Evan and I are now on Day 15 of the Whole30 program. Day 15! That is crazy! We are halfway there! As a reminder, on the Whole30 you cannot have any grains (this includes bread, rice, quinoa), dairy, legumes (beans, chick peas, peanuts), any form of sugar, alcohol, sulphites, MSG, or carrageenan. It is pretty strict, and as someone who enjoys eating a lot of bread with cheese (preferably bread topped with cheese), it is tricky. I also love chocolate. And beans. And rice and sugar and oh God booze. So yes, it is tricky…
So a few bullet points on how it’s been going.
- Surprisingly, and not to contradict myself, but I am not finding it all that hard. I wouldn’t say that it’s easy, but somehow I have already gotten to this point where I feel like it’s just the way I eat now. It feels normal. It is really working well for me. And as I mentioned before, our dinners are basically the same (just have to be careful on ingredients in meats and sauces and things). It is mostly my breakfast and lunch that I have had to clean up.
- There are a few reasons why I don’t think it’s been that hard. The rules are so black and white that I find it easier to follow. You can have these things, but you can’t have these things. For me it is 100% or bust. So the strictness is working in my favour. Also, I am very much against restrictive diets, as in the ones that restrict how much you eat. I don’t feel like that would work for me because I am definitely a volume eater. But with this, I can basically eat as much as I want for my meals as long as I’m eating Whole30 compliant ingredients. And it’s January. Everyone is on some sort of diet. No one is drinking. And also, Evan is doing this with me. It is so much easier with him helping with cooking and meal planning/prepping. That’s probably been our saviour, and cooking with Evan in our new kitchen is genuinely fun.
- I stay out of the forums on the Whole30 website because they are a bit too hardcore for me. Basically the consensus is if you cheat even a little, you have to start over. F that. If I cheat even a little I will not be starting over. If I did that I would never finish. Life happens. Sometimes you can’t eat just meat and vegetables. I haven’t cheated yet (not exactly but I have probably had more fruit than you’re supposed to on occasion) but my friends Emily and Corey are getting married in a week and a half and you better believe I’m having wine. It’s a big deal. And I’m not going to grill the servers about what’s in the meat. And if there’s butter on my potatoes then I guess I’m eating dairy. With any diet (or lifestyle change), it has to work for you or it’s not going to work. I will do the best I can for 30 days.
- If you don’t like coconut I don’t know how you would do this. I find I am putting coconut in everything. Coconut milk in my coffee, cooking with coconut oil, coconut manna on sweet potatoes, coconut flakes on whatever I can put coconut flakes on, toasted coconut chips (actually very good), the occasional coconut water… I can’t get enough coconut! Also olive oil. I’m not using ghee or clarified butter, everything is cooked with olive or coconut oil.
- I’m not snacking in between meals. And for the most part I don’t feel like snacking between meals. That is HUGE for me because I am usually a constant snacker. At work I am usually eating all afternoon! But I feel full and satisfied after every meal (since Week 2, the first week not so much).
- I’m not tempted by treats. We have some leftover Christmas chocolate at home, including Reese’s PB cups, which are my very favourite. There’s also still cheese in the fridge, and crackers in the cabinet. Since week 2 I have not been tempted to eat any of these things. They will still be there when I’m done.
- I’m surprised at the level of energy I have. It has completely skyrocketed since Day 5. I usually get in a bit of an afternoon slump around 4pm, and that has not been happening at all. My mind feels clear and I am more productive. I wouldn’t say I am at the Tiger Blood stage just yet, but I’m feeling pretty good.
- Two people told me I looked like I was glowing this week.
- My sleep has improved. I have never had trouble sleeping to start with, but I am falling asleep really quickly, staying asleep, and waking up feeling energized before my alarm goes off, rather than hitting the snooze button a million times.
- My stomach has never been so flat. Not that it’s flat but it is not bloated or rumbley or anything. It has been so long since I have felt like this that it is pretty clear when I eat normally I’m eating something that is negatively affecting me, whether it is dairy, sugar or grains. So, that sucks.
- Will I eat like this forever? NOPE. But I am feeling so good that I don’t want to go back to eating all the things all the time. I feel like it’s giving me a good foundation moving forward, so that when I reintroduce grains, dairy, legumes, etc. I might know what moderation is again.
- Evan is experiencing pretty much the same outcomes as I am, but I know from reading various forums, etc. that not everyone is. So if it’s not working for you, don’t feel bad or guilty. Our bodies are different and weird.
Now onto what we’ve been eating since my last recap…
1. My mom’s chicken soup without the rice, adapted by Evan (recipe is: a bunch of onions [my mom says a sh*t ton, so maybe 5?], chopped carrots and celery, and whatever seasonings you like – salt and pepper, oregano, thyme, etc. Heat some olive oil in pot and add the vegetables and seasonings. Add a whole raw chicken and fill the pot with water, enough to cover the chicken. Let simmer for at least an hour. Take out chicken, take off meat, put the meat back in soup).
2. Homemade beef burger served on kale (the burger is hiding under the tomato), baked sliced cassava (aka yucca). Cucumber and a pickle, because sometimes you just need a pickle. (for the burger – onions, parsley, ground beef, an egg, and a bit of chili powder “to make them taste like A&W burgers” says Evan)
3. The same homemade burger topped with a fried egg and tomato for breakfast.
4. Chicken wings tossed in Frank’s red hot (I have been putting that sh*t on EVERYTHING, especially since I can’t have Ketchup), more baked cassava, green bean salad.
5. Steamed salmon with lemon, asparagus, rutabaga fries (I’m not supposed to call them “fries” on the Whole30 though so…baked rutabaga spears).
6. Roast beef, roasted vegetables (potato, celeriac, carrots), steamed broccoli.
7. Chicken andouille sausage from Whole Foods, green bean salad again, baked sweet potato slices (definitely not chips! No chips there!)
8. Salsa chicken, salad with oil and vinegar, zucchini noodles.
9. Egg muffins. We didn’t really follow a recipe, just threw a bunch of stuff in with the eggs.
Evan also made almond milk using this recipe from Oh She Glows and it is AMAZING (and we just used our crappy Hamilton Beach blender, so you don’t need a vitamix!).
And because we wanted breakfast sausage but regular breakfast sausage has a bunch of things in it that we cannot have, Evan made his own.
He looked at this recipe to get an idea of the seasonings he should use, but otherwise did his own thing. I’ll have to get him to do a guest post, because he is a true chef. I don’t even know what he does when he’s making things, but I do know that I am very lucky to have him around.
And dessert on Sunday night. Strawberries dipped in whipped coconut milk, dipped in coconut flakes.
I don’t think you’re technically supposed to have dessert, so maybe we’re stretching the rules here but whatever. It’s fine. Those strawberries were delicious.
So things are going well! Fingers crossed we can keep it up.
Anyone else doing the Whole30? How’s it going?