The #Whole30: Week 1 in Review

keep-calm-igRather than commit to (and bore you with) daily entries regarding my month of embracing radical change a la the Whole 30 recommendations, I decided to blog once a week.

Most of these notes probably interest only me, but in case you’re considering giving the Whole 30 a try, are in the middle of a Whole 30 like me, or are a Whole 30 veteran, if my experiences/challenges/victories provide guidance/inspiration/warnings for anyone, then I am pleased.

And here we go – my week in review:

Whole 30, Day 0:

oatmealcremepieI’ve alternated between bingeing on crap and trying to still my racing, nervous insides. Tomorrow? I start this tomorrow? I’m so excited and yet so irrationally terrified. Which tells me I really need to do it. I spent the last two days reading The Whole 30 essentially from cover-to-cover; today I delved into It Starts With Food. All while doing what they say not to do: don’t start the Whole 30 with a binge the day before. Uh, try a week. I’m sure I’ll be paying for this. On the other hand, if I don’t do the program, I’ll be paying for much longer.

Whole 30, Day 1:

tongueoutI didn’t eat all morning, because of yesterday’s Super Binge. I had to go to a church luncheon, but it really wasn’t bad – I ate a snack pack of almonds, a Larabar, a banana, and some carrots. Pretty sure that’s not the ideal Whole 30 meal, but I didn’t eat any off-plan foods.

Dinner brought my first adventure with zoodles – zucchini sliced into noodle shapes.

One of the most annoying things about me (to me) is my weird rejection of foods that don’t seem “right.” I tried substituting ground turkey for ground beef in spaghetti once, for the health factor, but couldn’t eat it. Likewise, I bought a pound of ground bison once, but again, it didn’t go into my mouth. So. Annoying.

zoodlesHalfway through my second bite of spaghetti-sauce covered zoodles, my gag reflex went off. Hello? No. I don’t need this. Zoodles are bland. They are fine with spaghetti sauce, if a bit crunchy (is one supposed to cook them? I assumed not). So why was my head trying to reject them?

[The community subsequently informed me one should cook zoodles, and if they had eaten them raw, they, too, would have gagged. I feel better.]

I ate about half the bowl, saved the rest for lunch tomorrow, ate some broccoli, and a few strawberries and grapes. Interestingly, I had been starving right before dinner, but barely ate half of it before I decided I was full. We’ll see if I get hungry this evening.

Also, I tried to make Whole 30 mayonnaise (not sure why, since I don’t like mayonnaise, but hey, it seemed the thing to do). No luck; it was a soupy mess. I’ve put it in the fridge anyway, to see if it will solidify there, and I might still cook some chicken in it or something, but clearly it was Disastrous Kitchen Mess: 1, Margaret: 0.

[“Mayo soup” got thrown out on Day 4, without being used]

In the meantime, back to reading It Starts With Food, and hunting down more recipes to try.

Whole 30, Day 2:

tiredStupid gag reflex. Ate a bite of raw red pepper this morning. Nearly gagged (but not when they were mixed in with my eggs). Ate my leftover zoodles for lunch. Struggled a little, but not as bad as yesterday. Ate a cold, hard-boiled egg in the afternoon, and thought I was going to hurl. Stupid brain. I’m pretty sure it’s all in my head, but I need this reaction to GO AWAY.

Walked two miles. Slowly – it was not super-hot, but was very humid outside.

Tired today – took a two hour nap. A bit mentally foggy. Did eat a Larabar at the store. Still struggling with finding things I like to eat, and getting the balance right for the program (ie, still ate two snacks today, and I know my meals aren’t quite at the protein+lots of veggies+fat balance yet). But I was “compliant” (a word which makes me want to scream, “I’m not docile!”) and I made it to the end of day 2. I was feeling pretty good tonight – we’ll see what day 3 holds.

Whole 30, Day 3:

angryIn the book, Days 4 & 5 are labeled “Hate All The Things.” Well, I always was a precocious child. Hating everything today. Stomach feels off. Took a nap, and dreamt I was eating large mounds of donuts and muffins. I guess I know what I miss most.

Wrestling with that old familiar thought of, “What the heck is the point of trying to eat well? Why not just pig out and enjoy everything there is to eat, since we’re all going to die and the world is going to hell in a hand basket anyway?”

My Sugar Dragon is devious and enormous, people. What’s your answer to the question above? Looking for reasons to stay resolute. (I am resolute, no worries, but it still helps to have reasons to remind me why I am.)

End of the day was better than the first, though I’m still struggling to “get it right.” I definitely don’t want to eat as much protein as I’m supposed to, and want to, instead, eat nuts and fruit. Told you that Sugar Dragon was quite the wench.

Whole 30, Day 4:

unmotivatedcatSlept in; woke up feeling better, but dreading breakfast. That’s the hardest meal for me. Made scrambled eggs with peppers in them. Didn’t get tired until mid-afternoon, but still had to lie down for an hour.

Same feeling of food dread/food frustration in the evening. This isn’t good, folks. I WANT to embrace new foods and feel happy with what I’m eating, but I’m not. Not yet.

Then again, according to Whole 30, I’m still in the “Want To Kill All The Things” phase. So I’m hoping this is my brain in rebellion, and that it will pass, and soon I will love food again. If not, well, maybe eating less is good on the weight end (though I suspect some of my lack of energy stems from that).

Whole 30, Day 5:

Totally wiped out. Walked two miles this morning and it was way harder than it ought to have been. Didn’t take a nap today (the first time all week!), but that’s only because I had to go with son to high school freshman orientation–which in and of itself was exhausting!

The hardest part was walking out and smelling pizza. PIZZA. My salivary glands still have not recovered.

I felt angry much of the day. This evening, had some bouts of melancholy. I must really think this is worth it to keep at it. But I vowed all 30 days, and that’s what I’m doing. Please let the Tiger Magic come sooner rather than later, though.

Whole 30, Day 6:

eggsLesson learned: Do not try to reheat a hard-boiled egg in the microwave – at least not for too long. I wanted to avoid the gagging issue of a few days ago by heating up an egg before eating it. Only it exploded. With a very loud bang, and a very big mess. The kids thought it was hilarious. OK, I did, too, but it sure was a chore to clean up – and I ended up making scrambled eggs, instead, after that.

A friend invited me to lunch with her daughter and my daughter. I didn’t really want to go because I was nervous about the food part, but I like this friend and don’t see her often enough, so I said yes. Guess where the daughters picked to eat? Golden Corral. GOLDEN CORRAL, people. Buffet-O-Rama.

I did the best I could. I would not be surprised if the cold steak pieces I ate, the one slider burger I ate (sans bun & cheese, of course!), and the small piece of rotisserie chicken (inside piece) had stuff on them I shouldn’t have had. I ate a naked baked potato, salad with chopped up egg and no dressing, four strawberries, and two pieces of pineapple.

If there was stuff on the meat, I’m not starting this thing over. Because I WANTED to be face-down in the mashed potatoes, the bread, the entire dessert island. And I wasn’t.

I do feel a bit better today – slightly less interested in killing everything. Frustrated that this evening I feel quite apathetic – there’s so much I can and should be doing, and I’m just like, “Whatevs.”

But I made it through another day.

Whole 30, Day 7:

Tired. Tired. Why I am I always tired? Part of the reason I’m doing this is to IMPROVE that, not worsen it. I have been so tired all week. Yesterday I took a nap from 3:30 – 5. I went to bed at 11:30, a bit late, but didn’t get up until nearly 9 this morning! And yet I’m still tired. I just got up from napping with my daughter (she had an excuse; she was exhausted from an overnight) for two hours. Augh.

Apparently I've been angry for a long, long time. This pic is from 1995.
Apparently I’ve been angry for a long, long time. This pic is from 1995.

I also am angry. Irrationally, intensely angry. I’m sure this is both because of the withdrawal reactions to food I love, AND because I’m no longer stuffing that anger down with food.

So in a way, it’s good, these horrible moods.

Not that I want to be in them, not that I want to expose the people around me to them, but because maybe, just maybe, it means I’m breaking down 40 years’ worth of behavior patterns. I’ve never, ever felt comfortable with being angry; it’s an emotion I’m supposed to deny, to ignore, to stuff down. Or so I tell myself.

I was grumpy this morning, irritated with this whole process. This afternoon, I’m feeling hope again, hope that there’s a reason I’m doing this, that it will get better, and that I can make real, lasting progress in this life-long war with food and myself.


This isn’t the happy, cheery first week of Whole 30 people might want to read about. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it a shot. I’m a week away from the Magic, as they call it, the Tiger’s Blood, where I’m supposed to sleep extra well, be full of energy, etc. I’m in the middle of the really sucky part – and yes, for me, it’s really sucked.

And yet, I’m determined – because recognizing that while feeling angry SUCKS, the fact that I FEEL it is good, has me pushing on, and pushing forward.

orange-clip-art-2Although I admit, I still have a long way to go. I need to:

  • include more vegetables, especially green ones
  • eat a bigger variety of protein
  • eat fewer Larabars! (I’ve averaged one a day)
  • work on getting to a true 3 meal a day plan – I still want to snack/graze through the day
  • figure out how to manage the gag reflex versus trying new foods.
  • get more exercise in!

If you’ve read this far, kudos to you. Wish me luck for Week Two, won’t you?


#Whole30 Thursday: Prep Week

keep-calm-igIf you know me in real life, or have read my posts about sugar woes, you know that food and weight have been lifelong battles for me.

Last year, I successfully gave up sugar for six months. Since then, I’ve hopped on and off the sugar train more times than I care to count (why does the conductor keep punching my ticket?). I dropped a bit of weight, most of which has stayed off, and yet my eating habits are straying back toward utterly reprehensible from merely rather embarrassing. And the walking I’d been doing? Yeah, that has disappeared, as well.

It’s time to do something. I sit far too often and move far too little (especially now that I’m writing). I eat nutritionally empty foods, and then complain about how I feel. And now that I’m in my 40s, some of the deleterious effects of this non-approach to health are making themselves known. No fun.

As I a) do well with new approaches and b) do well with all-or-nothing type deals (moderation is NOT workable for me when it comes to this issue), I’m doing the Whole 30, a plan recommended to me by my doctor, and about which I’ve been reading a lot the last few days.

sugarSure, there will be things I’m giving up:

  • sugar [cue the sobbing]
  • grains/gluten [what? no donuts?]
  • dairy [cheeeeeeez]
  • alcohol [ha ha, I don’t drink]
  • legumes [bye bye, beloved peanut butter]
  • soy [oh boy]

But there will be things I’m gaining: not only will I finally be eating the foods that are really GOOD for my body (high-quality protein, veggies, fruits, and good fats), but if things go as planned, I’ll also be improving the quality of my sleep, my energy levels, the way my body feels on a day-to-day basis, and maybe I’ll even drop a few pounds. 

(If you’ve done this plan, I’d LOVE to hear from you, either in the comments below, or via email at


Once a week, I’ll pop in and document my progress, not because I think y’all will be riveted to the screen, but because I need accountability, and how much more accountability can one ask for than to post publicly that one is doing this?

Pray for me, will ya? Or send warm wishes – whatever works for you. Because it isn’t going to be easy for this sugar-addicted, chocolate-inhaling, carb-loving woman to give that up.

But it will be good.