Whole30 Diary: Week 1

 Eggs with a mix of root vegetables

Eggs with a mix of root vegetables

The first week of my Whole30 experience was a rollercoaster ride of emotions, cravings, discoveries, and accomplishments. Here are some highlights of the past seven days:

  • Preparation is Key: I completed substantial shopping and ingredient prep before the start of this round, which absolutely framed my first week to be a success. Being able to reach into the fridge for cooked chicken breasts whenever I needed protein was superb. 
  • Cook, cook, cook!: I did more cooking this week than I've ever done. I put those Pinterest recipes to use and cooked every single meal I ate for the first five days. My friends and family can tell you that I love to eat out and often do, so this was a very big deal for me. It felt amazing to feel self-sufficient!
  • Good and Full: All cravings were kept at bay. I stayed compliant for my entire first week ingredient-wise, and even felt pretty full doing so! I'm really proud of myself for this because I used to be a very picky eater. Staying absolutely compliant is huge for me!
  • Hydration Check: I felt very hydrated. I drank lots of water, seltzer, and green tea throughout the week, and I think that helped me feel full. 

The first week wasn't a complete breeze though. I experienced plenty of hurdles:

  • Stomach Troubles: My digestive system was all over the place. I felt bloated starting around Day 3, though I knew going in that my stomach would take some time to adjust. Not fun, though! 
  • The Mountain in the Sink: Dish-washing took too much time this week, and the sink never seemed empty. The biggest problem with cooking is the mess it makes. I know a dishwasher could solve this problem, but the one in our apartment doesn't work very well, so hand-washing is the only option. Thankfully, my fiance took a few turns cleaning dishes which definitely helped me keep my cool. 
  • Gadgetless: I don't have and can't afford to buy all of the kitchen tools and gadgets that are featured in many Whole30 recipes. A food processor or spiralizer would change my cooking game, but it's just not an option right now and the size of the studio apartment doesn't allow for it either. Finding simple Whole30 recipes that only require a pan and basic cooking utensils is possible but my meals sometimes seem a bit boring. 
  • Finding Balance: I didn't always want to balance my meals like the program encouraged. Before Whole30, I was maybe eating meat protein 3-4 times/week and was closer to staying vegetarian for other meals, so it was difficult to get myself to eat that much animal protein at every meal again. I think I'm getting used to it, but it's definitely an adjustment. 

Here are a few of my favorite recipes and meals I cooked this week:

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  • Day 1 started with an easy recipe for Avocado Egg Salad that rocked and provided breakfasts and lunches throughout the first week. Highly recommend if you crave creamy textures! 
  • Made this yummy Crispy Brussel Sprout Salad with Pomegranate Seeds (my version pictured right) for lunch on Day 3 that both my fiance and I loved! I cut out the maple syrup from the vinaigrette ingredients to make it Whole30 compliant, and used almonds instead of pine nuts because I had them on hand. 
  • I was able to find already spiralized zucchini noodles at Trader Joe's, so I threw together a beef stir fry with coconut aminos and spices on Day 5. I didn't use any specific recipe, but the coconut aminos really did a great job at replacing soy sauce! 

That's all for now. Stay tuned for my progress during Week 2!