If you know anything about me then you know that I am a foodie especially when it comes to sweets hence completing the Whole30 which involves no sugar, no dairy, no grains or processed food for 30 days, took a lot of will power and determination and the fact that I abstained myself from all my favorite food for a whole 30 days is quite amazing! So yes, I was quite impressed with myself! I feel that it was TOTALLY worth it because I feel FREE and CLEAN!
When I decided to start the Whole30, my goal was not weight loss rather I wanted to see if there was a correlation between certain food groups that I eat and my auto-immune disorder (Lupus) that I’ve been living with for the past 17 years. I wanted to know if changing my diet would allow me to decrease if not eliminate completely my symptoms and medications. Weight loss would be a bonus of the Whole30! When I started my Whole30, I was 152.8 lbs. I remember that because I just had my annual physical exam and biometric screening through my job so I could get the $200 reward my company gives you if all your numbers were good and you’re healthy! lol so I had to get on the scale…30 days later, I am now 141.6!! I lost 11lbz 2oz!! Woohoo!!! The best part of it is that I didn’t starve myself and actually enjoyed food in the process!
I’ve done a lot of cleanse, eating programs, diet since having a baby and I have to say that by far, Whole30 is my favorite (And I’m not being paid to say this, I just want to share in case it might help someone else) not only because of the results but I truly enjoyed the education aspect of it and its behavioral-change approach. The book teaches you to re-evaluate your relationship with food and take back control of what goes into your body and to me that was empowering!
It wasn’t easy, the first 7 days were TOUGH!! I was miserable, I was irritable, hungry all the time, no energy, craving sweets like crazy, I had diarrhea, heart burns and just felt horrible as my body was detoxing from the Sugar Dragon but I had a goal in mind, the idea of being pain free, medication free, symptoms free, more energy was screaming louder in my ears so I kept pushing
The book asks you to assess why you eat certain food, because some of us are emotional eaters, some of us eat for comfort, we eat when we’re sad, bored, happy and for some of us, food has become an idol. I didn’t realize that food was controlling my mood, my attitude, my relationships, body, my health until I started to really re-evaluate why it had become harder for me to say “no” when it came to food especially unhealthy food hence, I decided to take back control of my health!
I want to be honest and tell you that if you are considering doing the Whole30, you need to be mentally and physically prepared because it is time consuming and involves a lot of work but it’s very doable. You have to be willing to cook or learn to cook something because you cook EVRYTHING and all the time! Since you have to eat real food and most of it has to be cooked even if you are meal planning.
You also need to know that after your 30 days, you go through a reintroduction period, where you start reintroducing the food groups that you couldn’t eat on your Whole30 and watch how your body react and then determine based on your reaction what food groups you want to keep as part of your regular diet. I know for me, I reintroduced red meat and sugar and those two food are off limit as it increases my inflammation.
I also have to tell you that the first week of detox was hard. As my body was getting rid of all the toxins and sugar, I felt very sick, irritable and even depressed and it made me realized that the sugar crack is real. It wasn’t until Day 14 that I started to feel normal again and eating Whole30 became like second nature. I also have to say that my husband joined me in doing the Whole30 which made it easier because I didn’t have to cook 2 separate meals and he LOVED all the new meals and coming home for dinner so it was a win win for me!
Now here are the benefits I gained from doing the Whole30:
I’m sure there are more things that I gained but these are the ones that I’ve noticed so far…
Below are some of the delicious recipes I made during my Whole30. The book teaches you great recipes and walks you through every step but for me I used the book mainly for inspiration and created my own recipes or substituted different ingredient which really brought out my creative side in the kitchen that I didn’t know I had.
What has been your Whole 30 experience? What did you like or not like about it?