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Halfway to Whole30

December 11, 2016

I’m getting to this post a little later than I had hoped and part of that is because a lot of my free time these days seems to be spent prepping the next meal. Yes, Whole30 takes a lot of effort, but anything worth doing usually does . We are now on day 18 of the Whole30. Apparently we are in what is called the “Tiger Blood” phase where your cravings start to subside and you feel on top of the world. I have to say I am feeling pretty good! I am for the most part experiencing everything I had hoped for. My thoughts seem clearer, I am functioning at a higher level, I generally have no afternoon slump (unless I just haven’t gotten around to eating soon enough), and my mood seems more stable. ‘

My biggest challenge has been eating out. I have gone out 3 times since day 1 and 2/3 of those times I have “slipped.” For me it wasn’t a big enough ‘slip’ or concern to start all over as the program guide suggests, I am pretty hard core but there are some places I draw the line. For the most part I still stayed in the lines, the first time I went out (dinner with a friend) I really messed up and ordered edamame forgetting that they are soy beans (duh!). My stomach did actually feel a little funny after that dinner. The second time I went out (lunch at Christmasville with the girls and a friend) I was lucky enough to find a place still serving brunch and had a delicious sweet potato hash with eggs on top, perfect! The third time which was actually just a couple of  nights ago (we took Audrey to see the Transiberian Orchestra), I ordered a chicken salad. They didn’t have basalmic dressing or any dressing with out sugar and so the chef made a basalmic vinaigrette especially for me. Our server told me that because of my request they would now be putting that on the menu! Wow, I helped a restaurant place a healthy option on their menu – I felt pretty cool ha! Anyway, my chicken salad was like tuna salad, you know the kind of mushy chicken they put in a ball on top of your lettuce. I assumed it would be chopped bbq chicken as we were at a bbq restaurant, but I am always confused by chicken salad on the menu (not my first time for this mistake.) Am I alone on this one? Well, you know what they usually put in chicken salad right? Mayo and depending on the ingredients it is usually not Whole30 approved. I ate it anyway, I do not like to be the picky person at a restaurant and send things back (it is hard not to be that person on Whole30), so that was that.

Other challenges have been not snacking, time for meal prep, and not eating Audrey’s leftover pretzel at the concert the other night. My cravings for the most part are non existent except for when something is right in front of me. Also I am underweight already so I haven’t really been following the no snacking rule, I eat almonds with organic apple chips and sometimes I’ll have a boiled egg or almond butter with apple slices midday. Snacks especially occur when I’m at work and I know I will be getting a late dinner,  but it’s been great to have healthy snacks prepared for the times I know I will be getting a late meal instead of eating something I know will make me crash. Ok, I feel like this is becoming confession time or something, let’s get on to what my meals have looked like at home and how we as a family have been approaching this.

First of all the kids are not doing Whole30 with us, they still have milk and some bread for lunch and treats now and then. Maybe next time. We do not however cook separate meals for them, so at dinner time they usually eat Whole30 approved meals with us. I have the Whole30 book which I think has helped me tremendously in food prepping and planning. I love to have something tactile in front of me I can flip through with beautiful pictures of food, plus they have so many tips and tricks to make things easier! I am using some helpful meal templates which have been very helpful to keep me on track (If I ever take the time to learn how to link things in my blog I will update this post with that link, for now if you need a meal template google is your friend) . I almost always double my recipes like this chili I made – img_0073This way I will have leftovers for the next day for either breakfast or lunch. It is helpful to prep at least one thing ahead for the week incase there are days the leftovers are not enough. This week I made a bunch of boiled eggs and roasted a chicken to make chicken salad with.

Here are some meals from last week that we enjoyed –

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Chili in an acorn squash bowl, this is one of my favorites and great for company!

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To be quite honest, this steak was a bit over done, but the rest was good and at least it looks delicious!

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A typical Whole30 breakfast, I haven’t gone without my eggs since day 1.

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Thai coconut soup, this was yummy!

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The girls enjoying a Whole30 breakfast made by grandma who decided to play along for a half day to help us stay on track.

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Don’t forget all of the water we drink!

 

The biggest thing I have learned so far is that there is really sugar in everything! I did read labels before but I wasn’t consistent. When I thought there might be a lot of sugar in something I would turn the box over and decide whether it was too much for my liking or not. Now, I have to check everything, even breakfast sausage, to make sure there is no sugar in it. I found a good looking package of chicken sausage that I thought for sure would be approved by Whole30 and I didn’t think anything of it until after I ate  it and checked the packaging (don’t ask me why I thought of it afterwards maybe it was a subconscious thing) 5 grams of sugar – oops! I just chalked it up to a learning experience and knew better for the next time. We also really miss bacon – yes that’s cured in sugar too unless you special order it and I just haven’t taken the time or money to do that.

I have also learned that cravings really can be controlled and I don’t miss as much as I thought I would. There are the special times I would like to have a treat, but this has definitely been worth it. I have learned to recognize the times when I was mindlessly eating treats that really were not associated with a special moment or time with family that could have definitely been skipped over.

My goal is to update you at the end of this journey which will be December 23rd. Good timing right ? Part of the program is to do a “reintroduction” phase to see how your body reacts to individual food groups, such as dairy, after you are done. I’m not sure how this will look for us since there will be some celebratory moments shortly after we are done but I definitely plan to update you with some after effects. Stay tuned!

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