If you would have asked me a year and a half ago if I would ever change my diet I would have said heck no! I love what I eat and who cares about health-nothing is healthy these days with all the processed food we eat anyways. So, why buy into all that organic nonsense. Right?
That was literally my mindset my entire life-until my stomach began to give me so many issues. It had been hurting me for just over a year before I ended up giving whole30 a shot. I was super against it first. I really didn’t want to fall into the “organic” crowd of super healthy eaters who only eat organic, free range, home grown, yada yada yada kind of person. However, I had tried multiple other approaches prior to doing whole30 and nothing was working. So, I gave in.
After multiple meetings with a nutritionist and quite a bit of convincing, my husband and I began whole30 on November 15th. Side note: extremely difficult to do during the holidays.
Not only is whole30 considered extremely clean eating, but a lot of people do it to also figure out what foods they have an intolerance to by doing a re-introduction phase after the initial 30 days. If you don’t know what whole30 is definitely read up on it, but here’s the jist of it!
- 30 days in total plus at least 10 days of re-introduction of foods
- Absolutely no sugar like not one drop of artificial sugar. Natural sugars like ones found in apples and banana are OK
- No legumes
- No dairy
- No grains or gluten
- No alcohol
- Organic and grass fed is best if possible
- No cheat days
So how did I feel?
Week 1-was terrible to be honest. Your body is adjusting to all the changes. It wanted sugar and carbs like I just wanted a piece of bread so bad! Grocery shopping was extremely difficult. Everything had added sugar, it was annoying to look at labels, shopping took twice as long.
On positive not is thankfully you can find a list of delicious whole30 foods from Trader Joe’s online or check it out HERE.
Week 2-it was a little easier. Meal prepping was key. I definitely didn’t feel skinny or less bloated, if anything I felt more bloated, but apparently this is common. You’re body is getting rid of all the bad stuff still which in turn can cause you to bloat. This weeks was also Thanksgiving-talk about difficult. My husband and I ended up going on a backpacking trip and just bringing all fresh food with us. We weren’t going I give up on whole30!
Week 3-well this week was okay. I was excited we were halfway through! I still wasn’t feeling “better,” but I had noticed I had more energy and I was sleeping better. I felt like any cravings I had previously had had now diminished, but I was definitely getting sick of the same old chicken and veggies meal. I was eating too much of the same food, however this receptivity made me start getting more creative with my meals. Pinterest is a great resource for Whole30 meals.
Week 4-well this week was my birthday, so that was annoying to not be able to eat anything “fun;” however I learned to find the joy in small “treats” like cooked apples covered in cinnamon or banana ice cream with almond butter. It was such a treat ha-ha. We were so excited to be done with whole30 at the end of this week. I had felt much better and less bloated by this point. I had lots of energy, my pants were more comfortable, I was sleeping better, I felt like I really nailed down how to cook healthy and my grocery trips no longer took twice the amount of time.
That’s a recap of how I felt throughout the 30 days, but if you want to read a more detailed day by day breakdown on how you may feel throughout the 30 days THIS website is a great resource.
Now, as I had mentioned previously my main purpose for doing Whole30 was to figure out any food intolerance I may have. So, after the initial 30 days I then did the re-introduction process. This consists of re introducing all the foods you had eliminated for 30 days back in to your diet one category at a time. I did the 10 day reintroduction plan-here is what it looked like.
Day 1: Introduce legumes such as black beans and peanuts while keeping the rest of your diet Whole30 compliant
Day 2-3: Back to Whole30
Day 4: Introduce not gluten grains such as rice and corn tortilla chips while keeping the rest of your diet whole30 compliant
Day 5-6: Back to Whole30
Day 7: Introduce gluten containing grains such as bread and some whole wheat pasta while keeping the rest of your diet whole30 compliant
Day 8-9: Back to Whole30
Day 10: Introduce dairy such as yogurt, cheese and ice cream while keeping the rest of your diet whole30 compliant
Unfortunately, the re-introduction of these foods did not give me much information as I already knew I have an intolerance to dairy. We did find out though that legumes affect my husband-which was very beneficial.
Whole30 was definitely difficult the first two weeks, but it became easier near the end of the last two weeks. Once, you begin to learn how to cook and find foods that are whole30 compliant it becomes much easier. These 30 days were very educational and insightful for me. I slept much better, I learned that broccoli and other calciferous vegetables cause me to bloat and I have most likely changed my eating habits (in a positive way) for a life time. I don’t think this “diet” or eating lifestyle is sustainable, but I would HIGHLY recommend everyone doing it at least once in their life and possibly even once a year. Just give your body a month to reset and get rid of all the toxins from the processed food we eat.