A Doctor's Take on Whole30: Week 2

Originally posted on kristenmcelveennd.com on January 21, 2015

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It's amazing to me how self-love begets self-love!

This week, I noticed myself slowing down more and really taking time for ME. 

There was a whole half a day, where all I did was sit and read and drink tea!! I can't tell you the last time that happened!

Not only that, but I'm really excelling in my workouts, I cleaned my pantry (which I had never actually really organized when I moved in 4 years ago), I cleaned my cabinets, deep cleaned my bathroom and so much more...why? Because I have ENERGY. I wasn't bogged down from skipping meals or not eating the right things. 

In fact, it wasn't until I started recording my meals in MyFitnessPal (friend me, @DrMcElveen!) that I realized I wasn't eating ENOUGH calories with how active I am, and that is a common issue I see in my practice, especially with women. 

If your body is in starvation mode, it's going to store everything as fat, no matter what you're eating, thereby making it seem impossible to lose weight. 

But if your body is getting the fuel and nutrition it needs to function at the speed in which you carry on your daily business, you're good to go. 

Now, I don't typically eat much differently than Whole30 in my everyday life, but I have to admit, trying so many new recipes this first week has given me a little cooking fatigue. 

This is another reason why I think it's important NOT to plan all 30 days at once! You can get off track and be tempted to chuck the whole thing. 

So, this week, I'm taking it back to a few of my usual foods, just Whole30'd. Today I'm making my Cottage Pie, which I've posted a few variations of on here and on social media. For the filling, I'm using celery, carrots, onion, beets, red pepper and buffalo with a little beef broth (rather than beer or wine, which I typically use), then for the top, I'm doing yukon gold potatoes whipped with beef broth, ghee, salt and pepper. I have actually been needing more carbs with the workouts I'm getting, so I'm fine with the potatoes. This will last me through the weekend, where I can really take some more time and see what I'm in the mood for - likely a chicken, so I can use up my homemade mayo with chicken salad or chicken burritos with paleo wraps - I love to mix a little chipotle pepper into homemade mayo for a kick that's GREAT with chicken! Plus...homemade BONE BROTH WITH THE CHICKEN CARCASS- YES, PLEASE!

One thing I LOVED this week was the cauli-rice (I actually made this one). I wanted to eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner and wished I had made at least double the amount!

Breakfast has been the main challenge since I sometimes don't feel like eating much in the morning, so usually a few bites of leftovers is all I do. This week though, I tried to eat more eggs, which got tiresome about day 3. I love me some eggs, but I have to be cautious first thing in the morning, otherwise I'll start my day of with a tummy ache - not great when you have to talk about some pretty gag-worthy things sometimes at work!

Also, I was reminded of the fact that I just don't like coffee. Lattes yes, but coffee...no thank you! Even with the spiced ghee, it just really wasn't my thing on a daily basis. So, I have switched to Earl Grey or green tea, after having my warm lemon water, of course! I may make some homemade coconut/almond milk if I have time, but right now, I'm not really missing it. 

I also loved having an RxBar in my purse in case of emergencies, which came in handy last night at our Maine Association of Naturopathic Doctors quarterly meeting - a gathering of NDs anywhere means everyone will be eating...and last night, EVERYONE was eating noodles or sushi! So I munched on my little RxBar and dreamt of the amazing sushi and pho I will partake in next month!

By the way, I am now carrying RxBars in my office!

Another happy surprise that happened this week is that I started taking saunas again. I had a unit at my office that no one ever used, so I brought it home and it's just been sitting in my home office for years. So I pulled it out and I've been doing 10 minutes, three times a week and it's been glorious (with infrared saunas, you don't need as much time because the heat penetrates deeper than a Swedish sauna)! 

Be careful though, if you decide to sauna while you are doing a cleansing diet. A LOT of toxins are stored in our fat, so if you have a lot of body fat and start taking saunas too often or too long, you will mobilize those toxins and overwhelm your liver.

The WHOLE POINT of a cleansing by eating cleanly and cutting out the more toxic substances in your life is to give your liver a break, so don't ever do this without your doctor giving you guidelines based on your size and medical history first.

All in all, I'd say this first week was a huge success. It got me to take my own medicine and take care of myself above all else. Even as I sit here now and write this, I have tea by my side, my email and phone OFF and some light music on (whereas normally I'm fielding emails, texts and Facebook messages constantly when I write)!

Here's to continued success! Check back again for my look at Week 3 and a reflection on Week 2!

How is your Whole30 going? 


Read my reviews of Week 1, Week 3, Week 4 and the Final Results here!