BOOM! I just completed the Whole 30 plan! I won't call this a diet because I don't think of it as such. It is really a clean eating plan which allows you to reduce sugar cravings and get in tune with your body. I have been battling inflammation for the past six months. I visited a massage therapist, my chiropractor and my primary care physician and they all suggested that I eliminate dairy. I started doing some research which led me to read about the Whole 30 program so I ordered the books, read them and then proceeded to stuff them in my nightstand. In January I had ALL best intentions to start the Whole 30 plan but I got sick. As in really sick and spent the majority of two weeks recuperating in bed. I sucked on a peppermint literally 24/7 in order to prevent myself from coughing and drank A LOT of hot tea with honey. As a result I found myself addicted (literally) to sugar.
Whole 30 Results:
I was scrolling through my Facebook feed when I saw that my friend Michelle was on the Whole 30 program. Her Facebook status read "Today's Whole30 breakfast is Pork Chop, Broccoli and roasted sweet potatoes with oregano. I think this is how one trains herself to "eat to live not live to eat"! - It CLICKED! It was my sign. I don't know what else to say but I pulled that book out of the nightstand. Re-read parts of it and I messaged Michelle and said, "I think I am going to start Whole 30 on Monday". She said - don't wait, start tomorrow. So I did. I wasn't prepared. I hadn't prepped any food. BUT, that didn't stop me. I didn't take before pictures, I didn't measure. I didn't honestly think I would make it 30 days. However, I got up on Sunday, January 24th and I started Whole 30. I got up and weighed in and then ate 2 boiled eggs, pineapple, kiwi, blueberries and carrots for breakfast. I started. That was a big first step for me.
I told NO ONE, except my husband, son and Michelle.
I went to the grocery after church and shopped. I bought fruits, vegetables, meat and I proceeded home to meal prep. I drank over 100 oz of water with lemon. Day 1 (January 24, 2016) was a breeze. I thought, wow, this is easy!
Then Day 2 came. I had a MAJOR headache, was grouchy and wanted to cry (maybe I did). But I didn't give up and pushed forward. I drank A LOT of water with fresh lemon and I think that was my saving grace. I am not going to lie, Day 3 wasn't much better than Day 2. I was in a bad mood - I mean BAD. I was crabby, felt terrible but I pushed through.
Day 4 came and I started feeling better. It was such a sweet relief. I was really craving SUGAR and CORN. Then something CRAZY happened.
On Day 5 I woke up and felt GOOD. I mean really really good. I had no headache and the cravings started to subside. I thought wow - I can do this.
Day 6-7 were good. I followed the plan eating three meals a day and was no longer hungry for a snack. I didn't crash by the afternoon, My afternoon brain fog was lifting and I was having regular bowel movements (oops that just got personal). WOW! How could these changes be so quick! My face looked clear as my acne was clearing and my eyes looked bright. This Whole 30 thing - it is for real! I was still tired and didn't have energy but I was feeling better than I had in years.
On Day 8-9 - I woke up and my jeans were tight. What the heck? How can this be? I have eaten nothing but food that was on the plan. I was super bloated. LUCKILY, Michelle had prepared me for this. According to the Whole 30 timeline this is normal! I pushed through. Drinking as much water as possible.
Day 10-12 were tough. I was tired, I was bored with food and struggled eating (dinner especially). I was really craving corn chips. I think I dreamed of corn chips and potato chips. This is when I decided I better go shopping for something to shake up my menu plan and headed to Pinterest to find some new recipes.
Day 13 -15 - Hello energy! I woke up each day feeling amazing! I was organizing closets and my husband was like "what is going on with you". A few people starting mentioning to me that I looked "good" and I could tell that my jeans were getting loose.
Day 16 - It got even better! I woke up and wanted to exercise! I worked out for 45 minutes and pulled my fit bit out of the junk drawer and charged it up (and wore it everyday since). This phase lasted through day 26 for me! I walked the dogs, I exercised, I was leaping around like a maniac at school while we were assembling candy grams. Tiger Blood is amazing! I got more done each day and felt great while doing it. I was sleeping like a baby, waking up before my alarm. I also realized I haven't had indigestion in so long I can't remember. I haven't had a single headache since Day 4 and I was no longer having cravings. Life was good.
Then Day 27 came. I woke up and I felt crappy. I don't know how else to say it. I was tired, I didn't want to do anything and I didn't want to eat. In fact I literally had to force myself to eat on Day 28, 29 and 30. But I did it. I completed it and I am really proud of myself.
Finally Day 31 (February 23, 2016) +arrived and I did the happy dance! Literally! I also woke up full of energy and reorganized all of my kitchen cabinets!
So this is my Whole 30 in a nutshell. Was it worth it? YES. Will I do it again. YES. In fact I start another round on Monday, February 29th. My friend Michelle and I decided to repeat again. During the 6 days in between I will continue to eat Whole 30 and introduce a couple foods to test and see how my body reacts. #1 on my list. CORN!
Is it easy? - NO. It takes a lot of meal prep and planning. Is it worth it? Yes, this is the best I have ever felt in my adult life. I am most interested to see how my body reacts to corn and sugar.
I ended up losing 7 lbs and I am not sure how many inches because I didn't measure 🙁 However I am down a dress size, pants size and shirt size. I WILL measure the next round. I didn't take official before and after pictures BUT this is the closest I could get. This "before" photo was taken of my Dad and I on the beach on January 2nd. The "after picture" was taken on February 19th. I started my Whole 30 on January 24, 2016. You can really SEE the difference! I am elated with my results and most importantly I feel FANTASTIC!
Whole 30 Tips:
- Read the Book - The Whole 30 - this is a must. Borrow it, purchase it. It is a key ingredient to your success.
- Also if possible read the book - It Starts With Food. I would borrow this one as it gives you understanding of the foundation of the program.
- Menu Plan - Menu Plan - Menu Plan. I can't say this enough because it is important. You must have food available so that you don't have the opportunity to cheat. - Check out these Whole 30 Recipes.
- Do Whole 30 with a friend. I honestly don't know what I would have done without the support of my friend Michelle. We messaged each other every day (multiple times a day). Seriously without her support I am not as sure I would have made it through. You can also search the #Whole30 hashtag on Instagram for inspiration. Be sure to sign up for the Whole 30 Daily too!
- Buy some Whole 30 approved snacks and emergency food - you will need it! My lifesaver during this program were Whole 30 approved Larabars.
- Drink A LOT of water! At least 1/2 your body weight. It will help with cravings and flush toxins out of your body. These homemade flavored waters are amazing to prepare!
- Be prepared. Don't plan a Whole 30 when you are going on vacation, attending a wedding or have a busy hectic schedule. I did go out to eat when I was on the Whole 30 but it took A LOT Of preparing! I also packed my lunch if I was going to be out. One of the places you can eat out is at Chipoltle. You can eat the pork, lettuce, salsa and guacamole. This became a treat for me. I also at at Carrabas and ordered the Johnny Rocco Salad without cheese and dressing.
- Try new foods. I really enjoyed trying new fruits and vegetables during the Whole 30! One of my new favorites is Jicama! I love it.
- Don't cheat - even a bite. If you do you will have to start over (that was my motivation not to cheat).
- Keep a food diary. I wrote down every single thing I ate and drink. It really helps you to be accountable and to be aware of how your body reacts to food.
- Measure and Take Before and After Pictures - learn from my mistakes!