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Whole 30 completed (ok, almost)


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I'm on Day 28 of my Whole 30, and plan to reintroduce dairy on Friday night. So, what did I think?

What were my results?

I have mixed feelings, and some fairly good but not *WOW* results. I'll break this down into weeks.

Week 1:

The first couple of days, I thought this was going to be so easy. I felt great those days, but that's probably was just motivation and excitement. Once that excitement wore off on days 3 and 4, I went into the kill all things phase. My failed experiment in making homemade mayo set me off and I went on a major tirade. Was grumpy all the way through day 6 or so. One good thing was that my farts no longer smelled. Did not even have an odor.

Week 2:

I thought the second week would be the hardest, but it was actually the easiest week overall. I settled into a routine of cooking and enjoying my cooking. I didn't really miss the sugary foods that I used to eat. I didn't even think too much about cheese. My only complaint that week was spending so much money on food. Even went on a weekend trip and stayed compliant through a kid's birthday party and two restaurants.

Week 3:

Bad, bad week. The weekend between weeks 2 and 3 was tough. I couldn't find anything compliant at a Top Golf place, so while everyone had pizza and dip, I had a lettuce only salad with balasmic dressing that contained sugar. The sugar sent me on an energy swing resulting in a really bad crash, reminding me how evil sugar is. The rest of the week I was struggling to keep up with the W30, and was in a bad mood all the time. It was a very stressful week, too. I'd been to the doctor and got my test results that has me suspicious about my thyroid and adrenals. Sleeping problems got worse that week. Libido decreased. All in all, a very bad week all around.

Week 4:

Better week than week 3, although that doesn't mean much. I do notice that I have less gut disturbances than when I started out. That could be a very important improvement, although I don't have that "tiger blood" feeling. Sleep issues have not resolved, however.

Brutally Honest Thoughts:

For anyone who wants to embark on this, keep your expectations LOW. I did not get the tiger blood or that "magic" feeling. You might, or you might not. But I do feel better, have lost a few pounds, little or no gastrointestinal upset compared to pre-W30, energy swings are much reduced, and feel more even-keeled mentally - especially the last few days. Anything more than that should be a happy "bonus".

Everyone's different, and have different starting points in terms of nutritional health and lifestyle. You may also uncover underlying / hidden health issues yourself or in-tandem with your doctor during your W30, and that's a great thing - even if these health issues are holding you back from feeling the magic. If you're not feeling better by, say day 24, don't give up... you might start feeling better on day 26 or 27 or even 28-29-30.

Regarding money. You WILL break your grocery budget during the W30. I promise you that. Eating organic is more expensive, unfortunately - and I wish it was different. Even if you buy conventional, you WILL consume more protein than ever if you are coming from any semblance of a SAD diet. And protein costs money. Especially the compliant / non-processed stuff.

You will also spend "upfront" money on seasonings, compliant cooking oils, salad oils, and butters that you probably never tried before (ghee, coconut butter, etc). If you have a spouse not doing the W30 with you, be upfront and prepare them for "grocery bill shock".

For anyone who wants to make this a lifestyle, you will have a tough time. Western life is structurally incompatible with the W30 lifestyle. I'm sorry to say this, but it's true. You will be constantly swimming upstream. You will be fighting, day in and day out.

A compromise between the two lifestyles may be more feasible for most people. If you have serious health issues (autoimmune with symptoms, etc), it may be worth the daily fight for your health - by all means, keep fighting.

However, if you are easily stressed out, have adrenal fatigue, you are in a tough situation. On one hand, sugar is the worst for people with adrenal fatigue. On the other hand, following a W30 compliant lifestyle is VERY stressful.

All this label reading, ordering compliant meals at restaurants, dealing with social situations while staying compliant, mixed family situations (compliant and non-compliant foods in the house), planning your meals, budgeting your groceries, etc. All of that will add to the stress you are already under. Be warned, and be prepared.

I'm not just throwing this out there to be a jerk... I say this because I am under suspicion that I, myself, am suffering adrenal fatigue.

I disagree with the Hartwigs when they say that the W30 isn't hard. IT IS HARD. Period. End of discussion.

Now, where do I go from here?

I plan to reintroduce dairy, gluten, legumes, and non-gluten bread, in that order. I will log my reactions and feelings after reintroducing these foods. If my body has a full on revolt to these, then I will greatly limit them in the future.

I don't plan to do another full W30 again, but I will maintain healthy eating habits that I derive from the W30. For example, I'll stay compliant (plus reintroduced foods that my body does not react negatively to) during the week, and then "live it up" on the weekends or on special occasions. I'll resume having beer and wine, cheese, and an occasional pizza.

I feel that will be a good compromise between maintaining healthy eating habits without stressing over the compliance of my next meal, and "going with the flow" in our Western culture.

Health issues that have not yet been resolved:

Sleep maintenance. Waking up at 3 am. Suspicious of stress and adrenal fatigue, may need to include more unrefined carbohydrates in diet, as I don't think my W30 included enough of these. Also working with my doctor on thyroid and hormonal health.

Thanks for reading! I'll be posting in the reintroduction forums soon ehough...

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You know what, guys? I think I finally have the "tiger blood"! I'm wide awake when I'm usually dozing on my desk. I want to get out and enjoy the sun! I want to MOVE! And when I do move, it's so effortless. So much energy waiting to be unlocked and spent!

It just so happens to be Day 30, my last day of the W30...

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