Prior to starting, I wasn't on my A-game. I woke up late every morning, sleeping through way too many alarms (and even phone calls from Dathan to get me up), yet still felt tired. Coffee was absolutely necessary (at least 2 cups), and I found myself daydreaming of the Starbucks breakfast sandwiches & vanilla lattes that used to be just an occasional treat.
Speaking of treats... well, there were too many treats. Things like cookies with my coffee, plantain chips for snacking after work, Quest bars mid-morning, and resorting to takeout when I felt too tired to cook were becoming less and less of a "treat", and more of a regular occurrence. While I could still fit into most of my size 2's, there were more and more pairs that were being sent down to my storage bin in the garage... because they just weren't comfortable anymore. & I decided that most stores must actually cut their sizes too small, so maybe the next size up was just fine. (Somewhere around here is when the little voice in my head suggested a Whole30)
Now, while the Whole30 felt incredibly effective due to my increasingly bad habits, that doesn't mean it was an "easy" fix. The first two weeks of this Whole30 were so much harder than the early days of my first two rounds. I was having to overcome the physical feelings of headache and fatigue while my body detoxed from junk... but was also having to re-learn my old mental habits at the same time. No wonder why sushi & pizza seemed so appealing... it's so much easier.
See my "Tips & How-To" for preparing here)
Also, plan to feel the "hangover" part. Everyone loves to talk about the wonderful "before & afters" and the great results of the Whole30... but you will definitely feel the detox element as well. All of the junk that somehow snuck its way into your diet will come back to haunt you on its way out, and it's not super fun.
Now, here comes the fun part that reminds you that it's all worth it and that you've come too far & worked too hard to revert your ways: the results! Although this was my toughest Whole30, it's also been my most rewarding. Here are the highlights of my "results":
- down 9 lbs
- sleeping great
- able to wake up in the morning (with just 2 alarms & NO phone call)
- energy to exercise before work
- no more "afternoon slump" (aka uncontrollable yawning & desire for sweets around my 3:00 clients)
- less frequent headaches (without my Iron supplement!)
- more productive overall, both at home & work
- skin is looking better than ever
- all the old pants are back in rotation :)
Going forward, I knew I couldn't just unleash myself to the land of cookies & Eat24. So, I decided to make a plan going forward for what my diet will look like. I wanted to add enough back in to be realistic & challenge myself with everyday choices... while keeping unnecessary foods off limits. Here's what I came up with, starting Day 1 post Whole30:
- natural sweeteners (honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, dextrose, cane sugar)
- baked goods/"junk food" made with approved ingredients
- alcohol (in extracts, sauces, + wine in moderation)
- protein powder
- commercially prepared chips/fries (in moderation, with approved ingredients)
- non-compliant cooking oils, only when eating out
- butter for cooking & baking
- all grains
- dairy (except butter for cooking)
- artificial sweeteners
This should allow me to vary my protein choices a little more, and give me more freedom to be creative with my food during the holidays (as long as the ingredients are approved!)
So, I'm basically back to a true Paleo diet, where I should remained all along. I'm truly enjoying cooking again, because I've been reminded of the power that a clean, whole food diet has over your body & mind. We're still planning our weekly meals, and hoping to keep things going this way for the long haul!
Overall, I have loved all of my Whole30 experiences. I'm incredibly thankful to the Whole30 creators who gave me the tools I needed to get back on track. & I'm also thankful for you all for supporting me & joining me in some way along this little journey. Thanks for reading my posts, tolerating all of my food pictures on social media, and motivating me to keep sharing. :)
Also, one last big "thank you" to Dathan, who not only put up with my super-grumpy Whole30 "hangover" phase and still loved me, but experienced it first hand right along with me. His very first Whole30 in the books. I'm proud of you Day!
Please leave any questions at all below, and share your thoughts on Whole30ing! I would love to chat with you all!