I am happy to announce that I survived Week 2 of Whole 30 (insert fanfare music)! Overall this week was much easier than the first, but it was not without its difficulties. We struggled with eating out more this week and surviving social situations. We are also starting to fall into food ruts, which is making our diet more repetitive and less exciting. Here are my main takeaways from the week:
Cons: I am finding myself obsessing about food way too much. I am not sure it is healthy to be so concerned and so stressed about what is in my food. When I am cooking at home it is fine, I can easily control that. But knowing that I need to go out and do something is starting to cause me anxiety. Will they have something I can eat? What if they don’t? Should I just eat ahead of time? What if I think something is okay but it actually has sugar, will it take me back to square one? While I do believe that it is important to be conscious of what you eat and I understand that Whole 30 is not meant to be followed 365 days of the year, I would hate to see it take some of the fun out of food.
With that said, here are the Pros:
- I am no longer craving sugar so badly that I am contemplating the ethics of mugging a stranger for a piece of chocolate.
- We are starting to lose weight (if you care about that stuff). Robocop has taken in 2 inches on his belt, and to be honest we aren’t trying or really doing any extra exercise.
- We have learned that we do have the willpower to resist our food downfalls which is probably the biggest one for us.
Breakfast: Breakfast this morning was an easy scramble of onions, jalapenos, and sweet bell peppers. I sauteed the onions and pepper in a little coconut oil until they were soft and then added the eggs. I served it with some slices of a fresh tomato from my garden.
Lunch: For lunch today I had some leftover shredded chicken from the roasted chicken I made last night. I also had some assorted mixed nuts and an apple. For a little treat I created a banana, chocolate, almond butter ball rolled in coconut for a dessert that is Whole 30 compliant!
Dinner: I decided to changes things up at dinner time and make some homemade Butternut Squash soup.
As I started my second week of Whole 30 I had high expectations. Based on everything I read on the Whole 30 site and by other bloggers, by the end of this week I should be over my energy slump and start loving life again. This has not happened to me yet. In fact all I want to do is take a nap. I downed 3 cups of coffee and am still dragging. According to the people over at Whole 30 this is because my body is learning it has to get my energy from fat instead of sugar, which I guess is harder to do. So for now I have to suffer through and hold on to the hope that the endless energy I was promised is just around the corner!
As far as food goes today I was starting to get a little “meated (bear with me while I make up words here)” out. I know the Paleo police may come for me on this one, but my meat intake has increased significantly over the last week and I needed a little breather. That is why I decided to make some butternut squash soup for dinner. It was a nice break and still very filling. After one bowl I was stuffed. That is another thing I have noticed on Whole 30, I am starting to get full much quicker. Which means I have the added bonus of leftovers for lunch tomorrow!!!
Breakfast: For breakfast I decided to embrace bacon. Everyone loves bacon, so why not just go for it right? I went very classic and had bacon and sunny side up eggs. Maybe I was channeling my inner short order cook.
Lunch: Lunch today was very simple. I had some shredded chicken, with a banana, assorted nuts, and some of the chocolate almond butter banana balls I am quickly becoming addicted to.
Dinner: Dinner on Day 9 was by far our favorite dinner during the Whole 30 challenge to date. I am not sure why this is, but for some reason it really just hit the spot. Maybe it is because our bodies are finally starting to switch over to the Whole 30 program. I don’t know, all I know is that is was delicious. For dinner I made baked chicken breasts marinated in whole grain mustard, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and thyme. I added a little more mustard on top of the chicken when I baked it. I served this with Brussels sprouts I sauteed in coconut oil and finished with a splash of balsamic vinegar at the end. I also made some whipped cauliflower that I topped with sauteed mushrooms and bacon. AMAZING!
I will be honest with you I have two somewhat conflicting views when it comes to what constitutes a healthy diet. I have a Masters degree in Public Health, which means I am very versed in the latest research about what constitutes a healthy diet. This research would tell you that a diet low in saturated fat and red meat is essential for heart health. Well…lets just say there are some Paleo people out there that might disagree with that. However, aside from the saturated fat and red meat the Paleo diet also aligns perfectly with my Public Health education and background. Eliminating processed foods, reducing grains and sugar, and eating more fruits and vegetables. That constitutes the definition of a healthy diet. I am telling you this because when I started my Whole 30 I have my Public Health approach always in the back of my mind. This meant I tried not to include too much saturated fat in my diet, or at least felt guilty when I did. However, after reading more and more about Whole 30 one of the biggest “newbie” mistakes I saw was not eating enough fat. My brain had trouble processing this (remember public health saturated fat bad) but I decided if I was gonna do this I should do it right…so today I tried to incorporate more of the fat I have been avoiding. I will admit it worked, I felt better. It was what my body wanted. As for whether or not I think you can eat bacon every day and still be healthy…I am not fully convinced. But this week I am embracing it in an attempt to get myself over the “hump”.
Breakfast: For breakfast I had 2 eggs over easy with homemade salsa. For some reason I decided to plant poblano peppers in my garden this year, without considering what I would do with them all when they came in. My solution…roasted poblano pepper salsa! Very tasty. The salsa also gave my breakfast an extra little kick which was good…because I am quickly becoming very sick of eggs. Only 20 days to go…
Lunch: Lunch today was leftover Butternut Squash Soup from Day 8’s dinner. I like this soup because it is easy to reheat and very filling.
Dinner: I decided to go with something easy tonight for dinner. I made this Mustard Marinaded Pork Tenderloin and some baked sweet potatoes. It was raining out so I made the pork in the oven, and it still worked out great.
I don’t have a lot to report today on the Whole 30 front. While my sugar cravings have subsided I still lack energy in the afternoon and have been needed to take a short power nap everyday. I find that eating some nuts helps bring back my energy, but I am still sick of feeling tired all the time. I am also starting to get a little bored with my diet. I know I need to change it up and add some new stuff, but am just feeling uninspired. Oh well, it’s only day 10…so hopefully the next 20 will start to feel better!
Breakfast: I guess I am on an eggs sunny side up kick this week, because I made them again! This time to trick myself into thinking they were something different I served the eggs with half an avocado and a banana.
Lunch: Lunch today was easy since I was feeling lazy and very over cooking. I took a couple pieces of last night leftover Mustard Marinaded Pork Tenderloin and ate it on top of a simple salad homemade balsamic vinaigrette dressing.
Dinner: Dinner tonight was rough. I had a horrible migraine and I can admit the last thing I wanted to do was get into a bright kitchen and cook. I didn’t want to get off the couch and ordering a pizza was calling my name. Now if I was smart I would of had a nice freezer meal prepared for such an occasion, but I am not so I didn’t. Instead I baked a spaghetti squash and served it with a quick meat sauce and side salad. Normally I don’t mind having to cook my meals, but the inconvenience of doing it every day really shined through today. Instead of being able to sit and wait for my headache to pass, I had to figure out something for dinner. But I did it, and resisted the urge to cheat!
I had a horrible migraine today. I was hoping now that I started Whole 30 they would disappear, but apparently that is not my luck. I do think it was my fault though. I usually only get headaches if I let my blood sugar drop (i.e. don’t eat lunch) and I spent all afternoon looking for a lost dog and forgot to eat. Oh well, maybe this is my last one!!!
Breakfast: Breakfast today was a hard boiled egg and a banana. I also ate a bunch of nuts. I had a lot of work to do this morning which meant I did not have a lot of time to cook, so the hard boiled egg was perfect! Just drop it in the pot and done.
Lunch: I forgot to take a picture of my lunch today, but it consisted of a sliced apple with almond butter and a bunch of cashews. Probably too many cashews…but what can I say they are a weakness of mine. I can’t resist!
Dinner: I decided to test a new recipe for dinner tonight. Sweet potato cakes with bacon and caramelized onions. I mean how could that go wrong? Everything about that sounds delicious! I boiled the sweet potatoes and mashed them, cooked the caramelized onions and sauteed the bacon. I mashed it all in a bowl and it was at that point I realized I was out of eggs. Which were somewhat necessary considering they were supposed to be my binding agent. Oops! Well I gave the cakes a shot anyway, but they would have benefited greatly from the eggs. Oh well, sometimes you just have to roll with it! I served the sweet potato cakes with some balsamic and mustard baked chicken (if you can’t tell this has quickly become my go to marinade).
It is funny but today might actually be the first day where I have not crashed in the afternoon. All this week I have been desperately craving an afternoon nap…but not today! Maybe there is something to this Whole 30 thing after all!!!
Today I also realized I like making smiley faces with my breakfast. Not sure why this is…I guess the food I eat for breakfast just lends itself toward a happy face!
Breakfast: We had a late “Brunch” breakfast today, aka we slept late and didn’t get around to cooking until noon. I knew it would be a while before we ate again so I made a big breakfast of sunny side up eggs, bacon, and sliced avocado.
Lunch/Dinner: We took the train into the city and arrived around 4:30. This posed an interesting problem, because it meant that our train ride coincided with when we would have been eating lunch. We had a late breakfast so we weren’t hungry before we got on, and by the time we arrived at Grand Central we were starving. So we decided to try our luck and see if we could find something Whole 30 compliant at the Grand Central Food Court. Much to our shock we did (or at least came pretty darn close)! We found a Trip Tip Steak plate with au jus dipping sauce. Not the plate we got also came with crispy onions and horseradish dipping sauce, but we discarded those because they were most certainly not Whole 30 compliant. Truth be told, this tri tip was actually delicious! Perfectly cooked and not something I would have expected to find in the basement of grand central. It was also a deal, the steak was enough for the two of us to share and it only cost $9.99!!!
Okay, today posed an interesting challenge…college football. To make it even more difficult I decided to go to a University of Wisconsin Madison Alumni event in NYC to watch the game. Talk about a Whole 30 challenge! I am proud to say we actually managed to stay on track. Which I am a little surprised about actually. We had even gone into the night acknowledging that it might not be possible to remain Whole 30 compliant, and that if we had to cheat we would do it in the least offensive way possible. Thankfully we were saved when we found the tri tip steak at Grand Central. It was surprisingly filling. While we were watching the game we snacked on sweet potato fries. While may not be in the spirit of Whole 30 and I will admit I did not know what oil they were fried in, but sweet potatoes are compliant so I am taking it as a win (Lets be honest it could have been a whole lot worse)!
Breakfast: For breakfast this morning I made what is quickly becoming my “go to” scramble of green pepper, onions, and jalapenos sauteed in coconut oil, and 2 eggs. I tossed in a fresh tomato from my garden to mix it up and add a little color.
Lunch: I had a salad with shredded chicken and homemade balsamic vinaigrette for lunch. I ate it with an apple and a banana. I made the chicken the night before by boiling 2 chicken breasts in a mixture of chicken broth and water. It is nothing fancy, but is easy and gets the job done.
Dinner: I forgot to take a picture of my dinner (bad Jessica!) but it was another Whole 30 willpower challenge. We went to a cookout for Labor Day and as we have experienced every time we eat out…finding food that we can eat is difficult. Thankfully we were able to eat some burger patties without any cheese and fruit salad. We also ate some roasted potatoes. Right now you might be saying…potatoes…you can’t eat potatoes! But oh you can my friend! Whole 30 changed their guidelines and welcomed back our old friend the white potato! They were delicious!
Check out how the rest of my Whole 30 went: