What's helping me succeed:
- Meal planning! There's no way you can just 'wing it' and be successful at sticking to this program (unless you are the kind of person that wants to grocery shop multiple times a week and/or has time to spend making meals every day - that's so not me). I've always been a meal planner but I've had to do way more planning for this.
- Keeping it simple. This wouldn't work for everyone, but I've made my meal planning as simple as possible and pick one breakfast, one lunch, and one dinner to have for the entire week, Monday-Friday. I know that would bore many people but I value simplicity over variety and I make things that I really truly enjoy so having them every day doesn't bother me. Besides eating the same thing all week for breakfast, lunch and dinner, I have been making easy meals, like roasted chicken with a sweet potato for dinner. To offset the repetition during the week, I try to eat different things for every meal over the course of the weekend since I have more time/energy for meal prep then.
What's been the hardest:
- Grocery shopping is so time consuming. And expensive. Grocery shopping definitely takes way more time. I went through this when I went gluten free in 2009 as I had to learn just how many things have gluten in them. Now I'm going through it again and it's opening my eyes to how many things have sugar in them! Luckily most of what I'm buying is fresh produce and meat, but I still have to buy some non-perishable goods and it's time consuming to read the labels to check for sugar or other additives I can't have. Also, since I'm buying mostly non-perishable goods and organic meats and eggs, grocery shopping is more expensive. But I'm reminding myself that it's an investment in my health.
|This is most of the food that I bought for week 1. As you can see, it's mostly vegetables, meat, and fruit, hence the higher grocery bill.|
- No coffee creamer. I obviously can not have vanilla creamer, so I tried almond milk, coconut milk and coconut cream (separately, not all at once!). After basically choking my coffee down on day one, I decided that I needed to switch to a caffeinated tea and give up on coffee during whole 30. I miss it so much but I am learning to like tea.
New recipes I've tried:
- Chicken Sausage and Spinach Frittata: I had this for breakfast last week. The verdict? Meh. I think I'm so used to eating frittatas/egg dishes made with cheese and milk so this kind of underwhelmed me. It's not bad, it just wasn't great.
|I rarely use my broiler so I over-browned it a bit but it didn't impact the flavor.|
- Overnight Banana Chia Pudding: I had this for breakfast last Friday as I needed a meat-free breakfast since it's Lent. The verdict? It tasted OK but the texture was kind of "interesting" and it was not nearly filling enough. I tried it again later in the week and have decided it's just not something I look forward to eating so I won't be making this again.
- Halibut with Citrus-Ginger Glaze: I found this recipe in the Whole30 cookbook (which I recommend). I served it with roasted fingerling potatoes and asparagus. Halibut is a bit pricey but I splurged on some from Whole Foods since it was the Friday night meal I made for Phil and I and I figured it was OK to spend a bit more since we won't be eating out while I'm doing Whole30. The verdict? The halibut was great and so easy to make but we'd skip the citrus ginger glaze next time as the fish was great on it's own and we didn't love the glaze (probably because I don't love ginger). I'll definitely be making fish more often as this meal reminded me how quick and easy it is to make!
How I feel:
- Overall, I would say that I felt more tired during the first week. However, it's hard to say how much is due to the Whole30 program as I also lost an hour of sleep thanks to daylight savings time and I had a very busy week with several very long days.
- I know it's early in the program but so far it hasn't felt all that hard. Sure there are things I miss like my greek yogurt, coffee creamer, and gelato, but overall I don't feel limited by this program as there are still so many things that I CAN have. However, since this is only day 9, I expect it to feel harder as the days progress.