A no-excuses healthy January.

I think January is simultaneously the hardest and easiest month to start a diet. Pros: it's frigid, so I don't want to eat out. Resolutions have me feeling all YEAH I CAN DO THIS. Gyms are running deals, and everyone else is on the healthy bandwagon too. Cons: it's frigid out, and all I want to do is eat all the hot cheese-covered carby things. 

So, naturally, I decided to kick off 2017 with a Whole30

What is Whole30? An elimination diet akin to paleo, which restricts (aka prohibits) all gluten, dairy, soy, legumes, alcohol, and added sugar for 30 days. We're talking not even a trace of any of that - it is hardcore. Basically, participants are allowed meat, fruit, and vegetables, a few cooking oils, and spices galore. Oh, and did I mention I decided to be insane and eliminate caffeine too?

This is pretty much me these days: 

Why did I choose Whole30, when it seems so extreme? I'm in need of a serious health re-set. I was sick a lot this fall, my skin has been terrible, and I sleep horribly (as continually chronicled here). Let's not even get into the fact that my December diet of ALL THE WINE and ALL THE CHEESE, capped off with a week in Sonoma and Napa, meant my pants were a little (um, okay, VERY) tight by New Year's Day.

Whole30 promises to remedy these ills and more, leaving its participants with boundless energy, shiny hair, glowing skin, smaller waistlines, and a completely new outlook on diet, health, and life. Sign me up! 

So we'll see how this goes - I'm planning on chronicling it diary-style from January 3 (start day) to Feb 1 (end date). Follow along...and wish me luck, and if you have bright ideas of how to cook eggs (so many eggs), let me know!

Day 1 (1/3): Breakfast of scrambled egg with avocado, pear, sweet potato and natural turkey sausage courtesy of the Whole Sisters. At least I thought it was a sweet potato. I just googled “difference between a sweet potato and yam” and turns out I’m eating a yam. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten a yam in my entire life, and now I’m overthinking the existence and concept of yams because it’s early, I’m missing wine country, and I haven’t had coffee. Speaking of “haven’t had coffee,” I’m starting to think that eliminating coffee, cheese, chocolate, bread and wine all in the same month might actually be a suicide mission. Stay tuned. 

Day 2 (1/4): Woke up this morning with a dull, steady headache that I 100% attribute to the fact that I haven't had coffee for over 48 hours...possibly a new record for me? I'm chugging naturally caffeine-free cinnamon rooibos tea to try to compensate, and downing water like it's a lifeline. 

I also spent a lot of time on Pinterest last night and started a Whole30 board...because I can already tell that I'm going to burn out on eggs in about a week. There are so many different, crazy options that I'm excited to check out!

Day 3 (1/5): I am so CRANKY. I don't know if it's attributable to the lack of caffeine, the cleanse, or the fact that it's a -30 windchill today, but I woke up and have been grumping hard ever since. I forgot to put avocado in my eggs this morning, too, and that seems like a tragedy of the first order. 

(I've averaged an avocado a day since I started this thing. God help and save my bank account.)

Day 4 (1/6): I made homemade pesto tonight and it felt like I deserved a freaking Michelin star. That said, it was incredible. Other foods I'm loving: onion in everything, lots of spice (red pepper flakes), and lemon ginger tea like three times a day. 


Day 6 (1/8): I've eaten that pesto on just about everything this weekend...eggs in the morning, with carrots as a dip, and spaghetti squash with chicken for dinner. It's so good. I also made a chicken salad with homemade mayo...I made homemade mayo. Who am I?! 

Special shout-out to band friend and Whole30 veteran Catherine for sharing her meal-planning spreadsheet and favorite recipes...she is a lifesaver, and I can't wait to try some of her faves! 

Day 7 (1/9): I was so crabby today - it took me two hours to get home from work in a snowstorm, and I was hangry and had to pee the entire way. Thankfully I had a LaraBar in my purse...the list of which ones are Whole30 compliant saved my life. I also had this great spaghetti squash and beef casserole for dinner...I used up the last of my pesto on it and it was so good. 

Day 8 (1/10): Worked from home due to ongoing snowstorms pounding Minnesota, and took advantage of being able to multitask to put together this breakfast casserole. It smelled so amazing that I couldn't resist having it for lunch...and it tastes as good as it smelled. I never would have thought I'd be the kind of person who buys nutritional yeast as a cheese replacement (what the F is nutritional yeast?! WTF?!?!!), but for the first time in this whole process, I started thinking that changes like this could be sustainable for me in the longterm. 

Day 10 (1/12): Not gonna lie, today has sucked. (And apparently that's normal?) I've been legit having filthy fantasies about Hell's Kitchen grilled cheese, Papa John's pizza with extra garlic sauce for the crust, and Parlour burgers. And I'm cranky and my skin looks terrible. Again, all of which is normal. 

I also turned down a guy who asked me if I wanted to go out for drinks this weekend, and that's adding to the crank factor. BOO. The only bright sides to today are the carob-rooibos "red velvet cake" tea I ordered from Republic of Tea...and the fact that I'm 1/3 of the way done. 

So here we are...Day 11, and here's hoping I get over the slump!