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Whole 30 ... Away from Home


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This is my first time doing a Whole 30 and I only heard about the program a few weeks ago. I have an e reader and bought the It Starts with Food book shortly after hearing about the program in order to understand the theory of the eating plan in more detail. I have adjusted my diet many times over the past 25 years and experienced very dramatic health benefits as a result. After having a child however my attention to diet has slipped and I have been unable to generate the motivation and focus to clean up my diet. I do continue to eat gluten free and have been consistent with this for over 12 years. I have eaten a grain free and potato free diet for a number of years prior to having a child. During pregnancy I found myself very hungry and so started to bring in gluten free grain products and potatoes to help with satiation. I have not yet switched back to my former dietary restrictions. This has resulted in weight gain and feelings of general fatigue which I did not experience prior to including gluten free grain products in my daily diet.

I feel very certain that eating grain free is something I need to do long term. I also recognize the value of reducing sugar consumption and dairy intake. I was a vegetarian for 20 years but eventually reintroduced meat after I started eating grain free to ensure I was getting enough nutrition. I was surprised how easy it was for my body to begin eating animal proteins again. I felt much stronger almost immediately. I believed it also helped to stabilize my blood sugar.

Because I am away from home for the next few weeks I know that I will have difficulty sticking to the Whole 30 criteria, but I want to give it a go. I believe the hardest thing to control will be added sugars and corn starch in sauces. I should have little difficulty including lots of vegetables and some fruit. I won't have the ability to stick to ghee and coconut oil and olive oil, but this shouldn't have too much of a negative effect in the short term. Caffeine is something that I already know isn't good for me, and this will be the most difficult for me to live without. Black tea is my personal addiction. I already avoid all forms of coffee because it triggers migraines almost immediately. Tea, even green tea, can do this too, but it takes several cups in a short time to create this effect.

I'm not sure if I will include yams as these are contraindicated in another diet, the specific carbohydrate diet, which I have followed in the past. This diet identifies carbohydrate chains, larger than fructose, as being a significant contributor to IBS, Chrons and Colitis. This diet removes all starchy vegetables as well as all grains. I may experiment with sweet potato as I go along.

Today is day one for me and so far so good. I did have some black tea, however! My achilles heel.

I plan to check in here with updates and thoughts along the way and would welcome any comments from others. :-)

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Thanks for your welcome :-D

My daughter is 2 and growing like a weed. She and my husband seem to be able to eat anything they please. So I'm following this Whole 30 solo. My husband thinks the plan sounds healthy and sensible, which helps a lot.

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I thought I would take a few moments to establish some goals (hopes and aspirations) for my Whole 30. Here are two of my main goals:

1) Shrink my sugar dragon into a pocket sized version of itself

2) Become coffee and caffeine free

Some of the health benefits I hope to experience are:

* Increased energy upon waking

* More physical and mental energy during the day

* Increased patience and calm

* Reduction of aches in my joints and muscles

* Improved digestion

* Reduced water retention

* Weight loss

* Improved mood

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Today felt like a very long day, and I was hungry from the minute I woke up at 5am. Hunger in the mornings is rare for me.

Amazingly I had no black tea today, only herbal. I tried Bengal Spice and it is a very satisfying and flavorful herb tea. I think this will help a lot. I love the ritual of having a cup of tea and so I think I really need to find some tasty herbal alternatives (it might be time to check out David's Tea for some inspiration).

I did not experience a headache from the lack of caffeine today, which is a surprise, but I did feel quite achy in my joints and muscles.

I am away from home at the moment and so my food selections come from my work cafeteria for the most part. I still feel I was able to eat clean and stick to my goals. But I was soooo hungry ... except after lunch (chicken stir fry) when I felt like going to sleep for hours.

I have read that some people become ravenous during the Whole 30 while their body adjusts to the new food. I do hope things settle down soon. I wonder if caffeine also plays a part in staving off hunger?

Breakfast: 2 frittata muffins (egg, spinach, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes), small fruit salad

Lunch: Chicken Stir Fry

Dinner: 2 boiled eggs, salad with squash and walnuts

Snack: small package of raw mixed nuts with a few raisins

Snack: mandarin oranges

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Thanks for your encouragement :-)


Why does time seem to be slowing to a standstill? I've experienced some very successful diet changes in the past and loved it when I actually stopped thinking about food! That to me is a sign that things are going well. I have to report that this is definitely not what's happening here :-)

I woke up this morning with a slightly swollen throat, and so I imagine this might be a detox symptom since it hasn't really progressed to a cold. I had a couple of mandarin oranges as soon as I got up and then had some scrambled eggs with tomatoes and salsa for breakfast. I also had a mid morning snack of a melon fruit salad. At lunch I had a chicken, orange, spinach salad and at dinner a grilled chicken leg with carrots and broccoli. Somewhere in there I also had some mixed raw nuts for a snack. And again today, I only drank herbal tea :-). Yay. 2 days caffeine free.

I noticed today that while I didn't experience any headache symptoms I found it really hard to focus, and I believe this is me sans caffeine. I hope my mind becomes sharper in time. I did notice, however that I became more alert and happier after my mid morning fruit snack - I expect that was the fructose giving me a small energy boost.

Is it true that my hunger is stemming from the change in "fuel" I'm providing my body? I'm switching from more immediate fuel sources to steadier fuel sources like meat and eggs? I will have to search this in the forum because I'm curious about what others have experienced.

In conclusion I would say, so far so good :-)

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This entry is going to be short because I'm so tired and it's about time I try getting more sleep. I feel as though it will take me a few whole 30s to get all the components of the program together. Right now I'm mostly just focusing on the food in my diet, and for me, eliminating caffeine. I know this isn't a necessary part of the whole 30 but I have read some other members who stay away from caffeinated beverages, like me.

Breakfast: 2 eggs scrambled, 2 slices of tomato, salsa

Snack: 2 mandarins and some mixed raw nuts

Lunch: beef and mixed vegetables, stir fried

Snack: mixed raw nuts, fruit leather (I was veering off my whole30 here)

Dinner: mixed green salad, apple cider dressing; stir fried mixed vegetables with chicken

Snack: 2 mandarin oranges

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I'm writing this log before the day is over but I have a feeling the rest of the day should go fine, eating wise. Today looks very similar to yesterday's meals and I'm proud of this because I did have to hold my ground when I went out with coworkers this evening for a drink. I had peppermint tea! So while it wasn't exactly delicious, I felt good about sticking to my Whole 30.

My energy felt very steady today and I think I can attribute this largely to the lack of caffeine. Caffeine really doesn't fly for my system and I've known this forever ... But I love the ritual of a cup of tea ... And the taste ... And the lift (until I crash).

And have I mentioned how much I love tea with cream and honey. So putting all that together, 2-3 times a day sets me up for a real conflict with my sugar dragon, because my cup of tea becomes dessert ... Any time of day.

So I wanted to list some positive things I've noticed over the past few days:

I wake up feeling more rested

My blood sugar seems more steady

I'm not feeling like I could fall asleep in the afternoons after lunch

I'm more hydrated and I'm drinking more water (mostly from herb tea)

My vision seems somehow better

I feel like I have dropped some 'water' weight (in the mornings especially)

My joints feel a touch better

All good things, and it's helping me stay motivated, which I'm happy about. I'm not seeking Whole30 perfection since I don't have a lot of control over the food I eat right now, living out of a suitcase, as I am. But that doesn't mean I can't do my best.

I just finished a delicious Cobb salad for dinner, and am now off to enjoy the rest of the evening.

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DAY 6 and DAY 7

I missed writing yesterday because I was travelling and too caught up in getting settled back home to think about writing. So being home for a couple of weeks should give me more opportunity to stick to Whole30 approved foods (including fats and oils). But I do have couple of cheats to report from last night and today. These were intended cheats believe it not. You see I knew I had some lactose free whipping cream at home so I thought I would see how it would affect me. I have these delicious frozen berries in my freezer and so topped these with the cream last night ... So no sweetener or anything like that. The berries were very tart. I liked it, but honestly I would be just as happy eating the berries by themselves. Once I remove sugar from cream it makes it far less interesting :-). So the key is obviously to stay sugar and sweetener free. This morning I made an omelette and added a little coconut flour and cream and ate it with the berries. I know this probably sounds odd, but I thought it might work. It kind of did, except it is sitting very heavy in my stomach and so next time I would be just as happy with egg all by itself in the omelette. Then continued my cream experiment and put the heavy cream in my herb tea (rooibos) and honestly I prefer it without!

So there you go, experiment over. I think I'm happy to be cream free :-)

I have an ap on my phone that allows me to record what I eat, and the time I eat it. It then has a space for notes. It also allows you to record reactions to the food you eat - you might add a not a few hours later if you feel you're experiencing a food related reaction. So I've been using this to record my meals ... So I'm less inspired to write down the particulars about the meals I have been eating, since I have it recorded on my phone. What I'm more interested in recording here is my daily experience and any food related highlights (like my cream experiment).

Now that I'm home I'll be needing to focus on preparing my own meals, so this will be a whole new challenge. And truly I'm not the most inspired cook. I typically don't like cooking, but maybe this is the motivation I need to spend more time being creative in the kitchen. My husband and daughter are not joining me in this Whole 30, but they should be pleased with the food creations I come up with. Both are great meat eaters.

I might check in again later today (Day 7). Now I'm off to do some errands and grocery shopping. :-)

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Well these past two days have been a bit of a gong show, not food-wise per se, but rather, timing-wise.  Yesterday, after my omelette breakfast, I was so busy with chores that I didn't eat until 4pm - and had a banana with hemp seeds. At 6pm I had a little bit of roast chicken and a couple pieces of broccoli.

Today followed a similar trend.  A banana and hemp seeds for breakfast, a protein shake for lunch and some roast chicken for supper.  Hardly balanced meals.  That's what happens when I'm too busy to think about food.  But I believe I made up for this chaos this evening. I cooked Whole30 approved frittata muffins (egg, onion, spinach, mushroom, tomato - cooked in a muffin tin).  I also made a chicken and spinach meatloaf.  My plan is to have the muffins for breakfast and the meatloaf for lunch (with a mixed green salad and home-made dressing).

My hope is that this cooking spree with simplify the week.  I haven't planned any evening meals but I did get a bunch of different vegetables to cook up and we have lots of frozen pork, chicken, salmon and shrimp in the fridge.

Wish me luck :-)

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Breakfast: 2 frittata muffins (egg, tomato, spinach, onion)

Snack: mandarin oranges

Lunch: chicken, spinach meatloaf, mixed green salad

Snack: mixed nuts with a few raisins

Dinner: Spicy tuna cakes (tuna, yam, green onion, jalapeño pepper, lemon rind, ghee, cilantro, egg), mixed green salad

Beverages: herb tea and water

I've read that snacks are not preferred on the Whole30, but I keep them on hand because my blood sugar can get low during the day. I'm not entirely sure why it should be a goal to avoid taking a snack a between meals, and perhaps someone could comment on this for me. Will I see significant health benefits by avoiding mid-meal snacks?

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DAY 10

Yesterday I was feeling a bit hungry in the mid afternoon so I went to the grocery store and happened to find a bottle of kombucha! I had been reading about kombucha on the forums and decided it was only available outside of Canada, but apparently I'm wrong, luckily. I got the Original variety which was refreshing and strange all at the same time!

I was hungry all day yesterday and ate plenty too. I'm guessing its a hormonal thing. Today I'm pretty hungry too.

Another thing I discovered yesterday while searching the forum (I was actually searching for information on snacking) is a link from Derval about a meditation ap called Headspace. It's so cool and I love how the creator of Headspace explains meditation. Thanks Derval.

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DAY 11

Not sure I have much to report for today. I've been continuing to eat my pre-made breakfasts and lunches for the week and for supper I ate some leftover spicy tuna cakes with steamed kale and a mandarin orange. In the early morning however I did try a chocolate vega shake. This is dairy, gluten and sugar free, but isn't whole compliant because there is a touch of stevia and there may be other issues with some ingredients. I don't really know. It does have probiotics and omega 3s and a good range of nutrients. I had it only because I got a sample packet from the grocery store. I wanted to try this new formulation (Vega One) as I heard it mixes much better than the previous formulation. It does indeed and tastes pretty good as far as Vega shakes go. I don't really like shakes too much, but I was curious.

This evening I had a can of organic coconut water (unsweetened) and it was yummy and refreshing. I don't see people in this forum mentioning coconut water but I love how I feel after drinking this stuff. It is naturally sweet but I never crash after drinking it. Interestingly I did kind of crash after the kombucha yesterday. Mine wasn't sweetened per se but I understand they add sugar to assist with the fermentation process.

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DAY 11 continued ...

I thought I would add that I'm definitely noticing major improvements in my energy levels since starting my W30. It's much easier to wake up early and I don't feel as stiff either. My joints feel happier :-)

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DAY 12

I would love to speak more about how today went but I am just so S L E E P Y. I was fine for most if the day but crashed in the evening. I had a tiny piece of 70 per cent cocoa chocolate, and maybe this had a less than energizing effect on me. I'm not sure. But what I do know is that right now it is time for sleeping :-)

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Another thing I discovered yesterday while searching the forum (I was actually searching for information on snacking) is a link from Derval about a meditation ap called Headspace. It's so cool and I love how the creator of Headspace explains meditation. Thanks Derval.

I got a little un-zen crush on him! Glad you like it :)

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DAY 13

I had a couple of false starts when I started my Whole30 and the last false start ended on day 12. So I've finally made it to day 13 :-). Today has been another exhausting day and this morning especially I felt discombobulated and low in energy. I think it's most likely hormonal, rather than specifically related to my food choices. My skin is developing a few pimples too. Maybe I'm clearing out some unwanted debris in my body?

I skipped breakfast this morning unfortunately because I didn't plan very well, but I did have a nice lunch (albeit a late lunch). Dinner was boring, but compliant (chicken and broccoli). So not my best day on this Whole30, but not the worst day either.

I've been meeting my primary goal, which is to be caffeine free and I'm quite proud and happy about this. I think I will go back and revisit my goals to see where I am ... Since I appear to be approaching the middle of my Whole30. Just two more days and I'm half way there!

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DAY 14, 15, 16

I have definitely been remiss about writing in my log these past few days. I am in the process of relocating and spent the weekend involved in apartment hunting online. Although I haven't been thinking too much about the foods I've been eating I've been sticking to the W30 and cooking up a storm. Hopefully I'll be more chatty in the coming days. I miss recording my Whole 30 experience.

On the weekend I made some mini shrimp frittatas (for breakfasts), a whole bunch of meatballs and an Italian meatloaf. So I have plenty of paleo friendly prepared foods in the house this week. It should make eating a breeze this week.

I'm still caffeine free and not feeling any strange withdrawal symptoms ... except today on the way home I kept thinking about drinking a beautiful latte. This evening I also had a craving for some kind of dessert. I think that must be my sugar dragon waking up . . .

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DAY 17

So today I was at work, chatting to a coworker when all of a sudden I felt a migraine come on. It was all flashing lights for about half an hour. This is strange because I've removed all my usual food triggers. It could have been the bright lights in the room, or stress, but I did find it disconcerting.

Maybe some relaxing meditation wouldn't go amiss.

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DAY 18

The sugar dragon returns . . . not with a vengeance, but more subtle than that. I just keep having these thoughts ... How nice it would be to have a hot chocolate or a dessert! So I settled with frozen berries this evening. I think I'm under stress with my upcoming relocation and it's tapping into my pattern of eating sweets to settle my nerves and ease my mind. I need to remind myself why I'm doing this to maintain my commitment when I'm feeling under strain. I will look through the W30 daily emails to see if something inspiring pops out.

But now it is time for sleeping.

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DAY 19

Breakfast: 2 frittata "muffins" (shrimp, spinach, tomato, mushroom)

Lunch: Meatballs (recipe from Nom Nom Paleo) with salad and homemade dressing

Dinner: Chicken with asparagus

Snack: egg, banana "pancakes"

Beverages: herb tea, coconut water with pulp

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