So it’s been a week since we finished Whole 30, and I thought I’d share what we learned! I say “Round 1” because I have a feeling we’re going to do this again sometime soon!
Before we started the diet, we did stock up on meat and produce. We also told EVERYONE we knew about the diet. Lots of accountability 🙂
Why Whole 30?
Sugar is EVERYWHERE.
Eric watched a documentary about sugar and realized that there was sugar in everything. I already knew this – hello, this is the obesity/ diabetes problem in America. But sometimes that’s what you need to get started. And I was so glad he was onboard and supportive of me in this. He cut out soda back in April, so that helped make the transition easier.
I think I’m lactose intolerant?
Turns out I’m not. More on that below. This is why Whole 30 is amazing!
Isn’t this just the Atkins Diet?
NO! It’s not about weight loss. I run a lot, so I’m not really concerned about my calorie consumption. This is about learning what’s best for your body and NOT BEING ADDICTED to food (sugar mostly). Unlike Atkins, the diet has a definite end date and then you decide what makes you feel good. Or you decide you just want to put up with the results of eating these things.
Oh, and no cheating or slip ups. Because this isn’t about weigh loss, you really can’t cheat.
This may not be evident from my blog posts, but my dad is an excellent baker and chef. He studied in Paris and everything in their restaurant/bakery is amazing. And I work there. I do marketing and web design for them, but I am surrounded by the treats all day long.
I’ve always said Cookie Monster is my hero, and I knew that my “Sugar Dragon” was breathing fire in my brain for most of my life.
What I didn’t realize was the HABIT of putting sugar in my coffee or grabbing a cookie/ cake sample. It was just part of the routine….
So the first day was challenging.
Fortunately, I was doing this with my mom, sister, and husband so we were going through it together. Since I work with my mom, we both realized the habit of grabbing a sample of Chocolate Cherry bread on the way to our office.
Eric works in an engineering office and said, “I was talking to our admin and realized my mouth tasted minty! I had eaten a mint out of her desk jar and didn’t even notice!”
Our first lesson was definitely MINDFULNESS. We literally didn’t know what we were putting into our mouths, and that’s a really bad way to live.
Within the first week, I learned about the sleeplessness and restless leg syndrome caused by the Magnesium deficiency. Mom was struggling with this too, so we just researched what foods we needed and made sure we were eating more of those things every day (mostly spinach).
I always knew I would have a good breakfast. The cafe uses clarified butter when it makes all of its breakfast food, so I ate a Spinach Tomato Omelet with breakfast potatoes and fresh fruit every morning 🙂
We had a beautiful bridal shower planned for our cousin during week 1…. So none of us could eat the delicious Chicken Mango Chutney & Hawaiian Rice. We ate salad with grilled chicken and grilled vegetables.
Of course, Cafe Pierrot grilled vegetables are phenomenal so it’s not like I was really missing anything. But the other food smelled so good!!
Then it was time for dessert and there were dozens of cookies, mini cupcakes, brownies, and CAKE to tempt us. Again, we realized we almost just popped a brownie bite without thinking.
It was a little rough, but we survived.
In addition to the sleeplessness, we did experience some of those digestive issues explained in the book. Turns out, when your body is accustomed to breaking down gluten and/or sugar, it doesn’t know what to do with healthy fats. Stefanie, Eric, and I were really tired the first week.
I’m currently training for two half marathons, and the first time running while on this new diet was not fun. I made sure I was on the treadmill in case I didn’t feel well.
My sister was already gluten-free, but she had been subsisting on yogurt for breakfast and rice/quinoa bowls for dinner.
She went to her golf lesson and her coach asked, “What’s wrong with you?? Did you not eat your Wheaties this morning??”
“No! In fact, I’m on this crazy diet!”
Everyone thought we were insane.
My mom felt great this whole time. She kept talking about her Tiger Blood, but we just weren’t feeling it.
We mostly felt sadness for not eating cookies and cupcakes.
Why did we do this during National Ice Cream Month??
I really wanted sugar in my coffee – not milk, but just a little bit of sugar.
Eric and I had friends over during the diet, and just always made sure they ate at our house. We would make this delicious arugula salad with all kinds of fruit and grilled chicken and homemade vinaigrette.
We weren’t doing a good job with the “no snacking” part of the diet. The cravings weren’t stopping because we just satisfied the cravings with fruit and nuts.
However, apples are not cupcakes, so I didn’t care that much.
Eric still wasn’t feeling that great. He kept telling me that he never felt sick when he was eating bread and milk, so why was he feeling sick now.
But we didn’t give up!
I randomly got a stomach bug on day 15-16. So I guess those were 2 days I didn’t have a problem with Whole 30 living… but I do remember that I wanted toast and ginger ale, and obviously I couldn’t have them.
By now, we were in the swing of things. I was making sure the fridge was stocked with fruit and meat. We grilled a lot (benefit of doing this during the summer!). We were a little bored of eggs, but overall it wasn’t too bad.
We made spaghetti squash with a compliant tomato sauce. My half marathon training was increasing, and I drank coconut water instead of Gatorade! Really tasty.
Only my mom was feeling the Tiger Blood, but I definitely didn’t feel so sick (except maybe when I ate a whole bag of baby carrots. I can eat those like candy! I love them!).
Stef said there was no reason to smile if she couldn’t eat macarons. Our macaron baker made these delicious smores macarons, and I couldn’t eat them. They sold out really fast and I told her she needed to refill so I could try them the day after this was over!
Around this time, I felt like I had all kinds of willpower.
Seriously, if a baker’s daughter can do this, no one has any reason to give up. You can do it.
“I may not have all this Tiger Blood, but I kind of feel like I can do anything. What’s an extra mile? I haven’t had sugar in over 20 days!!” I told my sister.
Stephanie Kelly of the Whole30 team shared a similar feeling on snapchat saying, “What else can I do that I never thought I would be able to do.” Follow Whole30 on Snapchat to learn about the lifestyle (and compliant snacks).
I eventually started waking up earlier. I was NOT super awake and energized, but I knew I could do it.
One of the last days, I finally made Whole 30 approved meatloaf, and Eric was so happy! And guess what? It was pretty yummy!
Results & Life Lessons
So the first day back, Eric ate a bagel with cream cheese for breakfast, pizza for lunch, and PB&J for dinner (he didn’t want pork chops!) – with no negative results. I had a Sausage & Veg Hash for breakfast (not sure if the sausage was compliant, but if it was still Whole30), a strawberry banana smoothie with yogurt for lunch, and then I had some bread with dinner and that wasn’t so great.
My biggest fear of this diet was finding out I was gluten intollerant, because I love bread and pasta so much! I realized I had a worse reaction to gluten than to dairy. So weird!
While I wasn’t experiencing all the crazy Tiger Blood I was hoping for, once I started adding all the foods back to my diet I noticed the lack of energy. I woke up with headaches and stomach pain.
Eric decided he wouldn’t be adding soda back into his diet. Since he cut soda out back in April, he’s lost almost 30 lbs!
I only lost 4 lbs, but I was training so I have more muscle than I started with 🙂 My family says I look thinner.
Whole 30 is pretty great because we have such a sense of accomplishment. Melissa Hartwig is right when se says this is not hard. So many people face true hardships in life, and you can’t say that eliminating sugar and gluten is “hard.”
I never thought it would be possible for me to give these things
up, especially since I work in a bakery. If I can do it, you can do it! Seriously!
Just thought I’d share a few of my favorite Whole 30 recipes, so you have a few ideas. Once you realize how much is available, it’s really not that bad at all.