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Hi everyone!   I was here last year around July/August 2019.  I'm 33 now and my starting weight at the beginning of 2020 was 240!  [Shriek!  Highest ever for me.]  I am here again to make something wonderful happen in my life!  Every Nov/Dec, I start getting depressed.  I think one reason is the weight gain, I'm sure.  The other is the lack of sunshine.  Unfortunately, I can't do UV therapy (according to my rheumatologist) because I have lupus and UV light can trigger a lupus flare (achy joints, rash, etc).  Here is where my grandma would say- are you taking your vitamin D supplements?  And the answer is actually "no", so okay, I should really start doing that...

Anyway, for one week (since Dec 31st), I have been doing awesome (if I may say so) with exercising and I have actually lost 8 pounds (yes, a lot of that is water weight, but I still feel proud!)

I am on a roll, and I'm making better decisions about food, not drinking alcohol, and not stopping at restaurants or coffee shops.

Something is missing though- I need to log, I need to write down how I feel and what I'm eating because it's a big part of the journey to better health.

So here I am again, ready to put all of my thoughts here.  Maybe I will get to know some people here- I hope I do.  It sure is easier to remember to log in and post when I look forward to reading posts from other people.  Right now I am eating healthier but I will spend the next week or so planning what foods to have around the house for a successful Whole30.  I'm looking forward to feeling better and less tired.  I think I've already gone through a sugar withdrawl even though I only drastically reduced my intake, and didn't completely stop yet.  I'm hoping I don't get the sugar withdrawl symptoms again when I quit cold turkey!   Wish me luck!

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Hi everyone!   I was here last year around July/August 2019.  I'm 33 now and my starting weight at the beginning of 2020 was 240!  [Shriek!  Highest ever for me.]  I am here again to make something wo

Just 3 more days until I start my whole30!  I am going to actually take my pictures, do measurements, weigh myself- the whole shabang. I found an idea for breakfast my first week.  It is called "

Day 9 Almost a third of the way through!  I’m exhausted from running around all day with the kids. Breakfast- 2 fried eggs in ghee and a banana Lunch- Applegate Turkey-Mushroom Blended

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I'm going to start my Whole30 after my son's birthday party, so I will start Sunday, January 19th, 10 days from now.  I'm glad to finally have a start date.  I can't wait to start.  I have to get prepared though.  Mentally & in my kitchen.

I want to write about what I've been eating since starting my healthier lifestyle on Dec 31st.  

  1. Taco Salad (Lettuce, Beans, Salsa, and sometimes chicken + cumin & chili powder)
  2. Chicken Salad (Lettuce, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Chicken, ranch dressing, and sometimes left over beans)
  3. Easy Taco Casserole, Whole 30 compliant from wholekitchensink.com (eggs, ground beef, salsa, tomatoes, potatoes, chilies + spices)
  4. Cans of Amy's Chunky Vegetable Soup with added ground beef
  5. Cereal

So, obviously I need to remove the beans from my meals.  I started out adding cheese to the salads, but I've been laying off the cheese recently and haven't really missed it.  The only thing not compliant in the canned vegetable soup is the corn.  Wish with all my heart that corn was a vegetable.  Would make life so much easier.  And cereal.  So easy to eat and then go work out.  So time efficient.  I know it is going to be tough to give that up.  I've switched to cereal just  since the end of Dec. as my transition away from donuts and bagels from Tim Hortons every morning.  So...a replacement for cereal... I don't like nuts very much, but maybe I can find some compliant trail mix that I like well enough.... we'll see.  I know protein will be my biggest challenge for breakfast unless I take the time to make eggs, but I seriously want to avoid eggs in the morning at all costs.  I'd rather eat meatballs for breakfast.  Hey, maybe I will... lol.

So that's day 1 of my 10 days of reflection before I start the Whole30.  Going to think on meals for dinner that include eggs because I'm already planning to do chicken for my lunches and I don't want to eat beef every single day.  

 

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Welcome, Amy! We have similar starting weights - I'm on Day 8 of my third round of Whole30 this month. I hope you find that the Whole30 improves your life as much as it has mine. I LOLed at your comment about eating meatballs for breakfast - you can actually find recipes for Whole30 breakfast meatballs out there. One of my favorite Whole30 breakfasts, when I get sick of eggs, is a pureed veggie soup with meatballs. So warm, nourishing, and easy to heat and eat on cold winter days.

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1 hour ago, w30virgo said:

Welcome, Amy! We have similar starting weights - I'm on Day 8 of my third round of Whole30 this month. I hope you find that the Whole30 improves your life as much as it has mine. I LOLed at your comment about eating meatballs for breakfast - you can actually find recipes for Whole30 breakfast meatballs out there. One of my favorite Whole30 breakfasts, when I get sick of eggs, is a pureed veggie soup with meatballs. So warm, nourishing, and easy to heat and eat on cold winter days.

Thanks for the breakfast suggestion!  I love the idea of soup for breakfast, especially in Jan/Feb!

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1 hour ago, Amy_Michigan said:

Chicken Salad (Lettuce, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Chicken, ranch dressing, and sometimes left over beans)

Easy Taco Casserole, Whole 30 compliant from wholekitchensink.com (eggs, ground beef, salsa, tomatoes, potatoes, chilies + spices)

 I know protein will be my biggest challenge for breakfast unless I take the time to make eggs, but I seriously want to avoid eggs in the morning at all costs.  I'd rather eat meatballs for breakfast.  Hey, maybe I will... lol.

I get the impression that the chicken salad that you mention is lettuce based, but if you like the other type of chicken salad, this recipe is really good:  https://www.wellplated.com/whole30-chicken-salad/

Are you avoiding eggs in the morning because you don't want to take the time to cook them in the morning or for some other reason?  I only ask because I made a breakfast casserole very similar to your taco casserole only with sausage (though compliant sausage was hard for me to find); makes for a quick breakfast because it only has to be reheated (and this was a welcomed change in my first Whole30 from eating fried eggs every morning).

But breakfast meatballs do sound good! 

 

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14 minutes ago, heb2014 said:

I get the impression that the chicken salad that you mention is lettuce based, but if you like the other type of chicken salad, this recipe is really good:  https://www.wellplated.com/whole30-chicken-salad/

Are you avoiding eggs in the morning because you don't want to take the time to cook them in the morning or for some other reason?  

 

Thanks for the chicken salad recipe!  I've made something like that before - Kale Waldorf Salad with dried cranberries and apples.. It was totally out of my comfort zone but I LOVED it.  I think I'm comparing the two recipes because grapes in salad also seems funky to me, just like apples, but I like taking risks so I'm going to try it.

Honestly, the morning egg avoidance is 80% because I don't want to cook or heat anything up in the morning.  The other 20% is not loving the texture of reheated eggs.  I've "dealt" with the eggs in the taco casserole that had 2 eggs scrambled into it before baking, but I'm a little grossed out by it.  That is the primary reason I cannot eat breakfast quiches.  So, breakfast meatballs, whole30 trailmix, vegetable soup with meatballs, or an apple with almond butter is all I can think of right now, but I will remain open to other possibilities.  

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I really wish I had a detector to see what all of the tiny little cheats everyone does on this site that they don't talk about on their logs.  Or is everyone completely honest on here?  It's hard to be completely honest because if you are doing something 99.9% correctly, you are still doing great and working hard.  So it's hard to open myself up to judgement for a tiny cheat.  For instance, I always struggle with dark chocolate.  88% cocoa dark chocolate has always been my little secret when it is hard to get through a whole30 day.  Trust me, it doesn't help with any headaches the first week, though. 

I don't know why it is so hard for me to give up everything.  My brain wants to remind me of what a great health benefit dark chocolate is.  I tell myself that if I'm doing everything else right, I'm still making lasting changes to my lifestyle- making healthy recipes, developing a palate for vegetables, not eating fast food/junk food from drive-thrus.  I should be able to see through my excuses.  I should be able to say to myself- I can live without the health benefit of dark chocolate for 30 days, if it will help me to not crave sweets and chocolate later.

Another food I struggle with is ketchup.  Sometimes you just don't want to eat another meatball, but you've made this recipe and if you don't eat it, what are you going to eat???  So bring out the ketchup.  I've made homemade ketchup before; it's not that hard, but buying the ingredients and finding the time to do this is daunting.  Enter organic low-sugar ketchup with 1g of sugar from the health food store.  This ketchup has been my new friend to get me through my past whole30 days.  Technically a cheat, but gives meat an enjoyable pizzazz.  No more food boredom, yay!  Another excuse, though.  For 30 days, I should be able to get creative, figure out what spices and veggies and sauces I can make from scatch that will completely change the dish.  It could be fun!

So those are my biggest whole30 struggles, besides weighing myself.  I struggle with whether it is okay to have my secrets, or will these secrets hurt me in the long run.  If I do something 99%, what's the point in not going 100%?  It's like trying to run all the bases after a homerun but just stopping short, and then telling everyone you made it to home base anyway.  You just don't get to FEEL as good.  So when I start my Whole30 on January 19th, I hope I can remember all this and keep myself in check instead of my sneaky brain making excuses.

 

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I am doing my first Whole 30--or technically not doing it--because I accidentally used some leftover broth I had without checking the ingredients (sugar, but not enough to make the nutritional facts) and ate some non-dairy yogurt which I thought was Whole 30 (it's not--oat fiber whatever that is). I wouldn't be surprised if there are just as many people who see a benefit from Whole30 following the rules 100% as there are people who see a benefit from Whole30 following the rules, say, 80%. And I am sure there are plenty of people who it does not help at all, regardless of how "strict" they are. Everyone is so different. If it's important to you to do a strict Whole30, I say go for it, but I don't think you should discount any progress/benefits/improved habits you see just because you're not "following the rules."

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I tried to be honest about it all during my first round through, but I'm sure I missed things by omission (like not remembering to log here that I'd grabbed a banana... and another an hour later...). My written log that I kept elsewhere did contain all of that information, though, because I wrote things out throughout the day as they happened, not as a recap at the end of the day. I did try to stick to the rules 100% that first time through, though, because I wanted to reach that baseline for reintro testing and knowing already that I'd be going in with known food allergies and sensitivities, it was super-important to me to "do it right" (so to speak).

My second time was a bit more relaxed. Which is funny to read, because I think I was actually more strict that time than I had been in my first, due to learning things about myself and food... so in my first, I reached for fruit ALL THE TIME, and it made my sugar dragon very hard to beat... but in my second, I refused to use fruit in anything at all for the first two weeks, which I felt gave me a leg up. My second one was also shortened to 27 days because I celebrated my daughter's half-birthday (long story, but the gist is that we do her party in June because she was born December 27th and this lets us make sure her birthday isn't overshadowed) with cupcakes, and I knew going into my round that the timing would land me there. I also didn't do a full reintroduction, instead focusing on a few foods that I wanted to get a bit more clarity on after my first round's reintro.

I just weighed myself for the first time since August, though, and I'm back up to 234. (sigh) So I guess it's probably high time that I go back to basics soon myself, though possibly not a strict Whole30... maybe just making sure that I'm not eating takeout and have real wholesome food ready to go at home, while maybe taking out a few food groups for myself again (since trying to go fully W30 for my whole family would be way too expensive now that my son's back at home!). We'll see. Maybe I can put together a plan of action this month and put it into effect in February, or something :D

Anyway... it's great to see you back, Amy :)

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On 1/10/2020 at 4:52 PM, Jihanna said:

... so in my first, I reached for fruit ALL THE TIME, and it made my sugar dragon very hard to beat... but in my second, I refused to use fruit in anything at all for the first two weeks, which I felt gave me a leg up.

I might use that strategy when I start my w30.  That sounds difficult but also very smart for developing better food habits. Thanks, Jihanna.  Really nice to be back and see someone familiar to me still posting.

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Just 3 more days until I start my whole30!  I am going to actually take my pictures, do measurements, weigh myself- the whole shabang.

I found an idea for breakfast my first week.  It is called "Pumpkin Apple Breakfast Bake".  It contains these ingredients: pumpkin puree, eggs, full fat coconut milk, ripe banana mashed, apple, pecans on the top, and spices.  You bake it in the oven.  If I make it Sunday, I could eat this for a full week (so it would be just as quick as cereal all week long).  I'm a little scared of what the texture will be like, but I'm willing to try it.

For lunch I'm going to do salad because it is all I can handle.  Probably taco salad most of the time (same as I've already been making except hold the beans and add more beef).

Another 2 ideas I found for dinners my first week: "Sweet Potato Chicken Poppers" containing ground chicken, grated sweet potato, coconut oil, coconut flour, green onion, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper.  And "Whole30 Easy Chicken Scalloped Potatoes" with chicken breast, russet potatoes, homemade mayo, dried basil, garlic powder, oregano, tomatoes, yellow onion, salt/pepper,and parsley for garnish.

For veggies, some favorites I may try to make include roasted broccoli, skillet brussel sprouts in olive oil, roasted carrot fries, and skillet zucchini in olive oil.

 
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Amy, if you like Asian flavors and need a twist on the usual salad, try doing a Whole30-compliant Gado Gado. You can read about it and get a paleo version of the sauce recipe here -- http://meljoulwan.com/2014/12/26/paleo-gado-gado-recipe/. I've eaten off what I prepped for ours for 3 meals now, because I can change up what I put on my plate each time. (Granted, mine wasn't Whole30 or even paleo-friendly this time around, but I could easily have worked it that way for a delicious on-round easy meal.)

For a good soup that's easy, this one -- https://thefamilyfreezer.com/2015/11/09/slow-cooker-zuppa-toscana-with-sweet-potatoes/. It hits all the right notes for me, and was amazing with full-fat coconut milk drizzled straight into my bowl with each serving. It works as the whole meal, for us, since you've got your protein, veggies (including starch), and fat (from the coconut milk). Written for the crock, ours was made in the electric pressure cooker this week instead... because, you know, life interfered with meal prep. :D

Those are two big ones that will be making their way into my meal plans when I decide to start up Whole30 again. My hope is that it'll be easy enough to make extra food for two work lunches (mine and my dad's), since I work in a gas station and there's NO WAY that I could stay compliant without taking a lunch every shift!

I look forward to seeing how yours goes as you get into it! I need to wean myself off soda again and maybe buy a new coffee maker, that way I won't be leaving myself to experience ALL the withdrawal at the same time!

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Thank you for the recipes Jihanna- absolutely love a good soup, especially made with coconut milk.  And that dressing sounds amazing for the salad.  I wish I wasn't so lazy about making sauces and dresses like that.  Who knows, maybe I will get more motivated and try it!

I absolutely can't wait for 20 years from now.  I bet we'll get exact meal plans that fit our body and health needs based on a bunch of tests, DNA, etc.  I want to make my whole30 as healthy as possible.  The more I try perfecting the healthiness of meals for my whole30, the less variety I will have with foods, though.  I can't satisfy every little requirement I have.  For instance, a diet that will be good for lupus, a diet that is heart healthy, a diet that is low in sodium, etc.  I know eating plenty of veggies and healthy fats are the way to go.  I tend to gravitate towards chicken breast and 95% lean beef because of trying to be as healthy as possible.  I also want to eat more tuna and boneless skinless salmon.  I opt for the canned variety of those.  

Today I am going to try to put together an idea list for all 30 days of my whole30 meals.  I won't be all strict about following it, but will use it more like a suggestions list and grocery list helper.  I will post it when it's done!  To spice up my life a little bit, I may include 1 or 2 recipes with sausage or bacon, even though I am for the most part trying stay away from deli and processed meats.  They are just so good.  We only live once, and moderation is key, right?  :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Unfortunately, my son's birthday cake, cupcakes, and all of the other leftover food around really wrecked my motivation towards my goal of starting my Whole30 the day after my son's birthday party.  OOPS.  So almost 2 weeks later, here I am, 5 pounds heavier...LOL

Today I made A LOT of progress towards readying myself for my whole30.  We have a food delivery coming today with the following items:

Squash Zucchini Organic, 4
Applegate, The Great Organic Beef & Mushroom Blend Burgers (4 pack)
Applegate, The Great Organic Turkey & Mushroom Blend Burgers (4 pack)
Apple Honeycrisp Organic, 7
Primal Kitchen Mayo with Avocado Oil
Primal Kitchen, Organic Unsweetened Ketchup
Lemon Regular Organic, 1
Carrot Loose Organic, 1 lb
Cucumber Green Organic, 4
365 Everyday Value, Organic Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce, 2 jars  <---No Sugar Added
365 Everyday Value, Organic Trimmed Green Beans, 12 oz (1 package)
Celery Organic, 1 Bunch
365 Everyday Value, Organic Broccoli Florets, 10 oz (2 packages)
 
Here is my flexible daily meal plan for the Whole 30 on WEEKDAYS:
  • Meal 1:  Crockpot Sweet Potato Basil Soup with added Chicken or Pork
  • Meal 2: Tuna salad, salmon, or chicken salad with veggies and compliant mayo.  Sides of an apple and sliced cucumber & carrots
  • Meal 3: Steamed vegetables (broccoli most days) in microwave & beef burger with compliant ketchup (will use some ghee or healthy fat on veggies)
Here is my flexible daily meal plan for the Whole 30 on WEEKENDS:
  • Meal 1: Fried egg for breakfast (whenever I get hungry..not going to rush meal 1)
  • Meal 2: Zucchini squash strips softened in skillet and sauteed with marinara sauce and cooked ground beef.  Other options: Another type of squash softened and mixed with marinara sauce & beef, OR Sauteed green beans with onion and garlic with baked sweet potato and meatballs.
  • Meal 3: Turkey patty (or tuna patty) for dinner with oven-roasted veggies.  Other option: Salad if that's my mood!
 
 
 
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I forgot to mention... in an effort to help me de-stress and help me with the mild depression I get during the winter due to so many cloudy days... I am going to use the budget I used for eating out and picking up starbucks for...are you ready!?  Massage and Facials!!!! Why didn't I think of this before?  I think I have enough for 1 facial per month and 1 massage per month in my budget.   :)

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Day 1 Morning

Was guilty I watched avengers endgame with my husband last night instead of putting together the breakfast soup ingredients into the crockpot last night.  Oh well!

So for breakfast I had a Turkey patty and an apple.  

For lunch, I packed a chicken salad with celery, red onion, and mayo.

I also packed steamed broccoli and a beef patty for an early dinner while I'm still at work.   In an effort to reduce snacking and put a halt to weight gain, I am limiting my "eating window" to between 7 AM to 6 PM.  I have already been doing some "intermittent fasting" for about 3 days before I started my whole30, which helped get down to 229.9 pounds.  I was eating around 1500 calories, but within a smaller window of time (I tried 11-7, 9-5, and 12-6  during those 3 days).  It was an experiment and it was easier than I thought it would be, but I want to be able to eat from when I wake up to family dinner time, so an eating window less than 10 hours probably isn't for me. 

This starting weight matches where I was before my son's birthday cake and goodies.. Yay!

I did a lot of internet reading on intermittent fasting yesterday and was surprised to see that most success stories are from men.  I also read some horror stories from women trying it about not having a period any more.  Or some stories were that it just not working for them to lose weight like it works for men.  I don't think I will do it long term, but not eating a few hours before bed is definitely an easy thing to implement, and one of the major takeaways I got from my reading about benefits of fasting.

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I was doing intermittent fasting right before this whole30 as well! I didn’t see any results after a few weeks eating from 12-6 but I think it helped me create healthier habits (like not eating right before bed). As long as I eat a dinner that fits the guidelines on Whole30 I’ve found I naturally don’t eat after dinner anyway. 

Good luck with everything it seems like you’re doing great!

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Hey!!! We are starting up about the same time! Good for you for starting today! The intermittent fasting thing is interesting, isn't it. I found I naturally gravitated towards a schedule where I eat breakfast around noon and then an early dinner and I was totally content. But I know the rules for Whole30 are the three main meals so I'm gearing myself up mentally to eat that breakfast I don't like eating. Meatballs, though - I'd eat meatballs for breakfast! :) Hope your day goes great!!

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3 hours ago, Emma said:

Hey!!! We are starting up about the same time! Good for you for starting today! The intermittent fasting thing is interesting, isn't it. I found I naturally gravitated towards a schedule where I eat breakfast around noon and then an early dinner and I was totally content. But I know the rules for Whole30 are the three main meals so I'm gearing myself up mentally to eat that breakfast I don't like eating. Meatballs, though - I'd eat meatballs for breakfast! :) Hope your day goes great!!

Yay, in this together!  I will have to see if you have a log yet.  What was your start date?  

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OK, I've been starving and having cravings for the past two hours, so I'm going to have my dinner NOW.  :blink:  I guess that means I will have a meal 4?  I prevented myself from snacking all day, but my lunch was just not enough.  I had my chicken salad for lunch, and someone at my work brought in oranges that they brought from florida (covered in a bunch of dirt LOL) and I took one and ate it after my chicken salad.  It was really good.  I thought it would satisfy any sweet tooth I would have, but it MAGNIFIED it, I guess.  I also worked while I ate my chicken salad so I don't even feel like I had any lunch at all, even though it was probably like 500 calories with all that yummy mayo.  So my plan going forward is:  Don't work at the computer and eat at the same time & Don't eat sweet fruit directly after lunch.  

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The first few days are hardest as you figure out how much food is enough to keep you full and satisfied.  Not to mention figuring out which hunger cues are real hunger or thirst or boredom or the sugar dragon.  You’ve got this and whole bunch of people on the forums cheering you on.  If you like cucumbers I found slicing up a whole cucumber into rounds and eating my chicken salad on top of those helped get a lot more veggies in for me.

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11 hours ago, Amy_Michigan said:

Yay, in this together!  I will have to see if you have a log yet.  What was your start date?  

Oh, something about July 2. I wrote this morning, but did it in my feed from last year. I think I'm going to start a new one tomorrow morning. I'm feeling a whole lot of resistance to starting :/

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