Back in December I decided that I was going to participate in the January Whole30. And I’ll tell you why (I have no shame). It wasn’t because my eating was out of control or because I desperately wanted to lose more baby weight (although that’d be greaaat).
Truthfully, it was the alcohol. During the holidays, especially, there is just so much to celebrate. And we often choose to celebrate with the glass of wine, or two or three. Mix 9 months of not drinking and the holidays. Woah Nelly. Not to mention, my sisters boyfriend spent the holidays with us and got us HOOKED on some South African wine (he’s from Cape Town :)). So I needed to reign it in. I can take or leave alcohol. I don’t need it to have fun. And a round of Whole30 would take it out of the equation for 30 days and allow me to figure out when and why I should drink.
So, there’s my why. I’ve actually only done one other Whole30 round. It was so much different than this round. I didn’t pay attention to the day-to-day feelings I was having throughout the 30 days. This time, I was so fortunate to share the experience with my college roommate who now lives in L.A. We would share our struggles, frustrations and successes almost daily. If you decide that a Whole30 would be beneficial for you, I HIGHLY recommend joining a group or doing it with someone. Molly was a life saver. She talked me through the hard days but was also so excited for me when I shared a NSV (non-scale victory). I hope I provided the same support to her.
Eating Whole30 was a nice change of pace. It forces you to go to the grocery regularly and prepare meals. I had gotten to the point where “snacking” was taking the place of my meals. It allowed me to establish a routine for me and my family. I got creative in the kitchen again and was excited to make good Whole30 meals.
So, how was this Whole30? Let me take you week by week….
“Ok, I can do this.” Week 1 was the easiest for me. The “newness” of the program hasn’t worn off yet. You’re not sick of eating an apple and almond butter. All is good in the world. This round, I also had to figure out how to unwind. I replaced the glass of wine with a face mask and tea after a rough day. I started writing. Journaling, if you will. It was good for the soul and I felt so much better. The new routine is something I will continue in my life after Whole30.
I’m ravenous. Give me bread. Give me sugar! I sent Molly a text during week 2 and I quote, “I’m over it. Sooooo over it. How are you feeling today?” Hah! Her question to me was, “What are you over specifically?” My response, “I don’t even know.” This goes back to doing Whole30 with someone. Someone to be your sound board and talk you through hard times and out of wanting to give up.
But THEN! My first NSV happened. My wedding ring took months to fit after having Henry. It was so snug but I forced it on. I also accepted the fact that it may never come off again. Week 2 my wedding ring was sliding around on my finger! Something so small but it was a sign that Whole30 was making an impact.
Week 2 was also a week where I had to travel for work. Work travel usually consists of elaborate dinners with cocktails. I was nervous that I wouldn’t have the strength to resist. In the moment, it WAS NOT HARD. I was shocked. I had no issue ordering a water and I didn’t receive weird stares in return. It was amazing. And it felt amazing. Not to mention I was super hydrated from the 5 glasses of water I had. 🙂
Tiger blood! By Wednesday of week 3 I was on top of the world. Super productive, tons of energy, sleeping soundly, overall happiness. Oh bliss. The raging hunger had ceased and I could actually focus on things other than food.
Also, NSV #2 happened! It’s recommended that you don’t weigh yourself during Whole30. This is because your body goes through the process where the number on the scale may actually go up at certainly points during the 30 days. AND Whole30 is not primarily a weight loss program. Which is why there are non-scale victories that you should focus on instead. During this week my clothes started fitting better. Even baggy. I thought oh what the heck, I’ll try on some new jeans. They didn’t have the next size down so I went two sizes down from what I was wearing. Dude. They fit.
I didn’t feel like I was losing weight and I actually only lost a few pounds during the entire 30 days. The inflammation I had was so great that when it was gone it showed in how my clothes fit.
Week 3 was easier because you know the end is near. You’ve established a routine and you’re getting used to this new lifestyle. You may even think that you can continue past the 30 days!
I made it! The last week. Again a week of work travels. I stopped and stocked up on fruit and veggies that I could take on the road and store in a mini fridge as emergency food. The sense of accomplishment has already set in by this week. There is no doubt in your mind that you can make it to day 30. At this point I began to think about how I wanted to map out my reintroduction. My first round of Whole30 I did not complete a reintro so I knew at the beginning of this round that I wanted to properly reintroduce the foods that have been eliminated the last 30 days.
To make it easy, there is a sample schedule on the Whole30 website! If you aren’t familiar, a reintroduction essentially extends your Whole30 as you will reintroduce one particular food at a time while eating Whole30 meals in between. This allows you to determine how that particular items, dairy for instance, impacts you in any way. I’ve included the sample schedule below.
- Day 1-3: Legumes
- Day 4-6: Gluten Free Grains
- Day 7-9: Dairy
- Day 10-12: Gluten Containing Grains
Tips and Tricks
I’ve included a list below of items that made my Whole30 much easier!
- GT’s Kombucha – this is the only Kombucha that is compliant as the others contain added sugar.
- Bonafide Provisions Bone Broth – perfect for night time before bed. I add a little bit of Cayenne pepper to mine for an added kick.
- Roasted Veggies – so easy to prep these early and eat for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. My go-to’s are brussel sprouts, carrots, broccoli, and sweet potatoes.
- Larabar’s – always check your labels but there are a ton of Larabar’s that are compliant and great for on the go.
Have you done a Whole30? I’d love to hear your experience and any tips you discovered along the way!