Whole 30 – The First 5 Days

Well, we’re 1/6 of the way through our first Whole 30 and I can say with absolute certainty that I haven’t had a bad meal yet! And I’m feeling pretty fantastic. That said, it hasn’t been without its challenges.

1. Taco Salad using a new vinaigrette, 2. Chili Redux with Steamed Broccoli, 3. Leftover Tri Trip Salad, 4. Herb Rubbed Tri Tip, Broccoli, Avocado, Tomatoes, 5. Roasting Sweet Potatoes, 6. photo, 7. Mish Mash Brekkie: frittata, leftover broccoli, cherries, coffee. #whole30, 8. Lobster Cocktail with Clarified Butter (not pictured Salad with hard boiled egg, olive oil and vinegar), 9. Fried Eggs, Sweet Potato Hash + Zucchini Fritters

Days 1-5

Thus far the Whole 30 has been pretty mellow. We are cooking delicious food, there are no “marginal” ingredients in the house so there is no temptation there (I’m uh…not so good with temptation) and life hasn’t felt dramatically different. That said, last week was NOT a typical week.

For starters, we only worked out once (I mentioned we both ripped our hands open TO THE EXTREME on Monday and this, plus other scheduling things, hindered workouts all week. HUGE bummer!) This meant I didn’t have to deal with eating real food instead of my beloved protein shakes post workout. I anticipated that being a challenge, but since I didn’t work out at all I can’t give you any update. Boo.

The first major challenge that we did encounter though happened on the first night. I had meant to prepare some Chocolate Chili on the weekend and hadn’t. I told myself not to worry about it that I’d just make it Wednesday night, but when I busted out the recipe at 6pm I realized that it takes more than 2 hours to make. And I was missing a major ingredient. FAIL. 🙂 In the end I just threw together a chili-like dish (no chocolate) with protein, veggies and spices and while it was not at all the beautiful first-night meal I had anticipated, we didn’t go hungry. Victory.

Chili Redux with Steamed Broccoli

The second major challenge ended up having to do with casino food. HUH? You see, I do a good amount of traveling for my job (mostly day trips) and they can come on a moments notice. I got a phone call that I would be going to Reno last Thursday for the entire day (Road Trip, on only Day Two!!!) and all of a sudden I had a serious panic attack. What the hell would I eat in Reno? I was meeting with many strangers and honestly I was already sort of concerned about all the hand shaking I would have to do with my hideous ripped open hands. Now I was going to have to be the food nazi too? This was a SALES-ISH MEETING. I was trying to look amenable and agreeable. Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh.

In the end though, we ended up lunching at the seafood bar at the Atlantis (which is actually super delicious) and while everyone else ate sushi, I happily gobbled up a lobster cocktail with clarified butter (Totally legit!) and a salad with olive oil and balsamic that I had them add a hard boiled egg to for some extra protein. In the end, no need for panic at all. No one was the wiser. And I actually got some high fives for “Ordering the Lobster” which, um…hello? Who DOESN’T want lobster?

Lobster Cocktail with Clarified Butter (not pictured Salad with hard boiled egg, olive oil and vinegar)

I thought Friday night would be a challenge since that is usually when Garrett and I both want to crack open a bottle of wine on the patio and kick up our feet, but Garrett had to wake up at 4am for work on Saturday morning so neither of us even thought about drinking. Saturday night though? After running errands and being productive, doing the grocery shopping and then cooking up an awesome dinner on the grill– well, we missed the wine. And talked about it. Quite a bit. 🙂 But we’ll survive! Instead of wine as a reward, we rewarded ourselves by sitting down and watching a movie together and eating a bowl of cherries instead of popcorn. Totally fun, even though the movie was so lame it was funny.

Sunday (Day Five! What? This is flying by!) I spent a few hours chopping, measuring and stirring and I’ve prepped a portion of almost every meal we’re going to eat this week. Usually when I do this on Sundays I snack on some little treat like sweet potato chips or (even better) DRIED MANGO!! I missed that yesterday, but mostly just out of habit. I wasn’t hungry, and I have really come to understand that my obsession with both of those snacky items goes from “enjoying a bite or two” to “can someone help me unhinge my jaw so I can get this down faster” pretty quickly, so even though I sort of salivated at the thought, I just kind of distracted myself and kept on moving.

Desire for jaw unhinging, I think, is a pretty good indicator of an “Unhealthy Psychological Response” to food. I enjoyed finding that term in Dallas and Melissa’s book It Starts with Food, which I finished right before we embarked on this Whole 30. Part of this experiment is acknowledging those foods that you don’t really eat because they are nourishing you, but rather to get some sort of fix: comfort, sugar, whatever. I don’t have a lot of those, but let me tell you dried mangoes and sweet potato chips are definitely a slippery slope for me!

Someone asked me the other day if I was really going to cook all 30 recipes in this post? In reality, I probably will not get to all 30. But for me, that list was more of a strategy to keep my own anxiety at bay. It feels better to go into something like this armed with some creative ideas. Despite not planning to stick to that list exclusively, I will be absolutely cooking something every single night (except for two nights when we have plans that include dinner out, which will be their own challenges.) How I keep myself from feeling overwhelmed by all those meals is the Sunday afternoon prep. It is seriously a life-saver and I just can’t recommend it enough if you are going to try to undertake a 30 day nutritional challenge.

Things I Miss

So…is everything absolutely easy-peasy and perfect? No. I miss my glass of wine, damnit! But guess what? I am feeling notably better. So whether it is the seed oils that I’ve given up, or the little bits of sugar here and there, or the alcohol completely — it has absolutely made a difference in only 5 days. And I was eating (what I thought was) pretty clean beforehand. I’m also concentrating on getting a good amount of sleep, and what do you know? If you get enough sleep, you actually think about other things when you wake up in the morning instead of thinking WHERE IS MY COFFEE the second your eyelids crack open.

The other things I’m missing like crazy are my taco salad dressing options. Yes, even though every single one is full of sugar and other crap. I made a substitute vinaigrette that I thought would taste okay and it was only alright. Still working on a replacement for that. And you know I won’t be eliminating Taco Salad this month so a solution MUST BE FOUND! 🙂 Saturday night’s dinner included making Melissa’s Moroccan Dipping Oil with cilantro and let me tell you I literally wanted to drink that right out of the jar. I’m thinking the mix of flavors might taste pretty damn good on Taco Salad so I mixed up a batch yesterday for just that purpose. I’ll report back!

Things Coming Up

I have lots more to say about this little experiment but I think I’ve probably said enough for now. So far so good, but can I get a GODDAMN GLASS OF WINE? NO? HRRRRRMMMPH. OK.

I’m going to show you what’s going on in my fridge this week and also tell you about some of the other habits that I am trying to take the time to incorporate into my lifestyle. Healthy Habits can be hard to create, but one of the things that I’ve realized is that most of the time they aren’t any harder or more time consuming than what you are already doing, they just aren’t part of the routine yet. So we’re trying to routinize some other things that will benefit our health during this experiment and then see if they stick! Here’s to hoping.

Hope you all are having a good Monday. How have your first few days gone?

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15 Responses to Whole 30 – The First 5 Days

  1. Looks like you’re doing AWESOME! YAY!

    Have you tried the cumin-lime dressing on your taco salad? Recipe here or in Well Fed:


    For what it’s worth, I RARELY drink wine, and I was craving a glass of wine this week, too. Weird.

    • Holly says:

      Thanks lady, I will definitely try it. Unfortunately Garrett doesn’t eat mayonnaise at all. I MEAN CAN YOU EVEN BELIEVE THAT? I don’t really LOVE it, but the homemade stuff if SO FLIPPING GOOD, I will probably try many dressing variations with it, so that one is now on the list. Garrett has so few food aversions (basically mayo and “cooked” fish) that he is usually pretty easy to cook for, but in this instance I’m like “Really? not even one bit of this awesome, fresh basil aioli????”


      But he does the dishes, so I guess I’ll keep him around. And make alternative dressings for him. 🙂

  2. Beth says:

    Sounds very similar to my first five days, including making Morrocan Dipping sauce and Chocolate Chili! And as an experienced Whoel 30er (at least for me), the damn wine cravings never go away. I am much more able to resist them post W30, remember how freaking great I feel without, but the craving is still there.

    • Beth says:

      Oh, and congrats on being 1/6 of the way done! The first week is definitely the hardest for me.

    • Holly says:

      Yeah, I don’t know that I will ever live a wine free existence but we can definitely be the “one bottle turns into two, turns into — eh, why wake up early on saturday to work out…” so I think I will try and be a little more moderate afterward. You know, assuming I survive 🙂 hehe

  3. Christina says:

    I’m having a hell of a time with snacks and it’s where I’m most temped to mess up. I either slam the fridge at the thoguht of another damn carrot or I go hungry. The past week was really half assed for me, but my husband was out of town AND anut flo was here but today I’m back on the wagon. Love reading your recaps. (RIP WINE)

    • Holly says:

      I feel ya on snacks. After 4 or 5 days of pretty clean eating I don’t really think about snacks, but in the beginning it’s kind of a bitch. Snacks that have really worked for me this last week are macadamia nuts + olives. Both full of fat so they are pretty satiating. Nothing worse than eating a whole bag of baby carrots and being like “Really? That was it?” While I like veggies, for me they don’t really saaaaaaaatisfy as a snack, mostly because when I want a snack it’s mental, not like actual hunger (GIVE ME THE EFFING CHOCOLATE.) Anyway…keep up the good work! No need to be 100% compliant 100% of the time. Life would be boring. 🙂

  4. Kari says:

    Oh, I have a taco salad dressing recommendation for you! I make some homemade salsa by boiling tomatoes & jalapenos together for about 10 minutes ( I use a 1 jalapeno to every 2 tomato ratio), removing the skins of the tomatoes & then blitzing in a food processor. I add a little garlic and a little salt, but I don’t measure so can’t really tell you how much. The I mix a little salsa and a little homemade mayo and make a creamy salsa dressing. It’s really yummy on taco salads – I eat that for almost every lunch!

    Oh, and I just started reading your blog a few days ago – I came from The Clothes Make the Girl. Good luck!

  5. Britney says:

    Okay Holly, because you are so inspirational and we are both serious taco salad lovers, I will share the secret to taco salad dressing – Mazettas hot chili pepper juice. EVOO, salt, pepper and a splash of Mazettas (or how ever much you like, kind like balsalmic) – you’ll love it.

    • Holly says:

      Thanks Britney! That sounds like a super good idea. I only have the Mazetta’s pepperocinis in my fridge right now but I may have to procure some hot peppers. YUM!

  6. kara t. says:

    Way to go Holly! I am working on finishing It Starts With Food then starting my whole 30. It will be my 5th in the two years that I have done paleo. I truly love how I feel on it 🙂

    What about salsa for your taco salad? Generally with any salad I toss my lettuce with EVOO and then add the toppings. If there’s guac or avocado I don’t seem to really need a real dressing.