Its been a while since I wrote in this space, the holidays were busy especially with my mother visiting. We cooked together a lot and I learnt some great recipes which made it even more special. It was time to get back in to the swing of things, plan meals and a workout schedule around work…the usual beginning of the year things. I did my first Whole30 in January 2015 and it was about time for another one in 2016. Even though I eat paleo for the most part the first Whole30 was tough. No form of sugar like honey, agave or maple syrup was a big deal for me. The first couple of weeks were difficult but around week 3 I felt great. I could crossfit six consecutive days without feeling fatigued. As a result of that one month of eating clean, I didn’t have sugar cravings until almost the end of the year. I feel like my sugar cravings have been kind of out of control since around thanksgiving time, the holiday season didn’t help either.
Very often I am asked, why would you put yourself through this? You eat healthy anyway, so why ‘this diet’?
Even though I typically eat good, changing things up gives the body a shock by spiking up the metabolism. With growing concerns related to obesity and diabetes this program is just one of many that are out there.
Since I was eating Paleo anyway, Whole30 seemed like a good fit, little did I know that it would take Paleo to another level. I put myself through this because I enjoy it, not saying its all fun and easy. There are times when I wanted to almost give up, its a lot of work to be able to cook 95% of meals at home, get tired after a whole days work and not be able to order in food. But at the end of it, the energy and feeling during week 4 makes all this so worth it.
This summarizes how I felt during and after my first ever Whole30:
- Week 1 & 2 – Tired and fatigued, major sugar cravings, almost wanted to give up as I had this strong urge for coffee with milk and sugar
- Week 3 – Not as tired as week 1 & 2, more energetic
- Week 4 – Super energetic, no cravings, more confident about my body, clothes fit better
A Typical Whole30 Day
1 tbs apple cider vinegar with half cup water
1 glass of warm water with freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 egg whites with scallions, applegate chicken hot dog
Black coffee flavored with cardamom
Cauliflower rice with chicken, stir fried cabbage
Dandelion and chicory drink after lunch
Roasted fox nuts or trail mix
Baked salmon, stir fried vegetables, fresh juice
Versatility is the name of the game
I get bored easily, especially when it comes to food. This is what got me the during the first Whole30, I made big batches of food on weekends and got sick of eating the same thing for a week.
After giving it some thought I figured it would make more sense to cook small batches to last for about two days to avoid the ‘boredom’.
Occasionally I spend some timing brainstorming ideas on how I can use one ingredients in different ways and make it versatile, for example (I know its a bit nerdy):
- Steamed broccoli sauteed and garlic sauteed in olive oil
- Broccoli fried ‘rice’ with scallions, mushrooms and peppers
- Broccoli pesto with mixed vegetables
- Broccoli and egg white omelette
- Broccoli and sweet potato burgers
- Broccoli and sausage
- Chicken and broccoli in black pepper sauce
- Broccoli and almond salad with grilled chicken
Another thing that helps in this process is to have a Whole30 partner. Cooking together and sharing meal ideas is the best way to make this an exciting process.
Whole 30 Meal Planning List
I usually don’t like making such radical changes on the 1st of the month, instead prefer easing into a program like this and utilize the first few days to clean up my pantry and put away all the non-compliant items. One of the hot favorite Whole30 and paleo compliant foods is Avocado, so here’s my story…
“I love Avocado. Avocado doesn’t love me back.”
There was a point in time I could eat a whole avocado and be okay but I’m not sure when I developed a severe intolerance to something so amazing. Now even a small piece makes my stomach hurt and for someone who eats healthy for the most part this is a big deal. This is the reason why my recipes almost never include avocado, not being able to include it in the Whole30 meal plan hurts but I am trying to come terms with it.
The other important thing for me in the morning is coffee, I have never been into black coffee and that was a tough one. However, I discovered ways to make black coffee interesting by attempting different brewing techniques such as french press or cold brew coffee with natural flavors such as cacao, cardamom or cinnamon.
Here’s a quick list I put together of meal options so its handy while I’m on the program.
Whole 30 Favorites