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#SwansonChallenge Update: Week Two of Whole30

We have made it through week two of our Whole30 challenge! How is it going, you ask? Have we given up? Still think you could never do something like this? Read about our progress below, and get ready to eat Whole.



Whole30 week two has gone surprisingly well! I am definitely finding my groove with this way of eating and feeling confident in my actions. One thing I am big on as far as food goes is incorporating variety. While I have looked for recipes, I have realized that it is pretty easy to make many dishes Whole30 compliant. It takes a little thought at first, but now it almost feels like second nature to throw together a complete meal that is 100% Whole30 approved. I could easily see myself doing this past the 30 days.

As I mentioned in my introduction, doing the Whole30 challenge was a way for me to stay accountable with my clean eating in order to continue healing my digestive tract as well as my body as a whole. I am happy to say that I am noticing some nice, steady improvements in this area. My food seems to be being digested very well and my energy seems to be very stable. I attribute this to eating good amounts of quality protein and fat at every meal and eliminating any added sugar or processed foods that my body can’t “recognize” as real food. Our bodies are very smart. We can’t fool them with fake food! And when we feed ourselves the right stuff...surprise, surprise...our bodies respond with gratitude.

No update from me would be complete without a few food pictures, so here are a couple snaps from my week:


Sautéed broccoli slaw with ground bison, carrots and clementines.



Spaghetti squash pasta with butter chicken.



Ground bison stuffed acorn squash with a local egg.




I’m not sure how we are already just about halfway through this challenge, but it’s time for a week two check-in!

Before starting Whole30, I thought I was living a mostly healthy life. I enjoyed my oatmeal practically every morning, filled my lunches with veggies and protein, and enjoyed a balanced dinner. I snacked throughout the day on fruits and yogurt/cottage cheese. Healthy things, right? Well, yes. But in reality, I wasn’t eating foods to the optimal true, real form! I am on this journey to heal myself and make my body healthy and stronger on the inside and out!

The best part of this challenge is that it makes me think outside the box. I am breaking down my own preconceived notions of certain foods that I had before. I am trying new things. I am learning what my body truly wants and needs. I have also noticed this week that my energy has drastically improved!

The first week was a struggle to learn exactly how much to eat at each meal since I was used to six small meals a day. This past week, I increased the portions of protein, starchy vegetables, and healthy fats--that helped tremendously! I also always had a snack right before bed. It has been an adjustment these two weeks to break that habit! I have not felt hungry after dinner, but my brain would tell me I need something sweet. This week I evaluated hunger versus habit, then decide if I needed to eat!

Here are a few highlights from my week:


Scrambled eggs and spinach stuffed peppers with an apple.



Tuna salad stuffed kabocha squash and an apple.



Tuna cakes [recipe adapted from It Starts With Food] with sweet potato and broccoli.




I talked about energy and sleep during the first update post, and it needs to be mentioned again. I continue to fall asleep faster and get more sleep, but now I'm feeling more energy than before. I've started getting a decent workout schedule going between the treadmill and Zumba because of this energy. I'll add more options as my energy continues to rise, but for now I'm keeping it simple. I'm not normally as active as my fabulous bloggers, so it's still a growing process for me.

Confession: I find myself making a lot of the same meals over and over again. Egg/avocado salad and bison burgers are staples. I'm even getting my sister/roommate to try things. She's obsessed with the buffalo chicken egg muffins (picture below). One of my health journey goals is to inspire my family to eat healthier and make better choices in general. "I could never do this" is a statement I hear often from people, especially my family. What they forget is that I come from the same food background as them, and I started at the same place they would start. The big question remains, "Why can't you do this?"

Trust me, I know it's not easy changing your eating habits. I've been there. It's hard. It takes a lot of dedication, and oftentimes you have to turn down treats at the office or wine nights with friends, but you'll thank yourself in the long run. Of course that doesn't mean you can't do anything or have any fun. Sneak in some almonds for your treat at the movies. Bring your own lunch to the potluck. Eat before you meet up with friends and just enjoy the company. I used to make unhealthy choices more often than not, and I haven't slipped up once during this challenge. So, I'll ask this again: Why can't you do this?

If Kristi and Morganne's meals haven't made you hungry enough, here are a few of mine from week two:


Buffalo chicken egg muffins. (Recipe Source: 21 Day Sugar Detox)



Vegetable platter made with carrots, sugar snap peas, mushrooms, spinach and broccoli slaw.



Buffalo chicken "tacos" with avocado and tomato.



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