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Tubby Does Whole30

Guys. I finished Whole30!!!! For those of you who haven’t heard me talk (aka complain about not being able to eat something) about Whole30, it is a jumpstart into paleo eating. For 30 days: no grains, no dairy, no processed foods, no added sugars. Also, no booze. And another kicker, no paleo-versions of your favorite treats. That means if you’re craving pancakes, you can’t make a gluten-free, paleo-ized version of them. There’s also a bunch of other little rules and some minute exceptions – you can read all of them here.

During my 30 days, I was asked a ton of questions–and don’t get me wrong–I love the questions!! But, I followed my answers up with a “I’m going to blog on tubbytuesday about this!” so… here I am!

Pre-Whole30 Shopping Trip = $$$
Pre-Whole30 Shopping Trip = $$$

WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS?! I thought you were super tubby and loved food. I am super tubby and I do love eating food! Whole30 is all about knowing where your food comes from–no processed foods. Almost everything you eat, you make yourself. You’re held accountable for what you’re consuming, and that was something that definitely appealed to me. I obviously love cooking and my busy schedule this past year “prevented” me from spending time in the kitchen. Aka, I was making excuses and eating out a lot. I think Whole30 could be a little more difficult–but not impossible–for people who don’t enjoy cooking… but alternatively, it could really teach you how to cook. Maybe you’ll even learn to love it! I also started Whole30 because despite loving food, I was loving food a little too much. I had the worst eating habits. AKA I would stress eat all day and then come home from school at 11pm and RAID my kitchen and then promptly fall asleep. And then wake up and do it again the next day. It was out of control and I was gaining a lot of weight which I was completely unhappy with. Whole30 is about changing those habits and trying to prevent food from “controlling” you.

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Whole30: Meal Planning 101

Why can’t you eat that? Before I decided to do this, I read “It Starts with Food” which is a book I would highly recommend to anyone considering paleo/Whole30.  It talks about the biological effects of what you consume and it made sense. For me, Whole30 really came down to one thing: eating nutrient-dense foods. Carbs are great, but they’re just meaningless carbs. GASP. I know. This is coming from the girl who used to eat an everything bagel everyday in college.  I seriously recommend reading the book but if you have quick “why not?” questions, then scope out this manifesto series.

BLAT: Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado, Tomato
BLAT: Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado, Tomato

Sooooo… how about them cheat days? No! No cheat days. You can do anything for 30 days, I promise. If I can do it, you can totally do it too. Now, is that to say my Whole30 was the most perfect Whole30 to have ever happened? Hell no. But I tried to stick to it as best as humanly possible. When I cooked, I stayed 100% compliant. However, I went out a total of 7 times during my Whole30 and tried each time to keep it as perfect as possible (except for one time… see below!). I chose foods and restaurants that were the most compliant. You can also make your favorite restaurants compliant. For example, at Chipotle, carnitas are the compliant protein. Get extra guac and cut the beans and rice and you’re all set. You can ask for burgers wrapped in “lettuce-buns” and ask for your sushi to get rolled in cucumber instead of rice.

I bet I slipped here and there (it’s tricky when you’re dealing with compliant oils!), but it wasn’t for lack of trying. Also, I confess: I ate fried bananas at a Brazilian steakhouse. They were definitely covered with some type of batter or grain… but they are my favorite non-meat item there though, and I couldn’t say no. It was my one cognizant cheat. I know. I’m sorry, Whole30. I regret nothing. I love those fried bananas.

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What are you eating? Omg. A lot of delicious food. I discovered my new favorite way to make chicken (Cracklin’ Chicken) and learned that turkey burgers (from Trader Joe’s) sans bread are actually pretty delicious.  I ate A LOT of guacamole (again, thanks TJ’s!) and went through over a dozen avocados (not including the ones in the guac–I went through two and a half packages of Avocado’s Number Guacamole) during my 30 days. Sweet potatoes + my microwave became my new best friend and figured out a way to make easy roasted garlic mashed potatoes (I’ll post these recipes one day, I promise!).  But mostly, I ate a lot of fresh or sautéed produce. I grilled a lot of my proteins–steaks, pork chops, sausage, and burgers. It was great. There are also a lot of packaged (but not exceedingly processed) foods out there! Applegate has compliant deli meat. Their roasted turkey breast is my favorite. There’s also a ton of sausages–I found them at TJ’s, Whole Foods, and BJ’s. I also discovered Larabars. Try the Apple Pie and the Cashew Cookie. You’re welcome.

Cracklin' Chicken with Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Cracklin’ Chicken with Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Also, I discovered bulletproof coffee. That in itself deserves a post.

Bulletproof Coffee & Breakfast
Bulletproof Coffee & Breakfast

Okay, but how do you feeeeeel? Does it “work”? I felt great, honestly! I thought everyone was out of their minds when they were saying that Whole30 did such magical things to you. I shouldn’t be, but I am genuinely surprised by how great I feel when I’m eating better. Tiger blood is real, y’all. No seriously. I am sleeping WAY better. Meaning I don’t wake up during the night and I feel way more refreshed in the morning. I have a Jawbone Up that tracks my sleep–and the difference is actually noticeable when I go back and compare to pre-Whole30. As a result of my improved sleep, I have way more energy and feel better as a whole. And my skin has cleared up–which is aweeeesome. And, I can actually manage my cravings now. I’m far from perfect, but I’m definitely better about eating when I’m actually hungry. I’m more cognizant of the difference between satiety and satiation.

As for the whole losing weight thing, I’m honestly not sure how to answer this. I started going to the gym (a place I affectionally call the “James” because I used to be so unfamiliar with it) part of the way through Whole30… so, yes, I lost some weight, but I don’t think 100% of my weight loss can be attributed to eating alone. I lost 8 pounds (although most of that is probably water weight), but what’s most exciting is I’ve lost a total of 8 inches from my hip, waist, and thighs combined! My clothes fit better and any excuse to go shopping is great in my book!

Are you going to continue? I would like to. I’m still deciding. I know I said carbs are meaningless but I love bougie pizza and I KNOW I couldn’t go without Vietnamese food for forever. HOWEVER, I’ve also figured out that carbs (??) make me feel sluggish and bloated. I’m trying to figure out how to continue paleo because I think it’s fantastic, but I also don’t think it’s sustainable for me at this point in my life.  And I’m really not ready to part with donuts, despite the after-effects. I’m going to continue with the “reintroduction” phase to try to figure out what effects various foods have on me. We’ll see! Suggestions are always welcome if you’ve done this before/are doing it now!


I don’t know if I’ve covered every question I’ve been asked but I’m always happy to answer more. I’m far from a paleo expert, but I’m always happy to share what I’ve learned. Quick cheesy shout out to my really awesome friends who were supportive about my cavegirl eating habits and were especially wonderful about telling me that I didn’t aaaaaaactually want to eat that carb-y, (not) delicious-smelling pizza.


What is “Tubby Tuesday”?

Tubby. Self-explanatory, right? It’s kind of like fat meets chubby, but not as abrasive and most importantly, I like to think that the word “tubby” encompasses the joyfulness of eating.  There’s no shame in being tubby, and as such, my friend, Michael, and I started tubby Tuesdays this past summer.

Tubby Tuesdays actually started off as taco Tuesdays. I think the original plan was to scope out a new taco place once a week. We chose Tuesdays because well, we liked the alliteration? I don’t really know. Anyway, before taco Tuesdays even started, Mike and I realized that we seriously COULD NOT LIMIT ourselves to just tacos…  AKA I’m pretty sure the first week of tubby Tues came around and we were just like “nah, I’m not really feeling tacos or Mexican this week. Let’s go somewhere else and give this shit another name.” I honestly don’t remember how “tubby “came to be but it’s very fitting and we like it!

So yes. Tubby Tuesdays were probably solely invented so Michael and I could eat gluttonously as Philly foodies without shame.  How gluttonously, you ask? Well, our first unofficial outing was to Zavino where we both devoured two cocktails, three appetizers, two pizzas, and a dessert (and then spent the night nursing a seriously ginormous food baby). Actually, now that I think of it, I think “tubby” started when we decided we were going to have a #TUBBYDAY (yes, with the hashtags). Okay yes. I remember now. Mike was studying abroad in Rome and eating glorious Italian foods–like ox tail–without me.  I got very jealous and very hangry about it, so for whatever reasons, #TUBBYDAY was established as a pseudo compromise (I guess? I think I got the short end of the stick here) for him being able to eat amazing foods while I was stuck eating food from Temple University’s food trucks. But YES, #TUBBYDAY was established and the plan was to spend the entire day cooking and eating from start to finish. By the end of #TUBBYDAY2013 (we quickly established that this should be an annual event), the two of us had devoured ALL HOMEMADE queso, mango guacamole, tortilla chips, slow cooked bourbon bbq beef ribs, jalapeño hush puppies with strawberry honey butter, Guinness glazed lamb chops, skirt steak with chimichurri sauce, fried plantains, and roasted corn on the cob. Oh, also, we made homemade everything bagels and ate those, too. I’m serious. My arteries wish I were joking.  Here are the [shitty instagram] pictures to prove it:





See I know that right now you’re thinking that we both are probably the size of whales, but I think we’re pretty average-sized. I don’t know how to describe it but to say we’re just tubby. I have a theory on this. More on that later.

Anyway throughout the summer of 2013, Michael and I frequented the following:
– Federal Donuts (So many times because it is so delicious. Fried chicken and donuts in one spot!!)
– Devil’s Alley (Eh…)
– Banana Leaf  (Multiple times)
– Oyster House (Where I was deemed a lobster she-demon… I’m not sorry.)
– PYT (Crazy genius burger ideas, so how could we not?)
– Nam Phuong (Okay yes we went here a lot, too)
– Marrakesh (RUN there now! And bring three friends with you!)
– Umai Umai (ohmi ohmi SO GOOD)
– Nomad (Zavino is better)
– Giorgio on Pine (Nothing to write home about)
– Figs (I’m droooooooling typing up this list)
– El Jarocho (Get the horchata! It’s not on the menu.)
– Alla Spina (Now I’m crying because it was so delicious)
– Max Brenner’s (Only go for dessert!)
– Green Eggs Café (Two words: Kitchen. Sink.)
– Imperial Inn (Go for dim sum!)

So yeh. We like to eat. If I had half a brain, I would’ve started this blog at the onset of tub Tues, but alas, you’re going to have to just settle for those mediocre parenthetical reviews. Sorry! Well, let’s be honest, I’m probably only apologizing to you 3.5 readers anyway, so……..

That was a very long introduction into what could’ve easily been summed up as “Tubby Tuesday was created for and by two friends who like to eat a lot of food in Philly.”