Whole 30 – Half Way Through – Thoughts

I had started one big mega post with the meals we’ve eaten, cost, thoughts, etc, but I think it’ll be easier to break it down into seperate posts. This coming Thursday (2 days from now) will be the start of week 4. It’s kind of crazy that time went so fast, but it also seems like we’ve been doing this forever.

In the beginning, it was really, really hard. Every day I was worried about what I was making, if it was going to taste okay, if it was going to be enough food, etc. Even though I spent hours planning, I always felt under-prepared.

About halfway through the second week, things started to click and meal planning became a little easier. I stopped worrying about eating the same meals over and over again (honestly, we eat the same things regularly anyway), and I just made sure there was a bunch of veggies and always potatoes just in case anyone wasn’t full.

Stuffed Pepper with Lentils, roasted cauliflower, and baked potato chips
Stuffed Pepper with Lentils, roasted cauliflower, and baked potato chips

Meals

I’ll get into the meals more in another post, but I just started buying the same things from the grocery store and tried to switch things up with different spices. For lunch at work, I always packed my husband leftovers, and for snacks he took baby carrots with a single serve guacamole pack, a pack of apple sauce, and a small bag of almonds/pecans/walnuts.

Typical packed lunch - sauteed portobello with peppers, sliced carrots and peppers with gaucamole, and unsweetened apple sauce with pecans
Typical packed lunch – sauteed portobello with peppers, sliced carrots and peppers with gaucamole, and unsweetened apple sauce with pecans

Cost

I have been spending a little bit more than normal, but it’s mostly on the “snack” foods, ie organic apples, cashew butter (I usually buy sunflower butter because it’s cheaper), and different kind of nuts. The meals can be super cheap (lentils and potatoes), or a bit more (portobello mushrooms), but the snacks were definitely the most out of the ordinary expense. Overall, I didn’t spend that much over my normal budget (will do a cost breakdown in another post). The goal is normally $100 a week, but is closer to $150 including all household extras (ie paper towels, cleaning supplies, etc). I’ve been spending about the same $130 in one trip, but then going to the Sharp Shopper (grocery outlet) and spending another $30-40 dollars. I’m sure it could easily be tightened up to be within a budget.

Changes

In the middle of week two, I noticed my skin was really soft. I had been breaking out on my chin for the longest time and it’s completely gone. I haven’t had any other breakouts since then either. Both my husband and I have lost about 6 lbs each.  It’s not a goal of either of ours to lose weight, but I did weigh myself before and during just to see. I can also tell my clothes are fitting looser. I think the weight loss would be even greater if I/we didn’t eat so many high fat foods like the guacamole and nuts, but again I’m not really concerned with the scale.

Sometimes, I really feel like I’m starving, and then I stop and think about it, and I’m actually not hungry at all. I think the mindset of “I can’t have a sandwich”, “I can’t just pop a chia and flax seed waffle in the toaster”, really makes you feel like you’re depriving yourself. Obviously, I don’t mean to think like that, but the habit of making something convenient is hard to break. It’s also a little more difficult because somethings that I normally wouldn’t think of as “bad” are off limits, like corn and beans. Randomly, I will get a craving (like right now, for a veggie sub), but at the same time, I haven’t even thought about chocolate.

Baked apples, cored and stuffed with chopped dates, pecans and cinnamon
Baked apples, cored and stuffed with chopped dates, pecans and cinnamon

I’m actually really proud we’ve made it this far, and I can honestly say I haven’t had any processed food in 3 weeks. It seems weird because I never thought we ate *that* much processed food, but now eating only fruits and vegetables, it becomes apparent how much other “stuff” we ate.

I still have to plan out our exit strategy, but I think I’d like to continue to eat pretty simply even after this is over. I’d like to leave out the processed stuff, but add in beans, rice, corn, etc. I’ve even discovered a few new meal ideas like baked apples with dates and pecans for breakfast, and loaded baked potatoes as a main course for dinner, that I plan to incorporate in the future.

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