Starting Whole30

by Kelli H. on October 6, 2014

Saturday Night Zombie 5k in Sebastopol

David and I have made a commitment to each other to try the Whole30 Challenge. It’s funny that David brought this up, because I had literally read about it on Kristine’s blog the day before. I reread her post to David and we both agreed we should do it.

David and I are not typically what most people think of as overweight, but both of us feel overweight and are not happy with the way we look. Our jeans have been tighter and our self esteem has been lower. Definitely not feelings that make you feel confident and happy. Rather than pretending that our jeans aren’t any tighter, we decided to own up to these feelings. We’re going to both push each other and support each other to a healthier lifestyle.

I thought for the beginning of our 30 day challenge that I would write why, how, and what I hope to get out of this.

As I mentioned, I haven’t been very happy with how I look. I think what I’m most unhappy about is that I work so hard to plan a menu each week for us. I take the time to go to Whole Foods and Safeway to make sure we have the best ingredients we can afford. I cook practically every night of the week from Sunday through Thursday or Friday, depending on our social commitments. I also work out generally 4-5 times a week. So, what I’ve been unhappy with is that I already put so much time into my health, and it doesn’t seem to be showing. I would still be embarrassed to wear a bikini around other people. I feel like for all the effort I put into my health, I should feel proud of my body, not ashamed.

After talking about this with David, we thought about our actual meals. Dinner tends to be turkey burgers (on buns) with a veggie, or vegetarian quinoa bakes with cheese, chili’s with cheese and lots of beans, or occasionally homemade pizza’s. Usually our meals include beans, grains, cheese, meat, and veggies. Sounds pretty healthy and balanced, especially since it’s all homemade, but the grains, beans, and cheese may be hurting us. We tend to feel bloated and have lots of stomach issues. We’re going to take out sugar, legumes, grains, dairy, and alcohol and see if it makes a different. We’re betting it does.

Only $32 for all this local produce!

The great thing about the Whole30 challenge is that David and I already love everything they approve. We can still enjoy coffee, too! I even started drinking my French press black last week and I actually like it. Obviously, the Whole30 challenge is not going to be the way we eat forever, but we are dedicating 30 days to it. Easy enough, right? When the 30 days are up, I hope to have lost some weight, maybe some inches, have clearer skin, and overall feel better. I hope with feeling better I’ll be able to have better workouts. I’m not really changing my workout regime which consists of mountain biking, walks, hiking, running, yoga, and Tone It Up videos. David will be upping his workouts by doing CrossFit 3 days a week with mountain biking and walks/hiking/running.

To set ourselves up for success, we spent a good portion of our day preparing for the week. That included stopping at a local farm for fresh veggies, stocking up on certain items from Costco, going to Safeway, and prepping sooooo much food!

Here’s what’s on our menu for the first week of Whole30. We sort of did an extra meal by starting us out right tonight. Although, I did have my last beer for 30+ days.

Week 1 Meal Plan 

BBQ Flank Steak with roasted brussel sprouts and red potatoes

BBQ Cilantro & Lime Salmon with grilled zucchini and roasted cauliflower 

Sweet Potato & Leek Hash with Chicken Sausage and a green salad

Coconut Crusted Turkey Burgers with roasted carrots, parsnips, and broccoli 

Baked Artichoke Chicken Thighs with roasted broccoli and salad

Sweet Potato, Kale, Shrimp Skillet with sautéed zucchini

Slow Cooker Pork with Pineapple Guacamole and carrot “fries”
We have lots of extra veggies in the fridge to throw into these meals if needed. We’ll be having eggs, veggies, and apples with almond butter for breakfasts. Lunches will mostly be made up of salads with radishes, cucumbers, tomatoes, green onions, beets, and whatever protein source leftover from the night before with a homemade vinaigrette. If we need any snacks we have plenty of nuts, fruits, & veggies. 
I think the hardest part of the challenge will honestly be not having a glass of wine or beer on Friday night. My routine for so long has been to come home on Friday night from work and pour myself a glass of whatever. I’m hoping not having that glass or two or three will help me be more active on Friday’s after work, or allow me more time to make my healthy dinner. By the way, I don’t think I’ve gone 30 days without having any alcohol since before I was 21 years old, so I’m sure my body will appreciate the break. 
I will also sincerely miss cheese. I am a cheese fanatic, but I know cheese is a food sensitivity for me (I’ve been tested), and I think it’ll be good to give it a break for 30 days. So long for now, cheese! I will miss you. 
Luckily, this is just a challenge and I know it won’t be this strict forever, but I’m looking forward to it setting us up for a healthier lifestyle when all is said and done. 
I hope to check in each week with a new meal plan and update on the week before. I know, not quite the food blog I had envisioned back in 2011, but I’m super excited! 
Last drink for 30+ days! 

Have you ever done a food challenge? 
The last one I did was a 3 day fruit cleanse back in 2011. 

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Made in Sonoma October 6, 2014 at 4:37 am

I’ve never done a Whole30, but it’s something I’ve considered in the past. (Actually, the thought crossed my mind often the past couple days as I suffered a post-chocolate-chip-cookie-baking/tasting-food-baby…) I currently am mostly vegetarian, with some pescatarian leanings haha, so trying Paleo would be a complete 180. If that’s what it takes to really lean out, though, it would be worth it! Looking forward to hearing more about your experience….who knows, you may inspire me to take the leap, too!

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Made in Sonoma October 6, 2014 at 4:44 am

The meat aspect is some what difficult for me as well, so I totally feel ya on that. I love cooking vegetarian meals a few nights a week to change it up. I’ve always said no to paleo in the past because of the restriction on beans (weird — but I love beans!), but I will try anything at this point.

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Made in Sonoma October 6, 2014 at 7:16 pm

I’m SO excited to follow your Whole30 – I honestly think you’ll see such a difference. The first week is the hardest (with the sugar, wine/beer, and lack of grains) but keep at it and I promise you’ll feel amazing, sleep better, be clear headed, and your stomach issues will VANISH. Cheering you on!

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Made in Sonoma October 6, 2014 at 7:29 pm

I haven’t done Whole30 (I can’t and am not willing to give up beans and eating so much meat is a big turn off for me), but I did finish the 21 Day Fix program a couple of weeks ago. The nutrition side of the program had me cut out sugar, alcohol, most processed foods, and most dairy. Alcohol was the hardest thing to cut out for me, but after the first week, I honestly didn’t miss it. The hardest part was, honestly, eating the amount of food prescribed by the plan. It was more than i normally was used to eating! I didn’t lose a ton of weight, but lost almost 10 inches in 21 days.

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Made in Sonoma October 6, 2014 at 7:44 pm

I’ll have to check out the 21 Day Fix program. I haven’t heard of it. 10 inches in 21 days is seriously amazing! Congrats!

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Made in Sonoma October 6, 2014 at 7:44 pm

Thanks, Kristine. I’m so excited!

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Made in Sonoma October 6, 2014 at 7:51 pm

Thanks! 21 Day Fix is a program put out by Beachbody (the P90x and Insanity workout video folks). It’s a nutrition and exercise program. It includes a 30-minute exercise video each day (every day is different and ranges from cardio to upper/lower body to pilates). The nutrition part uses color coded containers that tell you what portions of each food type to eat. It really takes the guess work out of portions and how much to eat of what. I always knew that I wasn’t eating enough protein, but seeing how much I was supposed to eat through the containers kind of blew my mind. I was seriously under-eating before!

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Made in Sonoma October 6, 2014 at 9:27 pm

I look forward to reading about your Whole30 experience 🙂 I don’t think I could ever stick to it – I love beans far too much 🙂 Also – I NEVER would’ve thought you gained any weight since marriage. You look really slim – but I know how we are our own worst critics and it’s important to do things for ourselves sometimes! Good luck lady!

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Made in Sonoma October 6, 2014 at 9:48 pm

Thanks, Diane. I think it’s mostly bloat in my lower stomach that makes my jeans feel tighter. I’m hoping it’s from grains and dairy…guess we’ll have to see!

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Made in Sonoma October 7, 2014 at 2:12 am

WHAT?! No brew reviews for a whole month?? Justtttt kidding, I can’t wait to hear about how the challenge goes! When I work to drop a few pounds, the no wine thing is definitely one of the things that gets to me. I can eat really clean & healthy all week, but I always like to have one night on the weekend where I kind of splurge and drink, so that’s always the tough part!

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Made in Sonoma October 7, 2014 at 2:20 am

I managed to do two brew reviews over the last week before I started, so you’ll see those before I’m done with the 30 days. 🙂

I only allow myself to drink on the weekends too but for me it’s fri, sat, and sometimes sun! So basically that could add up to 4-7 drinks over the weekend which basically undoes my no drinking during the week rule. I think that alone should help me shed some weight.

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Made in Sonoma October 7, 2014 at 10:33 pm

I think it’s awesome you both are doing that! However, you both look fit to me!

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Made in Sonoma October 8, 2014 at 3:23 am

Thanks for the comment, Marnie. I hope to achieve and 80/20 paleo diet as well. It’s still early on in the challenge but I’m feeling excellent and haven’t felt any cravings. 🙂 Congrats on your pregnancy!

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Made in Sonoma October 8, 2014 at 3:23 am

Haha. Thanks, @Aubrey O’Laskey! 🙂 Can always do better though.

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Made in Sonoma October 8, 2014 at 3:24 am

Thanks, Aub. I guess I feel there is always room for improvement. 🙂

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