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Recent Eats: My First Whole30 Days 5-8

A full recap of days 5-8 of my first Whole30 including what I've been eating every day for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks as well as how I'm feeling.

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a great weekend. I’m skipping the weekend recap in favor of sharing Whole30 days 5-8 with you (read about my decision to do Whole30 in this post). We started our 200-hour yoga teacher training over the weekend so my weekend pretty much looked like teaching yoga, talking about yoga and practicing yoga. And with Whole30 it’s a little hard to go out so we have mostly been staying in for meals.

One of my goals for Whole30 is not to repeat meals, especially with lunch and dinner. I’m trying to mix things up to a) keep me interested and b) give you guys ideas. I gave up on trying to switch up breakfast once I discovered chia pudding. Y’all…I just can’t with eggs first thing in the morning. No matter how hard I try, they are just palatable to me at 7 a.m. Give them to me after 10 a.m. and I’m all about it but I can’t wake up to them. I don’t know why. Chia pudding has been a lifesaver!

Homemade Almond Milk

Also, I’ve been making my own almond milk and I LOVE IT! It tastes amazing and it’s so creamy. It’s also pretty simple and only takes about 5 minutes (plus soaking overnight).

Whether or not you’re doing Whole30 this month, I have a ton of clean and healthy eating ideas and inspiration for you in this post. Scroll to the end for a recap of how I felt day 4-8 of Whole30.

(Catch up on Days 1-4 in this post.)

DAY 5

Kale tacos with scrambled eggs, avocado and salsa. Whole30 compliant.

Scrambled egg “tacos” in lacinto kale with avocado and salsa. Berries on the side.

Whole30 Compliant Lunch

Leftover shredded chicken with a mixed greens salad dressed with Tessamae’s Caesar and a baked sweet potato with ghee, kosher salt and cinnamon.

Whole30 compliant balasamic salmon with roasted brussels sprouts and acorn squash.

Balsamic rosemary salmon with roasted brussels sprouts and acorn squash.

DAY 6

Whole30 compliant chia pudding.

Chia pudding topped with almond butter and berries.

Whole30 compliant salad from Crisp.

My first meal out on Whole30! I met a friend at Crisp for lunch. I asked what they cooked their grilled meats in and they said soybean oil so I skipped the grilled proteins in favor of hard boiled eggs. This salad had spinach, mixed greens, eggs, cucumber, walnuts, artichoke hearts and pears. I had it tossed in olive oil and balsamic.

Whole30 compliant fajita-seasoned shrimp and tomatoes over zoodles with guacamole.

We loved this dinner! I sauteed shrimp and cherry tomatoes in Dizzy Pig’s Fajita-ish Rub and served it over zoodles and topped it with guacamole.

DAY 7

Whole30 compliant chia pudding.

Chia pudding made with mashed banana and homemade almond milk topped with bananas, berries and sunflower seed butter.

Whole30 compliant salad with chili-seasoned chicken and sweet potato.

Lunch was a salad with a pan seared chicken breast that I seasoned with a chili powder blend with avocado, olive oil and balsamic. Sweet potato on the side with ghee, kosher salt and cinnamon.

Whole30 compliant crockpot beef stew.

We had teacher training until 9 p.m. so I made a big pot of crockpot beef stew with the leftover roast from earlier in the week. I didn’t use a recipe but into the crockpot went roast, carrots, mushrooms, celery, potatoes, a can of fire roasted tomatoes, garlic, onions and broth. It turned out so well!

DAY 8

Whole30 compliant chia pudding.

I told you I’m stuck on chia pudding for breakfast. Haha. Same thing, different day!

Whole30 compliant salad.

Lunch was a salad with spinach, chicken breast, pears, almonds, radishes and avocado and dressed with olive oil and balsamic.

whole30_day8dinner

We had dinner at a friend’s house for a visiting yoga teacher. Luckily, her husband is also on Whole30 with us so we had tons of options. Between the meat eaters, Whole30s, vegans and vegetarians, my poor friend had to make like four variations of these soups! High maintenance crowd, huh? I had a bowl of bean-less chicken tomato chili topped with avocado and a bowl of the soup on the right, which was potatoes, cauliflower, leek and escarole. Really yummy!

Whole30 compliant healthy dessert idea.

I have really tried to follow the Whole30 guidelines of not making dessert-type creations but on Saturday after a long day of training and teaching, I said “F-IT!” and when I got home from dinner I made a little plate of banana slices topped with almond butter and dates. I have been trying to eat dates in moderation because they are SO sweet and I’m really trying to break that “gotta have something sweet” thing. Most nights we have a bowl of berries for something sweet after dinner.

SNACKS

appleandnutbutter

Still doing the apple and nut butter thing most days, but not all days.

HOW I FEEL

  • Overall, GREAT!
  • I’m having a hard time winding down at night. I still feel full of energy at 10:30 p.m. when I should be winding down. I’m trying to have a cup of hot tea every night and then read in bed to signal that it is sleep time. Sleep is still hit or miss. Some good nights, some toss and turn nights. I’ve also had some night sweats, which is normal for me but never fun.
  • Waking up in the morning is getting easier and easier!
  • I’m sure you’re interested in an update on my skin…sadly…no improvement yet.
  • Digestion feels really great. One of my favorite things about Whole30 is that I never feel bloated after eating.
  • No crazy hunger between meals. I’m hungry for meals when it’s meal time but I always feel satiated after eating and my meals hold me over. I credit this to really focusing on making sure I’m getting good fats in with all meals and eating balanced meals.
  • I got my monthly cycle during days 4-8 and it was the first time in over a year that I didn’t have to take anything for my cramps. Usually I’m doubled over, nauseous and miserable for the first day unless I take some ibuprofen. I don’t know if this was Whole30 related or not but I have to believe it was?
  • I feel super hydrated. Something about Whole30 is encouraging me to drink a ton. I feel like all day I am either drinking coffee, water, hot tea or kombucha. I probably have 3-4 cups of tea a day.
  • Related, the peeing constantly thing did level out, thank god!
  • We had quite a few people in our group fall off the wagon days 4-8. According to the Whole30 timeline, it’s pretty normal to feel pretty blah during this time and several jumped ship. I feel lucky that I have felt really good throughout this whole thing and that my energy for workouts and daily activities has been normal if not higher than normal.
  • While energy has been good, I did feel super emotional around days 5-6.
  • I’m committed to finishing the program. It really hasn’t been that hard to make this my new day-to-day. I just feel SO lucky that I work from home most of the time. I think this would be extremely hard to do if I had to prep a ton of food to take to work or if I traveled for work. I’ll be traveling for the first time this week (two trips during Whole30) so we’ll see how it goes. It’s just an overnight trip so I’m planning to pack some staples.

As always, let me know if you have questions. I’m happy to answer!

Fellow Whole30-ers, how’s it going?

What’s your favorite healthy “dessert” that’s not really a dessert? I’m thinking maybe some baked apples or pears this week?

Does anyone have breakfast ideas for me as a Whole30, early morning egg averse person? Should I just get over it and eat it anyway?

{ 41 comments… add one }
  • 1
    Kira January 11, 2016, 12:58 pm

    I also find that my monthly cycle symptoms are much less severe when I’m eating Whole30, so I definitely think that helps. I’m 100% an eggs-in-the-morning person so not much help from me. I will say that when I get sick of eggs, I switch it up by eating dinner leftovers for breakfast. Like that soup with the roast looks like PERFECT breakfast soup to me! It sounds weird, but it is so good and comforting, especially on cold mornings.

    • 2
      Jen DeCurtins January 12, 2016, 9:23 am

      That’s a good idea! It’s so different from my usual smoothie or oatmeal in the morning.

      • 3
        robin August 5, 2016, 1:36 pm

        I’m late to the party, but soup for breakfast is a staple in my house in the fall/winter.

  • 4
    Christina January 11, 2016, 1:09 pm

    Jen, what ratio of chia seeds to almond milk do you use? I made chia pudding last week, and it never really ‘gelled’ into a pudding-like texture, even after a night in the fridge. The recipe called for 3 cups almond milk to 1/2 cup chia seeds, which seemed a little off to me. Would love to know how you make yours!

    • 5
      Jen DeCurtins January 11, 2016, 1:18 pm

      3 tablespoons chia seeds to 1/2 cup almond milk. posting recipe tomorrow!

  • 6
    Chrissy J January 11, 2016, 1:19 pm

    I have done a few rounds of whole30 (two really strict; a few others less so). And I am doing my 3rd VERY strict right now to start off my new year after 6 months of stress and travel and weight gain and feeling blah. I wanted to first offer an anecdotal thing about the skin issues. I too have eczema (mine is primarily on my elbows and oddly my belly where my pants hit). I also go through phases of getting rough patches on my forehead of more like adult acne (versus itchy eczema but still unsightly). I have figured out through my whole 30’s the culprit is sugar. Whether natural sugar (fruit) or other more junky fruit. So the Whole 30 rounds that clear it up quickest and mostly completely are the ones where I eat just berries and green apples and lower sugar fruits. Versus bananas and pineapples and so forth. I thought all along the culprit was either dairy or gluten. But nope!! I’m not sure how much sugar total is in your chia concoction or how much fruit you eat in total all week … But maybe it would be worth it to try one week of less of that stuff and see what happens? I can SEE a difference in mine in just seven days. So I think you will know pretty quickly. If you can’t stomach the eggs maybe just go with a green juice or something to get you through the first few hours (like from your juice cleanse) until you feel ready for a savory breakfast. Just some ideas!! 🙂 Can you share 1) how you make your almond milk? I always thought it was too time consuming to try but would like to attempt it! And can you share how you make your chia pudding? As the opposite of you … I love my eggs every day but one-two days a week I wouldn’t mind something less savory. I love your blog and LOVE you are chronicling your Whole 30. I think their program and brand and social media presence is phenomenal. I am happy you don’t think it’s gimmicky and are lending your voice to the experience.

  • 7
    Marina @ Snackie Bird January 11, 2016, 1:25 pm

    Then I did Whole30 last year, I usually eat dinner for breakfast. Nothing fancy. And yeah, baked apples were lifesaver for such sweet lover like me ☺️

  • 8
    Christie January 11, 2016, 1:31 pm

    I’m on Day #8 of my first whole30 and I feel fantastic. I am snacking a bit more these past two days, so I’m working on stopping that this week. I have been loving organic applesauce as a “dessert” if I really need it.

    Here’s a great no egg breakfast that my Whole30 group has been loving!

    http://www.mamalovesfood.com/2012/11/apple-un-oatmeal-paleo-oatmeal.html?m=1

    • 9
      Jen DeCurtins January 12, 2016, 9:27 am

      Thanks!!

  • 10
    DeeDee January 11, 2016, 1:46 pm

    I’m still going strong as well. My energy level is great, I don’t feel bloated, my skin has cleared up and also feels weirdly silky soft (!?!) and I had my period over the weekend and breezed right through it. I’m finding it very easy to stick to this. It’s so much less restrictive than the 21 Day Sugar Detox I’ve used as a reset for my eating habits in the past.

    (My hiking buddy, OTOH, did no prep work ahead of time as far as meal planning or shopping and had a disastrous first week. It’s all about taking the time!)

    • 11
      Jen DeCurtins January 12, 2016, 2:11 pm

      I’m glad it’s going well for you! It goes to show you how much meal planning can help in eating healthier in general.

  • 12
    Annie B January 11, 2016, 2:01 pm

    I just took my first business trip last week on the Whole30 and it was so tough and limiting to travel on this plan, but I thankfully made it work! It feels great being back home now- homemade meals ar so much better! Feeling great, and loving the Whole30 so far- I also didn’t experience the first week slump, and have felt great all month.

    • 13
      Jen DeCurtins January 12, 2016, 9:30 am

      I know traveling for work makes it really hard, but I’m glad to hear it’s going well!

  • 14
    Laura January 11, 2016, 2:22 pm

    We did Whole30 last summer. My husband and I would have dates with almond butter at night or approved larabars (when they were approved). I was nursing a 2 month old so I had to keep the calories up! Another favorite snack was plantain chips (from TJ) with guacamole.

    • 15
      Jen DeCurtins January 12, 2016, 2:12 pm

      Yum! Plantain chips and guac sounds amazing.

  • 16
    Hilary January 11, 2016, 2:29 pm

    For healthy dessert my favorite is bananas and nut butter!

    • 17
      Jen DeCurtins January 12, 2016, 2:13 pm

      That’s one of my favorite things to eat before a run!

  • 18
    Shannon January 11, 2016, 3:06 pm

    I had my dinner leftovers- pork chop with broccoli and butternut squash- for breakfast this morning. It’ll take some adjusting not having “breakfast foods” but I’m avoiding eggs for this week to see if that helps with sinus stuff.
    I haven’t had any major side effects, but I did feel like I needed a nap this weekend. Hopefully I make it through the craving phase!

    • 19
      Jen DeCurtins January 12, 2016, 2:16 pm

      A few of the people I’m doing it with also felt tired about a week in. I think that’s expected!

  • 20
    Tara January 11, 2016, 3:25 pm

    Dinner leftovers are great for breakfast. Make a hash with leftover shredded pork carnitas or chicken, and chopped sweet potatoes. Add some kale or spinach and voila. It is so damn good with an egg on it..should you change your mind! Otherwise a little avocado for fat. Is it a textural thing re: eggs? If you quiche like things are more appetizing to you, try one of the many recipes for make ahead egg and prosciutto cups.

  • 21
    Rachel January 11, 2016, 5:34 pm

    I hope you don’t mind me asking another question, but are you still being treated for anaemia, and if so has this program affected your iron needs?

    • 22
      Jen DeCurtins January 11, 2016, 5:39 pm

      No, ask away! My iron levels have tested okay for over a year now. I still take a supplement every few days along with my multi but all has been well. I’ll have another physical soon and will be sure to update if anything is amiss with the iron.

  • 23
    Jenna January 11, 2016, 6:49 pm

    Hi Jen,
    I am not currently doing Whole 30 but love all of your meal posts as inspiration for healthy meals/snacks. I do want to say the spiced chicken recipe that you’ve shared on the blog a few times is so simple but so tasty! I just tried it a month ago and its my new go-to way to make chicken for dinner, top lunch salads, etc. Thanks for sharing!

    • 24
      Jen DeCurtins January 11, 2016, 6:59 pm

      Oh I love that recipe! So glad it’s been a winner for you. So simple, flavorful and versatile!

  • 25
    Cassie January 11, 2016, 7:44 pm

    Cool meals, Jen! I have looked into the Whole30 and it definitely seems awesome. I do think it’s a bit restrictive but I have to say the recipes definitely look delicious!

  • 26
    Wendy January 11, 2016, 9:25 pm

    Hi Jen. Curious. What is your favorite method for cooking zucchini noodles. Mine always end up a tad watery. Yours look nice and spunky in the pic. Thx

    • 27
      Jen DeCurtins January 11, 2016, 9:45 pm

      Hey Wendy! The trick is not to overcook them. You want to get them heated through and barely starting to soften. If you cook too long they get mushy and watery!

  • 28
    Alaina January 12, 2016, 12:04 am

    Just curious how difficult you think Whole30 would be for a vegetarian? Would you be eating ALL eggs, all the time? Thanks for these posts!

  • 30
    Marie January 12, 2016, 12:14 am

    Hi Jen!

    I have found that removing dairy from my diet removes all monthly cycle cramps. I used to be doubled over in pain too, almost to the point of passing out. If I slip and have even a little bit of dairy in something that we eat out or at a friend’s house, I will feel it the next month. It is awful because I love cheese but it is so worth not dealing with the pain every month.

  • 31
    Stephanie January 12, 2016, 2:36 pm

    I’m thinking I’m going to start a Whole30 in the next couple of weeks. I’m having trouble finding information on approved condiments. Of course real salsa, guac and salad dressings made with approved ingredients are okay, but where do things like hot sauce and mustard fall? My biggest concern is how to add flavor to dishes without all the additives that tend to hide in spice blends and the like.

    • 32
      Jen DeCurtins January 12, 2016, 2:47 pm

      You just have to read the ingredients and make sure that they don’t contain added sugars and other ingredients that are off limits. I have found things like mustard and hot sauce that are Whole30 compliant (many are not). You basically become a label reading ninja! And then you won’t BELIEVE how much stuff has added sugar. Side note, mayo and ketchup are pretty much off the table unless you make your own.

  • 33
    She Rocks Fitness January 12, 2016, 5:27 pm

    You’ve inspired me to whip up some chia pudding as I need to switch things up a little bit from my normal breakfast eats…I weirdly have been enjoying eggs in the morning with fruit, nut butter, and some chia seeds. Weird, but it keeps me full for hours and helps me plug through the day full of energy!

  • 34
    Kacie January 12, 2016, 5:31 pm

    Love seeing your creative meal ideas! I tend to get into ruts so I like having other ideas. I never really ate eggs for breakfast pre-whole30 but I didn’t really know what else to have that was easy and quick in the morning so I just kinda pushed through. And now 2 years later I love to eat eggs in the morning! What helped me was trying them in different forms. Like would I rather scrambled, fried, boiled, etc. for some reason that would make a difference for me. Also it depends what I cook them in. Sometimes the idea of eggs cooked in bacon grease makes me queasy so I usually cook them in olive oil. That’s just what worked for me!

    • 35
      Jen DeCurtins January 13, 2016, 10:51 am

      Thank you! This is helpful. I know that if I “pushed through” I could get used to it! And yes, making them “lighter” definitely sounds better to me.

  • 36
    Mallory January 13, 2016, 8:20 am

    In on my 2nd whole30 and I’m TORALLY with you on cramps! I used to have to take an RX’d anti inflammatory they were SO bad…I was super irritable and miserable.

    During my first whole 30, towards the end, I got my period but didn’t even know to expect it! I wasn’t super mean, wasn’t in any pain AND it was 3 days instead of 7.

    When I eventually stopped whole30 eating the cramps, etc came back.

    So it’s basically amazing AND I’m off facial meds for acne thanks to whole30 ?

    • 37
      Jen DeCurtins January 13, 2016, 10:49 am

      So interesting to hear this from several others!

  • 38
    Nicole January 13, 2016, 9:29 am

    Thanks for sharing!! I have horrible eczema on my face as well and found eggs to be the culprit. As soon as I start eating them, eczema pops right back up. I know eggs are hard to leave out when there are so few breakfast options, but just wanted to share since removing them completely cleared my skin issues.

    • 39
      Jen DeCurtins January 13, 2016, 10:49 am

      Thanks so much for sharing your experience with eggs. Definitely worth considering in the future if I continue to struggle!

  • 40
    Francesca September 22, 2016, 1:19 am

    A breakfast I love is squash porridge. I roast a butternut squash and then mash it with water and tons of yummy fall spices. I top it with toasted walnuts and an egg, but a non-egg option could be a few spoonfuls of almond butter for protein!

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