Whole30: Week 1

What I Ate

I posted here about the foods I cooked last week. I warned The Mister that things were going to get strict at dinnertime for the next 15 days. He wanted no parts of any of the goodness I made. More for me! I batch cooked a lot of food on Sunday, so I was able to go a week without cooking too often. This was a relief. The thought of chopping a bunch of vegetables and measuring 10 spices with a toddler underfoot is draining after a long day at work.

The Whole30 plan suggests that you eat 3 meals a day with no snacks unless you are really hungry. You can have additional pre and post workout meals if you exercise intensely. I ate 3 meals a day mixed and matched from the recipes I made. I used almonds and hard boiled eggs as pre-CrossFit meals. I didn’t experience any real lack of energy during workouts. I didn’t do much running last week so I’m not sure how this meal would work for an early AM run. Post-workout, I ate a small portion of sweet potato hash.

I ate veggies with every meal. It is stupid easy to hit 6-10 servings of veggies a day when you cut out grains. I ate a ton of broccoli topped with ghee because it’s easy and I love it. I had a few simple salads (Spring Mix + dressed with oil, vinegar, salt + pepper) when I was feeling lazy. I made a pan of roasted zucchini, yellow squash and onions and ate that often. A batch of kale chips served as a side one night and that was a good way to get greens + fats.

I did feel snacky sometimes and I relied on sweet potato chips, almonds, and the occasional orange to ease the munchies. Whole30 doesn’t outright discourage fruit, but IMO the rules surrounding its consumption make it tough to get in. Breakfast and post-workout are the main times I reach for fruit. Eating fruit at both of those times is discouraged for various reasons. I didn’t really feel deprived though because I’m in a phase where I just don’t want fruit too much.

How I Felt

  • I felt OK. I didn’t experience any caffeine withdrawal headaches. I expected that to be my toughest hurdle next to sugar. I guess I don’t drink as much caffeine as I thought. I had a touch of the “carb flu.” I get so tired at work around 10AM & 3PM and a little brain fogginess follows. I usually deal with this by drinking a Coke Zero or something but that’s out. I miss caffeine!
  • I was a bit disappointed to find that some of my go-to seasonings (Lawry’s Lemon Pepper, Lawry’s Accent, and Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning) were out because they contained sugar. My broiled tilapia just didn’t taste the same without Tony’s.
  • I really miss variety in drinks. I don’t drink coffee and I don’t like tea without sugar. I can’t drink Crystal Light or anything like that because it contains artificial sugar. I tried flavoring my water with orange and lemon slices but I didn’t like it. I tried some naturally flavored sparkling spring water I found at Trader Joe’s and…yuck. I’m so sick of water but I don’t like the alternatives. Oh well, at least I am extra well-hydrated!
  • I started to crave bacon for some reason. I scoured all kinds of labels at regular stores and Whole Foods and couldn’t find nitrate-free bacon cured without sugar. Gwaltney makes a sugar-free bacon (green box) but it is not nitrate free. I bought it anyway and had to debate eating it. If I weren’t committed to the Whole30 this would not be an internal struggle.
  • I chew lots of gum on a daily basis and gum is out on Whole30 due to the fake sugars. They also discourage it because of the chewing habit – something about how chewing and not actually ingesting food can be problematic. Whatever. I really struggled in the first few days with just wanting something to chew on! Sometimes I used water to get through the cravings. Other times I ate almonds even though I wasn’t hungry. Thankfully, the need to chomp on gum is waning.
  • My hunger levels were generally good, but the first day was rough. I don’t mind the 3 meals a day thing because I stopped eating 5-6 small meals a day a long time ago. If I was hungry, I ate something to take the edge off.
  • I’m learning to adjust the portion sizes of my meals so that I feel full enough to last to the next meal. I don’t have problems eating protein, but I found that I had to increase my standard protein size to feel full enough not to snack. A 3oz chicken breast is not enough in the absence of a ton of fat. 4.5-5oz servings worked better for me.
  • I still want to snack but it isn’t really out of hunger. I’m just used to grabbing something to eat as soon as I walk through the door. I also battle the habit of snacking in the car. Both of these habits do my waistline no favors. The fact that I can’t eat the Cheez-Its and Goldfish crackers that I stash in the car for Lewis is a good thing. When I want to eat out of habit rather than hunger, somehow almonds aren’t as appealing as crackers.
  • Major temptation of the week: Popcorn at the movies (Thumbs Up for “Think Like A Man”)
  • I didn’t cheat on the program at all except for two minor technical things. I used 2t of Dijon mustard in a recipe. My mustard was clean and contained no sugar, but Dijon mustard is made with white wine and alcohol is a no-no on Whole30. I also ate the bacon that contained nitrates. I consider these minor infractions. Drinking isn’t an issue for me. I probably have a glass of wine once every 3 months. I think that the spirit of the “no alcohol” rule in Whole30 is geared more to actual drinking and not a little bit of white wine in a recipe. As far as the bacon, I decided the sugar was the greater of the evils. If I’m going to get cancer from food, it will probably be from all the diet soda I’ve consumed in my life. I doubt the nitrates in the bacon that I eat every now and again are going to kill me.
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3 Responses to Whole30: Week 1

  1. Sportsgirl says:

    Good on you for sticking to the diet. I don’t think the dijon mustard and bacon was a big deal. It sounds tough, but I’m sure will get easier.

    I don’t think it was a big deal either but I had to report that I was not 100% compliant. :) I’m not messing around with the sugar part though!

  2. Way to go! This sounds so much like the program I was put on when I did body restoration at the alternative health center. Giving up sugar during the detox was the hardest for me, but I understood why so many processed foods use sugar (to mask how bad the food tastes after it’s been denatured). I found myself adopting many of the restrictions long after the diet was over
    I think Applegate makes a nitrate-free, sugar-free bacon

    I’m already working through the things I will continue to do and the things I’m giving up. I’m definitely going to chew gum again even with the fake sugar. Same goes for an occasional diet soda or tea. I’m also going to continue to focus more on what is in my food and go towards less processed stuff. I might even reduce the amount of dairy in my diet. Too many things I cook contain cheese!

  3. Court says:

    Good for you! I actually just finished up my first Whole 30. I was very similar to you – the only things I ‘messed’ up were minor technicalities that I didn’t feel bad about. Congratulations!

    Thanks! Congrats for doing the Whole 30 days. I know I could have gone 30 days if I hadn’t had a 50K to run. :)

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