Curious about my new diet?

I’m on a short term — if dairy-free, grain-free, sugar-free, alcohol-free, soy-free for thirty days can be called short — diet. If you want to read the updates, I’m logging my experience here.

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  1. Looks good and yummy. And, while detox can and will have an effect on you, the end result is so worth it! I’ve been toying with the idea of something similar… but it doesn’t work with my goal of emptying the freezers. Sigh. I hate it when goals conflict.

    Are you doing this to lose weight or to feel better or both?

    • @Annie Kate, Doing it to feel better, but the fringe benefit, I assume, will be to trim down a little. I want to see if my chronic pain is food related.

      • @Jessica, I was just curious if the chronic pain is all over? Abdominal? Or other areas? I noticed you did mention your hips hurting, so I was wondering if that was the extent of your pain.

        • @NIA, sometimes it’s all over muscle, but often just in my hip and thigh muscles, and only after sitting. I could walk all day and not have trouble. Or sit all day and not have trouble. It’s that transition that is painful.

        • @NIA, Well, I am having pain in the same areas. You are an encouragement with your success of eating this way. I’m researching more to see how I can incorporate this diet into my lifestyle. It is worth it to try and rid my body of pain. Especially since I was on my way to eliminating grains.

        • @NIA, That’s interesting. You’re having the same kind of pain? In hip and thigh muscles?

        • @NIA, Yes,but I just thought I’m getting older, my body isn’t going to work the way it used to.

        • @NIA, yeah, I’m kinda hoping it’s NOT that. But, it could be. I am 40 after all.

        • @NIA, You know what’s interesting? I bought a book last year called “Well Fed” my family and I have been gearing up to adopt this new to us way of eating. While reading the beginning of the book yesterday instead of focusing on just the recipes, I noticed the author mentions finding the Whole9. Isn’t that similiar to the Whole 30?

        • @NIA, yes, the Well Fed author has done the Whole30. The Whole9 people are the ones who created the Whole30 plan.

  2. I’m attempting to do a similar eating plan ( VirginDiet)-21 days of no soy, peanuts ,sugar, artificial sweeteners ,corn, eggs, dairy, gluten- at the end of the 21 days you add foods in one at a time. Protein Shakes and new foods are becoming standard fare. Almond butter is very addictive- it is my new favorite food, I struggle with being compliant when I go to social situations- because there is no control over what food is available. I know what you mean about reading labels- it’s really amazing how much you learn.

  3. Good for you for taking this on! It is not an easy thing to do. I tried doing it a couple of years ago, and although I felt pretty good, I was not able to maintain it. I think I had it in my mind as a deprivation exercise rather than a health exercise. I hope that your 30 days be successful!

  4. It looks very tasty and healthy, but how much time are you spending chopping things? I was a bit tired just reading about it. Have you thought of an effecient system yet for it that you can share?

    • I’ve been prepping vegetables ahead of time and making bulk batches of the proteins. I go through it pretty quickly, so I’m still figuring out how much is enough to last 2-3 days. Also, since I want to stay motivated, I’m trying to be flexible so I don’t get bored. That means I might decide to make something else. I’m hopeful that next week will be much easier.

  5. At least you don’t have meat-free listed in there as well. That would REALLY make it challenging! Even still, you are putting in a lot of effort and work so I hope it helps you figure out the root cause of the pain. If nothing else, you’ll probably drop a few pounds, and that is always a nice perk. :) I’ve thought of doing some similar efforts, even if just cutting back on sugar/calories again, but agree with Annie Kate that it does not mesh with the goal of getting rid of the stuff in the freezer/pantry so until that goal is met, I just have to remember to carefully watch portion sizes again. I somehow got out of that habit and put back on the 30 lbs I had taken off. :(

  6. You are doing great! Which meal do you find the hardest to stick to the plan? I think I would have a hard time at breakfast. Too much of what I like is flour based.

  7. Your meals look & sound great!! The biggest one that I have problems with is sugar, which is really funny because I could totally live without sugar until I hit my 40s. Weird. I have made lots of inroads to getting back to only natural sugars in fruit, dried fruit, honey & maple syrup, but still.. I believe they should be an every once in a while, not an every day food, especially at my age and metabolism. Alcohol too.

    Dont forget, you dont have to eat breakfast foods for breakfast. I had Chicken & Dumplings for my breakfast.. I know.. no dumplings for you (mine were made of flour tortillas) but you could have a good thick hearty soup or a lettuce roll-up, or anything you already have on hand thats fast & easy. I was on a low carb diet for many years and I always ate weird things for breakfast.. got me out of the “normal” mindset of eating.

  8. I’m am excited to hear your findings after the end of 30 days. I’m thinking the chronic pain I have in my legs/knees is going to be food related. Plus, I have a constant rash on my hands. I have been to every possible doctor there is and all my test come back normal. Well something is not normal…time for me to be DR for a bit:)
    Thanks for keeping us posted with your progress. Ill add you to my prayer list since I know how hard a toll chronic pain takes on our body and mind!

  9. I’m interested in following you on this, and more specifically how you do with the “Good CHEAP Eats” component of sticking to the Whole 30. Back in 2008 my coach switched my diet over to paleo (pretty much, only the “paleo diet” really wasn’t around yet 5 years ago), and it has worked really well for me from a nutrition/athletic performance stand point. However, my wallet certainly took a hit. I know it IS possible to eat all wholesome foods without blowing the budget, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Do you think you could do a post sometime throughout your Whole 30 experience talking about how you budget for things or maybe your grocery shopping trips?

    Love your blog. :)

    -Erika

    • I post my grocery shopping trips every Saturday, so you’ll be able to see what I’m buying. I’m leaning on sale chicken and eggs for protein with a few other items for variety. I live in Southern CA which makes organic produce pretty affordable and easy to find. Food sourcing is not the same everywhere you go. I imagine that if I lived in a colder climate, I might be having fewer salads and more stirfries. At least for February.

  10. thank you so much for doing this. i’ve been needing to for sometime myself for similar reasons, but i’ve been putting it off because i so hate to make seperate meals for me and the kids. also, we don’t have access to good produce sources, or even convenient bad ones, so i was dreading that part too. you just might inspire me to get this done. that’s my hope anyway. so thank you.

    • @Lisa S, you are not alone. Quite a few people have said the same thing about wanting to watch someone do it. Happy to take one for the team. Even if it means skipping the ice cream. ;)

    • @Lisa S, this is exactly why I’m enjoying reading this. I have 4 kids and I love to bake, so I always thought I couldn’t do this.
      After reading your first week I’m going to give it a try, starting Sunday. It’s my eldest 10th birthday tomorrow and I can’t say no to her cake and pizza!

  11. If anyone lives in central Maryland, there is a restaurant in Ellicott City called One Dish Cuisine that caters to people with diet restrictions (gluten free, soy free, casein free, peanut free, etc.) They are on Facebook under Onedishcuisine and there is a link to a Fox 45 report that was on the news last night. They have a lot of color coding to make sure that the foods don’t get mixed up, have frozen items to take home, etc. I don’t have dietary restrictions so I haven’t needed this, but talked to a co-worker this morning who said she really relies on them because she has celiac. She said their steak and cheese on flat bread is to die for (in a good way). I don’t think this would necessarily be a place for good, cheap eats, though!

  12. You have inspired me Jessica! I never heard of whole30 tll you started blogging about it, then I heard about it again and though I needed to check it out…..so now I am on day 3. You said that you started a suport group? I wasn’t able to find it, can I have the like please? Hope things are going well! And thank you!

    • Jessica says:

      Yay, Gina! You won’t be sorry. It really is good to just know. I’m halfway through and it’s really not terribly hard. Ask me tomorrow after I give a cookbook talk and pass out my scones creation.

      The group I’m in is made up of personal friends. But, I bet if you put out the work, you will find people in your own circles who are doing it or who have done it and you can form your own group. I’m happy to answer questions, etc. here though.

  13. I saw your recipe for salad dressing here (http://goodcheapeats.com/2013/01/cumin-scented-cabbage-salad/), but I was wondering if you have any other salad dressing suggestions. I’m a huge Ranch fan, and I know that’s not going to work! I’m willing to make my own but am kind of clueless on where to begin.

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