Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Whole 30: Week 1 Review

As I said in my post yesterday, I'll be checking in weekly to share how Whole30 is going. Here's my week 1 check-in!

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.
Feeling high maintenance. We are going to Phil's mom's for Easter so I sent her an email giving her a heads up about my restrictions. I felt so bad because I know she already gets anxious cooking for me as she worries something will have gluten in it so now I know she'll be extra nervous. I told her to not modify the menu and that I could supplement the meal with sides I can eat but I just feel bad that I'm potentially adding some stress to her meal planning process.  I also felt high maintenance when we went to a taco night birthday gathering with Phil's friends as I had to bring my own meal since I knew that the taco seasoning mixes people tend to use had ingredients I couldn't have, like corn starch. They were all understanding, of course, but it drew a lot of attention/questions.

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.
Healthy Breakfast Sweet Potatoes:  I had these with the frittata for breakfast last week. The verdict? YUM. Whole 30 is going to turn me into a person that likes sweet potatoes. In the past I did not care for them but I have learned that I like them when they are prepared in a savory way. I'll definitely be making these again and in the future instead of pairing them with a frittata, I'll put a fried egg on top of the potatoes.

- 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.


Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

Glad it's not feeling too hard so far!

I can relate to feeling high maintenance with my stomach stuff, and this is probably why I am so hesitant to try an eating plan like this. Well actually, both your things that are hard as I also hate grocery shopping and spending any extra time cooking. I'd probably be like you and eat the same things all week, but then Eric would be like what? He actually eats the same thing for lunch every single day (always) so he likes variety at night and does most of the cooking so I don't complain ha ha. I tend to make one lunch for the week and eat it daily but just for that week.

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

A frittata with no cheese doesn't sound that great to me either...although I don't normally put milk in it anyway! I also see that you have almond/coconut milk; I assume it's the "unsweetened" one, which is what I use anyway, as some of those milks taste so fake and sweet!

When I was a vegetarian, I hated going over to people's houses for dinner because I had to give them the disclosure that I didn't eat meat..OR I had to look super picky by only eating one of the several things they were serving. I remember my grandmother making lasagna and telling me to just "eat around the meat chunks". I ended up eating garlic bread for dinner that night and it got a lot of comments from my aunts and cousins, who grew up on a farm and ate everything when they were kids (aka, I was the picky eater).

Charbelle4 said...

It's unreal how many things have sugar. Patrice and I are starting the no sweets no bread 90 day challenge March 28 (b/c I'm not missing out on the cake I ordered my mom for her b'day from Edible Art) and I know that helps but I also realize today more than ever before food has way more sugar and additives. I think it's sad that the bill goes up as you try to be healthier. I miss my Grandaddy's garden. I totally took for granted the fresh summertime veggies and OH MY GOSH do I miss his tomatoes!!!! He had the best tomatoes ever!!!! I wish I had inherited his gardening abilities, I don't like bugs and I don't like getting dirty and you have to worry about snakes and corn has icky worms!

Gracie said...

I feel like the no cream is what would get me! I love my coffee!
We had guests over who were on Whole 30 last year, and I just made a menu they could eat - pork chops, mashed sweet potatoes and papaya, and a hearty salad. It was no big deal - I am sure you are not difficult to accommodate!

Marlys said...

How did you prepare breakfast sweet potatoes? I love sweet potatoes, but your Dad doesn't so I rarely eat them. That meal of halibut, potatoes & asparagus looks so good and healthy!
Have you craved sweets yet? I gave them up for Lent, but don't miss them too much. I am looking forward to Easter, though!

Nora said...

I can relate to people looking at you funny when you bring things with you for dinner, sides, etc. Story of my life since my allergies began in 2007. It's so frustrating sometimes!

Any particular kind of tea you are enjoying? I tend to go for non-caff teas but always love hearing about the flavors/brands that other people pick!

I have never prepared a sweet potato at home, ever! I should try it sometime :)

Stephany said...

Oh gosh, all the planning and the upfront expense of Whole30! Another reason why it wouldn't be the best option for me - HA. It sounds like you are enjoying the process, though, and that's all that matters. I think you may find it to be easier as time goes by, because that's what I've heard from others who do this challenge. If the first 9 days haven't felt intensely difficult, then the next 21 might be smooth sailing! Here's hoping, at least. :)

Jeanie said...

I really admire your discipline on this one, Lisa. That would be tough for me and I think the dealbreaker would be the high maintenance thing you mentioned when you are with others or visiting someone who is preparing a meal. I know that makes you feel uncomfortable but I know they will understand!

And I adore savory sweet potatoes -- diced and pan fried in a bit of olive oil or even raw and in strips like carrots or baked. Quite delicious! (I never liked them till about five or six years ago when I discovered they didn't have to be smothered in marshmallow!)

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

I agree with Jeanie - I totally admire your discipline with this; it definitely can't be easy, especially when dining at others' homes or out with friends as you mentioned. It will all be worth it if you can figure out if you have any other food intolerances though :-)

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

How was reheating the sweat potatoes? I haven't made a big batch to eat over a week but I know I like making sweet potatoes like this and covering it with egg!

Nastase said...

I'm so glad to discover you are doing this, since we are staring it beginning of April!! Good to learn tips/recipes/etc!! I do have to say, you're at a little bit of an advantage, since you're been gluten free for so long. I'm going to have an issue not being able to eat my post-workout toast & peanut butter (that I have EVERY SINGLE DAY).

The coffee won't be bad, because I actually switched to just doing almond milk in my coffee about a month ago! With cinnamon. I wonder if cinnamon is "whole 30 approved"....I am going to have to do my research.

Fish is such a great and easy meal to make! I do a lot of of that for week night meals.

I had no idea people use cornstarch in taco seasoning (!?!?) Crazy! Learn something new every day!

Linda said...

This sounds terrible! You have my sympathy.

I just blogged about this healthy restaurant (True Food Kitchen, you might have one?) and tried a chia pudding for the first time and loved it. They soaked their chia seeds in creamy coconut milk though.

Elizabeth said...

I'll definitely be following along here! I've had a couple of friends do this who felt amazing afterward (although they got tired of the same foods). Sounds like you're getting to try out lots of new things! The tiredness is also pretty standard during the first week of something like this as your body is "withdrawing" and/or detoxing. Hopefully the next week or two you'll notice the opposite! Oh and mate is definitely not for everyone but it is such a tradition in Argentina! It's incredibly bitter and in the US the companies have toned it down most of the time (in tea bags) or combined it with other out-there flavors, but it's good FOR you! :) Maybe give it a try one morning!

Carolina John said...

As much as I enjoy tea, I think any plan that makes me give up coffee won't hold up over time. Of course I drink it black anyway so no sugar wouldn't be a problem. But lots of people do very well on whole 30 - hope you enjoy it!

Lauren @ Sassy Molassy said...

Nice work! Whole 30 would be so hard for me, as I'm sure it is for everyone, but I do eat cereal, bread, cookies, etc. daily so it would be quite the challenge. I would definitely have to amp up my fat and meat intake. And it would definitely be more expensive! Way to go! I like my coffee black usually, but if not then I'll add a little almond milk (or reg at coffee shops) and cinnamon.

San said...

Ok, here is a question.... I can relate to your thought of being "high maintenance" when attempting a restricted diet like this.

How "bad" would it be if there were a few exceptions made during the month? I mean, will that totally ruin the benefits of this program?
I understand that if you attempt this, you want to stick with the program, but I wonder how much the headache is worth when you have 1 or 2 social outings where it's hard to completely stick to the rules.

Amber said...

I think the hardest part for me with Whole 30 will be eating at other people's houses or going out to eat. I am so impressed you haven't gone out to eat once in 30 days!!! I can see why though since it would be so much work and probably just not worth it. That's kind of how I felt about eating out when I was gluten free and dairy free for a few weeks there. It was too hard to try and eat out!