Two-cents and Take-Aways


hadleab

Recommended Posts

I was a vegetarian for 8 years; not vegan but I started incorporating meat back into my diet about 8 months ago as I increased my weight lifting and through pushing of my husband, began eating meat again.  I started with just chicken and then slowly added ground turkey, pork...and eventually red meat.  I have always been a healthy eater and one to always exercise and be mindful of my portions, fat, carbs, protein, caloric intake etc.  Though I drank alcohol, I very rarely ate simple carbs (pasta, bread, etc).

 

First, I don't ever agree with a complete disregard of caloric intake.  By saying don't count your calories, you are making it allowable for anyone to overeat and overeating of anything can be too much.  With that said, I started Whole30 being a meat-eater.  After the end of week 2 (while not trying to weigh myself or measure), I know my body well enough to know that there were no changes in my body.  Aside from continued bloat and general feeling of tiredness.  I had felt this way before; and I knew it was because I was eating so much more meat.  I am now on day 28 (yea!) and for the second half, I gave up all red meat, pork, fish, etc. with the exception of about 4-6 ounces of chicken everyday to every other day.  

 

Since cutting out the aforementioned meats, my meals consist mainly of avocado, eggs (and egg whites), vegetables (romaine, tomatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, onion), ghee, sweet potato, oranges, apples, bananas, coffee, tea, water, and as I mentioned previously small portion of chicken every other day usually.  Honestly, as I am nearing the end of Whole30, I am phasing the chicken out as well.  

 

I have felt better since cutting out the meat then I have the entire 30 days.  Honestly, I haven't felt this good since I started adding meat back in to my diet.  I will finish phasing out the chicken and go back to being a vegetarian.  I am not feeling bloat, and my measurements are down as well as a couple lbs; since cutting out/back the meat. 

 

As I am on my last two days of Whole30, the things that I will take-away remain less than I hoped but I am no worse for the wear.  I have cut out all artificial sugars that I would use for coffee, greek yogurt, etc. and I have no desire or craving to implement them back.  With that said, flavored waters and diet coke have also been removed and there remains no craving.  Foods like Greek yogurt and the occasional cheese have also been removed my diet and no cravings remain.  Although I will reimplement back into my diet the occasional cheese serving with certain meals.  The other thing I will reimplement back, alcohol.  Sorry kids, I love my wine.  

 

In the end, I am glad I did it but a little disappointed that I didn't have more results; the cleaner diet, no alcohol, and continued workouts, I was hoping to improve my measurements alongside hopefully helping with my decade long battle with digestive issues.  I ate clean, never cheated, and continued with my 5/6 day a week workouts consisting of cardio and strength training.  However, I am glad I stripped the negatives from my diet which allowed me to see that I didn't need them to survive. My diet is that much cleaner and it also allowed me to realize that I feel so much better without the meat in my diet.  

 

I wonder, if carbs played a bigger role in my life prior to Whole30, would I have had more dramatic results?  If I wasn't already a paleo diet follower and ate pasta, breads, potatoes, rice, cereals, etc. My guess is yes.  

 

I am interested in learning more about others' negative and positive take-aways, whether or not they achieved the results desired, and what they will continue to keep out of their diet.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

Are you saying your weight and measurements remain the same on day 30 as they were on day one? Or not changed enough? I would encourage you to finish the 30 days, then make a list of what changes you have felt eating this way. Reintroduce each food you plan to re-incorporate in your diet one by one so you can tell which cause digestive distress or other symptoms (you may not expect them to cause problems, but whole30 creates a context in which you can really know). Make the decision on which foods to include after you have done the reintroductions.

 

Reading your post, I find myself wondering if you are overweight. It does look like weight loss was a goal, and if that is the case, consider the possibility that you were not following the plan in a way that would encourage weight loss. You have ignored the meal template, and have under eaten for at least two of the four weeks. You have not met your bodies needs for protein or fat during this time. Although it is clear you believe in the math of "calories-in"/"calories-out" I have not found this to be true. It is only in the context of abundant nutrition--focusing on nutrient dense, fresh foods and plenty of them--that i have been able to achieve and maintain weight-loss. I do believe underfeeding will do a number on your hormones and metabolism. If you do this for a long time you will find you are able to gain weight on smaller and smaller amounts of food. Eating as little as you do, accompanied with the amount of workouts you do could be leading you along a similar road.

 

If meat is distasteful to you, we can help with ideas to make the transition easier (different preparations, adding digestive enzymes, etc.) and if you really can't make that work, then consider looking at the vegetarian meal template for ways to get the protein your body needs to thrive.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Since this is the two cents and take away topic, I feel free to speak.

 

Tomorrow is my Day 30.   My results are different because we all have different genetic makeups.   I don't do well with carbs at all and that includes the good kind...the beloved sweet potato and banana.   I didn't consume either one of them.  Berries were my fruit and hardly any nuts.

 

Fish, beef, turkey, chicken, unprocessed bacon, pork roasts & chops...I had some 3 X aday along with about 4 daily eggs.  I ate every kind of green vegetable and everything but the sweet potato.  I used coconut vinegar and macadamia nut oil for dressings...some coconut and olive oil.  I enjoyed green and black olives on salads.  I didn't make mayo or special sauces.   I used lemons, limes, grapefruits, and spices for flavor.    I didn't have any ghee because I didn't miss butter.

 

I didn't use a calorie book or measure.   I made vegetables the backbone of my plate - 1/2 at every meal.  My digital scales said today, I'll know offically tomorrow...that I've dropped 26.2 lbs.  I have more to go.   I could not be happier.   So Day 31 is going to be like Day 1 and I'm continuing this path for however long it takes.   

 

I'm not going Paleo, I've already gone Native...so I'm sticking with this.   My husband cannot believe what I've done in a month, me neither.   I hiked with my poles every day over a mountain ridge for exercise.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's almost impossible to be paleo and vegetarian. You need protein. Like literally, you will die without protein after your body cannibalizes its own muscle tissue. Paleo gets rid of all the vegetarian sources of protein other than eggs, and I think eating that many eggs would get pretty boring (and I LOVE eggs).

 

The first couple weeks of whole30 are rough. You eliminated meat right at the same time people normally start feeling better on whole30. So maybe it wasn't getting rid of meat that made you feel better, but the program, and the timing just happened to coincide. 

 

I will agree with you that calories matter. If you eat an extreme calorie surplus, even if it's low carb, your body still has mechanisms to store fat when insulin is low. However, the whole30/paleo diet focuses on nutrient dense foods that satiate, so you eat less because your body is being properly nourished. When you aren't getting constant insulin spikes and blood sugar swings, you aren't hungry all the time, your hormones level out and you just don't need to eat as much. Also, this kind of diet, because it nourishes your body and keeps hormones in balance, even if you do eat a calorie surplus, your body is more likely just to increase your metabolism to burn off the extra calories than it is to store them, because it knows that food is plentiful because you aren't starving yourself, so it can afford to not pack everything away in anticipation of the next crash diet.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I was a vegetarian 2007- 2011 and was very strict on my definition of edible food. I did not eat tofu or other soy based products except soy sauce and avoided packaged junk food, with exception of during my deployment in 2010. I developed asthmatic symptoms in 2008 that magically disappeared shortly after the reintroduction of meats and my performance was awful even though I pushed hard on the track I always got slower and worse. In 2011, I had my annual physical and my blood work was terrible. The blood itself was thin, watery and discolored (literally had orangish blood) and my iron was through the floor. My doctor immediately ordered me to stop the vegetarian diet because it was going to kill me. Shortly after I reintroduced meats, My energy skyrocketed, my performance peaked, and my iron leveled out to low-normal. I all of a sudden did not need my inhaler and my diagnosis of asthma was retracted after testing again. My body weight went up to a healthy zone, I was skin and bones but I was in denial about that. My hair began to grow again and my thin hair became thicker, my acne cleared up and I haven't had a cavity since (got my only 4 cavities while vegetarian).

My point is, when you start vegetarianism it's hard not to get swept up in the self gratification of being morally better than everyone else due to your dietary choices. You are now special and people tell you all the time that they couldn't do it, thus making you feel like a super special butterfly. However, you are on the path to self destruction. Your body needs protein, but more importantly you need b12. Without b12 you will go insane and die a slow death. Humans can only absorb the b12 found in animals, no matter what the vegan/vegetarian propaganda has led you to believe, there is no vegetarian sources for b12. Iron is another important nutrient that is better absorbed through the consumption of animals. Most vegetarian iron sources are rich in calcium, which inhibits the absorption of iron, meaning you ain't getting licketysquat. You need nutrients that cannot be gleaned from vegetation alone. You are sick, your mind is broken and you will become more and more irrational as the years pass, you won't notice it but everyone else will.

Please rethink doing the whole30 with the meat included and don't step on a scale, get out your measuring tape or whatever else until day 30. And remember to have realistic expectations. Losing a lb of body fat a week is extremely good progress, so you should only expect to lose 0-5 lbs total from the entire month. To be on the safe side, just expect to see no change in body weight on day 30 and keep a journal so you can see the changes you are making in the mental/psychological department too. I have a strong feeling that after a month of eat whole foods to include a proper portioning of meat at every meal will do wonders for your brain, it did mine back in 2011. Good luck.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I appreciate everyone's feedback and two-cents!  I think it's fascinating to hear each person's positive and negative experiences and in this case, all of you have seemed to have positive experiences related to Whole30.  As do I, regarding being able to kick some bad habits (e.g. artificial sugars).  

 

However, there is no one-size-fits-all diet, meal plan, etc. that will work for everyone.  For me, and my husband actually, the Whole30 diet allowed us to kick some habits, detox alcohol for a month, and allow us to check the box saying we did it.  And don't worry, as it is day 29 today, I will finish my 30 days and be glad I did.  It's always good to commit to something!  

 

First, to address

 

Are you saying your weight and measurements remain the same on day 30 as they were on day one? Or not changed enough? I would encourage you to finish the 30 days, then make a list of what changes you have felt eating this way. Reintroduce each food you plan to re-incorporate in your diet one by one so you can tell which cause digestive distress or other symptoms (you may not expect them to cause problems, but whole30 creates a context in which you can really know). Make the decision on which foods to include after you have done the reintroductions.

 

Reading your post, I find myself wondering if you are overweight. It does look like weight loss was a goal, and if that is the case, consider the possibility that you were not following the plan in a way that would encourage weight loss. You have ignored the meal template, and have under eaten for at least two of the four weeks. You have not met your bodies needs for protein or fat during this time. Although it is clear you believe in the math of "calories-in"/"calories-out" I have not found this to be true. It is only in the context of abundant nutrition--focusing on nutrient dense, fresh foods and plenty of them--that i have been able to achieve and maintain weight-loss. I do believe underfeeding will do a number on your hormones and metabolism. If you do this for a long time you will find you are able to gain weight on smaller and smaller amounts of food. Eating as little as you do, accompanied with the amount of workouts you do could be leading you along a similar road.

 

If meat is distasteful to you, we can help with ideas to make the transition easier (different preparations, adding digestive enzymes, etc.) and if you really can't make that work, then consider looking at the vegetarian meal template for ways to get the protein your body needs to thrive.

 

 

 

No, I am not overweight.  I am 5'9, 145lbs, with an athletic build.  As I mentioned, I weight lift and do cardio 5-6 days a week plus am active outside of the gym.  However, I always feel there is improvement to be made whether it is a few lbs, inches, or habits.  When I say that I didn't see the results I wanted or expected, I really was hoping to knock about 5 lbs off or at least an inch.  So while I am on day 29 and did the meat, veggie, fruit, clean food recommendations for the three weeks prior to cutting out the meat, there were no changes in my body composition.  I am a firm believer in what works for one person, doesn't necessarily work for someone else.  Where being a vegetarian has created a healthy diet for me, may not be so successful for others.  My husband is a huge meat eater and as we both are low-carb lifestyle followers, he actually is able to become even leaner, when he incorporates white rice, potatoes, etc. with his lean meats as opposed to low-carb vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower.  

 

The success of a diet weighs heavily on one's' age, gender, activity level, dietary restrictions, etc.  Being as my husband and I were already low-carb eaters for years prior to starting the Whole30 might explain the little to no body composition changes.  When we begin the Carb Nite Solution we were to go extremely low-carb for 10 days (prep phase) eating less than 30 grams of carbs a day including ANY carbs from vegetables.  Obviously, fruit being higher in carbs, were extremely frowned upon.  We both lost 7-10 lbs of bloat and water weight within that time related to the release of any carbs that were being held in the body.  I have a feeling that for most individuals who start Whole30 aren't individuals who previously ate a long-term, low-carb diet, those extremely active, weight lifters, etc.  For that reason, many see more drastic results.  If you eat bread, pasta, fast-food, etc. and then suddenly cut it out? Of course, there will be drastic changes.  I haven't bought a loaf of bread in over 2 years let alone eaten fast food in over 5.  

 

I understand that the vegetarian way of life isn't for everyone and what may work for me doesn't work for others and vice versa.  While I have seen positive changes in myself eating a vegetarian lifestyle (which prior to last October I had been a vegetarian for just shy of a decade) it doesn't bode well for others.  And no, I didn't start become a vegetarian for moral reasons; I had an eating disorder while in the military and was instructed to work with a nutritionist which aided me in learning and trying different diets and lifestyles to help me regain a positive relationship with food.  Again, there is no one-size-fits all diet or lifestyle and for me, this is the lifestyle that allows me to feel at my best.  

 

I am glad that my husband and I finished the Whole30 and we were able to walk away finishing the commitment and kicking some habits.

 

Thanks so much for all your posts!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Are you saying your weight and measurements remain the same on day 30 as they were on day one? Or not changed enough? I would encourage you to finish the 30 days, then make a list of what changes you have felt eating this way. Reintroduce each food you plan to re-incorporate in your diet one by one so you can tell which cause digestive distress or other symptoms (you may not expect them to cause problems, but whole30 creates a context in which you can really know). Make the decision on which foods to include after you have done the reintroductions.

 

Reading your post, I find myself wondering if you are overweight. It does look like weight loss was a goal, and if that is the case, consider the possibility that you were not following the plan in a way that would encourage weight loss. You have ignored the meal template, and have under eaten for at least two of the four weeks. You have not met your bodies needs for protein or fat during this time. Although it is clear you believe in the math of "calories-in"/"calories-out" I have not found this to be true. It is only in the context of abundant nutrition--focusing on nutrient dense, fresh foods and plenty of them--that i have been able to achieve and maintain weight-loss. I do believe underfeeding will do a number on your hormones and metabolism. If you do this for a long time you will find you are able to gain weight on smaller and smaller amounts of food. Eating as little as you do, accompanied with the amount of workouts you do could be leading you along a similar road.

 

If meat is distasteful to you, we can help with ideas to make the transition easier (different preparations, adding digestive enzymes, etc.) and if you really can't make that work, then consider looking at the vegetarian meal template for ways to get the protein your body needs to thrive.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's almost impossible to be paleo and vegetarian. You need protein. Like literally, you will die without protein after your body cannibalizes its own muscle tissue. Paleo gets rid of all the vegetarian sources of protein other than eggs, and I think eating that many eggs would get pretty boring (and I LOVE eggs).

 

The first couple weeks of whole30 are rough. You eliminated meat right at the same time people normally start feeling better on whole30. So maybe it wasn't getting rid of meat that made you feel better, but the program, and the timing just happened to coincide. 

 

I will agree with you that calories matter. If you eat an extreme calorie surplus, even if it's low carb, your body still has mechanisms to store fat when insulin is low. However, the whole30/paleo diet focuses on nutrient dense foods that satiate, so you eat less because your body is being properly nourished. When you aren't getting constant insulin spikes and blood sugar swings, you aren't hungry all the time, your hormones level out and you just don't need to eat as much. Also, this kind of diet, because it nourishes your body and keeps hormones in balance, even if you do eat a calorie surplus, your body is more likely just to increase your metabolism to burn off the extra calories than it is to store them, because it knows that food is plentiful because you aren't starving yourself, so it can afford to not pack everything away in anticipation of the next crash diet.

 

 

I have to disagree; I feel that nothing is impossible if you are committed.  I know that I can get protein from eggs, vegetables like broccoli and spinach, certain fruits, plus, as I weight lift I am able to get protein from supplements.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hadleab, you are so correct.   "there is no one-size-fits-all diet".   I'm glad we both did it.

It's mysterious to me how your husband becomes leaner with carbs but there again, genetics.    I have my DNA results and I really think genes are a huge part of the big picture.   My sister and I were talking about the kids we see everywhere..it appears commercial foods are destroying their well being. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hadleab, you are so correct.   "there is no one-size-fits-all diet".   I'm glad we both did it.

It's mysterious to me how your husband becomes leaner with carbs but there again, genetics.    I have my DNA results and I really think genes are a huge part of the big picture.   My sister and I were talking about the kids we see everywhere..it appears commercial foods are destroying their well being. 

 

I couldn't agree more!  One of the main reasons I gave up 99% of diary was heavily related to the hormones injected into cattle.  A few years after I became vegetarian, I watched a documentary called "Meet Your Meat" (you can see the video(s)) on YouTube. It was an EYE opening experience as well as reading "Skinny Bitch."  I have read and tried to educate myself on all paths healthy and I have concluded that the cleaner the better; the fewer the ingredients, the healthier.  That's not to say I don't indulge at times; I think I would go insane if I didn't!  

 

Long story short, I see kids these days with their processed foods, hormone injected animals, and desire for convenience, and am reminded of why I stay away from them!  

 

I spend most all days per month eating clean; vegetables, lean (limited to little meat), fruit, and eggs.  Because I love how I feel when I eat clean (as well as monitor and track my caloric, fat, and carb intake), I have no issues with my limited menu size.  It's really all about the motivation behind the commitment.  

 

Like you, I am glad I did it and stuck to it!  I learned that I don't need almond milk or truvia in my coffee, I don't need to reach for the Greek Yogurt as a later night sweet tooth snack, and that I can get plenty of hydration from plain water (without carbonation and flavor) and tea.  

 

I also learned, that I need my wine and that while I am more than happy to eat healthy, mama needs her vino!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's great that you've been so accepting of other people's opposing opinions without getting aggressively defensive.

I'm someone who trialed being pescatrian for several months a few years ago (for ethical reasons), and it did not work for me at all, despite having a dietician on call (best friend) to make it as healthy aspossible.

I agree that people who haven't been eating a great diet to start with will have more dramatic weight loss results - I personally didn't have noticeable weight loss but the change in my skin was very welcome! I assume that was from removing additives and dairy.

I had also swung the other way, following a nutrition program that had me forcing down protein and carbs all day in order to meet certain macros. Not only did it drive me crazy but I lost about 1kg for my efforts, while many others I know swear by it. So truly no one diet for all!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Grass-fed calves on good pasture weigh about 700 lbs.   In the fall of the year, they're turned out into the wheat.

Around February, their diets are stoked with corn.   They can double their weight in a short amount of time.   Bacon lovers must know that most of the time, it's corn, corn, corn that the animals are fed.   

 

It's a mystery to me how anyone can become leaner on grains.  It doesn't work that way for livestock and it's not ever worked for me.   If you want to fatten a horse, you give it oats.

 

Grass fed beef tends to have a mossy taste.   If you can acquire a taste for it, it's better for you.  

 

Dairy cattle are fed silage. Dairy cattle are not put on the pasture.  You can't drink the milk if they've been fed wheat...it's off flavor.  Silage is a mixture of corn, milo, alfalfa, etc.   Dairy cattle have a set diet of fodder.  It has to be this way or the milk would have a very off taste.

 

When you stoke your fire with grains, oats, corn - it's going to fatten you up.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Dairy cattle are fed silage. Dairy cattle are not put on the pasture.  You can't drink the milk if they've been fed wheat...it's off flavor.  Silage is a mixture of corn, milo, alfalfa, etc.   Dairy cattle have a set diet of fodder.  It has to be this way or the milk would have a very off taste.

 

 

I don't doubt that conventional dairy cows are fed this way, but at a local grocery store, they carry dairy products from a local farm and their dairy cows are 100% grass fed and pasture raised and their milk tastes amazing.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.