This post contains affiliate links. Please view the disclosure statement.
The adventure is underway! Or should I say “under-weigh” in this case?
We’ve completed our first successful week of the Whole30® program. I explained our reasons for embarking on this journey in this post and so far, we’re excited about the potential this program offers.
I read this today: “All that we do is either an investment in the flesh or the Spirit.” ~ Warren Wiersbe
For me, this “all” includes eating and drinking. I trust it does for you too. One week into the Whole30® program and I can begin to see how my eating habits were purely driven by the desires of the flesh. Lord, help me put the old habits behind me and glorify You with all I put into my body.
Are you ready for the report about the first week? Here’s what we learned/recommend after 7 days of eating whole and clean:
- Get the Book. I’m glad I purchased the book. It’s well written, informative, easy to understand, and highly motivational. Some of the book details can be found on the Whole30® website, but I enjoy holding the book in my hands, highlighting, and spilling ingredients on the recipe pages. For me, it was a no-brainer investment.
- “Wholly” Yumminess, Batman. The recipes provided are delicious. Really. Whole30® has introduced us to new food combinations and cooking methods that create delightful meals. There was only one meal so far that was sub-par and that’s because I experimented in replacing an ingredient I didn’t have. Bad decision. All the rest of our meals were packed with flavor and surprisingly satisfying.
- Grocery Shopping: Slower and Costlier. I shopped the first time alongside my daughter who is also doing Whole30® with her husband. It was great to have our two minds together as we tried to remember what we read. We walked through the aisles while researching the book as it was wedged into the “seat” section of the grocery cart. It took a long time to find approved groceries, but we trust it will become a simple process as we move forward. Grocery bills were also quite a bit higher than normal. We’re keeping in mind, however, that the large bottle of extra virgin olive oil should last several months, and many of the costs are up-front investments needed to stock our kitchens with healthy ingredients.
- Cravings? Honestly, except for day 5 (which was my hardest day), neither Mike nor I have experienced cravings. We were even invited for ice cream and easily declined. Day 5 came with some personal intestinal discomfort and I desperately wanted to lay on the couch and eat comfort food. I resisted every urge. If you’re praying for me during this food challenge, I thank you. Your prayers very likely helped me stand firm against some strong temptations on day 5 and could very well have warded off any feelings of denial during the rest of the week. Please. Don’t. Stop.
- Side-Effects. Brain fog and fatigue hit hard the evening of day 3. It felt like I hit a brick wall and could no longer hold a thought in my head. It was gone the next morning but hit again after dinner on day 4. This led to day 5, which was a bit of a struggle as I mentioned in the point above. Outside of those bouts, I’ve experienced little discomfort or grumpiness.
- Sleep. So far, I have not slept well while participating in Whole30®. I have no idea if that’s due to my dietary intake or the higher-than-normal stress we’ve managed this month. I’m hoping that sleep improves as we progress.
- Black Coffee. Yuck. Even after a whole week, yuck. We’ve switched from half-caf every morning (we enjoyed that combo because it afforded us the opportunity to drink MORE coffee) to full-caf because I’m drinking about 1/3 of my normal amount these days. Stevia is one ingredient I’m looking forward to reintroducing to my diet.
- Noticeable Changes. Okay, what is it with guys? They simply think of losing weight and it falls right off. Mike looks fantastic. His face is thinner, his belly is flattening, and his jeans are already looser. Me, not so much. However, my hair does feel thicker (something I’m over the top excited about). I have a small patch of eczema that appears a bit smaller. Outside of that, I didn’t see radical changes during the week. Keep in mind, it’s recommended that we don’t weigh or measure during the program. Our “job” is to work on eating healthy foods. We won’t share weight loss numbers until the end.
- Favorite Recipes. In January, Mike purchased a side of beef from an associate and stocked our freezer with 400 pounds of grass fed meat. (I’m toying with the idea of writing a cookbook of 101 ways to prepare ground beef.) One of the great draws to Whole30® for us was that it allows us to consume the beef we have on hand, although we do mix it up with chicken and occasional pork. On the night of day 7, we had our kids over for a steak dinner and feasted as if we were on a cruise ship. Simple ingredients, light seasoning, and grilled meat made us feel as if we were eating like kings. Our favorite new recipe so far is sheet pan fajitas (I found this pin on Pinterest – please see my comment about Pinterest below). It’s simply chicken breast cut into strips and baked with onions and peppers. I added some approved seasonings and served it with green beans because I had them on hand. Odd combo, I know, but it was amazing. Breakfast is wonderful. Our favorite is scrambled eggs, 1/2 of a sliced avocado, and fresh blueberries. A week ago I’d have told you that I don’t like blueberries. But they’re in season right now and oh my heavens they’re incredible. I purchased a Costco-sized clamshell today.
- Pinterest. Be careful here. Many Whole30® recipes found on Pinterest have unapproved ingredients. This is another reason why I enjoy having the book on hand to double check that shopping list.
- Eating Out. Mike eats out often for work and this week ordered a chicken breast and side salad then discovered cheese in his salad bowl that he had to pick around. Another day he ordered a chicken breast and steamed broccoli. I did not eat out during week 1 of the program. (Yes, I’m hoping for bonus points there!)
All in all, our first seven days of Whole30® felt like a great success. It was far easier to stay on track than I anticipated. Having prayer and family support makes a giant difference, I know, but the program is also surprisingly simple to follow.
I’ll check in again next week and let you know how the adventure proceeds.
And to keep us Word focused, let’s consider 1 Corinthians 6:12: “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be enslaved by anything. (ESV).
Thanks for walking this journey with me. I appreciate the accountability and pray that blogging my adventure will inspire others toward health and Kingdom living. To God be the glory.