For starters, I never ever, ever thought I’d do a nutritional program like the Whole30. Ever.
I LOVE bread. I always thought giving up milk for Lent would be too challenging. And I am an almost daily consumer of chocolate, so a short-term nutritional reset that eliminates all dairy, grains, and sweets was pretty much unthinkable to me…until I started to think that maybe I could and should try it out.
I gained a little courage from reading blog posts from others who had completed it (here, here, and here to name a few), and while Whole30 is adamant that it is not a weight loss program, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that was the primary reason I wanted to do it (with health benefits at a close second). At the risk of sounding like a whiny broken record, I stopped losing baby weight around pp week 3, I was constantly feeling sluggish and utterly out of shape and knew my eating habits were in need of a serious overhaul. I’m all about baby steps and “every little bit counts” but in this case it was so good for me to do something on the “extreme” side.
In case you’re interested here are a few things that really helped me:
–Accountability– Tim did the program too (I don’t think I could have done it alone!).
– Meal planning(ish)– mostly I kept a running list of meal ideas and made sure to have ingredients on hand for several at a time.
-Aidell’s chicken apple sausage (8-10 min. in the oven and done!)- We’d been eating these for a couple of years, so I was so happy to find they’re compliant!
-Prosciutto- I felt everyone and their mom mentions eating bacon during Whole30 but I could NOT for the life of me find compliant bacon except what US Wellness sells for an arm and a leg. Sure it’s not exactly the same, but it was tasty when crisped in the oven!
-Coconut milk- My coffee’s lifeblood.
-Wholly Guacamole- I’d say don’t do Whole30 without it!
-Freezer section Chicken Lime Burgers from Trader Joe’s (I think that’s what they’re called).
-Tropical Fusion dried fruit mix from Costco- my guilty pleasure, although I’m sure guilty food pleasures are “frowned upon” during Whole30. Whatevs.
– I definitely look at food labels a lot more; I had no idea added sugar was in so many things!
– The first week+ I often felt light-headed within a hour or two after eating meals. It was surprising to see how my body responded to the change in eating habits. I also felt sapped of energy- not lethargic but just on empty.
– Since Heidi is still breastfeeding I worried about my milk supply at times- it felt low a few days here and there even though I was chugging water and snacking, but it seems to be fine now.
– Finding compliant ingredients was at times challenging. I’ll be glad to incorporate Dijon mustard back into my diet and I know Tim’s missing his mayo!
– I so very much miss ALL THE THINGS CHOCOLATE.
– I’d say that I do feel better- not achy, no sore feet, no mid-afternoon lethargy, and no sinus headaches, but since the changes were gradual it is hard to remember exactly how I felt before starting Whole30.
I’m still of the mindset “everything in moderation”. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely needed a food-intervention and am glad to see I can say no to sweets, pizza, etc. but I’m not ready to swear off everything except organic, free-range, hand-fed-grass meats and raw farmer’s market produce (okay, so hand-fed cows probably aren’t a thing) until the end of my days…I like to bake, I enjoy good food, and all the times we gathered with family and friends while we were doing Whole30 I realized how much I like to share meals with people and it was especially during those times that I didn’t appreciate our restrictive diet.
Bread and I need to see less of each other, that’s for certain, and veggies need to make more of an appearance in my diet. I guess my goal is to put together more wholesome meals and say NO to my weaknesses more often…I’m planning to incorporate one “splurge day” a week, otherwise every day will probably find me splurging on sweets. :)