Hi there and happy new year!
Yup, I’m doing the #JanuaryWhole30. Insert a fair amount of eyerolls from people, I’m sure. 😉
I’ve had several people tell me they are interested in Whole30 and how the reset is going for me, but before I dive into meals and such, I thought I’d give you a little background if you haven’t heard of the program.
First, visit whole30.com and preferably, read the book It Starts With Food. I’ll give you a quick overview of the program, but if you’re really interested in learning more about the WHY and the science behind it, check those out for sure.
Whole30 is considered a reset, NOT a diet. The first thing people usually ask when they are curious about it is, What CAN you eat? Well, here you go:
Basically, you are spending 30 days focusing on veggies, fruit, animal protein, and fats. The aim is to spend 30 days feeding your body real, whole foods, break unhealthy cycles of eating (like using food as love or reward), and then gradually adding back in the foods you eliminated and seeing how they make you feel (also known as food freedom).
January is a really popular time to start the Whole30, mainly because we’ve just come off an indulgent holiday season and we’re all focused on “new year, new me.”
I’ve actually attempted to do the Whole30 2 other times, and both of them went pretty poorly. But I kept coming back to the idea of doing this reset, especially since I’ve had a lot of stress in my life the last few years, and January seemed like a great time to start. My start day was Monday, January 2, and I made sure to plan meal ideas and stock up on a ton of fruits and veggies at the grocery store that weekend.
Day 1 I was feeling super pumped and got up early to make breakfast: 3 eggs scrambled in coconut oil, kale sautéed with lemon and sea salt, and 2 cuties (I also picked up black iced coffee on my way to work and used this coconut milk in it once I got to the office).
Lunch was balsamic chicken legs that I cooked in the slow cooker on Sunday, plus a salad of arugula, dried cranberries (these are Whole30 approved), and chopped walnuts. For dressing, I use olive oil, balsamic, garlic powder, and spicy brown mustard to make a vinaigrette that is SO good (normally I use honey instead of mustard, but unfortunately, honey is out for the Whole30).
Dinner was quick and simple: I fried an apple chicken sausage, microwaved some riced sweet potato and cauliflower, and topped it with salt and pepper and some ghee.
Day 2 I was feeling less ambitious, so I hard-boiled 3 eggs while I was getting ready and grabbed a banana and spoonful of almond butter before I walked out the door (plus coffee).
Lunch was the same as the day before: chicken legs, arugula salad, a side of grapes, and a La Croix (side note: I miss my Diet Coke at lunch so much).
Every week we have taco night, so I made our usual taco mixture (ground beef, chopped red and orange peppers, zucchini, a can of diced tomatoes and peppers, and a TON of cumin) and had it sans cheese in lettuce wraps. It was only OK. The worst was having to look at my fiance enjoying his in tortillas with cheese.
Day 3 breakfast and lunch: More of the same.
Dinner was a random assortment of things I threw in the crock pot before I left for work: chicken thighs, sliced zucchini and yellow squash, a can of fire-roasted tomatoes, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, and a big ol’ scoop of ghee. For being a random assortment, it turned out pretty OK!
Breakfast was the usual hard-boiled eggs, except we were out of bananas and they didn’t have any at Starbucks, so I made due with the cuties I brought. I also had brought almond butter, but ended up saving it for a snack later.
Lunch was chicken legs and arugula salad.
Friday is our usual pizza night, but I opted for Chipotle since it’s much easier to find something Whole30 compliant. I got a salad with carnitas, mild salsa and guac. And then enjoyed mocktails and watched everyone else eat their chips and cheese with envy. 🙂
Day 5 was Saturday, which means I finally switched up my meals a little. I had 3 fried eggs, lemony kale, cuties, and unpictured coffee for breakfast.
Lunch was an apple chicken sausage with mustard, some leftover riced cauliflower and sweet potatoes with ghee, and grapes.
I’m not exactly sure what happened with dinner, but we must have decided to keep it simple. Scrambled eggs and sweet potato (cooked in the microwave for about 5 mins—poke holes in it and wrap in a damp paper towel and it’s perfect!) come together really quickly, so that’s what I did.
On Sunday, I was exhausted and didn’t get up until almost 10:00. I picked up coffee on my way to church (put my coconut milk in my purse so I could add it later haha) and grabbed a banana and Larabar to eat for breakfast. #makeitwork
I met my mom and my future mother- and sister-in-law for lunch at RiRa on Sunday. So full disclosure, I made the best decisions possible—but it’s very possible that the bacon in this salad wasn’t Whole30 approved. Whatever. I got their chopped salad (greens, bacon, avocado, tomato, red onion, and chicken) minus the cheese and subbed balsamic and oil for the vinaigrette. So good and I didn’t even miss the cheese.
Dinner was low-key again—fried eggs, sweet potato, and grapes. My fiance isn’t doing Whole30 with me, so for dinner (I enjoy cooking and usually do for both of us), I’ve been making something for him and something for me if I don’t have something planned. Most weeknights I have meals planned and prepped for dinner, but weekends we usually kind of wing it (which on Whole30 for me means eggs and sweet potato haha).
I made it through week 1! Work breakfast on day 7 was hard-boiled eggs, almond butter, and a banana.
Lunch was a fried chicken sausage with mustard, riced cauliflower and sweet potato with ghee, and cuties.
I had a crazy day at work and had to work that evening, so we opted for “choose your own dinner.” Like I said, eggs and sweet potato are always quick and easy.
Week 1 Thoughts
Not to lie, the first week (especially days 1-3) kind of sucks. I thought about food all.the.time. I told one of my coworkers, “I feel like everything I love has been taken away from me.” So that was probably a little overdramatic, but I think it’s a pretty normal reaction for the program.
I was also tired during week 1, but not super grouchy or anything. Luckily, after the first few days I kind of got into a groove. Don’t get me wrong, I still thought about food A LOT—planning meals, looking at menus before we went out, having compliant snacks on hand at all times—but it wasn’t as much of a struggle after the first few days.
Positives from week 1: better digestion, fuller between meals, had more consistent energy throughout the day.
Negatives: really, really tired a few days, a TON of dishes to do, felt kind of blah about meals, especially toward the end of the week.
As I’m writing this I’m finishing day 10 and still going strong. I’ll be sure to update you in a few days with how week 2 has been. ❤