It’s been two weeks since I started Whole 30(ish) eating. I say “ish” because I’ve been eating Whole 30 foods 5-6 days a week, and then enjoying regular food on nights I meet with my small group for dinner and one non-Whole 30 date night with Daniel each week.
I plan to do the real Whole 30 in January with friends from my small group, but I was worried that I wouldn’t be able complete the challenge, so I wanted to try it out this month to see if I have enough discipline to follow through. Daniel described it as training for the Whole 30 and I like that way of describing it.
So far it’s going surprisingly well. I say that because leading up to my decision to do Whole 30 I had visions of intense cravings and going through sugar withdrawals. Thankfully, I haven’t experienced either of those and I think it’s because the Whole 30 allows me to enjoy plenty of healthy fats that keep me full and satisfied.
Many of the things I’ve been eating on Whole 30 are foods Daniel and I eat often anyway, just without the rice, pasta, quinoa, bread, cheese and after dinner sweet treats.
I’ve had to get creative with side items since my typical choice is brown rice. I now replace the rice with lots of colorful roasted veggies like asparagus, sweet potatoes, carrots, purple onion and bell peppers drizzled in olive oil, and sprinkled with salt, pepper and paprika. I also like to sauté spinach, mushrooms and kale. I’m not crazy about raw vegetables, but I’ve found that I really enjoy eating them when they’re roasted in the oven or sautéed.
My favorite meals so far: Stuffed bell peppers, spaghetti squash with turkey meatballs, chicken tenderloin with roasted red potatoes, and tilapia with broccoli or whatever vegetable we have on hand.
As you can see from these photos, I eat big portions. I like that the Whole 30 isn’t a diet that restricts your calorie intake because that isn’t a sustainable way to lose weight. If you’re restricting your calorie intake, your body is going to hold onto the calories you consume because it’s trying to maintain its ideal weight. The Whole 30 doesn’t change how much you eat, but what you eat. It’s a sustainable way to lose weight and keep the weight off because you’re not starving yourself.
Since I can’t have any added sugar, I’ve found a way to cope by making cinnamon apples in the crock pot. I cut up six or so apples, throw them in the crock pot with some figs, cinnamon, and a little coconut oil and ghee (so they have a hot liquid to cook in) and cook them for 4-6 hours. They are sweet on their own and my sweet tooth doesn’t feel left out.
What I’m snacking on: Cashews, almonds, dates, figs, dried apricots, apples, blueberries, boiled eggs and avocados. I used to have a bad habit of eating whatever we had in the fridge when I got home from work, often ruining my appetite for dinner. Now when I get home, I’ll make some herbal tea and it usually keeps the urge to snack at bay.
Foods that I miss and don’t miss: I miss honey. I used to put honey in my tea, in my oatmeal and on top of a sliced banana with a little bit of cinnamon. I also miss peanut butter. An apple with peanut butter sounds so good right now. I surprisingly don’t miss dairy. I used to eat yogurt every day and put kefir in my protein shakes, and generous dollops of sour cream and shredded cheese on top of my tacos or chili.
Changes in how I feel: Before Whole 30, I felt really tired and sluggish after eating lunch every day. It was hard to stay focused at work once my after-lunch crash hit. When I eat Whole 30 foods for lunch now, I don’t feel tired or sluggish afterward. I’ve also noticed that I get full really fast, but it’s not the “I feel so bloated” kind of full that I felt before. Daniel and I went out to eat last night and had gyros and pita and hummus. It was delicious, but afterward I felt really bloated and tired when we got home. I also ate some bread and a piece of cheesecake at my work’s holiday party earlier in the day, so I think the combination of all those things made me feel kind of “bleh” at the end of the day.
I like how I feel when I stick to Whole 30 foods. I think I’d like to eat like this all the time and occasionally indulge in the bread, pasta and sugary goodness.
So far so good!