I have a feeling going into Week 2 of my Whole30 will start to open up some mental margin to think about and do normal things like work out more regularly, clean house, do laundry and, heck – blog and find my dead people!
It sounds ridiculous, but this Whole30 thing has taken a serious chunk of time – at least at the outset.
Note to self: If I had to do it over again, I’d pre-cook meals or staples before starting Whole30.
First: Lessons learned
My challenges so far have been mostly logistical. I’d pre-cooked some different foods during my first week, but when I ran out of food Saturday after we’d come home from church, I ran out good – everything at the same time.
¡Ay, ay, ay!
At this rate, I feel like I’ll learn at least one valuable lesson each week. Hopefully, I’ll learn each lesson only once.
My meals looked a lot the same last week, but they were colorful, balanced and super-yummy.
Anyway, the way I’ve done meal prep so far is to pre-cook different meats so I wouldn’t feel like my choices were terribly restricted – basically, so I could feel as “normal” as possible about food choices. This was my way of looking at Whole30 as a set of guidelines rather than a bunch of really strict rules.
I prepped chicken and steak last week, adding sweet potatoes (my go-to staple for sustained energy, especially on tennis days), hash browns and sautéed veggies for starters.
I also tried these awesome, Whole30-compliant hot dogs in case I get caught in a pinch. That’s a big deal for someone who doesn’t eat hot dogs.
This week, I have pulled pork and will also cook up some ground beef, both for use in lettuce wraps, salads or possibly even stuffed peppers. I’ve laid off the hard-boiled eggs at the weekend but use them a lot during the work week. Tomorrow, I may take them to work as part of a niçoise salad I can assemble there.
Pre-fab recipes vs pre-cooked staples
I admit, my approach may be a little too shoot-from-the-hip for some people. There are meal plan calendars out there, if you need more structure.
My hubby tells me I need to make a bunch of recipes from the Whole30 book, which I totally agree with – once I feel more secure about having choices in pre-cooked meats.
Feels like I’m rounding the corner
I feel like things are changing. I know I’ve already lost water weight – not a permanent loss (bummer), but it does give me more physical comfort.
I’m really hoping the ketosis switch is about to go off, if it hasn’t already:
- I noticed the other day my headaches have stopped, so I feel better and better every day.
- My hubby tells me my energy level seems to be going up, too. Also a good sign.
- I’m forgetting about food or hunger now, and that’s new. My energy remains strong now until my body tells me it’s time to eat.
It’s also important to be learning the type of planning that works for me – and what I’d do differently if I did this again. But I’m mostly hoping the main switch that goes off is one of lifestyle change.
It’s not that we ate horribly before, but aside from learning new cooking techniques, I also love learning how to make simple things, full of flavor and healthy benefits. Yes, the grocery bill has gone up, but so has my energy level. That’s the best part so far.
I can also feel my clothes fitting looser (I’m not allowed to weigh myself during my Whole30), although I suspect that is mostly water weight.
My sleep wasn’t a problem before, but I’m really snoozing well now. And I feel rested when I wake up in the morning.
I know you didn’t ask, but I would want to be aware of this if I were considering doing Whole30: Thanks to a cheapo form of “Bulletproof coffee” (I use coconut oil in mine), a balance of fibrous and starchy carbs and the almighty prune, my bowel movements seem to be normalizing after a few uncomfortable days. Many people complain of this going on much longer, so I feel fortunate.
Coming up: The true test
It’s a good thing I’m feeling an energy boost and some sense of normalcy with my diet, because next week it all gets put to the test when I go visit my mom. Can’t wait to see how that goes.