The Journey of Whole30

It’s July. We’ve successfully completed Whole30. Only one minor hiccup during the whole process (Worcestershire sauce made it into some mushrooms on night). 

Major takeaways:

  • More energy
  • No breakouts
  • No headaches
  • Regulated blood sugar levels 
  • Less tired

The list seems small, but those are major wins. And they were sustained after the first 10 days of Whole30.

I definitely think this program will teach you how you don’t realize how bad certain foods made you feel. 

I don’t think I lost weight, which wasn’t my goal. But the Boyfriend says his pants fit different. Better. 

How will be change our food lives:

  • Less takeout
  • Better food choices when eating out
  • No food deprivation, but practice mindful eating
  • Whole30 weekdays, and free weekends

Personally, I will probably eat less gluten and carbs. Less processed foods. Less sugar. But cheese is coming back, and half and half in coffee is happening as I write this. 

For those of you who plan to start Whole30, I do have some advice. 

  • Buy the book. It will answer lots of questions. And it gives you recipe ideas to get you started. 
  • Your psychological attachment to certain foods is strong. Good moods, bad days, anger, stress and sleepiness all make you reach for certain foods due to the emotional connection. Being from the South, my connection to certain comfort foods was very strong. It’s a part of your upbringing. Notice those things. Note the emotions that send you into a craving frenzy. 
  • Make sure you find good people to encourage you. Lots of people won’t understand why you actively chose to give up all the “best” foods. But stick to your guns. Especially the first 10 days. 
  • Meal plan. Map out, at least a rough draft, what you will eat each week. This helps you not overspend at the store. Plus you know what main dish goes with what veggie sides. Don’t be like me, and try to wing it. 
  • Make enough dinner each night to pack your lunch for the next day. You will be cooking a lot. So the less prep you do after cooking dinner, the less you will resent Whole30. I cooked 88 meals during the month of June. My life would have been considerable better if I made sure dinner covered lunch every day. 
  • The weekends are you saving grace. Prep veggies. Cut fruit. Grocery shop. Make the fancy meals you won’t make during the week. The weekends always made me feel free to be creative. Plus I didn’t have to make meals back-to-back-to-back. 
  • You will get angry. Eliminating things you like will make you feel bad. Cooking all the time will be annoying. It’s ok to be angry. The Boyfriend endured lots of complaining about cooking every single meal. But he always thanked for my efforts during my rageful moments so that helped A LOT. Gratitude is a major anger kicker. 
  • It will get easier. The cooking. The planning. The not eating certain things. It will get easier. Know that I didn’t believe either during the phase of detox. But clarity and ease will come. Don’t. Give. Up. 

When you complete your Whole30, let me know and we will celebrate. 

I celebrated with a Whiskey Fix from Heights Taco. But if you choose to not have alcohol after your Whole30, we will cheers over unsweetened tea with lemon. 

Day 14: B4D

Anyone else love breakfast for dinner? It’s one of my favorite things to make. It’s quick and easy and always tasty. 

Fried eggs with Sautéed Asparagus and a Sweet Potato

All delicious on there own. Even better together. Runny egg yolks. Slightly crunchy asparagus. Warm sweet potato. 

I throughly enjoyed it. Not sure if the Boyfriend shares my sentiments.

Breakfast this morning was boiled eggs and a mix of blueberries and Bing cherries. Lunch was lean. Turkey lettuce wraps with spicy brown mustard and guacamole, sliced cucumbers and red bell peppers. 

I’ll probably be starving come 5 o’clock. But I’ll make due. I’ve been craving Mexican food so I think I’ll make a Whole30 twist on fajitas. I’m excited about it. 

15 days tomorrow. Halfway. Holy crap, that’s exciting. 

Day 13: Ranch Chicken Burgers with Caramelized Onions and Cold Cucumber Salad

Last night’s supper was phenomenal. Whole30 or not, we are until we about popped. The boyfriend had two full plates, which is the biggest compliment to any dish I make. 

For the ranch chicken burgers, you need: 

  • 1 pound ground chicken 
  • Dried dill
  • Dried parsley
  • Garlic powder 
  • Onion powder 
  • Salt 
  • Pepper

Combine herbs and spices. Using your hands, mix the seasoning into the ground chicken until well combined. Grill until burgers are done and juices run clear. 

This made five burgers. Smaller parties. 

For the onions:

  • 1/2 onion, sliced 
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ghee

Melt ghee in hot pan. Add onions salt and pepper. Turn heat to low and let onions cook slowly until they take on a golden brown color. 

I topped our ranch chicken burgers with guacamole and caramelized onions. I baked some sweet potatoes. And thanks to The Boyfriend’s mom, I have a new favorite summer salad

For the cold cucumber salad, you need:

  • Cucumbers, diced
  • Cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Bell peppers, sliced
  • Basil, julienned 
  • Red wine vinegar, to taste
  • Homemade dry rub, recipe below

Combine all ingredients. Refrigerate until cold. Veggies taste better the longer they sit in the spice and vinegar mixture. 

For the dry rub:

Combine all the following to your taste preference.

  • Paprika
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Dried parsley 

Just the right amount of flavor and heat. So good. We’ve been putting this on everything. 

I’m feeling more alert when I wake up in the morning, and that feeling is lasting throughout the day. My skin is looking amazing. Hardly any breakouts. My tummy is still having a little trouble, but it may just be from the sheer volume of food I ate yesterday. 

I am flexing my creativity muscles in the kitchen, and I feel more empowered after making my own breakfast sausage. 

We are going to try to go out to eat this week to have that experience. It’s crazy to think I’ve prepared 39 meals in the last 13 days. I grocery shop 2-3 times per week. Every meal is thoughtfully prepared. Every snack is packed by my own hands. 

I also had a dream about a gigantic cinnamon roll. It was gooey and delicious and I woke up feeling slightly guilty for cheating on Whole30 in my dreams. But apparently that happens. The emotional connection to food is strong. Stronger than you realize until you give up things you never had to. 

If you’ve done Whole30, or any diet or life change, share how you navigated the emotional connections your have to food. I find this to be the most interesting observation in my own journey. 

Day 12: Homemade Breakfast Sausage

Every packet of sausage or bacon I’ve picked up in the last 12 days has sugar in it. It’s depressing. And I wanted a good breakfast this morning. It is my favorite day. 

So I made my own. 

And it is amazing. 

This breakfast hash is something I’ll be making for a long time. After two weeks of just eggs and egg muffins, I wanted something of substance. 

For the homemade sausage, you need:

  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Coconut oil to help with browning 

Combine all spices and stir. Using your hands, mix into ground pork until well combined.

This will make your dreams come true. It has just the right amount of kick. If you like it spicy, add more red pepper flakes. If you like it less spicy, only use 1/8 teaspoon cayenne. 

I browned my sausage and set it aside. 

Then I sautéed baby tri-colored potatoes, onion and jalapeño until soft. Add the sausage back into the pan. 

In a separate pan, fry two eggs in coconut oil. I like my eggs runny for hash. 

Plate the potato and sausage hash, top with the fried eggs and finish with compliant salsa and guacamole.  

I can’t wait to tell you about tonight’s dinner, but it requires its own post so I can share the details of making it. 

How’s your weekend? What did you have for breakfast?

Day 10: Double Digits

Y’all, the chicken legs I made tonight were amazing. I found a dry rub on Pinterest that was Whole30 approved. 

What you need:

  • Coconut oil
  • Paprika 
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic powder 
  • Parsley 
  • Red pepper flakes

Coat the chicken in the paste-like mixture. The coconut oil will melt when it hits the grill so watch for flare-ups. Grill the chicken legs for 45 minutes to an hour on medium to medium-high heat. 

I also threw the one squash we grew on the grill with onions and red bell pepper, and I made another pack of mushrooms with Balsalmic vinegar. 

So. Good. 

The boyfriend and I felt like we were eating normal food. All the food I’ve made so far has been normal. But we can’t just go out somewhere and grab a drink and a bite to eat. 

I tried to go to Chipotle today, but they cook everything in rice bran oil. Not compliant. Saddest day. All I could eat is the guacamole or salsa. 

Lunch today was leftovers from last night. And breakfast was a couple of egg muffins with a side of mixed berries. All good things. 

Still a touch of a stomach ache. Not as tired. But I remain in a constant state of annoyance at everyone else eating whatever they want. Hopefully, this will pass, and I’ll enter into a state of euphoria.