1/4 of the way done! That went fast... or did it? Week 1 Recap
Week 1 of the Whole30 has come and gone. Overall, I would say it's been a positive experience-- but not without its challenges (and cravings)! Fortunately, it means I am 1/4 of the way done with this 30 day journey, but as time goes on, I am seeing I may need to take a little more than 30 days to do what I need to do! However, I truly am seeing how certain "small" things I let slip over the past year or so, actually aren't very small at all.
Friday-- usually a day to look forward to... the end of the work week, the beginning of the weekend. On the Whole30, it's bittersweet. It means the next few days will be less organized, less regimented, with guaranteed temptations.
Friday, I took the day off work, but only to work (for my small business), so luckily, I kept really busy throughout the day with little time to think about food! In fact, too little time. I ate a pretty small lunch, and then found myself scrambling to find a compliant pre-workout snack before I went to the gym in the afternoon. That's what happens when it's the end of the week and all of your previously-prepared food has all been eaten!
2 pieces of quiche, leftover potatoes sauteed in garlic, rosemary, sage, & clarified butter; herbal coffee with 1t butter and 1T collagen
Leftover chicken soup (chicken including bones, carrots, turnips, parsnips, celery, & a bit of apple cider vinegar to leach minerals from the bones!)
Pre-workout snack (not pictured):
2 hardboiled eggs
Burger with mushrooms, onions, bacon, over mixed green salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado, & balsamic vinegar
Roasted chipotle seaweed
Friday night was difficult, since my boyfriend and I usually go out to eat (or order in), and while what we eat is usually not far from Whole30's standards, it also isn't exactly compliant. Friday nights are sometimes nights we treat ourselves--sometimes we get sushi, & sometimes we get gluten-free pizza-- & the hardest part, we usually have a beer or glass of wine, or some dark chocolate (maybe both). So, I feel conditioned to crave these foods on Friday nights. The good news is that we know plenty of places to go that we can get a delicious Whole30-compliant dinner! (I may do a little post about ordering at restaurants and Whole30-- it can be a pain, but once you know just what to ask for, it's pretty simple!) The place we chose is actually a burger place, but they make great salads. In fact, I order what I normally would-- but this time, there was no "I'll just have a few fries." I closed the menu and got over it- my food was so good, I forgot about fries pretty quick!
The more difficult part was after dinner. What do we do? It seems that everything involves food or drinks, and I found myself especially wanting a good, dark beer. We debated going to the movies, but couldn't find anything we wanted to watch. Going home to watch a movie was an idea, but I knew we would want a snack, which usually is paleo cookies or banana ice cream-- both which are not allowed on Whole30, and also full of sugar! We settled on trying something new-- pool. A few of my cousins met us (1 who is also doing Whole30), and we just played pool. Yes, there was a bar there, and yes I wanted a beer, but having accountability and support makes all the difference.
Before we got there, we stopped at the store to run in and pick up a few snacks, which took us much longer than we thought. It is so difficult to find, even grain/dairy/soy-free snacks without some sort of sweetener! We settled on some Sea Snax roasted chipotle seaweed "chips" and dried unsulphured mango.
On Day 6, we slept in a bit, and then spent some time cooking brunch. I love breakfast food, but especially on the weekends, when we have nowhere to be and can take our time cooking and actually sitting down to eat together. We then spent the day shopping, and stopped at Chipotle to grab lunch (which no, isn't perfect, but in a mall food court, your options are extremely limited!)
Uncured bacon, hashbrowns cooked in bacon fat, 2 eggs with onions and zucchini, and mixed berries; decaf coffee with 1t of butter and coconut oil
Chipotle- Salad with pulled pork, grilled peppers & onions, fresh tomato salsa, & guacamole
Practical Paleo's Pesto Shrimp & Squash Fettuccine & a baked potato
According to the Whole30 Timeline, Day 6 is when I should be in the "I just want to nap" stage... but I was more in the "give me all the chocolate" stage. It seemed everywhere I turned (probably because I was in a mall), there was chocolate. I stayed strong! I know that cravings for chocolate can be the body's cry for magnesium, so I made sure to up my dose that night and get a good night's sleep (stress deprives the body of magnesium). It definitely helped, but temptation was still all around me!
Another tough day (temptation-wise), but an amazing one! For Christmas, my brother bought my family (including my boyfriend) tickets to see Les Mis on Broadway. It is turning into a tradition that each year we all see a show and spend the day in the city-- one of my favorite things to do. When on a Whole30 though, it's a challenge! Fortunately, we set ourselves up for success-- we cooked breakfast and ate together as a family, packed compliant snacks, and planned to get dinner at my absolute favorite place, Hu Kitchen.
However, spending a day in the city is special, and usually a time when I treat myself-- Nuts 4 Nuts on every corner was a serious obstacle for me. Every time I go to the city, I have to get the roasted coconut-- it's one of my favorite treats. But, it's coated in sugar. And every time we walked by a cart (which seemed to be every block), I had to march on through a cloud of nutty, sweet smoke.
Quiche with chicken sausage, carrots, red onion, zucchini (this is becoming a staple in our house!), baked potato wedges with smoked paprika, berries, and decaf coffee with 1t of butter, 1t of coconut oil, and 1T of collagen
Lunch (not pictured because it was eaten mid-show!):
A beef Epic Bar (some of my absolute favorite "paleo" snacks-- not all are Whole30, but most are!)
Dinner (at Hu Kitchen):
Wild elk/beef/pork meatloaf, roasted sweet potato, and sauteed rainbow chard
Sweet Kale Crunch from Hu Kitchen
If you live close to NYC and haven't been to Hu Kitchen, you must go ASAP-- especially if you are doing a Whole30 or eat a paleo/real food/traditional/nutrient-dense/gluten-free/whatever you want to call it diet. This place is free of gluten, modern dairy, soy, canola, GMO, grain-fed animal products. The only grains served are quinoa. The only oils cooked with are grass-fed butter, coconut oil, and olive oil. The only sweeteners used are coconut sugar, unfiltered raw honey, and maple syrup. They make their own almond milk, have a paleo parfait bar, and offer things like kombucha tea on tap and even "crack coffee," which is blended with coconut oil and grass-fed butter-- I could go on and on.
Best of all, their philosophy is amazing-- real, nutrient-dense food-- the way we are meant to eat. (Read their philosophy here). I think this place is revolutionary (although when you think about it, the concept is as natural and innate as humanely possible... the food industry has just taken us so far from it!). But either way, we need more places like this!
Oh yeah, and the food is absolutely amazing- every time. Perhaps the best part is their huge selection of grain/dairy-free desserts, which are unfortunately not allowed on Whole30...even though my family all indulged, I held out for a hot peppermint tea! I did, however, pick up a delicious (and compliant) sweet kale crunch, and some snacks for post-Whole30 (like Exo Bars, which I have been dying to try!)
So all in all, week 1 was pretty successful. I learned a lot about myself and how my body responds to food, already. I realized what foods, environments, and emotions set off hunger and cravings. And I learned what is working for me, and what isn't. So far, my thoughts are:
3 square meals a day works really well for me. I feel satiated, my energy levels are becoming more stable, and I don't find myself starving, even when it is meal time (which is a sign my blood sugar levels are better!)
My gut healing protocol seems to be working, but I need to be more diligent-- especially with eating fermented foods. I think I need a trip to Whole Foods to stock up.
Again, preparation is key. The more foods and meals we have prepared ahead of time, the easier this all is!
I need to be better with stress-management and procrastination. All in one week, I started school again (break is over), I started the Whole30, and I started teaching another session of my nutrition classes at night. Needless to say, my stress levels have definitely gone up and I know I have a tendency to overwork myself. I am sleeping very well, but still needing more than I feel my body should. My performance in the gym hasn't been my best since my body feels a bit more tired at night, but I am hoping that changes over the next week. But doing things like unplugging, reading books for enjoyment and not school, and taking Epsom salt baths need to be reincorporated into my routine.
I honestly am looking forward to the next week (although this is usually the most difficult time of the entire 30 days). Luckily, I have a wonderful support system, tons of motivation, and a good idea of what's going on in my body and why I feel the way I do-- which means I know how to change it, and that it will pass!