My Whole 30 Week 1 Review

My Whole30 Challenge

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.

Roasted chicken and red peppers for salad #Whole30

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?!

#Whole30 breakfast

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.

Garlic Beef Stew #Whole30

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? 

Homemade Apple Chips

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.

Spicy Cauliflower ready for the oven

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?


  1. My husband and I just finished a 3 month Paleo challenge (which I think is similar to Whole30) at our gym. At the beginning it was incredibly hard, we were fighting hunger, headaches and low energy and really thought about giving up but after the second week something just clicked and our bodies bounced in to action. Having been reluctant to start the challenge to begin with, I can honestly say that it’s one of the best things that has ever happened to us and we’ve discovered how incredibly well our bodies can actually function when being fed the right way. We have an abundance of energy, our bodies feel good, our performance both at the gym and in life in general has skyrocketed and we’re both totally set on staying Paleo even now that the challenge has ended. It just feels good. I can imagine it’s much harder with kids so it’s really impressive how committed you and your family are! It definitely helps to be doing it with someone else. Keep up the good work, it’s totally worth pushing through the tough beginning – you’ll really start seeing the hard work pay off soon! 🙂

  2. Sounds like a great pesach menu.

  3. Hannah Adams says

    no idea how ur doing it!! i stopped sugar coffee and wheat 2 and half weeks ago and got so sick! i added whole grain toast last 2 days as i was having blurry vision and this helped balance my sugar.

  4. Keep up the good work!!! (Do you loose weight from this diet?)

    • The vast majority of people do lose — and quite a bit (like 6-20 lbs, depending on your size, gender, etc.) I’d love to lose weight, but that’s not my #1 goal with this. That said, they also don’t want you weighing yourself during the month, because this is about changing your whole relationship with your body image, as well. If you haven’t read anything on their site, I highly recommend it!

  5. Looks interesting.
    Quick question. When on other extreme diets and one cheats or stops it (like eating a wheat on atkins, or sugar on a no sugar diet) you generally gain all your weight back, and then some. And might also feel pretty sick. How about with this diet? If I cheat (no I’m not planning on it, but want to know what to expect) or mortify one or two things on this diet, what are the results?


  6. I would be doing this with someone who hates onions and peppers. I hate mushrooms and cauliflower (most veggies actually, except cucumbers, lettuce, celery, etc) . I can’t find recipes that don’t include at least one or two of these… also nothing spicy. And I hate being hungry. My blood sugar gets low so easily. I need to lose weight and I need energy to keep up a busy schedule. How do you do it?? I understand that w/out carbs our highs and lows should be less dramatic, but I don’t think I could get through the hard part. I’d be lunging at food (or at people, most likely).

  7. I’m amused at everyone who says, “I could never do that!” If you are on this blog, you probably keep kosher, yes? how many times have you heard people say, “I could never keep kosher!” and you think “no, really, it’s not that hard. You just have to plan ahead, etc., etc.”
    My family went Gluten free three years ago and at first there was a lot of “what are we going to eat!”, but now we don’t even think about it. I’m looking forward to starting my Whole30 and wish I could be doing it now before school starts, but we have a vacation in two weeks, so we’re waiting until we get back.

  8. I just started this and I was eating pretty close to it before I started. The thing I’m having trouble with is breakfast. It’s eggs every day, pretty much. In the book they say to have leftover chicken, etc, but who wants to have meat start your day?
    Any other ideas for breakfast

    • I agree that eggs can get old. I just recently completed a Whole60, and the oddest thing happened — around half way through the second month, I started craving salad and even meat for breakfast! Have you tried making homemade sausage? That was also very yummy!

  9. Just seeing this, thanks for writing! Awesome to see both Whole30 and kosher dishes!

    I didn’t see if this was already asked/answered here: how do you deal with wine and challah for Shabbos, please? Do you just have a sip and bite?


  10. Hi. I’m doing whole30 now kosher …
    I know your posts are from 2015 but this popped up – do you have more menus and tipped? I’m on day 5. First Shabbos.

    And am I suppose to drink mint tea?

    Thanks!! Melissa

  11. Is all kosher chicken acceptable for Whole30. My labels don’t say anything about how they are fed.

    • That may be more of a Whole30 question more than a KOAB question – but I think that they might recommend organic kosher,. Frankly we couldn’t afford that, so we ate regular kosher chicken!

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