Yes, it’s that time again. Time to throw out all the processed food, the sugars, the grains I’ve been sneaking, the cheese, and the booze. Oh, the booze. I’ve been whining and complaining about not working out and not having discipline and being off the wagon so many times since we moved last October that I’m even annoyed with myself. Plus, my clothing is starting to not fit so well, and I’ve just felt…off. Since The Husband is in the same boat, we decided to start 2014 the same way we started 2013. With a Whole30.
I’ve done one successful Whole30 in January 2013, and a mostly successful one more recently in August 2013. But ever since our move in October (which I’ve mentioned about a billion times, sorry) it’s been pretty much downhill. Burgers with buns, cheese on everything, craft beers, etc. To say that it’s wreaking havoc on my body would be an understatement. I don’t feel good. I’m not sleeping well. I haven’t worked out in weeks. I feel sluggish and slow and irritable. And all that has gotta stop.
(To learn more about the Whole30, take a look at my Week One Round-Up post from August 2013.)
Kevin and I made the decision a few weeks ago that we were going to start our Whole30 on January 2, so we’ve spent the past few days preparing for this challenge. First order of business: cleaning out the refrigerator! We actually didn’t have too much to throw out, but that’s mostly because our downfall comes from going out to eat when we don’t feel like cooking. However, some of the forbidden items that hit the trash can include a jar of ketchup (added sugar), dijon mustard (made with white wine), a bottle of italian dressing we’ve had from a potluck dinner but haven’t eaten (for obvious reasons), the remainder of a baked egg dish that was made with cheese and bisquick, the remnants of a cheese tray leftover from New Years Eve, and a carton of chicken broth that included both sugar and yeast. (Why exactly did I buy that??)
My refrigerator after I purged it of all forbidden items:
The pantry was cleared out next, although the only things I tossed were a bag of wild rice, a jar of peanut butter, and the leftover baking supplies from making Christmas cookies. I also, sadly, had to dispose of my flavored coffees, but I took those into work to bestow upon my boss, who enjoys coffee almost as much as I do.
Pardon the resolution of the picture – I could not for the life of me get a clear enough shot. Apparently I have very shaky hands. Anyway. You’ll notice that the majority of my pantry is stocked with spices. One of my favorite things about eating clean is experimenting with spice combinations. Also in the pantry is our stash of vinegars and hot sauces, our canned goods like salmon, canned pumpkin, coconut milk and black olives, and our emergency snacks and add-ins: Chomps snack sticks, Justin’s almond butter packets, coconut butter, no sugar added raisins, sunflower seeds and mixed nuts.
Once I purged our house of all temptation, I sat down with my trusty menu plan and got to work, creating a shopping list as I went. Kevin and I don’t have as precise a menu as I did when I lived on my own, but we do have about a week’s worth of meal ideas to work with, as well as a variety of fresh produce to have on hand for juicing, snacks, and side dishes.
After the shopping trip:
Much better, don’t you think? I love how colorful it looks with the variety of vegetables! You’ll notice we don’t have much fruit – a couple of apples and some lemons and limes. There are some bananas and plantains on the counter, along with our other non-refrigerated produce. We try to limit our fruit intake on the Whole30 to limit our sugar, but I’ve found that there are some days when I just need the energy boost from an apple and peanut butter, or a banana after a workout. You know…once I start working out.
So what does a day in the Whole30 look like for me? I’m planning to keep a daily log, if you will, that breaks down what I ate, approximate times, and how I’m feeling. I will not be posting pictures of every little thing I eat because face it, that’s boring and I’m guessing everybody already knows what a hard boiled egg looks like. So unless it’s something super special or something I’m particularly proud of, I’ll let you use your imagination. Grab a bottle of coconut water or a cup of green tea and have a seat!
My Day One Eats:
Breakfast, 0600: Because I was awake at 0330 yesterday morning to spend some quality time with The Husband before he left for work, I ate breakfast around 0600. Typically I try to eat within 90 minutes of waking up, but let’s face it, it was way too early. I also try to eat before I get hungry, because otherwise I’ll end up getting hungry-angry and plowing through my kitchen like a foodie Godzilla. I’m also going to try to eat more vegetables at breakfast so I heated some leftover butternut squash and collard greens from a prior dinner and scrambled two eggs with diced onion, pepper, and cherry tomato. I already drink my coffee black, so I didn’t have to worry about finding a cream or sugar substitute.
Lunch, 1100: I did make a little mistake here. I spent some time after breakfast working on a menu/meal plan and was at the grocery store by 0800 to stock up on grass fed beef, organic chicken, and plenty of fresh produce. Unfortunately I didn’t plan it as well as I should have and ended up going to two different stores, on opposite ends of the town, with no emergency snacks packed. By the time I got home and unloaded all my bags, it was almost 1100 and I was reaching the hungry-angry danger zone. I also did not have any pre-cooked protein in the house, not even in leftover form, which is highly unusual for me. So, I did what I didn’t expect to do until at least a week or so into my Whole30: I grabbed an emergency PreMade Paleo meal from the freezer. (More on that later!) While my Tuscan Kale Pesto Chicken was simmering on the stove (chicken only, I didn’t make the vegetables) I chopped a bunch of vegetables for a salad – butter lettuce, cherry tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, celery, and carrot. With a sprinkle of pine nuts and some high-quality balsamic vinegar on the side I was good to go! Crisis averted.
Dinner, 1715: I spent the majority of my day in the kitchen – once I got home from the store I hard boiled a dozen eggs, prepped and marinated a half-dozen chicken breasts, set out four hamburger patties to thaw, baked a couple sweet potatoes, and made a tray of italian meatballs. This way The Husband and I have a few days of protein ready and waiting for breakfast and lunch during the week – I’m still planning on making regular dinners for us each night. Once Kevin got home he threw the chicken and the hamburger patties on the grill while I cooked the meatballs in a pot of roasted garlic tomato sauce and prepped zucchini noodles. It’s a super simple meal that took less than 30 minutes to make! (Note: the meatballs in the zucchini noodles link are not Whole30 approved.)
Day One Overall: Not bad so far, although it’s only the first day! There was a moment when I really craved a beer, but that was mostly because we were dealing with a particularly stressful piece of mail and not so much because I wanted the beer. I felt satisfied all day and didn’t miss any of the bad stuff I recently eliminated. Stay tuned for what’s to come…