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The Whole30 is easy! And hard.

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I completed my first whole30 on February 25, 2013. I posted a few times on the forum and received a lot of helpful information and encourgement. For these reasons, I wanted to check in about life in the post whole 30 world.

I originally submitted a post about a week after I finished my first whole 30 but the computer gremlins zapped my post and I didn't have the energy to rewrite it. I realize it makes more sense to post a month after as I have more perspective about my post whole30 experience.

I don't use a scale--clothes tell the real story--but I did check in before and after and lost 8 pounds. I think I could have lost more if I had increased my exercise. I wasn't prepared for the amount of time the planning and preparing of meals consumed althought this did get easier over the month. My biggest concern going into the whole30 was slaying my red wine dragon. I was relieved to see several pages on this forum devoted to that topic alone and I got a lot of good encouragement.

I normally lead a pretty active social life and on this plan I ate out exactly twice. For lunch. Within the first week--and one was a work luncheon. I ordered the same thing--seared tuna salad and I brought my own dressing. THroughout the month, I saved a ton of money but I severely limited my social outings--preferring instead to not face temptation. I realize that I will need to practice making different choices in social settings as I plan to do other whole30's and don't want to be a complete hermit. It helped that I did this in the winter time so hibernating was a lot easier to do.

In the post whole30 world, I'm eating whole30 at home--with the exception of a splash of milk in my coffee and occasional popcorn stove popped in olive oil. I also have a bag of hard pretzels I keep at work for when I want to crunch on something. I have enjoyed the freedom of being able to share food when eating out and have attempted to keep mostly paleo. But predictably, the way I've gotten off rails is with the wine intake. I've decided no wine in the house--it's just too tempting to engage with it at the end of the day and I really miss the clear headedness of being without it.

What I miss most about the whole30 is the accountability--I did receive the daily emails from Melissa and Dallas and found them inspirational. What I miss most--and why I plan to do more whole 30's, is the sleep. What's ironic is that I thought I would have a harder time going to sleep without having any wine. Now that I've reintroduced it, my sleep is much more disrupted. I am back to a solid exercise routine so I think bringing back better whole30 habits AND keeping this routine going will be a good thing.

The things I will never stop doing that I started doing on the whole30 1) buying as local, farm fresh organic as possible. 2) roasting a chicken myself and eating on the leftovers and making chicken broth--I actually was doing this before but it's worth noting 3) Renewing my library card 4)realizing how much money you can spend eating and drinking out and how much you can save by being a bit more selective 5) making homemade mayo 6) using my slowcooker as often as possible 7) KALE CHIPS KALE CHIPS KALE CHIPS.

And the recipes below got me through, even starting before the whole30. All of these I've shared with non paleo folks and they have been rocked. The smokey roast recipe, first listed, is something I was making every week. I could eat it forever. For the spring, I'm intending to eat less red meat, more fish, and use my grill. Thank god for all the amazing recipes in the paleo community--looking forward to some amazing salads over the next few months.

Smokey Roast - Everyday Paleo

Whole30 Day 6: Asian Meatballs | Award-Winning Paleo Recipes | Nom Nom Paleo

PaleOMG – Paleo Recipes – Smoky Bacon Chili

PaleOMG – Paleo Recipes – Aloo Gobi

Leek And Sweet Potato Soup | Paleo Diet Lifestyle

One notable moment from the whole30 experience--the final message from Dallas/Melissa after completing the plan. They essentially said "you know how we've been telling you all along that this is easy? Well now that you're finished, we want to tell you that what you've just done is NOT easy. Congratulations." And essentially, I agree with this paradox. Living this plan IS easy, when you realize that it's possible to change lifelong habits with support and intention. And it's also really really challenging and takes a lot of discipline and planning. Congratulations to those who have completed this and adopting into a lifestyle of health, and thank you for this forum for all the support.

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