August Whole30: One Month to A Healthier Islander

Long post alert!

I posted a while ago about how I was “doing a Whole30” month in August. I’m blogging about my experience day by day in this post, just to give me somewhere to write about how I feel, what I eat, etc. Feel free to skip to the end if you want 🙂

If you want to learn more about the Whole30, click here.

August 1 – Day 1

It’s Saturday. Not sure if it was smart to start a diet on a Saturday on St. Thomas, as many of the grocery stores don’t have their fresh shipments in. Shopping yesterday (Friday) was hard. It’s also hard to find a lot of Whole30 approved ingredients here. I’ve committed to doing my best with what I have. Bacon without sugar or additives has been the hardest thing to find so far.

I had every intention of waking up early to make eggs for breakfast. Then the alarm went off and it was 5:45 a.m. Eggs didn’t happen. I ate a banana while I walked Marley up the hill for his morning constitutional.

Dan and I went to a 7 a.m. spin class, then I took him to work a shift at the hospital and I went back to Pure Balance for yoga. I went to the coffee shop and took my coconut milk with me as “creamer” since my normal splash of milk isn’t allowed in my coffee during Whole30. I finally started feeling hungry and the coffee shop was filled with delicious baked good smells and I decided it was a bad place to be. I went do a different coffee shop, one that is hippy dippy and would have a better selection of foods that would fit into Whole30. It’s probably my favorite place to spend a day. I had a salad with no cheese or candied walnuts. I can’t be sure that the vinaigrette didn’t have sugar in it, but like I said, I’m doing the best I can with what’s available. I even responsibly removed the breadsticks the moment they came and put them in my bag for Dan to eat later.

Later that afternoon, we went to Tap & Still for happy hour with friends. I wasn’t really tempted by cocktails, as I’m pretty selective with my alcohol. I was perfectly fine sipping club soda and lime all night. That being said, Tap & Still has THE. BEST. WINGS. They’re unreal. The table ordered some and I took a few good, long whiffs. I ordered a double hamburger with grilled onions and mustard, and they tasted pretty good, sans bun. Day one? Done!

Day 2

Sunday. I enjoyed coconut milk in my coffee; it’s actually not bad. I had already weaned myself off of sugar in my coffee years ago. Dan made me some yummy scrambled eggs and I added some avocado. Lunch was some hardboiled eggs and potatoes. I love slow cooker dishes so I made a mocha-rubbed pot roast and some garlic roasted carrots for dinner. There was one point in the day where I really wanted some chocolate, but I made it through!

Day 3

Monday. Kind of a mess today. It started off well enough – breakfast was scrambled eggs – but went downhill as I was preparing lunch. Cooking up my bacon, dicing chicken, getting my spinach ready, all is well. Then after I had finished browning my chicken in the skillet I ended up dumping the whole pan of chicken and bacon drippings all over the floor. Sigh. Luckily it wasn’t very hot, as a lot of it ended up on my hand. BUT. I carried on, and enjoyed a delicious lunch. Funny how it didn’t taste quite as good after spending 25 minutes cleaning grease off the floor. Then the stress spiral of that experience led me to dunk my banana in the container of 100% cacao powder. Some may consider that a weak moment. I call it a “reset” of my day. Dinner tonight is at Hull Bay Hideaway. I’m going to get my normal taco order, just sans cheese and then dump all the taco goodness onto my plate and give Dan my tortillas!

Day 4

Feeling a little cloudy this morning. I was used to eating some grain in the morning, usually Cheerios or whole wheat toast with peanut butter.  I’m wondering if that isn’t catching up with me today, not knowing how long it takes to feel or notice subtle differences. I drank a big glass of water and had two bananas. Maybe my coffee will kick me into gear.

I felt good throughout the rest of the day, making sure to drink lots of water. I roasted an eggplant and made some baba ganoush because hummus isn’t Whole30 compliant. I haven’t tried it yet. I went to yoga and felt good, but I think my energy was a little droopy because I’m eating fewer calories. We went to dinner and a movie with another couple. They got pizza. I got a salad with no cheese. I miss cheese.

Day 5

Eggs for breakfast again. I need to look up some recipes for breakfast potatoes, because I can have those. I’m going to try to find a Zoodle maker today too. It’s a fancy tool (if you can call “Seen On TV” fancy) that turns zucchini into ribbons or “noodles”. I found a scallop and bacon recipe with zucchini noodles that looks really good.

After a trip to Walgreens, there was no Zoodle maker. Spin class was fine, but my energy level is definitely dragging. I made Slow Cooked Moroccan chicken and it was delicious! Dan had rice with his and couldn’t believe that the recipe was Whole30 compliant. I’ll be making that recipe again for sure. For some reason I’m craving Pop-Tarts. Really?! I ate a Pop-Tart maybe once a year before starting the Whole30. I just found this article about a “typical” Whole30 timeline and sure enough, weird cravings and dreams start to happen right about now. It’s really interesting to me how food affects our bodies SO MUCH. I’m not doing the Whole30 to determine if I have a food allergy or anything. I’m simply wanting to see how my body is affected without anything processed. And hoping to lose a few vanity pounds, not gonna lie.

Day 6

Sort of getting tired of eggs for breakfast. My own fault for not getting my rear in gear and making something else. I’m heading to the store this afternoon so hopefully I can find some compliant breakfast sausage or something else yummy. I found another Annie’s Organic dressing that works on the diet, so lunch was a yummy spinach salad with chicken and hardboiled egg.

Dinner was another crockpot recipe: creamy lemon and artichoke chicken. I made rice for Dan to have with it. I haven’t missed grains too much except in the mornings. Onward!

Day 7

Up early today because I’m babysitting two adorable little boys at 7:15 am. I had the forethought to run to Fruit Bowl and get some turkey breakfast sausage before coming home last night, so at least I have some sausage with my eggs this morning. I don’t think they are technically compliant because they have “less than 2%” of some things, one being sugar. I’m not beating myself up about this one, because truly compliant things are practically nonexistent on island.

I’m totally fine with coconut milk in my coffee. It will be awesome when I can have flavored creamers again, because A turned me on to hazelnut-flavored coconut milk creamer. I can’t have it on Whole30 because it includes cane syrup. But you can bet I’ll be buying some after I’m done!

Babysitting this morning was fun; the boys were awesome and at 2.5 years and 4 months old, some of the easiest kiddos I’ve ever watched. We were having a morning snack and the 2 year-old shoved an M&M in my mouth wanting to share, and how do you say no? I don’t really think this counts as a full-on cheat.

Dinner was delicious. First, I made bacon while dan grilled turkey burgers. Then I caramelized some onions in the bacon fat. Dan got a bun and cheese with his burger, but I added some guacamole to mine and it was awesome!  I made some homemade “fries” that were also great. One week in, feeling pretty good about everything.

Day 8

Best breakfast yet! I took a few of the leftover “fries” from last night and chopped up one last slice of bacon. I threw the potatoes and bacon in the pan warm up and create a “hash”.  I made some turkey sausage and only two eggs, and it was a great meal! Dan had to work an event today and I was consumed with writing and laundry. I ate breakfast kind of late so I only had a snack in the afternoon. That’s not really recommended but I’m not beating myself up about it.

Dinner was leftovers – I had some Moroccan chicken.

Day 9

Hiking to Salomon Beach today on St. John! Beach days could be hard, but I packed fruit and hardboiled eggs if I needed something to munch on. We went to our favorite deli and got sandwiches like we normally do, I just asked for mine without cheese. Then, when we got to the beach, I just ate the roast pork and ham out of my sandwich. It’s kind of a hassle to figure out what to eat, but if you take a few minutes, it’s not hard to figure out what will work. Like everything in life, my Whole30 isn’t perfect. After the beach, we went to happy hour at Joe’s Rum Hut, like we normally do. Only I didn’t have any cocktails (sad face). I did get a snack though; Dan got wings and I got shrimp cocktail. Not a bad day!

Day 10

Another Monday. Thank goodness for breakfast sausage is all I can say, because eggs are becoming boring. Especially without cheese. Again, I should get my rear in gear and get some chopped veggies going for a morning omelet. Still not the same without cheese!

I made an impromptu visit to Water Island with friends for the movie on the beach tonight. I ordered a salad with some grilled Lion Fish and it was yummy! According to the Whole30 site’s timeline, today and tomorrow are the days that people are most likely to drop out of the diet. If I can make it until Wednesday, I’m in good shape.

Day 11

I love Tuesdays because I get to take a great yoga class tonight. Nothing much to report today, just trudging through this thing. I’m not craving things as much, but it is getting a little annoying to have to be SO mindful about what I’m eating. I suppose that’s part of the point of this. It takes work to eat right. I’m hoping that after this journey I’ll be able to let myself go on autopilot a little every now and then.

 Day 12

Feeling pretty good today as I’m nearly halfway through the Whole30 month. I’m used to eating eggs for breakfast now, and having some sausage in the morning helps keep it a little interesting. Trying to do better about eating more veggies. I consciously have to think about what kind of vegetable I will add to each meal. Granted, not doing so well with breakfast veggies, but working on it. I have a confession: a cheat of the tiniest proportions has occurred. I’m proud to say that it’s taken me 12 days, but I like to think that today’s cheat was unavoidable. I ordered a salad at one of our favorite delis on St. John, sans cheese. Of all the dressing options, their homemade, sugar-free ranch was the least horrifying of all the evil dressings. Everything else was “sweet sesame” or “soy ginger glaze” or “creamy blue cheese”. You know the drill. So I asked for the ranch on the side, and limited myself to about a tablespoon. There. That’s my cheat confession. The salad really was delicious. Dinner was chicken nuggets and homemade french “fries”. Dan was super into this meal, and said we should make it again 🙂 I don’t feel very different overall. A little less puffy, which is good. My energy was zapped in the first week, and now it’s back but I have ZERO motivation to workout, which is not like me.  Onward!

Day 13

I woke up looking forward to my sausage and scrambled egg breakfast, so I suppose that’s a good thing! I’ve also learned that I prefer lite coconut milk over the full-fat version. The light stuff mixes better in my coffee 🙂

Even though I’ve had little motivation to work out, I went to yoga a tonight and made a concerted effort to push myself. It was a great practice and I’m on my way to getting intoI made an easy chicken soup for dinner in the crockpot. I love finding dishes that I can throw in the frozen meat. Because sometimes I forget to thaw it. I added noodles for Dan 🙂

Day 14

Two weeks! Feeling good. Nothing much to report today, other than it’s very awkward to try and explain to people why you’re doing this. They think you’re a little nuts.

Day 15

HALF. WAY. DONE. In all honesty, it’s gone pretty fast. I’m truly surprised by how much I don’t crave sweets. I LOVE dessert. Perhaps this was part of my problem all along. I can totally go without dessert, I just normally choose not to. Even if I eat dessert HALF of the time, I’ll probably be doing a better thing for my body. I’m also very surprised at how much I miss cheese. Not all dairy, but cheese specifically. I love garlic roasted broccoli, but it’s SO much better with a sprinkle of parmesan on top. Dan and I popped over to St. John today and ate a late lunch at Longboard. I was so excited to read that they would serve my tacos in a lettuce wrap, and I LOVED the grilled mahi with mango salsa and guacamole. Dan had delicious-looking skirt steak tacos in homemade corn tortillas. It was a little pricey for the portion size, but I think we’ll go back again when I can eat cheese. Grilling steak tonight!

 Day 16

We’re on the downhill slope. I’ve got renewed determination to workout, as my 30th birthday is abut 11 weeks away and I want to feel good for that. Plus, we’re going on a cruise this fall and want to feel good in a bathing suit amongst all the cruise food! Dan made some delicious eggs and bacon this morning. We were going to attend the annual chili cookoff today, but it started RAINING! And not just a little sprinkle, but a good few hours of honest-to-goodness rain. We need it so badly, I was never so glad to have a cool and gloomy day. I don’t like chili anyway, so no skin off my back! Later in the afternoon we decided to go to a movie instead, and saw The Man From U.N.C.L.E. I love spy movies, so it was fun. Dan grilled some yummy chicken for dinner, and we had roasted potatoes and brussels sprouts with it.

Day 17

Another Monday . Feeling pretty good. We did our typical Monday night taco trip with friends, but I got a salad sans cheese. Still missing cheese the most. My Pinterest boards are filling up with cheesy pasta bakes and desserts to make after this is over 🙂

Day 18

Feeling good with 12 days to go. I’m SO SORE from doing a Jillian Michaels video yesterday. I guess I had forgotten how long it’s been since I did any strength training. I found a zucchini spiralizer so I’m hoping to try some “noodles” this week.

Day 19

Happy birthday, mom! I wish I was with you to celebrate with a mudslide and some delicious birthday cake. I know you’ll have some for me 😉

I had a busier day with client calls and meetings. We were running around this morning because Dan had to be at work early, and I totally forgot my coconut milk for coffee at the coffee shop. I put a splash of soy milk in. Known cheat #2.

Overall feeling good. I’ve made a concerted effort this week to get consistent workouts in, now that I don’t feel quite so tired. Monday was the Jillian Michaels muscle-fest. Still sore from that. Yesterday was yoga, where my teacher friend Katie apologized to me publicly in class for such a hard practice aft I told her my legs were already jelly. Tonight I went to spin class for the first time in over a week. I felt a little lightheaded, but think I was a little dehydrated. I pushed through the class and felt good after. Tomorrow is 2/3 of the way through the month!

Day 20

Only 10 days left! Crazy how fast the time has gone and how you get into a routine with what you eat. I can see how people get into ruts with bad food. We are creatures of habit. If you eat crap every day, you’re probably going to continue to eat crap every day.

I took my first barre class tonight. A ballet-inspired workout, it’s mostly standing at the bar and making tiny movements targeting muscle groups. You just do the movement 180 times. Not really, but it felt like it. I was sweating like I used to in a hot yoga class!! I think I’ll be sore in the next few days…

Day 21

I’ve been doing this Whole30 thing for three weeks?! I feel a little less puffy, so that’s good. My workouts this week have been pretty strong, as I’m trying to tone up in the remaining weeks before our cruise and my 30th birthday. I’m a little nervous to eat anything I used to eat before this, not knowing what will happen. The reintroduction phase goes like this:

  • Day 31 – Introduce one food group back into your diet. For example, put milk in your coffee, have some cheese with lunch, and  eat some ice cream after dinner. For the next two days after, go back to the Whole30 food guidelines to see how the dairy affected you. If all is well and you feel fine, you can begin incorporating back into your diet.
  • Day 34 – Introduce a different food group back into the diet, like legumes, for one day. Then back to Whole30 for two days. And so on and so forth.

I already know that I’m having a cocktail on the 30th when we are on a boat trip 🙂 After that I’ll be more focused on the food rules again!

Day 22

The fourth week has begun. I originally had wanted to go to yoga today, but I decided to sleep without setting an alarm and apparently my body needed sleep more. We went to Secret Harbor beach today, our first visit. We had heard that the snorkeling was good there, but there wasn’t much to see

Day 23

One week left! Still pretty tired of eggs in the morning but at least we’re on the downhill slope. Not sure what I really want to eat for breakfast, but just tired of eggs. Waffles with syrup sound good. Talk about off the rails.

Day 24

Hurricane Danny is not meant to be, and we’ll be lucky to get some much-needed rain out of all the hype. I’m working through the last days of this Whole30 and I’m really starting to wonder what I’m going to do next. My Pinterest boards are overflowing with breakfast foods and desserts, but I’m still scared to make anything. I’m afraid to step on the scale as well. I was really hoping to drop a few vanity pounds, so if that hasn’t changed at all I’ll be a little disappointed.

Day 25

We’re enjoying a cooler day and some sprinkles from Danny, and I am having eggs once again. We are going on a boat trip on Sunday (weather permitting, there’s a mother tropical storm brewing right now) and I know I will have a cocktail. After that, I think I’m going to go with the “slow roll” reintroduction of foods. Instead of having a banned food and back to Whole30 foods for the following 2 days, it’s more gradual and based on how I feel. For example, if I want some cheese one day, eat some cheese. Then go back on Whole30 for as long as it takes to observe effects from the dairy. If I want to have some black bean salsa, go for it. It’s a little more relaxed and occurs over more than the prescribed 10-day reintroduction plan. We’ll see. I’m reading that a lot of people that begin eating dessert and other sugars right away feel awful and have to start over. Yikes!!

Day 26

I’m tired of this. I’m at risk of falling into the “26 days is the same as 30, right?” club.

Day 27

Moment of weakness yesterday. With only 3 days left, I know I can do it. I’ll be glad when it’s done, but still not entirely sure what I will be eating later. Tropical Storm Erika is on her way to St. Thomas, and we’re ready for some rain. Too bad a storm isn’t an excuse to stock up on crap food. It sounds really good right now.

Day 28

Well, we’ve been tricked by Mother Nature again. Tropical Storm Erika brought some gusty winds through the night, but no rain. Some other islands were really devastated with rain and flooding, so I hate to say that we were disappointed, but we desperately need the water.

I had a stressful morning, as our internet is nearly useless at the house. I drove past my regular coffee spot and they were closed, due to the territory-wide curfew only being lifted at 8 am. I went to another coffee shop and they were open, but I wasted nearly an hour trying to connect to their wireless. At that point I decided a workout was necessary to relieve some stress, so I went to a spin class that turned into a combo spin-core class. I had “zoodles” for lunch and will be the only non-wine drinker at book club tonight.

Day 29

It’s the weekend and the last two days of Whole30. I’m feeling good, getting curious to see what the scale says…and also to each cheese.

Day 30

Last day!! Hard to believe it’s already done. Some days seemed like it would never end, but others felt like it flew by. A big thank you to my husband for putting up with my complaining and constant talk about food. And for eating Whole30-approved dinners 🙂 We were actually on a boat trip today, so it sort of turned into a whole 29.5. I’m ok with it.

Day 31

SO. I kind of sped up the whole “slow roll” introduction thing this morning. And had two cocktails yesterday. They were fruity, sugary drinks and I had a headache this morning. Not a hangover headache, I think it was a sugar/alcohol headache! Crazy! BUT I’m 10 lbs. down from the start. I feel really good. I think I’ll keep up the diet when we eat at home and indulge in some cheese or dessert when we eat out or on the weekends. Overall, this month has been an eye-opening experience as far as sugar goes. Sugar. Is. In. EVERYTHING!!! No wonder our country is fighting an obesity battle; sugars, natural or synthetic, are seriously in all of our processed foods. I thought I was a pretty “clean” eater before this, but now I know just how much work goes into truly eating clean 24/7.

If you made it to the end of this post, thanks for reading! If you want more information on the Whole30, click here.

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One thought on “August Whole30: One Month to A Healthier Islander

  1. Hello, there! I forgot to check back in on you guys. Congratulations on making it to the end and seeing just exactly what we put in our bodies. I have a suggestion for morning breakfast….saute onions with some zucchini and then scramble the eggs into it. Season with S&P, garlic, and parsley (hot peppers, if you like). I use to make a frittata that way and you can even do it with spinach. I will go and check out your other posts. Cheers!

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