On Monday we started the Whole30 Diet. I have gotten quite a few questions about it so for your sake and mine, I will blog through it! 🙂 First, to explain the Whole30 Diet… this took me days to read about, totally not kidding. When I’m told I cant eat a certain food group, all of a sudden I can only remember the meals that have that food in it. So I spend hours looking up recipes that are approved when in all reality, you could easily grill a meat and eat a ton of veggies for every meal. Easy peasy, but unfortunately that’s not how I roll.
Everywhere I have read they tell you to read the book It Starts with Food by Dallas & Melissa Hartwig, the creators of Whole30. It probably is really beneficial, and having it in hand would be amazing so you actually KNOW what this program is all about, but we already almost doubled our grocery budget this paycheck so this hasn’t happened yet. One day I may read this (I have like 10 books accrued over the past 5 years I have yet to finish, so we will see on that).
So the rules:
- Eat REAL food… foods with very little ingredients lists and ingredients you can actually pronounce. AKA not processed (which happens to be like 85% of the grocery store).
- No sugar of any kind (only exception is naturally occurred sugar like in fruit).
- No alcohol… that means no wine 😦
- No grains (this is Matt’s downfall).
- No legumes, basically all beans and all forms of soy.
- No dairy (this is mine… I drink milk every night and eat cheese often).
- No carrageenan, MSG, or sulfites.
- Don’t try to recreate goodies with “approved” ingredients… this one is tricky, and really if you are going to do the Whole30 Diet, just don’t sabotage yourself. If you love pancakes, don’t make the paleo pancakes. Your brain wont know the difference, and after 30 days you could easily slip back into your old ways. Now I will say I’m not a fan of regular pancakes, and have made paleo pancakes before and I love them so I took it upon myself to allow these sometimes for breakfast (plus the kids love them). I can only stress to you that this diet is of the mind as well, so don’t give into your cravings for a paleo brownie because you cant have the real thing. If you are going to do the Whole30 Diet, do it all out. It’s only 30 days.
- The program also requests you NOT step on the scale or take body measurements during the 30 days. You can do it before, and after, but not during. This is so you don’t get discouraged. I have not followed this very well…
- clarified butter or ghee: after a ton of reading, I figured out the problem with butter is the milk protein. They have a Butter Manifesto with all of the info (www.whole9life.com/butter). FYI I could not find ghee at Walmart, so I ordered it from Thrive Market (http://thrv.me/cq8aNQ < My link, I get $10 for sharing. Please sign up!)
- Fruit juice as a sweetener.
- Certain legumes: green beans, sugar snap peas, and snow peas.
- Vinegar: just no added sugar.
- Salt: so I found out that sugar is “chemically essential to keep the potassium iodide from oxidizing and being lost”, therefore will be in salt.
*** I got all of this information from the Whole30 website… www.whole30.com. This website is GOLD and has so much information, and it’s hilarious as well. I love how they explain everything and pin humor into it.
Why we wanted to do the Whole30 Diet: several months ago I had heard about the diet but I was nursing at the time and ate EVERYTHING, I literally was hungry all of the time. Plus we were packing, building a cabin, living in my parent’s house, moving, and if anyone knows anything about dieting that stress makes you eat way more and crash hard. I didn’t want to set myself up for failure, so I wanted to wait until after JL’s first birthday when I was done nursing to start. I wanted to reset my body, after the past year of horrible food choices plus most of nutrients going to JL, my body and health needed this. I’m not looking for massive weight loss (it’s a plus but not a must), I just want the cravings to go away and to feel better. I’m looking forward to seeing the difference in several things after the 30 days… digestive issues, energy levels, skin, hair, allergies (Matt), cholesterol level, blood pressure. Another reason for me is to prove that it can be done, that you can eat a whole diet and not starve to death or deprive yourself. There is so much horribly nasty things that the food industry puts in the food we eat and give to our children, and what it does to our body is BAD. I recommend watching the documentary Fed Up, it was eye opening and disgusting. **If you have any documentaries you think would be good to watch regarding food, let me know!
Week 1 (April 27-May 3):
Breakfast: eggs with tomatoes and spinach
Lunch: tuna salad (homemade mayo, apples, pickles) over spinach
Dinner: ground turkey sautéed with mango, jalapeno, and yellow pepper with sautéed potatoes (this was actually suppose to be tropical meatloaf, but I didn’t look at the coconut flakes we had in the pantry. They were sweetened, and that isn’t approved. So instead we just mixed all of the ingredients in the cast iron).
Snack: carrots during the day, late night snack we made eggs.
How we feel: Matt was home so it was easy to plan out our meals for day one. Felt slightly hungry so ended up snacking on carrots all day. At about 10pm I had a horrible headache so Matt made us some eggs just to take the edge off.
Breakfast: eggs with spinach
Lunch: tuna salad, 2 over easy eggs, on spinach.
Dinner: sweet apple turkey patties (SO GOOD!), roasted asparagus, scrambled eggs.
Snack: carrots, apple
How we feel: we both had a slight headache and felt hungry quite often today.
Breakfast: paleo pancakes (this is 2 eggs and 1 banana blended together and then grilled like a normal pancake), cinnamon apples on top.
Lunch: tuna salad and a sweet potato with cinnamon and raisins
Dinner: grilled steaks, roasted brussel sprouts and potatoes and a garlic aioli sauce, and corn.
*** FYI just found out on day 7 that corn is considered a grain, woops! Strike one…
Snack: spinach salad with tomato and pickles with red vinegar and oil dressing.
How we feel: today was hard. We both had pretty bad body aches but we didn’t have as much hunger issues.
Breakfast: 2 eggs with paleo pancakes (shared with JL).
Lunch: tuna salad, leftover brussel sprouts and potatoes with garlic aioli sauce, sautéed spinach.
Dinner: fajita salad with guacamole and salsa.
Snack: spinach salad with raisins and tomato with red vinegar and oil dressing, apples, banana & almond butter.
How we feel: still pretty achy but not as tired as the past few days. Tonight was date night so we went to the movies. When on the Whole30 and on a budget, going out to eat really isn’t possible. So we made dinner, packaged it up, and ate it in the parking lot of the theater. We also brought apple slices to snack on at the movie to avoid the concessions. It was hard, and Matt and I both thought about all of the candy left on the floor of the theater and how we could totally pull an Elf moment here… but we stayed strong. 🙂 And our ALMOND BUTTER AND GHEE CAME FROM THRIVE! I have never tried almond butter and it is pretty good, haven’t tried ghee yet.
Breakfast: paleo pancakes with almond butter on top.
Lunch: used the leftover fajita mixture on top of spinach and added tomatoes.
Dinner: marinated grilled chicken with sweet potato fries and green beans.
Snack: apple slices with almond butter.
How we feel: a little tired today, really looking forward to week 2. For some reason I feel week 2 will be better.
Breakfast: paleo pancakes (I know, I know I make these often. But it is super easy to whip up a batch and serve it to the kids as well and it doesn’t make a massive mess).
Lunch: Matt had leftover grilled chicken and sweet potatoes. I only had a small piece of chicken left and a few sweet potato fries so I cut a piece of steak in half (that we later ate for dinner) and sautéed it in the cast iron with the ghee (which btw is AWESOME!)
Dinner: we had our weekly dinner with my family and the theme was “bring a meat to grill and side to share” – so I made some squash and onions and then marinated steaks with balsamic vinegar, garlic, and parsley. Right before we grilled I rolled roasted asparagus in the steaks. It was great! It was very difficult to stay on course because all the other sides looked delicious not to mention the dessert… I kept saying to myself “IT IS ONLY 30 DAYS!”
Snack: I was running errands so I didn’t really snack. I drank a Lacroix sparkling water to hold me over until dinner.
How we feel: we felt okay, still hungry all of the time and Matt’s allergies flared up really bad and when you are sick and hungry, it just doesn’t make for a happy husband.
Day 7… I need to explain this day before you read further. Today is Sunday, and on Sundays we get up at 4:30am because we have to be at church by 6:45(ish) to setup (we love our church and are NOT complaining about getting up earlier… God blesses us each morning we go and serve, not to mention the beautiful smiles we see when we are there!). We had a late night before and didn’t really prep food, but discussed what we would make when we got up to eat on the way.
Breakfast: we had planned eggs… yeah we didn’t have enough (that stupid planning thing). And we were already running behind so Matt just packed a bunch of fruits. I had 2 bananas before 9am, and an apple at 11am. This is NOT how you eat on Whole30 I am warning you now. PLAN PLAN PLAN… and then plan some more.
Lunch: Matt prepped tuna salad to eat on the way home (this was at 1:30pm). I wasn’t feeling well seeing as I hadn’t eaten much food at all, I knew tuna salad wasn’t the best idea. I had a few carrots. I stopped at the store on the way home and then at 3pm we had our lunch which consisted of leftover steak from last night, a salad with red vinegar and oil, and strawberries.
Dinner: we totally made up our day with this… I made an Amish one pan ground turkey and cabbage. This is healthy southern comfort food right here and it was so good and so filling. The only thing I did to make it Whole30 compliant is use ghee instead of butter. Served with a glass of Lacroix and strawberries.
How we feel: today was the day I nearly quit. Let me tell you how much better my entire day would have been if I had eaten some chocolate glazed donuts and put creamer in my coffee, yes I totally believe it would’ve made a difference. I have no encouragement for you here other than this… it is only 30 days. And all of the people keeping me accountable (and they probably don’t even know it), I cant fail again. I cant fail a diet again, and I have so many people I want to prove that this CAN be done and SHOULD be done. I need to be healthy, and God totally affirmed this through the message at church. That will be a totally different blog that I will link here when finished! 🙂
I didn’t put it above but what we have been drinking:
Water and coffee. For real, I’m over it. I asked an awesome Facebook group for first time Whole30-ers what else we can drink and got some feedback. So future weeks I’ll add on. And some advice with coffee, if you are a coffee snob like us you MUST get decent coffee because you don’t get to add yummy creamers to it. Basically you can add coconut milk (which is really watery), unrefined coconut oil (which is pretty good but I am pretty much coconut-ed out), and ghee (it’s called bulletproof coffee, haven’t tried it yet). We got Starbucks coffee, both regular and decaf. It was a splurge but worth, although I will probably get different coffee because I am not thrilled with the blend we got. Also we found out how awesome coffee tastes from the french press, so a large french press is on our wish list to buy (because ours only makes like 1 1/2 cups and that barely fills my coffee cup).
And to update the above I was told to get Lacroix sparkling water with natural flavors (make sure it does NOT have sugar in it). And I am in love, it is so good. So far I have had cran-raspberry and pineapple strawberry. I just bought the Dasani sparkling water (still no sugar) in the apple, lemon, and black cherry flavors – I havent tried them yet.
My thoughts on day 7:
Honestly, I was worried about the first 7 days and I had every right to be worried because it sucked royally but now that I have conquered the past 7 days… I SO HAVE THIS! I feel great, I am getting more and more comfortable with the rules and what to look for at the store or on a recipe, and Matt and I have both lost 9 lbs each (you arent suppose to weigh in on the Whole30 because it will discourage you… but I needed encouragement and for sure it was!). That’s probably not a good thing because that just SHOWS you how much processed garbage was in our system, but I’ll take it. 🙂 I will be posting my week 2 meal plans and thoughts next week so keep checking in with me!