By Judith Forman
Whole30 Advanced Level Certified Coach
Like so many others, I decided that September would be the perfect time for me to hit the reset button on my eating. Over the past year – mostly due to stress from the pandemic and life in general – I’ve been eating more sugar than ever. I started getting used to daily dessert. I found myself sitting down with a bowl of chocolate chips when I had to sit down and focus on a work assignment. I was enjoying treats as part of my Food Freedom – but I was using sugar as a crutch to get through hard things.
I never felt “bad” or “guilty” about it, which was a HUGE change from my past relationship with food (thanks to all of the work I’ve done on myself since finding Whole30), but I just knew I could feel better. Even Whole30 Coaches need a reboot once in a while!
Enter the September Whole30! It’s been more than a year since I did a Whole30; my last round was a Whole100 at the beginning of the pandemic (March-June 2020), which helped me get through those challenging first months of the unknown. A lot has happened – both to me and in the world – since my last round, but I could just feel that I was ready.
Since my birthday fell on the start of the national Whole30 (September 1), I decided to start on September 6 to give myself a little time to prep and get organized. Below, I’ve shared some thoughts from my journey so far. I’ll be back next month with more on the second half of my round, and what my plan is around Whole30/Food Freedom as I head into the fall.
Day #1 – 9/6/21
My daughter and I left my parents’ house in Maine early on Labor Day morning to avoid any holiday traffic. Before the hourlong drive, I had a cup of coffee with Spiced Chai Whole30 Approved nutpods. A few hours later – after dropping my daughter off at her dad’s, getting home, and unpacking – I made myself breakfast: Leftover lobster salad with Tessemae’s Whole30 Approved mayo and celery served on lettuce from my farm share with blueberries and a chunk of avocado. I had another cup of coffee with nutpods to wash it down. I usually eat more vegetables in a meal but I used what I had on hand and let good enough be good enough.
Today is all about meal prep and getting my kitchen organized. My daughter will be with her dad for most of the day so I have time to get myself together, get some exercise in, and start my Whole30 off on the right foot! I am excited for this round – and look forward to LOTS of good food over the next month!
After a morning of cooking and cleaning, I sat down to lunch. I had some of the sheet pan meal I made Teton Waters Ranch sausage, onion, potatoes, apple slices, avocado oil, and The New Primal’s Everything Bagel Blend. I also filled my plate with lots of veggies – sliced cucumber and roasted farm share tomatoes. I added a small piece of salmon I made in the air fryer and some Tessemae’s Whole30 Approved mayo for added fat. I finished the meal with a peach we picked yesterday in Maine. I always feel so good when I eat the rainbow! After my workout this afternoon, I sat outside on my deck and read a magazine and then caught up on some Netflix. I rarely take time like that to rest.
I am feeling good and motivated for this journey! I can’t wait for my Cooked meals to come, and I am already looking ahead to next week’s menu to be sure I order more!
Day #2 – 9/7/21
I woke up before my alarm and had a strong 4-mile run! I’m feeling good, focused, and energized! I am surprised that I don’t have a sugar hangover – at least not yet!
Day #4 – 9/9/21
I had buffalo chicken casserole for breakfast – It feels like the good old days of my first Whole30 in 2015 when I ate all the buffalo things all the time! I have not had any cravings yet. I went to bed early last night. My goal for today – drink more water! I have a Cooked order shipping out today and I put in another one to ship next Thursday. The meals are super helpful when time is tight! I am eagerly waiting for my Misfits Market order – it was delayed due to the holiday week so I’m hoping it comes today. I am a little low on veggies, which is never a good thing on Whole30, but I will make it work! I always have backup potatoes, onions, and cauliflower rice if all else fails. It feels so good to be back on Whole30, I didn’t realize how much I missed eating this way and the routine and structure that comes with being on a round.
Day #5 – 9/10/21
I am up with my coffee and nutpods in the dark, getting a head start on the day and feeling good. I am trying to prioritize a little more sleep this round since that is where I tend to shortchange myself. The past few nights I’ve gone to bed shortly after my daughter, which is a win. I’ve also noticed I’ve been less tired when we cuddle together and watch a show after dinner – I had been nodding off during that time in recent months, probably a sugar crash from my post-dinner treat. I am glad to stop that!
Day #7 – 9/12/21
My Cooked meals arrived (yay!) yesterday and I enjoyed my favorite salmon cake right off the bat. I wasn’t super hungry for dinner, though, so I cut the salmon cake in half and had half with the salad it came with. I enjoyed the second half with leftover veggies, mayo, and guacamole for breakfast this morning. I’ve been waking up with fewer stomach issues (something that had been happening with the sugar and gluten I’ve been eating) and despite some hard stuff going on in life right now, I feel clear headed, confident, and focused. And my cheekbones are finally popping through again! Non-scale victory, for sure!
Day #10 – 9/15/21
This round is already flying by! It’s hard to believe I am a third of the way through. I am feeling good – although I’ve not been sleeping great lately. I tend to wake up before my 5 am alarm and have trouble falling back to sleep. I hope it’s just my body adjusting but I am going to try to “shut off” my mind a little better before I get into bed. I continue to keep my meals simple and that’s the name of my game. Last night I made a ground turkey hash that was delicious and easy – just turkey with diced apples and onions, shredded carrots, walnuts, and lots of seasonings including sage, rosemary, cinnamon, garlic, and onion powders. I have another Cooked order shipping out tomorrow so that’s always good news!
Day #12 – 9/17/21
Another morning up before the sun with my coffee and nutpods. I have started adding back daily collagen protein in my coffee to see if I notice any results from that, specifically around my hair. Lately, I feel like I am losing a lot of hair – maybe from stress or hormones? Last night, my daughter and I had taco night – I made ground beef and seasoned mine with garlic and onion powders and some taco sauce from a taco kit I got her that was surprisingly Whole30 compatible. I made a big bowl with the meat, leftover sweet potato rounds, roasted tomatoes, and kale chips and topped it with guacamole and pineapple-mango salsa. I had a peach from the Famer’s Market and some raw cashews on the side. 10/10! I am planning to do some yoga in a little bit after I take my daughter to school and before I hunker down for work. I am trying to switch things up a little – with all of my other workouts, yoga seems to fall to the bottom of the list. Overall, I am still feeling strong and proud of my commitment to myself and my Whole30.
To be continued…
Judith Forman is an Advanced Level Whole30 Certified Coach. For more Whole30 inspiration, connect with her on Instagram @jujuswhole30 or check out her blog at www.everydaywhole.com
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