So no, I did not finish the program, BUT, I learned a lot, and that counts for something, right?
First off, I tracked my first 12 days of #Whole30 over on this page if you’d like to check out some of the recipes I tried and see how my days went. I actually did great through the end of day 15, and this was a really eye opening time period for me. The sugar hangover is real, not turning to beer out of habit after a long day of work is good, I really love rice with my tacos, Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil Mayo is insanely delicious, and I really really really wish I didn’t like cheese as much as I do. Honestly, this program is awesome – and I totally mean that. I didn’t even finish the damn thing, and I would totally recommend it to anyone who wants to reset both their guts and their habits.
Quite honestly, at the end of day 15 I got a serious case of the fuck its, and I choose to go out for a few drinks with some friends for a buddy’s birthday instead of going to bed early after a long week. It was a ton of fun, I had a great time, and the next morning I woke up feeling tired and cranky and thought NOPE. I’m back at this game.
*Note, I’m a rule breaker and didn’t feel like starting over at day 1 (which is a Whole 30 rule – if you slip up AT ALL you are supposed to start over again at day 1)… so I just continued on with Day 16. Whole 30 purists are shuddering right now, but if Kale and Cigarettes can do it, so can I. 😉
Days 16 (Easter) – Day 21 went totally fine. No complaints there, and I was feeling good coasting into the final third of this challenge. My fridge was stocked, eating compliant foods was old habit, and the week went by just fine.
Then my parents got here on day 20 and thus began a crazy weekend (totally not their fault). My Mom just completed her Whole 30 (on my Day 15) with no cheats and she lost 11# in the process – can we say rock star? At any rate, she and my dad understood my eating rules, which was nice, and we basically ate eggs and salads and grilled a lot for the next couple of days. I also had Stella’s ballet tech rehearsal last Tuesday night, dress rehearsal last Thursday night, and then her shows on Friday night and Saturday midday. This meant eating at weird times, being on the run after work until bedtime, and just getting out of my routine in general.
Yep, that wasn’t so great for my artfully constructed balance.
Saturday afternoon (Day 22) I got back to my house at 4pm after Stella’s final ballet performance with a BBQ in full swing to celebrate my parents being in town.
I totally caved, y’all. A tequila soda was poured with extra ice… and I nursed it for 2.5 hours. That is so not my normal m.o. Progress, not perfection, right?
At any rate, I stayed 95% on track with food that night (I might have eaten a toothpick caprese skewer after a few tequila shots – no regrets), and I woke up Sunday feeling fine, but also feeling supremely un-motivated to keep up with this challenge since I had clearly now broken the rules twice. I didn’t drink yesterday (which is also normally routine in our house on sunny Sunday fun-days), but I wasn’t totally careful about making sure my food followed the guidelines either. We went out for lunch with my parents, and I’m pretty sure the salad dressing on my salad and the sauce on my wings were not compliant because they both probably had sugar in some form in them.
So yeah… I’m done.
That being said, here are some positives I took away from this program, and how I plan to move forward!
- I lost about 7# in the 3 weeks I followed the program. Not a crazy stunning number, but definitely not bad considering the program isn’t at all focused on weight loss but more on your relationship with food. I’ll try to remember to take some “after” photos tomorrow morning & take measurements to see if there was any change that way as well.
- I eat WAY too much cheese. Clearly this is something I already knew, but dang – when forced to cook 63 meals without that delicious item, it became abundantly clear to me that it’s something I add to recipes entirely too often. I used it as a main ingredient instead of a garnish or flavor add, and that needs to change.
- Related: I actually do like a lot of meals WITHOUT cheese. I need to try this more often.
- I snack on my kids’ food a lot. I’ve always known that I grab a bite here and there, but when you can’t do that at all, you realize how often your hand sneaks down to that bowl for a bite before you hand it over.
- Work is a total landmine for me of sugary bombs of unhealthy choices. My coworkers supply us with lots of cookies & cheese sticks & chocolate, so I need to institute a personal rule of simply not mindlessly snacking at work. That will help me a ton.
- There is freakin’ sugar in EVERYTHING. I actually tossed a lot of my combination spices (did you know that there is more SUGAR in lemon pepper spice than there is pepper?), and I’m totally a lover of the Whole30 compliant Tessamae’s dressings now. It was really good for me to read labels so closely for 3 weeks, because it’s truly eye opening to realize how often manufacturers slip sugar into our daily foods. Not cool, food marketers, not cool.
- I actually eat pretty darn clean for the most part. There were certain grocery items on my list that got chucked out in exchange for “cleaner” options, but dang. I’m pretty happy with my food knowledge and choices and the fact that we eat so well the vast majority of the time already – whether or not I’m on the Whole 30 train.
- As usual, empty alcohol calories are definitely an issue for me. On the upside, I’ve never liked soda water before this challenge, but being forced to turn to La Croix when I wanted a bubbly drink has actually gotten me used to it…and I could even say that I like it. Say what?! It’s nice to have a zero calorie, zero additives option to turn to when I want a glass of something in my hand but am tired of plain water.
- Avocado is da bomb. I can eat it on dang near everything. This isn’t new knowledge to me, but I just felt like it was appropriate to put here, because avocado is a healthy fat that I totally love, and I was totally eating a full avocado every day of this program. Yum!
How about you? Have you ever attempted or completed the Whole 30 before? I’d love to hear from other people about their experiences with this program!