Day 1 - Doubtful, But Determined by Rattaya Nagorski

First thought: Am I really doing this, and please God, let me following through with something in my life.

This challenge was starting out much more fun than I thought, especially when a couple of friends signed up as well. We discussed food challenges, punishments, and recipes. We even vowed to text each other our meals (every single one of them) just to motivate each other. Somewhere on my mind, I thought that if this were some sort of a race, I would certainly be more inclined to stick to this challenge. Then I reminded myself that my will power on sticking to these food-related diets or cleanse had always failed. But hopefully not this time, I am determined!

So first day went by and it was actually quite fun. I actually cared to read labels, and patted myself on the back when I quickly put things down. I probably stood at the Power Bars section at the grocery store for a good half an hour, reading labels, scolding at anything that said brown sugar syrup (which were most), and started to understand why LaraBars were truly the only ones approved. A part of me wanted to find a new brand that would also be approved and litter Pinterest with my new findings. Nope, not the case. I had never been a power bars chick, but hey, this was a new chapter and challenge, so LaraBars became my best friend. 

So here's my first day breakdown:

Mi Pueblito Restaurant

Mi Pueblito Restaurant

Breakfast:

1 Banana, 1 LaraBar (Cashew Cookie: ingredients were cashews and dates).

Lunch:

A small salad consisting of one whole boiled egg, bacon, fresh mushrooms, sliced almonds, carrots, olive oil, salt, and pepper. 

Snack:

1 Banana. (Yes, another one. Cheap and yummy.)

Dinner:

Mi Pueblito Restaurant: I ate sausage, fried egg, small grilled flank steak, avocado, fried plantains, and a small salad with herby dressing. 

My stomach was growling like an angry monster between my thoughtful snack and humongous dinner. I actually demanded dinner around 5:30pm and Eddie thought that was a little weird.

Someone please tell me I won't be so focused on this growling monster all the time!

We had dinner plans, and I felt a bit sorry for my server because I changed most of the dish. We were at a Colombian restaurant and I had to forgo rice and beans (switched to salad with their homemade citrus dressing that I was reassured there was no sugar), took out the corn patty (never liked it anyway), and that the fried plantains were simply that: fried, and nothing added. I was bit hasty to eat it, though, because I didn't want to keep pestering on what kind of frying oil they used, so I figured let's let that one go. So as far as the dinner picture goes, it seemed a huge amount of food, but I stuck to the rules! 

Onward to Day 2!

 

 

Day 2 - When can I have a cheat day? by Rattaya Nagorski

One of the texts early on in the day that I sent my two other Whole30 buddies: When can I have a cheat day?

Yes, only the second day and I was contemplating (not too hard) of already moving this challenge to next week instead of now. It's Saturday, I was off work, and the nearby Mediterranean buffet sounded so good. The fresh baked pita, dipped in hummus, and let's not forget the spinach pastry that would do so well with the garlic sauce that I smothered with chile sauce. 

Mediterranean Buffet

Mediterranean Buffet

Baked, then pan seared seasoned salmon and Brussel Sprouts + Mushrooms

Baked, then pan seared seasoned salmon and Brussel Sprouts + Mushrooms

But lo and behold, I went through the buffet with veggies, green lettuce, fresh tomatoes, beef kafta, and pork stewed with tomatoes (I was reassured they did not use sugar). I stared at the spinach pastry for two seconds, probably shed a tear, and remembered why the heck I was doing all of this. Bear with me, everyone!

Today was also going to be the day that I would meal plan for the next few days. Trader Joe's was out of plantain chips ("They are so popular, so we're totally out!"), so there went the Plaintain Nachos recipe I found on Pinterest. I couldn't find ghee, and I was too lazy to go to Kroger, HEB, or The Fresh Market. I know that The Fresh Market definitely had it, but it was quite a drive. I sort of had fun reading all the labels, shed a tear over at the bagel section, and we came out with a few Whole30-focused meals for the next few days. 

Here's my grub today:

Lunch:

Mediterranean buffet, consisting of steamed zucchini, grilled eggplant, green lettuce, fresh tomatoes, beef kafta (minced beef with spices), grilled onions, and shredded pork stewed with tomatoes. And unsweet tea, of course. Tea is ok, right?

Snack:

A banana.

Dinner:

Baked, then pan seared salmon with spices, and Brussel Sprouts + Mushrooms. And plenty of water during dinner. I should have drank more water throughout the day, though!

Onward to Day 3!

Day 3 - Excitement Slowly Fizzing by Rattaya Nagorski

Does it have to be Whole30? How about Whole5?

I was driving home from work, thinking about food, of course. This time was more about what could and should I eat for dinner, as well as for the next few meals. I didn't want to end up hating salads, and I sure didn't want to end up hating meat. Then I remembered I saw someone's note on Pinterest and she'd typed in Whole3. Not Whole 30? Was it a typo? Was it something I can amend, wanting to only do a week, a few weeks, or just a few days? 

I could do Whole5. Hell, I was on Day 3. 

Then I remembered how many times I'd failed doing different elimination diets, and none of them had lasted more than two weeks. The furthest I did was not eating meat before 4pm (incorporating more vegetables), and that lasted about two weeks, even though I ended up eating more bread. 

So I powered on mentally, that I could keep going.

So here are my meal attacks for the day:

Breakfast:

Roasted, salted nut mixture (almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts) and fruit. The Fresh Market preps these fruit sticks in little cups ($1.99) and it's a perfect portion.

Lunch:

Boiled egg, lettuce, bacon, roasted pork.

Snack:

LaraBar, banana

Second snack:

Yes, second snack. I was feeling down, so I ate some leftover salmon and brussel sprouts + mushrooms from yesterday. It wasn't too much, but it helped me eat a smaller portion of dinner.

Dinner:

Pan-seared pork chops, sauteed onions, fried egg, and roasted red potatoes. I know the egg didn't really fit with the meal, but it was made for my mom and it looked too delicious to pass up, especially when it was simply eggs, salt, pepper, and yellow onions. 

Onward to Day 4!

Day 4 - Weakness Lingers...But Determination Wins by Rattaya Nagorski

I cheated. Not on food, but on the scale.

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One of the rules on doing this challenge is that you do not weight yourself, or doing any sort of body measurements. I have been taking my hypothyroid medicine for some time now, and I weigh myself every morning just to stay somewhat motivated. My weight bounces back and forth between four different numbers, so I never really know what the progress is. The medicine helps stabilize my metabolism, and the numbers have been bopping back and forth for a long time.

So almost out of habit, I stepped on the scale this morning. It was on the the lowest of the four bopping numbers, and it was a slight encouragement. Perhaps it didn't mean anything, perhaps it meant a lot. Maybe it was on the lowest because it was one of those days, or because Whole30 was actually working. I know it'd been three days, but three days without sugar or rice was big for me. 

So even though I was still pining over the lowering excitement of this program, this tiny stunt on the scale was strangely uplifting. I know, "strangely" was a strange (ha ha) word to use, instead of something positive. But I would like to think that I weighed on the lower number simply because it was a lucky day, not a Whole30-is-working day. We will see. 

My weakness was not on wanting to give up, not because I was craving bread or Thai tea, more so on that I wasn't finding Whole30 recipes exciting. This weakness wasn't strong like yesterday's, but it still lingered. The tossing thoughts of quitting or staying on was not as constant as yesterday, due to the reading on that scale this morning. So cheating on the rule a bit by stepping on the scale lessened my weakness, coring my strength and power to stick through this, was what it took, I would step on the scale again.

Here are my meals today:

Breakfast:

Scrambled egg whites with mushrooms and spinach, served with avocado slices. I felt like I could eat double this, but I kept myself occupied with Law & Order so I wouldn't make more of it. 

Snack:

LaraBar (yes, again. They might as well call this the LaraBar, Egg, and Avocado Diet). 2 Bananas. I was HUNGRY!

Lunch:

Leftover pork chops with roasted red potatoes from yesterday. It was a smaller portion, but I had 2 bananas so I felt ok.

Dinner:

We had dinner plans. welcoming a family friend to the US. I suggested the mediterranean buffet again, since I knew I had plenty to eat there. I was glad, since I was starving and I was able to eat a lot. Hopefully I won't be craving like this all the time. 

Onward to Day 5!

 

Day 5 - Guilty Mind, Guilty Tummy by Rattaya Nagorski

I cheated. For shame!

I woke up today, not hating the fact that I couldn't eat some things. I read in some blogs that it would take a good four-five days, or even a week, to be robotic about saying no to things without feeling the craves, and just eating what the plan said to eat. Maybe it was reading that and my mind set a goal for it to happen, but I was glad I woke up feeling this way. 

But then I did something bad for dinner. Really bad. And I regret it. It actually haunted me.

I was fine with lunch, even the LaraBar snack, and living in Houston area, I was fine with sitting in traffic. I picked up my cousin Ammy and her boyfriend Anthony from the airport and, we had planned on going to a Chinese buffet. Of course, red flags plagued my mind, but I didn't want to be that picky person that changed plans. They were respectful of my demands, of course, but I was going to go along. Chinese buffet was going to be a challenge.

They were four things I could eat, besides the watermelon and grapes. I put green beans on my plate, soft shell crab that was fried and covered with spices, and grilled short ribs. The fourth thing would have been the side salad with boiled egg. I already had that for lunch, so I stayed away from it. I had hoped that they did not use any butter with either one, but then remembered that Chinese buffets don't use butter, just a lot of oil. 

Then this is where it all went wrong. I justified the situation that if I were to pay for more than $10 for this meal, I should make it worth it. Then I indulged. I wasn't craving the foods, I didn't hanker for the eggrolls or dumplings. I just wanted to make the meal worth the price. Now, when I said I indulged, I did not have any dessert. The only sweet was the sweet and sour sauce I ate with the chicken egg roll. And I had a little bit of fried rice, and a little bit of noodles. I didn't die, I didn't become so bloated, but I didn't feel good about it, either. I definitely felt guilty. Yes, guilty. 

That guilty mind went straight to my stomach. I didn't have aches or anything, but I didn't feel good about it. It was detrimental only to me, regardless of how much I paid for the meal. I had promised to do well, promised to stick through with it, and promised to not become such a failure. When I texted a friend about being at the Chinese buffet, he immediately texted back "FAILURE." And I was. 

But no need to sulk all day and all night, I made a mistake and I felt bad. But I'm going to revive back my focus and continue on this Whole30 Challenge. No, I will not restart my day counts, I simply hit a pothole and coming back up. 

Yumlicious from Trader Joe's

Yumlicious from Trader Joe's

Here's my food plan today:

Breakfast:

White Smoothie from The Fresh Market. (Coconut  flakes, coconut milk, fuji apples, and one other apple that I don't remember.)

Lunch:

Salad bar at Whole Foods, consisting of salad mix, carrot sticks, whole boiled egg, guacamole that was littered so much with red onions that I wasn't sure why they called it guacamole, cooked cabbage, and cauliflower. 

Snack:

LaraBar (Cashew Cookie)

Dinner

The dreadful Chinese buffet. I didn't overload though, I ate somewhat decent amount, but I sure cheated. For shame!

Onward to Day 6!

Day 6 - A New Dish! by Rattaya Nagorski

But I want Taco Bell! Can I go to Taco Bell?

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I still felt bad about last night's dinner, but it was a new day and a new take on the challenge. I was excited to make Spicy Oregano Chicken Stew, a Whole30-friendly dish that I created to break away from salads and banana. It was a nice change!

It was a full day of work, so I couldn't stray too far from being bored and eating everything in sight. I was more determined from the debacle of cheating last night. Even though there were pangs of moments of quitting, today was the least of those feelings. 

I got off work at around 10:15pm and while driving home, I called my husband about dinner. It was extremely late and neither one of us had eaten. It typically was so easy for us before Whole30 to grab Taco Bell or Jack in the Box. With Whole30 in mind, I still asked him.. "But I want Taco Bell! Can I go to Taco Bell?"

"Nope," he said. "You know that. So what are we eating?"

"Please? Taco Bell?!"

"No! How about this soup or stew that you made this morning? We can eat that."

I sighed. "Fine. And I'll fry some eggs."

I lasted 7 days... by Rattaya Nagorski

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You read it right, I lasted 7 days on The Whole30 Challenge. I feel like such a failure, and my fellow challenger stopped as well. We were both getting a bit sick, we were hungry all the time, and I think I would have made it if I just simply didn't give up.

But I will try and try again. I'll keep this updated!