Whole30: week one

I’m through seven whole days of my first Whole30. Phew!

I sort-of (read: massively) ignored Leah’s wise advice not go on a massive pre-Whole30 binge (whoops!) and spent Day 0 eating all my favourite things, like this from Pret (Italian Prosciutto on Artisan, in case you’re wondering).

Lots of rubbish happily consumed beforehand, here’s how the first week went down…

Day 1

I am so PUMPED! LET’S DO THIS! This is going to be AMAZING etc, etc.

I had spent a great deal of the previous evening doing a mega cook up after a mega Ocado delivery. I was ready, I was prepared, I had snacks and determination galore.

The first day was actually pretty smooth sailing. Well, it would’ve been a bit embarrassing for it not to be…

Breakfast: Scrambled egg, avo, homemade chunky salsa

Lunch: Chicken breast, roasted sweet potato and carrot, steamed broccoli, cherry tomatoes

Dinner: Homemade meatballs, courghetti, cherry tomatoes, avocado

Day 2

A similar feeling for day 2. I was up early for a workout before work, so had to prepare breakfast the night before, but managed to take it all in my stride.

Breakfast: Boiled egg, avo, homemade chunky salsa

Lunch: Chicken breast, roasted sweet potato and carrot, steamed broccoli, cherry tomatoes

Dinner: Baked haddock with garlic & herbs topped with homemade chunky salsa, courghetti, cherry tomatoes, steamed broccoli

Day 3

THIS IS THE WORST DAY EVER. I have never been so headachy, so nauseous and so god damn TIRED all at the same time (without alcohol being involved).

The day started off well, I worked out, was drinking loads of water, had my breakfast. By mid morning I had a headache, by lunchtime I felt dreadful. I sat and ate my lunch outside and returned to my desk THE TIREDEST I HAVE EVER BEEN. From 2pm it was a constant battle to keep my eyes open. I also found myself having to buy a big tray of fruit and a coffee in the afternoon to try and keep me going (it didn’t really help). I left work dead on time, and couldn’t even manage the walk home – so I instead fell asleep on the back seat of the bus. Thankfully I woke up in time for my stop, going straight to bed for another hour’s kip.

Thank goodness my wife Clare was staying with me this week – she cooked me dinner, as well as doing some of my other house chores, whilst I just sat on the sofa. It was an odd feeling – like being struck down with flu without any of the cold symptoms.

Breakfast: Boiled egg, avo, homemade chunky salsa

Lunch: Homemade meatballs, roasted sweet potato and carrot, cucumber, cherry tomatoes

Dinner: Baked cod topped with tomato puree & mixed herbs, courghetti, sugar snap peas

Day 4

Okay, I feel much better today. Plus, it’s Friday! *yawn*… *yawn*… 

Day 4 did actually find me feeling much, much better than the day before, but I was definitely more tired than usual. So staying up until 1am watching the World Cup definitely wasn’t that smart (idiot).

I also ventured for my first meal out. It had been planned for a couple of weeks – Steph had been brilliant at doing lots of menu research and finding somewhere that (with a few substitutions) I’d be able to make compliant. Four of us headed to Tramshed in Shoreditch, which I’d wanted to try for a while anyway. As well as me needing to be super specific with ordering, I also had Clare still staying with me, who’s a non-wheat eating pescartarian. In a chicken and steak restaurant.

Thankfully, our waiter was patient and helpful and suitably tongue in cheek about our fussiness. I ordered the 250g rib steak (£20), subbed the chips for grilled mushrooms with garlic, and ordered lettuce heart salad (£3.95) on the side. The steak and mushrooms were delicious and succulent, but I was disappointed that the ‘salad’ was literally a bowl of leaves (admittedly I requested no dressing, but even with it, almost £4 felt like a lot). I drank soda water with fresh lime, and was bought a mini carafe of lime juice. Overall, a dining out success!

Breakfast: Cooked salmon, avocado, cherry tomatoes

Lunch: Homemade meatballs, roasted sweet potato and carrot, cucumber, cherry tomatoes

Dinner: Rib steak, grilled mushrooms with garlic, lettuce heart salad

Day 5


After my (stupid) late night, I slept like a log for eleven hours (eleven!) and I woke up well past midday. Wow. This clean eating thing makes you really tired. Alright, it might not just be that. The average 6 hours sleep a night I get might also have something to do with it. But still, I’m pretty sure this pretty dramatic change in my diet isn’t helping.

Breakfast: Cooked salmon, scrambled eggs, avocado, cucumber

Lunch: Homemade meatballs with a tomato purée sauce, courghetti, sugar snaps

Dinner: Asparagus guacamole with crudités

Day 6

Why am I still so tired?!

I had planned to make up for the laziness of my Saturday with a super productive Sunday… go to the gym, maybe a little bike ride. But nope. My body was t.i.r.e.d. So I succumbed to another day on the sofa and made myself a rather good (if I may say so myself) Whole30 Sunday brunch AND roast dinner.

Breakfast: Chillied scrambled eggs, sautéed mushrooms and tomatoes, smoked salmon, avocado

Lunch: Lots of fruit

Dinner: Roasted garlic and herb chicken breasts, roasted sweet potato mush (not quite mash!), roasted veg (red pepper, green pepper, carrot, red onion, mushroom, cherry tomato)

Day 7

Today is a good day!

With all the free time I had over the weekend, I went into Monday all prepped up and ready to go again.

I surprised myself by looking forward to steak (which I’d had the foresight to defrost – prep is key!) all day at work and when I ate it, along with the side dish of a medley of sautéed veg, it turned out to be my favourite meal of Whole30 so far.

Breakfast: Chillied scrambled eggs, smoked salmon, avocado, cherry tomatoes

Lunch: Leftover roast dinner from the day before

Dinner: Steak! With a side of courghetti, asparagus, cherry tomatoes and sugar snaps

The snacks

I would be being a bit disingenuous if I pretended all those photos above were everything that I ate in the last week. As well as all those delish meals, I also had the following:

  • a banana every morning – either before working out or with my main breakfast
  • 2 clementines every day – either with my main breakfast (if I’d already eaten the banana earlier) or as a mid morning snack
  • every working day – a small tub containing a handful of mixed nuts (almonds, pecans and walnuts), 3 dried apricots and 1 medjool date. I usually ate the nuts in the morning and the fruit in the afternoon
  • on Day 5 I also made a fruit bowl of mashed banana, strawberries, coconut flakes and pecans
  • I discovered Meridian almond butter. I am not exaggerating when I say it is divine. Paired with jazz apples from Waitrose which are clearly in season as they are so delicious, and I have *almost* not been missing chocolate

Now, I’m not too sure on how ‘in keeping’ with Whole30 all of the above are. Sure, they are all completely compliant foods, but I am really wary of not just replacing a chocolate/cake/biscuit sugar habit with a fruit one instead. I’m happy with the amount of fruit it is, but next week I’m going to focus on incorporating fruit as much into actual meals as possible.

So how do I feel?

Other than the horrendous day 3, the last week has been relatively manageable. I’ve found it fairly easy to turn down snacks and overall at work there wasn’t anywhere near as much food as usual hanging around near my desk, which really helped.

I’ve felt really, really tired for most of this week, and I have to admit I’m yet to feel ‘the magic’. Some days, I’ve definitely felt less bloated, but other days just as bloated as before.

For week two, I’m going to try out some new recipes, vary the salads I’m eating for lunch and definitely eat more steak. After swearing it is something I ‘just don’t eat’, beef has been somewhat of a revelation already.

I’m posting LOADS about my Whole30 over on Instagram – follow me for updates!


  1. 19th June 2014 / 9:16 AM

    Well done for surviving week one and thanks for this honest recap! I totally agree, Meridian Almond butter is the bomb!

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