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Vegan Whole 30 Diary: Week 1

Interested in finding out what I ate and how I felt during my first week of a vegan Whole30? Couldn’t care less? Well, you’re here anyway, so you might as well read on and find out!

Week 1 vegan whole 30 on a background of nuts

If you’re interested in doing a vegan whole30 or wondering whether it can even feasibly be done, read my previous article for people who are thinking of doing a vegan whole 30.

(Psst if you’re just joining me you can check out my weekly reports, menus and my final results here in my whole 30 section).

What I learnt during Week 1

I learnt that prepping several days worth of food is totally not for me, and that I prefer to make extra at dinner and eat the rest for lunch the next day. Is it a ton of cooking? Yes, definitely, but that way I’m actually eating food I like.

I also learned that although everyone may be posting photos on Instagram saying “Day 5! I had this super filling salad for lunch and I wasn’t even hungry at dinnertime!” that they are either:

  1. Liars
  2. Horses
  3. Aliens

Either way leafy salads as a main dish are not for me and I’m going to ignore them forever and ever more (well, maybe just for the rest of the whole 30). If you’re too lazy to read through my diary entries let me summarize the week for you:

Days 1-4: I felt like poo that had been frozen then defrosted in the microwave and run over by a car.

Day 5: I only felt like medium-poo.

Days 6-7: I felt like a normal functioning human being! Kinda!

You’re welcome!

What did I eat during my first week of a vegan Whole 30?

I talk about what I ate, why I ate it (lord knows, some very uninspiring dishes this week), how it made me feel, etc. in the diary entries.

But if you’re looking for inspiration, to plan out your own vegan whole 30, or just don’t want to make the same mistakes I did, here are all my meals this week in a handy table format. 

MondayNot great carrot courgette seed coconut failed energy ballsGiant unpalatable leafy chopped salad with nuts and seedsQuick fried carrots, parsnips, peppers with cashews and avocado.
TuesdaySame as MondayGiant unpalatable leafy chopped salad with nuts and seedsQuick fried carrots, parsnips, peppers with cashews and avocado.
WednesdaySame as MondayGiant unpalatable leafy chopped salad with nuts and seedsAubergine-base tacos with avocado sauce, fajita vegetables and pico de gallo
ThursdaySame as MondayAubergine-base tacos with avocado sauce, fajita vegetables and pico de galloSweet potato gratin, roasted broccoli and cauliflower with cheesy cashew sauce
FridaySame as MondaySweet potato gratin, roasted broccoli and cauliflower with cheesy cashew sauceZoodles with fresh green sauce
SaturdayCherries, raspberries, pineapple, melon chunks with tahini and dessicated coconut
Zoodles with fresh green sauceTweaked chickpea spinach curry with cauliflower rice
SundayCherries, raspberries, pineapple, melon chunks with tahini and dessicated coconutTweaked chickpea spinach curry with cauliflower riceStir fried vegetables with cauliflower rice

17/06/2019 Day 1

So it begins….Let’s get this vegan Whole30 party started. Yayyy. Noooo.

I usually never get hungry until 10 at the earliest, but today I was starving by 9 o’clock so I had breakfast. For sure, my brain trying to tell me I was going to die of hunger on this diet and to GET OUT NOW!

I had a strange chia seed carrot courgette walnut banana mix, that was basically failed carrot cake energy balls and a handful of melon slices. 

Took FOREVER to eat the carrot mush, literally took me half an hour. It tasted nice but not amazing. I made enough for five days so I guess I’ll be having a leisurely breakfast every day this week. 

Feeling very cranky and hungry by 12 o’clock already. Again, probably totally psychosomatic. Still, my workmate is looking very tasty (sorry Nicole), perhaps I should just eat my salad already….

Ate my salad. Took FOREVER. Like the guts of an hour. Later, I had dinner at 7, which is a little early for me, following the trend of early eating for the day.

I really did not want to munch my way through a kilo of roughage again, so I picked up some frozen stir fry vegetables (carrots, parsnips, peppers) and quickly heated them up and had them with some cashews and frozen avocado. 

I finished the day with little hunger, but a large amount of general annoyance with eating such vast quantities of horse-feed roughage in one sitting.

I also wanted to smack myself for my “foresight” in preparing breakfast and salads for a few days, as I can now see that if this is going to work, I’m going to have to really LIKE what I’m eating.

Felt totally wired when bedtime came around, despite the fact I hadn’t had any caffeine all day.

Hubby confessed he’d like to reduce the amount of carbs he’s eating for dinner, although that’s not very helpful input AFTER I had done the menu for the week and we’d done the shopping, but means that maybe he can be a quasi-whole30 buddy for me next week!

18/06/2019 Day 2

Fell asleep cuddling up with hubby, very unlike me (mustn’t catch the cuddle-your-husband cooties). I need space and cool temperatures to sleep, and lately it’s also been taking me forever to drift off.

I’m not expecting to feel great this week or sleep well, as a lot of people on the Whole30 have reported issues with sleeping and generally feeling like poo the first (detox) week.

This morning when I woke up, I felt awful. Like I was totally hungover. Probably dehydration, I always sleep with a bottle of water on my nightstand, but this morning it wasn’t there.

A tiny demon was asleep in my bed (my daughter), which would explain why some things, such as my all-important water bottle, were not in their usual place as she’d probably had a ramble around the room before settling into bed with us.

Coming towards midday after eating breakfast at 9.00 (boring carrot mush), and I’m feeling better, not so tired, although a headache is threatening…

It’s funny how quickly you realize that you eat food out of boredom once you can’t do it anymore. Hence I’m drinking boatloads of water, teas, and infusions to keep myself hydrated and “busy”.

Took me two hours to eat my salad today as I kept letting myself be distracted by any and everything else rather than eat it. Stared at it rather mutinously.

May have given it the middle finger when nobody was looking. Definitely changing to something simpler and less foliage-like once I finish the batch I had prepared for tomorrow’s lunch.

Dinner was OK, stir-fried veg and avocado and cashews from yesterday. At least it didn’t take two hours to eat.

Haven’t been hungry today, but my stomach has a strange dissatisfied feeling, again realizing that I normally eat a lot from boredom. Getting very bored of water so decided to pop a few frozen strawberries in it.

Success! Mild strawberry flavour, and I’m pretty motivated to get to the bottom of the bottle and eat the yummy then-defrosted strawberries.

19/06/2019 Day 3

Slept like a log, had no difficulty getting to sleep. Can’t say the same about getting up though. Felt hungover again and like I had been hit by a truck.

It’s amazing how dehydrated I feel even though I’m making sure to drink a lot of water (I’m drinking at least 3 liters) yet my (TMI ALERT) urine is still quite yellow as well.

Maybe it’s the whole detoxing thing, or maybe, now that I think about it, I could be low on salt. I only put a little salt in my salad and it’s also pretty hot so I’m sweating more than usual.

Stoically facing my mushy carrot breakfast and unappetizing salad lunch, bolstered by the knowledge that I can have something new for dinner today and for lunch tomorrow. I’m thinking zoodles with a spicy tomato cashew sauce, or using aubergine (eggplant) slices as soft taco bases

Climbing up the few flights of stairs at work was VERY difficult, I did some light bodyweight exercises on Monday morning, lower body, and it feels like I’m not recovered at all – lack of protein? Breakfast was pushed back more today, as I didn’t feel hungry until half 9.

Cursed my way through my salad and promised myself I’d never eat a leafy salad again.

For dinner, I made “tacos”, some softened aubergine slices as bases, a little blended avocado-olive-oil-coconut cream and garlic sauce, fajita-style mushroom peppers and onions, and pico de gallo to top them off. They were HEAVENLY and I felt really full. 

However, I nearly slipped a million times while first preparing dishes for my family, realized how often I used to snack on things I was making, even if I didn’t actually “eat” them.

Went to sleep very quickly again, it’s become so easy to sleep now, I used to toss and turn for hours.

20/06/2019 Day 4

Groggy and tired when I woke up again today, but I WAS woken up by my son at 2 in the morning to tell me that there was an “Eskimo” in his room and it was annoying him in his ear. Took me about ten minutes to realize he meant a Mosquito. 

Just let him in beside me rather than getting up to hunt down the mosquito, which as husband had unaccountably stretched out over 2/3 of the bed, and my son had decided to stick his knees and elbows out in my direction, meant that I woke up quite a bit.

My stomach, which is normally invincible, was quite upset in the morning and my skin is breaking out like crazy. Maybe detoxing or all the dietary changes?

Brought some biryani and banana bread into work today for testing, a workmate also brought in caramel shortcake and meringues.

It was HARD. I kept thinking I could have a “break” from the whole 30, and had to sternly remind myself there would be no breaks and that it’s only 30 days, 4 down including today, 26 left.

For lunch I had brought the same as I had eaten for dinner, aubergine tacos. While they were nice and filling, about two hours later, my stomach was really upset again.

While again, it could be the dietary and changes, I’m betting on the aubergine (for no reason other than stubborn instinct). I Will stay away from it for a few days, then try it again on its own and see how my tummy handles it.

For dinner, I really felt like eating whatever I wanted and darn it all to hell but didn’t want to make a massive effort.

Ended up making sweet potato gratin, and roasted broccoli and cauliflower, and a cashew cheese sauce. Was really nice and filling, the kids and hubby had it with my white bean salad and some bread and hummus on the side, and they also loved it.

No stomach issues at all afterwards. It’s really heating up here and temperatures will reach 39C (nearly 100F) next week already, so it looks like this weekend I’m going to have to plan some meals that don’t involve turning on the oven.

Or…..batch cook any oven dishes on Sunday…..we’ll see…

Went to bed a bit later, close to midnight, which was stupid of me as I have been stupid tired all week, then I couldn’t get to sleep, took about an hour to nod off.

21/06/2019 Day 5

Still super tired and dehydrated when I woke up this morning, and was up at 6.30 to get ready for work and the school run.

Have to find the sweet spot between drinking enough to feel reasonably hydrated and not like a tired raisin when I wake up and needing to wake up to go to the bathroom several times. Skin still breaking out, help!

Had a slice of pineapple with my breakfast mush and melon, tasted so sweet and delicious, think my taste-buds are adapting already.

I’m normally not a big fan of fruit in general and it wouldn’t occur to me to eat it even if I were dying of hunger, but I sure am starting to appreciate it on this program.

Less anxious and hollow-feeling today, getting used to the boredom of not being able to grab a snack or coke zero or chew some gum or whatever.

Lunch I had leftovers from dinner. Now in the habit of drinking one “figure” tea a day (a blend of green tea, horsetail, sen, mate, and artichoke), and several ginger fusions, which is more or less keeping my hands and mouth entertained.

For dinner, I’m going to have some courgetti (zoodles) with my fresh green sauce for pasta (as I can just give it to the kids with spaghetti).

22/06/2019 Day 6

Got to sleep at around 1 last night as we stayed up late watching an absolutely RUBBISH (but family-friendly movie), woke up at 9 on the dot after sleeping like a log(it’s Saturday, yay!). 

Still felt tired and dehydrated when I woke up, but definitely not as bad as other days. Skin has improved.

Got the kids breakfast, for mine I had a handful each of cherries, raspberries, pineapple and melon chunks with a tablespoon of tahini drizzled over and a sprinkle of desiccated coconut.

It was actually HEAVENLY and I can’t really understand why I didn’t like fruit much before – except bananas, I can totally understand why I didn’t like bananas, yellow mushy fruit of the devil, begone!

I carefully planned out the meals from now until next Friday, streamlining everything so that we’re all eating the same basic recipe with add-ins for the kids and hubby, or just one or two swaps for me.

Apart from me being a hardcore vegetarian/sometimes vegan, the rest of my household are omnivores.

There are a few things I can batch cook and prepare today and Sunday, the rest I will make during the week.

Luckily the kids are at summer camp and have breakfast and lunch included there, and the teenager and hubby can get their own brekkie and lunch, so I’ll be doubling up my dinners and having the other half for lunch the next day at work.

For dinner I made my chickpea spinach curry, swapped out the sunflower oil for olive oil and separated out a portion of the sauce for me before adding the chickpeas for everyone else.

I then subbed the chickpeas with chopped aubergine and carrot in mine and didn’t add the little sugar required. I also doubled everything up so there would be enough for everyone’s lunch tomorrow.

Hubby and I had our respective curries with cauli rice, and it was amazing. I was so sad I had inflicted three days of leafy salads on myself this week, instead of making something like this to eat.

We have the menu set for next week, but the week after we’re totally eating this at least twice, although honestly, we could probably eat it every day. 

The cauliflower rice was SO good! I had tried it before and was unimpressed, but today I nailed it and it was delicious, albeit more like a fine couscous (my food processor/food destroyer sucks).

I blitzed a small head of cauliflower, then added 3 tablespoons of olive oil and ¾ tablespoon of salt, mixed it all up well, put it in a Tupperware box, sealed it, and cooked it for 6 minutes in the microwave.

It was so tasty. I could totally eat it on its own. It made enough for two generous servings with the curry. Hubby and I were like OK, so we’re obviously going to go out and find a shop open somewhere and buy ten heads of cauliflower tomorrow, right?

Today I felt much better, less bored with food and life. We kept busy today, and the food was on point.

Feel much less puffy and bloated and finally ventured down to the pool today, which has been open for a week but I literally felt too self-conscious to go down before. Played with the kids, swam about 500 meters with breaks every 50.

Poor, but honestly it’s the same every year, out of practice at the start of the summer….Next week I’m committing to swimming every day to get up to 1km a day. Then after that, I’ll stagger the amounts to remove the breaks.

We went for a walk after dinner, about an hour, the whole family together. I like that I actually feel the urge to be active now, kinda crazy how much can change from your diet, and it’s only day 6…..

23/06/2019 Day 7

For breakfast, I had a plate of fruit sprinkled with desiccated coconut and tahini drizzled over. It was delicious. Felt full of energy and ready to do things.

Kept active all day and had leftover curry and cauliflower rice for lunch. Managed to swim 600 meters today, still not quite a kilometer, but getting there!

Today we had stir fried veg for dinner and I made a sauce with some coconut aminos, toasted sesame oil, rice vinegar, garlic and ginger, and had it with some cauliflower rice. It tasted perfect, and I made enough for two lunches.

Week one done and dusted!

Week 1 vegan whole 30 on a background of nuts

Kris Unsworth

Wednesday 2nd of February 2022

I just found your fantastic blog. Im starting the whole 30 vegan version tomorrow. Thanks for documenting your first time. It helped my looming anxiety!

Deirdre Gilna

Wednesday 2nd of February 2022

Brilliant, I hope you enjoy it!


Tuesday 20th of August 2019

Hey, thanks for doing this write up. This is a great adjustment for us vegans. There's not a lot out there written up with vegan friendly menus for the Whole30. I did use the diary book by the Whole30 folks and it was helpful, but your blog is a good way to follow along with a "buddy". They Whole30 folks tell you to tell everyone about your program. I did the opposite and it was successful. People love to ruin your diet or opine about what you should be eating (protein). I'm also glad you included info about your swimming and family walks. diet and exercise should always go together. I also have omnivore family members and they are skeptical about my meals, until they taste it. I'm starting a reset, and I'm going to use your menu and notes for my shopping list. Thanks again!

The Fiery Vegetarian

Tuesday 20th of August 2019

I'm so glad you found this helpful Beth! I have to say I know what you mean about people's attitudes towards our diets - I was pretty lucky that everyone around me was mainly supportive (although if I hear the word "protein" once more...) I hope your reset goes smoothly and thanks again for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment.


Friday 5th of July 2019

Nice to see a “realistic” view of the difficulties and benefits of the diet. Did you find that there was much more cooking time involved than with a normal vegan diet after you got rid of the green salads?

The Fiery Vegetarian

Friday 5th of July 2019

Good question! I would answer with a resounding yes. This diet involves a lot of cooking. I prefer to cook double for dinner and have extras for lunch the next day, instead of prepping a week's meals at once, which others do to great success (at the cost of their entire Sunday). I would also say you could quadruple up batches you want - the issue for me is that I'm cooking for a household with five people in it, so even doubling up means dealing with vast quantities of food, and a LOT of cooking.

I've also read other Whole30 reports and have found that everyone needed to cook a lot more across the board.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope that answers your question!