In 28 years, I’ve never been on a diet.
As a proponent of self-love and body confidence, I don’t mean the word “diet,” to mean a means to lose weight. More so, to nourish the body with healthy, nutritious foods unlike a normal over-indulgent diet. As an adult, I’ve always been conscious about healthy food that is organic, free of added preservatives, non-GMO, and packed full of nutrition. HOWEVER, I am definitely guilty of feeding my sugar dragon, eating one too many meals at Chick-fil-a or Chipotle, and not drinking enough water.
Insert Whole 30. <–Click the link to find out more.)
Why Whole 30? A 30-day reset and elimination diet sounded like the perfect way to have an end goal, along with reteaching myself that I don’t need sugar or junk food to get through my day. For so long, that’s how it felt – I needed to treat myself, as if I wouldn’t get to have these treats again. But, that was my mind being conditioned to respond this way because -SHOCKER!!- sugar is addictive.
A friend introduced me to it since she was doing it herself; so I told my hubby who wanted to lose a few pounds and not feel so tired after work. And I swore I wouldn’t do it with him. No sugar, no bread, no dairy (plus other things). NO WAY! I was too addicted to sweets to try that, along with knowing I’d not stick to it 100%. So, the day (a few weeks back) came, and Brandon started, and I didn’t. And then I thought, what do you have to lose? and you need to kill this sugar dragon. So I decided to give it a try.
The first week I was 90% all-in on Whole 30!
A 30 day reset and elimination diet sounded like the perfect way to have an end goal, along with reteaching myself that I don’t need sugar to get through my day.
So here is what happened in the first week of Whole 30:
Day 1 – It was easy. I was motivated. We went shopping and had a whole fridge full of meat, produce, and eggs. Brandon had made a scramble type dish for breakfast, and I ate a banana for some sugar and energy. Lunch was a sandwich roll up with lettuce, turkey, pickles, mustard, and tomatoes. Dinner was grilled chicken with sauteed veggies. I ate some fruit when I had a sugar craving. I cheated a bit with some almond coffee creamer that had added sugar – so that was a treat in the morning.
Day 2 – Still felt easy. I was getting full off of the meat and veggies. We ate a lot of sausage and eggs in these first few days. Too much actually because I don’t want scrambled eggs for awhile. So, make sure if you do Whole 30, you prepare ahead of time with a lot of variety in your meals! My love for avocado came in handy in the first week as well! I started to think about sugar more often but didn’t feel like I had to eat it, which is great! Still cheating with my sugared coffee creamer though.
Day 3+4 – I swear I thought about sugar every 5 minutes!! But I think it was more out of habit than actual need because I didn’t get hangry or anything from not eating it. I just thought about it and then moved on. It was in these days that I ate fruit or drank a little bit of apple juice when I needed something sweet. I bought a can of organic pineapple and ate a ring every so often! I used to eat ice cream every day. Now, that I’ve been dairy free too, I’ve craved ice cream once in three weeks.
Day 5 – No dairy and no bread (gluten, legumes, wheat, beans, peanuts) is making my stomach and digestive system very happy. I feel so much leaner/tighter/lighter. I’ve had a lot of bloating for as long as I can remember. Every time I ate bread, my stomach and lower abdomen would bloat and be uncomfortable. On this diet, I haven’t felt bloated or uncomfortable once! I cheated one day and had Chipotle with beans (no rice) and my stomach hurt for a few hours because it felt so full.
Day 6 – I woke up feeling dehydrated and my skin broke out. I think the change in my diet was fairly dramatic for my body, so it started breaking out more than usual. Also, I know that with eliminating every other fluid besides water, I wasn’t remembering to drink enough water throughout the day – hence the dehydration. If you try Whole 30, make sure you are conscious of your water intake or else you’ll wake up in the morning feeling somewhat hungover.
Day 7 – My dad brought pizza for a Sunday night family dinner. I ate one slice with salad and chicken wings. Not Whole 30 approved but I didn’t want this diet to take away from time with my family – so I cheated here again. But one thing I noticed is I don’t eat as much. I think my stomach got used to portions that filled me up but digested quickly, as opposed to really dense carb-laden foods. After one slice and some hot wings, I was full. Before Whole 30, I would have eaten like 3 or 4 slices. LOL So I didn’t eat less food on purpose, my stomach just wasn’t getting overstretched like when I ate junk. I’d say that’s a win!
Overall, in just a week, I felt better. I would say that’s the most important takeaway of all!
All of my stomach bloating was gone, I felt more energized at my workouts, I got full faster, some of my tighter jeans buttoned easier, and my sugar addiction was being curbed. I honestly wasn’t relying on sugar to get me through the day anymore, and if I needed a pick me up, I turned to fruit instead of enriched, bleached, added sugar.
As far as bread and dairy, Whole 30 has taught me that I do better without these in large quantities. Burgers will be lettuce wrapped, cereal, creamers, and ice cream will be almond milk, I’ll cook with less cheese and replace pasta noodles with veggies like spaghetti squash and zoodles! Whole 30 has taught me a lot about fueling my body and what it can feel like to be more health conscious. PLUS, there are a ton of substitutes these days – like cauliflower rice or cauliflower pizza crust – which helps you eat the foods you enjoy without indulging in the cheap processed stuff.
So, if you’re wanting to try it, I’d say go for it! It’s only 30 days and it teaches you a lot about the unhealthy eating habits you’ve been indulging in, along with how to be more creative with vegetables and fruit. Don’t be hard on yourself when you cheat or have a bad day, your body will remind you that you were eating clean because you won’t feel very good, but get back on the horse the next day.
It is now week 3 of Whole 30 – and to be completely transparent – I didn’t last! I know, I know; I just told you all how amazing it made me feel – and it seriously did – but boy is it hard to keep up on. My husband is hitting it out of the park. Literally he would turn down a chocolate chip if you offered it to him, but we don’t all have that kind of steel-resolved self control. Believe me, I’d love to have it. LOL But, like I told him – this is my body and my journey. Your body and your journey is your own too. And although I hope you will make it all 30 days and be wildly successful, it doesn’t bother me one bit that I didn’t make it myself. There will always be another opportunity, and the time I did spend eating only fruit, veggies, or meat made an impact on my overall eating habits.
I don’t need or crave dairy and gluten like I did before. I’ll keep working on sugar!
The holidays are filled with baking days and treats and family gatherings, and I’m not going to feel bad about some chocolate chip cookies. (Although, I think jumping back into normal food did make me feel sick. So let this be a lesson to you – ease your way back into foods that are not Whole 30 approved.) I am actually looking forward to trying another round next year.
For the record, however many days or tries it takes, I think it’s amazing that you’ve decided to try and live a healthier, more balanced, less processed lifestyle. Every little bit counts!
Let me know how it goes!!
Sending love and lots of veggie recipes,
*I wanted to add that in 3ish weeks, I lost about 5-6 pounds. This was not included in the main review because losing weight was not the objective. However, it was a nice perk.*