Whole30: A New Beginning
I mentioned mid-week that my husband and I, along with some great blogging friends, are starting a Whole30. Reporting my progress to the world and having that group as an accountability and support team has been crucial the last few days. It is also exciting to learn that many of you are going on this same journey with us.
When I wrote my first post there was so much I wanted to say and so little space to do it. So many of you are new to these parts (welcome!) and I realized later you might not know much about me, how/why I make choices and why I would be doing a crazy Whole30. I thought I should give you a little background.
First of all, I am not a trend-setter, fad-follower, latest-diet-craze kinda girl. In fact, I have NEVER been on any prescribed food plan or diet in my LIFE! (And I don’t see Whole30 as a diet if you are wondering). I have been that girl you love to hate because she can eat any and everything without an ounce of weight gain. Not as much the truth since having two children and getting older however. I am not overweight but I do have a few pounds I could stand to shed, but again, NOT why I am doing Whole30. I have actually stayed away from the whole paleo movement for these reasons, I didn’t want to just be following the crowd.
The other thing you should know about my husband and I is we have a LOVE for food. Might not be much of a surprise given that I run a food blog, kind of goes hand in hand. Then again, we LOVE food. We do not discriminate. Choosing to eliminate or limit the types of foods we intake for a period of 30 days is monumental.
Despite my aversion to fads and my love for all things culinary, I have noticed things about my body and the things we eat. My eyes were opened last year when we did the Get Real 2012 year-long conversion to whole foods. I learned so much about the sourcing of my food and as I read Whole30 materials and It Starts with Food I felt like Whole30 was the natural next step for that. It was time to get serious to jump-start our eating habits and in essence let the rubber meet the road.
Here we are on the Whole30. It hasn’t even been a week (only 4 days to be exact) and I have already learned SO MUCH about our eating habits and the food we consume regularly, which is WHY I am loving our Whole30 already. And let me tell you, it has been eye opening (and I consider myself a fairly educated food consumer).
Weekly, I would like to take some time to share with you the things we have been awakened to, the foods we consumed and our menu plan for the coming week. This way, you too can learn from our experience and decide for yourself if it is the right time for you to do the same. And hopefully our meals are inspiration to knowing that you too could do this as well. So here it goes.
- Doing something together, like a Whole30, is GREAT for our marriage. It gives us something new to talk about (other than the kids, the bills and our businesses). It gives us something to encourage each other with, and it gives us reasons to be more accountable to each other. I honestly would say if this is the only outcome of this journey, I would be happy. (But I know it isn’t).
- There are an OBSCENE amount of items in the grocery store that contain SUGAR! Seriously. Do you know I have yet to find a beef broth that doesn’t contain some sort of sugar or unnatural ingredients? Try! I dare you! I know I can make my own, but the point is, why? Why do we have to put sugar in EVERYTHING? Even shopping at the wholesome grocery stores yields products that shouldn’t need sugar having sugar, cane sugar or honey mind you, but some sort of sugar. It is mind boggling. Some of the items that have shocked me the most: bacon, sausage, tomato sauce, and beef broth.
- I am not a consumer of coconut. I don’t like it. Apparently that is now a lie. What I don’t like is processed, unnatural, mass-produced coconut. What I do like is coconut oil melted down and put on a coleslaw. I also love raw, unprocessed coconut chips. Who would have thought?
- I am forced (and encouraged) to try new foods. It is fun and so much of an adventure.
- I thought I could TOTALLY do this thing without much side effects because I really don’t eat that many sugary sweets. I don’t do desserts. I rarely make sweets. I have the occasional candy, but who doesn’t? What I was NOT prepared for was the fact that carbohydrates are sugars and I consume A LOT of carbohydrates. I mean. A. LOT. So apparently I don’t need sweets because I have been consuming a mass amount of sugar in the forms of pasta, bread, and other starchy products that I don’t even CRAVE sweets. Sigh.
- I am a nibbler. No, I don’t make sweets or eat dessert, but when I am hungry I just reach for 1 cookie, or 1 cracker, or 1 something. All sugars.
- I am not a breakfast person. I. Hate. Breakfast. Foods. This is a problem on Whole30. I need to start my day with a full meal, including a majority of proteins. You know what breakfast foods I do like? Yep, carbohydrates. Waffles, pancakes, cereal, etc. This has been the hardest adjustment for me and I am working to find foods that I like more and more. Feel free to make some Whole30 approved suggestions for me. :)
What We Ate:
- Day 1 – Breakfast – Scrambled Eggs, Peppered Bacon, Sliced Avocado; Lunch – Spinach Citrus Salad with Orange Poppyseed Dressing (I needed more protein but I didn’t have it ready yet); Dinner – Stir Fried Vegetables over Cauliflower “Rice”. Snacks included cashews, apples, oranges and avocado.
- Day 2 – Breakfast – Scrambled Eggs, Homemade Beef “Sausage”, Sliced Avocado; Lunch - Spinach Citrus Salad with Citrus Marinaded Chicken and Orange Poppyseed Dressing; Dinner – Out to dinner (we found a place that would make our items with approved ingredients – Roasted Root Vegetables with Balsamic Reduction, Filet Mignon, Steamed Broccoli. Snacks included: cashews, dried pineapple rings (unsulphered) and a Larabar.
- Day 3 – Breakfast – Omelet with Homemade Beef “Sausage”, avocado, tomato and peppers and a bowl of deliciousness (blackberries, bananas, carmalized coconut chips, and raw toasted cashews); Lunch – Chorizo Sausage (found some at TJ’s with no sugar), Steamed Carrots, Broccoli Coleslaw; Dinner – Beef Fajitas Wrapped in Lettuce, Guacamole.
Our Menu Plan:
- Day 4 (Sunday) – Breakfast – Scrambled Eggs, Ginger/Sage Sausage, and a bowl of deliciousness (blackberries, bananas, “carmelized” coconut chips, and raw toasted cashews); Lunch - Beef Fajita Salad, sliced avocado; Dinner – Ranch Burgers (minus the cheddar), Guacamole, sweet potato fries.
- Day 5 (Monday) – Breakfast – Scrambled Eggs, Prosciutto, and a bowl of deliciousness (pineeapple, bananas, “carmelized” coconut chips, and raw toasted cashews); Lunch – Leftovers, salad; Dinner – Wild-Caught Salmon with Pineapple Mango Salsa, Roasted Balsamic Bacon Brussel Sprouts.
- Day 6 (Tuesday) – Breakfast - Broccoli Egg Muffins and a bowl of deliciousness (pineeapple, bananas, “carmelized” coconut chips, and raw toasted cashews); Lunch – (On the go) Veggies, Citrus Marinated Chicken Fingers, Larabar; Dinner – Buffalo Ranch (Turkey) Meatballs, Carrots/Celery, Roasted Brussel Sprouts
- Day 7 (Wednesday) – Breakfast – Scrambled Eggs, Bacon and a bowl of deliciousness (pineeapple, bananas, “carmelized” coconut chips, and raw toasted cashews); Lunch – Leftovers, salad; Dinner – Spaghetti Squash with Tomato Sauce and Meatballs, Salad.
- Day 8 (Thursday) – Breakfast – Sweet Potato Hash using Homemade Beef “Sausage”, and a bowl of deliciousness (raspberries, bananas, “carmelized” coconut chips, and raw toasted cashews); Lunch – Spaghetti squash and meatball leftovers, salad; Dinner - Leftovers (I *think* we have more food planned than we need. If not, I have freezer meals).
- Day 9 (Friday) – Breakfast – Broccoli Egg Muffins and a bowl of deliciousness (pineeapple, bananas, “carmelized” coconut chips, and raw toasted cashews); Lunch – Stir Fry Vegetables over Cauliflower “Rice”; Dinner – Out to dinner as we have a school event.
- Day 10 (Saturday) – Breakfast – Omelets and a bowl of deliciousness (blackberries, bananas, “carmelized” coconut chips, and raw toasted cashews); Lunch – Buffalo Chicken Salad; Dinner – Tacos in lettuce wraps with guacamole.
- READ ALL the food labels of the items you pick up from the grocery store and simply look for any of the following: sugar, cane sugar, maple syrup, honey, dextrose, agave nectar, Splenda, Equal, NutraSweet, xylitol, stevia).