Category Archives: Nutrition

Whole 30 2.0 – Week 1

Sunday completed Week 1 of my second round of the Whole 30 program.

I pulled out my food journal from the first week of my first round of Whole 30 back in January and compared it to how it felt this time around.

Both Week 1’s were similar:

* Afternoon cravings that began to fade by the end of Week 1.

* The cravings were NOT for sweets, rather for real food like hard-boiled eggs or carrots.

* By the end of Week 1 my bloat began to subside.

During the first round my sole focus was on making food choices that were Whole 30 compliant.

This time, I am also focusing on the other things like:

* Eating without distractions at the table.

* Leaving at least four to five hours in-between meals.

* Trying new recipes.

This week’s new recipe, Marinated Stuffed Burgers, came from Whole 30’s Instagram account.

It was so easy to make and tasted so flavorful.

Also inspired by Jo’s Instagram of burger salads, I made it salad-style! I served it with spinach and a whole bunch of more veggies like carrots, cucumbers, olives, etc.


Adjusting to the Whole 30 Daily Guidelines

I’m not an expert on food science – or any science for that matter. In fact I even took college science classes with the English as a Second Language kids – but that’s a story for another day.

But I am going attempt to write a very basic post on the Daily Guidelines of the Whole 30 program.

Whole 30 Thoughts of the Day


Sounds simple enough right?

Well I’m going to share with you how not following these guidelines led me to hormone dysfunction.

Eat Three Meals A Day and Don’t Snack

I definitely got my three meals a day in, as well as snacks between each meal. And loosely use the term “snacks” because of the size of those snacks could easily have qualified as meals.

Looking through old food logs (see there’s value in keeping these things!) I realized that I was eating about every two hours.

Well after reading “It Starts with Food” again I learned that “it takes 4-5 hours between meals to have the optimal hormonal response.” What that means is that the body needs time to make the glucagon work and keep leptin at normal levels.

Huh? What’s glucagon and leptin? That was my reaction when I read that, so I went to trust old Wikipedia and found these explanations (click below to read):


Basically they’re hormones that help regular blood sugar and are tied to the rhythm of your eating schedule.

When you start your eating too early or late in the day, it throws off the leptin pattern, which maintains your cortisol levels.

It’s all too scientific for me to explain so my basic takeaway was, “Eat the right foods, at the right times which will curb your cravings and won’t disrupt your hormones.”

Since I was a believer in being “rungry” ALL the time, I ate often which disrupted my hormones and led to Adrenal Fatigue, Hypothyroidism, high levels of cortisol, etc.

Basically I was out of whack and suffering from insomnia, IBS, leaky gut and other things that felt as terrible as they sound.

During Whole 30 1.0 in January, I was able to get to a place where I didn’t feel the need to snack anymore. Unfortunately, when I went off the program so did that habit. But I know that if I stick to the plan I’ll get back to that place again in about a week or so. Until that happens I’m trying to make good choices with the snacks by eating hard boiled egg whites or toasted coconut chips.

Start with Breakfast

Its advised to eat Meal 1 within one hour of waking up.

This one is a little tricky for me because I am a morning runner and usually only eat half a banana before I run (or sometimes nothing at all) and save “Meal 1” for after the run.

I’m still working out how to time all of this but I do make sure that my breakfast is the kind that’s recommended – comprised of protein, fat and veggies.

One thing that I had to adjust to was cutting back on (NOT cutting out) fruit. Fruit has a lot of sugar, which leads you to crave more sugar. I was definitely someone who overdid fruit at breakfast so now I just limit myself to half a banana or a handful of blueberries.

Stop Eating a Few Hours Before Bedtime

“Make dinner the last meal of your day.”

I thought this was pretty straightforward but then I recalled all the snacking I used to do before bed. I learned that doing that messes up your leptin (that word again) levels and “impedes hormone releases” which you need for recovery.

Sweets before bed impacts your insulin levels, which affect your sleep patterns and cause a blood sugar crash in the middle of the night.

This explained why I would always wake up at 2 am completely starving and unable to go back to sleep. It also explained why I had a hard time recovering from workouts!

Now I try to have dinner around 6 pm, then a shake with some of the supplements that Dr Ponce has prescribed right after dinner – but still a good 2-3 hours before bedtime.

To keep my blood sugar levels stabilized, Dr Ponce also advised me to also have protein one hour before bedtime, so I eat a hard boiled egg (whites only). Ever since I started doing this I’ve slept so much better – more restful and right through the night.

Whole 30 2.0: Day 3 – Wed, May 28

Successfully stuck to the program and only had one snack mid-morning. None needed in the afternoon!

Changing the Way I Eat

Whole 30 2.0: Day 2 Recap – Tues, May 27

Whole 30 2.0 Day 2 was a success! (2.0 because I already did it once before…the geek in me can’t help it…)

The end.

Just kidding.

Actually Day 2 wasn’t that difficult. This is probably because it was a workday and I was back to my regular routine after the long weekend. What that means is that I ate pre-planned, home-cooked meals.

I used to be someone who ate out ALL THE TIME, three meals a day. But now, with my dietary restrictions, I prefer to eat at home. I know exactly what I’m eating (no hidden ingredients in sauces and other similar stuff) which keeps my digestional issues in check.

Whole 30 Thought of the Day


One thing that I like about Whole 30 is that it’s more than just what you eat. It’s also how you eat and how you feel while eating.

Whole 30 advocates eating meals at a table without distractions. This means, no TV, computer or phones. They should all be turned off or put away. This way you can relax, chew your food slowly and savor the taste of it.

For me, when eating at home I often eat my desk while working on my laptop, or eat while sitting on the couch watching TV. And I usually finish my meals in record time. Not a good way to appreciate the meals.

So today I tried the “quietly eating at the table” thing.

Normally I eat breakfast while reading through work emails. Depending on the nature of the email, I either ate fast, faster or the fastest. Today I found that I actually enjoyed the solitude of having that moment to myself before the busy-ness of the day began.

But as the day progressed I found it more challenging to do this.

Lunch required me to interrupt my workflow and actually take a break to eat. Like a real break. Don’t get me wrong, I take lots of breaks during the workday, but it’s usually to take care of personal business – on the phone or computer.

And for dinner, my ritual is to watch the evening news while eating. It felt weird to skip that part of it.

Old habits die hard, but I can definitely see how eating slowly with no distractions provides a break of the typical stresses of the day.