Whole30 – Week 1: My Thoughts

Just some quick notes on how the week went and some other random information… I wanted to make notes for myself for if we do this again later, so I can see how things compare a second time around. 🙂

How I felt during the week:
  • Most of this week I was pretty tired, kind of sleepy, day 6 and 7 were the worst.. part of that was probably because I wasn’t drinking as much coffee in the morning and afternoon without the creamer and I wasn’t getting those random sugar highs from snack and processed foods I was grabbing here and there. Also, I have been up a lot with my littlest man at night (yay for babies sensitive to being over tired and teething! eek!) so that could have been part of it too.
  • I’ve had congestion since Christmas and it literally cleared up within just a day or two of eating this way.
  • Even though I have been tired, I don’t feel run down and sluggish. Already I just feel better, not bloated and yucky, no stomach issues this week. 🙂
  • I was a little cranky at the end of the week, but that’s because my oldest little man decided to head bonk me in the face while we were “snuggling” on the couch watching morning cartoons… so yeah, that put a damper on my disposition a little bit because my face is hurting haha! Thanks son! Hazards of being a boy mom I tell you!
This is the closest selfie I’ve ever taken in my life. You’re welcome.

Thoughts on Food:

  • I have really enjoyed the simplicity of the meals… fewer ingredients and really I didn’t notice a huge shift in time in the kitchen because I was already cooking for lunch and dinner on a normal basis, maybe just not as often. I was doing more dishes though, just because I was eating all of my meals at home!
  • I loved not eating out. It was nice to not spend money in this area, and I didn’t have to deal with the huge carb highs afterwards and feeling bleh. 🙂
  • I realized how much I just “grab” things during the day. I was mentally having to stop myself from just snagging a goldfish from my son’s snacks or a piece of chocolate during nap time. I feel like this week has been a lot of just stopping and thinking before I eat, which is a good thing!
  • I still miss my creamer and muffins. I’m so in love with muffins, it is definitely a problem. But I’ve been proud of my self control this week. I feel like with each passing day I can do this and make good changes, so hopefully the cravings will get under control. The average craving lasts 3-5 minutes, so if I want a muffin, I just get myself distracted for a few minutes and then I don’t want one anymore! Hopefully I can keep the momentum going!
Might have felt like this at one point this week though haha…

Random Facts I learned: (Disclaimer: I’m kind of obsessed with information haha… I love to read and learn things!! Keeps that brain working!! It’s probably obvious then why I loved teaching science because it’s all about learning facts and applying them!! My mother-in-law says I read too much haha and in some cases that’s true and you have to just stop because it makes you paranoid!! In this case though, the more I know, the more motivated I am to make good food choices, so I’m hoping that encourages you as well. Just thought I would share some of the things I picked up from the Whole30 sites and books.)

  • So much of our immunity is in our gut. Our intestines are the front lines for filtering through the good and bad for our body. They are permeable, which is how nutrients are absorbed from our gut into our blood stream for our body to use. So by eating too much/more processed unnatural foods, more of the bad gets into your body because our immune system physically cannot keep up. This is when your body starts going into overdrive, attacking itself, and developing auto-immune diseases such as fibromyalgia. One thing I realized was that by cleaning up my diet, I was helping my body out because my immune system didn’t have as much junk to try and process through so it could focus on working in my body the way it was designed to. When we eat better foods, we’re helping our gut heal so that less from the outside of our body gets inside of our body.
  • It is really important to consume quality oils like olive oil and coconut oil. As I am still reading “It Starts With Food” (and rather slowly I might add haha), I got to the chapter about oils and how much of the American diet consists of different seed oils  (10%!!) and other oils that degrade quickly. Some become rancid before we even consume them just from reacting with the light in the grocery store! What?! Much of the issues we have regarding cancers, high blood pressure ect. comes from the inflammation caused our body from these oils. Listed below are the oils they said to avoid…

  • I’ve been very surprised at what some of the marketing captions on food really stand for… It can be very misleading because “whole wheat” doesn’t mean whole wheat, but that a certain portion of the bread is whole wheat. Also read a lot about how different food companies pay for certain kinds of testing just so they can prove that their product “is or possibly is” healthy. Yeah, probably will make you paranoid wondering, but point being… less ingredients in your food is best, and being able to pronounce the ingredients (as in you know what it is and it’s not some mumbo jumbo scientific word) is really important.
So those were the highlights from the week. Good luck to you if you are trying this out too!

I could actually say that I haven’t felt like this yet!
Advertisements

Whole30 – Week 1: Meal Plans

Alright everybody! Here is my breakdown of WEEK 1!!! Eeek!! Ok so maybe some people will roll their eyes at this but I am so proud of Jacob and I that we have finished one full week of eating WHOLE FOODS! Y’all, that means I can pronounce everything I ate this week haha! But really, it’s amazing how much you just grab and go, or how often I would steal stuff from my toddler here and there… this lifestyle change has definitely made me see food differently and I love how it’s making me feel. I’m still in that kind of tired stage while my body is adjusting to processing food differently but overall I just feel so much better.
I posted what we ate this week and updated with some pictures. I’m definitely not a professional food blogger so sorry if they’re kind of lame haha…
What I want you to see though with this post is that this is something anyone can do. If you’ve been thinking, “Hey, I’ve heard of this, it might be worth a try but whoa I cannot give up my (fill in the blank) for a whole month! That’s Cray Cray!!” But really, it might be hard at times, but if you want to do it you can. It’s the way with anything in life, might be hard at times but overall we do what we want to do. 🙂 The meal preps definitely take time, but what I noticed is that the meals I’m preparing were simpler than they used to be, so my time in the kitchen was kind of just rearranged a little. I may be cooking more at dinner but then less at lunch because I just reheat leftovers.
Another thing I’ve noticed is that my grocery bills have stayed about the same. I was under the impression that you spend SO much more money eating this way but that’s not the case. I’m not buying cases and cases of granola bars and cereal anymore, so that money can go to meat and produce. Besides that, we’re not eating out as much as we did before so that saves money there too.
If you think it’s a lot of foods to cut at once, start out with one thing like dairy or cokes, then another  thing here and there, add a whole foods meal here and there until you get used to that kind of way of thinking and then fully commit to the month. I feel like that’s what we did and it made an easier transition.

My breakfast, lunch and snack options will probably be basically the same for my meal plan posts. I may add something if I find another good idea, but these are pretty basic. There are a lot of good breakfast casseroles out there so if I find a good one, I will post that as well. I love the idea of making a casserole on Saturday evening and having it in the fridge for a few days for us to just grab breakfast and heat it up.

My dinner plans are listed at the bottom. I will briefly explain or list recipes I chose, and link them or reference the book if you are interested in that. Again, hopefully my pictures don’t gross you out haha… food is like that in pictures… either looks really good or just kind of weird. P.S. most of the things I made have pins, so you can see them on my Whole30 board here.

Breakfast Options:

  • scrambled/fried eggs – use Coconut Oil
  • bacon – make sure it is sugar free (check ingredients)
  • veggies/fruit
  • potatoes (any kind) – cut up ahead of time, boil 10-15 minutes and store in the fridge; when you are ready to cook breakfast just grab a handful and toss them in the pan on the other side with the eggs, add some rosemary to them with ghee. I also diced mine and made a hash with them.
  • smoothie – coconut water, banana, frozen fruit, spinach, avocado, water (technically Whole30 compliant, but they say to use sparingly – lots of sugar for breakfast in the morning sets your blood sugar for crashes throughout the day. I would probably use this as a snack later with just a little frozen fruit)
  • coffee – ok, but they recommend to only drink it before noon – you can use coconut milk  (this is a good brand… just check ingredients and make sure it doesn’t have any random ingredients… sometimes guar gum can upset your stomach. It is whole30 approved but some people have a sensitivity to it) instead of creamer with a little bit of cinnamon (seriously… this is what I was mourning the most, and it really wasn’t that bad this morning!)
Lunch Options:
  • leftovers from dinners
  • crockpot shredded chicken
    • plantain nachos – seasoned with cumin, garlic, chili powder, salt and pepper (check ingredients for preservatives/fillers), top with salsa, avocado
    • chicken salad – something crunchy (celery, onions, apples, nuts), something sweet (raisins, dried cranberries, dried cherries, grapes), something acidic (dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, lemon or lime juice), seasonings, mayonnaise
  • canned tuna fish
  • salad –  use leftover meats from dinner, lunchmeat or grilled chicken
  • lettuce sandwich wraps – lunchmeat (applegate is a good brand), avocado, tomato wrapped in lettuce
  • random plate of stuff – sometimes I like to just grab random stuff for lunch… orange slices, lunch meat, avocado, plantain chips and salsa, handful of nuts, grapes… get creative!
These RXBARs were pretty tasty! A little pricey, but
sometimes you need something to throw in your purse
for emergencies!

Snack Options:

  • veggies with guacamole
  • mixed nuts (no peanuts)
  • fresh fruits/veggies
  • chia seed pudding with coconut milk
  • larabars
  • fruit with almond butter (check ingredients)
  • epic bars
  • seasnax
  • sardines
  • unsweetened coconut chips with cacao nibs
  • dinner leftovers
  • smoothie (see above)
  • applesauce (sugar free, organic)
  • boiled egg


Dinner Plans:
  • Sunday Lunch – Sorry, no pictures to post here haha! When we got home and got that baby down for a nap we chowed down! For dinner tonight we will probably bring snack stuff to eat in the car on the way to church and then just have some eggs once we got home after church.
    •  Miranda’s Slow Cooker Roast – lay 3-4 strips of sugar free bacon on the bottom of your slow cooker and place rump roast on top, maybe put a slice of bacon on top too. Cook for 8-10 hours. I put this in Saturday night and let it cook all night on low for 10 hours but will probably do 8 next time. When we were ready to eat, I just pulled out the roast, shredded it and poured some of the juice on top, it was so moist and yummy!
    • Mashed Sweet Potatoes – you can bake these in the oven or heat in microwave, then mash with some ghee or coconut oil, top with sea salt
    • Salad – You can add any other veggies you want, artichoke hearts, olives, tomatoes… use olive oil with a little lemon juice, or basalmic vinegar as dressing, maybe salt and pepper if you want.
  • Monday
    • Jessica’s Spaghetti Sauce – Brown 1 lb. ground beef, add onion and drain fat, add two cans of tomato sauce and then fresh garlic and Italian spices. You can also add diced carrots and diced squash. Cook for two hours in skillet, serve over spaghetti squash.
    • Spaghetti Squash – Cut in half width wise for longer noodle strands, scoop out the seeds, brush oil over the squash and turn inside face down onto baking sheet. Bake on 375 for 45 minutes depending on the size of your squash. Once it is done and cooled a little, get a fork to shred the squash out. This is SO yummy, once you’ve had spaghetti squash, it will be so hard to go back to regular noodles!
    • Salad or Greenbeans
Little Jude Man even liked the spaghetti! I’ve noticed that a lot of these meals so far are baby/toddler friendly as well… although Jackson is far from doing Whole30 with me haha… I would love to say that he is but yeah there’s no pealing that kid away from his fruit snacks right now!
Love the Ninja Chopper for cutting up and dicing the onions, carrots and zucchini … made the meal prep super fast! I also posted some pictures of my squash below. I saw on an instagram feed I follow that cutting the squash width wise yields longer strands, so it’s up to you what you prefer! I just use a fork to pull out the strands once it is done. The longer you cook it, the less crunchy it will be. The spaghetti squash also reheated well too which I was kind of surprised about.
 
 
  • Tuesday
    • Plaintan Nachos – Brown ground beef, drain and add a little water and homemade taco seasoning and cook for a few minutes. I sliced plantains really thin, then fried in coconut oil. Greener plantains are better for this. You could also bake them. Place beef on top of plantain chips, top with tomatoes, avocado and salsa.
My new obsession. I peeled as I went to help grip the plantain while I was slicing it on the mandolin.
Probably my most favorite meal so far… I thought Whole30 was supposed to get rid of food addictions, not start new ones haha!
  • Wednesday
    • Leftovers – Jacob always meets the boys and I at church on Wednesday nights so I will just have leftovers or something quick before we go!
  • Thursday
    • Kale Balsamic Sausage – Slice sausage links and heat in skillet on stove until warm and a little brown around the edges.
      • I couldn’t find the chicken apple sausage at our HEB, but plan on looking again this week. However, these were a good replacement. Full of flavor and had a unique taste to them!
    • Baked Potato Bites – Chop potato into bites, in a bowl drizzle some olive oil, rosemary or parsley and some dijon mustard. Lay out on baking sheets and cook for 35-40ish min on 350
    • Steamed Broccoli and other veggies (squash, zucchini) or steamed carrots with coconut oil
                            
  • Friday
    • Bacon burgers with egg and avocado – Grill burgers, make egg “buns” using a round biscuit cutter to cook the eggs, layer burgers, tomato and avocado
      • I went to the grocery store Friday evening so definitely was pushing it with dinner. Didn’t have time to make the fancy egg buns so I just fried up some eggs and threw them on top. Also reheated potatoes from the night before. SO yummy!
    • Plantain Chips and Salsa – You can buy plantain chips but they are not hard to make. See pin/recipe here – slice plantain thinly, heat up coconut oil in pan and fry chips.
  • Saturday – We actually did leftovers tonight just trying to clean out the fridge before next week. I went ahead and left my plans below though for you if you needed something else, and for myself when we repeat haha!
    • Erica’s Baked Chicken – Season chicken thighs with sea salt and black pepper, garlic powder and a little paprika. Bake in the oven at 350 for 30 min.
    • Baked sweet potatoes – Slice sweet potato, cut up into smaller pieces if you want, brush with coconut oil and sea salt if you are in the mood for a salty taste or cinnamon if you are in the mood for sweeter taste! Bake at 350 for 30ish min.
    • Roasted veggies – Slice zucchini, squash and lay on baking sheet, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Bake at 350 for 15ish min. Adjust time depending on how crisp you want your veggies.

Preparation goes a long way! Jacob and I spent some time Saturday evening grilling chicken for him to take to work this week and slicing some veggies and potatoes! I tore up lettuce for salads and left some salad pieces whole to do sandwich wraps. Makes it much easier when you are grabbing stuff to cook in the evenings!

I loved this because we were all spending time together in the kitchen, playing and talking with the boys as we cooked and just talking with each other rather than sitting and watching TV or something! I was have been so proud of my hubby for jumping on this crazy idea boat with me and being so willing to help out! I  also put the slow cooker on Saturday night for Sunday lunch because Sundays are SO cray cray with the boys, and I will do the same thing again this Saturday.

Cut up sweet potatoes and white potatoes to heat up for breakfast with my eggs!

Busy doing stickers while we were cooking!
Our sidekicks 🙂

 

I know there’s probably not a ton of variety even thought I was trying to have variety, because I like different tastes and don’t want chicken five nights in a row… but I wanted this to be EASY. Easy so my life doesn’t get stressful doing this program and easy so other people can say, “hey, you know I think I could do this!” Cut things up earlier in the day, get spices mixed together before dinner… just little things here and there so you don’t spend a ton of time on it later.

What I’ve noticed just with our first meal is that it took LESS time than normal with LESS ingredients, it had more flavor and most importantly it was all real food with names I could pronounce! Love that! Can’t wait to see how the rest of the week goes!