If you’re reading this, that means I completed Whole30 and lived to tell the tale. The past 30 days have been an absolute rollercoaster to say the least and I wanted to write about it all, the good, the bad and the ugly. I have so many thoughts surrounding my experience and I just wanted to share my experience in the most honest way possible. In this post you will find a bit of everything from my favorite recipes, how each week went, my key takeaways, a comprehensive and honest list of EVERY single time I slipped up AND the most asked question: would I do it again?
What is Whole30?
Whole30 is basically a 30 day reset. It’s meant to not only to kickstart your health journey, but it can change your relationship with food (specifically processed food.) Basically by eating non-processed whole foods and ditching grains, dairy, and sugar, you will reduce inflammation in your system, clear up your skin, and revitalize your energy stores.
But let me just tell you the list of what you CAN’T eat is MILES longer then the list of what you can eat, which makes grocery shopping, cooking and snacking a bit tricky.
Why did I Decide to try Whole30?
In case you’re wondering why I decided to do Whole30 while we were all coming off probably the worst possible year, the answer is simple. Like many, I did not expect quarantine to last as long as it did, and I certainly did not expect to still be living in it by the start of 2021. So, safe to say I have developed some pretty terrible habits when it comes to my diet. From daily glasses of wine to routinely eating candy to consuming enough bread to feed a family of four.
Overall I wanted to give my body a rest and challenge myself with something that will (hopefully) make me feel happier, healthier and more energetic.
How it Went
Week 1: The Withdrawals
Not going to lie I was basically useless the first 5 days of Whole30. Between the constant headaches and the lack of energy, I was lucky if I was able to successfully cook all three meals and get the bare minimum done for work. However, because it was so new I was able to push through the withdrawal period and keep moral high!
I will say though, no matter how much I ate throughout the day I was STARVING. I actually reached a point where I counted my calorie intake for about 5 days just to ensure I was getting enough food and nutrition. The facts was I was consuming MORE then enough but my body was starving for bread, dairy and wine.
Week 2: Brighter Days Ahead
Once all the withdrawal symptoms started to wear off, I started to understand why people are obsessed with Whole30. I wasn’t bloated, like AT ALL. Plus, my skin was the clearest it’s ever been, I kid you not I looked like I aged backwards. Not to mention, I was sleeping like a baby every night. Slowly but surely I started getting more excited about all the recipes and began to regain my energy
Week 3: Tigers Blood My Ass
If you’ve read anything related to Whole30, everyone talks about the amazingness of “Tiger’s Blood.” Some blogs had me convinced I was going to feel like SuperWoman on steroids.
So here’s the thing: week three was by far the best week. My energy was back and my brain fog subsided. It’s not that I felt this life changing amount of energy, rather I felt like my body had regulated and I was back to my usual amount of energy.
I was, however, on a mental high, I was so excited for how my body and mind adapted. I kept telling myself that I could eat like this forever if it meant feeling this good. My skin was glowing, I was sleeping so well AND I wasn’t bloated. I felt like the weight was just falling off and my body was happy with me. I kept thinking about everything I’d take away from the experience, what changes I’d make after and how I feel so revived.
Week 4: Give me wine or give me hell
Okay the title is a bit over dramatic, butttt the last four days were absolutely the just as hard as the first four days. Mentally, I was so over Whole30 and it was so hard to not cheat and stick to everything through the final days, the high of Whole30 was behind me and I was ready to get back to my wine drinking, cheese eating self.
Major Tips that Got Me Through It
+ A SHOT OF SALT WATER: When the headaches ensue, I found that a quick shoot of salt water or mineral water helped me. Our bodies are so used to having so much sodium in our diet, it was important for me to replenish my minerals
+ REMOVE ALL TEMPTATION: This part was KEY and probably the only reason I didn’t slip up or cheat that much. I removed EVERY snack that wasn’t approved, so even when I was craving a cheat there was nothing I could do about it because literally EVERYTHING in my household was only Whole30 approved.
+ PACK SNACKS EVERYWHERE: Not going to lie, it hard to go out or have any type of social life while doing Whole30 because menus become VERY limited, plus no more quick chick-fil-a runs when I’m out and about. So it’s important to bring snacks everywhere with you to avoid completely starving or loosing energy.
+ HAVE A BUDDY: I know this isn’t always realistic for everyone, but having Richie do the Whole30 with me helped tremendously. It was so nice having a second person to keep you motivated on hard days and help out with the cooking (cause trust me, there’s A LOT of cooking)
Other then that we planned our EVERY single meal throughout the week and we specifically shopped for the ingredients. This helped us have less food waste and got excited for dinner every night.
My Favorite Recipes
I only have a few recipes that was absolutely obsessed with during Whole30 and they all have a pretty common theme…being creamy! So here are a few of my faves:
Did I cheat?
Honestly, I’m pretty proud of how well I did on this. I’m usually one to cheat on diets and cleanses like this, but this time around I somehow managed to only slip up a few times and I only consciously cheated TWICE. So if you’re curious here is my comprehsive list of cheats and slip ups:
- Week one: Accidentally ate hummus, literally forgot we couldn’t have beans
- Week two: Cheated and had rice with dinner once cause I was about to loose my mind
- Week three: Accidentally added corn starch to a recipe instead of Arrowroot starch
- Week four: With three days left, I consciously cheated and had wine. Whoops.
So from what I’ve hard the “results” with Whole30 are hard to quantify because things like weight-loss or clear skin tend to go right back to normal once you go back to eating like normal. But never the less, here is what happened for me:
+ No bloat for three weeks — didn’t even know that was possible, but it was magical
+ Super clear skin and no under eye bags — not to brag but my skin was glowing, I literally aged backwards it was amazing
+ ZERO extra energy for the gym — and I was JUST starting to get back into it
+ Lost 6 pounds — butttt, who knows if I’ll keep it off
+ Slept deeper, longer and feel asleep faster — literally life changing and I’m still feeling the results of this
+ Was hungry and tired A LOT — even though I was eating MORE then enough
+ My digestive system was out of wack — this one surprised me because this is the exact opposite of what I thought was going to happen, not matter how hard I tried or how many veggies I added to each meal my digestive system was not having it. Super irregular and just not ideal.
+ A more open mind to food, dietary restrictions and reading ingredient labels
My Key Takeaways
+ There is added sugar is just about EVERYTHING
+ It’s hard to find processed foods with no additives and preservatives
+ Drink lots of water, always
+ Reading the ingredients labels will shift your thinking and purchases
+ You CAN survive without corn or wheat — and life is still delicious
+ I’ve become a more mindful shopper and eater
+ Veggies are life, they make you feel AMAZING
+ You don’t NEED wine
+ Charcuterie boards are still fun without meat and cheese
+ I CAN DO IT!
Would I Do it Again?
Honestly, if you would have asked me on week two or three if I would do Whole30 again it would have been a big HELL YES. But, now that I’m on the other side of it and over the high, I’d honestly say I don’t think I’ll do Whole30 again for another 2-3 years.
I think its good to do if you feel like your body needs a reset or if you have been binging too much alcohol and processed food for a while (like I was basically all of quarantine.) I think it’s a great way to get your body and mind back on track, but I don’t think I’d make it a regular thing anytime soon.
But, Do You Recommend it?
Even though I might not being doing it again for a while, I absolutely think it’s something everyone should try at least once. You learn SO much about your body and the food you put in it, it’s honestly life changing.