Week 3 Meal plan has been added, as well as Day 14 & 15 updates. Check them out.[/rs-alerts]
Let’s imagine a hypothetical situation for a moment…
Over the past few months, you’ve attended countless BBQs, birthday parties, events, picnics, and other gatherings. You tried to stay on track with what you ate, but sometimes that cupcake or dinner roll was just too tempting. You made excuses and said “Well, it’s just this one special event or occasion, so it’s okay, just this once”. But you said that much more than just once.
Wait, that wasn’t hypothetical because it really happened? Tell me I’m not the only one. Well, due to falling off the whole food wagon, it’s time to jump back on again, and you know what that means: it’s Whole30 time! It’s been 7 months since my last (and first) Whole30, and I am well overdue. If you’re not sure exactly what a Whole30 is or how it could benefit you, here’s a brief overview.
What Is The Whole30?
The Whole30, simply put, is a way to get your body back to optimal performance. By excluding certain foods from your diet for 30 days (in short: detoxing), you can reverse the negative impacts your bad food habits had and heal your body from problems and complications you may not have realized were being affected by food consumption.
The Whole30 is not a restrictive diet, as it may appear on the surface. Sure, you are denied certain foods, but you are freeing your body from the chains of addiction (both mental and physical) and disease. It is a short-term plan to assist you in lifelong diet changes. After the 30 days are up, you can slowly start reintroducing some of those “forbidden” foods and see how they affect your body, that way you will know which foods have a negative impact and you can avoid them for good.
How Can It Benefit Me?
Maybe you’ve been really tired lately. Perhaps a bit bloated, achy, or even having some digestive issues that you just can’t explain. Maybe you’ve been suffering from these complications your whole life and have just learned to deal with them. But you don’t have to. The purpose of the Whole30 is to remove a lot of the foods that cause common problems, such as fatigue, inflammation, intestinal problems, allergies, fertility issues, and so much more.
By removing those foods for 30 days, you can allow your body to begin the healing process by “resetting” it. For me, I have found the added bonus of a mental change, a desire to stay away from the foods that are bad for me because I know the damage they can cause. Just looking at a bagel gives me stomach cramps because I know how I will feel if I eat it, so I don’t.
Sounds pretty awesome, right?! Although it may be tough at the beginning (I mean, you’re having to drastically change everything about the way you think about food), you will feel so good when you’re done. And in the grand scheme of things, 30 days isn’t really that long. So, are you with me? Maybe you’re thinking, “Ok, so this sounds good and all, but what the heck can I eat?” Good question, and I have a good answer. In addition to the Whole30 Shopping List and Whole30 Meal Planning Guide, take a look at all these recipes that are perfectly acceptable on the Whole30.
12 most recent Whole30 Approved recipes:
The Whole30 is starting to look pretty delicious, right? And now that I’ve explained the “What” and “Why”, you’re probably starting to wonder about the “How”. Luckily for you, I can be a little bit obsessive when it comes to projects, and especially projects that revolve around food. When I did my first Whole30, I painstakingly documented the food that I ate each day, with the exception of photos. I planned my meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks) every week so that it would be nearly impossible for me to cheat. And I’m going to be doing that again. Oh, and by the way, we’re planning on starting on September 15th, so that gives us a few days to get our plans squared away.
With this Whole30, I will be posting full Weekly Meal Plans, as well as appending this post daily with what I ate (pictures included) and how I’m feeling. Hopefully, having these resources available to you will help you with your own Whole30, to see what it really looks like, tastes like, feels like. And no matter what stage you’re at, whether you’re thinking about doing a Whole30, just started, are halfway done, or nearing the end, I would love to hear your tips, advice, lessons learned, and results.
The best part about the paleo community (aside from the amazing food) is the community itself. Everyone has one single goal, and that is to eat healthy and to share with each other. I’m looking forward to sharing my experiences with you and hearing yours in return. Check back often (daily, even) to see what food is being eaten in the OPL household for the next 30 days.
Weekly Meal Plans: Includes Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Snacks
These daily photos serve a two-fold mission: (1) To help you see what a Whole30 looks like and how achievable it can be; and (2) To hold myself accountable for the food I eat, which in turn helps me from cheating since I have to take a photo of every single meal.
This is no easy task. Taking 4 photos a day, before I eat, even when I’m super starving, isn’t fun. Making sure I have clean plates and glasses is sometimes a challenge (let’s be honest, my kitchen is a mess!). But in the end, it is all worth it to me, and I hope you feel it’s worth it to you. Good luck with your Whole30! Enjoy it 🙂
Chicken Bacon Salad with Tessamae’s Red Wine Vinaigrette
As a last minute plan, I decided to make apple chips in the dehydrator yesterday, so when I took them out this morning, I had some with breakfast. I also forgot to buy avocados, so I went without green in my breakfast. I didn’t prep for lunch yesterday so I didn’t have chicken ready for our salads, which made me cranky. At least I had remembered to prep today’s dinner the night before so I was able to just pour everything in the crock pot this morning. Feeling optimistic about the next 29 days.
Leftover Crockpot Minestrone Soup
Savory Coconut Flakes; Apple and Almond Butter; Larabar (not Whole30!)
Day 2 and I’ve already screwed up. I ate a normal breakfast but by the time I got to the gym at 10am, I was starving! By about 10:20, I thought for sure I’d pass out if I didn’t eat something, and unfortunately, that stupid Larabar was the only thing in my purse so I scarfed it down. Luckily I didn’t puke or faint during the WOD, so I’m guessing the Larabar wasn’t terrible but I still feel bad about it. At least the rest of the day was better, but I’m going to try and cut back on the fruit even more in the next 28 days.
Post WOD Scramble (added red peppers; left out the avocados, they weren’t ripe yet)
Savory Coconut Flakes; Banana and Almond Butter
Today, even though I ate a relatively small breakfast, I wasn’t starving by mid-morning. I think the addition of the coconut flakes at breakfast helped with that. By lunch, Rob had a craving for sausage and sauerkraut (most likely brought on by a conversation about homemade sauerkraut last night) so we swung by the store on the way home from the gym and I found some stuff that I’m hoping is Whole30 approved. There was no sugar, and no nitrates, and it tasted so good. And if you haven’t tried it yet, fry some sauerkraut in bacon fat until it’s crispy on the edges. SO good! As far as my mood, I felt a bit crankier than normal today, which I assume is food-related. I recall being a bit cranky in the first week last time as well.
Scrambled Eggs; “Baked” Cinnamon Apples
Chicken Apple Sausage (no sugar, no nitrates); Sauerkraut (fried in bacon fat); Leftover Best Roasted Veggies; Leftover Bacon
I was cranky (again) today, though I feel it was exacerbated by the fact that I skipped the gym. I’m usually cranky when I do that. Plus my 3 errands this afternoon took about 5 times longer than I intended, which left me hungry at lunch time and scarfing down an apple on the way back from the farmer’s market. I was trying to cut back on fruit, remember? Ugh. At least I made up for that with a bunch more veggies today than yesterday. There’s always tomorrow, right?
I don’t even know what happened today. Our regular 1 hour trip to the gym turned into a 3 hour trip. We visited some friends and their new baby, picked up some groceries, and signed the kids up for gymnastics (as if our schedule isn’t hectic enough already). We didn’t get home until about 1:30 so we grabbed some stuff at the grocery store for a makeshift lunch while we were out. And our son’s first Ultimate Football game was tonight and it was at dinner time so we wound up eating out. Chipotle has pretty much only one option on the menu that’s Whole30 approved and after you’ve eaten the regular stuff (yeah, I splurge on rice, cheese, and sour cream when we go there), it’s hard to enjoy a bowl without it. I only ate half, the rest is in the fridge, probably for lunch on Day 6, we’ll see.
Friday is supposed to be my not-so-busy day. Not this Friday, apparently. We wound up running out and getting some new phones this evening and while we were out, stopped by the Five Guys to grab dinner. I had remembered from my last Whole30 that the bunless burger was fine (not optimal, of course, but in a pinch it would do), so I got that. One of the five guys had the nerve to forget my bacon so I had to go back and get it. Not so great for an already cranky lady. Yes, still cranky, even though I went to the gym. Definitely food related. I think I’m starting to get on my husband’s nerves…
Yeah, no pictures today. Definitely one of those days. Woke up early, thinking I’d conquer the world, wound up rushing to take my daughter to her first football game to cheer while the husband took our son to his first football game at another park. Since I only had enough time to eat (almost all) of my eggs, I snuck some bites from the baby’s Larabar at the football game. Came home and immediately went to work deep cleaning and launching with Rob and almost forgot about lunch. Managed to sneak in a little food before we took off and drove to a no-longer-flooded Boulder to visit the Apple store. Grabbed some dinner at Outback on the way and I really wanted to eat the entire loaf of bread but didn’t have any. I realized halfway through dinner that I didn’t take any meal photos for day 7. It bummed me out. I’m still cranky.
Today was the first day in a week that I didn’t feel the need to snack much. I did have an apple a while after dinner because I ate kind of early and stayed up late, but I wasn’t really hungry during the day. I also wasn’t cranky, so things are looking up. A good start to week 2, if you ask me.
Scrambled Eggs with Peppers & Mushrooms; “Baked” Cinnamon Apples
Chicken Apple Sausage (nitrate-free, no added sugar); Red Bell Peppers; Macadamia Nuts; Homemade Cherry Kombucha
Confession time 🙁 I was testing a recipe for Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies and had a taste. I know I said I would leave the taste-testing up to Rob and the kids, but clearly my self-control is a bit sub-par right now. That’s the bad news. The good news is that I think I’ll have a tasty cookie recipe to post after a few tweaks. As for the Whole30, today was another day I didn’t feel the need to snack. I actually forgot to eat lunch and didn’t realize I was starving until 2:30. Whoops. I’m feeling better than I was last week. Things are looking up.
I woke up feeling pretty crappy this morning. I made breakfast, plated it up for everyone, myself included, and proceeded to eat one bite. It tasted fine, but my stomach was in no place to be digesting food. I had the “throw-up feeling” all morning and into the afternoon. I had absolutely no appetite and had to force myself to eat something at around 2pm. My lunch would normally have been a snack for me. Luckily, by dinnertime, I was feeling better and ate some real food, though not the full portion you see on my plate above. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.
Carrots, Peppers, and Zucchini with Paleo Ranch Dressing; Tuna Salad
Eggless Sweet Potato Hash with Peppers, Zucchini, Onions, and Chorizo (planning on posting the recipe next week)
Today was WAY better than yesterday. My appetite returned, the nausea was gone, and I felt great. I did, however, have a really hard time at the gym, mores than normal. I’m attributing that to my lack of eating yesterday. Food is important, that’s for sure. And once again, not really feeling the need to snack.
Modified Rise and Shine Smoothie (pineapple instead of mango)
Today was normal. Nothing exciting and new to report. I ate food, felt fine, skipped the gym (oops). Oh wait, one thing to report. I made Pumpkin Pie Bites and may have had 1 or 5 too many. Hey, I had to test the recipe for you guys. Anyway, too much sweet for one day. I’ll pass on the goodies tomorrow.
Today was a good day. The weather was gloomy, cold, and rainy and by the time 5:00pm rolled around, I wasn’t really feeling like making dinner, so we went out to eat. I didn’t get the most Whole30 meal on the menu, I’m sure it was cooked in some sauce that had some no-no ingredients in it, but overall it was a okay choice in my opinion. Plus it tasted delicious! And I had a fun night out with my family. Sometimes you just need a night away from the kitchen and to not think so much about food. Tonight was one of those nights.
Would you be shocked if I told you that today was another busy day? Yeah, me neither. Early breakfast before it was time to run to the Saturday morning football games. Got hungry at the game and had a snack for an early lunch (about 10am) that actually kept me full until about 4:00, when I ate last night’s leftovers. Forgot I had an activity at church at 6:00, so I didn’t bother with making dinner. There was homemade bread at church, and I really wanted it. I did not eat it. Yay 🙂
I know, today’s meals look weird, but I can explain. I fasted this morning (I do this once a month). After lunch, we went to the neighbor’s for a football party. I had a little guacamole there and managed to resist eating the Tostitos and cupcakes that were nearby. Barely. I also grabbed an apple from home and ate that instead of the cupcake. Am I strong or what?! Then I didn’t make dinner because timing-wise, it was a strange evening and nobody was hungry after eating football-party-food anyway. Then way later, I made bacon simply because I wanted bacon. Completely normal, of course. Although I wasn’t hungry most of the day, I was late at night, but resisted eating more. Oh, and PS, I’m halfway there! Only 15 days to go.
No real update for today. Feeling fine, not tired, not hungry, not cranky. I have noticed that I’m still wanting the sugar stuff, whereas on my previous Whole30, I was grossed out by a lot of foods at this point. I am attributing that to the fact that I didn’t eat fruit last time and this time I am (and haven’t really cut back a whole lot either). It’s interesting to see how such a simple thing as giving up fruit can make such a big difference.
Spicy Egg Muffins; Grapes
It’s been hard to prepare and make all of our meals lately with all of our kids’ activities going on. I’ve been trying to keep it simple, and having the Aidells sausages at lunch has been a lifesaver since I haven’t been so great at planning. If you’re following me on Facebook, you probably already know about my slight addiction with these things.
I’m almost 2/3 of the way there. Eating this way is definitely easier after you’ve already eaten paleo for a while, but I love seeing the change in my outlook toward food. While I still wouldn’t mind eating a cupcake (like the one I turned down last Sunday), I don’t want to eat it because I know how it would make me feel and I don’t want to go through that. I’m feeling good lately. Let’s hope it stays that way 🙂
We took an impromptu vacation to the mountains today. I planned on bringing food to cook at the hotel but we wound up getting a place without a kitchen, so we had to eat on the go. Under the circumstances, I made decent choices, but it could have been better, for sure. I don’t feel like I’ve taken a huge steep back or anything, but I’m not exactly proud. I definitely felt more bloated today, I’m sure it was due to some of the ingredients in the not-so-Whole30 foods…