One week in to Whole30, and I am feeling pretty good! It feels fantastic to be filling my body with healthy, natural food, to be eating regularly rather than snacking, and to have curbed my quite shocking grazing habit (seriously, I didn't realise how bad it was until I stopped!).
There have been hard moments, like walking through M&S and wanting to rip open every bag of Percy Pigs I could see, and watching my team tuck in to cakes to celebrate the end of the financial year. I feel so proud of myself that I resisted treats I would normally be all over, although it required some serious willpower.
Physically, I've started to notice a change, I'm less bloated and my muscles are already becoming more defined. However, I've also had a few headaches as my body gets used to life without stimulants (except coffee!), but nothing I can't deal with and it will be worth it in the long run!
So, this is what I have eaten this week...
Breakfast was by far and away the meal that gave me the most angst before I started Whole30. Pre-Whole30 my breakfast would be a wholefood bar on the way to the train station followed by fruit and maybe a yoghurt when I hit my desk at work. All rushed down with multiple cups of tea. Given that I don't generally have much time in the morning (I like to start work early so that I can get away and train in the evening), I had worried I wouldn't be able to find a Whole30 compliant breakfast that would be as easy and convenient. It really got my tummy in knots!
One week in, and I realise that I was being a bit silly! With a little forward planning I have been able to prepare breakfasts the evening before that have kept me full until lunch. For the first four days I relied on hardboiled eggs - a great source of protein in the morning, and easy to transport, but after four days BORING! On Friday I switched things up a bit with baked eggs and prosciutto cups which were a total revelation! Light and protein packed cups of deliciousness - perfect for breakfast on a busy day! I made ahead and tweaked the recipe a little, using onions and not leeks (Tesco had no leeks!), and scrambling the eggs so that they would be easier to transport.
Pret A Manger is my Whole30 lunchtime saviour. With a couple of compliant salads and protein pots available, it is reassuring to know that on the days where I haven't been able to prep something in advance, there will be something I can eat available.
When not eating Pret, lunch has most consisted of left overs from the night before (like these yummy meatballs) or garbage salads (salads made up of whatever veg and protein was lurking in my fridge).
In an effort to be more mindful around eating, I have made a point of not working while I eat, taking a little time out to focus on the food (even if I am still sitting at my desk!), which has really helped me to feel full through the afternoon!
I will say this now, Whole30 discourages snacking, and I agree it is a bad habit (especially when it slips in to grazing, something I am more than guilt of). However, because of my schedule there can be days where there are eight hours between lunch and dinner, and I actually need something to get me through. Thankfully, this week I've only needed a snack once, so I tucked in to chopped carrot and almond butter, which was delicious!
pre and post work out
Pre and post workout meals are a bonus, not a replacement for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Pre-workout I've been experimenting with different foods, chicken and avocado sat a bit heavy, Parma Ham and olives was too light, but Parma Ham and nuts is showing promise!
Post-workout eating has been tougher, so often I workout in the evening, and then eat dinner as soon as I am showered, so fitting in an extra meal is tough (to the extent that it hasn't actually happened). I really missing being able to have a quick protein shake or bar immediately after running.
Dinner has been the easiest meal of the week, in part because I've simply been substituting non-compliant foods with veggies in my normal meals (with the exception of these great meatballs)! It isn't very innovative, given that there are so many delicious looking Paleo recipes out there, but it has made the first week easier. Dinners so far have included roast chicken, chicken salad, salmon and steak (above!), and I'm looking forward to my favourite food, mussels, tonight!
Next week I'm planning on being a bit more adventurous, and trying out some of the delicious looking recipes in Well Fed (thanks Leah!), especially the chocolate chilli (sans chocolate, household allergies) and the Rogan Josh (my favourite curry).
Have you done Whole30? I'd love to hear about your tips, advice and experience!