When I got really ill last month, my primary care physician suggested that I do an elimination diet to potentially discover the root of my health issues and to give my liver and gallbladder-less body a break. I had been considering the idea, but didn’t devise a plan for when I would start or consider many of the details. At the time of my acute illness setback last month, the idea was simply too overwhelming. So, when Nelda suggested the Whole 30 plan as a January wellness challenge, I jumped on board. Things got even better when other family members and friends agreed to participate.
If you aren’t familiar with Whole 30, here it is in a nut shell:
- No grains
- No dairy
- No sugar (real or artificial)
- No alcohol
- No legumes
But, you can have lean proteins, healthy fats (a select group), vegetables and fruits. And in the end, isn’t that a really healthy diet?
Monday – Day 1
Since Monday was a travel day for us, I knew the first day of Whole 30 could be challenging. Not impossible, but a real test of mind over matter…err, food.
Breakfast: Because we were traveling, breakfast was consumed on the plane. While John and George ate the meals United provided on board, I assembled an array of things I brought on board and things United provided. My breakfast consisted of a banana, a Justin’s almond butter pack (both packed in advance by me), and a fruit plate (provided by United). Everything was super filling. I also guzzled lots and lots of sparkling water while in flight.
Lunch: Given the time change, we didn’t have lunch and since none of us were hungry, that was cool with us.
Dinner: Since we made a grocery run on the way home from the airport, I had a lot to work with. I made grilled sausage with sautéed squash and roasted potatoes. Everyone in the house gave this dish a thumbs up.
Tuesday – Day 2
With a business trip in the evening, this was also (technically) a travel day.
Breakfast: I made scrambled eggs with spinach and had a side of strawberries.
Lunch: I made a salad with grilled chicken and lots of veggies.
Dinner: It was almost impossible to find complaint entrees at the (IAH) airport, so I picked up some olives and pumpkin seeds hoping for an on board dinner miracle. I ended up making a small salad with the on board side salad of greens, my (packed from home) deli turkey, and the purchased olives and pumpkin seeds. For a dressing, I used two lemons provided by the flight attendant. I also ate an apple. Clearly this was an unusual dinner – but it worked.
Wednesday – Day 3
This was also an all-out travel day.
Breakfast: Thanks to the Westin Club Lounge at my hotel, I was able to make a (free) breakfast plate that I ate while watching the news.
Lunch: I swung by Whole Foods on my way to the airport. I ended up making this delicious salad, complete with green salsa for my dressing.
Dinner: My flight from Phoenix to Houston was delayed by three hours, so dinner became a bit of an issue. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to dig into my packed snacks for an on-the-fly dinner, or if I wanted to wait until I got home to eat a late (for me) dinner. I ended up waiting until I got home and made an omelette using leftover roasted potatoes and grilled sausage.
Thursday – Day 4
Breakfast: I made an omelette with spinach and eggs and had some fruit on the side.
Lunch: I picked up some food from the Whole Foods hot bar when I picked up groceries during lunch. I ended up eating salmon, zoodles, broccoli, and blood orange slices.
Dinner: I used this recipe and made meatballs with marinara sauce and served them over zoodles (I also made pasta for John and G). This was a great, easy recipe that I would use again.
Friday – Day 5
Breakfast: I had fun with breakfast and made this monkey salad – banana, blueberries, coconut flakes, cinnamon, and almond butter. This, in my opinion, is a pretty dense breakfast and kept me full for a very long time. Therefore, it would also make a good travel lunch or dinner (note to self).
Lunch: I kept things really simple here and reheated leftover zoodles and meatballs. This is a pic of everything cut up so that I could eat my lunch easily while on a work conference call.
Dinner: I made this lemon-chicken and served it with roasted broccoli and fruit. I also made couscous for John and George.
Three thoughts on Days 1-5:
- I feel wonderful and am sleeping really well. I am in no sort of pain – gastrointestinal or otherwise. I have had plenty to eat at all meals and feel very satisfied.
- This eating lifestyle is challenging, but only from a mental perspective. The plan offers a wide array of choices, although it can be hard to break old habits and ways of thinking, as well as to plan out all meals.
- Sugar is added to almost everything. When you pay attention to labels, it’s amazing how much you learn about what goes into our food. This has been very eye-opening.