Monday, July 7, 2014

My Whole30 Experience, Week 1

If you're not familiar with the Whole30, it's essentially a dietary reset.  For 30 days, you eliminate all preservatives, sugar, soy/legumes, wheat/grains and dairy.  When it's over you reintroduce them one-by-one to determine if you have any food sensitivities.  So, 30 days of meat, vegetables, fruits, healthy fats and nuts.

It appealed to me, because I am interested in getting more whole foods into my diet and because after a few vacations and some stress at work, I was feeling like I wasn't making the best food choices for me.

I went in thinking that giving up cheese would be my hardest challenge, but that turned out not to be least so far!

Day 1: Easy Peasy, I kept thinking "I got this."

Day 2: Slow to wake up and get moving, but then fine!  I love hard-boiled eggs (at least for today)! Went out to lunch, had a salad with no cheese, no salad dressing (just olive oil and vinegar) and a grilled piece of salmon (with olive oil, salt and pepper).  Then for dinner, I "paleo-ized" this recipe.  I had really good pork sausage from the farmer's market on hand (no added sugar or preservatives or sulfites) and then I used homemade stock and unsweetened almond milk for the broth along with spinach rather than kale.  It worked out great and is enough for at least 2 meals!

Day 3: Work potluck; I made my patriotic fruit salad and was able to eat a coworker's ratatouille.  It was still difficult to pass up homemade pie and pastries.  Sugar seems to be the hardest thing (and booze).  I snacked a lot in the afternoon and ate a lot more fruit than was advisable, but no cheating, so that's something. 

Day 4: (Also 4th of July).  Went to brunch with coworkers, had eggs, tomatoes, and coffee with almond milk.  It seemed all good, but I got a wicked headache when I got home and had to take a nap.  Don't know if it was a reaction to something I ate, or to the coffee, or just the normal "hate all the things on day 4" headache I've heard about.

Marinated chicken breasts in coconut aminos, sesame oil, chili oil, lemon juice and spices to take to a friend's BBQ.  Also mixed up some homemade guacamole with celery and carrots.  Want to make sure there's enough for me to eat.  Taking my leftover beer for others and seltzer for myself!

The BBQ was fine, though there was a lot of pressure to cheat, so I had to be doubly strong.  I ate my guacamole with celery and carrots (definitely not the same as some nice, salty corn chips).  And then my chicken wound up being delicious!  I still wanted chips and a beer and potato salad and brownies, and, and, and...

Favorite snack: a banana with almond butter.  Delish!

Day 5: Definitely waking up easier. Had to go into work and didn't have enough time to make breakfast, so leftover guacamole and chicken legs it is!  I ended up running errands for too long and was ravenously hungry when I got home, which is a no-no.  I ate a Larabar to tide me over while I made lunch, and it seemed to work!   I was a little tired this afternoon, but a big thunderstorm came through this afternoon and they always make me a little sleepy.

For dinner I'm making a ground beef curry with carrots and garnet yams.  It's simmering in its coconut milk bath as we speak.  Only wishing I'd saved some cauliflower to make a little cauliflower rice!
I know green beans are technically legumes, but I checked and they're A-OK on the plan!
Day 6: Woke up, once again, fairly easily and headed to the grocery store and the farmer's market after a quick breakfast of banana, almond butter, and a little deli meat (was it ever a chore finding compliant deli meat, sheesh).  Even at the farmer's market, I had to be careful.  One of the booths had fresh watermelon agua fresca, but when I asked they'd added sugar.  Same when I was stocking up on my grass-fed beef.  I had to be careful about the sausages.  But, I bought a TON of beautiful produce and then came home so that I could make the pork roast that I'd defrosted.  It's simmering away now with green chilies and onion and all kinds of awesome spices.  I can't wait!  Meanwhile, there's leftover curry for lunch!

I have also noticed that the edema (swollen feet) I typically experience by the end of the day seems better today...hmmmmm.

Word to the wise: Don't watch the Food Network while on this diet.  I wanted to punch the Pioneer Woman in the face, and I like her, though nothing about her recipes are compliant to any diet, let alone an eating plan like this one!

*I do have some recipes coming up that I made before the Whole30 started, so don't worry that I've been cheating ;-)