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JJ's February Whole30

JJ St Clair

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Started today off on a good foot.

Woke up @ 6 AM. Breakfast was 4 cage free, organic eggs, cooked in organic leaf lard (1TBSP) and an Apple Pie Lara Bar.

Off to the 1st day of CrossFit. Got through it, but it was tough and I had to scale a lot of exercises down so I could do them. I'm going to need to work on form and stamina for the next month. I was already winded just from doing the warmup.

Post CrossFit I had 2 servings of VitaCoco water which nipped those cravings in the bud. Looks like my body wanted that potassium replenished.

Snack at work was 2 servings of kalamata olives and some celery stalks. I was a little concerned about the use of some concentrated grape juice in the olive brine, but figured I'd live since I'm not eating the whole jar. Was a little sad to see that my almonds were roasted in vegetable oil so gave those to a coworker as well as a bunch of stuff in fridge that I couldn't eat while on the Whole30. (Greek Yogurt, Cottage Cheese, Mustard, Mayo, Relish, etc.)

Was still hungry afterwards so I had a Cherry Pie Lara Bar. Hate having to use these to get through the day right now, but I'm kind of jumping into this and didn't have time to properly stock up until after work tonight.

Lunch will be Chipotle's carnitas (double meat) with lettuce, salsa and guacomole. I heard that they use soy or sugar in all their other meats besides the carnitas and soy oil in cooking the fajita veggies so those are all out.

Dinner will be a fattoush salad minus the pita chips. Plenty of veggies, mint and parsley and EVOO, sumac and lemon juice dressing.

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Ok, so on Day 6 right now. The last week has been more difficult than I thought, but I maintained and didn't stray.

I might be eating slightly more than I should per meal, but I'm at 3 meals a day with a snack instead of 6 small ones throughout. I've stuck to strictly Whole30 approved foods and have been reading labels and looking things up online for all the stuff I'm eating.

Best part is that after today's CrossFit session I was absolutely exhausted. After a coconut water and eating lunch (Carnitas and veggies), I'm finally starting to feel some of that tiger blood because right now I want to high five EVERYTHING!

That's not to say that I'm not still craving the stuff I had before. Burgers, fries, pizza, pita bread, beer, whiskey and cigars (wtf?!). But I know that any time I step off this plan I have to start over. And that's held my resolve. Because having to go through the last 5 days sucked and I absolutely do not want to feel like I did on Days 1-3.

I still get a slight headache in the afternoon, but I can usually tough it out and have a couple cups of tea which seem to help. I did take some acetaminophen on Day 3 because I felt like I was hit by a freight train. It was surprising to find I could have a hangover from food withdrawals but haven't had anything that bad since.

The next plan now that my energy levels are starting to get back up there is to start adding in some cardio to my routine on the days I'm not doing CrossFit.

Oh, and I'm on the last notch of my belt. It's a good thing.

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Day 11. Still going strong, no mess ups or slip ups. One interesting thing is that my energy levels still seem to be in flux. I was low energy all weekend (Days 8/9/10) and today as well. I was out of town and didn't go to Xfit so that may be part of it too. I'll be back at the AM class tomorrow so hopefully that kicks my system back into gear.

Over the weekend we made several dishes from the Well Fed cookbook including the Moroccan Meatballs and Smashed Cauliflower. Both were very good but I'll need to tweak the spices a little bit for my own palette. The cauliflower was offputting at first because I was expecting a mashed potato taste. Once I got past that I really enjoyed it.

This weekend will be a challenge because I'm catering an event on Saturday and will be making bread and pasta for it, but I'll be making Whole30 approved meals for myself since I won't be able to eat what everyone else is. It will be a challenge because I won't be able to taste anything beforehand to adjust on the fly. Here's to putting faith in my recipes.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Wow. Day 25. I have to say it's been an experience. I didn't think I'd have sugar cravings like I did, which weren't bad, but I thought I had been doing pretty good eating Paleo before this. Up until Day 21 I had regular headaches which I just toughed out (didn't want to use any NSAID's or ingest any of the corn starch or other binders they use in acetaminophen). Once Day 21 hit, I just plain felt better. Clearer head (clearer than usual which is to say that on this Whole30, my thoughts have been pretty crystal), no real fatigue, and I had to force myself to eat on some days because I was just not hungry.

If anyone reads this, go get Well Fed by Melissa Joulwan. It's proved INVALUABLE on my Whole 30. She has so many delicious recipes in there, and her techniques for prepping veggies for the week by quick steaming them in a hot pan right from a rinse in the sink kept me well stocked. This meant I wasn't eating strictly baby carrots and tuna with mustard which is what I feared would be the case on this journey. Some of my favorites she has recipes for are the Moroccan meatballs, cumin carrots, and believe it or not, the ground meat with onion and seasoning. I found mixing a pound of ground beef with a pound of ground pork, lamb or veal added another flavor component. With the sauteed onion, salt, pepper, and garlic it was so delicious reheated the next day, I would just pour it over a bowl of microwaved spinach at work and BAM! Instant lunch. Probably for not much more than a Cup O'Noodles.

But my favorite discovery was breakfast. Some of the ground beef over the spinach with some cherry tomatoes sliced in half, heat it up and then slide 3 or 4 sunny side eggs onto the steaming pile of awesome and it was like angels were shooting off fireworks in my mouth! If you live in a colder climate (I grew up in Michigan), this would be a perfect start to a blustery February day!

Coming up on the end of this Whole30, I can't say enough good things about what has happened here. Where before, I felt lethargic and run down, constantly hungry and had a foggy head; I now have more energy, feel happier, my head is crystal clear and I rarely get hunger cravings (they still happen, just not as much or as fierce).

The only thing I wish would have been better would have been to make CrossFit every morning. With the change in diet, I had to play around with my meal times since I work nights and would frequently wake up with little energy in the AM (after about 5-6 hours sleep, long days at work right now which can't be helped). Since I wasn't usually hungry when I'd get home from work, I'd go right to sleep and wind up fasting for about 12-14 hours. Lately I've been making myself eat about 2-3 hours before I go to bed the night before CrossFit and my energy levels have increased. I've also started eating a handful more carbs/starches in the form of yams and fruits so I'd have the extra kick needed for the workout.

Next month I'll be pushing myself harder to make it into CrossFit a dedicated 3 times a week and also start to add back in my cardio routine as well. Now that I have a better idea of what I'm doing Whole30 and Paleo wise, it should prove to be an easier month. And if I'm short on time, I might be able to slide a little and grab a non-Whole30 approved Paleo meal on the go.

Oh, one last thing. I pulled out my old jeans I wore from a couple years back when I was in better shape. They fit now. Matter of fact, they're a little loose!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Last post for my Whole 30 (Completed on March 3rd).

Coming off the Whole30 I felt pretty amazing. Energy levels were pretty level and on the higher side than before. The one side effect I hadn't been counting on was not being able to eat enough. I just wasn't hungry and trying to force myself to eat wasn't happening, I literally could not eat any more.

All said and done, I lost 13 lbs on the Whole 30 and dropped about 2 sizes in my jeans.

Coming off the Whole30 I started dialing things back into how I used to eat to see how things made me feel once I ate them. Sadly, everything had some kind of negative drawback. Gluten and corn would make me near comatose and give me a foggy head and headaches. Soy would make me nauseous. Dairy would give me indigestion. About the only thing removed from my diet that didn't seem to really affect me other than making me lethargic was beans and rice.

I'm going back to a paleo diet now, I just don't like how I feel when I'm not eating paleo. I'll also be starting my second Whole30 mid-April to get my body back in order and will be continuing with a pretty strict paleo diet from there on out.

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