Woah. I am mixed with emotions about completing my first 7 days of the Whole30 challenge. But the very first thing I want to say is this: If you want to start Whole30, do your research. I cannot stress enough how important it is to read the book, It Starts With Food, to understand the science behind this challenge. You will learn so much about each of the food groups you have to eliminate and the effect they have on your body.
Just 7 days in, I have so many tips, but I’m going to save those for a thorough recap at the end. For now, I just want to talk about what this past week has been like. As I’m writing this, I’ve now completed 7 days with no alcohol, no sugar, no grains, no dairy, and no legumes. This is the first time I’ve ever eliminated so many things at once and I feel like my very own science project. I’ve been keeping a journal to look back on and just flipping through a few pages gives me courage to continue on.
Day 1, 1/25:
- Breakfast: cameo apple, ½ oz. almonds, hard-boiled egg
- Lunch: chicken breast, roasted brussels sprouts & asparagus
- Snack: blueberry & blackberry balsamic salad, ½ a tangerine
- Dinner: chicken breast, roasted brussels sprouts & asparagus (yes, same as earlier)
- Snack: ½ oz. almonds, dried figs
Day 1 was easy. No temptations. More excitement than anything. The support from the Whole30 message boards is great.
Day 2, 1/26:
- Breakfast: fuji apple, ½ avocado, hard-boiled egg, coffee
- Lunch: tangerine, 1 oz. almonds, hard-boiled egg. This lunch was on the go so I had to bring something easy.
- Snack: blueberry & blackberry balsamic salad
- Dinner: Practical Paleo‘s turkey meatballs with fig balsamic compote, brussels sprouts & apple salad (recipe coming soon!), cauliflower “rice”
- Snack: pistachios
While walking around Whole Foods, I had to clench my hands to not eat the cheese samples! It made me laugh. I was at my aunt’s house today and they were eating pizza, meatballs, ice cream, and brownies. It was hard, but I resisted everything.
Day 3, 1/27:
- Breakfast: eggs, apple, brussels sprouts salad
- Lunch: meatballs with fig balsamic compote, cauliflower “rice”, homemade kale chips
- Snack: kale chips, carrot ribbons, walnuts
- Dinner: beef burger patty, baked sweet potato, avocado
- Snack: hard-boiled egg, avocado
I was still at my aunt’s house and there was chocolate galore. The blizzard kept us in all day and when my aunt opened champagne I almost cried. I’m usually full after dinner, for quite a while, but out of habit I want something to munch on before bed.
Day 4, 1/28:
- Breakfast: 2 hard-boiled eggs, fuji apple, carrot ribbons, coffee
- Lunch: meatballs with fig balsamic compte, baked sweet potato, cauliflower rice, kale chips
- Snack: blueberries, pumpkin seeds
- Dinner: mahi mahi with olives, artichokes, grape tomatoes, and avocado
- Snack: ½ oz. almonds, dried fig
I haven’t been sleeping as much and waking up much earlier than usual. I had some caffeinated coffee (I usu drink decaf) so I wouldn’t be dragging through the morning. All was fine until I got to the gym that afternoon. I got super dizzy and SO irritable. I called Kaye and she snapped me out of my funk.
Day 5, 1/29:
- Breakfast: 2 fried eggs, avocado, ½ cup blueberries
- Lunch: WF hot bar – salmon salad with capers, sauteed veggies (mushrooms, eggplant, zucchini), green beans, butternut squash, kombucha.
- Dinner: leftovers from lunch above + sweet potato, avocado. SO FULL.
- Snack: homemade nuts & seeds mix (almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds), dried fig
I didn’t sleep enough last night but still woke up early. I feel like I have plenty of energy. After I drank my kombucha I felt super chatty and almost drunk. It was weird. I felt feisty in the afternoon again. Kickboxing was really tough bc I was dizzy and I got so annoyed when a woman stood right in front of me. Again, slightly irritable but it goes away within a few minutes.
Day 6, 1/30:
- Breakfast: fuji apple, 2 hard-boiled eggs, avocado
- Lunch: WF hot bar – chicken curry (surprisingly whole30 compliant), carrot salad, asparagus, beets, olives
- Dinner: WF hot bar – salmon, roasted red pepper, roasted brussels sprouts, carrot salad, guac
- Snack: handful of nuts, fig
I woke up early again then fell back asleep. I slept okay but I dreamt about small puppies wearing leopard print fur coats — what the heck!? No moodiness or irritability today. It feels weird not to have a glass of wine on Friday but it’s ok!
Day 7, 1/31:
- Breakfast: 2 hard-boiled eggs, fuji apple, walnuts, coffee
- Lunch: WF hot bar – chicken breast, roasted cauliflower, baked sweet potato
- Dinner: WF hot bar – grilled salmon, stir-fried veggie mix
- Snack: handful of nuts, dried apricots
Today was the most difficult day for me. Late morning through the early evening I was an emotional trainwreck. At one point I cried because I was so grateful for my family (like totally random thoughts) and another point I cried over traffic. After that I was super irritable, getting annoyed by everything from the wind, the cold, the crowded stores, etc. It scared me how “crazy” I felt and I even texted a couple friends for support. Thankfully Kaye and Sheanna (who has also done Whole30) talked me down again. The rest of the night I was happy as a lark! Honest to god it was like puberty all over again.
Rest assured I don’t usually eat at the Whole Foods bar that often but I was traveling for work and I didn’t have time to find a compliant restaurant. Whole Foods is SO good about listing all the ingredients of their hot bar items and they totally understand when you have dietary restrictions.
I also want to note that all of these food choices have been a work in progress. I know I hadn’t been eating enough protein at breakfast. My nightly snacks are not out of hunger — they are out of habit, which is something that Whole30 aims to fix. My meals certainly keep me full, but in the evening I go to bed feeling like I “need” something to settle in with. I’m okay with having dried fruit and nuts for “dessert” over the usual dark chocolate or something with added sugars. I’m confident that I’m eating enough for my body — I eat until I am full and then I stop. I no longer time out my meals. As in, I had breakfast at 8:30 so I can eat at 12:30 bc “science” says to eat every 4 hours. NO! I eat when my body tells me to eat. (with the exception of my nightly snack that I just want, haha.)
I’ve had zero cravings, which really surprises me. Coming off last month’s no sugar added challenge must’ve helped.
EVERYTHING HAS SUGAR IN IT. And if doesn’t have sugar, it has SOY. And if it doesn’t have soy, it’s booze. Just kidding. A full week in I’ve got a better grasp about what I can/can’t have, but trust me: READ YOUR LABELS. It is very enlightening. And scary. : )
If you have ANY questions, please shoot them over! I’m happy to fill you on on anything you’d like to know. 7 days down, 23 to go.