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Restarting a journal is my first step toward starting my next W30 on January 2.  My ultimate goal is to live close to W30/paleo most of the time, but I constantly struggle against myself and my addiction to sugar and processed foods.  Part of the issue is that I'm lazy and don't like to spend the time prepping and cooking and part of the issue is self-sabotage.  I use this journal to track my foods, work through my challenges, and keep myself accountable to myself.  Even though I fall off and disappear (I haven't posted since early November), the fact that I come back and start again is a win for me.  

My health habits have whittled down to maintaining my ButcherBox meat order, doing yoga a few times a week and walking daily.  Since October 7, I've made it a priority to walk 10,000 steps/day.  I've missed only one day - Christmas Eve.  I report in daily to my Mom and her best friend, who are also committed to a daily step count.  I have osteoarthritis and a few other bone/joint/chronic pain issues and I know that eating well helps my pain levels.  I'm looking forward to being able to get up from a chair easily and walk without shuffling.  I'd also like to be able to walk longer distances without having to rest or stretch.  These things will be NSVs for me pretty quickly once I start W30.  

My plan:

12/28:  Start journal, search for recipes

12/29: Journal, meal plan

12/30: journal, create grocery list

12/31: journal, order groceries

1/1: journal, meal prep

1/2: Start W30


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Thank you, @Contessa.  You have been such a wonderful support and mentor for me through this process of life change.  Appropriately for some, W30 is a 30-day reset.  For others, like me, it is a striving toward wellness.  Your message of self-kindness and gentleness has stayed with me, even during my months away from here.  

@LydiaJo - thank you!  I've found that I land closest to my ideals when I make - and write out! - a plan for myself.  


Here are two recipes I found yesterday that I want to try next week.   I'll make mayonnaise as part of my preparation.  And chicken salad - an easy go-to middle-of-the-night snack that I sometimes find I need during the first week:


https://themodernproper.com/sheet-pan-chicken-fajitas  serve as salad with crema made with mayo

I'll spend time meal-planning today.  

I'm working on being indifferent to these last few days before W30.  This is often a time when I gorge on all the non-foods I sometimes like to feed myself.  


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I'm glad some people are still using the forum :) Happy to have somene to follow along with on here as we head into January W30s together. I find journalling to be extremely effective for all parts of my life and this forum is a great journal for me.

I'm working on getting ready for a W30 by not gorging for a change - lol! We started a W30 in May 2020 and totally bombed - it felt like a punishment with all the covid-craziness swirling around us! This time we're approaching it like a gift. Let's get this going!

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Another recipe that I added to next week's meal plan:


Today's plan involves creating my grocery list.  I have lots of Primal Kitchen and Tessamae sauces and dressings in the cabinet, compliant broths, coconut oil, ghee, all the staples.  Last round, I bough umami powder which has been a great seasoning to add to various dishes.  And Hawaiian sea salt to make Kahlua Pig.  That will be a meal later in the 30 days-one of my favorites.  

The good thing about the pandemic and the holiday season is that we didn't have any parties, and so there aren't extra cheeses, crackers, and treats laying around.  I had planned to make fondue Christmas Eve, but decided to save that for New Year's Eve.  Fondue and Prosecco for New Year's Eve! 

One of my issues is that I get away from vegetables during my off W30 times.  In my head, vegetables are disgusting.  But when I fix them and eat them, I like them.   As I'm writing this, I'm thinking of vegetables as punishment.  A childhood issue-"Eat your (mushy, tasteless) green beans before you get up from the table." And I was stubborn, sitting for hours....interesting.  The reality is that while the bready/sweet carbs taste good, they punish me with pain and decreased mobility.  Such a simple concept, but I never thought about this in quite this way.  This is why I journal - it helps me reflect.  





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Today's task is to order groceries.  And I think also to clean out the refrigerator, cabinets, etc.  For instance, there are snickerdoodles that I made for my daughter over a week ago sitting on the counter on a Christmas plate.  They are going in the trash today.  There is a bag of salt & vinegar chips, mostly crumbs, in the cabinet.  Fudge in a tin on the counter.  All of that can go right in the trash, with no reservations.  I don't typically throw away junk food when I start a W30 because my husband continues with SAD and complains heavily if I get rid of his cookies and chips.  Though he's the first to want to eat my W30 meals as leftovers...

I will be continuing my 10,000 steps a day as my main exercise for the time being.  I have attempted trips to the gym during the pandemic, but I've known a number of people who've contracted Covid-19 from the gym.  So that's out for me until our local numbers go way down.  

I do want to take on a 30-day yoga challenge.  At least 10 minutes of yoga daily.  I practice mostly yin/restorative, but I'll add vinyasa/flow especially for the shorter practices.  That will start tomorrow.  

The only thing I really want to eat pre-W30 is tacos.  I think I'll have those for lunch today, fondue for dinner.  I could possibly start W30 tomorrow...

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I finished the fondue for breakfast, and will finish my dairy-based coffee creamer this morning.  And I *have* to eat black-eyed peas for dinner...good luck for the new year and all that.  But I'm mentally ready to begin tomorrow.  I was inspecting my skin in the mirror earlier, noticing how puffy and pasty I look.  And such achiness from my hips down.  I'm ready.  

Meal prep for today - I'll make mayonnaise, poach chicken breasts, roast sweet potatoes, and cut vegetables.  Also, 30 days of yoga starts today.  


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Just in case I was having any thoughts of putting of my start until Monday, I slept terribly last night due to joint pain.  So I'm ready.

Because of the poor sleep, I slept in the recliner for a few hours this morning while it was foggy and dreary outside.  I do feel somewhat rested at this point, but it's very late in the morning.  I just finished my first meal and am about to put the laptop away and go for a 3 mile hike through the woods and cypress swamp with the dog.  And then day 2 of 30-day yoga later this afternoon.  

Day 1

M1-3 eggs with diced tomatoes and fresh basil, topped with homemade mayonnaise.  3 slices sugar-free bacon.  No coffee - I like black coffee, but have been using holiday flavored creamers since Thanksgiving (pumpkin spice, peppermint twist, etc.) so I need to go cold-turkey on the coffee for a few days.  

M2-chicken salad with celery and kale.  I didn't put this together yesterday after poaching the chicken and making the mayo, so I'll make a big batch today.  

M3-Steak bites with sweet potatoes recipe from above.  Along with sautéed onion and kale. 




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I slept a bit better last night...still had a hard time falling asleep and slept away some of this morning.  Another dreary, rainy day.  Maybe a good day to watch movies and read all day (but still need to get my 10,000 steps.)  

Yesterday was pretty easy, as the first day tends to be. The mental boost of doing something good for myself was strong.  It's both physically and mentally nourishing to eat well.  The steak and sweet potato was amazing and there is some leftover for lunch today.  I added so much olive oil with each ingredient I was sautéing in the pan that I was quite full and satisfied at the end of the meal.  I was a little "hungry" a few hours later, but I think that was my evening snack habit, rather than true hunger.  A yummy hot tea will be my go-to if that craving gets too strong over the next few days.  

I woke hungry this morning and maybe a little less stiff (?).  Could be hopefulness, but there's nothing wrong with that!  I do need to make sure I drink enough water today because hydration levels definitely impact my pain levels.  

Day 2

M1- chicken salad with celery.  Standard go-to.  The household is still asleep, I like the quiet, and didn't want to wake the hubby with the smell of bacon and eggs.  

M2 - leftover steak, sweet potato and curry mayo with kale

M3-oven pan chicken fajita recipe.  served over salad with avocado.  

I discovered during my last Whole 30 that I'm sensitive to nightshades, but that I can handle small doses.  I just can't eat them in every meal, all day.  I suspect bell peppers may be more bothersome, though.  Once I get through this week, I'll cut out the bell peppers for a while and see what happens.  

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Oh the headache....yesterday I ended up doing nothing most of the day but vegging and peeing.  I always go to the bathroom so much in the beginning - the massive cut in carbs equates to an increase in fluid release...and the headache.  I have been eating sweet potato in an effort to ward off the impact, but substituting proteins and vegetables for what has been bagels and cereal is going to crash my carb intake.  The headache seems to be gone today (a little on the fringes), so I'm hoping that part is over!

One error that I make every Whole 30 - I'm gung-ho with the recipes the first week, without considering that my energy levels are going to be shot and I might not feel like cooking.  That happened yesterday, so I did not make the fajitas.  Instead, I had sugar-free bacon and eggs cooked with onion and kale.  It was good comfort food.  

Otherwise, I definitely seem to be moving a little better.  And while I had a hard time falling asleep last night, I wasn't having the overall achiness that has plagued me.  Whether or not this is a true NSV or wishful thinking/"all in my head" I'll take it.  

Day 3

M1-eggs sautéed in olive oil, topped with mayo.  sugar-free bacon (all gone until next week!)

M2-chiicken fajitas over salad - going to make this and then I'll be back on track with my meal plan for the week.

M3-picadillo recipe from above.  

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The picadillo was delicious.  I fried up some cubed potatoes in olive oil as the base.  I will definitely be making that again.  

I am feeling better - a good energy level yesterday, though a slight headache in the background.  Still a little stiff and pretty significant tightness and pain after yesterday afternoon's walk.  But this morning was much better - the dog and I walked about 1.5 miles and for the first time in ages I did not have tightening in my low back or hamstrings, no pain in my knees or hips.  I kept waiting for things to appear, and noticing every little twinge.  I was getting a little tightness toward the very end, but I came in the house and was able to sit normally (rather than collapse into a seat because I can't quite bend my knees far enough to sit correctly), 

I also slept well, practiced yoga, and was well-hydrated, so those things help, too.  

Day 4

M1-chicken salad with celery

M2-chicken fajitas over salad 

M3-leftover picadillo over potatoes fried in olive oil.  


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Not quite as energetic yesterday, and while my morning walk was nearly pain-free, the afternoon one was not.  Baby steps in the right direction, though.  It's pretty miraculous to have such an immediate impact from diet change, but I also know it's a process.  I say this every time - I don't know why I allow myself to slip so easily back into a SAD...I KNOW it causes my joint pain.  The pain sneaks up on me, a little stiffer this day, a little more difficulty sleeping that night, and before I know it I'm right back to baseline.  I think I can manage a balance between the ease and yumminess (though I know this is a brain chemistry trick) of processed foods and wholesome foods, but I cannot.  I learn this a little more clearly each time, and while I keep circling back to what doesn't work, I also keep circling to what does.  And maybe each time that SAD circle is getting smaller.  Each time I find something else that works for me and is sustainable.  

I did not sleep well last night, and so ended up sleeping a little later than usual, so no long morning walk.  I'll have to work steps in to my day, and take a longer afternoon walk.  And today will be Day 6 in a row of yoga.  

Day 5

M1 - pumpkin soufflé:  pumpkin, eggs, coconut milk, cinnamon, and nutmeg whisked together and baked.  Yummy.  

M2 - chicken salad over salad and bone broth

M3 - steak and broccoli 


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@LadyWolf0926  I'm sure there was a recipe at some point, but I've been making it for years and have created my own way.  I whisk together one can of pumpkin, about 1/2 can coconut milk, 6-8 eggs (depends on what I have left in a carton), cinnamon, and nutmeg.  I grease a 9x9 pan with avocado oil spray dump the mixture in, top with pecans if I have them and a sprinkle of cinnamon, and bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until it's no longer jiggly in the middle.  I think the original recipe called for separating the eggs and whipping the whites to make it truly a souffle, but I like it just fine without the extra work.  

Yesterday was a good day.  I had a lot to do, including taking Christmas decorations to the attic.  I usually avoid this because it's so much effort, but I didn't mind and did it quickly.  Everything got done, I wasn't in too much pain, and I felt very accomplished.  I was so busy I missed the riots (probably a good thing because I would have been glued to the tv).  I didn't hear of it until my husband mentioned it over our late dinner - then I immediately began searching out news.  As would be expected, I was quite heightened and edgy, and so had difficulty settling down and falling asleep later.  But I did end up sleeping well once I went to sleep.  

Day 6

M1-pumpkin souffle

M2-leftovers of chicken salad, bone broth, ceasar salad with PK dressing

M3-leftover chicken fajita over kale

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Yesterday was another good day - lots to do and kept busy with it, moving from task to task on my to-do list.  But when it was time to settle down, I devoured all the latest on the riots. Not a good idea before bed.  And so I didn't sleep great, lots of tossing and turning, vivid dreams, which happens to me when I'm feeling stressed.  Today, I'm going to parse my news with planned bits through the day.  I had a good walk with a friend and our dogs yesterday afternoon, and we talked about where we were for all the big events in our life - Challenger explosion, 9/11, etc.  And how we found ourselves glued to the tv for days...part of my 3 a.m. musings were about how unhealthy and unhelpful that is for me, and so I came up with the plan to schedule twitter and tv news check-ins today,  

I can't believe I've been doing this for a week.  As hard as it is to gear up and mentally prep myself for a W30, it is so easy to get through stages of it with proper preparation.  I know boredom and cravings are in my very near future, but I'm going to enjoy the ease of now and the pleasure and pride I derive from nourishing myself.  

Day 7

M1-pumpkin souffle

M2-the rest of the chicken fajita over greens

M3-steak ceasar salad 


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Busy day yesterday, and I didn't get a chance to journal.  It was a good day, though, wholesome meals and 10,000+ steps.  I am starting to have a bit of the GI issues/sluggish digestive system.  Still this morning....I'm hoping today will be the end of this.  

Day 8

M1 - eggs and compliant sausage

M2- grilled chicken and avocado salad

M3-Grilled chicken with berries over salad greens


I slept well last night, and I have a good energy level despite the digestive stuff.  Heading to a farmer's market shortly to pick up some winter vegetables!  

Day 9

M1- eggs with Applegate farms ham and a mineola orange

M2- grilled chicken salad

M3-steak, sweet potato, broccoli


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Last night's last meal took an interesting twist from my original plan.  A new Cuban restaurant opened in town, and the hubs offered to pick up carry out on his way home for work.  After scouring the menu and talking with the restaurant (her broken English v. my broken Spanish), I opted for the grilled chicken in a criolla sauce - spicy tomato, garlic, and peppers.  I was assured that "todas las salsas son sin azucar" or something like that and that the oil they use is lard.  I had yucca and plantains as my sides.  It was delicious and I haven't felt any ill effects so I'm thinking it's ok.  I realize that some of the dry spices they use could have soybean oil, but it is also an authentic Cuban restaurant, so with no effects on my part, I'm going to assume they use everything fresh and from scratch.  It certainly seemed that way based on the conversation we had - lol! 

On a possibly related note, I slept excellent last night - I wonder if it's because my carb intake has been so low over the last 10 days and then I got a huge injection with the yucca and plantain last night.  I feel great today, with my GI issues mostly resolving yesterday.  

Day 10

M1 - Rx bar, mineola orange

M2 - grilled chicken salad

M3 - steak, sweet potato, broccoli

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Great day yesterday, energy is good.  I've discovered Valtoren, the wonder cream for arthritis pain and it, along with the diet changes, have really made a difference in my knees.  Everything seems to be moving in the right direction.  I slept well again last night.  

Day 11

M1-eggs and compliant bacon

M2-grilled chicken, zucchini, onions, and peppers

M3-grilled whitefish and broccoli, maybe some white potatoes fried in ghee.  

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Busy week, forgot to post yesterday, and today is busy, too.  Just trying to keep my journal habit this week.  Next week will be back to normal.  All is going well.  My meals are compliant, I'm not really struggling with anything right now (well, maybe a little food boredom....), and my energy levels are great.  Still working on the pain/achiness/stiffness but this is much improved over two weeks ago.  

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