Happy first week of January Whole30! In case you're wondering what led me to try a round of Whole30, here is a little background. I've mentioned before that when I started losing weight I tracked calories. A couple years later I started tracking macros. I did this for about 2 years and saw great progress but every now and then, I really needed a break from the constant tracking. During the time I was tracking macros I heard a lot about the Whole30 program. I dismissed it as too restrictive and not sustainable. At the encouragement of my friend Bailey I decided to read the book "It Starts with Food". So much of my thinking changed after reading that book. I learned that the Whole30 is not a diet aimed at weight loss and it's not meant to be sustained forever. It's a 30 day reset to take a closer look at your relationship with food and how it affects your body. After these 30 days the restricted foods are systematically reintroduced. This allows you to get a better sense of the food you want to include (or not) in your diet depending on how it affects you. I was ready for a little macro break so I figured Monday January 1st, 2018 was the perfect time to try it out. So here we are at my Whole30 Week 1 recap.
Preparation for Whole30
My prep for Whole30 included reading "It Starts with Food", purchasing the "Whole30 Day by Day" Journal and lots of grocery shopping and meal prepping. The books are definitely not required since all the information you need to actually follow the program is on the Whole30 website but for me I definitely found them helpful. The thing I was most surprised by when grocery shopping was how prevalent sugar is in almost everything I was eating. In bacon, sausages, sauces, canned goods. It was nuts! So while grocery shopping I really had to pay attention to the labels for sugar and other non compliant additives.
Even with that level of focus I still narrowly avoided using something non-compliant a few times. I had mayo from Chosen Foods that I was about to slather into cole slaw for my pulled pork bowl because I just assumed it didn't contain sugar. Right before adding it in I decided to glance at the ingredients list absentmindedly and wouldn't you know it? Organic cane sugar. So I used an avocado ranch from Tessemae's instead (FYI-it was delicious!). I also normally use a cheap olive oil spray from Target to spray all my parchment paper before baking and when I took a glance at that one, I saw it contained soy. So that was out too. I now make extra sure I take a look at the label before I add anything to my plate.
Once the ingredients were purchased I started with my meal prep for the week.
Links to some of the recipes listed
Chicken, Asparagus & Sheet Pan Meal
For the most part I followed this plan pretty consistently. I switched up breakfast a couple times but that's about it. I haven't felt very many cravings yet (except for wine!). I feel satisfied and not deprived of anything so far. We shall see how the rest of the weeks go but Week 1 has been pretty successful in terms of satiety. I would say the meal plans I am making are not too different from what I normally eat except that now I am ensuring the ingredients I put into the recipes are compliant with the program.
In terms of activity, I worked out 5 days this week. Saturday and Sunday were rest days since I had Lasik surgery Friday evening. The only day I felt a little low energy was Wednesday morning (Day 3). I started to feel a bit of a headache Tuesday night that got progressively worse so waking up Wednesday morning wasn't the most fun thing in the world. So I changed up my usual HIIT and strength training routine that morning for some light cardio. The next day I was back to my usual workout plan.
Due to the Lasik, I have to take a few more rest days so my plan is to go to the gym just to walk on the treadmill a bit and catch up on "This Is Us" in an effort to stay active. I do know that the days I did not work out, I was more hungry because I didn't have my pre and post workout snacks. During workout days, a hardboiled egg and a little avocado has been working out well for me as a pre-workout "meal". I normally don't eat at all before workouts so I had to find something small enough that wouldn't upset my stomach. After my workouts I have been having an RxBar or another small high carb, moderate protein snack (sweet potatoes & egg whites or something similar). I plan to keep this up next week since it went well during Week 1.
Even though I'm only a week in, I already made some observations about my eating habits. One habit I identified is that I love a glass (bottle) of wine when I meal prep. Saturday and Sunday when I was preparing my food the craving for wine was so strong! But it was more a product of the activity that I was doing more than actually wanting the wine itself. Another habit is my tendency to raid the pantry after dinner for something sweet or salty. The first few days I had a little dried mango after dinner because even though the program doesn't recommend snacking, my philosophy for these first couple weeks was if I want a snack, I'm going to have it and just make sure it's compliant. Rather than get so frustrated or feel deprived that I completely give up and eat something off plan. I made the commitment for these 30 days so that's my survival plan.
The "no snacking" deal is a recommendation versus a rule so I am bringing snacks with me daily just in case and then seeing how I feel. Normally I eat smaller meals and then snack throughout the day so switching up that habit has been an adjustment. For Whole30 I am making bigger meals to keep me satisfied and then trying to really evaluate if I'm hungry or I just want a snack for the sake of snacking. I'm finding that I am starting to be able to tell the difference between the two.
I have been having a few headaches this weekend but it's hard to say if that's due to Whole30 or the Lasik. Hopefully as next week goes on I will have a better idea. The only other thing I'm noticing is that my skin is breaking out more than usual which surprises (and annoys) me. The Whole30 Day by Day book did mention that might happen so I'll wait a little before I panic.
Non Scale Victories
- Avoiding all the Costco samples (this was harder than it sounds, I swear!)
- Not snacking after dinner (accomplished this on 4 nights)
- Really evaluating if I am actually hungry before I decide to snack
- Staying compliant on the night I got Lasik (which was a really rough night)
I'm looking forward to seeing what other revelations come up in week 2! Anyone else completing a Whole30 in January? How are you feeling??
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