What a week! Earlier this year, I decided to try Whole 30 but honestly, I wasn’t taking it too seriously. I thought that the Whole 30 philosophy was how I was eating anyway. But I quickly learned that was not the case. Whole 30 requires a shift in mindset. So I decided that Monday May 1 was going to be the perfect day to start the program and be strict about it!
Here’s a look at my first week of doing Whole 30 — May 1-7, 2017 — how I prepared, what I ate, what I learned and more!
HOW TO PREPARE
My friend Bari lent me a copy of Melissa Hartig’s book, It Starts With Food. That lays out the entire Whole 30 program and lifestyle. And it is just that – a lifestyle.
I also started following Melissa on Instagram as well as the official Whole 30 account and Whole 30 recipes. Several of my favorite Instagrammers share Whole 30 recipes already as well. Search the hashtags #Whole30 #Whole30Approved and #Whole30Recipes for more. I have also started sharing my Whole 30 food journey, recipes and meal ideas over on Instagram. Follow along @maebad over there!
I also checked out Pinterest for so many amazing recipes! And Whole 30 Cheat Sheets!
There’s a lot of the Whole 30 philosophy. And while it can’t be reduced into just few simple lists, I still found these very helpful for a quick and handy guide. The basics that I was the most concerned about: NO SUGAR, NO DAIRY, NO GRAINS, NO LEGUMES.
Changes I Made
I realized that there is SUGAR in EVERYTHING! No more maple syrup which I love. I had a big jug of it so I hid it away so I wouldn’t be tempted when I saw it. I made a shopping list and hit up Whole Foods, Sprouts and Trader Joes. I made my own nut milks (almond and cashew). I cut out all condiments and salad dressings. I switched out my Vital Proteins Collagen Whey (because of the milk proteins) to regular Collagen Peptides.
WHAT I ATE
During the week, my meals pretty much looked like this. I did a lot of meal prep on Sunday. I made the perfect 7 minute soft-boiled eggs. Seriously the yolk tasted like jam! So delish. I also roasted a lot of veggies, steamed broccoli and sautéed salmon with turmeric, Trader Joe’s Everything But The Bagel seasoning and lime. I packed my lunch every day!
I wanted to make sure that I was living my super fun life and not sitting at home all the time because I was afraid to eat out. At the end of Week 1, I went to TWO brunches with my friends over the weekend. It was super easy to stick to Whole 30 while eating out! I just had to be prepared. Duh. I checked the menu of the restaurant before I went to see what I could eat. And I knew what my substitutions were going to be if I had to ask for them and I was prepared to pay the difference. Now, I did have to bring my own DIY Cashew Milk. No problem though I just reused an old Kreation glass shot jar with a lid and stuck it in my purse. None of the restaurants minded at all! My DIY Cashew Milk was made with dates (which are allowed! Phew!) so it was a little sweet. But I did not add any other sweeteners to my coffees.
I went to brunch at Blu Jam Cafe in Sherman Oaks. If you’ve never been you must go next time you’re in The Valley. I ordered The Breakfast Burger, subbed the bun for lettuce and got all the sauces on the side. It came with roasted potatoes (which I’m still surprised are ok to eat but yay!) There was also an egg on the burger which made it even better! A quick note about the food quality. I shared this on Instagram but it bears repeating. I have been trying my absolute hardest to eat the absolute best quality food I can — which means organic vegetables and fruits and grassfed meats. Now, I am also trying to maintain balance. So I have no idea if that burger meat was grassfed. I don’t know if the eggs were from pasture raised chickens (I wish they were from Vital Farms – my favorite company!) But you know what, I still ate it. And it was delicious. So balance my friends. Balance.
I went to brunch at The Butcher’s Daughter in Venice. Oh I was in love with that place! The decor was fabulous — a little bit vintage and whole lotta flowers. I ordered the cauliflower grits. Goodness they were delicious. The base was cauliflower and topped with an egg, sautéed mushrooms, and micro greens. It was supposed to come with adzuki bacon. I didn’t know what adzuki was so I asked the waitress and she brought the allergy list for me to check out. That’s another super helpful tip – ask your waitress for the allergy information – it lists all the ingredients so you can see if it’s compliant or not! Turns out adzuki is made from black beans so I couldn’t have it because there’s no legumes on Whole 30. So I asked if I could sub for potatoes and she said yes! The perfect delicious meal.
My First Week Experience
I definitely missed the sugar!! I thought that just because I already wasn’t eating any added / processed sugar, I would be fine. Boy was I wrong! I was used to make banana bread with maple syrup or adding dark chocolate chips to my oatmeal. Um, no more of that! And I could feel it. But, I was able to push through. I did also have some fruits like banana in my morning smoothie that helped. Overall, I am so happy to be doing Whole 30. I feel like it’s a necessary way of life. I miss the quinoa and cheese but I’m good!! Stay tuned for Week 2!