Whole30 Round 2: Week 2 Review

I can’t believe it’s already been 2 weeks! This is about a million times easier than my first round – but that’s not to say I haven’t had challenges and frustrations. I’m not sure if it’s the planning or the fact that I’ve been eating pretty close to Paleo for a few years but I’m really enjoying posting my meals on Instagram and keeping this blog going. It’s kept me accountable and as you’ll see below, given me insight into what I’m doing right and where there’s room for improvement. These 30 days are a time to reflect and learn and experiment so I’m taking advantage of that as best I can.

One of the most challenging parts of my last Whole30 was the isolation. I’m a stay-at-home mom and social AF and I just can’t handle eating my meals by myself past January 30th! In an effort to make this type of lifestyle more sustainable AFTER the 30 days I want to be able to do lunches out and meet for coffee and have date nights with my husband without guilt or fear. I need to practice this developing skill with the tight rules of the Whole30 so that when the reigns have loosened a bit after January 30th I will thrive, not just survive.

So I scheduled a few social events this week, namely coffees, which I’m excited about!  I was too scared to eat out and screw up during my first Whole30 but I have a better understanding of how to do it and remain successful in these 30 days – and beyond frankly. For instance: When possible I figure out where we’re going in advance and call ahead of time to plan things a bit. If not I can always eat a little something beforehand and grab a tea. It also helps to reframe social events: It’s not always about the food. I try to shift the focus to the company I get to keep for that hour+. And for the times when I have a little more control I also self advocate about where we go and what we do. For my Thursday coffee date I suggested we could either grab coffee and sit at the coffee shop as suggested OR we grab a coffee and head into Central Park for a long walk and chat, weather-permitting. It’s a win-win situation.

Since I seem to learn something new every day during this Whole30 here are the biggest lessons I learned this week:

  • Get some damn carbs on the plate!
  • Snacking. Am I really hungry?
  • Take a shortcut now and then
  • Keeping a journal is eye-opening

My Instagram account has not just kept me honest, it’s been a great way to see what’s working and what’s not. For example, I was feeling like hell – nasty headache, tired as hell, etc. I looked back at the day or two preceding those symptoms and what in the what? I hadn’t really had any carb-dense vegetables! No wonder I felt awful. I went to one of my favorite resources, Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo, and studied THIS document (which is in the book but SCORE – there’s a free PDF). I mean really. It’s winter so there’s really no excuse to get some in-season squash going in this kitchen. I added in some baked sweet potato, oven fries, and cassava strips. I drank more water and got a good night’s sleep. The next day, roses. And the next. So yea, eat your carbs.

Confession: I’m afraid of being hungry. Not because I love eat, though I do. But when I get hungry I get cranky and nauseated and shaky. And I live in NYC where cabs are a part of daily life and that compiles the gross tummy feeling and I just CAN. NOT. DEAL. However, I was snacking between breakfast and lunch and then lunch and dinner at least every other day. I mean, I was hungry right?! Maybe not so much. Again, more online research from trusted sources and I found THIS on Real Food with Dana. It helped me figure out that a) maybe I needed a little more protein at my meals and b) what I thought was hunger might just be a craving if I gave it a bit of time to see if it passed. But if it didn’t pass? Then I had a decent snack and made sure to add a little more to the plate at my next meal. I love to snack – especially when the food is compliant – but for the sake of learning from this Whole30 I’m focusing on hunger vs. cravings so that I’m not snacking unnecessarily.

Yea right! I’m not really done cooking but mama needed a break! I ended up finding Hu Kitchen just across Central Park and I picked up a few Whole30-compliant prepared proteins so that I could take a break. THIS WAS EVERYTHING. It gave me enough time to regroup and now I’m ready to do a little cooking and maybe spend some time exploring the prepared food at Whole Foods for the next time I need to outsource part of a meal or the whole damn thing! I also broke down and bought the Tessamae’s Whole30 Starter Kit after failing to find their beloved wing sauce anywhere near me. This is NYC for chrissakes. Get yourself together City That Never Sleeps! So Ketchup, Wing Sauce, Balsamic Vinaigrette and Matty’s BBQ Sauce are coming my way this week. Shortcut city! And a delicious one at that!

I kept a food journal during my first Whole30, not really sure what I’d do with it. I didn’t write down how I was feeling – it was a straight up “This is what I ate today” notebook. But you know what? It came in SO handy when I was preparing for this Whole30. I was such a Paleo newbie and really had no idea what I was doing with cooking or putting together a balanced meal – none of it. It’s almost comical to see some of the things I just threw together! But this journal also reminded me of things that were staples my first time around and showed me how simple it could be at times. I’ve added this second round of the Whole30 to the same notebook so that I have another reminder of favorite foods and recipes. My Instagram and this blog have probably been my best decisions for this round. I’m a visual learner so seeing a plate or a day of meals has allowed me to troubleshoot when I have an issue (see Carb Me above!). Coupled with the How I Feel and What I Prepped parts of my blog, this is a tremendous resource for me for my next Whole30 should that come up again.

These themes are my take away from my second week on the Whole30. I’m excited to try some new things this week and then lean on some oldies by goodies. For those of you planning a Whole30, or for those in the middle of one, I hope this has been helpful. I’d love to hear your successes and challenges too – sharing is caring! If you have a few minutes, leave a comment below.


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