We did it! Robocop and I finished our first Whole 30. Surprisingly, it was not as difficult as we thought it would be. Don’t get me wrong, the first week was rough. The sugar cravings were much worse than I anticipated and at one point I actually had a dream about doughnuts. But once we were over the hump there was no turning back and we couldn’t be happier! Together we lost a total of 17 pounds and many inches from our wastes. Robocop went down 3 notches in his belt. We both have a lot more energy and are no longer experiencing afternoon crashes. In all honesty, this is the best we have felt in a long time!
Why We Did It
There are two main reasons we decided to do a Whole 30. The first is simply to see if we could break our addiction to sugar, wheat and dairy. And more importantly, to see if we could be happy after doing so.
The second reason was to see if all of the claims about improved energy and general health were true. I am a born skeptic. Especially with and “magical pill” type of solution to complex problems like health. I will never believe if you eat this one thing you will be skinny, happy, and healthy. I do not take supplements or even a daily vitamin. My food philosophy has always been everything in moderation, take a walk every now and then and try to have a positive attitude and you will be fine. This philosophy has always worked well for me. I have been lucky enough to be healthy, have always maintained a good weight (it has fluctuated like everyone else on the planet, but I have never been over weight or unhealthy in this way), and have always found some for a physical activity, no matter how small or easy, to keep myself moving (except for running…I despise running…and I secretly believe all of you runners despise it too, but we can talk about that later). I also believed that nothing could sway me from my view of health and diet. So it is with this attitude that I cam into whole 30.
How We Made it Through
The longer I am on Whole 30 the more I realize that prep is really the difference between failure and success. I don’t find it hard at all to eat this way, as long as I have plenty of food around the house I can eat. Now I don’t just mean ingredients to make dinner, but also easy to grab things for quick snacks.
Our Biggest Challenges
- I Couldn’t Go On Pinterest! – Surfing Pinterest is my favorite way to procrastinate on the internet. I found that I could not go on Pinterest during my Whole 30 because all the pictures of gooey cheesy deliciousness drove crazy. While this is not an actual problem, it still bummed me out.
- Dining Out – It is really hard to dine out on Whole 30.
- Alcohol – In the spirit of full disclose I will admit that on 3 occasions during my Whole 30 I had a glass of wine. If you think that means I messed the whole thing up…sorry. I read everything they posted about alcohol on their site, and I have to say I just do not agree with that. Now you may be all up in arms right now, but I am also sorry to tell you that is not the case. When reviewing a variety of medical studies, the truth is that there is a positive correlation between the moderate consumption of alcohol and health. Now wine, beer and other alcohols do have sugar and empty calories and of course should be consumed in moderation. And I do feel bad about the whole sugar in my three glasses of wine, but when we found a bottle of my favorite wine, which we haven’t seen in the store in months, I bought it and drank it.
- No Legumes – This wasn’t so much of a challenge as something I am not sure I agree with. I abided by the rule and did not consume a single legume during my Whole 30, but I am not convinced this food is inherently bad for me. I find Chris Kresser’s take on legumes to be interesting, he argues that they are in fact Paleo because they were actually consumed by our Paleo ancestors, read more here.
How Whole 30 has Changed Our Lives:
- We Don’t Need Sugar
- You Can Be Full Without Starch
- You Don’t Need to Put Cheese on Everything – Now for someone who was born in Madison, WI this statement is tantamount to blasphemy.
- We Have More Energy
- We Feel Better
We have both decided that we want to continue with many of the aspects of Whole 30 going forward. While we will not be as strict as we were while doing the Whole 30, we will still continue to eat this way most of the time. Together we decided that we will eat mainly Whole 30 while at home and then eat whatever we want when dining out. This way we are able to maintain the diet for the most part, but not have to worry or feel guilty about indulging in our favorite foods.
Here is what I ate during the last week of my Whole 30.
Breakfast: Breakfast was a super simple combination of a hard boiled egg and half an avocado. It is easy and quick to make and extremely satisfying. I think I could eat this for breakfast everyday and be incredibly happy.
Lunch: For lunch I had a salad (I harvested the lettuce from my garden) topped with some shredded chicken. I also ate a banana and a Cherry Pie Lara bar. I am so happy I discovered the Whole 30 compliant Lara Bars…they have been a real lifesaver.
Dinner: Dinner today was an experiment. I guess I would call them mini turkey meatloaves. I baked a turkey meatloaf mixture in muffin tins. I topped it with some sweet potato puree while they were baking. The sweet potatoes were an awesome addition, and I think played a major role in the mini meatloaves not drying out. I will have to make these again soon!
Breakfast: Breakfast today was 2 hard boiled eggs sliced in half and seasoned with salt and pepper, and a cup of almonds. Not eh most creative breakfast on earth, but it was filling and gave me a ton of energy.
Lunch: For lunch I threw together a salad of mixed greens and shredded chicken. after I shred the chicken I season it with a little salt and pepper. It is a quick and easy step that really adds a lot of flavor when putting it on a salad. I also had a Lara bar. Realizing that these are okay on Whole 30 has been a real life saver.
Dinner: It is quickly becoming fall where I live in Connecticut, which means everyone is harvesting the last of their summer garden crops. This works out great for me because not only do I have my own homegrown goodies to enjoy, but I get freebies from friends as well. It was one of these freebies that inspired my dinner tonight. We were given the most massive and beautiful zucchini that I have ever seen by a friend. It was so large I was not sure what to do it it, so I started looking at Pinterest for ideas (I am not going to lie I was incredibly tempted by all the cheesy, gooey, delicious looking Pinterest food…but I resisted!). It was then that I realized I had always wanted to try this zucchini boat thing. Now if you are a fellow Pinterester you know what I am talking about, they are all over the place. In order to pull it off I scooped out the seed section of my zucchini and pre-baked it. I made a think sort of ground turkey marinara sauce concoction and spooned it in the center then baked it for another 20 minutes or so. My hat is off to whoever actually invented the zucchini boat…they are delicious!
Breakfast: This morning a fried an egg sunny side up ad served it with half an avocado. When I eat an avocado like this, I make sure to season it with salt and black pepper. It really makes a difference in terms of flavor and makes the dish so much more satisfying.
Lunch: I got lazy and forgot to photograph my lunch today. I have been so good about this all month, but it just totally slipped my mind today. Not sure why. But it just didn’t occur to me.
Dinner: I made Chicken Curry for dinner tonight. I made a Whole 30 friendly version of our Coconut Curry Chicken. I use regular coconut milk and leave out the chickpeas. I served it over cauliflower rice. I am surprised by how well cauliflower rice works with this type of dish. It does a great job of soaking up the sauce…which is the best part!
Today I ran into the problem of waking up hungry and having no food. And when I say no food, I mean like zero, nil, none. All I had left in my fridge was a couple of onions and some pureed tomatoes from my garden. Now normally this would suck, but the problem with encountering this on Whole 30 is that you don’t really have any quick options. I can’t exactly go to a coffee shop and get a muffin. No…I have to go to the grocery store, buy my groceries, drive them home, and then cook something. Now this is my own fault for poor planning, but we just haven’t been having any leftovers lately and we ate through all our food. Not gonna lie, I was not happy. Don’t stand between me and my breakfast!
Breakfast: Okay, I may have developed a Sunny Side Up Egg addiction. They are quickly becoming my favorite way to prepare eggs. I love a runny yolk, and they just look so much prettier this way then serving them over easy.
Lunch: I had another salad for lunch today. I forgot to take a picture again….I am starting to really drop the ball on that, sorry guys.
Dinner: For dinner I made pan seared lemon pepper chicken thighs. I browned the chicken thighs in a cast iron skilled and then transferred them to the oven to finish cooking. I also made some oven roasted tomatoes. I am still over flowing with tomatoes from my oven and am trying to fins ways to use them all!
Breakfast: For breakfast I had a couple of leftover sweet potato, muffin, cake things (I really need to come up with a name for these…) and a banana. My Whole 30 happy face breakfast continues…really the happy face combinations are endless!!!
Lunch: Lunch was another mixed salad with shredded chicken. I know I have eaten this alot, but it really is an easy, filling, healthy delicious lunch. I highly recommend having one! I also ate an apple from a local tree farm. Is it just me or do they taste better when they are local?
Dinner: Dinner tonight was amazing, I am mad at myself for not doing it sooner. I made an insanely easy stir fry of beef, green and red pepper, carrots, and onion. I marinaded the beef for a couple of hours in coconut aminos, rice wine vinegar, garlic, and ground ginger. I saved some of the marinade and used it to cook the beef and veggies, which made a great sauce. I didn’t thicken it with anything, and I don’t think it needed it, but if you want the Chinese delivery consistency you can easily throw in some arrowroot powder. I was worried that I would miss the rice, but surprisingly I didn’t! Will definitely be making this again.
Today Robocop and I discussed our life after Whole 30. We both agree (much to my surprise) that we do not want to go back to our old way of eating. We have been enjoying our constant stream of energy and have not suffered the dreaded afternoon crash once we got past the “Paleo Flu” phase. I am still not sure what our diet will look like once Whole 30 is over, but I am sure it will be drastically different (minus the post Whole 30 binge we are planning…don’t judge me) than it was before we started.
Breakfast: Okay I might be falling into a rut, but I had a banana with almond butter again for breakfast today. It is by far my favorite breakfast. It may not hold me as long as eggs do, but I don’t care, its delicious.
Lunch: I threw together a very random assortment of food for lunch. I had an extra hard boiled egg in the fridge so I cut the up along with half an avocado and some roasted almonds.
Dinner: Today I officially lacked imagination when it came to dinner. I just couldn’t bring myself to be creative…so I did the insanely boring thing of baking a couple of chicken breasts. I attempted to revive dinner by making some super easy Butternut Squash Fries, which were great…but still not my best dinner showing.
Breakfast: For breakfast today I had two eggs sunny side up. I will admit during this process I have perfected my sunny side up technique and am now a master. They are quickly becoming my favorite way to eat eggs. They are just so happy looking!
Lunch: Due to poor planning I ran out of food at lunch time…so I decided to eat a bunch of fruit. Forgive me for getting overly creative with my picture (I didn’t actually eat that much fruit) but if you can’t have fun with your food what is the point!
Dinner: Since my beef stir fry was such a success I decided to try making a chicken version. It was just as good. I don’t know why I never tried eating stir fry without the rice before, but you really don’t need it. The rice is just not necessary. I think I will be eating rice-less stir fry from now on.
Breakfast: I was starving at breakfast this morning. I started by mashing together some leftover sweet potatoes I had, making a weird puree concoction. Then I made some bacon and fried an egg. I have been surprised how difficult it is to find bacon without any added sugar. We spent 30 minutes at the grocery store the other day reading labels and out of the entire bacon isle we only found 1 option! And it was not the fancy organic brand we assumed ti would be! Remember to read your labels people!!!
Lunch: For lunch I had my signature shredded chicken salad with homemade balsamic dressing.
Dinner: Dinner tonight was amazing. Seriously one of the better ones I have made during this Whole 30. I made a variation of the Herb Sweet Potato has recipe we have on the website. The biggest change I made was adding an organic Andoullie sausage. I found this really cook sausage hidden in a small place in the “healthy” meat section at my grocery store. It is local and made from 100% heritage pigs. It was a little more than I we would normally be willing to spend on sausage…but I really wanted to have hash with sausage and refused to be deterred! I started by slicing the Andoullie on the bias and than browning it in a little coconut oil. I then removed the sausage from the pan and drained most of the fat. I did leave a little bit of the fast to saute my vegetables in…can you say delicious!
Breakfast: For my last Whole 30 breakfast I decided to make an over the top scramble. I had some leftover meat from my beef stir fry that I froze and thawed out. I also threw in some tomatoes from my garden (I have soo many tomatoes!). It sounds like a weird combination, but trust me it was delicious. A great way to begin my last day!
Lunch: For lunch I just snacked on leftovers. I had a bunch of random vegetables I cooked throughout the week and that was really all I needed after my large breakfast. I will admit leftovers have really been my savior during this Whole 30 process.
Dinner: We decided to go big for our last Whole 30 dinner. We bought some amazing porterhouse steaks from the butcher, wrapped them in bacon, and threw them on the grill. We also made some mashed potatoes (what you ate potatoes??? Whole 30 has recently made the decision the white potatoes are in! So for our last night we took advantage). Dinner was amazing and the perfect way to end our Whole 30 adventure!
Check out how the rest of my Whole 30 went: