30 4 15 {Starting 2015 the Whole 30 way}

Well, lots of people have shown a great deal of interest in this new way of eating I have embarked on recently. Having recently finished my first Whole 30 (and then dipping into some of the old food I used to eat, which caused me terrible grief), I’m back on the Whole 30 wagon in January!

So, if you feel like joining me, then why not check out my new Facebook page: 30 4 15. You can join in there with recipes, tips, ideas and encouragement, whether you have done a Whole 30 before or not! I will be starting on January 3rd, but you can join in as and when you like if that date doesn’t suit you!  I’ll be sharing tips and ideas, recipes and blog posts to help you on your own Whole 30 journey.

In addition, I am giving away one copy of the Dallas and Melissa Hartwig book ‘It Starts with Food’ – I found this to be a lifesaver for explaining the premise and sciencey stuff behind the program as well as recipe ideas. You can be in to win a copy by commenting ‘Whole 30’ on this post, or on the photo on the Facebook page. Giveaway winner will be announced tomorrow (New Year’s Eve, 2014) at 5pm – sorry though, this is a UK giveaway only.

Please remember I am not a dietician or a nutritionist, I’m on the healthy eating journey too.  I will be using guidance as published by Whole 9, the organisation behind Whole 30.  If you have any serious concerns about your health then you should always consult a healthcare professional.

So, here’s to a healthy 2015 🙂


Grace and Love

Helen x

It Starts with Food Giveaway - to win, comment Whole 30 in the comments sections below.

It Starts with Food Giveaway – to win, comment Whole 30 in the comments sections below.

30 @ 30 {My Whole 30 Journey}

So, last day came and here is my final write-up – with 30 things I’ve learned from this Whole 30.

Day 30


Breakfast: Leftover crabcakes. There’s a breakfast I never thought I’d have!

Lunch: I made a curried sweet potato and butternut squash soup with bacon bits.

Dinner: Made Thai Basil Beef from It Starts with Food, and ate this on a bed of spinach. AND, as it was the last day, I made these custards from Meaningful Eats and had a little treat after dinner. Delish 😉

So what did I learn from the Whole 30?


If you read the start of my journey, you may remember I was interested in the claim that this book, this food, can change your life. I didn’t start this as a weight loss program. I started it because I know some food products make me ill…and they’re just the ones I knew about!

So having followed the program…and yes I have made a few mistakes here and there because life is like that…here is what I have found…

  1. I started the Whole 30 with persistent, daily headaches in the mornings. These have gone.
  2. I started the Whole 30 with a sore throat most mornings. These have gone.
  3. I started the Whole 30 with stomach cramps and IBS. These have gone.
  4. I used to suffer from severe-do-I-need-to-go-to-hospital indigestion that ant-acids/Gaviscon/anything couldn’t resolve. This has also gone.
  5. I went from eating 2 meals a day, drinking only coffee for breakfast, and eating crisps and cake/biscuits daily to eating 3 meals a day, protein rich and loaded with vegetables and very little snacking.
  6. I sleep better overall.
  7. I lost 10lb, back to my pre-baby/wedding day weight 🙂
  8. I must have been carrying around 10lb of sugar every day!
  9. I am horrified, as a consumer, at how many savoury products have sugar added to them.
  10. I understand the value of reading all my labels.
  11. Sugar is not my friend.
  12. I’m wearing a belt again for the first time in 9 years.
  13. I feel more confident about what I’m wearing – I’ve started to tuck shirts/t-shirts/tops in again.
  14. I used to feel sluggish and foggy mid-late afternoon. This has gone.
  15. The right kind of fat means that fat does not make you fat (see number 7 for proof).
  16. Calorie counting is a waste of time, because it doesn’t pay attention to nutrient density.
  17. This way of eating is sustainable – I have made meals for other people outside my family that are Whole 30 compliant and they have gone down very well!
  18. Quality of meat matters.
  19. Buying from the local butcher costs more, but we eat better, eat leftovers and throw less away now.
  20. Making your own stock is awesome. And easy. And doesn’t contain unnecessary additives and sugar.
  21. It is possible to make a cake and not eat it 😉
  22. It is possible to feed my whole family in this way and have them devour their meals.
  23. It is possible to not only say no thanks to biscuits, but it’s also possible to give up eating a whole packet in a day (yes, I really did sometimes do this).
  24. I need to be careful with fruit – I do eat it, but limit it.
  25. I don’t miss puddings.
  26. I gain satisfaction from taking control of sugar cravings I used to have.
  27. I can now make tons of great recipes, packed with flavour and nothing artificial in them.
  28. I feel better educated about food and the effects food can have on your body.
  29. I haven’t followed a faddy diet for a month, I’ve changed the way I eat forever.
  30. To quote the creators of this program: “The food you eat either makes you more healthy or less healthy. Those are your options.” (It Starts with Food, p12).

You can look back at my food diary/journey here.

If you’re thinking of trying it, then try it. After all, it’s only 30 days.

Grace and Love

Helen x

My Whole 30 Journey {Days 23-29}

So the end is in sight…Can’t believe I’m at the last hurdle.

Here goes…

Day 23


Breakfast: Fruit for breakfast today. I know, I know I said I would get better at this…

Lunch: I had egg and bacon scramble with peppers and onions.

Dinner: Oven baked salmon with lemon and dill, boiled new potatoes (boiled with half a lemon and some smashed garlic cloves – this seriously transforms ordinary boiled tatties), carrots and spinach.

Snacks: Snacked on coconut, cranberries, almonds and an apple today.


Day 24


Well, woke with the most awful pains in my stomach. Really bad stabbing pains, and sometimes I could hardly catch my breath. I’m blaming the cranberries, they are the only thing I have eaten differently over the past couple of days. That makes cranberry sauce at Christmas a no no then 😦

Breakfast: Monkey salad.

Lunch: Ham omelette and a satsuma.

Dinner: Slow cooked a chicken during the day, to transform into stock and dinner. Ate chicken, a couple of new potatoes, boiled carrots and cabbage and spinach. Not exciting at all – family had gravy and it could have done with it, but hey, it’s still good food and it’s better than what a lot of people get to eat, so I won’t complain.

Snacks: Snacked on coconut, almonds and an apple today.


Day 25


Breakfast: Fruit. Say nothing.

Lunch: Well, for the first time in almost a month I ate out today. Went out with husband for a bowl of soup and had to leave 2 places because I couldn’t eat them. Eventually found somewhere with a DF, GF and otherwise compliant soup – Curried Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash – I’m so making this…

Dinner: Used the leftover chicken and made this Chicken, Bacon and Mushroom Quiche from Stupid Easy Paleo (click the link, it’s totally worth it). This was easy and delicious and I’ll definitely be making it again…PLUS, there is plenty left for tomorrow, so I can have some at breakfast. Yeay!

Snacks: Had a banana and an apple today with a little almond butter.


Day 26


Breakfast: Leftover quiche.

Lunch: Made a soup today, Spicy Sweet Potato and Carrot – recipe here.


Dinner: Mince and tatties – easy for everyone, just boiled potatoes for me.

Snacks: Had an apple with a little almond butter – love this snack!!


Day 27


Breakfast: Rushed rushed morning, didn’t get a breakfast 😦

Lunch: Finished off the quiche today.

Dinner: Prawn curry on a bed of spinach.

Snacks: Had some beetroot, parsnip and carrot crisps today – just a few…self-control exercised!


Day 28


Breakfast: Found this recipe at Whole Family Strong, for Sweet Potato Hashies. They are delicious and super easy. And I’m pleased to find a breakfast alternative.


Lunch: Leftover soup for lunch.

Dinner: Made these chicken nuggets from One Lovely Life…too delicious for words. Made some oven baked salt’n’pepper fries, steamed carrots and a vine ripened tomato on the side. Oh, and I made this super easy mayonnaise from PaleOMG, which I just love…although I made it plain this time, no spices just garlic powder. GREAT dinner, definitely be making the chicken nuggets again.


Snacks: Had 2 dates today.

How I feel now it’s near the end: I’ve loved this food journey. I have never eaten this clean ever. I have found a lot out about food and packaged produce that I didn’t really know, I have knocked cramping stomachs and headaches on the head. I have lost the sluggish afternoon feeling and my jeans are looser…AND I’m wearing a belt for the first time in 9 years!

I can’t ever imagine going back…at least not completely.


Day 29


Penultimate day – woo hoo!

Breakfast: So, today I had this: Warm Banana Coconut Breakfast Bowl. It was pretty good, although I only used one banana, there’s no way I could eat two at one time.

Lunch: I made crab cakes for lunch…ate two with salad and a splodge of homemade mayo. Recipe at Paleo Fondue. Very tasty and made enough for leftovers 😉


Dinner: Had breakfast for dinner! Made this tasty treat from The Urban Poser. Had it with a fried egg. Lovely. Had a satsuma for pudding 😉


Snacks: No snacks today. 

So tomorrow is the last day! At least the last day in some respects. I’ll be keeping a lot of these new habits although will, much to my husband’s relief, have a Chinese takeaway every now and then!

Grace and Love

Helen x

Spicy Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup

A quick and simple, tasty soup…I love Winter soups with a bit of spice to add warmth. This is super easy, and delicious.

You will need:

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 red onion, chopped

1 tbsp mild/medium curry powder (adjust to taste if you have a different strength curry powder)

3 cups sweet potato, chopped

2 cups carrot, chopped

1 1/2 litres chicken stock


Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium/high heat. Add onion and saute for 3-5 minutes until soft.


Add the curry powder and cook for a further minute, coating the onion well.

Add the sweet potato and carrot and cook for another couple of minutes, stirring frequently.


Add the stock and bring to the boil.

Simmer for 15 minutes or until sweet potato and carrot have softened.

Allow to cool sufficiently to transfer to a blender and puree until smooth.


Return to saucepan and heat gently. Serve warm with cracked black pepper. Mmmm.



Grace and Love

Helen x


My Whole 30 Journey {Days 18-22}

Day 18


Breakfast: I had fruit for breakfast today. I need to change this – next week will be better!

Lunch: Bacon and eggs for speed only, needed to be quick today.

Dinner: Stir fried vegetables and pan-fried haddock. Was surprised at how much I didn’t miss a stir fry sauce. Having tried to find one without sugar and failed,  decided I’d be ok with just fish and veg. I used garlic infused oil to fry everything in and that added sufficient zing to make it a very palatable meal. We also have the advantage of good, fresh fish living here, so that surely helped!

Day 19


Breakfast: Well, it’s Saturday again so breakfast sort of goes out the window. Ate some fruit mid-morning.

Lunch: Made curried coconut and pumpkin soup, recipe here. This was pretty good. 🙂


Curried Pumpkin and Coconut Soup


Dinner: Made a pork stew tonight; this was lovely. Recipe from Sustainable Dish. Can’t recommend this enough. Made lots too, so good portions left.


Butternut Squash and Pork Stew


Snacks: Had a few dried figs this morning.


Day 20


Breakfast: Found this recipe so had this : Monkey Salad from Good Cheap Eats. I LOVE this. Tasty and a good change from eggs and fruit.


Monkey Salad


Lunch: Baked a sweet potato and had leftover pork stew from last night. Quick, easy and delicious – that’s the best way!

Dinner: So, my husband found grass-fed organic sirloin steaks half price at the supermarket because they needed eating today…so we did!! Steak, home made potato wedges in garlic and salt, and an egg.  

Snacks:  Only a couple of figs today and an apple.


Day 21


Breakfast: Ate Monkey Salad again – I love this, the flavour combinations really appeals to me.

Lunch: Vegetable scrambled eggs

Dinner: Mocha rubbed slow cooker roast, mashed sweet potato, broccoli, spinach and carrots. Delicious recipe from Stupid Easy Paleo.


Mocha Rubbed Beef, mashed sweet potato and steamed veg


Snacks:  1 fig…did well with the snacking today!


Day 22


Breakfast: This is still the meal I fall down over. A rushed or busy morning (like today) and I have no chance. So only coffee, and I was out all morning so couldn’t pick anything up either.

Lunch: Ate the leftover mocha rubbed roast with a baked sweet potato. Good leftovers 🙂

Dinner: Made Asian Meatballs from Nom Nom Paleo. These were good. I made a large stirfry out of cabbage, carrots, red onion and peppers, stir-fried in coconut oil. Tossed a few dried cranberries, cashews and toasted almond slivers in to mix the taste up. I also made rice for the rest of the family too. Whole lot devoured…really tasty.

Meatballs from Nom Nom Paleo

Meatballs from Nom Nom Paleo


Asian Meatballs mmm…


Interestingly, I always thought a stirfry needed a sauce. Having not been able to find any without sugar, that’s twice now I’ve stirfried veg and found they taste just fine on their own…maybe masking the taste of fresh vegetables with a thick, sugar-lade sauce wasn’t as good as I thought!

Snacks:  Had an apple with almond butter…probably my favourite snack, although I have to go easy on the almond butter…I could scrape it out of the jar and eat it by the spponful! 😉

How I’m feeling now:

Still not springing out of bed in the mornings, but I have lost the afternoon sluggish feeling.

No stomach cramps for a long time now 🙂

No severe indigestion and uncomfortable feeling under ribs.

No headaches.

None of my jeans fit properly…I had to put a belt on yesterday, the first time since I had children (8 1/2 years now).

My husband is still laughing at me photographing my meals 😉


Already, I won’t go back to eating the way I did before. I feel so much better overall. Now I’m coming up to the last week, there are a few things I look forward to having here or there over Christmas, but generally speaking, this is a way of life for me now!


Grace and Love

Helen x

Curried Coconut Pumpkin Soup {Whole 30}

So, a hearty easy-to-make soup was in order today. Last month I took full advantage of cut price pumpkins and bought 3, chopped, cooked and pureed them and bagged them up for the freezer. Along with the chicken stock I have, I managed to cook up this tasty lunch:


Defrosted 2 1/2 cups of chicken stock and 4 cups pumpkin puree.


Chop one large or 2 medium onions.



Sautee the onion until soft, add a tablespoon of mild/medium curry powder and cook for a minute or two.



Add a cup of coconut milk, the stock and pumpkin and heat through.


Let the mixture cool a little and then puree in a blender.


While your soup is cooling, grill some bacon until crispy.


Serve with cracked black pepper and slice the bacon up…delish 😉


To recap:

Curried Coconut Pumpkin Soup – serves 6

You will need:

2 tbsp coconut oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 tbsp medium/mild curry powder (adjust to your taste-this made a soup with some warm heat but not overpowering)

2 1/2 cups chicken stock

4 cups pumpkin puree

1 cup coconut milk

Bacon – I allowed one rasher per person


  1. Heat the oil in a large soup pan over a medium heat. Add the chopped onion and sautee until soft – 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add the curry powder and coat the onion well, cooking for a further minute.
  3. Add stock and purée and bring to simmer. Stir in the coconut milk.
  4. Allow mixture to cool sufficiently to whiz through the blender. In the meantime, grill the bacon until crispy.
  5. Warm soup and serve with sliced bacon bits on top.

Easy! Enjoy 😉


Grace and Love

Helen x





My Whole 30 Journey {Days 13-17}

Well, if nothing else, I started this next 5 days in the zone. Don’t want/need cake. Don’t want/need biscuits. Still impressed I have gone this long with zero sugar in my diet. If you’re sitting there thinking – I couldn’t give up sugar, well, the answer is yes you could! If I can do it – she who ate a cake a day – then so can anyone.

Here is my 5 day round up.


Day 13


Breakfast: Still finding breakfasts the hardest. This morning was Sunday, so I was in a get-the-family-out-on-Sunday-school rush, so all I grabbed was a banana. Not ideal, but true.

Lunch: Well, this is why Whole 30 is a completely sustainable way of eating. Today we had a family round for lunch, four more non-Whole-30 eating people. And I fed everyone the Whole 30 way (apart from I made everyone else a pudding 😉 )

I made:

Tarragon chicken

Basil Beef

Mashed white potatoes

Baked sweet potatoes

Roast butternut squash with orange and cinnamon

Steamed carrots and broccoli

And everyone cleared their plates.

That’s why I love this ‘diet’. I can eat well. My family can eat well. And you can have people for dinner and make them something nice without compromising your commitment to the plan.

And, when it came to pudding, I made a caramel apple crumble, and in honesty I would have liked a piece, but I was able to serve it and sit with everyone without caving. I felt ok about that. After all, if I want a caramel apple crumble in 17 days then I can make one!!

Dinner: Ate a quick fried egg and a couple of pieces of bacon. More for speed and ease rather than anything else.


Day 14


Breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs this morning. 

And it went downhill from there!

Today I just didn’t feel like making anything or eating anything. Nothing inspired me and so, while I didn’t break the program rules in terms of content, I didn’t eat well either and didn’t balance my plates very well. So, in the interests of not having you gawp in horror at what an awful diet today was, I’ll spare you the details of today’s meals…

I suppose we get days like these even on a Whole 30!


Day 15


Half way!! Woohoo! 

A much better day today!

I put a slow cooker of beef bones on last night to make stock. This is my favourite thing to make at the moment. You need stock? I’ve got a freezer full…Delicious!

Home made stock - what's not to like? ;)

Home made stock – what’s not to like? 😉


Breakfast1 fried egg, parma ham and avocado. A nice change and I was so pleased to find parma ham is Whole 30 compliant!


ham and avocado


Dinner: As it was only me and husband eating together tonight (kids did eat, don’t worry, they just ate earlier), we pushed the boat out and had some steak. Pan fried with steamed vegetables and an egg. 



Snacks: Ate the usual piece of fruit today and found some dried berries and seeds snack packs from Tesco so had half of one of them (a closed handful that’s all).

How I felt after day 15

Well I was hoping for a greater sense of jubilation than what I actually got! Being half way is an achievement, but I think the berries and seeds mix upset my stomach. I sometimes get this very sharp pain at the bottom of my ribs on the left. It passes quickly but it’s very painful. Now, I’ve not had this since I started the Whole 30, and the only new thing I have had is this mix, so I am wondering if the dried berries maybe didn’t agree with my insides…?

On the plus side, to have regular discomfort and realise when it comes back that it had gone was a nice feeling. So no more snack pack dried berries and seeds for me!!

Day 16


Well, past the half way mark, and I’ve suddenly become bored with food. I made the kids some garlic bread for dinner tonight and I just wanted a piece…resisted though! 😉

Breakfast: Couldn’t face eggs so only managed a banana today, but I was hungry by 11.30.

Lunch: Mashed sweet potato mixed with rosemary and bacon (found here}, with wet-sauteed mushrooms sprinkled with chives and balsamic. Pretty tasty and quick to make.

Dinner: I froze some of the lamb curry I made last week, so a quick defrost and that heated up nicely. Just had a big bowl of it on its own.


Day 17


Okay, so I’m still struggling with breakfast! I can’t find half an hour to make myself a breakfast first thing in the morning. Eggs have lost their appeal and the only thing in the fridge is tarragon chicken which, quite frankly, does not appeal to me as a breakfast at all!

Breakfast: I had fruit this morning; banana and orange.

Lunch: Parma ham, avocado and a fried egg.

Dinner: Last time I made chilli beef, I had a lot left to freeze, so I defrosted that and it more than fed the 4 of us!


I feel like I have gone off my food a bit this week; that might be because of other factors in my life. I was grateful for frozen meat this week and batch cooking is certainly the way forward! Being able to pull a good, cooked meal from the freezer was a blessing, so I’ll be taking account of that next week!

My skinny jeans aren’t so skinny anymore, and my stomach cramps have gone 🙂


My Whole 30 Journey {Days 8-12}

So, into week 2…

In terms of general health – my jeans are looser for sure. I’m still tired in the mornings, but I have not had the same foggy-mid-afternoon-must-sleep-or-die feeling. Towards the end of Day 7 I felt great and Day 8, I felt positively lively! I’m also feeling less hungry between meals. When I eat fruit, it’s not usually out of hunger, but because it just looks good! I’ve also found that to avoid any evening comfort eating, if I just brush my teeth early on in the evening, then I feel less inclined to bother looking for food because, well I’m just too lazy to brush my teeth twice in one evening for the sake of a small orange!

So here’s my food round up:

Day 8


Breakfast: Found this a while back – lovely recipe: Sweet Potato, Apple and Pancetta hash. Awesome.


Lunch: Made a beef soup for lunch; recipe in It Starts with Food. Hearty bowl, no bread required 😉

Dinner: Dinner was great – Deconstructed burgers – beef, lettuce, tomatoes, olives, peppers, home-made vinaigrette for the salad. Also served it with some green beans drizzled with home-made pesto.


Snack: A couple of figs and a banana.

Day 9


Made Chicken stock today. Whole chicken in the slow cooker with lots of herbs, garlic, onions, peppercorns, sea salt, carrots and celery, topped up with water.  Cooked it on low for 6 hours and then strained it – made 4 litres of stock. I shredded the chicken to make a dish tomorrow 🙂

Also, made cake again for house group – didn’t even want a piece – vanilla cake with strawberry frosting…yep, just didn’t even want to taste it!

Breakfast: 2 boiled eggs – kept it simple today. Yes, coffee. Assume there’s always coffee!

Lunch: Leftover beef soup from yesterday.

Dinner: Lamb stew, boiled potatoes, broccoli. I could have had mash, but my husband and kids like their mash with milk and butter, so I scooped a couple out for me before I mashed them up. 

Snacks: Finding my need to snack is decreasing. I had a banana and a satsuma at different points of the day.

How I felt after Day 9

Well, I have come to the conclusion that I need to drink more water. I have felt thirstier than usual, and I’m actually not a fan of water! It makes me feel bloated, and it’s just tasteless. However, I drank 2 large glasses over about an hour and a half and the nausea went. Need to get better at this so am knocking a cup of coffee off a day and replacing with water.


Day 10


Breakfast: Made mini egg frittatas this morning. Whipped some eggs through a hand blender, added salt and pepper and poured into muffin cases. Added some spring onions, baked and voila. Ate 1 and a banana.

Managed 2 large glasses of water between breakfast and lunch – woo hoo!

Lunch: Made a Morrocan Chicken dish out of the leftover chicken. Ate it with a small baked sweet potato. 

mor chick

Dinner: Prawn curry – easy and quick. Onion, curry powder, tomatoes, home-made stock, green beans and prawns. I ate this on a bed of spinach.

prawn curry

Snacks: Just a few dates and figs today.

How I felt after Day 10

Drank a lot of water today. This is not like me at all, so I am pleased because I have always wanted to be better at drinking water.


Day 11


Breakfast: Back to old eggs and bacon today. Boring but true.

Lunch: Whipped up a bit of chicken soup – still had leftover chicken from the other day’s slow cooked effort, so added some onion, carrots, asparagus and chicken to my home-made chicken stock. Seasoned it well – delicious 🙂

Dinner: Well, dinner could have been very difficult for me today because we were going to a bring and share dinner at church. Fortunately for me, it’s baked potatoes and fillings, so I made a lamb curry that I can eat as well. So that was it – baked tattie, lamb curry and a nice side salad!


Day 12


Brunch: Thanks to a slow and lazy Saturday morning, I didn’t manage to distinguish between breakfast and lunch. So I made myself a sweet potato and pancetta hash.

Dinner: Made slow cooker mince and tatties – husband’s favourite. Steak mince, onions, mushrooms, carrots, garlic, threw some asparagus in that I had left over. 500ml of beef stock and the mixture reduced over the course of the day, so it didn’t even really need thickening with gravy. I ate mine with sweet potatoes. Everyone else had mashed white potatoes (which I know are permitted but I am just limiting at the moment due to my fairly sedentary lifestyle).

Snacks: Had a couple of medjool dates and a banana.


So far, it’s going fine. I’m in the zone now and can pass up on cakes etc without too much effort, and I don’t feel like I’m missing out.

Headaches have passed but I have a sore throat in the mornings still, feel a bit clogged when I first wake and my nose can be a bit runny. No stomach twinges for a few days either.


Are you doing or have you done a Whole30? Any recipes to share? 😉


Grace and Love

Helen x

My Whole 30 Journey {Days 4-7}

Well, so far so good…or at least I thought, made a little mistake on Day 4 – not catastrophic but one I will avoid now for the next 25 days!

Day 4


Breakfast: So bacon and eggs for breakfast every day soon loses its appeal – I LOVE bacon and don’t want to put myself off it, so thought I’d make something different…but then, I overslept and had to get the kids out of the door, and so did a quick Google and found a banana pancake recipe – 1 egg, 1 banana, blitz it and cook in coconut oil like any other pancake. Easy and tasted good.

However, I discovered after that the Whole 30 rules say no pancakes – sigh. Here’s why:‘Can I Have Guide’.

They tasted great and I only needed 3 of them. But, I do get the reasons why I should avoid them, so back to square 1 with breakfast variation. I’m finding this the hardest meal because a) I never used to eat breakfast and b) the idea of eating beef mince for breakfast grosses me out.

Lunch: Ate the leftover chilli from the other day, on spinach with olives and avocado. Delicious and satisfying.

Dinner: Made the Chicken Tarragon from ‘It Starts with Food’. It was really good. I served it with sweet potato mash and asparagus. Whole family devoured it! 😉

Snacks: Snacked on an apple and a banana today. 

How I felt after Day 4

To be honest, I’m not feeling much different yet. I am still tired, and I am still waking up with headaches. I still have a sore throat first thing too. But, it’s early days. I have a strange feeling in my stomach; not hunger as much as just different…probably my stomach doesn’t recognise feeling satisfied on non-processed, sugary foods with empty calories! 

Still having tweaky cramps in my stomach.

Day 5


It was Saturday today so I didn’t rush to get up. I had breakfast a bit later today, but I do enjoy my leisurely Saturday mornings! And…NO headache!! However, at the same time, I didn’t feel too great either – too much sleep??

Breakfast: 2 eggs cooked in coconut oil, 2 rashers of bacon. Have been researching all day for different breakfast ideas and am going to have to just try and eat some kind of cooked meat not usually associated with breakfast!

Coffee as usual – always coffee… 🙂

Now, by around 1pm, I surprisingly had those feelings that I get when I eat cereal for breakfast… although not shaky so much as clammy. This surprised me because I hadn’t eaten anything that I didn’t think I could. It was only when tidying around the kitchen I noticed that the card that wraps around the bacon packet was still on the counter. I picked it up to toss it, but just quickly looked at the ingredients…SUGAR! I was so annoyed!

I had bought two packets of bacon, one smoked and one unsmoked. As I prefer smoked, I had read the ingredients when I had shopped, there was no sugar, so I took one pack of smoked and one unsmoked – same brand, same packaging, but the unsmoked contains sugar *sigh*.

Better label reading required from now on…

Lunch: Baked sweet potato on a bed of spinach with prawns, black olives and an avocado dressing from ‘It Starts with Food’.

prawn salad

Dinner: Second mistake of the day: I made a Thai Basil Beef dish from ‘It Starts with Food’ and ate it with a stir fry. Because the stir fry was prepacked, it contained baby corn – a no no on the Whole 30. Corn in any form is off for Whole 30 – I knew that I couldn’t have it as a grain, but didn’t realise that the same was true for a vegetable. Again, innocent enough mistake, but maybe time to review the shopping list!

Chilli beef

The delicious Thai beef with the offending baby corn!


Snacks: I had a few satsumas here and there.

How I felt after Day 5

Well, interestingly enough, I was irritable all day. I had no headache or any other particular issues.  But boy was I irritated. All day. Eventually, after near biting a family member’s head right off, I went to Google to see if maybe feeling bad tempered and snappy was normal – well, what do you know, they have called Days 4-7 ‘Kill All Things’! So yes, irritability is normal! However, not very pleasant, so I’m glad it’s shortlived!

Day 6

No headache again – no noticeable bad mood on waking!

Breakfast: So, in  the interest of breakfast variation, I did it today. I ate beef mince for breakfast! I had the leftover Thai beef from last night with a fried egg on top. It was surprisingly ok – did a bit of research on breakfasts and, while bacon is Whole 30 acceptable (as long as it’s sugar free -ha!), it’s not recommended to eat it every day, so beef mince it was. I need to re-educate my brain and how it thinks of breakfast. However, this was ok, I managed it.

Lunch: Today I made Italian Chicken – very simple: chopped and seasoned chicken in tomatoes. Served with baked sweet potato and mushrooms, wet sautéed and then seasoned with balsamic and chives. Whole family ate this and loved it.

Dinner: Made a Greek lamb dish – lamb mince, seasoned, with tomatoes, green beans and courgettes – this will be breakfast tomorrow, as there are lots of leftovers.


Greek Lamb – yeah, I know, I’m no food photographer 😉


Snacks: Satsumas – 2 maybe.

How I felt after Day 6

Well, less irritability today – although I sometimes grind my teeth in the night and have started doing that again. Don’t know why…

My jeans feel a little looser.

More success with the food choices, so I am happier today. Some stomach cramp twinges on an off, but generally speaking felt ok.

Went to bed early – new rule this week in the interests of trying to get up earlier and feel less tired : lights out by 10.


Day 7


Woke up with no headache, although throat a little raw, but this wore off. Also managed to get up at a reasonable time.

Breakfast: Was all set to eat the leftover lamb mince, but couldn’t face it. Back to trusty bacon and eggs. Coffee of course, of course.

Lunch: Leftover lamb mince – that’s all gone now. That reheated nicely.

Dinner: I made sausage patties – recipe here. Just substituted the oil for coconut oil. Served with a green salad and vinaigrette (homemade), sweet potato fries and green beans. Again, devoured by whole family.

Snacks: A couple of dried figs and a banana.

How I felt after Day 7

 Well, no bad mood – no doubt my family is relieved. Glad that passed sooner rather than later.

Also, no afternoon slump – no desperate desire to sleep suddenly mid afternoon – yeay!

In fact, I’d go as far as to say that today was the day I actually felt good 🙂

 Grace and Love

Helen x

My Whole 30 Journey {Days 1-3}

I set my clock for 6am. This is a very well-intentioned decision but there is only probably one morning in every twenty I manage to get up at this time. My long term goal is to be able to manage this more often than I don’t. Any improvement here is welcome!

I do this for a number of reasons. First of all, no one else in my household ever gets up this early. It means I can sneak away to the study with a fresh brew of coffee and have some quiet time all to myself. The days I achieve this, I feel more accomplished and I enjoy the feeling of productivity.

So – goal number 1 – get up when the alarm goes off, do not hit snooze 18 times, do not go back to sleep.

In ‘It Starts with Food’, Melissa Hartwig says that as a result of the Whole 30 she was able to get up without an alarm…well I can aready do this if getting up without an alarm means getting up at 10 in the morning. So, here’s hoping…

And here is my three day round-up…what I ate, how I felt, what I changed and how many times I have twitched when I look at the snack drawer 😉


Day 1


You’re not supposed to weigh yourself during the Whole 30, and I am not pursuing this for weight loss purposes, but just for interest, I weighed myself this morning and I am 132.2lb.


I struggle to eat breakfast first thing, and I have for years. I’m not ready to eat when I first wake up, so I drank my coffee (black as ever) while the kids and other half ate breakfast. When everyone left the building I had 2 boiled eggs.

On the day before day 1, I had 2 crumpets for breakfast. By eleven o’clock that morning, I was shaky and I have noticed that when I eat carbohydrates for breakfast this often happens. I suddenly get sweaty and shaky and need to eat immediately. This is not a good thing.

Day 1 – no shaky sweaty and I didn’t need anything to eat until lunch time.


Made myself some chicken soup (with onion, carrots and butternut squash) – recipe in the back of the book ‘It Starts with Food’. I was surprised at the quantity it made for 1 person…I had a healthy bowl full and saved the rest for either Day 2’s lunch or later on if I felt peckish in the afternoon.

Chicken Soup…mmm, what’s not to love?!



5 olives and a sundried tomato.


I made a beef curry – recipe below – for dinner. I have tried to make courgette noodles before, and had I got my act together I should have bought some and made them to accompany this. As it turned out, I just had a hearty bowl of the curry and it was delicious 🙂

How I felt after Day 1

Well, I felt tired as ever by 7.30…although possibly a little less sluggish in the afternoon. I had cramps in my stomach before tea, very normal for me, I will look forward to them disappearing if they are food related. 


Beef Curry


2tbsp coconut oil

1 onion, chopped

1/2 tsp curry powder

500g lean steak mince

1 large carrot, chopped

1 can tomatoes (check the labels – make sure there’s no sneaky sugar in them)

1/2 cup coconut milk

4 cubes frozen spinach


Heat the oil in a pan and cook the onion for 3-5 minutes until softened. Add the curry powder until the onion is coated.

Add the mince and break up as it cooks.

When mince is completely browned, add the carrot and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and coconut milk.

Bring to simmer and add the spinach.

I let this pan simmer away for about an hour.


This was a delicious meal – it made enough for me, my husband and a healthy tub of leftovers for tomorrow 🙂


Day 2


Managed to get up at 6.30 – only hit snooze a handful of times this time 😉

Woke up with a headache and a sore throat. This is very common for me. By 10.30, they had both gone.


All four of us had poached eggs and bacon. I had 2 eggs and 4 rashers of streaky bacon. Followed by a Satsuma. Oh, and 2 cups of black coffee.

Snack: Throughout the morning I had a banana and about 6 olives. Not at the same time.

Lunch: Leftover soup from yesterday – that’s all gone now 🙂

Snack: I had two satsumas in the afternoon.

Dinner: Made a Beef Chilli from the back of ‘It Starts with Food’. You serve it with spinach, avocado, black olives and homemade ranch dressing. It was a delicious dinner.

Chilli Beef, spinach, avocado, black olives and homemade ranch dressing - what's not to like?!

Chilli Beef, spinach, avocado, black olives and homemade ranch dressing – what’s not to like?!

How I felt after Day 2

I made cakes today; there is a house group at my house every Wednesday and I like to bake, so I managed to make 28 cupcakes without even licking the spoon – no mean feat because they were pumpkin spice, one of my favourite flavours.

I have felt a bit hungry on and off today. Might need to eat lunch earlier and a small meal in the afternoon, because I certainly felt satisfied after my meals.

Felt very tired about 3pm…again, very usual for me.


Day 3


Woke up with a stinking headache again and it didn’t disappear quickly, eventually I relented and had paracetamol in the afternoon, but it never completely went.

Interestingly, I have woken up hungry for the past two days, which has meant I have managed to eat breakfast with my family first thing rather than mid-morning.

I have decided I need to drink more water, too.

Breakfast: I made a 2 egg omelette with 2 rashers of smoked streaky bacon and a sprinkle of chives…very tasty.

Lunch:Ate leftover beef curry from Monday’s dinner, with an avocado and a tablespoon of yesterday’s ranch dressing.

Snack: Ate a banana in the afternoon, then later on an apple with some cashew butter. Chomped my way through some olives here and there too.

Dinner: Made a pork mince and apple dish tonight; v simple, and the recipe is in ‘It Starts with Food; served it with a small portion of boiled potatoes, spinach and sugar snap peas. Great dinner. Again.

How I felt after Day 3

I felt really tired again around 4.30 – even had a sneaky cat nap. However, I think getting to bed earlier is on the agenda too.

I love the food, it’s so up my street. The only thing is, it’s quite time consuming, so next week I’m going to be batch cooking so that I have some basic things made ahead. I love cooking, but there’s only so much of my life I can dedicate to humming around the kitchen watching Netflix!

Grace and Love

Helen x




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