Whole30 Challenge: Day 1

Wednesday, March 1st

P.S. (Pre-Script):

If you just jumped on the Whole30 train and are starting this exciting challenge, or if you need any of the following:

  • reassurance

  • advice

  • Whole30 background and basics

  • Whole30 program rules

  • benefits of Whole30

  • additional comic relief

...then read my first post, "My Whole30 Challenge Diary: Day 0 (The Calm before the Storm)" as this will set the stage nicely for the rest of the journey. Enjoy!

DISCLAIMER:

As with any lifestyle or dietary change, if you have any questions or concerns, be sure to discuss them with your physician. Also check out the Whole30 website for specifics and additional info. Click the link to read the complete Rules of the Whole30 Program.

This blog entails my daily diary of what I ate while on Whole30. My husband and I followed the rules in regards to what specific foods to eat and what to avoid, but we didn’t always eat the "exact" proportions that Whole30 recommends. We still had fantastic results, but wanted to include the following recommendations and guidelines (taken from Whole30 Meal Planning) when it comes to planning your Whole30 meals to make the best of the program:

  • Eat three meals a day, starting with a good breakfast.

  • Plan each meal around 1-2 palm-sized protein sources.

  • Fill the rest of your plate with veggies.

  • Occasionally add a serving of fruit.

  • When adding fat to the meal, add fat in the following recommended amounts per meal (see the guide below).

Pre-Breakfast:

After doing some research and reading a Whole30 Timeline of what to somewhat expect during Whole30, I couldn't help but notice that in Days 16-27, one would likely experience the phenomenon called, "Tiger Blood"... Having no idea what this would even begin to entail... I can only assume it falls into the category of something like this....

GIF compliments of GIPHY.com

I guess I'll have to wait and see... That reminds me, I'll also be recording some of the changes that I experience as I go through the program which will be summarized in a graph at the end of the 30 days. We'll see if "Tiger Blood" is one of them... though my current level of Tiger Blood would probably be closer to this...

BREAKFAST:

I woke up with a bit of a sugar hangover... Out of habit, I opened up the pantry... Grits (my new Southern favorite piled high with cheese) and Honey Bunches of Oats were staring me straight in the face.... that was a quick reminder of the promise I made to myself (and my husband) so I quickly shut the pantry and moved to the fridge. I also made a mental note that I would hide or throw out all of the non-compliant Whole30 food this morning (after breakfast of course). :)

Opening the refrigerator, it appeared I was growing my own garden inside the fridge, so I took the opportunity to breathe in the fresh scent of cilantro and herbs, embrace the moment of change, and grab the egg carton and an avocado.

For breakfast, I started off with 1 egg and 1/2 an avocado. The trick to a tasty egg is to use a little bit of coconut oil to fry the egg and a generous amount pepper along with Himalayan sea salt. I also salt and pepper my avocado which has been a game changer for me to eat avocados (especially the sea salt part). :) After that, I realized 1 egg just wasn’t enough... To be fair, if I would have drank an entire glass of water and waited 20 minutes, this probably would have been enough, but being the first day, I wanted to start strong and not give into any looming temptations, so I felt a 2nd egg was the safe way to go.

After that, I felt satiated and ready to take on the world...or something like that. :) After debating for the last month of which food processor to order (did I mention I’m indecisive?!), I ordered the Cuisinart® 14-cup elite food processor (complete with my 20% off Bed, Bath, & Beyond coupon) to help with food prep and cooking. Being that this was the first food processor I have owned, I did my research and read way too many reviews to finally convince myself this was the way to go. I'm guessing this may be a little large for just my husband and me, but trying to be a forward thinker, I thought this might be the right decision when we actually have a family some day. Review to come after the product is signed, sealed and delivered. :)

SNACK...

Because I warned you...

I sipped on my La Croix Blackberry Cucumber sparkling water (I have a feeling these will be life savers during the next 30 days) while working on my blog. I couldn't help but munch on a few nuts (almonds and pistachios) while thinking about what to make for lunch. I would call that a snack success. No wild cravings or temptations yet, but then again, it is only 9:30AM...

LUNCH:

I decided I'd play it safe for lunch, which meant, stick with what I know (or think I know)... I opted for the organic Smart Chicken breasts and my attempts at zucchini. Now I've never really made zucchini that I know of, but thought it can't be that hard. I'm kind of a hands-on-jump-all-in-who-needs-instructions type of girl. Turns out, there's more to cooking zucchini than I originally thought. I may have been a little overzealous with the avocado oil. Lesson learned, use the avocado oil sparingly...you can always add more, but never less... My jump-in approach resulted in zucchini that was a little on the soggy side... I tried to salvage the soggy mess by turning them into zucchini chips (placing them in the oven to dry/cook some more), but although this might have been good in theory, I got distracted with my dog (MIYA) and hence forgot about them as they burned to a crisp. Have no fear, since I bought the bulk supply of zucchini at SAM's, that meant I had plenty more for round 2. This time I used the oil sparingly, and added sea salt and crushed black pepper. I cooked each side for about 2-3 minutes until the grill marks were distinct to my liking. I give it a two thumbs up the second go around.

For the pan-seared and oven roasted chicken, I used olive oil, garlic, rosemary, thyme and the Everyday Spice Blend for chicken. I seasoned the chicken breast and then heated the oil. Since these were rather large breasts, I seared each side for about 5 minutes on my favorite Le Creuset grill pan in my favorite color, compliments of my amazing Aunt Karen.

NOTE: The "Every Day Spice Blend" is a new seasoning I found at Whole Foods that doesn't contain sugar. You can also make your own rub as the kosher ingredients were quite simple which included black pepper, cayenne pepper, onion, garlic, paprika, and herbs.

You can see the full recipe by clicking HERE.

I then realized I needed a little color, so I added some grape tomatoes which I sliced and sprinkled with dill seasoning. I will say this complimented the meal rather nicely and was an easy way to add some fresh, raw produce as well. Not too bad for my first Whole30 meal... even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in awhile.

TASTE TEST: I was actually quite impressed with how juicy and mouth-watering the chicken was. It was simple, yet delicious. To make my meal prep easier, I made 2 large chicken breasts which resulted in 4 portions of chicken that I will be able to use in future meals this week.

DINNER:

My amazing husband surprised me with a weekend trip to Charleston (where we tied the knot). Normally I would love this spontaneity but starting this WHOLE30 will prove to be extra challenging this weekend as I'm surrounded by my favorite shrimp and grits along with too many favorite restaurants and wine bars to name. So I guess we will have to do a little extra planning and preparing (including road trip snacks) and drink sparkling water like it's going out of style. Thanks babe for the trip though - we will make it work! I plan on creating a tips & tricks document titled, "On the Road with Whole30" to help stay compliant while on the road. Stay tuned!

So I'll be honest, after adding 4 more blog pages today with 2 more in the works and a plethora of technology problems, I was a little beat, so I had a repeat of lunch since I made extras for nights like this. Lucky for my husband, this was a new meal for him since he wasn't home for lunch today, so no repeats for him! I'll be more creative tomorrow...

Extra shout out to my hubby for cleaning up ALL my dishes from today, including my 3 charred pans. I usually try to clean up as I go, but I got a little busy blogging today, so left quite the mess. He's a keeper!

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