Alright, I've been doing Whole 30 for a whole week. It's been... enlightening. One of my docs sent me a link to the timeline to give me an idea of what to expect.
First of all, for those few people that don't know what Whole 30 is, it is a diet modification. You eliminate all grain, alcohol, sugar, dairy, soy, etc. for 30 days. At the end of the 30 days, you can add food back in one at a time to see how your body responds. While a lot of people lose weight on it, it is not a weight loss program! I wanted to do it for a few reasons... One, just to be healthier. I have not been eating well. When I get lazy, carbs are my go-to. I could have popcorn and wine for dinner daily. Probably not the best for my health. I also felt like my diet was not helping my workouts at all. I want to run more. And faster. To do that I have to fuel better. The other reason that I wanted to do it was mental. Obviously, I like a good challenge, but I also wanted to change my views towards food. I have not had the healthiest attitude towards food in the past. I have told people that I don't have an eating disorder, but I definitely have disordered eating. My views towards food and eating, my attitude towards my body, the reasons I chose to eat (or not to eat) were all wrong and needed some major adjustment, so I figured that I would do something to jump start things.
So here's the first update:
Day 0: I had planned to cook the weekend before, but that was difficult without power so I came home from work on Wednesday and opened a beer and did some meal prep. It reminded me that I actually like cooking occasionally. And it makes things so much easier to eat well when the food is already there and ready.
I had already decided on a "last meal:" Mexican. I ran some errands and then went to Las Delicias. I decided to place a to-go order and then sat at the bar and ordered a margarita while I waited for my food. The introvert in me is totally content sitting at the bar alone. I pulled out my book and started to read. Until the guy beside me commented on the size of the book. In his defense, Bonhoeffer is a beast! Literally and figuratively! He asked me some questions about the book. I put it away. He ordered another beer and we ended up talking for a while. We talked about work and sports and family and free time. Then after an hour, we said goodbye and went our separate ways. He didn't ask for my number so I didn't offer. I thought it was a pretty good first date! Ha! He obviously felt otherwise...
But I came home and ate a delicious last meal- with chips and queso and all the things! So good!
Day 1: I can totally do this! I woke up feeling really good and motivated. Went for a run around the neighborhood. Came home and made some scrambled eggs and avocado. Yum! I loaded up my work bag with La Croix, almonds, berries, and lunch. I felt ready to face the world!
We had our weekly meeting at work. It was actually a Caribbean salad so I could have eaten it (if I had brought my own salad dressing), but oh well. Cauliflower fried rice for lunch was a success. It was actually really good! But I was tempted to eat a cookie. I have gotten in the habit of having dessert after lunch. Time to break that habit!
For dinner, I had some leftover chicken and veggies. Not super exciting, but I wanted to eat it before it went bad. Today I was also acutely aware of how much I eat out of boredom. And how many unhealthy eating habits I have and unhealthy food views. I knew that before I went into all this, but it became even more obvious on day 1.
Day 2: Preparation is the key to this whole thing, I've decided. And I was not today. My chicken had been marinating and I had to cook it. Then I was too lazy to wash the pan and make eggs and I hadn't prepped breakfast muffins so breakfast was lame this morning. I drank my (black) coffee while I read, per usual, but just grabbed a banana on my way to work. Then I ate some berries and almonds at work before I started seeing patients.
For lunch I ate the cilantro lime chicken I had cooked that morning. I had that with some zucchini noodles. And some pineapple. Delicious! I didn't feel hungry at all or like I was missing anything physically. But after lunch, I again wanted something sweet to quench that craving. My cran-raspberry La Croix seemed to do the trick this time!
I snacked on some more almonds after work before meeting some friends for a 5K. I've never been very good at night races. I haven't figured out what to eat and when, but this one felt pretty good even despite the super high humidity! I had some post-oranges. They also had chicken wraps from Sonic that I skipped out on. It was late by the time that I got home and showered so I don't think I ate anything that night, but I was still feeling ok, so I just pushed on.
Day 3: Woke up feeling good. Don't feel like I ever went through the "hangover" stage. I drank some black coffee and then went to the gym to lift. I didn't feel unusually strong or energetic, but I didn't feel like it was an incredibly hard workout either. I'll take it! After the gym, I ran by the grocery to pick up a few things that I realized I needed. How do just a few things cost so much?! My food budget is shot this month!
When I got home, I ate some leftover cilantro lime chicken and a handful of carrots. Then I got a burst of energy so I showered, cleaned the house, and then did some cooking. Meal prepping is key!
Saturday night was my first real test. I went out to dinner with friends. I considered bringing my own food, but then decided against it. I figured I would just risk it. Worse case scenario, I hang out with them and then eat when I get home. I ended up getting the fish tacos. Kind of. I don't know if you still call them tacos if you leave off half the ingredients and don't eat the tortilla. But I got grilled fish with pico and avocado. Very good.
After dinner, they got ice cream and I drank the La Croix that I had brought. No quite as satisfying, but it will work. Again, I was feeling fine physically but was aware how much eating is mental and emotional and social. This is going to be good for me...
Day 4: I really need to make some breakfast cups so that I have something easy to grab and go. But since I haven't done that yet, I had a banana and a handful of nuts for breakfast. After church, I decided on a burger for lunch. I made the patty (with garlic and onion) yesterday so I just baked some kale chips and sliced some strawberries and called it a day. Oh, I also roasted a sweet potato for the bun. Very tasty!
I'm still not really following the timeline. I don't feel like I want to kill things, but I did take a 2 hour nap this afternoon. I don't know if it has anything to do with Whole 30 or if I was just tired and it's dreary and raining and perfect sleeping weather...
I don't remember what I had for dinner that night. Or if I even really ate. I have also realized during this week that I snack a lot. I eat lunch at work everyday, but I usually just graze at night. Besides nuts, there are not a lot of foods to just snack on. I probably had some almonds and watermelon and called it a night.
But my nap (and too many people texting me) made it hard to go to sleep this night and so I stayed up later than usual, which leads me to...
Day 5: I hit a wall on this day. Around lunch, I was exhausted. On the timeline, the tired stage is Day 6-7 but I might be hitting it early. Or my lack of sleep last night might have caught up with me. I ate nuts and berries at work for breakfast. It's kind of my quick grab go to. For lunch I had fajitas. I used lettuce instead of tortillas and they were really good. I also put a little bit of ranch on them which was a nice sauce with it.
My mom wanted to go to dinner tonight, but I said no. Not really because I was worried about what to eat, but more because I have spent so. much. money. on food and I feel like I actually need to eat what I bought.
Day 6: Nuts and berries for breakfast again today. Cauliflower fried rice for lunch.
I went to the grocery store (yet again) after work today. Just grabbed some more spinach and eggs and some Whole 30 approved sausage so that I could make some breakfast cups. I can only eat so many almonds and blueberries.
Ran errands today. Got home later than usual. Cooked some fish that I had been marinating and made the breakfast cups. Then I had an easy turkey sandwich for dinner. What exactly is the definition of a sandwich? Does it still count if it doesn't have bread?
I'm feeling good today. The tiredness is gone, which makes me think it was more related to my lack of sleep than it was Whole 30. And 2 people at work today asked if I had been losing weight. They say it's okay to weigh at the beginning and then again at the end, but not to weigh while doing it, so I don't actually know. I'm not doing this to lose weight, although that would be a nice bonus. I don't think I have though. I can't really tell a difference in my clothes. But hearing that from others was a nice pat on the back to keep me motivated to keep it up!
Day 7: I've made it a week! Had breakfast cup this morning. Nice change up from squirrel food. And super filling.
For lunch I brought the salmon I cooked last night. With an asian glaze. And some stir fry veggies. It was really good. It will probably be repeated before the month is over.
I got off work super early so I headed out to my parents' house to hang out at the pool. Pool time is not quite the same with La Croix, but I made it work. When I got home, I was looking in the fridge trying to decide what to eat and that's when I discovered that I don't really like eating dinner. I am more of a snacker. I used to think that it was because cooking was too much trouble after work, and it would be different if I had food prepared, but now I realize that's not it. I just prefer to graze after work. It used to be popcorn and wine or cheese and crackers. Now it's turkey and watermelon or almonds and an orange but still just snacks.
After diner is when shit hit the fan. My emotional strength was stretched to its limit and it broke. I sat on my back porch crying, while my dog looked at me curiously because she didn't know what was wrong. I don't know if this is Whole 30 related at all. I really don't think it is, so there will be a whole separate post on this coming...
** I was going to link the recipes, but then I got lazy. Here's my Pinterest board. These are the general recipes that I followed. I didn't measure everything- especially spices. And there were a few that are Paleo, not Whole 30, and called for honey. I didn't substitute anything. Just left it out.