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Reflections on my first whole30


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I did it! I made it the entire 30 days, actually 31 days with no cheats!

Sorry this it long :)

What I learned, the good:

  • It is not hard to eat well, it is actually a lot of fun. When I first decided to give this a go I was scared. I had no idea how I would cut out so many foods. Then I did is and found that I loved learning new cooking techniques and trying new recipes. The Well Fed Cookbook is amazing, hello paleo pad Thai and sunshine sauce!
  • Not counting calories is so insanely freeing! After tracking every calorie I put in my mouth for a few month taking a break was so nice. I learned to trust my body
  • You really don't need sweets, grains and dairy. I read about whole30 a while back but thought there was no way I could give up dairy and sugar. I have a major sweet tooth and love to bake. when you cut out this stuff you crave it a lot less. Won't say I never craved it, I did and still do, but I have learned that I really don't "need" it and I am capable of not giving into those cravings.
  • It's really not hard to eat more veggies when you aren't filling up on other crap. I have always told myself I need to eat more veggies, but struggled to get in more than 3 servings day, but when you stop eating bread and other grains there is a lot more room in your diet for those veggies.
  • The little bites ad up. Not being able to eat grains really showed me how much I snack on my kids foods. the first week I really saw how much I tend to pick on their food and take bites here and there. I also realized that all the times I say "oh this is just a little treat" happen more than I ever thought. I just never noticed just how common they are. Like at work; there was ONE week during the whole 30 where we had a breakfast meeting complete with bagels and pastries, another day where there were doughnuts and another day where there were cookies left over from a catered lunch. not eating these items really made me stop and realize just how often they are in front of me.
  • It gave me compassion for people with true tolerances to things like gluten. While I can chose to not eat gluten because it may not be the best thing for me, I don't have a true sensitivity or intolerance Eating a little or having food that has been contaminated won't cause me great harm. but I have to imagine that for someone with Celiac it has to be really tough and mentally draining to worry about it all the time.

What I learned, the bad/what didn't go as expected

  • eating out while on whole 30 is tough. Especially if you really want to avoid processed oils. It is easy to get grilled chicken and a salad, but hard to ensure that there is no added sugar or processed oils. I chose to just not eat out at all which was fine, but I did miss it and will add one mean a week out back into my diet. It also felt isolating not joining co-worker for lunch as there are some place where there really is nothing that is whole30 compliant, like many ethnic restaurant
  • Sleep- I may have slept a little more soundly but still felt tired. I did notice that I had a LOT more strange dreams so I do question how soundly I was really sleeping. Don't you tend to remember dreams more when you aren't sleeping very soundly? Previously the only time I have remembered a lot of strange dreams was during pregnancy and I was definitely not sleeping well then. I could certainly use more sleep each night, but it's tough with 2 young children.
  • Skin- no differences in my skin, but then again I have never been one to have skin issues.
  • weight loss- I am down 4.5 lbs. Not a huge number and I would have loved more, but for me it is decent. Despite having 15-20 lbs to lose to get to what is the high end of my healthy weight range I am not someone who loses weight easily. I also think that the people who lose a lot of weigh ton whole30 probably have a lot more to lose to begin with. Maybe I ate too many nuts and fruit? or maybe my diet wasn't truly terrible enough before for this to have a huge difference on me? Before whole30 I was religiously counting calories and still did not drop a single pound in 3 months. So I will take whatever I can get. I also felt like I was eating so much more on whole 30 and felt less deprived than when I was simply counting calories. Win win!
  • measurements- I did not lose a huge number of inches despite having inches to lose. So no idea where the weigh I did lose went.

So all in all my first whole30 was a success and life changing. I learned a lot in the past 30 days and I am hoping to keep it going. My plan is to stick with a 90/10 rule. following whole30 principles 90% and going off plan 10%. The 10% mostly be on things that are truly worth it to me and for dining out.

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