My Whole30 Journey ~ Part I

by Angie Anew on January 10, 2012

The Whole 30

Several times in 2011, I contemplated doing the Whole30—an eating program that involves consuming only whole foods for 30 days, while eliminating alcohol, grains, dairy, legumes and added sweeteners. The idea is that by ridding your diet of common problem foods, you can reset your eating patterns, find more energy and change your life. Sounds great, right? Sign me up!

Except . . . No wine during summer vacation? No birthday cake at the boys’ parties? No Christmas candy at my mother-in-law’s house? I kept talking myself out of it.

But on January 1, I decided that the timing was right—albeit a bit cliché—for my Whole30 journey. I went grocery shopping, announced my intentions on Facebook (accountability!) and decided that I was going to be successful.

I’m now 10 days in and feeling great. Although I have a good sense of what my weight was before starting the program, I wish I had measured my chest/waist/hips. My shirts are already fitting better, and my pants feel loose. I have to imagine something has changed.

But the most important difference has been in how I feel. After the birth of my second son, I had a lot of digestive issues. It seemed I always had a stomachache. Even though I didn’t test positive for celiac disease, I decided to do a gluten-free trial. I started feeling better within days.

The Whole30 simply extends what I had already been doing, and so far I’m feeling great. That’s not to say that giving up dairy, wine and sweeteners has been easy. But I remind myself that it’s only 30 days. I can do this for 30 days!

So, what have I been eating?

A typical breakfast for me includes a green smoothie, a cup of black coffee and some kind of protein (usually chicken sausage and/or eggs).

What goes into the smoothie depends on what we have on hand, but here is a fairly typical concoction:

1 clementine
¼ of a banana, frozen
A few frozen berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)
Two large kale leaves (minus stems)
¼ of an avocado
Unsweetened coconut milk
Water, if needed to blend

Green Whole 30 Smoothie

Throw it all in a high-power blender and pulverize the stuff! I’ve also been adding some kombucha at the end for the healthy bacteria and fizziness.

Lunch is typically a hearty serving of soup (taken from a big batch made on the weekend), celery and unsweetened Sunbutter.

And dinners usually include some sort of protein with sweet potatoes and veggies. Here’s what I had last night:

Whole 30 Burger and Fries

A burger and fries, Whole30 style.

So far, I can’t say that I’ve felt deprived. I’m not eating less. Just differently.

Only twenty more days to go! (Hmmm. When I say it like that, it seems like a long time.)

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Kara January 11, 2012 at 1:53 PM

Way to go lady! I’m doing a similiar plan. . .no gluten, processed foods, lots of smoothies. Recharge after the holidays. Feeling great! Keep it up!

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Angie Anew January 11, 2012 at 2:15 PM

Thanks Kara! I have to say that at first I felt a little “trendy” (in a bad way) jumping on the gluten-free bandwagon. But now that I see how I feel without that stuff, I’m a convert!

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Kate January 11, 2012 at 3:06 PM

Congrats! I was/am tempted to try this. Tempted.

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Angie Anew January 11, 2012 at 11:49 PM

It’s really not that bad, Kate. Just takes some preparation.

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Asya January 11, 2012 at 3:06 PM

Hi Angie,

My sister Rita told me about your blog. I’ve been debating starting my own as I’ve been journaling my way towards weight loss/wellness/balance on DailyBurn.com. Why did you decide to do a blog? Perhaps your ideas can help sway me one way or the other. I think Rita may have told you about my love for kale, and super happy to see that it’s in your smoothies! I also spied your VitaMix, color me jealous! :)

I’ve adding your blog to my RSS reader and I’m looking forward to reading about your experiences.

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Angie Anew January 11, 2012 at 4:42 PM

Hi Asya! I think blogging is a great way to hold yourself accountable and find a community seeking similar goals. Sure, there are lots of blogs out there already, but the goal doesn’t have to be “making it big” or having the most unique voice. Do it for you! It’s fun!

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Bonnie Norstad January 11, 2012 at 3:24 PM

Good for you Angie! I’ve often thought I should go the gluten-free way but have just done it half way. Maybe if I jump in my arthritis would improve. Right now I’m on Weight Watchers and go with a friend to Winona for meetings. The new W.W. program is much healthier than it was years ago so I like it better. (concentrating on fruits and vegies with lean protein and healthy fats) I will follow your progress Angie, with interest!……….. might just have to try it!

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Bonnie Norstad January 11, 2012 at 3:33 PM

P.S. I have the same blender as you do and I love it for smoothies! Some questions…….What is kombucha and sunbutter? Also how do you make your sweet potato fries?

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Angie Anew January 11, 2012 at 4:20 PM

Bonnie, I have heard GREAT things about eliminating gluten as a way to help with autoimmune diseases. Wouldn’t hurt to give it a solid try!

Kombucha is a cultured tea beverage. Lots of people make it, but I buy the raw GT brand at the co-op, Whole Foods or Target. There are lots of different flavors – most low in calories and sugar. I started adding it to my smoothies because I’m not eating yogurt and wanted a source of healthy bacteria. (I also take a probiotic supplement.)

For sweet potato fries, I just cut sweet potatoes into strips, toss them with some olive oil, garlic salt and pepper, and then bake them at 400 degrees until they’ve browned a bit. I use parchment paper on the pan to prevent sticking.

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Angie Anew January 11, 2012 at 4:25 PM

Oh, I forgot about the Sunbutter, Bonnie. It’s a peanutbutter alternative made from sunflower seeds. Again, you can find it at Target and most health food stores (likely other grocery stores as well). The organic version contains no sugar.

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Asya January 11, 2012 at 4:37 PM

I love SunButter! How about Almond butter, mmmm.

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Bonnie Norstad January 11, 2012 at 8:12 PM

Organic Almond Butter is what I use, without the salt. Is SunButter healthier? Thanks for all the other info. Angie. I also use refrigerated probiotic supplement. I’ll try the kombucha for sure . Right now I use Greek yogurt in my smoothies but I have also read dairy is not good for Arthritis.
My son Greg says kale is the king of the greens. He is a health guy and makes all kinds of healthy food. It’s so hard to get some foods in our town but I’ll go the extra mile, for better nutrition. Thanks again!

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Angie Anew January 11, 2012 at 9:49 PM

I don’t know that Sunbutter is healthier. I just prefer the taste!

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