I’ve found myself on day 8 of the Whole30 challenge, which means it must be time for an update! For starters, I got used to the taste of black coffee by day 3. Not only was I used to it, but I’m actually enjoying it! I sprinkle a little bit of cinnamon on the bottom of my mug, then pour in the coffee so it’s mixed well. I’ve been enjoying every last drop this way, and will probably think very seriously about maintaining this after the challenge is over.
I’ve read through the Whole30 timeline a few times, trying to figure out what to expect. Week one highlights these winning moments….here’s what I thought about them all:
Day 1: So what’s the big deal? Spot on judgement of how I felt on day 1. As you all saw in last week’s post (Reset), the recipes came pretty easily, everything tasted delicious, and it didn’t seem like such a far stretch from our normal meals. I was excited to get through out shopping list, and fill the house with all kinds of fresh produce.
Days 2-3: The Hangover. Apparently I must be eating healthier than I realized, because I didn’t feel the full effects of sugar withdrawal. Did I have a small headache around days 4 and 5? Absolutely! But it was bearable, and thankfully came to an end fairly quickly.
Days 4-5: Kill all the things! I really hoped and thought this phase wouldn’t actually hit me. Why? Because irrationally, I thought somehow my experience would be different, and that must be an exaggeration. Low and behold, I came home from a relaxing massage on day 6 to realize my husband had finished all of the delicious leftovers that I was looking forward to eating. We had nothing already prepared in the house, it was late, and I was hangry! Thankfully, he’s very understanding, and helped me whip something up quickly…but in those few minutes before we figured out what to do “kill all the things” came out 😦
Days 6-7: I just want to nap. This phase hit me pretty hard, like the night I fell asleep on the couch at 8:30, or when I just couldn’t keep myself up after dinner and quite literally put myself to bed at a toddler’s bedtime. Getting up from my desk and walking to/from meetings kept it from hitting me hard during the day, but at night, all bets were off!
The thing that’s helping this challenge make even more of a difference for me, is that it coincides with a “Commit to Fit” challenge I’m doing with a close family member (hubby’s cousin from Lexington). During week one, I not only ate super healthy, but I also swam 36 laps in our local pool, got 45 minutes of cardio work in after work, and ran 8 miles with my Celiac Running Crew today!
So what were the most successful and delicious recipes from the week? Here are my top 3 (in no particular order)…
1. Orange chicken with sauteed broccoli and yellow squash. I got this recipe from a good friend and running buddy, who is also taking the Whole30 challenge. Here’s the link to her blog, and the Orange Chicken recipe. I adapted it a little since we didn’t have cauliflower on hand (that only lasts about a day in our house!), but I have to say I was really impressed with how rich the sauce was with so few ingredients!
2. Fish tacos with mango salsa and avocado cream, paired with steamed green beans. This recipe came after scouring Pinterest for fun new ideas. We’d been a little heavy on the poultry earlier in the week, so I was trying to track down something light with fish. I came across this fish taco recipe, and it could not have been more perfect! First of all, it was super easy for a mid-week recipe. All we had to do was chop the ingredients for the salsa, and puree the avocado with coconut milk. Seriously, it was that simple. Not sure what to pair with it, I steamed green beans, and drizzled lemon infused olive oil on the top. Perfection!
3. Every. Single. Salad! We’ve come up with fun and exciting ways to dress up each of our lunchtime salads throughout week one! Today’s specialty was a mixed bag, I never really know what all I’m going to include until it’s all on the plate. First I sauteed shallots in coconut oil, and added in about half a pound of ground turkey along with one egg (I was making enough for two salads). While I was cooking, I seasoned everything with salt, pepper, curry, and ground Jamaican allspice. I added in pine nuts, green tomatoes, kale and grapes (don’t look at me funny, that salty/sweet combination was awesome). Once the turkey was browned and the kale had cooked down, I filled a plate with mixed spring greens and baby spinach, and topped it with half an avocado. I threw half the pan contents on top, and added a drizzle of olive oil and apple cider vinegar. This was definitely one for the books 🙂