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Found 99 results

  1. EarlGreyHot

    New Year's W30 - Round 3

    Happy New Year! And a very happy January Whole 30 season! This is my third January W30 - my previous successes were 2015 and 2016, so it's been a hot minute. In 2016 I got pregnant and my relationship with food spiraled off the deep end, as I was suddenly not restricting myself any more and was given leeway to eat whatever I wanted and however much I wanted. To someone who had been dieting for, well, ever, this was clearly a dangerous and wrong approach. Pregnancy led to breastfeeding and more excuses to keep eating whatever (gotta keep those calories up when you're nursing!) and then one day I realized that I have a fully weaned nearly two year old and yet I'm still eating for two. Or more. And boy does the scale show it. Whole30 is - to me - a kick in the pants. A month long reminder that I am stronger than my cravings. Proof that I can stop eating sugar and drinking alcohol and mindlessly consuming chips. I can do it and I can thrive. My particular challenges this month: Feeding a toddler. I'm not restricting my son to W30, so there will still be cheerios and toast and milk and cheese around. I need to conscious of not popping a chip in my mouth when I give him some, or letting him feed me cheerios! Family. My dad is doing the W30 with me, which can be a great support system! But it's his first W30 and I see a lot of my own disordered eating habits in my dad - it's fully possible he won't make it through the month. I need to hold him up but not let him drag me off course if he does decide to drop off. Work. It's a busy month at work and I'll probably be working overtime. That means less time to meal plan, shop, and prepare food. It's doable, I just need to have good time management. Solo Parenting. My husband is traveling for work all month, so I'm on my own in the parenting department. I've got my mom and dad close by to help, but I'll definitely miss having my husband around to share the load! I think the best way to succeed is to make a plan. So here's what I'm doing this month: Meal Planning is a no-brainer. But I've been super lax about meal planning for the last few months, so I need to pick it back up again. Figuring out meals that reuse ingredients so I can buy in bulk and save time. I'll make Sunday or Monday my meal plan day so I can go to the store early in the week. I'm trying out intermittent fasting. I've always struggled a bit with W30 breakfasts (the popular advice to eat leftovers doesn't work because I eat those for lunch) and while I love eggs there is only so many times you can have them. So I'm giving 16/8 IF a try - basically eating between 12-8pm only. That removes the problem of breakfasts and the late-night snacking. I plan to brush my teeth right after I put my toddler to bed at 8 so that I'm not tempted to eat more. Having snacks on hand. Yeah, I know, I know, no snacking on the Whole 30. But snacking really isn't a problem area for me, I'm not much of a grazer. And it's better for me to have some hard boiled eggs or apples on hand and ready to fill a quick hunger need than to give in and go after my toddler's goldfish crackers. Not going crazy with new recipes. I know a lot of people like to mix it up during W30 and try new things - that's awesome, and I've done it before. But for me, this month is going to be about staple recipes that I know and love, rather than trying out something new. I just don't have the time or headspace for a million ingredients and recipes. For community support, I've got a great group of friends on Facebook with whom I'm doing an accountability challenge. That should keep me motivated to stay up with them. I'm also going to use this blog because I enjoy journalling about my feelings, even if literally no one but me reads it. I can't guarantee I'll write every day, but I'm long winded and like to hear myself talk, so I'll probably update often. So here's to beginning the Whole 30 journey again! I consider this my hardest Whole30 yet, just because my discipline is at an all time low and it's my first time W30ing as a parent. But I've done it before and I feel confident I can do it again - I wouldn't be starting if I didn't think I could succeed.
  2. Hello all, I’ve been moving along with the program for about 3 weeks now, with a plan for 8 weeks total. The diet has massively improved some of the symptoms of my autoimmune disease, among other positives—however, I’ve become worried that I’m closely approaching an unhealthy weight for my age and size. I know that it’s common to lose a few pounds in the first week just from the loss of some water weight and inflammation in the body, but I’ve definitely lost more than that since. Now, before anyone says anything about stepping on the scale being against the rules—I’m fully aware that the Whole30 guidelines forbid it, but I was at the doctors last week for a check up and I certainly wasn’t going to refuse her, especially since I‘m concerned about the way the program is affecting my weight/body composition. I’m 24, 5ft 5in tall, and engage in regular, daily, moderate exercise (I walk literally everywhere, we don’t have a car). Before I started Whole30, a healthy weight for me was about 130lb-135lb. By the end of week two—when I went to the doctor—I weighed 119lbs. At minimum I’ve lost 11lbs, a lot of it probably body fat/inflammation/water weight according to my doctor. Knowing my body, that’s scary, and I’m very worried that if I keep going on the diet without adjusting my caloric intake or actively trying t gain back the weight, that I’ll just keep losing body fat. Has anyone else experienced this, and if so, what’s the solution? What fats should I be adding into the diet? Should I be eating more calories or more meat? Thanks for any help
  3. Hi, I successfully completed the whole30 in January 2018. I found it somewhat easy in the sense that you can still eat so much, as opposed to say a keto diet where you can't have sweet potatoes and tomatoes. What I found really hard was no alcohol and almond milk in my coffee (I can't drink it black). But I went 30 days on whole foods only, no slips or mistakes. I lost about 15 pounds however that could also be attributed to the fact I was running four times a week and wasn't drinking alchohol. I believe it was a combination of both. I lost weight, my skin glowed and I was sleeping very well. Of course I lack willpower and wasn't able to properly reintroduce things - I couldn't reintroduce dairy, then not have it for a few days, then reintroduce something else. And I started going out again and I love wine a little too much. But I kept eating close to whole30 because I really did like it. Then my job sent me to London, UK from April to August and I had no intention of eating whole30 as I wanted to enjoy myself and the incredible opportunity given to me. As you can see, I use alcohol and food as a reward. Of course I gained weight but I was doing a lot of walking (when I was done work for the day, I'd walk to a different tube station and try to explore new areas, etc., plus every long weekend, I'd go somewhere in Europe and walk all over) so the weight gain wasn't too bad because I was moving. I stopped running because as much as I love London and it's incredibly awesome, the air is not clean and my lungs couldn't take it. Then I came back home (Canada) and I've slipped hard. Both eating and drinking. And here I am. I so desperately want to go back on the whole30 but I don't think I have the willpower to do it again. And it's almost December so it's dinners and drink season. I haven't ran since May and I'm scared to go back downstairs to the gym (it's in my damn building, I don't even have to go outside) because I know I can't do what I was able to do months ago and I'll just get discouraged. I come home from work and just sit on my couch and not move. That's my weekends. I know it's up to me to make the changes I need to make but I just needed to tell someone. I could talk to friends but it's easier and less embarrassing to me to do it this way as I'm in a self-loathing spiral right now and I need to pull my way out of it. So tonight I'm going to spend the night combing through success stories and look for the inspiration I need. I just needed to get this off my chest. Thank you to anyone who reads this. If you want to respond and be harsh, please do. Thanks, Anita
  4. Newsland33

    Achieving is believing

    I have never been one to flirt with 'fads.' I'm also the farthest thing from a habit-forming person you will meet, for good and bad. That's why when a good friend introduced me to Whole 30 six weeks ago, I was hesitant. Not another wacky diet plan that promised results that never materialized, or if they did promised to make me miserable in the process. Still, I knew changes were necessary. I have fought weight issues and joint pain much of my adult life. Last year was going to be the year I got serious, so I committed to losing 50 pounds over the course of a 12-month period. I lost two. Worse yet, I just felt awful. Back, hip, shoulder, feet. Some days it felt like every major joint in my body belonged to someone 25 years older than a man in his early 50s. As a result, my energy level wasn't where it needed to be for someone with a relatively demanding job, and I couldn't remember the last time I had back-to-back good nights of sleep. So, when my friend said she had lost 13 pounds on Whole 30 and that her joint pain had all but disappeared, I was skeptical but decided to take a look. After all, what could it hurt? The concept was familiar, if a bit extreme-sounding to a guy who had consumed a half-dozen Diet Cokes a day for decades, and who enjoyed milk and cheese more than most anything else in life. Still, one concept resonated with my desire to think we all have some degree of control over our lives: 30 days of focusing on healthy, whole foods shouldn't be hard. It was a matter of how badly I wanted to force some discipline on myself. Or put another way, how badly did I want to try something that could help me feel better and gain greater control over my health? Thirty-four days later (I've extended my schedule by a week as I plan for reintroduction) I can say this is one of the smartest decisions I've ever made - and one of the most unexpectedly pleasant surprises I have ever encountered. The highlights: I am nearly 20 pounds lighter than when I started. My blood pressure has dropped 20 points. According to my Fitbit sleep analyzer, my resting heartbeat has fallen from 77 to 65. I'm routinely sleeping better than I have in years and my aching joints have stopped barking at me (I've not taken an anti-inflammatory in a month). Beyond that, my energy is up and I am more efficient and focused at work. I've begun working out regularly and can see a day when I lose the "big number" of pounds I have been dreaming about and create the healthy lifestyle that has largely eluded me for many years. I have developed new eating habits and a healthy appreciation for what it means to fill my tank with quality fuel. It wasn't always easy, especially the first two weeks. And, I'll admit to being bored to tears with water at times. It also wasn't as hard as I thought. Once I started seeing results and fell into a routine, I stopped obsessing about what I wasn't eating and enjoyed the many delicious foods I was eating. It also became clear that I wanted the good results to continue more than I wanted that Diet Coke or cheese and crackers. As I stare reintroduction in the face, I'll admit to a bit of trepidation. I don't want to fall off the wagon and go back to feeling the way I did pre-Whole 30. I also realize that I have a lot more work to do to get to my ultimate "fighting weight" and to reach my health goals. Still, I'm choosing to trust the process and to view reintroduction as the next necessary step in providing me the knowledge base I need to truly control my food choices. I know that eliminating dairy, grains, legumes, alcohol and sugar lad to dramatic gains in health and energy; now I need to know which doors lead me down a dark alley and which will help lead me toward the light (I'm really hoping dairy is one of the good guys). The learning process has been an unexpected benefit of my Whole 30 journey, and I'm excited about the next stage. And the one after that. For now, though, I felt the need to share my story as way of saying thanks. To my friend who cared enough to gently persuade me to give this a try. To my wife who has been uber supportive throughout this (although she didn't join me on Whole 30 her eating habits have changed noticeably as well). And to the entire Whole 30 community for providing the tools and support to make this possible. With appreciation and excitement about what comes next, - ML
  5. I did the September Whole30 which was quite an eye opener - so many NSV! Especially my sleep quality has drastically improved, my mood was better, and my energy stayed constant. My psoriasis symptoms slightly improved. I lost 6 lbs which I am happy about. I started reintroduction with a glass red wine and because of that I had a second glass and then I binged chocolate. Quite a learning experience! I went back to Whole30 for three days and then did the reintro with only one glass of wine (I learned something here) which went fine. However, my sleep quality is not as good, my energy fluctuates. I am back to Whole30 since and today is the first day I feel “Whole30-good” again. Now I am wondering if I should extend my Whole30 to 90 days to allow my body more time to heal. I have lost another 3 lbs since and psoriasis symptoms seem to improve gradually. I am ok with cravings; I actually believe I am still in to process of getting used of not having foods that make me binge, like cheese. I am reluctant to introduce other foods because I am afraid to lose all the NSV which are such a tremendous improvement of life quality. On the other side, I worry never to reach “food freedom”. Do you have any advice? Does anyone have a similar experience?
  6. My husband and I were thrilled with the results of our first Whole30 - he lost 13lbs and I lost 8lbs. We've continued with another 30 days but our weight loss hasn't changed. We know the program isn't wholly for weight loss but it is important to the two of us. It's not because we've reached where we should be - we could both do with losing another 20lbs or so. I'm wondering if we should switch to another plan (i.e. paleo, keto), to get faster weight loss and then switch back to Whole30, or whether to just keep going? Anyone else have experience of diminishing weight loss results?
  7. I am at a loss. I followed the meal template, cooked all my food, never ate out, for 30 freaking days. I upended my pantry, my schedule, turned my life upside down, and devoted so much time and energy to doing this right and after 30 days I have lost 1 pound. One single pound. I can fluctuate 3-4 pounds in a day so frankly I may have lost nothing, or even gained. My pants fit the same. no noticeable energy level difference. I went in to this fully committed to 1) lose weight, 2) combat fatigue. I am normally a healthy eater. I love fruits and veggies. I don't like potatoes, but I generally eat healthy. Except the last year or so, work became stressful and too much take-out, convenient pre-made foods etc. etc. and I put on an additional 15 pounds very quickly on top of already being overweight. I am 5'5" and 183, so I have a lot to lose. 30 pounds to get me out of the obese, overweight category. When I read about w30 I was drawn to it bc it is a total reset. I know it is not for weight loss. And I've read what mods have said about how even 1 or 2 pounds is great, and it's about how you feel, and how your body looks. But my body looks the same. My midsection which has ballooned in the past year has not diminished even an iota. I haven't done reintroductions yet. Not sure if this means I should delay reintros until some actual weight comes off. But I'm starting to doubt that eating this way will lead me to lose any weight at all so why bother? And though I haven't started reintroductions yet, I don't expect food sensitivities, so why bother, I'm ready give it all up, but I've worked so hard. It is demoralizing. Here are my only slip ups: week 2: I weighed myself not once but twice. I saw there was much less bloat in my face, which was very exciting, so i went on the scale and i was down 2 pounds. That was further exciting that it led me to go back on the scale again the next day. But I was back up one pound in a day so then i realized my dependence on the number and the whole reason why we need to put the scale away, and I put the scale away. Day 1- somewhere in the teens: I learned from a mod that I should limit my matcha latte which I made with 1 scoop vital proteins, 1/2 cup of coconut water, 2-3 Tb of nut pods, and 1/2 tsp of matcha green tea. I should also limit chia pudding which I made with almond milk and ate only when my plate lacked a starchy vegetable. I cut out the chia pudding and only allowed myself the matcha green tea 3 more times in the remaining month. And it only comes to a little over 1/2 cup of liquid so it's a pretty small drink. Day 19: I made a crab salad for homemade california hand rolls and accidentally consumed wasabi that contained food starch as one of its ingredients. It was tiny bit of wasabi and after reading and consulting what others would do on this forum, I decided to call it a learning experience and stayed the course. Day 25 in the middle of following a compliant carnitas pork recipe I realized I was missing an orange from my ingredients list so I added 2 TB of triple sec plus a lemon. After it was cooked and I opened the instant pot I could smell a faint trace of alcohol so I decided not to eat the pork, and gave it to my husband (who kept hemming and hawing about joining me to start his w30, then decided he won't bc he won't give up alcohol, and he doesn't like veggies enough to be able to follow the template) . A couple of days later I was out of protein, and had the last remaining half a portion of the carnitas after sautéing it in a pan for over 25 minutes. I am confident there could not have been any alcohol in the palmful of was left of the dry, fried up pork. But that is all. Those are my only slip ups. I ate fruit only with meals, not on its own. and basically followed the rules to a tee. I spent hundreds of $$ on groceries, like it was my full time job. I got compliant sauces to jazz up my meals so that I would stay the course. I spent more on groceries than I would have at the restaurants I didn't go to. My typical day: M1: 3 eggs, sautéed veggies, a fruit, 1/2 avocado M2: meatloaf, sauteed kale or similar greens, with roasted or parsnips roasted in a generous amount of ghee M3: large grilled chicken breast, salad, sweet potato, olives Maybe I ate too much? But I kept reading about how undereating was one of the biggest trouble spots. I followed the template as closely as I could. I went 4-5 hours without eating, and was hungry again for my next meal. I hardly ever snacked. and I enjoyed the rhythm of only sitting down to eat 3 times a day. I'm devastated that 30 days have led to maybe1 pound lost, maybe. I don't want to waste time with reintros if this way of eating isn't going to lead to weight loss. But I feel like not doing it is even more of a waste than it has been so far. Either way seems this was all a waste. continuing to sink costs and time and energy. Or not finishing with the reintros. I started reading about Bright Line Eating today and i'm wondering if anyone on the forums have any thoughts on this program, which is geared toward weightless. It actually sounds very similar to w30 except with a weight loss component, the ultimate goal being food freedom. What do you think of Susan Peirce Thompson's Bright Line Eating? Is it worth the $500 for the bootcamp??
  8. Tracie thorp

    Food log help

    Monday: coffee with MCToil powder. Snack: celery w/ sunflower butter Lunch: salad with 2 slices approved turkey slices, tomato, celery, red pepper, 1/4 avocado, whole30 ranch dressing. Snack: 3 strawberries. Dinner: grilled chicken, 1/2 sweet potato, small salad. Snack: freeze dried pineapple bites. lots of water!! Tuesday Coffee, 2 eggs over easy on spinach. Snack: celery w/sunflower butter. Lunch: salad with turkey, celery, tomato, 1/4 avocado, whole 30 ranch. 1 seltzer. Snack: 2 oz chicken. Dinner: grilled chicken, 1/2 sweet potato, 1 cup veggie salad (green beans, tomatoes, cucumber, basil, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper). Snack: apple with sunbutter, green beans, 1/4 cup freze dried pineapple.
  9. Yukon Cheryl

    Diabetes Reversed in 90 Days!

    I have never written a testimonial. I am so happy to be writing one now! I started Whole30 on January 2, 2018. I had been taken off diabetes medication because I could not manage the medication. My A1C reading was 7.7 and I was on a wait list to see a specialist in internal medicine to see what medication I could take to manage the diabetes. My liver enzymes were in the high 90's. I was entirely Whole30 compliant for 30 days. I had my A1C test at about day 21 and it was 7.1. After years of seeing movement upward only I was ecstatic. The diabetes educator was skeptical and said well of course your blood sugar is good because you have cut all carbs. I showed her my food diary. Oh you are eating carbs ( I need potatoes almost daily)...oh this is a plan you could stay on for life...I had lost 12 pounds too! That was Day 21! I asked my Dr. to not move forward with any medication until after my next A1C test and after seeing the specialist. I still stuck to the Whole30 plan but was not so diligent about food labels. I did not do any reintroduction but did have a couple of items that contained dairy and sugar a couple of times. On April 13th I had the A1C test and got results today. I am at 6.1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't really say Day 102 Whole30, but after 102 days on the plan, I have reversed diabetes, the internal medicine doc says no need for ANY medication whatsoever! My liver enzymes are normal! And I have lost 30 pounds! While I am still considered pre-diabetic that will change too! Thank you Whole30!!!
  10. Hello!! I'm new here, this is my first post and I hope it is in the right section. I have recently completed my first Whole30 with a bunch of awesome NSVs including my sense of smell returning after 6 years of being absent, more energy, bloating gone, a very good ability to tell true hunger from 'I just wanna stuff junk food in my face', a reduction in my food bill, headaches that are caused by an external factor (glare - I have severe photophobia due to a genetic condition) are much less intense, my high blood sugar readings consistently going down towards normal again after 4 years of consistently rising, and the list goes on. During my Whole30 I lost approximately 7kg, went down a dress size and feel so much lighter. I did not weight myself before or during the program and have only weighted myself at a doctor visit recently and compared my weight to the previous visit 5 months ago. I have reintroduced corn - a no go as it spiked my blood sugar, feta cheese in my omelettes, champagne (had one glass only and will only have one or two per week anyway), gluten free soy sauce, a small amount of tasty cheddar cheese and sour cream, all with no apparent side effects. I'm happy with this, very happy to continue on with Whole30 forever. I will never eat grains (wheat in particular) or sugary foods again as I just know they are not my thing, I don't want to go back there. My question is about weight loss. I totally understand that Whole30 is not about weight loss but I would like to lose some more weight having completed the program so successfully. Sadly though, I don't seem to be losing any more weight. I have around another 30 kg to lose, although I don't have a strict weight that I'd like to be, I am quite overweight at the moment. Is there anything I can do? or do I just wait it out (pardon the pun!). I really don't want to go back to calorie restriction as I don't think this works for me, I feel so content right now and I often struggle to eat three meals a day because I'm not hungry or craving as I used to be. Having enough fat in my diet from the delicious homemade mayo is so nice!! It has made all the difference for me, I feel satisfied for once in my life. Thank you in advance for any suggestions or feedback.
  11. Villanovagrad

    Day 31 - Amazing results!

    It’s Day 31 and I am absolutely floored by my results! Day 1 measurements: 191.4 lbs Waist: 35” Hips: 44” Day 31 measurements: 179.0 lbs Waist: 31” Hips: 41” Honestly I knew I lost weight but I would have never imagine 12.4 lbs in 30 days!! (For reference I am 5’ 7”) I definitely had some advantages helping me - I am allergic to tree nuts so snacking on nuts and any emergency type bars were out of the question for me. I almost never snacked and kept up with my healthy fats which I think helped a lot. I worked out about 7 times throughout the 30 days - after the first week hump I worked out for the next two weeks (3 & 4 times a week for about 45 min). The last week was super busy and I was getting sick so I was slacking. I can only imagine how much more I would have lost! I am absolutely amazed by my results, not just weight loss but my energy, mood and the sleep is awesome. I will definitely be continuing my journey!
  12. Sorry this is so long, i just wnated to give some background information! Currently: Age: 26 Height: 5'6" Weight: 148.4 I went from 150 lbs to about 168 lbs in about a year my sophomore year of college. The following year I lost the weight by starting to work out 5-6 days a week (mostly cardio), limiting myself to 1200 calories during the week, and relaxing on my eating on weekends with pizza, thai noodles, fast food, etc. Once I graduated college I dropped to 148 (probably the lack of booze 2-3x a week) and have remained there ever since. I carry my weight in my stomach and do not have hardly any tone in my stomach. It has always been frustrating for me to be thin everywhere else but my stomach. Currently, I do HIIT workouts (Kayla Itsines BBG) 3 days a week and low intensity steady state cardio 3 days a week. I will also start half marathon training soon so throwing in some more running instead of power-walking and maybe one less BBG workout a week (TBD). Starting weight on Whole30 was 151.4 (had put on a few lbs with holidays and a january vacation, prior to that I was always 148.4). Prior to W30 my diet was Whole30/paleo-ish Monday-Friday at 5 (would have plain cream in my coffee, occasional peanutbutter, broths or sriracha with added sugar, and probably some nitrates.. but didn't eat grains, dairy, or alcohol) and then starting Friday night until Sunday i would have all the foods I'd been craving during the week but weren't "healthy". I wouldn't "binge" when looking at the amounts I would eat, but I would use the weekends to have drinks, pizza, fast food, sushi, pasta... basically not worrying about what I ate. Part of starting Whole30 was because I wanted to break this cycle and achieve food freedom by eating good food all the time and treating myself when its "worth it" - not just because its Saturday. I didn't experience a lot of the bad symptoms that the timeline in the book describes. I was sick with bronchitis but no carb flu or rage/headaches. Here we are on Day 31.. stepped on the scale for the first time the whole 30 days weight was 148.4. So, I lost 3lbs, but didn't accomplish greater weightloss with eating extremely clean and not drinking all the time vs only 4.5 days a week. I feel pretty disappointed. For years I basically threw out my healthy habits for 2.5 days a week and have remained the same weight. I don't have any more tone or definition in my stomach than I did before Whole30. I do have a few NSVs such as: not ONE pimple for entire 30 days, sleeping better, no mid-afternoon slump, and a better mood, but not what I would describe as "tiger blood". I am a believer in eating this way, but I want to do so in a way that lets me lose weight and achieve my body composition goals in addition to my NSVs. I am hoping for some advice here. Here is what a typical day of eating on Whole30 looks like for me: Breakfast: Coffee with coconut milk and cinnamon. 3 eggs mixed with W30 mayo, salt, and pepper over a bed of greens with avocado. OR 3 eggs fried in ghee with zuchinni and potatoes 1 cup of berries Lunch: Big salad with romaine, 6-8oz grilled chicken, 1/8 C sunflower seeds, bell pepper, avocado, kalamata olives and olive oil or W30 compliant ranch. 1 orange Dinner: 6-8 oz of shrimp tossed in coconut aminos, ghee and garlic with sauteed broccoli and onion with more coconut aminos and garlic/ghee mixture. OR 1/2 baked spaghetti squash with W30 compliant tomato sauce and 8oz of ground beef. Thoughts? I'm doing the "fast track" reintroduction but would like to follow the "food freedom" outlined in the book. However, I really do want to lose 5-8 lbs without counting calories obsessively like I was before W30.
  13. Since starting eating the Whole30 way, many of my friends have asked questions, and for advice as they consider it too. Here's a getting started summary, based solely on my own experience. First, you are considering this for any number of reasons... for some it's the hope of weight-loss, for others, health issues such as allergies, inflammatory responses and other ailments that might be addressed by learning through the process which foods your body does not do well with. I can tell you that I don't think I have any allergies to foods and didn't have any digestive issues plaguing me. But I have terrible eating habits. I love healthy food, but also ate way too many snacks and foods that were just empty, very tasty, but empty calories. I have been successful with Weight Watchers in the past, several times. Get that? SEVERAL times. So, I was tired of the yo-yo weight issue I lived with as a result of not changing my HABITS, and that was my real motivator for trying the Whole30. I didn't want to count calories or points all my life, but understood that weight was a direct result of too many calories in and not enough burned off. What I didn't understand is the way a healthy body burns calories, and mine was way off wack from a lifetime of splurging and self-denial. The process is that the body goes first to sugars for fuel, and I had plenty of those coursing through my system! Some of it, it turns out, I wasn't responsible for, or even aware. It wasn't just the sweets I chose to eat, but I've learned that sugar is added to the craziest things you'd never dream of, and as a result, we ingest way more of it than we should, all day long. I wasn't choosing all of that, but it was going in my body every day! So, the short of it is, our body uses those sugars and leaves the rest of it, until needed. And the way I was eating, the rest was never needed, staying on as extra pounds unless I deprived myself for a period of time - in a DIET. After that time, of course, it would all come back because I was going back to eating the way I'd known for all my life. So, for ME, and for my husband Dan too, we lost weight just by eating compliant to the Whole30 Plan of healthy proteins, vegetables, healthy fats and some fruit three times a day, and being sure that we were not leaving the table hungry. I'm talking measurable, significant amounts of weight. Also, I lost some of the hip, knee and foot pain that was pretty much with me all the time. Is it just that the lower body mass was easier on my joints, or was I eating in a way that kept those areas inflamed? I don't know. But I know I'm eating compliant still most of the time, with small indulgences here and there, and I don't miss the weight OR the pains!! (lol) It's not a once and done, either. I was looking for something I can live with, forever. And I think I found it. Eating well, feeling satisfied, and never having to DIET again. It's a learning process of eating mindfully, sliding back into old habits, and bringing yourself into check again when you see it happening. I think of it as a re-structuring of a lifetime of habits and way of thinking about foods as "good or bad", or worse yet, yourself for eating them! I am still learning, and it will take many cycles before I can achieve what Whole30 calls "Food Freedom Forever", but I am closer now than I've ever been in my life, and I feel great too along the way! OK, some tips to make it easier: BUY these books and read them. They will HELP YOU on this journey. 1) 'It Starts with Food', 2) 'Whole30 - 30 Day Guide to TOTAL HEALTH and FOOD FREEDOM', and 3) 'Food Freedom Forever'. You CAN do this without the books, but they are great resources, and isn't your health worth a little investment? NO, I am not a spokesperson for them and I don't get any commission if you buy. Book #2 has a sample week's menu that I used as my base when I started new. It also has many recipes, some for some things I've never done before, like making my own mayonnaise! Participate in this Whole30 online forum. There are many there who are more experienced than me, who are very generous with their knowledge, get you through some tough moments, and, most of your questions have probably been asked and answered there. It's a great resource and source of support! PLAN your meals. Failure to plan = a "screw it" attitude when your belly is talking to you and you don't know what you are going to put on your plate. Consider utilizing a meal planner. I subscribed to RealPlans.com, which integrates with Whole30. This has a shopping list feature that is fantastic, tied to the menus selected for the upcoming week, has a supported facebook page/forum, and it lets me import my own favorite recipes too. PRE-COOK as much as you can, weekly or bi-weekly. This is especially important for those that really hate to cook. I don't hate it, but I hate to use my time cooking. Some, really HATE it. But we've got to eat. Might as well make it as easy on yourself as possible. You've got to have 3 good meals x 7 days/week... in my mind...forever, which means I wanted to learn as much from this first 30 days experience as possible. But only concern yourself about the next 30 days for now. Some of what you are eating for dinner can be in breakfast tomorrow, or lunch the next day, or a full meal that you cooked double or triple of and froze for dinners next week, or weeks from now! Cook large portions of protein, parcel them to servings, and freeze. You can change up the menu by serving them as part of another grouping of vegetables and whole different set of spices, and it won't have to be the same-old, same-old. Speaking of spices - there are many good sources online for mixing up new combinations to keep your tastebuds VERY happy. I'm loving this part. I rely on what I call "skillet meals" a lot - I love bringing raw or pre-cooked proteins and veg's, even fruit sometimes, together in layers in a pan on the stove, cooking in a healthy fat. I never get tired of them, and Dan loves them too. Fritattas, started on the stove and finished up with the eggs on top and browning under the broiler - YUM!!!! This recipe is SO versatile - anything goes!! TRY NEW FOODS that you thought you didn't like. Be open-minded. Once you start eating un-processed foods, you will be surprised at what fills you up, and what tastes good together, and you want to have as much variety of healthy, satisfying foods as you can get your hands on, so you won't ever get hungry or bored. PLAN your meals... and don't think of them as breakfast, lunch and dinner. They are meal #1, #2 & #3, and all foods are good at every hour of the day, not only the way you've been thinking of them your whole life. Yes, even salmon (for me anyway)... great left-over in an egg frittata first thing in the morning! Don't give in and snack while on the Whole30 - just don't do it. Eat to fullness at each meal, and you won't. Plan and serve foods that you like at each meal, and you won't. Try not to snack AFTER the 30 days too - keep that bad habit from coming back. Let your body work to process in a balanced nourishment cycle rather than peaks and valleys of too much/too little food intake. Staples in my pantry - reading labels to be sure anything packaged, canned or bottled is compliant to Whole30: Coconut Aminos Chicken and Beef Broth Coconut Oil Olive Oil Coconut Milk Sweet Potatoes Russet Potatoes Canned Sliced Potatoes Shredded frozen Potatoes Unsweetened Apple Sauce Canned Diced Tomatoes Salsa Canned Tuna Vinegars Nuts! (Yum!! Great, & healthy in recipes!) Vegetables of all kinds - fresh when possible, canned and frozen also though! Spiralized vegs - yes - it makes a difference - these are GREAT sauteed in a skillet! Riced Cauliflower - I've bought mine frozen from Whole Foods - usually 10-12 bags at a time, because I'm not there often. Onions Mushrooms Peppers Avocados (didn't know just how much I loved these!! Yum!!) Eggs Spinach (fresh baby spinach - great nutrients and cook down from a big pile into tasty bites in your meal - I use it in fritattas, always) Squashes Turnip Poultry, Pork, Beef, Fish, Frozen Shrimp Some becomes smoked and shredded, some cooked fast in pressure cooker, some cooked in slow cookers, some pre-assembled in patties, often with portions frozen for many, MANY future meals. Bananas Grapes Clementines Melons Berries Apples, and any other fruit in season!! Have an open mind. This is not a punishment, but a gift that you are giving to yourself. Anything worth having takes a little work, and so does this - at first. Until it becomes second nature. If you are doing the Whole30 - it is only 30 days, and you can do THAT, right? Of course you can! Embrace it, and decide later whether you have learned anything useful about foods and your body, then use what you've learned to work towards a lifetime of good eating that keeps you healthy. Hope this helps. Good luck my friends!
  14. nonnawickwire

    Day 29! Success Story!

    Celebrating here on Day 29 feeling GREAT with 8 lb weight loss! My secretary told me about the Whole30 plan, and after I researched it I decided to plunge in and do it 100%. I bought one month's membership to see how it worked in our lives, downloaded the app, and after several chats with their VERY helpful staff, was able to plot and personalize my own eating plan for the first week. I learned that cooking five meals a week is too much. I whittled it down to 3 breakfast and dinner meals a week (on Tues/Thur/Sat) which gives us leftover once or twice a week, plus a night out for eating out or going to our daughter's house for dinner. I learned to read menus carefully to determine just how much time they would take me to put together and learned to search out simpler meals. I started the plan suffering from chronic headaches, joint aches and an abundance of fat which I could not budge. I have not had any headaches (except my one exception to drink a cocktail with my hubby - BIG MISTAKE - you will be hypersensitive to sugars so do not do this! My neck and shoulder aches are completely gone, my weight has gone from 138 to 130. My husband is super stoked to have "his young wife" back, and I LOVE how my clothes fit me now! No love handles spilling over my waists of my jeans! I love eating this way, and so does my husband though he is not doing Whole30. He is doing Whole30 plus whatever else he wants to eat! He has gained 5 lbs which he needed to do and loves that I am cooking healthy regular meals! Thank you Whole30! I will be extending my membership for your excellent database of recipes, your support, and all the other things you offer.
  15. MmePark

    I gained a LOT in a month

    I gained so much in my 30 days. I gained self control. I gained understanding of nutrition. I gained new culinary skills. I gained self-respect. I gained a new palette. I gained a new perspective on my life. I also lost a few things. Mood swings. Energy lows. Anger. Depression. And around 10 pounds and a gut full of bloat. Thanks so much for this program, the excellent free support, and the inspiration to improve my life, inside and out.
  16. Hi! I am a medical provider who works an interventional pain management clinic. All of my patients struggle with chronic pain most our struggling with depression, weight issues, and other health conditions. I believe that many would benefit from W30 but I struggle to bring it up with patients unlesss they bring up diet themselves because I have found that for many weight and lifestyle choices are a very sensitive subject. I have seen your guys testimonials and know that many can benefit. I figured I would reach out on here to see if you guys had any ideas. Have you had a good experience with providers bring up W30 to you? or was it something you found yourself? Thanks so much
  17. habitualpurpose

    Starting TODAY 8/18/17

    Hi all Its been a long time since I've done a Whole30...TOO LONG!! I am now in a situation where I've put weight back on, I feel like crud and I'm not as strong as I'd like to be. It's been a tough few years with a son who has spent much time in the hospital and me stress eating and putting my own health on the back burner. Now I have hip arthritis and am looking at hip replacement surgery in mid November. I need to get my $&[email protected] together and get my health in order. My goals: - Slay the sugar dragon - Reduce inflammation - Feel more in control and eliminate the stress eating - Sleep better - Improve overall health - Lose weight (it really does need to happen to help ensure a smooth surgery experience) Glad to have others on the journey with me! Cheers!
  18. Marc FH

    Day # 31

    I weighed myself for 1st time since I started & lost 8lbs over whole30, that's 2 lbs a week. I did catch accidental glimpses of my mid-section tire deflating over the month. I'm not craving anything to reintroduce, but I thought I'd try corn on the cob. I'm not going back to sugar or artificial sweeteners. I've never eaten so many vegetables & fruit, and I'd like to keep that up. I had no trouble adhering to the plan on the road or in restaurants. I appreciate whole30 for teaching me how to eat sanely. I am a medical doctor, but untrained in nutrition. Thank you.
  19. So I keep worrying that I'm not going to lose weight. Honestly I started this to tame my sugar dragon and that guy is in a coma. All of my other goals are already checked. And, I know I'm not as bloated and I've lost a bit. A pair of leggings fit better than they have in months. But... I really wanted to also lose at least 5-6 pounds. And it's not vanity weight. Before the start I was 10 pounds over my ideal. But no matter what I still am so happy to be doing this. Truly life changing for me! Any advice or comfort? How is that aspect going for others? ps- my background. No major health issues but concerned about family history of high blood pressure and high cholesterol. I have a desk job but I jog a bit and I'm on a figure skating team. So I'm semi active. I'm 5'3 and was around 135. I think my eating is pretty solid. Working hard to follow the template with each meal. I start getting hungry within 4 hours but can go a bit past 5 if necessary.
  20. I finished my Whole30 a few days ago, and I lost 8 pounds. I went from 155 to 147. I'm a 5'4" female in my early 30's. BUT, *more importantly* it became obvious to me that my relationship with food and my scale isn't serving me. Here are some of my Whole30 discoveries... Realization: One of the hardest parts of Whole30 was not weighing myself which made me realize how much I let the scale define me. I used to weigh myself every morning and the number would lead to a cascade of feelings (good or bad depending on the number). This is such a limited way to view myself. To put it in perspective, if a friend judged me every morning based on my weight, I would kick that person out of my life. So why wasn't I treating myself with the same respect? New Commitment: I've decided to weigh myself far less (like 1X a month, if that). And instead, I'm now starting my days with a spiritual text - usually something about treating myself and others with kindness & compassion. I read articles that refocus my mind on the most important parts of life - human connection, nature, and simple, healthy living. I like starting the day on a positive note. It helps me live more mindfully. Realization: When I go to the grocery store, I can really only shop in 2 out of the 12 grocery isles because the majority have unhealthy choices. This was a very clear sad realization about how our grocery stores are focused on shelf stable foods with preservatives and additives that prevent them from going bad. The majority of foods in stores do not support our health. I already knew this, but this fact became glaringly REAL during my Whole30. New Commitment: Eat whole, healthy foods. Continue learning to cook. I don't need to be compliant 100% of the time since my Whole30 is over, but I'd like to respect my body and put healthy foods in it most of the time. I actually think it's healthy to eat "treats" once in awhile (for me personally, everyone is different). I think being too stringent can lead to a mentality where I'm chasing perfection...which doesn't exist. I like riding my bike. I'm in a reflective place, so I will try to come back and update this post after I've thought more about my experience. - J
  21. Whole30 powerlifter

    I gained weight!

    Hey everyone! I finished my second whole 30 yesterday. I did my first round this past January and loved it! I lost about 5lbs the first round and had tons of other NSV's. I had the same NSV s this past round and love how I feel while on whole 30. However, this time I gained 1.8 lbs! I ate pretty much the same things as the first time. Lots of eggs, veggies, sweet potatoes, healthy oils, and protein. I feel great and even thought I was starting to lean out the last week or so. I weighed myself this morning and saw that I gained. I was so disappointed. I took my measurements before and after and they stayed exactly the same. Any thoughts as to why this happened or advice?
  22. Hello I just wrote a huge story and the system crashed:(. So I will keep this brief. I am 12-15 lbs overweight, 5'10 and 46 yrs old female. I am a classic low fat high carb dieter. Prior to whole 30 I was restricting 1600-1700 calories and not losing any weight. I was having snacks all day long (yogurt, low fat popcorn, apples) and now I see why it didn't work. I am on Day 17 and disappointed to discover I am very puffy and heavier. I only eat 3 meals, zero snacks. I had a very upset stomach end week 1 and all through week 2 so I my normal exercise was limited (normally bootcamp 2/week, running 2/week for 30-45 min). How long does the 'fat adaptation' process take for someone like me who was calorie cutting immediately prior? I'm worried I'm actually eating MORE calories on this program, causing weight gain. Also, maybe the fact that I lessened my workouts during week 1 and 2 have contributed? Meals are Whole30: 3 fried eggs/sweet potatoe/onion hash, or I do 3 eggs scrambled with tomatoes and paleo muffin (I know, SWYPO) but my friend lost weight eating them every day on her Whole 30 so I wasn't concerned as I was only eating them at bfast with protein and veggies. Lunch salad with avocado/apple/chicken and Dinner I follow Whole30 Cook book. No snacks. Last week twice I was not feeling well due to upset stomach, so I did have a lara bar and a few almonds. Please help! Tks Megan
  23. Warning! Go grab some protein, veg and a thumb of fat, and then prepare to hunker down. This could take a while. This is Day 31 for me, so I it's time to tally up, and — wow! — I've gained a lot. And it's all good. Here are my non-scale victories, or at least the ones I've noticed along the way... Asthma: I only used my inhaler a couple of times during the first week, and I haven't used my nebulizer at all during my W30. I'm literally breathing easier. Bumps: I used to have small bumps on my inner arms. I had for many years. They were sort of like pre-hives; they only needed a scratch to instantly turn red, angry and itchy. But they're gone now. Inflammation: This one is big. Usually (due to Lupus, arthritis, benign tumors in my spine and other issues), a day of extreme activity would require days of rest and recovery. I just did a 13-hour visit to Disney last weekend, complete with 7.5 miles of walking. My feet and shins were sore, as almost anyone's would be, but I was able to get out a do the shopping and all of the prepping and cooking in the kitchen the next day just fine. I know! Headaches: Other than a few days of headaches in the first week, which included one migraine, I've been headache-free. Lupus: I experienced one intense flare during my W30 (brought on by a very stressful external event). It was awful, but ... OK? I didn't expect any miraculous elimination of flares, but it was days shorter than I expected. I'll take it. Mental outlook: I’m in a much better mood most of the time and somewhat less anxious. I was dealing with increased depression and ongoing anxiety issues when I started. I credit the improvement to W30 and to the addition of a cup of Natural Calm + chamomile tea every day (which I call my hot cup of Calm the F*** Down). I started the Natural Calm about a week into the program to keep my magnesium and calcium up, after reading recommendations for it here. Energy: While I still struggle in this area in general, I've had moments of Tiger Blood, a bit of kitten juice and fewer cat naps. I feel like I'm ready to start incorporating more regular exercise in my routine, and that's a biggie. Kitchen: Hey, NSVs extend beyond the body, so this counts! Despite the fact that I'm prepping and cooking constantly, my kitchen has never been cleaner or looked better. I found that reorganizing it and keeping it really tidy as I go was the only way to maintain sanity during this W30. Appliances: I'm actually using all of those appliances that just gathered dust on a shelf. My Vitamix and Instant Pot, for instance, both get near-daily workouts now and are finally justifying the money spent on them. Cooking: I love to cook. Sure, I'd love not to cook quite as much as I have over the past 30 days, but I still. Having new restrictions sparked a new wave of creativity in the kitchen for me. No matter where my eating habits go from here, I've created some meals that will definitely stay in the permanent rotation. Inspiring my husband: He isn't doing W30, and he still loads up on junk food at work. But he's happy to eat any W30 food I make at home and really enjoys it. At least I know half his fuel is good fuel. He's even considering going paleo soon. And he's helping out a lot more around the house, since he sees how busy I've been in the kitchen these last few weeks (and plan to continue to be). He's actually doing more than his share. A sense of pride: I'm proud that I did this. It wasn't easy, but it wasn't the hardest thing I've ever done. I doubted the process at times, but I never doubted that I would see it through. I mean, I made it through a family tragedy, a painful flare, a brunch with girlfriends, a visit to my favorite greasy-spoon diner, a trip to the state fair and freakin' Disney World without caving in to cravings! Now, about that scale... I had a victory there, too. I lost 18 pounds. (And for those of you currently doubting your own mid-W30 progress, I'd like to point out that around the middle of Week 2, I was convinced I was gaining weight.) I have no idea about inches, since I didn't measure beforehand, but I look leaner and feel leaner. And this isn't over! Both the W30 book and the site mention that those living with chronic illness and autoimmune diseases are likely to benefit by going beyond 30 days, since it may take longer to get the full effect of this reboot. I'm not going to walk away from the opportunity to gain more benefits from this. I've got so much room for improvement still. So, for now, I'm not calling it a W45 or W60 or W-hatever. I'm just going to keep going until it feels right to start my slow-roll reintroductions, and then that will eventually evolve into my new normal. Now, here's my completely unsolicited advice to anyone who might read this while considering starting their own Whole30 adventure: Don’t try to do a Whole30. Don't attempt a Whole30. Don't give it shot or see what happens and definitely don't hope you can do it. Commit! Make an absolute vow to yourself. You *will* do a Whole30. Acknowledge that it will be tough at times, rewarding at others. Take comfort in all of those pesky rules, because they take away the guesswork. And do it! Bring it on! Honestly, I think that's 90% of the key to succeeding at this — making that real commitment. Then when you face the inevitable difficult moments and temptations, it won't be made harder by struggling with that decision. You've already made the decision. Good luck everyone! And good luck to me as I keep going!
  24. 1. I am on day 25 and about two weeks ago I got sick with what I now know is walking pneumonia. My coughing with constant so I took a tincture which was glycerin based and I also took cough drops regularly for several days. Just as I was feeling better it started all over again. And now I am on antibiotics. I am not happy to have had to eat sugar during my whole 30. But I also don't want to start it all over. I'm also really bummed to have taken antibiotics which I know will mess with my gut. I know Dr.'s orders come before whole 30 but it's disappointing and I'm not sure how these small amounts of sugar might have affected me. And I never get sick but I've been sick for at least two weeks of my whole 30. So tiger blood? Not so much. Honestly the first several days I felt like I had Tiger blood but that's unlikely I know. Before I got sick I did feel that I had better energy. 2. I have seborrheic dermatitis, other autoimmune issues, muscle and tendon and ligament aches and pains, and migraines. And I'm also a bit overweight. Besides maybe losing 5 pounds or so none of these other issues seem to have changed at all. I'm wondering if I need to cut out nuts for the migraines and Cut out eggs, nightshades and citrus for the autoimmune issues. I guess at this point I am going to finish to day 30 and then cut out these additional things and add in one or two other things I would like to try eating again such as brown rice. But overall I'm going to try to keep my diet the same. 3. I'm really wondering why I haven't lost more weight. Here are a few things I'm wondering about. For the first couple of weeks I did sort of have for meals a day instead of three. I would eat a small breakfast at around 745 and then at 10 have a larger lunch. Then at around 2 o'clock have another small meal because often I can't eat dinner until around six or so. Also in the first week or two if I was really hungry and couldn't eat dinner until later I would have some nuts and maybe one piece or so of dried fruit. I have stopped all of that for the most part. I also have trouble letting go of the idea of dessert. So I will eat some fruit but I will do it right after I finished eating dinner. Like immediately so that I'm digesting it together. But I might eat something sweet like pineapple. Or half of a banana. And if I'm really hungry when I'm cooking dinner I might have a bit of fruit then as well. I am also eating a lot of that. Lots of avocados, some olives, etc. If I want to continue losing weight or any of these things contributing to me not being able to do it?
  25. I just finished Round 1 of my first Whole 30 and I liked it so much that I'm converting it into a Whole90. I lost 9.6 pounds in 30 days, y'all. I haven’t lost this much weight in a single month… ever. I’ve lost 7.5 (!) combined inches from my hips, waist, chest. I’m down at least one full clothing size. My migraines are almost entirely gone. My mood is like I'm a different person. After about 15 months of counting calories, an over 60 pound weight loss, and a 384-day MyFitnessPal logging streak (RIP), I was stuck in a 2.5 month stall and nothing I tried would shift it. Following an offhand comment from a coworker, I decided to take a break from logging and try the Whole30 program. As a historically BIG TIME proponent of calorie counting (I lost over 60 pounds that way, after all), I had previously been pretty sure that a program like this would NOT work for me. I was sure that I’d overeat and gain weight just like every other time I’ve tried to eat “healthy” or “intuitively." (How can someone eat “intuitively” when her intuition is telling her to order three double cheeseburgers and an oreo McFlurry in the drive-thru at McDonald’s?) But I was fresh out of answers, so I tried to be open minded. I read “It Starts With Food” and Melissa and Dallas convinced me that there MIGHT be something to the idea that the reason I overeat and gain weight when I’m not tracking is that the kinds of foods I eat are foods with no brakes — foods that are designed (often literally in a lab but sometimes in nature) to make me want to eat more and more even if I'm not hungry. Hello, tortilla chips, my old friend. I was still super suspicious and pretty sure this was all going to end in tears, but I was feeling so jaded over my 2.5-month weight loss stall (I still had 65-75 lbs I wanted to lose), I decided it was worth a try. I mean, how much damage could I really do in 30 days? What am I going to do, eat too much broccoli? So I tried it. Letting go of that MyFitnessPal streak was surprisingly hard. I had been holding onto that streak as the One Last Thing I was still doing right. Sure, I had completely stopped losing weight. Sure, I was back to ordering delivery pizza and eating my weight in mint chocolate chip ice cream. But I was still logging! I still had my streak! It gave me a sense of (false) control. My fear was that I'd eventually fall off the Whole30 wagon but having lost my calorie tracking mojo in the process. Then I would have nothing at all! I know one of the things we really stress on the Whole30 is that it’s NOT a weight loss plan. Sure, if you google it you’ll find hundreds of people online claiming to have lost seemingly impossible amounts of weight on it, but the gentle recommendation is that you chuck your scale in the dumpster. My reaction was: maybe you can have my food log, but you will pry that scale out of my cold, dead hands. Here I am 30 days later and while I’m not quite ready to chuck it in the dumpster, I’m actually starting to see a glimmer of understanding as to why I should put less emphasis on the scale (and perhaps even none at all). One of the things we push on the Whole30 is to pay attention to your measurements and not your weight. I rolled my eyes at that initially because duh, your measurements and your weight are the same thing. At least they always have been for me since I'm pretty sedentary. It's hard to cling to the idea that muscle weighs more than fat when you don't actually have much muscle. But I can't ignore the hard numbers here - the number of inches I lost in a single month is the same number of inches it previously took me seven months to lose (even though I exercised more in the previous seven months than I did during the month of W30), despite losing more pounds on the scale during those seven months! In other words, the inches dropped faster on the W30 than the pounds did, even without exercise. Also, for the first time I really noticed how minor weight fluctuations would harsh my chill (you’re not allowed to weigh yourself during the Whole30 but I did a few times because I’m a REBEL and also I make poor life choices). I would be in a great mood, noticing how light I felt, how much energy I had, how my clothes were fitting better — and then I’d step on the scale, looking for that extra boost from seeing a lower number... and I’d be disappointed when it wasn’t quite low enough. It stole my joy. And ultimately… for what? In 30 days, my weight went from 190 lbs to 180.4 lbs. Sure it’s cool to break into the next “decade” of weight, but would I really be healthier at 179 than I am at 180? Would I look better? Would I feel different? The answer is honestly no, but that half a pound made me feel irrationally disappointed after a month that is clearly an unqualified success. The scale is only one metric of progress and it’s not even an exceptionally reliable one. Lesson learned for the next 60 days! That scale has nothing for me. Repeat: that scale has nothing for me. So, in the spirit of the Whole30, I’ll stop talking about my weight loss. Another great success of this month is that I normally have a migraine 6-12 days per month (so many days!) and that's been happening now for several years (I even track them in an app). But this month I had a migraine only ONE day of the entire month and it only lasted a few hours! That is truly remarkable and tells me that diet is most likely a major trigger for me, something I had not previously believed. Even if I had experienced zero other benefits on the Whole30, this one alone is life changing. Another major benefit was the full 180 effect on my mood. Prior to starting this way of eating, I was depressed and anxious basically all the time. I struggled sometimes to leave my house due to anxiety (I work from home). I often felt hopeless about the future and the past. I ruminated endlessly over things that didn’t matter. Though I actually have a wonderful job, I would get set off by small irritations at work and go into an emotional spiral for the rest of the day, devoting half my energy to talking myself out of rage-quitting. Almost immediately after starting the Whole30, that changed. I found myself ending the day and when someone would ask “how was your day at work,” I would be surprised to hear myself say “pretty good, actually!” I noticed that I wasn’t getting angry about stupid things. I wasn’t reactive, responding with a snippy email over the slightest perceived insult or inconvenience. I wasn’t getting wound up and anxious about things that don’t even have much to do with me. I was, dare I say… chill? I am not, historically, “chill.” Where before I had barely had the strength to hang on by my own thread, I now had the emotional space to be compassionate, generous, supportive, patient, helpful. Not every second or as often as I would like, but noticeably more often than before. Could it be that for me, like for many people, there are dietary triggers that actually make me a jerk? Now I’m not implying that swapping pop tarts with zucchini will cure major psychiatric disorders or that I will never have a crappy day again. I did have one or two less-than-stellar days and there were definitely a few instances when I experienced a negative emotion in reaction to something that happened. The difference is that those reactions felt proportionate to the cause, like any person might experience, and the feelings passed in a reasonable amount of time. I didn’t fly into an uncontrollable rage or sink into an endless pit of despair. I just felt my feelings and then they passed. Before, my mood issues were suffocating me; now it feels like a fog has lifted. I feel more resilient – even while PMSing, which was the real test. A few things that the Whole30 didn’t cure for me (yet): my occasional acid reflux (I have a few suspects left in mind: tomatoes, alliums, coffee, eggs - PLEASE DON’T LET IT BE COFFEE (it’s probably coffee)) my keratosis pilaris (a common and benign but annoying skin condition that is often triggered by dairy - I guess not in my case!) my self-diagnosed carpal tunnel syndrome (nice try though) my poor sleep (which sucks because that's one of the most common benefits other people experience on this program - I'm guessing coffee again) dry hair / brittle nails (people often comment on stronger nails and thick, shiny hair after this program, but I noticed neither) If there was any downside to this program, it might have been these two: My grocery bill! Grassfed beef? Organic kale? Smoked salmon? COCONUT AMINOS WHATEVER THOSE ARE? Hope you’re the CEO of a multinational corporation or you get an employee discount at Whole Foods! (On the other hand: zero beer budget, no frappuccinos, no temptation to order stuffed crust pepperoni pizza.) That said, in defense of the program, there are certainly ways to be more budget-minded than I was,* I just happen to be CEO of a multinational corporation AND have an employee discount at Whole Foods,** so I made it rain in the produce aisle every week. Lucky me!* shopping at less expensive grocery stores, coupon-clipping, taking advantage of sales, pre-cooking meals in bulk, skipping the organic/pastured labels ** neither of these are true Good luck to you if you travel a lot or have any sort of social life. Lucky for me, I work from home and have zero social life where I’m living right now and I just happened to not have any business trips during this month. I feel for people who have to navigate those situations while on this program (I know it's possible). I only had to navigate ONE social event the entire month and it was a little challenging but I learned some tricks for next time.*** If I’d had to travel, I would have had to really think ahead (I even had a stress dream one night about trying to find Whole30-compliant foods in the food court at JFK), but I did find some Whole30-approved convenience foods I could stash in my bag for my next trip.*** bring a healthy snack to share while you wait for mealtime, eat before you go, try to convince people to migrate away from the kitchen for socializing Those were really the only two downsides I observed. My daily experiences didn't really track with the Whole30 timeline - I did have strong cravings the first several days (I literally smelled chocolate chip cookies baking everywhere I went like my mind was hallucinating them) but I never went into "kill all the things mode." I wouldn't say I ever got full on "Tiger Blood" either. In fact, my energy was up and down throughout the month - very low at first, then perked up after I realized I should eat more carbs (and more food in general), but was never like SUPER POWERED. Exercise probably would have helped as I spend a lot of my day sitting at a computer (which probably affects my energy, sleep, and of course aches and pains). The thing I thought would be most challenging about the Whole30 was all the cooking. Before starting the program, my idea of “cooking” was putting a Lean Cuisine in the microwave. I would even get annoyed by those frozen dinners that required setting the microwave to 50% power or pausing to stir in the middle of the cook time. I thought this was supposed to be convenience food, not The Great British Bake Off! I was also pretty attached to my processed food and fast food. And by “pretty attached,” I mean “pry it out of my aforementioned dead hands.” Ice cream was a nightly ritual. The baristas at Starbucks would see me coming and start unwrapping the plastic on my ham and cheese foldover. Frozen meals or delivery were pretty much the only thing I ate for dinner. Or lunch. Or breakfast. It wasn’t just that I liked processed foods, it’s that I didn’t feel I had time for anything else. I’d buy fresh produce at the grocery store to make my cart look a little more balanced, but then it would wilt shamefully in my refrigerator. I don’t have kids, but I have a demanding job (working past midnight is not unusual and I'm convinced the concept of "weekends" is a mass hallucination) so I was convinced that I didn’t have time to chop vegetables, wash dishes, etc. Not to mention the fact that I self-identified as a terrible cook. Plus, I was weighing and logging every bite I ate for over a year and packaged foods had calories on the package so they were easy to track! This was crucial. Crafting meals from scratch required advanced calculus if I wanted to attempt to log a serving size. And god help me if my scale zeroed out when I wasn't looking. The most surprising thing about this experience was learning how easy it actually was for me to throw together delicious meals with healthy whole foods and still lose weight. A staple breakfast for me now is to fry a couple slices of compliant bacon, then sauté kale in the bacon fat with a splash of coconut aminos, sometimes adding some shredded sweet potato (pre-shredded in a food processor on the weekend), then top it all with two runny fried eggs and a few shakes of iodized salt and crushed red pepper. It’s AMAZING and only takes a few minutes! Dirty dishes: one pan, one bowl, a spatula and a fork. That’s it! And it’s so filling that it doesn’t even cross my mind to snack until I eat lunch about five hours later. An easy, frequent lunch for me is a GIANT bowl of romaine lettuce with a homemade lime vinaigrette (pre-made and stored in a mason jar in the fridge) with a crumbled plantain-crusted pork burger (pre-made in a big batch on the weekend, then frozen or stored in the fridge). Takes just a couple minutes to throw together (if the burger isn't frozen), is unbelievably delicious and is so filling that eating again doesn’t occur to me until dinner five hours later. A dinner I made frequently this month was a Thai green curry with coconut milk, green curry paste, shrimp, zucchini noodles (purchased pre-spiralized from Whole Foods) and a crapton of frozen vegetables, served over riced cauliflower (bought pre-riced and frozen). Tastes exactly like a Thai restaurant to me! Even my family thought it was good (they aren't doing this program). It only takes maybe 20 minutes, is SO simple, and I have leftovers for 2-3 days. I ate delicious, high fat foods like that, measured nothing, counted nothing, didn’t exercise at ALL and still somehow lost almost ten pounds in 30 days. That’s like... magic. Snacking is pretty rare for me at this point, which I’m realizing is probably the biggest key to my weight loss this month. It’s not that I’m being so virtuous and disciplined; snacking just doesn’t occur to me because I’m eating so much fat at meals and I'm not eating sugar or any other foods that trigger cravings. Sidebar: I want to echo what the founders/moderators say a lot - watch out for Larabar, that foul temptress. I ate four of them over the course of the month, none in a true "emergency" as advocated in the program but more as a dessert. In each case, I could literally feel my sugar dragon sleepily opening its eyes. Though they are exceptionally delicious, I've learned I have to steer clear. Gee, it's almost like there's a recurring theme where I disregard the rules and guidelines of the program and then realize why those rules and guidelines are there. Anyway, I don’t want to imply by this INCREDIBLY LONG blog post that I am somehow “cured” of anything. I’m a sugar addict, a food addict, a binge eater. That behavior has historically been an ongoing, recurring part of my life. I would be surprised if those tendencies never rise again. In fact, in Melissa’s latest book “Food Freedom Forever,” she says pretty bluntly that they absolutely will. Success is not “curing” myself of those things; it’s finding tools to help me put them into extended remission, and then manage them when they flare back up. For the first time, I actually feel the confidence that I might be able to do that. To learn to do that. To practice doing that. Another cool benefit of this month is that I really slowed down. I actually would occasionally eat meals not in front of the computer. I started setting boundaries on my work day. I read a book about meditation. I started making my coffee in a Chemex instead of my Mr. Coffee because I wanted to learn to enjoy it black. Do you know how long it takes to make coffee in a Chemex? Like FREAKING FOREVER. I’ve taken a break from some violent TV shows I was watching and am surprised how much clearer my mind feels. I’m not saying I’ll never watch those shows again, but eating better inspired me to want to bring that lightness to other areas of my life as well. Free up some space. Breathe. I’ve been more grateful, more mindful. I feel closer to my family than I have in decades. I feel closer to my colleagues and more valued at work. I'm actually thinking of taking a yoga class. I signed up for a volunteer opportunity doing something I’ve been dreaming of doing for years but had been too scared to try. Things aren't perfect, but I feel more at peace with my life, both where I want to be and where I am right now, and all the uncertainty in between. What I’ve learned this month is that changing my diet = changing my life. I’ve learned that it IS possible for me to cook my own meals from whole foods, even with a hectic schedule. It IS possible for me to not eat sugar and grains (and more) for an extended period of time and not even miss it that much. It IS possible for me to lose weight without counting calories or weighing my food or over-exercising or going hungry. Lastly, eating a more nutritious diet DOES improve my mood and my migraines - dramatically! In light of all of that, I’ve decided to extend this program into a Whole90, which means no pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving, none of my aunt’s famous chocolate chip cookies at Christmas, and no champagne on New Year’s Eve. Those things will be waiting for me on the other side if I decide I still want them. I’m hoping 90 days will help me cement these healthy new habits and continue to shift my tastes and my body. Will my weight loss stall again? It might! Will my migraines and mood problems return? I hope not! Or will these new healthy habits further solidify, fortifying me for when I eventually reintroduce the foods I’ve eliminated to learn which are my triggers and which are safe to enjoy? I’m hoping for the latter obviously. I’m also REALLLLLY hoping that my migraines aren’t caused by cheese. PLEASE IF THERE IS A GOD.