Whole 30 Chat:
There is a lack of research out there about Whole 30, but there are certainly some heated opinions! First, a reference to Cosmopolitan magazine because they use a catchy title, Whole 30 is Actually the Worst Diet You Could Do, while also interviewing Dr David Katz (a well-renowned physician with actual nutrition knowledge, director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center).
What we learn in the Cosmo article:
- The US News and World Report listed Whole 30 as the worst diet out there, behind 37 others including Slim Fast and Weight Watchers (this was actually shocking to me)
- This is because they evaluate the Whole 30 as being high in sodium, low in calcium, and that it permits too much cholesterol with unnecessarily food restriction. They found it unsustainable and potentially unhealthy, since it cuts out several major food groups
- The panel ranking the diets found that the Whole 30 promotes more meat consumption (I definitely agree)
- But the co-founder of Whole 30 claims that the program is not meat heavy, and that “there is nothing in grains and legumes that can’t be found in fruits and vegetables”… to which I say, “Stop writing diet books”.
I also enjoyed this piece in Good Housekeeping from fellow dietitian Jaclyn London, “Six Things You Need to Know Before Trying Whole 30″.
Whole 30 Week 1:
My first week on Whole 30 went really well for the most part. I set myself up for success by informing friends and potential dates that I was on the program, and by meal prepping pretty much all of my meals for the week.
- Thursday, I started experiencing mild headaches during workouts. This persisted Friday, Saturday and Sunday (even when not working out), and must be because of low blood sugar and/or dehydration even though I’ve been drinking A TON of water.
- Lesson learned – drink even more water, eat fruit with each meal and/or as snacks
- Thursday was also a challenging day in my personal life, and I met a friend to talk in the evening so skipped dinner and had a handful of almonds before bed
- Sunday was the most challenging day, because I was caught out unprepared when I met a friend for social time but hadn’t brought any snacks. That morning I didn’t have potatoes with breakfast, so my carb intake was super low and a few hours after breakfast I was starving and feeling hangry/hypoglycemic, and the only compliant thing on the menu at The Brig was the burger, minus everything it was served with. So I ordered a plain burger and smothered it with mustard. I could have had pickles, but was unsure if they were pickled with sugar. Then I went home and had an apple, two handfuls of nuts, and a lara bar before going to the grocery store.
- Lesson learned – have snacks on you at all times in the case you get caught out socializing
- Luckily there are plenty of portable Whole 30 compliant snacks, such as:
- DIY Trail mixes with nuts and dried fruit
- Homemade veggie chips (though these run the risk of crumbling in your bag)
- Some Lara / Rx bars (MUST read ingredients)
- I stepped on the scale every day… and lost 4lb in week 1
- Although you’re not suppose to step on the scale at all on Whole 30, I’m letting myself off the hook since I am doing this as an experiment and daily/weekly scale measurements are interesting to me.
- Preparing for the week really helped in not needing to make decisions about what to eat
- There are some delicious things to eat on Whole 30, I truly enjoyed all my weekday meals (pics below)
- Tuesday my date was very considerate and made grilled chicken and vegetables for dinner, and had LaCroix, too!
- I wasn’t even very hungry during the week, probably due to the fat content of this meal plan
- Saturday I had a DELICIOUS lunch at Sweetgreen – probably the easiest place to be Whole 30 compliant. I was also able to create a delicious salad bar meal from Whole Foods to take to a friends house, where I was tempted by cheese and cake but was able to control myself 🙂
- If you don’t know what it’s like to REALLY have low blood sugar – imagine having a couple drinks on an empty stomach. Wooziness, headaches, nausea… Sunday afternoon, I felt like I was tipsy though I had had nothing to drink besides water. This is why I went home and ate a lara bar and an apple even after having that burger.
- TMI – I was pretty gassy last week, especially Thursday/Friday, and my pee smelled funny. But that might be because of all the asparagus and ghee 😛
- FYI – I am taking a multivitamin (Opti-Women from Optimal Nutrition) to make up for cutting whole food groups out of my life
On Deck for This This Week:
Using Pinterest, I collected the following recipes for meal planning:
- Breakfast Casserole (Paleo Running Momma)
- I opted to use a 16oz package of hash browns for the crust instead of incorporating sweet potatoes
- I used an 8oz package of sugar free bacon instead of “12 slices”
- I cooked the brussels sprouts in the bacon fat, then caramelized the onions in ghee
- Sesame Chicken Chopped Salad (Whole Kitchen Sink)
- I accidentally marinated the chicken in all of the dressing, then dumped the whole thing into the skillet and let it reduce down. I made a little more dressing to use on the salad, ~2 Tbsp per salad.
- Used 1/4 each green and red cabbage because they were so large, and 2 carrots, all of which I sent through the “shred” slicer of my food processor… with plenty of left “slaw” veggies, I can make more when needed or use it next week
- Prepped out for 5 meals using 3-4oz chicken, 1/4 cup almonds, and 1/4 cup mandarin oranges in each salad
- Burger Bowls (40 Aprons)
- This recipe is a little silly, the “special sauce” has several non-complaint ingredients (ketchup, maple syrup, mayonnaise), and is essentially just a salad with ground beef and pickles. So I cooked the meat, set it aside, and have salad ingredients plus pickles, mustard, and an avocado-lime-cilantro dressing. We’ll see how this one goes. Expecting four servings.
- Avocado Lime Cilantro dressing (Paleo Gluten Free)
- I used 2 avocados, 2 limes, 3 garlic cloves, 1 small bunch cilantro, and added 1/2 cup coconut milk
- Plan on using this to dip veggies in as well as dressing for the burger bowls
This week my grocery bill was ~$70, once again at Whole Foods. This included 1.10lb of beef ($4.99/lb), 1.50lb of chicken thighs ($4.99/lb), an 8oz skirt steak ($15.99/lb… Sunday dinner), 2 bags of hash browns (I only used one, so will use the other next week), one big head of red cabbage and one big head of green cabbage (will use the rest next week), brussels sprouts, grapes, and some Lara / Rx bars and dates to carry around as snacks.
Hungry Harvest ($20.98) brought broccoli, kale, snap peas, and bell peppers which I didn’t do a great job of incorporating into my meal plan. So I had broccoli for dinner on Sunday (with a steak and a sweet potato, YUM!) and will have the left overs Monday with dinner. The kale I will mix into the salads at lunch after massaging with a little olive oil. And I have lettuces from Hungry Harvest + left over spinach to use with the burger bowls.
I typically budget $60 per week for groceries (including Hungry Harvest), so this diet has been $$$ so far… It’s all the meat. I’m not used to eating meat at all meals, but there’s really no other way to hit your protein needs without dairy, beans, legumes, grains, and (for me) whey protein. I was happy eating avocado toast and eggs with a smoothie for lunch!
This week I do have a couple dates (a new batch of prospects), but will likely eat before them to avoid any unnecessary conflict then just drink sparkling water. Over the weekend I’ll be cleaning out left overs, meal prepping for next week and making something to share at our first weekly “Game of Thrones” viewing party. The first week, we’re all bringing a variety of Thai food. An easy one for Whole 30 (but I’ll miss out on the wine).