Friends, my second go-round at Whole 30 is in the books!
For those of you that have no idea what Whole 30 is, it is a full 30 days of fueling your body with nourishing food while eliminating certain food groups from your diet: added sugar, legumes, grains, dairy and alcohol. This round was so much easier and different from my first round. There was less pressure (no impending wedding), I was more prepared, consistent with my workouts and I had an accountability partner (my husband who completed his first round with flying colors). I hit a stride that that’s been missing a bit during my current fitness journey and I’ve been pleased to welcome it back.
I’m not completely sure what clicked this time, but I guess it’s the factors I mentioned above and then-some. First off, I ended up finally purchasing It Starts With Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways.
This book was key for understanding what Whole 30 is really about and I wish I read it before completing my first round (it would have been easier and made more sense). The Hartwigs (authors of the book, Dallas Hartwig & Melissa Hartwig) did a great job explaining the reasons that Whole 30 came to be and the positive impact it’s had on the lives of so many. Many people believe (myself included before I ever attempted Whole 30) that Whole 30 is just a random torture diet where you eliminate certain food groups just because.
I even thought it was extra and too extreme but I’ve had a change of heart. It’s ironic that eating natural foods that are FILLING and GOOD FOR YOU while NOT COUNTING A SINGLE CALORIE (so freeing) is seen as extreme. All I know is my body hasn’t felt this nourished in a while. If you are interested in Whole 30, I definitely recommend reading the book but for now I’ll leave you with the “Good Food Standards” from the book that I plan to carry with me (even if I don’t always make the best food choices):
The food we eat should:
- Promote a healthy psychological response.
- Promote a healthy hormonal response
- Support a healthy gut.
- Support immune function and minimize inflammation
Why I Did Whole 30 Again
I was so tired of my repeated cycle of over indulging and then being on the straight and narrow healthy food track. My body was hating me for it and I was in a funk. I was having belly aches and some skin break outs and I needed a reset. It makes sense then that a month prior (before I even considered doing another round), I was feeling gross and so out of my element that I started a list of titled “Foods That Make Me Feel Crappy”:
So clearly, this round was not about shedding pounds. The focus this time was about feeling GOOD.
My Overall Experience
If you follow us on Instagram, you’ve had a peak into what I ate and the type of workouts I did but here’s some more detail for you. The first week was tough as expected, because I had been overindulging a bit prior so it was hard for my body to adjust to the natural goodies. Thankfully, my husband and I did a whole bunch of meal prep so I didn’t go for want, hunger wise. I missed my beloved rice and bread since I have more of a penchant for those kinds of goods than for sweets. I’m more of a savory chick in general.
I had plenty of inquiries from colleagues or friends about why I’m doing Whole 30. So I answered lots of questions as they gave me shocked looks based on what I was prohibited from eating. On certain days, some folks came to my office with dessert treats because they didn’t know I was on the program. It wasn’t hard saying no though because I was usually full anyway (one of my top Whole 30 rules is don’t let yourself get super hungry, more on that in my upcoming tips post) and because I knew it wouldn’t be worth it to slip up and start all over again.
Within the first week, I already started feeling better! My belly wasn’t bothersome, I slept soundly, and my skin began to clear.` A co-worker even told me I was glowing, and that was a nice plus. So I kept going with the flow and sticking to my routine. But there were some drawbacks.
Is Whole 30 inconvenient? Yes, yes it is. I had to skip out on events or be THAT annoying person when ordering at a restaurant. Being social on Whole 30 is tough, so I wasn’t really social to be honest. For the past month, I ate out twice. I went to brunch once and ordered steak and eggs, but not before questioning the waiter about the way the steak and eggs were prepared. During the second half of Whole 30, we went out with friends wherein we paid full price for literally half a meal because we had to nix half of what was offered from our plate since it wasn’t compliant and because the restaurant had no compliant substitutes, sigh. Suffice it to say we didn’t eat out the remainder of Whole 30. I knew it was temporary, so I focused on the end game.
Since we didn’t eat out, we cooked A LOT. I cooked most of the meals because my husband is in residency and his schedule is horrible in general. Thankfully, we usually got to enjoy dinner together. We took the advice from It Starts With Food and unplugged and ate at our dinner table to practice mindful eating and enjoy the food we prepared. So even though we didn’t get to go out on official date nights, we had our own little date nights at home and bonded more while we cooked and ate. It’s a habit that I definitely want to keep up. Plus, we were able to pocket more cash this month from by not eating out at all.
I feel like there is so much more that I’m forgetting to relay, but I truly had an amazing Whole 30 round. While I’m thankful that I’m done because I feel good and because I can eat some foods I hold dear to my heart, I feel much more enlightened this time around and I feel like my relationship with food is at a much better place.
What We Ate
I am working on a dedicated Whole 30 recipes post so you guys can have an idea of how I made certain foods. But for now you can get the visuals.
I promise I didn’t eat bacon everyday haha but these are the pics I have. I ate Aidell’s chicken and apple sausage usually as my protein because it’s more filling than bacon.
You aren’t supposed to snack on Whole 30, but if you’re active and/or workout, you’ve got to fuel your body and the plan allows for pre-workout and post workout eats. RXbars were a life saver pre or post workout and if I didn’t have any bars on hand, I would heat up some extra protein that I had on hand (chicken, ground turkey etc.).
My Results & Takeaways
I. FEEL. GOOOOOD. And I was feeling so good that I technically did a Whole 37 because I closed out the week compliant since I had my prepped food on hand that I wanted to continue on a bit and did just that. There’s no bloat, my skin is clear, I have more energy and I’m really happy with my routine. The past couple of years have been filled with huge life changes and I found myself feeling off kilter as I’ve adapted and adjusted. Luckily, things have been falling into place and I’m so thankful that I’m making my way back to my happy fitness medium and I wanna stay here for a long while.
Physically, I’m down 4 lbs and I’ve lost a combined 8 inches all around and 2% percent body fat.
I also had a bunch of non-scale victories like fitting into two pairs of my favorite pants again and killing it during my workouts. And I learned to ditch the importance of numbers. With calorie counting out the window and not weighing in or measuring until the 30 days are up, I felt liberated. I didn’t even wear my heart rate monitor at all during workouts. I’m currently in the 10 day reintroduction program –which is the true test of Whole 30 where you get to examine which foods agree with your body and which foods just don’t. I’ll share that with you all soon, along with my top tips for surviving a Whole 30. That’s all folks!
Have you ever done a round or two of Whole 30?
Have you heard about it but haven’t given it a shot? Share in the comments!
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