I am now on day 14 of my first Whole30 challenge. Tomorrow I’ll officially be half way through. I wanted to recap each week as I go through them to share my journey with you and give you an insight into what doing your first Whole30 can be like if you were interested in trying it. Also I thought it would be nice to look back on if I ever decided to do the Whole30 again.
If you’re not sure what the Whole30 is, read my post to find out all about it and why I’m doing it. I’m a bit behind on the recaps so this one will combine both week 1 and week 2. Let’s get started
I started the Whole30 on January 2nd 2017. It was a bank holiday here in the UK so the boyfriend and I went food shopping and I spent the afternoon meal prepping for the week ahead. I’d planned to food shop and meal prep on Jan 1st but my NYE hangover put a stop to that.
I thought our food shop would be on the cheap side as I was basically only buying meat, veg and fruit but I somehow spent just under £70! That was a shock for sure, but Michael is doing the Whole30 with me and he eats a lot. If I was shopping for myself it would have been cheaper than £35 I’m sure. Or at least I hope it would have been ha.
Tip: If you’re thinking of doing a Whole30 at some point, buy the book The Whole 30: The official 30-day guide to total health and food freedom. It has acted as a source of motivation, inspiration, tough love and has been my go-to throughout. It explains the point of a Whole30, the rules, what you can and can’t have, answers almost every question you can think of and has a load of recipes to get you on your way.
Week 1 Meals:
I wanted to keep my meal prep quite simple as I didn’t want to have to cook several times in the week and I didn’t want to have to prepare 100 different meals. On day 1 I prepped turkey patties, grilled chicken breasts, salmon fillets, a huge pot of ratatouille, baked sweet potatoes, steamed broccoli and cottage pie. Some example meals from this meal prep were:
- Bacon or turkey patties with avocado and eggs for breakfast. I’d change how I make the eggs to keep it interesting. Some days I’d make a spinach omelette with a side of bacon and avocado and other days I’d make smashed avocado on a bed of bacon topped with soft boiled eggs
- Cottage pie topped with sweet potato mash and a side of cauliflower and green beans or a side of broccoli
- Salmon fillet with butternut squash noodles, ratatouille and wilted spinach
- Grilled chicken breast with ratatouille and broccoli or ratatouille and jacket sweet potato
- Snacks were fruit, almond butter, Nakd bars and Primal Pantry bars. The Whole30 encourages no snacking but due to the long gap between my lunch and dinner I had an afternoon snack each day
How I felt in Week 1:
The Whole30 timeline says that Week 1 is a struggle. To start with you may be exciting or wondering what you’ve got yourself in to. I was definitely the latter but because I’m doing this for health reasons I knew I had to try it. By days 2 and 3 you may feel hungover depending on how badly you ate before starting the Whole30. Days 4 to 5 your mood drops and you want to ‘kill all the things’ as they say. By the time you reach the end of the week you just want to nap as your energy levels nose dives.
Personally I didn’t have any of this. In fact I felt the opposite. My mood was great, my energy levels were consistently high, my bloat has almost disappeared and I felt thinner. I enjoyed all my meals and loved that this way of eating seemed to be agreeing with me. My only concerns for the first week were wether or not I’d get sick of eating sweet potato.
I am not a morning person at all, something I’ve said a few times here on the blog. Usually when I wake up I feel groggy and I hit snooze several times. In my first week of Whole30 I woke up before my alarm and felt like I’d had a great night sleep. I was alert, all grogginess had gone and although I did still hit snooze (anything for 5 more minutes in bed) I felt like I could jump out of bed straight away. At work my energy levels stayed consistent and I didn’t get that dreaded afternoon slump. I wasn’t tempted by the office treats, not even the delicious peanut butter M&M’s because I was loving this new me.
To sum up week 1 in one sentence it would be: “I feel great, maybe I should do a Whole60?!”.
Our food shop this week came in at around £50. Still slightly more than I was expecting but at least it was less than week 1! We still had some meat in our freezer so we focused on topping up on veg. I kept my meal prep simple again (I don’t think I ever do a complicated meal prep?!) and shared the process over on my Instagram stories so make sure you’re following my Instagram if you’re not already.
Week 2 Meals
For my meal prep I grilled chicken breasts, roasted butternut squash, sweet potato and broccoli, made another huge pot of ratatouille, finely chopped carrots, cucumber and courgettes, shredded some cabbage, baked sweet potato and salmon fillets. This meal prep took a little longer due to having to finely chop and shred the veg for the stir fry. Next time I’ll just buy one of those ready prepared stir fry veg packs! This meal prep didn’t last us the whole week either which saddened me as I hate having to cook after work.Here’s what we ate in week 2:
- I didn’t cook breakfast most of week 2 so I grabbed the protein pots from Pret that have boiled eggs, avocado and spinach in them. I’d eat them with some fruit, nuts or a Nakd bar.
- Chicken breast salad with kale, roasted butternut squash, sweet potato and broccoli, carrot, cucumber, baby plum tomatoes and red slaw
- Lemon salmon, baked sweet potato and ratatouille
- Chicken and veg stir fry
- Chicken breast, sweet potato mash, broccoli and ratatouille
- Cashew coated chicken strips from this recipe, potato chips and ranch dressing from this recipe.
- Coconut Asian chicken curry with baked sweet potato
- Snacks were fruit, nut butter, nuts and Nakd bars.
Tip: Buy yourself some Salted Caramel Green Tea. After so long without sugar this will feel like a real treat. Just don’t leave the tea bag in too long or it will taste less like caramel and more like green tea.
How I felt in Week 2:
My week 2 was true to the Whole30 timeline. Almost spot on in fact. I felt bloated again and therefore fatter and uncomfortable. My energy nose dived and my mood went down with it. I felt tired all the time and woke up feeling groggy not wanting to get out of bed. I had to cook again mid-week which did not pair well with my tiredness and low mood. Michael definitely felt the brunt of this as I snapped at him.
I started missing foods too. I thought the first thing I’d miss is chocolate because chocolate is life, but surprisingly I missed rice, quinoa and smoothies. The weather was awful this week with freezing temperatures and snow and all I wanted was a warming bowl of curry or stew with rice.
To sum up week 2 in one sentence it would be: “I can’t wait til this is over and I can eat X, Y & Z again!“
I feel like I’ve come through the other side of week 2 and I’m ready to head into week 3 hopefully feeling happier, less tired and less bloated. I’ve meal planned, shopped and prepped – I’m ready! There’s no way I’d be able to do this if I didn’t meal prep and keep healthy snacks to hand. I’m really proud of myself for not caving and eating anything off plan even when I found it tough. I’ve stuck to the Whole30 100% so far!