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April 2017

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Whole 30 – I did it!

I have finished my Whole 30 experience! I am feeling energized and happy with my health, but also ready for some chocolate in my life. Then pizza.

When I originally started researching Whole 30 I didn’t realize that Whole 30 is usually longer than 30 days if you’re doing proper reintroductions. The idea is you continue to eat clean past the 30 day mark and slowly reintroduce categories of food (legumes, grains, dairy, etc.) one at a time to see how your body responds. Sort of like a controlled science experiment, where you keep everything the same and change one variable to see what happens. So if day 31 you go off the wagon and eat pizza, ice cream, and whatever else your heart desires you will not be able to tell what upset your stomach because you’ve combined all ingredients you haven’t had for a month. So that “I’m done with Whole 30” feeling is really going to occur on day 40 or 45.

Well, I had my own idea and my own take on Whole 30 so that I could enjoy the “Woohoo I’m done!” while still reintroducing. When I started my Whole 30, the end date was backed up against a weekend of work entertaining and a few foodie events in town. Which has now turned into the fact that I have some sort of food-related event for 7 days straight after I am done with Whole 30. I didn’t want to binge at those and make myself sick but I also wanted to have time to try reintroductions. What I decided to do is not in the official Whole 30 plan but I’m happy with how I am doing it and it works for me. I didn’t decide to do Whole 30 because I had health issues and needed a month of clean eating to really start over. So this works for me but may not work for others.

Some may call that cheating, some may think it is brilliant. All I care is that it was perfect for me. So here is what I did:

Days 1-15 – Whole 30 all day everyday

Days 16 and 17 – Whole 30 meals with small introductions of non-gluten grain

  • I had some Cheerios as a snack, tortilla chips with my lunch, and some rice
  • I didn’t notice much of a difference with my digestion but I didn’t sleep as well both of these nights
  • Honestly, I felt like I was force feeding myself some of the food. I didn’t really want to finish the Cheerios but I wanted enough grains in my body so I could notice a difference
    • One exception – rice. I would gladly have that for every meal.

Days 18-20 – Whole 30 all day everyday, giving my body time to get back to reset before trying something new

Days 21 and 22 – Whole 30 meals with small introductions of dairy

  • I had yogurt for breakfast, cheese in my salad, and added milk into a couple meals
  • Again, I didn’t notice any awful feelings of pain, but I definitely felt “bleh” after my meal
  • This is usually the food that upsets people the most when they bring it back into their lives
  • The higher fat dairy made my stomach a little upset, so I think I will limit indulgent creamy foods for special occasions

Days 23-25 – Whole 30 all day everyday, giving my body time to get back to reset before trying something new

Days 26 and 27 – Whole 30 meals with small introductions of gluten grains

  • I had half of a bagel with breakfast each morning, I had pasta for lunch, then for dinner I added some carbs here and there
  • I didn’t notice any changes in energy or digestion, I was very surprised
  • Ultimately, I’m just glad there was no adverse reaction to gluten (yay bread!)

Days 28-30 – The homestretch!

The verdict: I am so glad I was able to do reintroductions. Even though I did not have any intense reactions, it was interesting that I didn’t feel the elation I was expecting when I got to have those foods again. Sometimes I even felt like I was forcing myself to introduce the food. That makes me feel good that I didn’t feel the need to binge and obsess over any long lost flavors. Don’t get me wrong, I will be glad to have the option of these foods back in my diet, but I will happily have mostly Whole 30 meals each day.

Ultimately, this experience opened up my eyes to my relationship with food and how sugar is in just about everything as well as other unnecessary chemicals/preservatives. I think post-Whole 30 I will continue to make my own dressings and sauces when I can. I want to continue to eat clean where I can and make conscious decisions of what I am putting in my body.

After this next week of foodie events, I’ll share an update of how I’m doing. Now there is a chocolate cupcake calling my name and I plan to answer it with pure joy!

In the midst of chocolate and lots of it,
Samantha

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My Take on Whole 30: Day 10

I am a person that likes to achieve things. I like my to-do lists. I like DIY projects. I like reaching a goal.

But more than all of that, I LOVE chocolate.

So why would I even consider doing something where not only can I not have chocolate, but I can’t have dairy, sugar, grains, beans, and just about anything that brings joy to my tastebuds? (too dramatic?) Honestly, I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. I usually shy away from health regimens because I don’t think I can actually have that much self-discipline in the kitchen. But deep down I know I can!

After a long weekend visiting home (Vegas) and eating every comfort food possible, I knew when I got home (Indy) I had to dive into my first try at Whole 30. I was craving vegetables after a weekend of chocolate, Mexican food, and eating almost every meal out. I don’t regret any of those meals at home, they are the foods I looked forward to from not having been back in almost two years. But after five days of it, I was ready to eat a little cleaner.

I had been looking into doing Whole 30 for a couple of months now and wanted to wait until the fruit and vegetable selection in stores was a little more fruitful (ha.. I crack myself up). But after the weekend in Vegas, I was craving healthy food and feeling a bit of a detox. Cue a grocery store trip full of veggies and I was ready to go!

*For those of you that may not be familiar with Whole 30 or want to learn more check it out here.

I’m currently 10 days in and here are my thoughts:

  • I am amazed that sugar is hidden in the craziest of places. It hides in mayo, garlic salt, and pretty much anything you find on a shelf.
  • I used to snack for the sake of snacking, not because I was actually hungry.
  • I love coffee, but without cream and sugar I have to make sure I drink high quality stuff or it just tastes awful.
  • It has not been as expensive as I had thought, but I know that is because I’m a bargain shopper. It also helped that I bought the big ticket items (clarified butter, coconut flour, coconut milk) last month so that I was already ready to go.
  • I am still attempting social outings that involve food, but it is no easy task! I hate being that person with the dietary needs when it isn’t actually an allergy. So I’ve stuck to just eating before or after and enjoying the company instead of the food.
  • I don’t think I gave myself credit for how healthy I ate at home before this. I haven’t had to alter my meals at home too much, which is nice.

I’m a third of the way through and I am feeling good! I’m very curious to see how my body reacts when I reintroduce dairy, gluten, and sugar. That’s a huge part of what I did this for was to see if I’ve been having a reaction to any of these foods but not noticing it because it is in my everyday food. Now that I’ll have the chance to reset, we will see how my body feels when I put those foods in my body. (Dear body, please still love chocolate).

Some of the highlights of Whole 30 have been

  • learning to make homemade mayonnaise – recipe here
  • homemade ketchup – tastier than Heinz! recipe here
  • discovering my awesome microwave egg poacher
  • discovering the trick to crispy potatoes (hint: soak them!)

I have been so hungry when I get home after work I have not done the best job of taking photos of my food, whoops. But here are a couple meals I’ve loved so far:

Sweet potatoes, ground turkey, caramelized onions, avocado, balsamic reduction, and homemade ketchup

In order to make the ground turkey, I caramelized some onions in the pan first and then once they were cooked, I added the ground turkey. I’ve found that keeps it more moist! Add spices of your choosing. For the sweet potatoes, I chopped them up and soaked them for about 20 minutes before roasting them at 375 for about 30 minutes. Soaking them helps them get crispy! Then for my “toppings” I sliced up an avocado, reduced some balsamic vinegar into a syrup and put a dollop of homemade ketchup on the plate. Easy!

 

Salad with homemade ranch, roasted bell peppers, avocado and steak

For my salad I took some spinach and threw some homemade ranch on it. The ranch is just the mayo recipe above with some apple cider vinegar and some spices (I think I used parsley in this one). For the roasted peppers I took bell peppers, cut them into chunks and broiled them until they were charred. Then peel off the blackened skin and you’ve got lovely roasted peppers! The steak I cooked on the stove in a really hot pan for five minutes on each side with just salt and pepper. I used a London Broil because it was on sale, but any steak is delicious.

 

If you have any ideas or thoughts about Whole 30, let me know! I still have 20 more days and would love to hear your thoughts.

 

In the Midst of eating healthy,
Samantha

 

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