Now that we’ve defined exactly why I’m taking 30 days to reset my body’s need for whole, nutrient-dense food, it’s time to look at exactly HOW IN THE WORLD I’m going to do this.
The good news: I’ve done this before, have made a considerable number of changes to my diet already, and feel mentally prepared to take this on.
The bad news: this is May, people. The month of sheer crazy when it comes to those of us with kiddos in school (and very soon getting out of school for the summer). It’s a time of parties and get-togethers and barbecues and ALL THE THINGS. I liken it to the holidays, but with a lot more sweating because this IS Arkansas in the summer after all. The sweating has already started, and it won’t end until November-ish! That said, so many of these recipes make rather large batches of food that can easily be repurposed for dinners down the road (just freeze in BPA-free containers), or will work as leftovers for lunches during the week (my use of choice).
2 weeks of Whole30-Friendly Dinners
Monday: Chocolate chili, roasted sweet potatoes
Tuesday: Zucchini pizza skillet, salad of choice
Wednesday: Roast chicken, roasted mustard sweet potatoes, side salad
Thursday: Cauliflower fried rice (use coconut aminos in lieu of soy sauce)
Friday: French onion meatballs, roasted broccoli
Saturday: Weeknight broiled salmon, creamy broccoli casserole
Sunday: Paleo knock-off Chick-fil-A nuggets, roasted heirloom potatoes (gives you that nugget feel without the nuggest)
Monday: Primal Tex-Mex cauliflower casserole, Paleo tortillas, side salad
Tuesday: Sweet and smokey Paleo meatloaf,
Wednesday: Shepherd’s Pie, side salad
Thursday: Cauliflower walnut taco meat + a big bowl of greens and veggies with salsa as the “dressing”
Friday: Meatza, side salad, and a serving of fruit
Saturday: Roast chicken, brussels sprouts with bacon
Sunday: Clean eating chicken pot pie stew
Whole30 Week 1: All the Feels
As with any major change in diet (and the removal of sugar – even in its natural forms) there are a lot of emotions. Most of the time it’s just because the convenience of non-Whole30 compliant food isn’t there, so it takes some planning ahead (which sometimes doesn’t happen); however, there are definitely some interesting side effects. As I noted in the first post, I am not doing Whole30 as anything other than a little reset, and as such I’m not willing to put my life on hold just to eat a certain way. Some people might wonder why I’m even doing this if I knew I’d be breaking Whole30 occasionally, but I’m very much against having hard and fast rules with food unless it’s medically necessary. Since it’s not for me, I’m willing to take a break here and there as I deem necessary to be able to put people (my family, my community) first.
I kept a little diary on the notes section of my phone and listed out how I felt after each day, what happened, and the observations I’ve made so far!
May 1: I miss pizza. Felt a lot hungrier than normal, but not a starving feeling. More along the lines of just not feeling as full.
May 2: Woke up with a headache today that just wouldn’t go away. Working out seemed harder today too because I just felt sluggish. Not sure if it’s the change in food, the crazy weather, or hormones – but it was all not pleasant!
May 3: Felt great today, but went out to eat pizza with my boys tonight. I started with a huge salad but definitely indulged in a few slices. I’m actually surprised that I don’t feel even a little bit guilty, and was able to stop myself when I was satisfied.
May 4: Feeling almost like I’m hungover today. All the bread and cheese definitely make me feel heavier and slower and more bloated. Made sure to eat clean all day, and I felt a lot better at the end.
May 5: At super clean all day, but when D-group came over I couldn’t not enjoy all the amazing food they brought for Cinco de Mayo. Queso, tacos, chips and a Mexican soda (could it be more anti-Whole30?!) Definitely going to pay for it tomorrow, but again I’m surprised that I don’t feel guilty. Thankful for that.
May 6: Hungover from the food again? Just a little. But I’m recommitting to eating as Whole30 friendly as I can for the rest of the month. Today was super clean, and I feel lean again tonight.
May 7: Today I felt AMAZING, had a ton of energy, and felt much more motivated to eat super clean. I’ve noticed a small change in how loose my pants feel, even after having pizza and Mexican this week. Just an example of how eating clean most of the time can make a huge difference. Already planning out what June will look like food-wise!
In Conclusion (for now)
As you can see it’s been a little up and down, but overall I’m feeling a lot more energetic, stronger, leaner, and healthier overall. This is just after a week, and even with a few on-purpose slip ups – I’m excited to see how the month progresses!
One thing I’m working really hard on is having a positive mindset with it all (i.e. instead of “I can’t eat that” just saying “I’m going to choose to eat something else”). I’m also planning ahead for June. While I think Whole30 is a great way to eat, I also want to live my life without too many rules. I’m considering sticking to a mostly Whole30 plan, but with a free meal (or free day…?) once a week or so? Tell me – have any of you tried this? Do you feel like it helped you stick with a cleaner way of eating?
I’m excited to update you guys next week – likely with a recipe and some more observations!