Whole30 Challenge: Day 1

For the next 30 days, I’ll be following the Whole30 to kick my disordered eating habits and repair my relationship with food.

Since the Whole30 doesn’t provide strict guidelines except “eat real food” and “no sweeteners, alcohol, grains, legumes, dairy, carrageenan, MSG or sulfites”, I started out with something simple: the traditional bodybuilder “chicken and vegetable” diet. It’s Whole30 compliant and I know many have had success with it (see www.bodybuilding.com transformations), including petite women like me. The exception will be meals at the office – I usually eat a big salad for lunch, which gives me tons of energy. However, since I’m working from home this week, this was my lunch today:

It’s chicken breast, butternut squash, and kale seasoned with salt. To prevent myself from dying over boredom, I also got some mystery spice mixes from Cost Plus World Market for the chicken (ok, they’re not really mysteries; I’m just not very familiar with African and Middle Eastern cooking). In the above picture, I tried out “ras el hanout“, a spice mix from North Africa. It was pretty good!

I also decided to add in a can of fish once per day as either part of a meal (if I’m still hungry after the chicken and veggies) or snack because eating sardines and mackerel has completely eliminated my PMS. I went from bloated and miserable for half the month to having no symptoms at all. Here’s my snack for today:

I also got some teas ready, in case the mystery spices weren’t enough variety. I don’t drink my tea with milk or sweetener, so I figured it wouldn’t be a problem.

So far so good? Well… kind of. Around 2pm in the afternoon, I started feeling very cold and tired. It was so bad that I couldn’t focus on my work. Since I have thyroid issues, I take feeling cold and tired pretty seriously. I ultimately decided to add in some chestnuts, conveniently packaged in 60g sachets:

…and I was back! Feeling good again.

Dinner wasn’t too difficult. My roommate asked me if I wanted to stop by the local grocery store to pick something up, but I was able to decline. I figured, “If I go into the grocery store, the temptation will be too great to pick up something that doesn’t meet my diet plan. I am hungry, but I already have a meal waiting for me.” Thank goodness for my premade meals!

Late in the evening, I couldn’t stop thinking about food. I WAS HUNGRY! I tried to distract myself (successfully, I might add) for a couple hours looking at trails – booked a trip to Yosemite in April! But ultimately, the hunger won over. I was smart about what I ate, though. I had half a can of herring:

I’m feeling pretty good about this challenge, but it’s only starting. I’m coming off of a cold, so I’ve been working from home, which is making the psychological impact easier. I anticipate it will be much more challenging when I go back into the office on Monday and have to manage my stress around difficult coworkers… but until then, I’ll enjoy the smooth sailing!

To health and happiness!

TL;DR Diet Log

  • Morning snack: 1 can mackerel in oil
  • Lunch: 4oz chicken breast (salt + ras el hanout spice mix), 1/2c cooked kale, 1/2c butternut squash
  • Afternoon snack: 60g chesnuts (about 1 handful)
  • Dinner: 4oz chicken breast (salt + ras el hanout spice mix), 1/2c cooked kale, 1/2c butternut squash
  • Late night snack: 1/2 can herring
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6 thoughts on “Whole30 Challenge: Day 1

    1. Thanks, Linda! 😀 Just curious, do you prefer keto or paleo? I’ve tried keto before, but I had issues with insomnia and dry eyes. I’m planning to go low carb on Whole30, but not so low that I wind up with those symptoms again.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hmm.. I haven’t had a problem with insomnia, but definitely dry eyes!

        From Monday to Friday I maintain ketogenic-paleo (so no cheese either) and on weekends I revert back to just paleo. But if I were to be completely honest. For Friday night – I usually go back to the food pyramid hahaha! So that’s my cheat day!

        I have discovered so many things about myself on Whole 30/keto/paleo. I am intolerant to a lot of foods that I would have never thought! It’s been a crazy experience. I’ve been cycling between these 3 ‘lifestyles’ for the last 4 – 5 years. I honestly couldn’t recommend enough. xo

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Absolutely. But also managing weight etc becomes a thing of the past. I hardly think about food as much as I used to. It’s more of a source of energy than anything I crave etc. not sure if you know what I mean. I definitely eat 3 meals a day. But because they are so high in protein and vitamins, I always feel full.

        Liked by 1 person

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