Day 0: I’ve been eating carefully, slowly cutting back and adding in to get ready for Day 1. Today, though, I missed breakfast because there wasn’t anything appropriate in the house which sent me on a trip to the grocery store to stock up on meat, eggs, veggies, and fruit. I did have coffee with canned coconut milk. Yum! The added fat and flavor makes it way more satisfying than almond milk. For lunch I had a big salad with broiled chicken tenders, I had an almond florentine and part of a latte for snack and for dinner…well, dinner was supposed to be beef roast and sweet potatoes, but we got invited out for pizza so we went for that. I figured it was a last hurrah and perfectly timed. I had my normal gluten-free pepperoni pizza and I had two Andes mints after dinner – my last dessert for awhile. And we each had a whiskey and soda and toasted the Whole 30.

Day 1: I woke up feeling tired and with a headache, I’m sure thanks to that last snack, meal and nightcap. Breakfast was a hash of eggs, homemade breakfast sausage and kale plus coffee/coconut milk. We did more grocery shopping and cooking in preparation and then had a lunch of salad with chicken, avocado and radishes. Dinner was beef roast with homemade BBQ sauce and cole slaw with apples and homemade mayo dressing. It definitely didn’t feel restrictive at all. I did crave a coke mid-afternoon as usual, but I didn’t have any caffeine. Just a cold lime La Croix. I’m trying not to drink caffeine after noon and the past few days I was feeling less anxious, albeit more sleepy, with that routine, but some anxiety was back this evening.

Day 2: This day was way better than I anticipated. Up at 6:30. Coffee and coconut cream. Breakfast of eggs, roasted zucchini, breakfast sausage, tomato and avocado. More coffee with coconut cream at the coffee shop. I brought my own coconut cream like a weirdo. I did feel very queasy around lunchtime. Maybe too much coffee? It was hard to not have sugar or something starchy to keep that at bay. Lunch was a Chipotle salad with carnitas, pico, and guacamole. Yum! But it didn’t help the queasiness. I finally grabbed a sparkling water and that hit the spot. My afternoon craving for a soda was there, but not too bad. I even ran through McDonald’s to get my cousin a Dr. Pepper and didn’t drink any. I was worried force of habit would make me forget and I’d put the straw in and drink it. Around the witching hour I began to see how much snacking I do in the evening. I kept wanting to put something in my mouth so I just drank water. Dinner was leftover BBQ beef and coleslaw which Nathan also scarfed down. I’m about to go drink more cold water to get over the “I want a whiskey and soda” cravings. Overall, a great day.

Day 3: Let’s start with the good news. I woke up feeling pretty good. I had my coffee/coconut cream and a breakfast of pulled pork, sauteed mushrooms and green onions with some fresh tomato. Lunch was a cobb salad with the Ranch dressing from It Starts With Food. That dressing was so delicious! Then the day unraveled. Headache, foggy brain, tired, a little dizzy. And I’m so irritable. Bonus: the two-year-old is super cranky too so we were quite the pair. Jason feels similar symptoms so we think it’s just the detox and our reaction to not being able to comfort our stress with food (er..sugar and caffeine). We plan to watch a movie and play a game to help us get through the evening. This is the first time in years that I’d rather just go to bed early and be done with this day so I can say I finished Day 3. I usually want to squeeze out every last bit of each day. Thankfully there’s no yelling or plates being thrown. We’re both intentionally getting chores done as they should and trying to be kind as we should. It helps to know this is normal and will go away.

Day 4: I woke up with a horrible headache and was not excited about the day. Also, I was hungry but had no appetite for the food available. But I soldiered on and I’m glad I did. I had my coffee/coconut cream and a breakfast of 3 hard boiled eggs, broccoli with clarified butter and tomato. My headache slowly faded through the morning. By lunch it was mostly gone. Lunch was beef with BBQ sauce and crudites. There was not enough fat in that so I ended up super hungry mid-afternoon and ate a spoonful of coconut butter which tasted like a coconut macaroon. So yummy. I was really hungry a couple hours later and dinner wasn’t ready so I ate a grilled chicken tender as I waited for dinner. Dinner was more beef with BBQ sauce, a sweet potato with coconut butter which actually makes the sweet potato appetizing to me, and a cucumber and olive salad. I’m struggling to want to eat as much food as is required and with my tiny mouth it takes a long time to eat each meal. I think I was used to eating to appease my appetite only so I wouldn’t eat much most meals and would graze in between. The problem is if I really liked something I would eat too much because it was all about my appetite, not my hunger and energy. I’m still very tired long before bedtime. I’m not sure if that is the diet change or the lack of caffeine in the afternoon. To fill time and lift our mood we’ve turned on upbeat music, played games, and watched movies. We’re both feeling foggy-headed. But all in all this was a much better day than yesterday and I wore a pair of shorts that were getting too small and today they fit perfectly.

Day 5: I think the main presenting symptom of my detox on Day 5 was brain fog. I forgot to update this page. I’ve now forgotten what I ate. I’m sure it’s in the files somewhere I just need to think and try to remember. Breakfast was…eggs. One sausage, avocado. And sauteed onions and peppers. That’s it. I knew I could remember if I tried hard! And lunch was Chipotle carnitas salad with pico and guac because I just couldn’t do anything else. Dinner was more beef with BBQ and a sweet potato with coconut butter. And I finally had some fruit. I’d been not eating any when I wanted something sweet like they advise, and by the time dinner was over and I could try some I was always too full. But I purposely made sure I’d have enough appetite. Cherries are my favorite fruit!! I’m also experiencing some joint pain and some strange “hormonal” symptoms if you get my drift. I’m trying to just stay zen and wait for it to all work out. A bath helped me relax, but I was so tired I almost fell asleep in the tub.

Day 6: Breakfast was egg with kale and some mashed avocado. Lunch was a Cobb Salad. Dinner was a taco bowl with ground beef, lettuce, tomatoes, onions and peppers, and avocado. I’m finding to my surprise that the after dinner drink and dessert are not what I crave. I’m good by then, happy that I’ve completed another day. The hardest time of day is the late afternoon. I seriously want to snack and drink my way through those last couple hours after Nathan’s nap and before Jason gets home. Also the migraine type headache came back in the afternoon along with some light-headedness. Maybe a sinus/cold thing? I’m drinking lots of water and that didn’t help it. The strange thins is that despite not feeling tip-top, I’m starting to have an underlying energy that is seeing me through. Dare I hope it’s the beginning of feeling better? I was happy to have a quiet evening of reading and an early bedtime.

Day 7: Yay! One week down! Jason made sauteed spinach and eggs with heirloom tomatoes for breakfast. It wasn’t quite enough so I also had a handful of olives. We went out shopping and soon realized it still hadn’t been enough. I’m not sure why. Maybe not enough spinach? Lunch was leftover taco bowls from last night. Then we all rested/napped because we were all feeling fairly  irritable. I rarely nap, but I soon couldn’t focus on my book so I shut my eyes for a bit. I felt much better afterwards and we all headed out to get more groceries – specifically burgers for tonight, some special things for Father’s Day meals, and some new flavors like jalapenos, cilantro, and ginger to enhance the next week’s meals. I’ve already seen some significant changes in my body composition, noticeable to Jason as well as myself. That’s certainly encouraging as is the continued energy. Next up? Week Two!

Day 8: This was a whopper of a day. In a good way, mostly. This is the meal line-up that should prove to anyone that the Whole30 does not require you to give up good food. We ate scrumptious food in celebration of Jason all day and went to bed feeling healthy, full, and not bloated and cranky. This morning was the first morning that I woke up with enough energy that I wasn’t immediately thinking about coffee. In fact, I got out of bed and immediately made our fancy breakfast, not pouring my cup of coffee until breakfast was served. Yay! Breakfast, by the way, was eggs and asparagus with hollondaise sauce (made with clarified butter). I adore hollondaise sauce and when you make it at home you can have as much as you want, unlike the drizzle you sometimes get at restaurants. Lunch was ribeye and sweet potato with coconut cream. We probably could have used a green here as we both got a little hungry before dinner. Dinner was King Salmon with roasted beets in vinegar, wilted spinach with garlic, and strawberry salsa. Another note on today: Day 8 was the first day I had very consistent energy. Not tiger blood yet, but there was no roller-coaster. I had a slight dip in the late afternoon when I got a little hungry, but even that was mild compared to what I was used to. I love having that mild, but consistent energy and I needed it in order to prepare and clean up from three meals!! I also prepped some roasted veggies for the coming week so we’re stocked up on carrots, sweet potatoes, beets, and cauliflower.

Day 9: Today was a much simpler day. Breakfast of 3 hardboiled eggs, sauteed spinach and a tomato. Lunch was at Snappy Salads. I was nervous to eat out, but that was a good place to try. I had a salad of romaine, spinach, two helpings of egg (the other animal proteins most likely have non-Whole30 seasonings), tomatoes, olives, beets, jicama, and a couple other veggies I’ve forgotten about, with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Dinner was a crock-pot chicken and roasted cauliflower and carrots with another tomato. I made a clarified butter/dijon/lemon juice sauce for the cauliflower. Dijon + Cauliflower = heaven. My energy was high all day, no afternoon slump at all. Tonight I’m getting tired, but that’s a good time of day to be tired, right?

Day 10: For breakfast I tried something Jessica from Good Cheap Eats recommended – eggs poached in sauteed greens/onions. It was very delicious. Lunch was two hots dogs, sauerkraut, and mushrooms. Before you cry foul,  I triple-checked the ingredients before I bought them, and again before I ate them. They are the Applegate Organic blah blah blah ones. The ones that are super expensive. And super yummy. They are the ones we ate before Whole30 and I’m so glad I checked to see if they comply. We rarely ate them before and I don’t plan to eat them a lot now, but it was nice to have a simple food. Caring for a two-year-old, working and this Whole 30 cooking is a lot!! Tonight I made the “best chicken in the world” that they linked to in the encouragement e-mail and….I did not like it. I will probably try it again with thinner chicken breasts and a grill. The seasoning was OK, but they were sooooo dry. I also had a big old sweet potato and coconut butter. For a treat during my “witching hours” I got an unsweet Passion Tea from Starbucks. I think the fact that it’s pink makes it taste better. My energy today was a nice solid energy. I got up at 6:30, did yoga, made two breakfasts, cleaned the bathrooms, kitchen, and dusted the whole house, went to two grocery stores, made two lunches, went to the Library and Target and to give my sis a congrats gift on her job, made two dinners, and then did bath/bottle/bedtime routine before putting in some time working. All of that was done while single-parenting a two year old because today was one of Jason’s long days. I never had a slump and am just now ready to throw in the towel and call it a day. Now that’s some energy! It’s not like I did all that with a huge smile, hopping and skipping and loving every second. But I was able to do it without completely wearing myself out.

Day 11: Breakfast was the same as yesterday. Lunch was a big salad with leftover chicken, hardboiled egg and some veggies. For dinner I made Chicken with Orange and Olives, a dish I’ve made for several years. It was super yummy as always. I also made Cumin Carrot Ribbons and some broccoli. Today it all felt easy. I think it’s partly because of how far it is and partly because this week I chose to eat more “normal” foods and be less experimental. Good day.

Day 12: Breakfast was the same. When I finally found something that didn’t slightly turn my stomach to eat in the morning I jumped on it! I’m not a big breakfast person. I didn’t have to detox off breakfast crap as I don’t like sugar in the morning, but I am having to eat more than I normally would. This breakfast with greens sits well and I can eat it all without having to concentrate on not gagging. Lunch was a salad from Whole Foods. Late this afternoon I did crash a bit. I had very little fat on that salad because they didn’t have avocado like I wanted. I should have made sure to get an alternate fat. I finally gave in and ate some olives and coconut butter and started to feel better. I found myself having intense cravings because I was hungry for the first time in days. Burgers, shakes, fries, pizza. Yummo! There are ways to eat burgers on Whole30 so maybe I’ll plan that in for the weekend. Pizza is a lot harder except for a hint of the flavor and shakes and fries are a no go. Oh well. I know they wouldn’t make me feel good, but hunger can lie to you. Dinner was partly at Chipotle and partly at home. I’m still burned on pork so couldn’t stomach Carnitas, but it was the only way to get some time with Jason today between jobs. I ate some guacamole and pico and then had chicken at home. Strung out meals are not the best idea, but today we had to prioritize our family over the perfect meal.

Day 13: Last night I had my first off-plan food dream: I ate something sweet and was contemplating eating popcorn. Weird. And I woke up feeling guilty. After feeling terrible yesterday I was determined to be diligent in my eating today. I made the same breakfast, but with extra greens and onions and jalapeno. I also ate a heaping spoonful of coconut butter after for some fat. It’s a burden since that stuff tastes like coconut macaroons. I was super tired all morning, but the headache never returned. For lunch I begrudgingly broiled chicken, made a salad, and ate it. We’re out of olive oil and interesting veggies so it was not a tasty lunch. After I rested and took a short nap and awoke with much more energy. Jason asked me what had been a high point for the day and that was it. Knowing I had pulled up my big girl panties, made a lunch when I really didn’t want to, and gained the energy I needed from it. The cravings were back this afternoon. I think it’s maybe just part of what happens. Two weeks in and I really want to some delicious comfort food. Jason felt the same. We decided not to eat out or try to replicate a craving, but to make a dish we know we like and that is comforting and healthy: Taco bowls. We also bought a couple Lara Bars and had them for “dessert” – our first treat of the Whole30. When you’ve had nothing sweet for almost 2 weeks a Lara bar starts to look amazingly delicious, and they were.

Day 14: Breakfast was the same. Had to eat around gags. When will eating so much in the morning become routine? I don’t want to skimp and throw off the whole day, but seriously. Lunch was a taco salad. Today was very stressful so instead of caving and eating icecreamwhiskeyburgerpizzapastacheesewinetiramisu I decided to eat a Whole30 snack of organic fruit leather – the kind they hand out to kids at the checkout counter at Whole Foods. I know snacking isn’t best, but it’s better than that other combo I was wanting. It’s hard to endure stress without comfort food. I spent the late afternoon holed up in my room with a candle, Rachmaninov, and a book. I slept a little. It helped. Dinner was shoulder steak, chimichurri sauce, and lots of “fried” okra that I made with egg and a little tapioca flour and cooked in clarified butter. Did you know tapioca comes from manioc and is not a grain? It turned out pretty good. The chimichurri sauce was divine – from a recent Bon Appetit.

Day 15: Today was a banner day – the first day with no cravings. I even drove around Dallas hungry for awhile and didn’t crave any of the food from the restaurants we passed. I wished they would cook healthy clean foods, but I didn’t want to eat what they really serve. Breakfast was the same, but with chimichurri on top. Lunch was late and I had to eat a coconut Lara Barr while I cooked it because I was so hungry. It was leftover steak on a salad with more chimichurri sauce. I love it! Dinner was a curry we eat a lot that I adapt from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Every Day. Yum!

Day 16: Breakfast was 3 hardboiled eggs and boiled asparagus with clarified butter and a spoonful of coconut butter. Lunch was at Snappy Salads. I’ve scoured their website and I’m pretty sure everything I’m eating is Whole30 kosher, but I still feel tired and hungry in the afternoon when I eat there – not an afternoon slump, just tired because I haven’t gotten enough food. I think it’s because I’m not getting enough protein. I thought it was because I wasn’t getting enough fat so I added avocado and olives, but it still happened so that must not be it. I’m afraid to eat their meat because I’m pretty sure it’s got seasonings I can’t eat and it’s always way to busy and loud to feel like I’ll get a real and honest answer to a pesky food question. I ate a coconut Lara Bar this afternoon and made sure dinner was early. I forgot to put the roast in the crock-pot so we just had a leftover mish-mash. I’m slowly perking up a bit as that food hits my system. I’m sure a cup of coffee would “fix” this, but then I’d stay up late, wake up tired, and on and on. I’d rather battle through it and learn my lesson – always get enough of all the food groups!!

Day 17: (Note: I fell behind and am updating this on Day 22)Breakfast was the same greens/egg mix. Lunch was a salad with chicken. Dinner was roast beef with BBQ sauce and I can’t remember what veggie.

Day 18: Breakfast was the same. Lunch was leftover beef and a sweet potato. Dinner was…hmm. I remember it being a crazy day but I can’t remember what we ate. I’m sure it was something leftover as I can’t imagine I cooked.

Day 19: Breakfast was the same except I scrambled the eggs instead of cooking them over easy. Lunch was a big salad. Dinner was leftover beef with BBQ and frozen veggies.

Day 20: I did a new breakfast this morning: roasted asparagus with eggs baked over-easy on top. Very yummy and a pretty dish too. Lunch was salad with chicken as usual. Dinner was “chicken piccata” and spinach and frozen veggies.

Day 21: You can tell from the meal choices that food is feeling uninspiring. This weekend was hard. We feel good physically and aren’t really craving things per se, but I’m just tired of it being soooo much cooking and never being able to have one thing that really sounds good at the time. I made us the same breakfast as yesterday. Lunch was a big salad. Dinner was taco bowls.

Day 22: I just did not want to be on the Whole30 today. I don’t crave anything in particular, I just want some more variety and to be able to eat at a restaurant for once. We do not live in a Whole30 friendly city as far as restaurants. There are a couple, but they are quite a drive and not necessarily the place we want to drag a two-year-old in the heat of summer. We thought about going on a date to one of the but couldn’t get a babysitter. Ugh. Breakfast was scrambled eggs with spinach and jalapeno and guacamole and tomatoes – Jason cooked. Lunch was leftover taco bowl. For dinner we finally ordered burgers from Elevation Burger because we knew we could get them Whole30 compliant. Then we drove across town to get them. Soo not worth it. Terrible service, we had to go and ask for the second burger we ordered because they forgot to make it for us and then the burgers were just not that good. I’ve had burgers without a bun that taste good. These did not. Bummer. And we were still hungry so I filled up on a spoonful of coconut butter and some grapes. I know I can suck it up for one more week, and the weekdays are the easiest because they’re just ho-hum anyways. But I’m so looking forward to being able to have a sauce on a burger, or a whiskey and soda, or something. Nothing huge and groundbreaking. Just a little something.

Day 23: Today was the same breakfast as usual – greens and eggs. Lunch was at Snappy Salads. I added even more egg and still it wasn’t enough. I can’t wait to be able to eat somewhere I can actually get a filling meal on days I work! Dinner was Cuban Pork that I cooked in the crockpot and a cucumber-tomato salad. I’m still feeling a bit over this diet. It’s so  monotonous and I’m tired of eating so much meat. Doing the vegetarian version wouldn’t be better because it would be even more monotonous. Eggs, eggs, eggs. Reminds me of Napoleon Dynamite. I sure hope legumes sit well after this so I can have some non-meat protein and vegetarian meals.

Day 24: Ugh. Do I have to keep cooking? I tried something “new”. I’ve made it before, but not on the Whole30. Heidi Swanson has a wild rice soup with sweet potato croutons in one of her Super Natural cookbooks (delish!) and I decided to make the croutons for breakfast. They are really a sweet potato hashbrown of sorts. Small diced sweet potato cooked with salt in coconut oil. Simple and tasty. I ate that with 3 eggs over easy on a bed of spinach. Lunch was a salad. Blah. Dinner was leftovers. Double blah. I’m so tired of cooking, especially when I eat most meals alone or with a two-year-old.

Day 25: Breakfast was boiled eggs and a cucumber-tomato salad before work. Lunch was a yummy salad I concocted. I’ll call it Summer Strawberry Salad and put the recipe on my blog soon. At the beginning of the Whole30 I was afraid to eat too much fruit in case I subbed it in for sugar. I slowly let myself have some, but not much. I’m not a big fruit person anyways. But sometimes it really hits the spot and paired with spinach and chicken and such, the strawberries were delightful.  Dinner is taco soup, a meal I’ve made for years, adapted from my friend Katy’s recipe.

Day 26: Breakfast was a scramble of eggs, onion, spinach and sausage. Lunch was another Summer Strawberry Salad. Dinner was leftover Taco Soup with some barely ripe avocado. Today was really hard. It was July 4th, Jason was working all day until I swooped down past his office and we caravanned to my Grandpa’s 80th birthday party to which we arrived 3 hours later because of baby naptime, then had to leave after an hour to get baby home for dinner and bedtime. We were asleep before the fireworks were over. Having to eat leftovers on the 4th because the day was crazy and we couldn’t grab a bite somewhere was really hard. I know it seems dumb, but at this point we’re so over the restrictions and are ready to try our wings on some other food and join in the celebrations.

Day 27/Day 1 reintro: Breakfast was an omelet and sweet potato croutons. It took about an hour to cook between caring for the toddler an chopping and such. Ugh. I called Jason and he urged me to throw in the towel. When a good thing starts to make life miserable, it may be time to quit. I have the energy, the slimmed down body, no cravings, but I need to be able to eat something quickly without planning way ahead or eating the same damn thing every day. So we’ll call this experiment a Whole27. Although really it was a Whole26.5.

I began my reintroduction at lunch with an almond milk latte with a little agave, and some high quality deli turkey and goat cheese in my salad. No ill effects, but my mood turned around 180 degrees. Freedom. Pleasure. Hope. Dinner was more adventurous: a burger with goat cheese, hot sauce, BBQ sauce, on a gluten-free bun and some sweet potato chips. The real kicker was a shake from Paciugo. I could only get down half of it, and I definitely noticed some extra bloating for about 2 hours after I drank it.  I knew dairy would be a problem. It will have to be an occasional treat. I’m already planning to freeze up some homemade coconut ice cream to have on hand. The last “new” thing was a whiskey and soda. Divine. Also, I took before and after pictures and while I won’t be posting them on the internet, they are shockingly awesome to me. Especially the side profile that shows how flat my tummy is.

Day 2 reintro: I woke up feeling great, energetic, tummy super flat. No obvious ill effects from adding in some stuff yesterday.