OK, so seven days ago I got crazy and decided to do something called Whole30. Basically, it’s a clean-eating program designed to get your body back to square one and without sugar (but also dairy, grains, alcohol and legumes are out for 30 days, too). I kind of came to the decision after 1) being weighed at my doctor’s office and realizing I was a little, um, heavier than I had thought and 2) hearing raves from several friends who were in various stages of it. Hearing things like “my husband stopped snoring halfway through” and “I’ve never had this much energy or felt this GOOD” were motivating things to hear. Also, I had been feeling sluggish for weeks, and it was honestly starting to wear on me. I was ready for a hard reset.
After one eye-opening trip to Trader Joe’s (guys, SUGAR IS EVERYTHING! Seriously, look at your labels sometime and you’ll be amazed), I was ready. Without further ado, here’s a very real and honest breakdown of what each day of the past week has been like for me (links included for the food products I mention, btw):
Day 1 – Woo! This is awesome. Eating all dem healthy veggies and proteins. I had three hard boiled eggs in rapid succession (two for breakfast, one chopped up with my lunch salad), which might’ve been overdoing it. I went to a baby shower right after lunch and politely turned away an ENTIRE PLATE OF DESSERT (which looked amazing). I felt invincible after that, and the ladies at my table said they were so proud and I didn’t even know them before the shower. Fortunately, the shower was held at a tea house where we got to each choose a tea and had an entire teapot to ourselves for the afternoon, so I chugged that while enjoying a few pieces of fruit and passing off my adorable tea sandwiches to the gals around me. I felt pretty great and unstoppable all day. WHOLE30, HERE I COME.
Day 2 – Huh, I thought I was supposed to feel hungover or something today? Well, I feel GREAT! I drank black coffee from Starbucks this morning and didn’t die (after asking the barista a few dozen times “You didn’t put creamer in, right?”). I also didn’t experience my usual “I had a big lunch and now I’m feeling super sleepy” afternoon fatigue. I went shopping with my mom to gather spices, since I now have to, like, cook and stuff. I went home and prepped a few things — hard boiled some eggs, made some breakfast egg cups, and cooked up a pound of ground beef with some fajita seasoning I found at Penzeys. I wasn’t able to find any taco seasoning that was compliant, but desperate times called for desperate measures. The fajita seasoning is interesting with the ground beef, but whatever, at least my tongue has a new flavor to enjoy. I was in the kitchen for about two hours, which is a new record for me because I NEVER COOKED BEFORE. I mean, seriously. A typical dinner for me in the past is basically “let’s pull this frozen chicken patty out of the freezer and nuke it for a few minutes” with a side of chips. Anddddd that was pretty much it. SUPER HEALTHY STUFF. So, if nothing else, this Whole30 thing will force me to actually learn how to cook, I suppose.
Day 3 – Oh boy. The struggle became very real this day. I woke up and instantly felt “off.” Couldn’t convince myself to get out of bed for almost an hour because I just didn’t feel like it. I felt like crying for no reason at all as I drove to work, followed quickly by a bout of rage ( and this continued throughout the day, hooray!). I waited too long to eat lunch and had to battle a fuzzy head for awhile. I went home and had grand aspirations of prepping a bunch of food for upcoming meals, but no. It took me an hour just to cook dinner and pack my lunch and dinner for the next day (since I go straight to a Bible study on Tuesday nights after work). I was already getting pretty annoyed with this whole prep work thing. I went to bed and called it a day, because man, Day 3 was the wooooooorst.
Day 4 – Woke up today and realized people and things were good again, and I no longer had the urge to punch things. However, I did wake up with a migraine. I have a prescription for those so I popped a pill, which thankfully took the edge off. I felt a little hazy on and off throughout the day but overall not too bad. I felt pretty bloated all day long, so I did a little research and saw that nuts can sometimes have that effect. I had been “enjoying” (yes, the quotes are there on purpose because raw nuts are still pretty boring in my world) almonds for a few days in a row, so I skipped those on Day 4 and felt much less bloated on Day 5. I changed my salad life FOREVER that night when I sprinkled on some Penzeys Fox Point seasoning on my salad. SO GOOD. Seasonings should definitely be a thing on salads, especially if you’re going to eat as many as I eat for the next 26 days. I went to Bible study that night and got home around 10, so I quickly threw together food together for the next day. I was browsing on my phone before bed, which is when my life forever charged. I FOUND COMPLAINT BACON, YOU GUYS. Also, compliant mayo, ranch and ketchup!, since I’m not yet at a point where I feel confident enough to attempt to make my own. WEEEEEE, can’t wait until these bad boys arrive in the mail. I might kiss them, who knows. *note: I only ended up ordering the Tessemae’s condiments for now — the bacon is $20 shipping.**cries* Maybe next paycheck…
Day 5 – Had my first food dream during the night: I went and ate one white chocolate-covered pretzels. I’m not sure why, but it was a vivid dream and I woke up CONVINCED I had ruined my Whole30. I almost started crying. But then I realized, phew, I hadn’t! All was right in the world still! Another day, another headache. Curse you, sugar and the hold you once had on my body. Also, I overslept and had to race out the door to make it to work on time. A friend, who finished Whole30 yesterday, messaged me and said she finally stepped on a scale after not going near one for 30 days (follow the rules, peeps!), and she lost 12 pounds! Without even exercising! That was exciting to hear. I was informed that I should be really blending my coffee with the coconut oil, not whisking it, so I guess I should get a blender? My hastily thrown together lunch from last night was actually a success: frozen broccoli that steams in the bag for 5 minutes in the microwave with some diced prosciutto I threw in. YUM. Also, the bag had 4 cups of broccoli in it. I. AM. STUFFED. Shortly after lunch, word spread quickly that there was a build-your-own taco bar downstairs. I wanted to cry. Also, I can’t stop thinking about potato chips. Like, seriously. The Applegate organic all-beef hot dogs are quickly becoming a favorite of mine — go ahead and judge. I looked forward to them all day just because I knew I had packed them for my dinner. Went to my Wednesday night Bible study and was satisfied sipping a cup of tea as everyone ate pretzels and cheese dip. Went home and decided to attempt to make kale chips, except the kale chips burned and the smoke detector started going off at 9:30 at night. Our landlords and their small children live above, so my stress level went through the roof as I’m fanning a beeping smoke detector. I threw together a lame salad, spent like an hour planning my grocery list for the next day, called it a freakin’ night.
Day 6 – Woke up crabby, muttering things like “Stupid grocery shopping” and “I hate cooking I hate cooking I hate cooking” over and over. My inner struggle is increasingly becoming more “I really freaking hate all this time spent in the kitchen/it’s taken me so long and I’m not getting enough sleep because I spent like an hour planning a grocery list last night.” I’m also hitting salad fatigue. Went grocery shopping after work and got pretty crabby in the process. I got sick of asking the deli guy “Can you tell me if there’s sugar in THIS meat?”, got sick of spending more money, got sick of staring at other people’s carts and wishing I had what they had in theirs. Went home, made a quick dinner of two Applegate hot dogs because I was starving, then I started another round of cooking. I made some more egg cups, kale chips (finally didn’t burn them…but I didn’t make them crispy enough 😦 ) and salmon cakes. The salmon cakes are delish! However, I was just frustrated all night. SO over all the work it takes to cook things from scratch. I fantasized about quitting Whole30 as I prepped and cooked, though I’m way too stubborn to actually quit. Went to bed crabby. Crabby day all around. The end.
Day 7 – I woke up in a SIGNIFICANTLY better mood. It’s Friday! I made it to Day 7! WOOOO! Sure, I’m still a little stressed out about having to do MORE cooking this weekend, but hey, it’s Friday. Also, I’ve noticed I’ve been starting to sleep slightly better at night, or so I think. And maybe my stomach is a little less bloated? I’m telling myself that. People have been really awesome and supportive of me throughout this process, and that has really made a world of a difference on my down days. I’ve realizing this “journey” is far more emotional and mental than I had imagined. Physically, it really hasn’t been that bad — the mood swings have been mostly manageable (outwardly) and the headaches haven’t been all that bad. But I realized today that I think I’m so mad about all this meal prep/cooking stuff because I’m attached emotionally and mentally to the ease of fast food. On busy days, fast food is there for me…to make my life easier. It’s not so much about the food (at least I don’t think so); it’s about being very attached to the idea that fast food makes my life better because it’s easier. I’m working through that as we speak. I had three salmon cakes from last night for lunch NOM NOM NOM. Going to a friend’s house tonight, where packed salad will once again make another experience. But who cares! It’s Friday! And Whole30 is kind of making me become an adult even if I hate it at the moment! Also, I’m not eating junky stuff or quitting! Wins all around!