I have officially made it to the halfway mark of my Whole30! The halfway mark is the point of the program where you tend to start feeling more of the benefits like increased energy and less cravings. As I start on the downhill slide of this journey, I wanted to look back at the first two weeks to share a little about how it’s been going and answer everyone’s big question “What to eat on Whole30?”
WHAT I’M EATING
I’ll start with the good stuff and share what I have been eating these past two weeks. First, I have to mention that I can eat the same meal 3-4 days in a row. I typically do big meal prep on weekends making breakfast and lunch for the week. For my dinner, I will do partial meal prep on weekends and cook a little throughout the week. The first week I did ideas that were quick meal prep since I was out of town most of the weekend, but week 2 I dove into some recipes from the Whole30 books.
Breakfast: Eggs, Sautéed Spinach and Mushrooms, Banana, and Coffee
Lunch: Baked Chicken and Roasted Veggies with Coconut Flakes, and a Clementine
Dinner A: Bunless Chicken BLTs with Avocado and Sautéed Okra
Dinner B: Shrimp Lettuce Wraps with Avocado and Sautéed Veggies
Snacks: Dry Roasted Almonds
Breakfast: Eggs, Avocado, Banana, and Coffee
Lunch: Sweet Potato Chili (from Whole30 Cookbook), Sautéed Veggies
Dinner 1 and a Lunch: Chicken Olive Meatballs with Paprika Tomato Sauce (From Whole30 Cookbook) with Spaghetti Squash and Sautéed Spinach, and Sautéed Veggies
Dinner 2: Shrimp Lettuce Wraps with Olives and Sauteed Veggies
Dinner 3: Baked Cod with Onion Sauce (from Whole 30 Cookbook), Roasted Veggies
Every couple days, I would saute or roast a different vegetable to eat as a side for lunch and dinner. Some of the vegetables I used were asparagus, brussels sprouts, and green beans.
Week 1 I still needed snacks while I figured out how much to eat at each of my 3 meals, but week 2 while I packed a snack I never really needed it.
HOW’S IT GOING?
I mentioned at the start I was so worried about the first week and getting a crazy headache, but I only had a headache one day on Day 5. Whole30 has a timeline to help you prepare for how you may feel on certain days. While the timeline is different for everyone, I like to follow along so I can be prepared and prepare those around me. I haven’t had many of the symptoms they list on the schedule though or have them different days.
At the beginning, I had a hard time eating enough to stay full between meals. My current lunches are about 2-3 times the food as my old lunches. I was worried eating so much would leave me full and feeling lazy, but I never felt overly full just satisfied. By week 2, I was much better at portions, but I noticed I had days where I was just never hungry.
I am still NOT a breakfast person! I have yet to be hungry for breakfast in the morning. I follow their advice and eat before I drink my coffee to make it part of a new morning routine. I always worried eating breakfast so early would leave my crazy hungry by lunchtime, but shockingly I am not. I used to eat breakfast around 9/930 and lunch around 1130 when I would feel like I was starving and just could not wait until 12. Currently, I eat breakfast around 630a and lunch around 12, rarely getting hungry in between.
My grazer cravings are still there though. I sometimes feel hungry at 11 and 3 almost on the dot. After a few days, I realized I wasn’t truly hungry, and I think my body was just accustomed to eating around those times. Anytime I am hungry between meals, I distract myself for about 5 minutes by taking a quick walk, drinking water, or checking emails. If the craving doesn’t go away, then I consider eating a snack. After a few days, I started being able to tell the difference between cravings and being actually hungry. My mid-morning cravings have dissipated, but my afternoon ones are still going strong.
Week one, I could not look at food that was not Whole30 approved. If my husband left a snack like chips out, I immediately put them away. Being that it was week one, I did have a little more willpower to withstand the food. Week two, I only tend to crave something if I see it. The craving is usually short and fleeting though. I had a few events week two that included yummy off-plan food and champagne. I thought I was going to be miserable looking at all the things I couldn’t have, but it didn’t phase me at all. The food looked delicious, but I was content with my Whole30 option.
I do have days when I feel sluggish, tired, or lazy. Saturday I wanted to do nothing, so I read a book. Despite feeling sluggish, I do notice a bit more focus and willingness to do tasks on my to do list. Yesterday, I noticed a shift in my energy levels to the more consistent all day energy I have read about.
MOST ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT DO YOU MISS THE MOST? Wine! It’s the main thing that I am looking forward to having again. The relaxing glass on Friday after a long work week or the glass of champagne at a social event. Although, I don’t feel like I am missing out on anything by not having wine. I noticed I am sleeping better and a little more productive some evenings.
STRANGEST SIDE EFFECT? I drink so much water! The first two days, I was so thirsty. I could not drink enough water and my mouth always felt dry. I read this is common and possibly related to the cutting out of sugar and salt from processed foods. After that passed, I realized I was still drinking way more water than before and even craving a cold glass of water.
TOP TIPS FOR SURVIVING THE FIRST TWO WEEKS
MEAL PLAN AND PREP: I plan every meal I am going to eat that week, make a grocery list, make a meal prep timeline, and prepare as much as I can ahead of time. This has helped keep me on track and not stressing about what I’m going to eat everyday. It’s hard enough resisting cravings, not stressing about creating a Whole30 approved meal everyday is nice.
TELL EVERYONE: I told family, friends, and coworkers that I was doing Whole30. They offer support, keep you from cheating, and test your Whole30 knowledge. I think telling people really helps build that supports system to keep you going strong on the days when you want to quit.
READ IT STARTS WITH FOOD: I have now read both It Starts with Food and The Whole 30 books. Both by the same authors about the same thing. The difference, It Starts with Food really talks more about the why. It has helped me better understand how this program will affect my health, and it has better prepared me to answer all the questions from my support system. The Whole 30 book is still a great supplement, but I like it as more of a troubleshooting guide while doing the program.
Oh my gosh, such a long post!! But thanks for sticking through it! Two more weeks to go, and then I will be sharing my overall review of my Whole30 experience. If you want to hear more about why I chose to do Whole30, you can read my original post HERE. I based much of this post on things I was asked about most or what I found to be interesting and/or helpful. If you curious about something I didn’t answer, feel free to shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or leave me a comment.
Back to fashion on Wednesday you guys, see you then!