Whole30 - week 1

 Grass-fed beef sticks, sugar snap peas, cherry tomatoes, apple slices, avocado slices and cashews.

Grass-fed beef sticks, sugar snap peas, cherry tomatoes, apple slices, avocado slices and cashews.

Well, I survived the first week! Although I'm pretty sure I wanted to quit every day. Maybe even every hour.

The food itself tastes amazing. But the cravings in between meals are really hard for me to ignore. And I'm getting a little bored.

Eric does 95% of the cooking, so I can't even complain about the extra work it's required in the kitchen. He grilled 12 chicken breasts the first night, and we reheat them as needed. He also makes scrambled eggs for me and Rooney every morning. We are really lucky! There is no way I would do this without him. (We've also noticed a lot more dirty dishes!) Meal planning has actually been way easier, because we have fewer choices (THIS is a super helpful guide on what we can eat).

I have NEVER in my life cut out a certain food from my diet, so this is very new for me. It's very consuming...I think about it all the time. I sort of feel like I have a weight on me and I can't shake it and I'm very much looking forward to it being over. It's very mental. But I've seen lots of food documentaries, and this program has been the only thing that has gotten me to make significant changes. I've learned that I'm an emotional eater, and very routine/habitual. For instance, after we put Rooney to bed at night and settle in for Downton Abbey, I fantasize about eating conversation hearts. I feel like I "deserve" it after putting a toddler to bed!

Dinner is the hardest meal for me because at the end of the day, I'm tired and want something different! I really like meat but have always had a hard time chewing it (just ask my family...growing up I would sit and chew a piece of steak for-e-ver, and then finally just have to spit it out into my napkin), which means my meals take a lot longer to eat than before.

I haven't craved pop even once, which is amazing to me (I had cut it out mostly but still had one on occasion). The book says that there is no need to reintroduce foods you don't crave, but I know that I only crave pop when I'm eating foods like tacos and pizza, not chicken breast with guacamole.

I am surprised that after a full week of eating nothing but foods that make me healthier, that I don't really FEEL healthier. Yet. I know the "magic" of the program happens around Day 16, so I'm still waiting, but I find it hard. It's funny because in the book It Starts With Food, they totally validate that eating this way is hard (even though on their website they say their program is not hard) because the food we've been eating is chemically changed to make you crave it. So it's really good for me to read the book between meals when I'm feeling down, because for me this is very hard! The book also reminds me that this is the healthiest way to eat to ward of sickness and disease, which is encouraging.

I hope I can move forward after the Whole30 without guilt, now that I know what makes a proper meal (protein, fat, veggies, fruit). I catch myself being harder on Rooney for not eating enough protein and instead finishing off the entire bowl of strawberries, when before I would encourage her, thinking that eating an entire bowl of fruit on its own is a good thing.

 Roasted red pepper & garlic turkey sausage, scrambled eggs cooked in coconut oil, and sweet potatoes.

Roasted red pepper & garlic turkey sausage, scrambled eggs cooked in coconut oil, and sweet potatoes.

Keeping a journal has also been helpful for me - so here's what I felt during week 1.

Day 1:

  • An hour after our first meal, I am already craving something sweet...
  • I had a dream last night about Wild Berry Skittles. I could taste them; they were so juicy. I had them in my mouth but spit them out before I swallowed.

Days 2-3:

  • I'm very irritable. Just ask Eric. :-/

Day 4:

  • I had a dream last night about red licorice and cookie dough.
  • I'm even more irritable, if that's possible!
  • I have a slight headache, but I'm surprised it's not worse.
  • I'm scared I won't like conversation hearts or cupcakes when this is over...
  • Doing this while pregnant is the best idea and the worst idea.

Day 5:

  • Woke up feeling the best I've felt all week!
  • I don't feel super hungry when it's time to eat (probably because I'm not really looking forward to my food options), but between meals I have lots of cravings.
  • I'm very aware of when other people are eating, especially when I'm not. My sense of smell also seems to be heightened (smelling my coworkers food when otherwise I wouldn't have noticed).

Day 6:

  • OK, Whole30, I don't completely hate you anymore. I can sort of feel a change happening, and think pizza would taste sort of strange after eating all these whole foods.
  • I had a raspberry today (I haven't eaten as much fruit as I thought I would so far) and it tasted so sweet! The thought of chrewing a Tootsie Roll or OREO or Skittles sounds like it would feel fake...which I guess they are. But conversation hearts still have a hold on me.
  • I don't love peppers, but I was getting bored with my other veggies so I tried a red pepper. It was OK. I also grabbed a handful of spinach leaves and shoved them in my mouth.
  • I feel tired, but more committed, now that we're six days in.
  • We didn't travel to my grandpa's birthday party today for a few different reasons, but one of them was because we wouldn't be able to enjoy the food, or eat a true Whole30 meal at the restaurant where we have his party. I realize this is just one year, but you never know when it might be the last, and I would hate it if I missed that.

Day 7:

  • I woke up with sore throat and feeling very tired, even though I slept fairly well. Whenever I get sick, I get mad at myself for eating so much sugar. This time, I couldn't blame it on that! Thankfully I was able to rub Thieves oil on it and it feels much better.
  • I had dreams last night that Eric and I cheated with tacos and chocolate peanut butter malts.
  • OK, I still want to QUIT! But quitting would mean a lack of willpower, and I don't want to be a quitter. Maybe if I was trying to lose weight I'd be more motivated. Still, there are many "non-scale victories" to be had here.
  • I tried a bite of a Larabar (cashews and dates) and it was strange to not chew a "real" food (even though they are compliant and made with real foods).
  • We're almost 1/4 of the way done! I try to remind myself that 30 days in the grand scheme of things is a really short time span, and soon this will be over and I don't ever have to do it again! It is kind of going fast, but I still find myself wishing the 30 days away so I can go back to my "normal" way of eating (which isn't the point, but I find myself wishing for it). My cravings still have me held captive (even though as of now I'm not planning to cut them out of my life forever). Of course, I don't know what kind of transformation will happen in the next 23 days. Maybe it will blow me away. I have heard some people do the Whole30 seeing very few benefits, and don't notice any issues after adding foods back in afterward. I do hope that I still enjoy queso and tacos and cupcakes after this, and notice minimal issues after eating them. However, I know sugar has caused some headaches for me in the past and a bowl of ice cream sometimes makes my stomach hurt, so I already am aware that "unhealthy" foods do affect me negatively.
 Scrambled eggs cooked in coconut oil, cherry tomatoes, sugar snap peas, blueberries and strawberries.

Scrambled eggs cooked in coconut oil, cherry tomatoes, sugar snap peas, blueberries and strawberries.

What I crave:

  • Applebee's pretzels and cheese
  • On the Border queso (my favorite restaurant)
  • Conversation hearts (probably because I have a bag that's waiting to be eaten!)

What I miss the most:

  • A "treat" at the end of the day, after Rooney goes to bed, while relaxing on the couch with Eric. He likes dark chocolate and ice cream, and I like conversation hearts or ice cream.
  • Meals out, especially with family. I'm not sure I've ever gone seven days without eating a meal at a restaurant. Eating out is one of my favorite things. We had family visit us this weekend, and we missed out on at least one yummy restaurant meal. Tear! (There is a Dining Guide for eating out, but we're really trying to be strict with the plan and I'm not exactly sure how to eat Whole30 at a restaurant, unless it's Chipotle.)

Motivation going forward:

  • If our baby boy looks small in three weeks on our next ultrasound, I won't be able to blame myself for not eating well enough. (You can read about my placenta abnormalities here.)
  • The "magic" of the program should come in another week or so.

P.S. Eric wrote a post last week about what we've bought so far and how much we've spent - which you can read here.