Today is the day! Day 1 of Hubby and I’s very first Whole30 challenge! If you read my recent post about Menu Planning, you might have noticed that this week’s menu contains only Whole30 approved recipes, and today, February 10, 2014, marks Day One of our adventure!
What is Whole30?
Whole30 is basically a 30 day Paleo-on-steroids diet challenge. The book “It Starts With Food” along with the Whole30 website outline the challenge in detail. In a nutshell, the book explains that every piece of food you put in your mouth either makes you more healthy or less healthy, and Whole30 challenges you to eat ONLY those foods that make you more healthy for 30 days.
That means absolutely nothing that makes you less healthy. And what makes you less healthy? All of the good stuff haha Processed foods, grains, dairy, legumes, sugar, and alcohol to name the big ones.
So what CAN you eat? Reading the list above kicks out most (if not all) of my favorite recipes. Foods that make you more healthy include fresh, minimally processed foods like free range chicken, grass-fed beef, wild salmon, lots (and lots) of fresh or frozen organic veggies, and fresh or frozen organic fruit.
Meat. Eggs. Veggies. Fruit. Healthy fats.……That’s it.
Why are WE doing Whole30?
Our journey with Whole30 really started about 5 years ago when we learned that one of Hubby’s cousins had started Paleo, and was having amazing results! He had lost an incredible amount of weight and raved about how much extra energy he had, that he was sleeping better, and that he just “felt better” in general. We were skeptical to say the least. He looked great and all, but give up bread? cheese? SWEET TEA? Umm I don’t think that’s for us. More power to him, though!
Fast forward a few years when we started eliminating processed foods from our diet. I got on a “crunchy” kick after finding out about Little Man’s coming arrival, and the kick never went away! Last year, though, is when we really started making more changes to our diets. Just small ones here and there, but we thought they were making a difference!
Then, when we applied for Life Insurance in January, we had a wake up call. Our small changes weren’t making a big difference. I still hadn’t lost hardly any of my baby weight, (post-partum 12 months now), and Hubby’s life insurance premium was going to be triple the original cost because, according to their standards, he was overweight. As two medical professionals, we knew where to start: diet.
Enter Whole30. Go Big or Go Home, right? We’re going Big!
Our Day 1 Menu
Breakfast: Sweet Potato Hash made with cubed sweet potato, ground breakfast sausage (Whole30 approved), onion, garlic, and diced tomatoes. I started with black tea to drink, added a little bit of coconut milk…couldn’t stand it so I threw it out and opted for a tall, cold glass of water with one drop of lemon essential oil. Hubby had coffee with coconut milk.
Lunch: Tuna salad made with homemade mayo, celery, chives, and a dash of lime juice. Hard boiled egg, mandarin orange, ham & turkey roll ups, and a salad (spinach, kale, arugula, swiss chard, tomatoes, carrots, and cucumbers) with homemade “Olive Garden” copycat dressing. Water to drink.
Snack Pack: Almonds, cashews, blueberries, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, and snap peas
Dinner: Shepard’s Pie made with ground beef, onions, veggies, seasonings, and cauliflower mash served with a side of roasted carrot sticks. Water with lemon EO to drink.
Thoughts so Far
First, it was really, and I mean REALLY hard, to find approved ingredients in our area. Western Oklahoma is not exactly known for its fine selection of quality, organic produce or specialty spices/condiments. It generally takes me an hour to go grocery shopping for 2 weeks, but this trip lasted almost 3 hours AND cost almost twice as much as usual. Ugh. I called 4 different stores to find grass-fed beef and couldn’t find any within a 50 mile radius. I DID find a farm that raises and sells grass-fed beef shares, but they were taking orders for May, and were out at the moment so I ended up buying the leanest, best quality beef I could find instead. I couldn’t find several other “specialty” ingredients that I needed for my recipes (like coconut aminos, which is in almost every recipe I have!) so I had to order them online and am waiting for them to come in the mail. Until then I had to make a few changes to our menu. I ended up winging it for dinner tonight, which is NOT my thing, and I still had to substitute ingredients, BUT it turned out great!
About today though…Honestly? I feel like crap. Ready for a whine-fest? I was SO excited about the challenge yesterday that I stayed up late making sure I had all of our food prepped for today, and then I got up early to fix breakfast, which means I’m exhausted now. Although I’ve been munching and snacking on Whole30 approved items all day long, I feel like I’ve been hungry all day long. I have a headache. My stomach is in turmoil. I’m already sick of coconut in everything. I miss my morning tea (Black English Breakfast Tea fixed with milk and sugar), and I miss my sweet tea throughout the day. I honestly think those two are going to be the hardest to go without for 30 days. I miss other things, too, but I can make do without them, and there are plenty of good copycat recipes that are “approved” to tide me over. Today was tough. I knew from the beginning this wasn’t going to be a piece of cake, but man! I wasn’t expecting to be SO frustrated this fast! I’m determined not to give up though! 29 days to go.
As for the hubs, he says he got pretty hungry throughout the day as well. We need to up our veggie intake during meals and prepare more snacks, but he’s doing a heck of a lot better than I am! He enjoyed his coconut milk coffee, and says he’s ready for day 2!
Come Back for More!
I won’t be posting our meals every day, but I will try to provide a weekly re-cap so you can join us on our journey and cheer us on! I can’t stress to you enough how difficult this is going to be for us, but we are going to try our hardest not to give up! 30 days of no slip ups, no give-ins, no cheats. 30 days of REAL food.
If you want to join us, here is our complete menu, recipe list, and grocery list for the next two weeks! I’ve done all of the hard work for you! Just download it and change anything you’d like to suit your preferences! Good luck!
P.S. If you’re using this menu and following along, just know that I did have to make several changes to our week 1 menu because, as mentioned above, I couldn’t find some of the staple ingredients in our area (like coconut aminos, which seems to be in every dish), and I had to order them online. I should be caught up by Friday 🙂