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So when I first drafted this post I started it with, “Well, we survived week one of the Whole 30,” but after a 5 hour visit to the Emergency Room, I think that statement is debatable. About 4:30 today Carl called me at work to tell him he was dying and I needed to come take him to the ER. Now, that’s not the first time he’s told me he’s dying, but he was definitely not ok so I came and got him. The result of our visit is he has a 4mm kidney stone. They’ve given him some medicine and said it’ll take 1-7 days to pass. Fingers crossed it’s very soon.

Interesting fact, the nurses said the Whole 30 probably contributed to his kidney stone. They said the stone was already there and the dramatic increase in his water intake probably knocked it loose. I’m not sure how he feels about that just yet, but he’s very happy for his pain medicine.

Despite the surprising turn of events, I still wanted to share what we ate the first week of the Whole 30 and how we’re feeling right now.

Whole 30: What we ate and how we feel // Food ideas and advice for week one of the Whole 30

How Carl handled the first week

(Note: He gave me this information yesterday, pre-kidney stone drama.) The first day was easy. I drank a gallon of water and peed a lot. Day two was harder and I felt the need to snack a lot more. Temptation was definitely worse on day two and three. The rest of the week I was off work. The meals I ate the rest of the week felt monotonous even though they weren’t, I just felt like I needed a change. Like I needed bread or dairy or something super sugary and sweet. So far I don’t regret it. I feel like I’ve lost a lot of water weight.

Physically 

  • More energetic
  • All around lighter, not heavy after eating
  • Skin has been clearer this past week

Mentally

  • Not a lot of change except a little clearer in the head
  • Felt a little bit of temptation

How I handled the first week

Not gonna lie, I 100% regret committing to the Whole 30. I really enjoy that I’m cooking more, and I’m glad it’s making our eating habits much better, but I absolutely hate the fact that if I cheat once the whole thing is considered a failure. Considering we’re doing this to clean up our diet and not to have a dramatic weight loss or health realization, I hate that we can’t have one “cheat” meal a week.

I know we needed this “all or nothing” commitment to force us to truly focus on changing our habits, but the mental challenge of it is far harder than I expected. I wish we had switched to non-processed food at home a certain number of days a week before quitting a million things cold turkey. Also, the meal prep is very hard. Mostly because I have to feed Carl and I and he has an unusual eating schedule because of work. Plus, going from eating out often to having to prepare literally everything is more work than I’m used to. I do enjoy that I’m learning a lot of new recipes, and I’ve enjoyed eating most of them, but figuring out portion sizes and preparing it all is taxing.

I expected to have a lot of physical withdrawal from soda and sugar, but surprisingly I haven’t dealt with many issues. I haven’t seen a lot of results that are incredibly positive like Carl has, but I’m just relieved to not have had to deal with terrible caffeine headaches. Here’s a quick overview of how I’m feeling.

Physically

  • Tired. Like, really really tired. I want to sleep all the hours. I think this is because I started the Whole 30 right after a stomach bug and then started my period. The loss of soda and sugar just added to it.
  • My skin is actually worse than it’s been in the past year or two. I don’t know if that’s from that time of the month or something fancy like toxins leaving my skin, but I don’t like it.
  • I do feel satisfied but not heavy after meals.
  • My pants are starting to fit better. I put on a pair of pants that have been snug the past few months and didn’t feel like a sausage.

Mentally

  • I hate everything. I’d punch a baby and steal its candy with no remorse. Not really, but you get my point.
  • I’d do terrible things for a soda.
  • Like I said, the preparation is rough. I had a bit of a meltdown on Friday and Carl is going to start helping me cook. Though he made that promise prior to his kidney drama, so we’ll see.

Now that I’ve complained way more than I probably should, here’s what we ate the past week. Also, all these pictures were taken with my phone to send to Kristin, so they aren’t that pretty. Oops.

Breakfast

Breakfast-Banana Breakfast-Eggs Breakfast-Omelette

I ate a banana with almond butter for breakfast on the mornings I worked. It was something I could grab and go easily. I felt very satisfied after eating it and wasn’t starving at lunch time like I use to be. If I wasn’t feeling a banana I would just eat a Larabar. It didn’t make me feel as full, but it worked and was easy.

On the weekend we ate chicken apple sausage, sweet peppers and eggs. I heated the peppers and sausage in a pan with coconut oil and  then either made them into an omelette or with a sunny side up egg. The sunny side egg tasted best in our opinion, the runniness of the egg blended everything together well. I liked this meal because it could be done a variety of ways and not really feel like the same meal.

Lunch

Lunch-Chicken Lunch-Salsa Lunch-Salad

I made a cucumber and pineapple salsa that was delicious. I added it on top of the chicken I prepped at the beginning of the week and used a romaine leaf as a makeshift taco shell. It wasn’t the same, but it was good. Sadly, I wish I had greek yogurt to use as sour cream. I still ate it again for lunch another day and I’ll keep making it.

I found a Trader Joe’s salad dressing that is Whole 30 and used it in a chicken, strawberry and egg salad. It was way more satisfying that I expected it to be. I would totally eat it again, but it’s something I need to be in the mood for.

Dinner

Dinner-Chicken Dinner-Cauliflower Dinner-Peppers

The chicken, lemon asparagus and fruit is the best meal I’ve made so far according to Carl. It was the chicken I prepped the first day, lemon zest asparagus and fruit I cut up and combined into snack sizes. Prepping the whole chicken on the first day was definitely the best thing I did our first week.

The cauliflower I made as disgusting. Carl liked it and I just apparently don’t like cauliflower. It was tossed in some spices and roasted. Not a fan. I’ll try cauliflower again as a mashed potato recipe eventually though.

Saturday I made ground turkey, zucchini and onion stuffed bell peppers. It was good, but could have definitely used some cheese and sour cream. Though many things in life are better with cheese and sour cream. Either way it was still edible. I made more filling than bell peppers, so I just ate the leftover filling for lunch today.

Not pictured & lessons learned

I made mustard glazed pork chops that were good.  I also bought dried (no sugar added) fruit and combined it into portioned sized servings for snacks. I also made portioned sized servings of fruit that are grab and go. Carl really likes the super sweet small peppers Trader Joe’s has, so I bought a lot and put them into snack sized portions.

Overall, preparation is the key to success. As is having someone you can talk to about the experience and understands. If I didn’t have Kristin doing this with me and willing to listen to all of my rage texts, I wouldn’t have survived week one. Having Carl in this with me too has been helpful. Knowing someone is depending on me to cook Whole 30 food was very motivating.

Could you do the Whole 30?

Signature

  • Thank you for the honesty (and holy crap, Carl!). I know I would be super cranky and tired when giving up sugar and cheese so, like I said before, good for you for sticking this out. “They” say it takes two weeks to rid yourself of a habit so you got one week to go before you start feeling better about all this! 😉

  • This sounds so intense- and I love your honesty about it. I can’t imagine even attempting this at this point in my life but maybe one day… how do you feel it has been from a cost stand point?

  • This is so funny because the first time I did Whole30 (February, 2014) I felt like Carl, and this time around (currently on Day 19) I feel like you. I’ve also had so many food dreams.

    I’m with you on thinking it’s ridiculous that you can’t have even a single slip. It’s hard for people to say, “Hey, want to try a bite of this?” Nope, can’t. Not one. Not even a little bit. I understand why it’s done this way, but the struggle is real.

    If you can find approved BBQ sauce (I bought Tessemaes), try making cauliflower “wings” sometime. I’ve never tried this recipe specifically, but you here’s one you could use and just sub the bean flour for almond meal/flour, and whatever sauce you can find: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-13441/crispy-cauliflower-buffalo-wings-gluten-free.html

    Best of luck on the rest of your journey!

  • I agree, one of the hardest things about the Whole30 is just all the prep work! Please tell me more about this Whole30 compliant dressing you found at TJs (brand/name)!

  • Mashed cauliflower is easy, but man. It stinks up your kitchen. Or in our case, our whole house. I do like it though. And I added garlic salt to mine to give it some flavor.

  • I think I could probably manage the whole 30, but I do like my cheat meals, so I don’t know… My husband and I followed a meal plan (not whole 30, but kind of similar) over the last week and a half, and it was good, but I definitely got bored of the food quickly. I don’t even know why, because it was all good food, but for some reason I started craving tacos part way through and just couldn’t shake it. Also, I agree with you about the prep! It’s so much work! And then there are so many more dishes to wash, too. Ugh.

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