2013 Whole Living Challenge: Week 1 Recap

New to this series? Catch up here:
2013 Whole Living Challenge
Preparing for Week 1
Week 1 Shopping List

This is my third year doing the Whole Living Challenge. The first year I attempted it I felt very fatigued and had horrible headaches for the first few days. Last year (after turning my first Whole Living Challenge eating into more of my lifestyle over the previous year) I barely noticed a difference in my body during Week 1. This year, however, I have to say I fell somewhere in between. I had bad to horrible headaches on Day 1, and slight to medium headaches on Day 2, but by Day 3 I was feeling great, and luckily also didn’t experience any fatigue this time around. I’m not surprised that the headaches were back for me this year considering I’d really fallen off the wagon and had been eating poorly during the two months leading up to the Challenge. It’s so nice to feel clear and fresh, and have my pants fit again!

To recap, the following are off-limits throughout this three week (and bonus 4th week) detox plan: processed foods and beverages, added sugars, dairy, caffeine, alcohol, and gluten. In addition, food options for Week 1 are limited to only the following: fruits, vegetables, lentils, nuts, seeds, plant-based fats/oils, and spices.

One of my overall goals for doing the Challenge this year (and every year) is to push myself to try new foods and recipes. The following is a list of new foods I tried for the first time this week:

Portobello Mushrooms (not a fan)
Cooked Kale (I liked it)
Red Lentils
French Green Lentils

And here are the new recipes I tried this week:

Roasted Portobellos with Kale (good flavor, but I couldn’t get past the texture)
Spiced Cashew Cream Dip (tasted like dessert – loved!)
Detox Salad (a staple; better with a squeeze of lemon before eating)
Marinated Apple Slices (tasted like SweetTarts; interesting and yummy)
Red Lentil & Sweet Potato Stew (was nervous to try, but I liked it!)
French Lentil Salad (loved it; great flavor!)
Ginger Orange Smoothie (delicious; I’ll make again)
Kale Slaw w/Red Cabbage & Carrots (I liked!)
Creamy Broccoli Soup (And “loved it” recipe!)

This was my first year of doing the Challenge-approved recipe swap with friends and I highly recommend it!  Here’s how it worked: The week before the Challenge started my friends/co-workers Tiffany, Katie, and I scoped out the recipes and decided which ones we were going to make to share with the group.  I chose the Detox Salad, Tiffany chose the Roasted Portobellos with Kale, and Katie chose the Red Lentil & Sweet Potato Stew (and surprised us by also making and sharing the Spiced Cashew Cream Dip).  We prepared our recipes on Monday and brought them to work to share on Tuesday (which is my first workday of the week since I’m off on Mondays).  It was a great way to try one serving of two other Challenge-approved recipes that I otherwise would not have tried.  Plus it added a little more variety into my week, and saved me the grocery bill of buying those extra ingredients!  By the end of Week 1 I had only made 5 Challenge recipes, but got to sample 7 of them!

To wrap it up, here’s a log of what I ate during Week 1:

7:45am: Hot water with lemon
8:30am: Green Smoothie (kale, parsley, banana, green apple)
10:30am: Cup of detox tea & ¼ c. of almonds
12pm: Sweet Potato, Apple, Celery Salad
3pm: Apple
4pm: Detox tea & cucumber slices
6pm: Sweet Potato, Apple, Celery Salad
8:15pm: Cashews

8:30am: Hot water with lemon
9am: Green Smoothie (kale, parsley, banana & green apple)
10am: ½ a Green Smoothie
12pm: Sweet Potato, Apple, Celery Salad
3pm: Orange
3:30pm: Detox Tea
5pm: Cucumber slices & a handful of almonds
7pm: Roasted Portobellos with Kale
7:30pm: Apple with Spiced Cashew Cream Dip

7:30am: Hot water with lemon
8:30am: Mango Coconut Water Smoothie
10:30am: ½ an orange
12pm: Detox Salad and Marinated Apple Slices
4:30pm: Cucumber slices
7pm: Red Lentil Sweet Potato Stew and rest of apple slices

7:45am: Hot water w/lemon
8:45am: Mango Coconut Water Smoothie
11:30am: Detox Salad
3pm: Apple slices w/Spiced Cashew Cream Dip
7:30pm: French Lentil Salad & Roasted Asparagus

7:30am: Hot water w/lemon
8:15am (breakfast meeting at work): Assorted fruit (oranges, grapes, pineapple) & I brought my own Ginger Orange Smoothie
10:15am: Rest of Ginger Orange Smoothie
12:30pm (lunch out w/friends): Garden Salad (mixed greens, cucumbers, red peppers, mushrooms, avocado, and homemade basil vinaigrette dressing).
5:30pm: Detox Salad & Roasted Asparagus
8:30pm: Cashews

9am: Hot water w/lemon
9:30am: Blueberry Banana Smoothie
12:15pm: Detox Salad & Watermelon slices
4pm: Detox Salad
6pm: Kale Slaw w/Red Cabbage & Carrots
7pm: French Lentil Salad

8am: Hot water w/lemon & 1/2 a Grapefruit
11:30am: Blueberry Smoothie and Kale Slaw w/Red Cabbage & Carrots
3pm: Roasted Sweet Potato Slices
5:30pm: 1/2 an Avocado Smoothie
6:30pm: Creamy Broccoli Soup

That’s it for my Week 1! I made it through without any cheats, only 2 days of off-and-on headaches, no cravings, and no starvation. And the best part of it all? I’ve already dropped the extra pounds I gained over the holidays (woot) and I’m feeling great!

For those of you still considering trying the Whole Living Challenge, I’m happy to answer any questions you may have!

These, and other Challenge-friendly recipes can be found on my 2013 Whole Living Challenge Pinterest board. You can also follow along with me on my All Things G&D Facebook page and on Instagram for daily Challenge updates!


  1. 2

    I’m surprised you didnt feel hungry, this seems to be very low on calories.


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