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Recent Eats: My First Whole30 Days 17-20

I have less than 10 days left to go in my first Whole30 and it feels so good to have made it this far! Let’s get straight to the food and then I’ll catch you up on how I’ve been feeling!

DAY 17

Breakfast and lunch photos somehow mysteriously disappeared. I am blaming getting a new iPhone and iCloud backups. Breakfast was chia pudding (surprise!) and lunch was leftover chicken, broccoli and a bowl of carrot, sweet potato, butternut squash and ginger soup. I made a big pot of it (leaving out the greek yogurt, adding sweet potatoes to the mix) on Monday afternoon along with roasted beets, hard boiled eggs and baked sweet potatoes.


I teach until late on Monday nights and had nothing prepped in the crock pot so I whipped up some massaged kale salad when I got home from teaching. I did a caesar twist and massaged tuscan kale with lemon juice, kosher salt and olive oil and then topped it with tomatoes, cucumbers, kalamata olives, hardboiled egg and avocado. Dressed with a drizzle of Tessaemae’s Caesar dressing.


I still wanted a little something after dinner so I diced an apple and microwaved it with raisins, cinnamon and a dab of ghee. My grandmother used to always make me microwaved baked apples but she’d put red hots in them!

DAY 18


Loved this breakfast of a mashed baked sweet potato with banana, raisins, chia seeds and cinnamon in a nearly empty sunflower seed butter jar.


Soup and salad for lunch. Carrot, sweet potato, butternut and ginger soup and salad with arugula blend, turkey, beets, radishes, pistachios, avocado and a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic.


Dinner was a portobello stuffed with turkey Italian sausage that I had made fresh at Whole Foods from the meat guys and topped with tomato basil sauce. Green beans on the side.

DAY 19


I added pumpkin puree to the chia pudding base mix and it was a nice way to mix it up and add a little veggie into breakfast.


Had to repeat day 18’s lunch because it was just so good. I am officially obsessed with this soup…and with putting pistachios on my salad! This time I also added diced pear and hardboiled egg.


And dinner was one of my favorite meals ever…Ina Garten’s Perfect Roast Chicken. I roasted a locally raised, free-range chicken that I picked up at the farmers market and it was so wonderful. The skin got nice and crispy and I placed a big layer of root veggies under the chicken to roast. They were TO.DIE.FOR after spending 75 minutes cooking in the drippings from the chicken. I did a mix of parsnips, carrots, onion, rutabaga and turnips. It was my first time roasting rutabaga and we both agreed it was a do again!

DAY 20


Pumpkin chia pudding again.


Lunch was an amazing salad of arugula blend, avocados, turkey, pears, hardboiled eggs and pistachios. Unrelated…can you believe the difference in the coloring of the two photos above in dim/artificial light v. daylight. Craziness!


On day 20 I was traveling to Florida. My flight didn’t get in until after 9 p.m. but I held out on dinner until I got to my parent’s condo. I ate a bunch of snacks on the plane (dried fruit and nuts) and then had steak and sweet potato when I arrived.


  • Non-itchy. Let’s talk about the skin first…after experiencing no improvement in the condition of my eyes in the first 10ish days, I have noticed that in the last 5-7 days I have been 100% symptom free. I did have to use the steroid cream one time early in the program but not since. I’m not sure what to make of this quite yet but it’s a good thing and I’ll take it after the misery I’ve endured for the last two years. (And pray to the bread and cheese gods that I do NOT have a reaction when I re-introduce them!)
  • Determined. Getting to day 20 was a huge milestone for me. There is no way that I am giving up now after making it this far.
  • Alone. Almost everyone in the group who started has jumped ship or modified the program. I think there may be 2-3 of us left standing who are adhering to the program rules.
  • Supported. My fiance is still 100% on-board and my family is also being extremely supportive. I think it helps that my parents were with me for four days last week and again this week and see all of the things that I CAN eat and how much I am eating. (Because the #1 question I get when it comes up that I’m on this program is, “what can you eat!?“)
  • Well-rested. Sleep is good right now.
  • Comfortable in my own skin. Once again, I have to mention how good I feel on Whole30 in regards to digestion and bloating. I have never felt bloated or uncomfortable after a meal since starting the program.
  • Free. I really don’t feel restricted by Whole30. I focus on all the foods that I can eat and I don’t even think about calories, what I can’t eat or how much I am eating. I eat when I’m hungry and I’m still focusing on getting plenty of good fats in. A few tablespoons of oil, half and avocado, nuts and a few tablespoons of nut butter are pretty par for the course on any given day.
  • Creative! While breakfast has been a little on the boring side (but you guys know I am a creature of habit when it comes to breakfast!), I have yet to repeat a dinner and lunches have been pretty killer as well!

Whole30ers…how’s it going? 

What are your favorite creative salad toppings?

Favorite hearty winter soup? 

I’m Doing My First Whoel30
Recent Eats: My First Whole30 Days 1-4
Recent Eats: My First Whole30 Days 5-8
Recent Eats: My First Whole30 Days 9-12
Recent Eats: My First Whole30 Days 13-16 and Thoughts on a “Perfect” Whole30

{ 38 comments… add one }
  • Stephanie January 24, 2016, 9:27 am

    We make baked rutabaga “fries” and they are absolutely delicious!!! Try them!

    • Jen DeCurtins January 26, 2016, 3:09 pm

      Yum!! Thanks for the suggestion!

  • Winnie January 24, 2016, 9:41 am

    I’m still with you!

    • Jen DeCurtins January 24, 2016, 2:16 pm

      I think me, you and Virginia are the only hold outs!

  • Sara @ Oats & Rows January 24, 2016, 10:38 am

    Woohoo, you’re in the home stretch! My favorite hearty winter soup is a white bean, spinach, and tomato soup with oregano! Sooo yummy.

    • Jen DeCurtins January 26, 2016, 3:11 pm

      That sounds amazing!

  • Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine January 24, 2016, 2:12 pm

    MaraNatha is the BEST sunflower seed butter! I always have it in the fridge!
    I’m obsessing over putting raw chopped up kohlrabi and tons of chopped fresh parsley on my salads right now!

    • Jen DeCurtins January 26, 2016, 3:14 pm

      Sunflower butter has definitely been a staple on whole30! It’s perfect on apple slices for a snack.

  • Hilary January 24, 2016, 4:08 pm

    After reading through your experience and another blogger you guys have totally convinced me to try out the Whole 30 starting Feb 1!

    • Jen DeCurtins January 26, 2016, 3:16 pm

      I was surprised to see how many of my readers are also doing it! I hope all my posts about it will give you some inspiration for meals when you start! I also have a Pinterest board of whole30 meals that you can check out.

  • elizabeth January 24, 2016, 4:34 pm

    Do you normally have bloating/discomfort after meals?
    I have a very healthy diet/lifestyle, but do get belly bloating/gas from my diet. I think my digestion is super fast. The rumbling sometimes affects my sleep though. I try not to worry about it because I know I’m eating well, but would like a quiet stomach! I wouldn’t do the meat eaters version of whole 30, but I wonder if the veg version would help me?

  • Chrissie January 24, 2016, 6:26 pm

    Your food all looks so good! I have to admit, I’m kind of over the Whole30. It’s Day 21 for me…I agree that I’ve definitely increased the variety of my meals and haven’t repeated a meal since I started! But I’m getting to the point where I want food just because I know I can’t have it – not cravings, but I’ve always been one to want the things that I’ve been told I can’t have. I know that I could make it to Day 30 if I wanted to, but I’m not sure if I want to yet. I’ll give it this week and see how it goes. Congrats on making it to the homestretch!

    • Jen DeCurtins January 26, 2016, 3:18 pm

      You’re so close! If you can make it this week, then you’re almost done!

      • Chrissie January 27, 2016, 10:07 am

        Thanks!! I’ll probably end up sticking it out, just to say that I did. I think it has been good for me and definitely plan to try to keep eating in the same mindset – with some bread, wine, and cheese thrown in (if my body can handle them, of course!) but the restriction is getting to my head in a way that is probably against what the creators intended. Also – I love that you take the time to reply to as many comments as you can!

        • Jen DeCurtins January 27, 2016, 10:12 am

          Honor what is right for you. The number one most important thing with Whole30 is not promoting unhealthy psychological responses so if that’s happening to you BECAUSE of the program, this may not be the right time for you to do it.

          Interacting with you guys is what makes writing this blog worthwhile! <3

  • Natalie January 24, 2016, 7:10 pm

    Again, your meals look great and I am also loving the chia pudding! I just like it plain, though. My favorite treat or snack has been a honeycrisp apple with some cinnamon! I am just shocked how this has completely crushed any other sweet cravings!! Day 15 for us! And no cheats for us either!

    • Jen DeCurtins January 26, 2016, 3:19 pm

      I don’t know what I would do for breakfast without chia pudding. Congrats on being half way!

  • Nicole January 24, 2016, 8:08 pm

    I’m not sure how easy it will be to identify your problem food or foods once you reintroduce (I’ve never done Whole 30) but if you are having a hard time figuring out the problem you might want to try The Plan by Lyn-Genet Recitas. She shows you how to test out foods to really see how it is affecting you. She says sometimes there can be “healthy” foods that your body can’t handle so it could be one simple thing and hopefully not something big like bread and cheese. Just a suggestion. 🙂

    • Jen DeCurtins January 26, 2016, 3:22 pm

      Thanks! We’ll see how it goes. I’m hoping it’s not something big!

  • Sarah January 25, 2016, 7:30 am

    Am loving your posts! I did a Whole30 earlier this year and can identify with some of the challenges. I’ll be curious to hear about how reintroducing certain foods goes, oats in particular. From following your blog for a while I know we share a love of a good bowl of oatmeal, I’ve reintroduced it but am starting to see some of the issues creep back into my life. I’ve decided dairy probably isn’t for me in any shape or form but hope oats are not the culprit for some of the other little things. Best wishes rocking out with the last leg of your Whole30!

    • Jen DeCurtins January 26, 2016, 3:23 pm

      Thanks! I hope so too! I definitely miss it.

  • She Rocks Fitness January 25, 2016, 8:04 am

    LOOKS delicious! I am glad that you are doing well on the Whole 30 and that you are finding good results for your skin, body, and overall health. Love following you on this Whole30. Happy Monday! XOXO

    • Jen DeCurtins January 26, 2016, 3:24 pm

      Thank you!! I hope you’re having a great week!

  • Kira January 25, 2016, 11:47 am

    I’m still with you! These last few snow days were pretty tough because I really wanted comfort carbs – pancakes, grilled cheese sandwiches, etc – and some wine. But I thought about the trade-off of 20+ days of eating so well and not throwing it away just because the weather was nasty. Plus it gave me a lot of time to meal prep, and my husband and I drank a LOT of hot tea.

    • Jen DeCurtins January 26, 2016, 3:26 pm

      Good for you! I missed the snow days in Charlotte, but it’s definitely hard when you’re out of town too. We’re almost there!

  • Courtney F January 25, 2016, 12:06 pm

    GO JEN, you are in the home stretch. Looking at the Whole30 is positive outlook vs negative: what you can eat vs what you can’t! It makes all the difference and it totally affects the outcome and whether a person sticks with it! So proud of you and the fiancé, and I’ve loved following your posts!

    • Jen DeCurtins January 26, 2016, 3:30 pm

      Thanks! I completely agree. Everyone asks me what I can eat, and it really doesn’t feel restrictive if you have a little time to put into meal planning and prep.

  • Teri | a foodie stays fit January 25, 2016, 12:33 pm

    I’m SO happy your eye has been better!!! Mine has been a lot better lately too…but I think mine may be an egg allergy. GAH!

    So impressed with your Whole 30 recap! You’re inspiring me to try it someday!


    • Jen DeCurtins January 26, 2016, 3:33 pm

      Oh no! I’m glad it’s better at least. I hope you get it figured out!

  • Lizz January 25, 2016, 12:43 pm

    I’m on Day 22 and feeling great! I found the first week hardest (obviously), but was surprised that a lot of the struggle came from feeling the need to try special Whole30 recipes. Now I just focus on the ingredients and make what sounds good. Ex: roasted broccoli, sweet potato rounds, & eggs instead of a compliant casserole or frittata, etc. It’s so much easier for me that way!
    And my favorite soup lately is Angela’s (from Oh She Glows) Creamy Roasted Tomato, Garlic, & Onion Coconut Soup

    • Jen DeCurtins January 26, 2016, 3:34 pm

      Yum!! Thanks for sharing!

  • Cassie January 25, 2016, 1:26 pm

    I once criticized the Whole30 for being so boring and restrictive, but now I see that you can do so much! I still wouldn’t try it, but I do love the recipes!

    • Jen DeCurtins January 26, 2016, 3:35 pm

      It takes a little planning to keep it from getting boring, but it’s definitely doable!

  • DeeDee January 25, 2016, 1:59 pm

    It’s now Day 25 and it seems to have flown by so fast. I’m feeling great. My only RL friend who was doing it with me has been going off the program constantly so I’m really enjoying reading your posts about it. It’s nice to see someone else sticking with it and being creative with their meals.

    • Jen DeCurtins January 26, 2016, 3:36 pm

      I’m happy to hear you’re feeling good! We’re almost there!

  • erin February 22, 2016, 7:17 pm

    That roast chicken looks to. die. for!!! Gotta love Ina!

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