February 27, 2017

Whole30: Days 5 through 11

So, I'm wrapping up the next installment of the Whole30 today. I'm more than one third of the way there. 19 days to go. I can't lie...there's a calendar on the wall in my bedroom, and I'm marking off each day as it passes like a little kid at Christmas or, as my cousin suggested, like a guy in prison.

That prison description felt pretty accurate a few days ago. I may or may not have had a small breakdown at some point during the past six days. Over ketchup. Really. 

Before I get to a day-by-day account, let me just say that if you are ever planning to do this, I do suggest you read this Whole30 timeline. I didn't find it until day eight or nine, and it made me feel so much less like a freak, because I do dream about eating things I shouldn't be eating — even things I don't like or crave — and I have had days where I wanted to tell everyone I knew to take hike off a cliff and there was a day when my pants were super tight, and I was like what the heck is going on here?! Some of it has been a little out of order, but it's definitely reassurance that you are not alone in your little food hell. 

One more thing — when I first mentioned doing this, I had several friends who have done it say it's one of the hardest things they've ever done. I secretly laughed at their lack of willpower. I'm not laughing anymore. 

Day 6:  

Day 6 was the beginning of the little ketchup meltdown I had, and that started when I was cooking that evening. I make these Japanese vegetable cakes based on this recipe all the time. Love them. I decided that they if I switched the oat flour I normally use to coconut flour, they'd be Whole30-approved. At this point, I've made them so often that I don't go by a recipe, and I don't always use the same vegetables listed in the recipe. That was mistake number one. My veggie to coconut flour to egg ratio was way off. The second mistake was using coconut oil to cook them (normally, I use olive oil). While they tasted okay in the end, they were less vegetable cake and more big soggy pile of crap.

I also had a pot roast in the Crock Pot. I love pot roast. And I already love to season it with Whole30-approved ingredients, so I figured it would be great. And honestly, it wasn't awful, but it was a tad dry. And when my roast is dry, I either put it on a sandwich with lots of melty cheese or slather it in ketchup. Or both. But I couldn't do either of those things, and it just seemed inedible. I put most of it in the fridge and went to bed starving. STARVING. Later in the night, I had some stomach issues. I was pretty sure they were because I couldn't have ketchup. I hated life. I wanted to go home. I wanted my mommy. I wanted to punch whomever came up with this Whole30. I felt like a crazy person. 

This is the meal that led to my ketchup meltdown.

Day 7:  

When I woke up on Day 7, I didn't feel much better. That's the day my pants were tight. My stomach was still grumbling, and I couldn't think of anything I wanted to eat for breakfast. Day 7 was a Wednesday, and most Wednesdays I haul my mom to the grocery store. In exchange, I get to use her senior discount on my groceries. As soon as I saw her, I started complaining and whining and acting like a five-year-old. Over ketchup (and my upset stomach and my tight pants and my hatred of all things Whole30). She yelled at me, comforted me, and promised to help me with some food ideas. We went to the store, and she made me buy some bananas and a bottle of water so I wouldn't become cranky, and she helped me pick out some new foods and ingredients. I felt so much better. Sometimes a girl just needs her mom, even if she does always complain about having to share a kitchen with her at the moment. Truth be told, if I were back at my old house living alone, I'd have blown this program days ago. 

So, Day 7 was spent grocery shopping. That night, my mom made some coconut flour gravy for the leftover roast. It made it bearable, but I found that I still couldn't eat much and decided to freeze it for a time when I can have ketchup. I bought some Tessemae's Creamy Ranch dressing that day, and was planning to have some carrots dipped in it, but it tasted really weird. That's when I realize it had expired two months before. Good job, Kroger. I went to bed hungry again that night, but I had a renewed sense of purpose.  I even worked out that evening!

Day 8:

Day eight went pretty well. I decided to start making Whole30 versions of some of my favorites, which some will say is not "in the spirit of the program," but I think everyone has to find their way. I made onion rings with tapioca and coconut flour, as well as these chicken tenders. It was actually pretty good. Even without ketchup.

By about 9 pm, I was feeling okay. Definitely not hungry or angry or depressed or any of the things I felt the day before. I was actually watching TV when my stomach started rumbling again. This part gets a little TMI, so I'll spare you the details, but by the time I was ready for bed, I was so exhausted I could barely walk. I did, however, lay in bed and drink 1.5 liters of ice water because I felt so dehydrated. I've been good about drinking water, but during the Great Meltdown of 2017, I'd stopped drinking much of anything, and I was parched. Anyway, I got 10 hours of sleep that night, and they were pretty darn peaceful.

These chicken tenders tasted better than they looked.

Day 9:  

Speaking of peaceful, that's how I felt for most of Day 9. I'm really starting to tell a difference in the way I feel. Some minor aches and pains are practically gone. Even though my pants are still a little tight, I can tell in other places I have lost weight. The idea of eating three meals a day does not make me sick anymore, and while I'm still counting down the days until this over, I do not feel like it's torture to get through them. That could change, I'm sure, but I'm embracing it for now.

As for food, I didn't have to cook today, which could be part of why I'm in such a great mood. For breakfast, I ate my leftover chicken tenders with lettuce wraps. For lunch, I treated myself to a Five Guys burger with lettuce wraps and veggie toppings. I got a second one for supper, which I ate with a little fruit. I also drank a ton of water throughout the day.

Day 10:  

I woke up on Day 10 knowing it wasn't going to be a good day. You know how you just get that feeling? But this had nothing to do with the Whole30 plan. It was a 4 am day, and after wolfing down some eggs and a banana, I went out to the car and managed to drop my new iPhone in the driveway, shattering the screen. Not long after that, my mom called me to come pick her up from a medical appointment because she was sick (we think it was just a reaction to some medication, but after last fall, anything is worrisome). When I got home, I was starving. Starving. I decided to take a nap just to take my mind off of it, but my mom wanted me to make her some cinnamon toast. It took all I had not to lick the stevia off my fingers. Instead, I baked a sweet potato and then took a nap. Afterwards, I experimented with making my own taco seasoning for the first time ever, and I didn't hate it. So, my meal for the night was taco meat with lettuce, onions, and salsa, and a side of hash browns. Apparently, Days 10 and 11 are when most people quit, but I powered through the first half, even if I was craving actual tacos with shells and cheese. 

Homeade taco meat...not too bad.

Taco salad/nachos with hash browns.

Day 11:  

To be honest, I was too busy to eat on Day 11. I woke up and had eggs and kiwi fruit and headed outside full of energy. The goal was to work outside half the day and work inside half the day, but I had so much energy. I felt like running laps and howling like a wolf or something. Did I mention I had so much energy? I ended up clearing brush and foregoing machine tilling in favor of digging ditches. Yes, I voluntarily dug 10-inch-deep ditches.  I planted broccoli, cabbage, and some flowers, and walked back and forth between both houses a gazillion times. I cleaned out some of the chicken coop. I was outside until dark and only came home to put the chickens up. The plan was to make spaghetti, but my energy level got ahead of the rest of me, and I was too sore to walk to the stove, never mind actually stand there and cook. I had hash browns again and went to bed pretty early. 


Let's talk about cravings for a minute. I've had some, but they haven't been exactly what I thought they'd be.  

Diet Coke 

Until I started drinking the La Croix waters, all I could think about was how much my food needed a Diet Coke to accompany it. Since I broke down and bought the water on Day 5, that has almost gone away. Now, when I was in Five Guys on Day 9, all I could think about was grabbing a fountain drink to go with my burgers, and I still crave the taste of Diet Coke, but the carbonated water is enough to satisfy some of those needs. The cherry lime is my favorite so far, but my cousin's wife just brought me some other flavors to try.  I'm limiting myself to two or less a day. Or trying to anyway.

La Croix! (and Dasani)


Someone once asked me if I could only eat one thing for the rest of my life, what would it be? My response was Chick-fil-A chicken nuggets. I eat them at last once a week. I've eaten them for all three meals in the same day. On the days I have to get up at 4 am, I often have them for breakfast. My mouth is watering just typing this. The first few nights of this little experiment, I dreamed about the darn things every night. They will probably be the first things I eat when I am no longer on the Whole30 plan.  All that said, I'm not quite as obsessed with my lack of nuggets as I was when I first started, so there's that, but I still think about them a lot.

Poor grammar aside, a friend sent me this, and I have to agree.


This isn't something that has gone away at all. I did buy the ingredients to try to make my own, but the recipe involves dates, and dates look like something you'd scoop out of a cat litter box, so I'm not sure I'll ever make it. I was going to order some Whole30-approved ketchup and still might do that, but for now, I've decided to suffer through and avoid roast at all costs.


Surprisingly, this has been one of my biggest cravings lately. Today, I desperately wanted a milk shake or chocolate milk or just a glass of milk, and I don't even drink milk. I've been craving pizza all week, but I think it's more about the cheese than the actual pizza. When I finish this and go back to low-carb eating, I'll definitely eat cheese. Dairy has really never been a big problem for me. However, I will be reading the labels of whatever cheese I buy to see exactly what's in it.

No cheese. Bummer. :-(

Days 5-11 Conclusion: 

I'm hanging in there. It's definitely not something I could do long-term, but it is a major learning experience about how certain foods affect you, both mentally and physically. I still hate cooking (especially when I'm just cooking for myself), and that's probably the number one reason I couldn't do this long-term. The foods mentioned above are the second reason. There's also the fact that I've spent less time working in favor of cooking. I don't like that at all.

I read labels on everything now. It's ridiculously hard to find bacon without sugar in it, but sometime this week, I'm going to head into Marietta just to pick some up (it took some research to find it). I definitely feel more control of my body than I did before, and that's exactly why I did this. That's also something I hope to take into days 31 and beyond. Mostly because I never want to feel like I need to do anything this strict again.

Maybe it kind of is like prison? 19 more days...

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