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C's Whole30+ Food Log


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Had an amazing Whole 30 experience in January and am back for another dose. I don't think I will be quite as strict this time around as I was in January, but I still want to experience another month or so feeling great.

Spent the weekend whipping up some excellent stuff in the kitchen — mashed cauliflower, a pound or two of garlicky ground beef, and this delicious butternut squash soup.

Intentions this time around:

(1) I intend to keep a food log on this page.

(2) As often as possible, I intend to eat without a screen in front of me. This is part of a new habit I'm working to create — paying attention to the food itself and to the satiety I experience when I enjoy it.

(3) I intend to support my mindful eating process with reading/audiobooks on this topic (Geneen Roth, Eating By the Light of the Moon, etc.).

(4) I intend to keep going longer than 30 days if I feel an internal leading in that direction. (I did feel that leading last time, but I ignored it, and I think I quit too early.) When it is time to step down, I will do so in a slow and systematic way (as detailed in ISWF).

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Breakfast - Whatever's-In-The-Fridge Breakfast Scramble (2 eggs, chopped kale, sweet potato, roast chicken cooked in coconut oil)

Lunch - beloved butternut squash soup with crumbled ground beef mixed in

Dinner - ground sirloin meatballs w/ spaghetti squash and sugar free spaghetti sauce

Post-dinner snack - Some "Go Raw" sesame "cookies" with almond butter

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Breakfast - my usual hash

Lunch - butternut squash soup with crumbled ground beef

Dinner - ground sirloin meatballs w/ spaghetti squash and sugar free spaghetti sauce; spicy mashed cauliflower

Post-dinner snack - Go Raw sesame 'cookies' & almond butter

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Breakfast - herbal tea; green smoothie w/ lots of veggies (I know smoothies are not ideal but I needed some variety.... discovered the genius concept of adding coconut milk to a smoothie to get a little fat in the morning, will try that next time for sure)

Snack - almonds

Lunch - butternut squash soup w/ ground sirloin; a splash of kombucha

Dinner - cauliflower soup; green salad w/ shredded beets, sunflower seeds, etc.,; rotisserie chicken

Snack - Go Raw 'cookies' & almond butter

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Breakfast - morning hash w/ kale & ground turkey/pork in ghee

Lunch - mashed califlower & mashed sweet potatoes mixed w/ ground turkey/pork and roast chicken breast (see also 'fridge grab bag')

Snack - cranberry kombucha; pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, cashews

Dinner - roast chicken w/ mashed cauliflower

Snack - W30-friendly meatloaf with homemade 'ketchup' (actually just a taste test of what I was cooking all night)

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Note: There was some minor off-roading today, and I consider these experiences part of learning how to 'ride my own bicycle.' These off-road experiences were both planned. Since I completed a W30 successfully in January, I'm on round 2 this month, and have known from the start that I wanted to be a little more relaxed with this go-round. I'm not experiencing any health problems; I'm not testing for sensitivity to any particular food group. I did that with some success in January. My real challenge this time is to draw my "W30 self" closer to my "non-W30 self" — eliminating the huge gap I discovered between my on-plan self and my "I love to cheat" self.

Each Friday afternoon, the women from my office go out to our favorite lunch spot for sushi. I knew going into this that I did not want to cut out the sushi, even though many of the rolls do contain rice. Sushi is a once-a-week treat for me; the time with my friends at work is genuinely helpful in terms of stress relief. Sushi also doesn't light up the pleasure-centers of my brain like some of the 'Frankenfood' discussed in ISWF. Because it is not a trigger for me, I am allowing myself to have it occasionally on this W30. I don't think I gain anything significant by cutting it out this time around.

I did off-road further at a Shabbat dinner on Friday night — a few bites of challah bread and a little wine as part of the ritual of the evening. Again, I'm not going to get hung up on this. Bread and wine are clearly off-plan, but this was part of a religious ritual. I am chilling out.

Breakfast - morning hash (eggs, ground beef, sweet potato & cauliflower)

Lunch - sushi

Dinner - bread/wine on Shabbat; lemongrass chicken with roasted brussel sprouts (as it turns out, everything except the bread and wine served by these friends was very W30-friendly!)

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Breakfast - morning hash
Lunch - W30-friendly meatloaf & mashed cauliflower
Dinner - chicken breast, green beans & mashed sweet potatoes
Dinner tonight was one of the first real challenges since starting this W30. I went to a restaurant for a big surprise birthday party for a family member. As soon as I walked into the restaurant, I saw a huge, elaborate birthday cake all laid out on the table. Gulp. After our dinner, which I modified to make W30-compliant, the cake came out and giant wedges were cut and passed. After briefly considering taking a bite or two, I passed. Once I got over the initial trepidation of saying, "None for me, thanks," the temptation passed completely and I felt zero longing for the cake. (Still, I'm glad to have that moment behind me :) )
Another potential challenge coming up on Tuesday night — my boyfriend and I are having another dinner at the home of some of his friends. I have never met these folks, so I'm not sure what to anticipate. I will bring a gentle attitude toward myself and towards the food. I won't face-plant into the cookie tray if that happens to be offered, but I will just do the best I can with what is served. One little day at a time of learning to ride my own bicycle and staying on the road.

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It will be great to follow you. I am also starting my second W30 (today) and I am a great fan of Geneen Roth. I followed a course in Mindful Eating last year - and it was just fabulous! It changed everything! I have not had any emotional eating since. For me mindful eating is the psychological part, while W30 is the physiological part. Together they are great! Good luck!

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Thanks Emma! Glad to have some good company on this path. I have been listening to one of Geneen's audiobooks over the past couple of weeks (Bite by Bite). I've been nodding along in recognition with just about every sentence she utters. Really helpful and affirming. Based on that book, I have been practicing sitting quietly with my meals before I pick up my fork — just enjoying the fragrance and colors of the food, offering gratitude for the many hands that helped bring the food to my table. I'm glad you've had a real turnaround with food since completing that course.

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Breakfast - morning hash

Lunch - mashed cauliflower & meatloaf

Dinner - mashed cauliflower & meatloaf again

Snack - Go Raw cookies & almond butter

It occurs to me that I'm having a much easier time with this challenge than I did with my first. I'm grateful for that. Feels like I'm starting to absorb some of the messages of the W30, and things that were really tough last time are starting to feel much more natural. I think this is me learning to ride my bike!

What I've figured out is that if I want this relationship with food, (1) I'm gonna have to plan ahead/cook; and (2) I'm gonna have to say no to sugar. Those are both challenging in their own way, but I can totally do them. The more I practice these two things within the confines of the W30, the easier they become.

The first Whole 30 almost felt like a dare (e.g., "Can this woman really live without cheese and chocolate for thirty days?"). But as of day 8 on the second round, it feels natural and much less effortful. I'm so glad that I'm doing this a second time.

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Breakfast - morning hash

Snack - Larabar (a disagreeable snack, to be sure. Eaten while sitting on a conference call during a very busy day at work. I don't even like Larabars that much!)

Lunch - mashed cauliflower & meatloaf (I have got to cook something else)

Dinner - spaghetti squash & grassfed sirloin meatballs

Made a huge mistake of going to the mega grocery store tonight on an empty stomach. I wasn't just running on empty, I was burning fumes. My 'hangry' state isn't pretty. Everywhere I looked, on every aisle, my gaze fell upon something I did/didn't want to eat. Ritz crackers. Frozen dinners. Jelly beans. Butterfinger candy bars. On principle, I refused to even walk down the enormous aisle of seasonal Easter candy (Easter is less than a week away).

It actually made me have compassion on myself — no wonder I've had issues with eating too much garbage — it's everywhere.

Managed to escape the store with only the things on my list. Had to mainline a few almonds in the car on the way home to tide over the hunger pangs. Conclusions: (1) I don't think I want to have that experience again. (2) I need to eat more during the day. The Crossfit workouts are ramping up and I am seriously hungry every 3-4 hours.

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Breakfast - morning hash

Lunch - spaghetti squash + chopped meatloaf + W30-friendly spaghetti sauce

Dinner - this was at a restaurant for a good friend's birthday. Another off-roading opportunity. (Riding my own bike.) I had seared tuna with a wasabi cream sauce, mashed potatoes with a few crispy wonton strips, a lovely seaweed salad. This meal was clearly not W30-approved — though I did feel good about having a meal with a big portion of protein and relatively minor non-W30 elements. (Translation: I'm glad my friend didn't want to have her birthday dinner at a pizza joint.) It was delicious and I regret none of it :)

The wine, bread and dessert called my name on the way past me, but I didn't indulge. Toward the end of the evening, I watched the others cut into the creme brulee. The little crackle of the hardened sugar atop the dessert sounded so tempting. Two girls split one of the creme brulees. They ate about half of the dessert, and left the other half there. As I sat there participating in conversation I realized I was hugely distracted by the presence of the remaining dessert. I realized that if I was "on sugar," I would not be able to just leave the dessert unfinished — I'd be on clean-up duty. It was useful to get that quiet confirmation of my ongoing sugar addiction. I have a long way to go when it comes to sugar. It was an opportunity when I felt really grateful for the Whole 30 — I leaned on the structure of the plan and felt supported.

I'm not ready to take the training wheels off yet when it comes to the sweet stuff. And it may be a very long time before I am.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled W30 programming.

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Breakfast - morning hash

Lunch - spaghetti squash + meatballs + tomato sauce; several tastes of butternut squash soup on the stove; some almond butter + Go Raw ginger cookies. Got peckish and hungry for "crunch" in the afternoon — had a few swigs of kombucha and some sweet potato chips. Just realized that the chips contain "canola oil and/or safflower oil and/or sunflower oil" as well as "evaporated cane juice" in the ingredient list. Definitely not W30-sanctioned. Gah. Meanwhile, why is this manufacturer putting sugar in my sweet potato chips???

Post workout meal — a few spoonfuls of mashed sweet potato.

Dinner - back in action.... Meatloaf + mashed cauliflower + roasted brussels sprouts — my first time making brussels sprouts! I used this simple recipe and they turned out very nicely.

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Had some weird dreams last night about forbidden food. I think I face-planted into a big chocolate cake in my dream. The same thing happened to me around this time during my first round of the W30. It's always so strange to wake up feeling vaguely guilty!

Breakfast - morning hash

Snack - half a "technically okay" Larabar (once again on a conference call)

Lunch - Brussels sprouts tossed in Tessamae's balsamic vinaigrette + mashed spicy cauliflower + butternut squash soup + roasted chicken. I am eating like a queen!

Dinner - can't remember, but I think it was some more butternut squash with chopped meatloaf.

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Breakfast [brunch] - morning hash

Go Raw ginger cookies w/ almond butter

Lunch/dinner - butternut squash soup with shredded roast chicken; mashed cauliflower w/ spicy adobo sauce

Have spent much of the weekend at the hospital with a co-worker/friend who has been recovering from major surgery. Very grateful for a fridge/freezer full of on-plan foods. On an unrelated note, I've also been having some REALLY substantial sugar cravings for the past couple of days. I really hate this. Haven't given in to the urges, but ugh. I am trying to focus on all the progress I've made — particularly in the realm of meal times with no screens or distractions. Just because I have cravings doesn't mean I'm failing somehow, right?

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This morning, in a very surprising turn of events, I was nominated the acting director of the small company I work for, while my boss is out of commission in the hospital. A dump truck backed up and deposited 3 months worth of work on my desk during one 30-minute conversation. So here I am under a new and impressive workload. I am glad I've got food in my fridge. I'm also feeling freaked out and really craving some friendly companionship/comfort in sugar. Uff.

Breakfast - morning hash without eggs. It's been awfully quiet in, ah, Poopville. I have a sneaking suspicion that eggs may be responsible. Gonna try to drop the eggs for several days and see if things start moving again. This morning's hash was chicken breast, kale and sweet potato sauteed in some olive oil.

Lunch - spaghetti squash with meatballs/shredded chicken breast + tomato sauce. Mashed cauliflower with spicy pepper sauce.

Dinner - nearly irresistible was the desire to panic over work, quit the Whole 30 and drive off a cliff into a mountain of delicious, candy-coated peanut M&Ms. I had a serious moment of checking in with my sugar cravings. The pressure and expectations on me are very high right now. Instead of picking up the sugar shackles again, I took a knowing cheat. Chick-fil-A chicken fingers and waffle fries. Very clearly a cheat. But — considering the damage I could have done — considering the damage I would have done in my former life — I'm okay with this. Also, now I feel crappy, so... it was a useful cheat.

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All right. Made it through the night, and woke up feeling extremely glad that I didn't drive off a cliff into a mountain of M&Ms. Yesterday was very useful — I saw anew the way I have used sugar to comfort myself and to help me cope with stress. (The number of "sugar now, please!" cues I've created in my life cannot be overestimated.)

So I got through a really stressful day without sugar. I feel very good about that (and honestly — the tiniest bit surprised).

My hope is that I'm beginning to slowly re-wire those parts of my brain that have always associated stress and anxiety with a sweet reward.


Workout snacks at 6 am - a bit of grilled chicken before WO, a bit of mashed sweet potato after WO

Breakfast - steamed broccoli + carrots + grilled chicken (unfortunately, there was zero fat in this breakfast.... I suspect I will be ravenous in two hours)

Snack - almonds/walnuts

Lunch - spaghetti squash + ground sirloin meatballs + spicy tomato sauce; mashed sweet potatoes

Dinner - butternut squash soup + grilled chicken breast

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Breakfast - went a little crazy and tried something different. Loved the results— this will be a new go-to recipe. I stirred about a teaspoon of red curry paste into 8 oz of coconut milk, and mixed it up so it was all smooth and delicious. Then I sauteed some chopped broccoli and chopped baby carrots in hot olive oil. Added some mashed sweet potato, seasoned ground beef and spinach. Then poured about 5 ounces of the curried coconut milk over it and let it cook down a bit. Tiny bit of salt & pepper to finish. Very delicious — I am so happy to have found this new, quick, egg-free breakfast.

Snack - 1 bottle of Kombucha; some ginger sesame 'cookies'

Lunch - mashed sweet potato, mashed cauliflower, spicy pepper sauce, roasted chicken, garlic ground beef

Dinner - huge workout followed by mashed sweet potato, mashed cauliflower, roasted chicken, garlic ground beef (again)

Boss is still in ICU. I'm still totally overwhelmed in his absence. I'm still not leaning on sugar. Whew!

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Breakfast - Same thing as yesterday.... curried veggie scramble. So good. I think laying off eggs is really helping digestion.

Lunch - sushi!

Dinner - mashed cauliflower, mashed sweet potato, spicy pepper sauce, ground beef

After dinner - Go Raw sesame cookies, almond butter

And like my first go-round, I'm getting some seriously intense sugar cravings again, here in the midst of week 3. Weird. Recalling what I've heard on the topic here in these forums: "The only way to slay the sugar dragon is to starve him." Ugh.

This was a tremendously long day with insane waves of work-related stress. Was at the office for about 14 hours. I have got to get on top of this pile at work, and then I'm determined to slow down, get a massage, and just breathe a bit.

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Breakfast - curried veggie hash (broccoli, carrots, sweet potato, spinach, grass-fed ground beef)

Lunch and dinner - sushi. Oy. Eating sushi 3x in one week was not part of the plan. And the sushi was consumed at my desk as I faced down a harrowing deadline. (Even worse.) What a drag. The 14-hour days are starting to get to me.

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Breakfast/brunch - some pulled pork eaten from the Whole Foods BBQ buffet (love that!), then shortly after - veggie scramble with red pepper, yellow squash, broccoli, carrots and some more pulled pork

Lunch/dinner - mashed sweet potatoes, mashed cauliflower, ground beef with spicy pepper sauce

Post-dinner snack involved a cocktail (!!) and some peanuts. This was part of a cocktail double date with friends. The cocktail was not super delicious, just kind of generic. I wish I had had some seltzer water instead.

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Pre-monster kettlebell workout - 2 slices deli turkey (probably not compliant); 1/2 Larabar (one of the 'technically OK' flavors)

Post WO breakfast/brunch - veggie scramble with mashed cauliflower, 2 eggs, red pepper, yellow squash, broccoli, carrots, spinach, ground beef

Snack - Go Raw sesame cookies, almond butter, GT Dave's kombucha

Dinner - spaghetti squash, ground beef, spaghetti sauce

Have been selling myself short on the sleep front lately and am headed to bed even now (it's 8:30 pm).... this is just as important as all the meal planning, shopping and cooking and yet it's very easy to neglect! Night, all!

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Boy oh boy, did I enjoy last night's 8.5 hours of zzz's!

Pre w/o snack - ground beef. (OK.)

Breakfast/post w/o - stir-fried broccoli, carrots, red pepper, yellow squash with sweet potatoes, ground beef and chopped pork, with coconut milk, in a bit of coconut oil (sheesh!)

Lunch - kale 'superfood salad,' pot roast, steamed broccoli, green salad w/ shredded carrots and beets (god bless the Whole Foods buffet!)

Dinner - spaghetti squash with ground beef and spicy tomato sauce

Snack - way too many Go Raw sesame cookies and too much almond butter... that's becoming a SWYPO situation.

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