On January 1 I started a Whole30. This is actually the first time I’m completing the program, however this really is not too far off from how we eat year-round.
As an added challenge for myself, I decided to photograph and share all of my food intake for the duration of the Whole30. I want to show a real-life glimpse into eating this way and hopefully give others some inspiration for their own food choices. Below are all the meals I ate on days 1-10, along with some added information on the recipes used.
Planning and preparation are key! I’m calling the whole preparation phase “Day 0”.
A few days prior to starting, I sat down and planned out our meals for the entire month. I did this via a Google Calendar so I could also see what other things we have going on that impact meals. I didn’t worry about coming up with 30 distinct dinners, rather I filled the month with stuff that I’ve made before, we enjoy eating, and fits with our busy weekdays. I also tried to plan meals that would make the most of the freezers we have freshly stocked with beautiful, pastured pork and grass-fed beef. Keeping it simple!
Also a few days prior to starting I did a big food prep day (with some major assistance from my husband) to stock the freezer with things like pre-cooked meatballs and pre-mixed bags of slowcooker meals. Within a few hours, I had about 10 meals already stocked in the freezer and ready to go! I’m going to post separately about how I prepared 6 crockpot bags in 60 minutes which will each feed us for 6 servings.
Heading into the first few days of the Whole30, the fridge and pantry were stocked with everything needed for the first few days of meals. I made a batch of compliant mayo and some vinaigrette to have quick and easy salad dressings. The meal plan for the week was posted on the fridge (like always around here).
Breakfast: Eggs, spinach, avocado, tomato. Black coffee and banana on the side. I have black coffee every morning, even though it’s not mentioned.
Lunch: Pork casserole inspired by stuffing. My recipe is here. Dinner: Meatloaf and broccoli salad with homemade mayo, sunflower seeds, red onion, and raisins. Snacked on almonds.
Repeat of yesterday’s breakfast, leftovers for lunch, fruit and unpictured almonds for snacks, Moroccan chicken stir fry from Everyday Paleo for dinner.
Egg salad and an apple with almond butter. Grapefruit I forgot to photograph. Leftover Moroccan stir fry. Chocolate chili and salad. Cashews and grapes.
Breakfast – leftover chili. Lunch – egg salad and blueberries. Snack – veggies and homemade ranch. Supper – smoked paprika chicken thighs and sweet potato.
Breakfast: salad and leftover chicken thighs. Lunch: egg salad and veggies. Dinner: pork chop, roasted beets, and veggies. Snacks: grapefruit, chia pudding made with coconut milk and banana, macadamia nuts. A very snacky day.
This was the first day back to work after vacation. I noticed how being at work made me feel like snacking more throughout the day.
Breakfast: egg salad and veggies and an apple. Lunch: pork chop, beets and a pear. Snacks: almonds and grapes. And finally…dinner brought to you by the letter P: pork, parsnips, and peppers. And salad to combat the beige/brown of the plate.
Breakfast: leftover pork and parsnips with unpictured veggies. Lunch: roasted chicken salad with guacamole. Dinner: beef stir fry. Snacks: grapes and spicy sweet potatoes.
The day I really started struggling to remember to take the photos during the day at work!
Breakfast: boiled eggs, pear, unpictured snap peas and cucumber (so much tougher to remember these photos for the meals I eat at work). Lunch: leftover beef stir fry and a mandarin. Pre-workout: apple. Dinner: meatballs, sweet potato, carrots and broccoli. Almonds for a snack.
Day 9 photos were just not meant to be… Breakfast: leftover meatballs and carrots. Lunch: spinach salad with chicken breast, eggs, tomatoes, and guacamole. Dinner: crockpot beef stew (one of my pre-made bags from the freezer) and roasted cauliflower. Snacks: orange, grapes, macadamia nuts, and a special evening treat of fried plantains.
Had much better success with remembering photos today! Breakfast: 4 boiled eggs, a bunch of veg, almond butter on celery. Lunch: leftover beef stew with yams. Snack: blueberries. Dinner: the best chicken wings ever…Eleanor’s Wings from Quick and Easy Paleo Comfort Foods (recipe isn’t online…just go buy the book. It’s worth it, I swear!) Snack: grapefruit and some almonds.
Overall I’m feeling GREAT. As I mentioned, our regular food routine really isn’t too far off of the Whole30 standards, so this is getting us back into the normal swing of things after Christmas indulgences. Just a few days in I really felt the extra energy kick in!
It’s also been interesting to see how my food habits differed from the days spent at home on vacation versus the days when I returned to work.
One way our regular diet deviates from the Whole 30 is that we usually include white potatoes and white rice for some additional carbohydrate as both of us tolerate these foods well. I’ve been making a conscious effort to keep our carbohydrate intake up through things like the yams, plantain, parsnips, beets, and fruit. So far I’ve felt like my performance in the gym has been stronger in all areas with the cleaned up food after Christmas, but that’s to be expected with returning to fueling myself with real food instead of gluten-free cookies. I am curious to see how I feel in the gym for the remainder of the Whole30.