I’ve never been one to follow any fad diets. I’ve counted calories in the past, sure, but I’ve never restricted my intake of so many things, that I love so much, for so long.
Do I sound a bit dramatic? Why don’t YOU try the Whole30 diet, then get back to me.
Months ago my friend tried it and went on and on about how she felt while on it. She kept trying to convince me to hop on board.
I’m sorry, I have to give up what?!
Nah. Not for me. No thank you. No f*cking way. Stop bugging me.
Then one of my blogging besties tried it. This particular friend of mine and I have been accountabilibuddies to support each other’s weight loss in the past. And we SUCKED at it. So, when she was successful with the Whole30 thing, and raved about it on top of it, I thought, ‘Ok. There may be something to this.’
Then two of my other blogging buddies decided to try it and support each other. So I thought, ‘Fine. Let’s do this thing.’
Finally, my dad joined me too. Which honestly, made it seem even more possible. My dad and I are very close and a lot of times we even go grocery shopping together. Perfect!
First off, what is the Whole30?
It is a nutritional “reset” for your body where you must give up gluten, dairy, sugar, and alcohol for 30 days.
No cheating. At all. No cheat days or cheat meals. No, “oh, I’ll just take a taste…”
Otherwise, you have to start all over.
You aren’t even allowed to replicate favorite snacks with Whole30 approved ingredients.
No sweet potato chips because they are too similar to greasy potato chips.
No gluten-free bread or muffins because they are too much like gluten products.
No sugar substitutes. Sugar, honey, stevia, etc, are already not allowed. But you’re also not allowed to take a Whole30 compliant ingredient to make it into a sweetener of sorts.
For example, dates. Did you know you can make syrup out of dates?
I do. I found it in my desperate attempt to find a GD sweetener for my coffee that was compliant. No, I didn’t actually try it. I was jonesing pretty good, but not enough to put dates in my coffee.
Fortunately I only drink decaf, so I simply gave up coffee after the first week. But now that I can have good coffee, who wants to meet up for a mocha? #seriousquestion
Why is it so strict, you ask?
Because not only are you doing a nutritional reset for your body, you are also attempting to change your relationship with food.
If you are trying to rewire the brain about snack time, you don’t want to have something similar to your old snacks.
All of that said, I cheated plenty.
I had sweet potato chips and I don’t even feel bad.
I made ingredients that were Whole30 compliant into muffins. They were incredible because I hadn’t had bread in weeks. But honestly, they were super gross.
On Easter, (yes, I was dumb enough to agree to do this diet over Easter!!), I unknowingly ate soy sauce and butter. (Gasp!!) And later that day, I felt gross. Not awful, but icky enough to where I could tell.
Annnnd I ate a sh*t ton of fruit in an effort to curb my sugar cravings. Fruit is allowed, absolutely! But I imagine the amount I consumed on any given day would have been frowned upon by the Whole30 gods.
So, why did I stick with it after “cheating” so much?!
Frankly, I was curious. I wanted to see if I would notice any changes when I added things back into my diet.
The biggest change I’ve experienced is my sleep. I have been having the most restful, incredible sleeps since about the second week.
Another huge plus, my cooking has greatly improved. For the most part, our meals during this thing, have been fantastic! In fact, even though my 30 days are up, I am going to continue to plan most of our meals with the Whole30 in mind. With that said, I’m not going to worry about it either. If I want to have a slice of bread to dip into my soup, I will have some.
I’ve been done for a few days now and I’ve tried a little bit of everything.
I have found that dairy (at least cheese and milk), does not effect me.
If I overdo it on the sugar, I will get a headache, so that is a great motivation to keep tabs on my intake.
And one of the biggest ones of all…gluten. I had pizza for dinner on my second day off of the diet and I’m going to be honest. I can feel it. I feel bloated and gross. You know that nagging feeling of regret that lingers, reminding you you did something horribly wrong, but you just can’t put your finger on it? Well, I know exactly what it is and I keep berating myself for eating that third slice. UGH! So next time I want to have some gluten, I will really think long and hard before I give in.
Some changes I’ve made that will stick.
*Healthier snacks. Instead of reaching for the junk food, I will snack on something much more substantial.
*Breakfast! I will continue to eat breakfast. I found that in the past, if I skip this particular meal, by lunchtime, I’ll eat whatever is closest to me. Which was almost always a cheese quesadilla.
*Less desserts. It was confirmed that I have a serious sugar addiction. I actually knew this going into it and it was part of why I thought I wouldn’t make it through. Well, I DID make it through and now I know for a fact that I do not have to have dessert every single night. Instead, I will have a healthy snack.
*I am much more aware of everything I eat. I spent 30 full days being wary of what I was allowed to eat, and it actually became a *little* fun. But now, if I want to add that sprinkle of cheese to my soup, I can if I want. The point is, I will think about it and decide if it is worth it or not.
*Less phone time at night. I know, this one has nothing to do with food. But I started this habit on the same day I started the Whole30. And you know what? I’ve been sleeping so much better! Is it the Whole30, or is it because of less screen time? I don’t feel it’s necessary to find out.
Did it change my life like so many others? Well, it hasn’t solved any of my big health problems, but as I mentioned earlier, I am a lot more mindful of what I eat. And if that isn’t a major life change, then I don’t know what is.
Click here for my tips on getting through the Whole30!
Have you tried the Whole30? Have you ever considered trying it?