Another Whole30 in the books! I have to say that this one was significantly easier than my first Whole30. I knew what to expect since I had did one before and I was just so ready to make a change. The holidays definitely brought more sweets around than usual and I’ve found that once I start eating sugar, it’s hard for me to stop. And it’s healthy sugar too (at least for the most part!) like Paleo cookies or some dark chocolate after meals. I don’t regret having these things at all, but I think it’s good to give your body a re-set when you find these items creeping into your diet more often than you would prefer.
This time was also easier because my husband, Erik, did it with me! The last time I did the Whole30 I was still making him rice, sandwiches, etc. and so it made it a bit more challenging to make two meals. Plus, it was just so much more fun when you had someone you could talk through the challenge with! He was pretty nervous about being able to make it through but did absolutely awesome with zero slip ups!
I’ve found that I’m the type of person who does really well with these types of programs. I did not feel limited at all on the program because all the food I ate was so good! I ate plenty of healthy fats and healthy carbs and always felt full. I also made sure I had snacks around for emergencies. Some people might think this program is restrictive but I actually don’t think that at all! The reason I love the Whole30 so much is because you aren’t just eating a specific diet to lose weight- you are eating this way because these foods make you feel your best. I would take a bet that you don’t really feel all that great after that nightly bowl of ice cream or morning sugar bomb bowl of cereal. While these foods might temporarily taste good, you are usually left feeling pretty rough after them. It was so nice to have a full 30 days where I felt great after all of my meals!
Some of my recommendations for doing a Whole30 would be to choose wisely when you start the program. We chose February because we had limited social obligations (besides the Super Bowl- that was tough!) and didn’t have any trips planned so we were able to make almost all of our meals at home. Also, use the allowed foods to your advantage. If you are fighting off sugar cravings and are used to dessert, have a kombucha or a bowl of fruit after dinner. The first time I did the whole30 I think I was too restrictive on myself and I ended up dreaming about doughnuts and pancakes the whole time. This time, I allowed myself all of the foods on the plan and didn’t worry so much. If I had to have an RX Bar or a smoothie that was totally cool. Also, chia pudding is one of those “gray area” foods but it was quick to whip up and we appreciated the variation from eggs. I don’t feel like because I ate some of these foods that I didn’t experience the full benefits of the program.
So, what benefits did I experience? My skin cleared up a ton. I think my skin is really sensitive to dairy and even though I don’t eat much, getting off the butter and just using ghee/ coconut oil absolutely helped me with breakouts (even during that time of the month!). Also, my cravings diminished almost entirely. During this whole30 I went out to dinner where a giant piece of chocolate cake was served, and there were plenty of times at work where there were cookies, cupcakes, etc. around (including Valentine’s day!) but I really didn’t feel like it was that big of a deal to pass these things up. I’ve started to realize how much I am affected by sugar. Not just physically, but also mentally. Sugar causes this reaction in me where I actually start to panic and feelings of guilt can come into play. Alcohol definitely does this as well. So having a solid month without these feelings were awesome, and I’m definitely going to be cognizant in the future about choosing carefully whether or not I want these foods since I know the mental strain that comes with them.
You may be thinking, “Yes, this is all great but did you lose weight?” and the truth is- I don’t know. I didn’t get on the scale before the program and I didn’t once the program was over. Why? Because I want to focus on the non-scale victories and to me, the weight loss doesn’t matter. I feel better physically (my clothes feel very comfortable and a bit looser) and I feel better mentally. But what if I stepped on the scale and didn’t see weight loss? Would all of a sudden these other wins not feel as important? Perhaps. I can definitely get in my head when I look at numbers- so I don’t. Weight is just a number- if you feel energized, feel your inflammation and bloating has reduced, and feel good in your clothes and your skin- then why does the scale matter at all?
So, in summary, it was a very successful second round of the whole30. I definitely would do the program again, maybe this year, maybe next year, and I want to keep up with eating this way most of the time. However, I am excited to be able to go out to eat again occasionally and have some wine/ sugar when I want to. I’ll be doing my next post all about my whole30 meals so hopefully you will tune in for that!
Question time: Have you ever done a Whole30? Would you ever want to?