At the end of February, I jumped into doing The Whole 30. The time was right to refocus on health & fitness for me – in 2010 & 2011 I had decent success with losing weight & adopting a healthier lifestyle while on the road. Then, screech – the last 15 months were filled with all sorts of excuses and back-sliding. After reading a bit about The Whole 30 online, seeing a friend share her successes through her blog and reading the book It Starts With Food I decided it was time to start. It turns out that a co-worker here at my “new” office has previously done this and decided she would do it again with me.
If you haven’t heard of this program before, the premise is: take 30 days to reset your body with a focus on whole foods. During this time, a lot of things are removed from your diet: dairy, sugar, grains, legumes, soy, alcohol. The focus is on protein, veggies, some fruits and healthy oils/fats. After 30 days, you gradually add the different groups back into your diet to see what happens & determine what the right balance of foods for you is.
After 10+ days I think I’m doing pretty well. I will admit that the first 3 days were tough with a “detox” headache; however, since then I have definitely been feeling better. During the first couple of days, I was definitely more reliant on having fruits & nuts for snacks. As the days progressed, I find that I’m not feeling as hungry between meals and my first option is to drink some more water before determining if I need a snack.
As I got started, I cleared the fridge & pantry of items that were a “NO” for this time. For my unopened pantry items, I donated them to a local food pantry where I volunteer. When the fridge was cleaned out, suddenly the pockets on the door were empty – there are just a few condiments now that I’m using. (They have since been filled with quarts & pints of homemade goodness.)
The key to success is definitely planning and prep. (The Whole30 Daily newsletters have also been a great help.) For the first week I did some planning and advance prep but by mid week I realized that I needed to do more. Buy the end of the week, eggs and ground beef were the last thing I was wanting. This past weekend my goal was to “fill the fridge” to be ready for the week ahead. Saturday morning was for shopping: it started at a local farm to pick up some eggs and meats; then the Asian mart to load up on produce; finally a few things at Trader Joe’s. Saturday afternoon & Sunday were filled with kitchen time and by Sunday evening the fridge was full.
Peering into the fridge now, I find:
- Homemade Tomato Soup – great on it’s own or throw in some meat & veggies for a heartier meal
- A third batch of cinnamon almond milk – I’m definitely going to continue doing this
- Homemade salsa to liven up any meal
- Another pan of my Turkey-Apple-Egg bake is ready for breakfasts each morning
- The chicken I picked up at the farm has been cooked & shredded for salads this week. I also got a gallon of chicken stock from it that is ready for other recipes
- Pork Chile Verde – a bit more “labor intensive” dish than I’ve made in a while but so delicious & so worth it. I’m pairing it with sweet potatoes for a fabulous dinner
- Citrus Vinaigrette ready for impromptu salads
- Kale & Persimmon Salad that just gets better “with age”
- Curried Cream of Broccoli Soup
- Homemade mayo – this was my first time making this, it’s so easy & delicious. It is pretty fantastic as the binder in a quick chicken salad with a few chopped pecans & some freeze dried strawberries for crunch.
A third of the way into this, I’m enjoying the opportunity to be spending this time in the kitchen. Yes there are some “trying” times but I’m thinking this is also the mental reset that I needed to rethink my approach to food. I’m not going to lie, there are a few things that I’m looking forward to introducing back into my ingredient list; however, I think those things will be a much smaller doses than before.
I’ve added a new page set to the blog - Whole Kitchen. I’ll be posting links to some of the recipes across the web that I’ve been making as well as some of my own recipes that are getting me through the days.