Week one down, three more to go!

I started on this Whole30 journey last Wednesday to change my relationship with food. There are days when I just feel stressed out and I drive straight through the McDonald's drive-thru line or order delivery Thai food because my stress makes me think I need that food.

I'd be a liar if I didn't say I wanted to lose a few pounds as well, but I'm doing this more for the life lesson it's (hopefully) teaching me.

What is Whole30, you ask?

The Whole30 Program is meant to put you on a straight path of eating food that's good for you -- cutting out the bad sugars, carbs, and other items that may be causing some health issues you didn't even realize. I wanted to challenge myself to eat like this for 30 days and see what happens.

Here's a description posted on the Whole30 website:

Certain food groups (like sugar, grains, dairy and legumes) could be having a negative impact on your health and fitness without you even realizing it. Are your energy levels inconsistent or non-existent? Do you have aches and pains that can’t be explained by over-use or injury? Are you having a hard time losing weight no matter how hard you try? Do you have some sort of condition (like skin issues, digestive ailments, seasonal allergies or fertility issues) that medication hasn’t helped? These symptoms may be directly related to the foods you eat – even the “healthy” stuff. So how do you know if (and how) these foods are affecting you?

Strip them from your diet completely. Cut out all the psychologically unhealthy, hormone-unbalancing, gut-disrupting, inflammatory food groups for a full 30 days. Let your body heal and recover from whatever effects those foods may be causing. Push the “reset” button with your metabolism, systemic inflammation, and the downstream effects of the food choices you’ve been making. Learn once and for all how the foods you’ve been eating are actually affecting your day to day life, and your long term health. The most important reason to keep reading?

This will change your life.

I was sold after reading this. I didn't even have to read the book, It Starts With Food, which explains the method to the madness. It's on my to-do list, but the website works for now.

Proteins and veggies every day? Easy. No alcohol and no sugar? Actually easy (for me). My main concern was having to cook all the time, y'all know how lazy I am, but I'm hopeful this program will be what I need to get off my couch and do something to change my life.

I'll be 30 in July and I'm ready to stop having an emotional attachment to food.

Say it with me: I'm (name), I'm (age), and I'm ready to fix my unhealthy relationship with food.

Thank you for the moral support!

I'll be updating my progress along the way, so check back every now and then to see if I've passed out at work yet.

Preparation: Week 1

I read over the entire Whole30 website, which is super user-friendly and informative, before heading to the grocery store(s). Here's what I bought:

Shopping, week one
Veggie noodles from Whole Foods

Here's how much I spent (mind you, I probably spent more money my first week because I had to buy a lot of basics, like coconut oil, almond milk, and ghee):

  • Whole Foods: $52
  • Kroger: $42
  • Trader Joe's: $42
  • Sprout's: $30
  • Second run to Whole Foods: $30
  • Second run to Trader Joe's: $30

I spent two days prepping my meals and getting everything in order. Then I mentally prepared myself to "DO THIS THING!"This was achieved by eating ice cream for dinner during my last night of freedom.WEEK 1On the first day, I weighed myself just so I can keep a record at the end of the program. 144.2 pounds, my heaviest. Ugh.I walked into work with my snacks, breakfast, and lunch packed and ready to go. Breakfast tacos were offered. Pizza was offered. But I resisted!The hardest part was trying to drink my coffee with coconut oil and almond milk (which is basically almond water without all the preservatives I'm used to). I never once felt hunger pains, though, so that's basically a win for me.BEST BREAKFAST EVER (I MAY BE DRAMATIC)The rest of the week was pretty easy. I failed at making a few breakfast casseroles (hey I'm new to cooking!), but found one recipe I'm obsessed with: Mashed banana cooked with two eggs, topped with coconut flakes, almond butter, and cinnamon. It's better than oatmeal! I'm now excited for breakfast every morning because of this dish.

One mashed banana cooked with eggs, topped with almond butter, coconut flakes, cinnamon, and apples!

Note: I'm supposed to add in vegetables with every meal (which is hard and weird), so I may find some to add in. For now I'm adding extra veggies to other meals.LUNCH IS BORING, BUT MY COFFEE PROBLEM IS SOLVEDLunch has been ground turkey and vegetables, or chicken and vegetables. I'm finding more and more recipes online (there are so many blogs dedicated to Whole30), but this first week I kept it simple with what I had already been eating before this challenge began. I'm looking forward to stepping it up a notch.

Chicken and asparagus
Meals for the week 

As for my coffee, I found a wonderful solution: Nutpods. The Whole30 kids rave about them. They're basically compliant non-dairy creamers. I bought a set of them with different flavors here on Amazon. It adds a tiny bit of flavor and cuts out the bitterness, so my coffee has been drinkable each morning!CARB FLU IS REALThe first six days I had the "carb flu." I've described it to many people the best I can, but I know I sound crazy. Throughout the day at different times, I was overcome with a feeling of nausea. I told my boyfriend it felt like I was a host with a parasite, but the parasite is me (he looked at me like I was nuts). One Whole30 patriot on the internet said it felt as if her "insides were folding in on themselves." Exactly! Thank you, Reddit user! I looked it up (Google has become my best friend) and some call it "carb flu." Basically my body is throwing a temper tantrum because it's not getting the crappy carbs and sugar I used to eat. Instead it's having to deal with me eating clean food and healthy fats (avocados, coconut oil, etc.)Eating apples with almond butter seemed to help my symptoms, which were thankfully gone by day 7.RESTAURANTS ARE HARD, BUT ALSO KIND OF EASYDuring the week it was easy to avoid restaurants, as I had no social plans and stayed in. When my boyfriend and I hang out on weekends, we love to treat ourselves by going out to eat. He's not partaking in this challenge, so I was prepared to cook all weekend.But then Google saved me!I searched for a Whole30 eating out guide and found plenty of articles telling me where I can go and what I can eat. The two restaurants we hit up were Chipotle -- their carnitas are compliant, and I can eat a salad with that, guacamole and salsa -- and Five Guys Burgers & Fries -- their meat is grass-fed without additives, and they offer a lettuce wrap or bowl!I was satisfied with those choices, and now I know what to order when I want to eat out but stay "clean" after my 30 days are up.

Whole30 option at Five Guys Burgers & Fries

HOW I FEEL ONE WEEK INSo far so good. I'm less bloated and I have tons of energy. I used to take naps daily after work, but I haven't taken one since I started Whole30! My one craving is pasta, but I plan to eat some squash noodles with turkey meat and compliant sauce for dinner.I weighed myself Friday (day 3) and had already lost four pounds! I'm hoping to keep that up, but I'm excited to already feel some healthy change after one week.I'm also excited to cook now.... and I hate cooking, so that really says something!Stay tuned as I continue to go on this journey, and check out some of my favorite snacks and meals I've made this week:

Mango with prosciutto is the best snack!
Twice baked potato with almond milk, homemade ranch seasoning and ghee.
  • Find the recipe here.
Blueberries with almonds -- the best combination of textures!