Today’s the day I’ve been counting down toward for the last month: Day 31 of my Whole30.
After spending a month eating only meat, chicken, eggs, veggies and fruit, and some nuts and seeds, the training wheels are coming off today!
(If you’re not familiar with the Whole30 Challenge, you can read more about what we did — and why — HERE.)
So first off, if I can say this without sounding completely immodest, I feel amazing for just having finished this Whole30. I was so dubious 31 days ago about whether I’d be able to even do this. So if nothing else, the ability to prove myself wrong in that way is hugely empowering.
There’s no doubt that planning (you spend a lot of time in the kitchen when you’re doing a Whole30!) and “support” were the keys for me to making it thru a Whole30. A lot of people turn to the Internet and the forums over on the Whole 30 website. For me, however, the bulk of the support came from my family doing this along with me. I am SO proud of my husband and most especially my boys!!
Not only did sharing this experience simplify my life (if I had to make two meals every day — one for them, one for me — I’d have thrown in the towel a long time ago), but it also motivated me to stick to it when I really wanted a coke with crushed ice. There’s nothing more inspiring than seeing your kids do something like this, right along with you!
My original goals when I started this Whole30 were to give my body a nutritional reset, to get in better touch with how food affects me — emotionally and physically, and, yes, to lose some weight.
I’m pleased to say that I think I’ve accomplished all three of those goals! The first two are a bit hard to quantify, but as far as the third (and not that this is the only measure of success, by any means), I lost 9.5 pounds in 30 days — and my husband lost 11.5 pounds!
(My weight loss came on top of another 35ish pounds I had lost over the previous 20 months, so my total weight loss at this point is nearly 45 pounds!)
This is the least I’ve weighed in 11 years, since before I got pregnant with my first child. Pregnancy and nursing have not always been kind to my body – but honestly, I never felt a huge pressure to lose the pregnancy weight while we were still in the “having babies” phase. What was the point, if I was just going to gain it back?, I reasoned. (No doubt somewhat faulty logic, but hey, I’m human!)
Beyond the weight loss, which I’m pretty pumped about, I love that my energy levels have really evened out. I don’t have that 3pm “slump” anymore, and I’m sleeping much better than I was before. I’ve had one or two nights were I couldn’t fall asleep right away, but mostly I’m getting a solid 6-8 hours a night and waking up feeling refreshed.
As far as our plan going forward, right now, I’m planning to keep on keeping on with this way of eating. Until about a week ago, I was plotting what I’d be eating and drinking come today. Somehow in the last few days, however, eating this way has just become what we do as opposed to the huge “thing” that it was for the first three weeks. I see why they call it the Whole30 and not the Whole3Weeks!
I reserve the right to change my mind, but for the time being, I’m thinking that I’ll be off-plan out of the house (for Shabbat meals, etc), but try to be as Paleo as possible in the home.
I’ve surprised myself by really loving the idea of eating whole foods. Our grocery trips this month have consisted of fruit, vegetables, eggs and meat protein, plus a few cans of crushed tomatoes and tomato paste. It’s been expensive (I’ll do a breakdown for you guys next week), but I’ve bought zero packaged foods (other than some granola bars and cereal for my daughter), so that’s balanced it out a bit.
Thank you guys for reading along on my Whole30 Challenge and for all your sweet messages of support. If any of you are thinking about doing a Whole30, please feel free to reach out to me. I’d be happy to offer my support to you in return!
Day 22 (Wednesday): Scrambled eggs with onions, spinach and tomato. Banana. Tossed salad with left-over salmon filets and garlic mayonnaise dressing. Turkey “meatloaf” with roasted veggies.
Eight more days to go. That’s as long as a Passover – which always seems so long when we’re doing it! I spent a ridiculous amount of brain space today thinking about what I’ll eat when this is “over” — and I kept coming back to my Chai Latte from Starbucks. It’s more than just the drink, it’s the whole experience. Mentally, I tell myself it’s a “treat”, a “reward”, an “escape” – that’s a lot of power I’m giving to one little beverage. After obsessing over it all day, I finally looked it up on the Starbucks website and was bummed (to put it mildly) to learn how much added sugar is in a tall (i.e the short one). 32 grams of sugar!!! That’s more than the recommended daily allowance — and let’s be honest, I never get just a tall. I had been thinking this could be a once a week “treat”, but may need to revise that.
Day 23 (Thursday): Egg sandwich with sliced tomato, sprouts and avocado. Apple slices and sunflower butter. Turkey “scramble” with kale, peppers and onions, topped with cilantro “paste”, diced tomatoes and avocado slices. Grilled salmon over sauteed greens, tossed salad, orange wedges.
I am loving this turkey scramble that I “invented”. It’s almost comfort food to me at this point! The cilantro paste is also my new best friend in the kitchen. Just toss a bunch of cilantro in the food process with the chopper blade. Slowly pour in EVOO through the shoot until it forms a thick liquid. Add salt, pepper and garlic as desired.
Day 24 (Friday): Egg sandwich with Wednesday’s left-over roasted veggies. Salad with veggies and grilled chicken, topped with “creamy” cilantro dressing. London broil on the grill, cauliflower rice, roasted asparagus and tossed salad.
Fridays are beyond hectic and if there’s one day I wish the kids could just heat up a slice of pizza from the freezer, this is it. By the time we lit candles, I was really resenting this whole Whole30! Fortunately I got over that feeling pretty quickly — especially as we dove into our perfectly grilled London broil.
Day 25 (Saturday): Two hard boiled eggs and half-cup of blueberries. Paleo chicken nuggets with homemade ketchup, sweet potato “fries”, broccoli. Banana. Left-over chicken soup. Orange.
The chicken nuggets were a huge hit! I’ll definitely be making them again. (If you’re wanting the recipe — I’m a “little of this, a little of that” kinda cook, but I’ll try to write down the “recipe” the next time I make them, so I can share it on the blog!). The ketchup was also amazing! It was something that my eight year-old has been asking us to try, so when I found this recipe, I knew we had to give it a go. We all liked it so much that we’ll definitely be making it again post-Whole30.
Day 26 (Sunday): Egg “sandwich” with avocado, sliced tomato and cucumber, and sprouts. Banana. Ground meat with roasted tomatoes over spaghetti squash and zucchini “noodles”. Rosemary chicken, “oops” meatloaf, and roasted cauliflower.
Today was a crazy hectic day without much time for food prep, so I reached into the fridge and somehow managed to throw together a 10-minute lunch everyone enjoyed (phew!). Frankie and I attended a fundraising dinner, where I ate accidentally ate non-Whole 30-approved food (matzah meal) in some meatballs. I paid for it with a headache and upset stomach, but I also learned some good lessons about how my body responds to food.
Day 27 (Monday): Roasted kale and left-over chicken soup. Turkey burger topped with homemade cilantro mayo and avocado, sweet potato “fries” and tossed salad.
I didn’t eat breakfast today, as my stomach was a mess from Sunday night’s “oops”. It finally started settling down in the afternoon, so I had some left-over chicken soup — and then made some roasted kale. They were supposed to be kale chips, but they didn’t quite turn out.
Day 28 (Tuesday): Scrambled eggs with spinach and a handful of blueberries. Left-over turkey burgers with sweet potato fries. Homemade apple chips. Salmon filets with lemon juice and pepper, cauliflower rice and tossed salad.
Just three days left and I think we’re hitting that “hey, I think this has become normal!” phase. Even the kids don’t seem to miss certain foods anymore. We’re all just in the groove. My stomach seems to have settled down from yesterday and we’ve got that finish line in sight.
Day 29 (Wednesday): Banana. Ground turkey, kale and pepper “crumble” with cilantro paste and topped with a tbsp of homemade mayo. Luna bar (while shopping at Sprouts). Unstuffed cabbage, served over cauliflower rice, and tossed salad.
I got a very late start to the day, so didn’t take a break from blogging until lunch time. At some point around 10, I scarfed down a banana. It’s funny because after a month of eating a real breakfast every day, I definitely felt the absence of protein in my morning!
Day 30 (Thursday): My standard egg sandwich with sliced tomatoes, sprouts and avocado. Left over unstuffed cabbage and cauliflower rice. Grilled chicken with sauteed onions, peppers and broccoli. Topped with cilantro “paste” and avocado.
Even though it was Ta’anit Esther, I didn’t fast. I’ve never been a good faster, so I stick to the major fast days only. I can’t believe that this Whole30 is already over. On Day 3, I thought I’d never make it 27 more days and here I am! The cravings are but a whisper (I still think about having a Chai Latte, but it’s a thought, not a fixation!) and I feel like eating this way has finally become “easy”.
Have you done or are you doing a Whole30? I’d love to hear from you about your experiences!