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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Whole30 Final Thoughts.

As promised - a more in depth discussion of Whole30! If you are just catching this post, Whole30 is a 30 day eating cleanse that includes (bio) meat, vegetables, fruit and certain nuts. (No alcohol, processed foods, sugar, dairy, legumes, grains).

I loved doing it, it has taught me so much about food, how I eat and how my body feels in relation to what I'm eating. I was so nervous to start because I couldn't imagine having to plan and prepare so many meals. It definitely took major planning and sifting through recipes, but...once a couple weeks passed it seemed like second nature, it was just how I ate. And I had some recipes that I knew and loved to fall back on so it wasn't such a huge task at the end. It definitely took a lot of time and dedication, but the annoyance of that was balanced out by how good I felt.  I've broken down some of the things I've learned in to categories or else I would just ramble on I think!

The upsides:
- Energy: This was by far the most amazing thing about Whole30. Once I was past the detox period, I had consistent energy throughout the whole day and felt so great.
- No guilt: I didn't have to feel bad for eating too much dessert, alcohol, etc. Or for putting those 2 spoonfuls of sugar in my coffee.
- No hangovers!
- No sugar highs and crashes
- Feeling full longer between meals. I didn't need to snack, generally.
- I acquired the taste for and started loving my coffee black.
- No hunger between meals
- Feeling clean, not bloated from carbs/dairy, etc.
- 11 lbs lost
- Clothes fit better now, feel much leaner
- My runs felt so much better - I felt so energetic. (The amount of protein you are eating on this diet helps your body to recover from exercise quicker).
- Knowing that my body was spending the energy burning real fat as opposed to all of the sugar and processed junk that it had to burn on my normal diet.
- From reading testimonies of others on their website, many people found healing of a lot of different symptoms like skin problems, stomach problems, etc. I didn't really have anything major to start with to notice this though.
The downsides:
- The detox period: For a week or so I felt so tired and not good - but its necessary as your body is detoxing from the sugar, etc.
- A lot time was spent grocery shopping, meal planning and cooking. There's no room to grab something quick for lunch with your coworkers or go out to eat if you're too lazy to make dinner.
- Going out for drinks with your friends when they are all drinking :)
- No desserts! (Although, I did make this topping from almond meal, coconut oil and salt that tasted like peanut butter to put over bananas or to just eat from the spoon!)
Secrets to my Success:
- I read their book, "It Starts with Food". This gave me a really good foundation of knowledge for why I would be eating the way I did. It helped to know the science behind it and what my body was doing.
- Pre-planning: I spent a lot of time before I officially started collecting recipes that I was excited to try and pinning them to Whole30 dedicated pinboards. I made sure I had located and bought some ingredients that I wasn't familiar with like coconut oil, compliant meats, clarified butter). There is no version of Whole Foods here so for instance, Ghee had to be bought at a shop in Zurich, etc. 
- Planning specific meals throughout the week, making sure I had what I needed. If I knew I wanted to make a soup during the week that needed chicken broth, for instance, i'd make sure to make homemade broth on the weekend.
- Leftovers! Sometimes Mark would make his own thing so I'd have a break from cooking every single day. Or I'd double recipes to make sure I had something for lunch/dinner the next day
- Nut butter. That is all.
- Doing it with a friend. This was priceless. We could bitch, share cravings, share meal ideas, share homemade mayo...and on and on. We'd keep eachother accountable and send eachother pictures of our meals.
And so I'm done now. I have to admit, on that first day of freedom I was walking by like all these bakeries and snack shops with shining was like I was in a new world! Like I had just been let out of prison or something! But, despite that, its so much easier now to make good choices. Sure I've had some chocolate and alcohol, but I don't need them. I don't crave the dessert anymore. We went out to eat this weekend and I still ordered fish and vegetables because I wanted them. For lunch today I had the choice of cereal and milk or making chicken and roasting vegetables - I went with the chicken...I almost craved the clean earthy taste of that food. I've totally switched to drinking black coffee and sweet things just don't taste the same now. Moving forward, I'm not sticking to it totally, but I can tell that the way that I want to eat has changed for the better. Afterall, I'm armed with experience, real results and a healthy feeling that is really hard to ignore!

Changes I will stick with:
- Cooking with coconut oil and Ghee instead of butter
- Using almond meal/coconut flour instead of flour
- Black coffee (no more spoonfuls of sugar every morning)
- Using compliant mayo (homemade), dijon mustard, tomato paste, etc. All the little products I found that are ok.
- Nut butter in place of peanut butter
- Trying my hardest to stay away from processed foods.
- Homemade chicken broth
- Using Cauliflower rice in place of rice and cous cous.
If you ever do this or want to discuss it more, feel free to email me. I'd love to help support the occasion. Its a big deal and its a lot of work and it helps so much to be able to talk it through! (Also, the website and forums are a great resource)

P.S. If you missed it, here is a post with my favorite Whole30 meals!

Ashley said...

I think I actually may try this eventually. I gotta muster some courage for it, but I see the benefits. good for you, gurrrl.

Shannon Boyce said...

This actually sounds amazing. I'm amazed at all of the benefits. You are pretty much awesome.

Christine said...

Sounds amazing! Maybe I should try it.

Lady Grey said...

Wow! A huge congratulations for seeing it through to the end!
I am now going to google what cauliflower rice is because it sounds like a great little trick : )

ilene @ muchloveilly said...

this is very inspiring. you make it sound very do-able!

M said...

Great Benefits! Wow! :)



maria said...

I am so inspired, after reading this. Would you mind if i link your blog posts on this as a source when i post???
This is great! I've been trying to stick to my cleaner (and generally my usual) eating habbits but it's been more difficult lately. Reading your upsides and the downsides definitely puts things into perspective and make it seem a whole lot more do-able.
Maria :)

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Dancing Branflake said...

You had me at 11 pounds. This is happening.

Anne Hill said...

way to go girl! it's nice to see a total recap. I love cooking with coconut oil

Chloe Moon said...

Well it seems the positives are real positive!!! I'm looking for more energy and these switches sound so healthy! I really am considering this!!

Ergo - Blog

Nikki said...

One of my fav recipes from my paleo days that we still make all the time are

Nikki said...

Chic 'n Cheap Living said...

I'm intrigued by coconut flour and cauliflower rice - recipes please!

Chic 'n Cheap Living

Hollie said...

I really want to do this... But no eggs? Maybe I should read the book.


I did finally try the Whole30 challenge, but modified it since I am vegetarian. But, I did find great literature and inspiration since a few fellow bloggers had told me about it initially. I've been juicing loads the past few months as well. Thanks for sharing your experience. :) /Madison

Andi of My Beautiful Adventures said...

11 pds! That's so awesome!!!!

Josie said...

I'm SO impressed that you did this. I don't think I could ever make it through, but it sounds like it was great for you!
xo Josie

Laura Bear said...

WOW WAY TO GO! what an accomplishment and how inspiring! I think I need to switch to nut butter... I eat waaay too much peanut butter.....

rooth said...

11 lbs?! Good for you! And thanks for sharing the results. Feeling healthier and making better eating decisions is probably the best outcome of all

Erika @ ~TiptoeButterfly~ said...

i did the Whole30 too! - i pretty much stiked with it - but now i'll have a drink here and there - i plan on doing a Whole60 next ... the frequent trips to the farmers market can get annoying - with needing fresh produce all the time - i ate A LOT of fish too which meant LOTS of trips to the market - CONGRATS!!!!!!

Monica L. Shulman said...

This is amazing. I've done a number of cleanses (mostly vegan cleanses with some grains) since having my daughter and I know how hard it is. You're right the initial period is so difficult. Your body craves so much of what it is used to....I thought I would DIE without coffee and actually my only cheat after about three long days with a constant dull headache was to have coffee with a splash of milk (bc black coffee makes me sick).

You just feel so incredible afterward from head to toe, inside and out. Your skin is glowing and you feel SO CLEAN. Congratulations on this major accomplishment!

Amanda said...

OMG! 11 pounds in one month? That's crazy awesome. Congrats, girl! Your new perspective about food is wonderful! I am starting to think I could live without grains, but giving up dairy has been tough!

Diana said...

Wow, that's super inspiring. I think I will actually try this sometime. But for reals, no peanut butter? I do love other nut butters, I guess. That's my biggest deterrent. Oh, and booze.

I dunno, maybe this seems kinda hard.

the clothing menu said...

Wow..that's an intense diet. Good for you for sticking it out the 30 days. There is no way I could go that long without dessert!


jessica {creative index} said...

You go girl! Congrats on sticking through it... I don't think I could do it. I love my sweets! :)

:: Lavender's Green :: said...

This sounds amazing! It sounds a little like paleo? The benefits sound absolutely incredible! I'm slowly trying to incorporate more of this into my diet by following (looooooosely, haha) the FODMAP diet. I have a lot of food allergies, so FODMAP works really well for me because of how little I can digest properly.

Well done, lady!

x Jasmine

Megan Lane said...

Yes! I love this!! I've experienced many of the same upsides from eating clean. S much more energy, no bloating and feel leaner than ever. I've been splurging a lot the last few days and i feel a definite difference. Like you, I now drink my coffee black, often choose almond butter over peanut, use almond/coconut flour as well as coconut oil. I still use butter, though I am sure to find pastured, organic butter (along with my eggs). I actually haven't tried ghee, are you able to find yours at the grocery store, or do you order it online?

thais said...

wow! just reading this now and thinking you're a super here. I NEED to take a big breath and do it, get clean from inside out. very inspiring and helpful - congrats!!



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