Whole30: Week 1

Week one is coming to a close with Whole30 and I have to say, I’m ABSOLUTELY loving it! I thought it would be a lot more challenging for the first few days, but honestly I haven’t had any negative side effects and am truly loving this way of eating! Read on for a more in depth look at my first week on Whole30 including my meals, cravings, workouts and overall feelings from days one through seven.

When I decided to take on the Whole30 challenge, I knew that I needed to go in with the right mindset. Not a mindset of “diet” or “restriction” but instead one of “health” in order to find out what makes my body feel it’s best. And I whole-heartedly believe that this mindset is what has made this first week so easy!

This past week has truly been a breeze. Which makes me really happy, but also a little worried. What if I’m doing it wrong? What if it’s not “working” like it should be? Letting go of those thoughts and just embracing how awesome this program has been so far is my biggest challenge. A few things that I think made week one much easier:

  • Major prep beforehand: I cleaned out the refrigerator and pantry, meal planned for the first two full weeks (all the way down to potential snacks), and stocked up on ALL the groceries I would need, plus extras just in case, on the Saturday before I began.

  • Being flexible: I had every meal planned out, but also allowed myself to be flexible with rearranging things. As an instructor, sometimes sub requests pop up and I get home way later than anticipated without time to cook the yummy dinner I had planned, so I had things on hand to cook up quickly and shifted my meal plan as needed.

  • Using the Whole30: Day by Day book: This is an awesome resource! It has all of the guidelines for the program at the beginning and then the book breaks down each day for you. Melissa (the creator of Whole30) discusses the challenges you may have on a certain day, tips and tricks, and real comments from Whole30 participants to give you encouragement. There are also several prompts to track things like what you ate, how you felt, what was tough, and what the overall day was like. I really look forward to filling it out each evening and checking that little box to indicate one more day completed!

  • Mixing it up: One of the biggest things I heard from people prior to starting Whole30 is that I would get bored of the food. So I made a really conscious effort NOT to eat eggs everyday for breakfast and chicken sausage everyday for dinner. Instead, I focused on finding delicious, compliant recipes (see this book, and this one) to keep my meals exciting and never boring!

By using these little tricks I went into week one feeling really prepared and actually EXCITED to take on this challenge. And so far, seven days in, and I’m still loving it! I’ve been able to continue my workouts without feeling tired or fatigued. I’ve been able to teach all of my normal classes with the same amount of energy as before when I was fueling with sugar and grains. And I’m sleeping really, really well.

The challenges? So far, none really! I heard that cravings would be really terrible in week one, but aside from the normal post-dinner twinge of want for something sweet, I haven’t had anything that really tested my willpower. I even made it through my first weekend alcohol-free! We went to a party Saturday afternoon and I brought my mocktail ingredients (kombucha, organic coconut water and fresh lime) to enjoy a refreshing drink amidst beer and wine. And it was totally fine! Granted, it was a two year old’s birthday party so no one was really raging, but I was proud that I stuck with my commitment!

Overall, I’ve absolutely loved this past week and am excited to head into week two strong and committed to this journey. I do hope that I start to feel a little different, maybe seeing some improvements in bloating. But what week one has taught me is that I can continue to live my normal life while fueling with foods that aren’t known to be inflammatory, and the biggest thing… I DON’T NEED SO MUCH DAMN SUGAR! I haven’t missed the artificial sweetener added to my morning coffee (although it did take some getting used to, but this creamer is pretty amazing), or the chocolate chips I would load up my morning oatmeal with. And without the insane amount of added sugar in my daily food, things actually taste better. Fruit tastes sweeter, coffee tastes stronger, and I’m really digging it… bring on week two!

If you’re interested in what I’ve been eating this week, see below for a few of my favorite picks!

  • Breakfast Salad

  • Coffee crusted pork tenderloin with pineapple and brussels sprouts (from Practical Paleo) and pictured below

  • RXBAR’s in mixed berry flavor

  • Baked sweet potato with almond butter and blueberries

  • Olives-to-go (as a snack)

  • Thai chicken spaghetti squash casserole (I used this recipe, switched out the peanuts for cashews, added steamed broccoli and roasted chicken, and made it into a casserole ahead of time and baked at 350 for about 30 minutes)