Week 3 is in the books! Days 16-27 are lovingly referred to as Tiger Blood! on the Whole 30 Timeline. During this phase, many people begin to feel incredibly AWESOME, especially if they came to the Whole 30 having eaten relatively “clean.” For others, especially those with health issues, this can take longer and other factors may need to be addressed, too, such as sleep, stress, caffeine consumption, etc. A Whole 30 is basically a giant experiment of one and you learn so much about what makes you tick food-wise! Many people get rid of annoying headaches, skin issues can disappear, sleep is better, energy comes back, moods can stabilize, and many other fabulous healthy feeling things. As for me, after a summer of “letting loose” and a lot of road trips with not always stellar food choices, I am feeling AMAZING. My energy is through the roof, I’m sleeping great, and my mood is wonderful!
I will note that my husband, Craig, and I are doing this Whole 30 together, but I am only photographing my meals. He will often bake a sweet potato in addition to what I make for dinner the nights before he goes to Crossfit and I haven’t included any discussion of post-workout meals for him. I sporadically worked out over the summer, so I haven’t ramped up my workouts again during this Whole 30, because I want to see what just changing my food will do in 30 days. In a nutshell, he is eating a lot more than this, but neither of us count a single calorie. Neither of us are doing this to lose weight, even though we might. In fact, a Whole 30 is NOT a weight loss program, it is a HEALTH program, and there is so much more to your health than the number on the scale. We both wanted to start the school year off feeling energetic and focused to help us tackle parenting three small kids!
So, here is last week in pictures…
Day 15: Breakfast-scrambled eggs cooked in ghee and banana. Lunch-leftover Cheater Pork Stew I pulled out of the freezer and salad. Dinner-I was out to eat with friends and I was so busy gabbing, I forgot to grab a photo. But, I had a huge salad with grilled salmon with olive oil and balsamic vinegar I brought from home.
Day 16: Breakfast-scrambled eggs cooked in ghee and a banana. Lunch-OOPS, no photo. This taking pictures thing of every meal is hard to remember! But I had Paleo “roll-ups” Nitrate free ham rolled in lettuce with lots of veggies. Dinner-grilled burgers and Applegate hot dogs, sauerkraut, roasted Brussels sprouts and baked sweet potato.
Day 17: Breakfast-hard boiled eggs with hot sauce (eggs are easy for a busy morning….but getting kinda monotonous!) and a banana. Lunch-Again with forgetting the lunch photo! So, look at last night’s dinner and you got it! Dinner-Paleo tacos. Ground beef, tomatoes, red onion, and guacamole in lettuce leaves.
Day 18: Breakfast-A BUSY morning equals a Larabar and an apple. Lunch-We were out running errands, so Chipotle it was! This is salad with chicken, tomato salsa, fajita veggies and guacamole (no dressing). Dinner-Out again, this time for a bit of a celebration! This is a grilled chicken salad with apples and dried cranberries. I asked for no cheese, but got it anyway, so I picked it off little by little. I had oil and vinegar dressing on the side.
Day 19: Breakfast-You know the drill….eggs and banana. Super easy, but it’s getting a little old. Lunch-Leftover Paleo tacos. Dinner-Frittata with pastured pork sausage, red onion, butternut squash and green bell pepper and salad.
Day 20: Breakfast-Larabar and an apple. Lunch-Leftover frittata, roasted Brussels sprouts and salad. Dinner-Grassfed chuck roast cooked with onions, carrots and mushrooms, and mashed sweet potatoes.
Day 21 AKA “I Am So Over This”: According to the timeline, sometime in the third week is when boredom sets in. You are feeling fabulous, your skin is clear, and your body composition is changing, but you get stuck in a rut. Breakfast has been my rut on this Whole 30. I think I need to get creative next week because I’m getting bored. To round out this week….Breakfast-hard boiled eggs with hot sauce and a banana. Lunch-Leftover roast and veggies and salad. Dinner-Beef kabobs with veggies, marinated in a citrus marinade and grilled asparagus.
Only 9 days to go! From experience, having done 2 Whole 30s previously, this is actually the toughest part for me. I start thinking “I feel great! Would a little nibble of cheese really hurt?” But I will not do it! I promised myself 30 days of “reset” and that’s exactly what I’m going to do. Cheese will be there later, and I made a promise to myself I’m going to keep! It’s 30 days. I have read some pretty harsh critiques of the Paleo diet and the Whole 30 specifically over the last year as we’ve been eating this way. It’s too restrictive people say. I followed a very popular “real food” blogger for over a year before we went Paleo and felt the same way as she does. “I don’t have a problem with wheat. It doesn’t bother me.” Except, I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I didn’t know I could feel THIS good. This alert. This energetic. This happy. And that is the point of doing an elimination diet. When this is all over, I will add back in some of the foods I’m not eating right now and see how they make me feel. I can tell you from experience, high quality yogurt and I will get along just fine, but wine will probably give me the most insane headache ever. Sad but true. But at least I will KNOW what’s giving me the headache and can make the decision if it’s really worth it or not. And sometimes, it is really worth it!