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Whole30 Nutrition Challenge Recap: Week 1

By January 10, 2016Food, Menu Planning, Paleo, Whole30


If you’ve done Whole30, or any kind of nutrition challenge, you know that Week 1 is largely spent “coming off” your normal routine. Even if you eat pretty healthy normally, it’s much like having a hangover that lasts a good 3-4 days.

This year, Neil is opting to do the strict challenge, while I opted to again do the hybrid, which is three added whole food items to the base Whole30. Whole30 is tough to do if you’re active and with a 4 day-a-week gym habit and the past few months being insanely productive, I just didn’t want to see any of my progress diminish. I chose rice, plain Greek yogurt, and string cheese. The string cheese is random, I know, but KK eats it quite often and I need a versatile and quick go-to food item.


For us, Week 1 came on a pretty busy week. We were having work done on the house (childproofing the upstairs railing so we can work up there), buying a new bed (upgrading to king), and oh yeah ALL OF MY COURSES WERE DUE AT WORK. Talk about the worst time to give up some of my go-to coping mechanisms.

But we survived.


We definitely were feeling hungry and deprived early in the week, especially doing the challenge test WODS, but after a grocery deli salad on Thursday and baked hot wings on Friday, I feel like we’re starting to turn the corner a bit on satiety and mood. A quick rundown of meals this week:


I think satiety (full or satisfied after a meal) is one of the hardest things to achieve on Whole30. Over the past few years we’ve kind of tried different approaches to the challenge, and have come away with a pretty solid weekly plan that involves prepping and having food on hand to reheat, but also trying to insert some “special” meals/snacks in there that feel special or do the trick for curing the hangry:

  • We typically throw steaks and baked fries on the menu once a week. It’s super easy prep-wise, and a little salt goes a long way toward curbing the chocolate cravings
  • Smoked or baked hot wings with sparkling water — I might just eat this the rest of the challenge
  • Over-easy egg on home fries. Okay, over-easy egg on everything is good — pulled pork, salad, you name it
  • Apples or bananas with almond butter are heaven
  • Kale chips

I also feel like satiety comes from the experience of eating and enjoying a meal, which is why we’ve never been huge on container meals. We enjoy cooking and freshly prepared meals, but we also like convenience so we’re still re-adjusting to the Whole30 reality of prepping everything we eat.


All in all, although we grumble through some of the conveniences we’ve lost or the inability to kick our feet up with a beer, I will say that adjusting to Whole30 this round has been the easiest yet. I contribute it to the fact┬áthat we’ve really worked to maintain a good 80/20 balance.

What’s the hardest part of Week 1 for you?