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My Testimonial to the Whole30 Program

Gabriela Teixeira

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This is what my life used to be like.

Every month, at the time when my hormones were working hard I'd have PMS. Almost always! The strength would vary depending on how much I worked out and the type of workout I did on that month, but there was always something: migraines, tender boobs, irritability (lots of), feeling down and insecure, bloating and water retention. On a very good month, the last 2 would be the only ones noticed, but they are still something.


On other times of the month, my patience, especially with the kids, was a bit too short. A couple years ago I was even struggling with a mild case of depression, when I thought everything in my life was just plain wrong, in spite of being aware of the good life I had. That said, what help me to start to get out of that state was going 2-3 weeks without processed foods, bad-easy-carbs and sugars. So yeah… I did had some experience with stuff like that and I knew it could help tremendously. Yet… I went back to my old ways of eating…


I would always wake up dragging myself and then at around 2 PM I had to boost my energy with a latte. And during the night I would sleep not extremely well, waking up often with the excuse of going potty.


I was for several months stuck on a weight that was higher than ever (during non-pregnant state, of course) and was not able to drop it not even by a half-pound.


I would spend days not doing much at work, because my mind would just go blank and I would forget what I had to do. My motivation (or lack of) wasn't helping either. On other areas, I would also procrastinate everything because I either didn't remember to do them or because I simply didn't feel like it. Especially if it included interaction with people. Needless to say, productivity both at work and at everywhere wasn't great.


I suffered from plantar fasciitis since I can remember  after I started working out after the move here (about 12 years ago???) This year, it was a bit worse, because I injured my feet ‘daring' to jog part of a half marathon back in March. Going barefoot has been helping me not feel the pain too much (or too quick) but the pain was still there.


This is how I found the Whole30

In 2010, after having my second baby, I decided to sign-up for workout in our company campus, with a trainer who has authorization from HR to use the company facilities. The classes were in the building (or the soccer fields) just across from my own building, there were beginner classes offered at 12:00, so I couldn't find anything more convenient. The classes are great, the group is fun, the trainer is the best. Miss V!!! Since then, I moved to different buildings 2 times (going farther away with every move), I changed to different times to match my fitness levels, I dropped from the program for a year. But I could not stay away for too long and came back in January this year.


The sessions are renewed on each quarter and on each of them Miss V would do a challenge that tried to introduce new healthier habits, especially eating habits, on the group.


This year, for the Summer session, she decided to do something bigger about the challenge and suggested that we read the book It Starts with Food in August, and decide if we wanted to do the Whole 30 program as a group in September.


I read the book and I could relate to a lot of the issues they describe there. But what really bought me into the program was the ‘cooling off inflammation' promise. Besides, I do and have always believed that what we eat influences our health in many ways, and nutrition is one of my favorite topics to study and learn more about. Needless to say, I signed up for it!


During my Whole30 experience…

My Whole 30 experience was great. From the very beginning I started to feel leaner (remember the stubborn extra pounds?). The first 2-3 days were nice and easy. Then in the afternoon of day 3 my energy went down. A lot! I felt sleepy and cloud-minded all day long. I was not producing much, I was just drained. That lasted a few days, but by the end of the first week, I woke up again and my energy levels became, first, very stable, then they started to increase.


My mood also changed, and I was able to enjoy some things better, I was more open to talk to people, I was more playful and talkative, I had more patience with the kids.


Then, my clothes started to feel loose and when trying the ones that hasn't fit me for the longest time I found out they do fit me now! Yay.


In other words I could see the changes coming, and I was happy and excited about it, which helped keep the motivation.


Other factors that helped a lot to keep motivated and into the program were writing a journal in my website My Whole30 Experience, and doing this as a group, being able to exchange experience, tips, recipes, questions, either in email, in person during the classes or on our facebook private group.


Now that I've finished my Whole30…

I feel so good that I just don't want to go back. Yeah, yeah.. I miss some of the stuff that I used to eat. But not so much. Not as much as I thought I would. I guess my big one is cheese, and that's why I decided to have a bit of it on the day after the program was over. But now I'm back into eating according to the program rules. For how long I'll keep it, I honestly don't know. My plan is to eat paleo foods, especially the ones that are Whole30 approved most of my time and sometimes, eventually, indulge on something off-plan. I really believe this is the best strategy and that's the one I'm going for.


As for the results of the program on me, sorry but I'll give you a bulleted list now… (they say we always need bulleted lists if we want to sell an idea… ;o)

  • 10.5 pounds lost,
  • thinner everywhere,
  • fitting my old clothes that were not fitting me for quite some time
  • better mood
  • PMS? What's that?
  • consistent energy levels throughout the day (no need for the afternoon coffee boost to keep awaken)
  • sleeping like a baby (and even dreaming!)
  • awesome performance at workout and other physical activities (I even jogged a whole 5K!)
  • better focus and improved performance at work
  • no more pain (plantar fasciitis is gone)
  • good skin (not that my skin has ever been bad… but it's still better now ;o)
  • and the most important of all: Happy happy!

For a even more visual description of the results, attached is my before and after comparison



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