I'm proud to announce I successfully finished my first-ever Whole30 last Tuesday! Hurray! I celebrated Wednesday morning with a bowl of plain, low-fat yogurt with granola, raspberries and blackberries. Followed by not following the whole "reintroduction" thing you're supposed to do and having 1/2 of a delicious chicken Reuben sandwich for lunch. Whatever, Whole30! I gave you 30 days, I want my life back.
Anyhoo, here is what I ate for the remaining four days. Warning: it's pretty boring because at this point I was just trying to get through it and use up food I wouldn't want to eat once it was over (aka the too spicy beef-and-pumpkins stew, the bland turkey jalapeño burger).
Breakfast: 1 egg scrambled, mashed sweet potato, 2 strips bacon, sautéed spinach
Lunch: salad of butter lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, sliced almonds with red wine vinaigrette; tuna salad
Dinner: chicken sausage, kale simmered with onions and raisins, sauerkraut, sautéed mushrooms
Breakfast: 1 egg scrambled, 1/3 baked potato with ghee, 1 strip bacon, sautéed spinach
Lunch: salad of butter lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, artichoke hearts and sliced almonds with balsamic vinaigrette, tuna salad, kale simmered with onions and raisins, sautéed mushrooms
Snack: 1 piece celery with almond butter and raisins
Dinner: I went to my parents' for dinner, where they kindly adhered to the rules of Whole30 for me, and served flank steak, baked potato, steamed asparagus and salad (red leaf lettuce, orange and avocado with red wine vinaigrette). And then we had some sliced apple for dessert!
Breakfast: chia pudding (chia seeds, almond milk, banana, frozen cherries) with raspberries, pecans and coconut flakes
Lunch: the last serving of sweet potato-and-beef chili!
Snack: pistachios and a banana
Dinner: chicken sausage, sautéed bell pepper & onion, kale simmered with onion & raisins, sautéed mushrooms, potato-leek soup (the servings of the kale and mushrooms were very tiny at this point!).
Breakfast: chia pudding as prepared the day before
Lunch: the last, small serving of beef-and-pumpkin stew! Woohoo! Plus 1/2 RXBar and pistachios
Snack: small salad from Whole Foods (mixed greens, tomato, cucumber, red cabbage, grilled zucchini, mushrooms, pumpkin seeds, nutritional yeast, olives, bacon, chicken and olive oil and apple cider vinegar)
Dinner: the final turkey jalapeño burger with 1/4 avocado, leftover steak, potato and lone asparagus stalk from Sunday, plus the leftover kale with onions & raisins and a bit of the pepper & onion mix. And that's a WRAP! YAY!
• I am SO SO SO glad to be done! I love you, bread! I love you, cheese! I love you, chocolate!
• However, as glad as I am to be done, I am so glad I did it because I do feel like it fundamentally altered my relationship with food. I learned fairly quickly that I really don't need to eat as much bread and grains as I thought.
• Also, I lost 5lbs! Yay!
• In eating grains and dairy again, I have noticed I feel more bloated and "overfull" than I used to, especially if the portions are large. For example, I felt fine eating 1/2 a chicken Reuben sandwich one day for lunch. But two days later, I had an entire tuna melt at the Grove (plus potato chips) and felt lethargic after. A cobb salad with blue cheese and creamy dressing made me feel kind of sick to my stomach. I've been craving more vegetables in general, and wanting to opt for lighter meals -- after my tuna melt, that night for dinner I had chicken sausage, steamed broccoli and a salad of romaine, tomato, cucumber, and avocado with a light dressing.
• One of the hardest days on Whole30 was the last Sunday, day 28. I ate breakfast, then waited a little too long to head out on a run. For the first time since getting into running last winter, I actually had to stop 2 miles in (and I only run 3 miles) and come home to eat again. I had no energy and could barely walk home, it felt like my legs were stuck in mud. Just getting up the hill back to my house took considerable effort on my part. (After eating lunch, I forced myself back out for the remaining mile!) Flash forward to the following Sunday where I had an everything bagel with cream cheese for breakfast before heading to Bar Method and felt fantastic and energized all workout long. I think carbs have their place and while I may not need much during the week when I'm sitting at work, I need a little before exercising.
• I am already thinking I'll do Whole30 again next January! In the meantime, I'm actually inspired to eat along the guidelines of the program more of the time, especially when I'm just cooking for myself. It also got me back in the habit of bringing my lunch to work, which I had done for years until recently and is a way healthier and more economical way of eating.
• Speaking of which, I saved SO. MUCH. MONEY. Like, at least $1,000. Probably more. Yes, I maybe spent somewhere between $500 - $700 on groceries for the month, but my credit card bill for January was way less than normal. Not drinking, not eating in restaurants and not buying lunch everyday really adds up. So yes, while I was shelling out more than usual on compliant bacon and almond milk, I more than made up for it with a month of otherwise austerity.
• If I do it again, I will be much better prepared — I hesitated to make full servings of certain recipes because I wasn't sure if I would like them, for example. Now that I know there are certain recipes I liked, I would have an easier time planning out the month. On that note, I will close this post with the recipes I loved the most!
Best Whole30 Recipes
Egg Roll in Bowl (note: if I made this again I would use WAY less oil)
Also, this fitness instructor's blog, Peanut Butter Runner, was hugely inspirational and helpful for me. I stumbled upon it while researching Whole30 back in the fall and her breakdown of meals made me think it was actually possible for me to do (and do well!).
Thanks to all of you have followed me on this journey, I loved having the chance to blog about something again ... hopefully I can find another topic to write about soon! Xo