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Josh's first Whole30


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Hello, everyone! My name is Josh. I am twenty-six years old and live in Memphis, TN with my fiancee (who will also be participating), our two cats, and three birds. We got the idea to start a Whole30 from The Clothes Make the Girl, and we bought ISWF last week.

A little background: I have been partially vegetarian for a little over a year (meaning that we have not had any meat in our home for over a year, though we would eat meat if our family had cooked or if we were craving it while out). I have had some intesinal issues that point toward IBS (pretty mild, but who wants ANY problems in that area?), and I am hoping the Whole30 can whip my digestive track into shape. I have high blood pressure, usually hovering around 140/80, but am not medicated. I work as a secretary, so my job is very sedentary, but, in the warm months, I augment my activity levels with cycling and frisbee (need to do more!). Cooking is a passion of mine, and being vegetarian has given me some preparation for the creativity required to keep the Whole30 interesting and diverse. I am, however worried about cooking meat again! It's been so long, I feel like I'm going to be a beginner in the kitchen all over again.

I am not planning to treat this first week as formally part of my Whole30, because I will be spending much of the week in various grocery stores reseaching and discovering all the budget friendly options that are available to me. We are on a very tight grocery budget in our home, and I am terrified to see how much meat costs after all this time away from it. I hope that eliminating the cost of cheese, milk, pasta, beans and the processed foods we were accustomed to eating while vegetarian will balance out the cost of the meat (we are already familiar with the price of qualty produce, so it doesn't intimidate me as much).

Another hitch that I am going to have to plan around very carefully is that we work out of town every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and stay away from home for all three days. I get the feeling that we will struggle with getting our vegetables on these days. I also work nights, and this is something that I will be asking others on here about very frequently.

So that's it for the intro! My goals are to shed some weight, lower my blood pressure, clean up my bowel issues and reinvigoate my culinary skills with the reintroduction of meat. Really looking forward to it!

This week's meal plan (let me know if I'm doing anything wrong!):

Monday (starting with Meal #3)

Mexican spiced turkey lettuce cups with roasted brussels sprouts and carrots

Prep: Homemade salad dressing and homemade mayonnaise (ISWF)


Meal #1: Scrambled eggs with onion, bell pepper, shredded carrot, spinach and garlic; avocado

Meal #2: Chicken salad (canned chicken, mayo, red onion, green olives), spring salad with homemade vinegrette and raw vegetables (carrot, broccoli, cauliflower); maybe some almonds

Meal #3: Asian chicken soup with savoy cabbage and bok choy (TCMTG, I think?) and a side salad


Meal #1: "Superfood frittata" w/ eggs, shredded carrot and sweet potato, onion, bell pepper and broccoli; avocado on the side

Meal #2: Left over Asian chicken soup with shredded cabbage, kale and carrot slaw (dressing = homemade mayo + curry powder)

Meal #3: Gound beef curry with butternut squash, sugar snap peas, onion, bell pepper and garlic, served over cauliflower "rice" pilaf (so excited to try the cauliflower "rice" thing!)


Meal 1: Left over curry with eggs scrambled in and avocado on top

Meal #2: Tuna salad (same as chicken sald, but with tuna) with steamed broccoli and cauliflower; almonds

Prep: This will be our big chicken breast cook day. I will have to play around with just how much we need

Meal #3: Broiled chicken breast with a baked sweet potato topped with spicy coconut kale and roasted broccoli on the side

This is as far as I've planned out so far. The weekends are going to be very tough starting out. I hate to be pessimistic, but I'm sure the first couple of weekends will be very difficult to keep clean. Regardless, though, we'll give it our best.

I may not keep this as a daily log, but it will certainly be at least bi-weekly. I am so excited to join in with this community in making my life healthier and more delicious. Thanks for reading!

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Hi josh, welcome, I used to be a raw food vegan so I know all about reintroducing meat and the cost of it. I'm also on a really tight budget but it can be done. Fortunately I'm at home all the time so I don't have the issues you have at weekends, but many on here have travelled, worked away etc so I'm sure you'll be able to get lots of advice there. One thing I would say, is that if you haven't been eating a lot of meat, it can take the stomach and digestive system a while to get used to it. I found taking a digestive enzyme absolutely invaluable.

Your meal plans look great, I wish I was so organised. The only thing I would say, which I'm sure you already know, is if you're having canned chicken or tuna, check the labels carefully. Many have complained about soy and things in tuna. i don't have that problem over here but have never been able to find canned chicken that doesn't contain carageenan. Anyway, keep us posted how you do and don't be afraid to ask any questions you may have, good luck.

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We went to the grocery store today. I couldn't find any compliant canned chicken, but we found the 365 brand canned Albacore Tuna to be compliant, and pretty affordable to boot!

One ingredient that I saw pop up several times was "natural flavorings." Is this a compliant ingredient? Also, does anyone know if Kitchen Basics No Salt Added Chicken Broth is compliant? Everything looked ok to me on the ingredients list, but I think it was "chicken flavoring" that threw me for a loop.

Meat was expensive, even the commercial stuff. I can't imagine how you all feed multiple people on grass fed/pastured meat and eggs. I guess priorities are priorities, but I'm not in a financial situation where I can prioritize like that at this moment in time.

It was a good trip, though, and we really didn't do too much different besides buy meat and avoid the frozen processed stuff.

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Josh, you do not have to buy pastured, organic, grass fed etc. to do a successful W30. As Tom has said, you can shop at Walmart and do a good W30. In fact, they have one of the best coconut milks in a can around. Very inexpensive too. Do the best you can. Watch for sales. Do you shop at Costco? They have great prices on very good meats and I love their packs of two dozen eggs.

Chicken stocks are a tough one, but it is so easy to make your own using the bones from your whole chickens that you've roasted. :) They do have one compliant one at Whole Foods, but I forget the brand. I'll look the next time I am there.

Also, I think it was you...you said you have high blood pressure. 140/80 is not considered high. It may go lower with all this good food but at least according to my doc, you are not high.

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Making my own stock will definitely be on my list once I convince my mom to give me her crock pot! I should have been a little more specific with my BP; my average over the last 2 weeks is 145/83, and, with my family history, my doc has told me a change now could really pay off in the long run (but we all know that!)

Dinner tonight was delicious and super simple! Feeling very satisfied even without the grains we are so used to. I mixed some apple in with the onions and peppers, and it added such a great sweetness.

UPDATE: A quick search tells me that, while it's preferable to avoid things with "natural flavorings," they will not negatively affect my Whole30. Good news!

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Day #1 (technically)

Today went very well, even with a couple of changes to my meal plan. I have a very early class on Tuesday and Thursday (0730), and I was not able to get up early enough to make breakfast. Luckily, I had left over filling from the Mexican turkey lettuce cups I had last night; so, for meal #1, I had that and an apple. Meal #2 was also improvised, as I hadn't gotten around to making the homemade mayonnaise yet. We had sweet potato and kale hash with eggs scrambled in. I had some grapes mid-afternoon, and cooked the soup as I had planned for Meal #3.

One thing that I struggled with today was late night hunger. Working nights, I tend to stay up pretty late even on my off days (I'm still up at 2330, even though I shouldn't be), so I had half a baked chicken breast (this is easily my favorite way to have chicken) and some grapes.

Overall, though, I feel great. I can already tell that I am considerably less bloated after my meals, and I noticed that having a meaty protein for breakfast really helped curb my normal mid-morning hunger.

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Day #2

I'm feeling a bit sluggish today, and I've been fighting a mild headache all day. I imagine that's from the lack of caffeine. I don't drink coffee and I prefer my tea sweetened, so I don't have a way to replace that caffeine really. No worries though, it will pass.

I've had some wild cravings today which tells me just how dependent I am on fast food. I wanted nothing more this afternoon than to hit up Taco Bell for a burrito. Luckily, we had yummy curry for dinner and it was strongly flavored enough to quell my cravings.

I woke up late today (still catching up from work last weekend) so it's looking like a 2-1/2 meal day.

Meal #1 - Frittata with broccoli, carrot, bell pepper, onion and Dijon.

Meal #1.5 - 1 baked chicken breast with strawberries and pineapple

Meal #2 - Ground beef yellow curry with onions, bell pepper, garlic, carrots and cabbage, served over cauliflower "couscous" SO GOOD

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