February 1, 2015

Whole 30 Challenge: Week 1 Recap

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.IMG_6277

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.FullSizeRender

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!IMG_6358

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 apricotsIMG_6398

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. FullSizeRender (1)

Overall thoughts:

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.

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  • Teri

    you’re making me want to try the challenge! My eating has been all over the board since the move – and snacking is KILLING my diet.

    • oh i think you would do really well with it!!!

  • Jennifer Niemeyer

    I am proud of you!!!

    • aw, thank you! i really appreciate that!

  • Meg

    it is so so so so important to read about the challenge first. I completely agree. I usually don’t read peoples thoughts on the program, but i really enjoyed reading yours. I thoroughly enjoyed my last whole 30 (last feb) and say it changed my life. it truly did!

    MAYBE try increasing your carbs, though? i didn’t take a look at your meals, BUT you can get a little emo when you don’t have enough. just wanted to suggest to help you out, friend 🙂 xo

    • aw, i’m so glad it helped you too!! that’s great to hear. ah! thank you for your input on the carbs. you may be right! thanks darlin’!

  • itzyskitchen

    Yah….its not easy. See why I recommend Whole14 instead haha. Hang in!!!

    • hehehe, glad you know where i’m coming from!

  • I keep hearing about this! I hear the food options are not to shabby despite the several limitations. I know this can be hard so keep up the great work!

    • you really learn to work with what you’ve got. er, what you’re allowed. fresh herbs and spices can do wonders on food. thanks friend!

  • Nicole Prša

    I am loving your update! Just wanted to give you a little tip to make perfect hard boiled eggs every single time (seriously!) http://dreamofhometonight.blogspot.com/2012/05/best-recipe-you-thought-you-knew-but.html

  • Sheanna Caban

    Hey dude….Proud of you! The first week is the toughest. You’re effing GOLDEN after this!

  • Kelsey

    I like your fig compote idea! Yes, eating on the go can be tricky. Keep it up!

    • it was good! very, very sweet but good. the recipe is from a book but you can totally google and find it online. 🙂

  • Biana Perez

    I’m so amazed at how wonderful you’ve done with your first week!! I also don’t think I would have been able to cut out all that stuff all at once – but great job girl!! xo, Biana – BlovedBoston

    • thank you honey! that means a lot!

  • Annie

    Best of luck on the remaining days! When you write your recap at the end, could you include any brands/items that were Whole30 compliant such as salad dressing, etc. My guess is it’s really hard to find condiments that don’t have sugar, soy, etc. Thanks!!

  • yay, good for you! I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts about it and discovering new recipes. I like to eat Paleo style already and I think most days, I am eating Whole 30 compliant without even planning it. But I will be intentional about it soon and will hopefully complete one full month.

  • Molly

    Oh my gosh, this was so fun to read =) I’m on Day 6 of my first whole30, so it was great to read how your first week went! Some of your comments are just so funny and related =P. I look forward to hearing how the rest of it goes!

    • you must be 2 weeks in now! how’s it going for you?? 🙂

  • gailnadezna

    How come eggs are not dairy ?

    • dairy is actually a product of a mammal’s mammary gland, like milk and anything made from milk: cheese, butter, yogurt. eggs aren’t made from milk and do not come from a milk-producing animal. 🙂

      • gailnadezna

        Ah ha that makes perfect sense thank you

  • Pingback: Whole30 Challenge: Week 3 Recap | Hungry Meets Healthy()

  • Paige

    Oh my gosh, I am SO glad I’m not the only one that’s an emotional train wreck right now. I literally cried this morning reading a FUNNY fathers day card at the thought of “what if I didn’t have a father”. I literally had to tell myself “are you kidding me right now??”

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