As promised, here is my poorly photographed recap of my meals during the first week of the Whole30 challenge. So far, so good! I’ve had some delicious meals, resisted some yummy-looking treats (peanut butter pie, anyone?), and made it through a day of traveling with plenty of healthy eats. I feel pretty good, although mid-week I started feeling a bit sluggish and munchy. That may have had to do with my readjusted sleep schedule and cold turkey avoidance of Christmas treats, but regardless I find that lots of water, hot tea, and taking life a little bit slower has helped.
Day 1: Still at my parents’ house, so I feasted on leftover holiday brisket and all the veggies I could find for brunch. Dinner was a packet of wild-caught pink salmon from the pantry, mixed with some olive oil and Penzey’s Parisian Bonnes Herbes, plus more veggies, including an entire roasted sweet potato.
Day 2: We spent the whole day on the road driving back to Texas. We stopped for macadamia nuts and kombucha as a mid-morning snack, and combined a quick shopping trip at Whole Foods with lunch at the salad/hot bar. That was a lot of fun, being able to pick bites of this and scoops of that. I had greens and fresh veggies and a rotisserie chicken leg, drizzled with fresh avocado dressing. For dinner we stopped at Blue Taco in Abiline and I had a “naked” burrito, with lettuce and spinach, some amazing shredded beef barbacoa, salsa, pico de gallo, guacamole, grilled green peppers/onions and grilled pineapple. That grilled pineapple rocked my world.
Day 3: Home again! I rummaged around and found some leftover Mexican Braised Beef in the fridge, and heated it up with homemade zesty tomato sauce with a side of green bell pepper. An odd breakfast, yes, but I needed something to fuel a day full of laundry, cleaning, and taking down our Christmas decorations. Dinner that night was Tandoori Chicken, roasted kabocha squash, and garlicky braised kale. I made myself a little “mocktail” — the first of many, I imagine — with unsweetened (VERY TART) cranberry juice, coconut water, a dash of angostura bitters and club soda. A few slivers of pear were refreshing as a dessert. Day 4: We woke up to snow this morning, and got to have a lazy breakfast until Andrew went to work at 11. We enjoyed lots of coffee, fried eggs, nitrate-free bacon and some more pear slices. My lunch consisted of leftovers from the night before, warmed in the oven. Half of a granny smith apple with some raw almond butter and cinnamon held me over until our quick supper of Roasted Chicken Chili, sprinkled with dulse and accompanied by bell peppers and lacto-fermented pickles. Then we were off to the late showing of Les Miserables, which was spellbinding. I snacked on mac nuts in the theater instead of popcorn. When I watch sad movies, romantic movies, or movies with intense action, I like to munch. Les Mis had all of the above — tears! unrequited love! bloodshed! patriotism! — so I knew to arrive prepared.
Day 5: Breakfast was late and small — a coconut milk/water smoothie with frozen blueberries, cocoa, cinnamon and maca. Lunch was leftover Roasted Chicken Chili and dinner was fish taco salad at some friends’ house, where I avoided a beautiful homemade peanut butter pie.
Day 6: We broke our habit of eating breakfast at home and went out for brunch at a local spot, The Grill. Pictured below is a terribly dark and grainy shot of my incredible brunch: steak rancheros with black coffee and a side of fruit (subbed for country potatoes). The ranchero sauce was homemade and very flavorful, and combined well with the over-easy eggs and the New York strip steak. I wasn’t hungry again until the evening, when we had more leftover tandoori chicken, squash, and kale before going to see Django (we’re on a real movie kick lately). That afternoon I roasted some sweet potatoes, sampled them of course, and hardboiled some eggs to prep for the week. Before the movie I pulled a pork roast out of the freezer to thaw for dinner later this week.
Day 7: Another lazy morning yielded another brunch, this time cooked at home. I made this Cowboy Breakfast Skillet with leftover roast kabocha squash, roasted sweet potatoes, a little sausage and some eggs, plus a coconut-berry smoothie on the side. Before going to a circuit training workout I snacked on a hardboiled egg and a few sweet potato coins, and fueled up post-workout with a small handful of mac nuts. Dinner was homemade turkey meatballs, with Greek-inspired spices, plus homemade tomato sauce and roasted spaghetti squash. We headed to a local pub to catch the BSC Championship Bowl and cheer on the SEC, where I avoided the most delicious of beers in favor of some club soda with lime. Later I had a hardboiled egg with mustard and a Bubbie’s lacto-fermented pickle as a snack. #noiamnotpregnant
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Undocumented were a lot of macadamia nuts, a great deal more fruit than I usually consume, too much coffee and probably too many roasted sweet potato coins. With traveling and a heavy work load this week, I’m just proud I survived the first few days of Whole30, but in the next few days I’ll be more mindful of how I snack. I’d much rather choose good proteins and fat than fruit or starch when I need a boost, and although mac nuts are a wonderful source of portable energy, I can easily eat a whole bag if I’m not careful. Luckily, I finished off our supply so there will be no more rogue handfuls snuck as I’m passing through the kitchen.
Some goals for the next week include the aforementioned snack awareness, plus a diligence to really make sure all of my ingredients and meals are Whole30 approved. I thought I cleaned out the pantry pretty well, but I’ve seen a few additives here and there that must’ve slipped past my scrutiny. However, this isn’t enough to derail me — I’ve made it through one week, and I intend to finish this off with 100% effort and clean adherence to the guidelines. Thankfully I have a supportive partner in all of this, and Andrew only sometimes tries to feed me a cookie or BBQ pork nachos. What can I say? I’m a lucky girl.
Is anyone else joining the Whole30 journey to health this month? Have any questions or comments? Let me know, I’m always curious!