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“I’d never do anything so restrictive- moderation is the key!”
“I could never ever give up cheese.”
“I don’t see how anyone could do that for 30 days.”
These are words that came out of my mouth before I started Whole 30. I had known about Whole 30’s existence for months, but only took the leap after seeing someone else saying they were going to… and getting my husband on board to do it too.
(If you’re wondering what the Whole 30 means exactly, then check out last week’s Whole 30 post.)
Well, I’m officially eating my words. Moderation for me was always “well, I’m just having ONE cookie.” and “this event is really special.” But those add up. And why am I wasting calories on a mediocre appetizer at a party that I don’t like all that much anyway?
Also, it’s been 23 days (eek!) and WE’RE STILL AT IT. Before, the thought of going without cheese was enough to make me curl into a ball and weep, but here I am… 23 days without even a sprinkle of parmesan.
The thing about Whole 30 is that you’re always thinking about food, whether it’s your next meal, your next week of meals, or what to eat AFTER it’s all done. So I thought it’d be interesting to evaluate what foods I truly miss and which ones I don’t.
Foods I Miss and Foods I Don’t:
What I Don’t Miss:
- Cereal: I’m the kind of person who stares at the cereal aisle and nothing sounds appealing. I would eat it because it’s fast, and while I do like some cereal, I won’t be reaching for a bowl anytime soon.
- White rice: Not worth it. Maybe brown rice or that yummy cilantro lime rice at Chipotle, but regular white rice? Don’t miss it one bit.
- Bagels: One thing that’s really become clear throughout this challenge is that if I’m going to eat something, it had better be worth it. Those silly mini-bagels we buy for the kids? NOT worth it. A delicious, perfectly-toasted bagel from Einstein Bros? Now we’re talking.
- Yogurt: Before Whole 30, I ate yogurt almost daily. Now I’ll be seriously considering not eating it at all. So much sugar in most brands. I’ll see if I can find a brand with little sugar that doesn’t taste like ass. And even then, I don’t think I’ll eat it that much.
- Plain wheat sandwich bread: Again, if I’m going to eat wheat bread again, I’ve gotta upgrade from Nature’s Own.
What I Do Miss:
- Popcorn: I would eat popcorn everyday if I could. I gave up microwave popcorn ages ago so I’m ready for my bowl of air-popped popcorn with salt and butter. Mmmmmm, popcorn.
- Cheese (but not as much as I thought I would): I will happily eat a piece of cheese after this is over, but it really hasn’t been on my mind as much as I thought it would be.
- Tortilla Chips (good, thin ones): They’re sooooo crunchy.
- Cupcakes: I rarely even eat cupcakes other than birthday parties, but for some reason I’m really craving one. Or two.
What I Ate and How I Felt: My Week 2 Meal Plan
DAY 15 (Monday):
WHAT I ATE
Meal 1: Sweet potato hash with chopped Aidell’s Chicken & Apple sausage, two fried eggs, mixed fruit (1/2 banana, strawberries, blueberries, sprinkle of coconut flakes)
Meal 2: Leftover spaghetti sauce with meat, sautéed zoodles (zucchini noodles), and apple with small amount of cashew butter.
Pre-workout snack: hard-boiled egg and handful pistachios
Post-workout snack: tuna with salt and pepper and plantains
Meal 3: Pork and sauerkraut in the slow cooker (salt and pepper and that’s it), roasted parsnips/butternut squash/mushrooms and fresh pineapple, strawberries, melon, and blueberries (just a little each)
Kid dinner alternatives: The pork and sauerkraut is a dish we make fairly often, usually served with buttered noodles and a veggie. We decided to forego the noodles and gave the kids corn on the cob and leftover green beans. They used BBQ on the pork and ate EVERYTHING.
HOW I FELT
The kids were off today so we went to a friend’s for a playdate. She asked if I wanted coffee and I said SURE. I planned to drink it black. As I was about to take a sip I noticed it smelled like hazelnut. Turns out it had artificial ingredients that weren’t on the label so I had to say no. Sipped on water instead.
DAY 16 (Tuesday):
WHAT I ATE
Meal 1: Brussels Sprouts hash with bacon, fried eggs, bowl of fresh fruit
Meal 2: Leftover pork and sauerkraut with roasted butternut squash and parsnips
Pre-Workout: Hard-boiled egg with pistachios
Meal 3: Buffalo “Ranch” Chicken Stuffed Peppers, guacamole and side salad
Kid dinner alternatives: The kids tried the chicken and liked it somewhat, but it was way too spicy for them (and my kids eat jalapeños plain). Instead they had hot dogs (“good” ones), corn, and salad.
Zumba for 1 hour
HOW I FELT
Wow I can really tell I’ve lost weight. Looking in the mirror at Zumba tonight, I noticed my thighs are smaller for sure, my tummy is flatter, and even my arms are trimmer. Since I don’t have much to lose to begin with, I’m surprised about my legs and arms just two weeks in. Especially since months before when I was fervently counting calories for months, I only noticed a little difference in my stomach.
DAY 17 (Wednesday):
WHAT I ATE
Pre-Workout Meal: Hard-boiled egg and handful cashews
Meal 1: Fried eggs, sweet potato and chicken apple sausage hash, grapefruit sprinkled with coconut flakes
Meal 2: Tuna salad in lettuce wraps with side salad
Snack: Handful pistachios
Meal 3: Chicken Curry with potatoes, red peppers, onion, and spinach; Blueberries and strawberries
Kid dinner alternatives: Mini-pizzas from Whole Foods and some fruit. They TRIED the curry but didn’t love it. At least we tried!
1 hour Zumba
HOW I FELT
Well last week I didn’t do my 5:30 am Zumba class because of freezing rain. And the week before. Well that was only day 3 and the aftermath didn’t go well.
Today? Super hero energy. I felt great. On one song in particular it’s all jacks and jump squats. Usually by mid song most of us are doing low-jacks instead. Not today! I didn’t full jacks pretty much the entire song. That song was a good gauge to see my performance has increased. Woowoo!
DAY 18 (Thursday):
WHAT I ATE
Meal 1: Scrambled eggs with mushrooms and peppers topped with pico, broccoli, bacon
Meal 2: Leftover chicken curry
Meal 3: Burgers on lettuce with pickles and spicy mayo (just Cholula and mayo), garlic potato wedges, green beans, 1/2 a Larabar (Cashew Cookie)
Kid dinner alternatives: Buns and cheese on the burger.
HOW I FELT
Didn’t get a chance to workout today but took the kids to their tennis clinic in late afternoon. One of the kids got hungry so I pulled out the only thing I had: my emergency Larabar. I let Ethan try it and he was a no go. Noah wanted to try it later on too and he also didn’t like it. So I DID actually eat about 1/4 of it then because it was a piece he broke off. Finished it up after dinner.
For someone who has multiple snacks a day, I’m pretty proud that I’ve only had non-workout-related snacks like 3 times thus far. And never fruit. Not bad!
DAY 19 (Friday):
WHAT I ATE
Meal 1: Bacon, leftover potato wedges made into hash with peppers and onions, monkey salad (half banana, strawberries, blueberries, cashews, sprinkle unsweetened coconut flakes)
Meal 2: Tuna salad on salad, broccoli, apple with cashew butter
Meal 3: Pork carnitas with pineapple slaw, sautéed zucchini, poblano pepper, and red onions seasoned with Sazón, fruit
Kid dinner alternatives: Tortillas and cheese for the carnitas and corn on the cob as a side.
HOW I FELT
Ohhhh dinner was so so good. The carnitas cooked in the crockpot all day then I put them on broil in the oven to get the ends crispy.
Again, Friday evening was rough as I wanted something to snack on. Instead, I sipped on peppermint tea to make me forgot I was watching a movie (and wanting popcorn).
With the half-way mark coming up, I’m already thinking about reintroduction. That’s what happens AFTER the 30 days. You introduce one food group (non-gluten grains, gluten-containing grains, legumes, and dairy) for all three meals then do 2 days Whole 30 and see how you feel. It’s about pin-pointing the foods that make you bloated, groggy, moody, etc… or that give you no reaction at all.
We’re going to add back in non-gluten grains first so I can have popcorn. Yay! Then for the Whole 30 days in between I won’t worry as much about my snacking, as long as it’s Whole 30 compliant. (Can you tell I’m excited about popcorn?)
DAY 20 (Saturday)- 2/3 of the way there!:
WHAT I ATE
Pre-workout meal: hard-boiled egg and pistachios
Meal 1: Scotch egg (hardboiled egg wrapped in sausage- this was all my husband’s doing), strawberries, blueberries, and bananas
Meal 2: Turkey rollups (roll lettuce, cucumber and avocado up in slices of turkey)- I didn’t eat until 2 due to my pre-WO meal and a late breakfast, but I was barely hungry so this was all I ate.
Meal 3: Spaghetti meat sauce with spaghetti squash, salad with Tessamae’s Balsamic Dressing, fresh fruit (pineapple, honeydew, grapes) and 2 slices dried pineapple (which we just discovered from Trader Joe’s and is absolutely amazing).
Kid dinner alternatives: Regular spaghetti noodles, though they did try the squash.
Daniel made these scotch eggs and they were pretty good, but not something I could eat often.
Step class for 1 hour.
HOW I FELT
Boy did I get hungry this afternoon after that light lunch. I mean I COULD eat a snack if I really wanted to, but I decided to hang on until dinner.
We cleaned house and then ran to the stores. Our Whole 30 threesome is Whole Foods, Costco, and Trader Joe’s. I hit the former and Daniel hit the latter… and brought home some new things. First new thing? Dried pineapple from TJ’s. This afternoon I was really really jonesing for something, ANYTHING non-complaint. But having those after dinner really hit the spot. I only ate two but totally silenced my cravings. Dried fruit are supposed to be eaten sparingly… so we’ll be shelving this most days of the week.
The other thing he bought? Cinnamon Graham crackers from Trader Joe’s. Whhyyyyyy? I really wanted to try those puppies. We’ve never eaten them before and they looked so good. So I took a whiff of my kids’ crackers and left it at that.
Thank goodness for that dried pineapple.
Day 21 (Sunday):
WHAT I ATE
Meal 1: Fried eggs with bacon, fruit
Meal 2: Leftover spaghetti squash and
Meal 3: Steak, baked potato with ghee, bacon, green onions, and sautéed asparagus
Kid dinner alternatives: Annie’s mac n cheese since they don’t like baked potatoes
HOW I FELT
I’m ready to be done. Honestly, it hasn’t been terribly hard. In fact, I went to a birthday party today and didn’t really care that I couldn’t have cake. But I’m missing the crunch of a nice piece of toast and a taste of something sweet. As we planned out next week’s food, I also found myself planning out the reintroduction. “Okay, first we’ll do non-gluten grains and we’ll eat this, this, and this. Next we’ll do dairy so we can eat this, this, and this.”
Despite the readiness for other food, I really do think we’ll continue to eat pretty Whole30-ish after this is over. As I mentioned, some things I don’t miss much so I’m ready to cut them out expect for every once in a while.
Recipes I Used
We didn’t use as many new recipes this week but here are the ones we DID use!
Pineapple Slaw (We used our own carnitas recipe but I’m sure this one’s delish!)
Whole 30 Tips (aka Things I Learned)
Some food just doesn’t look as appealing anymore: I look at our Greek yogurt in the fridge that’s probably loaded with sugar and I’m like, “Eh.” Other things too don’t seem as appealing as they once were.
Moderation only works for me AFTER I’ve let go: As I mentioned, I’m a big believer in moderation for just about all aspects of life, but especially for food. However, the Whole 30 has taught me that moderation didn’t break my emotional connection to food. Flat out giving them up did. I know when I’m done with Whole 30, I’m going to be a different eater than my former self.
We’re moving into our final full week of Whole 30. It’s all downhill from here!