As soon as I decided to do the Whole30 I started working on my meal plans and grocery lists for the first 15 days. (You can never be too prepared.)
I compiled recipes from Pinterest, and two cookbooks: Well Fed 2 by Melissa Joulwan and The Whole30: The Official 30-Day Guide to Health and Food Freedom by Melissa and Dallis Hartwig.
I found and ordered a kick-ass all-purpose spice blend from Paleo Powder. It gives a little bite of flavor to whatever you put it in – eggs, steak, veggies, and more. Spices really make the dish. I’ve been experimenting with different mixes and I don’t think I’ve eaten more flavorful food.
The meals have been fabulous: scrambled eggs loaded with meat and veggies, summery fruit salads, sweet potato chili, juicy baked chicken, plantain nachos, golden cauliflower soup, and so much more. I’m actually following recipes, modifying as I go, and writing down the differences.
Meal prep helps significantly. I spend a few hours cooking and baking on the weekend to get ready for the week. Good make-ahead foods include chili, roasted sweet potatoes, sautéed zucchini, spaghetti squash, baked chicken, and meatballs. They are great meal starters that make it so much easier to finish up dinner after a long day – you’re practically halfway there. Plus, they keep nicely in the fridge.
The food is very filling and I’ve found myself eating a lot less. Before, I would snack throughout the day, mindlessly eating trail mix while sitting at my desk or popcorn while watching a movie in bed. Now, if I’m hungry, I drink a glass of water, wait 20 minutes (as recommended), and if the feeling jd still there, grab my go-to snack: frozen grapes.
The goal is to eat three meals a day, each being large and satisfying enough to last you to the next; minimal to no snacking throughout the day. I drink a lot of filtered and sparkling water during the day and sometimes have a mocktail at dinner to spice it up a bit. Herbal tea is sprinkled throughout the day – dorm times mid-morning, sometimes in the afternoon.
I stopped drinking my morning shake, which contains stevia, pea protein, and other unapproved ingredients. Liquid meals are also not recommended during the program, or after for that matter. My replacement breakfasts include eggs, sweet potato hash, breakfast bowls, and even chili.
Day 1 was a little tough – I don’t think I’ve gone a while morning between breakfast and lunch without snacking. I didn’t start sleeping well until day 5 and then I started waking up before my alarm – a total first for me. I also started craving some junk food around day 6/7 – sugar withdrawal at its finest.
Some people have experienced mood changes, but I didn’t (at least I don’t think I did). My headaches have continued in full-force (pain 6-7/10) almost every day, so I’m still hoping for relief in that area. But – and this is HUGE – I’ve been dairy free for 15 days!
Overall, so far so good. More details to come on day 30 (August 3rd, but who’s counting?). I’ll share everything you need to know about the program for a successful beginning, ending, and everything in between. Stay tuned!