Update: Because I just got a very sweet email from a reader who was worried about me experiencing the detoxing symptoms I’ve shared below, I wanted to reassure you that all of this is very, very normal. After eating a “standard American diet” of carbs and sugar for decades, it takes our bodies a while to work thru the elimination process. In fact, here’s a rather spot-on look at what the Whole30 folks say to expect in terms of your body’s and mind’s reaction to the detoxing process. (Looks like I’m right on schedule!)
Last night marked the end of the first week of my #Whole30 Challenge. Seven days down, a whole lot more to go! (If you’re not familiar with the Whole30 Challenge, you can read more about what I’m doing — and why.)
For those interested in following along — and for those of you who are doing this along with me (way to go!) — I thought I’d share my food journal from the first week, along with some of the emotions and thoughts I’ve been experiencing.
Day 1 (Wednesday): Scrambled eggs with sautéed onions and spinach with a handful of blueberries. Mixed greens, topped with roasted peppers and oven grilled chicken. (The chicken was fantastic!) Apple. Slow cooker chicken verde over “cauliflower rice” with green salad.
How could I be sick of salad already, when I normally love salad? The food wasn’t bad today; I just wasn’t excited about eating any of it. Mentally, I felt like a wet rag for most of the day. Maybe I’m coming down with something. I couldn’t possibly be detoxing after less than 24 hours, could I?!
Day 2 (Thursday): Mint tea. Scrambled eggs with sautéed onions, red peppers and broccoli. Stir-fried onions, carrots and bok choy with ground beef, flavored with coconut aminos (a soy sauce substitute) and ginger. Banana. Hard boiled egg. Homemade apple chips. Salmon over green salad with cherry tomatoes, jicama, sugar snap peas and sweet potato rings.
No matter how much I ate, I was hungry most of day – until dinner, when I couldn’t even finish my plate. My boys are doing this along with us (at their initiative!) and they complained about being hungry, too. Apparently one pound of ground beef is not enough to serve four people for lunch. Lesson learned.
Day 3 (Friday): Mint tea. Scrambled eggs with sautéed onions and spinach. Large handful of blueberries and almonds. Ground beef, shredded carrots and chopped tomatoes sauteed with cumin (taco meat-esque), topped with homemade salsa and avocado. Garlic beef stew over spaghetti squash with tomato basil salad.
We’re having guests for lunch tomorrow (since clearly we can’t go out to eat anywhere for the next 28 days) and I spent hours in the kitchen. Honestly, I’m a bit frustrated with the amount of prep involved in eating this way. There’s no grab-and-go. I don’t know if it’s my frustration, or the detox, or what, but I’ve been extremely short-tempered with my family. Not good.
Day 4 (Shabbat): Two hard boiled eggs. Banana. Roasted chicken, roasted sweet potatoes, garlicy carrot salad, cabbage salad, cherry tomato & basil salad, blueberries and strawberries for dessert. Left over cabbage salad with half an avocado.
The fact that I didn’t actually have to cook anything today helped my mood tremendously. I laughed and enjoyed the day tremendously. Unfortunately I ended it with a headache. It wasn’t awful, but a sure sign that I’m “detoxing”.
Day 5 (Sunday): Omelette, topped with homemade salsa and avocado. Hamburgers, sweet potato rings and left over cabbage salad. Apple and handful of almonds. Fake chicken pad thai – which really hit the “comfort food” spot.
The hunger pains leveled out quite a bit today — I went much longer between breakfast and lunch than anticipated (due to car troubles) and wasn’t low-sugar-grouchy like I’d normally have been. I felt quite good all day, until right before bed when I developed another raging headache. I guess I’m still detoxing?
Day 6 (Monday): Scrambled eggs with broccoli, red pepper, onions and mushrooms. Homemade apple chips. Big salad with loads of veggies, chopped chicken breast and creamy herb dressing. Half a banana. Unstuffed cabbage over mashed cauliflower.
It’s easier to breathe on this Whole30. I mean that literally. Sometimes when I eat a bunch of carbs, I find myself feeling sort of breathless. I noticed today that I’m not feeling that way anymore. My emotions are leveling out, too. Got a whisper of a headache again at bedtime (maybe I need to go to bed earlier!), but not nearly as bad as yesterday’s.
Day 7 (Tuesday): Scrambled egg, topped with tons of homemade salsa and avocado. Same big salad as yesterday. Banana. Salmon filet, spicy roasted cauliflower, and chopped salad with creamy garlic dressing.
Wow, one week down. Three and half to go. Still suffering from that headache, which is starting to get old. But until that hit me today at about 4 p.m., I was feeling super! My boys have talked about missing “junk food”, but their determination is admirable and inspirational. I’m so proud of them for doing this along with us.
Overall, the end of this week has been far easier than the beginning of the week. I’m excited to see what next week brings!
Are you doing the Whole30, too, right now? What day are you on and how’s it going for you? Are you a Whole30 veteran? Does the last week look about “right” to you?