Hope’s Breakfast Nook:
We did it! Tuesday marked day THIRTY of Whole30. WOOOHOO!
We weren’t going to do a post about it at all, but after so many questions over the last 30 days it just seems silly not to write at least a reflective post. For the best recipe ideas, shopping lists, and meal planning ideas, we’ll continue sending you to our friend Mallory’s Whole30 Survival Guide. I promise she has you covered with everything you might need form recipes to gadgets to a week by week breakdown.
What was the best part of doing Whole30?
Elise: Learning how good it feels to eat clean, non-irritating foods 100% of the time. Full disclosure, I cut the 30 days a bit short and wrapped things up on Day 28 before my glucose test. So technically I did Whole28. And the day after I stopped, I woke up and my stomach felt completely different in all the wrong ways. I started day 29 with a Whole30 breakfast and have kept that up since. The treats I’ve eaten since the program have been in the evening, and I have 100% noticed waking up in the morning with a stomach ache. That curbs me right back to the Whole30 stuff really quickly! Even though I’ve been off the program a few more days than Hope, I feel like we’re both pretty much keeping up with Whole30 habits, just in a less restrictive way. Clearly it had an effect on us and taught us a lot!
Hope: I would be lying if I didn’t say losing weight! But, also, I feel so healthy. No bloat. Better skin. My overall digestion has been excellent. I really feel SO good. I don’t want to go back to feeling icky and bloated again! Spyros agrees. We are committed to a lifestyle change in terms of clean eating, but, we also aren’t going to be “those people” who deny cake at a birthday party…and…we miss our cocktails! It’s been great for us to put our eating habits and overall health in perspective – the results are real and we are not going back to old ways, yet, we will be realistic and “treat ourselves” when we want to…in moderation.
What was the worst/hardest part?
Elise: It’s funny because the whole time I said I missed peanut butter banana toast in the morning, yet since I’ve stopped the program, I haven’t even had that in the morning yet! Ha — go figure. The black coffee was hard for me (I am a cream and stevia kinda girl) until I discovered TJ’s Organic Coconut Cream. I LOVE THAT STUFF. Haven’t bought half and half or added sugar to my coffee since! I’m sure I’ll treat myself to half and half in my Starbucks when I venture that way, but from now on, coffee from home is made with coconut cream and no added sugar. Period!
Hope: The Whole30 is strict. There were a lot of times I was frustrated with NOT feeling confident in going out to eat because it’s harder to know what is in your food, so we didn’t really go out – and that wasn’t super fun. Also, I feel like I was constantly cooking or doing dishes. Our diswasher has been running on repeat. Thankfully, I like to cook, but some nights when I wasn’t feeling it – I had to just go through and cook anyway. In the past, I would have gone to Postmates for a fairly unhealthy meal in comparison! It was also “hard” to to admit to myself that a lot of my said “cravings” were really just bad habits. I don’t need to have a cookie or some sort of dessert after meals to satisfy my sweet tooth. Also, just because I am “bored” doesn’t mean I need a snack. Thankfully, larabars and apples have become that sweet tooth satisfaction for me! I will not let myself go back to an unhealthy relationship with food. Birthdays, special occasions, holidays, date nights = yes, it’s okay to “splurge” but not all.the.time. Moderation is KEY. Spyros would say the hardest part was NOT having a beer or cocktail on the weekends. He also missed cheese and his creamer/sugar in coffee!
Did y’all go out to eat at all during the 30 days?
Elise: Chop’t. They have Whole30 dressing options. We go to MayoBird and Sunflour Bakery a lot with our mom for our Mimi Mondays, and we REALLY missed going to those two favorite places of ours. I’m sure next Monday we will happily trot to Sunflour to indulge in our beloved TAB sandwiches — so good. Other than that…we went to the club with our dad and only ate from the salad bar or got a steak that was not cooked in butter. Very limited options. So, yeah, not a lot of eating out at all.
Hope: Spyros and I did not go on a date night or order in for the most part – which was hard! The times that we were in a pinch and needed food fast we did chipotle (carnitas, pico, guac, lettuce) with Trader Joe’s plantain chips or ordered salads from Namastay Kitchen (they have vegan ranch made with coconut milk and no added sugar). We just asked for no cheese/bacon if it came on a salad! Elise covered ladies lunch with our mom above :). I am sick of our ladies lunch options. Like on another level sick of them, ha! I am SO ready to have a turkey sandwich again. Spyros went out to work dinners/lunches/breakfasts quite a bit during the Whole30. He would usually eat breakfast at home and stick to black coffee for a breakfast meeting, and for lunch he would do some sort of salad or meat/veggies/potatoes and specify nothing cooked in butter and would request it be cooked in olive oil. He then would announce to the table, “it’s my wife, she has us on this crazy diet thing.” Thanks boo!
What was your favorite breakfast?
Elise: Being pregnant, I couldn’t stomach plain eggs in the morning unless they were from my grandparents’ farm (because those seriously taste different and so much better). SO my FAVORITE was egg porridge (sounds gross but I loved it) and my self-created “Whole30 cereal” which equals 1 sliced banana + walnut pieces + 1 spoon almond butter + coconut milk + sometimes berries.
Hope: Scrambled eggs topped with pico de gallo and two slices of Whole30 approved bacon! Had this on repeat. Sometimes we did over medium eggs. We eat a lot of eggs in our house.
What was your favorite lunch?
Elise: Salad. I basically ate a salad for lunch everyday with chicken/ground beef, avocado, and anything else on hand. I either used salsa for dressing (I love a good taco salad) or used olive oil and balsamic. I really did not miss other dressings at all!
Hope: I loved the TJ’s chicken limi chile burgers topped with guac, pico, and Whole Food’s pineapple salsa and a little bit of TJ’s salsa verde…with a side of plantain chips and if I was still hungry, an apple! I also loved leftover taco meat (ground beef or ground turkey) sautéed with peppers over crumbled plantain chips! I would put guac and pico on top and mix it all up. I think I’ve eaten more mexican inspired meals and pico de gallo in the past 30 days than ever in my life. The flavors and spice were amazing/filling. Spyros ate a lot of salads – chicken, no cheese, avocado, almonds, and I would either make him Whole30 balsamic vinaigrette or he would just do olive oil + vinegar.
What was your favorite dinner?
Elise: Loaded sweet potato!!! (Mark loved this too). 1-2 sweet potatoes (depending on size) seasoned with cumin, top with ground beef (seasoned with tumeric + curry powder), avocado, and salsa verde. SO GOOD. Flavor explosion. I think I made this up one day when I was ravenous from poor time management and threw something together for lunch at 2pm. Then had it on repeat after. I made my sweet potatoes in bulk and had them handy in the fridge to pop in the microwave and eat! I looooove sweet potatoes! I also loved a good burger but only when Spyros makes it — so only had that one night!
Hope: Egg roll in a bowl and our “cook out” meal: grilled burgers seasoned to perfection by Spyros with a side of roasted okra + roasted sweet or russet potatoes (both seasoned with avocado oil, s+p, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika).
What was your favorite snack?
Elise: Almonds, but that was a go to snack of mine before Whole30 anyway. I just think they’re so good and always are good at filling you up/curbing cravings.
Hope: I really didn’t snack all that often, which is CRAZY! But, when I did I had: a handful of almonds, or an apple + almond butter, or plantain chips with tahini, or a larabar or RX bar. If I felt super hungry – I would snack. If I felt “bored” I would reach for a la croix or glass of lemon water before eating!
What is something new that you tried that you will keep eating?
Elise: Coconut cream in my coffee in lieu of half & half + stevia, that amazing sweet potato dinner, and all of my breakfast things (Whole30 cereal, egg porridge). Also, never have I ever bought dates and kept them in the fridge until Whole30. They were a great “dessert,” and only one does the trick! Yum! Who knew?
Hope: Egg roll in a bowl! Obsessed. Cooking with avocado oil, ghee, having more almonds and fresh fruit and larabars on hand, plantain chips over other chips, etc. I’m seriously going to keep eating like this almost all of the time when it’s up to me to feed my little fam! I’m especially going to keep getting my favorite Whole30 items from Trader Joe’s! I’ve taken photos of some of them below!
What did you miss the most?
Elise: The whole time I said toast and/or cereal for breakfast and I still haven’t had either of those yet, so I’m calling my own bluff on that. And what Hope is saying…flexibility.
Hope: Flexibility!! It’s so strict with random things that you’re like “oh wait, I don’t think I can have that…” and food wise I missed having a quick breakfast of toast or an organic toaster waffle with peanut butter + honey – boring, but true! And like Elise, I still haven’t had that yet…so interesting! Also, I missed having vanilla almond milk in my hot tea. But, surprisingly, I’m onto drinking the unsweetened vanilla almond milk with NO stevia in the mornings and not hating it ;)!
Well, what about the results?!? What happened to your bodies?
Elise: Obviously being 7 months pregnant, I was excited to NOT do this for weightloss and instead just do it to learn more about food and my relationship with it and because–let’s be real–I had to jump on the bandwagon when Hope decided to do it because I wanted her to research, read, and teach me everything. I just followed her lead without doing the legwork myself soooo, thanks sissy!! Anyway! With a different perspective in mind since I’m clearly on track to keep gaining weight bc..uhh..BABY, I did go to the doc yesterday for my checkup and hadn’t gained anything so?!
Hope: Well. I lost 14 pounds! YUP. FOURTEEN. I feel amazing. I am actually just a few pounds lighter than I was when I surprisingly got pregnant with Evie! I feel like I am getting my body and mind back to a healthy state of happiness. I have said goodbye to bloat and I did it all in 30 days with minimal workouts. On day 2 of the Whole30 I did an intense workout and had the migraine from hell which scarred me deeply, ha, so I stuck to a lot of long neighborhood walks and at home workouts during naptime. I am still nursing, so I am hoping that I will continue to drop some more pounds once Evie is completely weaned in the next few weeks! It truly feels wonderful in mind and body to have some confidence back! Jeans button with ease and I just feel really, really healthy. The Whole30 is real, y’all! I’m a believer!
What about your husbands?
Elise: My hubby enjoyed every minute of not participating. He didn’t even consider it after I told him his protein shakes + alcohol didn’t make the cut for the program. 😉 I will say that Spyros held so strong and even when he and Mark went out for drinks after work last weekend, SSS sipped on unsweet tea while Mark had a few beers. Go Spicy (as Nancy calls him)!
Hope: Spyros lost 17 pounds! In my opinion, he didn’t have 17 pounds to lose! He looks great and he feels great. No bloat. Pants fit great. Belts are definitely needed. We are both determined to keep this weight off (and maybe shed a few more) but we aren’t going to be overtly strict and turn into Whole60-ers. We’re planning to eat Whole30 a majority of our meals and enjoy weekends/events/etc. Yay! We did it!