For most of my life, I’ve struggled with my weight, but I’ve always been able to take it off when needed and keep it off. Not that it’s ever easy, it’s hard work every time.
But, then I hit the magical number of 50 and let me tell you…50 ain’t no joke! Everything that worked for me in the past, just stopped working. The struggle became really real. Once I turned 50, the pounds that I worked so hard to take off and keep off, came creeping back. And it seemed that none of my tried and true methods were working to get me back to where I needed to be.
I cut carbs, I cut dairy, I worked out, I even got myself a sweet new puppy who demanded long walks every day….but when I didn’t see results, I would get frustrated and go back to old habits.
But now, it’s crunch time. My oldest son is getting married in just 5 short months, and you know I just have to look good in my dress! So drastic times call for drastic measures.
But more than looking good, I also want to feel good. I want to get my energy back. I did a little research and decided to give Whole30 a try. I was never a fan of ‘plans’ but I thought…I need this, it’s time. And I thought I would share what I’ve learned with you.
For me, I didn’t think this would be terribly hard. In reality, I’m a pretty clean eater, I typically avoid sugar, most of the bad carbs, and processed foods. My downfalls are most definitely alcohol related…and CHEESE. Can I live without these things for 30 days? We’ll see.
The biggest struggle I saw, (other than no booze and no cheese) with the Whole 30 plan is giving up healthy grains (or what I always viewed as healthy grains), beans (hummus) and dairy. Mostly because those are my go-to things for breakfast and lunch.
As I embark on this journey, I realized, it’s really all about meal planning and meal prep. But, then again, isn’t everything?
Set yourself up for success.
Most of this is stuff you already know…
- Get rid of what tempts you from your fridge and your pantry.
- Make your menu for the week. Make a grocery list and go shopping. Stick to the list and the perimeter of the store. Fresh fruits, veggies, meats, fish and eggs. Stock up.
- Read labels, I can’t stress this enough. And read them before you cook! My very first Whole30 dinner was going to be sausage and broccoli rabe. I cooked the sausage and then read the label…SUGAR! Sugar in my sausage! Luckily, I had roasted off chicken thighs for my sweet puppy, so it was chicken and broccoli rabe for me.
Know that you’re going to cook every single day, yes I said every single day. And maybe all three meals. When you cook, make enough to have leftovers, they can be your lunch for the next day, or freeze for the times you need lunch on the go or a quick dinner.
Have a survival kit
Be sure to have foods on hand that you can grab when you feel those sudden hunger pangs set in. And you will.
- dates – great for a quick snack, to add to smoothies or salad dressings.
- hard boiled eggs – quick protein hit and portable for breakfast or lunch.
- cut up veggies
- easy to snack on friuts
- freeze dried fruits – fun little airy snacks, low in calories and sugar.
This was my week one survival kit.
Almond butter and fresh dates are great for when you’re feeling like your blood sugar may be dropping.
My go to lunch for the week has been chicken and avocado lettuce wraps.
I roast a bunch of chicken thighs and keep them in the fridge to pull out when needed. For a quick, easy and satisfying lunch, slice half of an avocado and a chicken thigh and wrap up in a few leaves of Bibb lettuce.
For breakfast, you have to think out of the breakfast box. Last night’s dinner leftovers become today’s breakfast when topped with a fried egg. I can’t tell you how many mornings I’ve had dinner leftovers for breakfast.
How do you feel?
Day 1 and 2, no problems. Day 3 I woke up with the most intense heartburn and indigestion I’ve had since I was pregnant ( and that was a long time ago). Maybe because I ate a quart of blueberries the night before…
I was also incredibly foggy and headachy. Truly, the thought of withdrawal had never occured to me until that morning. I assume I was having some sort of withdrawal. After a little research it seems it’s perfectly normal to feel out of sorts for the first week.
Fortunately by Day 4 was back to normal. Maybe even a slight increase in energy level. Buy the end of the week I was definitely a bit cranky, but I attribute that to a weekend free of cocktails!
All in all, week one was a success. I came up with a few great recipes along the way too.
Here are two of my favorite from this week.
Stay tuned to see what next week brings!