Whole30: WEEK 1
DAY 1: Feeling pretty good. Sunday’s are long so I’m exhausted but I don’t feel any different. I found myself forgetting that I was doing whole30 a lot and almost reaching for something off limits - cream in my coffee, a cookie, bottle of wine that was open at home.
Breakfast. 7:30am, roasted rosemary red potatoes with avocado slices and a fried egg with generous coarse salt and pepper.
Lunch. 1:00pm, avocado toast bowl without the toast - half an avocado, slices of radish and apple, green onions, a boiled egg, drizzled with seasoned olive oil and generous coarse salt and pepper.
Dinner. 6:45pm, Thai chicken curry over leftover spaghetti squash. I would add more veggies next time - I love bamboo shoots in curry so it would be great to track that down at the grocery store and add in some carrot and pineapple. I would also like to cook the chicken differently next time. It was a bit dry so I think it would have done better with either marinating overnight or cutting the chicken into bite size pieces before cooking and giving it a more even seasoning. Note that I made this last night specifically to eat for dinner tonight because I knew I would be so hungry when I got home from work that I would not be interested in cooking. Spaghetti squash was leftover from a meal a few nights ago and this was a great way to use up the rest.
Snack attack. I was still hungry and so I had 3-4 of these carrot cake balls I modified to be whole30 compliant. Swap oats for almond meal, and whatever whole nut it called for I didn't have so I used cashews instead. I also rolled it in almond meal at the end instead of coconut because I didn't have fine enough coconut.
PREP. Occasionally, our neighbor Steven will cook a really big brisket and he’ll ask us if we want to go half on it with him. Today happened to be one of those occasions so we threw him some cash after I made sure none of the seasonings he used had sugar in it. I had a little taste because it’s so good and then packed the rest away for meals this week. I think tomorrow I’ll try to make a chimichurri sauce to go along with the brisket and whip up some cauliflower rice or there’s a cauliflower tortilla I’m interested in trying. I also baked a couple of sweet potatoes in the oven to have for breakfast and also to try out a salmon patty recipe either tomorrow or Tuesday.
For tomorrow. I packed a small container with sweet potato and brisket - I plan on dressing this up tomorrow at work for a breakfast/lunch with a fried egg, avocado, and green onions. Maybe even a side salad with tahini and seasoned olive oil dressing. A small jar of watermelon. Because there’s a ton of it in the fridge that I need to eat before it goes bad. Dried mango slices for snacking. And a smoothie for the morning. Now I know that a smoothie is very much discouraged on whole30. And I get it, most smoothies are filled with fruit and you would never eat all of that if it was on a plate in front of you. BUT I wake up at 6am and get to work at 6:30, I don’t have time to make breakfast before or really eat anything on the way. Most of the time once I get to work I’m so busy that I won’t eat until 12:00 or so. That’s a reallly big gap to not have any food. A smoothie is super convenient to drink in the morning on the drive or even whip up once I get to work and drink while I move around. I also really try to fill it with mostly nuts and seeds so it’s filling and only a bit of fruit. So my go to smoothie right now is to fix a jar with almond butter, tahini, cashews, chia seeds, and coconut flakes. Then in the morning I’ll blend it with a banana, a bit of unsweetened almond milk to get it moving and a handful of frozen strawberries to get it icy and thick. Sometimes I’ll also throw in turmeric and cinnamon but I forgot to throw that into my prep jar tonight.
DAY 2. Feeling really exhausted. Slept through my alarm and woke up in a total panic. Reallllly happy I packed a breakfast and lunch the night before because I got dressed and rushed out the door. Overall I’m aching today! I started my period the night before so I’ve been cramping. I don’t think I drank enough water because I have a killer headache. And my body is just generally tired from standing and moving at work the past couple of days.
Breakfast. 7:30am, I made the smoothie from ingredients I packed the night before - almond butter, tahini, cashews, coconut flakes, and chia seeds all in a jar, a banana, about 5-7 small frozen strawberries, and I added some unsweetened almond milk and a dash a cinnamon. This was a life saver!! We were super busy at the coffee shop for Labor Day so I didn’t get to eat a real meal until I got home. I also had some blended watermelon with lime added and a cold brew with unsweetened almond milk while I was at work.
Lunch. 1:30pm, Brisket with chimichurri sauce and sweet potato and a couple of carrot cake balls after. I made the sauce when I got home and it was a snap. Maybe took 15 minutes to pull together. I knew the brisket needed something bright with it so this was a good option. I used the recipe from the whole30 book but I'm sure there's a ton if you search on pinterest. I think this would also be a great salad dressing. I might try it over some kale tomorrow. I didn’t have red wine vinegar so I used acv for the recipe.
Dinner. 7:00pm, Steven cooked for us again tonight which was so super sweet! He caught red fish the other day and was so sweet to cook mine in a separate pan than everyone else in olive oil instead of butter. He topped it with shrimp and crab meat. Everything was seasoned so well and he checked everything to make sure there was no added sugar in the spices he was using. Yay for great neighbors!!
Ok I read two things in the whole 30 book that made me buy a face mask. 1. That you should treat yourself with non food related things to reward yourself. Which I am definitely the kind of person that is normally like yay I did a thing now I deserve a cookie. 2. There is a timeline of what to expect during whole 30 and one of the days is titled "kill all the things." So a couple of weeks ago I was like I need to reward myself for not murdering anyone with a face mask. It's from lush and smells like chocolate. I would highly recommend treating yourself with this face mask.
DAY 3. I felt like I was eating so much today. I miss bread!!
Pre-breakfast snack. 9:00am, I slept in and grabbed a green apple to eat while I walked Clem right when I woke up.
Breakfast. 9:30am, saute white onion, scallion, and 2 sweet baby peppers in the cast iron. Cooked until fragrant then tossed in rosemary roasted potatoes and garlic until it was getting a nice grill on each side and then I smashed the potatoes with a fork. Then last minute I decided I wanted to throw in some cherry tomatoes and smashed those. Put all of that in a bowl and tossed in leftover pesto and a fried runny egg.
Lunch. 12:00pm, leftover chicken Thai curry over the last of the spaghetti squash. I was even less a fan of the curry today. It was not very flavorful so I added some fresh cilantro and lots of red pepper flakes.
Early dinner? 5:00ish, Brisket, sweet potatoes, avocado seasoned with cayenne and salt and a side of chimichurri sauce.
Snack? Dinner? 5:30pm, I know this is a weird food combo and time of day but I was about to head to my studio and I wanted to bulk up on meals to prevent myself from getting hangry so I whipped up a super seed and nut smoothie to get me through the rest of the night. Same as yesterday, banana, almond milk, coconut flakes, almond butter, tahini, chia seeds, and frozen strawberries. I did add more almond milk and strawberries and blend for much longer this time so it could be a smoother consistency. It kept me full for the rest of the night which was great because I didn’t get home until around 9:00 and then it was straight to getting ready for bed.
DAY 4. Today was a great I feel like I was really paying attention to what my body needed and truly had a restful and restorative day. I feel like I didn't have to eat nearly as much as yesterday. I also feel like having such a veggie filled breakfast made a huge difference.
Breakfast. 9:00. I woke up for an early morning walk at 6:30 in city park with Clementine. Once I got home I needed to give her a bath and take a shower myself and then I made myself a big breakfast. Sauteed white onion, shallot, carrot, and jalapeno in olive oil. Then added roasted rosemary red potatoes until crispy. Then added in cherry tomatoes and kale. Then 2 beaten eggs. Then drizzled leftover pesto and a slice of bacon. It was so good! I wasn't planning on adding the bacon but I was baking it in the oven to have for the next day and it was ready just in time. I was so full after and feeling great but so sleepy. I hadn't had any coffee and I realized that I could force myself to wake up by drinking some but my body probably really needed the rest so I snuggled Clem and we both took a good nap. I felt so good after! I don't usually nap but this was a good reminder that it can be so helpful to take it easy.
Snack time. 1:00ish. I had a lot of cleaning in the kitchen before I could make a real lunch so I had a little snack. And for some reason I was craving strawberry milk. I don't know if I've ever had it but for some reason it sounded amazing. I blended up 5-6 fresh strawberries in almond milk and it was great. This might be cheating in whole30 terms but oh well.
Then I wanted coffee because I had just woke up from a big nap. I made a cup blended with coconut cream and cinnamon. I wasn't a fan so I ended up tossing it for coffee with almond milk.
Lunch. 3:00pm, spicy watermelon salad (cilantro, jalapeno, & lime juice) and brisket. This watermelon salad was super good! I would totally make again. I think it would be especially good side dish for a grill day.
Drink Treat: I stopped by Church Alley and got an almond milk chai before I went out to run errands.
DAY 5. I had a dream last night that I cheated on my whole30 diet and ate pancakes. I woke up disappointed in myself and confused on if it really happened or not. I was especially cranky today. I feel like I could smell out anything sweet. Every grocery store I went to smelled like cinnamon rolls.
Breakfast. 6:45am, I was so hungry I couldn’t wait until opening the shop to eat so I threw together a quick avo bowl and ate while I did opening tasks at the coffee shop. Half an avocado, boiled egg, sliced radish and apple drizzled with seasoned olive oil and lots of salt and pepper.
Lunch. 11:30am, I was soooo hungry by the time lunch rolled around. I grocery shop for the coffee shop I work at and I had to fix myself this big salad before I left to shop. Arugula, cucumber, sliced strawberries, green onions, avocado, and a fried egg. For dressing I drizzled seasoned olive oil and tahini with lots of salt and pepper and I think I even squeezed a little lime in there.
Second lunch. 2:35pm, the salad held me just enough to grocery shop and then I was hungry again. As soon as I got home I made some food in the cast iron. Sauté onion, shallot, baby peppers, and jalapeño. Added sweet potato and brisket. Then threw in kale and tossed until it turned bright green. Topped with sliced almonds and a side of chimichurri sauce.
Dinner. 4:42pm, I was headed to the studio so I made a smoothie to drink on the drive over. It was not good but I powered through because they’ve been keeping me full while I work and I’m not able to bring a proper meal with me or eat out. I wanted to try a new mix so I used coconut cream, strawberries, almond butter, tahini, chia seeds, coconut flakes. It was way too thick so I added in almond milk like I normally do. I think the consistency of the coconut cream (kind of oily) really threw me off and I think I used too much tahini.
Snack. 7:00pm, dried mango slices. I feel like my taste buds are starting to change because these tasted like literal candy to me. I also had a handful of cashews
DAY 6. Still trying to figure out how to balance meals. I feel like how much food I can eat so that I stay full is a constant thought. I definitely need to find a solution to meals I can bring to the studio.
Breakfast. 8:30am, another day, another breakfast scramble. Sauté onion, shallot, sweet baby peppers, jalapeño. Used the rest of the rosemary roasted potatoes. Cherry tomatoes and kale. Then added 4 eggs beaten. Split it into two bowls for me and Andy. Added the rest of the pesto from the fridge and added bacon on top. It was ok. Not as good as other days but I powered through and ate it because I know I need all of those veggies. Andy added cheese to his and still couldn’t eat that much of it.
Snack. 12:00pm, I was at the studio and trying to hold off leaving for lunch as long as possible. I snacked on a LOT of cashews, the rest of the dried mango, and had part of an apple but it was really bruised and kind of mealy so I didn’t eat the whole thing.
Lunch. 3:15pm, brisket and watermelon salad - cilantro, jalapeño and lime.
Snack Dinner? 4:00pm, I was planning on heading back to the studio so I fixed a smoothie. Mixed it up again but realized after that I’ve been introducing more fruit into the smoothie and I need to go back to adding mostly seeds and nuts. This was almond butter, almond milk, coconut flake, frozen strawberry, half a banana, and frozen blueberries.
DAY 7. I'm feeling ok. I'm hungry a lot of the time and getting really sick of almonds. But I did a full week with no mess ups and was really good about eating all of the food in the fridge without anything spoiling and throwing it out so that's making me feel accomplished. I'm excited to grocery shop and try new recipes this upcoming week. Definitely going to mix it up and try some different flavors.
Breakfast. 8:00am, strawberries, avocado, and soft scrambled egg with salt and cayenne pepper.
Lunch. 1:00pm, I did a really big grocery trip and wanted to cook some new things when I got home. I made these cauliflower tortillas and ended up eating the entire batch with salsa for lunch. I'll make more today to actually keep in the fridge for tomorrow. Some things to note about making these. I feel like I did a pretty good job of straining out most of the liquid from the cauliflower before mixing it with the other ingredients but it was still a very wet batter. It wasn't a dough consistency and it kind of looks like cat vomit before you bake it as you can see in the photo below. BUT, don't let that discourage you! It actually baked to be a totally normal, edible looking substance and I ate all of them by myself in one sitting so that should tell you they were actually pretty good (or I was incredibly hungry). I think I'd like to experiment with using this recipe but adding in some more spices or changing out the cauliflower for riced broccoli and seeing how that turns out. I was also really not sure if these would stay that shape or spread as they baked. They pretty much held the shape so next time I would spread each one to be thinner so it comes out to be more like a tortilla.
PREP. I made salmon cakes (recipe from the whole 30 book) which used up the rest of the cooked sweet potatoes I had in the fridge - I'll have these for dinner tomorrow night. I also roasted a fresh batch of sweet potatoes to eat for the next week and use in various recipes.
Snack. 3:00pm, ate the rest of the carrot cake balls from the fridge.
Dinner. 6:00pm, I was actually editing this post and I was like ooh that sweet potato brisket with kale sounds pretty good so I ate that same exact meal with all the peppers and sliced almonds on top! Yum!
TRADER JOE'S SHOPPING TRIP - I hate grocery shopping so when I do go I really try to pack in as many items as I can. I will buy extra meat and veggies to put in the freezer if possible. Stock up on canned items that won't go bad and on snacks that will last a while like nuts and seeds. So this list includes meals for hopefully two weeks plus lots of extra pantry staples.
- unsweetened almond milk x4. I get the kind that doesn't need to be refrigerated until opened.
- pumpkin seeds
- dried mango slices
- sunflower seeds
- can of peeled tomatoes x2
- can of jackfruit x2
- tomato paste x2
- almond butter
- jalapeno hot sauce
- everything but the bagel seasoning
- bag of sweet potatoes
- dried pineapple
- frozen acai puree
- chicken breasts
- chicken drumsticks
- ground turkey
- riced broccoli
- riced cauliflower x2
- green onions
- brussel sprouts
- eggs x2 dozen
I'm looking for recipes as many places as I can! My sister loaned me the whole30 book with recipes, I'm checking pinterest on a regular basis, and I also follow the whole30 recipe instagram which is awesome - they're constantly adding recipes and it's usually from different bloggers so that can lead you down even more recipes and information on clean eating. I also love to post in my stories what I'm cooking or what I got at the grocery store and that usually leads to people responding with their favorite recipes or just favorite way to cook veggies or what they pair together.
I hope this inspires you to cook some whole30 meals!!-Em