Erik and I have officially been on the Whole30 diet for six whole days. And it hasn’t been easy. Before I begin, if you need a refresher on what the heck the Whole30 diet is, you should visit the Whole9Life website for all the dirty details. In short: it’s a month-long Paleo challenge.
During the Whole30, we’re not supposed to weigh ourselves, but because I’m starting Tina Reale’s Best Body Bootcamp today, I had to go ahead and weight myself to get my starting numbers for that program. So far, I’ve lost 3.2 lbs! Woohoo!
I also have plenty of initial thoughts! For easy reading, I’ll break it down into three parts: what we’re eating, how we’re feeling, and how it’s affecting my diabetes.
For the first time in about a million years, I’m cooking. I hate cooking. I find it incredibly stressful and messy and I hate every minute of it. However, since it was my idea to do the Whole30 challenge, I offered up my services as chef for the month to give my husband a break (he actually likes cooking, though, so he might still do a bit this month).
For breakfast, our meals have been pretty simple, mainly consisting of over-easy eggs and fruit. Erik has been mixing in some veggies, like wilted spinach and mushrooms. We also have some Whole30-friendly sausage that we got at Whole Foods, except it’s Cajun style and so it’s a bit more spicy than I’d like. One morning, I decided to go crazy and make myself sweet potato hash. I used one sweet potato, mushrooms, green peppers, onions, and smoked paprika. Yum! It was actually pretty easy to make too and it was very filling.
Sweet Potato Hash
Lunches have mainly consisted of leftovers from dinner, so I’ll just move straight to that. All of our dinners so far have come from our new Paleo cook book, Practical Paleo. I’ve cooked up Italian Sausage Peppers (tasty, but a bit messy to eat), Lemon Artichoke Chicken with Grilled Butternut Squash and Pineapple (dee-lish!), Balsamic Braised Short Ribs (I wanted to eat all 3 lbs. that I made!), Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms (a disaster) and Butternut Squash soup (Erik is a fan, but I need to tweak the recipe before I’ll like it). The dinners have been very successful so far, and when we have leftovers for lunch, we’ll add a serving of fruit and a side salad, either kale or spinach. Easy-peasy, actually, and we’re really not doing any more cooking than we usually do.
Braised Short Ribs
Of course, Erik and I regularly cook at home, using actual ingredients. I had a bit of a Trader Joe’s overload last fall and basically said that I never wanted to shop there ever again because I was so sick of eating all their prepared food. We’ve spent a few months now using a Jamie Oliver cookbook, so switching over to using another cookbook isn’t really that hard. It’s difficult to be compliant when eating at restaurants (although possible), so if you’re not used to cooking every night, I could see how the Whole30 diet would be challenging. However, if you regularly make home-cooked meals at home, it’s really no different.
It’s also refreshing to know exactly what I’m eating and to know that everything is exactly how it’s supposed to be. It’s amazing when you look at ingredients of packaged foods. There’s a whole host of different sugars and things like corn starch in stuff that you’d think would be pretty benign. I definitely feel more food-aware eating Paleo.
The first day or two I felt pretty sluggish. I almost felt like I was having low blood sugar the entire day, even though everything was perfectly fine. I just felt, well, low. Low energy, I guess. Toward the end of the week, my energy went back to normal, but then I started getting headaches at night. They haven’t been too severe and they don’t last too long, thankfully.
TMI ALERT: I’ve also been a bit, um, constipated. I’m hoping to resolve this by simply buying more fiber-filled veggies next week, but I have read that changes in your diet can result in these kinds of digestion issues and that they eventually work themselves out.
Erik, on the other hand, has been dealing with some pretty low energy and headaches the whole time. It’s been a lot harder on him than me, that’s for sure, and it’s probably because he’s also still working, while I’m able to sleep in and lounge around the house more. Today is my first day on the Best Body Bootcamp, so we’ll see next week how things change. For the most part, I haven’t really noticed an increase in energy.
I have not been feeling very hungry, although I do miss eating some of my favorite things. Cravings haven’t been too bad for me, although I would love a Diet Coke right now. Pretty much the only Whole30-approved beverage is water and black coffee (which I hate), so I’m stuck with water. Which is fine, but it gets a bit old after awhile.
It would also be nice to have a dessert after dinner, but this is also part of the Whole30 challenge: to break you of your unhealthy nutritional habits. On the regular Paleo diet, you can make Paleo versions of pancakes, oatmeal, pasta, desserts. Even bread! So I know that things will feel a little more normal once that happens, although all of it will require more prep than just buy store-bought, easy-bake foods.
The diabetes has been ahhh-mazing! I have had such wonderfully stable blood sugars it makes me wonder what took me so long to try this. I have had two low blood sugars, both of them in the early morning, and I treated both of them with 100% apple juice. Juice, although not recommended, is allowed sparingly so I’ve chosen to keep that as my treatment of choice. My highest blood sugar since eating Paleo is 267. I found out that for my protein-only meals, I need to take some insulin. I never would have thought that would be true, but it is! So now that I know, I’m taking some insulin for protein and it’s making a world of difference!
So far I don’t feel like I’ve had any issues getting enough to eat diabetes-wise, although I know I need to tweak my Lantus and my other insulin doses once / if I start to lose weight.
Is there anything specific you guys are curious about? I can include my answers in next week’s update!