My Whole 30! Week 1

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Week 1 is in the Books!

Benefits Noted This Week

Noticed a boost in energy for sure, and my coffee/tea intake stayed level. I also felt better digestion overall this week; logically I am going to assume this is due to the elimination of dairy and/or legumes because this was the biggest area for elimination. It could also be some food combination which was not working as well, and I will certainly keep an eye on it.

Lets Talk About It-Quick Summary [Video]

What Went Well

Due to my preparation, the switch of mindset was relatively smooth. I was able to focus on my job, exercise, family time, and blog post notes during the week, and did not let food or snacking take up any mental space. I believe I set myself to feel like I am doing this program for the right reasons; I want to do it, and I am not “missing out” on anything by doing it. In fact, I am adding to and enhancing my health, which feels great!

My take away/tip from this experience is, get yourself in a frame of mind in which you feel like you’d be missing out if you DO NOT do this program. That will set you up to be more successful and limit the feelings that you are missing out on food, snacks, drinks.

What Was Challenging

The only noteworthy challenge was meal prep and planning. Having the staple meal of a nice hearty soup was very helpful, but with this not being ready until Monday evening, I needed to pinch Monday together on the fly. To address this challenge, I want to try and have the staple meal prepared Sunday evening, and map out some Whole 30 compliant meals I can go to if life happens and plans need to change.

Of note, meal prep and planning is a lot easier for me during week 1, because I am working from home. It is possible that within the coming weeks, I will need to address the challenge of commuting to work/working onsite.

Meals This Week

Chipotle Beef and Cabbage Soup

A note on my meals and structure, I have been experimenting with intermittent fasting recently. Basically, this means rather than eating more frequent, small meals during a day, I tend to eat larger meals less frequently. I did not see the need to change this up for the Whole 30, so long as the food is compliant.

When you see “green powder” listed as part of my meals, I have consistently used a green powder almost daily in place of a multi-vitamin. The idea is that this product helps you assure that you are consuming a daily allotment of vitamins and minerals, from dried fruits and vegetables rather than a tablet. This is not a necessary part of the Whole 30, but it is compliant and it works for me.

Monday:

Morning: Water, Coffee, Ginger Tea (Coffee upon wake up, Tea a little bit later during the morning)

Around 12 noon: A meal size salad with greens, cherry tomatoes, a can of sardines, olives, greens powder sprinkled on, dressed with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Around 4:30 pm. 4 strips of bacon, roasted seaweed snacks, nut butter (peanut free), handfuls of mixed nuts (no peanuts).

Beverages: Water, Coffee, Ginger Tea, Green Tea

Tuesday:

Morning: Water, Coffee, Green Tea (Coffee upon wake up, Tea a little bit later during the morning)

Around 12 noon: Spicy tomato and pepper soup, with a side bowl of sauerkraut, avocado, olives, green powder, and a fried egg, seaweed snack, 3 handfuls of mixed nuts (peanut free)

Beverages: Water, Coffee, Ginger Tea, Green Tea

Wednesday:

Morning: Water, Coffee, Green Tea (Coffee upon wake up, Tea a little bit later during the morning)

Around 11 am: Spicy tomato and cauliflower soup with fried egg on top, avocado bowl with pickles, garlic, olives, bacon, green powder, and a fried egg on top, seaweed snack.

Around 4:30 pm: Compliant Rebel Keto drink (Vanilla Almond), a few handfuls of roasted pumpkin seeds with sea salt.

Beverages: Water, Coffee, Green Tea

Thursday:

Morning: Water, Coffee, Green Tea (Coffee upon wake up, Tea a little bit later during the morning)

Around 1 pm: 3 egg omelet with avocado, chopped garlic, chopped onion, green powder (in retrospect, a 2 egg omelet is probably good enough for next time), bowl of spicy tomato and cauliflower soup, seaweed snack.

Beverages: Water, Coffee, Green Tea, seltzer.

Friday:

Morning: Water, Coffee, seltzer, green tea.

Around 1 pm: Guacamole with bacon, onion, garlic, salt and pepper, lime juice; spicy tomato and cauliflower soup with a fried egg and extra onions; sauerkraut with green powder.

Around 5 pm: 3 strips of bacon, 3 handfuls of mixed nuts, 3 handfuls of pumpkin seeds, 2 spoons of nut butter.

Beverages: Water, Coffee, Green Tea, seltzer.

Saturday:

Morning: Coffee, Seltzer.

Around 12 noon: Spicy tomatoe and cauliflour soup with green powder, seaweed snack, two spoons of nut butter.

Around 5 pm: Lemon Garlic Chicken, Coleslaw with cabbage, carrot, red onion, scallion, garlic, bacon, avocado mayo, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper.

Favorite Meal of the Week:

Avocado Bowl with chopped garlic, chopped pickles, green powder, olives, avocado, bacon, topped with a fried egg. Delicious!

Avocado Bowl!

Training This Week

My training routine has been fairly consistent for a few weeks leading up to the Whole 30. Training goals include adding more volume to my deadlift workouts, increasing core strength, and adding in more Kettlebells to my routine. Training is not related to the Whole 30, but I am keeping a log just to stay accountable during the time frame.

Monday:

Morning walk, around 40 minutes, morning stretching and foam rolling.

Tuesday:

Deadlifts: work sets were 205 lbs, 5 sets of 5 reps; Ab roll wheel 6 sets of 8-10; hangs off the pull up bar, foam roll and stretching.

Wednesday:

Pushups: 5 sets, 10, 10, 12, 12, 8; Pullups: 5 sets, 1, 4, 4, 4, 4; Total Gym row/curl combo: 5 sets, 10, 12, 10, 10, 10 (each exercise); Double Kettlebell push press: 5 sets, 35 lbs 10, 53 lbs 3, 3, 35 lbs 10, 8

Thursday:

Walk about 40 minutes, stretch and foam roll.

Friday:

Morning stretch and roll, morning 4.5 mile run (with about 3 walk breaks), around an hour total time for run.

Saturday:

Mowed the lawn (push mower), around 2.5 miles, hour total time.

My Compliance Grade for the Week

Overall, I give myself a solid 99% compliance grade for the week. Most areas of elimination were complete 100% (Grains, added Sugar/artificial sweeteners, Legumes, Dairy, Alcohol, Soy, MSG); my one area of slip up was non-compliant bacon. Bacon must be nitrate free to be compliant on whole 30. I have since purchased some compliant bacon, so any future posts that read “bacon” please assume it is compliant (unless I confess otherwise). Overall, I am very pleased with my first week and sticking to the program!

Additionally, I did not take any body weight or measurements, and I did not count calories or macro-nutrient ratios (and will continue to not do so during the program).

Looking Ahead to Next Week!

Looking forward to trying new foods, and noticing any continued or additional benefits! As a reflection on training, I was not really doing full throttle this week. I would like to add a little bit more intensity and volume during more whole 30, and maybe add in some different exercises.

Thanks for following along with me, I’ll be checking in next Saturday for week 2!

The Processed Food Detective (Video)

This video shows you how to be a detective and track down processed sugar, grain, and oil in your food!

Processed Food Detective

Find Out What is in Your Food!

In this video, I share some tips on how to find processed sugar, grain, and oil in packaged foods. Included is a helpful tip on the many names for “Sugar” when you are looking at ingredients. Take a look at the video, and try it out at home, or next time you shop!

Food Labels 101-Reading and Understanding Nutrition Facts

If reading and understanding food labels is brand new for you, please take a look at a previous blog post I created on how to read and understand what is in your food. This post (and video) covers the very basics of reading and understanding nutrition facts, and the ingredients label.

Learn one Diet Secret that’s 100% Non-Debatable! (Video)

Watch this video and learn one secret to diet and nutrition which is 100% non-debatable, doesn’t matter who you ask!

Diet Secret!

Are You Ready!

Diets and nutrition can be very confusing, do we even know what is healthy anymore?! What if I told you that there is one nutrition tip that has 100% consensus across all diets, and nutrition plans? Well, there is! Doesn’t matter if you ask someone who is Paleo, Keto, Vegan, Vegetarian, Mediterranean Diet…anyone!

The Diet Secret you need to know…

Here it is: if you cut processed sugar, processed grains, and processed oils from your diet, and substitute in more whole foods/ingredients, that is a healthy move! If you ask a Vegan, they might say “well yes, that is a healthy thing to do, but don’t eat Animal products!” If you ask someone who is Keto: “well yes, that would be a healthy thing to do, but on my plan you can eat Butter, Bacon, and Burgers! (with no bun, of course)”

So, while there is not consensus from everyone about the proper macro nutrient ratios etc, you will not find anyone who works in the Health/Fitness industry who will argue with you about this tip. If you do find anyone in the industry who argues that leaving processed sugar, grains, and oils in your diet is healthy, personally I would question the validity of any other advice they give.

Why are Sugar, Processed Grain, and Processed Oils Problematic?

In short, the processing methods for all of these foods cause our body to react differently to these foods, compared to in their natural state. The example I give in the video is that a whole Apple does have some naturally occurring sugar, called Fructose; when you eat the Apple, you get the Fructose with some natural packaging/dietary fiber, which results in a more moderate impact on your blood sugar and insulin. Your body’s response to Fructose in fruit with that of High Fructose Corn Syrup (processed sugar) is dramatically different. A similar comparison can be made to your body’s response to whole grain vs processed, enriched flour and other processed grain products.

For an breakdown of Oil processing methods and why some may be problematic, check out my previous blog post/video. Unfortunately, you will see a theme that the most highly processed sugar, grains, and oils are the cheapest for you to buy, and the most heavily marketed.

How to start this Diet Secret

If you eat a lot of processed food and want to make this change, it is best to start gradually. For example, if you drink a lot of soda or other sugary drinks, that is a great place to put this diet secret into action. What are some options to substitute for sugary drinks?

  1. Water
  2. Water with fresh lemon/fruit
  3. Seltzer water
  4. Herbal Tea
  5. Black Tea
  6. Black Coffee

Your staples should be water or water with lemon/fruit since everyone needs to stay hydrated, but there are some options to explore if you want to substitute in something else for your sweet drinks. Diet/artificially sweetened drinks are a whole other topic, if our focus is eliminating processed foods, steering clear of these products fits that aim.

How do I know if I am eating Processed Food???

How do I find these mystery ingredients in food I have in my pantry, food I see at the grocery store?! Never fear, my next blog post will show you how to be a detective and track down processed sugar, grain, and oil in your food…see you next time!

Interview 02: Gina Cain (Video)

Interview covers Insights from Working in Healthcare, the transition when you stop being an Athlete, and Fitness Benefits for Mothers to be.

Interview Topics:

  1. Health Insights from CRNA (and what a CRNA is)
  2. What happens when you stop being an Athlete?
  3. Why is activity/fitness important for expecting mothers?

Insights from Working in Healthcare

My sister, Gina shares insights with us from her experience as an ICU Nurse and a CRNA (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist). The most surprising topic was what happens to people who come to the Hospital with chronic diseases, which may be influenced by lifestyle factors; no nutrition or exercise consultation! Hospital staff are trained to treat the patient so they can leave the Hospital, Gina explains, and Doctors do not provide any advice or resources on lifestyle factors which may help manage their condition (in her experience).

Gina does share that one lifestyle intervention Hospitals do provide information on is smoking cessation. We both speculate that the reason for this is that the science is settled at this point, smoking is bad for you. Because there are some many different diets/nutritional approaches, perhaps the medical field has collectively decided to stay out of the discussion when treating patients.

What Happens When you Stop Being an Athlete?

Gina played NCAA Division 1 Field Hockey, and even played in a Final 4! We discuss what happens when you go from having a competitive season to train for, meals and workouts scheduled, to working full time, paying bills, and having to make time for exercise.

The Benefits of Exercise and Fitness for Mothers to Be

Gina is going to be a mom soon, super exciting! We talk about the benefits of staying active during pregnancy, from her experience so far. There are many different guidelines to exercising while pregnant, so anyone reading this or viewing the interview is advised to consult with their Doctor about considerations during all different time periods and trimesters of pregnancy.

We hope to be back soon with an interview on how to prioritize your health and fitness as a new mom!

Interview 01: Bob Uguccioni (Video)

On Personal Training, Keto Diet, Fasting

The Interview Series Begins!

I’m sitting down with my dad, Bob Uguccioni, who is an experienced personal trainer, and strength and conditioning coach. Topics Bob gives insights on include:

  1. How to pick the right Personal Trainer
  2. Intro to the Ketogenic Diet
  3. Intro to Intermittent Fasting

Top Insights

Bob walks us through his experience, and professional certifications related to training and nutrition. One thing to note, not all certifications are created equal, in fact some only require a multiple choice exam! A good test taker does not (necessary) make a good personal trainer/coach. Bob gives some tips on how to pick the right trainer to help you meet your goals.

When thinking about the Keto Diet, a lot of people think that eating Bacon Cheeseburgers with no bun put us right into Ketosis/Fat Burning mode. Bob clarifies the important role of vegetables in the Keto Diet, and gives insight into his experience with the Diet.

Fasting means controlled periods of time when one chooses not to eat, this is different from starvation. Intermittent Fasting is periodic times when someone chooses to fast; the most basic model is a 16 hour fasting window, and an 8 hour eating window each day (rather than constantly eating small meals/snacking. Bob tells us why fasting is more challenging for people who eat processed sugar and grains.

In Closing

Thanks so much for checking out this interview, I will have many more coming to help gain additional perspective and expertise on Health and Fitness related topics.