The Whole30 Thing – Week One

As I mentioned last week, I’m doing the Whole30 challenge — essentially no sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes, dairy, or certain additives (carrageenan, MSG, sulfites). Here’s my week one round up of how it’s going.

How I Feel

So far I haven’t felt overly tempted have been few. My office has chocolate in stock and other no-nos for this challenge. But even though I’m aware of them and other temptations in my everyday, I’ve found that I’m able to glance them longing for a brief moment and then move one. (I have had an anxiety dream midweek in which I was tricked into eating some pasta or something and felt frustrated about having to start the challenge over.)

Apparently, it’s entirely normal during the first 14 days to experience headaches, lethargy, sleepiness, crankiness, and so on. My energy has definitely went down as the week went on, with it being harder and harder to get out of bed in the mornings up through Thursday. There were also a couple of times midweek in which I’ve had less patience things that normally don’t bother me (although the fact that I’m overwhelmed with work at the moment may be contributing to this).

However, I woke up this morning with significantly more energy than yesterday and in a much better mood, so hopefully I’m on an upswing.

The Grocery List

Trader Joe’s – $98.93

  • Proteins – Frozen Chicken, Eggs
  • Veggies – Baby Bell Peppers, Roma Tomatoes, Brussel Sprouts, Baby Spinach, Healthy 8 Chopped Veggie Mix, Romaine Hearts, Sweet Potatoes,  Zucchini, Cauliflower Rice, Avocados, Shallots, Sugar Snap Peas
  • Fruit –  Bananas, Blueberries, Strawberries, Apples, Freeze Dried Mango
  • Drinks – Coconut Milk, Tejava iced tea, Coconut Water
  • Other Stuff – Basalmic Vinegar, Serrano Salsa, Ghee, Shelled Pistacchios, Unsalted Sunflower Seeds, and Kale Chips (disgusting, I threw out the whole bag)

Costco  – $28

My sister bought a ton of stuff at Costco and shared some of it with me. I split the costs with her on some Aidells sausages, Aidells meat balls, sliced chicken breast, and Larabars.

Total Costs – $126.93

I’d estimate that this was about double what I would normally spend grocery shopping. However, some of these items will last me another week or more. And I’ve learned a couple things from this experience in terms of how much I need (for example, I bought too much lettuce).

What I Ate

Meal Prep – Although I kept it fairly simple, meal prep was definitely a factor in making it through the week. I pre-made some mason jar salads for the work week (including cooking the chicken used in the salads), hard boiled some eggs for breakfasts, and pre-bagged portions of sugar snap peas and nuts for grab-and-go purposes.

I didn’t keep track, but I would estimate that total meal prep time took me about an hour to an hour and a half to complete — not overwhelming, so that’s good.

meal prep
Meal Prep: mason jar salads and portioned nuts and sugar snap peas.

Breakfasts – Breakfasts were hard boiled eggs and avocado mostly, with one day of making a compliant smoothy (consisting of coconut milk, banana, avocado, spinach, frozen pineapple bits, and coconut water).

Lunches – Mostly mason jar salads consisting of homemade Balsamic vinaigrette, chicken, Healthy 8 Veggie Mix, lettuce, and sunflower seeds (in a baggie). One day I also ate some dinner leftovers.

Dinners – I managed to pick out a bunch of dinners that were extremely simple to make after getting off of work, including chicken in lettuce shell tacos, zucchini-bell-pepper-cauliflower stir fry with sausage, and sliced chicken salad wraps.

Zucchini cauliflower rice stir fry with red peppers, onions, and garlic with sausage and sliced avocado on top.
Zucchini cauliflower rice stir fry with red peppers, onions, and garlic with sausage and sliced avocado on top.

The plan for tonight’s dinner is to cook up a piece of the salmon I caught in Alaska. I have some sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts to go with it.

The best and most complicated dinner of the week, however, was made by my sister, who roasted a whole duck with potatoes and carrots and a side salad of arugula. It was so tasty.

Deserts – Fresh strawberries and blueberries, cherries, or dried fruit (the Trader Joes freeze dried mango is particularly sweet and crunchy, so a little goes a long way).

Snacks – One serving or more of sugar snap peas, banana, pistachios, Larabars. I allow myself more snacks on the days I workout in order to make up for the calories burned.

Restaurants – No eating out this week.


In the midst of the challenge, I’m feeling drawn to getting back into a running routine again. The Zombies, Run! app has some great new features, including interval training and training plans from 5ks up through a full marathon, which has me excited.

I did two runs on Saturday and Sunday (prior to starting the challenge on Monday). It was too hot out for those runs, due to the fact I procrastinated until midday to get started, but it felt great to do them anyway.

On Monday, I took a nice long walk with my sister near some beautiful orchards, and on Wednesday I did some strength training.


If you’re also in the midst of a Whole30, let me know how you’re doing in the comments.