Pictured: Some of my favorite recipes using the Whole30 cookbook.
I finished. I did it! I completed the Whole30 program. I started on January 9 and completed my 30 days on February 7. Don’t know what Whole30 is? Today I am sharing my ups and downs, weight loss and if I would do it again. I learned a lot about myself during this 30 day reset.
OK, I’ll make this the ‘cheat sheet’ version of the program. Whole30 is a 30 day reset for your body and nutrition. It’s goal is to get you to rid yourself of bad habits and eat real food. Basically, you cut alcohol, sugar, all grains, legumes and dairy. Yep, that’s right, you cut all of that out of your diet. You might be saying to yourself ‘what can you eat’? Plenty! You eat a lot of grass fed, organic protein, vegetables and fruit. There’s a shopping list so that you don’t get yourself into trouble and several cookbooks to help you with meal preparation. I have never spent this much money at the grocery store but fresh food and protein costs more. Think about it, you are eliminating all processed food. It also teaches you to read all labels and carefully make choices. Y’all, you quickly learn that sugar in some form or another is in everything. You can download lots of free information on Whole30. That’s where I gathered the basic information to get started. Once I got the hang of it, I ordered this Whole30 cookbook and I love the recipes. Here’s another one that you might consider as well.
You quickly learn what is ‘Whole30 compliant’. These are foods and products that are ok and approved on the Whole30 program. RX Bars and That’s It bars are something you will want to order and have stocked. Some Lara bars (not all flavors) are approved but double check the list. La Croix water (all flavors) is also approved and a lifesaver. I always had a protein bar in my purse. It really helps to know that you have something safe to eat with you. Especially if there is any possibility you will have to skip a meal.
Here are 5 things I learned about myself during my Whole30 journey:
1) Days 1-4 are the hardest. It’s a complete change in your eating habits. You can have coffee but absolutely no sweetener of any kind (not even artificial) and no dairy in your coffee. I learned to adjust to coconut milk in my coffee. I tried almond milk but that’s just disgusting. Your body is detoxing during this phase and I had a dull headache every day. I finally caved and took Advil to push past this part. Be sure to up your water intake to offset the ‘detox flu’. From Day 5 on I was golden.
2) My vice is eating gummi bears. At night. While I write or edit my blog posts or watch TV. This is mindless eating and a really bad habit, especially since this means I was ending my day on a sugar snack. Whole30 helped me break that habit.
3) I was able to give up diet coke. I was only having about one a day so it wasn’t a horrible habit. Again, you can have caffeine but since you can’t have any type of sweetener, diet drinks are out. What helped was discovering La Croix water. They are a sparkling water drinks in a can. Lime flavored La Croix is my favorite.
4) The Whole30 program completely cut my sweet tooth. Early on in the program I noticed that I no longer had a desire for sweets. Not that I was always having them but I do like dessert while eating out. And I love to stop by Bird Bakery and pick up a cupcake. I learned to replace it with fresh fruit.
5) Eating out is hard while on Whole30 but it teaches you to inquire about everything you order. Give up grains, dairy, legumes and anything else forbidden and ask for extra steamed vegetables or fresh fruit. Have them take the bread basket away. Drink lots of water with your meals. I always squeeze a fresh lemon wedge in my water. Have a Perrier if everyone else is having a cocktail.
Did I lose weight? Yes and no. I lost 5 pounds after about two weeks. But then my body and appetite adjusted and I put it back on (hello sweet potato fries). If you are wanting to try a new program for weight loss, Whole30 isn’t necessarily it. The purpose of this program is to reset yourself. That’s why so many people do it in January. To reset themselves after the holidays. But I do feel better when I eat this way. I have endless energy and some of the best nights sleep I’ve ever had. Your body is processing food easier and running like a fine tuned machine. It’s amazing what happens when you eat real food!
Would I do it again? Absolutely! In fact, I am still implementing this type of eating routine just not as strictly. Give it a try. xoxo- Tanya
P.S. If you have done Whole30 and have some favorite recipes, I would love to hear about them in the comment section.