Whole 30 Week 1: The dreaded hangover

Well, I’m almost a week in to Whole30 and I’m doing alright diet-wise. It’s been an otherwise rough time with some health issues, though, so the timing has been pretty crummy. I thought I’d do this diary-style, with my thoughts as the Whole30 progresses.


September 30 (the day before the Whole30)

I went NUTS eating all the things I won’t be eating in October. I ate huevos rancheros (corn tortillas, cheese, beans all on the no-no list). I drank a latte (goodbye milk). I went to Red Robin and had a Tavern Double (cheese, dairy & soy in the sauce) and fries (soybean oil). I drank a margarita. Then I had wine and popcorn at the football game (there was a lightning delay, what else was there to do in the bathrooms taking shelter?) So I woke up the next day feeling pretty rough, like I had a hangover, which probably wasn’t the best way to start this.


Day one

Since the rules state no weighing yourself during the 30 days, I figured I’d get a base measurement first thing in the morning before I started. I weighed the same as I had during my weekly weigh-in a few days prior, so that wasn’t news.

First up, I had to make tea instead of coffee. I switched out parts in my Keurig so I can use it to make cups of hot water. Three cups of tea later, I figured I’d probably had about as much caffeine as a cup of coffee. I felt a headache coming on anyway.

My first week of Whole30, where I discover the Whole30 hangover and destroy my kitchen twice over trying to prepare for the week ahead.

Paleo beef stroganoff over herb-roasted red potatoes (recipe linked in text.)

Day one was a Sunday, so it was a major meal prep day. I started by throwing a paleo beef stroganoff in the Crock-Pot. I used coconut yogurt and tapoica starch in place of coconut milk and arrowroot starch because that’s what I had. As I was measuring out beef bone broth and coconut aminos, I had a moment of self-doubt. It came out great though, I highly recommend this recipe.

I also made a batch of herb-roasted red potatoes using ghee, and my usual breakfast apple sweet potato bake (which I modified by adding an apple, and tossing the sweet potatoes in pumpkin spice instead of cinnamon.) I grilled some chicken strips. I cut up carrot sticks. I had to run the dishwasher twice to deal with the kitchen aftermath.

I was able to get through a strength-training routine before the headache came on full-force and I realized it wasn’t caffeine, it was tension (I had a huge knot in my neck at the base of my skull.) It progressed as the evening went on and despite stretching and applying heat, it just kept getting worse.


Day two

I slept poorly and when I got up, my head throbbed so much I nearly fell. I managed a shower but it was clear there was no way I was safe to drive, much less work all day. I stayed home sick and slept on and off all day. Thankfully I’d cooked all day before so I had plenty of food on hand and ready to go.

Google “Whole30 Hangover” and you’ll find all sorts of tales of horror. Apparently feeling like crap in days two and three is a typical experience. I don’t know that having a massive tension headache on top of it is normal, but hey, I go all the way.


Day three

Still had the headache but it was down to manageable now. Went to work and survived the day, and actually managed to catch up from missing the day before.

I already had a visit to the chiropractor scheduled that afternoon so off I went. He sorted out my lumpy neck and when I asked why I can’t seem to get over this stuff (this is like visit 10, one every week since August) he looked at me and said, “How’s your diet?” WELL ACTUALLY, I said, I just started Whole30 because I think something’s up there too. I Googled this when I got home because of course I did, and found that certain foods like cheese, red wine, and beans can trigger headaches. Oopsie, I guess I did this to myself with my Saturday shenanigans.

We are hopeful the diet will make a difference eventually but for now I’m still on weekly visits.

Since this was as close to a “normal” day as I’ve had so far, here’s what I ate:

Breakfast: 3 cups of tea
Apple sweet potato bake
A cup of strawberries

My first week of Whole30, where I discover the Whole30 hangover and destroy my kitchen twice over trying to prepare for the week ahead.

Cauliflower fried “rice” with carrots, onions, chicken and egg. Recipe coming soon, I just need to measure this time!

Lunch: Cauliflower fried rice (I just threw stuff together but I’m going to measure and make a recipe because it was the bomb)

Snack: an apple

Dinner: Leftover beef stroganoff, a little cauliflower rice

Evening snack: Fried yuca with paleo ranch

I cut up some romaine for easy salad making that evening.

Day four

I decided to try coffee again because tea is lame. I mixed in some coconut milk and cinnamon. It was fairly unpleasant but I was able to drink it and I think it’ll get more tolerable as I get used to it.

I ran out of beef stroganoff so I pulled some ropa vieja from the freezer (I’d made it the weekend before I started the Whole 30) and fried up some patacon (smashed plantain patties.)


Day five

I had to fast this morning for some blood work, so I took my newly-discovered saddo coffee to work and LEFT IT THERE while I took care of my physical. It was lukewarm and just as gross when I got back, but it did the job. Oh, and I accidentally saw my weight at the physical because I forgot I wasn’t supposed to know. Looks like I lost another half pound since the previous week!

This was my first day trying to dine out on Whole 30 and I had to do it twice! We had our monthly work lunch out, so I opted for a chef salad with no cheese and a housemade lemon basil vinaigrette. I didn’t ask too many questions but the salad was ham, turkey, and loads of veggies so I think it was fine.

That night I was hanging out with my nephews so I took them to Red Robin. I went for a lettuce-wrapped guacamole burger (no cheese or mayo) and a side of steamed broccoli. It was kind of sad sans cheese and fries, but it did the job and I proved I can do this.


Day six

My first week of Whole30, where I discover the Whole30 hangover and destroy my kitchen twice over trying to prepare for the week ahead.

Patacon and ropa vieja in progress

Another morning of coffee and apple sweet potato bake. For lunch I’m having some leftover patacon with ropa vieja (Cuban-style shredded beef) on it. Dinner I have no idea, as I’ve more or less run out of pre-cooked options but I need to be quick to get through my workout and out to meet friends.

Said friends want to go to a local festival, where I will be able to eat only one thing (roasted potatoes) and drink water. It’ll probably still be cool for the atmosphere, but part of me really wants to just hide in a hole for the rest of the month. We’ll see what happens, I have a tendency to tire out before actually getting out the door on Friday nights.



I’m giving myself an A- for this because while I stuck to the rules, I’ve probably been eating too many fried potatoes/yuca/plantains. In week two I will try to limit my allowed starchy things to 2-3 servings over the whole week.

This weekend I’m planning to make a big pot of paleo-fied Zuppa Toscana and to throw… something in the Crock-Pot (send me all your ideas!) Of course I’ll be doing another apple sweet potato bake and probably ought to come up with some easy veggie options too.

Do you know any good paleo-friendly recipes or websites? I need inspiration! Tell me in the comments.

The Whole 30 series

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