Jan 6, 2013

Whole30 Challenge – Daily Notes


The Whole30 Challenge is underway for a number of our athletes, many of whom started their 30 day program to coincide with the New Year. This is the first in a new series of posts to provide additional info on the program, and also to share daily notes (tips, encouragement and insights) to help you navigate through it successfully. 

This post reviews Brandi's daily notes from the first 5 days of the program, including Day 0 (final prep). Future notes will be posted to the main site in conjunction with the normal daily WODs and also archived here for easy reference. They’re tailored to a program starting on the 1st of the month, but regardless of when you begin the challenge you can reference the posts that sync up with your schedule. Feel free to share your questions and experiences either here, or on the the daily posts.  First, a brief overview:

What is the Whole30®?

Whole30 is part of a larger nutritional approach advocated by the folks at Whole9. The Whole30 program is based on the premise that certain food groups (like sugar, grains, dairy and legumes) have the potential to negatively impact your health and fitness, causing a variety of symptoms and often doing so without you even realizing it. The only way to figure out if (and how) these foods are affecting you is to strip them from your diet completely.

Doing Whole30 will cut out all the unhealthy, gut-disrupting, inflammatory food groups for a full 30 days. It lets your body heal and recover from whatever effects those foods may be causing. It pushes the “reset” button with your metabolism, systemic inflammation, and the downstream effects of the food choices you’ve been making. And it allows you to learn once and for all how the foods you’ve been eating are actually affecting your day-to-day life and your long term health. In the end, the understanding you gain from this 30 day “experiment” has the potential to change the way you eat in a very permanent way

To learn more, get in touch with Brandi or Meg. Or start by browsing the many resources available on the Whole30 website.

Week 1 Notes (Day 0 – Day 7)

DAY 0 

Planning and preparation are the keys to success when embarking on the Whole30 (or Paleo) challenge. Stock up your fridge/freezer and pantry with all the essentials, focusing on lean meats, vegetables and fruits, and healthy fats. Plan at least a week's worth of menus, including some quick and easy "go-to" meals for the days you don't really have time to cook. Set your goals and write them down. Also, take some "before" photos/weight/measurements of yourself.

www.thefoodee.com is a great website with literally hundreds of whole30 approved recipes. On the Whole30 website (www.whole9life.com) there are links to other recipe blogs as well. www.theclothesmakethegirl.com is another good one.

Here is a tasty recipe that can be made in large batches and stored in the fridge, then you have breakfast or snacks already to heat and eat!


Wondering what to eat? Eat real food! Follow this meal map:

Animal protein + lots of vegetables + healthy fat + seasonings.

It's that easy! Here are some examples of what you can do with a package of ground meat.

Morning mix:
   one pound ground turkey or pork
   one diced apple
   1/8 tsp each cinnamon and nutmeg

   Saute it all in a pan and enjoy by itself, with some eggs on the side, or over a bed of spinach.

Indian curry:
   ground beef or lamb
   cauliflower & carrots (1-2 cups of veggies per person)
   1/4 cup coconut milk
   1 tsp curry powder

   Saute it all in a pan! Trade cauliflower for broccoli and/or raw chopped tomatoes for different flavors.

Thai basil beef:
   ground beef
   green beans
   red bell pepper
   1 Tbsp each lime juice and coconut aminos
   a few fresh basil leaves

   Stir fry it up! Great for breakfast with an egg added to the mix or in a bowl with broth for an instant soup.

DAY 2 
Changing your dietary habits will require strong self-efficacy. That is your belief in your ability to succeed in a specific situation. See the challenge as something that can be overcome. Develop interests in activities that will contribute to achieving your goals. Commit to your actions. Recover quickly from setbacks. Have a buddy to help keep you accountable to your plan and encourage each other.


     Delicious Marinade for chicken (or beef): http://nomnompaleo.com/post/4207543396/damn-fine-chicken

Ideas for quick and easy meals:
  • Deconstructed taco salad: lettuce, spiced ground beef or chicken, peppers, onions, salsa 
  • Scrambled eggs with canned artichokes, black olives and sundried tomatoes 
  • Kale or spinach salad topped with canned tuna, fresh berries and slivered almonds. 
This could be the toughest day of a whole30/paleo challenge. Possible side effects include being tired and cranky/moody and symptoms of detox such as acne, rashes, worsening allergies and digestive distress. Your body is healing and it will get better! Be strong!

Some people even feel like they are getting the flu. It's not uncommon to catch a cold during the first week of your Whole30. Your immune system is working hard to heal your body. If you do come down with something, here are some tips:
  • Drink plenty of club soda or mineral water 
  • Chicken soup (broth), skip the crackers 
  • Scrambled eggs are easy to digest 
  • Carb dense veggies such as sweet potato, butternut squash or pumpkin 
  • Sauteed apples with ginger 
  • Coconut oil, a few tablespoons can help shorten the duration of an illness (lauric acid makes them more susceptible to attack by the immune system). 
Slay the sugar dragon!

Hungry or cravings? Sometimes it's hard to tell. Ask yourself, are you really hungry or just tired/lonely/angry/bored/frustrated. Also ask yourself, are you hungry enough to eat fish and broccoli? If yes, then eat something. If not...find something to distract yourself from food.

How to battle cravings? Physically remove the temptation. Make a list of 5 things you can do instead of eat. Take a walk, call a friend, read 10 pages of a book, file your nails, clean something, plan tonight's dinner.

Quick and delicious soup recipe: http://fastpaleo.com/creamy-cauliflower-soup-recipe-makeover/

DAY 5 
By now, your new eating habits should start to feel a little more comfortable. But what happens when you are in a social situation when your old habits want to creep back in? (i.e., weekend football game, office party, etc.)

Be prepared. Bring your own food or eat before you go. Order club soda with lime/lemon instead of an alcoholic drink. Let people know why you aren't drinking beer or eating the nachos. Eat when you get home.

If people want to pressure you or argue with you about it, just change the subject.

Here is a great replacement for cocktail meatballs: Moroccan Meatballs.

One of the major goals of doing a whole30 challenge or a paleo challenge is to get you out of sugar-burner mode and make you fat-adapted. In sugar-burner mode, your energy levels are on a roller coaster, you may feel the need to eat every two hours, you are cranky when you are hungry and you have regular cravings for sweets and caffeine. When you are fat-adapted, you are efficiently able to use fat as energy, your energy levels will be more even throughout the day, you will have less of a desire to snack and you will see improved body composition. This process starts in about 5 days but can take weeks to really kick in to the point that you notice the effects.

Don't forget about pre- and post-WOD nutrition. Ideally, you should eat a small amount of protein and a small amount of healthy fat approximately 45-60 minutes before you workout. Afterwards, within 30 minutes of completing a workout, you should consume a small amount of protein (2-3 ounces) and a small amount of carb-dense vegetable.

The first week of a Whole30 challenge is the hardest!  Be careful of these common errors:
  1. Make sure you are eating the right fats, and avoiding the wrong fats. Too many nuts or seeds can mean too many polyunsaturated fats. 
  2. Are you eating enough? Dragging energy can be a result of not enough fat or carbs (the healthy ones!).  Eat enough to sustain energy levels and athletic performance. 
  3. Don't focus too much on numbers, grams, calories, etc. 
  4. Don't consume too much of nature's candy. Fruit is fine to eat but using it to satisfy your sugar cravings is a recipe for more cravings. 
  5. Little cheats that you think don't matter...you are only cheating yourself! If you do experience setbacks, make a plan to get back on track. 

Week 2 Notes (Day 8 – Day 14)

During the second week of the challenge, you will start to settle into a groove of new habits. You are also likely to experience these side effects: increased energy, better sleep and quicker recovery from exercise.

If you feel frustrated that things aren't changing faster for you, remember that it took you years to get to this place and there is no such thing as a quick fix. Be patient and visualize your success, it will happen.

Try these awesome loaded potatoes!

While doing the whole30 challenge or a paleo challenge, social situations and traveling can present unique challenges. Planning ahead can help prevent food-related emergencies. If you are going on a road trip, for example, be prepared by packing your own food. Try hard boiled eggs, olives, or veggies slices (carrot, pepper, jicama) with guacamole.

At some point you may find yourself at a restaurant. Theses tips will help prevent a dietary disaster.

DAY 10
This new way of eating can feel like it is consuming a lot of your time, with shopping, label reading and all the prep and cooking. Today the focus is on time-saving tips.

1. Plan out your menu for the week. Not just meals you plan to cook, but a few quickie meals in case you get home late and need something in a hurry.  Here's a great example:

2. Keep your fridge stocked with ready to go veggies, already cleaned and chopped. They are good not only for snacking, but also for tossing into a meal.

3. Ripen avocados in no time at all. Put them in a closed paper bag with an apple or a banana for 24 hours.

For more tips on cooking and cleaning, see this link. http://whole9life.com/2012/01/kitchen-tips-and-trick/

DAY 11
A week and a half in...keep it fresh with more recipes and food ideas:
  • Missing potatoes? Try this mashed cauliflower (and the bigos and apples to go with it)!
  • Awesome dip for veggies (cooked or raw), grilled chicken, shredded beef wrapped in lettuce leaves, or anything else you can think of.
  • Add these 10 items to your next shopping trip to boost up the flavor of your whole30 meals.

DAY 12
Stress is something we all deal with, for most of us it has become a normal part of our everyday life. Certain types of stress can be good, however chronic psychological stress can create health problems such as depression and heart disease.

How do you manage your stress? Donuts? Wine? One of the goals of the Whole30 challenge is to change your eating habits and your relationships with food. Try to identify your triggers. Schedule in some quiet time in your day. Eat regular meals...skipping breakfast or lunch can not only make you more vulnerable to stress but also set you up for poor food choices at the end of the day.

This Pad Thai recipe takes a little bit of time, but is worth the effort. And if you enjoy cooking, can be a good stress reliever.

DAY 13
If you are doing a whole30 challenge, you are getting close to the halfway mark. Are you getting tired of leftovers or bored with the same recipes? Check out the whole30 forum for some new ideas.

Secondly, try some new spices to give your same old dishes a new taste. For ideas, look here.

DAY 14
Are you spending a lot of time in the kitchen? Gadgets and kitchen tools can make your life much easier.
You might want to consider acquiring a julienne peeler, a mandoline, a good cutting board, a juice squeezer, a meat tenderizer and cheesecloth.

Still needing more recipes?

Week 3 Notes (Day 15 – Day 21)

DAY 15
Hooray, halfway there! How will you celebrate your success? Instead of using food as a reward, try something new. Get a massage, buy a new belt (to hold up your pants that are getting baggy), or treat yourself to that kettlebell you have had your eye on.

At this point, some commonly asked questions tend to come up:
  • What if I accidentally ate something off plan; should I start over?
That really depends on you. You could treat it as a lesson learned and keep on going, or you can go back to the beginning if you want the satisfaction of following the rules 100%. Whatever you do, don't let one small mistake send you on a downward spiral of dietary destruction!
  • What if after 15 days I don't feel like this is working?
Run through this checklist.
  • Is your food truly whole30 approved?
  • Are you eating 3 meals a day and adding in pre- and post- workout snacks?
  • Are you adding plenty of good fat to each meal?
  • Are you sleeping enough?
  • Are you exercising too much?
  • Are you stressed out?
  • What if there is a zombie apocalypse while I'm in the middle of my whole30?
Don't worry...you are covered! This works well for natural disasters as well (blizzards, etc):http://whole9life.com/2012/07/zombie-attack/
DAY 16
Congratulations on making it to the downhill half of your whole30! Most people start seeing changes in their health and well-being at this point; specifically, you might be sleeping more soundly, feeling more energetic, your clothes are fitting better, and your performance in the gym has improved. Both your body and your brain are adapting to the dietary changes you have made. If you are interested in learning about all the science behind the system, check out the book, It Starts With Food (written by the creators of whole30).

Here's a pretty impressive testimonial from a guy who did the whole30.

DAY 17
Today's note is about getting creative with delicious dips and dressings.

Now go make a salad...lots of veggies, some protein, a little fruit, a healthy fat...and eat up!

DAY 18
Still in search of more recipe websites? Take a look at these resources.
Pinterest also has countless whole30 recipes with pictures!

Keep your pantry stocked, and whipping up a meal on a whim will be as easy as (paleo) pie. Have these essentials on hand:
Ghee (clarified butter)Coconut milkSugar free baconCoconut aminosTeaSpicesCoconut wrapsNutsGrassed beef jerkySugar free fish sauce
Happy cooking!

DAY 19
Whole30 guidelines include eating good meat, eating seasonally and eating locally.
Here are their shopping guidelines: http://whole9life.com/book/ISWF-Shopping-List.pdf
And some suggestions on sticking to your food budget: http://whole9life.com/2011/01/paleo-poor-your-guide-to-the-grocery-store/

DAY 20
Is the media sabotaging your whole30? You should critically analyze the health messages you are constantly receiving. Approximately 25% of commercials we see/hear send some sort of attractiveness message. You may not even know that you are being influenced and how it affects your food choices.  

Now that you are kicking the junk off your plate, take some time and put some thought into kicking the junk off your screen as well.

DAY 21
Three weeks into the challenge. Great work! If you haven't already, check out fastpaleo.com. New recipes are always being added, and many are whole30 approved.

Week 4 Notes (Day 22 – Day 28)

DAY 22
Now it's time to start thinking about how you will behave without the safety net of the Whole30 rules. The Whole30 is just the beginning. We will discuss more in the upcoming days about how to re-introduce foods to your diet. You might be searching for more life-changing information. Expand your horizons with some additional reading.

DAY 23
How exactly would you tell others about the Whole30? Try this elevator speech:
"Eat real food like meat, vegetables, fruit. Choose foods that are nutrient dense and aim for well-balanced nutrition. It's not a diet but a lifestyle."
More importantly, lead by example. How? Start a blog, start a book club, offer your time, create local resources, or be a buddy. Be patient with unsupportive friends and family. Start by reading this article.

DAY 24
By now, the old adage of "you are what you eat" is starting to ring true. The vibrant healthy foods you are putting inside your body are starting to show on the outside. Now that you are scrutinizing your food, consider doing the same thing with your personal care and household products. On average, adults come in contact with over 100 ingredients daily to their skin. Many common products contain toxins; take a look at the labels! For example, formaldehyde, petroleum by-products, lead and mercury can be found in cosmetics, beauty products and household cleaners. Experiment with making your own using items you probably already have in your pantry, like vinegar and water instead of glass cleaner and coconut oil as a hair/skin moisturizer.

DAY 25
Are you getting tired of eggs for breakfast? Try some of these favorites shared by other Whole30 participants:
  • Sausage and cabbage sautéed in coconut oil
  • Smoked salmon, cucumber, tomatoes and dill
  • Steak sautéed with kale, mushrooms and onions with a side of avocado
  • Shredded chicken and plantains fried in coconut oil
  • Beef burger topped with a fried/poached egg, add a side of veggies or fruit
Are you missing sandwiches for lunch? Try using lettuce leaves as wraps, or portobello mushrooms as buns, or fill a bell pepper half with chicken/tuna/egg salad.

DAY 26
Do you feel befuddled by the conflicting health information you read in the paper, see on the Internet, and hear on your local morning radio show? While the media can provide you with valuable information, you can't believe everything you read! Learn to use a critical eye when reviewing material that may end up influencing you and your family's health. Questions to ask: Who did the research? Who funded it? Is the is a reliable source free from hidden motives?

The bottom line is this...Self-experimentation is KEY! Think about your experience with the Whole30 and how you feel after day 30 when (and if) you start adding foods back into your diet.

DAY 27
You've only got a few more days left! Think about other ways you can change your life in 30 days. Focus on getting more sleep, doing something for your own personal growth, having a better attitude, engaging in active recovery exercises (mobility, etc.)...just to name a few ideas.

Read this coffee manifesto http://whole9life.com/2011/01/the-coffee-manifesto/ and consider taking a caffeine holiday for 30 days.

DAY 28
Hopefully you are feeling so good that you've lost track of the days. Have you been sharing all that you learned with friends and family? Some might listen, but not everyone will be willing to hear your message. Just lead by quiet example. Host a Whole30 dinner party and share some delicious food with them.

 Here are 30 dinner ideas, http://hollywouldifshecould.net/2012/08/a-month-of-whole-30-dinner-ideas/.

Week 5 Notes (Day 29 – Day 31)

DAY 29
A real life success story: YOU. Are you ready to do an AAR on your Whole30? What went well, what could have gone better, what you will do next time??? Here's a worksheet

Maybe you are amongst the few that are ready to finish the Whole30 but you haven't noticed a difference or you are still struggling through it...analyze the bigger picture of your health equation
http://whole9life.com/2011/09/whole9-health-equation/. You might need to extend your Whole30 for another 15-30 days to see changes.

DAY 30
This adventure is almost over...or is it? Think about what you might want to reintroduce. Follow the Whole30 reintroduction schedule carefully; it takes 10 days but don't ruin all your hard work by being impatient. Don't reintroduce foods that you just don't miss. Evaluate the goals you set on day zero. How did you do?

*Whole30 Reintroduction Schedule*
Introduce "less healthy" foods back into your diet one group at a time, while keeping the rest of your diet as clean/compliant as possible. For example, eat a little diary each day for three days and evaluate how you feel. On day 4, stop the dairy and add some gluten-containing grains in each day for three days (wheat bagel, pasta, dinner roll, beer). On day 7, swap out the grains for non-gluten-containing grains like rice or corn tortilla. On day 10, try some legumes like beans or peanut butter. Keep track of how each thing makes you feel.

DAY 31
Congratulations on completing the Whole30 challenge. A few last resources...when you are faced with tough food choices, refer to this guide to nutritional off-roading

And, if you are thinking about transitioning your children to a healthier diet, this article might help.

Finally...read about pig farming and how it affects out pork supply.


straightouttalecompton said...

This is the most helpful breakdown I've seen! Thank you!

straightouttalecompton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.