or eat at home afterwards. We went over to their house and she cooked (they had already celebrated two nights before so I guess she was ok cooking her birthday meal); she just threw what she could find together, not making a big deal out of the meal, just wanting to get together (PERFECT!) - chicken, baked potatoes, lima beans, homemade mac and cheese, homemade bread. Then my father-in-law pulls out a special bottle of wine. I'm not going to go in to the backstory, but it was pretty significant that he wanted to share this with us. So I said yes to a glass of wine. Then, I decided to take this as an opportunity for another self-experiment: could I eat something off Whole30 and not spiral out of control eating everything available, using this as an opportunity to splurge? And since I made a deliberate decision about this, could I allow myself to not feel guilty about it and let my guilt sabotage things going forward? Yes I know, this is something that should take place after the Whole30, while defining food freedom, but let's be honest, I'm still sort of intimidated by food freedom; I work best with strict rules. And it ended up being a good experiment which I feel no guilt whatsoever about doing. I drank a glass of wine while I ate my slightly dry chicken with no sauce and a plain baked potato, I said no thanks to the limas, mac, and bread. Then I decided to say yes to one piece of lemon cake (my absolute favorite dessert) - but no to multiple helpings of it and the offer to take part of it home with us. My choices didn't offend anyone, and I am not upset with myself that I am on Day 2 again.

So Sunday (Day 1):

M1: technically compliant but not encouraged smoothie (a break from eggs), coffee w/ almond milk (I keep forgetting to include the coffee)

M2: chicken salad, carrots, apple slices

Snack: two Paleo energy balls*

M3: Salisbury steak meatballs w/ mashed potatoes and green beans

It was also prep day so I made Cauliflower Soup for lunches, another breakfast casserole, cooked the taco meat for tonight, lunch and dinner for yesterday, and some complaint Paleo energy balls because my husband has to have some snacks or he will eat all the groceries. *In being honest, I ate two of them after I started getting cranky because it felt like I cooked (or cleaned up after it) all day. I felt like I was (for a large part) ignoring my children and other things that I would have liked to have been doing. I was hungry and thought that  might have something to do with my bad attitude. Next week's meal prep will not tackle so much at once.

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Day 2 complete!

M1: breakfast casserole + coffee w/ almond milk

M2: cauliflower soup with leftover brussel sprouts

Snack: 1/2 apple (split the apple with my daughter on the way to dance - wasn't able to eat it w/ cashew butter like I normally would)

M3: Taco salad (ground beef, lettuce, salsa, olives, guacamole)

Small Win - we have company in town this week so there were soft tortillas, taco shells, tortilla chips, sour cream, and cheese to go with the tacos; I didn't eat any of it!

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Thanks @JessFind. I will say, it's definitely a mental game. Since we have company in town, my husband asked me to cook one of our favorite, rarely made meals on Friday that is definitely not Whole30 - Duck Gumbo.  I am planning to make a separate version for myself that is.  Part of my brain is saying, "It would be so much easier just to cook one version - and riced cauliflower just won't be the same"; the other part is saying "Girl, don't you dare start over again".

Day 3 (Jan. 14)

M1: Coffee w/ Almond Milk + Breakfast Casserole w/ Salsa

M2: Cauliflower Soup (wasn't quite enough by itself but I had to run to Target to pick up a few things so I didn't eat anything else)

Snack: Apple + 2 Paleo Balls + Vital Proteins Lavender Lemon Collagen* 

M3: Slow Cooker Pork Roast + Butternut Squash Salad w/ Poppy Seed Dressing (Paleo Running Mama) + fruit salad w/ coconut oil

I've made several recipes from Paleo Running Mama and they've all been really good so far; the salad did not disappoint.

So Target keeps their collagen in the beauty/makeup area, and one of the things I needed to get was nearby; I happened to notice some clearance labels on a couple of the collagen containers. We typically buy the unflavored kind. My husband likes it in his coffee; I prefer to drink it with water before coffee (because regardless of what he says, I CAN taste it in my coffee....and you don't mess with my coffee). I've been wanting to try some of the flavored versions but since it's a little on the expensive side, and my husband just spent $50 for two of the small unflavored containers, I haven't bought any. At half price and with the Whole30 approved label, Lavender Lemon ended up in my shopping cart. Probably not the one I would have chosen normally, but it was the only one on clearance (which I later read that they've reformulated this flavor for a "new great taste" and this is the older one, though still in date, that's likely why it is on clearance). Since I didn't drink any collagen in the morning, I had some with my snack. It was okay, a bit clumpy and little strange - I bet the improved one is good.

As a small side note, I was very disappointed that the container was only about half full. I'm sure it contained the 9oz as labeled, but why waste that much plastic? Either pack it full or make the container smaller. 

And another side note: I'm drinking collagen because I am having hair loss issues. It started sometime between the end of my Whole30 round 1 (beginning of October) and Christmas (I can probably narrow it down further to sometime around Thanksgiving). It's one of the things I'm hoping to see improvements on with this round. While I am wondering if the changes in diet could have had a small part in it, the major suspect is a new shampoo I was trying - Paul Mitchell's Tea Tree Special Shampoo. After about three weeks of using it every two to three days, I noticed more and more hair everywhere, when I washed or brushed it or just being stuck to my shirt.  I'd compare it to the same amount I was losing after the birth of my daughter (I used Nioxin shampoo after my son was born which did seem to help); for that reason, it makes me wonder if it might be hormonal also. However, I've also noticed my thumbnails started to peel, which leads me back to the shampoo. I stopped using the shampoo once I noticed the shedding hair increase and went back to an old one I've never had issues with, but this weekend, I decided to start washing it less. I made it 4 days and last night only did a water wash plus hair masque (I'm not willing to forgo conditioning because I think the shampoo was drying out my hair too much). I never thought I'd be testing out the "no 'poo" method, but here I am.

Slightly rambling today.  Feeling great this morning.

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Day 4 (January 15)

M1: Coffee w/ almond milk + breakfast casserole w/ salsa

Drank a second cup of coffee at work; didn't have any almond milk so I tried a scope of the Lavender Lemon collagen in it. I don't know what possessed me to do that - it doesn't even sound good and it wasn't. But it might be good with hot tea.

M2: Cauliflower soup + butternut squash salad

M3: grilled shrimp and grilled catfish w/ plain baked potato. We went out to dinner at one of our favorite local restaurants that just changed ownership, which meant some changes to the menu as well. I knew the previous menu and planned what I was going to get, but they didn't have the item on the menu anymore, so that meant lots of questions to the server (and then kitchen staff) about oils and marinades and seasonings. Usually, I'm not one to customize my order very much, so when the server offered to bring out one of the people who does the prep, I was totally embarrassed. But they were both super nice, and the grilled catfish was amazing.

I've been feeling really good lately and sleeping so hard (really, we all have, with the kids getting to stay up a little later visiting with our company). I was thinking maybe since it would have been day 10 if I hadn't eaten non-compliant food that I was still seeing some of the day 10 benefits....but then my patience tanked after we got home from the restaurant, and I found myself with the KATT mood. I went to bed early. It seems to have passed and I had a great morning.

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Day 5 (January 16)

M1: Coffee w/ almond milk + breakfast casserole

M2: Cauliflower soup + 2 energy balls + a grapefruit (I was in a rush this morning and grabbed 2 of the energy balls for fat/protein to go with lunch)

Snack: Cashew Cookie Larabar (thought my hunger might have something to do with my KATT mood when I got home)

M3: Eggroll stirfry w/ cauliflower rice (made frozen gyoza to go with it for the rest of the family; I love these so it was a little hard to resist, but I did)

Found myself low on patience again when I got home from work and picking up the kids. Our son was so whiny, and my husband hadn't made it home yet. This would have been a night we picked up take-out if I wasn't on Whole30 and trying to save money (husband's been off it since his work trip). I'm glad I had an easy meal planned. I changed in to my sweatpants and comfy shirt, plugged the kids in to the tv (not my proudest parenting moment), and powered through. Once my husband got home, I was at least about to laugh about being in a bad mood. He and our friend that's visiting met a couple other friends out for a drink after helping me get the kids in bed; I shampoo'd my hair and went to bed early (I feel like shampooing my hair is a legitimate event now that I'm trying to go longer between).

I tried the Lavender Lemon collagen in hot tea yesterday afternoon; it was still clumpy but this is the best way to drink it. Delicious. 

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A little catch-up to do (since I don't get on the computer much between Friday afternoon and Monday morning - and was off yesterday)

I am currently in a panic about budget and how much I am spending on groceries, so this week is likely going to be completely different than my meal plan, searching for food that we already have and figuring out what I can make with it that is complaint. 

Days 6 (January 17)

M1: technically complaint but not recommended smoothie + coffee w/ almond milk

M2: Tuna w/ avocado + ranch (should have just gone with mayo - I love the Tessemae's ranch, but not with tuna...) w/ lettuce + carrots

M3: Gumbo w/ riced cauliflower

Small victory: I made two gigantic pots of gumbo Friday afternoon - the duck dumbo my husband requested (our traditional recipe that involves a flour roux and beer) and a Whole30 gumbo for myself. I spent all afternoon cooking and was exhausted, but everyone we had over loved the duck gumbo and I have plenty of Whole30 gumbo (which was also delicious) left over for lunches this week.

Day 7 (January 18)

M1;   Fried Eggs + coffee w/ almond milk

M2: (out to eat w/ my parents who came to visit, somewhat unplanned) Roast w/ no gravy, plain baked potato, carrots (which I didn't eat after one bite because they were way too sweet to not have honey or something on them, despite what the server had said - that bite was delicious though...)

M3: One-pot Baked Chicken Thighs with brussel sprouts and sweet potatoes (really easy and really good)

Small Victory: we went to our favorite local ice cream shop and I didn't have anything, not even a coffee

Day 8 (January 19)

M1: Scrambled eggs, bacon, + coffee w/ almond milk

M2: Leftover gumbo w/ riced cauliflower

M3: dinner at a friends' house - chili over baked potato

Small Victory: we have dinner once a month with four other couples and their kids. There was food aplenty to eat and cheat, but I ate what I could and had fun. 

Also - we had a busy day so I was thankful for the leftovers for lunch. I didn't get to meal prep anything.

Day 9 (January 20)

M1: Fried eggs + coffee w/ almond milk 

M2: leftover gumbo w/ riced cauliflower

M3: leftover baked chicken, brussel sprouts, and sweet potato

Small Victory: being home all day and not snacking

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Day 10 (January 21)

M1: Fried eggs + coffee w/ creamer

M2: chopped pork

M3: chili w/ baked potato

The fried eggs did not hold me over well (and I know - it doesn't follow the template....); made the breakfast casserole for the rest of the week after dinner.

Had to travel for work with some colleagues; we went to a well known bbq restaurant for lunch. I figured I'd be able to find something on the menu to eat - and I did, except it was just meat - dry meat with zero sauce. They sell their rub and their sauce at the restaurant, so I was able to look at them to see if it included non-compliant items; the rub did not - the sauce did. There were no salads and no sides that I could eat. Not satisfying.

I calculated how much we've spent on groceries so far this month - $451.22. Not including the times we eaten out (two times as a family that we've paid). My food budget/goal for the month is spent (though admittedly, I just added the receipts and didn't look to see if there were items that should fit in other categories that we purchased at the same time). Regardless, I am getting creative with what we have at the house this week, and we'll see how far that can take us. Made a large pot of chili last night, saved two more meals from it and froze the rest (likely to eat late next week).

I'm not using that as an excuse to give up on Whole30; I don't think adding back any of the restricted items would help the budget (except maybe fill my husband up a little faster so he *might* eat less). I just need to scale back from the recipes that take lots of ingredients and eat a little more simply. Now it's a game for me to see what I can come up with, and luckily, I'm considering it a fun challenge, not a stressor (at least for now).

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Day 11 (1/22/2020)

M1: Breakfast casserole + coffee w/ almond milk (the creamer I mentioned in day 10 is Nutpods - didn't use it today)

M2: leftover gumbo w/ riced cauliflower

M3: leftover chili w/ baked potato

My daughter wanted to make dessert, and we had a package of brownie mix. We made them together and I didn't eat any. Win-win.

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Day 12 (1/23/2020)

M1: Breakfast casserole + coffee w/ almond milk)

M2: leftover gumbo w/ riced cauliflower

M3: something I will call teriyaki pork w/ broccoli, brussel sprouts, and pineapple over cauliflower rice.

Not bad for a small pork roast I found in the freezer. I dumped it in the slow cooker (defrosted first) with some sauce I had purchased during my first round along with some chicken broth; then after it had cooked, I whipped up some compliant sauce using the liquid from the slow cooker and some other compliant ingredients. This was my first success using arrowroot flour to thicken sauce! That gives me hope for making a stew and shepherd's pie out of one of our favorite chicken pot pie recipes (because I found ingredients in the house)

Meal ideas for the weekend and next week (from what I've found in the house, just need a few ingredients):


Shepard's pie w/ chicken

Potato soup (we have tons of potatoes)

Zuppa Toscano w/ sweet potatoes and Aidells chicken sausage

Chili from the freezer

Marinara sauce for spaghetti squash (spaghetti for the kids) also in the freezer

I think I will buy some bone-in chicken and make my own broth instead of just buying the broth I need for several of these - that way we can also have chicken salad or something with the meat (and the chicken I have in the freezer is boneless). Need a few things for the kids' breakfasts so I'm making a list of the fewest items I can get away with and heading to Walmart after work instead Kroger (where I usually buy groceries). I  took the time earlier this week to build one of my recent Kroger purchases on the Walmart pickup website, and it was about $20 cheaper ($155 vs $174). It's not as convenient to get to or to shop at, but we've set up our February budget and if it will stretch our dollars, I might as well start getting used to it (and then plan for Walmart pickup next time!).

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Day 13 (1/24/2020)

M1: Breakfast casserole + coffee w/ almond milk

M2: Adielle's sausage w/ stone ground mustard + carrots w/ avocado ranch (went to Walmart at lunch - ate late)

M3: leftover chili


Day 14 (1/25/2020)

M1: eggs + bacon + coffee w/ almond milk (made the kids and husband steel cut oats)

M2: leftover teriyaki pork

M3: out for a friend's birthday - ate a salad (brought my own dressing!)

Made chicken broth to use in  meals this week


Day 15 (1/26/2020)

M1: eggs + bacon + coffee w/ nutpods (made the kids and husband homemade biscuits to go along with it...man they looked good)

M2: chicken salad

M3: Chicken Pot Shepherd's Pie - took a version of chicken pot pie I make, except using arrowroot to thicken instead of a roux, and topped it w/ mashed potatoes instead of pie crust. It was delicious, but didn't turn out like I expected because the potatoes sank into the filling instead of staying on the top. I'm guessing shepherd's pie should have less thickened broth than pot pie to help support the potatoes. But this made about twice as much as expected so I'm thinking we'll get 5 meals out of it - less cooking this week!

Also made Zuppa Toscana w/ sweet potatoes for lunches.


At the birthday dinner on Saturday, a friend asked how the Whole30 was going (because I may have been grumbling about not eating pizza); I told  her that I do feel better and that's when it hit me....I really do feel better when I eat this way. Eggs/breakfast casserole with eggs is a little monotonous and there are some things I miss, but I'm back to the point of remembering how bad I felt before my first round in September, and this does make a difference. 

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