By Rob Shaul
A few weeks ago I wrote an article about how I had tried the Whole 30 diet, liked it, and am still doing it (mostly).
I recently received a question asking for my menu on a typical day – and below is what I ate last Thursday:
0330 Wake Up and Coffee
I do use a little milk in my coffee – in violation of Whole 30.
Cup of Coffee #2, and 1/2 Apple and Almond Butter
I generally don’t eat anything before training, but last Thursday we were doing a gym-based endurance session and I found for these, I do better with something in my stomach.
0515 – Leave for Work
0545-0645 – Train
- Left over Chicken Breast and Spaghetti Squash from Dinner
- Handful of Cherry Tomatoes
- Sparkling Water.
- Cup of Coffe #3
- Avocado with salt and pepper – I peel the top half, add salt and pepper, each around 1/2 of the seed, then grab the seed with my teeth, twist and pull it free. Add salt and pepper and eat the 2nd half with a spoon!
- Handful of Cherry Tomatoes
- Sardines with Mustard Sauce (gross, I know, but I like ’em)
- 5-6 Mini Sweet Peppers (I buy the small bags)
- Small container of black berries with almond butter. Entire container (I love black berries!) I’ve found on Whole 30 my berry intake has increased significantly.
- Cup of Coffee #4
- Avocado with Salt and Pepper
- Crock Pot Pork Shoulder with Paleo bbq sauce (found some at the store)
- Sweet Potato Fries (from a package) Baked Asparagus and olive oil
- Dessert – Bowl of frozen blue berries and frozen cherries with handful of raw sunflower seeds. I can eat this nightly. I find the raw sunflower seeds in the bulk foods section of the local grocery store, and microwave the berries for 60 seconds first. I use the spoon to mix up the berries and seeds and chow down – for me this combo has just the right amount of sweet and crunch. Even better is roasted, but unsalted sunflower seeds. My store used to sell these but doesn’t anymore …
Are you going to change MTI’s Nutritional Guidelines?
No – for most, switching immediately from the typical American diet to Whole 30 right away would not be sustainable. Our nutritional guidelines, I’ve found over the years, are sustainable, and for me, at least, were a great “bridge” to the more stringent Whole 30 diet.
What naturally happens following our guidelines is the “cheat” day becomes less and less of a cheat. Simply put, after eating “clean” all week, pigging out on carbs and sugar one day/week makes you sick to your stomach. And so your cheat days become less and less.
Our nutritional guidelines are a great, sustainable diet and if you want to get more strict – a good “bridge” to do so.
What are the main differences between how you ate before and now?
- No cheat day, no artificial sweeteners, reading labels for sugar, and no cheese. The artificial sweeteners for me took the form of an energy drink or two in the afternoon when I “crashed.”
- Under Whole 30, artificial sweeteners are not allowed, so my afternoon caffeine hit became coffee.
- Hard cheese hand also been a big part of my breakfast and lunch meal.
- In general, I eat a lot more vegetables and berries under Whole 30.
What about supplements – i.e. protein shakes?
Artificial sweeteners and diary are not allowed, which eliminates whey. And neither are legumes, which eliminates soy. A year ago, occasionally, I’d drink a whey protein shake after training, but naturally stopped doing so and now, my general thoughts on all types of supplements, including whey protein shakes, is negative. Just eat real food.
What is different in the way you feel?
- I give food less attention, which is liberating for me. This diet is like having one color shirt to wear everyday – makes life simple. This will drive others crazy … because you end up eating the same thing most the time (esp. for breakfast and lunch) but doesn’t bother me – as I’ve never been a foodie. This does drive my girlfriend crazy.
- The good thing about my current diet and our nutritional guidelines is there is no caloric restriction – you can eat until you’re full – this take a lot of the stress out of it as you don’t need to count calories.
- I was pretty lean before Whole 30, but it seems I’ve leaned up a little, however, I have not lost any weight.
- Mentally, I do feel more sharp. I’m not sure why – but I did eliminate a lot of dairy from my diet (cheese) and that could account for it.
Doesn’t this diet cost more?
No – esp. when I was paying $2 – $2.50 for 2x energy drinks every day. I can get a small container of blackberries, container of cherry tomatoes or small bag of sweet peppers for $2.50.