If you’re just catching up, check out Week 1 and Week 2 to see how the Whole 30 has gone so far, and what recipes have gotten me through.

I’m not going to lie, as I sit here staring week 4 in the face, I’m having some crazy cravings.  Wasn’t this supposed to be done by now?

The cravings aren’t necessarily specific food cravings either, just craving to be unrestricted, a little less planned, and well, ok, maybe a cookie or two.

Whole 30 Week 3 // Fork in the Kitchen

This week’s Whole 30 tip:

If you don’t want to throw out all of your condiments in your fridge, and/or if you don’t want to read the ingredients labels every time you go to reach for something quick, this is your perfect trick!  I wish I could say that I came up with it on my own, but my mom actually opened my eyes to this after she’d already gone through the Whole 30 experience before.

All it takes is some green and red labels to place on the top of your jars so in one look you know if that item is approved or not. It makes it so easy when you’re making homemade salad dressing or spreading some extra flavor in a marinade.

Whole 30 Week 3 // Fork in the Kitchen

This practice of going through before I even started and labeling all those jars (we all have them there in that fridge door!) really helped.  The salsa I had been planning on using with my breakfast hash had, what do you know, SUGAR!  Before I looked I was sure there wouldn’t be – “it’s from Whole Foods”… it’s “all natural”… “organic”… etc, etc, etc.  A good reminder that those don’t guarantee a sugar free food!

So grab your dots and get to sticking, welcome to your new organized, easy to navigate fridge!

Oh, and I did use a yellow dot on a few things. Sesame Oil is one of those – Whole 30 says to use it in moderation, so yellow it was to remind me it’s ok in moderation.

What I’ve eaten this week:

  • Lots of hardboiled eggs – breakfasts have become short (I’m totally not a morning person) and grabbing a hardboiled egg to have protein to hold me over has been super helpful.  Fruit is a good pairing, too!
  • Salmon with Caramelized Mushrooms — this recipe has lentils, which I leave out for W30 purposes.  A little modification goes a long way!
  • Stir Fry – if you’re using Coconut Aminos, but sure to buy the Whole 30 approved kind.  Others aren’t actually made with coconut, but still soy.  As mentioned, read those labels!
  • Summer Zucchini Noodles – I finally invested in a spiralizer and haven’t regretted one second of it!  Love having pasta-like meals that are actually fresh and healthy.  Get yours here: The Inspiralizer — they’re on sale now!

Summer Zucchini Noodles - a refreshing and healthy recipe that's perfect as a side or meal! // Fork in the Kitchen

The struggle is real.

As I mentioned before, I keep expecting it to be easier – the planning, the prep, the time, the cravings… but it hasn’t totally been easier.  It started out feeling pretty good – the planning, prep, and staying on track.  I actually had to simultaneously do a “sugar control program” for my chiropractor for two weeks.  It’s kind of complicated, but basically it was to reset my “sugar circuit” for the eventual process of eliminating allergies.

The relevant part of this was that the diet, while very closely followed the Whole 30, was even more restrictive. I couldn’t have potatoes or cauliflower, the two of which were keeping me going week 1, especially because I don’t really eat all that much meat.  At the end of the two weeks, I had to stress my system to see if it stuck, which meant a cheat meal.  And after going all ???when I was told I had to cheat more than just adding cauliflower and potatoes in for a meal, I accepted that I would have to cheat on the Whole 30.  While it was just one meal, that I tried to keep balanced and Whole 30 approved as much as possible, it was still a cheat.  Gnocchi and some bread (doctor said I had to have bread… ;)).  I can’t help but wonder if the one meal has sent me into this WHOA I’VE BEEN SO RESTRICTED LATELY mood.  One week left… I. Can. Do. It.

Fennel and Citrus Salad // Fork in the Kitchen

The good.

Thanks for listening to that rant if you’ve made it this far.  THERE IS GOOD IN ALL OF THIS!  Seriously.  I have been so much happier – my fuse and frustration level has drastically gone down.  This is easy to notice due to the nature of being a teacher and having patience tested about 842 times a day.  I’ve also found myself “waking” up before my alarm.

No, I’m definitely not saying that I’ve turned into a morning person (THAT would be a miracle).   But the fact that I am stirring and even *thinking* of waking up before my alarm, while feeling semi-refreshed, is a huge improvement.

My skin…. my skin feels so much better too.  So while it is hard, and it can be trying at times, it’s been so worth it so far.

Salmon with Caramelized Mushrooms and Lentils // Fork in the Kitchen

Have you tried the Whole 30?  Thinking about it?  What was your most challenging and rewarding parts?!

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