whole 30: week 2

Welp, we survived the second week of Whole 30, and I'm happy to say it went better than the first. Here's what I've noticed this week:

  • Cravings have mostly disappeared.
  • Dizzy/shaky spells have also vanished. No longer needing "snacks" in between meals to manage this.
  • Still feeling like I have more energy, feel more alert, and sleeping better.

Here's what we ate last week:

I haven't talked much about breakfast, which most every day consists of eggs in some fashion. Sometimes fried, others scrambled, usually topped with salsa or hot sauce. This week, I made some sausage and had Josh grill it and O.M.G. y'all. You need this recipe in your life (...but if you make it, cut wayyyy back on the salt. Thankfully, I'd read the reviews that recommended this). Also, I've started *almost* enjoying my coffee with Nutpods French Vanilla creamer, and after I blend in my Warrior Strong Wellness Collagen Peptides and Bone Broth Superfood Protein, it *almost* tastes like a cappuccino.

For lunches, Josh butterflied and grilled a bunch of chicken breasts, seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic, and paprika. Then we made up big salads for the week with a mix of spinach and romaine, cucumbers, tomatoes, Pederson's bacon, boiled eggs, and topped with Primal Kitchen Caesar dressing.

Monday: Leftover pork chops from the weekend.

Tuesday: Bunless burgers, seasoned with Montreal Smoky Steak Seasoning and coconut aminos, served with Triad local Niki's Pickles, fresh tomatoes, and skillet potatoes with onions cooked in a mixture of ghee and olive oil

Wednesday: Leftovers.

Thursday: Egg Roll in a Bowl over cauliflower rice with homemade Chinese spicy mustard. This is definitely the most "meh" meal we've had on Whole30. It just seemed like something was missing.

Friday: Dinner out at Zoe's. This time, I had the salmon skewers with Moroccan harissa with grilled potato salad (omg so good) and roasted veg.

Saturday: Clear out of eggs (we've seriously gone through like 2+ cartons a week), on Saturday, I whipped up what turned out to be a delicious little breakfast "porridge" of sorts: 2 bananas, fried in ghee and cinnamon, then pour in a splash of (compliant) almond milk to deglaze the pan. Serve topped with unsweetened coconut and raw mixed nuts (I found these at Target).

I was most concerned about this weekend, because I had won tickets to the races at VIR (thanks to the ladies at Triad Moms on Main!) and had no clue how we would manage to eat there. It actually proved not so difficult, and I wasn't even super tempted by all the treats that were available. We decided to go with the Porchetta food truck - I had a Cuban, from which I removed the bread and cheese, Josh had chicken tacos sans tortilla, and we shared some homemade rosemary potato chips. I'm sure it wasn't all 100% compliant, but we were pretty darn proud of ourselves. Miles, on the other hand, had ALL the bread and cheese and topped it all off with homemade strawberry ice cream with sprinkles.

Toddler with Lamborghini at VIR IMSA Series
Dad and Son at VIR IMSA Series

Saturday night, I chopped up all the leftover chicken from the week's lunch prep and whipped up some buffalo chicken salad (using Primal Kitchen mayo, Frank's, and lots of celery) and had that on salads with this really delicious homemade ranch recipe (I added in a little unsweetened coconut milk to thin it out).

Sunday: Grilled New York Strip steaks with roasted balsamic baby carrots and brussel sprouts.

Now, I just have one more full week before reintroducing stuff back into my diet. Week 3, we're coming for ya!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission on anything purchased through those links at no extra cost to you. For more info, see my complete disclosure.

whole 30: week 1

Sometime in the last six or so weeks, Josh got the harebrained idea that we should do a Whole 30. No sugar. No grains. No dairy. You know the drill.

Now mind you, I've asked this man no less than three times over the course of the past TWO YEARS to do this with me, and he has refused each and every time. *insert eye roll* BUT, since he had finally agreed (now that it was his idea), I decided to go along with it. The only requirement was that we absolutely could NOT start until after our trip to New Orleans the first weekend of August (because CAFE DU MONDE BEIGNETS, Y'ALL). So last Monday(ish), we embarked on our Whole 30(ish) journey. The first ish being due to the face that someone (me) forgot that corn is a grain (yeah, yeah... I know it's listed right there in the main rules... GIMME A BREAK), and the second ish because I'm going on a Bachelorette weekend to Nashville Labor Day weekend to celebrate my friend Megan AND LIFE IS JUST TO SHORT TO BE HEALTHY LIVING AT A TIME LIKE THAT.

Quite honestly, the eating hasn't been so bad. Our meals have actually been quite delicious for the most part. The main changes/impacts I've noticed so far have been:

  • INTENSE sugar cravings for the first three or so days. Like wanting all the sugary, junky treats within a five mile radius.
  • Almost immediate loss of water weight/bloating... my clothes suddenly fit much better. Not complaining about that.
  • Dizzy/shaky feeling between meals - even though I'm not hungry at all. I haven't exactly pinpointed the cause of this, but it seems to be helped by having a smaller meal/snack in-between the main meals. I have this happen normally even when I'm not on this special eating plan, but usually only if I'm actually ravenously hungry. If anyone else who has experienced this on Whole 30 has any insight here, I'm all ears.
  • Increased energy, especially in the afternoon when I typically crash. This is definitely a win with a toddler in the house.

While eating on the plan during the week proved to be fairly easy, Josh and I both agreed that following it on the weekend was much harder. We'll often pick up a treat (like the amazing seasonal watermelon milkshake from CookOut that is only sold THROUGH THE MONTHS OF JULY AND AUGUST... hold me) or decide to go out to dinner on a whim on weekends when we're already out and about, and that's just not as feasible on Whole 30.

If you're interested, here's what we ate this week:


Monday: Baked salmon with an AMAZING mango salsa (and the forbidden corn... oops)

Tuesday: leftovers from Monday, with a baked sweet potato instead of the bad corn

Wednesday: Dinner out at Zoe's. They have several Whole 30 approved menu items. I had the shrimp skewers with harissa sauce and potato salad.

Thursday: Threw together a dinner of turkey burgers that I already had in the freezer from Trader Joe's topped with guacamole and a fried egg, served with roasted sweet potatoes

Friday: Instant Pot beef and broccoli over cauliflower rice

Weekend: Rao's Marinara with ground beef and butternut squash noodles served with a side salad with Primal Kitchen caesar dressing

Salad with carnitas, fresh salsa, tomatillo salsa, and guacamole from Chipotle

Pork chops marinated in coconut aminos and Montreal steak seasoning served with herb roasted red onion, carrots, and apples.

For lunches last week, I made up a big batch of chicken salad with Primal Kitchen Mayo, Guilden's Spicy Brown Mustard, grapes, and celery and had it over spinach topped with pecans, tomatoes, and a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.


Now, we're onto week two. Have you done a Whole 30? If so, what are your best tips and favorite recipes? 

This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission on anything purchased through those links at no extra cost to you. For more info, see my complete disclosure.

our first family beach vacation

This past weekend, we took our first real beach vacation as a family. We've been once to the beach on the coast of Holland when Miles was a baby and then to Charleston last year, but we barely did more than just see the ocean on either trip. Josh and I have never been huge beach-goers as a couple, but I managed to snag a condo for Memorial Day weekend and just knew that Miles would love it. On Friday, we packed the car to the gills and set off for the Carolina coast.

Taken with nikon d700 and sigma 85 1.4. ©2018 elizabeth glessner.

Taken with nikon d700 and sigma 85 1.4. ©2018 elizabeth glessner.

The first morning went something like this:

3 AM - One certain toddler climbs out of his bed and walks to the door. Realizes that we're in the room with him when Josh tells him to get back in bed. Proclaims he is "all done with his nap" and wants to go the beach. 

After refusing to get back in his own bed, put him in our bed in an attempt to get him to go back to sleep. He lays on my pillow and proceeds to whisper in my ear about collecting shells and playing in the sand. Does NOT go back to sleep.

Turn on cartoons in an attempt to keep him still so that we can get more sleep. Lasts approximately 20 minutes before he climbs down and says he wants breakfast.

5 AM - Give up and get up with toddler. Make oatmeal. Brainstorm your sleep-deprived, uncaffeinated mind for solutions to the bright room that don't involve driving 20 minutes to the nearest Wal-Mart. Load child in car and drive to Food Lion. Buy the largest black garbage bags available. Go back and put those bad boys on the window with shipping tape. Problem solved, and we didn't have any more sleep issues for the remainder of the trip. Parenthood makes you industrious in all new ways.

The early wakeup call threw off our plans for the day, so we headed down to the infamous Britt's Donuts around 8 a.m. for our breakfast fix. The line was long, but boy is this place worth it. Truly, the best (and most unhealthy) donuts ever. After an early nap for me and the toddler and quick lunch at the condo, we headed to the beach in the afternoon.

Taken with nikon d700 and sigma 85 1.4. ©2018 elizabeth glessner.

Taken with nikon d700 and sigma 85 1.4. ©2018 elizabeth glessner.

I had been once to Carolina Beach with friends in the off-season while I was pregnant, so going when all the businesses on the island were open was a completely different experience. We enjoyed the best seafood dinners at Surf House (where Miles tried and LOVED crab and oysters) and The Shuckin' Shack, awesome Irish ice cream from Celtic Creamery, and a great lunch at Hang Ten Grill on the way out of town after visiting the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher. Having visited beaches in the Outer Banks, Myrtle Beach, Emerald Isle, Charleston, and Beaufort, I can say that CB is probably my favorite family beach town in the Carolinas, if for nothing more than the ability to walk almost anywhere you want to go.

Taken with nikon d700 and sigma 85 1.4. ©2018 elizabeth glessner.

Taken with nikon d700 and sigma 85 1.4. ©2018 elizabeth glessner.

I don't know if it's my newfound level of organization since having a kid, but I will say that this was the most seamless beach trip in terms of gear and preparedness that I've ever experienced. I like to travel fairly minimally but with things that are going to make my life easy. For example, we left the stroller at home knowing that Miles could always ride on Daddy's shoulders if he got tired of walking.

Taken with nikon d700 and sigma 85 1.4. ©2018 elizabeth glessner.

Taken with nikon d700 and sigma 85 1.4. ©2018 elizabeth glessner.

These are my vacation necessities that made beachin' it with a toddler so much easier:

Travel bed- Miles just moved from a crib last week and did really well in this Intex inflatable bed. I liked it better than other options because it has the bumper on all sides. Bonus that a regular-size crib sheet fits perfectly.

Tent- I had being eyeing these pop-up tents on Amazon and happened to find this exact one for about half the price at TJ Maxx. It was the perfect size for the three of us plus all of our stuff, and the window in the back kept a breeze flowing through. Easy to set up, and we had absolutely no issues with it trying to blow away with the stakes in.

Beach toys - I got this simple set, and one of Miles's aunts had bought him this dump truck a few months back that we took along. He literally was entertained for hours!

Cooler- I have a tote like this one that I love for beach trips. It's small, but fit enough drinks and snacks for the three of us for a few hours.

Beach chairs- I replaced our old metal frame folding chairs with this pair of lounge chairs from Amazon. Since they sit flat on the ground, they easily fit in the tent, and it was easy to still play with Miles while sitting on them.

Collapsible wagon- You NEED something to haul all this beach crap without looking like a pack mule. Also doubles as a child hauler. I found a great one at Academy Sports that worked just fine. There are lots of similar ones on Amazon - this wagon looks most like the one we found

Good beach attire for kids - bright colored swimwear for easily spotting a toddler: orange sun hat and long-sleeved rash guard from Amazon, pineapple swim trunks from Target, and sand and water-friendly sandals from Plae

Taken with nikon d700 and sigma 85 1.4. ©2018 elizabeth glessner.

Taken with nikon d700 and sigma 85 1.4. ©2018 elizabeth glessner.

I also love these water safety tips from Miles's swim teacher, and we definitely put them to use while at the beach: http://triadmomsonmain.com/my-blog/water-safety-summer/

Needless to say (the pictures say it all) - Miles is a total beach bum. We're always looking for new adventures... Where is your favorite beach (or other destination) to vacation with young kids? Comment below!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission on anything purchased through those links at no extra cost to you. For more info, see my complete disclosure.