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Recent Eats: My First Whole30 Days 9-12

A full recap of days 9-12 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 Weekend!

I’m popping in with a Whole30 update. I’m officially at the halfway mark today…Day 15!!!!! Whole30 has been wonderful to me so far but I am excited to be entering the countdown phase (and I’m sure some of you are ready for more regularly scheduled content and not all Whole30, all the time. Ha.)

Today I have a recap of days 9-12. I have to admit that these days were the hardest so far. On day 9 I hit a bit of a slump which I’ll get into more in a little bit and then on day 12 I had to travel to West Virginia and food options were limited. I’ll talk more about that later in the post too.

Let’s get to it!


Whole30 Approved Chia Pudding

Sorry to say you’ll be seeing more chia pudding in this post as it’s really all I can get excited about for breakfast on Whole30. I packed this to eat after practice on our first yoga teacher training weekend.

Whole30 approved sweet potato, mushrooms, spinach and fried egg with salsa and guacamole.

I redeemed myself a little with lunch. Sauteed sweet potatoes, spinach and mushrooms with a fried egg, salsa and guacamole.

Whole30 approved burger in a kale wrap with avocado and caramelized onions and roasted carrots, brussels and turnips.

And dinner was a burger topped with caramelized onions and mustard and served over avocado in a kale leaf. Roasted brussels, turnips and carrots on the side. I am a ketchup or aioli girl when it comes to burgers and I seriously missed that here! The plan was to make homemade mayo but then I discovered that I didn’t have the right kind of oil for it (you need “light tasting” not extra virgin olive oil) so I just went with mustard. The burgers still turned out well.

Day 9 was a little difficult for me in the whole food and emotions category. On Sunday night I was coming off of a long teacher training weekend (they are always both mentally/emotionally draining + crazy wonderful all at the same time) + receiving the new about my family member. When I got home I was definitely kind of taking my frustration out on Whole30 and really wishing for a glass of wine (and some ketchup!). Instead I took a hot bath, poured a kombucha and enjoyed dinner. I felt totally relaxed after. So that was a win for Whole30.

DAY 10

Whole30 Approved Chia Pudding

Another day, another bowl of chia pudding.

Whoel30 Approved Crockpot Beef Stew

Lunch was leftover beef stew from the crockpot. Really hearty and filling.


Snack was apple and almond butter.

And then I lost steam. It was Monday night and I didn’t get home from teaching until almost 9 p.m. with nothing planned for dinner. Where I would usually throw something together like a flat bread, quinoa bowl or cheese and crackers in this instance, I instead skipped dinner. I had ZERO desire to eat another egg or sweet potato and zero desire to spend the next hour cooking something. Y’all know that I am not a meal skipper so this was a little weird for me. I told you these were the hardest days yet!

DAY 11

Whole30 Approved Chia Pudding

I got back in my groove on day 11. (Side note: adding unsweetened shredded coconut + cacao nibs to my chia pudding = more awesome. Love the crunch of the cacao nibs!)

Whole30 approved salad with spinach, arugula, cucumbers, tomatoes, avocado, pine nuts and smoked salmon.

Lunch was a salad with spinach, arugula blend, radishes, pine nuts, smoked salmon, avocado, cucumbers and tomatoes. Balsamic and olive oil to dress. I had just returned home from Trader Joe’s and had a whole fridge full of fresh ingredients to create from!

Whole30 approved dinner of bone-in pork chops with mashed sweet potatoes and braised red cabbage and apples.

I made this amazing dinner for my parents! Bone-in pork chops, mashed sweet potatoes and braised red cabbage and apples. We all raved about it! Braised red cabbage is one of my favorite veggie sides ever.

DAY 12

Whole30 Approved Chia Pudding

Breakfast after training clients and working out before hitting the road to WV.


Between the time I left Charlotte and ate this apple with almond butter at 3:30 p.m. I also had: dried apricots, dried apples, plantain chips, freeze-dried bananas, ham and collard greens. Random day of eating on the road.

Whole30 approved dinner at Texas Steakhouse. Salmon, sweet potato and asparagus with clarified butter.

We had a family dinner at Texas Steakhouse after the services. There were 26 of us! This was definitely an instance where being on Whole30 made me feel kind of self-conscious. I didn’t really want to talk about it or bring attention to “what I couldn’t eat” because really…in the whole scheme of things this is a very “first world” type of problem to have. If it came down to it, I would have survived had I needed to eat off-program. I felt weird ordering salmon, sweet potato and asparagus and asking the waitress to leave all sauces and toppings off. I did ask for clarified butter on the side and drizzled it on my salmon and sweet potato. I was desperately in need of a good meal after piecing together lunch and skipping dinner the night before.


  • Physically, 100% great but as I shared in this post this was the most emotionally difficult period of Whole30 yet.
  • I definitely experienced my first real cravings for things off-program during days 9-12, especially a glass of wine!
  • Sleep has been both good and bad. It’s still hard for me to wind down at night and most nights I haven’t gone lights out until 11:30 or midnight but I am sleeping through the night more consistently which is HUGE for me. I wake up every.single.night around 3-4 a.m.
  • My appetite has definitely leveled off. I do snack on-program which isn’t really encouraged but I don’t do it mindlessly.
  • I had to use the steroid cream on my eyes again because they got really itchy. No flaking but they were very itchy coming off the weekend. I only used it one time and they have been okay since.
  • I had a rough patch with my skin during my cycle with a lot of breakouts but that is also clearing quickly. I would also like to take a moment to share that several others commented experiencing reduced severity with cramps on Whole30. Definitely a great benefit!
  • Digestion still all good. All pants fitting super well (even those that I usually have to do some squats in to loosen up before wearing!). I don’t think I’ve lost any weight on the scale (you’re not supposed to weigh yourself) but clothes are fitting better and I still feel overall less puffy and bloated. I felt all sorts of ick after the holidays.
  • I also feel proud of myself for sticking with this. I have to comment that the accountability of sharing online and partnering with friends has been HUGE for me. In my weak moments it’s definitely a huge motivating factor!

What do you eat when you don’t feel like eating anything?  Any go-to “desperation dinners?”

Fellow Whole30ers…how’s it going?

Fellow Whole30ers…how do you deal with travel? 

More Whole30:

I’m Doing My First Whoel30
Recent Eats: My First Whole30 Days 1-4
Recent Eats: My First Whole30 Days 5-8

{ 27 comments… add one }
  • Jacklyn @ Jack's Balancing Act January 16, 2016, 8:23 am

    I’m really sorry to hear that your family is going through a tough time. That hits close to home right now because December included a very tragic event for my family but one good thing that came out of it was how very TOGETHER everyone was. Glad to hear that it sounds like the same is the case for you guys. Also, thanks for sharing these recaps in such detail. As a dietitian-to-be who’s never tried Whole30, I have been so appreciating seeing how you’re rocking it!!

    • Jen DeCurtins January 17, 2016, 10:15 am

      I’m sorry to hear that. I hope you and your family are doing okay. Thank you!!

  • Mary Ann January 16, 2016, 8:35 am

    So sorry for the loss in your family. Reading about your doing the Whole 30 has encouraged me to take a look at my daily eats. It wasn’t good, so I am eating chia pudding for breakfast with you! It has been a life saver since smoothies are off limits for a while. I love the afternoon snack of apples with nut butters and I am experimenting with creating my own. The best has been raw pecan/cashew nut butter. It was great! Thank you for posting your meals…they are inspiring and encouraging to recreate them for myself.

    • Jen DeCurtins January 17, 2016, 10:16 am

      That nut butter sounds amazing!

  • meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles January 16, 2016, 9:06 am

    I am really impressed you are doing so well! I wouldn’t be able to give up oatmeal for 30 days! My go-to dinners when I don’t feel like cooking are quick and easy stir frys with frozen veggies, chick peas and brown rice ( I buy the trader joe’s frozen bags), baked sweet potatoes with veggies and cheese or, on a really rare don’t feel like dinner occasion, a bowl of oatmeal or an apple with peanut butter.

    • Jen DeCurtins January 17, 2016, 10:18 am

      It definitely takes more planning! It’s been a little hard to get used to not having oatmeal or smoothies for breakfast.

  • Emily @ My Healthyish Life January 16, 2016, 9:09 am

    So sorry about the loss in your family. One of the reasons I waited until after my vacation/holiday travel to start Whole30 was to prevent dealing with packing food and unexpected dinners out. I don’t like the idea of being so strict in that sense but it’s only for 30 days (I totally feel like it’s a “first world problem.”) I’ve been snacking on the program too…fruit and almond/cashew butter every day. But it’s been more mindful than ever.

    • Jen DeCurtins January 17, 2016, 10:26 am

      It was a good reset after the holidays! I completely agree about the mindfulness.

  • Ashley @ A Lady Goes West January 16, 2016, 11:47 am

    I so look forward to pictures of your meals! Stay strong, Jen! You’re doing awesome! And clearly I need to try chia pudding. 🙂

    • Jen DeCurtins January 17, 2016, 10:27 am

      Thank you!!

  • Elisse January 16, 2016, 11:50 am

    I’m sorry for your loss. For the Whole 30, you are doing awesome! I’m super inspired by all your meals and I’m not even doing the program (although I am doing my own sort plan with no alcohol, dairy, gluten, processed sugar). I hope you will share how you make the braised red cabbage!

    • Jen DeCurtins January 17, 2016, 9:08 pm

      Thank you, Elisse.

      Sounds like you’re on a similar eating path. How are you feeling?

      For the cabbage I just cut it into shreds and sauteed it with thinly sliced red onion and apples. I added some balsamic vinegar and chicken broth to the pan. It took it about 30-45 minutes to really cook and get tender. Seasoned with salt and pepper.

  • Kimberly W. January 16, 2016, 12:52 pm

    I am one who doesn’t get sick of your food posts! I’m always interested in changing up my meals so I turn to bloggers like you for inspiration. I’ve thought about the Whole30 program, but there are some things that I don’t know if I could give up – oatmeal and sweets to be exact! I admire you for staying strong through these tough times.

    • Jen DeCurtins January 17, 2016, 10:28 am

      Haha those are two of the hardest to give up for me too. Thanks!

  • Michelle January 16, 2016, 4:35 pm

    i had a stressful week also and totally craved red wine, which isn’t even my usual go-to adult beverage. I drink a lot of tea and kombucha (and am trying like mad to find kombucha on tap somewhere so I can keep a growler in the fridge instead of paying more than 3.50 a pop). The homemade Whole30 ketchup is delicious — you should try it. We keep a jar of it in the fridge for potatoes and burgers.

    • Jen DeCurtins January 17, 2016, 10:37 am

      I definitely miss red wine, but I love waking up feeling really good in the morning!

  • Annie B January 16, 2016, 7:34 pm

    I love these posts! Please keep sharing 🙂
    I had a week of travel on the second week of my whole30 this month. It was tough!! I was in Las Vegas with very limited options, but I was able to get by on omelettes, Chipotle salads, fruit, larabars, and fresh veggie juices.

    • Jen DeCurtins January 17, 2016, 10:39 am

      It’s certainly not east when you’re traveling. I’ll keep sharing for sure!

  • Chrissie January 17, 2016, 11:14 am

    I didn’t get the message that you aren’t supposed to use extra virgin olive oil to make mayo…it was definitely pungent and I had to mix it with mustard to be able to eat it! But I’ll definitely try it again with a different oil. Today is day 14 for me, and yesterday was by far the most difficult – we had a friend’s daughter’s 3rd birthday party to go to and the only compliant food was fruit. Luckily I’d brought some nuts to snack on! We went out for dinner after and I was super self-conscious also – the group wanted appetizers and ended up not getting any because I “couldn’t” eat them…they were being nice about it, but still! Like you, I am ready to be in countdown mode. Way to go for sticking with it, especially with traveling!

    • Jen DeCurtins January 17, 2016, 9:04 pm

      Oh no! I bough the light tasting oil today so I’ll let y’all know how that goes.

      Gosh, I hear you on the parties/social stuff. Whole30 seems pretty doable until you’re surrounded by tons of non-compliant food! And I so hear you on the restaurant/friend setting.

      Keep it up! You’re halfway done!

  • Kristen January 17, 2016, 2:08 pm

    Hi! My friend Natalie shared your site with me because I am currently doing whole30 as well! So glad I found you! I love hearing your meal recaps and getting more inspirations for the kitchen. And it’s definitely encouraging to hear about how you’re feeling. I’m impressed with the fact that you are training clients and doing this- that takes a lot of discipline and endurance! I did want to mention to you that I went ahead and made the “mayo” from the whole30 cook book with extra virgin olive oil (even though the recommend lighter oil), and it tasted great to me. Perhaps there is a smoother taste with the light version, but I didn’t know any better and the mayo I made was great! I added it all week long to my protein at lunch, and usually added an extra squeeze of lemon juice or a few other herbs chopped up in it. Just a little tip! Best of luck to you! I’m on day 7 and FEELING it. Xox

    • Jen DeCurtins January 17, 2016, 9:03 pm

      Hi Kristen – THANK YOU so much for stopping by and reading my blog. It’s so nice to connect with other people going through the experience…it’s tough!

      Luckily, when I train clients I get to stand there and tell them what to do (haha) and not physically workout with them. Same with yoga, I walk around and assist but don’t do the practice with my students.

      Thanks for the heads up on the mayo. I did by the light tasting today so I’ll try it both ways!

      I’ll be posting days 13-16 tomorrow!

      Have a great week.

  • Lauren January 17, 2016, 6:48 pm

    Sorry to hear you had some rough times in these days, it just shows we are human! I am proud you made it through though, that is awesome. I had a rough day yesterday where I was super emotional (thank you ladies time) and I wanted to eat all the sweet stuff. I managed to get past it only having a date and nut butter but man the connection between emotions and food is amazing!! I hope the rest of the Whole 30 goes more smoothly for us 🙂

    • Jen DeCurtins January 17, 2016, 9:00 pm

      I hear you on “getting by” with a date and nut butter! It’s been a life saver for me too. It is eye opening to see how much we tie food to our emotions…and nice to be able to find a different way to deal. I hope you feel better!

  • Natalie January 17, 2016, 8:50 pm

    Jen, I just want to echo the big thank you for posting your meals while you Whole30!! We are on day 8 and it has been so helpful to have more meal ideas! Also, I love how you are so honest with your emotions during the 30 days. Truly appreciated!

    • Jen DeCurtins January 17, 2016, 8:56 pm

      Hey Natalie – thanks so much for taking a moment to comment and I’m so happy to hear it’s been beneficial for you! I’ll have another recap post up tomorrow for days 13-16!

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