As promised, here is a detailed account of my Whole30 experience and results that I completed two days prior to my wedding in October. I had known about Whole30 for a while, but I refused to give it a shot because it seemed too restrictive. I mean, no peanut butter?!?! That was my ultimate deal breaker.
But then, my wedding was quickly approaching and I really wanted to shed some pounds and inches before the big day. Note, the point of Whole30 isn’t to achieve weight-loss (you aren’t even allowed to step on the scale for the duration of the 30 days), but I had seen so many awesome transformation photos on Instagram that I had to oblige. I looked at my calendar and picked a date to begin so that I would be finished by my wedding day and honeymoon in St. Lucia. Note, I did not purchase and read the book It Starts With Food and I did not utilize the Whole30 book that acts as a helpful guide although I wish that I would have taken the time to tap into these resources. Instead, I Googled around and got the Whole30 Rules and utilized the Whole30 shopping list. In a nutshell, you are allowed to eat protein, vegetables, fruit and healthy fats on Whole30. You are prohibited from eating sugar, gluten, dairy, legumes and processed foods. And you aren’t allowed any slip ups for the duration of the Whole30 days.
I consider myself to be a person that eats pretty healthily the majority of the time, so I was definitely uneasy about how many of my go to healthy foods were in the prohibited category. I honestly didn’t know if I could complete this plan, but I sucked it up, got mentally prepared as best as I could and went to my local grocery store to plan meals.
What I Ate (The Majority of The Time)
Breakfast: Eggs, Pederson’s bacon and sweet potato hash. This was often my go to meal as I’m pretty sure I ate this each day. I think I threw some plantains in the mix a time or two.
Snacks (which apparently you aren’t supposed to have, my bad.): Cashews, fruits and veggies, and Trader Joe’s unsweetened dried mango (became my addiction–you are supposed to LIMIT dried fruit on the plan. )
Lunch: Plantain nachos. Chicken. Fish Veggies. Compliant soups.
Dinner: Chicken thighs. I had a lot of Nigerian soups that were rich in protein and veggies and coupled those with garri (a.k.a. ground cassava) since I couldn’t have any grains.
As you can see, I pretty much ate the same foods everyday for convenience. However, please do not let this be representative of the only meals that can be had. There are a ton of recipes out there that I discovered toward the end of my Whole30 by way of Instagram. I often hashtagged #whole30recipes #whole30compliant #whole30meals and similar variations and I found some life saving meals to make. It’s also how I discovered plantain nachos which were a staple for me.
My Whole30 Musings/Takeaways
- It’s awesome to not calorie count. I don’t even calorie count often but I did leading up to the wedding. It was nice to throw this habit out the window for 30 days.
- I didn’t weigh myself until the 30 days were up. This was freeing too since the number on the scale can really psych a person out at times, especially when you’re trying to lose weight for a big event.
- I wasn’t bloated at all! Not even during my time of the month and it was absolutely wonderful.
- Umm, is there sugar in everything? There is added sugar in so many of our foods! I had no idea that there was added sugar in bacon (I only found one compliant brand at Sprouts called Pederson’s). And some brands of rotisserie chicken. The list goes on and on. I read many labels and had to put back so many food items at the store.
- Don’t ever go to Chipotle while on Whole30 unless you want to feel foolish. “Can I have a burrito bowl with chicken and roasted veggies and a side of guacamole? No, no rice. No, no beans. No, no cheese. No, no sour cream. No, no corn.” “Okay your total is $9.50” SIIIIIIGH. The worst. It was literally the lightest bowl I ever had and it felt like such a waste of money.
- Trader Joe’s unsweetened dried mango is addictive. Eat this at your own risk.
- I have more will power than I give myself credit for. I attended a party and a bridal shower and I only ate compliant foods. I was quite proud of myself.
I completed the program! I lost 6 pounds and two inches from my waist. I really don’t know why I didn’t take other measurements, I guess my waist was the main focus. I saw a difference in my photos from Day 1 and Day 30 and I was pleased with the results because lately, it’s been really hard to see physical progress on my frame.
Would I Do Whole30 Again?
Yes, I would. However, I doubt I will ever only eat Whole30 compliant foods for a long duration of time like many others out there. For me personally, it is simply not sustainable. I love way too many foods that are non-compliant. It was amazing to see how great my body felt by eating all natural and unprocessed foods and I felt totally accomplished when I completed the program. And I have to say that the program made me very conscious of what I put into my body and emphasized that I need to strive to eat clean, healthy foods. If I do embark on another Whole30 I will definitely prepare more and probably invest in the actual books to have more of an understanding of the program.
Have you ever tried Whole30? What was your experience like? Or have you changed your diet drastically before?