After the wrath of the cold that hit me like a ton of bricks, I finally started feeling better. I honestly only felt "sick" for one day, while the following days were just the annoying symptoms like sinus congestion and runny nose. Other than that, I bounced back more quickly than I usually do-- and you bet I attribute that to the way I've been eating. When your body has a constant supply of abundant nutrients--minus the inflammatory stuff-- there is no doubt that it is better equipped to deal with sickness!
Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), I am writing in retrospect, so all the days have started to blend into one another. But I think that's a good thing! Instead of remembering specific challenges and rough spots, I am only now recalling a smooth ride. Luckily, I did organize my meals for each day, so lucky you-- you get to see them all ;) (If you think that part is boring, I apologize! But I always love to see what other people eat!)
Day 18 meals (below):
Breakfast (not pictured): 2 pieces of veggie/chicken frittata, decaf coffee with coconut cream
Lunch: Homemade chicken soup (made with bones)-- the best healing food when you're sick!
Pre-workout snack: Banana pear zucchini baby food pouch
Dinner: (Take-out from Blu Fig in Stony Point)- Rosemary roasted chicken, salad with grilled vegetables and shrimp, steamed vegetables
Snack: Chipotle Seasnax
Day 19 meals (above):
Breakfast: 2 fried eggs, 1 Italian Bilinski chicken sausage, and some leftover zucchini & cauliflower soup
Mid-morning: Decaf French press with coconut oil and butter
Lunch: Kettlebell Kitchen's Wild Salmon Cakes
Pre-workout snack: Chia/date/coconut squares from Sweet Pea's Market
Dinner: Smoky chicken thighs (seriously, this spice blend from Practical Paleo is my new favorite), salad with homemade dressing, rosemary/sage yucca, and more zucchini & cauliflower soup
It's really important that if you consider yourself an athlete, or just are a fairly active person, that you are getting a sufficient amount of carbohydrates, especially during the Whole30. When you cut out grains, you cut out a very significant source of carbs (and calories), and for some, it can be difficult to replace with just meat, veggies, and fats. Vegetables do provide carbs, but most are not super carb-dense, and it is extremely difficult to get the carbs you need from just greens. Yucca has therefore become a staple for me since it is one of those very carb dense roots (along with white potatoes, plantains, and yams).We usually just boil it and then bake or saute "fries", but have been experimenting with different ways to make it this Whole30 to keep things interesting. Our new favorite is boiling it and then putting it into the blender (or food processor) with coconut milk, garlic, and salt. This time, I tried it like I make white potatoes-- sauteed on the stove with butter, rosemary, and sage. It was delicious!
Day 20 meals:
Breakfast (above): Decaf with collagen/coconut oil/butter, leftover yucca, shredded zucchini, 2 fried eggs, and uncured bacon
Lunch (not pictured): Bacon-wrapped date & pineapple, chili and plantain chips
Dinner (not pictured): Shredded buffalo chicken on Stupid Easy Paleo's Simple Paleo Tortillas, topped with Practical Paleo's Rainbow Slaw
"Dessert": Homemade chia pudding (coconut milk, chia seeds, and baby food-- simplest thing ever!)
Day 21 was a fairly busy day-- we spent over half the day away from home, and the second half we spent preparing for the upcoming "blizzard"-- so food shopping and prepping meals. We went to the gym a little later than our usual time, so that meant we could cook breakfast before (Before the Whole30, I became so accustomed to grabbing a bar on the way out the door on Sundays-- a habit I am glad to have broken!) We went to the gym, grabbed lunch at Moe's Southwest Grill, and then went to yoga from there.
Day 21 meals (below):
Breakfast: 1 fried egg with 1/2 chicken sausage and leftover rainbow salad on 1/2 leftover tortilla, decaf coffee with butter and coconut oil
Lunch (not pictured) (at Moe's): Salad with chicken, sauteed peppers and onions, guacamole, and salsa
Pre-yoga: Peppermint tea from Starbucks
Dinner: Smoky baked chicken thighs, roasted potato wedges, and salad with homemade dressing
Day 22 was all about gearing up for the upcoming "history-making blizzard." We were all so anxious for the forecasted 2-3 feet of snow (that never even ended up coming!). But I left work early, rushed to workout while I still could get to the basement, and then spent the evening preparing to be snowed in-- food was prepped, snacks were bought, movies to watch were all picked out!
Day 22 meals (below):
Breakfast: Leftover tortilla with 1 Italian Bilinski sausage, spinach sauteed in coconut oil, and salsa & decaf coffee with butter and collagen
Lunch (not pictured): Leftover chicken thigh, potato wedges, and mango slaw
Dinner: Pot roast with gravy and brown mustard, carrots, baked sweet potato, steamed green beans
Movie snack: Chipotle Seasnax and sweet potato chips
Usually, being snowed in means wine/beer and junk food (or at least "paleo-ized treats"), so I admit, preparing to be stuck in the house for the next day or two without comfort food did cross my mind. But luckily, that situation never even became a reality, since the blizzard passed us by 50 or so miles, and we only got a few inches of snow! But still, it was kind of nice to relax Monday night and have dinner and watch a movie with my family, without any expectations for the next day!
So has the Whole30 become monotonous at this point? By no means whatsoever. Yes, many days I eat leftovers and the same foods for some meals, but that's what makes life easy. I have created a new routine for myself, but also am keeping things interesting by creating new meals and trying out new recipes. Plus, I am without a doubt enjoying everything I am eating-- there is no boring steamed tilapia and broccoli here. On the other hand, I don't need to be eating pizza and donuts either. My food is full of flavor and nutrients-- win-win. I could truly eat this way forever. Will I? Of course not. It's not sustainable, or even healthy, to aim for perfection all of the time. But let's leave that for another blog post :)
So now, 3 weeks have passed, and just 1 left to go! I will follow-up on the final week of the Whole30, give my final recap, and blog about my post-Whole30 thoughts and suggestions next week!
Kim Jordan, NTP - Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, health educator, CrossFitter, nature lover, student of life, once-aspiring writer. Owner of Root and Branch Nutrition.