30 Things About the Whole 30

Well I just finished my Whole30, my very first one. And let's be real - it wasn't easy. But it also wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be. And while I'm glad to be off of it, for now, I'm also really glad I did it. And since the rest of this post is going to likely be pretty darn long, I'll save the crazy long introduction. Here are 30 Things I took away from my Whole30.

  1. I love dairy.
  2. I don't need sugar and bread. I really thought it was going to be sugar I missed, and bread. Even though that's what my body craved, that's not what I'm most excited to turn back to. It's a real latte in the morning, some goat cheese on my eggs... real dairy. I'll certainly be toning it down from where I was pre-Whole30, but I cannot tell you how delicious that first real milk latte was on the 31st.
  3. I had made sugar a part of my diet. A treat should be a once in a while thing. A treat every day isn't special, it's part of your diet. I had made it a custom to treat yoself a little too much.
  4. I HAVE to plan. I've been a religious meal planner for years when it came to dinner, but during the Whole 30 I planned out all three meals every day and kept healthy snacks at the ready. That helped a ton. Before I started, I would eat randomly throughout the day and never really realized what I was putting in my body.
  5. I have a new found love for Zoodles.
  6. Red meat and I do not agree. Tomas either. We didn't have it often before, but when we did and it bothered us, we did attribute it to the red meat. But with everything out of our diet, red meat made a huge impact on our guts. So we're staying away.
  7. Sugar is in everything. Literally everything. Bacon, sausage, seasoning mixes, salsas, jarred tomato sauce, unsweetened almond milk (most of it), salad dressing, marinades, granola, nut mixes, granola bars... basically, if it's packaged, they added sugar to it.
  8. Soy is in everything else.
  9. I love to snack. I realized just how much I was snacking before when I all of the sudden couldn't snack and it was a big eye opener.
  10. I need to learn to moderate. Deprivation was a good way to reset, but it's not realistic. I need to set out some concrete ground rules for eating going forward.
  11. The Whole 30 is not for everyone. It wasn't for my hubs. He didn't finish the month because it was making him cranky and feel bad. He started eating healthier with me, but it wasn't for him. And that's okay.
  12. I'm a stress eater. I didn't realize how much stress made me crave sugar, but when I'd get stressed or anxious, I'd crave sugar. And as soon as I would crave it and couldn't give into it, I realized just how linked those two were for me.
  13. I'm a tired eater. I have a horrible habit of eating or drinking coffee when I'm tired. Extra calories aren't what my body needs, it's rest. So I need to figure out how to answer that cry for rest without food or caffeine. It's hard when you have littles at home, but there might be some compromise.
  14. I did it. All by myself. I didn't have a partner or anything to keep me accountable besides myself. At the end of the day I did this for my well-being and my health and it's really empowering to know that I can do this. I've always been a cheater, someone who used any "special" occasion as an excuse to indulge but even after birthday gatherings, moms nights, meals out, and kids birthday parties - all without indulging, I know now that I don't need indulgent food to enjoy my life and celebrate. Not every time, at least. 
  15. I didn't do this for the weight loss. I didn't come into this process trying to lose weight. I just knew I didn't feel good in my body, I wasn't eating right, and I needed to give my body a complete reset so I could get back to the basics and make a change. The weight loss was a bonus.
  16. A good one though - I lost over 15 lbs. It's a huge number and not one I intend or expect to maintain, but it does feel really good to be fitting into my pre-holiday clothes again, and even have some of them loose. And just FYI - that was all diet change. I'm not able to work out right now due to a knee injury that has me on very limited mobility.
  17. Food is more powerful than some of us may realize.
  18. I don't need the will power to stay on track for the next 30 days. Not right now. All I need is the willpower to say no right now. I have to trust myself to continue to make that decision. But it's daunting looking at the next month or however long and trying to muster up the willpower to say no to cravings or the easy thing 100+ times. But I decided to trust myself, and just stay in the moment, it got a lot easier.
  19. Almond milk lattes are better than coconut milk lattes. Lots of people debate this, but Almond Milk is better...
  20. Pretty food makes for better food, every time.
  21. The Whole30 Book is WELL worth the money. You can probably do it without, but I'd suggest just buying it.
  22. Days 2-4 really will make you feel like you're dying. Sugar detox is a real, horrible, difficult thing.
  23. Some days I survived on LaraBars, Bananas, and Eggs. And that's okay.
  24. Squash is the most versatile vegetable ever.
  25. I really really love that this isn't a calorie counting program. I'm not a calorie counter. I just can't - it makes me anxious and I end up under eating for fear of crossing the calorie barrier. I focused on healthier foods and saw a huge change, bigger than with any other program.
  26. This is not a quick fix. It's not intended for weight loss or any of that. It's mean to change your relationship with food and that's what it did for me.
  27. Thank goodness for breakfast food and for breakfast for dinner.
  28. This is not a completely sustainable lifestyle for me. I need some freedom and I want to be able to celebrate sometimes or have a glass of wine occasionally. But I learned a lot of things about how food makes me feel and I have a lot of good information as to what things negatively and positively affect my body and that information is invaluable.
  29. I'm a creature of habit. As much as I love to think I'm adaptable and love change - I love me some consistency. Which is why I would eat the same lunch for 4 days in a row. It was easy to rely on, and once I find something I stick with it. Until I get bored. This is how I do things in all areas of my life. I get a system, live with it religiously, then one day I'll completely rearrange all the furniture or repaint everything or - gasp - make something besides a sweet potato for lunch.
  30. I couldn't decide whether I wanted a doughnut or ice cream for my "Yay you did it!" treat. I contemplated for a long long time. A doughnut won. And I enjoyed the crap out of it - because moderation is key. And moderation is something I can do now. Say whaaaat?!

So that's where I'm at right now. I'm officially off the Whole30 until March, but I also started a diet bet on the first - mostly as a way to keep me accountable now that I'm not following any strict diet rules. I will definitely be celebrating Valentine's though, because on V-day, not having chocolate should be illegal. 

And just for the record - I'm not selling anything. I'm just letting you know how I feel. Wanna do the Whole 30? That's awesome. Not for you? Still awesome.