I am one week into the eating strangeness known as the Whole30, based on the book It Starts with Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways. What is the Whole30? Basically an elimination diet to allow you to see if any foods you are eating are sneaking around and causing you trouble. For 30 days, no sugar, grains, dairy, legumes, alcohol (yikes!), white potatoes, and other additives.
From the Whole30 website:
"Certain food groups (like sugar, grains, dairy and legumes) could be having a negative impact on your health and fitness without you even realizing it. Are your energy levels inconsistent or non-existent? Do you have aches and pains that can’t be explained by over-use or injury? Are you having a hard time losing weight no matter how hard you try? Do you have some sort of condition (like skin issues, digestive ailments, seasonal allergies or fertility issues) that medication hasn't helped? These symptoms may be directly related to the foods you eat – even the “healthy” stuff. So how do you know if (and how) these foods are affecting you?
Strip them from your diet completely. Cut out all the psychologically unhealthy, hormone-unbalancing, gut-disrupting, inflammatory food groups for a full 30 days. Let your body heal and recover from whatever effects those foods may be causing. Push the “reset” button with your metabolism, systemic inflammation, and the downstream effects of the food choices you've been making. Learn once and for all how the foods you've been eating are actually affecting your day to day life, and your long term health. The most important reason to keep reading?
This will change your life."
Life changing? Well, golly gee, I'm in.
Ok, let me be clear. Unless something miraculous happens during the next month, I have no intention of eating this strictly forever. I absolutely do believe what you eat can affect your whole life though. Since I still have ongoing depression symptoms and recent labwork revealed my thyroid is out of whack again, I thought I'd use the time I'm spending waiting to get an appointment with an endocrinologist to see if any of the foods I'm eating could be compounding my symptoms. (Eh, that might have been a run-on sentence.) I'm way to young to just start popping any pill my doctor recommends, and if a few weeks of eating a restricted diet aids in avoiding more side-effect-laden drugs, yeehaw. We eat a pretty clean diet in our house - food from scratch, many veggies, few refined flours or sugars, and very few processed foods - so I wasn't sure if the Whole30 would help me much, but I also didn't think it would be that different from how we already eat so I was game to try it.
Mr. Cyrus declined to participate (I believe his words were "I'd never make it," but he is reaping the benefits of some very tasty cooking. No calorie counting or weighing of foods going on here, just some inventive meal preparation and a sad absence of cheese. But so much great food! We did not put the kids on the Whole30 program, as I was not up to taking away all bread/grain products from their diet. Not to mention cheese sticks. . .how do people live without cheese sticks?! Instead, I am feeding the kids variations of whatever I eat that are at least somewhat similar to their regular meals. For example, instead of a whole sandwich and a few carrot sticks for lunch, I serve them half a sandwich with extra protein and veggies and homemade ranch dip. My kids do pretty well with vegetables, but even they will sometimes still balk at a big pile of broccoli, so I often employ the "one-slice" strategy: "Eat one slice of these three veggies and then you can have
I decided part way through this day that I would start now. Consequently, breakfast was not a Whole30-approved meal.
Lunch: Sausage patties, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, lettuce, handful of almonds
Dinner: Turkey and broccoli skillet (ground turkey, broccoli, chopped pecans, chopped zucchini, cooked in coconut oil and seasoned with whatever was handy), spinach side salad, honeydew melon
Snacks: Green smoothie (spinach, coconut milk, melon, banana, ice)
Reflections: Felt mostly normal. Exhausted, but that is mostly normal. :)
Breakfast: Coffee (black, yuck), blueberry clafouti, sliced plums
Lunch: BLT Lettuce Wraps with Olive Oil Mayo (from It Starts with Food)
Dinner: Pizza. (Uhhh, it was a family gathering and I am a weakling. Make that the Whole32.)
Reflections: Felt mad about the lack of sugar in my coffee. Nauseous in the morning, but I think that was because I waited too long to eat. Whole30 breakfasts take a little longer to pull together than my regular zap-oatmeal-in-the-microwave routine. Drat, one more reason I need to get. up. earlier. Interesting to note that the meal I had grains, I felt less full and satisfied than other meals. Early to bed again today, very tired.
Breakfast: Black tea, fried eggs over lightly sauteed veggies, and a plum
Lunch: leftover BLT Lettuce Wraps
Dinner: Watermelon Pork Tacos (left out the soy sauce and added some salt in). I had enough lettuce for one day, so I made this Cauli-Egg Wrap. It was tasty, but would not roll up without breaking, so I just ate it with a fork.
Snacks: Leftover green smoothie and a slice of bacon. More tea to equal caffeine of coffee. :)
Breakfast: Black tea, leftover blueberry clafouti, and a plum
Lunch: leftover Watermelon Pork Tacos
Dinner: BBQ Cajun steak, grilled zucchini, and a salad with ranch (ranch recipe from It Starts with Food)
Snacks: Leftover green smoothie and almonds. Apple Pie Lara Bar. More tea.
Reflections: I don't really consume that much sugar, so I've only had a few cravings right after lunch when I usually indulge in some dark chocolate. But seriously, coffee/tea without some kind of sweetener = boring. Especially since I routinely over-brew whatever beverage I'm making due to
I have noticed that I definitely feel full longer, especially in the evenings, and I do not have that precipitous blood sugar crash right before lunch, nor the post-lunch full-tummy slump that so often flops me on the couch in a quasi-coma. Food-related or not, my mood is has been pretty stable, not feeling the crazy overwhelm that hangs around these parts. Still exhausted, however, for the first time in probably years, I slept 8 hours without even cracking an eyelid to check the clock. Wow.
Breakfast: Black tea, fried eggs over lightly sauteed veggies
Lunch: leftover steak, raw green beans and carrots, olives, a plum
Dinner: Big ol' salad, random vegetables, avocado, and ranch dressing (ranch recipe from It Starts with Food )
Snacks: Apple Pie Lara Bar.
Breakfast: Black tea, fried eggs over majorly over-cooked veggies
Lunch: Hamburger skillet (ground beef cooked with cumin, coriander, salt, sliced mushrooms, canned squash, and spinach. topped with cherry tomatoes and avocado). Dang tasty if you ask me.
Dinner: Almond butter and plums (still full from dinner!)
Snacks: Apple Pie Lara Bar.
Reflections: Something gave me the hiccups both days. Not sure what it was, but it was seriously annoying. Every tried to highlight with a mouse and cut and paste while having the hiccups?
I mentioned my mood/mental health symptoms have been better. Particularly that horrible dragging feeling I have all the time, where I have to force myself to do anything, and even making a sandwich for my hungry chicklets feels like a huge job. Yeah, that feeling? It's gone. In fact, yesterday I attended to all my regular duties without threatening myself into action, but then I also sanded a chair and some shelves I'm refurbishing, painted a wreath, put a coat of paint that chair, and went for a run. And this was after the headache night. And the next night, I slept all night again. Huh? Maybe food, maybe not, but I'll take it however long it lasts.
|yeah, I don't know what the deal is with their expressions either. . .|
Breakfast: Coffee with coconut milk, eggs over veggies topped with sliced cherry tomatoes
Lunch: Sweet potato and almond butter wraps (coconut flour wrap except I left in one of the yolks)
Dinner: Dinner out, choosing veggies and meat
Snacks: Apple Pie Lara Bar.
Reflections: You might think my breakfasts less than exciting, but I usually eat the same thing for weekday breakfasts anyway so it's not too off for me. I'm not usually jumping up and down to do any serious cooking in the morning, but once I'm sitting down to eat, I'm pretty happy to have such a full breakfast. One week down. I would very much like a latte and a grilled cheese, but otherwise, I'm okay.
|A little Whole30 indulgence by our backyard nutria.|
Whole30 week two
Whole30 week three
Whole30 week four
*This post contains affiliate links, but I did not receive any compensation for this post.