Whole30 | The End

Whole30 is officially over, I’ve eaten my last meal stressed out over whether it’s compliant or not, and its time to get back to the real world. I’ve spent the last 30 days avoiding Sugar, Dairy, Grains, Legumes, Soy, and a variety of different additives; while focusing on filling my plate with meats, veggies, fruits, healthy fats, nuts and some seeds. This is Whole30 and this is what my life has been like for the past 30 days. Now it’s time for me to share a little bit about this journey that I’ve been on.

Whole30

struggles

When I started this adventure, I pictured days filled with hunger pains, barely surviving meal to meal, hating the food, wishing for more, and constant cravings. However, this was not how things really played out. The reality of my struggles were a different variety than I could have expected. Within the first 2 weeks, my appetite was almost completely gone and the only thing I could really stomach was fresh fruits and veggies. This was especially problematic when I was supposed to be basing my meals around meats. Thankfully after a while my appetite somewhat returned, but eating meat continued to be a struggle. I am sure that I didn’t eat enough meat in these 30 days, but with so many changes I really couldn’t choke down all the required meat. I did the best with what I could and stuck to the plan.

Drinks were another tough area for me. I was fine with water and I could take unsweetened tea, but I typically just went for some water. After the first week where I was surrounded by people enjoying pop, sweet tea, and coffee I thought I was going to give up because I was SO SICK OF WATER. But then I picked up some sparkling water and juice and I found my simple drink that helped me keep going.

CRAVINGS

I think at this point you all having a pretty good idea of what my biggest craving has been – PIZZA! But I think that’s more about the fact that it’s my favorite food, so of course I miss it. On a slightly deeper level, here have been a few of my crazy specific cravings – Pizza Hut Pizza w/ Cherry Peppers, Cheese in all forms, Milk & Honey Latte from my favorite coffee shop Moxxee, & Chocolate Chip Cookies. Amazingly enough, other than that I really didn’t miss other foods all that much.

victories

Completing Whole30 is a victory in and of itself, however there were a few individual things that I was so happy to experience.

  1. I have had a month of the best sleep of my life. Now, I don’t want to say I haven’t been tired because that would be a lie – remember I basically haven’t had caffeine/sugar in a month. However I used to struggle going to sleep as well as waking up multiple times each night. For the past month when I shut my eyes I am out until my alarm goes off the next morning. It’s fantastic.
  2. I feel clear. I don’t know how else to describe it, because it’s not like a superpower or anything, I just feel good. clear. better.
  3. I am empowered. At the beginning of this journey I felt defeated and like I couldn’t complete it. I remember curling up on the couch with Husband saying over and over again “I really don’t think I can do this”. Everyone who heard about my decision to do this told me how they could never do it either. But I did it. I finished all 30 days. I feel capable of anything. I can do anything for 30 days and so can you.

FUTURE

You might be asking, what now? If you are, then you aren’t alone. I’ve been asking myself that same question for the last week. I will start this by saying, Whole30 has truly been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I’ve shared a handful of the good things, but this has been SO HARD. Despite this hardness – I already have plans to do it again. Following the holidays I will start on round 2. Until then, I imagine I will eat what I want, with a new found knowledge of what I really want/need, as well as how these foods may affect me. For example, Thursday I have every intention of enjoying some pizza. However, I’m not going to order a large greasy pepperoni pizza. I’ve planned to make a homemade honey wheat crust, with fresh toppings, and a salad (instead of my beloved chip & dip). Do you see the difference? I definitely do!

I’m sure I’ll give updates on this as life continues, but until then I challenge you to grab a friend or family member and start this journey of Whole30. Do it for you and so you can see all that you are capable of, because I assure you – You are capable & You are worth it.

Big shout out to my Momma and Husband for going on this journey with me and putting up with the craziness of the last 30 days.

The Deans Eat // Whole30 Menu Four

My blogging has been a failure recently, but I’m happy to report Whole30 has not been.

21 days completed, 9 very short days to go. I feel like these last few days are really going to fly by, at least I certainly hope they do! At this stage in the challenge, it has really become my norm and I’m getting through most days without many bumps in the road. I mean there is still the nightly ritual of begging Husband if we can order a pizza, but no matter how much I beg we both know I would never actually succumb.

At this point, I’m starting to wonder what will life look like after Whole30? It’s hard to say. I know going into the holidays I don’t desire to stick to a super strict diet, and I’m already planning Whole30 round TWO in January. But I’m happy to say, I really don’t have a desire to fully return to how we were eating before (apart from Pizza, of course). I think it will take some time and discovering what foods affect me the worst to really nail down how I want to continue this journey.

However, that’s more of a discussion for next week. I’m happy to report this will be the fourth and final menu post for my first Whole30. Because there will only be two days of Whole30 next week, I decided to just go ahead and plan those meals out as well and include them this week. I’ll probably check in as soon as Whole30 is over with an update and the rest of next weeks menu. Now for this week, a few I wanted to squeeze in as well as the return of a few favorites.

Whole30

Monday || Shepherd’s Pie & Salad

Tuesday || Dijon Pork Tenderloin, Roasted Zucchini, & Baked Potatoes

Wednesday || Italian Chicken Soup

Thursday || Pecan Crusted Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, & Roasted Veggies

Friday || Pizza Pie and Salad

Saturday || Burgers and Sweet Potato Fries (w/ Buffalo Mayo Drizzle)

Sunday || Out

Monday || Grilled Chicken, Sauteed Zucchini/Squash, & Sweet Potato Fries

Tuesday || New York Strip, Mashed Potatoes & Roasted Veggies (FINAL MEAL!)

P.S. Breakfast and Lunch are lots of eggs, leftovers, and veggies!

The Deans Eat // Whole30 Menu Two & Update

Happy Monday folks! I come to you after having completed 7 full days of Whole30, and yes I am still alive! This past week has been an interesting one… I was expecting major withdraw symptoms; I’m talking headaches, major fatigue, and more. I’m happy to report that I haven’t really experienced those common symptoms. Sure, I wish I could go grab some ice cream, but really its not a big deal. Above all, I wish I could grab a pizza with extra cheese and a coke (from McDonald’s of course, because its the best). I miss cheese so much guys. It’s really really bad.

Whole30

Feelings wise, I am doing great. I haven’t had any headaches, and I am sleeping so incredibly well. However I’m still tired pretty frequently, even though the sleep I’m getting is phenomenal. I think it’s just my body adjusting to not getting any caffeine or sugar. I also just feel clearer. I don’t know if that makes sense, but it’s just a clear, free feeling. It’s good.

The biggest complaint at this stage is I am so over the food. I’m sick and tired of meat and I have no appetite whatsoever. This obstacle is definitely not one I was expecting to face. My assumption had been that I would be hungry the majority of the time, barely making it meal to meal. Instead, I am having to force myself to eat. Because of this, I haven’t been able to stick to the ideal meal plan (Large portion of protein and then veggies). I find myself eating smaller portions of meat and more vegetables. Hopefully my healthy appetite will return soon.

I also had a mini-meltdown this weekend. I was exposed to a LOT of outside food. We went out to eat, to sporting events, church get-togethers, etc. It wasn’t easy. I have really struggled with only having water to drink because I’m just not into unsweetened tea or coffee. After watching others drink pop and other sweet drinks all weekend I thought I was going to break. I missed carbonation so badly! So I grabbed some seltzer water and some 100% juice and mixed up a little drink. Thankfully, it was delicious and refreshing!

Okay, let’s get down to business. This weeks menu isn’t anything fancy and honestly attempting to come up with each of these meals makes me sick to my stomach. Remember – I have no appetite. So who really knows whats going to happen this week, but hopefully we will make it through another week successfully!

Monday || Breakfast / Breakfast Hash (Eggs, Veggies, Meat) | Lunch / Taco Meat over Baked Potato | Dinner / Potato Soup& Salad (Guys, I’m sick of meat. Attempting my version of a dairy free potato soup.)

Tuesday || Breakfast / Fried Eggs & Strawberries | Lunch / Leftover Soup | Dinner / Dijon Pork Loin, Baked Potatoes, & Asparagus

Wednesday || Breakfast / Apple & Almond butter | Lunch / Burger Lettuce Wrap & Baked Fries | Dinner / Chocolate Chili

Thursday || Breakfast / Breakfast Hash | Lunch / Leftover Chili | Dinner / Italian Chicken Marinara over Zucchini Noodles

Friday || Breakfast / Mexican-Eggs  | Lunch / Leftover Chicken and Noodles | Dinner / Steak Kabobs

Saturday|| Breakfast / Banana & Almond Butter | Lunch / Leftovers | Dinner / Out or leftovers or makeup meal

Sunday || Breakfast / Breakfast Hash | Lunch / Roast Beef, Mashed Potatoes, & Green Beans | Dinners / Leftovers

Whole30 | A New Adventure

As I mentioned on Monday, next week’s menu is going to be a bit different than you are used to. I have decided to embark on my first Whole30 adventure. I’m announcing this here for accountability above all. This is a pretty big deal and I want to share it with you all. Now let’s start with the basics.

What the heck is Whole30?

Whole30 is a 30-day nutrition challenge. It is often viewed as a nutritional reset, where we send our bodies back to the basics. You focus on eating real food (proteins, vegetables, & good fats) which are our basic needs, while removing Dairy, Sugar, Grain, Legumes, and any processed foods.

Why would you want to do this?

I have long wanted to cut a lot of these foods from my diet. I want to be eating foods in their optimum state and enable my body to function in the best way possible. I want to make more lifestyle changes. The Whole30 challenge is intense, there’s no denying that. I know I’m going to go through withdraw, but I’m prepared and I have total faith I can do this. I’m ready to take control of my body and it’s cravings and stop letting it control me. Who’s with me?!

Why now?

The Whole30 challenge had popped up on my FB a few times over the past couple years and each time I was intrigued, but found a million reasons to say no. Things like “There’s a holiday coming up” “I have an event planned” “I’m too busy” ” It’s impossible”. But this time, I saw it pop up on my news feed from a few different people and I decided this is it. No more excuses, it’s time to make some changes. (It does help that I don’t have any major plans over the next month or so)

What does this have to do with the blog?

Well, I think you all know that I share my weekly menu plans on here, so that will continue – but the content will be a bit different. I hope to be able to link to a lot of fantastic sites I’ve found with recipes for Whole30. Additionally I will probably do weekly recaps, because let’s be honest this is going to be a large portion of my life for the next month. If you aren’t interested in reading about it, that’s fine, I won’t be offended, but I’m really looking forward to sharing this journey with you. Whole30

MY WHOLE30 POSTS

Week One

Week Two

Week Three

Week Four

Wish me (and my mom!) luck as we start this new adventure next Monday! Have any of you ever done the Whole30? Do you have any tips?

Menu Plan Monday // Thirty

Hello  Monday!

Hello 2015 and all of your exciting adventures to come!

Hello to a fresh start. New year, new month, new week. Does it get any better than that? What a chance for goals, plans, new things and more.

Hello Clean Eating Challenge. I’m participating in a clean eating challenge with a few other ladies on Facebook and I am so looking forward to this little healthy eating cleanse to start the year off right. Although I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little bit nervous about the different foods. I can be a little bit picky at times, but I’m sure I can pull through for the week.

Hello Menu Plan Monday. Luckily with my clean eating challenge my menu plan has been provided. I’m actually not following it to a perfect tee due scheduled commitments, but overall my breakfast, lunch, and menu plan was provided for me! While I can’t supply the recipe, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to generally share what I will be eating this week for dinner.

Monday // Chicken Broccoli Stir-Fry

Tuesday // Stuffed Peppers

Wednesday // Taco Salad

Thursday // Marinara Sauce and Spaghetti Squash

Friday // Out // Unfortunately, I had something come up last minute after already committing to the challenge that I have to do, so I have a feeling I will be eating out on Friday & Saturday, but will eat the cleanest meals I can.

Saturday // Out // See above

Sunday // Turkey Chili

They may not be some of my favorite foods, but whats important is that they are good for me, and that’s the best part over all. Are you eating healthy for the new year? What are some of your favorite healthy recipes?

Have a happy Monday!