I’m halfway through the Whole30. A few questions have been asked about my experience so far, but I’m going to wait and do a full recap at the 30-day mark.
There are two things that stand out: one good, one not so good.
First, the bad: So far, I don’t feel like I’ve noticed a discernible difference in my mood and energy level. It’s still pretty consistent. I’ll have a day or two at a time where my mood is good, meaning I don’t get easily annoyed and I’m much more talkative. Then the tide will shift and I’m super fatigued and super quiet. On those days, it’s much more of an effort to carry on a conversation.
The good: Yesterday I stepped on the scale. I’m not actually supposed to do that, per the rules of the Whole30, but like I told Paul, if I was going to cheat on a rule at least I didn’t go off and eat a biscuit or something. Stepping on a scale isn’t going to halt any progress I’ve made.
I’ve lost four pounds. Four pounds in two weeks.
I knew I’d lost weight because the pants I wear to work are slipping lower on my hips and making my butt look baggy (I hate that). A few years ago I accidentally purchased a pair of black pants that were too small, and I was able to wear them this week for the first time (I was too lazy to take them back when I noticed they were the wrong size — I held onto them because it was my goal to be at a lower weight and I figured I’d be able to wear them one day).
The weight loss is a little bittersweet because in all honesty, it wasn’t my biggest motivation for starting this eating plan. I didn’t mention my weight at all when I talked about why I was starting the Whole30.
I’m not unhappy with the weight loss; I just wish I was noticing more of a difference in my mood and energy as well. I hit a certain number on the scale a few years ago and I’ve pretty much stayed there, give or take a few pounds, despite efforts to lose it. I feel more confident about my body right now. Another 3-4 pounds or so and I’ll be able to fit into my favorite jeans that I haven’t been able to wear since 2009.
I left the house around 830am because I wanted to run errands before the large crowds and heat descended on the day. I stopped at Target first, then hit the grocery store to purchase a bunch of meat, veggies, and eggs (with some milk and flavored Greek yogurt thrown in for Paul).
When I returned home, Paul helped me carry some of the bags upstairs, washed our breakfast dishes, and unloaded the dishwasher before he left to play softball with friends. (He coaches a team that plays almost every Sunday during the spring and summer. Sometimes I go with him, while other times — like today — I stay behind to take care of other things.)
I found a recipe for beef stew I wanted to make for dinner, so I spent some time chopping onions and carrots, then cut the beef stew meat into small pieces (removing as much visible fat as I could find) before dumping everything in the CrockPot.
I also cut up a head of cabbage for braising, washed and chopped broccoli, zucchini, and squash, then put all the pieces in the fridge to eat later in the week.
Breakfast: Two scrambled eggs with sauerkraut
Lunch: Pulled pork with braised cabbage
Dinner: I used this recipe for my beef stew inspiration, but I changed the quantities and some of the ingredients, so I’m copying my version below. I made a large portion because I found 4 lbs of beef on sale today, but it could easily be cut in half.
Verdict? SO good. Much better than my first attempt at beef stew a few months ago. This version is much more hearty and flavorful.
Awesome Beef Stew
- 6 cups kale or other greens, washed & chopped (I used pre-washed, pre-chopped kale)
- 4 lbs beef stew meat (or a chuck roast or rump, cut into bite-size pieces), trimmed of visible fat
- 2 6-oz cans tomato paste
- 12 cloves of garlic, peeled and diced
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 4 Tbsp coconut aminos
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4-6 small carrots, chopped into rounds
- 5-6 cups broth (I used homemade chicken stock)
- 1 8-oz package mushrooms
Put the kale into the bottom of the slow cooker (I used a 6-qt) and cover with the beef chunks. Spoon tomato paste on top of beef, then add the rest of the ingredients (mushrooms should be on top since they don’t require a lot of cooking time).
Cook on low for 7-9 hours (mine was fully cooked in 7).