As many of you know, Blake and I started Whole30 last Tuesday… exactly 30 days before I turn 30. We are now 20% through the “experience” – here’s our feedback, what we’ve learned so far, and the meals we’ve been eating.
My thoughts: Whole30 has been a lot easier this time around than it was last time… mostly because I’m eating a wider variety of foods and Blake is doing it with me – it’s nice to have company. Preparing and cooking dinner every night takes a lot of time. It’s really challenging to feed a baby and a toddler while chopping up meat and veggies… if a recipe says the “prep time” is 10 minutes, I now quadruple that estimate for a more appropriate approximation. Also, if you make the whole meal prep/feeding kids challenge a game, it’s actually kind of fun (keys to the “game”: wash your hands every 2 minutes – onions, jalapeno, and raw meat don’t mix well with baby feeding, keep the knives out of toddler reach, and make sure the smoke alarm doesn’t go off because that terrifies everyone). The biggest change I’ve noticed since starting Whole30 is that I’m sleeping a lot better. Usually I wake up multiple times per night, but over the past few nights, I’ve been sleeping a lot more soundly. Last thought: I really have to pay attention to EVERYTHING I eat – multiple times I’ve caught myself right before “testing” the doneness of Ryan’s macaroni or licking my fingers after fixing Carter a PB&J… those little habits are hard to break and easy to overlook if I’m not paying attention.
Blake’s thoughts: “I’ve had some digestive issues, seriously I’ve pooped nonstop for 2 days… must be the sweet potatoes. Hopefully that gets better. My goal is to figure out if all my workout supplements are helping or hurting me, I don’t know the answer yet but I really miss the pump my pre-workout gives me in the morning. I don’t miss caffeine as much as I thought I would thanks to La Croix water. So far the recipes we’ve tried have been really good but I definitely need to eat more food! I’m not going to quit.” ~ Blake
Ok, it’s me (Kat) again and before I move on I would like to thank Blake for his candid response. LOL.
What we’ve learned so far:
- The key to Whole30 is preparation. The best practice we’ve implemented is to immediately package our lunches for the next day when we finish cooking dinner (even before we actually eat dinner). We’re used to taking leftovers for lunch but by packaging our lunch before we eat dinner we ensure we’re getting the proper serving of food for both meals. When you look at our meals below you’ll notice most lunches are simply leftovers of dinner the night before.
- Blake NEEDS more food. Obviously this is true – he’s a boy, he has a more strenuous job and he’s bigger than me. Blake becomes HANGRY if he isn’t consuming enough calories. Whole30 has nothing to do with calories… you can basically eat as much as you want of the “compliant” foods but for planning purposes we bought a specific amount of food and didn’t take into account that Blake would NEED more so we had to make a end-of-week grocery store trip to get more starchy veggies/fruits (read: potatoes and bananas) and more protein (read: chicken and canned tuna). After adding a few extra servings of each macro (protein, carb, fat) Blake is a much nicer person.
- Cooking almost all meals requires a lot of dishes. Thankful for our dishwasher!
- Guacamole is good with everything.
- There are so many sneaky additives in seemingly normal food. Prepackaged lemon juice has sulfites. Every single vegetable broth at Kroger has added sugar. Most prepackaged deli meats (including sausage and bacon) have added sugar.
These are the primary meals we’ve eaten over the past 6 days. Whole30 discourages “snacking” unless we are truly hungry. I’ve added an extra piece of fruit to some lunches so I would make it to dinner time. Blake has been adding one extra mini-meal of protein and starch (usually chicken/tuna + potato/apple).
Breakfast: Hard boiled eggs and strawberries
Lunch: Cilantro lime grilled chicken with guac, broccoli, and a sweet potato
Dinner: Balsamic glazed flank steak, roasted red potatoes, and balsamic brussel sprouts
Breakfast: Egg scramble with mushrooms and green pepper, and a banana
Lunch: leftovers from Day 1 dinner
Dinner: One pan chicken fajita bake
Breakfast: Hard boiled eggs and grapes
Lunch: Leftovers from Day 2 dinner
Dinner: Jalapeno turkey burger with roasted sweet potato and broccoli
Breakfast: Breakfast casserole <– we modified this recipe to include spinach, bell pepper, mushroom, onioin, and chicken sausage
Lunch: Leftover dinner from Day 3
Dinner: Pork chops, roasted red potatoes, and roasted asparagus
Breakfast: Breakfast casserole and grapes
Lunch: Blake had all of the Day 4 dinner leftovers. I had fried eggs, sweet potato, and broccoli
Breakfast: Egg scramble with apple chicken sausage and mushrooms
Lunch: Left overs from Day 5 dinner
Dinner: Smoked pork rib roast (rubbed with this concoction of spices), roasted balsamic brussel sprouts, and sweet potato
So, 20% of the way through and we’re still sticking with it. Our next update will come on Day 13 when we’re about 40% through. According to the Whole30 timeline we should be through the “hardest days” and on the verge of “boundless energy.” As parents to a 2.5 year old and an 8 month old, “boundless energy” seems about as real as the Easter Bunny.