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Day 16

Im always hungry and sleep too much. I know I’m not eating enough. I just don’t have the energy to meal prep and cook like I should. Last time I tried Whole 30 I gave up on day 14. I’m happy I made it past that mark, but I’ve had some tough days at work and always being hungry is really wearing me down.

I want to keep going to see if I lose weight, stop making poor food choices for convenience, and find out if my body doesn’t like gluten (I have hashimoto’s). When I think about quitting I try to think of this. It’s difficult though. 
 

Any advice?

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Eat more, obviously, would be my first advice. You know that much already.

Take a look at your meal make-up. Are you following the meal template for most/all meals but in smaller amounts than you think you might need? or are you eating too little and not getting a good balance of protein, carbs, and fat as well? I found that I have to be wary of certain foods (like potatoes) at certain times of day (for potatoes, that would be 11a to 3p or so) because of the effects that come... with potatoes, if I eat them during those times, I crash hard (like 3 hour nap and miss cooking dinner, hard). It could be that you need to tweak when and how much you eat of things to get your body's best benefit.

Also, where you are in your cycle makes a difference. At the very start of my cycle (the week after my flow), I tend to be less hungry in an overall sense and I get sleepy more easily if I eat starchy carbs. The week before my flow, I start feeling sluggish and take that as a sign that I should start upping my iron (mine is typically low-ish) and slowly increasing my intake. The week of my flow, I double up on protein and starchy carbs, because not doing that would have me flat on my face. That specific set-up might not be what works best for your body, but it gives an idea of how hormones really do affect us... looking back, I've realized that I was doing this type of thing already, pre-Whole30, without realizing that's what it was and with much worse-for-me foods.

In terms of prepping and cooking, minimize what effort you have to make as much as possible, if it's that effort that's causing you so much distress that you feel like you want to stop :) Some ideas would be...

Use pre-chopped veggies when recipes call for them. Frozen ones tend to be cheaper, especially if it's a common thing like chopped onions, bell peppers, or a mirepoix blend (celery, onion, carrot or the Cajun version of celery, onion, bell pepper). Sometimes using a pre-chopped version means your dishes turn out a little differently (because the pieces are often smaller), but that's not always bad! I'll often get baby carrots on a good sale, then either use them whole or just chop them in half to have big chunks, so that's another option that does allow for larger pieces (for potatoes I do this when I can get the baby ones on sale).

Make 2 of what you're eating. If you're already going to be prepping chicken breasts with herbs and spices, go ahead and double it, making twice what you need for one meal (remember to consider a leftovers portion if you need that). Cook one and put the other into the freezer to cook another time. There are a TON of "freezer meals" recipes online that don't require any pre-cooking!

Cook often using a crock, electric pressure cooker, or casserole dish in the oven. These are things where you can typically walk away and let the appliance do its work, unlike when you're having to babysit a pot/pan on the stove.

Salad. Let me say it again - salad. Nope, not good enough - SALAD!
Ahem, sorry. Can you tell I love salad? There are so many different ways you can do it, eating something a little different every day, and so many things you can do to it to keep it fun and tasty while still being compliant. It doesn't always even have to look like just some greens on a plate with junk on top... this gado gado recipe is probably my favorite way to shake up my salads. Here, too, I'm usually making several portions beyond what I actually need for my chicken and eggs for one meal because it's easy and saves me some trouble later.

Prep in advance. Referring back to the freezer meal idea, set yourself a day to do the majority of your meal prep and knock it out. Freeze what you can, and you're good to go. Even going into Whole30 as a meal planner, I had NO IDEA that I was going to spend around 2 hours in the kitchen prepping every day... and probably the only reason I'm considering another round now that I work nearly full time is that I've learned to do freezer meal prep. I plan our meals around what's on sale, whip through the store with a list of what I need (and avoid buying anything not on the list), and then come home to either prep that day or the next (or I might spread it out over two days, so like the meat's prepped one day and the veggies the next, but it all gets done and frozen quickly).

Take a breath and give yourself some grace. It's awesome that you've made it this far, and it's amazing that you want to keep on. You're in it for your long-term health. If some days you manage compliant and satisfied but not template-perfect, then okay... it's done, move on. Taking the time to set yourself up for success is a game-changer, though, and helps make sure you have plenty to keep you fed and chugging along :) 

Lastly, if you want feedback about what you're eating, go ahead and post 2-3 days of what you've been eating and (if you can) about how much. It doesn't have to be specific, just enough to give an idea of what's going in so others can see if anything stands out as a glaring reason why you might be feeling like you are. If you don't already know what you've eaten, keeping a food diary is good for during Whole30 (and after, really) and can help with that.

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Hang in there! I can definitely relate. This is my fourth successful round and I find myself not eating enough more often than I should just because I don't want to deal with all the planning and shopping and preparing and cleaning. But, I've found a few things that help so I'll share them with you in the hopes that they help you too. 

  • If you can afford it, buy some salad dressings and sauces that you like so you don't have to make them. This makes a world of difference in allowing you to throw things together quickly and add some great flavor. My favorite brand is The New Primal. I love their marinade for throwing together a super quick stir fry and I love their dressings. 
  • Find super simple meals that you can throw together quickly. My go-to is a grilled steak and a baked potato with some salad and dressing. I buy mixed greens and compliant dressing so all I have to do is throw some greens in a bowl and add some dressing. I just add salt and ghee to the baked potato when it comes out. And I have a pre-made dry rub that I use on the steak. Cook time takes a little bit because of the baked potato, but the hands-on time is like 10 minutes. If you can have some go-to meals like this, it helps a lot. Other options are grilled chicken, steamed broccoli and an avocado. 
  • Don't make every meal from a recipe. On my first round, I tried to plot out my 30 days of meals and I had actual recipes for every meal. That was way too overwhelming. Just throw together some compliant ingredients for some of your meals (which is also a great way to use up leftover food in your refrigerator). 
  • In general, I also just find it easier to wing my meals than to meal plan. Some people find this scary and uncomfortable though. 

I hope this helps! Let me know if you'd like me to send over some of my favorite Whole30 products. They are expensive, but if you are able to afford them, they can make things a lot easier! 

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KEEP GOING!

Tessemae's dressings are my favorites!  For salads or for dipping.

Snack if you have to; following the recommended 3 meals isn't worth being hangry on days that your meals didn't meet the template and you find yourself out of energy or angry.  Just make sure you're eating because you are truly hungry, not for comfort.

Find some quick fix items you really like and keep them on hand for when you don't really feel like cooking (something along the lines of Applegate Hotdogs and some vegetables you can toss together with dressing or roast with oil).  Or find a quick recipe you can keep ingredients on hand and whip together (this is mine: https://www.wellplated.com/whole30-chicken-salad/)

Stock up Whole30 complaint single serve freezer meal - Great Value brand at Walmart.

AND evaluate your Non-scale victories and focus on what's already happening rather than the end results. https://whole30.com/downloads/whole30-nsv.pdf 

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