First Week Whole30

Holy Moly, I survived, by the sweet grace of God. I remember my first visit to the grocery store (my millennial self orders my groceries online and reads labels from my computer screen usually). I called Ben as I searched for whole30 approved meat, yes I repeat meat, I never imagined I would have such a hard time looking for a basic turkey meat that was Whole30 approved. I just wanted turkey wraps. That’s all.  I say this because as I was reading labels and searching away, I had to call Ben and tell him I solved all of America’s obesity, unhealthy problems. EVERYTHING HAS SUGAR. I mean I know I’ve read that everywhere, every health blog, book, shocking Netflix documentary, my own weight loss doctor. I’ve been told this over and over. You know how parents describe that they always have that one kid that no matter how many times they tell them to not touch the hot stove top, they have to touch it, burn themselves, and learn for themselves that the stove top is hot. Yeah I’m that kid! Sorry can’t help it. No matter how many times I’ve read it, seen it, been told it, I never really believed people that sugar is literally apart of what seems like 95% of what we consume. Yes, that’s a made up statistic I gathered from my own personal shopping journey.

I’m not kidding. I feel like for the past 28 years of my life almost everything I put in my mouth unless it’s grown from the ground (even that has natural sugar, which I’m ok with) has sugar in it. I’m not a doctor, a certified dietitian, personal trainer, none of the above. Just a girl who has struggled with her weight and health for 28 years. It’s so much more than fitting into my favorite pair of jeans, never ever having the body to wear a bikini, and continually being on a stupid rapid weight loss diet. Maybe one day I’ll share with you all what not to do to your body. I’ve made some pretty stupid decisions in a desperate times to lose weight before. I’ve also made some really tough decisions that changed my life and health in such a positive way.

Back to first week of Whole30. A couple days before officially starting this 30 day journey I cleared out the pantry and fridge. What does that mean. I took anything that would tempt me in desperate times, to my coworkers ( I didn’t want to be wasteful of food and they have littles that still need snacks). Yes. I’m a foodie, snack lovin, wine drinking gal. This meant I got rid of all the things, cleared myself of all temptations, and truly prepared myself to succeed. Bye bye snacks, processed food, sugar, dairy. Don’t worry I didn’t get rid of the wine that’s just waiting for a special time after 30 days. Here are my top 10 tips for your first week of Whole30.

  1. Educate yourself, read the Whole30 book. Read peoples experiences. Become familiar with the program and the purpose. Save approved recipes.
  2. Plan your meals ahead. I planned dinner portions so they would be a little bigger and I would have leftovers for lunch the next day. Make a big breakfast casserole to last you through the week. Breakfast is really hard for me to wake up and make a hearty breakfast before work everyday. It was really easy to make a yummy casserole one night and just take pieces to work with me every morning.
  3. For your first week don’t plan activities, social gatherings around social eating and drinking. I don’t recommend hermiting but find alternative activities. (This was probably the hardest for me).
  4. Be honest with your people. We went to our friends Chris & Ariels house for dinner. (I know this contradicts my last point but plan smart, be honest). I point blank told them about my diet, how important it was that I follow it, and what all I could have on it. They were so gracious and made some delicious bunless turkey burgers for me. So yummy and awesome I even got to take leftovers for my lunch the next day. Thanks friends! Remember your friends love you and want to support you.
  5. Be prepared. You will have moments where you’re like oh one little chip isn’t going to matter, one glass of wine. But it will. It will ruin the 30 days and you will have to essentially start over. Don’t give in, offer it up, as stupid as this sounds, it will happen.
  6. Be prepared to cook a lot. It is so easy on days your tired to drive through or pick something quick up. That’s not really an option here. Have already made meals or quick options ready (breakfast casserole, shredded chicken, soup).
  7. Join online support groups. Luckily because of some stupid live post I did on Instagram my college roomie Amber messaged me and told me she had just started a Whole30 as well. She added me to some Whole30 Facebook groups. These are intense. I had to answer 5 trick questions before I was even approved to join the group and there are so many rules for posting on the page, I think I willl be way too scared to ever post. Nonetheless it is so great for encouragement, tips, approved products, and delicious recipes. Find your online support groups.
  8. Buy an Instant Pot I’m not kidding the amount this little kitchen gadget has saved my butt in the past week is unreal. I had 4.5lbs of frozen chicken in my freezer last night. It took 20 minutes for the Instant Pot to warm up and pressurize and then the frozen chicken took 15 minutes to cook to a tender perfection ready for shredding. This is going to make meal planning so easy with all my shredded chicken on hand. My favorite Instant Pot, Whole30 approved recipe so far is this one Chicken Tikka Masala, Tasty Thin.
  9. Don’t be afraid to not do it all yourself. Read labels, shop smart. I joined Thrive Market and was extremely happy with my first order. Because of the amount of time I’ve already spent meal prepping and cooking there are just certain things I haven’t found the time to make myself for example Whole30 mayo, salad dressings, sauces, snacks, etc. Thrive Market was the answer to my prayers when it came to this. Free shipping orders over $49, affordable, healthy, and absolutely delicious. I’m a fan and will continue my membership with this company. Not to mention because I have my own Etsy shop and care about the details, I was extremely impressed with their product packaging and the care that went into the entire purchasing process. Thanks, Thrive Market!
  10. You can do it. Prepare, plan, and pray! Yes there are moments you want to take a giant bite out of a cheese ball, or chug a glass of wine. Seriously I’m an idiot sometimes, I was on Pinterest for an hour searching Fondue, Wine Tasting Galentines parties on my 5th day. Who does that? Again, you can do it!

The difference I’ve seen in my first week of Whole30. My dry skin and itching has minimized. I sleep so much better. I finally cleared my sinus infection, cold, whatever the heck I had. I’m in a better mood, way more energized. Lastly, I’ve been so productive with my time. The next phase of this 30 day kick but stage of my life is to add in physical activity. I just want to encourage anyone that has even remotely thought about doing a Whole30. Do it, I’m just 8 days in and I’m loving it so far. Stay posted for more on this 30 day journey.

Sylvia McDonald

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