Things I Learned on the Whole30 Journey


Ginger109

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I'm on day 41 of my Whole30 "experiment". I started this journey with my daughter who had a slip and had to restart so I decided to continue with her, not that it was a hard decision. I'm just glad she decided to do the restart and to fully commit to the program. The driving motivation for her was that the migraine headaches that plagued her for years have stopped and she had to buy some new clothes because she was losing weight/inches. Huge wins for her. At 23, my daughter didn't have the best eating habits, not for lack of my trying over the years. Since starting the Whole30 she has been eating 3 meals a day and has admitted that taking her lunch from our homemade food and drinking her coffee black or with some unsweetened almond milk is far better than what she's been getting from the mall's food court. She realized who much money she was spending at Starbucks, ($25 p/week), and eating out and is thankful for the money she's saved. Now if I could just get her to make her own food.

So what have I learned?

1. I can cook. My husband, who opted out of the Whole30, traditionally did all the cooking as he was so much better at it than me. Without a recipe, I'm sunk. When my daughter and I started the Whole30 I researched recipes and started taking over more of the cooking creating some great meals, if I do say so myself. I've become more comfortable winging it and adjusting recipes. I do spend a lot more time in the kitchen than I expected, but it's been worth it as I have so much more control over the food we eat. My husband does eat Whole30 by default at dinner.

2. Reading labels is eye-opening and a real lesson in determining real food vs industrial food. Sugar is in practically everything and some things you need like chicken stock can be hard to find without this unnecessary ingredient. Making my own mayo, dressings, spice blends, ketchup, etc., is easy and certainly gives me control over what we're eating.

3. I'm reluctant to add back the foods I eliminated at the beginning of this experiment. I'm not really missing it so not sure I need to reintroduce anything, at least for now. 

4. Black coffee with coconut oil and a little cinnamon is just fine. Don't miss those sweetened artificially flavored coffee creamers at all. 

5. Food can taste great when you cook with a variety of seasonings and herbs. Coconut aminos is a great substitute for soy sauce. 

5. I'm consciously eating. Makes all the difference in the world and something that is a life-long necessity for staying healthy.

I've lost weight/inches though I don't know how much because I severed ties with my scale a long time ago. I judge my results by how my clothes fit and how I feel. Before starting the Whole30 I was really unhappy about the way I looked and felt, not so much now. I'm looking forward to continued positive results and am thankful for having learned about the Whole30 program.

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  • 3 weeks later...

In some ways, I've been on a parallel path with yours, Ginger.  I'm on only day 62 myself.

I also really need a recipe to produce anything palatable.  How fortunate we are that there are so many people in the English speaking world with enough time, energy, imagination, and courage to make wonderful recipes for us.  I've had so much fun curating a very comprehensive recipe collection.  Of course your hubby is happy to eat your food.  Not only is it fabulously tasty, but it's also cleaner.  I really do think our brains subconsciously know and respond (positively or negatively) to what's in the food we give them.  Clean food is my new comfort food.  Once I settled on that, it became a lot easier to cook for myself (a loner) and to decline the previously-thought comfort foods.

While we are at liberty to remove some of the restrictions, we can choose what, how, when, and why.  And it can be as infrequent as we choose. Yes! That is Liberty.

 

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You said: " I'm reluctant to add back the foods I eliminated at the beginning of this experiment. I'm not really missing it so not sure I need to reintroduce anything, at least for now." I so agree! I thought I'd be hurrying to reintroduce everything TODAY, but I don't even want to. It's amazing how your relationship with food changes!

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The thing about reintros, is that while even though it might not be something you miss and want to add back right now, it can be important to know how your body reacts to these things while you are still at the "clean slate" stage.  If you don't have any reaction, then cool, you can continue to "take it or leave it" when it comes to those foods.  But if you do have any adverse reactions, then you know that in the future you must continue to be diligent with label reading, asking questions at restaurants, etc.

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