Let’s talk about Whole 30. Have you heard of it? I’m sure you probably have.
But, if you’ve been hiding under a rock and haven’t, you’re probably sitting there going “um, what the heck is Whole 30? I’m totally not going to understand anything she’s talking about.” Well, have no fear! I’ll catch you up – Cliff’s notes style. 🙂 Oh, and if you want to really dig deep, you should go to their website and click around and check it out. Anywho, let me sum it up. Whole 30 is a diet. Except they don’t call it a diet – they refer to it as a “nutritional program.” Which is also is. Sort of. Clear as mud, right? Okay, nuts and bolts time: basically, for 30 days, you only eat meat, veggies, fruits, fats (from avocados, nuts (no peanuts, though), oils (think coconut and olive, not vegetable or canola), clarified butter (but not regular because dairy is a no-no) and/or ghee (I think they’re kinda the same thing), plenty of herbs and spices, and drink water, tea, kombocha (WTH? I don’t even know.), and 100% fruit or vegetable juice.
Sounds easy enough, right? You probably eat all those foods right now anyway.
Okay, the hard part – no sugar, no dairy (milk, yogurt, cheese), no grains, no legumes (that’s where peanuts fall), and no alcohol. Not even a sip. And personally, I think wine should be included. It’s just fermented fruit juice, after all!!!
So, think about it. No sugar – not even in your coffee. No chocolate. No cookies. No pre-packaged foods because it probably has sugar in it. SUGAR IS IN EVERYTHING. Except for those okay foods listed above. Even dairy has sugar in it. Seriously. No grains – oatmeal, toast, bagels, quinoa, rice, barley, corn, etc. No beans – buh-bye hummus. No soy either – see ya later Chinese take-out!
All for 30 days. Or, more appropriately – NONE OF IT for 30 days.
The thing is, it’s totally doable. Except I only made it a week. But, we’ll talk about THAT in a minute.
WHY I THINK WHOLE 30 IS GOOD
WHY I THINK WHOLE 30 IS BAD … FOR SOME PEOPLE, ME INCLUDED
Okay, this part needs more than just a list. I can’t explain why I only made it a week in a list.
I was doing really well! Even without oatmeal. And wine. <– that was the hardest part for me. and even THAT wasn’t that hard. but, I enjoy a glass of wine with dinner. not that week, I didn’t!
I pretty much eat Whole 30/Paleo style to begin with. Before I started, breakfast was usually an omelet with spinach and cheese, some sausage, and avocado. All I needed to do was find Whole 30 approved sausages and cut out the cheese. Easy day.
I also managed to find Whole 30 approved bacon!!!! Because life without bacon is just not even worth it.
But, think about it. Did you even realize your bacon had sugar it? I mean, brown sugar bacon – duh, but regular bacon? Who knew?!
I developed an affinity for coconut milk in my coffee (previously, I had been using heavy cream or butter) topped with a sprinkle of cinnamon. Mmmmm…..
And I even managed to figure out a way to “satisfy” my sweet tooth that inevitably reared its ugly head after dinner that I was unable to satisfy with a square of dark chocolate.
OMG. SOOOOO GOOD!!!!!
So, life for me wasn’t that much different. I just didn’t eat rice, oats, or tortilla chips with my guacamole, or use any dairy. I was moving along just fine! And I didn’t really experience some of the feelings that were expected around certain days like super fatigue or “kill ALL the things!!” Which I’m sure my family, and coworkers, really appreciated. Which was even more amazing because right around this time, I hurt my knee and COULDN’T WORK OUT!!! And I still didn’t want to punch people in their noses. I attribute that to the fact that my diet was already pretty decent so I wasn’t going through “withdrawals,” per se.
However, my stomach was a little nauseous most of the time. Sometimes I was okay but other times, I felt like I’d been on a roller coaster. The Whole 30 program and no gall bladder (that bad boy came out in 2010. Now THERE’S a story to tell one day.) to process all those extra fats don’t exactly go together. So, I still had to watch my fat intake. Only one avocado for me a day and only so much nut butter and/or raw nuts. Ugh.
Then, 5 days in, I got up, made myself my normal breakfast, drank my normal coffee, and set out for the farmer’s market. Drove half a mile up the road and everything just started to feel very strange. I was not right. I turned right back around and came home and practically inhaled a Larabar. I can’t tell you what flavor because I barely tasted it, all I can promise is that it didn’t have peanuts or chocolate in it. I washed it down with a ton of water, felt a little better, and went to the market. But, I never really got right that whole day. I started talking about it with my sailor and, against the “rules,” I went upstairs and got on the scale. I was down 6 pounds. 6!! In a span of 5 days.
I wasn’t trying, nor did I need, to lose weight.
I weighed myself the next day and was down another pound. Decision made – Whole 30 is done. Over. Finito. My sailor put his foot down.
But then, I ran into another problem. I may or may not have a slight tendency to disordered eating. I’ll let you guess which one it is. It took me nearly 3 days before I would eat more than a handful of tortilla chips (plain old tortilla chips – you know, corn and oil) a day. I was still focused on the “rules” and had a hard time breaking them. I felt SO GUILTY – like I had failed. Even though I didn’t. But I felt like it and I don’t like failing. That was a difficult struggle.
I still have not really had dairy – had ice cream once but haven’t had my beloved Siggi’s yogurt since July 1st. I finally, over this past weekend, ate some cheese. On a sandwich. Grilled. With some tomato. It was amazing. But still, pretty much no dairy. Once I got over the first few days, carbs were a little easier – they came in the form of rice and oatmeal. But, I was still looking at everything to see how much sugar things had. I spent 20 minutes in the cereal aisle trying to find the one with the lowest amount of sugar. Did you know sugar is the third ingredient listed in Cheerios – you know, the boring ones in the yellow box? That’s crazy!! And, besides, no one should spend that much time in the cereal aisle.
But, I do have some positive takeaways. Prior to starting Whole 30, I was very regimented in my eating. I ate smaller meals a little more often until dinner. I’d eat breakfast, then a snack around 9-9:30 (usually a banana & almond butter), lunch, and then a snack around 3-3:30pm (usually Siggi’s yogurt plus granola). Then, I’d have dinner when I got home. Once I started Whole 30, I became less regimented. I’d eat breakfast and, admittedly I ate a little more, but I wouldn’t really get hungry again until around 10-10:30 and then I’d just eat a piece of fruit. If I got hungry in the afternoon, I’d eat some carrots and maybe a handful of nuts. It was actually kind of nice. I mean, I’m all about schedules but for a week, I just let my stomach (and my not brain) dictate when I ate. And, that’s actually carried over and I feel a lot better – a lot less “weighed down,” if you will.
I’m also now hyper-aware of added sugars. And I don’t miss them. Not at all. I haven’t had a piece of candy since I started. And, I bought a bar of dark chocolate when I last went to the grocery store and I haven’t been tempted by it at all. Which is different. Because they usually call my name. Shout it even. Please tell me I’m not the only one that happens to.My experience with Whole 30. Click To Tweet
Okay, so, all-in-all, I think Whole 30 is a great way to reset your diet, break some bad habits, teach yourself how to eat healthy, and maybe lose some weight, IF YOU NEED TO. I mean, you certainly can’t go wrong eating real food! BUT (and there’s always a but), I don’t think it’s right for everyone.
Thanks, Amanda, for letting me Think Out Loud! <3