Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Damn, Daniel...Back at it Again with the Whole30!!!

So exactly two years after starting my first Whole30, I decided to start my third. If you'll recall, I did a second Whole30 in October 2014, just a month after finishing my first - my youngest sister wanted to see if the Whole30 would help her GI problems, and I offered to go along for moral support. Both months were challenging but helpful, and here of late I've been getting further and further away from both clean eating and where I want to be as far as body composition, so it seemed like a good time to buckle down and be disciplined again.

Over the past year, I've shifted my focus more away from paleo and Whole30 style eating, to a flexible dieting or "If It Fits Your Macros" approach. There is definitely an appeal to the IIFYM style, as theoretically you can eat whatever you want, as long as you can fit it into your daily macros (proteins, carbs, and fat). Initially, it seemed to be working, as I lost 10 lbs. between the end of June 2015 through the beginning of September. However, as the fall continued on and we got into the holiday season, not only did my weight loss plateau, but then the holidays hit full force, and counting macros fell by the wayside. And for all of 2016 so far, I've really struggled with not only the number I see when I step on the scale, but how my clothes fit in general. I decided to get back to my paleo roots, quit stressing about calories and macros and measuring my food, and simply try to cut out all of the unhealthy, inflammatory foods from my diet.

 I was on vacation in North Carolina from July 18-24, and once I got back, I dove into my Whole30-compliant cookbooks and blogs I follow for recipe inspiration. I came up with an entire list of recipes that I not only enjoyed eating, but was motivated to cook over the course of 5-6 weeks (30 days plus about 10 days of reintroduction). I chose several recipes from the list for my first week of meal prep, created a grocery list from that, and on Friday of last week, hit up Aldi first, then Publix for my first grocery haul. I was super excited that I was able to keep my grocery bill for the first week under $75!

My menu was the first week was two of my all time favorites, Paleo Pad Thai and Silky Gingered Zucchini Soup, plus three new recipes that I'd never made before: Sunrise Scramble, Curry Turkey Bites with Apricot Ginger Dipping Sauce, and Spring Chopped Salad. The Curry Turkey Bites recipe is from Nom Nom Paleo, the others are all from Melissa Joulwan. I love both of these authors' recipes because they both stay Whole30 compliant the majority of the time, which makes it easy for me, plus they both are fantastic about delivering bold flavors in easy recipes.

So the majority of my Saturday evening was spent in the kitchen, prepping all of the food (with the exception of actually stir-frying up the Pad Thai - I did that on Monday evening), but it has really paid off this week - three days in, and the most I've had to do (besides the stir-fry Monday night) was pull a container (or two) out of my fridge, and heat it up in the microwave. It makes life so much easier!!
So honestly, so far this week has been fairly painless, but I know the real test will be this weekend, when my prepped food will be running low, and I'm used to eating out more over the weekends. I just need to buckle down and stay on plan - I'm already choosing meals for next week and making a grocery list - and be prepared when I'm planning to be out and about, with little to no compliant food options available. You can also follow along with my adventures via Instagram and Snapchat, AbbyQ17.  So stay tuned!