Whole30 round 2 starts now!

You all know my love of Whole30 and how great it makes you feel to eat really clean for 30 days, to reboot and refresh. I completed my first Whole30 last year and have tried before to do another one, but I wasn't totally serious and prepared so it fizzled out. Now I'm officially doing another Whole30 starting today with my dear friend Ginny (affectionately known as "G") in Nashville. We're both excited to share this journey for the next 30 days! 

I went out with a bang last night with some bubbly Prosecco and the unreal melt-in-your-mouth croissant bread pudding from Stock and Barrel on a date with my hubby.  This morning I'm happily choosing veggies and eggs and clean meats, although I'm sure in a few days I'll be craving wine, bourbon, chocolate and peanut butter!

So here was my breakfast:

Spiralized butternut squash (that I spiralized yesterday and stored in fridge), pesto, sweet potato, ground beef, eggs, and a little avocado. I drank hot Yerba maté with a few drops of doTerra lemon oil. Felt very cleansing.


I'm definitely planning on an iced coconut milk latté later today (unsweetened with cinnamon)!

Here's Ginny's beautiful breakfast: 

Kale, peppers, onions, garlic, eggs, and parsley.  Melon, blueberries, mint, and mint tea.  She said it took some extra time but it was worth it and that for her, it was different eating vegetables for breakfast.  But as a lover of all things French, she said, "In French breakfast is just 'petit dejeuner' (a little lunch).  I keep telling myself that."

Good call, G.


Now do either of these meals look like deprivation? No way!  There are so many real food options, and I'm choosing to remind myself every day of that bounty rather than focusing on what's "off program."

Alright, it's out there now...I've written about it, so I have to keep going!  Anyone else doing a Whole30?  I'd love to know your tips and thoughts...let's cheer each other on!

Whole30 - I did it!

Well, yesterday was day 30 of my first Whole30!  I made it.  And miraculously, I made it without any cheats, minus an accidental teensy taste of honey on a coffee spoon.   Oh, I got really close though.  Like that time I almost downed an entire box of crackers while preparing my daughter's snack.  And when we had our first Sunday of homemade artisan pizza at Urban Acres and I just stared at it longingly while my friends devoured theirs.

But it was worth it.  I'm so glad I completed my first Whole30.  Even more than the physical benefits, I feel more in control of my desires and less controlled by food. 

I finished my Whole30 before we had a big dinner at our house last night and tried some potato salad and a bit of Mexican chocolate cake and fruit cobbler for dessert.  A few bites into the desserts, I couldn't take any more sweetness and didn't even finish it.  

This morning, I had my first coconut milk latté post-program and used only 4 drops of Stevia instead of the usual 12.  So I'd say that's progress!

Here are some other great things I experienced while on Whole30:

  • I definitely lost a few pounds - probably around 5.  {Kinda wish it had been more, but I'm being gracious with myself and remembering I just had a baby 5 months ago.  Baby steps.}
  • I learned to enjoy beverages unsweetened.  {I'll probably continue drinking coffee this way and just lightly sweetening my tea lattés.}
  • As I mentioned before, I feel much less controlled by food, and cravings have greatly diminished.  Eating less fruit and enough healthy fats and proteins really helped with this.
  • It was fun doing this with my husband and our close friend Amber.  I highly recommend doing the program with a close friend or someone who lives with you - makes it a ton easier!
  • It was just a good thing to exercise more discipline.  I don't believe that we should live with our food choices highly restricted all the time, unless of course we have to for medical or health reasons.  God gave us a bounty of things to eat.  And the funny thing is that even though there are restrictions on Whole30, what we have to eat is still abundance.

These were the hardest things about it:

  • No chocolate!  No smoothies!  No ice cream!
  • I got really sick of berries with nut butter and coconut flakes.  But it was a good snack when I needed one.
  • Having friends in town and not being able to drink wine with them or eat pizza.   It was a shift in thinking to realize I didn't have to be eating and drinking what they were eating and drinking to have fun.

Here are the favorite things I ate on Whole30:

First, cilantro mayo.  Wow, I never knew how super easy it is to make your own mayo!    I used it more like a sauce and added it on my eggs or meat just to give it a little zing.  You could also make your own chicken salad.  Having an immersion blender and a wide-mouth mason jar like the recipe says was perfect. If you don't like cilantro, just leave that part out!

Here's the recipe from this @whole30recipes Instagram post:

Cilantro Mayo

  • 1 egg at room temp
  • 1 cup of avocado oil or light olive oil
  • 1 T vinegar, lemon juice, or lime juice
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 t ground mustard
  • 1/4 t garlic powder or minced garlic
  • 1/2 c chopped cilantro
  1. Crack egg in a wide mouth mason jar. (Perfect to store the mayo in)
  2. Slowly add oil and let separate.
  3. Add vinegar and seasonings.
  4. Place immersion blender in the jar all the way to the bottom and mix until white and fluffy. Should only take 30 seconds or so.
  5. Add cilantro and blend until roughly chopped.

 ~ ~ ~

This was my favorite snack on the program - apples sliced into rounds topped with homemade almond butter and unsweetened coconut flakes.  How many times have I had apples and nut butter?  But never sliced into rounds!  Something about it made it seem more special, like a chip.

Here are the two best dinners I had on Whole30...

First, Fried Plantains with Chipotle Lime Chicken & Chipotle Lime Slaw - unreal!  It was a little sweet, salty, creamy, so amazing.  Here's where I got the recipe.

The other amazing meal was PaleOMG's Pizza Spaghetti Pie.  Seriously so easy and perfect for right now when spaghetti squash is in season!

whole30-pizza spaghetti pie. jpg

But mostly, we just kept it simple.  Here's my last Whole30 breakfast on day 30 - simply Applegate chicken apple sausages and 2 eggs fried in ghee.

What I'm going to do moving forward:

  • Keep eating Whole30-ish.  I love how I've felt without grains, and I don't miss dairy or legumes in the least bit (except maybe peanut butter, but I can live without it).  So I'm going to move forward with a low glycemic diet concentrated on pastured meats, healthy fats, lots of veggies, and low glycemic fruits. 
  • Definitely feel like I ate a lot of sweet potatoes on Whole30, because I could. I'll probably limit these a bit more.
  • Get a Spiralizer!  I really need one of these.  Healthy, low carb noodles every day!
  • Add back in my Vanilla Creme Stevia, but in smaller amounts.  I'm a little embarrassed to say I was putting about 12 drops in one single coconut milk latté.  But I'm not going to feel badly about using a few drops in my hot beverages if I want, and it doesn't affect my glycemic index.
  • Start drinking Dandy Blend.  I've wanted to try it for awhile but it comes partly from grains, so I couldn't try it on Whole30.  But it's a great non-acidic and low glycemic coffee alternative that tons of people love, plus there are the health benefits of dandelion.
  • Bake a lot less, only when I really want to, rather than being controlled by sweets cravings every single day.  If and when I bake, use dates and coconut palm sugar as much as possible.  I think I'll even try using dates in my coconut milk ice cream recipe next time instead of maple syrup.  Occasional (rather than several-times-weekly) gluten-free pancakes will probably be only lightly sweetened rather than slathered with syrup!
  • Continue doing my weekly yoga - It's been a great complement to the Whole30 program.  And add in some Pilates online with Robin Long.  LOVE her website and perspective. 

So there you have it, folks.  I definitely see myself doing another Whole30 in the near future.  It's just so helpful to have a program to regain perspective and discipline when you need it.  And the community of folks doing Whole30 and sharing recipes makes it even better.  If you're considering doing it, I'd be happy to answer any questions or help in any way!

* This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Whole30 - week one recap...

One week into the Whole30, and I just keep thinking about how amazing I feel.  Yes, amazing.  I understand how this program can change your life if you let it. 

The first few days, I definitely felt like I was dragging and craved chocolate and pancakes and carbs and carbs and more carrrrrrrbs.  But by day 4, I started to feel a huge difference.

A few observations so far...

  • I actually feel full.  Before, I felt like I was constantly eating because I was always hungry and never satisfied.  After a full meal, I felt like I could always eat more.  But not now.  It's wonderful to have the feeling of fulness again.
  • I'm not eating as much fruit.  I love fruit and think it's here for us to enjoy.  But I was definitely eating a ton of fruit before to satisfy sweet cravings.  Now my body actually craves more protein and fat rather than fruit.  If I do want fruit, I want it with nuts or coconut on top.
  • The above meal was probably the most satisfying I've had so far - a grilled grass-fed beef burger {seasoned only with salt and pepper} with guacamole on top, and a side of homemade slaw.  For the slaw, I threw together red cabbage, shredded carrots, diced peppers, chopped cilantro, and raisins, and tossed it in vinaigrette {olive oil, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper}.  It was perfect.
  • My hair and skin look better. 
  • My clothes fit better.
  • I have more energy.
  • It's ridiculous to feel deprived on this program.  With a plethora of healthy colorful food at my fingertips, how could I ever complain?  How selfish would it be to whine about not having chocolate?  Poor, poor pitiful American.  In this culture where nothing is ever enough, and we're used to getting what we want, it's good to restrict once in awhile.  And even that is abundance.
  • When someone calls it a "diet," I jokingly reply, "This isn't a diet, it's a program."  But seriously, I will never be on a "diet" again in my life, as to me that means empty promises and crazy restrictions that could never be effective long-term. 
  • Being more restrictive with what I'm eating on this program, I actually think about food less.  I feel much more freedom, like food doesn't have a hold on me.

And here are some "tricks" I've discovered so far that have helped tremendously...

  • Plan ahead and make sure you have the right "on program" foods you need at all times.  Don't be unprepared, because minor freakout moments will occur, and the cravings will begin again.
  • I can see one of the main keys to succeeding is making sure you have enough protein and fat in your diet to keep you full and keep the sweet cravings away.
  • Keep it simple, but also be open to new recipe ideas.  @whole30recipes on Instagram has given me some great ones - cilantro mayonnaise is absolutely delish, and I love the idea of "eggs in a hole" using a bell pepper.
  • Have something that's a "treat" that's not really a treat.  For me, it's an iced {decaf} coffee with coconut milk and cinnamon. 

Over the last week, I've watched people eat pancakes, cookies, and cake, and miraculously, I feel no jealousy.  I have no desire for those foods right now and would rather eat the life-giving foods I'm eating to feel vibrantly healthy.  Of course, I know I'll eat them again at some point, but for now, this is just what I needed to regain perspective, enjoy the simple food God has provided, and treat my body the best I can.

Whole30, let's do this.

It's time to bring in the reins a little.  Even though we eat almost all "whole" real foods at Casa de Bailey, we've gone a little overboard lately with the sweeteners {even natural ones like maple syrup and honey}, smoothies choc full of fruit, and "healthy" Paleo desserts.   I realize that during a tough day of parenting, I reach for the dark chocolate or another sweetened latté faster than I can say a prayer for help.  It's time to take a step back and lessen the hold that food has on my body and emotions.

Enter Whole30 - where you clean up your diet for 30 days straight, eating only whole, real foods.  The focus is on healthy meats and veggies, healthy fats, some nuts and seeds, with a bit of fruit.  No grains, no legumes, and no sweeteners of any kind are allowed, not even Stevia (insert wide-eyed nervous face).   Here are the rules

This is going to be hella-hard, but good.  I've done an anti-fungal diet for a month, and it's difficult, but at least I had Stevia so I could still have my beloved coconut milk lattés.  During Whole30, they're going to have to be unsweetened, which makes me shudder...which confirms how much I rely on that sweetness to satisfy myself.

What am I hoping to get out of this?

  • Get back to the basics of simple food - taste and appreciate food in its most unprocessed, whole form.
  • Loosen the grip of treats in my life, even those made with natural sweeteners.   Recapture the real taste of food without added sweetness.
  • Along with strenuous walks and other exercise, get a jumpstart/reboot on toning up my body again, as it's pretty much unrecognizable to me after this last pregnancy.  I know I have a lot of muscle and strength under that fluff, so I'm not freaking out about it.  I'm just doing what I can to be as healthy as possible.

This morning, I went to the grocery store and stocked up on a rainbow of veggies and some fruit {mostly berries} to begin the journey.  This weekend, I'll add more produce from our Urban Acres share, some chicken and grass-fed beef, and Holy Kombucha

Whole30 starts tomorrow.  But first, a practice round this afternoon...{unsweetened} iced coffee with {unsweetened} homemade cashew milk and some cinnamon.  It really hit the spot.  I can do this. 

If you've done Whole30, do you have any recipes I must try?  And if you're doing Whole30 now, let's support each other!  We owe it to ourselves and our bodies to set our minds to this and do it fully.  I know I'll feel so much better at the end of this 30 days.  Are you with me?