Protein salad with tuna over spinach
Bolognese with zucchini noodles
I have never been on a specific diet in my life. Well, except for that one time as teenager where I was trying to do a detox where you were only allowed one type of fruit for the first two days – I don’t remember what the rules for the rest of the week was because I was done by lunch the first day. So the whole idea of restrictions connected to food (you know, except for the obvious don’t eat brownies and ice-cream for breakfast, lunch, and dinner) was new to me.
I first learned about the challenge on A Beautiful Mess earlier this year. I thought it sounded interesting but it wasn’t like “I got to do this right now – it’s just what I need!”. But after a summer with a lot of vacationing, after dinner ice-cream runs, and just more treats in general the thought of the Whole30 program kept being on my mind. I felt the consequences of my summer diet and it did not feel good. I told J about the program and I was surprised with his enthusiasm to jump on board. We were both getting really excited to reset our eating habits and getting back to being more balanced. So I ordered the book, read it on our trip to Minneapolis, and the more I read, the more I felt like we just had to do it. I thought we had a good starting point and were pretty healthy to begin with so I wasn’t too worried. Until we came closer to our start date, then I started to feel like I couldn’t do it. But my thoughts of not being able to do it only reassured me that I needed to do it.
We decided to follow the program’s meal plan for the first week to ease us into it. As we went grocery shopping we both thought “what are we doing?” and then “what WERE we doing?!”. It was really eye opening to realize how much sugar or weird additives most foods have in them. And it’s not like we were eating pizza pockets and washing it down with coke.
So that was a little bit of pre-story. Now we are done with week one and how did it go? Was it hard, were we hungry, did we survive? Well, you probably already figured out that I’m still alive but let me fill you in on the rest.
Following the meal plan the first week was a GREAT choice. While we were getting used to the new rules it was really nice to know what we were going to eat, not just for dinner, but for every meal. I have put our meal plan for the next week together from the recipes in the book and now feel way more confident about free-styling too. The hardest transition for me has been to eat more protein. For every meal. I’m not a big meat eater but since all beans and legumes are out for the 30 days, I have had to start eating more meat and eggs.
The planning part has been really helpful. We would sometimes plan dinners for the week but I’ve never had all my meals planned out. But more planning makes grocery shopping as well as cooking soo much easier!
Not only has shopping and preparation gotten easier but I’ve been surprised with how much easier it is to know what you’re eating and what’s not allowed. There’s no thinking about whether I should have a cookie or not. It’s just no.
One week in and we both feel great. Our sleep has improved and my stomach feels good. We have followed the rules completely with the exception of one glass of champagne for J at a very special event. And I chewed on two pieces of gum for approximately 10 seconds until J asked “WHAT are you eating?”. I just completely forgot!
Overall it has been a really good experience so far and I’m going into week two feeling way more confident about the challenge. I’ll be back next week to share some of our favorite recipes.