Whole30: It’s a Wrap

*articles may contain affiliate links* My Whole30 journey (round one, anyways) officially came to a wrap on February 4th. It was an amazing experience and I couldn’t help but sounding like a “junkie” throughout the entire process – maybe too much.

For thirty days, I stripped grains, dairy, sugar, and legumes from my diet. For thirty days, I put my husband to the test in the kitchen. For thirty days, I made a commitment to myself and my family to be better. And for thirty days, I was whole.

whole30

Sure, eliminating cheese, bread, and peanut butter isn’t the easiest things to ask of anyone. I get that. But when you do, you’ll realize how much better you feel. At least that is what happened to me. Let’s rewind.

I started the Whole30 on January 5th following a 3-day refresh from Beachbody. **Full disclosure – I didn’t prescribe to quick fixes when I originally lost 130 pounds, so I was skeptical about the process. But after the holidays and  a year of holding onto 75 pounds gained before/after having the twins, I needed something to jump start my progress.**

Because I pretty much ate whole/clean from 2011 to 2014 (save for couscous, quinoa, whole wheat, cheese, peanut butter, and black beans), my body didn’t go through the rough days that many experience in the first days of Whole30. Pushing the reset button on my life actually felt right and not like a crash course diet (because it’s not, it’s about changing your life). (Alright, I did have 2 days of stomach issues – likely keto flu because my body started processing things a bit differently – but I soon bounced right back.)

Along the way, there were temptations, though not as many as I expected. The Mounds Cake was a tough one to walk away from. One night, Evan redeemed a Book It! pizza and I had major flashbacks to working at Pizza Hut as a teenager and I had to walk away quickly. And another weird one, Red Bull. (Someone opened one in the van while I was driving Uber and I got this pang of wanting one – I did kinda have an addiction to the sugar free version in 2006 because of the flavor. Thank goodness a co-worker clued me in the that cran-raspberry La Croix water has a similar taste.)

Along the way, there were wins. We really love the Spicy Turkey and Cauliflower Rice recipe in the Whole30 Cookbook and it was super easy for Greg to cook. I felt different, more energized. I enjoyed a girls’ weekend with my best friend and didn’t find eating difficult. We brought real bacon into the house and Evan about passed out with glee (he’d only ever had turkey bacon, but now that I know what’s really in there, I don’t want it anymore). Arianna and I went through about 10 dozen eggs (and are even more upset that we can’t rent chickens in our town).

And at the end? I felt so good. So good. I had some amazing NSVs (non scale victories): longer hair, longer/stronger nails, more energy, consistent exercise, no heel or hip pain while running, stress off my shoulders, less stress in general, better skin). And although it wasn’t about the weight loss, I did lose 17.5 pounds and 8.75 inches (officially retiring a pair of size 20 and size 18 jeans that I’d survived in for the last year).

whole30 before after

Can you see the difference?

Reintroduction (the ten days, for me 14, of bringing back the things stripped out) didn’t go so well. Wine was good. Oatmeal, too. Peanut butter gave me some hives. Gluten gave me issues – bloating and other gross stuff. I ate ice cream for the first time in 45 days (or more?) on February 15. I finally ate chocolate the other day – I missed that friend but not as much as I thought I would.

So my next steps? Living 90/10 Whole30. That means I’ll be eating clean 90% of the time as my goal. I know I can’t do glutens. I did them today – Thin Mints called my name – and I’ve felt awful ever since (my stomach is in knots). Cheese will still be part of my life, but in small batches maybe once a week. And I hope that I’ll see the results I saw in the two weeks post ending the Whole30 (down another 9 pounds) continue.

Pro Tip: If you are interested in doing the Whole30, I highly suggest you get a copy of the book and cookbook (linked above) and finding some friends who are into it, too. Like me. If soy sauce is something you love, I suggest replacing it with (compliant) Coconut Secret Organic Raw Coconut Aminos Soy-Free Seasoning Sauce-8 Oz (2-Pack). Trust me when I say I know it will be hard, but think about your end goals. You’re worth it.

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