Whole 30 Week 1 Recap

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WHY I’M DOING WHOLE 30

Several months ago I ordered the Whole 30 book on Amazon. I didn’t know much about the program other than one breakfast recipe a friend cooked me that was Whole 30 approved. It was delicious - eggs, sweet potato hash and a side of greens. I didn’t think anything about it after that. Until I stumbled across an Instagram post by someone who was on the program - hence the ordering of the book. I received the book in the mail, skimmed through the first few pages and never looked at it again. I’m a healthy eater - by nature I actually enjoy kale salad and unsweetened almond milk. I also enjoy the occasional pizza and have a massive sugar addition. When I say that I have a sugar addiction, most people picture me pigging out on donuts, cookies and gummy bears. But that’s not even my problem (I’m not saying I won’t get down on a donut on occasion because I ABSOLUTELY will). To most, my sugar sources seem pretty innocent: frozen yogurt with toppings every couple weeks, protein bars at work, the occasional “healthy” gluten free cookie, or a couple squares of milk chocolate after dinner (yes, I said it - MILK. Who actually enjoys dark chocolate anyways?). But the truth is, these things add up and the fact that most food items that come in a package have sugar hidden somewhere in the list of ingredients (whether in the form of cane sugar, honey, agave, or stevia) makes it even harder to avoid, and therefore before most of us even realize it, we have an addiction to the sweet stuff.

Since admitting you have a problem is the first step, I finally admitted to myself that I have an issue with sugar. I shouldn’t be craving something sweet after every dinner. SO, I decided I would give Whole 30 a try. Decreasing my sugar intake and kicking the addiction to the curb was my personal motivation for starting the program, but there are so many other reasons to embark on Whole 30. 

When you’re on the Whole 30 program you basically cut out dairy, sugar, alcohol, grains and legumes. Which means you’re eating meat, seafood, eggs, veggies, fruit and natural fats. The idea behind the program is that some of these foods you’re eliminating for the 30 days might be causing inflammation or other issues. At the end of the 30 days you can slowly reintroduce each type of food back in to your diet to see how your body responds. 

After reading more about Whole 30, I had another motivation behind starting the program - inflammation. There are so many illnesses related to inflammation (some include allergies, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, PCOS, and the list goes on and on) and inflammation is often caused by what foods we consume.

This is a lot if information, but there’s so much more that I tell you. But for now I’ll just share my experience and a few recipes from my first week on Whole 30. 

RECAP FROM THE WEEK:

I started the program on a Monday, so on Sunday night I cleaned out the cabinets and gave away anything that didn’t fit into the program that I thought I might be tempted by when the cravings hit. Surprisingly I didn’t have that much to clean out besides some Greek yogurt, bread and chocolate (so sad). Thankfully my neighbor gladly took the items I cleaned out so I wasn’t wasting any food. I went shopping and prepared some meals so I was ready Monday morning. I like to meal prep Sundays and Wednesdays so the food still tastes fresh. I made almond milk, breakfast casserole, kale/spinach salad (see the recipe here minus raisins and lentils) , sweet potatoes (I just slice in chunks and roast with coconut oil and cinnamon) and steak fajitas (see the recipe here). 

So far I’ve felt a little lethargic at times, but overall my cravings haven’t been as bad as I thought they would be. I had a moment on Wednesday where I was craving something sugary and full of carbs (strawberry pop tart - so random), but I got over it pretty fast. I have noticed that I’m exhausted around 8:30/9pm, but that could also be attributed to my busy schedule. 

Part of the guidelines of the program is that you don’t weight yourself, so I won’t be stepping on the scale until I’m done with Whole 30. I do, however feel a difference in my digestion. Over the past 6 months or so I’ve noticed that I wake up feeling bloated even when I eat a clean dinner relatively early. I’ve tried apple cider vinegar, warm lemon water, teas, digestive enzymes, probiotics, you name it. But the past two days I woke up feeling much better (although I am more tired when I get up), so I’m hoping that continues. 

RECIPES:

Almond Milk:

1 cup almonds

3 cups filtered water

sea salt

 

  1. Soak the almonds for 5 hours or overnight. 
  2. Drain the water and rinse the almonds. Remove the peeling (easier than it sounds)
  3. Toss the almonds, water and sea salt in the blender. Blend on high for about 1 minute. 
  4. Strain the almond milk through a cheese cloth/nut milk cloth. Enjoy!
  5. This will store for about 2-3 days in the fridge. 

 

Breakfast Casserole:

Makes 9 servings

1 large sweet potato sliced into 1/4 rounds

2 tbs coconut oil

1 yellow onion sliced thin. 

2 cups spinach

6 eggs

6 egg whites

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 c nutritional yeast (this gives it a cheesy flavor)

pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. 

2. Grease a baking pan with coconut oil and a baking sheet with coconut oil. 

3.  Place the sweet potato slices on the baking sheet and, toss with coconut oil, sprinkle with sea salt and place in the oven for about 25-30 minutes. Once they’re done, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool. 

4. Place 1/2 tbs of coconut oil in a medium pan and sauté the yellow onion. 

5. As the onion sautés, whisk together the eggs, egg whites, salt, pepper and nutritional yeast. 

6. Assembly: place the sweet potatoes in the bottom of the greased casserole dish and layer onions on top. Pour the egg mixture over the potato and onion and top with spinach leaves. 

7. Bake on 425 for about 20-25 minutes (check to make sure the egg is cooked in the middle. I sliced the casserole into 9 pieces so I could take them for breakfast/snacks throughout the day.