Heyo! Well, I’ve got one more week of whole30 under my belt and I’m so, so, SO excited to report that week 3 was much better than week 2. And thank goodness because I’m no sure I would have made it through another one of those.
Just to be clear though, I would still eat a piece of chocolate if I could. That desire hasn’t gone away completely. I just don’t feel like I’m going to poke my eyeballs out if I don’t have some. So I’m considering it a win.
Overall, week three has been pretty uneventful. The biggest challenges I faced were (1) a girls night out (2) a work lunch and (3) an impromptu overnight trip. All of these events included eating out away from the comfort of my own cooking (and ingredient scrutinizing). Some of them also included turning my head to copious amounts of alcohol, french fries, chocolate dessert and maybe some nachos (uh hem, you know who you are). All in all I faired pretty well. My biggest complaint is that I found I just couldn’t eat enough at a restaurant and I usually hungry before my next meal (or went to bed hungry). So looking back, here are my biggest tips for eating out and traveling on Whole30:
- Research the menu. Look up the menu online and research your options. Note a few entrées that you think could work and list any questions you have (are the nuts on the salad raw? What oil is the chicken cooked in? etc.). Plus, you’ll feel better having scoured the menu and knowing what options there really are for you.
- Contact the Restaurant. I found it easiest to email the restaurant with those questions. That way you usually get an owner responding that will actually take the time to find out. I worry about waiters just trying to hurry you along in the moment and not really knowing the answer to your question. This worked really well for our girls night out. We were going to a small local tapas place and I actually got a response from the owner who consulted the chef. Since tapas are usually made to order it was fairly simple to find quite a few options here. And she even offered up a few I had overlooked on the menu. I tried the same approach for my work lunch and never heard back – and I think it’s because it was more of a chain restaurant. I ended up having to ask all of my questions to the waiter on-the-spot.
- Make a list. As nerdy as this sounds – I actually wrote everything down (my entre’ choices, items that had to be omitted, and any outstanding questions I had) and brought it with me. I felt like a complete idiot. But hey….it’s not worth screwing up my whole 30 days for 1 stupid meal. So it’s worth it.
- Questionable Ingredients. If you are in doubt of an ingredient, just ask them to leave it off or remove it yourself. Again, not worth it!
- Go-To’s. Salads are usually a safe bet if you omit what you can’t have, and ask them to cook the protein (chicken or whatever) in plain olive oil on the side. You can bring your own compliant dressing or just use oil and vinegar.
- Bring extra food. I brought a Larabar to eat afterwards to get some extra fat if I didn’t feel full. I ended up eating it both times after my meal and I think it helped. Even though I was still hungry a few hours later.
- Pack Meals. Even though I was traveling to my parents house for the night and they eat even better than I do (no joke)….I still cooked my own dinner and breakfast and packed it along. I figured if I could eat what was there, I would. And if I couldn’t at least I knew I had enough compliant food to eat otherwise. I did end up eating most of my food, so I was glad I brought it. It really just took the stress out of having to try and figure it out.
And what to do when your travel destination is a concert at a Brewery? Well…you bottle up all of that feel-good energy you now have and dance your arse off. Plus get your friends home safe. PLUS you wake up feeling like a million bucks. It’s a win-win-win then, right?
About those late-night nachos though (and if I told you what time time I’m calling late-night you would laugh in my face)….I don’t really have any recommendations there. Although I can honestly say that it really wasn’t too much torture….I hadn’t been drinking so I wasn’t really hungry anyways…and my cravings are more for sweets than savory. So yeah. It all just kind of works itself out.
Bottom line: You CAN eat out on Whole30. You CAN travel. You CAN go to breweries and concerts and still have fun. I mean, look at how excited we all are in that pic? hahaha. All it takes is a little fore-thought and planning. I will say this though: I’m not sure I would have been as successful if all of this happened during week 1 (or 2 good lord), but week 3 was the perfect time for me to branch out and test myself.
Let’s talk about my symptom update.
- Headaches: No headaches. Zero. Zilch. Nada.
- Sleep: Sleep was…..fine. No tossing and turning. No waking up and not being able to go back to sleep (unless of course Abby wakes up. Then it’s game over). I was able to get back into my workout routine this week and I think that’s helped make me tired at night. Now I’m back to going to bed between 9 and 10. Thank goodness.
- Bianca (aka irritability) : Nope. Nothing here. In fact I found myself laughing a few times with Abby in instances where I know I would have been frustrated before. (Oh, you want to take your pants off while I’m driving the car? Ok. Oh, you’re going to slap momma in the face while I try and get your shoes on and p.s. we are sooooooo late right now?)
- Energy: My energy throughout this ordeal has been through the roof. No afternoon spikes and dips. I just feel “ON” all. day. long.
- Tummy troubles: Still no stomach issues.
I had some really good meals this week. Including a few surprise ones (I’m talking to you middle picture! You didn’t sound OR look good) that turned out (queue Oprah voice) ahhhhhhhhhhhh-mayyyyyy-ziiiiiiiing.
Here are my fav’s:
- Turkey Larb – (thanks Erin!). Say hello to my new favorite breakfast. I can hardly believe I’m saying that. But dude….I made this with elk and eat it in lettuce wraps and pair it with some zucchini soup. So good. I still think the name sounds gross, but this is so good.
- Chipotle Chicken Sweet Potato Skins – these were delicious. I made a bunch of them ahead of time to just reheat for a quick lunch or dinner. I couldn’t find chipotle in adobo sauce without to sugar to save my life, so I just used dried peppers.
- Pesto Spaghetti Squash – (thanks Judi!). This was surprisingly really really good. I’m so glad I tried it. I had to make my own compliant pesto, but that was easy and this was the perfect side.
- Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa. This was the perfect mix of sweet and spicy. And so nice to get some fish in the rotation!
Per usual – all of these recipes need adapting to be Whole30 compliant…but it’s usually fairly straight forward. And even ingredients that you think you’ll miss (like fish sauce in the larb, or cheese in the squash) you don’t even notice. These dishes hold their own!
And with that I’m in the home-stretch folks. One more week of Whole30 before I start re-introducing foods. Mama Mia…..buy me some eggs and almonds. Those are for sure the first two things I’m going to try. I need almond butter in my life. NEEEEEEEED IT. After that? I really don’t know. I definitely can’t reintroduce everything….I mean….then what’s the point of doing this? I feel good and I want to continue to feel good. So I really don’t know what my diet will look like 4 weeks from now. I’d like to think I’m doing a more relaxed version of Whole30 (you know, being ok with sugar in my fish sauce or bacon and having some beer). But I really don’t know. I have an appointment with my natruralpath this week so I’m sure she’ll have some advice and guidance for me.
For now, I’m just going to focus on making it through this last week which just happens to include the Hub’s birthday. I can totally handle that, right? Resisting the wood-fired pizza at the ski hill. Drinking water instead of beer during apres ski. Turning down the huckleberry cheesecake that I make from scratch (ok a piece of that might need to go in the freezer for me).