Whole30: My First Week of Meals

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Welcome to the recap of my first, and hopefully not last, week on the Whole30 Challenge. My goal is to be as basic and to-the-point as possible, only discussing the food I ate, and how I felt each day. You are probably not here for my commentary and deep insight, as there’s hundreds of other blogs out there that already have that. If you are a single, foreveralone, cook-for-one lazy person looking for stupid easy meal ideas, you’ve come to the right place.

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Day 1

Breakfast: four prosciutto egg cups, 1/2 small avocado, handful of spinach, 1/2 medium tomato sprinkled with salt and pepper. strawberries. black coffee.
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Lunch (not pictured): a “big salad” consisting of spring mix, cherry tomatoes, a hardboiled egg, shredded chicken breast, a drizzling of olive oil, and sprinkled with pink himalayan salt.

Dinner: zucchini coins sauteed in coconut oil, 1/2 medium tomato, and a palm-sized cut of salmon (pan fried in coconut oil).
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Thoughts of the day: Day 1 of any new challenge brings excitement, enthusiasm, and following the program or schedule to a tee. Alleigh (my friend/coworker who is doing the challenge with me) and I cooked up a bunch of food for the week (well, she did. I brought the extras like avocados.) and happily ate our compliant meals. No cravings, headaches, or lack of energy.

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Day 2

Breakfast: two eggs over easy, 1/2 small avocado, diced and sauteed 1/2 sweet potato in coconut oil. black coffee.
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Lunch (not pictured): a “big salad” consisting of spring mix, cherry tomatoes, a hardboiled egg, shredded chicken breast, a drizzling of olive oil, and sprinkled with pink himalayan salt. Yes, I had the same thing as yesterday.

Dinner: diced and sauteed 1/2 sweet potato in coconut oil, 2 handfuls kale sauteed in coconut oil, palm-sized salmon cut of salmon (also pan-fried in coconut oil). I used the same oil for all three things, so I didn’t use as much as it sounds.
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Thoughts of the day: Just a continuation of my first day’s enthusiasm. No cravings, headaches, or lack of energy. I even went out on a date at my favorite bar and easily got by with my soda water and lime. I kinda looked like a moron, but I didn’t care. It was harder to stay away from the buttered popcorn on the table, but I did.

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Day 3

Breakfast: “garbage hash” consisting of two eggs, tomatoes, and leftover sweet potatoes, topped with 1/2 small avocado.
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Lunch (not pictured): YES I HAD THE SAME THING AGAIN. Whole Foods salad bar makes me lazy, what can I say? Also, I keep forgetting to take pictures when I eat at work.

Dinner: 1/2 roasted chicken breast, 1/2 microwaved sweet potato with ghee and sprinkled with cinnamon, roasted brussel sprouts.
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Thoughts of the day: According to The Whole30 Daily newsletter, day 3 is supposed to be one of the toughest days because your body is craving all that processed junk and sugar you fueled it with prior to day 1. Because I had already been eating relatively well, I guess I don’t have that many toxins beating up my insides as they leave my body. Still feeling good, still no cravings, no headaches.

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Day 4

Breakfast: 2 egg omelet with mushrooms and tomatoes topped with 1/2 small avocado. a handful of spring mix drizzled with olive oil. 1/2 cup of strawberries.
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Lunch: HA! I finally took a picture of the elusive “big salad.” I put some raw kale in it this time and it was pretty much the nastiest thing ever. I dug through it and pulled out as much as I could.
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Dinner: spinach and chicken sausage egg cups (ended up eating only one), 1/2 microwaved sweet potato with ghee and cinnamon, spring mix, 1/2 tomato, olive oil
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Thoughts of the day: Happy Birthday ‘Merica! I stayed home like the Whole30 compliant hermit that I am so I was able to avoid any temptation. Again, no cravings, carb flu, or murderous desires. Attempted my first workout while on the challenge: incline power walk/sprint intervals on the treadmill while watching Friday Night Lights on the iPad, followed by knee strengthening exercises.

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Day 5

Breakfast: kale and mushroom 2-egg scramble, 1/2 small avocado, 1/2 small tomato, 1/2 cup grapes
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Lunch: OH MAH GOODNESS. Favorite meal prepared so far for both taste reasons and convenience reasons. nom nom paleo’s tuna and avocado wraps. I skipped the nori and just used butter lettuce, then added a small green salad and a berry medley for color.
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Dinner: OH MAH also good. It doesn’t look as pretty, but it’s so good and so easy to make everyday paleo’s cumin spiced slow cooked pork. I also made these into a lettuce wrap using iceberg this time, and paired it with a quick and easy mango salsa (2 mangoes, 1 cup diced cucumber, 1/4 cup red onion, lime juice, salt and pepper).
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Thoughts of the day: The cravings finally surfaced, however, they were nothing that I couldn’t handle. I’ve experienced much worse just on regular non-Whole30 days. Still no headaches or feeling sick or anything like that. On the other hand, no surges of super human energy or clarity either. I went to spin today and pushed myself hard. I felt good. Normal good.

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Day 6

Breakfast: two scrambled eggs, 1/3 small avocado, 1/2 diced and sauteed sweet potato, berry medley
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Lunch: slow cooker pork from last night (this is gonna last me a while), mango salsa, green salad drizzled with olive oil and a dash of pink himalayan salt.
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Dinner: I got really lazy for dinner. Ended up eating some fruit, a bunch of cashews, and zucchini chips. This isn’t a good example of what to do on Whole 30, kids, so don’t follow it.
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Thoughts of the day: The laziness is really starting to settle in. My regimented breakfasts, lunches, and dinners are starting to become half-meals with snacking on fruits and nuts in between. Not good, and not Whole30 approved. Need to get it together. Though I did go on a 3.1 mile run this morning and felt good. Even PR’d!

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Day 7

Breakfast: 2-egg spinach omelet, 1/2 sweet potato diced and sauteed in coconut oil, 1 cup grapes.
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Lunch: Remember how I said I was getting lazy with my meals and I need to step it up? Maybe I’ll start with the next meal. 2 boiled eggs, baby carrots, 1 small banana, dollop of almond butter.
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Dinner: lettuce-wrapped fajitas using the slow cooker pork from earlier in the week, red and yellow bell peppers sauteed in coconut oil, 1/4 medium avocado, and the rest of the mango salsa.
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Thoughts of the day: Week 1 is in the books! <faint applause> See below for the week in review. Note: It’s 2:15pm and the day isn’t anywhere near being over, but I already had three meals today (started early), will most likely have another one later. I just wanted to get this post out finally.

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Week in Review

The first week has come and gone in a blur, and I even survived a holiday. Let’s ignore the fact that I survived it because I purposely stayed home to hide from carbs and booze. Also, holy crap taking photos of every meal and writing about them is exhausting, and probably unnecessary for the next three weeks. A lot of meals will no doubt be repeats, so I’ll only write when I find a good recipe or if I have a shift in my daily mood over the next 23 days. Let’s break down week 1:

Energy & General Health

My energy levels were even all week. I wasn’t noticeably tired until bedtime, and worked out Thursday, Friday, yesterday, and today. There were no aches and pains from my body detoxing, and maybe it’s my imagination but I do feel cleaner on the insides. Why does that sound gross? I am really enjoying the fact that I’m eating practically zero processed food.

I am looking forward to the coming weeks when I’m supposed to have a burst of energy and clarity (TIGER BLOOD!). Maybe since I didn’t experience the bad stuff, I won’t notice the good stuff either? We’ll see.

Hunger & CRAVINGS

This challenge has forced me to change the way I look at my daily nutrition. For the past two plus years, I’ve made a habit out of eating six small meals a day with a smattering of snacks in between. It has always been pounded into our brains that you should eat this way to keep your metabolism up. Whole30 encourages you to have three meals large enough to fill in those hunger gaps and eliminating the need to snack altogether. I did this for the most part, but it took a couple of days to adjust.

I didn’t buy the book (It Starts With Food) and instead signed up for the daily newsletter. Each day I’d have my own personal therapy session and support group in email form delivered to my inbox, which have been pretty helpful with real-life solutions for my real-life issues. On the other hand, the newsletters have also had some negative effects on my psyche. I know that it is just trying to give you a worst case scenario type situation, and everyone is different, but my few cravings were more psychosomatic than anything because I read that that’s what I was supposed to feel on whatever day. Also, the constant talk about what foods I might be craving were making me crave them!

Out of the major banned food groups (grains, legumes, dairy, processed stuff, and alcohol) the stuff I miss most is…alcohol! That is so bad, I know, but part of the reason I started this is because day-drinking Old Fashioned cocktails was becoming a somewhat regular thing for me. When I was at my heaviest, I rarely drank, so giving up those empty calories was not difficult at all. Maybe losing weight, gaining confidence, and going out more brought out the booze lover in me.

Breaking the Rules

In keeping with the spirit of the Whole30 program, instead of measuring your food the traditional way, you should follow a template for every meal and listen to your own body’s hunger cues. The template usually goes like this: palm-sized protein, thumb-sized fat (oil/ghee), no more than a fistful of fruit, and the rest veggies. Ideally, your plate is overflowing with veggies. My meals were not vegetable-heavy, but I did my best with what I had on hand and what I could stomach. I’ve resigned to the fact that I just don’t like most vegetables and I’m not a talented enough cook to make them taste good. I was good about not eating too much fruit throughout the day though.

Not having to count calories was a huge PLUS for me, but I wanted to be transparent on MyFitnessPal for you guys so I tracked [almost] everything I ate. Like, 95% of it. It was kind of hard because I barely did any measuring, so this is just to give you (and me) an idea of how many calories are consumed on Whole30. I ain’t doing it anymore for the rest of the challenge though, that’s for sure. I’ll be writing down my meals but I’m not going to stress over the calorie count of every little thing. I need to reap the few benefits of this dang thing!

Along with the ban on weighing and measuring my food, I am also banned from weighing and measuring myself. When I’m not eating so clean or exercising so right? Yeah no problem. EFF that scale. But now? You better believe I was dying to know if the stuff I was doing was working or if it was all in vain. I don’t know what happened in the hours between my June 30th and July 1st weigh in, but on the first day of the challenge I weighed 156.4 pounds (ugh). As of this morning, I weigh 150.8 pounds.

Water weight, junk leaving my body, whatever, I don’t care, it’s a number that pleases me and has solidified my continuing the program. Yeah, for a brief moment I was considering putting an end to this madness, but the scale convinced me otherwise. Last time I’m stepping on it until July 30th though. PROMISE! I know there will be more ups and downs from now until then and they will drive me crazy.

Okay, so this wasn’t exactly a brief summary of my week. In fact this might be the longest post I have ever written. Quite possibly the longest post ever written in the history of posts. Onto week 2…

6 thoughts on “Whole30: My First Week of Meals

  1. July 7, 2013 at 2:27 PM

    Great job, Girl!! I tried this and lasted about 2 days before I missed my Ketchup. I may try it again though. I would love to see if I can actually STAND 30 days of it. It’s really not that hard if you stick to sweet potatoes (I need carbs). I’m looking forward to seeing how you do.

    1. Mae
      July 7, 2013 at 2:39 PM

      Thanks Sarah! Ketchup?! That’s a weird one. lol I am surprised I made it this far without much drama honestly.

  2. July 7, 2013 at 2:38 PM

    Hmmm. I feel like this is the kind of stuff I want to eat…I might look more into the Whole30, but don’t want to cut things out that I won’t be able to cut out for the long term, so I need to read up on it! Also, does the coconut oil have an intense flavor?

    1. Mae
      July 7, 2013 at 2:43 PM

      The beauty of it is you only have to cut them out for 30 days. Think of it as a month-long cleanse but with real food. After 30 days, you can choose to reintroduce them back into your diet, but you know what? I’ll bet you won’t realize how easy it is to give some stuff up. Maybe not completely, but most of the time.

      I ate a lot of bread (english muffins, waffles, wraps) just out of habit, and now that I don’t, I don’t miss them. As for the coconut oil – I didn’t notice a huge flavor difference.

      1. July 7, 2013 at 9:47 PM

        Good point! Thanks, I really liked your meal breakdown so it sounds like something I will look into doing.

  3. Megan @hilarios
    July 10, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    i LOVE this post as I have been doing primal for almost 3 weeks now. It is hard to stay motivated cooking for 1 (husband works out of town), so this gives me some ideas.

    I missed ketchup too, (as well as BBQ sauce) so I just found some without high fructose corn syrup and other weird ingredients. That is the beauty of primal, less strict than Whole30. Co-worker did Whole30 for 14 days and switched to primal. Has lost quite a bit of weight, considering she didn’t have a lot to lose in the first place. Me? I just wanted to try something new other than counting calories and eating processed crap like Flat-Outs.