The Prep and Days 1 & 2
*Please note: I started my journey at the beginning of June and I am writing based on the extensive notes I left for myself during this process so far.
After reviewing the Whole30 Program Rules, telling my immediate family and friends of my plan and committing myself fully to the program I made the decision to start my journey on June 1st. Around Memorial Day Weekend, I finally used an Amazon gift card that I received at Christmas to buy The Whole30 Guidebook (on sale too!). In truth, you really don’t need this book- there are plenty of resources, blogs and forums that you can read online. However, I knew having the physical book would help guide me through this journey much better in addition to those online sources.
I received my guidebook 2 days before I started my journey. I took it upon myself to read the entire book front to back. I was completely overwhelmed and didn’t quite know where to start. The first thing I decided to do was to prep my pantry and refrigerator. The program suggests that you rid your cupboards, pantry, fridge, secret food hiding spots, etc. free from any non-compliant food. I referred to my guidebook quite a bit during this process and became a maniac at reading nutrition labels. I was surprised at just how much of my pantry and refrigerator items were non-compliant. In truth, most of the food I had I thought was pretty healthy (or at least on that track). Here are the before and after shots of my pantry:
Literally the picture on the right has nothing in it at all. My fridge also didn’t have much left in it as well. I stuck all of my non-perishable food items in various bins marked “DO NOT TOUCH OR OPEN TILL JULY 1ST’. I skimmed through my book and online resources to find various sample grocery lists of items I could buy and started to make a plan.
The night before I started my Whole30 journey, I met up with my girlfriends to have dinner at my favorite Mexican restaurant. Truth be told, I gorged myself with all the things I love to eat from this place- corn chips, queso, guacamole, cheeseburger tacos, etc. I left dinner feeling quite full and automatically knew that perhaps that wasn’t the smartest choice in my book.
WHAT THE HECK AM I DOING? This was the first thought I had upon waking up and realizing I basically had nothing in the house to eat that was compliant. See, life got in the way and while I had my plan to go to the grocery store to stock up on all these delicious veggies and packed protein, I never made it before my start day.
Pro tip: This not something I suggest you do!!
It sucked. And I was left to research what the heck people eat for breakfast on this program. Perhaps the biggest shock to me was how the hell I was going to drink my coffee. As obsessed with coffee as I am, I typically enjoy my 3 cups of morning Joe with milk and about 2-3 packets of Splenda per cup. My mother always has joked that it was more sugar than coffee that ultimately woke me in the morning. The thought of me drinking my coffee black the first day on the program did not appeal to me and I decided to drink a cup of green tea with peach instead. And then I made scrambled eggs. Mind you I like fluffy scrambled eggs, which you achieve by adding milk. Ha! Not milk, just olive oil in a frying pan (had to stop myself before reaching for the PAM) and whipped eggs with salt and pepper. WHAT THE HELL.
I spent the entire day thinking about how hungry and unsatisfied I was so far in this process and munched on an entire half bag of pecans. I still was unable to make it to the grocery store that day and was left to yet again eat eggs with spinach for dinner. Not exactly a great start! Please please please for the love of God don’t ever do this to yourself. If you’re considering Whole30, prep yourself with the right food BEFORE you start your journey. I have no idea what I was thinking.
My ultimate goal for the day was: GET TO THE GROCERY STORE. When you spend an entire day being hungry with only bare minimal compliant foods in the house, you tend to get a little hangry. With my list ready, I headed to my local Trader Joe’s to seek out what I could buy for myself for the next 2 weeks under $50. When you read the regulations of the program, they’ll tell you that the more organic it is the better. However, if you’re someone like me on a budget they tell you to just get what you can afford. And that was a comforting piece of information to me when I first started- that I wouldn’t have to drop a significant amount of money on a program. I could do it on my own terms.
At the grocery store, I armed myself with a list and a calculator to track what I was buying and how much total I was spending. I stocked up on LOTS of veggies and fruit, protein, nuts and seltzer. I steered clear from the ice cream and sweets aisle and was feeling pretty confident in my choices. I wasn’t able to get everything I initially put on my list, but I was supplied with good choices to make new food. Here is what my grocery haul looked like:
And the best part: my total came under my budget!!
That night for dinner, I tried a recipe in the Whole30 guidebook as well as some forums online to create Cauliflower “Fried” Rice. You can find frozen cauliflower rice at Trader Joe’s in their freezer section (It’s literally a lifesaver!). It tasted pretty good; though in the future I think I might adjust the spices in the dish.
Typically after dinner I get cravings for something sweet. This is usually in the past when I would eat an entire pint of Ben & Jerry’s. Fun Fact: my college friends and I were at one point convinced that the pint was one serving (LOL if only). There are absolutely no desserts on the program and no “recreating” sweets with compliant ingredients. Instead, I sipped on another cup of unsweetened green tea with peach. I felt better at the end of this day than I did the day before since I had more compliant food on hand. Looking to see where the rest of this journey takes me!
Peace & Love,