Whole30: Day 24 – 30 (and beyond)

Meals Day 25 – 30

  • Breakfast: Eggs, eggs, eggs, meat, bacon, sausage, meat, sweet potatoes, carrots, eggs…..
  • Lunch: Left over what we had for dinner the night before or some meat and veggie platter.
  • Dinner: A bunch of meat and some vegetables and most likely sweet potatoes and more meat.
  • Snack: Nuts. Lots and lots of nuts and fruit.

There’s no need to break down what I ate. I have pictures of it, I ate it, it was delicious, and the next day, I ate the same thing with slight variation.

The breakdown

Well, damn. I reckon the wheels really did come off this whole frequent update thing. Here it is a week after the Whole30 ended and I’m just now getting around to making a post about the final week. I mean, that final week was a drag. Regardless I figured I’d make at least one final post about the Whole30 and our experience with it. Like I said, its been a week since the end of the program, and this post is actually supposed to cover the final week. That means I gotta remember two weeks back?! Nah, I’m good. Well, I can recount some of it, but the details will remain tucked away in my paleo brain.

The final week was pretty much like the third week. We stuck to the plan and made approved dishes. We longed for fall beers and pancakes. Jess and I both wanted a Pumpkin Spice Latte and despite the overwhelming temptations we held strong. The gym was on par with all other weeks as well. On Saturday the 14th we participated in the Run For Your Lives.
The race this year was much different than last year. This year was full of rocks and hills and not a whole lot of zombies. Last year was mud, rain, and I didn’t have my wife by my side to fend off the hordes.

So….. This post got started like 2 weeks ago, and the Whole30 ended like a week prior to that. In fact, this past weekend we had a post Whole30 celebration dinner! With that being said, rather than even attempt to go back and recount details, I’ll give a super high overview. Mainly because at some point I’d like to look back on this and remember how much of a rewarding challenge it was. When the dust settled I didn’t win the whole thing, but I did win the Spirit of the Challenge distinction. This basically means that I was the most involved and did my best to keep the team going. I really enjoyed that aspect of the challenge. I like to motivate people and be as social as I can. I didn’t expect to win the whole thing and was happy to have participated with such a great group of people.

Now that the Whole30 is over, Jess and I have decided to mostly stay paleo. She’s a bit more strict than I am, but for the most part we’re both staying on the plan. Jess has found that dairy gives her a splitting headache and gluten tears up her stomach (maybe TMI, but whateves). Those things don’t really effect me, so I tend to include more in my daily routine.

What we’ve learned since doing more paleo is that this community of people will do what ever they can to twist approved ingredients into food that is ridiculously indulgent. Just do a search and you’ll find recipes for dark chocolate paleo cookies or bacon wrapped…. anything. It’s just crazy the lengths people will go to, to try and recreate a non-paleo food. Luckily, Jess and I are foodies and find that part of the “diet” fun! And if you’re having fun and don’t feel restricted then the chances of success increase tenfold.

So that’s that’s, that. I’m sure there’s a lot I’ve left off. Its been weeks since we’ve finished, we’ve done more workouts and struggled, had beer, ate countless eggs, and many many packs of bacon. I love everything that’s come out of the Whole30 challenge. I feel fantastic and better than I ever have in my life. My wife looks more stunning and beautiful every day. She’s stuck to this thing and continues to improve and keep me honest. I loved having her as a partner and wouldn’t want to go through this with anyone else.

Here’s the pics!

Jess - After front
Jess – After front
Jess - Before front
Jess – Before front
Ben - Before front
Ben – Before front
Ben - After front
Ben – After front

Oh, and please note, that I’m kinda half typing this and half watching the Real Housewives of New Jersey reunion. So I’m sure there are some holes and lapses in thought. But it’s all good. 🙂

Whole30: Day 19 – 24

Meals Day 19 – 9/06/13

  • Breakfast: Omelette, sausage, sweet potato mash
  • Lunch: Chopped steak salad with avocado, mushrooms, peppers and tomatoes
  • Dinner: Salmon, asparagus, mushrooms, puréed peas
  • Snack: This big ass bouquet of fruit! (Well, some of it)*

Meals Day 20 – 9/07/13

  • Breakfast: 2 egg omellette, sausage, sweet potato hash, tomato
  • Lunch: Turkey breast, collard greens, broccoli
  • Dinner: Rotisserie chicken… like literally half a chicken

Meals Day 21 – 9/08/13

  • Breakfast: Sausage and egg scramble, fruit
  • Lunch: Pork chop, zucchini, tomato
  • Dinner: Brats, peppers onions mushrooms, guacamole

Meals Day 22 – 9/09/13

  • Breakfast: Sausage and egg scramble, sweet potato hash
  • Lunch: Salad with steak, guacamole, bacon
  • Dinner: Chorizo stuff tomatoes with avocado

Meals Day 23 – 9/10/13

  • Breakfast: Banana, turkey bacon, egg white (Starbucks breakfast sandwich w/o the bread or cheese)
  • Lunch: Burger patty with tomato, pickle, avocado
  • Dinner: Salad with steak, guacamole, bacon

Meals Day 24 – 9/11/13

  • Breakfast: Bacon, eggs, sweet potato hash
  • Lunch: Grilled chicken salad with avocado, egg, and bacon
  • Dinner: Steak and eggs with sweet potatoes and bacon

The breakdown

In all honesty, I’ve kinda fallen off the wagon. Not necessarily the food wagon, but more so with the updates. In the beginning I was gung-ho about the updates and posting about food and whatnot, but now… its a tedious process to update/post my food and then post it again and take a picture, etc. Here it is day 24 and I’m just now making my post for day 19 – 23. The food and eating is pretty easy at this point. I know what to look for at the store or on a menu. I know how to fix a meal that meets the restrictions of the program. And in all honesty, I don’t really think the program is all that restrictive any more. There are so many foods that I can eat, that I don’t really think about the foods that I can’t. Plus, the foods that I can’t, I don’t really even want, so that’s definitely a good thing.

These past few days have been fairly good. I’m still battling this stupid sickness and its making me frustrated. In addition to the runny nose, cough, and congestion, I also get dizzy when I stand up from sitting down. It could be from the couch or the car or a chair at the office, but when I stand I get dizzy. I’m fairly confident that I have chronic subjective dizziness. And by CSD I mean, that I get dizzy and its most likely related to the head congestion. I did go to the doc to get things checked out, but its most likely not anything alarming. I don’t think it has anything to do with the food or workouts. I’ll just wait to see what the doc says when my blood work comes back.

On Friday the weather was great and our usual group of co-workers headed out to lunch. This meant a patio and an extended break from the humdrum day. The eatery of choice today was Mellow Mushroom. Dude, I LOVE me some pizza and add a patio and the notion that I didn’t have to return to work for a while and that’s a recipe for beers and a lazy afternoon. NOT TODAY!! While the rest of the crew ordered their calzones, cheesy garlic bread appetizers, and beers-a-plenty, I went with a salad and some water. I could look around the table and see each of them getting more and more sluggish as the meal went on. In addition, no one finished their lunch… other than me. Either beer or Coke + loads of cheese and meat and bread was just too much to handle. Plus they were all sweaty and hot from the sun. Gross! I mean, this is rather braggadocious of me, but I felt great. I had a salad with some steak and avocado and bacon and was good to go! I ate all the food I paid for ($7 for lunch ain’t bad) and the rest of the day I didn’t “need a nap”. Bam! PALEO!!!

When I got back from lunch I noticed a huge ass basket of fruit sitting on my desk. I thought surely someone placed it there by mistake. However to my surprise it was a gift from my wife! She had been hinting at wanting a basket of fruit all day, but it wasn’t until I got back from lunch that I realized why. Earlier that day she placed an order and had it delivered to my office. Literally there couldn’t have been a better gift waiting on me when I got back from lunch. We snacked on that bad boy for a few days. Yum!!

On quick side note about Friday’s dinner… We had dinner at The Chicken and the Egg and I was incredibly underwhelmed with that place. Way over priced and our waiter wasn’t helpful at all when I asked how various items on the menu were prepared. When we asked about subbing items he pretty much said we couldn’t. When I asked him to leave the honey off my salmon, he said “it’s just a little bit on there.” That doesn’t work for me. I don’t care how much of something is on there, if I don’t want it or ask for it to be left off, please do so. For a place this pretentious, I expected a lot more accommodations when it comes to their “farm to table” approach. It really did come down to the service. I mean, the guy was just REALLY not helpful at all. Simple things like “can I get the collards with the trout instead of the rice and beans?” was met with a “no, it just kinda comes that way.” That’s unacceptable. I know chef must have put some thought into how the dishes were prepared and what would go well with each protein, but I should be able to sub an item out. Especially on a limited item menu. In addition, they brought me the wrong food, then offered me a salad. I said sure, and the salad came out with cheese and a vinaigrette. I guess thats on me for not asking what all was on the salad, but I sent that back too. Then to make up for the messed up dinner they offered us dessert. When I turned it down, he said that it was on them. Again, if I turn something down, don’t continue to offer it. Your justification of why I should have it, will never be as good as my reason I shouldn’t have it. I left there feeling very frustrated and mad. It was my fault for taking in a kid that was cranky, and I understand that. But nothing about the food made me want to go back, even after the Whole30 thing is over. I can prepare meals at home just as good if not better.

Saturday, Jess went and got her hair chopped off (it’s suuuuper cute btw) while Lane and I had some boy time. The weather was gorgeous and we knew we wanted to go to a park and spend the afternoon outside. On the way we stopped by the store to pick up some toys and such for Lane and some snacks. The problem was, there’s not really anything to snack on, while out and about, that’s Whole30 approved. Jess, always the thinker did the best thing she possibly could… she got us a rotisserie chicken! That’s right, we ate an entire chicken as a snack. Two people driving down the road on the way to the park just devouring a chicken, caveman style! It was pretty crazy just nomming on a chicken, but sure enough, 20 mins later and the thing was down to just fat, skin, and bones. Needless to say, it might be a while before we go to town on another rotisserie chicken again.

Tuesday night was another pretty big milestone for both Jess and I. We went and saw Mumford & Sons and typically we would have had a few beers before going in and then maybe a few more during the concert. This would have made one or both of us have to make constant trips to the bathroom. On top of that we would have been bloated, hot and sweaty, felt sluggish, and then the next morning we would have been hung over and just wasted the day trying to sleep off the effects of our poor choices. However, we made a smart choice to not drink. The friends that we met up with certainly did not make the same choice and were constantly back and forth to the beer line or having to pee, and I’m sure they felt the effects in the morning. I attribute being sober to us enjoying the show more. We didn’t have to worry about drinking or being uncomfortable we could just enjoy the breeze, the music, and each other’s company. It really was just about us and not about what we were consuming. The show was hands down one of the best I had ever seen and I really didn’t miss the drinking one bit.
[KGVID width=”640″ height=”360″]http://www.sniperbear.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/mumford.mp4[/KGVID]

Wednesday Jess and I both had the day off. We took this opportunity to go to the gym together. This is a rare occurrence and one that we like to take advantage of whenever possible. Now that we’re doing the Olympic Lifting Program I was really looking forward to today’s workout. Mario (one of the owners/trainers) gave a fantastic session on proper cleans. One thing that I’m really trying to work on is my overall technique. The strength portion will come with time, but if I’m lifting improperly then it doesn’t matter how strong I am. As it pertains to the Whole30, I’ve been doing a lot of reading about proper pre/post-workout fuel. With it being a noon workout we knew going in that we had plenty of time before to load up on proper proteins and fats to give us energy and we made preparations for after so that we wouldn’t be struggling. Well, by “preparations” I mean that we went to Taco Mac and had a grilled chicken salad and like 14 cups of water. This turned out to be clutch as we felt good for the rest of the day… other than the general soreness of the actual workout.

We’re now down to the wire. Six more days and the Whole30 is a wrap. I don’t know what my final results will show, but I can tell you now that I feel better. I feel stronger and more adept to what ever life may throw at me. I don’t feel dependent on food or drinks to get me through the day. I eat to fuel my body properly and that’s becoming enough. Food to fix problems that food caused is no longer my way out. Just six more days and that’s it! I have a feeling that post Whole30 this family will continue to reap the benefits of the Paleo lifestyle.


Whole30: Day 13 – 18

Meals Day 13 – 8/31/13

  • Breakfast: Bacon and eggs
  • Lunch: Pulled pork, home made BBQ sauce and carrots
  • Dinner: Steak, roasted sweet potatoes, asparagus

Meals Day 14 – 9/01/13

  • Breakfast: Bacon, eggs, roasted southwest sweet potatoes
  • Lunch: Left over chicken curry
  • Dinner: Pork burgers with sautéed mushrooms, and, guacamole with a side of crispy sweet potatoes

Meals Day 15 – 9/02/13

  • Breakfast: “Cereal” consisting of the Cinnamon Faux-st Crunch, unsweetened almond milk, cashews, almonds, unsweetened coconut flakes, walnuts, dried cranberries. T’was delish!
  • Lunch: Sautéed peppers and onions with left over steak and sausage
  • Dinner: Pork ribs, collard greens, roasted carrots!

Meals Day 16 – 9/03/13

  • Breakfast: Omelette with salami and half a banana
  • Lunch: Burger patties with a fried egg and left over collard greens and a pickle
  • Dinner: Shrimp and scallops with diced tomatoes over spaghetti squash

Meals Day 17 – 9/04/13

  • Breakfast: 2 egg omelette, sausage, sweet potato hash, avocado
  • Lunch: Left over shrimp & scallops over spaghetti squash
  • Dinner: Grilled chicken breast, roasted butternut squash, sautéed spinach with olives, mushrooms, and sun dried tomatoes

Meals Day 18 – 9/05/13

  • Breakfast: Chicken breast, omelette, sweet potato hash
  • Lunch: Chicken breast, collard greens, tomato
  • Dinner: Roasted buffalo wings and broccoli

The breakdown

You know… it’s been a hectic week. Hectic but it flew by. Im fairly behind on my updates, mainly because I’ve just not had time to sit down and write out in full detail how my day is going, how I felt about the food I was eating, the gym, etc. So rather than try to go back and remember, I figured I’d just give a general recap of the week based on what I do remember.

So last weekend college football kicked off, literally… it’s football. And with football usually comes beer and drinkin that beer and grilling and whatnot. It also usually signals the turn of the weather, which means festivals and being outdoors more and again, more beer and drinking. Saturday morning we loaded up the car and went to the local farmer’s market where they were having some big festival thing with all kinds of arts and crafts and chalk artists in addition to the usual food vendors that are there. We really just wanted to get our usual staple of almond butter and meat, but we decided to walk around a bit and see what all was the happs. In all honesty, it was kinda boring. I mean, there was some decent art, but we really art artsy people. I’m glad that people are talented enough to make fish sculptures out of scrap metal or whittle a hunk of wood into a bowl, but that’s really not something we need around our house. Oh, and that black and white photograph of fog rolling in over Turner Field… neat. So we made our way over to the food stuffs and picked up what we had come for and were on our way. Nothing too fancy, but it was good to walk around and enjoy the weather.

After the farmer’s market we headed off to a few other stores to pick up a few items we needed for meals during the holiday weekend. This would be the first of SEVERAL trips to the store during a mere three day span. I think in total we made 5 trips to the store in 3 days. But I digress. We both knew, by the time lunch rolled around that we were going to want a beer with our steaks while the Georgia game was on. It was a late game, and dinner would be done right at kickoff. It was merely a toasting beer to celebrate the opening of the season, not a GO DAWGS SICK’EM drunken ordeal. After all, 15 days into Whole30, you become a cheap drunk, so it wouldn’t have taken much any way. We made steaks for dinner, roasted up some vegetables and settled in for the game. Twenty minutes later we were watching an episode of Bone’s and piddling on our phones while Chase roamed the neighborhood with his friends. In reality, we’re more of a social football watching kinda crew. If there’s people around and its a good game we’ll watch it, but sitting on our couch for 4+ hours watching a football game after having one beer… not really the BEST way to spend our evenings.

BUSTED!! Actually, she didn't have any of this tasty treat! :)
Actually, she didn’t have any of this tasty treat! 🙂

So that was Saturday. I know I said I was gonna just generalize the week, and I still will, but I wanted to at least set the tone for how things would go for the next few days. Sunday was fairly straight forward. Another trip to the store and some off-the-chain ground bacon burgers from Pine Street Market. These things are unreal, by the way. Monday rolled around it was rainy and gloomy in the morning. Originally we were going to go on a Labor Day Trail Run with some people from the gym, but after hours and hours of rain we decided it best to stay home. Plus it was lightning and they cancelled the whole thing. Jess’ mom and sister were coming over that afternoon and ribs were on the menu for “lunch”. I use the term loosely because the day was really weird. Like in the morning it was raining and bleh, and when the family got here we just kinda sat around and played cards and looked through photo albums. Jess and I had some left overs from the night before around lunch time. Then the sun punched through and suddenly it was all sunny and perfect weather outside! The ribs had been cookin in the oven and as soon as they came out err body wanted to get up on the BBQ! So we ate, again… like at 3 or something. Lunch at noon when it was rainy, then lunch/dinner around 3 and it was sunny. We ate and decided that since it was so nice we would head to the pool. I know right?! Like we didn’t go for a trail run a few hours prior due to lightning and such, and now we’re heading to the pool. It totally worked out and we had a blast. BLT loves to swim and despite the water being a tad chilly we had a really fun time. The rest of the day was spent chilling and playing more cards. Chase and Jess’ sister made Monkey Bread and despite everything in my being telling me to eat a piece, both Jess and I held strong and didn’t have a single bite. When Jess’ sister and mom left, they took all the left overs with them. Whew! No more monkey bread temping us in the house!

Tuesday rolls around and its back to the grind. Well, I worked from home so it wasn’t a total grind for me, but the rest of the fam was back in their respective schools. I made it to the gym where we started our Olympic Power Lifting program and man is that fun! I’ve been wanting to lift things and get stronger for a while. I’m really glad we’re doing this program now. Food/energy/mental health wise, things were good. I can really only speak for me, but my mood seemed to be fairly even keel. No major ups or downs.

The rest of the week was par for the course. Moments of hunger, being completely satiated, grumpiness, joy, laughter, powerfulness, etc. This appears to be the norm with the Whole30. Most of what I’ve read from other people who’ve done this before have said that by week 3 things start to level out. I don’t know that things are “level” but they certainly aren’t huge waves of emotional distress. In the beginning I’d feel completely hollow and sad or I’d feel like I could fight a panda. It was a roller coaster. Now its more like a lazy boat ride and ever now and then the boat gets a bit wobbly.

I will say that by Thursday Jess and I were feeling the need to get out of the house. The boys were tired of eating frozen things from a box (granted we could probably start fixing them a bit more suitable food) and we didn’t have it in us to cook yet ANOTHER meal then clean up and do the dishes and pack lunches and all that jazz. So we went out to our favorite establishment Taco Mac… again. Surprisingly enough, its actually really easy to eat well there. They now have roasted buffalo wings. That’s right, roasted, not fried! That with some broccoli or a side salad and I’m set. They have a good selection of salads, fajitas, grilled chicken, burgers with avocado and bacon. You don’t have to get a plate of nachos and beers-a-plenty. The boys enjoyed their food and we enjoyed not having to clean up after the mess! Everyone wins!

So that was that. Technically its already day 20 as of the publishing of this, and another post should be coming out either tomorrow or Monday, but for now this should be a good catch up. Ten more days! I can’t believe how quickly the first 20 have gone by!!

Whole30: Day 10 – 12

Meals Day 10 – 8/28/13

  • Breakfast: Pancetta omelette with sweet potato hash
  • Lunch: Left over chicken and vegetable soup
  • Dinner: Grilled southwest hot wings, roasted sweet potatoes
  • Snacks: Banana with almond butter and raisins

Meals Day 11 – 8/29/13

  • Breakfast: Turkey sausage and egg frittata
  • Lunch: Half of a salad with tomatoes, crispy prosciutto and grilled chicken
  • Dinner: Chicken fajitas* and broccoli
  • Snack: Almonds, cashews, banana

Meals Day 12 – 8/30/13

  • Breakfast: Pulled pork, poached eggs, sweet potato hash
  • Lunch: Bison patty, fried egg, bacon, tomato, side of roasted green beans
  • Dinner: Chicken curry (yum!)
  • Snacks: Orange

The breakdown

Random McPerson: “So what can you eat on this diet?”
Me: “Well, its not really a diet as much as a clean eating / detox 30 day period. And I can eat a lot really. I eat a lot of good quality meats, lots of vegetables, some fruits, and nuts. No alcohol, dairy, legumes, sugars, etc.”
Random McPerson: “You can eat fruit? Well you know fruit has a lot of sugar in it. Like I know bananas have a lot of sugar in them. So can’t eat those right?”
Me: “Well, its not about the amount of sugar that’s naturally IN something like fruit, its added sugar. Like sweet tea, or most baked goods. Bananas don’t have ADDED sugar.”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had that same conversation over the past 13 days. People seem to think they either know more than me or know what they are talking about when it comes to food. And unless you have a degree in food science or are a foodamatician, I don’t want to hear it. It just gets real annoying explaining to people over and over that I’m not just rushing into this thing and that I kinda know what I’m talking about when it comes to this plan more than they do.

I think my tire might need some air.
I think my tire might need some air.

Any way, now that my rant is over…… Let’s talk about how the past few days went. The previous few days I had been sick and it was a doozy. I mean, I was literally hocking up my lungs, my head felt like there was an actual dagger in it, I think at one point my left eye popped out from all the sinus pressure, and then my hearing went out. Well, looking back it may not have been THAT bad, but it was still a pretty crappy cold, especially for someone who doesn’t usually get them. Day 10 started off with me going back to work for the first time in a few days. I was pumped up and ready to get it, well that was until I blew out my tire. This wasn’t just like a nail in my tire, I somehow managed to get a whole the size of a silver dollar in my tire from hitting a curb! Why did I hit a curb? Well the roads in Atlanta are bajank and there was a car beside me that swerved to avoid a pothole, so I swerved to avoid them and in doing so, hit the curb. The next thing I know I’m riding in a truck to a dealership where I have to fork over $200 for a new tire. But hey, I got a free car wash out of it! The rest of the day was meh at best. I mean, after being sick for 2 days then busting up my tire I wasn’t really feelin all giddy to be at work eating chicken and vegetable soup. But alas, that was my day. Other than the tire it was rather even keel. I wasn’t overly hungry or grumpy from hunger or anything. The Whole30 thing was really just kind of a way that I ate by this point so no real issues here.

Day 11 and we have nothing in the house and again I’m home from work. The baby is still sick, I’m back to coughing and snotting all over the place and I just want this week to end. There’s a 3 day weekend staring me in the face and it can’t get here soon enough. At the gym I managed to get two new PRs (115# snatch and 48.5# TGU) and that had me on cloud nine! I did good with my pre/post-workout meals. For the most part it was a really good day. At home we didn’t have much in the way of food so we decided to go to Taco Mac and torture ourselves. We stood strong though and got items that were as on plan as we could. Our boys on the other hand had root beer, boneless wings, fries, chicken fingers, ranch dressing, ketchup, and cookies. In the end it actually felt pretty good to be able to look at those items and not really crave them like I use to. Sure I wanted one of the Sam Adams Seasonal beers or what ever latest pumpkin ale was out, but there will be times when I can have that, it just wasn’t that night.

By the time Friday rolled around, things were going pretty good. I actually made it into the office despite some lingering sickness. DragonCon was this weekend so there were lots of people in town. It usually gets pretty crazy down town, especially in the afternoon when D*Con is around, so my plan was to leave after lunch. Before that though, I was going to meet up with some friends that were visiting for D*Con. We had lunch out at an Irish Pub and despite the tastiness that permeated the menu I stuck to my guns and ate on plan once again. It was good to catch up and talk to friends and enjoy a healthy lunch. Typically I would have had a beer or two, maybe an app, then a big lunch leaving me feeling groggy and sluggish for the rest of the day. Not this time! It really is a great feeling not feeling like crap for the rest of the day just because of what I ate for lunch or breakfast.

Friday night we were home and needed a few groceries to get us through the weekend. This was definitely a turing point for us. Our usual Friday nights would consist of coming home, snacking until we decided on what to have or where to go, then loading up the car with the boys and heading to some restaurant where we would have some beer or wine, some apps, and a big meal that would leave us sluggish for the remainder of the night and most likely feeling like crap the next morning. We would inevitably blame it on not having a good night sleep or something OTHER than the food/alcohol, but in reality that’s what it would boil down to. This Friday however, we headed to the grocery store with some specific items that we needed in mind, loaded up our cart with all manner of nutritious foods and ended up cooking a meal at home! We made some curry and enjoyed some down time on the couch. I can tell you that Saturday we woke up feeling MUCH better than we would had we gone out to eat.

So that was day 10 – 12. Things are falling into place. Energy levels are leveling out. We’ve got a handle on the food and what we can/can’t eat during the program. We have a system in place for preparation and have keep a staple of food around the house. It certainly is much easier than day 1 – 3 or even 1 – 9.

Another thing I’ve noticed, and a) this might be TMI and b) I’m not sure if its related to the Whole30 or the cold, but I have been waking up at night literally dripping/covered in sweat. I mean its to the point where I’ll have to lay a towel down on the bed so that I’m no longer laying in it. It sucks to get up and go to the bathroom only to come back and freeze from laying in a pool of sweat. I know, that’s utterly gross and WAY TOO MUCH info, this is my bloggins and I figured I could write about what I want.

Whole30: Day 7 – 9

Meals Day 7 – 8/25/13

  • Breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs, chicken, avocado
  • Lunch: Meatloaf, sweet potatoes
  • Dinner: Spaghetti squash, zucinni pasta, meatballs
  • Snacks: Apple with almond butter

Meals Day 8 – 8/26/13

  • Breakfast: Chicken & apple sausage, 2 egg omelette, avocado
  • Lunch: Left over spaghetti squash and meatballs
  • Dinner: Salmon, shrimp, steamed broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots
  • Snack: Orange

Meals Day 9 – 8/27/13

  • Breakfast: Chicken sausage omelette with chunky guacamole
  • Lunch: Left over paleo spaghetti (again)
  • Dinner: Chicken soup (carrots, celery, onion, broth, herbs, chicken)
  • Snacks: Cinnamon apples with cashews, coconut milk, almond butter

The breakdown

Honestly, its currently day 12 and I’m just now getting around to writing this post. Things have been a whirlwind this week, but I’m hoping that next week they’ll slow down and we’ll get back into just a BIT more routine. Then again, Monday is a holiday and that usually means altered schedules, so we’ll see! Any way, here’s what I can remember about days 7-9.

The day after the wedding was almost as much of a disaster as the actual ordeal itself. Neither Jess nor I were ourselves. We were both grumpy and didn’t really want to be around anyone, let alone each other. We pushed through the day, ate what we needed to, to not blow things out of the water even more and eventually by Sunday evening were at least starting to regain a sense of the way things had been or the past week or so. If one good thing did come out of Sunday it was the dinner we had! We’ve been looking for a way to do spaghetti and finally settled on a good recipe. We made up some meatballs and sauce then put that over some roasted spaghetti squash and zucchini. Oh man, was it delicious! So much so that I had it for left overs the proceeding two days. The squash and zucchini really did taste a lot like actual pasta. I don’t think we’ll ever convince our picky eater 11 year old to give up his standard noodles, but we’ll see.

Monday we were all back to work and boy was it rough. I was still feeling the effects of the weekend. I had burned my hand in some stupid attempt to put out a sparkler by simply grabbing it. Pro tip, its not possible to put out a sparkler by simply grabbing it with your bare hand. Work was so, so, and I spent most of the day in a fog. My head was just cloudy and it was difficult to focus on any one thing. I was all over the map, and sticking to the Whole30 was the last thing on my mind. Never-the-less we stood our ground and didn’t cave in. No sense in continuing to slide down that slope. Also, I had started to get sick. It was just a little could I kept telling myself, but as the next few days progressed, it turned out to be a lot more than some basic sniffles.

Tuesday I was back in the gym and did the best I could. I didn’t crush any PR’s but I also didn’t just fall out. My energy was returning despite the sickness. Jess and I were both in need of some comfort food, so I made a batch of chicken and vegetable soup. Typically it would have some noodles, but those are out, so it was just the chicken and veg this time. I think it did the trick. It was not filling to say the least, but it certainly helped calm the cold and get us back healthy.

I’d say that day 7 – 9 were up there with day 1-3. Nothing came easy, energy levels were all over the map and we didn’t really have a great grasp of what to eat/fix. But this doesn’t really come as a shocker. In the beginning our bodies were detoxing and after the reception, they once again had to go through a detox period. We certainly learned our lesson and have since gotten back on track with minimal aversions.

Up next, grilled chicken wings, pancetta omelets, and crushing PRs!

Whole30: Day 4 – 6

Meals Day 4 – 8/22/13

  • Breakfast: Bacon and eggs
  • Lunch: Grass-fed beef patties with bacon, jalapeño, pickles, lettuce, guacamole, tomatoes
  • Dinner: Roasted chicken with mashed sweet potatoes and green beans
  • Snacks: Apple with almond butter / Larabar

Meals Day 5 – 8/23/13

  • Breakfast: Sweet potato hash, 2 egg omelette, 2 sausage patties
  • Lunch: Salad with all manner of topping (Whole30 approved) and grilled chicken
  • Dinner: Steak with roasted curry sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts sautéed with pancetta
  • Snack: Apple

Meals Day 6 – 8/24/13

  • Breakfast: Sweet potato hash, 2 eggs omelette, 3 strips of bacon
  • Lunch: 2 grass-fed beef patties, fried eggs, lettuce, tomato, pickles, jalapeños
  • Dinner: Prime rib, pork tenderloin, steamed veggies, salad with balsamic vinaigrette dressing, sautéed shrimp and vegetables, sweet potatoes with walnuts, cinnamon, and bacon
  • Snacks: 1/2 gluten free wedding cupcake, banana

The breakdown

Man what a whirlwind days 4-6 brought. On Thursday I actually was a bit smarter with what I fueled up on prior to the gym. My previous Whole30 gym experience was less than stellar so I was determined to not repeat that mistake. Before heading to the gym this time I had an apple and some almond butter (quickly becoming my favorite snack btw). This was clutch as the apple gave me a little sugar boost and the almond butter gave me some fat and protein. After the gym I didn’t feel like I wanted to die, or make other people die. Winning! For lunch I met up with a friend and had a burger with some toppings (lettuce, tomato, bacon, guacamole, jalapeños) and no side! This was a pretty big step as I typically have some sort of side with my burger. Then again, I usually have a beer, and a bun, but those are also out of the picture. Any way, the rest of the day was pretty good. I had high energy and was generally in good spirits. For dinner, we were smart and had a rotisserie chicken, some mashed sweet potatoes and green beans. This certainly made for a dinner reminiscent of a non-Whole30 meal. That’s something I can totally get behind!

Friday was another pretty good day for the most part. I worked from home which gave me the opportunity to go and have lunch with my wonderful wife at school! We hadn’t had a massive salad in a while so I went and picked up one from Jason’s Deli with all manner of toppings that were wholesome and delicious. Since she now works so close to home, and there are many more eatery options around, having lunch with her is a lot easier! Apparently Friday was “have things we haven’t had in a while day” cause for dinner we had steak and brussel sprouts sautéed with pancetta! Yum!! Well, this would have been a lot more “yum” had it not been for me over cooking the steaks. Its not something I typically do, but this particular time I did, and subsequently paid for it. See, I have an issue with my teeth that causes me some serious pain when I eat tough cuts of meat or generally get things caught in them. Its a long and boring story, but needless to say the meat was tough and eventually led to a SERIOUS toothache (one I’m still nursing today). When my tooth gets to aching, its all down hill from there. That pretty much ended the night.

Saturday was my friend Daniel and Lacey’s wedding!!! The plan was that Jess would go to her CPR training in the AM while I went to the wedding (who has a noon wedding anyway?!), and after the wedding I would pick her up and we would head to the reception (noon wedding and 6pm reception). The wedding itself was beautiful and it was over in a flash. I met up with Jess for lunch and had a repeat of Thursday’s lunch and off to get ready we went. Now here’s where the “fun” begins.

We both knew going into this that there was a wedding to contend with right at the beginning. Weddings have receptions, and receptions have alcohol and off-limits food. We both decided that we would be moderate in our consumption and stick to the plan as best as we could. Upon our arrival we were both having doubts of being able to hold strong. We gave each other pep talks and went in sticking to our guns. Then the wheels started to fall off. It had been 2+ weeks since either of us had drank any alcohol or had any real sugar or grain or anything. The waiters started bringing around trays of wine and other tasty concoctions and of course we had to at least have one (each) to celebrate with everyone. Well, one led to two, and two led to “lets just have one bite of [insert food item here]”. The next thing we knew it was 11:30, and we were a bit tipsy on sugar and the little alcohol that we consumed. We were lightweights and it didn’t really take much. In our former days, this quantity of booze and food wouldn’t have even put a dent in our demeanor.

The rest of the night was downhill. For the past two weeks I had been more connected with my wife than in quite some time. We were on the same page with most everything. I had been feeling great overall. She was feeling the same way. We both looked and felt fantastic after only two weeks, and all it took was one night to set us back. First drink in weeks, first “fight” in as many days. What is it about the consumption of alcohol and overloading of sugar that makes people just get stupid. Oh, that’s right… it’s alcohol, that’s what it does. One poor decision led to another and things just ended poorly. All we had to do was not take that first step back into that realm and we would have been fine, clear headed, and capable of simply enjoying each other’s company.

Definitely learned our lesson on this occasion. Just like we eased into this challenge, we should probably ease out. We climbed up this mountain slowly and it was a great view from the top, but the plummet down was swift and painful. Never-the-less we picked up our bootstraps the next day and started the climb again. I don’t think two weeks of hard work was gone in a flash, but we were certainly set back.

Stay tuned for days 7-9! More startling revelations around food at energy and all things Whole30 related to come.

Whole30: Day 1 – 3

Meals Day 1 – 8/19/13

  • Breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs, 2 sausage patties & mushrooms, unsweet ice’d tea.
  • Lunch: Broiled chicken thigh, roasted acorn squash, grilled peaches, unsweet ice’d tea
  • Dinner: Chicken, sausage, celery, peppers, onions, tomato “stoupt” with fried egg, water
  • Snack: Hard boiled egg, summer sausage

Meals Day 2 – 8/20/13

  • Breakfast: Banana, unsweet ice’d tea
  • *Lunch: Sweet potato hash, 2 egg omelette, 4 strips of bacon, coffee with coconut creamer
    * This was actually eaten at like 11 and was supposed to be my breakfast. My schedule was thrown off this day.
  • Dinner: Meatloaf, sweet potatoes, sautéed okra, unsweet ice’d tea
  • Snack: Apple with almond butter

Meals Day 3 – 8/21/13

  • Breakfast: 3 scrambled eggs, roasted poblano sausage, unsweet ice’d tea
  • Lunch: Bison pattie, avocado, bacon, side of tomatoes and asparagus, unsweet ce’d tea
  • Dinner: 2x Grilled chicken breast from Chick-fil-a, avocado, water
  • Snacks: Banana, almond butter, almond milk, coconut milk – smoothie, Larabar

The breakdown

All in all I’ve felt pretty good. Well, during the day I feel good, but once night rolls around I’ve been starting to get cranky. Lack of food, crazy kids, being tired… who knows. Either way, nights have been the hardest.

Monday started off well and I didn’t really notice any adverse affects. Since Jess and I had ramped up into this thing it wasn’t like jumping off a cliff. We pretty much went about our normal routines and ate what we had been for the previous week. Again, the grumpiness set in fairly hard at night around dinner time. We went into dinner thinking we were going to make some sort of gumbo, but instead ended up with this sausage, chicken, onion, pepper soup kinda deal. It needed something extra, so Jess fried up an egg and threw on top. That’s the beauty of this detox, when in doubt, put an egg on it!

Tuesday morning I had my first workout since starting this thing. I couldn’t do my usual pre-workout (C4 and a piece of peanut butter toast… on second thought I SHOULDN’T do that usual pre-workout), so I just went with a banana. This proved to be not nearly enough as I was running on fumes by the time I got home. I hadn’t fully thought things through and so I had to try to figure out what to eat/fix while also being dizzy and light headed. Not a fantastic combo. Typically that leads to impulse eating which would consist of cheese, bread or some sort, cereal, and generally not things I should use to re-fuel after a strenuous workout. This time however, I stayed strong and didn’t blow my whole day on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The rest of the day I was kinda in a daze as I wasn’t sure if I was hungry or just out of energy from the workout.

Our gym had graciously signed us up for a visit from the Dunk Truck on Tuesday afternoon and I was really eager to see what my numbers were. When the data came in, I was right at where I thought I was. Well, maybe a tad higher on my body fat than I thought, but still in the general area. The good news, I don’t have much to lose to be at my target weight/BMI. Hopefully by the end of this 30 day program I’ll be there!

Dinner on night two was much better than night one. I made a paleo meatloaf that was better than most non-paleo meatloafs I’ve had! Served that with a side of sautéed okra and roasted sweet potatoes and I actually felt like I was eating a real meal that I would cook on a non-Whole30 day!

This is pretty much spot on so far.

Wednesday was the dreaded day 3. The day when most of the toxins are out of the body and you start to really adjust. I guess that’s what happens. It really just felt like I wanted to murder some pandas and then eat a plate of nachos. I was ready to throw in the towel, or at least eat the towel, cause it had to taste better than what I had eaten for the past few days, right?! Fortunately, I stuck to it and pressed on through. Wednesday night rolled around and things just went to the shitter. Lane was a hot mess and everything made him whine or angry or yell or what ever it is he’s doing these days. Jess was at the gym so it was just Chase, he, and I at the house. I made some taco meat for taco salads, but the more I smelled it the less I wanted it. I mean, the last thing I wanted was plate of lettuce with some gross ass taco meat and nothing else. I knew that it would be even more off-putting for Jess. Have you ever gone to the gym, given everything you had, then come home and and wanted to nom on some lettuce and now old taco meat.

Our “solution” for dinner was for me to go to Chick-fil-a and order 4 grilled chicken breasts. Yep, that’s it. I went into a CFA and got 4 grilled chicken breasts (and a #1 for Chase). Ugh, this was a feeling of total defeat. The drive home was infuriating with the smell of delicious french fries getting into every crevasse of my car. For dinner we ended up splitting an avocado and eating with with our dry ass CFA chicken. I wanted to slit my wrists.

We thought the night had given us its worst, but Lane proved otherwise. Around 9:30 he started in on a night terror. It was a long time coming since he hadn’t had one in a while. He had also been getting less and less sleep and had been over stimulated for the past few days. I kinda figured it would happen, but it would be nice to have had it on ANY other day. This night terror was especially bad and lasted for at least 30 mins. We had gotten a handle on them and they were only lasting 10-15 mins. In the end, he calmed down and we got him back to sleep. I believe he actually slept better last night than he had in weeks.

So that was that. The first three days of the Whole30 in the bag. We got a point for the chicken breasts from CFA due to the seasoning they put on it, and the fact that it was a fast food option rather than eating something healthy. Now that we’re through the third day we have a good few days of easier battles. I think most of the bad stuff is out of our system so here’s hoping it all goes well.

Oh, and there’s a wedding this weekend where I already know we will be racking up some points. Stay tuned for the next update!

Whole30: Shop-a-thon

Yesterday was the binge and purge of all the food in our kitchen. Well, not entirely, our boys still have to eat. But for the most part, our kitchen has been cleansed of all the starchy, creamy, stuff we can’t eat over the next 30 days. And boy did it send me on a tizzy.

It's the size of my head!!
It’s the size of my head!!

The day started off with a tip to the Marietta City Farmer’s Market, where I loaded us up on some fresh veggies. There’s nothing quite as good as local produce. Its crazy the difference home grown/organic makes. I mean, check out this friggin’ sweet potato! It’s the size of my head! It was a good haul of sweet potatoes, avocados, okra, green beans, peaches, tomatoes, kale, red and green peppers, some sausage, and almond butter. We will definitely be going back here for future produce purchases.

We knew we needed a lot more stuff so a trip to our local grocery store was up for the afternoon. As this Whole30 thing continues, I find it both easier and more difficult to shop at places like Publix and Kroger. The Kroger near us has a fairly good “natural” food section and some decent produce, but I really just dislike the store in general. It feels dirty and the service there is awful. I don’t shop there often enough to know where everything is and I don’t like the layout. The deli counter is meh at best, and the seafood was something I’d rather not see. Publix on the other hand is like a magical wonderland full of helpful employees, samples, fresher looking produce, free cookies for the kids, and occasional free samples for the adults! We can walk around in our racecar shopping carts, up and down the aisles loading up our cart with all the tasty treats we’ve come to enjoy and love! Wait… not any more we can’t.

That’s the thing. We once were able to make a list, go to the store, and 30 mins later be out the door with a full cart, cookies for the baby, and we’d be stocked up for the week. Now we have to stop and read the labels. Every. Single. Label. Granted if we stayed to the outside perimeter of the store and only went into the innards of the store for stuff like coconut milk and frozen items, we should be fine. But even then, its not that easy. Want some bacon? Nope, its sugar cured. Forget about the dairy section. Almond/Coconut milk, nah, sugar or some other added chemicals for “flavor”. The label checking is hard enough, but throw 2 kids in the mix and difficulty increases tenfold.

I was having a mini anxiety attack after leaving the store, but despite a grocery store that was lackluster in what we REALLY needed we still managed to load up with all manner of things that we can eat over the next 30 days. The label looking will get easier and we’ll soon know what’s on/off limits. I have a few butchers I need to visit so we can find some more choice meat, and I’m gonna look online for some other items to stock up on.

Fruits and veggies galore!

Next level salad!

4 meat salad
Four meat salad!

We are constantly looking for ways to eat cleaner and stick to our Whole30 Challenge. Well last night we went out for some BBQ and I ordered the 4 meat + 2 side combo (Sausage, Brisket, Chicken, Turkey + Salad and Collards). There was no way I was going to be able to eat all of it so I brought the meats home with me. Today rather than have a simple pile of meat on a plate I made an epic salad. What made it doubly epic wasn’t just the fact that it had 4 different animals on it, but I got creative and “hard boiled” an egg in the break room microwave! For dressing I had simple oil, vinegar, and seasonings. It ’twas a yummy salad to say the least. I felt satisfied and good after!

Typically I would have had some sort of bread or starch with this meat pile. I would have also had a soda or something with it. Then a few hour later I would have most likely went into a slump at work and wanted to just fall asleep. That would have made going to the gym tonight even more difficult. Instead I felt pretty good and decided to take a walk and enjoy the afternoon weather that’s finally cooperating in Georgia. The rest of my afternoon I’ve felt productive and can’t wait to go to the gym and crush some PRs!

All this from a “simple” salad! Who knew that eating clean had so many benefits. I can’t wait to see what deliciousness I bring for tomorrow’s lunch.

Microwaved poached/hard boiled egg
– Add roughly 1/3 cup water to a coffee cup, or other microwave safe container.
– Crack the egg and add the yolk and whites to the water
– Microwave for 40-60 secs on 80% power
– Check your egg for doneness
– Enjoy
I’ve found that if I use the hot water from the coffee maker I can poach the egg leaving a velvety center in roughly 40 seconds. If I cook the egg for 60 seconds the egg comes out closer to hard boiled.


PaleO Snap!

So over the weekend Jess and I started our adventure into this Whole30/Paleo deal. I think we were a bit confused. Now I think I’ve got it sorted out. The Whole30 is essentially a 30 day cleanse/challenge which is a more strict and streamlined version of Paleo. Paleo itself is already pretty rigid in terms of what you should/shouldn’t eat, but the Whole30 is on another level.

From what we can ascertain we went Paleo. We didn’t contract “polio” as Chase would have everyone believe, instead we began a journey into a cleaner and healthier way of eating. So far it’s been a bit taxing, but not impossible. Heck, I’ve lost like 3lbs since Saturday so we must be doing something right! But today, one of the owners of our gym posted that on August 19th they would be starting the Whole30 challenge. At first I was VERY intimidated by the challenge, but then the more I got to chatting with the gym folks the more I became intimidated by them for me to NOT do the challenge. And so I inadvertently signed Jess and I up for this thing. The good news, we will have had like a 6 day head start to get our bodies adjusted to the change.

I posted the other day about this whole change, but since then some new information has come out and I’d like to make some updates. For starters, I will be giving up sugar of all forms. Yes, this means my morning coffee(s). I’ve gone over it a thousand times in my brain on how to accomplish this no sugar thing and still have my coffee, but I just can’t drink straight black coffee. It doesn’t work for me. What I can drink, and really enjoy is unsweet tea. That is something I can live with. Other things that I’ll be giving up are all forms of grains, which means pastas, breads, oatmeal, etc. Also, there will be no beans of any type. That doesn’t mean that I’m going to be living off water and grass for the next 30 days. I have a whole list of vegetables, fruits, fats, and meats that I can load our kitchen with. Jess and I are like Mr. Wizard and a female version of Bill Nye in the kitchen when it comes to making delicious meals, so this shouldn’t be a problem.

What IS a problem is the shock that my body is currently going through. Like I said I’ve lost anywhere between 3 and 5 pounds since Saturday, and it’s only Tuesday! Right now I am laying in bed feeling hollow and hungry. I feel like I’m just empty and need to eat something. But a) there’s nothing here to eat that meets the criteria or our new diet and b) I refuse to gorge myself of food at 11 at night. I know this is temporary, but it still sucks. I just don’t think we were initially prepared so we didn’t stock out kitchen with enough proper foods to sustain us for the week. Yeah we got through the first few days, but now we’re scrambling and everything feels like we’re giving something up and not like we are making a smart choice. I don’t think I’m replacing the stuff I’ve given up with anything that’s providing me with the fullness I had before. Again, this will take some time to adjust, but tonight… It sucks. I’m restless and want a damn plate of nachos.

So that’s my rant. I figured if I can’t have any food, I can at least make a post about it. This feels like a good outlet. I feel better about the choice we’ve made and hope to keep up with the rigor. Stay tuned for more updates and progress reports!

Oh, the cover photo for this post is my sausage, spinach, and egg frittata. It wa amazeballs. I plan on having a lot of that over the next 30+ days.