Our Paleo Family

Whole 30 FINAL WEEK Journal!!!

Monday, Day 22 Breakfast: I was sick again last night. It was clearly my dinner of carnitas, fried plantains, cole slaw and guacamole. I think it was just too fatty for my gall bladder-less body. Ultimately, I don’t know what caused the nausea, but it was miserable and thankfully, short-lived. Felt ok upon waking this morning, but decided an easy-on-the-stomach breakfast was in order. Two eggs, two pieces of gluten free toast with ghee.

Noon workout

Lunch: turkey waldorf salad over salad greens

Dinner: spanakopita stuffed chicken thighs, sweet potato hash browns

Felt ok all day, but didn’t want to eat anything too extreme lest the stomach pains come back. Still not feeling super energetic as the Whole 30 people said I should, but perhaps it’s because I’ve had too much off plan food: all the gluten free bread when I was sick, and then some after I was better, tastes of baked goods….I’m sure there was more here and there, but I can’t remember.

Tuesday, Day 23 workout before breakfast

Breakfast: two eggs, chicken sausage, spinach and tomato frittata


Lunch: leftover spanakopita filling (basically spinach, onions, garlic, seasonings and egg) with ground pork and leftover sweet potatoes

afternoon pick-me-up: coffee with coconut milk. I have been falling asleep as soon as my kids are in bed, which I do not like. I’d prefer to get some work done in the evenings and if I need a little jolt of caffeine to make that happen, then so be it. All the paleo and Whole 30 experts say that eating this way gives you so much energy that you won’t need caffeine at all. Well, I don’t know what world they’re living in, but in this homeschooling house of two pre-adolescent bickering kids, I need some caffeine.

Dinner: beef stroganoff with sautéed squash and broccoli, rice for the family


late night snack: Green apple fried in a little ghee, sprinkled with cinnamon and a good helping of almond butter. I’m having fasting blood work done in the late morning and I know I have to eat something right before bed or I will wither by 10:30 AM.

What I learned today: I like to have something to look forward to in the food department. For example, instead of telling myself, “Ok Elizabeth, dinner is over and now you cannot eat anything until breakfast tomorrow,” I tell myself a different story. Negative comments can leave me feeling deprived. I can feel hungry after such a mental conversation even if I’m not really hungry. I just might want something and yet I’ve been told I can’t have it. Instead I say, “Elizabeth, you might be hungry later and if you are, you can have some apples sautéed in ghee, sprinkled with cinnamon and drizzled with almond butter.” Yum. Does this make me crazy?

Wednesday, Day 24: Had to fast this morning for that blood work. Very, very hungry.

Breakfast around 10:15: two eggs, one chicken apple sausage, carrots

mid-day workout

Lunch: salad greens with turkey waldorf salad

Dinner: out at the all gluten free restaurant….so I ate here a few weeks ago and was able to eat entirely Whole 30. On this occasion, I don’t know what came over me, but I decided to try some of their gluten free “breads” and…hold on to your hats….I had cheese. I know, I know, I am just terrible at following these rules to the letter. Or maybe I’m just terrible at following rules for such a verrrrrrrrrry loooooooong timmmmmmmme.

Anyhoo, I had beef kibbeh (I think that’s what it was called). Grass-fed beef and pine nut meatballs with salad and yogurt sauce plus one of their flat breads made on gluten free pita with portabellas and caramelized onions and some sort of sheeps milk cheese.

Honestly, I did not feel great after this meal. Gluten free products typically do this to me. There are just too many additives and funky flours involved. And then there was the dairy. That combo was a little upsetting to the tummy, but as of Thursday morning (as I write this) I am feeling fine. Thankfully, dairy makes its way through your system in just a day or two. Gluten can wreak havoc for 6 weeks or longer!

Thursday, Day 25 Breakfast: had an early morning workout so just black coffee before, then two eggs, chicken sausage and spinach after. Plus banana with almond butter.

Lunch: I actually didn’t have lunch today. This is rare for me, but just too much going on.

Snack: almonds, green apple

Dinner: eggs, bacon, fruit, homemade gluten free pancakes with some strawberry jam. The strawberry crop in NC is not great this year due to all the rain and storms so we are savoring last year’s jam supply. If you’ve never tried jam on waffles or pancakes, try it, it’s delicious! (this is an old picture with actual, real maple syrup)


Pancakes made with my gluten free flour recipe. So, so good!

Day end review: I know I should not have had the pancakes. I feel myself slacking off on the rules a bit. Or a lot, I guess. Whole 30 offers no grace. Either you do it 100% or you fail 100%. One little bite of an unapproved food and you are kicked off the island. I just can’t live my life that way. Thirty days is a long time to live in this Whole 30 bubble. Mentally, I’m feeling done.

Friday, Day 26 Breakfast: another relatively early morning workout, but I was up early enough to eat prior to the workout: coffee, one leftover pancake, ground pork patty (like sausage but without the spice), one fried egg.

Lunch: waldorf salad over greens – one good thing about all this rain is that my lettuce crop is thriving. Lots of yummy green leaves from the garden today.


Dinner: I’m going to post this “recipe” for you, but I should warn you, it’s not one of my most appetizing in appearance. This is cheese burger (or just burger if you can’t eat cheese) hash. We eat this mostly when we camp. It’s easy, takes one pan, gets in lots of good nutrition and tastes yummy. This is my desperation meal. There is always grass fed ground beef in the freezer, there are always some sort of vegetables in the crisper and we always have miscellaneous condiments in the fridge. That’s all it takes.


At the end of a busy week, with field trips and other extra activities, I’m through. Cooking dinner is not something I’m interested in taking on. BUT, it’s just so hard to eat out sometimes. Besides the diet, we’re really trying hard to stick to our budget, save more and only eat out for Sundays and special occasions.

Which is why we had this camping dinner tonight. I can make it without any thought and everybody will eat it. They may pick out the onions, as they always do, but they’ll eat it.

Day 26 thoughts: If there were a bowl of M&Ms on the kitchen counter or at my desk, I would surely eat them non-stop. But there is not a bowl of M&Ms on my counter or on my desk and I’m not running out to the store to get them. Do I still love dessert? Yes. Would I still really enjoy a nice flourless chocolate torte at a restaurant? Most definitely. Do I feel the need to go whip one up right now? No.

The fact is, I feel so much better when I do not eat sugar. A little bit of honey or maple syrup in a paleo recipe is really fine for me. But even paleo desserts are a little too much of a sugar load on a regular basis.

Saturday, Day 27 Breakfast: I am a breakfast eater, but in a perfect world, I want to enjoy my coffee, do my Bible study, read my favorite blogs, and check my email for a good hour before I eat anything. Something that always happens when I do these detox or elimination type diets, is that I lose my appetite to a certain extent. Whether it’s that I’ve actually lost my appetite or that I am just paralyzed by indecisiveness, I’m not really sure. The fact is, it’s hard to decide what to eat a lot of times. Which is why I end up eating the same meals over and over and over. I know what will taste good to me, I know what will not make me feel ill. It doesn’t require thought to eat the same things time and time again.

This is why I usually include breakfasts and lunches for me in my weekly meal plan. If I can’t decide what to eat, I’ll check the plan and usually go with what is written down. Because of course, I don’t plan to eat donuts and potato chips, right?! Having a healthy choice written down helps ensure I make that healthy choice.

So breakfast….not sure yet. Will take a shower first. 🙂

I ended up with a turkey burger and some carrots.

Lunch: turkey lettuce wraps and fried plantains

Dinner: We met our family for dinner out at a restaurant tonight. They are always so kind and allow me to pick a place that will work for us, but I also have to keep in mind that there are 10 people involved and I want everyone to be happy. On this occasion, we chose a local pizza place that had good reviews of their gluten free menu.

I had a small spinach salad with strawberries, avocado and goat cheese plus a “mini” thin crust, g-free pizza with sausage, tomatoes and cheese.

Remember above when I said I felt like I was starting to fade a bit, not following the rules to the letter? Well, this dinner is surely an example of that. But this is how I really live my life. Mostly paleo 100% with little off plan meals here and there. The cheese on the pizza might upset my stomach a bit, but more than likely I’ll be ok. The joy that comes from participating in a relaxing, family dinner is worth a little stomach upset. If you’re in the Raleigh/Durham/Cary North Carolina area, I highly recommend Patrick Jane’s Pizza in Cary. It was excellent!

Final Thoughts on Day 27: Nothing new today. Tomorrow is Mother’s Day and I don’t know what my family has cooked up as far as meals go. Whatever it is, I’m sure will be fabulous!

Happy Mother’s Day (and day 28): Breakfast was delivered to me as I got ready for church this morning – an omelet with ham, spinach and cheese. I did not chastise the chef for adding cheese. I just enjoyed it.

Lunch: Five Guys burger with veggies (no bun) and fries. Our tradition ever since I was expecting our first child, is to go for a picnic and hike at a local state park. This year was the same. We grabbed our food to go and went for a nice, long hike. Afterward my husband surprised us by taking us for ice cream. What the heck, I made it this far and it’s Mother’s Day! I did have sugar free though. 🙂

Dinner: they made my marinated grilled shrimp, baked sweet potatoes, green beans and fresh strawberries with real whipped cream for dessert. A delicious and super special meal!

Thoughts on Day 28: I guess this is officially the end of my Whole 30 since in 24 hours I’ve had pizza, ice cream and french fries. I made it 27 full days pretty much to the letter and that’s nothing to sneeze at.

This coming week, I will wrap up this whole experience in a tidy, little package and compile a list of my favorite meals, recipes and tips for surviving the Whole 30.