- Weight loss was NOT the main goal, but it was one of my goals and I am happy to report that I lost 16.7 lbs. I know that my clothes fit looser, but I did not measure myself so I'm not sure about inches.
- Being prepared MAY be the most important requirement for a successful Whole 30. Meal planning is so important. Do not go into this with an empty refrigerator or pantry. Research what foods are allowed, check EVERY label - even on your spices and sauces - and then check again. You'd be surprised what all is added to seemingly healthy foods. I found soy and sugar in almost everything that was packaged/canned.
- Going cold turkey is the way to go. There is no "slowly weaning" yourself off sugar, grains, frappucinos, dairy, etc. Starting on Day 1 there is NO MORE of that. You can't even make paleo versions of those items like paleo "muffins" or paleo "breadsticks". This was great for me 'cause I don't do well with moderation when it comes to food right now. I am getting better at it, but I follow the meal template guide I've posted about before and that is it.
- My blood pressure is healthy again, my joints do not hurt and I do not get my frequent headaches anymore. Seriously. I used to get thee worst migraine and tension headaches. They are completely gone.
- I don't ever feel hungry. On Whole 30, you eat 3 solid meals a day. That's it. No snacking, no grazing... If you follow the meal template as I have mentioned so many times - you will be full! The key to staying full, I learned, is having enough healthy fats. Also, no HANGRYness (being angry because you're hungry).
- Roast all the things. I haven't met a vegetable yet that doesn't taste better when roasted. This goes with meat too.
- Sweet potatoes make me happy.
- My skin is clearer and more supple than it's been in years. I think this is due to the healthy fats and lots of water mostly.
- My joints don't hurt anymore. I don't feel like I'm inflamed.
- You can celebrate an event and still stay compliant and eat well. Not every situation has to be a "special event" where you eat off plan. I was able to go to Universal Studios, attend a birthday party, go to a beach, go out to eat with old friends from college and celebrate Easter all while staying on plan. It actually wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. Again, I had to plan - I had to prepare, but it was totally do-able and I felt empowered after sticking to it!
- Homemade mayo is SO easy and yummy.
- I have more energy throughout the day. I am still working on sleeping better. I sleep great once I GO TO SLEEP, but I stay up too late due to my crazy schedule. Working on that!!
- I was constantly cooking and thinking about food. Now this was a part of Whole 30 that I didn't love. I love to cook, and usually cooked at least one meal a day before the life of Whole 30. But now I was cooking enough for 3 meals a day. This meant that if I had any spare time after my full-time outside the home job, raising 4 children, etc. I was either cooking or planning on what to cook or shopping for stuff to cook. This also meant a lot more DISHES to wash. My two oldest usually do this as one of their "chores" but it got to the point where I'd wash most of it out of pity for them! haha. I don't regret any of it. Just gets old pretty quick. I think it will be easier once I get to a schedule where I can do some larger "batch" cooking and just spend a few hours one day to prep for the week ahead. Working on that too.
- Learned the difference between real hunger and boredom or eating out of habit. Having 3 meals a day that were satisfying to my taste and also filled me kept me from really ever feeling hungry, however I did find myself once in a while wanting a snack or "something" just out of the blue. Instead of reaching for something right away, I stopped and asked myself what it was that I really wanted and why. It could have been something that was a "trigger" from a t.v. show or commercial or maybe somebody else was talking about it. For this reason, I unfollowed every Pinterest board that had anything to do with non-compliant foods. I literally went to every person's board I was following and either unfollowed them altogether or unfollowed their food/recipe boards. If I was still truly hungry, I ate a handful of nuts. I think it happened twice. I also kicked the habit of chewing gum and eating mints/candy. These contain sugar or artificial sweeteners and also make my brain think that more food is coming, therefore causing me to want more sweets or snacks. It didn't make me healthier - so it had to go.
- Avocados and olives are beautiful. Like for real. They are my favorite thing to add to any meal. Healthy fats. That's where it's at.
- I'm being a good example to my family. Not by obsessing and spending every waking hour thinking about or preparing food, but by being very conscientious about what I am putting into my system. I know that it will all become easier and will become a normal way of life for us and I won't spend so much time on it, but I like that they can see that it takes effort in this grab n' go and convenience food society in which we live. It is a CHOICE toward better health. It's up to us. Just like teaching them other good lifestyle habits. It is so important!
- It's important to know why eating this way works. READ and educate yourself. I recommend you begin with "It Starts With Food" by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig. This may seem like a "fad diet" right now because it has recently become more popular, but this way of eating has been around for a long time and I really feel that after all I've read and researched - it's the best thing for me.
- Spices are the spice of life. I've tried, and now love, so many new herbs and spices. No more Lawry's season salt or pre-mixed whatever. If I do use a pre-mix I always check the label. There is almost always sugar mixed in somewhere. I love the Trader Joe's 21 Seasoning Salute.
- I no longer drink or even crave soda. I drank diet soda and Mt. Dew on a regular basis. I knew even when I drank it that it was trash. I now drink either water, flavored seltzer water (like LaCroix) or Kombucha. I don't miss it at all.
- Simple meals don't have to be boring meals. I can do chicken breast and green beans, but then I'll throw some red beets in there or something like that just to add color. Makes a difference. Try it!
- Speaking of beets, I've learned to eat so many new and healthy things because of eating paleo and Whole 30. Just to name a few: Kombucha, red beets, golden beets, fennel, Bulletproof Coffee, Coconut milk, Curry, sardines, and the list goes on. You can retrain your taste buds, you know.
- I've recognized my emotional reliance on food. Food has always been the center of celebrations, comfort after a hard day, reward for a job well done and so on. Now I know that food is FUEL for my body. It can still be something I enjoy, but I need to focus less on the food part and more on all the FEELS part. The people. The moments. Catch my drift?
- I realized that I may end up losing my Starbucks Gold Card status and I'm okay with it. That is huge. haha.
- Thoughts are more clear. Less brain fog.
- Good kitchen gadgets are a plus! My most used items: Cast iron pans, blender, veggie slicer/grater and immersion blender.
- All the info you need to do the Whole30 challenge can be found at this website. And it is completely FREE.
- You can become addicted to Farmers Markets. That's not a bad thing!
- You can't eat too many eggs and there are zillion different ways to prepare them!
- That bloated and gassy feeling is GONE. Don't laugh. You know what I'm talking about. It's gone!!
- Eating this way and seeing the results has given me hope that I can be healthy and fit once again. Whole 30 is not meant to be something you do forever. But I will be sticking as close to it as I possibly can. It really doesn't make sense to do it any other way. As they say, "The food you eat either makes you more healthy or less healthy. Those are your options."
|Sauteed Fennel, Golden Apple, Lime Juice, Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper|
|Beets: Red and Gold|
|Fingerling and Baby Potatoes tossed in Ghee and sprinkled with herbs|
|Dinosaur kale and Beet Stems|
|Look at that color!|
|My dinner on Day 30|
Grilled boneless pork chops, red and gold beets, fingerling potatoes, sauteed kale and beet stems and sauteed sliced fennel and apple with lime juice.