Week 3 has come and gone, and we are practically in the final stretch of the January Whole30! In spite of my very strong, very strange macaroni and cheese cravings (more on that later), sticking to the program has gotten easier and I’m starting to remember why I did this program in the first place! My headaches were chronic during those first two weeks, but they are finally improved, and I’m not experiencing the same kind of bloating I had before, either. I’m even planning to keep this going for a Whole60… and then who knows?
During the third week, my relationship with the program was very love/hate. There were times when I loved cooking and trying new things, but toward the end of the week, my enthusiasm in the kitchen started to really decline. I’m hoping to bring more of that back in the fourth week!
Having said that, I’m excited to share my latest weekly recap, complete with my daily observations and meals. In spite of my lackluster meal prep toward the end of the week, I tried some amazing dishes in Week 3 that will definitely make reappearances in future meals. For those just catching up, visit my introductory post and then check out my recaps for Week 1 and Week 2, also known as the daily log of my headaches. 😉
Before you keep going, don’t forget to read through these disclaimers:
- I am not a medical professional of any kind and I will not claim that what has worked for me will work for you. If you have any medical questions, please consult a professional.
- This is not a full meal-plan for everyone following the Whole30. There are some days where I just can’t handle a large meal, so I might just stick to roasted veggies or something light. There are other days when I might eat a small (compliant) snack in between meals, and those snacks are not necessarily reported on my blog. Please listen to your body. We are all different!
- I repeat meals that I enjoy. You will not be getting a list of 90 different dishes, mainly because I am a creature of habit and when something tastes good, I want to have it again! 🙂 However, I will still be testing out new recipes every week, while rotating in some of the old favorites.
- You can follow along on my Instagram page, where I post meals and recipe ideas daily!
Day 15 (Jan. 15)
Feelings: I had a headache for a chunk of the afternoon, but otherwise, it was a good day. I tabled at an event at the university in the morning and early afternoon, and I felt like I was on my A-Game.
Breakfast: Trader Joe’s Apple + Banana Bar and grapes. I was on the go in the morning and ran out of hard-boiled eggs, so my protein intake was lacking.
Lunch: I hit the salad bar in the university’s student union – an impressive accomplishment, since this was yet another event in which free pizza was served (which is a common theme when your company works closely with college students!). My salad included romaine, hard-boiled eggs, strawberries, grapes, cucumbers and red peppers.
Although labor intensive, this sweet potato gnocchi was possibly my favorite recipe all week!
Dinner: Sweet Potato Gnocchi with ghee and herbs (from Lexi’s Clean Kitchen) and garlic-roasted green beans. This gnocchi was fantastic – I can’t recommend the recipe enough!
Day 16 (Jan. 16)
Feelings: I felt fantastic today and experienced an exciting little “non-scale victory.” There is a style of pencil skirt from The Limited that I love so much that I have multiple pairs, and I can always tell if I’m losing weight based on the way the skirt fits. Today, I noticed that the skirt hung a lot lower than before, and was therefore a lot longer. This was a nice reminder of my progress!
Breakfast: Hard-boiled egg and Trader Joe’s apple + banana bar.
Lunch: Mashed Sweet Potato! (Microwave your sweet potato, mash up the insides, mix with plain applesauce, and heat again. Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve. So easy and delicious!)
Dinner: Sweet and Sour Chicken (from Paleo Leap) with red pepper, yellow pepper, water chestnuts and pineapple.
Day 17 (Jan. 17)
Feelings: I felt a lot thinner when I looked in the mirror, and noticed my energy levels are much higher than they had been for a long time. My mood is significantly improved.
Breakfast: Grilled Pineapple (inspired by @danikabrysha’s guest post on @whole30recipes).
Lunch: Salad with spinach, cabbage, carrots, orange, and warm grilled chicken. Yum!
Dinner: Lemon Rosemary Potato Wedges (from Olive Tree Kitchen) and Zesty Chicken Bites (from Lexi’s Clean Kitchen). What a perfect dinner that my boyfriend and I both enjoyed!
Day 18 (Jan. 18)
Feelings: When I woke up in the morning, my stomach felt much flatter than it had felt for quite a while. My mood was overall positive, except when the Seahawks beat the Packers that evening.
Breakfast: Hard-boiled eggs, raspberries, and grapes.
Lunch: Moroccan Carrot Salad (from @bloemingfabulous’s guest post on @whole30recipes).
Dinner: Moroccan Chicken (from Closet Cooking) and roasted broccoli (cooked in olive oil, salt, and garlic at 400F for 20 minutes).
Day 19 (Jan. 19)
Feelings: Although I suffer from eczema, my biggest observation on Day 19 was that my skin felt infinitely smoother than it had in recent months. I still had some breakouts that were healing, but my skin was much softer and less irritated overall.
Breakfast: Hard-boiled egg and a nectarine.
Lunch: Salad with strawberries and cucumbers.
Dinner: Hard-boiled egg, grilled pineapple (inspired by @danikabrysha’s guest post on @whole30recipes), and roasted broccoli. (Originally, I had prepared a much more exciting meal, featuring two new recipes, but I burned both beyond recognition and had to throw them out.)
Day 20 (Jan. 20)
Feelings: I woke up feeling queasy, and so it was hard to eat much for breakfast or lunch. I also experienced the famous Day 21 interlude a day early. Even though my skin, mood, energy, and weight are all drastically improved, I was discouraged by yet another failed meal attempt (explained in Dinner section) and major food boredom.
Breakfast: Raspberries. (It was all I could force down at that point.)
Lunch: Moroccan Carrot Salad (from @bloemingfabulous’s guest post on @whole30recipes) and applesauce. I had a working lunch that day, so this was an easy option for something portable.
Dinner: Roasted broccoli and two hard-boiled eggs. That night, I had also planned on a more exciting dinner, but once again, I burned my food into something ugly and inedible, and had to resort to my already-cooked eggs. This put me in an uncharacteristically foul mood for the rest of the evening – and suddenly, all I wanted to do was make macaroni and cheese (which is admittedly delicious, but not a usual craving for me and not even a food I buy). At one point, I tried to justify to my roommate that I should eat some beans, since they would be easy to make and not require a whole lot of clean-up. Finally, I sucked it up and avoided temptations. I was a total brat on the night of Day 20.
Day 21 (Jan. 21)
Feelings: Much more positive than they were on Day 20, that’s for sure! At several points in the day, I kept trying to remember why I was in such a good mood, and then I realized that my mood in general has been a lot more positive for no reason as of late.
Breakfast: Hard-boiled egg and two nectarines.
Lunch: Cucumber Pasta Salad (from Holistically Engineered), applesauce, and Trader Joe’s Apple + Banana bar. This was yet another event that featured copious cheese pizza, my mortal enemy in the land of healthy eating.
Dinner: I spent the evening at my sister’s house, and because I hadn’t packed any food and was babysitting* while she was in class, my food choices were somewhat limited. I wound up ordering delivery from an Italian restaurant – a spinach salad with grilled chicken, oranges, and red pepper. The salad was not bad, but the smell of garlic bread from the other bag was oh-so-tempting. I sat there consumed with lust for the rest of the evening.
Takeaways from the Week
- Whenever I felt the urge to run to the nearest grocery store or fast food restaurant and pick up comfort food, I had to remind myself of how much better my body has felt since I changed my food habits. I can’t say I will never eat pasta, dairy, or legumes ever again, but this week only solidified the fact that I need to make this a Whole60. (Still debating if I will keep blogging throughout Days 31-60! Thoughts?)
- This is another week when preparation really helped me stay on top of things. With such an event-heavy job, I have to remember that not-so-healthy food will be served and I will need to compensate for that. Perhaps after the month is over, I will compile a list of easy-to-make pack-and-go meals that have helped me on these days!
- Sometimes your enthusiasm will go in waves, and that’s okay. As long as you are sticking to the plan and working hard, you are going to see results. I am hoping for a more enthusiastic Week 4 for you guys next week!
What were some of your favorite recipes for the week? Anyone else planning on extending to a Whole60?
Share your experiences in the comments section below!
* – This is who I was babysitting last night.