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Whole30 Done! Loads of NSVs and SVs, too - what worked for me.


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Hi everyone!


My husband and I just finished our first, real Whole30 yesterday (today is day 31) - I say 'real' because we had previously done two 'fake' Whole30s where we modified the rules and so they don't count.  Whole30 + wine is not an actual Whole30.


First off - the NSVs are amazing, I could probably cross off every NSV on the list, but here are my top eight: I'm happier, more productive (esp. at work), clothes fit better, complexion is better, I've had some amazing Whole30 compliant meals and discovered 3 favorite, new recipes, waaaay more energy, super positive attitude (and I'm usually a pessimistic misanthrope), no seasonal allergies (and they would normally start acting up now).


And now, the Scale Victories: Starting weight 193.3, Weight today 173.9.  Down 19.4 lbs, ~4% bodyfat in just 30 days.  I had already lost about 40 lbs eating Paleo 80% of the time over the course of the last year, but I was stuck in the low 190's for several months.  I know the weight part isn't as important as everything else, but it is nice to see an objective number verify the subjective NSVs I've stacked up.  


Here are the things I learned that made my Whole30 journey a little easier:


Batch cook main dishes on the weekends: My husband and I both work 11 hour days, 5 days a week, so we made a new recipe every Sunday and froze 3 dinners' worth - when we had time/motivation to cook from scratch we did, but if we didn't, we would heat the frozen meal, add some fresh veggies and voila.  We made chili, "pot pies" (with a top "crust" made from mashed sweet potato), roasted chickens (using Nom Nom Paleo's two roasted chicken instrux), chicken-broccoli casserole, etc.  

Immerse yourself in the culture & wisdom of Whole30: Read these forums, listen to all whole30-related podcasts (just search for Whole30 on itunes or Melissa Hartwig - there are bunches), read the book - I found that the more data I absorbed in support of the Whole30 the easier it was to know and believe that what I was doing was rational and right and worth sticking to.  Many of the posts from the folks on this forum are incredibly inspirational.

Have a partner: Having my husband as an accountability partner made things easier - we both hit some of the same roadblocks and cravings - as they say, 'misery loves company', and so does tiger-blood.

Keep it to yourself (maybe): I didn't tell anyone that I was doing a Whole30 because I didn't want to explain what it was and have to justify my actions to someone who might be adversarial or judgmental. I also didn't want anyone else tracking my success (or lack thereof), so I kept it my personal secret and when people commented on my appearance I simply said 'Oh, yeah, I'm just eating really well, lots of veggies and good home-cooked meals - I don't know if I've lost weight, it isn't important to me." or something similar.  This may not be what works for you, but it helped me.

Read the timeline: My Whole30 didn't really follow the timeline, *but* I hit all the highs and lows discussed on the timeline at some point in the 30 days.  For instance, I had tiger blood on days 2 and 3.  I felt totally wiped out and hungover with a pounding headache on day 11.  The timeline is good because it lets you know what the possible stages are, even if they don't appear in order, and that they are transitory.

Buy Whole30 compliant meals: If you are lucky enough to live in a city where such a thing is available, drop the dough on some whole30 meals. At the beginning of the 30 days, I bought 14 whole30-compliant freezer meals from a local, paleo restaurant and just stashed them in the freezer.  We've eaten about 1/2, but if we didn't have them as back-up, it is possible we would have slipped up and done something stupid, especially during the first two weeks when we were still craving naughty foods.


What's next?  Well, tonight I'm going to eat some fancy washed-rind cheese and some paleo crackers and drink a gluten-free beer.  And tomorrow, I'll go out and restock our fridge with more fresh veggies, pastured meats, and whole30 compliant food and keep the ball rolling, although with a few more compromises (like eating organic sausage with 0g sugar on the label but sugar in the ingredient list).  I'm convinced that eating this way is far better for my health (and wallet, I didn't even mention we saved money this month even though we were buying only organic food). I'm not so concerned about food sensitivities and doing a proper reintroduction because our intention is to eat clean most of the time.  


Thanks for reading my diatribe - and thanks for inspiring me with your stories!

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