My Whole30 Experience

In January 2013, my husband and I decided to change our family’s eating habits and switch to paleo. What we thought was going to be a gradual transition turned into a full-blown diet change. It wasn’t nearly as difficult as I had perceived it to be and we were all very happy with the switch. Even the kids were enjoying their food, real food!

Then, at the end of February, my friend, Tracee, from the gym decided to get together a group of girls to do a Whole30, sort of like a great big support system. Although I initially planned on not doing it, Rob suggested I should. So I did it.

In an effort to help myself remember what I ate, what I liked, and what I didn’t like, I’ve compiled this list, day-by-day, of what I ate during my first Whole30. And just so you know, I went fruit-less on this one. I had plans to eat no fruit the entire 30 days, but with one week remaining, I caved and started eating minimal fruit. I feel okay about that, since fruit isn’t banned from a Whole30, but a little disappointed that I didn’t keep my personal commitment. Still a pretty big accomplishment, though, so I’m happy about that.

Day 1:
Breakfast – Scrambled Eggs with Bell Peppers and Avocado; Bacon-Wrapped Sweet Potato Fries with Lime-Jalapeno Mayo
LunchChicken-Bacon Salad
DinnerEasy Peasy Chicken Thighs; Best Roasted Veggies

Day 2:
BreakfastSpicy Scrambled Egg Hash; little bit of Tuna with Paleo Lime Mayo leftover from making kids’ lunches
Lunch – Leftover Crockpot Paleo Minestrone Soup; Bacon Roasted Green Beans
Midday Snack – Egg Salad (just one egg’s worth, used Paleo Lime Mayo)
Dinner – Paleo Bang Bang Shrimp; Paleo Fried “Rice”
Late Night Snack – Egg Salad (just one egg’s worth, used Paleo Lime Mayo); a Carrot

Thoughts so far: I’m still really happy I decided to take on this challenge. Tonight was rough, the family went to TCBY and I was the only one in the place not eating. What made it worse was that I was holding the cup and feeding the toddler, so it was right there, easy to turn the spoon and put it in my mouth instead of hers. But I was strong. And thrilled that I had the willpower. It made me confident that I can last the next 28 days comfortably. I have been very hungry the last 2 days. I’m usually a “grazer” so it has been difficult to try and stick to just 3 meals a day. I had a small snack today and some macadamias to hold me over to dinner, and since I stay up pretty late working, I usually have a late night snack as well. I’m going to try and cut back on that. I did make a very concerted effort to drink LOTS of water today and I think that helped curb my hunger a lot.

Day 3:
Breakfast – 2 Scrambled Eggs; 3 slices Bacon
Lunch -1 Sweet Potato, shredded, sauteed in Coconut Oil; Egg Salad (just one egg’s worth, used Paleo Lime Mayo)
Snack – Savory Coconut Flakes
Dinner – Chicken Nuggets; Sweet Potato Fries with Lime-Jalapeno Mayo

Thoughts so far: All day, I was pretty cranky. Maybe it was work-related stress, but I’m sure this little food challenge played a part. I also had a headache the second part of the day. I wasn’t a crappy eater immediately prior to starting the Whole30, and didn’t really eat junk in preparation for it, so I’m sure this could have been a lot worse. Oh, and I really wanted sweets today. Namely, chocolate chip cookies.

Day 4:
BreakfastAll Day Frittata
Lunch – Leftover All Day Frittata with The Best Guacamole
Dinner – Leftover All Day Frittata with The Best Guacamole

Small update: I thought I would be super cranky and hungry today, but I wasn’t! Yay for small victories. I was happy and generally upbeat, and realized close to dinner time that I wasn’t starving and hadn’t needed snacks at all. Took my “before” picture today. Better late than never. Let’s hope the “after” picture looks different in 26 days…

Day 5:
BreakfastAll Day Frittata
Lunch – Egg Salad with Paleo Lime Mayo and homemade dill pickle relish; Carrots
Snack – Carrot; Macadamias; Snow Peas
DinnerCoconut Chicken with Thai Sauce; Best Roasted Veggies
Snack – Yellow Bell Pepper

Day 6:
Breakfast – Scrambled Eggs; Roast Beef Cold Cuts
Lunch – Leftover Best Roasted Veggies; Chicken Salad with Paleo Lime Mayo
Dinner – Chipotle Bowl with Carnitas, Lettuce, Pico de Gallo, Guacamole
Late Night Snack – Kalamata Olives

Day 7:
Breakfast – Scrambled Eggs
LunchSweet Potato Fries; Leftover Chipotle
DinnerSalmon Cakes with The Best Guacamole and Lime-Jalapeno Mayo
Late Night Snack – Kalamata Olives; Savory Coconut Flakes

Thoughts so far: I’m noticing less of a need (or craving) for mid-day snacks. I have gotten better at eating larger meals so I’m mostly satisfied throughout the day. I still need something late since I don’t go to bed at a normal time. Also, I’ve been crabby lately. Might be a Whole30 thing, might be a hormonal thing. I am a woman, after all, so who knows. Oh, and I finished 1 week! Yay!!!

Day 8:
BreakfastAll Day Frittata with The Best Guacamole
LunchChicken-Bacon Salad (minus the bacon, used Leftover Coconut Chicken)
Dinner – Leftover Salmon Cakes with The Best Guacamole and Lime-Jalapeno Mayo
SnackSavory Coconut Flakes

Today was hard. Sunday is always snack/treat/junk food day in our house. So this being my first Sunday on the Whole30 (I don’t count Day1 since I had stars in my eyes), it’s been really tough. There has been popcorn, peanut butter, and chocolate chips being eaten all around me, and the temptation sucked. But I persevered. But seriously, a freaking banana would have helped. Darn the no fruit commitment…

Day 9:
Breakfast – Leftover All Day Frittata
LunchPost WOD Scramble; Savory Coconut Flakes
Dinner – Chicken Alfredo (no kelp noodles); Best Roasted Veggies
Late Night Snack – Spoonful of almond butter

I noticed a marked difference in my appearance this morning as I was getting dressed for the gym. Looking a little leaner. I can deal with that. Also, even though I finished with the least amount of reps in today’s WOD, I did 36 DLs at 5# less than my 5RM. I can deal with that too. Oh, another awesome thing, I realized that my paleo-induced facial eczema has cleared up. I think it was an imbalance in the foods I was eating, so whatever I’m doing is working there too.

Day 10:
Breakfast – Leftover All Day Frittata with The Best Guacamole
Lunch – Leftover Chicken Alfredo (no kelp noodles); Best Roasted Veggies
DinnerCinnamon Lemon Pepper Chicken
Late Night Snack – Spoonful of almond butter

Day 11:
Breakfast – Scrambled Eggs
LunchMini Sweet Potato Souffles (was supposed to be the post-WOD snack, but I ate almost all of them so it turned into lunch)
Dinner – Leftover Cinnamon Lemon Pepper Chicken
Late Night Snack – Scrambled Eggs; Bacon (I didn’t eat a big dinner)

Day 12:
Breakfast – Scrambled Eggs; Bacon
Post-WOD Snack – Scrambled Eggs; Bacon (leftover that I didn’t finish at breakfast)
LunchCreamy Spinach Artichoke Dip; The Salty Snack Pack
Dinner – Turkey Meatloaf (didn’t eat much)
Late Snack – Carrots; Cucumbers

Last night, the baby kept us awake nearly the entire night, so we got about 3 hours of sleep. This is extremely rare. I felt fine the next morning, went to the gym and completed 13.2 (got 150 reps, not pleased). As the day went on, I increasingly lost more and more energy and concentration until I could barely keep myself standing. I was basically a zombie. That, of course, affected my eating habits for the day. I ate very little food, which probably contributed to my weakness, but I had no appetite. However, I didn’t cheat, even though I really wanted some fruit.

Day 13:
Breakfast – Scrambled Eggs
LunchSweet Potato Fries (again, no appetite today)
DinnerBlendtec Southwest Soup
Snack – Macadamias (I pretty much snacked on these all day, not so good of me)

Day 14:
Breakfast – Boar’s Head Turkey Cold Cuts
Lunch – Turkey BLTA Roll-Ups; Veggies with Paleo Ranch Dressing
Snack – Bacon Ranch Deviled Eggs
DinnerEasy Peasy Chicken Thighs; Best Roasted Veggies
Late Night Snack – Kalamata Olives; Cashews

Day 15:
Breakfast – Scrambled Eggs; Bacon
Lunch – Deviled Eggs; Crockpot Paleo Minestrone Soup
Dinner – Leftover Crockpot Paleo Minestrone Soup; Leftover Best Roasted Veggies

Halfway there! I’ve been in kind of a food rut lately. I haven’t been crabby or anything, but I’ve gotten a bit bored with food. I need to find some other options, especially for breakfast and lunch. The same ‘ol, same ‘ol is getting boring. But I’m hanging in there. I have continued to notice a marked difference in the way I look in the mirror, and even put on a skirt that hasn’t fit in a while. It’s still snug in some spots, but it zipped up! Small victories, people.

Day 16:
Breakfast – Scrambled Eggs with Sauteed Onions; Mini Sweet Potato Souffles
Lunch – Leftover Crockpot Paleo Minestrone Soup
Dinner – Leftover Crockpot Paleo Minestrone Soup
Late Night SnackSavory Coconut Flakes

Day 17:
Breakfast – Scrambled Eggs; Bacon
Post-WOD Meal – Leftover Crockpot Paleo Minestrone Soup
LunchSweet Potato Pancakes (no syrup); Savory Coconut Flakes
DinnerCoconut Chicken with Thai Sauce
Late Night Snack – Kalamata Olives; Boar’s Head Turkey Cold Cuts

Day 18:
Breakfast – Scrambled Eggs with Sauteed Onions; Bacon; Leftover Sweet Potato Pancakes (no syrup)
LunchBreadless BLT; Boar’s Head Turkey Cold Cuts; Kalamata Olives
DinnerPaleo Pad Thai
Late Night Snack – Kalamata Olives; Macadamia Nuts

I don’t think I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m sleeping like a rock. Not that I didn’t sleep great before, but I really don’t recall waking up in the middle of the night at all anymore. I’ve been eating way too many nuts lately (somebody please take this bag of macadamias away from me!!!) so I’ve been a little pudgy in the midsection. I know I need to cut back, but they’re so spanking good! I will try harder.

Day 19:
Breakfast – Zucchini Frittata; Mini Sweet Potato Souffles
Post-WOD SnackMini Sweet Potato Souffles
Lunch – Leftover Paleo Pad Thai
DinnerEasy Peasy Chicken Thighs; Best Roasted Veggies
Late Night Snack – Kalamata Olives; Macadamia Nuts

Day 20:
Breakfast – Scrambled Eggs with Sauteed Onions; 2 Dried Strawberries (oops!)
Lunch – Leftover Paleo Pad Thai; Leftover Best Roasted Veggies; Sweet Potato Fries
Dinner – Pizza Hut Salad Bar (blegh), Oil & Vinegar Dressing
Dinner Part 2 – 2 Egg Omelette with Onions, Prosciutto, and Spinach

We took the kids out for a night of fun tonight, which started at Pizza Hut and ended at TCBY. I refused to cave and got a measly salad at the “salad bar” and skipped the fro yo. By the time we got home, I was starving so I made an omelette, which tasted a thousand times better than my “salad”. Oh, and PS, I am 2/3 of the way done! Yippee!!!

Day 21:
Breakfast -2 Egg Omelette with Onions, Prosciutto, and Spinach
Post-Snow-Shoveling Snack – Mini Sweet Potato Souffles
Lunch – Breadless BLT; Boar’s Head Turkey Cold Cuts; Kalamata Olives
Paleo Bang Bang Shrimp w/ Zucchini Noodles; Roasted Asparagus

Day 22:
Breakfast – Scrambled Eggs
LunchPaleo Spaghetti Sauce with Zucchini Noodles (small portion); Egg Salad with Paleo Lime Mayo
Dinner – Paleo Spaghetti Sauce with Spaghetti Squash Noodles; Deviled Eggs
SnackChocolate Brownie Bites (I totally cheated but the only sweetener is dates, so I don’t feel terrible about it)

Day 23:
Breakfast – Scrambled Eggs w/ Bacon Bits
Post-WOD Snack – Egg Salad
Lunch – Tuna Salad; Almonds
Dinner – Five Guys Burger with No Bun (Burger, Sauteed Onions, Bacon, Lettuce, Pickles, Mayo)
Late-Night Snack – Small Bowl of Crockpot Paleo Minestrone Soup (this was intended for dinner but we went out instead); 1/2 an Apple

The last two days, I’ve really wanted to cheat, and I haven’t been 100% fruitless. I would take a bite from my kids’ bananas or apples or applesauce or Chocolate Brownie Bites every once in a while. It probably didn’t even amount to one whole apple’s worth of fruit, but still. I am looking forward to eating fruit again. I’m not setting PR’s at the gym or anything, but I’m looking better and feeling great, especially about my commitment and not cheating with non Whole30 foods, even though I’ve been making some very non Whole30 stuff for the family lately. Let’s see how I do around the Easter treats this weekend…

Day 24:
BreakfastSpicy Scrambled Egg Hash; Bacon
Lunch – BLTA Salad (like the Breadless BLT but all chopped up and added some avocado)
Snack – 2 Larabars (yeah, that’s right, super frustrating day and I turned to food. Ugh.)
Dinner – Crockpot Paleo Minestrone Soup
Late-Night SnackApple Pie Bites

Today sucked. Probably hormones on top of work-related stress, but all I wanted to do was eat (which is obvious if you look at the food I consumed today). Problem with just letting go and eating all that fruit (especially dried fruit) after 23 days without it, I feel like complete and utter crap. I hope I got all that out of my system so I don’t have to feel like this again…

Day 25
Breakfast – Spicy Scrambled Egg Hash
Lunch – Tuna Salad; Apple Pie Bites
Snack – Easter Candy (It came in the mail, I had no willpower. Totally stupid.)
Dinner – Easy Peasy Chicken Thighs; Green Beans
Late-Night Snack – Deviled Eggs

Day 26:
BreakfastPaleo “Faux”tmeal
Early Little Lunch – Smoothie (banana, spinach, peaches, unsweetened almond milk, hemp hearts); Mini Sweet Potato Souffles
Late Little Lunch – Chicken Salad; Dates and Pecans
DinnerBacon Lamburger Salad

Day 27:
Breakfast – Scrambled Eggs w/ Bell Peppers
Lunch – Paleo Spaghetti Sauce with Zucchini Noodles and Sauteed Mushrooms
Snack – Apple
Dinner – Chipotle (Salad w/ Barbacoa, Regular Salsa, Sour Cream, Cheese, Guac)
Late-Night SnackPina Colada Smoothie

Day 28:
Breakfast – One-Egg Omelet (w/ Ham, Onions, Mushrooms, Red Peppers); Paleo “Faux”tmeal; Ham
Lunch – Ham
Movie Snack – Odwalla Protein Smoothie; Larabar; Nut Thins Crackers
Late Dinner – Egg Salad; Ham; Coconut Larabar
Late Night Snack – 1/2 Apple

Two days left, what?! I’ve been pretty sucky at staying good this week, knowing that the end is right around the corner. I’m kinda ticked at myself for not going without fruit the whole 30 days, but considering that’s my only failure, I feel pretty good about it. I think I forgot to mention, but those skin issues that disappeared came back with a vengeance about 10 days ago. I hate it and have no idea what the culprit is. It’s driving me crazy.

Day 29:
Breakfast – Scrambled Eggs; Bacon; Pina Colada Smoothie
Lunch – Deviled Eggs; Bacon; Carrots
Snack (we were out all day) – Larabars; Nut Thins Crackers; Apple
DinnerCinnamon Apple Pork Chops; Paleo Sweet Potato Casserole

Day 30:
Breakfast – Leftover Ham; Leftover Paleo Sweet Potato Casserole
Lunch – Egg Salad; Carrot; Apple
Snack – Cherry Larabar
Dinner – Pork Ribs; Best Roasted Veggies

Oh my gosh, I did it! I finished my first Whole30 and survived! And I actually kind of liked it. Weird. Obviously, I had a little Easter candy slipup, but overall, I think I did pretty fantastic and I felt so good about myself the whole time. I learned a whole lot, I mean a LOT, about food and what I will most likely never eat again. I am much more aware of what foods make me feel good and which ones make me feel like crap. It explains a lot about my body that I never knew until now. I really wish that everyone could go through this at least once in their lives. It’s like a little crystal ball that can tell you everything you need/want to know about your body.

I will probably do another one, I really enjoyed the challenge, and now I know I can actually control myself around, whereas before I didn’t think I could. Fact is, I never really tried as hard before because I never really made such a commitment. It’s all a mind game and I totally won.